Volume 66 (2004) Issue 12 Pages 1549-1554
In most mammals, the optic nerve fibers are myelinated in its extraocular part (EON) but not in its intraocular part (ION) and also in the retina. Transitional zone from the myelinated to unmyelinated optic nerve usually lies in the central part to the lamina cribrosa. It has been known that dogs contain exceptionally myelinated fibers in ION by light microscopy. The aim of this study was to investigate electron microscopically the retino-optic nerve junction in dogs and re-evaluate the barrier to migration of oligodendroblasts into ION. Fourteen adult dogs were used. EON was largely myelinated. In ION the percentage of myelinated fibers decreased gradually toward the retina. A narrow area of ION adjoining the retina was completely unmyelinated. In most mammalian optic nerves, oligodendrocytes are not found in ION. It has been suggested that oligodendroblasts are prevented from migrating from EON into ION; that is to say, there is a barrier to migration of oligodendroblasts. The lamina cribrosa, a dense meshwork of fibrous astrocytic processes, and a defect in the blood optic nerve barrier have been proposed as a candidate for the barrier to migration. Our results suggest, however, that these factors, at least in dogs, would be not involved in the formation of a barrier to migration of oligodendroblasts.