Dr. Zheng Wang: Mapping brain-wide excitatory projectome of primate prefrontal cortex at submicron resolution and comparison with diffusion tractography



  Resolving trajectories of axonal pathways in the primate prefrontal cortex remains crucial to gain insights into higher-order processes of cognition and emotion, which requires a comprehensive map of axonal projections linking demarcated subdivisions of prefrontal cortex and the rest of brain. Here, we report a mesoscale excitatory projectome issued from the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) to the entire macaque brain by using viral-based genetic axonal tracing in tandem with high-throughput serial two-photon tomography, which demonstrated prominent monosynaptic projections to other prefrontal areas, temporal, limbic, and subcortical areas, relatively weak projections to parietal and insular regions but no projections directly to the occipital lobe. In a common 3D space, we quantitatively validated an atlas of diffusion tractography-derived vlPFC connections with correlative green fluorescent protein-labeled axonal tracing, and observed generally good agreement except a major difference in the posterior projections of inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. These findings raise an intriguing question as to how neural information passes along long-range association fiber bundles in macaque brains, and call for the caution of using diffusion tractography to map the wiring diagram of brain circuits.

    Original link: https://elifesciences.org/articles/72534