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  1. Vestibular Neuronitis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Prevent Painful Swimmer's Ear Additional Content Medical News Vestibular Neuronitis By Lawrence R. Lustig, MD NOTE: This ... Drugs Herpes Zoster Oticus Meniere Disease Purulent Labyrinthitis Vestibular Neuronitis Vestibular neuronitis is a disorder characterized by ...

  2. Neuronal polarization.

    PubMed

    Takano, Tetsuya; Xu, Chundi; Funahashi, Yasuhiro; Namba, Takashi; Kaibuchi, Kozo

    2015-06-15

    Neurons are highly polarized cells with structurally and functionally distinct processes called axons and dendrites. This polarization underlies the directional flow of information in the central nervous system, so the establishment and maintenance of neuronal polarization is crucial for correct development and function. Great progress in our understanding of how neurons establish their polarity has been made through the use of cultured hippocampal neurons, while recent technological advances have enabled in vivo analysis of axon specification and elongation. This short review and accompanying poster highlight recent advances in this fascinating field, with an emphasis on the signaling mechanisms underlying axon and dendrite specification in vitro and in vivo. PMID:26081570

  3. Neuronal arithmetic

    PubMed Central

    Silver, R. Angus

    2016-01-01

    The vast computational power of the brain has traditionally been viewed as arising from the complex connectivity of neural networks, in which an individual neuron acts as a simple linear summation and thresholding device. However, recent studies show that individual neurons utilize a wealth of nonlinear mechanisms to transform synaptic input into output firing. These mechanisms can arise from synaptic plasticity, synaptic noise, and somatic and dendritic conductances. This tool kit of nonlinear mechanisms confers considerable computational power on both morphologically simple and more complex neurons, enabling them to perform a range of arithmetic operations on signals encoded in a variety of different ways. PMID:20531421

  4. Motor Neuron Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... Enhancing Diversity Find People About NINDS NINDS Motor Neuron Diseases Information Page Condensed from Motor Neuron Diseases ... and Information Publicaciones en Español What are Motor Neuron Diseases? The motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are a ...

  5. Motor Neuron Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... called upper motor neurons ) are transmitted to nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord (called lower motor neurons ) and from them to particular muscles. Upper motor neurons direct the lower motor neurons ...

  6. Mesmerising mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-06-01

    Mirror neurons have been hailed as the key to understanding social cognition. I argue that three currents of thought-relating to evolution, atomism and telepathy-have magnified the perceived importance of mirror neurons. When they are understood to be a product of associative learning, rather than an adaptation for social cognition, mirror neurons are no longer mesmerising, but they continue to raise important questions about both the psychology of science and the neural bases of social cognition. PMID:20167276

  7. Quantum neuron design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrman, Elizabeth; Steck, James

    2014-03-01

    In previous work, we have developed quantum systems that can learn and do information processing much like artificial neural networks. These learning methods have some advantages over other implementations of quantum computing in that they construct their own algorithms and could be robust to noise and decoherence. Here we take the next step, by designing quantum neurons that have some of the important behaviors of biological neurons, yet have the advantage of being complex valued and having quantum computing power. Our neuron model consists of a two-level system coupled to a Gaussian bath representing the environment. Simulations of a interconnected network of these neurons show that the model can both learn standard AI tasks, as similar networks of classical neurons have been shown to do, and, in addition, perform quantum mechanical calculations.

  8. Transporting mitochondria in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Course, Meredith M.; Wang, Xinnan

    2016-01-01

    Neurons demand vast and vacillating supplies of energy. As the key contributors of this energy, as well as primary pools of calcium and signaling molecules, mitochondria must be where the neuron needs them, when the neuron needs them. The unique architecture and length of neurons, however, make them a complex system for mitochondria to navigate. To add to this difficulty, mitochondria are synthesized mainly in the soma, but must be transported as far as the distant terminals of the neuron. Similarly, damaged mitochondria—which can cause oxidative stress to the neuron—must fuse with healthy mitochondria to repair the damage, return all the way back to the soma for disposal, or be eliminated at the terminals. Increasing evidence suggests that the improper distribution of mitochondria in neurons can lead to neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we will discuss the machinery and regulatory systems used to properly distribute mitochondria in neurons, and how this knowledge has been leveraged to better understand neurological dysfunction. PMID:27508065

  9. How microglia kill neurons.

    PubMed

    Brown, Guy C; Vilalta, Anna

    2015-12-01

    Microglia are resident brain macrophages that become inflammatory activated in most brain pathologies. Microglia normally protect neurons, but may accidentally kill neurons when attempting to limit infections or damage, and this may be more common with degenerative disease as there was no significant selection pressure on the aged brain in the past. A number of mechanisms by which activated microglia kill neurons have been identified, including: (i) stimulation of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase (PHOX) to produce superoxide and derivative oxidants, (ii) expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) producing NO and derivative oxidants, (iii) release of glutamate and glutaminase, (iv) release of TNFα, (v) release of cathepsin B, (vi) phagocytosis of stressed neurons, and (vii) decreased release of nutritive BDNF and IGF-1. PHOX stimulation contributes to microglial activation, but is not directly neurotoxic unless NO is present. NO is normally neuroprotective, but can react with superoxide to produce neurotoxic peroxynitrite, or in the presence of hypoxia inhibit mitochondrial respiration. Glutamate can be released by glia or neurons, but is neurotoxic only if the neurons are depolarised, for example as a result of mitochondrial inhibition. TNFα is normally neuroprotective, but can become toxic if caspase-8 or NF-κB activation are inhibited. If the above mechanisms do not kill neurons, they may still stress the neurons sufficiently to make them susceptible to phagocytosis by activated microglia. We review here whether microglial killing of neurons is an artefact, makes evolutionary sense or contributes in common neuropathologies and by what mechanisms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Neuroprotection. PMID:26341532

  10. Neuronal Functions of ESCRTs

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Fen-Biao

    2012-01-01

    The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRTs) regulate protein trafficking from endosomes to lysosomes. Recent studies have shown that ESCRTs are involved in various cellular processes, including membrane scission, microRNA function, viral budding, and the autophagy pathway in many tissues, including the nervous system. Indeed, dysfunctional ESCRTs are associated with neurodegeneration. However, it remains largely elusive how ESCRTs act in post-mitotic neurons, a highly specialized cell type that requires dynamic changes in neuronal structures and signaling for proper function. This review focuses on our current understandings of the functions of ESCRTs in neuronal morphology, synaptic plasticity, and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22438674

  11. Neuromorphic silicon neuron circuits.

    PubMed

    Indiveri, Giacomo; Linares-Barranco, Bernabé; Hamilton, Tara Julia; van Schaik, André; Etienne-Cummings, Ralph; Delbruck, Tobi; Liu, Shih-Chii; Dudek, Piotr; Häfliger, Philipp; Renaud, Sylvie; Schemmel, Johannes; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Arthur, John; Hynna, Kai; Folowosele, Fopefolu; Saighi, Sylvain; Serrano-Gotarredona, Teresa; Wijekoon, Jayawan; Wang, Yingxue; Boahen, Kwabena

    2011-01-01

    Hardware implementations of spiking neurons can be extremely useful for a large variety of applications, ranging from high-speed modeling of large-scale neural systems to real-time behaving systems, to bidirectional brain-machine interfaces. The specific circuit solutions used to implement silicon neurons depend on the application requirements. In this paper we describe the most common building blocks and techniques used to implement these circuits, and present an overview of a wide range of neuromorphic silicon neurons, which implement different computational models, ranging from biophysically realistic and conductance-based Hodgkin-Huxley models to bi-dimensional generalized adaptive integrate and fire models. We compare the different design methodologies used for each silicon neuron design described, and demonstrate their features with experimental results, measured from a wide range of fabricated VLSI chips. PMID:21747754

  12. Neuronal ubiquitin homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Hallengren, Jada; Chen, Ping-Chung; Wilson, Scott M.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons have highly specialized intracellular compartments that facilitate the development and activity of the nervous system. Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification that controls many aspects of neuronal function by regulating protein abundance. Disruption of this signaling pathway has been demonstrated in neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Angleman Syndrome. Since many neurological disorders exhibit ubiquitinated protein aggregates, the loss of neuronal ubiquitin homeostasis may be an important contributor of disease. This review discusses the mechanisms utilized by neurons to control the free pool of ubiquitin necessary for normal nervous system development and function as well as new roles of protein ubiquitination in regulating synaptic activity. PMID:23686613

  13. Neuromorphic Silicon Neuron Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Indiveri, Giacomo; Linares-Barranco, Bernabé; Hamilton, Tara Julia; van Schaik, André; Etienne-Cummings, Ralph; Delbruck, Tobi; Liu, Shih-Chii; Dudek, Piotr; Häfliger, Philipp; Renaud, Sylvie; Schemmel, Johannes; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Arthur, John; Hynna, Kai; Folowosele, Fopefolu; Saighi, Sylvain; Serrano-Gotarredona, Teresa; Wijekoon, Jayawan; Wang, Yingxue; Boahen, Kwabena

    2011-01-01

    Hardware implementations of spiking neurons can be extremely useful for a large variety of applications, ranging from high-speed modeling of large-scale neural systems to real-time behaving systems, to bidirectional brain–machine interfaces. The specific circuit solutions used to implement silicon neurons depend on the application requirements. In this paper we describe the most common building blocks and techniques used to implement these circuits, and present an overview of a wide range of neuromorphic silicon neurons, which implement different computational models, ranging from biophysically realistic and conductance-based Hodgkin–Huxley models to bi-dimensional generalized adaptive integrate and fire models. We compare the different design methodologies used for each silicon neuron design described, and demonstrate their features with experimental results, measured from a wide range of fabricated VLSI chips. PMID:21747754

  14. NeuronBank: A Tool for Cataloging Neuronal Circuitry

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Paul S.; Calin-Jageman, Robert; Dhawan, Akshaye; Frederick, Chad; Guo, Shuman; Dissanayaka, Rasanjalee; Hiremath, Naveen; Ma, Wenjun; Shen, Xiuyn; Wang, Hsui C.; Yang, Hong; Prasad, Sushil; Sunderraman, Rajshekhar; Zhu, Ying

    2010-01-01

    The basic unit of any nervous system is the neuron. Therefore, understanding the operation of nervous systems ultimately requires an inventory of their constituent neurons and synaptic connectivity, which form neural circuits. The presence of uniquely identifiable neurons or classes of neurons in many invertebrates has facilitated the construction of cellular-level connectivity diagrams that can be generalized across individuals within a species. Homologous neurons can also be recognized across species. Here we describe NeuronBank.org, a web-based tool that we are developing for cataloging, searching, and analyzing neuronal circuitry within and across species. Information from a single species is represented in an individual branch of NeuronBank. Users can search within a branch or perform queries across branches to look for similarities in neuronal circuits across species. The branches allow for an extensible ontology so that additional characteristics can be added as knowledge grows. Each entry in NeuronBank generates a unique accession ID, allowing it to be easily cited. There is also an automatic link to a Wiki page allowing an encyclopedic explanation of the entry. All of the 44 previously published neurons plus one previously unpublished neuron from the mollusc, Tritonia diomedea, have been entered into a branch of NeuronBank as have 4 previously published neurons from the mollusc, Melibe leonina. The ability to organize information about neuronal circuits will make this information more accessible, ultimately aiding research on these important models. PMID:20428500

  15. Neuronal avalanches and learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Arcangelis, Lucilla

    2011-05-01

    Networks of living neurons represent one of the most fascinating systems of biology. If the physical and chemical mechanisms at the basis of the functioning of a single neuron are quite well understood, the collective behaviour of a system of many neurons is an extremely intriguing subject. Crucial ingredient of this complex behaviour is the plasticity property of the network, namely the capacity to adapt and evolve depending on the level of activity. This plastic ability is believed, nowadays, to be at the basis of learning and memory in real brains. Spontaneous neuronal activity has recently shown features in common to other complex systems. Experimental data have, in fact, shown that electrical information propagates in a cortex slice via an avalanche mode. These avalanches are characterized by a power law distribution for the size and duration, features found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems and successful models have been developed to describe their behaviour. In this contribution we discuss a statistical mechanical model for the complex activity in a neuronal network. The model implements the main physiological properties of living neurons and is able to reproduce recent experimental results. Then, we discuss the learning abilities of this neuronal network. Learning occurs via plastic adaptation of synaptic strengths by a non-uniform negative feedback mechanism. The system is able to learn all the tested rules, in particular the exclusive OR (XOR) and a random rule with three inputs. The learning dynamics exhibits universal features as function of the strength of plastic adaptation. Any rule could be learned provided that the plastic adaptation is sufficiently slow.

  16. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Nia, Shahrzad Bozorg; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2014-01-01

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons are identified by their Go-like immunoreactivity, and show a distinct spatial distribution within the olfactory epithelium, similar to, but significantly different from that of crypt neurons. Furthermore, kappe neurons project to a single identified target glomerulus within the olfactory bulb, mdg5 of the mediodorsal cluster, whereas crypt neurons are known to project exclusively to the mdg2 glomerulus. Kappe neurons are negative for established markers of ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons, but appear to have microvilli. Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system. PMID:24509431

  17. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Nia, Shahrzad Bozorg; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2014-02-01

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons are identified by their Go-like immunoreactivity, and show a distinct spatial distribution within the olfactory epithelium, similar to, but significantly different from that of crypt neurons. Furthermore, kappe neurons project to a single identified target glomerulus within the olfactory bulb, mdg5 of the mediodorsal cluster, whereas crypt neurons are known to project exclusively to the mdg2 glomerulus. Kappe neurons are negative for established markers of ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons, but appear to have microvilli. Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system.

  18. Imaging voltage in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Peterka, Darcy S.; Takahashi, Hiroto; Yuste, Rafael

    2011-01-01

    In the last decades, imaging membrane potential has become a fruitful approach to study neural circuits, especially in invertebrate preparations with large, resilient neurons. At the same time, particularly in mammalian preparations, voltage imaging methods suffer from poor signal to noise and secondary side effects, and they fall short of providing single-cell resolution when imaging of the activity of neuronal populations. As an introduction to these techniques, we briefly review different voltage imaging methods (including organic fluorophores, SHG chromophores, genetic indicators, hybrid, nanoparticles and intrinsic approaches), and illustrate some of their applications to neuronal biophysics and mammalian circuit analysis. We discuss their mechanisms of voltage sensitivity, from reorientation, electrochromic or electro-optical phenomena, to interaction among chromophores or membrane scattering, and highlight their advantages and shortcomings, commenting on the outlook for development of novel voltage imaging methods. PMID:21220095

  19. Josephson junction simulation of neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crotty, Patrick; Schult, Dan; Segall, Ken

    2010-07-01

    With the goal of understanding the intricate behavior and dynamics of collections of neurons, we present superconducting circuits containing Josephson junctions that model biologically realistic neurons. These “Josephson junction neurons” reproduce many characteristic behaviors of biological neurons such as action potentials, refractory periods, and firing thresholds. They can be coupled together in ways that mimic electrical and chemical synapses. Using existing fabrication technologies, large interconnected networks of Josephson junction neurons would operate fully in parallel. They would be orders of magnitude faster than both traditional computer simulations and biological neural networks. Josephson junction neurons provide a new tool for exploring long-term large-scale dynamics for networks of neurons.

  20. Neuronal porosome lipidome

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Kenneth T; Maddipati, Krishna R; Taatjes, Douglas J; Jena, Bhanu P

    2014-01-01

    Cup-shaped lipoprotein structures called porosomes are the universal secretory portals at the cell plasma membrane, where secretory vesicles transiently dock and fuse to release intravesicular contents. In neurons, porosomes measure ∼15 nm and are comprised of nearly 40 proteins, among them SNAREs, ion channels, the Gαo G-protein and several structural proteins. Earlier studies report the interaction of specific lipids and their influence on SNAREs, ion channels and G-protein function. Our own studies demonstrate the requirement of cholesterol for the maintenance of neuronal porosome integrity, and the influence of lipids on SNARE complex assembly. In this study, to further understand the role of lipids on porosome structure-function, the lipid composition of isolated neuronal porosome was determined using mass spectrometry. Using lipid-binding assays, the affinity of porosome-associated syntaxin-1A to various lipids was determined. Our mass spectrometry results demonstrate the presence of phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIP's) and phosphatidic acid (PA) among other lipids, and the enriched presence of ceramide (Cer), lysophosphatidylinositol phosphates (LPIP) and diacylglycerol (DAG). Lipid binding assays demonstrate the binding of neuronal porosome to cardiolipin, and confirm its association with PIP's and PA. The ability of exogenous PA to alter protein–protein interaction and neurotransmitter release is further demonstrated from the study. PMID:25224862

  1. Nanoresolution radiology of neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, H.R.; Chen, S.T.; Chu, Y.S.; Conley, R.; Bouet, N.; Chien, C.C.; Chen, H.H.; Lin, C.H.; Tung, H.T.; Chen, Y.S.; Margaritondo, G.; Je, J.H.; Hwu, Y.

    2013-04-08

    We report recent advances in hard-x-ray optics - including record spatial resolution - and in staining techniques that enable synchrotron microradiology to produce neurobiology images of quality comparable to electron and visible microscopy. In addition, microradiology offers excellent penetration and effective three-dimensional detection as required for many neuron studies. Our tests include tomographic reconstruction based on projection image sets.

  2. Nanoresolution radiology of neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, H. R.; Chen, S. T.; Chu, Y. S.; Conley, R.; Bouet, N.; Chien, C. C.; Chen, H. H.; Lin, C. H.; Tung, H. T.; Chen, Y. S.; Margaritondo, G.; Je, J. H.; Hwu, Y.

    2012-05-29

    We report recent advances in hard-x-ray optics—including record spatial resolution—and in staining techniques that enable synchrotron microradiology to produce neurobiology images of quality comparable to electron and visible microscopy. In addition, microradiology offers excellent penetration and effective three-dimensional detection as required for many neuron studies. Our tests include tomographic reconstruction based on projection image sets.

  3. Epigenomic Landscapes Reflect Neuronal Diversity.

    PubMed

    Henikoff, Steven

    2015-06-17

    Epigenomic profiling of complex tissues obscures regulatory elements that distinguish one cell type from another. In this issue of Neuron, Mo et al. (2015) apply cell-type-specific profiling to mouse neuronal subtypes and discover an unprecedented level of neuronal diversity. PMID:26087157

  4. Neuronal cell cycle: the neuron itself and its circumstances

    PubMed Central

    Frade, José M; Ovejero-Benito, María C

    2015-01-01

    Neurons are usually regarded as postmitotic cells that undergo apoptosis in response to cell cycle reactivation. Nevertheless, recent evidence indicates the existence of a defined developmental program that induces DNA replication in specific populations of neurons, which remain in a tetraploid state for the rest of their adult life. Similarly, de novo neuronal tetraploidization has also been described in the adult brain as an early hallmark of neurodegeneration. The aim of this review is to integrate these recent developments in the context of cell cycle regulation and apoptotic cell death in neurons. We conclude that a variety of mechanisms exists in neuronal cells for G1/S and G2/M checkpoint regulation. These mechanisms, which are connected with the apoptotic machinery, can be modulated by environmental signals and the neuronal phenotype itself, thus resulting in a variety of outcomes ranging from cell death at the G1/S checkpoint to full proliferation of differentiated neurons. PMID:25590687

  5. Phosphoinositide signaling in somatosensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Rohacs, Tibor

    2016-05-01

    Somatosensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and trigeminal ganglia (TG) are responsible for detecting thermal and tactile stimuli. They are also the primary neurons mediating pain and itch. A large number of cell surface receptors in these neurons couple to phospholipase C (PLC) enzymes leading to the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] and the generation of downstream signaling molecules. These neurons also express many different ion channels, several of which are regulated by phosphoinositides. This review will summarize the knowledge on phosphoinositide signaling in DRG neurons, with special focus on effects on sensory and other ion channels. PMID:26724974

  6. Neuronal synchrony: peculiarity and generality.

    PubMed

    Nowotny, Thomas; Huerta, Ramon; Rabinovich, Mikhail I

    2008-09-01

    Synchronization in neuronal systems is a new and intriguing application of dynamical systems theory. Why are neuronal systems different as a subject for synchronization? (1) Neurons in themselves are multidimensional nonlinear systems that are able to exhibit a wide variety of different activity patterns. Their "dynamical repertoire" includes regular or chaotic spiking, regular or chaotic bursting, multistability, and complex transient regimes. (2) Usually, neuronal oscillations are the result of the cooperative activity of many synaptically connected neurons (a neuronal circuit). Thus, it is necessary to consider synchronization between different neuronal circuits as well. (3) The synapses that implement the coupling between neurons are also dynamical elements and their intrinsic dynamics influences the process of synchronization or entrainment significantly. In this review we will focus on four new problems: (i) the synchronization in minimal neuronal networks with plastic synapses (synchronization with activity dependent coupling), (ii) synchronization of bursts that are generated by a group of nonsymmetrically coupled inhibitory neurons (heteroclinic synchronization), (iii) the coordination of activities of two coupled neuronal networks (partial synchronization of small composite structures), and (iv) coarse grained synchronization in larger systems (synchronization on a mesoscopic scale). PMID:19045493

  7. RNA Protein Interaction in Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Darnell, Robert B.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons have their own systems for regulating RNA. Several multigene families encode RNA binding proteins (RNABPs) that are uniquely expressed in neurons, including the well-known neuron-specific markers ELAV and NeuN, and the disease antigen NOVA. New technologies have emerged in recent years to assess the function of these proteins in vivo, and the answers are yielding insights into how and why neurons may regulate RNA in special ways—to increase cellular complexity, to spatially localize mRNA, and to regulate their expression in response to synaptic stimuli. The functions of such restricted neuronal proteins is likely to be complimented by more widely expressed RNABPs that may themselves have developed specialized functions in neurons, including Argonaute/miRNAs. Here we review what is known about such RNABPs, and explore the potential biologic and neurologic significance of neuronal RNA regulatory systems. PMID:23701460

  8. Add neurons, subtract anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Kheirbek, Mazen A.; Hen, René

    2014-01-01

    IN BRIEF To keep memories from becoming jumbled, the brain must encode the distinct features of events and situations in a way that allows them to be distinguished from one another—a process called pattern separation. Pattern separation enables us to distinguish dangerous situations from similar ones that pose no risk. People with defects in this ability may be prone to anxiety disorders. The process occurs in one of the two regions of the brain that generate neurons throughout life. These fledgling cells seem to be critical to pattern separation. Interventions that specifically boost the ranks of rookie neurons could provide new ways to regulate mood and possibly treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. PMID:24974712

  9. Single neuron modeling and data assimilation in BNST neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farsian, Reza

    Neurons, although tiny in size, are vastly complicated systems, which are responsible for the most basic yet essential functions of any nervous system. Even the most simple models of single neurons are usually high dimensional, nonlinear, and contain many parameters and states which are unobservable in a typical neurophysiological experiment. One of the most fundamental problems in experimental neurophysiology is the estimation of these parameters and states, since knowing their values is essential in identification, model construction, and forward prediction of biological neurons. Common methods of parameter and state estimation do not perform well for neural models due to their high dimensionality and nonlinearity. In this dissertation, two alternative approaches for parameters and state estimation of biological neurons have been demonstrated: dynamical parameter estimation (DPE) and a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. The first method uses elements of chaos control and synchronization theory for parameter and state estimation. MCMC is a statistical approach which uses a path integral formulation to evaluate a mean and an error bound for these unobserved parameters and states. These methods have been applied to biological system of neurons in Bed Nucleus of Stria Termialis neurons (BNST) of rats. State and parameters of neurons in both systems were estimated, and their value were used for recreating a realistic model and predicting the behavior of the neurons successfully. The knowledge of biological parameters can ultimately provide a better understanding of the internal dynamics of a neuron in order to build robust models of neuron networks.

  10. Simple neuron models of ITD sensitive neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dasika, Vasant; White, John A.; Colburn, H. Steven

    2002-05-01

    Neurons which show sensitivity to interaural time delay (ITD) exist in both mammalian medial superior olive (MSO), and bird nucleus laminaris (NL). In this study, we examine simple mathematical models of single MSO and NL cells which respond probabilistically to a pair of isolated inputs with a response probability that depends on the input interpulse interval. Inputs are either isolated pulse pairs or pairs of periodic trains, with or without random jitter added to their event times. Refractoriness is incorporated in the input description and/or in the cell model in specified simulations. We find that periodic rate-ITD shapes are shaped by three interacting factors: the cell's temporal response (described by the paired-pulse response), input frequency, and the degree of input synchrony. Paired-pulse responses are able to predict the widths of rate-ITD curves obtained from deterministic periodic input simulations. Reduced input synchrony predictably smears rate-ITD curves. Larger numbers of weaker inputs yield stronger rate-ITD modulation than a few strong inputs. Model response is compared with in vivo and in vitro MSO and NL physiological data. Comparisons with published analytical models as well as more complex and realistic physiological cell models are examined.

  11. Micropatterning neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Hardelauf, Heike; Waide, Sarah; Sisnaiske, Julia; Jacob, Peter; Hausherr, Vanessa; Schöbel, Nicole; Janasek, Dirk; van Thriel, Christoph; West, Jonathan

    2014-07-01

    Spatially organised neuronal networks have wide reaching applications, including fundamental research, toxicology testing, pharmaceutical screening and the realisation of neuronal implant interfaces. Despite the large number of methods catalogued in the literature there remains the need to identify a method that delivers high pattern compliance, long-term stability and is widely accessible to neuroscientists. In this comparative study, aminated (polylysine/polyornithine and aminosilanes) and cytophobic (poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and methylated) material contrasts were evaluated. Backfilling plasma stencilled PEGylated substrates with polylysine does not produce good material contrasts, whereas polylysine patterned on methylated substrates becomes mobilised by agents in the cell culture media which results in rapid pattern decay. Aminosilanes, polylysine substitutes, are prone to hydrolysis and the chemistries prove challenging to master. Instead, the stable coupling between polylysine and PLL-g-PEG can be exploited: Microcontact printing polylysine onto a PLL-g-PEG coated glass substrate provides a simple means to produce microstructured networks of primary neurons that have superior pattern compliance during long term (>1 month) culture. PMID:24855658

  12. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase expressing neurons: a journey from birth to neuronal circuits

    PubMed Central

    Tricoire, Ludovic; Vitalis, Tania

    2012-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signaling molecule crucial for many physiological processes such as synaptic plasticity, vasomotricity, and inflammation. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of NO by neurons. In the juvenile and mature hippocampus and neocortex nNOS is primarily expressed by subpopulations of GABAergic interneurons. Over the past two decades, many advances have been achieved in the characterization of neocortical and hippocampal nNOS expressing neurons. In this review, we summarize past and present studies that have characterized the electrophysiological, morphological, molecular, and synaptic properties of these neurons. We also discuss recent studies that have shed light on the developmental origins and specification of GABAergic neurons with specific attention to neocortical and hippocampal nNOS expressing GABAergic neurons. Finally, we summarize the roles of NO and nNOS-expressing inhibitory neurons. PMID:23227003

  13. Consistent estimation of complete neuronal connectivity in large neuronal populations using sparse "shotgun" neuronal activity sampling.

    PubMed

    Mishchenko, Yuriy

    2016-10-01

    We investigate the properties of recently proposed "shotgun" sampling approach for the common inputs problem in the functional estimation of neuronal connectivity. We study the asymptotic correctness, the speed of convergence, and the data size requirements of such an approach. We show that the shotgun approach can be expected to allow the inference of complete connectivity matrix in large neuronal populations under some rather general conditions. However, we find that the posterior error of the shotgun connectivity estimator grows quickly with the size of unobserved neuronal populations, the square of average connectivity strength, and the square of observation sparseness. This implies that the shotgun connectivity estimation will require significantly larger amounts of neuronal activity data whenever the number of neurons in observed neuronal populations remains small. We present a numerical approach for solving the shotgun estimation problem in general settings and use it to demonstrate the shotgun connectivity inference in the examples of simulated synfire and weakly coupled cortical neuronal networks. PMID:27515518

  14. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Vivian M.; Hegeman, Daniel J.; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A.; Fiske, Michael P.; Glajch, Kelly E.; Pitt, Jason E.; Huang, Tina Y.; Justice, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping

  15. Metabolic reprogramming during neuronal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Agostini, M; Romeo, F; Inoue, S; Niklison-Chirou, M V; Elia, A J; Dinsdale, D; Morone, N; Knight, R A; Mak, T W; Melino, G

    2016-09-01

    Newly generated neurons pass through a series of well-defined developmental stages, which allow them to integrate into existing neuronal circuits. After exit from the cell cycle, postmitotic neurons undergo neuronal migration, axonal elongation, axon pruning, dendrite morphogenesis and synaptic maturation and plasticity. Lack of a global metabolic analysis during early cortical neuronal development led us to explore the role of cellular metabolism and mitochondrial biology during ex vivo differentiation of primary cortical neurons. Unexpectedly, we observed a huge increase in mitochondrial biogenesis. Changes in mitochondrial mass, morphology and function were correlated with the upregulation of the master regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis, TFAM and PGC-1α. Concomitant with mitochondrial biogenesis, we observed an increase in glucose metabolism during neuronal differentiation, which was linked to an increase in glucose uptake and enhanced GLUT3 mRNA expression and platelet isoform of phosphofructokinase 1 (PFKp) protein expression. In addition, glutamate-glutamine metabolism was also increased during the differentiation of cortical neurons. We identified PI3K-Akt-mTOR signalling as a critical regulator role of energy metabolism in neurons. Selective pharmacological inhibition of these metabolic pathways indicate existence of metabolic checkpoint that need to be satisfied in order to allow neuronal differentiation. PMID:27058317

  16. Encephalization, neuronal excess, and neuronal index in rodents.

    PubMed

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2007-10-01

    Encephalization, or brain size larger than expected from body size, has long been considered to correlate with improved cognitive abilities across species and even intelligence. However, it is still unknown what characteristics of relatively large brains underlie their improved functions. Here, it is shown that more encephalized rodent species have the number of neurons expected for their brain size, but a larger number of neurons than expected for their body size. The number of neurons in excess relative to body size might be available for improved associative functions and, thus, be responsible for the cognitive advantage observed in more encephalized animals. It is further proposed that, if such neuronal excess does provide for improved cognitive abilities, then the total number of excess neurons in each species-here dubbed the neuronal index-should be a better indicator of cognitive abilities than the encephalization quotient (EQ). Because the neuronal index is a function of both the number of neurons expected from the size of the body and the absolute number of neurons in the brain, differences in this parameter across species that share similar EQs might explain why these often have different cognitive capabilities, particularly when comparing across mammalian orders. PMID:17847061

  17. Pin1 in Neuronal Apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Esther B.E.; Bonni, Azad

    2009-01-01

    While the role of the prolyl isomerase Pin1 in dividing cells has long been recognized, Pin1’s function in postmitotic neurons is poorly understood. We have identified a novel mechanism by which Pin1 mediates activation of the mitochondrial cell death machinery specifically in neurons. This perspective presents a sophisticated signaling pathway that triggers neuronal apoptosis upon JNK-mediated phosphorylation of the BH3-only protein BIMEL at serine 65. Pin1 is enriched at the mitochondria in neurons together with BIMEL and components of a neuron-specific JNK signaling complex and functions as a molecular switch that couples the phosphorylation of BIMEL by JNK to apoptosis specifically in neurons. We discuss how these findings relate to our understanding of the development of the nervous system and the pathogenesis of neurologic disorders. PMID:17568190

  18. The straintronic spin-neuron.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Ayan K; Atulasimha, Jayasimha; Bandyopadhyay, Supriyo

    2015-07-17

    In artificial neural networks, neurons are usually implemented with highly dissipative CMOS-based operational amplifiers. A more energy-efficient implementation is a 'spin-neuron' realized with a magneto-tunneling junction (MTJ) that is switched with a spin-polarized current (representing weighted sum of input currents) that either delivers a spin transfer torque or induces domain wall motion in the soft layer of the MTJ to mimic neuron firing. Here, we propose and analyze a different type of spin-neuron in which the soft layer of the MTJ is switched with mechanical strain generated by a voltage (representing weighted sum of input voltages) and term it straintronic spin-neuron. It dissipates orders of magnitude less energy in threshold operations than the traditional current-driven spin neuron at 0 K temperature and may even be faster. We have also studied the room-temperature firing behaviors of both types of spin neurons and find that thermal noise degrades the performance of both types, but the current-driven type is degraded much more than the straintronic type if both are optimized for maximum energy-efficiency. On the other hand, if both are designed to have the same level of thermal degradation, then the current-driven version will dissipate orders of magnitude more energy than the straintronic version. Thus, the straintronic spin-neuron is superior to current-driven spin neurons. PMID:26112081

  19. The biophysics of neuronal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franze, Kristian; Guck, Jochen

    2010-09-01

    For a long time, neuroscience has focused on biochemical, molecular biological and electrophysiological aspects of neuronal physiology and pathology. However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating the importance of physical stimuli for neuronal growth and development. In this review we briefly summarize the historical background of neurobiophysics and give an overview over the current understanding of neuronal growth from a physics perspective. We show how biophysics has so far contributed to a better understanding of neuronal growth and discuss current inconsistencies. Finally, we speculate how biophysics may contribute to the successful treatment of lesions to the central nervous system, which have been considered incurable until very recently.

