The Sensory Striatum Is Permanently Impaired by Transient Developmental Deprivation

Todd M. Mowery, Kristina B. Penikis, Stephen K. Young, Christopher E. Ferrer, Vibhakar C. Kotak, Dan H. Sanes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Corticostriatal circuits play a fundamental role in regulating many behaviors, and their dysfunction is associated with many neurological disorders. In contrast, sensory disorders, like hearing loss (HL), are commonly linked with processing deficits at or below the level of the auditory cortex (ACx). However, HL can be accompanied by non-sensory deficits, such as learning delays, suggesting the involvement of regions downstream of ACx. Here, we show that transient developmental HL differentially affected the ACx and its downstream target, the sensory striatum. Following HL, both juvenile ACx layer 5 and striatal neurons displayed an excitatory-inhibitory imbalance and lower firing rates. After hearing was restored, adult ACx neurons recovered balanced excitatory-inhibitory synaptic gain and control-like firing rates, but striatal neuron synapses and firing properties did not recover. Thus, a brief period of abnormal cortical activity may induce cellular impairments that persist into adulthood and contribute to neurological disorders that are striatal in origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2462-2468
Number of pages7
JournalCell Reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 20 2017


  • auditory cortex
  • dorsal striatum
  • hearing loss
  • medium spiny neuron
  • plasticity
  • synaptic transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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