Commissural communication allows mouse intergeniculate leaflet and ventral lateral geniculate neurons to encode interocular differences in irradiance

Abigail Pienaar, Lauren Walmsley, Edward Hayter, Michael Howarth, Timothy Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The intergeniculate leaflet and ventral lateral geniculate nucleus (IGL/vLGN) are portions of the visual thalamus implicated in circadian and visuomotor/vestibular control. A defining feature of IGL/vLGN organisation is the presence of extensive reciprocal commissural connections, the functions of which are presently unknown. Here we use a combination of multielectrode recording, electrical microstimulation, thalamic inactivation and a range of visual stimuli in mice to address this deficit. Our data indicate that, like most IGL/vLGN cells, those that project commissurally primarily convey contralateral-ON visual signals while most IGL/vLGN neurons that receive this input exhibit antagonistic binocular responses (i.e. excitatory responses driven by one eye and inhibitory responses driven by the other), enabling them to encode interocular differences in irradiance. We also confirm that this property derives from commissural input since, following inactivation of the contralateral visual thalamus, these cells instead display monocular contralateral-driven ON responses. Our data thereby reveal a fundamental role for commissural signalling in generating new visual response properties at the level of the visual thalamus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5461-5481
JournalJournal of Physiology
Volume596
Issue number22
Early online date21 Sept 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • vision
  • circadian
  • electrophysiology

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