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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2002 Feb;12(1):93-9.

Activity-dependent mapping in the retinotectal projection.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Kentucky, 101 Morgan Biological Science Building, Lexington, Kentucky 40506, USA.


It is now 15 years since the discovery that N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor activity is required to maintain the refined topographic organization of retinotectal projections. Recent studies have identified additional components of the signaling pathways required for activity-dependent map formation and maintenance. Nitric oxide and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, candidate retrograde messengers, and serotonin and acetylcholine, modulators of neuronal excitability, all affect mapping. These studies indicate that the mapping process intersects with other processes fundamental to visual system development and function, such as process outgrowth, synaptic turnover and neuromodulation.

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