VEGF modulates synaptic activity in the developing spinal cord

Sylvaine Guérit, Anne-Emilie Allain, Céline Léon, William Cazenave, Napoleone Ferrara, Pascal Branchereau, Andréas Bikfalvi
Devel Neurobio. 2014-05-24; 74(11): 1110-1122
DOI: 10.1002/dneu.22187

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1. Dev Neurobiol. 2014 Nov;74(11):1110-22. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22187. Epub 2014 May

VEGF modulates synaptic activity in the developing spinal cord.

Guérit S(1), Allain AE, Léon C, Cazenave W, Ferrara N, Branchereau P, Bikfalvi A.

Author information:
(1)Université Bordeaux, Angiogenesis and Tumor Microenvironment Laboratory,
F-33615 Pessac Cedex France; INSERM, Angiogenesis and Tumor Microenvironment
Laboratory, F-33615 Pessac Cedex, France.

Although it has been documented that the nervous and the vascular systems share
numerous analogies and are closely intermingled during development and
pathological processes, interactions between the two systems are still poorly
described. In this study, we investigated whether vascular endothelial growth
factor (VEGF), which is a key regulator of vascular development, also modulates
neuronal developmental processes. We report that VEGF enhances the
gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)/glycinergic but not glutamatergic synaptic
activity in embryonic spinal motoneurons (MNs), without affecting MNs
excitability. In response to VEGF, the frequency of these synaptic events but not
their amplitude was increased. Blocking endogenous VEGF led to an opposite effect
by decreasing frequency of synaptic events. We found that this effect occurred
specifically at early developmental stages (E13.5 and E15.5) and vanished at the
prenatal stage E17.5. Furthermore, VEGF was able to increase vesicular inhibitory
amino acid transporter density at the MN membrane. Inhibition of single VEGF
receptors did not modify electrophysiological parameters indicating receptor
combinations or an alternative pathway. Altogether, our findings identify VEGF as
a modulator of the neuronal activity during synapse formation and highlight a new
ontogenic role for this angiogenic factor in the nervous system.

© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

DOI: 10.1002/dneu.22187
PMID: 24782305 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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