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Growth and atrophy of neurons labeled at their birth in a song nucleus of the zebra finch

Konishi, Masakazu and Akutagawa, Eugene (1990) Growth and atrophy of neurons labeled at their birth in a song nucleus of the zebra finch. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 87 (9). pp. 3538-3541. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC53937.

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The robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA) is one of the forebrain nuclei that control song production in birds. In the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), this nucleus contains more and larger neurons in the male than in the female. A single injection of tritiated thymidine into the egg on the 6th or 7th day of incubation resulted in labeling of many RA neurons with tritium. The size of tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them did not differ between the sexes at 15 days after hatching. In the adult brain, tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them were much larger in the male than in the female. Also, tritium-labeled RA neurons were large in females which received an implant of estrogen immediately after hatching. The gender differences in the neuron size and nuclear volume of the zebra finch RA are, therefore, due not to the replacement of old neurons by new ones during development but to the growth and atrophy of neurons born before hatching. Similarly, the masculinizing effects of estrogen on the female RA are due not to neuronal replacement but to the prevention of atrophy and promotion of growth in preexisting neurons.

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Additional Information:Copyright © 1990 by the National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by Masakazu Konishi, February 20, 1990. We thank Allison Doupe and Paul Patterson for critically reading the manuscript. This work was supported by a grant for Developmental Biology at California Institute of Technology from the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Lucille P. Markey Charitable TrustUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:brain; cell death; gender difference; estrogen
Issue or Number:9
PubMed Central ID:PMC53937
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:KONpnas90
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1608
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Feb 2006
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 22:45

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