The claustrum (CLA) is a subcortical structure that is reciprocally and topographically connected with the cerebral cortex. The complexity of the cerebral cortex varies dramatically across mammals, raising the question of whether there might also be differences in CLA organization, circuitry, and function. Species variations in the shape of the CLA are well documented. Studies in multiple species have identified subsets of neurochemically distinct interneurons; some data suggest species variations in the nature, distribution, and numbers of different neurochemically identified neuronal types. We have studied the CLA in a smooth-brained primate, the squirrel monkey, using Nissl-stained sections and immunohistochemistry. We found that the shape of the CLA is different from that in other primates. We found several different neurochemically defined populations of neurons equally distributed throughout the CLA. Immunoreactivity to GAD65/67 and GABAA receptors suggest that GABAergic interneurons provide widespread inhibitory input to CLA neurons. Immunoreactivity to glutamate transporters suggests widespread and overlapping excitatory input from cortical and possibly subcortical sources. Comparison of CLA organization in different species suggests that there may be major species differences both in the organization and in the functions of the CLA. Anat Rec, 303:1439–1454, 2020.
- GABA receptors
- cerebral cortex
- nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein
- vesicular glutamate transporters
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics