Retinal ganglion cells with NADPH-diaphorase activity in the chick form a regular mosaic with a strong dorsoventral asymmetry that can be modelled by a minimal spacing rule

Eur J Neurosci. 2000 Feb;12(2):613-20. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2000.00944.x.


We have identified a class of retinal ganglion cells in the chick retina that can be labelled by NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry. These cells have a remarkable topographic distribution, being restricted to the dorsal hemiretina, and form a highly regular mosaic, as revealed by the analysis of nearest neighbour distribution and Delaunay triangulation. Autocorrelation analysis of the mosaic of NADPH-diaphorase-positive retinal ganglion cells shows that the mosaic spatial organization could be generated with the single constraint that two elements cannot be closer than a given minimal distance (d(min)), which we confirmed by computer simulations. In contrast with what has been observed in other mosaics, here d(min) varies with cell density. However, the observed variation of the exclusion area is consistent with an original assembly of the mosaic with a constant d(min) (as is the case in other mosaics), followed by differential expansion of the retina during development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Computer Simulation
  • Eye Proteins / analysis*
  • Models, Neurological
  • NADPH Dehydrogenase / analysis*
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / embryology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / enzymology
  • Species Specificity


  • Eye Proteins
  • NADPH Dehydrogenase