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Chand, P and Jain, N (2015) Intracortical and Thalamocortical Connections of the Hand and Face Representations in Somatosensory Area 3b of Macaque Monkeys and Effects of Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries. J Neurosc, 35 (39). pp. 13475-13486.

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Abstract

Brains of adult monkeys with chronic lesions of dorsal columns of spinal cord at cervical levels undergo large-scale reorganization. Reorganization results in expansion of intact chin inputs, which reactivate neurons in the deafferented hand representation in the primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b), ventroposterior nucleus of the thalamus and cuneate nucleus of the brainstem. A likely contributing mechanism for this large-scale plasticity is sprouting of axons across the hand-face border. Here we determined whether such sprouting takes place in area 3b. We first determined the extent of intrinsic corticocortical connectivity between the hand and the face representations in normal area 3b. Small amounts of neuroanatomical tracers were injected in these representations close to the electrophysiologically determined hand-face border. Locations of the labeled neurons were mapped with respect to the detailed electrophysiological somatotopic maps and histologically determined hand-face border revealed in sections of the flattened cortex stained for myelin. Results show that intracortical projections across the hand-face border are few. In monkeys with chronic unilateral lesions of the dorsal columns and expanded chin representation, connections across the hand-face border were not different compared with normal monkeys. Thalamocortical connections from the hand and face representations in the ventroposterior nucleus to area 3b also remained unaltered after injury. The results show that sprouting of intrinsic connections in area 3b or the thalamocortical inputs does not contribute to large-scale cortical plasticity. Significance statement: Long-term injuries to dorsal spinal cord in adult primates result in large-scale somatotopic reorganization due to which chin inputs expand into the deafferented hand region. Reorganization takes place in multiple cortical areas, and thalamic and medullary nuclei. To what extent this brain reorganization due to dorsal column injuries is related to axonal sprouting is not known. Here we show that reorganization of primary somatosensory area 3b is not accompanied with either an increase in intrinsic cortical connections between the hand and face representations, or any change in thalamocortical inputs to these areas. Axonal sprouting that causes reorganization likely takes place at subthalamic levels.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Neurodegenerative Disorders
Neuro-Oncological Disorders
Neurocognitive Processes
Neuronal Development and Regeneration
Informatics and Imaging
Genetics and Molecular Biology
Depositing User: Dr. D.D. Lal
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 05:54
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2018 04:30
URI: http://nbrc.sciencecentral.in/id/eprint/216

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