Vision in mice with neuronal redundancy due to inhibition of developmental cell death

Vittorio Porciatti, Tommaso Pizzorusso, Lamberto Maffei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Transgenic mice overexpressing bcl-2, due to inhibition of naturally occurring cell death, have much larger brains and optic nerves as compared to wild-type mice. Since developmental cell death is believed to exert a crucial role in establishing the mature neural circuitry and function, we asked the question of whether basic aspects of vision were altered in bcl-2 mice. Local visually evoked potentials (VEPs) in response to patterned stimuli were recorded from the primary visual cortex. The representation of the vertical meridian was displaced by about 15% in the bcl-2 mouse, accounting for brain expansion. However, visual acuity, contrast threshold, and response latency were normal, indicating that compensatory mechanisms can ensure normal basic properties of vision in spite of marked neuronal redundancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-726
Number of pages6
JournalVisual neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl-2 transgenic mouse
  • Patterned visual stimuli
  • Vision
  • Visual cortex
  • Visual evoked potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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