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J Neurosci. 2011 Jun 15;31(24):8760-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0564-11.2011.

Transgenic mice reveal unexpected diversity of on-off direction-selective retinal ganglion cell subtypes and brain structures involved in motion processing.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-3200, USA.

Abstract

On-Off direction-selective retinal ganglion cells (DSGCs) encode the axis of visual motion. They respond strongly to an object moving in a preferred direction and weakly to an object moving in the opposite, "null," direction. Historically, On-Off DSGCs were classified into four subtypes according to their directional preference (anterior, posterior, superior, or inferior). Here, we compare two genetically identified populations of On-Off DSGCs: dopamine receptor 4 (DRD4)-DSGCs and thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptor (TRHR)-DSGCs. We find that although both populations are tuned for posterior motion, they can be distinguished by a variety of physiological and anatomical criteria. First, the directional tuning of TRHR-DSGCs is broader than that of DRD4-DSGCs. Second, whereas both populations project similarly to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus, they project differently to the ventral lateral geniculate nucleus and the superior colliculus. Moreover, TRHR-DSGCs, but not DRD4-DSGCs, also project to the zona incerta, a thalamic area not previously known to receive direction-tuned visual information. Our findings reveal unexpected diversity among mouse On-Off DSGC subtypes that uniquely process and convey image motion to the brain.

PMID:
21677160
PMCID:
PMC3139540
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0564-11.2011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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