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Neuron. 2009 Nov 25;64(4):537-49. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.10.005.

Endocannabinoid signaling is required for development and critical period plasticity of the whisker map in somatosensory cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

Abstract

Type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors mediate widespread synaptic plasticity, but how this contributes to systems-level plasticity and development in vivo is unclear. We tested whether CB1 signaling is required for development and plasticity of the whisker map in rat somatosensory cortex. Treatment with the CB1 antagonist AM251 during an early critical period for layer (L) 2/3 development (beginning postnatal day [P] 12-16) disrupted whisker map development, leading to inappropriate whisker tuning in L2/3 column edges and a blurred map. Early AM251 treatment also prevented experience-dependent plasticity in L2/3, including deprivation-induced synapse weakening and weakening of deprived whisker responses. CB1 blockade after P25 did not disrupt map development or plasticity. AM251 had no acute effect on sensory-evoked spiking and only modestly affected field potentials, suggesting that plasticity effects were not secondary to gross activity changes. These findings implicate CB1-dependent plasticity in systems-level development and early postnatal plasticity of the whisker map.

PMID:
19945395
PMCID:
PMC2796273
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2009.10.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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