Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 274–292 | Cite as

Structural changes in the area striata of the mouse after enucleation

  • F. Valverde


The optic pathways of the mouse have been studied by tracing of degenerating fibers after enucleation and coagulation of the lateral geniculate nucleus. The effects of unilateral enucleation at birth in the contralateral area striata of the mouse have been studied with the Golgi method. The number of spines on three different portions of the apical dendrites of layer V pyramidal cells have been counted in the affected area striata of mice 24 and 48 days old enucleated at birth. The results were compared with the countings obtained in the area striata homolateral to the enucleated side and with controls of the same ages. The results indicated that enucleation produces, through a series of transneuronal changes, significant diminution of the number of spines in the apical dendritic segments located in layer IV. The diminution of dendritic spines is more pronounced in younger animals. Specific variations in the orientation of dendrites of stellate cells with ascending axons have been observed in enucleated animals. The significance of these findings has been discussed suggesting the existence of compensatory mechanisms which affect significantly the intrinsic organization of the area striata.

Key Words

Visual pathways Area striata Enucleation Transneuronal changes 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bennett, B.L., M.C. Diamond, D. Krech and M.R. Rosenzweig: Chemical and anatomical plasticity of brain. Science 146, 610–619 (1964).Google Scholar
  2. Brodmann, K.: Beiträge zur histologisehen Lokalisation der Großhirnrinde. Der Calcarinatypus. J. Psychol. Neurol. (Lpz.) 2, 133–159 (1903).Google Scholar
  3. Cajal, S.R.: A propos de certains éléments bipolaires du cervelet avec quelques détails nouveaux sur l'évolution des fibres cérébelleuses. J. internat. d'Anat. Physiol. 7, 1–22 (1890).Google Scholar
  4. —: La rétine des vertébrés. Cellule 9, 121–257 (1893).Google Scholar
  5. —: Histologie du système nerveux de l'homme et des vertébrés, vol. II. Paris: A. Maloine 1911. Reimpress. Madrid: Instituto Cajal 1955.Google Scholar
  6. —: Textura de la corteza visual del gato. Trab. Lab. invest. biol., Univ. Madrid 19, 113–144 (1921).Google Scholar
  7. Coleman, P.D.: Effects of rearing in the dark on dendritic fields of stellate cells in visual cortex. Communication presented at the Meeting of the Amer. Ass. Adv. Sci. Berkeley, California. Dec. 28 (1965).Google Scholar
  8. Colonnier, M.: Experimental degeneration in the cerebral cortex. J. Anat. (Lond.) 98, 47–53 (1964).Google Scholar
  9. —: The structural design of the neocortex. In: Brain and conscious experience. Ed. by J.C. Eccles, pp. 1–23. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer 1966.Google Scholar
  10. Donaldson, H.H.: Anatomical observations on the brain and several sense organs of the blind deaf-mute, Laura Dewey Bridgman. Amer. J. Psychol. 3, 293–342 and 4, 248–294 (1890).Google Scholar
  11. Fink, R.P., and L. Heimer: Two methods for selective silver impregnation of degenerating axons and their synaptic endings in the central nervous system. Brain Res. 4, 369–374 (1967).Google Scholar
  12. Globus, A., and A.B. Scheibel: Synaptic loci on visual cortical neurons of the rabbit: the specific afferent radiation. Exp. Neurol. 18, 116–131 (1967).Google Scholar
  13. Gray, E.G.: Axo-somatic and axo-dendritic synapses of the cerebral cortex: an electron microscope study. J. Anat. (Lond.) 93, 420–433 (1959).Google Scholar
  14. — and V.P. Whittaker: The isolation of synaptic vesicles from the central nervous system. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 153, 35–37 (1960).Google Scholar
