Mouse neurexin-1alpha deletion causes correlated electrophysiological and behavioral changes consistent with cognitive impairments.
Deletions in the neurexin-1alpha gene were identified in large-scale unbiased screens for copy-number variations in patients with autism or schizophrenia. To explore the underlying biology, we studied the electrophysiological and behavioral phenotype of mice lacking neurexin-1alpha. Hippocampal slice physiology uncovered a defect in excitatory synaptic strength in neurexin-1alpha deficient mice, as revealed by a decrease in miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) frequency and in the input-output relation of evoked postsynaptic potentials. This defect was specific for excitatory synaptic transmission, because no change in inhibitory synaptic transmission was observed in the hippocampus. Behavioral studies revealed that, compared with littermate control mice, neurexin-1alpha deficient mice displayed a decrease in prepulse inhibition, an increase in grooming behaviors, an impairment in nest-building activity, and an improvement in motor learning. However, neurexin-1alpha deficient mice did not exhibit any obvious changes in social behaviors or in spatial learning. Together, these data indicate that the neurexin-1alpha deficiency induces a discrete neural phenotype whose extent correlates, at least in part, with impairments observed in human patients.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.