TitleAdult brain neurons require continual expression of the schizophrenia-risk gene Tcf4 for structural and functional integrity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsSarkar D, Shariq M, Dwivedi D, Krishnan N, Naumann R, Bhalla USingh, Ghosh HS
JournalTransl Psychiatry
Date Published2021 Sep 25

The schizophrenia-risk gene Tcf4 has been widely studied in the context of brain development using mouse models of haploinsufficiency, in utero knockdown and embryonic deletion. However, Tcf4 continues to be abundantly expressed in adult brain neurons where its functions remain unknown. Given the importance of Tcf4 in psychiatric diseases, we investigated its role in adult neurons using cell-specific deletion and genetic tracing in adult animals. Acute loss of Tcf4 in adult excitatory neurons in vivo caused hyperexcitability and increased dendritic complexity of neurons, effects that were distinct from previously observed effects in embryonic-deficiency models. Interestingly, transcriptomic analysis of genetically traced adult-deleted FACS-sorted Tcf4-knockout neurons revealed that Tcf4 targets in adult neurons are distinct from those in the embryonic brain. Meta-analysis of the adult-deleted neuronal transcriptome from our study with the existing datasets of embryonic Tcf4 deficiencies revealed plasma membrane and ciliary genes to underlie Tcf4-mediated structure-function regulation specifically in adult neurons. The profound changes both in the structure and excitability of adult neurons upon acute loss of Tcf4 indicates that proactive regulation of membrane-related processes underlies the functional and structural integrity of adult neurons. These findings not only provide insights for the functional relevance of continual expression of a psychiatric disease-risk gene in the adult brain but also identify previously unappreciated gene networks underpinning mature neuronal regulation during the adult lifespan.

Alternate JournalTransl Psychiatry
PubMed ID34564703
Grant ListBT/PR33066/MED/122/224/ 2019 / / Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology (DBT) /
SB/S2/RJN-091/2015 / / DST | Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) /
12-R&D-TFR-5.04-0800 / / Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India (DAE) /
20/12/2015(ii)EU-V / / University Grants Commission India | UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific Research, University Grants Commission (UGC-DAE- Consortium for Scientific Research) /