Postnatal changes in the distribution and density of neuronal nuclei and doublecortin antigens in domestic chicks (Gallus domesticus)

Szilvia Mezey, Dragan Krivokuca, Eszter Bálint, András Adorján, Gergely Zachar, András Csillag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


To understand better the rate of neurogenesis and the distribution of new neurons in posthatch domestic chicks, we describe and compare the expression of the neuronal nuclei protein (NeuN, a.k.a. Fox-3) and doublecortin antigens in the whole brain of chicks 2 days, 8 days, and 14 weeks posthatch. In the forebrain ventricular and paraventricular zones, the density of bromodeoxyuridine-, NeuN-, and doublecortin-labeled cells was compared between chicks 24 hours and 7 days after an injection of bromodeoxyuridine (2 and 8 days posthatch, respectively). The distribution of NeuN-labeled neurons was similar to Nissl-stained tissue, with the exception of some areas where neurons did not express NeuN: cerebellar Purkinje cells and olfactory bulb mitral cells. The ventral tegmental area of 2-day-old chicks was also faintly labeled. The distribution of doublecortin was similar at all timepoints, with doublecortin-labeled profiles located throughout all forebrain areas as well as in the cerebellar granule cell layer. However, doublecortin labeling was not detectable in any midbrain or brainstem areas. Our data indicate that a significant number of new neurons is still formed in the telencephalon of posthatch domestic chicks, whereas subtelencephalic areas (except for the cerebellum) finish their neuronal expansion before hatching. Most newly formed cells in chicks leave the paraventricular zone after hatching, but a pool of neurons stays in the vicinity of the ventricular zone and matures in situ within 7 days. Proliferating cells often migrate laterally along forebrain laminae into still-developing brain areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-116
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Avian brain
  • Brain development
  • Fox-3
  • NeuN
  • Neurogenesis
  • Precocial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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