Publications by authors named "Yann Humeau"

40 Publications

Missense mutation of Fmr1 results in impaired AMPAR-mediated plasticity and socio-cognitive deficits in mice.

Nat Commun 2021 03 10;12(1):1557. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Université Côte d'Azur, Inserm, CNRS, IPMC, Valbonne, France.

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent form of inherited intellectual disability and the best-described monogenic cause of autism. CGG-repeat expansion in the FMR1 gene leads to FMR1 silencing, loss-of-expression of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), and is a common cause of FXS. Missense mutations in the FMR1 gene were also identified in FXS patients, including the recurrent FMRP-R138Q mutation. To investigate the mechanisms underlying FXS caused by this mutation, we generated a knock-in mouse model (Fmr1) expressing the FMRP-R138Q protein. We demonstrate that, in the hippocampus of the Fmr1 mice, neurons show an increased spine density associated with synaptic ultrastructural defects and increased AMPA receptor-surface expression. Combining biochemical assays, high-resolution imaging, electrophysiological recordings, and behavioural testing, we also show that the R138Q mutation results in impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation and socio-cognitive deficits in mice. These findings reveal the functional impact of the FMRP-R138Q mutation in a mouse model of FXS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21820-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946954PMC
March 2021

The integration of Gaussian noise by long-range amygdala inputs in frontal circuit promotes fear learning in mice.

Elife 2020 11 30;9. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

University of Bordeaux, CNRS, Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience, IINS, Bordeaux, France.

Survival depends on the ability of animals to select the appropriate behavior in response to threat and safety sensory cues. However, the synaptic and circuit mechanisms by which the brain learns to encode accurate predictors of threat and safety remain largely unexplored. Here, we show that frontal association cortex (FrA) pyramidal neurons of mice integrate auditory cues and basolateral amygdala (BLA) inputs non-linearly in a NMDAR-dependent manner. We found that the response of FrA pyramidal neurons was more pronounced to Gaussian noise than to pure frequency tones, and that the activation of BLA-to-FrA axons was the strongest in between conditioning pairings. Blocking BLA-to-FrA signaling specifically at the time of presentation of Gaussian noise (but not 8 kHz tone) between conditioning trials impaired the formation of auditory fear memories. Taken together, our data reveal a circuit mechanism that facilitates the formation of fear traces in the FrA, thus providing a new framework for probing discriminative learning and related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.62594DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7704104PMC
November 2020

A proline-rich motif on VGLUT1 reduces synaptic vesicle super-pool and spontaneous release frequency.

Elife 2019 10 30;8. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.

Glutamate secretion at excitatory synapses is tightly regulated to allow for the precise tuning of synaptic strength. Vesicular Glutamate Transporters (VGLUT) accumulate glutamate into synaptic vesicles (SV) and thereby regulate quantal size. Further, the number of release sites and the release probability of SVs maybe regulated by the organization of active-zone proteins and SV clusters. In the present work, we uncover a mechanism mediating an increased SV clustering through the interaction of VGLUT1 second proline-rich domain, endophilinA1 and intersectin1. This strengthening of SV clusters results in a combined reduction of axonal SV super-pool size and miniature excitatory events frequency. Our findings support a model in which clustered vesicles are held together through multiple weak interactions between Src homology three and proline-rich domains of synaptic proteins. In mammals, VGLUT1 gained a proline-rich sequence that recruits endophilinA1 and turns the transporter into a regulator of SV organization and spontaneous release.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.50401DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6861006PMC
October 2019

The next generation of approaches to investigate the link between synaptic plasticity and learning.

Nat Neurosci 2019 10 2;22(10):1536-1543. Epub 2019 Sep 2.

Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience, UMR 5297, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.

Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has since long been proposed to represent the subcellular substrate of learning and memory, one of the most important behavioral processes through which we adapt to our environment. Despite the undisputed importance of synaptic plasticity for brain function, its exact contribution to learning processes in the context of cellular and connectivity modifications remains obscure. Causally bridging synaptic and behavioral modifications indeed remains limited by the available tools to measure and control synaptic strength and plasticity in vivo under behaviorally relevant conditions. After a brief summary of the current state of knowledge of the links between synaptic plasticity and learning, we will review and discuss the available and desired tools to progress in this endeavor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41593-019-0480-6DOI Listing
October 2019

Synapsin I Controls Synaptic Maturation of Long-Range Projections in the Lateral Amygdala in a Targeted Selective Fashion.

Front Cell Neurosci 2019 21;13:220. Epub 2019 May 21.

Team Synapse in Cognition, Institut Interdisciplinaire de Neuroscience, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS UMR5297, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.

The amygdala, and more precisely its lateral nucleus, is thought to attribute emotional valence to external stimuli by generating long-term plasticity changes at long-range projections to principal cells. Aversive experience has also been shown to modify pre- and post-synaptic markers in the amygdala, suggesting their possible role in the structural organization of adult amygdala networks. Here, we focused on how the maturation of cortical and thalamic long-range projections occurs on principal neurons and interneurons in the lateral amygdala (LA). We performed dual electrophysiological recordings of identified cells in juvenile and adult GAD67-GFP mice after independent stimulation of cortical and thalamic afferent systems. The results demonstrate that synaptic strengthening occurs during development at synapses projecting to LA principal neurons, but not interneurons. As synaptic strengthening underlies fear conditioning which depends, in turn, on presence and increasing expression of synapsin I, we tested if synapsin I contributes to synaptic strengthening during development. Interestingly, the physiological synaptic strengthening of cortical and thalamic synapses projecting to LA principal neurons was virtually abolished in synapsin I knockout mice, but not differences were observed in the excitatory projections to interneurons. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed that the presence of synapsin I is restricted to excitatory contacts projecting to principal neurons in LA of adult mice. These results indicate that synapsin I is a key regulator of the maturation of synaptic connectivity in this brain region and that is expression is dependent on postsynaptic identity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2019.00220DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6536628PMC
May 2019

Modulation of AMPA receptor surface diffusion restores hippocampal plasticity and memory in Huntington's disease models.

