A role for thalamic projection GABAergic neurons in circadian responses to light

Olivier Brock, Cigdem Gelegen, Peter Sully, Irene Salgarella, Polona Jager, Lucy Menage, Ishita Mehta, Jagoda Jęczmień-Łazur, Deyl Djama, Lauren Strother, Angelica Coculla, Anthony Vernon, Stephen G. Brickley, Philip Holland, Samuel Cooke, Alessio Delogu

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The thalamus is an important hub for sensory information and participates in sensory perception, regulation of attention, arousal and sleep. These functions are executed primarily by glutamatergic thalamocortical neurons that extend axons to the cortex and initiate cortico-thalamocortical connectional loops. However, the thalamus also contains projection GABAergic neurons that do not extend axons toward the cortex. Here, we have harnessed recent insight into the development of the intergeniculate leaflet (IGL) and the ventral lateral geniculate nucleus (LGv) to specifically target and manipulate thalamic projection GABAergic neurons in female and male mice. Our results show that thalamic GABAergic neurons of the IGL and LGv receive retinal input from diverse classes of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) but not from the M1 intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cell (ipRGC) type. We describe the synergistic role of the photoreceptor melanopsin and the thalamic neurons of the IGL/LGv in circadian entrainment to dim light. We identify a requirement for the thalamic IGL/LGv neurons in the rapid changes in vigilance states associated with circadian light transitions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2022


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