Seminar: Guoping Feng: "TRN Dysfunction in Neurodevelopment Disorders"

Guoping Feng: TRN dysfunction in neurodevelopment disorders

Seminar: Guoping Feng: "TRN Dysfunction in Neurodevelopment Disorders"

The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN), the major source of thalamic inhibition, is known to regulate thalamocortical interactions critical for sensory processing, attention and cognition. TRN dysfunction has been linked to sensory abnormality, attention deficit and sleep disturbance across multiple neurodevelopmental disorders. Currently, little is known about the organizational principles underlying its divergent functions. In this talk, I will start with an example of how dysfunction of TRN contributes to attention deficit and sleep disruption using a mouse model of Ptchd1 mutation, which in humans cause neurodevelopmental disorder with ASD. Building on these findings, we further performed an integrative single-cell analysis linking molecular and electrophysiological features of the TRN to connectivity and systems-level function. We identified two subnetworks of the TRN with segregated anatomical structure, distinct electrophysiological properties, differential connections to the functionally distinct first-order and higher-order thalamic nuclei, and differential role in regulating sleep. These studies provide a comprehensive atlas for TRN neurons at the single-cell resolution and a foundation for studying diverse functions and dysfunctions of the TRN. Finally, I will describe the newly developed minimally invasive optogenetic tool for probing circuit function and dysfunction.

This seminar was presented on May 14, 2020.