Nat Commun 2018 10 15;9(1):4272. Epub 2018 Oct 15.

Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, 33076, France.

Impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity contributes to cognitive impairment in Huntington's disease (HD). However, the molecular basis of such synaptic plasticity defects is not fully understood. Combining live-cell nanoparticle tracking and super-resolution imaging, we show that AMPAR surface diffusion, a key player in synaptic plasticity, is disturbed in various rodent models of HD. We demonstrate that defects in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB) signaling pathway contribute to the deregulated AMPAR trafficking by reducing the interaction between transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and the PDZ-domain scaffold protein PSD95. The disturbed AMPAR surface diffusion is rescued by the antidepressant drug tianeptine via the BDNF signaling pathway. Tianeptine also restores the impaired LTP and hippocampus-dependent memory in different HD mouse models. These findings unravel a mechanism underlying hippocampal synaptic and memory dysfunction in HD, and highlight AMPAR surface diffusion as a promising therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06675-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6189172PMC
October 2018

A new mouse model of ARX dup24 recapitulates the patients' behavioral and fine motor alterations.

Hum Mol Genet 2018 06;27(12):2138-2153

Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Université de Strasbourg, 67404 Illkirch, France.

The aristaless-related homeobox (ARX) transcription factor is involved in the development of GABAergic and cholinergic neurons in the forebrain. ARX mutations have been associated with a wide spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, among which the most frequent, a 24 bp duplication in the polyalanine tract 2 (c.428_451dup24), gives rise to intellectual disability, fine motor defects with or without epilepsy. To understand the functional consequences of this mutation, we generated a partially humanized mouse model carrying the c.428_451dup24 duplication (Arxdup24/0) that we characterized at the behavior, neurological and molecular level. Arxdup24/0 males presented with hyperactivity, enhanced stereotypies and altered contextual fear memory. In addition, Arxdup24/0 males had fine motor defects with alteration of reaching and grasping abilities. Transcriptome analysis of Arxdup24/0 forebrains at E15.5 showed a down-regulation of genes specific to interneurons and an up-regulation of genes normally not expressed in this cell type, suggesting abnormal interneuron development. Accordingly, interneuron migration was altered in the cortex and striatum between E15.5 and P0 with consequences in adults, illustrated by the defect in the inhibitory/excitatory balance in Arxdup24/0 basolateral amygdala. Altogether, we showed that the c.428_451dup24 mutation disrupts Arx function with a direct consequence on interneuron development, leading to hyperactivity and defects in precise motor movement control and associative memory. Interestingly, we highlighted striking similarities between the mouse phenotype and a cohort of 33 male patients with ARX c.428_451dup24, suggesting that this new mutant mouse line is a good model for understanding the pathophysiology and evaluation of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy122DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5985730PMC
June 2018

Protein Kinase A Deregulation in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Impairs Working Memory in Murine Oligophrenin-1 Deficiency.

J Neurosci 2017 11 13;37(46):11114-11126. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

Team Synapse in Cognition and

Classical and systems genetics have identified wide networks of genes associated with cognitive and neurodevelopmental diseases. In parallel to deciphering the role of each of these genes in neuronal or synaptic function, evaluating the response of neuronal and molecular networks to gene loss of function could reveal some pathophysiological mechanisms potentially accessible to nongenetic therapies. Loss of function of the Rho-GAP oligophrenin-1 is associated with cognitive impairments in both human and mouse. Upregulation of both PKA and ROCK has been reported in mice, but it remains unclear whether kinase hyperactivity contributes to the behavioral phenotypes. In this study, we thoroughly characterized a prominent perseveration phenotype displayed by -deficient mice using a Y-maze spatial working memory (SWM) test. We report that deficiency in the mouse generated severe cognitive impairments, characterized by both a high occurrence of perseverative behaviors and a lack of deliberation during the SWM test. and pharmacological experiments suggest that PKA dysregulation in the mPFC underlies cognitive dysfunction in -deficient mice, as assessed using a delayed spatial alternation task results. Functionally, mPFC neuronal networks appeared to be affected in a PKA-dependent manner, whereas hippocampal-PFC projections involved in SWM were not affected in mice. Thus, we propose that discrete gene mutations in intellectual disability might generate "secondary" pathophysiological mechanisms, which are prone to become pharmacological targets for curative strategies in adult patients. Here we report that deficiency generates severe impairments in performance at spatial working memory tests, characterized by a high occurrence of perseverative behaviors and a lack of decision making. This cognitive deficit is consecutive to PKA deregulation in the mPFC that prevents KO mice to exploit a correctly acquired rule. Functionally, mPFC neuronal networks appear to be affected in a PKA-dependent manner, whereas behaviorally important hippocampal projections were preserved by the mutation. Thus, we propose that discrete gene mutations in intellectual disability can generate "secondary" pathophysiological mechanisms prone to become pharmacological targets for curative strategies in adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0351-17.2017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6596807PMC
November 2017

Synaptic dysfunction in amygdala in intellectual disorder models.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2018 06 1;84(Pt B):392-397. Epub 2017 Aug 1.

