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      Distinction of Neurochemistry between the Cores and Their Shells of Auditory Nuclei in Tetrapod Species

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          The distribution of Met-enkephalin (ENK), substance P (SP) and serotonin (5-HT) differs between the core and shell regions of the mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei of the turtle [Belekhova et al., 2002]. These neurochemical distinctions are also found in other tetrapods (mammals, birds and amphibians). The distribution of ENK, SP and 5-HT was examined in the core and shell regions of both mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei, and in the telencephalic auditory areas of Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata) and mice (Mus musculus), as well as in corresponding auditory areas in toads (Bufo bufo). ENK, SP and 5-HT immunoreactive fibers and perikarya were largely absent from the core regions of both mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei, in comparison with the shell regions of mice and Bengalese finches. In the toad, however, this pattern was observed in the mesencephalic auditory nucleus, but not in the diencephalic auditory areas. ENK and SP immunoreactive perikarya were detected in the telencephalic auditory area of mice, whereas no ENK, SP or 5-HT immunolabeling was observed in the telencephalic auditory area (Field L) of Bengalese finches. These findings are discussed in terms of the evolution of the core-and-shell organization of auditory nuclei of tetrapods.

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          Most cited references 72

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          Viewpoint: the core and matrix of thalamic organization.

           E.G. Jones (1998)
          The integration of the whole cerebral cortex and thalamus during forebrain activities that underlie different states of consciousness, requires pathways for the dispersion of thalamic activity across many cortical areas. Past theories have relied on the intralaminar nuclei as the sources of diffuse thalamocortical projections that could facilitate spread of activity across the cortex. A case is made for the presence of a matrix of superficially-projecting cells, not confined to the intralaminar nuclei but extending throughout the whole thalamus. These cells are distinguished by immunoreactivity for the calcium-binding protein, D28K calbindin, are found in all thalamic nuclei of primates and have increased numbers in some nuclei. They project to superficial layers of the cerebral cortex over relatively wide areas, unconstrained by architectonic boundaries. They generally receive subcortical inputs that lack the topographic order and physiological precision of the principal sensory pathways. Superimposed upon the matrix in certain nuclei only, is a core of cells distinguished by immunoreactivity for another calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin, These project in highly ordered fashion to middle layers of the cortex in an area-specific manner. They are innervated by subcortical inputs that are topographically precise and have readily identifiable physiological properties. The parvalbumin cells form the basis for sensory and other inputs that are to be used as a basis for perception. The calbindin cells, especially when recruited by corticothalamic connections, can form a basis for the engagement of multiple cortical areas and thalamic nuclei that is essential for the binding of multiple aspects of sensory experience into a single framework of consciousness.
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            Expression patterns of homeobox and other putative regulatory genes in the embryonic mouse forebrain suggest a neuromeric organization.

            The molecular mechanisms that control regional specification, morphogenesis and differentiation of the embryonic forebrain are not known, although recently several laboratories have isolated homeobox, Wnt and other genes that are candidates for playing roles in these processes. Most of these genes exhibit temporally and spatially restricted patterns of expression within the forebrain. However, analysis of the spatial patterns has been complicated because an understanding of the organization of the embryonic forebrain has been lacking. This article describes a neuromeric model of the forebrain that is consistent with the expression patterns of these genes, and that provides a framework for understanding the morphological relationships within this complex structure.
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              The emergence and evolution of mammalian neocortex.

              Cortical variation in mammals and other terrestrial vertebrates, re-examined by current comparative methodology (out-group analysis), indicates that separate lateral (olfactory), dorsal and medial (hippocampal) pallial or cortical formations arose with the origin of vertebrates. Although the exact origin of mammalian isocortex (so-called neocortex) is still disputed, it appears that the earliest mammals already had a six-layered isocortex with ten to 20 functional subdivisions. Among placental mammals, at least, isocortex has expanded numerous times, producing additional cortical subdivisions. Because these expansions were independent transformations of a simpler cortex, they produced subdivisions that are not homologous.

                Author and article information

                Brain Behav Evol
                Brain, Behavior and Evolution
                S. Karger AG
                June 2007
                26 March 2007
                : 70
                : 1
                : 1-20
                aCollege of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, and bDepartment of Biology, Hainan Normal College, Haikou, China
                101066 Brain Behav Evol 2007;70:1–20
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 12, Tables: 1, References: 85, Pages: 20
                Original Paper


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