We estimated the proportion of cells eliminated by histogenetic cell death during the first 2 postnatal weeks in areas 1, 3 and 40 of the mouse parietal neocortex. For each layer and for the subcortical white matter in each neocortical area, the number of dying cells per mm2 was calculated and the proportionate cell death for each day of the 2-week interval was estimated. The data show that cell death proceeds essentially uniformly across the neocortical areas and layers and that it does not follow either the spatiotemporal gradient of cell cycle progression in the pseudostratified ventricular epithelium of the cerebral wall, the source of neocortical neurons, or the 'inside-out' neocortical neuronogenetic sequence. Therefore, we infer that the control mechanisms of neocortical histogenetic cell death are independent of mechanisms controlling neuronogenesis or neuronal migration but may be associated with the ingrowth, expansion and a system-wide matching of neuronal connectivity. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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