Qualitative and quantitative aspects of the microanatomy of the African elephant cerebellar cortex

Brain, Behavior and Evolution
Busisiwe C MasekoPaul R Manger


The current study provides a number of novel observations on the organization and structure of the cerebellar cortex of the African elephant by using a combination of basic neuroanatomical and immunohistochemical stains with Golgi and stereologic analysis. While the majority of our observations indicate that the cerebellar cortex of the African elephant is comparable to other mammalian species, several features were unique to the elephant. The three-layered organization of the cerebellar cortex, the neuronal types and some aspects of the expression of calcium-binding proteins were common to a broad range of mammalian species. The Lugaro neurons observed in the elephant were greatly enlarged in comparison to those of other large-brained mammals, suggesting a possible alteration in the processing of neural information in the elephant cerebellar cortex. Analysis of Golgi impregnations indicated that the dendritic complexity of the different interneuron types was higher in elephants than other mammals. Expression of parvalbumin in the parallel fibers and calbindin expressed in the stellate and basket cells also suggested changes in the elephant cerebellar neuronal circuitry. The stereologic analysis confirmed and extended previous ...Continue Reading


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