Lasting changes in gene expression are critical for the formation of long-term memories (LTMs), depending on the conserved CrebB transcriptional activator. While requirement of distinct neurons in defined circuits for different learning and memory phases have been studied in detail, only little is known regarding the gene regulatory changes that occur within these neurons. We here use the fruit fly as powerful model system to study the neural circuits of CrebB-dependent appetitive olfactory LTM. We edited the CrebB locus to create a GFP-tagged CrebB conditional knockout allele, allowing us to generate mutant, post-mitotic neurons with high spatial and temporal precision. Investigating CrebB-dependence within the mushroom body (MB) circuit we show that MB α/β and α'/β' neurons as well as MBON α3, but not in dopaminergic neurons require CrebB for LTM. Thus, transcriptional memory traces occur in different neurons within the same neural circuit.
All data is included in the manuscript.
- Simon G Sprecher
- Simon G Sprecher
- Simon G Sprecher
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Leslie C Griffith, Brandeis University, United States
© 2018, Widmer et al.
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De novo mutations in voltage- and ligand-gated channels have been associated with an increasing number of cases of developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, which often fail to respond to classic antiseizure medications. Here, we examine two knock-in mouse models replicating de novo sequence variations in the HCN1 voltage-gated channel gene, p.G391D and p.M153I (Hcn1G380D/+ and Hcn1M142I/+ in mouse), associated with severe drug-resistant neonatal- and childhood-onset epilepsy, respectively. Heterozygous mice from both lines displayed spontaneous generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Animals replicating the p.G391D variant had an overall more severe phenotype, with pronounced alterations in the levels and distribution of HCN1 protein, including disrupted targeting to the axon terminals of basket cell interneurons. In line with clinical reports from patients with pathogenic HCN1 sequence variations, administration of the antiepileptic Na+ channel antagonists lamotrigine and phenytoin resulted in the paradoxical induction of seizures in both mouse lines, consistent with an effect to further impair inhibitory neuron function. We also show that these variants can render HCN1 channels unresponsive to classic antagonists, indicating the need to screen mutated channels to identify novel compounds with diverse mechanism of action. Our results underscore the necessity of tailoring effective therapies for specific channel gene variants, and how strongly validated animal models may provide an invaluable tool towards reaching this objective.
Sleep and plasticity are highly interrelated, as sleep slow oscillations and sleep spindles are associated with consolidation of Hebbian-based processes. However, in adult humans, visual cortical plasticity is mainly sustained by homeostatic mechanisms, for which the role of sleep is still largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that non-REM sleep stabilizes homeostatic plasticity of ocular dominance induced in adult humans by short-term monocular deprivation: the counter-intuitive and otherwise transient boost of the deprived eye was preserved at the morning awakening (>6 hours after deprivation). Subjects exhibiting a stronger boost of the deprived eye after sleep had increased sleep spindle density in frontopolar electrodes, suggesting the involvement of distributed processes. Crucially, the individual susceptibility to visual homeostatic plasticity soon after deprivation correlated with the changes in sleep slow oscillations and spindle power in occipital sites, consistent with a modulation in early occipital visual cortex.