Pde-4 inhibition rescues aberrant synaptic plasticity in drosophila and mouse models of fragile x syndrome

Catherine H. Choi, Brian P. Schoenfeld, Eliana D. Weisz, Aaron J. Bell, Daniel B. Chambers, Joseph Hinchey, Richard J. Choi, Paul Hinchey, Maria Kollaros, Michael J. Gertner, Neal J. Ferrick, Allison M. Terlizzi, Nicole Yohn, Eric Koenigsberg, David A. Liebelt, R. Suzanne Zukin, Newton H. Woo, Michael R. Tranfaglia, Natalia Louneva, Steven E. ArnoldSteven J. Siegel, Francois V. Bolduc, Thomas V. McDonald, Thomas A. Jongens, Sean M.J. McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading cause of both intellectual disability and autism resulting from a single gene mutation. Previously, we characterized cognitive impairments and brain structural defects in a Drosophila model of FXS and demonstrated that these impairments were rescued by treatment with metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) antagonists or lithium. A well-documented biochemical defect observed in fly and mouse FXS models and FXS patients is low cAMP levels. cAMP levels can be regulated by mGluR signaling. Herein, we demonstrate PDE-4 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy to ameliorate memory impairments and brain structural defects in the Drosophila model of fragile X. Furthermore, we examine the effects of PDE-4 inhibition by pharmacologic treatment in the fragile X mouse model. We demonstrate that acute inhibition of PDE-4 by pharmacologic treatment in hippocampal slices rescues the enhanced mGluR-dependent LTD phenotype observed in FXS mice. Additionally, we find that chronic treatment of FXS model mice, in adulthood, also restores the level of mGluR-dependent LTD to that observed in wild-type animals. Translating the findings of successful pharmacologic intervention from the Drosophila model into the mouse model of FXS is an important advance, in that this identifies and validates PDE-4 inhibition as potential therapeutic intervention for the treatment of individuals afflicted with FXS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-408
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2015


  • CAMP
  • Drosophila
  • Fragile X
  • Memory
  • Mouse
  • Phosphodiesterase 4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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