Changing microcircuits in the subplate of the developing cortex

Sarada Viswanathan, Sharba Bandyopadhyay, Joseph P.Y. Kao, Patrick O. Kanold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Subplate neurons (SPNs) are a population of neurons in themammaliancerebral cortex that exist predominantly in the prenatal and early postnatal period. Loss of SPNs prevents the functional maturation of the cerebral cortex. SPNs receive subcortical input from the thalamus and relay this information to the developing cortical plate and thereby can influence cortical activity in a feedforward manner. Little is known about potential feedback projections from the cortical plate to SPNs. Thus, we investigated the spatial distribution of intracortical synaptic inputs to SPNs in vitro in mouse auditory cortex by photostimulation.Wefind that SPNs fell into two broad classes based on their distinct spatial patterns of synaptic inputs. The first class of SPNs receives inputs from only deep cortical layers, while the second class of SPNs receives inputs from deep as well as superficial layers including layer 4. We find that superficial cortical inputs to SPNs emerge in the second postnatal week and that SPNs that receive superficial cortical input are located more superficially than those that do not. Our data thus suggest that distinct circuits are present in the subplate and that, while SPNs participate in an early feedforward circuit, they are also involved in a feedback circuit at older ages. Together, our results show that SPNs are tightly integrated into the developing thalamocortical and intracortical circuit. The feedback projections from the cortical plate might enable SPNs to amplify thalamic inputs to SPNs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1589-1601
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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