Control of excitatory and inhibitory synapse formation by neuroligins.

Science

PubMedID: 15681343

Chih B, Engelman H, Scheiffele P. Control of excitatory and inhibitory synapse formation by neuroligins. Science. 2005;307(5713):1324-8.
The normal function of neural networks depends on a delicate balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. Synapse formation is thought to be regulated by bidirectional signaling between pre- and postsynaptic cells. We demonstrate that members of the Neuroligin family promote postsynaptic differentiation in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. Down-regulation of neuroligin isoform expression by RNA interference results in a loss of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Electrophysiological analysis revealed a predominant reduction of inhibitory synaptic function. Thus, neuroligins control the formation and functional balance of excitatory and inhibitory synapses in hippocampal neurons.