The primate somatosensory neuroaxis provides an excellent model system with which to investigate adult neural plasticity. Here, we report immunohistochemical staining data for AMPA and GABAA/B receptor subunits in the cuneate nucleus of adult squirrel monkeys 1 and 5 months after median nerve compression. This method of nerve injury allowed the investigation of the way in which patterns of receptor correlates change during peripheral nerve regeneration. These results are compared to cortical data collected within the same animals. As observed in the cortex, the pattern of subunit staining in the brainstem 1 month after nerve compression suggests that the sensory deprived nucleus enters a state of reorganization. That is, the expression of GluR2/3 AMPA receptor subunits is significantly increased, while GABA α1 and GABABR1b receptor subunits are significantly decreased. Five months after nerve injury, the pattern of subunit expression is again very similar to that observed in the infragranular layers of cortex. At this later time we observe a significant increase in GluR2/3 and GABABR1a, with no change in GABAAα1, and a significant decrease in GABABR1b. Together these results suggest that during reorganization and recovery from injury the brainstem and cortex are governed by homogeneous mechanisms of plasticity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Adult plasticity