In the adult hippocampus new neurons are generated in the dentate gyrus from neural progenitor cells. Adult-born neurons integrate into the hippocampal circuitry and contribute to hippocampal function. PSD95 is a major postsynaptic scaffold protein that is crucial for morphological maturation and synaptic development of hippocampal neurons. Here we study the function of PSD95 in adult hippocampal neurogenesis by downregulating PSD95 expression in newborn cells using retroviral-mediated RNA interference. Retroviruses coding for a control shRNA or an shRNA targeting PSD95 (shPSD95)were stereotaxically injected into the dorsal dentate gyrus of 2-month-old C57BL/6 mice. PSD95 knockdown did not affect neuronal differentiation of newborn cells into neurons, or migration of newborn neurons into the granule cell layer. Morphological analysis revealed that newborn neurons expressing shPSD95 showed increased dendritic length and increased number of high-order dendrites. Concomitantly, dendrites from shPSD95-expressing newborn granule neurons showed a reduction in the density of dendritic spines. These results suggest that PSD95 is required for proper dendritic and spine maturation of adult-born neurons, but not for early stages of neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience