Balanced interhemispheric cortical activity is required for correct targeting of the corpus callosum

Rodrigo Suárez, Laura R. Fenlon, Roger Marek, Lilach Avitan, Pankaj Sah, Geoffrey J. Goodhill, Linda J. Richards*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Bilateral integration of sensory and associative brain processing is achieved by precise connections between homologous regions in the two hemispheres via the corpus callosum. These connections form postnatally, and unilateral deprivation of sensory or spontaneous cortical activity during a critical period severely disrupts callosal wiring. However, little is known about how this early activity affects precise circuit formation. Here, using in utero electroporation of reporter genes, optogenetic constructs, and direct disruption of activity in callosal neurons combined with whisker ablations, we show that balanced interhemispheric activity, and not simply intact cortical activity in either hemisphere, is required for functional callosal targeting. Moreover, bilateral ablation of whiskers in symmetric or asymmetric configurations shows that spatially symmetric interhemispheric activity is required for appropriate callosal targeting. Our findings reveal a principle governing axon targeting, where spatially balanced activity between regions is required to establish their appropriate connectivity

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1289-1298
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - 18 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank K. Deisseroth, A. Kriegstein, T. Saito, M. Stryker, and Y. Tagowa for providing DNA constructs; C. Wang, S. Liu, and J. Thomson for initial contributions to this project; L. Hammond for microscopy assistance; The University of Queensland Biological Resources and Queensland Brain Institute animal team for animal support; and R. Tweedale, P. Bartlett, J. Bertran-Gonzalez, and the Richards laboratory for input on the manuscript. This work was funded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grants 1029975 and 1064174 (L.J.R.) 1043044 (G.J.G.) and by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery project grant (P.S.). L.J.R. was supported by an NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship. P.S. was supported by an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship. L.R.F. was supported by a University of Queensland Masters of Neuroscience scholarship and an Australian Postgraduate Award.


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