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Open Access Differentiation of Neural Cells in the Fetal Cerebral Cortex of Cynomolgus Monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)

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Proliferation and programmed cell death are important in the formation of morphologic structures and functional activity during CNS development. We used immunohistochemical and TUNEL methods to examine the proliferation and differentiation of neural cells in, distribution of apoptotic cells in, and microglial cell involvement in the removal of apoptotic cells from the fetal cerebral cortex of cynomolgus monkeys. At embryonic day (E) 50 and E80, the neuroepithelium contained many mitotic cells. Cells staining for PCNA (a nuclear marker of proliferating cells) were prominent in the proliferative zone, whereas cells positive for NeuN (a neuron-specific marker) were absent. GFAP staining for glial cells was positive in the neuroepithelium and radial glial fibers. Iba1-positive cells (that is, macrophages and microglia) were distributed throughout all regions at all time points but accumulated especially in the ventricular zone at E80. Apoptotic morphology (at E80) and TUNEL-positive cells (that is, containing DNA fragmentation; at E50 and E80) were observed also. At E120 and E150, most PCNA-positive cells were in the ventricular zone, and NeuN-positive cells were prominent in all layers except layer I-II at E120. GFAP immunoreactivity was detected mainly in cells with fine processes in the white matter. Neither apoptosis nor TUNEL-positive cells were detected at either E120 or E150. These results suggest that proliferation, migration, and neural cell death occur during midgestation (that is, E50 to E80) in fetal brain of cynomolgus macaques, whereas differentiation and maturation of neural cells occur after midgestation (E80).

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biomedical Science, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. [email protected] 2: Department of Biomedical Science, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan 3: Department of Chemistry and Biological Science, Aoyama Gakuin University, Sagamihara City, Kanagawa, Japan 4: Research Center for Animal Life Science, Shiga University of Medical Science, Hikone City, Shiga, Japan 5: Drug Safety Research Laboratory, Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima, Japan 6: Department of Biomedical Science, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; Laboratory of Zoonosis Control, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kitasato University, Towada City, Aomori, Japan 7: Department of Veterinary Pathology, Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University, Musashino City, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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