Zebrin II Is Expressed in Sagittal Stripes in the Cerebellum of Dragon Lizards (Ctenophorus sp.)Wylie D.R.a · Hoops D.c · Aspden J.W.a · Iwaniuk A.N.b
aNeuroscience and Mental Health Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, and bDepartment of Neuroscience, Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, Canada; cUniversity Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
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Article / Publication Details
Aldolase C, also known as zebrin II (ZII), is a glycolytic enzyme that is expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells of the vertebrate cerebellum. In both mammals and birds, ZII is expressed heterogeneously, such that there are sagittal stripes of Purkinje cells with high ZII expression (ZII+) alternating with stripes of Purkinje cells with little or no expression (ZII-). In contrast, in snakes and turtles, ZII is not expressed heterogeneously; rather all Purkinje cells are ZII+. Here, we examined the expression of ZII in the cerebellum of lizards to elucidate the evolutionary origins of ZII stripes in Sauropsida. We focused on the central netted dragon (Ctenophorus nuchalis) but also examined cerebellar ZII expression in 5 other dragon species (Ctenophorus spp.). In contrast to what has been observed in snakes and turtles, we found that in these lizards, ZII is heterogeneously expressed. In the posterior part of the cerebellum, on each side of the midline, there were 3 sagittal stripes consisting of Purkinje cells with high ZII expression (ZII+) alternating with 2 sagittal stripes with weaker ZII expression (ZIIw). More anteriorly, most of the Purkinje cells were ZII+, except laterally, where the Purkinje cells did not express ZII (ZII-). Finally, all Purkinje cells in the auricle (flocculus) were ZII-. Overall, the parasagittal heterogeneous expression of ZII in the cerebellum of lizards is similar to that in mammals and birds, and contrasts with the homogenous ZII+ expression seen in snakes and turtles. We suggest that a sagittal heterogeneous expression of ZII represents the ancestral condition in stem reptiles which was lost in snakes and turtles.
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