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J Comp Neurol. 1995 Oct 2;360(4):671-84.

Non-uniform distribution of cellular phenotypes in the optic tectum of the leopard frog.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40506, USA.


Regional specialization in the retina have been described in a number of species. We have investigated whether such specializations can be found in the optic tectum, an area of the brain responsible for the processing of visual information. Using the tectum of Rana pipiens, we have examined the distribution of three different cell types defined on the basis of their immunoreactivity to somatostatin, substance P, and serotonin antibodies. These three immunoreactive cell populations had differing, nonuniform distributions in the optic tectum. Somatostatin-line immunoreactive cells were largely restricted to the caudal one-third of the tectum, whereas both substance P-like immunoreactive (SP-ir) and serotonin-like immunoreactive (5-HT-ir) cells were found unequally represented throughout the tectum. The percentage of SP-ir cells decreased significantly in both the posterior and medial directions from its high in the anterior lateral tectum. Although serotonin-like immunoreactivity was also greatest in the lateral tectum and decreased significantly medially, it was largely constant in the anterior-to-posterior dimension. The populations of SP-ir and 5-HT-ir cells were nonoverlapping. Our results suggest that information may be processed differently in different regions of the optic tectum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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