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J Comp Neurol. 1988 Jun 1;272(1):68-89.

Characterization of transient cortical projections from auditory, somatosensory, and motor cortices to visual areas 17, 18, and 19 in the kitten.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Neuropsychologie ExpĂ©rimentale, INSERM, unitĂ© 94, Bron, France.


We have examined the anatomical features of ipsilateral transient cortical projections to areas 17, 18, and 19 in the kitten with the use of axonal tracers Fast Blue and WGA-HRP. Injections of tracers in any of the three primary visual areas led to retrograde labeling in frontal, parietal, and temporal cortices. Retrogradely labeled cells were not randomly distributed, but instead occurred preferentially at certain loci. The pattern of retrograde labeling was not influenced by the area injected. The main locus of transiently projecting neurons was an isolated region in the ectosylvian gyrus, probably corresponding to auditory area A1. Other groups of transiently projecting neurons had more variable locations in the frontoparietal cortex. The laminar distribution of neurons sending a transient projection to the visual cortex is characteristic and different from that of parent neurons of other cortical pathways at the same age. In the frontoparietal cortex, transiently projecting neurons were located mainly in layer 1 and the upper part of layers 2 and 3. In the ectosylvian gyrus, nearly all the neurons are located in layers 2 and 3. In addition, a few transiently projecting neurons are found in layer 6 and in the white matter. Transiently projecting neurons have a pyramidal morphology except for the occasional spindle-shaped cell of layer 1 and multipolar cells observed in the white matter. Anterograde studies were used to investigate the location of transient fibers in the visual cortex. Injections of WGA-HRP at the site of origin of transient projections gave rise to few retrogradely labeled cells in areas 17, 18, and 19, demonstrating that transient projections to these areas are not reciprocal. Although labeled axons were found over a wide area of the posterior cortex, they were more numerous over certain regions, including areas 17, 18, and 19, and absent from other more lateral cortical regions. Transient projecting fibers were present in all cortical layers at birth. Plotting the location of transient fibers in numerous sections and at all ages showed that these fibers are not more plentiful in the white matter than they are in the gray matter. We found no evidence that the white/gray matter border constituted a physical barrier to the growth of transient axons. Comparison of the organization of this transient pathway to that of other transient connections is discussed with respect to the development of the cortex.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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