PubMed 2987436

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: KCNQ2 , Kv7.2

Title: Glutamic acid decarboxylase in the striate cortex of normal and monocularly deprived kittens.

Authors: M F Bear, D E Schmechel, F F Ebner

Journal, date & volume: J. Neurosci., 1985 May , 5, 1262-75

PubMed link:

Degeneration of the thalamic fibers in the visual cortex of turtles leads to an increase in the numerical density of cortical synapses with flattened vesicles and symmetrical membrane differentiations (Smith, L. M., and F. F. Ebner (1980) Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 6: 328). This change correlates with an increase in the cortical activity of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the synthetic enzyme for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These data are consistent with the hypothesis that removal of thalamic input activity is the stimulus for cortical GABAergic neurons to form new synapses. Pharmacological evidence suggests that even simple environmental deprivation may induce a similar increase in the numerical density of GABAergic synapses in kitten striate cortex (Duffy, F. H., S. R., Snodgrass, J. L. Burchfiel, and J. L. Conway (1976) Nature 260: 256-257). We have examined this possibility in monocularly deprived kittens using methods to localize and measure GAD. GAD in kitten striate cortex was localized using immunocytochemistry. GAD-positive cells were found in all layers and were uniformly distributed in layers II to VI. Immunoreactivity associated with axon terminals (puncta), in contrast, was laminated with a distinct band in layer IV. Monocular deprivation (MD), by either unilateral enucleation or lid closure, had no detectable effect on the distribution of GAD in striate cortex. The band of layer IV puncta remained uniform even under conditions that produced alterations in layer IV cytochrome oxidase activity. We measured GAD activity in homogenates of striate cortex to address the possibility that MD causes an absolute change in the density of GABAergic synapses. Again, however, GAD activity in the binocular and monocular segments of striate cortex was found to be unaffected by early enucleation. These data suggest two conclusions: first, that the numerical density of GABAergic synapses in visual cortex is not regulated directly by thalamic activity, and second, that changes in GABAergic synapse density do not account for the ocular dominance shift observed in kitten striate cortex after MD.