In the brain, many types of interneurons make functionally diverse inhibitory synapses onto principal neurons. Although numerous molecules have been identified to function in inhibitory synapse development, it remains unknown whether there is a unifying mechanism for development of diverse inhibitory synapses. Here we report a general molecular mechanism underlying hippocampal inhibitory synapse development. In developing neurons, the establishment of GABAergic transmission depends on Neuroligin 2 (NL2), a synaptic cell adhesion molecule (CAM). During maturation, inhibitory synapse development requires both NL2 and Slitrk3 (ST3), another CAM. Importantly, NL2 and ST3 interact with nanomolar affinity through their extracellular domains to synergistically promote synapse development. Selective perturbation of the NL2-ST3 interaction impairs inhibitory synapse development with consequent disruptions in hippocampal network activity and increased seizure susceptibility. Our findings reveal how unique postsynaptic CAMs work in concert to control synaptogenesis and establish a general framework for GABAergic synapse development.
Keywords: GABA; GABAergic synapse; Neuroligin 2; Slitrk3; cell adhesion molecule; collybistin; development; gamma oscillation; gephyrin; seizure.
Published by Elsevier Inc.