Histogenesis of the cerebral cortex in rat fetuses with a mutation in the Pax-6 gene

Tetsuya Fukuda, Hitoshi Kawano, Noriko Osumi, Kazuhiro Eto, Koki Kawamura

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36 Citations (Scopus)


The embryonic development of the cerebral cortex was histologically examined in rat homozygotes with a mutation of the Paired box (Pax)-6 gene, rat Small eye (rSey2/rSey2). Although the cerebral wall was thinner in rSey2/rSey2 than in the wild type at embryonic day 16 (E16), cortical cells of mutants labeled with 5'-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) at E13 migrated as normal, settling in superficial layer at E16. Mitotic activity in the ventricular zone, estimated by immunoreactivity for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), was also retained. On the other hand, after E20 cells were clustered in abnormally expanded ventricular and intermediate zones of the rSey2/rSey2 cortex. Birthdating studies using BrdU revealed that most of these clustered cells were generated between E18 and E20. Most of clustered cells were immunoreactive for PCNA and highly polysialylated NCAM, while immunoreaction for neurofilament and microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2) was hardly detected in the clusters. Furthermore, apoptosis detected with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) was rarely seen, suggesting that the clustered cells remain in an undifferentiating state, but not degenerated by the end of the gestational period. Considering that Pax-6 immunoreactivity was exclusively localized in the ventricular zone of the normal rat cortex throughout the fetal period, the present results suggest that Pax-6 is crucial for differentiation and migration of late-generated cortical neurons. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Mar 15


  • 5'-Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)
  • Cerebral cortex
  • Highly polysialylated NCAM (PSA-NCAM)
  • Pax-6
  • Rat Small eye (rSey)
  • Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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