Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute


Generation of neurons in the brains of adult birds has been studied extensively in the telencephalon of song birds and few studies are reported on the distribution of PCNA and DCX in the telencephalon of adult non-song learning birds. We report here on adult neurogenesis throughout the brains of two breeds of adult domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica), the racing homer and utility carneau using endogenous immunohistochemical markers proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) for proliferating cells and doublecortin (DCX) for immature and migrating neurons. The distribution of PCNA and DCX immunoreactivity was very similar in both pigeon breeds with only a few minor differences. In both pigeons, PCNA and DCX immunoreactivity was observed in the olfactory bulbs, walls of the lateral ventricle, telencephalic subdivisions of the pallium and subpallium, diencephalon, mesencephalon and cerebellum. Generally, the olfactory bulbs and telencephalon had more PCNA and DCX cells than other regions. Two proliferative hotspots were evident in the dorsal and ventral poles of the lateral ventricles. PCNA- and DCX-immunoreactive cells migrated radially from the walls of the lateral ventricle into the parenchyma. In most telencephalic regions, the density of PCNA- and DCX-immunoreactive cells increased from rostral to caudal, except in the mesopallium where the density decreased from rostral to middle levels and then increased caudally. DCX immunoreactivity was more intense in fibres than in cell bodies and DCX-immunoreactive cells included small granular cells, fusiform bipolar cells, large round and or polygonal multipolar cells. The similarity in the distribution of proliferating cells and new neurons in the telencephalon of the two breeds of pigeons may suggest that adult neurogenesis is a conserved trait as an ecological adaptation irrespective of body size.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Neural Regeneration Research