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Effect of regulation of the NRG1/ErbB4 signaling pathway on the visual cortex synaptic plasticity of amblyopic adult rats
Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology  (IF3.642),  Pub Date : 2021-07-17, DOI: 10.1002/jbt.22841
Limin Xu, Zhigang Li, Junbo Rong, Lijuan Lang

This study aimed to investigate the effect of the neuregulin-1/epidermal growth factor 4 (NRG1/ErbB4) signaling pathway on visual cortex synaptic plasticity in adult amblyopic rats with monocular deprivation (MD). Compared with the control group, the P wave latency and amplitude of the MD group were prolonged and low, respectively, with reduced synaptic plasticity-related protein expression, lower number of visual cortex neurons, and increased apoptosis of visual cortex neurons. Recombinant neuregulin-1 (rNRG1) administration activated the NRG1/ErbB4 signaling pathway and improved the visual cortex synaptic plasticity in MD amblyopic rats. However, the effects of rNRG1 were reversed by AG1478 (ErbB4 receptor blockers). The NRG1/ErbB4 signaling pathway in the parvalbumin neurons from MD rats was also inactivated. Amblyopic rats had significantly low cell activity and downregulated expression of synaptic plasticity-related proteins. Thus, exogenous administration of NRG1 can activate ErbB4 signal transduction and improve the damaged synaptic plasticity of the visual cortex among amblyopic rats. Further studies are warranted to explore the potential for clinical management of amblyopia.