Sections of the retrosplenial cortex from adult and newborn mouse brains were observed with a light microscope. The retrosplenial cortex of the adult animals contained many neurons (10% of the total), including some dark neurons, with perineuronal sulfated proteoglycans detectable with cationic iron colloid and aldehyde fuchsin. The retrosplenial cortex of the adult animals also contained many neurons (10% of the total) with cell surface glycoproteins reactive to lectin Vicia villosa, soybean or Wisteria floribunda agglutinin. Double staining showed that the majority (75%) of the neurons labeled with lectins were stained with cationic iron colloid, and that some (25%) of them were not stained with this colloid. Double staining also showed that some (25%) of the neurons stained with cationic iron colloid were not labeled with lectins. These findings indicate that the perineuronal sulfated proteoglycans are, at least partly, independent from the cell surface glycoproteins. Observations of the sections from the newborn animals revealed that the perineuronal sulfated proteoglycans were produced by the associated satellite astrocytes 3-4 weeks after birth, and that the cell surface glycoproteins were produced by the associated nerve cells at earlier stages, or 2-3 weeks after birth. Dark neurons began to appear 3-4 weeks after birth. These dark neurons or their Golgi complexes were also reactive to lectins, suggesting the production of cell surface glycoproteins.
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