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Neocortical layers I and II of the hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus). II. Thalamo-cortical connections

Neocortical layers I and II of the hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus). II. Thalamo-cortical connections

Anatomy and Embryology 175(2): 167-179

This study examines the thalamo-cortical projections to the most superficial neocortical layers in the hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) after small injections of horseradish peroxidase and horseradish peroxidase conjugated to wheat germ agglutinin in the somato-sensory cortex. The injections were limited to layers I, II and upper parts of layer III/IV. Retrogradely labeled cells were plotted in serial sections through the thalamus. Injections in the somato-sensory cortex gave a pattern of elongated columns of labeled cells, extending rostro-caudally in the nucleus ventralis thalami. In the neocortex, labeled fibers extended for considerable distances running horizontally in layer I. Complementary observations demonstrate the thalamic origin of certain, coarse ascending bundles observed previously in Golgi preparations of the hedgehog. It is concluded that a major cortical input to layer I originates in the hedgehog in the principal thalamic (relay) nuclei. After injections in the somato-sensory cortex, retrogradely labeled cells were also found in the nucleus ventro-medialis thalami and very few in a zone medial to the nucleus ventralis thalami corresponding to the intralaminar thalamic nuclei. The contributions of this latter system seem to be limited in comparison with other mammals.

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Accession: 040780047

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PMID: 2435192

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