Team "synapse in cognition", UMR 5297, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France; Team "synapse in cognition", UMR 5297, Centre National de la recherche scientifique, Bordeaux, France. Electronic address:

The amygdala is a part of the limbic circuit that has been extensively studied in terms of synaptic connectivity, plasticity and cellular organization since decades (Ehrlich et al., 2009; Ledoux, 2000; Maren, 2001). Amygdala sub-nuclei, including lateral, basolateral and central amygdala appear now as "hubs" providing in parallel and in series neuronal processing enabling the animal to elicit freezing or escaping behavior in response to external threats. In rodents, these behaviors are easily observed and quantified following associative fear conditioning. Thus, studies on amygdala circuit in association with threat/fear behavior became very popular in laboratories and are often used among other behavioral tests to evaluate learning abilities of mouse models for various neuropsychiatric conditions including genetically encoded intellectual disabilities (ID). Yet, more than 100 human X-linked genes - and several hundreds of autosomal genes - have been associated with ID in humans. These mutations introduced in mice can generate social deficits, anxiety dysregulations and fear learning impairments (McNaughton et al., 2008; Houbaert et al., 2013; Jayachandran et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2015). Noteworthy, a significant proportion of the coded ID gene products are synaptic proteins. It is postulated that the loss of function of these proteins could destabilize neuronal circuits by global changes of the balance between inhibitory and excitatory drives onto neurons. However, whereas amygdala related behavioral deficits are commonly observed in ID models, the role of most of these ID-genes in synaptic function and plasticity in the amygdala are only sparsely studied. We will here discuss some of the concepts that emerged from amygdala-targeted studies examining the role of syndromic and non-syndromic ID genes in fear-related behaviors and/or synaptic function. Along describing these cases, we will discuss how synaptic deficits observed in amygdala circuits could impact memory formation and expression of conditioned fear.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2017.07.028DOI Listing
June 2018

Mouse models of 17q21.31 microdeletion and microduplication syndromes highlight the importance of Kansl1 for cognition.

PLoS Genet 2017 Jul 13;13(7):e1006886. Epub 2017 Jul 13.

Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Université de Strasbourg, Illkirch, France.

Koolen-de Vries syndrome (KdVS) is a multi-system disorder characterized by intellectual disability, friendly behavior, and congenital malformations. The syndrome is caused either by microdeletions in the 17q21.31 chromosomal region or by variants in the KANSL1 gene. The reciprocal 17q21.31 microduplication syndrome is associated with psychomotor delay, and reduced social interaction. To investigate the pathophysiology of 17q21.31 microdeletion and microduplication syndromes, we generated three mouse models: 1) the deletion (Del/+); or 2) the reciprocal duplication (Dup/+) of the 17q21.31 syntenic region; and 3) a heterozygous Kansl1 (Kans1+/-) model. We found altered weight, general activity, social behaviors, object recognition, and fear conditioning memory associated with craniofacial and brain structural changes observed in both Del/+ and Dup/+ animals. By investigating hippocampus function, we showed synaptic transmission defects in Del/+ and Dup/+ mice. Mutant mice with a heterozygous loss-of-function mutation in Kansl1 displayed similar behavioral and anatomical phenotypes compared to Del/+ mice with the exception of sociability phenotypes. Genes controlling chromatin organization, synaptic transmission and neurogenesis were upregulated in the hippocampus of Del/+ and Kansl1+/- animals. Our results demonstrate the implication of KANSL1 in the manifestation of KdVS phenotypes and extend substantially our knowledge about biological processes affected by these mutations. Clear differences in social behavior and gene expression profiles between Del/+ and Kansl1+/- mice suggested potential roles of other genes affected by the 17q21.31 deletion. Together, these novel mouse models provide new genetic tools valuable for the development of therapeutic approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1006886DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5531616PMC
July 2017

Fasudil treatment in adult reverses behavioural changes and brain ventricular enlargement in Oligophrenin-1 mouse model of intellectual disability.

Hum Mol Genet 2016 06 4;25(11):2314-2323. Epub 2016 May 4.

Institut Cochin, INSERM U1016, CNRS UMR8104, Paris Descartes University, Paris, 75014, France

Loss of function mutations in human Oligophrenin1 (OPHN1) gene are responsible for syndromic intellectual disability (ID) associated with cerebellar hypoplasia and cerebral ventricles enlargement. Functional studies in rodent models suggest that OPHN1 linked ID is a consequence of abnormal synaptic transmission and shares common pathophysiological mechanisms with other cognitive disorders. Variants of this gene have been also identified in autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. The advanced understanding of the mechanisms underlying OPHN1-related ID, allowed us to develop a therapeutic approach targeting the Ras homolog gene family, member A (RHOA) signalling pathway and repurpose Fasudil- a well-tolerated Rho Kinase (ROCK) and Protein Kinase A (PKA) inhibitor- as a treatment of ID. We have previously shown ex-vivo its beneficial effect on synaptic transmission and plasticity in a mouse model of the OPHN1 loss of function. Here, we report that chronic treatment in adult mouse with Fasudil, is able to counteract vertical and horizontal hyperactivities, restores recognition memory and limits the brain ventricular dilatation observed in Ophn1 However, deficits in working and spatial memories are partially or not rescued by the treatment. These results highlight the potential of Fasudil treatment in synaptopathies and also the need for multiple therapeutic approaches especially in adult where brain plasticity is reduced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddw102DOI Listing
June 2016

Profiling olfactory stem cells from living patients identifies miRNAs relevant for autism pathophysiology.

Mol Autism 2016 8;7. Epub 2016 Jan 8.

INSERM UMR 1163, Laboratory of Molecular and pathophysiological bases of cognitive disorders, Paris Descartes - Sorbonne Paris Cité University, Imagine Institute, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, 24 boulevard du Montparnasse, 75015 Paris, France.

