Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a potent modulator of brain synaptic plasticity. Signaling defects caused by dysregulation of its NTrk2 (TrkB) kinase (TrkB.FL) and truncated receptors (TrkB.T1) have been linked to the pathophysiology of several neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. We found that upregulation of Rbfox1, an RNA binding protein associated with intellectual disability, epilepsy and autism, increases selectively hippocampal TrkB.T1 isoform expression. Physiologically, increased Rbfox1 impairs BDNF-dependent LTP which can be rescued by genetically restoring TrkB.T1 levels. RNA-seq analysis of hippocampi with upregulation of Rbfox1 in conjunction with the specific increase of TrkB.T1 isoform expression also shows that the genes affected by Rbfox1 gain of function are surprisingly different from those influenced by Rbfox1 deletion. These findings not only identify TrkB as a major target of Rbfox1 pathophysiology but also suggest that gain or loss of function of Rbfox1 regulate different genetic landscapes.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Table 1 and 2.
Co-regulation of splicing by Rbfox1 and hnRNP MNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE71468.
- Maggie Cam
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experimental procedures followed the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for animal care and use, and were approved by the NCI-Frederick Animal Care and Use Committee.
- Moses V Chao, New York University Langone Medical Center, United States
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by selective vulnerability of distinct cell populations; however, the cause for this specificity remains elusive. Here we show that entorhinal cortex layer 2 (EC2) neurons are unusually vulnerable to prolonged neuronal inactivity compared with neighboring regions of the temporal lobe, and that reelin+ stellate cells connecting EC with the hippocampus are preferentially susceptible within the EC2 population. We demonstrate that neuronal death after silencing can be elicited through multiple independent means of activity inhibition, and that preventing synaptic release, either alone or in combination with electrical shunting, is sufficient to elicit silencing-induced degeneration. Finally, we discovered that degeneration following synaptic silencing is governed by competition between active and inactive cells, which is a circuit refinement process traditionally thought to end early in postnatal life. Our data suggests that the developmental window for wholesale circuit plasticity may extend into adulthood for specific brain regions. We speculate that this sustained potential for remodeling by entorhinal neurons may support lifelong memory but renders them vulnerable to prolonged activity changes in disease.
Human behaviour requires flexible arbitration between actions we do out of habit and actions that are directed towards a specific goal. Drugs that target opioid and dopamine receptors are notorious for inducing maladaptive habitual drug consumption; yet, how the opioidergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems contribute to the arbitration between habitual and goal-directed behaviour is poorly understood. By combining pharmacological challenges with a well-established decision-making task and a novel computational model, we show that the administration of the dopamine D2/3 receptor antagonist amisulpride led to an increase in goal-directed or ‘model-based’ relative to habitual or ‘model-free’ behaviour, whereas the non-selective opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone had no appreciable effect. The effect of amisulpride on model-based/model-free behaviour did not scale with drug serum levels in the blood. Furthermore, participants with higher amisulpride serum levels showed higher explorative behaviour. These findings highlight the distinct functional contributions of dopamine and opioid receptors to goal-directed and habitual behaviour and support the notion that even small doses of amisulpride promote flexible application of cognitive control.