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Neuron. 2014 Dec 3;84(5):1049-64. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.10.051. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Visual circuit development requires patterned activity mediated by retinal acetylcholine receptors.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.
2
Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.
3
Department of Physiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
4
Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA; Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA; Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA. Electronic address: michael.crair@yale.edu.

Abstract

The elaboration of nascent synaptic connections into highly ordered neural circuits is an integral feature of the developing vertebrate nervous system. In sensory systems, patterned spontaneous activity before the onset of sensation is thought to influence this process, but this conclusion remains controversial, largely due to the inherent difficulty recording neural activity in early development. Here, we describe genetic and pharmacological manipulations of spontaneous retinal activity, assayed in vivo, that demonstrate a causal link between retinal waves and visual circuit refinement. We also report a decoupling of downstream activity in retinorecipient regions of the developing brain after retinal wave disruption. Significantly, we show that the spatiotemporal characteristics of retinal waves affect the development of specific visual circuits. These results conclusively establish retinal waves as necessary and instructive for circuit refinement in the developing nervous system and reveal how neural circuits adjust to altered patterns of activity prior to experience.

PMID:
25466916
PMCID:
PMC4258148
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2014.10.051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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