Prenatally, the cytokine CXCL12 regulates cortical interneuron migration, whereas its postnatal functions are poorly understood. Here, we report that CXCL12 is expressed postnatally in layer V pyramidal neurons and localizes on their cell bodies in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), while its receptors CXCR4/CXCR7 localize to the axon terminals of parvalbumin (PV) interneurons. Conditionally eliminating CXCL12 in neonatal layer V pyramidal neurons led to decreased axon targeting and reduced inhibitory perisomatic synapses from PV+ basket interneurons onto layer V pyramidal neurons. Consequently, the mPFC of Cxcl12 conditional mutants displayed attenuated inhibitory postsynaptic currents onto layer V pyramidal neurons. Thus, postnatal CXCL12 signaling promotes a specific interneuron circuit that inhibits mPFC activity.
Keywords: CXCR4/CXCR7; axon targeting; layer V pyramidal neurons; parvalbumin interneurons; schizophrenia.
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