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Three-dimensional axon morphologies of individual layer 5 neurons indicate cell type-specific intracortical pathways for whisker motion and touch.

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Computer Science Research Institute Environmental Sciences Research Institute Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials Research Institute

Oberlaender, Marcel, Boudewijns, Zimbo S R M, Kleele, Tatjana, Mansvelder, Huibert D, Sakmann, Bert and de Kock, Christiaan P J (2011) Three-dimensional axon morphologies of individual layer 5 neurons indicate cell type-specific intracortical pathways for whisker motion and touch. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108 (10). pp. 4188-4193. [Journal article]

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1100647108

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1100647108

Abstract

The cortical output layer 5 contains two excitatory cell types, slender- and thick-tufted neurons. In rat vibrissal cortex, slender-tufted neurons carry motion and phase information during active whisking, but remain inactive after passive whisker touch. In contrast, thick-tufted neurons reliably increase spiking preferably after passive touch. By reconstructing the 3D patterns of intracortical axon projections from individual slender- and thick-tufted neurons, filled in vivo with biocytin, we were able to identify cell type-specific intracortical circuits that may encode whisker motion and touch. Individual slender-tufted neurons showed elaborate and dense innervation of supragranular layers of large portions of the vibrissal area (total length, 86.8 ± 5.5 mm). During active whisking, these long-range projections may modulate and phase-lock the membrane potential of dendrites in layers 2 and 3 to the whisking cycle. Thick-tufted neurons with soma locations intermingling with those of slender-tufted ones display less dense intracortical axon projections (total length, 31.6 ± 14.3 mm) that are primarily confined to infragranular layers. Based on anatomical reconstructions and previous measurements of spiking, we put forward the hypothesis that thick-tufted neurons in rat vibrissal cortex receive input of whisker motion from slender-tufted neurons onto their apical tuft dendrites and input of whisker touch from thalamic neurons onto their basal dendrites. During tactile-driven behavior, such as object location, near-coincident input from these two pathways may result in increased spiking activity of thick-tufted neurons and thus enhanced signaling to their subcortical targets.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Molecular Medicine
ID Code:22133
Deposited By:Dr Kurt Saetzler
Deposited On:15 May 2012 12:58
Last Modified:15 May 2012 12:58

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