Distributions of synaptic vesicle proteins and GAD65 in deprived and nondeprived ocular dominance columns in layer IV of kitten primary visual cortex are unaffected by monocular deprivation

J Comp Neurol. 2000 Jul 10;422(4):652-64. doi: 10.1002/1096-9861(20000710)422:4<652::aid-cne11>3.0.co;2-1.


Two days of monocular deprivation (MD) of kittens during a critical period of development is known to produce a loss of visual responses in the primary visual cortex to stimulation of the nondeprived eye, and 7 days of deprivation results in retraction of axon branches and loss of presynaptic sites from deprived-eye geniculocortical arbors. The rapid loss of responsiveness to deprived-eye visual stimulation could be due to a decrease in intracortical excitatory input to deprived-eye ocular dominance columns (ODCs) relative to nondeprived-eye columns. Alternatively, deprived-eye visual responses could be suppressed by an increase in intracortical inhibition in deprived columns relative to nondeprived columns. We tested these hypotheses in critical period kittens by labeling ODCs in layer IV of primary visual cortex with injections of the anterograde tracer Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) into lamina A of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). After either 2 or 7 days of MD, densities of intracortical excitatory presynaptic sites within deprived relative to nondeprived ODCs were estimated by measuring synaptic vesicle protein (SVP) immunoreactivity (IR). Because most of the synapses within layer IV of primary visual cortex are excitatory inputs from other cortical neurons, levels of SVP-IR provide an estimate of the amount of intracortical excitatory input. We also measured levels of immunoreactivity of the inhibitory presynaptic terminal marker glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)65 in deprived relative to nondeprived ODCs. Monocular deprivation (either 2 or 7 days) had no effect on the distributions of either SVP- or GAD65-IR in deprived and nondeprived columns. Therefore, the rapid loss of deprived-eye visual responsiveness following MD is due neither to a decrease in intracortical excitatory presynaptic sites nor to an increase in intracortical inhibitory presynaptic sites in layer IV of deprived-eye ODCs relative to nondeprived columns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / metabolism*
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Synaptophysin / metabolism*
  • Vision, Monocular / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / metabolism*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Synaptophysin
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase
  • glutamate decarboxylase 2