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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2000 Mar;17(3):580-8.

Irregular S-cone mosaics in felid retinas. Spatial interaction with axonless horizontal cells, revealed by cross correlation.

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Institut für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Physiologie, Universität Wien, Austria.


In most mammals short-wavelength-sensitive (S) cones are arranged in irregular patterns with widely variable intercell distances. Consequently, mosaics of connected interneurons either may show some type of correlation to photoreceptor placement or may establish an independent lattice with compensatory dendritic organization. Since axonless horizontal cells (A-HC's) are supposed to direct all dendrites to overlying cones, we studied their spatial interaction with chromatic cone subclasses. In the cheetah, the bobcat, and the leopard, anti-S-opsin antibodies have consistently colabeled the A-HC's in addition to the S cones. We investigated the interaction between the two cell mosaics, using autocorrelation and cross-correlation procedures, including a Voronoi-based density probe. Comparisons with simulations of random mosaics show significantly lower densities of S cones above the cell bodies and primary dendrites of A-HC's. The pattern results in different long-wavelength-sensitive-L- and S-cone ratios in the central versus the peripheral zones of A-HC dendritic fields. The existence of a related pattern at the synaptic level and its potential significance for color processing may be investigated in further studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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