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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2010 Jan;43(1):81-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2009.09.006. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

Kalirin loss results in cortical morphological alterations.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.

Abstract

Morphogenesis of pyramidal neuronal dendrites and spines is crucial for the formation and refinement of forebrain neuronal circuits underlying cognition. Aberrant dendrite and spine morphology is associated with neuropathological disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms controlling pyramidal neuronal dendrite and spine morphogenesis in vivo remain largely unknown. Kalirin is a brain-specific guanine-nucleotide exchange factor for Rho-like small GTPases, and an important regulator of spine morphogenesis in cultured neurons. Here we show that RNAi-dependent knockdown of kalirin in cultured neurons affected dendrite morphology. Cortical pyramidal neurons from KALRN-null mice showed reduced spine density and impaired activity-dependent spine plasticity; and they exhibited reduced complexity of dendritic trees. KALRN-null mice also displayed smaller neuronal cell bodies and reductions in the size of the cortex and cortical layers. These data demonstrate important roles for kalirin in the regulation of cortical structure, ultrastructure, and spine structural plasticity.

PMID:
19800004
PMCID:
PMC2818244
DOI:
10.1016/j.mcn.2009.09.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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