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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2001 Jan 31;126(1):65-74.

Comparison of the expression of two forms of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67 and GAD65) in the visual cortex of normal and dark-reared cats.

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Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, Health Sciences Center, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.


In normal development, there are dramatic changes in both the level and the laminar pattern of expression of the two forms of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD67, GAD65), the synthetic enzyme for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). We have used antibodies to determine whether these normal postnatal changes in the expression of the two GADs depend on visual input by comparing normal and dark-reared cat visual cortex. Western blot analysis showed no significant differences in the levels of expression of the two enzymes between rearing conditions at either 5 or 20 weeks. Immunohistochemistry was used to compare the laminar distribution of the GADs in the two rearing conditions. At 1 week of age, both GAD67 and GAD65 immunoreactivity is concentrated in deep layers of visual cortex. At 5 and 20 weeks in both rearing conditions, GAD67-stained cells bodies were distributed rather uniformly across all cortical layers. GAD65 primarily labeled puncta (synaptic terminals) and these were also distributed rather uniformly across all visual cortical layers in both rearing conditions. Counts of GAD67-positive cell bodies and GAD65-positive puncta also revealed no differences between the rearing conditions. Thus, both GAD67, which produces the basal pool of GABA, and GAD65, which is specialized to respond to short-term increases in demand in synaptic terminals, developed normal levels of expression and normal intracellular and laminar distributions in the absence of visual input. Physiological studies suggest immaturity in the GABA system of dark-reared visual cortex. The present results indicate that such abnormalities are not due to presynaptic alterations in GABA synthetic enzymes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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