Evidence for nonreciprocal organization of the mouse auditory thalamocortical-corticothalamic projection systems

Daniel A. Llano, S. Murray Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We tested the hypothesis that information is routed from one area of the auditory cortex (AC) to another via the dorsal division of the medial geniculate body (MGBd) by analyzing the degree of reciprocal connectivity between the auditory thalamus and cortex. Biotinylated dextran amine injected into the primary AC (AI) or anterior auditory field (AAF) of mice produced large, "driver-type" terminals primarily in the MGBd, with essentially no such terminals in the ventral MGB (MGBv). In contrast, small, "modulator-type" terminals were found primarily in the MGBv, and this coincided with areas of retrogradely labeled thalamocortical cell bodies. After MGBv injections, anterograde label was observed in layers 4 and 6 of the AI and AAF, which coincided with retrogradely labeled layer 6 cell bodies. After MGBd injections, thalamocortical terminals were seen in layers 1, 4, and 6 of the secondary AC and dorsoposterior AC, which coincided with labeled layer 6 cell bodies. Notably, after MGBd injection, a substantial number of layer 5 cells were labeled in all AC areas, whereas very few were seen after MGBv injection. Further, the degree of anterograde label in layer 4 of cortical columns containing labeled layer 6 cell bodies was greater than in columns containing labeled layer 5 cell bodies. These data suggest that auditory layer 5 corticothalamic projections are targeted to the MGBd in a nonreciprocal fashion and that the MGBd may route this information to the nonprimary AC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1209-1227
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2008


  • Cortex
  • Driver
  • Layer
  • Medial geniculate body
  • Modulator
  • Thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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