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Sample records for abnormal synaptic plasticity

  1. Abnormal plasticity in dystonia: Disruption of synaptic homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Quartarone, Angelo; Pisani, Antonio

    2011-05-01

    Work over the past two decades lead to substantial changes in our understanding of dystonia, which was, until recently, considered an exclusively sporadic movement disorder. The discovery of several gene mutations responsible for many inherited forms of dystonia has prompted much effort in the generation of transgenic mouse models bearing mutations found in patients. The large majority of these rodent models do not exhibit overt phenotypic abnormalities, or neuronal loss in specific brain areas. Nevertheless, both subtle motor abnormalities and significant alterations of synaptic plasticity have been recorded in mice, suggestive of an altered basal ganglia circuitry. In addition, robust evidence from experimental and clinical work supports the assumption that dystonia may indeed be considered a disorder linked to the disruption of synaptic "scaling", with a prevailing facilitation of synaptic potentiation, together with the loss of synaptic inhibitory processes. Notably, neurophysiological studies from patients carrying gene mutations as well as from non-manifesting carriers have shown the presence of synaptic plasticity abnormalities, indicating the presence of specific endophenotypic traits in carriers of the gene mutation. In this survey, we review findings from a broad range of data, obtained both from animal models and human research, and propose that the abnormalities of synaptic plasticity described in mice and humans may be considered an endophenotype to dystonia, and a valid and powerful tool to investigate the pathogenic mechanisms underlying this movement disorder. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Advances in dystonia".

  2. Convergent evidence for abnormal striatal synaptic plasticity in dystonia

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, David A.; Sejnowski, Terrence J.; Poizner, Howard

    2010-01-01

    Dystonia is a functionally disabling movement disorder characterized by abnormal movements and postures. Although substantial recent progress has been made in identifying genetic factors, the pathophysiology of the disease remains a mystery. A provocative suggestion gaining broader acceptance is that some aspect of neural plasticity may be abnormal. There is also evidence that, at least in some forms of dystonia, sensorimotor “use” may be a contributing factor. Most empirical evidence of abnormal plasticity in dystonia comes from measures of sensorimotor cortical organization and physiology. However, the basal ganglia also play a critical role in sensorimotor function. Furthermore, the basal ganglia are prominently implicated in traditional models of dystonia, are the primary targets of stereotactic neurosurgical interventions, and provide a neural substrate for sensorimotor learning influenced by neuromodulators. Our working hypothesis is that abnormal plasticity in the basal ganglia is a critical link between the etiology and pathophysiology of dystonia. In this review we set up the background for this hypothesis by integrating a large body of disparate indirect evidence that dystonia may involve abnormalities in synaptic plasticity in the striatum. After reviewing evidence implicating the striatum in dystonia, we focus on the influence of two neuromodulatory systems: dopamine and acetylcholine. For both of these neuromodulators, we first describe the evidence for abnormalities in dystonia and then the means by which it may influence striatal synaptic plasticity. Collectively, the evidence suggests that many different forms of dystonia may involve abnormal plasticity in the striatum. An improved understanding of these altered plastic processes would help inform our understanding of the pathophysiology of dystonia, and, given the role of the striatum in sensorimotor learning, provide a principled basis for designing therapies aimed at the dynamic processes

  3. Abnormal cortical synaptic plasticity in minimal hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Golaszewski, Stefan; Langthaler, Patrick B; Schwenker, Kerstin; Florea, Cristina; Christova, Monica; Brigo, Francesco; Trinka, Eugen; Nardone, Raffaele

    2016-07-01

    Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) represents the earliest stage of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). MHE is characterized by cognitive function impairment in the domains of attention, vigilance and integrative function, while obvious clinical manifestations are lacking. In the present study, we aimed at assessing whether subjects with MHE showed alterations in synaptic plasticity within the motor cortex. Previous findings suggest that learning in human motor cortex occurs through long-term potentiation (LTP)-like mechanisms. We employed therefore the paired associative stimulation (PAS) protocol by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is able to induce LTP-like effects in the motor cortex of normal subjects. Fifteen patients with MHE and 15 age- and sex-matched cirrhotic patients without MHE were recruited. PAS consisted of 180 electrical stimuli of the right median nerve paired with a single TMS over the hotspot of right abductor pollicis brevis (APB) at an ISI of 25ms (PAS25). We measured motor evoked potentials (MEPs) before and after each intervention for up to 30min. In healthy subjects the PAS25 protocol was followed by a significant increase of the MEP amplitude. On the contrary, in patients with MHE the MEP amplitude was slightly reduced after PAS. These findings demonstrated that associative sensorimotor plasticity, an indirect probe for motor learning, is impaired in MHE patients.

  4. From abnormal hippocampal synaptic plasticity in down syndrome mouse models to cognitive disability in down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Cramer, Nathan; Galdzicki, Zygmunt

    2012-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is caused by the overexpression of genes on triplicated regions of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21). While the resulting physiological and behavioral phenotypes vary in their penetrance and severity, all individuals with DS have variable but significant levels of cognitive disability. At the core of cognitive processes is the phenomenon of synaptic plasticity, a functional change in the strength at points of communication between neurons. A wide variety of evidence from studies on DS individuals and mouse models of DS indicates that synaptic plasticity is adversely affected in human trisomy 21 and mouse segmental trisomy 16, respectively, an outcome that almost certainly extensively contributes to the cognitive impairments associated with DS. In this review, we will highlight some of the neurophysiological changes that we believe reduce the ability of trisomic neurons to undergo neuroplasticity-related adaptations. We will focus primarily on hippocampal networks which appear to be particularly impacted in DS and where consequently the majority of cellular and neuronal network research has been performed using DS animal models, in particular the Ts65Dn mouse. Finally, we will postulate on how altered plasticity may contribute to the DS cognitive disability.

  5. From Abnormal Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Down Syndrome Mouse Models to Cognitive Disability in Down Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Cramer, Nathan; Galdzicki, Zygmunt

    2012-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is caused by the overexpression of genes on triplicated regions of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21). While the resulting physiological and behavioral phenotypes vary in their penetrance and severity, all individuals with DS have variable but significant levels of cognitive disability. At the core of cognitive processes is the phenomenon of synaptic plasticity, a functional change in the strength at points of communication between neurons. A wide variety of evidence from studies on DS individuals and mouse models of DS indicates that synaptic plasticity is adversely affected in human trisomy 21 and mouse segmental trisomy 16, respectively, an outcome that almost certainly extensively contributes to the cognitive impairments associated with DS. In this review, we will highlight some of the neurophysiological changes that we believe reduce the ability of trisomic neurons to undergo neuroplasticity-related adaptations. We will focus primarily on hippocampal networks which appear to be particularly impacted in DS and where consequently the majority of cellular and neuronal network research has been performed using DS animal models, in particular the Ts65Dn mouse. Finally, we will postulate on how altered plasticity may contribute to the DS cognitive disability. PMID:22848844

  6. Mitochondria, synaptic plasticity, and schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Ben-Shachar, Dorit; Laifenfeld, Daphna

    2004-01-01

    The conceptualization of schizophrenia as a disorder of connectivity, i.e., of neuronal?synaptic plasticity, suggests abnormal synaptic modeling and neuronal signaling, possibly as a consequence of flawed interactions with the environment, as at least a secondary mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of this disorder. Indeed, deficits in episodic memory and malfunction of hippocampal circuitry, as well as anomalies of axonal sprouting and synapse formation, are all suggestive of diminished neuronal plasticity in schizophrenia. Evidence supports a dysfunction of mitochondria in schizophrenia, including mitochondrial hypoplasia, and a dysfunction of the oxidative phosphorylation system, as well as altered mitochondrial-related gene expression. Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to alterations in ATP production and cytoplasmatic calcium concentrations, as well as reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide production. All of the latter processes have been well established as leading to altered synaptic strength or plasticity. Moreover, mitochondria have been shown to play a role in plasticity of neuronal polarity, and studies in the visual cortex show an association between mitochondria and synaptogenesis. Finally, mitochondrial gene upregulation has been observed following synaptic and neuronal activity. This review proposes that mitochondrial dysfunction in schizophrenia could cause, or arise from, anomalies in processes of plasticity in this disorder.

  7. [Memory and synaptic plasticity].

    PubMed

    Maitre, M

    1996-01-01

    Short term memory traces are probably induced by a sustained and specific functional activation of some sensory and/or motor circuits in brain. These modifications, which could concern a large proportion of the brain but especially the limbic areas, are constituted primarily by ionic mechanisms and second messengers cascades induced by the activation of glutamatergic receptors (namely NMDA). In the invertebrate (Drosophilia melanogaster, aplysia), the role of serotonergic receptors seems to be more important. The activated cAMP-dependent and calcium dependent protein kinases target several proteins which are reversibly phosphorylated modifying the synaptic functions which in turn induce potentiated (PLT) or depressed (DLT) post-synaptic responses. These phenomena are at the basis of specific protein neosynthesis which is initiated by several early genes or trancription factor (cfos, zif 268, jun, CREB). Specific mRNA migrate to the potentiated synapse or dendritic spine where activated polyribosomes synthesize trophic factor, adhesion molecules and synaptic constituents. The building of new synaptic contacts and/or the plastic evolution of existing synapses could explain long-term LTP and long-term memory traces.

  8. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2016-07-13

    Circadian rhythms refer to oscillations in biological processes with a period of approximately 24 h. In addition to the sleep/wake cycle, there are circadian rhythms in metabolism, body temperature, hormone output, organ function and gene expression. There is also evidence of circadian rhythms in synaptic plasticity, in some cases driven by a master central clock and in other cases by peripheral clocks. In this article, I review the evidence for circadian influences on synaptic plasticity. I also discuss ways to disentangle the effects of brain state and rhythms on synaptic plasticity.

  9. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Marcos G.

    2016-01-01

    Circadian rhythms refer to oscillations in biological processes with a period of approximately 24 h. In addition to the sleep/wake cycle, there are circadian rhythms in metabolism, body temperature, hormone output, organ function and gene expression. There is also evidence of circadian rhythms in synaptic plasticity, in some cases driven by a master central clock and in other cases by peripheral clocks. In this article, I review the evidence for circadian influences on synaptic plasticity. I also discuss ways to disentangle the effects of brain state and rhythms on synaptic plasticity. PMID:27420105

  10. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klann, Eric; Antion, Marcia D.; Banko, Jessica L.; Hou, Lingfei

    2004-01-01

    It is widely accepted that protein synthesis, including local protein synthesis at synapses, is required for several forms of synaptic plasticity. Local protein synthesis enables synapses to control synaptic strength independent of the cell body via rapid protein production from pre-existing mRNA. Therefore, regulation of translation initiation is…

  11. Recent advances in understanding synaptic abnormalities in Rett syndrome.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Michael; Blue, Mary E; Naidu, Sakkubai

    2015-01-01

    Rett syndrome is an extremely disabling X-linked nervous system disorder that mainly affects girls in early childhood and causes autism-like behavior, severe intellectual disability, seizures, sleep disturbances, autonomic instability, and other disorders due to mutations in the MeCP2 (methyl CpG-binding protein 2) transcription factor. The disorder targets synapses and synaptic plasticity and has been shown to disrupt the balance between glutamate excitatory synapses and GABAergic inhibitory synapses. In fact, it can be argued that Rett syndrome is primarily a disorder of synaptic plasticity and that agents that can correct this imbalance may have beneficial effects on brain development. This review briefly summarizes the link between disrupted synaptic plasticity mechanisms and Rett syndrome and early clinical trials that aim to target these abnormalities to improve the outcome for these severely disabled children.

  12. Recent advances in understanding synaptic abnormalities in Rett syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Michael; Blue, Mary E.; Naidu, Sakkubai

    2015-01-01

    Rett syndrome is an extremely disabling X-linked nervous system disorder that mainly affects girls in early childhood and causes autism-like behavior, severe intellectual disability, seizures, sleep disturbances, autonomic instability, and other disorders due to mutations in the MeCP2 (methyl CpG-binding protein 2) transcription factor. The disorder targets synapses and synaptic plasticity and has been shown to disrupt the balance between glutamate excitatory synapses and GABAergic inhibitory synapses. In fact, it can be argued that Rett syndrome is primarily a disorder of synaptic plasticity and that agents that can correct this imbalance may have beneficial effects on brain development. This review briefly summarizes the link between disrupted synaptic plasticity mechanisms and Rett syndrome and early clinical trials that aim to target these abnormalities to improve the outcome for these severely disabled children. PMID:26918155

  13. Neuroimmune regulation of homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Pribiag, Horia; Stellwagen, David

    2014-03-01

    Homeostatic synaptic plasticity refers to a set of negative-feedback mechanisms that are used by neurons to maintain activity within a functional range. While it is becoming increasingly clear that homeostatic regulation of synapse function is a key principle in the nervous system, the molecular details of this regulation are only beginning to be uncovered. Recent evidence implicates molecules classically associated with the peripheral immune system in the modulation of homeostatic synaptic plasticity. In particular, the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα, class I major histocompatibility complex, and neuronal pentraxin 2 are essential in the regulation of the compensatory synaptic response that occurs in response to prolonged neuronal inactivity. This review will present and discuss current evidence implicating neuroimmune molecules in the homeostatic regulation of synapse function. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity'.

  14. Abnormal short-latency synaptic plasticity in the motor cortex of subjects with Becker muscular dystrophy: a rTMS study.

    PubMed

    Golaszewski, Stefan; Schwenker, Kerstin; Bergmann, Jürgen; Brigo, Francesco; Christova, Monica; Trinka, Eugen; Nardone, Raffaele

    2016-01-01

    We used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to further investigate motor cortex excitability in 13 patients with Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), six of them with slight mental retardation. RTMS delivered at 5Hz frequency and suprathreshold intensity progressively increases the size of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) in healthy subjects; the rTMS-induced facilitation of MEPs was significantly reduced in the BMD patients mentally retarded or classified as borderline when compared with age-matched control subjects and the BMD patients with normal intelligence. The increase in the duration of the cortical silent period was similar in both patient groups and controls. These findings suggest an altered cortical short-term synaptic plasticity in glutamate-dependent excitatory circuits within the motor cortex in BMD patients with intellectual disabilities. RTMS studies may shed new light on the physiological mechanisms of cortical involvement in dystrophinopathies.

  15. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kittel, Robert J.; Heckmann, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmitter is released from synaptic vesicles at the highly specialized presynaptic active zone (AZ). The complex molecular architecture of AZs mediates the speed, precision and plasticity of synaptic transmission. Importantly, structural and functional properties of AZs vary significantly, even for a given connection. Thus, there appear to be distinct AZ states, which fundamentally influence neuronal communication by controlling the positioning and release of synaptic vesicles. Vice versa, recent evidence has revealed that synaptic vesicle components also modulate organizational states of the AZ. The protein-rich cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ) provides a structural platform for molecular interactions guiding vesicle exocytosis. Studies in Drosophila have now demonstrated that the vesicle proteins Synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1) and Rab3 also regulate glutamate release by shaping differentiation of the CAZ ultrastructure. We review these unexpected findings and discuss mechanistic interpretations of the reciprocal relationship between synaptic vesicles and AZ states, which has heretofore received little attention. PMID:27148040

  16. The role of synaptic ion channels in synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Voglis, Giannis; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2006-01-01

    The nervous system receives a large amount of information about the environment through elaborate sensory routes. Processing and integration of these wide-ranging inputs often results in long-term behavioural alterations as a result of past experiences. These relatively permanent changes in behaviour are manifestations of the capacity of the nervous system for learning and memory. At the cellular level, synaptic plasticity is one of the mechanisms underlying this process. Repeated neural activity generates physiological changes in the nervous system that ultimately modulate neuronal communication through synaptic transmission. Recent studies implicate both presynaptic and postsynaptic ion channels in the process of synapse strength modulation. Here, we review the role of synaptic ion channels in learning and memory, and discuss the implications and significance of these findings towards deciphering the molecular biology of learning and memory. PMID:17077866

  17. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-05-31

    The name " Ampakines " has been used to describe this family; when more is known about structure-activity relationships, it should be possible to...regarding the physiological effects of the drugs. Excised patch studies have shown that Ampakines prolong the duration of AMPA receptor-mediated...also revealed that Ampakines produce the expected facilitation and prolongation of synaptic responses in situ; these drugs are thus the first compounds

  18. Synaptic plasticity with discrete state synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abarbanel, Henry D. I.; Talathi, Sachin S.; Gibb, Leif; Rabinovich, M. I.

    2005-09-01

    Experimental observations on synaptic plasticity at individual glutamatergic synapses from the CA3 Shaffer collateral pathway onto CA1 pyramidal cells in the hippocampus suggest that the transitions in synaptic strength occur among discrete levels at individual synapses [C. C. H. Petersen , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85, 4732 (1998); O’Connor, Wittenberg, and Wang, D. H. O’Connor , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (to be published); J. M. Montgomery and D. V. Madison, Trends Neurosci. 27, 744 (2004)]. This happens for both long term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD) induction protocols. O’Connor, Wittenberg, and Wang have argued that three states would account for their observations on individual synapses in the CA3-CA1 pathway. We develop a quantitative model of this three-state system with transitions among the states determined by a competition between kinases and phosphatases shown by D. H. O’Connor , to be determinant of LTP and LTD, respectively. Specific predictions for various plasticity protocols are given by coupling this description of discrete synaptic α -amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor ligand gated ion channel conductance changes to a model of postsynaptic membrane potential and associated intracellular calcium fluxes to yield the transition rates among the states. We then present various LTP and LTD induction protocols to the model system and report the resulting whole cell changes in AMPA conductance. We also examine the effect of our discrete state synaptic plasticity model on the synchronization of realistic oscillating neurons. We show that one-to-one synchronization is enhanced by the plasticity we discuss here and the presynaptic and postsynaptic oscillations are in phase. Synaptic strength saturates naturally in this model and does not require artificial upper or lower cutoffs, in contrast to earlier models of plasticity.

  19. Diacylglycerol Kinases in the Coordination of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Dongwon; Kim, Eunjoon; Tanaka-Yamamoto, Keiko

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is activity-dependent modification of the efficacy of synaptic transmission. Although, detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are diverse and vary at different types of synapses, diacylglycerol (DAG)-associated signaling has been considered as an important regulator of many forms of synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Recent evidences indicate that DAG kinases (DGKs), which phosphorylate DAG to phosphatidic acid to terminate DAG signaling, are important regulators of LTP and LTD, as supported by the results from mice lacking specific DGK isoforms. This review will summarize these studies and discuss how specific DGK isoforms distinctly regulate different forms of synaptic plasticity at pre- and postsynaptic sites. In addition, we propose a general role of DGKs as coordinators of synaptic plasticity that make local synaptic environments more permissive for synaptic plasticity by regulating DAG concentration and interacting with other synaptic proteins. PMID:27630986

  20. Nanoscale analysis of structural synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Bourne, Jennifer N.; Harris, Kristen M.

    2011-01-01

    In the 1950’s, transmission electron microscopy was first used to reveal the diversity in synaptic structure and composition in the central nervous system [1;2]. Since then, visualization and reconstruction of serial thin sections have provided three-dimensional contexts in which to understand how synapses are modified with plasticity, learning, and sensory input [3–17]. Three-dimensional reconstruction from serial section electron microscopy (ssEM) has proven invaluable for the comprehensive analysis of structural synaptic plasticity. It has provided the needed nanometer resolution to localize and measure key subcellular structures, such as the postsynaptic density (PSD) and presynaptic vesicles which define a synapse, polyribosomes as sites of local protein synthesis, smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) for local regulation of calcium and trafficking of membrane proteins, endosomes for recycling, and fine astroglial processes at the perimeter of some synapses. Thus, ssEM is an essential tool for nanoscale analysis of the cell biological and anatomical modifications that underlie changes in synaptic strength. Here we discuss several important issues associated with interpreting the functional significance of structural synaptic plasticity, especially during long-term potentiation, a widely studied cellular model of learning and memory. PMID:22088391

  1. Synaptic Plasticity as a Cortical Coding Scheme

    PubMed Central

    Froemke, Robert C.; Schreiner, Christoph E.

    2015-01-01

    Processing of auditory information requires constant adjustment due to alterations of the environment and changing conditions in the nervous system with age, health, and experience. Consequently, patterns of activity in cortical networks have complex dynamics over a wide range of timescales, from milliseconds to days and longer. In the primary auditory cortex (AI), multiple forms of adaptation and plasticity shape synaptic input and action potential output. However, the variance of neuronal responses has made it difficult to characterize AI receptive fields and to determine the function of AI in processing auditory information such as vocalizations. Here we describe recent studies on the temporal modulation of cortical responses and consider the relation of synaptic plasticity to neural coding. PMID:26497430

  2. Theoretical models of synaptic short term plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hennig, Matthias H.

    2013-01-01

    Short term plasticity is a highly abundant form of rapid, activity-dependent modulation of synaptic efficacy. A shared set of mechanisms can cause both depression and enhancement of the postsynaptic response at different synapses, with important consequences for information processing. Mathematical models have been extensively used to study the mechanisms and roles of short term plasticity. This review provides an overview of existing models and their biological basis, and of their main properties. Special attention will be given to slow processes such as calcium channel inactivation and the effect of activation of presynaptic autoreceptors. PMID:23626536

  3. The developmental stages of synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lohmann, Christian; Kessels, Helmut W

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The brain is programmed to drive behaviour by precisely wiring the appropriate neuronal circuits. Wiring and rewiring of neuronal circuits largely depends on the orchestrated changes in the strengths of synaptic contacts. Here, we review how the rules of synaptic plasticity change during development of the brain, from birth to independence. We focus on the changes that occur at the postsynaptic side of excitatory glutamatergic synapses in the rodent hippocampus and neocortex. First we summarize the current data on the structure of synapses and the developmental expression patterns of the key molecular players of synaptic plasticity, N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors, as well as pivotal kinases (Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, protein kinase A, protein kinase C) and phosphatases (PP1, PP2A, PP2B). In the second part we relate these findings to important characteristics of the emerging network. We argue that the concerted and gradual shifts in the usage of plasticity molecules comply with the changing need for (re)wiring neuronal circuits. PMID:24144877

  4. CDK5 downregulation enhances synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Posada-Duque, Rafael Andrés; Ramirez, Omar; Härtel, Steffen; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C; Bodaleo, Felipe; González-Billault, Christian; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Cardona-Gómez, Gloria Patricia

    2017-01-01

    CDK5 is a serine/threonine kinase that is involved in the normal function of the adult brain and plays a role in neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. However, its over-regulation has been associated with Tau hyperphosphorylation and cognitive deficits. Our previous studies have demonstrated that CDK5 targeting using shRNA-miR provides neuroprotection and prevents cognitive deficits. Dendritic spine morphogenesis and forms of long-term synaptic plasticity-such as long-term potentiation (LTP)-have been proposed as essential processes of neuroplasticity. However, whether CDK5 participates in these processes remains controversial and depends on the experimental model. Using wild-type mice that received injections of CDK5 shRNA-miR in CA1 showed an increased LTP and recovered the PPF in deficient LTP of APPswe/PS1Δ9 transgenic mice. On mature hippocampal neurons CDK5, shRNA-miR for 12 days induced increased dendritic protrusion morphogenesis, which was dependent on Rac activity. In addition, silencing of CDK5 increased BDNF expression, temporarily increased phosphorylation of CaMKII, ERK, and CREB; and facilitated calcium signaling in neurites. Together, our data suggest that CDK5 downregulation induces synaptic plasticity in mature neurons involving Ca(2+) signaling and BDNF/CREB activation.

  5. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

    PubMed

    Skaper, Stephen D; Facci, Laura; Zusso, Morena; Giusti, Pietro

    2017-01-13

    Neuroplasticity is not only shaped by learning and memory but is also a mediator of responses to neuron attrition and injury (compensatory plasticity). As an ongoing process it reacts to neuronal cell activity and injury, death, and genesis, which encompasses the modulation of structural and functional processes of axons, dendrites, and synapses. The range of structural elements that comprise plasticity includes long-term potentiation (a cellular correlate of learning and memory), synaptic efficacy and remodelling, synaptogenesis, axonal sprouting and dendritic remodelling, and neurogenesis and recruitment. Degenerative diseases of the human brain continue to pose one of biomedicine's most intractable problems. Research on human neurodegeneration is now moving from descriptive to mechanistic analyses. At the same time, it is increasing apparent that morphological lesions traditionally used by neuropathologists to confirm post-mortem clinical diagnosis might furnish us with an experimentally tractable handle to understand causative pathways. Consider the aging-dependent neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD) which is characterised at the neuropathological level by deposits of insoluble amyloid b-peptide (Ab) in extracellular plaques and aggregated tau protein, which is found largely in the intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. We now appreciate that mild cognitive impairment in early AD may be due to synaptic dysfunction caused by accumulation of non-fibrillar, oligomeric Ab, occurring well in advance of evident widespread synaptic loss and neurodegeneration. Soluble Ab oligomers can adversely affect synaptic structure and plasticity at extremely low concentrations, although the molecular substrates by which synaptic memory mechanisms are disrupted remain to be fully elucidated. The dendritic spine constitutes a primary locus of excitatory synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. These structures protruding from dendritic shafts

  6. Synaptic and nonsynaptic plasticity approximating probabilistic inference

    PubMed Central

    Tully, Philip J.; Hennig, Matthias H.; Lansner, Anders

    2014-01-01

    Learning and memory operations in neural circuits are believed to involve molecular cascades of synaptic and nonsynaptic changes that lead to a diverse repertoire of dynamical phenomena at higher levels of processing. Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity, neuromodulation, and intrinsic excitability all conspire to form and maintain memories. But it is still unclear how these seemingly redundant mechanisms could jointly orchestrate learning in a more unified system. To this end, a Hebbian learning rule for spiking neurons inspired by Bayesian statistics is proposed. In this model, synaptic weights and intrinsic currents are adapted on-line upon arrival of single spikes, which initiate a cascade of temporally interacting memory traces that locally estimate probabilities associated with relative neuronal activation levels. Trace dynamics enable synaptic learning to readily demonstrate a spike-timing dependence, stably return to a set-point over long time scales, and remain competitive despite this stability. Beyond unsupervised learning, linking the traces with an external plasticity-modulating signal enables spike-based reinforcement learning. At the postsynaptic neuron, the traces are represented by an activity-dependent ion channel that is shown to regulate the input received by a postsynaptic cell and generate intrinsic graded persistent firing levels. We show how spike-based Hebbian-Bayesian learning can be performed in a simulated inference task using integrate-and-fire (IAF) neurons that are Poisson-firing and background-driven, similar to the preferred regime of cortical neurons. Our results support the view that neurons can represent information in the form of probability distributions, and that probabilistic inference could be a functional by-product of coupled synaptic and nonsynaptic mechanisms operating over several timescales. The model provides a biophysical realization of Bayesian computation by reconciling several observed neural phenomena whose

  7. Active dendrites, potassium channels and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Daniel; Christie, Brian R; Frick, Andreas; Gray, Richard; Hoffman, Dax A; Schexnayder, Lalania K; Watanabe, Shigeo; Yuan, Li-Lian

    2003-01-01

    The dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus express numerous types of voltage-gated ion channel, but the distributions or densities of many of these channels are very non-uniform. Sodium channels in the dendrites are responsible for action potential (AP) propagation from the axon into the dendrites (back-propagation); calcium channels are responsible for local changes in dendritic calcium concentrations following back-propagating APs and synaptic potentials; and potassium channels help regulate overall dendritic excitability. Several lines of evidence are presented here to suggest that back-propagating APs, when coincident with excitatory synaptic input, can lead to the induction of either long-term depression (LTD) or long-term potentiation (LTP). The induction of LTD or LTP is correlated with the magnitude of the rise in intracellular calcium. When brief bursts of synaptic potentials are paired with postsynaptic APs in a theta-burst pairing paradigm, the induction of LTP is dependent on the invasion of the AP into the dendritic tree. The amplitude of the AP in the dendrites is dependent, in part, on the activity of a transient, A-type potassium channel that is expressed at high density in the dendrites and correlates with the induction of the LTP. Furthermore, during the expression phase of the LTP, there are local changes in dendritic excitability that may result from modulation of the functioning of this transient potassium channel. The results support the view that the active properties of dendrites play important roles in synaptic integration and synaptic plasticity of these neurons. PMID:12740112

  8. Endocannabinoids in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jian-Yi; Chen, Chu

    2014-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are endogenous lipid mediators involved in a variety of physiological, pharmacological, and pathological processes. While activation of the eCB system primarily induces inhibitory effects on both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity through acting on presynaptically-expressed CB1 receptors in the brain, accumulated information suggests that eCB signaling is also capable of facilitating or potentiating excitatory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. Recent studies show that a long-lasting potentiation of excitatory synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral (SC)-CA1 synapses is induced by spatiotemporally primed inputs, accompanying with a long-term depression of inhibitory synaptic transmission (I-LTD) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. This input-timing-dependent long-lasting synaptic potentiation at SC-CA1 synapses is mediated by 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) signaling triggered by activation of postsynaptic NMDA receptors, group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), and a concurrent rise in intracellular Ca2+. Emerging evidence now also indicates that 2-AG is an important signaling mediator keeping brain homeostasis by exerting its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in response to harmful insults through CB1/2 receptor-dependent and/or independent mechanisms. Activation of the nuclear receptor protein peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) apparently is one of the important mechanisms in resolving neuroinflammation and protecting neurons produced by 2-AG signaling. Thus, the information summarized in this review suggests that the role of eCB signaling in maintaining integrity of brain function is greater than what we thought previously. PMID:24571856

  9. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Karpova, Nina N; Sales, Amanda J; Joca, Samia R

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal network and plasticity change as a function of experience. Altered neural connectivity leads to distinct transcriptional programs of neuronal plasticity-related genes. The environmental challenges throughout life may promote long-lasting reprogramming of gene expression and the development of brain disorders. The modifications in neuronal epigenome mediate gene-environmental interactions and are required for activity-dependent regulation of neuronal differentiation, maturation and plasticity. Here, we highlight the latest advances in understanding the role of the main players of epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation and demethylation, histone modifications, chromatin-remodeling enzymes, transposons, and non-coding RNAs) in activity-dependent and long- term neural and synaptic plasticity. The review focuses on both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression levels, including the processes of promoter activation, alternative splicing, regulation of stability of gene transcripts by natural antisense RNAs, and alternative polyadenylation. Further, we discuss the epigenetic aspects of impaired neuronal plasticity and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental (Rett syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, genomic imprinting disorders, schizophrenia, and others), stressrelated (mood disorders) and neurodegenerative Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disorders. The review also highlights the pharmacological compounds that modulate epigenetic programming of gene expression, the potential treatment strategies of discussed brain disorders, and the questions that should be addressed during the development of effective and safe approaches for the treatment of brain disorders.

  10. Computational Neuroscience: Modeling the Systems Biology of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kotaleski, Jeanette Hellgren; Blackwell, Kim T.

    2016-01-01

    Preface Synaptic plasticity is a mechanism proposed to underlie learning and memory. The complexity of the interactions between ion channels, enzymes, and genes involved in synaptic plasticity impedes a deep understanding of this phenomenon. Computer modeling is an approach to investigate the information processing that is performed by signaling pathways underlying synaptic plasticity. In the past few years, new software developments that blend computational neuroscience techniques with systems biology techniques have allowed large-scale, quantitative modeling of synaptic plasticity in neurons. We highlight significant advancements produced by these modeling efforts and introduce promising approaches that utilize advancements in live cell imaging. PMID:20300102

  11. Caffeine, adenosine receptors, and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Costenla, Ana Rita; Cunha, Rodrigo A; de Mendonça, Alexandre

    2010-01-01

    Few studies to date have looked at the effects of caffeine on synaptic plasticity, and those that did used very high concentrations of caffeine, whereas the brain concentrations attained by regular coffee consumption in humans should be in the low micromolar range, where caffeine exerts pharmacological actions mainly by antagonizing adenosine receptors. Accordingly, rats drinking caffeine (1 g/L) for 3 weeks, displayed a concentration of caffeine of circa 22 microM in the hippocampus. It is known that selective adenosine A1 receptor antagonists facilitate, whereas selective adenosine A2A receptor antagonists attenuate, long term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus. Although caffeine is a non-selective antagonist of adenosine receptors, it attenuates frequency-induced LTP in hippocampal slices in a manner similar to selective adenosine A2A receptor antagonists. These effects of low micromolar concentration of caffeine (30 microM) are maintained in aged animals, which is important when a possible beneficial effect for caffeine in age-related cognitive decline is proposed. Future studies will still be required to confirm and detail the involvement of A1 and A2A receptors in the effects of caffeine on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, using both pharmacological and genetic approaches.

  12. Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain

    PubMed Central

    Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks. PMID:27006834

  13. Calcineurin mediates homeostatic synaptic plasticity by regulating retinoic acid synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Arendt, Kristin L.; Zhang, Zhenjie; Ganesan, Subhashree; Hintze, Maik; Shin, Maggie M.; Tang, Yitai; Cho, Ahryon; Graef, Isabella A.; Chen, Lu

    2015-01-01

    Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a form of non-Hebbian plasticity that maintains stability of the network and fidelity for information processing in response to prolonged perturbation of network and synaptic activity. Prolonged blockade of synaptic activity decreases resting Ca2+ levels in neurons, thereby inducing retinoic acid (RA) synthesis and RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity; however, the signal transduction pathway that links reduced Ca2+-levels to RA synthesis remains unknown. Here we identify the Ca2+-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin (CaN) as a key regulator for RA synthesis and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Prolonged inhibition of CaN activity promotes RA synthesis in neurons, and leads to increased excitatory and decreased inhibitory synaptic transmission. These effects of CaN inhibitors on synaptic transmission are blocked by pharmacological inhibitors of RA synthesis or acute genetic deletion of the RA receptor RARα. Thus, CaN, acting upstream of RA, plays a critical role in gating RA signaling pathway in response to synaptic activity. Moreover, activity blockade-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity is absent in CaN knockout neurons, demonstrating the essential role of CaN in RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Interestingly, in GluA1 S831A and S845A knockin mice, CaN inhibitor- and RA-induced regulation of synaptic transmission is intact, suggesting that phosphorylation of GluA1 C-terminal serine residues S831 and S845 is not required for CaN inhibitor- or RA-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Thus, our study uncovers an unforeseen role of CaN in postsynaptic signaling, and defines CaN as the Ca2+-sensing signaling molecule that mediates RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity. PMID:26443861

  14. Biochemical mechanisms for translational regulation in synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Klann, Eric; Dever, Thomas E

    2004-12-01

    Changes in gene expression are required for long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory in both invertebrates and vertebrates. Regulation of local protein synthesis allows synapses to control synaptic strength independently of messenger RNA synthesis in the cell body. Recent reports indicate that several biochemical signalling cascades couple neurotransmitter and neurotrophin receptors to translational regulatory factors in protein synthesis-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity and memory. In this review, we highlight these translational regulatory mechanisms and the signalling pathways that govern the expression of synaptic plasticity in response to specific types of neuronal stimulation.

  15. Role of MicroRNA in Governing Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Although synaptic plasticity in neural circuits is orchestrated by an ocean of genes, molecules, and proteins, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recently, it is well acknowledged that miRNA exerts widespread regulation over the translation and degradation of target gene in nervous system. Increasing evidence suggests that quite a few specific miRNAs play important roles in various respects of synaptic plasticity including synaptogenesis, synaptic morphology alteration, and synaptic function modification. More importantly, the miRNA-mediated regulation of synaptic plasticity is not only responsible for synapse development and function but also involved in the pathophysiology of plasticity-related diseases. A review is made here on the function of miRNAs in governing synaptic plasticity, emphasizing the emerging regulatory role of individual miRNAs in synaptic morphological and functional plasticity, as well as their implications in neurological disorders. Understanding of the way in which miRNAs contribute to synaptic plasticity provides rational clues in establishing the novel therapeutic strategy for plasticity-related diseases. PMID:27034846

  16. Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

    PubMed

    Pignatelli, Marco; Umanah, George Kwabena Essien; Ribeiro, Sissi Palma; Chen, Rong; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar Senthil; Yau, Hau-Jie; Eacker, Stephen; Dawson, Valina Lynn; Dawson, Ted Murray; Bonci, Antonello

    2017-01-18

    Fear learning is a fundamental behavioral process that requires dopamine (DA) release. Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity occurs on DA neurons while an organism is engaged in aversive experiences. However, whether synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons is causally involved in aversion learning is unknown. Here, we show that a stress priming procedure enhances fear learning by engaging VTA synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we took advantage of the ability of the ATPase Thorase to regulate the internalization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in order to selectively manipulate glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on DA neurons. Genetic ablation of Thorase in DAT(+) neurons produced increased AMPAR surface expression and function that lead to impaired induction of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Strikingly, animals lacking Thorase in DAT(+) neurons expressed greater associative learning in a fear conditioning paradigm. In conclusion, our data provide a novel, causal link between synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons and fear learning.

  17. Transient ECM protease activity promotes synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Magnowska, Marta; Gorkiewicz, Tomasz; Suska, Anna; Wawrzyniak, Marcin; Rutkowska-Wlodarczyk, Izabela; Kaczmarek, Leszek; Wlodarczyk, Jakub

    2016-01-01

    Activity-dependent proteolysis at a synapse has been recognized as a pivotal factor in controlling dynamic changes in dendritic spine shape and function; however, excessive proteolytic activity is detrimental to the cells. The exact mechanism of control of these seemingly contradictory outcomes of protease activity remains unknown. Here, we reveal that dendritic spine maturation is strictly controlled by the proteolytic activity, and its inhibition by the endogenous inhibitor (Tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1 – TIMP-1). Excessive proteolytic activity impairs long-term potentiation of the synaptic efficacy (LTP), and this impairment could be rescued by inhibition of protease activity. Moreover LTP is altered persistently when the ability of TIMP-1 to inhibit protease activity is abrogated, further demonstrating the role of such inhibition in the promotion of synaptic plasticity under well-defined conditions. We also show that dendritic spine maturation involves an intermediate formation of elongated spines, followed by their conversion into mushroom shape. The formation of mushroom-shaped spines is accompanied by increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio of glutamate receptors. Altogether, our results identify inhibition of protease activity as a critical regulatory mechanism for dendritic spines maturation. PMID:27282248

  18. Modulation of synaptic plasticity by stress hormone associates with plastic alteration of synaptic NMDA receptor in the adult hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Tse, Yiu Chung; Bagot, Rosemary C; Hutter, Juliana A; Wong, Alice S; Wong, Tak Pan

    2011-01-01

    Stress exerts a profound impact on learning and memory, in part, through the actions of adrenal corticosterone (CORT) on synaptic plasticity, a cellular model of learning and memory. Increasing findings suggest that CORT exerts its impact on synaptic plasticity by altering the functional properties of glutamate receptors, which include changes in the motility and function of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid subtype of glutamate receptor (AMPAR) that are responsible for the expression of synaptic plasticity. Here we provide evidence that CORT could also regulate synaptic plasticity by modulating the function of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), which mediate the induction of synaptic plasticity. We found that stress level CORT applied to adult rat hippocampal slices potentiated evoked NMDAR-mediated synaptic responses within 30 min. Surprisingly, following this fast-onset change, we observed a slow-onset (>1 hour after termination of CORT exposure) increase in synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs. To investigate the consequences of the distinct fast- and slow-onset modulation of NMDARs for synaptic plasticity, we examined the formation of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) within relevant time windows. Paralleling the increased NMDAR function, both LTP and LTD were facilitated during CORT treatment. However, 1-2 hours after CORT treatment when synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs is increased, bidirectional plasticity was no longer facilitated. Our findings reveal the remarkable plasticity of NMDARs in the adult hippocampus in response to CORT. CORT-mediated slow-onset increase in GluN2A in hippocampal synapses could be a homeostatic mechanism to normalize synaptic plasticity following fast-onset stress-induced facilitation.

  19. Cellular and molecular bases of memory: synaptic and neuronal plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wang, J H; Ko, G Y; Kelly, P T

    1997-07-01

    Discoveries made during the past decade have greatly improved our understanding of how the nervous system functions. This review article examines the relation between memory and the cellular mechanisms of neuronal and synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system. Evidence indicating that activity-dependent short- and long-term changes in strength of synaptic transmission are important for memory processes is examined. Focus is placed on one model of synaptic plasticity called long-term potentiation, and its similarities with memory processes are illustrated. Recent studies show that the regulation of synaptic strength is bidirectional (e.g., synaptic potentiation or depression). Mechanisms involving intracellular signaling pathways that regulate synaptic strength are described, and the specific roles of calcium, protein kinases, protein phosphatases, and retrograde messengers are emphasized. Evidence suggests that changes in synaptic ultrastructure, dendritic ultrastructure, and neuronal gene expression may also contribute to mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. Also discussed are recent findings about postsynaptic mechanisms that regulate short-term synaptic facilitation and neuronal burst-pattern activity, as well as evidence about the subcellular location (presynaptic or postsynaptic) of mechanisms involved in long-term synaptic plasticity.

  20. Sleep and synaptic plasticity in the developing and adult brain.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is hypothesized to play an integral role in brain plasticity. This has traditionally been investigated using behavioral assays. In the last 10-15 years, studies combining sleep measurements with in vitro and in vivo models of synaptic plasticity have provided exciting new insights into how sleep alters synaptic strength. In addition, new theories have been proposed that integrate older ideas about sleep function and recent discoveries in the field of synaptic plasticity. There remain, however, important challenges and unanswered questions. For example, sleep does not appear to have a single effect on synaptic strength. An unbiased review of the literature indicates that the effects of sleep vary widely depending on ontogenetic stage, the type of waking experience (or stimulation protocols) that precede sleep and the type of neuronal synapse under examination. In this review, I discuss these key findings in the context of current theories that posit different roles for sleep in synaptic plasticity.

  1. The Ubiquitin-Proteasome Pathway and Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hegde, Ashok N.

    2010-01-01

    Proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) has emerged as a new molecular mechanism that controls wide-ranging functions in the nervous system, including fine-tuning of synaptic connections during development and synaptic plasticity in the adult organism. In the UPP, attachment of a small protein, ubiquitin, tags the substrates for…

  2. Synaptic plasticity by antidromic firing during hippocampal network oscillations.

    PubMed

    Bukalo, Olena; Campanac, Emilie; Hoffman, Dax A; Fields, R Douglas

    2013-03-26

    Learning and other cognitive tasks require integrating new experiences into context. In contrast to sensory-evoked synaptic plasticity, comparatively little is known of how synaptic plasticity may be regulated by intrinsic activity in the brain, much of which can involve nonclassical modes of neuronal firing and integration. Coherent high-frequency oscillations of electrical activity in CA1 hippocampal neurons [sharp-wave ripple complexes (SPW-Rs)] functionally couple neurons into transient ensembles. These oscillations occur during slow-wave sleep or at rest. Neurons that participate in SPW-Rs are distinguished from adjacent nonparticipating neurons by firing action potentials that are initiated ectopically in the distal region of axons and propagate antidromically to the cell body. This activity is facilitated by GABA(A)-mediated depolarization of axons and electrotonic coupling. The possible effects of antidromic firing on synaptic strength are unknown. We find that facilitation of spontaneous SPW-Rs in hippocampal slices by increasing gap-junction coupling or by GABA(A)-mediated axon depolarization resulted in a reduction of synaptic strength, and electrical stimulation of axons evoked a widespread, long-lasting synaptic depression. Unlike other forms of synaptic plasticity, this synaptic depression is not dependent upon synaptic input or glutamate receptor activation, but rather requires L-type calcium channel activation and functional gap junctions. Synaptic stimulation delivered after antidromic firing, which was otherwise too weak to induce synaptic potentiation, triggered a long-lasting increase in synaptic strength. Rescaling synaptic weights in subsets of neurons firing antidromically during SPW-Rs might contribute to memory consolidation by sharpening specificity of subsequent synaptic input and promoting incorporation of novel information.

  3. GRASP1 Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning through Endosomal Recycling of AMPA Receptors.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Shu-Ling; Diering, Graham Hugh; Ye, Bing; Takamiya, Kogo; Chen, Chih-Ming; Jiang, Yuwu; Niranjan, Tejasvi; Schwartz, Charles E; Wang, Tao; Huganir, Richard L

    2017-03-22

    Learning depends on experience-dependent modification of synaptic efficacy and neuronal connectivity in the brain. We provide direct evidence for physiological roles of the recycling endosome protein GRASP1 in glutamatergic synapse function and animal behavior. Mice lacking GRASP1 showed abnormal excitatory synapse number, synaptic plasticity, and hippocampal-dependent learning and memory due to a failure in learning-induced synaptic AMPAR incorporation. We identified two GRASP1 point mutations from intellectual disability (ID) patients that showed convergent disruptive effects on AMPAR recycling and glutamate uncaging-induced structural and functional plasticity. Wild-type GRASP1, but not ID mutants, rescued spine loss in hippocampal CA1 neurons in Grasp1 knockout mice. Together, these results demonstrate a requirement for normal recycling endosome function in AMPAR-dependent synaptic function and neuronal connectivity in vivo, and suggest a potential role for GRASP1 in the pathophysiology of human cognitive disorders.

  4. Natural patterns of activity and long-term synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Paulsen, Ole; Sejnowski, Terrence J

    2010-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is traditionally elicited by massively synchronous, high-frequency inputs, which rarely occur naturally. Recent in vitro experiments have revealed that both LTP and long-term depression (LTD) can arise by appropriately pairing weak synaptic inputs with action potentials in the postsynaptic cell. This discovery has generated new insights into the conditions under which synaptic modification may occur in pyramidal neurons in vivo. First, it has been shown that the temporal order of the synaptic input and the postsynaptic spike within a narrow temporal window determines whether LTP or LTD is elicited, according to a temporally asymmetric Hebbian learning rule. Second, backpropagating action potentials are able to serve as a global signal for synaptic plasticity in a neuron compared with local associative interactions between synaptic inputs on dendrites. Third, a specific temporal pattern of activity — postsynaptic bursting — accompanies synaptic potentiation in adults. PMID:10753798

  5. Phosphorylation of AMPA receptors is required for sensory deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Goel, Anubhuti; Xu, Linda W; Snyder, Kevin P; Song, Lihua; Goenaga-Vazquez, Yamila; Megill, Andrea; Takamiya, Kogo; Huganir, Richard L; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2011-03-31

    Sensory experience, and the lack thereof, can alter the function of excitatory synapses in the primary sensory cortices. Recent evidence suggests that changes in sensory experience can regulate the synaptic level of Ca(2+)-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such a process have not been determined. We found that binocular visual deprivation, which is a well-established in vivo model to produce multiplicative synaptic scaling in visual cortex of juvenile rodents, is accompanied by an increase in the phosphorylation of AMPAR GluR1 (or GluA1) subunit at the serine 845 (S845) site and the appearance of CP-AMPARs at synapses. To address the role of GluR1-S845 in visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity, we used mice lacking key phosphorylation sites on the GluR1 subunit. We found that mice specifically lacking the GluR1-S845 site (GluR1-S845A mutants), which is a substrate of cAMP-dependent kinase (PKA), show abnormal basal excitatory synaptic transmission and lack visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. We also found evidence that increasing GluR1-S845 phosphorylation alone is not sufficient to produce normal multiplicative synaptic scaling. Our study provides concrete evidence that a GluR1 dependent mechanism, especially S845 phosphorylation, is a necessary pre-requisite step for in vivo homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

  6. Experience-dependent structural synaptic plasticity in the mammalian brain.

    PubMed

    Holtmaat, Anthony; Svoboda, Karel

    2009-09-01

    Synaptic plasticity in adult neural circuits may involve the strengthening or weakening of existing synapses as well as structural plasticity, including synapse formation and elimination. Indeed, long-term in vivo imaging studies are beginning to reveal the structural dynamics of neocortical neurons in the normal and injured adult brain. Although the overall cell-specific morphology of axons and dendrites, as well as of a subpopulation of small synaptic structures, are remarkably stable, there is increasing evidence that experience-dependent plasticity of specific circuits in the somatosensory and visual cortex involves cell type-specific structural plasticity: some boutons and dendritic spines appear and disappear, accompanied by synapse formation and elimination, respectively. This Review focuses on recent evidence for such structural forms of synaptic plasticity in the mammalian cortex and outlines open questions.

  7. Astrocytes gate Hebbian synaptic plasticity in the striatum

    PubMed Central

    Valtcheva, Silvana; Venance, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes, via excitatory amino-acid transporter type-2 (EAAT2), are the major sink for released glutamate and contribute to set the strength and timing of synaptic inputs. The conditions required for the emergence of Hebbian plasticity from distributed neural activity remain elusive. Here, we investigate the role of EAAT2 in the expression of a major physiologically relevant form of Hebbian learning, spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). We find that a transient blockade of EAAT2 disrupts the temporal contingency required for Hebbian synaptic plasticity. Indeed, STDP is replaced by aberrant non-timing-dependent plasticity occurring for uncorrelated events. Conversely, EAAT2 overexpression impairs the detection of correlated activity and precludes STDP expression. Our findings demonstrate that EAAT2 sets the appropriate glutamate dynamics for the optimal temporal contingency between pre- and postsynaptic activity required for STDP emergence, and highlight the role of astrocytes as gatekeepers for Hebbian synaptic plasticity. PMID:27996006

  8. Experience-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity in neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Whitt, Jessica L.; Petrus, Emily; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2013-01-01

    The organism’s ability to adapt to the changing sensory environment is due in part to the ability of the nervous system to change with experience. Input and synapse specific Hebbian plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), are critical for sculpting the nervous system to wire its circuit in tune with the environment and for storing memories. However, these synaptic plasticity mechanisms are innately unstable and require another mode of plasticity that maintains homeostasis to allow neurons to function within a desired dynamic range. Several modes of homeostatic adaptation are known, some of which work at the synaptic level. This review will focus on the known mechanisms of experience-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the neocortex and their potential function in sensory cortex plasticity. PMID:23466332

  9. Berberine chloride improved synaptic plasticity in STZ induced diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Moghaddam, Hamid Kalalian; Baluchnejadmojarad, Tourandokht; Roghani, Mehrdad; Goshadrou, Fatemeh; Ronaghi, Abdolaziz

    2013-09-01

    Previous studies indicated that diabetes affects synaptic transmission in the hippocampus, leading to impairments of synaptic plasticity and defects in learning and memory. Although berberine treatment ameliorates memory impairment and improves synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats, it is not clear if the effects are pre- or post-synaptic or both. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of berberine chloride on short-term plasticity in inhibitory interneurons in the dentate gyrus of STZ-induced diabetic rats. Experimental groups included: The control, control berberine treated (100 mg/kg), diabetic and diabetic berberine treated (50,100 mg/kg/day for 12 weeks) groups. The paired pulse paradigm was used to stimulate the perforant pathway and field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSP) were recorded in dentate gyrus (DG). In comparison with control, paired pulse facilitation in the diabetic group was significantly increased (P < 0.01) and this effect prevented by chronic berberine treatment (50,100 mg/kg). However, there were no differences between responses of the control berberine 100 mg/kg treated and diabetes berberine treated (50 and 100 mg/kg) groups as compared to the control group. The present results suggest that the pre-synaptic component of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus is affected under diabetic conditions and that berberine prevents this effect.

  10. Cerebellar Synaptic Plasticity and the Credit Assignment Problem.

    PubMed

    Jörntell, Henrik

    2016-04-01

    The mechanism by which a learnt synaptic weight change can contribute to learning or adaptation of brain function is a type of credit assignment problem, which is a key issue for many parts of the brain. In the cerebellum, detailed knowledge not only of the local circuitry connectivity but also of the topography of different sources of afferent/external information makes this problem particularly tractable. In addition, multiple forms of synaptic plasticity and their general rules of induction have been identified. In this review, we will discuss the possible roles of synaptic and cellular plasticity at specific locations in contributing to behavioral changes. Focus will be on the parts of the cerebellum that are devoted to limb control, which constitute a large proportion of the cortex and where the knowledge of the external connectivity is particularly well known. From this perspective, a number of sites of synaptic plasticity appear to primarily have the function of balancing the overall level of activity in the cerebellar circuitry, whereas the locations at which synaptic plasticity leads to functional changes in terms of limb control are more limited. Specifically, the postsynaptic forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) at the parallel fiber synapses made on interneurons and Purkinje cells, respectively, are the types of plasticity that mediate the widest associative capacity and the tightest link between the synaptic change and the external functions that are to be controlled.

  11. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity by Glutamatergic Gliotransmission: A Modeling Study

    PubMed Central

    De Pittà, Maurizio; Brunel, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Glutamatergic gliotransmission, that is, the release of glutamate from perisynaptic astrocyte processes in an activity-dependent manner, has emerged as a potentially crucial signaling pathway for regulation of synaptic plasticity, yet its modes of expression and function in vivo remain unclear. Here, we focus on two experimentally well-identified gliotransmitter pathways, (i) modulations of synaptic release and (ii) postsynaptic slow inward currents mediated by glutamate released from astrocytes, and investigate their possible functional relevance on synaptic plasticity in a biophysical model of an astrocyte-regulated synapse. Our model predicts that both pathways could profoundly affect both short- and long-term plasticity. In particular, activity-dependent glutamate release from astrocytes could dramatically change spike-timing-dependent plasticity, turning potentiation into depression (and vice versa) for the same induction protocol. PMID:27195153

  12. AMPARs and synaptic plasticity: the last 25 years.

    PubMed

    Huganir, Richard L; Nicoll, Roger A

    2013-10-30

    The study of synaptic plasticity and specifically LTP and LTD is one of the most active areas of research in neuroscience. In the last 25 years we have come a long way in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity. In 1988, AMPA and NMDA receptors were not even molecularly identified and we only had a simple model of the minimal requirements for the induction of plasticity. It is now clear that the modulation of the AMPA receptor function and membrane trafficking is critical for many forms of synaptic plasticity and a large number of proteins have been identified that regulate this complex process. Here we review the progress over the last two and a half decades and discuss the future challenges in the field.

  13. Environmental Enrichment Ameliorates Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposure-Induced Cognitive and Synaptic Plasticity Impairments.

    PubMed

    Ji, Mu-huo; Wang, Xing-ming; Sun, Xiao-ru; Zhang, Hui; Ju, Ling-sha; Qiu, Li-li; Yang, Jiao-jiao; Jia, Min; Wu, Jing; Yang, Jianjun

    2015-11-01

    Early exposure to sevoflurane, an inhalation anesthetic, induces neurodegeneration in the developing brain and subsequent long-term neurobehavioral abnormalities. Here, we investigated whether an enriched environment could mitigate neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced long-term cognitive and synaptic plasticity impairments. Male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 3 % sevoflurane 2 h daily for 3 days from postnatal day 6 (P6) to P8. The exposed mice were randomly allocated to an enriched environment for 2 h daily between P8 and P42 or to a standard environment. Their behavior and cognition were assessed using open field (P35) and fear conditioning tests (P41-P42). Hematoxylin-eosin staining was used to study morphological changes in pyramidal neurons of hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions. Synaptic plasticity alternations were assessed using western blotting, Golgi staining, and electrophysiological recording. We found that sevoflurane-exposed mice housed in a standard environment exhibited a reduced freezing response in the contextual test, decreased number of dendritic spines on pyramidal neurons and synaptic plasticity-related proteins in the hippocampus, and impaired long-term potentiation. However, in an enriched environment, some of these abnormities induced by repeated sevoflurane exposure. In conclusion, neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive and synaptic plasticity impairments are ameliorated by an enriched environment.

  14. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    PubMed Central

    van Huijstee, Aile N.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2015-01-01

    Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review highlights the synaptic modifications that are induced by in vivo exposure to addictive drugs and describes how these drug-induced synaptic changes may contribute to the different components of addictive behavior, such as compulsive drug use despite negative consequences and relapse. Initially, exposure to an addictive drug induces synaptic changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This drug-induced synaptic potentiation in the VTA subsequently triggers synaptic changes in downstream areas of the mesocorticolimbic system, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), with further drug exposure. These glutamatergic synaptic alterations are then thought to mediate many of the behavioral symptoms that characterize addiction. The later stages of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the NAc and in particular in the PFC play a role in maintaining addiction and drive relapse to drug-taking induced by drug-associated cues. Remodeling of PFC glutamatergic circuits can persist into adulthood, causing a lasting vulnerability to relapse. We will discuss how these neurobiological changes produced by drugs of abuse may provide novel targets for potential treatment strategies for addiction. PMID:25653591

  15. Cellular and molecular connections between sleep and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Benington, Joel H; Frank, Marcos G

    2003-02-01

    The hypothesis that sleep promotes learning and memory has long been a subject of active investigation. This hypothesis implies that sleep must facilitate synaptic plasticity in some way, and recent studies have provided evidence for such a function. Our knowledge of both the cellular neurophysiology of sleep states and of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity has expanded considerably in recent years. In this article, we review findings in these areas and discuss possible mechanisms whereby the neurophysiological processes characteristic of sleep states may serve to facilitate synaptic plasticity. We address this issue first on the cellular level, considering how activation of T-type Ca(2+) channels in nonREM sleep may promote either long-term depression or long-term potentiation, as well as how cellular events of REM sleep may influence these processes. We then consider how synchronization of neuronal activity in thalamocortical and hippocampal-neocortical networks in nonREM sleep and REM sleep could promote differential strengthening of synapses according to the degree to which activity in one neuron is synchronized with activity in other neurons in the network. Rather than advocating one specific cellular hypothesis, we have intentionally taken a broad approach, describing a range of possible mechanisms whereby sleep may facilitate synaptic plasticity on the cellular and/or network levels. We have also provided a general review of evidence for and against the hypothesis that sleep does indeed facilitate learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity.

  16. Hebbian Wiring Plasticity Generates Efficient Network Structures for Robust Inference with Synaptic Weight Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hiratani, Naoki; Fukai, Tomoki

    2016-01-01

    In the adult mammalian cortex, a small fraction of spines are created and eliminated every day, and the resultant synaptic connection structure is highly nonrandom, even in local circuits. However, it remains unknown whether a particular synaptic connection structure is functionally advantageous in local circuits, and why creation and elimination of synaptic connections is necessary in addition to rich synaptic weight plasticity. To answer these questions, we studied an inference task model through theoretical and numerical analyses. We demonstrate that a robustly beneficial network structure naturally emerges by combining Hebbian-type synaptic weight plasticity and wiring plasticity. Especially in a sparsely connected network, wiring plasticity achieves reliable computation by enabling efficient information transmission. Furthermore, the proposed rule reproduces experimental observed correlation between spine dynamics and task performance. PMID:27303271

  17. ECM receptors in neuronal structure, synaptic plasticity, and behavior

    PubMed Central

    Kerrisk, Meghan E.; Cingolani, Lorenzo A.; Koleske, Anthony J.

    2015-01-01

    During central nervous system development, extracellular matrix (ECM) receptors and their ligands play key roles as guidance molecules, informing neurons where and when to send axonal and dendritic projections, establish connections, and form synapses between pre- and postsynaptic cells. Once stable synapses are formed, many ECM receptors transition in function to control the maintenance of stable connections between neurons and regulate synaptic plasticity. These receptors bind to and are activated by ECM ligands. In turn, ECM receptor activation modulates downstream signaling cascades that control cytoskeletal dynamics and synaptic activity to regulate neuronal structure and function and thereby impact animal behavior. The activities of cell adhesion receptors that mediate interactions between pre- and post-synaptic partners are also strongly influenced by ECM composition. This chapter highlights a number of ECM receptors, their roles in the control of synapse structure and function, and the impact of these receptors on synaptic plasticity and animal behavior. PMID:25410355

  18. Synaptic adhesion molecule IgSF11 regulates synaptic transmission and plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Hyewon; van Riesen, Christoph; Whitcomb, Daniel; Warburton, Julia M.; Jo, Jihoon; Kim, Doyoun; Kim, Sun Gyun; Um, Seung Min; Kwon, Seok-kyu; Kim, Myoung-Hwan; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Woo, Jooyeon; Jun, Heejung; Lee, Dongmin; Mah, Won; Kim, Hyun; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Cho, Kwangwook; Rhee, Jeong-Seop; Choquet, Daniel; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Summary Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate synapse development and plasticity through mechanisms including trans-synaptic adhesion and recruitment of diverse synaptic proteins. We report here that the immunoglobulin superfamily member 11 (IgSF11), a homophilic adhesion molecule preferentially expressed in the brain, is a novel and dual-binding partner of the postsynaptic scaffolding protein PSD-95 and AMPAR glutamate receptors (AMPARs). IgSF11 requires PSD-95 binding for its excitatory synaptic localization. In addition, IgSF11 stabilizes synaptic AMPARs, as shown by IgSF11 knockdown-induced suppression of AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission and increased surface mobility of AMPARs, measured by high-throughput, single-molecule tracking. IgSF11 deletion in mice leads to suppression of AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission in the dentate gyrus and long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. IgSF11 does not regulate the functional characteristics of AMPARs, including desensitization, deactivation, or recovery. These results suggest that IgSF11 regulates excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity through its tripartite interactions with PSD-95 and AMPARs. PMID:26595655

  19. Cross-modal synaptic plasticity in adult primary sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hey-Kyoung; Whitt, Jessica L

    2015-12-01

    Sensory loss leads to widespread adaptation of brain circuits to allow an organism to navigate its environment with its remaining senses, which is broadly referred to as cross-modal plasticity. Such adaptation can be observed even in the primary sensory cortices, and falls into two distinct categories: recruitment of the deprived sensory cortex for processing the remaining senses, which we term 'cross-modal recruitment', and experience-dependent refinement of the spared sensory cortices referred to as 'compensatory plasticity.' Here we will review recent studies demonstrating that cortical adaptation to sensory loss involves LTP/LTD and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Cross-modal synaptic plasticity is observed in adults, hence cross-modal sensory deprivation may be an effective way to promote plasticity in adult primary sensory cortices.

  20. Circuit reactivation dynamically regulates synaptic plasticity in neocortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruskal, Peter B.; Li, Lucy; Maclean, Jason N.

    2013-10-01

    Circuit reactivations involve a stereotyped sequence of neuronal firing and have been behaviourally linked to memory consolidation. Here we use multiphoton imaging and patch-clamp recording, and observe sparse and stereotyped circuit reactivations that correspond to UP states within active neurons. To evaluate the effect of the circuit on synaptic plasticity, we trigger a single spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) pairing once per circuit reactivation. The pairings reliably fall within a particular epoch of the circuit sequence and result in long-term potentiation. During reactivation, the amplitude of plasticity significantly correlates with the preceding 20-25 ms of membrane depolarization rather than the depolarization at the time of pairing. This circuit-dependent plasticity provides a natural constraint on synaptic potentiation, regulating the inherent instability of STDP in an assembly phase-sequence model. Subthreshold voltage during endogenous circuit reactivations provides a critical informative context for plasticity and facilitates the stable consolidation of a spatiotemporal sequence.

  1. Synaptic plasticity functions in an organic electrochemical transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gkoupidenis, Paschalis; Schaefer, Nathan; Strakosas, Xenofon; Fairfield, Jessamyn A.; Malliaras, George G.

    2015-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity functions play a crucial role in the transmission of neural signals in the brain. Short-term plasticity is required for the transmission, encoding, and filtering of the neural signal, whereas long-term plasticity establishes more permanent changes in neural microcircuitry and thus underlies memory and learning. The realization of bioinspired circuits that can actually mimic signal processing in the brain demands the reproduction of both short- and long-term aspects of synaptic plasticity in a single device. Here, we demonstrate the implementation of neuromorphic functions similar to biological memory, such as short- to long-term memory transition, in non-volatile organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). Depending on the training of the OECT, the device displays either short- or long-term plasticity, therefore, exhibiting non von Neumann characteristics with merged processing and storing functionalities. These results are a first step towards the implementation of organic-based neuromorphic circuits.

  2. Diffusion dynamics of synaptic molecules during inhibitory postsynaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Petrini, Enrica Maria; Barberis, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    The plasticity of inhibitory transmission is expected to play a key role in the modulation of neuronal excitability and network function. Over the last two decades, the investigation of the determinants of inhibitory synaptic plasticity has allowed distinguishing presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. While there has been a remarkable progress in the characterization of presynaptically-expressed plasticity of inhibition, the postsynaptic mechanisms of inhibitory long-term synaptic plasticity only begin to be unraveled. At postsynaptic level, the expression of inhibitory synaptic plasticity involves the rearrangement of the postsynaptic molecular components of the GABAergic synapse, including GABAA receptors, scaffold proteins and structural molecules. This implies a dynamic modulation of receptor intracellular trafficking and receptor surface lateral diffusion, along with regulation of the availability and distribution of scaffold proteins. This Review will focus on the mechanisms of the multifaceted molecular reorganization of the inhibitory synapse during postsynaptic plasticity, with special emphasis on the key role of protein dynamics to ensure prompt and reliable activity-dependent adjustments of synaptic strength. PMID:25294987

  3. Modulation of synaptic plasticity by stress and antidepressants.

    PubMed

    Popoli, Maurizio; Gennarelli, Massimo; Racagni, Giorgio

    2002-06-01

    Recent preclinical and clinical studies have shown that mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity and survival are involved in both the outcome of stressful experiences and the action of antidepressants. Whereas most antidepressants predominantly affect the brain levels of monoamine neurotransmitters, it is increasingly appreciated that they also modulate neurotransmission at synapses using the neurotransmitter glutamate (the most abundant in the brain). In the hippocampus, a main area of the limbic system involved in cognitive functions as well as attention and affect, specific molecules enriched at glutamatergic synapses mediate major changes in synaptic plasticity induced by stress paradigms or antidepressant treatments. We analyze here the modifications induced by stress or antidepressants in the strength of synaptic transmission in hippocampus, and the molecular modifications induced by antidepressants in two main mediators of synaptic plasticity: the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor complex for glutamate and the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II). Both stress and antidepressants induce alterations in long-term potentiation of hippocampal glutamatergic synapses, which may be partly accounted for by the influence of environmental or drug-induced stimulation of monoaminergic pathways projecting to the hippocampus. In the course of antidepressant treatments significant changes have been described in both the NMDA receptor and CaM kinase II, which may account for the physiological changes observed. A central role in these synaptic changes is exerted by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which modulates both synaptic plasticity and its molecular mediators, as well as inducing morphological synaptic changes. The role of these molecular effectors in synaptic plasticity is discussed in relation to the action of antidepressants and the search for new molecular targets of drug action in the therapy of mood disorders.

