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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1992 Nov;51(6):601-11.

The development of induced cerebrocortical microgyria in the rat.

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  • 1Dyslexia Research Laboratory, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA 02215.


Placement of a freezing probe on the skull of neonatal rats produces four-layered microgyria, complete with a lamina dissecans and microsulcus. We studied the developmental course of this induced microgyria under light microscopy by examining changes in neurons, glia, and macrophages following a focal freezing insult on the day of birth (postnatal day [P]0). The destruction of neurons and glia induced by the freezing probe extends through the cortical plate and occasionally through the subplate, but the pial membrane appears undamaged and radial glial cells, while damaged, are not eliminated. Reactive astrocytes and macrophages arrive in the damaged area within 24 hours of the injury, and repair of the damaged tissue peaks within the first week. Damaged radial glial fibers regrow, and supragranular neurons migrate through this damaged area, also within the first week. The newly formed supragranular layer overlies the cell-free area. The damaged cortex begins to assume its adult-like microgyric appearance from P5 to P10. On P15 and P32, long glial fibers, resembling radial glia, are present and are immunoreactive for glial fibrillary acidic protein and radial glial fiber antibodies (vimentin and Rat-401). No such fibers appear at this age in the non-microgyric areas or in normal brains. We conclude that microgyria formation may be the consequence of brain repair mechanisms occurring during neuronal migration to the neocortex, and that it appears to preserve primitive features characteristic of the developing cortex.

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