  15. —: The isolation of nerve endings from brain: an electron-microscopic study of cell fragments derived by homogenization and centrifugation. J. Anat. (Lond.) 96, 79–88 (1962).Google Scholar
  16. Groot, J. de: The rat forebrain in stereotaxic coordinates. Ver. Konink. Nederl. Akad. Wetensch., Natuurk. Tweede Reeks, 52, 4, 40 (1959).Google Scholar
  17. Gyllensten, L.: Postnatal development of the visual cortex in darkness (mice). Acta morph. neerl.-scand. 2, 331–345 (1959).Google Scholar
  18. Hess, A.: Optic centers and pathways after eye removal in fetal guinea pigs. J. comp. Neurol. 109, 91–115 (1958).Google Scholar
  19. Hubel, D.H., and T.N. Wiesel: Receptive fields of cells in striate cortex of very young, visually inexperienced kittens. J. Neurophysiol. 26, 994–1002 (1963).Google Scholar
  20. König, J.F.R., and R.A. Klippel: The rat brain. A stereotaxic atlas of the forebrain and lower parts of the brain stem. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins Co. 1963.Google Scholar
  21. Krech, D., M.R. Rosenzweig and E.L. Bennett: Effects of complex environment and blindness on rat brain. Arch. Neurol. 8, 403–412 (1963).Google Scholar
  22. Levi-Montalcini, R.: The development of the acoustico-vestibular centers in the chick embryo in the absence of the afferent root fibers and of descending tracts. J. comp. Neurol. 91, 209–242 (1949).Google Scholar
  23. Lindner, I., and K. Umrath: Veränderungen der Sehsphäre I und II in ihrem monokularen und binokularen Teil nach Extirpation eines Auges beim Kaninchen. Dtsch. Z. Nervenheilk. 172, 495–525 (1955).Google Scholar
  24. Matthews, M.R., W.M. Cowan and T.P.S. Powell: Transneuronal cell degeneration in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the macaque monkey. J. Anat. (Lond.) 94, 145–169 (1960).Google Scholar
  25. Minkowski, M.: über den Verlauf, die Endigung und die zentrale Repräsentation von gekreuzten und ungekreuzten Sehnervenfasern bei einigen Säugetieren und beim Menschen. Schweiz. Arch. Neurol. Psychiat. 6, 201–252 and 7, 268–303 (1920).Google Scholar
  26. Nauta, W.J.H., and P.A. Gygax: Silver impregnation of degenerating axons in the central nervous system: a modified technic. Stain Teehnol. 29, 91–93 (1954).Google Scholar
  27. Polyak, S.: The vertebrate visual system. Ed. by H. Klüver. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1957.Google Scholar
  28. Rose, M.: Cytoarchitektonischer Atlas der Großhirnrinde der Maus. J. Psychol. Neurol. (Lpz.) 40 1–51 (1929).Google Scholar
  29. Tsang, Y.-C.: Visual centers in blinded rats. J. comp. Neurol. 66, 211–261 (1937).Google Scholar
  30. Valverde, F.: Studies on the piriform lobe. Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1965.Google Scholar
  31. —: Apical dendritic spines of the visual cortex and light deprivation in the mouse. Exp. Brain Res. 3, 337–352 (1967).Google Scholar
  32. Walberg, F.: Role of normal dendrites in removal of degenerating terminal boutons. Exp. Neurol. 8, 112–124 (1963).Google Scholar
  33. Wiesel, T.N., and D.H. Hubel: Effects of visual deprivation on morphology and physiology of cells in the cat's lateral geniculate body. J. Neurophysiol. 26, 978–993 (1963a).Google Scholar
  34. —: Single-cell responses in striate cortex of kittens deprived of vision in one eye. J. Neurophysiol. 26, 1003–1017 (1963b).Google Scholar
  35. Zeman, W., and J.R.M. Innes: Craigie's neuroanatomy of the rat. Revised and expanded. New York: Academic Press 1963.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Valverde
    • 1
  1. 1.Sección de Neuroanatomía ComparadaInstituto CajalMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations