The entorhinal cortex of the Megachiroptera: a comparative study of Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat and the straw-coloured fruit bat
Gatome, Catherine W
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This study describes the organisation of the entorhinal cortex of the Megachiroptera, straw-coloured fruit bat and Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat. Using Nissl and Timm stains, parvalbumin and SMI-32 immunohistochemistry, we identified five fields within the medial (MEA) and lateral (LEA) entorhinal areas. MEA fields E CL and E C are characterised by a poor differentiation between layers II and III, a distinct layer IV and broad, stratified layers V and VI. LEA fields E I, E R and E L are distinguished by cell clusters in layer II, a clear differentiation between layers II and III, a wide columnar layer III and a broad sublayer Va. Clustering in LEA layer II was more typical of the straw-coloured fruit bat. Timm-staining was most intense in layers Ib and II across all fields and layer III of field E R. Parvalbumin-like staining varied along a medio-lateral gradient with highest immunoreactivity in layers II and III of MEA and more lateral fields of LEA. Sparse SMI-32-like immunoreactivity was seen only in Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat. Of the neurons in MEA layer II, ovoid stellate cells account for ~38%, polygonal stellate cells for ~8%, pyramidal cells for ~18%, oblique pyramidal cells for ~6% and other neurons of variable morphology for ~29%. Differences between bats and other species in cellular make-up and cytoarchitecture of layer II may relate to their three-dimensional habitat. Cytoarchitecture of layer V in conjunction with high encephalisation and structural changes in the hippocampus suggest similarities in efferent hippocampal → entorhinal → cortical interactions between fruit bats and primates.