The topography of magnocellular projecting ganglion cells (M-ganglion cells) in the primate retina

Neuroscience. 1991;40(1):217-37. doi: 10.1016/0306-4522(91)90186-r.


The projection from the retina to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus in the primate arises from two morphologically distinct types of ganglion cells. The P-ganglion cells project to the parvocellular layers, the M-ganglion cells to the magnocellular layers. We have developed a neurofibrillar stain which stains the M-ganglion cell population with a high degree of selectivity allowing us to map their distribution across the retina. As with other ganglion cell types the M-ganglion cell density peaks close to the fovea and declines towards the periphery. At 1 mm from the fovea the proportion of M-ganglion cells ranges from 6 to 10% and then increases to about 8-10% over much of the retina except along the nasal horizontal meridian. Along the nasal horizontal meridian the percentage increases from 10% at 7 mm eccentricity to 20% or more at higher eccentricities. The increased percentage of M-ganglion cells in the nasal quadrant of the retina correlates with the relatively smaller dendritic trees of M-ganglion cells in this region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Macaca / physiology*
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Neurofibrils / ultrastructure
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / ultrastructure
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Synaptic Transmission*


  • Horseradish Peroxidase