Send to

Choose Destination
Vis Neurosci. 2002 Nov-Dec;19(6):767-79.

A morphological classification of ganglion cells in the zebrafish retina.

Author information

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, The Biological Laboratories, 16 Divinity Avenue, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


We examined the distribution and morphological types of ganglion cells in the retina of the zebrafish, a model vertebrate genetic organism. Using cresyl violet and methylene blue staining, a prominent central area was observed in the ventral temporal retina. The density of ganglion cell layer neurons averaged from approximately 12,000/mm2 in the dorsal-nasal retina to a peak of approximately 37,000/mm2 in the ventral-temporal retina. Individual zebrafish ganglion cells were labeled by backfilling with DiI through the optic nerve followed by reconstruction using confocal microscopy. The dendritic stratification and branching pattern of each labeled ganglion cell was examined in relation to the borders of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). We identified 11 different morphological types of ganglion cell. The most commonly labeled ganglion cells were two types termed Type III or IV, which displayed highly stratified dendritic arborizations in their respective ON-, OFF-sublaminae of the IPL. Their dendritic branching patterns were highly asymmetric with many thorn-like varicosities that profusely filled the area of arborization. In contrast, Type V cells formed a small simply branching dendritic field in the innermost portion of the ON-sublamina of the IPL. Two large ganglion cell types (Types I and II) with wide monostratified dendritic fields were found in both the ON- and OFF-sublamina of the IPL. Three different types of multistratified/bistratified ganglion cells were found (Types, IX, X, and XI.) whose dendrites occupied different regions of the IPL. The multistratified dendrites of IX cells occupied the whole width of the IPL, while the dendrites of Type XI cells formed vertical claw-like endings in only the ON-sublamina of the IPL. We conclude that zebrafish ganglion cells display a rich variety of types and branching patterns. This study establishes a series of baseline measurements of zebrafish ganglion cells to facilitate examination of genes playing a role in the specification and stratification of ganglion cell types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center