The synaptic scaffolding protein CNKSR2 interacts with CYTH2 to mediate hippocampal granule cell development.
ABSTRACT: CNKSR2 is a synaptic scaffolding molecule that is encoded by the CNKSR2 gene located on the X chromosome. Heterozygous mutations to CNKSR2 in humans are associated with intellectual disability and epileptic seizures, yet the cellular and molecular roles for CNKSR2 in nervous system development and disease remain poorly characterized. Here, we identify a molecular complex comprising CNKSR2 and the guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for ARF small GTPases, CYTH2, that is necessary for the proper development of granule neurons in the mouse hippocampus. Notably, we show that CYTH2 binding prevents proteasomal degradation of CNKSR2. Furthermore, to explore the functional significance of coexpression of CNKSR2 and CYTH2 in the soma of granule cells within the hippocampal dentate gyrus, we transduced mouse granule cell precursors in vivo with small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) to silence CNKSR2 or CYTH2 expression. We found that such manipulations resulted in the abnormal localization of transduced cells at the boundary between the granule cell layer and the hilus. In both cases, CNKSR2-knockdown and CYTH2-knockdown cells exhibited characteristics of immature granule cells, consistent with their putative roles in neuron differentiation. Taken together, our results demonstrate that CNKSR2 and its molecular interaction partner CYTH2 are necessary for the proper development of dentate granule cells within the hippocampus through a mechanism that involves the stabilization of a complex comprising these proteins.
Project description:Granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus are thought to be essential to memory function by decorrelating overlapping input patterns (pattern separation). A second excitatory cell type in the dentate gyrus, the mossy cell, forms an intricate circuit with granule cells, CA3c pyramidal cells, and local interneurons, but the influence of mossy cells on dentate function is often overlooked. Multiple tetrode recordings, supported by juxtacellular recording techniques, showed that granule cells fired very sparsely, whereas mossy cells in the hilus fired promiscuously in multiple locations and in multiple environments. The activity patterns of these cell types thus represent different environments through distinct computational mechanisms: sparse coding in granule cells and changes in firing field locations in mossy cells.
Project description:Throughout the adult life of most mammals, new neurons are continuously generated in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation. Recent work has documented specific cognitive deficits after elimination of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents, suggesting that these neurons may contribute to information processing in hippocampal circuits. Young adult-born neurons exhibit enhanced excitability and have altered capacity for synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slice preparations in vitro. Still, little is known about the effect of adult-born granule cells on hippocampal activity in vivo. To assess the impact of these new neurons on neural circuits in the dentate, we recorded perforant-path evoked responses and spontaneous network activity from the dentate gyrus of urethane-anesthetized mice whose hippocampus had been focally X-irradiated to eliminate the population of young adult-born granule cells. After X-irradiation, perforant-path responses were reduced in magnitude. In contrast, there was a marked increase in the amplitude of spontaneous ?-frequency bursts in the dentate gyrus and hilus, as well as increased synchronization of dentate neuron firing to these bursts. A similar increase in gamma burst amplitude was also found in animals in which adult neurogenesis was eliminated using the GFAP:TK pharmacogenetic ablation technique. These data suggest that young neurons may inhibit or destabilize recurrent network activity in the dentate and hilus. This unexpected result yields a new perspective on how a modest number of young adult-generated granule cells may modulate activity in the larger population of mature granule cells, rather than acting solely as independent encoding units.
Project description:Granule cell dispersion (GCD) represents a pathological widening of the granule cell layer in the dentate gyrus and it is frequently observed in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). Recent studies in human MTLE specimens and in animal epilepsy models have shown that a decreased expression and functional inactivation of the extracellular matrix protein Reelin correlates with GCD formation, but causal evidence is still lacking. Here, we used unilateral kainate (KA) injection into the mouse hippocampus, an established MTLE animal model, to precisely map the loss of reelin mRNA-synthesizing neurons in relation to GCD along the septotemporal axis of the epileptic hippocampus. We show that reelin mRNA-producing neurons are mainly lost in the hilus and that this loss precisely correlates with the occurrence of GCD. To monitor GCD formation in real time, we used organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHSCs) prepared from mice which express enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) primarily in differentiated dentate granule cells. Using life cell microscopy we observed that increasing doses of KA resulted in an enhanced motility of eGFP-positive granule cells. Moreover, KA treatment of OHSC resulted in a rapid loss of Reelin-producing interneurons mainly in the hilus, as observed in vivo. A detailed analysis of the migration behavior of individual eGFP-positive granule cells revealed that the majority of these neurons actively migrate toward the hilar region, where Reelin-producing neurons are lost. Treatment with KA and subsequent addition of the recombinant R3-6 Reelin fragment significantly prevented the movement of eGFP-positive granule cells. Together, these findings suggest that GCD formation is indeed triggered by a loss of Reelin in hilar interneurons.
