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lateral geniculate nucleus [keywords]
- Identification of a pathway from the retina to koniocellular layer k1 in the lateral geniculate nucleus of marmoset. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Mar 12; 34(11):3821-5.
Three well characterized pathways in primate vision (midget-parvocellular, parasol-magnocellular, bistratified-koniocellular) have been traced from the first synapse in the retina, through the visual thalamus (lateral geniculate nucleus, LGN), to the visual cortex. Here we identify a pathway from the first synapse in the retina to koniocellular layer K1 in marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus). Particle-mediated gene transfer of an expression plasmid for the postsynaptic density 95-green fluorescent protein (PSD95-GFP) was used to label excitatory synapses on retinal ganglion cells and combined with immunofluorescence to identify the presynaptic bipolar cells. We found that axon terminals of one type of diffuse bipolar cell (DB6) provide dominant synaptic input to the dendrites of narrow thorny ganglion cells. Retrograde tracer injections into the LGN and photofilling of retinal ganglion cells showed that narrow thorny cells were preferentially labeled when koniocellular layer K1 was targeted. Layer K1 contains cells with high sensitivity for rapid movement, and layer K1 sends projections to association visual areas as well as to primary visual cortex. We hypothesize that the DB6-narrow thorny-koniocellular pathway contributes to residual visual functions ("blindsight") that survive injury to primary visual cortex in adult or early life.
- Retinal input directs the recruitment of inhibitory interneurons into thalamic visual circuits. [Journal Article]
- Neuron 2014 Mar 5; 81(5):1057-69.
Inhibitory interneurons (INs) critically control the excitability and plasticity of neuronal networks, but whether activity can direct INs into specific circuits during development is unknown. Here, we report that in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), which relays retinal input to the cortex, circuit activity is required for the migration, molecular differentiation, and functional integration of INs. We first characterize the prenatal origin and molecular identity of dLGN INs, revealing their recruitment from an Otx2(+) neuronal pool located in the adjacent ventral LGN. Using time-lapse and electrophysiological recordings, together with genetic and pharmacological perturbation of retinal waves, we show that retinal activity directs the navigation and circuit incorporation of dLGN INs during the first postnatal week, thereby regulating the inhibition of thalamocortical circuits. These findings identify an input-dependent mechanism regulating IN migration and circuit inhibition, which may account for the progressive recruitment of INs into expanding excitatory circuits during evolution.
- Retinal overexpression of Ten-m3 alters ipsilateral retinogeniculate projections in the wallaby (Macropus eugenii). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neurosci Lett 2014 Mar 3.
The dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) contains a retinotopic map where input from the two eyes map in register to provide a substrate for binocular vision. Ten-m3, a transmembrane protein, mediates homophilic interactions and has been implicated in the patterning of ipsilateral visual projections. Ease of access to early developmental stages in a marsupial wallaby has been used to manipulate levels of Ten-m3 during the development of retinogeniculate projections. In situ hybridisation showed a high dorsomedial to low ventrolateral gradient of Ten-m3 in the developing dLGN, matching retinotopically with the previously reported high ventral to low dorsal retinal gradient. Overexpression of Ten-m3 in ventronasal but not dorsonasal retina resulted in an extension of ipsilateral projections beyond the normal binocular zone. These results demonstrate that Ten-m3 influences ipsilateral projections and support a role for it in binocular mapping.
- The neuroinvasive profiles of H129 (herpes simplex virus type 1) recombinants with putative anterograde-only transneuronal spread properties. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Brain Struct Funct 2014 Mar 2.
The use of viruses as transneuronal tracers has become an increasingly powerful technique for defining the synaptic organization of neural networks. Although a number of recombinant alpha herpesviruses are known to spread selectively in the retrograde direction through neural circuits only one strain, the H129 strain of herpes simplex virus type 1, is reported to selectively spread in the anterograde direction. However, it is unclear from the literature whether there is an absolute block or an attenuation of retrograde spread of H129. Here, we demonstrate efficient anterograde spread, and temporally delayed retrograde spread, of H129 and three novel recombinants. In vitro studies revealed no differences in anterograde and retrograde spread of parental H129 and its recombinants through superior cervical ganglion neurons. In vivo injections of rat striatum revealed a clear bias of anterograde spread, although evidence of deficient retrograde transport was also present. Evidence of temporally delayed retrograde transneuronal spread of H129 in the retina was observed following injection of the lateral geniculate nucleus. The data also demonstrated that three novel recombinants efficiently express unique fluorescent reporters and have the capacity to infect the same neurons in dual infection paradigms. From these experiments we conclude that H129 and its recombinants not only efficiently infect neurons through anterograde transneuronal passage, but also are capable of temporally delayed retrograde transneuronal spread. In addition, the capacity to produce dual infection of projection targets following anterograde transneuronal passage provides an important addition to viral transneuronal tracing technology.
