Chronic Monocular Deprivation Reveals MMP9-Dependent and -Independent Aspects of Murine Visual System Plasticity

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Murase, S.; Robertson, S.E.; Lantz, C.L.; Liu, J.; Winkowski, D.E.; Quinlan, E.M. Chronic Monocular Deprivation Reveals MMP9-Dependent and -Independent Aspects of Murine Visual System Plasticity. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 2438.


The deletion of matrix metalloproteinase MMP9 is combined here with chronic monocular deprivation (cMD) to identify the contributions of this proteinase to plasticity in the visual system. Calcium imaging of supragranular neurons of the binocular region of primary visual cortex (V1b) of wild-type mice revealed that cMD initiated at eye opening significantly decreased the strength of deprived-eye visual responses to all stimulus contrasts and spatial frequencies. cMD did not change the selectivity of V1b neurons for the spatial frequency, but orientation selectivity was higher in low spatial frequency-tuned neurons, and orientation and direction selectivity were lower in high spatial frequency-tuned neurons. Constitutive deletion of MMP9 did not impact the stimulus selectivity of V1b neurons, including ocular preference and tuning for spatial frequency, orientation, and direction. However, MMP9−/− mice were completely insensitive to plasticity engaged by cMD, such that the strength of the visual responses evoked by deprived-eye stimulation was maintained across all stimulus contrasts, orientations, directions, and spatial frequencies. Other forms of experience-dependent plasticity, including stimulus selective response potentiation, were normal in MMP9−/− mice. Thus, MMP9 activity is dispensable for many forms of activity-dependent plasticity in the mouse visual system, but is obligatory for the plasticity engaged by cMD.