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Developmental study of dendritic bundles in layer 1 of the rat granular retrosplenial cortex with special reference to a cell adhesion molecule, OCAM


: Dr Noritaka Ichinohe, as above.


In the granular retrosplenial cortex (GRS) of adult rats, callosally projecting pyramidal neurons in layer 2 form dendritic bundles, 30–100 µm wide, in layer 1. The distinctness of these bundles makes the GRS an attractive model system for investigating the developmental, microcircuitry, and basic organizational features related to dendritic modularity. In this report, we investigate the developmental time course of the dendritic bundles, visualized by immunohistochemistry for microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) and glutamate receptor subunits 2/3 (GluR2/3). Bundles in layer 1 are apparent as early as postnatal day 5, first with GluR2/3 and then, from postnatal day 14, with MAP2. As a step toward understanding the mechanisms of dendritic aggregation, we further investigated the ontogeny of expression of the cell adhesion molecule OCAM. OCAM exhibits a patchy distribution in layer 1 from postnatal day 3 to adult, and the regions of weak OCAM immunoreactivity selectively correspond to the dendritic bundles (in both GluR2/3 and MAP2). The periodic geometry of OCAM-immunoreactive regions, the time course of their appearance and the distinct localization complementary to the bundles support the possibility that this molecule is one contributor to the establishment and maintenance of dendritic modules. The interdigitating relationship between regions of high OCAM immunoreactivity and the dendritic bundles in layer 1 suggests that OCAM may have a repellent influence on the formation of these bundles.