Quantitative analysis of axon collaterals of single superficial pyramidal cells in layer IIb of the piriform cortex of the guinea pig

Brain Res. 2004 Nov 5;1026(1):84-94. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2004.07.085.


To understand the functional organization of the piriform cortex (PC), the axon collaterals of three pyramidal cells in layer IIb of the anterior PC and one pyramidal cell in layer IIb of the posterior PC were labeled and quantitatively analyzed by intracellular biocytin injection in the guinea pig. Single pyramidal cells in the anterior and posterior PCs have widely distributed axon collaterals, which exhibit little tendency for patchy concentrations inside as well as outside the PC. The total lengths of the axon collaterals of the three fully analyzed pyramidal cells ranged from 68 to 156 mm, more than 50% of which were distributed in the PC. The total number of boutons of the three cells ranged from 6000 to 14,000, 5000-7000 of which were distributed in the PC. It was estimated that individual pyramidal cells in layer IIb form synaptic contacts with 2200 to 3000 other pyramidal cells in the PC, indicating that single pyramidal cells in layer IIb receive input from a large number of other pyramidal cells. This high connectivity of the network of pyramidal cells in the PC can be regarded as the neural network operating parallel distributed processing, which may play an important role in experience-induced enhancement in odorant discrimination in the PC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / chemistry
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Cell Count / methods
  • Cerebral Cortex / chemistry
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Lysine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / chemistry
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Pyramidal Cells / chemistry
  • Pyramidal Cells / cytology*


  • biocytin
  • Lysine