Large-scale morphological survey of mouse retinal ganglion cells

J Comp Neurol. 2002 Sep 16;451(2):115-26. doi: 10.1002/cne.10323.


Five hundred twenty ganglion cells in an isolated whole-mount preparation of the mouse retina were labeled using the "DiOlistic" method (Gan et al. [2000] Neuron 27:219-225) and were classified according to their morphological properties. Tungsten particles coated with a lipophilic dye (DiI) were propelled into the whole-mount retina using a gene gun. When a dye-coated particle contacted the cell membrane, the entire cell was labeled. The ganglion cells were classified into four groups based on their soma size, dendritic field size, and pattern and level of stratification. Broadly monostratified cells were classified into three groups: RG(A) cells (large soma, large dendritic field), RG(B) cells (small to medium-sized soma, small to medium-sized dendritic field), and RG(C) cells (small to medium-sized size soma, medium-sized to large dendritic field). Bistratified cells were classified as RG(D). This study represents the most complete morphological classification of mouse retinal ganglion cells available to date and provides a foundation for further understanding of the correlation of physiology and morphology and ganglion cell function with genetically manipulated animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbocyanines
  • Cell Size
  • Cytological Techniques
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Electrophysiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / classification
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / ultrastructure*
  • Retinaldehyde / physiology
  • Tungsten


  • Carbocyanines
  • carbocyanine dye DiIC12(3)
  • Retinaldehyde
  • Tungsten