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Neuroscience. 2003;117(2):361-71.

Activity-dependent change in the protein level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor but no change in other neurotrophins in the visual cortex of young and adult ferrets.

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  • 1Division of Neurophysiology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

Abstract

Neurotrophins are suggested to play a role in activity-dependent plasticity of visual cortex during the critical period of postnatal development. Thus, the concentration of neurotrophins in the cortex is expected to change with development and/or with alteration in neuronal activities. To test this, we measured protein levels of nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-3 and neurotrophin-4/5 in visual cortex of young (postnatal day 38-46, at the peak of the critical period) and adult ferrets with two-site enzyme-immunoassay systems. Measurements were carried out also in somatosensory cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum as control. With development the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor did not significantly change, while those of the other neurotrophins changed in the visual cortex. A blockade of visual inputs for 24 h by an injection of tetrodotoxin into both eyes significantly decreased brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein level in the visual cortex, but not in the other regions in both young and adult ferrets. On the other hand, no significant decrease was seen in the protein level of the other neurotrophins in the visual cortex of young and adult ferrets. A monocular injection of tetrodotoxin in young ferrets resulted in the reduction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor by approximately half that by binocular injection. The degree of the decrease in the contralateral cortex to the injected eye was significantly larger than that in the ipsilateral cortex, reflecting that the contralateral eye is dominantly represented in the cortex in ferrets. Blockade of cortical neuronal activities by a GABA(A) receptor agonist led to a remarkable reduction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein in the visual cortex. These results suggest that the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein in visual cortex is regulated by activities of cortical neurons.

PMID:
12614676
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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