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J Neurosci. 2010 May 26;30(21):7168-78. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1067-10.2010.

A specific requirement of Arc/Arg3.1 for visual experience-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity in mouse primary visual cortex.

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1
Department of Biology, College of Chemical and Life Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.

Abstract

Visual experience scales down excitatory synapses in the superficial layers of visual cortex in a process that provides an in vivo paradigm of homeostatic synaptic scaling. Experience-induced increases in neural activity rapidly upregulates mRNAs of immediate early genes involved in synaptic plasticity, one of which is Arc (activity-regulated cytoskeleton protein or Arg3.1). Cell biological studies indicate that Arc/Arg3.1 protein functions to recruit endocytic machinery for AMPA receptor internalization, and this action, together with its activity-dependent expression, rationalizes a role for Arc/Arg3.1 in homeostatic synaptic scaling. Here, we investigated the role of Arc/Arg3.1 in homeostatic scaling in vivo by examining experience-dependent development of layer 2/3 neurons in the visual cortex of Arc/Arg3.1 knock-out (KO) mice. Arc/Arg3.1 KOs show minimal changes in basal and developmental regulation of excitatory synaptic strengths but display a profound deficit in homeostatic regulation of excitatory synapses by visual experience. As additional evidence of specificity, we found that the visual experience-induced regulation of inhibitory synapses is normal, although the basal inhibitory synaptic strength is increased in the Arc/Arg3.1 KOs. Our results demonstrate that Arc/Arg3.1 plays a selective role in regulating visual experience-dependent homeostatic plasticity of excitatory synaptic transmission in vivo.

PMID:
20505084
PMCID:
PMC2881313
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1067-10.2010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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