Topography and connections of the telencephalon in a chondrostean,Acipenser baeri: An experimental study

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Sturgeons belong to an ancient group of the extant actinopterygian fishes. Accordingly, the study of their brain connections is important to understand brain evolution in the line leading to teleosts. We examined the topography and connections of the various telencephalic regions of the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baeri). The telencephalic regions were characterized on the basis of acetylcholinesterase histochemistry and calbindin-D28k and calretinin immunohistochemistry. The telencephalic connections were investigated by using the fluorescent dye DiI (1,1′-dioctadecyl 3,3,3′,3′-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate) in fixed brains. Application of DiI to different areas of the pallial (dorsal) regions of the telencephalic lobes showed that they have mostly intratelencephalic connections. A posterior pallial region is characterized by its similar hodology to that of the posterior zone of the teleosts dorsal telencephalon and those described in other ancient groups. Extratelencephalic connections of the pallium are scarce, although a few afferent and efferent connections with the diencephalon, mesencephalon, and rostral rhombencephalon were observed. DiI application to subpallial regions showed both intratelencephalic connections and connections with different brain regions. Afferents to the subpallium originate from the olfactory bulbs, preoptic area, thalamus, posterior tuberculum, hypothalamus, secondary gustatory nucleus, and raphe nuclei. Some of these connections are quite similar to those described for other vertebrates.

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