Research report 2020 - Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
Deletion of a schizophrenia and autism risk gene impairs synaptic connectivity in amygdala fear circuit
Asede, Douglas; Bolton, M. McLean
Abteilung für Funktionsstörungen neuronaler Netzwerke
SummaryNeurexins are proteins in the presynaptic terminals of neurons that reach across the synapse to link to a partner protein on the postsynaptic side. This partnership is important for the formation and function of synapses. Genetic studies indicate that mutations in one member of the neurexin family, neurexin1α (NRXN1α), are found in patients with schizophrenia and autism. We discovered that specific synapses in a part of the fear center of the brain, the amygdala, are particularly susceptible to the loss of NRXN1α, leading to poor ability to learn and understand fear inducing stimuli.