Deletion of Ten-m3 Induces the Formation of Eye Dominance Domains in Mouse Visual Cortex

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Abstract

The visual system is characterized by precise retinotopic mapping of each eye, together with exquisitely matched binocular projections. In many species, the inputs that represent the eyes are segregated into ocular dominance columns in primary visual cortex (V1), whereas in rodents, this does not occur. Ten-m3, a member of the Ten-m/Odz/Teneurin family, regulates axonal guidance in the retinogeniculate pathway. Significantly, ipsilateral projections are expanded in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and are not aligned with contralateral projections in Ten-m3 knockout (KO) mice. Here, we demonstrate the impact of altered retinogeniculate mapping on the organization and function of V1. Transneuronal tracing and c-fos immunohistochemistry demonstrate that the subcortical expansion of ipsilateral input is conveyed to V1 in Ten-m3 KOs: Ipsilateral inputs are widely distributed across V1 and are interdigitated with contralateral inputs into eye dominance domains. Segregation is confirmed by optical imaging of intrinsic signals. Single-unit recording shows ipsilateral, and contralateral inputs are mismatched at the level of single V1 neurons, and binocular stimulation leads to functional suppression of these cells. These findings indicate that the medial expansion of the binocular zone together with an interocular mismatch is sufficient to induce novel structural features, such as eye dominance domains in rodent visual cortex.

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