  4. Coordination of Protein Phosphorylation and Dephosphorylation in Synaptic Plasticity*

    PubMed Central

    Woolfrey, Kevin M.; Dell'Acqua, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    A central theme in nervous system function is equilibrium: synaptic strengths wax and wane, neuronal firing rates adjust up and down, and neural circuits balance excitation with inhibition. This push/pull regulatory theme carries through to the molecular level at excitatory synapses, where protein function is controlled through phosphorylation and dephosphorylation by kinases and phosphatases. However, these opposing enzymatic activities are only part of the equation as scaffolding interactions and assembly of multi-protein complexes are further required for efficient, localized synaptic signaling. This review will focus on coordination of postsynaptic serine/threonine kinase and phosphatase signaling by scaffold proteins during synaptic plasticity. PMID:26453308

  5. Synaptic plasticity in the auditory system: a review.

    PubMed

    Friauf, Eckhard; Fischer, Alexander U; Fuhr, Martin F

    2015-07-01

    Synaptic transmission via chemical synapses is dynamic, i.e., the strength of postsynaptic responses may change considerably in response to repeated synaptic activation. Synaptic strength is increased during facilitation, augmentation and potentiation, whereas a decrease in synaptic strength is characteristic for depression and attenuation. This review attempts to discuss the literature on short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity in the auditory brainstem of mammals and birds. One hallmark of the auditory system, particularly the inner ear and lower brainstem stations, is information transfer through neurons that fire action potentials at very high frequency, thereby activating synapses >500 times per second. Some auditory synapses display morphological specializations of the presynaptic terminals, e.g., calyceal extensions, whereas other auditory synapses do not. The review focuses on short-term depression and short-term facilitation, i.e., plastic changes with durations in the millisecond range. Other types of short-term synaptic plasticity, e.g., posttetanic potentiation and depolarization-induced suppression of excitation, will be discussed much more briefly. The same holds true for subtypes of long-term plasticity, like prolonged depolarizations and spike-time-dependent plasticity. We also address forms of plasticity in the auditory brainstem that do not comprise synaptic plasticity in a strict sense, namely short-term suppression, paired tone facilitation, short-term adaptation, synaptic adaptation and neural adaptation. Finally, we perform a meta-analysis of 61 studies in which short-term depression (STD) in the auditory system is opposed to short-term depression at non-auditory synapses in order to compare high-frequency neurons with those that fire action potentials at a lower rate. This meta-analysis reveals considerably less STD in most auditory synapses than in non-auditory ones, enabling reliable, failure-free synaptic transmission even at

  6. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and memory.

    PubMed

    Elgersma, Y; Silva, A J

    1999-04-01

    To unravel the molecular and cellular bases of learning and memory is one of the most ambitious goals of modern science. The progress of recent years has not only brought us closer to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying stable, long-lasting changes in synaptic strength, but it has also provided further evidence that these mechanisms are required for memory formation.

  7. A spaceflight study of synaptic plasticity in adult rat vestibular maculas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.

    1994-01-01

    Behavioral signs of vestibular perturbation in altered gravity have not been well correlated with structural modifications in neurovestibular centers. This ultrastructural research investigated synaptic plasticity in hair cells of adult rat utricular maculas exposed to microgravity for nine days on a space shuttle. The hypothesis was that synaptic plasticity would be more evident in type II hair cells because they are part of a distributed modifying macular circuitry. All rats were shared with other investigators and were subjected to treatments unrelated to this experiment. Maculas were obtained from flight and control rats after shuttle return (R + 0) and nine days post-flight (R + 9). R + 9 rats had chromodacryorrhea, a sign of acute stress. Tissues were prepared for ultrastructural study by conventional methods. Ribbon synapses were counted in fifty serial sections from medial utricular macular regions of three rats of each flight and control group. Counts in fifty additional consecutive sections from one sample in each group established method reliability. All synapses were photographed and located to specific cells on mosaics of entire sections. Pooled data were analyzed statistically. Flown rats showed abnormal posture and movement at R + 0. They had statistically significant increases in total ribbon synapses and in sphere-like ribbons in both kinds of hair cells; in type II cells, pairs of synapses nearly doubled and clusters of 3 to 6 synapses increased twelve-fold. At R + 9, behavioral signs were normal. However, synapse counts remained high in both kinds of hair cells of flight maculas and were elevated in control type II cells. Only counts in type I cells showed statistically significant differences at R + 9. High synaptic counts at R + 9 may have resulted from stress due to experimental treatments. The results nevertheless demonstrate that adult maculas retain the potential for synaptic plasticity. Type II cells exhibited more synaptic plasticity, but

  8. Glial responses to synaptic damage and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Aldskogius, H; Liu, L; Svensson, M

    1999-10-01

    We review three principally different forms of injury-induced synaptic alterations. (1) Displacement of presynaptic terminals from perikarya and dendrites of axotomized neurons, (2) central changes in primary afferent terminals of peripherally axotomized sensory ganglion cells, and (3) anterograde Wallerian-type degeneration following interruption of central axonal pathways. All these instances rapidly activate astrocytes and microglia in the vicinity of the affected synaptic terminals. The evidence suggests that activated astrocytes play important and direct roles in synapse elimination and in the processes mediating collateral reinnervation. The roles of microglia are enigmatic. They undergo activation close to axotomized motoneuron perikarya, where synapse displacement occurs, but not adjacent to axotomized intrinsic central nervous system neurons, where synapse displacement also occurs. Microglia are also rapidly activated around central primary sensory terminals of peripherally axotomized sensory ganglion cells. Occasional phagocytosis of degenerating axon terminals by microglia occur in the latter situation. However, the role of microglia may be more oriented toward the general tissue conditions rather than specifically toward synaptic terminals.

  9. Cell-specific synaptic plasticity induced by network oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Zarnadze, Shota; Bäuerle, Peter; Santos-Torres, Julio; Böhm, Claudia; Schmitz, Dietmar; Geiger, Jörg RP

    2016-01-01

    Gamma rhythms are known to contribute to the process of memory encoding. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and network levels. Using local field potential recording in awake behaving mice and concomitant field potential and whole-cell recordings in slice preparations we found that gamma rhythms lead to activity-dependent modification of hippocampal networks, including alterations in sharp wave-ripple complexes. Network plasticity, expressed as long-lasting increases in sharp wave-associated synaptic currents, exhibits enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in pyramidal cells that is induced postsynaptically and depends on metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 activation. In sharp contrast, alteration of inhibitory synaptic strength is independent of postsynaptic activation and less pronounced. Further, we found a cell type-specific, directionally biased synaptic plasticity of two major types of GABAergic cells, parvalbumin- and cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons. Thus, we propose that gamma frequency oscillations represent a network state that introduces long-lasting synaptic plasticity in a cell-specific manner. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14912.001 PMID:27218453

  10. Energy Efficient Sparse Connectivity from Imbalanced Synaptic Plasticity Rules

    PubMed Central

    Sacramento, João; Wichert, Andreas; van Rossum, Mark C. W.

    2015-01-01

    It is believed that energy efficiency is an important constraint in brain evolution. As synaptic transmission dominates energy consumption, energy can be saved by ensuring that only a few synapses are active. It is therefore likely that the formation of sparse codes and sparse connectivity are fundamental objectives of synaptic plasticity. In this work we study how sparse connectivity can result from a synaptic learning rule of excitatory synapses. Information is maximised when potentiation and depression are balanced according to the mean presynaptic activity level and the resulting fraction of zero-weight synapses is around 50%. However, an imbalance towards depression increases the fraction of zero-weight synapses without significantly affecting performance. We show that imbalanced plasticity corresponds to imposing a regularising constraint on the L 1-norm of the synaptic weight vector, a procedure that is well-known to induce sparseness. Imbalanced plasticity is biophysically plausible and leads to more efficient synaptic configurations than a previously suggested approach that prunes synapses after learning. Our framework gives a novel interpretation to the high fraction of silent synapses found in brain regions like the cerebellum. PMID:26046817

  11. ECM receptors in neuronal structure, synaptic plasticity, and behavior.

    PubMed

    Kerrisk, Meghan E; Cingolani, Lorenzo A; Koleske, Anthony J

    2014-01-01

    During central nervous system development, extracellular matrix (ECM) receptors and their ligands play key roles as guidance molecules, informing neurons where and when to send axonal and dendritic projections, establish connections, and form synapses between pre- and postsynaptic cells. Once stable synapses are formed, many ECM receptors transition in function to control the maintenance of stable connections between neurons and regulate synaptic plasticity. These receptors bind to and are activated by ECM ligands. In turn, ECM receptor activation modulates downstream signaling cascades that control cytoskeletal dynamics and synaptic activity to regulate neuronal structure and function and thereby impact animal behavior. The activities of cell adhesion receptors that mediate interactions between pre- and postsynaptic partners are also strongly influenced by ECM composition. This chapter highlights a number of ECM receptors, their roles in the control of synapse structure and function, and the impact of these receptors on synaptic plasticity and animal behavior.

  12. Reactive Oxygen Species: Physiological and Physiopathological Effects on Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Beckhauser, Thiago Fernando; Francis-Oliveira, José; De Pasquale, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    In the mammalian central nervous system, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is counterbalanced by antioxidant defenses. When large amounts of ROS accumulate, antioxidant mechanisms become overwhelmed and oxidative cellular stress may occur. Therefore, ROS are typically characterized as toxic molecules, oxidizing membrane lipids, changing the conformation of proteins, damaging nucleic acids, and causing deficits in synaptic plasticity. High ROS concentrations are associated with a decline in cognitive functions, as observed in some neurodegenerative disorders and age-dependent decay of neuroplasticity. Nevertheless, controlled ROS production provides the optimal redox state for the activation of transductional pathways involved in synaptic changes. Since ROS may regulate neuronal activity and elicit negative effects at the same time, the distinction between beneficial and deleterious consequences is unclear. In this regard, this review assesses current research and describes the main sources of ROS in neurons, specifying their involvement in synaptic plasticity and distinguishing between physiological and pathological processes implicated. PMID:27625575

  13. Transferrin Receptor Controls AMPA Receptor Trafficking Efficiency and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ke; Lei, Run; Li, Qiong; Wang, Xin-Xin; Wu, Qian; An, Peng; Zhang, Jianchao; Zhu, Minyan; Xu, Zhiheng; Hong, Yang; Wang, Fudi; Shen, Ying; Li, Hongchang; Li, Huashun

    2016-01-01

    Transferrin receptor (TFR) is an important iron transporter regulating iron homeostasis and has long been used as a marker for clathrin mediated endocytosis. However, little is known about its additional function other than iron transport in the development of central nervous system (CNS). Here we demonstrate that TFR functions as a regulator to control AMPA receptor trafficking efficiency and synaptic plasticity. The conditional knockout (KO) of TFR in neural progenitor cells causes mice to develop progressive epileptic seizure, and dramatically reduces basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP). We further demonstrate that TFR KO remarkably reduces the binding efficiency of GluR2 to AP2 and subsequently decreases AMPA receptor endocytosis and recycling. Thus, our study reveals that TFR functions as a novel regulator to control AMPA trafficking efficiency and synaptic plasticity. PMID:26880306

  14. Formation and maintenance of neuronal assemblies through synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Doiron, Brent

    2014-11-14

    The architecture of cortex is flexible, permitting neuronal networks to store recent sensory experiences as specific synaptic connectivity patterns. However, it is unclear how these patterns are maintained in the face of the high spike time variability associated with cortex. Here we demonstrate, using a large-scale cortical network model, that realistic synaptic plasticity rules coupled with homeostatic mechanisms lead to the formation of neuronal assemblies that reflect previously experienced stimuli. Further, reverberation of past evoked states in spontaneous spiking activity stabilizes, rather than erases, this learned architecture. Spontaneous and evoked spiking activity contains a signature of learned assembly structures, leading to testable predictions about the effect of recent sensory experience on spike train statistics. Our work outlines requirements for synaptic plasticity rules capable of modifying spontaneous dynamics and shows that this modification is beneficial for stability of learned network architectures.

  15. Progesterone Regulation of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity in Rodent Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foy, Michael R.; Akopian, Garnik; Thompson, Richard F.

    2008-01-01

    Ovarian hormones influence memory formation by eliciting changes in neural activity. The effects of various concentrations of progesterone (P4) on synaptic transmission and plasticity associated with long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) were studied using in vitro hippocampal slices. Extracellular studies show that the…

  16. Isoform Specificity of Protein Kinase Cs in Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sossin, Wayne S.

    2007-01-01

    Protein kinase Cs (PKCs) are implicated in many forms of synaptic plasticity. However, the specific isoform(s) of PKC that underlie(s) these events are often not known. We have used "Aplysia" as a model system in order to investigate the isoform specificity of PKC actions due to the presence of fewer isoforms and a large number of documented…

  17. Molecular bases of caloric restriction regulation of neuronal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Fontán-Lozano, Angela; López-Lluch, Guillermo; Delgado-García, José María; Navas, Placido; Carrión, Angel Manuel

    2008-10-01

    Aging is associated with the decline of cognitive properties. This situation is magnified when neurodegenerative processes associated with aging appear in human patients. Neuronal synaptic plasticity events underlie cognitive properties in the central nervous system. Caloric restriction (CR; either a decrease in food intake or an intermittent fasting diet) can extend life span and increase disease resistance. Recent studies have shown that CR can have profound effects on brain function and vulnerability to injury and disease. Moreover, CR can stimulate the production of new neurons from stem cells (neurogenesis) and can enhance synaptic plasticity, which modulate pain sensation, enhance cognitive function, and may increase the ability of the brain to resist aging. The beneficial effects of CR appear to be the result of a cellular stress response stimulating the production of proteins that enhance neuronal plasticity and resistance to oxidative and metabolic insults; they include neurotrophic factors, neurotransmitter receptors, protein chaperones, and mitochondrial biosynthesis regulators. In this review, we will present and discuss the effect of CR in synaptic processes underlying analgesia and cognitive improvement in healthy, sick, and aging animals. We will also discuss the possible role of mitochondrial biogenesis induced by CR in regulation of neuronal synaptic plasticity.

  18. Long Term Synaptic Plasticity and Learning in Neuronal Networks.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-09-14

    2312/Al Al -p 1. TITLE (Include Security Classification) ’a LONG TERM SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY AND LEARNING IN NEURONAL NETWORKS 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S...Analysis of Simple Neuronal Networks " (2nd Annual Symposium on Networks in Brain and Computer Architecture, North Texas State University, Denton, TX

  19. Functional consequences of pre- and postsynaptic expression of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Costa, Rui Ponte; Mizusaki, Beatriz E P; Sjöström, P Jesper; van Rossum, Mark C W

    2017-03-05

    Growing experimental evidence shows that both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity can be expressed presynaptically as well as postsynaptically. In this review, we start by discussing this evidence and methods used to determine expression loci. Next, we discuss the functional consequences of this diversity in pre- and postsynaptic expression of both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity. In particular, we explore the functional consequences of a biologically tuned model of pre- and postsynaptically expressed spike-timing-dependent plasticity complemented with postsynaptic homeostatic control. The pre- and postsynaptic expression in this model predicts (i) more reliable receptive fields and sensory perception, (ii) rapid recovery of forgotten information (memory savings), and (iii) reduced response latencies, compared with a model with postsynaptic expression only. Finally, we discuss open questions that will require a considerable research effort to better elucidate how the specific locus of expression of homeostatic and Hebbian plasticity alters synaptic and network computations.This article is part of the themed issue 'Integrating Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity'.

  20. The synaptic plasticity and memory hypothesis: encoding, storage and persistence

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Tomonori; Duszkiewicz, Adrian J.; Morris, Richard G. M.

    2014-01-01

    The synaptic plasticity and memory hypothesis asserts that activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is induced at appropriate synapses during memory formation and is both necessary and sufficient for the encoding and trace storage of the type of memory mediated by the brain area in which it is observed. Criteria for establishing the necessity and sufficiency of such plasticity in mediating trace storage have been identified and are here reviewed in relation to new work using some of the diverse techniques of contemporary neuroscience. Evidence derived using optical imaging, molecular-genetic and optogenetic techniques in conjunction with appropriate behavioural analyses continues to offer support for the idea that changing the strength of connections between neurons is one of the major mechanisms by which engrams are stored in the brain. PMID:24298167

  1. Synaptic plasticity in cephalopods; more than just learning and memory?

    PubMed

    Brown, Euan R; Piscopo, Stefania

    2013-06-01

    The outstanding behavioural capacity of cephalopods is underpinned by a highly sophisticated nervous system anatomy and neural mechanisms that often differ significantly from similarly complex systems in vertebrates and insects. Cephalopods exhibit considerable behavioural flexibility and adaptability, and it might be expected that this should be supported by evident cellular and synaptic plasticity. Here, we review what little is known of the cellular mechanisms that underlie plasticity in cephalopods, particularly from the point of view of synaptic function. We conclude that cephalopods utilise short-, medium-, and long-term plasticity mechanisms that are superficially similar to those so far described in vertebrate and insect synapses. These mechanisms, however, often differ significantly from those in other animals at the biophysical level and are deployed not just in the central nervous system, but also to a limited extent in the peripheral nervous system and neuromuscular junctions.

  2. Neural ECM molecules in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory.

    PubMed

    Senkov, Oleg; Andjus, Pavle; Radenovic, Lidija; Soriano, Eduardo; Dityatev, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Neural extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules derived from neurons and glial cells accumulate in the extracellular space and regulate synaptic plasticity through modulation of perisomal GABAergic inhibition, intrinsic neuronal excitability, integrin signaling, and activities of L-type Ca(2+) channels, NMDA receptors, and Rho-associated kinase. Genetic or enzymatic targeting of ECM molecules proved to bidirectionally modulate acquisition of memories, depending on experimental conditions, and to promote cognitive flexibility and extinction of fear and drug memories. Furthermore, evidence is accumulating that dysregulation of ECM is linked to major psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases and that targeting ECM molecules may rescue cognitive deficits in animal models of these diseases. Thus, the ECM emerged as a key component of synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory and as an attractive target for developing new generation of synapse plasticizing drugs.

  3. Frequency-Dependent Changes in NMDAR-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Arvind; Mehta, Mayank R.

    2011-01-01

    The NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity is thought to mediate several forms of learning, and can be induced by spike trains containing a small number of spikes occurring with varying rates and timing, as well as with oscillations. We computed the influence of these variables on the plasticity induced at a single NMDAR containing synapse using a reduced model that was analytically tractable, and these findings were confirmed using detailed, multi-compartment model. In addition to explaining diverse experimental results about the rate and timing dependence of synaptic plasticity, the model made several novel and testable predictions. We found that there was a preferred frequency for inducing long-term potentiation (LTP) such that higher frequency stimuli induced lesser LTP, decreasing as 1/f when the number of spikes in the stimulus was kept fixed. Among other things, the preferred frequency for inducing LTP varied as a function of the distance of the synapse from the soma. In fact, same stimulation frequencies could induce LTP or long-term depression depending on the dendritic location of the synapse. Next, we found that rhythmic stimuli induced greater plasticity then irregular stimuli. Furthermore, brief bursts of spikes significantly expanded the timing dependence of plasticity. Finally, we found that in the ∼5–15-Hz frequency range both rate- and timing-dependent plasticity mechanisms work synergistically to render the synaptic plasticity most sensitive to spike timing. These findings provide computational evidence that oscillations can have a profound influence on the plasticity of an NMDAR-dependent synapse, and show a novel role for the dendritic morphology in this process. PMID:21994493

  4. Emerging Link between Alzheimer's Disease and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Sung-Soo; Chung, Hee Jung

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible brain disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline and neurodegeneration of brain regions that are crucial for learning and memory. Although intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular senile plaques, composed of insoluble amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, have been the hallmarks of postmortem AD brains, memory impairment in early AD correlates better with pathological accumulation of soluble Aβ oligomers and persistent weakening of excitatory synaptic strength, which is demonstrated by inhibition of long-term potentiation, enhancement of long-term depression, and loss of synapses. However, current, approved interventions aiming to reduce Aβ levels have failed to retard disease progression; this has led to a pressing need to identify and target alternative pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Recently, it has been suggested that the disruption of Hebbian synaptic plasticity in AD is due to aberrant metaplasticity, which is a form of homeostatic plasticity that tunes the magnitude and direction of future synaptic plasticity based on previous neuronal or synaptic activity. This review examines emerging evidence for aberrant metaplasticity in AD. Putative mechanisms underlying aberrant metaplasticity in AD will also be discussed. We hope this review inspires future studies to test the extent to which these mechanisms contribute to the etiology of AD and offer therapeutic targets. PMID:27019755

  5. PLPP/CIN regulates bidirectional synaptic plasticity via GluN2A interaction with postsynaptic proteins

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Ji-Eun; Kim, Yeon-Joo; Lee, Duk-Shin; Kim, Ji Yang; Ko, Ah-Reum; Hyun, Hye-Won; Kim, Min Ju; Kang, Tae-Cheon

    2016-01-01

    Dendritic spines are dynamic structures whose efficacies and morphologies are modulated by activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. The actin cytoskeleton plays an important role in stabilization and structural modification of spines. However, the regulatory mechanism by which it alters the plasticity threshold remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate the role of pyridoxal-5′-phosphate phosphatase/chronophin (PLPP/CIN), one of the cofilin-mediated F-actin regulators, in modulating synaptic plasticity in vivo. PLPP/CIN transgenic (Tg) mice had immature spines with small heads, while PLPP/CIN knockout (KO) mice had gigantic spines. Furthermore, PLPP/CIN Tg mice exhibited enhanced synaptic plasticity, but KO mice showed abnormal synaptic plasticity. The PLPP/CIN-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity were consistent with the acquisition and the recall capacity of spatial learning. PLPP/CIN also enhanced N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (GluN) functionality by regulating the coupling of GluN2A with interacting proteins, particularly postsynaptic density-95 (PSD95). Therefore, these results suggest that PLPP/CIN may be an important factor for regulating the plasticity threshold. PMID:27212638

  6. Dystroglycan mediates homeostatic synaptic plasticity at GABAergic synapses.

    PubMed

    Pribiag, Horia; Peng, Huashan; Shah, Waris Ali; Stellwagen, David; Carbonetto, Salvatore

    2014-05-06

    Dystroglycan (DG), a cell adhesion molecule well known to be essential for skeletal muscle integrity and formation of neuromuscular synapses, is also present at inhibitory synapses in the central nervous system. Mutations that affect DG function not only result in muscular dystrophies, but also in severe cognitive deficits and epilepsy. Here we demonstrate a role of DG during activity-dependent homeostatic regulation of hippocampal inhibitory synapses. Prolonged elevation of neuronal activity up-regulates DG expression and glycosylation, and its localization to inhibitory synapses. Inhibition of protein synthesis prevents the activity-dependent increase in synaptic DG and GABAA receptors (GABAARs), as well as the homeostatic scaling up of GABAergic synaptic transmission. RNAi-mediated knockdown of DG blocks homeostatic scaling up of inhibitory synaptic strength, as does knockdown of like-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (LARGE)--a glycosyltransferase critical for DG function. In contrast, DG is not required for the bicuculline-induced scaling down of excitatory synaptic strength or the tetrodotoxin-induced scaling down of inhibitory synaptic strength. The DG ligand agrin increases GABAergic synaptic strength in a DG-dependent manner that mimics homeostatic scaling up induced by increased activity, indicating that activation of this pathway alone is sufficient to regulate GABAAR trafficking. These data demonstrate that DG is regulated in a physiologically relevant manner in neurons and that DG and its glycosylation are essential for homeostatic plasticity at inhibitory synapses.

  7. Functional consequences of pre- and postsynaptic expression of synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Mizusaki, Beatriz E. P.

    2017-01-01

    Growing experimental evidence shows that both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity can be expressed presynaptically as well as postsynaptically. In this review, we start by discussing this evidence and methods used to determine expression loci. Next, we discuss the functional consequences of this diversity in pre- and postsynaptic expression of both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity. In particular, we explore the functional consequences of a biologically tuned model of pre- and postsynaptically expressed spike-timing-dependent plasticity complemented with postsynaptic homeostatic control. The pre- and postsynaptic expression in this model predicts (i) more reliable receptive fields and sensory perception, (ii) rapid recovery of forgotten information (memory savings), and (iii) reduced response latencies, compared with a model with postsynaptic expression only. Finally, we discuss open questions that will require a considerable research effort to better elucidate how the specific locus of expression of homeostatic and Hebbian plasticity alters synaptic and network computations. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Integrating Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity’. PMID:28093547

  8. Sleep and protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity: impacts of sleep loss and stress

    PubMed Central

    Grønli, Janne; Soulé, Jonathan; Bramham, Clive R.

    2014-01-01

    Sleep has been ascribed a critical role in cognitive functioning. Several lines of evidence implicate sleep in the consolidation of synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. Stress disrupts sleep while impairing synaptic plasticity and cognitive performance. Here, we discuss evidence linking sleep to mechanisms of protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity and synaptic scaling. We then consider how disruption of sleep by acute and chronic stress may impair these mechanisms and degrade sleep function. PMID:24478645

  9. Amyloid Beta as a Modulator of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Parihar, Mordhwaj S; Brewer, Gregory J

    2011-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease is associated with synapse loss, memory dysfunction and pathological accumulation of amyloid beta in plaques. However, an exclusively pathological role for amyloid beta is being challenged by new evidence for an essential function of amyloid beta at the synapse. Amyloid beta protein exists in different assembly states in the central nervous system and plays distinct roles ranging from synapse and memory formation to memory loss and neuronal cell death. Amyloid beta is present in the brain of symptom-free people where it likely performs important physiological roles. New evidence indicates that synaptic activity directly evokes the release of amyloid beta at the synapse. At physiological levels, amyloid beta is a normal, soluble product of neuronal metabolism that regulates synaptic function beginning early in life. Monomeric amyloid beta 40 and 42 are the predominant forms required for synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival. With age, some assemblies of amyloid beta are associated with synaptic failure and Alzheimer’s disease pathology, possibly targeting the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor through the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR), mitochondrial amyloid-β alcohol dehydrogenase (ABAD) and cyclophilin D. But emerging data suggests a distinction between age effects on the target response in contrast to the assembly state or the accumulation of the peptide. Both aging and beta amyloid independently decrease neuronal plasticity. Our laboratory has reported that amyloid beta, glutamate and lactic acid are each increasingly toxic with neuron age. The basis of the age-related toxicity partly resides in age-related mitochondrial dysfunction and an oxidative shift in mitochondrial and cytoplasmic redox potential. In turn, signaling through phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (pERK) is affected along with an age-independent increase in phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (p

  10. Membrane-Derived Phospholipids Control Synaptic Neurotransmission and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    García-Morales, Victoria; Montero, Fernando; González-Forero, David; Rodríguez-Bey, Guillermo; Gómez-Pérez, Laura; Medialdea-Wandossell, María Jesús; Domínguez-Vías, Germán; García-Verdugo, José Manuel; Moreno-López, Bernardo

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic communication is a dynamic process that is key to the regulation of neuronal excitability and information processing in the brain. To date, however, the molecular signals controlling synaptic dynamics have been poorly understood. Membrane-derived bioactive phospholipids are potential candidates to control short-term tuning of synaptic signaling, a plastic event essential for information processing at both the cellular and neuronal network levels in the brain. Here, we showed that phospholipids affect excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission by different degrees, loci, and mechanisms of action. Signaling triggered by lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) evoked rapid and reversible depression of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents. At excitatory synapses, LPA-induced depression depended on LPA1/Gαi/o-protein/phospholipase C/myosin light chain kinase cascade at the presynaptic site. LPA increased myosin light chain phosphorylation, which is known to trigger actomyosin contraction, and reduced the number of synaptic vesicles docked to active zones in excitatory boutons. At inhibitory synapses, postsynaptic LPA signaling led to dephosphorylation, and internalization of the GABAAγ2 subunit through the LPA1/Gα12/13-protein/RhoA/Rho kinase/calcineurin pathway. However, LPA-induced depression of GABAergic transmission was correlated with an endocytosis-independent reduction of GABAA receptors, possibly by GABAAγ2 dephosphorylation and subsequent increased lateral diffusion. Furthermore, endogenous LPA signaling, mainly via LPA1, mediated activity-dependent inhibitory depression in a model of experimental synaptic plasticity. Finally, LPA signaling, most likely restraining the excitatory drive incoming to motoneurons, regulated performance of motor output commands, a basic brain processing task. We propose that lysophospholipids serve as potential local messengers that tune synaptic strength to precedent activity of the neuron. PMID:25996636

  11. Aging and Synaptic Plasticity: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Bergado, Jorge A.; Almaguer, William

    2002-01-01

    Aging affects all systems, but the brain seems to be particularly vulnerable to the action of negative, age-dependent factors. A gradual loss of memory functions is one of the earliest and most widespread consequences of brain aging. The causes for such impairment are still unclear. Long-term potentiation (LTP) is one form of neural plasticity, which has been proposed as the cellular correlate for memory. LTP is affected by aging, and such alteration might be causally related to memory dysfunction. In the present paper, we review the evidence sustaining the existence of a causal link between cognitive and LTP impairments, as well as the possible mechanisms involved. New results indicate a possible involvement of a deficient reinforcement of LTP by affective influences. PMID:12959152

  12. Does autophagy work in synaptic plasticity and memory?

    PubMed

    Shehata, Mohammad; Inokuchi, Kaoru

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have reported the roles played by regulated proteolysis in neural plasticity and memory. Within this context, most of the research focused on the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the endosome-lysosome system while giving lesser consideration to another major protein degradation system, namely, autophagy. Although autophagy intersects with many of the pathways known to underlie synaptic plasticity and memory, only few reports related autophagy to synaptic remodeling. These pathways include PI3K-mTOR pathway and endosome-dependent proteolysis. In this review, we will discuss several lines of evidence supporting a physiological role of autophagy in memory processes, and the possible mechanistic scenarios for how autophagy could fulfill this function.

  13. Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disorders in Neurotropic Viral Infections

    PubMed Central

    Atluri, Venkata Subba Rao; Hidalgo, Melissa; Samikkannu, Thangavel; Kurapati, Kesava Rao Venkata; Nair, Madhavan

    2015-01-01

    Based on the type of cells or tissues they tend to harbor or attack, many of the viruses are characterized. But, in case of neurotropic viruses, it is not possible to classify them based on their tropism because many of them are not primarily neurotropic. While rabies and poliovirus are considered as strictly neurotropic, other neurotropic viruses involve nervous tissue only secondarily. Since the AIDS pandemic, the interest in neurotropic viral infections has become essential for all clinical neurologists. Although these neurotropic viruses are able to be harbored in or infect the nervous system, not all the neurotropic viruses have been reported to cause disrupted synaptic plasticity and impaired cognitive functions. In this review, we have discussed the neurotropic viruses, which play a major role in altered synaptic plasticity and neurological disorders. PMID:26649202

  14. Neuropsin--a possible modulator of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Shiosaka, Sadao; Ishikawa, Yasuyuki

    2011-09-01

    Accumulating evidence has suggested pivotal roles for neural proteases in development, maturation, aging, and cognitive functions. Among such proteases, neuropsin, a kallikrein gene-related (KLK) endoprotease, appears to have a significant plasticity function that has been analyzed primarily in the hippocampal Schaffer-collateral pathway. In this article, after reviewing the general features of neuropsin, its role in Schaffer-collateral synaptic plasticity is discussed in some detail. Enzymatically active neuropsin is necessary to establish the early phase of long-term potentiation (LTP). This type of LTP, which can be elicited by rather weak tetanic stimulation, is significant in synaptic late association between two independent hippocampal synapses. Neuropsin deficiency completely impaired the early phase of LTP, leading to the absence of late associativity. Associations between early and persistent-LTP synapses may be related to mammalian working memory and consequently integration in learning and memory.

  15. Translational regulatory mechanisms in persistent forms of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kelleher, Raymond J; Govindarajan, Arvind; Tonegawa, Susumu

    2004-09-30

    Memory and synaptic plasticity exhibit distinct temporal phases, with long-lasting forms distinguished by their dependence on macromolecular synthesis. Prevailing models for the molecular mechanisms underlying long-lasting synaptic plasticity have largely focused on transcriptional regulation. However, a growing body of evidence now supports a crucial role for neuronal activity-dependent mRNA translation, which may occur in dendrites for a subset of neuronal mRNAs. Recent work has begun to define the signaling mechanisms coupling synaptic activation to the protein synthesis machinery. The ERK and mTOR signaling pathways have been shown to regulate the activity of the general translational machinery, while the translation of particular classes of mRNAs is additionally controlled by gene-specific mechanisms. Rapid enhancement of the synthesis of a diverse array of neuronal proteins through such mechanisms provides the components necessary for persistent forms of LTP and LTD. These findings have important implications for the synapse specificity and associativity of protein synthesis-dependent changes in synaptic strength.

  16. Aquaporin-4 water channels and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Scharfman, Helen E; Binder, Devin K

    2013-12-01

    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is the major water channel expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) and is primarily expressed in glial cells. Many studies have shown that AQP4 regulates the response of the CNS to insults or injury, but far less is known about the potential for AQP4 to influence synaptic plasticity or behavior. Recent studies have examined long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD), and behavior in AQP4 knockout (KO) and wild-type mice to gain more insight into its potential role. The results showed a selective effect of AQP4 deletion on LTP of the Schaffer collateral pathway in hippocampus using an LTP induction protocol that simulates pyramidal cell firing during theta oscillations (theta-burst stimulation; TBS). However, LTP produced by a different induction protocol was unaffected. There was also a defect in LTD after low frequency stimulation (LFS) in AQP4 KO mice. Interestingly, some slices from AQP4 KO mice exhibited LTD after TBS instead of LTP, or LTP following LFS instead of LTD. These data suggest that AQP4 and astrocytes influence the polarity of long-term synaptic plasticity (potentiation or depression). These potentially powerful roles expand the influence of AQP4 and astrocytes beyond the original suggestions related to regulation of extracellular potassium and water balance. Remarkably, AQP4 KO mice did not show deficits in basal transmission, suggesting specificity for long-term synaptic plasticity. The mechanism appears to be related to neurotrophins and specifically brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) because pharmacological blockade of neurotrophin trk receptors or scavenging ligands such as BDNF restored plasticity. The in vitro studies predicted effects in vivo of AQP4 deletion because AQP4 KO mice performed worse using a task that requires memory for the location of objects (object placement). However, performance on other hippocampal-dependent tasks was spared. The results suggest an unanticipated and selective

  17. Sensory Deprivation Triggers Synaptic and Intrinsic Plasticity in the Hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Milshtein-Parush, Hila; Frere, Samuel; Regev, Limor; Lahav, Coren; Benbenishty, Amit; Ben-Eliyahu, Shamgar; Goshen, Inbal; Slutsky, Inna

    2017-04-12

    Hippocampus, a temporal lobe structure involved in learning and memory, receives information from all sensory modalities. Despite extensive research on the role of sensory experience in cortical map plasticity, little is known about whether and how sensory experience regulates functioning of the hippocampal circuits. Here, we show that 9 ± 2 days of whisker deprivation during early mouse development depresses activity of CA3 pyramidal neurons by several principal mechanisms: decrease in release probability, increase in the fraction of silent synapses, and reduction in intrinsic excitability. As a result of deprivation-induced presynaptic inhibition, CA3-CA1 synaptic facilitation was augmented at high frequencies, shifting filtering properties of synapses. The changes in the AMPA-mediated synaptic transmission were accompanied by an increase in NR2B-containing NMDA receptors and a reduction in the AMPA/NMDA ratio. The observed reconfiguration of the CA3-CA1 connections may represent a homeostatic adaptation to augmentation in synaptic activity during the initial deprivation phase. In adult mice, tactile disuse diminished intrinsic excitability without altering synaptic facilitation. We suggest that sensory experience regulates computations performed by the hippocampus by tuning its synaptic and intrinsic characteristics.

  18. AKAP signaling complexes in regulation of excitatory synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Jennifer L; Dell'Acqua, Mark L

    2011-06-01

    Plasticity at excitatory glutamatergic synapses in the central nervous system is believed to be critical for neuronal circuits to process and encode information, allowing animals to perform complex behaviors such as learning and memory. In addition, alterations in synaptic plasticity are associated with human diseases, including Alzheimer disease, epilepsy, chronic pain, drug addiction, and schizophrenia. Long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) in the hippocampal region of the brain are two forms of synaptic plasticity that increase or decrease, respectively, the strength of synaptic transmission by postsynaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptors. Both LTP and LTD are induced by activation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors but differ in the level and duration of Ca(2+) influx through the NMDA receptor and the subsequent engagement of downstream signaling by protein kinases, including PKA, PKC, and CaMKII, and phosphatases, including PP1 and calcineurin-PP2B (CaN). This review addresses the important emerging roles of the A-kinase anchoring protein family of scaffold proteins in regulating localization of PKA and other kinases and phosphatases to postsynaptic multiprotein complexes that control NMDA and AMPA receptor function during LTP and LTD.

  19. AKAP Signaling Complexes in Regulation of Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Sanderson, Jennifer L.; Dell'Acqua, Mark L.

    2011-01-01

    Plasticity at excitatory glutamatergic synapses in the central nervous system is believed to be critical for neuronal circuits to process and encode information allowing animals to perform complex behaviors such as learning and memory. In addition, alterations in synaptic plasticity are associated with human diseases including Alzheimer's, epilepsy, chronic pain, drug addiction, and schizophrenia. Long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) in the hippocampal region of the brain are two forms of synaptic plasticity that increase or decrease, respectively, the strength of synaptic transmission by postsynaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptors. Both LTP and LTD are induced by activation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors but differ in the level and duration of Ca2+ influx through the NMDA receptor and the subsequent engagement of downstream signaling by protein kinases including PKA, PKC, and CaMKII and phosphatases including PP1 and calcineurin-PP2B (CaN). This review addresses the important emerging roles of the A-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP) family of scaffold proteins in regulating localization of PKA and other kinases and phosphatases to postsynaptic multi-protein complexes that control NMDA and AMPA receptor function during LTP and LTD. PMID:21498812

  20. Gene expression parallels synaptic excitability and plasticity changes in Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Saura, Carlos A.; Parra-Damas, Arnaldo; Enriquez-Barreto, Lilian

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by abnormal accumulation of β-amyloid and tau and synapse dysfunction in memory-related neural circuits. Pathological and functional changes in the medial temporal lobe, a region essential for explicit memory encoding, contribute to cognitive decline in AD. Surprisingly, functional imaging studies show increased activity of the hippocampus and associated cortical regions during memory tasks in presymptomatic and early AD stages, whereas brain activity declines as the disease progresses. These findings suggest an emerging scenario where early pathogenic events might increase neuronal excitability leading to enhanced brain activity before clinical manifestations of the disease, a stage that is followed by decreased brain activity as neurodegeneration progresses. The mechanisms linking pathology with synaptic excitability and plasticity changes leading to memory loss in AD remain largely unclear. Recent studies suggest that increased brain activity parallels enhanced expression of genes involved in synaptic transmission and plasticity in preclinical stages, whereas expression of synaptic and activity-dependent genes are reduced by the onset of pathological and cognitive symptoms. Here, we review recent evidences indicating a relationship between transcriptional deregulation of synaptic genes and neuronal activity and memory loss in AD and mouse models. These findings provide the basis for potential clinical applications of memory-related transcriptional programs and their regulatory mechanisms as novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets to restore brain function in AD and other cognitive disorders. PMID:26379494

  1. A Model of Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity: From Signaling Network to Channel Conductance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castellani, Gastone C.; Quinlan, Elizabeth M.; Bersani, Ferdinando; Cooper, Leon N.; Shouval, Harel Z.

    2005-01-01

    In many regions of the brain, including the mammalian cortex, the strength of synaptic transmission can be bidirectionally regulated by cortical activity (synaptic plasticity). One line of evidence indicates that long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP) and long-term synaptic depression (LTD), correlate with the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of…

  2. Endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity and addiction-related behavior.

    PubMed

    Sidhpura, Nimish; Parsons, Loren H

    2011-12-01

    Endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) are retrograde messengers that provide feedback inhibition of both excitatory and inhibitory transmission in brain through the activation of presynaptic CB₁ receptors. Substantial evidence indicates that eCBs mediate various forms of short- and long-term plasticity in brain regions involved in the etiology of addiction. The present review provides an overview of the mechanisms through which eCBs mediate various forms of synaptic plasticity and discusses evidence that eCB-mediated plasticity is disrupted following exposure to a variety of abused substances that differ substantially in pharmacodynamic mechanism including alcohol, psychostimulants and cannabinoids. The possible involvement of dysregulated eCB signaling in maladaptive behaviors that evolve over long-term drug exposure is also discussed, with a particular focus on altered behavioral responses to drug exposure, deficient extinction of drug-related memories, increased drug craving and relapse, heightened stress sensitivity and persistent affective disruption (anxiety and depression).

  3. Endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity and addiction-related behavior

    PubMed Central

    Sidhpura, Nimish; Parsons, Loren H.

    2011-01-01

    Endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) are retrograde messengers that provide feedback inhibition of both excitatory and inhibitory transmission in brain through the activation of presynaptic CB1 receptors. Substantial evidence indicates that eCBs mediate various forms of short- and long-term plasticity in brain regions involved in the etiology of addiction. The present review provides an overview of the mechanisms through which eCBs mediate various forms of synaptic plasticity and discusses evidence that eCB-mediated plasticity is disrupted following exposure to a variety of abused substances that differ substantially in pharmacodynamic mechanism including alcohol, psychostimulants and cannabinoids. The possible involvement of dysregulated eCB signaling in maladaptive behaviors that evolve over long-term drug exposure is also discussed, with a particular focus on altered behavioral responses to drug exposure, deficient extinction of drug-related memories, increased drug craving and relapse, heightened stress sensitivity and persistent affective disruption (anxiety and depression). PMID:21669214

  4. A nonlinear cable framework for bidirectional synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Iannella, Nicolangelo; Launey, Thomas; Abbott, Derek; Tanaka, Shigeru

    2014-01-01

    Finding the rules underlying how axons of cortical neurons form neural circuits and modify their corresponding synaptic strength is the still subject of intense research. Experiments have shown that internal calcium concentration, and both the precise timing and temporal order of pre and postsynaptic action potentials, are important constituents governing whether the strength of a synapse located on the dendrite is increased or decreased. In particular, previous investigations focusing on spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) have typically observed an asymmetric temporal window governing changes in synaptic efficacy. Such a temporal window emphasizes that if a presynaptic spike, arriving at the synaptic terminal, precedes the generation of a postsynaptic action potential, then the synapse is potentiated; however if the temporal order is reversed, then depression occurs. Furthermore, recent experimental studies have now demonstrated that the temporal window also depends on the dendritic location of the synapse. Specifically, it was shown that in distal regions of the apical dendrite, the magnitude of potentiation was smaller and the window for depression was broader, when compared to observations from the proximal region of the dendrite. To date, the underlying mechanism(s) for such a distance-dependent effect is (are) currently unknown. Here, using the ionic cable theory framework in conjunction with the standard calcium based plasticity model, we show for the first time that such distance-dependent inhomogeneities in the temporal learning window for STDP can be largely explained by both the spatial and active properties of the dendrite.

  5. A Nonlinear Cable Framework for Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Iannella, Nicolangelo; Launey, Thomas; Abbott, Derek; Tanaka, Shigeru

    2014-01-01

    Finding the rules underlying how axons of cortical neurons form neural circuits and modify their corresponding synaptic strength is the still subject of intense research. Experiments have shown that internal calcium concentration, and both the precise timing and temporal order of pre and postsynaptic action potentials, are important constituents governing whether the strength of a synapse located on the dendrite is increased or decreased. In particular, previous investigations focusing on spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) have typically observed an asymmetric temporal window governing changes in synaptic efficacy. Such a temporal window emphasizes that if a presynaptic spike, arriving at the synaptic terminal, precedes the generation of a postsynaptic action potential, then the synapse is potentiated; however if the temporal order is reversed, then depression occurs. Furthermore, recent experimental studies have now demonstrated that the temporal window also depends on the dendritic location of the synapse. Specifically, it was shown that in distal regions of the apical dendrite, the magnitude of potentiation was smaller and the window for depression was broader, when compared to observations from the proximal region of the dendrite. To date, the underlying mechanism(s) for such a distance-dependent effect is (are) currently unknown. Here, using the ionic cable theory framework in conjunction with the standard calcium based plasticity model, we show for the first time that such distance-dependent inhomogeneities in the temporal learning window for STDP can be largely explained by both the spatial and active properties of the dendrite. PMID:25148478

  6. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify, which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical, and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways. PMID:23125832

  7. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify, which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical, and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

  8. Important roles of Vilse in dendritic architecture and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jin-Yu; Lee, Li-Jen; Fan, Chih-Chen; Chang, Ho-Ching; Shih, Hsin-An; Min, Ming-Yuan; Chang, Mau-Sun

    2017-01-01

    Vilse/Arhgap39 is a Rho GTPase activating protein (RhoGAP) and utilizes its WW domain to regulate Rac/Cdc42-dependent morphogenesis in Drosophila and murine hippocampal neurons. However, the function of Vilse in mammalian dendrite architecture and synaptic plasticity remained unclear. In the present study, we aimed to explore the possible role of Vilse in dendritic structure and synaptic function in the brain. Homozygous knockout of Vilse resulted in premature embryonic lethality in mice. Changes in dendritic complexity and spine density were noticed in hippocampal neurons of Camk2a-Cre mediated forebrain-specific Vilse knockout (VilseΔ/Δ) mice. VilseΔ/Δ mice displayed impaired spatial memory in water maze and Y-maze tests. Electrical stimulation in hippocampal CA1 region revealed that the synaptic transmission and plasticity were defected in VilseΔ/Δ mice. Collectively, our results demonstrate that Vilse is essential for embryonic development and required for spatial memory. PMID:28368047

  9. Fragile X Syndrome: Keys to the Molecular Genetics of Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lombroso, Paul J.; Ogren, Marilee P.

    2008-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation is discussed. The relationship between specific impairments in synaptic plasticity and Fragile X syndrome is investigated as it strengthens synaptic contacts between neurons.

  10. Information processing and synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber terminals.

    PubMed

    Evstratova, Alesya; Tóth, Katalin

    2014-01-01

    Granule cells of the dentate gyrus receive cortical information and they transform and transmit this code to the CA3 area via their axons, the mossy fibers (MFs). Structural and functional complexity of this network has been extensively studied at various organizational levels. This review is focused on the anatomical and physiological properties of the MF system. We will discuss the mechanism by which dentate granule cells process signals from single action potentials (APs), short bursts and longer stimuli. Various parameters of synaptic interactions at different target cells such as quantal transmission, short- and long-term plasticity (LTP) will be summarized. Different types of synaptic contacts formed by MFs have unique sets of rules for information processing during different rates of granule cell activity. We will investigate the complex interactions between key determinants of information transfer between the dentate gyrus and the CA3 area of the hippocampus.

  11. Dynamic learning and memory, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis: an update

    PubMed Central

    Stuchlik, Ales

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian memory is the result of the interaction of millions of neurons in the brain and their coordinated activity. Candidate mechanisms for memory are synaptic plasticity changes, such as long-term potentiation (LTP). LTP is essentially an electrophysiological phenomenon manifested in hours-lasting increase on postsynaptic potentials after synapse tetanization. It is thought to ensure long-term changes in synaptic efficacy in distributed networks, leading to persistent changes in the behavioral patterns, actions and choices, which are often interpreted as the retention of information, i.e., memory. Interestingly, new neurons are born in the mammalian brain and adult hippocampal neurogenesis is proposed to provide a substrate for dynamic and flexible aspects of behavior such as pattern separation, prevention of interference, flexibility of behavior and memory resolution. This work provides a brief review on the memory and involvement of LTP and adult neurogenesis in memory phenomena. PMID:24744707

  12. Neural ECM proteases in learning and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Tsilibary, Effie; Tzinia, Athina; Radenovic, Lidija; Stamenkovic, Vera; Lebitko, Tomasz; Mucha, Mariusz; Pawlak, Robert; Frischknecht, Renato; Kaczmarek, Leszek

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies implicate extracellular proteases in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. The data are especially strong for such serine proteases as thrombin, tissue plasminogen activator, neurotrypsin, and neuropsin as well as matrix metalloproteinases, MMP-9 in particular. The role of those enzymes in the aforementioned phenomena is supported by the experimental results on the expression patterns (at the gene expression and protein and enzymatic activity levels) and functional studies, including knockout mice, specific inhibitors, etc. Counterintuitively, the studies have shown that the extracellular proteolysis is not responsible mainly for an overall degradation of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and loosening perisynaptic structures, but rather allows for releasing signaling molecules from the ECM, transsynaptic proteins, and latent form of growth factors. Notably, there are also indications implying those enzymes in the major neuropsychiatric disorders, probably by contributing to synaptic aberrations underlying such diseases as schizophrenia, bipolar, autism spectrum disorders, and drug addiction.

  13. Information processing and synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber terminals

    PubMed Central

    Evstratova, Alesya; Tóth, Katalin

    2014-01-01

    Granule cells of the dentate gyrus receive cortical information and they transform and transmit this code to the CA3 area via their axons, the mossy fibers (MFs). Structural and functional complexity of this network has been extensively studied at various organizational levels. This review is focused on the anatomical and physiological properties of the MF system. We will discuss the mechanism by which dentate granule cells process signals from single action potentials (APs), short bursts and longer stimuli. Various parameters of synaptic interactions at different target cells such as quantal transmission, short- and long-term plasticity (LTP) will be summarized. Different types of synaptic contacts formed by MFs have unique sets of rules for information processing during different rates of granule cell activity. We will investigate the complex interactions between key determinants of information transfer between the dentate gyrus and the CA3 area of the hippocampus. PMID:24550783

  14. Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity Beyond Synapse – Pre- and Post-Synaptic Plasticity of Intrinsic Neuronal Excitability

    PubMed Central

    Debanne, Dominique; Poo, Mu-Ming

    2010-01-01

    Long-lasting plasticity of synaptic transmission is classically thought to be the cellular substrate for information storage in the brain. Recent data indicate however that it is not the whole story and persistent changes in the intrinsic neuronal excitability have been shown to occur in parallel to the induction of long-term synaptic modifications. This form of plasticity depends on the regulation of voltage-gated ion channels. Here we review the experimental evidence for plasticity of neuronal excitability induced at pre- or postsynaptic sites when long-term plasticity of synaptic transmission is induced with Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP) protocols. We describe the induction and expression mechanisms of the induced changes in excitability. Finally, the functional synergy between synaptic and non-synaptic plasticity and their spatial extent are discussed. PMID:21423507

  15. Natural Firing Patterns Imply Low Sensitivity of Synaptic Plasticity to Spike Timing Compared with Firing Rate.

    PubMed

    Graupner, Michael; Wallisch, Pascal; Ostojic, Srdjan

    2016-11-02

    Synaptic plasticity is sensitive to the rate and the timing of presynaptic and postsynaptic action potentials. In experimental protocols inducing plasticity, the imposed spike trains are typically regular and the relative timing between every presynaptic and postsynaptic spike is fixed. This is at odds with firing patterns observed in the cortex of intact animals, where cells fire irregularly and the timing between presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes varies. To investigate synaptic changes elicited by in vivo-like firing, we used numerical simulations and mathematical analysis of synaptic plasticity models. We found that the influence of spike timing on plasticity is weaker than expected from regular stimulation protocols. Moreover, when neurons fire irregularly, synaptic changes induced by precise spike timing can be equivalently induced by a modest firing rate variation. Our findings bridge the gap between existing results on synaptic plasticity and plasticity occurring in vivo, and challenge the dominant role of spike timing in plasticity.

  16. MPTP-meditated hippocampal dopamine deprivation modulates synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu Guoqi; Chen Ying; Huang Yuying; Li Qinglin; Behnisch, Thomas

    2011-08-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD)-like symptoms including learning deficits are inducible by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Therefore, it is possible that MPTP may disturb hippocampal memory processing by modulation of dopamine (DA)- and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. We demonstrate here that intraperitoneal (i.p.) MPTP injection reduces the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) within 7 days. Subsequently, the TH expression level in SN and hippocampus and the amount of DA and its metabolite DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus decrease. DA depletion does not alter basal synaptic transmission and changes pair-pulse facilitation (PPF) of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) only at the 30 ms inter-pulse interval. In addition, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) is impaired whereas the duration of long-term depression (LTD) becomes prolonged. Since both LTP and LTD depend critically on activation of NMDA and DA receptors, we also tested the effect of DA depletion on NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. Seven days after MPTP injection, the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSPs are decreased by about 23%. Blocking the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSP does not mimic the MPTP-LTP. Only co-application of D1/D5 and NMDA receptor antagonists during tetanization resembled the time course of fEPSP potentiation as observed 7 days after i.p. MPTP injection. Together, our data demonstrate that MPTP-induced degeneration of DA neurons and the subsequent hippocampal DA depletion alter NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. - Highlights: > I.p. MPTP-injection mediates death of dopaminergic neurons. > I.p. MPTP-injection depletes DA and DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus. > I.p. MPTP-injection does not alter basal synaptic transmission. > Reduction of LTP and enhancement of LTD after i.p. MPTP-injection. > Attenuation of NMDA-receptors mediated f

  17. Miglustat Reverts the Impairment of Synaptic Plasticity in a Mouse Model of NPC Disease

    PubMed Central

    D'Arcangelo, G.; Grossi, D.; Racaniello, M.; Cardinale, A.; Zaratti, A.; Rufini, S.; Cutarelli, A.; Tancredi, V.; Merlo, D.; Frank, C.

    2016-01-01

    Niemann-Pick type C disease is an autosomal recessive storage disorder, characterized by abnormal sequestration of unesterified cholesterol within the late endolysosomal compartment of cells and accumulation of gangliosides and other sphingolipids. Progressive neurological deterioration and insurgence of symptoms like ataxia, seizure, and cognitive decline until severe dementia are pathognomonic features of the disease. Here, we studied synaptic plasticity phenomena and evaluated ERKs activation in the hippocampus of BALB/c NPC1−/− mice, a well described animal model of the disease. Our results demonstrated an impairment of both induction and maintenance of long term synaptic potentiation in NPC1−/− mouse slices, associated with the lack of ERKs phosphorylation. We then investigated the effects of Miglustat, a recent approved drug for the treatment of NPCD. We found that in vivo Miglustat administration in NPC1−/− mice was able to rescue synaptic plasticity deficits, to restore ERKs activation and to counteract hyperexcitability. Overall, these data indicate that Miglustat may be effective for treating the neurological deficits associated with NPCD, such as seizures and dementia. PMID:26885401

  18. Interneuron- and GABAA receptor-specific inhibitory synaptic plasticity in cerebellar Purkinje cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Qionger; Duguid, Ian; Clark, Beverley; Panzanelli, Patrizia; Patel, Bijal; Thomas, Philip; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Smart, Trevor G.

    2015-07-01

    Inhibitory synaptic plasticity is important for shaping both neuronal excitability and network activity. Here we investigate the input and GABAA receptor subunit specificity of inhibitory synaptic plasticity by studying cerebellar interneuron-Purkinje cell (PC) synapses. Depolarizing PCs initiated a long-lasting increase in GABA-mediated synaptic currents. By stimulating individual interneurons, this plasticity was observed at somatodendritic basket cell synapses, but not at distal dendritic stellate cell synapses. Basket cell synapses predominantly express β2-subunit-containing GABAA receptors; deletion of the β2-subunit ablates this plasticity, demonstrating its reliance on GABAA receptor subunit composition. The increase in synaptic currents is dependent upon an increase in newly synthesized cell surface synaptic GABAA receptors and is abolished by preventing CaMKII phosphorylation of GABAA receptors. Our results reveal a novel GABAA receptor subunit- and input-specific form of inhibitory synaptic plasticity that regulates the temporal firing pattern of the principal output cells of the cerebellum.

  19. In Sickness and in Health: Perineuronal Nets and Synaptic Plasticity in Psychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Pantazopoulos, Harry; Berretta, Sabina

    2016-01-01

    Rapidly emerging evidence implicates perineuronal nets (PNNs) and extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules that compose or interact with PNNs, in the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders. Studies on schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, mood disorders, Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy point to the involvement of ECM molecules such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, Reelin, and matrix metalloproteases, as well as their cell surface receptors. In many of these disorders, PNN abnormalities have also been reported. In the context of the “quadripartite” synapse concept, that is, the functional unit composed of the pre- and postsynaptic terminals, glial processes, and ECM, and of the role that PNNs and ECM molecules play in regulating synaptic functions and plasticity, these findings resonate with one of the most well-replicated aspects of the pathology of psychiatric disorders, that is, synaptic abnormalities. Here we review the evidence for PNN/ECM-related pathology in these disorders, with particular emphasis on schizophrenia, and discuss the hypothesis that such pathology may significantly contribute to synaptic dysfunction. PMID:26839720

  20. Ras and Rap signaling in synaptic plasticity and mental disorders.

    PubMed

    Stornetta, Ruth L; Zhu, J Julius

    2011-02-01

    The Ras family GTPases (Ras, Rap1, and Rap2) and their downstream mitogen-activated protein kinases (ERK, JNK, and p38MAPK) and PI3K signaling cascades control various physiological processes. In neuronal cells, recent studies have shown that these parallel cascades signal distinct forms of AMPA-sensitive glutamate receptor trafficking during experience-dependent synaptic plasticity and adaptive behavior. Interestingly, both hypo- and hyperactivation of Ras/ Rap signaling impair the capacity of synaptic plasticity, underscoring the importance of a "happy-medium" dynamic regulation of the signaling. Moreover, accumulating reports have linked various genetic defects that either up- or down-regulate Ras/Rap signaling with several mental disorders associated with learning disability (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, Angelman syndrome, autism, cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome, Coffin-Lowry syndrome, Costello syndrome, Cowden and Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndromes, fragile X syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1, Noonan syndrome, schizophrenia, tuberous sclerosis, and X-linked mental retardation), highlighting the necessity of happy-medium dynamic regulation of Ras/Rap signaling in learning behavior. Thus, the recent advances in understanding of neuronal Ras/Rap signaling provide a useful guide for developing novel treatments for mental diseases.

  1. Emerging links between homeostatic synaptic plasticity and neurological disease.

    PubMed

    Wondolowski, Joyce; Dickman, Dion

    2013-11-21

    Homeostatic signaling systems are ubiquitous forms of biological regulation, having been studied for hundreds of years in the context of diverse physiological processes including body temperature and osmotic balance. However, only recently has this concept been brought to the study of excitatory and inhibitory electrical activity that the nervous system uses to establish and maintain stable communication. Synapses are a primary target of neuronal regulation with a variety of studies over the past 15 years demonstrating that these cellular junctions are under bidirectional homeostatic control. Recent work from an array of diverse systems and approaches has revealed exciting new links between homeostatic synaptic plasticity and a variety of seemingly disparate neurological and psychiatric diseases. These include autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia, and Fragile X Syndrome. Although the molecular mechanisms through which defective homeostatic signaling may lead to disease pathogenesis remain unclear, rapid progress is likely to be made in the coming years using a powerful combination of genetic, imaging, electrophysiological, and next generation sequencing approaches. Importantly, understanding homeostatic synaptic plasticity at a cellular and molecular level may lead to developments in new therapeutic innovations to treat these diseases. In this review we will examine recent studies that demonstrate homeostatic control of postsynaptic protein translation, retrograde signaling, and presynaptic function that may contribute to the etiology of complex neurological and psychiatric diseases.

  2. Synaptic Plasticity Enables Adaptive Self-Tuning Critical Networks

    PubMed Central

    Stepp, Nigel; Plenz, Dietmar; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2015-01-01

    During rest, the mammalian cortex displays spontaneous neural activity. Spiking of single neurons during rest has been described as irregular and asynchronous. In contrast, recent in vivo and in vitro population measures of spontaneous activity, using the LFP, EEG, MEG or fMRI suggest that the default state of the cortex is critical, manifested by spontaneous, scale-invariant, cascades of activity known as neuronal avalanches. Criticality keeps a network poised for optimal information processing, but this view seems to be difficult to reconcile with apparently irregular single neuron spiking. Here, we simulate a 10,000 neuron, deterministic, plastic network of spiking neurons. We show that a combination of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity enables these networks to exhibit criticality in the face of intrinsic, i.e. self-sustained, asynchronous spiking. Brief external perturbations lead to adaptive, long-term modification of intrinsic network connectivity through long-term excitatory plasticity, whereas long-term inhibitory plasticity enables rapid self-tuning of the network back to a critical state. The critical state is characterized by a branching parameter oscillating around unity, a critical exponent close to -3/2 and a long tail distribution of a self-similarity parameter between 0.5 and 1. PMID:25590427

  3. Wnts in adult brain: from synaptic plasticity to cognitive deficiencies

    PubMed Central

    Oliva, Carolina A.; Vargas, Jessica Y.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2013-01-01

    During development of the central nervous system the Wnt signaling pathway has been implicated in a wide spectrum of physiological processes, including neuronal connectivity and synapse formation. Wnt proteins and components of the Wnt pathway are expressed in the brain since early development to the adult life, however, little is known about its role in mature synapses. Here, we review evidences indicating that Wnt proteins participate in the remodeling of pre- and post-synaptic regions, thus modulating synaptic function. We include the most recent data in the literature showing that Wnts are constantly released in the brain to maintain the basal neural activity. Also, we review the evidences that involve components of the Wnt pathway in the development of neurological and mental disorders, including a special emphasis on in vivo studies that relate behavioral abnormalities to deficiencies in Wnt signaling. Finally, we include the evidences that support a neuroprotective role of Wnt proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. We postulate that deregulation in Wnt signaling might have a fundamental role in the origin of neurological diseases, by altering the synaptic function at stages where the phenotype is not yet established but when the cognitive decline starts. PMID:24348327

  4. Wnts in adult brain: from synaptic plasticity to cognitive deficiencies.

    PubMed

    Oliva, Carolina A; Vargas, Jessica Y; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2013-12-03

    During development of the central nervous system the Wnt signaling pathway has been implicated in a wide spectrum of physiological processes, including neuronal connectivity and synapse formation. Wnt proteins and components of the Wnt pathway are expressed in the brain since early development to the adult life, however, little is known about its role in mature synapses. Here, we review evidences indicating that Wnt proteins participate in the remodeling of pre- and post-synaptic regions, thus modulating synaptic function. We include the most recent data in the literature showing that Wnts are constantly released in the brain to maintain the basal neural activity. Also, we review the evidences that involve components of the Wnt pathway in the development of neurological and mental disorders, including a special emphasis on in vivo studies that relate behavioral abnormalities to deficiencies in Wnt signaling. Finally, we include the evidences that support a neuroprotective role of Wnt proteins in Alzheimer's disease. We postulate that deregulation in Wnt signaling might have a fundamental role in the origin of neurological diseases, by altering the synaptic function at stages where the phenotype is not yet established but when the cognitive decline starts.

  5. Obesity elicits interleukin 1-mediated deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Erion, Joanna R; Wosiski-Kuhn, Marlena; Dey, Aditi; Hao, Shuai; Davis, Catherine L; Pollock, Norman K; Stranahan, Alexis M

    2014-02-12

    Adipose tissue is a known source of proinflammatory cytokines in obese humans and animal models, including the db/db mouse, in which obesity arises as a result of leptin receptor insensitivity. Inflammatory cytokines induce cognitive deficits across numerous conditions, but no studies have determined whether obesity-induced inflammation mediates synaptic dysfunction. To address this question, we used a treadmill training paradigm in which mice were exposed to daily training sessions or an immobile belt, with motivation achieved by delivery of compressed air on noncompliance. Treadmill training prevented hippocampal microgliosis, abolished expression of microglial activation markers, and also blocked the functional sensitization observed in isolated cells after ex vivo exposure to lipopolysaccharide. Reduced microglial reactivity with exercise was associated with reinstatement of hippocampus-dependent memory, reversal of deficits in long-term potentiation, and normalization of hippocampal dendritic spine density. Because treadmill training evokes broad responses not limited to the immune system, we next assessed whether directly manipulating adiposity through lipectomy and fat transplantation influences inflammation, cognition, and synaptic plasticity. Lipectomy prevents and fat transplantation promotes systemic and central inflammation, with associated alterations in cognitive and synaptic function. Levels of interleukin 1β (IL1β) emerged as a correlate of adiposity and cognitive impairment across both the treadmill and lipectomy studies, so we manipulated hippocampal IL1 signaling using intrahippocampal delivery of IL1 receptor antagonist (IL1ra). Intrahippocampal IL1ra prevented synaptic dysfunction, proinflammatory priming, and cognitive impairment. This pattern supports a central role for IL1-mediated neuroinflammation as a mechanism for cognitive deficits in obesity and diabetes.

  6. Spike-driven synaptic plasticity: theory, simulation, VLSI implementation.

    PubMed

    Fusi, S; Annunziato, M; Badoni, D; Salamon, A; Amit, D J

    2000-10-01

    We present a model for spike-driven dynamics of a plastic synapse, suited for aVLSI implementation. The synaptic device behaves as a capacitor on short timescales and preserves the memory of two stable states (efficacies) on long timescales. The transitions (LTP/LTD) are stochastic because both the number and the distribution of neural spikes in any finite (stimulation) interval fluctuate, even at fixed pre- and postsynaptic spike rates. The dynamics of the single synapse is studied analytically by extending the solution to a classic problem in queuing theory (Takacs process). The model of the synapse is implemented in aVLSI and consists of only 18 transistors. It is also directly simulated. The simulations indicate that LTP/LTD probabilities versus rates are robust to fluctuations of the electronic parameters in a wide range of rates. The solutions for these probabilities are in very good agreement with both the simulations and measurements. Moreover, the probabilities are readily manipulable by variations of the chip's parameters, even in ranges where they are very small. The tests of the electronic device cover the range from spontaneous activity (3-4 Hz) to stimulus-driven rates (50 Hz). Low transition probabilities can be maintained in all ranges, even though the intrinsic time constants of the device are short (approximately 100 ms). Synaptic transitions are triggered by elevated presynaptic rates: for low presynaptic rates, there are essentially no transitions. The synaptic device can preserve its memory for years in the absence of stimulation. Stochasticity of learning is a result of the variability of interspike intervals; noise is a feature of the distributed dynamics of the network. The fact that the synapse is binary on long timescales solves the stability problem of synaptic efficacies in the absence of stimulation. Yet stochastic learning theory ensures that it does not affect the collective behavior of the network, if the transition probabilities are

  7. Alterations in hippocampal excitability, synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity in a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Thomas M; Cotel, Marie-Caroline; O'Neill, Michael J; Tricklebank, Mark D; Collingridge, Graham L; Sher, Emanuele

    2012-03-01

    The risk of developing schizophrenia has been linked to perturbations in embryonic development, but the physiological alterations that result from such insults are incompletely understood. Here, we have investigated aspects of hippocampal physiology in a proposed neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia, induced during gestation in rats by injection of the antimitotic agent methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) at embryonic day 17 (MAM(E17)). We observed a reduction in synaptic innervation and synaptic transmission in the dorsal hippocampus of MAM(E17) treated rats, accompanied by a pronounced increase in CA1 pyramidal neuron excitability. Pharmacological investigations suggested that a deficit in GABAergic inhibition could account for the increase in excitability; furthermore, some aspects of the hyper-excitability could be normalised by the GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) potentiator diazepam. Despite these alterations, two major forms of synaptic plasticity, long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) could be readily induced. In contrast, there was a substantial deficit in the reversal of LTP, depotentiation. These findings suggest that delivering neurodevelopmental insults at E17 may offer insights into some of the physiological alterations that underlie behavioural and cognitive symptoms observed in schizophrenia.

  8. The Role of Short Term Synaptic Plasticity in Temporal Coding of Neuronal Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chandrasekaran, Lakshmi

    2008-01-01

    Short term synaptic plasticity is a phenomenon which is commonly found in the central nervous system. It could contribute to functions of signal processing namely, temporal integration and coincidence detection by modulating the input synaptic strength. This dissertation has two parts. First, we study the effects of short term synaptic plasticity…

  9. NFAT regulates pre-synaptic development and activity-dependent plasticity in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Amanda; Franciscovich, Amy; Bowers, Mallory; Sandstrom, David J.; Sanyal, Subhabrata

    2010-01-01

    The calcium-regulated transcription factor NFAT is emerging as a key regulator of neuronal development and plasticity but precise cellular consequences of NFAT function remain poorly understood. Here, we report that the single Drosophila NFAT homolog is widely expressed in the nervous system including motor neurons and unexpectedly controls neural excitability. Likely due to this effect on excitability, NFAT regulates overall larval locomotion and both chronic and acute forms of activity-dependent plasticity at the larval glutamatergic neuro-muscular synapse. Specifically, NFAT-dependent synaptic phenotypes include changes in the number of pre-synaptic boutons, stable modifications in synaptic microtubule architecture and pre-synaptic transmitter release, while no evidence is found for synaptic retraction or alterations in the level of the synaptic cell adhesion molecule FasII. We propose that NFAT regulates pre-synaptic development and constraints long-term plasticity by dampening neuronal excitability. PMID:21185939

  10. Mammalian Vestibular Macular Synaptic Plasticity: Results from SLS-2 Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Muriel D.D.

    1994-01-01

    The effects of exposure to microgravity were studied in rat utricular maculas collected inflight (IF, day 13), post-flight on day of orbiter landing (day 14, R+O) and after 14 days (R+ML). Controls were collected at corresponding times. The objectives were 1) to learn whether hair cell ribbon synapses counts would be higher in tissues collected in space than in tissues collected postflight during or after readaptation to Earth's gravity; and 2) to compare results with those of SLS-1. Maculas were fixed by immersion, micro-dissected, dehydrated and prepared for ultrastructural study by usual methods. Synapses were counted in 100 serial sections 150 nm thick and were located to specific hair cells in montages of every 7th section. Counts were analyzed for statistical significance using analysis of variance. Results in maculas of IF dissected rats, one 13 day control (IFC), and one R + 0 rat have been analyzed. Study of an R+ML macula is nearly completed. For type I cells, IF mean is 2.3 +/-1.6; IFC mean is 1.6 +/-1.0; R+O mean is 2.3 +/- 1.6. For type II cells, IF mean is 11.4 +/- 17.1; IFC mean is 5.5 +/-3.5; R+O mean is 10.1 +/- 7.4. The difference between IF and IFC means for type I cells is statistically significant (p less than 0.0464). For type It cells, IF compared to IFC means, p less than 0.0003; and for IFC to R+O means, p less than 0.0139. Shifts toward spheres (p less than 0.0001) and pairs (p less than 0.0139) were significant in type II cells of IF rats. The results are largely replicating findings from SLS-1 and indicate that spaceflight affects synaptic number, form and distribution, particularly in type II hair cells. The increases in synaptic number and in sphere-like ribbons are interpreted to improve synaptic efficacy, to help return afferent discharges to a more normal state. Findings indicate that a great capacity for synaptic plasticity exists in mammalian gravity sensors, and that this plasticity is more dominant in the local circuitry. The

  11. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Facilitates Massed Pattern-Induced Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pandey, Kiran; Sharma, Kaushik P.; Sharma, Shiv K.

    2015-01-01

    Massed training is less effective for long-term memory formation than the spaced training. The role of acetylation in synaptic plasticity and memory is now well established. However, the role of this important protein modification in synaptic plasticity induced by massed pattern of stimulation or memory induced by massed training is not well…

  12. Reelin Supplementation Enhances Cognitive Ability, Synaptic Plasticity, and Dendritic Spine Density

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Justin T.; Rusiana, Ian; Trotter, Justin; Zhao, Lisa; Donaldson, Erika; Pak, Daniel T.S.; Babus, Lenard W.; Peters, Melinda; Banko, Jessica L.; Chavis, Pascale; Rebeck, G. William; Hoe, Hyang-Sook; Weeber, Edwin J.

    2011-01-01

    Apolipoprotein receptors belong to an evolutionarily conserved surface receptor family that has intimate roles in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and is necessary for proper hippocampal-dependent memory formation. The known lipoprotein receptor ligand Reelin is important for normal synaptic plasticity, dendritic morphology, and cognitive…

  13. Endocannabinoid System and Synaptic Plasticity: Implications for Emotional Responses

    PubMed Central

    Viveros, María-Paz; Marco, Eva-María; Llorente, Ricardo; López-Gallardo, Meritxell

    2007-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been involved in the regulation of anxiety, and proposed as an inhibitory modulator of neuronal, behavioral and adrenocortical responses to stressful stimuli. Brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus and cortex, which are directly involved in the regulation of emotional behavior, contain high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors show anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors as well as an altered hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis activity, whereas enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling produces anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Genetic and pharmacological approaches also support an involvement of endocannabinoids in extinction of aversive memories. Thus, the endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states. Endocannabinoids have emerged as mediators of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in diverse brain structures. Despite the fact that most of the studies on this field have been performed using in vitro models, endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity might be considered as a plausible candidate underlying some of the diverse physiological functions of the endogenous cannabinoid system, including developmental, affective and cognitive processes. In this paper, we will focus on the functional relevance of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity within the framework of emotional responses. Alterations of the endocannabinoid system may constitute an important factor in the aetiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders, and, in turn, enhancers of endocannabinoid signaling could represent a potential therapeutical tool in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive symptoms. PMID:17641734

  14. Dysregulation of synaptic plasticity precedes appearance of morphological defects in a Pten conditional knockout mouse model of autism.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Koichi; Gertner, Michael J; Zhou, Jing; Parada, Luis F; Bennett, Michael V L; Zukin, R Suzanne

    2013-03-19

    The phosphoinositide signaling system is a crucial regulator of neural development, cell survival, and plasticity. Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) negatively regulates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling and downstream targets. Nse-Cre Pten conditional knockout mice, in which Pten is ablated in granule cells of the dentate gyrus and pyramidal neurons of the hippocampal CA3, but not CA1, recapitulate many of the symptoms of humans with inactivating PTEN mutations, including progressive hypertrophy of the dentate gyrus and deficits in hippocampus-based social and cognitive behaviors. However, the impact of Pten loss on activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in this clinically relevant mouse model of Pten inactivation remains unclear. Here, we show that two phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase- and protein synthesis-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity, theta burst-induced long-term potentiation and metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-dependent long-term depression, are dysregulated at medial perforant path-to-dentate gyrus synapses of young Nse-Cre Pten conditional knockout mice before the onset of visible morphological abnormalities. In contrast, long-term potentiation and mGluR-dependent long-term depression are normal at CA3-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses at this age. Our results reveal that deletion of Pten in dentate granule cells dysregulates synaptic plasticity, a defect that may underlie abnormal social and cognitive behaviors observed in humans with Pten inactivating mutations and potentially other autism spectrum disorders.

  15. Natural Firing Patterns Imply Low Sensitivity of Synaptic Plasticity to Spike Timing Compared with Firing Rate

    PubMed Central

    Wallisch, Pascal; Ostojic, Srdjan

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is sensitive to the rate and the timing of presynaptic and postsynaptic action potentials. In experimental protocols inducing plasticity, the imposed spike trains are typically regular and the relative timing between every presynaptic and postsynaptic spike is fixed. This is at odds with firing patterns observed in the cortex of intact animals, where cells fire irregularly and the timing between presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes varies. To investigate synaptic changes elicited by in vivo-like firing, we used numerical simulations and mathematical analysis of synaptic plasticity models. We found that the influence of spike timing on plasticity is weaker than expected from regular stimulation protocols. Moreover, when neurons fire irregularly, synaptic changes induced by precise spike timing can be equivalently induced by a modest firing rate variation. Our findings bridge the gap between existing results on synaptic plasticity and plasticity occurring in vivo, and challenge the dominant role of spike timing in plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Synaptic plasticity, the change in efficacy of connections between neurons, is thought to underlie learning and memory. The dominant paradigm posits that the precise timing of neural action potentials (APs) is central for plasticity induction. This concept is based on experiments using highly regular and stereotyped patterns of APs, in stark contrast with natural neuronal activity. Using synaptic plasticity models, we investigated how irregular, in vivo-like activity shapes synaptic plasticity. We found that synaptic changes induced by precise timing of APs are much weaker than suggested by regular stimulation protocols, and can be equivalently induced by modest variations of the AP rate alone. Our results call into question the dominant role of precise AP timing for plasticity in natural conditions. PMID:27807166

  16. Adenosine gates synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Kimberly A.; Nicoll, Roger A.; Schmitz, Dietmar

    2003-11-01

    The release properties of synapses in the central nervous system vary greatly, not only across anatomically distinct types of synapses but also among the same class of synapse. This variation manifests itself in large part by differences in the probability of transmitter release, which affects such activity-dependent presynaptic forms of plasticity as paired-pulse facilitation and frequency facilitation. This heterogeneity in presynaptic function reflects differences in the intrinsic properties of the synaptic terminal and the activation of presynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Here we show that the unique presynaptic properties of the hippocampal mossy fiber synapse are largely imparted onto the synapse by the continuous local action of extracellular adenosine at presynaptic A1 adenosine receptors, which maintains a low basal probability of transmitter release.

  17. Pannexin1 Stabilizes Synaptic Plasticity and Is Needed for Learning

    PubMed Central

    Kurtenbach, Stefan; Wildförster, Verena; Dvoriantchikova, Galina; Hanske, Julian; Petrasch-Parwez, Elisabeth; Shestopalov, Valery I.; Dermietzel, Rolf; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Zoidl, Georg

    2012-01-01

    Pannexin 1 (Panx1) represents a class of vertebrate membrane channels, bearing significant sequence homology with the invertebrate gap junction proteins, the innexins and more distant similarities in the membrane topologies and pharmacological sensitivities with gap junction proteins of the connexin family. In the nervous system, cooperation among pannexin channels, adenosine receptors, and KATP channels modulating neuronal excitability via ATP and adenosine has been recognized, but little is known about the significance in vivo. However, the localization of Panx1 at postsynaptic sites in hippocampal neurons and astrocytes in close proximity together with the fundamental role of ATP and adenosine for CNS metabolism and cell signaling underscore the potential relevance of this channel to synaptic plasticity and higher brain functions. Here, we report increased excitability and potently enhanced early and persistent LTP responses in the CA1 region of acute slice preparations from adult Panx1−/− mice. Adenosine application and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-blocking normalized this phenotype, suggesting that absence of Panx1 causes chronic extracellular ATP/adenosine depletion, thus facilitating postsynaptic NMDAR activation. Compensatory transcriptional up-regulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (grm4) accompanies these adaptive changes. The physiological modification, promoted by loss of Panx1, led to distinct behavioral alterations, enhancing anxiety and impairing object recognition and spatial learning in Panx1−/− mice. We conclude that ATP release through Panx1 channels plays a critical role in maintaining synaptic strength and plasticity in CA1 neurons of the adult hippocampus. This result provides the rationale for in-depth analysis of Panx1 function and adenosine based therapies in CNS disorders. PMID:23284764

  18. PINK1 heterozygous mutations induce subtle alterations in dopamine-dependent synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Madeo, G.; Schirinzi, T.; Martella, G.; Latagliata, E.C.; Puglisi, F.; Shen, J.; Valente, E.M.; Federici, M.; Mercuri, N.B.; Puglisi-Allegra, S.; Bonsi, P.; Pisani, A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) gene are causative of autosomal recessive, early onset PD. Single heterozygous mutations have been repeatedly detected in a subset of patients as well as in non-affected subjects, and their significance has long been debated. Several neurophysiological studies from non-manifesting PINK1 heterozygotes have shown the existence of neural plasticity abnormalities, indicating the presence of specific endophenotypic traits in the heterozygous state. Methods In the present study, we performed a functional analysis of corticostriatal synaptic plasticity in heterozygous PINK1 knock-out (PINK1+/−) mice by a multidisciplinary approach. Results We found that, despite a normal motor behavior, repetitive activation of cortical inputs to striatal neurons failed to induce long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas long-term depression (LTD) was normal. Although nigral dopaminergic neurons exhibited normal morphological and electrophysiological properties with normal responses to dopamine receptor activation, we measured a significantly lower dopamine release in the striatum of PINK1+/−, compared to control mice, suggesting that a decrease in stimulus-evoked dopamine overflow acts as a major determinant for the LTP deficit. Accordingly, pharmacological agents capable of increasing the availability of dopamine in the synaptic cleft restored a normal LTP in heterozygous mice. Moreover, MAO-B inhibitors rescued a physiological LTP and a normal dopamine release. Conclusions Our results provide novel evidence for striatal plasticity abnormalities even in the heterozygous disease state. These alterations might be considered an endophenotype to this monogenic form of PD, and a valid tool to characterize early disease stage and design possible disease-modifying therapies. PMID:24167038

  19. Sleep recalibrates homeostatic and associative synaptic plasticity in the human cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Marion; Wolf, Elias; Maier, Jonathan G.; Mainberger, Florian; Feige, Bernd; Schmid, Hanna; Bürklin, Jan; Maywald, Sarah; Mall, Volker; Jung, Nikolai H.; Reis, Janine; Spiegelhalder, Kai; Klöppel, Stefan; Sterr, Annette; Eckert, Anne; Riemann, Dieter; Normann, Claus; Nissen, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is ubiquitous in animals and humans, but its function remains to be further determined. The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis of sleep–wake regulation proposes a homeostatic increase in net synaptic strength and cortical excitability along with decreased inducibility of associative synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) due to saturation after sleep deprivation. Here we use electrophysiological, behavioural and molecular indices to non-invasively study net synaptic strength and LTP-like plasticity in humans after sleep and sleep deprivation. We demonstrate indices of increased net synaptic strength (TMS intensity to elicit a predefined amplitude of motor-evoked potential and EEG theta activity) and decreased LTP-like plasticity (paired associative stimulation induced change in motor-evoked potential and memory formation) after sleep deprivation. Changes in plasma BDNF are identified as a potential mechanism. Our study indicates that sleep recalibrates homeostatic and associative synaptic plasticity, believed to be the neural basis for adaptive behaviour, in humans. PMID:27551934

  20. Fructose consumption reduces hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying cognitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Cisternas, Pedro; Salazar, Paulina; Serrano, Felipe G.; Montecinos-Oliva, Carla; Arredondo, Sebastián B.; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Barja, Salesa; Vio, Carlos P.; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2017-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a global epidemic, which involves a spectrum of metabolic disorders comprising diabetes and obesity. The impact of MetS on the brain is becoming to be a concern, however, the poor understanding of mechanisms involved has limited the development of therapeutic strategies. We induced a MetS-like condition by exposing mice to fructose feeding for 7 weeks. There was a dramatic deterioration in the capacity of the hippocampus to sustain synaptic plasticity in the forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Mice exposed to fructose showed a reduction in the number of contact zones and the size of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in the hippocampus, as well as a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis. There was an increase in lipid peroxidation likely associated with a deficiency in plasma membrane excitability. Consistent with an overall hippocampal dysfunction, there was a subsequent decrease in hippocampal dependent learning and memory performance, i.e., spatial learning and episodic memory. Most of the pathological sequel of MetS in the brain was reversed three month after discontinue fructose feeding. These results are novel to show that MetS triggers a cascade of molecular events, which disrupt hippocampal functional plasticity, and specific aspects of learning and memory function. The overall information raises concerns about the risk imposed by excessive fructose consumption on the pathology of neurological disorders. PMID:26300486

  1. Fructose consumption reduces hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Cisternas, Pedro; Salazar, Paulina; Serrano, Felipe G; Montecinos-Oliva, Carla; Arredondo, Sebastián B; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Barja, Salesa; Vio, Carlos P; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2015-11-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a global epidemic, which involves a spectrum of metabolic disorders comprising diabetes and obesity. The impact of MetS on the brain is becoming to be a concern, however, the poor understanding of mechanisms involved has limited the development of therapeutic strategies. We induced a MetS-like condition by exposing mice to fructose feeding for 7weeks. There was a dramatic deterioration in the capacity of the hippocampus to sustain synaptic plasticity in the forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Mice exposed to fructose showed a reduction in the number of contact zones and the size of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in the hippocampus, as well as a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis. There was an increase in lipid peroxidation likely associated with a deficiency in plasma membrane excitability. Consistent with an overall hippocampal dysfunction, there was a subsequent decrease in hippocampal dependent learning and memory performance, i.e., spatial learning and episodic memory. Most of the pathological sequel of MetS in the brain was reversed three month after discontinue fructose feeding. These results are novel to show that MetS triggers a cascade of molecular events, which disrupt hippocampal functional plasticity, and specific aspects of learning and memory function. The overall information raises concerns about the risk imposed by excessive fructose consumption on the pathology of neurological disorders.

  2. Neuromodulation and metamodulation by adenosine: Impact and subtleties upon synaptic plasticity regulation.

    PubMed

    Sebastião, Ana M; Ribeiro, Joaquim A

    2015-09-24

    Synaptic plasticity mechanisms, i.e. the sequence of events that underlies persistent changes in synaptic strength as a consequence of transient alteration in neuronal firing, are greatly influenced by the 'chemical atmosphere' of the synapses, that is to say by the presence of molecules at the synaptic cleft able to fine-tune the activity of other molecules more directly related to plasticity. One of those fine tuners is adenosine, known for a long time as an ubiquitous neuromodulator and metamodulator and recognized early as influencing synaptic plasticity. In this review we will refer to the mechanisms that adenosine can use to affect plasticity, emphasizing aspects of the neurobiology of adenosine relevant to its ability to control synaptic functioning. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain and Memory.

  3. A unifying theory of synaptic long-term plasticity based on a sparse distribution of synaptic strength

    PubMed Central

    Krieg, Daniel; Triesch, Jochen

    2014-01-01

    Long-term synaptic plasticity is fundamental to learning and network function. It has been studied under various induction protocols and depends on firing rates, membrane voltage, and precise timing of action potentials. These protocols show different facets of a common underlying mechanism but they are mostly modeled as distinct phenomena. Here, we show that all of these different dependencies can be explained from a single computational principle. The objective is a sparse distribution of excitatory synaptic strength, which may help to reduce metabolic costs associated with synaptic transmission. Based on this objective we derive a stochastic gradient ascent learning rule which is of differential-Hebbian type. It is formulated in biophysical quantities and can be related to current mechanistic theories of synaptic plasticity. The learning rule accounts for experimental findings from all major induction protocols and explains a classic phenomenon of metaplasticity. Furthermore, our model predicts the existence of metaplasticity for spike-timing-dependent plasticity Thus, we provide a theory of long-term synaptic plasticity that unifies different induction protocols and provides a connection between functional and mechanistic levels of description. PMID:24624080

  4. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and abnormal neuronal plasticity.

    PubMed

    Medina, Alexandre E

    2011-06-01

    The ingestion of alcohol during pregnancy can result in a group of neurobehavioral abnormalities collectively known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). During the past decade, studies using animal models indicated that early alcohol exposure can dramatically affect neuronal plasticity, an essential property of the central nervous system responsible for the normal wiring of the brain and involved in processes such as learning and memory. The abnormalities in neuronal plasticity caused by alcohol can explain many of the neurobehavioral deficits observed in FASD. Conversely, improving neuronal plasticity may have important therapeutic benefits. In this review, the author discuss the mechanisms that lead to these abnormalities and comment on recent pharmacological approaches that have been showing promising results in improving neuronal plasticity in FASD.

  5. Muscarinic M1 receptors modulate endotoxemia-induced loss of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Zivkovic, Aleksandar R; Sedlaczek, Oliver; von Haken, Rebecca; Schmidt, Karsten; Brenner, Thorsten; Weigand, Markus A; Bading, Hilmar; Bengtson, C Peter; Hofer, Stefan

    2015-11-04

    Septic encephalopathy is associated with rapid deterioration of cortical functions. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) we detected functional abnormalities in the hippocampal formation of patients with septic delirium. Hippocampal dysfunction was further investigated in an animal model for sepsis using lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injections to induce endotoxemia in rats, followed by electrophysiological recordings in brain slices. Endotoxemia induced a deficit in long term potentiation which was completely reversed by apamin, a blocker of small conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels, and partly restored by treatment with physostigmine (eserine), an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, or TBPB, a selective M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor agonist. These results suggest a novel role for SK channels in the etiology of endotoxemia and explain why boosting cholinergic function restores deficits in synaptic plasticity. Drugs which enhance cholinergic or M1 activity in the brain may prove beneficial in treatment of septic delirium in the intensive care unit.

  6. Fragile X mental retardation protein regulates synaptic and behavioral plasticity to repeated cocaine administration.

    PubMed

    Smith, Laura N; Jedynak, Jakub P; Fontenot, Miles R; Hale, Carly F; Dietz, Karen C; Taniguchi, Makoto; Thomas, Feba S; Zirlin, Benjamin C; Birnbaum, Shari G; Huber, Kimberly M; Thomas, Mark J; Cowan, Christopher W

    2014-05-07

    Repeated cocaine exposure causes persistent, maladaptive alterations in brain and behavior, and hope for effective therapeutics lies in understanding these processes. We describe here an essential role for fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an RNA-binding protein and regulator of dendritic protein synthesis, in cocaine conditioned place preference, behavioral sensitization, and motor stereotypy. Cocaine reward deficits in FMRP-deficient mice stem from elevated mGluR5 (or GRM5) function, similar to a subset of fragile X symptoms, and do not extend to natural reward. We find that FMRP functions in the adult nucleus accumbens (NAc), a critical addiction-related brain region, to mediate behavioral sensitization but not cocaine reward. FMRP-deficient mice also exhibit several abnormalities in NAc medium spiny neurons, including reduced presynaptic function and premature changes in dendritic morphology and glutamatergic neurotransmission following repeated cocaine treatment. Together, our findings reveal FMRP as a critical mediator of cocaine-induced behavioral and synaptic plasticity.

  7. The origin of glutamatergic synaptic inputs controls synaptic plasticity and its modulation by alcohol in mice nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Xincai; Saha, Sucharita; Martin, Gilles E.

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that long-lasting changes of synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region involved in drug reward, mediate acute and chronic effects of alcohol. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on synaptic plasticity is limited by the fact that the NAc receives glutamatergic inputs from distinct brain regions (e.g., the prefrontal cortex (PFCx), the amygdala and the hippocampus), each region providing different information (e.g., spatial, emotional and cognitive). Combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and the optogenetic technique, we examined synaptic plasticity, and its regulation by alcohol, at cortical, hippocampal and amygdala inputs in fresh slices of mouse tissue. We showed that the origin of synaptic inputs determines the basic properties of glutamatergic synaptic transmission, the expression of spike-timing dependent long-term depression (tLTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term potentiation (tLTP) and their regulation by alcohol. While we observed both tLTP and tLTD at amygadala and hippocampal synapses, we showed that cortical inputs only undergo tLTD. Functionally, we provide evidence that acute Ethyl Alcohol (EtOH) has little effects on higher order information coming from the PFCx, while severely impacting the ability of emotional and contextual information to induce long-lasting changes of synaptic strength. PMID:26257641

  8. Synaptic plasticity preserved with arachidonic acid diet in aged rats.

    PubMed

    Kotani, Susumu; Nakazawa, Hiroe; Tokimasa, Takayuki; Akimoto, Kengo; Kawashima, Hiroshi; Toyoda-Ono, Yoshiko; Kiso, Yoshinobu; Okaichi, Hiroshige; Sakakibara, Manabu

    2003-08-01

    We examined whether synaptic plasticity was preserved in aged rats administered an arachidonic acid (AA) containing diet. Young male Fischer-344 rats (2 mo of age), and two groups of aged rats of the same strain (2 y of age) who consumed either a control diet or an AA ethyl ester-containing diet for at least 3 mo were used. In the Morris water maze task, aged rats on the AA diet had tendency to show better performance than aged rats on the control diet. Long-term potentiation induced by tetanic stimulation was recorded from a 300 microm thick hippocampal slice with a 36 multi-electrode-array positioned at the dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons. The degree of potentiation after 1 h in aged rats on the AA diet was comparable as that of young controls. Phospholipid analysis revealed that AA and docosahexaenoic acid were the major fatty acids in the hippocampus in aged rats. There was a correlation between the behavioral measure and the changes in excitatory postsynaptic potential slope and between the physiologic measure and the total amount of AA in hippocampus.

  9. Synchrony arising from a balanced synaptic plasticity in a network of heterogeneous neural oscillators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karbowski, Jan; Ermentrout, G. Bard

    2002-03-01

    We investigate the dynamics of a recurrent network of coupled heterogeneous neural oscillators with experimentally observed spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity. We show both theoretically and by computer simulations that, in a regime of a balance between synaptic potentiation and depression, the network of such oscillators converges to a stable synchronous state. The stability of this state is fostered by flexible synaptic weights which adjust themselves based on the relative timing of firing of pre- and postsynaptic oscillators.

  10. Phosphorylation of Complexin by PKA Regulates Activity-dependent Spontaneous Neurotransmitter Release and Structural Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Richard W.; Buhl, Lauren K.; Volfson, Dina; Tran, Adrienne; Li, Feng; Akbergenova, Yulia; Littleton, J. Troy

    2016-01-01

    Summary Synaptic plasticity is a fundamental feature of the nervous system that allows adaptation to changing behavioral environments. Most studies of synaptic plasticity have examined the regulated trafficking of postsynaptic glutamate receptors that generates alterations in synaptic transmission. Whether and how changes in the presynaptic release machinery contribute to neuronal plasticity is less clear. The SNARE complex mediates neurotransmitter release in response to presynaptic Ca++ entry. Here we show that the SNARE fusion clamp Complexin undergoes activity-dependent phosphorylation that alters the basic properties of neurotransmission in Drosophila. Retrograde signaling following stimulation activates PKA-dependent phosphorylation of the Complexin C-terminus that selectively and transiently enhances spontaneous release. Enhanced spontaneous release is required for activity-dependent synaptic growth. These data indicate that SNARE-dependent fusion mechanisms can be regulated in an activity-dependent manner and highlight the key role of spontaneous neurotransmitter release as a mediator of functional and structural plasticity. PMID:26590346

  11. The Formation of Multi-synaptic Connections by the Interaction of Synaptic and Structural Plasticity and Their Functional Consequences

    PubMed Central

    Fauth, Michael; Wörgötter, Florentin; Tetzlaff, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Cortical connectivity emerges from the permanent interaction between neuronal activity and synaptic as well as structural plasticity. An important experimentally observed feature of this connectivity is the distribution of the number of synapses from one neuron to another, which has been measured in several cortical layers. All of these distributions are bimodal with one peak at zero and a second one at a small number (3–8) of synapses. In this study, using a probabilistic model of structural plasticity, which depends on the synaptic weights, we explore how these distributions can emerge and which functional consequences they have. We find that bimodal distributions arise generically from the interaction of structural plasticity with synaptic plasticity rules that fulfill the following biological realistic constraints: First, the synaptic weights have to grow with the postsynaptic activity. Second, this growth curve and/or the input-output relation of the postsynaptic neuron have to change sub-linearly (negative curvature). As most neurons show such input-output-relations, these constraints can be fulfilled by many biological reasonable systems. Given such a system, we show that the different activities, which can explain the layer-specific distributions, correspond to experimentally observed activities. Considering these activities as working point of the system and varying the pre- or postsynaptic stimulation reveals a hysteresis in the number of synapses. As a consequence of this, the connectivity between two neurons can be controlled by activity but is also safeguarded against overly fast changes. These results indicate that the complex dynamics between activity and plasticity will, already between a pair of neurons, induce a variety of possible stable synaptic distributions, which could support memory mechanisms. PMID:25590330

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

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Yan; Parker, David

    2016-01-01

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

  13. A single in-vivo exposure to delta 9THC blocks endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Mato, Susana; Chevaleyre, Vivien; Robbe, David; Pazos, Angel; Castillo, Pablo E; Manzoni, Olivier J

    2004-06-01

    Endogenous cannabinoids (eCB) mediate synaptic plasticity in brain regions involved in learning and reward. Here we show that in mice, a single in-vivo exposure to Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) abolishes the retrograde signaling that underlies eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity in both nucleus accumbens (NAc) and hippocampus in vitro. This effect is reversible within 3 days and is associated with a transient modification in the functional properties of cannabinoid receptors.

  14. Coexistence of Multiple Types of Synaptic Plasticity in Individual Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons.

    PubMed

    Edelmann, Elke; Cepeda-Prado, Efrain; Leßmann, Volkmar

    2017-01-01

    Understanding learning and memory mechanisms is an important goal in neuroscience. To gain insights into the underlying cellular mechanisms for memory formation, synaptic plasticity processes are studied with various techniques in different brain regions. A valid model to scrutinize different ways to enhance or decrease synaptic transmission is recording of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). At the single cell level, spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) protocols have emerged as a powerful tool to investigate synaptic plasticity with stimulation paradigms that also likely occur during memory formation in vivo. Such kind of plasticity can be induced by different STDP paradigms with multiple repeat numbers and stimulation patterns. They subsequently recruit or activate different molecular pathways and neuromodulators for induction and expression of STDP. Dopamine (DA) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been recently shown to be important modulators for hippocampal STDP at Schaffer collateral (SC)-CA1 synapses and are activated exclusively by distinguishable STDP paradigms. Distinct types of parallel synaptic plasticity in a given neuron depend on specific subcellular molecular prerequisites. Since the basal and apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons are known to be heterogeneous, and distance-dependent dendritic gradients for specific receptors and ion channels are described, the dendrites might provide domain specific locations for multiple types of synaptic plasticity in the same neuron. In addition to the distinct signaling and expression mechanisms of various types of LTP and LTD, activation of these different types of plasticity might depend on background brain activity states. In this article, we will discuss some ideas why multiple forms of synaptic plasticity can simultaneously and independently coexist and can contribute so effectively to increasing the efficacy of memory storage and processing capacity of the

  15. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity by Exercise Training as a Basis for Ischemic Stroke Rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, rehabilitation of ischemic stroke draws more and more attention in the world, and has been linked to changes of synaptic plasticity. Exercise training improves motor function of ischemia as well as cognition which is associated with formation of learning and memory. The molecular basis of learning and memory might be synaptic plasticity. Research has therefore been conducted in an attempt to relate effects of exercise training to neuroprotection and neurogenesis adjacent to the ischemic injury brain. The present paper reviews the current literature addressing this question and discusses the possible mechanisms involved in modulation of synaptic plasticity by exercise training. This review shows the pathological process of synaptic dysfunction in ischemic roughly and then discusses the effects of exercise training on scaffold proteins and regulatory protein expression. The expression of scaffold proteins generally increased after training, but the effects on regulatory proteins were mixed. Moreover, the compositions of postsynaptic receptors were changed and the strength of synaptic transmission was enhanced after training. Finally, the recovery of cognition is critically associated with synaptic remodeling in an injured brain, and the remodeling occurs through a number of local regulations including mRNA translation, remodeling of cytoskeleton, and receptor trafficking into and out of the synapse. We do provide a comprehensive knowledge of synaptic plasticity enhancement obtained by exercise training in this review.

  16. Bidirectional Synaptic Structural Plasticity after Chronic Cocaine Administration Occurs through Rap1 Small GTPase Signaling.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Michael E; Bagot, Rosemary C; Gancarz, Amy M; Walker, Deena M; Sun, HaoSheng; Wang, Zi-Jun; Heller, Elizabeth A; Feng, Jian; Kennedy, Pamela J; Koo, Ja Wook; Cates, Hannah M; Neve, Rachael L; Shen, Li; Dietz, David M; Nestler, Eric J

    2016-02-03

    Dendritic spines are the sites of most excitatory synapses in the CNS, and opposing alterations in the synaptic structure of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a primary brain reward region, are seen at early versus late time points after cocaine administration. Here we investigate the time-dependent molecular and biochemical processes that regulate this bidirectional synaptic structural plasticity of NAc MSNs and associated changes in cocaine reward in response to chronic cocaine exposure. Our findings reveal key roles for the bidirectional synaptic expression of the Rap1b small GTPase and an associated local synaptic protein translation network in this process. The transcriptional mechanisms and pathway-specific inputs to NAc that regulate Rap1b expression are also characterized. Collectively, these findings provide a precise mechanism by which nuclear to synaptic interactions induce "metaplasticity" in NAc MSNs, and we reveal the specific effects of this plasticity on reward behavior in a brain circuit-specific manner.

  17. Reelin supplementation recovers synaptic plasticity and cognitive deficits in a mouse model for Angelman syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hethorn, Whitney R; Ciarlone, Stephanie L; Filonova, Irina; Rogers, Justin T; Aguirre, Daniela; Ramirez, Raquel A; Grieco, Joseph C; Peters, Melinda M; Gulick, Danielle; Anderson, Anne E; L Banko, Jessica; Lussier, April L; Weeber, Edwin J

    2015-05-01

    The Reelin signaling pathway is implicated in processes controlling synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. A single direct in vivo application of Reelin enhances long-term potentiation, increases dendritic spine density and improves associative and spatial learning and memory. Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurological disorder that presents with an overall defect in synaptic function, including decreased long-term potentiation, reduced dendritic spine density, and deficits in learning and memory, making it an attractive model in which to examine the ability of Reelin to recover synaptic function and cognitive deficits. In this study, we investigated the effects of Reelin administration on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in a mouse model of AS and demonstrated that bilateral, intraventricular injections of Reelin recover synaptic function and corresponding hippocampus-dependent associative and spatial learning and memory. Additionally, we describe alteration of the Reelin profile in tissue from both the AS mouse and post-mortem human brain.

  18. Interplay of multiple synaptic plasticity features in filamentary memristive devices for neuromorphic computing

    PubMed Central

    La Barbera, Selina; Vincent, Adrien F.; Vuillaume, Dominique; Querlioz, Damien; Alibart, Fabien

    2016-01-01

    Bio-inspired computing represents today a major challenge at different levels ranging from material science for the design of innovative devices and circuits to computer science for the understanding of the key features required for processing of natural data. In this paper, we propose a detail analysis of resistive switching dynamics in electrochemical metallization cells for synaptic plasticity implementation. We show how filament stability associated to joule effect during switching can be used to emulate key synaptic features such as short term to long term plasticity transition and spike timing dependent plasticity. Furthermore, an interplay between these different synaptic features is demonstrated for object motion detection in a spike-based neuromorphic circuit. System level simulation presents robust learning and promising synaptic operation paving the way to complex bio-inspired computing systems composed of innovative memory devices. PMID:27982093

  19. Interplay of multiple synaptic plasticity features in filamentary memristive devices for neuromorphic computing.

    PubMed

    La Barbera, Selina; Vincent, Adrien F; Vuillaume, Dominique; Querlioz, Damien; Alibart, Fabien

    2016-12-16

    Bio-inspired computing represents today a major challenge at different levels ranging from material science for the design of innovative devices and circuits to computer science for the understanding of the key features required for processing of natural data. In this paper, we propose a detail analysis of resistive switching dynamics in electrochemical metallization cells for synaptic plasticity implementation. We show how filament stability associated to joule effect during switching can be used to emulate key synaptic features such as short term to long term plasticity transition and spike timing dependent plasticity. Furthermore, an interplay between these different synaptic features is demonstrated for object motion detection in a spike-based neuromorphic circuit. System level simulation presents robust learning and promising synaptic operation paving the way to complex bio-inspired computing systems composed of innovative memory devices.

  20. Interplay of multiple synaptic plasticity features in filamentary memristive devices for neuromorphic computing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Barbera, Selina; Vincent, Adrien F.; Vuillaume, Dominique; Querlioz, Damien; Alibart, Fabien

    2016-12-01

    Bio-inspired computing represents today a major challenge at different levels ranging from material science for the design of innovative devices and circuits to computer science for the understanding of the key features required for processing of natural data. In this paper, we propose a detail analysis of resistive switching dynamics in electrochemical metallization cells for synaptic plasticity implementation. We show how filament stability associated to joule effect during switching can be used to emulate key synaptic features such as short term to long term plasticity transition and spike timing dependent plasticity. Furthermore, an interplay between these different synaptic features is demonstrated for object motion detection in a spike-based neuromorphic circuit. System level simulation presents robust learning and promising synaptic operation paving the way to complex bio-inspired computing systems composed of innovative memory devices.

  1. Sapap3 deletion anomalously activates short-term endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Meng; Wan, Yehong; Ade, Kristen; Ting, Jonathan; Feng, Guoping; Calakos, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Retrograde synaptic signaling by endocannabinoids is a widespread mechanism for activity-dependent inhibition of synaptic strength in the brain. Although prevalent, the conditions for eliciting endocannabinoid (eCB)-mediated synaptic depression vary among brain circuits. As yet, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying this variation, although the initial signaling events are likely dictated by postsynaptic proteins. SAPAPs are a family of postsynaptic proteins unique to excitatory synapses. Using Sapap3 knock-out (KO) mice, we find that, in the absence of SAPAP3, striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN) excitatory synapses exhibit eCB-mediated synaptic depression under conditions that do not normally activate this process. The anomalous synaptic plasticity requires type 5 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5), which are dysregulated in Sapap3 KO MSNs. Both surface expression and activity of mGluR5 are increased in Sapap3 KO MSNs, suggesting that enhanced mGluR5 activity may drive the anomalous synaptic plasticity. In direct support of this possibility, we find that, in wildtype (WT) MSNs, pharmacological enhancement of mGluR5 by a positive allosteric modulator is sufficient to reproduce the increased synaptic depression seen in Sapap3 KO MSNs. The same pharmacologic treatment, however, fails to elicit further depression in KO MSNs. Under conditions that are sufficient to engage eCB-mediated synaptic depression in WT MSNs, Sapap3 deletion does not alter the magnitude of the response. These results identify a role for SAPAP3 in the regulation of postsynaptic mGluRs and eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. SAPAPs, through their effect on mGluR activity, may serve as regulatory molecules gating the threshold for inducing eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. PMID:21715621

  2. Impaired contextual fear extinction and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult rats induced by prenatal morphine exposure.

    PubMed

    Tan, Ji-Wei; Duan, Ting-Ting; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Ding, Ze-Yang; Jing, Liang; Cao, Jun; Wang, Li-Ping; Mao, Rong-Rong; Xu, Lin

    2015-07-01

    Prenatal opiate exposure causes a series of neurobehavioral disturbances by affecting brain development. However, the question of whether prenatal opiate exposure increases vulnerability to memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adult offspring remains largely unknown. Here, we found that rats prenatally exposed to morphine (PM) showed impaired acquisition but enhanced maintenance of contextual fear memory compared with control animals that were prenatally exposed to saline (PS). The impairment of acquisition was rescued by increasing the intensity of footshocks (1.2 mA rather than 0.8 mA). Meanwhile, we also found that PM rats exhibited impaired extinction of contextual fear, which is associated with enhanced maintenance of fear memory. The impaired extinction lasted for 1 week following extinction training. Furthermore, PM rats exhibited reduced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus-maze and light/dark box test without differences in locomotor activity. These alterations in PM rats were mirrored by abnormalities in synaptic plasticity in the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus in vivo. PS rats showed blocked long-term potentiation and enabled long-term depression in CA1 synapses following contextual fear conditioning, while prenatal morphine exposure restricted synaptic plasticity in CA1 synapses. The smaller long-term potentiation in PM rats was not further blocked by contextual fear conditioning, and the long-term depression enabled by contextual fear conditioning was abolished. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence suggesting that prenatal morphine exposure may increase vulnerability to fear memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adulthood.

  3. Changes in Synaptic Plasticity and Glutamate Receptors in Type 2 Diabetic KK-Ay Mice.

    PubMed

    Yin, Huajing; Wang, Weiping; Yu, Wenwen; Li, Jiang; Feng, Nan; Wang, Ling; Wang, Xiaoliang

    2017-03-18

    In the present study, the progressive alteration of cognition and the mechanisms of reduction in long-term potentiation (LTP) in spontaneous obese KK-Ay type 2 diabetic mice were investigated. In the study, 3-, 5-, and 7-month-old KK-Ay mice were used. The results indicated that KK-Ay mice showed cognitive deficits in the Morris water maze test beginning at the age of 3 months. LTP was significantly impaired in KK-Ay mice during whole study period (3 to 7 months). The above deficits were reversible at an early stage (3 to 5 months old) by diet intervention. Moreover, we found the underlying mechanisms of LTP impairment in KK-Ay mice might be attributed to abnormal phosphorylation or expression of postsynaptic glutamate receptor subunits instead of alteration of basal synaptic transmission. The expression levels of NR1, NR2A, and NR2B subunits of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors were unchanged while the Tyr-dependent phosphorylation of both NR2A and NR2B subunits were significantly reduced in KK-Ay mice. The level of p-Src expression mediating this process was decreased, and the level of αCaMKII autophosphorylation was also reduced. Meanwhile, the GluR1 of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptors (AMPARs) was decreased, and GluR2 was significantly increased. These data suggest that deficits in synaptic plasticity in KK-Ay mice may arise from the abnormal phosphorylation of the NR2 subunits and the alteration of subunit composition of AMPARs. Diet intervention at an early stage of diabetes might alleviate the cognitive deficits and LTP reduction in KK-Ay mice.

  4. Impairment of bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the striatum of a mouse model of DYT1 dystonia: role of endogenous acetylcholine

    PubMed Central

    Martella, Giuseppina; Tassone, Annalisa; Sciamanna, Giuseppe; Platania, Paola; Cuomo, Dario; Viscomi, Maria Teresa; Bonsi, Paola; Cacci, Emanuele; Biagioni, Stefano; Usiello, Alessandro; Bernardi, Giorgio; Sharma, Nutan

    2009-01-01

    DYT1 dystonia is a severe form of inherited dystonia, characterized by involuntary twisting movements and abnormal postures. It is linked to a deletion in the dyt1 gene, resulting in a mutated form of the protein torsinA. The penetrance for dystonia is incomplete, but both clinically affected and non-manifesting carriers of the DYT1 mutation exhibit impaired motor learning and evidence of altered motor plasticity. Here, we characterized striatal glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in transgenic mice expressing either the normal human torsinA or its mutant form, in comparison to non-transgenic (NT) control mice. Medium spiny neurons recorded from both NT and normal human torsinA mice exhibited normal long-term depression (LTD), whereas in mutant human torsinA littermates LTD could not be elicited. In addition, although long-term potentiation (LTP) could be induced in all the mice, it was greater in magnitude in mutant human torsinA mice. Low-frequency stimulation (LFS) can revert potentiated synapses to resting levels, a phenomenon termed synaptic depotentiation. LFS induced synaptic depotentiation (SD) both in NT and normal human torsinA mice, but not in mutant human torsinA mice. Since anti-cholinergic drugs are an effective medical therapeutic option for the treatment of human dystonia, we reasoned that an excess in endogenous acetylcholine could underlie the synaptic plasticity impairment. Indeed, both LTD and SD were rescued in mutant human torsinA mice either by lowering endogenous acetylcholine levels or by antagonizing muscarinic M1 receptors. The presence of an enhanced acetylcholine tone was confirmed by the observation that acetylcholinesterase activity was significantly increased in the striatum of mutant human torsinA mice, as compared with both normal human torsinA and NT littermates. Moreover, we found similar alterations of synaptic plasticity in muscarinic M2/M4 receptor knockout mice, in which an increased striatal acetylcholine level has been

  5. Structurally dissimilar antimanic agents modulate synaptic plasticity by regulating AMPA glutamate receptor subunit GluR1 synaptic expression.

    PubMed

    Du, Jing; Gray, Neil A; Falke, Cynthia; Yuan, Peixiong; Szabo, Steven; Manji, Husseini K

    2003-11-01

    A growing body of data from clinical and preclinical studies suggests that the glutamatergic system may represent a novel therapeutic target for severe recurrent mood disorders. Since synapse-specific glutamate receptor expression/localization is known to play critical roles in synaptic plasticity, we investigated the effects of mood stabilizers on AMPA receptor expression. Rats were treated chronically with lithium or valproate, hippocampal synaptosomes were isolated, and GluR1 levels were determined. Additionally, hippocampal neurons were prepared from E18 rat embryos and treated with lithium or valproate. Surface expression of GluR1 was determined using a biotinylation assay, and double-immunostaining with anti-GluR1 and anti-synaptotagmin antibodies was used to determine synaptic GluR1 levels. The AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 expression in hippocampal synaptosomes was significantly reduced by both chronic lithium and valproate. Overall, these studies show that AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 is a common target for two structurally highly dissimilar, but highly efficacious, mood stabilizers, lithium and valproate. These studies suggest that regulation of glutamatergically mediated synaptic plasticity may play a role in the treatment of mood disorders, and raise the possibility that agents more directly affecting synaptic GluR1 may represent novel therapies for this devastating illness.

  6. Synaptic plasticity along the sleep-wake cycle: implications for epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Romcy-Pereira, Rodrigo N; Leite, João P; Garcia-Cairasco, Norberto

    2009-01-01

    Activity-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy (i.e., synaptic plasticity) can alter the way neurons communicate and process information as a result of experience. Synaptic plasticity mechanisms involve both molecular and structural modifications that affect synaptic functioning, either enhancing or depressing neuronal transmission. They include redistribution of postsynaptic receptors, activation of intracellular signaling cascades, and formation/retraction of dendritic spines, among others. During the sleep-wake cycle, as the result of particular neurochemical and neuronal firing modes, distinct oscillatory patterns organize the activity of neuronal populations, modulating synaptic plasticity. Such modulation, for example, has been shown in the visual cortex following sleep deprivation and in the ability to induce hippocampal long-term potentiation during sleep. In epilepsy, synchronized behavioral states tend to contribute to the initiation of paroxystic discharges and are considered more epileptogenic than desynchronized states. Here, we review some of the current understandings of synaptic plasticity changes in wake and sleep states and how sleep may affect epileptic seizures.

  7. SIRT1 is essential for normal cognitive function and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Michán, Shaday; Li, Ying; Chou, Maggie Meng-Hsiu; Parrella, Edoardo; Ge, Huanying; Long, Jeffrey M.; Allard, Joanne S.; Lewis, Kaitlyn; Miller, Marshall; Xu, Wei; Mervis, Ronald F.; Chen, Jing; Guerin, Karen I.; Smith, Lois E. H.; McBurney, Michael W.; Sinclair, David A.; Baudry, Michel; de Cabo, Rafael; Longo, Valter D.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation of normal cognitive functions relies on the proper performance of the nervous system at the cellular and molecular level. The mammalian NAD+-dependent deacetylase, SIRT1, impacts different processes potentially involved in the maintenance of brain integrity such as chromatin remodeling, DNA repair, cell survival and neurogenesis. Here we show that SIRT1 is expressed in neurons of the hippocampus, a key structure in learning and memory. Using a combination of behavioral and electrophysiological paradigms we analyzed the effects of SIRT1 deficiency and overexpression on mouse learning and memory as well as on synaptic plasticity. We demonstrated that the absence of SIRT1 impaired cognitive abilities, including immediate memory, classical conditioning and spatial learning. In addition, we found that the cognitive deficits in SIRT1 knockout mice were associated with defects in synaptic plasticity without alterations in basal synaptic transmission or NMDA receptor function. Brains of SIRT1-KO mice exhibited normal morphology and dendritic spine structure but display a decrease in dendritic branching, branch length and complexity of neuronal dendritic arbors. Also, a decrease in ERK1/2 phosphorylation and altered expression of hippocampal genes involved in synaptic function, lipid metabolism and myelination were detected in SIRT1-KO mice. In contrast, mice with high levels of SIRT1 expression in brain exhibited regular synaptic plasticity and memory. We conclude that SIRT1 is indispensable for normal learning, memory and synaptic plasticity in mice. PMID:20660252

  8. Ubiquitin ligase TRIM3 controls hippocampal plasticity and learning by regulating synaptic γ-actin levels

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Joerg; Végh, Marlene J.; Dawitz, Julia; Kroon, Tim; Loos, Maarten; Labonté, Dorthe; Li, Ka Wan; Van Nierop, Pim; Van Diepen, Michiel T.; De Zeeuw, Chris I.; Kneussel, Matthias; Meredith, Rhiannon M.; Smit, August B.

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity requires remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Although two actin isoforms, β- and γ-actin, are expressed in dendritic spines, the specific contribution of γ-actin in the expression of synaptic plasticity is unknown. We show that synaptic γ-actin levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM3. TRIM3 protein and Actg1 transcript are colocalized in messenger ribonucleoprotein granules responsible for the dendritic targeting of messenger RNAs. TRIM3 polyubiquitylates γ-actin, most likely cotranslationally at synaptic sites. Trim3−/− mice consequently have increased levels of γ-actin at hippocampal synapses, resulting in higher spine densities, increased long-term potentiation, and enhanced short-term contextual fear memory consolidation. Interestingly, hippocampal deletion of Actg1 caused an increase in long-term fear memory. Collectively, our findings suggest that temporal control of γ-actin levels by TRIM3 is required to regulate the timing of hippocampal plasticity. We propose a model in which TRIM3 regulates synaptic γ-actin turnover and actin filament stability and thus forms a transient inhibitory constraint on the expression of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. PMID:26527743

  9. A neuromorphic implementation of multiple spike-timing synaptic plasticity rules for large-scale neural networks

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Runchun M.; Hamilton, Tara J.; Tapson, Jonathan C.; van Schaik, André

    2015-01-01

    We present a neuromorphic implementation of multiple synaptic plasticity learning rules, which include both Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP) and Spike Timing Dependent Delay Plasticity (STDDP). We present a fully digital implementation as well as a mixed-signal implementation, both of which use a novel dynamic-assignment time-multiplexing approach and support up to 226 (64M) synaptic plasticity elements. Rather than implementing dedicated synapses for particular types of synaptic plasticity, we implemented a more generic synaptic plasticity adaptor array that is separate from the neurons in the neural network. Each adaptor performs synaptic plasticity according to the arrival times of the pre- and post-synaptic spikes assigned to it, and sends out a weighted or delayed pre-synaptic spike to the post-synaptic neuron in the neural network. This strategy provides great flexibility for building complex large-scale neural networks, as a neural network can be configured for multiple synaptic plasticity rules without changing its structure. We validate the proposed neuromorphic implementations with measurement results and illustrate that the circuits are capable of performing both STDP and STDDP. We argue that it is practical to scale the work presented here up to 236 (64G) synaptic adaptors on a current high-end FPGA platform. PMID:26041985

  10. A neuromorphic implementation of multiple spike-timing synaptic plasticity rules for large-scale neural networks.

    PubMed

    Wang, Runchun M; Hamilton, Tara J; Tapson, Jonathan C; van Schaik, André

    2015-01-01

    We present a neuromorphic implementation of multiple synaptic plasticity learning rules, which include both Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP) and Spike Timing Dependent Delay Plasticity (STDDP). We present a fully digital implementation as well as a mixed-signal implementation, both of which use a novel dynamic-assignment time-multiplexing approach and support up to 2(26) (64M) synaptic plasticity elements. Rather than implementing dedicated synapses for particular types of synaptic plasticity, we implemented a more generic synaptic plasticity adaptor array that is separate from the neurons in the neural network. Each adaptor performs synaptic plasticity according to the arrival times of the pre- and post-synaptic spikes assigned to it, and sends out a weighted or delayed pre-synaptic spike to the post-synaptic neuron in the neural network. This strategy provides great flexibility for building complex large-scale neural networks, as a neural network can be configured for multiple synaptic plasticity rules without changing its structure. We validate the proposed neuromorphic implementations with measurement results and illustrate that the circuits are capable of performing both STDP and STDDP. We argue that it is practical to scale the work presented here up to 2(36) (64G) synaptic adaptors on a current high-end FPGA platform.

  11. Downregulation of caveolin-1 contributes to the synaptic plasticity deficit in the hippocampus of aged rats

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yang; Liang, Zhanhua; Liu, Jing; Zou, Wei; Li, Xiaoyan; Wang, Yachen; An, Lijia

    2013-01-01

    Caveolin-1 is involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity, but the relationship between its pression and cognitive function during aging remains controversial. To explore the relationship be-tween synaptic plasticity in the aging process and changes in learning and memory, we examined caveolin-1 expression in the hippocampus, cortex and cerebellum of rats at different ages. We also examined the relationship between the expression of caveolin-1 and synaptophysin, a marker of synaptic plasticity. Hippocampal caveolin-1 and synaptophysin expression in aged (22–24 month old) rats was significantly lower than that in young (1 month old) and adult (4 months old) rats. pression levels of both proteins were significantly greater in the cortex of aged rats than in that of young or adult rats, and levels were similar between the three age groups in the cerebellum. Linear regression analysis revealed that hippocampal expression of synaptophysin was associated with memory and learning abilities. Moreover, synaptophysin expression correlated positively with caveolin-1 expression in the hippocampus, cortex and cerebellum. These results confirm that caveolin-1 has a regulatory effect on synaptic plasticity, and suggest that the downregulation of hippocampal caveolin-1 expression causes a decrease in synaptic plasticity during physiological aging. PMID:25206583

  12. Systems biology of synaptic plasticity: a review on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor mediated biochemical pathways and related mathematical models.

    PubMed

    He, Y; Kulasiri, D; Samarasinghe, S

    2014-08-01

    Synaptic plasticity, an emergent property of synaptic networks, has shown strong correlation to one of the essential functions of the brain, memory formation. Through understanding synaptic plasticity, we hope to discover the modulators and mechanisms that trigger memory formation. In this paper, we first review the well understood modulators and mechanisms underlying N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor dependent synaptic plasticity, a major form of synaptic plasticity in hippocampus, and then comment on the key mathematical modelling approaches available in the literature to understand synaptic plasticity as the integration of the established functionalities of synaptic components.

  13. Differential effects of excitatory and inhibitory plasticity on synaptically-driven neuronal Input-Output functions

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Tiago P.; Buonomano, Dean V.

    2009-01-01

    Ultimately, whether or not a neuron produces a spike determines its contribution to local computations. In response to brief stimuli the probability a neuron will fire can be described by its input-output function, which depends on the net balance and timing of excitatory and inhibitory currents. While excitatory and inhibitory synapses are plastic, most studies examine plasticity of subthreshold events. Thus, the effects of concerted regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic strength on neuronal input-output functions are not well understood. Here, theoretical analyses reveal that excitatory synaptic strength controls the threshold of the neuronal input-output function, while inhibitory plasticity alters the threshold and gain. Experimentally, changes in the balance of excitation and inhibition in CA1 pyramidal neurons also altered their input-output function as predicted by the model. These results support the existence of two functional modes of plasticity that can be used to optimize information processing: threshold and gain plasticity. PMID:19285473

  14. GABAergic synaptic plasticity during a developmentally regulated sleep-like state in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Dabbish, Nooreen S; Raizen, David M

    2011-11-02

    Approximately one-fourth of the neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans adults are born during larval development, indicating tremendous plasticity in larval nervous system structure. Larval development shows cyclical expression of sleep-like quiescent behavior during lethargus periods, which occur at larval stage transitions. We studied plasticity at the neuromuscular junction during lethargus using the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb. The rate of animal contraction when exposed to aldicarb is controlled by the balance between excitatory cholinergic and inhibitory GABAergic input on the muscle. During lethargus, there is an accelerated rate of contraction on aldicarb. Mutant analysis and optogenetic studies reveal that GABAergic synaptic transmission is reduced during lethargus. Worms in lethargus show partial resistance to GABA(A) receptor agonists, indicating that postsynaptic mechanisms contribute to lethargus-dependent plasticity. Using genetic manipulations that separate the quiescent state from the developmental stage, we show that the synaptic plasticity is dependent on developmental time and not on the behavioral state of the animal. We propose that the synaptic plasticity regulated by a developmental clock in C. elegans is analogous to synaptic plasticity regulated by the circadian clock in other species.

  15. Synaptic plasticity, neural circuits, and the emerging role of altered short-term information processing in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Crabtree, Gregg W.; Gogos, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity alters the strength of information flow between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons and thus modifies the likelihood that action potentials in a presynaptic neuron will lead to an action potential in a postsynaptic neuron. As such, synaptic plasticity and pathological changes in synaptic plasticity impact the synaptic computation which controls the information flow through the neural microcircuits responsible for the complex information processing necessary to drive adaptive behaviors. As current theories of neuropsychiatric disease suggest that distinct dysfunctions in neural circuit performance may critically underlie the unique symptoms of these diseases, pathological alterations in synaptic plasticity mechanisms may be fundamental to the disease process. Here we consider mechanisms of both short-term and long-term plasticity of synaptic transmission and their possible roles in information processing by neural microcircuits in both health and disease. As paradigms of neuropsychiatric diseases with strongly implicated risk genes, we discuss the findings in schizophrenia and autism and consider the alterations in synaptic plasticity and network function observed in both human studies and genetic mouse models of these diseases. Together these studies have begun to point toward a likely dominant role of short-term synaptic plasticity alterations in schizophrenia while dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) may be due to a combination of both short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity alterations. PMID:25505409

  16. Synaptic plasticity, neural circuits, and the emerging role of altered short-term information processing in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Crabtree, Gregg W; Gogos, Joseph A

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity alters the strength of information flow between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons and thus modifies the likelihood that action potentials in a presynaptic neuron will lead to an action potential in a postsynaptic neuron. As such, synaptic plasticity and pathological changes in synaptic plasticity impact the synaptic computation which controls the information flow through the neural microcircuits responsible for the complex information processing necessary to drive adaptive behaviors. As current theories of neuropsychiatric disease suggest that distinct dysfunctions in neural circuit performance may critically underlie the unique symptoms of these diseases, pathological alterations in synaptic plasticity mechanisms may be fundamental to the disease process. Here we consider mechanisms of both short-term and long-term plasticity of synaptic transmission and their possible roles in information processing by neural microcircuits in both health and disease. As paradigms of neuropsychiatric diseases with strongly implicated risk genes, we discuss the findings in schizophrenia and autism and consider the alterations in synaptic plasticity and network function observed in both human studies and genetic mouse models of these diseases. Together these studies have begun to point toward a likely dominant role of short-term synaptic plasticity alterations in schizophrenia while dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) may be due to a combination of both short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity alterations.

  17. Synaptic transmission and plasticity require AMPA receptor anchoring via its N-terminal domain.

    PubMed

    Watson, Jake F; Ho, Hinze; Greger, Ingo H

    2017-03-14

    AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) mediate fast excitatory neurotransmission and are selectively recruited during activity-dependent plasticity to increase synaptic strength. A prerequisite for faithful signal transmission is the positioning and clustering of AMPARs at postsynaptic sites. The mechanisms underlying this positioning have largely been ascribed to the receptor cytoplasmic C-termini and to AMPAR-associated auxiliary subunits, both interacting with the postsynaptic scaffold. Here, using mouse organotypic hippocampal slices, we show that the extracellular AMPAR N-terminal domain (NTD), which projects midway into the synaptic cleft, plays a fundamental role in this process. This highly sequence-diverse domain mediates synaptic anchoring in a subunit-selective manner. Receptors lacking the NTD exhibit increased mobility in synapses, depress synaptic transmission and are unable to sustain long-term potentiation (LTP). Thus, synaptic transmission and the expression of LTP are dependent upon an AMPAR anchoring mechanism that is driven by the NTD.

  18. In vivo BDNF modulation of adult functional and morphological synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fibers.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Palacio-Schjetnan, Andrea; Escobar, Martha L

    2008-11-07

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been proposed as a key regulator and mediator of long-term synaptic modifications related to learning and memory maintenance. Our previous studies show that application of high-frequency stimulation (HFS) sufficient to elicit LTP at the dentate gyrus (DG)-CA3 pathway produces mossy fiber structural modifications 7 days after tetanic stimulation. In the present study, we show that acute intrahippocampal microinfusion of BDNF induces a lasting potentiation of synaptic efficacy in the DG-CA3 projection of anesthetized adult rats. Furthermore, we show that BDNF functional modifications in synaptic efficacy are accompanied by a presynaptic structural long-lasting reorganization at the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway. These findings support the idea that BDNF plays an important role as synaptic messenger of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the adult mammalian brain, in vivo.

  19. A novel synaptic plasticity rule explains homeostasis of neuromuscular transmission

    PubMed Central

    Ouanounou, Gilles; Baux, Gérard; Bal, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Excitability differs among muscle fibers and undergoes continuous changes during development and growth, yet the neuromuscular synapse maintains a remarkable fidelity of execution. Here we show in two evolutionarily distant vertebrates (Xenopus laevis cell culture and mouse nerve-muscle ex-vivo) that the skeletal muscle cell constantly senses, through two identified calcium signals, synaptic events and their efficacy in eliciting spikes. These sensors trigger retrograde signal(s) that control presynaptic neurotransmitter release, resulting in synaptic potentiation or depression. In the absence of spikes, synaptic events trigger potentiation. Once the synapse is sufficiently strong to initiate spiking, the occurrence of these spikes activates a negative retrograde feedback. These opposing signals dynamically balance the synapse in order to continuously adjust neurotransmitter release to a level matching current muscle cell excitability. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12190.001 PMID:27138195

  20. Modelling the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity using systems biology approaches.

    PubMed

    Kotaleski, Jeanette Hellgren; Blackwell, Kim T

    2010-04-01

    Synaptic plasticity is thought to underlie learning and memory, but the complexity of the interactions between the ion channels, enzymes and genes that are involved in synaptic plasticity impedes a deep understanding of this phenomenon. Computer modelling has been used to investigate the information processing that is performed by the signalling pathways involved in synaptic plasticity in principal neurons of the hippocampus, striatum and cerebellum. In the past few years, new software developments that combine computational neuroscience techniques with systems biology techniques have allowed large-scale, kinetic models of the molecular mechanisms underlying long-term potentiation and long-term depression. We highlight important advancements produced by these quantitative modelling efforts and introduce promising approaches that use advancements in live-cell imaging.

  1. Autoregulatory and paracrine control of synaptic and behavioral plasticity by octopaminergic signaling.

    PubMed

    Koon, Alex C; Ashley, James; Barria, Romina; DasGupta, Shamik; Brain, Ruth; Waddell, Scott; Alkema, Mark J; Budnik, Vivian

    2011-02-01

    Adrenergic signaling has important roles in synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity. However, the underlying mechanisms of these functions remain poorly understood. We investigated the role of octopamine, the invertebrate counterpart of adrenaline and noradrenaline, in synaptic and behavioral plasticity in Drosophila. We found that an increase in locomotor speed induced by food deprivation was accompanied by an activity- and octopamine-dependent extension of octopaminergic arbors and that the formation and maintenance of these arbors required electrical activity. Growth of octopaminergic arbors was controlled by a cAMP- and CREB-dependent positive-feedback mechanism that required Octβ2R octopamine autoreceptors. Notably, this autoregulation was necessary for the locomotor response. In addition, octopamine neurons regulated the expansion of excitatory glutamatergic neuromuscular arbors through Octβ2Rs on glutamatergic motor neurons. Our results provide a mechanism for global regulation of excitatory synapses, presumably to maintain synaptic and behavioral plasticity in a dynamic range.

  2. Probabilistic inference of short-term synaptic plasticity in neocortical microcircuits

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Rui P.; Sjöström, P. Jesper; van Rossum, Mark C. W.

