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Somatosens Mot Res. 1994;11(3):219-28.

Effects of postnatal blockade of cortical activity with tetrodotoxin upon the development and plasticity of vibrissa-related patterns in the somatosensory cortex of hamsters.

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Department of Anatomy, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo 43699.


Several previous studies have shown that postnatal blockade of thalamocortical activity with either tetrodotoxin (TTX) or the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV) does not prevent the formation of vibrissa-related patterns in the primary somatosensory cortex of rats. One limitation of these studies is that this pattern forms very shortly after birth in rats, and there may be only a very limited time over which it may be influenced by activity blockade. In the present study, the effect of activity blockade was evaluated in a more altricial rodent, the hamster. The present study showed that a pattern of thalamocortical afferents corresponding to the vibrissae is not observed until the fourth postnatal day in hamsters. Nevertheless, application of TTX-impregnated implants to the cortices of newborn hamsters had no qualitative or quantitative effect upon vibrissa-related patterns in the primary somatosensory cortices of these animals. Moreover, TTX implants did not prevent the changes in patterns that followed cauterization of a row of vibrissa follicles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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