Activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR Pathway in Cajal-Retzius Cells Leads to Their Survival and Increases Susceptibility to Kainate-Induced Seizures

Nasim Ramezanidoraki, Driss El Ouardi, Margaux Le, Stéphanie Moriceau, Mahboubeh Ahmadi, Dossi Elena, Danae Rolland, Philippe Bun, Gwenaëlle Le Pen, Guillaume Canaud,, Nadia Bahi-Buisson, Nathalie Rouach, Rebecca Piskorowski, Alessandra Pierani, Pierre Billuart

Source : Int J Mol Sci

2023 Mar 11

Pmid / DOI: 36982451


Cajal-Retzius cells (CRs) are a class of transient neurons in the mammalian cortex that play a critical role in cortical development. Neocortical CRs undergo almost complete elimination in the first two postnatal weeks in rodents and the persistence of CRs during postnatal life has been detected in pathological conditions related to epilepsy. However, it is unclear whether their persistence is a cause or consequence of these diseases. To decipher the molecular mechanisms involved in CR death, we investigated the contribution of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway as it plays a critical role in cell survival. We first showed that this pathway is less active in CRs after birth before massive cell death. We also explored the spatio-temporal activation of both AKT and mTOR pathways and reveal area-specific differences along both the rostro-caudal and medio-lateral axes. Next, using genetic approaches to maintain an active pathway in CRs, we found that the removal of either PTEN or TSC1, two negative regulators of the pathway, lead to differential CR survivals, with a stronger effect in the Pten model. Persistent cells in this latter mutant are still active. They express more Reelin and their persistence is associated with an increase in the duration of kainate-induced seizures in females. Altogether, we show that the decrease in PI3K/AKT/mTOR activity in CRs primes these cells to death by possibly repressing a survival pathway, with the mTORC1 branch contributing less to the phenotype.

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