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Brain-wide connectivity map of mouse thermosensory cortices

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Item Type:Article
Title:Brain-wide connectivity map of mouse thermosensory cortices
Creators Name:Bokiniec, P. and Whitmire, C.J. and Leva, T.M. and Poulet, J.F.A.
Abstract:In the thermal system, skin cooling is represented in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and the posterior insular cortex (pIC). Whether S1 and pIC are nodes in anatomically separate or overlapping thermal sensorimotor pathways is unclear, as the brain-wide connectivity of the thermal system has not been mapped. We address this using functionally targeted, dual injections of anterograde viruses or retrograde tracers into the forelimb representation of S1 (fS1) and pIC (fpIC). Our data show that inputs to fS1 and fpIC originate from separate neuronal populations, supporting the existence of parallel input pathways. Outputs from fS1 and fpIC are more widespread than their inputs, sharing a number of cortical and subcortical targets. While, axonal projections were separable, they were more overlapping than the clusters of input cells. In both fS1 and fpIC circuits, there was a high degree of reciprocal connectivity with thalamic and cortical regions, but unidirectional output to the midbrain and hindbrain. Notably, fpIC showed connectivity with regions associated with thermal processing. Together, these data indicate that cutaneous thermal information is routed to the cortex via parallel circuits and is forwarded to overlapping downstream regions for the binding of somatosensory percepts and integration with ongoing behavior.
Keywords:Parallel Pathways, Posterior Insular Cortex, Primary Somatosensory Cortex, Thermosensation, Whole-Brain Connectivity, Animals, Mice
Source:Cerebral Cortex
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Page Range:4870-4885
Date:15 April 2023
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhac386
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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