Rapid Structural Remodeling of Thalamocortical Synapses Parallels Experience-Dependent Functional Plasticity in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex
Author(s)Coleman, Jason E.; Nahmani, Marc; Gavornik, Jeffrey; Haslinger, Robert Heinz; Heynen, Arnold J.; Erisir, Alev; Bear, Mark; ... Show more Show less
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Monocular lid closure (MC) causes a profound shift in the ocular dominance (OD) of neurons in primary visual cortex (V1). Anatomical studies in both cat and mouse V1 suggest that large-scale structural rearrangements of eye-specific thalamocortical (TC) axons in response to MC occur much more slowly than the shift in OD. Consequently, there has been considerable debate as to whether the plasticity of TC synapses, which transmit competing visual information from each eye to V1, contributes to the early functional consequences of MC or is simply a feature of long-term deprivation. Here, we used quantitative immuno-electron microscopy to examine the possibility that alterations of TC synapses occur rapidly enough to impact OD after brief MC. The effect of short-term deprivation on TC synaptic structure was examined in male C57BL/6 mice that underwent 3 and 7 d of MC or monocular retinal inactivation (MI) with tetrodotoxin. The data show that 3 d of MC is sufficient to induce substantial remodeling of TC synapses. In contrast, 3 d of MI, which alters TC activity but does not shift OD, does not significantly affect the structure of TC synapses. Our results support the hypothesis that the rapid plasticity of TC synapses is a key step in the sequence of events that shift OD in visual cortex.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Journal of Neuroscience
Society for Neuroscience
Coleman, J. E. et al. “Rapid Structural Remodeling of Thalamocortical Synapses Parallels Experience-Dependent Functional Plasticity in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex.” Journal of Neuroscience 30.29 (2010): 9670–9682.
Final published version