Impaired learning-dependent cortical plasticity in Huntington's disease transgenic mice

Anita Cybulska-Klosowicz, Nektarios K. Mazarakis, Anton Van Dellen, Colin Blakemore, Anthony J. Hannan, Malgorzata Kossut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Huntington's disease (HD) is a genetically transmitted neurodegenerative disorder. The neuropathology in HD is a selective neuronal cell death in several brain regions including cortex. Although changes in synaptic plasticity were shown within the hippocampus and striatum of HD transgenic mice, there are no studies considering neocortical synaptic plasticity abnormalities in HD. We examined the impact of the HD transgene upon learning-dependent plasticity of cortical representational maps. The effect of associative learning, in which stimulation of a row of vibrissae was paired with appetitive stimulus, upon functional representations of vibrissae in the barrel cortex, was investigated with 2-deoxyglucose brain mapping in presymptomatic R6/1 HD mice. In wild-type mice, cortical representation of the row of vibrissae involved in the training was expanded, while in HD mice the representation of this row was not expanded. The results suggest that presymptomatic R6/1 HD transgenic mice show deficits in plasticity of primary somatosensory cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-434
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-deoxyglucose autoradiography
  • Associative learning
  • Barrel cortex
  • Huntington's disease
  • Plasticity


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