Does axonal branching contribute to the overproduction of optic nerve fibers during early development of the cat's visual system?

Brain Res. 1986 Mar;390(2):296-301. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(86)80239-6.


The number of axons within the optic nerve of the fetal cat was found to be no greater near the chiasm than near the eye. This suggests that the overabundance of axons present in the developing nerve results from a corresponding excess of retinal ganglion cells, and that the elimination of optic fibers that occurs during normal development is principally due to the loss of ganglion cells and not to the elimination of axonal branches.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cats
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Survival
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / physiology
  • Optic Nerve / physiology*
  • Optic Nerve / ultrastructure
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / ultrastructure
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / ultrastructure