Neuron type-specific expression of a mutant KRAS impairs hippocampal-dependent learning and memory.
ABSTRACT: KRAS mutations are associated with rare cases of neurodevelopmental disorders that can cause intellectual disabilities. Previous studies showed that mice expressing a mutant KRAS have impaired the development and function of GABAergic inhibitory neurons, which may contribute to behavioural deficits in the mutant mice. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms and the role of excitatory neurons in these behavioural deficits in adults are not fully understood. Herein, we report that neuron type-specific expression of a constitutively active mutant KRASG12V in either excitatory or inhibitory neurons resulted in spatial memory deficits in adult mice. In inhibitory neurons, KRASG12V induced ERK activation and enhanced GABAergic synaptic transmission. Expressing KRASG12V in inhibitory neurons also impaired long-term potentiation in the hippocampal Shaffer-collateral pathway, which could be rescued by picrotoxin treatment. In contrast, KRASG12V induced ERK activation and neuronal cell death in excitatory neurons, which might have contributed to the severe behavioural deficits. Our results showed that both excitatory and inhibitory neurons are involved in mutant KRAS-associated learning deficits in adults via distinct cellular mechanisms.
Project description:Mutations in RAS signaling pathway components cause diverse neurodevelopmental disorders, collectively called RASopathies. Previous studies have suggested that dysregulation in RAS-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation is restricted to distinct cell types in different RASopathies. Some cases of Noonan syndrome (NS) are associated with gain-of-function mutations in the phosphatase SHP2 (encoded by PTPN11); however, SHP2 is abundant in multiple cell types, so it is unclear which cell type(s) contribute to NS phenotypes. Here, we found that expressing the NS-associated mutant SHP2D61G in excitatory, but not inhibitory, hippocampal neurons increased ERK signaling and impaired both long-term potentiation (LTP) and spatial memory in mice, although endogenous SHP2 was expressed in both neuronal types. Transcriptomic analyses revealed that the genes encoding SHP2-interacting proteins that are critical for ERK activation, such as GAB1 and GRB2, were enriched in excitatory neurons. Accordingly, expressing a dominant-negative mutant of GAB1, which reduced its interaction with SHP2D61G, selectively in excitatory neurons, reversed SHP2D61G-mediated deficits. Moreover, ectopic expression of GAB1 and GRB2 together with SHP2D61G in inhibitory neurons resulted in ERK activation. These results demonstrate that RAS-ERK signaling networks are notably different between excitatory and inhibitory neurons, accounting for the cell type-specific pathophysiology of NS and perhaps other RASopathies.
Project description:Mutations in the chromatin remodeller CHD7 cause CHARGE syndrome (CS). Importantly, children with CS exhibit moderate to severe neurological and behaviour symptoms including autism. However, the neural substrates underlying these symptoms remain largely unknown. Here we show that zebrafish chd7 mutant display a nighttime hyperactivity behavioural phenotype and exhibit altered number and positioning of GABAergic neurons in brain regions. Using a transcriptomic approach, we identified many genes involved in cell adhesion, migration and receptor signalling that are dysregulated in the chd7 brain. We also show an abnomal hyperactivation of ERK signalling contributing to the GABAergic defects. A phenotype-based screen of 3850 compounds identifies a lead compound, ephedrine that ameliorates GABAergic and behavioural anomalies in chd7 animals. Our study identifies CHD7 as critical regulator of GABAergic network development. Importantly, we provide novel insight into the mechanisms underlying the neurological deficits in CS and identify a new therapeutic for CS-associated neurobehavioural symptoms. Overall design: 5 dpf dissected larval brains
Project description:Seizures frequently accompany gliomas and often escalate to peritumoral epilepsy. Previous work revealed the importance of tumor-derived excitatory glutamate (Glu) release mediated by the cystine-glutamate transporter (SXC) in epileptogenesis. We now show a novel contribution of GABAergic disinhibition to disease pathophysiology. In a validated mouse glioma model, we found that peritumoral parvalbumin-positive GABAergic inhibitory interneurons are significantly reduced, corresponding with deficits in spontaneous and evoked inhibitory neurotransmission. Most remaining peritumoral neurons exhibit elevated intracellular Cl(-) concentration ([Cl(-) ]i ) and consequently depolarizing, excitatory gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) responses. In these neurons, the plasmalemmal expression of KCC2, which establishes the low [Cl(-) ]i required for GABAA R-mediated inhibition, is significantly decreased. Interestingly, reductions in inhibition are independent of Glu release, but the presence of both decreased inhibition and decreased SXC expression is required for epileptogenesis. We suggest GABAergic disinhibition renders peritumoral neuronal networks hyper-excitable and susceptible to seizures triggered by excitatory stimuli, and propose KCC2 as a therapeutic target.
