Proliferative activity and motoneurone recruitment persist at the spinal cord central canal during larval and some postlarval stages in the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

A. Alunni, F. Pierucci, M. Aita, V. Margotta, R. De Vita, L. Alfei

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We previously found a linear relationship between the cross sectional myotomal area and the motoneurone number in the growing trout during postlarval stages. These neurones increased in number until a fish length of 150 mm, which prompted us to examine how motor neurones are recruited afterwards to meet the growth of their target myotomal muscle. Young adult (260 mm in length), fingerhngs (F, 120-170 mm), fry (Fr, 70 mm) and eleutherembryos (Es, 20-30 mm) of rainbow trout (Oncorhyncus my kiss) were employed in this study. PCNA immunohistochemistry was used for monitoring the proliferative activity in the epithelium of the spinal cord central canal. This activity was quantified as the number of PCNA labelled cells for each spinal cord section. In Es and Fry, a mean value of 3-5 labelled cells for each section was found with a sharp decrease in young F (120 mm long). After this fish length, it was not possible to quantitatively evaluate the proliferative activity at the central canal. However, labelled cells were seldom found in the spinal cord sections until a fish length of 260 mm. From these data it is possible to conclude that motoneurone recruitment in the trout spinal cord is down-regulated at the F stage. Afterwards, we found that motoneurones increase in size to meet the growth of their target myotomal muscle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191 - 202
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Histochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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