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Translaminar circuits formed by pyramidal cells in the superficial layers of cat visual cortex


Koestinger, German; Martin, Kevan A C; Rusch, Elisha S (2017). Translaminar circuits formed by pyramidal cells in the superficial layers of cat visual cortex. Brain Structure and Function:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Pyramidal cells in the superficial layers of the neocortex provide a major excitatory projection to layer 5, which contains the pyramidal cells that project to subcortical motor-related targets. Both structurally and functionally rather little is known about this interlaminar pathway, especially in higher mammals. Here, we made sparse ultrastructural reconstructions of the projection to layer 5 of three pyramidal neurons from layer 3 in cat V1 whose morphology, physiology, and synaptic connections with layers 2 and 3 were known. The dominant targets of the 74 identified synapses in layer 5 were the dendritic spines of pyramidal cells. The fractions of target spiny dendrites were 59, 61, and 84% for the three cells, with the remaining targets being dendrites of smooth neurons. These fractions were similar to the distribution of targets of unlabeled asymmetric synapses in the surrounding neuropil. Serial section reconstructions revealed that the target dendrites were heterogenous in morphology, indicating that different cell types are innervated. This new evidence indicates that the descending projection from the superficial layer pyramidal cells does not simply drive the output pyramidal cells that project to cortical and subcortical targets, but participates in the complex circuitry of the deep cortical layers.

Abstract

Pyramidal cells in the superficial layers of the neocortex provide a major excitatory projection to layer 5, which contains the pyramidal cells that project to subcortical motor-related targets. Both structurally and functionally rather little is known about this interlaminar pathway, especially in higher mammals. Here, we made sparse ultrastructural reconstructions of the projection to layer 5 of three pyramidal neurons from layer 3 in cat V1 whose morphology, physiology, and synaptic connections with layers 2 and 3 were known. The dominant targets of the 74 identified synapses in layer 5 were the dendritic spines of pyramidal cells. The fractions of target spiny dendrites were 59, 61, and 84% for the three cells, with the remaining targets being dendrites of smooth neurons. These fractions were similar to the distribution of targets of unlabeled asymmetric synapses in the surrounding neuropil. Serial section reconstructions revealed that the target dendrites were heterogenous in morphology, indicating that different cell types are innervated. This new evidence indicates that the descending projection from the superficial layer pyramidal cells does not simply drive the output pyramidal cells that project to cortical and subcortical targets, but participates in the complex circuitry of the deep cortical layers.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:01 Mar 2018 12:44
Last Modified:14 Mar 2018 18:01
Publisher:Springer
Number of Pages:18
ISSN:1863-2653
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00429-017-1588-7

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