- Glaucoma - Diabetes of the brain: A radical hypothesis about its nature and pathogenesis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Med Hypotheses 2014 Feb 13.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness characterized by irremediable loss of retinal ganglion cells. Its risk increases with progressing age and elevated intraocular pressure. Studies have established that glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disorder in which the damage involves many brain tissues from retina to the lateral geniculate nucleus. Despite lot of research, complete pathomechanism of glaucoma is not known and there is no treatment available except modification of intraocular pressure pharmacologically and/or surgically. We here present a hypothesis inspired by studies across many areas of molecular and clinical sciences in an integrative manner that leads to a uniquely unconventional understanding of this disorder. Our hypothesis postulates that glaucoma may possibly be the diabetes of the brain. Based on the remarkable similarities between glaucoma and diabetes we propose glaucoma also to be a type of diabetes. Glaucoma and diabetes share many aspects from various molecular mechanisms to involvement of insulin and possible use of antidiabetics in glaucoma therapy. Additionally, Alzheimer's disease has already been proposed to be diabetes type-3. We show that Alzheimer's disease is cerebral glaucoma and diabetes at the same time which, by transitive property of similarities, again leads to our hypothesis that glaucoma is diabetes of the brain. Our proposition may lead to appreciation of certain important facets of glaucoma which have previously not been given due consideration. It also may lead to an alternative classification of diabetes as pancreatic and brain diabetes thereby widening the vision arena of the understanding of both these disorders.
- A dedicated circuit links direction-selective retinal ganglion cells to the primary visual cortex. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Nature 2014 Feb 26.
How specific features in the environment are represented within the brain is an important unanswered question in neuroscience. A subset of retinal neurons, called direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs), are specialized for detecting motion along specific axes of the visual field. Despite extensive study of the retinal circuitry that endows DSGCs with their unique tuning properties, their downstream circuitry in the brain and thus their contribution to visual processing has remained unclear. In mice, several different types of DSGCs connect to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), the visual thalamic structure that harbours cortical relay neurons. Whether direction-selective information computed at the level of the retina is routed to cortical circuits and integrated with other visual channels, however, is unknown. Here we show that there is a di-synaptic circuit linking DSGCs with the superficial layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) by using viral trans-synaptic circuit mapping and functional imaging of visually driven calcium signals in thalamocortical axons. This circuit pools information from several types of DSGCs, converges in a specialized subdivision of the dLGN, and delivers direction-tuned and orientation-tuned signals to superficial V1. Notably, this circuit is anatomically segregated from the retino-geniculo-cortical pathway carrying non-direction-tuned visual information to deeper layers of V1, such as layer 4. Thus, the mouse harbours several functionally specialized, parallel retino-geniculo-cortical pathways, one of which originates with retinal DSGCs and delivers direction- and orientation-tuned information specifically to the superficial layers of the primary visual cortex. These data provide evidence that direction and orientation selectivity of some V1 neurons may be influenced by the activation of DSGCs.
- Modeling lateral geniculate nucleus response with contrast gain control. Part 2: analysis. [Journal Article]
- J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis 2014 Feb 1; 31(2):348-62.
Cope et al. [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A30, 2401 (2013)] proposed a class of models for lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) ON-cell behavior consisting of a linear response with divisive normalization by local stimulus contrast. Here, we analyze a specific model with the linear response defined by a difference-of-Gaussians filter, and a circular Gaussian for the gain pool weighting function. For sinusoidal grating stimuli, the parameter region for bandpass behavior of the linear response is determined, and the gain control response is shown to act as a switch (changing from "off" to "on" with increasing spatial frequency). It is also shown that large gain pools stabilize the optimal spatial frequency of the total nonlinear response at a fixed value independent of contrast and stimulus magnitude. Under- and super-saturation, as well as contrast saturation, occur as typical effects of stimulus magnitude. For circular spot stimuli, it is shown that large gain pools stabilize the spot size that yields the maximum response.
