PubMed 12270032

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir2.2 , Kir2.3 , Kir3.2

Title: Degeneration of pontine mossy fibres during cerebellar development in weaver mutant mice.

Authors: Miwako Ozaki, Tsutomu Hashikawa, Kazutaka Ikeda, Yukie Miyakawa, Tomio Ichikawa, Yoshihiro Ishihara, Toshiro Kumanishi, Ryoji Yano

Journal, date & volume: Eur. J. Neurosci., 2002 Aug , 16, 565-74

PubMed link:

In weaver mutant mice, substitution of an amino acid residue in the pore region of GIRK2, a subtype of the G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying K+ channel, changes the properties of the homomeric channel to produce a lethal depolarized state in cerebellar granule cells and dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra. Degeneration of these types of neurons causes strong ataxia and Parkinsonian phenomena in the mutant mice, respectively. On the other hand, the mutant gene is also expressed in various other brain regions, in which the mutant may have effects on neuronal survival. Among these regions, we focused on the pontine nuclei, the origin of the pontocerebellar mossy fibres, projecting mainly into the central region of the cerebellar cortex. The results of histological analysis showed that by P9 the number of neurons in the nuclei was reduced in the mutant to about one half and by P18 to one third of those in the wild type, whereas until P7 the number were about the same in wild-type and weaver mutant mice. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the nuclei showed a marked reduction in volume and shape of the mutant nuclei, correlating well with the decrease in neuronal number. In addition, DiI (a lipophilic tracer dye) tracing experiments revealed retraction of pontocerebellar mossy fibres from the cerebellar cortex after P5. From these results, we conclude that projecting neurons in the pontine nuclei, as well as cerebellar granule cells and dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra, strongly degenerate in weaver mutant mice, resulting in elimination of pontocerebellar mossy fibres during cerebellar development.