Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 1137–1143 | Cite as

Early Postnatal Development of the Lamination in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus A-Layers in Cats

  • Natalia MerkulyevaEmail author
  • Aleksandr Mikhalkin
  • Pavel Zykin
Original Research


The early postnatal development of the A-layers of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd) was investigated in kittens aged 0–34 days by immunohistochemistry for the selective marker for neuronal differentiation (NeuN protein) and parvalbumin. We report two new facts about the LGNd development. First, there is a transient stratification of NeuN labelling in layer A, and to a lesser extent in layer A1, in kittens aged 0 and 4 days. Second, a transient population of large cells that are located between the LGNd A-layers (interlaminar cells) showed high expression levels of both NeuN and parvalbumin. These neurons possessed both the morphological and immunohistochemical features, similar to cells in the neighbouring perigeniculate nucleus. Both NeuN-stratification and double-stained interlaminar cells gradually disappeared during the second postnatal week, and almost completely vanished by the opening of the critical period. We discuss a possible linkage between these observed transitory networks and the ON-/OFF- and X-/Y-cells development and propose that the data obtained reflect the functioning of the early environmentally independent geniculate networks.


Lateral geniculate nucleus Cat Postnatal development NeuN Parvalbumin 



The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR Grant No. 16-04-01791). The authors thank the Centre for Molecular and Cell Technologies, Research Park, Saint Petersburg State University, for supporting this research. The authors also thank Nikitina Nina for animal care and Schkorbatova Polina for help with immunostaining.

Author Contributions

All authors had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Study concept and design: MN. Acquisition of data: MN, MA. Analysis and interpretation of data: MN, MA. Drafting of the manuscript: MN, MA. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: MN, MA. Statistical analysis: MN, MA. Obtained funding: MN, MA. Administrative, technical, and material support: MN, MA, ZP. Study supervision: MN.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia Merkulyeva
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Aleksandr Mikhalkin
    • 1
  • Pavel Zykin
    • 3
  1. 1.Pavlov Institute of Physiology RASSaint-PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Translational BiomedicineSaint-Petersburg State UniversitySaint-PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Biology facultySaint-Petersburg State UniversitySaint-PetersburgRussia

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