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Journal of Comparative Neurology

Harshada H Sant, Sanjay P Sane
Insect antennae are sensory organs of great importance because they can sense diverse environmental stimuli. In addition to serving as primary olfactory organs of insects, antennae also sense a wide variety of mechanosensory stimuli, ranging from low-frequency airflow or gravity cues to high-frequency antennal vibrations due to sound, flight or touch. The basal segments of the antennae house multiple types of mechanosensory structures that prominently include the sensory hair plates, or Böhm's bristles, which measure the gross extent of antennal movement, and a ring of highly sensitive scolopidial neurons, collectively called the Johnston's organs, which record subtle flagellar vibrations...
June 15, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Jin Young Bae, Cheol Ju Mun, Yun Sook Kim, Dong Kuk Ahn, Yong Chul Bae
Parvalbumin (PV), calretinin (CR), calbindin D-28k (CB), stage specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA4), and phosphorylated neurofilament 200 (pNF200) have been commonly used as markers for primary afferent neurons with large myelinated (A) fibers but detailed information on the expression of these markers in specific primary afferent fiber types is still lacking. We here examined the fibers that express PV, CR, CB, SSEA4, and pNF200 in the trigeminal ganglion and its peripheral sensory root by light- and electron-microscopic immunohistochemistry and quantitative analysis...
June 15, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Marie Barbier, Dominique Fellmann, Pierre-Yves Risold
The actual organization of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) in the rat is mostly based on cytoarchitecture and the distribution of several cell types, as described by McDonald in 1982. Four divisions were identified by this author. However, since this original work, one of these divisions, the intermediate part, has not been consistently recognized based on Nissl-stained material. In the present study, we observed that a compact condensation of retrogradely labeled cells is found in the CEA after fluorogold injection in the anterior region of the tuberal lateral hypothalamic area in the rat...
June 12, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Vedad Delic, Sidhanth Chandra, Hisham Abdelmotilib, Tyler Maltbie, Shijie Wang, Danielle Kem, Hunter J Scott, Rachel N Underwood, Zhiyong Liu, Laura A Volpicelli-Daley, Andrew B West
α-Synuclein (α-syn) is an abundant presynaptic protein that is the primary constituent of inclusions that define Lewy body diseases (LBDs). In these inclusions, α-syn is phosphorylated at the serine-129 residue. Antibodies directed to this phosphorylation site are used to measure inclusion abundance and stage disease progression in pre-clinical models as well as in post-mortem tissues in LBDs. While it is critical to reliably identify inclusions, phospho-specific antibodies often cross-react with non-specific antigens...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Shahriar Sheikhbahaei, Brian Morris, Jared Collina, Sommer Anjum, Sami Znati, Julio Gamarra, Ruli Zhang, Alexander V Gourine, Jeffrey C Smith
Astrocytes, the most abundant and structurally complex glial cells of the central nervous system, are proposed to play an important role in modulating the activities of neuronal networks, including respiratory rhythm-generating circuits of the preBötzinger complex (preBötC) located in the ventrolateral medulla of the brainstem. However, structural properties of astrocytes residing within different brainstem regions are unknown. In this study astrocytes in the preBötC, an intermediate reticular formation (IRF) region with respiratory-related function, and a region of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) in adult rats were reconstructed and their morphological features were compared...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Christos Michael Suriano, David Bodznick
The majority of neurons in the mammalian brain reside within the cerebellum (Cb). Yet, the evolutionary origins of the Cb are not well understood. There are several sensory nuclei present across vertebrate phylogeny collectively termed cerebellum-like structures (CbLS) due to a shared anatomy and physiology with the Cb. Despite the similarities, the CbLS are clearly not phylogenetically homologous with the Cb. Common structure and function may arise due to a shared genetic and developmental toolkit. To examine this possibility, we used sequence analysis, western blotting, immunohistochemistry and RT-qPCR to test for the expression of three genes that are critical for mammalian cerebellar development in the Cb and CbLS of an elasmobranch fish, Leucoraja erinacea...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Katja Lingelbach, Arian Hach, Rick E Bernardi, Rainer Spanagel, Hilmar Bading, C Peter Bengtson
