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Nucleus (Cone Cell)
Photoreceptor Cells

Nucleus (Cone Cell)


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Quick Facts

The nucleus is a spheroid body within a eukaryotic cell, separated from the cytoplasm by the nuclear envelope, and containing chromatin, a nucleolus, and nucleoplasm. In the nucleus, the cell's genetic information is stored on the chromosomes and RNA transcription and processing occur (Dorland, 2011).

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Structure and/or Key Features

The nuclei of rod cells are described as more spherical and smaller than those belonging to cone cells. As a result, rod cell nuclei tend to stain darker than their cone counterparts. Anatomically, rod nuclei form several layers internal (or vitreal) to the cone nuclei (Standring, 2016).

The nuclei of cone cells are larger and more oval-shaped than their rod counterparts. They form a single layer that often fringes the outer limiting membrane (Standring, 2016).

Anatomical Relations

The nucleus is located in the soma (or cell body) of the photoreceptor cells and is located in the outer nuclear layer of the retina.


The nucleus houses the cell’s genetic information and activation of certain genes initiates the process of transcription and translation that direct protein synthesis in the cell.


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41 edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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