The entorhinal cortex of the Megachiroptera: a comparative study of Wahlberg's epauletted fruit bat and the straw-coloured fruit bat.
ABSTRACT This study describes the organisation of the entorhinal cortex of the Megachiroptera, straw-coloured fruit bat and Wahlberg's epauletted fruit bat. Using Nissl and Timm stains, parvalbumin and SMI-32 immunohistochemistry, we identified five fields within the medial (MEA) and lateral (LEA) entorhinal areas. MEA fields E(CL) and E(C) are characterised by a poor differentiation between layers II and III, a distinct layer IV and broad, stratified layers V and VI. LEA fields E(I), E(R) and E(L) are distinguished by cell clusters in layer II, a clear differentiation between layers II and III, a wide columnar layer III and a broad sublayer Va. Clustering in LEA layer II was more typical of the straw-coloured fruit bat. Timm-staining was most intense in layers Ib and II across all fields and layer III of field E(R). Parvalbumin-like staining varied along a medio-lateral gradient with highest immunoreactivity in layers II and III of MEA and more lateral fields of LEA. Sparse SMI-32-like immunoreactivity was seen only in Wahlberg's epauletted fruit bat. Of the neurons in MEA layer II, ovoid stellate cells account for approximately 38%, polygonal stellate cells for approximately 8%, pyramidal cells for approximately 18%, oblique pyramidal cells for approximately 6% and other neurons of variable morphology for approximately 29%. Differences between bats and other species in cellular make-up and cytoarchitecture of layer II may relate to their three-dimensional habitat. Cytoarchitecture of layer V in conjunction with high encephalisation and structural changes in the hippocampus suggest similarities in efferent hippocampal --> entorhinal --> cortical interactions between fruit bats and primates.
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ABSTRACT: Species-specific characteristics of neuronal plasticity emerging from comparative studies can address the functional relevance of hippocampal or cortical plasticity in the light of ecological adaptation and evolutionary history of a given species. Here, we present a quantitative and qualitative analysis of neurogenesis in young and adult free-living Wahlberg's epauletted fruit bats. Using the markers for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), doublecortin (DCX) and polysialic acid neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM), our findings in the hippocampus, olfactory bulb and cortical regions are described and compared to reports in other mammals. Expressed as a percentage of the total number of granule cells, PCNA- and BrdU-positive cells accounted for 0.04 in young to 0.01% in adult animals; DCX-positive cells for 0.05 (young) to 0.01% (adult); PSA-NCAM-positive cells for 0.1 (young) to 0.02% (adult), and pyknotic cells for 0.007 (young) to 0.005% (adult). The numbers were comparable to other long-lived, late-maturing mammals such as primates. A significant increase in the total granule cell number from young to adult animals demonstrated the successful formation and integration of new cells. In adulthood, granule cell number appeared stable and was surprisingly low in comparison to other species. Observations in the olfactory bulb and rostral migratory stream were qualitatively similar to descriptions in other species. In the ventral horn of the lateral ventricle, we noted prominent expression of DCX and PSA-NCAM forming a temporal migratory stream targeting the piriform cortex, possibly reflecting the importance of olfaction to these species. Low, but persistent hippocampal neurogenesis in non-echolocating fruit bats contrasted the findings in echolocating microbats, in which hippocampal neurogenesis was largely absent. Together with the observed intense cortical plasticity in the olfactory system of fruit bats we suggest a differential influence of sensory modalities on hippocampal and cortical plasticity in this mammalian order.Brain Behavior and Evolution 01/2010; 76(2):116-27. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Both bats and rats exhibit grid cells in medial entorhinal cortex that fire as they visit a regular array of spatial locations. In rats, grid-cell firing field properties correlate with theta-frequency rhythmicity of spiking and membrane-potential resonance; however, bat grid cells do not exhibit theta rhythmic spiking, generating controversy over the role of theta rhythm. To test whether this discrepancy reflects differences in rhythmicity at a cellular level, we performed whole-cell patch recordings from entorhinal neurons in both species to record theta-frequency resonance. Bat neurons showed no theta-frequency resonance, suggesting grid-cell coding via different mechanisms in bats and rats or lack of theta rhythmic contributions to grid-cell firing in either species.Science 04/2013; 340(6130):363-367. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Daily life of wild mammals is characterized by a multitude of attractive and aversive stimuli. The hippocampus processes complex polymodal information associated with such stimuli and mediates adequate behavioral responses. How newly generated hippocampal neurons in wild animals contribute to hippocampal function is still a subject of debate. Here, we test the relationship between adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) and habitat types. To this end, we compare wild Muridae species of southern Africa [Namaqua rock mouse (Micaelamys namaquensis), red veld rat (Aethomys chrysophilus), highveld gerbil (Tatera brantsii), and spiny mouse (Acomys spinosissimus)] with data from wild European Muridae [long-tailed wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus), pygmy field mice (Apodemus microps), yellow-necked wood mice (Apodemus flavicollis), and house mice (Mus musculus domesticus)] from previous studies. The pattern of neurogenesis, expressed in normalized numbers of Ki67- and Doublecortin(DCX)-positive cells to total granule cells (GCs), is similar for the species from a southern African habitat. However, we found low proliferation, but high neuronal differentiation in rodents from the southern African habitat compared to rodents from the European environment. Within the African rodents, we observe additional regulatory and morphological traits in the hippocampus. Namaqua rock mice with previous pregnancies showed lower AHN compared to males and nulliparous females. The phylogenetically closely related species (Namaqua rock mouse and red veld rat) show a CA4, which is not usually observed in murine rodents. The specific features of the southern environment that may be associated with the high number of young neurons in African rodents still remain to be elucidated. This study provides the first evidence that a habitat can shape adult neurogenesis in rodents across phylogenetic groups.Frontiers in Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:59.