Research progress on the structural plasticity of neurons in the visual cortex

Authors: Wang Jue,  Zhang Wei,  Shi Xuefeng
DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn115989-20200415-00263
Published 2022-06-10
Cite asChin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2022, 40(6): 582-587.

Abstract

During the development of visual cortex, the structure of neurons will adaptively change and adjust according to the changes of external environment, which shows structural plasticity.The experience-dependent plasticity of visual cortex is based on the structural changes of neurons, which mainly include change of synaptic connections, disappearance or increase of dendritic spines, turnover of dendritic spines, changes in the size of dendritic spines, changes in postsynaptic density and alterations of perineuronal nets.The structural changes of neurons have significant influence on the plasticity of visual cortex function and structure, and are highly associated with some molecules or non-neuronal components such as paired immunoglobulin-like receptor B, Ly-6/neurotoxin-like protein 1, Nogo, microglia and extracellular matrix and so on.In addition, external intervention factors such as abnormal visual experience and environmental enrichment can have significant impact on the regulation of the structural changes of neurons, and finally influence the development of visual function and the recovery from visual impairment.In comparison with the functional studies, studies on the structural plasticity of visual cortical neurons depend on the state-of-the-art imaging techniques at cellular or sub-cellular level with more visualizable and convincing results.The constant exploration of the structural plasticity of visual cortex will enhance our understanding of visual development-related diseases, such as amblyopia, and lay the foundation for related basic research and innovative treatments.Advances in the structural plasticity of visual cortex were reviewed in this article.

Key words:

Visual cortex; Neuronal plasticity; Synapse; Dendritic spine; Critical period

Contributor Information

Wang Jue

Clinical College of Ophthalmology of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin Eye Hospital, Tianjin Eye Institute, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Tianjin 300020, China

Zhang Wei

Clinical College of Ophthalmology of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin Eye Hospital, Tianjin Eye Institute, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Tianjin 300020, China

Shi Xuefeng

Clinical College of Ophthalmology of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin Eye Hospital, Tianjin Eye Institute, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Tianjin 300020, China

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