PubMed 21411672

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav2.1 , Kir6.2

Title: Delayed postnatal loss of P/Q-type calcium channels recapitulates the absence epilepsy, dyskinesia, and ataxia phenotypes of genomic Cacna1a mutations.

Authors: Melanie D Mark, Takashi Maejima, Denise Kuckelsberg, Jong W Yoo, Robert A Hyde, Viral Shah, Davina Gutierrez, Rosa L Moreno, Wolfgang Kruse, Jeffrey L Noebels, Stefan Herlitze

Journal, date & volume: J. Neurosci., 2011 Mar 16 , 31, 4311-26

PubMed link:

Inherited loss of P/Q-type calcium channel function causes human absence epilepsy, episodic dyskinesia, and ataxia, but the molecular "birthdate" of the neurological syndrome and its dependence on prenatal pathophysiology is unknown. Since these channels mediate transmitter release at synapses throughout the brain and are expressed early in embryonic development, delineating the critical circuitry and onset underlying each of the emergent phenotypes requires targeted control of gene expression. To visualize P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels and dissect their role in neuronal networks at distinct developmental stages, we created a novel conditional Cacna1a knock-in mouse by inserting the floxed green fluorescent protein derivative Citrine into the first exon of Cacna1a and then crossed it with a postnatally expressing PCP2-Cre line for delayed Purkinje cell (PC) gene deletion within the cerebellum and sparsely in forebrain (purky). PCs in purky mice lacked P/Q-type calcium channel protein and currents within the first month after birth, displayed altered spontaneous firing, and showed impaired neurotransmission. Unexpectedly, adult purky mice exhibited the full spectrum of neurological deficits seen in mice with genomic Cacna1a ablation. Our results show that the ataxia, dyskinesia, and absence epilepsy caused by inherited disorders of the P/Q-type channel arise from signaling defects beginning in late infancy, revealing an early window of opportunity for therapeutic intervention.