Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Comp Neurol. 1995 Jul 24;358(2):206-18.

Glial environment in the developing superior colliculus of hamsters in relation to the timing of retinal axon ingrowth.

Author information

  • 1Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


We have examined the developmental changes of glial cell organization in the superior colliculus of embryonic and neonatal hamsters in reference to the known sequence of retinal axon ingrowth and arborization in the midbrain. Immunolocalization of vimentin, a marker for neuronal and glial cell precursors, reveals a uniform distribution of radially oriented cells, with perikarya located at the ventricular surface and thin, elongated processes fanning out toward the pia. These vimentin-positive cells, referred to as the lateral radial cells, are present in the tectum from embryonic day (E) 10 (earliest day examined) until approximately postnatal day (P) 5. Vimentin expression in the lateral radial cells decreases markedly during the second week of postnatal life: application of DiI to the ventricular surface reveals that the pial attachment of the lateral radial cells is withdrawn and that the radial processes are gradually pulled back toward the ventricular zone. By P14, virtually no vimentin-positive radial cells are detectable in the superior colliculus. At no time during development are the lateral radial cells immunopositive for the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP); however, shorter, vimentin-positive astrocytic profiles can be seen in the tectum around the time the radial fibers have been withdrawn, suggesting that at least some radial cells are transformed into astrocytes that will colonize the mature colliculus. At approximately E12, a second group of cells, referred to as the midline radial glia, is detected at the tectal midline. These cells are tightly bundled, forming a raphe in the tectum. They are intensely vimentin positive from E13 until at least P14. From the time of birth, the midline radial cells also exhibit intense immunoreactivity for GFAP. The lateral radial cells are present in the superior colliculus prior to and during the period of neurogenesis but remain well past the time when collicular neuronal migration is completed. Pial processes of the lateral radial cells are present within the superficial tectal layers during the time retinal axons are entering this target; they may be involved in directing the growth and initial collateralization of retinotectal axons. Their withdrawal from retinorecipient collicular zones begins at about the time arbors are being elaborated on retinal axons. In contrast, the midline glia become distinct just prior to the time retinal axons enter the superior colliculus and persist during the time retinotectal projections are being fully established. These raphe glia may be involved in maintaining the laterality of the retinotectal projection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk