Article

Autistic-like behaviour and cerebellar dysfunction in Purkinje cell Tsc1 mutant mice.

The F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Department of Neurology, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 07/2012; 488(7413):647-51. DOI: 10.1038/nature11310
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are highly prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders, but the underlying pathogenesis remains poorly understood. Recent studies have implicated the cerebellum in these disorders, with post-mortem studies in ASD patients showing cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC) loss, and isolated cerebellar injury has been associated with a higher incidence of ASDs. However, the extent of cerebellar contribution to the pathogenesis of ASDs remains unclear. Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disorder with high rates of comorbid ASDs that result from mutation of either TSC1 or TSC2, whose protein products dimerize and negatively regulate mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling. TSC is an intriguing model to investigate the cerebellar contribution to the underlying pathogenesis of ASDs, as recent studies in TSC patients demonstrate cerebellar pathology and correlate cerebellar pathology with increased ASD symptomatology. Functional imaging also shows that TSC patients with ASDs display hypermetabolism in deep cerebellar structures, compared to TSC patients without ASDs. However, the roles of Tsc1 and the sequelae of Tsc1 dysfunction in the cerebellum have not been investigated so far. Here we show that both heterozygous and homozygous loss of Tsc1 in mouse cerebellar PCs results in autistic-like behaviours, including abnormal social interaction, repetitive behaviour and vocalizations, in addition to decreased PC excitability. Treatment of mutant mice with the mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin, prevented the pathological and behavioural deficits. These findings demonstrate new roles for Tsc1 in PC function and define a molecular basis for a cerebellar contribution to cognitive disorders such as autism.

1 Bookmark
 · 
95 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Individuals with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) frequently exhibit cognitive and motor impairments and characteristics of autism. The cerebellum plays a critical role in motor control, cognition, and social interaction, suggesting that cerebellar defects likely contribute to NF1-associated neurodevelopmental disorders. Here we show that Nf1 inactivation during early, but not late stages of cerebellar development, disrupts neuronal lamination, which is partially caused by overproduction of glia and subsequent disruption of the Bergmann glia (BG) scaffold. Specific Nf1 inactivation in glutamatergic neuronal precursors causes premature differentiation of granule cell (GC) precursors and ectopic production of unipolar brush cells (UBCs), indirectly disrupting neuronal migration. Transient MEK inhibition during a neonatal window prevents cerebellar developmental defects and improves long-term motor performance of Nf1-deficient mice. This study reveals essential roles of Nf1 in GC/UBC migration by generating correct numbers of glia and controlling GC/UBC fate-specification/differentiation, identifying a therapeutic prevention strategy for multiple NF1-associcated developmental abnormalities.
    eLife Sciences 12/2014; 3. · 8.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The discovery that rapamycin increases lifespan in mice and restores/delays many aging phenotypes has led to the speculation that rapamycin has 'anti-aging' properties. The major question discussed in this review is whether a manipulation that has anti-aging properties can alter the onset and/or progression of Alzheimer's disease, a disease in which age is the major risk factor. Rapamycin has been shown to prevent (and possibly restore in some cases) the deficit in memory observed in the mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD-Tg) as well as reduce Aβ and tau aggregation, restore cerebral blood flow and vascularization, and reduce microglia activation. All of these parameters are widely recognized as symptoms central to the development of AD. Furthermore, rapamycin has also been shown to improve memory and reduce anxiety and depression in several other mouse models that show cognitive deficits as well as in 'normal' mice. The current research shows the feasibility of using pharmacological agents that increase lifespan, such as those identified by the National Institute on Aging Intervention Testing Program, to treat Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Experimental Gerontology 12/2014; · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Temporal lobe epilepsy is often medically refractory and new targets for intervention are needed. We used a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy, on-line seizure detection, and responsive optogenetic intervention to investigate the potential for cerebellar control of spontaneous temporal lobe seizures. Cerebellar targeted intervention inhibited spontaneous temporal lobe seizures during the chronic phase of the disorder. We further report that the direction of modulation as well as the location of intervention within the cerebellum can affect the outcome of intervention. Specifically, on-demand optogenetic excitation or inhibition of parvalbumin-expressing neurons, including Purkinje cells, in the lateral or midline cerebellum results in a decrease in seizure duration. In contrast, a consistent reduction in spontaneous seizure frequency occurs uniquely with on-demand optogenetic excitation of the midline cerebellum, and was not seen with intervention directly targeting the hippocampal formation. These findings demonstrate that the cerebellum is a powerful modulator of temporal lobe epilepsy, and that intervention targeting the cerebellum as a potential therapy for epilepsy should be revisited.
    eNeuro. 12/2014; 1(1).

Preview

Download
0 Downloads
Available from