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J Comp Neurol. 1985 Dec 8;242(2):230-46.

Subclassification of neurons in the ventrobasal complex of the dog: quantitative Golgi study using principal components analysis.


The neuronal architecture of the ventrobasal complex (VB) in dog is examined in coronal and horizontal brain sections processed by Golgi- and Nissl-staining methods. Presumed projection and intrinsic neurons are identified by differences in soma size and shape, dendritic branch pattern, the morphology and distribution of appendages, and the appearance of axons. Forty-five projection neurons are examined by quantifying (1) soma cross-sectional area, (2) dendritic field extent and shape, (3) appendages on the soma, primary dendrites, and in a defined major dendritic branch zone, and (4) location in the VB. When considered independently, each variable offers little evidence for separation into morphological classes. However, several of the variables have wide ranges and show significant correlation with other parameters. Using the multivariate descriptive methods of principal components analysis and cluster analysis, a separation of the projection neurons into three morphological classes designated as large, medium, and small neurons is indicated. The features most critical in distinguishing between the groups are, in descending order of importance: (1) dendritic field extent; (2) number of primary dendrites; (3) soma cross-sectional area; (4) number of appendages per major branch point (MBP); (5) number of appendages on the soma; and, (6) number of appendages on the primary dendrites. Dendritic field shape and neuron location have little influence in determining classification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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