Signature morpho-electric, transcriptomic, and dendritic properties of human layer 5 neocortical pyramidal neurons.

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washington; seattle; swedish neurosci; Action Potentials; Adult; Animals; Dendrites; Female; Humans; Macaca nemestrina; Male; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Mice, Transgenic; Middle Aged; Morphogenesis; Neocortex; Organ Culture Techniques; Patch-Clamp Techniques; Pyramidal Cells; Transcriptome


In the neocortex, subcerebral axonal projections originate largely from layer 5 (L5) extratelencephalic-projecting (ET) neurons. The unique morpho-electric properties of these neurons have been mainly described in rodents, where retrograde tracers or transgenic lines can label them. Similar labeling strategies are infeasible in the human neocortex, rendering the translational relevance of findings in rodents unclear. We leveraged the recent discovery of a transcriptomically defined L5 ET neuron type to study the properties of human L5 ET neurons in neocortical brain slices derived from neurosurgeries. Patch-seq recordings, where transcriptome, physiology, and morphology were assayed from the same cell, revealed many conserved morpho-electric properties of human and rodent L5 ET neurons. Divergent properties were often subtler than differences between L5 cell types within these two species. These data suggest a conserved function of L5 ET neurons in the neocortical hierarchy but also highlight phenotypic divergence possibly related to functional specialization of human neocortex.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)