Laminar organization of geniculocortical projections in Galago senegalensis and Aotus trivirgatus.
The projections of the lateral geniculate nucleus to striate cortex were traced by anterograde and retrograde transport of WGA-HRP in two primates, Galago and Aotus. The goal was to determine the laminar organization of the terminals of individual layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus. The results show that in both species the magnocellular layers project to cortical layer IV alpha, the parvicellular layers project to IV beta, and the intercalated geniculate layers (which term includes layers 4 and 5 in Galago) project to layers III and I. The distribution of terminals in layer III is periodic, which is to say, there are regularly spaced regions of terminals separated by regions devoid of terminals. When the two species are compared to Saimiri, it is clear that the basic organization of the three pathways relaying in the lateral geniculate nucleus is common to all three primates. At the same time, there are some significant species differences. The total pattern of projections in Galago is compressed in comparison to that in the monkey, and this compression seems to be related to the poorer differentiation of cortical layers in the prosimian. For example, layer IIIC is distinct only in the two monkeys and at the same time it is spared from geniculate terminations. Both Galago and Aotus differ from Saimiri in that they lack a projection from the parvicellular geniculate layers to the layer IIIB. These species comparisons are relevant to the questions of the functional significance of the three pathways and the evolution of the primate striate cortex.
Diamond, IT; Conley, M; Itoh, K; Fitzpatrick, D
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