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Endogenous but not sensory-driven activity controls migration, morphogenesis and survival of adult-born juxtaglomerular neurons in the mouse olfactory bulb.

The development and survival of adult-born neurons are believed to be driven by sensory signaling. Here, in vivo analyses of motility, morphology and Ca2+ signaling, as well as transcriptome analyses of adult-born juxtaglomerular cells with reduced endogenous excitability (via cell-specific overexpression of either Kv1.2 or Kir2.1 K+ channels), revealed a pronounced impairment of migration, morphogenesis, survival, and functional integration of these cells into the mouse olfactory bulb, accompanied by a reduction in cytosolic Ca2+ fluctuations, phosphorylation of CREB and pCREB-mediated gene expression. Moreover, K+ channel overexpression strongly downregulated genes involved in neuronal migration, differentiation, and morphogenesis and upregulated apoptosis-related genes, thus locking adult-born cells in an immature and vulnerable state. Surprisingly, cells deprived of sensory-driven activity developed normally. Together, the data reveal signaling pathways connecting the endogenous intermittent neuronal activity/Ca2+ fluctuations as well as enhanced Kv1.2/Kir2.1 K+ channel function to migration, maturation, and survival of adult-born neurons.

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