A similar impairment in CA3 mossy fibre LTP in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington’s disease and in the complexin II knockout mouse.
Complexin II is reduced in Huntington's disease (HD) patients and in the R6/2 mouse model of HD. Mice lacking complexin II (Cplx2-/- mice) show selective cognitive deficits that reflect those seen in R6/2 mice. To determine whether or not there is a common mechanism that might underlie the cognitive deficits, long-term potentiation (LTP) was examined in the CA3 region of hippocampal slices from R6/2 mice and Cplx2-/- mice. While associational/commissural (A/C) LTP was not significantly different, mossy fibre (MF) LTP was significantly reduced in slices from R6/2 mice and Cplx2-/- mice compared with wild-type (WT) and Cplx2+/+ control mice. MF field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in response to paired stimuli were not significantly different between control mice and R6/2 or Cplx2-/- mice, suggesting that MF basal glutamate release is unaffected. Forskolin (30 microm) caused an increase in glutamate release at MF synapses in slices from R6/2 mice and from Cplx2-/- mice that was not significantly different from that seen in control mice, indicating that the capacity for increased glutamate release is not diminished. Thus, R6/2 mice and Cplx2-/- mice have a common selective impairment of MF LTP in the CA3 region. Together, these data suggest that complexin II is required for MF LTP, and that depletion of complexin II causes a selective impairment in MF LTP in the CA3 region. This impairment in MF LTP could contribute to spatial learning deficits observed in R6/2 and Cplx2-/- mice.