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Brain Dev. 1992 Jan;14(1):1-6.

Development of myelination in the human fetal and infant cerebrum: a myelin basic protein immunohistochemical study.

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Division of Mental Retardation and Birth Defect Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, NCNP, Tokyo, Japan.


The early development of myelination was studied by means of myelin basic protein (MBP) and luxol fast blue (LFB) stainings of large sections of the cerebral hemispheres. Myelination first occurs in the globus pallidus, pallidothalamic fibers of the posterior internal capsule and the thalamus at 25 weeks, which may be related to the cellular maturation in the globus pallidus and thalamus. Then myelination is observed in the striatum, and precentral and postcentral gyri at 35 weeks, and the anterior internal capsule and optic radiation at 37 weeks. Immunoreactivity with MBP is observed earlier and more strongly in the early myelination period than that with LFB. Thus, MBP may play an important role in myelination and its delay. The macroscopic positivity as to MBP as well as LFB staining may be related to the development of high signal intensity observed in a T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, which was observed 1 to 3 months after the first microscopic appearance of myelin.

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