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J Comp Neurol. 1981 Sep 10;201(2):191-209.

Transplantation of tectal tissue in rats. I. Organization of transplants and pattern of distribution of host afferents within them.


We have examined the maturation of tectal tissue transplanted from fetal rats to the midbrain of newborns and have characterized the distribution of host retinal and cortical afferents within the transplants. The transplants develop characteristic internal order and connections which distinguish them from either embryonic cortex or retina placed in the same region. Host retinal afferents project to clearly circumscribed regions, where they synapse mainly on small dendrites or dendritic spines, and only rarely on vesicle-containing profiles. The retinorecipient areas contain few stained axons in neurofibrillar preparations and are almost always located at the surface of the transplant. There is very little overlap in the input from the two eyes into a single transplant even though the projections from each eye may lie adjacent to one another. Cortical afferents spread more broadly in the transplants, but are largely absent from areas of optic termination and from other more deeply located regions with sparse fiber staining properties. The observations suggest that when placed close to its normal location, tectal tissue can develop a number of features characteristic of normal superior colliculus. Appreciation of the internal order of the transplants makes it possible to investigate the cortical and retinal afferent pathways using physiological techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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