Nlgn4 knockout induces network hypo-excitability in juvenile mouse somatosensory cortex in vitro
Neuroligins (Nlgns) are postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules that form transynaptic complexes with presynaptic neurexins and regulate synapse maturation and plasticity. We studied the impact of the loss of Nlgn4 on the excitatory and inhibitory circuits in somatosensory cortical slices of juvenile mice by electrically stimulating these circuits using a multi-electrode array and recording the synaptic input to single neurons using the patch-clamp technique. We detected a decreased network response to stimulation in both excitatory and inhibitory circuits of Nlgn4 knock-out animals as compared to wild-type controls, and a decreased excitation-inhibition ratio. These data indicate that Nlgn4 is involved in the regulation of excitatory and inhibitory circuits and contributes to a balanced circuit response to stimulation.