The correct morphofunctional shaping of the cerebral cortex requires a continuous interaction between intrinsic (genes/molecules expressed within the tissue) and extrinsic (e.g., neural activity) factors at all developmental stages. Forkhead Box G1 (FOXG1) is an evolutionarily conserved transcription factor, essential for the cerebral cortex patterning and layering. FOXG1-related disorders, including the congenital form of Rett syndrome, can be caused by deletions, intragenic mutations or duplications. These genetic alterations are associated with a complex phenotypic spectrum, spanning from intellectual disability, microcephaly, to autistic features, and epilepsy. We investigated the functional correlates of dysregulated gene expression by performing electrophysiological assays on FoxG1+/- mice. Local Field Potential (LFP) recordings on freely moving animals detected cortical hyperexcitability. On the other hand, patch-clamp recordings showed a downregulation of spontaneous glutamatergic transmission. These findings were accompanied by overactivation of Akt/S6 signaling. Furthermore, the expression of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (vGluT2) was increased, whereas the level of the potassium/chloride cotransporter KCC2 was reduced, thus indicating a higher excitation/inhibition ratio. Our findings provide evidence that altered expression of a key gene for cortical development can result in specific alterations in neural circuit function at the macro- and micro-scale, along with dysregulated intracellular signaling and expression of proteins controlling circuit excitability.

The correct morphofunctional shaping of the cerebral cortex requires a continuous interaction between intrinsic (genes/molecules expressed within the tissue) and extrinsic (e.g., neural activity) factors at all developmental stages. Forkhead Box G1 (FOXG1) is an evolutionarily conserved transcription factor, essential for the cerebral cortex patterning and layering. FOXG1-related disorders, including the congenital form of Rett syndrome, can be caused by deletions, intragenic mutations or duplications. These genetic alterations are associated with a complex phenotypic spectrum, spanning from intellectual disability, microcephaly, to autistic features, and epilepsy. We investigated the functional correlates of dysregulated gene expression by performing electrophysiological assays on FoxG1+/- mice. Local Field Potential (LFP) recordings on freely moving animals detected cortical hyperexcitability. On the other hand, patch-clamp recordings showed a downregulation of spontaneous glutamatergic transmission. These findings were accompanied by overactivation of Akt/S6 signaling. Furthermore, the expression of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (vGluT2) was increased, whereas the level of the potassium/chloride cotransporter KCC2 was reduced, thus indicating a higher excitation/inhibition ratio. Our findings provide evidence that altered expression of a key gene for cortical development can result in specific alterations in neural circuit function at the macro- and micro-scale, along with dysregulated intracellular signaling and expression of proteins controlling circuit excitability.

Cortical Seizures in FoxG1 +/− mice are accompanied by akt/s6 overactivation, excitation/inhibition imbalance and impaired synaptic transmission

Testa G.;Olimpico F.;Pancrazi L.;Cattaneo A.;Caleo M.;Costa M.
;
Mainardi M.
2019

Abstract

The correct morphofunctional shaping of the cerebral cortex requires a continuous interaction between intrinsic (genes/molecules expressed within the tissue) and extrinsic (e.g., neural activity) factors at all developmental stages. Forkhead Box G1 (FOXG1) is an evolutionarily conserved transcription factor, essential for the cerebral cortex patterning and layering. FOXG1-related disorders, including the congenital form of Rett syndrome, can be caused by deletions, intragenic mutations or duplications. These genetic alterations are associated with a complex phenotypic spectrum, spanning from intellectual disability, microcephaly, to autistic features, and epilepsy. We investigated the functional correlates of dysregulated gene expression by performing electrophysiological assays on FoxG1+/- mice. Local Field Potential (LFP) recordings on freely moving animals detected cortical hyperexcitability. On the other hand, patch-clamp recordings showed a downregulation of spontaneous glutamatergic transmission. These findings were accompanied by overactivation of Akt/S6 signaling. Furthermore, the expression of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (vGluT2) was increased, whereas the level of the potassium/chloride cotransporter KCC2 was reduced, thus indicating a higher excitation/inhibition ratio. Our findings provide evidence that altered expression of a key gene for cortical development can result in specific alterations in neural circuit function at the macro- and micro-scale, along with dysregulated intracellular signaling and expression of proteins controlling circuit excitability.
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
Electrophysiology; Epilepsy; Rett syndrome
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/109894
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