Paper - The process of retinal differentiation in man

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Mann IC. The process of retinal differentiation in man. (1927) Proc R Soc Med. 21(1): 110.PubMed 19986142

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This historic 1928 paper by Mann describes the development of the retina in several species.

See also by this author - Mann IC. The development of the human iris (1925) Br J Ophthalmol. 9(10): 495-512. PubMed 18168498

Mann IC. The developing third nerve nucleus in human embryos (1927) J Anat. 61(4): 424-438. PubMed 17104156

Mann IC. The process of differentiation of the retinal layers in vertebrates (1928) Br J Ophthalmol. 12(9): 449-478. PubMed 18168748

Mann IC. The relations of the hyaloid canal in the foetus and in the adult (1928) J Anat. 62(3): 290-296. PubMed 18168748

Modern Notes:

Vision Links: vision | lens | retina | placode | extraocular muscle | cornea | eyelid | lacrima gland | vision abnormalities | Student project 1 | Student project 2 | Category:Vision | sensory
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The Process of Retinal Differentiation in Man

Ida Caroline Mann
Ida Caroline Mann (1893-1983)

Ida C. Mann, M.B., F.R.C.S. Eng.

The paper forms a demonstration, illustrated by numerous examples from the developing eyes of a series of human embryos, of the stages of rearrangement which can be seen during the formation of the retinal nuclear layers from the undifferentiated neuro-epithelium of the wall of the optic cup. The earliest stage dealt with is that of a 4-5 mm. human embryo which shows in the inner wall of the optic cup a division into marginal and nuclear layers only. After this stage the first of the definitive cells to become recognizable are the ganglion cells which develop by migration of the innermost cells of the nuclear layer into the marginal layer. Further increment of cells taking place from the outer to the inner layers, a distinct zone can soon be recognized which is known as the inner neuroblastic zone, the remains of the original nuclear zone being new distinguishable as the outer neuroblastic zone. From these two neuroblastic zones the layers of the definitive retina are developed. From the inner neurobla.stic zone are formed by differentiation the ganglion cells, the nuclei of the fibres of Müller and the amacrine cells. These latter are separated from the outer neuroblastic layer by a narrow interval (Wider in the area centralis), the transient fibre layer of Chiewitz.

From the outer neuroblastic layer are formed the bi-polar nuclei, the nuclei of the rods and cones and the horizontal cells. Towards the end of development the transient fibre layer disappears and in consequence the layer of amacrine cells and of nuclei of fibres of Müller fuses with the layer of bi-polar nuclei external to it to form the definitive inner nuclear layer. The internal molecular layer develops to separate this from the layer of ganglion cells. Later the external molecular layer develops and divides the original outer neuroblastic layer into two, namely an inner layer of bi-polar and horizontal cells and an outer layer of nuclei of rods and cones.

The definitive inner nuclear layer is therefore a. compound structure containing elements from both the original neuroblastic layers.

The following scheme shows the process divided into stages as it can be observed in the human embryo.

First stage Second stage Third stage Adult
Marginal layer Superficial portion of marginal layer Nerve fibre layer

Ganglion cells

Inner molecular layer

Inner nuclear layer

Outer molecular layer

Outer nuclear layer

External limiting membrane

Primitive neuroepithelium Inner neuroblastic layer

Transient fibre layer of Chiewitz

Basement membrane Inner neuroblastic layer

fourth fo fiffh u-(mic si.rII1 week fo third month third to scrcntlz month Adult

Nerve fibre layer

Ganglion cells

Amacrine cells

M mlermn fibre -


Bi-polar cells

Horizontal cells

Outer neuroblastic layer

Nuclei of rods and cones

Primitive rods and cones. Rods and cones

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, April 16) Embryology Paper - The process of retinal differentiation in man. Retrieved from

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