  20. Neuronal avalanches and coherence potentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plenz, D.

    2012-05-01

    The mammalian cortex consists of a vast network of weakly interacting excitable cells called neurons. Neurons must synchronize their activities in order to trigger activity in neighboring neurons. Moreover, interactions must be carefully regulated to remain weak (but not too weak) such that cascades of active neuronal groups avoid explosive growth yet allow for activity propagation over long-distances. Such a balance is robustly realized for neuronal avalanches, which are defined as cortical activity cascades that follow precise power laws. In experiments, scale-invariant neuronal avalanche dynamics have been observed during spontaneous cortical activity in isolated preparations in vitro as well as in the ongoing cortical activity of awake animals and in humans. Theory, models, and experiments suggest that neuronal avalanches are the signature of brain function near criticality at which the cortex optimally responds to inputs and maximizes its information capacity. Importantly, avalanche dynamics allow for the emergence of a subset of avalanches, the coherence potentials. They emerge when the synchronization of a local neuronal group exceeds a local threshold, at which the system spawns replicas of the local group activity at distant network sites. The functional importance of coherence potentials will be discussed in the context of propagating structures, such as gliders in balanced cellular automata. Gliders constitute local population dynamics that replicate in space after a finite number of generations and are thought to provide cellular automata with universal computation. Avalanches and coherence potentials are proposed to constitute a modern framework of cortical synchronization dynamics that underlies brain function.

  1. [Motor neuron disease: metabolic evaluation].

    PubMed

    Godoy, J M; Skacel, M; Balassiano, S L; Neves, J R

    1992-03-01

    The authors studied serum and urinary calcium and phosphorus levels, as well as abnormalities on the spine of 30 patients with motor neuron disease. The authors believe in multifactorial aspects in the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease, calling special attention to toxic and metabolic factors. PMID:1307483

  2. Synchronization by elastic neuronal latencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vardi, Roni; Timor, Reut; Marom, Shimon; Abeles, Moshe; Kanter, Ido

    2013-01-01

    Psychological and physiological considerations entail that formation and functionality of neuronal cell assemblies depend upon synchronized repeated activation such as zero-lag synchronization. Several mechanisms for the emergence of this phenomenon have been suggested, including the global network quantity, the greatest common divisor of neuronal circuit delay loops. However, they require strict biological prerequisites such as precisely matched delays and connectivity, and synchronization is represented as a stationary mode of activity instead of a transient phenomenon. Here we show that the unavoidable increase in neuronal response latency to ongoing stimulation serves as a nonuniform gradual stretching of neuronal circuit delay loops. This apparent nuisance is revealed to be an essential mechanism in various types of neuronal time controllers, where synchronization emerges as a transient phenomenon and without predefined precisely matched synaptic delays. These findings are described in an experimental procedure where conditioned stimulations were enforced on a circuit of neurons embedded within a large-scale network of cortical cells in vitro, and are corroborated and extended by simulations of circuits composed of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons with time-dependent latencies. These findings announce a cortical time scale for time controllers based on tens of microseconds stretching of neuronal circuit delay loops per spike. They call for a reexamination of the role of the temporal periodic mode in brain functionality using advanced in vitro and in vivo experiments.

  3. The Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Michael J.; Rakheja, Dinesh

    2013-01-01

    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL's, Batten disease) represent a group of severe neurodegenerative diseases, which mostly present in childhood. The phenotypes are similar and include visual loss, seizures, loss of motor and cognitive function, and early death. At autopsy, there is massive neuronal loss with characteristic storage in…

  4. Neuron's function revealed

    SciTech Connect

    2009-01-01

    There's a new way to explore biologys secrets. With a flash of light, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energys Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley zeroed in on the type of neural cell that controls swimming in larval zebrafish. Using innovative light-activated proteins and gene expression techniques, the scientists zapped several zebrafish with a pulse of light, and initiated a swimming action in a subset of fish that was traced back to the type of neuron that drives the side-to-side motion of their tail fins. The technique behind this needle-in-haystack search for the neural roots of a specific behavior could become a powerful way to learn how any biological system works. http://newscenter.lbl.gov/press-releases/2009/09/16/light-activated-protein/

  5. Ethanol and neuronal metabolism.

    PubMed

    Mandel, P; Ledig, M; M'Paria, J R

    1980-01-01

    The effect of ethanol on membrane enzymes (Na+, K+ and Mg2+ ATPases, 5'-nucleotidase, adenylate cyclase) alcohol dehydrogenase, aldehyde dehydrogenase and superoxide dismutase were studied in nerve cells (established cell lines, primary cultures of chick and rat brain) cultured in the presence of 100 mM ethanol, and in total rat brain, following various ethanol treatments of the rats (20% ethanol as the sole liquid source, intraperitoneal injection). The results show a difference between neuronal and glial cells. Most of the observed changes in enzymatic activities returned rapidly to control values when ethanol was withdrawn from the culture medium or from the diet. Alcohol dehydrogenase was more stimulated by ethanol than aldehyde dehydrogenase; therefore acetaldehyde may be accumulated. The inhibition of superoxide dismutase activity may allow an accumulation of cytotoxic O2- radicals in nervous tissue and may explain the polymorphism of lesions brought about by alcohol intoxication. PMID:6264495

  6. Multiplying with Neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabbiani, F.; Krapp, H.; Koch, C.; Laurent, G.

    1998-03-01

    LGMD and DCMD are a pair of identified neurons in the locust brain thought to be involved in visually triggered escape behavior. LGMD integrates visual inputs in its dendritic arbor, converts them into spikes transmitted in a 1:1 manner to DCMD which relays this information to motor centers. We measured the spike activity of DCMD during simulated object approach and observed that its peak occured prior to the expected collision. The time difference between peak activity and collision depended linearly on the ratio of object size to approach velocity, as expected if LGMD/DCMD were detecting the moment in time when the approaching object reaches a fixed angular threshold θ_thresh on the locust's retina. The response of LGMD/DCMD could be fitted by multiplying the angular velocity at which an approaching object is increasing in size over the retina, dot θ, with an exponential function of the object's angular size, θ: f(t) = g(dot θ(t-δ) e^-α θ(t-δ)) where g is a static non-linearity, α a constant related to the angular threshold detected by LGMD/DCMD (θ_thresh = arctan (2/α)) and δ denotes the lag of the neuronal response with respect to the stimulus. This suggests that LGMD/DCMD derives its angular threshold sensitivity by multiplying dot θ with an exponential of θ. A biophysical implementation would be through linear summation of excitatory and inhibitory inputs proportional to log(dot θ) and -α θ, followed by a conversion to spike rate according to the static non-linearity (g circ exp). We have performed several experiments to test this hypothesis.

  7. Neuronal cell lines as model dorsal root ganglion neurons

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Kathleen; Baillie, Gregory J

    2016-01-01

    Background Dorsal root ganglion neuron-derived immortal cell lines including ND7/23 and F-11 cells have been used extensively as in vitro model systems of native peripheral sensory neurons. However, while it is clear that some sensory neuron-specific receptors and ion channels are present in these cell lines, a systematic comparison of the molecular targets expressed by these cell lines with those expressed in intact peripheral neurons is lacking. Results In this study, we examined the expression of RNA transcripts in the human neuroblastoma-derived cell line, SH-SY5Y, and two dorsal root ganglion hybridoma cell lines, F-11 and ND7/23, using Illumina next-generation sequencing, and compared the results with native whole murine dorsal root ganglions. The gene expression profiles of these three cell lines did not resemble any specific defined dorsal root ganglion subclass. The cell lines lacked many markers for nociceptive sensory neurons, such as the Transient receptor potential V1 gene, but expressed markers for both myelinated and unmyelinated neurons. Global gene ontology analysis on whole dorsal root ganglions and cell lines showed similar enrichment of biological process terms across all samples. Conclusions This paper provides insights into the receptor repertoire expressed in common dorsal root ganglion neuron-derived cell lines compared with whole murine dorsal root ganglions, and illustrates the limits and potentials of these cell lines as tools for neuropharmacological exploration. PMID:27130590

  8. Stochastic models of neuronal dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, L.M; David, O; Friston, K.J

    2005-01-01

    Cortical activity is the product of interactions among neuronal populations. Macroscopic electrophysiological phenomena are generated by these interactions. In principle, the mechanisms of these interactions afford constraints on biologically plausible models of electrophysiological responses. In other words, the macroscopic features of cortical activity can be modelled in terms of the microscopic behaviour of neurons. An evoked response potential (ERP) is the mean electrical potential measured from an electrode on the scalp, in response to some event. The purpose of this paper is to outline a population density approach to modelling ERPs. We propose a biologically plausible model of neuronal activity that enables the estimation of physiologically meaningful parameters from electrophysiological data. The model encompasses four basic characteristics of neuronal activity and organization: (i) neurons are dynamic units, (ii) driven by stochastic forces, (iii) organized into populations with similar biophysical properties and response characteristics and (iv) multiple populations interact to form functional networks. This leads to a formulation of population dynamics in terms of the Fokker–Planck equation. The solution of this equation is the temporal evolution of a probability density over state-space, representing the distribution of an ensemble of trajectories. Each trajectory corresponds to the changing state of a neuron. Measurements can be modelled by taking expectations over this density, e.g. mean membrane potential, firing rate or energy consumption per neuron. The key motivation behind our approach is that ERPs represent an average response over many neurons. This means it is sufficient to model the probability density over neurons, because this implicitly models their average state. Although the dynamics of each neuron can be highly stochastic, the dynamics of the density is not. This means we can use Bayesian inference and estimation tools that have

  9. Simulating synchronization in neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fink, Christian G.

    2016-06-01

    We discuss several techniques used in simulating neuronal networks by exploring how a network's connectivity structure affects its propensity for synchronous spiking. Network connectivity is generated using the Watts-Strogatz small-world algorithm, and two key measures of network structure are described. These measures quantify structural characteristics that influence collective neuronal spiking, which is simulated using the leaky integrate-and-fire model. Simulations show that adding a small number of random connections to an otherwise lattice-like connectivity structure leads to a dramatic increase in neuronal synchronization.

  10. Single neuron dynamics and computation.

    PubMed

    Brunel, Nicolas; Hakim, Vincent; Richardson, Magnus J E

    2014-04-01

    At the single neuron level, information processing involves the transformation of input spike trains into an appropriate output spike train. Building upon the classical view of a neuron as a threshold device, models have been developed in recent years that take into account the diverse electrophysiological make-up of neurons and accurately describe their input-output relations. Here, we review these recent advances and survey the computational roles that they have uncovered for various electrophysiological properties, for dendritic arbor anatomy as well as for short-term synaptic plasticity. PMID:24492069

  11. Towards Automatic Classification of Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Armañanzas, Rubén; Ascoli, Giorgio A.

    2015-01-01

    The classification of neurons into types has been much debated since the inception of modern neuroscience. Recent experimental advances are accelerating the pace of data collection. The resulting information growth of morphological, physiological, and molecular properties encourages efforts to automate neuronal classification by powerful machine learning techniques. We review state-of-the-art analysis approaches and availability of suitable data and resources, highlighting prominent challenges and opportunities. The effective solution of the neuronal classification problem will require continuous development of computational methods, high-throughput data production, and systematic metadata organization to enable cross-lab integration. PMID:25765323

  12. A fish on the hunt, observed neuron by neuron

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    This three-dimensional microscopy image reveals an output neuron of the optic tectum lighting up in response to visual information from the retina. The scientists used this state-of-the-art imaging technology to learn how neurons in the optic tectum take visual information and convert it into an output that drives action. More information: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2010/10/29/zebrafish-vision/

  13. The neuronal and actin commitment: Why do neurons need rings?

    PubMed

    Leite, Sérgio Carvalho; Sousa, Mónica Mendes

    2016-09-01

    The role of the actin cytoskeleton in neurons has been extensively studied in actin-enriched compartments such as the growth cone and dendritic spines. The recent discovery of actin rings in the axon shaft and in dendrites, together with the identification of axon actin trails, has advanced our understanding on actin organization and dynamics in neurons. However, specifically in the case of actin rings, the mechanisms regulating their nucleation and assembly, and the functions that they may exert in axons and dendrites remain largely unexplored. Here we discuss the possible structural, mechanistic and functional properties of the subcortical neuronal cytoskeleton putting the current knowledge in perspective with the information available on actin rings formed in other biological contexts, and with the organization of actin-spectrin lattices in other cell types. The detailed analysis of these novel neuronal actin ring structures, together with the elucidation of the function of actin-binding proteins in neuron biology, has a large potential to uncover new mechanisms of neuronal function under normal conditions that may have impact in our understanding of axon degeneration and regeneration. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26784007

  14. Tinbergen on mirror neurons

    PubMed Central

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years ago, Niko Tinbergen defined the scope of behavioural biology with his four problems: causation, ontogeny, survival value and evolution. About 20 years ago, there was another highly significant development in behavioural biology—the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs). Here, I use Tinbergen's original four problems (rather than the list that appears in textbooks) to highlight the differences between two prominent accounts of MNs, the genetic and associative accounts; to suggest that the latter provides the defeasible ‘best explanation’ for current data on the causation and ontogeny of MNs; and to argue that functional analysis, of the kind that Tinbergen identified somewhat misleadingly with studies of ‘survival value’, should be a high priority for future research. In this kind of functional analysis, system-level theories would assign MNs a small, but potentially important, role in the achievement of action understanding—or another social cognitive function—by a production line of interacting component processes. These theories would be tested by experimental intervention in human and non-human animal samples with carefully documented and controlled developmental histories. PMID:24778376

  15. Optical Stimulation of Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Alexander C.; Stoddart, Paul R.; Jansen, E. Duco

    2014-01-01

    Our capacity to interface with the nervous system remains overwhelmingly reliant on electrical stimulation devices, such as electrode arrays and cuff electrodes that can stimulate both central and peripheral nervous systems. However, electrical stimulation has to deal with multiple challenges, including selectivity, spatial resolution, mechanical stability, implant-induced injury and the subsequent inflammatory response. Optical stimulation techniques may avoid some of these challenges by providing more selective stimulation, higher spatial resolution and reduced invasiveness of the device, while also avoiding the electrical artefacts that complicate recordings of electrically stimulated neuronal activity. This review explores the current status of optical stimulation techniques, including optogenetic methods, photoactive molecule approaches and infrared neural stimulation, together with emerging techniques such as hybrid optical-electrical stimulation, nanoparticle enhanced stimulation and optoelectric methods. Infrared neural stimulation is particularly emphasised, due to the potential for direct activation of neural tissue by infrared light, as opposed to techniques that rely on the introduction of exogenous light responsive materials. However, infrared neural stimulation remains imperfectly understood, and techniques for accurately delivering light are still under development. While the various techniques reviewed here confirm the overall feasibility of optical stimulation, a number of challenges remain to be overcome before they can deliver their full potential. PMID:26322269

  16. Polyphenolic Antioxidants and Neuronal Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ataie, Amin; Shadifar, Mohammad; Ataee, Ramin

    2016-01-01

    Many studies indicate that oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress can induce neuronal damages, modulate intracellular signaling and ultimately leads to neuronal death by apoptosis or necrosis. To review antioxidants preventive effects on oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases we accumulated data from international medical journals and academic informations’ sites. According to many studies, antioxidants could reduce toxic neuronal damages and many studies confirmed the efficacy of polyphenol antioxidants in fruits and vegetables to reduce neuronal death and to diminish oxidative stress. This systematic review showed the antioxidant activities of phytochemicals which play as natural neuroprotectives with low adverse effects against some neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson or Alzheimer diseases. PMID:27303602

  17. Experiments on clustered neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teller, S.; Soriano, J.

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal cultures show a rich repertoire of spontaneous activity. However, the mechanisms that relate a particular network architecture with a specific dynamic behavior are still not well understood. In order to investigate the dependence of neuronal network dynamics on architecture we study spontaneous activity in networks formed by interconnected aggregates of neurons (clustered neuronal networks). In the experiments we monitor the spontaneous activity using calcium fluorescence imaging. Network's firing is characterized by bursts of activity, in which the clusters fire sequentially in a short time window, remaining silent until the next bursting episode. We also investigate perturbations on the connectivity of the network. We mainly focus in physical damage. In some cases we observe important changes in the collective activity of the network, while in other cases some dynamic motifs are preserved, hinting at the existence of dynamic robustness.

  18. [Ambient modulation of neuronal excitability].

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi-Zhang

    2016-08-25

    Although the modulation of synaptic activity plays an important role in the modulation of neuronal excitability, the significance of the ambient modulation (AM) of neuronal excitability should be emphasized. The AM refers to the alterations of membrane potential of neuron resulted from distinct neural activities, such as the tonic inhibition and excitation through activation of extra-synaptic receptors, the paracrine actions of nearby neural and non-neural cells, endocrinal actions of blood borne hormones and other active chemical substances. The AM of neuronal excitability may have important bearings on distinct brain functions, such as the regulation and switching of cortical states, the appearance of chaotic and vague feelings, which are usually the characteristic features in many mental and neural disorders. PMID:27546499

  19. Polyphenolic Antioxidants and Neuronal Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Ataie, Amin; Shadifar, Mohammad; Ataee, Ramin

    2016-04-01

    Many studies indicate that oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress can induce neuronal damages, modulate intracellular signaling and ultimately leads to neuronal death by apoptosis or necrosis. To review antioxidants preventive effects on oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases we accumulated data from international medical journals and academic informations' sites. According to many studies, antioxidants could reduce toxic neuronal damages and many studies confirmed the efficacy of polyphenol antioxidants in fruits and vegetables to reduce neuronal death and to diminish oxidative stress. This systematic review showed the antioxidant activities of phytochemicals which play as natural neuroprotectives with low adverse effects against some neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson or Alzheimer diseases. PMID:27303602

  20. [Direct neuronal effects of statins].

    PubMed

    Bösel, J; Endres, M

    2006-03-01

    Statins, i.e. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, reduce the risk of stroke and may have therapeutic potential for other neurologic diseases, including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. In addition to lowering cholesterol levels, statins exert a number of cholesterol-independent (pleiotropic) effects. While endothelial, anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory, i.e. peripheral, effects of statins are well known, little is known about the direct effects on neurons. This may be of clinical relevance because some statins are able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Recent experimental studies demonstrate that statins reduce the activity of neuronal glutamate receptors and protect neurons from excitotoxic insults. At higher doses, however, statins may also inhibit neurite sprouting and even induce neuronal apoptosis. PMID:16028081

  1. Neuronal boost to evolutionary dynamics

    PubMed Central

    de Vladar, Harold P.; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-01-01

    Standard evolutionary dynamics is limited by the constraints of the genetic system. A central message of evolutionary neurodynamics is that evolutionary dynamics in the brain can happen in a neuronal niche in real time, despite the fact that neurons do not reproduce. We show that Hebbian learning and structural synaptic plasticity broaden the capacity for informational replication and guided variability provided a neuronally plausible mechanism of replication is in place. The synergy between learning and selection is more efficient than the equivalent search by mutation selection. We also consider asymmetric landscapes and show that the learning weights become correlated with the fitness gradient. That is, the neuronal complexes learn the local properties of the fitness landscape, resulting in the generation of variability directed towards the direction of fitness increase, as if mutations in a genetic pool were drawn such that they would increase reproductive success. Evolution might thus be more efficient within evolved brains than among organisms out in the wild. PMID:26640653

  2. Neuronal migration and protein kinases

    PubMed Central

    Ohshima, Toshio

    2015-01-01

    The formation of the six-layered structure of the mammalian cortex via the inside-out pattern of neuronal migration is fundamental to neocortical functions. Extracellular cues such as Reelin induce intracellular signaling cascades through the protein phosphorylation. Migrating neurons also have intrinsic machineries to regulate cytoskeletal proteins and adhesion properties. Protein phosphorylation regulates these processes. Moreover, the balance between phosphorylation and dephosphorylation is modified by extracellular cues. Multipolar-bipolar transition, radial glia-guided locomotion and terminal translocation are critical steps of radial migration of cortical pyramidal neurons. Protein kinases such as Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) involve these steps. In this review, I shall give an overview the roles of protein kinases in neuronal migration. PMID:25628530

  3. Neuronal boost to evolutionary dynamics.

    PubMed

    de Vladar, Harold P; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-12-01

    Standard evolutionary dynamics is limited by the constraints of the genetic system. A central message of evolutionary neurodynamics is that evolutionary dynamics in the brain can happen in a neuronal niche in real time, despite the fact that neurons do not reproduce. We show that Hebbian learning and structural synaptic plasticity broaden the capacity for informational replication and guided variability provided a neuronally plausible mechanism of replication is in place. The synergy between learning and selection is more efficient than the equivalent search by mutation selection. We also consider asymmetric landscapes and show that the learning weights become correlated with the fitness gradient. That is, the neuronal complexes learn the local properties of the fitness landscape, resulting in the generation of variability directed towards the direction of fitness increase, as if mutations in a genetic pool were drawn such that they would increase reproductive success. Evolution might thus be more efficient within evolved brains than among organisms out in the wild. PMID:26640653

  4. More sensitivity of cortical GABAergic neurons than glutamatergic neurons in response to acidosis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hua; Li, Fang; Wang, Chunyan; Su, Zhiqiang

    2016-05-25

    Acidosis impairs brain functions. Neuron-specific mechanisms underlying acidosis-induced brain dysfunction remain elusive. We studied the sensitivity of cortical GABAergic neurons and glutamatergic neurons to acidosis by whole-cell recording in brain slices. The acidification to the neurons was induced by perfusing artificial cerebral spinal fluid with lower pH. This acidification impairs excitability and synaptic transmission in the glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. Acidosis impairs spiking capacity in the GABAergic neurons more than in the glutamatergic neurons. Acidosis also strengthens glutamatergic synaptic transmission and attenuates GABAergic synaptic transmission on the GABAergic neurons more than the glutamatergic neurons, which results in the functional impairment of these GABAergic neurons. This acidosis-induced dysfunction predominantly in the cortical GABAergic neurons drives the homeostasis of neuronal networks toward overexcitation and exacerbates neuronal impairment. PMID:27116702

  5. Cooperative effects of neuronal ensembles.

    PubMed

    Rose, G; Siebler, M

    1995-01-01

    Electrophysiological properties of neurons as the basic cellular elements of the central nervous system and their synaptic connections are well characterized down to a molecular level. However, the behavior of complex noisy networks formed by these constituents usually cannot simply be derived from the knowledge of its microscopic parameters. As a consequence, cooperative phenomena based on the interaction of neurons were postulated. This is a report on a study of global network spike activity as a function of synaptic interaction. We performed experiments in dissociated cultured hippocampal neurons and, for comparison, simulations of a mathematical model closely related to electrophysiology. Numeric analyses revealed that at a critical level of synaptic connectivity the firing behavior undergoes a phase transition. This cooperative effect depends crucially on the interaction of numerous cells and cannot be attributed to the spike threshold of individual neurons. In the experiment a drastic increase in the firing level was observed upon increase of synaptic efficacy by lowering of the extracellular magnesium concentration, which is compatible with our theoretical predictions. This "on-off" phenomenon demonstrates that even in small neuronal ensembles collective behavior can emerge which is not explained by the characteristics of single neurons. PMID:8542966

  6. Network synchronization in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Penn, Yaron; Segal, Menahem; Moses, Elisha

    2016-03-22

    Oscillatory activity is widespread in dynamic neuronal networks. The main paradigm for the origin of periodicity consists of specialized pacemaking elements that synchronize and drive the rest of the network; however, other models exist. Here, we studied the spontaneous emergence of synchronized periodic bursting in a network of cultured dissociated neurons from rat hippocampus and cortex. Surprisingly, about 60% of all active neurons were self-sustained oscillators when disconnected, each with its own natural frequency. The individual neuron's tendency to oscillate and the corresponding oscillation frequency are controlled by its excitability. The single neuron intrinsic oscillations were blocked by riluzole, and are thus dependent on persistent sodium leak currents. Upon a gradual retrieval of connectivity, the synchrony evolves: Loose synchrony appears already at weak connectivity, with the oscillators converging to one common oscillation frequency, yet shifted in phase across the population. Further strengthening of the connectivity causes a reduction in the mean phase shifts until zero-lag is achieved, manifested by synchronous periodic network bursts. Interestingly, the frequency of network bursting matches the average of the intrinsic frequencies. Overall, the network behaves like other universal systems, where order emerges spontaneously by entrainment of independent rhythmic units. Although simplified with respect to circuitry in the brain, our results attribute a basic functional role for intrinsic single neuron excitability mechanisms in driving the network's activity and dynamics, contributing to our understanding of developing neural circuits. PMID:26961000

  7. Neuronal polarity: an evolutionary perspective

    PubMed Central

    Rolls, Melissa M.; Jegla, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    Polarized distribution of signaling molecules to axons and dendrites facilitates directional information flow in complex vertebrate nervous systems. The topic we address here is when the key aspects of neuronal polarity evolved. All neurons have a central cell body with thin processes that extend from it to cover long distances, and they also all rely on voltage-gated ion channels to propagate signals along their length. The most familiar neurons, those in vertebrates, have additional cellular features that allow them to send directional signals efficiently. In these neurons, dendrites typically receive signals and axons send signals. It has been suggested that many of the distinct features of axons and dendrites, including the axon initial segment, are found only in vertebrates. However, it is now becoming clear that two key cytoskeletal features that underlie polarized sorting, a specialized region at the base of the axon and polarized microtubules, are found in invertebrate neurons as well. It thus seems likely that all bilaterians generate axons and dendrites in the same way. As a next step, it will be extremely interesting to determine whether the nerve nets of cnidarians and ctenophores also contain polarized neurons with true axons and dendrites, or whether polarity evolved in concert with the more centralized nervous systems found in bilaterians. PMID:25696820

  8. Communication among neurons.

    PubMed

    Marner, Lisbeth

    2012-04-01

    The communication among neurons is the prerequisite for the working brain. To understand the cellular, neurochemical, and structural basis of this communication, and the impacts of aging and disease on brain function, quantitative measures are necessary. This thesis evaluates several quantitative neurobiological methods with respect to possible bias and methodological issues. Stereological methods are suited for the unbiased estimation of number, length, and volumes of components of the nervous system. Stereological estimates of the total length of myelinated nerve fibers were made in white matter of post mortem brains, and the impact of aging and diseases as Schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease were evaluated. Although stereological methods are in principle unbiased, shrinkage artifacts are difficult to account for. Positron emission tomography (PET) recordings, in conjunction with kinetic modeling, permit the quantitation of radioligand binding in brain. The novel serotonin 5-HT4 antagonist [11C]SB207145 was used as an example of the validation process for quantitative PET receptor imaging. Methods based on reference tissue as well as methods based on an arterial plasma input function were evaluated with respect to precision and accuracy. It was shown that [11C]SB207145 binding had high sensitivity to occupancy by unlabeled ligand, necessitating high specific activity in the radiosynthesis to avoid bias. The established serotonin 5-HT2A ligand [18F]altanersin was evaluated in a two-year follow-up study in elderly subjects. Application of partial volume correction of the PET data diminished the reliability of the measures, but allowed for the correct distinction between changes due to brain atrophy and receptor availability. Furthermore, a PET study of patients with Alzheimer's disease with the serotonin transporter ligand [11C]DASB showed relatively preserved serotonergic projections, despite a marked decrease in 5-HT2A receptor binding. Possible confounders are

  9. Spinal Cord Neuronal Precursors Generate Multiple Neuronal Phenotypes in Culture

    PubMed Central

    Kalyani, Anjali J.; Piper, David; Mujtaba, Tahmina; Lucero, Mary T.; Rao, Mahendra S.

