Morphometric characterization of synapses in the primate prefrontal cortex formed by afferents from the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus

L Negyessy, P S Goldman-Rakic
Experimental Brain Research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation Cérébrale 2005, 164 (2): 148-54
The main thalamic afferentation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) originates in the mediodorsal nucleus (MD). Although it is suggested that this pathway is affected in schizophrenia, there is a lack of functional and structural data regarding its synaptic organization. The scope of this study was to characterize the ultrastructural features of thalamocortical synapses formed by afferents from the MD by applying anterograde tract tracing, immunohistochemical detection of parvalbumin (PV, a probable marker of thalamocortical endings), and quantitative electron microscopic techniques to the PFC of the macaque monkey. Our findings indicate that anterogradely-labeled and PV-immunoreactive boutons exhibit similar ultrastructural properties, characterized by their larger size, higher incidence of release sites and a higher occurrence of mitochondria when compared to non-labeled, excitatory-like endings in the middle layers of the PFC. Although most of the contacts were made on spines in both cases, PV-immunopositive axon terminals apparently targeted dendritic shafts at about twice the frequency found for anterogradely-labeled afferents from the MD (20.5% and 9.5%, respectively). This result suggests diversity among thalamocortical and/or PV-immunoreactive axon terminals of the PFC. In accordance with studies in other cortical areas, our findings suggest that corollary discharge through the mediodorsal thalamocortical projection is also adapted to synaptic transmission with high efficacy and probably exhibits marked short-term temporal dynamics in the PFC.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"