Cytoarchitecture of mouse and rat cingulate cortex with human homologies
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A gulf exists between cingulate area designations in human neurocytology and those used in rodent brain atlases with a major underpinning of the former being midcingulate cortex (MCC). The present study used images extracted from the Franklin and Paxinos mouse atlas and Paxinos and Watson rat atlas to demonstrate areas comprising MCC and modifications of anterior cingulate (ACC) and retrosplenial cortices. The laminar architecture not available in the atlases is also provided for each cingulate area. Both mouse and rat have a MCC with neurons in all layers that are larger than in ACC and layer Va has particularly prominent neurons and reduced neuron densities. An undifferentiated ACC area 33 lies along the rostral callosal sulcus in rat but not in mouse and area 32 has dorsal and ventral subdivisions with the former having particularly large pyramidal neurons in layer Vb. Both mouse and rat have anterior and posterior divisions of retrosplenial areas 29c and 30, although their cytology is different in rat and mouse. Maps of the rodent cingulate cortices provide for direct comparisons with each region in the human including MCC and it is significant that rodents do not have a posterior cingulate region composed of areas 23 and 31 like the human. It is concluded that rodents and primates, including humans, possess a MCC and this homology along with those in ACC and retrosplenial cortices permit scientists inspired by human considerations to test hypotheses on rodent models of human diseases.
KeywordsAnterior cingulate Midcingulate cortex Retrosplenial cortex
We thank Dr. Paul L.A. Gabbott for allowing us to use his summary diagram of anterior cingulate projections in the rat. This research was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Australia Fellowship Grant to Dr George Paxinos (Grant #568605).
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