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Dina N. Arvanitis, Annie Behar, Anne Drougard, Pascal Roullet and Alice Davy "Cortical abnormalities and non-spatial learning deficits in a mouse model of CranioFrontoNasal Syndrome". Plos One in press

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Eph receptors and their ephrin ligands play critical roles in the development of the nervous system, however, less is known about their functions in the adult brain. Here, we investigated the function of ephrinB1, an ephrinB family member that is mutated in CranioFrontoNasal Syndrome. We show that ephrinB1 deficient mice ( EfnB1 Y/- ) demonstrate spared spatial learning and memory but exhibit exclusive impairment in non-spatial learning and memory tasks. We established that ephrinB1 does not control learning and memory through direct modulation of synaptic plasticity in adults, since it is not expressed in the adult cortex. Rather we show that the cortex of EfnB1 Y/- mice displayed supernumerary neurons, with a particular increase in calretinin-positive interneurons. Further, the increased neuron number in EfnB1 Y/- mutants correlated with shorter dendritic arborization and decreased spine densities of cortical pyramidal neurons. Our findings indicate that ephrinB1 plays an important role in cortical maturation and that its loss has deleterious consequences on selective cognitive functions in the adult