Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Brain Res. 1992;92(1):1-14.

Quantitative analysis of neurons and glial cells in the rat somatosensory cortex, with special reference to GABAergic neurons and parvalbumin-containing neurons.

Author information

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


The number of neuronal and glial cells in the rat somatosensory cortex (barrel area) has been estimated by a stereological method, the disector, using pairs of toluidine blue-stained, plastic-embedded 0.5-microns-thick sections, 1.5 microns distant from each other. Chemical properties of those disector-counted cells were further analyzed by postembedding immunocytochemical methods on adjacent semithin sections. Thus we were able to analyze quantitatively number, distribution, and proportion of five cell types: (1) gamma-aminobutyric acid-(GABA)-negative neurons; (2) GABA-like immunoreactive (GABA-LIR) neurons; (3) a specific calcium-binding protein parvalbumin-immunoreactive (PV-IR) neurons, a subpopulation of GABA-LIR neurons; (4) S-100 beta-LIR glial cells (astrocytes); and (5) S-100 beta-negative glial cells (oligodendrocytes and microglia). The densities of total cells, glial cells, and neurons in the rat somatosensory cortex were 85.4 +/- 10(3)/mm3, 30.5 x 10(3)/mm3, and 54.9 x 10(3)/mm3, respectively. Of all neurons 25% and 14% were GABA-LIR and PV-IR, respectively; all PV-IR neurons are GABA-LIR, and thus about 54% of GABA-LIR neurons are PV-positive. The number of total cells under a unit surface area of 1 mm2 through the thickness of the somatosensory cortex was 171.6 x 10(3); the number of neurons and glial cells were 110.2 x 10(3) and 61.4 x 10(3), respectively. There were 27.7 x 10(3) GABA-LIR neurons and 15.0 x 10(3) and 12.7 x 10(3) PV-IR neurons and PV-negative GABA-LIR neurons, respectively. The laminar distribution of each group of cells shows prominent differences, indicating that the cellular composition was different from layer to layer. The density of GABA-LIR neurons was highest in layer IV. The numerical density of PV-IR neurons was 2-4 times higher in layer IV than in layers II/III, V, and VI, whereas that of PV-negative GABA-LIR neurons was almost constant throughout the layers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center