Localization of sources of thalamic inputs into the sensorimotor cortex in the rabbit using retrograde axonal transport technique
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It was shown that the rabbit sensorimotor cortex received afferent fibers from neurons located in the specific, nonspecific, and association thalamic nuclei using the retrograde axonal transport technique. The distribution, dimensions, and shape of the somata of relay neurons spread through the thalamic nuclei were analyzed. The total number of neurons sending out thalamo-sensorimotor-cortical fibers was calculated and the coordinates of loci with the highest density of these cells in each thalamic nucleus were identified. Multipolar and stellate cells with somata measuring 12–20 µm and 10–15 µm in diameter, respectively, prevailed amongst relay neurons. Amongst the specific nuclei, the majority of afferent fibers are sent out by the ventrolateral, ventral anterior, and anterior ventral nuclei. A comparable number of afferent fibers are sent out by the mediodorsal and paracentral nuclei; these split up among the association nuclei and paracentral nuclei, respectively. It is suggested that afferents from many different groups of thalamic nuclei are essential for the sensorimotor cortex to participate in thalamocortical interaction.
KeywordsStellate Cell Afferent Fiber Axonal Transport Thalamic Nucleus Sensorimotor Cortex
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