Background: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders caused by the interaction between genetic vulnerability and environmental factors. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key posttranscriptional regulators involved in multiple aspects of brain development and function. Previous studies have investigated miRNAs expression in ASD using non-neural cells like lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) or postmortem tissues. However, the relevance of LCLs is questionable in the context of a neurodevelopmental disorder, and the impact of the cause of death and/or post-death handling of tissue likely contributes to the variations observed between studies on brain samples.

Methods: miRNA profiling using TLDA high-throughput real-time qPCR was performed on miRNAs extracted from olfactory mucosal stem cells (OMSCs) biopsied from eight patients and six controls. This tissue is considered as a closer tissue to neural stem cells that could be sampled in living patients and was never investigated for such a purpose before. Real-time PCR was used to validate a set of differentially expressed miRNAs, and bioinformatics analysis determined common pathways and gene targets. Luciferase assays and real-time PCR analysis were used to evaluate the effect of miRNAs misregulation on the expression and translation of several autism-related transcripts. Viral vector-mediated expression was used to evaluate the impact of miRNAs deregulation on neuronal or glial cells functions.

Results: We identified a signature of four miRNAs (miR-146a, miR-221, miR-654-5p, and miR-656) commonly deregulated in ASD. This signature is conserved in primary skin fibroblasts and may allow discriminating between ASD and intellectual disability samples. Putative target genes of the differentially expressed miRNAs were enriched for pathways previously associated to ASD, and altered levels of neuronal transcripts targeted by miR-146a, miR-221, and miR-656 were observed in patients' cells. In the mouse brain, miR-146a, and miR-221 display strong neuronal expression in regions important for high cognitive functions, and we demonstrated that reproducing abnormal miR-146a expression in mouse primary cell cultures leads to impaired neuronal dendritic arborization and increased astrocyte glutamate uptake capacities.

Conclusions: While independent replication experiments are needed to clarify whether these four miRNAS could serve as early biomarkers of ASD, these findings may have important diagnostic implications. They also provide mechanistic connection between miRNA dysregulation and ASD pathophysiology and may open up new opportunities for therapeutic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13229-015-0064-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4705753PMC
April 2016

Conditional depletion of intellectual disability and Parkinsonism candidate gene ATP6AP2 in fly and mouse induces cognitive impairment and neurodegeneration.

Hum Mol Genet 2015 Dec 16;24(23):6736-55. Epub 2015 Sep 16.

Institut Clinique de la Souris, PHENOMIN, GIE CERBM, 1 rue Laurent Fries, 67404 Illkirch, France, Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Illkirch, France, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR7104, Illkirch, France, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, U964, Illkirch, France and Université de Strasbourg, Illkirch, France

ATP6AP2, an essential accessory component of the vacuolar H+ ATPase (V-ATPase), has been associated with intellectual disability (ID) and Parkinsonism. ATP6AP2 has been implicated in several signalling pathways; however, little is known regarding its role in the nervous system. To decipher its function in behaviour and cognition, we generated and characterized conditional knockdowns of ATP6AP2 in the nervous system of Drosophila and mouse models. In Drosophila, ATP6AP2 knockdown induced defective phototaxis and vacuolated photoreceptor neurons and pigment cells when depleted in eyes and altered short- and long-term memory when depleted in the mushroom body. In mouse, conditional Atp6ap2 deletion in glutamatergic neurons (Atp6ap2(Camk2aCre/0) mice) caused increased spontaneous locomotor activity and altered fear memory. Both Drosophila ATP6AP2 knockdown and Atp6ap2(Camk2aCre/0) mice presented with presynaptic transmission defects, and with an abnormal number and morphology of synapses. In addition, Atp6ap2(Camk2aCre/0) mice showed autophagy defects that led to axonal and neuronal degeneration in the cortex and hippocampus. Surprisingly, axon myelination was affected in our mutant mice, and axonal transport alterations were observed in Drosophila. In accordance with the identified phenotypes across species, genome-wide transcriptome profiling of Atp6ap2(Camk2aCre/0) mouse hippocampi revealed dysregulation of genes involved in myelination, action potential, membrane-bound vesicles and motor behaviour. In summary, ATP6AP2 disruption in mouse and fly leads to cognitive impairment and neurodegeneration, mimicking aspects of the neuropathology associated with ATP6AP2 mutations in humans. Our results identify ATP6AP2 as an essential gene for the nervous system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddv380DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4634377PMC
December 2015

Novel IL1RAPL1 mutations associated with intellectual disability impair synaptogenesis.

Hum Mol Genet 2015 Feb 9;24(4):1106-18. Epub 2014 Oct 9.

Institut Cochin, INSERM U1016, CNRS UMR8104, Université Paris Descartes, Paris 75014, France,

Mutations in interleukin-1 receptor accessory protein like 1 (IL1RAPL1) gene have been associated with non-syndromic intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder. This protein interacts with synaptic partners like PSD-95 and PTPδ, regulating the formation and function of excitatory synapses. The aim of this work was to characterize the synaptic consequences of three IL1RAPL1 mutations, two novel causing the deletion of exon 6 (Δex6) and one point mutation (C31R), identified in patients with ID. Using immunofluorescence and electrophysiological recordings, we examined the effects of IL1RAPL1 mutant over-expression on synapse formation and function in cultured rodent hippocampal neurons. Δex6 but not C31R mutation leads to IL1RAPL1 protein instability and mislocalization within dendrites. Analysis of different markers of excitatory synapses and sEPSC recording revealed that both mutants fail to induce pre- and post-synaptic differentiation, contrary to WT IL1RAPL1 protein. Cell aggregation and immunoprecipitation assays in HEK293 cells showed a reduction of the interaction between IL1RAPL1 mutants and PTPδ that could explain the observed synaptogenic defect in neurons. However, these mutants do not affect all cellular signaling because their over-expression still activates JNK pathway. We conclude that both mutations described in this study lead to a partial loss of function of the IL1RAPL1 protein through different mechanisms. Our work highlights the important function of the trans-synaptic PTPδ/IL1RAPL1 interaction in synaptogenesis and as such in ID in the patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddu523DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4867007PMC
February 2015

The hippocampo-amygdala control of contextual fear expression is affected in a model of intellectual disability.

