An unexpected role of neuroligin-2 in regulating KCC2 and GABA functional switch
© Sun et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
Received: 6 May 2013
Accepted: 8 May 2013
Published: 12 May 2013
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© Sun et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
Received: 6 May 2013
Accepted: 8 May 2013
Published: 12 May 2013
GABAA receptors are ligand-gated Cl- channels, and the intracellular Cl- concentration governs whether GABA function is excitatory or inhibitory. During early brain development, GABA undergoes functional switch from excitation to inhibition: GABA depolarizes immature neurons but hyperpolarizes mature neurons due to a developmental decrease of intracellular Cl- concentration. This GABA functional switch is mainly mediated by the up-regulation of KCC2, a potassium-chloride cotransporter that pumps Cl- outside neurons. However, the upstream factor that regulates KCC2 expression is unclear.
We report here that KCC2 is unexpectedly regulated by neuroligin-2 (NL2), a cell adhesion molecule specifically localized at GABAergic synapses. The expression of NL2 precedes that of KCC2 in early postnatal development. Upon knockdown of NL2, the expression level of KCC2 is significantly decreased, and GABA functional switch is significantly delayed during early development. Overexpression of shRNA-proof NL2 rescues both KCC2 reduction and delayed GABA functional switch induced by NL2 shRNAs. Moreover, NL2 appears to be required to maintain GABA inhibitory function even in mature neurons, because knockdown NL2 reverses GABA action to excitatory. Gramicidin-perforated patch clamp recordings confirm that NL2 directly regulates the GABA equilibrium potential. We further demonstrate that knockdown of NL2 decreases dendritic spines through down-regulating KCC2.
Our data suggest that in addition to its conventional role as a cell adhesion molecule to regulate GABAergic synaptogenesis, NL2 also regulates KCC2 to modulate GABA functional switch and even glutamatergic synapses. Therefore, NL2 may serve as a master regulator in balancing excitation and inhibition in the brain.
A delicate balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission is critical for brain functions. GABA is the principle inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, and dysfunction of GABAergic transmission may contribute to the onset of many neurological disorders including epilepsy, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, and major depressive disorders [1–3]. Because GABAA receptors are ligand-gated Cl- channels, the efficacy of GABAergic transmission is modulated by changes in intracellular Cl- concentration. Two chloride transporters, NKCC1 and KCC2, import and export Cl- across neuronal membranes correspondingly. In early neural development, the expression level of NKCC1 is initially high and gradually down-regulated, while KCC2 expression is up-regulated [4, 5]. Such developmental changes of NKCC1 and KCC2 result in a shift of intracellular Cl- concentration from high to low and a corresponding shift of GABAA receptor reversal potential from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing [6, 7]. Therefore, GABA is not a simple inhibitory neurotransmitter, but rather undergoes a functional switch from excitation to inhibition during brain development. GABA-mediated excitation regulates neural differentiation, migration, and synaptogenesis [4, 8–10]. Our previous work found that GABAergic synaptogenesis precedes glutamatergic synaptogenesis due to the earlier expression of GABAA receptors than that of glutamate receptors in embryonic neurons . So far, it is unclear whether there is any coordination between GABA functional switch and GABAergic synapse formation.
Neuroligins (NLs) are a family of postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules that interact with presynaptic neurexins . NL1 and NL2 are selectively localized at glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses [13, 14], and manipulations of NL1 and NL2 expression level have been shown to regulate glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptogenesis, respectively [15–17]. Transgenic mice overexpressing NL2 showed enhanced GABAergic transmission , whereas NL2 knockout mice showed decreased GABAergic transmission . We have previously shown that NL2 is a critical cell adhesion molecule capable of inducing functional GABAergic synapses in neuron-HEK cell hetero-cocultures . Our recent work further identified a loss-of-function mutation of NL2 in schizophrenia patients , suggesting an indispensable role of NL2 in regulating GABAergic functions.
Here, we uncover a novel function of NL2 in regulating KCC2 expression and GABA functional switch from excitation to inhibition during neurodevelopment. Knockdown of NL2 also induces an unexpected reduction in glutamatergic events and dendritic spines. Therefore, in addition to its role as a cell adhesion molecule at GABAergic synapses, NL2 may serve as a master regulator of the delicate balance between glutamatergic and GABAergic functions in neural networks.
