State-Dependent Architecture of Thalamic Reticular Subnetworks
Author(s)Halassa, Michael M.; Chen, Zhe; Wimmer, Ralf D.; Brunetti, Philip M.; Zhao, Shengli; Zikopoulos, Basilis; Wang, Fan; Brown, Emery N.; Wilson, Matthew A.; Halassa, Michael M.; Wimmer, Ralf D.; Brunetti, Philip M.; Brown, Emery N.; Wilson, Matthew A.; ... Show more Show less
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Behavioral state is known to influence interactions between thalamus and cortex, which are important for sensation, action, and cognition. The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) is hypothesized to regulate thalamo-cortical interactions, but the underlying functional architecture of this process and its state dependence are unknown. By combining the first TRN ensemble recording with psychophysics and connectivity-based optogenetic tagging, we found reticular circuits to be composed of distinct subnetworks. While activity of limbic-projecting TRN neurons positively correlates with arousal, sensory-projecting neurons participate in spindles and show elevated synchrony by slow waves during sleep. Sensory-projecting neurons are suppressed by attentional states, demonstrating that their gating of thalamo-cortical interactions is matched to behavioral state. Bidirectional manipulation of attentional performance was achieved through subnetwork-specific optogenetic stimulation. Together, our findings provide evidence for differential inhibition of thalamic nuclei across brain states, where the TRN separately controls external sensory and internal limbic processing facilitating normal cognitive function.
DepartmentHarvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Halassa, Michael M., Zhe Chen, Ralf D. Wimmer, Philip M. Brunetti, Shengli Zhao, Basilis Zikopoulos, Fan Wang, Emery N. Brown, and Matthew A. Wilson. “State-Dependent Architecture of Thalamic Reticular Subnetworks.” Cell 158, no. 4 (August 2014): 808–821.
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