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J Neurophysiol. 1999 Jul;82(1):86-93.

Effect of the group II metabotropic glutamate agonist, 2R,4R-APDC, varies with age, layer, and visual experience in the visual cortex.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8061, USA.


Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR 2/3) are distributed differentially across the layers of cat visual cortex, and this distribution varies with age. At 3-4 wk, mGluR 2/3 receptor immunoreactivity is present in all layers. By 6-8 wk of age, it is still present in extragranular layers (2, 3, 5, and 6) but has disappeared from layer 4, and dark-rearing postpones the disappearance of Group II receptors from layer 4. We examined the physiological effects of Group II activation, to see if these effects varied similarly. The responses of single neurons in cat primary visual cortex were recorded to visual stimulation, then the effect of iontophoresis of 2R,4R-4 aminopyrrolidine-2, 4-decarboxylate (2R,4R-APDC), a Group II specific agonist, was observed in animals between 3 wk and adulthood. The effect of 2R, 4R-APDC was generally suppressive, reducing both the visual response and spontaneous activity of single neurons. The developmental changes were in agreement with the immunohistochemical results: 2R, 4R-APDC had effects on cells in all layers in animals of 3-4 wk but not in layer 4 of animals >6 wk old. Moreover, the effect of 2R, 4R-APDC was reduced in the cortex of older animals (>22 wk). Dark-rearing animals to 47-54 days maintained the effects of 2R, 4R-APDC in layer 4. The disappearance of Group II mGluRs from layer 4 between 3 and 6 wk of age is correlated with the segregation of ocular dominance columns in that layer, raising the possibility that mGluRs 2/3 are involved in this process.

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