The basic anatomy of the elasmobranch brain has been previously established after studying the organization of the different subdivisions in the adult brain. However, despite the relatively abundant immunohistochemical and hodologic studies performed in different species of sharks and skates, the organization of some brain subdivisions remains unclear. The present study focuses on some brain regions in which subdivisions established on the basis of anatomical data in adults remain controversial, such as the subpallium, mainly the striatal subdivision. Taking advantage of the great potential of the lesser spotted dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula, as a model for developmental studies, we have characterized the subpallium throughout development and postembryonic stages by analyzing the distribution of immunomarkers for GABA, catecholamines, and neuropeptides, such as substance P. Moreover, we have analyzed the expression pattern of regulatory genes involved in the regionalization of the telencephalon, such as Dlx2, Nkx2.1, and Shh, and followed their derivatives throughout development in relation to the distribution of such neurochemical markers. For further characterization, we have also analyzed the patterns of innervation of the subpallium after applying tract-tracing techniques. Our observations may shed light on postulate equivalences of regions and nuclei among elasmobranchs and support homologies with other vertebrates.

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