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Anat Embryol (Berl). 1995 Feb;191(2):89-100.

Postnatal migration of neurons and formation of laminae in rat cerebral cortex.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of California, Irvine 92717, USA.


Migration of neurons and formation of laminae in the developing neocortex were studied by means of thymidine autoradiography. Timed pregnant rats received a single pulse injection of [3H]thymidine in the morning of embryonic day (E)13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 or 19. Pups were killed on postnatal day (P)0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 30, or 60 and brains were processed for autoradiography. Neurons in posterior (visual) cortical areas labeled by [3H]thymidine administration on E13 or E14 were found predominantly in the cortical subplate; cells labeled on E15 in layer VI; cells labeled on E16 in layers VI and V, cells labeled on E17 in layers V and IV; E18 in layers IV and III; and E19 in layers III and II. By the day of birth (P0), neurons labeled from E13-16 injections were already in their mature laminae in cortex. Many of the cells labeled on E17 were still situated within the cell-dense cortical plate (CP) at P0, and within layer V by P1. Cells labeled on E18 were found in the most superficial part of the CP on P0, in the deep part of the CP on P1, and formed layer IV on P2 and P3. At P0, many E19 labeled cells appeared to be in migration to the cortex and were found in the CP on P1, in layer III by P4, and in layer II by P6. Cells in the auditory cortex labeled by [3H]thymidine injections on a particular day were situated more superficially than comparable labeled cells in the visual cortex, indicating a lateral to medial gradient in which the auditory cortex is formed earlier than the visual cortex. Distributions of labeled cells in the somatosensory cortex were similar to those in the visual cortex. These data provide a detailed and comprehensive description of the position of varied populations of cortical neurons during the early postnatal period, as well as a description of the formation of cortical laminae at times when major systems of afferents are growing into the cortex and making synaptic connections with their target cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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