Reelin Regulates Developmental Desynchronization Transition of Neocortical Network Activity

Mohammad I.K. Hamad, Obada Rabaya, Abdalrahim Jbara, Solieman Daoud, Petya Petrova, Bassam R. Ali, Mohd Allouh, Joachim Herz, Eckart Förster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the first and second stages of postnatal development, neocortical neurons exhibit a wide range of spontaneous synchronous activity (SSA). Towards the end of the second postnatal week, the SSA is replaced by a more sparse and desynchronized firing pattern. The developmental desynchronization of neocortical spontaneous neuronal activity is thought to be intrinsically generated, since sensory deprivation from the periphery does not affect the time course of this transition. The extracellular protein reelin controls various aspects of neuronal development through multimodular signaling. However, so far it is unclear whether reelin contributes to the developmental desynchronization transition of neocortical neurons. The present study aims to investigate the role of reelin in postnatal cortical developmental desynchronization using a conditional reelin knockout (RelncKO) mouse model. Conditional reelin deficiency was induced during early postnatal development, and Ca2+ recordings were conducted from organotypic cultures (OTCs) of the somatosensory cortex. Our results show that both wild type (wt) and RelncKO exhibited an SSA pattern during the early postnatal week. However, at the end of the second postnatal week, wt OTCs underwent a transition to a desynchronized network activity pattern, while RelncKO activity remained synchronous. This changing activity pattern suggests that reelin is involved in regulating the developmental desynchronization of cortical neuronal network activity. Moreover, the developmental desynchronization impairment observed in RelncKO was rescued when RelncKO OTCs were co-cultured with wt OTCs. Finally, we show that the developmental transition to a desynchronized state at the end of the second postnatal week is not dependent on glutamatergic signaling. Instead, the transition is dependent on GABAAR and GABABR signaling. The results suggest that reelin controls developmental desynchronization through GABAAR and GABABR signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number593
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • GABA receptors
  • developmental desynchronization
  • neocortex
  • network activity
  • reelin
  • synchronized network activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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