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Open Access Research article

Distribution and densitometry mapping of L1-CAM Immunoreactivity in the adult mouse brain – light microscopic observation

Hana Munakata1, Yukiko Nakamura1, Kazumasa Matsumoto-Miyai, Kouichi Itoh2, Hironobu Yamasaki1 and Sadao Shiosaka1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Structural Cell Biology, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, NAIST, 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma city, Nara 630-0192, Japan

2 Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Organization, 3-18-22 Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan

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BMC Neuroscience 2003, 4:7  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-4-7

Published: 16 April 2003

Abstract

Background

The importance of L1 expression in the matured brain is suggested by physiological and behavioral studies showing that L1 is related to hippocampal plasticity and fear conditioning. The distribution of L1 in mouse brain might provide a basis for understanding its role in the brain.

Results

We examined the overall distribution of L1 in the adult mouse brain by immunohistochemistry using two polyclonal antibodies against different epitopes for L1. Immunoreactive L1 was widely but unevenly distributed from the olfactory bulb to the upper cervical cord. The accumulation of immunoreactive L1 was greatest in a non-neuronal element of the major fibre bundles, i.e. the lateral olfactory tract, olfactory and temporal limb of the anterior commissure, corpus callosum, stria terminalis, globus pallidus, fornix, mammillothalamic tract, solitary tract, and spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve. High to highest levels of non-neuronal and neuronal L1 were found in the grey matter; i.e. the piriform and entorhinal cortices, hypothalamus, reticular part of the substantia nigra, periaqueductal grey, trigeminal spinal nucleus etc. High to moderate density of neuronal L1 was found in the olfactory bulb, layer V of the cerebral cortex, amygdala, pontine grey, superior colliculi, cerebellar cortex, solitary tract nucleus etc. Only low to lowest levels of neuronal L1 were found in the hippocampus, grey matter in the caudate-putamen, thalamus, cerebellar nuclei etc.

Conclusion

L1 is widely and unevenly distributed in the matured mouse brain, where immunoreactivity was present not only in neuronal elements; axons, synapses and cell soma, but also in non-neuronal elements.