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    Fragile X Syndrome (FX) is generally considered a developmental disorder, arising from a mutation that disrupts the transcription of Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP). However, FMRP regulates the transcription of other proteins and participates in an unknown number of protein-protein interactions throughout life. In addition to known developmental issues, it is thus likely that some dysfunction is also due to the ongoing absence of FMRP. Dissociating dysfunction due to developmental dysregulation from dysfunction due to the continued absence of FMRP is necessary to understand the different roles of FMRP and to treat patients effectively throughout life. We show here that FX model mice display substantial deficits in a PFC-dependent task. We then use conditional knock-out mice to eliminate FMRP only in the PFC alone of adult mice. We observe an increase in the proportion of nonlearners and a delay in the onset of learning in both FX and conditional knock-out mice. The results suggest that these deficits (1) are due to the absence of FMRP in the PFC alone and (2) are not the result of developmental dysregulation. Furthermore, PFC-associated deficits are rescued by initiating production of FMRP in adult conditional restoration mice, suggesting that PFC dysfunction may persist as long as FMRP is absent and therefore can be rescued after development. The data suggest that it is possible to dissociate the roles of FMRP in neural function from developmental dysregulation, and that PFC function can be restored in the adult FX brain.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The absence of Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP) from birth results in developmental disabilities and lifelong impairments. We show here that in mouse models PFC dysfunction in Fragile X Syndrome (FX) can be attributed to the continued absence of FMRP from the PFC, independent of FMRP status during development. Furthermore, initiation of FMRP production in the PFC of adult FX animals rescues PFC function. The results suggest that at least some FX-specific neurological defects can be rescued in the adult FX brain after development. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/377305-13$15.00/0.


    Jennifer J Siegel, Raymond A Chitwood, James M Ding, Clayton Payne, William Taylor, Richard Gray, Boris V Zemelman, Daniel Johnston. Prefrontal Cortex Dysfunction in Fragile X Mice Depends on the Continued Absence of Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein in the Adult Brain. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2017 Aug 02;37(31):7305-7317

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    PMID: 28652410

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