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Nat Neurosci. 2015 Jan;18(1):87-96. doi: 10.1038/nn.3890. Epub 2014 Dec 8.

Early depolarizing GABA controls critical-period plasticity in the rat visual cortex.

Author information

1
Neuroscience and Brain Technologies Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy.
2
1] Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy. [2] CNR Neuroscience Institute, Pisa, Italy.
3
CNR Neuroscience Institute, Pisa, Italy.
4
Laboratory of Molecular Neuropathology, Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, Trento, Italy.
5
1] CNR Neuroscience Institute, Pisa, Italy. [2] Laboratory of Molecular Neuropathology, Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, Trento, Italy.

Abstract

Hyperpolarizing and inhibitory GABA regulates critical periods for plasticity in sensory cortices. Here we examine the role of early, depolarizing GABA in the control of plasticity mechanisms. We report that brief interference with depolarizing GABA during early development prolonged critical-period plasticity in visual cortical circuits without affecting the overall development of the visual system. The effects on plasticity were accompanied by dampened inhibitory neurotransmission, downregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and reduced density of extracellular matrix perineuronal nets. Early interference with depolarizing GABA decreased perinatal BDNF signaling, and a pharmacological increase of BDNF signaling during GABA interference rescued the effects on plasticity and its regulators later in life. We conclude that depolarizing GABA exerts a long-lasting, selective modulation of plasticity of cortical circuits by a strong crosstalk with BDNF.

PMID:
25485756
PMCID:
PMC4338533
DOI:
10.1038/nn.3890
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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