Dendritic bundling in layer I of granular retrosplenial cortex: Intracellular labeling and selectivity of innervation

Academic Article


  • The extrinsic projections to and from the retrosplenial cortex have been studied in detail, but the intrinsic circuitry within this region has been characterized less completely. To further define the internal connections, small injections of the retrograde, fluorescent tracer Fluorogold were made into the retrosplenial cortex of the rat. These injections label neurons in layers II‐V of the contralateral homotopic cortex. In layers III‐V, the labeled neurons are present over an area much larger than the injection site, but in layer II neurons are labeled in a very precise homotopic pattern. Following these injections, only the neurons in layer II display heavily labeled apical dendrites, and these labeled dendrites form tight bundles in layer Ic and Ib of the cortex and spread out in layer Ia. An examination of Golgi‐stained material demonstrates that most of the neurons in layer II are small pyramidal cells with 2–3 small basal dendrites and a single, large apical dendrite that arborizes extensively in layer Ia. To verify the structure of the layer II neurons, they were intracellularly filled with Lucifer yellow. Examination of these labeled cells confirms the observations from the Golgi‐stained material and demonstrates that many apical dendrites of the layer II cells angle acutely, apparently to join a bundle and/or avoid an interbundle space. Tract tracing experiments demonstrate that the anteroventral nucleus of the thalamus appears to project selectively to the region containing the dendritic bundles, whereas intracortical projections appear to terminate in layers Ib and Ic in the 30–200 μm spaces between the bundles. Furthermore, the areas containing the bundles display dense AChE staining, but the interbundle spaces are almost free of AChE staining. These findings demonstrate a form of dendritic bundling that is input and output specific and may play an important role in the regulation of thalamic inputs to the cingulate cortex. Copyright © 1990 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Michael JW; Van Groen T; Sripanidkulchai K
  • Start Page

  • 33
  • End Page

  • 42
  • Volume

  • 295
  • Issue

  • 1