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Targets and Laminar Distribution of Projection Neurons with ‘Inverted’ Morphology in Rabbit Cortex

Authors

  • José L. Bueno-López,

    Corresponding author
    1. Section of Anatomy, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of the Basque Country, E-48940 Lejona, Biscay, Spain
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  • Concepción Reblet,

    1. Section of Anatomy, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of the Basque Country, E-48940 Lejona, Biscay, Spain
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  • Antonio López-Medina,

    1. Section of Anatomy, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of the Basque Country, E-48940 Lejona, Biscay, Spain
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  • Sonia M. Gómez-Urquijo,

    1. Section of Anatomy, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of the Basque Country, E-48940 Lejona, Biscay, Spain
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  • Pedro Grandes,

    1. Section of Anatomy, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of the Basque Country, E-48940 Lejona, Biscay, Spain
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  • Juan Gondra,

    1. Section of Anatomy, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of the Basque Country, E-48940 Lejona, Biscay, Spain
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  • Leonor Hennequet

    1. Section of Anatomy, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of the Basque Country, E-48940 Lejona, Biscay, Spain
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J. L. Bueno-López, as above.

Abstract

This study examines the axonal projections of so-called inverted pyramids and other neurons with their major dendritic shaft oriented in the direction of the white matter (‘inverted cells’) in the adult rabbit cortex. Single injections of horseradish peroxidase wheat germ agglutinin were made into cortical or subcortical sites. The resulting retrograde labelling in the cortex was analysed and the distribution across areas and layers of inverted cells contributing to each of these projections was estimated. In addition, the radial distribution of inverted cells was independently determined from rapid Golgi-impregnated and Nissl-stained material. All three procedures revealed that inverted cells lay overwhelmingly in infragranular layers, but congregated at the border between layers 5 and 6. Inverted cells, identified by retrograde labelling, seldom furnished non-telencephalic centres; in contrast, these cells constituted a major source for the projections to the ipsi- or the contralateral cortex, the claustrum or the nucleus caudatus. In general, each set of inverted cells (when defined by its specific destination as a group) was located below the typically oriented cells whose axons were aimed at the same target. Thus, the inverted cells of the rabbit cortex are characterized not only by their unique morphology and their corticocortical, corticoclaustral and corticostriatal projections, but also by their distinctive radial locations. These findings suggest that inverted cells, even though possibly composed of different cell types, are a specific class of projection neurons.

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