Experimental induction of an abnormal ipsilateral visual field representation in the geniculocortical pathway of normally pigmented cats.

Abstract

In the normally pigmented neonatal cat, many ganglion cells in temporal retina project to the contralateral dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd) and medial interlaminar nucleus (MIN). Most of these cells are eliminated during postnatal development. If one optic tract is sectioned at birth, much of this exuberant projection from the contralateral temporal retina is stabilized (Leventhal et al., 1988b). To determine how the abnormal projection from the contralateral temporal retina is accommodated in the central visual pathways, neuronal activity was recorded in the visual thalamus and cortex of adult cats whose optic tracts were sectioned as neonates. The recordings showed that up to 20 degrees of the ipsilateral hemifield is represented in the LGNd and MIN. Recordings from areas 17 and 18 of the intact visual cortex showed that up to 20 degrees of the ipsilateral visual field is also represented and that the ipsilateral representation is organized as in a Boston Siamese cat (Hubel and Wiesel, 1971; Shatz, 1977; Cooper and Blasdel, 1980) or a heterozygous albino cat (Leventhal et al., 1985b). The extent of the ipsilateral visual field representation was greater in area 18 than in area 17; the extent of the ipsilateral hemifield representation in areas 17 and 18 varied with elevation, increasing with distance from the horizontal meridian. The receptive fields of cells in the LGNd and visual cortex subserving contralateral temporal retina were abnormally large. Otherwise, their receptive field properties seemed normal. In the same animals studied physiologically, HRP was injected into the ipsilateral hemifield representation in the LGNd and MIN of the intact hemisphere. The topographic distribution of the alpha and beta cells, respectively, labeled by these injections correlated with the elevation-related changes in the ipsilateral visual field representation in areas 18 and 17. Our results indicate that the retinotopic organization of the mature geniculocortical pathway reflects the abnormal pattern of central projections of ganglion cells in neonatally optic tract sectioned cats. Thus, if they do not die, retinal ganglion cells normally eliminated during development are capable of making seemingly normal, functional connections. The finding that an albino-like representation of the ipsilateral hemifield can be induced in the visual cortex of normally pigmented cats suggests that the well-documented defects in the geniculocortical pathways of albinos are secondary to the initial misrouting of ganglion cells at the optic chiasm (Kliot and Shatz, 1985) and not a result of albinism per se.

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Cite this paper

@article{Schall1988ExperimentalIO, title={Experimental induction of an abnormal ipsilateral visual field representation in the geniculocortical pathway of normally pigmented cats.}, author={Jeffrey D. Schall and S J Ault and Dagmar Vitek and Audie G. Leventhal}, journal={The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience}, year={1988}, volume={8 6}, pages={2039-48} }