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Keywords:

  • calbindin;
  • calretinin;
  • parvalbumin;
  • GABA;
  • interneurons;
  • tangential migration

Abstract

We studied the development of neurons and fibers containing calbindin, calretinin, and parvalbumin in the mouse pallial amygdala, with special emphasis on those of the basolateral amygdalar complex. Numerous calbindin-immunoreactive (CB+) cells were observed in the incipient basolateral amygdalar complex and cortical amygdalar area from E13.5. At E16.5, CB+ cells became more abundant in the lateral and basolateral nuclei than in the basomedial nucleus, showing a pattern very similar to that of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons. Many CB+ cells observed in the pallial amygdala appeared to originate in the anterior entopeduncular area/ganglionic eminences of the subpallium. The density of CB+ cells gradually increased in the pallial amygdala until the first postnatal week and appeared to decrease later, coinciding with the postnatal appearance of parvalbumin cells and raising the possibility of a partial phenotypic shift. Calretinin (CR) immunoreactivity could be observed in a few cells and fibers in the pallial amygdala at E14.5, and by E16.5 it became a good marker of the different nuclei of the basolateral amygdalar complex. Numerous CB+ and CR+ varicosities, part of which have an intrinsic origin, were observed in the basolateral amygdalar complex from E16.5, and some surrounded unstained perikarya and/or processes before birth, indicating an early formation of inhibitory networks. Each calcium binding protein showed a distinct spatiotemporal expression pattern of development in the mouse pallial amygdala. Any alteration in the development of neurons and fibers containing calcium binding proteins of the pallial amygdala may result in important disorders of emotional and social behavior. J. Comp. Neurol. 488:492–513, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.