Receptor density pattern confirms and enhances the anatomic-functional features of the macaque superior parietal lobule areas

Brain Struct Funct. 2019 Nov;224(8):2733-2756. doi: 10.1007/s00429-019-01930-9. Epub 2019 Aug 7.


The macaque monkey superior parietal lobule (SPL) is part of a neuronal network involved in the integration of information from visual and somatosensory cortical areas for execution of reaching and grasping movements. We applied quantitative in vitro receptor autoradiography to analyse the distribution patterns of 15 different receptors for glutamate, GABA, acetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine, and adenosine in the SPL of three adult male Macaca fascicularis monkeys. For each area, mean (averaged over all cortical layers) receptor densities were visualized as a receptor fingerprint of that area. Multivariate analyses were conducted to detect clusters of areas according to the degree of (dis)similarity of their receptor organization. Differences in regional and laminar receptor distributions confirm the location and extent of areas V6, V6Av, V6Ad, PEc, PEci, and PGm as found in cytoarchitectonic and functional studies, but also enable the definition of three subdivisions within area PE. Receptor densities are higher in supra- than in infragranular layers, with the exception of kainate, M2, and adenosine receptors. Glutamate and GABAergic receptors are the most expressed in all areas analysed. Hierarchical cluster analyses demonstrate that SPL areas are organized in two groups, an organization that corresponds to the visual or sensory-motor characteristics of those areas. Finally, based on present results and in the framework of our current understanding of the structural and functional organization of the primate SPL, we propose a novel pattern of homologies between human and macaque SPL areas.

Keywords: Monkey; Neurochemical organization; Posterior parietal cortex; Somatosensory-motor input; Visuo-motor input.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Parietal Lobe / cytology*
  • Parietal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / metabolism
  • Receptors, Dopamine / metabolism
  • Receptors, GABA / metabolism
  • Receptors, Glutamate / metabolism
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Purinergic P1 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Serotonin / metabolism


  • Receptors, Cholinergic
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • Receptors, GABA
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Receptors, Purinergic P1
  • Receptors, Serotonin