    2013-01-01

    Short-term synaptic plasticity is highly diverse across brain area, cortical layer, cell type, and developmental stage. Since short-term plasticity (STP) strongly shapes neural dynamics, this diversity suggests a specific and essential role in neural information processing. Therefore, a correct characterization of short-term synaptic plasticity is an important step towards understanding and modeling neural systems. Phenomenological models have been developed, but they are usually fitted to experimental data using least-mean-square methods. We demonstrate that for typical synaptic dynamics such fitting may give unreliable results. As a solution, we introduce a Bayesian formulation, which yields the posterior distribution over the model parameters given the data. First, we show that common STP protocols yield broad distributions over some model parameters. Using our result we propose a experimental protocol to more accurately determine synaptic dynamics parameters. Next, we infer the model parameters using experimental data from three different neocortical excitatory connection types. This reveals connection-specific distributions, which we use to classify synaptic dynamics. Our approach to demarcate connection-specific synaptic dynamics is an important improvement on the state of the art and reveals novel features from existing data. PMID:23761760

  3. Pre- and postsynaptic twists in BDNF secretion and action in synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Edelmann, Elke; Lessmann, Volkmar; Brigadski, Tanja

    2014-01-01

    Overwhelming evidence collected since the early 1990's strongly supports the notion that BDNF is among the key regulators of synaptic plasticity in many areas of the mammalian central nervous system. Still, due to the extremely low expression levels of endogenous BDNF in most brain areas, surprisingly little data i) pinpointing pre- and postsynaptic release sites, ii) unraveling the time course of release, and iii) elucidating the physiological levels of synaptic activity driving this secretion are available. Likewise, our knowledge regarding pre- and postsynaptic effects of endogenous BDNF at the single cell level in mediating long-term potentiation still is sparse. Thus, our review will discuss the data currently available regarding synaptic BDNF secretion in response to physiologically relevant levels of activity, and will discuss how endogenously secreted BDNF affects synaptic plasticity, giving a special focus on spike timing-dependent types of LTP and on mossy fiber LTP. We will attempt to open up perspectives how the remaining challenging questions regarding synaptic BDNF release and action might be addressed by future experiments. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'BDNF Regulation of Synaptic Structure, Function, and Plasticity'.

  4. Impairments of Synaptic Plasticity in Aged Animals and in Animal Models of Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Balietti, Marta; Tamagnini, Francesco; Fattoretti, Patrizia; Burattini, Costanza; Casoli, Tiziana; Platano, Daniela; Lattanzio, Fabrizia

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Aging is associated with a gradual decline in cognitive functions, and more dramatic cognitive impairments occur in patients affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD). Electrophysiological and molecular studies performed in aged animals and in animal models of AD have shown that cognitive decline is associated with significant modifications in synaptic plasticity (i.e., activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength) and have elucidated some of the cellular mechanisms underlying this process. Morphological studies have revealed a correlation between the quality of memory performance and the extent of structural changes of synaptic contacts occurring during memory consolidation. We briefly review recent experimental evidence here. PMID:22533439

  5. Factors Influencing Short-term Synaptic Plasticity in the Avian Cochlear Nucleus Magnocellularis

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Jason Tait; Quinones, Karla; Otto-Meyer, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    Defined as reduced neural responses during high rates of activity, synaptic depression is a form of short-term plasticity important for the temporal filtering of sound. In the avian cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM), an auditory brainstem structure, mechanisms regulating short-term synaptic depression include pre-, post-, and extrasynaptic factors. Using varied paired-pulse stimulus intervals, we found that the time course of synaptic depression lasts up to four seconds at late-developing NM synapses. Synaptic depression was largely reliant on exogenous Ca2+-dependent probability of presynaptic neurotransmitter release, and to a lesser extent, on the desensitization of postsynaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type glutamate receptor (AMPA-R). Interestingly, although extrasynaptic glutamate clearance did not play a significant role in regulating synaptic depression, blocking glutamate clearance at early-developing synapses altered synaptic dynamics, changing responses from depression to facilitation. These results suggest a developmental shift in the relative reliance on pre-, post-, and extrasynaptic factors in regulating short-term synaptic plasticity in NM. PMID:26527054

  6. Learning structure of sensory inputs with synaptic plasticity leads to interference

    PubMed Central

    Chrol-Cannon, Joseph; Jin, Yaochu

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is often explored as a form of unsupervised adaptation in cortical microcircuits to learn the structure of complex sensory inputs and thereby improve performance of classification and prediction. The question of whether the specific structure of the input patterns is encoded in the structure of neural networks has been largely neglected. Existing studies that have analyzed input-specific structural adaptation have used simplified, synthetic inputs in contrast to complex and noisy patterns found in real-world sensory data. In this work, input-specific structural changes are analyzed for three empirically derived models of plasticity applied to three temporal sensory classification tasks that include complex, real-world visual and auditory data. Two forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and the Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM) plasticity rule are used to adapt the recurrent network structure during the training process before performance is tested on the pattern recognition tasks. It is shown that synaptic adaptation is highly sensitive to specific classes of input pattern. However, plasticity does not improve the performance on sensory pattern recognition tasks, partly due to synaptic interference between consecutively presented input samples. The changes in synaptic strength produced by one stimulus are reversed by the presentation of another, thus largely preventing input-specific synaptic changes from being retained in the structure of the network. To solve the problem of interference, we suggest that models of plasticity be extended to restrict neural activity and synaptic modification to a subset of the neural circuit, which is increasingly found to be the case in experimental neuroscience. PMID:26300769

  7. Chondroitin Sulfate Induces Depression of Synaptic Transmission and Modulation of Neuronal Plasticity in Rat Hippocampal Slices.

    PubMed

    Albiñana, Elisa; Gutierrez-Luengo, Javier; Hernández-Juarez, Natalia; Baraibar, Andrés M; Montell, Eulalia; Vergés, Josep; García, Antonio G; Hernández-Guijo, Jesus M

    2015-01-01

    It is currently known that in CNS the extracellular matrix is involved in synaptic stabilization and limitation of synaptic plasticity. However, it has been reported that the treatment with chondroitinase following injury allows the formation of new synapses and increased plasticity and functional recovery. So, we hypothesize that some components of extracellular matrix may modulate synaptic transmission. To test this hypothesis we evaluated the effects of chondroitin sulphate (CS) on excitatory synaptic transmission, cellular excitability, and neuronal plasticity using extracellular recordings in the CA1 area of rat hippocampal slices. CS caused a reversible depression of evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in a concentration-dependent manner. CS also reduced the population spike amplitude evoked after orthodromic stimulation but not when the population spikes were antidromically evoked; in this last case a potentiation was observed. CS also enhanced paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation. Our study provides evidence that CS, a major component of the brain perineuronal net and extracellular matrix, has a function beyond the structural one, namely, the modulation of synaptic transmission and neuronal plasticity in the hippocampus.

  8. Intracerebroventricular administration of ouabain alters synaptic plasticity and dopamine release in rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Sui, Li; Song, Xiao-Jin; Ren, Jie; Ju, Li-Hua; Wang, Yan

    2013-08-01

    Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of ouabain, a specific Na-K-ATPase inhibitor, in rats mimics the manic phenotypes of bipolar disorder and thus has been proposed as one of the best animal models of mania. Bipolar mania has been known to be associated with dysfunctions of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain area critically involved in mental functions; however, the exact mechanism underlying these dysfunctions is not yet clear. The present study investigated synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity, and dopamine release in Sprague-Dawley rat mPFC following ICV administration of ouabain (5 μl of 1 mM ouabain). The electrophysiological results demonstrated that ouabain depressed the short- and the long-term synaptic plasticity, represented by paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, respectively, in the mPFC. These ouabain-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity can be prevented by pre-treatment with lithium (intraperitoneal injection of 47.5 mg/kg lithium, twice a day, 7 days), which acts as an effective mood stabilizer in preventing mania. The electrochemical results demonstrated that ICV administration of ouabain enhanced dopamine release in the mPFC, which did not be affected by pre-treatment with lithium. These findings suggested that alterations in synaptic plasticity and dopamine release in the mPFC might underlie the dysfunctions of mPFC accompanied with ouabain administration-induced bipolar mania.

  9. Electrochemical-reaction-induced synaptic plasticity in MoOx-based solid state electrochemical cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chuan-Sen; Shang, Da-Shan; Chai, Yi-Sheng; Yan, Li-Qin; Shen, Bao-Gen; Sun, Young

    2017-02-08

    Solid state electrochemical cells with synaptic functions have important applications in building smart-terminal networks. Here, the essential synaptic functions including potentiation and depression of synaptic weight, transition from short- to long-term plasticity, spike-rate-dependent plasticity, and spike-timing-dependent plasticity behavior were successfully realized in an Ag/MoOx/fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) cell with continual resistance switching. The synaptic plasticity underlying these functions was controlled by tuning the excitatory post-synaptic current (EPSC) decay, which is determined by the applied voltage pulse number, width, frequency, and intervals between the pre- and post-spikes. The physical mechanism of the artificial synapse operation is attributed to the interfacial electrochemical reaction processes of the MoOx films with the adsorbed water, where protons generated by water decomposition under an electric field diffused into the MoOx films and intercalated into the lattice, leading to the short- and long-term retention of cell resistance, respectively. These results indicate the possibility of achieving advanced artificial synapses with solid state electrochemical cells and will contribute to the development of smart-terminal networking systems.

  10. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Rudenko, Gabby

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, formingtrans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft orcis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics.

  11. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, forming trans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft or cis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics. PMID:28255461

  12. All About Running: Synaptic Plasticity, Growth Factors and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Vivar, Carmen; Potter, Michelle C.; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-01-01

    Accumulating evidence from animal and human research shows exercise benefits learning and memory, which may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, and could delay age-related cognitive decline. Exercise-induced improvements in learning and memory are correlated with enhanced adult hippocampal neurogenesis and increased activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. In this present chapter we will highlight the effects of physical activity on cognition in rodents, as well as on dentate gyrus (DG) neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, spine density, neurotransmission and growth factors, in particular brain-derived nerve growth factor (BDNF). PMID:22847651

  13. Long Term Synaptic Plasticity and Learning in Neuronal Networks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-01-14

    Videomicroscopy and synaptic physiology of cultured hippocampal slices. Soc, Neurosci. Abstr. 14:246, 1988. Griffith, W.H., Brown, T.H. and Johnston, D...Chapman, P.F., Chang, V., and Brown, T.H. . Videomicroscopy of acute brain slices from hippocampus and amygdala. Brain Res. Bull, 21: 373-383, 1988

  14. Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity depends on dendritic location

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froemke, Robert C.; Poo, Mu-ming; Dan, Yang

    2005-03-01

    In the neocortex, each neuron receives thousands of synaptic inputs distributed across an extensive dendritic tree. Although postsynaptic processing of each input is known to depend on its dendritic location, it is unclear whether activity-dependent synaptic modification is also location-dependent. Here we report that both the magnitude and the temporal specificity of spike-timing-dependent synaptic modification vary along the apical dendrite of rat cortical layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons. At the distal dendrite, the magnitude of long-term potentiation is smaller, and the window of pre-/postsynaptic spike interval for long-term depression (LTD) is broader. The spike-timing window for LTD correlates with the window of action potential-induced suppression of NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors; this correlation applies to both their dendritic location-dependence and pharmacological properties. Presynaptic stimulation with partial blockade of NMDA receptors induced LTD and occluded further induction of spike-timing-dependent LTD, suggesting that NMDA receptor suppression underlies LTD induction. Computer simulation studies showed that the dendritic inhomogeneity of spike-timing-dependent synaptic modification leads to differential input selection at distal and proximal dendrites according to the temporal characteristics of presynaptic spike trains. Such location-dependent tuning of inputs, together with the dendritic heterogeneity of postsynaptic processing, could enhance the computational capacity of cortical pyramidal neurons.

  15. Dietary curcumin counteracts the outcome of traumatic brain injury on oxidative stress, synaptic plasticity, and cognition.

    PubMed

    Wu, Aiguo; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2006-02-01

    The pervasive action of oxidative stress on neuronal function and plasticity after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is becoming increasingly recognized. Here, we evaluated the capacity of the powerful antioxidant curry spice curcumin ingested in the diet to counteract the oxidative damage encountered in the injured brain. In addition, we have examined the possibility that dietary curcumin may favor the injured brain by interacting with molecular mechanisms that maintain synaptic plasticity and cognition. The analysis was focused on the BDNF system based on its action on synaptic plasticity and cognition by modulating synapsin I and CREB. Rats were exposed to a regular diet or a diet high in saturated fat, with or without 500 ppm curcumin for 4 weeks (n = 8/group), before a mild fluid percussion injury (FPI) was performed. The high-fat diet has been shown to exacerbate the effects of TBI on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Supplementation of curcumin in the diet dramatically reduced oxidative damage and normalized levels of BDNF, synapsin I, and CREB that had been altered after TBI. Furthermore, curcumin supplementation counteracted the cognitive impairment caused by TBI. These results are in agreement with previous evidence, showing that oxidative stress can affect the injured brain by acting through the BDNF system to affect synaptic plasticity and cognition. The fact that oxidative stress is an intrinsic component of the neurological sequel of TBI and other insults indicates that dietary antioxidant therapy is a realistic approach to promote protective mechanisms in the injured brain.

  16. Brain Deletion of Insulin Receptor Substrate 2 Disrupts Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Metaplasticity

    PubMed Central

    Costello, Derek A.; Claret, Marc; Al-Qassab, Hind; Plattner, Florian; Irvine, Elaine E.; Choudhury, Agharul I.; Giese, K. Peter; Withers, Dominic J.; Pedarzani, Paola

    2012-01-01

    Objective Diabetes mellitus is associated with cognitive deficits and an increased risk of dementia, particularly in the elderly. These deficits and the corresponding neurophysiological structural and functional alterations are linked to both metabolic and vascular changes, related to chronic hyperglycaemia, but probably also defects in insulin action in the brain. To elucidate the specific role of brain insulin signalling in neuronal functions that are relevant for cognitive processes we have investigated the behaviour of neurons and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of mice lacking the insulin receptor substrate protein 2 (IRS-2). Research Design and Methods To study neuronal function and synaptic plasticity in the absence of confounding factors such as hyperglycaemia, we used a mouse model with a central nervous system- (CNS)-restricted deletion of IRS-2 (NesCreIrs2KO). Results We report a deficit in NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of NesCreIrs2KO mice, with a concomitant loss of metaplasticity, the modulation of synaptic plasticity by the previous activity of a synapse. These plasticity changes are associated with reduced basal phosphorylation of the NMDA receptor subunit NR1 and of downstream targets of the PI3K pathway, the protein kinases Akt and GSK-3β. Conclusions These findings reveal molecular and cellular mechanisms that might underlie cognitive deficits linked to specific defects of neuronal insulin signalling. PMID:22383997

  17. Coexistence of Multiple Types of Synaptic Plasticity in Individual Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Edelmann, Elke; Cepeda-Prado, Efrain; Leßmann, Volkmar

    2017-01-01

    Understanding learning and memory mechanisms is an important goal in neuroscience. To gain insights into the underlying cellular mechanisms for memory formation, synaptic plasticity processes are studied with various techniques in different brain regions. A valid model to scrutinize different ways to enhance or decrease synaptic transmission is recording of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). At the single cell level, spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) protocols have emerged as a powerful tool to investigate synaptic plasticity with stimulation paradigms that also likely occur during memory formation in vivo. Such kind of plasticity can be induced by different STDP paradigms with multiple repeat numbers and stimulation patterns. They subsequently recruit or activate different molecular pathways and neuromodulators for induction and expression of STDP. Dopamine (DA) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been recently shown to be important modulators for hippocampal STDP at Schaffer collateral (SC)-CA1 synapses and are activated exclusively by distinguishable STDP paradigms. Distinct types of parallel synaptic plasticity in a given neuron depend on specific subcellular molecular prerequisites. Since the basal and apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons are known to be heterogeneous, and distance-dependent dendritic gradients for specific receptors and ion channels are described, the dendrites might provide domain specific locations for multiple types of synaptic plasticity in the same neuron. In addition to the distinct signaling and expression mechanisms of various types of LTP and LTD, activation of these different types of plasticity might depend on background brain activity states. In this article, we will discuss some ideas why multiple forms of synaptic plasticity can simultaneously and independently coexist and can contribute so effectively to increasing the efficacy of memory storage and processing capacity of the

  18. Maladaptive Synaptic Plasticity in L-DOPA-Induced Dyskinesia

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qiang; Zhang, Wangming

    2016-01-01

    The emergence of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID) in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) could be due to maladaptive plasticity of corticostriatal synapses in response to L-DOPA treatment. A series of recent studies has revealed that LID is associated with marked morphological plasticity of striatal dendritic spines, particularly cell type-specific structural plasticity of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatum. In addition, evidence demonstrating the occurrence of plastic adaptations, including aberrant morphological and functional features, in multiple components of cortico-basal ganglionic circuitry, such as primary motor cortex (M1) and basal ganglia (BG) output nuclei. These adaptations have been implicated in the pathophysiology of LID. Here, we briefly review recent studies that have addressed maladaptive plastic changes within the cortico-BG loop in dyskinetic animal models of PD and patients with PD. PMID:28066191

  19. Inhibitory glycinergic neurotransmission in the mammalian auditory brainstem upon prolonged stimulation: short-term plasticity and synaptic reliability

    PubMed Central

    Kramer, Florian; Griesemer, Désirée; Bakker, Dennis; Brill, Sina; Franke, Jürgen; Frotscher, Erik; Friauf, Eckhard

    2014-01-01

    Short-term plasticity plays a key role in synaptic transmission and has been extensively investigated for excitatory synapses. Much less is known about inhibitory synapses. Here we analyze the performance of glycinergic connections between the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) and the lateral superior olive (LSO) in the auditory brainstem, where high spike rates as well as fast and precise neurotransmission are hallmarks. Analysis was performed in acute mouse slices shortly after hearing onset (postnatal day (P)11) and 8 days later (P19). Stimulation was done at 37°C with 1–400 Hz for 40 s. Moreover, in a novel approach named marathon experiments, a very prolonged stimulation protocol was employed, comprising 10 trials of 1-min challenge and 1-min recovery periods at 50 and 1 Hz, respectively, thus lasting up to 20 min and amounting to >30,000 stimulus pulses. IPSC peak amplitudes displayed short-term depression (STD) and synaptic attenuation in a frequency-dependent manner. No facilitation was observed. STD in the MNTB-LSO connections was less pronounced than reported in the upstream calyx of Held-MNTB connections. At P11, the STD level and the failure rate were slightly lower within the ms-to-s range than at P19. During prolonged stimulation periods lasting 40 s, P19 connections sustained virtually failure-free transmission up to frequencies of 100 Hz, whereas P11 connections did so only up to 50 Hz. In marathon experiments, P11 synapses recuperated reproducibly from synaptic attenuation during all recovery periods, demonstrating a robust synaptic machinery at hearing onset. At 26°C, transmission was severely impaired and comprised abnormally high amplitudes after minutes of silence, indicative of imprecisely regulated vesicle pools. Our study takes a fresh look at synaptic plasticity and stability by extending conventional stimulus periods in the ms-to-s range to minutes. It also provides a framework for future analyses of synaptic plasticity. PMID

  20. A role for synaptic plasticity in the adolescent development of executive function

    PubMed Central

    Selemon, L D

    2013-01-01

    Adolescent brain maturation is characterized by the emergence of executive function mediated by the prefrontal cortex, e.g., goal planning, inhibition of impulsive behavior and set shifting. Synaptic pruning of excitatory contacts is the signature morphologic event of late brain maturation during adolescence. Mounting evidence suggests that glutamate receptor-mediated synaptic plasticity, in particular long term depression (LTD), is important for elimination of synaptic contacts in brain development. This review examines the possibility (1) that LTD mechanisms are enhanced in the prefrontal cortex during adolescence due to ongoing synaptic pruning in this late developing cortex and (2) that enhanced synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex represents a key molecular substrate underlying the critical period for maturation of executive function. Molecular sites of interaction between environmental factors, such as alcohol and stress, and glutamate receptor mediated plasticity are considered. The accentuated negative impact of these factors during adolescence may be due in part to interference with LTD mechanisms that refine prefrontal cortical circuitry and when disrupted derail normal maturation of executive function. Diminished prefrontal cortical control over risk-taking behavior could further exacerbate negative outcomes associated with these behaviors, as for example addiction and depression. Greater insight into the neurobiology of the adolescent brain is needed to fully understand the molecular basis for heightened vulnerability during adolescence to the injurious effects of substance abuse and stress. PMID:23462989

  1. Dietary cholesterol alters memory and synaptic structural plasticity in young rat brain.

    PubMed

    Ya, Bai-liu; Liu, Wen-yan; Ge, Feng; Zhang, Yan-xia; Zhu, Bao-liang; Bai, Bo

    2013-08-01

    Cholesterol plays an important role in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. To better explore how dietary cholesterol contributes to learning and memory and the related changes in synaptic structural plasticity, rats were categorized into a regular diet (RD) group and a cholesterol-enriched diet (CD) group, and were fed with respective diet for 2 months. Dietary cholesterol impacts on learning and memory, hippocampal synaptic ultrastructure, expression levels of postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95), synaptophysin (SYP) and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) were investigated. We found CD rats had better performances in learning and memory using Morris water maze and object recognition test than RD rats. The memory improvement was accompanied with alterations of synaptic ultrastructure in the CA1 area of the hippocampus evaluated by electron microscopy, enhanced immunoreactivity of SYP, a presynaptic marker in hippocampus detected by immunocytochemistry, as well as increased levels of PSD-95, SYP and decreased level of CB1R in brains of CD rats determined by Western blot. Taken together, the results suggest that the improvement of learning and memory abilities of the young adult rats induced by dietary cholesterol may be linked with changes in synaptic structural plasticity in the brain.

  2. Learning the structure of correlated synaptic subgroups using stable and competitive spike-timing-dependent plasticity.

    PubMed

    Meffin, H; Besson, J; Burkitt, A N; Grayden, D B

    2006-04-01

    Synaptic plasticity must be both competitive and stable if ongoing learning of the structure of neural inputs is to occur. In this paper, a wide class of spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) models is identified that have both of these desirable properties in the case in which the input consists of subgroups of synapses that are correlated within the subgroup through the occurrence of simultaneous input spikes. The process of synaptic structure formation is studied, illustrating one particular class of these models. When the learning rate is small, multiple alternative synaptic structures are possible given the same inputs, with the outcome depending on the initial weight configuration. For large learning rates, the synaptic structure does not stabilize, resulting in neurons without consistent response properties. For learning rates in between, a unique and stable synaptic structure typically forms. When this synaptic structure exhibits a bimodal distribution, the neuron will respond selectively to one or more of the subgroups. The robustness with which this selectivity develops during learning is largely determined by the ratio of the subgroup correlation strength to the number of subgroups. The fraction of potentiated subgroups is primarily determined by the balance between potentiation and depression.

  3. Elements of a neurobiological theory of hippocampal function: the role of synaptic plasticity, synaptic tagging and schemas.

    PubMed

    Morris, R G M

    2006-06-01

    The 2004 EJN Lecture was an attempt to lay out further aspects of a developing neurobiological theory of hippocampal function [Morris, R.G.M., Moser, E.I., Riedel, G., Martin, S.J., Sandin, J., Day, M. & O'Carroll, C. (2003) Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci., 358, 773-786.] These are that (i) activity-dependent synaptic plasticity plays a key role in the automatic encoding and initial storage of attended experience; (ii) the persistence of hippocampal synaptic potentiation over time can be influenced by other independent neural events happening closely in time, an idea with behavioural implications for memory; and (iii) that systems-level consolidation of memory traces within neocortex is guided both by hippocampal traces that have been subject to cellular consolidation and by the presence of organized schema in neocortex into which relevant newly encoded information might be stored. Hippocampal memory is associative and, to study it more effectively than with previous paradigms, a new learning task is described which is unusual in requiring the incidental encoding of flavour-place paired associates, with the readout of successful storage being successful recall of a place given the flavour with which it was paired. NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity is shown to be critical for the encoding and intermediate storage of memory traces in this task, while AMPA receptor-mediated fast synaptic transmission is necessary for memory retrieval. Typically, these rapidly encoded traces decay quite rapidly over time. Synaptic potentiation also decays rapidly, but can be rendered more persistent by a process of cellular consolidation in which synaptic tagging and capture play a key part in determining whether or not it will be persistent. Synaptic tags set at the time of an event, even many trivial events, can capture the products of the synthesis of plasticity proteins set in train by events before, during or even after an event to be remembered. Tag

  4. Transcriptional Control of Synaptic Plasticity by Transcription Factor NF-κB.

    PubMed

    Engelmann, Christian; Haenold, Ronny

    2016-01-01

    Activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factors is required for the induction of synaptic plasticity and memory formation. All components of this signaling pathway are localized at synapses, and transcriptionally active NF-κB dimers move to the nucleus to translate synaptic signals into altered gene expression. Neuron-specific inhibition results in altered connectivity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses and functionally in selective learning deficits. Recent research on transgenic mice with impaired or hyperactivated NF-κB gave important insights into plasticity-related target gene expression that is regulated by NF-κB. In this minireview, we update the available data on the role of this transcription factor for learning and memory formation and comment on cross-sectional activation of NF-κB in the aged and diseased brain that may directly or indirectly affect κB-dependent transcription of synaptic genes.

  5. HDAC4 governs a transcriptional program essential for synaptic plasticity and memory.

    PubMed

    Sando, Richard; Gounko, Natalia; Pieraut, Simon; Liao, Lujian; Yates, John; Maximov, Anton

    2012-11-09

    Neuronal activity influences genes involved in circuit development and information processing. However, the molecular basis of this process remains poorly understood. We found that HDAC4, a histone deacetylase that shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm, controls a transcriptional program essential for synaptic plasticity and memory. The nuclear import of HDAC4 and its association with chromatin is negatively regulated by NMDA receptors. In the nucleus, HDAC4 represses genes encoding constituents of central synapses, thereby affecting synaptic architecture and strength. Furthermore, we show that a truncated form of HDAC4 encoded by an allele associated with mental retardation is a gain-of-function nuclear repressor that abolishes transcription and synaptic transmission despite the loss of the deacetylase domain. Accordingly, mice carrying a mutant that mimics this allele exhibit deficits in neurotransmission, spatial learning, and memory. These studies elucidate a mechanism of experience-dependent plasticity and define the biological role of HDAC4 in the brain.

  6. Developmental Synaptic Plasticity at the Thalamocortical Input to Barrel Cortex: Mechanisms and Roles

    PubMed Central

    Daw, Michael I.; Scott, Helen L.; Isaac, John T.R.

    2007-01-01

    The thalamocortical (TC) input to layer IV provides the major pathway for ascending sensory information to the mammalian sensory cortex. During development there is a dramatic refinement of this input that underlies the maturation of the topographical map in layer IV. Over the last ten years our understanding of the mechanisms of the developmental and experience-driven changes in synaptic function at TC synapses has been greatly advanced. Here we describe these studies that point to a key role for NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity, a role for kainate receptors and for a rapid maturation in GABAergic inhibition. The expression mechanisms of some of the forms of neonatal synaptic plasticity are novel and, in combination with other mechanisms, produce a layer IV circuit that exhibits functional properties necessary for mature sensory processing. PMID:17329121

  7. Exosomes neutralize synaptic-plasticity-disrupting activity of Aβ assemblies in vivo

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Exosomes, small extracellular vesicles of endosomal origin, have been suggested to be involved in both the metabolism and aggregation of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-associated amyloid β-protein (Aβ). Despite their ubiquitous presence and the inclusion of components which can potentially interact with Aβ, the role of exosomes in regulating synaptic dysfunction induced by Aβ has not been explored. Results We here provide in vivo evidence that exosomes derived from N2a cells or human cerebrospinal fluid can abrogate the synaptic-plasticity-disrupting activity of both synthetic and AD brain-derived Aβ. Mechanistically, this effect involves sequestration of synaptotoxic Aβ assemblies by exosomal surface proteins such as PrPC rather than Aβ proteolysis. Conclusions These data suggest that exosomes can counteract the inhibitory action of Aβ, which contributes to perpetual capability for synaptic plasticity. PMID:24284042

  8. Dopamine and Norepinephrine Receptors Participate in Methylphenidate Enhancement of In Vivo Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Jenson, Daniel; Yang, Kechun; Acevedo-Rodriguez, Alexandra; Levine, Amber; Broussard, John I.; Tang, Jianrong; Dani, John A.

    2014-01-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children. Methylphenidate (MPH, e.g., Ritalin) has been used to treat ADHD for over 50 years. It is the most commonly prescribed treatment for ADHD, and in the past decade it was the drug most commonly prescribed to teenagers. In addition, MPH has become one of the most widely abused drugs on college campuses. In this study, we examined the effects of MPH on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which serves as a measurable quantification of memory mechanisms. Field potentials were recorded with permanently implanted electrodes in freely-moving mice to quantify MPH modulation of perforant path synaptic transmission onto granule cells of the dentate gyrus. Our hypothesis was that MPH affects hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying learning because MPH boosts catecholamine signaling by blocking the dopamine and norepinephrine transporters (DAT and NET respectively). In vitro hippocampal slice experiments indicated MPH enhances perforant path plasticity, and this MPH enhancement arose from action via D1-type dopamine receptors and β-type adrenergic receptors. Similarly, MPH boosted in vivo initiation of long-term potentiation (LTP). While there was an effect via both dopamine and adrenergic receptors in vivo, LTP induction was more dependent on the MPH-induced action via D1-type dopamine receptors. Under biologically reasonable experimental conditions, MPH enhances hippocampal synaptic plasticity via catecholamine receptors. PMID:25445492

  9. Suppression of synaptic plasticity by fullerenol in rat hippocampus in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xin-Xing; Zha, Ying-Ying; Yang, Bo; Chen, Lin; Wang, Ming

    2016-01-01

    Fullerenol, a water-soluble fullerene derivative, has attracted much attention due to its bioactive properties, including the antioxidative properties and free radical scavenging ability. Due to its superior nature, fullerenol represents a promising diagnostic, therapeutic, and protective agent. Therefore, elucidation of the possible side effects of fullerenol is important in determining its potential role. In the present study, we investigated the acute effects of 5 μM fullerenol on synaptic plasticity in hippocampal brain slices of rats. Incubation with fullerenol for 20 minutes significantly decreased the peak of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, indicating that fullerenol suppresses the short- and long-term synaptic plasticity of region I of hippocampus. We found that fullerenol depressed the activity and the expression of nitric oxide (NO) synthase in hippocampus. In view of the important role of NO in synaptic plasticity, the inhibition of fullerenol on NO synthase may contribute to the suppression of synaptic plasticity. These findings may facilitate the evaluation of the side effects of fullerenol. PMID:27729790

  10. Long-Term Exercise Is Needed to Enhance Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patten, Anna R.; Sickmann, Helle; Hryciw, Brett N.; Kucharsky, Tessa; Parton, Roberta; Kernick, Aimee; Christie, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    Exercise can have many benefits for the body, but it also benefits the brain by increasing neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and performance on learning and memory tasks. The period of exercise needed to realize the structural and functional benefits for the brain have not been well delineated, and previous studies have used periods of exercise…

  11. SRC Inhibition Reduces NR2B Surface Expression and Synaptic Plasticity in the Amygdala

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinai, Laleh; Duffy, Steven; Roder, John C.

    2010-01-01

    The Src protein tyrosine kinase plays a central role in the regulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activity by regulating NMDAR subunit 2B (NR2B) surface expression. In the amygdala, NMDA-dependent synaptic plasticity resulting from convergent somatosensory and auditory inputs contributes to emotional memory; however, the role of Src…

  12. ATP from synaptic terminals and astrocytes regulates NMDA receptors and synaptic plasticity through PSD-95 multi-protein complex

    PubMed Central

    Lalo, U.; Palygin, O.; Verkhratsky, A.; Grant, S. G. N.; Pankratov, Y.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies highlighted the importance of astrocyte-secreted molecules, such as ATP, for the slow modulation of synaptic transmission in central neurones. Biophysical mechanisms underlying the impact of gliotransmitters on the strength of individual synapse remain, however, unclear. Here we show that purinergic P2X receptors can bring significant contribution to the signalling in the individual synaptic boutons. ATP released from astrocytes facilitates a recruitment of P2X receptors into excitatory synapses by Ca2+-dependent mechanism. P2X receptors, co-localized with NMDA receptors in the excitatory synapses, can be activated by ATP co-released with glutamate from pre-synaptic terminals and by glia-derived ATP. An activation of P2X receptors in turn leads to down-regulation of postsynaptic NMDA receptors via Ca2+-dependent de-phosphorylation and interaction with PSD-95 multi-protein complex. Genetic deletion of the PSD-95 or P2X4 receptors obliterated ATP-mediated down-regulation of NMDA receptors. Impairment of purinergic modulation of NMDA receptors in the PSD-95 mutants dramatically decreased the threshold of LTP induction and increased the net magnitude of LTP. Our findings show that synergistic action of glia- and neurone-derived ATP can pre-modulate efficacy of excitatory synapses and thereby can have an important role in the glia-neuron communications and brain meta-plasticity. PMID:27640997

  13. New Rules Governing Synaptic Plasticity In Core Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Xincai; Martin, Gilles E.

    2012-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens is a forebrain region responsible for drug reward and goal directed behaviors. It has long been believed that drugs of abuse exert their addictive properties on behavior by altering the strength of synaptic communication over long periods of time. To date, attempts at understanding the relationship between drugs of abuse and synaptic plasticity have relied on the high-frequency long-term potentiation model of Bliss and LØmo (1973). We examined synaptic plasticity using spike-timing-dependent plasticity, a stimulation paradigm that reflects more closely in vivo firing patterns of core NAcc medium spiny neurons and their afferents. In contrast to other brain regions, the same stimulation paradigm evoked bidirectional long-term plasticity. Long-term potentiation (tLTP) magnitude changed with delay between action potentials (APs) and excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs), and frequency, while that of long-term depression (tLTD) remained unchanged. We showed that tLTP depended on NMDA receptors, whereas tLTD relied on action potentials. Importantly, intracellular calcium signaling pathways mobilized during tLTP and tLTD were different. Thus, calcium-induced calcium release underlies tLTD but not tLTP. Finally, we found that the firing pattern of a subset of MSNs was strongly inhibited by dopamine receptor agonists. Surprisingly, these neurons were exclusively associated with tLTP but not with tLTD. Taken together, these data point to the existence of two subgroups of MSNs with distinct properties, each displaying unique abilities to undergo synaptic plasticity. PMID:23013293

  14. Subchronic glucocorticoid receptor inhibition rescues early episodic memory and synaptic plasticity deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Lanté, Fabien; Chafai, Magda; Raymond, Elisabeth Fabienne; Pereira, Ana Rita Salgueiro; Mouska, Xavier; Kootar, Scherazad; Barik, Jacques; Bethus, Ingrid; Marie, Hélène

    2015-06-01

    The early phase of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by hippocampus-dependent memory deficits and impaired synaptic plasticity. Increasing evidence suggests that stress and dysregulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, marked by the elevated circulating glucocorticoids, are risk factors for AD onset. How these changes contribute to early hippocampal dysfunction remains unclear. Using an elaborated version of the object recognition task, we carefully monitored alterations in key components of episodic memory, the first type of memory altered in AD patients, in early symptomatic Tg2576 AD mice. We also combined biochemical and ex vivo electrophysiological analyses to reveal novel cellular and molecular dysregulations underpinning the onset of the pathology. We show that HPA axis, circadian rhythm, and feedback mechanisms, as well as episodic memory, are compromised in this early symptomatic phase, reminiscent of human AD pathology. The cognitive decline could be rescued by subchronic in vivo treatment with RU486, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. These observed phenotypes were paralleled by a specific enhancement of N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR)-dependent LTD in CA1 pyramidal neurons, whereas LTP and metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent LTD remain unchanged. NMDAR transmission was also enhanced. Finally, we show that, as for the behavioral deficit, RU486 treatment rescues this abnormal synaptic phenotype. These preclinical results define glucocorticoid signaling as a contributing factor to both episodic memory loss and early synaptic failure in this AD mouse model, and suggest that glucocorticoid receptor targeting strategies could be beneficial to delay AD onset.

  15. Hypermethylation of Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity-Related genes is Involved in Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposure-Induced Cognitive Impairments in Rats.

    PubMed

    Ju, Ling-sha; Jia, Min; Sun, Jie; Sun, Xiao-ru; Zhang, Hui; Ji, Mu-huo; Yang, Jian-jun; Wang, Zhong-yun

    2016-02-01

    General anesthetics given to immature rodents cause delayed neurobehavioral abnormalities via incompletely understood mechanisms. DNA methylation, one of the epigenetic modifications, is essential for the modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity through regulating the related genes. Therefore, we investigated whether abnormalities in the hippocampal DNA methylation of synaptic plasticity-related genes are involved in neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive impairments in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 3 % sevoflurane or 30 % oxygen/air for 2 h daily from postnatal day 7 (P7) to P9 and were treated with DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) inhibitor 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5-AZA) or vehicle 1 h before the first sevoflurane exposure on P7. The rats were euthanized 1, 6, 24 h, and 30 days after the last sevoflurane exposure, and the brain tissues were harvested for biochemical analysis. Cognitive functions were evaluated by the open field, fear conditioning, and Morris water maze (MWM) tests on P39, P41-43, and P50-57, respectively. In the present study, repeated neonatal sevoflurane exposure resulted in hippocampus-dependent cognitive impairments as assessed by fear conditioning and MWM tests. The cognitive impairments were associated with the increased DNMTs and hypermethylation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Reelin genes, and subsequent down-regulation of BDNF and Reelin genes, which finally led to the decrease of dendritic spines in the hippocampal pyramidal neurons in adolescent rats. Notably, pretreatment with 5-AZA reversed these sevoflurane-induced abnormalities. In conclusion, our results suggest that hypermethylation of hippocampal BDNF and Reelin is involved in neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive impairments.

  16. Stable learning of functional maps in self-organizing spiking neural networks with continuous synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Jiang, Qin

    2013-01-01

    This study describes a spiking model that self-organizes for stable formation and maintenance of orientation and ocular dominance maps in the visual cortex (V1). This self-organization process simulates three development phases: an early experience-independent phase, a late experience-independent phase and a subsequent refinement phase during which experience acts to shape the map properties. The ocular dominance maps that emerge accommodate the two sets of monocular inputs that arise from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) to layer 4 of V1. The orientation selectivity maps that emerge feature well-developed iso-orientation domains and fractures. During the last two phases of development the orientation preferences at some locations appear to rotate continuously through ±180° along circular paths and referred to as pinwheel-like patterns but without any corresponding point discontinuities in the orientation gradient maps. The formation of these functional maps is driven by balanced excitatory and inhibitory currents that are established via synaptic plasticity based on spike timing for both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. The stability and maintenance of the formed maps with continuous synaptic plasticity is enabled by homeostasis caused by inhibitory plasticity. However, a prolonged exposure to repeated stimuli does alter the formed maps over time due to plasticity. The results from this study suggest that continuous synaptic plasticity in both excitatory neurons and interneurons could play a critical role in the formation, stability, and maintenance of functional maps in the cortex.

  17. Multiple forms of long-term synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses on interneurons.

    PubMed

    Galván, Emilio J; Cosgrove, Kathleen E; Barrionuevo, Germán

    2011-04-01

    The hippocampal mossy fiber (MF) pathway originates from the dentate gyrus granule cells and provides a powerful excitatory synaptic drive to neurons in the dentate gyrus hilus and area CA3. Much of the early work on the MF pathway focused on its electrophysiological properties, and ability to drive CA3 pyramidal cell activity. Over the last ten years, however, a new focus on the synaptic interaction between granule cells and inhibitory interneurons has emerged. These data have revealed an immense heterogeneity of long-term plasticity at MF synapses on various interneuron targets. Interestingly, these studies also indicate that the mechanisms of MF long-term plasticity in some interneuron subtypes may be more similar to pyramidal cells than previously appreciated. In this review, we first define the synapse types at each of the interneuron targets based on the receptors present. We then describe the different forms of long-term plasticity observed, and the mechanisms underlying each form as they are currently understood. Finally we highlight various open questions surrounding MF long-term plasticity in interneurons, focusing specifically on the induction and maintenance of LTP, and what the functional impact of persistent changes in efficacy at MF-interneuron synapses might be on the emergent properties of the inhibitory network dynamics in area CA3. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Synaptic Plasticity & Interneurons'.

  18. Presynaptic NMDA Receptors: Newly Appreciated Roles in Cortical Synaptic Function and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Corlew, Rebekah; Brasier, Daniel J.; Feldman, Daniel E.; Philpot, Benjamin D.

    2009-01-01

    Many aspects of synaptic development, plasticity, and neurotransmission are critically influenced by NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs). Moreover, dysfunction of NMDARs has been implicated in a broad array of neurological disorders, including schizophrenia, stroke, epilepsy, and neuropathic pain. Classically, NMDARs were thought to be exclusively postsynaptic. However, substantial evidence in the last 10 years demonstrates that NMDARs also exist presynaptically, and that presynaptic NMDA receptors (preNMDARs) modulate synapse function and have critical roles in plasticity at many synapses. Here we review current knowledge of the role of preNMDARs in synaptic transmission and plasticity, focusing on the neocortex. We discuss the prevalence, function, and development of these receptors, and their potential modification by experience and in brain pathology. PMID:19029059

  19. The Neuron-specific Chromatin Regulatory Subunit BAF53b is Necessary for Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Matheos, Dina P.; Barrett, Ruth M.; Kramár, Enikö; Azzawi, Soraya; Chen, Yuncai; Magnan, Christophe N.; Zeller, Michael; Sylvain, Angelina; Haettig, Jakob; Jia, Yousheng; Tran, Anthony; Dang, Richard; Post, Rebecca J.; Chabrier, Meredith; Babayan, Alex; Wu, Jiang I.; Crabtree, Gerald R.; Baldi, Pierre; Baram, Tallie Z.; Lynch, Gary; Wood, Marcelo A.

    2013-01-01

    Recent exome sequencing studies have implicated polymorphic BAF complexes (mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes) in several human intellectual disabilities and cognitive disorders. However, it is currently unknown how mutations in BAF complexes result in impaired cognitive function. Post mitotic neurons express a neuron specific assembly, nBAF, characterized by the neuron-specific subunit BAF53b. Mice harboring selective genetic manipulations of BAF53b have severe defects in longterm memory and long-lasting forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We rescued memory impairments in BAF53b mutant mice by reintroducing BAF53b in the adult hippocampus, indicating a role for BAF53b beyond neuronal development. The defects in BAF53b mutant mice appear to derive from alterations in gene expression that produce abnormal postsynaptic components, such as spine structure and function, and ultimately lead to deficits in synaptic plasticity. Our studies provide new insight into the role of dominant mutations in subunits of BAF complexes in human intellectual and cognitive disorders. PMID:23525042

  20. p140Cap regulates memory and synaptic plasticity through Src-mediated and citron-N-mediated actin reorganization.

    PubMed

    Repetto, Daniele; Camera, Paola; Melani, Riccardo; Morello, Noemi; Russo, Isabella; Calcagno, Eleonora; Tomasoni, Romana; Bianchi, Federico; Berto, Gaia; Giustetto, Maurizio; Berardi, Nicoletta; Pizzorusso, Tommaso; Matteoli, Michela; Di Stefano, Paola; Missler, Markus; Turco, Emilia; Di Cunto, Ferdinando; Defilippi, Paola

    2014-01-22

    A major challenge in the neuroscience field is the identification of molecules and pathways that control synaptic plasticity and memory. Dendritic spines play a pivotal role in these processes, as the major sites of excitatory synapses in neuronal communication. Previous studies have shown that the scaffold protein p140Cap localizes into dendritic spines and that its knockdown negatively modulates spine shape in culture. However, so far, there is no information on its in vivo relevance. By using a knock-out mouse model, we here demonstrate that p140Cap is a key element for both learning and synaptic plasticity. Indeed, p140Cap(-/-) mice are impaired in object recognition test, as well as in LTP and in LTD measurements. The in vivo effects of p140Cap loss are presumably attenuated by noncell-autonomous events, since primary neurons obtained from p140Cap(-/-) mice show a strong reduction in number of mushroom spines and abnormal organization of synapse-associated F-actin. These phenotypes are most likely caused by a local reduction of the inhibitory control of RhoA and of cortactin toward the actin-depolymerizing factor cofilin. These events can be controlled by p140Cap through its capability to directly inhibit the activation of Src kinase and by its binding to the scaffold protein Citron-N. Altogether, our results provide new insight into how protein associated with dynamic microtubules may regulate spine actin organization through interaction with postsynaptic density components.

  1. Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity Regulation in Solution-Gated Indium-Gallium-Zinc-Oxide Electric-Double-Layer Transistors.

    PubMed

    Wan, Chang Jin; Liu, Yang Hui; Zhu, Li Qiang; Feng, Ping; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-04-20

    In the biological nervous system, synaptic plasticity regulation is based on the modulation of ionic fluxes, and such regulation was regarded as the fundamental mechanism underlying memory and learning. Inspired by such biological strategies, indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (IGZO) electric-double-layer (EDL) transistors gated by aqueous solutions were proposed for synaptic behavior emulations. Short-term synaptic plasticity, such as paired-pulse facilitation, high-pass filtering, and orientation tuning, was experimentally emulated in these EDL transistors. Most importantly, we found that such short-term synaptic plasticity can be effectively regulated by alcohol (ethyl alcohol) and salt (potassium chloride) additives. Our results suggest that solution gated oxide-based EDL transistors could act as the platforms for short-term synaptic plasticity emulation.

  2. Activity- and age-dependent GABAergic synaptic plasticity in the developing rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Gubellini, P; Ben-Ari, Y; Gaïarsa, J L

    2001-12-01

    Activity-dependent plasticity of GABAergic synaptic transmission was investigated in rat hippocampal slices obtained between postnatal day (P) 0-15 using the whole-cell patch-clamp recording technique. Spontaneous GABA(A) receptor-mediated postsynaptic currents (sGABA(A)-PSCs) were isolated in the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonists. A conditioning protocol relevant to the physiological condition, consisting of repetitive depolarizing pulses (DPs) at 0.1 Hz, was able to induce long-lasting changes in both frequency and amplitude of sGABA(A)-PSCs between P0 and P8. Starting from P12, DPs were unable to induce any form of synaptic plasticity. The effects of DPs were tightly keyed to the frequency at which they were delivered. When delivered at a lower (0.05 Hz) or higher (1 Hz) frequency, DPs failed to induce any long-lasting change in the frequency or amplitude of sGABA(A)-PSCs. In two cases, DPs were able to activate sGABA(A)-PSCs in previously synaptically silent cells at P0-1. These results show that long-term changes in GABAergic synaptic activity can be induced during a restricted period of development by a conditioning protocol relevant to the physiological condition. It is suggested that such activity-induced modifications may represent a physiological mechanism for the functional maturation of GABAergic synaptic transmission.

  3. Prior regular exercise prevents synaptic plasticity impairment in sleep deprived female rats.

    PubMed

    Saadati, Hakimeh; Sheibani, Vahid; Esmaeili-Mahani, Saeed; Hajali, Vahid; Mazhari, Shahrzad

    2014-09-01

    Previous studies have indicated that physical exercise plays a preventive role in synaptic plasticity deficits in the hippocampus of sleep-deprived male rats. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of treadmill running on early long term potentiation (E-LTP) at the Cornu Ammonis (CA1) area of the hippocampus in sleep-deprived female rats. Intact and ovariectomiezed (OVX) female Wistar rats were used in the present study. The exercise protocol was four weeks treadmill running and the multiple platform method was applied to induce 72 h sleep deprivation (SD). We examine the effect of exercise and/or SD on synaptic plasticity using in vivo extracellular recording in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. The field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP) slope was measured before and 2h after high frequency stimulation (HFS) in the experimental groups. Field potential recording indicated that the induction and maintenance phase of E-LTP impaired in the sleep deprived animals compared to the other groups. After 72 h SD, E-LTP impairments were prevented by 4 weeks of regular treadmill exercise. In conclusion, the synaptic plasticity deficit in sleep-deprived female rats was improved by regular physical exercise. Further studies are suggested to evaluate the possible underlying mechanisms.

  4. Spike timing-dependent plasticity as the origin of the formation of clustered synaptic efficacy engrams.

    PubMed

    Iannella, Nicolangelo Libero; Launey, Thomas; Tanaka, Shigeru

    2010-01-01

    Synapse location, dendritic active properties and synaptic plasticity are all known to play some role in shaping the different input streams impinging onto a neuron. It remains unclear however, how the magnitude and spatial distribution of synaptic efficacies emerge from this interplay. Here, we investigate this interplay using a biophysically detailed neuron model of a reconstructed layer 2/3 pyramidal cell and spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). Specifically, we focus on the issue of how the efficacy of synapses contributed by different input streams are spatially represented in dendrites after STDP learning. We construct a simple feed forward network where a detailed model neuron receives synaptic inputs independently from multiple yet equally sized groups of afferent fibers with correlated activity, mimicking the spike activity from different neuronal populations encoding, for example, different sensory modalities. Interestingly, ensuing STDP learning, we observe that for all afferent groups, STDP leads to synaptic efficacies arranged into spatially segregated clusters effectively partitioning the dendritic tree. These segregated clusters possess a characteristic global organization in space, where they form a tessellation in which each group dominates mutually exclusive regions of the dendrite. Put simply, the dendritic imprint from different input streams left after STDP learning effectively forms what we term a "dendritic efficacy mosaic." Furthermore, we show how variations of the inputs and STDP rule affect such an organization. Our model suggests that STDP may be an important mechanism for creating a clustered plasticity engram, which shapes how different input streams are spatially represented in dendrite.

  5. The roles of protein expression in synaptic plasticity and memory consolidation

    PubMed Central

    Rosenberg, Tali; Gal-Ben-Ari, Shunit; Dieterich, Daniela C.; Kreutz, Michael R.; Ziv, Noam E.; Gundelfinger, Eckart D.; Rosenblum, Kobi

    2014-01-01

    The amount and availability of proteins are regulated by their synthesis, degradation, and transport. These processes can specifically, locally, and temporally regulate a protein or a population of proteins, thus affecting numerous biological processes in health and disease states. Accordingly, malfunction in the processes of protein turnover and localization underlies different neuronal diseases. However, as early as a century ago, it was recognized that there is a specific need for normal macromolecular synthesis in a specific fragment of the learning process, memory consolidation, which takes place minutes to hours following acquisition. Memory consolidation is the process by which fragile short-term memory is converted into stable long-term memory. It is accepted today that synaptic plasticity is a cellular mechanism of learning and memory processes. Interestingly, similar molecular mechanisms subserve both memory and synaptic plasticity consolidation. In this review, we survey the current view on the connection between memory consolidation processes and proteostasis, i.e., maintaining the protein contents at the neuron and the synapse. In addition, we describe the technical obstacles and possible new methods to determine neuronal proteostasis of synaptic function and better explain the process of memory and synaptic plasticity consolidation. PMID:25429258

  6. Neurexin-1 regulates sleep and synaptic plasticity in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Larkin, Aoife; Chen, Ming-Yu; Kirszenblat, Leonie; Reinhard, Judith; van Swinderen, Bruno; Claudianos, Charles

    2015-10-01

    Neurexins are cell adhesion molecules that are important for synaptic plasticity and homeostasis, although links to sleep have not yet been investigated. We examined the effects of neurexin-1 perturbation on sleep in Drosophila, showing that neurexin-1 nulls displayed fragmented sleep and altered circadian rhythm. Conversely, the over-expression of neurexin-1 could increase and consolidate night-time sleep. This was not solely due to developmental effects as it could be induced acutely in adulthood, and was coupled with evidence of synaptic growth. The timing of over-expression could differentially impact sleep patterns, with specific night-time effects. These results show that neurexin-1 was dynamically involved in synaptic plasticity and sleep in Drosophila. Neurexin-1 and a number of its binding partners have been repeatedly associated with mental health disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome, all of which are also linked to altered sleep patterns. How and when plasticity-related proteins such as neurexin-1 function during sleep can provide vital information on the interaction between synaptic homeostasis and sleep, paving the way for more informed treatments of human disorders.

  7. AMPA receptor trafficking and the mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and cognitive aging.

    PubMed

    Henley, Jeremy M; Wilkinson, Kevin A

    2013-03-01

    Even in healthy individuals there is an inexorable agerelated decline in cognitive function. This is due, in large part, to reduced synaptic plasticity caused by changes in the molecular composition of the postsynaptic membrane. AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are glutamate-gated cation channels that mediate the overwhelming majority of fast excitatory transmission in the brain. Changes in AMPAR number and/or function are a core feature of synaptic plasticity and age-related cognitive decline, AMPARs are highly dynamic proteins that are subject to highly controlled trafficking, recycling, and/or degradation and replacement. This active regulation of AMPAR synthesis, targeting, synaptic dwell time, and degradation is fundamentally important for memory formation and storage. Further, aberrant AMPAR trafficking and consequent detrimental changes in synapses are strongly implicated in many brain diseases, which represent a vast social and economic burden. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the molecular and cellular AMPA receptor trafficking events that control synaptic responsiveness and plasticity, and highlight what is known currently known about how these processes change with age and disease.

  8. Effects of pre-natal alcohol exposure on hippocampal synaptic plasticity: Sex, age and methodological considerations.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Christine J; Patten, Anna R; Sickmann, Helle M; Helfer, Jennifer L; Christie, Brian R

    2016-05-01

    The consumption of alcohol during gestation is detrimental to the developing central nervous system (CNS). The severity of structural and functional brain alterations associated with alcohol intake depends on many factors including the timing and duration of alcohol consumption. The hippocampal formation, a brain region implicated in learning and memory, is highly susceptible to the effects of developmental alcohol exposure. Some of the observed effects of alcohol on learning and memory may be due to changes at the synaptic level, as this teratogen has been repeatedly shown to interfere with hippocampal synaptic plasticity. At the molecular level alcohol interferes with receptor proteins and can disrupt hormones that are important for neuronal signaling and synaptic plasticity. In this review we examine the consequences of prenatal and early postnatal alcohol exposure on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and highlight the numerous factors that can modulate the effects of alcohol. We also discuss some potential mechanisms responsible for these changes as well as emerging therapeutic avenues that are beginning to be explored.

  9. CD44: a novel synaptic cell adhesion molecule regulating structural and functional plasticity of dendritic spines

    PubMed Central

    Roszkowska, Matylda; Skupien, Anna; Wójtowicz, Tomasz; Konopka, Anna; Gorlewicz, Adam; Kisiel, Magdalena; Bekisz, Marek; Ruszczycki, Blazej; Dolezyczek, Hubert; Rejmak, Emilia; Knapska, Ewelina; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W.; Wlodarczyk, Jakub; Wilczynski, Grzegorz M.; Dzwonek, Joanna

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic cell adhesion molecules regulate signal transduction, synaptic function, and plasticity. However, their role in neuronal interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) is not well understood. Here we report that the CD44, a transmembrane receptor for hyaluronan, modulates synaptic plasticity. High-resolution ultrastructural analysis showed that CD44 was localized at mature synapses in the adult brain. The reduced expression of CD44 affected the synaptic excitatory transmission of primary hippocampal neurons, simultaneously modifying dendritic spine shape. The frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents decreased, accompanied by dendritic spine elongation and thinning. These structural and functional alterations went along with a decrease in the number of presynaptic Bassoon puncta, together with a reduction of PSD-95 levels at dendritic spines, suggesting a reduced number of functional synapses. Lack of CD44 also abrogated spine head enlargement upon neuronal stimulation. Moreover, our results indicate that CD44 contributes to proper dendritic spine shape and function by modulating the activity of actin cytoskeleton regulators, that is, Rho GTPases (RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42). Thus CD44 appears to be a novel molecular player regulating functional and structural plasticity of dendritic spines. PMID:27798233

  10. Roles for Regulator of G Protein Signaling Proteins in Synaptic Signaling and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Gerber, Kyle J.; Squires, Katherine E.

    2016-01-01

    The regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) family of proteins serves critical roles in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and heterotrimeric G protein signal transduction. RGS proteins are best understood as negative regulators of GPCR/G protein signaling. They achieve this by acting as GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) for Gα subunits and accelerating the turnoff of G protein signaling. Many RGS proteins also bind additional signaling partners that either regulate their functions or enable them to regulate other important signaling events. At neuronal synapses, GPCRs, G proteins, and RGS proteins work in coordination to regulate key aspects of neurotransmitter release, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity, which are necessary for central nervous system physiology and behavior. Accumulating evidence has revealed key roles for specific RGS proteins in multiple signaling pathways at neuronal synapses, regulating both pre- and postsynaptic signaling events and synaptic plasticity. Here, we review and highlight the current knowledge of specific RGS proteins (RGS2, RGS4, RGS7, RGS9-2, and RGS14) that have been clearly demonstrated to serve critical roles in modulating synaptic signaling and plasticity throughout the brain, and we consider their potential as future therapeutic targets. PMID:26655302

  11. Dietary cholesterol concentration affects synaptic plasticity and dendrite spine morphology of rabbit hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Wang, Desheng; Zheng, Wen

    2015-10-05

    Previous studies have shown dietary cholesterol can enhance learning but retard memory which may be partly due to increased cholesterol levels in hippocampus and reduced afterhyperpolarization (AHP) amplitude of hippocampal CA1 neurons. This study explored the dose-dependent effect of dietary cholesterol on synaptic plasticity of rabbit hippocampal CA1 neurons and spine morphology, the postsynaptic structures responsible for synaptic plasticity. Field potential recordings revealed a low concentration of dietary cholesterol increased long-term potentiation (LTP) expression while high concentrations produced a pronounced reduction in LTP expression. Dietary cholesterol facilitated basal synaptic transmission but did not influence presynaptic function. DiI staining showed dietary cholesterol induced alterations in dendrite spine morphology characterized by increased mushroom spine density and decreased thin spine density, two kinds of dendritic spines that may be linked to memory consolidation and learning acquisition. Dietary cholesterol also modulated the geometric measures of mushroom spines. Therefore, dietary cholesterol dose-dependently modulated both synaptic plasticity and dendrite spine morphologies of hippocampal CA1 neurons that could mediate learning and memory changes previously seen to result from feeding a cholesterol diet.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-09

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

  13. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism impairs NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Ninan, Ipe; Bath, Kevin G; Dagar, Karishma; Perez-Castro, Rosalia; Plummer, Mark R; Lee, Francis S; Chao, Moses V

    2010-06-30

    The Val66Met polymorphism in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene results in a defect in regulated release of BDNF and affects episodic memory and affective behaviors. However, the precise role of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism in hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity has not yet been studied. Therefore, we examined synaptic properties in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses of BDNF(Met/Met) mice and matched wild-type mice. Although basal glutamatergic neurotransmission was normal, both young and adult mice showed a significant reduction in NMDA receptor-dependent long-term potentiation. We also found that NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression was decreased in BDNF(Met/Met) mice. However, mGluR-dependent long-term depression was not affected by the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Consistent with the NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity impairment, we observed a significant decrease in NMDA receptor neurotransmission in the CA1 pyramidal neurons of BDNF(Met/Met) mice. Thus, these results show that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has a direct effect on NMDA receptor transmission, which may account for changes in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

  14. Pregnenolone sulfate as a modulator of synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Conor C.; Gibbs, Terrell T.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale The neurosteroid pregnenolone sulfate (PregS) acts as a cognitive enhancer and modulator of neurotransmission, yet aligning its pharmacological and physiological effects with reliable measurements of endogenous local concentrations and pharmacological and therapeutic targets has remained elusive for over 20 years. Objectives New basic and clinical research concerning neurosteroid modulation of the central nervous system (CNS) function has emerged over the past 5 years, including important data involving pregnenolone and various neurosteroid precursors of PregS that point to a need for a critical status update. Results Highly specific actions of PregS affecting excitatory N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic transmission and the pharmacological effects of PregS on various receptors and ion channels are discussed. The discovery of a high potency (nanomolar) signal transduction pathway for PregS-induced NMDAR trafficking to the cell surface via a Ca2+- and G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-dependent mechanism and a potent (EC50 ~2 pM) direct enhancement of intracellular Ca2+ levels is discussed in terms of its agonist effects on long-term potentiation (LTP) and memory. Lastly, preclinical and clinical studies assessing the promnestic effects of PregS and pregnenolone toward cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, and altered serum levels in epilepsy and alcohol dependence, are reviewed. Conclusions PregS is present in human and rodent brain at physiologically relevant concentrations and meets most of the criteria for an endogenous neurotransmitter/neuromodulator. PregS likely plays a significant role in modulation of glutamatergic excitatory synaptic transmission underlying learning and memory, yet the molecular target(s) for its action awaits identification. PMID:24997854

  15. Changed Synaptic Plasticity in Neural Circuits of Depressive-Like and Escitalopram-Treated Rats

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiao-Li; Yuan, Yong-Gui; Xu, Hua; Wu, Di; Gong, Wei-Gang; Geng, Lei-Yu; Wu, Fang-Fang; Tang, Hao; Xu, Lin

    2015-01-01

    Background: Although progress has been made in the detection and characterization of neural plasticity in depression, it has not been fully understood in individual synaptic changes in the neural circuits under chronic stress and antidepressant treatment. Methods: Using electron microscopy and Western-blot analyses, the present study quantitatively examined the changes in the Gray’s Type I synaptic ultrastructures and the expression of synapse-associated proteins in the key brain regions of rats’ depressive-related neural circuit after chronic unpredicted mild stress and/or escitalopram administration. Meanwhile, their depressive behaviors were also determined by several tests. Results: The Type I synapses underwent considerable remodeling after chronic unpredicted mild stress, which resulted in the changed width of the synaptic cleft, length of the active zone, postsynaptic density thickness, and/or synaptic curvature in the subregions of medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, as well as the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus of the amygdala, accompanied by changed expression of several synapse-associated proteins. Chronic escitalopram administration significantly changed the above alternations in the chronic unpredicted mild stress rats but had little effect on normal controls. Also, there was a positive correlation between the locomotor activity and the maximal synaptic postsynaptic density thickness in the stratum radiatum of the Cornu Ammonis 1 region and a negative correlation between the sucrose preference and the length of the active zone in the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus region in chronic unpredicted mild stress rats. Conclusion: These findings strongly indicate that chronic stress and escitalopram can alter synaptic plasticity in the neural circuits, and the remodeled synaptic ultrastructure was correlated with the rats’ depressive behaviors, suggesting a therapeutic target for further exploration. PMID:25899067

  16. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity occurs in the intermediate hippocampus in association with spatial learning

    PubMed Central

    Kenney, Jana; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2013-01-01

    The dorsoventral axis of the hippocampus is differentiated into dorsal, intermediate, and ventral parts. Whereas the dorsal part is believed to specialize in processing spatial information, the ventral may be equipped to process non-spatial information. The precise role of the intermediate hippocampus is unclear, although recent data suggests it is functionally distinct, at least from the dorsal hippocampus. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity describes the ability of hippocampal synapses to respond with robust synaptic plasticity (>24 h) when a spatial learning event is coupled with afferent stimulation that would normally not lead to a lasting plasticity response: in the dorsal hippocampus novel space facilitates robust expression of long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas novel spatial content facilitates long-term depression (LTD). We explored whether the intermediate hippocampus engages in this kind of synaptic plasticity in response to novel spatial experience. In freely moving rats, high-frequency stimulation at 200 Hz (3 bursts of 15 stimuli) elicited synaptic potentiation that lasted for at least 4 h. Coupling of this stimulation with the exploration of a novel holeboard resulted in LTP that lasted for over 24 h. Low frequency afferent stimulation (1 Hz, 900 pulses) resulted in short-term depression (STD) that was significantly enhanced and prolonged by exposure to a novel large orientational (landmark) cues, however LTD was not enabled. Exposure to a holeboard that included novel objects in the holeboard holes elicited a transient enhancement of STD of the population spike (PS) but not field EPSP, and also failed to facilitate the expression of LTD. Our data suggest that the intermediate dentate gyrus engages in processing of spatial information, but is functionally distinct to the dorsal dentate gyrus. This may in turn reflect their assumed different roles in synaptic information processing and memory formation. PMID:24194716

  17. Antibody-mediated Impairment and Homeostatic Plasticity of Autonomic Ganglionic Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhengbei; Low, Phillip A.; Vernino, Steven

    2010-01-01

    Antibodies against ganglionic acetylcholine receptors (AChR) are implicated as the cause of autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy (AAG). To characterize ganglionic neurotransmission in an animal model of AAG, evoked and spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSP) were recorded from neurons in isolated mouse superior cervical ganglia (SCG). In vitro exposure of ganglia to IgG from AAG patients progressively inhibited synaptic transmission. After passive transfer of antibody to mice, evoked EPSP amplitude decreased, and some neurons showed no synaptic responses. EPSP amplitude recovered by day seven despite persistence of ganglionic AChR antibody in the mouse serum. There was a more persistent (at least 14 day) reduction in miniature EPSP amplitude consistent with antibody-mediated reduction in post-synaptic AChR. Although the quantal size was reduced, a progressive increase in the frequency of spontaneous synaptic events occurred, suggesting a compensatory increase in presynaptic efficacy. The quantal size returned to baseline by 21 days while the frequency remained increased for at least four weeks. Ganglionic AChR antibodies cause an impairment of autonomic ganglionic synaptic transmission. Homeostatic plasticity in autonomic neurotransmission could help explain the spontaneous clinical recovery seen in some AAG patients and may also play an important role in regulating normal autonomic reflexes. PMID:20044994

  18. Bidirectional synaptic plasticity and spatial memory flexibility require Ca2+-stimulated adenylyl cyclases.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ming; Storm, Daniel R; Wang, Hongbing

    2011-07-13

    When certain memory becomes obsolete, effective suppression of the previously established memory is essential for animals to adapt to the changing environment. At the cellular level, reversal of synaptic potentiation may be important for neurons to acquire new information and to prevent synaptic saturation. Here, we investigated the function of Ca(2+)-stimulated cAMP signaling in the regulation of bidirectional synaptic plasticity and spatial memory formation in double knock-out mice (DKO) lacking both type 1 and 8 adenylyl cyclases (ACs). In anesthetized animals, the DKO mutants showed defective long-term potentiation (LTP) after a single high-frequency stimulation (HFS) or two spaced HFSs at 100 Hz. However, DKO mice showed normal LTP after a single HFS at 200 Hz or two compressed HFSs at 100 Hz. Interestingly, reversal of synaptic potentiation as well as de novo synaptic depression was impaired in DKO mice. In the Morris water maze, DKO mice showed defective acquisition and memory retention, although the deficits could be attenuated by overtraining or compressed trainings with a shorter intertrial interval. In the reversal platform test, DKO animals were impaired in both relearning and old memory suppression. Furthermore, the extinction of the old spatial memory was not efficient in DKO mice. These data demonstrate that Ca(2+)-stimulated AC activity is important not only for LTP and spatial memory formation but also for the suppression of both previously established synaptic potentiation and old spatial memory.

