Temporal sequence of neurotransmitter expression by developing neurons of fetal monkey visual cortex

G. W. Huntley, S. H.C. Hendry, H. P. Killackey, L. M. Chalupa, E. G. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The developing fetal monkey visual cortex was studied immunocytochemically from 110-155 days post-conception in order to localize cell populations immunoreactive (ir) for γ-aminobutyric acid, Substance P, cholecystokinin-octapeptide, somatostatin, neuropeptide Y, and proenkephalin A peptide (BAM-18). The area 17/18 border and all cortical laminae identified in the adult visual cortex were discernible from the youngest age examined. All ir-cell populations studied were present at each fetal age. However, despite a relatively adult-like cytoarchitecture, all ir-cell populations studied displayed patterns of immunostaining which were unlike those described in adult visual cortex, and showed significant changes in laminar distribution, morphology, and numbers over the time course of gestation examined. Despite the differences in the patterns of immunostaining between the fetal and adult visual cortex, ir-cell populations intrinsic to the developing visual cortex exhibited adult-like combinations of co-localized transmitters and peptides. The developing monkey cortex also contains ir-cell populations, particularly BAM-18-ir cells, which have not been detected immunocytochemically in the adult monkey cortex. Differences between the fetal and the adult ir-cell populations might be accounted for by cell death, morphological transformation, secondary migration or changes in gene expression for neurotransmitters and neuropeptides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-96
Number of pages28
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Neuropeptide
  • Substance P
  • Visual cortex
  • γ-Aminobutyric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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