CDC50A dependent phosphatidylserine exposure induces inhibitory post-synapse elimination by microglia

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
J. ParkWon-Suk Chung

Abstract

Glia contribute to synapse elimination through phagocytosis in the central nervous system. Despite important roles during development and neurological disorders, the eat-me signal that initiates glia-mediated phagocytosis of synapses remains largely elusive. Here, by generating inducible conditional knockout mice of Cdc50a, we induced stable exposure of phosphatidylserine in the neuronal outer membrane. Surprisingly, acute Cdc50a deletion in neurons causes specific loss of inhibitory post-synapses without affecting other synapses, thereby generating excessive excitability with appearance of seizure. Ablating microglia or deleting microglial Mertk rescues the loss of inhibitory post-synapses, indicating that microglial phagocytosis is responsible for inhibitory post-synapse elimination. Moreover, inhibitory post-synapses in normal juvenile brains also use phosphatidylserine for synapse pruning by microglia, suggesting that phosphatidylserine may serve as a general eat-me signal for inhibitory post-synapse elimination.

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