Facilitating sensory responses in developing mouse somatosensory barrel cortex
The sensory responses in the barrel cortex of mice aged postnatal day (P)7-P12 evoked by a single whisker deflection are smaller in amplitude and spread over a smaller area than those measured in P13-P21 mice. However, repetitive 10-Hz stimulation or paired pulse whisker stimulation in P7-P12 mice evoked facilitating sensory responses, contrasting with the depressing sensory responses observed in P13-P21 mice. This facilitation occurred during an interval ranging 300-1,000 ms after the first stimulus and was measured using whole cell recordings, voltage-sensitive dye imaging, and calcium-sensitive dye imaging. The facilitated responses were not only larger in amplitude but also propagated over a larger cortical area. The facilitation could be blocked by local application of pharmacological agents reducing cortical excitability. Local cortical microstimulation could substitute for the first whisker stimulus to produce a facilitated sensory response. The enhanced sensory responses evoked by repetitive sensory stimuli in P7-P12 mice may contribute to the activity-dependent specification of the developing cortical circuits. In addition, the facilitating sensory responses allow long integration times for sensory processing compatible with the slow behavior of mice during early postnatal development.
Lab. of Sensory Processing, Brain Mind Inst., Faculty of Life Science, SV-BMI-LSENS, Station 15, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
Record created on 2007-12-17, modified on 2016-08-08