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Synaptic connections form by patchy projections of pyramidal cells in the superficial layers of cat visual cortex


Koestinger, German; Martin, Kevan A C; Roth, Stephan; Rusch, Elisha S (2017). Synaptic connections form by patchy projections of pyramidal cells in the superficial layers of cat visual cortex. Brain Structure & Function, 222(7):3025-3042.

Abstract

The present study is the first to describe quantitatively the patterns of synaptic connections made by the patchy network of pyramidal cell axons in the superficial layers of cat V1 in relation to the orientation map. Intrinsic signal imaging of the orientation map was combined with 3D morphological reconstructions of physiologically-characterized neurons at light and electron microscope levels. A Similarity Index (SI) expressed the similarity of the orientation domain of a given bouton cluster to that of its parent dendritic tree. Six pyramidal cells whose axons had a wide range of SIs were examined. Boutons were sampled from five local and five distal clusters, and from the linear segments that link the clusters. The synaptic targets were reconstructed by serial section electron microscopy. Of the 233 synapses examined, 182 synapses were formed with spiny neurons, the remainder with smooth neurons. The proportion of smooth neurons that were synaptic targets varied greatly (from 0 to 50%) between the cluster samples, but was not correlated with the SI. The postsynaptic density sizes were similar for synapses in local and distal clusters, regardless of their SI. This heterogeneity in the synaptic targets of single cells within the superficial layers is a network feature well-suited for context-dependent processing.

Abstract

The present study is the first to describe quantitatively the patterns of synaptic connections made by the patchy network of pyramidal cell axons in the superficial layers of cat V1 in relation to the orientation map. Intrinsic signal imaging of the orientation map was combined with 3D morphological reconstructions of physiologically-characterized neurons at light and electron microscope levels. A Similarity Index (SI) expressed the similarity of the orientation domain of a given bouton cluster to that of its parent dendritic tree. Six pyramidal cells whose axons had a wide range of SIs were examined. Boutons were sampled from five local and five distal clusters, and from the linear segments that link the clusters. The synaptic targets were reconstructed by serial section electron microscopy. Of the 233 synapses examined, 182 synapses were formed with spiny neurons, the remainder with smooth neurons. The proportion of smooth neurons that were synaptic targets varied greatly (from 0 to 50%) between the cluster samples, but was not correlated with the SI. The postsynaptic density sizes were similar for synapses in local and distal clusters, regardless of their SI. This heterogeneity in the synaptic targets of single cells within the superficial layers is a network feature well-suited for context-dependent processing.

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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 12:39
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 14:45
Publisher:Springer
Number of Pages:1
ISSN:1863-2653
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00429-017-1384-4
Project Information:
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID216593
  • : Project TitleSECO - Self-Constructing Computing Systems

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