Npas4 regulates excitatory-inhibitory balance within neural circuits through cell-type-specific gene programs

Ivo Spiegel, Alan R. Mardinly, Harrison W. Gabel, Jeremy E. Bazinet, Cameron H. Couch, Christopher P. Tzeng, David A. Harmin, Michael E. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

202 Scopus citations

Abstract

The nervous system adapts to experience by inducing a transcriptional program that controls important aspects of synaptic plasticity. Although the molecular mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity are well characterized in excitatory neurons, the mechanisms that regulate this process in inhibitory neurons are only poorly understood. Here, we describe a transcriptional program that is induced by neuronal activity in inhibitory neurons. We find that, while neuronal activity induces expression of early-response transcription factors such as Npas4 in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons, Npas4 activates distinct programs of late-response genes in inhibitory and excitatory neurons. These late-response genes differentially regulate synaptic input to these two types of neurons, promoting inhibition onto excitatory neurons while inducing excitation onto inhibitory neurons. These findings suggest that the functional outcomes of activity-induced transcriptional responses are adapted in a cell-type-specific manner to achieve a circuit-wide homeostatic response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1216-1229
Number of pages14
JournalCell
Volume157
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 22 2014

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