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J Comp Neurol. 1985 Feb 1;232(1):83-98.

Distribution and morphology of callosal commissural neurons within the motor cortex of normal and reeler mice.


Retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase was used to examine the cells of origin of the callosal commissural fibers (CC neurons) in the primary motor cortex of normal and reeler mice. Quantitative analysis of the intracortical, laminar distribution, and dendritic orientation of CC neurons was performed in conjunction with qualitative observation of their morphology. For comparison, similar quantitative data were obtained for the cells of origin of the corticospinal tract (CST) of normal and reeler mice from materials described previously by Terashima et al. ('83). In the normal mouse, CC neurons are distributed in a bilaminar pattern such that the largest number of cells are located in supragranular layers II and III and in infragranular layer V. The majority of CC neurons are normal (upright) pyramids, although a few in the upper zone of layer VI are inverted pyramidal cells. In the reeler mutant, CC neurons are found in all cortical layers, but two-thirds are situated in the lower half of the cortex. On the basis of the celL shape and orientation of the apical dendrite, CC neurons of the reeler were classified into six morphological types: (1) typical pyramidal, (2) inverted pyramidal, (3) tumbled, (4) hook-shaped, (5) polymorphic, and (6) simple. The apical dendrites of the CC neurons in all layers of the cortex of the reeler mouse are randomly oriented; no direct relationship between the intracortical position of the soma and orientation of the apical dendrite was found. In contrast, CST neurons in the reeler mutant are concentrated in the outer third of the cortex, and there is a relationship between the laminar distribution of these cells and the alignment of their dendrites with respect to the pial surface: the apical dendrites of CST neurons lie in superficial layers tend to be oriented obliquely, whereas those of CST neurons in the deeper of cortex most often are oriented vertically, i.e, toward the pial surface. Quantitative analysis revealed that the relative intracortical positions of CC and CST neurons are reversed in the reeler mutant although both populations exhibited greater laminar disposition, and as a consequence, there is more intermingling of the two cell groups in the reeler than in the normal mouse. Thus, the present study suggests that the normal cytoarchitectonics of the primary motor cortex are inverted in the reeler mutant mouse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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