Maintaining Neuronal Identity

B0006918 Retinal ganglion cell
Credit: Annie Cavanagh. Wellcome Images
images@wellcome.ac.uk
http://wellcomeimages.org
An isolated retinal ganglion cell. This is a type of neuron typically located near the inner surface of the retina of the eye that receives visual information from photoreceptors via two intermediate neuron types. Retinal ganglion cells collectively transmit visual information from the retina to several regions in the thalamus, hypothalamus, and midbrain. They vary significantly in terms of their size, connections, and responses to visual stimulation but they all share the defining property of having a long axon that extends into the brain. These axons form the optic nerve, optic chiasm, and optic tract.
Scanning electron micrograph
2008 Published:  - 

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 4.0, see http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/page/Prices.html

When neurons differentiate from stem cells, they become a very particular type of cell that can last a hundred years. The post How Many Different Types of Neurons are There noted that there are at least a thousand very different species of neurons with varied structures and functions. How does the cell know how to…

(Mehr in: Jon Lieff, M.D.)