Microglia continuously monitor synapses, but active synaptic remodelling by microglia in mature healthy brains is rarely directly observed. We performed targeted photoablation of single synapses in mature transgenic mice expressing fluorescent labels in neurons and microglia. The photodamage focally increased the duration of microglia-neuron contacts, and dramatically exacerbated both the turnover of dendritic spines and presynaptic boutons as well as the generation of new filopodia originating from spine heads or boutons. The results of microglia depletion confirmed that elevated spine turnover and the generation of presynaptic filopodia are microglia-dependent processes.
All measurements, statistical analyses and the R code generated and used in this study are included in the manuscript.
- Klaus-Dieter Fischer
- Alexander Dityatev
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animals were treated in strict accordance with ethical animal research standards defined by the Directive 2010/63/EU, German law and approved by the Ethical Committee on Animal Health and Care of Saxony-Anhalt state, Germany (license number: 42502-2-1346).
- Beth Stevens, Boston Children's Hospital, United States
© 2020, Cangalaya et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The circadian clock orchestrates daily changes in physiology and behavior to ensure internal temporal order and optimal timing across the day. In animals, a central brain clock coordinates circadian rhythms throughout the body and is characterized by a remarkable robustness that depends on synaptic connections between constituent neurons. The clock neuron network of Drosophila, which shares network motifs with clock networks in the mammalian brain yet is built of many fewer neurons, offers a powerful model for understanding the network properties of circadian timekeeping. Here we report an assessment of synaptic connectivity within a clock network, focusing on the critical lateral neuron (LN) clock neuron classes within the Janelia hemibrain dataset. Our results reveal that previously identified anatomical and functional subclasses of LNs represent distinct connectomic types. Moreover, we identify a small number of non-clock cell subtypes representing highly synaptically coupled nodes within the clock neuron network. This suggests that neurons lacking molecular timekeeping likely play integral roles within the circadian timekeeping network. To our knowledge, this represents the first comprehensive connectomic analysis of a circadian neuronal network.
Mutations in the RNA helicase, DDX3X, are a leading cause of Intellectual Disability and present as DDX3X syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with cortical malformations and autism. Yet, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which DDX3X controls cortical development are largely unknown. Here, using a mouse model of Ddx3x loss-of-function we demonstrate that DDX3X directs translational and cell cycle control of neural progenitors, which underlies precise corticogenesis. First, we show brain development is sensitive to Ddx3x dosage; complete Ddx3x loss from neural progenitors causes microcephaly in females, whereas hemizygous males and heterozygous females show reduced neurogenesis without marked microcephaly. In addition, Ddx3x loss is sexually dimorphic, as its paralog, Ddx3y, compensates for Ddx3x in the developing male neocortex. Using live imaging of progenitors, we show that DDX3X promotes neuronal generation by regulating both cell cycle duration and neurogenic divisions. Finally, we use ribosome profiling in vivo to discover the repertoire of translated transcripts in neural progenitors, including those which are DDX3X-dependent and essential for neurogenesis. Our study reveals invaluable new insights into the etiology of DDX3X syndrome, implicating dysregulated progenitor cell cycle dynamics and translation as pathogenic mechanisms.