Cells of origin and terminal distrubution of corticostriatal fibers arising in the sensory‐motor cortex of monkeys

E. G. Jones, J. D. Coulter, H. Burton, R. Porter

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The cells of origin of the corticostriatal projection have been identified in squirrel monkeys by the use of the retrograde horseradish peroxidase method. In the subfields of the somatic sensory, motor, parietal and frontal areas of the cortex, cells projecting to the ipsilateral striatum are relatively sparsely distributed and form a group of small‐ to medium‐sized pyramidal cells with an average somal diameter from area to area of 14‐16 μm. Such cells are found only in layer V of the cortex (mainly in the more superficial parts of the layer). Since they are consistently smaller than the pyramidal cells of layer V that project to the brainstem and spinal cord and since they lie outside layer VI which gives rise to corticothalamic axons, the corticostriatal axons are unlikely to be collaterals of axons projecting to other sites. The cells of origin of the'crossed corticostriatal projection are also found in layer V and are pyramidal cells with somal diameters in the same range as above. They are found only in areas 4, 8 and 6. Studies with the anterograde, autoradiographic method in rhesus, cynomologous and squirrel monkeys, indicate that the somatic sensory areas project to most of the antero‐posterior extent of the ipsilateral putamen. Subareas 3a, 3b, 1 and 2 of the somatic sensory cortex project to the same region and the projection overlaps similarly extensive projections from the motor and certain other areas of the cortex. However, in each case the pattern of terminal labeling is in the form of interrupted clusters, strips and bands. A single small injection of the cortex is associated with only one or two such clusters of terminal labeling. This seems to imply that individual corticostriatal fibers end in a very restricted manner and that the terminal ramifications of fibers from one cortical area may alternate in the putamen with those arising in other areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-80
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 1977


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