Mécanismes développementaux des circuits dopaminergiques et leur implication dans les comportements hyperactifs

Authors: Salesse, Charleen
Advisor: De Koninck, PaulLévesque, Martin
Abstract: Midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons are critically involved in various key functions of the brain, including voluntary movement, reward, attention, and learning. The proper specification of dopaminergic neurons, as well as the establishment of dopaminergic circuits are necessary to a good functioning of the brain. Dopaminergic circuitry dysfunctions are linked to the development of neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and OCD-like disorders, such as Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome. The LIM-homeodomain transcriptional factors Lmx1a and Lmx1b are early determinants of the dopaminergic fate and are essential for each step of mDA progenitor differentiation. Previously, it has been demonstrated that Lmx1a/b cKO mice show increased locomotor activity. Further characterization of Lmx1a/b cKO mice revealed that these mice had ADHD- and OCD-like behaviour. The loss of function of Lmx1a/b reduced dendritic morphology and frequency of spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) in mDA neurons. Gene expression profiling in Lmx1a/b cKO mice revealed that Lmx1a/b controls the expression of Slitrk2 and Slitrk5, two members of the Slit and Trk-like (Slitrk) protein family. Gain and loss of function of Slitrk2 and Slitrk5 in mDA neuron cultures showed that Slitrk2 positively regulates and Slitrk5 negatively regulate dendritic growth. Additionally, gain and loss of function of Slitrk2 induced a change in the density of excitatory synaptic puncta (PSD95 and VGLUT). Accordingly, Slitrk2 knockdown reduced the frequency of mEPSCs while increased Slitrk2 expression increased the frequency of mEPSCs, with no change in amplitude or in mIPSCs frequency or amplitude. These data suggest a role for Slitrk2 in the formation of functional excitatory synapses. Inversely, gain and loss of function of Slitrk5 induced a modification in the density of inhibitory synaptic puncta (gephyrin and VGAT). Slitrk5 knockdown reduced the frequency of mIPSCs while increased Slitrk5 expression increased the frequency of mIPSCs, with no change in amplitude or in mEPSCs frequency or amplitude. These data suggest a role for Slitrk5 in the formation of functional inhibitory synapses. We also investigated the consequences on behaviour of Slitrk2 and Slitrk5 reduced expression in mDA neurons. Mice, in which Slitrk2 was knocked down in the VTA, display significant change in locomotor activity and show ADHD. Inversely, mice with reduced expression of Slitrk5 exhibit lower activity and OCD-like behaviour. These behavioural changes might be caused by a change in mDA neuron firing activity. Chronic inhibition of mDA neurons during postnatal development using a pharmacogenetic approach induced ADHD and OCD-like behaviour and mimic some aspects of the Lmx1a/b cKO mice. Acute inhibition resulted in decreased locomotor activity, while chronic inhibition in older animals had no effect. Altogether, these results indicate that Lmx1a/b and Slitrk2/5 are key players of mDA neuron development and synapse formation, which may have an impact on ADHD and OCD-like disorders.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2017
Open Access Date: 10 January 2020
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/37744
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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