Press Releases

Reliable, reproducible method for selectively targeting neuronal subpopulations in the mouse visual cortex

Cre-transgenic mouse technology has broad applications in functional and anatomical neuroscience

January 13, 2011 | Download PDF

Researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have used a novel mechanism to address controversial questions surrounding the functions of subpopulations of neurons in the mouse primary visual cortex.

The paper, published today in Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, outlines a method for using a type of genetically labeled, highly selective neuron from layer 2/3 of the visual cortex to examine its role in visual tasks. This study builds directly on recent published research, and may serve as an example to clarify existing ambiguity in scientists' understanding of the function of this type of cell in the visual system.

By using Cre-transgenic mouse technology, researchers were able to selectively target subpopulations of neurons, demonstrating the usefulness of this method across a breadth of investigative techniques including structural, functional, and connectivity studies.

Zariwala HA, Madisen L, Ahrens KF, Bernard A, Lein ES, Jones AR and Zeng H (2011) Visual tuning properties of genetically identified layer 2/3 neuronal types in the primary visual cortex of cre-transgenic mice. Front. Syst. Neurosci. 4:162. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2010.00162