Date: August 2005
Creator: Coiculescu, Olivia Elena
Description: The development of cholinergic neurons in mouse frontal cortex was studied both in vivo and in vitro by immunocytochemistry with an antibody to choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the enzyme responsible for acetylcholine synthesis. While cortical cholinergic neurons have previously been characterized in rat cortex, up until very recently, intrinsic cortical cholinergic neurons were considered to be absent in mouse, and little is known about their development or phenotypic characteristics. The present study found no ChAT-positive neurons in mouse frontal cortex on postnatal day 0 (P0, the day of birth). On P7 there were few, faintly stained, ChAT-positive neurons. The numerical density of ChAT-positive neurons increased substantially with age, from none on P0, to 9.2 + 1.4 on P7, to 14.8 + 0.9 on P16, and 41.6 + 3.9 in adulthood. Considering that the numerical density of total neurons decreases during this postnatal period, the data represent a marked developmental increase in the percentage of cholinergic neurons. The development of cholinergic neurons showed very similar timelines in rat and mouse frontal cortex. Cultures prepared from mouse frontal cortex on embryonic day 16 were maintained for 25, 76, or 100 days in vitro (div). The percentage of ChAT-positive neurons was considerably higher than ...
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