Integrin α3 is required for late postnatal stability of dendrite arbors, dendritic spines and synapses, and mouse behavior.
ABSTRACT: Most dendrite branches and a large fraction of dendritic spines in the adult rodent forebrain are stable for extended periods of time. Destabilization of these structures compromises brain function and is a major contributing factor to psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. Integrins are a class of transmembrane extracellular matrix receptors that function as αβ heterodimers and activate signaling cascades regulating the actin cytoskeleton. Here we identify integrin α3 as a key mediator of neuronal stability. Dendrites, dendritic spines, and synapses develop normally in mice with selective loss of integrin α3 in excitatory forebrain neurons, reaching their mature sizes and densities through postnatal day 21 (P21). However, by P42, integrin α3 mutant mice exhibit significant reductions in hippocampal dendrite arbor size and complexity, loss of dendritic spine and synapse densities, and impairments in hippocampal-dependent behavior. Furthermore, gene-dosage experiments demonstrate that integrin α3 interacts functionally with the Arg nonreceptor tyrosine kinase to activate p190RhoGAP, which inhibits RhoA GTPase and regulates hippocampal dendrite and synapse stability and mouse behavior. Together, our data support a fundamental role for integrin α3 in regulating dendrite arbor stability, synapse maintenance, and proper hippocampal function. In addition, these results provide a biochemical and structural explanation for the defects in long-term potentiation, learning, and memory reported previously in mice lacking integrin α3.
Project description:Neuronal dendrites have specialized actin-rich structures called dendritic spines that receive and integrate most excitatory synaptic inputs. The stabilization of dendrites and spines during neuronal maturation is essential for proper neural circuit formation. Changes in dendritic morphology and stability are largely mediated by regulation of the actin cytoskeleton; however, the underlying mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. Here, we present evidence that the nebulin family members LASP1 and LASP2 play an important role in the postsynaptic development of rat hippocampal neurons from both sexes. We find that both LASP1 and LASP2 are enriched in dendritic spines, and their knockdown impairs spine development and synapse formation. Furthermore, LASP2 exerts a distinct role in dendritic arbor and dendritic spine stabilization. Importantly, the actin-binding N-terminal LIM domain and nebulin repeats of LASP2 are required for spine stability and dendritic arbor complexity. These findings identify LASP1 and LASP2 as novel regulators of neuronal circuitry.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Proper regulation of the actin cytoskeleton is essential for the structural stability of dendrites and dendritic spines. Consequently, the malformation of dendritic structures accompanies numerous neurologic disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism. Nebulin family members are best known for their role in regulating the stabilization and function of actin thin filaments in muscle. The two smallest family members, LASP1 and LASP2, are more structurally diverse and are expressed in a broader array of tissues. While both LASP1 and LASP2 are highly expressed in the brain, little is currently known about their function in the nervous system. In this study, we demonstrate the first evidence that LASP1 and LASP2 are involved in the formation and long-term maintenance of dendrites and dendritic spines.
Project description:The 22 ?-Protocadherin (?-Pcdh) cell adhesion molecules are critical for the elaboration of complex dendritic arbors in the cerebral cortex. Here, we provide evidence that the ?-Pcdhs negatively regulate synapse development by inhibiting the postsynaptic cell adhesion molecule, neuroligin-1 (Nlg1). Mice lacking all ?-Pcdhs in the forebrain exhibit significantly increased dendritic spine density in vivo, while spine density is significantly decreased in mice overexpressing one of the 22 ?-Pcdh isoforms. Co-expression of ?-Pcdhs inhibits the ability of Nlg1 to increase spine density and to induce presynaptic differentiation in hippocampal neurons in vitro. The ?-Pcdhs physically interact in cis with Nlg1 both in vitro and in vivo, and we present evidence that this disrupts Nlg1 binding to its presynaptic partner neurexin1?. Together with prior work, these data identify a mechanism through which ?-Pcdhs could coordinate dendrite arbor growth and complexity with spine maturation in the developing brain.
