Quantitative analysis of the dendritic morphology of corticocortical projection neurons in the macaque monkey association cortex

H. Duan, S. L. Wearne, John Morrison, Patrick R. Hof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

The polymodal association areas of the primate cerebral cortex are heavily interconnected and play a crucial role in cognition. Area 46 of the prefrontal cortex in non-human primates receives direct inputs from several association areas, among them the cortical regions lining the superior temporal sulcus. We examined whether projection neurons providing such a corticocortical projection differ in their dendritic morphology from pyramidal neurons projecting locally within area 46. Specific sets of corticocortical projection neurons were identified by in vivo retrograde transport in young macaque monkeys. Full dendritic arbors of retrogradely labeled neurons were visualized in brain slices by targeted intracellular injection of Lucifer Yellow, and reconstructed three-dimensionally using computer-assisted morphometry. Total dendritic length, numbers of segments, numbers of spines, and spine density were analyzed in layer III pyramidal neurons forming long projections (from the superior temporal cortex to prefrontal area 46), as well as local projections (within area 46). Sholl analysis was also used to compare the complexity of these two groups of neurons. Our results demonstrate that long corticocortical projection neurons connecting the temporal and prefrontal cortex have longer, more complex dendritic arbors and more spines than pyramidal neurons projecting locally within area 46. The more complex dendritic arborization of such neurons is likely linked to their participation in cortical networks that require extensive convergence of multiple afferents at the cellular level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-359
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience
Volume114
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Dendrites
  • Intracellular injection
  • Primate neocortex
  • Pyramidal neurons
  • Spines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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