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Keywords:

  • Purkinje cell;
  • zebrin II;
  • phospholipase Cβ4;
  • whole mount immunohistochemistry;
  • pattern formation;
  • stripe

Abstract

The chick is a well-understood developmental model of cerebellar pattern formation,but we know much less about the patterning of the adult chicken cerebellum. Therefore an expression study of two Purkinje cell stripe antigens—zebrin II/aldolase C and phospholipase Cβ4 (PLCβ4)—has been carried out in the adult chicken (Gallus domesticus). The mammalian cerebellar cortex is built around transverse expression domains (“transverse zones”), each of which is further subdivided into parasagittally oriented stripes. The results from the adult chicken reveal a similar pattern. Five distinct transverse domains were identified. In the anterior lobe a uniformly zebrin II-immunopositive/PLCβ4-immunonegative lingular zone (LZ; lobule I) and a striped anterior zone (AZ; lobules II–VIa) were distinguished. A central zone (CZ; ∼lobules VIa–VIIIa,b) and a posterior zone (PZ; ∼lobules VIIIa,b–IXc,d) were distinguished in the posterior lobe. Finally, the nodular zone (NZ; lobule X) is uniformly zebrin II-immunoreactive and is innervated by vestibular mossy fibers. Lobule IXc,d is considered as a transitional region between the PZ and the NZ, because the vestibular mossy fiber projection extends into these lobules and because they receive optokinetic mossy and climbing fiber input. It is proposed that the zebrin II-immunonegative P3- stripe corresponds to the lateral vermal B zone of the mammalian cerebellum and that the border between the avian homologs of the mammalian vermis and hemispheres is located immediately lateral to P3−. Thus, there seem to be transverse zones in chicken that are plausible homologs of those identified in mammals, together with an LZ that is characteristic of birds. J. Comp. Neurol. 518:2221–2239, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.