- Patch Clamp Electrophysiology and Capillary Electrophoresis-Mass Spectrometry Metabolomics for Single Cell Characterization. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Anal Chem 2014 Mar 6.
The visual selection of specific cells within an ex vivo brain slice, combined with whole-cell patch clamp recording and capillary electrophoresis (CE)-mass spectrometry (MS)-based metabolomics, yields high chemical information on the selected cells. By providing access to a cell's intracellular environment, the whole-cell patch clamp technique allows one to record the cell's physiological activity. A patch clamp pipet is used to withdraw ∼3 pL of cytoplasm for metabolomic analysis using CE-MS. Sampling the cytoplasm, rather than an intact isolated neuron, ensures that the sample arises from the cell of interest and that structures such as presynaptic terminals from surrounding, nontargeted neurons are not sampled. We sampled the rat thalamus, a well-defined system containing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic and glutamatergic neurons. The approach was validated by recording and sampling from glutamatergic thalamocortical neurons, which receive major synaptic input from GABAergic thalamic reticular nucleus neurons, as well as neurons and astrocytes from the ventral basal nucleus and the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus. From the analysis of the cytoplasm of glutamatergic cells, approximately 60 metabolites were detected, none of which corresponded to the compound GABA. However, GABA was successfully detected when sampling the cytoplasm of GABAergic neurons, demonstrating the exclusive nature of our cytoplasmic sampling approach. The combination of whole-cell patch clamp with single cell cytoplasm metabolomics provides the ability to link the physiological activity of neurons and astrocytes with their neurochemical state. The observed differences in the metabolome of these neurons underscore the striking cell to cell heterogeneity in the brain.
- Distribution and specificity of S-cone ("blue cone") signals in subcortical visual pathways. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Vis Neurosci 2014 Feb 20.:1-11.
We review here the distribution of S-cone signals and properties of S-cone recipient receptive fields in subcortical pathways. Nearly everything we know about S-cone signals in the subcortical visual system comes from the study of visual systems in cats and primates (monkeys); in this review, we concentrate on results from macaque and marmoset monkeys. We discuss segregation of S-cone recipient (blue-on and blue-off) receptive fields in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and describe their receptive field properties. We treat in some detail the question of detecting weak S-cone signals as an introduction for newcomers to the field. Finally, we briefly consider the question on how S-cone signals are distributed among nongeniculate targets.
- Comparison of numbers of interneurons in three thalamic nuclei of normal and epileptic rats. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neurosci Bull 2014 Feb 10.
The inhibitory sources in the thalamic nuclei are local interneurons and neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus. Studies of models of absence epilepsy have shown that the seizures are associated with an excess of inhibitory neurotransmission in the thalamus. In the present study, we used light-microscopic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunocytochemistry to quantify the interneurons in the lateral geniculate (LGN), ventral posteromedial (VPM), and ventral posterolateral (VPL) thalamic nuclei, and compared the values from normal Wistar rats and genetic absence epilepsy rats from Strasbourg (GAERS). We found that in both Wistar rats and GAERS, the proportion of interneurons was significantly higher in the LGN than in the VPM and VPL. In the LGN of Wistar rats, 16.4% of the neurons were interneurons and in the GAERS, the value was 15.1%. In the VPM, the proportion of interneurons was 4.2% in Wistar and 14.9% in GAERS; in the VPL the values were 3.7% for Wistar and 11.1% for the GAERS. There was no significant difference between Wistar rats and the GAERS regarding the counts of interneurons in the LGN, whereas the VPM and VPL showed significantly higher counts in GAERS. Comparison of the mean areas of both relay cells and interneuronal profiles showed no significant differences between Wistar rats and GAERS. These findings show that in the VPL and the VPM there are relatively more GABAergic interneurons in GAERS than in Wistar rats. This may represent a compensatory response of the thalamocortical circuitry to the absence seizures or may be related to the production of absence seizures.