In the present paper we analyzed the expression pattern of the alpha4 and alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits in the rat visual cortex through postnatal development, to clarify whether their expression is developmentally regulated and whether eventual developmental changes are regulated by visual experience. We found that both alpha4 and alpha7 mRNA levels accumulate from postnatal day 12 (P12) before eye opening, to around P35. The immunohistochemical results indicated that both subunits are expressed throughout all cortical laminae, except layer I. alpha4 subunit immunohistochemistry revealed significant increments in the number of positive cells in layers V and VI after eye opening. In the case of the alpha7 subunit, the number of immunoreactive cells increased in all cortical layers soon after eye opening, except in layer VI, matching the results found at the transcriptional level. In animals reared in darkness from P9 to P22, the relative amount of the alpha4 mRNA and the number of immunoreactive cells exhibited no changes. H-3-epibatidine binding experiments showed that the number of heteromeric nAChR subunitsin dark-reared rats did not change with respect to age-matched controls, thus confirming the immunohistochemical results. The mRNA of the alpha7 subunit remained stable in dark-reared rats, whereas the number and distribution of immunoreactive cells changed. Moreover, the number of I-125 alphabungarotoxin-binding nAChRs was significantly increased in dark-reared animals. These results indicate that visual cortex stimulation by visual input is an essential step for alpha7 nAChR normal expression, suggesting a possible role for these receptors in an experience-dependent fashion on the maturation of this cortical area. (C) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

alpha 7 but not alpha 4 AChR subunit expression is regulated by light in developing primary visual cortex

DOMENICI, LUCIANO
2004

Abstract

In the present paper we analyzed the expression pattern of the alpha4 and alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits in the rat visual cortex through postnatal development, to clarify whether their expression is developmentally regulated and whether eventual developmental changes are regulated by visual experience. We found that both alpha4 and alpha7 mRNA levels accumulate from postnatal day 12 (P12) before eye opening, to around P35. The immunohistochemical results indicated that both subunits are expressed throughout all cortical laminae, except layer I. alpha4 subunit immunohistochemistry revealed significant increments in the number of positive cells in layers V and VI after eye opening. In the case of the alpha7 subunit, the number of immunoreactive cells increased in all cortical layers soon after eye opening, except in layer VI, matching the results found at the transcriptional level. In animals reared in darkness from P9 to P22, the relative amount of the alpha4 mRNA and the number of immunoreactive cells exhibited no changes. H-3-epibatidine binding experiments showed that the number of heteromeric nAChR subunitsin dark-reared rats did not change with respect to age-matched controls, thus confirming the immunohistochemical results. The mRNA of the alpha7 subunit remained stable in dark-reared rats, whereas the number and distribution of immunoreactive cells changed. Moreover, the number of I-125 alphabungarotoxin-binding nAChRs was significantly increased in dark-reared animals. These results indicate that visual cortex stimulation by visual input is an essential step for alpha7 nAChR normal expression, suggesting a possible role for these receptors in an experience-dependent fashion on the maturation of this cortical area. (C) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/5883
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