Among the X-linked genes associated with intellectual disability, Oligophrenin-1 (OPHN1) encodes for a Rho GTPase-activating protein, a key regulator of several developmental processes, such as dendrite and spine formation and synaptic activity. Inhibitory interneurons play a key role in the development and function of neuronal circuits. Whether a mutation of OPHN1 can affect morphology and synaptic properties of inhibitory interneurons remains poorly understood. To address these open questions, we studied in a well-established mouse model of X-linked intellectual disability, i.e. a line of mice carrying a null mutation of OPHN1, the development and function of adult generated inhibitory interneurons in the olfactory bulb. Combining quantitative morphological analysis and electrophysiological recordings we found that the adult generated inhibitory interneurons were dramatically reduced in number and exhibited a higher proportion of filopodia-like spines, with the consequences on their synaptic function, in OPHN1 ko mice. Furthermore, we found that olfactory behaviour was perturbed in OPHN1 ko mice. Chronic treatment with a Rho kinase inhibitor rescued most of the defects of the newly generated neurons. Altogether, our data indicated that OPHN1 plays a key role in regulating the number, morphology and function of adult-born inhibitory interneurons and contributed to identify potential therapeutic targets.

You do not currently have access to this article.