Neural organization of the retina of the turtle Mauremys caspica: a light microscope and Golgi study

Vis Neurosci. 1988;1(1):47-72. doi: 10.1017/s0952523800001012.


The organization of the retina of the turtle species Mauremys caspica, found in fresh water ponds of Israel, has been examined by light microscopical techniques including examination of fresh wholemount retina, one micron blue-stained vertical sections and Golgi-stained material. The anatomical findings on Mauremys retina have been compared with those of the Pseudemys retina (Kolb, 1982) which is more commonly used for electrophysiological and neurochemical studies in the USA. The photoreceptors of Mauremys are similar in type and oil droplet content to Pseudemys photoreceptors except for the double cone in Mauremys. This cone type appears more abundant than in Pseudemys and the principal member contains a yellow oil droplet instead of an orange oil droplet. Golgi staining reveals that the cell types that have been seen in Pseudemys are found in Mauremys with identical morphology. In addition, two amacrine cell types that were not before described for Pseudemys have been added to the classification. One of these is the tristratified dopaminergic amacrine cell described in immunocytochemical studies (Witkovsky et al., 1984; Nguyen-Legros et al., 1985; Kolb et al., 1987). We have used these anatomical studies on Pseudemys and Mauremys retina to form a catalogue of neural types for the turtle retina in general. We conclude with an attempt to combine findings from anatomy, electrophysiology, and neurochemistry to form an overview of the organization of this reptilian retina.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrophysiology
  • Golgi Apparatus*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Photoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Species Specificity
  • Turtles
  • Visual Pathways / cytology