Variance in transneuronal retrograde ganglion cell degeneration in monkeys after removal of striate cortex: effects of size of the cortical lesion

Vision Res. 1999 Oct;39(21):3642-52. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(99)00097-8.


The extent of transneuronal retrograde degeneration of ganglion cells in the primate retina depends on the age at which striate cortex was damaged, the survival time, the species, and retinal eccentricity. We here report on the effect of lesion size beyond striate cortex, which we assessed along with retinal ganglion cell degeneration in three groups of macaque monkeys who, in each group, had undergone striate cortical ablation at similar ages and survived for similar periods, which ranged from 302 days to 8 years. Where possible, the number of surviving projection neurones in the degenerated dLGN and its volume were also estimated. Results confirm that both geniculate and retinal degeneration correlate significantly with survival time but that the differences within a group can exceed differences between groups and are best accounted for by the extent of the damage to extra-striate visual cortex and underlying white matter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Macaca / physiology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology*
  • Retrograde Degeneration / etiology
  • Retrograde Degeneration / pathology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*