Microglial MERTK eliminates phosphatidylserine-displaying inhibitory post-synapses

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Glia contribute to synapse elimination through phagocytosis in the central nervous system. Despite the important roles of this process in development and neurological disorders, the identity and regulation of the "eat-me" signal that initiates glia-mediated phagocytosis of synapses has remained incompletely understood. Here, we generated conditional knockout mice with neuronal-specific deletion of the flippase chaperone Cdc50a, to induce stable exposure of phosphatidylserine, a well-known "eat-me" signal for apoptotic cells, on the neuronal outer membrane. Surprisingly, acute Cdc50a deletion in mature neurons causes preferential phosphatidylserine exposure in neuronal somas and specific loss of inhibitory post-synapses without effects on other synapses, resulting in abnormal excitability and seizures. Ablation of microglia or the deletion of microglial phagocytic receptor Mertk prevents the loss of inhibitory post-synapses and the seizure phenotype, indicating that microglial phagocytosis is responsible for inhibitory post-synapse elimination. Moreover, we found that phosphatidylserine is used for microglia-mediated pruning of inhibitory post-synapses in normal brains, suggesting that phosphatidylserine serves as a general "eat-me" signal for inhibitory post-synapse elimination.
Publisher
WILEY
Issue Date
2021-08
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

EMBO JOURNAL, v.40, no.15, pp.e107121

ISSN
0261-4189
DOI
10.15252/embj.2020107121
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/287222
Appears in Collection
BS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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