Analysis of morphological features of thalamocortical neurons from the ventroposterolateral nucleus of the cat

Reza Zomorrodi, Alex S. Ferecskó, Krisztina Kovács, Helmut Kröger, Igor Timofeev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Morphological features of the dendritic arborization can affect neuronal responses and thus the input-output function of a particular neuron. In this study, morphological data of eight fully reconstructed thalamocortical (TC) neurons from the ventroposterolateral (VPL) nucleus of adult cats have been analyzed. We examined several geometrical and topological parameters, which have been previously shown to have a high impact on the neuron firing pattern and propagation of signals in the dendritic tree. In addition to well-known morphological parameters such as number of dendritic trees (8.3 6 1.5) and number of branching points (80-120), we investigated the distribution of dendritic membrane area, branching points, geometrical ratio, asymmetry index, and mean path length for all subtrees of the TC neurons. We demonstrate that due to extensive branching in proximal and middle dendritic sections, the maximum value of the dendritic area distribution is reached at 120-160 lm from the soma. Our analysis reveals that TC neurons are highly branched cells and their dendritic branching pattern does not follow Rall's 3/2 power rule; average values at proximal vs. distal dendritic sections were different. We also found that the dendritic branching pattern of each subtree of the cell had a wide range in symmetry index, whereas the mean path length did not show a large variation through the dendritic arborizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3541-3556
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2010



  • dendritic arborization
  • geometrical features
  • thalamocortical neurons
  • topological features

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this