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Type-II cadherins modulate neural activity in cultured rat hippocampal neurons

Matsunaga, Eijia,b; Kurotani, Tohruc; Suzuki, Kentaa,d; Okanoya, Kazuoa,c,e

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283491665

Cadherins, cell adhesion molecules widely expressed in the nervous system, are thought to be involved in synapse formation and function. To explore the role of cadherins in neuronal activity, we performed electrophysiological and morphological analyses of rat hippocampal cultured neurons overexpressing type-II cadherins, such as cadherin-6B and cadherin-7. We found that cadherin-6B increased but cadherin-7 decreased the number of protrusions of dendritic spines, and affected the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. Our results suggest that type-II cadherins may modulate neural activity by regulating neuronal morphology.

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aLaboratory for Biolinguistics

bLaboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Wako

cJST, ERATO, Okanoya Emotional Information Project, Wako

dDivision of Life Science, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University, Saitama

eDepartment of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

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Correspondence to Tohru Kurotani, JST, ERATO, Okanoya Emotional Information Project, Hirosawa 2-1, Wako, 351-0198 Japan and Kazuo Okanoya, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Hirosawa 2-1, Wako, 351-0198 Japan Tel: +81 48 462 1111×6823; fax: +81 48 467 7503; e-mail:;

Received May 13, 2011

Accepted May 23, 2011

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.