Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The expression of somatostatin mRNA within the neocortex of the rat was examined by in situ hybridization with an alkaline phosphatase-labeled probe. We sought to determine whether parcellation of the neocortex could be based upon the number and laminar location of the hybridized cells. Our investigation demonstrated that the boundaries of the neocortical areas can be determined by the distribution pattern of neurons expressing somatostatin mRNA. Few hybridized cells were located within layer IV, and this sparsity of cells within their wide granular layer marked the primary sensory areas. The occipital region was stratified, with insensely labeled cells in layers II/III and VI and faintly labeled cells in layer V. The parietal region carried a similar stratification, but more space between intensely labeled cells in layers III and V and between layers V and VI gave the region a three-tiered appearance. The temporal region displayed intensely labeled cells dispersed throughout layers III and VI and many in layer V as well as those faintly labeled without any breaks between the laminae. The distribution of the cells hybridized for somatostatin mRNA formed two configurations within the frontal region. It was difficult to identify any lamination in the first area, whereas the second area demonstrated a stratification reminiscent of the parietal region, but with only two tiers. The conclusion of the investigation is that in situ hybridization for somatostatin mRNA provides an exceptional means by which the areal boundaries within the neocortex may be drawn.
Type of Medium: