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J Comp Neurol. 1994 Apr 15;342(3):389-408.

A study of SMI 32-stained pyramidal cells, parvalbumin-immunoreactive chandelier cells, and presumptive thalamocortical axons in the human temporal neocortex.

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Instituto Cajal (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.


Immunocytochemical studies in the primate neocortex have shown that particular populations of pyramidal cells can be identified by antibody SMI 32 that recognizes a nonphosphorylated epitope of neurofilament protein, while chandelier cells (a powerful type of cortical inhibitory interneuron) and presumptive thalamocortical axons can be identified by antibodies directed against the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV). We used these antibodies in correlative light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical studies to analyze certain aspects of the synaptic circuitry of human temporal neocortex. In sections cut in the tangential plane, many PV-immunoreactive chandelier cell axon terminals and apical dendrites of SMI 32-stained pyramidal cells were distributed in small clusters. Combination of immunocytochemistry for PV and SMI 32 revealed four subpopulations of pyramidal cells with regard to the immunocytochemical staining by SMI 32 and the innervation of their axon initial segments by PV-positive or -negative chandelier cell axon terminals, but there were differences in the concentration and proportion of these subpopulations by layers. Furthermore, we present electron microscopic evidence suggesting that the characteristic layer III dense band of PV-immunoreactive puncta is made up mainly of presumptive thalamocortical axon terminals. Besides, coincidence was found between the dense PV-immunoreactive band and the dendritic plexus formed by the SMI 32-stained pyramidal cells in the lower half of layer III, which leads us to think that they are probably a major target of PV-immunoreactive thalamic terminations.

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