Résumé : We used in situ hybridization to investigate the effect of complete visual deafferentation on immediate early gene expression in adult cat visual cortex. Deafferentation was obtained by unilateral section of the optic tract and sections of both the corpus callosum and anterior commissure. In this model, one hemisphere served as control for the other within the same animal. A decrease in zinc finger protein (zif)-268 and c-fos mRNA was observed in the superficial and deep layers of areas 17 and 18, and all layers of area 19 in the deafferented hemisphere. This decrease, present 3 days after surgery, was maximal after 30 days. An increase of c-jun mRNA was observed in the deep layers of areas 17, 18 and 19 in the deafferented hemisphere 3, 10 and 30 days after surgery. These results suggest that visual input activates zif-268 and c-fos expression and tonically depresses c-jun expression in the primary visual complex yielding similar levels of c-jun and c-fos expression in normal conditions.