  19. Inhibition of DNA Methylation Impairs Synaptic Plasticity during an Early Time Window in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Paula; Ardiles, Álvaro O.

    2016-01-01

    Although the importance of DNA methylation-dependent gene expression to neuronal plasticity is well established, the dynamics of methylation and demethylation during the induction and expression of synaptic plasticity have not been explored. Here, we combined electrophysiological, pharmacological, molecular, and immunohistochemical approaches to examine the contribution of DNA methylation and the phosphorylation of Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) to synaptic plasticity. We found that, at twenty minutes after theta burst stimulation (TBS), the DNA methylation inhibitor 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5AZA) impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). Surprisingly, after two hours of TBS, when LTP had become a transcription-dependent process, 5AZA treatment had no effect. By comparing these results to those in naive slices, we found that, at two hours after TBS, an intergenic region of the RLN gene was hypomethylated and that the phosphorylation of residue S80 of MeCP2 was decreased, while the phosphorylation of residue S421 was increased. As expected, 5AZA affected only the methylation of the RLN gene and exerted no effect on MeCP2 phosphorylation patterns. In summary, our data suggest that tetanic stimulation induces critical changes in synaptic plasticity that affects both DNA methylation and the phosphorylation of MeCP2. These data also suggest that early alterations in DNA methylation are sufficient to impair the full expression of LTP. PMID:27493805

  20. The requirement of BDNF for hippocampal synaptic plasticity is experience‐dependent

    PubMed Central

    Aarse, Janna; Herlitze, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Brain‐derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) supports neuronal survival, growth, and differentiation and has been implicated in forms of hippocampus‐dependent learning. In vitro, a specific role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity has been described, although not all experience‐dependent forms of synaptic plasticity critically depend on BDNF. Synaptic plasticity is likely to enable long‐term synaptic information storage and memory, and the induction of persistent (>24 h) forms, such as long‐term potentiation (LTP) and long‐term depression (LTD) is tightly associated with learning specific aspects of a spatial representation. Whether BDNF is required for persistent (>24 h) forms of LTP and LTD, and how it contributes to synaptic plasticity in the freely behaving rodent has never been explored. We examined LTP, LTD, and related forms of learning in the CA1 region of freely dependent mice that have a partial knockdown of BDNF (BDNF+/−). We show that whereas early‐LTD (<90min) requires BDNF, short‐term depression (<45 min) does not. Furthermore, BDNF is required for LTP that is induced by mild, but not strong short afferent stimulation protocols. Object‐place learning triggers LTD in the CA1 region of mice. We observed that object‐place memory was impaired and the object‐place exploration failed to induce LTD in BDNF+/− mice. Furthermore, spatial reference memory, that is believed to be enabled by LTP, was also impaired. Taken together, these data indicate that BDNF is required for specific, but not all, forms of hippocampal‐dependent information storage and memory. Thus, very robust forms of synaptic plasticity may circumvent the need for BDNF, rather it may play a specific role in the optimization of weaker forms of plasticity. The finding that both learning‐facilitated LTD and spatial reference memory are both impaired in BDNF+/− mice, suggests moreover, that it is critically required for the physiological encoding of hippocampus

  1. Temporal profiles of synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult mouse hippocampus with methotrexate treatment.

    PubMed

    Yang, Miyoung; Kim, Juhwan; Kim, Sung-Ho; Kim, Joong-Sun; Shin, Taekyun; Moon, Changjong

    2012-07-25

    Methotrexate, which is used to treat many malignancies and autoimmune diseases, affects brain functions including hippocampal-dependent memory function. However, the precise mechanisms underlying methotrexate-induced hippocampal dysfunction are poorly understood. To evaluate temporal changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals, the expression and activity of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, cAMP responsive element-binding protein, glutamate receptor 1, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor were examined in the hippocampi of adult C57BL/6 mice after methotrexate (40 mg/kg) intraperitoneal injection. Western blot analysis showed biphasic changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult hippocampi following methotrexate treatment. N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and glutamate receptor 1 were acutely activated during the early phase (1 day post-injection), while extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and cAMP responsive element-binding protein activation showed biphasic increases during the early (1 day post-injection) and late phases (7-14 days post-injection). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor expression increased significantly during the late phase (7-14 days post-injection). Therefore, methotrexate treatment affects synaptic plasticity-related signals in the adult mouse hippocampus, suggesting that changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals may be associated with neuronal survival and plasticity-related cellular remodeling.

  2. Possible Contributions of a Novel Form of Synaptic Plasticity in "Aplysia" to Reward, Memory, and Their Dysfunctions in Mammalian Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, Robert D.

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies in "Aplysia" have identified a new variation of synaptic plasticity in which modulatory transmitters enhance spontaneous release of glutamate, which then acts on postsynaptic receptors to recruit mechanisms of intermediate- and long-term plasticity. In this review I suggest the hypothesis that similar plasticity occurs in…

  3. Questions about STDP as a General Model of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lisman, John; Spruston, Nelson

    2010-01-01

    According to spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), the timing of the Na+ spike relative to the EPSP determines whether LTP or LTD will occur. Here, we review our reservations about STDP. Most investigations of this process have been done under conditions in which the spike is evoked by postsynaptic current injection. Under more realistic conditions, in which the spike is evoked by the EPSP, the results do not generally support STDP. For instance, low-frequency stimulation of a group of synapses can cause LTD, not the LTP predicted by the pre-before-post sequence in STDP; this is true regardless of whether or not the EPSP is large enough to produce a Na+ spike. With stronger or more frequent stimulation, LTP can be induced by the same pre-before-post timing, but in this case block of Na+ spikes does not necessarily prevent LTP induction. Thus, Na+ spikes may facilitate LTP and/or LTD under some conditions, but they are not necessary, a finding consistent with their small size relative to the EPSP in many parts of pyramidal cell dendrites. The nature of the dendritic depolarizing events that control bidirectional plasticity is of central importance to understanding neural function. There are several candidates, including backpropagating action potentials, but also dendritic Ca2+ spikes, the AMPA receptor-mediated EPSP, and NMDA receptor-mediated EPSPs or spikes. These often appear to be more important than the Na+ spike in providing the depolarization necessary for plasticity. We thus feel that it is premature to accept STDP-like processes as the major determinant of LTP/LTD. PMID:21423526

  4. Striatal Synaptic Dysfunction and Hippocampal Plasticity Deficits in the Hu97/18 Mouse Model of Huntington Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kolodziejczyk, Karolina; Parsons, Matthew P.; Southwell, Amber L.; Hayden, Michael R.; Raymond, Lynn A.

    2014-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the gene (HTT) encoding the huntingtin protein (HTT). This mutation leads to multiple cellular and synaptic alterations that are mimicked in many current HD animal models. However, the most commonly used, well-characterized HD models do not accurately reproduce the genetics of human disease. Recently, a new ‘humanized’ mouse model, termed Hu97/18, has been developed that genetically recapitulates human HD, including two human HTT alleles, no mouse Hdh alleles and heterozygosity of the HD mutation. Previously, behavioral and neuropathological testing in Hu97/18 mice revealed many features of HD, yet no electrophysiological measures were employed to investigate possible synaptic alterations. Here, we describe electrophysiological changes in the striatum and hippocampus of the Hu97/18 mice. At 9 months of age, a stage when cognitive deficits are fully developed and motor dysfunction is also evident, Hu97/18 striatal spiny projection neurons (SPNs) exhibited small changes in membrane properties and lower amplitude and frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs); however, release probability from presynaptic terminals was unaltered. Strikingly, these mice also exhibited a profound deficiency in long-term potentiation (LTP) at CA3-to-CA1 synapses. In contrast, at 6 months of age we found only subtle alterations in SPN synaptic transmission, while 3-month old animals did not display any electrophysiologically detectable changes in the striatum and CA1 LTP was intact. Together, these data reveal robust, progressive deficits in synaptic function and plasticity in Hu97/18 mice, consistent with previously reported behavioral abnormalities, and suggest an optimal age (9 months) for future electrophysiological assessment in preclinical studies of HD. PMID:24728353

  5. Hippocampal Insulin Resistance Impairs Spatial Learning and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Piroli, Gerardo G.; Lawrence, Robert C.; Wrighten, Shayna A.; Green, Adrienne J.; Wilson, Steven P.; Sakai, Randall R.; Kelly, Sandra J.; Wilson, Marlene A.; Mott, David D.; Reagan, Lawrence P.

    2015-01-01

    Insulin receptors (IRs) are expressed in discrete neuronal populations in the central nervous system, including the hippocampus. To elucidate the functional role of hippocampal IRs independent of metabolic function, we generated a model of hippocampal-specific insulin resistance using a lentiviral vector expressing an IR antisense sequence (LV-IRAS). LV-IRAS effectively downregulates IR expression in the rat hippocampus without affecting body weight, adiposity, or peripheral glucose homeostasis. Nevertheless, hippocampal neuroplasticity was impaired in LV-IRAS–treated rats. High-frequency stimulation, which evoked robust long-term potentiation (LTP) in brain slices from LV control rats, failed to evoke LTP in LV-IRAS–treated rats. GluN2B subunit levels, as well as the basal level of phosphorylation of GluA1, were reduced in the hippocampus of LV-IRAS rats. Moreover, these deficits in synaptic transmission were associated with impairments in spatial learning. We suggest that alterations in the expression and phosphorylation of glutamate receptor subunits underlie the alterations in LTP and that these changes are responsible for the impairment in hippocampal-dependent learning. Importantly, these learning deficits are strikingly similar to the impairments in complex task performance observed in patients with diabetes, which strengthens the hypothesis that hippocampal insulin resistance is a key mediator of cognitive deficits independent of glycemic control. PMID:26216852

  6. Variations on the Theme of Synaptic Filtering: A Comparison of Integrate-and-Express Models of Synaptic Plasticity for Memory Lifetimes.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Terry

    2016-09-14

    Integrate-and-express models of synaptic plasticity propose that synapses integrate plasticity induction signals before expressing synaptic plasticity. By discerning trends in their induction signals, synapses can control destabilizing fluctuations in synaptic strength. In a feedforward perceptron framework with binary-strength synapses for associative memory storage, we have previously shown that such a filter-based model outperforms other, nonintegrative, "cascade"-type models of memory storage in most regions of biologically relevant parameter space. Here, we consider some natural extensions of our earlier filter model, including one specifically tailored to binary-strength synapses and one that demands a fixed, consecutive number of same-type induction signals rather than merely an excess before expressing synaptic plasticity. With these extensions, we show that filter-based models outperform nonintegrative models in all regions of biologically relevant parameter space except for a small sliver in which all models encode memories only weakly. In this sliver, which model is superior depends on the metric used to gauge memory lifetimes (whether a signal-to-noise ratio or a mean first passage time). After comparing and contrasting these various filter models, we discuss the multiple mechanisms and timescales that underlie both synaptic plasticity and memory phenomena and suggest that multiple different filtering mechanisms may operate at single synapses.

  7. The AAA+ ATPase, Thorase Regulates AMPA Receptor-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jianmin; Wang, Yue; Chi, Zhikai; Keuss, Matthew J.; Pai, Ying-Min Emily; Kang, Ho Chul; Shin, Jooho; Bugayenko, Artem; Wang, Hong; Xiong, Yulan; Pletnikov, Mikhail V.; Mattson, Mark P.; Dawson, Ted M.; Dawson, Valina L.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY The synaptic insertion or removal of AMPA receptors (AMPAR) plays critical roles in the regulation of synaptic activity reflected in the expression of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). The cellular events underlying this important process in learning and memory are still being revealed. Here we describe and characterize the AAA+ ATPase, Thorase, that regulates the expression of surface AMPAR. In an ATPase-dependent manner Thorase mediates the internalization of AMPAR by disassembling the AMPAR-GRIP1 complex. Following genetic deletion of Thorase, the internalization of AMPAR is substantially reduced, leading to increased amplitudes of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, enhancement of LTP and elimination of LTD. These molecular events are expressed as deficits in learning and memory in Thorase null mice. This study identifies an AAA+ ATPase that plays a critical role in regulating the surface expression of AMPAR and thereby regulates synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. PMID:21496646

  8. Disturbance in Maternal Environment Leads to Abnormal Synaptic Instability during Neuronal Circuitry Development

    PubMed Central

    Hatanaka, Yusuke; Kabuta, Tomohiro; Wada, Keiji

    2017-01-01

    Adverse maternal environment during gestation and lactation can have negative effects on the developing brain that persist into adulthood and result in behavioral impairment. Recent studies of human and animal models suggest epidemiological and experimental association between disturbances in maternal environments during brain development and the occurrence of neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we summarize recent advances in understanding the effects of maternal metabolic and hormonal abnormalities on the developing brain by focusing on the dynamics of dendritic spine, an excitatory postsynaptic structure. We discuss the abnormal instability of dendritic spines that is common to developmental disorders and neurological diseases. We also introduce our recent studies that demonstrate how maternal obesity and hyperandrogenism leads to abnormal development of neuronal circuitry and persistent synaptic instability, which results in the loss of synapses. The aim of this review is to highlight the links between abnormal maternal environment, behavioral impairment in offspring, and the dendiric spine pathology of neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:28220059

  9. Disturbance in Maternal Environment Leads to Abnormal Synaptic Instability during Neuronal Circuitry Development.

    PubMed

    Hatanaka, Yusuke; Kabuta, Tomohiro; Wada, Keiji

    2017-01-01

    Adverse maternal environment during gestation and lactation can have negative effects on the developing brain that persist into adulthood and result in behavioral impairment. Recent studies of human and animal models suggest epidemiological and experimental association between disturbances in maternal environments during brain development and the occurrence of neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we summarize recent advances in understanding the effects of maternal metabolic and hormonal abnormalities on the developing brain by focusing on the dynamics of dendritic spine, an excitatory postsynaptic structure. We discuss the abnormal instability of dendritic spines that is common to developmental disorders and neurological diseases. We also introduce our recent studies that demonstrate how maternal obesity and hyperandrogenism leads to abnormal development of neuronal circuitry and persistent synaptic instability, which results in the loss of synapses. The aim of this review is to highlight the links between abnormal maternal environment, behavioral impairment in offspring, and the dendiric spine pathology of neuropsychiatric disorders.

  10. Diabetes impairs synaptic plasticity in the superior cervical ganglion: possible role for BDNF and oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Alzoubi, K H; Khabour, O F; Alhaidar, I A; Aleisa, A M; Alkadhi, K A

    2013-11-01

    The majority of diabetics develop serious disorders of the autonomic nervous system; however, there is no clear understanding on the causes of these complications. In this study, we examined the effect of streptozocin (STZ)-induced diabetes on activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, associated levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and antioxidant biomarkers in the rat sympathetic superior cervical ganglion. Diabetes (STZ-induced) was achieved by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozocin (55 mg/kg).Compound action potentials were recorded from isolated ganglia before (basal) and after repetitive stimulation, or trains of paired pulses to express ganglionic long-term potentiation (gLTP) or long-term depression (gLTD). The input/output curves of ganglia from STZ-treated animals showed a marked rightward shift along most stimulus intensities, compared to those of ganglia from control animals, indicating impaired basal synaptic transmission in ganglia from STZ-induced diabetic animals. Repetitive stimulation induced robust gLTP and gLTD in ganglia isolated from control animals; the same protocols failed to induce gLTP or gLTD in ganglia from STZ-induced diabetic animals, indicating impairment of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in these animals. Molecular analysis revealed significant reduction in the levels of BDNF and the ratio of glutathione/oxidized glutathione. Additionally, the activity of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, catalase, and the levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances were increased in ganglia from STZ-treated animals. In conclusion, impaired basal synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity are associated with reduced BDNF and altered oxidative stress biomarkers in the sympathetic ganglia from STZ-induced diabetic animals, suggesting a possible correlation of these factors with the manifestations of STZ-induced diabetes in the peripheral nervous system.

  11. Synaptic Plasticity, Neurogenesis, and Functional Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Darian-Smith, Corinna

    2010-01-01

    Spinal cord injury research has greatly expanded in recent years, but our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the functional recovery that can occur over the weeks and months following the initial injury, is far from complete. To grasp the scope of the problem, it is important to begin by defining the sensorimotor pathways that might be involved by a spinal injury. This is done in the rodent and nonhuman primate, which are two of the most commonly used animal models in basic and translational spinal injury research. Many of the better known experimentally induced models are then reviewed in terms of the pathways they involve and the reorganization and recovery that have been shown to follow. The better understood neuronal mechanisms mediating such post-injury plasticity, including dendritic spine growth and axonal sprouting, are then examined. PMID:19307422

  12. EPO induces changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity in the dentate gyrus of rats.

    PubMed

    Almaguer-Melian, William; Mercerón-Martínez, Daymara; Delgado-Ocaña, Susana; Pavón-Fuentes, Nancy; Ledón, Nuris; Bergado, Jorge A

    2016-06-01

    Erythropoietin has shown wide physiological effects on the central nervous system in animal models of disease, and in healthy animals. We have recently shown that systemic EPO administration 15 min, but not 5 h, after daily training in a water maze is able to induce the recovery of spatial memory in fimbria-fornix chronic-lesioned animals, suggesting that acute EPO triggers mechanisms which can modulate the active neural plasticity mechanism involved in spatial memory acquisition in lesioned animals. Additionally, this EPO effect is accompanied by the up-regulation of plasticity-related early genes. More remarkably, this time-dependent effects on learning recovery could signify that EPO in nerve system modulate specific living-cellular processes. In the present article, we focus on the question if EPO could modulate the induction of long-term synaptic plasticity like LTP and LTD, which presumably could support our previous published data. Our results show that acute EPO peripheral administration 15 min before the induction of synaptic plasticity is able to increase the magnitude of the LTP (more prominent in PSA than fEPSP-Slope) to facilitate the induction of LTD, and to protect LTP from depotentiation. These findings showing that EPO modulates in vivo synaptic plasticity sustain the assumption that EPO can act not only as a neuroprotective substance, but is also able to modulate transient neural plasticity mechanisms and therefore to promote the recovery of nerve function after an established chronic brain lesion. According to these results, EPO could be use as a molecular tool for neurorestaurative treatments.

  13. Hierarchical Chunking of Sequential Memory on Neuromorphic Architecture with Reduced Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Li, Guoqi; Deng, Lei; Wang, Dong; Wang, Wei; Zeng, Fei; Zhang, Ziyang; Li, Huanglong; Song, Sen; Pei, Jing; Shi, Luping

    2016-01-01

    Chunking refers to a phenomenon whereby individuals group items together when performing a memory task to improve the performance of sequential memory. In this work, we build a bio-plausible hierarchical chunking of sequential memory (HCSM) model to explain why such improvement happens. We address this issue by linking hierarchical chunking with synaptic plasticity and neuromorphic engineering. We uncover that a chunking mechanism reduces the requirements of synaptic plasticity since it allows applying synapses with narrow dynamic range and low precision to perform a memory task. We validate a hardware version of the model through simulation, based on measured memristor behavior with narrow dynamic range in neuromorphic circuits, which reveals how chunking works and what role it plays in encoding sequential memory. Our work deepens the understanding of sequential memory and enables incorporating it for the investigation of the brain-inspired computing on neuromorphic architecture.

  14. Using Inspiration from Synaptic Plasticity Rules to Optimize Traffic Flow in Distributed Engineered Networks.

    PubMed

    Suen, Jonathan Y; Navlakha, Saket

    2017-02-09

    Controlling the flow and routing of data is a fundamental problem in many distributed networks, including transportation systems, integrated circuits, and the Internet. In the brain, synaptic plasticity rules have been discovered that regulate network activity in response to environmental inputs, which enable circuits to be stable yet flexible. Here, we develop a new neuro-inspired model for network flow control that depends only on modifying edge weights in an activity-dependent manner. We show how two fundamental plasticity rules, long-term potentiation and long-term depression, can be cast as a distributed gradient descent algorithm for regulating traffic flow in engineered networks. We then characterize, both by simulation and analytically, how different forms of edge-weight-update rules affect network routing efficiency and robustness. We find a close correspondence between certain classes of synaptic weight-update rules derived experimentally in the brain and rules commonly used in engineering, suggesting common principles to both.

  15. Sleep and the Price of Plasticity: From Synaptic and Cellular Homeostasis to Memory Consolidation and Integration

    PubMed Central

    Tononi, Giulio; Cirelli, Chiara

    2014-01-01

    Summary Sleep is universal, tightly regulated, and its loss impairs cognition. But why does the brain need to disconnect from the environment for hours every day? The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis (SHY) proposes that sleep is the price the brain pays for plasticity. During a waking episode, learning statistical regularities about the current environment requires strengthening connections throughout the brain. This increases cellular needs for energy and supplies, decreases signal-to-noise ratios, and saturates learning. During sleep, spontaneous activity renormalizes net synaptic strength and restores cellular homeostasis. Activity-dependent down-selection of synapses can also explain the benefits of sleep on memory acquisition, consolidation, and integration. This happens through the off-line, comprehensive sampling of statistical regularities incorporated in neuronal circuits over a lifetime. This review considers the rationale and evidence for SHY and points to open issues related to sleep and plasticity. PMID:24411729

  16. Dopamine in Motor Cortex Is Necessary for Skill Learning and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Luna, Katiuska; Pekanovic, Ana; Röhrich, Sebastian; Hertler, Benjamin; Schubring-Giese, Maximilian; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia-Seraina; Luft, Andreas R.

    2009-01-01

    Preliminary evidence indicates that dopamine given by mouth facilitates the learning of motor skills and improves the recovery of movement after stroke. The mechanism of these phenomena is unknown. Here, we describe a mechanism by demonstrating in rat that dopaminergic terminals and receptors in primary motor cortex (M1) enable motor skill learning and enhance M1 synaptic plasticity. Elimination of dopaminergic terminals in M1 specifically impaired motor skill acquisition, which was restored upon DA substitution. Execution of a previously acquired skill was unaffected. Reversible blockade of M1 D1 and D2 receptors temporarily impaired skill acquisition but not execution, and reduced long-term potentiation (LTP) within M1, a form of synaptic plasticity critically involved in skill learning. These findings identify a behavioral and functional role of dopaminergic signaling in M1. DA in M1 optimizes the learning of a novel motor skill. PMID:19759902

  17. Self-tuning of neural circuits through short-term synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Sussillo, David; Toyoizumi, Taro; Maass, Wolfgang

    2007-06-01

    Numerous experimental data show that cortical networks of neurons are not silent in the absence of external inputs, but rather maintain a low spontaneous firing activity. This aspect of cortical networks is likely to be important for their computational function, but is hard to reproduce in models of cortical circuits of neurons because the low-activity regime is inherently unstable. Here we show-through theoretical analysis and extensive computer simulations-that short-term synaptic plasticity endows models of cortical circuits with a remarkable stability in the low-activity regime. This short-term plasticity works as a homeostatic mechanism that stabilizes the overall activity level in spite of drastic changes in external inputs and internal circuit properties, while preserving reliable transient responses to signals. The contribution of synaptic dynamics to this stability can be predicted on the basis of general principles from control theory.

  18. Curcumin improves synaptic plasticity impairment induced by HIV-1gp120 V3 loop

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Ling-ling; Jiang, Ming-liang; Liu, Si-si; Cai, Min-chun; Hong, Zhong-qiu; Lin, Li-qing; Xing, Yan-yan; Chen, Gui-lin; Pan, Rui; Yang, Li-juan; Xu, Ying; Dong, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Curcumin has been shown to significantly improve spatial memory impairment induced by HIV-1 gp120 V3 in rats, but the electrophysiological mechanism remains unknown. Using extracellular microelectrode recording techniques, this study confirmed that the gp120 V3 loop could suppress long-term potentiation in the rat hippocampal CA1 region and synaptic plasticity, and that curcumin could antagonize these inhibitory effects. Using a Fura-2/AM calcium ion probe, we found that curcumin resisted the effects of the gp120 V3 loop on hippocampal synaptosomes and decreased Ca2+ concentration in synaptosomes. This effect of curcumin was identical to nimodipine, suggesting that curcumin improved the inhibitory effects of gp120 on synaptic plasticity, ameliorated damage caused to the central nervous system, and might be a potential neuroprotective drug. PMID:26199609

  19. Hierarchical Chunking of Sequential Memory on Neuromorphic Architecture with Reduced Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Guoqi; Deng, Lei; Wang, Dong; Wang, Wei; Zeng, Fei; Zhang, Ziyang; Li, Huanglong; Song, Sen; Pei, Jing; Shi, Luping

    2016-01-01

    Chunking refers to a phenomenon whereby individuals group items together when performing a memory task to improve the performance of sequential memory. In this work, we build a bio-plausible hierarchical chunking of sequential memory (HCSM) model to explain why such improvement happens. We address this issue by linking hierarchical chunking with synaptic plasticity and neuromorphic engineering. We uncover that a chunking mechanism reduces the requirements of synaptic plasticity since it allows applying synapses with narrow dynamic range and low precision to perform a memory task. We validate a hardware version of the model through simulation, based on measured memristor behavior with narrow dynamic range in neuromorphic circuits, which reveals how chunking works and what role it plays in encoding sequential memory. Our work deepens the understanding of sequential memory and enables incorporating it for the investigation of the brain-inspired computing on neuromorphic architecture. PMID:28066223

  20. Thrombin regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity: implications for health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Ben Shimon, Marina; Lenz, Maximilian; Ikenberg, Benno; Becker, Denise; Shavit Stein, Efrat; Chapman, Joab; Tanne, David; Pick, Chaim G.; Blatt, Ilan; Neufeld, Miri; Vlachos, Andreas; Maggio, Nicola

    2015-01-01

    Thrombin, a serine protease involved in the blood coagulation cascade has been shown to affect neural function following blood-brain barrier breakdown. However, several lines of evidence exist that thrombin is also expressed in the brain under physiological conditions, suggesting an involvement of thrombin in the regulation of normal brain functions. Here, we review ours’ as well as others’ recent work on the role of thrombin in synaptic transmission and plasticity through direct or indirect activation of Protease-Activated Receptor-1 (PAR1). These studies propose a novel role of thrombin in synaptic plasticity, both in physiology as well as in neurological diseases associated with increased brain thrombin/PAR1 levels. PMID:25954157

  1. P2Y Receptors in Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity: Therapeutic Potential in Cognitive Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Guzman, Segundo J.; Gerevich, Zoltan

    2016-01-01

    ATP released from neurons and astrocytes during neuronal activity or under pathophysiological circumstances is able to influence information flow in neuronal circuits by activation of ionotropic P2X and metabotropic P2Y receptors and subsequent modulation of cellular excitability, synaptic strength, and plasticity. In the present paper we review cellular and network effects of P2Y receptors in the brain. We show that P2Y receptors inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, modulate voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, and differentially influence the induction of synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. The findings discussed here may explain how P2Y1 receptor activation during brain injury, hypoxia, inflammation, schizophrenia, or Alzheimer's disease leads to an impairment of cognitive processes. Hence, it is suggested that the blockade of P2Y1 receptors may have therapeutic potential against cognitive disturbances in these states. PMID:27069691

  2. P2Y Receptors in Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity: Therapeutic Potential in Cognitive Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Guzman, Segundo J; Gerevich, Zoltan

    2016-01-01

    ATP released from neurons and astrocytes during neuronal activity or under pathophysiological circumstances is able to influence information flow in neuronal circuits by activation of ionotropic P2X and metabotropic P2Y receptors and subsequent modulation of cellular excitability, synaptic strength, and plasticity. In the present paper we review cellular and network effects of P2Y receptors in the brain. We show that P2Y receptors inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, modulate voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, and differentially influence the induction of synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. The findings discussed here may explain how P2Y1 receptor activation during brain injury, hypoxia, inflammation, schizophrenia, or Alzheimer's disease leads to an impairment of cognitive processes. Hence, it is suggested that the blockade of P2Y1 receptors may have therapeutic potential against cognitive disturbances in these states.

  3. Domestication of the Dog from the Wolf Was Promoted by Enhanced Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity: A Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ming-Shan; Irwin, David M.; Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Dogs shared a much closer relationship with humans than any other domesticated animals, probably due to their unique social cognitive capabilities, which were hypothesized to be a by-product of selection for tameness toward humans. Here, we demonstrate that genes involved in glutamate metabolism, which account partially for fear response, indeed show the greatest population differentiation by whole-genome comparison of dogs and wolves. However, the changing direction of their expression supports a role in increasing excitatory synaptic plasticity in dogs rather than reducing fear response. Because synaptic plasticity are widely believed to be cellular correlates of learning and memory, this change may alter the learning and memory abilities of ancient scavenging wolves, weaken the fear reaction toward humans, and prompt the initial interspecific contact. PMID:25377939

  4. Plasticity, synaptic strength, and epilepsy: what can we learn from ultrastructural data?

    PubMed

    Leite, João Pereira; Neder, Luciano; Arisi, Gabriel Maisonnave; Carlotti, Carlos Gilberto; Assirati, João Alberto; Moreira, Jorge Eduardo

    2005-01-01

    Central nervous system synapses have an intrinsic plastic capacity to adapt to new conditions with rapid changes in their structure. Such activity-dependent refinement occurs during development and learning, and shares features with diseases such as epilepsy. Quantitative ultrastructural studies based on serial sectioning and reconstructions have shown various structural changes associated with synaptic strength involving both dendritic spines and postsynaptic densities (PSDs) during long-term potentiation (LTP). In this review, we focus on experimental studies that have analyzed at the ultrastructural level the consequences of LTP in rodents, and plastic changes in the hippocampus of experimental models of epilepsy and human tissue obtained during surgeries for intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Modifications in spine morphology, increases in the proportion of synapses with perforated PSDs, and formation of multiple spine boutons arising from the same dendrite are the possible sequence of events that accompany hippocampal LTP. Structural remodeling of mossy fiber synapses and formation of aberrant synaptic contacts in the dentate gyrus are common features in experimental models of epilepsy and in human TLE. Combined electrophysiological and ultrastructural studies in kindled rats and chronic epileptic animals have indicated the occurrence of seizure- and neuron loss-induced changes in the hippocampal network. In these experiments, the synaptic contacts on granule cells are similar to those described for LTP. Such changes could be associated with enhancement of synaptic efficiency and may be important in epileptogenesis.

  5. Telencephalic neurocircuitry and synaptic plasticity in rodent spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Pooters, Tine; Van der Jeugd, Ann; Callaerts-Vegh, Zsuzsanna; D'Hooge, Rudi

    2015-09-24

    Spatial learning and memory in rodents represent close equivalents of human episodic declarative memory, which is especially sensitive to cerebral aging, neurodegeneration, and various neuropsychiatric disorders. Many tests and protocols are available for use in laboratory rodents, but Morris water maze and radial-arm maze remain the most widely used as well as the most valid and reliable spatial tests. Telencephalic neurocircuitry that plays functional roles in spatial learning and memory includes hippocampus, dorsal striatum and medial prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal-hippocampal circuitry comprises the major associative system in the rodent brain, and is critical for navigation in physical space, whereas interconnections between prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatum are probably more important for motivational or goal-directed aspects of spatial learning. Two major forms of synaptic plasticity, namely long-term potentiation, a lasting increase in synaptic strength between simultaneously activated neurons, and long-term depression, a decrease in synaptic strength, have been found to occur in hippocampus, dorsal striatum and medial prefrontal cortex. These and other phenomena of synaptic plasticity are probably crucial for the involvement of telencephalic neurocircuitry in spatial learning and memory. They also seem to play a role in the pathophysiology of two brain pathologies with episodic declarative memory impairments as core symptoms, namely Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Further research emphasis on rodent telencephalic neurocircuitry could be relevant to more valid and reliable preclinical research on these most devastating brain disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory.

  6. Acute and Chronic Effects of Ethanol on Learning-Related Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Zorumski, Charles F.; Mennerick, Steven; Izumi, Yukitoshi

    2014-01-01

    Alcoholism is associated with acute and long-term cognitive dysfunction including memory impairment, resulting in substantial disability and cost to society. Thus, understanding how ethanol impairs cognition is essential for developing treatment strategies to dampen its adverse impact. Memory processing is thought to involve persistent, use-dependent changes in synaptic transmission, and ethanol alters the activity of multiple signaling molecules involved in synaptic processing, including modulation of the glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transmitter systems that mediate most fast excitatory and inhibitory transmission in the brain. Effects on glutamate and GABA receptors contribute to ethanol-induced changes in long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), forms of synaptic plasticity thought to underlie memory acquisition. In this paper, we review the effects of ethanol on learning-related forms of synaptic plasticity with emphasis on changes observed in the hippocampus, a brain region that is critical for encoding contextual and episodic memories. We also include studies in other brain regions as they pertain to altered cognitive and mental function. Comparison of effects in the hippocampus to other brain regions is instructive for understanding the complexities of ethanol’s acute and long-term pharmacological consequences. PMID:24447472

  7. Homeostatic synaptic plasticity in developing spinal networks driven by excitatory GABAergic currents

    PubMed Central

    Wenner, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Homeostatic plasticity refers to mechanisms that the cell or network engage in order to homeostatically maintain a preset level of activity. These mechanisms include compensatory changes in cellular excitability, excitatory and inhibitory synaptic strength and are typically studied at a developmental stage when GABA or glycine are inhibitory. Here we focus on the expression of homeostatic plasticity in the chick embryo spinal cord at a stage when GABA is excitatory. When spinal activity is perturbed in the living embryo there are compensatory changes in postsynaptic AMPA receptors and in the driving force for GABAergic currents. These changes are triggered by reduced GABAA receptor signaling, which appears to be part of the sensing machinery for triggering homeostatic plasticity. We compare and contrast these findings to homeostatic plasticity expressed in spinal systems at different stages of development, and to the developing retina at a stage when GABA is depolarizing. PMID:23727439

  8. Cdk5 Modulates Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity and Motor Learning in Dorsolateral Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Adan; Tan, Chunfeng; Mettlach, Gabriel; Pozo, Karine; Plattner, Florian; Bibb, James A.

    2016-01-01

    The striatum controls multiple cognitive aspects including motivation, reward perception, decision-making and motor planning. In particular, the dorsolateral striatum contributes to motor learning. Here we define an approach for investigating synaptic plasticity in mouse dorsolateral cortico-striatal circuitry and interrogate the relative contributions of neurotransmitter receptors and intracellular signaling components. Consistent with previous studies, we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) in cortico-striatal circuitry is facilitated by dopamine, and requires activation of D1-dopamine receptors, as well as NMDA receptors (NMDAR) and their calcium-dependent downstream effectors, including CaMKII. Moreover, we assessed the contribution of the protein kinase Cdk5, a key neuronal signaling molecule, in cortico-striatal LTP. Pharmacological Cdk5 inhibition, brain-wide Cdk5 conditional knockout, or viral-mediated dorsolateral striatal-specific loss of Cdk5 all impaired dopamine-facilitated LTP or D1-dopamine receptor-facilitated LTP. Selective loss of Cdk5 in dorsolateral striatum increased locomotor activity and attenuated motor learning. Taken together, we report an approach for studying synaptic plasticity in mouse dorsolateral striatum and critically implicate D1-dopamine receptor, NMDAR, Cdk5, and CaMKII in cortico-striatal plasticity. Furthermore, we associate striatal plasticity deficits with effects upon behaviors mediated by this circuitry. This approach should prove useful for the study of the molecular basis of plasticity in the dorsolateral striatum. PMID:27443506

  9. Synaptic transmission and plasticity require AMPA receptor anchoring via its N-terminal domain

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Jake F; Ho, Hinze; Greger, Ingo H

    2017-01-01

    AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) mediate fast excitatory neurotransmission and are selectively recruited during activity-dependent plasticity to increase synaptic strength. A prerequisite for faithful signal transmission is the positioning and clustering of AMPARs at postsynaptic sites. The mechanisms underlying this positioning have largely been ascribed to the receptor cytoplasmic C-termini and to AMPAR-associated auxiliary subunits, both interacting with the postsynaptic scaffold. Here, using mouse organotypic hippocampal slices, we show that the extracellular AMPAR N-terminal domain (NTD), which projects midway into the synaptic cleft, plays a fundamental role in this process. This highly sequence-diverse domain mediates synaptic anchoring in a subunit-selective manner. Receptors lacking the NTD exhibit increased mobility in synapses, depress synaptic transmission and are unable to sustain long-term potentiation (LTP). Thus, synaptic transmission and the expression of LTP are dependent upon an AMPAR anchoring mechanism that is driven by the NTD. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23024.001 PMID:28290985

  10. Abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and synaptic degeneration as early events in Alzheimer's disease: implications to mitochondria-targeted antioxidant therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Reddy, P Hemachandra; Tripathi, Raghav; Troung, Quang; Tirumala, Karuna; Reddy, Tejaswini P; Anekonda, Vishwanath; Shirendeb, Ulziibat P; Calkins, Marcus J; Reddy, Arubala P; Mao, Peizhong; Manczak, Maria

    2012-05-01

    Synaptic pathology and mitochondrial oxidative damage are early events in Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression. Loss of synapses and synaptic damage are the best correlates of cognitive deficits found in AD patients. Recent research on amyloid beta (Aβ) and mitochondria in AD revealed that Aβ accumulates in synapses and synaptic mitochondria, leading to abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and synaptic degeneration in AD neurons. Further, recent studies using live-cell imaging and primary neurons from amyloid beta precursor protein (AβPP) transgenic mice revealed reduced mitochondrial mass, defective axonal transport of mitochondria and synaptic degeneration, indicating that Aβ is responsible for mitochondrial and synaptic deficiencies. Tremendous progress has been made in studying antioxidant approaches in mouse models of AD and clinical trials of AD patients. This article highlights the recent developments made in Aβ-induced abnormal mitochondrial dynamics, defective mitochondrial biogenesis, impaired axonal transport and synaptic deficiencies in AD. This article also focuses on mitochondrial approaches in treating AD, and also discusses latest research on mitochondria-targeted antioxidants in AD. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Antioxidants and Antioxidant Treatment in Disease.

  11. Effects of Myoga on Memory and Synaptic Plasticity by Regulating Nerve Growth Factor-Mediated Signaling.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyo Geun; Lim, Soonmin; Hong, Jongki; Kim, Ae-Jung; Oh, Myung Sook

    2016-02-01

    The flower bud of Zingiber mioga Roscoe, known as 'myoga' or Japanese ginger, has a pungent aroma and is commonly consumed as a spice, with pickles, or as a health supplement in Eastern Asia. Here, we evaluated the activity of myoga in the brain, focusing especially on nerve growth factor (NGF), which is believed to mediate synaptic plasticity, supporting learning and memory. In a rat primary hippocampal astrocyte culture system, treatment with myoga extract for 24 h significantly stimulated the production of NGF. In mice administered myoga extract for 14 days, 200 and 400 mg/kg/day treatment resulted in increased NGF levels in the hippocampus. Myoga extract treatment also regulated the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases and cAMP response element-binding protein in the mouse hippocampus, leading to increased synaptic plasticity. In addition, it significantly increased novel object recognition time and spontaneous alternation, indicating improvement in learning and memory. These results suggest that myoga helps regulate NGF and synaptic plasticity, increasing memory ability.

  12. Bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of the awake freely behaving mouse

    PubMed Central

    Koranda, Jessica L.; Masino, Susan A.; Blaise, J. Harry

    2008-01-01

    There is significant interest in in vivo synaptic plasticity in mice due to the many relevant genetic mutants now available. Nevertheless, use of in vivo models remains limited. To date long-term potentiation (LTP) has been studied infrequently, and long-term depression (LTD) has not been characterized in the mouse in vivo. Herein we describe protocols and improved methodologies we developed to record hippocampal synaptic plasticity reliably from the dentate gyrus of the awake freely behaving mouse. Seven days prior to recording, we implanted microelectrodes encapsulated within a lightweight, low-profile headstage assembly. On the day of recording, we induced either LTP or LTD in the awake freely behaving animal and monitored subsequent changes in population spike amplitude for at least 24 hrs. Using this protocol we attained 80% success in inducing and maintaining either LTP or LTD. Recording from a chronic implant using this improved methodology is best suited to reveal naturally occurring brain activity, and avoids both acute effects of local electrode insertion and drifts in neuronal excitability associated with anesthesia. Ultimately a reliable freely behaving mouse model of bidirectional synaptic plasticity is invaluable for full characterization of genetic models of disease states and manipulations of the mechanisms implicated in learning and memory. PMID:17875326

  13. Docosahexaenoic acid dietary supplementation enhances the effects of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition.

    PubMed

    Wu, A; Ying, Z; Gomez-Pinilla, F

    2008-08-26

    Omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. docosahexaenoic acid; DHA), similar to exercise, improve cognitive function, promote neuroplasticity, and protect against neurological lesion. In this study, we investigated a possible synergistic action between DHA dietary supplementation and voluntary exercise on modulating synaptic plasticity and cognition. Rats received DHA dietary supplementation (1.25% DHA) with or without voluntary exercise for 12 days. We found that the DHA-enriched diet significantly increased spatial learning ability, and these effects were enhanced by exercise. The DHA-enriched diet increased levels of pro-brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and mature BDNF, whereas the additional application of exercise boosted the levels of both. Furthermore, the levels of the activated forms of CREB and synapsin I were incremented by the DHA-enriched diet with greater elevation by the concurrent application of exercise. While the DHA diet reduced hippocampal oxidized protein levels, a combination of a DHA diet and exercise resulted in a greater reduction rate. The levels of activated forms of hippocampal Akt and CaMKII were increased by the DHA-enriched diet, and with even greater elevation by a combination of diet and exercise. Akt and CaMKII signaling are crucial step by which BDNF exerts its action on synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. These results indicate that the DHA diet enhanced the effects of exercise on cognition and BDNF-related synaptic plasticity, a capacity that may be used to promote mental health and reduce risk of neurological disorders.

  14. Modulating Effect of Cytokines on Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity in the Brain.

    PubMed

    Levin, S G; Godukhin, O V

    2017-03-01

    After accumulation of data showing that resident brain cells (neurons, astrocytes, and microglia) produce mediators of the immune system, such as cytokines and their receptors under normal physiological conditions, a critical need emerged for investigating the role of these mediators in cognitive processes. The major problem for understanding the functional role of cytokines in the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, de novo neurogenesis, and learning and memory is the small number of investigated cytokines. Existing concepts are based on data from just three proinflammatory cytokines: interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. The amount of information in the literature on the functional role of antiinflammatory cytokines in the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and cognitive functions of mature mammalian brain is dismally low. However, they are of principle importance for understanding the mechanisms of local information processing in the brain, since they modulate the activity of individual cells and local neural networks, being able to reconstruct the processes of synaptic plasticity and intercellular communication, in general, depending on the local ratio of the levels of different cytokines in certain areas of the brain. Understanding the functional role of cytokines in cellular mechanisms of information processing and storage in the brain would allow developing preventive and therapeutic means for the treatment of neuropathologies related to impairment of these mechanisms.

  15. Kalirin-7 is necessary for normal NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Dendritic spines represent the postsynaptic component of the vast majority of excitatory synapses present in the mammalian forebrain. The ability of spines to rapidly alter their shape, size, number and receptor content in response to stimulation is considered to be of paramount importance during the development of synaptic plasticity. Indeed, long-term potentiation (LTP), widely believed to be a cellular correlate of learning and memory, has been repeatedly shown to induce both spine enlargement and the formation of new dendritic spines. In our studies, we focus on Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho GDP/GTP exchange factor (Rho-GEF) localized to the postsynaptic density that plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of dendritic spines both in vitro and in vivo. Previous studies have shown that mice lacking Kal7 (Kal7KO) have decreased dendritic spine density in the hippocampus as well as focal hippocampal-dependent learning impairments. Results We have performed a detailed electrophysiological characterization of the role of Kal7 in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We show that loss of Kal7 results in impaired NMDA receptor-dependent LTP and long-term depression, whereas a NMDA receptor-independent form of LTP is shown to be normal in the absence of Kal7. Conclusions These results indicate that Kal7 is an essential and selective modulator of NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. PMID:22182308

  16. Reactive Oxygen Species in the Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Klann, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The brain is a metabolically active organ exhibiting high oxygen consumption and robust production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The large amounts of ROS are kept in check by an elaborate network of antioxidants, which sometimes fail and lead to neuronal oxidative stress. Thus, ROS are typically categorized as neurotoxic molecules and typically exert their detrimental effects via oxidation of essential macromolecules such as enzymes and cytoskeletal proteins. Most importantly, excessive ROS are associated with decreased performance in cognitive function. However, at physiological concentrations, ROS are involved in functional changes necessary for synaptic plasticity and hence, for normal cognitive function. The fine line of role reversal of ROS from good molecules to bad molecules is far from being fully understood. This review focuses on identifying the multiple sources of ROS in the mammalian nervous system and on presenting evidence for the critical and essential role of ROS in synaptic plasticity and memory. The review also shows that the inability to restrain either age- or pathology-related increases in ROS levels leads to opposite, detrimental effects that are involved in impairments in synaptic plasticity and memory function. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 2013–2054. PMID:20649473

  17. The HVC microcircuit: the synaptic basis for interactions between song motor and vocal plasticity pathways.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Richard; Prather, Jonathan F

    2005-02-23

    Synaptic interactions between telencephalic neurons innervating descending motor or basal ganglia pathways are essential in the learning, planning, and execution of complex movements. Synaptic interactions within the songbird telencephalic nucleus HVC are implicated in motor and auditory activity associated with learned vocalizations. HVC contains projection neurons (PNs) (HVC(RA)) that innervate song premotor areas, other PNs (HVC(X)) that innervate a basal ganglia pathway necessary for vocal plasticity, and interneurons (HVC(INT)). During singing, HVC(RA) fire in temporally sparse bursts, possibly because of HVC(INT)-HVC(RA) interactions, and a corollary discharge can be detected in the basal ganglia pathway, likely because of synaptic transmission from HVC(RA) to HVC(X) cells. During song playback, local interactions, including inhibition onto HVC(X) cells, shape highly selective responses that distinguish HVC from its auditory afferents. To better understand the synaptic substrate for the motor and auditory properties of HVC, we made intracellular recordings from pairs of HVC neurons in adult male zebra finch brain slices and used spike-triggered averages to assess synaptic connectivity. A major synaptic interaction between the PNs was a disynaptic inhibition from HVC(RA) to HVC(X), which could link song motor signals in the two outputs of HVC and account for some of the song playback-evoked inhibition in HVC(X) cells. Furthermore, single interneurons made divergent connections onto PNs of both types, and either PN type could form reciprocal connections with interneurons. In these two regards, the synaptic architecture of HVC resembles that described in some pattern-generating networks, underscoring features likely to be important to singing and song learning.

  18. Plasticity in respiratory motor neurons in response to reduced synaptic inputs: A form of homeostatic plasticity in respiratory control?

    PubMed

    Braegelmann, K M; Streeter, K A; Fields, D P; Baker, T L

    2017-01-01

    For most individuals, the respiratory control system produces a remarkably stable and coordinated motor output-recognizable as a breath-from birth until death. Very little is understood regarding the processes by which the respiratory control system maintains network stability in the presence of changing physiological demands and network properties that occur throughout life. An emerging principle of neuroscience is that neural activity is sensed and adjusted locally to assure that neurons continue to operate in an optimal range, yet to date, it is unknown whether such homeostatic plasticity is a feature of the neurons controlling breathing. Here, we review the evidence that local mechanisms sense and respond to perturbations in respiratory neural activity, with a focus on plasticity in respiratory motor neurons. We discuss whether these forms of plasticity represent homeostatic plasticity in respiratory control. We present new analyses demonstrating that reductions in synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit a compensatory enhancement of phrenic inspiratory motor output, a form of plasticity termed inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF), that is proportional to the magnitude of activity deprivation. Although the physiological role of iPMF is not understood, we hypothesize that it has an important role in protecting the drive to breathe during conditions of prolonged or intermittent reductions in respiratory neural activity, such as following spinal cord injury or during central sleep apnea.

  19. Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity as the Origin of the Formation of Clustered Synaptic Efficacy Engrams

    PubMed Central

    Iannella, Nicolangelo Libero; Launey, Thomas; Tanaka, Shigeru

    2010-01-01

    Synapse location, dendritic active properties and synaptic plasticity are all known to play some role in shaping the different input streams impinging onto a neuron. It remains unclear however, how the magnitude and spatial distribution of synaptic efficacies emerge from this interplay. Here, we investigate this interplay using a biophysically detailed neuron model of a reconstructed layer 2/3 pyramidal cell and spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). Specifically, we focus on the issue of how the efficacy of synapses contributed by different input streams are spatially represented in dendrites after STDP learning. We construct a simple feed forward network where a detailed model neuron receives synaptic inputs independently from multiple yet equally sized groups of afferent fibers with correlated activity, mimicking the spike activity from different neuronal populations encoding, for example, different sensory modalities. Interestingly, ensuing STDP learning, we observe that for all afferent groups, STDP leads to synaptic efficacies arranged into spatially segregated clusters effectively partitioning the dendritic tree. These segregated clusters possess a characteristic global organization in space, where they form a tessellation in which each group dominates mutually exclusive regions of the dendrite. Put simply, the dendritic imprint from different input streams left after STDP learning effectively forms what we term a “dendritic efficacy mosaic.” Furthermore, we show how variations of the inputs and STDP rule affect such an organization. Our model suggests that STDP may be an important mechanism for creating a clustered plasticity engram, which shapes how different input streams are spatially represented in dendrite. PMID:20725522

  20. Intrinsic and synaptic homeostatic plasticity in motoneurons from mice with glycine receptor mutations

    PubMed Central

    Tadros, M. A.; Farrell, K. E.; Schofield, P. R.; Brichta, A. M.; Graham, B. A.; Fuglevand, A. J.

    2014-01-01

    Inhibitory synaptic inputs to hypoglossal motoneurons (HMs) are important for modulating excitability in brainstem circuits. Here we ask whether reduced inhibition, as occurs in three murine mutants with distinct naturally occurring mutations in the glycine receptor (GlyR), leads to intrinsic and/or synaptic homeostatic plasticity. Whole cell recordings were obtained from HMs in transverse brainstem slices from wild-type (wt), spasmodic (spd), spastic (spa), and oscillator (ot) mice (C57Bl/6, approximately postnatal day 21). Passive and action potential (AP) properties in spd and ot HMs were similar to wt. In contrast, spa HMs had lower input resistances, more depolarized resting membrane potentials, higher rheobase currents, smaller AP amplitudes, and slower afterhyperpolarization current decay times. The excitability of HMs, assessed by “gain” in injected current/firing-frequency plots, was similar in all strains whereas the incidence of rebound spiking was increased in spd. The difference between recruitment and derecruitment current (i.e., ΔI) for AP discharge during ramp current injection was more negative in spa and ot. GABAA miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current (mIPSC) amplitude was increased in spa and ot but not spd, suggesting diminished glycinergic drive leads to compensatory adjustments in the other major fast inhibitory synaptic transmitter system in these mutants. Overall, our data suggest long-term reduction in glycinergic drive to HMs results in changes in intrinsic and synaptic properties that are consistent with homeostatic plasticity in spa and ot but not in spd. We propose such plasticity is an attempt to stabilize HM output, which succeeds in spa but fails in ot. PMID:24401707

  1. Multiple forms of long-term synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses onto interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Emilio J.; Cosgrove, Kathleen E.; Barrionuevo, Germán

    2010-01-01

    The hippocampal mossy fiber (MF) pathway originates from the dentate gyrus granule cells and provides a powerful excitatory synaptic drive to neurons in the dentate gyrus hilus and area CA3. Much of the early work on the MF pathway focused on its electrophysiological properties, and ability to drive CA3 pyramidal cell activity. Over the last ten years, however, a new focus on the synaptic interaction between granule cells with inhibitory interneurons has emerged. These data have revealed an immense heterogeneity of long-term plasticity at MF synapses on various interneuron targets. Interestingly, these studies also indicate that the mechanisms of MF long-term plasticity in some interneuron subtypes may be more similar to pyramidal cells than previously appreciated. In this review, we first define the synapse types at each of the interneuron targets based on the receptors present. We then describe the different forms of long-term plasticity observed, and the mechanisms underlying each form as they are currently understood. Finally we highlight various open questions surrounding MF long-term plasticity in interneurons, focusing specifically on the induction and maintenance of LTP, and what the functional impact of persistent changes in efficacy at MF – interneuron synapses might be on the emergent properties of the inhibitory network dynamics in area CA3. PMID:21093459

  2. NgR1: A Tunable Sensor Regulating Memory Formation, Synaptic, and Dendritic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Tobias E.; Smedfors, Gabriella; Brodin, Alvin T. S.; Åberg, Elin; Mattsson, Anna; Högbeck, Isabelle; Wellfelt, Katrin; Josephson, Anna; Brené, Stefan; Olson, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Nogo receptor 1 (NgR1) is expressed in forebrain neurons and mediates nerve growth inhibition in response to Nogo and other ligands. Neuronal activity downregulates NgR1 and the inability to downregulate NgR1 impairs long-term memory. We investigated behavior in a serial behavioral paradigm in mice that overexpress or lack NgR1, finding impaired locomotor behavior and recognition memory in mice lacking NgR1 and impaired sequential spatial learning in NgR1 overexpressing mice. We also investigated a role for NgR1 in drug-mediated sensitization and found that repeated cocaine exposure caused stronger locomotor responses but limited development of stereotypies in NgR1 overexpressing mice. This suggests that NgR1-regulated synaptic plasticity is needed to develop stereotypies. Ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging analyses of NgR1 overexpressing brains did not reveal any major alterations. NgR1 overexpression resulted in significantly reduced density of mature spines and dendritic complexity. NgR1 overexpression also altered cocaine-induced effects on spine plasticity. Our results show that NgR1 is a negative regulator of both structural synaptic plasticity and dendritic complexity in a brain region-specific manner, and highlight anterior cingulate cortex as a key area for memory-related plasticity. PMID:26838771

  3. Role of Standardized Grape Polyphenol Preparation as a novel treatment to improve synaptic plasticity through attenuation of features of metabolic syndrome in a mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jun; Tang, Cheuk; Ferruzzi, Mario G.; Gong, Bing; Song, Brian J.; Janle, Elsa M.; Chen, Tzu-Ying; Cooper, Bruce; Varghese, Merina; Cheng, Alice; Freire, Daniel; Bilski, Amanda; Roman, Jessica; Nguyen, Tuyen; Ho, Lap; Talcott, Stephen T.; Simon, James E.; Wu, Qingli; Pasinetti, Giulio M.

    2013-01-01

    Scope Metabolic syndrome has become an epidemic and poses tremendous burden on the health system. People with metabolic syndrome are more likely to experience cognitive decline. As obesity and sedentary lifestyles become more common, the development of early prevention strategies are critical. In this study, we explore the potential beneficial effects of a combinatory polyphenol preparation composed of grape seed extract, Concord purple grape juice extract and resveratrol, referred to as Standardized Grape Polyphenol Preparation (SGP), on peripheral as well as brain dysfunction induced by metabolic syndrome. Methods We found dietary fat content had minimal effects on absorption and metabolites of major polyphenols derived from SGP. Using a diet-induced animal model of metabolic syndrome (DIM), we found that brain functional connectivity and synaptic plasticity are compromised in the DIM mice. Treatment with SGP not only prevented peripheral metabolic abnormality but also improved brain synaptic plasticity. Conclusion Our study demonstrated that SGP comprised of multiple bioavailable and bioactive components targeting a wide range of metabolic syndrome-related pathological features provides greater global protection against peripheral and central nervous system dysfunctions and can be potentially developed as novel prevention/treatment for improving brain connectivity and synaptic plasticity important for learning and memory. PMID:23963661

  4. The transformation of synaptic to system plasticity in motor output from the sacral cord of the adult mouse

    PubMed Central

    Elbasiouny, Sherif M.; Collins, William F.; Heckman, C. J.

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is fundamental in shaping the output of neural networks. The transformation of synaptic plasticity at the cellular level into plasticity at the system level involves multiple factors, including behavior of local networks of interneurons. Here we investigate the synaptic to system transformation for plasticity in motor output in an in vitro preparation of the adult mouse spinal cord. System plasticity was assessed from compound action potentials (APs) in spinal ventral roots, which were generated simultaneously by the axons of many motoneurons (MNs). Synaptic plasticity was assessed from intracellular recordings of MNs. A computer model of the MN pool was used to identify the middle steps in the transformation from synaptic to system behavior. Two input systems that converge on the same MN pool were studied: one sensory and one descending. The two synaptic input systems generated very different motor outputs, with sensory stimulation consistently evoking short-term depression (STD) whereas descending stimulation had bimodal plasticity: STD at low frequencies but short-term facilitation (STF) at high frequencies. Intracellular and pharmacological studies revealed contributions from monosynaptic excitation and stimulus time-locked inhibition but also considerable asynchronous excitation sustained from local network activity. The computer simulations showed that STD in the monosynaptic excitatory input was the primary driver of the system STD in the sensory input whereas network excitation underlies the bimodal plasticity in the descending system. These results provide insight on the roles of plasticity in the monosynaptic and polysynaptic inputs converging on the same MN pool to overall motor plasticity. PMID:26203107

  5. Subchronic Glucocorticoid Receptor Inhibition Rescues Early Episodic Memory and Synaptic Plasticity Deficits in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Lanté, Fabien; Chafai, Magda; Raymond, Elisabeth Fabienne; Salgueiro Pereira, Ana Rita; Mouska, Xavier; Kootar, Scherazad; Barik, Jacques; Bethus, Ingrid; Marie, Hélène

    2015-01-01

    The early phase of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by hippocampus-dependent memory deficits and impaired synaptic plasticity. Increasing evidence suggests that stress and dysregulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, marked by the elevated circulating glucocorticoids, are risk factors for AD onset. How these changes contribute to early hippocampal dysfunction remains unclear. Using an elaborated version of the object recognition task, we carefully monitored alterations in key components of episodic memory, the first type of memory altered in AD patients, in early symptomatic Tg2576 AD mice. We also combined biochemical and ex vivo electrophysiological analyses to reveal novel cellular and molecular dysregulations underpinning the onset of the pathology. We show that HPA axis, circadian rhythm, and feedback mechanisms, as well as episodic memory, are compromised in this early symptomatic phase, reminiscent of human AD pathology. The cognitive decline could be rescued by subchronic in vivo treatment with RU486, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. These observed phenotypes were paralleled by a specific enhancement of N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR)-dependent LTD in CA1 pyramidal neurons, whereas LTP and metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent LTD remain unchanged. NMDAR transmission was also enhanced. Finally, we show that, as for the behavioral deficit, RU486 treatment rescues this abnormal synaptic phenotype. These preclinical results define glucocorticoid signaling as a contributing factor to both episodic memory loss and early synaptic failure in this AD mouse model, and suggest that glucocorticoid receptor targeting strategies could be beneficial to delay AD onset. PMID:25622751

  6. Gene control of synaptic plasticity and memory formation: implications for diseases and therapeutic strategies.

    PubMed

    Vaillend, C; Rampon, C; Davis, S; Laroche, S

    2002-11-01

    There has been nearly a century of interest in the idea that information is stored in the brain as changes in the efficacy of synaptic connections between neurons that are activated during learning. The discovery and detailed report of the phenomenon generally known as long-term potentiation opened a new chapter in the study of synaptic plasticity in the vertebrate brain, and this form of synaptic plasticity has now become the dominant model in the search for the cellular and molecular bases of learning and memory. Accumulating evidence suggests that the rapid activation of the genetic machinery is a key mechanism underlying the enduring modification of neural networks required for the laying down of memory. Here we briefly review these mechanisms and illustrate with a few examples of animal models of neurological disorders how new knowledge about these mechanisms can provide valuable insights into identifying the mechanisms that go awry when memory is deficient, and how, in turn, characterisation of the dysfunctional mechanisms offers prospects to design and evaluate molecular and biobehavioural strategies for therapeutic prevention and rescue.

  7. Impaired novelty acquisition and synaptic plasticity in congenital hyperammonemia caused by hepatic glutamine synthetase deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Chepkova, Aisa N.; Sergeeva, Olga A.; Görg, Boris; Haas, Helmut L.; Klöcker, Nikolaj; Häussinger, Dieter

    2017-01-01

    Genetic defects in ammonia metabolism can produce irreversible damage of the developing CNS causing an impairment of cognitive and motor functions. We investigated alterations in behavior, synaptic plasticity and gene expression in the hippocampus and dorsal striatum of transgenic mice with systemic hyperammonemia resulting from conditional knockout of hepatic glutamine synthetase (LGS-ko). These mice showed reduced exploratory activity and delayed habituation to a novel environment. Field potential recordings from LGS-ko brain slices revealed significantly reduced magnitude of electrically-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) in both CA3-CA1 hippocampal and corticostriatal synaptic transmission. Corticostriatal but not hippocampal slices from LGS-ko brains demonstrated also significant alterations in long-lasting effects evoked by pharmacological activation of glutamate receptors. Real-time RT-PCR revealed distinct patterns of dysregulated gene expression in the hippocampus and striatum of LGS-ko mice: LGS-ko hippocampus showed significantly modified expression of mRNAs for mGluR1, GluN2B subunit of NMDAR, and A1 adenosine receptors while altered expression of mRNAs for D1 dopamine receptors, the M1 cholinoreceptor and the acetylcholine-synthetizing enzyme choline-acetyltransferase was observed in LGS-ko striatum. Thus, inborn systemic hyperammonemia resulted in significant deficits in novelty acquisition and disturbed synaptic plasticity in corticostriatal and hippocampal pathways involved in learning and goal-directed behavior. PMID:28067279

  8. UBE3A regulates synaptic plasticity and learning and memory by controlling SK2 channel endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jiandong; Zhu, Guoqi; Liu, Yan; Standley, Steve; Ji, Angela; Tunuguntla, Rashmi; Wang, Yubin; Claus, Chad; Luo, Lyna; Baudry, Michel; Bi, Xiaoning

    2015-01-01

    Summary Gated solely by activity-induced changes in intracellular calcium, small conductance potassium channels (SKs) are critical for a variety of functions in the CNS, from learning and memory to rhythmic activity and sleep. While there is a wealth of information on SK2 gating, kinetics and Ca2+ sensitivity, little is known regarding the regulation of SK2 subcellular localization. We report here that synaptic SK2 levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase UBE3A, whose deficiency results in Angelman syndrome and over-expression in increased risk of autistic spectrum disorder. UBE3A directly ubiquitinates SK2 in the C-terminal domain, which facilitates endocytosis. In UBE3A-deficient mice, increased postsynaptic SK2 levels result in decreased NMDA receptor activation, thereby impairing hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity. Impairments in both synaptic plasticity and fear conditioning memory in UBE3A-deficient mice are significantly ameliorated by blocking SK2. These results elucidate a mechanism by which UBE3A directly influences cognitive function. PMID:26166566

  9. Electroacupuncture Regulates Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity via miR-134-Mediated LIMK1 Function in Rats with Ischemic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Weilin; Wu, Jie; Zhuo, Peiyuan; Lin, Yunjiao; Wang, Lulu; Lin, Ruhui

    2017-01-01

    MircoRNAs (miRs) have been implicated in learning and memory, by regulating LIM domain kinase (LIMK1) to induce synaptic-dendritic plasticity. The study aimed to investigate whether miRNAs/LIMK1 signaling was involved in electroacupuncture- (EA-) mediated synaptic-dendritic plasticity in a rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion induced cognitive deficit (MICD). Compared to untreatment or non-acupoint-EA treatment, EA at DU20 and DU24 acupoints could shorten escape latency and increase the frequency of crossing platform in Morris water maze test. T2-weighted imaging showed that the MICD rat brain lesions were located in cortex, hippocampus, corpus striatum, and thalamus regions and injured volumes were reduced after EA. Furthermore, we found that the density of dendritic spine and the number of synapses in the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells were obviously reduced at Day 14 after MICD. However, synaptic-dendritic loss could be rescued after EA. Moreover, the synaptic-dendritic plasticity was associated with increases of the total LIMK1 and phospho-LIMK1 levels in hippocampal CA1 region, wherein EA decreased the expression of miR-134, negatively regulating LIMK1 to enhance synaptic-dendritic plasticity. Therefore, miR-134-mediated LIMK1 was involved in EA-induced hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which served as a contributor to improving learning and memory during the recovery stage of ischemic stroke. PMID:28116173

  10. Proteostasis and RNA Binding Proteins in Synaptic Plasticity and in the Pathogenesis of Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Matthew E.; Monday, Hannah; Jordan, Bryen A.

    2016-01-01

    Decades of research have demonstrated that rapid alterations in protein abundance are required for synaptic plasticity, a cellular correlate for learning and memory. Control of protein abundance, known as proteostasis, is achieved across a complex neuronal morphology that includes a tortuous axon as well as an extensive dendritic arbor supporting thousands of individual synaptic compartments. To regulate the spatiotemporal synthesis of proteins, neurons must efficiently coordinate the transport and metabolism of mRNAs. Among multiple levels of regulation, transacting RNA binding proteins (RBPs) control proteostasis by binding to mRNAs and mediating their transport and translation in response to synaptic activity. In addition to synthesis, protein degradation must be carefully balanced for optimal proteostasis, as deviations resulting in excess or insufficient abundance of key synaptic factors produce pathologies. As such, mutations in components of the proteasomal or translational machinery, including RBPs, have been linked to the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS), and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In this review, we summarize recent scientific findings, highlight ongoing questions, and link basic molecular mechanisms to the pathogenesis of common neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26904297

  11. Shaping synaptic plasticity: the role of activity-mediated epigenetic regulation on gene transcription.

    PubMed

    Cortés-Mendoza, Javier; Díaz de León-Guerrero, Sol; Pedraza-Alva, Gustavo; Pérez-Martínez, Leonor

    2013-10-01

    Learning and memory are basic functions of the brain that allowed human evolution. It is well accepted that during learning and memory formation the dynamic establishment of new active synaptic connections is crucial. Persistent synaptic activation leads to molecular events that include increased release of neurotransmitters, increased expression of receptors on the postsynaptic neuron, thus creating a positive feedback that results in the activation of distinct signaling pathways that temporally and permanently alter specific patterns of gene expression. However, the epigenetic changes that allow the establishment of long term genetic programs that control learning and memory are not completely understood. Even less is known regarding the signaling events triggered by synaptic activity that regulate these epigenetic marks. Here we review the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling activity-dependent gene transcription leading synaptic plasticity and memory formation. We describe how Ca(2+) entry through N-methyl-d-aspartate-type glutamate neurotransmitter receptors result in the activation of specific signaling pathways leading to changes in gene expression, giving special emphasis to the recent data pointing out different epigenetic mechanisms (histone acetylation, methylation and phosphorylation as well as DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation) underlying learning and memory.

