Calcineurin is required for long-term depression and activity-dependent spine shrinkage, and calcineurin mutations have been identified in patients with schizophrenia. Moreover, mice with conditional knockout of calcineurin B (CNB-KO) exhibit behavioral abnormalities suggestive of schizophrenia. Changes in the dendritic spines of these mice, however, have not been investigated. We therefore examined the dendritic spines of CNB-KO mice, and observed a significant reduction in small spines and an increase in large spines in the prefrontal and visual cortices. The effect of CNB-KO on the spine sizes was relatively moderate, possibly due to the presence of spontaneous fluctuations (dynamics) in the dendritic spines themselves. Thus, CNB-KO mice showed a spine phenotype similar to those recently reported in patients with schizophrenia.
Keywords: Calcineurin; Dendritic spines; Schizophrenia; Synaptic plasticity.
Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.