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Df(h15q13)/+ Mouse Model Reveals Loss of Astrocytes and Synaptic-Related Changes of the Excitatory and Inhibitory Circuits in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

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DOI

The 15q13.3 deletion is associated with multiple neurodevelopmental disorders including epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism. The Df(h15q13)/+ mouse model was recently generated that recapitulates several phenotypic features of the human 15q13.3 deletion syndrome (DS). However, the biological substrates underlying these phenotypes in Df(h15q13)/+ mice have not yet been fully characterized. RNA sequencing followed by real-time quantitative PCR, western blotting, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and stereological analysis were employed to dissect the molecular, structural, and neurochemical phenotypes of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) circuits in Df(h15q13)/+ mouse model. Transcriptomic profiling revealed enrichment for astrocyte-specific genes among differentially expressed genes, translated by a decrease in the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein positive cells in mPFC of Df(h15q13)/+ mice compared with wild-type mice. mPFC in Df(h15q13)/+ mice also showed a deficit of the inhibitory presynaptic marker GAD65, in addition to a reduction in dendritic arborization and spine density of pyramidal neurons from layers II/III. mPFC levels of GABA and glutamate neurotransmitters were not different between genotypes. Our results suggest that the 15q13.3 deletion modulates nonneuronal circuits in mPFC and confers molecular and morphometric alterations in the inhibitory and excitatory neurocircuits, respectively. These alterations potentially contribute to the phenotypes accompanied with the 15q13.3DS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume31
Issue3
Pages (from-to)1609-1621
Number of pages13
ISSN1047-3211
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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