Prenatal and postnatal expression of nitric oxide in the developing kitten superior colliculus revealed with NADPH diaphorase histochemistry
Nitric oxide (NO) is a neuronal messenger molecule that mediates pathway refinement in some brain regions. We used nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPHd) histochemistry to examine the development of NO expression in the superior colliculus (SC) of kittens aged E28–E58 and P2–P57 and adults in order to determine if NO expression is correlated with pathway refinement. At E28, labeled cells were seen only within the subventricular zone (SVZ). At E36–E41, labeled cells were also found within the deep gray layer (DGL) of SC. At E51 and E58, a few labeled neurons were also present in the intermediate gray layer (IGL). These neurons already had extensive dendritic fields and well-developed morphologies at the time that they first expressed nitric oxide synthase (NOS). The number of neurons labeled in the DGL and IGL increased postnatally, reaching a peak density between P14 and P35. Neurons within the optic (OL) and superficial gray layers (SGL) were first visible at P7 and increased slightly in number until adulthood. However, SGL-labeled neurons were relatively limited in number and lightly labeled at all ages examined. We conclude that (1) NADPHd expression occurs in SC beginning in the second trimester in kittens and progresses in a ventral to dorsal pattern between E36–P35; (2) few neurons in kitten SGL are labeled by NADPHd and these appear relatively late in postnatal development; and (3) there is no correlation between NOS expression and retinocollicular pathway refinement in kittens, a result different from that seen in rodents.(Received June 1 2000)
(Accepted August 14 2000)
Key Words: Visual system; Synaptic plasticity; Tectum; Oculomotor system; Nitric oxide synthase.
c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: R. Ranney Mize, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, LSU Health Sciences Center, 1901 Perdido Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org