Evidence for neurogenesis in the medial cortex of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius

Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 25;8(1):9648. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27880-6.


Although lizards are often described as having robust neurogenic abilities, only a handful of the more than 6300 species have been explored. Here, we provide the first evidence of homeostatic neurogenesis in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). We focused our study on the medial cortex, homologue of the mammalian hippocampal formation. Using immunostaining, we identified proliferating pools of neural stem/progenitor cells within the sulcus septomedialis, the pseudostratified ventricular zone adjacent to the medial cortex. Consistent with their identification as radial glia, these cells expressed SOX2, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and Vimentin, and demonstrated a radial morphology. Using a 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine cell tracking strategy, we determined that neuroblast migration from the ventricular zone to the medial cortex takes ~30-days, and that newly generated neuronal cells survived for at least 140-days. We also found that cell proliferation within the medial cortex was not significantly altered following rupture of the tail spinal cord (as a result of the naturally evolved process of caudal autotomy). We conclude that the sulcus septomedialis of the leopard gecko demonstrates all the hallmarks of a neurogenic niche.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cellular Microenvironment
  • Lizards*
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / cytology*