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Structural development and dorsoventral maturation of the medial entorhinal cortex

  1. Saikat Ray  Is a corresponding author
  2. Michael Brecht  Is a corresponding author
  1. Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
Research Article
Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e13343 doi: 10.7554/eLife.13343
8 figures and 1 video

Figures

Rat brain and medial entorhinal cortex laminar development.

(a) Growth in rat brain size from E18, P0, P4, P8, P12, P16, P20 to adult. Brains are overlaid on a 1 cm x 1 cm grid. (b) Mean weight (in grams) of E18 (n=3), P0 (n=6), P4 (n=5), P8 (n=5), P12 (n=5), P16 (n=5), P20 (n=5), P24 (n=6) and in adult (n=9) rat brains. Error bars indicate SD. (c) Parasagittal section double stained for calbindin-immunoreactivity (green) and Purkinje cell protein 4 immunoreactivity (pcp4; red), illustrating the superficial layers of the medial entorhinal cortex and parasubiculum. Calbindin+ neurons (green) are in layer 2, pcp4+ neurons (red) are in layer 3 MEC. (d) Development of mean layer width (in μm) of layer 1 (light-blue), layer 2 (green), layer 3 (red), layer 4 (gray-blue) and layer 5/6 (purple) from P0 to P24 and in adult rat medial entorhinal cortex. Scale bars 250 µm. PaS- Parasubiculum; L1- Layer 1; L2- Layer 2; L3- Layer 3; D- Dorsal; V-Ventral.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.004
Figure 1—source data 1

Laminar widths (in μm) of the medial entorhinal cortex for P0, P4, P8, P12, P16, P20, P24 and adult rats.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.005
Figure 2 with 1 supplement
Adult-like grid layout and cholinergic innervation of calbindin+ pyramidal neurons in layer 2 of MEC at early postnatal stages.

(a) Tangential sections of the MEC processed for calbindin-immunoreactivity (green). Patches of calbindin+ neurons are evident already in the MEC, while the parasubicular patches at the right extremity also show calbindin-immunoreactivity in P0 rats. (b) Inset from (a), rotated 90 degrees clockwise, for presentation. (c) Two-dimensional spatial autocorrelation of the MEC region shown in (b) showing a periodic spatial organization of calbindin+ patches. The grid score is 0.59. (d) as (a) for adult animals. (e) Inset from (d). (f) Two-dimensional spatial autocorrelation of the MEC region shown in (e) showing a periodic spatial organization of calbindin+ patches. The grid score is 1.18. (g) Tangential section in a P4 animal processed for calbindin-immunoreactivity (green). Also note the calbindin-immunoreactive parasubicular patches present in a P4 rat. (h) Section from (g) co-stained for acetylcholinesterase activity (brown). (i) Overlay of inset regions from (g) and (h) shows overlap between calbindin and acetylcholinesterase in MEC in P4 rats. (j–l) as (g–i) for adult animals. (d–f, j–l) modified from Ray et al. (2014). Colour scale of spatial autocorrelation, -0.5 (blue) through 0 (green) to 0.5 (red). Scale bars 250 µm. D- Dorsal; V- Ventral; M- Medial; L- Lateral. Orientation in (d) applies to all sections apart from (b), where it’s rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

© 2014 The American Association for the Advancement of Science. Figure 2, panels d-f and j-l are adapted from Ray S, Naumann R, Burgalossi A, Tang Q, Schmidt H, Brecht M. 2014. Grid-layout and theta-modulation of layer 2 pyramidal neurons in medial entorhinal cortex. Science 343:891–896. doi:10.1126/science.1243028. Reprinted with permission from AAAS.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.006
Figure 2—figure supplement 1
Adult-like scattered distribution of reelin+ stellate cells in early postnatal stages.

(a) Tangential sections of the MEC processed for reelin-immunoreactivity (red) in a P4 rat. (b) Inset from (a). (c) Two-dimensional spatial autocorrelation of the MEC region shown in (b) showing a lack of periodicity of reelin+ neurons. The grid score is -0.09. (d–f) as (a–c) for adult animals. The grid score in (f) is 0.03. Scale bars 250 µm. D- Dorsal; V- Ventral; M- Medial; L- Lateral. Orientation in (d) applies to all sections.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.007
Transient presence of calbindin+ neurons in layer 3 of MEC in early postnatal stages reduces progressively to adult-like state by third postnatal week.

