Fragile X syndrome, the most common form of heritable mental retardation, is a developmental disorder with known effects within sensory systems. Altered developmental plasticity has been reported in the visual and somatosensory systems in Fmr1 knock-out (KO) mice. Behavioral studies have revealed maladaptive auditory responses in fragileXsyndrome patients and Fmr1KOmice, suggesting that adaptive plasticitymayalso be impaired in the auditory system. Here we show that, whereas tonotopic frequency representation develops normally in Fmr1 KO mice, developmental plasticity in primary auditory cortex is grossly impaired. This deficit can be rescued by pharmacological blockade of mGluR5 receptors. These results support the mGluR hypothesis of fragile X mental retardation and suggest that deficient developmental plasticity may contribute to maladaptive auditory processing in fragile X syndrome.
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