Regional density of glial cells in the rat corpus callosum
Axons and glial cells are the main components of white matter. The corpus callosum (CC) is the largest white matter tract in mammals; in rodents, 99% of the cells correspond to glia after postnatal day 5 (P5). The area of the CC varies through life and regional differences related to the number of axons have been previously described. Whether glial cell density varies accordingly is unknown; thus the aim of this study was to estimate glial cell density for the genu, body and splenium -the three main regions of CC-, of P6 and P30 rats. Here we report that the density of CC glial cells reduced by ~10% from P6 to P30. Even so, the density of astrocytes showed a slight increase (+6%), probably due to differentiation of glioblasts. Interestingly, glial cell density decreased for the genu (-21%) and the body (-13%), while for the splenium a minor increase (+5%) was observed. The astrocyte/glia ratio increased (from P6 to P30) for the genu (+27%), body (+17%) and splenium (+4%). Together, our results showed regional differences in glial cell density of the CC. Whether this pattern is modified in some neuropathologies remains to be explored.