Parasaggital sections of the MEC processed for calbindin-immunoreactivity (green). The sections show clustering of calbindin+ pyramidal cells in layer 2 and a transient presence of calbindin+ neurons in layer 3, which decrease with age in (a) E18 rat. (b) P0 rat. (c) P4 rat. (d) P8 rat. (e) P12 rat. (f) P16 rat. (g) P20 rat. (h) Adult rat. (i) Decreasing density of calbindin+ neurons in layer 3 of MEC from P4-P8 (n=3776 neurons, 8 rats); to P12-P16 (n=2104 neurons, 8 rats) to adults (n=828 neurons, 7 rats). Error bars denote SD. Scale bars 250 µm. D- Dorsal; V- Ventral. Orientation in (h) applies to all sections.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.008
Figure 3—source data 1

Calbindin+ neurons counted and areas (in µm2) in layer 3 for determining calbindin+ neuronal density in layer 3 in P4-P8, P12-P16 and adult rats.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.009
Increase of reelin expression in layer 3 neurons of MEC through development.

Parasaggital sections of the MEC processed for reelin-immunoreactivity (red). The sections show reelin+ stellate cells in layer 2 and an increasing reelin expression in layer 3 neurons with development in (a) P4 rat. (b) P8 rat. (c) P12 rat. (d) P16 rat. (e) P20 rat. (f) Adult rat. (g) Increasing density of reelin+ neurons in layer 3 of MEC from P4-P8 (n=1405 neurons, 4 rats); to P12-P16 (n=3309 neurons, 3 rats) to adults (n=5039 neurons, 3 rats). Error bars denote SD. Scale bars 250 µm. D- Dorsal; V- Ventral. Orientation in (f) applies to all sections.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.010
Figure 4—source data 1

Reelin+ neurons counted and areas (in µm2) in layer 3for determining reelin+ neuronal density in layer 3 in P4-P8, P12-P16 and adult rats.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.011
Figure 5 with 1 supplement
Dorsal-to-ventral disappearance of layer 3 calbindin expression.

Parasaggital sections showing superficial layers of the MEC processed for calbindin-immunoreactivity (green). (a) Calbindin expression is seen throughout layer 3 in P8 rats. (b) Calbindin expression is seen only in ventral half of layer 3 in P16 rats. (c) Calbindin expression is largely absent in layer 3 in adult rats. (d) Proportion of layer 3 calbindin+ neurons in dorsal (white), intermediate (gray) and ventral (black) MEC in P4-P8 (n=3776 neurons, 8 rats); P12-P16 (n =2014 neurons, 8 rats); and adult (n=828 neurons, 7 rats) rats. The numbers represent layer 3 calbindin+ neuronal density and decay in a dorsal to ventral gradient with age as evident with the reduced proportions of the white (dorsal MEC) and gray (intermediate MEC) sections of the columns with increasing age. Scale bars 250 µm. L1- Layer 1; L2- Layer 2; L3- Layer 3; D- Dorsal; V-Ventral. Orientation in (c) applies to all sections.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.012
Figure 5—figure supplement 1
Dorsal- ventral distribution of layer 3 reelin expression.

Parasaggital sections showing superficial layers of the MEC processed for reelin-immunoreactivity (red). (a) Reelin expression is sporadic throughout layer 3 in P8 rats. (b) Reelin expression equitably increases in layer 3 in P16 rats. (c) Reelin expression is present throughout layer 3 in adult rats. (d) Proportion of layer 3 reelin+ neurons in dorsal (white), intermediate (gray) and ventral (black) MEC in P4-P8 (n=1405 neurons, 4 rats); P12-P16 (n =3309 neurons, 3 rats); and adult (n=5039 neurons, 3 rats) rats. The numbers represent layer 3 reelin+ neuronal density and increase equitably with age as evident with the similar proportions of the white (dorsal MEC), gray (intermediate MEC) and black (ventral MEC) sections of the columns with increasing age. Scale bars 250 µm. L1- Layer 1; L2- Layer 2; L3- Layer 3; D- Dorsal; V-Ventral. Orientation in (c) applies to all sections.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.013
Figure 5—figure supplement 1—source data 1

Calbindin+ neurons (Figure 5) and reelin+ neurons (Figure 5—figure supplement 1) counted and areas (in μm2) in dorsal, intermediate and ventral parts of layer 3 for determining calbindin+ and reelin+ neuronal densities respectively in P4-P8, P12-P16 and adult rats.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.014
Dorsal-to-ventral maturation of layer 2 calbindin+ patches and parasubiculum.

