Increased Axon Number in the Anterior Commissure of Mice Lacking a Corpus Callosum

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Douglas Wahlsten, Visiting Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Relatively few behavioral deficits are apparent in subjects with hereditary absence of the corpus callosum (CC). The anterior commissure (AC) has been suggested to provide an extracallosal route for the transfer of interhemispheric information in subjects with this congenital defect. Anterior commissure size, axon number, axon diameter, and neuronal distribution were compared between normal mice and those with complete CC absence. No difference in midsagittal AC area was found between normals and acallosals, nor were differences found in the numbers or diameters of myelinated axons. However, axon counts indicated an 17%increase or about 70,000 more unmyelinated axons in the AC of acallosal mice, and the mean diameter of unmyelinated axons was slightly less than in normal mice (0.24 vs 0.26 µm). This decrease in axon diameter enabled more axons to pass through the AC without increasing its midsagittal area. The topographical distribution of neurons sending axons through the AC, assessed with lipophilic dyes, was qualitatively similar for almost all the known regions of origin of the anterior commissure in normal and acallosal mice. There was a pronounced deficit of AC cells in the anterior piriform cortex of BALB/c mice, but this occurred whether or not the mouse suffered absent CC. Although the increase in AC axon number is far smaller than the number of CC axons that fail to reach the opposite hemisphere, the higher number of axons present in the AC of acallosal mice may contribute to the functional compensation for the loss of the CC.

Additional Information

Experimental Neurology, 1997, 146, 491-501.
Language: English
Date: 1997
Corpus callosum, Mice, Brain structure, Neuroscience, Physiology, Congenital

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