Identification of a pathway from the retina to koniocellular layer K1 in the lateral geniculate nucleus of marmoset

Kumiko A. Percival, Amane Koizumi, Rania A. Masri, Péter Buzás, Paul R. Martin, Ulrike Grünert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Three well characterized pathways in primate vision (midget-parvocellular, parasol-magnocellular, bistratified-koniocellular) have been traced from the first synapse in the retina, through the visual thalamus (lateral geniculate nucleus, LGN), to the visual cortex. Here we identify a pathway from the first synapse in the retina to koniocellular layer K1 in marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus). Particle-mediated gene transfer of an expression plasmid for the postsynaptic density 95-green fluorescent protein (PSD95-GFP) was used to label excitatory synapses on retinal ganglion cells and combined with immunofluorescence to identify the presynaptic bipolar cells. We found that axon terminals of one type of diffuse bipolar cell (DB6) provide dominant synaptic input to the dendrites of narrow thorny ganglion cells. Retrograde tracer injections into the LGN and photofilling of retinal ganglion cells showed that narrow thorny cells were preferentially labeled when koniocellular layer K1 was targeted. Layer K1 contains cells with high sensitivity for rapid movement, and layer K1 sends projections to association visual areas as well as to primary visual cortex. We hypothesize that the DB6-narrow thorny-koniocellular pathway contributes to residual visual functions ("blindsight") that survive injury to primary visual cortex in adult or early life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3821-3825
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Bipolar cells
  • Ganglion cells
  • Koniocellular
  • Parallel pathways
  • Primate retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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