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J Comp Neurol 2018 Apr 01;5265:836-857. doi: 10.1002/cne.24370.
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Three-dimensional reconstruction of the cranial and anterior spinal nerves in early tadpoles of Xenopus laevis (Pipidae, Anura).

Naumann B , Olsson L .

Xenopus laevis is one of the most widely used model organism in neurobiology. It is therefore surprising, that no detailed and complete description of the cranial nerves exists for this species. Using classical histological sectioning in combination with fluorescent whole mount antibody staining and micro-computed tomography we prepared a detailed innervation map and a freely-rotatable three-dimensional (3D) model of the cranial nerves and anterior-most spinal nerves of early X. laevis tadpoles. Our results confirm earlier descriptions of the pre-otic cranial nerves and present the first detailed description of the post-otic cranial nerves. Tracing the innervation, we found two previously undescribed head muscles (the processo-articularis and diaphragmatico-branchialis muscles) in X. laevis. Data on the cranial nerve morphology of tadpoles are scarce, and only one other species (Discoglossus pictus) has been described in great detail. A comparison of Xenopus and Discoglossus reveals a relatively conserved pattern of the post-otic and a more variable morphology of the pre-otic cranial nerves. Furthermore, the innervation map and the 3D models presented here can serve as an easily accessible basis to identify alterations of the innervation produced by experimental studies such as genetic gain- and loss of function experiments.

PubMed ID: 29218708
Article link: J Comp Neurol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: des.1 des.2 fubp1 slc16a3 tuba4b tubal3
Antibodies: Desmin Ab2 Tuba4b Ab5

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