Reelin and apoE receptors cooperate to enhance hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning

Edwin J. Weeber, Uwe Beffert, Chris Jones, Jill M. Christian, Eckart Förster, J. David Sweatt, Joachim Herz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

452 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two apolipoprotein E (apoE) receptors, the very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) receptor and apoE receptor 2 (apoER2), are also receptors for Reelin, a signaling protein that regulates neuronal migration during brain development. In the adult brain, Reelin is expressed by GABA-ergic interneurons, suggesting a potential function as a modulator of neurotransmission. ApoE receptors have been indirectly implicated in memory and neurodegenerative disorders because their ligand, apoE, is genetically associated with Alzheimer disease. We have used knockout mice to investigate the role of Reelin and its receptors in cognition and synaptic plasticity. Mice lacking either the VLDL receptor or the apoER2 show contextual fear conditioning deficits. VLDL receptor-deficient mice also have a moderate defect in long term potentiation (LTP), and apoER2 knock-outs have a pronounced one. The perfusion of mouse hippocampal slices with Reelin has no effect on baseline synaptic transmission but significantly enhances LTP in area CA1. This Reelin-dependent augmentation of LTP is abolished in VLDL receptor and apoER2 knockout mice. Our results reveal a role for Reelin in controlling synaptic plasticity in the adult brain and suggest that both of its receptors are necessary for Reelin-dependent enhancement of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. Thus, the impairment of apoE receptor-dependent neuromodulation may contribute to cognitive impairment and synaptic loss in Alzheimer disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39944-39952
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume277
Issue number42
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 18 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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    Weeber, E. J., Beffert, U., Jones, C., Christian, J. M., Förster, E., David Sweatt, J., & Herz, J. (2002). Reelin and apoE receptors cooperate to enhance hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277(42), 39944-39952. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M205147200