Background: The adverse effects of fetal and early postnatal ethanol intoxication on peripheral organs and the central nervous system are well documented. Ocular defects have also been reported in about 90% of children with fetal alcohol syndrome, including microphthalmia, loss of neurons in the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) layer, optic nerve hypoplasia, and dysmyelination. However, little is known about perinatal ethanol effects on retinal cell morphology. Examination of the potential toxic effects of alcohol on the neuron architecture is important because the changes in dendritic geometry and synapse distribution directly affect the organization and functions of neural circuits. Thus, in the present study, estimations of the numbers of neurons in the ganglion cell layer and dorsolateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), and a detailed analysis of RGC morphology were carried out in transgenic mice exposed to ethanol during the early postnatal period.