open access

Vol 62, No 2 (2003)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2003-02-27
Submitted: 2012-02-06
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Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the postnatal development of the ventroposterolateral nucleus of the thalamus in rat and rabbit

Anna Łuczyńska, Jerzy Dziewiątkowski, Hanna Jagalska-Majewska, Przemysław Kowiański, Sławomir Wójcik, Cezary Labuda, Janusz Moryś
Folia Morphol 2003;62(2):75-87.

open access

Vol 62, No 2 (2003)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2003-02-27
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

The morphometric analysis of changes occurring in the rat and rabbit ventroposterolateral (VPL) nucleus of the thalamus during the postnatal development was performed using unbiased stereological methods. The materials used in the study included 30 Wistar rats and 32 New Zealand rabbits aged from P0 to P180 (P-postnatal day), which were divided into six and eight age groups, respectively. The following stereological parameters of VPL nucleus on the cresyl violet stained sections were determined: volume of the nucleus, numerical density and total number of neurons.
The total number of neurons indicated that the development of VPL nucleus in both species ended within the third week of postnatal life. The volume of VPL nucleus increased gradually (by about 2.2 and 5 times in rats and rabbits, respectively) in comparison with the volume of the cerebral hemisphere during the development from P0 to adulthood. The numerical density of VPL neurons decreased rapidly at the beginning of postnatal life and stabilized by the end of the third week. In both species, the gradual increase in the volume of VPL nucleus and the simultaneous decrease in the neuronal density in the first week of postnatal life were mainly caused by changes in the neuropil volume. The total number of cells did not change remarkably during the first postnatal week. However, it decreased significantly during the second week. This decrease was probably due to the naturaly occuring cell death.
These results show that the most prominent qualitative and quantitative changes in VPL nucleus and its neurons occur during the first two weeks of postnatal life of rats and rabbits. Also, because the thalamocortical relay neurons completely acquire their physiological features, this the most critical period of time for their morphological maturation.

Abstract

The morphometric analysis of changes occurring in the rat and rabbit ventroposterolateral (VPL) nucleus of the thalamus during the postnatal development was performed using unbiased stereological methods. The materials used in the study included 30 Wistar rats and 32 New Zealand rabbits aged from P0 to P180 (P-postnatal day), which were divided into six and eight age groups, respectively. The following stereological parameters of VPL nucleus on the cresyl violet stained sections were determined: volume of the nucleus, numerical density and total number of neurons.
The total number of neurons indicated that the development of VPL nucleus in both species ended within the third week of postnatal life. The volume of VPL nucleus increased gradually (by about 2.2 and 5 times in rats and rabbits, respectively) in comparison with the volume of the cerebral hemisphere during the development from P0 to adulthood. The numerical density of VPL neurons decreased rapidly at the beginning of postnatal life and stabilized by the end of the third week. In both species, the gradual increase in the volume of VPL nucleus and the simultaneous decrease in the neuronal density in the first week of postnatal life were mainly caused by changes in the neuropil volume. The total number of cells did not change remarkably during the first postnatal week. However, it decreased significantly during the second week. This decrease was probably due to the naturaly occuring cell death.
These results show that the most prominent qualitative and quantitative changes in VPL nucleus and its neurons occur during the first two weeks of postnatal life of rats and rabbits. Also, because the thalamocortical relay neurons completely acquire their physiological features, this the most critical period of time for their morphological maturation.
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Keywords

development; somatosensory thalamus; VPL; stereology; rat; rabbit

About this article
Title

Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the postnatal development of the ventroposterolateral nucleus of the thalamus in rat and rabbit

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 62, No 2 (2003)

Pages

75-87

Published online

2003-02-27

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2003;62(2):75-87.

Keywords

development
somatosensory thalamus
VPL
stereology
rat
rabbit

Authors

Anna Łuczyńska
Jerzy Dziewiątkowski
Hanna Jagalska-Majewska
Przemysław Kowiański
Sławomir Wójcik
Cezary Labuda
Janusz Moryś

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