The horizontal cells of artiodactyl retinae: a comparison with Cajal's descriptions

Vis Neurosci. Jul-Aug 1996;13(4):735-46. doi: 10.1017/s0952523800008610.


The morphology of horizontal cells in ox, sheep, and pig retinae as observed after Lucifer Yellow injections are described and compared with the descriptions of Golgi-stained cells by Ramón y Cajal (1893). Horizontal cells in the retinae of less domesticated species, wild pig, fallow and sika deer, mouflon, and aurochs were also examined. All these retinae have two types of horizontal cell; their morphologies are in common, although with some familial differences. Their basic appearance is as Cajal described; except in one important respect, a single axon-like process could not be identified on the external horizontal cells. It is concluded that external horizontal cells of artiodactyls correspond to the axonless (A-type) cells of other mammals. Cajal's internal horizontal cells have a single axon which contacts rods. This type corresponds to the B-type cells of other mammalian retinae. Artiodactyl A- and B-type horizontal cells differ from those of many other mammals in that the B-type dendritic tree is robust and the A-type dendritic tree is delicate. Historically, this morphological difference between orders of mammals has led to some confusion. The comparisons presented here suggest that the morphological types of primate horizontal cells can be integrated into a general mammalian classification.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artiodactyla*
  • Axons / classification
  • Dendrites / classification
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Isoquinolines
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Isoquinolines
  • lucifer yellow