In order to navigate through the surrounding environment many mammals, including humans, primarily rely on vision. The eye, composed of the choroid, sclera, retinal pigmented epithelium, cornea, lens, iris and retina, is the structure that receives the light and converts it into electrical impulses. The retina contains six major types of neurons involving in receiving and modifying visual information and passing it onto higher visual processing centres in the brain. Visual information is relayed to the brain via the axons of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), a projection known as the optic pathway. The proper formation of this pathway during development is essential for normal vision in the adult individual. Along this pathway there are several points where visual axons face ‘choices’ in their direction of growth. Understanding how these choices are made has advanced significantly our knowledge of axon guidance mechanisms. Thus, the development of the visual pathway has served as an extremely useful model to reveal general principles of axon pathfinding throughout the nervous system. However, due to its particularities, some cellular and molecular mechanisms are specific for the visual circuit. Here we review both general and specific mechanisms involved in the guidance of mammalian RGC axons when they are traveling from the retina to the brain to establish precise and stereotyped connections that will sustain vision.
Herrera, E., Erskine, L., & Morenilla-Palao, C. (2019, January 1). Guidance of retinal axons in mammals. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology. Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.11.027
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