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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 12;8(12):e82044. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082044. eCollection 2013.

Preserved excitatory-inhibitory balance of cortical synaptic inputs following deprived eye stimulation after a saturating period of monocular deprivation in rats.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy.

Abstract

Monocular deprivation (MD) during development leads to a dramatic loss of responsiveness through the deprived eye in primary visual cortical neurons, and to degraded spatial vision (amblyopia) in all species tested so far, including rodents. Such loss of responsiveness is accompanied since the beginning by a decreased excitatory drive from the thalamo-cortical inputs. However, in the thalamorecipient layer 4, inhibitory interneurons are initially unaffected by MD and their synapses onto pyramidal cells potentiate. It remains controversial whether ocular dominance plasticity similarly or differentially affects the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances driven by visual stimulation of the deprived eye and impinging onto visual cortical pyramids, after a saturating period of MD. To address this issue, we isolated visually-driven excitatory and inhibitory conductances by in vivo whole-cell recordings from layer 4 regular-spiking neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) of juvenile rats. We found that a saturating period of MD comparably reduced visually-driven excitatory and inhibitory conductances driven by visual stimulation of the deprived eye. Also, the excitatory and inhibitory conductances underlying the synaptic responses driven by the ipsilateral, left open eye were similarly potentiated compared to controls. Multiunit recordings in layer 4 followed by spike sorting indicated that the suprathreshold loss of responsiveness and the MD-driven ocular preference shifts were similar for narrow spiking, putative inhibitory neurons and broad spiking, putative excitatory neurons. Thus, by the time the plastic response has reached a plateau, inhibitory circuits adjust to preserve the normal balance between excitation and inhibition in the cortical network of the main thalamorecipient layer.

PMID:
24349181
PMCID:
PMC3861382
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0082044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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