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Neuroreport. 1992 Jun;3(6):489-92.

Barrelfield expansion after neonatal eye removal in mice.

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Institute of Anatomy, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


We investigated the effect of neonatal eye removal on the tangential extent of the barrelfield in mice. Areas were measured in drawings made from tangentially cut Nisslstained sections of somatosensory cortex. We compared areas of 29 barrels, corresponding to 29 mystacial vibrissae, between adult mice enucleated at birth (n = 13) and their intact littermates (n = 13). Multivariate analysis of variance showed that the barrelfield was larger in enucleated mice. This expansion was mainly due to the increase in areal extent of the barrels corresponding to the dorsalmost row of vibrissae, and of a set of barrels corresponding to rostral vibrissae near the nose and mouth. Evidently, early enucleation has a significant cross-modal effect on the somatosensory cortex.

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