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Keywords:

  • primate;
  • cortical areas;
  • visual cortex;
  • motor cortex;
  • somatosensory cortex;
  • auditory cortex;
  • prosimian

Abstract

In the present study, galago brains were sectioned in the coronal, sagittal, or horizontal planes, and sections were processed with several different histochemical and immunohistochemical procedures to reveal the architectonic characteristics of the various cortical areas. The histochemical methods used included the traditional Nissl, cytochrome oxidase, and myelin stains, as well as a zinc stain, which reveals free ionic zinc in the axon terminals of neurons. Immunohistochemical methods include parvalbumin (PV) and calbindin (CB), both calcium-binding proteins, and the vesicle glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2). These different procedures revealed similar boundaries between areas, which suggests that functionally relevant borders were being detected. These results allowed a more precise demarcation of previously identified areas. As thalamocortical terminations lack free ionic zinc, primary cortical areas were most clearly revealed by the zinc stain, because of the poor zinc staining of layer 4. Area 17 was especially prominent, as the broad layer 4 was nearly free of zinc stain. However, this feature was less pronounced in the primary auditory and somatosensory cortex. As VGluT2 is expressed in thalamocortical terminations, layer 4 of primary sensory areas was darkly stained for VGluT2. Primary motor cortex had reduced VGluT2 staining, and increased zinc-enriched terminations in the poorly developed granular layer 4 compared to the adjacent primary somatosensory area. The middle temporal visual (MT) showed increased PV and VGluT2 staining compared to the surrounding cortical areas. The resulting architectonic maps of cortical areas in galagos can usefully guide future studies of cortical organizations and functions. Anat Rec, 2010.© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.