Dr. Toru Takahata group published the latest research on Journal of Comparative Neurology
In a recent study published in Journal of Comparative Neurology entitled “Long‐term histological changes in the macaque primary visual cortex and the lateral geniculate nucleus after monocular deprivation produced by early restricted retinal lesions and diffuser induced form deprivation”, Dr. Toru Takahata and his colleagues reported changes in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and striate cortex (V1) of 7 monkeys that had partial retinal lesion and lens-induced form deprivation in one of the eyes since infancy.
Ocular dominance (OD) plasticity has been extensively studied in various mammalian species. While robust OD shifts are typically observed after monocular eyelid suture, relatively poor OD plasticity is observed for early eye removal or after tetrodotoxin (TTX) injections in mice. Hence, abnormal binocular signal interactions in the visual cortex may play a critical role in eliciting OD plasticity.
In this research, we examined the histochemical changes in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and the striate cortex (V1) in macaque monkeys that experienced two different monocular sensory deprivations in the same eye beginning at 3 weeks of age: restricted laser lesions in macular or peripheral retina and form deprivation induced by wearing a diffuser lens during the critical period. The monkeys were subsequently reared for 5 years under a normal visual environment. In the LGN, atrophy of neurons and a dramatic increase of GFAP expression were observed in the lesion projection zones (LPZs). In V1, although no obvious shift of the LPZ border was found, the ocular dominance columns (ODCs) for the lesioned eye shrunk and those for the intact eye expanded over the entirety of V1. This ODC size change was larger in the area outside the LPZ and in the region inside the LPZ near the border compared to that in the LPZ center.
These developmental changes may reflect abnormal binocular interactions in V1 during early infancy. Our observations provide insights into the nature of degenerative and plastic changes in the LGN and V1 following early chronic monocular sensory deprivations.
Below is the link to access the article: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cne.24494