Faculté des sciences

Thalamocortical and the dual pattern of corticothalamic projections of the posterior parietal cortex in macaque monkeys

Cappe, Céline ; Morel, A. ; Rouiller, Eric M.

In: Neuroscience, 2007, vol. 146, no. 3, p. 1371-1387

The corticothalamic projection includes a main, modulatory projection from cortical layer VI terminating with small endings whereas a less numerous, driving projection from layer V forms giant endings. Such dual pattern of corticothalamic projections is well established in rodents and cats for many cortical areas. In non-human primates (monkeys), it has been reported for the primary sensory... Plus

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    Summary
    The corticothalamic projection includes a main, modulatory projection from cortical layer VI terminating with small endings whereas a less numerous, driving projection from layer V forms giant endings. Such dual pattern of corticothalamic projections is well established in rodents and cats for many cortical areas. In non-human primates (monkeys), it has been reported for the primary sensory cortices (A1, V1, S1), the motor and premotor cortical areas and, in the parietal lobe, also for area 7. The present study aimed first at refining the cytoarchitecture parcellation of area 5 into the sub-areas PE and PEa and, second, establishing whether area 5 also exhibits this dual pattern of corticothalamic projection and what is its precise topography. To this aim, the tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) was injected in area PE in one monkey and in area PEa in a second monkey. Area PE sends a major projection terminating with small endings to the thalamic lateral posterior nucleus (LP), ventral posterior lateral nucleus (VPL), medial pulvinar (PuM) and, but fewer, to ventral lateral posterior nucleus, dorsal division (VLpd), central lateral nucleus (CL) and center median nucleus (CM), whereas giant endings formed restricted terminal fields in LP, VPL and PuM. For area PEa, the corticothalamic projection formed by small endings was found mainly in LP, VPL, anterior pulvinar (PuA), lateral pulvinar (PuL), PuM and, to a lesser extent, in ventral posterior inferior nucleus (VPI), CL, mediodorsal nucleus (MD) and CM. Giant endings originating from area PEa formed restricted terminal fields in LP, VPL, PuA, PuM, MD and PuL. Furthermore, the origin of the thalamocortical projections to areas PE and PEa was established, exhibiting clusters of neurons in the same thalamic nuclei as above, in other words predominantly in the caudal thalamus. Via the giant endings CT projection, areas PE and PEa may send feedforward, transthalamic projections to remote cortical areas in the parietal, temporal and frontal lobes contributing to polysensory and sensorimotor integration, relevant for visual guidance of reaching movements for instance.