Thalamocortical axons regulate neurogenesis and laminar fates in the early sensory cortex

Timothy Monko, Jaclyn Rebertus, Jeff Stolley, Stephen R. Salton, Yasushi Nakagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Area-specific axonal projections from the mammalian thalamus shape unique cellular organization in target areas in the adult neocortex. How these axons control neurogenesis and early neuronal fate specification is poorly understood. By using mutant mice lacking the majority of thalamocortical axons, we show that these axons are required for the production and specification of the proper number of layer 4 neurons in primary sensory areas by the neonatal stage. Part of these area-specific roles is played by the thalamus-derived molecule, VGF. Our work reveals that extrinsic cues from sensory thalamic projections have an early role in the formation of cortical cytoarchitecture by enhancing the production and specification of layer 4 neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2201355119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
StatePublished - May 31 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. We thank Grace Heimdahl, Ethan Chase, Earl Parker Scott, Thomas Bao, Emma Breyak, Ellie Wheeler, and Xiangyu Zou for technical assistance; Kate Neitzke, Armando Thull, Patrick Willey, and University Imaging Center (University of Minnesota) for help with imaging; Matt Simon, Lynn Wang, Alicia Cowles, Troy Liu, Yuria Shimizu, Samantha Dabruzzi, and Peter Gon-charov for contribution to the early phase of the study; Marija Cvetanovic, Zhe Chen, Linda McLoon, and Steven McLoon for critical reading of the manuscript; Lucy Vulchanova for anti-TLQP-21 antibody; and Henk Stunnenberg for anti-RORβ antibody. This work was supported by NIH Grants T32 GM113846 and NIH T32 EY025187 to T.M. and NIH Grants R21 NS117978 and R01 NS049357 to Y.N., Winston and Maxim Wallin Neuroscience Discovery Fund, Whitehall Foundation and University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 the Author(s).


  • cell fate
  • neocortex
  • neurogenesis
  • thalamocortical

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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