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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

Postnatal expression of the plasticity-related nerve growth factor-induced gene A (NGFI-A) protein in the superficial layers of the rat superior colliculus: relation to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor function.

Immediate early gene expression in the CNS is induced by sensory stimulation and seems to be involved in long-term synaptic plasticity. We have used an immunohistochemical method to detect the nerve growth factor-induced gene A (NGFI-A) protein expression in the superficial layers of the rat superior colliculus during postnatal development. Our goal was to correlate the expression of this candidate plasticity protein with developmental events, especially the activity-dependent refinement of the retinocollicular and corticocollicular pathways. We have also investigated the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor dependence of the NGFI-A expression. Animals of various postnatal ages were used. Postnatal day (P) 12 and older animals were submitted to a protocol of dark adaptation followed by light stimulation. NGFI-A expression was never observed during the first 2 postnatal weeks. The first stained cells were observed at P15, 2 days after eye opening (P13). The highest number of stained cells was observed at the end of the third postnatal week (P22). Adult-like level of expression was reached at P30, since at this age, the number of stained cells was comparable to that found in adult rats (P90). Both P22 animals submitted to an acute treatment with MK-801 (i.p. injection) and adult animals submitted to chronic intracranial infusion of a MK-801 presented a clear decrease in the NGFI-A expression in response to light stimulation. These results suggest that the NGFI-A expression is dependent on the NMDA receptor activation, and the observed pattern of expression is in close agreement with previous descriptions of the changes in the NMDA receptor-mediated visual activity in the developing rat superior colliculus (SC). Our results suggest that the plasticity-related NGFI-A protein might play a role in the developmental plasticity of the superficial layers of the rat SC after eye opening.[1]

References

  1. Postnatal expression of the plasticity-related nerve growth factor-induced gene A (NGFI-A) protein in the superficial layers of the rat superior colliculus: relation to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor function. Giraldi-Guimarães, A., de Bittencourt-Navarrete, R.E., Nascimento, I.C., Salazar, P.R., Freitas-Campos, D., Mendez-Otero, R. Neuroscience (2004) [Pubmed]
 
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