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Abstract

Monoclonal antibody mabQ113 recognizes a polypeptide antigen that, in the adult cerebellum, is confined to a subset of Purkinje cells that are clustered together to form parasagittal bands interposed by similar nonimmunoreactive bands. The Purkinje cell compartments are congruent with bands of climbing fibers projecting from subregions of the inferior olivary complex (ICC). The array of mabQ113 parasagittal bands appears late in the development of the cortex. Weak mabQ113 immunoreactivity is first seen at postnatal day 6 (P6) in the Purkinje cells of the posterior lobe of the vermis. From the earliest stages there are signs of differential expression of the mabQ113 antigen in clusters of Purkinje cells: four mabQ113+ clusters are clearly present in the posterior lobe of the vermis at P6-P7. Their relation to the adult band display remains uncertain. During the next few days immunoreactivity spreads rostrally throughout the rest of the vermis and laterally to include the Purkinje cells in the hemispheres, until by P12 all the Purkinje cells in the cerebellum are mabQ113+. Nevertheless, signs of the adult band display are seen already in the vermis where the cells destined to become the vermal mabQ113+ bands (P1+, P2+ and P3+) stain more intensely than their neighbours. Following the stage of global mabQ113 epitope expression, bands are created by the selective suppression of immunoreactivity by Purkinje cells in the P— regions. By P15 the mabQ113+ and mabQ113— bands are clearly differentiated in the vermis and selective staining has begun to appear in the hemispheres also. The band pattern matures gradually during the third and fourth postnatal weeks until the adult appearance is attained by P30. The cerebellar afferent projections were lesioned to explore the interplay of cerebellar input and mabQ113 expression. The olivocerebellar projection was lesioned bilaterally by using 3-acetylpyridine in the adult and unilaterally in the newborn by electrolytic lesion and unilateral inferior cerebellar pedunculectomy. Mossy fibers from the dorsal and ventral spinocerebellar tracts were lesioned surgically both in adults and in newborns and trigeminal projections to the cerebellum were removed in the newborn by unilateral ablation of the spinal trigeminal nucleus. The consequences of total blockage of vibrissal and hindlimb inputs were also explored in both adults and neonates. None of these treatments led to a modification in the pattern of mabQ113 epitope expression. Therefore, although parasagittal zonation is present in the afferent projection before synaptic contact is made with the Purkinje cells, it appears that the mabQ113+/mabQ113– bands can develop independently of afferent synaptic input.