Electrophysiology Alterations in Primary Visual Cortex Neurons of Retinal Degeneration (S334ter-line-3) Rats

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

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  • Ke Chen
  • Xiaohua Liang
  • Yihuai Zhang
  • Tsz Kin Ng

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Original languageEnglish
Article number26793
Journal / PublicationScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2016



The dynamic nature of the brain is critical for the success of treatments aimed at restoring vision at the retinal level. The success of these treatments relies highly on the functionality of the surviving neurons along the entire visual pathway. Electrophysiological properties at the retina level have been investigated during the progression of retinal degeneration; however, little is known about the changes in electrophysiological properties that occur in the primary visual cortex (V1) during the course of retinal degeneration. By conducting extracellular recording, we examined the electrophysiological properties of V1 in S334ter-line-3 rats (a transgenic model of retinal degeneration developed to express a rhodopsin mutation similar to that found in human retinitis pigmentosa patients). We measured the orientation tuning, spatial and temporal frequency tunings and the receptive field (RF) size for 127 V1 neurons from 11 S334ter-3 rats and 10 Long-Evans (LE) rats. V1 neurons in the S334ter-3 rats showed weaker orientation selectivity, lower optimal spatial and temporal frequency values and a smaller receptive field size compared to the LE rats. These results suggest that the visual cognitive ability significantly changes during retinal degeneration.

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