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The development and general morphology of the telencephalon of actinopterygian fishes: synopsis, documentation and commentary

By Rudolf Nieuwenhuys


The Actinopterygii or ray-finned fishes comprise, in addition to the large superorder of teleosts, four other superorders, namely the cladistians, the chondrosteans, the ginglymodes, and the halecomorphs, each with a limited number of species. The telencephalon of actinopterygian fishes differs from that in all other vertebrates in that it consists of a pair of solid lobes. Lateral ventricles surrounded by nervous tissue are entirely lacking. At the end of the nineteenth century, the theory was advanced that the unusual configuration of the forebrain in actinopterygians results from an outward bending or eversion of its lateral walls. This theory was accepted by some authors, rejected or neglected by others, and modified by some other authors. The present paper is based on the data derived from the literature, complemented by new observations on a large collection of histological material comprising specimens of all five actinopterygian superorders. The paper consists of three parts. In the first, a survey of the development of the telencephalon in actinopterygian fishes is presented. The data collected show clearly that an outward bending or eversion of the pallial parts of the solid hemispheres is the principal morphogenetic event in all five actinopterygian superorders. In all of these superorders, except for the cladistians, eversion is coupled with a marked thickening of the pallial walls. In the second part, some aspects of the general morphology of the telencephalon in mature actinopterygians are highlighted. It is pointed out that (1) the degree of eversion varies considerably among the various actinopterygian groups; (2) eversion leads to the transformation of the telencephalic roof plate into a wide membrane or tela choroidea, which is bilaterally attached to the lateral or ventrolateral aspect of the solid hemispheres; (3) the lines of attachment or taeniae of the tela choroidea form the most important landmarks in the telencephalon of actinopterygians, indicating the sites where the greatly enlarged ventricular surface of the hemispheres ends and its reduced meningeal surface begins; (4) the meningeal surface of the telencephalon shows in most actinopterygians bilaterally a longitudinally oriented sulcus externus, the depth of which is generally positively correlated with the degree of eversion; (5) a distinct lateral olfactory tract, occupying a constant topological position close to the taenia, is present in all actinopterygians studied; and (6) this tract is not homologous to the tract of the same name in the evaginated and inverted forebrains of other groups of vertebrates. In the third and final section, the concept that the structural organization of the pallium in actinopterygians can be fully explained by a simple eversion of its walls, and the various theories, according to which the eversion is complicated by extensive shifts of its constituent cell groups, are discussed and evaluated. It is concluded that there are no reasons to doubt that the pallium of actinopterygian fishes is the product of a simple and complete eversion

Topics: Review
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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