Distribution of acetylcholinesterase in the geniculo striate system of Galago senegalensis and Aotus trivirgatus: evidence for the origin of the reaction product in the lateral geniculate body.
This inquiry began with the discovery that just two layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus (GL) of Galago contain large amounts of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). These two layers (layers 3 and 6) are similar in cell size and Nissl-staining characteristics and project to the same layer in the striate cortex. To find out whether the pattern of staining is unique in the Galago, we examined the distribution of AChE in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the owl monkey, Aotus trivirgatus. In this species we found that the parvocellular layers (3 and 4) stained darkly for AChE while the magnocellular layers (1 and 2) were only slightly stained. The interlaminar zones as well as the "S" layers were also distinguished by a high level of AChE staining. In order to determine the source of the cholinesterase staining in layers 3 and 6 of Galago, we studied, in separate experiments, the effects of kainic acid injections into GL, of eye enucleation, and of lesions of the striate cortex. Injections of kainic acid, followed by survival times of 2 and 11 days, produced severe cellular destruction in GL, yet the AChE staining of layers 3 and 6 was undiminished. Eye enucleations had no effect upon the AChE staining of GL even after a survival period of 3 years. In contrast, a small lesion of the striate cortex, followed by a 9-day survival period, produced conspicuous gaps in the AChE staining of layers 3 and 6. These results indicate that the AChE in layers 3 and 6 is not attributable to the cells within the layers, or to retinal fibers, but is dependent upon descending projections from the striate cortex. Because of the dependence of the AChE reaction product in layers 3 and 6 of GL upon an intact striate cortex, we turned our attention to the distribution of AChE in the striate cortex. In Galago, cholinesterase-positive cells were found in layer VI of the striate cortex; and in both Galago and Aotus, the striate cortex was distinguished from other cortical areas by a prominent band of cholinesterase activity within layer IV. This band ended abruptly at the 17-18 border. The precise origin of this cholinesterase staining within layer IV of the striate cortex remains to be determined.
Fitzpatrick, D; Diamond, IT
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