Development of Calbindin‐D28k Immunoreactive Neurons in the Embryonic Chick Lumbosacral Spinal Cord

Miklós Antal, Erika Polgár

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The development of immunoreactivity for the calcium‐binding protein calbindin‐D28k (CaB) was investigated in the embryonic and hatched chick lumbosacral spinal cord. CaB‐immunoreactive neurons were revealed in the dorsal and ventral horns as well as in the intermediate grey matter from early stages of neuronal development. CaB immunoreactivity was first detected in large neurons in the presumptive dorsal horn at embyronic day 5, while small neurons in the lateral dorsal horn were the last to appear, at embryonic day 10. We have identified and traced the morphological maturation of six CaB‐immunoreactive cell groups, three in the dorsal horn and three in the ventral horn. In the dorsal horn these groups were (1) large neurons in the lateral dorsal horn (laminae I and IV), (2) small neurons in the lateral dorsal horn (lamina II), and (3) small neurons in the medial dorsal horn (lamina III). All three groups were present throughout the entire length of the lumbosacral spinal cord and showed persistent CaB immunoreactivity. In the ventral horn, CaB‐immunoreactive neurons were classified into the following three categories: (1) Neurons dorsal to the lateral motor column (lamina VII). These neurons were present exclusively in the upper lumbosacral segments (LS1 – 3), and they showed steady CaB immunoreactivity during their maturation. (2) Neurons at the dorsomedial aspect of the lateral motor column (at the border of laminae VII and IX). This population of neurons was characteristic of the lower segments of the lumbosacral cord (LS5 – 7) and presented transient CaB expression. (3) Neurons within the lateral motor column (lamina IX). These neurons were dispersed throughout the length of the lumbosacral spinal cord. They were three to four times more numerous in the upper than in the lower lumbosacral segments, and their numbers declined throughout LS1 – 7 as the animal matured. The characteristic features of the development of neurons immunoreactive for CaB are discussed and correlated with previous neuroanatomical and physiological studies concerning sensory and motor functions of the developing chick spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-794
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1993



  • calcium‐binding protein
  • immunocytochemistry
  • spinal interneurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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