Spine formation and maturation of type 1 synapses on spiny stellate neurons in primate visual cortex

J Comp Neurol. 1983 Nov 20;221(1):91-7. doi: 10.1002/cne.902210107.


This study continues an investigation (Mates and Lund, '83a) of neuronal development in lamina 4C of macaque monkey striate visual cortex. The maturational history of the type 1 synaptic contacts on spine-bearing stellate neurons, which comprise 95% of the neurons of the lamina, is described. It is shown that type 1 contacts are initially found on the dendritic shafts; these contacts appear to be carried out on spine outgrowths. This leads to the adult condition where type 1 contacts are found only on the spine tips. A similar phenomenon has been reported for pyramidal neurons of the rat (reported during the course of this study by Miller and Peters, '81). In later maturation the spine and its type 1 contact may be lost; profiles found in the neuropil illustrate a process of shrinkage and detachment of both the type 1 axon terminals and postsynaptic dendritic spines in normal maturation. These findings provide an explanation for the marked increase and decrease in spine populations observed to occur on these neurons during normal maturation in an earlier study by Boothe et al. ('79).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Macaca nemestrina
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Synapses / ultrastructure
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / growth & development*