Project description:Mossy cells in the hilus of the dentate gyrus constitute a major excitatory principal cell type in the mammalian hippocampus; however, it remains unknown how these cells behave in vivo. Here, we have used two-photon Ca2+ imaging to monitor the activity of mossy cells in awake, behaving mice. We find that mossy cells are significantly more active than dentate granule cells in vivo, exhibit spatial tuning during head-fixed spatial navigation, and undergo robust remapping of their spatial representations in response to contextual manipulation. Our results provide a functional characterization of mossy cells in the behaving animal and demonstrate their active participation in spatial coding and contextual representation.
Project description:Adult neurogenesis occurs in the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb of the mammalian CNS. Recent studies have demonstrated that newborn granule cells of the adult hippocampus are postsynaptic targets of excitatory and inhibitory neurons, but evidence of synapse formation by the axons of these cells is still lacking. By combining retroviral expression of green fluorescent protein in adult-born neurons of the mouse dentate gyrus with immuno-electron microscopy, we found output synapses that were formed by labeled terminals on appropriate target cells in the CA3 area and the hilus. Furthermore, retroviral expression of channelrhodopsin-2 allowed us to light-stimulate newborn granule cells and identify postsynaptic target neurons by whole-cell recordings in acute slices. Our structural and functional evidence indicates that axons of adult-born granule cells establish synapses with hilar interneurons, mossy cells and CA3 pyramidal cells and release glutamate as their main neurotransmitter.
Project description:We have previously shown that double deletion of the genes for Rac1 and Rac3 GTPases during neuronal development affects late developmental events that perturb the circuitry of the hippocampus, with ensuing epileptic phenotype. These effects include a defect in mossy cells, the major class of excitatory neurons of the hilus. Here, we have addressed the mechanisms that affect the loss of hilar mossy cells in the dorsal hippocampus of mice depleted of the two Rac GTPases. Quantification showed that the loss of mossy cells was evident already at postnatal day 8, soon after these cells become identifiable by a specific marker in the dorsal hilus. Comparative analysis of the hilar region from control and double mutant mice revealed that synaptogenesis was affected in the double mutants, with strongly reduced presynaptic input from dentate granule cells. We found that apoptosis was equally low in the hippocampus of both control and double knockout mice. Labelling with bromodeoxyuridine at embryonic day 12.5 showed no evident difference in the proliferation of neuronal precursors in the hippocampal primordium, while differences in the number of bromodeoxyuridine-labelled cells in the developing hilus revealed a defect in the migration of immature, developing mossy cells in the brain of double knockout mice. Overall, our data show that Rac1 and Rac3 GTPases participate in the normal development of hilar mossy cells, and indicate that they are involved in the regulation of the migration of the mossy cell precursor by preventing their arrival to the dorsal hilus.
Project description:Stroke significantly stimulates neurogenesis in the adult dentate gyrus, though the functional role of this postlesional response is mostly unclear. Recent findings suggest that newborn neurons generated in the context of stroke may fail to correctly integrate into pre-existing networks. We hypothesized that increased neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus following stroke is associated with aberrant neurogenesis and impairment of hippocampus-dependent memory. To address these questions we used the middle cerebral artery occlusion model (MCAO) in mice. Animals were housed either under standard conditions or with free access to running wheels. Newborn granule cells were labelled with the thymidine analoque EdU and retroviral vectors. To assess memory performance, we employed a modified version of the Morris water maze (MWM) allowing differentiation between hippocampus dependent and independent learning strategies. Newborn neurons were morphologically analyzed using confocal microscopy and Neurolucida system at 7 weeks. We found that neurogenesis was significantly increased following MCAO. Animals with MCAO needed more time to localize the platform and employed less hippocampus-dependent search strategies in MWM versus controls. Confocal studies revealed an aberrant cell morphology with basal dendrites and an ectopic location (e.g. hilus) of new granule cells born in the ischemic brain. Running increased the number of new neurons but also enhanced aberrant neurogenesis. Running, did not improve the general performance in the MWM but slightly promoted the application of precise spatial search strategies. In conclusion, ischemic insults cause hippocampal-dependent memory deficits which are associated with aberrant neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus indicating ischemia-induced maladaptive plasticity in the hippocampus.