Brain Struct Funct 2015 Nov 27;220(6):3673-82. Epub 2014 Aug 27.

Team Synapse in Cognition, Institut Interdisciplinaire de NeuroScience, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS UMR5297, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.

The process of learning mainly depends on the ability to store new information, while the ability to retrieve this information and express appropriate behaviors are also crucial for the adaptation of individuals to environmental cues. Thereby, all three components contribute to the cognitive fitness of an individual. While a lack of behavioral adaptation is a recurrent trait of intellectually disabled patients, discriminating between memory formation, memory retrieval or behavioral expression deficits is not easy to establish. Here, we report some deficits in contextual fear behavior in knockout mice for the intellectual disability gene Il1rapl1. Functional in vivo experiments revealed that the lack of conditioned response resulted from a local inhibitory to excitatory (I/E) imbalance in basolateral amygdala (BLA) consecutive to a loss of excitatory drive onto BLA principal cells by caudal hippocampus axonal projections. A normalization of the fear behavior was obtained in adult mutant mice following opsin-based in vivo synaptic priming of hippocampo-BLA synapses in adult il1rapl1 knockout mice, indicating that synaptic efficacy at hippocampo-BLA projections is crucial for contextual fear memory expression. Importantly, because this restoration was obtained after the learning phase, our results suggest that some of the genetically encoded cognitive deficits in humans may originate from a lack of restitution of genuinely formed memories rather than an exclusive inability to store new memories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00429-014-0882-xDOI Listing
November 2015

Coronin 1 regulates cognition and behavior through modulation of cAMP/protein kinase A signaling.

PLoS Biol 2014 Mar 25;12(3):e1001820. Epub 2014 Mar 25.

Biozentrum, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Cognitive and behavioral disorders are thought to be a result of neuronal dysfunction, but the underlying molecular defects remain largely unknown. An important signaling pathway involved in the regulation of neuronal function is the cyclic AMP/Protein kinase A pathway. We here show an essential role for coronin 1, which is encoded in a genomic region associated with neurobehavioral dysfunction, in the modulation of cyclic AMP/PKA signaling. We found that coronin 1 is specifically expressed in excitatory but not inhibitory neurons and that coronin 1 deficiency results in loss of excitatory synapses and severe neurobehavioral disabilities, including reduced anxiety, social deficits, increased aggression, and learning defects. Electrophysiological analysis of excitatory synaptic transmission in amygdala revealed that coronin 1 was essential for cyclic-AMP-protein kinase A-dependent presynaptic plasticity. We further show that upon cell surface stimulation, coronin 1 interacted with the G protein subtype Gαs to stimulate the cAMP/PKA pathway. The absence of coronin 1 or expression of coronin 1 mutants unable to interact with Gαs resulted in a marked reduction in cAMP signaling. Strikingly, synaptic plasticity and behavioral defects of coronin 1-deficient mice were restored by in vivo infusion of a membrane-permeable cAMP analogue. Together these results identify coronin 1 as being important for cognition and behavior through its activity in promoting cAMP/PKA-dependent synaptic plasticity and may open novel avenues for the dissection of signal transduction pathways involved in neurobehavioral processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001820DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3965382PMC
March 2014

The Coffin-Lowry syndrome-associated protein RSK2 regulates neurite outgrowth through phosphorylation of phospholipase D1 (PLD1) and synthesis of phosphatidic acid.

J Neurosci 2013 Dec;33(50):19470-9

Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UPR-3212, Université de Strasbourg, 67084 Strasbourg, France, Institut Interdisciplinaire de Neuroscience, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR-5297, Université de Bordeaux, 33077 Bordeaux Cedex, France, Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, UMR-7104/U964 Université de Strasbourg, 67404 Illkirch Cedex, France, and University Hospital and Rudolf Virchow Center, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Research Center for Experimental Biomedicine, 97080 Würzburg, Germany.

More than 80 human X-linked genes have been associated with mental retardation and deficits in learning and memory. However, most of the identified mutations induce limited morphological alterations in brain organization and the molecular bases underlying neuronal clinical features remain elusive. We show here that neurons cultured from mice lacking ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (Rsk2), a model for the Coffin-Lowry syndrome (CLS), exhibit a significant delay in growth in a similar way to that shown by neurons cultured from phospholipase D1 (Pld1) knock-out mice. We found that gene silencing of Pld1 or Rsk2 as well as acute pharmacological inhibition of PLD1 or RSK2 in PC12 cells strongly impaired neuronal growth factor (NGF)-induced neurite outgrowth. Expression of a phosphomimetic PLD1 mutant rescued the inhibition of neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells silenced for RSK2, revealing that PLD1 is a major target for RSK2 in neurite formation. NGF-triggered RSK2-dependent phosphorylation of PLD1 led to its activation and the synthesis of phosphatidic acid at sites of neurite growth. Additionally, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy experiments revealed that RSK2 and PLD1 positively control fusion of tetanus neurotoxin insensitive vesicle-associated membrane protein (TiVAMP)/VAMP-7 vesicles at sites of neurite outgrowth. We propose that the loss of function mutations in RSK2 that leads to CLS and neuronal deficits are related to defects in neuronal growth due to impaired RSK2-dependent PLD1 activity resulting in a reduced vesicle fusion rate and membrane supply.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2283-13.2013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6618760PMC
December 2013

Lack of the presynaptic RhoGAP protein oligophrenin1 leads to cognitive disabilities through dysregulation of the cAMP/PKA signalling pathway.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2014 Jan 2;369(1633):20130160. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UPR3212, CNRS, Université de Strasbourg, , Strasbourg 67084, France.

Loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding for the RhoGAP protein of oligophrenin-1 (OPHN1) lead to cognitive disabilities (CDs) in humans, yet the underlying mechanisms are not known. Here, we show that in mice constitutive lack of Ophn1 is associated with dysregulation of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate/phosphate kinase A (cAMP/PKA) signalling pathway in a brain-area-specific manner. Consistent with a key role of cAMP/PKA signalling in regulating presynaptic function and plasticity, we found that PKA-dependent presynaptic plasticity was completely abolished in affected brain regions, including hippocampus and amygdala. At the behavioural level, lack of OPHN1 resulted in hippocampus- and amygdala-related learning disabilities which could be fully rescued by the ROCK/PKA kinase inhibitor fasudil. Together, our data identify OPHN1 as a key regulator of presynaptic function and suggest that, in addition to reported postsynaptic deficits, loss of presynaptic plasticity contributes to the pathophysiology of CDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2013.0160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3843891PMC
January 2014

Target-specific vulnerability of excitatory synapses leads to deficits in associative memory in a model of intellectual disorder.

J Neurosci 2013 Aug;33(34):13805-19

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS UMR5297, Université de Bordeaux, 33077 Bordeaux, France.

Intellectual disorders (IDs) have been regularly associated with morphological and functional deficits at glutamatergic synapses in both humans and rodents. How these synaptic deficits may lead to the variety of learning and memory deficits defining ID is still unknown. Here we studied the functional and behavioral consequences of the ID gene il1rapl1 deficiency in mice and reported that il1rapl1 constitutive deletion alters cued fear memory formation. Combined in vivo and in vitro approaches allowed us to unveil a causal relationship between a marked inhibitory/excitatory (I/E) imbalance in dedicated amygdala neuronal subcircuits and behavioral deficits. Cell-targeted recordings further demonstrated a morpho-functional impact of the mutation at thalamic projections contacting principal cells, whereas the same afferents on interneurons are unaffected by the lack of Il1rapl1. We thus propose that excitatory synapses have a heterogeneous vulnerability to il1rapl1 gene constitutive mutation and that alteration of a subset of excitatory synapses in neuronal circuits is sufficient to generate permanent cognitive deficits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1457-13.2013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6618660PMC
August 2013

In vivo evidence that TRAF4 is required for central nervous system myelin homeostasis.

PLoS One 2012 17;7(2):e30917. Epub 2012 Feb 17.

Functional Genomics and Cancer Department, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR7104, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U964, Université de Strasbourg, Illkirch, France.

Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-Associated Factors (TRAFs) are major signal transducers for the TNF and interleukin-1/Toll-like receptor superfamilies. However, TRAF4 does not fit the paradigm of TRAF function in immune and inflammatory responses. Its physiological and molecular functions remain poorly understood. Behavorial analyses show that TRAF4-deficient mice (TRAF4-KO) exhibit altered locomotion coordination typical of ataxia. TRAF4-KO central nervous system (CNS) ultrastructure shows strong myelin perturbation including disorganized layers and disturbances in paranode organization. TRAF4 was previously reported to be expressed by CNS neurons. Using primary cell culture, we now show that TRAF4 is also expressed by oligodendrocytes, at all stages of their differentiation. Moreover, histology and electron microscopy show degeneration of a high number of Purkinje cells in TRAF4-KO mice, that was confirmed by increased expression of the Bax pro-apoptotic marker (immunofluorescence), TUNEL analysis, and caspase-3 activation and PARP1 cleavage (western blotting). Consistent with this phenotype, MAG and NogoA, two myelin-induced neurite outgrowth inhibitors, and their neuron partners, NgR and p75NTR were overexpressed (Q-RT-PCR and western blotting). The strong increased phosphorylation of Rock2, a RhoA downstream target, indicated that the NgR/p75NTR/RhoA signaling pathway, known to induce actin cytoskeleton rearrangement that favors axon regeneration inhibition and neuron apoptosis, is activated in the absence of TRAF4 (western blotting). Altogether, these results provide conclusive evidence for the pivotal contribution of TRAF4 to myelination and to cerebellar homeostasis, and link the loss of TRAF4 function to demyelinating or neurodegenerative diseases.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0030917PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3281907PMC
June 2012

Forebrain deletion of αGDI in adult mice worsens the pre-synaptic deficit at cortico-lateral amygdala synaptic connections.

PLoS One 2012 23;7(1):e29763. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

Dulbecco Telethon Institute at Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

The GDI1 gene encodes αGDI, which retrieves inactive GDP-bound RAB from membranes to form a cytosolic pool awaiting vesicular release. Mutations in GDI1 are responsible for X-linked Intellectual Disability. Characterization of the Gdi1-null mice has revealed alterations in the total number and distribution of hippocampal and cortical synaptic vesicles, hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity and specific short-term memory deficits in adult mice, which are possibly caused by alterations of different synaptic vesicle recycling pathways controlled by several RAB GTPases. However, interpretation of these studies is complicated by the complete ablation of Gdi1 in all cells in the brain throughout development. In this study, we generated conditionally gene-targeted mice in which the knockout of Gdi1 is restricted to the forebrain, hippocampus, cortex and amygdala and occurs only during postnatal development. Adult mutant mice reproduce the short-term memory deficit previously reported in Gdi1-null mice. Surprisingly, the delayed ablation of Gdi1 worsens the pre-synaptic phenotype at cortico-amygdala synaptic connections compared to Gdi1-null mice. These results suggest a pivotal role of αGDI via specific RAB GTPases acting specifically in forebrain regions at the pre-synaptic sites involved in memory formation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0029763PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3264564PMC
June 2012

Functional roles of synapsin: lessons from invertebrates.

