We have reported that female rats have more axons in the splenium of the corpus callosum than do male rats (12). To determine if the greater number of axons found in female rats might be reflected in a larger distribution of callosal projection neurons, horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was injected into the visual cortex of 55-65-day-old rats of both sexes that had been housed in a complex environment since weaning. The pattern of labeled neurons was examined in tangential sections in the cortex contralateral to the injection site, and three-dimensional reconstructions were quantified at the area 17/18a border and in area 18b. Male and female rats were found to have indistinguishable distributions of labeled callosal projection neurons. The present study failed to find an obvious difference in the distribution of projection neurons as the basis for the sex differences in axon number, but because of the limitations of tracing techniques, subtle differences cannot be excluded.
- Corpus callosum Sex difference HRP Axon Visual cortex Rat
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