Differential effects of aging on the distribution of calcium-binding proteins in a pretectal nucleus of the chicken brain

Renato F. Santana, Anton Reiner, Luiz R.G. Britto, Cláudio A.B. Toledo

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Abstract

The nucleus pretectalis (PT) of birds is an ovoid-shaped visuomotor cell group of the pretectum that receives tectal input and projects back to the optic tectum. We performed immunohistochemical single- and double-labeling to determine the distribution and abundance of neurons containing three calcium-binding proteins, parvalbumin (PV), calretinin (CR), and calbindin (CB), in the PT in chickens at three ages. We found that PV-positive and CR-positive cells co-localize and are largely found in the outer part of PT at all ages. The GluR4 subunit of the AMPA-type glutamate receptor was selectively localized to these neurons. CB-positive neurons, however, were largely absent from the PT in young and adult chickens. The abundance of PV-positive and CR-positive neurons in PT in old birds was indistinguishable from that in the younger birds, but CB-positive perikarya were 10-20-fold more common than in young birds, and were again mainly found in the outer part of PT. The overall abundance of neurons in PT was reduced to about 50% of its former abundance in the old birds, with this loss restricted to the central part of the nucleus. These data indicate that a cell loss process develops in PT as birds age, that parvalbuminergic and calretinergic neurons resist this process, and that this process is associated with increased expression of CB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

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Calcium-Binding Proteins
Birds
Calbindins
Chickens
Calbindin 2
Neurons
Parvalbumins
Brain
Superior Colliculi
Glutamate Receptors
Young Adult

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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Differential effects of aging on the distribution of calcium-binding proteins in a pretectal nucleus of the chicken brain. / Santana, Renato F.; Reiner, Anton; Britto, Luiz R.G.; Toledo, Cláudio A.B.

In: Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, Vol. 26, No. 3, 01.01.2003, p. 195-208.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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