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal restricted precursors (NRPs) (Mayer-Proschel et al., 1997) can generate multiple neurotransmitter phenotypes during maturation in culture. Undifferentiated E-NCAM+ (embryonic neural cell adhesion molecule) immunoreactive NRPs are mitotically active and electrically immature, and they express only a subset of neuronal markers. Fully mature cells are postmitotic, process-bearing cells that are neurofilament-M and synaptophysin immunoreactive, and they synthesize and respond to different subsets of neurotransmitter molecules. Mature neurons that synthesize and respond to glycine, glutamate, GABA, dopamine, and acetylcholine can be identified by immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR, and calcium imaging in mass cultures. Individual NRPs also generate heterogeneous progeny as assessed by neurotransmitter response and synthesis, demonstrating the multipotent nature of the precursor cells. Differentiation can be modulated by sonic hedgehog (Shh) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2/4 molecules. Shh acts as a mitogen and inhibits differentiation (including cholinergic differentiation). BMP-2 and BMP-4, in contrast, inhibit cell division and promote differentiation (including cholinergic differentiation). Thus, a single neuronal precursor cell can differentiate into multiple classes of neurons, and this differentiation can be modulated by environmental signals. PMID:9742154

  10. Interfacing neurons with carbon nanotubes: (re)engineering neuronal signaling.

    PubMed

    Fabbro, Alessandra; Cellot, Giada; Prato, Maurizio; Ballerini, Laura

    2011-01-01

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are cylindrically shaped nanostructures made by sheets of graphene rolled up to form hollow tubes. Owing to their unique range of thermal, electronic, and structural properties, CNTs have been rapidly developing as a technology platform for biological and medical applications, including those designed to develop novel neuro-implantable devices. Depending on their structure, CNTs combine an incredible strength with an extreme flexibility. Further, these materials exhibit physical and chemical properties which allow them to efficiently conduit electrical current in electrochemical interfaces. CNTs can be organized in scaffolds made up of small fibers or tubes with diameters similar to those of neural processes such as axons and dendrites. Recently, CNT scaffolds have been found to promote growth, differentiation, and survival of neurons and to modify their electrophysiological properties. These features make CNTs an attractive material for the design of nano-bio hybrid systems able to govern cell-specific behaviors in cultured neuronal networks. The leading scope of this short review is to highlight how nanotube scaffolds can impact on neuronal signaling ability. In particular, we will focus on the direct and specific interactions between this synthetic nanomaterial and biological cell membranes, and on the ability of CNTs to improve interfaces developed to record or to stimulate neuronal activity. CNTs hold the potential for the development of innovative nanomaterial-based neurological implants. Therefore, it is particularly relevant to improve our knowledge on the impact on neuronal performance of interfacing nerve cells with CNTs. PMID:21867808

  11. Neuronal factors determining high intelligence.

    PubMed

    Dicke, Ursula; Roth, Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    Many attempts have been made to correlate degrees of both animal and human intelligence with brain properties. With respect to mammals, a much-discussed trait concerns absolute and relative brain size, either uncorrected or corrected for body size. However, the correlation of both with degrees of intelligence yields large inconsistencies, because although they are regarded as the most intelligent mammals, monkeys and apes, including humans, have neither the absolutely nor the relatively largest brains. The best fit between brain traits and degrees of intelligence among mammals is reached by a combination of the number of cortical neurons, neuron packing density, interneuronal distance and axonal conduction velocity--factors that determine general information processing capacity (IPC), as reflected by general intelligence. The highest IPC is found in humans, followed by the great apes, Old World and New World monkeys. The IPC of cetaceans and elephants is much lower because of a thin cortex, low neuron packing density and low axonal conduction velocity. By contrast, corvid and psittacid birds have very small and densely packed pallial neurons and relatively many neurons, which, despite very small brain volumes, might explain their high intelligence. The evolution of a syntactical and grammatical language in humans most probably has served as an additional intelligence amplifier, which may have happened in songbirds and psittacids in a convergent manner. PMID:26598734

  12. Brain Neurons as Quantum Computers:

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bershadskii, A.; Dremencov, E.; Bershadskii, J.; Yadid, G.

    The question: whether quantum coherent states can sustain decoherence, heating and dissipation over time scales comparable to the dynamical timescales of brain neurons, has been actively discussed in the last years. A positive answer on this question is crucial, in particular, for consideration of brain neurons as quantum computers. This discussion was mainly based on theoretical arguments. In the present paper nonlinear statistical properties of the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) of genetically depressive limbic brain are studied in vivo on the Flinders Sensitive Line of rats (FSL). VTA plays a key role in the generation of pleasure and in the development of psychological drug addiction. We found that the FSL VTA (dopaminergic) neuron signals exhibit multifractal properties for interspike frequencies on the scales where healthy VTA dopaminergic neurons exhibit bursting activity. For high moments the observed multifractal (generalized dimensions) spectrum coincides with the generalized dimensions spectrum calculated for a spectral measure of a quantum system (so-called kicked Harper model, actively used as a model of quantum chaos). This observation can be considered as a first experimental (in vivo) indication in the favor of the quantum (at least partially) nature of brain neurons activity.

  13. Stochastic phase-change neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuma, Tomas; Pantazi, Angeliki; Le Gallo, Manuel; Sebastian, Abu; Eleftheriou, Evangelos

    2016-08-01

    Artificial neuromorphic systems based on populations of spiking neurons are an indispensable tool in understanding the human brain and in constructing neuromimetic computational systems. To reach areal and power efficiencies comparable to those seen in biological systems, electroionics-based and phase-change-based memristive devices have been explored as nanoscale counterparts of synapses. However, progress on scalable realizations of neurons has so far been limited. Here, we show that chalcogenide-based phase-change materials can be used to create an artificial neuron in which the membrane potential is represented by the phase configuration of the nanoscale phase-change device. By exploiting the physics of reversible amorphous-to-crystal phase transitions, we show that the temporal integration of postsynaptic potentials can be achieved on a nanosecond timescale. Moreover, we show that this is inherently stochastic because of the melt-quench-induced reconfiguration of the atomic structure occurring when the neuron is reset. We demonstrate the use of these phase-change neurons, and their populations, in the detection of temporal correlations in parallel data streams and in sub-Nyquist representation of high-bandwidth signals.

  14. Stochastic phase-change neurons.

    PubMed

    Tuma, Tomas; Pantazi, Angeliki; Le Gallo, Manuel; Sebastian, Abu; Eleftheriou, Evangelos

    2016-08-01

    Artificial neuromorphic systems based on populations of spiking neurons are an indispensable tool in understanding the human brain and in constructing neuromimetic computational systems. To reach areal and power efficiencies comparable to those seen in biological systems, electroionics-based and phase-change-based memristive devices have been explored as nanoscale counterparts of synapses. However, progress on scalable realizations of neurons has so far been limited. Here, we show that chalcogenide-based phase-change materials can be used to create an artificial neuron in which the membrane potential is represented by the phase configuration of the nanoscale phase-change device. By exploiting the physics of reversible amorphous-to-crystal phase transitions, we show that the temporal integration of postsynaptic potentials can be achieved on a nanosecond timescale. Moreover, we show that this is inherently stochastic because of the melt-quench-induced reconfiguration of the atomic structure occurring when the neuron is reset. We demonstrate the use of these phase-change neurons, and their populations, in the detection of temporal correlations in parallel data streams and in sub-Nyquist representation of high-bandwidth signals. PMID:27183057

  15. Chondroitin sulfate and neuronal disorders.

    PubMed

    Miyata, Shinji; Kitagawa, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    The brain extracellular matrix (ECM) is involved in several aspects of neuronal development, plasticity, and pathophysiology. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), consisting of core proteins with covalently attached chondroitin sulfate (CS) chains, are essential components of the brain ECM. During late postnatal development, CSPGs condense around parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons (PV-cells) and form lattice-like ECM structures called perineuronal nets (PNNs). Enzymatic or genetic manipulation of PNNs reactivates neuronal plasticity in the adult brain, probably by resetting the excitatory/inhibitory balance in neural networks. Recent studies have indicated that PNNs control PV-cell function by enhancing the accumulation of specific proteins at the cell surface and/or acting as neuroprotective shields against oxidative stress. Since dysfunction of PV-cells and remodeling of CSPGs are commonly observed in several disorders, including schizophrenia, Costello syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy, modulation of PV-cell function by CSPGs may provide a novel strategy for these neuronal disorders. Here we review the potential roles of CSPGs as therapeutic targets for neuronal disorders, with particular focus on structural changes of CS chains under pathological conditions. PMID:27100510

  16. Towards a Neuronal Gauge Theory.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Biswa; Tozzi, Arturo; Cooray, Gerald K; Douglas, Pamela K; Friston, Karl J

    2016-03-01

    Given the amount of knowledge and data accruing in the neurosciences, is it time to formulate a general principle for neuronal dynamics that holds at evolutionary, developmental, and perceptual timescales? In this paper, we propose that the brain (and other self-organised biological systems) can be characterised via the mathematical apparatus of a gauge theory. The picture that emerges from this approach suggests that any biological system (from a neuron to an organism) can be cast as resolving uncertainty about its external milieu, either by changing its internal states or its relationship to the environment. Using formal arguments, we show that a gauge theory for neuronal dynamics--based on approximate Bayesian inference--has the potential to shed new light on phenomena that have thus far eluded a formal description, such as attention and the link between action and perception. PMID:26953636

  17. The neuronal code for number.

    PubMed

    Nieder, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Humans and non-human primates share an elemental quantification system that resides in a dedicated neural network in the parietal and frontal lobes. In this cortical network, 'number neurons' encode the number of elements in a set, its cardinality or numerosity, irrespective of stimulus appearance across sensory motor systems, and from both spatial and temporal presentation arrays. After numbers have been extracted from sensory input, they need to be processed to support goal-directed behaviour. Studying number neurons provides insights into how information is maintained in working memory and transformed in tasks that require rule-based decisions. Beyond an understanding of how cardinal numbers are encoded, number processing provides a window into the neuronal mechanisms of high-level brain functions. PMID:27150407

  18. Microtubule dynamics in neuronal morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sakakibara, Akira; Ando, Ryota; Sapir, Tamar; Tanaka, Teruyuki

    2013-07-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are essential for neuronal morphogenesis in the developing brain. The MT cytoskeleton provides physical support to shape the fine structure of neuronal processes. MT-based motors play important roles in nucleokinesis, process formation and retraction. Regulation of MT stability downstream of extracellular cues is proposed to be critical for axonogenesis. Axons and dendrites exhibit different patterns of MT organization, underlying the divergent functions of these processes. Centrosomal positioning has drawn the attention of researchers because it is a major clue to understanding neuronal MT organization. In this review, we focus on how recent advances in live imaging have revealed the dynamics of MT organization and centrosome positioning during neural development. PMID:23864552

  19. Chimera states in bursting neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bera, Bidesh K.; Ghosh, Dibakar; Lakshmanan, M.

    2016-01-01

    We study the existence of chimera states in pulse-coupled networks of bursting Hindmarsh-Rose neurons with nonlocal, global, and local (nearest neighbor) couplings. Through a linear stability analysis, we discuss the behavior of the stability function in the incoherent (i.e., disorder), coherent, chimera, and multichimera states. Surprisingly, we find that chimera and multichimera states occur even using local nearest neighbor interaction in a network of identical bursting neurons alone. This is in contrast with the existence of chimera states in populations of nonlocally or globally coupled oscillators. A chemical synaptic coupling function is used which plays a key role in the emergence of chimera states in bursting neurons. The existence of chimera, multichimera, coherent, and disordered states is confirmed by means of the recently introduced statistical measures and mean phase velocity.

  20. Microtubule dynamics in neuronal morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sakakibara, Akira; Ando, Ryota; Sapir, Tamar; Tanaka, Teruyuki

    2013-01-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are essential for neuronal morphogenesis in the developing brain. The MT cytoskeleton provides physical support to shape the fine structure of neuronal processes. MT-based motors play important roles in nucleokinesis, process formation and retraction. Regulation of MT stability downstream of extracellular cues is proposed to be critical for axonogenesis. Axons and dendrites exhibit different patterns of MT organization, underlying the divergent functions of these processes. Centrosomal positioning has drawn the attention of researchers because it is a major clue to understanding neuronal MT organization. In this review, we focus on how recent advances in live imaging have revealed the dynamics of MT organization and centrosome positioning during neural development. PMID:23864552

  1. Correlations and Neuronal Population Information.

    PubMed

    Kohn, Adam; Coen-Cagli, Ruben; Kanitscheider, Ingmar; Pouget, Alexandre

    2016-07-01

    Brain function involves the activity of neuronal populations. Much recent effort has been devoted to measuring the activity of neuronal populations in different parts of the brain under various experimental conditions. Population activity patterns contain rich structure, yet many studies have focused on measuring pairwise relationships between members of a larger population-termed noise correlations. Here we review recent progress in understanding how these correlations affect population information, how information should be quantified, and what mechanisms may give rise to correlations. As population coding theory has improved, it has made clear that some forms of correlation are more important for information than others. We argue that this is a critical lesson for those interested in neuronal population responses more generally: Descriptions of population responses should be motivated by and linked to well-specified function. Within this context, we offer suggestions of where current theoretical frameworks fall short. PMID:27145916

  2. Towards a Neuronal Gauge Theory

    PubMed Central

    Sengupta, Biswa; Tozzi, Arturo; Cooray, Gerald K.; Douglas, Pamela K.; Friston, Karl J.

    2016-01-01

    Given the amount of knowledge and data accruing in the neurosciences, is it time to formulate a general principle for neuronal dynamics that holds at evolutionary, developmental, and perceptual timescales? In this paper, we propose that the brain (and other self-organised biological systems) can be characterised via the mathematical apparatus of a gauge theory. The picture that emerges from this approach suggests that any biological system (from a neuron to an organism) can be cast as resolving uncertainty about its external milieu, either by changing its internal states or its relationship to the environment. Using formal arguments, we show that a gauge theory for neuronal dynamics—based on approximate Bayesian inference—has the potential to shed new light on phenomena that have thus far eluded a formal description, such as attention and the link between action and perception. PMID:26953636

  3. Copying and Evolution of Neuronal Topology

    PubMed Central

    Fernando, Chrisantha; Karishma, K. K.; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2008-01-01

    We propose a mechanism for copying of neuronal networks that is of considerable interest for neuroscience for it suggests a neuronal basis for causal inference, function copying, and natural selection within the human brain. To date, no model of neuronal topology copying exists. We present three increasingly sophisticated mechanisms to demonstrate how topographic map formation coupled with Spike-Time Dependent Plasticity (STDP) can copy neuronal topology motifs. Fidelity is improved by error correction and activity-reverberation limitation. The high-fidelity topology-copying operator is used to evolve neuronal topologies. Possible roles for neuronal natural selection are discussed. PMID:19020662

  4. Rescuing neurons in prion disease.

    PubMed

    Verity, Nicholas C; Mallucci, Giovanna R

    2011-01-01

    One of the major current challenges to both medicine and neuroscience is the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, which pose an ever-increasing medical, social and economic burden in the developed world. These disorders, which include Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases, and the rarer prion diseases, are separate entities clinically but have common features, including aggregates of misfolded proteins and varying patterns of neurodegeneration. A key barrier to effective treatment is that patients present clinically with advanced, irreversible, neuronal loss. Critically, mechanisms of neurotoxicity are poorly understood. Prevention of neuronal loss, ideally by targeting underlying pathogenic mechanisms, must be the aim of therapy. The present review describes the rationale and experimental approaches that have allowed such prevention, rescuing neurons in mice with prion disease. This rescue cured animals of a rapidly fatal neurodegenerative condition, resulting in symptom-free survival for their natural lifespan. Early pathological changes were reversed; behavioural, cognitive and neurophysiological deficits were recovered; and there was no neuronal loss. This was achieved by targeting the central pathogenic process in prion disease rather than the presumed toxic species, first by proof-of-principle experiments in transgenic mice and then by treatment using RNA interference for gene knockdown. The results have been a new therapeutic target for prion disease, further insight into mechanisms of prion neurotoxicity and the discovery of a window of reversibility in neuronal damage. Furthermore, the work gives rise to new concepts for treatment strategies for other neurodegenerative disorders, and highlights the need for clinical detection of early neuronal dysfunction, so that similar early rescue can also be achieved for these disorders. PMID:21158739

  5. Nitric oxide in neuronal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Dawson, V L; Dawson, T M

    1996-01-01

    NO has clearly revolutionized our thinking about aspects of neurotransmission and neuronal signaling. NO is emerging as an important regulator of a variety of physiologic processes; however, under conditions of excessive or inappropriate formation, NO is also emerging as an important mediator of pathologic nervous tissue damage. Uncovering and understanding the targets of NO that contribute to the neuropathologic process will hopefully lead to the development of selective therapeutic agents and to a better understanding of basic processes underlying normal and pathological neuronal functions. PMID:8594616

  6. Characterization of cutaneous and articular sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    da Silva Serra, Ines; Husson, Zoé; Bartlett, Jonathan D.

    2016-01-01

    Background A wide range of stimuli can activate sensory neurons and neurons innervating specific tissues often have distinct properties. Here, we used retrograde tracing to identify sensory neurons innervating the hind paw skin (cutaneous) and ankle/knee joints (articular), and combined immunohistochemistry and electrophysiology analysis to determine the neurochemical phenotype of cutaneous and articular neurons, as well as their electrical and chemical excitability. Results Immunohistochemistry analysis using RetroBeads as a retrograde tracer confirmed previous data that cutaneous and articular neurons are a mixture of myelinated and unmyelinated neurons, and the majority of both populations are peptidergic. In whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons, voltage-gated inward currents and action potential parameters were largely similar between articular and cutaneous neurons, although cutaneous neuron action potentials had a longer half-peak duration (HPD). An assessment of chemical sensitivity showed that all neurons responded to a pH 5.0 solution, but that acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) currents, determined by inhibition with the nonselective acid-sensing ion channel antagonist benzamil, were of a greater magnitude in cutaneous compared to articular neurons. Forty to fifty percent of cutaneous and articular neurons responded to capsaicin, cinnamaldehyde, and menthol, indicating similar expression levels of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), and transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8), respectively. By contrast, significantly more articular neurons responded to ATP than cutaneous neurons. Conclusion This work makes a detailed characterization of cutaneous and articular sensory neurons and highlights the importance of making recordings from identified neuronal populations: sensory neurons innervating different tissues have subtly different properties

  7. Which Neurons Will Be the Engram - Activated Neurons and/or More Excitable Neurons?

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Ji-il; Cho, Hye-Yeon; Han, Jin-Hee

    2016-01-01

    During past decades, the formation and storage principle of memory have received much attention in the neuroscience field. Although some studies have attempted to demonstrate the nature of the engram, elucidating the memory engram allocation mechanism was not possible because of the limitations of existing methods, which cannot specifically modulate the candidate neuronal population. Recently, the development of new techniques, which offer ways to mark and control specific populations of neurons, may accelerate solving this issue. Here, we review the recent advances, which have provided substantial evidence showing that both candidates (neuronal population that is activated by learning, and that has increased CREB level/excitability at learning) satisfy the criteria of the engram, which are necessary and sufficient for memory expression. PMID:27122991

  8. Outputs of radula mechanoafferent neurons in Aplysia are modulated by motor neurons, interneurons, and sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Rosen, S C; Miller, M W; Cropper, E C; Kupfermann, I

    2000-03-01

    The gain of sensory inputs into the nervous system can be modulated so that the nature and intensity of afferent input is variable. Sometimes the variability is a function of other sensory inputs or of the state of motor systems that generate behavior. A form of sensory modulation was investigated in the Aplysia feeding system at the level of a radula mechanoafferent neuron (B21) that provides chemical synaptic input to a group of motor neurons (B8a/b, B15) that control closure and retraction movements of the radula, a food grasping structure. B21 has been shown to receive both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs from a variety of neuron types. The current study investigated the morphological basis of these heterosynaptic inputs, whether the inputs could serve to modulate the chemical synaptic outputs of B21, and whether the neurons producing the heterosynaptic inputs were periodically active during feeding motor programs that might modulate B21 outputs in a phase-specific manner. Four cell types making monosynaptic connections to B21 were found capable of heterosynaptically modulating the chemical synaptic output of B21 to motor neurons B8a and B15. These included the following: 1) other sensory neurons, e.g. , B22; 2) interneurons, e.g., B19; 3) motor neurons, e.g., B82; and 4) multifunction neurons that have sensory, motor, and interneuronal functions, e.g., B4/5. Each cell type was phasically active in one or more feeding motor programs driven by command-like interneurons, including an egestive motor program driven by CBI-1 and an ingestive motor program driven by CBI-2. Moreover, the phase of activity differed for each of the modulator cells. During the motor programs, shifts in B21 membrane potential were related to the activity patterns of some of the modulator cells. Inhibitory chemical synapses mediated the modulation produced by B4/5, whereas excitatory and/or electrical synapses were involved in the other instances. The data indicate that

  9. Network of hypothalamic neurons that control appetite

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Jong-Woo

    2015-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) controls food intake and energy expenditure via tight coordinations between multiple neuronal populations. Specifically, two distinct neuronal populations exist in the arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus (ARH): the anorexigenic (appetite-suppressing) pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons and the orexigenic (appetite-increasing) neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons. The coordinated regulation of neuronal circuit involving these neurons is essential in properly maintaining energy balance, and any disturbance therein may result in hyperphagia/obesity or hypophagia/starvation. Thus, adequate knowledge of the POMC and NPY/AgRP neuron physiology is mandatory to understand the pathophysiology of obesity and related metabolic diseases. This review will discuss the history and recent updates on the POMC and NPY/AgRP neuronal circuits, as well as the general anorexigenic and orexigenic circuits in the CNS. [BMB Reports 2015; 48(4): 229-233] PMID:25560696

  10. Turning Heads: Development of Vertebrate Branchiomotor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekhar, Anand

    2007-01-01

    The cranial motor neurons innervate muscles that control eye, jaw, and facial movements of the vertebrate head and parasympathetic neurons that innervate certain glands and organs. These efferent neurons develop at characteristic locations in the brainstem, and their axons exit the neural tube in well-defined trajectories to innervate target tissues. This review is focused on a subset of cranial motor neurons called the branchiomotor neurons, which innervate muscles derived from the branchial (pharyngeal) arches. First, the organization of the branchiomotor pathways in zebrafish, chick, and mouse embryos will be compared, and the underlying axon guidance mechanisms will be addressed. Next, the molecular mechanisms that generate branchiomotor neurons and specify their identities will be discussed. Finally, the caudally directed or tangential migration of facial branchiomotor neurons will be examined. Given the advances in the characterization and analysis of vertebrate genomes, we can expect rapid progress in elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of these vital neuronal networks. PMID:14699587

  11. Neuronal activity controls transsynaptic geometry

    PubMed Central

    Glebov, Oleg O.; Cox, Susan; Humphreys, Lawrence; Burrone, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The neuronal synapse is comprised of several distinct zones, including presynaptic vesicle zone (SVZ), active zone (AZ) and postsynaptic density (PSD). While correct relative positioning of these zones is believed to be essential for synaptic function, the mechanisms controlling their mutual localization remain unexplored. Here, we employ high-throughput quantitative confocal imaging, super-resolution and electron microscopy to visualize organization of synaptic subdomains in hippocampal neurons. Silencing of neuronal activity leads to reversible reorganization of the synaptic geometry, resulting in a increased overlap between immunostained AZ and PSD markers; in contrast, the SVZ-AZ spatial coupling is decreased. Bayesian blinking and bleaching (3B) reconstruction reveals that the distance between the AZ-PSD distance is decreased by 30 nm, while electron microscopy shows that the width of the synaptic cleft is decreased by 1.1 nm. Our findings show that multiple aspects of synaptic geometry are dynamically controlled by neuronal activity and suggest mutual repositioning of synaptic components as a potential novel mechanism contributing to the homeostatic forms of synaptic plasticity. PMID:26951792

  12. Neuronal activity controls transsynaptic geometry.

    PubMed

    Glebov, Oleg O; Cox, Susan; Humphreys, Lawrence; Burrone, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The neuronal synapse is comprised of several distinct zones, including presynaptic vesicle zone (SVZ), active zone (AZ) and postsynaptic density (PSD). While correct relative positioning of these zones is believed to be essential for synaptic function, the mechanisms controlling their mutual localization remain unexplored. Here, we employ high-throughput quantitative confocal imaging, super-resolution and electron microscopy to visualize organization of synaptic subdomains in hippocampal neurons. Silencing of neuronal activity leads to reversible reorganization of the synaptic geometry, resulting in a increased overlap between immunostained AZ and PSD markers; in contrast, the SVZ-AZ spatial coupling is decreased. Bayesian blinking and bleaching (3B) reconstruction reveals that the distance between the AZ-PSD distance is decreased by 30 nm, while electron microscopy shows that the width of the synaptic cleft is decreased by 1.1 nm. Our findings show that multiple aspects of synaptic geometry are dynamically controlled by neuronal activity and suggest mutual repositioning of synaptic components as a potential novel mechanism contributing to the homeostatic forms of synaptic plasticity. PMID:26951792

  13. Hypothalamic neuronal responses to cytokines.

    PubMed Central

    Shibata, M.

    1990-01-01

    Fever has been extensively studied in the past few decades. The hypothesis that hypothalamic thermosensitive neurons play a major role in both normal thermoregulation and in fever production and lysis has particularly helped to advance our understanding of the neuronal mechanisms underlying the response to pyrogens. Furthermore, new data in the study of host defense responses induced by pyrogenic cytokines such as interleukin 1, interferon alpha 2, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin 6 have demonstrated that those factors have multiple, yet coordinated, regulatory activities in the central nervous system, so that our understanding of the role of the brain in the activity of these agents requires a new perspective and dimension. Thus, recent evidence from our laboratory indicates that blood-borne cytokines may be detected in the organum vasculosum laminae terminalis and transduced there into neuronal signals. Such signals may then affect distinct, but partially overlapping, sets of neuronal systems in the preoptic area of the anterior hypothalamus, mediating directly and/or indirectly the array of various host defense responses characteristic of infection that are thought to be induced by blood-borne cytokines. PMID:2205055

  14. Regeneration: New Neurons Wire Up.

    PubMed

    Raymond, Pamela A

    2016-09-12

    Functional repair of damage in the nervous system requires re-establishment of precise patterns of synaptic connectivity. A new study shows that after selective ablation, zebrafish retinal neurons regenerate and reconstruct some, although not all, of their stereotypic wiring. PMID:27623258

  15. Glia Get Neurons in Shape.

    PubMed

    Sun, Lu O; Barres, Ben A

    2016-05-01

    Glial cells are essential components of the nervous system. In this issue, Singhvi et al. uncover cellular and molecular mechanisms through which C. elegans glia shape sensory neuron terminals and thus control animal thermosensing behaviors. PMID:27153490

  16. Biomechanics of Single Cortical Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bernick, Kristin B.; Prevost, Thibault P.; Suresh, Subra; Socrate, Simona

    2011-01-01

    This study presents experimental results and computational analysis of the large strain dynamic behavior of single neurons in vitro with the objective of formulating a novel quantitative framework for the biomechanics of cortical neurons. Relying on the atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique, novel testing protocols are developed to enable the characterization of neural soma deformability over a range of indentation rates spanning three orders of magnitude – 10, 1, and 0.1 μm/s. Modified spherical AFM probes were utilized to compress the cell bodies of neonatal rat cortical neurons in load, unload, reload and relaxation conditions. The cell response showed marked hysteretic features, strong non-linearities, and substantial time/rate dependencies. The rheological data were complemented with geometrical measurements of cell body morphology, i.e. cross-diameter and height estimates. A constitutive model, validated by the present experiments, is proposed to quantify the mechanical behavior of cortical neurons. The model aimed to correlate empirical findings with measurable degrees of (hyper-) elastic resilience and viscosity at the cell level. The proposed formulation, predicated upon previous constitutive model developments undertaken at the cortical tissue level, was implemented into a three-dimensional finite element framework. The simulated cell response was calibrated to the experimental measurements under the selected test conditions, providing a novel single cell model that could form the basis for further refinements. PMID:20971217

  17. The Neuronal Infrastructure of Speaking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menenti, Laura; Segaert, Katrien; Hagoort, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Models of speaking distinguish producing meaning, words and syntax as three different linguistic components of speaking. Nevertheless, little is known about the brain's integrated neuronal infrastructure for speech production. We investigated semantic, lexical and syntactic aspects of speaking using fMRI. In a picture description task, we…

  18. Modeling neuronal vulnerability in ALS.

    PubMed

    Roselli, Francesco; Caroni, Pico

    2014-08-20

    Using computational models of motor neuron ion fluxes, firing properties, and energy requirements, Le Masson et al. (2014) reveal how local imbalances in energy homeostasis may self-amplify and contribute to neurodegeneration in ALS. PMID:25144872

  19. Electrophysiology of raccoon cuneocerebellar neurons.

    PubMed

    Haring, J H; Rowinski, M J; Pubols, B H

    1984-01-01

    Electrophysiological experiments were undertaken in order to locate and functionally characterize cells of the raccoon main cuneate nucleus (MCN) that can be activated by electrical stimulation of the cerebellum. A total of 98 such units were studied in pentobarbital sodium-anesthetized, methoxyflurane-anesthetized, or decerebrate preparations. Aside from a greater likelihood of resting discharge in the decerebrate preparations, no appreciable variability in physiological properties of the neurons could be attributed to differences in the type of preparation. Using constant latency of response and ability to be blocked by collision as principal criteria, both antidromically (n = 31) and synaptically (n = 67) activated neurons of the main cuneate nucleus could be identified. A small number of MCN neurons could be activated by both cerebellar and thalamic stimulation, but no unit was antidromically activated from both locations. MCN neurons projecting to the cerebellum are located primarily in the ventral polymorphic cell region of the nucleus at and rostral to the obex, corresponding to the "medial tongue" region of Johnson et al. (1968). In contrast, neurons synaptically activated from the cerebellum are found throughout the dorsoventral extent of the rostral MCN, including the "clusters" region. The majority of antidromically activated units responded to mechanical stimulation of deeper tissues, and most of these were activated by muscle stretch. Only a small portion (13-15%) of either antidromically or synaptically activated units were classed as light touch units with peripheral receptive fields (RFs) restricted to glabrous surfaces of the forepaw. Glabrous skin RFs located on the digital surfaces are smaller than those located on the palm pads. In both cases, RFs are larger than those associated with primary afferent fibers, but toward the low end of the distribution for MCN neurons not activated by cerebellar stimulation. All MCN units activated by cerebellar

  20. Neuronal migration on laminin in vitro.

    PubMed

    Liang, S; Crutcher, K A

    1992-03-20

    Chick sympathetic (E-9) or telencephalic (E-7) neurons were cultured at low density on poly-DL-ornithine (PORN), poly-L-lysine (POLS), laminin or laminin-covered PORN or POLS and monitored with time-lapse videomicroscopy. Neurons migrated on laminin, or laminin-covered PORN or POLS, but not on PORN or POLS alone. Neuronal migration did not involve interactions with other cells indicating that neurons are capable of independent migration when exposed to a laminin substrate. PMID:1600626

  1. Prospective Coding by Spiking Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Brea, Johanni; Gaál, Alexisz Tamás; Senn, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Animals learn to make predictions, such as associating the sound of a bell with upcoming feeding or predicting a movement that a motor command is eliciting. How predictions are realized on the neuronal level and what plasticity rule underlies their learning is not well understood. Here we propose a biologically plausible synaptic plasticity rule to learn predictions on a single neuron level on a timescale of seconds. The learning rule allows a spiking two-compartment neuron to match its current firing rate to its own expected future discounted firing rate. For instance, if an originally neutral event is repeatedly followed by an event that elevates the firing rate of a neuron, the originally neutral event will eventually also elevate the neuron’s firing rate. The plasticity rule is a form of spike timing dependent plasticity in which a presynaptic spike followed by a postsynaptic spike leads to potentiation. Even if the plasticity window has a width of 20 milliseconds, associations on the time scale of seconds can be learned. We illustrate prospective coding with three examples: learning to predict a time varying input, learning to predict the next stimulus in a delayed paired-associate task and learning with a recurrent network to reproduce a temporally compressed version of a sequence. We discuss the potential role of the learning mechanism in classical trace conditioning. In the special case that the signal to be predicted encodes reward, the neuron learns to predict the discounted future reward and learning is closely related to the temporal difference learning algorithm TD(λ). PMID:27341100

  2. Oscillating from Neurosecretion to Multitasking Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Grattan, David R.; Akopian, Armen N.

    2016-01-01

    In this issue of Cell Reports, Stagkourakis et al. (2016) report that oscillating hypothalamic TIDA neurons, previously thought to be simple neurosecretory neurons controlling pituitary prolactin secretion, control dopamine output via autoregulatory mechanisms and thus could potentially regulate other physiologically important hypothalamic neuronal circuits. PMID:27119847

  3. NEURONAL PHOSPHOPROTEINS: PHYSIOLOGICAL AND CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presence of a great variety of neuron-specific phosproteins in nervous tissue supports the view that protein phosphorylation plays many roles in neuronal function. The physiological significance of several of these phosphoproteins has already been established. Some neuronal p...

  4. Spontaneous Calcium Changes in Micro Neuronal Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Aki; Moriguchi, Hiroyuki; Iwabuchi, Shin; Goto, Miho; Takayama, Yuzo; Kotani, Kiyoshi; Jimbo, Yasuhiko

    We have developed a practical experimental method to mass-produce and maintain a variation of minimal neuronal networks (“micro neuronal networks”) consisted of a single to several neurons in culture using spray-patterning technique. In this paper, we could maintain the micro-cultures for one month or more by adding conditioned medium and carried out optical recording of spontaneous activity in micro neuronal networks and considered the interactions between them. To determine the interactions between micro neuronal networks, fluorescence changes in several small networks were simultaneously measured using calcium indicator dye fluo-4 AM, and time-series analysis was carried out using surrogate arrangements. By using the spray-patterning method, a large number of cell-adhesive micro regions were formed. Neurons extended neurites along the edge of the cell-adhesive micro regions and form micro neuronal networks. In part of micro regions, some neurite was protruded from the region, and thus micro neuronal networks were connected with synapses. In these networks, a single neuron-induced network activity was observed. On the other hand, even in morphologically non-connected micro neuronal networks, synchronous oscillations between micro neuronal networks were observed. Our micro-patterning methods and results provide the possibility that synchronous activity is occurred between morphologically non-connected neuronal networks. This suggest that the humoral factor is also a important component for network-wide dynamics.

  5. Primary Culture of Mouse Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Gaven, Florence; Marin, Philippe; Claeysen, Sylvie

    2014-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons represent less than 1% of the total number of neurons in the brain. This low amount of neurons regulates important brain functions such as motor control, motivation, and working memory. Nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons selectively degenerate in Parkinson's disease (PD). This progressive neuronal loss is unequivocally associated with the motors symptoms of the pathology (bradykinesia, resting tremor, and muscular rigidity). The main agent responsible of dopaminergic neuron degeneration is still unknown. However, these neurons appear to be extremely vulnerable in diverse conditions. Primary cultures constitute one of the most relevant models to investigate properties and characteristics of dopaminergic neurons. These cultures can be submitted to various stress agents that mimic PD pathology and to neuroprotective compounds in order to stop or slow down neuronal degeneration. The numerous transgenic mouse models of PD that have been generated during the last decade further increased the interest of researchers for dopaminergic neuron cultures. Here, the video protocol focuses on the delicate dissection of embryonic mouse brains. Precise excision of ventral mesencephalon is crucial to obtain neuronal cultures sufficiently rich in dopaminergic cells to allow subsequent studies. This protocol can be realized with embryonic transgenic mice and is suitable for immunofluorescence staining, quantitative PCR, second messenger quantification, or neuronal death/survival assessment. PMID:25226064

  6. Morphological homogeneity of neurons: searching for outlier neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    Zawadzki, Krissia; Feenders, Christoph; Viana, Matheus P; Kaiser, Marcus; Costa, Luciano da F

    2012-10-01

    We report a morphology-based approach for the automatic identification of outlier neurons, as well as its application to the NeuroMorpho.org database, with more than 5,000 neurons. Each neuron in a given analysis is represented by a feature vector composed of 20 measurements, which are then projected into a two-dimensional space by applying principal component analysis. Bivariate kernel density estimation is then used to obtain the probability distribution for the group of cells, so that the cells with highest probabilities are understood as archetypes while those with the smallest probabilities are classified as outliers. The potential of the methodology is illustrated in several cases involving uniform cell types as well as cell types for specific animal species. The results provide insights regarding the distribution of cells, yielding single and multi-variate clusters, and they suggest that outlier cells tend to be more planar and tortuous. The proposed methodology can be used in several situations involving one or more categories of cells, as well as for detection of new categories and possible artifacts. PMID:22615032

  7. Sensory neurons and circuits mediating itch

    PubMed Central

    LaMotte, Robert H.; Dong, Xinzhong; Ringkamp, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Chemicals used experimentally to evoke itch elicit activity in diverse subpopulations of cutaneous pruriceptive neurons, all of which also respond to painful stimuli. However, itch is distinct from pain: it evokes different behaviors, such as scratching, and originates from the skin or certain mucosae but not from muscle, joints or viscera. New insights regarding the neurons that mediate the sensation of itch have been gained from experiments in which gene expression has been manipulated in different types of pruriceptive neurons as well as from comparisons between psychophysical measurements of itch and the neuronal discharges and other properties of peripheral and central pruriceptive neurons. PMID:24356071

  8. Direct innervation and modulation of orexin neurons by lateral hypothalamic LepRb neurons

    PubMed Central

    Louis, Gwendolyn W.; Leinninger, Gina M.; Rhodes, Christopher J.; Myers, Martin G.

    2010-01-01

    Leptin, the adipose-derived hormonal signal of body energy stores, acts via the leptin receptor (LepRb) on neurons in multiple brain regions. We previously identified LepRb neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), which are distinct from neighboring leptin-regulated melanin concentrating hormone (MCH)- or orexin (OX)-expressing cells. Neither the direct synaptic targets of LHA LepRb neurons nor their potential role in the regulation of other LHA neurons have been determined, however. We thus generated several adenoviral and transgenic systems in which cre recombinase promotes the expression of the tracer, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), and utilized these in combination with LepRbcre mice to determine the neuronal targets of LHA LepRb neurons. This analysis revealed that, while some LHA LepRb neurons project to dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), LHA LepRb neurons also densely innervate the LHA where they directly synapse with OX, but not MCH, neurons. Indeed, few other LepRb neurons in the brain project to the OX-containing region of the mouse LHA, and direct leptin action via LHA LepRb neurons regulates gene expression in OX neurons. These findings thus reveal a major role for LHA leptin action in the modulation of OX neurons, suggesting the importance of LHA LepRb neurons in the regulation of OX signaling that is crucial to leptin action and metabolic control. PMID:20739548

  9. Neuronal gap junctions play a role in the secondary neuronal death following controlled cortical impact.

    PubMed

    Belousov, Andrei B; Wang, Yongfu; Song, Ji-Hoon; Denisova, Janna V; Berman, Nancy E; Fontes, Joseph D

    2012-08-22

    In the mammalian CNS, excessive release of glutamate and overactivation of glutamate receptors are responsible for the secondary (delayed) neuronal death following neuronal injury, including ischemia, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and epilepsy. Recent studies in mice showed a critical role for neuronal gap junctions in NMDA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity and ischemia-mediated neuronal death. Here, using controlled cortical impact (CCI) in adult mice, as a model of TBI, and Fluoro-Jade B staining for analysis of neuronal death, we set to determine whether neuronal gap junctions play a role in the CCI-mediated secondary neuronal death. We report that 24h post-CCI, substantial neuronal death is detected in a number of brain regions outside the injury core, including the striatum. The striatal neuronal death is reduced both in wild-type mice by systemic administration of mefloquine (a relatively selective blocker of neuronal gap junctions) and in knockout mice lacking connexin 36 (neuronal gap junction protein). It is also reduced by inactivation of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (with LY341495) which, as reported previously, control the rapid increase in neuronal gap junction coupling following different types of neuronal injury. The results suggest that neuronal gap junctions play a critical role in the CCI-induced secondary neuronal death. PMID:22781494

  10. Forward engineering neuronal diversity using direct reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Tsunemoto, Rachel K; Eade, Kevin T; Blanchard, Joel W; Baldwin, Kristin K

    2015-06-01

    The nervous system is comprised of a vast diversity of distinct neural cell types. Differences between neuronal subtypes drive the assembly of neuronal circuits and underlie the subtype specificity of many neurological diseases. Yet, because neurons are irreversibly post-mitotic and not readily available from patients, it has not been feasible to study specific subtypes of human neurons in larger numbers. A powerful means to study neuronal diversity and neurological disease is to establish methods to produce desired neuronal subtypes in vitro. Traditionally this has been accomplished by treating pluripotent or neural stem cells with growth factors and morphogens that recapitulate exogenous developmental signals. These approaches often require extended periods of culture, which can limit their utility. However, more recently, it has become possible to produce neurons directly from fibroblasts using transcription factors and/or microRNAs. This technique referred to as direct reprogramming or transdifferentiation has proven to be a rapid, robust, and reproducible method to generate mature neurons of many different subtypes from multiple cell sources. Here, we highlight recent advances in generating neurons of specific subtypes using direct reprogramming and outline various scenarios in which induced neurons may be applied to studies of neuronal function and neurological disease. PMID:25908841

  11. Spatially selective photoconductive stimulation of live neurons

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Jacob; Singh, Dipika; Hollett, Geoffrey; Dravid, Shashank M.; Sailor, Michael J.; Arikkath, Jyothi

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic activity is intimately linked to neuronal structure and function. Stimulation of live cultured primary neurons, coupled with fluorescent indicator imaging, is a powerful technique to assess the impact of synaptic activity on neuronal protein trafficking and function. Current technology for neuronal stimulation in culture include chemical techniques or microelectrode or optogenetic based techniques. While technically powerful, chemical stimulation has limited spatial resolution and microelectrode and optogenetic techniques require specialized equipment and expertise. We report an optimized and improved technique for laser based photoconductive stimulation of live neurons using an inverted confocal microscope that overcomes these limitations. The advantages of this approach include its non-invasive nature and adaptability to temporal and spatial manipulation. We demonstrate that the technique can be manipulated to achieve spatially selective stimulation of live neurons. Coupled with live imaging of fluorescent indicators, this simple and efficient technique should allow for significant advances in neuronal cell biology. PMID:24904287

  12. Using light to probe neuronal function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daria, Vincent R.; Bachor, Hans-A.

    2015-08-01

    In the last few years a multi-disciplinary approach has been launched to investigate the brain using new techniques, which are capable of probing neuronal function across the entire length scales of the brain. Here, we discuss optical tools and spatial light patterning techniques to investigate brain function from the perspective of individual neurons and neuronal circuits. We discuss both biochemical and genetic tools to stimulate neurons, as well as techniques to record neuronal activity. We discuss optical projection and imaging tricks that can be dynamically customized to a particular neuron morphology and neuronal circuit layout facilitating a systematic study of their input/output transfer functions. These optical techniques will play a major role towards understanding the operation of a brain.

  13. Neuronal avalanches and brain plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Arcangelis, L.; Herrmann, H. J.; Perrone-Capano, C.

    2007-12-01

    Networks of living neurons exhibit an avalanche mode of activity, experimentally found in organotypic cultures. Moreover, experimental studies of morphology indicate that neurons develop a network of small-world-like connections, with the possibility of a very high connectivity degree. Here we discuss a recent model based on self-organized criticality, which consists of an electrical network with threshold firing and activity-dependent synapse strengths. The model is implemented on regular and small world lattices and on a scale-free network, the Apollonian network. The system exhibits an avalanche activity with a power law distribution of sizes and durations. The analysis of the power spectra of the electrical signal reproduces very robustly the power law behaviour with the exponent 0.8, experimentally measured in electroencephalogram (EEG) spectra. The exponents are found to be quite stable with respect to initial configurations and strength of plastic remodelling, indicating that universality holds for a wide class of neural network models.

  14. Local optimization of neuron arbors.

    PubMed

    Cherniak, C

    1992-01-01

    How parsimoniously is brain wiring laid out, that is, how well does a neuron minimize costs of connections among its synapses? Neural optimization of dendritic and axonic arbors can be evaluated using a generalization of the Steiner tree concept from combinatorial network optimization theory. Local branch-junction geometry of neuronal connecting structures fits a volume minimization model well. In addition, volume of the arborizations at this neighborhood level is significantly more strongly minimized than their length, signal propagation speed, or surface area. The mechanism of this local volume optimization resembles those involved in formation of nonliving tree structures such as river junctions and electric-discharge patterns, and appears to govern initial nerve growth-cone behavior through vector-mechanical energy minimization. PMID:1586674

  15. Neuronal responses to physiological stress.

    PubMed

    Kagias, Konstantinos; Nehammer, Camilla; Pocock, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Physiological stress can be defined as any external or internal condition that challenges the homeostasis of a cell or an organism. It can be divided into three different aspects: environmental stress, intrinsic developmental stress, and aging. Throughout life all living organisms are challenged by changes in the environment. Fluctuations in oxygen levels, temperature, and redox state for example, trigger molecular events that enable an organism to adapt, survive, and reproduce. In addition to external stressors, organisms experience stress associated with morphogenesis and changes in inner chemistry during normal development. For example, conditions such as intrinsic hypoxia and oxidative stress, due to an increase in tissue mass, have to be confronted by developing embryos in order to complete their development. Finally, organisms face the challenge of stochastic accumulation of molecular damage during aging that results in decline and eventual death. Studies have shown that the nervous system plays a pivotal role in responding to stress. Neurons not only receive and process information from the environment but also actively respond to various stresses to promote survival. These responses include changes in the expression of molecules such as transcription factors and microRNAs that regulate stress resistance and adaptation. Moreover, both intrinsic and extrinsic stresses have a tremendous impact on neuronal development and maintenance with implications in many diseases. Here, we review the responses of neurons to various physiological stressors at the molecular and cellular level. PMID:23112806

  16. Neuronal Responses to Physiological Stress

    PubMed Central

    Kagias, Konstantinos; Nehammer, Camilla; Pocock, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Physiological stress can be defined as any external or internal condition that challenges the homeostasis of a cell or an organism. It can be divided into three different aspects: environmental stress, intrinsic developmental stress, and aging. Throughout life all living organisms are challenged by changes in the environment. Fluctuations in oxygen levels, temperature, and redox state for example, trigger molecular events that enable an organism to adapt, survive, and reproduce. In addition to external stressors, organisms experience stress associated with morphogenesis and changes in inner chemistry during normal development. For example, conditions such as intrinsic hypoxia and oxidative stress, due to an increase in tissue mass, have to be confronted by developing embryos in order to complete their development. Finally, organisms face the challenge of stochastic accumulation of molecular damage during aging that results in decline and eventual death. Studies have shown that the nervous system plays a pivotal role in responding to stress. Neurons not only receive and process information from the environment but also actively respond to various stresses to promote survival. These responses include changes in the expression of molecules such as transcription factors and microRNAs that regulate stress resistance and adaptation. Moreover, both intrinsic and extrinsic stresses have a tremendous impact on neuronal development and maintenance with implications in many diseases. Here, we review the responses of neurons to various physiological stressors at the molecular and cellular level. PMID:23112806

  17. NBLAST: Rapid, Sensitive Comparison of Neuronal Structure and Construction of Neuron Family Databases.

    PubMed

    Costa, Marta; Manton, James D; Ostrovsky, Aaron D; Prohaska, Steffen; Jefferis, Gregory S X E

    2016-07-20

    Neural circuit mapping is generating datasets of tens of thousands of labeled neurons. New computational tools are needed to search and organize these data. We present NBLAST, a sensitive and rapid algorithm, for measuring pairwise neuronal similarity. NBLAST considers both position and local geometry, decomposing neurons into short segments; matched segments are scored using a probabilistic scoring matrix defined by statistics of matches and non-matches. We validated NBLAST on a published dataset of 16,129 single Drosophila neurons. NBLAST can distinguish neuronal types down to the finest level (single identified neurons) without a priori information. Cluster analysis of extensively studied neuronal classes identified new types and unreported topographical features. Fully automated clustering organized the validation dataset into 1,052 clusters, many of which map onto previously described neuronal types. NBLAST supports additional query types, including searching neurons against transgene expression patterns. Finally, we show that NBLAST is effective with data from other invertebrates and zebrafish. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:27373836

  18. Glutamate neurons are intermixed with midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates and humans.

    PubMed

    Root, David H; Wang, Hui-Ling; Liu, Bing; Barker, David J; Mód, László; Szocsics, Péter; Silva, Afonso C; Maglóczky, Zsófia; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The rodent ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) contain dopamine neurons intermixed with glutamate neurons (expressing vesicular glutamate transporter 2; VGluT2), which play roles in reward and aversion. However, identifying the neuronal compositions of the VTA and SNC in higher mammals has remained challenging. Here, we revealed VGluT2 neurons within the VTA and SNC of nonhuman primates and humans by simultaneous detection of VGluT2 mRNA and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; for identification of dopamine neurons). We found that several VTA subdivisions share similar cellular compositions in nonhuman primates and humans; their rostral linear nuclei have a high prevalence of VGluT2 neurons lacking TH; their paranigral and parabrachial pigmented nuclei have mostly TH neurons, and their parabrachial pigmented nuclei have dual VGluT2-TH neurons. Within nonhuman primates and humans SNC, the vast majority of neurons are TH neurons but VGluT2 neurons were detected in the pars lateralis subdivision. The demonstration that midbrain dopamine neurons are intermixed with glutamate or glutamate-dopamine neurons from rodents to humans offers new opportunities for translational studies towards analyzing the roles that each of these neurons play in human behavior and in midbrain-associated illnesses such as addiction, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease. PMID:27477243

  19. Glutamate neurons are intermixed with midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates and humans

    PubMed Central

    Root, David H.; Wang, Hui-Ling; Liu, Bing; Barker, David J.; Mód, László; Szocsics, Péter; Silva, Afonso C.; Maglóczky, Zsófia; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The rodent ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) contain dopamine neurons intermixed with glutamate neurons (expressing vesicular glutamate transporter 2; VGluT2), which play roles in reward and aversion. However, identifying the neuronal compositions of the VTA and SNC in higher mammals has remained challenging. Here, we revealed VGluT2 neurons within the VTA and SNC of nonhuman primates and humans by simultaneous detection of VGluT2 mRNA and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; for identification of dopamine neurons). We found that several VTA subdivisions share similar cellular compositions in nonhuman primates and humans; their rostral linear nuclei have a high prevalence of VGluT2 neurons lacking TH; their paranigral and parabrachial pigmented nuclei have mostly TH neurons, and their parabrachial pigmented nuclei have dual VGluT2-TH neurons. Within nonhuman primates and humans SNC, the vast majority of neurons are TH neurons but VGluT2 neurons were detected in the pars lateralis subdivision. The demonstration that midbrain dopamine neurons are intermixed with glutamate or glutamate-dopamine neurons from rodents to humans offers new opportunities for translational studies towards analyzing the roles that each of these neurons play in human behavior and in midbrain-associated illnesses such as addiction, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. PMID:27477243

  20. Control of Neuronal Network in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Badhwar, Rahul; Bagler, Ganesh

    2015-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a soil dwelling nematode, is evolutionarily rudimentary and contains only ∼ 300 neurons which are connected to each other via chemical synapses and gap junctions. This structural connectivity can be perceived as nodes and edges of a graph. Controlling complex networked systems (such as nervous system) has been an area of excitement for mankind. Various methods have been developed to identify specific brain regions, which when controlled by external input can lead to achievement of control over the state of the system. But in case of neuronal connectivity network the properties of neurons identified as driver nodes is of much importance because nervous system can produce a variety of states (behaviour of the animal). Hence to gain insight on the type of control achieved in nervous system we implemented the notion of structural control from graph theory to C. elegans neuronal network. We identified ‘driver neurons’ which can provide full control over the network. We studied phenotypic properties of these neurons which are referred to as ‘phenoframe’ as well as the ‘genoframe’ which represents their genetic correlates. We find that the driver neurons are primarily motor neurons located in the ventral nerve cord and contribute to biological reproduction of the animal. Identification of driver neurons and its characterization adds a new dimension in controllability of C. elegans neuronal network. This study suggests the importance of driver neurons and their utility to control the behaviour of the organism. PMID:26413834

  1. Human Cerebrospinal Fluid Promotes Neuronal Viability and Activity of Hippocampal Neuronal Circuits In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Alcazar, Marta; Culley, Georgia; Lyckenvik, Tim; Mobarrez, Kristoffer; Bjorefeldt, Andreas; Wasling, Pontus; Seth, Henrik; Asztely, Frederik; Harrer, Andrea; Iglseder, Bernhard; Aigner, Ludwig; Hanse, Eric; Illes, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    For decades it has been hypothesized that molecules within the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diffuse into the brain parenchyma and influence the function of neurons. However, the functional consequences of CSF on neuronal circuits are largely unexplored and unknown. A major reason for this is the absence of appropriate neuronal in vitro model systems, and it is uncertain if neurons cultured in pure CSF survive and preserve electrophysiological functionality in vitro. In this article, we present an approach to address how human CSF (hCSF) influences neuronal circuits in vitro. We validate our approach by comparing the morphology, viability, and electrophysiological function of single neurons and at the network level in rat organotypic slice and primary neuronal cultures cultivated either in hCSF or in defined standard culture media. Our results demonstrate that rodent hippocampal slices and primary neurons cultured in hCSF maintain neuronal morphology and preserve synaptic transmission. Importantly, we show that hCSF increases neuronal viability and the number of electrophysiologically active neurons in comparison to the culture media. In summary, our data indicate that hCSF represents a physiological environment for neurons in vitro and a superior culture condition compared to the defined standard media. Moreover, this experimental approach paves the way to assess the functional consequences of CSF on neuronal circuits as well as suggesting a novel strategy for central nervous system (CNS) disease modeling. PMID:26973467

  2. A chimeric path to neuronal synchronization

    SciTech Connect

    Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Spano, Mark L.

    2015-01-15

    Synchronization of neuronal activity is associated with neurological disorders such as epilepsy. This process of neuronal synchronization is not fully understood. To further our understanding, we have experimentally studied the progression of this synchronization from normal neuronal firing to full synchronization. We implemented nine FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons (a simplified Hodgkin-Huxley model) via discrete electronics. For different coupling parameters (synaptic strengths), the neurons in the ring were either unsynchronized or completely synchronized when locally coupled in a ring. When a single long-range connection (nonlocal coupling) was introduced, an intermediate state known as a chimera appeared. The results indicate that (1) epilepsy is likely not only a dynamical disease but also a topological disease, strongly tied to the connectivity of the underlying network of neurons, and (2) the synchronization process in epilepsy may not be an “all or none” phenomenon, but can pass through an intermediate stage (chimera)

  3. A chimeric path to neuronal synchronization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Spano, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    Synchronization of neuronal activity is associated with neurological disorders such as epilepsy. This process of neuronal synchronization is not fully understood. To further our understanding, we have experimentally studied the progression of this synchronization from normal neuronal firing to full synchronization. We implemented nine FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons (a simplified Hodgkin-Huxley model) via discrete electronics. For different coupling parameters (synaptic strengths), the neurons in the ring were either unsynchronized or completely synchronized when locally coupled in a ring. When a single long-range connection (nonlocal coupling) was introduced, an intermediate state known as a chimera appeared. The results indicate that (1) epilepsy is likely not only a dynamical disease but also a topological disease, strongly tied to the connectivity of the underlying network of neurons, and (2) the synchronization process in epilepsy may not be an "all or none" phenomenon, but can pass through an intermediate stage (chimera).

  4. Npas4: Linking Neuronal Activity to Memory.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiaochen; Lin, Yingxi

    2016-04-01

    Immediate-early genes (IEGs) are rapidly activated after sensory and behavioral experience and are believed to be crucial for converting experience into long-term memory. Neuronal PAS domain protein 4 (Npas4), a recently discovered IEG, has several characteristics that make it likely to be a particularly important molecular link between neuronal activity and memory: it is among the most rapidly induced IEGs, is expressed only in neurons, and is selectively induced by neuronal activity. By orchestrating distinct activity-dependent gene programs in different neuronal populations, Npas4 affects synaptic connections in excitatory and inhibitory neurons, neural circuit plasticity, and memory formation. It may also be involved in circuit homeostasis through negative feedback and psychiatric disorders. We summarize these findings and discuss their implications. PMID:26987258

  5. Neuronal synaptobrevin promotes longevity in Drosophila photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Mejia, Jonathan; Haberman, Adam

    2012-01-01

    Neurons have unique challenges relative to other cell types. Unlike most other cells, neurons must remain healthy and functional throughout the lifespan of an animal. Premature neuronal loss underlies many age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer and Parkinson Diseases. Despite previous research aimed at understanding the mechanisms of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, little is known about the mechanisms that allow neurons to remain functional for the lifetime of a healthy animal. Understanding these cellular and biochemical processes is essential to promote healthful aging and reduce the severity of neurodegenerative disease. Here we discuss our recent identification of neuron-specific proteins that regulate endosome fusion events and the role of endosomes in maintaining healthy neurons. PMID:23740166

  6. Neuronal synaptobrevin promotes longevity in Drosophila photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Mejia, Jonathan; Haberman, Adam

    2012-11-01

    Neurons have unique challenges relative to other cell types. Unlike most other cells, neurons must remain healthy and functional throughout the lifespan of an animal. Premature neuronal loss underlies many age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer and Parkinson Diseases. Despite previous research aimed at understanding the mechanisms of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, little is known about the mechanisms that allow neurons to remain functional for the lifetime of a healthy animal. Understanding these cellular and biochemical processes is essential to promote healthful aging and reduce the severity of neurodegenerative disease. Here we discuss our recent identification of neuron-specific proteins that regulate endosome fusion events and the role of endosomes in maintaining healthy neurons. PMID:23740166

  7. A new work mechanism on neuronal activity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rubin; Tsuda, Ichiro; Zhang, Zhikang

    2015-05-01

    By re-examining the neuronal activity energy model, we show the inadequacies in the current understanding of the energy consumption associated with neuron activity. Specifically, we show computationally that a neuron first absorbs and then consumes energy during firing action potential, and this result cannot be produced from any current neuron models or biological neural networks. Based on this finding, we provide an explanation for the observation that when neurons are excited in the brain, blood flow increases significantly while the incremental oxygen consumption is very small. We can also explain why external stimulation and perception emergence are synchronized. We also show that negative energy presence in neurons at the sub-threshold state is an essential reason that leads to blood flow incremental response time in the brain rather than neural excitation to delay. PMID:25640576

  8. Neuronal Networks on Nanocellulose Scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Jonsson, Malin; Brackmann, Christian; Puchades, Maja; Brattås, Karoline; Ewing, Andrew; Gatenholm, Paul; Enejder, Annika

    2015-11-01

    Proliferation, integration, and neurite extension of PC12 cells, a widely used culture model for cholinergic neurons, were studied in nanocellulose scaffolds biosynthesized by Gluconacetobacter xylinus to allow a three-dimensional (3D) extension of neurites better mimicking neuronal networks in tissue. The interaction with control scaffolds was compared with cationized nanocellulose (trimethyl ammonium betahydroxy propyl [TMAHP] cellulose) to investigate the impact of surface charges on the cell interaction mechanisms. Furthermore, coatings with extracellular matrix proteins (collagen, fibronectin, and laminin) were investigated to determine the importance of integrin-mediated cell attachment. Cell proliferation was evaluated by a cellular proliferation assay, while cell integration and neurite propagation were studied by simultaneous label-free Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering and second harmonic generation microscopy, providing 3D images of PC12 cells and arrangement of nanocellulose fibrils, respectively. Cell attachment and proliferation were enhanced by TMAHP modification, but not by protein coating. Protein coating instead promoted active interaction between the cells and the scaffold, hence lateral cell migration and integration. Irrespective of surface modification, deepest cell integration measured was one to two cell layers, whereas neurites have a capacity to integrate deeper than the cell bodies in the scaffold due to their fine dimensions and amoeba-like migration pattern. Neurites with lengths of >50 μm were observed, successfully connecting individual cells and cell clusters. In conclusion, TMAHP-modified nanocellulose scaffolds promote initial cellular scaffold adhesion, which combined with additional cell-scaffold treatments enables further formation of 3D neuronal networks. PMID:26398224

  9. The genealogy of genealogy of neurons.

    PubMed

    Moroz, Leonid L

    2014-12-01

    Two scenarios of neuronal evolution (monophyly and polyphyly) are discussed in the historical timeline starting from the 19th century. The recent genomic studies on Ctenophores re-initiated a broad interest in the hypotheses of independent origins of neurons. However, even earlier work on ctenophores suggested that their nervous systems are unique in many aspects of their organization and a possibility of the independent origin of neurons and synapses was introduced well before modern advances in genomic biology. PMID:26478767

  10. High-Degree Neurons Feed Cortical Computations.

    PubMed

    Timme, Nicholas M; Ito, Shinya; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Nigam, Sunny; Shimono, Masanori; Yeh, Fang-Chin; Hottowy, Pawel; Litke, Alan M; Beggs, John M

    2016-05-01

    Recent work has shown that functional connectivity among cortical neurons is highly varied, with a small percentage of neurons having many more connections than others. Also, recent theoretical developments now make it possible to quantify how neurons modify information from the connections they receive. Therefore, it is now possible to investigate how information modification, or computation, depends on the number of connections a neuron receives (in-degree) or sends out (out-degree). To do this, we recorded the simultaneous spiking activity of hundreds of neurons in cortico-hippocampal slice cultures using a high-density 512-electrode array. This preparation and recording method combination produced large numbers of neurons recorded at temporal and spatial resolutions that are not currently available in any in vivo recording system. We utilized transfer entropy (a well-established method for detecting linear and nonlinear interactions in time series) and the partial information decomposition (a powerful, recently developed tool for dissecting multivariate information processing into distinct parts) to quantify computation between neurons where information flows converged. We found that computations did not occur equally in all neurons throughout the networks. Surprisingly, neurons that computed large amounts of information tended to receive connections from high out-degree neurons. However, the in-degree of a neuron was not related to the amount of information it computed. To gain insight into these findings, we developed a simple feedforward network model. We found that a degree-modified Hebbian wiring rule best reproduced the pattern of computation and degree correlation results seen in the real data. Interestingly, this rule also maximized signal propagation in the presence of network-wide correlations, suggesting a mechanism by which cortex could deal with common random background input. These are the first results to show that the extent to which a neuron

  11. Neuron Model with Simplified Memristive Ionic Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hegab, Almoatazbellah M.; Salem, Noha M.; Radwan, Ahmed G.; Chua, Leon

    2015-06-01

    A simplified neuron model is introduced to mimic the action potential generated by the famous Hodgkin-Huxley equations by using the genetic optimization algorithm. Comparison with different neuron models is investigated, and it is confirmed that the sodium and potassium channels in our simplified neuron model are made out of memristors. In addition, the channel equations in the simplified model may be adjusted to introduce a simplified memristor model that is in accordance with the theoretical conditions of the memristive systems.

  12. The genealogy of genealogy of neurons

    PubMed Central

    Moroz, Leonid L

    2014-01-01

    Two scenarios of neuronal evolution (monophyly and polyphyly) are discussed in the historical timeline starting from the 19th century. The recent genomic studies on Ctenophores re-initiated a broad interest in the hypotheses of independent origins of neurons. However, even earlier work on ctenophores suggested that their nervous systems are unique in many aspects of their organization and a possibility of the independent origin of neurons and synapses was introduced well before modern advances in genomic biology. PMID:26478767

  13. High-Degree Neurons Feed Cortical Computations

    PubMed Central

    Timme, Nicholas M.; Ito, Shinya; Shimono, Masanori; Yeh, Fang-Chin; Litke, Alan M.; Beggs, John M.

    2016-01-01

    Recent work has shown that functional connectivity among cortical neurons is highly varied, with a small percentage of neurons having many more connections than others. Also, recent theoretical developments now make it possible to quantify how neurons modify information from the connections they receive. Therefore, it is now possible to investigate how information modification, or computation, depends on the number of connections a neuron receives (in-degree) or sends out (out-degree). To do this, we recorded the simultaneous spiking activity of hundreds of neurons in cortico-hippocampal slice cultures using a high-density 512-electrode array. This preparation and recording method combination produced large numbers of neurons recorded at temporal and spatial resolutions that are not currently available in any in vivo recording system. We utilized transfer entropy (a well-established method for detecting linear and nonlinear interactions in time series) and the partial information decomposition (a powerful, recently developed tool for dissecting multivariate information processing into distinct parts) to quantify computation between neurons where information flows converged. We found that computations did not occur equally in all neurons throughout the networks. Surprisingly, neurons that computed large amounts of information tended to receive connections from high out-degree neurons. However, the in-degree of a neuron was not related to the amount of information it computed. To gain insight into these findings, we developed a simple feedforward network model. We found that a degree-modified Hebbian wiring rule best reproduced the pattern of computation and degree correlation results seen in the real data. Interestingly, this rule also maximized signal propagation in the presence of network-wide correlations, suggesting a mechanism by which cortex could deal with common random background input. These are the first results to show that the extent to which a neuron

  14. Performance limitations of relay neurons.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Rahul; Sarma, Sridevi V

    2012-01-01

    Relay cells are prevalent throughout sensory systems and receive two types of inputs: driving and modulating. The driving input contains receptive field properties that must be transmitted while the modulating input alters the specifics of transmission. For example, the visual thalamus contains relay neurons that receive driving inputs from the retina that encode a visual image, and modulating inputs from reticular activating system and layer 6 of visual cortex that control what aspects of the image will be relayed back to visual cortex for perception. What gets relayed depends on several factors such as attentional demands and a subject's goals. In this paper, we analyze a biophysical based model of a relay cell and use systems theoretic tools to construct analytic bounds on how well the cell transmits a driving input as a function of the neuron's electrophysiological properties, the modulating input, and the driving signal parameters. We assume that the modulating input belongs to a class of sinusoidal signals and that the driving input is an irregular train of pulses with inter-pulse intervals obeying an exponential distribution. Our analysis applies to any [Formula: see text] order model as long as the neuron does not spike without a driving input pulse and exhibits a refractory period. Our bounds on relay reliability contain performance obtained through simulation of a second and third order model, and suggest, for instance, that if the frequency of the modulating input increases or the DC offset decreases, then relay increases. Our analysis also shows, for the first time, how the biophysical properties of the neuron (e.g. ion channel dynamics) define the oscillatory patterns needed in the modulating input for appropriately timed relay of sensory information. In our discussion, we describe how our bounds predict experimentally observed neural activity in the basal ganglia in (i) health, (ii) in Parkinson's disease (PD), and (iii) in PD during therapeutic deep

  15. Acute lower motor neuron tetraparesis.

    PubMed

    Añor, Sònia

    2014-11-01

    Flaccid nonambulatory tetraparesis or tetraplegia is an infrequent neurologic presentation; it is characteristic of neuromuscular disease (lower motor neuron [LMN] disease) rather than spinal cord disease. Paresis beginning in the pelvic limbs and progressing to the thoracic limbs resulting in flaccid tetraparesis or tetraplegia within 24 to 72 hours is a common presentation of peripheral nerve or neuromuscular junction disease. Complete body flaccidity develops with severe decrease or complete loss of spinal reflexes in pelvic and thoracic limbs. Animals with acute generalized LMN tetraparesis commonly show severe motor dysfunction in all limbs and severe generalized weakness in all muscles. PMID:25441630

  16. Dopamine neurons control striatal cholinergic neurons via regionally heterogeneous dopamine and glutamate signaling

    PubMed Central

    Chuhma, Nao; Mingote, Susana; Moore, Holly; Rayport, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Summary Midbrain dopamine neurons fire in bursts conveying salient information. Bursts are associated with pauses in tonic firing of striatal cholinergic interneurons. While the reciprocal balance of dopamine and acetylcholine in the striatum is well known, how dopamine neurons control cholinergic neurons has not been elucidated. Here we show that dopamine neurons make direct fast dopaminergic and glutamatergic connections with cholinergic interneurons, with regional heterogeneity. Dopamine neurons drive a burst-pause firing sequence in cholinergic interneurons in the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens, mixed actions in the accumbens core, and a pause in the dorsal striatum. This heterogeneity is due mainly to regional variation in dopamine-neuron glutamate cotransmission. A single dose of amphetamine attenuates dopamine neuron connections to cholinergic interneurons with dose-dependent regional specificity. Overall, the present data indicate that dopamine neurons control striatal circuit function via discrete, plastic connections with cholinergic interneurons. PMID:24559678

  17. Effective Stimuli for Constructing Reliable Neuron Models

    PubMed Central

    Druckmann, Shaul; Berger, Thomas K.; Schürmann, Felix; Hill, Sean; Markram, Henry; Segev, Idan

    2011-01-01

    The rich dynamical nature of neurons poses major conceptual and technical challenges for unraveling their nonlinear membrane properties. Traditionally, various current waveforms have been injected at the soma to probe neuron dynamics, but the rationale for selecting specific stimuli has never been rigorously justified. The present experimental and theoretical study proposes a novel framework, inspired by learning theory, for objectively selecting the stimuli that best unravel the neuron's dynamics. The efficacy of stimuli is assessed in terms of their ability to constrain the parameter space of biophysically detailed conductance-based models that faithfully replicate the neuron's dynamics as attested by their ability to generalize well to the neuron's response to novel experimental stimuli. We used this framework to evaluate a variety of stimuli in different types of cortical neurons, ages and animals. Despite their simplicity, a set of stimuli consisting of step and ramp current pulses outperforms synaptic-like noisy stimuli in revealing the dynamics of these neurons. The general framework that we propose paves a new way for defining, evaluating and standardizing effective electrical probing of neurons and will thus lay the foundation for a much deeper understanding of the electrical nature of these highly sophisticated and non-linear devices and of the neuronal networks that they compose. PMID:21876663

  18. Macroscopic Description for Networks of Spiking Neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montbrió, Ernest; Pazó, Diego; Roxin, Alex

    2015-04-01

    A major goal of neuroscience, statistical physics, and nonlinear dynamics is to understand how brain function arises from the collective dynamics of networks of spiking neurons. This challenge has been chiefly addressed through large-scale numerical simulations. Alternatively, researchers have formulated mean-field theories to gain insight into macroscopic states of large neuronal networks in terms of the collective firing activity of the neurons, or the firing rate. However, these theories have not succeeded in establishing an exact correspondence between the firing rate of the network and the underlying microscopic state of the spiking neurons. This has largely constrained the range of applicability of such macroscopic descriptions, particularly when trying to describe neuronal synchronization. Here, we provide the derivation of a set of exact macroscopic equations for a network of spiking neurons. Our results reveal that the spike generation mechanism of individual neurons introduces an effective coupling between two biophysically relevant macroscopic quantities, the firing rate and the mean membrane potential, which together govern the evolution of the neuronal network. The resulting equations exactly describe all possible macroscopic dynamical states of the network, including states of synchronous spiking activity. Finally, we show that the firing-rate description is related, via a conformal map, to a low-dimensional description in terms of the Kuramoto order parameter, called Ott-Antonsen theory. We anticipate that our results will be an important tool in investigating how large networks of spiking neurons self-organize in time to process and encode information in the brain.

  19. Functional connectivity in in vitro neuronal assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Poli, Daniele; Pastore, Vito P.; Massobrio, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Complex network topologies represent the necessary substrate to support complex brain functions. In this work, we reviewed in vitro neuronal networks coupled to Micro-Electrode Arrays (MEAs) as biological substrate. Networks of dissociated neurons developing in vitro and coupled to MEAs, represent a valid experimental model for studying the mechanisms governing the formation, organization and conservation of neuronal cell assemblies. In this review, we present some examples of the use of statistical Cluster Coefficients and Small World indices to infer topological rules underlying the dynamics exhibited by homogeneous and engineered neuronal networks. PMID:26500505

  20. Neuronal polarity and the kinesin superfamily proteins.

    PubMed

    Nakata, Takao; Hirokawa, Nobutaka

    2007-02-01

    Neurons are highly polarized cells, typically with a long axon and relatively short dendrites. A wealth of recent data has identified a number of signaling molecules that are involved in neuronal polarization. Kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs) contribute to the establishment and maintenance of neuronal polarity by selectively transporting various proteins and vesicles to either the axon or dendrites. Now evidence is emerging that KIFs also play an important role in axonal formation, the initial event of neuronal polarization. In particular, KIF13B transports phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate, which, based on current hypotheses, is one of the most upstream molecules in the intracellular signaling cascades involved in axonal formation. PMID:17284724

  1. Glutamate Mediated Astrocytic Filtering of Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    Herzog, Nitzan; De Pittà, Maurizio; Jacob, Eshel Ben; Berry, Hugues; Hanein, Yael

    2014-01-01

    Neuron-astrocyte communication is an important regulatory mechanism in various brain functions but its complexity and role are yet to be fully understood. In particular, the temporal pattern of astrocyte response to neuronal firing has not been fully characterized. Here, we used neuron-astrocyte cultures on multi-electrode arrays coupled to Ca2+ imaging and explored the range of neuronal stimulation frequencies while keeping constant the amount of stimulation. Our results reveal that astrocytes specifically respond to the frequency of neuronal stimulation by intracellular Ca2+ transients, with a clear onset of astrocytic activation at neuron firing rates around 3-5 Hz. The cell-to-cell heterogeneity of the astrocyte Ca2+ response was however large and increasing with stimulation frequency. Astrocytic activation by neurons was abolished with antagonists of type I metabotropic glutamate receptor, validating the glutamate-dependence of this neuron-to-astrocyte pathway. Using a realistic biophysical model of glutamate-based intracellular calcium signaling in astrocytes, we suggest that the stepwise response is due to the supralinear dynamics of intracellular IP3 and that the heterogeneity of the responses may be due to the heterogeneity of the astrocyte-to-astrocyte couplings via gap junction channels. Therefore our results present astrocyte intracellular Ca2+ activity as a nonlinear integrator of glutamate-dependent neuronal activity. PMID:25521344

  2. Novel Method for Neuronal Nanosurgical Connection

    PubMed Central

    Katchinskiy, Nir; Goez, Helly R.; Dutta, Indrani; Godbout, Roseline; Elezzabi, Abdulhakem Y.

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal injury may cause an irreversible damage to cellular, organ and organism function. While preventing neural injury is ideal, it is not always possible. There are multiple etiologies for neuronal injury including trauma, infection, inflammation, immune mediated disorders, toxins and hereditary conditions. We describe a novel laser application, utilizing femtosecond laser pulses, in order to connect neuronal axon to neuronal soma. We were able to maintain cellular viability, and demonstrate that this technique is universal as it is applicable to multiple cell types and media. PMID:26846892

  3. Shaping Neuronal Network Activity by Presynaptic Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Ashery, Uri

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal microcircuits generate oscillatory activity, which has been linked to basic functions such as sleep, learning and sensorimotor gating. Although synaptic release processes are well known for their ability to shape the interaction between neurons in microcircuits, most computational models do not simulate the synaptic transmission process directly and hence cannot explain how changes in synaptic parameters alter neuronal network activity. In this paper, we present a novel neuronal network model that incorporates presynaptic release mechanisms, such as vesicle pool dynamics and calcium-dependent release probability, to model the spontaneous activity of neuronal networks. The model, which is based on modified leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, generates spontaneous network activity patterns, which are similar to experimental data and robust under changes in the model's primary gain parameters such as excitatory postsynaptic potential and connectivity ratio. Furthermore, it reliably recreates experimental findings and provides mechanistic explanations for data obtained from microelectrode array recordings, such as network burst termination and the effects of pharmacological and genetic manipulations. The model demonstrates how elevated asynchronous release, but not spontaneous release, synchronizes neuronal network activity and reveals that asynchronous release enhances utilization of the recycling vesicle pool to induce the network effect. The model further predicts a positive correlation between vesicle priming at the single-neuron level and burst frequency at the network level; this prediction is supported by experimental findings. Thus, the model is utilized to reveal how synaptic release processes at the neuronal level govern activity patterns and synchronization at the network level. PMID:26372048

  4. Spiking Neurons for Analysis of Patterns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huntsberger, Terrance

    2008-01-01

    Artificial neural networks comprising spiking neurons of a novel type have been conceived as improved pattern-analysis and pattern-recognition computational systems. These neurons are represented by a mathematical model denoted the state-variable model (SVM), which among other things, exploits a computational parallelism inherent in spiking-neuron geometry. Networks of SVM neurons offer advantages of speed and computational efficiency, relative to traditional artificial neural networks. The SVM also overcomes some of the limitations of prior spiking-neuron models. There are numerous potential pattern-recognition, tracking, and data-reduction (data preprocessing) applications for these SVM neural networks on Earth and in exploration of remote planets. Spiking neurons imitate biological neurons more closely than do the neurons of traditional artificial neural networks. A spiking neuron includes a central cell body (soma) surrounded by a tree-like interconnection network (dendrites). Spiking neurons are so named because they generate trains of output pulses (spikes) in response to inputs received from sensors or from other neurons. They gain their speed advantage over traditional neural networks by using the timing of individual spikes for computation, whereas traditional artificial neurons use averages of activity levels over time. Moreover, spiking neurons use the delays inherent in dendritic processing in order to efficiently encode the information content of incoming signals. Because traditional artificial neurons fail to capture this encoding, they have less processing capability, and so it is necessary to use more gates when implementing traditional artificial neurons in electronic circuitry. Such higher-order functions as dynamic tasking are effected by use of pools (collections) of spiking neurons interconnected by spike-transmitting fibers. The SVM includes adaptive thresholds and submodels of transport of ions (in imitation of such transport in biological

  5. Stages of neuronal network formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woiterski, Lydia; Claudepierre, Thomas; Luxenhofer, Robert; Jordan, Rainer; Käs, Josef A.

    2013-02-01

    Graph theoretical approaches have become a powerful tool for investigating the architecture and dynamics of complex networks. The topology of network graphs revealed small-world properties for very different real systems among these neuronal networks. In this study, we observed the early development of mouse retinal ganglion cell (RGC) networks in vitro using time-lapse video microscopy. By means of a time-resolved graph theoretical analysis of the connectivity, shortest path length and the edge length, we were able to discover the different stages during the network formation. Starting from single cells, at the first stage neurons connected to each other ending up in a network with maximum complexity. In the further course, we observed a simplification of the network which manifested in a change of relevant network parameters such as the minimization of the path length. Moreover, we found that RGC networks self-organized as small-world networks at both stages; however, the optimization occurred only in the second stage.

  6. Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (Batten's Disease)

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, N. S.; Marsden, H. B.; Noronha, M. J.

    1972-01-01

    Four patients are described, who on clinical, histological, and biochemical criteria are considered to be suffering from neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. It is suggested that this may be the commonest condition included under the term amaurotic family idiocy. A number of gangliosidoses can be classified on a biochemical basis and considerable advances have been made in identifying the enzyme deficiencies. The aetiology of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is unknown, and it is possible that there is more than one cause. Visual symptoms and signs are not always present. Though generalized convulsions occur at the start of the illness, myoclonus tends increasingly to dominate the clinical picture. An abnormal sensitivity to photic stimulation at a very slow frequency is a suggestive finding. Evidence of cerebral atrophy on air-encephalography favours this diagnosis, as the brain tends to be enlarged in the gangliosidoses. A definite diagnosis can only be made in life by examination of a cortical biopsy. Biochemical analysis will show a normal ganglioside pattern, and histological examination by light and electron microscopy will reveal characteristic changes. An age dependent classification of amaurotic family idiocy is no longer justifiable, and if full investigations are carried out, an increasing number of these patients can be diagnosed as suffering from a specific type of disorder. ImagesFIG. 1FIG. 2 PMID:5023478

  7. BigNeuron: Large-scale 3D Neuron Reconstruction from Optical Microscopy Images

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Hanchuan; Hawrylycz, Michael; Roskams, Jane; Hill, Sean; Spruston, Nelson; Meijering, Erik; Ascoli, Giorgio A.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the structure of single neurons is critical for understanding how they function within neural circuits. BigNeuron is a new community effort that combines modern bioimaging informatics, recent leaps in labeling and microscopy, and the widely recognized need for openness and standardization to provide a community resource for automated reconstruction of dendritic and axonal morphology of single neurons. PMID:26182412

  8. Cerebellar Nuclear Neurons Use Time and Rate Coding to Transmit Purkinje Neuron Pauses.

    PubMed

    Sudhakar, Shyam Kumar; Torben-Nielsen, Benjamin; De Schutter, Erik

    2015-12-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei convey the final output of the cerebellum to their targets in various parts of the brain. Within the cerebellum their direct upstream connections originate from inhibitory Purkinje neurons. Purkinje neurons have a complex firing pattern of regular spikes interrupted by intermittent pauses of variable length. How can the cerebellar nucleus process this complex input pattern? In this modeling study, we investigate different forms of Purkinje neuron simple spike pause synchrony and its influence on candidate coding strategies in the cerebellar nuclei. That is, we investigate how different alignments of synchronous pauses in synthetic Purkinje neuron spike trains affect either time-locking or rate-changes in the downstream nuclei. We find that Purkinje neuron synchrony is mainly represented by changes in the firing rate of cerebellar nuclei neurons. Pause beginning synchronization produced a unique effect on nuclei neuron firing, while the effect of pause ending and pause overlapping synchronization could not be distinguished from each other. Pause beginning synchronization produced better time-locking of nuclear neurons for short length pauses. We also characterize the effect of pause length and spike jitter on the nuclear neuron firing. Additionally, we find that the rate of rebound responses in nuclear neurons after a synchronous pause is controlled by the firing rate of Purkinje neurons preceding it. PMID:26630202

  9. Inhibitory neurons modulate spontaneous signaling in cultured cortical neurons: density-dependent regulation of excitatory neuronal signaling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serra, Michael; Guaraldi, Mary; Shea, Thomas B.

    2010-06-01

    Cortical neuronal activity depends on a balance between excitatory and inhibitory influences. Culturing of neurons on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) has provided insight into the development and maintenance of neuronal networks. Herein, we seeded MEAs with murine embryonic cortical/hippocampal neurons at different densities (<150 or >1000 cells mm-2) and monitored resultant spontaneous signaling. Sparsely seeded cultures displayed a large number of bipolar, rapid, high-amplitude individual signals with no apparent temporal regularity. By contrast, densely seeded cultures instead displayed clusters of signals at regular intervals. These patterns were observed even within thinner and thicker areas of the same culture. GABAergic neurons (25% of total neurons in our cultures) mediated the differential signal patterns observed above, since addition of the inhibitory antagonist bicuculline to dense cultures and hippocampal slice cultures induced the signal pattern characteristic of sparse cultures. Sparsely seeded cultures likely lacked sufficient inhibitory neurons to modulate excitatory activity. Differential seeding of MEAs can provide a unique model for analyses of pertubation in the interaction between excitatory and inhibitory function during aging and neuropathological conditions where dysregulation of GABAergic neurons is a significant component.

  10. Motor neurons and the generation of spinal motor neuron diversity

    PubMed Central

    Stifani, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Motor neurons (MNs) are neuronal cells located in the central nervous system (CNS) controlling a variety of downstream targets. This function infers the existence of MN subtypes matching the identity of the targets they innervate. To illustrate the mechanism involved in the generation of cellular diversity and the acquisition of specific identity, this review will focus on spinal MNs (SpMNs) that have been the core of significant work and discoveries during the last decades. SpMNs are responsible for the contraction of effector muscles in the periphery. Humans possess more than 500 different skeletal muscles capable to work in a precise time and space coordination to generate complex movements such as walking or grasping. To ensure such refined coordination, SpMNs must retain the identity of the muscle they innervate. Within the last two decades, scientists around the world have produced considerable efforts to elucidate several critical steps of SpMNs differentiation. During development, SpMNs emerge from dividing progenitor cells located in the medial portion of the ventral neural tube. MN identities are established by patterning cues working in cooperation with intrinsic sets of transcription factors. As the embryo develop, MNs further differentiate in a stepwise manner to form compact anatomical groups termed pools connecting to a unique muscle target. MN pools are not homogeneous and comprise subtypes according to the muscle fibers they innervate. This article aims to provide a global view of MN classification as well as an up-to-date review of the molecular mechanisms involved in the generation of SpMN diversity. Remaining conundrums will be discussed since a complete understanding of those mechanisms constitutes the foundation required for the elaboration of prospective MN regeneration therapies. PMID:25346659

  11. Local and Commissural IC Neurons Make Axosomatic Inputs on Large GABAergic Tectothalamic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ito, Tetsufumi; Oliver, Douglas L.

    2014-01-01

    Large GABAergic (LG) neurons are a distinct type of neuron in the inferior colliculus (IC) identified by their dense VGLUT2-containing axosomatic synaptic terminals. Yet, the sources of these terminals are unknown. Since IC glutamatergic neurons express VGLUT2, and IC neurons are known to have local collaterals, we tested the hypothesis that these excitatory, glutamatergic axosomatic inputs on LG neurons come from local axonal collaterals and commissural IC neurons. We injected a recombinant viral tracer into the IC which enabled Golgi-like GFP labeling in both dendrites and axons. In all cases, we found terminals positive for both GFP and VGLUT2 (GFP+/VGLUT2+) that made axosomatic contacts on LG neurons. One to six axosomatic contacts were made on a single LG cell body by a single axonal branch. The GFP-labeled neurons giving rise to the VGLUT2+ terminals on LG neurons were close by. The density of GFP+/VGLUT2+ terminals on the LG neurons was related to the number of nearby GFP-labeled cells. On the contralateral side, a smaller number of LG neurons received axosomatic contacts from GFP+/VGLUT2+ terminals. In cases with a single GFP-labeled glutamatergic neuron, the labeled axonal plexus was flat, oriented in parallel to the fibrodendritic laminae, and contacted 9–30 LG cell bodies within the plexus. Our data demonstrated that within the IC microcircuitry, there is a convergence of inputs from local IC excitatory neurons on LG cell bodies. This suggests that LG neurons are heavily influenced by the activity of the nearby laminar glutamatergic neurons in the IC. PMID:24796971

  12. Maximum hyperchaos in chaotic nonmonotonic neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuai, J. W.; Chen, Z. X.; Liu, R. T.; Wu, B. X.

    1997-07-01

    Hyperchaos in chaotic nonmonotonic neuronal networks is discussed with computer simulations. Maximum chaos with all Lyapunov exponents positive is found not only in the present dissipative model with weak coupling connections between neurons, but also with some strong-coupling connections. Although the model presented is a noninvertible map, the information dimension of simple chaos still yields a good approximation to the Lyapunov dimension.

  13. Transmitter sensitivity of neurons assayed by autoradiography

    SciTech Connect

    Yoshikami, D.

    1981-05-22

    Ionic conductance channels that are opened by activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors at synapses of sympathetic neurons are permeable to small organic amines. Uptake of a tritium-labeled amine through these channels can be measured by autoradiography. This provides a simple and direct way to assess the sensitivity of individual neurons to acetylcholine without using microelectrodes.

  14. Adaptive Neurons For Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tawel, Raoul

    1990-01-01

    Training time decreases dramatically. In improved mathematical model of neural-network processor, temperature of neurons (in addition to connection strengths, also called weights, of synapses) varied during supervised-learning phase of operation according to mathematical formalism and not heuristic rule. Evidence that biological neural networks also process information at neuronal level.

  15. Olfactory Receptor Neuron Dysfunction in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Turetsky, Bruce I; Hahn, Chang-Gyu; Arnold, Steven E; Moberg, Paul J

    2012-01-01

    Olfactory impairments are a common feature of schizophrenia. Impairments in odor detection and odor identification are present early in the course of illness and among those at risk for the disorder. These behavioral impairments have been linked to both physiological and anatomical abnormalities in the neural substrates subserving olfaction, including relatively peripheral elements of the olfactory system. The location of olfactory receptor neurons in the nasal epithelium allows noninvasive access to these neurons in living subjects. This offers a unique opportunity to directly assess neuronal integrity in vivo in patients. The peripheral olfactory receptor neuron response to odor stimulation was assessed in 21 schizophrenia patients and 18 healthy comparison subjects. The electroolfactogram, representing the electrical depolarization of the olfactory receptor neurons, was recording following stimulation with different doses and durations of hydrogen sulfide, a pure olfactory nerve stimulant. Schizophrenia patients had abnormally large depolarization responses following odor stimulation, independent of clinical symptomatology, antipsychotic medication dosage or smoking history. Although the precise pathophysiological mechanism is unknown, this olfactory receptor neuron abnormality is consistent with several lines of evidence suggesting altered proliferation or maturation of olfactory receptor neuron cell lineages in schizophrenia. It is also consistent with emerging evidence of disruptions of cyclic AMP-mediated intracellular signaling mechanisms, and may be a marker of these disruptions. It unambiguously demonstrates that neurophysiological disturbances in schizophrenia are not limited to cortical and subcortical structures, but rather include even the most peripheral sensory neurons. PMID:18754006

  16. Olfactory receptor neuron dysfunction in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Turetsky, Bruce I; Hahn, Chang-Gyu; Arnold, Steven E; Moberg, Paul J

    2009-02-01

    Olfactory impairments are a common feature of schizophrenia. Impairments in odor detection and odor identification are present early in the course of illness and among those at risk for the disorder. These behavioral impairments have been linked to both physiological and anatomical abnormalities in the neural substrates subserving olfaction, including relatively peripheral elements of the olfactory system. The location of olfactory receptor neurons in the nasal epithelium allows noninvasive access to these neurons in living subjects. This offers a unique opportunity to directly assess neuronal integrity in vivo in patients. The peripheral olfactory receptor neuron response to odor stimulation was assessed in 21 schizophrenia patients and 18 healthy comparison subjects. The electroolfactogram, representing the electrical depolarization of the olfactory receptor neurons, was recording following stimulation with different doses and durations of hydrogen sulfide, a pure olfactory nerve stimulant. Schizophrenia patients had abnormally large depolarization responses following odor stimulation, independent of clinical symptomatology, antipsychotic medication dosage or smoking history. Although the precise pathophysiological mechanism is unknown, this olfactory receptor neuron abnormality is consistent with several lines of evidence suggesting altered proliferation or maturation of olfactory receptor neuron cell lineages in schizophrenia. It is also consistent with emerging evidence of disruptions of cyclic AMP-mediated intracellular signaling mechanisms, and may be a marker of these disruptions. It unambiguously demonstrates that neurophysiological disturbances in schizophrenia are not limited to cortical and subcortical structures, but rather include even the most peripheral sensory neurons. PMID:18754006

  17. The Mirror Neuron System and Action Recognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buccino, Giovanni; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Riggio, Lucia

    2004-01-01

    Mirror neurons, first described in the rostral part of monkey ventral premotor cortex (area F5), discharge both when the animal performs a goal-directed hand action and when it observes another individual performing the same or a similar action. More recently, in the same area mirror neurons responding to the observation of mouth actions have been…

  18. Radiation-induced impairment of neuronal excitability

    SciTech Connect

    Pellmar, T.C.; Tolliver, J.M.; Neel, K.L.

    1988-01-01

    Radiation causes a decrease in the synaptically evoked activity of CA1 hippocampal pyramidal cells. This effect is dose and dose-rate dependent. Hydrogen peroxide, which produces hydroxyl free radicals when combined with FE + 2, produces similar damage. In contrast, the radioprotectant, dithiothreitol, increases the excitability of hippocampal neurons. These studies indicate that radiation can directly affect the function of central neurons.

  19. Neighbor effects of neurons bearing protective transgenes

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Angela L; Campbell, Laura B; Sapolsky, Robert M

    2010-01-01

    Viral vectors bearing protective transgenes can decrease neurotoxicity after varied necrotic insults. A neuron that dies necrotically releases glutamate, calcium and reactive oxygen species, thereby potentially damaging neighboring neurons. This raises the possibility that preventing such neuron death via gene therapy can secondarily protect neighboring neurons that, themselves, do not express a protective transgene. We determined whether such “good neighbor” effects occur, by characterizing neurons that, while uninfected themselves, are in close proximity to a transgene-bearing neuron. We tested two genes whose overexpression protects against excitotoxicity: anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, and a calcium-activated K+ channel, SK2. Using herpes simplex virus type 2-mediated transgene delivery to hippocampal cultures, we observed “good neighbor” effects on neuronal survival following an excitotoxic insult. However, in the absence of insult, “bad neighbor effects” could also occur (i.e., where being in proximity to a neuron constitutively expressing one of those transgenes is deleterious). We also characterized the necessity for cell-cell contact for these effects. These phenomena may have broad implications for the efficacy of gene overexpression strategies in the CNS. PMID:20417625

  20. Neurons from rat brain coupled to transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vassanelli, S.; Fromherz, P.

    Field-effect transistors form spontaneously capacitive junctions with cultured nerve cells from rat brains. The transfer of ac signals from neurons to silicon is studied and used to parametrize an equivalent circuit. The coupling is distinctly weaker than in junctions assembled with leech nerve cells. The implications with respect to the recording and stimulation of neuronal activity by silicon devices are considered.

  1. Dynamics of Hybrid Electronic-Neuronal Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breen, Barbara; Garcia, Paul; Furman, Michael D.; Lindner, John; Ditto, William

    2001-03-01

    Hybrid systems of neurons and nonlinear electrical components may make possible a new breed of computer optimized for such applications as pattern recognition and the combinatorially explosive problems that are the bane of traditional computers. Because the dynamics of arrays of neurons are high dimensional, and as they are difficult to measure and control, we have focused our initial efforts on more manageable hybrid silicon-neuron systems. Here we present results from our numerical simulations and biological experiments involving a neuron coupled to Chua’s famous chaotic circuit. The results of our simulations reinforce the possibility of using the dynamics of hybrid systems for encoding numbers and performing computation [1]. For example, bi-directionally coupling the FitzHugh-Nagumo model neuron to the Chua model circuit resulted in co-existing stable limit cycles, which can be used to store information. The coupling was also able to convert periodic neuronal spiking to chaotic bursting. We observed similar results with the more physiologically relevant Pinsky-Rinzel [2] model neuron, which facilitated our transition to a living neuron, the rodent hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cell, which we coupled to an analog Chua circuit. [1] Sinha, S., Ditto, W.L., Phys. Rev. Lett., 81, 2156-2159 (1998); Sinha, S., Ditto, W.L., Phys. Rev. E, 60, 363-377 (1999) [2] Pinsky, P., Rinzel, J., Journ. Comp. Neuroscience, 1, 39-60 (1994)

  2. Coupled Activation of Primary Sensory Neurons Contributes to Chronic Pain.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yu Shin; Anderson, Michael; Park, Kyoungsook; Zheng, Qin; Agarwal, Amit; Gong, Catherine; Saijilafu; Young, LeAnne; He, Shaoqiu; LaVinka, Pamela Colleen; Zhou, Fengquan; Bergles, Dwight; Hanani, Menachem; Guan, Yun; Spray, David C; Dong, Xinzhong

    2016-09-01

    Primary sensory neurons in the DRG play an essential role in initiating pain by detecting painful stimuli in the periphery. Tissue injury can sensitize DRG neurons, causing heightened pain sensitivity, often leading to chronic pain. Despite the functional importance, how DRG neurons function at a population level is unclear due to the lack of suitable tools. Here we developed an imaging technique that allowed us to simultaneously monitor the activities of >1,600 neurons/DRG in live mice and discovered a striking neuronal coupling phenomenon that adjacent neurons tend to activate together following tissue injury. This coupled activation occurs among various neurons and is mediated by an injury-induced upregulation of gap junctions in glial cells surrounding DRG neurons. Blocking gap junctions attenuated neuronal coupling and mechanical hyperalgesia. Therefore, neuronal coupling represents a new form of neuronal plasticity in the DRG and contributes to pain hypersensitivity by "hijacking" neighboring neurons through gap junctions. PMID:27568517

  3. Mirror Neurons through the Lens of Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Pier F.; Tramacere, Antonella; Simpson, Elizabeth A.; Iriki, Atsushi

    2013-01-01

    The consensus view in mirror neuron research is that mirror neurons comprise a uniform, stable execution-observation matching system. In this article, we argue that, in light of recent evidence, this is, at best, an incomplete and oversimplified view of mirror neurons, whose activity is actually quite variable and more plastic than previously theorized. We propose an epigenetic account for understanding developmental changes in sensorimotor systems, including variations in mirror neuron activity. Although extant associative and genetic accounts fail to consider the complexity of genetic and non-genetic interactions, we propose a new Evo-Devo perspective, which predicts that environmental differences early in development, or through sensorimotor training, should produce variations in mirror neuron response patterns, tuning them to the social environment. PMID:23953747

  4. Neuron biomechanics probed by atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Spedden, Elise; Staii, Cristian

    2013-01-01

    Mechanical interactions play a key role in many processes associated with neuronal growth and development. Over the last few years there has been significant progress in our understanding of the role played by the substrate stiffness in neuronal growth, of the cell-substrate adhesion forces, of the generation of traction forces during axonal elongation, and of the relationships between the neuron soma elastic properties and its health. The particular capabilities of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), such as high spatial resolution, high degree of control over the magnitude and orientation of the applied forces, minimal sample damage, and the ability to image and interact with cells in physiologically relevant conditions make this technique particularly suitable for measuring mechanical properties of living neuronal cells. This article reviews recent advances on using the AFM for studying neuronal biomechanics, provides an overview about the state-of-the-art measurements, and suggests directions for future applications. PMID:23921683

  5. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION

    PubMed Central

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L.F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. PMID:25088365

  6. Effects of surface asymmetry on neuronal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staii, Cristian

    Understanding the brain is of tremendous fundamental importance, but it is immensely challenging because of the complexity of both its architecture and function. A growing body of evidence shows that physical stimuli (stiffness of the growth substrate, gradients of various molecular species, geometry of the surrounding environment, traction forces etc.) play a key role in the wiring up of the nervous system. I will present a systematic experimental and theoretical investigation of neuronal growth on substrates with asymmetric geometries and textures. The experimental results show unidirectional axonal growth on these substrates. We demonstrate that the unidirectional bias is imparted by the surface ratchet geometry and quantify the geometrical guidance cues that control neuronal growth. Our results provide new insight into the role played by physical cues in neuronal growth, and could lead to new methods for stimulating neuronal regeneration and the engineering of artificial neuronal tissue. We acknowledge support from NSF through CBET 1067093.

  7. Bistable behaviour in a neocortical neurone model.

    PubMed

    Delord, B; Klaassen, A J; Burnod, Y; Costalat, R; Guigon, E

    1997-03-01

    Intracellular recordings have shown that neocortical pyramidal neurones have an intrinsic capacity for regenerative firing. The cellular mechanism of this firing was investigated by computer simulations of a model neurone endowed with standard action potential and persistent sodium (gNaP) conductances. The firing mode of the neurone was determined as a function of leakage and NaP maximal conductances (gl and gNaP). The neurone had two stable states of activity (bistable) over wide range of gl and gNaP, one at the resting potential and the other in a regenerative firing mode, that could be triggered by a transient input. This model points to a cellular mechanism that may contribute to the generation and maintenance of long-lasting sustained neuronal discharges in the cerebral cortex. PMID:9141084

  8. Central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields

    PubMed Central

    Kozlov, Andrei S.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2016-01-01

    High-level neurons processing complex, behaviorally relevant signals are sensitive to conjunctions of features. Characterizing the receptive fields of such neurons is difficult with standard statistical tools, however, and the principles governing their organization remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate multiple distinct receptive-field features in individual high-level auditory neurons in a songbird, European starling, in response to natural vocal signals (songs). We then show that receptive fields with similar characteristics can be reproduced by an unsupervised neural network trained to represent starling songs with a single learning rule that enforces sparseness and divisive normalization. We conclude that central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields that can arise through a combination of sparseness and normalization in neural circuits. Our results, along with descriptions of random, discontinuous receptive fields in the central olfactory neurons in mammals and insects, suggest general principles of neural computation across sensory systems and animal classes. PMID:26787894

  9. Vestibular efferent neurons project to the flocculus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shinder, M. E.; Purcell, I. M.; Kaufman, G. D.; Perachio, A. A.

    2001-01-01

    A bilateral projection from the vestibular efferent neurons, located dorsal to the genu of the facial nerve, to the cerebellar flocculus and ventral paraflocculus was demonstrated. Efferent neurons were double-labeled by the unilateral injections of separate retrograde tracers into the labyrinth and into the floccular and ventral parafloccular lobules. Efferent neurons were found with double retrograde tracer labeling both ipsilateral and contralateral to the sites of injection. No double labeling was found when using a fluorescent tracer with non-fluorescent tracers such as horseradish peroxidase (HRP) or biotinylated dextran amine (BDA), but large percentages of efferent neurons were found to be double labeled when using two fluorescent substances including: fluorogold, microruby dextran amine, or rhodamine labeled latex beads. These data suggest a potential role for vestibular efferent neurons in modulating the dynamics of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) during normal and adaptive conditions.

  10. An overview of the neuron ring model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taber, Rod

    1991-01-01

    The Neuron Ring model employs an avalanche structure with two important distinctions at the neuron level. Each neuron has two memory latches; one traps maximum neuronal activation during pattern presentation, and the other records the time of latch content change. The latches filter short term memory. In the process, they preserve length 1 snapshots of activation theory history. The model finds utility in pattern classification. Its synaptic weights are first conditioned with sample spectra. The model then receives a test or unknown signal. The objective is to identify the sample closest to the test signal. Class decision follows complete presentation of the test data. The decision maker relies exclusively on the latch contents. Presented here is an overview of the Neuron Ring at the seminar level.

  11. [Impact of opiates on dopaminergic neurons].

    PubMed

    Kaufling, Jennifer; Freund-Mercier, Marie-José; Barrot, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Since the work of Johnson and North, it is known that opiates increase the activity of dopaminergic neurons by a GABA neuron-mediated desinhibition. This model should however be updated based on recent advances. Thus, the neuroanatomical location of the GABA neurons responsible for this desinhibition has been recently detailed: they belong to a brain structure in continuity with the posterior part of the ventral tegmental area and discovered this past decade. Other data also highlighted the critical role played by glutamatergic transmission in the opioid regulation of dopaminergic neuron activity. During protracted opiate withdrawal, the inhibitory/excitatory balance exerted on dopaminergic neurons is altered. These results are now leading to propose an original hypothesis for explaining the impact of protracted opiate withdrawal on mood. PMID:27406773

  12. Programming embryonic stem cells to neuronal subtypes

    PubMed Central

    Peljto, Mirza; Wichterle, Hynek

    2010-01-01

    Richness of neural circuits and specificity of neuronal connectivity depends on the diversification of nerve cells into functionally and molecularly distinct subtypes. While efficient methods for directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into multiple principal neuronal classes have been established, only a few studies systematically examined the subtype diversity of in vitro derived nerve cells. Here we review evidence based on molecular and in vivo transplantation studies that ESC-derived spinal motor neurons and cortical layer V pyramidal neurons acquire subtype specific functional properties. We discuss similarities and differences in the role of cell intrinsic transcriptional programs, extrinsic signals and cell-cell interactions during subtype diversification of the two classes of nerve cells. We conclude that the high degree of fidelity with which differentiating ESCs recapitulate normal embryonic development provides a unique opportunity to explore developmental processes underlying specification of mammalian neuronal diversity in a simplified and experimentally accessible system. PMID:20970319

  13. Interaction function of coupled bursting neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Shi; Jiadong, Zhang

    2016-06-01

    The interaction functions of electrically coupled Hindmarsh–Rose (HR) neurons for different firing patterns are investigated in this paper. By applying the phase reduction technique, the phase response curve (PRC) of the spiking neuron and burst phase response curve (BPRC) of the bursting neuron are derived. Then the interaction function of two coupled neurons can be calculated numerically according to the PRC (or BPRC) and the voltage time course of the neurons. Results show that the BPRC is more and more complicated with the increase of the spike number within a burst, and the curve of the interaction function oscillates more and more frequently with it. However, two certain things are unchanged: ϕ = 0, which corresponds to the in-phase synchronization state, is always the stable equilibrium, while the anti-phase synchronization state with ϕ = 0.5 is an unstable equilibrium. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos.  11272065 and 11472061).

  14. Multidisciplinary Interventions in Motor Neuron Disease

    PubMed Central

    Williams, U. E.; Philip-Ephraim, E. E.; Oparah, S. K.

    2014-01-01

    Motor neuron disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of upper motor neuron in the motor cortex and lower motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord. Death occurs 2–4 years after the onset of the disease. A complex interplay of cellular processes such as mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, and impaired axonal transport are proposed pathogenetic processes underlying neuronal cell loss. Currently evidence exists for the use of riluzole as a disease modifying drug; multidisciplinary team care approach to patient management; noninvasive ventilation for respiratory management; botulinum toxin B for sialorrhoea treatment; palliative care throughout the course of the disease; and Modafinil use for fatigue treatment. Further research is needed in management of dysphagia, bronchial secretion, pseudobulbar affect, spasticity, cramps, insomnia, cognitive impairment, and communication in motor neuron disease. PMID:26317009

  15. Animal models for motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Green, S L; Tolwani, R J

    1999-10-01

    Motor neuron disease is a general term applied to a broad class of neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by fatally progressive muscular weakness, atrophy, and paralysis attributable to loss of motor neurons. At present, there is no cure for most motor neuron diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common human motor neuron disease--the cause of which remains largely unknown. Animal models of motor neuron disease (MND) have significantly contributed to the remarkable recent progress in understanding the cause, genetic factors, and pathologic mechanisms proposed for this class of human neurodegenerative disorders. Largely driven by ALS research, animal models of MND have proven their usefulness in elucidating potential causes and specific pathogenic mechanisms, and have helped to advance promising new treatments from "benchside to bedside." This review summarizes important features of selected established animal models of MND: genetically engineered mice and inherited or spontaneously occurring MND in the murine, canine, and equine species. PMID:10551448

  16. Timing control by redundant inhibitory neuronal circuits

    SciTech Connect

    Tristan, I. Rulkov, N. F.; Huerta, R.; Rabinovich, M.

    2014-03-15

    Rhythms and timing control of sequential activity in the brain is fundamental to cognition and behavior. Although experimental and theoretical studies support the understanding that neuronal circuits are intrinsically capable of generating different time intervals, the dynamical origin of the phenomenon of functionally dependent timing control is still unclear. Here, we consider a new mechanism that is related to the multi-neuronal cooperative dynamics in inhibitory brain motifs consisting of a few clusters. It is shown that redundancy and diversity of neurons within each cluster enhances the sensitivity of the timing control with the level of neuronal excitation of the whole network. The generality of the mechanism is shown to work on two different neuronal models: a conductance-based model and a map-based model.

  17. Neuron Biomechanics Probed by Atomic Force Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Spedden, Elise; Staii, Cristian

    2013-01-01

    Mechanical interactions play a key role in many processes associated with neuronal growth and development. Over the last few years there has been significant progress in our understanding of the role played by the substrate stiffness in neuronal growth, of the cell-substrate adhesion forces, of the generation of traction forces during axonal elongation, and of the relationships between the neuron soma elastic properties and its health. The particular capabilities of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), such as high spatial resolution, high degree of control over the magnitude and orientation of the applied forces, minimal sample damage, and the ability to image and interact with cells in physiologically relevant conditions make this technique particularly suitable for measuring mechanical properties of living neuronal cells. This article reviews recent advances on using the AFM for studying neuronal biomechanics, provides an overview about the state-of-the-art measurements, and suggests directions for future applications. PMID:23921683

  18. Central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields.

    PubMed

    Kozlov, Andrei S; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2016-02-01

    High-level neurons processing complex, behaviorally relevant signals are sensitive to conjunctions of features. Characterizing the receptive fields of such neurons is difficult with standard statistical tools, however, and the principles governing their organization remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate multiple distinct receptive-field features in individual high-level auditory neurons in a songbird, European starling, in response to natural vocal signals (songs). We then show that receptive fields with similar characteristics can be reproduced by an unsupervised neural network trained to represent starling songs with a single learning rule that enforces sparseness and divisive normalization. We conclude that central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields that can arise through a combination of sparseness and normalization in neural circuits. Our results, along with descriptions of random, discontinuous receptive fields in the central olfactory neurons in mammals and insects, suggest general principles of neural computation across sensory systems and animal classes. PMID:26787894

  19. Characterization of mitochondrial transport in neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Bing; Lin, Mei-Yao; Sun, Tao; Knight, Adam L; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondria are cellular power plants that supply ATP to power various biological activities essential for neuronal growth, survival, and function. Due to extremely varied morphological features, neurons face exceptional challenges to maintain energy homeostasis. Neurons require specialized mechanisms distributing mitochondria to distal synapses where energy is in high demand. Axons and synapses undergo activity-dependent remodeling, thereby altering mitochondrial distribution. The uniform microtubule polarity has made axons particularly useful for exploring mechanisms regulating mitochondrial transport. Mitochondria alter their motility under stress conditions or when their integrity is impaired. Therefore, research into the mechanisms regulating mitochondrial motility in healthy and diseased neurons is an important emerging frontier in neurobiology. In this chapter, we discuss the current protocols in the characterization of axonal mitochondrial transport in primary neuron cultures isolated from embryonic rats and adult mice. We also briefly discuss new procedures developed in our lab in analyzing mitochondrial motility patterns at presynaptic terminals and evaluate their impact on synaptic vesicle release. PMID:25416353

  20. Attractor dynamics in local neuronal networks

    PubMed Central

    Thivierge, Jean-Philippe; Comas, Rosa; Longtin, André

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of synaptic connectivity in various regions of the brain are characterized by the presence of synaptic motifs, defined as unidirectional and bidirectional synaptic contacts that follow a particular configuration and link together small groups of neurons. Recent computational work proposes that a relay network (two populations communicating via a third, relay population of neurons) can generate precise patterns of neural synchronization. Here, we employ two distinct models of neuronal dynamics and show that simulated neural circuits designed in this way are caught in a global attractor of activity that prevents neurons from modulating their response on the basis of incoming stimuli. To circumvent the emergence of a fixed global attractor, we propose a mechanism of selective gain inhibition that promotes flexible responses to external stimuli. We suggest that local neuronal circuits may employ this mechanism to generate precise patterns of neural synchronization whose transient nature delimits the occurrence of a brief stimulus. PMID:24688457

  1. Timing control by redundant inhibitory neuronal circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tristan, I.; Rulkov, N. F.; Huerta, R.; Rabinovich, M.

    2014-03-01

    Rhythms and timing control of sequential activity in the brain is fundamental to cognition and behavior. Although experimental and theoretical studies support the understanding that neuronal circuits are intrinsically capable of generating different time intervals, the dynamical origin of the phenomenon of functionally dependent timing control is still unclear. Here, we consider a new mechanism that is related to the multi-neuronal cooperative dynamics in inhibitory brain motifs consisting of a few clusters. It is shown that redundancy and diversity of neurons within each cluster enhances the sensitivity of the timing control with the level of neuronal excitation of the whole network. The generality of the mechanism is shown to work on two different neuronal models: a conductance-based model and a map-based model.

  2. Pathological Changes of von Economo Neuron and Fork Neuron in Neuropsychiatric Diseases.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jia; Wang, Lu-ning; Arzberger, Thomas; Zhu, Ming-wei

    2016-02-01

    von Economo neuron (VEN) is a bipolar neuron characterized by a large spindle-shaped soma. VEN is generally distributed in the layer V of anterior insular lobe and anterior cingulate cortex. Fork neuron is another featured bipolar neuron. In recent years,many studies have illustrated that VEN and fork neurons are correlated with complicated cognition such as self-consciousness and social emotion. Studies in the development and morpholigies of these two neurons as well as their pathological changes in various neurological and psychiatric disorders have found that the abnormal number and functions of VEN can cause corresponding dysfunctions in social recognition and emotions both during the neuro-developmental stages of childhood and during the nerve degeneration in old age stage. Therefore, more attentions should be paid on the research of VEN and fork neurons in neuropsychiatric diseases. PMID:26996211

  3. Quo vadis motor neuron disease?

    PubMed

    Balendra, Rubika; Patani, Rickie

    2016-03-26

    Motor neuron disease (MND), also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative condition that is invariably fatal, usually within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis. The aetio-pathogenesis of MND remains unresolved and no effective treatments exist. The only Food and Drug Administration approved disease modifying therapy is riluzole, a glutamate antagonist, which prolongs survival by up to 3 mo. Current management is largely symptomatic/supportive. There is therefore a desperate and unmet clinical need for discovery of disease mechanisms to guide novel therapeutic strategy. In this review, we start by introducing the organizational anatomy of the motor system, before providing a clinical overview of its dysfunction specifically in MND. We then summarize insights gained from pathological, genetic and animal models and conclude by speculating on optimal strategies to drive the step change in discovery, which is so desperately needed in this arena. PMID:27019797

  4. Quo vadis motor neuron disease?

    PubMed Central

    Balendra, Rubika; Patani, Rickie

    2016-01-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND), also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative condition that is invariably fatal, usually within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis. The aetio-pathogenesis of MND remains unresolved and no effective treatments exist. The only Food and Drug Administration approved disease modifying therapy is riluzole, a glutamate antagonist, which prolongs survival by up to 3 mo. Current management is largely symptomatic/supportive. There is therefore a desperate and unmet clinical need for discovery of disease mechanisms to guide novel therapeutic strategy. In this review, we start by introducing the organizational anatomy of the motor system, before providing a clinical overview of its dysfunction specifically in MND. We then summarize insights gained from pathological, genetic and animal models and conclude by speculating on optimal strategies to drive the step change in discovery, which is so desperately needed in this arena. PMID:27019797

  5. Parallel Network Simulations with NEURON

    PubMed Central

    Migliore, M.; Cannia, C.; Lytton, W.W; Markram, Henry; Hines, M. L.

    2009-01-01

    The NEURON simulation environment has been extended to support parallel network simulations. Each processor integrates the equations for its subnet over an interval equal to the minimum (interprocessor) presynaptic spike generation to postsynaptic spike delivery connection delay. The performance of three published network models with very different spike patterns exhibits superlinear speedup on Beowulf clusters and demonstrates that spike communication overhead is often less than the benefit of an increased fraction of the entire problem fitting into high speed cache. On the EPFL IBM Blue Gene, almost linear speedup was obtained up to 100 processors. Increasing one model from 500 to 40,000 realistic cells exhibited almost linear speedup on 2000 processors, with an integration time of 9.8 seconds and communication time of 1.3 seconds. The potential for speed-ups of several orders of magnitude makes practical the running of large network simulations that could otherwise not be explored. PMID:16732488

  6. The Sensory Neurons of Touch

    PubMed Central

    Abraira, Victoria E.; Ginty, David D.

    2013-01-01

    The somatosensory system decodes a wide range of tactile stimuli and thus endows us with a remarkable capacity for object recognition, texture discrimination, sensory-motor feedback and social exchange. The first step leading to perception of innocuous touch is activation of cutaneous sensory neurons called low-threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs). Here, we review the properties and functions of LTMRs, emphasizing the unique tuning properties of LTMR subtypes and the organizational logic of their peripheral and central axonal projections. We discuss the spinal cord neurophysiological representation of complex mechanical forces acting upon the skin and current views of how tactile information is processed and conveyed from the spinal cord to the brain. An integrative model in which ensembles of impulses arising from physiologically distinct LTMRs are integrated and processed in somatotopically aligned mechanosensory columns of the spinal cord dorsal horn underlies the nervous system’s enormous capacity for perceiving the richness of the tactile world. PMID:23972592

  7. Molecular chaperones and neuronal proteostasis

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Heather L.; Li, Wenwen; Cheetham, Michael E.

    2015-01-01

    Protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is essential for maintaining the functionality of the proteome. The disruption of proteostasis, due to genetic mutations or an age-related decline, leads to aberrantly folded proteins that typically lose their function. The accumulation of misfolded and aggregated protein is also cytotoxic and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Neurons have developed an intrinsic protein quality control network, of which molecular chaperones are an essential component. Molecular chaperones function to promote efficient folding and target misfolded proteins for refolding or degradation. Increasing molecular chaperone expression can suppress protein aggregation and toxicity in numerous models of neurodegenerative disease; therefore, molecular chaperones are considered exciting therapeutic targets. Furthermore, mutations in several chaperones cause inherited neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we focus on the importance of molecular chaperones in neurodegenerative diseases, and discuss the advances in understanding their protective mechanisms. PMID:25770416

  8. Variable Neuronal Participation in Stereotypic Motor Programs

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Evan S.; Vasireddi, Sunil K.; Bruno, Angela M.; Wang, Jean; Frost, William N.

    2012-01-01

    To what extent are motor networks underlying rhythmic behaviors rigidly hard-wired versus fluid and dynamic entities? Do the members of motor networks change from moment-to-moment or from motor program episode-to-episode? These are questions that can only be addressed in systems where it is possible to monitor the spiking activity of networks of neurons during the production of motor programs. We used large-scale voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging followed by Independent Component Analysis spike-sorting to examine the extent to which the neuronal network underlying the escape swim behavior of Tritonia diomedea is hard-wired versus fluid from a moment-to-moment perspective. We found that while most neurons were dedicated to the swim network, a small but significant proportion of neurons participated in a surprisingly variable manner. These neurons joined the swim motor program late, left early, burst only on some cycles or skipped cycles of the motor program. We confirmed that this variable neuronal participation was not due to effects of the VSD by finding such neurons with intracellular recording in dye-free saline. Further, these neurons markedly varied their level of participation in the network from swim episode-to-episode. The generality of such unreliably bursting neurons was confirmed by their presence in the rhythmic escape networks of two other molluscan species, Tritonia festiva and Aplysia californica. Our observations support a view that neuronal networks, even those underlying rhythmic and stereotyped motor programs, may be more variable in structure than widely appreciated. PMID:22815768

  9. Neuronal Ensemble Synchrony during Human Focal Seizures

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Omar J.; Harrison, Matthew T.; Eskandar, Emad N.; Cosgrove, G. Rees; Madsen, Joseph R.; Blum, Andrew S.; Potter, N. Stevenson; Hochberg, Leigh R.; Cash, Sydney S.

    2014-01-01

    Seizures are classically characterized as the expression of hypersynchronous neural activity, yet the true degree of synchrony in neuronal spiking (action potentials) during human seizures remains a fundamental question. We quantified the temporal precision of spike synchrony in ensembles of neocortical neurons during seizures in people with pharmacologically intractable epilepsy. Two seizure types were analyzed: those characterized by sustained gamma (∼40–60 Hz) local field potential (LFP) oscillations or by spike-wave complexes (SWCs; ∼3 Hz). Fine (<10 ms) temporal synchrony was rarely present during gamma-band seizures, where neuronal spiking remained highly irregular and asynchronous. In SWC seizures, phase locking of neuronal spiking to the SWC spike phase induced synchrony at a coarse 50–100 ms level. In addition, transient fine synchrony occurred primarily during the initial ∼20 ms period of the SWC spike phase and varied across subjects and seizures. Sporadic coherence events between neuronal population spike counts and LFPs were observed during SWC seizures in high (∼80 Hz) gamma-band and during high-frequency oscillations (∼130 Hz). Maximum entropy models of the joint neuronal spiking probability, constrained only on single neurons' nonstationary coarse spiking rates and local network activation, explained most of the fine synchrony in both seizure types. Our findings indicate that fine neuronal ensemble synchrony occurs mostly during SWC, not gamma-band, seizures, and primarily during the initial phase of SWC spikes. Furthermore, these fine synchrony events result mostly from transient increases in overall neuronal network spiking rates, rather than changes in precise spiking correlations between specific pairs of neurons. PMID:25057195

  10. Death of Neurons following Injury Requires Conductive Neuronal Gap Junction Channels but Not a Specific Connexin.

    PubMed

    Fontes, Joseph D; Ramsey, Jon; Polk, Jeremy M; Koop, Andre; Denisova, Janna V; Belousov, Andrei B

    2015-01-01

    Pharmacological blockade or genetic knockout of neuronal connexin 36 (Cx36)-containing gap junctions reduces neuronal death caused by ischemia, traumatic brain injury and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitotoxicity. However, whether Cx36 gap junctions contribute to neuronal death via channel-dependent or channel-independent mechanism remains an open question. To address this, we manipulated connexin protein expression via lentiviral transduction of mouse neuronal cortical cultures and analyzed neuronal death twenty-four hours following administration of NMDA (a model of NMDAR excitotoxicity) or oxygen-glucose deprivation (a model of ischemic injury). In cultures prepared from wild-type mice, over-expression and knockdown of Cx36-containing gap junctions augmented and prevented, respectively, neuronal death from NMDAR-mediated excitotoxicity and ischemia. In cultures obtained form from Cx36 knockout mice, re-expression of functional gap junction channels, containing either neuronal Cx36 or non-neuronal Cx43 or Cx31, resulted in increased neuronal death following insult. In contrast, the expression of communication-deficient gap junctions (containing mutated connexins) did not have this effect. Finally, the absence of ethidium bromide uptake in non-transduced wild-type neurons two hours following NMDAR excitotoxicity or ischemia suggested the absence of active endogenous hemichannels in those neurons. Taken together, these results suggest a role for neuronal gap junctions in cell death via a connexin type-independent mechanism that likely relies on channel activities of gap junctional complexes among neurons. A possible contribution of gap junction channel-permeable death signals in neuronal death is discussed. PMID:26017008

  11. Death of Neurons following Injury Requires Conductive Neuronal Gap Junction Channels but Not a Specific Connexin

    PubMed Central

    Fontes, Joseph D.; Ramsey, Jon; Polk, Jeremy M; Koop, Andre; Denisova, Janna V.; Belousov, Andrei B.

    2015-01-01

    Pharmacological blockade or genetic knockout of neuronal connexin 36 (Cx36)-containing gap junctions reduces neuronal death caused by ischemia, traumatic brain injury and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitotoxicity. However, whether Cx36 gap junctions contribute to neuronal death via channel-dependent or channel-independent mechanism remains an open question. To address this, we manipulated connexin protein expression via lentiviral transduction of mouse neuronal cortical cultures and analyzed neuronal death twenty-four hours following administration of NMDA (a model of NMDAR excitotoxicity) or oxygen-glucose deprivation (a model of ischemic injury). In cultures prepared from wild-type mice, over-expression and knockdown of Cx36-containing gap junctions augmented and prevented, respectively, neuronal death from NMDAR-mediated excitotoxicity and ischemia. In cultures obtained form from Cx36 knockout mice, re-expression of functional gap junction channels, containing either neuronal Cx36 or non-neuronal Cx43 or Cx31, resulted in increased neuronal death following insult. In contrast, the expression of communication-deficient gap junctions (containing mutated connexins) did not have this effect. Finally, the absence of ethidium bromide uptake in non-transduced wild-type neurons two hours following NMDAR excitotoxicity or ischemia suggested the absence of active endogenous hemichannels in those neurons. Taken together, these results suggest a role for neuronal gap junctions in cell death via a connexin type-independent mechanism that likely relies on channel activities of gap junctional complexes among neurons. A possible contribution of gap junction channel-permeable death signals in neuronal death is discussed. PMID:26017008

  12. Calretinin Neurons in the Rat Suprachiasmatic Nucleus.

    PubMed

    Moore, Robert Y

    2016-08-01

    The hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a circadian pacemaker, is present in all mammalian brains. It has a complex organization of peptide-containing neurons that is similar among species, but calcium-binding proteins are expressed variably. Neurons containing calretinin have been described in the SCN in a number of species but not with association to circadian function. The objective of the present study is to characterize a calretinin neuron (CAR) group in the rat anterior hypothalamus anatomically and functionally with a detailed description of its location and a quantitative analysis of neuronal calretinin immunoreactivity at 3 times of day, 0600, 1400, and 1900 h, from animals in either light-dark or constant dark conditions. CAR neurons occupy a region in the dorsal and lateral SCN with a circadian rhythm in CAR immunoreactivity with a peak at 0600 h and a rhythm in cytoplasmic CAR distribution with a peak at 1400 h. CAR neurons should be viewed as an anatomical and functional component of the rat SCN that expands the definition from observations with cell stains. CAR neurons are likely to modulate temporal regulation of calcium in synaptic transmission. PMID:27330050

  13. [Multiple system atrophy - synuclein and neuronal degeneration].

