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Open Access Research article

Cyto-, myelo- and chemoarchitecture of the prefrontal cortex of the Cebus monkey

Roelf J Cruz-Rizzolo*, Miguel AX De Lima, Edilson Ervolino, José A de Oliveira and Claudio A Casatti

Author Affiliations

1Campus de Araçatuba, UNESP - Univ Estadual Paulista, Departamento de Ciências Básicas, São Paulo, Brazil

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BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12:6  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-6

Published: 13 January 2011

Abstract

Background

According to several lines of evidence, the great expansion observed in the primate prefrontal cortex (PfC) was accompanied by the emergence of new cortical areas during phylogenetic development. As a consequence, the structural heterogeneity noted in this region of the primate frontal lobe has been associated with diverse behavioral and cognitive functions described in human and non-human primates. A substantial part of this evidence was obtained using Old World monkeys as experimental model; while the PfC of New World monkeys has been poorly studied.

In this study, the architecture of the PfC in five capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) was analyzed based on four different architectonic tools, Nissl and myelin staining, histochemistry using the lectin Wisteria floribunda agglutinin and immunohistochemistry using SMI-32 antibody.

Results

Twenty-two architectonic areas in the Cebus PfC were distinguished: areas 8v, 8d, 9d, 12l, 45, 46v, 46d, 46vr and 46dr in the lateral PfC; areas 11l, 11m, 12o, 13l, 13m, 13i, 14r and 14c in the orbitofrontal cortex, with areas 14r and 14c occupying the ventromedial corner; areas 32r, 32c, 25 and 9m in the medial PfC, and area 10 in the frontal pole. This number is significantly higher than the four cytoarchitectonic areas previously recognized in the same species. However, the number and distribution of these areas in Cebus were to a large extent similar to those described in Old World monkeys PfC in more recent studies.

Conclusions

The present parcellation of the Cebus PfC considerably modifies the scheme initially proposed for this species but is in line with previous studies on Old World monkeys. Thus, it was observed that the remarkable anatomical similarity between the brains of genera Macaca and Cebus may extend to architectonic aspects. Since monkeys of both genera evolved independently over a long period of time facing different environmental pressures, the similarities in the architectonic maps of PfC in both genera are issues of interest. However, additional data about the connectivity and function of the Cebus PfC are necessary to evaluate the possibility of potential homologies or parallelisms.