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Abstract Details

Temporal Silencing of Purkinje Cell Neurotransmission Reveals a Dynamic Role for Cerebellar Function in Neurodevelopment
Child Neurology and Developmental Neurology
P10 - Poster Session 10 (8:00 AM-9:00 AM)
Disruptions of cerebellar function have been increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide array of neurodevelopmental disorders. While there has been increasing focus on genetically mediated etiologies of disrupted cerebellar function, less attention has been given to acquired etiologies although they underlie diseases with high incidence and prevalence, such as the neurodevelopmental disability associated with prematurity and autism spectrum disorders. The present study uses mouse transgenics to develop a synthetic model of cerebellar developmental dysfunction and interrogates the role of cerebellar neurotransmission in early brain development.

To determine whether differential timing of disrupted cerebellar function influences the nature and severity of associated neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Using inducible tissue specific Cre-mediated recombination the present model allows for spatial and temporal induction of cerebellar dysfunction through timed excision of the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) specifically in Purkinje cells. Using this line, Purkinje cell neurotransmission is silenced in utero (EarlyOff) or at time of weaning (LateOff), corresponding developmentally to the immature and mature cerebellum. Mouse behavior and the electrophysiologic profile of cerebellar nuclear neurons was then performed comparing EarlyOff, LateOff, and control animals at 8-10 weeks of life.
Compared to controls EarlyOFF showed significantly altered gross motor behavior (rotarod assay, footprinting), social behavior (3-chamber assay), and hyperactivity (open field assay). Compared to controls, LateOff had equivalent performance on gross motor assays but showed significant hyperactivity. Social tests are ongoing. Cerebellar nuclear electrophysiology from awake behaving animals revealed significantly different and divergent spike profiles between EarlyOff, LateOff, and controls. 
The developmental timing of cerebellar dysfunction leads to discrepant behavioral and electrophysiologic profiles. These findings underline that the disparate phenotypes of neurodevelopmental disability associated with prematurity and autism may nonetheless have shared cerebellar etiology, emphasize the necessity of understanding how cerebellar nuclear signaling influences broad cortical function, and reveal a potential target for neuromodulatory intervention.
Jason Singh Gill, MD, PhD (Baylor College of Medicine)
Dr. Gill has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as an Expert Witness for Elite Medical Experts. The institution of Dr. Gill has received research support from NIH-NINDS.
Megan Nguyen, Other Miss Nguyen has nothing to disclose.
Roy Sillitoe Roy Sillitoe has nothing to disclose.