The claustrum is a gray-matter structure that underlies neocortex and reciprocates connections with cortical and subcortical targets. In lower mammals, the claustrum is directly adjacent to neocortex, making the definition of claustral boundaries challenging. Latexin, an endogenous inhibitor of metallocarboxypeptidases, localizes to claustral cells, enabling a clear delineation of claustrum. Given its proportionately large claustrum, we hypothesized that the short-tailed fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata, can be a useful model for claustral structure-function relations. We used latexin immunohistochemistry to identify claustral boundaries and intrinsic structure and multielectrode recordings from brain slices to explore intrinsic excitatory connectivity of the claustrum. Carollia's claustrum contains cells whose intrinsic connectivity and alignment permit the generation of spontaneous, synchronous population events and mirror their pattern of spread in disinhibited brain slices over millimeters. Carollia shows cellular alignment and spontaneous population-activity spread along both horizontal and dorsoventral axes. Carollia claustrum possesses intrinsic excitatory connectivity sufficient to: 1) generate single, spontaneous, synchronized burst discharges, 2) support activity spread along axes where claustral cells are aligned, and 3), because of multiple axes for cell alignment, support activity spread along both rostrocaudal and dorsoventral axes. The smaller event sizes in bat claustrum compared with rat claustrum are consistent with events occurring in population subsets rather than the full claustral cell population. The overall size of claustrum, its pronounced vascularity, and its more complex intrinsic connectivity than rat suggest that the bat is an animal model for claustral structure and function that will permit unique access to claustrum's processing capabilities. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1459-1474, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Pubmed ID: 28206685 RIS Download
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