The aim of this study was to characterize and classify the displaced amacrine cells in the mouse retina. Amacrine cells in the ganglion cell layer were injected with fluorescent dyes in flat-mounted retinas. Dye-filled displaced amacrine cells were classified according to dendritic field size, horizontal and vertical stratification patterns, and general morphology. We identified 10 different morphological types of displaced amacrine cell. Six of the cell types identified here are novel cell types that have not been described previously in the mouse retina, to the best of our knowledge. The displaced amacrine cells included four types of medium-field cells, with dendritic field diameters of 200-500 microm, and six types of wide-field cells, with dendritic fields extending over 500 microm. Narrow-field displaced amacrine cells, with dendritic field diameters smaller than 200 microm, were not encountered. The most frequently labeled displaced amacrine cell type was the starburst amacrine cell. At least three cell types identified here have nondisplaced counterparts in the inner nuclear layer as well. Displaced amacrine cells display a rich variety of stratification and branching patterns, which surely reflect the wide range of their functional roles in the processing of visual signals in the inner retina.
2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc