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Brain Struct Funct. 2013 Nov;218(6):1463-85. doi: 10.1007/s00429-012-0470-x. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

Neurochemical organization of the vestibular brainstem in the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes).

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1
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 14214, USA, baizer@buffalo.edu.

Abstract

Chimpanzees are one of the closest living relatives of humans. However, the cognitive and motor abilities of chimpanzees and humans are quite different. The fact that humans are habitually bipedal and chimpanzees are not implies different uses of vestibular information in the control of posture and balance. Furthermore, bipedal locomotion permits the development of fine motor skills of the hand and tool use in humans, suggesting differences between species in the structures and circuitry for manual control. Much motor behavior is mediated via cerebro-cerebellar circuits that depend on brainstem relays. In this study, we investigated the organization of the vestibular brainstem in chimpanzees to gain insight into whether these structures differ in their anatomy from humans. We identified the four nuclei of vestibular nuclear complex in the chimpanzee and also looked at several other precerebellar structures. The size and arrangement of some of these nuclei differed between chimpanzees and humans, and also displayed considerable inter-individual variation. We identified regions within the cytoarchitectonically defined medial vestibular nucleus visualized by immunoreactivity to the calcium-binding proteins calretinin and calbindin as previously shown in other species including human. We have found that the nucleus paramedianus dorsalis, which is identified in the human but not in macaque monkeys, is present in the chimpanzee brainstem. However, the arcuate nucleus, which is present in humans, was not found in chimpanzees. The present study reveals major differences in the organization of the vestibular brainstem among Old World anthropoid primate species. Furthermore, in chimpanzees, as well as humans, there is individual variability in the organization of brainstem nuclei.

PMID:
23179862
DOI:
10.1007/s00429-012-0470-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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