Amacrine cells of the rhesus monkey retina

J Comp Neurol. 1990 Nov 15;301(3):382-400. doi: 10.1002/cne.903010305.


Amacrine cells of the rhesus monkey, Macaca mulatta, were studied in 38 retinas Golgi-impregnated as whole, flat preparations. By using criteria of dendritic morphology, span of arborization, and level of arborization in the inner plexiform layer, 26 types of amacrine cell ranging in size of dendritic span from 30 microns to 2 mm were identified and listed in increasing size of dendritic span. In some instances, different cell types could be grouped together due to similar morphological features. For example, 1 group, "knotty amacrine cells," has small cell bodies and a profusion of small, varicose, intertwined processes that span up to 30 microns and are essentially monostratified, but each of the 3 types ends in different strata. Another group is 2 types with about 20 fine radiating processes spanning 1 mm that possess some prominent varicosities. One of these has all of its processes terminating in the innermost stratum of the inner plexiform layer ("spidery"-type 2 amacrine cells). The other with predominantly similarly ending processes has some that also terminate in the outermost stratum ("spidery"-type 1 amacrines). These 2 cell types likely correspond to the type 1 and type 2 indolamine-accumulating amacrine cells in rabbit retina. Other types are individuals which cannot be grouped together but resemble familiar types in cat retina (AII and A13). Other types can be correlated with their putative neurotransmitter (type 1 CA-dopamine) or transmitter/drug receptor ("spiny"-benzodiazepine receptor) phenotype. Many types as yet have no known correlate from other Golgi studies or clues as to transmitter or receptor phenotype. This study provides evidence for an unprecedented number of amacrine cell types in the primate retina. The similar morphologies of different types of amacrine cell types within a group suggest other common features within these groups such as neurotransmitter phenotype.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catecholamines / analysis
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure*
  • Interneurons / cytology*
  • Interneurons / ultrastructure
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Retina / cytology*


  • Catecholamines