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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1982 Apr;79(7):2401-5.

Noradrenergic and serotonergic fibers innervate complementary layers in monkey primary visual cortex: an immunohistochemical study.


Antisera directed against human dopamine beta-hydroxylase or serotonin were used to characterize the noradrenergic and serotonergic innervation patterns within the primary visual cortex of the squirrel monkey. The noradrenergic and serotonergic projections exhibit a high degree of laminar complementarity: layers V and VI receive a dense noradrenergic projection and a very sparse serotonergic projection, whereas layer IV receives a very dense serotonergic projection and is largely devoid of noradrenergic fibers. In addition, the noradrenergic fibers manifest a geometric order that is not so readily apparent in the distribution of serotonergic fibers. These patterns of innervation imply that the two transmitter systems affect different stages of cortical information processing--the raphe-cortical serotonergic projection preferentially innervates the spiny stellate cells of layers IVa and IVc, whereas the ceruleo-cortical noradrenergic projection innervates pyramidal cells.

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