Synaptic connections formed by patchy projections of pyramidal cells in the superficial layers of cat visual cortex
Martin, Kevan A.C.
Rusch, Elisha S.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
The present study is the first to describe quantitatively the patterns of synaptic connections made by the patchy network of pyramidal cell axons in the superficial layers of cat V1 in relation to the orientation map. Intrinsic signal imaging of the orientation map was combined with 3D morphological reconstructions of physiologically-characterized neurons at light and electron microscope levels. A Similarity Index (SI) expressed the similarity of the orientation domain of a given bouton cluster to that of its parent dendritic tree. Six pyramidal cells whose axons had a wide range of SIs were examined. Boutons were sampled from five local and five distal clusters, and from the linear segments that link the clusters. The synaptic targets were reconstructed by serial section electron microscopy. Of the 233 synapses examined, 182 synapses were formed with spiny neurons, the remainder with smooth neurons. The proportion of smooth neurons that were synaptic targets varied greatly (from 0 to 50%) between the cluster samples, but was not correlated with the SI. The postsynaptic density sizes were similar for synapses in local and distal clusters, regardless of their SI. This heterogeneity in the synaptic targets of single cells within the superficial layers is a network feature well-suited for context-dependent processing Show more
Journal / seriesBrain Structure and Function
SubjectSynapse; Orientation map; Pyramidal neuron; Postsynaptic target; Visual cortex; Dendrite
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