Genes Selectively Expressed in the Visual Cortex of the Old World Monkey
The primate neocortex consists of much more evolved areas than those in other mammals. To understand the molecular basis and physiological significance specific to the primate neocortex, we have been searching and characterizing the genes that are selectively and highly expressed in the macaque neocortex. Such gene can be classified into three groups: the primary visual area (V1)-selective genes, the association-area-selective genes, and the motor-area-selective genes (Yamamori, Progress Neurobiol 94:201–222, 2011). The V1-selective genes (OCC1/FSTL1, HTR1B, and HTR2A) may play roles in keeping visual homeostasis in primates to adjust to large changes in light amount in the natural environment. In this article, we report on SEMA7A as another V1-selective gene in macaque monkeys. The expression pattern of SEMA7A differs from those of the V1-selective genes we previously reported in that it is already expressed in the mid-embryonic stage (embryonic day 83) when the thalamocortical fibers are about to project. In addition, SEMA7A only shows weak activity-dependent expression upon monocular inhibition by TTX injection into one eye compared with other V1-selective genes. These findings suggest that there are at least two subgroups of genes that show high and V1-selective expression. The significance of these findings is discussed.
KeywordsLateral Geniculate Nucleus Macaque Monkey Postnatal Development Association Area Laminar Distribution
This work was supported by the Scientific Research on Innovative Areas “Neural Diversity and Neocortical Organization” from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (to T.Y.) and “Strategic Research Program for Brain Sciences (Highly Creative Animal Model Development for Brain Science)” from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. All the experiments were conducted in accordance with the guidelines of the National Institutes of Health and were approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences. We made all efforts to minimize the number of animals used and their suffering.
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