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Species-specific distributions of tyrosine hydroxylase–immunoreactive neurons in the prefrontal cortex of anthropoid primates

Raghanti, M. A. and Spocter, M. A. and Stimpson, C. D. and Erwin, J. M. and Bonar, C. J. and Allman, J. M. and Hof, P. R. and Sherwood, C. C. (2009) Species-specific distributions of tyrosine hydroxylase–immunoreactive neurons in the prefrontal cortex of anthropoid primates. Neuroscience, 158 (4). pp. 1551-1559. ISSN 0306-4522. PMCID PMC2743909. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.10.058.

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In this study, we assessed the distribution of cortical neurons immunoreactive for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in prefrontal cortical regions of humans and nonhuman primate species. Immunohistochemical methods were used to visualize TH-immunoreactive (TH-ir) neurons in areas 9 (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and 32 (anterior paracingulate cortex). The study sample included humans, great apes (chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, orangutan), one lesser ape (siamang), and Old World monkeys (golden guenon, patas monkey, olive baboon, moor macaque, black and white colobus, and François' langur). The percentage of neurons within the cortex expressing TH was quantified using computer-assisted stereology. TH-ir neurons were present in layers V and VI and the subjacent white matter in each of the Old World monkey species, the siamang, and in humans. TH-ir cells were also occasionally observed in layer III of human, siamang, baboon, colobus, and François' langur cortex. Cortical cells expressing TH were notably absent in each of the great ape species. Quantitative analyses did not reveal a phylogenetic trend for percentage of TH-ir neurons in these cortical areas among species. Interestingly, humans and monkey species exhibited a bilaminar pattern of TH-ir axon distributions within prefrontal regions, with layers I–II and layers V–VI having the densest contingent of axons. In contrast, the great apes had a different pattern of laminar innervation, with a remarkably denser distribution of TH-ir axons within layer III. It is possible that the catecholaminergic afferent input to layer III in chimpanzees and other great apes covaries with loss of TH-ir cells within the cortical mantle.

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Additional Information:© 2009 IBRO. Accepted 31 October 2008. Available online 7 November 2008. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (BCS-0515484 and BCS-0549117), National Institutes of Health (NS42867), the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the James S. McDonnell Foundation (22002078). Brain material used in this study was loaned by the Great Ape Aging Project (USPHS/NIH grant AG14308, “A Comparative Neurobiology of Aging Resource,” J. Erwin, PI), the Foundation for Comparative and Conservation Biology, Office Rwandais du Tourisme et des Parcs Nationaux (Dr. Antoine Mudakikwa), the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (Dr. Mike Cranfield), and the Northwestern University Alzheimer’s Disease Center Brain Bank. This study was supported in part by an Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center grant (P30 AG13854) from the National Institute of Aging to Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Neuropathology Core.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological ResearchUNSPECIFIED
James S. McDonnell Foundation22002078
Foundation for Comparative and Conservation BiologyUNSPECIFIED
Office Rwandais du Tourisme et des Parcs NationauxUNSPECIFIED
Mountain Gorilla Veterinary ProjectUNSPECIFIED
Northwestern UniversityUNSPECIFIED
NIHP30 AG13854
Subject Keywords:dopamine; area 9; area 32; human evolution
Issue or Number:4
PubMed Central ID:PMC2743909
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090828-102059906
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Official Citation:M.A. Raghanti, M.A. Spocter, C.D. Stimpson, J.M. Erwin, C.J. Bonar, J.M. Allman, P.R. Hof, C.C. Sherwood, Species-specific distributions of tyrosine hydroxylase–immunoreactive neurons in the prefrontal cortex of anthropoid primates, Neuroscience, Volume 158, Issue 4, 2009, Pages 1551-1559, ISSN 0306-4522, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:15399
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:11 Sep 2009 23:52
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:19

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