Corticostriatal Combinatorics: The Implications of Corticostriatal Axonal Arborizations

  • Zheng T
  • Wilson C
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Abstract

The complete striatal ax- onal arborizations of 16 juxtacellularly stained cortical pyramidal cells were analyzed. Corticostriatal neurons were located in the medial agranular or anterior cingulate cortex of rats. All axons were of the extended type and formed synaptic contacts in both the striosomal and matrix compartments as determined by counterstaining for the mu- opiate receptor. Six axonal arborizations were from collaterals of brain stem-projecting cells and the other 10 from bilaterally projecting cells with no brain stem projections. The distribution of synaptic boutons along the axons were convolved with the average dendritic tree volume of spiny projection neurons to obtain an axonal innerva- tion volume and innervation density map for each axon. Innervation volumes varied widely, with single axons occupying between 0.4 and 14.2% of the striatum (average ? 4%). The total number of boutons formed by individual axons ranged from 25 to 2,900 (average?879). Within the innervation volume, the density of innervation was ex- tremely sparse but inhomogeneous. The pattern of innervation resem- bled matrisomes, as defined by bulk labeling and functional mapping experiments, superimposed on a low background innervation. Using this sample as representative of all corticostriatal axons, the total number of corticostriatal neurons was estimated to be 17 million, about 10 times the number of striatal projection neurons.

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Authors

  • T. Zheng

  • C. J. Wilson

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