Blockade of postsynaptic activity in sleep inhibits developmental plasticity in visual cortex

Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.
Neuroreport (Impact Factor: 1.52). 10/2006; 17(13):1459-63. DOI: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000233100.05408.e4
Source: PubMed


Ocular dominance plasticity is enhanced by sleep and reduced by sleep deprivation or when all neural activity in the sleeping visual cortex is reversibly inhibited. These latter findings demonstrate that the mechanisms responsible for the effects of sleep on cortical plasticity are activity dependent. To better isolate this activity dependent mechanism, we investigated the role of postsynaptic activity by inactivating the sleeping visual cortex after a period of monocular deprivation with the gamma-amino-n-butyric acid agonist muscimol. Microelectrode recordings showed that ocular dominance plasticity was significantly reduced in cortices reversibly silenced during sleep compared with cortices infused with vehicle only. These findings demonstrate that postsynaptic activity during sleep is required for the consolidation of experience-dependent cortical plasticity.

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    • "Ramesh, Begum, & McCarley, 2005; Cirelli, 2005). Studies in kittens have demonstrated a direct impact of sleep and sleep deprivation on experience-dependent brain plasticity (Frank, Issa, & Stryker, 2001; Frank, Jha, & Coleman 2006; Jha et al., 2005). It has also been proposed that sleep would induce a progressive downscaling of synaptic strength accumulated during the day to reach an energetically suitable level and make efficient use of cerebral grey matter (Tononi & Cirelli, 2006). "
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