Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2005 Dec 14;25(50):11684-92.

Visual deprivation modifies both presynaptic glutamate release and the composition of perisynaptic/extrasynaptic NMDA receptors in adult visual cortex.

Author information

Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


Use-dependent modifications of synapses have been well described in the developing visual cortex, but the ability for experience to modify synapses in the adult visual cortex is poorly understood. We found that 10 d of late-onset visual deprivation modifies both presynaptic and postsynaptic elements at the layer 4-->2/3 connection in the visual cortex of adult mice, and these changes differ from those observed in juveniles. Although visual deprivation in juvenile mice modifies the subunit composition and increases the current duration of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs), no such effect is observed at synapses between layer 4 and layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in adult mice. Surprisingly, visual deprivation in adult mice enhances the temporal summation of NMDAR-mediated currents induced by bursts of high-frequency stimulation. The enhanced temporal summation of NMDAR-mediated currents in deprived cortex could not be explained by a reduction in the rate of synaptic depression, because our data indicate that late-onset visual deprivation actually increases the rate of synaptic depression. Biochemical and electrophysiological evidence instead suggest that the enhanced temporal summation in adult mice could be accounted for by a change in the molecular composition of NMDARs at perisynaptic/extrasynaptic sites. Our data demonstrate that the experience-dependent modifications observed in the adult visual cortex are different from those observed during development. These differences may help to explain the unique consequences of sensory deprivation on plasticity in the developing versus mature cortex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center