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J Comp Neurol. 1988 Jun 8;272(2):177-90.

Development of intersecting CNS fiber tracts: the corpus callosum and its perforating fiber pathway.

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Department of Developmental Genetics and Anatomy, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106.


What are the mechanisms acting during development at points of intersection of central nervous system fiber tracts which influence the direction taken by a population of growing axons? In order to address this question, the ontogeny of the intersecting rostral corpus callosum and its perforating fiber pathway (PF), and the microenvironment through which these fiber systems grow, were examined in a series of mouse embryos and early postnates. Our results show that the perforating fibers are identifiable in silver-stained sections between embryonic days (E) 15 and 16, at least 1 day prior to the initial appearance of the callosal projection. Soon after the PF can be identified, a dense accumulation of subventricular cells surrounds the PF at a point just ventral to the location where the callosum and PF will intersect (i.e., at the corticoseptal boundary). Callosal axons, which are present at the point of intersection beginning on E17, do not joint the perforating fibers, nor do they appear to penetrate the underlying population of subventricular cells. Instead, the callosal fibers turn across the PF and enter the contralateral cerebral hemisphere. Thus, the intersection of the callosal and perforating fiber systems during development may be related both to the sequential development of each pathway and to the altered nonneuronal environment at the point of intersection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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