Morphology of retinogeniculate axons in the macaque

Vis Neurosci. 1989;2(3):287-96. doi: 10.1017/s0952523800001206.


The size, pattern of terminal arborizations, and laminar specificity of individual retinogeniculate axons were studied in the macaque following injections of HRP into the optic tract. Axons that terminated in the magnocellular layers had significantly larger fiber diameters and wider terminal fields than those that terminated in the parvocellular layers. Terminal fields of magnocellular fibers spanned most of the width of their target layer, whereas those of parvocellular fibers were restricted to approximately one-half the width of their target layers; almost all terminal fields were oriented along lines of projection. All of the optic tract fibers that we examined terminated in only one layer of the lateral geniculate nucleus (GL), including a population of fine caliber fibers that project to the intercalated layers, and none had collateral projections outside the GL. The results suggest that each layer--magnocellular, parvocellular, and intercalated--receives projections from a morphologically distinct population of optic tract fibers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure*
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology*
  • Macaca fascicularis / anatomy & histology*
  • Macaca fascicularis / physiology
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / ultrastructure*
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / ultrastructure