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J Neurobiol. 2005 Oct;65(1):85-96.

Regulation of cpg15 expression during single whisker experience in the barrel cortex of adult mice.

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The Picower Center for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 50 Ames Street, E18-670, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Regulation of gene transcription by neuronal activity is thought to be key to the translation of sensory experience into long-term changes in synaptic structure and function. Here we show that cpg15, a gene encoding an extracellular signaling molecule that promotes dendritic and axonal growth and synaptic maturation, is regulated in the somatosensory cortex by sensory experience capable of inducing cortical plasticity. Using in situ hybridization, we monitored cpg15 expression in 4-week-old mouse barrel cortex after trimming all whiskers except D1. We found that cpg15 expression is depressed in the deprived barrels and enhanced in the barrel column corresponding to the spared D1 whisker. Changes in cpg15 mRNA levels first appear in layer IV, peak 12 h after deprivation, and then decline rapidly. In layers II/III, changes in cpg15 expression appear later, peak at 24 h, and persist for days. Induction of cpg15 expression is significantly diminished in adolescent as well as adult CREB knockout mice. cpg15's spatio-temporal expression pattern and its regulation by CREB are consistent with a role in experience-dependent plasticity of cortical circuits. Our results suggest that local structural and/or synaptic changes may be a mechanism by which the adult cortex can adapt to peripheral manipulations.

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