The caudate-putamen (neostriatum) of the mammalian basal ganglia is composed of two neurochemically distinct compartments termed patch (island, striosome) and matrix the overall contribute to a mosaic organization. In the present study, the distribution of the developmentally regulated extracellular matrix molecule tenascin, as well as several other neural cell adhesion molecules, was examined in the neostriatal mosaic of the early postnatal mouse and compared with tyrosine hydroxylase distribution following partial destruction of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal projection. During normal neostriatal development, tenascin is most dense within the matrix compartment and highly concentrated in boundaries around patches. This pattern is apparent on embryonic day 18, and for the most part disappears by postnatal day 12. Tenascin immunoreactivity is altered in the neostriatum following lesions of the nigrostriatal pathway in the first postnatal week revealed by an overall reduced expression of this molecule and a marked reduction in tenascin staining of boundaries at the interface of tyrosine hydroxylase-rich patch and tyrosine hydroxylase-poor matrix compartments. When compared to tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity, other cell adhesion molecules tested failed to show altered intensities and patterns of immunoreactivity within the neostriatum after similar lesions. Reduced levels of tenascin in the lesioned neostriatum, in register with altered levels of tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining of dopaminergic inputs, suggests that axons may affect the expression of particular recognition molecules in their target structures. The fact that boundaries are malleable can be related to afferent-induced plastic events in the differentiation of cellular elements in the developing nigrostriatal system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Developmental Biology
- Developmental boundary
- Extracellular matrix molecule
- Substantia nigra