Blocking c-Fos Expression Reveals the Role of Auditory Cortex Plasticity in Sound Frequency Discrimination Learning

Livia De Hoz, Dorota Gierej, Victoria Lioudyno, Jacek Jaworski, Magda Blazejczyk, Hugo Cruces-Solís, Anna Beroun, Tomasz Lebitko, Tomasz Nikolaev, Ewelina Knapska*, Israel Nelken*, Leszek Kaczmarek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The behavioral changes that comprise operant learning are associated with plasticity in early sensory cortices as well as with modulation of gene expression, but the connection between the behavioral, electrophysiological, and molecular changes is only partially understood. We specifically manipulated c-Fos expression, a hallmark of learning-induced synaptic plasticity, in auditory cortex of adult mice using a novel approach based on RNA interference. Locally blocking c-Fos expression caused a specific behavioral deficit in a sound discrimination task, in parallel with decreased cortical experience-dependent plasticity, without affecting baseline excitability or basic auditory processing. Thus, c-Fos-dependent experience-dependent cortical plasticity is necessary for frequency discrimination in an operant behavioral task. Our results connect behavioral, molecular and physiological changes and demonstrate a role of c-Fos in experience-dependent plasticity and learning.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1645-1655
Number of pages11
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author.

Keywords

  • RNAi
  • baseline excitability
  • c-fos blocking
  • neuronal activity
  • sound-evoked
  • tuning curves

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