The effect of corpus callosum agenesis on neocortical thickness and neuronal density of BALB/cCF mice.
We used acallosal and normal adult BALB/cCF mice to test the hypothesis that the development of the corpus callosum is relevant for the establishment of a normal structure of the neocortex. Neuronal density and thickness of individual layers were analyzed in neocortical regions with abundant callosal connections (area 6 and the 17/18a border) and in the relatively acallosal area 17. In area 6, acallosal mice exhibited a total neocortical thickness smaller than that of normal mice, as well as thinner layers II+III and IV. Similar data were obtained at the 17/18a border, where the total thickness of the cortex and of layers II+III was smaller in the acallosal mice than in normal ones. In contrast, no significant thickness differences were documented in area 17 of acallosal versus normal mice. The quantitative data obtained in the analyzed neocortical regions did not show differences in neuronal density between acallosal and normal mice. The reduced cortical thickness, associated with the comparatively normal neuronal density in neocortical regions which normally have abundant callosal connections, provides indirect indication of a reduction in the number of cortical neurons in acallosal mice. This assumption was also supported by the lack of evidence of neocortical alterations in the acallosal area 17. The present findings suggest that during development neocortical neurons destined to receive a massive callosal input may die as a result of lack of afferents. Altogether the present data indicate that the input provided by callosal axons is necessary for a normal development of the neocortex.
Abreu-Villaça, Y; Silva, WC; Manhães, AC; Schmidt, SL
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