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Enhancement of visual cortex plasticity by dark exposure

Erchova, Irina, Vasalauskaite, Asta, Longo, Valentina and Sengpiel, Frank ORCID: 2017. Enhancement of visual cortex plasticity by dark exposure. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences 372 (1715) , 20160159. 10.1098/rstb.2016.0159

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Dark rearing is known to delay the time course of the critical period for ocular dominance plasticity in the visual cortex. Recent evidence suggests that a period of dark exposure (DE) may enhance or reinstate plasticity even after closure of the critical period, mediated through modification of the excitatory–inhibitory balance and/or removal of structural brakes on plasticity. Here, we investigated the effects of a week of DE on the recovery from a month of monocular deprivation (MD) in the primary visual cortex (V1) of juvenile mice. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals revealed that ocular dominance in V1 of mice that had received DE recovered slightly more quickly than of mice that had not, but the level of recovery after three weeks was similar in both groups. Two-photon calcium imaging showed no significant difference in the recovery of orientation selectivity of excitatory neurons between the two groups. Parvalbumin-positive (PV+) interneurons exhibited a smaller ocular dominance shift during MD but again no differences in subsequent recovery. The percentage of PV+ cells surrounded by perineuronal nets, a structural brake on plasticity, was lower in mice with than those without DE. Overall, DE causes a modest enhancement of mouse visual cortex plasticity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: visual cortex; ocular dominance; mouse; plasticity; imaging; parvalbumin
Publisher: Royal Society, The
ISSN: 0962-8436
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 November 2016
Date of Acceptance: 3 October 2016
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 19:16

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