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Impact of psychotomimetic molecules on glutamatergic N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptors surface trafficking

Abstract : Glutamatergic N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDAR) play a key role in many physiological processes, and their implication in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders is now well established. Multiple lines of evidence converge towards a dysregulation of the NMDAR in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia (SCZ). However, the molecular and cellular deficits underlying NMDAR dysfunction remain misunderstood. By tightly controlling NMDAR synaptic localization, surface trafficking represents a powerful regulator of synaptic transmission. Could an alteration of NMDAR surface trafficking underlie NMDAR dysfunction and contribute to the emergence of psychotic disorders? To tackle this question, my PhD project aimed at investigating the impact of different psychotomimetic molecules on NMDAR surface trafficking. In the first part of my project, I explored the impact of NMDAR autoantibodies (NMDAR-Ab) from SCZ and healthy subjects. My results revealed that NMDAR-Ab from SCZ patients rapidly disturb NMDAR synaptic trafficking and distribution, through a loss of NMDAR-EphrinB2 receptor interaction, eventually preventing the induction of synaptic plasticity. In the second part of my PhD project, I showed that psychotomimetic NMDAR antagonists also alter NMDAR synaptic mobility and localization. Downregulation of PSD proteins expression prevented NMDAR antagonists-induced deficits, suggesting that such alterations ensue from modifications of NMDAR intracellular interactions. Taken together, these results demonstrate that psychotomimetic molecules profoundly impact NMDAR surface trafficking, supporting a pathogenic role of this unsuspected process in the emergence of psychotic symptoms.
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Julie Jezequel. Impact of psychotomimetic molecules on glutamatergic N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptors surface trafficking. Neurons and Cognition [q-bio.NC]. Université de Bordeaux, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016BORD0232⟩. ⟨tel-01926083⟩

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