Project description:Astroglia play key roles in the development of neurons, ranging from regulating neuron survival to promoting synapse formation, yet basic questions remain about whether astrocytes might be involved in forming the dendritic arbor. Here, we used cultured hippocampal neurons as a simple in vitro model that allowed dendritic growth and geometry to be analyzed quantitatively under conditions where the extent of interactions between neurons and astrocytes varied. When astroglia were proximal to neurons, dendrites and dendritic filopodia oriented toward them, but the general presence of astroglia significantly reduced overall dendrite growth. Further, dendritic arbors in partial physical contact with astroglia developed a pronounced pattern of asymmetrical growth, because the dendrites in direct contact were significantly smaller than the portion of the arbor not in contact. Notably, thrombospondin, the astroglial factor shown previously to promote synapse formation, did not inhibit dendritic growth. Thus, while astroglia promoted the formation of presynaptic contacts onto dendrites, dendritic growth was constrained locally within a developing arbor at sites where dendrites contacted astroglia. Taken together, these observations reveal influences on spatial orientation of growth as well as influences on morphogenesis of the dendritic arbor that have not been previously identified.
Project description:Integrins are heterodimeric extracellular matrix receptors that are essential for the proper development of the vertebrate nervous system. We report here that selective loss of integrin ?1 in excitatory neurons leads to reductions in the size and complexity of hippocampal dendritic arbors, hippocampal synapse loss, impaired hippocampus-dependent learning, and exaggerated psychomotor sensitivity to cocaine in mice. Our biochemical and genetic experiments demonstrate that the intracellular tail of integrin ?1 binds directly to Arg kinase and that this interaction stimulates activity of the Arg substrate p190RhoGAP, an inactivator of the RhoA GTPase. Moreover, genetic manipulations that reduce integrin ?1 signaling through Arg recapitulate the integrin ?1 knock-out phenotype in a gene dose-sensitive manner. Together, these results describe a novel integrin ?1-Arg-p190RhoGAP pathway that regulates dendritic arbor size, promotes synapse maintenance, supports proper hippocampal function, and mitigates the behavioral consequences of cocaine exposure.
Project description:Within neurons of several regions of the CNS, mature dendrite architecture is attained via extensive reorganization of arbor during the developmental period. Since dendrite morphology determines the firing patterns of the neuron, morphological refinement of dendritic arbor may have important implications for mature network activity. In the neocortex, a region of brain that is sensitive to activity-dependent structural rearrangement of dendritic arbor, the proportion of AMPA receptors increases over the developmental period. However, it is unclear whether changes in AMPA receptor expression contribute to maturation of dendritic architecture. To determine the effects of increasing AMPA receptor expression on dendrite morphology and connectivity within the neocortex, and to determine whether these effects are dependent on specific AMPA receptor subunits, we overexpressed the AMPA glutamate receptor subunit 1 (GluR1) and glutamate receptor subunit 2 (GluR2) in cultured rat neocortical neurons at the time that AMPA receptors would normally be incorporated into synapses. Following expression of GluR1 or GluR2 we observed increases in the length and complexity of dendritic arbor of cortical neurons, and a concurrent reduction in motility of spines. In addition, expression of either subunit was associated with an increased density of excitatory postsynaptic puncta. These results suggest that AMPA receptor expression is an important determinant of dendrite morphology and connectivity in neocortical neurons, and further, that contrary to other regions of the CNS, the effects of AMPA receptors on dendrite morphology are not subunit-specific.
Project description:Synapse degeneration and dendritic spine dysgenesis are believed to be crucial early steps in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and correlate with cognitive deficits in AD patients. Soluble amyloid beta (A?)-derived oligomers, also termed A?-derived diffusible ligands (ADDLs), accumulate in the brain of AD patients and play a crucial role in AD pathogenesis. ADDLs bind to mature hippocampal neurons, induce structural changes in dendritic spines and contribute to neuronal death. However, mechanisms underlying structural and toxic effects are not fully understood. Here, we report that ADDLs bind to cultured mature cortical pyramidal neurons and induce spine dysgenesis. ADDL treatment induced the rapid depletion of kalirin-7, a brain-specific guanine-nucleotide exchange factor for the small GTPase Rac1, from spines. Kalirin-7 is a key regulator of dendritic spine morphogenesis and maintenance in forebrain pyramidal neurons and here we show that overexpression of kalirin-7 prevents ADDL-induced spine degeneration. Taken together, our results suggest that kalirin-7 may play a role in the early events leading to synapse degeneration, and its pharmacological activation may prevent or delay synapse pathology in AD.
