Neuregulin 1-ErbB module in C-bouton synapses on somatic motor neurons: molecular compartmentation and response to peripheral nerve injury
Casanovas i Llorens, Anna
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The electric activity of lower motor neurons (MNs) appears to play a role in determining cell-vulnerability in MN diseases. MN excitability is modulated by cholinergic inputs through C-type synaptic boutons, which display an endoplasmic reticulum-related subsurface cistern (SSC) adjacent to the postsynaptic membrane. Besides cholinergic molecules, a constellation of proteins involved in different signal-transduction pathways are clustered at C-type synaptic sites (M2 muscarinic receptors, Kv2.1 potassium channels, Ca2+ activated K+ [SK] channels, and sigma-1 receptors [S1R]), but their collective functional significance so far remains unknown. We have previously suggested that neuregulin-1 (NRG1)/ErbBs-based retrograde signalling occurs at this synapse. To better understand signalling through C-boutons, we performed an analysis of the distribution of C-bouton-associated signalling proteins. We show that within SSC, S1R, Kv2.1 and NRG1 are clustered in highly specific, non-overlapping, microdomains, whereas ErbB2 and ErbB4 are present in the adjacent presynaptic compartment. This organization may define highly ordered and spatially restricted sites for different signal-transduction pathways. SSC associated proteins are disrupted in axotomised MNs together with the activation of microglia, which display a positive chemotactism to C-bouton sites. This indicates that C-bouton associated molecules are also involved in neuroinflammatory signalling in diseased MNs, emerging as new potential therapeutic targets.
Is part ofScientific Reports, 2017, vol. 7, núm. 40155, p 1-17
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