Tangential sections of the MEC double-stained for calbindin immunoreactivity (green) and doublecortin immunoreactivity (red). Doublecortin is a marker for immature neurons and disappears in a dorsal-ventral gradient. (a) Calbindin-expression (green) in P8 rats. (b) Doublecortin-expression (red) in P8 rats. Note the presence of doublecortin throughout the dorso-ventral extent of MEC and parasubiculum. (c) Overlay of the dorsal inset region (dashed) in (a) and (b), showing overlap of calbindin and doublecortin (hence the yellowish color). (d) Overlay of the ventral inset region (dashed) in (a) and (b), showing overlap of calbindin and doublecortin. (e–h) as (a–d) for P16 rats, respectively. However, note that dorsal inset region lacks doublecortin (g) while ventral inset region shows overlap of calbindin and doublecortin (h). Also, note the absence of doublecortin in the dorsal but not the ventral parasubiculum (f). (i–k) as (a–d) for adult rats. No doublecortin is present in either dorsal (k) or ventral (l) regions. (m) Spatial cross-correlations of calbindin and doublecortin in MEC showing high overlap in both dorsal and ventral regions in P8-P12 rats (dark green; n=9 regions, 5 rats); low correlation in dorsal but high overlap in ventral in P16-P20 rats (green; n=16 regions, 8 rats) and low correlations in both dorsal and ventral in adult rats (light green; n=7 regions, 4 rats). The Pearson’s cross-correlation coefficient can vary from -1 (anti-correlated) through 0 (un-correlated) to 1 (correlated). Scale bars 250 µm. D- Dorsal; V- Ventral; M- Medial; L- Lateral. Orientation in (i) applies to all sections.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.015
Higher co-localization of doublecortin with calbindin+ pyramidal than reelin+ stellate cells in the developing medial entorhinal cortex.

Tangential sections of the MEC layer 2 triple-stained for calbindin immunoreactivity (CB; blue), doublecortin immunoreactivity (DCX; red) and reelin immunoreactivity (RL; green). Pyramidal but not stellate cells are structurally immature during early postnatal stages. (a) Calbindin-expression (blue) in layer 2 of MEC. (b) Doublecortin-expression (red) in layer 2 of MEC. (c) Reelin-expression (green) in layer 2 of MEC. (d) Overlay of the inset region (dashed) in (a), (b) and (c), showing a higher co-localization of doublecortin (red) with calbindin (blue), than reelin (green). (e) Spatial cross-correlations of doublecortin with calbindin and reelin showing high overlap of doublecortin with calbindin but not reelin (n=8 regions, 8 rats). Scale bars (a–c) 250 µm; (d) 100 µm. D- Dorsal; V- Ventral; M- Medial; L- Lateral. Orientation in (c) applies to all sections.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.016
Dorsal-to-ventral maturation of wolframin expression in the medial entorhinal cortex and parasubiculum.

(a) Tangential sections of the MEC and PaS (outlines dashed) double-stained for calbindin-immunoreactivity (green) and wolframin immunoreactivity (red) in a P4 rat. Shown is an overlay of red and green fluorescence. (b) as (a) for a P8 rat. (c) as (a) for a P20 rat. Wolframin is present in the dorsal ~10% of the parasubiculum at P4, ~40% at P8 and 100% at P20. Note that wolframin expression co-localizes with calbindin-expression in the MEC (hence the yellowish color) and increases from dorsal to ventral with age. Scale bars 250 µm. D- Dorsal; V- Ventral; M- Medial; L- Lateral. Orientation in (a) applies to all sections.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.017

Videos

Video 1
Medial entorhinal cortex and parasubiculum in the rat brain.

The medial entorhinal cortex and parasubiculum are situated at the posterior extremity of the rat neocortex. This schematic video illustrates the location of the medial entorhinal cortex and parasubiculum in situ, the tangential sectioning process and the layout of parasubicular patches and calbindin-patches in the medial entorhinal cortex.

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13343.003

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