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Spatial organization of astrocytes in ferret visual cortex.

Astrocytes form an intricate partnership with neural circuits to influence numerous cellular and synaptic processes. One prominent organizational feature of astrocytes is the "tiling" of the brain with non-overlapping territories. There are some documented species and brain region-specific astrocyte specializations, but the extent of astrocyte diversity and circuit specificity are still unknown. We quantitatively defined the rules that govern the spatial arrangement of astrocyte somata and territory overlap in ferret visual cortex using a combination of in vivo two-photon imaging, morphological reconstruction, immunostaining, and model simulations. We found that ferret astrocytes share, on average, half of their territory with other astrocytes. However, a specific class of astrocytes, abundant in thalamo-recipient cortical layers ("kissing" astrocytes), overlap markedly less. Together, these results demonstrate novel features of astrocyte organization indicating that different classes of astrocytes are arranged in a circuit-specific manner and that tiling does not apply universally across brain regions and species. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3561-3576, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Pubmed ID: 27072916 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Aging | Animals | Astrocytes | Cell Count | Cell Size | Electroporation | Ferrets | Immunohistochemistry | Male | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Microscopy, Confocal | Models, Neurological | Visual Cortex

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MATLAB

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Jackson Laboratory

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NEURON

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