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J Comp Neurol. 1985 Dec 15;242(3):338-57.

An analysis of the cellular localization of cytochrome oxidase in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the adult cat.


The distribution of cytochrome oxidase (C.O.) was examined in the normal adult cat lateral geniculate nucleus at the cellular and electron-microscopic levels. The darker reactivity of the X- and/or Y-receptive laminae (A, A1, magnocellular lamina C [Cm], and medial interlaminar nucleus [MIN]) compared with the lightly reactive W-receptive parvicellular lamina C (Cp) indicates that there are pathway-specific histochemical differences in the visual system of the cat. At the cellular level, darkly reactive large cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) closely resemble class 1, Y-cells, in relative size and distribution, thus indicating that C.O. histochemistry may be used as a functional marker for these cells. Perigeniculate neurons are also darkly reactive. Neuronal classes 2, 4, and 3 (presumed X-cells, W-cells, and/or interneurons) have moderate to lightly reactive perikarya. The darkly reactive neuronal classes tend to receive relatively stronger proximal excitatory synaptic input than do the less reactive neuronal classes. Since all neuronal classes appeared to have darkly (or moderately) reactive dendrites, C.O. reactivity must differ between dendrite and soma of some neuronal classes. At the electron-microscopic level, distinct components of the neuropil tend to have specific levels of C.O. reactivity. The predominance of darkly reactive mitochondria in dendrites indicates that dendrites are metabolically very active. RLD and may F's, but few large axon terminals with round vesicles (RL) or small axon terminals with round vesicles (RS) profiles are darkly reactive, implying that specific classes of presynaptic structures are more active than others. Thus C.O. histochemistry may be useful for distinguishing not only functionally active neuronal classes such as Y-cells and perigeniculate (PG) neurons from less active neuronal classes, but also functionally more or less active parts of the same neuron including its dendrites, axons, and/or axon terminals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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