Epub – Journal of Neuroscience: Distinct Properties of Layer 3 Pyramidal Neurons from Prefrontal and Parietal Areas of the Monkey Neocortex

July 24, 2019

Gonzalez-Burgos G, Miyamae T, Krimer Y, Gulchina Y, Pafundo DE, Krimer O, Bazmi H, Arion D, Enwright JF, Fish K, Lewis DA

In primates, working memory function depends on activity in a distributed network of cortical areas that display different patterns of delay task- related activity. These differences are correlated with, and might depend on, distinctive properties of the neurons located in each area. For example, layer 3 pyramidal neurons (L3PNs) differ significantly between primary visual and dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) cortices. However, to what extent L3PNs differ between DLPFC and other association cortical areas is less clear. Hence, we compared the properties of L3PNs in monkey DLPFC versus posterior parietal cortex (PPC), a key node in the cortical working memory network. Using patch clamp recordings and biocytin cell filling in acute brain slices, we assessed the physiology and morphology of L3PNs from monkey DLPFC and PPC. The L3PN transcriptome was studied using laser microdissection combined with DNA microarray or quantitative PCR. We found that in both DLPFC and PPC, L3PNs were divided into regular spiking (RS- L3PNs) and bursting (B-L3PNs) physiological subtypes. Whereas regional differences in single-cell excitability were modest, B-L3PNs were rare in PPC (RS-L3PN:B-L3PN, 94:6), but were abundant in DLPFC (50:50), showing greater physiological diversity. Moreover, DLPFC L3PNs display larger and more complex basal dendrites with higher dendritic spine density. Additionally, we found differential expression of hundreds of genes, suggesting a transcriptional basis for the differences in L3PN phenotype between DLPFC and PPC. These data show that the previously observed differences between DLPFC and PPC neuron activity during working memory tasks are associated with diversity in the cellular/molecular properties of L3PNs.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTIn the human and non-human primate neocortex, layer 3 pyramidal neurons (L3PNs) differ significantly between dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) and sensory areas. Hence, L3PN properties reflect, and may contribute to, a greater complexity of computations performed in DLPFC. However, across association cortical areas, L3PN properties are largely unexplored. We studied the physiology, dendrite morphology and transcriptome of L3PNs from macaque monkey DLPFC and posterior parietal cortex (PPC), two key nodes in the cortical working memory network. L3PNs from DLPFC had greater diversity of physiological properties and larger basal dendrites with higher spine density. Moreover, transcriptome analysis suggested a molecular basis for the differences in the physiological and morphological phenotypes of L3PNs from DLPFC and PPC.

Gonzalez-Burgos G, Miyamae T, Krimer Y, Gulchina Y, Pafundo DE, Krimer O, Bazmi H, Arion D, Enwright JF, Fish K, Lewis DA. Distinct Properties of Layer 3 Pyramidal Neurons from Prefrontal and Parietal Areas of the Monkey Neocortex. J Neurosci. 2019 Jul 24. pii: 1210-19. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1210-19.2019. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31341029.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31341029

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