Browne LP, Crespo A, Grubb MS (2022)
Rapid presynaptic maturation in naturally regenerating axons of the adult mouse olfactory nerve.Cell Rep 41: 111750
Successful neuronal regeneration requires the reestablishment of synaptic connectivity. This process requires the reconstitution of presynaptic neurotransmitter release, which we investigate here in a model of entirely natural regeneration. After toxin-induced injury, olfactory sensory neurons in the adult mouse olfactory epithelium can regenerate fully, sending axons via the olfactory nerve to reestablish synaptic contact with postsynaptic partners in the olfactory bulb. Using electrophysiological recordings in acute slices, we find that, after initial recontact, functional connectivity in this system is rapidly established. Reconnecting presynaptic terminals have almost mature functional properties, including high release probability and strong capacity for presynaptic inhibition. Release probability then matures quickly, rendering reestablished terminals functionally indistinguishable from controls just 1 week after initial contact. These data show that successful synaptic regeneration in the adult mammalian brain is almost a "plug-and-play" process, with presynaptic terminals undergoing a rapid phase of functional maturation as they reintegrate into target networks.