Plasticity Near and Far

Science's STKE  26 Jun 2001:
Vol. 2001, Issue 88, pp. tw8
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.88.tw8

The link between cellular activities at the synapse, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), and the changes in neuronal connectivity that reflect higher levels of cortical plasticity during development has been debated. Di Cristo et al. show that modulators of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) function affect both cellular LTP and experience-dependent plasticity. The ERK signal transduction cascade couples the plasticity shown in the visual cortex during the critical period for establishment of ocular dominance to the phenomenon of activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength as seen in vitro at individual synapses.

G. Di Cristo, N. Berardi, L. Cancedda, T. Pizzorusso, E. Putignano, G. M. Ratto, L. Maffei, Requirement of ERK activation for visual cortical plasticity. Science 292, 2337-2340 (2001). [Abstract] [Full Text]