Retinofugal projections in hedgehog-tenrecs (Echinops telfairi and Setifer setosus)

Anat Embryol (Berl). 1988;178(1):77-93. doi: 10.1007/BF00305017.


Using the autoradiographic tracing technique the retinal projections were studied in the tenrecs, Echinops telfairi and Setifer setosus (insectivora, tenrecidae). Bilateral projections were found to the n. suprachiasmaticus, the anterior hypothalamic area, the dorsal and ventral lateral geniculate bodies, the pretectal olivary nucleus and the superior colliculus. The contralateral projections were usually more intense than the ipsilateral ones except the retinohypothalamic connections. A partial segregation of the projection fields from both eyes was present in the dorsal and ventral lateral geniculate bodies. In the superior colliculus retinal fibers predominantly involved the stratum zonale and the upper portion of the stratum griseum superficiale on both sides. The projections to the deeper portion of the colliculi were rather faint, particularly on the ipsilateral side. Target areas receiving contralateral projections exclusively were the periamygdaloid area (labeled only in Setifer), the terminal accessory nuclei including the n. tractus optici and the inferior colliculus. The data are compared with other species. The most striking finding may concern the projection to the medial terminal nucleus being quite prominent in marsupials and most eutherian mammals (including the erinaceomorphous hedgehogs), but greatly reduced in tenrecs and primates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eulipotyphla / anatomy & histology*
  • Geniculate Bodies / anatomy & histology
  • Hypothalamus / anatomy & histology
  • Olivary Nucleus / anatomy & histology
  • Retina / innervation*
  • Superior Colliculi / anatomy & histology
  • Suprachiasmatic Nucleus / anatomy & histology