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J Neurosci. 1985 Nov;5(11):3088-93.

Cells born in adult canary forebrain are local interneurons.


Thymidine autoradiography and retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) were combined to determine the connectivity of neurons born in adult canary forebrain. Adult male and female canaries were pretreated with [3H]thymidine to label cells undergoing DNA synthesis prior to mitosis. Thirty or 60 days later, neurons in a forebrain nucleus, hyperstriatium ventralis, pars caudalis (HVc), were labeled by retrograde transport of HRP injected into the only two nuclei known to receive a projection from HVc: robustus archistriatalis (RA) and area X of lobus parolfactorius. The birds were then killed and brain sections were treated to visualize cells containing HRP; these sections were processed for autoradiography to detect [3H]thymidine-labeled cells in the same tissue. More than 9% of all neurons in HVc were thymidine labeled; but of the almost 20,000 HRP-labeled projection neurons examined, fewer than 20 (0.1%) were labeled by the thymidine treatment. Furthermore, the median cell body size for area X-projecting cells was significantly larger than that of thymidine-labeled cells, and the median size of thymidine-labeled cells was significantly larger than that of RA-projecting cells. The simplest interpretation of these results is that the new neurons incorporated into nucleus HVc in adult canary brain are local interneurons, intermediate in size between neurons projecting to RA and area X.

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