Subplate neurons (SPNs) are thought to play a role in nascent sensory processing in neocortex. To better understand how heterogeneity within this population relates to emergent function, we investigated the synaptic connectivity of Lpar1-EGFP SPNs through the first postnatal week in whisker somatosensory cortex (S1BF). These SPNs comprise of two morphological subtypes: fusiform SPNs with local axons and pyramidal SPNs with axons that extend through the marginal zone. The former receive translaminar synaptic input up until the emergence of the whisker barrels, a timepoint coincident with significant cell death. In contrast, pyramidal SPNs receive local input from the subplate at early ages but then - during the later time window - acquire input from overlying cortex. Combined electrical and optogenetic activation of thalamic afferents identified that Lpar1-EGFP SPNs receive sparse thalamic innervation. These data reveal components of the postnatal network that interpret sparse thalamic input to direct the emergent columnar structure of S1BF.
laser scanning photostimulation, mouse, neocortex, neural circuits, neural development, neuroscience, optogenetics, subplate, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Axons, Electric Stimulation, GABA Agents, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Mice, Neurons, Optogenetics, Receptors, Lysophosphatidic Acid, Somatosensory Cortex, Thalamus, Vibrissae