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Reciprocal Connections Between Cortex and Thalamus Contribute to Retinal Axon Targeting to Dorsal Lateral Geniculate Nucleus


Reciprocal Connections Between Cortex and Thalamus Contribute to Retinal Axon Targeting to Dorsal Lateral Geniculate Nucleus



Cerebral Cortex 28(4): 1168-1182



ISSN/ISBN: 1047-3211

PMID: 28334242

DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhx028

The dorsal Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (dLGN) is the primary image-forming target of the retina and shares a reciprocal connection with primary visual cortex (V1). Previous studies showed that corticothalamic input is essential for the development of thalamocortical projections, but less is known about the potential role of this reciprocal connection in the development of retinal projections. Here, we show a deficit of retinal innervation in the dLGN around E18.5 in Tra2β conditional knockout (cKO) "cortexless" mice, an age when apoptosis occurs along the thalamocortical tract and in some dLGN neurons. In vivo electrophysiology experiments in the dLGN further confirmed the loss of functional retinal input. Experiments with N-methyl-d-aspartic acid-induced V1 lesion as well as Fezf2 cKO mice confirmed that the disruption of connections between the dLGN and V1 lead to abnormal retinal projections to the dLGN. Interestingly, retinal projections to the ventral Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (vLGN) and Superior Colliculus (SC) were normal in all 3 mice models. Finally, we show that the cortexless mice had worse performance than control mice in a go-no go task with visual cues. Our results provide evidence that the wiring of visual circuit from the retina to the dLGN and V1 thereafter is coordinated at a surprisingly early stage of circuit development.

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Accession: 060176643

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