Afferent and efferent neural elements of the retina and central ganglia in the freshwater snail Planorbarius corneus
were labelled using retrograde transport of neurobiotin through the optic nerve. Axons of at least some photoreceptor cells become direct contributors to the optic nerve as no synaptic junctions could be detected. The processes enter the cerebral ganglion and form a dense bundle of thin afferent fibres, the so-called optical neuropil. Efferent neurons were revealed in all ganglia, except the buccal ones. Some of the ascending axons branch in the cerebral ganglia, cross the cerebro-cerebral commissure, reach the contralateral eye and form arborizations in the eye cup. Some efferent neurons send axons to different peripheral nerves as well: n.n. intestinalis
, pallialis dexter
, pallialis sinister internus et externus
. Serotonin- and FMRF-amide-ergic fibres were revealed in the optic nerve. These fibres belong to those central neurons which send their axons to the ipsilateral eye only. They form abundant varicoses in the eye cup and nuclear layer of the retina, and possibly help to regulate retinal sensitivity to light.