Doublecortin expression in adult cat and primate cerebral cortex relates to immature neurons that develop into GABAergic subgroups

Yan Cai, Kun Xiong, Yaping Chu, Duan Wu Luo, Xue Gang Luo, Xian Yui Yuan, Robert G. Struble, Richard W. Clough, Dennis D. Spencer, Anne Williamson, Jeffrey H. Kordower, Peter R. Patrylo, Xiao Xin Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


DCX-immunoreactive (DCX+) cells occur in the piriform cortex in adult mice and rats, but also in the neocortex in adult guinea pigs and rabbits. Here we describe these cells in adult domestic cats and primates. In cats and rhesus monkeys, DCX+ cells existed across the allo- and neocortex, with an overall ventrodorsal high to low gradient at a given frontal plane. Labeled cells formed a cellular band in layers II and upper III, exhibiting dramatic differences in somal size (5-20 μm), shape (unipolar, bipolar, multipolar and irregular), neuritic complexity and labeling intensity. Cell clusters were also seen in this band, and those in the entorhinal cortex extended into deeper layers as chain-like structures. Densitometry revealed a parallel decline of the cells across regions with age in cats. Besides the cellular band, medium-sized cells with weak DCX reactivity resided sparsely in other layers. Throughout the cortex, virtually all DCX+ cells co-expressed polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule. Medium to large mature-looking DCX+ cells frequently colocalized with neuron-specific nuclear protein and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and those with a reduced DCX expression also partially co-labeled for glutamic acid decarboxylase, parvalbumin, calbindin, β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase and neuronal nitric oxide synthase. Similar to cats and monkeys, small and larger DCX+ cells were detected in surgically removed human frontal and temporal cortices. These data suggest that immature neurons persist into adulthood in many cortical areas in cats and primates, and that these cells appear to undergo development and differentiation to become functional subgroups of GABAergic interneurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-356
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Corticogenesis
  • GABAergic
  • Interneurons
  • Layer II
  • Neuroplasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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