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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Corticocortical associative neurons expressing latexin: specific cortical connectivity formed in vivo and in vitro.

Latexin, a carboxypeptidase A inhibitor, is expressed in a subset of neurons in the infragranular layers of the lateral cortex in the rat. We here show that latexin-expressing neurons exhibit ultrastructural features common to cortical pyramidal neurons. We show in combined retrograde tracing and immunofluorescent experiments that latexin-expressing neurons contribute to specific corticocortical pathways. Thus, injections of the retrograde tracer fluorogold into either the primary somatosensory (SI) or the primary motor (MI) cortical area labeled many latexin-expressing neurons in the infragranular layers of the secondary somatosensory (SII) and visceral sensory (Vi) areas. In contrast, tracer injections involving the thalamus, striatum, or contralateral SII and Vi exclusively labeled latexin-nonexpressing neurons in both the SII and Vi. Finally, we show that the correct corticocortical projections can be formed in organotypic slice cultures in vitro from latexin-expressing neurons: when slices of developing SII were cocultured with those from the SI and the thalamus, latexin-immunoreactive neurons in the SII projected preferentially to their normal SI target. The specific connectivity formed in vivo and in vitro by this molecularly distinct neuronal population reveals its characteristic manner of cortical organization and provides a unique model system to analyze mechanisms underlying the formation of precise corticocortical pathways.[1]


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