Early retinal deprivation crossmodally alters nascent subplate circuits and activity in the auditory cortex during the precritical period

Didhiti Mukherjee, Binghan Xue, Chih Ting Chen, Minzi Chang, Joseph P.Y. Kao, Patrick O. Kanold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sensory perturbation in one modality results in the adaptive reorganization of neural pathways within the spared modalities, a phenomenon known as "crossmodal plasticity,"which has been examined during or after the classic "critical period."Because peripheral perturbations can alter the auditory cortex (ACX) activity and functional connectivity of the ACX subplate neurons (SPNs) even before the critical period, called the precritical period, we investigated if retinal deprivation at birth crossmodally alters the ACX activity and SPN circuits during the precritical period. We deprived newborn mice of visual inputs after birth by performing bilateral enucleation. We performed in vivo widefield imaging in the ACX of awake pups during the first two postnatal weeks to investigate cortical activity. We found that enucleation alters spontaneous and sound-evoked activities in the ACX in an age-dependent manner. Next, we performed whole-cell patch clamp recording combined with laser scanning photostimulation in ACX slices to investigate circuit changes in SPNs. We found that enucleation alters the intracortical inhibitory circuits impinging on SPNs, shifting the excitation-inhibition balance toward excitation and this shift persists after ear opening. Together, our results indicate that crossmodal functional changes exist in the developing sensory cortices at early ages before the onset of the classic critical period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9038-9053
Number of pages16
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume33
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • auditory cortex
  • crossmodal plasticity
  • precritical period
  • retinal deprivation
  • subplate neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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