Early development of the SI cortical barrel field representation in neonatal rats follows a lateral-to-medial gradient

an electrophysiological study

C. A. McCandlish, C. X. Li, Robert Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Development of the barrel field in layer IV of SI cortex of neonatal rats was studied in vivo using electrophysiological recording techniques. This study was designed to determine (a) the earliest time SI cortex is responsive to peripheral mechanical and/or electrical stimulation and (b) whether the development of the SI cortical barrel field map of the body surface follows a differential pattern of development similar to the pattern previously demonstrated using peanut agglutinin (PNA) binding (McCandlish et al. 1989). Carbon fiber microelectrodes were used to record evoked responses from within the depth of the cortex in neonatal rats between postnatal day 1 (PND-1), defined as the day of birth, and PND-14. Evoked responses were first recorded approximately 12 h after birth. These responses in the youngest animals were of low amplitude, monophasic waveshape, and long latency, with long interstimulus intervals necessary to drive the cortex. Increases in amplitude and complexity of waveshape and decreases in latency were observed over subsequent postnatal days. The earliest responses recorded on middle PND-1 were evoked by stimulation of the face and/or mystacial vibrissae. The next responses were evoked approximately 24 h after birth (late PND-1) by stimulation of the forelimb. The last responses were evoked approximately 36 h after birth (middle PND-2), by stimulation of the hindlimb. The physiological map of the representation of the body surface follows a developmental gradient similar to the gradient observed using PNA histochemistry; however, the lectin-generated morphological map lagged approximately 48 h behind the physiological map. The representation of the body surface appears to be topographically organized as early as PND-2. Our results suggest that thalamocortical afferents have reached the developing cortical plate and are functional before glial cells are first detected. These results do not sit well with a theory of barrel field development based entirely on the role of glia in pattern formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume92
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

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Parturition
Peanut Agglutinin
Somatosensory Cortex
Body Image
Neuroglia
Vibrissae
Forelimb
Microelectrodes
Hindlimb
Lectins
Cerebral Cortex
Electric Stimulation
Drive
carbon fiber

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Early development of the SI cortical barrel field representation in neonatal rats follows a lateral-to-medial gradient : an electrophysiological study. / McCandlish, C. A.; Li, C. X.; Waters, Robert.

In: Experimental Brain Research, Vol. 92, No. 3, 01.01.1993, p. 369-374.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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