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Nat Neurosci. 2001 Feb;4(2):159-63.

Cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase mediates ocular dominance shifts in cat visual cortex.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University School of Medicine, 330 Cedar Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8061, USA.


Visual experience during a critical period early in postnatal development can change connections within mammalian visual cortex. In a kitten at the peak of the critical period (approximately P28-42), brief monocular deprivation can lead to complete dominance by the open eye, an ocular dominance shift. This process is driven by activity from the eyes, and depends on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activation. The components of the intracellular signaling cascade underlying these changes have not all been identified. Here we show that inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA) by Rp-8-Cl-cAMPS blocks ocular dominance shifts that occur following monocular deprivation early in the critical period. Inhibition of protein kinase G by Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS had no effect, indicating a specificity for the PKA pathway. Enhancement of PKA activity late in the critical period with Sp-8-Cl-cAMPS did not increase plasticity. PKA is a necessary component of the pathway leading to cortical plasticity during the critical period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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