Mouse subthalamic nucleus neurons with local axon collaterals

J Comp Neurol. 2018 Feb 1;526(2):275-284. doi: 10.1002/cne.24334. Epub 2017 Oct 13.


The neuronal population of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has the ability to prolong incoming cortical excitation. This could result from intra-STN feedback excitation. The combination of inducible genetic fate mapping techniques with in vitro targeted patch-clamp recordings, allowed identifying a new type of STN neurons that possess a highly collateralized intrinsic axon. The time window of birth dates was found to be narrow (E10.5-E14.5) with very few STN neurons born at E10.5 or E14.5. The fate mapped E11.5-12.5 STN neuronal population included 20% of neurons with profuse axonal branching inside the nucleus and a dendritic arbor that differed from that of STN neurons without local axon collaterals. They had intrinsic electrophysiological properties and in particular, the ability to generate plateau potentials, similar to that of STN neurons without local axon collaterals and more generally to that of classically described STN neurons. This suggests that a subpopulation of STN neurons forms a local glutamatergic network, which together with plateau potentials, allow amplification of hyperdirect cortical inputs and synchronization of the STN neuronal population.

Keywords: RRID: AB_10000340; RRID: AB_10000342; RRID: AB_2313584; RRID: AB_2336933; RRID: AB_2337249; RRID: AB_2650496; axon collaterals; basal ganglia; calcium binding proteins; inducible genetic fate mapping; patch-clamp; subthalamic nucleus.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Biotin / analogs & derivatives
  • Biotin / metabolism
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / cytology*
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / embryology
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / growth & development


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neurog2 protein, mouse
  • neurobiotin
  • Biotin