The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)


Study on the lateral distribution in the expression of brain-specific proteins in the cerebral cortex in the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

TETYANA DUKA1, MUHAMMAD A. SPOCTER1, WILLIAM D. HOPKINS2,3, SARAH ANDERSON1, ZACHARY COLLINS1, CHERYL D. STIMPSON1, PATRICK R. HOF4 and CHET C. SHERWOOD1.

1Department of Anthropology, The George Washington University,Washington, DC 20052, 2Department of Psychology, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA 30030, 3Division of Psychobiology, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA 30322, 4Department of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029

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Despite the tremendous strides made toward the study of brain asymmetry and its behavioral correlates, there is still much to learn about microstructural and molecular lateralization of the cerebral cortex . It has been previously demonstrated that synaptophysin, a presynaptic vesicle-associated protein found in synapses of the central nervous system, is asymmetrically expressed in the primary motor cortex of the common chimpanzee (Sherwood et al 2010). In the present study, we extend our investigation of asymmetry in protein expression levels, using Western blot analysis, by examining the interhemispheric distribution of other synapse-associated proteins, including synapsin 1, alpha-synuclein, PSD95, GRIN3a, SNAP25 and syntaxin 1 in the chimpanzee primary motor cortex. In addition, we investigate the pattern of asymmetry in synaptophysin expression (N=4)in the homologues of three cortical regions implicated in human speech and language, including BA44, BA45, and BA22. Preliminary results based on a maximum of 10 individuals where available indicate that the three presynaptic localized proteins, synaptophysin, synapsin 1 and alpha-synuclein have higher expression levels in the right hemisphere whereas no marked lateralized distribution in expression pattern was observed for the other investigated proteins. The functional implications of these asymmetries of cellular compartments still remain unclear and warrant further investigation.

National Science Foundation (BCS-0515484, BCS-0549117, BCS- BCS-0824531, DGE-0801634) The National Institutes of Health (NS42867) The James S. McDonnell Foundation (22002078)

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