Loss of Arc renders the visual cortex impervious to the effects of sensory experience or deprivation

Nat Neurosci. 2010 Apr;13(4):450-7. doi: 10.1038/nn.2508. Epub 2010 Mar 14.


A myriad of mechanisms have been suggested to account for the full richness of visual cortical plasticity. We found that visual cortex lacking Arc is impervious to the effects of deprivation or experience. Using intrinsic signal imaging and chronic visually evoked potential recordings, we found that Arc(-/-) mice did not exhibit depression of deprived-eye responses or a shift in ocular dominance after brief monocular deprivation. Extended deprivation also failed to elicit a shift in ocular dominance or open-eye potentiation. Moreover, Arc(-/-) mice lacked stimulus-selective response potentiation. Although Arc(-/-) mice exhibited normal visual acuity, baseline ocular dominance was abnormal and resembled that observed after dark-rearing. These data suggest that Arc is required for the experience-dependent processes that normally establish and modify synaptic connections in visual cortex.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / deficiency*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology
  • Darkness*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / deficiency*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation* / methods
  • Sensory Deprivation / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / genetics*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • activity regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein