Indexed on: 24 Mar '04Published on: 24 Mar '04Published in: Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
The eye is a highly specialized structure that gathers and converts light information into neuronal signals. These signals are relayed along axons of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to visual centers in the brain for processing. In this review, we discuss the pathfinding tasks RGC axons face during development and the molecular mechanisms known to be involved. The data at hand support the presence of multiple axon guidance mechanisms concentrically organized around the optic nerve head, each of which appears to involve both growth-promoting and growth-inhibitory guidance molecules. Together, these strategies ensure proper optic nerve formation and establish the anatomical pathway for faithful transmission of information between the retina and the brain.