  12. Evolutionarily conserved differences in pallial and thalamic short-term synaptic plasticity in striatum

    PubMed Central

    Ericsson, Jesper; Stephenson-Jones, Marcus; Kardamakis, Andreas; Robertson, Brita; Silberberg, Gilad; Grillner, Sten

    2013-01-01

    The striatum of the basal ganglia is conserved throughout the vertebrate phylum. Tracing studies in lamprey have shown that its afferent inputs are organized in a manner similar to that of mammals. The main inputs arise from the thalamus (Th) and lateral pallium (LPal; the homologue of cortex) that represents the two principal excitatory glutamatergic inputs in mammals. The aim here was to characterize the pharmacology and synaptic dynamics of afferent fibres from the LPal and Th onto identified striatal neurons to understand the processing taking place in the lamprey striatum. We used whole-cell current-clamp recordings in acute slices of striatum with preserved fibres from the Th and LPal, as well as tract tracing and immunohistochemistry. We show that the Th and LPal produce monosynaptic excitatory glutamatergic input through NMDA and AMPA receptors. The synaptic input from the LPal displayed short-term facilitation, unlike the Th input that instead displayed strong short-term synaptic depression. There was also an activity-dependent recruitment of intrastriatal oligosynaptic inhibition from both inputs. These results indicate that the two principal inputs undergo different activity-dependent short-term synaptic plasticity in the lamprey striatum. The difference observed between Th and LPal (cortical) input is also observed in mammals, suggesting a conserved trait throughout vertebrate evolution. PMID:23148315

  13. Proteostasis and RNA Binding Proteins in Synaptic Plasticity and in the Pathogenesis of Neuropsychiatric Disorders.

    PubMed

    Klein, Matthew E; Monday, Hannah; Jordan, Bryen A

    2016-01-01

    Decades of research have demonstrated that rapid alterations in protein abundance are required for synaptic plasticity, a cellular correlate for learning and memory. Control of protein abundance, known as proteostasis, is achieved across a complex neuronal morphology that includes a tortuous axon as well as an extensive dendritic arbor supporting thousands of individual synaptic compartments. To regulate the spatiotemporal synthesis of proteins, neurons must efficiently coordinate the transport and metabolism of mRNAs. Among multiple levels of regulation, transacting RNA binding proteins (RBPs) control proteostasis by binding to mRNAs and mediating their transport and translation in response to synaptic activity. In addition to synthesis, protein degradation must be carefully balanced for optimal proteostasis, as deviations resulting in excess or insufficient abundance of key synaptic factors produce pathologies. As such, mutations in components of the proteasomal or translational machinery, including RBPs, have been linked to the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS), and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In this review, we summarize recent scientific findings, highlight ongoing questions, and link basic molecular mechanisms to the pathogenesis of common neuropsychiatric disorders.

  14. Stargazin (TARP gamma-2) is required for compartment-specific AMPA receptor trafficking and synaptic plasticity in cerebellar stellate cells.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Alexander C; Nicoll, Roger A

    2011-03-16

    In the cerebellar cortex, parallel fiber-to-stellate cell (PF-SC) synapses exhibit a form of synaptic plasticity manifested as a switch in the subunit composition of synaptic AMPA receptors (AMPARs) from calcium-permeable, GluA2-lacking to calcium-impermeable, GluA2-containing receptors. Here, we examine the role of stargazin (γ-2), canonical member of the transmembrane AMPAR regulatory protein (TARP) family, in the regulation of GluA2-lacking AMPARs and synaptic plasticity in SCs from epileptic and ataxic stargazer mutant mice. We found that AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission is severely diminished in stargazer SCs, and that the rectification index (RI) of AMPAR current is reduced. Activity-dependent plasticity in the rectification of synaptic AMPARs is also impaired in stargazer SCs. Despite the dramatic loss in synaptic AMPARs, extrasynaptic AMPARs are preserved. We then examined the role of stargazin in regulating the rectification of extrasynaptic AMPARs in nucleated patches and found, in contrast to previous reports, that wild-type extrasynaptic AMPARs have moderate RI values (average RI = 0.38), while those in stargazer SCs are low (average RI = 0.24). The GluA2-lacking AMPAR blocker, philanthotoxin-433 (PhTx-433), was used as an alternative measure of GluA2 content in wild-type and stargazer SCs. Despite the difference in RI, PhTx-433 sensitivity of both synaptic and extrasynaptic AMPARs remains unchanged, suggesting that the dramatic changes in RI and the impairment in synaptic plasticity observed in the stargazer mouse are not the result of a specific impairment in GluA2 trafficking. Together, these data suggest that stargazin regulates compartment-specific AMPAR trafficking, as well as activity-dependent plasticity in synaptic AMPAR rectification at cerebellar PF-SC synapses.

  15. Vorinostat positively regulates synaptic plasticity genes expression and spine density in HIV infected neurons: role of nicotine in progression of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) is characterized by development of cognitive, behavioral and motor abnormalities, and occurs in approximately 50% of HIV infected individuals. In the United States, the prevalence of cigarette smoking ranges from 35-70% in HIV-infected individuals compared to 20% in general population. Cognitive impairment in heavy cigarette smokers has been well reported. However, the synergistic effects of nicotine and HIV infection and the underlying mechanisms in the development of HAND are unknown. Results In this study, we explored the role of nicotine in the progression of HAND using SK-N-MC, a neuronal cell line. SK-N-MC cells were infected with HIV-1 in the presence or absence of nicotine for 7 days. We observed significant increase in HIV infectivity in SK-N-MC treated with nicotine compared to untreated HIV-infected neuronal cells. HIV and nicotine synergize to significantly dysregulate the expression of synaptic plasticity genes and spine density; with a concomitant increase of HDAC2 levels in SK-N-MC cells. In addition, inhibition of HDAC2 up-regulation with the use of vorinostat resulted in HIV latency breakdown and recovery of synaptic plasticity genes expression and spine density in nicotine/HIV alone and in co-treated SK-N-MC cells. Furthermore, increased eIF2 alpha phosphorylation, which negatively regulates eukaryotic translational process, was observed in HIV alone and in co-treatment with nicotine compared to untreated control and nicotine alone treated SK-N-MC cells. Conclusions These results suggest that nicotine and HIV synergize to negatively regulate the synaptic plasticity gene expression and spine density and this may contribute to the increased risk of HAND in HIV infected smokers. Apart from disrupting latency, vorinostat may be a useful therapeutic to inhibit the negative regulatory effects on synaptic plasticity in HIV infected nicotine abusers. PMID:24886748

  16. GLP-1 analogue CJC-1131 prevents amyloid β protein-induced impirments of spatial memory and synaptic plasticity in rats.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Sheng-Xiao; Cai, Hong-Yan; Ma, Xiao-Wen; Yuan, Li; Zhang, Jun; Wang, Zhao-Jun; Li, Yu-Feng; Qi, Jin-Shun

    2017-03-15

    Although amyloid β protein (Aβ) has been recognized as one of the main pathological characteristics in the brain of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the effective strategies against Aβ neurotoxicity are still deficient up to now. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), a natural gut hormone, was found to be effective in modulating insulin signaling and neural protection, but short half-life limited its clinical application in AD treatment. CJC-1131, a newly designed GLP-1 analogue with very longer half-life, has shown good effectiveness in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, it is unclear whether CJC-1131 could alleviate Aβ-induced neurotoxicity in cognitive behavior and electrophysiological property. The present study investigated the effects of CJC-1131 on the Aβ-induced impairments in spatial memory and synaptic plasticity of rats by using Morris water maze test and in vivo field potential recording. The results showed that Aβ1-42-induced increase in the escape latency of rats in hidden platform test and decrease in swimming time percent in target quadrant were effectively reversed by CJC-1131 pretreatment. Further, CJC-1131 prevented against Aβ1-42-induced suppression of hippocampal long term potentiation (LTP). In addition, Aβ1-42 injection resulted in a significant decrease of p-PKA in the hippocampus, which was effectively prevented by CJC-1131 treatment. These results indicated that CJC-1131 protected the cognitive function and synaptic plasticity of rats against Aβ-induced impairments, suggesting that GLP-1 analogue CJC-1131 might be potentially beneficial to the prevention and treatment of AD, especially those with T2DM or blood glucose abnormality.

  17. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnOx-Al2O3 thin film structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P.; Liu, P.; Hu, S. G.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, Q.; Lee, P. S.

    2016-06-01

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)-aluminum oxide (Al2O3) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al2O3 interface and/or in the Al2O3 layer.

  18. Memory and synaptic plasticity are impaired by dysregulated hippocampal O-GlcNAcylation

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yong Ryoul; Song, Seungju; Hwang, Hongik; Jung, Jung Hoon; Kim, Su-Jeong; Yoon, Sora; Hur, Jin-Hoe; Park, Jae-Il; Lee, Cheol; Nam, Dougu; Seo, Young-Kyo; Kim, Joung-Hun; Rhim, Hyewhon; Suh, Pann-Ghill

    2017-01-01

    O-GlcNAcylated proteins are abundant in the brain and are associated with neuronal functions and neurodegenerative diseases. Although several studies have reported the effects of aberrant regulation of O-GlcNAcylation on brain function, the roles of O-GlcNAcylation in synaptic function remain unclear. To understand the effect of aberrant O-GlcNAcylation on the brain, we used Oga+/− mice which have an increased level of O-GlcNAcylation, and found that Oga+/− mice exhibited impaired spatial learning and memory. Consistent with this result, Oga+/− mice showed a defect in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Oga heterozygosity causes impairment of both long-term potentiation and long-term depression due to dysregulation of AMPA receptor phosphorylation. These results demonstrate a role for hyper-O-GlcNAcylation in learning and memory. PMID:28368052

  19. Synaptic plasticity in the mesolimbic system: therapeutic implications for substance abuse.

    PubMed

    Chen, Billy T; Hopf, F Woodward; Bonci, Antonello

    2010-02-01

    In an ever-changing environment, animals must learn new behavioral strategies for the successful procurement of food, sex, and other needs. Synaptic plasticity within the mesolimbic system, a key reward circuit, affords an animal the ability to adapt and perform essential goal-directed behaviors. Ironically, drugs of abuse can also induce synaptic changes within the mesolimbic system, and such changes are hypothesized to promote deleterious drug-seeking behaviors in lieu of healthy, adaptive behaviors. In this review, we will discuss drug-induced neuroadaptations in excitatory transmission in the ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens, two critical regions of the mesolimbic system, and the possible role of dopamine receptors in the development of these neuroadaptations. In particular, we will focus our discussion on recent studies showing changes in AMPA receptor function as a common molecular target of addictive drugs, and the possible behavioral consequences of such neuroadaptations.

  20. Protective effect of tetrahydroxy stilbene glucoside on learning and memory by regulating synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Hong-bo; Li, Yun; Liu, Zun-jing; Cao, Li; Zhang, Zhi-qiang; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Xiao-yan; Liu, Zhao; Shi, Xiang-qun

    2016-01-01

    Damage to synaptic plasticity induced by neurotoxicity of amyloid-beta is regarded to be one of the pathological mechanisms of learning and memory disabilities in Alzheimer's disease patients. This study assumed that the damage of amyloid-beta to learning and memory abilities was strongly associated with the changes in the Fyn/N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2B (NR2B) expression. An APP695V7171 transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease was used and treatment with tetrahydroxy-stilbene glucoside was administered intragastrically. Results showed that intragastric administration of tetrahydroxy-stilbene glucoside improved the learning and memory abilities of the transgenic mice through increasing NR2B receptors and Fyn expression. It also reversed parameters for synaptic interface structure of gray type I. These findings indicate that tetrahydroxy stilbene glucoside has protective effects on the brain, and has prospects for its clinical application to improve the learning and memory abilities and treat Alzheimer's disease. PMID:27857754

  1. Role of Atypical Protein Kinases in Maintenance of Long-Term Memory and Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Borodinova, A A; Zuzina, A B; Balaban, P M

    2017-03-01

    Investigation of biochemical mechanisms underlying the long-term storage of information in nervous system is one of main problems of modern neurobiology. As a molecular basis of long-term memory, long-term changes in kinase activities, increase in the level and changes in the subunit composition of receptors in synaptic membranes, local activity of prion-like proteins, and epigenetic modifications of chromatin have been proposed. Perhaps a combination of all or of some of these factors underlies the storage of long-term memory in the brain. Many recent studies have shown an exclusively important role of atypical protein kinases (PKCζ, PKMζ, and PKCι/λ) in processes of learning, consolidation and maintenance of memory. The present review is devoted to consideration of mechanisms of transcriptional and translational control of atypical protein kinases and their roles in induction and maintenance of long-term synaptic plasticity and memory in vertebrates and invertebrates.

  2. Role of Immediate-Early Genes in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Ensembles Underlying the Memory Trace

    PubMed Central

    Minatohara, Keiichiro; Akiyoshi, Mika; Okuno, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    In the brain, neuronal gene expression is dynamically changed in response to neuronal activity. In particular, the expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs) such as egr-1, c-fos, and Arc is rapidly and selectively upregulated in subsets of neurons in specific brain regions associated with learning and memory formation. IEG expression has therefore been widely used as a molecular marker for neuronal populations that undergo plastic changes underlying formation of long-term memory. In recent years, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic studies of neurons expressing c-fos or Arc have revealed that, during learning, IEG-positive neurons encode and store information that is required for memory recall, suggesting that they may be involved in formation of the memory trace. However, despite accumulating evidence for the role of IEGs in synaptic plasticity, the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with this process remain unclear. In this review, we first summarize recent literature concerning the role of IEG-expressing neuronal ensembles in organizing the memory trace. We then focus on the physiological significance of IEGs, especially Arc, in synaptic plasticity, and describe our hypotheses about the importance of Arc expression in various types of input-specific circuit reorganization. Finally, we offer perspectives on Arc function that would unveil the role of IEG-expressing neurons in the formation of memory traces in the hippocampus and other brain areas. PMID:26778955

  3. Magnetic nanotherapeutics for dysregulated synaptic plasticity during neuroAIDS and drug abuse.

    PubMed

    Sagar, Vidya; Atluri, Venkata Subba Rao; Pilakka-Kanthikeel, Sudheesh; Nair, Madhavan

    2016-05-23

    The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a neurotropic virus. It induces neurotoxicity and subsequent brain pathologies in different brain cells. Addiction to recreational drugs remarkably affects the initiation of HIV infections and expedites the progression of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) associated neuropathogenesis. Symptoms of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are noticed in many AIDS patients. At least 50 % of HIV diagnosed cases show one or other kind of neuropathological signs or symptoms during different stages of disease progression. In the same line, mild to severe neurological alterations are seen in at least 80 % autopsies of AIDS patients. Neurological illnesses weaken the connections between neurons causing significant altercations in synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity alterations during HIV infection and recreational drug abuse are mediated by complex cellular phenomena involving changes in gene expression and subsequent loss of dendritic and spine morphology and physiology. New treatment strategies with ability to deliver drugs across blood-brain barrier (BBB) are being intensively investigated. In this context, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) based nanoformulations have shown significant potential for target specificity, drug delivery, drug release, and bioavailability of desired amount of drugs in non-invasive brain targeting. MNPs-based potential therapies to promote neuronal plasticity during HIV infection and recreational drug abuse are being developed.

  4. Regulation of AMPA receptor surface trafficking and synaptic plasticity by a cognitive enhancer and antidepressant molecule.

    PubMed

    Zhang, H; Etherington, L-A; Hafner, A-S; Belelli, D; Coussen, F; Delagrange, P; Chaouloff, F; Spedding, M; Lambert, J J; Choquet, D; Groc, L

    2013-04-01

    The plasticity of excitatory synapses is an essential brain process involved in cognitive functions, and dysfunctions of such adaptations have been linked to psychiatric disorders such as depression. Although the intracellular cascades that are altered in models of depression and stress-related disorders have been under considerable scrutiny, the molecular interplay between antidepressants and glutamatergic signaling remains elusive. Using a combination of electrophysiological and single nanoparticle tracking approaches, we here report that the cognitive enhancer and antidepressant tianeptine (S 1574, [3-chloro-6-methyl-5,5-dioxo-6,11-dihydro-(c,f)-dibenzo-(1,2-thiazepine)-11-yl) amino]-7 heptanoic acid, sodium salt) favors synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons both under basal conditions and after acute stress. Strikingly, tianeptine rapidly reduces the surface diffusion of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) through a Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII)-dependent mechanism that enhances the binding of AMPAR auxiliary subunit stargazin with PSD-95. This prevents corticosterone-induced AMPAR surface dispersal and restores long-term potentiation of acutely stressed mice. Collectively, these data provide the first evidence that a therapeutically used drug targets the surface diffusion of AMPAR through a CaMKII-stargazin-PSD-95 pathway, to promote long-term synaptic plasticity.

  5. The role of agrin in synaptic development, plasticity and signaling in the central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Daniels, Mathew P

    2012-11-01

    Development of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) requires secretion of specific isoforms of the proteoglycan agrin by motor neurons. Secreted agrin is widely expressed in the basal lamina of various tissues, whereas a transmembrane form is highly expressed in the brain. Expression in the brain is greatest during the period of synaptogenesis, but remains high in regions of the adult brain that show extensive synaptic plasticity. The well-established role of agrin in NMJ development and its presence in the brain elicited investigations of its possible role in synaptogenesis in the brain. Initial studies on the embryonic brain and neuronal cultures of agrin-null mice did not reveal any defects in synaptogenesis. However, subsequent studies in culture demonstrated inhibition of synaptogenesis by agrin antisense oligonucleotides or agrin siRNA. More recently, a substantial loss of excitatory synapses was found in the brains of transgenic adult mice that lacked agrin expression everywhere but in motor neurons. The mechanisms by which agrin influences synapse formation, maintenance and plasticity may include enhancement of excitatory synaptic signaling, activation of the "muscle-specific" receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK) and positive regulation of dendritic filopodia. In this article I will review the evidence that agrin regulates synapse development, plasticity and signaling in the brain and discuss the evidence for the proposed mechanisms.

  6. The Neuroplastin adhesion molecules: key regulators of neuronal plasticity and synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Beesley, Philip W; Herrera-Molina, Rodrigo; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Seidenbecher, Constanze

    2014-11-01

    The Neuroplastins Np65 and Np55 are neuronal and synapse-enriched immunoglobulin superfamily molecules that play important roles in a number of key neuronal and synaptic functions including, for Np65, cell adhesion. In this review we focus on the physiological roles of the Neuroplastins in promoting neurite outgrowth, regulating the structure and function of both inhibitory and excitatory synapses in brain, and in neuronal and synaptic plasticity. We discuss the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms by which the Neuroplastins exert their physiological effects and how these are dependent upon the structural features of Np65 and Np55, which enable them to bind to a diverse range of protein partners. In turn this enables the Neuroplastins to interact with a number of key neuronal signalling cascades. These include: binding to and activation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor; Np65 trans-homophilic binding leading to activation of p38 MAPK and internalization of glutamate (GluR1) receptor subunits; acting as accessory proteins for monocarboxylate transporters, thus affecting neuronal energy supply, and binding to GABAA α1, 2 and 5 subunits, thus regulating the composition and localization of GABAA receptors. An emerging theme is the role of the Neuroplastins in regulating the trafficking and subcellular localization of specific binding partners. We also discuss the involvement of Neuroplastins in a number of pathophysiological conditions, including ischaemia, schizophrenia and breast cancer and the role of a single nucleotide polymorphism in the human Neuroplastin (NPTN) gene locus in impairment of cortical development and cognitive functions. Neuroplastins are neuronal cell adhesion molecules, which induce neurite outgrowth and play important roles in synaptic maturation and plasticity. This review summarizes the functional implications of Neuroplastins for correct synaptic membrane protein localization, neuronal energy supply, expression of LTP and LTD

  7. A neuromorphic VLSI design for spike timing and rate based synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Rahimi Azghadi, Mostafa; Al-Sarawi, Said; Abbott, Derek; Iannella, Nicolangelo

    2013-09-01

    Triplet-based Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (TSTDP) is a powerful synaptic plasticity rule that acts beyond conventional pair-based STDP (PSTDP). Here, the TSTDP is capable of reproducing the outcomes from a variety of biological experiments, while the PSTDP rule fails to reproduce them. Additionally, it has been shown that the behaviour inherent to the spike rate-based Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM) synaptic plasticity rule can also emerge from the TSTDP rule. This paper proposes an analogue implementation of the TSTDP rule. The proposed VLSI circuit has been designed using the AMS 0.35 μm CMOS process and has been simulated using design kits for Synopsys and Cadence tools. Simulation results demonstrate how well the proposed circuit can alter synaptic weights according to the timing difference amongst a set of different patterns of spikes. Furthermore, the circuit is shown to give rise to a BCM-like learning rule, which is a rate-based rule. To mimic an implementation environment, a 1000 run Monte Carlo (MC) analysis was conducted on the proposed circuit. The presented MC simulation analysis and the simulation result from fine-tuned circuits show that it is possible to mitigate the effect of process variations in the proof of concept circuit; however, a practical variation aware design technique is required to promise a high circuit performance in a large scale neural network. We believe that the proposed design can play a significant role in future VLSI implementations of both spike timing and rate based neuromorphic learning systems.

  8. Proteasome Modulates Positive and Negative Translational Regulators in Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Chenghai; Bach, Svitlana V.; Haynes, Kathryn A.

    2014-01-01

    Proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway appears to have a complex role in synaptic plasticity, but its various functions remain to be elucidated. Using late phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP) in the hippocampus of the mouse as a model for long-term synaptic plasticity, we previously showed that inhibition of the proteasome enhances induction but blocks maintenance of L-LTP. In this study, we investigated the possible mechanisms by which proteasome inhibition has opposite effects on L-LTP induction and maintenance. Our results show that inhibiting phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase or blocking the interaction between eukaryotic initiation factors 4E (eIF4E) and 4G (eIF4G) reduces the enhancement of L-LTP induction brought about by proteasome inhibition suggesting interplay between proteolysis and the signaling pathway mediated by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Also, proteasome inhibition leads to accumulation of translational activators in the mTOR pathway such as eIF4E and eukaryotic elongation factor 1A (eEF1A) early during L-LTP causing increased induction. Furthermore, inhibition of the proteasome causes a buildup of translational repressors, such as polyadenylate-binding protein interacting protein 2 (Paip2) and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 2 (4E-BP2), during late stages of L-LTP contributing to the blockade of L-LTP maintenance. Thus, the proteasome plays a critical role in regulating protein synthesis during L-LTP by tightly controlling translation. Our results provide novel mechanistic insights into the interplay between protein degradation and protein synthesis in long-term synaptic plasticity. PMID:24573276

  9. Unsupervised discrimination of patterns in spiking neural networks with excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Cho, Youngkwan

    2014-01-01

    A spiking neural network model is described for learning to discriminate among spatial patterns in an unsupervised manner. The network anatomy consists of source neurons that are activated by external inputs, a reservoir that resembles a generic cortical layer with an excitatory-inhibitory (EI) network and a sink layer of neurons for readout. Synaptic plasticity in the form of STDP is imposed on all the excitatory and inhibitory synapses at all times. While long-term excitatory STDP enables sparse and efficient learning of the salient features in inputs, inhibitory STDP enables this learning to be stable by establishing a balance between excitatory and inhibitory currents at each neuron in the network. The synaptic weights between source and reservoir neurons form a basis set for the input patterns. The neural trajectories generated in the reservoir due to input stimulation and lateral connections between reservoir neurons can be readout by the sink layer neurons. This activity is used for adaptation of synapses between reservoir and sink layer neurons. A new measure called the discriminability index (DI) is introduced to compute if the network can discriminate between old patterns already presented in an initial training session. The DI is also used to compute if the network adapts to new patterns without losing its ability to discriminate among old patterns. The final outcome is that the network is able to correctly discriminate between all patterns—both old and new. This result holds as long as inhibitory synapses employ STDP to continuously enable current balance in the network. The results suggest a possible direction for future investigation into how spiking neural networks could address the stability-plasticity question despite having continuous synaptic plasticity. PMID:25566045

  10. Orexin A induces bidirectional modulation of synaptic plasticity: Inhibiting long-term potentiation and preventing depotentiation.

    PubMed

    Lu, Guan-Ling; Lee, Chia-Hsu; Chiou, Lih-Chu

    2016-08-01

    The orexin system consists of two peptides, orexin A and B and two receptors, OX1R and OX2R. It is implicated in learning and memory regulation while controversy remains on its role in modulating hippocampal synaptic plasticity in vivo and in vitro. Here, we investigated effects of orexin A on two forms of synaptic plasticity, long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs), at the Schaffer Collateral-CA1 synapse of mouse hippocampal slices. Orexin A (≧30 nM) attenuated LTP induced by theta burst stimulation (TBS) in a manner antagonized by an OX1R (SB-334867), but not OX2R (EMPA), antagonist. Conversely, at 1 pM, co-application of orexin A prevented the induction of depotentiation induced by low frequency stimulation (LFS), i.e. restoring LTP. This re-potentiation effect of sub-nanomolar orexin A occurred at LFS of 1 Hz, but not 2 Hz, and with LTP induced by either TBS or tetanic stimulation. It was significantly antagonized by SB-334867, EMPA and TCS-1102, selective OX1R, OX2R and dual OXR antagonists, respectively, and prevented by D609, SQ22536 and H89, inhibitors of phospholipase C (PLC), adenylyl cyclase (AC) and protein kinase A (PKA), respectively. LFS-induced depotentiation was antagonized by blockers of NMDA, A1-adenosine and type 1/5 metabotropic glutamate (mGlu1/5) receptors, respectively. However, orexin A (1 pM) did not affect chemical-induced depotentiation by agonists of these receptors. These results suggest that orexin A bidirectionally modulates hippocampal CA1 synaptic plasticity, inhibiting LTP via OX1Rs at moderate concentrations while inducing re-potentiation via OX1Rs and OX2Rs, possibly through PLC and AC-PKA signaling at sub-nanomolar concentrations.

  11. Nonconserved Ca2+/Calmodulin Binding Sites in Munc13s Differentially Control Synaptic Short-Term Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lipstein, Noa; Schaks, Sabine; Dimova, Kalina; Kalkhof, Stefan; Ihling, Christian; Kölbel, Knut; Ashery, Uri; Rhee, JeongSeop; Brose, Nils

    2012-01-01

    Munc13s are presynaptic proteins that mediate synaptic vesicle priming and thereby control the size of the readily releasable pool of vesicles. During high synaptic activity, Munc13-1 and its closely related homolog, ubMunc13-2, bind Ca2+/calmodulin, resulting in enhanced priming activity and in changes of short-term synaptic plasticity characteristics. Here, we studied whether bMunc13-2 and Munc13-3, two remote isoforms of Munc13-1 with a neuronal subtype-specific expression pattern, mediate synaptic vesicle priming and regulate short-term synaptic plasticity in a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent manner. We identified a single functional Ca2+/calmodulin binding site in these isoforms and provide structural evidence that all Munc13s employ a common mode of interaction with calmodulin despite the lack of sequence homology between their Ca2+/calmodulin binding sites. Electrophysiological analysis showed that, during high-frequency activity, Ca2+/calmodulin binding positively regulates the priming activity of bMunc13-2 and Munc13-3, resulting in an increase in the size of the readily releasable pool of vesicles and subsequently in strong short-term synaptic enhancement of neurotransmission. We conclude that Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent regulation of priming activity is structurally and functionally conserved in all Munc13 proteins, and that the composition of Munc13 isoforms in a neuron differentially controls its short-term synaptic plasticity characteristics. PMID:22966208

  12. Learning and memory and synaptic plasticity are impaired in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

    PubMed

    Moretti, Paolo; Levenson, Jonathan M; Battaglia, Fortunato; Atkinson, Richard; Teague, Ryan; Antalffy, Barbara; Armstrong, Dawna; Arancio, Ottavio; Sweatt, J David; Zoghbi, Huda Y

    2006-01-04

    Loss-of-function mutations or abnormal expression of the X-linked gene encoding methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) cause a spectrum of postnatal neurodevelopmental disorders including Rett syndrome (RTT), nonsyndromic mental retardation, learning disability, and autism. Mice expressing a truncated allele of Mecp2 (Mecp2(308)) reproduce the motor and social behavior abnormalities of RTT; however, it is not known whether learning deficits are present in these animals. We investigated learning and memory, neuronal morphology, and synaptic function in Mecp2(308) mice. Hippocampus-dependent spatial memory, contextual fear memory, and social memory were significantly impaired in Mecp2(308) mutant males (Mecp2(308/Y)). The morphology of dendritic arborizations, the biochemical composition of synaptosomes and postsynaptic densities, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression were not altered in these mice. However, reduced postsynaptic density cross-sectional length was identified in asymmetric synapses of area CA1 of the hippocampus. In the hippocampus of symptomatic Mecp2(308/Y) mice, Schaffer-collateral synapses exhibited enhanced basal synaptic transmission and decreased paired-pulse facilitation, suggesting that neurotransmitter release was enhanced. Schaffer-collateral long-term potentiation (LTP) was impaired. LTP was also reduced in the motor and sensory regions of the neocortex. Finally, very early symptomatic Mecp2(308/Y) mice had increased basal synaptic transmission and deficits in the induction of long-term depression. These data demonstrate a requirement for MeCP2 in learning and memory and suggest that functional and ultrastructural synaptic dysfunction is an early event in the pathogenesis of RTT.

  13. MicroRNA-335-5p modulates spatial memory and hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Capitano, F; Camon, J; Licursi, V; Ferretti, V; Maggi, L; Scianni, M; Del Vecchio, G; Rinaldi, A; Mannironi, C; Limatola, C; Presutti, C; Mele, A

    2017-03-01

    MicroRNAs are endogenous, noncoding RNAs crucial for the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. In this study, we investigated the role of miR-335-5p in spatial learning and synaptic plasticity. To this end we first showed spatial learning induced down-regulation of miR-335-5p. Next we found impairment in long-term memory and reduction in hippocampal long-term potentiation by exogenous administration of the miRNA. These findings demonstrate that miR-335-5p is a key coordinator of the intracellular pathways that mediate experience-dependent changes in the brain.

  14. Effect of synaptic plasticity on the structure and dynamics of disordered networks of coupled neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayati, M.; Valizadeh, A.

    2012-07-01

    In an all-to-all network of integrate-and-fire neurons in which there is a disorder in the intrinsic oscillatory frequencies of the neurons, we show that through spike-timing-dependent plasticity the synapses which have the high-frequency neurons as presynaptic tend to be potentiated while the links originated from the low-frequency neurons are weakened. The emergent effective flow of directed connections introduces the high-frequency neurons as the more influential elements in the network and facilitates synchronization by decreasing the synaptic cost for onset of synchronization.

  15. Glutamic acid decarboxylase 65: a link between GABAergic synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala and conditioned fear generalization.

    PubMed

    Lange, Maren D; Jüngling, Kay; Paulukat, Linda; Vieler, Marc; Gaburro, Stefano; Sosulina, Ludmila; Blaesse, Peter; Sreepathi, Hari K; Ferraguti, Francesco; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2014-08-01

    An imbalance of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system is considered a major neurobiological pathomechanism of anxiety, and the amygdala is a key brain region involved. Reduced GABA levels have been found in anxiety patients, and genetic variations of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the rate-limiting enzyme of GABA synthesis, have been associated with anxiety phenotypes in both humans and mice. These findings prompted us to hypothesize that a deficiency of GAD65, the GAD isoform controlling the availability of GABA as a transmitter, affects synaptic transmission and plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA), and thereby interferes with fear responsiveness. Results indicate that genetically determined GAD65 deficiency in mice is associated with (1) increased synaptic length and release at GABAergic connections, (2) impaired efficacy of GABAergic synaptic transmission and plasticity, and (3) reduced spillover of GABA to presynaptic GABAB receptors, resulting in a loss of the associative nature of long-term synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to LA principal neurons. (4) In addition, training with high shock intensities in wild-type mice mimicked the phenotype of GAD65 deficiency at both the behavioral and synaptic level, indicated by generalization of conditioned fear and a loss of the associative nature of synaptic plasticity in the LA. In conclusion, GAD65 is required for efficient GABAergic synaptic transmission and plasticity, and for maintaining extracellular GABA at a level needed for associative plasticity at cortical inputs in the LA, which, if disturbed, results in an impairment of the cue specificity of conditioned fear responses typifying anxiety disorders.

  16. Cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity of excitatory transmission in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Lüscher, Christian

    2013-05-01

    Cocaine leads to a strong euphoria, which is at the origin of its recreational use. Past the acute effects, the drug leaves traces in the brain that persist long after it has been cleared from the body. These traces eventually shape behavior such that drug use may become compulsive and addiction develops. Here we discuss cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity of glutamatergic transmission onto dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) as one of the earliest traces after a first injection of cocaine. We review the literature that has examined the induction requirements as well as the expression mechanism of this form of plasticity and ask the question about its functional significance.

  17. Synaptic Plasticity, a Prominent Contributor to the Anxiety in Fragile X Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Tao; Zhao, Huan; Lu, Changbo; Li, Xiaoyu; Xie, Yingli; Fu, Hao; Xu, Hui

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is an inheritable neuropsychological disease caused by expansion of the CGG trinucleotide repeat affecting the fmr1 gene on X chromosome, resulting in silence of the fmr1 gene and failed expression of FMRP. Patients with FXS suffer from cognitive impairment, sensory integration deficits, learning disability, anxiety, autistic traits, and so forth. Specifically, the morbidity of anxiety in FXS individuals remains high from childhood to adulthood. By and large, it is common that the change of brain plasticity plays a key role in the progression of disease. But for now, most studies excessively emphasized the one-sided factor on the change of synaptic plasticity participating in the generation of anxiety during the development of FXS. Here we proposed an integrated concept to acquire better recognition about the details of this process. PMID:27239350

  18. Human-Specific Cortical Synaptic Connections and Their Plasticity: Is That What Makes Us Human?

    PubMed Central

    Lourenço, Joana; Bacci, Alberto

    2017-01-01

    One outstanding difference between Homo sapiens and other mammals is the ability to perform highly complex cognitive tasks and behaviors, such as language, abstract thinking, and cultural diversity. How is this accomplished? According to one prominent theory, cognitive complexity is proportional to the repetition of specific computational modules over a large surface expansion of the cerebral cortex (neocortex). However, the human neocortex was shown to also possess unique features at the cellular and synaptic levels, raising the possibility that expanding the computational module is not the only mechanism underlying complex thinking. In a study published in PLOS Biology, Szegedi and colleagues analyzed a specific cortical circuit from live postoperative human tissue, showing that human-specific, very powerful excitatory connections between principal pyramidal neurons and inhibitory neurons are highly plastic. This suggests that exclusive plasticity of specific microcircuits might be considered among the mechanisms endowing the human neocortex with the ability to perform highly complex cognitive tasks. PMID:28103228

  19. Synaptic Plasticity, a Prominent Contributor to the Anxiety in Fragile X Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Yang, Tao; Zhao, Huan; Lu, Changbo; Li, Xiaoyu; Xie, Yingli; Fu, Hao; Xu, Hui

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is an inheritable neuropsychological disease caused by expansion of the CGG trinucleotide repeat affecting the fmr1 gene on X chromosome, resulting in silence of the fmr1 gene and failed expression of FMRP. Patients with FXS suffer from cognitive impairment, sensory integration deficits, learning disability, anxiety, autistic traits, and so forth. Specifically, the morbidity of anxiety in FXS individuals remains high from childhood to adulthood. By and large, it is common that the change of brain plasticity plays a key role in the progression of disease. But for now, most studies excessively emphasized the one-sided factor on the change of synaptic plasticity participating in the generation of anxiety during the development of FXS. Here we proposed an integrated concept to acquire better recognition about the details of this process.

  20. TARP gamma-8 controls hippocampal AMPA receptor number, distribution and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Rouach, Nathalie; Byrd, Keith; Petralia, Ronald S; Elias, Guillermo M; Adesnik, Hillel; Tomita, Susumu; Karimzadegan, Siavash; Kealey, Colin; Bredt, David S; Nicoll, Roger A

    2005-11-01

    Synaptic plasticity involves activity-dependent trafficking of AMPA-type glutamate receptors. Numerous cytoplasmic scaffolding proteins are postulated to control AMPA receptor trafficking, but the detailed mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we show that the transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory protein (TARP) gamma-8, which is preferentially expressed in the mouse hippocampus, is important for AMPA receptor protein levels and extrasynaptic surface expression. By controlling the number of AMPA receptors, gamma-8 is also important in long-term potentiation, but not long-term depression. This study establishes gamma-8 as a critical protein for basal AMPA receptor expression and localization at extrasynaptic sites in the hippocampus and raises the possibility that TARP-dependent control of AMPA receptors during synapse development and plasticity may be widespread.

  1. Myosin IIb-dependent Regulation of Actin Dynamics Is Required for N-Methyl-D-aspartate Receptor Trafficking during Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Bu, Yunfei; Wang, Ning; Wang, Shaoli; Sheng, Tao; Tian, Tian; Chen, Linlin; Pan, Weiwei; Zhu, Minsheng; Luo, Jianhong; Lu, Wei

    2015-10-16

    N-Methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) synaptic incorporation changes the number of NMDARs at synapses and is thus critical to various NMDAR-dependent brain functions. To date, the molecules involved in NMDAR trafficking and the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we report that myosin IIb is an essential molecule in NMDAR synaptic incorporation during PKC- or θ burst stimulation-induced synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we demonstrate that myosin light chain kinase (MLCK)-dependent actin reorganization contributes to NMDAR trafficking. The findings from additional mutual occlusion experiments demonstrate that PKC and MLCK share a common signaling pathway in NMDAR-mediated synaptic regulation. Because myosin IIb is the primary substrate of MLCK and can regulate actin dynamics during synaptic plasticity, we propose that the MLCK- and myosin IIb-dependent regulation of actin dynamics is required for NMDAR trafficking during synaptic plasticity. This study provides important insights into a mechanical framework for understanding NMDAR trafficking associated with synaptic plasticity.

  2. Vortioxetine disinhibits pyramidal cell function and enhances synaptic plasticity in the rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Dale, Elena; Zhang, Hong; Leiser, Steven C; Xiao, Yixin; Lu, Dunguo; Yang, Charles R; Plath, Niels; Sanchez, Connie

    2014-01-01

    Vortioxetine, a novel antidepressant with multimodal action, is a serotonin (5-HT)3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, a 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and a 5-HT transporter (SERT) inhibitor. Vortioxetine has been shown to improve cognitive performance in several preclinical rat models and in patients with major depressive disorder. Here we investigated the mechanistic basis for these effects by studying the effect of vortioxetine on synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular correlate of learning and memory, and theta oscillations in the rat hippocampus and frontal cortex. Vortioxetine was found to prevent the 5-HT-induced increase in inhibitory post-synaptic potentials recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells, most likely by 5-HT3 receptor antagonism. Vortioxetine also enhanced LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, vortioxetine increased fronto-cortical theta power during active wake in whole animal electroencephalographic recordings. In comparison, the selective SERT inhibitor escitalopram showed no effect on any of these measures. Taken together, our results indicate that vortioxetine can increase pyramidal cell output, which leads to enhanced synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Given the central role of the hippocampus in cognition, these findings may provide a cellular correlate to the observed preclinical and clinical cognition-enhancing effects of vortioxetine. PMID:25122043

  3. Vortioxetine disinhibits pyramidal cell function and enhances synaptic plasticity in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Dale, Elena; Zhang, Hong; Leiser, Steven C; Xiao, Yixin; Lu, Dunguo; Yang, Charles R; Plath, Niels; Sanchez, Connie

    2014-10-01

    Vortioxetine, a novel antidepressant with multimodal action, is a serotonin (5-HT)3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, a 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and a 5-HT transporter (SERT) inhibitor. Vortioxetine has been shown to improve cognitive performance in several preclinical rat models and in patients with major depressive disorder. Here we investigated the mechanistic basis for these effects by studying the effect of vortioxetine on synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular correlate of learning and memory, and theta oscillations in the rat hippocampus and frontal cortex. Vortioxetine was found to prevent the 5-HT-induced increase in inhibitory post-synaptic potentials recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells, most likely by 5-HT3 receptor antagonism. Vortioxetine also enhanced LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, vortioxetine increased fronto-cortical theta power during active wake in whole animal electroencephalographic recordings. In comparison, the selective SERT inhibitor escitalopram showed no effect on any of these measures. Taken together, our results indicate that vortioxetine can increase pyramidal cell output, which leads to enhanced synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Given the central role of the hippocampus in cognition, these findings may provide a cellular correlate to the observed preclinical and clinical cognition-enhancing effects of vortioxetine.

  4. The RNA-centred view of the synapse: non-coding RNAs and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Smalheiser, Neil R.

    2014-01-01

    If mRNAs were the only RNAs made by a neuron, there would be a simple mapping of mRNAs to proteins. However, microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs; endo-siRNAs, piRNAs, BC1, BC200, antisense and long ncRNAs, repeat-related transcripts, etc.) regulate mRNAs via effects on protein translation as well as transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms. Not only are genes ON or OFF, but their ability to be translated can be turned ON or OFF at the level of synapses, supporting an enormous increase in information capacity. Here, I review evidence that ncRNAs are expressed pervasively within dendrites in mammalian brain; that some are activity-dependent and highly enriched near synapses; and that synaptic ncRNAs participate in plasticity responses including learning and memory. Ultimately, ncRNAs can be viewed as the post-it notes of the neuron. They have no literal meaning of their own, but derive their functions from where (and to what) they are stuck. This may explain, in part, why ncRNAs differ so dramatically from protein-coding genes, both in terms of the usual indicators of functionality and in terms of evolutionary constraints. ncRNAs do not appear to be direct mediators of synaptic transmission in the manner of neurotransmitters or receptors, yet they orchestrate synaptic plasticity—and may drive species-specific changes in cognition. PMID:25135965

  5. Circadian and homeostatic regulation of structural synaptic plasticity in hypocretin neurons.

    PubMed

    Appelbaum, Lior; Wang, Gordon; Yokogawa, Tohei; Skariah, Gemini M; Smith, Stephen J; Mourrain, Philippe; Mignot, Emmanuel

    2010-10-06

    Neurons exhibit rhythmic activity that ultimately affects behavior such as sleep. In living zebrafish larvae, we used time-lapse two-photon imaging of the presynaptic marker synaptophysin in hypocretin/orexin (HCRT) neurons to determine the dynamics of synaptic modifications during the day and night. We observed circadian rhythmicity in synapse number in HCRT axons. This rhythm is regulated primarily by the circadian clock but is also affected by sleep deprivation. Furthermore, NPTX2, a protein implicated in AMPA receptor clustering, modulates circadian synaptic changes. In zebrafish, nptx2b is a rhythmic gene that is mostly expressed in hypothalamic and pineal gland cells. Arrhythmic transgenic nptx2b overexpression (hcrt:NPTX2b) increases synapse number and abolishes rhythmicity in HCRT axons. Finally, hcrt:NPTX2b fish are resistant to the sleep-promoting effects of melatonin. This behavioral effect is consistent with NPTX2b-mediated increased activity of HCRT circuitry. These data provide real-time in vivo evidence of circadian and homeostatic regulation of structural synaptic plasticity.

  6. Protease-activated receptor-1 modulates hippocampal memory formation and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Almonte, Antoine G; Qadri, Laura H; Sultan, Faraz A; Watson, Jennifer A; Mount, Daniel J; Rumbaugh, Gavin; Sweatt, J David

    2013-01-01

    Protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1) is an unusual G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) that is activated through proteolytic cleavage by extracellular serine proteases. Although previous work has shown that inhibiting PAR1 activation is neuroprotective in models of ischemia, traumatic injury, and neurotoxicity, surprisingly little is known about PAR1's contribution to normal brain function. Here, we used PAR1-/- mice to investigate the contribution of PAR1 function to memory formation and synaptic function. We demonstrate that PAR1-/- mice have deficits in hippocampus-dependent memory. We also show that while PAR1-/- mice have normal baseline synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses, they exhibit severe deficits in N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP). Mounting evidence indicates that activation of PAR1 leads to potentiation of NMDAR-mediated responses in CA1 pyramidal cells. Taken together, this evidence and our data suggest an important role for PAR1 function in NMDAR-dependent processes subserving memory formation and synaptic plasticity.

  7. A distance constrained synaptic plasticity model of C. elegans neuronal network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badhwar, Rahul; Bagler, Ganesh

    2017-03-01

    Brain research has been driven by enquiry for principles of brain structure organization and its control mechanisms. The neuronal wiring map of C. elegans, the only complete connectome available till date, presents an incredible opportunity to learn basic governing principles that drive structure and function of its neuronal architecture. Despite its apparently simple nervous system, C. elegans is known to possess complex functions. The nervous system forms an important underlying framework which specifies phenotypic features associated to sensation, movement, conditioning and memory. In this study, with the help of graph theoretical models, we investigated the C. elegans neuronal network to identify network features that are critical for its control. The 'driver neurons' are associated with important biological functions such as reproduction, signalling processes and anatomical structural development. We created 1D and 2D network models of C. elegans neuronal system to probe the role of features that confer controllability and small world nature. The simple 1D ring model is critically poised for the number of feed forward motifs, neuronal clustering and characteristic path-length in response to synaptic rewiring, indicating optimal rewiring. Using empirically observed distance constraint in the neuronal network as a guiding principle, we created a distance constrained synaptic plasticity model that simultaneously explains small world nature, saturation of feed forward motifs as well as observed number of driver neurons. The distance constrained model suggests optimum long distance synaptic connections as a key feature specifying control of the network.

  8. Ribbon Synaptic Plasticity in Gravity Sensors of Rats Flown on Neurolab

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Muriel D.; Varelas, Joseph

    2003-01-01

    Previous spaceflight experiments (Space Life Sciences-1 and -2 (SLS-1 and SLS-2)) first demonstrated the extraordinary ability of gravity sensor hair cells to change the number, kind, and distribution of connections (synapses) they make to other cells while in weightlessness. The number of synapses in hair cells in one part of the inner ear (the utricle) was markedly elevated on flight day 13 (FD13) of SLS-2. Unanswered questions, however, were whether these increases in synapses occur rapidly and whether they remain stable in weightlessness. The answers have implications for long-duration human space travel. If gravity sensors can adapt quickly, crews may be able to move easily between different gravity levels, since the sensors will adapt rapidly to weightlessness on the spacecraft and then back to Earth's gravity when the mission ends. This ability to adapt is also important for recovery from balance disorders. To further our understanding of this adaptive potential (a property called neuronal synaptic plasticity), the present Neurolab research was undertaken. Our experiment examined whether: (a) increases in synapses would remain stable throughout the flight, (b) changes in the number of synapses were uniform across different portions of the gravity sensors (the utricle and saccule), and (c) synaptic changes were similar for the different types of hair cells (Type I and Type II). Utricular and saccular maculae (the gravity-sensing portions of the inner ear) were collected in flight from rats on FD2 and FD14. Samples were also collected from control rats on the ground. Tissues were prepared for ultrastructural study. Hair cells and their ribbon synapses were examined in a transmission electron microscope. Synapses were counted in all hair cells in 50 consecutive sections that crossed the striolar zone. Results indicate that utricular hair cell synapses initially increased significantly in number in both types of hair cells by FD2. Counts declined by FD14, but

  9. Role of the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin in short-term synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Caillard, Olivier; Moreno, Herman; Schwaller, Beat; Llano, Isabel; Celio, Marco R.; Marty, Alain

    2000-01-01

    GABAergic (GABA = γ-aminobutyric acid) neurons from different brain regions contain high levels of parvalbumin, both in their soma and in their neurites. Parvalbumin is a slow Ca2+ buffer that may affect the amplitude and time course of intracellular Ca2+ transients in terminals after an action potential, and hence may regulate short-term synaptic plasticity. To test this possibility, we have applied paired-pulse stimulations (with 30- to 300-ms intervals) at GABAergic synapses between interneurons and Purkinje cells, both in wild-type (PV+/+) mice and in parvalbumin knockout (PV−/−) mice. We observed paired-pulse depression in PV+/+ mice, but paired-pulse facilitation in PV−/− mice. In paired recordings of connected interneuron-Purkinje cells, dialysis of the presynaptic interneuron with the slow Ca2+ buffer EGTA (1 mM) rescues paired-pulse depression in PV−/− mice. These data show that parvalbumin potently modulates short-term synaptic plasticity. PMID:11069288

  10. Tunicamycin impairs olfactory learning and synaptic plasticity in the olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Tong, Jia; Okutani, Fumino; Murata, Yoshihiro; Taniguchi, Mutsuo; Namba, Toshiharu; Wang, Yu-Jie; Kaba, Hideto

    2017-03-06

    Tunicamycin (TM) induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inhibits N-glycosylation in cells. ER stress is associated with neuronal death in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, and most patients complain of the impairment of olfactory recognition. Here we examined the effects of TM on aversive olfactory learning and the underlying synaptic plasticity in the main olfactory bulb (MOB). Behavioral experiments demonstrated that the intrabulbar infusion of TM disabled aversive olfactory learning without affecting short-term memory. Histological analyses revealed that TM infusion upregulated C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), a marker of ER stress, in the mitral and granule cell layers of MOB. Electrophysiological data indicated that TM inhibited tetanus-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) at the dendrodendritic excitatory synapse from mitral to granule cells. A low dose of TM (250nM) abolished the late phase of LTP, and a high dose (1μM) inhibited the early and late phases of LTP. Further, high-dose, but not low-dose, TM reduced the paired-pulse facilitation ratio, suggesting that the inhibitory effects of TM on LTP are partially mediated through the presynaptic machinery. Thus, our results support the hypothesis that TM-induced ER stress impairs olfactory learning by inhibiting synaptic plasticity via presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms in MOB.

  11. Synaptic Plasticity In Mammalian Gravity Sensors: Preliminary Results From SLS-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.; Hargens, Alan R. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Sensory conflict is the prevalent theoretical explanation for space adaptation syndrome. This ultrastructural study tests the hypothesis that peripheral gravity sensors (maculae) play a role. Results were obtained from the medial part of utricular maculae of adult rats exposed to microgravity for 14 days, and from controls. Means and statistical significance of synapse counts were calculated using SUPERANOVA(Trademark) and Scheffe's procedure for post-hoc comparisons. Preliminary findings are from 2 sets of 100 serial sections for each dataset. Synapses were doubled numerically in type II hair cells of utricular maculae collected on day 13 inflight compared to controls (11.4 +/- 7.1 vs. 5.3 +/- 3.8; p < 0.0001). Flight mean synaptic number declined rapidly postflight and became comparable to means of controls. Synapses also increased numerically in type I cells inflight (2.4 +/- 1.6 vs. 1.7 +/- 1.0; p < 0.0341). Postflight there were no significant differences in counts. Results concerning shifts in ribbon type and distribution are also largely replicating previous findings from flight studies. Results indicate that mammalian maculae are adaptive endorgans that retain the property of synaptic plasticity into the adult stage. Macular plasticity has clinical implications for balance disorders of peripheral origin.

  12. Focal adhesion kinase regulates neuronal growth, synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Monje, Francisco J; Kim, Eun-Jung; Pollak, Daniela D; Cabatic, Maureen; Li, Lin; Baston, Arthur; Lubec, Gert

    2012-01-01

    The focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase abundantly expressed in the mammalian brain and highly enriched in neuronal growth cones. Inhibitory and facilitatory activities of FAK on neuronal growth have been reported and its role in neuritic outgrowth remains controversial. Unlike other tyrosine kinases, such as the neurotrophin receptors regulating neuronal growth and plasticity, the relevance of FAK for learning and memory in vivo has not been clearly defined yet. A comprehensive study aimed at determining the role of FAK in neuronal growth, neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons and in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory was therefore undertaken using the mouse model. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments indicated that FAK is a critical regulator of hippocampal cell morphology. FAK mediated neurotrophin-induced neuritic outgrowth and FAK inhibition affected both miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials and activity-dependent hippocampal long-term potentiation prompting us to explore the possible role of FAK in spatial learning and memory in vivo. Our data indicate that FAK has a growth-promoting effect, is importantly involved in the regulation of the synaptic function and mediates in vivo hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory.

  13. Synaptic plasticity modulates the spontaneous recovery of locomotion after spinal cord hemisection.

    PubMed

    Gulino, Rosario; Dimartino, Massimo; Casabona, Antonino; Lombardo, Salvatore Andrea; Perciavalle, Vincenzo

    2007-01-01

    Several evidences have demonstrated that adult mammals could achieve a wide range of spontaneous sensory-motor recovery after spinal cord injury by means of various forms of neuroplasticity. In this study we evaluated the possibility that after low-thoracic spinal cord hemisection in the adult rat, significant hindlimb locomotor recovery could occur, and that this recovery may be driven, at least in part, by mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. In order to address these issues, we measured the expression levels of synapsin-I and brain-derived neurotrophic factor by Western blotting, at various time points after hemisection and correlated them with the motor performance on a grid walk test. Regression analysis showed that the expression of synapsin-I was strongly correlated with the spontaneous recovery of hindlimb locomotion (R=0.78). Conversely, neither the expression levels of synapsin-I nor the locomotor recovery were associated with the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Overall results indicate that after spinal cord hemisection, substantial recovery of hindlimb locomotion could occur spontaneously, and that synaptic plasticity within spinal circuitries below the level of the lesion, could be an important mechanism involved in these processes.

  14. Neuronal activity causes rapid changes of lateral amygdala neuronal membrane properties and reduction of synaptic integration and synaptic plasticity in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Rosenkranz, J. Amiel

    2011-01-01

    Neuronal membrane properties dictate neuronal responsiveness. Plasticity of membrane properties alters neuronal function and can arise in response to robust neuronal activity. Despite the potential for great impact, there is little evidence for a rapid effect of activity-dependent changes of membrane properties on many neuronal functions in vivo in mammalian brain. In this study it was tested whether periods of neuronal firing lead to a rapid change of membrane properties in neurons of a rat brain region important for some forms of learning, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LAT), using in vivo intracellular recordings. Our results demonstrate that rapid plasticity of membrane properties occurs in vivo, in response to action potential firing. This plasticity of membrane properties leads to changes of synaptic integration and subsequent synaptic plasticity. These changes require Ca2+, but are NMDA independent. Furthermore, the parameters and timecourse of these changes would not have been predicted from most in vitro studies. The plasticity of membrane properties demonstrated here may represent a basic form of in vivo short-term plasticity that modifies neuronal function. PMID:21508236

  15. Actions of exendin-4 therapy on cognitive function and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in mice fed a high-fat diet.

    PubMed

    Gault, V A; Porter, W D; Flatt, P R; Hölscher, C

    2010-08-01

    High-calorie diet has been shown to impair learning ability and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rodents. This study examined effects of daily treatment with the glucagon-like peptide-1 mimetic, exendin-4, on cognitive function and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a model of diet-induced obesity, which exhibits compromised cognitive performance. Mice fed a high-fat diet were treated with exendin-4 (25 nmol kg(-1) bodyweight; twice daily) or saline vehicle (0.9% (w/v) NaCl) over 21 days. In addition to improving metabolic control, exendin-4-treated mice exhibited a marked increase in recognition index highlighting improved learning and memory. High-fat diet resulted in the elimination of in vivo electrophysiological long-term potentiation, which was rescued following exendin-4 treatment. This study shows that exendin-4 therapy improves cognitive function and ameliorates impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity in dietary-induced obesity.

  16. Motor Cortical Stimulation Promotes Synaptic Plasticity and Behavioral Improvements Following Sensorimotor Cortex Lesions

    PubMed Central

    Adkins, DeAnna L.; Hsu, J. Edward; Jones, Theresa A.

    2010-01-01

    Cortical stimulation (CS) as a means to modulate regional activity and excitability in cortex is emerging as a promising approach for facilitating rehabilitative interventions after brain damage, including stroke. In this study, we investigated whether CS-induced functional improvements are linked with synaptic plasticity in peri-infarct cortex and vary with the severity of impairments. Adult rats that were proficient in skilled reaching received subtotal unilateral ischemic sensorimotor cortex (SMC) lesions and implantation of chronic epidural electrodes over remaining motor cortex. Based on the initial magnitude of reaching deficits, rats were divided into severely and moderately impaired subgroups. Beginning two weeks post-surgery, rats received 100 Hz cathodal CS at 50% of movement thresholds or no-stimulation control procedures (NoCS) during 18 days of rehabilitative training on a reaching task. Stereological electron microscopy methods were used to quantify axodendritic synapse subtypes in motor cortical layer V underlying the electrode. In moderately, but not severely impaired rats, CS significantly enhanced recovery of reaching success. Sensitive movement analyses revealed that CS partially normalized reaching movements in both impairment subgroups compared to NoCS. Additionally, both CS subgroups had significantly greater density of axodendritic synapses and moderately impaired CS rats had increases in presumed efficacious synapse subtypes (perforated and multiple synapses) in stimulated cortex compared to NoCS. Synaptic density was positively correlated with post-rehabilitation reaching success. In addition to providing further support that CS can promote functional recovery, these findings suggest that CS-induced functional improvements may be mediated by synaptic structural plasticity in stimulated cortex. PMID:18448100

  17. Hypocretin/orexin neurons contribute to hippocampus-dependent social memory and synaptic plasticity in mice.

    PubMed

    Yang, Liya; Zou, Bende; Xiong, Xiaoxing; Pascual, Conrado; Xie, James; Malik, Adam; Xie, Julian; Sakurai, Takeshi; Xie, Xinmin Simon

    2013-03-20

    Hypocretin/orexin (Hcrt)-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus project throughout the brain, including to the hippocampus, where Hcrt receptors are widely expressed. Hcrt neurons activate these targets to orchestrate global arousal state, wake-sleep architecture, energy homeostasis, stress adaptation, and reward behaviors. Recently, Hcrt has been implicated in cognitive functions and social interaction. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that Hcrt neurons are critical to social interaction, particularly social memory, using neurobehavioral assessment and electrophysiological approaches. The validated "two-enclosure homecage test" devices and procedure were used to test sociability, preference for social novelty (social novelty), and recognition memory. A conventional direct contact social test was conducted to corroborate the findings. We found that adult orexin/ataxin-3-transgenic (AT) mice, in which Hcrt neurons degenerate by 3 months of age, displayed normal sociability and social novelty with respect to their wild-type littermates. However, AT mice displayed deficits in long-term social memory. Nasal administration of exogenous Hcrt-1 restored social memory to an extent in AT mice. Hippocampal slices taken from AT mice exhibited decreases in degree of paired-pulse facilitation and magnitude of long-term potentiation, despite displaying normal basal synaptic neurotransmission in the CA1 area compared to wild-type hippocampal slices. AT hippocampi had lower levels of phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB), an activity-dependent transcription factor important for synaptic plasticity and long-term memory storage. Our studies demonstrate that Hcrt neurons play an important role in the consolidation of social recognition memory, at least in part through enhancements of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation.

  18. BDNF Interacts with Endocannabinoids to Regulate Cocaine-Induced Synaptic Plasticity in Mouse Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Peng; Liu, Yong; Hu, Ying; Wang, Tong; Zhao, Yong-ping

    2015-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and endocannabinoids (eCBs) have been individually implicated in behavioral effects of cocaine. The present study examined how BDNF-eCB interaction regulates cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity in the ventral tegmental area and behavioral effects. We report that BDNF and selective tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (DHF) activated the TrkB receptor to facilitate two forms of eCB-mediated synaptic depression, depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI), and long-term depression (I-LTD) of IPSCs in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons in mouse midbrain slices. The facilitation appears to be mediated by an increase in eCB production via phospholipase Cγ pathway, but not by an increase in CB1 receptor responsiveness or a decrease in eCB hydrolysis. Using Cre-loxP technology to specifically delete BDNF in dopamine neurons, we showed that eCB-mediated I-LTD, cocaine-induced reduction of GABAergic inhibition, and potentiation of glutamatergic excitation remained intact in wild-type control mice, but were impaired in BDNF conditional knock-out mice. We also showed that cocaine-induced conditioned place preference was attenuated in BDNF conditional knock-out mice, in vivo pretreatments with DHF before place conditioning restored cocaine conditioned place preference in these mice, and the behavioral effect of DHF was blocked by a CB1 receptor antagonist. Together, these results suggest that BDNF in dopamine neurons regulates eCB responses, cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity, and associative learning. PMID:25762688

  19. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) influences spatial cognition and modulates hippocampal structural synaptic plasticity in aging mice.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jun; Zhang, Zhanchi; Kang, Lin; Geng, Dandan; Wang, Yanyong; Wang, Mingwei; Cui, Huixian

    2014-10-01

    Normal aging is characteristic with the gradual decline in cognitive function associated with the progressive reduction of structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has developed into a novel neurological and psychiatric tool that can be used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency rTMS (≤1Hz) affects synaptic plasticity in rats with vascular dementia (VaD), and it ameliorates the spatial cognitive ability in mice with Aβ1-42-mediated memory deficits, but there are little concerns about the effects of rTMS on normal aging related cognition and synaptic plasticity changes. Thus, the current study investigated the effects of rTMS on spatial memory behavior, neuron and synapse morphology in the hippocampus, and synaptic protein markers and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) in normal aging mice, to illustrate the mechanisms of rTMS in regulating cognitive capacity. Relative to adult animals, aging caused hippocampal-dependent cognitive impairment, simultaneously inhibited the activation of the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway, reduced the transcription and expression of synaptic protein markers: synaptophysin (SYN), growth associated protein 43 (GAP43) and post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), as well as decreased synapse density and PSD (post-synaptic density) thickness. Interestingly, rTMS with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, LIMS) triggered the activation of BDNF and TrkB, upregulated the level of synaptic protein markers, and increased synapse density and thickened PSD, and further reversed the spatial cognition dysfunction in aging mice. Conversely, high-intensity magnetic stimulation (150% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, HIMS) appeared to be detrimental, inducing thinning of PSDs, disordered synaptic structure, and a large number of

  20. Spike Timing Regulation on the Millisecond Scale by Distributed Synaptic Plasticity at the Cerebellum Input Stage: A Simulation Study

    PubMed Central

    Garrido, Jesús A.; Ros, Eduardo; D’Angelo, Egidio

    2013-01-01

    The way long-term synaptic plasticity regulates neuronal spike patterns is not completely understood. This issue is especially relevant for the cerebellum, which is endowed with several forms of long-term synaptic plasticity and has been predicted to operate as a timing and a learning machine. Here we have used a computational model to simulate the impact of multiple distributed synaptic weights in the cerebellar granular-layer network. In response to mossy fiber (MF) bursts, synaptic weights at multiple connections played a crucial role to regulate spike number and positioning in granule cells. The weight at MF to granule cell synapses regulated the delay of the first spike and the weight at MF and parallel fiber to Golgi cell synapses regulated the duration of the time-window during which the first-spike could be emitted. Moreover, the weights of synapses controlling Golgi cell activation regulated the intensity of granule cell inhibition and therefore the number of spikes that could be emitted. First-spike timing was regulated with millisecond precision and the number of spikes ranged from zero to three. Interestingly, different combinations of synaptic weights optimized either first-spike timing precision or spike number, efficiently controlling transmission and filtering properties. These results predict that distributed synaptic plasticity regulates the emission of quasi-digital spike patterns on the millisecond time-scale and allows the cerebellar granular layer to flexibly control burst transmission along the MF pathway. PMID:23720626

  1. Investigation of hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity in mice deficient in the actin-binding protein Drebrin

    PubMed Central

    Willmes, Claudia G.; Mack, Till G. A.; Ledderose, Julia; Schmitz, Dietmar; Wozny, Christian; Eickholt, Britta J.

    2017-01-01

    The dynamic regulation of the actin cytoskeleton plays a key role in controlling the structure and function of synapses. It is vital for activity-dependent modulation of synaptic transmission and long-term changes in synaptic morphology associated with memory consolidation. Several regulators of actin dynamics at the synapse have been identified, of which a salient one is the postsynaptic actin stabilising protein Drebrin (DBN). It has been suggested that DBN modulates neurotransmission and changes in dendritic spine morphology associated with synaptic plasticity. Given that a decrease in DBN levels is correlated with cognitive deficits associated with ageing and dementia, it was hypothesised that DBN protein abundance instructs the integrity and function of synapses. We created a novel DBN deficient mouse line. Analysis of gross brain and neuronal morphology revealed no phenotype in the absence of DBN. Electrophysiological recordings in acute hippocampal slices and primary hippocampal neuronal cultures showed that basal synaptic transmission, and both long-term and homeostatic synaptic plasticity were unchanged, suggesting that loss of DBN is not sufficient in inducing synapse dysfunction. We propose that the overall lack of changes in synaptic function and plasticity in DBN deficient mice may indicate robust compensatory mechanisms that safeguard cytoskeleton dynamics at the synapse. PMID:28198431

  2. Cortical Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity in Acute Liver Failure Are Decreased by Presynaptic Events.

