Neurochemical subdivisions of the inferior pulvinar in macaque monkeys

Authors

  • C. Gutierrez,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Neurosciences Training Program, Tulane University, School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
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  • A. Yaun,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Neurosciences Training Program, Tulane University, School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
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  • C. G. Cusick Ph. D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anatomy and Neurosciences Training Program, Tulane University, School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
    • Department of Anatomy, Tulane Unwersity, School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70119
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Abstract

The architecture of the pulvinar of rhesus monkeys was investigated by acetylcholinester ase (AChE) histochemistry, and by immunocytochemiatry for calbindin-D28k and the SMI-32 antibody. The presence of four inferior subdivisions, comparable to those found in architectonic connectional studies in squirrel monkeys (C. G. Cusick, J Scripter, J. G. Darensbourg, and J. T. Weber, 1993, J. Comp. Neurol. 336:1–30), provided a basis for a proposed revised terminology for visual sectors of the macaque pulvinar. In the present study, the inferior pulvinar (PI) was identified as a neurochemically distinct region that included the traditional cytoarchitectonic nucleus PI and adjacent portions of the lateral and medial pulvmar nuclei, PL and PM. In calbindin-D28k stains, the lateral. subdivision of the inferior pulvinar (PIL) had less intense neuropil staining than the adjacent central division, PIc. The PIL was characterized by large, intensely immunopositive neurons seldom found within Plc. PIL occupied the traditional PL and PI and exhibited a shell zone, PIL-S, restricted to PL. The medial division of the inferior pulvinar (PIM) was in a location previously shown to be strongly connected with the middle temporal visual area (MT) in macaques. PIM was found in the medial one-half of the traditional PI and extended into adjacent portions of the traditional PM and PL. PIM was distinguished by less intense staining for calbindin and many cells stained with the SMI-32 antibody for neurofilament protein. In AChE stains, PIL was moderately dark, Plc appeared lighter, and PIM was characterized by small, intensely stained patches. The small posterior division (PIP) stained darkly for calbindin, lightly for AChE, and was unstained with the SMI-32 antibody. Thus, neurochemical, and perhaps connectional, subdivisions exist within PI, the region of the pulvinar that relays information to striate, “lower order” extrastriate, and inferotemporal visual cortex. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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