Migraine is a complex brain disorder, characterized by attacks of unilateral headache and global dysfunction in multisensory information processing, whose underlying cellular and circuit mechanisms remain unknown. The finding of enhanced excitatory, but unaltered inhibitory, neurotransmission at intracortical synapses in mouse models of familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) suggested the hypothesis that dysregulation of the excitatory-inhibitory balance in specific circuits is a key pathogenic mechanism. Here, we investigated the thalamocortical (TC) feed-forward inhibitory microcircuit in FHM1 mice of both sexes carrying a gain-of-function mutation in CaV2.1. We show that TC synaptic transmission in somatosensory cortex is enhanced in FHM1 mice. Due to similar gain-of-function of TC excitation of layer 4 excitatory and fast-spiking inhibitory neurons elicited by single thalamic stimulations, neither the excitatory-inhibitory balance nor the integration time window set by the TC feed-forward inhibitory microcircuit were altered in FHM1 mice. However, during repetitive thalamic stimulation, the typical shift of the excitatory-inhibitory balance towards excitation and the widening of the integration time window were both smaller in FHM1 compared to wild-type mice, revealing a dysregulation of the excitatory-inhibitory balance, whereby the balance is relatively skewed towards inhibition. This is due to an unexpected differential effect of the FHM1 mutation on short-term synaptic plasticity at TC synapses on cortical excitatory and fast-spiking inhibitory neurons. Our findings point to enhanced transmission of sensory, including trigeminovascular nociceptive, signals from thalamic nuclei to cortex and TC excitatory-inhibitory imbalance as mechanisms that may contribute to headache, increased sensory gain, and sensory processing dysfunctions in migraine.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTMigraine is a complex brain disorder, characterized by attacks of unilateral headache and by global dysfunction in multisensory information processing, whose underlying cellular and circuit mechanisms remain unknown. Here we provide insights into these mechanisms by investigating thalamocortical (TC) synaptic transmission and the function of the TC feed-forward inhibitory microcircuit in a mouse model of a rare monogenic migraine. This microcircuit is critical for gating information flow to cortex and for sensory processing. We reveal increased TC transmission and dysregulation of the cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance set by the TC feed-forward inhibitory microcircuit, whereby the balance is relatively skewed towards inhibition during repetitive thalamic activity. These alterations may contribute to headache, increased sensory gain, and sensory processing dysfunctions in migraine.
|Titolo:||Enhanced thalamocortical synaptic transmission and dysregulation of the excitatory-inhibitory balance at the thalamocortical feed-forward inhibitory microcircuit in a genetic mouse model of migraine|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|