Background: Activity in neurons drives afferent competition that is critical for the refinement of nascent neural circuits. In ferrets, when an eye is lost in early development, surviving retinogeniculate afferents from the spared eye spread across the thalamus in a manner that is dependent on spontaneous retinal activity. However, how this spontaneous activity, also known as retinal waves, might dynamically regulate afferent terminal targeting remains unknown. Methods: We recorded retinal waves from retinae ex vivo using multi-electrode arrays. Retinae came from ferrets who were binocular or who had one eye surgically removed at birth. Linear mixed effects models were used to investigate the effects of early monocular enucleation on retinal wave activity. Results: When an eye is removed at birth, spontaneous bursts of action potentials by retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the surviving eye are shorter in duration. The shortening of RGC burst duration results in decreased pairwise RGC correlations across the retina and is associated with the retinal wave-dependent spread of retinogeniculate afferents previously reported in enucleates. Conclusion: Our findings show that removal of the competing eye modulates retinal waves and could underlie the dynamic regulation of competition-based refinement during retinogeniculate development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience