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Sample records for affects synapse function

  1. Reelin Proteolysis Affects Signaling Related to Normal Synapse Function and Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lussier, April L.; Weeber, Edwin J.; Rebeck, G. William

    2016-01-01

    Reelin is a neurodevelopmental protein important in adult synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. Recent evidence points to the importance for Reelin proteolysis in normal signaling and in cognitive function. Support for the dysfunction of Reelin proteolysis in neurodegeneration and cognitive dysfunction comes from postmortem analysis of Alzheimer’s diseases (AD) tissues including cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), showing that levels of Reelin fragments are altered in AD compared to control. Potential key proteases involved in Reelin proteolysis have recently been defined, identifying processes that could be altered in neurodegeneration. Introduction of full-length Reelin and its proteolytic fragments into several mouse models of neurodegeneration and neuropsychiatric disorders quickly promote learning and memory. These findings support a role for Reelin in learning and memory and suggest further understanding of these processes are important to harness the potential of this pathway in treating cognitive symptoms in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27065802

  2. Astrocytes Control Synapse Formation, Function, and Elimination

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Won-Suk; Allen, Nicola J.; Eroglu, Cagla

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes, through their close associations with synapses, can monitor and alter synaptic function, thus actively controlling synaptic transmission in the adult brain. Besides their important role at adult synapses, in the last three decades a number of critical findings have highlighted the importance of astrocytes in the establishment of synaptic connectivity in the developing brain. In this article, we will review the key findings on astrocytic control of synapse formation, function, and elimination. First, we will summarize our current structural and functional understanding of astrocytes at the synapse. Then, we will discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which developing and mature astrocytes instruct the formation, maturation, and refinement of synapses. Our aim is to provide an overview of astrocytes as important players in the establishment of a functional nervous system. PMID:25663667

  3. Postsynaptic conversion of silent synapses during LTP affects synaptic gain and transmission dynamics.

    PubMed

    Poncer, J C; Malinow, R

    2001-10-01

    Synaptic transmission relies on both the gain and the dynamics of synapses. Activity-dependent changes in synaptic gain are well-documented at excitatory synapses and may represent a substrate for information storage in the brain. Here we examine the mechanisms of changes in transmission dynamics at excitatory synapses. We show that paired-pulse ratios (PPRs) of AMPAR and NMDAR EPSCs onto dentate gyrus granule cells are often different; this difference is reduced during LTP, reflecting PPR changes of AMPAR but not NMDAR EPSCs. Presynaptic manipulations, however, produce parallel changes in AMPAR and NMDAR EPSCs. LTP at these synapses reflects a reduction in the proportion of silent synapses lacking functional AMPARs. Changes in PPR during LTP therefore reflect the initial difference between PPRs of silent and functional synapses. Functional conversion of silent synapses permits postsynaptic sampling from additional release sites and thereby affects the dynamics and gain of signals conveyed between neurons. PMID:11544481

  4. Synapses: Sites of Cell Recognition, Adhesion, and Functional Specification

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Soichiro; Nelson, W. James

    2012-01-01

    Synapses are specialized adhesive contacts characteristic of many types of cell-cell interactions involving neurons, immune cells, epithelial cells, and even pathogens and host cells. Cell-cell adhesion is mediated by structurally diverse classes of cell-surface glycoproteins, which form homophilic or heterophilic interactions across the intercellular space. Adhesion proteins bind to a cytoplasmic network of scaffolding proteins, regulators of the actin cytoskeleton, and signal transduction pathways that control the structural and functional organization of synapses. The themes of this review are to compare the organization of synapses in different cell types and to understand how different classes of cell adhesion proteins and cytoplasmic protein networks specify the assembly of functionally distinct synapses in different cell contexts. PMID:17506641

  5. Glycolytic Enzymes Localize to Synapses under Energy Stress to Support Synaptic Function.

    PubMed

    Jang, SoRi; Nelson, Jessica C; Bend, Eric G; Rodríguez-Laureano, Lucelenie; Tueros, Felipe G; Cartagenova, Luis; Underwood, Katherine; Jorgensen, Erik M; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A

    2016-04-20

    Changes in neuronal activity create local and transient changes in energy demands at synapses. Here we discover a metabolic compartment that forms in vivo near synapses to meet local energy demands and support synaptic function in Caenorhabditis elegans neurons. Under conditions of energy stress, glycolytic enzymes redistribute from a diffuse localization in the cytoplasm to a punctate localization adjacent to synapses. Glycolytic enzymes colocalize, suggesting the ad hoc formation of a glycolysis compartment, or a "glycolytic metabolon," that can maintain local levels of ATP. Local formation of the glycolytic metabolon is dependent on presynaptic scaffolding proteins, and disruption of the glycolytic metabolon blocks the synaptic vesicle cycle, impairs synaptic recovery, and affects locomotion. Our studies indicate that under energy stress conditions, energy demands in C. elegans synapses are met locally through the assembly of a glycolytic metabolon to sustain synaptic function and behavior. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:27068791

  6. Neuromorphic function learning with carbon nanotube based synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gacem, Karim; Retrouvey, Jean-Marie; Chabi, Djaafar; Filoramo, Arianna; Zhao, Weisheng; Klein, Jacques-Olivier; Derycke, Vincent

    2013-09-01

    The principle of using nanoscale memory devices as artificial synapses in neuromorphic circuits is recognized as a promising way to build ground-breaking circuit architectures tolerant to defects and variability. Yet, actual experimental demonstrations of the neural network type of circuits based on non-conventional/non-CMOS memory devices and displaying function learning capabilities remain very scarce. We show here that carbon-nanotube-based memory elements can be used as artificial synapses, combined with conventional neurons and trained to perform functions through the application of a supervised learning algorithm. The same ensemble of eight devices can notably be trained multiple times to code successively any three-input linearly separable Boolean logic function despite device-to-device variability. This work thus represents one of the very few demonstrations of actual function learning with synapses based on nanoscale building blocks. The potential of such an approach for the parallel learning of multiple and more complex functions is also evaluated.

  7. Structure and Function of the Hair Cell Ribbon Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Nouvian, R.; Beutner, D.; Parsons, T.D.

    2006-01-01

    Faithful information transfer at the hair cell afferent synapse requires synaptic transmission to be both reliable and temporally precise. The release of neurotransmitter must exhibit both rapid on and off kinetics to accurately follow acoustic stimuli with a periodicity of 1 ms or less. To ensure such remarkable temporal fidelity, the cochlear hair cell afferent synapse undoubtedly relies on unique cellular and molecular specializations. While the electron microscopy hallmark of the hair cell afferent synapse — the electron-dense synaptic ribbon or synaptic body — has been recognized for decades, dissection of the synapse’s molecular make-up has only just begun. Recent cell physiology studies have added important insights into the synaptic mechanisms underlying fidelity and reliability of sound coding. The presence of the synaptic ribbon links afferent synapses of cochlear and vestibular hair cells to photoreceptors and bipolar neurons of the retina. This review focuses on major advances in understanding the hair cell afferent synapse molecular anatomy and function that have been achieved during the past years. PMID:16773499

  8. [Synapse elimination and functional neural circuit formation in the cerebellum].

    PubMed

    Kano, Masanobu

    2013-06-01

    Neuronal connections are initially redundant, but unnecessary connections are eliminated subsequently during postnatal development. This process, known as 'synapse elimination', is thought to be crucial for establishing functionally mature neural circuits. The climbing fiber (CF) to the Purkinje cell (PC) synapse in the cerebellum is a representative model of synapse elimination. We disclose that one-to-one connection from CF to PC is established through four distinct phases: (1) strengthening of a single CF among multiple CFs in each PC at P3-P7, (2) translocation of a single strengthened CF to PC dendrites from around P9, and (3) early phase (P7 to around P11) and (4) late phase (around P12 to P17) of elimination of weak CF synapses from PC somata. Mice with PC-selective deletion of P/Q-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel (VDCC) exhibit severe defects in strengthening of single CFs, dendritic translocation of single CFs and CF elimination from P7. In contrast, mice with a mutation of a single allele for the GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 have a selective impairment of CF elimination from P10 due to reduced inhibition and elevated Ca2+ influx to PC somata. Thus, regulation of Ca2+ influx to PCs is crucial for the four phases of CF synapse elimination. PMID:25069248

  9. Functional Anatomy of T Cell Activation and Synapse Formation

    PubMed Central

    Fooksman, David R.; Vardhana, Santosh; Vasiliver-Shamis, Gaia; Liese, Jan; Blair, David; Waite, Janelle; Sacristán, Catarina; Victora, Gabriel; Zanin-Zhorov, Alexandra; Dustin, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    T cell activation and function require a structured engagement of antigen-presenting cells. These cell contacts are characterized by two distinct dynamics in vivo: transient contacts resulting from promigratory junctions called immunological kinapses or prolonged contacts from stable junctions called immunological synapses. Kinapses operate in the steady state to allow referencing to self-peptide-MHC (pMHC) and searching for pathogen-derived pMHC. Synapses are induced by T cell receptor (TCR) interactions with agonist pMHC under specific conditions and correlate with robust immune responses that generate effector and memory T cells. High-resolution imaging has revealed that the synapse is highly coordinated, integrating cell adhesion, TCR recognition of pMHC complexes, and an array of activating and inhibitory ligands to promote or prevent T cell signaling. In this review, we examine the molecular components, geometry, and timing underlying kinapses and synapses. We integrate recent molecular and physiological data to provide a synthesis and suggest ways forward. PMID:19968559

  10. Transmitter function of synapse-structure system using conducting polymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Masaharu; Machiya, Yuka; Ihori, Haruo

    2012-04-01

    Conducting polymers with neuron-like pattern has been polymerized by controlling polymerization conditions. These conducting polymers have been connected each other to prepare network. If the synapse function can be added to the network, artificial neural network is prepared by conducting polymer. In this paper, we consider the transmitter function using synapse-structure conducting polymer. It consists of three parts: primary circuit as presynaptic terminal, space as synaptic cleft and secondary circuit as postsynaptic structure. Dopant in conducting polymer works as neurotransmitter. Migration as well as diffusion is also considered for dopant ion to transit the space/cleft. When signals from the primary circuit came at the end of the primary circuit in electrolyte solution, the current in the secondary circuit increased because the released dopant ion transited the cleft and entered another conducting polymer. When two primary circuits was used, the current in the secondary circuit increased higher than one primary circuit. This means the synapse-structured conducting polymer system can be use as logical circuit.

  11. The genetics of synapse formation and function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Mark; Schmidt, Enrico; Baumeister, Ralf

    2006-11-01

    The aim of this review is to introduce the reader to Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system, especially with respect to studies of synapse formation and function. We begin by giving a short description of the structure of the nervous system of C. elegans. As most of the findings that are reviewed here have emerged from studies of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), two prominent NMJs of C. elegans will be outlined briefly. In addition, we summarize new findings that have added to our understanding of NMJs during the last few years. PMID:16896949

  12. Systematic analysis of genes required for synapse structure and function.

    PubMed

    Sieburth, Derek; Ch'ng, QueeLim; Dybbs, Michael; Tavazoie, Masoud; Kennedy, Scott; Wang, Duo; Dupuy, Denis; Rual, Jean-François; Hill, David E; Vidal, Marc; Ruvkun, Gary; Kaplan, Joshua M

    2005-07-28

    Chemical synapses are complex structures that mediate rapid intercellular signalling in the nervous system. Proteomic studies suggest that several hundred proteins will be found at synaptic specializations. Here we describe a systematic screen to identify genes required for the function or development of Caenorhabditis elegans neuromuscular junctions. A total of 185 genes were identified in an RNA interference screen for decreased acetylcholine secretion; 132 of these genes had not previously been implicated in synaptic transmission. Functional profiles for these genes were determined by comparing secretion defects observed after RNA interference under a variety of conditions. Hierarchical clustering identified groups of functionally related genes, including those involved in the synaptic vesicle cycle, neuropeptide signalling and responsiveness to phorbol esters. Twenty-four genes encoded proteins that were localized to presynaptic specializations. Loss-of-function mutations in 12 genes caused defects in presynaptic structure. PMID:16049479

  13. [Dynamics of neuroreceptor function in a chemical synapse].

    PubMed

    Vasil'eva-Vashakmadze, N S

    2000-01-01

    A model for the dynamics of functioning of neuroreceptors in chemical synapses is proposed. It is shown that the functioning of a neuroreceptor by the action of mediator is determined by correlation of the mechanical elasticity of the receptor with its electrical polarizability and the presence of spiralized fragments. It is shown in terms of the quantum-mechanical approach that, as the charged groups of the mediator come close to the C-end of the neuroreceptor, a shift of potential surface occurs, which corresponds to the deformation of the receptor. The microscopic approach enables one to describe more exactly the dynamics of functioning of neuroreceptors than the macroscopic approach; however, its implementation requires the use of powerful computers. If only qualitative assessment is needed, the macroscopic approach would suffice. It is assumed that in terms of the model, the saltatory (jump-like) conduction of the spike along the axon can be explained. PMID:11040977

  14. Ultrastructural and functional fate of recycled vesicles in hippocampal synapses

    PubMed Central

    Rey, Stephanie A.; Smith, Catherine A.; Fowler, Milena W.; Crawford, Freya; Burden, Jemima J.; Staras, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Efficient recycling of synaptic vesicles is thought to be critical for sustained information transfer at central terminals. However, the specific contribution that retrieved vesicles make to future transmission events remains unclear. Here we exploit fluorescence and time-stamped electron microscopy to track the functional and positional fate of vesicles endocytosed after readily releasable pool (RRP) stimulation in rat hippocampal synapses. We show that most vesicles are recovered near the active zone but subsequently take up random positions in the cluster, without preferential bias for future use. These vesicles non-selectively queue, advancing towards the release site with further stimulation in an actin-dependent manner. Nonetheless, the small subset of vesicles retrieved recently in the stimulus train persist nearer the active zone and exhibit more privileged use in the next RRP. Our findings reveal heterogeneity in vesicle fate based on nanoscale position and timing rules, providing new insights into the origins of future pool constitution. PMID:26292808

  15. The dynamin-binding domains of Dap160/intersectin affect bulk membrane retrieval in synapses

    PubMed Central

    Winther, Åsa M. E.; Jiao, Wei; Vorontsova, Olga; Rees, Kathryn A.; Koh, Tong-Wey; Sopova, Elena; Schulze, Karen L.; Bellen, Hugo J.; Shupliakov, Oleg

    2013-01-01

    Summary Dynamin-associated protein 160 kDa (Dap160)/intersectin interacts with several synaptic proteins and affects endocytosis and synapse development. The functional role of the different protein interaction domains is not well understood. Here we show that Drosophila Dap160 lacking the dynamin-binding SH3 domains does not affect the development of the neuromuscular junction but plays a key role in synaptic vesicle recycling. dap160 mutants lacking dynamin-interacting domains no longer accumulate dynamin properly at the periactive zone, and it becomes dispersed in the bouton during stimulation. This is accompanied by a reduction in uptake of the dye FM1-43 and an accumulation of large vesicles and membrane invaginations. However, we do not observe an increase in the number of clathrin-coated intermediates. We also note a depression in evoked excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) during high-rate stimulation, accompanied by aberrantly large miniature EJPs. The data reveal the important role of Dap160 in the targeting of dynamin to the periactive zone, where it is required to suppress bulk synaptic vesicle membrane retrieval during high-frequency activity. PMID:23321638

  16. Synapsin IIa accelerates functional development of neuromuscular synapses.

    PubMed Central

    Schaeffer, E; Alder, J; Greengard, P; Poo, M M

    1994-01-01

    We have investigated the possible involvement of the synaptic vesicle protein synapsin IIa in synapse development. Synapsin IIa was introduced into Xenopus embryonic spinal neurons by early blastomere injection, and nerve-muscle cultures were prepared. Synaptic currents were measured by comparing synapses in which the presynaptic neuron either contained [syn IIa (+)] or lacked (control) exogenous synapsin IIa. Syn IIa (+) synapses had a 3.6-fold increase in the frequency and a 2.1-fold increase in the amplitude of spontaneous synaptic currents, compared to controls, after 2 days in culture. Synapsin IIa also increased the amplitude of evoked synaptic currents by 2.3-fold in 2-day cultures. The evoked synaptic current amplitudes of syn IIa (+) synapses had a lower coefficient of variation indicating a more stable evoked response. These enhanced synaptic activities were independent of the presence or absence of the protein in the postsynaptic muscle cell. The findings indicate a role for synapsin IIa in synapse maturation. Images PMID:8171006

  17. Excitation Control: Balancing PSD-95 Function at the Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Keith, Dove; El-Husseini, Alaa

    2008-01-01

    Excitability of individual neurons dictates the overall excitation in specific brain circuits. This process is thought to be regulated by molecules that regulate synapse number, morphology and strength. Neuronal excitation is also influenced by the amounts of neurotransmitter receptors and signaling molecules retained at particular synaptic sites. Recent studies revealed a key role for PSD-95, a scaffolding molecule enriched at glutamatergic synapses, in modulation of clustering of several neurotransmitter receptors, adhesion molecules, ion channels, cytoskeletal elements and signaling molecules at postsynaptic sites. In this review we will highlight mechanisms that control targeting of PSD-95 at the synapse, and discuss how this molecule influences the retention and clustering of diverse synaptic proteins to regulate synaptic structure and strength. We will also discuss how PSD-95 may maintain a balance between excitation and inhibition in the brain and how alterations in this balance may contribute to neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:18946537

  18. Synapse elimination accompanies functional plasticity in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Bastrikova, Natalia; Gardner, Gregory A; Reece, Jeff M; Jeromin, Andreas; Dudek, Serena M

    2008-02-26

    A critical component of nervous system development is synapse elimination during early postnatal life, a process known to depend on neuronal activity. Changes in synaptic strength in the form of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) correlate with dendritic spine enlargement or shrinkage, respectively, but whether LTD can lead to an actual separation of the synaptic structures when the spine shrinks or is lost remains unknown. Here, we addressed this issue by using concurrent imaging and electrophysiological recording of live synapses. Slices of rat hippocampus were cultured on multielectrode arrays, and the neurons were labeled with genes encoding red or green fluorescent proteins to visualize presynaptic and postsynaptic neuronal processes, respectively. LTD-inducing stimulation led to a reduction in the synaptic green and red colocalization, and, in many cases, it induced a complete separation of the presynaptic bouton from the dendritic spine. This type of synapse loss was associated with smaller initial spine size and greater synaptic depression but not spine shrinkage during LTD. All cases of synapse separation were observed without an accompanying loss of the spine during this period. We suggest that repeated low-frequency stimulation simultaneous with LTD induction is capable of restructuring synaptic contacts. Future work with this model will be able to provide critical insight into the molecular mechanisms of activity- and experience-dependent refinement of brain circuitry during development. PMID:18287055

  19. FGF22 protects hearing function from gentamycin ototoxicity by maintaining ribbon synapse number.

    PubMed

    Li, Shuna; Hang, Lihua; Ma, Yongming

    2016-02-01

    Inner hair cell (IHC) ribbon synapses of cochlea play important role in transmitting sound signal into auditory nerve and are sensitive to ototoxicity. However, ototoxic damage of ribbon synapses is not understood clearly. Roles of fibroblast growth factor 22 (FGF22) on synapse formation were explored under gentamycin ototoxicity. 6-week-old mice were injected intraperitoneally once daily with 50-150 mg/kg gentamicin for 10 days. Immunostaining with anti- GluR2&3/CtBP2 was used to estimate the number of ribbon synapses in the cochlea. Expression of FGF22 and myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D) was assayed with RT-PCR. Expression and localization of FGF22 protein were visualized with anti-FGF22 immunostaining. Hearing thresholds were assessed using auditory brainstem responses. Gentamicin administration caused reduction in ribbon synapse number and hearing impairment without effect on hair cells in CBA/J mouse model. Immunohistochemistry showed that FGF22 protein was expressed in IHCs, but not OHCs of cochlea. Gentamycin attenuated expression of FGF22 but enhanced expression of MEF2D. Cochlear infusion of recombinant FGF22 inhibited expression of MEF2D, preserved ribbon synapses, and restored hearing function impaired by gentamycin. FGF22 restores hearing loss through maintaining ribbon synapse number, likely via inhibition of MEF2D. Activating FGF22 might provide the conceptual basis for the therapeutic strategies. PMID:26639016

  20. Novel functions for ADF/cofilin in excitatory synapses - lessons from gene-targeted mice

    PubMed Central

    Rust, Marco B

    2015-01-01

    Actin filaments (F-actin) are the major structural component of excitatory synapses. In excitatory synapses, F-actin is enriched in presynaptic terminals and in postsynaptic dendritic spines, and actin dynamics – the spatiotemporally controlled assembly and disassembly of F-actin – have been implicated in pre- and postsynaptic physiology, additionally to their function in synapse morphology. Hence, actin binding proteins that control actin dynamics have moved into the focus as regulators of synapse morphology and physiology. Actin depolymerizing proteins of the ADF/cofilin family are important regulators of actin dynamics, and several recent studies highlighted the relevance of cofilin 1 for dendritic spine morphology, trafficking of postsynaptic glutamate receptors, and synaptic plasticity. Conversely, almost nothing was known about the synaptic function of ADF, a second ADF/cofilin family member present at excitatory synapses, and it remained unknown whether ADF/cofilin is relevant for presynaptic physiology. To comprehensively characterize the synaptic function of ADF/cofilin we made use of mutant mice lacking either ADF or cofilin 1 or both proteins. Our analysis revealed presynaptic defects (altered distribution and enhanced exocytosis of synaptic vesicles) and behavioral abnormalities reminiscent of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in double mutants that were not present in single mutants. Hence, by exploiting gene-targeted mice, we demonstrated the relevance of ADF for excitatory synapses, and we unraveled novel functions for ADF/cofilin in presynaptic physiology and behavior. PMID:27066177

  1. DSCAM Localization and Function at the Mouse Cone Synapse

    PubMed Central

    de Andrade, Gabriel Belem; Long, Samuel S.; Fleming, Harrison; Li, Wei; Fuerst, Peter G.

    2014-01-01

    The Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule (DSCAM) is required for regulation of cell number, soma spacing and cell type specific dendrite avoidance in many types of retinal ganglion and amacrine cells. In this study we assay the organization of cells making up the outer plexiform layer of the retina in the absence of Dscam. Some types of OFF bipolar cells, type 3b and type 4 bipolar cells, had defects in dendrite arborization in the Dscam mutant retina, while other cell types appeared similar to wild type. The cone synapses that these cells project their dendrites to were intact, as visualized by electron microscopy, and had a distribution and density that was not significantly different than wild type. The spacing of type 3b bipolar cell dendrites was further analyzed by Voronoi domain analysis, Density Recovery Profiling (DRP) analysis and Nearest Neighbor Analysis (NNA). Spacing was found to be significantly different when comparing wild type and mutant type 3b bipolar cell dendrites. Defects in arborization of these bipolar cells could not be attributed to the disorganization of inner plexiform layer cells that occurs in the Dscam mutant retina or an increase in cell number, as they arborized when Dscam was targeted in retinal ganglion cells only or in the bax null retina. Localization of DSCAM was assayed and the protein was localized near to cone synapses in mouse, macaque and ground squirrel retinas. DSCAM protein was detected in several types of bipolar cells, including type 3b and type 4 bipolar cells. PMID:24477985

  2. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Wiera, Grzegorz; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W.

    2015-01-01

    Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed long-term potentiation (LTP) that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation. PMID:26582976

  3. DSCAM localization and function at the mouse cone synapse.

    PubMed

    de Andrade, Gabriel Belem; Long, Samuel S; Fleming, Harrison; Li, Wei; Fuerst, Peter G

    2014-08-01

    The Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (DSCAM) is required for regulation of cell number, soma spacing, and cell type-specific dendrite avoidance in many types of retinal ganglion and amacrine cells. In this study we assay the organization of cells making up the outer plexiform layer of the retina in the absence of Dscam. Some types of OFF bipolar cells, type 3b and type 4 bipolar cells, had defects in dendrite arborization in the Dscam mutant retina, whereas other cell types appeared similar to wild type. The cone synapses that these cells project their dendrites to were intact, as visualized by electron microscopy, and had a distribution and density that was not significantly different from that of wild type. The spacing of type 3b bipolar cell dendrites was further analyzed by Voronoi domain analysis, density recovery profiling (DRP) analysis, and nearest neighbor analysis. Spacing was found to be significantly different when wild-type and mutant type 3b bipolar cell dendrites were compared. Defects in arborization of these bipolar cells could not be attributed to the disorganization of inner plexiform layer cells that occurs in the Dscam mutant retina or an increase in cell number, as they arborized when Dscam was targeted in retinal ganglion cells only or in the bax null retina. Localization of DSCAM was assayed and the protein was localized near to cone synapses in mouse, macaque, and ground squirrel retinas. DSCAM protein was detected in several types of bipolar cells, including type 3b and type 4 bipolar cells. PMID:24477985

  4. Age-dependent effect of hearing loss on cortical inhibitory synapse function

    PubMed Central

    Kotak, Vibhakar C.; Sanes, Dan H.

    2012-01-01

    The developmental plasticity of excitatory synapses is well established, particularly as a function of age. If similar principles apply to inhibitory synapses, then we would expect manipulations during juvenile development to produce a greater effect and experience-dependent changes to persist into adulthood. In this study, we first characterized the maturation of cortical inhibitory synapse function from just before the onset of hearing through adulthood. We then examined the long-term effects of developmental conductive hearing loss (CHL). Whole cell recordings from gerbil thalamocortical brain slices revealed a significant decrease in the decay time of inhibitory currents during the first 3 mo of normal development. When assessed in adults, developmental CHL led to an enduring decrease of inhibitory synaptic strength, whereas the maturation of synaptic decay time was only delayed. Early CHL also depressed the maximum discharge rate of fast-spiking, but not low-threshold-spiking, inhibitory interneurons. We then asked whether adult onset CHL had a similar effect, but neither inhibitory current amplitude nor decay time was altered. Thus inhibitory synapse function displays a protracted development during which deficits can be induced by juvenile, but not adult, hearing loss. These long-lasting changes to inhibitory function may contribute to the auditory processing deficits associated with early hearing loss. PMID:22090457

  5. Cognitive Function and Sleep Related Breathing Disorders in a Healthy Elderly Population: the Synapse Study

    PubMed Central

    Sforza, Emilia; Roche, Frédéeric; Thomas-Anterion, Catherine; Kerleroux, Judith; Beauchet, Olivier; Celle, Sébastien; Maudoux, Delphine; Pichot, Vincent; Laurent, Bernard; Barthélémy, Jean Claude

    2010-01-01

    Study Objectives: Sleep related breathing disorders (SRBD) are risk factors for cognitive dysfunction in middle-aged subjects, but this association has not been observed in the elderly. We assess the impact of SRBD on cognitive performance in a large cohort of healthy elderly subjects. Design: Cross-sectional study examining the association between subjective memory test, neuropsychological battery testing and SRBD in the elderly. Setting: Community-based sample in home and research clinical settings. Participants: 827 subjects, 58.5% women, aged 68 y at study entry, participated in the study. All were free of previously diagnosed SRBD, coronary heart disease, and neurological disorders, including stroke and dementia. Clinical interview, neurological assessment, polygraphy, and extensive cognitive testing were conducted for all participants. Intervention: N/A Measurement and Results: SRBD (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] > 15 events/h) was diagnosed in 445 (53%) subjects, 167 (37%) of them with AHI > 30. Minimal daytime sleepiness was found in the group; 9.2% of the population had an Epworth Sleepiness Scale score > 10. No significant association was found between AHI, nocturnal hypoxemia, and cognitive scores. Comparison of mild vs severe cases showed a trend toward lower cognitive scores with AHI > 30, affecting delayed recall and Stroop test. Conclusions: The impact of undiagnosed SRBD on cognitive function appeared quite limited in a generally older healthy population, and only slightly affected severe cases. The implication of undiagnosed SRBD on the cognitive impairment in elderly subjects remains hypothetical and needs to be prospectively studied. Clinical Trial Information: Autonomic Nervous System Activity, Aging and Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea (SYNAPSE); Registration #NCT 00766584 (This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.); URL - http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00766584?term=NCT+00766584&rank=1 Citation: Sforza E; Roche F; Thomas-Anterion C

  6. The Active and Periactive Zone Organization and the Functional Properties of Small and Large Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Cano, Raquel; Tabares, Lucia

    2016-01-01

    The arrival of an action potential (AP) at a synaptic terminal elicits highly synchronized quanta release. Repetitive APs produce successive synaptic vesicle (SV) fusions that require management of spent SV components in the presynaptic membrane with minimum disturbance of the secretory apparatus. To this end, the synaptic machinery is structured accordingly to the strength and the range of frequencies at which each particular synapse operates. This results in variations in the number and dimension of Active Zones (AZs), amount and distribution of SVs, and probably, in the primary endocytic mechanisms they use. Understanding better how these structural differences determine the functional response in each case has been a matter of long-term interest. Here we review the structural and functional properties of three distinct types of synapses: the neuromuscular junction (NMJ; a giant, highly reliable synapse that must exocytose a large number of quanta with each stimulus to guarantee excitation of the postsynaptic cell), the hippocampal excitatory small synapse (which most often has a single release site and a relatively small pool of vesicles), and the cerebellar mossy fiber-granule cell synapse (which possesses hundreds of release sites and is able to translocate, dock and prime vesicles at high speed). We will focus on how the release apparatus is organized in each case, the relative amount of vesicular membrane that needs to be accommodated within the periAZ upon stimulation, the different mechanisms for retrieving the excess of membrane and finally, how these factors may influence the functioning of the release sites. PMID:27252645

  7. The Active and Periactive Zone Organization and the Functional Properties of Small and Large Synapses.

    PubMed

    Cano, Raquel; Tabares, Lucia

    2016-01-01

    The arrival of an action potential (AP) at a synaptic terminal elicits highly synchronized quanta release. Repetitive APs produce successive synaptic vesicle (SV) fusions that require management of spent SV components in the presynaptic membrane with minimum disturbance of the secretory apparatus. To this end, the synaptic machinery is structured accordingly to the strength and the range of frequencies at which each particular synapse operates. This results in variations in the number and dimension of Active Zones (AZs), amount and distribution of SVs, and probably, in the primary endocytic mechanisms they use. Understanding better how these structural differences determine the functional response in each case has been a matter of long-term interest. Here we review the structural and functional properties of three distinct types of synapses: the neuromuscular junction (NMJ; a giant, highly reliable synapse that must exocytose a large number of quanta with each stimulus to guarantee excitation of the postsynaptic cell), the hippocampal excitatory small synapse (which most often has a single release site and a relatively small pool of vesicles), and the cerebellar mossy fiber-granule cell synapse (which possesses hundreds of release sites and is able to translocate, dock and prime vesicles at high speed). We will focus on how the release apparatus is organized in each case, the relative amount of vesicular membrane that needs to be accommodated within the periAZ upon stimulation, the different mechanisms for retrieving the excess of membrane and finally, how these factors may influence the functioning of the release sites. PMID:27252645

  8. Generation of Functional Inhibitory Synapses Incorporating Defined Combinations of GABA(A) or Glycine Receptor Subunits

    PubMed Central

    Dixon, Christine L.; Zhang, Yan; Lynch, Joseph W.

    2015-01-01

    Fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain is mediated by wide range of GABAA receptor (GABAAR) and glycine receptor (GlyR) isoforms, each with different physiological and pharmacological properties. Because multiple isoforms are expressed simultaneously in most neurons, it is difficult to define the properties of individual isoforms under synaptic stimulation conditions in vivo. Although recombinant expression systems permit the expression of individual isoforms in isolation, they require exogenous agonist application which cannot mimic the dynamic neurotransmitter profile characteristic of native synapses. We describe a neuron-HEK293 cell co-culture technique for generating inhibitory synapses incorporating defined combinations of GABAAR or GlyR subunits. Primary neuronal cultures, prepared from embryonic rat cerebral cortex or spinal cord, are used to provide presynaptic GABAergic and glycinergic terminals, respectively. When the cultures are mature, HEK293 cells expressing the subunits of interest plus neuroligin 2A are plated onto the neurons, which rapidly form synapses onto HEK293 cells. Patch clamp electrophysiology is then used to analyze the physiological and pharmacological properties of the inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by the recombinant receptors. The method is suitable for investigating the kinetic properties or the effects of drugs on inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by defined GABAAR or GlyR isoforms of interest, the effects of hereditary disease mutations on the formation and function of both types of synapses, and synaptogenesis and synaptic clustering mechanisms. The entire cell preparation procedure takes 2–5 weeks. PMID:26778954

  9. Loss of transforming growth factor-beta 2 leads to impairment of central synapse function

    PubMed Central

    Heupel, Katharina; Sargsyan, Vardanush; Plomp, Jaap J; Rickmann, Michael; Varoqueaux, Frédérique; Zhang, Weiqi; Krieglstein, Kerstin

    2008-01-01

    Background The formation of functional synapses is a crucial event in neuronal network formation, and with regard to regulation of breathing it is essential for life. Members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily act as intercellular signaling molecules during synaptogenesis of the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila and are involved in synaptic function of sensory neurons of Aplysia. Results Here we show that while TGF-β2 is not crucial for the morphology and function of the neuromuscular junction of the diaphragm muscle of mice, it is essential for proper synaptic function in the pre-Bötzinger complex, a central rhythm organizer located in the brainstem. Genetic deletion of TGF-β2 in mice strongly impaired both GABA/glycinergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the pre-Bötzinger complex area, while numbers and morphology of central synapses of knock-out animals were indistinguishable from their wild-type littermates at embryonic day 18.5. Conclusion The results demonstrate that TGF-β2 influences synaptic function, rather than synaptogenesis, specifically at central synapses. The functional alterations in the respiratory center of the brain are probably the underlying cause of the perinatal death of the TGF-β2 knock-out mice. PMID:18854036

  10. WASp-dependent actin cytoskeleton stability at the dendritic cell immunological synapse is required for extensive, functional T cell contacts.

    PubMed

    Malinova, Dessislava; Fritzsche, Marco; Nowosad, Carla R; Armer, Hannah; Munro, Peter M G; Blundell, Michael P; Charras, Guillaume; Tolar, Pavel; Bouma, Gerben; Thrasher, Adrian J

    2016-05-01

    The immunological synapse is a highly structured and molecularly dynamic interface between communicating immune cells. Although the immunological synapse promotes T cell activation by dendritic cells, the specific organization of the immunological synapse on the dendritic cell side in response to T cell engagement is largely unknown. In this study, confocal and electron microscopy techniques were used to investigate the role of dendritic cell actin regulation in immunological synapse formation, stabilization, and function. In the dendritic cell-restricted absence of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein, an important regulator of the actin cytoskeleton in hematopoietic cells, the immunological synapse contact with T cells occupied a significantly reduced surface area. At a molecular level, the actin network localized to the immunological synapse exhibited reduced stability, in particular, of the actin-related protein-2/3-dependent, short-filament network. This was associated with decreased polarization of dendritic cell-associated ICAM-1 and MHC class II, which was partially dependent on Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein phosphorylation. With the use of supported planar lipid bilayers incorporating anti-ICAM-1 and anti-MHC class II antibodies, the dendritic cell actin cytoskeleton organized into recognizable synaptic structures but interestingly, formed Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein-dependent podosomes within this area. These findings demonstrate that intrinsic dendritic cell cytoskeletal remodeling is a key regulatory component of normal immunological synapse formation, likely through consolidation of adhesive interaction and modulation of immunological synapse stability. PMID:26590149

  11. Functional and Structural Remodeling of Glutamate Synapses in Prefrontal and Frontal Cortex Induced by Behavioral Stress

    PubMed Central

    Musazzi, Laura; Treccani, Giulia; Popoli, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence has shown that the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, is associated with abnormal function and regulation of the glutamatergic system. Consistently, preclinical studies on stress-based animal models of pathology showed that glucocorticoids and stress exert crucial effects on neuronal excitability and function, especially in cortical and limbic areas. In prefrontal and frontal cortex, acute stress was shown to induce enhancement of glutamate release/transmission dependent on activation of corticosterone receptors. Although the mechanisms whereby stress affects glutamate transmission have not yet been fully understood, it was shown that synaptic, non-genomic action of corticosterone is required to increase the readily releasable pool of glutamate vesicles, but is not sufficient to enhance transmission in prefrontal and frontal cortex. Slower, partly genomic mechanisms are probably necessary for the enhancement of glutamate transmission induced by stress. Combined evidence has suggested that the changes in glutamate release and transmission are responsible for the dendritic remodeling and morphological changes induced by stress and it has been argued that sustained alterations of glutamate transmission may play a key role in the long-term structural/functional changes associated with mood disorders in patients. Intriguingly, modifications of the glutamatergic system induced by stress in the prefrontal cortex seem to be biphasic. Indeed, while the fast response to stress suggests an enhancement in the number of excitatory synapses, synaptic transmission and working memory, long-term adaptive changes – including those consequent to chronic stress – induce opposite effects. Better knowledge of the cellular effectors involved in this biphasic effect of stress may be useful to understand the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, and open new paths for the development of therapeutic approaches. PMID

  12. Three-terminal ferroelectric synapse device with concurrent learning function for artificial neural networks

    SciTech Connect

    Nishitani, Y.; Kaneko, Y.; Ueda, M.; Fujii, E.; Morie, T.

    2012-06-15

    Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) is demonstrated in a synapse device based on a ferroelectric-gate field-effect transistor (FeFET). STDP is a key of the learning functions observed in human brains, where the synaptic weight changes only depending on the spike timing of the pre- and post-neurons. The FeFET is composed of the stacked oxide materials with ZnO/Pr(Zr,Ti)O{sub 3} (PZT)/SrRuO{sub 3}. In the FeFET, the channel conductance can be altered depending on the density of electrons induced by the polarization of PZT film, which can be controlled by applying the gate voltage in a non-volatile manner. Applying a pulse gate voltage enables the multi-valued modulation of the conductance, which is expected to be caused by a change in PZT polarization. This variation depends on the height and the duration of the pulse gate voltage. Utilizing these characteristics, symmetric and asymmetric STDP learning functions are successfully implemented in the FeFET-based synapse device by applying the non-linear pulse gate voltage generated from a set of two pulses in a sampling circuit, in which the two pulses correspond to the spikes from the pre- and post-neurons. The three-terminal structure of the synapse device enables the concurrent learning, in which the weight update can be performed without canceling signal transmission among neurons, while the neural networks using the previously reported two-terminal synapse devices need to stop signal transmission for learning.

  13. Deficiency of the microglial receptor CX3CR1 impairs postnatal functional development of thalamocortical synapses in the barrel cortex.

    PubMed

    Hoshiko, Maki; Arnoux, Isabelle; Avignone, Elena; Yamamoto, Nobuhiko; Audinat, Etienne

    2012-10-24

    Accumulative evidence indicates that microglial cells influence the normal development of brain synapses. Yet, the mechanisms by which these immune cells target maturating synapses and influence their functional development at early postnatal stages remain poorly understood. Here, we analyzed the role of CX3CR1, a microglial receptor activated by the neuronal chemokine CX3CL1 (or fractalkine) which controls key functions of microglial cells. In the whisker-related barrel field of the mouse somatosensory cortex, we show that the recruitment of microglia to the sites where developing thalamocortical synapses are concentrated (i.e., the barrel centers) occurs only after postnatal day 5 and is controlled by the fractalkine/CX3CR1 signaling pathway. Indeed, at this developmental stage fractalkine is overexpressed within the barrels and CX3CR1 deficiency delays microglial cell recruitment into the barrel centers. Functional analysis of thalamocortical synapses shows that CX3CR1 deficiency also delays the functional maturation of postsynaptic glutamate receptors which normally occurs at these synapses between the first and second postnatal week. These results show that reciprocal interactions between neurons and microglial cells control the functional maturation of cortical synapses. PMID:23100431

  14. Molecular mechanisms and functional implications of polarized actin remodeling at the T cell immunological synapse

    PubMed Central

    Le Floc’h, Audrey; Huse, Morgan

    2014-01-01

    Transient, specialized cell-cell interactions play a central role in leukocyte function by enabling specific intercellular communication in the context of a highly dynamic systems level response. The dramatic structural changes required for the formation of these contacts are driven by rapid and precise cytoskeletal remodeling events. In recent years, the immunological synapse that forms between a T lymphocyte and its antigen-presenting target cell has emerged as an important model system for understanding immune cell interactions. In this review, we discuss how regulators of the cortical actin cytoskeleton control synaptic architecture and in this way specify T cell function. PMID:25355055

  15. SAD-B kinase regulates pre-synaptic vesicular dynamics at hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapses and affects contextual fear memory.

    PubMed

    Watabe, Ayako M; Nagase, Masashi; Hagiwara, Akari; Hida, Yamato; Tsuji, Megumi; Ochiai, Toshitaka; Kato, Fusao; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa

    2016-01-01

    Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, such as axon specifications and maturation in central and peripheral nervous systems. At mature pre-synaptic terminals, SAD-B is associated with synaptic vesicles and the active zone cytomatrix; however, how SAD-B regulates neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in vivo remains unclear. Thus, we used SAD-B knockout (KO) mice to study the function of this pre-synaptic kinase in the brain. We found that the paired-pulse ratio was significantly enhanced at Shaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in SAD-B KO mice compared with wild-type littermates. We also found that the frequency of the miniature excitatory post-synaptic current was decreased in SAD-B KO mice. Moreover, synaptic depression following prolonged low-frequency synaptic stimulation was significantly enhanced in SAD-B KO mice. These results suggest that SAD-B kinase regulates vesicular release probability at pre-synaptic terminals and is involved in vesicular trafficking and/or regulation of the readily releasable pool size. Finally, we found that hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice. These observations suggest that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, but their roles in mature brains were only partially known. Here, we demonstrated, at mature pre-synaptic terminals, that SAD-B regulates vesicular release probability and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice, suggesting that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. PMID:26444684

  16. Functional and structural deficits at accumbens synapses in a mouse model of Fragile X

    PubMed Central

    Neuhofer, Daniela; Henstridge, Christopher M.; Dudok, Barna; Sepers, Marja; Lassalle, Olivier; Katona, István; Manzoni, Olivier J.

    2015-01-01

    Fragile X is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and a leading cause of autism. The disease is caused by mutation of a single X-linked gene called fmr1 that codes for the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), a 71 kDa protein, which acts mainly as a translation inhibitor. Fragile X patients suffer from cognitive and emotional deficits that coincide with abnormalities in dendritic spines. Changes in spine morphology are often associated with altered excitatory transmission and long-term plasticity, the most prominent deficit in fmr1-/y mice. The nucleus accumbens, a central part of the mesocortico-limbic reward pathway, is now considered as a core structure in the control of social behaviors. Although the socio-affective impairments observed in Fragile X suggest dysfunctions in the accumbens, the impact of the lack of FMRP on accumbal synapses has scarcely been studied. Here we report for the first time a new spike timing-dependent plasticity paradigm that reliably triggers NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory afferent inputs of medium spiny neurons (MSN) in the nucleus accumbens core region. Notably, we discovered that this LTP was completely absent in fmr1-/y mice. In the fmr1-/y accumbens intrinsic membrane properties of MSNs and basal excitatory neurotransmission remained intact in the fmr1-/y accumbens but the deficit in LTP was accompanied by an increase in evoked AMPA/NMDA ratio and a concomitant reduction of spontaneous NMDAR-mediated currents. In agreement with these physiological findings, we found significantly more filopodial spines in fmr1-/y mice by using an ultrastructural electron microscopic analysis of accumbens core medium spiny neuron spines. Surprisingly, spine elongation was specifically due to the longer longitudinal axis and larger area of spine necks, whereas spine head morphology and postsynaptic density size on spine heads remained unaffected in the fmr1-/y accumbens. These findings

  17. Functional and structural deficits at accumbens synapses in a mouse model of Fragile X.

    PubMed

    Neuhofer, Daniela; Henstridge, Christopher M; Dudok, Barna; Sepers, Marja; Lassalle, Olivier; Katona, István; Manzoni, Olivier J

    2015-01-01

    Fragile X is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and a leading cause of autism. The disease is caused by mutation of a single X-linked gene called fmr1 that codes for the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), a 71 kDa protein, which acts mainly as a translation inhibitor. Fragile X patients suffer from cognitive and emotional deficits that coincide with abnormalities in dendritic spines. Changes in spine morphology are often associated with altered excitatory transmission and long-term plasticity, the most prominent deficit in fmr1-/y mice. The nucleus accumbens, a central part of the mesocortico-limbic reward pathway, is now considered as a core structure in the control of social behaviors. Although the socio-affective impairments observed in Fragile X suggest dysfunctions in the accumbens, the impact of the lack of FMRP on accumbal synapses has scarcely been studied. Here we report for the first time a new spike timing-dependent plasticity paradigm that reliably triggers NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory afferent inputs of medium spiny neurons (MSN) in the nucleus accumbens core region. Notably, we discovered that this LTP was completely absent in fmr1-/y mice. In the fmr1-/y accumbens intrinsic membrane properties of MSNs and basal excitatory neurotransmission remained intact in the fmr1-/y accumbens but the deficit in LTP was accompanied by an increase in evoked AMPA/NMDA ratio and a concomitant reduction of spontaneous NMDAR-mediated currents. In agreement with these physiological findings, we found significantly more filopodial spines in fmr1-/y mice by using an ultrastructural electron microscopic analysis of accumbens core medium spiny neuron spines. Surprisingly, spine elongation was specifically due to the longer longitudinal axis and larger area of spine necks, whereas spine head morphology and postsynaptic density size on spine heads remained unaffected in the fmr1-/y accumbens. These findings

  18. Glutamatergic Neurons Induce Expression of Functional Glutamatergic Synapses in Primary Myotubes

    PubMed Central

    Ettorre, Michele; Lorenzetto, Erika; Laperchia, Claudia; Baiguera, Cristina; Branca, Caterina; Benarese, Manuela; Spano, PierFranco; Pizzi, Marina; Buffelli, Mario

    2012-01-01

    Background The functioning of the nervous system depends upon the specificity of its synaptic contacts. The mechanisms triggering the expression of the appropriate receptors on postsynaptic membrane and the role of the presynaptic partner in the differentiation of postsynaptic structures are little known. Methods and Findings To address these questions we cocultured murine primary muscle cells with several glutamatergic neurons, either cortical, cerebellar or hippocampal. Immunofluorescence and electrophysiology analyses revealed that functional excitatory synaptic contacts were formed between glutamatergic neurons and muscle cells. Moreover, immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence experiments showed that typical anchoring proteins of central excitatory synapses coimmunoprecipitate and colocalize with rapsyn, the acetylcholine receptor anchoring protein at the neuromuscular junction. Conclusions These results support an important role of the presynaptic partner in the induction and differentiation of the postsynaptic structures. PMID:22347480

  19. Functional maturation of the exocytotic machinery at gerbil hair cell ribbon synapses

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Stuart L; Franz, Christoph; Knipper, Marlies; Marcotti, Walter

    2009-01-01

    Auditory afferent fibre activity in mammals relies on neurotransmission at hair cell ribbon synapses. Developmental changes in the Ca2+ sensitivity of the synaptic machinery allow inner hair cells (IHCs), the primary auditory receptors, to encode Ca2+ action potentials (APs) during pre-hearing stages and graded receptor potentials in adult animals. However, little is known about the time course of these changes or whether the kinetic properties of exocytosis differ as a function of IHC position along the immature cochlea. Furthermore, the role of afferent transmission in outer hair cells (OHCs) is not understood. Calcium currents and exocytosis (measured as membrane capacitance changes: ΔCm) were measured with whole-cell recordings from immature gerbil hair cells using near-physiological conditions. The kinetics, vesicle pool depletion and Ca2+ coupling of exocytosis were similar in apical and basal immature IHCs. This could indicate that possible differences in AP activity along the immature cochlea do not require synaptic specialization. Neurotransmission in IHCs became mature from postnatal day 20 (P20), although changes in its Ca2+ dependence occurred at P9–P12 in basal and P12–P15 in apical cells. OHCs showed a smaller ΔCm than IHCs that was reflected by fewer active zones in OHCs. Otoferlin, the proposed Ca2+ sensor in cochlear hair cells, was similarly distributed in both cell types despite the high-order exocytotic Ca2+ dependence in IHCs and the near-linear relation in OHCs. The results presented here provide a comprehensive study of the function and development of hair cell ribbon synapses. PMID:19237422

  20. The Secrets of a Functional Synapse – From a Computational and Experimental Viewpoint

    PubMed Central

    Linial, Michal

    2006-01-01

    Background Neuronal communication is tightly regulated in time and in space. The neuronal transmission takes place in the nerve terminal, at a specialized structure called the synapse. Following neuronal activation, an electrical signal triggers neurotransmitter (NT) release at the active zone. The process starts by the signal reaching the synapse followed by a fusion of the synaptic vesicle and diffusion of the released NT in the synaptic cleft; the NT then binds to the appropriate receptor, and as a result, a potential change at the target cell membrane is induced. The entire process lasts for only a fraction of a millisecond. An essential property of the synapse is its capacity to undergo biochemical and morphological changes, a phenomenon that is referred to as synaptic plasticity. Results In this survey, we consider the mammalian brain synapse as our model. We take a cell biological and a molecular perspective to present fundamental properties of the synapse:(i) the accurate and efficient delivery of organelles and material to and from the synapse; (ii) the coordination of gene expression that underlies a particular NT phenotype; (iii) the induction of local protein expression in a subset of stimulated synapses. We describe the computational facet and the formulation of the problem for each of these topics. Conclusion Predicting the behavior of a synapse under changing conditions must incorporate genomics and proteomics information with new approaches in computational biology. PMID:16723009

  1. Thyroid hormone is required for pruning, functioning and long-term maintenance of afferent inner hair cell synapses

    PubMed Central

    Sundaresan, Srividya; Kong, Jee-Hyun; Fang, Qing; Salles, Felipe T.; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Ricci, Anthony J.; Mustapha, Mirna

    2016-01-01

    Functional maturation of afferent synaptic connections to inner hair cells (IHCs) involves pruning of excess synapses formed during development, as well as the strengthening and survival of the retained synapses. These events take place during the thyroid hormone (TH)-critical period of cochlear development, which is in the perinatal period for mice and in the third trimester for humans. Here, we used the hypothyroid Snell dwarf mouse (Pit1dw) as a model to study the role of TH in afferent type I synaptic refinement and functional maturation. We observed defects in afferent synaptic pruning and delays in calcium channel clustering in the IHCs of Pit1dw mice. Nevertheless, calcium currents and capacitance reached near normal levels in Pit1dw IHCs by the age of onset of hearing, despite the excess number of retained synapses. We restored normal synaptic pruning in Pit1dw IHCs by supplementing with TH from postnatal day (P)3 to P8, establishing this window as being critical for TH action on this process. Afferent terminals of older Pit1dw IHCs showed evidence of excitotoxic damage accompanied by a concomitant reduction in the levels of the glial glutamate transporter, GLAST. Our results indicate that a lack of TH during a critical period of inner ear development causes defects in pruning and long-term homeostatic maintenance of afferent synapses. PMID:26386265

  2. Thyroid hormone is required for pruning, functioning and long-term maintenance of afferent inner hair cell synapses.

    PubMed

    Sundaresan, Srividya; Kong, Jee-Hyun; Fang, Qing; Salles, Felipe T; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Ricci, Anthony J; Mustapha, Mirna

    2016-01-01

    Functional maturation of afferent synaptic connections to inner hair cells (IHCs) involves pruning of excess synapses formed during development, as well as the strengthening and survival of the retained synapses. These events take place during the thyroid hormone (TH)-critical period of cochlear development, which is in the perinatal period for mice and in the third trimester for humans. Here, we used the hypothyroid Snell dwarf mouse (Pit1(dw)) as a model to study the role of TH in afferent type I synaptic refinement and functional maturation. We observed defects in afferent synaptic pruning and delays in calcium channel clustering in the IHCs of Pit1(dw) mice. Nevertheless, calcium currents and capacitance reached near normal levels in Pit1(dw) IHCs by the age of onset of hearing, despite the excess number of retained synapses. We restored normal synaptic pruning in Pit1(dw) IHCs by supplementing with TH from postnatal day (P)3 to P8, establishing this window as being critical for TH action on this process. Afferent terminals of older Pit1(dw) IHCs showed evidence of excitotoxic damage accompanied by a concomitant reduction in the levels of the glial glutamate transporter, GLAST. Our results indicate that a lack of TH during a critical period of inner ear development causes defects in pruning and long-term homeostatic maintenance of afferent synapses. PMID:26386265

  3. “Cell Biology meets physiology: Functional Organization of Vertebrate Plasma Membranes” - The immunological synapse

    PubMed Central

    Curado, Silvia; Kumari, Sudha; Dustin, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    The immunological synapse is an excellent example of cell-cell communication, where signals are exchanged between two cells, resulting in a well-structured line of defense during adaptive immune response. This process has been the focus of several studies that aimed at understanding its formation and subsequent events and has led to the understanding that it relies on a well-orchestrated molecular program that only occurs when specific requirements are met. The development of more precise and controllable T cell activation systems has led to new insights including the role of mechanotransduction in the process of formation of the immunological synapse and T cell activation. Continuous advances in our understanding of the immunological synapse formation, particularly in the context of T cell activation and differentiation, as well the development of new T cell activation systems are being applied to the establishment and improvement of immune therapeutical approaches. PMID:24210434

  4. Genetic targeting of NRXN2 in mice unveils role in excitatory cortical synapse function and social behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Born, Gesche; Grayton, Hannah M.; Langhorst, Hanna; Dudanova, Irina; Rohlmann, Astrid; Woodward, Benjamin W.; Collier, David A.; Fernandes, Cathy; Missler, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Human genetics has identified rare copy number variations and deleterious mutations for all neurexin genes (NRXN1-3) in patients with neurodevelopmental diseases, and electrophysiological recordings in animal brains have shown that Nrxns are important for synaptic transmission. While several mouse models for Nrxn1α inactivation have previously been studied for behavioral changes, very little information is available for other variants. Here, we validate that mice lacking Nrxn2α exhibit behavioral abnormalities, characterized by social interaction deficits and increased anxiety-like behavior, which partially overlap, partially differ from Nrxn1α mutant behaviors. Using patch-clamp recordings in Nrxn2α knockout brains, we observe reduced spontaneous transmitter release at excitatory synapses in the neocortex. We also analyse at this cellular level a novel NRXN2 mouse model that carries a combined deletion of Nrxn2α and Nrxn2β. Electrophysiological analysis of this Nrxn2-mutant mouse shows surprisingly similar defects of excitatory release to Nrxn2α, indicating that the β-variant of Nrxn2 has no strong function in basic transmission at these synapses. Inhibitory transmission as well as synapse densities and ultrastructure remain unchanged in the neocortex of both models. Furthermore, at Nrxn2α and Nrxn2-mutant excitatory synapses we find an altered facilitation and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function because NMDAR-dependent decay time and NMDAR-mediated responses are reduced. As Nrxn can indirectly be linked to NMDAR via neuroligin and PSD-95, the trans-synaptic nature of this complex may help to explain occurrence of presynaptic and postsynaptic effects. Since excitatory/inhibitory imbalances and impairment of NMDAR function are alledged to have a role in autism and schizophrenia, our results support the idea of a related pathomechanism in these disorders. PMID:25745399

  5. Hepatocyte Growth Factor Modulates MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase and β-Catenin Functional Interactions to Enhance Synapse Formation

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Zhihui; Eagleson, Kathie L.

    2016-01-01

    MET, a pleiotropic receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in autism risk, influences multiple neurodevelopmental processes. There is a knowledge gap, however, in the molecular mechanism through which MET mediates developmental events related to disorder risk. In the neocortex, MET is expressed transiently during periods of peak dendritic outgrowth and synaptogenesis, with expression enriched at developing synapses, consistent with demonstrated roles in dendritic morphogenesis, modulation of spine volume, and excitatory synapse development. In a recent coimmunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry screen, β-catenin was identified as part of the MET interactome in developing neocortical synaptosomes. Here, we investigated the influence of the MET/β-catenin complex in mouse neocortical synaptogenesis. Western blot analysis confirms that MET and β-catenin coimmunoprecipitate, but N-cadherin is not associated with the MET complex. Following stimulation with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), β-catenin is phosphorylated at tyrosine142 (Y142) and dissociates from MET, accompanied by an increase in β-catenin/N-cadherin and MET/synapsin 1 protein complexes. In neocortical neurons in vitro, proximity ligation assays confirmed the close proximity of these proteins. Moreover, in neurons transfected with synaptophysin-GFP, HGF stimulation increases the density of synaptophysin/bassoon (a presynaptic marker) and synaptophysin/PSD-95 (a postsynaptic marker) clusters. Mutation of β-catenin at Y142 disrupts the dissociation of the MET/β-catenin complex and prevents the increase in clusters in response to HGF. The data demonstrate a new mechanism for the modulation of synapse formation, whereby MET activation induces an alignment of presynaptic and postsynaptic elements that are necessary for assembly and formation of functional synapses by subsets of neocortical neurons that express MET/β-catenin complex. PMID:27595133

  6. Hepatocyte Growth Factor Modulates MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase and β-Catenin Functional Interactions to Enhance Synapse Formation.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhihui; Eagleson, Kathie L; Wu, Hsiao-Huei; Levitt, Pat

    2016-01-01

    MET, a pleiotropic receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in autism risk, influences multiple neurodevelopmental processes. There is a knowledge gap, however, in the molecular mechanism through which MET mediates developmental events related to disorder risk. In the neocortex, MET is expressed transiently during periods of peak dendritic outgrowth and synaptogenesis, with expression enriched at developing synapses, consistent with demonstrated roles in dendritic morphogenesis, modulation of spine volume, and excitatory synapse development. In a recent coimmunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry screen, β-catenin was identified as part of the MET interactome in developing neocortical synaptosomes. Here, we investigated the influence of the MET/β-catenin complex in mouse neocortical synaptogenesis. Western blot analysis confirms that MET and β-catenin coimmunoprecipitate, but N-cadherin is not associated with the MET complex. Following stimulation with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), β-catenin is phosphorylated at tyrosine(142) (Y142) and dissociates from MET, accompanied by an increase in β-catenin/N-cadherin and MET/synapsin 1 protein complexes. In neocortical neurons in vitro, proximity ligation assays confirmed the close proximity of these proteins. Moreover, in neurons transfected with synaptophysin-GFP, HGF stimulation increases the density of synaptophysin/bassoon (a presynaptic marker) and synaptophysin/PSD-95 (a postsynaptic marker) clusters. Mutation of β-catenin at Y142 disrupts the dissociation of the MET/β-catenin complex and prevents the increase in clusters in response to HGF. The data demonstrate a new mechanism for the modulation of synapse formation, whereby MET activation induces an alignment of presynaptic and postsynaptic elements that are necessary for assembly and formation of functional synapses by subsets of neocortical neurons that express MET/β-catenin complex. PMID:27595133

  7. Regulation of structural and functional synapse density by L-threonate through modulation of intraneuronal magnesium concentration.

    PubMed

    Sun, Qifeng; Weinger, Jason G; Mao, Fei; Liu, Guosong

    2016-09-01

    Oral administration of the combination of L-threonate (threonate) and magnesium (Mg(2+)) in the form of L-Threonic acid Magnesium salt (L-TAMS) can enhance learning and memory in young rats and prevent memory decline in aging rats and in Alzheimer's disease model mice. Recent results from a human clinical trial demonstrate the efficacy of L-TAMS in restoring global cognitive abilities of older adults. Previously, we reported that neuronal intracellular Mg(2+) serves as a critical signaling molecule for controlling synapse density, a key factor that determines cognitive ability. The elevation of brain Mg(2+) by oral administration of L-TAMS in intact animals plays a significant role in mediating the therapeutic effects of L-TAMS. The current study sought to elucidate the unique role of threonate. We aimed to understand if threonate acts directly to elevate intraneuronal Mg(2+), and why Mg(2+) given without threonate is ineffective for enhancing learning and memory ability. We discovered that threonate is naturally present in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and oral treatment with L-TAMS elevated CSF threonate. In cultured hippocampal neurons, threonate treatment directly induced an increase in intracellular Mg(2+) concentration. Functionally, elevating threonate upregulated expression of NR2B-containing NMDAR, boosted mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), and increased functional synapse density in neuronal cultures. These effects are unique to threonate, as other common Mg(2+) anions failed to have the same results. Mechanistically, threonate's effects were specifically mediated through glucose transporters (GLUTs). We also evaluated the effects of threonate in human neural stem cell-derived neurons, and found it was equally effective at upregulating synapse density. The current study provides an explanation for why threonate is an essential component of L-TAMS and supports the use of L-TAMS to promote cognitive abilities in human. PMID:27178134

  8. Food restriction modifies ultrastructure of hippocampal synapses.

    PubMed

    Babits, Réka; Szőke, Balázs; Sótonyi, Péter; Rácz, Bence

    2016-04-01

    Consumption of high-energy diets may compromise health and may also impair cognition; these impairments have been linked to tasks that require hippocampal function. Conversely, food restriction has been shown to improve certain aspects of hippocampal function, including spatial memory and memory persistence. These diet-dependent functional changes raise the possibility that the synaptic structure underlying hippocampal function is also affected. To examine how short-term food restriction (FR) alters the synaptic structure of the hippocampus, we used quantitative electron microscopy to analyze the organization of neuropil in the CA1 stratum radiatum of the hippocampus in young rats, consequent to reduced food. While four weeks of FR did not modify the density, size, or shape of postsynaptic spines, the synapses established by these spines were altered, displaying increased mean length, and more frequent perforations of postsynaptic densities. That the number of perforated synapses (believed to be an indicator of synaptic enhancement) increased, and that the CA1 spine population had on average significantly longer PSDs suggests that synaptic efficacy of axospinous synapses also increased in the CA1. Taken together, our ultrastructural data reveal previously unrecognized structural changes at hippocampal synapses as a function of food restriction, supporting a link between metabolic balance and synaptic plasticity. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26386363

  9. Building a synapse

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young-Jun; Serpe, Mihaela

    2013-01-01

    L-glutamate is the primary neurotransmitter at excitatory synapses in the vertebrate CNS and at arthropod neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). However, the molecular mechanisms that trigger the recruitment of glutamate receptors at the onset of synaptogenesis and promote their stabilization at postsynaptic densities remain poorly understood. We have reported the discovery of a novel, evolutionary conserved molecule, Neto, essential for clustering of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) at Drosophila NMJ. Neto is the first auxiliary subunit described in Drosophila and is the only non-channel subunit absolutely required for functional iGluRs. Here we review the role of Drosophila Neto in synapse assembly, its similarities with other Neto proteins and a new perspective on how glutamatergic synapses are physically assembled and stabilized. PMID:23680998

  10. Psychiatric risk factor ANK3/Ankyrin-G nanodomains regulate the structure and function of glutamatergic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Katharine R.; Kopeikina, Katherine J.; Fawcett-Patel, Jessica M.; Leaderbrand, Katherine; Gao, Ruoqi; Schürmann, Britta; Myczek, Kristoffer; Radulovic, Jelena; Swanson, Geoffrey T.; Penzes, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Summary Recent evidence implicates glutamatergic synapses as key pathogenic sites in psychiatric disorders. Common and rare variants in the ANK3 gene, encoding ankyrin-G, have been associated with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism. Here we demonstrate that ankyrin-G is integral to AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission and maintenance of spine morphology. Using super-resolution microscopy we find that ankyrin-G forms distinct nanodomain structures within the spine head and neck. At these sites, it modulates mushroom spine structure and function, likely as a perisynaptic scaffold and barrier within the spine neck. Neuronal activity promotes ankyrin-G accumulation in distinct spine subdomains, where it differentially regulates NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity. These data implicate subsynaptic nanodomains containing a major psychiatric risk molecule, ankyrin-G, as having location-specific functions, and opens directions for basic and translational investigation of psychiatric risk molecules. PMID:25374361

  11. Gap junctions as electrical synapses.

    PubMed

    Bennett, M V

    1997-06-01

    Gap junctions are the morphological substrate of one class of electrical synapse. The history of the debate on electrical vs. chemical transmission is instructive. One lesson is that Occam's razor sometimes cuts too deep; the nervous system does its operations in a number of different ways and a unitarian approach can lead one astray. Electrical synapses can do many things that chemical synapses can do, and do them just as slowly. More intriguing are the modulatory actions that chemical synapses can have on electrical synapses. Voltage dependence provides an important window on structure function relations of the connexins, even where the dependence may have no physiological role. The new molecular approaches will greatly advance our knowledge of where gap junctions occur and permit experimental manipulation with high specificity. PMID:9278865

  12. Remodeling and Tenacity of Inhibitory Synapses: Relationships with Network Activity and Neighboring Excitatory Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Rubinski, Anna; Ziv, Noam E.

    2015-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapse size remodeling is governed not only by specific activity forms but also by apparently stochastic processes with well-defined statistics. These spontaneous remodeling processes can give rise to skewed and stable synaptic size distributions, underlie scaling of these distributions and drive changes in glutamatergic synapse size “configurations”. Where inhibitory synapses are concerned, however, little is known on spontaneous remodeling dynamics, their statistics, their activity dependence or their long-term consequences. Here we followed individual inhibitory synapses for days, and analyzed their size remodeling dynamics within the statistical framework previously developed for glutamatergic synapses. Similar to glutamatergic synapses, size distributions of inhibitory synapses were skewed and stable; at the same time, however, sizes of individual synapses changed considerably, leading to gradual changes in synaptic size configurations. The suppression of network activity only transiently affected spontaneous remodeling dynamics, did not affect synaptic size configuration change rates and was not followed by the scaling of inhibitory synapse size distributions. Comparisons with glutamatergic synapses within the same dendrites revealed a degree of coupling between nearby inhibitory and excitatory synapse remodeling, but also revealed that inhibitory synapse size configurations changed at considerably slower rates than those of their glutamatergic neighbors. These findings point to quantitative differences in spontaneous remodeling dynamics of inhibitory and excitatory synapses but also reveal deep qualitative similarities in the processes that control their sizes and govern their remodeling dynamics. PMID:26599330

  13. Function and Dynamics of Tetraspanins during Antigen Recognition and Immunological Synapse Formation

    PubMed Central

    Rocha-Perugini, Vera; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Martínez del Hoyo, Gloria

    2016-01-01

    Tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TEMs) are specialized membrane platforms driven by protein–protein interactions that integrate membrane receptors and adhesion molecules. Tetraspanins participate in antigen recognition and presentation by antigen-­presenting cells (APCs) through the organization of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) and their downstream-induced signaling, as well as the regulation of MHC-II–peptide trafficking. T lymphocyte activation is triggered upon specific recognition of antigens present on the APC surface during immunological synapse (IS) formation. This dynamic process is characterized by a defined spatial organization involving the compartmentalization of receptors and adhesion molecules in specialized membrane domains that are connected to the underlying cytoskeleton and signaling molecules. Tetraspanins contribute to the spatial organization and maturation of the IS by controlling receptor clustering and local accumulation of adhesion receptors and integrins, their downstream signaling, and linkage to the actin cytoskeleton. This review offers a perspective on the important role of TEMs in the regulation of antigen recognition and presentation and in the dynamics of IS architectural organization. PMID:26793193

  14. A Novel Topology of Proline-rich Transmembrane Protein 2 (PRRT2): HINTS FOR AN INTRACELLULAR FUNCTION AT THE SYNAPSE.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Pia; Sterlini, Bruno; Castroflorio, Enrico; Marte, Antonella; Onofri, Franco; Valtorta, Flavia; Maragliano, Luca; Corradi, Anna; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-03-18

    Proline-rich transmembrane protein 2 (PRRT2) has been identified as the single causative gene for a group of paroxysmal syndromes of infancy, including epilepsy, paroxysmal movement disorders, and migraine. On the basis of topology predictions, PRRT2 has been assigned to the recently characterized family of Dispanins, whose members share the two-transmembrane domain topology with a large N terminus and short C terminus oriented toward the outside of the cell. Because PRRT2 plays a role at the synapse, it is important to confirm the exact orientation of its N and C termini with respect to the plasma membrane to get clues regarding its possible function. Using a combination of different experimental approaches, including live immunolabeling, immunogold electron microscopy, surface biotinylation and computational modeling, we demonstrate a novel topology for this protein. PRRT2 is a type II transmembrane protein in which only the second hydrophobic segment spans the plasma membrane, whereas the first one is associated with the internal surface of the membrane and forms a helix-loop-helix structure without crossing it. Most importantly, the large proline-rich N-terminal domain is not exposed to the extracellular space but is localized intracellularly, and only the short C terminus is extracellular (N cyt/C exo topology). Accordingly, we show that PRRT2 interacts with the Src homology 3 domain-bearing protein Intersectin 1, an intracellular protein involved in synaptic vesicle cycling. These findings will contribute to the clarification of the role of PRRT2 at the synapse and the understanding of pathogenic mechanisms on the basis of PRRT2-related neurological disorders. PMID:26797119

  15. Characterization of neuromuscular synapse function abnormalities in multiple Duchenne muscular dystrophy mouse models.

    PubMed

    van der Pijl, Elizabeth M; van Putten, Maaike; Niks, Erik H; Verschuuren, Jan J G M; Aartsma-Rus, Annemieke; Plomp, Jaap J

    2016-06-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked myopathy caused by dystrophin deficiency. Dystrophin is present intracellularly at the sarcolemma, connecting actin to the dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex. Interestingly, it is enriched postsynaptically at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), but its synaptic function is largely unknown. Utrophin, a dystrophin homologue, is also concentrated at the NMJ, and upregulated in DMD. It is possible that the absence of dystrophin at NMJs in DMD causes neuromuscular transmission defects that aggravate muscle weakness. We studied NMJ function in mdx mice (lacking dystrophin) and wild type mice. In addition, mdx/utrn(+/-) and mdx/utrn(-/-) mice (lacking utrophin) were used to investigate influences of utrophin levels. The three Duchenne mouse models showed muscle weakness when comparatively tested in vivo, with mdx/utrn(-/-) mice being weakest. Ex vivo muscle contraction and electrophysiological studies showed a reduced safety factor of neuromuscular transmission in all models. NMJs had ~ 40% smaller miniature endplate potential amplitudes compared with wild type, indicating postsynaptic sensitivity loss for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. However, nerve stimulation-evoked endplate potential amplitudes were unchanged. Consequently, quantal content (i.e. the number of acetylcholine quanta released per nerve impulse) was considerably increased. Such a homeostatic compensatory increase in neurotransmitter release is also found at NMJs in myasthenia gravis, where autoantibodies reduce acetylcholine receptors. However, high-rate nerve stimulation induced exaggerated endplate potential rundown. Study of NMJ morphology showed that fragmentation of acetylcholine receptor clusters occurred in all models, being most severe in mdx/utrn(-/-) mice. Overall, we showed mild 'myasthenia-like' neuromuscular synaptic dysfunction in several Duchenne mouse models, which possibly affects muscle weakness and degeneration. PMID:27037492

  16. Automated Analysis of a Diverse Synapse Population

    PubMed Central

    Busse, Brad; Smith, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Synapses of the mammalian central nervous system are highly diverse in function and molecular composition. Synapse diversity per se may be critical to brain function, since memory and homeostatic mechanisms are thought to be rooted primarily in activity-dependent plastic changes in specific subsets of individual synapses. Unfortunately, the measurement of synapse diversity has been restricted by the limitations of methods capable of measuring synapse properties at the level of individual synapses. Array tomography is a new high-resolution, high-throughput proteomic imaging method that has the potential to advance the measurement of unit-level synapse diversity across large and diverse synapse populations. Here we present an automated feature extraction and classification algorithm designed to quantify synapses from high-dimensional array tomographic data too voluminous for manual analysis. We demonstrate the use of this method to quantify laminar distributions of synapses in mouse somatosensory cortex and validate the classification process by detecting the presence of known but uncommon proteomic profiles. Such classification and quantification will be highly useful in identifying specific subpopulations of synapses exhibiting plasticity in response to perturbations from the environment or the sensory periphery. PMID:23555213

  17. Actin engine in immunological synapse.

    PubMed

    Piragyte, Indre; Jun, Chang-Duk

    2012-06-01

    T cell activation and function require physical contact with antigen presenting cells at a specialized junctional structure known as the immunological synapse. Once formed, the immunological synapse leads to sustained T cell receptor-mediated signalling and stabilized adhesion. High resolution microscopy indeed had a great impact in understanding the function and dynamic structure of immunological synapse. Trends of recent research are now moving towards understanding the mechanical part of immune system, expanding our knowledge in mechanosensitivity, force generation, and biophysics of cell-cell interaction. Actin cytoskeleton plays inevitable role in adaptive immune system, allowing it to bear dynamic and precise characteristics at the same time. The regulation of mechanical engine seems very complicated and overlapping, but it enables cells to be very sensitive to external signals such as surface rigidity. In this review, we focus on actin regulators and how immune cells regulate dynamic actin rearrangement process to drive the formation of immunological synapse. PMID:22916042

  18. RNA-binding protein Hermes/RBPMS inversely affects synapse density and axon arbor formation in retinal ganglion cells in vivo.

    PubMed

    Hörnberg, Hanna; Wollerton-van Horck, Francis; Maurus, Daniel; Zwart, Maarten; Svoboda, Hanno; Harris, William A; Holt, Christine E

    2013-06-19

    The RNA-binding protein Hermes [RNA-binding protein with multiple splicing (RBPMS)] is expressed exclusively in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the CNS, but its function in these cells is not known. Here we show that Hermes protein translocates in granules from RGC bodies down the growing axons. Hermes loss of function in both Xenopus laevis and zebrafish embryos leads to a significant reduction in retinal axon arbor complexity in the optic tectum, and expression of a dominant acting mutant Hermes protein, defective in RNA-granule localization, causes similar defects in arborization. Time-lapse analysis of branch dynamics reveals that the decrease in arbor complexity is caused by a reduction in new branches rather than a decrease in branch stability. Surprisingly, Hermes depletion also leads to enhanced early visual behavior and an increase in the density of presynaptic puncta, suggesting that reduced arborization is accompanied by increased synaptogenesis to maintain synapse number. PMID:23785151

  19. RNA-binding protein Hermes/RBPMS inversely affects synapse density and axon arbor formation in retinal ganglion cells in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Hörnberg, Hanna; Horck, Francis Wollerton-van; Maurus, Daniel; Zwart, Maarten; Svoboda, Hanno; Harris, William A.; Holt, Christine E.

    2015-01-01

    The RNA-binding protein, Hermes (RBPMS), is expressed exclusively in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the CNS, but its function in these cells is not known. Here we show that Hermes protein translocates in granules from RGC bodies down the growing axons. Hermes loss-of-function in both Xenopus laevis and zebrafish embryos leads to a significant reduction in retinal axon arbor complexity in the optic tectum, and expression of a dominant acting mutant Hermes protein, defective in RNA-granule localisation, causes similar defects in arborisation. Time-lapse analysis of branch dynamics reveals that the decrease in arbor complexity is caused by a reduction in new branches rather than a decrease in branch stability. Surprisingly, Hermes depletion also leads to enhanced early visual behaviour and an increase in the density of pre-synaptic puncta suggesting that reduced arborisation is accompanied by increased synaptogenesis to maintain synapse number. PMID:23785151

  20. MHCI promotes developmental synapse elimination and aging-related synapse loss at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Tetruashvily, Mazell M; McDonald, Marin A; Frietze, Karla K; Boulanger, Lisa M

    2016-08-01

    Synapse elimination at the developing neuromuscular junction (NMJ) sculpts motor circuits, and synapse loss at the aging NMJ drives motor impairments that are a major cause of loss of independence in the elderly. Here we provide evidence that at the NMJ, both developmental synapse elimination and aging-related synapse loss are promoted by specific immune proteins, members of the major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI). MHCI is expressed at the developing NMJ, and three different methods of reducing MHCI function all disrupt synapse elimination during the second postnatal week, leaving some muscle fibers multiply-innervated, despite otherwise outwardly normal synapse formation and maturation. Conversely, overexpressing MHCI modestly accelerates developmental synapse elimination. MHCI levels at the NMJ rise with aging, and reducing MHCI levels ameliorates muscle denervation in aged mice. These findings identify an unexpected role for MHCI in the elimination of neuromuscular synapses during development, and indicate that reducing MHCI levels can preserve youthful innervation of aging muscle. PMID:26802986

  1. Genomewide analysis of the Drosophila tetraspanins reveals a subset with similar function in the formation of the embryonic synapse

    PubMed Central

    Fradkin, Lee G.; Kamphorst, Jessica T.; DiAntonio, Aaron; Goodman, Corey S.; Noordermeer, Jasprina N.

    2002-01-01

    Tetraspanins encode a large conserved family of proteins that span the membrane four times and are expressed in a variety of eukaryotic tissues. They are part of membrane complexes that are involved in such diverse processes as intracellular signaling, cellular motility, metastasis, and tumor suppression. The single fly tetraspanin characterized to date, late bloomer (lbm), is expressed on the axons, terminal arbors, and growth cones of motoneurons. In embryos lacking Lbm protein, motoneurons reach their muscle targets, but initially fail to form synaptic terminals. During larval stages, however, functional contacts are formed. The newly available genomic sequence of Drosophila melanogaster indicates the existence of 34 additional members of the tetraspanin family in the fly. To address the possibility that other tetraspanins with functions that might compensate for a lack of lbm exist, we determined the expression domains of the Drosophila tetraspanin gene family members by RNA in situ analysis. We found two other tetraspanins also expressed in motoneurons and subsequently generated a small chromosomal deletion that removes all three motoneuron-specific tetraspanins. The deletion results in a significant enhancement in the lbm phenotype, indicating that the two additional motoneuron-expressed tetraspanins can, at least in part, compensate for the absence of lbm during the formation of the embryonic synapse. PMID:12370414

  2. Genetic Inhibition of CaMKII in Dorsal Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons Reduces Functional Excitatory Synapses and Enhances Intrinsic Excitability

    PubMed Central

    Klug, Jason R.; Mathur, Brian N.; Kash, Thomas L.; Wang, Hui-Dong; Matthews, Robert T.; Robison, A. J.; Anderson, Mark E.; Deutch, Ariel Y.; Lovinger, David M.; Colbran, Roger J.; Winder, Danny G.

    2012-01-01

    Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is abundant in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). CaMKII is dynamically regulated by changes in dopamine signaling, as occurs in Parkinson's disease as well as addiction. Although CaMKII has been extensively studied in the hippocampus where it regulates excitatory synaptic transmission, relatively little is known about how it modulates neuronal function in the striatum. Therefore, we examined the impact of selectively overexpressing an EGFP-fused CaMKII inhibitory peptide (EAC3I) in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) using a novel transgenic mouse model. EAC3I-expressing cells exhibited markedly decreased excitatory transmission, indicated by a decrease in the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). This decrease was not accompanied by changes in the probability of release, levels of glutamate at the synapse, or changes in dendritic spine density. CaMKII regulation of the AMPA receptor subunit GluA1 is a major means by which the kinase regulates neuronal function in the hippocampus. We found that the decrease in striatal excitatory transmission seen in the EAC3I mice is mimicked by deletion of GluA1. Further, while CaMKII inhibition decreased excitatory transmission onto MSNs, it increased their intrinsic excitability. These data suggest that CaMKII plays a critical role in setting the excitability rheostat of striatal MSNs by coordinating excitatory synaptic drive and the resulting depolarization response. PMID:23028932

  3. Synapse-associated protein-97 isoform-specific regulation of surface AMPA receptors and synaptic function in cultured neurons.

    PubMed

    Rumbaugh, Gavin; Sia, Gek-Ming; Garner, Craig C; Huganir, Richard L

    2003-06-01

    Members of the synapse-associated protein-97 (SAP97) family of scaffold proteins have been implicated as central organizers of synaptic junctions to build macromolecular signaling complexes around specific postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. In this regard, SAP97 has been suggested to regulate the synaptic localization of glutamate receptor type 1 subunits of the AMPA-type glutamate receptors. To test this hypothesis directly, we assessed the effects of SAP97 overexpression on surface expression of synaptic AMPA receptors. We find that recombinant SAP97 not only becomes concentrated at synaptic junctions but also leads to an increase in synaptic AMPA receptors, spine enlargement, and an increase in miniature EPSC (mEPSC) frequency, indicating that SAP97 has both postsynaptic and presynaptic effects on synaptic transmission. Synaptic targeting of SAP97, increased surface AMPA receptors, and increased mEPSC frequency are dependent on the presence of specific alternatively spliced sequences in SAP97 that encode a protein 4.1 binding site. These results suggest that SAP97 can affect the synaptic recruitment of AMPA receptors and spine morphology and that these effects may be regulated by alternative splicing. PMID:12805297

  4. Androgens increase spine synapse density in the CA1 hippocampal subfield of ovariectomized female rats.

    PubMed

    Leranth, Csaba; Hajszan, Tibor; MacLusky, Neil J

    2004-01-14

    The effects of androgen on the density of spine synapses on pyramidal neurons in the CA1 area of the hippocampus were studied in ovariectomized (OVX) adult female rats. Treatment of OVX rats with testosterone propionate (TP; 500 microg/d, s.c., 2 d) significantly increased spine synapse density (from 0.661 +/- 0.016 spine synapse/microm3 in OVX rats to 1.081 +/- 0.018 spine synapse/microm3 after TP treatment). A smaller, but still statistically significant, increase in synapse density (0.955 +/- 0.029 spine synapse/microm3) was observed in OVX animals after treatment with the nonaromatizable androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT; 500 microg/d, s.c., 2 d). Administration of 1 mg of letrozole, a powerful nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor, 1 hr before the steroid injections almost completely blocked the synaptic response to testosterone, resulting in a mean synapse density (0.723 +/- 0.003 spine synapse/microm3) only slightly higher than in OVX control rats. By contrast, the response to DHT was unaffected by letrozole pretreatment. These data suggest that androgen secretion during the female reproductive cycle may contribute to cyclical changes in hippocampal synaptic density. They also indicate that androgen treatment may be as effective as estrogen replacement in reversing the decline in hippocampal CA1 spine synapses that follows loss of ovarian function. Induction of hippocampal synapse formation by androgen is not mediated entirely via intracerebral estrogen biosynthesis, however, because aromatase-independent mechanisms also significantly affect CA1 spine synapse density. PMID:14724248

  5. Placebo Sleep Affects Cognitive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Draganich, Christina; Erdal, Kristi

    2014-01-01

    The placebo effect is any outcome that is not attributed to a specific treatment but rather to an individual's mindset (Benson & Friedman, 1996). This phenomenon can extend beyond its typical use in pharmaceutical drugs to involve aspects of everyday life, such as the effect of sleep on cognitive functioning. In 2 studies examining whether…

  6. Proteomic Studies of a Single CNS Synapse Type: The Parallel Fiber/Purkinje Cell Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Selimi, Fekrije; Cristea, Ileana M; Heller, Elizabeth; Chait, Brian T; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2009-01-01

    Precise neuronal networks underlie normal brain function and require distinct classes of synaptic connections. Although it has been shown that certain individual proteins can localize to different classes of synapses, the biochemical composition of specific synapse types is not known. Here, we have used a combination of genetically engineered mice, affinity purification, and mass spectrometry to profile proteins at parallel fiber/Purkinje cell synapses. We identify approximately 60 candidate postsynaptic proteins that can be classified into 11 functional categories. Proteins involved in phospholipid metabolism and signaling, such as the protein kinase MRCKγ, are major unrecognized components of this synapse type. We demonstrate that MRCKγ can modulate maturation of dendritic spines in cultured cortical neurons, and that it is localized specifically to parallel fiber/Purkinje cell synapses in vivo. Our data identify a novel synapse-specific signaling pathway, and provide an approach for detailed investigations of the biochemical complexity of central nervous system synapse types. PMID:19402746

  7. Proteomic studies of a single CNS synapse type: the parallel fiber/purkinje cell synapse.

    PubMed

    Selimi, Fekrije; Cristea, Ileana M; Heller, Elizabeth; Chait, Brian T; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2009-04-14

    Precise neuronal networks underlie normal brain function and require distinct classes of synaptic connections. Although it has been shown that certain individual proteins can localize to different classes of synapses, the biochemical composition of specific synapse types is not known. Here, we have used a combination of genetically engineered mice, affinity purification, and mass spectrometry to profile proteins at parallel fiber/Purkinje cell synapses. We identify approximately 60 candidate postsynaptic proteins that can be classified into 11 functional categories. Proteins involved in phospholipid metabolism and signaling, such as the protein kinase MRCKgamma, are major unrecognized components of this synapse type. We demonstrate that MRCKgamma can modulate maturation of dendritic spines in cultured cortical neurons, and that it is localized specifically to parallel fiber/Purkinje cell synapses in vivo. Our data identify a novel synapse-specific signaling pathway, and provide an approach for detailed investigations of the biochemical complexity of central nervous system synapse types. PMID:19402746

  8. Dendrodendritic synapses in the mouse olfactory bulb external plexiform layer.

    PubMed

    Bartel, Dianna L; Rela, Lorena; Hsieh, Lawrence; Greer, Charles A

    2015-06-01

    Odor information relayed by olfactory bulb projection neurons, mitral and tufted cells (M/T), is modulated by pairs of reciprocal dendrodendritic synaptic circuits in the external plexiform layer (EPL). Interneurons, which are accounted for largely by granule cells, receive depolarizing input from M/T dendrites and in turn inhibit current spread in M/T dendrites via hyperpolarizing reciprocal dendrodendritic synapses. Because the location of dendrodendritic synapses may significantly affect the cascade of odor information, we assessed synaptic properties and density within sublaminae of the EPL and along the length of M/T secondary dendrites. In electron micrographs the M/T to granule cell synapse appeared to predominate and was equivalent in both the outer and inner EPL. However, the dendrodendritic synapses from granule cell spines onto M/T dendrites were more prevalent in the outer EPL. In contrast, individual gephyrin-immunoreactive (IR) puncta, a postsynaptic scaffolding protein at inhibitory synapses used here as a proxy for the granule to M/T dendritic synapse was equally distributed throughout the EPL. Of significance to the organization of intrabulbar circuits, gephyrin-IR synapses are not uniformly distributed along M/T secondary dendrites. Synaptic density, expressed as a function of surface area, increases distal to the cell body. Furthermore, the distributions of gephyrin-IR puncta are heterogeneous and appear as clusters along the length of the M/T dendrites. Consistent with computational models, our data suggest that temporal coding in M/T cells is achieved by precisely located inhibitory input and that distance from the soma is compensated for by an increase in synaptic density. PMID:25420934

  9. Dendrodendritic Synapses in the Mouse Olfactory Bulb External Plexiform Layer

    PubMed Central

    Bartel, Dianna L.; Rela, Lorena; Hsieh, Lawrence; Greer, Charles A.

    2014-01-01

    Odor information relayed by olfactory bulb projection neurons, mitral and tufted cells (M/T), is modulated by pairs of reciprocal dendrodendritic synaptic circuits in the external plexiform layer (EPL). Interneurons, which are accounted for largely by granule cells, receive depolarizing input from M/T dendrites and in turn inhibit current spread in M/T dendrites via hyperpolarizing reciprocal dendrodendritic synapses. Because the location of dendrodendritic synapses may significantly affect the cascade of odor information, we assessed synaptic properties and density within sublaminae of the EPL and along the length of M/T secondary dendrites. In electron micrographs the M/T to granule cell synapse appeared to predominate and were equivalent in both the outer and inner EPL. However, the dendrodendritic synapses from granule cell spines onto M/T dendrites, were more prevalent in the outer EPL. In contrast, individual gephyrin-IR puncta, a postsynaptic scaffolding protein at inhibitory synapses used here as a proxy for the granule to M/T dendritic synapse was equally distributed throughout the EPL. Of significance to the organization of intrabulbar circuits, gephyrin-IR synapses are not uniformly distributed along M/T secondary dendrites. Synaptic density, expressed as a function of surface area, increases distal to the cell body. Furthermore, the distributions of gephyrin-IR puncta are heterogeneous and appear as clusters along the length of the M/T dendrites. Consistent with computational models, our data suggest that temporal coding in M/T cells is achieved by precisely located inhibitory input and that distance from the soma is compensated with an increase in synaptic density. PMID:25420934

  10. Lim kinase, a bi-functional effector in injury-induced structural plasticity of synapses

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Weiwei; Townes-Anderson, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    The structural plasticity of synaptic terminals contributes to normal nervous system function but also to neural degeneration, in the form of terminal retraction, and regeneration, due to process growth. Synaptic morphological change is mediated through the actin cytoskeleton, which is enriched in axonal and dendritic terminals. Whereas the three RhoGTPases, RhoA, Cdc42 and Rac, function as upstream signaling nodes sensitive to extracellular stimuli, LIMK-cofilin activity serves as a common downstream effector to up-regulate actin turnover, which is necessary for both polymerization and depolymerization. The dual effects of LIMK activity make LIMK a potential target of therapeutic intervention for injury-induced synaptic plasticity, as LIMK inhibition can stabilize actin cytoskeleton and preserve existing structure. This therapeutic benefit of LIMK inhibition has been demonstrated in animal models of injury-induced axon retraction and neuritic sprouting by rod photoreceptors. A better understanding of the regulation of LIMK-cofilin activity and the interaction with the microtubular cytoskeleton may open new ways to promote synaptic regeneration that can benefit neuronal degenerative disease.

  11. Chronic ethanol exposure decreases CB1 receptor function at GABAergic synapses in the rat central amygdala.

    PubMed

    Varodayan, Florence P; Soni, Neeraj; Bajo, Michal; Luu, George; Madamba, Samuel G; Schweitzer, Paul; Parsons, Loren H; Roberto, Marisa

    2016-07-01

    The endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) influence the acute response to ethanol and the development of tolerance, dependence and relapse. Chronic alcohol exposure alters eCB levels and Type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1 ) expression and function in brain regions associated with addiction. CB1 inhibits GABA release, and GABAergic dysregulation in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is critical in the transition to alcohol dependence. We investigated possible disruptions in CB1 signaling of rat CeA GABAergic transmission following intermittent ethanol exposure. In the CeA of alcohol-naive rats, CB1 agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) decreased the frequency of spontaneous and miniature GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (s/mIPSCs). This effect was prevented by CB1 antagonism, but not Type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2 ) antagonism. After 2-3 weeks of intermittent ethanol exposure, these WIN inhibitory effects were attenuated, suggesting ethanol-induced impairments in CB1 function. The CB1 antagonist AM251 revealed a tonic eCB/CB1 control of GABAergic transmission in the alcohol-naive CeA that was occluded by calcium chelation in the postsynaptic cell. Chronic ethanol exposure abolished this tonic CB1 influence on mIPSC, but not sIPSC, frequency. Finally, acute ethanol increased CeA GABA release in both naive and ethanol-exposed rats. Although CB1 activation prevented this effect, the AM251- and ethanol-induced GABA release were additive, ruling out a direct participation of CB1 signaling in the ethanol effect. Collectively, these observations demonstrate an important CB1 influence on CeA GABAergic transmission and indicate that the CeA is particularly sensitive to alcohol-induced disruptions of CB1 signaling. PMID:25940135

  12. The cell polarity scaffold Lethal Giant Larvae regulates synapse morphology and function

    PubMed Central

    Staples, Jon; Broadie, Kendal

    2013-01-01

    Summary Lethal Giant Larvae (LGL) is a cytosolic cell polarity scaffold whose loss dominantly enhances neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synaptic overgrowth caused by loss of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP). However, direct roles for LGL in NMJ morphological and functional development have not before been tested. Here, we use confocal imaging and two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology at the Drosophila larval NMJ to define the synaptic requirements of LGL. We find that LGL is expressed both pre- and postsynaptically, where the scaffold localizes at the membrane on both sides of the synaptic interface. We show that LGL has a cell autonomous presynaptic role facilitating NMJ terminal branching and synaptic bouton formation. Moreover, loss of both pre- and postsynaptic LGL strongly decreases evoked neurotransmission strength, whereas the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous synaptic vesicle fusion events is increased. Cell-targeted RNAi and rescue reveals separable pre- and postsynaptic LGL roles mediating neurotransmission. We show that presynaptic LGL facilitates the assembly of active zone vesicle fusion sites, and that neuronally targeted rescue of LGL is sufficient to ameliorate increased synaptic vesicle cycling imaged with FM1-43 dye labeling. Postsynaptically, we show that loss of LGL results in a net increase in total glutamate receptor (GluR) expression, associated with the selective elevation of GluRIIB subunit-containing receptors. Taken together, these data indicate that the presynaptic LGL scaffold facilitates the assembly of active zone fusion sites to regulate synaptic vesicle cycling, and that the postsynaptic LGL scaffold modulates glutamate receptor composition and function. PMID:23444371

  13. Acute and chronic ethanol exposure differentially regulate CB1 receptor function at glutamatergic synapses in the rat basolateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Stacey L; Alexander, Nancy J; Bluett, Rebecca J; Patel, Sachin; McCool, Brian A

    2016-09-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) system has been suggested to play a key role in ethanol preference and intake, the acute effects of ethanol, and in the development of withdrawal symptoms following ethanol dependence. Ethanol-dependent alterations in glutamatergic signaling within the lateral/basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) are critical for the development and expression of withdrawal-induced anxiety. Notably, the eCB system significantly regulates both glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic activity within the BLA. Chronic ethanol exposure significantly alters eCB system expression within regions critical to the expression of emotionality and anxiety-related behavior, including the BLA. Here, we investigated specific interactions between the BLA eCB system and its functional regulation of synaptic activity during acute and chronic ethanol exposure. In tissue from ethanol naïve-rats, a prolonged acute ethanol exposure caused a dose dependent inhibition of glutamatergic synaptic activity via a presynaptic mechanism that was occluded by CB1 antagonist/inverse agonists SR141716a and AM251. Importantly, this acute ethanol inhibition was attenuated following 10 day chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE). CIE exposure also significantly down-regulated CB1-mediated presynaptic inhibition at glutamatergic afferent terminals but spared CB1-inhibition of GABAergic synapses arising from local inhibitory-interneurons. CIE also significantly elevated BLA N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA or anandamide) levels and decreased CB1 receptor protein levels. Collectively, these data suggest a dynamic regulation of the BLA eCB system by acute and chronic ethanol. PMID:26707595

  14. Upholding the T cell immune-regulatory function of CD31 inhibits the formation of T/B immunological synapses in vitro and attenuates the development of experimental autoimmune arthritis in vivo.

    PubMed

    Clement, Marc; Fornasa, Giulia; Loyau, Stéphane; Morvan, Marion; Andreata, Francesco; Guedj, Kevin; Khallou-Laschet, Jamila; Larghi, Paola; Le Roux, Delphine; Bismuth, Georges; Chiocchia, Gilles; Hivroz, Claire; Newman, Debra K; Nicoletti, Antonino; Caligiuri, Giuseppina

    2015-01-01

    CD31, a trans-homophilic inhibitory receptor expressed on both T- and B-lymphocytes, drives the mutual detachment of interacting leukocytes. Intriguingly, T cell CD31 molecules relocate to the immunological synapse (IS), where the T and B cells establish a stable interaction. Here, we show that intact CD31 molecules, which are able to drive an inhibitory signal, are concentrated at the periphery of the IS but are excluded from the center of the IS. At this site, were the cells establish the closest contact, the CD31 molecules are cleaved, and most of the extracellular portion of the protein, including the trans-homophilic binding sites, is shed from the cell surface. T cells lacking CD31 trans-homophilic binding sites easily establish stable interactions with B cells; at the opposite, CD31 signaling agonists inhibit T/B IS formation as well as the ensuing helper T cell activation and function. Confocal microscopy and flow cytometry analysis of experimental T/B IS shows that the T cell inhibitory effects of CD31 agonists depend on SHP-2 signaling, which reduces the phosphorylation of ZAP70. The analysis of synovial tissue biopsies from patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis showed that T cell CD31 molecules are excluded from the center of the T/B cell synapses in vivo. Interestingly, the administration of CD31 agonists in vivo significantly attenuated the development of the clinical signs of collagen-induced arthritis in DBA1/J mice. Altogether, our data indicate that the T cell co-inhibitory receptor CD31 prevents the formation of functional T/B immunological synapses and that therapeutic strategies aimed at sustaining CD31 signaling will attenuate the development of autoimmune responses in vivo. PMID:25277651

  15. Learning Discloses Abnormal Structural and Functional Plasticity at Hippocampal Synapses in the APP23 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middei, Silvia; Roberto, Anna; Berretta, Nicola; Panico, Maria Beatrice; Lista, Simone; Bernardi, Giorgio; Mercuri, Nicola B.; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; Nistico, Robert

    2010-01-01

    B6-Tg/Thy1APP23Sdz (APP23) mutant mice exhibit neurohistological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease but show intact basal hippocampal neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Here, we examine whether spatial learning differently modifies the structural and electrophysiological properties of hippocampal synapses in APP23 and wild-type mice. While…

  16. Knowing a synapse when you see one

    PubMed Central

    Burette, Alain; Collman, Forrest; Micheva, Kristina D.; Smith, Stephen J.; Weinberg, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    Recent years have seen a rapidly growing recognition of the complexity and diversity of the myriad individual synaptic connections that define brain synaptic networks. It has also become increasingly apparent that the synapses themselves are a major key to understanding the development, function and adaptability of those synaptic networks. In spite of this growing appreciation, the molecular, structural and functional characteristics of individual synapses and the patterning of their diverse characteristics across functional networks have largely eluded quantitative study with available imaging technologies. Here we offer an overview of new computational imaging methods that promise to bring single-synapse analysis of synaptic networks to the fore. We focus especially on the challenges and opportunities associated with quantitative detection of individual synapses and with measuring individual synapses across network scale populations in mammalian brain. PMID:26283929

  17. SynCAM 1 Adhesion Dynamically Regulates Synapse Number and Impacts Plasticity and Learning

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, Elissa M.; Krupp, Alexander J.; de Arce, Karen Perez; Ghosh, Ananda K.; Fogel, Adam I.; Boucard, Antony; Südhof, Thomas C.; Stein, Valentin; Biederer, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Summary Synaptogenesis is required for wiring neuronal circuits in the developing brain and continues to remodel adult networks. However, the molecules organizing synapse development and maintenance in vivo remain incompletely understood. We now demonstrate that the immunoglobulin adhesion molecule SynCAM 1 dynamically alters synapse number and plasticity. Overexpression of SynCAM 1 in transgenic mice promotes excitatory synapse number, while loss of SynCAM 1 results in fewer excitatory synapses. By turning off SynCAM 1 overexpression in transgenic brains, we show that it maintains the newly induced synapses. SynCAM 1 also functions at mature synapses to alter their plasticity by regulating long-term depression. Consistent with these effects on neuronal connectivity, SynCAM 1 expression affects spatial learning, with knock-out mice learning better. The reciprocal effects of increased SynCAM 1 expression and loss reveal that this adhesion molecule contributes to the regulation of synapse number and plasticity, and impacts how neuronal networks undergo activity-dependent changes. PMID:21145003

  18. The Human Natural Killer Cell Immune Synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Daniel M.; Chiu, Isaac; Fassett, Marlys; Cohen, George B.; Mandelboim, Ofer; Strominger, Jack L.

    1999-12-01

    Inhibitory killer Ig-like receptors (KIR) at the surface of natural killer (NK) cells induced clustering of HLA-C at the contacting surface of target cells. In this manner, inhibitory immune synapses were formed as human NK cells surveyed target cells. At target/NK cell synapses, HLA-C/KIR distributed into rings around central patches of intercellular adhesion molecule-1/lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1, the opposite orientation to mature murine T cell-activating synapses. This organization of protein was stable for at least 20 min. Cells could support multiple synapses simultaneously, and clusters of HLA-C moved as NK cells crawled over target cells. Clustering required a divalent metal cation, explaining how metal chelators inhibit KIR function. Surprisingly, however, formation of inhibitory synapses was unaffected by ATP depletion and the cytoskeletal inhibitors, colchicine and cytochalsins B and D. Clearly, supramolecular organization within plasma membranes is critical for NK cell immunosurveillance.

  19. Ongoing intrinsic synchronous activity is required for the functional maturation of CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapses.

    PubMed

    Huupponen, Johanna; Molchanova, Svetlana M; Lauri, Sari E; Taira, Tomi

    2013-11-01

    Fine-tuning of synaptic connectivity during development is guided by intrinsic activity of the immature networks characteristically consisting of intermittent bursts of synchronous activity. However, the role of synchronous versus asynchronous activity in synapse maturation in the brain is unclear. Here, we have pharmacologically prevented generation of synchronous activity in the immature rat CA3-CA1 circuitry in a manner that preserves unitary activity. Long-term desynchronization of the network resulted in weakening of AMPA-receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission in CA1 pyramidal cells. This weakening was dependent on protein phosphatases and mGluR activity, associated with an increase in the proportion of silent synapses and a decrease in the protein levels of GluA4 suggesting postsynaptic mechanisms of expression. The findings demonstrate that synchronous activity in the immature CA3-CA1 circuitry is critical for the induction and maintenance of glutamatergic synapses and underscores the importance of temporal activity patterns in shaping the synaptic circuitry during development. PMID:22941723

  20. MST3 Kinase Phosphorylates TAO1/2 to Enable Myosin Va Function in Promoting Spine Synapse Development

    PubMed Central

    Ultanir, Sila K.; Yadav, Smita; Hertz, Nicholas T.; Oses-Prieto, Juan A.; Claxton, Suzanne; Burlingame, Alma L.; Shokat, Kevan M.; Jan, Lily Y.; Jan, Yuh-Nung

    2014-01-01

    Summary Mammalian Sterile 20 (Ste20)-like kinase 3 (MST3) is a ubiquitously expressed kinase capable of enhancing axon outgrowth. Whether and how MST3 kinase signaling might regulate development of dendritic filopodia and spine synapses is unknown. Through shRNA-mediated depletion of MST3 and kinase-dead MST3 expression in developing hippocampal cultures, we found that MST3 is necessary for proper filopodia, dendritic spine, and excitatory synapse development. Knockdown of MST3 in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons via in utero electroporation also reduced spine density in vivo. Using chemical genetics, we discovered thirteen candidate MST3 substrates and identified the phosphorylation sites. Among the identified MST3 substrates, TAO kinases regulate dendritic filopodia and spine development, similar to MST3. Furthermore, using stable isotope labeling by amino acids in culture (SILAC), we show that phosphorylated TAO1/2 associates with Myosin Va and is necessary for its dendritic localization, thus revealing a mechanism for excitatory synapse development in the mammalian CNS. PMID:25456499

  1. Functional alterations in gut contractility after connexin36 ablation and evidence for gap junctions forming electrical synapses between nitrergic enteric neurons

    PubMed Central

    Nagy, James Imre; Urena-Ramirez, Viridiana; Ghia, Jean-Eric

    2014-01-01

    Neurons in the enteric nervous system utilize numerous neurotransmitters to orchestrate rhythmic gut smooth muscle contractions. We examined whether electrical synapses formed by gap junctions containing connexin36 also contribute to communication between enteric neurons in mouse colon. Spontaneous contractility properties and responses to electrical field stimulation and cholinergic agonist were altered in gut from connexin36 knockout vs. wild-type mice. Immunofluorescence revealed punctate labelling of connexin36 that was localized at appositions between somata of enteric neurons immunopositive for the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. There is indication for a possible functional role of gap junctions between inhibitory nitrergic enteric neurons. PMID:24548563

  2. A tripartite synapse model in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Danjo, Rie; Kawasaki, Fumiko; Ordway, Richard W

    2011-01-01

    Tripartite (three-part) synapses are defined by physical and functional interactions of glia with pre- and post-synaptic elements. Although tripartite synapses are thought to be of widespread importance in neurological health and disease, we are only beginning to develop an understanding of glial contributions to synaptic function. In contrast to studies of neuronal mechanisms, a significant limitation has been the lack of an invertebrate genetic model system in which conserved mechanisms of tripartite synapse function may be examined through large-scale application of forward genetics and genome-wide genetic tools. Here we report a Drosophila tripartite synapse model which exhibits morphological and functional properties similar to those of mammalian synapses, including glial regulation of extracellular glutamate, synaptically-induced glial calcium transients and glial coupling of synapses with tracheal structures mediating gas exchange. In combination with classical and cell-type specific genetic approaches in Drosophila, this model is expected to provide new insights into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of tripartite synapse function. PMID:21359186

  3. Shaping inhibition: activity dependent structural plasticity of GABAergic synapses.

    PubMed

    Flores, Carmen E; Méndez, Pablo

    2014-01-01

    Inhibitory transmission through the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) shapes network activity in the mammalian cerebral cortex by filtering synaptic incoming information and dictating the activity of principal cells. The incredibly diverse population of cortical neurons that use GABA as neurotransmitter shows an equally diverse range of mechanisms that regulate changes in the strength of GABAergic synaptic transmission and allow them to dynamically follow and command the activity of neuronal ensembles. Similarly to glutamatergic synaptic transmission, activity-dependent functional changes in inhibitory neurotransmission are accompanied by alterations in GABAergic synapse structure that range from morphological reorganization of postsynaptic density to de novo formation and elimination of inhibitory contacts. Here we review several aspects of structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses, including its induction by different forms of neuronal activity, behavioral and sensory experience and the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved. We discuss the functional consequences of GABAergic synapse structural plasticity for information processing and memory formation in view of the heterogenous nature of the structural plasticity phenomena affecting inhibitory synapses impinging on somatic and dendritic compartments of cortical and hippocampal neurons. PMID:25386117

  4. Shaping inhibition: activity dependent structural plasticity of GABAergic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Flores, Carmen E.; Méndez, Pablo

    2014-01-01

    Inhibitory transmission through the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) shapes network activity in the mammalian cerebral cortex by filtering synaptic incoming information and dictating the activity of principal cells. The incredibly diverse population of cortical neurons that use GABA as neurotransmitter shows an equally diverse range of mechanisms that regulate changes in the strength of GABAergic synaptic transmission and allow them to dynamically follow and command the activity of neuronal ensembles. Similarly to glutamatergic synaptic transmission, activity-dependent functional changes in inhibitory neurotransmission are accompanied by alterations in GABAergic synapse structure that range from morphological reorganization of postsynaptic density to de novo formation and elimination of inhibitory contacts. Here we review several aspects of structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses, including its induction by different forms of neuronal activity, behavioral and sensory experience and the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved. We discuss the functional consequences of GABAergic synapse structural plasticity for information processing and memory formation in view of the heterogenous nature of the structural plasticity phenomena affecting inhibitory synapses impinging on somatic and dendritic compartments of cortical and hippocampal neurons. PMID:25386117

  5. Activity-dependent plasticity of electrical synapses: increasing evidence for its presence and functional roles in the mammalian brain.

    PubMed

    Haas, Julie S; Greenwald, Corey M; Pereda, Alberto E

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctions mediate electrical synaptic transmission between neurons. While the actions of neurotransmitter modulators on the conductance of gap junctions have been extensively documented, increasing evidence indicates they can also be influenced by the ongoing activity of neural networks, in most cases via local interactions with nearby glutamatergic synapses. We review here early evidence for the existence of activity-dependent regulatory mechanisms as well recent examples reported in mammalian brain. The ubiquitous distribution of both neuronal connexins and the molecules involved suggest this phenomenon is widespread and represents a property of electrical transmission in general. PMID:27230776

  6. Gephyrin: a central GABAergic synapse organizer.

    PubMed

    Choii, Gayoung; Ko, Jaewon

    2015-01-01

    Gephyrin is a central element that anchors, clusters and stabilizes glycine and γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors at inhibitory synapses of the mammalian brain. It self-assembles into a hexagonal lattice and interacts with various inhibitory synaptic proteins. Intriguingly, the clustering of gephyrin, which is regulated by multiple posttranslational modifications, is critical for inhibitory synapse formation and function. In this review, we summarize the basic properties of gephyrin and describe recent findings regarding its roles in inhibitory synapse formation, function and plasticity. We will also discuss the implications for the pathophysiology of brain disorders and raise the remaining open questions in this field. PMID:25882190

  7. Functional expression of the GABAA receptor α2 and α3 subunits at synapses between intercalated medial paracapsular neurons of mouse amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Geracitano, Raffaella; Fischer, David; Kasugai, Yu; Ferraguti, Francesco; Capogna, Marco

    2012-01-01

    In the amygdala, GABAergic neurons in the intercalated medial paracapsular cluster (Imp) have been suggested to play a key role in fear learning and extinction. These neurons project to the central (CE) amygdaloid nucleus and to other areas within and outside the amygdala. In addition, they give rise to local collaterals that innervate other neurons in the Imp. Several drugs, including benzodiazepines (BZ), are allosteric modulators of GABAA receptors. BZ has both anxiolytic and sedative actions, which are mediated through GABAA receptors containing α2/α3 and α1 subunits, respectively. To establish whether α1 or α2/α3 subunits are expressed at Imp cell synapses, we used paired recordings of anatomically identified Imp neurons and high resolution immunocytochemistry in the mouse. We observed that a selective α3 subunit agonist, TP003 (100 nM), significantly increased the decay time constant of the unitary IPSCs. A similar effect was also induced by zolpidem (10 μM) or by diazepam (1 μM). In contrast, lower doses of zolpidem (0.1–1 μM) did not significantly alter the kinetics of the unitary IPSCs. Accordingly, immunocytochemical experiments established that the α2 and α3, but not the α1 subunits of the GABAA receptors, were present at Imp cell synapses of the mouse amygdala. These results define, for the first time, some of the functional GABAA receptor subunits expressed at synapses of Imp cells. The data also provide an additional rationale to prompt the search of GABAA receptor α3 selective ligands as improved anxiolytic drugs. PMID:22666188

  8. Sequential development of synapses in dendritic domains during adult neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kelsch, Wolfgang; Lin, Chia-Wei; Lois, Carlos

    2008-10-28

    During the process of integration into brain circuits, new neurons develop both input and output synapses with their appropriate targets. The vast majority of neurons in the mammalian brain are generated before birth and integrate into immature circuits while these are being assembled. In contrast, adult-generated neurons face an additional challenge as they integrate into a mature, fully functional circuit. Here, we examined how synapses of a single neuronal type, the granule cell in the olfactory bulb, develop during their integration into the immature circuit of the newborn and the fully mature circuit of the adult rat. We used a genetic method to label pre and postsynaptic sites in granule neurons and observed a stereotypical development of synapses in specific dendritic domains. In adult-generated neurons, synapses appeared sequentially in different dendritic domains with glutamatergic input synapses that developed first at the proximal dendritic domain, followed several days later by the development of input-output synapses in the distal domain and additional input synapses in the basal domain. In contrast, for neurons generated in neonatal animals, input and input-output synapses appeared simultaneously in the proximal and distal domains, respectively, followed by the later appearance of input synapses to the basal domain. The sequential formation of synapses in adult-born neurons, with input synapses appearing before output synapses, may represent a cellular mechanism to minimize the disruption caused by the integration of new neurons into a mature circuit in the adult brain. PMID:18922783

  9. N-cadherin prodomain cleavage regulates synapse formation in vivo.

    PubMed

    Latefi, Nazlie S; Pedraza, Liliana; Schohl, Anne; Li, Ziwei; Ruthazer, Edward S

    2009-07-01

    Cadherins are initially synthesized bearing a prodomain that is thought to limit adhesion during early stages of biosynthesis. Functional cadherins lack this prodomain, raising the intriguing possibility that cells may utilize prodomain cleavage as a means to temporally or spatially regulate adhesion after delivery of cadherin to the cell surface. In support of this idea, immunostaining for the prodomain of zebrafish N-cadherin revealed enriched labeling at neuronal surfaces at the soma and along axonal processes. To determine whether post-translational cleavage of the prodomain affects synapse formation, we imaged Rohon-Beard cells in zebrafish embryos expressing GFP-tagged wild-type N-cadherin (NCAD-GFP) or a GFP-tagged N-cadherin mutant expressing an uncleavable prodomain (PRON-GFP) rendering it nonadhesive. NCAD-GFP accumulated at synaptic microdomains in a developmentally regulated manner, and its overexpression transiently accelerated synapse formation. PRON-GFP was much more diffusely distributed along the axon and its overexpression delayed synapse formation. Our results support the notion that N-cadherin serves to stabilize pre- to postsynaptic contacts early in synapse development and suggests that regulated cleavage of the N-cadherin prodomain may be a mechanism by which the kinetics of synaptogenesis are regulated. PMID:19365814

  10. How mental stress affects endothelial function.

    PubMed

    Toda, Noboru; Nakanishi-Toda, Megumi

    2011-12-01

    Mental stress is an important factor contributing to recognized mechanisms underlying cardiovascular events. Among these, stress-related endothelial dysfunction is an early risk factor that predicts future development of severe cardiovascular disorders. Acute mental stress by a variety of tests impairs endothelial function in humans, although the opposite results have been reported by some investigators. Chronic stress always deteriorates endothelial function in humans and experimental animals. Stress hormones, such as glucocorticoids and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and endothelin-1 liberated in response to mental stress participate in endothelial dysfunction possibly via downregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression, eNOS inactivation, decreased nitric oxide (NO) actions, and increased NO degradation, together with vasoconstriction counteracting against NO-induced vasodilatation. Catecholamines do not directly affect endothelial function but impair its function when blood pressure elevation by the amines is sustained. Endogenous opioids favorably affect endothelial function, which counteract deteriorating effects of other stress hormones and mediators. Inhibition of cortisol and endothelin-1 production, prevention of pro-inflammatory mediator accumulation, hypnotics, mirthful laughter, humor orientation, and lifestyle modification would contribute to the prevention and treatment for stress-related endothelial dysfunction and future serious cardiovascular disease. PMID:21947555

  11. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Won-Suk; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Sher, Alexander; Chakraborty, Chandrani; Joung, Julia; Foo, Lynette C.; Thompson, Andrew; Chen, Chinfei; Smith, Stephen J.; Barres, Ben A.

    2014-01-01

    To achieve its precise neural connectivity, the developing mammalian nervous system undergoes extensive activity-dependent synapse remodeling. Recently microglial cells have been shown to be responsible for a portion of synaptic remodeling, but the remaining mechanisms remain mysterious. Here we report a new role for astrocytes in actively engulfing CNS synapses. This process helps to mediate synapse elimination, requires the Megf10 and Mertk phagocytic pathways, and is strongly dependent on neuronal activity. Developing mice deficient in both astrocyte pathways fail to normally refine their retinogeniculate connections and retain excess functional synapses. Lastly, we show that in the adult mouse brain, astrocytes continuously engulf both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. These studies reveal a novel role for astrocytes in mediating synapse elimination in the developing and adult brain, identify Megf10 and Mertk as critical players in the synapse remodeling underlying neural circuit refinement, and have important implications for understanding learning and memory as well as neurological disease processes. PMID:24270812

  12. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Won-Suk; Clarke, Laura E.; Wang, Gordon X.; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Sher, Alexander; Chakraborty, Chandrani; Joung, Julia; Foo, Lynette C.; Thompson, Andrew; Chen, Chinfei; Smith, Stephen J.; Barres, Ben A.

    2013-12-01

    To achieve its precise neural connectivity, the developing mammalian nervous system undergoes extensive activity-dependent synapse remodelling. Recently, microglial cells have been shown to be responsible for a portion of synaptic pruning, but the remaining mechanisms remain unknown. Here we report a new role for astrocytes in actively engulfing central nervous system synapses. This process helps to mediate synapse elimination, requires the MEGF10 and MERTK phagocytic pathways, and is strongly dependent on neuronal activity. Developing mice deficient in both astrocyte pathways fail to refine their retinogeniculate connections normally and retain excess functional synapses. Finally, we show that in the adult mouse brain, astrocytes continuously engulf both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. These studies reveal a novel role for astrocytes in mediating synapse elimination in the developing and adult brain, identify MEGF10 and MERTK as critical proteins in the synapse remodelling underlying neural circuit refinement, and have important implications for understanding learning and memory as well as neurological disease processes.

  13. Estrogen treatment affects brain functioning after menopause.

    PubMed

    Bayer, Ulrike; Hausmann, Markus

    2011-12-01

    Sex hormones have powerful neuromodulatory effects on functional brain organization and cognitive functioning. This paper reviews findings from studies investigating the influence of sex hormones in postmenopausal women with and without hormone therapy (HT). Functional brain organization was investigated using different behavioural tasks in postmenopausal women using either estrogen therapy or combined estrogen plus gestagen therapy and age- and IQ-matched postmenopausal women not taking HT. The results revealed HT-related modulations in specific aspects of functional brain organization including functional cerebral asymmetries and interhemispheric interaction. In contrast to younger women during the menstrual cycle, however, it seems that HT, and especially estrogen therapy, after menopause affects intrahemispheric processing rather than interhemispheric interaction. This might be explained by a faster and more pronounced age-related decline in intrahemispheric relative to interhemispheric functioning, which might be associated with higher sensitivity to HT. Taken together, the findings suggest that the female brain retains its plasticity even after reproductive age and remains susceptible to the effects of sex hormones throughout the lifetime, which might help to discover new clinical approaches in the hormonal treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. PMID:22120942

  14. Structure-function analyses of tyrosine phosphatase PTP69D in giant fiber synapse formation of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Lee, LaTasha H.; Godenschwege, Tanja A.

    2014-01-01

    PTP69D is a receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase (RPTP) with two intracellular catalytic domains (Cat1 and Cat2) and has been shown to play a role in axon guidance of embryonic motoneurons as well as targeting of photoreceptor neurons in the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster. Here, we characterized the developmental role of PTP69D in the giant fiber (GF) neurons, two interneurons in the central nervous system (CNS) that control the escape response of the fly. Our studies revealed that PTP69D has a function in synaptic terminal growth in the CNS. We found that missense mutations in the first immunoglobulin (Ig) domain and in the Cat1 domain, present inPtp69D10 and Ptp69D20 mutants, respectively, did not affect axon guidance or targeting but resulted in stunted terminal growth of the GFs. Cell autonomous rescue experiments demonstrated a function for the Cat1 and the first Ig domain of PTP69D in the GFs but not in its postsynaptic target neurons. In addition, complementation studies and structure-function analyses revealed that for GF terminal growth Cat1 function of PTP69D requires the immunoglobulin and the Cat2 domains, but not the fibronectin III or the membrane proximal region domains. In contrast, the fibronectin III but not the immunoglobulin domains were previously shown to be essential for axon targeting of photoreceptor neurons. Thus, our studies uncover a novel role for PTP69D in synaptic terminal growth in the CNS that is mechanistically distinct from its function in photoreceptor targeting. PMID:25433167

  15. Structure-function analyses of tyrosine phosphatase PTP69D in giant fiber synapse formation of Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Lee, LaTasha H; Godenschwege, Tanja A

    2015-01-01

    PTP69D is a receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase (RPTP) with two intracellular catalytic domains (Cat1 and Cat2) and has been shown to play a role in axon guidance of embryonic motoneurons as well as targeting of photoreceptor neurons in the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster. Here, we characterized the developmental role of PTP69D in the giant fiber (GF) neurons, two interneurons in the central nervous system (CNS) that control the escape response of the fly. Our studies revealed that PTP69D has a function in synaptic terminal growth in the CNS. We found that missense mutations in the first immunoglobulin (Ig) domain and in the Cat1 domain, present in Ptp69D10 and Ptp69D20 mutants, respectively, did not affect axon guidance or targeting but resulted in stunted terminal growth of the GFs. Cell autonomous rescue experiments demonstrated a function for the Cat1 and the first Ig domain of PTP69D in the GFs but not in its postsynaptic target neurons. In addition, complementation studies and structure-function analyses revealed that for GF terminal growth Cat1 function of PTP69D requires the immunoglobulin and the Cat2 domains, but not the fibronectin III or the membrane proximal region domains. In contrast, the fibronectin III but not the immunoglobulin domains were previously shown to be essential for axon targeting of photoreceptor neurons. Thus, our studies uncover a novel role for PTP69D in synaptic terminal growth in the CNS that is mechanistically distinct from its function in photoreceptor targeting. PMID:25433167

  16. The immunological synapse

    PubMed Central

    Dustin, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    The molecular interactions underlying regulation of the immune response take place in a nano-scale gap between T cells and antigen presenting cells, termed the immunological synapse. If these interactions are regulated appropriately, the host is defended against a wide range of pathogens and deranged host cells. If these interactions are dis-regulated, the host is susceptible to pathogens or tumor escape at one extreme and autoimmunity at the other. Treatments targeting the synapse have helped to establish immunotherapy as a mainstream element in cancer treatment. This Masters primer will cover the basics of the immunological synapse and some of the applications to tumor immunology. PMID:25367977

  17. Loss of MAP function leads to hippocampal synapse loss and deficits in the Morris Water Maze with aging.

    PubMed

    Ma, Qiu-Lan; Zuo, Xiaohong; Yang, Fusheng; Ubeda, Oliver J; Gant, Dana J; Alaverdyan, Mher; Kiosea, Nicolae C; Nazari, Sean; Chen, Ping Ping; Nothias, Fatiha; Chan, Piu; Teng, Edmond; Frautschy, Sally A; Cole, Greg M

    2014-05-21

    Hyperphosphorylation and accumulation of tau aggregates are prominent features in tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease, but the impact of loss of tau function on synaptic and cognitive deficits remains poorly understood. We report that old (19-20 months; OKO) but not middle-aged (8-9 months; MKO) tau knock-out mice develop Morris Water Maze (MWM) deficits and loss of hippocampal acetylated α-tubulin and excitatory synaptic proteins. Mild motor deficits and reduction in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the substantia nigra were present by middle age, but did not affect MWM performance, whereas OKO mice showed MWM deficits paralleling hippocampal deficits. Deletion of tau, a microtubule-associated protein (MAP), resulted in increased levels of MAP1A, MAP1B, and MAP2 in MKO, followed by loss of MAP2 and MAP1B in OKO. Hippocampal synaptic deficits in OKO mice were partially corrected with dietary supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and both MWM and synaptic deficits were fully corrected by combining DHA with α-lipoic acid (ALA), which also prevented TH loss. DHA or DHA/ALA restored phosphorylated and total GSK3β and attenuated hyperactivation of the tau C-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) while increasing MAP1B, dephosphorylated (active) MAP2, and acetylated α-tubulin, suggesting improved microtubule stability and maintenance of active compensatory MAPs. Our results implicate the loss of MAP function in age-associated hippocampal deficits and identify a safe dietary intervention, rescuing both MAP function and TH in OKO mice. Therefore, in addition to microtubule-stabilizing therapeutic drugs, preserving or restoring compensatory MAP function may be a useful new prevention strategy. PMID:24849348

  18. Communication Breakdown: The Impact of Ageing on Synapse Structure

    PubMed Central

    Petralia, Ronald S.; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired synaptic plasticity is implicated in the functional decline of the nervous system associated with ageing. Understanding the structure of ageing synapses is essential to understanding the functions of these synapses and their role in the ageing nervous system. In this review, we summarize studies on ageing synapses in vertebrates and invertebrates, focusing on changes in morphology and ultrastructure. We cover different parts of the nervous system, including the brain, the retina, the cochlea, and the neuromuscular junction. The morphological characteristics of aged synapses could shed light on the underlying molecular changes and their functional consequences. PMID:24495392

  19. Comparative Anatomy of Phagocytic and Immunological Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Niedergang, Florence; Di Bartolo, Vincenzo; Alcover, Andrés

    2016-01-01

    The generation of phagocytic cups and immunological synapses are crucial events of the innate and adaptive immune responses, respectively. They are triggered by distinct immune receptors and performed by different cell types. However, growing experimental evidence shows that a very close series of molecular and cellular events control these two processes. Thus, the tight and dynamic interplay between receptor signaling, actin and microtubule cytoskeleton, and targeted vesicle traffic are all critical features to build functional phagosomes and immunological synapses. Interestingly, both phagocytic cups and immunological synapses display particular spatial and temporal patterns of receptors and signaling molecules, leading to the notion of “phagocytic synapse.” Here, we discuss both types of structures, their organization, and the mechanisms by which they are generated and regulated. PMID:26858721

  20. The biochemical anatomy of cortical inhibitory synapses.

    PubMed

    Heller, Elizabeth A; Zhang, Wenzhu; Selimi, Fekrije; Earnheart, John C; Ślimak, Marta A; Santos-Torres, Julio; Ibañez-Tallon, Ines; Aoki, Chiye; Chait, Brian T; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2012-01-01

    Classical electron microscopic studies of the mammalian brain revealed two major classes of synapses, distinguished by the presence of a large postsynaptic density (PSD) exclusively at type 1, excitatory synapses. Biochemical studies of the PSD have established the paradigm of the synapse as a complex signal-processing machine that controls synaptic plasticity. We report here the results of a proteomic analysis of type 2, inhibitory synaptic complexes isolated by affinity purification from the cerebral cortex. We show that these synaptic complexes contain a variety of neurotransmitter receptors, neural cell-scaffolding and adhesion molecules, but that they are entirely lacking in cell signaling proteins. This fundamental distinction between the functions of type 1 and type 2 synapses in the nervous system has far reaching implications for models of synaptic plasticity, rapid adaptations in neural circuits, and homeostatic mechanisms controlling the balance of excitation and inhibition in the mature brain. PMID:22768092

  1. The Biochemical Anatomy of Cortical Inhibitory Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Heller, Elizabeth A.; Zhang, Wenzhu; Selimi, Fekrije; Earnheart, John C.; Ślimak, Marta A.; Santos-Torres, Julio; Ibañez-Tallon, Ines; Aoki, Chiye; Chait, Brian T.; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2012-01-01

    Classical electron microscopic studies of the mammalian brain revealed two major classes of synapses, distinguished by the presence of a large postsynaptic density (PSD) exclusively at type 1, excitatory synapses. Biochemical studies of the PSD have established the paradigm of the synapse as a complex signal-processing machine that controls synaptic plasticity. We report here the results of a proteomic analysis of type 2, inhibitory synaptic complexes isolated by affinity purification from the cerebral cortex. We show that these synaptic complexes contain a variety of neurotransmitter receptors, neural cell-scaffolding and adhesion molecules, but that they are entirely lacking in cell signaling proteins. This fundamental distinction between the functions of type 1 and type 2 synapses in the nervous system has far reaching implications for models of synaptic plasticity, rapid adaptations in neural circuits, and homeostatic mechanisms controlling the balance of excitation and inhibition in the mature brain. PMID:22768092

  2. Optogenetic mapping of cerebellar inhibitory circuitry reveals spatially biased coordination of interneurons via electrical synapses.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jinsook; Lee, Soojung; Tsuda, Sachiko; Zhang, Xuying; Asrican, Brent; Gloss, Bernd; Feng, Guoping; Augustine, George J

    2014-06-12

    We used high-speed optogenetic mapping technology to examine the spatial organization of local inhibitory circuits formed by cerebellar interneurons. Transgenic mice expressing channelrhodopsin-2 exclusively in molecular layer interneurons allowed us to focally photostimulate these neurons, while measuring resulting responses in postsynaptic Purkinje cells. This approach revealed that interneurons converge upon Purkinje cells over a broad area and that at least seven interneurons form functional synapses with a single Purkinje cell. The number of converging interneurons was reduced by treatment with gap junction blockers, revealing that electrical synapses between interneurons contribute substantially to the spatial convergence. Remarkably, gap junction blockers affected convergence in sagittal slices, but not in coronal slices, indicating a sagittal bias in electrical coupling between interneurons. We conclude that electrical synapse networks spatially coordinate interneurons in the cerebellum and may also serve this function in other brain regions. PMID:24857665

  3. Presenilin/γ-Secretase Regulates Neurexin Processing at Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Scholl, Francisco G.

    2011-01-01

    Neurexins are a large family of neuronal plasma membrane proteins, which function as trans-synaptic receptors during synaptic differentiation. The binding of presynaptic neurexins to postsynaptic partners, such as neuroligins, has been proposed to participate in a signaling pathway that regulates synapse formation/stabilization. The identification of mutations in neurexin genes associated with autism and mental retardation suggests that dysfunction of neurexins may underlie synaptic defects associated with brain disorders. However, the mechanisms that regulate neurexin function at synapses are still unclear. Here, we show that neurexins are proteolytically processed by presenilins (PS), the catalytic components of the γ-secretase complex that mediates the intramembraneous cleavage of several type I membrane proteins. Inhibition of PS/γ-secretase by using pharmacological and genetic approaches induces a drastic accumulation of neurexin C-terminal fragments (CTFs) in cultured rat hippocampal neurons and mouse brain. Neurexin-CTFs accumulate mainly at the presynaptic terminals of PS conditional double knockout (PS cDKO) mice lacking both PS genes in glutamatergic neurons of the forebrain. The fact that loss of PS function enhances neurexin accumulation at glutamatergic terminals mediated by neuroligin-1 suggests that PS regulate the processing of neurexins at glutamatergic synapses. Interestingly, presenilin 1 (PS1) is recruited to glutamatergic terminals mediated by neuroligin-1, thus concentrating PS1 at terminals containing β-neurexins. Furthermore, familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD)-linked PS1 mutations differentially affect β-neurexin-1 processing. Expression of PS1 M146L and PS1 H163R mutants in PS−/− cells rescues the processing of β-neurexin-1, whereas PS1 C410Y and PS1 ΔE9 fail to rescue the processing defect. These results suggest that PS regulate the synaptic function and processing of neurexins at glutamatergic synapses, and that impaired

  4. Can lifestyle modification affect men's erectile function?

    PubMed

    Hehemann, Marah C; Kashanian, James A

    2016-04-01

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition affecting millions of men worldwide. The pathophysiology and epidemiologic links between ED and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well-established. Lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, weight reduction, dietary modification, physical activity, and psychological stress reduction have been increasingly recognized as foundational to the prevention and treatment of ED. The aim of this review is to outline behavioral choices which may increase ones risk of developing ED, to present relevant studies addressing lifestyle factors correlated with ED, and to highlight proposed mechanisms for intervention aimed at improving erectile function in men with ED. These recommendations can provide a framework for counseling patients with ED about lifestyle modification. PMID:27141445

  5. Electrical synapse formation disrupts calcium-dependent exocytosis, but not vesicle mobilization.

    PubMed

    Neunuebel, Joshua P; Zoran, Mark J

    2005-06-01

    Electrical coupling exists prior to the onset of chemical connectivity at many developing and regenerating synapses. At cholinergic synapses in vitro, trophic factors facilitated the formation of electrical synapses and interfered with functional neurotransmitter release in response to photolytic elevations of intracellular calcium. In contrast, neurons lacking trophic factor induction and electrical coupling possessed flash-evoked transmitter release. Changes in cytosolic calcium and postsynaptic responsiveness to acetylcholine were not affected by electrical coupling. These data indicate that transient electrical synapse formation delayed chemical synaptic transmission by imposing a functional block between the accumulation of presynaptic calcium and synchronized, vesicular release. Despite the inability to release neurotransmitter, neurons that had possessed strong electrical coupling recruited secretory vesicles to sites of synaptic contact. These results suggest that the mechanism by which neurotransmission is disrupted during electrical synapse formation is downstream of both calcium influx and synaptic vesicle mobilization. Therefore, electrical synaptogenesis may inhibit synaptic vesicles from acquiring a readily releasable state. We hypothesize that gap junctions might negatively interact with exocytotic processes, thereby diminishing chemical neurotransmission. PMID:15765535

  6. Neuronal epigenetics and the aging synapse

    PubMed Central

    Azpurua, Jorge; Eaton, Benjamin A.

    2015-01-01

    Two of the most salient phenotypes of aging are cognitive decline and loss of motor function, both of which are controlled by the nervous system. Cognition and muscle contraction require that neuronal synapses develop and maintain proper structure and function. We review the literature on how normal physiological aging disrupts central and peripheral synapse function including the degradation of structure and/or control of neurotransmission. Here we also attempt to connect the work done on the epigenetics of aging to the growing literature of how epigenetic mechanisms control synapse structure and function. Lastly, we address possible roles of epigenetic mechanisms to explain why the basal rates of age-related dysfunction vary so widely across individuals. PMID:26074775

  7. Multiple inhibitory ligands induce impaired T-cell immunologic synapse function in chronic lymphocytic leukemia that can be blocked with lenalidomide: establishing a reversible immune evasion mechanism in human cancer

    PubMed Central

    Clear, Andrew J.; Fatah, Rewas; Gribben, John G.

    2012-01-01

    Cancer immune evasion is an emerging hallmark of disease progression. We have demonstrated previously that impaired actin polymerization at the T-cell immunologic synapse is a global immune dysfunction in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Direct contact with tumor cells induces defective actin polarization at the synapse in previously healthy T cells, but the molecules mediating this dysfunction were not known. In the present study, we show via functional screening assays that CD200, CD270, CD274, and CD276 are coopted by CLL cells to induce impaired actin synapse formation in both allogeneic and autologous T cells. We also show that inhibitory ligand–induced impairment of T-cell actin dynamics is a common immunosuppressive strategy used by both hematologic (including lymphoma) and solid carcinoma cells. This immunosuppressive signaling targets T-cell Rho-GTPase activation. Of clinical relevance, the immunomodulatory drug lenalidomide prevented the induction of these defects by down-regulating tumor cell–inhibitory molecule expression. These results using human CLL as a model cancer establish a novel evasion mechanism whereby malignant cells exploit multiple inhibitory ligand signaling to down-regulate small GTPases and lytic synapse function in global T-cell populations. These findings should contribute to the design of immunotherapeutic strategies to reverse T-cell tolerance in cancer. PMID:22547582

  8. Zinc-Induced Polymerization of Killer-Cell Ig-like Receptor into Filaments Promotes Its Inhibitory Function at Cytotoxic Immunological Synapses.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Santosh; Rajagopalan, Sumati; Sarkar, Pabak; Dorward, David W; Peterson, Mary E; Liao, Hsien-Shun; Guillermier, Christelle; Steinhauser, Matthew L; Vogel, Steven S; Long, Eric O

    2016-04-01

    The inhibitory function of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) that bind HLA-C and block activation of human natural killer (NK) cells is dependent on zinc. We report that zinc induced the assembly of soluble KIR into filamentous polymers, as detected by electron microscopy, which depolymerized after zinc chelation. Similar KIR filaments were isolated from lysates of cells treated with zinc, and membrane protrusions enriched in zinc were detected on whole cells by scanning electron microscopy and imaging mass spectrometry. Two independent mutations in the extracellular domain of KIR, away from the HLA-C binding site, impaired zinc-driven polymerization and inhibitory function. KIR filaments formed spontaneously, without the addition of zinc, at functional inhibitory immunological synapses of NK cells with HLA-C(+) cells. Adding to the recent paradigm of signal transduction through higher order molecular assemblies, zinc-induced polymerization of inhibitory KIR represents an unusual mode of signaling by a receptor at the cell surface. PMID:27058785

  9. Mapping Synapses by Conjugate Light-Electron Array Tomography

    PubMed Central

    Buchanan, JoAnn; Phend, Kristen D.; Micheva, Kristina D.; Weinberg, Richard J.; Smith, Stephen J

    2015-01-01

    Synapses of the mammalian CNS are diverse in size, structure, molecular composition, and function. Synapses in their myriad variations are fundamental to neural circuit development, homeostasis, plasticity, and memory storage. Unfortunately, quantitative analysis and mapping of the brain's heterogeneous synapse populations has been limited by the lack of adequate single-synapse measurement methods. Electron microscopy (EM) is the definitive means to recognize and measure individual synaptic contacts, but EM has only limited abilities to measure the molecular composition of synapses. This report describes conjugate array tomography (AT), a volumetric imaging method that integrates immunofluorescence and EM imaging modalities in voxel-conjugate fashion. We illustrate the use of conjugate AT to advance the proteometric measurement of EM-validated single-synapse analysis in a study of mouse cortex. PMID:25855189

  10. Artificial synapse network on inorganic proton conductor for neuromorphic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Li Qiang; Wan, Chang Jin; Guo, Li Qiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2014-01-01

    The basic units in our brain are neurons, and each neuron has more than 1,000 synapse connections. Synapse is the basic structure for information transfer in an ever-changing manner, and short-term plasticity allows synapses to perform critical computational functions in neural circuits. Therefore, the major challenge for the hardware implementation of neuromorphic computation is to develop artificial synapse network. Here in-plane lateral-coupled oxide-based artificial synapse network coupled by proton neurotransmitters are self-assembled on glass substrates at room-temperature. A strong lateral modulation is observed due to the proton-related electrical-double-layer effect. Short-term plasticity behaviours, including paired-pulse facilitation, dynamic filtering and spatiotemporally correlated signal processing are mimicked. Such laterally coupled oxide-based protonic/electronic hybrid artificial synapse network proposed here is interesting for building future neuromorphic systems.

  11. Mapping synapses by conjugate light-electron array tomography.

    PubMed

    Collman, Forrest; Buchanan, JoAnn; Phend, Kristen D; Micheva, Kristina D; Weinberg, Richard J; Smith, Stephen J

    2015-04-01

    Synapses of the mammalian CNS are diverse in size, structure, molecular composition, and function. Synapses in their myriad variations are fundamental to neural circuit development, homeostasis, plasticity, and memory storage. Unfortunately, quantitative analysis and mapping of the brain's heterogeneous synapse populations has been limited by the lack of adequate single-synapse measurement methods. Electron microscopy (EM) is the definitive means to recognize and measure individual synaptic contacts, but EM has only limited abilities to measure the molecular composition of synapses. This report describes conjugate array tomography (AT), a volumetric imaging method that integrates immunofluorescence and EM imaging modalities in voxel-conjugate fashion. We illustrate the use of conjugate AT to advance the proteometric measurement of EM-validated single-synapse analysis in a study of mouse cortex. PMID:25855189

  12. Hyperinsulinemia adversely affects lung structure and function.

    PubMed

    Singh, Suchita; Bodas, Manish; Bhatraju, Naveen K; Pattnaik, Bijay; Gheware, Atish; Parameswaran, Praveen Kolumam; Thompson, Michael; Freeman, Michelle; Mabalirajan, Ulaganathan; Gosens, Reinoud; Ghosh, Balaram; Pabelick, Christina; Linneberg, Allan; Prakash, Y S; Agrawal, Anurag

    2016-05-01

    There is limited knowledge regarding the consequences of hyperinsulinemia on the lung. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and epidemiological associations with asthma, this is a critical lacuna, more so with inhaled insulin on the horizon. Here, we demonstrate that insulin can adversely affect respiratory health. Insulin treatment (1 μg/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) increased the proliferation of primary human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells and induced collagen release. Additionally, ASM cells showed a significant increase in calcium response and mitochondrial respiration upon insulin exposure. Mice administered intranasal insulin showed increased collagen deposition in the lungs as well as a significant increase in airway hyperresponsiveness. PI3K/Akt mediated activation of β-catenin, a positive regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and fibrosis, was observed in the lungs of insulin-treated mice and lung cells. Our data suggests that hyperinsulinemia may have adverse effects on airway structure and function. Insulin-induced activation of β-catenin in lung tissue and the contractile effects on ASM cells may be causally related to the development of asthma-like phenotype. PMID:26919895

  13. Axin: an emerging key scaffold at the synapse.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu; Fu, Amy K Y; Ip, Nancy Y

    2013-08-01

    Neurons communicate through neurotransmission at the synapse. Precise regulation of the synaptic structure and signaling during the formation and remodeling of synapses is vital for information processing between neurons. Scaffold proteins play key roles in synapses by tethering the signaling cascades spatially and temporally to ensure proper brain functioning. This review summarizes the recent evidence indicating that Axin, a scaffold protein, plays a central role in orchestrating presynaptic and postsynaptic signaling complexes to regulate synapse development and plasticity in the central nervous system. PMID:23847014

  14. ELKS controls the pool of readily releasable vesicles at excitatory synapses through its N-terminal coiled-coil domains

    PubMed Central

    Held, Richard G; Liu, Changliang; Kaeser, Pascal S

    2016-01-01

    In a presynaptic nerve terminal, synaptic strength is determined by the pool of readily releasable vesicles (RRP) and the probability of release (P) of each RRP vesicle. These parameters are controlled at the active zone and vary across synapses, but how such synapse specific control is achieved is not understood. ELKS proteins are enriched at vertebrate active zones and enhance P at inhibitory hippocampal synapses, but ELKS functions at excitatory synapses are not known. Studying conditional knockout mice for ELKS, we find that ELKS enhances the RRP at excitatory synapses without affecting P. Surprisingly, ELKS C-terminal sequences, which interact with RIM, are dispensable for RRP enhancement. Instead, the N-terminal ELKS coiled-coil domains that bind to Liprin-α and Bassoon are necessary to control RRP. Thus, ELKS removal has differential, synapse-specific effects on RRP and P, and our findings establish important roles for ELKS N-terminal domains in synaptic vesicle priming. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14862.001 PMID:27253063

  15. The synapse assembly model.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sung-Joo E; Hori, Yuko; Groves, Jay T; Dustin, Michael L; Chakraborty, Arup K

    2002-10-01

    A framework for quantitative analysis of the mechanisms underlying immunological synapse assembly has been recently developed. This model uses partial differential equations to describe the binding interactions of receptors and ligands, with the constraint that they are embedded in apposed deformable membranes linked to a cytoskeletal complex. PMID:12297422

  16. Lipid-based patterning of the immunological synapse

    PubMed Central

    Huse, Morgan

    2016-01-01

    The immunological synapse controls T lymphocyte function by polarizing effector responses toward the antigen-presenting cell. In this review, I will discuss the molecular pathways required for synapse assembly, focusing on the central roles played by lipid second messenger signaling. PMID:25399561

  17. Quantitative study of the development of neurons and synapses in rats reared in the dark during early postnatal life. 1. Superior colliculus.

    PubMed Central

    Fukui, Y; Bedi, K S

    1991-01-01

    Rearing animals in dark conditions during early postnatal life has been shown to affect both the morphology and the normal functioning of the visual system. We have investigated the effects on the synapse-to-neuron ratios in the superior colliculi of rearing male rats in the dark from birth until 30 days of age, followed in some cases by a 35 day period of rehabilitation in control lighting conditions. Control lighting conditions consisted of a room on a 12 hour light/12 hour dark cycle. Synapse-to-neuron ratios were calculated from estimates of the numerical densities of neurons and synapses. These estimates were made using the 'disector' method at the light and electron microscopical levels. Neuronal nuclei were used as the counting unit for neurons and paramembranous densities for synapses. There were no significant differences in the numerical densities of neurons, synapses or synapse-to-neuron ratios between dark-reared and control rats at 30 days of age. Sixty five days old rats, previously raised in the dark, had a significantly smaller numerical density of neurons than light-reared controls. Two-way analysis of variance techniques showed significant effects of age on the estimates of the numerical densities of neurons and synapses. However, there were no significant main effects of the lighting conditions, nor any significant interaction for any of the measures. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:2032942

  18. Concerning immune synapses: a spatiotemporal timeline.

    PubMed

    Ortega-Carrion, Alvaro; Vicente-Manzanares, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    The term "immune synapse" was originally coined to highlight the similarities between the synaptic contacts between neurons in the central nervous system and the cognate, antigen-dependent interactions between T cells and antigen-presenting cells. Here, instead of offering a comprehensive molecular catalogue of molecules involved in the establishment, stabilization, function, and resolution of the immune synapse, we follow a spatiotemporal timeline that begins at the initiation of exploratory contacts between the T cell and the antigen-presenting cell and ends with the termination of the contact. We focus on specific aspects that distinguish synapses established by cytotoxic and T helper cells as well as unresolved issues and controversies regarding the formation of this intercellular structure. PMID:27092248

  19. Does iron deficiency anemia affect olfactory function?

    PubMed

    Dinc, Mehmet Emre; Dalgic, Abdullah; Ulusoy, Seckin; Dizdar, Denizhan; Develioglu, Omer; Topak, Murat

    2016-07-01

    Conclusion This study found a negative effect of IDA on olfactory function. IDA leads to a reduction in olfactory function, and decreases in hemoglobin levels result in further reduction in olfactory function. Objective This study examined the effects of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) on olfactory function. Method The study enrolled 50 IDA patients and 50 healthy subjects. Olfactory function was evaluated using the Sniffin' Sticks olfactory test. The diagnosis of IDA was made according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results Patients with IDA had a significantly lower threshold, discrimination, and identification (TDI) value, and a lower threshold compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of smell selectivity values. PMID:26963317

  20. The Kinesin KIF21B Regulates Microtubule Dynamics and Is Essential for Neuronal Morphology, Synapse Function, and Learning and Memory.

    PubMed

    Muhia, Mary; Thies, Edda; Labonté, Dorthe; Ghiretti, Amy E; Gromova, Kira V; Xompero, Francesca; Lappe-Siefke, Corinna; Hermans-Borgmeyer, Irm; Kuhl, Dietmar; Schweizer, Michaela; Ohana, Ora; Schwarz, Jürgen R; Holzbaur, Erika L F; Kneussel, Matthias

    2016-05-01

    The kinesin KIF21B is implicated in several human neurological disorders, including delayed cognitive development, yet it remains unclear how KIF21B dysfunction may contribute to pathology. One limitation is that relatively little is known about KIF21B-mediated physiological functions. Here, we generated Kif21b knockout mice and used cellular assays to investigate the relevance of KIF21B in neuronal and in vivo function. We show that KIF21B is a processive motor protein and identify an additional role for KIF21B in regulating microtubule dynamics. In neurons lacking KIF21B, microtubules grow more slowly and persistently, leading to tighter packing in dendrites. KIF21B-deficient neurons exhibit decreased dendritic arbor complexity and reduced spine density, which correlate with deficits in synaptic transmission. Consistent with these observations, Kif21b-null mice exhibit behavioral changes involving learning and memory deficits. Our study provides insight into the cellular function of KIF21B and the basis for cognitive decline resulting from KIF21B dysregulation. PMID:27117409

  1. Systematic substrate identification indicates a central role for the metalloprotease ADAM10 in axon targeting and synapse function

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Peer-Hendrik; Colombo, Alessio Vittorio; Schusser, Benjamin; Dreymueller, Daniela; Wetzel, Sebastian; Schepers, Ute; Herber, Julia; Ludwig, Andreas; Kremmer, Elisabeth; Montag, Dirk; Müller, Ulrike; Schweizer, Michaela; Saftig, Paul; Bräse, Stefan; Lichtenthaler, Stefan F

    2016-01-01

    Metzincin metalloproteases have major roles in intercellular communication by modulating the function of membrane proteins. One of the proteases is the a-disintegrin-and-metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10) which acts as alpha-secretase of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid precursor protein. ADAM10 is also required for neuronal network functions in murine brain, but neuronal ADAM10 substrates are only partly known. With a proteomic analysis of Adam10-deficient neurons we identified 91, mostly novel ADAM10 substrate candidates, making ADAM10 a major protease for membrane proteins in the nervous system. Several novel substrates, including the neuronal cell adhesion protein NrCAM, are involved in brain development. Indeed, we detected mistargeted axons in the olfactory bulb of conditional ADAM10-/- mice, which correlate with reduced cleavage of NrCAM, NCAM and other ADAM10 substrates. In summary, the novel ADAM10 substrates provide a molecular basis for neuronal network dysfunctions in conditional ADAM10-/- mice and demonstrate a fundamental function of ADAM10 in the brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12748.001 PMID:26802628

  2. Glimepiride protects neurons against amyloid-β-induced synapse damage.

    PubMed

    Osborne, Craig; West, Ewan; Nolan, William; McHale-Owen, Harriet; Williams, Alun; Bate, Clive

    2016-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease is associated with the accumulation within the brain of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides that damage synapses and affect memory acquisition. This process can be modelled by observing the effects of Aβ on synapses in cultured neurons. The addition of picomolar concentrations of soluble Aβ derived from brain extracts triggered the loss of synaptic proteins including synaptophysin, synapsin-1 and cysteine string protein from cultured neurons. Glimepiride, a sulphonylurea used for the treatment of diabetes, protected neurons against synapse damage induced by Aβ. The protective effects of glimepiride were multi-faceted. Glimepiride treatment was associated with altered synaptic membranes including the loss of specific glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins including the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) that acts as a receptor for Aβ42, increased synaptic gangliosides and altered cell signalling. More specifically, glimepiride reduced the Aβ-induced increase in cholesterol and the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) in synapses that occurred within cholesterol-dense membrane rafts. Aβ42 binding to glimepiride-treated neurons was not targeted to membrane rafts and less Aβ42 accumulated within synapses. These studies indicate that glimepiride modified the membrane micro-environments in which Aβ-induced signalling leads to synapse damage. In addition, soluble PrP(C), released from neurons by glimepiride, neutralised Aβ-induced synapse damage. Such observations raise the possibility that glimepiride may reduce synapse damage and hence delay the progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. PMID:26432105

  3. The function of glutamatergic synapses is not perturbed by severe knockdown of 4.1N and 4.1G expression.

    PubMed

    Wozny, Christian; Breustedt, Jörg; Wolk, Friederike; Varoqueaux, Frédérique; Boretius, Susann; Zivkovic, Aleksandar R; Neeb, Antje; Frahm, Jens; Schmitz, Dietmar; Brose, Nils; Ivanovic, Aleksandra

    2009-03-01

    AMPA-type glutamate receptors mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the vertebrate brain. Their surface expression at synapses between neurons is regulated in an activity-dependent and activity-independent manner. The protein machinery that regulates synaptic targeting, anchoring and turnover of AMPA receptors consists of several types of specialized scaffolding proteins. The FERM domain scaffolding proteins 4.1G and 4.1N were previously suggested to act jointly in binding and regulating synaptic trafficking of the AMPA receptor subunits GluR1 and GluR4. To determine the functions of 4.1G and 4.1N in vivo, we generated a mutant mouse line that lacks 4.1G entirely and expresses 4.1N at 22% of wild-type levels. These mice had combined 4.1G and 4.1N protein expression in the hippocampus at 12% of wild-type levels (equivalent to 8-10% of combined GluR1 and GluR4 expression levels). They show a moderate reduction in synaptosomal expression levels of the AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 at 3 weeks of age, but no change in basic glutamatergic synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the hippocampus. Our study indicates that 4.1G and 4.1N do not have a crucial role in glutamatergic synaptic transmission and the induction and maintenance of long-term plastic changes in synaptic efficacy. PMID:19225127

  4. Preferential loss of dorsal-hippocampus synapses underlies memory impairments provoked by short, multimodal stress

    PubMed Central

    Maras, P M; Molet, J; Chen, Y; Rice, C; Ji, S G; Solodkin, A; Baram, T Z

    2014-01-01

    The cognitive effects of stress are profound, yet it is unknown if the consequences of concurrent multiple stresses on learning and memory differ from those of a single stress of equal intensity and duration. We compared the effects on hippocampus-dependent memory of concurrent, hours-long light, loud noise, jostling and restraint (multimodal stress) with those of restraint or of loud noise alone. We then examined if differences in memory impairment following these two stress types might derive from their differential impact on hippocampal synapses, distinguishing dorsal and ventral hippocampus. Mice exposed to hours-long restraint or loud noise were modestly or minimally impaired in novel object recognition, whereas similar-duration multimodal stress provoked severe deficits. Differences in memory were not explained by differences in plasma corticosterone levels or numbers of Fos-labeled neurons in stress-sensitive hypothalamic neurons. However, although synapses in hippocampal CA3 were impacted by both restraint and multimodal stress, multimodal stress alone reduced synapse numbers severely in dorsal CA1, a region crucial for hippocampus-dependent memory. Ventral CA1 synapses were not significantly affected by either stress modality. Probing the basis of the preferential loss of dorsal synapses after multimodal stress, we found differential patterns of neuronal activation by the two stress types. Cross-correlation matrices, reflecting functional connectivity among activated regions, demonstrated that multimodal stress reduced hippocampal correlations with septum and thalamus and increased correlations with amygdala and BST. Thus, despite similar effects on plasma corticosterone and on hypothalamic stress-sensitive cells, multimodal and restraint stress differ in their activation of brain networks and in their impact on hippocampal synapses. Both of these processes might contribute to amplified memory impairments following short, multimodal stress. PMID:24589888

  5. Allopregnanolone increases mature excitatory synapses along dendrites via protein kinase A signaling.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, H; Ishizuka, Y; Yamazaki, H; Shirao, T

    2015-10-01

    Allopregnanolone (APα; 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one) is synthesized in both the periphery and central nervous system and is known to be a potent positive allosteric modulator of the GABAA receptor. Because APα was suggested to improve the symptoms of depression and Alzheimer's disease (AD), which involve synaptic dysfunction and loss, we examined whether APα affects excitatory synapses. Drebrin, which is an actin-binding protein, forms a unique stable actin structure in dendritic spines, and drebrin levels correlate positively with cognitive levels in AD and mild cognitive impairment. We investigated whether APα increases excitatory synapse density along dendrites of mature hippocampal neurons using drebrin-imaging-based evaluation of mature synapses. We prepared primary cultures of hippocampal neurons and either transfected them with GFP or immunostained them against drebrin. Morphological analysis of GFP-transfected neurons revealed that a 24-h exposure to 0.3 or 1 μM APα significantly increased dendritic spine density without any morphological changes to spines. Drebrin cluster density was also increased by 0.3 and 1 μM APα. The protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H-89 inhibited the APα-induced increase in drebrin cluster density. These data demonstrate that APα increases mature excitatory synapses via activation of PKA. Therefore, the PKA-cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) signaling pathway is likely to be involved in the APα-induced increase of mature excitatory synapses. Another possibility is that the PKA-dependent increase in AMPA receptors at dendritic spines mediates the APα function. In conclusion, our study indicates that APα may improve neuropsychiatric disorder outcomes via increasing the numbers of mature excitatory synapses. PMID:26241343

  6. The Diversity of Cortical Inhibitory Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Kubota, Yoshiyuki; Karube, Fuyuki; Nomura, Masaki; Kawaguchi, Yasuo

    2016-01-01

    The most typical and well known inhibitory action in the cortical microcircuit is a strong inhibition on the target neuron by axo-somatic synapses. However, it has become clear that synaptic inhibition in the cortex is much more diverse and complicated. Firstly, at least ten or more inhibitory non-pyramidal cell subtypes engage in diverse inhibitory functions to produce the elaborate activity characteristic of the different cortical states. Each distinct non-pyramidal cell subtype has its own independent inhibitory function. Secondly, the inhibitory synapses innervate different neuronal domains, such as axons, spines, dendrites and soma, and their inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP) size is not uniform. Thus, cortical inhibition is highly complex, with a wide variety of anatomical and physiological modes. Moreover, the functional significance of the various inhibitory synapse innervation styles and their unique structural dynamic behaviors differ from those of excitatory synapses. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the inhibitory mechanisms of the cortical microcircuit. PMID:27199670

  7. SynDB: a Synapse protein DataBase based on synapse ontology.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wuxue; Zhang, Yong; Zheng, Hui; Zhang, Chen; Xiong, Wei; Olyarchuk, John G; Walker, Michael; Xu, Weifeng; Zhao, Min; Zhao, Shuqi; Zhou, Zhuan; Wei, Liping

    2007-01-01

    A synapse is the junction across which a nerve impulse passes from an axon terminal to a neuron, muscle cell or gland cell. The functions and building molecules of the synapse are essential to almost all neurobiological processes. To describe synaptic structures and functions, we have developed Synapse Ontology (SynO), a hierarchical representation that includes 177 terms with hundreds of synonyms and branches up to eight levels deep. associated 125 additional protein keywords and 109 InterPro domains with these SynO terms. Using a combination of automated keyword searches, domain searches and manual curation, we collected 14,000 non-redundant synapse-related proteins, including 3000 in human. We extensively annotated the proteins with information about sequence, structure, function, expression, pathways, interactions and disease associations and with hyperlinks to external databases. The data are stored and presented in the Synapse protein DataBase (SynDB, http://syndb.cbi.pku.edu.cn). SynDB can be interactively browsed by SynO, Gene Ontology (GO), domain families, species, chromosomal locations or Tribe-MCL clusters. It can also be searched by text (including Boolean operators) or by sequence similarity. SynDB is the most comprehensive database to date for synaptic proteins. PMID:17098931

  8. Copper at synapse: Release, binding and modulation of neurotransmission.

    PubMed

    D'Ambrosi, Nadia; Rossi, Luisa

    2015-11-01

    Over the last decade, a piece of the research studying copper role in biological systems was devoted to unravelling a still elusive, but extremely intriguing, aspect that is the involvement of copper in synaptic function. These studies were prompted to provide a rationale to the finding that copper is released in the synaptic cleft upon depolarization. The copper pump ATP7A, which mutations are responsible for diseases with a prominent neurodegenerative component, seems to play a pivotal role in the release of copper at synapses. Furthermore, it was found that, when in the synaptic cleft, copper can control, directly or indirectly, the activity of the neurotransmitter receptors (NMDA, AMPA, GABA, P2X receptors), thus affecting excitability. In turn, neurotransmission can affect copper trafficking and delivery in neuronal cells. Furthermore, it was reported that copper can also modulate synaptic vesicles trafficking and the interaction between proteins of the secretory pathways. Interestingly, proteins with a still unclear role in neuronal system though associated with the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases (the amyloid precursor protein, APP, the prion protein, PrP, α-synuclein, α-syn) show copper-binding domains. They may act as copper buffer at synapses and participate in the interplay between copper and the neurotransmitters receptors. Given that copper dysmetabolism occurs in several diseases affecting central and peripheral nervous system, the findings on the contribution of copper in synaptic transmission, beside its more consolidate role as a neuronal enzymes cofactor, may open new insights for therapy interventions. PMID:26187063

  9. Activity-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity of a Chalcogenide Electronic Synapse for Neuromorphic Systems

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yi; Zhong, Yingpeng; Zhang, Jinjian; Xu, Lei; Wang, Qing; Sun, Huajun; Tong, Hao; Cheng, Xiaoming; Miao, Xiangshui

    2014-01-01

    Nanoscale inorganic electronic synapses or synaptic devices, which are capable of emulating the functions of biological synapses of brain neuronal systems, are regarded as the basic building blocks for beyond-Von Neumann computing architecture, combining information storage and processing. Here, we demonstrate a Ag/AgInSbTe/Ag structure for chalcogenide memristor-based electronic synapses. The memristive characteristics with reproducible gradual resistance tuning are utilised to mimic the activity-dependent synaptic plasticity that serves as the basis of memory and learning. Bidirectional long-term Hebbian plasticity modulation is implemented by the coactivity of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, and the sign and degree are affected by assorted factors including the temporal difference, spike rate and voltage. Moreover, synaptic saturation is observed to be an adjustment of Hebbian rules to stabilise the growth of synaptic weights. Our results may contribute to the development of highly functional plastic electronic synapses and the further construction of next-generation parallel neuromorphic computing architecture. PMID:24809396

  10. Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity of a chalcogenide electronic synapse for neuromorphic systems.

    PubMed

    Li, Yi; Zhong, Yingpeng; Zhang, Jinjian; Xu, Lei; Wang, Qing; Sun, Huajun; Tong, Hao; Cheng, Xiaoming; Miao, Xiangshui

    2014-01-01

    Nanoscale inorganic electronic synapses or synaptic devices, which are capable of emulating the functions of biological synapses of brain neuronal systems, are regarded as the basic building blocks for beyond-Von Neumann computing architecture, combining information storage and processing. Here, we demonstrate a Ag/AgInSbTe/Ag structure for chalcogenide memristor-based electronic synapses. The memristive characteristics with reproducible gradual resistance tuning are utilised to mimic the activity-dependent synaptic plasticity that serves as the basis of memory and learning. Bidirectional long-term Hebbian plasticity modulation is implemented by the coactivity of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, and the sign and degree are affected by assorted factors including the temporal difference, spike rate and voltage. Moreover, synaptic saturation is observed to be an adjustment of Hebbian rules to stabilise the growth of synaptic weights. Our results may contribute to the development of highly functional plastic electronic synapses and the further construction of next-generation parallel neuromorphic computing architecture. PMID:24809396

  11. Activity-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity of a Chalcogenide Electronic Synapse for Neuromorphic Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yi; Zhong, Yingpeng; Zhang, Jinjian; Xu, Lei; Wang, Qing; Sun, Huajun; Tong, Hao; Cheng, Xiaoming; Miao, Xiangshui

    2014-05-01

    Nanoscale inorganic electronic synapses or synaptic devices, which are capable of emulating the functions of biological synapses of brain neuronal systems, are regarded as the basic building blocks for beyond-Von Neumann computing architecture, combining information storage and processing. Here, we demonstrate a Ag/AgInSbTe/Ag structure for chalcogenide memristor-based electronic synapses. The memristive characteristics with reproducible gradual resistance tuning are utilised to mimic the activity-dependent synaptic plasticity that serves as the basis of memory and learning. Bidirectional long-term Hebbian plasticity modulation is implemented by the coactivity of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, and the sign and degree are affected by assorted factors including the temporal difference, spike rate and voltage. Moreover, synaptic saturation is observed to be an adjustment of Hebbian rules to stabilise the growth of synaptic weights. Our results may contribute to the development of highly functional plastic electronic synapses and the further construction of next-generation parallel neuromorphic computing architecture.

  12. Maternal Dietary Loads of Alpha-Tocopherol Increase Synapse Density and Glial Synaptic Coverage in the Hippocampus of Adult Offspring

    PubMed Central

    Salucci, S.; Ambrogini, P.; Lattanzi, D.; Betti, M.; Gobbi, P.; Galati, C.; Galli, F.; Cuppini, R.; Minelli, A.

    2014-01-01

    An increased intake of the antioxidant α-Tocopherol (vitamin E) is recommended in complicated pregnancies, to prevent free radical damage to mother and fetus. However, the anti-PKC and antimitotic activity of α-Tocopherol raises concerns about its potential effects on brain development. Recently, we found that maternal dietary loads of α-Tocopherol through pregnancy and lactation cause developmental deficit in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rat offspring. The defect persisted into adulthood, with behavioral alterations in hippocampus-dependent learning. Here, using the same rat model of maternal supplementation, ultrastructural morphometric studies were carried out to provide mechanistic interpretation to such a functional impairment in adult offspring by the occurrence of long-term changes in density and morphological features of hippocampal synapses. Higher density of axo-spinous synapses was found in CA1 stratum radiatum of α-Tocopherol-exposed rats compared to controls, pointing to a reduced synapse pruning. No morphometric changes were found in synaptic ultrastructural features, i.e., perimeter of axon terminals, length of synaptic specializations, extension of bouton-spine contact. Gliasynapse anatomical relationship was also affected. Heavier astrocytic coverage of synapses was observed in Tocopherol-treated offspring, notably surrounding axon terminals; moreover, the percentage of synapses contacted by astrocytic endfeet at bouton-spine interface (tripartite synapses) was increased. These findings indicate that gestational and neonatal exposure to supranutritional Tocopherol intake can result in anatomical changes of offspring hippocampus that last through adulthood. These include a surplus of axo-spinous synapses and an aberrant gliasynapse relationship, which may represent the morphological signature of previously described alterations in synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning. PMID:24998923

  13. Calpain and the Glutamatergic Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Doshi, Shachee; Lynch, David R.

    2010-01-01

    Calpain is a ubiquitous protease found in different tissue types and in many organisms including mammals. It generally does not destroy its large variety of substrates, but more commonly disrupts their function. In neurons, many of its substrates become dysregulated as a result of cleavage of their regulatory domain by this protease, leading to altered signaling between cells. In glutamatergic synaptic transmission, direct targets of calpain include all of the major glutamate receptors: NMDA receptors, AMPA receptors and mGluR. By cleaving these receptors and associated intracellular proteins, calpain may regulate the physiology at glutamatergic synapses. As a result, calpain-mediated cleavage in neurons might not only be involved in pathological events like excitotoxicity, but may also have neuroprotective effects and roles in physiological synaptic transmission. PMID:19482714

  14. Defects of the Glycinergic Synapse in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Ogino, Kazutoyo; Hirata, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Glycine mediates fast inhibitory synaptic transmission. Physiological importance of the glycinergic synapse is well established in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In humans, the loss of glycinergic function in the spinal cord and brainstem leads to hyperekplexia, which is characterized by an excess startle reflex to sudden acoustic or tactile stimulation. In addition, glycinergic synapses in this region are also involved in the regulation of respiration and locomotion, and in the nociceptive processing. The importance of the glycinergic synapse is conserved across vertebrate species. A teleost fish, the zebrafish, offers several advantages as a vertebrate model for research of glycinergic synapse. Mutagenesis screens in zebrafish have isolated two motor defective mutants that have pathogenic mutations in glycinergic synaptic transmission: bandoneon (beo) and shocked (sho). Beo mutants have a loss-of-function mutation of glycine receptor (GlyR) β-subunit b, alternatively, sho mutant is a glycinergic transporter 1 (GlyT1) defective mutant. These mutants are useful animal models for understanding of glycinergic synaptic transmission and for identification of novel therapeutic agents for human diseases arising from defect in glycinergic transmission, such as hyperekplexia or glycine encephalopathy. Recent advances in techniques for genome editing and for imaging and manipulating of a molecule or a physiological process make zebrafish more attractive model. In this review, we describe the glycinergic defective zebrafish mutants and the technical advances in both forward and reverse genetic approaches as well as in vivo visualization and manipulation approaches for the study of the glycinergic synapse in zebrafish. PMID:27445686

  15. Temporally Distinct Demands for Classic Cadherins in Synapse Formation and Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Bozdagi, Ozlem; Valcin, Martin; Poskanzer, Kira; Tanaka, Hidekazu; Benson, Deanna L.

    2010-01-01

    Classic cadherins are synaptic adhesion proteins that have been implicated in synapse formation and targeting. Brief inactivation of classic cadherin function in young neurons appears to abrogate synapse formation when examined acutely. It remains unknown whether such abrogation is unique to young neurons, whether it occurs by stalling neuronal maturation or by directly interfering with the process of synapse assembly, and whether synapse targeting is altered. Here we asked whether sustained pan-cadherin blockade would prevent or alter the progression of axonal and dendritic outgrowth, synaptogenesis and the stereotypic distribution of excitatory and inhibitory synapses on cultured hippocampal neurons. While pre- and postsynaptic cadherins are required for synapse assembly in young neurons, we find that in neurons older than 10 days, classic cadherins are entirely dispensable for joining and aligning presynaptic vesicle clusters with molecular markers of the postsynaptic density. Further, we find the proportion and relative distributions of excitatory and inhibitory terminals on single neurons is not altered. However, synapse formation on neurons in which cadherin function is blocked are smaller; such synapses exhibit decreased synaptic vesicle recycling and a decreased frequency of spontaneous EPSCs. Moreover, such synapses fail to acquire resistance to F-actin depolymerization, a hallmark of mature, stable contacts. These data provide new evidence that cadherins are required to promote synapse stabilization and structural and functional maturation, but dispensable for the correct subcellular distribution of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. PMID:15555928

  16. Flotillin-1 promotes formation of glutamatergic synapses in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Swanwick, Catherine Croft; Shapiro, Marietta E; Vicini, Stefano; Wenthold, Robert J

    2010-11-01

    Synapse malformation underlies numerous neurodevelopmental illnesses, including autism spectrum disorders. Here we identify the lipid raft protein flotillin-1 as a promoter of glutamatergic synapse formation. We cultured neurons from the hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory, and examined them at two weeks in vitro, a time period rich with synapse formation. Double-label immunocytochemistry of native flot-1 with glutamatergic and GABAergic synapse markers showed that flot-1 was preferentially colocalized with the glutamatergic presynaptic marker vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1), compared to the GABAergic presynaptic marker glutamic acid decarboxylase-65 (GAD-65). Triple-label immunocytochemistry of native flot-1, VGLUT1, and NR1, the obligatory subunit of NMDA receptors, indicates that Flot-1 was preferentially localized to synaptic rather than extrasynaptic NR1. Furthermore, electrophysiological results using whole-cell patch clamp showed that Flot-1 increased the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) but not miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs), whereas amplitude and decay kinetics of either type of synaptic current was not affected. Corresponding immunocytochemical data confirmed that the number of glutamatergic synapses increased with flot-1 overexpression. Overall, our anatomical and physiological results show that flot-1 enhances the formation of glutamatergic synapses but not GABAergic synapses, suggesting that the role of flot-1 in neurodevelopmental disorders should be explored. PMID:20669324

  17. Altered TCR Signaling from Geometrically Repatterned ImmunologicalSynapses

    SciTech Connect

    Mossman, Kaspar D.; Campi, Gabriele; Groves, Jay T.; Dustin,Michael L.

    2005-10-18

    The immunological synapse is a specialized junction between lymphocytes that is defined by large-scale spatial patterns of receptors and signaling molecules. This structure, which has been probed using imaging, simulation, and genetics, remains enigmatic in terms of its formation and its function. Here, we use supported bilayer membranes and nanometer-scale structures fabricated onto the underlying substrate to impose geometric constraints on immunological synapse formation. The resulting alternatively patterned synapses provide insight into the mechanisms of formation and the relationship between synaptic pattern and the tyrosine kinase signaling cascades that are required to sustain T cell activation.

  18. The combined effects of inhibitory and electrical synapses in synchrony.

    PubMed

    Pfeuty, Benjamin; Mato, Germán; Golomb, David; Hansel, David

    2005-03-01

    Recent experimental results have shown that GABAergic interneurons in the central nervous system are frequently connected via electrical synapses. Hence, depending on the area or the subpopulation, interneurons interact via inhibitory synapses or electrical synapses alone or via both types of interactions. The theoretical work presented here addresses the significance of these different modes of interactions for the interneuron networks dynamics. We consider the simplest system in which this issue can be investigated in models or in experiments: a pair of neurons, interacting via electrical synapses, inhibitory synapses, or both, and activated by the injection of a noisy external current. Assuming that the couplings and the noise are weak, we derive an analytical expression relating the cross-correlation (CC) of the activity of the two neurons to the phase response function of the neurons. When electrical and inhibitory interactions are not too strong, they combine their effect in a linear manner. In this regime, the effect of electrical and inhibitory interactions when combined can be deduced knowing the effects of each of the interactions separately. As a consequence, depending on intrinsic neuronal properties, electrical and inhibitory synapses may cooperate, both promoting synchrony, or may compete, with one promoting synchrony while the other impedes it. In contrast, for sufficiently strong couplings, the two types of synapses combine in a nonlinear fashion. Remarkably, we find that in this regime, combining electrical synapses with inhibition amplifies synchrony, whereas electrical synapses alone would desynchronize the activity of the neurons. We apply our theory to predict how the shape of the CC of two neurons changes as a function of ionic channel conductances, focusing on the effect of persistent sodium conductance, of the firing rate of the neurons and the nature and the strength of their interactions. These predictions may be tested using dynamic clamp

  19. Neurobeachin is required postsynaptically for electrical and chemical synapse formation

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Adam C.; Voelker, Lisa H.; Shah, Arish N.; Moens, Cecilia B.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Background Neural networks and their function are defined by synapses, which are adhesions specialized for intercellular communication that can be either chemical or electrical. At chemical synapses transmission between neurons is mediated by neurotransmitters, while at electrical synapses direct ionic and metabolic coupling occurs via gap junctions between neurons. The molecular pathways required for electrical synaptogenesis are not well understood and whether they share mechanisms of formation with chemical synapses is not clear. Results Here, using a forward genetic screen in zebrafish we find that the autism-associated gene neurobeachin (nbea), which encodes a BEACH-domain containing protein implicated in endomembrane trafficking, is required for both electrical and chemical synapse formation. Additionally, we find that nbea is dispensable for axonal formation and early dendritic outgrowth, but is required to maintain dendritic complexity. These synaptic and morphological defects correlate with deficiencies in behavioral performance. Using chimeric animals in which individually identifiable neurons are either mutant or wildtype we find that Nbea is necessary and sufficient autonomously in the postsynaptic neuron for both synapse formation and dendritic arborization. Conclusions Our data identify a surprising link between electrical and chemical synapse formation and show that Nbea acts as a critical regulator in the postsynaptic neuron for the coordination of dendritic morphology with synaptogenesis. PMID:25484298

  20. Inhibition Potentiates the Synchronizing Action of Electrical Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Pfeuty, Benjamin; Golomb, David; Mato, Germán; Hansel, David

    2007-01-01

    In vivo and in vitro experimental studies have found that blocking electrical interactions connecting GABAergic interneurons reduces oscillatory activity in the γ range in cortex. However, recent theoretical works have shown that the ability of electrical synapses to promote or impede synchrony, when alone, depends on their location on the dendritic tree of the neurons, the intrinsic properties of the neurons and the connectivity of the network. The goal of the present paper is to show that this versatility in the synchronizing ability of electrical synapses is greatly reduced when the neurons also interact via inhibition. To this end, we study a model network comprising two-compartment conductance-based neurons interacting with both types of synapses. We investigate the effect of electrical synapses on the dynamical state of the network as a function of the strength of the inhibition. We find that for weak inhibition, electrical synapses reinforce inhibition-generated synchrony only if they promote synchrony when they are alone. In contrast, when inhibition is sufficiently strong, electrical synapses improve synchrony even if when acting alone they would stabilize asynchronous firing. We clarify the mechanism underlying this cooperative interplay between electrical and inhibitory synapses. We show that it is relevant in two physiologically observed regimes: spike-to-spike synchrony, where neurons fire at almost every cycle of the population oscillations, and stochastic synchrony, where neurons fire irregularly and at a rate which is substantially lower than the frequency of the global population rhythm. PMID:18946530

  1. Social functioning and age across affective and non-affective psychoses

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Elizabeth A.; Öngür, Dost; Cohen, Bruce M.; Lewandowski, Kathryn E.

    2014-01-01

    Both non-affective and affective psychoses are associated with deficits in social functioning across the course of the illness. However, it is not clear how social functioning varies among diagnostic groups as a function of age. The current study examined the relationship between social functioning and age in schizophrenia (SZ), schizoaffective disorder (SZA), and psychotic bipolar disorder (PBD). We found that individuals with PBD had the highest functioning while individuals with SZ had the poorest. The functioning of individuals with SZA fell in between the other groups. We also found that older ages were associated with poorer functioning. Although there was not a significant diagnostic group by age interaction, visual inspection of our data suggests a subtly steeper trajectory of decline in PBD. These results indicate that a decline in social functioning with may be an important area of unmet need in treatment across psychotic disorders. PMID:25503785

  2. The Interplay between Synaptic Activity and Neuroligin Function in the CNS

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiaoge; Luo, Jian-hong

    2015-01-01

    Neuroligins (NLs) are postsynaptic transmembrane cell-adhesion proteins that play a key role in the regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies have suggested that NLs contribute to synapse formation and synaptic transmission. Consistent with their localization, NL1 and NL3 selectively affect excitatory synapses, whereas NL2 specifically affects inhibitory synapses. Deletions or mutations in NL genes have been found in patients with autism spectrum disorders or mental retardations, and mice harboring the reported NL deletions or mutations exhibit autism-related behaviors and synapse dysfunction. Conversely, synaptic activity can regulate the phosphorylation, expression, and cleavage of NLs, which, in turn, can influence synaptic activity. Thus, in clinical research, identifying the relationship between NLs and synapse function is critical. In this review, we primarily discuss how NLs and synaptic activity influence each other. PMID:25839034

  3. Dissecting tripartite synapses with STED microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Panatier, Aude; Arizono, Misa; Nägerl, U. Valentin

    2014-01-01

    The concept of the tripartite synapse reflects the important role that astrocytic processes are thought to play in the function and regulation of neuronal synapses in the mammalian nervous system. However, many basic aspects regarding the dynamic interplay between pre- and postsynaptic neuronal structures and their astrocytic partners remain to be explored. A major experimental hurdle has been the small physical size of the relevant glial and synaptic structures, leaving them largely out of reach for conventional light microscopic approaches such as confocal and two-photon microscopy. Hence, most of what we know about the organization of the tripartite synapse is based on electron microscopy, which does not lend itself to investigating dynamic events and which cannot be carried out in parallel with functional assays. The development and application of superresolution microscopy for neuron–glia research is opening up exciting experimental opportunities in this regard. In this paper, we provide a basic explanation of the theory and operation of stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, outlining the potential of this recent superresolution imaging modality for advancing our understanding of the morpho-functional interactions between astrocytes and neurons that regulate synaptic physiology. PMID:25225091

  4. How Does Maternal Employment Affect Children's Socioemotional Functioning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Gigi

    2015-01-01

    The maternal employment becomes an irreversible trend across the globe. The effect of maternal employment on children's socioemotional functioning is so pervasive that it warrants special attention to investigate into the issue. A trajectory of analytical framework of how maternal employment affects children's socioemotional functioning originates…

  5. Advanced Fluorescence Protein-Based Synapse-Detectors.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hojin; Oh, Won Chan; Seong, Jihye; Kim, Jinhyun

    2016-01-01

    The complex information-processing capabilities of the central nervous system emerge from intricate patterns of synaptic input-output relationships among various neuronal circuit components. Understanding these capabilities thus requires a precise description of the individual synapses that comprise neural networks. Recent advances in fluorescent protein engineering, along with developments in light-favoring tissue clearing and optical imaging techniques, have rendered light microscopy (LM) a potent candidate for large-scale analyses of synapses, their properties, and their connectivity. Optically imaging newly engineered fluorescent proteins (FPs) tagged to synaptic proteins or microstructures enables the efficient, fine-resolution illumination of synaptic anatomy and function in large neural circuits. Here we review the latest progress in fluorescent protein-based molecular tools for imaging individual synapses and synaptic connectivity. We also identify associated technologies in gene delivery, tissue processing, and computational image analysis that will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between synapse- and system-level neuroscience. PMID:27445785

  6. Advanced Fluorescence Protein-Based Synapse-Detectors

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hojin; Oh, Won Chan; Seong, Jihye; Kim, Jinhyun

    2016-01-01

    The complex information-processing capabilities of the central nervous system emerge from intricate patterns of synaptic input-output relationships among various neuronal circuit components. Understanding these capabilities thus requires a precise description of the individual synapses that comprise neural networks. Recent advances in fluorescent protein engineering, along with developments in light-favoring tissue clearing and optical imaging techniques, have rendered light microscopy (LM) a potent candidate for large-scale analyses of synapses, their properties, and their connectivity. Optically imaging newly engineered fluorescent proteins (FPs) tagged to synaptic proteins or microstructures enables the efficient, fine-resolution illumination of synaptic anatomy and function in large neural circuits. Here we review the latest progress in fluorescent protein-based molecular tools for imaging individual synapses and synaptic connectivity. We also identify associated technologies in gene delivery, tissue processing, and computational image analysis that will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between synapse- and system-level neuroscience. PMID:27445785

  7. Concerning immune synapses: a spatiotemporal timeline

    PubMed Central

    Ortega-Carrion, Alvaro; Vicente-Manzanares, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    The term “immune synapse” was originally coined to highlight the similarities between the synaptic contacts between neurons in the central nervous system and the cognate, antigen-dependent interactions between T cells and antigen-presenting cells. Here, instead of offering a comprehensive molecular catalogue of molecules involved in the establishment, stabilization, function, and resolution of the immune synapse, we follow a spatiotemporal timeline that begins at the initiation of exploratory contacts between the T cell and the antigen-presenting cell and ends with the termination of the contact. We focus on specific aspects that distinguish synapses established by cytotoxic and T helper cells as well as unresolved issues and controversies regarding the formation of this intercellular structure. PMID:27092248

  8. Transfer characteristics of the hair cell's afferent synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keen, Erica C.; Hudspeth, A. J.

    2006-04-01

    The sense of hearing depends on fast, finely graded neurotransmission at the ribbon synapses connecting hair cells to afferent nerve fibers. The processing that occurs at this first chemical synapse in the auditory pathway determines the quality and extent of the information conveyed to the central nervous system. Knowledge of the synapse's input-output function is therefore essential for understanding how auditory stimuli are encoded. To investigate the transfer function at the hair cell's synapse, we developed a preparation of the bullfrog's amphibian papilla. In the portion of this receptor organ representing stimuli of 400-800 Hz, each afferent nerve fiber forms several synaptic terminals onto one to three hair cells. By performing simultaneous voltage-clamp recordings from presynaptic hair cells and postsynaptic afferent fibers, we established that the rate of evoked vesicle release, as determined from the average postsynaptic current, depends linearly on the amplitude of the presynaptic Ca2+ current. This result implies that, for receptor potentials in the physiological range, the hair cell's synapse transmits information with high fidelity. auditory system | exocytosis | glutamate | ribbon synapse | synaptic vesicle

  9. Astrocytic Gliotransmitter: Diffusion Dynamics and Induction of Information Processing on Tripartite Synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jia-Jia; Du, Meng-Meng; Wang, Rong; Lei, Jin-Zhi; Wu, Ying

    Astrocytes have important functions in the central nervous system (CNS) and are significant in our understanding of the neuronal network. Astrocytes modulate neuronal firings at both single cell level of tripartite synapses and the neuron-glial network level. Astrocytes release adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and glutamate into the neuron-glial network. These gliotransmitters diffuse over the network to form long distance signals to regulate neuron firings. In this paper, we study a neuron-glial network model that includes a diffusion of astrocytic ATP and glutamate to investigate how long distance diffusion of the gliotransmitters affects the information processing in a neuronal network. We find that gliotransmitters diffusion can compensate for the failure of information processing of interneuron network firings induced by defectively coupled synapses. Moreover, we find that calcium waves in astrocyte network and firings in interneuron network are both sensitive to the glutamate diffusion rate and feedback intensities of astrocytes on interneurons.

  10. Persistent Long-Term Facilitation at an Identified Synapse Becomes Labile with Activation of Short-Term Heterosynaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Schacher, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    Short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity are cellular correlates of learning and memory of different durations. Little is known, however, how these two forms of plasticity interact at the same synaptic connection. We examined the reciprocal impact of short-term heterosynaptic or homosynaptic plasticity at sensorimotor synapses of Aplysia in cell culture when expressing persistent long-term facilitation (P-LTF) evoked by serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)]. Short-term heterosynaptic plasticity induced by 5-HT (facilitation) or the neuropeptide FMRFa (depression) and short-term homosynaptic plasticity induced by tetanus [post-tetanic potentiation (PTP)] or low-frequency stimulation [homosynaptic depression (HSD)] of the sensory neuron were expressed in both control synapses and synapses expressing P-LTF in the absence or presence of protein synthesis inhibitors. All forms of short-term plasticity failed to significantly affect ongoing P-LTF in the absence of protein synthesis inhibitors. However, P-LTF reversed to control levels when either 5-HT or FMRFa was applied in the presence of rapamycin. In contrast, P-LTF was unaffected when either PTP or HSD was evoked in the presence of either rapamycin or anisomycin. These results indicate that synapses expressing persistent plasticity acquire a “new” baseline and functionally express short-term changes as naive synapses, but the new baseline becomes labile following selective activations—heterosynaptic stimuli that evoke opposite forms of plasticity—such that when presented in the presence of protein synthesis inhibitors produce a rapid reversal of the persistent plasticity. Activity-selective induction of a labile state at synapses expressing persistent plasticity may facilitate the development of therapies for reversing inappropriate memories. PMID:24695698

  11. Huntingtin Is Required for Normal Excitatory Synapse Development in Cortical and Striatal Circuits

    PubMed Central

    McKinstry, Spencer U.; Karadeniz, Yonca B.; Worthington, Atesh K.; Hayrapetyan, Volodya Y.; Ozlu, M. Ilcim; Serafin-Molina, Karol; Risher, W. Christopher; Ustunkaya, Tuna; Dragatsis, Ioannis; Zeitlin, Scott; Yin, Henry H.

    2014-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the expansion of a poly-glutamine (poly-Q) stretch in the huntingtin (Htt) protein. Gain-of-function effects of mutant Htt have been extensively investigated as the major driver of neurodegeneration in HD. However, loss-of-function effects of poly-Q mutations recently emerged as potential drivers of disease pathophysiology. Early synaptic problems in the excitatory cortical and striatal connections have been reported in HD, but the role of Htt protein in synaptic connectivity was unknown. Therefore, we investigated the role of Htt in synaptic connectivity in vivo by conditionally silencing Htt in the developing mouse cortex. When cortical Htt function was silenced, cortical and striatal excitatory synapses formed and matured at an accelerated pace through postnatal day 21 (P21). This exuberant synaptic connectivity was lost over time in the cortex, resulting in the deterioration of synapses by 5 weeks. Synaptic decline in the cortex was accompanied with layer- and region-specific reactive gliosis without cell loss. To determine whether the disease-causing poly-Q mutation in Htt affects synapse development, we next investigated the synaptic connectivity in a full-length knock-in mouse model of HD, the zQ175 mouse. Similar to the cortical conditional knock-outs, we found excessive excitatory synapse formation and maturation in the cortices of P21 zQ175, which was lost by 5 weeks. Together, our findings reveal that cortical Htt is required for the correct establishment of cortical and striatal excitatory circuits, and this function of Htt is lost when the mutant Htt is present. PMID:25009276

  12. Coding Deficits in Noise-Induced Hidden Hearing Loss May Stem from Incomplete Repair of Ribbon Synapses in the Cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Lijuan; Chang, Yin; Li, Xiaowei; Aiken, Steven J.; Liu, Lijie; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence has shown that noise-induced damage to the synapse between inner hair cells (IHCs) and type I afferent auditory nerve fibers (ANFs) may occur in the absence of permanent threshold shift (PTS), and that synapses connecting IHCs with low spontaneous rate (SR) ANFs are disproportionately affected. Due to the functional importance of low-SR ANF units for temporal processing and signal coding in noisy backgrounds, deficits in cochlear coding associated with noise-induced damage may result in significant difficulties with temporal processing and hearing in noise (i.e., “hidden hearing loss”). However, significant noise-induced coding deficits have not been reported at the single unit level following the loss of low-SR units. We have found evidence to suggest that some aspects of neural coding are not significantly changed with the initial loss of low-SR ANFs, and that further coding deficits arise in association with the subsequent reestablishment of the synapses. This suggests that synaptopathy in hidden hearing loss may be the result of insufficient repair of disrupted synapses, and not simply due to the loss of low-SR units. These coding deficits include decreases in driven spike rate for intensity coding as well as several aspects of temporal coding: spike latency, peak-to-sustained spike ratio and the recovery of spike rate as a function of click-interval. PMID:27252621

  13. Downregulation of genes with a function in axon outgrowth and synapse formation in motor neurones of the VEGFδ/δ mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an endothelial cell mitogen that stimulates vasculogenesis. It has also been shown to act as a neurotrophic factor in vitro and in vivo. Deletion of the hypoxia response element of the promoter region of the gene encoding VEGF in mice causes a reduction in neural VEGF expression, and results in adult-onset motor neurone degeneration that resembles amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Investigating the molecular pathways to neurodegeneration in the VEGFδ/δ mouse model of ALS may improve understanding of the mechanisms of motor neurone death in the human disease. Results Microarray analysis was used to determine the transcriptional profile of laser captured spinal motor neurones of transgenic and wild-type littermates at 3 time points of disease. 324 genes were significantly differentially expressed in motor neurones of presymptomatic VEGFδ/δ mice, 382 at disease onset, and 689 at late stage disease. Massive transcriptional downregulation occurred with disease progression, associated with downregulation of genes involved in RNA processing at late stage disease. VEGFδ/δ mice showed reduction in expression, from symptom onset, of the cholesterol synthesis pathway, and genes involved in nervous system development, including axonogenesis, synapse formation, growth factor signalling pathways, cell adhesion and microtubule-based processes. These changes may reflect a reduced capacity of VEGFδ/δ mice for maintenance and remodelling of neuronal processes in the face of demands of neural plasticity. The findings are supported by the demonstration that in primary motor neurone cultures from VEGFδ/δ mice, axon outgrowth is significantly reduced compared to wild-type littermates. Conclusions Downregulation of these genes involved in axon outgrowth and synapse formation in adult mice suggests a hitherto unrecognized role of VEGF in the maintenance of neuronal circuitry. Dysregulation of VEGF may lead to

  14. Lenalidomide enhances the function of chimeric antigen receptor T cells against the epidermal growth factor receptor variant III by enhancing immune synapses.

    PubMed

    Kuramitsu, S; Ohno, M; Ohka, F; Shiina, S; Yamamichi, A; Kato, A; Tanahashi, K; Motomura, K; Kondo, G; Kurimoto, M; Senga, T; Wakabayashi, T; Natsume, A

    2015-10-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) is exclusively expressed on the cell surface in ~50% of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This variant strongly and persistently activates the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt signaling pathway in a ligand-independent manner resulting in enhanced tumorigenicity, cellular motility and resistance to chemoradiotherapy. Our group generated a recombinant single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibody specific to the EGFRvIII, referred to as 3C10-scFv. In the current study, we constructed a lentiviral vector transducing the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that consisted of 3C10-scFv, CD3ζ, CD28 and 4-1BB (3C10-CAR). The 3C10-CAR-transduced peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and CD3(+) T cells specifically lysed the glioma cells that express EGFRvIII. Moreover, we demonstrated that CAR CD3(+) T cells migrated to the intracranial xenograft of GBM in the mice treated with 3C10-CAR PBMCs. An important and novel finding of our study was that a thalidomide derivative lenalidomide induced 3C10-CAR PBMC proliferation and enhanced the persistent antitumor effect of the cells in vivo. Lenalidomide also exhibited enhanced immunological synapses between the effector cells and the target cells as determined by CD11a and F-actin polymerization. Collectively, lentiviral-mediated transduction of CAR effectors targeting the EGFRvIII showed specific efficacy, and lenalidomide even intensified CAR cell therapy by enhanced formation of immunological synapses. PMID:26450624

  15. Serotonin and Dopamine: Unifying Affective, Activational, and Decision Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cools, Roshan; Nakamura, Kae; Daw, Nathaniel D

    2011-01-01

    Serotonin, like dopamine (DA), has long been implicated in adaptive behavior, including decision making and reinforcement learning. However, although the two neuromodulators are tightly related and have a similar degree of functional importance, compared with DA, we have a much less specific understanding about the mechanisms by which serotonin affects behavior. Here, we draw on recent work on computational models of dopaminergic function to suggest a framework by which many of the seemingly diverse functions associated with both DA and serotonin—comprising both affective and activational ones, as well as a number of other functions not overtly related to either—can be seen as consequences of a single root mechanism. PMID:20736991

  16. Early maternal deprivation immunologically primes hippocampal synapses by redistributing interleukin-1 receptor type I in a sex dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Viviani, Barbara; Boraso, Mariaserena; Valero, Manuel; Gardoni, Fabrizio; Marco, Eva Maria; Llorente, Ricardo; Corsini, Emanuela; Galli, Corrado Lodovico; Di Luca, Monica; Marinovich, Marina; López-Gallardo, Meritxell; Viveros, Maria-Paz

    2014-01-01

    Challenges experienced in early life cause an enduring phenotypical shift of immune cells towards a sensitised state that may lead to an exacerbated reaction later in life and contribute to increased vulnerability to neurological diseases. Peripheral and central inflammation may affect neuronal function through cytokines such as IL-1. The extent to which an early life challenge induces long-term alteration of immune receptors organization in neurons has not been shown. We investigated whether a single episode of maternal deprivation (MD) on post-natal day (PND) 9 affects: (i) the synapse distribution of IL-1RI together with subunits of NMDA and AMPA receptors; and (ii) the interactions between IL-1RI and the GluN2B subunit of the NMDAR in the long-term, at PND 45. MD increased IL-1RI levels and IL-1RI interactions with GluN2B at the synapse of male hippocampal neurons, without affecting the total number of IL-1RI or NMDAR subunits. Although GluN2B and GluN2A were slightly but not significantly changed at the synapse, their ratio was significantly decreased in the hippocampus of the male rats who had experienced MD; the levels of the GluA1 and GluA2 subunits of the AMPAR were also decreased. These changes were not observed immediately after the MD episode. None of the observed alterations occurred in the hippocampus of the females or in the prefrontal cortex of either sex. These data reveal a long-term, sex-dependent modification in receptor organisation at the hippocampal post-synapses following MD. We suggest that this effect might contribute to priming hippocampal synapses to the action of IL-1β. PMID:24060584

  17. Adhesions ring: a structural comparison between podosomes and the immune synapse

    PubMed Central

    Wernimont, Sarah A.; Cortesio, Christa L.; Simonson, William T.N.; Huttenlocher, Anna

    2008-01-01

    Podosomes and immunes synapses are integrin-mediated adhesive structures that share a common ring-like morphology. Both podosomes and immune synapses have a central core surrounded by a peripheral ring containing talin, vinculin and paxillin. Recent progress suggests significant parallels between the regulatory mechanisms that contribute to the formation of these adhesive structures. In this review, we compare the structures, functions and regulation of podosomes and the immune synapse. PMID:18343530

  18. Altered Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 Function Affects the Development of Cortical Parvalbumin Interneurons by an Indirect Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Borkowska, Malgorzata; Millar, J Kirsty; Price, David J

    2016-01-01

    Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) gene has been linked to schizophrenia and related major mental illness. Mouse Disc1 has been implicated in brain development, mainly in the proliferation, differentiation, lamination, neurite outgrowth and synapse formation and maintenance of cortical excitatory neurons. Here, the effects of two loss-of-function point mutations in the mouse Disc1 sequence (Q31L and L100P) on cortical inhibitory interneurons were investigated. None of the mutations affected the overall number of interneurons. However, the 100P, but not the 31L, mutation resulted in a significant decrease in the numbers of interneurons expressing parvalbumin mRNA and protein across the sensory cortex. To investigate role of Disc1 in regulation of parvalbumin expression, mouse wild-type Disc-1 or the 100P mutant form were electroporated in utero into cortical excitatory neurons. Overexpression of wild-type Disc1 in these cells caused increased densities of parvalbumin-expressing interneurons in the electroporated area and in areas connected with it, whereas expression of Disc1-100P did not. We conclude that the 100P mutation prevents expression of parvalbumin by a normally sized cohort of interneurons and that altering Disc1 function in cortical excitatory neurons indirectly affects parvalbumin expression by cortical interneurons, perhaps as a result of altered functional input from the excitatory neurons. PMID:27244370

  19. Altered Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 Function Affects the Development of Cortical Parvalbumin Interneurons by an Indirect Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Millar, J. Kirsty; Price, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) gene has been linked to schizophrenia and related major mental illness. Mouse Disc1 has been implicated in brain development, mainly in the proliferation, differentiation, lamination, neurite outgrowth and synapse formation and maintenance of cortical excitatory neurons. Here, the effects of two loss-of-function point mutations in the mouse Disc1 sequence (Q31L and L100P) on cortical inhibitory interneurons were investigated. None of the mutations affected the overall number of interneurons. However, the 100P, but not the 31L, mutation resulted in a significant decrease in the numbers of interneurons expressing parvalbumin mRNA and protein across the sensory cortex. To investigate role of Disc1 in regulation of parvalbumin expression, mouse wild-type Disc-1 or the 100P mutant form were electroporated in utero into cortical excitatory neurons. Overexpression of wild-type Disc1 in these cells caused increased densities of parvalbumin-expressing interneurons in the electroporated area and in areas connected with it, whereas expression of Disc1-100P did not. We conclude that the 100P mutation prevents expression of parvalbumin by a normally sized cohort of interneurons and that altering Disc1 function in cortical excitatory neurons indirectly affects parvalbumin expression by cortical interneurons, perhaps as a result of altered functional input from the excitatory neurons. PMID:27244370

  20. A Synaptotagmin Isoform Switch during the Development of an Identified CNS Synapse.

    PubMed

    Kochubey, Olexiy; Babai, Norbert; Schneggenburger, Ralf

    2016-06-01

    Various Synaptotagmin (Syt) isoform genes are found in mammals, but it is unknown whether Syts can function redundantly in a given nerve terminal, or whether isoforms can be switched during the development of a nerve terminal. Here, we investigated the possibility of a developmental Syt isoform switch using the calyx of Held as a model synapse. At mature calyx synapses, fast Ca(2+)-driven transmitter release depended entirely on Syt2, but the release phenotype of Syt2 knockout (KO) mice was weaker at immature calyces, and absent at pre-calyceal synapses early postnatally. Instead, conditional genetic inactivation shows that Syt1 mediates fast release at pre-calyceal synapses, as well as a fast release component resistant to Syt2 deletion in immature calyces. This demonstrates a developmental Syt1-Syt2 isoform switch at an identified synapse, a mechanism that could fine-tune the speed, reliability, and plasticity of transmitter release at fast releasing CNS synapses. PMID:27210552

  1. Lifetime affect and midlife cognitive function: prospective birth cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Richards, M.; Barnett, J. H.; Xu, M. K.; Croudace, T. J.; Gaysina, D.; Kuh, D.; Jones, P. B.

    2014-01-01

    Background Recurrent affective problems are predictive of cognitive impairment, but the timing and directionality, and the nature of the cognitive impairment, are unclear. Aims To test prospective associations between life-course affective symptoms and cognitive function in late middle age. Method A total of 1668 men and women were drawn from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (the British 1946 birth cohort). Longitudinal affective symptoms spanning age 13-53 years served as predictors; outcomes consisted of self-reported memory problems at 60-64 years and decline in memory and information processing from age 53 to 60-64 years. Results Regression analyses revealed no clear pattern of association between longitudinal affective symptoms and decline in cognitive test scores, after adjusting for gender, childhood cognitive ability, education and midlife socioeconomic status. In contrast, affective symptoms were strongly, diffusely and independently associated with self-reported memory problems. Conclusions Affective symptoms are more clearly associated with self-reported memory problems in late midlife than with objectively measured cognitive performance. PMID:24357571

  2. Does Subacromial Osteolysis Affect Shoulder Function after Clavicle Hook Plating?

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Siwei; Gan, Minfeng; Sun, Han; Wu, Guizhong; Yang, Huilin; Zhou, Feng

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate whether subacromial osteolysis, one of the major complications of the clavicle hook plate procedure, affects shoulder function. Methods. We had performed a retrospective study of 72 patients diagnosed with a Neer II lateral clavicle fracture or Degree-III acromioclavicular joint dislocation in our hospital from July 2012 to December 2013. All these patients had undergone surgery with clavicle hook plate and were divided into two groups based on the occurrence of subacromial osteolysis. By using the Constant-Murley at the first follow-up visit after plates removal, we evaluated patients' shoulder function to judge if it has been affected by subacromial osteolysis. Results. We have analyzed clinical data for these 72 patients, which shows that there is no significant difference between group A (39 patients) and group B (33 patients) in age, gender, injury types or side, and shoulder function (the Constant-Murley scores are 93.38 ± 3.56 versus 94.24 ± 3.60, P > 0.05). Conclusion. The occurrence of subacromial osteolysis is not rare, and also it does not significantly affect shoulder function. PMID:27034937

  3. Effects of curcumin on synapses in APPswe/PS1dE9 mice.

    PubMed

    He, Yingkun; Wang, Pengwen; Wei, Peng; Feng, Huili; Ren, Ying; Yang, Jinduo; Rao, Yingxue; Shi, Jing; Tian, Jinzhou

    2016-06-01

    Significant losses of synapses have been demonstrated in studies of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but structural and functional changes in synapses that depend on alterations of the postsynaptic density (PSD) area occur prior to synaptic loss and play a crucial role in the pathology of AD. Evidence suggests that curcumin can ameliorate the learning and memory deficits of AD. To investigate the effects of curcumin on synapses, APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice (an AD model) were used, and the ultra-structures of synapses and synapse-associated proteins were observed. Six months after administration, few abnormal synapses were observed upon electron microscopy in the hippocampal CA1 areas of the APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice. The treatment of the mice with curcumin resulted in improvements in the quantity and structure of the synapses. Immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses revealed that the expressions of PSD95 and Shank1 were reduced in the hippocampal CA1 areas of the APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice, but curcumin treatment increased the expressions of these proteins. Our findings suggest that curcumin improved the structure and function of the synapses by regulating the synapse-related proteins PSD95 and Shank1. PMID:26957323

  4. Multimolecular Analysis of Stable Immunological Synapses Reveals Sustained Recruitment and Sequential Assembly of Signaling Clusters*

    PubMed Central

    Philipsen, Lars; Engels, Thomas; Schilling, Kerstin; Gurbiel, Slavyana; Fischer, Klaus-Dieter; Tedford, Kerry; Schraven, Burkhart; Gunzer, Matthias; Reichardt, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The formation of the immunological synapse between T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APC) begins within minutes of contact and can take hours for full T-cell activation. Although early phases of the synapse have been extensively studied for a select number of proteins, later phases have not yet been examined in detail. We studied the signaling network in stable synapses by measuring the simultaneous localization of 25 signaling and structural molecules over 2 h at the level of individual synapses using multi-epitope ligand cartography (MELC). Signaling proteins including phospho(p)ZAP70, pSLP76, pCD3ζ, and pLAT, along with proteins that influence synapse structure such as F-actin, tubulin, CD45, and ICAM-1, were localized in images of synapses and revealed the multidimensional construction of a mature synapse. The construction of the stable synapse included intense early TCR signaling, a phase of recruitment of structural proteins, and a sustained increase in signaling molecules and colocalization of TCR and pLAT signaling clusters in the center of the synapse. Consolidation of TCR and associated proteins resulted in formation of a small number of discrete synaptic microclusters. Development of synapses and cSMAC composition was greatly affected by the absence of Vav1, with an associated loss in PLCγ1 recruitment, pSLP76, and increased CXCR4. Together, these data demonstrate the use of multi-epitope ligand cartography to quantitatively analyze synapse formation and reveal successive recruitment of structural and signaling proteins and sustained phosphorylation at the mature synapse. PMID:23754785

  5. Interplay between Subthreshold Oscillations and Depressing Synapses in Single Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Latorre, Roberto; Torres, Joaquín J.; Varona, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we analyze the interplay between the subthreshold oscillations of a single neuron conductance-based model and the short-term plasticity of a dynamic synapse with a depressing mechanism. In previous research, the computational properties of subthreshold oscillations and dynamic synapses have been studied separately. Our results show that dynamic synapses can influence different aspects of the dynamics of neuronal subthreshold oscillations. Factors such as maximum hyperpolarization level, oscillation amplitude and frequency or the resulting firing threshold are modulated by synaptic depression, which can even make subthreshold oscillations disappear. This influence reshapes the postsynaptic neuron’s resonant properties arising from subthreshold oscillations and leads to specific input/output relations. We also study the neuron’s response to another simultaneous input in the context of this modulation, and show a distinct contextual processing as a function of the depression, in particular for detection of signals through weak synapses. Intrinsic oscillations dynamics can be combined with the characteristic time scale of the modulatory input received by a dynamic synapse to build cost-effective cell/channel-specific information discrimination mechanisms, beyond simple resonances. In this regard, we discuss the functional implications of synaptic depression modulation on intrinsic subthreshold dynamics. PMID:26730737

  6. Interplay between Subthreshold Oscillations and Depressing Synapses in Single Neurons.

    PubMed

    Latorre, Roberto; Torres, Joaquín J; Varona, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we analyze the interplay between the subthreshold oscillations of a single neuron conductance-based model and the short-term plasticity of a dynamic synapse with a depressing mechanism. In previous research, the computational properties of subthreshold oscillations and dynamic synapses have been studied separately. Our results show that dynamic synapses can influence different aspects of the dynamics of neuronal subthreshold oscillations. Factors such as maximum hyperpolarization level, oscillation amplitude and frequency or the resulting firing threshold are modulated by synaptic depression, which can even make subthreshold oscillations disappear. This influence reshapes the postsynaptic neuron's resonant properties arising from subthreshold oscillations and leads to specific input/output relations. We also study the neuron's response to another simultaneous input in the context of this modulation, and show a distinct contextual processing as a function of the depression, in particular for detection of signals through weak synapses. Intrinsic oscillations dynamics can be combined with the characteristic time scale of the modulatory input received by a dynamic synapse to build cost-effective cell/channel-specific information discrimination mechanisms, beyond simple resonances. In this regard, we discuss the functional implications of synaptic depression modulation on intrinsic subthreshold dynamics. PMID:26730737

  7. Neurotrophin-3 regulates ribbon synapse density in the cochlea and induces synapse regeneration after acoustic trauma

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Guoqiang; Gómez-Casati, Maria E; Gigliello, Angelica R; Liberman, M Charles; Corfas, Gabriel

    2014-01-01

    Neurotrophin-3 (Ntf3) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) are critical for sensory neuron survival and establishment of neuronal projections to sensory epithelia in the embryonic inner ear, but their postnatal functions remain poorly understood. Using cell-specific inducible gene recombination in mice we found that, in the postnatal inner ear, Bbnf and Ntf3 are required for the formation and maintenance of hair cell ribbon synapses in the vestibular and cochlear epithelia, respectively. We also show that supporting cells in these epithelia are the key endogenous source of the neurotrophins. Using a new hair cell CreERT line with mosaic expression, we also found that Ntf3's effect on cochlear synaptogenesis is highly localized. Moreover, supporting cell-derived Ntf3, but not Bbnf, promoted recovery of cochlear function and ribbon synapse regeneration after acoustic trauma. These results indicate that glial-derived neurotrophins play critical roles in inner ear synapse density and synaptic regeneration after injury. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03564.001 PMID:25329343

  8. Role of GABAA-Mediated Inhibition and Functional Assortment of Synapses onto Individual Layer 4 Neurons in Regulating Plasticity Expression in Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Saez, Ignacio; Friedlander, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    Layer 4 (L4) of primary visual cortex (V1) is the main recipient of thalamocortical fibers from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd). Thus, it is considered the main entry point of visual information into the neocortex and the first anatomical opportunity for intracortical visual processing before information leaves L4 and reaches supra- and infragranular cortical layers. The strength of monosynaptic connections from individual L4 excitatory cells onto adjacent L4 cells (unitary connections) is highly malleable, demonstrating that the initial stage of intracortical synaptic transmission of thalamocortical information can be altered by previous activity. However, the inhibitory network within L4 of V1 may act as an internal gate for induction of excitatory synaptic plasticity, thus providing either high fidelity throughput to supragranular layers or transmittal of a modified signal subject to recent activity-dependent plasticity. To evaluate this possibility, we compared the induction of synaptic plasticity using classical extracellular stimulation protocols that recruit a combination of excitatory and inhibitory synapses with stimulation of a single excitatory neuron onto a L4 cell. In order to induce plasticity, we paired pre- and postsynaptic activity (with the onset of postsynaptic spiking leading the presynaptic activation by 10ms) using extracellular stimulation (ECS) in acute slices of primary visual cortex and comparing the outcomes with our previously published results in which an identical protocol was used to induce synaptic plasticity between individual pre- and postsynaptic L4 excitatory neurons. Our results indicate that pairing of ECS with spiking in a L4 neuron fails to induce plasticity in L4-L4 connections if synaptic inhibition is intact. However, application of a similar pairing protocol under GABAARs inhibition by bath application of 2μM bicuculline does induce robust synaptic plasticity, long term potentiation (LTP) or long term

  9. Role of GABAA-Mediated Inhibition and Functional Assortment of Synapses onto Individual Layer 4 Neurons in Regulating Plasticity Expression in Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Saez, Ignacio; Friedlander, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Layer 4 (L4) of primary visual cortex (V1) is the main recipient of thalamocortical fibers from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd). Thus, it is considered the main entry point of visual information into the neocortex and the first anatomical opportunity for intracortical visual processing before information leaves L4 and reaches supra- and infragranular cortical layers. The strength of monosynaptic connections from individual L4 excitatory cells onto adjacent L4 cells (unitary connections) is highly malleable, demonstrating that the initial stage of intracortical synaptic transmission of thalamocortical information can be altered by previous activity. However, the inhibitory network within L4 of V1 may act as an internal gate for induction of excitatory synaptic plasticity, thus providing either high fidelity throughput to supragranular layers or transmittal of a modified signal subject to recent activity-dependent plasticity. To evaluate this possibility, we compared the induction of synaptic plasticity using classical extracellular stimulation protocols that recruit a combination of excitatory and inhibitory synapses with stimulation of a single excitatory neuron onto a L4 cell. In order to induce plasticity, we paired pre- and postsynaptic activity (with the onset of postsynaptic spiking leading the presynaptic activation by 10ms) using extracellular stimulation (ECS) in acute slices of primary visual cortex and comparing the outcomes with our previously published results in which an identical protocol was used to induce synaptic plasticity between individual pre- and postsynaptic L4 excitatory neurons. Our results indicate that pairing of ECS with spiking in a L4 neuron fails to induce plasticity in L4-L4 connections if synaptic inhibition is intact. However, application of a similar pairing protocol under GABAARs inhibition by bath application of 2μM bicuculline does induce robust synaptic plasticity, long term potentiation (LTP) or long term

  10. Functional significance of preserved affect recognition in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Fiszdon, Joanna M.; Johannesen, Jason K.

    2009-01-01

    Affect recognition (AR) is a core component of social information processing, thus may be critical to understanding social behavior and functioning in broader aspects of daily living. Deficits in AR are well documented in schizophrenia, however, there is also evidence that many individuals with schizophrenia perform AR tasks at near-normal levels. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the functional significance of AR deficits in schizophrenia by comparing subgroups with normal-range and impaired AR performance on proxy and interviewer-rated measures of real-world functioning. Schizophrenia outpatients were classified as normal-range (N=17) and impaired (N=31) based on a logistic cut point in the sample distribution of BLERT scores, referenced to a normative sample of healthy control subjects (N=56). The derived schizophrenia subgroups were then compared on proxy (UCSD, UPSA, SSPA, MMAA) and interviewer-rated (QLS, ILSS) measures of functioning, as well as battery of neurocognitive tests. Initial analyses indicated superior MMAA and QLS performance in the near-normal AR subgroup. Covariate analyses indicated that group differences in neurocognition fully mediated the observed associations between AR and MMAA and attenuated the observed relationships between AR classification and QLS. These results support three main conclusions. First, AR, like many other domains of psychopathology studied in schizophrenia, is preserved in select subgroups. Second, there is a positive relationship between AR performance and functional outcome measures. Third, neurocognition appears to mediate the relationship between AR and measures of functioning. PMID:20202689

  11. Empirical assessment of synapse numbers in primate neocortex.

    PubMed

    Mouton, P R; Price, D L; Walker, L C

    1997-08-22

    Reliable methods are needed to assess the impact of synaptic loss on brain function. In this empirical study we demonstrate a novel and efficient method using immunocytochemistry (ICC) and modern stereological techniques to quantify synapses in neocortex of adult primates (Macaca fascicularis). Systematic-uniform-random sections through forebrain from two 10-year-old monkeys were immunostained for estimation of synaptophysin-immunoreactive (synaptophysin-IR) presynaptic boutons (synapses). Adjacent sections were stained with cresyl violet for estimation of total number of neuronal cell bodies. The unbiased Cavalieri method was used to estimate total forebrain and neocortical volumes to a high level of precision (coefficient of error (CE) < or = 0.10)). Synapse-to-neuron ratios varied from 860 in frontal cortex to 2300 in parietal-temporal cortex. The combination of Cavalieri and optical disector methods provided a direct means of estimating approximately 1.25 trillion (x 10(12)) total synaptophysin-immunopositive boutons and approximately 1.01 billion (x 10(9)) cell bodies in neocortex, with low CEs (0.12). Time required to make precise estimates of total neocortical and forebrain volumes and total numbers of synapses and neurons in neocortex was approximately 2-3 h per case from stained sections. The approach is a direct and efficient technique to quantify total synapse and neuron numbers within a defined brain structure. PMID:9288643

  12. Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity at Interneuronal Synapses Could Sculpt Rhythmic Motor Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Yan; Parker, David

    2016-01-01

    The output of a neuronal network depends on the organization and functional properties of its component cells and synapses. While the characterization of synaptic properties has lagged cellular analyses, a potentially important aspect in rhythmically active networks is how network synapses affect, and are in turn affected by, network activity. This could lead to a potential circular interaction where short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is both influenced by and influences the network output. The analysis of synaptic plasticity in the lamprey locomotor network was extended here to characterize the short-term plasticity of connections between network interneurons and to try and address its potential network role. Paired recordings from identified interneurons in quiescent networks showed synapse-specific synaptic properties and plasticity that supported the presence of two hemisegmental groups that could influence bursting: depression in an excitatory interneuron group, and facilitation in an inhibitory feedback circuit. The influence of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity on network activity was investigated experimentally by changing Ringer Ca2+ levels, and in a simple computer model. A potential caveat of the experimental analyses was that changes in Ringer Ca2+ (and compensatory adjustments in Mg2+ in some cases) could alter several other cellular and synaptic properties. Several of these properties were tested, and while there was some variability, these were not usually significantly affected by the Ringer changes. The experimental analyses suggested that depression of excitatory inputs had the strongest influence on the patterning of network activity. The simulation supported a role for this effect, and also suggested that the inhibitory facilitating group could modulate the influence of the excitatory synaptic depression. Short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has not generally been considered in spinal cord models. These results

  13. Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity at Interneuronal Synapses Could Sculpt Rhythmic Motor Patterns.

    PubMed

    Jia, Yan; Parker, David

    2016-01-01

    The output of a neuronal network depends on the organization and functional properties of its component cells and synapses. While the characterization of synaptic properties has lagged cellular analyses, a potentially important aspect in rhythmically active networks is how network synapses affect, and are in turn affected by, network activity. This could lead to a potential circular interaction where short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is both influenced by and influences the network output. The analysis of synaptic plasticity in the lamprey locomotor network was extended here to characterize the short-term plasticity of connections between network interneurons and to try and address its potential network role. Paired recordings from identified interneurons in quiescent networks showed synapse-specific synaptic properties and plasticity that supported the presence of two hemisegmental groups that could influence bursting: depression in an excitatory interneuron group, and facilitation in an inhibitory feedback circuit. The influence of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity on network activity was investigated experimentally by changing Ringer Ca(2+) levels, and in a simple computer model. A potential caveat of the experimental analyses was that changes in Ringer Ca(2+) (and compensatory adjustments in Mg(2+) in some cases) could alter several other cellular and synaptic properties. Several of these properties were tested, and while there was some variability, these were not usually significantly affected by the Ringer changes. The experimental analyses suggested that depression of excitatory inputs had the strongest influence on the patterning of network activity. The simulation supported a role for this effect, and also suggested that the inhibitory facilitating group could modulate the influence of the excitatory synaptic depression. Short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has not generally been considered in spinal cord models. These

  14. Factors affecting sexual function in menopause: A review article.

    PubMed

    Nazarpour, Soheila; Simbar, Masoumeh; Tehrani, Fahimeh Ramezani

    2016-08-01

    This study aimed to systematically review the articles on factors affecting sexual function during menopause. Searching articles indexed in Pubmed, Science Direct, Iranmedex, EMBASE, Scopus, and Scientific Information Database databases, a total number of 42 studies published between 2003 and 2013 were selected. Age, estrogen deficiency, type of menopause, chronic medical problems, partner's sex problems, severity of menopause symptoms, dystocia history, and health status were the physical factors influencing sexual function of menopausal women. There were conflicting results regarding the amount of androgens, hormonal therapy, exercise/physical activity, and obstetric history. In the mental-emotional area, all studies confirmed the impact of depression and anxiety. Social factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, the quality of relationship with husband, partner's loyalty, sexual knowledge, access to health care, a history of divorce or the death of a husband, living apart from a spouse, and a negative understanding of women's health were found to affect sexual function; however, there were conflicting results regarding the effects of education, occupation, socioeconomic status, marital duration, and frequency of sexual intercourse. PMID:27590367

  15. Microbial composition affects the functioning of estuarine sediments

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Heather E; Martiny, Jennifer BH

    2013-01-01

    Although microorganisms largely drive many ecosystem processes, the relationship between microbial composition and their functioning remains unclear. To tease apart the effects of composition and the environment directly, microbial composition must be manipulated and maintained, ideally in a natural ecosystem. In this study, we aimed to test whether variability in microbial composition affects functional processes in a field setting, by reciprocally transplanting riverbed sediments between low- and high-salinity locations along the Nonesuch River (Maine, USA). We placed the sediments into microbial ‘cages' to prevent the migration of microorganisms, while allowing the sediments to experience the abiotic conditions of the surroundings. We performed two experiments, short- (1 week) and long-term (7 weeks) reciprocal transplants, after which we assayed a variety of functional processes in the cages. In both experiments, we examined the composition of bacteria generally (targeting the 16S rDNA gene) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) specifically (targeting the dsrAB gene) using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP). In the short-term experiment, sediment processes (CO2 production, CH4 flux, nitrification and enzyme activities) depended on both the sediment's origin (reflecting differences in microbial composition between salt and freshwater sediments) and the surrounding environment. In the long-term experiment, general bacterial composition (but not SRB composition) shifted in response to their new environment, and this composition was significantly correlated with sediment functioning. Further, sediment origin had a diminished effect, relative to the short-term experiment, on sediment processes. Overall, this study provides direct evidence that microbial composition directly affects functional processes in these sediments. PMID:23235294

  16. NKp46 Clusters at the Immune Synapse and Regulates NK Cell Polarization

    PubMed Central

    Hadad, Uzi; Thauland, Timothy J.; Martinez, Olivia M.; Butte, Manish J.; Porgador, Angel; Krams, Sheri M.

    2015-01-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells play an important role in first-line defense against tumor and virus-infected cells. The activity of NK cells is tightly regulated by a repertoire of cell surface expressed inhibitory and activating receptors. NKp46 is a major NK cell-activating receptor that is involved in the elimination of target cells. NK cells form different types of synapses that result in distinct functional outcomes: cytotoxic, inhibitory, and regulatory. Recent studies revealed that complex integration of NK receptor signaling controls cytoskeletal rearrangement and other immune synapse-related events. However, the distinct nature by which NKp46 participates in NK immunological synapse formation and function remains unknown. In this study, we determined that NKp46 forms microclusters structures at the immune synapse between NK cells and target cells. Over-expression of human NKp46 is correlated with increased accumulation of F-actin mesh at the immune synapse. Concordantly, knock-down of NKp46 in primary human NK cells decreased recruitment of F-actin to the synapse. Live cell imaging experiments showed a linear correlation between NKp46 expression and lytic granules polarization to the immune synapse. Taken together, our data suggest that NKp46 signaling directly regulates the NK lytic immune synapse from early formation to late function. PMID:26441997

  17. Tau and spectraplakins promote synapse formation and maintenance through Jun kinase and neuronal trafficking.

    PubMed

    Voelzmann, Andre; Okenve-Ramos, Pilar; Qu, Yue; Chojnowska-Monga, Monika; Del Caño-Espinel, Manuela; Prokop, Andreas; Sanchez-Soriano, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms regulating synapse numbers during development and ageing are essential for normal brain function and closely linked to brain disorders including dementias. Using Drosophila, we demonstrate roles of the microtubule-associated protein Tau in regulating synapse numbers, thus unravelling an important cellular requirement of normal Tau. In this context, we find that Tau displays a strong functional overlap with microtubule-binding spectraplakins, establishing new links between two different neurodegenerative factors. Tau and the spectraplakin Short Stop act upstream of a three-step regulatory cascade ensuring adequate delivery of synaptic proteins. This cascade involves microtubule stability as the initial trigger, JNK signalling as the central mediator, and kinesin-3 mediated axonal transport as the key effector. This cascade acts during development (synapse formation) and ageing (synapse maintenance) alike. Therefore, our findings suggest novel explanations for intellectual disability in Tau deficient individuals, as well as early synapse loss in dementias including Alzheimer's disease. PMID:27501441

  18. How does temperature affect the function of tissue macrophages?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chen-Ting; Repasky, Elizabeth A.

    2011-03-01

    Macrophages create a major danger signal following injury or infection and upon activation release pro-inflammatory cytokines, which in turn help to generate febrile conditions. Thus, like other cells of the body, tissue macrophages are often exposed to naturally occurring elevations in tissue temperature during inflammation and fever. However, whether macrophages sense and respond to temperature changes in a specific manner which modulates their function is still not clear. In this brief review, we highlight recent studies which have analyzed the effects of temperatures on macrophage function, and summarize the possible underlying molecular mechanisms which have been identified. Mild, physiological range hyperthermia has been shown to have both pro- and anti-inflammatory roles in regulating macrophage inflammatory cytokine production and at the meeting presentation, we will show new data demonstrating that hyperthermia can indeed exert both positive and negative signals to macrophages. While some thermal effects are correlated with the induction of heat shock factors/heat shock proteins, overall it is not clear how mild hyperthermia can exert both pro- and anti-inflammatory functions. We also summarize data which shows that hyperthermia can affect other macrophage effector functions, including the anti-tumor cytotoxicity. Overall, these studies may help us to better understand the immunological role of tissue temperature and may provide important information needed to maximize the application of heat in the treatment of various diseases including cancer.

  19. Can the hydrophilicity of functional monomers affect chemical interaction?

    PubMed

    Feitosa, V P; Ogliari, F A; Van Meerbeek, B; Watson, T F; Yoshihara, K; Ogliari, A O; Sinhoreti, M A; Correr, A B; Cama, G; Sauro, S

    2014-02-01

    The number of carbon atoms and/or ester/polyether groups in spacer chains may influence the interaction of functional monomers with calcium and dentin. The present study assessed the chemical interaction and bond strength of 5 standard-synthesized phosphoric-acid ester functional monomers with different spacer chain characteristics, by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), ATR-FTIR, thin-film x-ray diffraction (TF-XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and microtensile bond strength (μTBS). The tested functional monomers were 2-MEP (two-carbon spacer chain), 10-MDP (10-carbon), 12-MDDP (12-carbon), MTEP (more hydrophilic polyether spacer chain), and CAP-P (intermediate hydrophilicity ester spacer). The intensity of monomer-calcium salt formation measured by AAS differed in the order of 12-MDDP=10-MDP>CAP-P>MTEP>2-MEP. FTIR and SEM analyses of monomer-treated dentin surfaces showed resistance to rinsing for all monomer-dentin bonds, except with 2-MEP. TF-XRD confirmed the weaker interaction of 2-MEP. Highest µTBS was observed for 12-MDDP and 10-MDP. A shorter spacer chain (2-MEP) of phosphate functional monomers induced formation of unstable monomer-calcium salts, and lower chemical interaction and dentin bond strength. The presence of ester or ether groups within longer spacer carbon chains (CAP-P and MTEP) may affect the hydrophilicity, μTBS, and also the formation of monomer-calcium salts. PMID:24284259

  20. Neuroligins Sculpt Cerebellar Purkinje-Cell Circuits by Differential Control of Distinct Classes of Synapses.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bo; Chen, Lulu Y; Liu, Xinran; Maxeiner, Stephan; Lee, Sung-Jin; Gokce, Ozgun; Südhof, Thomas C

    2015-08-19

    Neuroligins are postsynaptic cell-adhesion molecules that bind presynaptic neurexins and are genetically linked to autism. Neuroligins are proposed to organize synaptogenesis and/or synaptic transmission, but no systematic analysis of neuroligins in a defined circuit is available. Here, we show that conditional deletion of all neuroligins in cerebellar Purkinje cells caused loss of distal climbing-fiber synapses and weakened climbing-fiber but not parallel-fiber synapses, consistent with alternative use of neuroligins and cerebellins as neurexin ligands for the excitatory climbing-fiber versus parallel-fiber synapses. Moreover, deletion of neuroligins increased the size of inhibitory basket/stellate-cell synapses but simultaneously severely impaired their function. Multiple neuroligin isoforms differentially contributed to climbing-fiber and basket/stellate-cell synapse functions, such that inhibitory synapse-specific neuroligin-2 was unexpectedly essential for maintaining normal climbing-fiber synapse numbers. Using systematic analyses of all neuroligins in a defined neural circuit, our data thus show that neuroligins differentially contribute to various Purkinje-cell synapses in the cerebellum in vivo. PMID:26291161

  1. Synaptic Competition Sculpts the Development of GABAergic Axo-Dendritic but Not Perisomatic Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Medrihan, Lucian; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Barberis, Andrea; Wulff, Peer; Wisden, William; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco

    2013-01-01

    The neurotransmitter GABA regulates many aspects of inhibitory synapse development. We tested the hypothesis that GABAA receptors (GABAARs) work together with the synaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin 2 (NL2) to regulate synapse formation in different subcellular compartments. We investigated mice (“γ2 knockdown mice”) with an engineered allele of the GABAAR γ2 subunit gene which produced a mosaic expression of synaptic GABAARs in neighboring neurons, causing a strong imbalance in synaptic inhibition. Deletion of the γ2 subunit did not abolish synapse formation or the targeting of NL2 to distinct types of perisomatic and axo-dendritic contacts. Thus synaptic localization of NL2 does not require synaptic GABAARs. However, loss of the γ2 subunit caused a selective decrease in the number of axo-dendritic synapses on cerebellar Purkinje cells and cortical pyramidal neurons, whereas perisomatic synapses were not significantly affected. Notably, γ2-positive cells had increased axo-dendritic innervation compared with both γ2-negative and wild-type counterparts. Moreover heterologous synapses on spines, that are found after total deletion of GABAARs from all Purkinje cells, were rare in cerebella of γ2 knockdown mice. These findings reveal a selective role of γ2 subunit-containing GABAARs in regulating synapse development in distinct subcellular compartments, and support the hypothesis that the refinement of axo-dendritic synapses is regulated by activity-dependent competition between neighboring neurons. PMID:23457547

  2. A compound memristive synapse model for statistical learning through STDP in spiking neural networks

    PubMed Central

    Bill, Johannes; Legenstein, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Memristors have recently emerged as promising circuit elements to mimic the function of biological synapses in neuromorphic computing. The fabrication of reliable nanoscale memristive synapses, that feature continuous conductance changes based on the timing of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, has however turned out to be challenging. In this article, we propose an alternative approach, the compound memristive synapse, that circumvents this problem by the use of memristors with binary memristive states. A compound memristive synapse employs multiple bistable memristors in parallel to jointly form one synapse, thereby providing a spectrum of synaptic efficacies. We investigate the computational implications of synaptic plasticity in the compound synapse by integrating the recently observed phenomenon of stochastic filament formation into an abstract model of stochastic switching. Using this abstract model, we first show how standard pulsing schemes give rise to spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) with a stabilizing weight dependence in compound synapses. In a next step, we study unsupervised learning with compound synapses in networks of spiking neurons organized in a winner-take-all architecture. Our theoretical analysis reveals that compound-synapse STDP implements generalized Expectation-Maximization in the spiking network. Specifically, the emergent synapse configuration represents the most salient features of the input distribution in a Mixture-of-Gaussians generative model. Furthermore, the network's spike response to spiking input streams approximates a well-defined Bayesian posterior distribution. We show in computer simulations how such networks learn to represent high-dimensional distributions over images of handwritten digits with high fidelity even in presence of substantial device variations and under severe noise conditions. Therefore, the compound memristive synapse may provide a synaptic design principle for future neuromorphic architectures. PMID

  3. ER to synapse trafficking of NMDA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Horak, Martin; Petralia, Ronald S.; Kaniakova, Martina; Sans, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. There are three distinct subtypes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (GluRs) that have been identified including 2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2-oxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid receptors (AMPARs), N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and kainate receptors. The most common GluRs in mature synapses are AMPARs that mediate the fast excitatory neurotransmission and NMDARs that mediate the slow excitatory neurotransmission. There have been large numbers of recent reports studying how a single neuron regulates synaptic numbers and types of AMPARs and NMDARs. Our current research is centered primarily on NMDARs and, therefore, we will focus in this review on recent knowledge of molecular mechanisms occurring (1) early in the biosynthetic pathway of NMDARs, (2) in the transport of NMDARs after their release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER); and (3) at the plasma membrane including excitatory synapses. Because a growing body of evidence also indicates that abnormalities in NMDAR functioning are associated with a number of human psychiatric and neurological diseases, this review together with other chapters in this issue may help to enhance research and to gain further knowledge of normal synaptic physiology as well as of the etiology of many human brain diseases. PMID:25505872

  4. Contact time periods in immunological synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bush, Daniel R.; Chattopadhyay, Amit K.

    2014-10-01

    This paper resolves the long standing debate as to the proper time scale <τ> of the onset of the immunological synapse bond, the noncovalent chemical bond defining the immune pathways involving T cells and antigen presenting cells. Results from our model calculations show <τ> to be of the order of seconds instead of minutes. Close to the linearly stable regime, we show that in between the two critical spatial thresholds defined by the integrin:ligand pair (Δ2˜ 40-45 nm) and the T-cell receptor TCR:peptide-major-histocompatibility-complex pMHC bond (Δ1˜ 14-15 nm), <τ> grows monotonically with increasing coreceptor bond length separation δ (= Δ2-Δ1˜ 26-30 nm) while <τ> decays with Δ1 for fixed Δ2. The nonuniversal δ-dependent power-law structure of the probability density function further explains why only the TCR:pMHC bond is a likely candidate to form a stable synapse.

  5. ER to synapse trafficking of NMDA receptors.

    PubMed

    Horak, Martin; Petralia, Ronald S; Kaniakova, Martina; Sans, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. There are three distinct subtypes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (GluRs) that have been identified including 2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2-oxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid receptors (AMPARs), N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and kainate receptors. The most common GluRs in mature synapses are AMPARs that mediate the fast excitatory neurotransmission and NMDARs that mediate the slow excitatory neurotransmission. There have been large numbers of recent reports studying how a single neuron regulates synaptic numbers and types of AMPARs and NMDARs. Our current research is centered primarily on NMDARs and, therefore, we will focus in this review on recent knowledge of molecular mechanisms occurring (1) early in the biosynthetic pathway of NMDARs, (2) in the transport of NMDARs after their release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER); and (3) at the plasma membrane including excitatory synapses. Because a growing body of evidence also indicates that abnormalities in NMDAR functioning are associated with a number of human psychiatric and neurological diseases, this review together with other chapters in this issue may help to enhance research and to gain further knowledge of normal synaptic physiology as well as of the etiology of many human brain diseases. PMID:25505872

  6. Quercetin Affects Erythropoiesis and Heart Mitochondrial Function in Mice.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Lina M; Salazar, Celia; Jensen, Erik; Ruiz, Paula A; Tiznado, William; Quintanilla, Rodrigo A; Barreto, Marlen; Elorza, Alvaro A

    2015-01-01

    Quercetin, a dietary flavonoid used as a food supplement, showed powerful antioxidant effects in different cellular models. However, recent in vitro and in vivo studies in mammals have suggested a prooxidant effect of quercetin and described an interaction with mitochondria causing an increase in O2 (∙-) production, a decrease in ATP levels, and impairment of respiratory chain in liver tissue. Therefore, because of its dual actions, we studied the effect of quercetin in vivo to analyze heart mitochondrial function and erythropoiesis. Mice were injected with 50 mg/kg of quercetin for 15 days. Treatment with quercetin decreased body weight, serum insulin, and ceruloplasmin levels as compared with untreated mice. Along with an impaired antioxidant capacity in plasma, quercetin-treated mice showed a significant delay on erythropoiesis progression. Heart mitochondrial function was also impaired displaying more protein oxidation and less activity for IV, respectively, than no-treated mice. In addition, a significant reduction in the protein expression levels of Mitofusin 2 and Voltage-Dependent Anion Carrier was observed. All these results suggest that quercetin affects erythropoiesis and mitochondrial function and then its potential use as a dietary supplement should be reexamined. PMID:26106459

  7. Bisphenol A affects androgen receptor function via multiple mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Teng, Christina; Goodwin, Bonnie; Shockley, Keith; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili; Norris, John; Merrick, B Alex; Jetten, Anton M; Austin, Christopher P; Tice, Raymond R

    2013-05-25

    Bisphenol A (BPA), is a well-known endocrine disruptor compound (EDC) that affects the normal development and function of the female and male reproductive system, however the mechanisms of action remain unclear. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of how BPA may affect ten different nuclear receptors, stable cell lines containing individual nuclear receptor ligand binding domain (LBD)-linked to the β-Gal reporter were examined by a quantitative high throughput screening (qHTS) format in the Tox21 Screening Program of the NIH. The results showed that two receptors, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and androgen receptor (AR), are affected by BPA in opposite direction. To confirm the observed effects of BPA on ERα and AR, we performed transient transfection experiments with full-length receptors and their corresponding response elements linked to luciferase reporters. We also included in this study two BPA analogs, bisphenol AF (BPAF) and bisphenol S (BPS). As seen in African green monkey kidney CV1 cells, the present study confirmed that BPA and BPAF act as ERα agonists (half maximal effective concentration EC50 of 10-100 nM) and as AR antagonists (half maximal inhibitory concentration IC50 of 1-2 μM). Both BPA and BPAF antagonized AR function via competitive inhibition of the action of synthetic androgen R1881. BPS with lower estrogenic activity (EC50 of 2.2 μM), did not compete with R1881 for AR binding, when tested at 30 μM. Finally, the effects of BPA were also evaluated in a nuclear translocation assays using EGPF-tagged receptors. Similar to 17β-estradiol (E2) which was used as control, BPA was able to enhance ERα nuclear foci formation but at a 100-fold higher concentration. Although BPA was able to bind AR, the nuclear translocation was reduced. Furthermore, BPA was unable to induce functional foci in the nuclei and is consistent with the transient transfection study that BPA is unable to activate AR. PMID:23562765

  8. Bisphenol A affects androgen receptor function via multiple mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Teng, Christina; Goodwin, Bonnie; Shockley, Keith; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili; Norris, John; Merrick, B. Alex; Jetten, Anton M.; Austin, Christopher, P.; Tice, Raymond R.

    2013-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA), is a well-known endocrine disruptor compound (EDC) that affects the normal development and function of the female and male reproductive system, however the mechanisms of action remain unclear. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of how BPA may affect ten different nuclear receptors, stable cell lines containing individual nuclear receptor ligand binding domain (LBD)-linked to the β-Gal reporter were examined by a quantitative high throughput screening (qHTS) format in the Tox21 Screening Program of the NIH. The results showed that two receptors, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and androgen receptor (AR), are affected by BPA in opposite direction. To confirm the observed effects of BPA on ERα and AR, we performed transient transfection experiments with full-length receptors and their corresponding response elements linked to luciferase reporters. We also included in this study two BPA analogs, bisphenol AF (BPAF) and bisphenol S (BPS). As seen in African green monkey kidney CV1 cells, the present study confirmed that BPA and BPAF act as ERα agonists (half maximal effective concentration EC50 of 10-100 nM) and as AR antagonists (half maximal inhibitory concentration IC50 of 1-2 μM). Both BPA and BPAF antagonized AR function via competitive inhibition of the action of synthetic androgen R1881. BPS with lower estrogenic activity (EC50 of 2.2 μM), did not compete with R1881 for AR binding, when tested at 30 μM. Finally, the effects of BPA were also evaluated in a nuclear translocation assays using EGPF-tagged receptors. Similar to 17β-estradiol (E2) which was used as control, BPA was able to enhance ERα nuclear foci formation but at a 100-fold higher concentration. Although BPA was able to bind AR, the nuclear translocation was reduced. Furthermore, BPA was unable to induce functional foci in the nuclei and is consistent with the transient transfection study that BPA is unable to activate AR. PMID:23562765

  9. Organic core-sheath nanowire artificial synapses with femtojoule energy consumption

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Wentao; Min, Sung-Yong; Hwang, Hyunsang; Lee, Tae-Woo

    2016-01-01

    Emulation of biological synapses is an important step toward construction of large-scale brain-inspired electronics. Despite remarkable progress in emulating synaptic functions, current synaptic devices still consume energy that is orders of magnitude greater than do biological synapses (~10 fJ per synaptic event). Reduction of energy consumption of artificial synapses remains a difficult challenge. We report organic nanowire (ONW) synaptic transistors (STs) that emulate the important working principles of a biological synapse. The ONWs emulate the morphology of nerve fibers. With a core-sheath–structured ONW active channel and a well-confined 300-nm channel length obtained using ONW lithography, ~1.23 fJ per synaptic event for individual ONW was attained, which rivals that of biological synapses. The ONW STs provide a significant step toward realizing low-energy–consuming artificial intelligent electronics and open new approaches to assembling soft neuromorphic systems with nanometer feature size. PMID:27386556

  10. Organic core-sheath nanowire artificial synapses with femtojoule energy consumption.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wentao; Min, Sung-Yong; Hwang, Hyunsang; Lee, Tae-Woo

    2016-06-01

    Emulation of biological synapses is an important step toward construction of large-scale brain-inspired electronics. Despite remarkable progress in emulating synaptic functions, current synaptic devices still consume energy that is orders of magnitude greater than do biological synapses (~10 fJ per synaptic event). Reduction of energy consumption of artificial synapses remains a difficult challenge. We report organic nanowire (ONW) synaptic transistors (STs) that emulate the important working principles of a biological synapse. The ONWs emulate the morphology of nerve fibers. With a core-sheath-structured ONW active channel and a well-confined 300-nm channel length obtained using ONW lithography, ~1.23 fJ per synaptic event for individual ONW was attained, which rivals that of biological synapses. The ONW STs provide a significant step toward realizing low-energy-consuming artificial intelligent electronics and open new approaches to assembling soft neuromorphic systems with nanometer feature size. PMID:27386556

  11. Rewiring neural circuits by the insertion of ectopic electrical synapses in transgenic C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Rabinowitch, Ithai; Chatzigeorgiou, Marios; Zhao, Buyun; Treinin, Millet; Schafer, William R.

    2014-01-01

    Neural circuits are functional ensembles of neurons that are selectively interconnected by chemical or electrical synapses. Here we describe a synthetic biology approach to the study of neural circuits, whereby new electrical synapses can be introduced in novel sites in the neuronal circuitry to reprogram behaviour. We added electrical synapses composed of the vertebrate gap junction protein Cx36 between Caenorhabditis elegans chemosensory neurons with opposite intrinsic responses to salt. Connecting these neurons by an ectopic electrical synapse led to a loss of lateral asymmetry and altered chemotaxis behaviour. In a second example, introducing Cx36 into an inhibitory chemical synapse between an olfactory receptor neuron and an interneuron changed the sign of the connection from negative to positive, and abolished the animal’s behavioural response to benzaldehyde. These data demonstrate a synthetic strategy to rewire behavioural circuits by engineering synaptic connectivity in C. elegans. PMID:25026983

  12. Can lifestyle modification affect men’s erectile function?

    PubMed Central

    Hehemann, Marah C.

    2016-01-01

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition affecting millions of men worldwide. The pathophysiology and epidemiologic links between ED and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well-established. Lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, weight reduction, dietary modification, physical activity, and psychological stress reduction have been increasingly recognized as foundational to the prevention and treatment of ED. The aim of this review is to outline behavioral choices which may increase ones risk of developing ED, to present relevant studies addressing lifestyle factors correlated with ED, and to highlight proposed mechanisms for intervention aimed at improving erectile function in men with ED. These recommendations can provide a framework for counseling patients with ED about lifestyle modification. PMID:27141445

  13. Scorpion venom components that affect ion-channels function

    PubMed Central

    Quintero-Hernández, V.; Jiménez-Vargas, J.M.; Gurrola, G.B.; Valdivia, H.H.F.; Possani, L.D.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The number and types of venom components that affect ion-channel function are reviewed. These are the most important venom components responsible for human intoxication, deserving medical attention, often requiring the use of specific anti-venoms. Special emphasis is given to peptides that recognize Na+-, K+- and Ca++-channels of excitable cells. Knowledge generated by direct isolation of peptides from venom and components deduced from cloned genes, whose amino acid sequences are deposited into databanks are now adays in the order of 1.5 thousands, out of an estimate biodiversity closed to 300,000. Here the diversity of components is briefly reviewed with mention to specific references. Structural characteristic are discussed with examples taken from published work. The principal mechanisms of action of the three different types of peptides are also reviewed. Na+-channel specific venom components usually are modifier of the open and closing kinetic mechanisms of the ion-channels, whereas peptides affecting K+-channels are normally pore blocking agents. The Ryanodine Ca++-channel specific peptides are known for causing sub-conducting stages of the channels conductance and some were shown to be able to internalize penetrating inside the muscle cells. PMID:23891887

  14. Integrating Negative Affect Measures in a Measurement Model: Assessing the Function of Negative Affect as Interference to Self-Regulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magno, Carlo

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated the composition of negative affect and its function as inhibitory to thought processes such as self-regulation. Negative affect in the present study were composed of anxiety, worry, thought suppression, and fear of negative evaluation. These four factors were selected based on the criteria of negative affect by…

  15. To what extent does urbanisation affect fragmented grassland functioning?

    PubMed

    van der Walt, L; Cilliers, S S; Kellner, K; Du Toit, M J; Tongway, D

    2015-03-15

    Urbanisation creates altered environments characterised by increased human habitation, impermeable surfaces, artificial structures, landscape fragmentation, habitat loss, resulting in different resource loss pathways. The vulnerable Rand Highveld Grassland vegetation unit in the Tlokwe Municipal area, South Africa, has been extensively affected and transformed by urbanisation, agriculture, and mining. Grassland fragments in urban areas are often considered to be less species rich and less functional than in the more untransformed or "natural" exurban environments, and are therefore seldom a priority for conservation. Furthermore, urban grassland fragments are often being more intensely managed than exurban areas, such as consistent mowing in open urban areas. Four urbanisation measures acting as indicators for patterns and processes associated with urban areas were calculated for matrix areas surrounding each selected grassland fragment to quantify the position of each grassland remnant along an urbanisation gradient. The grassland fragments were objectively classified into two classes of urbanisation, namely "exurban" and "urban" based on the urbanisation measure values. Grazing was recorded in some exurban grasslands and mowing in some urban grassland fragments. Unmanaged grassland fragments were present in both urban and exurban areas. Fine-scale biophysical landscape function was determined by executing the Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) method. LFA assesses fine-scale landscape patchiness (entailing resource conserving potential and erosion resistance) and 11 soil surface indicators to produce three main LFA parameters (stability, infiltration, and nutrient cycling), which indicates how well a system is functioning in terms of fine-scale biophysical soil processes and characteristics. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of urbanisation and associated management practices on fine-scale biophysical landscape function of urban and exurban

  16. Does Ramadan Fasting Adversely Affect Cognitive Function in Young Females?

    PubMed Central

    Ghayour Najafabadi, Mahboubeh; Rahbar Nikoukar, Laya; Memari, Amir; Ekhtiari, Hamed; Beygi, Sara

    2015-01-01

    We examined the effects of Ramadan fasting on cognitive function in 17 female athletes. Data were obtained from participants of two fasting (n = 9) and nonfasting (n = 8) groups at three periods of the study (before Ramadan, at the third week in Ramadan, and after Ramadan). Digit span test (DST) and Stroop color test were employed to assess short-term memory and inhibition/cognitive flexibility at each time point. There were no significant changes for DST and Stroop task 1 in both groups, whereas Stroop task 2 and task 3 showed significant improvements in Ramadan condition (p < 0.05). Interference indices did not change significantly across the study except in post-Ramadan period of fasting group (p < 0.05). Group × week interaction was significant only for error numbers (p < 0.05). Athletes in nonfasting showed a significant decrease in number of errors in Ramadan compared to baseline (p < 0.05). The results suggest that Ramadan fasting may not adversely affect cognitive function in female athletes. PMID:26697263

  17. Grape polyphenols do not affect vascular function in healthy men.

    PubMed

    van Mierlo, Linda A J; Zock, Peter L; van der Knaap, Henk C M; Draijer, Richard

    2010-10-01

    Data suggest that polyphenol-rich products may improve endothelial function and other cardiovascular health risk factors. Grape and wine contain high amounts of polyphenols, but effects of these polyphenols have hardly been investigated in isolation in randomized controlled studies. Our objective in this study was to test the chronic effect of polyphenol-rich solids derived from either a wine grape mix or grape seed on flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Blood pressure and other vascular function measures, platelet function, and blood lipids were secondary outcomes. Thirty-five healthy males were randomized in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study consisting of three 2-wk intervention periods separated by 1-wk washout periods. The test products, containing 800 mg of polyphenols, were consumed as capsules. At the end of each intervention period, effects were measured after consumption of a low-fat breakfast (~751 kJ, 25% fat) and a high-fat lunch (~3136 kJ, 78% fat). After the low-fat breakfast, the treatments did not significantly affect FMD. The absolute difference after the wine grape solid treatment was -0.4% (95% CI = -1.8 to 0.9; P = 0.77) and after grape seed solids, 0.2% (95% CI = -1.2 to 1.5; P = 0.94) compared with after the placebo treatment. FMD effects after the high-fat lunch and effects on secondary outcomes also showed no consistent differences between both of the grape solids and placebo treatment. In conclusion, consumption of grape polyphenols has no major impact on FMD in healthy men. Future studies should address whether grape polyphenols can improve FMD and other cardiovascular health risk factors in populations with increased cardiovascular risk. PMID:20702747

  18. Does Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy Affect Cognitive Function?

    PubMed

    Wadsworth, P; Blackburne, H; Dixon, L; Dobbs, B; Eglinton, T; Ing, A; Mulder, R; Porter, R J; Wakeman, C; Frizelle, F A

    2015-11-01

    Colonoscopy is a common procedure used in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of bowel disorders. Prior preparation involving potent laxatives is a necessary stage to ensure adequate visualization of the bowel wall. It is known that the sedatives given to most patients during the colonoscopy cause a temporary impairment in cognitive function; however, the potential for bowel preparation to affect cognitive function has not previously been investigated. To assess the effect of bowel preparation for colonoscopy on cognitive function. This was a prospective, nonrandomized controlled study of cognitive function in patients who had bowel preparation for colonoscopy compared with those having gastroscopy and therefore no bowel preparation. Cognitive function was assessed using the Modified Mini Mental State Examination (MMMSE) and selected tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Individual test scores and changes between initial and subsequent tests were compared between the groups. Age, gender, and weight were also compared. Forty-three colonoscopy and 25 gastroscopy patients were recruited. The 2 groups were similar for age and gender; however, patients having gastroscopy were heavier. MMMSE scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 28.6 and 29.5 (P = 0.24) at baseline, 28.7 and 29.8 (P = 0.32) at test 2, 28.1 and 28.5 (P = 0.76) at test 3. Motor screening scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 349.3 and 354.1 (P = 0.97) at baseline, 307.5 and 199.7 (P = 0.06) at test 2, 212.0 and 183.2 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Spatial working memory scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 14.4 and 6.7 (P = 0.29) at baseline, 9.7 and 4.3 (P = 0.27) at test 2, 10 and 4.5 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Digit Symbol Substitution Test scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 36.3 and 37.8 (P = 0.84) at baseline, 36.4 and 40.0 (P

  19. Does Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy Affect Cognitive Function?

    PubMed Central

    Wadsworth, P.; Blackburne, H.; Dixon, L.; Dobbs, B.; Eglinton, T.; Ing, A.; Mulder, R.; Porter, R.J.; Wakeman, C.; Frizelle, F.A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Colonoscopy is a common procedure used in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of bowel disorders. Prior preparation involving potent laxatives is a necessary stage to ensure adequate visualization of the bowel wall. It is known that the sedatives given to most patients during the colonoscopy cause a temporary impairment in cognitive function; however, the potential for bowel preparation to affect cognitive function has not previously been investigated. To assess the effect of bowel preparation for colonoscopy on cognitive function. This was a prospective, nonrandomized controlled study of cognitive function in patients who had bowel preparation for colonoscopy compared with those having gastroscopy and therefore no bowel preparation. Cognitive function was assessed using the Modified Mini Mental State Examination (MMMSE) and selected tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Individual test scores and changes between initial and subsequent tests were compared between the groups. Age, gender, and weight were also compared. Forty-three colonoscopy and 25 gastroscopy patients were recruited. The 2 groups were similar for age and gender; however, patients having gastroscopy were heavier. MMMSE scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 28.6 and 29.5 (P = 0.24) at baseline, 28.7 and 29.8 (P = 0.32) at test 2, 28.1 and 28.5 (P = 0.76) at test 3. Motor screening scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 349.3 and 354.1 (P = 0.97) at baseline, 307.5 and 199.7 (P = 0.06) at test 2, 212.0 and 183.2 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Spatial working memory scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 14.4 and 6.7 (P = 0.29) at baseline, 9.7 and 4.3 (P = 0.27) at test 2, 10 and 4.5 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Digit Symbol Substitution Test scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 36.3 and 37.8 (P = 0.84) at baseline, 36.4 and

  20. [Changes in the ultrastructure of neuromuscular synapses in rats under the effects of space flight factors].

    PubMed

    Pozdniakov, O M; Babakova, L L; Demorzhi, M S; Il'ina-Kakueva, E I

    1988-06-01

    The influence of a 7-day space flight on board the biosputnik "Kosmos-1669" on the neuro-muscular synapses (NMS) of soleus, gastrocnemius and diaphragm muscles distinct in their functions has been studied. The synapse restructuring on the basis of destructive- regenerative process has been discovered. It is manifested to a great extent in the soleus muscle, to a lesser extent in the gastrocnemius muscle and the least of all in the diaphragm muscle. The changes observed in synapses may be caused by the attenuation of their function in weightlessness. PMID:3390600

  1. Neurolastin, a dynamin family GTPase, regulates excitatory synapses and spine density

    PubMed Central

    Madan Lomash, Richa; Gu, Xinglong; Youle, Richard J.; Lu, Wei; Roche, Katherine W.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Membrane trafficking and spinogenesis contribute significantly to changes in synaptic strength during development and in various paradigms of synaptic plasticity. GTPases of the dynamin family are key players regulating membrane trafficking. Here, we identify a brain-specific dynamin family GTPase, neurolastin (RNF112/Znf179), with closest homology to atlastin. We demonstrate that neurolastin has functional GTPase and RING domains, making it a unique protein identified with this multi-enzymatic domain organization. We also show that neurolastin is a peripheral membrane protein, which localizes to endosomes and affects endosomal membrane dynamics via its RING domain. In addition, neurolastin knockout mice have fewer dendritic spines, and rescue of the wildtype phenotype requires both the GTPase and RING domains. Furthermore, we find fewer functional synapses and reduced paired pulse facilitation in neurolastin knockout mice. Thus, we identify neurolastin as a dynamin family GTPase that affects endosome size and spine density. PMID:26212327

  2. Synaptic transmission at retinal ribbon synapses

    PubMed Central

    Heidelberger, Ruth; Thoreson, Wallace B.; Witkovsky, Paul

    2006-01-01

    The molecular organization of ribbon synapses in photoreceptors and ON bipolar cells is reviewed in relation to the process of neurotransmitter release. The interactions between ribbon synapse-associated proteins, synaptic vesicle fusion machinery and the voltage-gated calcium channels that gate transmitter release at ribbon synapses are discussed in relation to the process of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. We describe structural and mechanistic specializations that permit the ON bipolar cell to release transmitter at a much higher rate than the photoreceptor does, under in vivo conditions. We also consider the modulation of exocytosis at photoreceptor synapses, with an emphasis on the regulation of calcium channels. PMID:16027025

  3. Loudness adaptation accompanying ribbon synapse and auditory nerve disorders

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Fan-Gang; Michalewski, Henry J.; Starr, Arnold

    2013-01-01

    Abnormal auditory adaptation is a standard clinical tool for diagnosing auditory nerve disorders due to acoustic neuromas. In the present study we investigated auditory adaptation in auditory neuropathy owing to disordered function of inner hair cell ribbon synapses (temperature-sensitive auditory neuropathy) or auditory nerve fibres. Subjects were tested when afebrile for (i) psychophysical loudness adaptation to comfortably-loud sustained tones; and (ii) physiological adaptation of auditory brainstem responses to clicks as a function of their position in brief 20-click stimulus trains (#1, 2, 3 … 20). Results were compared with normal hearing listeners and other forms of hearing impairment. Subjects with ribbon synapse disorder had abnormally increased magnitude of loudness adaptation to both low (250 Hz) and high (8000 Hz) frequency tones. Subjects with auditory nerve disorders had normal loudness adaptation to low frequency tones; all but one had abnormal adaptation to high frequency tones. Adaptation was both more rapid and of greater magnitude in ribbon synapse than in auditory nerve disorders. Auditory brainstem response measures of adaptation in ribbon synapse disorder showed Wave V to the first click in the train to be abnormal both in latency and amplitude, and these abnormalities increased in magnitude or Wave V was absent to subsequent clicks. In contrast, auditory brainstem responses in four of the five subjects with neural disorders were absent to every click in the train. The fifth subject had normal latency and abnormally reduced amplitude of Wave V to the first click and abnormal or absent responses to subsequent clicks. Thus, dysfunction of both synaptic transmission and auditory neural function can be associated with abnormal loudness adaptation and the magnitude of the adaptation is significantly greater with ribbon synapse than neural disorders. PMID:23503620

  4. Spine synapse remodeling in the pathophysiology and treatment of depression.

    PubMed

    Duman, Catharine H; Duman, Ronald S

    2015-08-01

    Clinical brain imaging and postmortem studies provide evidence of structural and functional abnormalities of key limbic and cortical structures in depressed patients, suggesting that spine synapse connectivity is altered in depression. Characterization of the cellular determinants underlying these changes in patients are limited, but studies in rodent models demonstrate alterations of dendrite complexity and spine density and function that could contribute to the morphological and functional alterations observed in humans. Rodent studies demonstrate region specific effects in chronic stress models of depression, including reductions in dendrite complexity and spine density in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) but increases in the basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens. Alterations of spine synapse connectivity in these regions are thought to contribute to the behavioral symptoms of depression, including disruption of cognition, mood, emotion, motivation, and reward. Studies of the mechanisms underlying these effects demonstrate a role for altered brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling that regulates synaptic protein synthesis. In contrast, there is evidence that chronic antidepressant treatment can block or reverse the spine synapse alterations caused by stress. Notably, the new fast acting antidepressant ketamine, which produces rapid therapeutic actions in treatment resistant MDD patients, rapidly increases spine synapse number in the PFC of rodents and reverses the effects of chronic stress. The rapid synaptic and behavioral actions of ketamine occur via increased BDNF regulation of synaptic protein synthesis. Together these studies provide evidence for a neurotophic and synaptogenic hypothesis of depression and treatment response and indicate that spine synapse connectivity in key cortical and limbic brain regions is critical for control of mood and emotion. PMID:25582786

  5. Spine synapse remodeling in the pathophysiology and treatment of depression

    PubMed Central

    Duman, Catharine H.; Duman, Ronald S.

    2015-01-01

    Clinical brain imaging and postmortem studies provide evidence of structural and functional abnormalities of key limbic and cortical structures in depressed patients, suggesting that spine synapse connectivity is altered in depression. Characterization of the cellular determinants underlying these changes in patients are limited, but studies in rodent models demonstrate alterations of dendrite complexity and spine density and function that could contribute to the morphological and functional alterations observed in humans. Rodent studies demonstrate region specific effects in chronic stress models of depression, including reductions in dendrite complexity and spine density in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) but increases in the basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens. Alterations of spine synapse connectivity in these regions are thought to contribute to the behavioral symptoms of depression, including disruption of cognition, mood, emotion, motivation, and reward. Studies of the mechanisms underlying these effects demonstrate a role for altered brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling that regulates synaptic protein synthesis. In contrast, there is evidence that chronic antidepressant treatment can block or reverse the spine synapse alterations caused by stress. Notably, the new fast acting antidepressant ketamine, which produces rapid therapeutic actions in treatment resistant MDD patients, rapidly increases spine synapse number in the PFC of rodents and reverses the effects of chronic stress. The rapid synaptic and behavioral actions of ketamine occur via increased BDNF regulation of synaptic protein synthesis. Together these studies provide evidence for a neurotophic and synaptogenic hypothesis of depression and treatment response and indicate that spine synapse connectivity in key cortical and limbic brain regions is critical for control of mood and emotion. PMID:25582786

  6. Neuron-glia synapses in the brain.

    PubMed

    Bergles, Dwight E; Jabs, Ronald; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2010-05-01

    The ability to investigate the electrophysiological properties of individual cells in acute brain tissue led to the discovery that many glial cells have the capacity to respond rapidly to neuronal activity. In particular, a distinct class of neuroglial cells known as NG2 cells, which exhibit many of the properties that have been described for glial subtypes such as complex cells, polydendrocytes, synantocytes and GluR cells, express ionotropic receptors for glutamate and GABA. In both gray and white matter, NG2 cells form direct synaptic junctions with axons, which enable transient activation of these receptors. Electrophysiological analyses have shown that these neuron-glia synapses exhibit all the hallmarks of 'classical' neuron-neuron synapses, including rapid activation, quantized responses, facilitation and depression, and presynaptic inhibition. Electron microscopy indicates that axons form morphologically distinct junctions at discrete sites along processes of NG2 cells, suggesting that NG2 cells are an overt target of axonal projections. AMPA receptors expressed by NG2 cells exhibit varying degrees of Ca(2+) permeability, depending on the brain region and stage of development, and in white matter NG2 cells have also been shown to express functional NMDA receptors. Ca(2+) influx through AMPA receptors following repetitive stimulation can trigger long term potentiation of synaptic currents in NG2 cells. The expression of receptors with significant Ca(2+) permeability may increase the susceptibility of NG2 cells to excitotoxic injury. Future studies using transgenic mice in which expression of receptors can be manipulated selectively in NG2 cells have to define the functions of this enigmatic neuron-glia signaling in the normal and diseased CNS. PMID:20018210

  7. Auditory Golgi cells are interconnected predominantly by electrical synapses.

    PubMed

    Yaeger, Daniel B; Trussell, Laurence O

    2016-08-01

    The mossy fiber-granule cell-parallel fiber system conveys proprioceptive and corollary discharge information to principal cells in cerebellum-like systems. In the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), Golgi cells inhibit granule cells and thus regulate information transfer along the mossy fiber-granule cell-parallel fiber pathway. Whereas excitatory synaptic inputs to Golgi cells are well understood, inhibitory and electrical synaptic inputs to Golgi cells have not been examined. Using paired recordings in a mouse brain slice preparation, we find that Golgi cells of the cochlear nucleus reliably form electrical synapses onto one another. Golgi cells were only rarely electrically coupled to superficial stellate cells, which form a separate network of electrically coupled interneurons in the DCN. Spikelets had a biphasic effect on the excitability of postjunctional Golgi cells, with a brief excitatory phase and a prolonged inhibitory phase due to the propagation of the prejunctional afterhyperpolarization through gap junctions. Golgi cells and stellate cells made weak inhibitory chemical synapses onto Golgi cells with low probability. Electrical synapses are therefore the predominant form of synaptic communication between auditory Golgi cells. We propose that electrical synapses between Golgi cells may function to regulate the synchrony of Golgi cell firing when electrically coupled Golgi cells receive temporally correlated excitatory synaptic input. PMID:27121584

  8. SPARC triggers a cell-autonomous program of synapse elimination.

    PubMed

    López-Murcia, Francisco J; Terni, Beatrice; Llobet, Artur

    2015-10-27

    Elimination of the excess synaptic contacts established in the early stages of neuronal development is required to refine the function of neuronal circuits. Here we investigate whether secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), a molecule produced by glial cells, is involved in synapse removal. SPARC production peaks when innervation of the rat superior cervical ganglion and the tail of Xenopus tropicalis tadpoles are remodeled. The formation of new cholinergic synapses in autaptic single-cell microcultures is inhibited by SPARC. The effect resides in the C-terminal domain, which is also responsible for triggering a concentration- and time-dependent disassembly of stable cholinergic synapses. The loss of synaptic contacts is associated with the formation of retracted axon terminals containing multivesicular bodies and secondary lysosomes. The biological relevance of in vitro results was supported by injecting the tail of Xenopus tropicalis tadpoles with peptide 4.2, a 20-aa sequence derived from SPARC that mimics full-length protein effects. Swimming was severely impaired at ∼5 h after peptide application, caused by the massive elimination of neuromuscular junctions and pruning of axonal branches. Effects revert by 6 d after injection, as motor innervation reforms. In conclusion, SPARC triggers a cell-autonomous program of synapse elimination in cholinergic neurons that likely occurs when protein production peaks during normal development. PMID:26420865

  9. SPARC triggers a cell-autonomous program of synapse elimination

    PubMed Central

    López-Murcia, Francisco J.; Terni, Beatrice; Llobet, Artur

    2015-01-01

    Elimination of the excess synaptic contacts established in the early stages of neuronal development is required to refine the function of neuronal circuits. Here we investigate whether secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), a molecule produced by glial cells, is involved in synapse removal. SPARC production peaks when innervation of the rat superior cervical ganglion and the tail of Xenopus tropicalis tadpoles are remodeled. The formation of new cholinergic synapses in autaptic single-cell microcultures is inhibited by SPARC. The effect resides in the C-terminal domain, which is also responsible for triggering a concentration- and time-dependent disassembly of stable cholinergic synapses. The loss of synaptic contacts is associated with the formation of retracted axon terminals containing multivesicular bodies and secondary lysosomes. The biological relevance of in vitro results was supported by injecting the tail of Xenopus tropicalis tadpoles with peptide 4.2, a 20-aa sequence derived from SPARC that mimics full-length protein effects. Swimming was severely impaired at ∼5 h after peptide application, caused by the massive elimination of neuromuscular junctions and pruning of axonal branches. Effects revert by 6 d after injection, as motor innervation reforms. In conclusion, SPARC triggers a cell-autonomous program of synapse elimination in cholinergic neurons that likely occurs when protein production peaks during normal development. PMID:26420865

  10. Retrograde signalling at the synapse: a role for Wnt proteins.

    PubMed

    Salinas, P C

    2005-12-01

    The formation of functional synapses requires a proper dialogue between incoming axons and their future synaptic targets. As axons approach their target, they are instructed to slow down and remodel to form proper presynaptic terminals. Although significant progress has been made in the identification of the mechanisms that control axon guidance, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate the conversion of actively growing axon into a presynaptic terminal. We found that Wnt secreted proteins are retrograde signals that regulate the terminal arborization of axons and synaptic differentiation. Wnts released from postsynaptic neurons induce extensive remodelling on incoming axons. This remodelling is manifested by a decrease in axon extension with a concomitant increase in growth-cone size. This morphological change is correlated with changes in the dynamics and organization of microtubules. Studies of a vertebrate synapse and the Drosophila neuromuscular junction suggest that a conserved Wnt signalling pathway modulates presynaptic microtubules as axons remodel during synapse formation. In this paper I discuss the role of the Wnt-Dvl (Dishevelled protein)-GSK-3beta (glycogen synthase kinase-3beta) signalling pathway in axon remodelling during synapse formation in the central nervous system. PMID:16246102

  11. COMMUNICATION: Neuron network activity scales exponentially with synapse density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brewer, G. J.; Boehler, M. D.; Pearson, R. A.; DeMaris, A. A.; Ide, A. N.; Wheeler, B. C.

    2009-02-01

    Neuronal network output in the cortex as a function of synapse density during development has not been explicitly determined. Synaptic scaling in cortical brain networks seems to alter excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to produce a representative rate of synaptic output. Here, we cultured rat hippocampal neurons over a three-week period to correlate synapse density with the increase in spontaneous spiking activity. We followed the network development as synapse formation and spike rate in two serum-free media optimized for either (a) neuron survival (Neurobasal/B27) or (b) spike rate (NbActiv4). We found that while synaptophysin synapse density increased linearly with development, spike rates increased exponentially in developing neuronal networks. Synaptic receptor components NR1, GluR1 and GABA-A also increase linearly but with more excitatory receptors than inhibitory. These results suggest that the brain's information processing capability gains more from increasing connectivity of the processing units than increasing processing units, much as Internet information flow increases much faster than the linear number of nodes and connections.

  12. IQ Motif and SEC7 Domain-containing Protein 3 (IQSEC3) Interacts with Gephyrin to Promote Inhibitory Synapse Formation.

    PubMed

    Um, Ji Won; Choii, Gayoung; Park, Dongseok; Kim, Dongwook; Jeon, Sangmin; Kang, Hyeyeon; Mori, Takuma; Papadopoulos, Theofilos; Yoo, Taesun; Lee, Yeunkum; Kim, Eunjoon; Tabuchi, Katsuhiko; Ko, Jaewon

    2016-05-01

    Gephyrin is a central scaffold protein that mediates development, function, and plasticity of mammalian inhibitory synapses by interacting with various inhibitory synaptic proteins. Here, we show that IQSEC3, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for ARF6, directly interacts with gephyrin, an interaction that is critical for the inhibitory synapse localization of IQSEC3. Overexpression of IQSEC3 increases inhibitory, but not excitatory, synapse density in a guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity-dependent manner. Conversely, knockdown of IQSEC3 decreases size of gephyrin cluster without altering gephyrin puncta density. Collectively, these data reveal that IQSEC3 acts together with gephyrin to regulate inhibitory synapse development. PMID:27002143

  13. Looking Forward to EphB Signaling in Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Sloniowski, Slawomir; Ethell, Iryna M.

    2011-01-01

    Eph receptors and their ligands ephrins comprise a complex signaling system with diverse functions that span a wide range of tissues and developmental stages. The variety of Eph receptor functions stems from their ability to mediate bidirectional signaling through trans-cellular Eph/ephrin interactions. Initially thought to act by directing repulsion between cells, Ephs have also been demonstrated to induce and maintain cell adhesive responses at excitatory synapses in the central nervous system. EphB receptors are essential to the development and maintenance of dendritic spines, which accommodate the postsynaptic sites of most glutamatergic excitatory synapses in the brain. Functions of EphB receptors are not limited to control of the actin cytoskeleton in dendritic spines, as EphB receptors are also involved in the formation of functional synaptic specializations through the regulation of glutamate receptor trafficking and functions. In addition, EphB receptors have recently been linked to the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease and neuropathic pain, thus becoming promising targets for therapeutic interventions. In this review, we discuss recent findings on EphB receptor functions in synapses, as well as the mechanisms of bidirectional trans-synaptic ephrin-B/EphB receptor signaling that shape dendritic spines and influence post-synaptic differentiation. PMID:22040917

  14. Graphene Dynamic Synapse with Modulatable Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Tian, He; Mi, Wentian; Wang, Xue-Feng; Zhao, Haiming; Xie, Qian-Yi; Li, Cheng; Li, Yu-Xing; Yang, Yi; Ren, Tian-Ling

    2015-12-01

    The synaptic activities in the nervous system is the basis of memory and learning behaviors, and the concept of biological synapse has also spurred the development of neuromorphic engineering. In recent years, the hardware implementation of the biological synapse has been achieved based on CMOS circuits, resistive switching memory, and field effect transistors with ionic dielectrics. However, the artificial synapse with regulatable plasticity has never been realized of the device level. Here, an artificial dynamic synapse based on twisted bilayer graphene is demonstrated with tunable plasticity. Due to the ambipolar conductance of graphene, both behaviors of the excitatory synapse and the inhibitory synapse could be realized in a single device. Moreover, the synaptic plasticity could also be modulated by tuning the carrier density of graphene. Because the artificial synapse here could be regulated and inverted via changing the bottom gate voltage, the whole process of synapse development could be imitated. Hence, this work would offer a broad new vista for the 2D material electronics and guide the innovation of neuro-electronics fundamentally. PMID:26502344

  15. The Variable Strength of Electrical Synapses.

    PubMed

    Pereda, Alberto E

    2016-06-01

    In contrast to chemical synapses, less is known regarding the determinants of the strength of electrical synapses. New evidence from Szoboszlay et al. (2016) shows that the number of gap junctions is the dominant factor underlying the strength of electrical coupling between cerebellar interneurons. PMID:27253444

  16. Autism-Associated Chromatin Regulator Brg1/SmarcA4 Is Required for Synapse Development and Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2-Mediated Synapse Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zilai; Cao, Mou; Chang, Chia-Wei; Wang, Cindy; Shi, Xuanming; Zhan, Xiaoming; Birnbaum, Shari G.; Bezprozvanny, Ilya; Huber, Kimberly M.

    2015-01-01

    Synapse development requires normal neuronal activities and the precise expression of synapse-related genes. Dysregulation of synaptic genes results in neurological diseases such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Mutations in genes encoding chromatin-remodeling factor Brg1/SmarcA4 and its associated proteins are the genetic causes of several developmental diseases with neurological defects and autistic symptoms. Recent large-scale genomic studies predicted Brg1/SmarcA4 as one of the key nodes of the ASD gene network. We report that Brg1 deletion in early postnatal hippocampal neurons led to reduced dendritic spine density and maturation and impaired synapse activities. In developing mice, neuronal Brg1 deletion caused severe neurological defects. Gene expression analyses indicated that Brg1 regulates a significant number of genes known to be involved in synapse function and implicated in ASD. We found that Brg1 is required for dendritic spine/synapse elimination mediated by the ASD-associated transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) and that Brg1 regulates the activity-induced expression of a specific subset of genes that overlap significantly with the targets of MEF2. Our analyses showed that Brg1 interacts with MEF2 and that MEF2 is required for Brg1 recruitment to target genes in response to neuron activation. Thus, Brg1 plays important roles in both synapse development/maturation and MEF2-mediated synapse remodeling. Our study reveals specific functions of the epigenetic regulator Brg1 in synapse development and provides insights into its role in neurological diseases such as ASD. PMID:26459759

  17. Critical avalanches and subsampling in map-based neural networks coupled with noisy synapses.

    PubMed

    Girardi-Schappo, M; Kinouchi, O; Tragtenberg, M H R

    2013-08-01

    Many different kinds of noise are experimentally observed in the brain. Among them, we study a model of noisy chemical synapse and obtain critical avalanches for the spatiotemporal activity of the neural network. Neurons and synapses are modeled by dynamical maps. We discuss the relevant neuronal and synaptic properties to achieve the critical state. We verify that networks of functionally excitable neurons with fast synapses present power-law avalanches, due to rebound spiking dynamics. We also discuss the measuring of neuronal avalanches by subsampling our data, shedding light on the experimental search for self-organized criticality in neural networks. PMID:24032969

  18. Astrocytic role in synapse formation after injury.

    PubMed

    Li, Ying; Li, Daqing; Raisman, Geoffrey

    2016-08-15

    In 1969 a paper entitled Neuronal plasticity in the septal nuclei of the adult rat proposed that new synapses are formed in the adult brain after injury (Raisman, 1969). The quantitative electron microscopic study of the timed responses to selective partial denervation of the neuropil of the adult rat septal nuclei after distant transection of the hippocampal efferent axons in the fimbria showed that the new synapses arise by sprouting of surviving adjacent synapses which selectively take over the previously denervated sites and thus restore the number of synapses to normal. This article presents the evidence for the role of perisynaptic astrocytic processes in the removal and formation of synapses and considers its significance as one of the three major divisions of the astrocytic surface in terms of the axonal responses to injury and regeneration. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:50th Anniversary Issue. PMID:26746338

  19. Interactions between ICAM-5 and β1 integrins regulate neuronal synapse formation

    PubMed Central

    Ning, Lin; Tian, Li; Smirnov, Sergei; Vihinen, Helena; Llano, Olaya; Vick, Kyle; Davis, Ronald L.; Rivera, Claudio; Gahmberg, Carl G.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Intercellular adhesion molecule-5 (ICAM-5) is a dendrite-specific adhesion molecule, which functions in both the immune and nervous systems. ICAM-5 is the only negative regulator that has been identified for maturation of dendritic spines so far. Shedding of the ICAM-5 ectodomain promotes spine maturation and enhances synaptic activity. However, the mechanism by which ICAM-5 regulates spine development remains poorly understood. In this study, we found that ablation of ICAM5 expression resulted in a significant increase in the formation of synaptic contacts and the frequency of miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents, an indicator of pre-synaptic release probability. Antibodies against ICAM-5 and β1 integrins altered spine maturation. Furthermore, we found that β1 integrins serve as binding partners for ICAM-5. β1 integrins were immunoprecipitated with ICAM-5 from mouse brain and the binding region in ICAM-5 was localized to the two first Ig domains. β1 integrins were juxtaposed to filopodia tips at the early stage of synaptic formation, but as synapses matured, β1 integrins covered the mushroom spines. Loss of β1 integrins from the pre-synaptic sites affected the morphology of the post-synaptic structures. ICAM-5 ectodomain cleavage decreased or increased when the interaction between ICAM-5 and β1 integrins was potentiated or weakened, respectively, using antibodies. These results suggest that the interaction between ICAM-5 and β1 integrins is important in formation of functional synapses. PMID:23015592

  20. Interactions between ICAM-5 and β1 integrins regulate neuronal synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Ning, Lin; Tian, Li; Smirnov, Sergei; Vihinen, Helena; Llano, Olaya; Vick, Kyle; Davis, Ronald L; Rivera, Claudio; Gahmberg, Carl G

    2013-01-01

    Intercellular adhesion molecule-5 (ICAM-5) is a dendrite-specific adhesion molecule, which functions in both the immune and nervous systems. ICAM-5 is the only negative regulator that has been identified for maturation of dendritic spines so far. Shedding of the ICAM-5 ectodomain promotes spine maturation and enhances synaptic activity. However, the mechanism by which ICAM-5 regulates spine development remains poorly understood. In this study, we found that ablation of ICAM5 expression resulted in a significant increase in the formation of synaptic contacts and the frequency of miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents, an indicator of pre-synaptic release probability. Antibodies against ICAM-5 and β1 integrins altered spine maturation. Furthermore, we found that β1 integrins serve as binding partners for ICAM-5. β1 integrins were immunoprecipitated with ICAM-5 from mouse brain and the binding region in ICAM-5 was localized to the two first Ig domains. β1 integrins were juxtaposed to filopodia tips at the early stage of synaptic formation, but as synapses matured, β1 integrins covered the mushroom spines. Loss of β1 integrins from the pre-synaptic sites affected the morphology of the post-synaptic structures. ICAM-5 ectodomain cleavage decreased or increased when the interaction between ICAM-5 and β1 integrins was potentiated or weakened, respectively, using antibodies. These results suggest that the interaction between ICAM-5 and β1 integrins is important in formation of functional synapses. PMID:23015592

  1. Annular PIP3 accumulation controls actin architecture and modulates cytotoxicity at the immunological synapse.

    PubMed

    Le Floc'h, Audrey; Tanaka, Yoshihiko; Bantilan, Niels S; Voisinne, Guillaume; Altan-Bonnet, Grégoire; Fukui, Yoshinori; Huse, Morgan

    2013-11-18

    The immunological synapse formed by a T lymphocyte on the surface of a target cell contains a peripheral ring of filamentous actin (F-actin) that promotes adhesion and facilitates the directional secretion of cytokines and cytolytic factors. We show that growth and maintenance of this F-actin ring is dictated by the annular accumulation of phosphatidylinositol trisphosphate (PIP3) in the synaptic membrane. PIP3 functions in this context by recruiting the exchange factor Dock2 to the periphery of the synapse, where it drives actin polymerization through the Rho-family GTPase Rac. We also show that synaptic PIP3 is generated by class IA phosphoinositide 3-kinases that associate with T cell receptor microclusters and are activated by the GTPase Ras. Perturbations that inhibit or promote PIP3-dependent F-actin remodeling dramatically affect T cell cytotoxicity, demonstrating the functional importance of this pathway. These results reveal how T cells use lipid-based signaling to control synaptic architecture and modulate effector responses. PMID:24190432

  2. Early and selective loss of neuromuscular synapse subtypes with low sprouting competence in motoneuron diseases.

    PubMed

    Frey, D; Schneider, C; Xu, L; Borg, J; Spooren, W; Caroni, P

    2000-04-01

    The addition or loss of synapses in response to changes in activity, disease, or aging is a major aspect of nervous system plasticity in the adult. The mechanisms that affect the turnover and maintenance of synapses in the adult are poorly understood and are difficult to investigate in the brain. Here, we exploited a unique anatomical arrangement in the neuromuscular system to determine whether subtypes of synapses can differ in anatomical plasticity and vulnerability. In three genetic mouse models of motoneuron disease of diverse origin and severity, we observed a gradual and selective loss of synaptic connections that begun long before the onset of clinical deficits and correlated with the timing of disease progression. A subgroup of fast-type (fast-fatiguable) neuromuscular synapses was highly vulnerable and was lost very early on. In contrast, slow-type synapses resisted up to the terminal phase of the disease. Muscle-specific differences were also evident. Similar selective losses were detected in aged mice. These selective vulnerability properties of synapses coincided with hitherto unrecognized major differences in stimulus-induced anatomical plasticity that could also be revealed in healthy mice. Using paralysis and/or growth-associated protein 43 overexpression to induce synaptic sprouting, we found that slow-type, disease-resistant synapses were particularly plastic. In contrast, fast-type synapses with the highest vulnerability failed to exhibit any stimulus-induced change. The results reveal pronounced subtype specificity in the anatomical plasticity and susceptibility to loss of neuromuscular synapses and suggest that degenerative motoneuron diseases involve a common early pathway of selective and progressive synaptic weakening also associated with aging. PMID:10729333

  3. SynCAM 1 improves survival of adult-born neurons by accelerating synapse maturation.

    PubMed

    Doengi, Michael; Krupp, Alexander J; Körber, Nils; Stein, Valentin

    2016-03-01

    The survival of adult-born dentate gyrus granule cells critically depends on their synaptic integration into the existing neuronal network. Excitatory inputs are thought to increase the survival rate of adult born neurons. Therefore, whether enhancing the stability of newly formed excitatory synapses by overexpressing the synaptic cell adhesion molecule SynCAM 1 improves the survival of adult-born neurons was tested. Here it is shown that overexpression of SynCAM 1 improves survival of adult-born neurons, but has no effect on the proliferation rate of precursor cells. As expected, overexpression of SynCAM 1 increased the synapse density in adult-born granule neurons. While adult-born granule neurons have very few functional synapses 15 days after birth, it was found that at this age adult-born neurons in SynCAM 1 overexpressing mice exhibited around three times more excitatory synapses, which were stronger than synapses of adult-born neurons of control littermates. In summary, the data indicated that additional SynCAM 1 accelerated synapse maturation, which improved the stability of newly formed synapses and in turn increased the likelihood of survival of adult-born neurons. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26332750

  4. How and why does the immunological synapse form? Physical chemistry meets cell biology.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Arup K

    2002-03-01

    During T lymphocyte (T cell) recognition of an antigen, a highly organized and specific pattern of membrane proteins forms in the junction between the T cell and the antigen-presenting cell (APC). This specialized cell-cell junction is called the immunological synapse. It is several micrometers large and forms over many minutes. A plethora of experiments are being performed to study the mechanisms that underlie synapse formation and the way in which information transfer occurs across the synapse. The wealth of experimental data that is beginning to emerge must be understood within a mechanistic framework if it is to prove useful in developing modalities to control the immune response. Quantitative models can complement experiments in the quest for such a mechanistic understanding by suggesting experimentally testable hypotheses. Here, a quantitative synapse assembly model is described. The model uses concepts developed in physical chemistry and cell biology and is able to predict the spatiotemporal evolution of cell shape and receptor protein patterns observed during synapse formation. Attention is directed to how the juxtaposition of model predictions and experimental data has led to intriguing hypotheses regarding the role of null and self peptides during synapse assembly, as well as correlations between T cell effector functions and the robustness of synapse assembly. We remark on some ways in which synergistic experiments and modeling studies can improve current models, and we take steps toward a better understanding of information transfer across the T cell-APC junction. PMID:11880685

  5. Astrocyte transforming growth factor beta 1 promotes inhibitory synapse formation via CaM kinase II signaling.

    PubMed

    Diniz, Luan Pereira; Tortelli, Vanessa; Garcia, Matheus Nunes; Araújo, Ana Paula Bérgamo; Melo, Helen M; Silva, Gisele S Seixas da; Felice, Fernanda G De; Alves-Leon, Soniza Vieira; Souza, Jorge Marcondes de; Romão, Luciana Ferreira; Castro, Newton Gonçalves; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2014-12-01

    The balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs is critical for the control of brain function. Astrocytes play important role in the development and maintenance of neuronal circuitry. Whereas astrocytes-derived molecules involved in excitatory synapses are recognized, molecules and molecular mechanisms underlying astrocyte-induced inhibitory synapses remain unknown. Here, we identified transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), derived from human and murine astrocytes, as regulator of inhibitory synapse in vitro and in vivo. Conditioned media derived from human and murine astrocytes induce inhibitory synapse formation in cerebral cortex neurons, an event inhibited by pharmacologic and genetic manipulation of the TGF-β pathway. TGF-β1-induction of inhibitory synapse depends on glutamatergic activity and activation of CaM kinase II, which thus induces localization and cluster formation of the synaptic adhesion protein, Neuroligin 2, in inhibitory postsynaptic terminals. Additionally, intraventricular injection of TGF-β1 enhanced inhibitory synapse number in the cerebral cortex. Our results identify TGF-β1/CaMKII pathway as a novel molecular mechanism underlying astrocyte control of inhibitory synapse formation. We propose here that the balance between excitatory and inhibitory inputs might be provided by astrocyte signals, at least partly achieved via TGF-β1 downstream pathways. Our work contributes to the understanding of the GABAergic synapse formation and may be of relevance to further the current knowledge on the mechanisms underlying the development of various neurological disorders, which commonly involve impairment of inhibitory synapse transmission. PMID:25042347

  6. The Cell Death Pathway Regulates Synapse Elimination through Cleavage of Gelsolin in Caenorhabditis elegans Neurons.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lingfeng; Mulcahy, Ben; Cook, Steven J; Neubauer, Marianna; Wan, Airong; Jin, Yishi; Yan, Dong

    2015-06-23

    Synapse elimination occurs in development, plasticity, and disease. Although the importance of synapse elimination has been documented in many studies, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process are unclear. Here, using the development of C. elegans RME neurons as a model, we have uncovered a function for the apoptosis pathway in synapse elimination. We find that the conserved apoptotic cell death (CED) pathway and axonal mitochondria are required for the elimination of transiently formed clusters of presynaptic components in RME neurons. This function of the CED pathway involves the activation of the actin-filament-severing protein, GSNL-1. Furthermore, we show that caspase CED-3 cleaves GSNL-1 at a conserved C-terminal region and that the cleaved active form of GSNL-1 promotes its actin-severing ability. Our data suggest that activation of the CED pathway contributes to selective elimination of synapses through disassembly of the actin filament network. PMID:26074078

  7. Human NK cell development requires CD56-mediated motility and formation of the developmental synapse.

    PubMed

    Mace, Emily M; Gunesch, Justin T; Dixon, Amera; Orange, Jordan S

    2016-01-01

    While distinct stages of natural killer (NK) cell development have been defined, the molecular interactions that shape human NK cell maturation are poorly understood. Here we define intercellular interactions between developing NK cells and stromal cells which, through contact-dependent mechanisms, promote the generation of mature, functional human NK cells from CD34(+) precursors. We show that developing NK cells undergo unique, developmental stage-specific sustained and transient interactions with developmentally supportive stromal cells, and that the relative motility of NK cells increases as they move through development in vitro and ex vivo. These interactions include the formation of a synapse between developing NK cells and stromal cells, which we term the developmental synapse. Finally, we identify a role for CD56 in developmental synapse structure, NK cell motility and NK cell development. Thus, we define the developmental synapse leading to human NK cell functional maturation. PMID:27435370

  8. Human NK cell development requires CD56-mediated motility and formation of the developmental synapse

    PubMed Central

    Mace, Emily M.; Gunesch, Justin T.; Dixon, Amera; Orange, Jordan S.

    2016-01-01

    While distinct stages of natural killer (NK) cell development have been defined, the molecular interactions that shape human NK cell maturation are poorly understood. Here we define intercellular interactions between developing NK cells and stromal cells which, through contact-dependent mechanisms, promote the generation of mature, functional human NK cells from CD34+ precursors. We show that developing NK cells undergo unique, developmental stage-specific sustained and transient interactions with developmentally supportive stromal cells, and that the relative motility of NK cells increases as they move through development in vitro and ex vivo. These interactions include the formation of a synapse between developing NK cells and stromal cells, which we term the developmental synapse. Finally, we identify a role for CD56 in developmental synapse structure, NK cell motility and NK cell development. Thus, we define the developmental synapse leading to human NK cell functional maturation. PMID:27435370

  9. The State of Synapses in Fragile X Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Pfeiffer, Brad E.; Huber, Kimberly M.

    2009-01-01

    Fragile X Syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation and a leading genetic cause of autism. There is increasing evidence in both FXS and other forms of autism that alterations in synapse number, structure and function are associated and contribute to these prevalent diseases. FXS is caused by loss of function of the Fmr1 gene which encodes the RNA binding protein, FMRP. Therefore, FXS is a tractable model to understand synaptic dysfunction in cognitive disorders. FMRP is present at synapses where it associates with mRNA and polyribosomes. Accumulating evidence finds roles for FMRP in synapse development, elimination and plasticity. Here, we review the synaptic changes observed in FXS and try to relate these changes to what is known about the molecular function of FMRP. Recent advances in the understanding of the molecular and synaptic function of FMRP, as well as the consequences of its loss, have led to the development of novel therapeutic strategies for FXS and related diseases such as autism. PMID:19325170

  10. Can dynamical synapses produce true self-organized criticality?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Ariadne de Andrade; Copelli, Mauro; Kinouchi, Osame

    2015-06-01

    Neuronal networks can present activity described by power-law distributed avalanches presumed to be a signature of a critical state. Here we study a random-neighbor network of excitable cellular automata coupled by dynamical synapses. The model exhibits a very similar to conservative self-organized criticality (SOC) models behavior even with dissipative bulk dynamics. This occurs because in the stationary regime the model is conservative on average, and, in the thermodynamic limit, the probability distribution for the global branching ratio converges to a delta-function centered at its critical value. So, this non-conservative model pertain to the same universality class of conservative SOC models and contrasts with other dynamical synapses models that present only self-organized quasi-criticality (SOqC). Analytical results show very good agreement with simulations of the model and enable us to study the emergence of SOC as a function of the parametric derivatives of the stationary branching ratio.

  11. Biophysical Aspects of T Lymphocyte Activation at the Immune Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Hivroz, Claire; Saitakis, Michael

    2016-01-01

    T lymphocyte activation is a pivotal step of the adaptive immune response. It requires the recognition by T-cell receptors (TCR) of peptides presented in the context of major histocompatibility complex molecules (pMHC) present at the surface of antigen-presenting cells (APCs). T lymphocyte activation also involves engagement of costimulatory receptors and adhesion molecules recognizing ligands on the APC. Integration of these different signals requires the formation of a specialized dynamic structure: the immune synapse. While the biochemical and molecular aspects of this cell–cell communication have been extensively studied, its mechanical features have only recently been addressed. Yet, the immune synapse is also the place of exchange of mechanical signals. Receptors engaged on the T lymphocyte surface are submitted to many tensile and traction forces. These forces are generated by various phenomena: membrane undulation/protrusion/retraction, cell mobility or spreading, and dynamic remodeling of the actomyosin cytoskeleton inside the T lymphocyte. Moreover, the TCR can both induce force development, following triggering, and sense and convert forces into biochemical signals, as a bona fide mechanotransducer. Other costimulatory molecules, such as LFA-1, engaged during immune synapse formation, also display these features. Moreover, T lymphocytes themselves are mechanosensitive, since substrate stiffness can modulate their response. In this review, we will summarize recent studies from a biophysical perspective to explain how mechanical cues can affect T lymphocyte activation. We will particularly discuss how forces are generated during immune synapse formation; how these forces affect various aspects of T lymphocyte biology; and what are the key features of T lymphocyte response to stiffness. PMID:26913033

  12. Efficient Associative Computation with Discrete Synapses.

    PubMed

    Knoblauch, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Neural associative networks are a promising computational paradigm for both modeling neural circuits of the brain and implementing associative memory and Hebbian cell assemblies in parallel VLSI or nanoscale hardware. Previous work has extensively investigated synaptic learning in linear models of the Hopfield type and simple nonlinear models of the Steinbuch/Willshaw type. Optimized Hopfield networks of size n can store a large number of about n(2)/k memories of size k (or associations between them) but require real-valued synapses, which are expensive to implement and can store at most C = 0.72 bits per synapse. Willshaw networks can store a much smaller number of about n(2)/k(2) memories but get along with much cheaper binary synapses. Here I present a learning model employing synapses with discrete synaptic weights. For optimal discretization parameters, this model can store, up to a factor ζ close to one, the same number of memories as for optimized Hopfield-type learning--for example, ζ = 0.64 for binary synapses, ζ = 0.88 for 2 bit (four-state) synapses, ζ = 0.96 for 3 bit (8-state) synapses, and ζ > 0.99 for 4 bit (16-state) synapses. The model also provides the theoretical framework to determine optimal discretization parameters for computer implementations or brainlike parallel hardware including structural plasticity. In particular, as recently shown for the Willshaw network, it is possible to store C(I) = 1 bit per computer bit and up to C(S) = log n bits per nonsilent synapse, whereas the absolute number of stored memories can be much larger than for the Willshaw model. PMID:26599711

  13. Concomitant gastroparesis negatively affects children with functional gallbladder disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The aim of the present study was to determine whether concomitant gastroparesis and biliary dyskinesia (BD) occur in children, and if so, to determine whether concomitant gastroparesis affects clinical outcome in children with BD. We conducted a retrospective chart review of children with BD (ejecti...

  14. SALM4 suppresses excitatory synapse development by cis-inhibiting trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion.

    PubMed

    Lie, Eunkyung; Ko, Ji Seung; Choi, Su-Yeon; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Cho, Yi Sul; Noh, Ran; Kim, Doyoun; Li, Yan; Kang, Hyeyeon; Choi, Tae-Yong; Nam, Jungyong; Mah, Won; Lee, Dongmin; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Kim, Ho Min; Kim, Hyun; Choi, Se-Young; Um, Ji Won; Kang, Myoung-Goo; Bae, Yong Chul; Ko, Jaewon; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate various aspects of synapse development, function and plasticity. These functions mainly involve trans-synaptic interactions and positive regulations, whereas cis-interactions and negative regulation are less understood. Here we report that SALM4, a member of the SALM/Lrfn family of synaptic adhesion molecules, suppresses excitatory synapse development through cis inhibition of SALM3, another SALM family protein with synaptogenic activity. Salm4-mutant (Salm4(-/-)) mice show increased excitatory synapse numbers in the hippocampus. SALM4 cis-interacts with SALM3, inhibits trans-synaptic SALM3 interaction with presynaptic LAR family receptor tyrosine phosphatases and suppresses SALM3-dependent presynaptic differentiation. Importantly, deletion of Salm3 in Salm4(-/-) mice (Salm3(-/-); Salm4(-/-)) normalizes the increased excitatory synapse number. These results suggest that SALM4 negatively regulates excitatory synapses via cis inhibition of the trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion. PMID:27480238

  15. Astrocytes Assemble Thalamocortical Synapses by Bridging NRX1α and NL1 via Hevin.

    PubMed

    Singh, Sandeep K; Stogsdill, Jeff A; Pulimood, Nisha S; Dingsdale, Hayley; Kim, Yong Ho; Pilaz, Louis-Jan; Kim, Il Hwan; Manhaes, Alex C; Rodrigues, Wandilson S; Pamukcu, Arin; Enustun, Eray; Ertuz, Zeynep; Scheiffele, Peter; Soderling, Scott H; Silver, Debra L; Ji, Ru-Rong; Medina, Alexandre E; Eroglu, Cagla

    2016-01-14

    Proper establishment of synapses is critical for constructing functional circuits. Interactions between presynaptic neurexins and postsynaptic neuroligins coordinate the formation of synaptic adhesions. An isoform code determines the direct interactions of neurexins and neuroligins across the synapse. However, whether extracellular linker proteins can expand such a code is unknown. Using a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches, we found that hevin, an astrocyte-secreted synaptogenic protein, assembles glutamatergic synapses by bridging neurexin-1alpha and neuroligin-1B, two isoforms that do not interact with each other. Bridging of neurexin-1alpha and neuroligin-1B via hevin is critical for the formation and plasticity of thalamocortical connections in the developing visual cortex. These results show that astrocytes promote the formation of synapses by modulating neurexin/neuroligin adhesions through hevin secretion. Our findings also provide an important mechanistic insight into how mutations in these genes may lead to circuit dysfunction in diseases such as autism. PMID:26771491

  16. The dynamic architecture of photoreceptor ribbon synapses: Cytoskeletal, extracellular matrix, and intramembrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    MERCER, AARON J.; THORESON, WALLACE B.

    2012-01-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptors possess ribbon synapses that assist in the transmission of graded light responses to second-order bipolar and horizontal cells of the vertebrate retina. Proper functioning of the synapse requires the juxtaposition of presynaptic release sites immediately adjacent to postsynaptic receptors. In this review, we focus on the synaptic, cytoskeletal, and extracellular matrix proteins that help to organize photoreceptor ribbon synapses in the outer plexiform layer. We examine the proteins that foster the clustering of release proteins, calcium channels, and synaptic vesicles in the presynaptic terminals of photoreceptors adjacent to their postsynaptic contacts. Although many proteins interact with one another in the presynaptic terminal and synaptic cleft, these protein–protein interactions do not create a static and immutable structure. Instead, photoreceptor ribbon synapses are remarkably dynamic, exhibiting structural changes on both rapid and slow time scales. PMID:22192503

  17. Crossbar Nanoscale HfO2-Based Electronic Synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matveyev, Yury; Kirtaev, Roman; Fetisova, Alena; Zakharchenko, Sergey; Negrov, Dmitry; Zenkevich, Andrey

    2016-03-01

    Crossbar resistive switching devices down to 40 × 40 nm2 in size comprising 3-nm-thick HfO2 layers are forming-free and exhibit up to 105 switching cycles. Four-nanometer-thick devices display the ability of gradual switching in both directions, thus emulating long-term potentiation/depression properties akin to biological synapses. Both forming-free and gradual switching properties are modeled in terms of oxygen vacancy generation in an ultrathin HfO2 layer. By applying the voltage pulses to the opposite electrodes of nanodevices with the shape emulating spikes in biological neurons, spike-timing-dependent plasticity functionality is demonstrated. Thus, the fabricated memristors in crossbar geometry are promising candidates for hardware implementation of hybrid CMOS-neuron/memristor-synapse neural networks.

  18. Formation and organization of protein domains in the immunological synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, Andreas; Mahadevan, L.

    2014-11-01

    The cellular basis for the adaptive immune response during antigen recognition relies on a specialized protein interface known as the immunological synapse. Here, we propose a minimal mathematical model for the dynamics of the IS that encompass membrane mechanics, hydrodynamics and protein kinetics. Simple scaling laws describe the dynamics of protein clusters as a function of membrane stiffness, rigidity of the adhesive proteins, and fluid flow in the synaptic cleft. Numerical simulations complement the scaling laws by quantifying the nucleation, growth and stabilization of proteins domains on the size of the cell. Direct comparison with experiment suggests that passive dynamics suffices to describe the short-time formation and organization of protein clusters, while the stabilization and long time dynamics of the synapse is likely determined by active cytoskeleton processes triggered by receptor binding. Our study reveals that the fluid flow generated by the interplay between membrane deformation and protein binding kinetics can assist immune cells in regulating protein sorting.

  19. Crossbar Nanoscale HfO2-Based Electronic Synapses.

    PubMed

    Matveyev, Yury; Kirtaev, Roman; Fetisova, Alena; Zakharchenko, Sergey; Negrov, Dmitry; Zenkevich, Andrey

    2016-12-01

    Crossbar resistive switching devices down to 40 × 40 nm(2) in size comprising 3-nm-thick HfO2 layers are forming-free and exhibit up to 10(5) switching cycles. Four-nanometer-thick devices display the ability of gradual switching in both directions, thus emulating long-term potentiation/depression properties akin to biological synapses. Both forming-free and gradual switching properties are modeled in terms of oxygen vacancy generation in an ultrathin HfO2 layer. By applying the voltage pulses to the opposite electrodes of nanodevices with the shape emulating spikes in biological neurons, spike-timing-dependent plasticity functionality is demonstrated. Thus, the fabricated memristors in crossbar geometry are promising candidates for hardware implementation of hybrid CMOS-neuron/memristor-synapse neural networks. PMID:26979725

  20. Microglia contact induces synapse formation in developing somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Akiko; Wake, Hiroaki; Ishikawa, Ayako Wendy; Eto, Kei; Shibata, Keisuke; Murakoshi, Hideji; Koizumi, Schuichi; Moorhouse, Andrew J; Yoshimura, Yumiko; Nabekura, Junichi

    2016-01-01

    Microglia are the immune cells of the central nervous system that play important roles in brain pathologies. Microglia also help shape neuronal circuits during development, via phagocytosing weak synapses and regulating neurogenesis. Using in vivo multiphoton imaging of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the developing somatosensory cortex, we demonstrate here that microglial contact with dendrites directly induces filopodia formation. This filopodia formation occurs only around postnatal day 8-10, a period of intense synaptogenesis and when microglia have an activated phenotype. Filopodia formation is preceded by contact-induced Ca(2+) transients and actin accumulation. Inhibition of microglia by genetic ablation decreases subsequent spine density, functional excitatory synapses and reduces the relative connectivity from layer 4 neurons. Our data provide the direct demonstration of microglial-induced spine formation and provide further insights into immune system regulation of neuronal circuit development, with potential implications for developmental disorders of immune and brain dysfunction. PMID:27558646

  1. Microglia contact induces synapse formation in developing somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Miyamoto, Akiko; Wake, Hiroaki; Ishikawa, Ayako Wendy; Eto, Kei; Shibata, Keisuke; Murakoshi, Hideji; Koizumi, Schuichi; Moorhouse, Andrew J.; Yoshimura, Yumiko; Nabekura, Junichi

    2016-01-01

    Microglia are the immune cells of the central nervous system that play important roles in brain pathologies. Microglia also help shape neuronal circuits during development, via phagocytosing weak synapses and regulating neurogenesis. Using in vivo multiphoton imaging of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the developing somatosensory cortex, we demonstrate here that microglial contact with dendrites directly induces filopodia formation. This filopodia formation occurs only around postnatal day 8–10, a period of intense synaptogenesis and when microglia have an activated phenotype. Filopodia formation is preceded by contact-induced Ca2+ transients and actin accumulation. Inhibition of microglia by genetic ablation decreases subsequent spine density, functional excitatory synapses and reduces the relative connectivity from layer 4 neurons. Our data provide the direct demonstration of microglial-induced spine formation and provide further insights into immune system regulation of neuronal circuit development, with potential implications for developmental disorders of immune and brain dysfunction. PMID:27558646

  2. Dissociated ciliary ganglion neurons in vitro: survival and synapse formation.

    PubMed Central

    Nishi, R; Berg, D K

    1977-01-01

    Normally, about half of the ciliary ganglion neurons in 8-day-old chick embryos die before day 14 in ovo. However, when dissociated ciliary ganglion neurons were prepared from either 8- or 14-day-old embryos and grown in cell culture with skeletal myotubes, essentially all of the neurons survived for at least 3 weeks. Many of the neurons formed functional synapses on myotubes under these conditions; some neuromuscular synapses could be detected as early as 20 hr after addition of the ganglion cells to muscle cultures. In contrast, most neurons from 8-day embryos survived for only a few days when grown alone on either polyornithine- or collagen-coated dishes. These results suggest that neurons destined to die in ovo can be rescued when grown in cell culture with myotubes and that under these conditions the neurons develop and express differentiated properties. Images PMID:270756

  3. Mammalian cadherins DCHS1-FAT4 affect functional cerebral architecture.

    PubMed

    Beste, Christian; Ocklenburg, Sebastian; von der Hagen, Maja; Di Donato, Nataliya

    2016-06-01

    Cortical development is a complex process where a multitude of factors, including cadherins, plays an important role and where disruptions are known to have far reaching effects in neural development and cortical patterning. Cadherins play a central role in structural left-right differentiation during brain and body development, but their effect on a functional level remains elusive. We addressed this question by examining functional cerebral asymmetries in a patient with Van Maldergem Syndrome (VMS) (MIM#601390), which is caused by mutations in DCHS1-FAT4 cadherins, using a dichotic listening task. Using neurophysiological (EEG) data, we show that when key regulators during mammalian cerebral cortical development are disrupted due to DCHS1-FAT4 mutations, functional cerebral asymmetries are stronger. Basic perceptual processing of biaurally presented auditory stimuli was unaffected. This suggests that the strength and emergence of functional cerebral asymmetries is a direct function of proliferation and differentiation of neuronal stem cells. Moreover, these results support the recent assumption that the molecular mechanisms establishing early left-right differentiation are an important factor in the ontogenesis of functional lateralization. PMID:25930014

  4. SUMO1 Affects Synaptic Function, Spine Density and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Matsuzaki, Shinsuke; Lee, Linda; Knock, Erin; Srikumar, Tharan; Sakurai, Mikako; Hazrati, Lili-Naz; Katayama, Taiichi; Staniszewski, Agnieszka; Raught, Brian; Arancio, Ottavio; Fraser, Paul E.

    2015-01-01

    Small ubiquitin-like modifier-1 (SUMO1) plays a number of roles in cellular events and recent evidence has given momentum for its contributions to neuronal development and function. Here, we have generated a SUMO1 transgenic mouse model with exclusive overexpression in neurons in an effort to identify in vivo conjugation targets and the functional consequences of their SUMOylation. A high-expressing line was examined which displayed elevated levels of mono-SUMO1 and increased high molecular weight conjugates in all brain regions. Immunoprecipitation of SUMOylated proteins from total brain extract and proteomic analysis revealed ~95 candidate proteins from a variety of functional classes, including a number of synaptic and cytoskeletal proteins. SUMO1 modification of synaptotagmin-1 was found to be elevated as compared to non-transgenic mice. This observation was associated with an age-dependent reduction in basal synaptic transmission and impaired presynaptic function as shown by altered paired pulse facilitation, as well as a decrease in spine density. The changes in neuronal function and morphology were also associated with a specific impairment in learning and memory while other behavioral features remained unchanged. These findings point to a significant contribution of SUMO1 modification on neuronal function which may have implications for mechanisms involved in mental retardation and neurodegeneration. PMID:26022678

  5. SUMO1 Affects Synaptic Function, Spine Density and Memory.

    PubMed

    Matsuzaki, Shinsuke; Lee, Linda; Knock, Erin; Srikumar, Tharan; Sakurai, Mikako; Hazrati, Lili-Naz; Katayama, Taiichi; Staniszewski, Agnieszka; Raught, Brian; Arancio, Ottavio; Fraser, Paul E

    2015-01-01

    Small ubiquitin-like modifier-1 (SUMO1) plays a number of roles in cellular events and recent evidence has given momentum for its contributions to neuronal development and function. Here, we have generated a SUMO1 transgenic mouse model with exclusive overexpression in neurons in an effort to identify in vivo conjugation targets and the functional consequences of their SUMOylation. A high-expressing line was examined which displayed elevated levels of mono-SUMO1 and increased high molecular weight conjugates in all brain regions. Immunoprecipitation of SUMOylated proteins from total brain extract and proteomic analysis revealed ~95 candidate proteins from a variety of functional classes, including a number of synaptic and cytoskeletal proteins. SUMO1 modification of synaptotagmin-1 was found to be elevated as compared to non-transgenic mice. This observation was associated with an age-dependent reduction in basal synaptic transmission and impaired presynaptic function as shown by altered paired pulse facilitation, as well as a decrease in spine density. The changes in neuronal function and morphology were also associated with a specific impairment in learning and memory while other behavioral features remained unchanged. These findings point to a significant contribution of SUMO1 modification on neuronal function which may have implications for mechanisms involved in mental retardation and neurodegeneration. PMID:26022678

  6. Electrical synapses, a personal perspective (or history).

    PubMed

    Bennett, M V

    2000-04-01

    Gap junctions are the morphological substrate of one class of electrical synapse. This memoir records the author's involvement in the development of our knowledge of the physiology and ultrastructure of electrical synapses. The answer to whether neurotransmission is electrical or chemical is either. One lesson is that Occam's razor sometimes cut too deep; the nervous system does its operations in a number of different ways and a unitarian approach can lead one astray [M.V.L. Bennett, Nicked by Occam's razor: unitarianism in the investigation of synaptic transmission, Biol. Bull. 168 (1985) 159-167]. Electrical synapses can do many things that chemical synapses can do, and do them just as slowly. The new molecular, cellular and physiological techniques will clarify where gap junctions and electrical coupling do and do not occur and permit experimental manipulation with high specificity. PMID:10751654

  7. Astrocytic mGluR5 and the tripartite synapse.

    PubMed

    Panatier, A; Robitaille, R

    2016-05-26

    In the brain, astrocytes occupy a key position between vessels and synapses. Among their numerous functions, these glial cells are key partners of neurons during synaptic transmission. Astrocytes detect transmitter release through receptors and transporters at the level of their processes, which are in close proximity to the tow neuronal elements of synapses. In response to transmitter-mediated activation, glial cells in turn regulate synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. This process has been reported to involve several glial receptors. One of the best known of such receptors is the metabotropic glutamatergic receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5). In the present review we will discuss the implication of mGluR5s as detectors of synaptic transmission. In particular, we will discuss how the functional properties and localization of these receptors permit the detection of the synaptic signal in a defined temporal window and a given spatial area around the synapse. Furthermore, we will review the impact of their activation on synaptic transmission. PMID:25847307

  8. Independent Sources of Quantal Variability at Single Glutamatergic Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Franks, Kevin M.; Stevens, Charles F.; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    2010-01-01

    Variability in the size of single postsynaptic responses is a feature of most central neurons, although the source of this variability is not completely understood. The dominant source of variability could be either intersynaptic or intrasynaptic. To quantitatively examine this question, a biophysically realistic model of an idealized central axospinous synapse was used to assess mechanisms underlying synaptic variability measurements. Three independent sources of variability were considered: stochasticity of postsynaptic receptors (“channel noise”), variations of glutamate concentration in the synaptic cleft (Δq), and differences in the potency of vesicles released from different locations on the active zone [release-location dependence (RLD)]. As expected, channel noise was small (8% of the total variance) and Δq was the dominant source of variability (58% of total variance). Surprisingly, RLD accounted for a significant amount of variability (36%). Our simulations show that potency of release sites decreased with a length constant of ~100 nm, and that receptors were not activated by release events >300 nm away, which is consistent with the observation that single active zones are rarely >300 nm. RLD also predicts that the manner in which receptors are added or removed from synapses can dramatically affect the nature of the synaptic response, with increasing receptor density being more efficient than merely increasing synaptic area. Saturation levels and synaptic geometry were also important in determining the size and shape of the distribution of amplitudes recorded at different synapses. PMID:12716926

  9. Communication, the centrosome and the immunological synapse

    PubMed Central

    Stinchcombe, Jane C.; Griffiths, Gillian M.

    2014-01-01

    Recent findings on the behaviour of the centrosome at the immunological synapse suggest a critical role for centrosome polarization in controlling the communication between immune cells required to generate an effective immune response. The features observed at the immunological synapse show parallels to centrosome (basal body) polarization seen in cilia and flagella, and the cellular communication that is now known to occur at all of these sites. PMID:25047617

  10. Emerging Roles of BAI Adhesion-GPCRs in Synapse Development and Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Duman, Joseph G; Tu, Yen-Kuei; Tolias, Kimberley F

    2016-01-01

    Synapses mediate communication between neurons and enable the brain to change in response to experience, which is essential for learning and memory. The sites of most excitatory synapses in the brain, dendritic spines, undergo rapid remodeling that is important for neural circuit formation and synaptic plasticity. Abnormalities in synapse and spine formation and plasticity are associated with a broad range of brain disorders, including intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and schizophrenia. Thus, elucidating the mechanisms that regulate these neuronal processes is critical for understanding brain function and disease. The brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor (BAI) subfamily of adhesion G-protein-coupled receptors (adhesion-GPCRs) has recently emerged as central regulators of synapse development and plasticity. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge regarding the roles of BAIs at synapses, highlighting their regulation, downstream signaling, and physiological functions, while noting the roles of other adhesion-GPCRs at synapses. We will also discuss the relevance of BAIs in various neurological and psychiatric disorders and consider their potential importance as pharmacological targets in the treatment of these diseases. PMID:26881134