The histology of retinal nerve fiber layer bundles and bundle defects

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979 May;97(5):948-50. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1979.01020010506027.


The fiber bundle striations recognized clinically in normal monkey eyes appear to be bundles of axons compartmentalized within glial tunnels formed by Müller's-cell processes, when viewed histologically. The dark boundaries that separate individual bundles are the broadened foot endings of these cells near the inner surface of the retina. Within one week after focal retinal photocoagulation, characteristic fundus changes could be seen in experimental eyes. In histologic sections of the involved retina, there was marked cystic degeneration of the retinal nerve fiber layer. Within one month, atrophy of distal axon segments was complete. With the drop-out of damaged axons and thinning of individual fiber bundles, retinal striations became less prominent. The resulting fundus picture in these experimental eyes is similar to fiber bundle defects that can be seen clinically in various neuro-ophthalmic disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / anatomy & histology*
  • Axons / pathology
  • Haplorhini
  • Light Coagulation
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Nerve Fibers / anatomy & histology*
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology
  • Neurons / anatomy & histology
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Retina / anatomy & histology*
  • Retina / pathology