, 2004). Thus, we considered the possibility that some Ca2+-dependent genes regulate CF synapse elimination in the cerebellum. We focused on an immediate early gene, Arc, because its expression is tightly coupled to neural activity downstream of multiple signaling pathways ( Bramham et al., 2008 and Shepherd and Bear, 2011), including Ca2+ influx through VDCCs ( Adams et al., 2009). Arc messenger RNA (mRNA) is detectable in PCs in the mouse cerebellum at an early postnatal stage, and its expression increases
during postnatal development (Allen drug discovery Brain Atlas; http://mouse.brain-map.org). We confirmed this expression pattern by comparing Arc mRNA expression levels in the mouse cerebellum at postnatal day 9 (P9) and P16 by real-time PCR. Arc mRNA expression level at P16 was more than 2-fold higher than at P9, indicating that the expression of Arc significantly increases during the period of CF synapse elimination ( Figure 3A; left, normalized by HPRT,
p = 0.0005; right, normalized by GAPDH, p = 0.0159, Student’s t test). To examine whether Arc expression in PCs is activity dependent, we used Arc-pro-Venus-pest transgenic mice in which a Venus fluorescent reporter is expressed under the control of Arc promoter ( Kawashima et al., 2009). We made cocultures of cerebellar slices derived from Arc-pro-Venus-pest transgenic mice and explants of medulla oblongata. Robust expression of Arc was observed mainly in 3-Methyladenine solubility dmso PCs by either membrane depolarization (high K+, 60 mM) ( Figures 3B) or optogenetic excitation (1 s blue light exposure at 0.1 Hz) ( Figure S3A). The increase of Arc expression was suppressed when ω-agatoxin IVA (0.4 μM) was applied in the high K+-containing culture medium ( Figure 3B). Similar suppression of high K+-induced elevation of Arc expression was observed in cocultures with PC-specific P/Q knockdown ( Figure S3B).
We further almost confirmed the activity-dependent expression of endogenous Arc in PCs by immunohistochemistry using anti-Arc antibody ( Figure 3C). These results indicate that Arc is expressed in PCs in an activity-dependent manner, which requires the activation of P/Q-type VDCCs in PCs. Because neural activity along PFs is considered to activate mGluR1 in PCs and to drive CF synapse elimination (Ichise et al., 2000, Kakizawa et al., 2000 and Kano et al., 1997), we tested whether activation of mGluR1 in cocultures could elevate Arc expression in PCs. We applied an mGluR1 agonist, RS-3, 5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG, 100 μM), to cocultures from Arc-pro-Venus-pest transgenic mice and found that DHPG failed to elevate Arc expression ( Figure S3C). We also found that the high K+-induced increase of Arc expression was not suppressed by an mGluR1 antagonist, LY367385 (100 μM) ( Figure S3C). These results indicate that mGluR1 itself is not essential for inducing Arc expression in PCs.