Comparative study of inter-and intrahemispheric cortico-cortical connections in gerbil auditory cortex
Topographic distributions and laminar pattern of cortico-cortical projections from the primary auditory field (AI), anterior auditory field (AAF), dorsoposterior field (DP), ventroposterior field (VP), dorsal field (D) and ventral field (V) were studied in relation to tonotopic maps in combined anatomical, electrophysiological and 2-deoxyfluoro-D-glucose (2DG) experiments. Distributions of axons were examined by means of retrogradely-transported fluorescent tracer Fast Blue (FB) injected in the primary (AI) and anterior (AAF) auditory field. Injections of fluorescent tracer were placed in electrophysiologically-identified locations of AI and AAF. Neurons in AAF, DP, VP and V project to AI in the ipsilateral hemisphere. This area also receives projections from AI, AAF and D from the contralateral hemisphere. In AI, DP and VP, neurons are connected with AAF in the ipsilateral hemisphere and AI and AAF in the opposite hemisphere. In all cases, patches of labeling are distributed along 2DG bands oriented parallel to the isofrequency line. Substantial numbers of retrogradedly labeled neurons with similar best frequencies (BFs) were observed in the ipsilateral and moderate to scant numbers in the contralateral hemisphere. In general, regions near the injection sites receive more densely-labeled projections than do more distant targets. In both hemispheres, the supragranular layer III contains the greatest concentration of cortico-cortical cells bodies; the granular and infragranular layer V contains a somewhat lower concentration.