    PubMed

    Popek, Mariusz; Bobula, Bartosz; Sowa, Joanna; Hess, Grzegorz; Polowy, Rafał; Filipkowski, Robert Kuba; Frontczak-Baniewicz, Małgorzata; Zabłocka, Barbara; Albrecht, Jan; Zielińska, Magdalena

    2017-01-23

    Neurological symptoms of acute liver failure (ALF) reflect decreased excitatory transmission, but the status of ALF-affected excitatory synapse has not been characterized in detail. We studied the effects of ALF in mouse on synaptic transmission and plasticity ex vivo and its relation to distribution of (i) synaptic vesicles (sv) and (ii) functional synaptic proteins within the synapse. ALF-competent neurological and biochemical changes were induced in mice with azoxymethane (AOM). Electrophysiological characteristics (long-term potentiation, whole-cell recording) as well as synapse ultrastructure were evaluated in the cerebral cortex. Also, sv were quantified in the presynaptic zone by electron microscopy. Finally, presynaptic proteins in the membrane-enriched (P2) and cytosolic (S2) fractions of cortical homogenates were quantitated by Western blot. Slices derived from symptomatic AOM mice presented a set of electrophysiological correlates of impaired transmitter release including decreased field potentials (FPs), increased paired-pulse facilitation (PPF), and decreased frequency of spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs/mEPSCs) accompanied by reduction of the spontaneous transmitter release-driving protein, vti1A. Additionally, an increased number of sv per synapse and a decrease of P2 content and/or P2/S2 ratio for sv-associated proteins, i.e. synaptophysin, synaptotagmin, and Munc18-1, were found, in spite of decreased content of the sv-docking protein, syntaxin-1. Slices from AOM-treated asymptomatic mice showed impaired long-term potentiation (LTP) and increased PPF but no changes in transmitter release or presynaptic protein composition. Our findings demonstrate that a decrease of synaptic transmission in symptomatic ALF is associated with inefficient recruitment of sv proteins and/or impaired sv trafficking to transmitter release sites.

  3. 5-HT7 receptors as modulators of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and plasticity: physiological role and possible implications in autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Ciranna, Lucia; Catania, Maria Vincenza

    2014-01-01

    Serotonin type 7 receptors (5-HT7) are expressed in several brain areas, regulate brain development, synaptic transmission and plasticity, and therefore are involved in various brain functions such as learning and memory. A number of studies suggest that 5-HT7 receptors could be potential pharmacotherapeutic target for cognitive disorders. Several abnormalities of serotonergic system have been described in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including abnormal activity of 5-HT transporter, altered blood and brain 5-HT levels, reduced 5-HT synthesis and altered expression of 5-HT receptors in the brain. A specific role for 5-HT7 receptors in ASD has not yet been demonstrated but some evidence implicates their possible involvement. We have recently shown that 5-HT7 receptor activation rescues hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome, a monogenic cause of autism. Several other studies have shown that 5-HT7 receptors modulate behavioral flexibility, exploratory behavior, mood disorders and epilepsy, which include core and co-morbid symptoms of ASD. These findings further suggest an involvement of 5-HT7 receptors in ASD. Here, we review the physiological roles of 5-HT7 receptors and their implications in Fragile X Syndrome and other ASD. PMID:25221471

  4. 5-HT7 receptors as modulators of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and plasticity: physiological role and possible implications in autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Ciranna, Lucia; Catania, Maria Vincenza

    2014-01-01

    Serotonin type 7 receptors (5-HT7) are expressed in several brain areas, regulate brain development, synaptic transmission and plasticity, and therefore are involved in various brain functions such as learning and memory. A number of studies suggest that 5-HT7 receptors could be potential pharmacotherapeutic target for cognitive disorders. Several abnormalities of serotonergic system have been described in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including abnormal activity of 5-HT transporter, altered blood and brain 5-HT levels, reduced 5-HT synthesis and altered expression of 5-HT receptors in the brain. A specific role for 5-HT7 receptors in ASD has not yet been demonstrated but some evidence implicates their possible involvement. We have recently shown that 5-HT7 receptor activation rescues hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome, a monogenic cause of autism. Several other studies have shown that 5-HT7 receptors modulate behavioral flexibility, exploratory behavior, mood disorders and epilepsy, which include core and co-morbid symptoms of ASD. These findings further suggest an involvement of 5-HT7 receptors in ASD. Here, we review the physiological roles of 5-HT7 receptors and their implications in Fragile X Syndrome and other ASD.

  5. Astroglial potassium clearance contributes to short-term plasticity of synaptically evoked currents at the tripartite synapse.

    PubMed

    Sibille, Jérémie; Pannasch, Ulrike; Rouach, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    Astroglial processes enclose ∼60% of CA1 hippocampal synapses to form the tripartite synapse. Although astrocytes express ionic channels, neurotransmitter receptors and transporters to detect neuronal activity, the nature, plasticity and impact of the currents induced by neuronal activity on short-term synaptic plasticity remain elusive in hippocampal astrocytes. Using simultaneous electrophysiological recordings of astrocytes and neurons, we found that single stimulation of Schaffer collaterals in hippocampal slices evokes in stratum radiatum astrocytes a complex prolonged inward current synchronized to synaptic and spiking activity in CA1 pyramidal cells. The astroglial current is composed of three components sensitive to neuronal activity, i.e. a long-lasting potassium current mediated by Kir4.1 channels, a transient glutamate transporter current and a slow residual current, partially mediated by GABA transporters and Kir4.1-independent potassium channels. We show that all astroglial membrane currents exhibit activity-dependent short-term plasticity. However, only the astroglial glutamate transporter current displays neuronal-like dynamics and plasticity. As Kir4.1 channel-mediated potassium uptake contributes to 80% of the synaptically evoked astroglial current, we investigated in turn its impact on short-term synaptic plasticity. Using glial conditional Kir4.1 knockout mice, we found that astroglial potassium uptake reduces synaptic responses to repetitive stimulation and post-tetanic potentiation. These results show that astrocytes integrate synaptic activity via multiple ionic channels and transporters and contribute to short-term plasticity in part via potassium clearance mediated by Kir4.1 channels.

  6. Astroglial potassium clearance contributes to short-term plasticity of synaptically evoked currents at the tripartite synapse

    PubMed Central

    Sibille, Jérémie; Pannasch, Ulrike; Rouach, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Astroglial processes enclose ∼60% of CA1 hippocampal synapses to form the tripartite synapse. Although astrocytes express ionic channels, neurotransmitter receptors and transporters to detect neuronal activity, the nature, plasticity and impact of the currents induced by neuronal activity on short-term synaptic plasticity remain elusive in hippocampal astrocytes. Using simultaneous electrophysiological recordings of astrocytes and neurons, we found that single stimulation of Schaffer collaterals in hippocampal slices evokes in stratum radiatum astrocytes a complex prolonged inward current synchronized to synaptic and spiking activity in CA1 pyramidal cells. The astroglial current is composed of three components sensitive to neuronal activity, i.e. a long-lasting potassium current mediated by Kir4.1 channels, a transient glutamate transporter current and a slow residual current, partially mediated by GABA transporters and Kir4.1-independent potassium channels. We show that all astroglial membrane currents exhibit activity-dependent short-term plasticity. However, only the astroglial glutamate transporter current displays neuronal-like dynamics and plasticity. As Kir4.1 channel-mediated potassium uptake contributes to 80% of the synaptically evoked astroglial current, we investigated in turn its impact on short-term synaptic plasticity. Using glial conditional Kir4.1 knockout mice, we found that astroglial potassium uptake reduces synaptic responses to repetitive stimulation and post-tetanic potentiation. These results show that astrocytes integrate synaptic activity via multiple ionic channels and transporters and contribute to short-term plasticity in part via potassium clearance mediated by Kir4.1 channels. PMID:24081156

  7. Loss of Catecholaminergic Neuromodulation of Persistent Forms of Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity with Increasing Age

    PubMed Central

    Twarkowski, Hannah; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-01-01

    Neuromodulation by means of the catecholaminergic system is a key component of motivation-driven learning and behaviorally modulated hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In particular, dopamine acting on D1/D5 receptors and noradrenaline acting on beta-adrenergic receptors exert a very potent regulation of forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity that last for very long-periods of time (>24 h), and occur in conjunction with novel spatial learning. Antagonism of these receptors not only prevents long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), but prevents the memory of the spatial event that, under normal circumstances, leads to the perpetuation of these plasticity forms. Spatial learning behavior that normally comes easily to rats, such as object-place learning and spatial reference learning, becomes increasingly impaired with aging. Middle-aged animals display aging-related deficits of specific, but not all, components of spatial learning, and one possibility is that this initial manifestation of decrements in learning ability that become apparent in middle-age relate to changes in motivation, attention and/or the regulation by neuromodulatory systems of these behavioral states. Here, we compared the regulation by dopaminergic D1/D5 and beta-adrenergic receptors of persistent LTP in young (2–4 month old) and middle-aged (8–14 month old) rats. We observed in young rats, that weak potentiation that typically lasts for ca. 2 h could be strengthened into persistent (>24 h) LTP by pharmacological activation of either D1/D5 or beta-adrenergic receptors. By contrast, no such facilitation occurred in middle-aged rats. This difference was not related to an ostensible learning deficit: a facilitation of weak potentiation into LTP by spatial learning was possible both in young and middle-aged rats. It was also not directly linked to deficits in LTP: strong afferent stimulation resulted in equivalent LTP in both age groups. We postulate that this change in

  8. Dendritic calcium nonlinearities switch the direction of synaptic plasticity in fast-spiking interneurons.

    PubMed

    Camiré, Olivier; Topolnik, Lisa

    2014-03-12

    Postsynaptic calcium (Ca2+) nonlinearities allow neuronal coincidence detection and site-specific plasticity. Whether such events exist in dendrites of interneurons and play a role in regulation of synaptic efficacy remains unknown. Here, we used a combination of whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and two-photon Ca2+ imaging to reveal Ca2+ nonlinearities associated with synaptic integration in dendrites of mouse hippocampal CA1 fast-spiking interneurons. Local stimulation of distal dendritic branches within stratum oriens/alveus elicited fast Ca2+ transients, which showed a steep sigmoidal relationship to stimulus intensity. Supralinear Ca2+ events required Ca2+ entry through AMPA receptors with a subsequent Ca2+ release from internal stores. To investigate the functional significance of supralinear Ca2+ signals, we examined activity-dependent fluctuations in transmission efficacy triggered by Ca2+ signals of different amplitudes at excitatory synapses of interneurons. Subthreshold theta-burst stimulation (TBS) produced small amplitude postsynaptic Ca2+ transients and triggered long-term potentiation. In contrast, the suprathreshold TBS, which was associated with the generation of supralinear Ca2+ events, triggered long-term depression. Blocking group I/II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) during suprathreshold TBS resulted in a slight reduction of supralinear Ca2+ events and induction of short-term depression. In contrast, blocking internal stores and supralinear Ca2+ signals during suprathreshold TBS switched the direction of plasticity from depression back to potentiation. These data reveal a novel type of supralinear Ca2+ events at synapses lacking the GluA2 AMPA subtype of glutamate receptors and demonstrate a general mechanism by which Ca2+ -permeable AMPA receptors, together with internal stores and mGluRs, control the direction of plasticity at interneuron excitatory synapses.

  9. Humans with Type-2 Diabetes Show Abnormal Long-Term Potentiation-Like Cortical Plasticity Associated with Verbal Learning Deficits

    PubMed Central

    Fried, Peter J.; Schilberg, Lukas; Brem, Anna-Katharine; Saxena, Sadhvi; Wong, Bonnie; Cypess, Aaron M.; Horton, Edward S.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2016-01-01

    Background Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) accelerates cognitive aging and increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Rodent models of T2DM show altered synaptic plasticity associated with reduced learning and memory. Humans with T2DM also show cognitive deficits, including reduced learning and memory, but the relationship of these impairments to the efficacy of neuroplastic mechanisms has never been assessed. Objective Our primary objective was to compare mechanisms of cortical plasticity in humans with and without T2DM. Our secondary objective was to relate plasticity measures to standard measures of cognition. Methods A prospective cross-sectional cohort study was conducted on 21 adults with T2DM and 15 demographically-similar non-diabetic controls. Long-term potentiation-like plasticity was assessed in primary motor cortex by comparing the amplitude of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) from single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation before and after intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Plasticity measures were compared between groups and related to neuropsychological scores. Results In T2DM, iTBS-induced modulation of MEPs was significantly less than controls, even after controlling for potential confounds. Furthermore, in T2DM, modulation of MEPs 10-min post-iTBS was significantly correlated with Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Task (RAVLT) performance. Conclusion Humans with T2DM show abnormal cortico-motor plasticity that is correlated with reduced verbal learning. Since iTBS after-effects and the RAVLT are both NMDA receptor-dependent measures, their relationship in T2DM may reflect brain-wide alterations in the efficacy of NMDA receptors. These findings offer novel mechanistic insights into the brain consequences of T2DM and provide a reliable means to monitor brain health and evaluate the efficacy of clinical interventions. PMID:27636847

  10. Depression biased non-Hebbian spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity in the rat subiculum

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Anurag; Sikdar, Sujit Kumar

    2014-01-01

    The subiculum is a structure that forms a bridge between the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex (EC), and plays a major role in the memory consolidation process. Here, we demonstrate spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) at the proximal excitatory inputs on the subicular pyramidal neurons of juvenile rat. Causal (positive) pairing of a single EPSP with a single back-propagating action potential (bAP) after a time interval of 10 ms (+10 ms) failed to induce plasticity. However, increasing the number of bAPs in a burst to three, at two different frequencies of 50 Hz (bAP burst) and 150 Hz, induced long-term depression (LTD) after a time interval of +10 ms in both the regular-firing (RF), and the weak burst firing (WBF) neurons. The LTD amplitude decreased with increasing time interval between the EPSP and the bAP burst. Reversing the order of the pairing of the EPSP and the bAP burst induced LTP at a time interval of −10 ms. This finding is in contrast with reports at other synapses, wherein pre- before postsynaptic (causal) pairing induced LTP and vice versa. Our results reaffirm the earlier observations that the relative timing of the pre- and postsynaptic activities can lead to multiple types of plasticity profiles. The induction of timing-dependent LTD (t-LTD) was dependent on postsynaptic calcium change via NMDA receptors in the WBF neurons, while it was independent of postsynaptic calcium change, but required active L-type calcium channels in the RF neurons. Thus the mechanism of synaptic plasticity may vary within a hippocampal subfield depending on the postsynaptic neuron involved. This study also reports a novel mechanism of LTD induction, where L-type calcium channels are involved in a presynaptically induced synaptic plasticity. The findings may have strong implications in the memory consolidation process owing to the central role of the subiculum and LTD in this process. PMID:24907304

  11. Depression biased non-Hebbian spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity in the rat subiculum.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Anurag; Sikdar, Sujit Kumar

    2014-08-15

    The subiculum is a structure that forms a bridge between the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex (EC), and plays a major role in the memory consolidation process. Here, we demonstrate spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) at the proximal excitatory inputs on the subicular pyramidal neurons of juvenile rat. Causal (positive) pairing of a single EPSP with a single back-propagating action potential (bAP) after a time interval of 10 ms (+10 ms) failed to induce plasticity. However, increasing the number of bAPs in a burst to three, at two different frequencies of 50 Hz (bAP burst) and 150 Hz, induced long-term depression (LTD) after a time interval of +10 ms in both the regular-firing (RF), and the weak burst firing (WBF) neurons. The LTD amplitude decreased with increasing time interval between the EPSP and the bAP burst. Reversing the order of the pairing of the EPSP and the bAP burst induced LTP at a time interval of -10 ms. This finding is in contrast with reports at other synapses, wherein pre- before postsynaptic (causal) pairing induced LTP and vice versa. Our results reaffirm the earlier observations that the relative timing of the pre- and postsynaptic activities can lead to multiple types of plasticity profiles. The induction of timing-dependent LTD (t-LTD) was dependent on postsynaptic calcium change via NMDA receptors in the WBF neurons, while it was independent of postsynaptic calcium change, but required active L-type calcium channels in the RF neurons. Thus the mechanism of synaptic plasticity may vary within a hippocampal subfield depending on the postsynaptic neuron involved. This study also reports a novel mechanism of LTD induction, where L-type calcium channels are involved in a presynaptically induced synaptic plasticity. The findings may have strong implications in the memory consolidation process owing to the central role of the subiculum and LTD in this process.

  12. Prominent synaptic and metabolic abnormalities revealed by proteomic analysis of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Pennington, K; Beasley, C L; Dicker, P; Fagan, A; English, J; Pariante, C M; Wait, R; Dunn, M J; Cotter, D R

    2008-12-01

    There is evidence for both similarity and distinction in the presentation and molecular characterization of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In this study, we characterized protein abnormalities in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Tissue samples were obtained from 35 individuals with schizophrenia, 35 with bipolar disorder and 35 controls. Eleven protein spots in schizophrenia and 48 in bipolar disorder were found to be differentially expressed (P<0.01) in comparison to controls, with 7 additional spots found to be altered in both diseases. Using mass spectrometry, 15 schizophrenia-associated proteins and 51 bipolar disorder-associated proteins were identified. The functional groups most affected included synaptic proteins (7 of the 15) in schizophrenia and metabolic or mitochondrial-associated proteins (25 of the 51) in bipolar disorder. Six of seven synaptic-associated proteins abnormally expressed in bipolar disorder were isoforms of the septin family, while two septin protein spots were also significantly differentially expressed in schizophrenia. This finding represented the largest number of abnormalities from one protein family. All septin protein spots were upregulated in disease in comparison to controls. This study provides further characterization of the synaptic pathology present in schizophrenia and of the metabolic dysfunction observed in bipolar disorder. In addition, our study has provided strong evidence implicating the septin protein family of proteins in psychiatric disorders for the first time.

  13. Compartmentalized PDE4A5 Signaling Impairs Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Long-Term Memory

    PubMed Central

    Park, Alan J.; Tolentino, Rosa E.; Bruinenberg, Vibeke M.; Tudor, Jennifer C.; Lee, Yool; Hansen, Rolf T.; Guercio, Leonardo A.; Linton, Edward; Neves-Zaph, Susana R.; Meerlo, Peter; Baillie, George S.; Houslay, Miles D.

    2016-01-01

    Alterations in cAMP signaling are thought to contribute to neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. Members of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) family, which contains >25 different isoforms, play a key role in determining spatial cAMP degradation so as to orchestrate compartmentalized cAMP signaling in cells. Each isoform binds to a different set of protein complexes through its unique N-terminal domain, thereby leading to targeted degradation of cAMP in specific intracellular compartments. However, the functional role of specific compartmentalized PDE4 isoforms has not been examined in vivo. Here, we show that increasing protein levels of the PDE4A5 isoform in mouse hippocampal excitatory neurons impairs a long-lasting form of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and attenuates hippocampus-dependent long-term memories without affecting anxiety. In contrast, viral expression of a truncated version of PDE4A5, which lacks the unique N-terminal targeting domain, does not affect long-term memory. Further, overexpression of the PDE4A1 isoform, which targets a different subset of signalosomes, leaves memory undisturbed. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer sensor-based cAMP measurements reveal that the full-length PDE4A5, in contrast to the truncated form, hampers forskolin-mediated increases in neuronal cAMP levels. Our study indicates that the unique N-terminal localization domain of PDE4A5 is essential for the targeting of specific cAMP-dependent signaling underlying synaptic plasticity and memory. The development of compounds to disrupt the compartmentalization of individual PDE4 isoforms by targeting their unique N-terminal domains may provide a fruitful approach to prevent cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive disorders that are associated with alterations in cAMP signaling. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neurons exhibit localized signaling processes that enable biochemical cascades to be activated selectively in specific subcellular

  14. High-fat diet induces hepatic insulin resistance and impairment of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhigang; Patil, Ishan Y; Jiang, Tianyi; Sancheti, Harsh; Walsh, John P; Stiles, Bangyan L; Yin, Fei; Cadenas, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity is associated with insulin resistance, which may affect brain synaptic plasticity through impairment of insulin-sensitive processes underlying neuronal survival, learning, and memory. The experimental model consisted of 3 month-old C57BL/6J mice fed either a normal chow diet (control group) or a HFD (60% of calorie from fat; HFD group) for 12 weeks. This model was characterized as a function of time in terms of body weight, fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, HOMA-IR values, and plasma triglycerides. IRS-1/Akt pathway was assessed in primary hepatocytes and brain homogenates. The effect of HFD in brain was assessed by electrophysiology, input/output responses and long-term potentiation. HFD-fed mice exhibited a significant increase in body weight, higher fasting glucose- and insulin levels in plasma, lower glucose tolerance, and higher HOMA-IR values. In liver, HFD elicited (a) a significant decrease of insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1) phosphorylation on Tyr608 and increase of Ser307 phosphorylation, indicative of IRS-1 inactivation; (b) these changes were accompanied by inflammatory responses in terms of increases in the expression of NFκB and iNOS and activation of the MAP kinases p38 and JNK; (c) primary hepatocytes from mice fed a HFD showed decreased cellular oxygen consumption rates (indicative of mitochondrial functional impairment); this can be ascribed partly to a decreased expression of PGC1α and mitochondrial biogenesis. In brain, HFD feeding elicited (a) an inactivation of the IRS-1 and, consequentially, (b) a decreased expression and plasma membrane localization of the insulin-sensitive neuronal glucose transporters GLUT3/GLUT4; (c) a suppression of the ERK/CREB pathway, and (d) a substantial decrease in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of hippocampus (indicative of impaired synaptic plasticity). It may be surmised that 12 weeks fed with HFD induce a systemic insulin resistance that impacts

  15. Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity Can Explain Post-traumatic Epileptogenesis in Chronically Isolated Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Houweling, Arthur R.; Bazhenov, Maxim; Timofeev, Igor; Steriade, Mircea; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    2010-01-01

    Chronically isolated neocortex develops chronic hyperexcitability and focal epileptogenesis in a period of days to weeks. The mechanisms operating in this model of post-traumatic epileptogenesis are not well understood. We hypothesized that the spontaneous burst discharges recorded in chronically isolated neocortex result from homeostatic plasticity (a mechanism generally assumed to stabilize neuronal activity) induced by low neuronal activity after deafferentation. To test this hypothesis we constructed computer models of neocortex incorporating a biologically based homeostatic plasticity rule that operates to maintain firing rates. After deafferentation, homeostatic upregulation of excitatory synapses on pyramidal cells, either with or without concurrent downregulation of inhibitory synapses or upregulation of intrinsic excitability, initiated slowly repeating burst discharges that closely resembled the epileptiform burst discharges recorded in chronically isolated neocortex. These burst discharges lasted a few hundred ms, propagated at 1–3 cm/s and consisted of large (10–15 mV) intracellular depolarizations topped by a small number of action potentials. Our results support a role for homeostatic synaptic plasticity as a novel mechanism of post-traumatic epileptogenesis. PMID:15483049

  16. Layer-specific cholinergic control of human and mouse cortical synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Verhoog, Matthijs B.; Obermayer, Joshua; Kortleven, Christian A.; Wilbers, René; Wester, Jordi; Baayen, Johannes C.; De Kock, Christiaan P. J.; Meredith, Rhiannon M.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2016-01-01

    Individual cortical layers have distinct roles in information processing. All layers receive cholinergic inputs from the basal forebrain (BF), which is crucial for cognition. Acetylcholinergic receptors are differentially distributed across cortical layers, and recent evidence suggests that different populations of BF cholinergic neurons may target specific prefrontal cortical (PFC) layers, raising the question of whether cholinergic control of the PFC is layer dependent. Here we address this issue and reveal dendritic mechanisms by which endogenous cholinergic modulation of synaptic plasticity is opposite in superficial and deep layers of both mouse and human neocortex. Our results show that in different cortical layers, spike timing-dependent plasticity is oppositely regulated by the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) either located on dendrites of principal neurons or on GABAergic interneurons. Thus, layer-specific nAChR expression allows functional layer-specific control of cortical processing and plasticity by the BF cholinergic system, which is evolutionarily conserved from mice to humans. PMID:27604129

  17. Abnormal climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synaptic connections in the essential tremor cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chi-Ying; Louis, Elan D; Faust, Phyllis L; Koeppen, Arnulf H; Vonsattel, Jean-Paul G; Kuo, Sheng-Han

    2014-12-01

    Structural changes in Purkinje cells have been identified in the essential tremor cerebellum, although the mechanisms that underlie these changes remain poorly understood. Climbing fibres provide one of the major excitatory inputs to Purkinje cells, and climbing fibre-Purkinje cell connections are essential for normal cerebellar-mediated motor control. The distribution of climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synapses on Purkinje cell dendrites is dynamically regulated and may be altered in disease states. The aim of the present study was to examine the density and distribution of climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synapses using post-mortem cerebellar tissue of essential tremor cases and controls. Using vesicular glutamate transporter type 2 immunohistochemistry, we labelled climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synapses of 12 essential tremor cases and 13 age-matched controls from the New York Brain Bank. Normally, climbing fibres form synapses mainly on the thick, proximal Purkinje cell dendrites in the inner portion of the molecular layer, whereas parallel fibres form synapses on the thin, distal Purkinje cell spiny branchlets. We observed that, compared with controls, essential tremor cases had decreased climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synaptic density, more climbing fibres extending to the outer portion of the molecular layer, and more climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synapses on the thin Purkinje cell spiny branchlets. Interestingly, in essential tremor, the increased distribution of climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synapses on the thin Purkinje cell branchlets was inversely associated with clinical tremor severity, indicating a close relationship between the altered distribution of climbing fibre-Purkinje cell connections and tremor. These findings suggest that abnormal climbing fibre-Purkinje cell connections could be of importance in the pathogenesis of essential tremor.

  18. AMPA Receptor Phosphorylation and Synaptic Colocalization on Motor Neurons Drive Maladaptive Plasticity below Complete Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Stuck, Ellen D.; Irvine, Karen-Amanda; Bresnahan, Jacqueline C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Clinical spinal cord injury (SCI) is accompanied by comorbid peripheral injury in 47% of patients. Human and animal modeling data have shown that painful peripheral injuries undermine long-term recovery of locomotion through unknown mechanisms. Peripheral nociceptive stimuli induce maladaptive synaptic plasticity in dorsal horn sensory systems through AMPA receptor (AMPAR) phosphorylation and trafficking to synapses. Here we test whether ventral horn motor neurons in rats demonstrate similar experience-dependent maladaptive plasticity below a complete SCI in vivo. Quantitative biochemistry demonstrated that intermittent nociceptive stimulation (INS) rapidly and selectively increases AMPAR subunit GluA1 serine 831 phosphorylation and localization to synapses in the injured spinal cord, while reducing synaptic GluA2. These changes predict motor dysfunction in the absence of cell death signaling, suggesting an opportunity for therapeutic reversal. Automated confocal time-course analysis of lumbar ventral horn motor neurons confirmed a time-dependent increase in synaptic GluA1 with concurrent decrease in synaptic GluA2. Optical fractionation of neuronal plasma membranes revealed GluA2 removal from extrasynaptic sites on motor neurons early after INS followed by removal from synapses 2 h later. As GluA2-lacking AMPARs are canonical calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs), their stimulus- and time-dependent insertion provides a therapeutic target for limiting calcium-dependent dynamic maladaptive plasticity after SCI. Confirming this, a selective CP-AMPAR antagonist protected against INS-induced maladaptive spinal plasticity, restoring adaptive motor responses on a sensorimotor spinal training task. These findings highlight the critical involvement of AMPARs in experience-dependent spinal cord plasticity after injury and provide a pharmacologically targetable synaptic mechanism by which early postinjury experience shapes motor plasticity. PMID:26668821

  19. AMPA Receptor Phosphorylation and Synaptic Colocalization on Motor Neurons Drive Maladaptive Plasticity below Complete Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Huie, J Russell; Stuck, Ellen D; Lee, Kuan H; Irvine, Karen-Amanda; Beattie, Michael S; Bresnahan, Jacqueline C; Grau, James W; Ferguson, Adam R

    2015-01-01

    Clinical spinal cord injury (SCI) is accompanied by comorbid peripheral injury in 47% of patients. Human and animal modeling data have shown that painful peripheral injuries undermine long-term recovery of locomotion through unknown mechanisms. Peripheral nociceptive stimuli induce maladaptive synaptic plasticity in dorsal horn sensory systems through AMPA receptor (AMPAR) phosphorylation and trafficking to synapses. Here we test whether ventral horn motor neurons in rats demonstrate similar experience-dependent maladaptive plasticity below a complete SCI in vivo. Quantitative biochemistry demonstrated that intermittent nociceptive stimulation (INS) rapidly and selectively increases AMPAR subunit GluA1 serine 831 phosphorylation and localization to synapses in the injured spinal cord, while reducing synaptic GluA2. These changes predict motor dysfunction in the absence of cell death signaling, suggesting an opportunity for therapeutic reversal. Automated confocal time-course analysis of lumbar ventral horn motor neurons confirmed a time-dependent increase in synaptic GluA1 with concurrent decrease in synaptic GluA2. Optical fractionation of neuronal plasma membranes revealed GluA2 removal from extrasynaptic sites on motor neurons early after INS followed by removal from synapses 2 h later. As GluA2-lacking AMPARs are canonical calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs), their stimulus- and time-dependent insertion provides a therapeutic target for limiting calcium-dependent dynamic maladaptive plasticity after SCI. Confirming this, a selective CP-AMPAR antagonist protected against INS-induced maladaptive spinal plasticity, restoring adaptive motor responses on a sensorimotor spinal training task. These findings highlight the critical involvement of AMPARs in experience-dependent spinal cord plasticity after injury and provide a pharmacologically targetable synaptic mechanism by which early postinjury experience shapes motor plasticity.

  20. Modulation of Rho GTPases rescues brain mitochondrial dysfunction, cognitive deficits and aberrant synaptic plasticity in female mice modeling Rett syndrome.

    PubMed

    De Filippis, Bianca; Valenti, Daniela; Chiodi, Valentina; Ferrante, Antonella; de Bari, Lidia; Fiorentini, Carla; Domenici, Maria Rosaria; Ricceri, Laura; Vacca, Rosa Anna; Fabbri, Alessia; Laviola, Giovanni

    2015-06-01

    Rho GTPases are molecules critically involved in neuronal plasticity and cognition. We have previously reported that modulation of brain Rho GTPases by the bacterial toxin CNF1 rescues the neurobehavioral phenotype in MeCP2-308 male mice, a model of Rett syndrome (RTT). RTT is a rare X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder and a genetic cause of intellectual disability, for which no effective therapy is available. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed to be involved in the mechanism of the disease pathogenesis. Here we demonstrate that modulation of Rho GTPases by CNF1 rescues the reduced mitochondrial ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation in the brain of MeCP2-308 heterozygous female mice, the condition which more closely recapitulates that of RTT patients. In RTT mouse brain, CNF1 also restores the alterations in the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complexes and of ATP synthase, the molecular machinery responsible for the majority of cell energy production. Such effects were achieved through the upregulation of the protein content of those MRC complexes subunits, which were defective in RTT mouse brain. Restored mitochondrial functionality was accompanied by the rescue of deficits in cognitive function (spatial reference memory in the Barnes maze), synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation) and Tyr1472 phosphorylation of GluN2B, which was abnormally enhanced in the hippocampus of RTT mice. Present findings bring into light previously unknown functional mitochondrial alterations in the brain of female mice modeling RTT and provide the first evidence that RTT brain mitochondrial dysfunction can be rescued by modulation of Rho GTPases.

  1. Disruption of Axonal Transport Perturbs Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) - Signaling and Contributes to Synaptic Abnormalities in Two Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Min Jung; Hansen, Timothy J.; Mickiewicz, Monique; Kaczynski, Tadeusz J.; Fye, Samantha; Gunawardena, Shermali

    2014-01-01

    Formation of new synapses or maintenance of existing synapses requires the delivery of synaptic components from the soma to the nerve termini via axonal transport. One pathway that is important in synapse formation, maintenance and function of the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-signaling pathway. Here we show that perturbations in axonal transport directly disrupt BMP signaling, as measured by its downstream signal, phospho Mad (p-Mad). We found that components of the BMP pathway genetically interact with both kinesin-1 and dynein motor proteins. Thick vein (TKV) vesicle motility was also perturbed by reductions in kinesin-1 or dynein motors. Interestingly, dynein mutations severely disrupted p-Mad signaling while kinesin-1 mutants showed a mild reduction in p-Mad signal intensity. Similar to mutants in components of the BMP pathway, both kinesin-1 and dynein motor protein mutants also showed synaptic morphological defects. Strikingly TKV motility and p-Mad signaling were disrupted in larvae expressing two human disease proteins; expansions of glutamine repeats (polyQ77) and human amyloid precursor protein (APP) with a familial Alzheimer's disease (AD) mutation (APPswe). Consistent with axonal transport defects, larvae expressing these disease proteins showed accumulations of synaptic proteins along axons and synaptic abnormalities. Taken together our results suggest that similar to the NGF-TrkA signaling endosome, a BMP signaling endosome that directly interacts with molecular motors likely exist. Thus problems in axonal transport occurs early, perturbs BMP signaling, and likely contributes to the synaptic abnormalities observed in these two diseases. PMID:25127478

  2. Impaired synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex of mice with developmentally decreased number of interneurons.

    PubMed

    Konstantoudaki, X; Chalkiadaki, K; Tivodar, S; Karagogeos, D; Sidiropoulou, K

    2016-05-13

    Interneurons are inhibitory neurons, which protect neural tissue from excessive excitation. They are interconnected with glutamatergic pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex and regulate their function. Particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), interneurons have been strongly implicated in regulating pathological states which display deficits in the PFC. The aim of this study is to investigate the adaptations in the adult glutamatergic system, when defects in interneuron development do not allow adequate numbers of interneurons to reach the cerebral cortex. To this end, we used a mouse model that displays ~50% fewer cortical interneurons due to the Rac1 protein loss from Nkx2.1/Cre expressing cells (Rac1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice), to examine how the developmental loss of interneurons may affect basal synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and neuronal morphology in the adult PFC. Despite the decrease in the number of interneurons, basal synaptic transmission, as examined by recording field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) from layer II networks, is not altered in the PFC of Rac1 cKO mice. However, there is decreased paired-pulse ratio (PPR) and decreased long-term potentiation (LTP), in response to tetanic stimulation, in the layer II PFC synapses of Rac1 cKO mice. Furthermore, expression of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) subunits is decreased and dendritic morphology is altered, changes that could underlie the decrease in LTP in the Rac1 cKO mice. Finally, we find that treating Rac1 cKO mice with diazepam in early postnatal life can reverse changes in dendritic morphology observed in non-treated Rac1 cKO mice. Therefore, our data show that disruption in GABAergic inhibition alters glutamatergic function in the adult PFC, an effect that could be reversed by enhancement of GABAergic function during an early postnatal period.

  3. Taurine content in different brain structures during ageing: effect on hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Suárez, Luz M; Muñoz, María-Dolores; Martín Del Río, Rafael; Solís, José M

    2016-05-01

    A reduction in taurine content accompanies the ageing process in many tissues. In fact, the decline of brain taurine levels has been associated with cognitive deficits whereas chronic administration of taurine seems to ameliorate age-related deficits such as memory acquisition and retention. In the present study, using rats of three age groups (young, adult and aged) we determined whether the content of taurine and other amino acids (glutamate, serine, glutamine, glycine, alanine and GABA) was altered during ageing in different brain areas (cerebellum, cortex and hippocampus) as well non-brain tissues (heart, kidney, liver and plasma). Moreover, using hippocampal slices we tested whether ageing affects synaptic function and plasticity. These parameters were also determined in aged rats fed with either taurine-devoid or taurine-supplemented diets. With age, we found heterogeneous changes in amino acid content depending on the amino acid type and the tissue. In the case of taurine, its content was reduced in the cerebellum of adult and aged rats, but it remained unchanged in the hippocampus, cortex, heart and liver. The synaptic response amplitude decreased in aged rats, although the late phase of long-term synaptic potentiation (late-LTP), a taurine-dependent process, was not altered. Our study highlights the stability of taurine content in the hippocampus during ageing regardless of whether taurine was present in the diet, which is consistent with the lack of changes detected in late-LTP. These results indicate that the beneficial effects of taurine supplementation might be independent of the replenishment of taurine stores.

  4. Protons are a neurotransmitter that regulates synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Du, Jianyang; Reznikov, Leah R; Price, Margaret P; Zha, Xiang-ming; Lu, Yuan; Moninger, Thomas O; Wemmie, John A; Welsh, Michael J

    2014-06-17

    Stimulating presynaptic terminals can increase the proton concentration in synapses. Potential receptors for protons are acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), Na(+)- and Ca(2+)-permeable channels that are activated by extracellular acidosis. Those observations suggest that protons might be a neurotransmitter. We found that presynaptic stimulation transiently reduced extracellular pH in the amygdala. The protons activated ASICs in lateral amygdala pyramidal neurons, generating excitatory postsynaptic currents. Moreover, both protons and ASICs were required for synaptic plasticity in lateral amygdala neurons. The results identify protons as a neurotransmitter, and they establish ASICs as the postsynaptic receptor. They also indicate that protons and ASICs are a neurotransmitter/receptor pair critical for amygdala-dependent learning and memory.

  5. Alternative functions of core cell cycle regulators in neuronal migration, neuronal maturation, and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Christopher L.; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that boundaries separating a cycling cell from a post-mitotic neuron are not as concrete as expected. Novel and unique physiological functions in neurons have been ascribed for proteins fundamentally required for cell cycle progression and control. These “core” cell cycle regulators serve diverse post-mitotic functions that span various developmental stages of a neuron, including neuronal migration, axonal elongation, axon pruning, dendrite morphogenesis, and synaptic maturation and plasticity. In this review, we detail the non-proliferative post-mitotic roles that these cell cycle proteins have recently been reported to play, the significance of their expression in neurons, mechanistic insight when available, and future prospects. PMID:19447088

  6. Synchronization and long-time memory in neural networks with inhibitory hubs and synaptic plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertolotti, Elena; Burioni, Raffaella; di Volo, Matteo; Vezzani, Alessandro

    2017-01-01

    We investigate the dynamical role of inhibitory and highly connected nodes (hub) in synchronization and input processing of leaky-integrate-and-fire neural networks with short term synaptic plasticity. We take advantage of a heterogeneous mean-field approximation to encode the role of network structure and we tune the fraction of inhibitory neurons fI and their connectivity level to investigate the cooperation between hub features and inhibition. We show that, depending on fI, highly connected inhibitory nodes strongly drive the synchronization properties of the overall network through dynamical transitions from synchronous to asynchronous regimes. Furthermore, a metastable regime with long memory of external inputs emerges for a specific fraction of hub inhibitory neurons, underlining the role of inhibition and connectivity also for input processing in neural networks.

  7. Cbln1 is essential for synaptic integrity and plasticity in the cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Hirai, Hirokazu; Pang, Zhen; Bao, Dashi; Miyazaki, Taisuke; Li, Leyi; Miura, Eriko; Parris, Jennifer; Rong, Yongqi; Watanabe, Masahiko; Yuzaki, Michisuke; Morgan, James I

    2005-11-01

    Cbln1 is a cerebellum-specific protein of previously unknown function that is structurally related to the C1q and tumor necrosis factor families of proteins. We show that Cbln1 is a glycoprotein secreted from cerebellar granule cells that is essential for three processes in cerebellar Purkinje cells: the matching and maintenance of pre- and postsynaptic elements at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses, the establishment of the proper pattern of climbing fiber-Purkinje cell innervation, and induction of long-term depression at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses. Notably, the phenotype of cbln1-null mice mimics loss-of-function mutations in the orphan glutamate receptor, GluR delta2, a gene selectively expressed in Purkinje neurons. Therefore, Cbln1 secreted from presynaptic granule cells may be a component of a transneuronal signaling pathway that controls synaptic structure and plasticity.

  8. Synaptic plasticity of the interpositorubral pathway functionally related to forelimb flexion movements.

    PubMed

    Pananceau, M; Rispal-Padel, L; Meftah, E M

    1996-06-01

    1. Some connections from the afferents to the magnocellular red nucleus (RNm), like the corticorubral synapses, have plastic properties that are thought to contribute to long-term changes such as functional readaptation, motor learning, and the establishment of conditioned responses. Because previous studies have focused on corticorubral synaptic reorganization after these events, we attempted to investigate cerebellorubral connections in intact adult cats during associative conditioning by pairing electrical stimulation of interpositus nucleus [the conditional stimulus (CS)] with electrical simulation of the forelimb [the unconditional stimulus (UCS)]. A large increase in the amplitude of the forelimb flexion (conditioned response) induced by the CS was observed after several days of paired CS-UCS presentations. 2. For this purpose, both behavioral and electrophysiological methods were used to correlate synaptic plasticity with changes in the motor responses. The somatotopically organized sensorimotor network functionally related to the control of the elbow joint movements was studied in awake adult cats. This circuit was defined on the basis of sites at which elbow flexions could be evoked both as a CS and a UCS. The CS was applied in the cerebellar interpositus nucleus (IN) site and the UCS was given to the skin on the dorsum of the distal part of the forepaw. Daily classical conditioning consisted of repetitive pairings of CS and UCS with an interstimulus interval (ISI) of 100 ms. 3. The transmission efficacy resulting from the conditioning was tested in various targets of the cerebellar efferent pathway, including the RNm. Electrophysiological responses evoked in these relay structures by the CS and the forelimb angular deviations were simultaneously recorded throughout each daily conditioning session. The surface areas of the rubral responses to CS and the percentage response rate, the angular deviation (amplitude), and the latency of the motor responses were

  9. Talking to the neighbours: The molecular and physiological mechanisms of clustered synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    van Bommel, Bas; Mikhaylova, Marina

    2016-12-01

    Synaptic connectivity forms the basis for neuronal communication and the storage of information. Experiences and learning of new abilities can drive remodelling of this connectivity and promotes the formation of spine clusters; dendritic segments with a higher spine density. Spines located within these segments are frequently co-activated, undergo different dynamics than synapses located outside of this dendritic compartment and have, in general, a longer lifetime. Several lines of evidence have shown that chemical synapses located close to each other share or compete for intracellular signalling molecules and structural resources. This sharing and competition directly influences spine dynamics. Spines can grow, shrink, increase or decrease the surface expression of receptors, channels and adhesion molecules or remain stable and unchanged over extended periods of time. Here we summarize recent discoveries and provide a closer look at spine clustering, dendritic segment-specific signalling and potential molecular mechanisms underlying associative and heterosynaptic plasticity.

  10. Chaos and Correlated Avalanches in Excitatory Neural Networks with Synaptic Plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pittorino, Fabrizio; Ibáñez-Berganza, Miguel; di Volo, Matteo; Vezzani, Alessandro; Burioni, Raffaella

    2017-03-01

    A collective chaotic phase with power law scaling of activity events is observed in a disordered mean field network of purely excitatory leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with short-term synaptic plasticity. The dynamical phase diagram exhibits two transitions from quasisynchronous and asynchronous regimes to the nontrivial, collective, bursty regime with avalanches. In the homogeneous case without disorder, the system synchronizes and the bursty behavior is reflected into a period doubling transition to chaos for a two dimensional discrete map. Numerical simulations show that the bursty chaotic phase with avalanches exhibits a spontaneous emergence of persistent time correlations and enhanced Kolmogorov complexity. Our analysis reveals a mechanism for the generation of irregular avalanches that emerges from the combination of disorder and deterministic underlying chaotic dynamics.

  11. Dynamic regulation of midbrain dopamine neuron activity: intrinsic, synaptic, and plasticity mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Morikawa, H; Paladini, C A

    2011-12-15

    Although the roles of dopaminergic signaling in learning and behavior are well established, it is not fully understood how the activity of dopaminergic neurons is dynamically regulated under different conditions in a constantly changing environment. Dopamine neurons must integrate sensory, motor, and cognitive information online to inform the organism to pursue outcomes with the highest reward probability. In this article, we provide an overview of recent advances on the intrinsic, extrinsic (i.e., synaptic), and plasticity mechanisms controlling dopamine neuron activity, mostly focusing on mechanistic studies conducted using ex vivo brain slice preparations. We also hope to highlight some unresolved questions regarding information processing that takes place at dopamine neurons, thereby stimulating further investigations at different levels of analysis.

  12. Chaos and Correlated Avalanches in Excitatory Neural Networks with Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Pittorino, Fabrizio; Ibáñez-Berganza, Miguel; di Volo, Matteo; Vezzani, Alessandro; Burioni, Raffaella

    2017-03-03

    A collective chaotic phase with power law scaling of activity events is observed in a disordered mean field network of purely excitatory leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with short-term synaptic plasticity. The dynamical phase diagram exhibits two transitions from quasisynchronous and asynchronous regimes to the nontrivial, collective, bursty regime with avalanches. In the homogeneous case without disorder, the system synchronizes and the bursty behavior is reflected into a period doubling transition to chaos for a two dimensional discrete map. Numerical simulations show that the bursty chaotic phase with avalanches exhibits a spontaneous emergence of persistent time correlations and enhanced Kolmogorov complexity. Our analysis reveals a mechanism for the generation of irregular avalanches that emerges from the combination of disorder and deterministic underlying chaotic dynamics.

  13. Dynamic Regulation of Midbrain Dopamine Neuron Activity: Intrinsic, Synaptic, and Plasticity Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Morikawa, Hitoshi; Paladini, Carlos A.

    2011-01-01

    Although the roles of dopaminergic signaling in learning and behavior are well established, it is not fully understood how the activity of dopaminergic neurons is dynamically regulated under different conditions in a constantly changing environment. Dopamine neurons must integrate sensory, motor, and cognitive information online to inform the organism to pursue outcomes with the highest reward probability. In this article, we provide an overview of recent advances on the intrinsic, extrinsic (i.e., synaptic), and plasticity mechanisms controlling dopamine neuron activity, mostly focusing on mechanistic studies conducted using ex vivo brain slice preparations. We also hope to highlight some unresolved questions regarding information processing that takes place at dopamine neurons, thereby stimulating further investigations at different levels of analysis. PMID:21872647

  14. Activity-Dependent p25 Generation Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Aβ-Induced Cognitive Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Seo, Jinsoo; Giusti-Rodríguez, Paola; Zhou, Ying; Rudenko, Andrii; Cho, Sukhee; Ota, Kristie T.; Park, Christine; Patzke, Holger; Madabhushi, Ram; Pan, Ling; Mungenast, Alison E.; Guan, Ji-Song; Delalle, Ivana; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 regulates numerous neuronal functions with its activator, p35. Under neurotoxic conditions, p35 undergoes proteolytic cleavage to liberate p25, which has been implicated in various neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we show that p25 is generated following neuronal activity under physiological conditions in a GluN2B- and CaMKIIα-dependent manner. Moreover, we developed a knockin mouse model in which endogenous p35 is replaced with a calpain-resistant mutant p35 (Δp35KI) to prevent p25 generation. The Δp35KI mice exhibit impaired long-term depression and defective memory extinction, likely mediated through persistent GluA1 phosphorylation at Ser845. Finally, crossing the Δp35KI mice with the 5XFAD mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) resulted in an amelioration of β-amyloid (Aβ)-induced synaptic depression and cognitive impairment. Together, these results reveal a physiological role of p25 production in synaptic plasticity and memory and provide new insights into the function of p25 in Aβ-associated neurotoxicity and AD-like pathology. PMID:24725413

  15. Short term synaptic plasticity regulates the level of olivocochlear inhibition to auditory hair cells

    PubMed Central

    Ballestero, Jimena; de San Martín, Javier Zorrilla; Goutman, Juan; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Fuchs, Paul A.; Katz, Eleonora

    2011-01-01

    In the mammalian inner ear, the gain control of auditory inputs is exerted by medial olivocochlear (MOC) neurons that innervate cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs). OHCs mechanically amplify the incoming sound waves by virtue of their electromotile properties while the MOC system reduces the gain of auditory inputs by inhibiting OHCs function. How this process is orchestrated at the synaptic level remains unknown. In the present study, MOC firing was evoked by electrical stimulation in an isolated mouse cochlear preparation, while OHCs postsynaptic responses were monitored by whole-cell recordings. These recordings confirmed that electrically evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSCs) are mediated solely by α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) functionally coupled to calcium-activated SK2 channels. Synaptic release occurred with low probability when MOC-OHC synapses were stimulated at 1Hz. However, as the stimulation frequency was raised, the reliability of release increased due to presynaptic facilitation. In addition, the relatively slow decay of eIPSCs gave rise to temporal summation at stimulation frequencies above 10 Hz. The combined effect of facilitation and summation resulted in a frequency-dependent increase in the average amplitude of inhibitory currents in OHCs. Thus, we have demonstrated that short-term plasticity is responsible for shaping MOC inhibition and, therefore, encodes the transfer function from efferent firing frequency to the gain of the cochlear amplifier. PMID:21994392

  16. Precise-spike-driven synaptic plasticity: learning hetero-association of spatiotemporal spike patterns.

    PubMed

    Yu, Qiang; Tang, Huajin; Tan, Kay Chen; Li, Haizhou

    2013-01-01

    A new learning rule (Precise-Spike-Driven (PSD) Synaptic Plasticity) is proposed for processing and memorizing spatiotemporal patterns. PSD is a supervised learning rule that is analytically derived from the traditional Widrow-Hoff rule and can be used to train neurons to associate an input spatiotemporal spike pattern with a desired spike train. Synaptic adaptation is driven by the error between the desired and the actual output spikes, with positive errors causing long-term potentiation and negative errors causing long-term depression. The amount of modification is proportional to an eligibility trace that is triggered by afferent spikes. The PSD rule is both computationally efficient and biologically plausible. The properties of this learning rule are investigated extensively through experimental simulations, including its learning performance, its generality to different neuron models, its robustness against noisy conditions, its memory capacity, and the effects of its learning parameters. Experimental results show that the PSD rule is capable of spatiotemporal pattern classification, and can even outperform a well studied benchmark algorithm with the proposed relative confidence criterion. The PSD rule is further validated on a practical example of an optical character recognition problem. The results again show that it can achieve a good recognition performance with a proper encoding. Finally, a detailed discussion is provided about the PSD rule and several related algorithms including tempotron, SPAN, Chronotron and ReSuMe.

  17. A novel fibroblast growth factor receptor family member promotes neuronal outgrowth and synaptic plasticity in aplysia.

    PubMed

    Pollak, Daniela D; Minh, Bui Quang; Cicvaric, Ana; Monje, Francisco J

    2014-11-01

    Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) Receptors (FGFRs) regulate essential biological processes, including embryogenesis, angiogenesis, cellular growth and memory-related long-term synaptic plasticity. Whereas canonical FGFRs depend exclusively on extracellular Immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains for ligand binding, other receptor types, including members of the tropomyosin-receptor-kinase (Trk) family, use either Ig-like or Leucine-Rich Repeat (LRR) motifs, or both. Little is known, however, about the evolutionary events leading to the differential incorporation of LRR domains into Ig-containing tyrosine kinase receptors. Moreover, although FGFRs have been identified in many vertebrate species, few reports describe their existence in invertebrates. Information about the biological relevance of invertebrate FGFRs and evolutionary divergences between them and their vertebrate counterparts is therefore limited. Here, we characterized ApLRRTK, a neuronal cell-surface protein recently identified in Aplysia. We unveiled ApLRRTK as the first member of the FGFRs family deprived of Ig-like domains that instead contains extracellular LRR domains. We describe that ApLRRTK exhibits properties typical of canonical vertebrate FGFRs, including promotion of FGF activity, enhancement of neuritic outgrowth and signaling via MAPK and the transcription factor CREB. ApLRRTK also enhanced the synaptic efficiency of neurons known to mediate in vivo memory-related defensive behaviors. These data reveal a novel molecular regulator of neuronal function in invertebrates, provide the first evolutionary linkage between LRR proteins and FGFRs and unveil an unprecedented mechanism of FGFR gene diversification in primeval central nervous systems.

  18. Hippocampal synaptic plasticity is impaired in the Mecp2-null mouse model of Rett syndrome.

    PubMed

    Asaka, Yukiko; Jugloff, Denis G M; Zhang, Liang; Eubanks, James H; Fitzsimonds, Reiko Maki

    2006-01-01

    Rett syndrome is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding the transcriptional repressor methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Here we demonstrate that the Mecp2-null mouse model of Rett syndrome shows an age-dependent impairment in hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation induced by tetanic or theta-burst stimulation. Long-term depression induced by repetitive low-frequency stimulation is also absent in behaviorally symptomatic Mecp2-null mice. Immunoblot analyses from behaviorally symptomatic Mecp2-null mice reveal altered expression of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunits NR2A and NR2B. Presynaptic function is also affected, as demonstrated by a significant reduction in paired-pulse facilitation. Interestingly, the properties of basal neurotransmission are normal in the Mecp2-null mice, consistent with our observations that the levels of expression of synaptic and cytoskeletal proteins, including glutamate receptor subunits GluR1 and GluR2, PSD95, synaptophysin-1, synaptobrevin-2, synaptotagmin-1, MAP2, betaIII-tubulin and NF200, are not significantly altered. Together, these data provide the first evidence that the loss of Mecp2 expression is accompanied by age-dependent alterations in excitatory synaptic plasticity that are likely to contribute to the cognitive and functional deficits underlying Rett syndrome.

  19. Different Compartments of Apical CA1 Dendrites Have Different Plasticity Thresholds for Expressing Synaptic Tagging and Capture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sajikumar, Sreedharan; Korte, Martin

    2011-01-01

    The consolidation process from short- to long-term memory depends on the type of stimulation received from a specific neuronal network and on the cooperativity and associativity between different synaptic inputs converging onto a specific neuron. We show here that the plasticity thresholds for inducing LTP are different in proximal and distal…

  20. The Roles of MAPK Cascades in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory in "Aplysia": Facilitatory Effects and Inhibitory Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharma, Shiv K.; Carew, Thomas J.

    2004-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to memory formation. Serotonin-induced facilitation of sensory-motor (SN-MN) synapses in "Aplysia" is an extensively studied cellular analog of memory for sensitization. Serotonin, a modulatory neurotransmitter, is released in the CNS during sensitization training, and induces three temporally and…

  1. Computational identification of potential multitarget treatments for ameliorating the adverse effects of amyloid-β on synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Anastasio, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    The leading hypothesis on Alzheimer Disease (AD) is that it is caused by buildup of the peptide amyloid-β (Aβ), which initially causes dysregulation of synaptic plasticity and eventually causes destruction of synapses and neurons. Pharmacological efforts to limit Aβ buildup have proven ineffective, and this raises the twin challenges of understanding the adverse effects of Aβ on synapses and of suggesting pharmacological means to prevent them. The purpose of this paper is to initiate a computational approach to understanding the dysregulation by Aβ of synaptic plasticity and to offer suggestions whereby combinations of various chemical compounds could be arrayed against it. This data-driven approach confronts the complexity of synaptic plasticity by representing findings from the literature in a course-grained manner, and focuses on understanding the aggregate behavior of many molecular interactions. The same set of interactions is modeled by two different computer programs, each written using a different programming modality: one imperative, the other declarative. Both programs compute the same results over an extensive test battery, providing an essential crosscheck. Then the imperative program is used for the computationally intensive purpose of determining the effects on the model of every combination of ten different compounds, while the declarative program is used to analyze model behavior using temporal logic. Together these two model implementations offer new insights into the mechanisms by which Aβ dysregulates synaptic plasticity and suggest many drug combinations that potentially may reduce or prevent it. PMID:24847263

  2. Effects of developmental perfluorooctane sulfonate exposure on spatial learning and memory ability of rats and mechanism associated with synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu; Liu, Wei; Zhang, Qian; Zhao, Huimin; Quan, Xie

    2015-02-01

    The present study aims to explore the effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) on cognitive function in developing rats and the underlying mechanism associated with synaptic plasticity. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed with 0, 5, and 15 mg/L of PFOS via drinking water during gestation and lactation. Offspring were exposed to PFOS on prenatal and/or postnatal days by cross-fostering. Spatial learning and memory abilities were tested from postnatal day (PND) 35. We also analyzed the expression pattern of the synaptic plasticity-related genes and proteins in the hippocampus on PND7 and PND35. Results revealed that PFOS exposure reduced the spatial learning and memory abilities of the offspring, particularly of those with prenatal exposure. Meanwhile, protein levels of growth-associated protein-43, neural cell adhesion molecule 1, nerve growth factor, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor decreased on PND35, which are involved in the formation of synaptic plasticity. In contrast, significant increase in gap-43, ncam1, and bdnf genes on the mRNA level was observed on PND7, possibly due to the post-transcriptional mechanism. Results of both behavioral effects and molecular endpoints suggested the high risk of prenatal PFOS exposure. The decline of spatial learning and memory abilities induced by developmental PFOS exposure was closely related to synaptic plasticity.

  3. Two Mutations Preventing PDZ-Protein Interactions of GluR1 Have Opposite Effects on Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boehm, Jannic; Ehrlich, Ingrid; Hsieh, Helen; Malinow, Roberto

    2006-01-01

    The regulated trafficking of GluR1 contributes significantly to synaptic plasticity, but studies addressing the function of the GluR1 C-terminal PDZ-ligand domain in this process have produced conflicting results. Here, we resolve this conflict by showing that apparently similar C-terminal mutations of the GluR1 PDZ-ligand domain result in…

  4. The Role of Astrocytic Aquaporin-4 in Synaptic Plasticity and Learning and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Szu, Jenny I.; Binder, Devin K.

    2016-01-01

    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is the predominant water channel expressed by astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). AQP4 is widely expressed throughout the brain, especially at the blood-brain barrier where AQP4 is highly polarized to astrocytic foot processes in contact with blood vessels. The bidirectional water transport function of AQP4 suggests its role in cerebral water balance in the CNS. The regulation of AQP4 has been extensively investigated in various neuropathological conditions such as cerebral edema, epilepsy, and ischemia, however, the functional role of AQP4 in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory is only beginning to be elucidated. In this review, we explore the current literature on AQP4 and its influence on long term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD) in the hippocampus as well as the potential relationship between AQP4 and in learning and memory. We begin by discussing recent in vitro and in vivo studies using AQP4-null and wild-type mice, in particular, the impairment of LTP and LTD observed in the hippocampus. Early evidence using AQP4-null mice have suggested that impaired LTP and LTD is brain-derived neurotrophic factor dependent. Others have indicated a possible link between defective LTP and the downregulation of glutamate transporter-1 which is rescued by chronic treatment of β-lactam antibiotic ceftriaxone. Furthermore, behavioral studies may shed some light into the functional role of AQP4 in learning and memory. AQP4-null mice performances utilizing Morris water maze, object placement tests, and contextual fear conditioning proposed a specific role of AQP4 in memory consolidation. All together, these studies highlight the potential influence AQP4 may have on long term synaptic plasticity and memory. PMID:26941623

  5. Effects of TRPV1 on the hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the epileptic rat brain.

    PubMed

    Saffarzadeh, Fatemeh; Eslamizade, Mohammad J; Ghadiri, Tahereh; Modarres Mousavi, Sayed Mostafa; Hadjighassem, Mahmoudreza; Gorji, Ali

    2015-07-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy is often presented by medically intractable recurrent seizures due to dysfunction of temporal lobe structures, mostly the temporomesial structures. The role of transient receptor potential vaniloid 1 (TRPV1) activity on synaptic plasticity of the epileptic brain tissues was investigated. We studied hippocampal TRPV1 protein content and distribution in the hippocampus of epileptic rats. Furthermore, the effects of pharmacologic modulation of TRPV1 receptors on field excitatory postsynaptic potentials have been analyzed after induction of long term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampal CA1 and CA3 areas after 1 day (acute phase) and 3 months (chronic phase) of pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). A higher expression of TRPV1 protein in the hippocampus as well as a higher distribution of this channel in CA1 and CA3 areas in both acute and chronic phases of pilocarpine-induced SE was observed. Activation of TRPV1 using capsaicin (1 µM) enhanced LTP induction in CA1 region in non-epileptic rats. Inhibition of TRPV1 by capsazepine (10 µM) did not affect LTP induction in non-epileptic rats. In acute phase of SE, activation of TRPV1 enhanced LTP in both CA1 and CA3 areas but TRPV1 inhibition did not affect LTP. In chronic phase of SE, application of TRPV1 antagonist enhanced LTP induction in CA1 and CA3 regions but TRPV1 activation had no effect on LTP. These findings indicate that a higher expression of TRPV1 in epileptic conditions is accompanied by a functional impact on the synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. This suggests TRPV1 as a potential target in treatment of seizure attacks.

  6. Tunable Low Energy, Compact and High Performance Neuromorphic Circuit for Spike-Based Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Rahimi Azghadi, Mostafa; Iannella, Nicolangelo; Al-Sarawi, Said; Abbott, Derek

    2014-01-01

    Cortical circuits in the brain have long been recognised for their information processing capabilities and have been studied both experimentally and theoretically via spiking neural networks. Neuromorphic engineers are primarily concerned with translating the computational capabilities of biological cortical circuits, using the Spiking Neural Network (SNN) paradigm, into in silico applications that can mimic the behaviour and capabilities of real biological circuits/systems. These capabilities include low power consumption, compactness, and relevant dynamics. In this paper, we propose a new accelerated-time circuit that has several advantages over its previous neuromorphic counterparts in terms of compactness, power consumption, and capability to mimic the outcomes of biological experiments. The presented circuit simulation results demonstrate that, in comparing the new circuit to previous published synaptic plasticity circuits, reduced silicon area and lower energy consumption for processing each spike is achieved. In addition, it can be tuned in order to closely mimic the outcomes of various spike timing- and rate-based synaptic plasticity experiments. The proposed circuit is also investigated and compared to other designs in terms of tolerance to mismatch and process variation. Monte Carlo simulation results show that the proposed design is much more stable than its previous counterparts in terms of vulnerability to transistor mismatch, which is a significant challenge in analog neuromorphic design. All these features make the proposed design an ideal circuit for use in large scale SNNs, which aim at implementing neuromorphic systems with an inherent capability that can adapt to a continuously changing environment, thus leading to systems with significant learning and computational abilities. PMID:24551089

  7. Tunable low energy, compact and high performance neuromorphic circuit for spike-based synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Rahimi Azghadi, Mostafa; Iannella, Nicolangelo; Al-Sarawi, Said; Abbott, Derek

    2014-01-01

    Cortical circuits in the brain have long been recognised for their information processing capabilities and have been studied both experimentally and theoretically via spiking neural networks. Neuromorphic engineers are primarily concerned with translating the computational capabilities of biological cortical circuits, using the Spiking Neural Network (SNN) paradigm, into in silico applications that can mimic the behaviour and capabilities of real biological circuits/systems. These capabilities include low power consumption, compactness, and relevant dynamics. In this paper, we propose a new accelerated-time circuit that has several advantages over its previous neuromorphic counterparts in terms of compactness, power consumption, and capability to mimic the outcomes of biological experiments. The presented circuit simulation results demonstrate that, in comparing the new circuit to previous published synaptic plasticity circuits, reduced silicon area and lower energy consumption for processing each spike is achieved. In addition, it can be tuned in order to closely mimic the outcomes of various spike timing- and rate-based synaptic plasticity experiments. The proposed circuit is also investigated and compared to other designs in terms of tolerance to mismatch and process variation. Monte Carlo simulation results show that the proposed design is much more stable than its previous counterparts in terms of vulnerability to transistor mismatch, which is a significant challenge in analog neuromorphic design. All these features make the proposed design an ideal circuit for use in large scale SNNs, which aim at implementing neuromorphic systems with an inherent capability that can adapt to a continuously changing environment, thus leading to systems with significant learning and computational abilities.

  8. CX3CR1 deficiency leads to impairment of hippocampal cognitive function and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Justin, T. Rogers; Josh, M. Morganti; Adam, D. Bachstetter; Charles, E. Hudson; Melinda, M. Peters; Bethany, A. Grimmig; Edwin, J. Weeber; Paula, C. Bickford; Gemma, Carmelina

    2011-01-01

    The protective/neurotoxic role of fractalkine (CX3CL1) and its receptor CX3C chemokine receptor 1 (CX3CR1) signaling in neurodegenerative disease is an intricate and highly debated research topic and it is becoming even more complicated as new studies reveal discordant results. It appears that the CX3CL1/CX3CR1 axis plays a direct role in neurodegeneration and/or neuroprotection depending upon the CNS insult. However, all the above studies focused on the role of CX3CL1/CX3CR1 signaling in pathological conditions, ignoring the relevance of CX3CL1/CX3CR1 signaling under physiological conditions. No approach to date has been taken to decipher the significance of defects in CX3CL1/CX3CR1 signaling in physiological condition. In the present study we used CX3CR1−/−, CX3CR1+/− and wild-type mice to investigate the physiological role of CX3CR1 receptor in cognition and synaptic plasticity. Our results demonstrated for the first time that mice lacking CX3CR1 receptor show contextual fear conditioning and Morris water maze deficits. CX3CR1 deficiency also affects motor learning. Importantly, mice lacking the receptor have a significant impairment in long term potentiation (LTP). Infusion with IL-1β receptor antagonist significantly reversed the deficit in cognitive function and impairment in LTP. Our results reveal that under physiological conditions, disruption in CX3CL1 signaling will lead to impairment in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity via increased action of IL-1β. PMID:22072675

  9. Dynamically Sliding Threshold Model Reproduces the Initial-Strength Dependence of Spike-Timing Dependent Synaptic Plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurashige, Hiroki; Sakai, Yutaka

    2007-11-01

    It has been considered that an amount of calcium elevation in a synaptic spine determines whether the synapse is potentiated or depressed. However, it has been pointed out that simple application of the principle can not reproduce properties of spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). To solve the problem, we present a possible mechanism using dynamically sliding threshold determined as the linear summation of calcium elevations induced by single pre- and post-synaptic spikes. We demonstrate that the model can reproduce the timing dependence of biological STDP. In addition, we find that the model can reproduce the dependence of biological STDP on the initial synaptic strength, which is found to be asymmetric for synaptic potentiation and depression, whereas no explicit initial-strength dependence nor asymmetric mechanism are incorporated into the model.

