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Vis Neurosci. 1998 Jul-Aug;15(4):625-42.

The distribution of calcium-binding proteins in the lateral geniculate nucleus and visual cortex of a New World monkey, the marmoset, Callithrix jacchus.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Institute for Biomedical Research, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Antibodies directed against the calcium-binding proteins, parvalbumin and calbindin, can be used to label distinct neuronal subgroups in the primate visual pathway. We analyzed parvalbumin immunoreactivity (P-IR) and calbindin immunoreactivity (C-IR) in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and visual cortex of the marmoset, Callithrix jacchus. We compared marmosets which were identified as having dichromatic or trichromatic color vision. Within the LGN, the density of P-IR neurones is highest in the parvocellular and magnocellular laminae, but C-IR neurones are found mainly in the koniocellular division of the LGN, that is, the interlaminar zones and S laminae. Not all interlaminar zone cells are C-IR. In the visual cortex, P-IR neurones are present in all laminae except lamina 1, in areas V1 and V2. Neurones which are strongly C-IR are mainly located in laminae 2 and 3 in V1 and V2. Lightly C-IR neurones are concentrated in lamina 4, and are more numerous in V1 than in V2. Quantitative analysis showed no differences in the density or distribution of IR neurones in either LGN or visual cortex when dichromat and trichromat animals were compared. We conclude that this functional difference is not associated with differences in the neurochemistry of calcium-binding proteins in the primary visual pathways.

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