When we transfected mouse cortical neurons with NLmiR, we observed a significant reduction of the KCC2 expression level compared to that of non-transfected (nonTF) or mCherry-transfected control neurons (Figure 1D, quantified in Figure 1G). This is unexpected because no previous study reported any connection between NL2 and KCC2. To find out the relative contribution of NL1 versus NL2 to the reduced KCC2 expression, shRNA-proof HA-NL1* or HA-NL2* was coexpressed with NLmiR to test which one can rescue the KCC2 expression. HA-immunostaining confirmed the expression of shRNA-proof NL1* and NL2* in the presence of NLmiR (Figure 1E inlets). Coexpression of HA-NL2*, but not HA-NL1*, with NLmiR significantly rescued the KCC2 expression level (Figure 1E, quantified in Figure 1G), suggesting that NL2 is a potential regulator of KCC2. This was confirmed by the detection of a similar reduction of KCC2 level after knocking down NL2 specifically with NL2shRNA (Figure 1F, quantified in Figure 1G). One concern regarding shRNAs is whether they might have off-target effect directly on KCC2. To exclude this possibility, we co-transfected NL2shRNA together with KCC2 in HEK 293T cells to examine whether KCC2 expression might be altered. Immunoblot demonstrated that while WT NL2 expression was significantly reduced by NL2shRNA (Figure 1H, top panel), KCC2 expression was not affected by NL2shRNA (Figure 1H, bottom panel). We next examined the effect of NL2shRNA on NKCC1, which imports Cl- and counteracts the action of KCC2 . Immunostaining with antibody specific for NKCC1 showed that NL2 knockdown did not change NKCC1 expression level (Figure 1I). Together, our data demonstrated a novel function of NL2 in regulating KCC2, both of which were found previously playing critical roles in GABA function but not yet linked together.
Using Ca2+ imaging approach, we further delineated the time course of GABA functional switch by monitoring the gradual decrease of GABA-evoked Ca2+ responses in developing neurons. We found that mouse cortical neurons typically complete their GABA functional switch around two weeks in dissociated cultures (Figure 2D), similar to previous reports [26, 27]. Quantitatively, for control neurons transfected with mCherry, GABA evoked Ca2+ responses in 80 ± 5% (n = 96) neurons at 4 DIV, but only 8 ± 3% (n = 61) at 12 DIV (Figure 2D), suggesting that the majority of neurons have finished the GABA excitation-inhibition transition by 12 DIV. However, after NL knockdown, even at 12 DIV, GABA still evoked Ca2+ responses in more than 80% of transfected neurons (Figure 2D; NLmiR, 86 ± 5%, n = 86; NL2shRNA, 86 ± 8%, n = 41; p < 0.001 for transfection of mCherry vs. NLmiR or NL2shRNA, two-way ANOVA). Importantly, coexpression of NLmiR with NL2*, but not NL1*, promoted GABA functional switch by 12 DIV (Figure 2D; NLmiR vs. NLmiR+NL2*, p < 0.001, one-way ANOVA at 12 DIV), suggesting that NL2 may regulate GABA excitation-inhibition switch.
Besides quantifying the percentage of neurons responding to GABA, we also compared the amplitude of GABA-evoked Ca2+ responses in individual neurons. At 4 DIV, most neurons in all groups showed significant GABA-evoked Ca2+ responses, suggesting an excitatory action of GABA (Figure 2E). At 12 DIV, while control neurons transfected with mCherry showed very small Ca2+ responses, neurons transfected with NLmiR or NL2shRNA still showed large GABA-evoked Ca2+ responses with the amplitudes similar to those at 4 DIV (Figure 2E), suggesting no GABA functional switch occurred after knockdown of NL2. Coexpression of NLmiR with NL2*, but not NL1*, resulted in significantly smaller GABA-evoked Ca2+ responses at 12 DIV (Figure 2E), suggesting that NL2 may restore GABA functional switch. Collectively, our Ca2+ imaging data demonstrate that NL2 plays a critical role in regulating GABA functional switch during early development.
We further investigated whether NL2 is required for maintaining GABAergic inhibition in mature neurons after the completion of GABA functional switch. To address this question, we transfected neurons at 12–14 DIV with NLmiR or NL2shRNA and analyzed GABA-evoked Ca2+ responses at 16 and 21 DIV. Mature neurons in control group rarely showed any GABA-evoked Ca2+ responses (Figure 2F; non-transfected, only 4 out 264 neurons; mCherry-transfected, 0/7), but more than 50% mature neurons transfected with NLmiR (n = 59) or NL2shRNA (n = 12) showed significant GABA-evoked Ca2+ responses (Figure 2F). Therefore, NL2 is not only required for GABA functional switch in immature neurons, but also required for the maintenance of GABA inhibition in mature neurons.
