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Exp Brain Res. 1980;40(4):419-31.

Early lesions of mouse vibrissal follicles:: their influence on dendrite orientation in the cortical barrelfield.


There is a statistically significant order in the tangential orientation of stellate cell dendrites, both spiny and smooth, in layer IV of the barrelfield of the mouse parietal cortex. Neurones situated in a barrel side have most of their dendrites oriented towards the barrel hollow; those situated in the hollow preferentially orient their dendrites parallel to the long axis of the barrel. A quantitative measure of the orientation of individual dendrites in barrelfields of 60-day old mice was obtained using a semi-automatic computer-microscope and a minicomputer. In the same manner, the dendrite orientation of layer IV stellate cells was determined in barrelfields, whose (cytoarchitectonic) pattern had been experimentally altered through lesions of the middle row of the mystacial vibrissal follicles at birth. The dendrites of these cells are oriented in harmony with the novel parcellation of the cortex. Consequently, for cells in the altered areas of the barrelfields, the dendrite orientation is different from that of cells with identical positions in a normal field (see Fig. 8). We tentatively interpret these findings as an adaptation of dendrite orientation to an altered pattern of thalamic input to layer IV that, in turn, is a consequence of the peripheral manipulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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