Project description:Calcium-dependent activator protein for secretion 2 (CAPS2) is a dense-core vesicle-associated protein that is involved in the secretion of BDNF. BDNF has a pivotal role in neuronal survival and development, including the development of inhibitory neurons and their circuits. However, how CAPS2 affects BDNF secretion and its biological significance in inhibitory neurons are largely unknown. Here we reveal the role of CAPS2 in the regulated secretion of BDNF and show the effect of CAPS2 on the development of hippocampal GABAergic systems. We show that CAPS2 is colocalized with BDNF, both synaptically and extrasynaptically in axons of hippocampal neurons. Overexpression of exogenous CAPS2 in hippocampal neurons of CAPS2-KO mice enhanced depolarization-induced BDNF exocytosis events in terms of kinetics, frequency, and amplitude. We also show that in the CAPS2-KO hippocampus, BDNF secretion is reduced, and GABAergic systems are impaired, including a decreased number of GABAergic neurons and their synapses, a decreased number of synaptic vesicles in inhibitory synapses, and a reduced frequency and amplitude of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents. Conversely, excitatory neurons in the CAPS2-KO hippocampus were largely unaffected with respect to field excitatory postsynaptic potentials, miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, and synapse number and morphology. Moreover, CAPS2-KO mice exhibited several GABA system-associated deficits, including reduced late-phase long-term potentiation at CA3-CA1 synapses, decreased hippocampal theta oscillation frequency, and increased anxiety-like behavior. Collectively, these results suggest that CAPS2 promotes activity-dependent BDNF secretion during the postnatal period that is critical for the development of hippocampal GABAergic networks.
Project description:Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by loss-of-function mutations in NF1 gene, which encodes a GTPase activating protein for RAS. NF1 affects multiple systems including brain and is highly associated with cognitive deficits such as learning difficulties and attention deficits. Previous studies have suggested that GABAergic inhibitory neuron is the cell type primarily responsible for the learning deficits in mouse models of NF1. However, it is not clear how NF1 mutations selectively affect inhibitory neurons in the central nervous system. In this study, we show that the expression level of Nf1 is significantly higher in inhibitory neurons than in excitatory neurons in mouse hippocampus and cortex by using in situ hybridization. Furthermore, we also found that NF1 is enriched in inhibitory neurons in the human cortex, confirming that the differential expressions of NF1 between two cell types are evolutionarily conserved. Our results suggest that the enriched expression of NF1 in inhibitory neurons may underlie inhibitory neuron-specific deficits in NF1.
Project description:The neural circuits regulating motivation and movement include midbrain dopaminergic neurons and associated inhibitory GABAergic and excitatory glutamatergic neurons in the anterior brainstem. Differentiation of specific subtypes of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons in the mouse embryonic brainstem is controlled by a transcription factor Tal1. This study characterizes the behavioral and neurochemical changes caused by the absence of Tal1 function. The Tal1cko mutant mice are hyperactive, impulsive, hypersensitive to reward, have learning deficits and a habituation defect in a novel environment. Only minor changes in their dopaminergic system were detected. Amphetamine induced striatal dopamine release and amphetamine induced place preference were normal in Tal1cko mice. Increased dopamine signaling failed to stimulate the locomotor activity of the Tal1cko mice, but instead alleviated their hyperactivity. Altogether, the Tal1cko mice recapitulate many features of the attention and hyperactivity disorders, suggesting a role for Tal1 regulated developmental pathways and neural structures in the control of motivation and movement.
