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J Comp Neurol. 1986 Jan 1;243(1):106-16.

Neurogenesis in reptilian cortical structures: 3H-thymidine autoradiographic analysis.


Histogenesis was studied in forebrain cortical areas of two reptiles, Emys orbicularis and Lacerta trilineata, by using tritiated thymidine autoradiography. Four areas were considered: the dorsomedial, the general (dorsal), and the lateral cortices, and the dorsal ventricular ridge (DVR). The bulk of neurogenesis in these four pallial fields proceeds within a short period of 8-9 days, between developmental stages 15 and 18 in Emys and stages 32-34 in Lacerta. Lateral-to-medial as well as anterior-to-posterior tangential gradients of histogenesis are present in both species. Radial neurogenetic gradients are directed from outside to inside, except in the medial cortex of lizards, where no radial gradient is seen. This pattern of histogenesis in the cortex of turtles and lizards is comparable to that in mammals in terms of timing and tangential, areal variations. It might represent a "common denominator" of cortical histogenesis. However, in contrast to the mammalian cortex, which develops according to an inside to outside, "inverted" pattern, radial neurogenesis in the cortex of turtles and lizards follows an outside-to-inside gradient. These observations suggest that the inside-out gradient of cortical neurogenesis has been acquired during evolution of the synapsid radiation from stem reptiles to mammals, and that it may be related to the development of radial cortical architectonics.

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