The quantitative analysis of the claustrocortical connections in the rabbit, labeled with the fluorescent retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold (FG), was conducted by means of unbiased stereology. The FG was injected into selected regions of the motor, somatosensory, auditory and visual cortices and then a comparison of the various claustrocortical projections was carried out. This was achieved by comparing (1) the numerical densities of projecting neurones for each claustral projection zone and (2) the distribution of the labeled neurones throughout the rostro-caudal extent of the claustrum. No significant differences between the numerical densities of labeled neurones in the various projection zones are reported. The motor and primary somatosensory projections dominated in the anterior and central parts of the claustrum, whereas the secondary somatosensory, auditory and visual projections - in the posterior part. The difference in the distributions was significant (p < 0.001). Summarising, the cortical projections in the claustrum, although varying topographically, do not reveal a quantitative differentiation. This may speak in favour of the integrative and modulating function of this structure in relationship to the neocortex.
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