Protein Expression in the Amygdala

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Speculative Difference
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Humans evolved differences in the expression of calcium-binding proteins and extracellular-matix glycoproteins. Humans show different patterns of expression of the calcium-binding protein calbindin and of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan than do macaques and rats. No information is available for chimpanzees, however, so it is unclear whether this is a human or an ape-human specialization.

Timing

Timing of appearance of the difference in the Hominin Lineage as a defined date or a lineage separation event. The point in time associated with lineage separation events may change in the future as the scientific community agrees upon better time estimates. Lineage separation events are defined in 2017 as:

  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and old world monkeys was 25,000 - 30,000 thousand (25 - 30 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees was 6,000 - 8,000 thousand (6 - 8 million) years ago
  • the emergence of the genus Homo was 2,000 thousand (2 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and neanderthals was 500 thousand years ago
  • the common ancestor of modern humans was 100 - 300 thousand years ago

Possible Appearance: 
25,000 thousand years ago
Definite Appearance: 
100 thousand years ago
Background Information: 

Humans evolved differences in the expression of calcium-binding proteins and extracellular-matix glycoproteins. The calcium-binding protein calbindin (CB) is expressed by fewer neurons in humans than in macaques or rats (Sorvari et al., 1996). Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, which can be labeled with the Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA), is reported to be expressed by glial cells (mainly astrocytes) as well as neurons in humans, whereas in macaques and rats, it is expressed exclusively by neurons (Pantazopoulus et al. 2008).  No information is available for chimpanzees, however, so it is unclear whether this is a human or an ape-human specialization.

Universality in Human Populations: 

 Unknown

Mechanisms Responsible for the Difference: 

 Unknown

Possible Selection Processes Responsible for the Difference: 

 Unknown

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Title Certainty
Limbic Thalamic Nuclei Size Speculative

References

  1. Total number, distribution, and phenotype of cells expressing chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in the normal human amygdala., Pantazopoulos, H., Murray E. A., and Berretta S. , Brain Res, 05/2008, Volume 1207, p.84-95, (2008)
  2. Calretinin-immunoreactive cells and fibers in the human amygdaloid complex., Sorvari, H, Soininen H, and Pitkänen A , J Comp Neurol, 05/1996, Volume 369, Issue 2, p.188-208, (1996)