Fine structure of the retina and pigment epithelium in the creek chub, Semotilus atromaculatus (Cyprinidae, Teleostei) Academic Article uri icon


  • The structure of the light- and dark-adapted retina, the pigment epithelium and the choroid of the creek chub, Semotilus atromaculatus (Cyprinidae, Teleostei) is examined by light and electron microscopy. An extensive network of vitreal blood vessels emanating from the hyaloid artery enters the eye with the optic nerve and overlies the inner limiting membrane. This membrane closely apposes the fine protrusions of the Müller cell processes which traverse the entire retina, dividing the inner retina into alternating fascicles of ganglion cells and optic axons. The inner nuclear layer consists of bipolar, amacrine, Müller cell soma and two layers of horizontal cells. The outer plexiform layer possesses both rod spherules and cone pedicles. Each rod spherule consists of a single synaptic ribbon in either a triad or quadrad junctional arrangement within the invaginating terminal endings of the bipolar and horizontal cell processes. In contrast, cone pedicles possess multiple synaptic ribbons within their junctional complexes and, in the light-adapted state, the horizontal cell processes show spinule formation. Four photoreceptor types are identified on morphological criteria; unequal double cones, large single cones, small single cones and rods. All but the small single cones are capable of retinomotor responses. The rod to cone ratio is approximately 5:1 and the rods form two ill-defined rows in the light-adapted condition. The retinal pigment epithelium possesses two types of osmiophilic granules. These are bound within slender microvilli and migrate vitread to surround the photoreceptors in response to light. Bruch's membrane is trilaminar and the vascularised choroid consists of up to three layers of melanocytes. The endothelial borders of the choroidal blood vessels abutting the outer lamina of Bruch's membrane are fenestrated.

publication date

  • January 19, 1996