A relationship between behavior, neurotrophin expression, and new neuron survival.
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The high vocal center (HVC) controls song production in songbirds and sends a projection to the robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA) of the descending vocal pathway. HVC receives new neurons in adulthood. Most of the new neurons project to RA and replace other neurons of the same kind. We show here that singing enhances mRNA and protein expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the HVC of adult male canaries, Serinus canaria. The increased BDNF expression is proportional to the number of songs produced per unit time. Singing-induced BDNF expression in HVC occurs mainly in the RA-projecting neurons. Neuronal survival was compared among birds that did or did not sing during days 31-38 after BrdUrd injection. Survival of new HVC neurons is greater in the singing birds than in the nonsinging birds. A positive causal link between pathway use, neurotrophin expression, and new neuron survival may be common among systems that recruit new neurons in adulthood.
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1073/pnas.140222497
Publication InfoLi, XC; Jarvis, ED; Alvarez-Borda, B; Lim, DA; & Nottebohm, F (2000). A relationship between behavior, neurotrophin expression, and new neuron survival. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 97(15). pp. 8584-8589. 10.1073/pnas.140222497. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11217.
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Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Neurobiology
Dr. Jarvis' laboratory studies the neurobiology of vocal communication. Emphasis is placed on the molecular pathways involved in the perception and production of learned vocalizations. They use an integrative approach that combines behavioral, anatomical, electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques. The main animal model used is songbirds, one of the few vertebrate groups that evolved the ability to learn vocalizations. The generality of the discoveries is tested in other vocal