Visual stimulation regulates the expression of transcription factors and modulates the composition of AP-1 in visual cortex

J Neurosci. 1996 Jun 15;16(12):3968-78. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.16-12-03968.1996.


It is believed that long-term changes in neuronal function are orchestrated by transcription factors, such as AP-1 and ZIF 268, which are in turn regulated by synaptic stimulation. To further our understanding of the functional effects of such expression, we have examined the DNA-binding activities of both AP-1 and ZIF 268 by way of electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) on nuclear extracts from visual cortices of rats treated with selective light exposure. Visual stimulation after dark rearing increased the DNA-binding activities of both AP-1 and ZIF 268 to their highest levels within 2 hr. ZIF 268 thereafter dropped to levels similar to that observed in naive animals, whereas AP-1 DNA-binding activity continued to remain elevated even after 24 hr of stimulation. The components of the AP-1 complex, when assessed by EMSA-supershift analysis, showed considerable variability under different conditions of exposure. FosB and JunD were the major constituents of AP-1 in both naive and dark-reared animals. Brief visual stimulation (2 hr) added c-Fos, c-Jun, and JunB to this complex, whereas prolonged stimulation (6-24 hr) reduced c-Fos and c-Jun levels significantly, leaving only FosB, JunB, and JunD as the major components of AP-1. These results suggest that transcriptional control by AP-1 may be generated by selective combinatorial interactions of different members of the Fos and Jun families and that are guided by activity-dependent processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activating Transcription Factor 2
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Early Growth Response Protein 1
  • Electrophoresis
  • Immediate-Early Proteins*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lighting
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / analysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Superior Colliculi / chemistry
  • Superior Colliculi / physiology
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / analysis
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / biosynthesis*
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / analysis
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / chemistry
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Zinc Fingers / physiology


  • Activating Transcription Factor 2
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Early Growth Response Protein 1
  • Egr1 protein, rat
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Transcription Factors