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Yuasa S, Nakamura K, Kohsaka S. Stereotaxic Atlas of the Marmoset Brain: With Immunohistochemical Architecture and MR Images. Tokyo: National Institute of Neuroscience (JP); 2010.

Cover of Stereotaxic Atlas of the Marmoset Brain

Stereotaxic Atlas of the Marmoset Brain: With Immunohistochemical Architecture and MR Images.

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Chapter 1Introduction

1.1. General remarks

Mice have made a great contribution to biomedical science and neuroscience because of its fertility and behavioral properties and development of breeding and genetic engineering techniques. There are, however, big differences in host responsiveness to pathogens, sensitivities to drugs, and characteristics of immune system, and therefore it is very difficult to interpret results from mice for clinical applications in humans. When we consider animal models for nervous and mental disease in particular, rodents are not ideal animals owing to huge differences in structure and functions of nervous system between rodents and humans. Thus, biomedical researchers have wanted primate models for nervous and mental disease that can express introduced genes. Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), the primate species most commonly used in biomedical science so far, have a far lower reproductive power than mice, and this low reproductive power prevented us from developing genetically modified primates.

Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) are small-bodied New World monkeys. They are endemic to a tropical forest in Brazil. The body weight of adult marmoset ranges 300 to 500 grams, and the body length is 20 to 25 cm. Unlike mice, the average life expectancy is 10 to 15 years and they are diurnal animals like humans. Marmosets have sensory abilities including visual abilities similar to humans. Recently, the small primates, common marmosets, have become the focus of attention of biomedical researchers because of its high reproductive power as well as its biosafety, ease of handling, and low cost for breeding.

Common marmosets reach sexual maturity at about 2 years. The ovarian cycle of common marmoset lasts about 28 days, and the gestation lasts about 5 months. Soon after parturition (within 10 days), female marmosets begin to cycle again and shortly thereafter become pregnant. The inter-birth interval is about 5 months and thus they give birth twice a year. Common marmosets usually give birth to twins; in captive, they can often have triplets. Therefore, female marmosets can have 40 to 60 offspring during their life. In contrast, female rhesus monkeys reach sexual maturity at about 5 years, usually have single birth, and usually have far fewer offspring (less than 10) during their life. This extremely high reproductive power can realize the development of genetically modified primate models for human disease, including nervous and mental disease.

In spite of the high potential of common marmosets as experimental animals for human disease, no brain atlas of marmoset using modern techniques has been available. One historical atlas was published but is now out of print (Stephan, Baron, Schwerdtfeger, 1980). Only one old paper published in a scientific journal is available (Saavedra, Mazzuchelli, 1968). Two brain atlas of marmoset were published in 2008; one (Palazzi, Bordier, 2008) includes slice images stained with acetyl choline esterase and those stained with cresyl violet and the other (Okano, Nomura, 2008) presented MR images acquired with a 7.0-T MR scanner with slice images stained with cresyl violet. We have realized the importance of generating a new brain atlas showing neurochemical characteristics in various regions for biomedical researches on the marmoset brain. We generated a brain atlas presenting serial sections immunostained with anti-calbindin, anti-calretinin, and anti-tyrosine hydroxylase antibodies as well as those stained with cresy violet. We also added MR images of marmoset brain to meet various demand for biomedical researches.


  1. Saavedra JP, Mazzuchelli AL. A stereotaxic atlas of the brain of the marmoset (Hapale jacchus). Journal für Hirnforschung. 1968;11:105–122. [PubMed: 4188693]
  2. Stephan H, Baron G, Schwerdtfeger WK. The brain of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus): a stereotaxic atlas. Springer-Verlag; Berlin: 1980.
  3. Palazzi X, Bordier N. The marmoset brain in stereotaxic coordinates. Springer; New York: 2008.
  4. Okano H, Nomura T, editors. Yodosha, Tokyo: Brain MR atlas of common marmoset. 2008

1.2. General construction of this atlas

Contents of Vol. 1

Coronal or parasagittal plates of serial sections stained with cresyl violet (Nissl staining) and the accompanying diagrams with labeling of structures. Corresponding plates of adjacent immunohistochemically-stained sections and MRI data in Vol. 2 are shown in the Tables of plates. Stereotaxic coordinates are indicated in the diagrams.

Contents of Vol. 2

Coronal or parasagittal plates of serial sections immunostained with anti-calbindin, anti-calretinin or anti-tyrosine hydroxylase antibody, and MRI data in the serial coronal or parasagittal sections. Corresponding plates of coronal or parasagittal sections stained with cresyl violet (Nissl staining) and the accompanying diagrams with labeling of structures in Vol. 1 are shown in the Tables of plates.

Copyright © 2010, National Institute of Neuroscience, Japan.
Bookshelf ID: NBK55632
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