Schizophrenia is associated with cognitive and behavioral dysfunctions thought to reflect imbalances in neurotransmission systems. Recent screenings suggested that lack of (functional) syndapin I (PACSIN1) may be linked to schizophrenia. We therefore studied syndapin I KO mice to address the suggested causal relationship to schizophrenia and to analyze associated molecular, cellular, and neurophysiological defects. Syndapin I knockout (KO) mice developed schizophrenia-related behaviors, such as hyperactivity, reduced anxiety, reduced response to social novelty, and an exaggerated novel object response and exhibited defects in dendritic arborization in the cortex. Neuromorphogenic deficits were also observed for a schizophrenia-associated syndapin I mutant in cultured neurons and coincided with a lack of syndapin I-mediated membrane recruitment of cytoskeletal effectors. Syndapin I KO furthermore caused glutamatergic hypofunctions. Syndapin I regulated both AMPAR and NMDAR availabilities at synapses during basal synaptic activity and during synaptic plasticity-particularly striking were a complete lack of long-term potentiation and defects in long-term depression in syndapin I KO mice. These synaptic plasticity defects coincided with alterations of postsynaptic actin dynamics, synaptic GluA1 clustering, and GluA1 mobility. Both GluA1 and GluA2 were not appropriately internalized. Summarized, syndapin I KO led to schizophrenia-like behavior, and our analyses uncovered associated molecular and cellular mechanisms.
Keywords: defective synaptic GluA1 and GluA2 clustering; exaggerated novel object response; glutamatergic hypofunction; long-term depression (LTD); long-term potentiation (LTP); reduced anxiety-like behavior and social interactions; schizophrenia; syndapin I (PACSIN1) knockout mice.
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