Send to

Choose Destination
J Comp Neurol. 1987 Jun 15;260(3):453-60.

Distribution of axons according to diameter in the monkey's optic tract.


The distribution of axonal diameters in the optic tract of Old World monkeys was examined by light and electron microscopy. Axon diameters were measured in samples of 100 axons taken from several locations in a cross section of the tract about 5 mm behind the optic chiasm. Fine-caliber axons (less than 1.75 micron in diameter) were found in all parts of the tract. Dorsally no coarse axons were present. Further ventrally, coarse axons gradually appeared and increased steadily in proportion. The largest optic axons (greater than 2.5 micron) were found in the most ventral parts of the tract, near the pial surface. This pattern of segregation of axons of differing diameters in the optic tract is a rearrangement of the distribution of axon diameters seen in the nerve rather than a continuation of the same pattern. Examination of axon diameters in the optic nerve has shown that there is a preponderance of fine axons centrally, while coarser axons are found in the periphery, near the pial surface; however, histograms from central parts of the nerve contain a greater proportion of coarse axons than the dorsal parts of the optic tract, while histograms from the periphery of the optic nerve contain a conspicuously greater proportion of fine axons than do histograms from the most ventral parts of the tract. This relatively greater segregation of axons according to diameter in the optic tract demonstrates that the distribution of axons in the tract cannot be formed by the simple combination of two hemiretinal maps contained in each optic nerve, as suggested in classic descriptions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center