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Anat Embryol (Berl). 1987;176(2):165-74.

Pathway formation and the terminal distribution pattern of the spinocerebellar projection in the chick embryo.


Pathway formation and the terminal distribution pattern of spinocerebellar fibers in the chick embryo were examined by means of an anterograde labelling technique with wheat germ agglutinin conjugated horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP). Spinocerebellar fibers, which originate in the lumbar spinal cord and are located in the marginal layer of the spinal cord, reach the dorsal part of the cerebellar plate on embryonic day (E)8. On the way to the cerebellum the fibers form one distinct bundle, that suggests that gross projection errors probably do not occur during the formation of the spinocerebellar pathway. On E10, labelled fibers are located mostly in the medullary zone of the anterior lobe. By E12, the number of labelled fibers increases greatly in the inner granular and molecular layers. In transverse sections labelling was distributed throughout the mediolateral extent of the medullary zone. By E14, sagittal strips of labelling were clearly recognized in lobules II-IV; however, labelled terminals were present throughout lobule I. Although the adult pattern of terminal distribution is attained by E14, the mossy fiber terminals are still quite immature. The density of labelling decreased greatly by E16, and small terminal varicosities were first recognized. Structural differentiation of mossy fiber terminals continues to the end of the embryonic or the newly posthatched period.

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