The fine structure of the cone cell of the rabbit is described and compared wtih that of the rod. The cone outer segment consists of a pile of flattened sacs with two membranes 30 A thick and a regular clear space in between of about 30 A. The membrane of the rod sacs is slightly thicker (∼40 A) and the clear space is less regular and frequently absent in the deeper regions. The distance between sacs is from 85 to 95 A in the cone and from 110 to 120 A in the rod, and the total repeating period is about 190 A and 210 A, respectively. These results are discussed in relation to the concentration of solids in both photoreceptors.
A connecting cilium was observed in the cone cell and compared with that previously described in rods (4). This finding suggests that morphogenetically the cone may also result of the differentiation of a primitive cilium (5).
The inner segment of the cone shows a distal portion with large concentration of elongated mitochondria and a proximal one with a large Golgi complex in the axis surrounded by components of the endoplasmic reticulum. It is concluded that both photoreceptors have a similar general plan of submicroscopic organization, with some minor difference in fine structure probably related to their specific chemical composition and function.