Rats :: anatomy & histology
Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Pedro Ribeiro, Leandro Campos, Alexandre Valotta da Silva, Laila B Torres, Kenneth C Catania, Jon H Kaas
Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. firstname.lastname@example.org
Brain size scales as different functions of its number of neurons across mammalian orders such as rodents, primates, and insectivores. In rodents, we have previously shown that, across a sample of 6 species, from mouse to capybara, the cerebral cortex, cerebellum and the remaining brain structures increase in size faster than they gain neurons, with an accompanying decrease in neuronal density in these structures [Herculano-Houzel et al.: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2006;103:12138-12143]. Important remaining questions are whether such neuronal scaling rules within an order apply equally to all pertaining species, and whether they extend to closely related taxa. Here, we examine whether 4 other species of Rodentia, as well as the closely related rabbit (Lagomorpha), conform to the scaling rules identified previously for rodents. We report the updated neuronal scaling rules obtained for the average values of each species in a way that is directly comparable to the scaling rules that apply to primates [Gabi et al.: Brain Behav Evol 2010;76:32-44], and examine whether the scaling relationships are affected when phylogenetic relatedness in the dataset is accounted for. We have found that the brains of the spiny rat, squirrel, prairie dog and rabbit conform to the neuronal scaling rules that apply to the previous sample of rodents. The conformity to the previous rules of the new set of species, which includes the rabbit, suggests that the cellular scaling rules we have identified apply to rodents in general, and probably to Glires as a whole (rodents/lagomorphs), with one notable exception: the naked mole-rat brain is apparently an outlier, with only about half of the neurons expected from its brain size in its cerebral cortex and cerebellum.
Most cited papers:
An autoradiographic analysis of the differential ascending projections of the dorsal and median raphe nuclei in the rat.
Distribution of cholinergic neurons in rat brain: demonstrated by the immunocytochemical localization of choline acetyltransferase.
The neuroanatomical location and cytological features of cholinergic neurons in the rat brain were determined by the immunocytochemical localization of the biosynthetic enzyme, choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Perikarya labeled with ChAT were detected in four major cell groups:(1) the striatum,(2) the magnocellular basal nucleus,(3) the pontine tegmentum, and (4) the cranial nerve motor nuclei. Labeled neurons in the striatum were observed scattered throughout the neostriatum (caudate, putamen) and associated areas (nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercle). Larger ChAT-labeled neurons were seen in an extensive cell system which comprises the magnocellular basal nucleus. This more or less continuous set of neuronal clusters consists of labeled neurons in the nucleus of the diagonal band (horizontal and vertical limbs), the magnocellular preoptic nucleus, the substantia innominata, and the globus pallidus. Labeled neurons in the pontine tegmentum were seen as a group of large neurons in the caudal midbrain, dorsolateral to the most caudal part of the substantia nigra, and extended in a caudodorsal direction through the midbrain reticular formation into the area surrounding the superior cerebellar peduncle. The neurons in this latter group constitute the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPT). An additional cluster of cells was observed medially adjacent to the PPT, in the lateral part of the central gray matter at the rostral end of the fourth ventricle. This group corresponds to the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus. Large ChAT-labeled neurons were also observed in all somatic and visceral motor nerve nuclei. The correspondence of the distribution of ChAT-labeled neurons identified by our methods to earlier immunocytochemical and acetylcholinesterase histochemical studies and to connectional studies of these groups argues for the specificity of the ChAT antibody used.
The purpose of this study was to estimate the absolute and relative masses of the three types of skeletal muscle fibers in the total hindlimb of the male Sprague-Dawley rat (Rattus norvegicus). For six rats, total body mass was recorded and the following weights taken from dissection of one hindlimb: 32 individual major muscles or muscle parts, remaining skeletal musculature (small hip muscles and intrinsic foot muscles), bone, inguinal fat pad, and skin. The fibers from the 32 muscles or muscle parts (which constituted 98% of the hindlimb skeletal muscle mass) were classified from histochemistry as fast-twitch oxidative glycolytic (FOG), fast-twitch glycolytic (FG), or slow-twitch oxidative (SO), and their populations were determined. Fiber cross-sectional areas from the same muscles were measured with a digitizer. Mass of each of the fiber types within muscles and in the total hindlimb was then calculated from fiber-type population, fiber-type area, and muscle-mass data. Skeletal muscle made up 71% of the total hindlimb mass. Of this, 76% was occupied by FG fibers, 19% by FOG fibers, and 5% by SO fibers. Thus, the FG fiber type is clearly the predominant fiber type in the rat hindlimb in terms of muscle mass. Fiber-type mass data are compared with physiological (blood flow) and biochemical (succinate dehydrogenase activities) data for the muscles taken from previous studies, and it is demonstrated that these functional properties are closely related to the proportions of muscle mass composed of the various fiber types.
The cytoarchitectonic organization of the spinal cord in the rat. I. The lower thoracic and lumbosacral cord.
A laminar cytoarchitectonic scheme of the lower thoracic and lumbosacral segments of the rat spinal cord is presented in which Rexed's principles for the cat are applied. The material consists of 80-micron-thick sections stained with toluidine blue or according to van Gieson and 2-micron-thick sections stained with p-phenylenediamine or toluidine blue. The cytoarchitectonic organization of the rat spinal cord was found to be basically similar to that of the cat, although certain differences exist--for example, in the extension of the laminae. In addition to the laminar scheme, the distribution of certain cell groups, Lissauer's tract, and the pyramidal tract were investigated.
Departments of Pharmacological, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637.
On the basis of stimulation studies, it has been proposed that the infralimbic cortex (ILC), Brodmann area 25, may serve as an autonomic motor cortex. To explore this hypothesis, we have combined anterograde tracing with Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) and retrograde tracing with wheat germ aggutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) to determine the efferent projections from the ILC. Axons exit the ILC in one of three efferent pathways. The dorsal pathway ascends through layers III and V to innervate the prelimbic and anterior cingulate cortices. The lateral pathway courses through the nucleus accumbens to innervate the insular cortex, the perirhinal cortex, and parts of the piriform cortex. In addition, some fibers from the lateral pathway enter the corticospinal tract. The ventral pathway is by far the largest and innervates the thalamus (including the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, the border zone between the paraventricular and medial dorsal nuclei, and the paratenial, reuniens, ventromedial, parafasicular, and subparafasicular nuclei), the hypothalamus (including the lateral hypothalamic and medial preoptic areas, and the suprachiasmatic, dorsomedial, and supramammillary nuclei), the amygdala (including the central, medial, and basomedial nuclei, and the periamygdaloid cortex) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. The ventral efferent pathway also provides descending projections to autonomic cell groups of the brainstem and spinal cord including the periaqueductal gray matter, the parabrachial nucleus, the nucleus of the solitary tract, the dorsal motor vagal nucleus, the nucleus ambiguus, and the ventrolateral medulla, as well as lamina I and the intermediolateral column of the spinal cord. The ILC has extensive projections to central autonomic nuclei that may subserve a role in modulating visceral responses to emotional stimuli, such as stress.
Projections to the trigeminal, facial, ambiguus, and hypoglossal motor nuclei were determined by using horseradish peroxidase histochemistry. Most of the afferent projections to these motor nuclei were from the brainstem reticular formation, frequently in areas adjacent to other synergetic motor nuclei. The reticular formation lateral to the hypoglossal nucleus and reticular structures surrounding the trigeminal motor nucleus projected to each of these other brainstem motor nuclei involved in oral-facial function. Afferent projections to these motor nuclei also were organized along the rostrocaudal axis. Within the reticular formation most of the afferent projections to the trigeminal motor nucleus originated rostral to the majority of neurons projecting to the hypoglossal and ambiguus nuclei, which in turn were rostral to the primary source of reticular afferents to the facial nucleus. In comparison, projections from the sensory trigeminal nuclei and nucleus of the solitary tract were sparse. The interneuron pools that project to the orofacial motoneurons provide one further link in understanding the brainstem substrates for integrating oral and ingestive behaviors.
The organization and postnatal development of the commissural projection of the rat somatic sensory cortex.
Anterograde and retrograde tracing experiments have been used to demonstrate the origin and terminal distribution of commissural fibers in the first somatosensory cortex (SI) of the rat. The commissural fibers originate from pyramidal cells of all layers, but predominantly from layers III and V. The fibers terminate in a series of approximately vertical bands. In each of these there are concentrations of terminals extending from the inner portion of the molecular layer to the deep portion of layer III as well as in the superficial part of layer V, and in layer VI. Discrete vertical bands of cortex are reciprocally connected across the midline to give both the origin and terminal regions of the projection a patchy or "columnar" appearance. The commissural fibers arise from and terminate in areas of the cortex that lie between and alongside the aggregations of granule cells that distinguish SI of the rat. No commissural fibers terminate within the aggregations of layer IV cells themselves but the more superficial terminal ramifications may come to overlie these aggregations. A heterotopic projection to the contralateral second somatosensory cortex has been observed and is similar in form to the homotopic projection to SI. Many commissural fibers have crossed the midline in the corpus callosum by the day of birth but lie in the underlying white matter and do not enter the cortical plate until at least the third postnatal day. During the first postnatal week these fibers grow somewhat diffusely into the maturing cortex and their topographic and laminar pattern of distribution attains its adult characteristics by the end of the first week. Commissural axons, thus, arise from immature cells but the maturation of cell form seems to precede the ingrowth of these axons and the acquisition of commissural synapses.
The topographic organization of associational fibers of the olfactory system in the rat, including centrifugal fibers to the olfactory bulb.
This study analyzed the topographic organization of the associational fibers within the olfactory cortex of the rat, by using the autoradiographic method. Small injections of 3H-leucine were placed in all of the subdivisions of the olfactory cortex, to label selectively the fibers arising in each area. Intracortical fibers were identified from all of the olfactory cortical areas except the olfactory tubercle and were classified into two major systems (the layer Ib system and the layer II-deep Ib system) on the basis of their laminar pattern of termination (see Luskin and Price,'83). The layer Ib fiber system arises in the anterior olfactory nucleus, piriform cortex, and lateral entorhinal area, and is broadly organized in relation to the lateral olfactory tract. Cortical areas deep to or near the lateral olfactory tract are preferentially interconnected with areas near the tract, while parts of the cortex lateral and caudal to the lateral olfactory tract are most heavily interconnected with areas lateral, caudal, and medial to the tract. Commissural projections from the anterior olfactory nucleus and the anterior piriform cortex match some (but not all) components of the ipsilateral layer Ib fiber system. The layer II-deep Ib fiber system arises in three small areas--the ventral tenia tecta, the dorsal peduncular cortex, and the periamygdaloid cortex. The fibers from the ventral tenia tecta terminate in layer II of the anterior olfactory nucleus and are topographically organized. The fibers from the dorsal peduncular cortex and the periamygdaloid cortex are more widely distributed, especially in the lateral and caudal parts of the cortex. Two other intracortical projections do not fit into either of these fiber systems. The nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract projects bilaterally to the islands of Calleja and the medial edge of the anterior piriform cortex. The anterior cortical nucleus projects to many parts of the olfactory cortex, but the fibers end in both superficial and deep parts of layer I (layer Ia and Ib). There are projections from several of the olfactory cortical areas to the cortical areas surrounding the olfactory cortex. Virtually all of the olfactory areas also project to the ventral and dorsal endopiriform nuclei deep to the piriform cortex and/or to the polymorph zone deep to the olfactory tubercle. In addition, projections have been demonstrated to the deep amygdaloid nuclei, especially from the more ventromedial and caudal parts of the olfactory cortex.