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Mari

    2011-11-01

    Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a sporadic neurodegenerative disorder that encompasses olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA), striatonigral degeneration (SND) and Shy-Drager syndrome (SDS). The histopathological hallmarks are α-synuclein (AS) positive glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) in oligodendroglias. AS aggregation is also found in glial nuclear inclusions (GNIs), neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs), neuronal nuclear inclusions (NNIs) and dystrophic neurties. Reviewing the pathological features of 102 MSA cases, OPCA-type was relatively more frequent and SND-type was less frequent in Japanese MSA cases, which suggested different phenotypic pattern of MSA might exist between races, compared to the relatively high frequency of SND-type in western countries. In early stage of MSA, NNIs, NCIs and diffuse homogenous stain of AS in neuronal nuclei and cytoplasm were observed in various vulnerable lesions including the pontine nuclei, putamen, substantia nigra, locus ceruleus, inferior olivary nucleus, intermediolateral column of thoracic cord, lower motor neurons and cortical pyramidal neurons, in additions to GCIs. These findings indicated that the primary nonfibrillar and fibrillar AS aggregation also occurred in neurons. Therefore both the direct involvement of neurons themselves and the oligodendroglia-myelin-axon mechanism may synergistically accelerate the degenerative process of MSA. PMID:22277386

  14. Parabrachial CGRP Neurons Control Meal Termination.

    PubMed

    Campos, Carlos A; Bowen, Anna J; Schwartz, Michael W; Palmiter, Richard D

    2016-05-10

    The lateral parabrachial nucleus is a conduit for visceral signals that cause anorexia. We previously identified a subset of neurons located in the external lateral parabrachial nucleus (PBel) that express calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and inhibit feeding when activated by illness mimetics. We report here that in otherwise normal mice, functional inactivation of CGRP neurons markedly increases meal size, with meal frequency being reduced in a compensatory manner, and renders mice insensitive to the anorexic effects of meal-related satiety peptides. Furthermore, CGRP neurons are directly innervated by orexigenic hypothalamic AgRP neurons, and photostimulation of AgRP fibers supplying the PBel delays satiation by inhibiting CGRP neurons, thereby contributing to AgRP-driven hyperphagia. By establishing a role for CGRP neurons in the control of meal termination and as a downstream mediator of feeding elicited by AgRP neurons, these findings identify a node in which hunger and satiety circuits interact to control feeding behavior. PMID:27166945

  15. Carboxylation and anaplerosis in neurons and glia.

    PubMed

    Hassel, B

    2000-01-01

    Anaplerosis, or de novo formation of intermediates of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, compensates for losses of TCA cycle intermediates, especially alpha-ketoglutarate, from brain cells. Loss of alpha-ketoglutarate occurs through release of glutamate and GABA from neurons and through export of glutamine from glia, because these amino acids are alpha-ketoglutarate derivatives. Anaplerosis in the brain may involve four different carboxylating enzymes: malic enzyme, phosphoenopyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), propionyl-CoA carboxylase, and pyruvate carboxylase. Anaplerotic carboxylation was for many years thought to occur only in glia through pyruvate carboxylase; therefore, loss of transmitter glutamate and GABA from neurons was thought to be compensated by uptake of glutamine from glia. Recently, however, anaplerotic pyruvate carboxylation was demonstrated in glutamatergic neurons, meaning that these neurons to some extent can maintain transmitter synthesis independently of glutamine. Malic enzyme, which may carboxylate pyruvate, was recently detected in neurons. The available data suggest that neuronal and glial pyruvate carboxylation could operate at as much as 30% and 40-60% of the TCA cycle rate, respectively. Cerebral carboxylation reactions are probably balanced by decarboxylation reactions,, because cerebral CO2 formation equals O2 consumption. The finding of pyruvate carboxylation in neurons entails a major revision of the concept of the glutamine cycle. PMID:11414279

  16. Neurophysiological characterization of mammalian osmosensitive neurones

    PubMed Central

    Bourque, Charles W.; Ciura, Sorana; Trudel, Eric; Stachniak, Tevye J. E.; Sharif-Naeini, Reza

    2016-01-01

    In mammals, the osmolality of the extracellular fluid is maintained near a predetermined set-point through a negative feedback regulation of thirst, diuresis, salt appetite and natriuresis. This homeostatic control is believed to be mediated by osmosensory neurones which synaptically regulate the electrical activity of command neurones that mediate each of these osmoregulatory effector responses. Our present understanding of the molecular, cellular and network basis that underlies the central control of osmoregulation is largely derived from studies on primary osmosensory neurones in the organum vasculosum lamina terminalis (OVLT) and effector neurones in the supraoptic nucleus (SON), which release hormones that regulate diuresis and natriuresis. Primary osmosensory neurones in the OVLT exhibit changes in action potential firing rate that vary in proportion with ECF osmolality. This effect results from the intrinsic depolarizing receptor potential which these cells generate via a molecular transduction complex that may comprise various members of the transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) family of cation channel proteins, notably TRPV1 and TRPV4. Osmotically evoked changes in the firing rate of OVLT neurones then regulate the electrical activity of downstream neurones in the SON through graded changes in glutamate release. PMID:17350993

  17. Rapid Mechanically Controlled Rewiring of Neuronal Circuits.

    PubMed

    Magdesian, Margaret H; Lopez-Ayon, G Monserratt; Mori, Megumi; Boudreau, Dominic; Goulet-Hanssens, Alexis; Sanz, Ricardo; Miyahara, Yoichi; Barrett, Christopher J; Fournier, Alyson E; De Koninck, Yves; Grütter, Peter

    2016-01-20

    CNS injury may lead to permanent functional deficits because it is still not possible to regenerate axons over long distances and accurately reconnect them with an appropriate target. Using rat neurons, microtools, and nanotools, we show that new, functional neurites can be created and precisely positioned to directly (re)wire neuronal networks. We show that an adhesive contact made onto an axon or dendrite can be pulled to initiate a new neurite that can be mechanically guided to form new synapses at up to 0.8 mm distance in <1 h. Our findings challenge current understanding of the limits of neuronal growth and have direct implications for the development of new therapies and surgical techniques to achieve functional regeneration. Significance statement: Brain and spinal cord injury may lead to permanent disability and death because it is still not possible to regenerate neurons over long distances and accurately reconnect them with an appropriate target. Using microtools and nanotools we have developed a new method to rapidly initiate, elongate, and precisely connect new functional neuronal circuits over long distances. The extension rates achieved are ≥60 times faster than previously reported. Our findings have direct implications for the development of new therapies and surgical techniques to achieve functional regeneration after trauma and in neurodegenerative diseases. It also opens the door for the direct wiring of robust brain-machine interfaces as well as for investigations of fundamental aspects of neuronal signal processing and neuronal function. PMID:26791225

  18. Tuning supramolecular mechanics to guide neuron development

    PubMed Central

    Sur, Shantanu; Newcomb, Christina J.; Webber, Matthew J.; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2013-01-01

    The mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) are known to influence neuronal differentiation and maturation, though the mechanism by which neuronal cells respond to these biophysical cues is not completely understood. Here we design ECM mimics using self-assembled peptide nanofibers, in which fiber rigidity is tailored by supramolecular interactions, in order to investigate the relationship between matrix stiffness and morphological development of hippocampal neurons. We observe that development of neuronal polarity is accelerated on soft nanofiber substrates, and results from the dynamics of neuronal processes. While the total neurite outgrowth of non-polar neurons remains conserved, weaker adhesion of neurites to soft PA substrate facilitates easier retraction, thus enhancing the frequency of “extension-retraction” events. We hypothesize that higher neurite motility enhances the probability of one neurite to reach a critical length relative to others, thereby initiating the developmental sequence of axon differentiation. Our results suggest that substrate stiffness can influence neuronal development by regulating its dynamics, thus providing useful information on scaffold design for applications in neural regeneration. PMID:23562052

  19. Sloppiness in Spontaneously Active Neuronal Networks

    PubMed Central

    Panas, Dagmara; Amin, Hayder; Maccione, Alessandro; Muthmann, Oliver; van Rossum, Mark; Berdondini, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Various plasticity mechanisms, including experience-dependent, spontaneous, as well as homeostatic ones, continuously remodel neural circuits. Yet, despite fluctuations in the properties of single neurons and synapses, the behavior and function of neuronal assemblies are generally found to be very stable over time. This raises the important question of how plasticity is coordinated across the network. To address this, we investigated the stability of network activity in cultured rat hippocampal neurons recorded with high-density multielectrode arrays over several days. We used parametric models to characterize multineuron activity patterns and analyzed their sensitivity to changes. We found that the models exhibited sloppiness, a property where the model behavior is insensitive to changes in many parameter combinations, but very sensitive to a few. The activity of neurons with sloppy parameters showed faster and larger fluctuations than the activity of a small subset of neurons associated with sensitive parameters. Furthermore, parameter sensitivity was highly correlated with firing rates. Finally, we tested our observations from cell cultures on an in vivo recording from monkey visual cortex and we confirm that spontaneous cortical activity also shows hallmarks of sloppy behavior and firing rate dependence. Our findings suggest that a small subnetwork of highly active and stable neurons supports group stability, and that this endows neuronal networks with the flexibility to continuously remodel without compromising stability and function. PMID:26041916

  20. Firing dynamics of an autaptic neuron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Heng-Tong; Chen, Yong

    2015-12-01

    Autapses are synapses that connect a neuron to itself in the nervous system. Previously, both experimental and theoretical studies have demonstrated that autaptic connections in the nervous system have a significant physiological function. Autapses in nature provide self-delayed feedback, thus introducing an additional timescale to neuronal activities and causing many dynamic behaviors in neurons. Recently, theoretical studies have revealed that an autapse provides a control option for adjusting the response of a neuron: e.g., an autaptic connection can cause the electrical activities of the Hindmarsh-Rose neuron to switch between quiescent, periodic, and chaotic firing patterns; an autapse can enhance or suppress the mode-locking status of a neuron injected with sinusoidal current; and the firing frequency and interspike interval distributions of the response spike train can also be modified by the autapse. In this paper, we review recent studies that showed how an autapse affects the response of a single neuron. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11275084 and 11447027) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (Grant No. GK201503025).

  1. Neuronal uptake of serum albumin is associated with neuron damage during the development of epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zanhua; Liu, Jinjie; Wang, Suping; Liu, Sibo; Zhao, Yongbo

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that brain blood barrier dysfunction following the onset of seizures may lead to serum albumin extravasation into the brain. However, the effect of albumin extravasation on the development of epilepsy is yet to be fully elucidated. Previous studies have predominantly focused on the effect of albumin absorption by astrocytes; however, the present study investigated the effects of neuronal uptake of albumin in vitro and in kainic acid-induced Sprague-Dawley rat models of temporal lobe epilepsy. In the present study, electroencephalogram recordings were conducted to record seizure onset, Nissl and Evans blue staining were used to detect neuronal damage and albumin extravasation, respectively, and double immunofluorescence was used to explore neuronal absorption of albumin. Cell counting was also conducted in vitro to determine whether albumin contributes to neuronal death. The results of the present study indicated that extravasated serum albumin was absorbed by neurons, and the neurons that had absorbed albumin died and were dissolved 28 days after seizure onset in vivo. Furthermore, significant neuronal death was detected after albumin absorption in vitro in a dose- and time-dependent manner. These results suggested that albumin may be absorbed by neurons following the onset of seizures. Furthermore, the results indicated that neuronal albumin uptake may be associated with neuronal damage and death in epileptic seizures. Therefore, attenuating albumin extravasation following epileptic seizures may reduce brain damage and slow the development of epilepsy. PMID:27446263

  2. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro.

    PubMed

    Bardy, Cedric; van den Hurk, Mark; Eames, Tameji; Marchand, Cynthia; Hernandez, Ruben V; Kellogg, Mariko; Gorris, Mark; Galet, Ben; Palomares, Vanessa; Brown, Joshua; Bang, Anne G; Mertens, Jerome; Böhnke, Lena; Boyer, Leah; Simon, Suzanne; Gage, Fred H

    2015-05-19

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely used to culture neurons. We found that classic basal media, as well as serum, impair action potential generation and synaptic communication. To overcome this problem, we designed a new neuronal medium (BrainPhys basal + serum-free supplements) in which we adjusted the concentrations of inorganic salts, neuroactive amino acids, and energetic substrates. We then tested that this medium adequately supports neuronal activity and survival of human neurons in culture. Long-term exposure to this physiological medium also improved the proportion of neurons that were synaptically active. The medium was designed to culture human neurons but also proved adequate for rodent neurons. The improvement in BrainPhys basal medium to support neurophysiological activity is an important step toward reducing the gap between brain physiological conditions in vivo and neuronal models in vitro. PMID:25870293

  3. Neurons controlling jumping in froghopper insects.

    PubMed

    Bräunig, Peter; Burrows, Malcolm

    2008-03-01

    The neurons innervating muscles that deliver the enormous power enabling froghopper insects to excel at jumping were revealed by backfilling the nerves from those muscles. The huge trochanteral depressor muscle (M133) of a hind leg consists of four parts. The two largest parts (M133b,c) occupy most of the metathorax and are innervated by the same two motor neurons that have small, laterally placed somata in the metathoracic ganglion and axons in nerve N3C(2). They are also supplied by three dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons with the largest diameter somata in the central nervous system. A small metathoracic part of the muscle (M133d) is supplied by two motor neurons with lateral somata and by common inhibitory motor neuron CI(1), all with axons in nerve N3C(3) The motor neuron with the larger soma has a thick primary neurite that projects across the midline of the ganglion so that its branches overlap those of its symmetrical counterpart,innervating the same muscle of the other hind leg. The fourth coxal part of the muscle (M133a) is innervated by two motor neurons (one with a ventral and the other with a dorsal and lateral soma), by CI(1), and by a DUM neuron with a small soma. All have axons in nerve N5A. The two trochanteral levator muscles of a hind leg are contained within the coxa and are separately innervated by nerves N3B and N4, respectively. The properties of the different motor neurons are discussed in the context of the neural patterns that generate jumping. PMID:18095320

  4. Context-aware modeling of neuronal morphologies

    PubMed Central

    Torben-Nielsen, Benjamin; De Schutter, Erik

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal morphologies are pivotal for brain functioning: physical overlap between dendrites and axons constrain the circuit topology, and the precise shape and composition of dendrites determine the integration of inputs to produce an output signal. At the same time, morphologies are highly diverse and variant. The variance, presumably, originates from neurons developing in a densely packed brain substrate where they interact (e.g., repulsion or attraction) with other actors in this substrate. However, when studying neurons their context is never part of the analysis and they are treated as if they existed in isolation. Here we argue that to fully understand neuronal morphology and its variance it is important to consider neurons in relation to each other and to other actors in the surrounding brain substrate, i.e., their context. We propose a context-aware computational framework, NeuroMaC, in which large numbers of neurons can be grown simultaneously according to growth rules expressed in terms of interactions between the developing neuron and the surrounding brain substrate. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that by using NeuroMaC we can generate accurate virtual morphologies of distinct classes both in isolation and as part of neuronal forests. Accuracy is validated against population statistics of experimentally reconstructed morphologies. We show that context-aware generation of neurons can explain characteristics of variation. Indeed, plausible variation is an inherent property of the morphologies generated by context-aware rules. We speculate about the applicability of this framework to investigate morphologies and circuits, to classify healthy and pathological morphologies, and to generate large quantities of morphologies for large-scale modeling. PMID:25249944

  5. Gammaherpesvirus Infection of Human Neuronal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Hem Chandra; Mehta, Devan; Lu, Jie; El-Naccache, Darine; Shukla, Sanket K.; Kovacsics, Colleen; Kolson, Dennis

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Gammaherpesviruses human herpesvirus 4 (HHV4) and HHV8 are two prominent members of the herpesvirus family associated with a number of human cancers. HHV4, also known as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a ubiquitous gammaherpesvirus prevalent in 90 to 95% of the human population, is clinically associated with various neurological diseases such as primary central nervous system lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebellar ataxia, and encephalitis. However, the possibility that EBV and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) can directly infect neurons has been largely overlooked. This study has, for the first time, characterized EBV infection in neural cell backgrounds by using the Sh-Sy5y neuroblastoma cell line, teratocarcinoma Ntera2 neurons, and primary human fetal neurons. Furthermore, we also demonstrated KSHV infection of neural Sh-Sy5y cells. These neuronal cells were infected with green fluorescent protein-expressing recombinant EBV or KSHV. Microscopy, genetic analysis, immunofluorescence, and Western blot analyses for specific viral antigens supported and validated the infection of these cells by EBV and KSHV and showed that the infection was efficient and productive. Progeny virus produced from infected neuronal cells efficiently infected fresh neuronal cells, as well as peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Furthermore, acyclovir was effective at inhibiting the production of virus from neuronal cells similar to lymphoblastoid cell lines; this suggests active lytic replication in infected neurons in vitro. These studies represent a potentially new in vitro model of EBV- and KSHV-associated neuronal disease development and pathogenesis. PMID:26628726

  6. Reaction-diffusion in the NEURON simulator.

    PubMed

    McDougal, Robert A; Hines, Michael L; Lytton, William W

    2013-01-01

    In order to support research on the role of cell biological principles (genomics, proteomics, signaling cascades and reaction dynamics) on the dynamics of neuronal response in health and disease, NEURON's Reaction-Diffusion (rxd) module in Python provides specification and simulation for these dynamics, coupled with the electrophysiological dynamics of the cell membrane. Arithmetic operations on species and parameters are overloaded, allowing arbitrary reaction formulas to be specified using Python syntax. These expressions are then transparently compiled into bytecode that uses NumPy for fast vectorized calculations. At each time step, rxd combines NEURON's integrators with SciPy's sparse linear algebra library. PMID:24298253

  7. Towards the automatic classification of neurons.

    PubMed

    Armañanzas, Rubén; Ascoli, Giorgio A

    2015-05-01

    The classification of neurons into types has been much debated since the inception of modern neuroscience. Recent experimental advances are accelerating the pace of data collection. The resulting growth of information about morphological, physiological, and molecular properties encourages efforts to automate neuronal classification by powerful machine learning techniques. We review state-of-the-art analysis approaches and the availability of suitable data and resources, highlighting prominent challenges and opportunities. The effective solution of the neuronal classification problem will require continuous development of computational methods, high-throughput data production, and systematic metadata organization to enable cross-laboratory integration. PMID:25765323

  8. Somatostatin-expressing neurons in cortical networks.

    PubMed

    Urban-Ciecko, Joanna; Barth, Alison L

    2016-07-01

    Somatostatin-expressing GABAergic neurons constitute a major class of inhibitory neurons in the mammalian cortex and are characterized by dense wiring into the local network and high basal firing activity that persists in the absence of synaptic input. This firing provides both GABA type A receptor (GABAAR)- and GABABR-mediated inhibition that operates at fast and slow timescales. The activity of somatostatin-expressing neurons is regulated by brain state, during learning and in rewarded behaviour. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of how this class of cells can control network activity, with specific reference to how this is constrained by their anatomical and electrophysiological properties. PMID:27225074

  9. Map-based models in neuronal dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibarz, B.; Casado, J. M.; Sanjuán, M. A. F.

    2011-04-01

    Ever since the pioneering work of Hodgkin and Huxley, biological neuron models have consisted of ODEs representing the evolution of the transmembrane voltage and the dynamics of ionic conductances. It is only recently that discrete dynamical systems-also known as maps-have begun to receive attention as valid phenomenological neuron models. The present review tries to provide a coherent perspective of map-based biological neuron models, describing their dynamical properties; stressing the similarities and differences, both among them and in relation to continuous-time models; exploring their behavior in networks; and examining their wide-ranging possibilities of application in computational neuroscience.

  10. Stochastic resonance in mammalian neuronal networks

    SciTech Connect

    Gluckman, B.J.; So, P.; Netoff, T.I.; Spano, M.L.; Schiff, S.J. |

    1998-09-01

    We present stochastic resonance observed in the dynamics of neuronal networks from mammalian brain. Both sinusoidal signals and random noise were superimposed into an applied electric field. As the amplitude of the noise component was increased, an optimization (increase then decrease) in the signal-to-noise ratio of the network response to the sinusoidal signal was observed. The relationship between the measures used to characterize the dynamics is discussed. Finally, a computational model of these neuronal networks that includes the neuronal interactions with the electric field is presented to illustrate the physics behind the essential features of the experiment. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}

  11. Associative memory - An optimum binary neuron representation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Awwal, A. A.; Karim, M. A.; Liu, H. K.

    1989-01-01

    Convergence mechanism of vectors in the Hopfield's neural network is studied in terms of both weights (i.e., inner products) and Hamming distance. It is shown that Hamming distance should not always be used in determining the convergence of vectors. Instead, weights (which in turn depend on the neuron representation) are found to play a more dominant role in the convergence mechanism. Consequently, a new binary neuron representation for associative memory is proposed. With the new neuron representation, the associative memory responds unambiguously to the partial input in retrieving the stored information.

  12. Reaction-diffusion in the NEURON simulator

    PubMed Central

    McDougal, Robert A.; Hines, Michael L.; Lytton, William W.

    2013-01-01

    In order to support research on the role of cell biological principles (genomics, proteomics, signaling cascades and reaction dynamics) on the dynamics of neuronal response in health and disease, NEURON's Reaction-Diffusion (rxd) module in Python provides specification and simulation for these dynamics, coupled with the electrophysiological dynamics of the cell membrane. Arithmetic operations on species and parameters are overloaded, allowing arbitrary reaction formulas to be specified using Python syntax. These expressions are then transparently compiled into bytecode that uses NumPy for fast vectorized calculations. At each time step, rxd combines NEURON's integrators with SciPy's sparse linear algebra library. PMID:24298253

  13. [Escape Behaviors and Its Underlying Neuronal Circuits].

    PubMed

    Oda, Yoichi

    2015-10-01

    Escape behaviors are crucial to survive predator encounters or aversive stimuli. The neural circuits mediating escape behaviors of different animal species have a common framework to trigger extremely fast and robust movement with minimum delay. Thus, the neuronal escape circuits possibly represent functional architectures that perform the most efficient sensory-motor processing in the brain. Here, I review the escape behaviors and underlying neuronal circuits of several invertebrates and fish by focusing on the Mauthner cells, a pair of giant reticulospinal neurons in the hindbrain, that trigger fast escape behavior in goldfish and zebrafish. PMID:26450070

  14. Cadherins as regulators of neuronal polarity

    PubMed Central

    Gärtner, Annette; Fornasiero, Eugenio F; Dotti, Carlos G

    2015-01-01

    A compelling amount of data is accumulating about the polyphonic role of neuronal cadherins during brain development throughout all developmental stages, starting from the involvement of cadherins in the organization of neurulation up to synapse development and plasticity. Recent work has confirmed that specifically N-cadherins play an important role in asymmetrical cellular processes in developing neurons that are at the basis of polarity. In this review we will summarize recent data, which demonstrate how N-cadherin orchestrates distinct processes of polarity establishment in neurons. PMID:25482615

  15. Claudin Proteins And Neuronal Function.

    PubMed

    Devaux, Jérôme; Fykkolodziej, Bozena; Gow, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    The identification and characterization of the claudin family of tight junction (TJ) proteins in the late 1990s ushered in a new era for research into the molecular and cellular biology of intercellular junctions. Since that time, TJs have been studied in the contexts of many diseases including deafness, male infertility, cancer, bacterial invasion and liver and kidney disorders. In this review, we consider the role of claudins in the nervous system focusing on the mechanisms by which TJs in glial cells are involved in neuronal function. Electrophysiological evidence suggests that claudins may operate in the central nervous system (CNS) in a manner similar to polarized epithelia. We also evaluate hypotheses that TJs are the gatekeepers of an immune-privileged myelin compartment and that TJs emerged during evolution to form major adhesive forces within the myelin sheath. Finally, we consider the implications of CNS myelin TJs in the contexts of behavioral disorders (schizophrenia) and demyelinating/hypomyelinating diseases (multiple sclerosis and the leukodystrophies), and explore evidence of a possible mechanism governing affective disorder symptoms in patients with white matter abnormalities. PMID:25013353

  16. Micromachined devices for interfacing neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stieglitz, Thomas; Beutel, Hansjoerg; Blau, Cornelia; Meyer, Joerg-Uwe

    1998-07-01

    Micromachining technologies were established to fabricate microelectrode arrays and devices for interfacing parts of the central or peripheral nervous system. The devices were part of a neural prosthesis that allows simultaneous multichannel recording and multisite stimulation of neurons. Overcoming the brittle mechanics of silicon devices and challenging housing demands close to the nerve we established a process technology to fabricate light-weighted and highly flexible polyimide based devices. Platinum and iridium thin-film electrodes were embedded in the polyimide. With reactive ion etching we got the possibility to simply integrate interconnections and to form nearly arbitrary outer shapes of the devices. We designed multichannel devices with up to 24 electrodes in the shape of plates, hooks and cuffs for different applications. In vitro tests exhibited stable electrode properties and no cytotoxicity of the materials and the devices. Sieve electrodes were chronically implanted in rats to interface the regenerating sciatic nerve. After six months, recordings and stimulation of the nerve via electrodes on the micro-device proved functional reinnervation of the limb. Concentric circular structures were designed for a retina implant for the blind. In preliminary studies in rabbits, evoked potentials in the visual cortex corresponded to stimulation sites of the implant.

  17. Sugar Glues for Broken Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Swarup, Vimal P.; Mencio, Caitlin P.; Hlady, Vladimir; Kuberan, Balagurunathan

    2014-01-01

    Proteoglycans regulate diverse functions in the CNS by interacting with a number of growth factors, matrix proteins and cell surface molecules. Heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are two major glycosaminoglycans present in the PGs of CNS. Functionality of these PGs is to a large extent dictated by the fine sulfation patterns present on their GAG chains. In the past 15 years, there has been a significant expansion in our knowledge on the role of HS and CS chains in various neurological processes such as neuronal growth, regeneration, plasticity and pathfinding. However, defining the relationship between distinct sulfation patterns of the GAGs and their functionality has so far been difficult. With the emergence of novel tools for synthesis of defined GAG structures, and techniques for their characterization, we are now in a better position to explore the structure—function relationship of GAGs in the context of their sulfation patterns. In this review, we discuss the importance GAGs on CNS development, injury and disorders with an emphasis on their sulfation patterns. Finally, we outline several GAG based therapeutic strategies to exploit GAG chains for ameliorating various CNS disorders. PMID:25285176

  18. Neuromodulation targets intrinsic cardiac neurons to attenuate neuronally mediated atrial arrhythmias.

    PubMed

    Gibbons, David D; Southerland, E Marie; Hoover, Donald B; Beaumont, Eric; Armour, J Andrew; Ardell, Jeffrey L

    2012-02-01

    Our objective was to determine whether atrial fibrillation (AF) results from excessive activation of intrinsic cardiac neurons (ICNs) and, if so, whether select subpopulations of neurons therein represent therapeutic targets for suppression of this arrhythmogenic potential. Trains of five electrical stimuli (0.3-1.2 mA, 1 ms) were delivered during the atrial refractory period to mediastinal nerves (MSN) on the superior vena cava to evoke AF. Neuroanatomical studies were performed by injecting the neuronal tracer DiI into MSN sites that induced AF. Functional studies involved recording of neuronal activity in situ from the right atrial ganglionated plexus (RAGP) in response to MSN stimulation (MSNS) prior to and following neuromodulation involving either preemptive spinal cord stimulation (SCS; T(1)-T(3), 50 Hz, 200-ms duration) or ganglionic blockade (hexamethonium, 5 mg/kg). The tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI) neuronal tracer labeled a subset (13.2%) of RAGP neurons, which also colocalized with cholinergic or adrenergic markers. A subset of DiI-labeled RAGP neurons were noncholinergic/nonadrenergic. MSNS evoked an ∼4-fold increase in RAGP neuronal activity from baseline, which SCS reduced by 43%. Hexamethonium blocked MSNS-evoked increases in neuronal activity. MSNS evoked AF in 78% of right-sided MSN sites, which SCS reduced to 33% and hexamethonium reduced to 7%. MSNS-induced bradycardia was maintained with SCS but was mitigated by hexamethonium. We conclude that MSNS activates subpopulations of intrinsic cardiac neurons, thereby resulting in the formation of atrial arrhythmias leading to atrial fibrillation. Stabilization of ICN local circuit neurons by SCS or the local circuit and autonomic efferent neurons with hexamethonium reduces the arrhythmogenic potential. PMID:22088304

  19. Temporally tuned neuronal differentiation supports the functional remodeling of a neuronal network in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Veverytsa, Lyubov; Allan, Douglas W

    2012-03-27

    During insect metamorphosis, neuronal networks undergo extensive remodeling by restructuring their connectivity and recruiting newborn neurons from postembryonic lineages. The neuronal network that directs the essential behavior, ecdysis, generates a distinct behavioral sequence at each developmental transition. Larval ecdysis replaces the cuticle between larval stages, and pupal ecdysis externalizes and expands the head and appendages to their adult position. However, the network changes that support these differences are unknown. Crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP) neurons and the peptide hormones they secrete are critical for ecdysis; their targeted ablation alters larval ecdysis progression and results in a failure of pupal ecdysis. In this study, we demonstrate that the CCAP neuron network is remodeled immediately before pupal ecdysis by the emergence of 12 late CCAP neurons. All 12 are CCAP efferents that exit the central nervous system. Importantly, these late CCAP neurons were found to be entirely sufficient for wild-type pupal ecdysis, even after targeted ablation of all other 42 CCAP neurons. Our evidence indicates that late CCAP neurons are derived from early, likely embryonic, lineages. However, they do not differentiate to express their peptide hormone battery, nor do they project an axon via lateral nerve trunks until pupariation, both of which are believed to be critical for the function of CCAP efferent neurons in ecdysis. Further analysis implicated ecdysone signaling via ecdysone receptors A/B1 and the nuclear receptor ftz-f1 as the differentiation trigger. These results demonstrate the utility of temporally tuned neuronal differentiation as a hard-wired developmental mechanism to remodel a neuronal network to generate a scheduled change in behavior. PMID:22393011

  20. Glia as drivers of abnormal neuronal activity

    PubMed Central

    Robel, Stefanie; Sontheimer, Harald

    2016-01-01

    Reactive astrocytes have been proposed to become incompetent bystanders in epilepsy as a result of cellular changes rendering them unable to perform important housekeeping functions. Indeed, successful surgical treatment of mesiotemporal lobe epilepsy hinges on the removal of the glial scar. New research now extends the role of astrocytes, suggesting that they may drive the disease process by impairing the inhibitory action of neuronal GABA receptors. Here we discuss studies that include hyperexcitability resulting from impaired supply of astrocytic glutamine for neuronal GABA synthesis, and epilepsy resulting from genetically induced astrogliosis or malignant transformation, both of which render the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA excitatory. In these examples, glial cells alter the expression or function of neuronal proteins involved in excitability. Although epilepsy has traditionally been thought of as a disease caused by changes in neuronal properties exclusively, these new findings challenge us to consider the contribution of glial cells as drivers of epileptogenesis in acquired epilepsies. PMID:26713746

  1. Genetics Home Reference: infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Batten Disease Foundation CLIMB: Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases ... Sources for This Page Getty AL, Pearce DA. Interactions of the proteins of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis: clues to function. Cell ...

