Are the interlaminar zones of the ferret dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus actually part of the perigeniculate nucleus?

J Neurosci. 1996 Oct 1;16(19):5923-41. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.16-19-05923.1996.


The ferret dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd) contains interneurons within the interlaminar zones situated between the laminae corresponding to the ipsi- and contralateral eyes. We found that a subset of these neurons exhibits electrophysiological properties similar to those previously reported for perigeniculate (PGN) neurons, including the generation of rhythmic sequences of rebound low-threshold Ca2+ spikes at a frequency of 1-4 Hz after the intracellular injection of a hyperpolarizing current pulse. These "PGN-like" interlaminar interneurons innervated restricted regions of the A-laminae, inhibited thalamocortical cells through GABAA, and perhaps GABAB, receptors, and were excited by axon collaterals from thalamocortical cells. This reciprocal relationship is identical to that formed by PGN cells and allowed the PGN-like interlaminar neurons to participate in the generation of spindle waves and other network oscillations. Pharmacologically, PGN-like interlaminar interneurons were also similar to PGN neurons: both generated a prolonged depolarization in response to the local application of serotonin, 1S,3R-ACPD, and CCK8S, and a rapid depolarization followed by a more prolonged hyperpolarization in response to acetylcholine. Examination of parvalbumin and calbindin staining in the ferret LGNd revealed that both PGN and a subset of interlaminar neurons were parvalbumin-positive. In contrast, calbindin-positive cells were relatively absent in the PGN and sparsely present in the interlaminar zones, but were numerous in the A and C laminae. Our results indicate that the interlaminar zone in between laminae A and A1 and A1 and C in the ferret LGNd possesses a cell type that is electrophysiologically, pharmacologically, anatomically, immunocytochemically, and functionally similar to neurons in the PGN.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Calbindins
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Ferrets
  • Geniculate Bodies / cytology*
  • Geniculate Bodies / metabolism
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology*
  • Interneurons / drug effects
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / pharmacology
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism
  • Thalamus / cytology
  • Thalamus / physiology
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Calbindins
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Parvalbumins
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G