Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are pervasive neurodevelopmental conditions that often involve mutations affecting synaptic mechanisms. Recently, the involvement of cerebellum in ASDs has been suggested, but the underlying functional alterations remained obscure. We investigated single-neuron and microcircuit properties in IB2 (Islet Brain-2) KO mice of either sex. The IB2 gene (chr22q13.3 terminal region) deletion occurs in virtually all cases of Phelan-McDermid syndrome, causing autistic symptoms and a severe delay in motor skill acquisition. IB2 KO granule cells showed a larger NMDA receptor-mediated current and enhanced intrinsic excitability, raising the excitatory/inhibitory balance. Furthermore, the spatial organization of granular layer responses to mossy fibers shifted from a "Mexican hat" to a "stovepipe hat" profile, with stronger excitation in the core and weaker inhibition in the surround. Finally, the size and extension of long-term synaptic plasticity were remarkably increased. These results show for the first time that hyperexcitability and hyperplasticity disrupt signal transfer in the granular layer of IB2 KO mice, supporting cerebellar involvement in the pathogenesis of ASD.

Hyperexcitability and Hyperplasticity Disrupt Cerebellar Signal Transfer in the IB2 KO Mouse Model of Autism

Soda, Teresa;
2019-01-01

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are pervasive neurodevelopmental conditions that often involve mutations affecting synaptic mechanisms. Recently, the involvement of cerebellum in ASDs has been suggested, but the underlying functional alterations remained obscure. We investigated single-neuron and microcircuit properties in IB2 (Islet Brain-2) KO mice of either sex. The IB2 gene (chr22q13.3 terminal region) deletion occurs in virtually all cases of Phelan-McDermid syndrome, causing autistic symptoms and a severe delay in motor skill acquisition. IB2 KO granule cells showed a larger NMDA receptor-mediated current and enhanced intrinsic excitability, raising the excitatory/inhibitory balance. Furthermore, the spatial organization of granular layer responses to mossy fibers shifted from a "Mexican hat" to a "stovepipe hat" profile, with stronger excitation in the core and weaker inhibition in the surround. Finally, the size and extension of long-term synaptic plasticity were remarkably increased. These results show for the first time that hyperexcitability and hyperplasticity disrupt signal transfer in the granular layer of IB2 KO mice, supporting cerebellar involvement in the pathogenesis of ASD.
2019
NMDA receptor
autism
cerebellum
excitatory/inhibitory balance
hyperplasticity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/89828
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