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Acta Anat (Basel). 1983;116(1):69-73.

Development of the human fetal auditory cortex: growth of afferent fibres.


The sequential development and growth of the subcortico-cortical fibres have been studied by means of acetylcholinesterase (AChE; acetylcholine acetylhydrolase; EC histochemistry on the serial sections obtained from brains of human fetuses ranging from 10 to 28 weeks of gestation. It was found that thalamic and basal telencephalic fibres approaching the fetal auditory cortex have very strong AChE reactivity during a prolonged period of growth. In the youngest fetuses (10.5 weeks) a prominent fibre system was seen emerging from the ventroposterior thalamic territory while the auditory neopallium was free of AChE staining. In older fetuses (16-18 weeks) AChE-positive fibres originating in the ventroposterior thalamus and basal telencephalon penetrate the 'subplate layer' of the auditory cortex. On the basis of AChE reactivity of the 'subplate layer' the auditory cortex can be delineated from the surrounding neocortical areas. In the oldest fetuses (22-28 weeks) AChE-positive fibres of thalamic origin penetrate the developing cortical plate of the auditory cortex.

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