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Special Issue "Molecular Mechanisms of Neural Plasticity: From Basic Research to Implications for Visual Functional Rescue"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Alessandro Sale
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Neuroscience Institute, National Research Council (CNR), Pisa, Italy
Interests: brain plasticity; neurodevelopmental disorders; amblyopia; visual cortex; brain aging; environmental enrichment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Brain plasticity is the capacity of cerebral neurons to change, structurally and functionally, in response to experience, an essential property underlying the maturation of sensory functions, learning and memory processes, and brain repair in response to the occurrence of diseases and trauma. In this field, the visual system emerges as a paradigmatic research model, both for basic research studies and for translational investigations.

In this Special Issue, we are seeking novel research and/or review articles focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying visual system plasticity (either during the critical period or in the adult brain). Clinical submissions with a mechanistic/biomolecular approach are particularly welcomed.

The issue may include contributions on, but not limited to, the following fields:

  • Critical period control;
  • Experimental and human amblyopia;
  • Genetic retinal diseases;
  • Synaptic plasticity;
  • Epigenetics;
  • Circuit analysis;
  • Extracellular matrix;
  • Behavioral approaches for functional rescue in visual system disorders (e.g., physical exercise, perceptual learning, caloric restriction).

Dr. Alessandro Sale
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Visual cortex plasticity
  • Critical period
  • Amblyopia
  • Retinal disease
  • Epigenetics
  • Neurotrophins
  • GABA-ergic circuitry

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
Visual Cortex Engagement in Retinitis Pigmentosa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(17), 9412; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22179412 - 30 Aug 2021
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a family of inherited disorders caused by the progressive degeneration of retinal photoreceptors. There is no cure for RP, but recent research advances have provided promising results from many clinical trials. All these therapeutic strategies are focused on preserving [...] Read more.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a family of inherited disorders caused by the progressive degeneration of retinal photoreceptors. There is no cure for RP, but recent research advances have provided promising results from many clinical trials. All these therapeutic strategies are focused on preserving existing photoreceptors or substituting light-responsive elements. Vision recovery, however, strongly relies on the anatomical and functional integrity of the visual system beyond photoreceptors. Although the retinal structure and optic pathway are substantially preserved at least in early stages of RP, studies describing the visual cortex status are missing. Using a well-established mouse model of RP, we analyzed the response of visual cortical circuits to the progressive degeneration of photoreceptors. We demonstrated that the visual cortex goes through a transient and previously undescribed alteration in the local excitation/inhibition balance, with a net shift towards increased intracortical inhibition leading to improved filtering and decoding of corrupted visual inputs. These results suggest a compensatory action of the visual cortex that increases the range of residual visual sensitivity in RP. Full article
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