Patterning of local intracortical projections within the vibrissae representation of rat primary somatosensory cortex

J Comp Neurol. 1995 Apr 17;354(4):551-63. doi: 10.1002/cne.903540406.


Anterograde and retrograde tracing with biotinylated dextran amine and Phaseolus vulgaris leukoagglutinin was used to assess projection patterns within the vibrissae representation of the rat's primary somatosensory cortex (S-I). Large and small injections of either tracer into the center of the vibrissae representation yielded dense anterograde and retrograde labelling throughout much of the tangential extent of the vibrissae representation within S-I. In all layers, the pattern and extent of retrograde and anterograde label was in rough congruence. The organization of this labelling varied across cortical layers. In layers II and III, labelled fibers extended away from injection sites in all directions and yielded a uniform pattern, which decreased in density with increasing distance from the tracer injection. There was a tendency for labelling to be more extensive along the representation of the row of vibrissae follicles that included the injection site than across rows. There was also a tendency for anterograde labelling to be more extensive in the direction of the representation of follicles more rostral on the face than that injected. In lamina IV, both labelled fibers and cells were restricted for the most part to the septa regions between the barrels. However, a small number of retrogradely labelled neurons were also located in the barrels (approximately one-ninth of the number found in the septa). The pattern observed in laminae II-III was repeated in layers V and VI. In these laminae, there was no evidence of a pattern of intracortical connections related to the vibrissae representation in overlying lamina IV.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotin / analogs & derivatives
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Dextrans
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Rats
  • Reference Values
  • Somatosensory Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Vibrissae / innervation*


  • Dextrans
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • biotinylated dextran amine
  • leukoagglutinins, plants
  • Biotin