Light and electron microscopic analysis of synaptic input from cortical area 17 to the lateral posterior nucleus in cats

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Abstract

The morphology and synaptic organization of the corticothalamic (CT) fibres from area 17 were studied in the lateral posterior nucleus (LP) of the thalamus in cats. Injection of the anterograde tracer Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHAL) into primary visual cortex labelled a band of CT fibres in the LP with terminal field confined to its lateral division 'LP1'. PHAL-labelled CT axons in the LP1 gave rise to both en passant and terminal boutons. They usually established several synaptic contacts - often in complex glomerulus-like synaptic arrangements - with dendritic shafts of large diameter and presynaptic dendrites containing pleomorphic vesicles. Postsynaptic targets of the PHAL-labelled CT boutons were characterized by postembedding γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunocytochemistry. It appeared that, in the LP1 of the cat, almost half (44.5%) of the postsynaptic dendrites to CT boutons from area 17 belonged to the GABA-immunopositive interneurons and the majority (41%) of these GABA-immunopositive dendrites were F2 terminals. These results indicate that the CT axons from the striate cortex in the LP of the cat, in addition to a direct excitatory action, exert a powerful feed-forward inhibition on the thalamic principal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental brain research
Volume109
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2 1996

Keywords

  • Cat
  • Corticothalamic
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin
  • Thalamus
  • γ-aminobutyric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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