Canonical Wnt3a modulates intracellular calcium and enhances excitatory neurotransmission in hippocampal neurons

Miguel E. Avila, Fernando J. Sepúlveda, Carlos F. Burgos, Gustavo Moraga-Cid, Jorge Parodi, Randall T. Moon, Luis G. Aguayo, Carlos Opazo, Giancarlo V. De Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A role for Wnt signal transduction in the development and maintenance of brain structures is widely acknowledged. Recent studies have suggested that Wnt signaling may be essential for synaptic plasticity and neurotransmission. However, the direct effect of a Wnt protein on synaptic transmission had not been demonstrated. Here we show that nanomolar concentrations of purified Wnt3a protein rapidly increase the frequency of miniature excitatory synaptic currents in embryonic rat hippocampal neurons through a mechanism involving a fast influx of calcium from the extracellular space, induction of post-translational modifications on the machinery involved in vesicle exocytosis in the presynaptic terminal leading to spontaneous Ca2+ transients. Our results identify the Wnt3a protein and a member of its complex receptor at the membrane, the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) coreceptor, as key molecules in neurotransmission modulation and suggest crosstalk between canonical and Wnt/Ca2+ signaling in central neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18939-18947
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume285
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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