Delmotte Q - Diabira D - Belaidouni Y - Hamze M - Kochmann M - Montheil A - Gaiarsa JL - Porcher C - Belgacem YH
Frontiers in cellular neuroscience
Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling plays critical roles during early central nervous system development, such as neural cell proliferation, patterning of the neural tube and neuronal differentiation. While Shh signaling is still present in the postnatal brain, the roles it may play are, however, largely unknown. In particular, Shh signaling components are found at the synaptic junction in the maturing hippocampus during the first two postnatal weeks. This period is characterized by the presence of ongoing spontaneous synaptic activity at the cellular and network levels thought to play important roles in the onset of neuronal circuit formation and synaptic plasticity. Here, we demonstrate that non-canonical Shh signaling increases the frequency of the synchronized electrical activity called Giant Depolarizing Potentials (GDP) and enhances spontaneous GABA post-synaptic currents in the rodent hippocampus during the early postnatal period. This effect is mediated specifically through the Shh co-receptor Smoothened intracellular Ca signal and the activation of the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway. Given the importance of these spontaneous events on neuronal network maturation and refinement, this study opens new perspectives for Shh signaling on the control of early stages of postnatal brain maturation and physiology.