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Human and monkey fetal brain development of the supramammillary-hippocampal projections: a system involved in the regulation of theta activity.

Abstract : The supramammillary (SUM)-hippocampal pathway plays a central role in the regulation of theta rhythm frequency. We followed its prenatal development in eight Cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) from embryonic day E88 to postnatal day 12 (term 165 days) and in eight human fetuses from 17.5 to 40 gestational weeks, relying on neurochemical criteria established in the adult (Nitsch and Leranth [1993] Neuroscience 55:797-812). We found that 1) SUM afferents reached the dentate juxtagranular and CA2 pyramidal cell layers at midgestation in human fetuses, earlier than in monkeys (two-thirds of gestation [E109]). They co-expressed calretinin, substance P, and acetylcholinesterase but not gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD); 2) the presumed parent neurons in the monkey SUM expressed calretinin or both calretinin and substance P; 3) most of them were surrounded by GAD-containing terminals that might correspond to the septo-SUM feedback pathway (Leranth et al. [1999] Neuroscience 88:701); and 4) in addition, a large band of calretinin-labeled terminals that did not co-express substance P, GAD, or acetylcholinesterase was present in the deepest one-third of the dentate molecular layer in both the Cynomolgus monkey and human fetuses. It persisted in the adult monkey but not in adult human hippocampus; it remains questionable whether it originates in the SUM. In conclusion, the early ingrowth of the excitatory SUM-hippocampal system in human and non-human primates may contribute to the prenatal activity-dependent development of the hippocampal formation. The possibility and the functional importance of an in utero generation of hippocampal theta-like activity should also be considered.
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  • HAL Id : inserm-00484947, version 1
  • PUBMED : 11135232

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Brigitte Berger, Monique Esclapez, Chantal Alvarez, Gundela Meyer, Martin Catala. Human and monkey fetal brain development of the supramammillary-hippocampal projections: a system involved in the regulation of theta activity.. Journal of Comparative Neurology, Wiley, 2001, 429 (4), pp.515-29. ⟨inserm-00484947⟩

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