Pre-Synaptic Release Deficits in a DYT1 Dystonia Mouse Model
Cheetham, Chad C.
Campbell, Susan L.
Sweatt, David J.
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DYT1 early-onset generalized torsion dystonia (DYT1 dystonia) is an inherited movement disorder caused by mutations in one allele of DYT1 (TOR1A), coding for torsinA. The most common mutation is a trinucleotide deletion (DGAG), which causes a deletion of a glutamic acid residue (DE) in the C-terminal region of torsinA. Although recent studies using cultured cells suggest that torsinA contributes to protein processing in the secretory pathway, endocytosis, and the stability of synaptic proteins, the nature of how this mutation affects synaptic transmission remains unclear. We previously reported that thetaburst- induced long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region of the hippocampal slice is not altered in Dyt1 DGAG heterozygous knock-in (KI) mice. Here, we examined short-term synaptic plasticity and synaptic transmission in the hippocampal slices. Field recordings in the hippocampal Schaffer collaterals (SC) pathway revealed significantly enhanced paired pulse ratios (PPRs) in Dyt1 DGAG heterozygous KI mice, suggesting an impaired synaptic vesicle release. Whole-cell recordings from the CA1 neurons showed that Dyt1 DGAG heterozygous KI mice exhibited normal miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSC), suggesting that action-potential independent spontaneous pre-synaptic release was normal. On the other hand, there was a significant decrease in the frequency, but not amplitude or kinetics, of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents (sEPSC) in Dyt1 DGAG heterozygous KI mice, suggesting that the action-potential dependent pre-synaptic release was impaired. Moreover, hippocampal torsinA was significantly reduced in Dyt1 DGAG heterozygous KI mice. Although the hippocampal slice model may not represent the neurons directly associated with dystonic symptoms, impaired release of neurotransmitters caused by partial dysfunction of torsinA in other brain regions may contribute to the pathophysiology of DYT1 dystonia.