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Vis Neurosci. 1990 Jul;5(1):67-81.

Antibody labeling of functional subdivisions in visual cortex: Cat-301 immunoreactivity in striate and extrastriate cortex of the macaque monkey.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 53226.


We have examined the distribution of immunoreactivity for the monoclonal antibody Cat-301 in visual cortex of the macaque monkey. Remarkably, those portions of striate cortex (V1) and extrastriate cortex that are most immunoreactive for Cat-301 are anatomically interconnected and are dominated by inputs arising from the magnocellular layers of the LGN (which are themselves highly immunoreactive). In particular, we found that a band of Cat-301 labeled neurons known to exist in layer 4 of V1 is centered on the boundary between layers 4C alpha and 4B and thus includes portions of both the primary target of the magnocellular LGN and its subsequent relay through layer 4B. We also demonstrated consistently strong Cat-301 immunoreactivity in all three extrastriate targets of layer 4B: areas V3, MT, and the cytochrome-oxidase (CO) enriched thick stripes of V2. In V2, there was a close correlation between Cat-301 labeling and clusters of cells projecting to MT but not to V4. This was true even in regions where the CO pattern was equivocal or irregular, indicating that Cat-301 is a more reliable marker than CO for the thick-stripe subregions of V2. Finally, we found strong Cat-301 immunoreactivity in at least parts of areas V3A, the MST complex, and the posterior parietal complex, but not in area V4 or inferotemporal cortex. The molecular specificity revealed by this single marker thus correlates with functionally specific subdivisions at each hierarchical level over nearly the entire known extent of the visual pathway in macaques. This supports the notion that these subdivisions form an anatomically, physiologically, and now molecularly distinct pathway known as the M-stream.

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