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  • 1
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE ; LONG-TERM POTENTIATION ; CELL-ADHESION MOLECULE ; polysialic acid ; CONDITIONED FEAR ; ADULT DENTATE GYRUS ; AGONIST D-CYCLOSERINE ; AUDITORY-EVOKED POTENTIALS ; COUPLED GLYCINE RECEPTOR ; D-ASPARTATE RECEPTORS
    Abstract: Neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is the predominant carrier of the unusual glycan polysialic acid (PSA). Deficits in PSA and/or NCAM expression cause impairments in hippocampal long-term potentiation and depression (LTP and LTD) and are associated with schizophrenia and aging. In this study, we show that impaired LTP in adult NCAM-deficient (NCAM(-/-)) mice is restored by increasing the activity of the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptor (GluN) through either reducing the extracellular Mg(2+) concentration or applying d-cycloserine (DCS), a partial agonist of the GluN glycine binding site. Pharmacological inhibition of the GluN2A subtype reduced LTP to the same level in NCAM(-/-) and wild-type (NCAM(+/+)) littermate mice and abolished the rescue by DCS in NCAM(-/-) mice, suggesting that the effects of DCS are mainly mediated by GluN2A. The insufficient contribution of GluN to LTD in NCAM(-/-) mice was also compensated for by DCS. Furthermore, impaired contextual and cued fear conditioning levels were restored in NCAM(-/-) mice by administration of DCS before conditioning. In 12-month-old NCAM(-/-), but not NCAM(+/+) mice, there was a decline in LTP compared with 3-month-old mice that could be rescued by DCS. In 24-month-old mice of both genotypes, there was a reduction in LTP that could be fully restored by DCS in NCAM(+/+) mice but only partially restored in NCAM(-/-) mice. Thus, several deficiencies of NCAM(-/-) mice can be ameliorated by enhancing GluN2A-mediated neurotransmission with DCS.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22396402
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  • 2
    Keywords: INDUCTION ; LONG-TERM POTENTIATION ; UP-REGULATION ; MODULATION ; CELL-ADHESION MOLECULE ; PLASTICITY ; polysialic acid ; MEMORY FORMATION ; CONSOLIDATION ; POLYSIALYLATION
    Abstract: Dynamic regulation of glycosylation of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) by an unusual large negatively charged polysialic acid (PSA) is the major prerequisite for correct formation of brain circuitries during development and for normal synaptic plasticity, learning and memory in the adult. Traditionally, PSA is viewed as a de-adhesive highly hydrated molecule, which interferes with cell adhesion and promotes cellular/synaptic dynamics by steric hindrance. Analysis of synaptic functions of PSA-NCAM highlighted additional features of this molecule. First, PSA promotes interaction of NCAM with heparan sulfate proteoglycans and thus stimulates synaptogenesis. Second, PSA-NCAM modulates glutamate receptors: it restrains activity of extrasynaptic GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors and facilitates activity of a subset of AMPA receptors. Perturbation in polysialylation and/or NCAM expression in mouse models recapitulates many symptoms of human brain disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and Alzheimer's disease.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22300986
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  • 3
    Keywords: brain ; EXPRESSION ; SYSTEM ; GENES ; MICE ; DISRUPTION ; CORTEX ; autism ; NEURONAL PATTERNS ; AMPA
    Abstract: In postnatal development, GluN2B-containing NMDARs are critical for the functional maturation of glutamatergic synapses. GluN2B-containing NMDARs prevail until the second postnatal week when GluN2A subunits are progressively added, conferring mature properties to NMDARs. In cortical principal neurons, deletion of GluN2B results in an increase in functional AMPAR synapses, suggesting that GluN2B-containing NMDARs set a brake on glutamate synapse maturation. The function of GluN2B in the maturation of glutamatergic inputs to cortical interneurons is not known. To examine the function of GluN2B in interneurons, we generated mutant mice with conditional deletion of GluN2B in interneurons (GluN2B(DeltaGAD67)). In GluN2B(DeltaGAD67) mice interneurons distributed normally in cortical brain regions. After the second postnatal week, GluN2B(DeltaGAD67) mice developed hippocampal seizures and died shortly thereafter. Before the onset of seizures, GluN2B-deficient hippocampal interneurons received fewer glutamatergic synaptic inputs than littermate controls, indicating that GluN2B-containing NMDARs positively regulate the maturation of glutamatergic input synapses in interneurons. These findings suggest that GluN2B-containing NMDARs keep the circuit activity under control by promoting the maturation of excitatory synapses in interneurons.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25429143
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