Radioactive Studies of Changes in Protein Metabolism by Adequate and Inadequate Stimulation in the Optic Tectum of Teleosts

  • Hinrich Rahmann


The influence of different external stimuli (motor, electrical and light-pattern stimulation) on the protein metabolism of corresponding nerve structures in the fish brain was investigated by means of autoradiographic and biochemical techniques. 1. Following adequate motor stimulation it was demonstrated that the cerebellum is least affected in its RNA- and protein metabolism, while the valvula cerebelli and the optic tectum are extremely sensitive to an increase or inhibition in mobility. 2. Following electrical stimulation of the brain by implanted electrodes, either directly into the optic tectum or into the optic nerve, large differences could be de-monstrated in the incorporation of 3H-histidine into both structural and soluble proteins of the optic tectum. 3. The incorporation of 3H-histidine in the pericaryal layer of the optic tectum was investigated autoradio-graphically after light-pattern stimulation of one eye. The exposure of one eye to one narrow vertical slit of light produced one zone of marked increase of protein labelling to the contralateral tectum hemisphere; the exposure of two parallel slits caused two zones. These zones probably represent the extension of corresponding engrams. 4. These results, obtained by a combination of histological and biochemical techniques, make it possible to localize the site of metabolic changes in the brain following external stimulation. These changes are assumed to be involved in the process of memory formation.


Electrical Stimulation Optic Nerve Protein Metabolism Crucian Carp Optic Tectum 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hinrich Rahmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurobiologyZoological Institute of the University44 MünsterW. Germany

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