Prenatal Monoaminergic Innervation of the Cerebral Cortex: Differences between Rodents and Primates

  • B. Berger
  • C. Verney
  • P. S. Goldman-Rakic


After the discovery of the cerebral monoaminergic systems by the Swedish group in the early sixties, the early prenatal ontogenesis of the monoaminergic neurons in the brainstem and the precocious development of their cortical projections were soon recognized (Lauder and Bloom, 1974; Nobin and Björklund, 1973; Olson and Seiger, 1972; Seiger and Olson, 1973) and presumed to be of great biological importance. The early arrival of aminergic afferents into the anläge of the cerebral cortex, concomitant to important intrinsic events in the neocortex (active stages of migration and differentiation) has led to the hypothesis that monoamines might exert an inductive or regulatory influence on the development of the cerebral cortex (see review in Berger and Verney, 1984). This hypothesis triggers new interest in view of the proposal that an involvement of the dopaminergic system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia might be associated to an atrophy/aplasia process of developmental origin in the medial telencephalon (Roberts and Crow, 1987). Rodents have generally been used in the experimental models elaborated for understanding the anatomy and physiology of the cortical monoaminergic systems. However, in contrast with rodents, the cerebral cortex of primates is characterized by a protracted prenatal development, which allows for complex and prolongated interactive processes. Moreover, in adult primates, major changes are observed in the distribution of the cortical catecholaminergic innervation as compared to rodents.


Cerebral Cortex Tyrosine Hydroxylase Marginal Zone Cortical Plate Dopaminergic Innervation 
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© Birkhäuser Boston 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Berger
  • C. Verney
  • P. S. Goldman-Rakic

There are no affiliations available

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