Intracellular Properties of Deep-Layer Pyramidal Neurons in Frontal Eye Field of Macaque Monkeys

Charlotte Piette, Marie Vandecasteele, Clémentine Bosch-Bouju, Valérie Goubard, Vincent Paillé, Yihui Cui, Alexandre Mendes, Sylvie Perez, Silvana Valtcheva, Hao Xu, Pierre Pouget, Laurent Venance
Front. Synaptic Neurosci.. 2021-09-21; 13:
DOI: 10.3389/fnsyn.2021.725880

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Although many details remain unknown, several positive statements can be made about the laminar distribution of primate frontal eye field (FEF) neurons with different physiological properties. Most certainly, pyramidal neurons in the deep layer of FEF that project to the brainstem carry movement and fixation signals but clear evidence also support that at least some deep-layer pyramidal neurons projecting to the superior colliculus carry visual responses. Thus, deep-layer neurons in FEF are functionally heterogeneous. Despite the useful functional distinctions between neuronal responses in vivo, the underlying existence of distinct cell types remain uncertain, mostly due to methodological limitations of extracellular recordings in awake behaving primates. To substantiate the functionally defined cell types encountered in the deep layer of FEF, we measured the biophysical properties of pyramidal neurons recorded intracellularly in brain slices issued from macaque monkey biopsies. Here, we found that biophysical properties recorded in vitro permit us to distinguish two main subtypes of regular-spiking neurons, with, respectively, low-resistance and low excitability vs. high-resistance and strong excitability. These results provide useful constraints for cognitive models of visual attention and saccade production by indicating that at least two distinct populations of deep-layer neurons exist.

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus