Original Research

Relationship between age and brainstem allometry in the African grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus Temminck, 1827)

Chikera S. Ibe, Ekele Ikpegbu, Oliver Nzalak
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 88 | a1481 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v88i0.1481 | © 2017 Chikera S. Ibe, Ekele Ikpegbu, Oliver Nzalak | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 October 2016 | Published: 05 July 2017

About the author(s)

Chikera S. Ibe, Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Nigeria
Ekele Ikpegbu, Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Nigeria
Oliver Nzalak, Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria


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Abstract

Allometric values of brainstem structures were evaluated in African grasscutters Thryonomys swinderianus (n = 27). Brain samples were extracted from 9 animals each of 3 days (neonates), 72 days (juveniles) and 450 days of age (adults). The midbrain, pons and medulla oblongata were separated from each brain sample and dimensions and weights obtained. The weights of the midbrain in the neonate, juvenile and adult African grasscutters were 0.33 g ± 0.01 g, 0.47 g ± 0.01 g and 0.93 g ± 0.02 g, respectively. The increase from neonate to juvenile (p = 0.002) and adult (p = 0.003) was significant. The pons lengths in the neonate, juvenile and adult were 2.05 mm ± 0.05 mm, 3.86 mm ± 0.05 mm and 4.16 mm ± 0.22 mm, respectively. There was a significant increase in the length of the pons from the neonate to the juvenile (p = 0.002), but the increase from the juvenile to the adult period was not significant (p = 0.263). There was also a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the weights and lengths of the medulla oblongata from neonate to juvenile and adult periods. In adults, the nose-rump length and the length of the medulla were significantly negatively correlated (r² = 0.47; p = 0.043). The present study concluded that the postnatal development of some brainstem structures in the African grasscutter varies with age.

Keywords

midbrain; pons; medulla oblongata; African grasscutter; thryonomys swinderianus; allometry

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