PloS one

Fgfr1 inactivation in the mouse telencephalon results in impaired maturation of interneurons expressing parvalbumin.

PMID 25116473


Fibroblast growth factors (Fgfs) and their receptors (Fgfr) are expressed in the developing and adult CNS. Previous studies demonstrated a decrease in cortical interneurons and locomotor hyperactivity in mice with a conditional Fgfr1 deletion generated in radial glial cells during midneurogenesis (Fgfr1(f/f);hGfapCre+). Here, we report earlier and more extensive inactivation of Fgfr1 in neuroepithelial cells of the CNS (Fgfr1(f/f);NesCre+). Similar to findings in Fgfr1(f/f);hGfapCre+ mice, parvalbumin positive (PV+) cortical interneurons are also decreased in the neocortex of Fgfr1(f/f);NesCre+ mice when compared to control littermates (Fgfr1(f/f)). Fgfr1(f/f);NesCre+ embryos do not differ from controls in the initial specification of GABAergic cells in the ganglionic eminence (GE) as assessed by in situ hybridization for Dlx2, Mash1 and Nkx2. Equal numbers of GABAergic neuron precursors genetically labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) were observed at P0 in Fgfr1(f/f);hGfapCre+;Gad1-GFP mutant mice. However, fewer GFP+ and GFP+/PV+ interneurons were observed in these mutants at adulthood, indicating that a decrease in cortical interneuron markers is occurring postnatally. Fgfr1 is expressed in cortical astrocytes in the postnatal brain. To test whether the astrocytes of mice lacking Fgfr1 are less capable of supporting interneurons, we co-cultured wild type Gad1-GFP+ interneuron precursors isolated from the medial GE (MGE) with astrocytes from Fgfr1(f/f) control or Fgfr1(f/f);hGfapCre+ mice. Interneurons grown on Fgfr1 deficient astrocytes had small soma size and fewer neurites per cell, but no differences in cell survival. Decreased soma size of Gad67 immunopositive interneurons was also observed in the cortex of adult Fgfr1(f/f);NesCre+ mice. Our data indicate that astrocytes from Fgfr1 mutants are impaired in supporting the maturation of cortical GABAergic neurons in the postnatal period. This model may elucidate potential mechanisms of impaired PV interneuron maturation relevant to neuropsychiatric disorders that develop in childhood and adolescence.