Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases that can be released or activated in a neuronal activity dependent manner. Although pathologically elevated levels of MMPs may be synaptotoxic, physiologically appropriate levels of MMPs may instead enhance synaptic transmission. MMP inhibitors can block long term potentiation (LTP), and at least one family member can affect an increase in the volume of dendritic spines. While the mechanism by which MMPs affect these changes is not completely understood, one possibility is that the cleavage of specific synaptic cell adhesion molecules plays a role. In the present study, we have examined the ability of neuronal activity to stimulate rapid MMP dependent shedding of the intercellular adhesion molecule-5 (ICAM-5), a synaptic adhesion molecule that is thought to inhibit the maturation and enlargement of dendritic spines. Since such cleavage would likely occur within minutes if it were relevant to a process such as LTP, we focused on post stimulus time points of 30 min or less. We show that NMDA can stimulate rapid shedding of ICAM-5 from cortical neurons in dissociated cell cultures and that such shedding is diminished by pretreatment of cultures with inhibitors that target MMP-3 and -9, proteases thought to influence synaptic plasticity. Additional studies suggest that MMP mediated cleavage of ICAM-5 occurs at amino acid 780, so that the major portion of the ectodomain is released. Since reductions in ICAM-5 have been linked to changes in dendritic spine morphology that are associated with LTP, we also examined the possibility that MMP dependent ICAM-5 shedding occurs following high frequency tetanic stimulation of murine hippocampal slices. Results show that the shedding of ICAM-5 occurs in association with LTP, and that both LTP and the associated ICAM-5 shedding are reduced when slices are pretreated with an MMP inhibitor. Together, these findings suggest that neuronal activity is linked to the shedding of a molecule that may inhibit dendritic spine enlargement and that MMPs can affect this change. While further studies will be necessary to determine the extent to which cleavage of ICAM-5 in particular contributes to MMP dependent LTP, our data support an emerging body of literature suggesting that MMPs are critical mediators of synaptic plasticity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Mar 17 2010|
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