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    The activity and the metabolism of the brain change rhythmically during the day/night cycle. Such rhythmicity is also observed in cultured neurons from the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is a critical center in rhythm maintenance. However, this issue has not been extensively studied in cultures from areas less involved in timekeeping, as the hippocampus. Using neurons cultured from the hippocampi of newborn rats (both male and female), we observed significant time-dependent changes in global activity, in synaptic vesicle dynamics, in synapse size, and in synaptic mRNA amounts. A transcriptome analysis of the neurons, performed at different times over 24 h, revealed significant changes only for RNA-binding motif 3 (Rbm3). RBM3 amounts changed, especially in synapses. RBM3 knockdown altered synaptic vesicle dynamics and changed the neuronal activity patterns. This procedure also altered local translation in synapses, albeit it left the global cellular translation unaffected. We conclude that hippocampal cultured neurons can exhibit strong changes in their activity levels over 24 h, in an RBM3-dependent fashion.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This work is important in several ways. First, the discovery of relatively regular activity patterns in hippocampal cultures implies that future studies using this common model will need to take the time parameter into account, to avoid misinterpretation. Second, our work links these changes in activity strongly to RBM3, in a fashion that is independent of the canonical clock mechanisms, which is a very surprising observation. Third, we describe here probably the first molecule (RBM3) whose manipulation affects translation specifically in synapses, and not at the whole-cell level. This is a key finding for the rapidly growing field of local synaptic translation. Copyright © 2021 Sertel et al.


    Sinem M Sertel, Malena S von Elling-Tammen, Silvio O Rizzoli. The mRNA-Binding Protein RBM3 Regulates Activity Patterns and Local Synaptic Translation in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2021 Feb 10;41(6):1157-1173

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    PMID: 33310754

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