Spontaneous and light-induced lateralization of immediate early genes expression in domestic chicks.

08:00 EDT 12th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Spontaneous and light-induced lateralization of immediate early genes expression in domestic chicks."

Exposure of domestic chicks' eggs to light during embryo incubation stimulates asymmetrically the two eye-systems, reaching selectively the right eye (left hemisphere) and inducing asymmetries at the behavioral and neural level. Surprisingly, though, some types of lateralization have been observed also in dark incubated chicks, especially at the behavioral level. Here we investigate the mechanisms subtending the development of lateralization, in the presence and in the absence of embryonic light exposure. We measured the baseline level of expression for the immediate early gene product c-Fos, used as an indicator of the spontaneous level of neural activity and plasticity in four areas of the two hemispheres (preoptic area, septum, hippocampus and intermediate medial mesopallium). Additional DAPI staining measured overall cell density (regardless of c-Fos expression), ruling out any confound due to underlying asymmetries in cell density between the hemispheres. In different brain areas, c-Fos expression was lateralized either in light- (septum) or in dark-incubated chicks (preoptic area). Light exposure increased c-Fos expression in the left hemisphere, suggesting that c-Fos expression could participate to the known effects of light stimulation on brain asymmetries. Interestingly, this effect was visible few days after the end of the light exposure, revealing a delayed effect of light exposure on c-Fos baseline expression in brain areas outside the visual pathways. In the preoptic area of dark incubated chicks, we found a rightward bias for c-Fos expression, revealing that lateralization of the baseline level of activity and plasticity is present in the developing brain also in the absence of light exposure.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Behavioural brain research
ISSN: 1872-7549


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Genes that show rapid and transient expression in the absence of de novo protein synthesis. The term was originally used exclusively for viral genes where immediate-early referred to transcription immediately following virus integration into the host cell. It is also used to describe cellular genes which are expressed immediately after resting cells are stimulated by extracellular signals such as growth factors and neurotransmitters.

A form of gene interaction whereby the expression of one gene interferes with or masks the expression of a different gene or genes. Genes whose expression interferes with or masks the effects of other genes are said to be epistatic to the effected genes. Genes whose expression is affected (blocked or masked) are hypostatic to the interfering genes.

A subjective visual sensation with the eyes closed and in the absence of light. Phosphenes can be spontaneous, or induced by chemical, electrical, or mechanical (pressure) stimuli which cause the visual field to light up without optical inputs.

Genes encoding the different subunits of the IMMUNOGLOBULINS, for example the IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAIN GENES and the IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAIN GENES. The heavy and light immunoglobulin genes are present as gene segments in the germline cells. The completed genes are created when the segments are shuffled and assembled (B-LYMPHOCYTE GENE REARRANGEMENT) during B-LYMPHOCYTE maturation. The gene segments of the human light and heavy chain germline genes are symbolized V (variable), J (joining) and C (constant). The heavy chain germline genes have an additional segment D (diversity).

Genes and gene segments encoding the IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAINS. Gene segments of the light chain genes are designated as V (variable), J (joining), and C (constant).

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