Project description:Exposure to irregular light-dark schedules leads to deficits in affective behaviors. The retino-recipient perihabenular nucleus (PHb) of the dorsal thalamus has been shown to mediate these effects in mice. However, the mechanisms of how light information is processed within the PHb remains unknown. Here, we show that the PHb contains a distinct cluster of GABAergic neurons that receive direct retinal input. These neurons are part of a larger inhibitory network composed of the thalamic reticular nucleus and zona incerta, known to modulate thalamocortical communication. Additionally, PHbGABA neurons locally modulate excitatory-relay neurons, which project to limbic centers. Chronic exposure to irregular light-dark cycles alters photo-responsiveness and synaptic output of PHbGABA neurons, disrupting daily oscillations of genes associated with inhibitory and excitatory PHb signaling. Consequently, selective and chronic PHbGABA manipulation results in mood alterations that mimic those caused by irregular light exposure. Together, light-mediated disruption of PHb inhibitory networks underlies mood deficits. Overall design: Gene expression profiling in n=4 biological replicates of PHb tissue (4 individual PHb samples pooled per biological replicate) harvested from T24 or T7 cycle-housed mice during their active phase (circadian time 14) or inactive phase (circadian time 2).
Project description:We compared the profile of miRNAs expressed in HEK293 and MRC5 cells that overexpressed KRASG12V to those expressed in parental cells that harbored wild-type KRAS. The results indicated that a subset of miRNAs was significantly down-regulated in KRASG12V transfected two cells. To address the functional relevance of miRNAs in KRAS mutant cancers, we transfected exogenous KRASG12V into HEK293 and MRC5 cells with wild type KRAS genes, and we comprehensively profiled the dysregulated miRNAs.
Project description:Haploinsufficiency of the SYNGAP1 gene, which codes for a Ras GTPase-activating protein, impairs cognition both in humans and in mice. Decrease of Syngap1 in mice has been previously shown to cause cognitive deficits at least in part by inducing alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission and premature maturation of excitatory connections. Whether Syngap1 plays a role in the development of cortical GABAergic connectivity and function remains unclear. Here, we show that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency significantly reduces the formation of perisomatic innervations by parvalbumin-positive basket cells, a major population of GABAergic neurons, in a cell-autonomous manner. We further show that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency in GABAergic cells derived from the medial ganglionic eminence impairs their connectivity, reduces inhibitory synaptic activity and cortical gamma oscillation power, and causes cognitive deficits. Our results indicate that Syngap1 plays a critical role in GABAergic circuit function and further suggest that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency in GABAergic circuits may contribute to cognitive deficits.
Project description:Synaptic inhibition plays a fundamental role in the information processing of neural circuits. It sculpts excitatory signals and prevents hyperexcitability of neurons. Owing to these essential functions, dysregulated synaptic inhibition causes a plethora of neurological disorders, including epilepsy, autism, and schizophrenia. Among these disorders, epilepsy is associated with abnormal hyperexcitability of neurons caused by the deficits of GABAergic neuron or decreased GABAergic inhibition at synapses. Although many antiepileptic drugs are intended to improve GABA-mediated inhibition, the molecular mechanisms of synaptic inhibition regulated by GABAergic neurons are not fully understood. Increasing evidence indicates that phospholipase C?1 (PLC?1) is involved in the generation of seizure, while the causal relationship between PLC?1 and seizure has not been firmly established yet. Here, we show that genetic deletion of PLC?1 in GABAergic neurons leads to handling-induced seizure in aged mice. In addition, aged Plcg1F/F; Dlx5/6-Cre mice exhibit other behavioral alterations, including hypoactivity, reduced anxiety, and fear memory deficit. Notably, inhibitory synaptic transmission as well as the number of inhibitory synapses are decreased in the subregions of hippocampus. These findings suggest that PLC?1 may be a key determinant of maintaining both inhibitory synapses and synaptic transmission, potentially contributing to the regulation of E/I balance in the hippocampus.