Retinal Axons and the Basal Lamina

  • Stephen S. EasterJr.
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 5)


Fish and amphibians continue to add new neurons for years after they hatch and begin to live independently. This post-hatching neurogenesis has been studied mostly in the visual system, particularly in the retina. The continuous addition of new neurons to a retina that was already functioning adequately presents a number of interesting developmental questions, among which is how the axons of the retinal ganglion cells find their way to the brain. In the process of asking that question, in fish, my collaborators and I discovered that the new axons all grow along the basal lamina that surrounds the central nervous system. This physical association between a nerve cell and a part of the extracellular matrix is a very appropriate one to be discussed in this particular workshop.


Optic Nerve Growth Cone Basal Lamina Trochlear Nerve Glia Limitans 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bernhardt, R., and S.S. Easter (1986) The map of retinal position onto the cross section of the optic pathway of goldfish. Submitted.Google Scholar
  2. Easter, S.S., B. Bratton, and S.S. Scherer (1984) Growth-related order of the retinal fiber layer in goldfish. J. Neurosci. 4: 2173–2190.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Easter, S.S., A.C. Rusoff, and P.E. Kish (1981) The growth and organization of the optic nerve and tract in juvenile and adult goldfish. J. Neurosci. 1: 793–811.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Hollyfield, J.G. (1968) Differential addition of cells to the retina in Rana pipiens tadpole. Dev. Biol. 18: 163–179.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hollyfield, J.G. (1972) Histogenesis of the retina in the killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus. J. Comp. Neurol. 144: 373–380.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hopkins, J.M., T.S. Ford-Holevinski, J.P. McCoy, and B.W. Agranoff (1985) Laminin and optic nerve regeneration in the goldfish. J. Neurosci. 5: 3030–3038.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Johns, P.R. (1977) Growth of the adult goldfish eye. III. Source of the new retinal cells. J. Comp. Neurol. 176: 343–357.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Johns, P.R., and S.S. Easter (1977) Growth of the adult goldfish eye. II. Increase in retinal cell number. J. Comp. Neurol. 176: 331–342.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Krayanek, S., and S. Goldberg (1981) Oriented extracellular channels and axonal guidance in the embryonic chick retina. Dev. Biol. 84: 41–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Letourneau, P.C. (1982) Nerve fiber growth and its regulation by extrinsic factors. In Neuronal Development, N.C. Spitzer, ed., pp. 213–254. Plenum, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Meyer, R.L. (1978) Evidence from thymidine labeling for continuing growth of retina and tectum in juvenile goldfish. Exp. Neurol. 59: 99–111.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Reh, T.A., and M. Constantine-Paton (1983) Qualitative and quantitative measures of plasticity during the normal development of the Rana pipiens of retinotectal projection. Dev. Brain Res. 10: 187–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Scherer, S.S., and S.S. Easter (1984) Degenerative and regenerative changes in the trochlear nerve of goldfish. J. Neurocytol. 13: 519–565.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Sharma, S.C., and F. Ungar (1980) Histogenesis of the goldfish retina. J. Comp. Neurol. 191: 378–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Silver, J., and R.M. Robb (1979) Studies on the development of the eye cup and optic nerve in normal mice and in mutants with congenital optic nerve aplasia. Dev. Biol. 68: 175–190.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Silver, J. and U. Rutishauser (1984) Guidance of optic axons in vivo by a preformed adhesive pathway on neuroepithelial endfeet. Dev. Biol. 106: 485–499.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Straznicky, K., and R.M. Gaze (1971) The growth of the retina in Xenopus laevis: An autoradiographic study. J. Embryl. Exp. Morphol. 26: 67–79.Google Scholar
  18. Williams, R.W., and P. Rakíc (1985) Dispersion of growing axons within the optic nerve of the embryonic monkey. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 82: 3906–3910.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen S. EasterJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural Science Building, Department of BiologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations