Corticothalamic axons contact blood vessels as well as nerve cells in the thalamus

Eur J Neurosci. 2000 Jun;12(6):2195-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2000.00093.x.


Corticothalamic axons in cats and rats were studied after labelling by intracortical injections of axonally transported markers. Individual axons were traced to their terminal branches. Many preterminal segments had a tightly spiral or winding course which was often closely adjacent to a thalamic blood vessel. Electron micrographs of such axons showed them lying immediately adjacent to the vascular basement membrane, without the astrocytic cytoplasm that generally separates neural processes from the basement membrane of vessels. The functional nature of this neurovascular relationship remains to be explored.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cats
  • Cerebral Arteries / innervation
  • Cerebral Arteries / ultrastructure
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply*
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Rats
  • Thalamus / blood supply*
  • Thalamus / cytology*