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Keywords:

  • brain development;
  • prosencephalic morphogenesis;
  • telencephalon;
  • pallium;
  • subpallium;
  • embryo fate map

Abstract

After gastrulation, during the process of neurulation, the anterior neural region undergoes important morphological transformations. The almost flat epithelium of the rostral neural plate becomes transformed into a spherical region, the prosencephalic vesicle, in the neural tube. Later in development, two bilateral areas (the optic and telencephalic vesicles) progressively protrude from the prosencephalon, generating the eyes and the cerebral hemispheres, respectively. Although the principal processes of neurulation have been well characterized, the growth patterns and evolution of topological relations between internal prosencephalic regions have not been experimentally analyzed. In order to better characterize morphogenetic transformations of the prosencephalon, we have realized and comparatively analyzed neuroepithelial fate maps before and after neurulation using quail/chick chimerical experiments. Since we have previously reported the fate map of the prosencephalon at the neural plate stage, in the present work we report the corresponding fate map at the neural tube stage. Comparative analysis of the two maps has allowed us to descriptively characterize the morphogenetic transformations of the alar prosencephalic regions during neurulation and to establish the topologic evolution of the principal areas of the vertebrate telencephalon. J. Comp. Neurol. 512:784–797, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.