Despite the reduced life expectancy and staggering financial burden of medical treatment associated with tobacco smoking, the molecular, cellular and ensemble adaptations associated with chronic nicotine consumption remain poorly understood. Complex circuitry interconnecting dopaminergic and cholinergic regions of the midbrain and mesopontine tegmentum are critical for nicotine associated reward. Yet our knowledge of the nicotine activation of these regions is incomplete, in part due to their cell type diversity...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Jennifer Y Li, Tiffany M Schmidt
In addition to its well-known role in pattern vision, light influences a wide range of non-image forming, subconscious visual behaviors including circadian photoentrainment, sleep, mood, learning, and the pupillary light reflex. Each of these behaviors is thought to require input from the M1 subtype of melanopsin-expressing, intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cell (ipRGC). Recent work has demonstrated that the M1 subtype of ipRGC can be further subdivided based on expression of the transcription factor Brn3b...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Ryan J H West, Laura Briggs, Maria Perona Fjeldstad, Richard R Ribchester, Sean T Sweeney
Sphingolipids are found in abundance at synapses and have been implicated in regulation of synapse structure, function and degeneration. Their precise role in these processes, however, remains obscure. Serine Palmitoyl-transferase (SPT) is the first enzymatic step for synthesis of sphingolipids. Analysis of the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction revealed mutations in the SPT enzyme subunit, lace/SPTLC2 resulted in deficits in synaptic structure and function. Although neuromuscular junction (NMJ) length is normal in lace mutants, the number of boutons per NMJ is reduced to ∼50% of the wild type number...
May 15, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Florencia Marcucci, Célia A Soares, Carol Mason
In higher vertebrates, the circuit formed by retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) projecting ipsilaterally (iRGCs) or contralaterally (cRGCs) to the brain permits binocular vision and depth perception. iRGCs and cRGCs differ in their position within the retina and in expression of transcription, guidance and activity-related factors. To parse whether these two populations also differ in the timing of their genesis, a feature of distinct neural subtypes and associated projections, we used newer birthdating methods and cell subtype specific markers to determine birthdate and cell cycle exit more precisely than previously...
May 15, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
S Terrell Jinson, Jan Liebich, Stephen L Senft, Lydia M Mäthger
Investigating retinal specializations offers insights into eye functionality. Using retinal wholemount techniques, we investigated the distribution of retinal ganglion cells in the Little skate Leucoraja erinacea by (1) dye-backfilling into the optic nerve prior to retinal wholemounting; (2) Nissl-staining of retinal wholemounts. Retinas were examined for regional specializations (higher numbers) of ganglion cells that would indicate higher visual acuity in those areas. Total ganglion cell number were low compared to other elasmobranchs (backfilled: average 49,713 total ganglion cells, average peak cell density 1,315 ganglion cells mm-2 ; Nissl-stained: average 47,791 total ganglion cells, average peak cell density 1,319 ganglion cells mm-2 )...
May 14, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Kengo Saito, Taro Koike, Fumiaki Kawashima, Hirofumi Kurata, Taku Shibuya, Takemasa Satoh, Yoshio Hata, Hisao Yamada, Tetsuji Mori
In the adult rodent subventricular zone (SVZ), there are neural stem cells (NSCs) and the specialized neurogenic niche is critical to maintain their stemness. . To date, many cellular and non-cellular factors that compose the neurogenic niche and markers to identify subpopulations of Type A cells have been confirmed. In particular, neurotransmitters regulate adult neurogenesis and mature neurons in the SVZ have been only partially analyzed. Moreover, Type A cells, descendants of NSCs, are highly heterogeneous and more molecular markers are still needed to identify them...
May 11, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Takeshi Kaneyama, Ryuichi Shirasaki
The dI1 commissural axons in the developing spinal cord, upon crossing the midline through the floor plate, make a sharp turn to grow rostrally. These post-crossing axons initially just extend adjacent to the floor plate without entering nearby motor columns. However, it remains poorly characterized how these post-crossing dI1 axons behave subsequently to this process. In the present study, to address this issue, we examined in detail the behavior of post-crossing dI1 axons in mice, using the Atoh1 enhancer-based conditional expression system that enables selective and sparse labeling of individual dI1 axons, together with Hb9 and ChAT immunohistochemistry for precise identification of spinal motor neurons (MNs)...
