Publication: Analysis of pallial/cortical interneurons in key vertebrate models of Testudines, Anurans and Polypteriform fshes
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The organization of the pallial derivatives across vertebrates follows a comparable elementary arrangement, although not all of them possess a layered cortical structure as sophisticated as the cerebral cortex of mammals. However, its expansion along evolution has only been possible by the development and coevolution of the cellular networks formed by excitatory neurons and inhibitory interneurons. Thus, the comparative analysis of interneuron types in vertebrate models of key evolutionary signifcance will provide important information, due to the extraordinary anatomical sophistication of their interneuron systems with simpler behavioral implications. Particularly in mammals, the main consensus for classifying interneuron types is based on non-overlapping markers, which do not form a single population, but consist of several distinct classes of inhibitory cells showing co-expression of other markers. In our study, we analyzed immunohistochemically the expression of the main markers like somatostatin (SOM), parvalbumin (PV), calretinin (CR), calbindin (CB), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and/or nitric oxide synthase (NOS) at the pallial regions of three diferent models of Osteichthyes. First, we selected two tetrapods, one amniote from the genus Pseudemys belonging to the order Testudine, at the base of the amniote diversifcation and with a three-layered simple cortex, and the Anuran Xenopus laevis, an anamniote tetrapod with a non-layered evaginated pallium, and fnally the order Polypteriform, a small fsh group at the base of the actinopterygian diversifcation with an everted telencephalon. SOM was the most conserved interneuron type in terms of its distribution and co-expression with other markers such as CR, in contrast to PV, which showed a diferent pattern between the models analyzed. In addition, the SOM expression supports a homological relationship between the medial pallial derivatives in all the models. CR and CB expressions in the tetrapods were observed, particularly, CR expressing cells were detected in the medial and the dorsal pallial derivatives, in contrast to CB, which appeared only in discrete scattered populations. However, the pallium of Polypteriforms fshes was almost devoid of CR cells, in contrast to the important number of CB cells observed in all the pallial regions. The NPY immunoreactivity was detected in all the pallial domains of all the models, as well as cells coexpressing CR. Finally, the pallial nitrergic expression was also conserved, which allows to postulate the homological relationships between the ventropallial and the amygdaloid derivatives. In summary, even in basal pallial models the neurochemically characterized interneurons indicate that their frst appearance took place before the common ancestor of amniotes. Thus, our results suggest a shared pattern of interneuron types in the pallium of all Osteichthyes.