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Neuroligins (NLs) are a family of neural cell-adhesion molecules that are involved in excitatory/inhibitory synapse specification. Multiple members of the NL family (including NL1) and their binding partners have been linked to cases of human autism and mental retardation. We have now characterized NL1-deficient mice in autism- and mental(More)
The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) Proteolysis Site (GPS) of cell-adhesion GPCRs and polycystic kidney disease (PKD) proteins constitutes a highly conserved autoproteolysis sequence, but its catalytic mechanism remains unknown. Here, we show that unexpectedly the ∼40-residue GPS motif represents an integral part of a much larger ∼320-residue domain that(More)
Locomotor activity and spinal reflexes (SRs) show common features in different mammals, including humans. Here we report the time-course of the development of locomotor activity and SRs after a complete spinal cord injury in humans. SRs evoked by tibial nerve stimulation were studied, as was the leg muscle electromyography activity evoked by mechanically(More)
OBJECTIVE Spinal neuronal function is impaired after a severe spinal cord injury (SCI) and can be assessed by the analysis of spinal reflex (SR) behavior. We applied transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS) and locomotor activity, to determine whether the excitability of spinal neuronal circuitries underlying locomotion can be modulated(More)
Rodents are frequently used to model damage and diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) that lead to functional deficits. Impaired locomotor function is currently evaluated by using scoring systems or biomechanical measures. These methods often suffer from limitations such as subjectivity, nonlinearity and low sensitivity, or focus on a few very(More)
Neuroligins (NL) are postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules that are thought to specify synapse properties. Previous studies showed that mutant mice carrying an autism-associated point mutation in NL3 exhibit social interaction deficits, enhanced inhibitory synaptic function and increased staining of inhibitory synaptic puncta without changes in overall(More)
Neuroligins, first discovered in rat brain, form a family of three synaptically enriched membrane proteins. Using reverse transcription-PCR of human brain polyadenylated RNA and extensive database searches, we identified the human homologues of the three rat neuroligins and a cDNA encoding a fourth member, which we named neuroligin 4. Neuroligin 4 has(More)
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is formed by brain capillary endothelial cells. These cells have at least three properties which distinguish them from their peripheral counterparts: (1) tight junctions (TJs) of extremely low permeability; (2) low rates of fluid-phase endocytosis; (3) specific transport and carrier molecules. In combination, these features(More)
During the initial stage of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation, nerve-derived agrin cooperates with muscle-autonomous mechanisms in the organization and stabilization of a plaque-like postsynaptic specialization at the site of nerve-muscle contact. Subsequent NMJ maturation to the characteristic pretzel-like appearance requires extensive structural(More)
Etiology and pathogenesis of sarcopenia, the progressive decline in skeletal muscle mass and strength that occurs with aging, are still poorly understood. We recently found that overexpression of the neural serine protease neurotrypsin in motoneurons resulted in the degeneration of their neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) within days. Therefore, we wondered(More)