Structure and diversity of retinal ganglion cells in steller's sculpin Myoxocephalus stelleri tilesius, 1811
Ganglion cells (GCs) are a class of retinal neurons that integrate the information from the preceding nerve cells and transmit it to the visual centers in the brain. Many studies focus on the structure and diversity of fish GCs (e.g., Ito and Murakami, 1984; Collin and Northcutt, 1993; Cohen et al., 2002; Ott et al., 2007). However, only a few of them meet the objective criteria described above. Recently, we proposed a morphological classification of GCs in the Pacific redfin Tribolodon brandtii based on a set of 19 structural parameters and using eight clusterization algorithms (Pushchin and Karetin, 2014). Here we adopted the same methodology to study the structure and diversity of GCs in a scorpaeniform fish, Steller's sculpin Myoxocephalus stelleri. The reasons for choosing this species were two‐fold. First, it belongs to the evolutionarily recent superorder Acanthopterygii and is therefore quite distant from the Pacific redfin, which belongs to the order Cypriniformes, one of the most ancient teleostean branches. It was therefore interesting to compare the diversity of GCs in the two species using the same approach. Second, both juvenile and adult Steller's sculpins are highly visual, feeding on a variety of mobile prey, mostly, fish, crustaceans, and polychaetes (Napazakov, 2008).