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Somatosens Mot Res. 2006 Sep-Dec;23(3-4):135-46.

Immediate-early gene expression in the barrel cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroanatomy, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. jochen.staiger@anat.uni-freiburg.de

Abstract

Since their detection in the early 1980s immediate-early genes (most of them being inducible transcription factors) have been regarded as molecular keys to the orchestration of late-effector genes that ultimately would enable functional and structural adaptation of the brain to changing external and internal demands. This is called neuronal plasticity and it has been intensively studied in the somatosensory (barrel) cortex of rodents. This brain region is intimately involved in the processing and probably also the storage of tactile information, stemming from the large facial whiskers, necessary for object detection or spatial navigation in the environment. On the other hand, several of the inducible transcription factors have been found to function as neuronal activity markers providing a cellular resolution, thus, enabling the cell-type specific mapping of activated neuronal circuits. Some recent data on both topics in the rodent barrel cortex will be presented in this topical review.

PMID:
17178549
DOI:
10.1080/08990220601045411
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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