Changing dendritic field size of mouse retinal ganglion cells in early postnatal development
During early postnatal development, dendrites of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) extend and branch in the inner plexiform layer to establish the adult level of stratification, pattern of branching, and coverage. Many studies have described the branching patterns, transient features, and regulatory factors of stratification of the RGCs. The rate of RGC dendritic field (DF) expansion relative to the growing retina has not been systematically investigated. In this study, we used two methods to
... e the relative expansion of RGC DFs. First, we measured the size of RGC DFs and the diameters of the eyeballs at several postnatal stages. We compared the measurements with the RGC DF sizes calculated from difference of the eyeball sizes based on a linear expansion assumption. Second, we used the number of cholinergic amacrine cells (SACs) circum-scribed by the DFs of RGCs at corresponding time points as an internal ruler to assess the size of DFs. We found most RGCs exhibit a phase of faster expansion relative to the retina between postnatal day 8 (P8) and P13, followed by a phase of retraction between P13 and adulthood. The morphological a cells showed the faster growing phase but not the retraction phase, whereas the morphological ON-OFF direction selective ganglion cells expanded in the same pace as the growing retina. These findings indicate different RGCs show different modes of growth, whereas most subtypes exhibit a fast expansion followed by a retraction phase to reach the adult size. '