We then investigated whether developmental expression of KCC2 and NL2 rely upon GABAA receptor activation or neuronal activity. As expected, KCC2 expression showed a significant increase from 4 to 12 DIV (Figure 4C left panel). After chronic treatment with BIC or TTX, KCC2 level was similarly increased compared to the control (Figure 4C middle and right panels, quantified in Figure 4D; n =12 neurons per group; p < 0.001 for developmental increase; p > 0.5 for drug treatment, Two-way ANOVA). Immunoblot analysis also found that NL2 expression level increased significantly from 4 to 12 DIV and were not affected by BIC or TTX treatment (Figure 4E-F; n = 3; p < 0.05 for developmental increase; p > 0.3 for drug treatment, Two-way ANOVA). Functionally, Ca2+ imaging experiments further showed comparable time courses of GABA functional switch between control and BIC- or TTX-treated neurons (Figure 4G; p > 0.7 for drug treatment, Two-way ANOVA). Together, our data suggest that the developmental up-regulation of NL2 and KCC2 as well as GABA functional switch are likely regulated by cell-intrinsic mechanisms, independent of GABAA receptor activation or neuronal activity.
We next investigated whether NL2 directly interacts with KCC2. Because both available NL2 (129203, Synaptic Systems) and KCC2 (07–432, Millipore) antibodies are raised in rabbit, it is not feasible to detect endogenous NL2 and KCC2 simultaneously. Instead, we overexpressed HA-NL2 in cortical neurons and found partial co-localization between exogenous HA-NL2 and endogenous KCC2 (Figure 5C). However, because HA-NL2 was overexpressed in neurons, it raised a concern whether HA immunostaining truly represents the endogenous NL2 localization. We therefore further investigated possible interaction between NL2 and KCC2 in HEK 293T cells (Figure 5D). As expected, expression of NL2 alone showed mainly membrane localization, and expression of KCC2 alone showed both membrane and intracellular localization. Coexpression of NL2 and KCC2 showed comparable subcellular localization to that of NL2 or KCC2 expression alone (Figure 5D). Next, we employed co-immunoprecipitation to examine whether NL2 and KCC2 interact with each other. Protein lysate prepared from HEK cells coexpressing HA-NL2 and KCC2 was immuno-precipitated with HA antibody. The HA-NL2 was clearly precipitated but KCC2 was not co-immunoprecipitated (Figure 5E). We further performed co-immunoprecipitation experiment using mouse cerebral cortex protein lysate and obtained similar result to HEK cells that no co-immunoprecipitation could be detected between NL2 and KCC2, regardless which protein was immuno-precipitated first (Figure 5F). These results suggest that NL2 and KCC2 may not directly interact, or their interaction is too weak to be detected with current method.
Neuroligins and their presynaptic binding partner neurexins are important trans-synaptic cell adhesion molecules that play a critical role in synaptogenesis [12, 30, 31]. The synaptogenic effect of neuroligins was demonstrated by their potent induction of presynaptic differentiation when expressed in non-neuronal cells [16, 20, 32, 33]. The NL1-3 triple knockout in vivo and acute NL1-3 knockdown by shRNAs in vitro both showed significant deficits in synaptic transmission [15, 34]. It was later found that neuroligins might also play a role in synaptic validation and plasticity [35, 36], possibly through a trans-synaptic feedback [37, 38]. Most recent studies have revealed that NL1 may be cleaved by matrix metalloproteinases in an activity-dependent manner, which regulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission [39, 40]. It will be interesting to investigate whether other NLs could also be cleaved and how the cleavage process regulates synaptic functions.
We have previously demonstrated that overexpression of NL2 with GABAA receptors in HEK cells can induce fully functional GABAergic innervations from surrounding neurons . We have also identified a novel loss-of-function mutation of NL2 (R215H) from human schizophrenic patient, which is incapable of inducing GABAergic innervations . In the current study, we further demonstrate that knockdown of NL2 significantly reduced GABAergic synaptogenesis, consistent with previous studies [15, 41]. The function of NL2 in regulating GABAergic synapse formation is likely mediated by interactions with scaffolding proteins like gephyrin and collybistin . All these studies are consistent with the role of neuroligin-2 as a cell adhesion molecule to regulate GABAergic synapse formation and plasticity.
