Cingulum NeuroSciences Institute, functions and pathologies of Cingulate Cortex



Book: Cingulate Neurobiology
and Disease


Neuroscientific Expertise


Cingulate NeuroTherapeutics

Localizing Cingulate

Cingulate Cortex

Rat Cingulate Cortex (PDF)

Monkey Cingulate Cortex (PDF)


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Rat Cingulate Cortex & Disease Models

Pain Processing, Cingulate Cortex and the Medical Pain System

A Psychiatrist’ Perspective on Cingulate Cortex

Alzheimer’s Disease

Kids’ Cingulate Kortex Korner




Quantitative Morphology
Testing hypotheses with structural neuroanatomy is a challenging effort because counting of objects is performed in the context of qualitative decisions about the limits of a particular layer or area. Although methods for random, systematic estimation of neuron numbers are quite advanced, there is still a high degree of judgement needed that can lend significant bias or distortion to data collection, analysis, and hypothesis testing. Defining the limits of layers and areas in the cingulate gyrus has proven a particularly vexing problem and we provide consulting services that bring to bear more than three decades of experience with these problems. We work with the brains of experimental animals (rat, rabbit, monkey) and humans in the following ways:

  • Preparation of Nissl stained tissue and interpretation thereof
  • Preparation and interpretation of tissue for immunohistochemical localization of many peptides

Each cortical layer is comprised of neurons of different shapes, sizes, and densities. In the photograph on the left, layers II and IV can be seen to have many small neurons, while layers IIIab and IIIc have larger neurons that are much less dense. In the preparations above, the neurons are all dark brown The blue cells are stained with thionin but not the antibody for neurons. The blue cells are either glial cells or endothelial cells that line blood vessels. The photograph on the right is a magnification of neurons in layer IIIab and it shows that they are large and pyramidal shaped and one can see the apical dendrites of these neurons projecting toward the top of the photograph.

  • Preparation and reconstruction of tract tracing studies
  • Preparation of in vitro ligand binding assays in tissue sections with film or coverslip autoradiography
  • Quantitative neuroimaging of ligand binding and immunohistochemical preparations
  • Neuron and/or glial number estimates with stereology
  • Multivariate statistical models with Principal Components Analysis of neuromorphology
  • Human postmortem tissue preparation and assessment; Nissl, immunohistochemistry, ligand binding
  • Multivariate analyses of human tissue in conjunction with patient characteristics, genotype, cognitive status

Many histological preparations are available for normative starting points in morphological, physiological, pharmacological, and neuropathological studies. This tissue provides important data bases related to cingulate cortex in each major species of mammal including human. This tissue can be provided for direct analysis or serve as the basis for customizing particular study needs. Processed medial cortex is available for Nissl, immunohistochemical, and ligand binding in the following tissues:

  • Normal Human
  • Control Cynomolgus and Rhesus Monkey
  • Alzheimer’s disease tissue
  • Rodent brain
  • Rabbit brain

The heart of neuroanatomical research is taking observations from the microscope to the printed page. We provide a full range of illustration activities so that investigators can make microscopic observations available for publication.

  • Digital macrophotography
  • Digital microphotography
  • Illustrations of neuronal organization and gross morphology
  • Flat map renderings of cortical surface in monkey and human brains from histological and structural imaging studies
  • Interpretation of clinical MRI and CT studies

Satoshi Minoshima and his colleagues (1997; Annals of Neurology 42:85-94) have shown that posterior cingulate cortex is the first region to experience glucose hypometabolism in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease when they were experiencing their first memory deficits. Metabolism in areas 23 and 31 (asterisks) for control and early Alzheimer’s disease cases is shown to the left. Areas with high normal metabolism (white) are greatly changed in Alzheimer’s disease. Notice that medial temporal cortices have glucose metabolism closer to control values. We at Cingulum NeuroSciences InstituteTM interpret these findings to mean that early memory and visiospatial impairments are due in large part to neurodegeneration in this posterior region.

Non-Invasive Imaging for CNS Drug Development
Non-invasive imaging methods (such as Morphometric Magnetic Resonance Imaging [MRI] and Functional MRI) have become established tools in the modern drug research and development process. We provide imaging expertise and consulting services to pharmaceutical companies. Our services include strategic development of techniques imaging technologies in drug research and development, which fit specific company needs and emphasize our structural expertise. We work closely with clinical program directors and discovery scientists in finding appropriate strategies to evaluate the sites of action of new compounds and drugs. We educate company personnel in imaging localization technologies and provide input on how to link together novel imaging methods and clinical trials in the drug development process.

  • Morphometric MRI
  • Functional MRI
  • PET and MicroPET

Training for Medical Doctors in Limbic Neurobiology
Medial limbic structures are of profound import to brain function and the onset and progression of many neurological and psychiatric diseases. Nonetheless, physicians rarely receive adequate training into the organization and functions of these structures, including the cingulate gyrus. We provide "hands-on" experiences in the structure, functions, and pathologies of this part of the brain to clinicians as part of our Clinical Research Residency Program. Some of the activities provided include the following:

  • Structure and connections of monkey limbic cortex
  • Structure of human cingulate gyrus
  • Homologies among limbic cortices in rodents and primates
  • Multivariate models of cortical structure and cognitive functions
  • Behavioral testing of limbic functions in experimental animals and humans
  • Dementia assessment and postmortem studies of Alzheimer’s disease

copyright 2004-2009 Cingulum NeuroSciences Institute. All rights reserved.
Brent A. and Leslie J. Vogt.