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LRRTM1 underlies synaptic convergence in visual thalamus

  1. Aboozar Monavarfeshani
  2. Gail Stanton
  3. Jonathan Van Name
  4. Kaiwen Su
  5. William A Mills
  6. Kenya Swilling
  7. Alicia Kerr
  8. Natalie A Huebschman
  9. Jianmin Su
  10. Michael A Fox Is a corresponding author
  1. Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, United States
  2. Roanoke Valley Governor School, United States
Research Article
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Cite as: eLife 2018;7:e33498 doi: 10.7554/eLife.33498

Abstract

It has long been thought that the mammalian visual system is organized into parallel pathways, with incoming visual signals being parsed in the retina based on feature (e.g. color, contrast and motion) and then transmitted to the brain in unmixed, feature-specific channels. To faithfully convey feature-specific information from retina to cortex, thalamic relay cells must receive inputs from only a small number of functionally similar retinal ganglion cells. However, recent studies challenged this by revealing substantial levels of retinal convergence onto relay cells. Here, we sought to identify mechanisms responsible for the assembly of such convergence. Using an unbiased transcriptomics approach and targeted mutant mice, we discovered a critical role for the synaptic adhesion molecule Leucine Rich Repeat Transmembrane Neuronal 1 (LRRTM1) in the emergence of retinothalamic convergence. Importantly, LRRTM1 mutant mice display impairment in visual behaviors, suggesting a functional role of retinothalamic convergence in vision.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Aboozar Monavarfeshani

    Developmental and Translational Neurobiology Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0001-8906-5115
  2. Gail Stanton

    Developmental and Translational Neurobiology Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Jonathan Van Name

    Developmental and Translational Neurobiology Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Kaiwen Su

    Developmental and Translational Neurobiology Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. William A Mills

    Developmental and Translational Neurobiology Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Kenya Swilling

    Developmental and Translational Neurobiology Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Alicia Kerr

    Developmental and Translational Neurobiology Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Natalie A Huebschman

    Roanoke Valley Governor School, Roanoke, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Jianmin Su

    Developmental and Translational Neurobiology Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Michael A Fox

    Developmental and Translational Neurobiology Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke, United States
    For correspondence
    mafox1@vtc.vt.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0002-1649-7782

Funding

National Eye Institute (EY021222)

  • Michael A Fox

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

  • Michael A Fox

National Eye Institute (EY024712)

  • Michael A Fox

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All experiments were performed in compliance with National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines and protocols and were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC# 15-137VTCRI, 15-167VTCR and 15-174VTCRI) and Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC# 15-038) at Virginia Tech.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Jeremy Nathans, Reviewing Editor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: November 11, 2017
  2. Accepted: February 8, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: February 9, 2018 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2018, Monavarfeshani et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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