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Prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the cognitive center that integrates and regulates global brain activity. However, the whole-brain organization of PFC axon projections remains poorly understood. Using single-neuron reconstruction of 6,357 mouse PFC projection neurons, we identified 64 projectome-defined subtypes. Each of four previously known major cortico-cortical subnetworks was targeted by a distinct group of PFC subtypes defined by their first-order axon collaterals. Further analysis unraveled topographic rules of soma distribution within PFC, first-order collateral branch point-dependent target selection and terminal arbor distribution-dependent target subdivision. Furthermore, we obtained a high-precision hierarchical map within PFC and three distinct functionally related PFC modules, each enriched with internal recurrent connectivity. Finally, we showed that each transcriptome subtype corresponds to multiple projectome subtypes found in different PFC subregions. Thus, whole-brain single-neuron projectome analysis reveals organization principles of axon projections within and outside PFC and provides the essential basis for elucidating neuronal connectivity underlying diverse PFC functions.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Neurosci

Publication Date





515 - 529


Animals, Axons, Brain, Interneurons, Mice, Neurons, Prefrontal Cortex