PublicationsLack of functional specialization of neurons in the mouse primary visual cortex that have expressed calretinin
Calretinin is a calcium-binding protein often used as a marker for a subset of inhibitory interneurons in the mammalian neocortex. We studied the labeled cells in offspring from a cross of a Cre-dependent reporter line with the CR-ires-Cre mice, which express Cre-recombinase in the same pattern as calretinin. We found that in the mature visual cortex, only a minority of the cells that have expressed calretinin and Cre-recombinase during their lifetime is GABAergic and only about 20% are immunoreactive for calretinin. The reason behind this is that calretinin is transiently expressed in many cortical pyramidal neurons during development. To determine whether neurons that express or have expressed calretinin share any distinct functional characteristics, we recorded their visual response properties using GCaMP6s calcium imaging. The average orientation selectivity, size tuning, and temporal and spatial frequency tuning of this group of cells, however, match the response profile of the general neuronal population, revealing the lack of functional specialization for the features studied.