An estimate of the number of cells arising by division in mouse cerebral hemispheres from age one to 12 months: an autoradiographic study of DNA synthesis

J Comp Neurol. 1975 Jun 1;161(3):471-82. doi: 10.1002/cne.901610311.


Male CBA strain mice aged 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 months were injected with 5 muCi of 6-H3-thymidine per gm body weight and killed two hours after the injection. Incorporation of the isotope, as a measure of DNA synthesis and cell division, was studied in the cerebral cortex and corpus callosum by light-microscope autoradiography. DNA synthesis was found in a small number of nuclei of non-neuronal cells, both of ecto- and mesodermal origin. The percentage of labeled cells (Labeling Index, or LI) decreased in both regions exponentially with age. On the base of measured LI values, the total number of cells arising from age one to 12 months was calculated. As the reference value the number of cells in one month-old animals was taken. The calculated cell increment in the ectodermal population in the cortex amounted to 19.7-20.6% (average 20.2%) and to 196.0-425.0% (average 247.0%) in the corpus callosum (pairs of figures correspond to values calcualted from LI values measured in sagittal and frontal sections). When all labeled cells (LC) were taken into consideration (of both ecto- and mesodermal origin) the corresponding cell increment ranged from 25.0-30.5% (average 26.8%) in the cortex and from 205.0-454.8% (average 263.0%) in the corpus callosum. The number of all newly arising cells in the whole hemisphere (including both cerebral cortex and corpus calosum) calculated from mean LI values of all LC in sagittal and frontal sections amounted to 52.0%. It is suggested that the observed DNA synthesis and cell division, particularly in the corpus callosum and mesodermal cell groups of both regions studied, correspond mainly to renewal of cell populations. In the cerebral cortex accumulation of some newly arising cells in situ cannot be excluded.

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Division*
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Ventricles / cytology
  • Corpus Callosum / blood supply
  • Corpus Callosum / cytology
  • DNA / biosynthesis*
  • Male
  • Meninges / cytology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Neuroglia / cytology


  • DNA