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Dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells across layers of the juvenile rat somatosensory cortex

AuthorsLeguey, Ignacio; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; Kastanauskaite, Asta ; Rojo, Concepción; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth ; DeFelipe, Javier
KeywordsNeuronal geometrical design
Jones‐Pewsey and von Mises directional statistics
Branching dendritic angles
Cortical layers
Issue Date1-Sep-2016
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationJournal of Comparative Neurology 524(13): 2567-2576 (2016)
AbstractThe characterization of the structural design of cortical microcircuits is essential for understanding how they contribute to function in both health and disease. Since pyramidal neurons represent the most abundant neuronal type and their dendritic spines constitute the major postsynaptic elements of cortical excitatory synapses, our understanding of the synaptic organization of the neocortex largely depends on the available knowledge regarding the structure of pyramidal cells. Previous studies have identified several apparently common rules in dendritic geometry. We study the dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells across layers to further shed light on the principles that determine the geometric shapes of these cells. We find that the dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells from layers II–VI of the juvenile rat somatosensory cortex suggest common design principles, despite the particular morphological and functional features that are characteristic of pyramidal cells in each cortical layer. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2567–2576, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cne.23977
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