Semin Cell Dev Biol 2011 Jun 7;22(4):425-33. Epub 2011 Aug 7.

Univ. de Bordeaux, Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience, UMR 5297, F-33000 Bordeaux, France.

Data collected from the invertebrate models have allowed to establish several of the basic mechanisms of neuronal function and pioneered the studies on the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in behavioral responses. In the 1970s, the first synaptic proteins--including synapsin--being identified, the first attempts to evaluate their synaptic function were done using available invertebrate preparations. Forty years later, it appears that deductions made from invertebrate synapsin were largely validated in vertebrates, probably reflecting the phylogenic conservation of some specific synapsin sub-domains. In this review, in light of insights got from invertebrate preparations, we discuss the role of synapsin in synaptogenesis and synaptic function, especially on short term plasticity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.07.018DOI Listing
June 2011

A novel form of presynaptic plasticity based on the fast reactivation of release sites switched off during low-frequency depression.

J Neurosci 2010 Dec;30(49):16679-91

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Université de Strasbourg, Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives, Unité Propre de Recherche 3212, 67084 Strasbourg, France.

Repetitive firing of neurons at a low frequency often leads to a decrease in synaptic strength. The mechanism of this low-frequency depression (LFD) is poorly understood. Here, LFD was studied at Aplysia cholinergic synapses. The absence of a significant change in the paired-pulse ratio during LFD, together with the facts that neither the time course nor the extent of LFD were affected by the initial release probability, suggests that LFD is not related to a depletion of the ready-to-fuse synaptic vesicles (SVs) or to a decrease in the release probability, but results from the silencing of a subpopulation of release sites. A subset of SVs or release sites, which acquired a high release probability status during LFD, permits synapses to rapidly and temporarily recover the initial synaptic strength when the stimulation is stopped. However, the recovery of the full capacity of the synapse to sustain repetitive stimulations is slow and involves spontaneous reactivation of the silent release sites. Application of tetanic stimulations accelerates this recovery by immediately switching on the silent sites. This high-frequency-dependent phenomenon underlies a new form of synaptic plasticity that allows resetting of presynaptic efficiency independently of the recent history of the synapse. Microinjection of a mutated Aplysia synapsin that cannot be phosphorylated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), or a PKA inhibitor both prevented high-frequency-dependent awakening of release sites. Changes in the firing pattern of neurons appear to be able to regulate the on-off status of release sites via a molecular cascade involving PKA-dependent phosphorylation of synapsin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3644-09.2010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6634876PMC
December 2010

Synaptic maturation at cortical projections to the lateral amygdala in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

PLoS One 2010 Jul 2;5(7):e11399. Epub 2010 Jul 2.

Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives, CNRS UPR 3212 et Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France.

Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neuro-developmental disorder caused by loss of function of Mecp2--methyl-CpG-binding protein 2--an epigenetic factor controlling DNA transcription. In mice, removal of Mecp2 in the forebrain recapitulates most of behavioral deficits found in global Mecp2 deficient mice, including amygdala-related hyper-anxiety and lack of social interaction, pointing a role of Mecp2 in emotional learning. Yet very little is known about the establishment and maintenance of synaptic function in the adult amygdala and the role of Mecp2 in these processes. Here, we performed a longitudinal examination of synaptic properties at excitatory projections to principal cells of the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) in Mecp2 mutant mice and their wild-type littermates. We first show that during animal life, Cortico-LA projections switch from a tonic to a phasic mode, whereas Thalamo-LA synapses are phasic at all ages. In parallel, we observed a specific elimination of Cortico-LA synapses and a decrease in their ability of generating presynaptic long term potentiation. In absence of Mecp2, both synaptic maturation and synaptic elimination were exaggerated albeit still specific to cortical projections. Surprisingly, associative LTP was unaffected at Mecp2 deficient synapses suggesting that synaptic maintenance rather than activity-dependent synaptic learning may be causal in RTT physiopathology. Finally, because the timing of synaptic evolution was preserved, we propose that some of the developmental effects of Mecp2 may be exerted within an endogenous program and restricted to synapses which maturate during animal life.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0011399PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2896423PMC
July 2010

A postsynaptic signaling pathway that may account for the cognitive defect due to IL1RAPL1 mutation.

Curr Biol 2010 Jan 21;20(2):103-15. Epub 2010 Jan 21.

Department of Genetics and Development, Institut Cochin, Université Paris Descartes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR) 8104, 75014 Paris, France.

Background: Interleukin-1 receptor accessory protein-like 1 (IL1RAPL1) gene mutations are associated with cognitive impairment ranging from nonsyndromic X-linked mental retardation to autism. IL1RAPL1 belongs to a novel family of Toll/IL-1 receptors, whose expression in the brain is upregulated by neuronal activity. Currently, very little is known about the function of this protein. We previously showed that IL1RAPL1 interacts with the neuronal calcium sensor NCS-1 and that it regulates voltage-gated calcium channel activity in PC12 cells.

