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Thalamocortical Afferents Innervate the Cortical Subplate much Earlier in Development in Primate than in Rodent

Lookup NU author(s): Ayman Alzu'bi, Dr Gavin ClowryORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The current model, based on rodent data, proposes that thalamocortical afferents (TCA) innervate the subplate towards theend of cortical neurogenesis. This implies that the laminar identity of cortical neurons is specified by intrinsic instructionsrather than information of thalamic origin. In order to determine whether this mechanism is conserved in the primates, weexamined the growth of thalamocortical (TCA) and corticofugal afferents in early human and monkey fetal development. Inthe human, TCA, identified by secretagogin, calbindin, and ROBO1 immunoreactivity, were observed in the internal capsuleof the ventral telencephalon as early as 7–7.5 PCW, crossing the pallial/subpallial boundary (PSB) by 8 PCW before thecalretinin immunoreactive corticofugal fibers do. Furthermore, TCA were observed to be passing through the intermediatezone and innervating the presubplate of the dorsolateral cortex, and already by 10–12 PCW TCAs were occupying much ofthe cortex. Observations at equivalent stages in the marmoset confirmed that this pattern is conserved across primates.Therefore, our results demonstrate that in primates, TCAs innervate the cortical presubplate at earlier stages thanpreviously demonstrated by acetylcholinesterase histochemistry, suggesting that pioneer thalamic afferents may contributeto early cortical circuitry that can participate in defining cortical neuron phenotypes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alzu'bi A, Homann-Ludiye J, Bourne JA, Clowry GJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cerebral Cortex

Year: 2019

Volume: 29

Issue: 4

Pages: 1706-1718

Print publication date: 01/04/2019

Online publication date: 21/01/2019

Acceptance date: 29/11/2018

Date deposited: 29/01/2019

ISSN (print): 1047-3211

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2199

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhy327

PubMed id: 30668846


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Funder referenceFunder name
099175/Z/12/ZWellcome Trust