In this study, we employed morphometric image analysis of the hippocampus proper and temporal lobe neocortex in postmortem tissue to determine vertical bias quantified as ΔΘ, angular dispersion, as well asan index of alignment of cellular elements relative to the radial plane. The radial alignment of cellular elements was consistent with a minicolumnar organization of the cortex. Photomicrographs were taken of the left-hemisphere hippocampal CA3/1 subfields of 13 fetal subjects ranging in gestational age from 19 weeks to 36 weeks and 19 normal individuals aged 4 months to 98 years. For comparison, micrographs from the temporal lobe (Brodmann areas 21 and 22) were similarly processed for layers III and V, where the x-axes of the transformed coordinate system were taken to be the layer III/IV and IV/V borders, respectively. Computerized image analysis measurements of the angular dispersion for the temporal lobe region and hippocampus proper differed significantly within the same brains (p < 0.001). The neocortical layer III exhibited the highest values for ΔΘ, indicating a high degree of columnar organization. Values for ΔΘ in the hippocampal CA subfields were lower but demonstrated significance for the radial alignment of neurons in this area. Values for ΔΘin layer V were intermediate between those of layer III and the hippocampus, consistent with increasing degrees of radial columnar organization of infragranular layers of the neocortex in comparison with the hippocampus and of supragranular in comparison with infragranular neocortical layers. Pyramidal cell arrays within allocortical areas and the neocortex constitute different modular arrangements. This morphological variability may be the expression of evolutionary differences in cortical development.

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