Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Cell. 2017 Jan 12;168(1-2):295-310.e19. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.12.010. Epub 2016 Dec 29.

The Cellular and Synaptic Architecture of the Mechanosensory Dorsal Horn.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, 220 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
2
Department of Neurobiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, 220 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Neuroscience Training Program, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
3
Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.
4
Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02453, USA.
5
The Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.
6
Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
7
Department of Anatomy, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.
8
Department of Neurobiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, 220 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address: david_ginty@hms.harvard.edu.

Abstract

The deep dorsal horn is a poorly characterized spinal cord region implicated in processing low-threshold mechanoreceptor (LTMR) information. We report an array of mouse genetic tools for defining neuronal components and functions of the dorsal horn LTMR-recipient zone (LTMR-RZ), a role for LTMR-RZ processing in tactile perception, and the basic logic of LTMR-RZ organization. We found an unexpectedly high degree of neuronal diversity in the LTMR-RZ: seven excitatory and four inhibitory subtypes of interneurons exhibiting unique morphological, physiological, and synaptic properties. Remarkably, LTMRs form synapses on between four and 11 LTMR-RZ interneuron subtypes, while each LTMR-RZ interneuron subtype samples inputs from at least one to three LTMR classes, as well as spinal cord interneurons and corticospinal neurons. Thus, the LTMR-RZ is a somatosensory processing region endowed with a neuronal complexity that rivals the retina and functions to pattern the activity of ascending touch pathways that underlie tactile perception.

KEYWORDS:

low-threshold mechanoreceptors; mouse molecular genetics; somatosensation; spinal cord dorsal horn; spinal cord interneurons; synaptic connectivity

PMID:
28041852
PMCID:
PMC5236062
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2016.12.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center