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PLoS One. 2010 Jun 8;5(6):e11001. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011001.

Rearrangement of retinogeniculate projection patterns after eye-specific segregation in mice.

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Department of Molecular and Systems Neurobiology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


It has been of interest whether and when the rearrangement of neuronal circuits can be induced after projection patterns are formed during development. Earlier studies using cats reported that the rearrangement of retinogeniculate projections could be induced even after eye-specific segregation has occurred, but detailed and quantitative characterization of this rearrangement has been lacking. Here we delineate the structural changes of retinogeniculate projections in the C57BL/6 mouse in response to monocular enucleation (ME) after eye-specific segregation. When ME was performed after eye-specific segregation, rearrangement of retinogeniculate axons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) was observed within 5 days. Although this rearrangement was observed both along the dorsomedial-ventrolateral and outer-inner axes in the dLGN, it occurred more rapidly along the outer-inner axis. We also examined the critical period for this rearrangement and found that the rearrangement became almost absent by the beginning of the critical period for ocular dominance plasticity in the primary visual cortex. Taken together, our findings serve as a framework for the assessment of phenotypes of genetically altered mouse strains as well as provide insights into the mechanisms underlying the rearrangement of retinogeniculate projections.

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