Reelin-deficient mice have been used to investigate the role of this extracellular protein in cortico-striatal plasticity and striatum-related behaviours. Here we show that a repetitive electrical stimulation of the cortico-striatal pathway elicited long-term potentiation (LTP) in homozygous reeler (rl/rl) mice, while causing long-term depression in their wild-type (+/+) littermates. The N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor antagonist d-(–)-2 amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid prevented the induction of LTP in (rl/rl) mice, thus confirming that this form of synaptic plasticity was NMDA receptor-dependent. Interestingly, in the presence of tiagabine, a blocker of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) re-uptake system, the probability that (rl/rl) mice showed LTP decreased significantly, thus suggesting an impaired GABAergic transmission in reeler mutants. Consistent with this view, a decreased density of parvalbumin-positive GABAergic striatal interneurons was found in (rl/rl) mice in comparison to (+/+) mice. Finally, compatible with their abnormal striatal function (rl/rl) mice exhibited procedural learning deficits. Our data, showing alterations in cortico-striatal plasticity largely depending on a depressed GABAergic tone, delineate a mechanism whereby the lack of reelin may affect cognitive functions.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Rivista||European Journal of Neuroscience|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2006|