Project description:The Connector Enhancer of Kinase Suppressor of Ras-2 (CNKSR2), also known as CNK2 or MAGUIN, is a scaffolding molecule that contains functional protein binding domains: Sterile Alpha Motif (SAM) domain, Conserved Region in CNK (CRIC) domain, PSD-95/Dlg-A/ZO-1 (PDZ) domain, Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain, and C-terminal PDZ binding motif. CNKSR2 interacts with different molecules, including RAF1, ARHGAP39, and CYTH2, and regulates the Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) cascade and small GTPase signaling. CNKSR2 has been reported to control the development of dendrite and dendritic spines in primary neurons. CNKSR2 is encoded by the <i>CNKSR2</i> gene located in the X chromosome. <i>CNKSR2</i> is now considered as a causative gene of the Houge type of X-linked syndromic mental retardation (MRXHG), an X-linked Intellectual Disability (XLID) that exhibits delayed development, intellectual disability, early-onset seizures, language delay, attention deficit, and hyperactivity. In this review, we summarized molecular features, neuronal function, and neurodevelopmental disorder-related variations of <i>CNKSR2</i>.
Project description:Prescription opioid abuse is a serious public health issue. Recently, we showed that female and male Sprague-Dawley rats acquire conditioned place preference (CPP) to the mu opioid receptor agonist oxycodone. Anatomical analysis of the hippocampus from these rats unveiled sex differences in the opioid system in a way that would support excitation and opiate associative learning processes especially in females. In this study, we examined the expression and protein densities of opioid, plasticity, stress and related kinase and signaling molecules in the hippocampus of female and male rats following oxycodone CPP. Oxycodone CPP females have: a) increases in ARC (activity regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein)-immunoreactivity (ir) in CA3 pyramidal cells; b) decreases in Npy (neuropeptide Y) gene expression in the medial hippocampus but higher numbers of NPY-containing hilar interneurons compared to males; c) increases in Crhr2 (corticotropin releasing factor receptor 2) expression in CA2/3; d) increases in Akt1 (AKT serine/threonine kinase 1) expression in medial hippocampus; and e) decreases in phosphorylated MAPK (mitogen activated protein kinase)-ir in CA1 and dentate gyrus. Oxycodone CPP males have: a) increases in Bdnf (brain derived-neurotrophic factor) expression, which is known to be produced in granule cells, relative to females; b) elevated Mapk1 expression and pMAPK-ir in the dentate hilus which harbors newly generated granule cells; and c) increases in CRHR1-ir in CA3 pyramidal cell soma. These sex-specific changes in plasticity, stress and kinase markers in hippocampal circuitry parallel previously observed sex differences in the opioid system after oxycodone CPP.
Project description:MiR-451a is best known for its role in erythropoiesis and for its tumour suppressor features. Here we show a role for miR-451a in neuronal differentiation through analysis of endogenous and ectopically expressed or silenced miR-451a in Ntera2/D1 cells during neuronal differentiation. Furthermore, we compared neuronal differentiation in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus of miR-451a-/- and wild type mice. MiR-451a overexpression in lentiviral transduced Ntera2/D1 cells was associated with a significant shifting of mRNA expression of the developmental markers Nestin, βIII Tubulin, NF200, DCX and MAP2 to earlier developmental time points, compared to control vector transduced cells. In line with this, accelerated neuronal network formation in AB.G.miR-451a transduced cells, as well as an increase in neurite outgrowth both in number and length was observed. MiR-451a targets genes MIF, AKT1, CAB39, YWHAZ, RAB14, TSC1, OSR1, POU3F2, TNS4, PSMB8, CXCL16, CDKN2D and IL6R were, moreover, either constantly downregulated or exhibited shifted expression profiles in AB.G.miR-451a transduced cells. Lentiviral knockdown of endogenous miR-451a expression in Ntera2/D1 cells resulted in decelerated differentiation. Endogenous miR-451a expression was upregulated during development in the hippocampus of wildtype mice. In situ hybridization revealed intensively stained single cells in the subgranular zone and the hilus of the dentate gyrus of wild type mice, while genetic ablation of miR-451a was observed to promote an imbalance between proliferation and neuronal differentiation in neurogenic brain regions, suggested by Ki67 and DCX staining. Taken together, these results provide strong support for a role of miR-451a in neuronal maturation processes in vitro and in vivo.