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J Neurophysiol. 2018 Oct 17. doi: 10.1152/jn.00638.2018. [Epub ahead of print]

Direct assessment of presynaptic modulation of cortico-striatal glutamate release in a Huntington's disease mouse model.

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Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Canada.
Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.


Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, and impairments in its signaling are associated with many neurological disorders, including Huntington's Disease (HD). Previous studies in HD mouse models demonstrate altered glutamate receptor distribution and signaling at cortico-striatal synapses, and some studies suggest glutamate release is altered; however, traditional methods to study synaptic glutamate release are indirect or have poor temporal resolution. Here we utilize iGluSnFR, a modified GFP reporter for real-time imaging of glutamate transmission, to study presynaptic modulation of cortical glutamate release in the striatum of the YAC128 HD mouse model. We determined that iGluSnFR can be used to accurately measure short- and long-term changes in glutamate release caused by modulation of extracellular Ca2+ levels, activation of presynaptic receptors, and high frequency stimulation (HFS) protocols. We also confirmed a difference in the expression of HFS-induced long-term depression in YAC128. Together, this research demonstrates the utility of iGluSnFR in studying presynaptic modulation of glutamate release in healthy mice and disease models that display impairments in glutamate signalling.


HFS-LTD; Huntington's disease; cortico-striatal; glutamate; iGluSnFR


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