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Microsc Res Tech. 1996 Dec 15;35(6):431-44.

Review of larval and postlarval eye ultrastructure in the lamprey (Cyclostomata) with special emphasis on Geotria australis (Gray).

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Department of Biology (Section Animal Physiology), University of Oulu, (Linnanmaa), Finland.


The literature dealing with the lateral eye in lampreys is briefly reviewed here. While there appears to be no longer much doubt that the short and long photoreceptor cells in the lamprey eye correspond to rods and cones, questions of dark/light adaptational changes, the nature of visual pigments, and the roles of retinal serotonin and melatonin need to be re-addressed. Eyes of the larval and postlarval ("macrophthalmia") stages of the lamprey Geotria australis were examined by electron microscopy and it was found that the larval retina is largely undifferentiated except for a small central zone surrounding the optic nerve head. The retina of the postlarval stage is fully differentiated and the photoreceptor outer segments undergo renewal, which appears to involve the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The distribution of larval RPE and choroidal pigments, postlarval ganglion cells, and the orientation of scleral collagen are unusual for vertebrates. No obvious positional or size differences of any retinal cell type were apparent between day- and night-fixed specimens.

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