Ganglion cells of the cat accessory optic system: morphology and retinal topography

J Comp Neurol. 1982 Feb 20;205(2):190-8. doi: 10.1002/cne.902050210.


The ganglion cells of the cat's retina form classes that are distinct in their cell morphology, retinal distribution, central projections, and functional properties. By means of the retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase injected into the accessory optic nuclei of the cat midbrain, we have characterized the retinal ganglion cells projecting to these nuclei. The retinal projection is virtually completely crossed to the medial terminal nucleus and to the lateral terminal nucleus. This appears to be true for the dorsal terminal nucleus as well, although difficulties of the technique limit our findings for this region. No differences were found in either the spatial distribution, or the somal size distribution, or the morphological characteristics of the ganglion cells projecting to these three nuclei. In spatial distribution, these cells are concentrated in the area centralis and visual streak and show no evidence of a nasotemporal division. Morphologically, they have small to medium-sized somas and delicate, sparsely branching dendrites. They do not appear to belong to any of the morphological cell type thus far identified.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Electrophysiology
  • Mesencephalon / anatomy & histology*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Retina / anatomy & histology
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Perception / physiology