The lamination and connectivity of embryonic cerebral cortex transplanted into newborn rat cortex

Fen‐Lei F. Chang, John G. Steedman, Raymond D. Lund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Scopus citations


Sheets of frontal or occipital cerebral cortex were taken from embryonic day (E) 15 rat embryos and placed in shallow depressions made in the occipitoparietal region of newborn rats. These transplants developed normal patterns of lamination, which could be in an inverted orientation if the transplant itself was placed upside down. Irrespective of the cortical area of origin of the grafted tissue, the transplants consistently received projections from those host thalamic nuclei that were normally found to innervate the adjacent host cortex. This indicates that immature cortical tissue, up to at least E15, may not contain the information necessary to define the specific thalamocortical connections characteristic of individual areas. On the contrary, the observed input pattern may be the result of sprouting of fibers that normally innervated host cortical regions adjacent to the transplant. Similarly, callosal afferents to transplants seemed to be a direct extension of the callosal input to the host cortex immediately beneath the transplant. Results from HRP studies of callosal connections indicated that transplant efferents to the contralateral cortex are smaller in magnitude than their afferents. This may be related to the superficial location of the transplants, which may limit the access transplant efferents have to the white matter. This study suggests that, while the cortical lamination is largely determined intrinsically, the innervation of the cortex is influenced by the context in which it develops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-411
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • callosal projection
  • embryonic transplant
  • frontal cortex
  • occipital cortex
  • thalamic projection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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