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Neuron

Heterophilic Type II Cadherins Are Required for High-Magnitude Synaptic Potentiation in the Hippocampus.


PMID 28957665

Abstract

Hippocampal CA3 neurons form synapses with CA1 neurons in two layers, stratum oriens (SO) and stratum radiatum (SR). Each layer develops unique synaptic properties but molecular mechanisms that mediate these differences are unknown. Here, we show that SO synapses normally have significantly more mushroom spines and higher-magnitude long-term potentiation (LTP) than SR synapses. Further, we discovered that these differences require the Type II classic cadherins, cadherins-6, -9, and -10. Though cadherins typically function via trans-cellular homophilic interactions, our results suggest presynaptic cadherin-9 binds postsynaptic cadherins-6 and -10 to regulate mushroom spine density and high-magnitude LTP in the SO layer. Loss of these cadherins has no effect on the lower-magnitude LTP typically observed in the SR layer, demonstrating that cadherins-6, -9, and -10 are gatekeepers for high-magnitude LTP. Thus, Type II cadherins may uniquely contribute to the specificity and strength of synaptic changes associated with learning and memory.

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