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Nat Commun. 2016 Dec 8;7:13579. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13579.

Tectal-derived interneurons contribute to phasic and tonic inhibition in the visual thalamus.

Author information

1
Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, 125 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5 9NU, UK.
2
Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.
3
Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens, 4 Soranou Ephessiou Street, 115 27 Athens, Greece.
4
Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, PO Box 56, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.
5
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, 701 West 168th Street, HHSC Room 1013, New York, New York 10032, USA.
6
Centre for Neurotechnology, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.

Abstract

The release of GABA from local interneurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN-INs) provides inhibitory control during visual processing within the thalamus. It is commonly assumed that this important class of interneurons originates from within the thalamic complex, but we now show that during early postnatal development Sox14/Otx2-expressing precursor cells migrate from the dorsal midbrain to generate dLGN-INs. The unexpected extra-diencephalic origin of dLGN-INs sets them apart from GABAergic neurons of the reticular thalamic nucleus. Using optogenetics we show that at increased firing rates tectal-derived dLGN-INs generate a powerful form of tonic inhibition that regulates the gain of thalamic relay neurons through recruitment of extrasynaptic high-affinity GABAA receptors. Therefore, by revising the conventional view of thalamic interneuron ontogeny we demonstrate how a previously unappreciated mesencephalic population controls thalamic relay neuron excitability.

PMID:
27929058
PMCID:
PMC5155147
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms13579
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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