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Dissociable effects of complement C3 and C3aR on survival and morphology of adult born hippocampal neurons, pattern separation, and cognitive flexibility in male mice

Westacott, Laura J., Haan, Niels, Evison, Claudia, Marei, Omar, Hall, Jeremy, Hughes, Timothy R., Zaben, Malik, Morgan, B. Paul, Humby, Trevor, Wilkinson, Lawrence S. and Gray, William P. 2021. Dissociable effects of complement C3 and C3aR on survival and morphology of adult born hippocampal neurons, pattern separation, and cognitive flexibility in male mice. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 98 , pp. 136-150. 10.1016/j.bbi.2021.08.215

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Abstract

Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) is a form of ongoing plasticity in the brain that supports specific aspects of cognition. Disruptions in AHN have been observed in neuropsychiatric conditions presenting with inflammatory components and are associated with impairments in cognition and mood. Recent evidence highlights important roles of the complement system in synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis during neurodevelopment and in acute learning and memory processes. In this work we investigated the impact of the complement C3/C3aR pathway on AHN and its functional implications for AHN-related behaviours. In C3−/− mice, we found increased numbers and accelerated migration of adult born granule cells, indicating that absence of C3 leads to abnormal survival and distribution of adult born neurons. Loss of either C3 or C3aR affected the morphology of immature neurons, reducing morphological complexity, though these effects were more pronounced in the absence of C3aR. We assessed functional impacts of the cellular phenotypes in an operant spatial discrimination task that assayed AHN sensitive behaviours. Again, we observed differences in the effects of manipulating C3 or C3aR, in that whilst C3aR−/− mice showed evidence of enhanced pattern separation abilities, C3−/− mice instead demonstrated impaired behavioural flexibility. Our findings show that C3 and C3aR manipulation have distinct effects on AHN that impact at different stages in the development and maturation of newly born neurons, and that the dissociable cellular phenotypes are associated with specific alterations in AHN-related behaviours.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0889-1591
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 October 2021
Date of Acceptance: 9 August 2021
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 17:33
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/143772

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