Deficits in experience-dependent cortical plasticity and sensory-discrimination learning in presymptomatic Huntington's disease mice

Nektarios K. Mazarakis*, Anita Cybulska-Klosowicz, Helen Grote, Terence Pang, Anton Van Dellen, Malgorzata Kossut, Colin Blakemore, Anthony J. Hannan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Huntington's disease (HD) is one of a group of neurodegenerative diseases caused by an expanded trinucleotide (CAG) repeat coding for an extended polyglutamine tract. The disease is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, with onset of motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms typically occurring in midlife, followed by unremitting progression and eventual death. We report here that motor presymptomatic R6/1 HD mice show a severe impairment of somatosensory-discrimination learning ability in a behavioral task that depends heavily on the barrel cortex. In parallel, there are deficits in barrel-cortex plasticity after a somatosensory whisker-deprivation paradigm. The present study demonstrates deficits in neocortical plasticity correlated with a specific learning impairment involving the same neocortical area, a finding that provides new insight into the cellular basis of early cognitive deficits in HD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3059-3066
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume25
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Barrel
  • Cortex
  • Huntington's disease
  • Learning
  • Plasticity
  • Whiskers

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