Spinothalamocortical inputs nonpreferentially innervate the superficial and deep cortical layers of SI

Ting Shi, Richard T. Stevens, Jeff Tessier, A. Vania Apkarian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Using a combined anterograde and retrograde tracing technique, we examined the distribution pattern of the thalamocortical cells which projected to superficial layers of the hand region of the primary somatosensory cortex (hSI), and quantitatively analyzed the retrogradely labeled cells which putatively contacted terminals of the spinothalamic tract (STT) in the squirrel monkey and the macaque. Less than 25% of the superficial hSI projecting cells were putatively contacted by terminals of cervical enlargement spinothalamic neurons. These cells were primarily located in ventro-posterior lateral, ventroposterior inferior and centrolateral nuclei. Although the number of superficial hSI projecting cells numbered less than 20% of the total hSI projecting cells, their patterns of location and their proportion of overlap with STT terminals within each thalamic nucleus were similar. It is suggested that the spinothalamic nociceptive information input to the cortex equally accesses both superficial and deep SI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-213
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 1993


  • Anterograde transport
  • Macaque monkey
  • Nociception
  • Retrograde transport
  • Spinothalamic terminal
  • Squirrel monkey
  • Thalamocortical cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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