Inputs from the ventral hippocampus (vHIP) to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) have been implicated in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we show that the long-range vHIP-mPFC projection is hyperactive in the Mecp2 knockout (KO) mouse model of the autism spectrum disorder Rett syndrome, which has deficits in social memory. Chronically mimicking vHIP-mPFC hyperexcitability in wild-type mice impaired social memory, whereas chronic inhibition of mPFC-projecting vHIP neurons in Mecp2 KO mice rescued social memory deficits; the extent of memory rescue was negatively correlated with the strength of vHIP input to the mPFC. Acute manipulations of the vHIP-mPFC projection also affected social memory in a specific and selective manner, suggesting that proper vHIP-mPFC signaling is necessary to recall social memories. In addition, we identified an altered vHIP-mPFC innervation pattern and increased synaptic strength onto layer 5 pyramidal neurons as contributing factors in aberrant vHIP-mPFC signaling in Mecp2 KO mice.
Autism spectrum disorder is associated with challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues. Here is the latest research on autism.
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