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Neuronal Dystroglycan Is Necessary for Formation and Maintenance of Functional CCK-Positive Basket Cell Terminals on Pyramidal Cells

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Fruh S., Romanos J., Panzanelli P., Burgisser D., Tyagarajan S. K., Campbell K. P., Santello M., Fritschy J.-M.,
Project Cortical mechanisms controlling migraine pain
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Neuroscience
Volume (Issue) 36(40)
Page(s) 10296 - 10313
Title of proceedings Journal of Neuroscience
DOI 10.1523/jneurosci.1823-16.2016


Distinct types of GABAergic interneurons target different subcellular domains of pyramidal cells, thereby shaping pyramidal cell activity patterns. Whether the presynaptic heterogeneity of GABAergic innervation is mirrored by specific postsynaptic factors is largely unexplored. Here we show that dystroglycan, a protein responsible for the majority of congenital muscular dystrophies when dysfunctional, has a function at postsynaptic sites restricted to a subset of GABAergic interneurons. Conditional deletion of Dag1, encoding dystroglycan, in pyramidal cells caused loss of CCK-positive basket cell terminals in hippocampus and neocortex. PV-positive basket cell terminals were unaffected in mutant mice, demonstrating interneuron subtype-specific function of dystroglycan. Loss of dystroglycan in pyramidal cells had little influence on clustering of other GABAergic postsynaptic proteins and of glutamatergic synaptic proteins. CCK-positive terminals were not established at P21 in the absence of dystroglycan and were markedly reduced when dystroglycan was ablated in adult mice, suggesting a role for dystroglycan in both formation and maintenance of CCK-positive terminals. The necessity of neuronal dystroglycan for functional innervation by CCK-positive basket cell axon terminals was confirmed by reduced frequency of inhibitory events in pyramidal cells of dystroglycan-deficient mice and further corroborated by the inefficiency of carbachol to increase IPSC frequency in these cells. Finally, neurexin binding seems dispensable for dystroglycan function because knock-in mice expressing binding-deficient T190M dystroglycan displayed normal CCK-positive terminals. Together, we describe a novel function of dystroglycan in interneuron subtype-specific trans-synaptic signaling, revealing correlation of presynaptic and postsynaptic molecular diversity.