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Sammy C. S. Lee, Paul R. Martin, Ulrike Grünert; Topography of Neurons in the Rod Pathway of Human Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(8):2848-2859. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.19-27217.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The objective of this study was to map the distribution and density of the three major components of the classical scotopic “night vision” pathway (rods, rod bipolar, and AII amacrine cells) in postmortem human retinas.
Four postmortem donor eyes (male and female, aged 44–56 years) were used to cut vertical sections through the temporal horizontal meridian. The sections were processed for immunohistochemistry and imaged using high-resolution multichannel confocal microscopy. Rods, rod bipolar, and AII amacrine cells were counted along the temporal horizontal meridian. Two additional retinas were used for intracellular injections.
Rod peak density is close to 150,000 cells/mm2 at 4 to 5 mm (15° to 20°) eccentricity, declining to below 70,000 cells/mm2 in peripheral retina. Rod bipolar density is lower but follows a similar distribution with peak density near 10,000 cells/mm2 between 2 and 4 mm (7° to 15°) eccentricity declining to below 4000 cells/mm2 in peripheral retina. The peak density of AII amacrine cells (near 4000 cells/mm2) is located close to the fovea, at 0.5- to 2 mm-eccentricity (2° to 7°) and declines to below 1000 cells/mm2 in the periphery. Thus, convergence between rods and AII cells increases from central to peripheral retina.
Comparison with human psychophysics and ganglion cell density indicates that the spatial resolution of scotopic vision is limited by the AII mosaic at eccentricities below 15° and by the midget ganglion cell mosaic at eccentricities above 15°.
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