Requirement for α-CaMKII in Experience-Dependent Plasticity of the Barrel Cortex

Science  19 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5260, pp. 421-423
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5260.421


The mammalian sensory neocortex exhibits experience-dependent plasticity such that neurons modify their response properties according to changes in sensory experience. The synaptic plasticity mechanism of long-term potentiation requiring calcium-calmodulin-dependent kinase type II (CaMKII) could underlie experience-dependent plasticity. Plasticity in adult mice can be induced by changes in the patterns of tactile input to the barrel cortex. This response is strongly depressed in adult mice that lack the gene encoding α-CaMKII, although adolescent animals are unaffected. Thus, α-CaMKII is necessary either for the induction or for the expression of plasticity in adult mice.

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