Presenilins regulate synaptic plasticity and mitochondrial calcium homeostasis in the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway

  • dk/atira/pure/publikationen_lom_relevant/publikation_ist_nicht_scoring_relevant
  • Hamburg Center of Neuroscience (HCNS)
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • BACKGROUND: Presenilins play a major role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, in which the hippocampus is particularly vulnerable. Previous studies of Presenilin function in the synapse, however, focused exclusively on the hippocampal Schaffer collateral (SC) pathway. Whether Presenilins play similar or distinct roles in other hippocampal synapses is unknown.

    METHODS: To investigate the role of Presenilins at mossy fiber (MF) synapses we performed field and whole-cell electrophysiological recordings and Ca2+ imaging using acute hippocampal slices of postnatal forebrain-restricted Presenilin conditional double knockout (PS cDKO) and control mice at 2 months of age. We also performed quantitative electron microscopy (EM) analysis to determine whether mitochondrial content is affected at presynaptic MF boutons of PS cDKO mice. We further conducted behavioral analysis to assess spatial learning and memory of PS cDKO and control mice at 2 months in the Morris water maze.

    RESULTS: We found that long-term potentiation and short-term plasticity, such as paired-pulse and frequency facilitation, are impaired at MF synapses of PS cDKO mice. Moreover, post-tetanic potentiation (PTP), another form of short-term plasticity, is also impaired at MF synapses of PS cDKO mice. Furthermore, blockade of mitochondrial Ca2+ efflux mimics and occludes the PTP deficits at MF synapses of PS cDKO mice, suggesting that mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis is impaired in the absence of PS. Quantitative EM analysis showed normal number and area of mitochondria at presynaptic MF boutons of PS cDKO mice, indicating unchanged mitochondrial content. Ca2+ imaging of dentate gyrus granule neurons further revealed that cytosolic Ca2+ increases induced by tetanic stimulation are reduced in PS cDKO granule neurons in acute hippocampal slices, and that inhibition of mitochondrial Ca2+ release during high frequency stimulation mimics and occludes the Ca2+ defects observed in PS cDKO neurons. Consistent with synaptic plasticity impairment observed at MF and SC synapses in acute PS cDKO hippocampal slices, PS cDKO mice exhibit profound spatial learning and memory deficits in the Morris water maze.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate the importance of PS in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis in the hippocampal MF pathway.

  • info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
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