Shaping of discrete auditory inputs to extramodular zones of the lateral cortex of the inferior colliculus
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The multimodal lateral cortex of the inferior colliculus (LCIC) exhibits a modular-extramodular micro-organization that is evident early in development. In addition to a set of neurochemical markers that reliably highlight its modular-extramodular organization (e.g. modules: GAD67-positive, extramodular zones: calretinin-positive, CR), mature projection patterns suggest that major LCIC afferents recognize and adhere to such a framework. In adult mice, distinct afferent projections appear segregated, with somatosensory inputs targeting LCIC modules and auditory inputs surrounding extramodular fields. Currently lacking is an understanding regarding the development and shaping of multimodal LCIC afferents with respect to its emerging modular-extramodular microarchitecture. Combining living slice tract-tracing and immunocytochemical approaches in GAD67-GFP knock-in mice, the present study characterizes the critical period of projection shaping for LCIC auditory afferents arising from its neighboring central nucleus (CNIC). Both crossed and uncrossed projection patterns exhibit LCIC extramodular mapping characteristics that emerge from initially diffuse distributions. Projection mismatch with GAD-defined modules and alignment with encompassing extramodular zones becomes increasingly clear over the early postnatal period (birth to postnatal day 12). CNIC inputs terminate almost exclusively in extramodular zones that express CR. These findings suggest multimodal LCIC inputs may initially be sparse and intermingle, prior to segregation into distinct processing streams. Future experiments are needed to determine the likely complex interactions and mechanisms (e.g. activity-dependent and independent) responsible for shaping early modality-specific LCIC circuits.
KeywordsMultimodal Topography Mapping Modularity Patch-matrix Compartments Immunocytochemistry
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (DC015353-01A1) and the National Science Foundation (DBI-0619207), and the Madison Trust Award (1002932). The authors also thank Dr. Thomas Gabriele for his signal analysis consultations.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
Human subjects were not used in this study.
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