Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Cytochrome oxidase activity in the striate cortex and lateral geniculate nucleus of the newborn and adult macaque monkey

  • 39 Accesses

  • 27 Citations


The laminar location of cytochrome oxidase staining has been compared in the lateral geniculate nucleus and area 17 in newborn and adult macaque monkeys. In area 17 of the adult, the distribution of cytochrome oxidase activity confirmed published findings. In the newborn animals, the tissue reacted as strongly for cytochrome oxidase as in the adult but the pattern of labelling was different in two respects. Firstly in layer 1 activity was stronger and occupied a wider portion of this layer. Secondly, cytochrome oxidase staining in layer 4C occupied two separate bands, a small narrow band at the bottom of 4Cβ and a wider one occupying the full width of 4Cα and spilling over into 4B. The pattern of cytochrome oxidase activity did not appear to be influenced by eccentricity in the newborn whereas, in the adult, label in 4C was more intense in cortex subserving central vision. In the lateral geniculate nucleus of the adult, the magnocellular layers and the most dorsal parvocellular layer reacted most strongly for cytochrome oxidase. In the newborn, parvocellular layers were more uniformly labelled and the difference between parvo and magnocellular layers more pronounced. These results are discussed in relationship to the development of thalamo-cortical projections in the monkey.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Blasdel GG, Lund JS (1983) Termination of afferent axons in macaque striate cortex. J Neurosci 3: 1389–1413

  2. Connolly M, Van Essen DC (1984) The representation of the visual field in parvocellular and magnocellular layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus in the macaque monkey. J Comp Neurol 226: 544–564

  3. Garey LJ, Saini KD (1981) Golgi studies of the normal development of neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the monkey. Exp Brain Res 44: 117–128

  4. Gottlieb MD, Pasik P, Pasik T (1985) Early postnatal development of the monkey visual system. I. Growth of the lateral geniculate nucleus and striate cortex. Dev Brain Res 17: 53–62

  5. Horton JC, Hubel DH (1981) A regular patchy distribution of cytochrome oxidase staining in primary visual cortex of the macaque monkey. Nature 292: 762–764

  6. Hubel DH, Wiesel TN (1972) Laminar and columnar distribution of geniculo-cortical fibers in the macaque monkey. J Comp Neurol 146: 421–450

  7. Hubel DH, Wiesel TN, LeVay S (1977) Plasticity of ocular dominance columns in monkey striate cortex. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 278: 377–409

  8. LeVay S, Wiesel TN, Hubel DH (1980) The development of ocular dominance columns in normal and visually deprived monkeys. J Comp Neurol 191: 1–51

  9. Livingstone MS, Hubel DH (1982) Thalamic inputs to cytochrome oxidase-rich regions in monkey visual cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 79: 6098–6101

  10. Livingstone MS, Hubel DH (1984) Anatomy and physiology of a color system in the primate visual cortex. J Neurosci 4: 309–356

  11. Lund JS (1973) Organization of neurons in the visual cortex, area 17 of the monkey (Macaca Mulatta). J Comp Neurol 147: 455–496

  12. Maunsell JHR, Van Essen DC (1983) The connections of the middle temporal visual area (MT) and their relationship to a cortical hierarchy in the macaque monkey. J Neurosci 3: 2563–2586

  13. Mesulam MM, Hegarty E, Barbas H, Carson KA, Gower EC, Knapp AG, Moss MB, Mufson EG (1980) Additional factors influencing sensitivity in the tetramethyl benzidine method for horseradish peroxidase neurohistochemistry. J Histochem Cytochem 28: 1255–1259

  14. Ogren MP, Hendrickson A (1977) The distribution of pulvinar terminals in visual areas 17 and 18 of the monkey. Brain Res 137: 343–353

  15. O'Kusky J, Colonnier M (1982) Postnatal changes in the number of neurons and synapses in the visual cortex (area 17) of the macaque monkey: a stereological analysis in normal and monocularly deprived animals. J Comp Neurol 210: 291–306

  16. Rakic P (1976) Prenatal genesis of connections subserving ocular dominance in the rhesus monkey. Nature 261: 467–471

  17. Wong Riley MTT (1979a) Columnar cortico-cortical interconnections within the visual system of the squirrel and macaque monkeys. Brain Res 162: 201–217

  18. Wong Riley MTT (1979b) Changes in the visual system of monocularly sutured or enucleated cats demonstrable with Cyt. Ox. histochemistry. Brain Res 171: 11–28

  19. Wong-Riley M, Carroll EW (1984) Effect of impulse blockage on cytochrome oxidase activity in monkey visual system. Nature 307: 262–264

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to H. Kennedy.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kennedy, H., Bullier, J. & Dehay, C. Cytochrome oxidase activity in the striate cortex and lateral geniculate nucleus of the newborn and adult macaque monkey. Exp Brain Res 61, 204–209 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00235636

Download citation

Key words

  • Monkey
  • Striate cortex
  • LGN
  • Cytochrome oxidase
  • Development