Intrinsic connections of macaque striate cortex: afferent and efferent connections of lamina 4C.
We have studied the intrinsic organization of macaque striate cortex by tracing the pattern of horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled axons and cell bodies produced by microinjections of HRP into single cortical laminae. Both anterograde and retrograde transport results were used to examine: (1) the pattern of projections from lamina 4C to the superficial layers; (2) the projection from lamina 4C to deeper cortical layers; and (3) the projections to lamina 4C from other cortical laminae. Laminae 4C alpha and 4C beta differ in their pattern of projections to the superficial layers of striate cortex. Axons from neurons in lamina 4C beta ascend through lamina 4B without giving off collaterals and terminate in lamina 4A and in the base of lamina 3. By contrast, axons from neurons in lamina 4C alpha terminate in lamina 4B and less densely in the 4A/3B region. The projection from lamina 4C beta to lamina 4A is particularly dense and is distributed in a patchy fashion immediately above each injection site. The projection from lamina 4C beta to lamina 3B appears less dense and more widespread; we estimate that individual 4C beta axons may spread laterally for more than 400 micron. Furthermore, the pattern of HRP-labeled cell bodies in lamina 4C beta following injections into laminae 4A and 3B provides evidence for a subdivision within 4C beta. These injections always produce a large number of labeled neurons in the upper part of lamina 4C beta, whereas the lower portion contains few labeled neurons that are located immediately under the center of the injection site. Both lamina 4C alpha and lamina 4C beta also contribute less dense projections to the deeper layers of cortex. Lamina 4C beta projects mainly to lamina 6, whereas lamina 4C alpha contributes axon terminals to both lamina 5A and lamina 6. Neurons in lamina 6 provide the bulk of the intracortical projections to lamina 4C. The axons of these neurons are fine in caliber and have a delicate side-spine morphology that is quite distinct from lateral geniculate axon arbors. Neurons in lamina 5A also project onto lamina 4C, but the projections of these neurons appear concentrated in lamina 4C alpha. These results confirm or refine many conclusions about intrinsic connections of striate cortex drawn from Golgi material and suggest new patterns of connections not suspected from previous work.
Fitzpatrick, D; Lund, JS; Blasdel, GG
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