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Keywords:

  • calcium-binding proteins;
  • dorsal claustrum;
  • endopiriform nucleus;
  • immunohistochemistry

Abstract

We analyzed the development of immunoreactive expression patterns for the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and the calcium-binding proteins calbindin, calretinin, and parvalbumin in the embryonic and postnatal mouse claustral complex. Each calcium-binding protein shows a different temporal and spatial pattern of development. Calbindin-positive cells start to be seen very early during embryogenesis and increase dramatically until birth, thus becoming the most abundant cell type during embryonic development, especially in the ventral pallial part of the claustrum. The distribution of calbindin neurons throughout the claustrum during embryonic development partly parallels that of GABA neurons, suggesting that at least part of the calbindin neurons of the claustral complex are GABAergic and originate in the subpallium. Parvalbumin cells, on the other hand, start to be seen only postnatally, and their number then increases while the density of calbindin neurons decreases. Based on calretinin expression in axons, the core/shell compartments of the dorsal claustrum start to be clearly seen at embryonic day 18.5 and may be related to the development of the thalamoclaustral input. Comparison with the expression of Cadherin 8, a marker of the developing dorsolateral claustrum, indicates that the core includes a central part of the dorsolateral claustrum, whereas the shell includes a peripheral area of the dorsolateral claustrum, plus the adjacent ventromedial claustrum. The present data on the spatiotemporal developmental patterns of several subtypes of GABAergic neurons in the claustral complex may help for future studies on temporal lobe epilepsies, which have been related to an alteration of the GABAergic activity. J. Comp. Neurol. 481:42–57, 2005. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.