A retinoraphe projection regulates serotonergic activity and looming-evoked defensive behaviour

Lu Huang, Tifei Yuan, Minjie Tan, Yue Xi, Yu Hu, Qian Tao, Zhikai Zhao, Jiajun Zheng, Yushui Han, Fuqiang Xu, Minmin Luo, Patricia J. Sollars, Mingliang Pu, Gary E. Pickard, Kwok Fai So, Chaoran Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animals promote their survival by avoiding rapidly approaching objects that indicate threats. In mice, looming-evoked defensive responses are triggered by the superior colliculus (SC) which receives direct retinal inputs. However, the specific neural circuits that begin in the retina and mediate this important behaviour remain unclear. Here we identify a subset of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that controls mouse looming-evoked defensive responses through axonal collaterals to the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) and SC. Looming signals transmitted by DRN-projecting RGCs activate DRN GABAergic neurons that in turn inhibit serotoninergic neurons. Moreover, activation of DRN serotoninergic neurons reduces looming-evoked defensive behaviours. Thus, a dedicated population of RGCs signals rapidly approaching visual threats and their input to the DRN controls a serotonergic self-gating mechanism that regulates innate defensive responses. Our study provides new insights into how the DRN and SC work in concert to extract and translate visual threats into defensive behavioural responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14908
JournalNature communications
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 31 2017

Fingerprint

Neurons
projection
nuclei
Superior Colliculi
Retinal Ganglion Cells
neurons
Serotonergic Neurons
mice
Animals
Chemical activation
GABAergic Neurons
Networks (circuits)
retina
cells
set theory
animals
Retina
Dorsal Raphe Nucleus
activation
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

A retinoraphe projection regulates serotonergic activity and looming-evoked defensive behaviour. / Huang, Lu; Yuan, Tifei; Tan, Minjie; Xi, Yue; Hu, Yu; Tao, Qian; Zhao, Zhikai; Zheng, Jiajun; Han, Yushui; Xu, Fuqiang; Luo, Minmin; Sollars, Patricia J.; Pu, Mingliang; Pickard, Gary E.; So, Kwok Fai; Ren, Chaoran.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 8, 14908, 31.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Huang, L, Yuan, T, Tan, M, Xi, Y, Hu, Y, Tao, Q, Zhao, Z, Zheng, J, Han, Y, Xu, F, Luo, M, Sollars, PJ, Pu, M, Pickard, GE, So, KF & Ren, C 2017, 'A retinoraphe projection regulates serotonergic activity and looming-evoked defensive behaviour', Nature communications, vol. 8, 14908. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14908
Huang, Lu ; Yuan, Tifei ; Tan, Minjie ; Xi, Yue ; Hu, Yu ; Tao, Qian ; Zhao, Zhikai ; Zheng, Jiajun ; Han, Yushui ; Xu, Fuqiang ; Luo, Minmin ; Sollars, Patricia J. ; Pu, Mingliang ; Pickard, Gary E. ; So, Kwok Fai ; Ren, Chaoran. / A retinoraphe projection regulates serotonergic activity and looming-evoked defensive behaviour. In: Nature communications. 2017 ; Vol. 8.
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