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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 14;8(11):e79297. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079297. eCollection 2013.

Alteration of CaBP expression pattern in the nucleus magnocellularis following unilateral cochlear ablation in adult zebra finches.

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1
Beijing Key Laboratory of Gene Resource and Molecular Development, Laboratory of Neuroscience and Brain Development, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.

Abstract

Songbirds have the rare ability of auditory-vocal learning and maintenance. Up to now, the organization and function of the nucleus magnocellularis (NM), the first relay of the avian ascending auditory pathway is largely based on studies in non-vocal learning species, such as chickens and owls. To investigate whether NM exhibits different histochemical properties associated with auditory processing in songbirds, we examined the expression patterns of three calcium-binding proteins (CaBPs), including calretinin (CR), parvalbumin (PV) and calbindin-D28k (CB), and their relations to auditory inputs in NM in adult zebra finches. We found enriched and co-localized immunostaining of CR, PV and CB in the majority of NM neurons, without neuronal population preference. Furthermore, they were sensitive to adult deafferentation with differential plasticity patterns. After unilateral cochlear removal, CR staining in the ipsilateral NM decreased appreciably at 3 days after surgery, and continued to decline thereafter. PV staining showed down-regulation first at 3 days, but subsequently recovered slightly. CB staining did not significantly decrease until 7 days after surgery. Our findings suggest that the three CaBPs might play distinct roles in association with auditory processing in zebra finches. These results are in contrast to the findings in the NM of chickens where CR is the predominant CaBP and deafferentation had no apparent effect on its expression. Further extended studies in other avian species are required to establish whether the difference in CaBP patterns in NM is functionally related to the different auditory-vocal behaviors.

PMID:
24244471
PMCID:
PMC3828381
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0079297
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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