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Hippocampus. 2008;18(3):294-309.

The MeCP2-null mouse hippocampus displays altered basal inhibitory rhythms and is prone to hyperexcitability.

Author information

1
Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2S8, Canada.

Abstract

Rett syndrome is an autism-spectrum disorder caused by loss of function mutations within the gene encoding methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). While subtle decreases in synaptic plasticity have been detected within cortical and hippocampal neurons of Mecp2-null mice, only minimal information exists regarding how the loss of MeCP2 affects network activity in the brain. To address this issue, we compared the intrinsic network activities of Mecp2-null hippocampal slices derived from symptomatic mice to wild-type slices. Extracellular and whole-cell patch recordings revealed that although spontaneous, IPSP-based rhythmic activity is present in Mecp2-null slices; its frequency is significantly reduced from wild-type. This reduction was not associated with alterations in the gross electrophysiological properties of hippocampal neurons, but was associated with a decreased level of spontaneous glutamate receptor-mediated synaptic currents in hippocampal CA3 neurons. Paradoxically, however, repetitive sharp wave-like discharges were readily induced in the Mecp2-null hippocampal slices by a brief train of high-frequency stimulation commonly used to establish long-term potentiation at wild-type slices. Taken together, our data indicate that the Mecp2-null hippocampal CA3 circuit has diminished basal inhibitory rhythmic activity, which in turn renders the circuitry prone to hyperexcitability.

PMID:
18058824
DOI:
10.1002/hipo.20389
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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