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Cereb Cortex. 2010 Apr;20(4):826-36. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhp152. Epub 2009 Jul 30.

Cell-type specific properties of pyramidal neurons in neocortex underlying a layout that is modifiable depending on the cortical area.

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Institute for Neuroscience of Technical University Munich, Biedersteiner Strasse 29, 80802 Munich, Germany.


To understand sensory representation in cortex, it is crucial to identify its constituent cellular components based on cell-type-specific criteria. With the identification of cell types, an important question can be addressed: to what degree does the cellular properties of neurons depend on cortical location? We tested this question using pyramidal neurons in layer 5 (L5) because of their role in providing major cortical output to subcortical targets. Recently developed transgenic mice with cell-type-specific enhanced green fluorescent protein labeling of neuronal subtypes allow reliable identification of 2 cortical cell types in L5 throughout the entire neocortex. A comprehensive investigation of anatomical and functional properties of these 2 cell types in visual and somatosensory cortex demonstrates that, with important exceptions, most properties appear to be cell-type-specific rather than dependent on cortical area. This result suggests that although cortical output neurons share a basic layout throughout the sensory cortex, fine differences in properties are tuned to the cortical area in which neurons reside.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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