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Abstract #2306

Bilateral Enucleation Before & After the Critical Period for the Specification of Interhemispheric Axonal Connectivity Induces Similar Changes on White Matter Fractional Anisotropy

Christopher D. Kroenke1, Jaime F. Olavarria2, Andrew S. Bock2, Erin N. Taber1, Byung Park1

1Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States; 2University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States

An animal model has been developed to investigate the relationship between axonal connectivity and water diffusion fractional anisotropy (FA) in white matter (WM). Binocular enucleation, a form of visual deprivation, prior to the critical period for the specification of interhemispheric axonal connectivity produces abnormal connectivity patterns in mature ferrets. Correspondingly, WM FA within early-enucleated ferrets is lower than normally-sighted control animals. Enucleation subsequent to the critical period results in normal connectivity patterns. However we, find abnormal WM FA within late-enucleated ferrets resembling that of early-enucleates. This suggests reduced WM FA arises from microstructural-level changes rather than abnormal to axonal connectivity.