Poster Number

103

Session Title

Biology and Biomedical Research

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor

Ying Zhang, Ph.D.; Dheeraj Roy, Ph.D.; and Guoping Feng, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Geology

Honors Thesis Committee

Jason Hurlbert, Ph.D.; Christian Grattan, Ph.D.; Matthew Stern, Ph.D.

Description

The thalamus contains many nuclei, among which the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) and parafascicular thalamus (PF) have been found to be the most unique based on their single cell RNA-sequencing transcriptomic signature. Functionally, ATN has been implicated in learning, memory, and spatial navigation, whereas PF is thought to contribute to both fine and coarse motor actions. The outputs of these two structures have been fairly well characterized; however, much less is known about brain regions that send inputs to these nuclei. In order to identify the regions that serve as inputs to ATN versus PF in a brain-wide manner, we used the monosynaptic rabies virus tracing approach. We imaged representative coronal mouse brain sections and aligned each section to the standard mouse brain atlas, before quantifying the number of retrogradely labeled rabies virus-positive neurons in each brain region upstream of ATN and PF. These data allowed us to create a rank-ordered list of brain regions that serve as inputs to ATN and PF, which has not been reported in the literature. We found that the retrosplenial granular cortex (RSG) and cingulate cortex (Cg1) were the regions sending greatest input to ATN, while a sub-division of the superior colliculus (InG), the anterior pretectal nucleus (APTD), and a sub-division of the motor cortex (M2) sent the greatest input to PF. This work not only sets the stage for future input-specific circuit manipulations during mouse behavioral tasks, but it will also serve as a resource for the entire thalamic neuroscience field.

Previously Presented/Performed?

34th Annual Massachusetts Institute of Technology Summer Research Programs Poster Session and Luncheon, August 2019

Grant Support?

Supported by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Summer Program in Biology and Neuroscience (MSRP-Bio)

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

Mapping Brain-Wide Inputs to Two Distinct Thalamic Nuclei

The thalamus contains many nuclei, among which the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) and parafascicular thalamus (PF) have been found to be the most unique based on their single cell RNA-sequencing transcriptomic signature. Functionally, ATN has been implicated in learning, memory, and spatial navigation, whereas PF is thought to contribute to both fine and coarse motor actions. The outputs of these two structures have been fairly well characterized; however, much less is known about brain regions that send inputs to these nuclei. In order to identify the regions that serve as inputs to ATN versus PF in a brain-wide manner, we used the monosynaptic rabies virus tracing approach. We imaged representative coronal mouse brain sections and aligned each section to the standard mouse brain atlas, before quantifying the number of retrogradely labeled rabies virus-positive neurons in each brain region upstream of ATN and PF. These data allowed us to create a rank-ordered list of brain regions that serve as inputs to ATN and PF, which has not been reported in the literature. We found that the retrosplenial granular cortex (RSG) and cingulate cortex (Cg1) were the regions sending greatest input to ATN, while a sub-division of the superior colliculus (InG), the anterior pretectal nucleus (APTD), and a sub-division of the motor cortex (M2) sent the greatest input to PF. This work not only sets the stage for future input-specific circuit manipulations during mouse behavioral tasks, but it will also serve as a resource for the entire thalamic neuroscience field.

 

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