3H-thymidine autoradiographic analysis of telencephalic histogenesis in the chick embryo: I. Neuronal birthdates of telencephalic compartments in situ

J Comp Neurol. 1981 May 10;198(2):275-92. doi: 10.1002/cne.901980207.


The birthdates of neuronal populations comprising the chick telencephalon were determined by 3H-thymidine labeling and were mapped with respect to their terminal positions in the 16-day embryo. Essentially all neurons were generated between four and nine days of embryonic development. Each telencephalic structure (based on terminology used by Karten and Hodos, '67) was characterized by a specific range of birthdates: some regions such as the core of the ectostriatum or the paleostriatum primitivum, were generated within a single day, while others, such as the hyperstriatum accessorium, required up to five days for generation of the complete population. Spatial-temporal gradients of neuronal birthdates, lateromedial and ventrodorsal, were seen in the telencephalon as a whole and within individual subcompartments as well. An "outside-in" pattern of histogenesis predominated throughout the entire telencephalon, including the dorsolateral cortex. However, notable exceptions pertaining to the paleostriatum augmentatum, hyperstriatum intercalatus and field "L" were observed. Glial cells, generated for the most part after day ten, were found to be distributed homogeneously throughout all areas of the telencephalon. These data provide the first birthdating data for an avian telencephalon and bring greater resolution to previous analyses of the histogenesis of this brain region. Further, the compartmentalization of the proliferative neuroepithelium is revealed by these data, and the possibility of a common time of origin in the neuroepithelium for neurons of related function is discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chick Embryo / growth & development*
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Morphogenesis
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Telencephalon / embryology*
  • Thymidine / metabolism


  • Thymidine