Results: Here we show that IL1RAPL1 is present in dendritic spine where it interacts with PSD-95, a major component of excitatory postsynaptic compartment. Using gain- and loss-of-function experiments in neurons, we demonstrated that IL1RAPL1 regulates the synaptic localization of PSD-95 by controlling c-Jun terminal kinase (JNK) activity and PSD-95 phosphorylation. Mice carrying a null mutation of the mouse Il1rapl1 gene show a reduction of both dendritic spine density and excitatory synapses in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. These structural abnormalities are associated with specific deficits in hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity.

Conclusion: The interaction of IL1RAPL1 with PSD-95 discloses a novel pathophysiological mechanism of cognitive impairment associated with alterations of the JNK pathway leading to a mislocalization of PSD-95 and abnormal synaptic organization and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2009.12.030DOI Listing
January 2010

IL1RAPL1 controls inhibitory networks during cerebellar development in mice.

Eur J Neurosci 2009 Oct 7;30(8):1476-86. Epub 2009 Oct 7.

Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives, UPR3212, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 67084 Strasbourg, France.

Abnormalities in the formation and function of cerebellar circuitry potentially contribute to cognitive deficits in humans. In the adult, the activity of the sole output neurons of the cerebellar cortex - the Purkinje cells (PCs) - is shaped by the balance of activity between local excitatory and inhibitory circuits. However, how this balance is established during development remains poorly understood. Here, we investigate the role of interleukin-1 receptor accessory protein-like 1 (IL1RAPL1), a protein linked to cognitive function which interacts with neuronal calcium sensor 1 (NCS-1) in the development of mouse cerebellum. Using Il1rapl1-deficient mice, we found that absence of IL1RAPL1 causes a transient disinhibition of deep cerebellar nuclei neurons between postnatal days 10 and 14 (P10/P14). Upstream, in the cerebellar cortex, we found developmental perturbations in the activity level of molecular layer interneurons (MLIs), resulting in the premature appearance of giant GABAA-mediated inhibitory post-synaptic currents capable of silencing PCs. Examination of feed-forward recruitment of MLIs by parallel fibres shows that during this P10/P14 time window, MLIs were more responsive to incoming excitatory drive. Thus, we conclude that IL1RAPL1 exerts a key function during cerebellar development in establishing local excitation/inhibition balance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.06975.xDOI Listing
October 2009

L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels mediate expression of presynaptic LTP in amygdala.

Nat Neurosci 2009 Sep 2;12(9):1093-5. Epub 2009 Aug 2.

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland.

The molecular mechanisms underlying the expression of postsynaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) at glutamatergic synapses are well understood. However, little is known about those that mediate the expression of presynaptic LTP. We found that presynaptic LTP at cortical inputs to the mouse lateral amygdala was blocked and reversed by L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel (L-VDCC) blockers. Thus, a persistent increase in L-VDCC-mediated glutamate release underlies the expression of presynaptic LTP in the amygdala.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.2378DOI Listing
September 2009

Amygdala inhibitory circuits and the control of fear memory.

Neuron 2009 Jun;62(6):757-71

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, 4058 Basel, Switzerland.

Classical fear conditioning is a powerful behavioral paradigm that is widely used to study the neuronal substrates of learning and memory. Previous studies have clearly identified the amygdala as a key brain structure for acquisition and storage of fear memory traces. Whereas the majority of this work has focused on principal cells and glutamatergic transmission and its plasticity, recent studies have started to shed light on the intricate roles of local inhibitory circuits. Here, we review current understanding and emerging concepts of how local inhibitory circuits in the amygdala control the acquisition, expression, and extinction of conditioned fear at different levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2009.05.026DOI Listing
June 2009

X-linked mental retardation: focus on synaptic function and plasticity.

J Neurochem 2009 Apr 13;109(1):1-14. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

Département Neurotransmission et Sécrétion Neuroendocrine, Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives, UPR-3212, CNRS and Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France.

Among mental disorders, mental retardation has been shown to be caused by various factors including a large array of genetic mutations. On the basis of remarkable progress, the emerging view is that defects in the regulation of synaptic activity and morphogenesis of dendritic spines are apparently common features associated with mutations in several genes implicated in mental retardation. In this review, we will discuss X-linked MR-related gene products that are potentially involved in the normal structure and function of the synapses, with a particular focus on pre- and/or post-synaptic plasticity mechanisms. Progress in understanding the underlying conditions leading to mental retardation will undoubtedly be gained from a closer collaboration of geneticists, physiologists and cognitive neuroscientists, which should enable the establishment of standardized approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2009.05881.xDOI Listing
April 2009

cAMP/PKA signaling and RIM1alpha mediate presynaptic LTP in the lateral amygdala.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2008 Sep 24;105(39):15130-5. Epub 2008 Sep 24.

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland.

NMDA receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in sensory pathways from auditory thalamus or cortex to the lateral amygdala (LA) underlies the acquisition of auditory fear conditioning. Whereas the mechanisms of postsynaptic LTP at thalamo-LA synapses are well understood, much less is known about the sequence of events mediating presynaptic NMDA receptor-dependent LTP at cortico-LA synapses. Here, we show that presynaptic cortico-LA LTP can be entirely accounted for by a persistent increase in the vesicular release probability. At the molecular level, we found that signaling via the cAMP/PKA pathway is necessary and sufficient for LTP induction. Moreover, by using mice lacking the active-zone protein and PKA target RIM1alpha (RIM1alpha(-/-)), we demonstrate that RIM1alpha is required for both chemically and synaptically induced presynaptic LTP. Further analysis of cortico-LA synaptic transmission in RIM1alpha(-/-) mice revealed a deficit in Ca(2+)-release coupling leading to a lower baseline release probability. Our results reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying the induction of presynaptic LTP at cortico-LA synapses and indicate that RIM1alpha-dependent LTP may involve changes in Ca(2+)-release coupling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0806938105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2567504PMC
September 2008