Project description:Mounting evidence suggests that soluble oligomers of amyloid-? (oA?) represent the pertinent synaptotoxic form of A? in sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, the mechanistic links between oA? and synaptic degeneration remain elusive. Most in vivo experiments to date have been limited to examining the toxicity of oA? in mouse models that also possess insoluble fibrillar A? (fA?), and data generated from these models can lead to ambiguous interpretations. Our goal in the present study was to examine the effects of soluble oA? on neuronal and synaptic structure in the amyloid precursor protein (APP) E693Q ("Dutch") mouse model of AD, which develops intraneuronal accumulation of soluble oA? with no detectable plaques in AD-relevant brain regions. We performed quantitative analyses of neuronal pathology, including dendrite morphology, spine density, and synapse ultrastructure in individual hippocampal CA1 neurons.When assessing neuronal morphology and complexity we observed significant alterations in apical but not in basal dendritic arbor length in Dutch mice compared to wild type. Moreover, Dutch mice exhibited a significant decrease in dendritic arborization with a decrease in dendritic length and number of intersections at 120 ?m and 150 ?m from the soma, respectively. We next examined synaptic parameters and found that while there were no differences in overall synaptic structure, Dutch mice displayed a significant reduction in the post-synaptic density (PSD) length of synapses on mushroom spines, in comparison to wild type littermates.The structural alterations to individual neurons in Dutch mice along with the changes in larger dendritic spines support the A? oligomer hypothesis, which postulates that the early cognitive impairments that occur in AD are attributed to the accumulation of soluble oA? first affecting at the synaptic level with subsequent structural disturbances and cellular degeneration.
Project description:Dendritic arbor architecture profoundly impacts neuronal connectivity and function, and aberrant dendritic morphology characterizes neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we identify the adhesion-GPCR BAI1 as an important regulator of dendritic arborization. BAI1 loss from mouse or rat hippocampal neurons causes dendritic hypertrophy, whereas BAI1 overexpression precipitates dendrite retraction. These defects specifically manifest as dendrites transition from growth to stability. BAI1-mediated growth arrest is independent of its Rac1-dependent synaptogenic function. Instead, BAI1 couples to the small GTPase RhoA, driving late RhoA activation in dendrites coincident with growth arrest. BAI1 loss lowers RhoA activation and uncouples it from dendrite dynamics, causing overgrowth. None of BAI1's known downstream effectors mediates BAI1-dependent growth arrest. Rather, BAI1 associates with the Rho-GTPase regulatory protein Bcr late in development and stimulates its cryptic RhoA-GEF activity, which functions together with its Rac1-GAP activity to terminate arborization. Our results reveal a late-acting signaling pathway mediating a key transition in dendrite development.
Project description:Brain development requires correct targeting of multiple thousand synaptic terminals onto staggeringly complex dendritic arbors. The mechanisms by which input synapse numbers are matched to dendrite size, and by which synaptic inputs from different transmitter systems are correctly partitioned onto a postsynaptic arbor, are incompletely understood. By combining quantitative neuroanatomy with targeted genetic manipulation of synaptic input to an identified Drosophila neuron, we show that synaptic inputs of two different transmitter classes locally direct dendrite growth in a competitive manner. During development, the relative amounts of GABAergic and cholinergic synaptic drive shift dendrites between different input domains of one postsynaptic neuron without affecting total arbor size. Therefore, synaptic input locally directs dendrite growth, but intra-neuronal dendrite redistributions limit morphological variability, a phenomenon also described for cortical neurons. Mechanistically, this requires local dendritic Ca2+ influx through D?7nAChRs or through LVA channels following GABAAR-mediated depolarizations. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Project description:A key feature of the mammalian brain is its capacity to adapt in response to experience, in part by remodeling of synaptic connections between neurons. Excitatory synapse rearrangements have been monitored in vivo by observation of dendritic spine dynamics, but lack of a vital marker for inhibitory synapses has precluded their observation. Here, we simultaneously monitor in vivo inhibitory synapse and dendritic spine dynamics across the entire dendritic arbor of pyramidal neurons in the adult mammalian cortex using large-volume, high-resolution dual-color two-photon microscopy. We find that inhibitory synapses on dendritic shafts and spines differ in their distribution across the arbor and in their remodeling kinetics during normal and altered sensory experience. Further, we find inhibitory synapse and dendritic spine remodeling to be spatially clustered and that clustering is influenced by sensory input. Our findings provide in vivo evidence for local coordination of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic rearrangements.