Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) is a secreted endopeptidase targeting extracellular matrix proteins, creating permissive environments for neuronal development and plasticity. Developmental dysregulation of MMP-9 may also lead to neurodevelopmental disorders (ND). Here we test the hypothesis that chronically elevated MMP-9 activity during early neurodevelopment is responsible for neural circuit hyperconnectivity observed in Xenopus tadpoles after early exposure to valproic acid (VPA), a known teratogen associated with ND in humans. In Xenopus tadpoles, VPA exposure results in excess local synaptic connectivity, disrupted social behavior and increased seizure susceptibility. We found that overexpressing MMP-9 in the brain copies effects of VPA on synaptic connectivity, and blocking MMP-9 activity pharmacologically or genetically reverses effects of VPA on physiology and behavior. We further show that during normal neurodevelopment MMP-9 levels are tightly regulated by neuronal activity and required for structural plasticity. These studies show a critical role for MMP-9 in both normal and abnormal development.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Eric J James
- Carlos Aizenman
- Carlos Aizenman
- Lin-Chien Huang
- Hollis T Cline
- Lin-Chien Huang
- Hollis T Cline
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal experiments were performed in accordance with and approved by Brown University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee standards and guidelines (Protocol number 19-05-0016).
- Lisa M Monteggia, Vanderbilt University, United States
© 2021, Gore 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.
Complex behaviors depend on the coordinated activity of neural ensembles in interconnected brain areas. The behavioral function of such coordination, often measured as co-fluctuations in neural activity across areas, is poorly understood. One hypothesis is that rapidly varying co-fluctuations may be a signature of moment-by-moment task-relevant influences of one area on another. We tested this possibility for error-corrective adaptation of birdsong, a form of motor learning which has been hypothesized to depend on the top-down influence of a higher-order area, LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium), in shaping moment-by-moment output from a primary motor area, RA (robust nucleus of the arcopallium). In paired recordings of LMAN and RA in singing birds, we discovered a neural signature of a top-down influence of LMAN on RA, quantified as an LMAN-leading co-fluctuation in activity between these areas. During learning, this co-fluctuation strengthened in a premotor temporal window linked to the specific movement, sequential context, and acoustic modification associated with learning. Moreover, transient perturbation of LMAN activity specifically within this premotor window caused rapid occlusion of pitch modifications, consistent with LMAN conveying a temporally localized motor-biasing signal. Combined, our results reveal a dynamic top-down influence of LMAN on RA that varies on the rapid timescale of individual movements and is flexibly linked to contexts associated with learning. This finding indicates that inter-area co-fluctuations can be a signature of dynamic top-down influences that support complex behavior and its adaptation.
The Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars, is exploited to produce flavorful food ubiquitously, from the baking industry to our everyday lives. However, the Maillard reaction also occurs in all cells, from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, forming Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs). AGEs are a heterogeneous group of compounds resulting from the irreversible reaction between biomolecules and α-dicarbonyls (α-DCs), including methylglyoxal (MGO), an unavoidable byproduct of anaerobic glycolysis and lipid peroxidation. We previously demonstrated that Caenorhabditis elegans mutants lacking the glod-4 glyoxalase enzyme displayed enhanced accumulation of α-DCs, reduced lifespan, increased neuronal damage, and touch hypersensitivity. Here, we demonstrate that glod-4 mutation increased food intake and identify that MGO-derived hydroimidazolone, MG-H1, is a mediator of the observed increase in food intake. RNAseq analysis in glod-4 knockdown worms identified upregulation of several neurotransmitters and feeding genes. Suppressor screening of the overfeeding phenotype identified the tdc-1-tyramine-tyra-2/ser-2 signaling as an essential pathway mediating AGEs (MG-H1) induced feeding in glod-4 mutants. We also identified the elt-3 GATA transcription factor as an essential upstream regulator for increased feeding upon accumulation of AGEs by partially controlling the expression of tdc-1 gene. Further, the lack of either tdc-1 or tyra-2/ser-2 receptors suppresses the reduced lifespan and rescues neuronal damage observed in glod-4 mutants. Thus, in C. elegans, we identified an elt-3 regulated tyramine-dependent pathway mediating the toxic effects of MG-H1 AGE. Understanding this signaling pathway may help understand hedonistic overfeeding behavior observed due to modern AGEs-rich diets.