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J Neurocytol. 1987 Dec;16(6):843-70.

GABAergic neurons in the barrel cortex of the mouse: an analysis using neuronal archetypes.

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Institute of Anatomy, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


We describe the morphological types of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) immunoreactive cells in the barrel cortex of the mouse. A method is introduced and applied, which combines qualitative and quantitative criteria to classify these cells through the use of multivariate statistics. With the aid of an interactive computer microscope, 2010 GAD-positive neurons were harvested. Each cell was assigned to one of a set of qualitatively defined classes (archetypes) and further characterized by various morphometric parameters. Through the statistical analysis, new sets of hierarchically ordered archetypes were inferred; these served to classify cells which, due to lack of morphological detail, were unclassifiable using qualitative criteria only. We here report on the characteristics of eight archetypes of GAD-positive neurons, distinguished by means of their size, shape, and orientation and the distribution of their cell bodies over the cortical layers. Some archetypes were observed mostly in the upper layers of the cortex (group I triangular and group I horizontal fusiform cells), others mostly in the lower layers (group II triangular and group II horizontal fusiform cells). Bulb and vertical fusiform, as well as vertical star and horizontal star cells, were present throughout the entire cortical thickness. The star cells formed the two most frequent archetypes. This classification constitutes a baseline which we currently use to elucidate whether differences exist in the birthdates among the GABAergic archetypes within each layer of the mouse barrel cortex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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