The dorsomedial telencephalon of lungfish: A pallial or subpallial structure? Criteria based on histology, connectivity, and histochemistry

Shaun Patrick Collin, C.S Von Bartheld, Dietrich L. Meyer

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    The dorsomedial telencephalon of lepidosirenid lungfishes has been interpreted in two divergent ways: earlier investigators regarded it as a subpallial (septal) structure; more recently, it has been reinterpreted as the medial pallium (hippocampus). To resolve this question, we identified parameters that are conclusive in their association with either the medial pallium or the septum in anamniotes. The present study examines the position of ependymal thickenings and the distribution of acetylcholinesterase (AchE) in the cerebral hemispheres of the African lungfish Protopterus, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus, and the amphibian species Xenopusand Ambystoma. In addition, projections from the hypothalamus (paraventricular organ) to the telencephalon are investigated in Protopterus.

    Ependymal specializations are located dorsally and ventrally in the lateral ventricles of amphibians, but laterally and medially in lungfishes. In Protopterus, the paraventricular organ projects to the medial telencephalic hemisphere, but not to the dorsal roof. High levels of AchE are present in restricted neuropil regions of the medial hemisphere and in the ventral and ventrolateral telencephalon, but they are lacking in the dorsal roof. Intensely AchE‐stained neuronal cell bodies are located in the ventral telencephalon (rostrally) and the dorsomedial telencephalon (at mid‐level). In Neoceratodus, AchE staining is pronounced in the septal area, but absent in the pallium. The terminal nerve proper lacks AchE stain in Protopterus; nerve fibers of the preoptic nerve are AchE‐positive in both lungfish species. In Xenopus, AchE staining of fibers and terminals is restricted to the subpallium (medial septum, tuberculum olfactorium, striatum, nucleus accumbens, and medial amygdala); cell bodies are AchE positive in parts of the subpallium and rostral pallium.

    Comparison of cytological, histochemical, and “connectional” parameters substantiates the interpretation that the dorsomedial telencephalon of lungfishes represents a subpallial, but not a “medial pallial” structure. The dorsomedial part of the lepidosirenid telencephalon corresponds to the septum in the most plesiomorphic living lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, but it differs considerably from the dorsomedial telencephalon (medial pallium) in amphibians.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14-29
    Number of pages15
    JournalThe Journal of Comparative Neurology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1990

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