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Vis Neurosci. 1989;2(1):57-62.

Neuropeptide Y-containing neurons are situated predominantly outside cytochrome oxidase puffs in macaque visual cortex.

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Section of Neuroanatomy, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510-8001.


Layers II/III of the primary visual cortex contain a regular pattern of histochemically detectable cytochrome oxidase (CO)-rich "puffs," which differ from the interpuff regions in their thalamo-cortical and cortico-cortical connectivity, receptive-field properties, and the density of inhibitory GABA-containing synaptic terminals. We used an immunocytochemical method, in combination with cytochrome oxidase histochemistry, to analyze the spatial relationship between neurons that contain neuropeptide Y (NPY) and the CO puffs. Of a total of 606 neurons, only 2.6% of the NPY-containing cells are located in the puffs, whereas the rest are situated in the interpuffs, or at the interface between puffs and interpuffs. The number of NPY-containing neurons in the puffs is substantially less than that expected in an equal volume of the interpuffs (X2 = 13.86; df = 1; P less than 0.001). These observations indicate that columns containing the puffs may differ also from those in the interpuff regions in that they contain a unique array of chemically and morphologically distinct local circuit neurons.

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