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Deleting Mecp2 from the entire cerebellum rather than its neuronal subtypes causes a delay in motor learning in mice

By Nathan P Achilly, Lingjie He, Olivia A Kim, Shogo Ohmae, Gregory J Wojaczynski, Tao Lin, Roy V Sillitoe, Javier F Medina, Huda Y Zoghbi

Posted 12 Nov 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.12.380162

Rett syndrome is a devastating childhood neurological disorder caused by mutations in MECP2. Of the many symptoms, motor deterioration is a significant problem for patients. In mice, deleting Mecp2 from the cortex or basal ganglia causes motor dysfunction, hypoactivity, and tremor, which are abnormalities observed in patients. However, little is known about the consequences of deleting Mecp2 from the cerebellum, a brain region critical for motor function. Here we show that deleting Mecp2 from the entire cerebellum, but not from individual cerebellar cell types, causes a delay in motor learning that is overcome by additional training. We also observed irregular firing rates of Purkinje cells and transcriptional misregulation within the cerebellum of knockout mice. These findings demonstrate that the motor deficits present in Rett syndrome arise, in part, from cerebellar dysfunction. For Rett syndrome as well as other neurodevelopmental disorders, our results highlight the importance of understanding which brain regions contribute to disease phenotypes. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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