Neural activity and immediate early gene expression in the cerebral cortex

Walter E. Kaufmann, Paul F. Worley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Immediate early gene (IEG) expression is dynamically regulated in brain neurons, in response to natural activity, and linked to neural plasticity. Because of the demonstrated importance of synaptic activity in neuronal function and development, it is anticipated that lEGs contribute to adult and developmental cortical plasticity. The lEG response includes proteins that function as transcription factors, as well as enzymes and growth factor proteins that can directly modify neuronal and synaptic function. An understanding of the mechanistic contribution of the lEG response to neuronal plasticity will provide information not only about basic developmental processes, and their disturbances in mental retardation, but may also contribute to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for these developmental disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalMental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Cerebral cortex
  • Immediate early gene
  • Mental retardation
  • Plasticity
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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