1. Neuroscience
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Apical length governs computational diversity of layer 5 pyramidal neurons

  1. Alessandro R Galloni
  2. Aeron Laffere
  3. Ede Rancz  Is a corresponding author
  1. The Francis Crick Institute, United Kingdom
  2. Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom
Research Article
  • Cited 3
  • Views 3,099
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e55761 doi: 10.7554/eLife.55761

Abstract

Anatomical similarity across the neocortex has led to the common assumption that the circuitry is modular and performs stereotyped computations. Layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PNs) in particular are thought to be central to cortical computation because of their extensive arborisation and nonlinear dendritic operations. Here, we demonstrate that computations associated with dendritic Ca2+ plateaus in mouse L5PNs vary substantially between the primary and secondary visual cortices. L5PNs in the secondary visual cortex show reduced dendritic excitability and smaller propensity for burst firing. This reduced excitability is correlated with shorter apical dendrites. Using numerical modelling, we uncover a universal principle underlying the influence of apical length on dendritic backpropagation and excitability, based on a Na+ channel-dependent broadening of backpropagating action potentials. In summary, we provide new insights into the modulation of dendritic excitability by apical dendrite length and show that the operational repertoire of L5PNs is not universal throughout the brain.

Data availability

All data, analysis scripts and simulation code is available at https://github.com/ranczlab/Galloni.etal.2020

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Alessandro R Galloni

    Cortical Circuits Laboratory, The Francis Crick Institute, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Aeron Laffere

    Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-8307-0079
  3. Ede Rancz

    Cortical Circuits Laboratory, The Francis Crick Institute, London, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    ede.rancz@crick.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-7951-1385

Funding

Wellcome (Sir Henry Dale Fellowship,104285/B/14/Z)

  • Ede Rancz

Royal Society (Sir Henry Dale Fellowship,104285/B/14/Z)

  • Ede Rancz

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (PhD Scholarship)

  • Alessandro R Galloni

Francis Crick Institute (PhD Scholarhip)

  • Alessandro R Galloni

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 animal experiments were prospectively approved by the local ethics panel of the Francis Crick Institute (previously National Institute for Medical Research) and the UK Home Office under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (PPL: 70/8935). All surgery was performed under isoflurane anesthesia, and every effort was made to minimize suffering.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Brice Bathellier, CNRS, France

Publication history

  1. Received: February 4, 2020
  2. Accepted: May 27, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: May 28, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: July 3, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Galloni 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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