Haploinsufficiency in SYNGAP1 is implicated in intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and affects the maturation of dendritic spines. The abnormal spine development has been suggested to cause a disbalance of excitatory and inhibitory (E/I) neurotransmission at distinct developmental periods. In addition, E/I imbalances in Syngap1+/- mice might be due to abnormalities in K+-Cl- co-transporter function (NKCC1, KCC2), in a maner similar to the murine models of Fragile-X and Rett syndromes. To study whether an altered intracellular chloride ion concentration represents an underlying mechanism of modified function of GABAergic synapses in Dentate Gyrus Granule Cells of Syngap1+/- recordings were performed at different developmental stages of the mice. We observed depolarised neurons at P14-15 as illustrated by decreased Cl- reversal potential in Syngap1+/- mice. The KCC2 expression was decreased compared to Wild-type (WT) mice at P14-15. The GSK-3β inhibitor, 6-bromoindirubin-3'-oxime (6BIO) that crosses the blood-brain barrier, was tested to restore the function of GABAergic synapses. We discovered that the intraperitoneal administration of 6BIO during the critical period or young adolescents [P30 to P80 (4-week to 10-week)] normalised an altered E/I balance, the deficits of synaptic plasticity, and behavioural performance like social novelty, anxiety, and memory of the Syngap1+/- mice. In summary, altered GABAergic function in Syngap1+/- mice is due to reduced KCC2 expression leading to an increase in the intracellular chloride concentration that can be counteracted by the 6BIO, which restored cognitive, emotional, and social symptoms by pharmacological intervention, particularly in adulthood.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; GABA; GSK-3β; Intellectual disability; KCC2; NKCC1; Syngap1 heterozygous mutation.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.