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Purkinje cell compartmentation as revealed by Zebrin II expression in the cerebellar cortex of pigeons (Columba livia)

Authors

  • Janelle M.P. Pakan,

    Corresponding author
    1. University Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada
    • Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada
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  • Andrew N. Iwaniuk,

    1. Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada
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  • Douglas R.W. Wylie,

    1. University Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada
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  • Richard Hawkes,

    1. Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy, Genes and Development Research Group, and Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada
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  • Hassan Marzban

    1. Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy, Genes and Development Research Group, and Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada
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Abstract

Purkinje cells in the cerebellum express the antigen zebrin II (aldolase C) in many vertebrates. In mammals, zebrin is expressed in a parasagittal fashion, with alternating immunopositive and immunonegative stripes. Whether a similar pattern is expressed in birds is unknown. Here we present the first investigation into zebrin II expression in a bird: the adult pigeon (Columba livia). Western blotting of pigeon cerebellar homogenates reveals a single polypeptide with an apparent molecular weight of 36 kDa that is indistinguishable from zebrin II in the mouse. Zebrin II expression in the pigeon cerebellum is prominent in Purkinje cells, including their dendrites, somata, axons, and axon terminals. Parasagittal stripes were apparent with bands of Purkinje cells that strongly expressed zebrin II (+ve) alternating with bands that expressed zebrin II weakly or not at all (−ve). The stripes were most prominent in folium IXcd, where there were seven +ve/−ve stripes, bilaterally. In folia VI–IXab, several thin stripes were observed spanning the mediolateral extent of the folia, including three pairs of +ve/−ve stripes that extended across the lateral surface of the cerebellum. In folium VI the zebrin II expression in Purkinje cells was stronger overall, resulting in less apparent stripes. In folia II–V, four distinct +ve/−ve stripes were apparent. Finally, in folia I (lingula) and X (nodulus) all Purkinje cells strongly expressed zebrin II. These data are compared with studies of zebrin II expression in other species, as well as physiological and neuroanatomical studies that address the parasagittal organization of the pigeon cerebellum. J. Comp. Neurol. 501:619–630, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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