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Intracortical and thalamocortical connections of the hand and face representations in somatosensory area 3b of macaque monkeys and effects of chronic spinal cord injuries
P. Chand,
Published in Society for Neuroscience
PMID: 26424892
Volume: 35
Issue: 39
Pages: 13475 - 13486
Brains of adult monkeys with chronic lesions of dorsal columns of spinal cord at cervical levels undergo large-scale reorganization. Reorganization results in expansion of intact chin inputs, which reactivate neurons in the deafferented hand representation in the primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b), ventroposterior nucleus of the thalamus and cuneate nucleus of the brainstem. A likely contributing mechanism for this large-scale plasticity is sprouting of axons across the hand–face border. Here we determined whether such sprouting takes place in area 3b. We first determined the extent of intrinsic corticocortical connectivity between the hand and the face representations in normal area 3b. Small amounts of neuroanatomical tracers were injected in these representations close to the electrophysiologically determined hand–face border. Locations of the labeled neurons were mapped with respect to the detailed electrophysiological somatotopicmapsand histologically determined hand–face border revealed in sections of the flattened cortex stained for myelin. Results show that intracortical projections across the hand–face border are few. In monkeys with chronic unilateral lesions of the dorsal columns and expanded chin representation, connections across the hand–face border were not different compared with normal monkeys. Thalamocortical connections from the hand and face representations in the ventroposterior nucleus to area 3b also remained unaltered after injury. The results show that sprouting of intrinsic connections in area 3b or the thalamocortical inputs does not contribute to large-scale cortical plasticity. © 2015 the authors.
About the journal
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
PublisherSociety for Neuroscience