Stereological estimation of numerical densities of glutamatergic principal neurons in the mouse hippocampus

Shozo Jinno, Toshio Kosaka

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have emphasized functional dissociations between dorsal and ventral hippocampus in learning, emotion, and affect. A rigorous quantitative analysis concerning lamellar cytoarchitecture would be important for promoting further research on the regional differentiation of the hippocampus. Here, we stereologically estimated the numerical densities (NDs) of glutamatergic principal neurons in the mouse hippocampus and encountered the significant differences along the dorsoventral axis. In the CA1 region, the NDs of CA1 pyramidal neurons were almost three times higher at the dorsal level (447.5 × 103/mm3) than at the ventral level (180.5 × 103/mm3); meanwhile, along the transverse axis, the NDs were significantly higher in the proximal portion than in the distal portion both at the dorsal and ventral levels. An EF-hand calcium-binding protein, calbindin D28K, was expressed in ∼45% of CA1 pyramidal neurons both at the dorsal and ventral level. In the CA3 region, there were no significant differences in the NDs along the dorsoventral and transverse axes (dorsal, 165.2 × 103/mm3; ventral, 172.4 × 10 3/mm3). In the dentate gyrus (DG), the NDs of granule cells were significantly higher at the dorsal level (916.7 × 10 3/mm3) than at the ventral level (788.9 × 10 3/mm3). The significant differences were observed only in the suprapyramidal blade, but not in the infrapyramidal blade. Then, we calculated the total neuron numbers contained in a 300-μm-thick hypothetical transverse slice of the hippocampus and found that the ratios of GABAergic to glutamatergic neuron numbers were two to three times higher in the ventral slice than in the dorsal slice. The ratios of numbers of eight GABAergic neuron subtypes to principal cells indicate structural dissociations in the neural network between dorsal and ventral slices. These findings provide an essential quantitative basis for elucidating mechanisms of distinct neural circuits underlying various hippocampal functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-840
Number of pages12
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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