Neurochemically defined cell types in the claustrum of the cat

Brain Res. 2007 Jul 23;1159:94-111. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.05.011. Epub 2007 May 22.


The claustrum is a subcortical structure reciprocally and topographically connected with all sensory and motor domains of the cerebral cortex. Previous anatomical and electrophysiological data suggested that most cells in the claustrum are large neurons that both receive cortical input and project back to cortex, forming excitatory connections with their cortical targets. These data have been interpreted to imply a relay function for the claustrum, with information from different functional cortical domains remaining segregated. The possibility that the claustrum might mediate a more "global" function has been recently been developed by Crick and Koch [Crick, F. C., Koch, C., 2005. What is the function of the claustrum? Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B Biol. Sci. 360, 1271-1279]. We have reexamined the anatomical substrate for information processing in the claustrum of the cat by analyzing the patterns of immunoreactivity to calcium-binding proteins, GAD, serotonin, nNOS and the glutamate transporter EAAC1. We found multiple neurochemically defined cell types, suggesting multiple classes of projection neurons and interneurons. Each class was found throughout the entire claustrum, in all functionally defined subdivisions. Many neurons in the claustrum were surrounded by parvalbumin, calretinin, GAD or nNOS immunoreactive terminals, suggesting that many neurons of the claustrum make extensive intraclaustral connections. The entire claustrum also receives a serotonergic input. The identification of multiple neurochemical cell classes, their distribution and the extent of their dendritic arborizations relative to functional compartments suggest a substrate for information processing in the claustrum that may allow integration of information across functional subdivisions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basal Ganglia / cytology*
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Cats
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 3 / metabolism
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Neurons / classification*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I / metabolism
  • Serotonin / metabolism


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 3
  • Slc1a1 protein, mouse
  • Serotonin
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase