The precise control of growth and maintenance of the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) dendrite arborization is critical for normal visual functions in mammals. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here we find that the m6A reader YTHDF2 is highly expressed in the mouse RGCs. Conditional knockout (cKO) of Ythdf2 in the retina leads to increased RGC dendrite branching, resulting in more synapses in the inner plexiform layer. Interestingly, the Ythdf2 cKO mice show improved visual acuity compared with control mice. We further demonstrate that Ythdf2 cKO in the retina protects RGCs from dendrite degeneration caused by the experimental acute glaucoma model. We identify the m6A-modified YTHDF2 target transcripts which mediate these effects. This study reveals mechanisms by which YTHDF2 restricts RGC dendrite development and maintenance. YTHDF2 and its target mRNAs might be valuable in developing new treatment approaches for glaucomatous eyes.
The RIP-seq data have been deposited to the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) with accession number GSE145390. The mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE partner repository with the dataset identifier PXD017775.
Anti YTHDF2 RIP-seq to identify YTHDF2 target mRNAs in P0 mouse retinasNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE145390.
- Sheng-Jian Ji
- Sheng-Jian Ji
- Bo Peng
- Bo Peng
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experiments using mice were carried out following the animal protocols approved by the Laboratory Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee of Southern University of Science and Technology (approval numbers: SUSTC-JY2017004, SUSTC-JY2019081).
- Carol A Mason, Columbia University, United States
- Received: November 24, 2021
- Preprint posted: December 7, 2021 (view preprint)
- Accepted: February 16, 2022
- Accepted Manuscript published: February 18, 2022 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: March 9, 2022 (version 2)
- Version of Record updated: March 14, 2022 (version 3)
- Version of Record updated: April 4, 2022 (version 4)
© 2022, Niu 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.
Cochlear implants are neuroprosthetic devices that can restore hearing in people with severe to profound hearing loss by electrically stimulating the auditory nerve. Because of physical limitations on the precision of this stimulation, the acoustic information delivered by a cochlear implant does not convey the same level of acoustic detail as that conveyed by normal hearing. As a result, speech understanding in listeners with cochlear implants is typically poorer and more effortful than in listeners with normal hearing. The brain networks supporting speech understanding in listeners with cochlear implants are not well understood, partly due to difficulties obtaining functional neuroimaging data in this population. In the current study, we assessed the brain regions supporting spoken word understanding in adult listeners with right unilateral cochlear implants (n=20) and matched controls (n=18) using high-density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT), a quiet and non-invasive imaging modality with spatial resolution comparable to that of functional MRI. We found that while listening to spoken words in quiet, listeners with cochlear implants showed greater activity in the left prefrontal cortex than listeners with normal hearing, specifically in a region engaged in a separate spatial working memory task. These results suggest that listeners with cochlear implants require greater cognitive processing during speech understanding than listeners with normal hearing, supported by compensatory recruitment of the left prefrontal cortex.
Sleep strongly affects synaptic strength, making it critical for cognition, especially learning and memory formation. Whether and how sleep deprivation modulates human brain physiology and cognition is not well understood. Here we examined how overnight sleep deprivation vs overnight sufficient sleep affects (a) cortical excitability, measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation, (b) inducibility of long-term potentiation (LTP)- and long-term depression (LTD)-like plasticity via transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and (c) learning, memory, and attention. The results suggest that sleep deprivation upscales cortical excitability due to enhanced glutamate-related cortical facilitation and decreases and/or reverses GABAergic cortical inhibition. Furthermore, tDCS-induced LTP-like plasticity (anodal) abolishes while the inhibitory LTD-like plasticity (cathodal) converts to excitatory LTP-like plasticity under sleep deprivation. This is associated with increased EEG theta oscillations due to sleep pressure. Finally, we show that learning and memory formation, behavioral counterparts of plasticity, and working memory and attention, which rely on cortical excitability, are impaired during sleep deprivation. Our data indicate that upscaled brain excitability and altered plasticity, due to sleep deprivation, are associated with impaired cognitive performance. Besides showing how brain physiology and cognition undergo changes (from neurophysiology to higher-order cognition) under sleep pressure, the findings have implications for variability and optimal application of noninvasive brain stimulation.