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J Comp Neurol. 2017 Apr 15;525(6):1317-1346. doi: 10.1002/cne.24047. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Organization of the connections between claustrum and cortex in the mouse.

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Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, Washington, 98109.


The connections between the claustrum and the cortex in mouse are systematically investigated with adeno-associated virus (AAV), an anterograde viral tracer. We first define the boundary and the three-dimensional structure of the claustrum based on a variety of molecular and anatomical data. From AAV injections into 42 neocortical and allocortical areas, we conclude that most cortical areas send bilateral projections to the claustrum, the majority being denser on the ipsilateral side. This includes prelimbic, infralimbic, medial, ventrolateral and lateral orbital, ventral retrosplenial, dorsal and posterior agranular insular, visceral, temporal association, dorsal and ventral auditory, ectorhinal, perirhinal, lateral entorhinal, and anteromedial, posteromedial, lateroposterior, laterointermediate, and postrhinal visual areas. In contrast, the cingulate and the secondary motor areas send denser projections to the contralateral claustrum than to the ipsilateral one. The gustatory, primary auditory, primary visual, rostrolateral visual, and medial entorhinal cortices send projections only to the ipsilateral claustrum. Primary motor, primary somatosensory and subicular areas barely send projections to either ipsi- or contralateral claustrum. Corticoclaustral projections are organized in a rough topographic manner, with variable projection strengths. We find that the claustrum, in turn, sends widespread projections preferentially to ipsilateral cortical areas with different projection strengths and laminar distribution patterns and to certain contralateral cortical areas. Our quantitative results show that the claustrum has strong reciprocal and bilateral connections with prefrontal and cingulate areas as well as strong reciprocal connections with the ipsilateral temporal and retrohippocampal areas, suggesting that it may play a crucial role in a variety of cognitive processes. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1317-1346, 2017.


AAV; RRID:AB_10000344; RRID:AB_10048713; RRID:AB_306956; RRID:AB_509998; RRID:SCR_008848; claustrum; connectivity; cortex; tract tracing

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