Retinal ganglion cell type, size, and spacing can be specified independent of homotypic dendritic contacts

Bin Lin, Steven W. Wang, Richard H. Masland

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

145 Citations (Scopus)


In Brn3b-/- mice, where 80% of retinal ganglion cells degenerate early in development, the remaining 20% include most or all ganglion cell types. Cells of the same type cover the retinal surface evenly but tile it incompletely, indicating that a regular mosaic and normal dendritic field size can be maintained in the absence of contact among homotypic cells. In Math5 -/- mice, where only ∼5% of ganglion cells are formed, the dendritic arbors of at least two types among the residual ganglion cells are indistinguishable from normal in shape and size, even though throughout development they are separated by millimeters from the nearest neighboring ganglion cell of the same type. It appears that the primary phenotype of retinal ganglion cells can develop without homotypic contact; dendritic repulsion may be an end-stage mechanism that fine-tunes the dendritic arbors for more efficient coverage of the retinal surface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-485
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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