Modification of neurotransmitter receptor sensitivity in cat visual cortex during the critical period

C. Shaw, M. C. Needler, M. Wilkinson, C. Aoki, M. Cynader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have examined the characteristics of various receptors in cat visual cortex during postnatal development. These included β-adrenergic, GABA, benzodiazepine and acetylcholine receptors. For each population of receptor the number (Bmax) and affinity (Kd) were examined as a function of postnatal age (3 days-adult). For all receptors examined, the Bmax increased during development from low early values to a peak within the critical period. The Kd also changed during development for most receptors. The simultaneous alterations in Bmax and Kd necessitate defining a term which takes both of these receptor properties into consideration. This term, called receptor sensitivity (Rs), provides a more comprehensive measure of receptor function than either Bmax or Kd alone. Using this measure, we find that receptor sensitivity is low near birth for the 4 receptor populations studied, rises to a peak within the first two months of life, and then declines to near-neonatal levels for 3 of the 4 receptor populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1985


  • binding site
  • cat visual cortex
  • critical period
  • development
  • neuron
  • receptor
  • synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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