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Neurosci Bull. 2019 Jun;35(3):497-506. doi: 10.1007/s12264-019-00347-y. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Neuroligins Differentially Mediate Subtype-Specific Synapse Formation in Pyramidal Neurons and Interneurons.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, Institute of Neuroscience, NHC and CAMS Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310058, China.
2
JNU-HKUST Joint Laboratory for Neuroscience and Innovative Drug Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, China.
3
Division of Life Science, Division of Biomedical Engineering and State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.
4
Department of Neurobiology, Institute of Neuroscience, NHC and CAMS Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310058, China. luojianhong@zju.edu.cn.
5
Department of Neurobiology, Institute of Neuroscience, NHC and CAMS Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310058, China. junyu@zju.edu.cn.

Abstract

Neuroligins (NLs) are postsynaptic cell-adhesion proteins that play important roles in synapse formation and the excitatory-inhibitory balance. They have been associated with autism in both human genetic and animal model studies, and affect synaptic connections and synaptic plasticity in several brain regions. Yet current research mainly focuses on pyramidal neurons, while the function of NLs in interneurons remains to be understood. To explore the functional difference among NLs in the subtype-specific synapse formation of both pyramidal neurons and interneurons, we performed viral-mediated shRNA knockdown of NLs in cultured rat cortical neurons and examined the synapses in the two major types of neurons. Our results showed that in both types of neurons, NL1 and NL3 were involved in excitatory synapse formation, and NL2 in GABAergic synapse formation. Interestingly, NL1 affected GABAergic synapse formation more specifically than NL3, and NL2 affected excitatory synapse density preferentially in pyramidal neurons. In summary, our results demonstrated that different NLs play distinct roles in regulating the development and balance of excitatory and inhibitory synapses in pyramidal neurons and interneurons.

KEYWORDS:

Excitatory/inhibitory balance; Interneuron; Neuroligin; Synapse formation

PMID:
30790215
PMCID:
PMC6527637
[Available on 2020-06-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s12264-019-00347-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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