Reduced SNAP-25 alters short-term plasticity at developing glutamatergic synapses.


Antonucci F, Corradini I, Morini R, Fossati G, Menna E, Pozzi D, Pacioni S, Verderio C, Bacci A, Matteoli M.

EMBO Rep. 2013 Jul;14(7):645-51. doi: 10.1038/embor.2013.75. Epub 2013 Jun 4

SNAP-25 is a key component of the synaptic-vesicle fusion machinery, involved in several psychiatric diseases including schizophrenia and ADHD. SNAP-25 protein expression is lower in different brain areas of schizophrenic patients and in ADHD mouse models. How the reduced expression of SNAP-25 alters the properties of synaptic transmission, leading to a pathological phenotype, is unknown. We show that, unexpectedly, halved SNAP-25 levels at 13-14 DIV not only fail to impair synaptic transmission but instead enhance evoked glutamatergic neurotransmission. This effect is possibly dependent on presynaptic voltage-gated calcium channel activity and is not accompanied by changes in spontaneous quantal events or in the pool of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. Notably, synapses of 13-14 DIV neurons with reduced SNAP-25 expression show paired-pulse depression as opposed to paired-pulse facilitation occurring in their wild-type counterparts. This phenotype disappears with synapse maturation. As alterations in short-term plasticity represent a new mechanism contributing to cognitive impairments in intellectual disabilities, our data provide mechanistic clues for neuronal circuit alterations in psychiatric diseases characterized by reduced expression of SNAP-25.

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