May 11, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Melissa A Lee, Austen A Sitko, Sania Khalid, Carol A Mason
In the developing mouse optic tract, retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon position is organized by topography and laterality (i.e., eye-specific or ipsi- and contralateral segregation). Our lab previously showed that ipsilaterally-projecting RGCs are segregated to the lateral aspect of the developing optic tract and found that ipsilateral axons self-fasciculate to a greater extent than contralaterally-projecting RGC axons in vitro. However, the full complement of axon-intrinsic and -extrinsic factors mediating eye-specific segregation in the tract remain poorly understood...
May 9, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
George Andrew Reid, Changiz Geula, Sultan Darvesh
The basal forebrain (BFB) cholinergic neurotransmitter system is important in a number of brain functions including attention, memory and the sleep-wake cycle. The size of this region has been linked to the increase in encephalization of the brain in a number of species. Cetaceans, particularly those belonging to the family delphinidae, have a relatively large brain compared to its body size and it is expected that the cholinergic BFB in the dolphin would be a prominent feature. However, this has not yet been explored in detail...
April 26, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Rana N El-Danaf, Andrew D Huberman
In many species, neurons are unevenly distributed across the retina, leading to nonuniform analysis of specific visual features at certain locations in visual space. In recent years, the mouse has emerged as a premiere model for probing visual system function, development and disease. Thus, achieving a detailed understanding of mouse visual circuit architecture is of paramount importance. The general belief is that mice possess a relatively even topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs)- the output neurons of the eye...
April 20, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Ji-Jie Pang, Zhuo Yang, Roy A Jacoby, Samuel M Wu
Some mammalian rod bipolar cells (RBCs) can receive excitatory chemical synaptic inputs from both rods and cones (DBCR2 ), but anatomical evidence for mammalian cone-RBC contacts has been sparse. We examined anatomical cone-RBC contacts using neurobiotin (NB) to visualize individual mouse cones and standard immuno-markers to identify RBCs, cone pedicles and synapses in mouse and baboon retinas. Peanut agglutinin (PNA) stained the basal membrane of all cone pedicles, and mouse cones were positive for red/green (R/G)-opsin, whereas baboon cones were positive for calbindin D-28k...
April 18, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Anders Tolstrup Christiansen, Jens Folke Kiilgaard, Kristian Klemp, David Paul Drucker Woldbye, Jens Hannibal
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a peptide neurotransmitter abundantly expressed in the mammalian retina. Since its discovery, NPY has been studied in retinas of several species, but detailed characterization of morphology, cell-type, and connectivity has never been conducted in larger mammals including humans and pigs. As the pig due to size and cellular composition is a well-suited animal for retinal research, we chose to compare the endogenous NPY system of the human retina to that of pigs to support future research in this field...
April 17, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
J Michael Hasse, Elise M Bragg, Allison J Murphy, Farran Briggs
The corticogeniculate (CG) pathway links the visual cortex with the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus and is the first feedback connection in the mammalian visual system. Whether functional connections between CG neurons and LGN relay neurons obey or ignore the separation of feedforward visual signals into parallel processing streams is not known. Accordingly, there is some debate about whether CG neurons are morphologically heterogeneous or homogenous. Here we characterized the morphology of CG neurons in the ferret, a visual carnivore with distinct feedforward parallel processing streams, and compared the morphology of ferret CG neurons with CG neuronal morphology previously described in macaque monkeys [Briggs et al...
April 17, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Jeffrey Padberg, Dylan F Cooke, Christina M Cerkevich, Jon H Kaas, Leah Krubitzer
The overarching goal of the current investigation was to examine the connections of anterior parietal area 2 and the medial portion of posterior parietal area 5 in macaque monkeys; two areas that are part of a network involved reaching and grasping in primates. We injected neuroanatomical tracers into specified locations in each field and directly related labeled cells to histologically identified cortical field boundaries. Labeled cells were counted so that the relative density of projections to areas 2 and 5 from other cortical fields could be determined...
April 16, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
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