Neuronal Ig/Caspr Recognition Promotes the Formation of Axoaxonic Synapses in Mouse Spinal Cord

Soha Ashrafi, J. Nicholas Betley, John D. Comer, Susan Brenner-Morton, Vered Bar, Yasushi Shimoda, Kazutada Watanabe, Elior Peles, Thomas M. Jessell, Julia A. Kaltschmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inhibitory microcircuits are wired with a precision that underlies their complex regulatory roles in neural information processing. In the spinal cord, one specialized class of GABAergic interneurons (GABApre) mediates presynaptic inhibitory control of sensory-motor synapses. The synaptic targeting of these GABAergic neurons exhibits an absolute dependence on proprioceptive sensory terminals, yet the molecular underpinnings of this specialized axoaxonic organization remain unclear. Here, we show that sensory expression of an NB2 (Contactin5)/Caspr4 coreceptor complex, together with spinal interneuron expression of NrCAM/CHL1, directs the high-density accumulation of GABAergic boutons on sensory terminals. Moreover, genetic elimination of NB2 results in a disproportionate stripping of inhibitory boutons from high-density GABApre-sensory synapses, suggesting that the preterminal axons of GABApre neurons compete for access to individual sensory terminals. Our findings define a recognition complex that contributes to the assembly and organization of a specialized GABAergic microcircuit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-129
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 8 Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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