European Journal of Neuroscience vol:16 issue:8 pages:1620-1626
Recent immunocytochemical stainings on cat visual cortex, visually stimulated for 1 h, showed a strong induction of Fos expression in cortical neurons. We initiated immunocytochemical double staining experiments with different cytochemical markers to investigate the neurochemical and morphological character of these activated neurons showing Fos induction after sensory stimulation. Double staining with Fos and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) demonstrated the presence of Fos in the nuclei of GABAergic neurons of the primary visual cortex. To further subdivide this Fos/GABAergic cell population we investigated whether Fos colocalized with parvalbumin, calbindin or calretinin. Colocalization of Fos with these calcium-binding proteins delineated distinct neuronal subclasses of Fos-immunoreactive neurons in supra- and infragranular layers of cat area 17. Quantitative analysis of the proportion of immunoreactive local circuit neurons revealed that 35% of the GABAergic neurons showed Fos induction in supragranular layers, whereas in infragranular layers a mere 10% of the GABAergic cells revealed Fos expression. Fos coexisted in about 24% of the calbindin-immunopositive cells within supra- and infragranular layers, but only a minority of the parvalbumin and the calretinin neuronal subgroups were immunopositive for Fos in the corresponding layers of area 17. These findings suggest that visual stimulation induces Fos expression in distinct subsets of inhibitory neurons in cat primary visual cortex.