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An electrophysiologic approach to quantify impaired synaptic transmission and plasticity in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Prochnow, N;Gold, R;Haghikia, A;

Despite its various limitations, for many decades the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) has been indispensable for understanding the pathology of multiple sclerosis (MS) and for establishing widely used MS therapeutics. We tested whether synaptic plasticity is a suitable measure for EAE and whether it can detect detrimental effects on supra-spinal structures that are too subtle to be captured by the motor score. Our data show functional synaptic deficits in the EAE that were beyond the measurable EAE score: long-term depression responses were strongly weakened in superior colliculus and cerebellum resulting from impaired postsynaptic transmission. In addition to further insight into neuronal deficits associated with the autoimmune disease, quantification of synaptic transmission may serve as a complementary method of EAE evaluation.