Publication of IMPRS-LS student Joel Bauer

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Bauer, J., Weiler, S., Fernholz, M.H.P., Laubender, D., Scheuss, V., Hübener, M., Bonhoeffer, T., and Rose, T.
(IMPRS-LS students are in bold)
Neuron, 2021, online ahead of print.
doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2021.05.036

Limited functional convergence of eye-specific inputs in the retinogeniculate pathway of the mouse

Segregation of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons by type and eye of origin is considered a hallmark of dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) structure. However, recent anatomical studies have shown that neurons in mouse dLGN receive input from multiple RGC types of both retinae. Whether convergent input leads to relevant functional interactions is unclear. We studied functional eye-specific retinogeniculate convergence using dual-color optogenetics in vitro. dLGN neurons were strongly dominated by input from one eye. Most neurons received detectable input from the non-dominant eye, but this input was weak, with a prominently reduced AMPAR:NMDAR ratio. Consistent with this, only a small fraction of thalamocortical neurons was binocular in vivo across visual stimuli and cortical projection layers. Anatomical overlap between RGC axons and dLGN neuron dendrites alone did not explain the strong bias toward monocularity. We conclude that functional eye-specific input selection and refinement limit convergent interactions in dLGN, favoring monocularity.