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Neuropilin 2/Plexin-A3 receptors regulate the functional connectivity and the excitability in the layers 4 and 5 of the cerebral cortex

Khdour, Hussain Y., Kondabolu, Krishnakanth, Khadka, Alina, Assous, Maxime, Tepper, James M., Tran, Tracy S. and Polack, Pierre-Olivier 2022. Neuropilin 2/Plexin-A3 receptors regulate the functional connectivity and the excitability in the layers 4 and 5 of the cerebral cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience 42 (24) , pp. 4828-4840. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1965-21.2022

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The functions of cortical networks are progressively established during development by series of events shaping the neuronal connectivity. Synaptic elimination, which consists of removing the supernumerary connections generated during the earlier stages of cortical development, is one of the latest stages in neuronal network maturation. The semaphorin 3F coreceptors neuropilin 2 (Nrp2) and plexin-A3 (PlxnA3) may play an important role in the functional maturation of the cerebral cortex by regulating the excess dendritic spines on cortical excitatory neurons. Yet, the identity of the connections eliminated under the control of Nrp2/PlxnA3 signaling is debated, and the importance of this synaptic refinement for cortical functions remains poorly understood. Here, we show that Nrp2/PlxnA3 controls the spine densities in layer 4 (L4) and on the apical dendrite of L5 neurons of the sensory and motor cortices. Using a combination of neuroanatomical, ex vivo electrophysiology, and in vivo functional imaging techniques in Nrp2 and PlxnA3 KO mice of both sexes, we disprove the hypothesis that Nrp2/PlxnA3 signaling is required to maintain the ectopic thalamocortical connections observed during embryonic development. We also show that the absence of Nrp2/PlxnA3 signaling leads to the hyperexcitability and excessive synchronization of the neuronal activity in L5 and L4 neuronal networks, suggesting that this system could participate in the refinement of the recurrent corticocortical connectivity in those layers. Altogether, our results argue for a role of semaphorin–Nrp2/PlxnA3 signaling in the proper maturation and functional connectivity of the cerebral cortex, likely by controlling the refinement of recurrent corticocortical connections.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 0270-6474
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 March 2023
Date of Acceptance: 15 March 2022
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 09:03

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