Time course of stratification of the dendritic fields of ganglion cells in the retina of the cat

Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1988 Nov 1;44(1):87-93. doi: 10.1016/0165-3806(88)90120-4.


The inner plexiform layer (IPL) of the retina has been shown by previous workers to comprise a number of sublayers (sublaminae or strata), each containing a distinct component of its circuitry. Using horseradish peroxidase applied to cultured whole retinas, we have observed the segregation of the dendrites of ganglion cells of the cat retina into two sublayers of the IPL. These sublayers appear to correspond to the a and b sublaminae described in studies of the adult IPL. As the dendritic fields of ganglion cells form, in mid-gestation, they are diffuse, spreading through the ganglion cell and inner plexiform layers. A few weeks before birth the dendrites become restricted to the IPL, but it is not until after birth, between P(postnatal day)2 and P5, that they segregate into inner and outer sublayers of the IPL. The process of segregation may involve the loss or 'pruning' of excess dendrites formed in 'wrong' sublayers. The segregation of dendrites into sublayers occurs concurrently with the formation of synapses by bipolar cells and may be induced by contacts made by bipolar cells onto the dendrites of ganglion cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cats / embryology
  • Cats / growth & development*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / embryology
  • Retina / growth & development*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology*