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J Chem Neuroanat. 1998 Oct;15(4):203-37.

Comparative analysis of calcium-binding protein-immunoreactive neuronal populations in the auditory and visual systems of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the macaque monkey (Macaca fascicularis).

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Anatomical Sciences, CUNY Medical School/Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, New York, NY 10031, USA.


This study compares the distribution of three calcium-binding protein-immunoreactive (CaBP-immunoreactive) neuronal populations (calretinin-, calbindin- and parvalbumin-immunoreactive) in the visual and auditory systems in two mammalian species which are fundamentally different in their evolutionary traits and ecology, the aquatic toothed whale Tursiops truncatus (bottlenose dolphin) and the terrestrial Old World primate, Macaca fascicularis (long-tailed macaque). Immunocytochemical analyses, combined with computerized morphometry revealed that in the visual and auditory systems of the bottlenose dolphin, calretinin and calbindin are the prevalent calcium-binding proteins, whereas parvalbumin is present in very few neurons. The prevalence of calretinin and calbindin-immunoreactive neurons is especially obvious in the auditory system of this species. In both auditory and visual systems of the macaque monkey, the parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons are present in comparable or higher densities than the calretinin and calbindin-immunoreactive neurons. In some structures of the visual and auditory systems of the macaque monkey, the calretinin- and calbindin-immunoreactive neurons are nearly absent. The prevalence of parvalbumin-immunoreactive over calretinin- and calbindin-immunoreactive neurons is particularly prominent in the visual system of primates. Thus, the dominant sensory systems in both aquatic and terrestrial mammals are enriched in specific phenotypes of calcium-binding protein-immunoreactive neurons.

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