Search result for : author:lu-yang wang

Total 3 result(s) found

Identification of a molecular locus for normalizing dysregulated GABA release from interneurons in the Fragile X brain.

Principal neurons encode information by varying their firing rate and patterns precisely fine-tuned through GABAergic interneurons. Dysregulation of inhibition can lead to neuropsychiatric disorders, yet little is known about the molecular basis underlying inhibitory control. Here, we find that excessive GABA release from basket cells (BCs) attenuates the firing frequency of Purkinje neurons (PNs) in the cerebellum of Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 (Fmr1) knockout (KO) mice, a model of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) with abrogated expression of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP). This over-inhibition originates from increased excitability and Ca transients in the presynaptic terminals, where Kv1.2 potassium channels are downregulated. By paired patch-clamp recordings, we further demonstrate that acutely introducing an N-terminal fragment of FMRP into BCs normalizes GABA release in the Fmr1-KO synapses. Conversely, direct injection of an inhibitory FMRP antibody into BCs, or membrane depolarization of BCs, enhances GABA release in the wild type synapses, leading to abnormal inhibitory transmission comparable to the Fmr1-KO neurons. We discover that the N-terminus of FMRP directly binds to a phosphorylated serine motif on the C-terminus of Kv1.2; and that loss of this interaction in BCs exaggerates GABA release, compromising the firing activity of PNs and thus the output from the cerebellar circuitry. An allosteric Kv1.2 agonist, docosahexaenoic acid, rectifies the dysregulated inhibition in vitro as well as acoustic startle reflex and social interaction in vivo of the Fmr1-KO mice. Our results unravel a novel molecular locus for targeted intervention of FXS and perhaps autism.

Yi-Mei Yang, Jason Arsenault, Alaji Bah, Mickael Krzeminski, Adam Fekete, Owen Y Chao, Laura K Pacey, Alex Wang, Julie Forman-Kay, David R Hampson, Lu-Yang Wang

Gene delivery in mouse auditory brainstem and hindbrain using in utero electroporation.

Manipulation of gene expression via recombinant viral vectors and creation of transgenic knock-out/in animals has revolutionized our understanding of genes that play critical roles during neuronal development and pathophysiology of neurological disorders. Recently, target-specific genetic manipulations are made possible to perform in combination with specific Cre-lines, albeit costly, labor-intensive and time consuming. Thus, alternative methods of gene manipulations to address important biological questions are highly desirable. In this study, we utilized in utero electroporation technique which involves efficient delivery of hindbrain-specific enhancer/promoter construct, Krox20 into the third ventricle of live mouse embryo to investigate green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression pattern in mouse auditory brainstem and other hindbrain neurons. We created a GFP/DNA construct containing a Krox20 B enhancer and β-globin promoter to drive GFP expression in the hindbrain via injection into the third ventricle of E12 to E13.5 mice. Electrical currents were applied directly to the embryonic hindbrain to allow DNA uptake into the cell. Confocal images were then acquired from fixed brain slices to analyze GFP expression in mouse whole brain at different postnatal stages (P6-P21). By using a cell-type specific enhancer as well as region specific injection and electroporation, robust GFP expression in the cerebellum and auditory brainstem but not in the forebrain was observed. GFP expression in calyx of Held terminals was more robust in <P15 compared to >P15 mice. In contrast, GFP expression in MNTB neurons was more prevalent in >P15 compared to <P15. In regards to the relative expression of GFP versus the synaptic marker Vglut1, percentage fluorescence GFP intensity in the calyx was higher in P11 to P15 than P6 to P10 and P16 to P21 groups. Taken together, this technique would potentially allow hindbrain-specific genetic manipulations such as knock-down, knock-in and rescue experiments to unravel critical molecular substrates underpinning functional and morphological remodeling of synapses as well as understanding the pathophysiology of certain neurological disorders targeting not only the auditory brainstem but also other parts of hindbrain, most notably the cerebellum.

Laurence S David, Jamila Aitoubah, Lee Stephen Lesperance, Lu-Yang Wang

Enhancing the fidelity of neurotransmission by activity-dependent facilitation of presynaptic potassium currents.

Neurons convey information in bursts of spikes across chemical synapses where the fidelity of information transfer critically depends on synaptic input-output relationship. With a limited number of synaptic vesicles (SVs) in the readily releasable pool (RRP), how nerve terminals sustain transmitter release during intense activity remains poorly understood. Here we report that presynaptic K(+) currents evoked by spikes facilitate in a Ca(2+)-independent but frequency- and voltage-dependent manner. Experimental evidence and computer simulations demonstrate that this facilitation originates from dynamic transition of intermediate gating states of voltage-gated K(+) channels (Kvs), and specifically attenuates spike amplitude and inter-spike potential during high-frequency firing. Single or paired recordings from a mammalian central synapse further reveal that facilitation of Kvs constrains presynaptic Ca(2+) influx, thereby efficiently allocating SVs in the RRP to drive postsynaptic spiking at high rates. We conclude that presynaptic Kv facilitation imparts neurons with a powerful control of transmitter release to dynamically support high-fidelity neurotransmission.

Yi-Mei Yang, Wei Wang, Michael J Fedchyshyn, Zhuan Zhou, Jiuping Ding, Lu-Yang Wang