Document Detail

Developmental and hormonal regulation of NR2A mRNA in forebrain regions controlling avian vocal learning.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11932956     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Developmental changes in the composition of NMDA receptors can alter receptor physiology as well as intracellular signal transduction cascades, potentially shifting thresholds for neural and behavioral plasticity. During song learning in zebra finches, NMDAR currents become faster, and transcripts for the modulatory NR2B subunit of this receptor decrease in lMAN, a region in which NMDAR activation is critical for vocal learning. Using in situ hybridization, we found that NR2A transcripts change reciprocally, increasing significantly in both lMAN (59%) and in another song region, Area X (38%), between posthatch day (PHD) 20 and 40, but not changing further at PHD60 or 80. In adjacent areas not associated with song learning, NR2A mRNA did not change between PHD20-80. Although early song deprivation (which extends the sensitive period for song learning) delays changes in NR2B gene expression and NMDAR physiology within the lMAN, it did not alter NR2A mRNA levels measured at PHD40, 45, or 60. Early testosterone (T) treatment, which disrupts vocal development and accelerates the maturation of both NR2B levels and NMDAR physiology in lMAN, also significantly increased NR2A transcripts measured at PHD35 in lMAN. In Area X, a similar effect of T approached significance. Together with our previous studies, these results show that in a pathway critical for vocal plasticity, the ratio of NR2A:NR2B mRNA rises abruptly early during the sensitive period for song learning. Furthermore, androgen regulation of NMDAR gene expression may alter thresholds for experience-dependent synaptic change.
J E Heinrich; T D Singh; F Sohrabji; K W Nordeen; E J Nordeen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurobiology     Volume:  51     ISSN:  0022-3034     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurobiol.     Publication Date:  2002 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-04-04     Completed Date:  2002-06-18     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0213640     Medline TA:  J Neurobiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  149-59     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Base Sequence
Brain Chemistry / genetics*
Learning / drug effects,  physiology*
Molecular Sequence Data
Prosencephalon / drug effects,  growth & development,  metabolism*
RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis,  metabolism*
Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / biosynthesis,  genetics*,  metabolism
Testosterone / pharmacology*
Vocalization, Animal / drug effects,  physiology*
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/NR2A NMDA receptor; 0/RNA, Messenger; 0/Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate; 58-22-0/Testosterone

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