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Anat Embryol (Berl). 1991;184(4):395-401.

Expression of highly polysialylated NCAM in the neocortex and piriform cortex of the developing and the adult rat.

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Department of Anatomy, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


The expression of a highly polysialylated form of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM-H) has been investigated in the neocortex and piriform cortex of the developing and the adult rat by using a monoclonal antibody 12E3, which has been found to recognize the polysialic acid portion of NCAM-H. Immunoblot analysis of the cortical homogenates showed that NCAM-H was temporarily expressed during the late embryonic and early postnatal stages. Further, immunohistochemical observations revealed that NCAM-H appeared at embryonic day 13 (E13) in the plexiform primordium in horizontally-oriented cells, probably Cajal-Retzius cells, which are the first neurons to differentiate. During the late embryonic stage, the marginal zone, subplate, and intermediate zone strongly stained, whereas the ventricular zone stained weakly. After birth, the NCAM-H expression was progressively attenuated from a week onwards, and almost vanished in the adult neocortex. In the primordium of the piriform cortex, NCAM-H immunoreactivity also became positive at E13. The time sequences of the NCAM-H expression in these neurons were similar to those of the neurons in the neocortical area. In the piriform cortex, however, the expression remained in a number of neurons in the layer II, which receives a large number of olfactory fibers from the olfactory bulb, where prolonged neurogenesis and construction of neural circuits take place in adulthood. These results suggest that NCAM-H not only plays an important role in the developing rat cortex, but also may be involved in some functions related to reorganization in the adult piriform cortex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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