Indexed on: 17 Dec '14Published on: 17 Dec '14Published in: Journal of Comparative Neurology
To provide a modern description of the Chiropteran visual system, the subcortical retinal projections were studied in the short-tailed fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata, using the anterograde transport of eye-injected cholera toxin B subunit, supplemented by the silver-impregnation of anterograde degeneration following eye removal, and compared with the retinal projections of the mouse. The retinal projections were heavily labeled by the transported toxin in both species. Almost all components of the murine retinal projection are present in Carollia in varying degrees of prominence and laterality. The projections: to the superior colliculus, accessory optic nuclei, and nucleus of the optic tract are predominantly or exclusively contralateral; to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and posterior pretectal nucleus are predominantly contralateral; to the ventral lateral geniculate nucleus, intergeniculate leaflet, and olivary pretectal nucleus have a substantial ipsilateral component; and to the suprachiasmatic nucleus are symmetrically bilateral. The retinal projection in Carollia is surprisingly reduced at the anterior end of the dorsal lateral geniculate and superior colliculus, suggestive of a paucity of the relevant ganglion cells in the ventrotemporal retina. In the superior colliculus, in which the superficial gray layer is very thin, the projection is patchy in places where the layer is locally absent. Except for a posteriorly located lateral terminal nucleus, the other accessory optic nuclei are diminutive in Carollia, as is the nucleus of the optic tract. In both species the cholera toxin labeled sparse groups of apparently terminating axons in numerous regions not listed above. A question of their significance is discussed.