RT Journal Article
SR Electronic
T1 Conformal geometry of the retinal nerve fiber layer
JF Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
JO Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
FD National Academy of Sciences
SP 19690
OP 19695
DO 10.1073/pnas.0801621105
VO 105
IS 50
A1 Airaksinen, P. Juhani
A1 Doro, Stephen
A1 Veijola, Jukka
YR 2008
UL http://www.pnas.org/content/105/50/19690.abstract
AB The nerve fiber layer of the human retina is made up of the retinal segments of ganglion cell axons. Its geometry can be described mathematically as a fibration of a 2D domain: a partition of a certain region into smooth curves. Here, we present a simple family of curves that closely models the observed geometry of the nerve fiber layer. For each retina, the pattern depends on 2 parameters, A and B: A computer program determines A and B for a given retina and the theory matches the retina with a standard deviation of ≈6–8°. These particular curves turn out to be the curves that would be generated if the growing ganglion cell axon tip moved down a gradient toward a source of diffusible neuroattractant at the disk and away from a weaker macular diffusible repellant. Thus, this model provides morphological evidence that diffusible substances provide positional information to the embryonic ganglion cell axons in finding their way to the optic nerve head.