Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)

A lifespan analysis of intraneocortical connections and gene expression in the mouse II.

PMID 21060113


The mammalian neocortex contains an intricate processing network of multiple sensory and motor areas that allows the animal to engage in complex behaviors. These anatomically and functionally unique areas and their distinct connections arise during early development, through a process termed arealization. Both intrinsic, activity-independent and extrinsic, activity-dependent mechanisms drive arealization, much of which occurs during the areal patterning period (APP) from late embryogenesis to early postnatal life. How areal boundaries and their connections develop and change from infancy to adulthood is not known. Additionally, the adult patterns of sensory and motor ipsilateral intraneocortical connections (INCs) have not been thoroughly characterized in the mouse. In this report and its companion (I), we present the first lifespan analysis of ipsilateral INCs among multiple sensory and motor regions in mouse. We describe the neocortical expression patterns of several developmentally regulated genes that are of central importance to studies investigating the molecular regulation of arealization, from postnatal day (P) 6 to P50. In this study, we correlate the boundaries of gene expression patterns with developing areal boundaries across a lifespan, in order to better understand the nature of gene-areal relationships from early postnatal life to adulthood.