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Implication des cellules microgliales dans le développement des réseaux synaptiques du néocortex somatosensoriel

Abstract : Microglial cells are a population of specialized macrophages residing in the CNS only. They have long been studied solely under pathological contexts and were thought to be active only upon homeostatic disturbance following a brain lesion. However, over the last decade, they have been increasingly recognized to be essential players in the physiological functioning of the CNS. Specifically, during the CNS formation, microglia has been shown to regulate apoptosis and neuronal survival. They are also able to directly interact with synapses, by eliminating supernumerary and inappropriate connections, by promoting synapse formation or by regulating their activity. However, mechanisms by which microglia influence wiring and functional maturation of cortical are not fully understood. To better assess the role of microglia in cortical development, we used the barrel field as a model of neuronal development and we combined in vivo manipulations together with electrophysiology, optogenetics, pharmacologic and histologic approaches on brain slices of genetically-engineered mice. We first explored the consequences of microglia entry near the terminals of thalamic afferents (center of the barrels) in the primary somatosensory cortex during the first postnatal week on functional properties of thalamocortical synapses and associated disynaptic feedforward inhibition. By selectively depleting microglia at early postnatal days by intracerebral injections of clodronate-encapsulated liposomes, we show that microglia absence during the first postnatal week delays the functional maturation of both monosynaptic thalamocortical synapse and feedforward inhibition of layer 4 principal cells of the barrel cortex (PC) up to the 10th and 12th postnatal days (P10-12). To identify the mechanism underlying this process, we used the CX3CR1+/CreERT2; BDNFlox/lox mouse line allowing the conditional deletion of microglial BDNF during the first postnatal week. Our recordings indicate that the absence of microglial BDNF, as well as early microglia depletion, leads to a deficit in the functional maturation of both monosynaptic excitatory and disynaptic inhibitory thalamocortical connexions between P10-12. We therefore identified a microglial key factor in the maturation of cortical synapses. Our recordings in the young adult suggest that early microglial BDNF deletion has a long-term effect on thalamocortical excitatory synapses. In a second study, we investigated the consequences of microglia dysfunction during embryonic development on cortical networks wiring. Maternal immune activation (MIA) triggered by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection modifies the laminar repartition of parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory interneurons (PV+), key actors in neuropsychiatric disease, in the cortex until P20. Our functional data revealed that these MIA and depletion protocols lead to an increase of layer 4 PC perisomatic inhibition at P20, as well as a horizontal exuberance of cortical inhibition supported by PV+ interneurons. This increased inhibition does not last within development as suggested by our recordings in the adult. On the opposite, it seems that MIA and early microglia depletion result in weaker inhibitory synapses at P60. To conclude, we postulate that microglial cells are the missing link between maternal immune challenge and à higher risk of having neurodevelopmental pathologies like autism or schizophrenia. Our results highlight the crucial role of microglial cells in neuronal network development during perinatal period.
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Coralie-Anne Mosser. Implication des cellules microgliales dans le développement des réseaux synaptiques du néocortex somatosensoriel. Neurosciences [q-bio.NC]. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018USPCB074⟩. ⟨tel-02511079⟩

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