During early postnatal brain development, changes in visual input can lead to specific alteration of function and connectivity in mammalian visual cortex. in cat, this so-called critical period exhibits maximal sensory-driven adaptations around postnatal day 30 (P30), and ceases toward adulthood. We examined the molecular framework that directs age- and experience-dependent plasticity in cat visual cortex, by comparing protein expression profiles at eye opening (postnatal day 10 (P10), when experience-dependent plasticity starts), the peak of the critical period (P30), and in adulthood. Using 2-D DIGE, we performed comparisons of P10-P30 and P30-adult brain protein samples. Sixty protein spots showed statistically significant intensity changes in at least one comparison. Fifty-one spots were identified using quadrupole-TOF MS/MS or LC-MS/MS, containing 37 different proteins. The progressive increase or decrease in protein expression levels could be correlated to age-dependent postnatal brain development. Four spots containing transferrin, 14-3-3 alpha/beta and cypin, showed maximal protein expression levels at P30, thereby showing a positive correlation to critical period plasticity. Western analysis indeed revealed a clear effect of visual deprivation on cypin expression in cat visual cortex. Our results therefore demonstrate the power of 2-D DIGE as a tool toward understanding the molecular basis of nervous system development and plasticity.