Divergent Projection Patterns Revealed by Reconstruction of Individual Neurons in Orbitofrontal Cortex

Junjun Wang 1,2 • Pei Sun 1,2 • Xiaohua Lv 1,2 • Sen Jin 3 • Anan Li 1,2 • Jianxia Kuang 1,2 • Ning Li 1,2 • Yadong Gang 1,2 • Rui Guo 1,2 • Shaoqun Zeng 1,2 • Fuqiang Xu 3 • Yu-Hui Zhang 1,2

1 Britton Chance Center for Biomedical Photonics, Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics-Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China 

2 MoE Key Laboratory for Biomedical Photonics, School of Engineering Sciences, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China 

3 Centre for Brain Science, State Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance and Atomic Molecular Physics, Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems, Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics, CAS Centre for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China




The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is involved in diverse brain functions via its extensive projections to multiple target regions. There is a growing understanding of the overall outputs of the OFC at the population level, but reports of the projection patterns of individual OFC neurons across different cortical layers remain rare. Here, by combining neuronal sparse and bright labeling with a whole-brain florescence imaging system (fMOST), we obtained an uninterrupted three-dimensional whole-brain dataset and achieved the full morphological reconstruction of 25 OFC pyramidal neurons. We compared the whole-brain projection targets of these individual OFC neurons in different cortical layers as well as in the same cortical layer. We found cortical layer-dependent projections characterized by divergent patterns for information delivery. Our study not only provides a structural basis for understanding the principles of laminar organizations in the OFC, but also provides clues for future functional and behavioral studies on OFC pyramidal neurons.



Orbitofrontal cortex; Whole-brain imaging; Morphological reconstruction ; Output; Projection pattern