Dendritic Development of Visual Callosal Neurons

  • A. Vercelli
  • F. Assal
  • G. M. Innocenti
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 429)


Neurons in the cerebral cortex differ from each other in terms of size, dendritic morphology, location, pattern of projection, membrane and response properties. In principle, these features could derive from an interplay between developmental programs intrinsic to the neuron and various extrinsic factors acting upon them. Interestingly, certain features of cortical neurons, such as dendritic arbor and projection pattern, appear to be mutually dependent: in layer V of cerebral cortex of rats and kittens (Figure 1), pyramidal neurons with callosal or corticocortical axons have short apical dendrites, while neurons projecting to the spinal cord or tectum have longer apical dendrites, which reach layer I (Hallman et al., 1988; Hübener et al., 1990; Koester and O’Leary, 1992; Kasper et al., 1993 and 1994). This morphological specificity of the different classes of projection neurons is maintained even in organotypic co-cultures (Bolz et al., 1990, 1991).


Visual Cortex Pyramidal Neuron Dendritic Arbor Dendritic Morphology Apical Dendrite 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Vercelli
    • 1
  • F. Assal
    • 2
  • G. M. Innocenti
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Pharmacology and Forensic MedicineUniversity of Torino, IItaly
  2. 2.Clinique de NeurologieHôpital Cantonal Universitaire de GenèveSwitzerland
  3. 3.Departement de Biologie cellulaire et de morphologieUniversité de LausanneSwitzerland

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