The most surprising finding of this work is the regulation of KCC2 by NL2. After knockdown of NL2, the KCC2 expression level was significantly decreased. We tested whether this might be caused by an off-target effect of the shRNAs, but coexpression of NL2shRNA with KCC2 in HEK cells showed no effect on the expression of KCC2 at all. Moreover, the shRNA-proof NL2*, but not NL1*, rescued the KCC2 expression, suggesting a NL2-specific regulation of KCC2. Similar to previously reported knockdown of KCC2 , we discovered that the GABA reversal potential was shifted to more depolarized level after NL2 knockdown. Moreover, after NL2 knockdown, bath application of GABA induced large Ca2+ influx and even triggered action potentials. These results discover a novel function of NL2 in regulating KCC2 and GABA functional switch. The regulation of KCC2 by NL2 suggests that the time-course of GABAergic synaptogenesis and GABA functional switch are tightly coordinated by NL2.
KCC2 is a Cl- transporter with a major function in controlling intracellular Cl- concentration and therefore playing an important role in determining whether GABA function is excitatory or inhibitory . The regulation of KCC2 by NL2 greatly expands the function of NL2 beyond its classical role as a cell adhesion molecule. Since both NL2 and KCC2 are transmembrane proteins, we investigated whether NL2 directly interacts with KCC2. Our co-immunoprecipitation experiments in HEK cells and mouse brain lysate suggest a lack of direct interaction between NL2 and KCC2. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that NL2 may indirectly interact with KCC2 through other mediating proteins, such as gephyrin or GABAA receptors, since overexpressed HA-NL2 showed partial colocalization with KCC2. NL2 may also regulate KCC2 activity through a variety of pathways, such as transcriptional regulation, phosphorylation, membrane trafficking, and oligomerization .
Since both NL2 and KCC2 regulate GABA functions, we tested whether the regulation of KCC2 by NL2 may be dependent upon GABAA receptor activation. Our pharmacological experiments with BIC and TTX demonstrated that developmental KCC2 up-regulation and GABA functional switch are independent of GABAA receptor activation, which is in agreement with previous studies [27, 45]. What may be responsible for KCC2 up-regulation during neuronal development? Our new findings suggest that KCC2 may be regulated by NL2, a cell adhesion molecule that expresses early during development. Indeed, we found that NL2 expression precedes that of KCC2 in vivo in early postnatal period, consistent with previous studies reporting that NL2 expression was first detected at embryonic day 16 while KCC2 was first detected at postnatal day 1 [14, 24].
Our discovery of the NL2 regulation of KCC2 makes it easy to connect some interesting findings previously reported by different labs that are seemingly unrelated. For example, overexpression of NL2 in cerebellar granule cells has been shown to accelerate GABAergic synapse maturation by promoting the switch of GABAA receptor α3 subunit to α1 subunit during early development . Interestingly enough, overexpression of KCC2 was also found to accelerate this switch in cerebellar granule cells . Our finding that NL2 regulates KCC2 may explain why NL2 and KCC2 both showed similar functions in promoting α subunit switch, although other links may also be possible. Therefore, NL2 is a chief conductor in orchestrating a variety of GABA functions including GABAergic synapse formation, GABA functional switch, and GABAA receptor maturation.
Given the fact that NL2 is mainly localized at GABAergic synapses , it is initially puzzling that knockdown of NL2 not only reduced GABAergic synapses, but also reduced glutamatergic synapses. The original report using the same NL2shRNA also showed reductions in both glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses . Interestingly, NL2 overexpression increased both glutamatergic and GABAergic synapse formation [15, 17]. On the other hand, it has been shown that GABAergic, but not glutamatergic, transmission was decreased in NL2 knockout mice . Such discrepancy between in vitro and in vivo data regarding the role of NL2 at glutamatergic synapses could be due to the difference between global knockout and shRNA-mediated knockdown. A recent study demonstrated that the transcellular differences in the relative amounts of NL1, rather than the absolute NL1 amount, governs the number of glutamatergic synapses in vivo. Nevertheless, how NL2 might regulate glutamatergic synapses is not very clear.
