Cytoarchitectonic and chemoarchitectonic characterization of the prefrontal cortical areas in the mouseReport as inadecuate

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Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 214, Issue 4, pp 339–353

First Online: 12 March 2010Received: 04 August 2009Accepted: 18 February 2010


This study describes cytoarchitectonic criteria to define the prefrontal cortical areas in the mouse brain C57BL-6 strain. Currently, well-illustrated mouse brain stereotaxic atlases are available, which, however, do not provide a description of the distinctive cytoarchitectonic characteristics of individual prefrontal areas. Such a description is of importance for stereological, neuronal tracing, and physiological, molecular and neuroimaging studies in which a precise parcellation of the prefrontal cortex PFC is required. The present study describes and illustrates: the medial prefrontal areas, i.e., the infralimbic, prelimbic, dorsal and ventral anterior cingulate and Fr2 area; areas of the lateral PFC, i.e., the dorsal agranular insular cortical areas and areas of the ventral PFC, i.e., the lateral, ventrolateral, ventral and medial orbital areas. Each cytoarchitectonically defined boundary is corroborated by one or more chemoarchitectonic stainings, i.e., acetylcholine esterase, SMI32, SMI311, dopamine, parvalbumin, calbindin and myelin staining.

KeywordsCortical parcellation Infralimbic, prelimbic, anterior cingulate, Fr2, agranular insular and orbital cortical areas Nissl Myelin Acetylcholinesterase Dopamine Calcium binding proteins SMI-32 SMI-311 AbbreviationsACdDorsal agranular cingulate area

ACvVentral agranular cingulate area, dorsal and ventral part

AId1Dorsal agranular insular area, dorsal part

AId2Dorsal agranular insular area, ventral part

AIvVentral agranular insular area

AIpPosterior agranular insular area



ccCorpus callosum


DIDysgranular insular area

DLODorsolateral orbital area

FPlLateral frontal polar area

FPmMedial frontal polar area

Fr1Frontal area 1

Fr2Frontal area 2

GIGranular insular area

IGIndusium griseum

ILInfralimbic area

LOLateral orbital area

MOMedial orbital area

OBOlfactory bulb

PFCPrefrontal cortex

PLPrelimbic area


RSAAgranular retrosplenial cortex

RSGGranular retrosplenial cortex

VLOVentrolateral orbital area

VLOpPosterior ventrolateral orbital area

VOVentral orbital area

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Author: H. J. J. M. Van De Werd - G. Rajkowska - P. Evers - Harry B. M. Uylings


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