Send to

Choose Destination
J Anat. 2010 Oct;217(4):344-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2010.01283.x.

Early history of subplate and interstitial neurons: from Theodor Meynert (1867) to the discovery of the subplate zone (1974).

Author information

University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Croatian Institute for Brain Research, Salata 12, Zagreb, Croatia.


In this historical review, we trace the early history of research on the fetal subplate zone, subplate neurons and interstitial neurons in the white matter of the adult nervous system. We arrive at several general conclusions. First, a century of research clearly testifies that interstitial neurons, subplate neurons and the subplate zone were first observed and variously described in the human brain - or, in more general terms, in large brains of gyrencephalic mammals, characterized by an abundant white matter and slow and protracted prenatal and postnatal development. Secondly, the subplate zone cannot be meaningfully defined using a single criterion - be it a specific population of cells, fibres or a specific molecular or genetic marker. The subplate zone is a highly dynamic architectonic compartment and its size and cellular composition do not remain constant during development. Thirdly, it is important to make a clear distinction between the subplate zone and the subplate (and interstitial) neurons. The transient existence of the subplate zone (as a specific architectonic compartment of the fetal telencephalic wall) should not be equated with the putative transient existence of subplate neurons. It is clear that in rodents, and to an even greater extent in humans and monkeys, a significant number of subplate cells survive and remain functional throughout life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center