Effects of convergent strabismus on the development of physiologically identified retinogeniculate axons in cats

P. E. Garraghty, A. W. Roe, Y. M. Chino, M. Sur

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18 Scopus citations


We have studied the effects of surgically induced convergent strabismus (esotropia) on the morphological development of retinogeniculate X and Y axon arbors in cats. Single axons were recorded in the lateral geniculate nucleus or in the optic tract adjacent to the nucleus, classified physiologically, and injected intracellularly with horseradish peroxidase. The arbors of recovered axons were compared with X and Y axon arbors from normally reared adult cats. Our data demonstrate that while X axon arbors are relatively normal, the arbors of Y axons are profoundly affected by rearing with strabismus. Y axons, whether originating from the deviated or the nondeviated eye, have substantially smaller arbors and fewer boutons in the A‐laminae of the lateral geniculate nucleus compared to Y axons in normal cats. The C‐lamina terminations of contralaterally projecting Y axons in the strabismic cats are unaffected. These results suggest that the postnatal development of retinogeniculate Y axon arbors in the A‐laminae is strongly influenced by abnormalities in postnatal visual experience. Furthermore, the present data suggest that, in addition to intraocular competitive interactions between X and Y axons previously proposed to account for the effects of other rearing conditions, interactions between afferents from the two eyes must also be involved in the development of at least Y axons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-212
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 8 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • X‐cells
  • Y‐cells
  • axon arbors
  • esotropia
  • lateral geniculate nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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