The area centralis in the chicken retina contains efferent target amacrine cells.
SourceVisual Neuroscience, 26, 2, (2009), pp. 249-54
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectNCMLS 2: Immune Regulation
The retinas of birds receive a substantial efferent, or centrifugal, input from a midbrain nucleus. The function of this input is presently unclear, but previous work in the pigeon has shown that efferent input is excluded from the area centralis, suggesting that the functions of the area centralis and the efferent system are incompatible. Using an antibody specific to rods, we have identified the area centralis in another species, the chicken, and mapped the distribution of the unique amacrine cells that are the postsynaptic partners of efferent fibers. Efferent target amacrine cells are found within the chicken area centralis and their density is continuous across the border of the area centralis. In contrast to the pigeon retina then, we conclude that the chicken area centralis receives efferent input. We suggest that the difference between the two species is attributable to the presence of a fovea within the area centralis of the pigeon and its absence from that of the chicken.
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