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Accurate anatomical characterizations are necessary to investigate neural circuitry on a fine scale, but for the rodent claustrum complex (CLCX), this has yet to be fully accomplished. The CLCX is generally considered to comprise two major subdivisions, the claustrum (CL) and the dorsal endopiriform nucleus (DEn), but regional boundaries to these areas are debated. To address this, we conducted a multifaceted analysis of fiber- and cytoarchitecture, genetic marker expression, and connectivity using mice of both sexes, to create a comprehensive guide for identifying and delineating borders to CLCX, including an online reference atlas. Our data indicated four distinct subregions within CLCX, subdividing both CL and DEn into two. Additionally, we conducted brain-wide tracing of inputs to CLCX using a transgenic mouse line. Immunohistochemical staining against myelin basic protein (MBP), parvalbumin (PV), and calbindin (CB) revealed intricate fiber-architectural patterns enabling precise delineations of CLCX and its subregions. Myelinated fibers were abundant dorsally in CL but absent ventrally, whereas PV expressing fibers occupied the entire CL. CB staining revealed a central gap within CL, also visible anterior to the striatum. The Nr2f2, Npsr1, and Cplx3 genes expressed specifically within different subregions of the CLCX, and Rprm helped delineate the CL-insular border. Furthermore, cells in CL projecting to the retrosplenial cortex were located within the myelin sparse area. By combining own experimental data with digitally available datasets of gene expression and input connectivity, we could demonstrate that the proposed delineation scheme allows anchoring of datasets from different origins to a common reference framework.

Original publication




Journal article


J Comp Neurol

Publication Date





1772 - 1795


claustrum, cytoarchitecture, delineation, fiber-architecture, genetic markers, rabies tracing, Male, Female, Mice, Animals, Claustrum, Calbindins, Brain, Parvalbumins, Rodentia, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing