Retinal ganglion cells (GCs) in the Japanese catshark Scyliorhinus torazame were labeled retrogradely with biotinylated dextran amine (BDA3000). First the labeled cells were classified into 5 morphological types (types I-III: small GCs; types IV and V: large GCs) according to the size of the soma and the dendritic arborization pattern as seen in retinal wholemounts. Type I cells were stellate, with dendrites radiating in different directions. Type II cells had bipolar dendritic trees, with 2 primary dendrites extending in opposite directions. Type III cells had a single thick primary dendrite. Type IV cells were stellate, with dendrites covering a large area centered on the cell body. Type V cells were asymmetric, with most dendrites extending opposite to the axon as a large, fan-shaped dendritic field. Subsequently a wholemount was cross-sectioned, and we classified cells further into multiple subtypes according to the level of dendritic arborization within the inner plexiform layer. The present results suggest the existence of many types of GCs in elasmobranchs in addition to the 3 types of large GCs that have been characterized previously. Some of the newly described GC subtypes in the catshark retina appear to be similar to some of those reported in actinopterygians.

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