Ocular dominance columns and local projections of layer 6 pyramidal neurons in macaque primary visual cortex

Vis Neurosci. 1997 Mar-Apr;14(2):241-51. doi: 10.1017/s095252380001138x.


To study the relationship between ocular dominance columns (ODCs) and axonal projections of individual layer 6 pyramidal neurons in the primary visual cortex, neurons were intracellularly labeled with biocytin in live slices prepared from macaque monkeys that had received an intravitreal injection of tetrodotoxin (TTX). The TTX injection indirectly causes a decrease in cytochrome oxidase (CO) expression in the cortical ODCs corresponding to the treated eye (Wong-Riley & Carroll, 1984). Sections from slices with labeled layer 6 neurons were double stained for biocytin and CO, to allow visualization of neuronal processes as well as ODCs. Twenty-seven layer 6 pyramidal neurons in ODC-labeled slices were analyzed. These neurons were classified according to the criteria of Wiser and Callaway (1996). Eight of these are class I neurons, which have dense axonal projections to the monocular layer 4C. The remaining 19 are class II neurons which project primarily to the binocular layers outside 4C. Among class I neurons, two have dense axonal arbors in layer 4C alpha (type I alpha), one in layer 4C beta (type I beta), and two throughout the depth of layer 4C (type IC). None of these neurons have ODC-specific axonal arbors. The remaining three class I neurons have focused axonal projections in layers 4C beta and 4A (type I beta A). All three appear to have axonal arbors predominantly within their home ODC in layer 4C. The axonal arbors of class II neurons do not appear to relate to ODCs in any specific fashion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Functional Laterality
  • Injections
  • Lysine / analogs & derivatives
  • Macaca radiata
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • Pyramidal Tracts / anatomy & histology*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / drug effects
  • Pyramidal Tracts / enzymology
  • Tetrodotoxin / administration & dosage
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / drug effects
  • Visual Cortex / enzymology
  • Vitreous Body


  • Tetrodotoxin
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • biocytin
  • Lysine