Distribution of calcium-binding proteins parvalbumin and calbindin in the thalamic auditory center in pigeons
Distribution of immunoreactivity (IR) to Ca-binding proteins (CaBPr) (calbindin, Calb, parvalbumin, Parv., and calretinin, Calr) was studied in the thalamus of the Central Asian terrestrial turtles (Testudo horsfieldi) and fresh water turtles (Emys orbicularis). There has been established a wide spread of these proteins, which combines overlapping and a relative alternation of distribution of different CaBPr in individual nuclei. A comparison of IR was made in two relay nuclei of the visual system, GLd and Rot. Both nuclei had IR to all CaBPr, but with different degree of intensity. In the terrestrial turtles, the amounts of Calb-, Parv-, and Calr-IR neurons in the cellular plate of the GLd were close. In this plate and in the neuropil part of this nucleus there was observed CaBPr-innervation of various density. Calr-IR neurons in the GLd of the fresh water turtles dominated over Parv- and Calb-IR neurons, whose detection varied significantly. In Rot, a clear predominance of Calb-IR neurons was shown over Parv- and Calr-IR cells by constancy of their detection, the number (1.5–2-fold higher), and intensity of the immune label, as well as the highest density of Calb and Parv innervation. The character of IR in the Rot was similar in the both turtle species. In the auditory and somatic relay thalamic nuclei and in the non-sensory anterior thalamic nuclei (Dma, Dla) there were present neurons and terminals with IR to all CaBPr without any predominance of Parv-IR in the relay nuclei and Calb-IR in the anterior thalamic nuclei. The constant and characteristic feature of Enta in the turtles of both species is a dense population of Parv-IR neurons, whose topography and cellular composition coincide with those of population of GABA-IR neurons in this nucleus. The data obtained have shown that the alternative presence of different CaBPr in the relay sensory and non-sensory thalamic nuclei, which has been established as a characteristic feature of the mammalian thalamus, is not characteristic at all of turtles. It seems that in the course of evolution there occurred a reorganization of distribution of different CaBPr in thalamic nuclei of amniotes due to changes of their functional loading. The reptilian thalamic sensory relay nuclei are likely to be represented mainly by less specific parts comparable with Calb-IR matrix of specific nuclei in the higher amniotes (mammals), while their more specialized (core) Parv-IR regions are formed later in evolution. Therefore, the distribution of Parv- and Calb-IR neurons in the turtle thalamic nuclei cannot be a criterion at evaluation of homology of thalamic nuclei in amniotes, but permits judging about the degree of their specialization.