Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 February 2006
The morphology and distribution of normally placed and displaced A horizontal cells were studied in the retina of a diurnal hystricomorph rodent, the agouti Dasyprocta aguti. Cells were labeled with anti-calbindin immunocytochemistry. Dendritic-field size reaches a minimum in the visual streak, of about 9000 μm2, and increases toward the retinal periphery both in the dorsal and ventral regions. There is a dorsoventral asymmetry, with dorsal cells being larger than ventral cells at equal distances from the streak. The peak value for cell density of 281 ± 28 cells/mm2 occurs in the center of the visual streak, decreasing toward the dorsal and ventral retinal periphery, paralleling the increase in dendritic-field size. Along the visual streak, the decline in cell density is less pronounced, remaining between 100–200 cells/mm2 in the temporal and nasal periphery. Displaced horizontal cells are rare and occur in the retinal periphery. They tend to be smaller than normally placed horizontal cells in the ventral region, whilst no systematic difference was observed between the two cell groups in the dorsal region. Mosaic regularity was studied using nearest-neighbor analysis and the Ripley function. When mosaic regularity was determined removing the displaced horizontal cells, there was a slight increase in the conformity ratio, but the bivariate Ripley function indicated some repulsive dependence between the two mosaics. Both results were near the level of significance. A similar analysis performed in the capybara retina, a closely related hystricomorph rodent bearing a higher density of displaced horizontal cells than found in the agouti, suggested spatial independence between the two mosaics, normally placed versus displaced horizontal cells.