Section: Neuroscience
Topic: Neuroscience, Genetics/Genomics

Functional correlates of immediate early gene expression in mouse visual cortex

10.24072/pcjournal.156 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 2 (2022), article no. e45.

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During visual development, response properties of layer 2/3 neurons in visual cortex are shaped by experience. Both visual and visuomotor experience are necessary to coordinate the integration of bottom-up visual input and top-down motor-related input. Whether visual and visuomotor experience engage different plasticity mechanisms, possibly associated with the two separate input pathways, is still unclear. To begin addressing this, we measured the expression level of three different immediate early genes (IEG) (c-fos, egr1 or Arc) and neuronal activity in layer 2/3 neurons of visual cortex before and after a mouse’s first visual exposure in life, and subsequent visuomotor learning. We found that expression levels of all three IEGs correlated positively with neuronal activity, but that first visual and first visuomotor exposure resulted in differential changes in IEG expression patterns. In addition, IEG expression levels differed depending on whether neurons exhibited primarily visually driven or motor-related activity. Neurons with strong motor-related activity preferentially expressed EGR1, while neurons that developed strong visually driven activity preferentially expressed Arc. Our findings are consistent with the interpretation that bottom-up visual input and top-down motor-related input are associated with different IEG expression patterns and hence possibly also with different plasticity pathways.

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.156
Type: Research article

Mahringer, David 1, 2; Zmarz, Pawel 1, 2, 3; Okuno, Hiroyuki 4; Bito, Haruhiko 5; Keller, Georg B. 1, 2

1 Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland
2 Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
3 Current address: Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA,
4 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Kagoshima 890-8544, Japan
5 Department of Neurochemistry, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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     title = {Functional correlates of immediate early gene expression in mouse visual cortex},
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%A Bito, Haruhiko
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Mahringer, David; Zmarz, Pawel; Okuno, Hiroyuki; Bito, Haruhiko; Keller, Georg B. Functional correlates of immediate early gene expression in mouse visual cortex. Peer Community Journal, Volume 2 (2022), article  no. e45. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.156.

PCI peer reviews and recommendation, and links to data, scripts, code and supplementary information: 10.24072/pci.neuro.100005

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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