October 22, 2020

Pervasive compartment-specific regulation of gene expression during homeostatic synaptic scaling

Synaptic scaling is a form of homeostatic plasticity which allows neurons to adjust their action potential firing rate in response to chronic alterations in neural activity. Synaptic scaling requires profound changes in gene expression, but the relative contribution of local and cell-wide mechanisms is controversial. Here we performed a comprehensive multi-omics characterization of the somatic and process compartments of primary rat hippocampal neurons during synaptic scaling. Thereby, we uncovered both highly compartment-specific and correlated changes in the neuronal transcriptome and proteome. Whereas downregulation of crucial regulators of neuronal excitability occurred primarily in the somatic compartment, structural components of excitatory postsynapses were mostly downregulated in processes. Motif analysis further suggests an important role for trans-acting post-transcriptional regulators, including RNA-binding proteins and microRNAs, in the local regulation of the corresponding mRNAs. Altogether, our study indicates that compartmentalized gene expression changes are widespread in synaptic scaling and might co-exist with neuron-wide mechanisms to allow synaptic computation and homeostasis.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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