KCC2 has been found to regulate dendritic spines. Specifically, Rivera and colleagues first reported that neurons from KCC2 knockout mice showed abnormally long dendritic protrusions and low frequency of mEPSCs . Similarly, knockdown of KCC2 in developing neurons decreased the frequency of glutamatergic events . KCC2 has also been shown to regulate the diffusion of AMPA receptors in dendritic spines . Here, we demonstrated that NL2 regulates KCC2, raising a potential link between NL2 and glutamatergic synapses through KCC2. Indeed, overexpression of KCC2 together with NL2shRNA was able to rescue decreased glutamatergic synapses induced by NL2 knockdown, suggesting that KCC2 is likely the mediator of NL2 regulation of glutamatergic synapses. Therefore, NL2 not only regulates GABAergic synapses, but also regulates glutamatergic synapses through regulating KCC2, making NL2 a central player in balancing GABAergic and glutamatergic functions in the brain.
To conclude, our data discovered a novel function of NL2 in regulating KCC2 and consequently affecting GABA functional switch as well as glutamatergic synapses. This finding extends the function of NL2 beyond its classical role in cell adhesion, and put NL2 in a central position in coordinating GABAergic synaptogenesis with GABA functional switch, and in balancing GABAergic and glutamatergic functions. We propose that NL2 may function as a master regulator of the delicate excitation-inhibition balance in the brain, and NL2 may be a novel drug target for developing the next generation of antipsychotic drugs.
Primary mouse cortical neurons were cultured as previously described . Briefly, cerebral cortices of newborn C57BL/6 mice of either sex were dissociated and plated on a monolayer of cortical astrocytes at a density of 8,000-12,000 cells/cm2 in 24-well plates. Culture medium contained MEM (500 ml, Invitrogen), 5% FBS (HyClone), 10 ml B-27 supplement (Invitrogen), 100 mg NaHCO3, 20 mM D-glucose, 2 mM Glutamax (Invitrogen), and 25 units/ml penicillin/streptomycin. Neurons were maintained at 37°C in a 5% CO2-humidified incubator. All experiments were repeated in at least three independent cultures.
Calcium-phosphate transfection in cultured neurons was performed similar to a protocol developed in our laboratory . Plasmid at 1 μg each was used for transfection per well in a 24-well plate. HEK 293T cells were transfected using polyethylenimine (Polysciences). GFP or mCherry was coexpressed to identify transfected cells.
NLmiR with IRES GFP or mCherry, HA-tagged shRNA-proof mouse NL1* and rat NL2* with IRES mCherry were generously provided by Dr. Roger Nicoll (University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA). HA-tagged WT mouse NL2 and EGFP-NL2shRNA were provided by Dr. Peter Scheiffele (University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland). A non-tagged NL2shRNA was generated by cutting off EGFP with restriction enzymes. NLmiR and NL2shRNA have been characterized previously [15, 22]. The NL2 target sequence of NL2shRNA and NLmiR is identical (ATGGAGCAAGTTCAACAGCAA) and conserved in mouse and rat. Rat KCC2 (pIRES2-EGFP) was provided by Dr. Yun Wang (Fudan University, Shanghai, China). mCherry (pEGFP-C1) was provided by Dr. Yingwei Mao (Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA).
Neurons were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde for 8 min, permeabilized with 0.2% Triton X-100 for 5 min, and blocked with 5% normal donkey/goat serum for 30 min. Primary antibodies in blocking solution were incubated overnight at 4°C. Dylight-conjugated secondary antibodies (Jackson ImmunoResearch) were incubated at room temperature for 45 min. Following antibodies were used: KCC2 (07–432, Millipore), HA (sc-7392, Santa Cruz Biotechnology), MAP2 (ab5392, Abcam), NKCC1 (T4, Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank), vGlut1 (135302, Synaptic Systems), GFP (ab13970, Abcam). Confocal images were collected on an Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope. For the quantification of HA, KCC2, and NKCC1 immunostaining, neuronal soma was selected and the mean intensity (0–255) was analyzed by ImageJ software. For spine density analysis, two secondary dendritic segments of 20 μm each were analyzed per neuron.
The electrophysiological experiments were performed as previously described [21, 49]. Briefly, Multiclamp 700A amplifier and pClamp software (Molecular Devices) were used for acquiring data (sampling at 10 kHz and filtered at 1 kHz). Neurons were continually perfused with bath solution (in mM): 128 NaCl, 30 glucose, 25 HEPES, 5 KCl, 2 CaCl2 and 1 MgCl2 (320 mOsm, adjusted to pH 7.3 with NaOH). Pipette solution contained (in mM): 147 KCl, 5 Na2-phosphocreatine, 2 EGTA, 10 HEPES, 2 MgATP, 0.3 Na2GTP (300 mOsm adjusted to pH 7.3 with KOH). Gramicidin (40 μg/ml, Sigma) was included in the pipette solution for perforated patch recording . A Picospritzer (Parker Instrumentation) was used to eject GABA directly to neuronal soma through a fine pipette (~2 μm tip). In whole-cell patch clamp mode (holding at -70 mV), mEPSCs were recorded in the presence of TTX (0.5 μM) and BIC (20 μM); mIPSCs were recorded in the presence of TTX (0.5 μM) and DNQX (10 μM).
HEK 293T cells in 6-well plates were transfected using polyethylenimine and total protein lysate was harvested after 2–3 days in lysis buffer (20 mM HEPES, 1% Triton X-100, 0.1 mM EDTA, 2 mM CaCl2, 1mM MgCl2 and 50 mM NaCl with PMSF, protease and phosphatase inhibitors, pH 7.3 with NaOH). For cultured neurons, 2 wells from a 24-well plate were lysised at each time point. For mouse cortical proteins, cortices were dissected out and homogenized. After 2 hr rotation at 4°C, supernatant was harvested by centrifugation (12,000 g, 30 min). Protein concentration was measured by Bradford Protein Assay Kit (Thermo Scientific Pierce Protein Biology Products). Samples were incubated with NuPAGE LDS sample buffer and 1% β-mercaptoethanol at 95°C (for NL2) or 50°C (for KCC2) for 15 min before resolved in 10% SDS-PAGE and transferred to PVDF membrane. Primary antibodies including rabbit anti-KCC2 (07–432, Millipore), rabbit anti-NL2 (129202, Synaptic Systems), mouse anti-HA (sc-7392, Santa Cruz Biotechnology) and mouse anti-actin (612656, BD Transduction Laboratories) together with HRP-conjugated secondary antibodies (Abcam) were used. Immunoblot band intensities were measured with ImageJ software.
HEK 293T cells in 10-cm dish were transfected and total protein lysate was harvested after 2 days in Pierece IP buffer (Thermo Scientific) with protease and phosphatase inhibitors. Protein lysate was pre-cleaned by incubation with Dynabeads M-280 sheep anti-mouse IgG (11201D, Invitrogen) for 2 hr at 4°C. About 2 mg protein lysate was then incubated with Dynabeads and 2 μg normal mouse IgG (PP54, Millipore) or mouse anti-HA antibodies overnight at 4°C. After washing with IP buffer and PBS, the immunoprecipitated proteins were eluted by NuPAGE LDS sample buffer (Invitrogen). Protein lysate from 2–3 month old mouse brain was processed following the same protocol with Dynabeads M-280 sheep anti-rabbit IgG (11203D, Invitrogen). Normal rabbit IgG (PP64, Millipore) was used as control.
Cells were incubated in 2.5 μM Fura-2 AM (Invitrogen) for 45 min at 37°C and washed for 15 min in bath solution. Coverslips were transferred to a perfusion chamber mounted on a Nikon TE-2000-S inverted microscope with a 20× objective and imaged with a 340/380 nm transmittance filter set (Chroma Technology). SimplePCI (HCImage, Hamamatsu) was used to measure the ratio of 340/380 fluorescence signal in neuronal soma. Sister coverslips from 3–4 independent cultures were taken for imaging at 3–4 time points. mCherry was coexpressed to identify transfected cells in all calcium imaging experiments. All recordings were done in the presence of DNQX (10 μM) to block AMPA receptor activations. The threshold of a significant Ca2+ response was set as 10 times of baseline standard deviation.
Unpaired Student’s t-test was used for comparisons between two groups. One-way ANOVA with Bonferroni multiple comparisons was used for comparisons between multiple groups. Two-way ANOVA with Bonferroni multiple comparisons was used for comparisons between multiple time points and groups. GraphPad Prism (GraphPad Software) was used for all statistical analysis. Data were shown as mean ± standard error in all bar graphs.
Potassium-chloride transporter 2
Short hairpin RNA targeting NL2
Short hairpin RNA targeting NL1-3
Days in vitro
GABA equilibrium potential.
We thank Drs. Roger Nicoll, Peter Scheiffele, Yun Wang, and Yingwei Mao for generously sharing plasmid constructs. We thank Yuting Bai for the preparation of neuronal culture. This work was supported by grants from National Institutes of Health (MH092740 and MH083911) to GC.
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