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Sci Rep September 21, 2015; 5 8338.

Sensory afferent segregation in three-eared frogs resemble the dominance columns observed in three-eyed frogs.

Elliott KL , Houston DW , Fritzsch B .

The formation of proper sensory afferent connections during development is essential for brain function. Activity-based competition is believed to drive ocular dominance columns (ODC) in mammals and in experimentally-generated three-eyed frogs. ODC formation is thus a compromise of activity differences between two eyes and similar molecular cues. To gauge the generality of graphical map formation in the brain, we investigated the inner ear projection, known for its well-defined and early segregation of afferents from vestibular and auditory endorgans. In analogy to three eyed-frogs, we generated three-eared frogs to assess to what extent vestibular afferents from two adjacent ears could segregate. Donor ears were transplanted either in the native orientation or rotated by 90 degrees. These manipulations should result in either similar or different induced activity between both ears, respectively. Three-eared frogs with normal orientation showed normal swimming whereas those with a rotated third ear showed aberrant behaviors. Projection studies revealed that only afferents from the rotated ears segregated from those from the native ear within the vestibular nucleus, resembling the ocular dominance columns formed in three-eyed frogs. Vestibular segregation suggests that mechanisms comparable to those operating in the ODC formation of the visual system may act on vestibular projection refinements.

PubMed ID: 25661240
PMC ID: PMC4648447
Article link: Sci Rep
Grant support: [+]
Genes referenced: gnl3 odc1

Article Images: [+] show captions
Abelló, 2010, Pubmed [+]

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