Robo2 regulates synaptic oxytocin content by affecting actin dynamics

Savani Anbalagan, Janna Blechman, Michael Gliksberg, Ludmila Gordon, Ron Rotkopf, Tali Dadosh, Eyal Shimoni, Gil Levkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The regulation of neuropeptide level at the site of release is essential for proper neurophysiological functions. We focused on a prominent neuropeptide, oxytocin (OXT) in the zebrafish as an in vivo model to visualize and quantify OXT content at the resolution of a single synapse. We found that OXT-loaded synapses were enriched with polymerized actin. Perturbation of actin filaments by either cytochalasin-D or conditional Cofilin expression resulted in decreased synaptic OXT levels. Genetic loss of robo2 or slit3 displayed decreased synaptic OXT content and robo2 mutants displayed reduced mobility of the actin probe Lifeact-EGFP in OXT synapses. Using a novel transgenic reporter allowing real-time monitoring of OXT-loaded vesicles, we show that robo2 mutants display slower rate of vesicles accumulation. OXT-specific expression of dominant-negative Cdc42, which is a key regulator of actin dynamics and a downstream effector of Robo2, led to a dose-dependent increase in OXT content in WT, and a dampened effect in robo2 mutants. Our results link Slit3-Robo2-Cdc42, which controls local actin dynamics, with the maintenance of synaptic neuropeptide levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere45650
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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