Characterization of NADPH Diaphorase- and Doublecortin-Positive Neurons in the Lizard Hippocampal Formation.

Research paper by Matheus M Macedo-Lima, Marco Aurélio M MA Freire, Hugo H de Carvalho Pimentel, Lívia Cristina LC Rodrigues Ferreira Lins, Katty Anne KA Amador de Lucena Medeiros, Giordano Gubert GG Viola, José Ronaldo JR Dos Santos, Murilo M Marchioro

Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Brain, behavior and evolution


The lizard cortex has remarkable similarities with the mammalian hippocampus. Both regions process memories, have similar cytoarchitectural properties, and are important neurogenic foci in adults. Lizards show striking levels of widespread neurogenesis in adulthood and can regenerate entire cortical areas after injury. Nitric oxide (NO) is an important regulatory factor of mammalian neurogenesis and hippocampal function. However, little is known about its role in nonmammalian neurogenesis. Here, we analyzed the distribution, morphology, and dendritic complexity (Neurolucida reconstructions) of NO-producing neurons through NADPH diaphorase (NADPHd) activity, and how they compare with the distribution of doublecortin-positive (DCX+) neurons in the hippocampal formation of the neotropical lizard Tropidurus hispidus. NADPHd-positive (NADPHd+) neurons in the dorsomedial cortex (DMC; putatively homologous to mammalian CA3) were more numerous and complex than the ones in the medial cortex (MC; putatively homologous to the dentate gyrus). We found that NADPHd+ DMC neurons send long projections into the MC. Interestingly, in the MC, NADPHd+ neurons existed in 2 patterns: small somata with low intensity of staining in the outer layer and large somata with high intensity of staining in the deep layer, a pattern similar to the mammalian cortex. Additionally, NADPHd+ neurons were absent in the granular cell layer of the MC. In contrast, DCX+ neurons were scarce in the DMC but highly numerous in the MC, particularly in the granular cell layer. We hypothesize that NO-producing neurons in the DMC provide important input to proliferating/migrating neurons in the highly neurogenic MC.