  2. Neurotrophin signalling pathways regulating neuronal apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Miller, F D; Kaplan, D R

    2001-07-01

    Recent evidence indicates that naturally occurring neuronal death in mammals is regulated by the interplay between receptor-mediated prosurvival and proapoptotic signals. The neurotrophins, a family of growth factors best known for their positive effects on neuronal biology, have now been shown to mediate both positive and negative survival signals, by signalling through the Trk and p75 neurotrophin receptors, respectively. The mechanisms whereby these two neurotrophin receptors interact to determine neuronal survival have been difficult to decipher, largely because both can signal independently or coincidentally, depending upon the cell or developmental context. Nonetheless, the past several years have seen significant advances in our understanding of this receptor signalling system. In this review, we focus on the proapoptotic actions of the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), and on the interplay between Trk and p75NTR that determines neuronal survival. PMID:11529497

  3. Physiology and pharmacology of striatal neurons.

    PubMed

    Kreitzer, Anatol C

    2009-01-01

    The basal ganglia occupy the core of the forebrain and consist of evolutionarily conserved motor nuclei that form recurrent circuits critical for motivation and motor planning. The striatum is the main input nucleus of the basal ganglia and a key neural substrate for procedural learning and memory. The vast majority of striatal neurons are spiny GABAergic projection neurons, which exhibit slow but temporally precise spiking in vivo. Contributing to this precision are several different types of interneurons that constitute only a small fraction of total neuron number but play a critical role in regulating striatal output. This review examines the cellular physiology and modulation of striatal neurons that give rise to their unique properties and function. PMID:19400717

  4. The Age of Human Cerebral Cortex Neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Bhardwaj, R D; Curtis, M A; Spalding, K L; Buchholz, B A; Fink, D; Bjork-Eriksson, T; Nordborg, C; Gage, F H; Druid, H; Eriksson, P S; Frisen, J

    2006-04-06

    The traditional static view of the adult mammalian brain has been challenged by the realization of continuous generation of neurons from stem cells. Based mainly on studies in experimental animals, adult neurogenesis may contribute to recovery after brain insults and decreased neurogenesis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurological and psychiatric diseases in man. The extent of neurogenesis in the adult human brain has, however, been difficult to establish. We have taken advantage of the integration of {sup 14}C, generated by nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War, in DNA to establish the age of neurons in the major areas of the human cerebral cortex. Together with the analysis of the cortex from patients who received BrdU, which integrates in the DNA of dividing cells, our results demonstrate that whereas non-neuronal cells turn over, neurons in the human cerebral cortex are not generated postnatally at detectable levels, but are as old as the individual.

  5. [C. elegans: of neurons and genes].

    PubMed

    Gally, Christelle; Bessereau, Jean-Louis

    2003-01-01

    The human brain contains 100 billion neurons and probably one thousand times more synapses. Such a system can be analyzed at different complexity levels, from cognitive functions to molecular structure of ion channels. However, it remains extremely difficult to establish links between these different levels. An alternative strategy relies on the use of much simpler animals that can be easily manipulated. In 1974, S. Brenner introduced the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. This worm has a simple nervous system that only contains 302 neurons and about 7,000 synapses. Forward genetic screens are powerful tools to identify genes required for specific neuron functions and behaviors. Moreover, studies of mutant phenotypes can identify the function of a protein in the nervous system. The data that have been obtained in C. elegans demonstrate a fascinating conservation of the molecular and cellular biology of the neuron between worms and mammals through more than 550 million years of evolution. PMID:12942444

  6. Reducing Neuronal Networks to Discrete Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Terman, David; Ahn, Sungwoo; Wang, Xueying; Just, Winfried

    2008-01-01

    We consider a general class of purely inhibitory and excitatory-inhibitory neuronal networks, with a general class of network architectures, and characterize the complex firing patterns that emerge. Our strategy for studying these networks is to first reduce them to a discrete model. In the discrete model, each neuron is represented as a finite number of states and there are rules for how a neuron transitions from one state to another. In this paper, we rigorously demonstrate that the continuous neuronal model can be reduced to the discrete model if the intrinsic and synaptic properties of the cells are chosen appropriately. In a companion paper [1], we analyze the discrete model. PMID:18443649

  7. Optimizing sound features for cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    deCharms, R C; Blake, D T; Merzenich, M M

    1998-05-29

    The brain's cerebral cortex decomposes visual images into information about oriented edges, direction and velocity information, and color. How does the cortex decompose perceived sounds? A reverse correlation technique demonstrates that neurons in the primary auditory cortex of the awake primate have complex patterns of sound-feature selectivity that indicate sensitivity to stimulus edges in frequency or in time, stimulus transitions in frequency or intensity, and feature conjunctions. This allows the creation of classes of stimuli matched to the processing characteristics of auditory cortical neurons. Stimuli designed for a particular neuron's preferred feature pattern can drive that neuron with higher sustained firing rates than have typically been recorded with simple stimuli. These data suggest that the cortex decomposes an auditory scene into component parts using a feature-processing system reminiscent of that used for the cortical decomposition of visual images. PMID:9603734

  8. Towards functional classification of neuronal types

    PubMed Central

    Sharpee, Tatyana O.

    2014-01-01

    How many types of neurons are there in the brain? This basic neuroscience question remains unsettled despite many decades of research. Classification schemes have been proposed based on anatomical, electrophysiological or molecular properties. However, different schemes do not always agree with each other. This raises the question of whether one can classify neurons based on their function directly. For example, among sensory neurons, can a classification scheme be devised that is based on their role in encoding sensory stimuli? Here I outline theoretical arguments for how this can be achieved using information theory by looking at optimal numbers of cell types and paying attention to two key properties: correlations between inputs and noise in neural responses. This theoretical framework could help to map the hierarchical tree relating different neuronal classes within and across species. PMID:25233315

  9. Degenerate neuronal systems sustaining cognitive functions

    PubMed Central

    Noppeney, Uta; Friston, Karl J; Price, Cathy J

    2004-01-01

    The remarkable resilience of cognitive functions to focal brain damage suggests that multiple degenerate neuronal systems can sustain the same function either via similar mechanisms or by implementing different cognitive strategies. In degenerate functional neuroanatomy, multiple degenerate neuronal systems might be present in a single brain where they are either co-activated or remain latent during task performance. In degeneracy over subjects, a particular function may be sustained by only one neuronal system within a subject, but by different systems over subjects. Degeneracy over subjects might have arisen from (ab)normal variation in neurodevelopmental trajectories or long-term plastic changes following structural lesions. We discuss how degenerate neuronal systems can be revealed using (1) intersubject variability, (2) multiple lesion studies and (3) an iterative approach integrating information from lesion and functional imaging studies. PMID:15610392

  10. Fitting Neuron Models to Spike Trains

    PubMed Central

    Rossant, Cyrille; Goodman, Dan F. M.; Fontaine, Bertrand; Platkiewicz, Jonathan; Magnusson, Anna K.; Brette, Romain

    2011-01-01

    Computational modeling is increasingly used to understand the function of neural circuits in systems neuroscience. These studies require models of individual neurons with realistic input–output properties. Recently, it was found that spiking models can accurately predict the precisely timed spike trains produced by cortical neurons in response to somatically injected currents, if properly fitted. This requires fitting techniques that are efficient and flexible enough to easily test different candidate models. We present a generic solution, based on the Brian simulator (a neural network simulator in Python), which allows the user to define and fit arbitrary neuron models to electrophysiological recordings. It relies on vectorization and parallel computing techniques to achieve efficiency. We demonstrate its use on neural recordings in the barrel cortex and in the auditory brainstem, and confirm that simple adaptive spiking models can accurately predict the response of cortical neurons. Finally, we show how a complex multicompartmental model can be reduced to a simple effective spiking model. PMID:21415925

  11. Integrated microfluidic platforms for investigating neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyung Joon

    This dissertation describes the development and application of integrated microfluidics-based assay platforms to study neuronal activities in the nervous system in-vitro. The assay platforms were fabricated using soft lithography and micro/nano fabrication including microfluidics, surface patterning, and nanomaterial synthesis. The use of integrated microfluidics-based assay platform allows culturing and manipulating many types of neuronal tissues in precisely controlled microenvironment. Furthermore, they provide organized multi-cellular in-vitro model, long-term monitoring with live cell imaging, and compatibility with molecular biology techniques and electrophysiology experiment. In this dissertation, the integrated microfluidics-based assay platforms are developed for investigation of neuronal activities such as local protein synthesis, impairment of axonal transport by chemical/physical variants, growth cone path finding under chemical/physical cues, and synaptic transmission in neuronal circuit. Chapter 1 describes the motivation, objectives, and scope for developing in-vitro platform to study various neuronal activities. Chapter 2 introduces microfluidic culture platform for biochemical assay with large-scale neuronal tissues that are utilized as model system in neuroscience research. Chapter 3 focuses on the investigation of impaired axonal transport by beta-Amyloid and oxidative stress. The platform allows to control neuronal processes and to quantify mitochondrial movement in various regions of axons away from applied drugs. Chapter 4 demonstrates the development of microfluidics-based growth cone turning assay to elucidate the mechanism underlying axon guidance under soluble factors and shear flow. Using this platform, the behaviors of growth cone of mammalian neurons are verified under the gradient of inhibitory molecules and also shear flow in well-controlled manner. In Chapter 5, I combine in-vitro multicellular model with microfabricated MEA

  12. Pan-neuronal maturation but not neuronal subtype differentiation of adult neural stem cells is mechanosensitive

    PubMed Central

    Keung, Albert J.; Dong, Meimei; Schaffer, David V.; Kumar, Sanjay

    2013-01-01

    Most past studies of the biophysical regulation of stem cell differentiation have focused on initial lineage commitment or proximal differentiation events. It would be valuable to understand whether biophysical inputs also influence distal endpoints more closely associated with physiological function, such as subtype specification in neuronal differentiation. To explore this question, we cultured adult neural stem cells (NSCs) on variable stiffness ECMs under conditions that promote neuronal fate commitment for extended time periods to allow neuronal subtype differentiation. We find that ECM stiffness does not modulate the expression of NeuroD1 and TrkA/B/C or the percentages of pan-neuronal, GABAergic, or glutamatergic neuronal subtypes. Interestingly, however, an ECM stiffness of 700 Pa maximizes expression of pan-neuronal markers. These results suggest that a wide range of stiffnesses fully permit pan-neuronal NSC differentiation, that an intermediate stiffness optimizes expression of pan-neuronal genes, and that stiffness does not impact commitment to particular neuronal subtypes. PMID:23660869

  13. Early phenotype expression of cortical neurons: Evidence that a subclass of migrating neurons have callosal axons

    SciTech Connect

    Schwartz, M.L.; Rakic, P.; Goldman-Rakic, P.S. )

    1991-02-15

    The use of ({sup 3}H)thymidine labeling in combination with various axonal transport tracers has revealed that a subset of migrating neurons in the fetal monkey cerebrum issue axons to the opposite cerebral hemisphere while still migrating to their final positions in the cortical plate. Other cortical neurons with the same birthdate (i.e., that underwent their last round of DNA synthesis on the same day) are not retrogradely labeled by tracer injections of the opposite hemisphere. These findings suggest that the cardinal distinction between projection and local circuit neurons may be specified in postmitotic neurons before they acquire their final positions in the cortex.

  14. Reinnervation of Hair Cells by Auditory Neurons after Selective Removal of Spiral Ganglion Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Monedero, Rodrigo; Corrales, C. Eduardo; Cuajungco, Math P.; Heller, Stefan; Edge, Albert S.B.

    2007-01-01

    Hearing loss can be caused by primary degeneration of spiral ganglion neurons or by secondary degeneration of these neurons after hair cell loss. The replacement of auditory neurons would be an important step in any attempt to restore auditory function in patients with damaged inner ear neurons or hair cells. Application of β-bungarotoxin, a toxin derived from snake venom, to an explant of the cochlea eradicates spiral ganglion neurons while sparing the other cochlear cell types. The toxin was found to bind to the neurons and to cause apoptotic cell death without affecting hair cells or other inner ear cell types as indicated by TUNEL staining, and, thus, the toxin provides a highly specific means of deafferentation of hair cells. We therefore used the denervated organ of Corti for the study of neuronal regeneration and synaptogenesis with hair cells and found that spiral ganglion neurons obtained from the cochlea of an untreated newborn mouse reinnervated hair cells in the toxin-treated organ of Corti and expressed synaptic vesicle markers at points of contact with hair cells. These findings suggest that it may be possible to replace degenerated neurons by grafting new cells into the organ of Corti. PMID:16408287

  15. Labeling of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells with biocompatible fluorescent nanodiamonds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Tzu-Chia; Liu, Kuang-Kai; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Hwang, Eric; Chao, Jui-I.

    2014-05-01

    Nanodiamond is a promising carbon nanomaterial developed for biomedical applications. Here, we show fluorescent nanodiamond (FND) with the biocompatible properties that can be used for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells derived from embryonal carcinoma stem (ECS) cells. The fluorescence intensities of FNDs were increased by treatment with FNDs in both the mouse P19 and human NT2/D1 ECS cells. FNDs were taken into ECS cells; however, FNDs did not alter the cellular morphology and growth ability. Moreover, FNDs did not change the protein expression of stem cell marker SSEA-1 of ECS cells. The neuronal differentiation of ECS cells could be induced by retinoic acid (RA). Interestingly, FNDs did not affect on the morphological alteration, cytotoxicity and apoptosis during the neuronal differentiation. Besides, FNDs did not alter the cell viability and the expression of neuron-specific marker β-III-tubulin in these differentiated neuron cells. The existence of FNDs in the neuron cells can be identified by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. Together, FND is a biocompatible and readily detectable nanomaterial for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation process and neuron cells from stem cells.

  16. Neural network with dynamically adaptable neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tawel, Raoul (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    This invention is an adaptive neuron for use in neural network processors. The adaptive neuron participates in the supervised learning phase of operation on a co-equal basis with the synapse matrix elements by adaptively changing its gain in a similar manner to the change of weights in the synapse IO elements. In this manner, training time is decreased by as much as three orders of magnitude.

  17. Neuronal organization of olfactory bulb circuits

    PubMed Central

    Nagayama, Shin; Homma, Ryota; Imamura, Fumiaki

    2014-01-01

    Olfactory sensory neurons extend their axons solely to the olfactory bulb, which is dedicated to odor information processing. The olfactory bulb is divided into multiple layers, with different types of neurons found in each of the layers. Therefore, neurons in the olfactory bulb have conventionally been categorized based on the layers in which their cell bodies are found; namely, juxtaglomerular cells in the glomerular layer, tufted cells in the external plexiform layer, mitral cells in the mitral cell layer, and granule cells in the granule cell layer. More recently, numerous studies have revealed the heterogeneous nature of each of these cell types, allowing them to be further divided into subclasses based on differences in morphological, molecular, and electrophysiological properties. In addition, technical developments and advances have resulted in an increasing number of studies regarding cell types other than the conventionally categorized ones described above, including short-axon cells and adult-generated interneurons. Thus, the expanding diversity of cells in the olfactory bulb is now being acknowledged. However, our current understanding of olfactory bulb neuronal circuits is mostly based on the conventional and simplest classification of cell types. Few studies have taken neuronal diversity into account for understanding the function of the neuronal circuits in this region of the brain. This oversight may contribute to the roadblocks in developing more precise and accurate models of olfactory neuronal networks. The purpose of this review is therefore to discuss the expanse of existing work on neuronal diversity in the olfactory bulb up to this point, so as to provide an overall picture of the olfactory bulb circuit. PMID:25232305

  18. Synchrony and Control of Neuronal Networks.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiff, Steven

    2001-03-01

    Cooperative behavior in the brain stems from the nature and strength of the interactions between neurons within a networked ensemble. Normal network activity takes place in a state of partial synchrony between neurons, and some pathological behaviors, such as epilepsy and tremor, appear to share a common feature of increased interaction strength. We have focused on the parallel paths of both detecting and characterizing the nonlinear synchronization present within neuronal networks, and employing feedback control methodology using electrical fields to modulate that neuronal activity. From a theoretical perspective, we see evidence for nonlinear generalized synchrony in networks of neurons that linear techniques are incapable of detecting (PRE 54: 6708, 1996), and we have described a decoherence transition between asymmetric nonlinear systems that is experimentally observable (PRL 84: 1689, 2000). In addition, we have seen evidence for unstable dimension variability in real neuronal systems that indicates certain physical limits of modelability when observing such systems (PRL 85, 2490, 2000). From an experimental perspective, we have achieved success in modulating epileptic seizures in neuronal networks using electrical fields. Extracellular neuronal activity is continuously recorded during field application through differential extracellular recording techniques, and the applied electric field strength is continuously updated using a computer controlled proportional feedback algorithm. This approach appears capable of sustained amelioration of seizure events when used with negative feedback. In negative feedback mode, such findings may offer a novel technology for seizure control. In positive feedback mode, adaptively applied electric fields may offer a more physiological means for neural modulation for prosthetic purposes than previously possible (J. Neuroscience, 2001).

  19. SnapShot: Neuronal Regulation of Aging.

    PubMed

    Weir, Heather J; Mair, William B

    2016-07-28

    Aging is characterized by loss of homeostasis across multiple tissues. The nervous system governs whole-body homeostasis by communicating external and internal signals to peripheral tissues. Here, we highlight neuronal mechanisms and downstream outputs that regulate aging and longevity. Targeting these neuronal pathways may be a novel strategy to promote healthy aging. To view this SnapShot, open or download the PDF. PMID:27471972

  20. Cultured neuronal networks as environmental biosensors.

    PubMed

    O'Shaughnessy, Thomas J; Gray, Samuel A; Pancrazio, Joseph J

    2004-01-01

    Contamination of water by toxins, either intentionally or unintentionally, is a growing concern for both military and civilian agencies and thus there is a need for systems capable of monitoring a wide range of natural and industrial toxicants. The EILATox-Oregon Workshop held in September 2002 provided an opportunity to test the capabilities of a prototype neuronal network-based biosensor with unknown contaminants in water samples. The biosensor is a portable device capable of recording the action potential activity from a network of mammalian neurons grown on glass microelectrode arrays. Changes in the action potential fi ring rate across the network are monitored to determine exposure to toxicants. A series of three neuronal networks derived from mice was used to test seven unknown samples. Two of these unknowns later were revealed to be blanks, to which the neuronal networks did not respond. Of the five remaining unknowns, a significant change in network activity was detected for four of the compounds at concentrations below a lethal level for humans: mercuric chloride, sodium arsenite, phosdrin and chlordimeform. These compounds--two heavy metals, an organophosphate and an insecticide--demonstrate the breadth of detection possible with neuronal networks. The results generated at the workshop show the promise of the neuronal network biosensor as an environmental detector but there is still considerable effort needed to produce a device suitable for routine environmental threat monitoring. PMID:15478174

  1. Oscillatorylike behavior in feedforward neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Payeur, Alexandre; Maler, Leonard; Longtin, André

    2015-07-01

    We demonstrate how rhythmic activity can arise in neural networks from feedforward rather than recurrent circuitry and, in so doing, we provide a mechanism capable of explaining the temporal decorrelation of γ-band oscillations. We compare the spiking activity of a delayed recurrent network of inhibitory neurons with that of a feedforward network with the same neural properties and axonal delays. Paradoxically, these very different connectivities can yield very similar spike-train statistics in response to correlated input. This happens when neurons are noisy and axonal delays are short. A Taylor expansion of the feedback network's susceptibility-or frequency-dependent gain function-can then be stopped at first order to a good approximation, thus matching the feedforward net's susceptibility. The feedback network is known to display oscillations; these oscillations imply that the spiking activity of the population is felt by all neurons within the network, leading to direct spike correlations in a given neuron. On the other hand, in the output layer of the feedforward net, the interaction between the external drive and the delayed feedforward projection of this drive by the input layer causes indirect spike correlations: spikes fired by a given output layer neuron are correlated only through the activity of the input layer neurons. High noise and short delays partially bridge the gap between these two types of correlation, yielding similar spike-train statistics for both networks. This similarity is even stronger when the delay is distributed, as confirmed by linear response theory. PMID:26274199

  2. Dynamics of strongly-coupled spiking neurons.

    PubMed

    Bressloff, P C; Coombes, S

    2000-01-01

    We present a dynamical theory of integrate-and-fire neurons with strong synaptic coupling. We show how phase-locked states that are stable in the weak coupling regime can destabilize as the coupling is increased, leading to states characterized by spatiotemporal variations in the interspike intervals (ISIs). The dynamics is compared with that of a corresponding network of analog neurons in which the outputs of the neurons are taken to be mean firing rates. A fundamental result is that for slow interactions, there is good agreement between the two models (on an appropriately defined timescale). Various examples of desynchronization in the strong coupling regime are presented. First, a globally coupled network of identical neurons with strong inhibitory coupling is shown to exhibit oscillator death in which some of the neurons suppress the activity of others. However, the stability of the synchronous state persists for very large networks and fast synapses. Second, an asymmetric network with a mixture of excitation and inhibition is shown to exhibit periodic bursting patterns. Finally, a one-dimensional network of neurons with long-range interactions is shown to desynchronize to a state with a spatially periodic pattern of mean firing rates across the network. This is modulated by deterministic fluctuations of the instantaneous firing rate whose size is an increasing function of the speed of synaptic response. PMID:10636934

  3. Farnesol-Detecting Olfactory Neurons in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Ronderos, David S.; Lin, Chun-Chieh; Potter, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    We set out to deorphanize a subset of putative Drosophila odorant receptors expressed in trichoid sensilla using a transgenic in vivo misexpression approach. We identified farnesol as a potent and specific activator for the orphan odorant receptor Or83c. Farnesol is an intermediate in juvenile hormone biosynthesis, but is also produced by ripe citrus fruit peels. Here, we show that farnesol stimulates robust activation of Or83c-expressing olfactory neurons, even at high dilutions. The CD36 homolog Snmp1 is required for normal farnesol response kinetics. The neurons expressing Or83c are found in a subset of poorly characterized intermediate sensilla. We show that these neurons mediate attraction behavior to low concentrations of farnesol and that Or83c receptor mutants are defective for this behavior. Or83c neurons innervate the DC3 glomerulus in the antennal lobe and projection neurons relaying information from this glomerulus to higher brain centers target a region of the lateral horn previously implicated in pheromone perception. Our findings identify a sensitive, narrowly tuned receptor that mediates attraction behavior to farnesol and demonstrates an effective approach to deorphanizing odorant receptors expressed in neurons located in intermediate and trichoid sensilla that may not function in the classical “empty basiconic neuron” system. PMID:24623773

  4. A fly's view of neuronal remodeling.

    PubMed

    Yaniv, Shiri P; Schuldiner, Oren

    2016-09-01

    Developmental neuronal remodeling is a crucial step in sculpting the final and mature brain connectivity in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Remodeling includes degenerative events, such as neurite pruning, that may be followed by regeneration to form novel connections during normal development. Drosophila provides an excellent model to study both steps of remodeling since its nervous system undergoes massive and stereotypic remodeling during metamorphosis. Although pruning has been widely studied, our knowledge of the molecular and cellular mechanisms is far from complete. Our understanding of the processes underlying regrowth is even more fragmentary. In this review, we discuss recent progress by focusing on three groups of neurons that undergo stereotypic pruning and regrowth during metamorphosis, the mushroom body γ neurons, the dendritic arborization neurons and the crustacean cardioactive peptide peptidergic neurons. By comparing and contrasting the mechanisms involved in remodeling of these three neuronal types, we highlight the common themes and differences as well as raise key questions for future investigation in the field. WIREs Dev Biol 2016, 5:618-635. doi: 10.1002/wdev.241 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27351747

  5. Oscillatorylike behavior in feedforward neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payeur, Alexandre; Maler, Leonard; Longtin, André

    2015-07-01

    We demonstrate how rhythmic activity can arise in neural networks from feedforward rather than recurrent circuitry and, in so doing, we provide a mechanism capable of explaining the temporal decorrelation of γ -band oscillations. We compare the spiking activity of a delayed recurrent network of inhibitory neurons with that of a feedforward network with the same neural properties and axonal delays. Paradoxically, these very different connectivities can yield very similar spike-train statistics in response to correlated input. This happens when neurons are noisy and axonal delays are short. A Taylor expansion of the feedback network's susceptibility—or frequency-dependent gain function—can then be stopped at first order to a good approximation, thus matching the feedforward net's susceptibility. The feedback network is known to display oscillations; these oscillations imply that the spiking activity of the population is felt by all neurons within the network, leading to direct spike correlations in a given neuron. On the other hand, in the output layer of the feedforward net, the interaction between the external drive and the delayed feedforward projection of this drive by the input layer causes indirect spike correlations: spikes fired by a given output layer neuron are correlated only through the activity of the input layer neurons. High noise and short delays partially bridge the gap between these two types of correlation, yielding similar spike-train statistics for both networks. This similarity is even stronger when the delay is distributed, as confirmed by linear response theory.

  6. Mechanical Dissociation of Retinal Neurons with Vibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motomura, Tamami; Hayashida, Yuki; Murayama, Nobuki

    The neuromorphic device, which implements the functions of biological neural circuits by means of VLSI technology, has been collecting much attention in the engineering fields in the last decade. Concurrently, progress in neuroscience research has revealed the nonlinear computation in single neuron levels, suggesting that individual neurons are not merely the circuit elements but computational units. Thus, elucidating the properties of neuronal signal processing is thought to be an essential step for developing the next generation of neuromorphic devices. In the present study, we developed a method for dissociating single neurons from specific sublayers of mammalian retinas with using no proteolytic enzymes but rather combining tissue incubation in a low-Ca2+ medium and the vibro-dissociation technique developed for the slices of brains and spinal cords previously. Our method took shorter time of the procedure, and required less elaborated skill, than the conventional enzymatic method did; nevertheless it yielded enough number of the cells available for acute electrophysiological experiments. The isolated retinal neurons were useful for measuring the nonlinear membrane conductances as well as the spike firing properties under the perforated-patch whole-cell configuration. These neurons also enabled us to examine the effects of proteolytic enzymes on the membrane excitability in those cells.

  7. Vibrational resonance in excitable neuronal systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Haitao; Wang, Jiang; Liu, Chen; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xile

    2011-12-01

    In this paper, we investigate the effect of a high-frequency driving on the dynamical response of excitable neuronal systems to a subthreshold low-frequency signal by numerical simulation. We demonstrate the occurrence of vibrational resonance in spatially extended neuronal networks. Different network topologies from single small-world networks to modular networks of small-world subnetworks are considered. It is shown that an optimal amplitude of high-frequency driving enhances the response of neuron populations to a low-frequency signal. This effect of vibrational resonance of neuronal systems depends extensively on the network structure and parameters, such as the coupling strength between neurons, network size, and rewiring probability of single small-world networks, as well as the number of links between different subnetworks and the number of subnetworks in the modular networks. All these parameters play a key role in determining the ability of the network to enhance the outreach of the localized subthreshold low-frequency signal. Considering that two-frequency signals are ubiquity in brain dynamics, we expect the presented results could have important implications for the weak signal detection and information propagation across neuronal systems.

  8. Modeling of Biological Neurons using Superconducting Circuitry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khadka, Shreeya; Svitelskiy, Oleksiy; Kaplan, Steve; Segall, Kenneth

    2014-03-01

    With the goal of understanding the collective behavior of large network of neurons, we purpose a new analog method based on superconducting Josephson junction (JJ) circuitry. Through numerical simulations, we were able to show that these JJ neurons reproduce many characteristic features of biological neurons such as action potential, firing threshold and refractory period. For preliminary testing, we have designed and fabricated a superconducting chip consisting of two coupled JJ neurons, connected to each other in a closed loop. The numerical simulations of the two synchronized coupled neurons, showed a characteristic phase-flip-bifurcation where the two neurons would fire either in-phase or out-of-phase depending on their coupling strength. Thus, we are looking for the characteristic phase-flip-bifurcation in the experiment also. If these encouraging observations find further confirmation, our JJ model will open a way for developing a fast and low power method of studying the dynamics of large neural networks. We would like to thank Zictools/WRSpice for layout and simulation, and Hypres Inc. for fabricating the chip.

  9. Effects of cerebral ischemia on neuronal hemoglobin

    PubMed Central

    He, Yangdong; Hua, Ya; Liu, Wenquan; Hu, Haitao; Keep, Richard F.; Xi, Guohua

    2009-01-01

    Summary The present study examined whether or not neuronal hemoglobin (Hb) is present in rats. It then examined whether cerebral ischemia or ischemic preconditioning (IPC) affects neuronal Hb levels in vivo and in vitro. In vivo, male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to either 15 minutes of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion with 24 hours of reperfusion, an IPC stimulus, or 24 hours of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO), or IPC followed three days later by 24 hours of pMCAO. In vitro, primary cultured neurons were exposed to 2 hours of oxygen-glucose deprivation with 22 hours of reoxygenation. Results showed that Hb is widely expressed in rat cerebral neurons but not astrocytes. Hb expression was significantly upregulated in the ipsilateral caudate and the cortical core of the middle cerebral artery territory after IPC. Hb levels also increased in more penumbral cortex and the contralateral hemisphere 24 hours after pMCAO, but expression in the ipsilateral caudate and cortical core area were decreased. Ischemic preconditioning modified pMCAO-induced brain Hb changes. Neuronal Hb levels in vitro were increased by 2 hours of oxygen-glucose deprivation and 22 hours of reoxygenation. These results indicate that Hb is synthesized in neurons and can be upregulated by ischemia. PMID:19066615

  10. Synaptogenesis in Purified Cortical Subplate Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Shatz, Carla J.

    2009-01-01

    An ideal preparation for investigating events during synaptogenesis would be one in which synapses are sparse, but can be induced at will using a rapid, exogenous trigger. We describe a culture system of immunopurified subplate neurons in which synaptogenesis can be triggered, providing the first homogeneous culture of neocortical neurons for the investigation of synapse development. Synapses in immunopurified rat subplate neurons are sparse, and can be induced by a 48-h exposure to feeder layers of neurons and glia, an induction more rapid than any previously reported. Induced synapses are electrophysiologically functional and ultrastructurally normal. Microarray and real-time PCR experiments reveal a new program of gene expression accompanying synaptogenesis. Surprisingly few known synaptic genes are upregulated during the first 24 h of synaptogenesis; Gene Ontology annotation reveals a preferential upregulation of synaptic genes only at a later time. In situ hybridization confirms that some of the genes regulated in cultures are also expressed in the developing cortex. This culture system provides both a means of studying synapse formation in a homogeneous population of cortical neurons, and better synchronization of synaptogenesis, permitting the investigation of neuron-wide events following the triggering of synapse formation. PMID:19029062