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Sensory Map Transfer to the Neocrotex Relies on Pretarget Ordering of Thalamic Axons

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Györy,  Ildiko
Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Grosschedl,  Rudolf
Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Lokmane, L., Proville, R., Narboux-Neme, N., Györy, I., Keita, M., Mailhes, C., et al. (2013). Sensory Map Transfer to the Neocrotex Relies on Pretarget Ordering of Thalamic Axons. Current Biology, 23, 810-816. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.03.062.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-88F8-5
Abstract
Sensory maps, such as the representation of mouse facial whiskers, are conveyed throughout the nervous system by topographic axonal projections that preserve neighboring relationships between adjacent neurons. In particular, the map transfer to the neocortex is ensured by thalamocortical axons (TCAs), whose terminals are topographically organized in response to intrinsic cortical signals. However, TCAs already show a topographic order early in development, as they navigate toward their target. Here, we show that this preordering of TCAs is required for the transfer of the whisker map to the neocortex. Using Ebf1 conditional inactivation that specifically perturbs the development of an intermediate target, the basal ganglia, we scrambled TCA topography en route to the neocortex without affecting the thalamus or neocortex. Notably, embryonic somatosensory TCAs were shifted toward the visual cortex and showed a substantial intermixing along their trajectory. Somatosensory TCAs rewired postnatally to reach the somatosensory cortex but failed to form a topographic anatomical or functional map. Our study reveals that sensory map transfer relies not only on positional information in the projecting and target structures but also on preordering of axons along their trajectory, thereby opening novel perspectives on brain wiring.