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Koichi TOMITA"A molecular correlate of ocular dominance columns in the developing visual cortex of higher mammals"

Abstract :

Ocular dominance (OD) columns, alternating regions of left- and right eye input in the visual cortex of higher mammals, are thought to develop from an initially intermingled state by an activity dependent process.

While indirect evidence points to an alternative mechanism based on molecular cues, direct proof for a molecular difference between left- and right eye columns is missing.

Here we show that molecular chaperone is expressed in a patchy pattern in developing cat visual cortex. These patches are in precise register with OD columns of the ipsilateral eye as early as postnatal day 16, when OD columns have just appeared.

Importantly, a periodic, patchy expression of molecular chaperone is already present weeks before OD columns have started to form, suggesting that molecular differences between future left and right eye OD columns may contribute to the segregated termination of eye specific afferents in the developing visual cortex 

Valentin Nagerl de l'IINS