Critical Period Plasticity Is Disrupted in the Barrel Cortex of Fmr1 Knockout Mice

Emily G. Harlow, Sally M. Till, Theron A. Russell, Lasani S. Wijetunge, Peter Kind, Anis Contractor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

154 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alterations in sensory processing constitute prominent symptoms of fragile X syndrome; however, little is known about how disrupted synaptic and circuit development in sensory cortex contributes to these deficits. To investigate how the loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) impacts the development of cortical synapses, we examined excitatory thalamocortical synapses in somatosensory cortex during the perinatal critical period in Fmr1 knockout mice. FMRP ablation resulted in dysregulation of glutamatergic signaling maturation. The fraction of silent synapses persisting to later developmental times was increased; there was a temporal delay in the window for synaptic plasticity, while other forms of developmental plasticity were not altered in Fmr1 knockout mice. Our results indicate that FMRP is required for the normal developmental progression of synaptic maturation, and loss of this important RNA binding protein impacts the timing of the critical period for layer IV synaptic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-398
Number of pages14
JournalNeuron
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 11 2010

Keywords

  • DEVBIO
  • HUMDISEASE
  • MOLNEURO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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