Thalamic nuclei in the opossum Monodelphis domestica

Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Seweryn OlkowiczR L Djavadian


We investigated nuclear divisions of the thalamus in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) to gain detailed information for further developmental and comparative studies. Nissl and myelin staining, histochemistry for acetylcholinesterase and immunohistochemistry for calretinin and parvalbumin were performed on parallel series of sections. Many features of the Monodelphis opossum thalamus resemble those in Didelphis and small eutherians showing no particular sensory specializations, particularly in small murid rodents. However, several features of thalamic organization in Monodelphis were distinct from those in rodents. In the opossum the anterior and midline nuclear groups are more clearly separated from adjacent structures than in eutherians. The dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd) starts more rostrally and occupies a large part of the lateral wall of the thalamus. As in other marsupials, two cytoarchitectonically different parts, alpha and beta are discernible in the LGNd of the opossum. Each of them may be subdivided into two additional bands in acetylcholinesterase staining, while in murid rodents the LGNd consists of a homogeneous mass of cells. Therefore, differentiation of the LGNd of the Monodelphis...Continue Reading


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