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Brain Research Bulletin


Cell surface neural adhesion proteins are critical components in the complex orchestration of cell proliferation, apoptosis, and neuritogenesis essential for proper brain construction and behavior. We focused on the impact of two plasticity-associated IgLON family neural adhesion molecules, Neurotrimin (Ntm) and Limbic system associated membrane protein (Lsamp), on mouse behavior and its underlying neural development. Phenotyping neurons derived from the hippocampi of Lsamp−/−, Ntm−/− and Lsamp−/−Ntm−/− mice was performed in parallel with behavioral testing. While the anatomy of mutant brains revealed no gross changes, the Ntm−/− hippocampal neurons exhibited premature sprouting of neurites and manifested accelerated neurite elongation and branching. We propose that Ntm exerts an inhibitory impact on neurite outgrowth, whereas Lsamp appears to be an enhancer of the said process as premature neuritogenesis in Ntm−/− neurons is apparent only in the presence of Lsamp. We also show interplay between Lsamp and Ntm in regulating tissue homeostasis: the impact of Ntm on cellular proliferation was dependent on Lsamp, and Lsamp appeared to be a positive regulator of apoptosis in the presence of Ntm. Behavioral phenotyping indicated test-specific interactions between Lsamp and Ntm. The phenotypes of single mutant lines, such as reduced swimming speed in Morris water maze and increased activity in the elevated plus maze, were magnified in Lsamp−/−Ntm−/− mice. Altogether, evidence both from behavioral experiments and cultured hippocampal cells show combined and differential interactions between Ntm and Lsamp in the formation of hippocampal circuits and behavioral profiles. We demonstrate that mutual interactions between IgLON molecules regulate the initiation of neurite sprouting at very early ages, and even cell-autonomously, independent of their regulation of cell-cell adhesion.


Adhesion molecules, Hippocampus, IgLON, Lsamp, Ntm, Neuritogenesis

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