Cortical Feedback Regulates Feedforward Retinogeniculate Refinement

Andrew D. Thompson, Nathalie Picard, Lia Min, Michela Fagiolini, Chinfei Chen
2016 Neuron  
According to the prevailing view of neural development, sensory pathways develop sequentially in a feedforward manner, whereby each local microcircuit refines and stabilizes before directing the wiring of its downstream target. In the visual system, retinal circuits are thought to mature first and direct refinement in the thalamus, after which cortical circuits refine with experience-dependent plasticity. In contrast, we now show that feedback from cortex to thalamus critically regulates
more » ... ent of the retinogeniculate projection during a discrete window in development, beginning at postnatal day 20 in mice. Disrupting cortical activity during this window, pharmacologically or chemogenetically, increases the number of retinal ganglion cells innervating each thalamic relay neuron. These results suggest that primary sensory structures develop through the concurrent and interdependent remodeling of subcortical and cortical circuits in response to sensory experience, rather than through a simple feedforward process. Our findings also highlight an unexpected function for the corticothalamic projection. . Publisher's Disclaimer: This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final citable form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain. Thompson et al. show that, contrary to the traditional 'feedforward' model of sensory pathway development, feedback from L6 of V1 influences experience-dependent refinement of retinogeniculate projections. Their findings indicate thalamus and cortex interact bidirectionally during development to fine-tune visual circuits.
doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2016.07.040 pmid:27545712 pmcid:PMC5156570 fatcat:4tfqscdyvrgmjnz5snq6ccvz4m