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NGL-2 Deletion Leads to Autistic-like Behaviors Responsive to NMDAR Modulation.

Cell Rep. 2018 Jun 26;23(13):3839-3851

Authors: Um SM, Ha S, Lee H, Kim J, Kim K, Shin W, Cho YS, Roh JD, Kang J, Yoo T, Noh YW, Choi Y, Bae YC, Kim E

Netrin-G ligand 2 (NGL-2)/LRRC4, implicated in autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, is a leucine-rich repeat-containing postsynaptic adhesion molecule that interacts intracellularly with the excitatory postsynaptic scaffolding protein PSD-95 and trans-synaptically with the presynaptic adhesion molecule netrin-G2. Functionally, NGL-2 regulates excitatory synapse development and synaptic transmission. However, whether it regulates synaptic plasticity and disease-related specific behaviors is not known. Here, we report that mice lacking NGL-2 (Lrrc4-/- mice) show suppressed N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. NGL-2 associates with NMDARs through both PSD-95-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Moreover, Lrrc4-/- mice display mild social interaction deficits and repetitive behaviors that are rapidly improved by pharmacological NMDAR activation. These results suggest that NGL-2 promotes synaptic stabilization of NMDARs, regulates NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity, and prevents autistic-like behaviors from developing in mice, supporting the hypothesis that NMDAR dysfunction contributes to autism spectrum disorders.

PMID: 29949768 [PubMed – in process]

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