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A gradual depth-dependent change of connectivity features of supragranular pyramidal cells in rat barrel cortex

Staiger, J. F., Bojak, I. ORCID:, Miceli, S. and Schubert, D. (2015) A gradual depth-dependent change of connectivity features of supragranular pyramidal cells in rat barrel cortex. Brain Structure and Function, 220 (3). pp. 1317-1337. ISSN 1863-2661

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00429-014-0726-8


Recent experimental evidence suggests a finer genetic, structural and functional subdivision of the layers which form a cortical column. The classical layer II/III (LII/III) of rodent neocortex integrates ascending sensory information with contextual cortical information for behavioral read-out. We systematically investigated to which extent regular-spiking supragranular pyramidal neurons, located at different depths within the cortex, show different input-output connectivity patterns. Combining glutamate-uncaging with whole-cell recordings and biocytin filling, we revealed a novel cellular organization of LII/III: (i) “Lower LII/III” pyramidal cells receive a very strong excitatory input from lemniscal LIV and much fewer inputs from paralemniscal LVa. They project to all layers of the home column, including a feedback projection to LIV whereas transcolumnar projections are relatively sparse. (ii) “Upper LII/III” pyramidal cells also receive their strongest input from LIV, but in addition, a very strong and dense excitatory input from LVa. They project extensively to LII/III as well as LVa and Vb of their home and neighboring columns, (iii) “Middle LII/III” pyramidal cell show an intermediate connectivity phenotype that stands in many ways in-between the features described for lower versus upper LII/III. “Lower LII/III” intracolumnarly segregates and transcolumnarly integrates lemniscal information whereas “upper LII/III” seems to integrate lemniscal with paralemniscal information. This suggests a finegrained functional subdivision of the supragranular compartment containing multiple circuits without any obvious cytoarchitectonic, other structural or functional correlate of a laminar border in rodent barrel cortex.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
ID Code:36570
Uncontrolled Keywords:cortical microcircuits; barrel-related column; lemniscal system; paralemniscal system; caged glutamate


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