A novel means of Y cell identification in the developing lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat

Neurosci Lett. 2000 Dec 1;295(1-2):5-8. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(00)01581-0.


We examined the postnatal development of putative Y cells in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) using the SMI-32 antibody, which has been demonstrated in the adult cat to stain cells with Y cell morphology. At birth, SMI-32 stained cells were concentrated in the interlaminar zones. During postnatal development, the SMI-32 staining gradually becomes more disperse and by P21 stained cells are found throughout the A and magnocellular C laminae. By the end of the first postnatal week, and in all later ages examined, the SMI-32 stained cells were significantly larger than the overall population of Nissl stained cells and interneurons (stained with an antibody against glutamic acid decarboxylase). Postnatal SMI-32 staining revealed a dramatic increase in soma sizes and the expansion of putative geniculate Y cell dendritic arbors that continued past the second postnatal month. In contrast, the growth of interneurons appeared to be complete by 3-4 postnatal weeks, at which time cell somas stained with SMI-32 have only reached a little over one half of their adult size. Similar to the adult cat, SMI-32 appears to selectively stain the Y cell population during development and may provide a useful morphological marker to examine the participation of Y cells in the developing postnatal circuitry of the dLGN. This further establishes the cat dLGN as a novel model system to study the normal function and pathological reorganization of neurofilaments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Biomarkers
  • Cats
  • Cell Size
  • Geniculate Bodies / cytology*
  • Geniculate Bodies / growth & development
  • Geniculate Bodies / metabolism
  • Interneurons / cytology
  • Interneurons / metabolism*
  • Neurofilament Proteins / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Neurofilament Proteins