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Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 206, Issue 1–2, pp 97–118 | Cite as

GAP-43 Immunoreactivity in the brain of the developing and adult wallaby (Macropus eugenii)

  • Maria Hassiotis
  • Ken W. Ashwell
  • Lauren R. Marotte
  • Sabine Lensing-Höhn
  • Jürgen K. Mai
Original Article

Abstract.

We have examined the distribution of immunoreactivity for GAP-43 in the developing and adult brain of a diprotodontid metatherian, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). The distribution of GAP-43 immunoreactivity in the neonatal wallaby brain was strikingly heterogeneous, in contrast to that reported for the newborn polyprotodontid opossum. Immunoreactivity for GAP-43 in the developing wallaby brain showed a caudal-to-rostral spatiotemporal gradient, with the brainstem well in advance of the telencephalon throughout the first 100 days of postnatal life. In many regions examined, GAP-43 immunoreactivity passed through the following phases: 1. intense immunoreactivity in developing fiber tracts and occasional somata; 2. diffuse homogeneous immunoreactivity; 3. selective loss of immunoreactivity in particular nuclei or cortical regions.

In the isocortex, selective loss of GAP-43 immunoreactivity in the somatosensory and visual cortex (at postnatal day 115) coincided with the maturation of the laminar distribution of terminal thalamocortical axonal fields. Within adult cortical regions, GAP-43 immunoreactivity was highest in layer I of all regions, lower layers (V and VI) of primary somatosensory and visual cortices, layers II/III of motor and cingulate cortex, and layer IV of entorhinal cortex. Our findings suggest that, while patterning of GAP-43 immunoreactivity in the mature brain is similar across meta- and eutheria, there may be early developmental differences in the distribution of GAP-43 immunoreactivity between poly- and diprotodontid metatheria.

Marsupial Metatherian Cortex Development Synaptogenesis 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Hassiotis
    • 1
  • Ken W. Ashwell
    • 1
  • Lauren R. Marotte
    • 2
  • Sabine Lensing-Höhn
    • 3
  • Jürgen K. Mai
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, The University of NSW, 2052 Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. 2.Developmental Neurobiology and Endocrinology Group, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, 2601 Canberra, Australia
  3. 3.Abteilung für Neuroanatomie, Heinrich Heine Universität, Düsseldorf 40001, Germany

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