The medial geniculate body (MGB) is the target of excitatory and inhibitory inputs from several neural sources. Among these, the inferior colliculus (IC) is an important nucleus in the midbrain that acts as a nexus for auditory projections, ascending and descending, throughout the rest of the central auditory system and provides both excitatory and inhibitory inputs to the MGB. In our study, we assessed the relative contribution from presumed excitatory and inhibitory IC neurons to the MGB in mice. Using retrograde tract tracing with cholera toxin beta subunit (CTβ)-Alexa Fluor 594 injected into the MGB of transgenic, vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT)-Venus mice, we quantitatively analyzed the projections from both the ipsilateral and contralateral IC to the MGB. Our results demonstrate inhibitory projections from both ICs to the MGB that likely play a significant role in shaping auditory processing. These results complement prior studies in other species, which suggest that the inhibitory tectothalamic pathway is important in the regulation of neuronal activity in the auditory forebrain.
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