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J Comp Neurol. 1993 Aug 1;334(1):86-96.

Cortical modules in the posteromedial barrel subfield (Sml) of the mouse.

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1
Department of Morphology, Corob Center for Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.

Abstract

An antibody to MAP2 was used on sections through the posteromedial barrel subfield (PMBSF) of primary somatosensory cortex to reveal the distributions of cell bodies and dendrites. It was found that apical dendrites of layer VI neurons form irregular bundles or sheets that break up in layer IV, where most of these dendrites form their terminal tufts. In contrast, the apical dendrites of layer V pyramidal neurons form clusters that ascend into layer II/III where they are joined by apical dendrites of the superficial pyramidal neurons. In layer IV the clusters of the layer V apical dendrites are more concentrated in barrel walls than in hollows. Thus, in layer IV the average center to center spacing between the clusters is about 25 microns in the barrel hollows, and about 22 microns in the barrel walls. In part, this differential distribution of the apical dendritic clusters is brought about because the apical dendrites of layer V pyramids beneath the periphery of the barrel hollows arc towards the barrel walls as they pass from layer V into layer IV. Based on previous analyses of the three-dimensional organization of the primary visual areas in the monkey, cat, and rat, it has been proposed that neurons in these cortices are organized into modules that are centered on the clusters of apical dendrites belonging to layer V pyramidal neurons. Mouse PMBSF cortex is composed of similar pyramidal cell modules and the organization of neurons in these modules is similar to that in visual cortex. This suggests that the pyramidal cell modules are fundamental neuronal units that exist throughout the cerebral cortex, and implies that the various functional areas of the cortex in different species are organized according to a common, basic plan.

PMID:
8408761
DOI:
10.1002/cne.903340107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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