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The Cellular and Synaptic Architecture of the Mechanosensory Dorsal Horn.

Cell | Jan 12, 2017

The deep dorsal horn is a poorly characterized spinal cord region implicated in processing low-threshold mechanoreceptor (LTMR) information. We report an array of mouse genetic tools for defining neuronal components and functions of the dorsal horn LTMR-recipient zone (LTMR-RZ), a role for LTMR-RZ processing in tactile perception, and the basic logic of LTMR-RZ organization. We found an unexpectedly high degree of neuronal diversity in the LTMR-RZ: seven excitatory and four inhibitory subtypes of interneurons exhibiting unique morphological, physiological, and synaptic properties. Remarkably, LTMRs form synapses on between four and 11 LTMR-RZ interneuron subtypes, while each LTMR-RZ interneuron subtype samples inputs from at least one to three LTMR classes, as well as spinal cord interneurons and corticospinal neurons. Thus, the LTMR-RZ is a somatosensory processing region endowed with a neuronal complexity that rivals the retina and functions to pattern the activity of ascending touch pathways that underlie tactile perception.

Pubmed ID: 28041852 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Axons | Dendrites | Interneurons | Mechanoreceptors | Mice | Molecular Biology | Neural Pathways | Spinal Cord | Synapses | Touch Perception

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None found

Associated grants

  • Agency: NCRR NIH HHS, Id: S10 RR028832
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R35 NS097344
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: P30 NS072030
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: P01 NS079419
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: T32 NS007292
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: U01 MH105949
  • Agency: NIDCR NIH HHS, Id: R01 DE022750
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: P30 DA035756
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: U54 HD090255
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: R01 DA034022
  • Agency: NCRR NIH HHS, Id: S10 RR031531
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: F32 NS077836
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: R21 DA023643

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