The rat granular retrosplenial cortex (GRS) is a simplified cortex, with distinct stratification and, in the uppermost layers, distinct modularity. Thalamic and cortical inputs are segregated by layers and in layer 1 colocalize, respectively, with apical dendritic bundles originating from neurons in layers 2 or 5. To further investigate this organization, we turned to reelin-deficient reeler mouse and Shaking rat Kawasaki. We found that the disrupted lamination, evident in Nissl stains in these rodents, is in fact a patch–matrix mosaic of segregated afferents and dendrites. Patches consist of thalamocortical connections, visualized by vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2) or AChE. The surrounding matrix consists of corticocortical terminations, visualized by VGluT1 or zinc. Dendrites concentrate in the matrix or patches, depending on whether they are OCAM positive (matrix) or negative (patches). In wild-type rodents and, presumably, mutants, OCAM+ structures originate from layer 5 neurons. By double labeling for dendrites (filled by Lucifer yellow in fixed slice) and OCAM immunofluorescence, we ascertained 2 populations in reeler: dendritic branches either preferred (putative layer 5 neurons) or avoided (putative supragranular neurons) the OCAM+ matrix. We conclude that input–target relationships are largely preserved in the mutant GRS and that dendrite–dendrite interactions involving OCAM influence the formation of the mosaic configuration.

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