MeCP2 regulates the timing of critical period plasticity that shapes functional connectivity in primary visual cortex

Krishnan, K., Wang, B. S., Lu, J., Wang, L., Maffei, A., Cang, J., Huang, Z. J. (August 2015) MeCP2 regulates the timing of critical period plasticity that shapes functional connectivity in primary visual cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 112 (34). E4782-E4791. ISSN 1091-6490 (Electronic)0027-8424 (Linking)

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DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1506499112


Mutations in methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) cause Rett syndrome, an autism spectrum-associated disorder with a host of neurological and sensory symptoms, but the pathogenic mechanisms remain elusive. Neuronal circuits are shaped by experience during critical periods of heightened plasticity. The maturation of cortical GABA inhibitory circuitry, the parvalbumin+ (PV+) fast-spiking interneurons in particular, is a key component that regulates the initiation and termination of the critical period. Using MeCP2-null mice, we examined experience-dependent development of neural circuits in the primary visual cortex. The functional maturation of parvalbumin interneurons was accelerated upon vision onset, as indicated by elevated GABA synthetic enzymes, vesicular GABA transporter, perineuronal nets, and enhanced GABA transmission among PV interneurons. These changes correlated with a precocious onset and closure of critical period and deficient binocular visual function in mature animals. Reduction of GAD67 expression rescued the precocious opening of the critical period, suggesting its major role in MECP2-mediated regulation of experience-driven circuit development. Our results identify molecular changes in a defined cortical cell type and link aberrant developmental trajectory to functional deficits in a model of neuropsychiatric disorder.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: MeCP2 Rett syndrome critical period plasticity parvalbumin interneurons visual cortex
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > protein structure, function, modification > protein types > methyl-CpG-binding protein 2
diseases & disorders > congenital hereditary genetic diseases > rett syndrome
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > visual cortex
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Huang lab
Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 10 August 2015
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2015 18:08
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 20:12
PMCID: PMC4553776
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