Fondazione IRCCS Don Gnocchi

Milano, Italy

Fondazione IRCCS Don Gnocchi

Milano, Italy
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Corradini I.,University of Milan | Corradini I.,Fondazione Filarete | Donzelli A.,University of Milan | Antonucci F.,University of Milan | And 21 more authors.
Cerebral Cortex | Year: 2014

Synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) is a protein that participates in the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis through the formation of the soluble NSF attachment protein receptor complex and modulates voltage-gated calcium channels activity. The Snap25 gene has been associated with schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder, and lower levels of SNAP-25 have been described in patients with schizophrenia. We used SNAP-25 heterozygous (SNAP-25+/-) mice to investigate at which extent the reduction of the protein levels affects neuronal network function and mouse behavior. As interactions of genotype with the specific laboratory conditions may impact behavioral results, the study was performed through a multilaboratory study in which behavioral tests were replicated in at least 2 of 3 distinct European laboratories. Reductions of SNAP-25 levels were associated with a moderate hyperactivity, which disappeared in the adult animals, and with impaired associative learning and memory. Electroencephalographic recordings revealed the occurrence of frequent spikes, suggesting a diffuse network hyperexcitability. Consistently, SNAP-25 +/- mice displayed higher susceptibility to kainate-induced seizures, paralleled by degeneration of hilar neurons. Notably, both EEG profile and cognitive defects were improved by antiepileptic drugs. These results indicate that reduction of SNAP-25 expression is associated to generation of epileptiform discharges and cognitive dysfunctions, which can be effectively treated by antiepileptic drugs. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Braida D.,University of Milan | Guerini F.R.,Fondazione IRCCS Don Gnocchi | Ponzoni L.,University of Milan | Corradini I.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | And 13 more authors.
Translational Psychiatry | Year: 2015

Synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) is involved in different neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Consistently, SNAP-25 polymorphisms in humans are associated with hyperactivity and/or with low cognitive scores. We analysed five SNAP-25 gene polymorphisms (rs363050, rs363039, rs363043, rs3746544 and rs1051312) in 46 autistic children trying to correlate them with Childhood Autism Rating Scale and electroencephalogram (EEG) abnormalities. The functional effects of rs363050 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) on the gene transcriptional activity, by means of the luciferase reporter gene, were evaluated. To investigate the functional consequences that SNAP-25 reduction may have in children, the behaviour and EEG of SNAP-25+/- adolescent mice (SNAP-25+/+) were studied. Significant association of SNAP-25 polymorphism with decreasing cognitive scores was observed. Analysis of transcriptional activity revealed that SNP rs363050 encompasses a regulatory element, leading to protein expression decrease. Reduction of SNAP-25 levels in adolescent mice was associated with hyperactivity, cognitive and social impairment and an abnormal EEG, characterized by the occurrence of frequent spikes. Both EEG abnormalities and behavioural deficits were rescued by repeated exposure for 21 days to sodium salt valproate (VLP). A partial recovery of SNAP-25 expression content in SNAP-25+/-hippocampi was also observed by means of western blotting. A reduced expression of SNAP-25 is responsible for the cognitive deficits in children affected by autism spectrum disorders, as presumably occurring in the presence of rs363050(G) allele, and for behavioural and EEG alterations in adolescent mice. VLP treatment could result in novel therapeutic strategies.

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