  10. Pentylenetetrazol-Induced Epileptiform Activity Affects Basal Synaptic Transmission and Short-Term Plasticity in Monosynaptic Connections

    PubMed Central

    Giachello, Carlo Natale Giuseppe; Premoselli, Federica; Montarolo, Pier Giorgio; Ghirardi, Mirella

    2013-01-01

    Epileptic activity is generally induced in experimental models by local application of epileptogenic drugs, including pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), widely used on both vertebrate and invertebrate neurons. Despite the high prevalence of this neurological disorder and the extensive research on it, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis still remain unclear. In this work, we examined PTZ-induced neuronal changes in Helix monosynaptic circuits formed in vitro, as a simpler experimental model to investigate the effects of epileptiform activity on both basal release and post-tetanic potentiation (PTP), a form of short-term plasticity. We observed a significant enhancement of basal synaptic strength, with kinetics resembling those of previously described use-dependent forms of plasticity, determined by changes in estimated quantal parameters, such as the readily releasable pool and the release probability. Moreover, these neurons exhibited a strong reduction in PTP expression and in its decay time constant, suggesting an impairment in the dynamic reorganization of synaptic vesicle pools following prolonged stimulation of synaptic transmission. In order to explain this imbalance, we determined whether epileptic activity is related to the phosphorylation level of synapsin, which is known to modulate synaptic plasticity. Using western blot and immunocytochemical staining we found a PTZ-dependent increase in synapsin phosphorylation at both PKA/CaMKI/IV and MAPK/Erk sites, both of which are important for modulating synaptic plasticity. Taken together, our findings suggest that prolonged epileptiform activity leads to an increase in the synapsin phosphorylation status, thereby contributing to an alteration of synaptic strength in both basal condition and tetanus-induced potentiation. PMID:23437283

  11. Effects of dihydrotestosterone on synaptic plasticity of the hippocampus in mild cognitive impairment male SAMP8 mice

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Wensen; Han, Shuo; Kang, Lin; Li, Sha; Du, Juan; Cui, Huixian

    2016-01-01

    The current study focused on how dihydrotestosterone (DHT) regulates synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of mild cognitive impairment male senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mice. Five-month-old SAMP8 mice were divided into the control, castrated and castrated-DHT groups, in which the mice were castrated and treated with physiological doses of DHT for a period of 2 months. To determine the regulatory mechanisms of DHT in the cognitive capacity, the effects of DHT on the morphology of the synapse and the expression of synaptic marker proteins in the hippocampus were investigated using immunohistochemistry, qPCR and western blot analysis. The results showed that the expression of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB), postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), synaptophysin (SYN) and developmentally regulated brain protein (Drebrin) was reduced in the castrated group compared to the control group. However, DHT promoted the expression of CREB, PSD95, SYN and Drebrin in the hippocampus of the castrated-DHT group. Thus, androgen depletion impaired the synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of SAMP8 and accelerated the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like neuropathology, suggesting that a similar mechanism may underlie the increased risk for AD in men with low testosterone. In addition, DHT regulated synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) SAMP8 mice and delayed the progression of disease to Alzheimer's dementia. In conclusion, androgen-based hormone therapy is a potentially useful strategy for preventing the progression of MCI in aging men. Androgens enhance synaptic markers (SYN, PSD95, and Drebrin), activate CREB, modulate the fundamental biology of synaptic structure, and lead to the structural changes of plasticity in the hippocampus, all of which result in improved cognitive function. PMID:27588067

  12. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling in the ventral tegmental area mediates cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity and rewarding effects.

    PubMed

    Pan, Bin; Zhong, Peng; Sun, Dalong; Liu, Qing-song

    2011-08-03

    Drugs of abuse such as cocaine induce long-term synaptic plasticity in the reward circuitry, which underlies the formation of drug-associated memories and addictive behavior. We reported previously that repeated cocaine exposure in vivo facilitates long-term potentiation (LTP) in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) by reducing the strength of GABAergic inhibition and that endocannabinoid-dependent long-term depression at inhibitory synapses (I-LTD) constitutes a mechanism for cocaine-induced reduction of GABAergic inhibition. The present study investigated the downstream signaling mechanisms and functional consequences of I-LTD in the VTA in the rat. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling has been implicated in long-term synaptic plasticity, associative learning, and drug addiction. We tested the hypothesis that VTA ERK activity is required for I-LTD and cocaine-induced long-term synaptic plasticity and behavioral effects. We show that the activation of receptors required for I-LTD increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation and inhibitors of ERK activation blocked I-LTD. We further demonstrate that ERK mediates cocaine-induced reduction of GABAergic inhibition and facilitation of LTP induction. Finally, we show that cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP) training (15 mg/kg; four pairings) increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation in the VTA, while bilateral intra-VTA injections of a CB(1) antagonist or an inhibitor of ERK activation attenuated ERK1/2 phosphorylation and the acquisition, but not the expression, of CPP to cocaine. Our study has identified the CB(1) and ERK signaling cascade as a key mediator of several forms of cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity and provided evidence linking long-term synaptic plasticity in the VTA to rewarding effects of cocaine.

  13. Morphological and functional abnormalities in mitochondria associated with synaptic degeneration in prion disease.

    PubMed

    Sisková, Zuzana; Mahad, Don Joseph; Pudney, Carianne; Campbell, Graham; Cadogan, Mark; Asuni, Ayodeji; O'Connor, Vincent; Perry, Victor Hugh

    2010-09-01

    Synaptic and dendritic pathology is a well-documented component of prion disease. In common with other neurodegenerative diseases that contain an element of protein misfolding, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of synaptic degeneration. In particular, in prion disease the relationship between synaptic malfunction, degeneration, and mitochondria has been neglected. We investigated a wide range of mitochondrial parameters, including changes in mitochondrial density, inner membrane ultrastructure, functional properties and nature of mitochondrial DNA from hippocampal tissue of mice with prion disease, which have ongoing synaptic pathology. Our results indicate that despite a lack of detectable changes in either mitochondrial density or expression of the mitochondrial proteins, mitochondrial function was impaired when compared with age-matched control animals. We observed changes in mitochondrial inner membrane morphology and a reduction in the cytochrome c oxidase activity relative to a sustained level of mitochondrial proteins such as porin and individual, functionally important subunits of complex II and complex IV. These data support the idea that mitochondrial dysfunction appears to occur due to inhibition or modification of respiratory complex rather than deletions of mitochondrial DNA. Indeed, these changes were seen in the stratum radiatum where synaptic pathology is readily detected, indicating that mitochondrial function is impaired and could potentially contribute to or even initiate the synaptic pathology in prion disease.

  14. Cellular bases of behavioral plasticity: establishing and modifying synaptic circuits in the Drosophila genetic system.

    PubMed

    Rohrbough, Jeffrey; O'Dowd, Diane K; Baines, Richard A; Broadie, Kendal

    2003-01-01

    Genetic malleability and amenability to behavioral assays make Drosophila an attractive model for dissecting the molecular mechanisms of complex behaviors, such as learning and memory. At a cellular level, Drosophila has contributed a wealth of information on the mechanisms regulating membrane excitability and synapse formation, function, and plasticity. Until recently, however, these studies have relied almost exclusively on analyses of the peripheral neuromuscular junction, with a smaller body of work on neurons grown in primary culture. These experimental systems are, by themselves, clearly inadequate for assessing neuronal function at the many levels necessary for an understanding of behavioral regulation. The pressing need is for access to physiologically relevant neuronal circuits as they develop and are modified throughout life. In the past few years, progress has been made in developing experimental approaches to examine functional properties of identified populations of Drosophila central neurons, both in cell culture and in vivo. This review focuses on these exciting developments, which promise to rapidly expand the frontiers of functional cellular neurobiology studies in Drosophila. We discuss here the technical advances that have begun to reveal the excitability and synaptic transmission properties of central neurons in flies, and discuss how these studies promise to substantially increase our understanding of neuronal mechanisms underlying behavioral plasticity.

  15. Ternary Synaptic Plasticity Arising from Memdiode Behavior of TiOx Single Nanowire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Deshun; Chen, Yuansha; Sun, Jirong; Shen, Baogen; Group 3 of Magnetism Laboratory, Beijing National LaboratoryCondensed Matter Physics Team

    Electric field-induced resistive switching (RS) effect has been widely explored as a novel nonvolatile memory over the past few years. Recently, the RS behavior with continuous transition has received considerable attention for its promising prospect in neuromorphic simulation. Here, the switching characteristics of a planar-structured TiOx single nanowire device were systematically investigated. It exhibited a strong electrical history-dependent rectifying behavior that was defined as a ''memdiode''. We further demonstrated that a ternary synaptic plasticity could be realized in such a TiOx nanowire device, characterized by the resistance and photocurrent responses. For a given state of the memdiode, a conjugated memristive characteristic and a distinct photocurrent can be simulaneously obtained, resulting in a synchronous implementation of various Hebbian plasticities with the same temporal order of spikes. These intriguing properties of TiOx memdiode provide a feasible way toward the designing of multifunctional electronic synapses as well as programmable artificial neural network This work has been partially supported by the National Basic Research of China (2013CB921700), the ``Strategic Priority Research Program (B)'' of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB07030200) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11374339).

  16. Fasting induces a form of autonomic synaptic plasticity that prevents hypoglycemia.

    PubMed

    Wang, Manqi; Wang, Qian; Whim, Matthew D

    2016-05-24

    During fasting, activation of the counter-regulatory response (CRR) prevents hypoglycemia. A major effector arm is the autonomic nervous system that controls epinephrine release from adrenal chromaffin cells and, consequently, hepatic glucose production. However, whether modulation of autonomic function determines the relative strength of the CRR, and thus the ability to withstand food deprivation and maintain euglycemia, is not known. Here we show that fasting leads to altered transmission at the preganglionic → chromaffin cell synapse. The dominant effect is a presynaptic, long-lasting increase in synaptic strength. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches we show this plasticity requires neuropeptide Y, an adrenal cotransmitter and the activation of adrenal Y5 receptors. Loss of neuropeptide Y prevents a fasting-induced increase in epinephrine release and results in hypoglycemia in vivo. These findings connect plasticity within the sympathetic nervous system to a physiological output and indicate the strength of the final synapse in this descending pathway plays a decisive role in maintaining euglycemia.

  17. The Role of GluK4 in Synaptic Plasticity and Affective Behavior in Mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catches, Justin Samuel

    Kainate receptors (KARs) are glutamate-gated ion channels that signal through both ionotropic and metabotropic pathways (Contractor et al., 2011). Combinations of five KAR subunits (GluK1-5) form tetrameric receptors with GluK1, GluK2, and GluK3 able to form functional homomeric channels. The high-affinity subunits, GluK4 and GluK5, do not form homomeric channels but modify the properties of heteromeric receptors. Expression of the GluK4 receptor subunit in the forebrain is restricted to the CA3 region of the hippocampus and dentate gyrus regions where KARs modulate synaptic plasticity. In this study, ablation of Grik4, which encodes GluK4, in mice reduced KAR synaptic currents and altered activation properties of postsynaptic receptors but left two forms of presynaptic short-term plasticity intact. Disruption of both Grik4 and Grik5 caused complete loss of the postsynaptic ionotropic KAR current and impaired presynaptic frequency facilitation. Additionally, KAR surface expression was altered at pre- and postsynaptic sites at the MF synapse. Despite the loss of ionotropic signaling, KAR-mediated inhibition of the slow afterhyperpolarization current, which is dependent on metabotropic signaling, was intact in CA3 neurons. Long-term potentiation at the MF-CA3 synapse was reduced, likely through a loss of KAR modulation of excitability of the presynaptic MF axons. Genetic variants in the human GRIK4 gene alter the susceptibility for affective disorders (Bloss and Hunter, 2010). We found that ablation of Grik4 in mice resulted in reduced anxiety and an antidepressant-like phenotype. In the elevated zero-maze, a test for anxiety and risk taking behavior, and in two anxiogenic tests, marble-burying and novelty-induced suppression of feeding, anxiety-like behavior was consistently reduced in knockout animals. In the forced swim, a test of learned helplessness used to determine depression-like behavior, knockout mice demonstrated significantly less immobility suggesting

  18. Reversal of age-related alterations in synaptic plasticity by blockade of L-type Ca2+ channels.

    PubMed

    Norris, C M; Halpain, S; Foster, T C

    1998-05-01

    The role of L-type Ca2+ channels in the induction of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices of aged (22-24 months) and young adult (4-6 months) male Fischer 344 rats was investigated. Prolonged 1 Hz stimulation (900 pulses) of Schaffer collaterals, which normally depresses CA3/CA1 synaptic strength in aged rat slices, failed to induce long-term depression (LTD) during bath application of the L-channel antagonist nifedipine (10 microM). When 5 Hz stimulation (900 pulses) was used to modify synaptic strength, nifedipine facilitated synaptic enhancement in slices from aged, but not young, adult rats. This enhancement was pathway-specific, reversible, and impaired by the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) antagonist DL-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5). Induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in aged rats, using 100 Hz stimulation, occluded subsequent synaptic enhancement by 5 Hz stimulation, suggesting that nifedipine-facilitated enhancement shares mechanisms in common with conventional LTP. Facilitation of synaptic enhancement by nifedipine likely was attributable to a reduction ( approximately 30%) in the Ca2+-dependent K+-mediated afterhyperpolarization (AHP), because the K+ channel blocker apamin (1 microM) similarly reduced the AHP and promoted synaptic enhancement by 5 Hz stimulation. In contrast, apamin did not block LTD induction using 1 Hz stimulation, suggesting that, in aged rats, the AHP does not influence LTD and LTP induction in a similar way. The results indicate that, during aging, L-channels can (1) facilitate LTD induction during low rates of synaptic activity and (2) impair LTP induction during higher levels of synaptic activation via an increase in the Ca2+-dependent AHP.

  19. Plasticity-Driven Self-Organization under Topological Constraints Accounts for Non-random Features of Cortical Synaptic Wiring

    PubMed Central

    Miner, Daniel; Triesch, Jochen

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the structure and dynamics of cortical connectivity is vital to understanding cortical function. Experimental data strongly suggest that local recurrent connectivity in the cortex is significantly non-random, exhibiting, for example, above-chance bidirectionality and an overrepresentation of certain triangular motifs. Additional evidence suggests a significant distance dependency to connectivity over a local scale of a few hundred microns, and particular patterns of synaptic turnover dynamics, including a heavy-tailed distribution of synaptic efficacies, a power law distribution of synaptic lifetimes, and a tendency for stronger synapses to be more stable over time. Understanding how many of these non-random features simultaneously arise would provide valuable insights into the development and function of the cortex. While previous work has modeled some of the individual features of local cortical wiring, there is no model that begins to comprehensively account for all of them. We present a spiking network model of a rodent Layer 5 cortical slice which, via the interactions of a few simple biologically motivated intrinsic, synaptic, and structural plasticity mechanisms, qualitatively reproduces these non-random effects when combined with simple topological constraints. Our model suggests that mechanisms of self-organization arising from a small number of plasticity rules provide a parsimonious explanation for numerous experimentally observed non-random features of recurrent cortical wiring. Interestingly, similar mechanisms have been shown to endow recurrent networks with powerful learning abilities, suggesting that these mechanism are central to understanding both structure and function of cortical synaptic wiring. PMID:26866369

  20. Thrombin induces ischemic LTP (iLTP): implications for synaptic plasticity in the acute phase of ischemic stroke

    PubMed Central

    Stein, Efrat Shavit; Itsekson-Hayosh, Zeev; Aronovich, Anna; Reisner, Yair; Bushi, Doron; Pick, Chaim G.; Tanne, David; Chapman, Joab; Vlachos, Andreas; Maggio, Nicola

    2015-01-01

    Acute brain ischemia modifies synaptic plasticity by inducing ischemic long-term potentiation (iLTP) of synaptic transmission through the activation of N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR). Thrombin, a blood coagulation factor, affects synaptic plasticity in an NMDAR dependent manner. Since its activity and concentration is increased in brain tissue upon acute stroke, we sought to clarify whether thrombin could mediate iLTP through the activation of its receptor Protease-Activated receptor 1 (PAR1). Extracellular recordings were obtained in CA1 region of hippocampal slices from C57BL/6 mice. In vitro ischemia was induced by acute (3 minutes) oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD). A specific ex vivo enzymatic assay was employed to assess thrombin activity in hippocampal slices, while OGD-induced changes in prothrombin mRNA levels were assessed by (RT)qPCR. Upon OGD, thrombin activity increased in hippocampal slices. A robust potentiation of excitatory synaptic strength was detected, which occluded the ability to induce further LTP. Inhibition of either thrombin or its receptor PAR1 blocked iLTP and restored the physiological, stimulus induced LTP. Our study provides important insights on the early changes occurring at excitatory synapses after ischemia and indicates the thrombin/PAR1 pathway as a novel target for developing therapeutic strategies to restore synaptic function in the acute phase of ischemic stroke. PMID:25604482

  1. Neutralization of Nogo-A Enhances Synaptic Plasticity in the Rodent Motor Cortex and Improves Motor Learning in Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Weinmann, Oliver; Kellner, Yves; Yu, Xinzhu; Vicente, Raul; Gullo, Miriam; Kasper, Hansjörg; Lussi, Karin; Ristic, Zorica; Luft, Andreas R.; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia; Zuo, Yi; Zagrebelsky, Marta; Schwab, Martin E.

    2014-01-01

    The membrane protein Nogo-A is known as an inhibitor of axonal outgrowth and regeneration in the CNS. However, its physiological functions in the normal adult CNS remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of Nogo-A in cortical synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the uninjured adult rodent motor cortex. Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 are present at cortical synapses. Acute treatment of slices with function-blocking antibodies (Abs) against Nogo-A or against NgR1 increased long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by stimulation of layer 2/3 horizontal fibers. Furthermore, anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment increased LTP saturation levels, whereas long-term depression remained unchanged, thus leading to an enlarged synaptic modification range. In vivo, intrathecal application of Nogo-A-blocking Abs resulted in a higher dendritic spine density at cortical pyramidal neurons due to an increase in spine formation as revealed by in vivo two-photon microscopy. To investigate whether these changes in synaptic plasticity correlate with motor learning, we trained rats to learn a skilled forelimb-reaching task while receiving anti-Nogo-A Abs. Learning of this cortically controlled precision movement was improved upon anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment. Our results identify Nogo-A as an influential molecular modulator of synaptic plasticity and as a regulator for learning of skilled movements in the motor cortex. PMID:24966370

  2. Omega-3 fatty acids can reverse the long-term deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity caused by prenatal ethanol exposure.

    PubMed

    Patten, Anna R; Sickmann, Helle M; Dyer, Roger A; Innis, Sheila M; Christie, Brian R

    2013-09-13

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders result in long-lasting neurological deficits including decreases in synaptic plasticity and deficits in learning and memory. In this study we examined the effects of prenatal ethanol exposure on hippocampal synaptic plasticity in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. Furthermore, we looked at the capacity for postnatal dietary intervention to rescue deficits in synaptic plasticity. Animals were fed an omega-3 enriched diet from birth until adulthood (PND55-70) and in vivo electrophysiology was performed by stimulating the medial perforant path input to the dentate gyrus and recording field excitatory post-synaptic potentials. LTP was induced by administering bursts of five 400 Hz pulses as a theta-patterned train of stimuli (200 ms inter-burst interval). Ethanol-exposed adult males, but not females, exhibited a significant reduction in LTP. This deficit in male animals was completely reversed with an omega-3 enriched diet. These results demonstrate that omega-3 fatty acids can have benefits following prenatal neuropathological insults and may be a viable option for alleviating some of the neurological deficits associated with FASD.

  3. Streptavidin-conjugated CdSe/ZnS quantum dots impaired synaptic plasticity and spatial memory process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xiaoyan; Tang, Mingliang; Li, Zhifeng; Zha, Yingying; Cheng, Guosheng; Yin, Shuting; Chen, Jutao; Ruan, Di-yun; Chen, Lin; Wang, Ming

    2013-04-01

    Studies reported that quantum dots (QDs), as a novel probe, demonstrated a promising future for in vivo imaging, but also showed potential toxicity. This study is mainly to investigate in vivo response in the central nervous system (CNS) after exposure to QDs in a rat model of synaptic plasticity and spatial memory. Adult rats were exposed to streptavidin-conjugated CdSe/ZnS QDs (Qdots 525, purchased from Molecular Probes Inc.) by intraperitoneal injection for 7 days, followed by behavioral, electrophysiological, and biochemical examinations. The electrophysiological results show that input/output ( I/ O) functions were increased, while the peak of paired-pulse reaction and long-term potentiation were decreased after QDs insult, indicating synaptic transmission was enhanced and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus was impaired. Meanwhile, behavioral experiments provide the evidence that QDs could impair rats' spatial memory process. All the results present evidences of interference of synaptic transmission and plasticity in rat hippocampal dentate gyrus area by QDs insult and suggest potential adverse issues which should be considered in QDs applications.

  4. Developmental effect of light deprivation on synaptic plasticity of rats’ hippocampus: implications for melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Talaei, Sayyed Alireza; Azami, Abolfazl; Salami, Mahmoud

    2016-01-01

    Objective(s): There are few reports have demonstrated the effect of a change-in-light experience on the structure and function of hippocampus. A change-in-light experience also affects the circadian pattern of melatonin secretion. This study aimed to investigate developmental effect of exogenous melatonin on synaptic plasticity of hippocampus of light deprived rats. Materials and Methods: The effects of intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of 2μg/5μl melatonin was evaluated on the basic and tetanized field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs) recorded in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 pathway of normal light-reared (LR) and dark-reared (DR) rats at 2, 4, and 6 weeks of age. Using RT-PCR and western blotting, developmental changes in the expression of melatonin receptors, MT1 and MT2, in the hippocampus were also evaluated. Results: The amplitude of basic responses decreased across age in the LR rats. While light deprivation increased the amplitude of baseline fEPSPs, it decreased the degree of potentiation in post-tetanus responses. Melatonin injection also increased the amplitude of fEPSPs and suppressed the induction of long-term potentiation in both LR and DR rats. The expression of melatonin receptors increased in the hippocampus during brain development, and dark rearing reversed the expression patterns of both receptors. Conclusion: Although melatonin changed basic and tetanized responses of CA1 neurons across age during critical period of brain development, the pattern of its effects did not match the expression pattern of melatonin receptors in the hippocampus. Thus, the effects of melatonin on hippocampal neuronal responses may be exerted through other ways, like intercellular molecules and nuclear hormone receptors. PMID:27746873

  5. Impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity in C6 glioma-bearing rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Yi; Liu, Shi-Chang; Yang, Zhuo; Zhang, Tao

    2011-07-01

    For many glioblastoma multiforme patients, cognitive deficits are part of the disease process. In this study we attempted to determine the role of synaptic plasticity and glutamate (Glu) in C6 glioma-bearing rats. Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were subjected to tumor implantation in the right caudate putamen nucleus. At 17 days after tumor implantation, animals were exposed to an open field test. The numbers of crossings and rearings were used as measures of exploration processes. An input/output (I/O) curve was first determined using the measurements of field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) slope in response to a series of stimulation intensities. The short-term potentiation (STP) and long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by high-frequency stimulation (HFS) in the CA1 region of the contralateral hippocampus to the tumor were recorded. The glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) content of contralateral hippocampus were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). C6 glioma-bearing rats showed a trend for a rightward shift of input/output relationship and significant deficits in maintenance of STP and LTP. Quantitative analysis by HPLC of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid revealed that Glu concentration and Glu/GABA ratio were increased significantly in contralateral hippocampus, suggesting impairment of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. The results suggest that the neurocognitive deficits in C6 glioma-bearing rats may be mediated via profound changes in neuroplasticity and elevated Glu concentration and Glu/GABA ratio in hippocampus area of the brain.

  6. Promoter-Specific Effects of DREADD Modulation on Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation

    PubMed Central

    López, Alberto J.; Kramár, Enikö; Matheos, Dina P.; White, André O.; Kwapis, Janine; Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Sakata, Keith; Espinoza, Monica

    2016-01-01

    drug (DREADDs) as a means of bidirectionally modulating the hippocampus in not only a hippocampus-dependent task but also in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. This is the first study to evaluate the effects of DREADD-mediated inhibition and excitation in hippocampal long-term potentiation. More specifically, this study evaluates the effect of promoter-specific expression of DREADD viruses in a heterogenic cell population, which revealed surprising effects of different promoters. With chemogenetics becoming a more ubiquitous tool throughout studies investigating circuit-specific function, these data are of broad interest to the neuroscientific community because we have shown that promoter-specific effects can drastically alter synaptic function within a specific region, without parallel changes at the level of behavior. PMID:27013687

  7. Altered AMPA receptor expression plays an important role in inducing bidirectional synaptic plasticity during contextual fear memory reconsolidation.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Subhrajit; Kimble, Whitney; Buabeid, Manal; Bhattacharya, Dwipayan; Bloemer, Jenna; Alhowail, Ahmad; Reed, Miranda; Dhanasekaran, Muralikrishnan; Escobar, Martha; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu

    2017-03-01

    Retrieval of a memory appears to render it unstable until the memory is once again re-stabilized or reconsolidated. Although the occurrence and consequences of reconsolidation have received much attention in recent years, the specific mechanisms that underlie the process of reconsolidation have not been fully described. Here, we present the first electrophysiological model of the synaptic plasticity changes underlying the different stages of reconsolidation of a conditioned fear memory. In this model, retrieval of a fear memory results in immediate but transient alterations in synaptic plasticity, mediated by modified expression of the glutamate receptor subunits GluA1 and GluA2 in the hippocampus of rodents. Retrieval of a memory results in an immediate impairment in LTP, which is enhanced 6h following memory retrieval. Conversely, memory retrieval results in an immediate enhancement of LTD, which decreases with time. These changes in plasticity are accompanied by decreased expression of GluA2 receptor subunits. Recovery of LTP and LTD correlates with progressive overexpression of GluA2 receptor subunits. The contribution of the GluA2 receptor was confirmed by interfering with receptor expression at the postsynaptic sites. Blocking GluA2 endocytosis restored LTP and attenuated LTD during the initial portion of the reconsolidation period. These findings suggest that altered GluA2 receptor expression is one of the mechanisms that controls different forms of synaptic plasticity during reconsolidation.

  8. Synaptic plasticity deficits in an experimental model of rett syndrome: long-term potentiation saturation and its pharmacological reversal.

    PubMed

    Weng, S-M; McLeod, F; Bailey, M E S; Cobb, S R

    2011-04-28

    Rett syndrome (RTT), a disorder caused almost exclusively by mutations in the X-linked gene, MECP2, has a phenotype thought to be primarily of neurological origin. Disruption of Mecp2 in mice results in a prominent RTT-like phenotype. One of the consequences of MeCP2 absence in the brain is altered functional and structural plasticity. We aimed to characterize synaptic effects related to plasticity in the hippocampus further and establish whether plasticity defects are amenable to pharmacological reversal. Using male mice in which Mecp2 expression was prevented by a stop cassette, we assessed synaptic plasticity in area CA1 at different phenotypic stages, scoring the mice weekly for overt RTT-like signs. Strongly symptomatic Mecp2(stop/y) mice displayed reduced long-term potentiation (LTP, 40.2±1.6% of wild-type), post-tetanic potentiation (PTP, 45±18.8% of wild-type) and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF, 78±0.1% of wild type) (all P<0.05), the impairment increasing with symptom severity score. These plasticity impairments were absent in presymptomatic mice. Repeated high frequency stimulation revealed pronounced LTP saturation in symptomatic Mecp2(stop/y) mice, suggesting an LTP 'ceiling' effect. Bath application of the weak NMDA receptor blocker memantine (1 μM) resulted in partial restoration of a short-term plasticity component. These data support that idea that progressive functional synaptic impairment is a key feature in the RTT brain and demonstrate the potential for the pharmacological restoration of plasticity function.

  9. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity in the Cortex Needs to Understand All the Players.

    PubMed

    Meunier, Claire N J; Chameau, Pascal; Fossier, Philippe M

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in cognitive tasks such as working memory, decision making, risk assessment and regulation of attention. These functions performed by the PFC are supposed to rely on rhythmic electrical activity generated by neuronal network oscillations determined by a precise balance between excitation and inhibition balance (E/I balance) resulting from the coordinated activities of recurrent excitation and feedback and feedforward inhibition. Functional alterations in PFC functions have been associated with cognitive deficits in several pathologies such as major depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. These pathological situations are correlated with alterations of different neurotransmitter systems (i.e., serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), acetylcholine…) that result in alterations of the E/I balance. The aim of this review article is to cover the basic aspects of the regulation of the E/I balance as well as to highlight the importance of the complementarity role of several neurotransmitters in the modulation of the plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. We illustrate our purpose by recent findings that demonstrate that 5-HT and DA cooperate to regulate the plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses targeting layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PyNs) of the PFC and to fine tune the E/I balance. Using a method based on the decomposition of the synaptic conductance into its excitatory and inhibitory components, we show that concomitant activation of D1-like receptors (D1Rs) and 5-HT1ARs, through a modulation of NMDA receptors, favors long term potentiation (LTP) of both excitation and inhibition and consequently does not modify the E/I balance. We also demonstrate that activation of D2-receptors requires functional 5-HT1ARs to shift the E-I balance towards more inhibition and to favor long term depression (LTD) of excitatory synapses through the activation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). This cooperation between different

  10. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity in the Cortex Needs to Understand All the Players

    PubMed Central

    Meunier, Claire N. J.; Chameau, Pascal; Fossier, Philippe M.

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in cognitive tasks such as working memory, decision making, risk assessment and regulation of attention. These functions performed by the PFC are supposed to rely on rhythmic electrical activity generated by neuronal network oscillations determined by a precise balance between excitation and inhibition balance (E/I balance) resulting from the coordinated activities of recurrent excitation and feedback and feedforward inhibition. Functional alterations in PFC functions have been associated with cognitive deficits in several pathologies such as major depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. These pathological situations are correlated with alterations of different neurotransmitter systems (i.e., serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), acetylcholine…) that result in alterations of the E/I balance. The aim of this review article is to cover the basic aspects of the regulation of the E/I balance as well as to highlight the importance of the complementarity role of several neurotransmitters in the modulation of the plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. We illustrate our purpose by recent findings that demonstrate that 5-HT and DA cooperate to regulate the plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses targeting layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PyNs) of the PFC and to fine tune the E/I balance. Using a method based on the decomposition of the synaptic conductance into its excitatory and inhibitory components, we show that concomitant activation of D1-like receptors (D1Rs) and 5-HT1ARs, through a modulation of NMDA receptors, favors long term potentiation (LTP) of both excitation and inhibition and consequently does not modify the E/I balance. We also demonstrate that activation of D2-receptors requires functional 5-HT1ARs to shift the E-I balance towards more inhibition and to favor long term depression (LTD) of excitatory synapses through the activation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). This cooperation between different

  11. Structural Synaptic Plasticity Has High Memory Capacity and Can Explain Graded Amnesia, Catastrophic Forgetting, and the Spacing Effect

    PubMed Central

    Knoblauch, Andreas; Körner, Edgar; Körner, Ursula; Sommer, Friedrich T.

    2014-01-01

    Although already William James and, more explicitly, Donald Hebb's theory of cell assemblies have suggested that activity-dependent rewiring of neuronal networks is the substrate of learning and memory, over the last six decades most theoretical work on memory has focused on plasticity of existing synapses in prewired networks. Research in the last decade has emphasized that structural modification of synaptic connectivity is common in the adult brain and tightly correlated with learning and memory. Here we present a parsimonious computational model for learning by structural plasticity. The basic modeling units are “potential synapses” defined as locations in the network where synapses can potentially grow to connect two neurons. This model generalizes well-known previous models for associative learning based on weight plasticity. Therefore, existing theory can be applied to analyze how many memories and how much information structural plasticity can store in a synapse. Surprisingly, we find that structural plasticity largely outperforms weight plasticity and can achieve a much higher storage capacity per synapse. The effect of structural plasticity on the structure of sparsely connected networks is quite intuitive: Structural plasticity increases the “effectual network connectivity”, that is, the network wiring that specifically supports storage and recall of the memories. Further, this model of structural plasticity produces gradients of effectual connectivity in the course of learning, thereby explaining various cognitive phenomena including graded amnesia, catastrophic forgetting, and the spacing effect. PMID:24858841

  12. The γ-secretase modulator CHF5074 restores memory and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in plaque-free Tg2576 mice.

    PubMed

    Balducci, Claudia; Mehdawy, Bisan; Mare, Lydia; Giuliani, Alessandro; Lorenzini, Luca; Sivilia, Sandra; Giardino, Luciana; Calzà, Laura; Lanzillotta, Annamaria; Sarnico, Ilenia; Pizzi, Marina; Usiello, Alessandro; Viscomi, Arturo R; Ottonello, Simone; Villetti, Gino; Imbimbo, Bruno P; Nisticò, Giuseppe; Forloni, Gianluigi; Nisticò, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Abnormal amyloid-β (Aβ) production and deposition is believed to represent one of the main causes of Alzheimer's disease (AD). γ-Secretase is the enzymatic complex responsible for Aβ generation from its precursor protein. Inhibition or modulation of γ-secretase represents an attractive therapeutic approach. CHF5074 is a new γ-secretase modulator that has been shown to inhibit brain plaque deposition and to attenuate memory deficit in adult AD transgenic mice after chronic treatment. To date, it is not known whether the positive behavioral effects of this compound also occur in young transgenic mice without plaque deposition. Here, we evaluated the effects of acute and subchronic treatment with CHF5074 on contextual and recognition memory and on hippocampal synaptic plasticity in plaque-free Tg2576 mice. We found that at 5 months of age, contextual memory impairment was significantly attenuated after acute subcutaneous administration of 30 mg/kg CHF5074. At 6 months of age, recognition memory impairment was fully reversed after a 4-week oral treatment in the diet (≈60 mg/kg/day). These cognitive effects were associated with a reversal of long-term potentiation (LTP) impairment in the hippocampus. A significant reduction in brain intraneuronal AβPP/Aβ levels and hyperphosphorylated tau, but no change in soluble or oligomeric Aβ levels was detected in Tg2576 mice showing functional recovery following CHF5074 treatment. We conclude that the beneficial effects of CHF5074 treatment in young transgenic mice occurred at a stage that precedes plaque formation and were associated with a reduction in intraneuronal AβPP/Aβ and hyperphosphorylated tau.

  13. Mutant huntingtin, abnormal mitochondrial dynamics, defective axonal transport of mitochondria, and selective synaptic degeneration in Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Reddy, P Hemachandra; Shirendeb, Ulziibat P

    2012-02-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by expanded polyglutamine repeats in the HD gene. HD is characterized by chorea, seizures, involuntary movements, dystonia, cognitive decline, intellectual impairment and emotional disturbances. Research into mutant huntingtin (Htt) and mitochondria has found that mutant Htt interacts with the mitochondrial protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), enhances GTPase Drp1 enzymatic activity, and causes excessive mitochondrial fragmentation and abnormal distribution, leading to defective axonal transport of mitochondria and selective synaptic degeneration. This article summarizes latest developments in HD research and focuses on the role of abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and defective axonal transport in HD neurons. This article also discusses the therapeutic strategies that decrease mitochondrial fragmentation and neuronal damage in HD.

  14. Differential contributions of microglial and neuronal IKKβ to synaptic plasticity and associative learning in alert behaving mice.

    PubMed

    Kyrargyri, Vasiliki; Vega-Flores, Germán; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M; Probert, Lesley

    2015-04-01

    Microglia are CNS resident immune cells and a rich source of neuroactive mediators, but their contribution to physiological brain processes such as synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory is not fully understood. In this study, we used mice with partial depletion of IκB kinase β, the main activating kinase in the inducible NF-κB pathway, selectively in myeloid lineage cells (mIKKβKO) or excitatory neurons (nIKKβKO) to measure synaptic strength at hippocampal Schaffer collaterals during long-term potentiation (LTP) and instrumental conditioning in alert behaving individuals. Resting microglial cells in mIKKβKO mice showed less Iba1-immunoreactivity, and brain IL-1β mRNA levels were selectively reduced compared with controls. Measurement of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) evoked by stimulation of the CA3-CA1 synapse in mIKKβKO mice showed higher facilitation in response to paired pulses and enhanced LTP following high frequency stimulation. In contrast, nIKKβKO mice showed normal basic synaptic transmission and LTP induction but impairments in late LTP. To understand the consequences of such impairments in synaptic plasticity for learning and memory, we measured CA1 fEPSPs in behaving mice during instrumental conditioning. IKKβ was not necessary in either microglia or neurons for mice to learn lever-pressing (appetitive behavior) to obtain food (consummatory behavior) but was required in both for modification of their hippocampus-dependent appetitive, not consummatory behavior. Our results show that microglia, through IKKβ and therefore NF-κB activity, regulate hippocampal synaptic plasticity and that both microglia and neurons, through IKKβ, are necessary for animals to modify hippocampus-driven behavior during associative learning.

  15. Impaired neural transmission and synaptic plasticity in superior cervical ganglia from β-amyloid rat model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Alzoubi, K H; Alhaider, I A; Tran, T T; Mosely, A; Alkadhi, K K

    2011-06-01

    Basal synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity were evaluated in superior cervical sympathetic ganglia (SCG) of amyloid-β rat model of Alzheimer's disease (Aβ rat) using electrophysiological and molecular techniques. Rats were administered Aβ peptides (a mixture of 1:1 Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42) by chronic intracerebroventricular infusion via 14-day mini-osmotic pumps (300 pmol/day). Control rats received Aβ40-1 (inactive reverse peptide: 300 pmol/day). Ganglionic compound action potentials were recorded before (basal) and after repetitive stimulation. In isolated SCG, ganglionic long-term potentiation (gLTP) was generated by a brief train of stimuli (20Hz for 20s) and ganglionic long-term depression (gLTD) was produced with trains of paired pulses. The input/output (I/O) curves of ganglia from Aβ rats showed a marked downward shift along all stimulus intensities, compared to those of ganglia from control animals, indicating impaired basal synaptic transmission. In addition, repetitive stimulation induced robust gLTP and gLTD in ganglia isolated from control animals, but, the same protocols failed to induce gLTP or gLTD in ganglia from Aβ rats indicating impairment of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in these animals. Western blotting of SCG homogenate from Aβ rats revealed reduction in the ratio of phosphorylated-/total-CaMKII and in calcineurin protein levels. Although other mechanisms could be involved, these changes in signaling molecules could represent an important molecular mechanism linked to the failure to express synaptic plasticity in Aβ rat ganglia. Results of the current study could explain some of the peripheral nervous system manifestations of Alzheimer's disease.

  16. Synapse-specific stabilization of plasticity processes: the synaptic tagging and capture hypothesis revisited 10 years later.

    PubMed

    Barco, Angel; Lopez de Armentia, Mikel; Alarcon, Juan M

    2008-01-01

    A decade ago, the synaptic tagging hypothesis was proposed to explain how newly synthesized plasticity products can be specifically targeted to active synapses. A growing number of studies have validated the seminal findings that gave rise to this model, as well as contributed to unveil and expand the range of mechanisms underlying late-associativity and neuronal computation. Here, we will review what it was learnt during this past decade regarding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic tagging and synaptic capture. The accumulated experimental evidence has widened the theoretical framework set by the synaptic tagging and capture (STC) model and introduced concepts that were originally considered part of alternative models for explaining synapse-specific long-term potentiation (LTP). As a result, we believe that the STC model, now improved and expanded with these new ideas and concepts, still represents the most compelling hypothesis to explain late-associativity in synapse-specific plasticity processes. We will also discuss the impact of this model in our view of the integrative capability of neurons and associative learning.

  17. Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Spatial Memory and Synaptic Plasticity Impairment Is Preventable by Captopril

    PubMed Central

    Abareshi, Azam; Anaeigoudari, Akbar; Norouzi, Fatemeh; Shafei, Mohammad Naser; Khazaei, Majid

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. Renin-angiotensin system has a role in inflammation and also is involved in many brain functions such as learning, memory, and emotion. Neuroimmune factors have been proposed as the contributors to the pathogenesis of memory impairments. In the present study, the effect of captopril on spatial memory and synaptic plasticity impairments induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was investigated. Methods. The rats were divided and treated into control (saline), LPS (1 mg/kg), LPS-captopril (LPS-Capto; 50 mg/kg captopril before LPS), and captopril groups (50 mg/kg) before saline. Morris water maze was done. Long-term potentiation (LTP) from CA1 area of hippocampus was assessed by 100 Hz stimulation in the ipsilateral Schaffer collateral pathway. Results. In the LPS group, the spent time and traveled path to reach the platform were longer than those in the control, while, in the LPS-Capto group, they were shorter than those in the LPS group. Moreover, the slope and amplitude of field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) decreased in the LPS group, as compared to the control group, whereas, in the LPS-Capto group, they increased compared to the LPS group. Conclusion. The results of the present study showed that captopril improved the LPS-induced memory and LTP impairments induced by LPS in rats. Further investigations are required in order to better understand the exact responsible mechanism(s). PMID:27830176

  18. Kinase suppressor of Ras1 compartmentalizes hippocampal signal transduction and subserves synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

    PubMed

    Shalin, Sara C; Hernandez, Caterina M; Dougherty, Michele K; Morrison, Deborah K; Sweatt, J David

    2006-06-01

    The ERK/MAP kinase cascade is important for long-term memory formation and synaptic plasticity, with a myriad of upstream signals converging upon ERK activation. Despite this convergence of signaling, neurons routinely activate appropriate biological responses to different stimuli. Scaffolding proteins represent a mechanism to achieve compartmentalization of signaling and the appropriate targeting of ERK-dependent processes. We report that kinase suppressor of Ras (KSR1) functions biochemically in the hippocampus to scaffold the components of the ERK cascade, specifically regulating the cascade when a membrane fraction of ERK is activated via a PKC-dependent pathway but not via a cAMP/PKA-dependent pathway. Specificity of KSR1-dependent signaling also extends to specific downstream targets of ERK. Behaviorally and physiologically, we found that the absence of KSR1 leads to deficits in associative learning and theta burst stimulation-induced LTP. Our report provides novel insight into the endogenous scaffolding role of KSR1 in controlling kinase activation within the nervous system.

  19. Diet-induced insulin resistance impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cognition in middle-aged rats.

    PubMed

    Stranahan, Alexis M; Norman, Eric D; Lee, Kim; Cutler, Roy G; Telljohann, Richard S; Egan, Josephine M; Mattson, Mark P

    2008-01-01

    Overall dietary energy intake, particularly the consumption of simple sugars such as fructose, has been increasing steadily in Western societies, but the effects of such diets on the brain are poorly understood. Here, we used functional and structural assays to characterize the effects of excessive caloric intake on the hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory. Rats fed with a high-fat, high-glucose diet supplemented with high-fructose corn syrup showed alterations in energy and lipid metabolism similar to clinical diabetes, with elevated fasting glucose and increased cholesterol and triglycerides. Rats maintained on this diet for 8 months exhibited impaired spatial learning ability, reduced hippocampal dendritic spine density, and reduced long-term potentiation at Schaffer collateral--CA1 synapses. These changes occurred concurrently with reductions in levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus. We conclude that a high-calorie diet reduces hippocampal synaptic plasticity and impairs cognitive function, possibly through BDNF-mediated effects on dendritic spines.

  20. Short-term synaptic plasticity across topographic maps in the electrosensory system.

    PubMed

    Mileva, G R; Kozak, I J; Lewis, J E

    2016-03-24

    The early pathways underlying the active electric sense of the weakly electric fish Apteronotus leptorhynchus involve three parallel processing streams. An array of tuberous electroreceptors distributed over the skin provides inputs to the electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL), forming the basis for three topographic maps: LS (lateral segment), CLS (centrolateral segment), and CMS (centromedial segment). In addition, each map receives topographically preserved inputs from a direct feedback pathway. How this feedback contributes to the distinct spatiotemporal filtering properties of ELL pyramidal neurons across maps is not clear. We used an in vitro approach to characterize short-term plasticity (STP) in the direct feedback synapses onto pyramidal neurons in each map. Our findings indicated that the dynamics of STP varied across maps in a manner that was consistent with the temporal filtering properties of pyramidal neurons in vivo. Using a modeling approach, we found that the STP of direct feedback synapses in CMS was best described by a simple facilitation-depression model. On the other hand, STP in LS was best described by synaptic facilitation with a use-dependent recovery rate. These results suggest that differential regulation of overlapping STP processes in feedback pathways can contribute to the functional specialization of topographic sensory maps.

  1. Purkinje cell dysfunction and alteration of long-term synaptic plasticity in fetal alcohol syndrome.

    PubMed

    Servais, Laurent; Hourez, Raphaël; Bearzatto, Bertrand; Gall, David; Schiffmann, Serge N; Cheron, Guy

    2007-06-05

    In cerebellum and other brain regions, neuronal cell death because of ethanol consumption by the mother is thought to be the leading cause of neurological deficits in the offspring. However, little is known about how surviving cells function. We studied cerebellar Purkinje cells in vivo and in vitro to determine whether function of these cells was altered after prenatal ethanol exposure. We observed that Purkinje cells that were prenatally exposed to ethanol presented decreased voltage-gated calcium currents because of a decreased expression of the gamma-isoform of protein kinase C. Long-term depression at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse in the cerebellum was converted into long-term potentiation. This likely explains the dramatic increase in Purkinje cell firing and the rapid oscillations of local field potential observed in alert fetal alcohol syndrome mice. Our data strongly suggest that reversal of long-term synaptic plasticity and increased firing rates of Purkinje cells in vivo are major contributors to the ataxia and motor learning deficits observed in fetal alcohol syndrome. Our results show that calcium-related neuronal dysfunction is central to the pathogenesis of the neurological manifestations of fetal alcohol syndrome and suggest new methods for treatment of this disorder.

  2. Short-term plasticity and modulation of synaptic transmission at mammalian inhibitory cholinergic olivocochlear synapses

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Eleonora; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén

    2014-01-01

    The organ of Corti, the mammalian sensory epithelium of the inner ear, has two types of mechanoreceptor cells, inner hair cells (IHCs) and outer hair cells (OHCs). In this sensory epithelium, vibrations produced by sound waves are transformed into electrical signals. When depolarized by incoming sounds, IHCs release glutamate and activate auditory nerve fibers innervating them and OHCs, by virtue of their electromotile property, increase the amplification and fine tuning of sound signals. The medial olivocochlear (MOC) system, an efferent feedback system, inhibits OHC activity and thereby reduces the sensitivity and sharp tuning of cochlear afferent fibers. During neonatal development, IHCs fire Ca2+ action potentials which evoke glutamate release promoting activity in the immature auditory system in the absence of sensory stimuli. During this period, MOC fibers also innervate IHCs and are thought to modulate their firing rate. Both the MOC-OHC and the MOC-IHC synapses are cholinergic, fast and inhibitory and mediated by the α9α10 nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR) coupled to the activation of calcium-activated potassium channels that hyperpolarize the hair cells. In this review we discuss the biophysical, functional and molecular data which demonstrate that at the synapses between MOC efferent fibers and cochlear hair cells, modulation of transmitter release as well as short term synaptic plasticity mechanisms, operating both at the presynaptic terminal and at the postsynaptic hair-cell, determine the efficacy of these synapses and shape the hair cell response pattern. PMID:25520631

  3. Synaptic plasticity and learning in animal models of tuberous sclerosis complex.

    PubMed

    Kirschstein, Timo

    2012-01-01

    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is caused by a mutation of either the Tsc1 or Tsc2 gene. As these genes work in concert to negatively regulate the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase which is involved in protein translation, mutations of these genes lead to a disinhibited mTOR activity. Both the clinical appearance of this condition including tumors, cognitive decline, and epileptic seizures and the molecular understanding of the mTOR signaling pathway, not only involved in cell growth, but also in neuronal functioning, have inspired numerous studies on learning behavior as well as on synaptic plasticity which is the key molecular mechanism of information storage in the brain. A couple of interesting animal models have been established, and the data obtained in these animals will be discussed. A special focus will be laid on differences among these models, which may be in part due to different background strains, but also may indicate pathophysiological variation in different mutations.

  4. Orofacial Neuropathic Pain Leads to a Hyporesponsive Barrel Cortex with Enhanced Structural Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Thibault, Karine; Rivière, Sébastien; Lenkei, Zsolt

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pain is a long-lasting debilitating condition that is particularly difficult to treat due to the lack of identified underlying mechanisms. Although several key contributing processes have been described at the level of the spinal cord, very few studies have investigated the supraspinal mechanisms underlying chronic pain. Using a combination of approaches (cortical intrinsic imaging, immunohistochemical and behavioural analysis), our study aimed to decipher the nature of functional and structural changes in a mouse model of orofacial neuropathic pain, focusing on cortical areas involved in various pain components. Our results show that chronic neuropathic orofacial pain is associated with decreased haemodynamic responsiveness to whisker stimulation in the barrel field cortex. This reduced functional activation is likely due to the increased basal neuronal activity (measured indirectly using cFos and phospho-ERK immunoreactivity) observed in several cortical areas, including the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. In the same animals, immunohistochemical analysis of markers for active pre- or postsynaptic elements (Piccolo and phospho-Cofilin, respectively) revealed an increased immunofluorescence in deep cortical layers of the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. These results suggest that long-lasting orofacial neuropathic pain is associated with exacerbated neuronal activity and synaptic plasticity at the cortical level. PMID:27548330

  5. Constitutive and Acquired Serotonin Deficiency Alters Memory and Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Sebastian P; Muzerelle, Aude; Scotto-Lomassese, Sophie; Barik, Jacques; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M; Gaspar, Patricia

    2017-01-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) deficiency occurs in a number of brain disorders that affect cognitive function. However, a direct causal relationship between 5-HT hypo-transmission and memory and underlying mechanisms has not been established. We used mice with a constitutive depletion of 5-HT brain levels (Pet1KO mice) to analyze the contribution of 5-HT to different forms of learning and memory. Pet1KO mice exhibited a striking deficit in novel object recognition memory, a hippocampal-dependent task. No alterations were found in tasks for social recognition, procedural learning, or fear memory. Viral delivery of designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs was used to selectively silence the activity of 5-HT neurons in the raphe. Inhibition of 5-HT neurons in the median raphe, but not the dorsal raphe, was sufficient to impair object recognition in adult mice. In vivo electrophysiology in behaving mice showed that long-term potentiation in the hippocampus of 5-HT-deficient mice was altered, and administration of the 5-HT1A agonist 8-OHDPAT rescued the memory deficits. Our data suggest that hyposerotonergia selectively affects declarative hippocampal-dependent memory. Serotonergic projections from the median raphe are necessary to regulate object memory and hippocampal synaptic plasticity processes, through an inhibitory control mediated by 5-HT1A receptors.

  6. Impairments in hippocampal synaptic plasticity following prenatal ethanol exposure are dependent on glutathione levels.

    PubMed

    Patten, Anna R; Brocardo, Patricia S; Sakiyama, Claire; Wortman, Ryan C; Noonan, Athena; Gil-Mohapel, Joana; Christie, Brian R

    2013-12-01

    Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that prenatal ethanol exposure (PNEE) causes a significant deficit in synaptic plasticity, namely long-term potentiation (LTP), in the dentate gyrus (DG) region of the hippocampus of male rats. PNEE has also been shown to induce an increase in oxidative stress and a reduction in antioxidant capacity in the brains of both male and female animals. In this study the interaction between LTP and the major antioxidant in the brain, glutathione (GSH), is examined. We show that depletion of the intracellular reserves of GSH with diethyl maleate (DEM) reduces LTP in control male, but not female animals, mirroring the effects of PNEE. Furthermore, treatment of PNEE animals with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), a cysteine donor for the synthesis of GSH, increases GSH levels in the hippocampus and completely restores the deficits in LTP in PNEE males. These results indicate that in males GSH plays a major role in regulating LTP, and that PNEE may cause reductions in LTP by reducing the intracellular pool of this endogenous antioxidant.

  7. Molecular determinants of magnesium-dependent synaptic plasticity at electrical synapses formed by connexin36

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palacios-Prado, Nicolás; Chapuis, Sandrine; Panjkovich, Alejandro; Fregeac, Julien; Nagy, James I.; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2014-08-01

    Neuronal gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin36 (Cx36) play an important role in neuronal synchronization and network dynamics. Here we show that Cx36-containing electrical synapses between inhibitory neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus are bidirectionally modulated by changes in intracellular free magnesium concentration ([Mg2+]i). Chimeragenesis demonstrates that the first extracellular loop of Cx36 contains a Mg2+-sensitive domain, and site-directed mutagenesis shows that the pore-lining residue D47 is critical in determining high Mg2+-sensitivity. Single-channel analysis of Mg2+-sensitive chimeras and mutants reveals that [Mg2+]i controls the strength of electrical coupling mostly via gating mechanisms. In addition, asymmetric transjunctional [Mg2+]i induces strong instantaneous rectification, providing a novel mechanism for electrical rectification in homotypic Cx36 GJs. We suggest that Mg2+-dependent synaptic plasticity of Cx36-containing electrical synapses could underlie neuronal circuit reconfiguration via changes in brain energy metabolism that affects neuronal levels of intracellular ATP and [Mg2+]i.

  8. Copy number variants and infantile spasms: evidence for abnormalities in ventral forebrain development and pathways of synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Paciorkowski, Alex R; Thio, Liu Lin; Rosenfeld, Jill A; Gajecka, Marzena; Gurnett, Christina A; Kulkarni, Shashikant; Chung, Wendy K; Marsh, Eric D; Gentile, Mattia; Reggin, James D; Wheless, James W; Balasubramanian, Sandhya; Kumar, Ravinesh; Christian, Susan L; Marini, Carla; Guerrini, Renzo; Maltsev, Natalia; Shaffer, Lisa G; Dobyns, William B

    2011-01-01

    Infantile spasms (ISS) are an epilepsy disorder frequently associated with severe developmental outcome and have diverse genetic etiologies. We ascertained 11 subjects with ISS and novel copy number variants (CNVs) and combined these with a new cohort with deletion 1p36 and ISS, and additional published patients with ISS and other chromosomal abnormalities. Using bioinformatics tools, we analyzed the gene content of these CNVs for enrichment in pathways of pathogenesis. Several important findings emerged. First, the gene content was enriched for the gene regulatory network involved in ventral forebrain development. Second, genes in pathways of synaptic function were overrepresented, significantly those involved in synaptic vesicle transport. Evidence also suggested roles for GABAergic synapses and the postsynaptic density. Third, we confirm the association of ISS with duplication of 14q12 and maternally inherited duplication of 15q11q13, and report the association with duplication of 21q21. We also present a patient with ISS and deletion 7q11.3 not involving MAGI2. Finally, we provide evidence that ISS in deletion 1p36 may be associated with deletion of KLHL17 and expand the epilepsy phenotype in that syndrome to include early infantile epileptic encephalopathy. Several of the identified pathways share functional links, and abnormalities of forebrain synaptic growth and function may form a common biologic mechanism underlying both ISS and autism. This study demonstrates a novel approach to the study of gene content in subjects with ISS and copy number variation, and contributes further evidence to support specific pathways of pathogenesis. PMID:21694734

  9. YAC128 Huntington's disease transgenic mice show enhanced short-term hippocampal synaptic plasticity early in the course of the disease.

    PubMed

    Ghilan, Mohamed; Bostrom, Crystal A; Hryciw, Brett N; Simpson, Jessica M; Christie, Brian R; Gil-Mohapel, Joana

    2014-09-18

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the gene encoding the protein huntingtin. The disease progresses over decades, but often patients develop cognitive impairments that precede the onset of the classical motor symptoms. Similar to the disease progression in humans, the yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) 128 HD mouse model also exhibits cognitive dysfunction that precedes the onset of the neuropathological and motor impairments characteristic of HD. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate whether short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, two related biological models of learning and memory processes, were altered in YAC128 mice in early stages of disease progression. We show that the YAC128 hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) displays marked reductions in paired-pulse depression both at 3 and 6 months of age. In addition, significantly enhanced post-tetanic and short-term potentiation are apparent in YAC128 mice after high-frequency stimulation at this time. Early and late forms of long-term plasticity were not altered at this stage. Together these findings indicate that there may be elevated neurotransmitter release in response to synaptic stimulation in YAC128 mice during the initial phase of disease progression. These abnormalities in short-term plasticity detected at this stage in YAC128 HD transgenic mice indicate that aberrant information processing at the level of the synapses may contribute, at least in part, to the early onset of cognitive deficits that are characteristic of this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  10. Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule-Associated Polysialic Acid Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning by Restraining the Signaling through GluN2B-Containing NMDA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Kochlamazashvili, Gaga; Senkov, Oleg; Grebenyuk, Sergei; Robinson, Catrina; Xiao, Mei-Fang; Stummeyer, Katharina; Gerardy-Schahn, Rita; Engel, Andreas K.; Feig, Larry; Semyanov, Alexey; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu; Schachner, Melitta; Dityatev, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is the predominant carrier of α2,8 polysialic acid (PSA) in the mammalian brain. Abnormalities in PSA and NCAM expression are associated with schizophrenia in humans and cause deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and contextual fear conditioning in mice. Here, we show that PSA inhibits opening of recombinant NMDA receptors composed of GluN1/2B (NR1/NR2B) or GluN1/2A/2B (NR1/NR2A/NR2B) but not of GluN1/2A (NR1/NR2A) subunits. Deficits in NCAM/PSA increase GluN2B-mediated transmission and Ca2+ transients in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. In line with elevation of GluN2B-mediated transmission, defects in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region and contextual fear memory in NCAM/PSA-deficient mice are abrogated by application of a GluN2B-selective antagonist. Furthermore, treatment with the glutamate scavenger glutamic-pyruvic transaminase, ablation of Ras-GRF1 (a mediator of GluN2B signaling to p38 MAPK), or direct inhibition of hyperactive p38 MAPK can restore impaired synaptic plasticity in brain slices lacking PSA/NCAM. Thus, PSA carried by NCAM regulates plasticity and learning by inhibition of the GluN2B-Ras-GRF1-p38 MAPK signaling pathway. These findings implicate carbohydrates carried by adhesion molecules in modulating NMDA receptor signaling in the brain and demonstrate reversibility of cognitive deficits associated with ablation of a schizophrenia-related adhesion molecule. PMID:20237287

  11. Different compartments of apical CA1 dendrites have different plasticity thresholds for expressing synaptic tagging and capture.

    PubMed

    Sajikumar, Sreedharan; Korte, Martin

    2011-05-01

    The consolidation process from short- to long-term memory depends on the type of stimulation received from a specific neuronal network and on the cooperativity and associativity between different synaptic inputs converging onto a specific neuron. We show here that the plasticity thresholds for inducing LTP are different in proximal and distal compartments of apical dendrites. In addition, we show interactions between the proximal and distal compartments of the apical dendrites by providing evidence that even a subthreshold stimulus can activate plasticity-related proteins, such as PKMζ, enabling associativity between two distinct dendritic compartments in apical dendrites to occur.

  12. Coupling energy metabolism with a mechanism to support brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Vaynman, S; Ying, Z; Wu, A; Gomez-Pinilla, F

    2006-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity and behaviors are likely dependent on the capacity of neurons to meet the energy demands imposed by neuronal activity. We used physical activity, a paradigm intrinsically associated with energy consumption/expenditure and cognitive enhancement, to study how energy metabolism interacts with the substrates for neuroplasticity. We found that in an area critical for learning and memory, the hippocampus, exercise modified aspects of energy metabolism by decreasing oxidative stress and increasing the levels of cytochrome c oxidase-II, a specific component of mitochondrial machinery. We infused 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, a modulator of energy metabolism, directly into the hippocampus during 3 days of voluntary wheel running and measured its effects on brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated synaptic plasticity. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a central player for the effects of exercise on synaptic and cognitive plasticity. We found that 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 decreased exercise-induced brain-derived neurotrophic factor but had no significant effect on neurotrophin-3 levels, thereby suggesting a level of specificity for brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus. 25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 injection also abolished the effects of exercise on the consummate end-products of brain-derived neurotrophic factor action, i.e. cyclic AMP response element-binding protein and synapsin I, and modulated phosphorylated calmodulin protein kinase II, a signal transduction cascade downstream to brain-derived neurotrophic factor action that is important for learning and memory. We also found that exercise significantly increased the expression of the mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2, an energy-balancing factor concerned with ATP production and free radical management. Our results reveal a fundamental mechanism by which key elements of energy metabolism may modulate the substrates of hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  13. Running Opposes the Effects of Social Isolation on Synaptic Plasticity and Transmission in a Rat Model of Depression

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Galán, Marta; Femenía, Teresa; Åberg, Elin; Graae, Lisette; Van Eeckhaut, Ann; Smolders, Ilse; Brené, Stefan; Lindskog, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Stress, such as social isolation, is a well-known risk factor for depression, most probably in combination with predisposing genetic factors. Physical exercise on the other hand, is depicted as a wonder-treatment that makes you healthier, happier and live longer. However, the published results on the effects of exercise are ambiguous, especially when it comes to neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we combine a paradigm of social isolation with a genetic rat model of depression, the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL), already known to have glutamatergic synaptic alterations. Compared to group-housed FSL rats, we found that social isolation further affects synaptic plasticity and increases basal synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. These functional synaptic alterations co-exist with changes in hippocampal protein expression levels: social isolation in FSL rats reduce expression of the glial glutamate transporter GLT-1, and increase expression of the GluA2 AMPA-receptor subunit. We further show that physical exercise in form of voluntary running prevents the stress-induced synaptic effects but do not restore the endogenous mechanisms of depression already present in the FSL rat. PMID:27764188

  14. Caffeine-mediated BDNF release regulates long-term synaptic plasticity through activation of IRS2 signaling.

    PubMed

    Lao-Peregrín, Cristina; Ballesteros, Jesús Javier; Fernández, Miriam; Zamora-Moratalla, Alfonsa; Saavedra, Ana; Gómez Lázaro, María; Pérez-Navarro, Esther; Burks, Deborah; Martín, Eduardo D

    2016-07-25

    Caffeine has cognitive-enhancing properties with effects on learning and memory, concentration, arousal and mood. These effects imply changes at circuital and synaptic level, but the mechanism by which caffeine modifies synaptic plasticity remains elusive. Here we report that caffeine, at concentrations representing moderate to high levels of consumption in humans, induces an NMDA receptor-independent form of LTP (CAF LTP) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus by promoting calcium-dependent secretion of BDNF, which subsequently activates TrkB-mediated signaling required for the expression of CAF LTP. Our data include the novel observation that insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) is phosphorylated during induction of CAF LTP, a process that requires cytosolic free Ca(2+) . Consistent with the involvement of IRS2 signals in caffeine-mediated synaptic plasticity, phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473) in response to LTP induction is defective in Irs2(-/-) mice, demonstrating that these plasticity changes are associated with downstream targets of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. These findings indicate that TrkB-IRS2 signals are essential for activation of PI3K during the induction of LTP by caffeine.

  15. Effects of T-588, a cognitive enhancer compound, on synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely moving rats.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, H; Tamura, R; Kuriwaki, J I; Eifuku, S; Ono, T

    2001-07-01

    (1R)-1-benzo [b] thiophen-5-yl-2-[2-(diethylamino) ethoxy] ethan-1-ol hydrochloride (T-588) is a compound for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular diseases. T-588 reportedly alleviates learning and memory deficits in animal models of dementia. In the present study, we investigated the effects of T-588 on the induction and decay of long-term potentiation (LTP) and on the responses to paired-pulse (pp) stimulation in freely moving rats. Perforant path-evoked field potentials were recorded in the dentate gyrus by chronically implanted electrodes. LTP was induced by high-frequency stimulation 30 min after oral administration of T-588 (0.3 or 3 mg/kg). T-588 significantly augmented the increase in population spike amplitude and field excitatory postsynaptic potential slope after LTP induction. T-588 also prolonged the decay of augmented population spike amplitude, but had no significant effect on the response to pp stimulation. These results suggest that T-588 facilitates long-term synaptic plasticity, but not short-term synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely moving rats. The effect of T-588 on long-term synaptic plasticity may contribute to the alleviation of learning and memory dysfunction seen in animal models.

  16. Motor learning in animal models of Parkinson's disease: Aberrant synaptic plasticity in the motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Xu, Tonghui; Wang, Shaofang; Lalchandani, Rupa R; Ding, Jun B

    2017-03-25

    In Parkinson's disease (PD), dopamine depletion causes major changes in the brain, resulting in the typical cardinal motor features of the disease. PD neuropathology has been restricted to postmortem examinations, which are limited to only a single time of PD progression. Models of PD in which dopamine tone in the brain is chemically or physically disrupted are valuable tools in understanding the mechanisms of the disease. The basal ganglia have been well studied in the context of PD, and circuit changes in response to dopamine loss have been linked to the motor dysfunctions in PD. However, the etiology of the cognitive dysfunctions that are comorbid in PD patients has remained unclear until now. In this article, we review recent studies exploring how dopamine depletion affects the motor cortex at the synaptic level. In particular, we highlight our recent findings on abnormal spine dynamics in the motor cortex of PD mouse models through in vivo time-lapse imaging and motor skill behavior assays. In combination with previous studies, a role of the motor cortex in skill learning and the impairment of this ability with the loss of dopamine are becoming more apparent. Taken together, we conclude with a discussion on the potential role for the motor cortex in PD, with the possibility of targeting the motor cortex for future PD therapeutics. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  17. Haploinsufficiency of the 22q11.2-microdeletion gene Mrpl40 disrupts short-term synaptic plasticity and working memory through dysregulation of mitochondrial calcium

    PubMed Central

    Devaraju, Prakash; Yu, Jing; Eddins, Donnie; Mellado-Lagarde, Marcia M.; Earls, Laurie R.; Westmoreland, Joby J.; Quarato, Giovanni; Green, Douglas R.; Zakharenko, Stanislav S.

    2016-01-01

    Hemizygous deletion of a 1.5- to 3-megabase region on chromosome 22 causes 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), which constitutes one of the strongest genetic risks for schizophrenia. Mouse models of 22q11DS have abnormal short-term synaptic plasticity (STP) that contributes to working memory deficiencies similar to those in schizophrenia. We screened mutant mice carrying hemizygous deletions of 22q11DS genes and identified haploinsufficiency of Mrpl40 (mitochondrial large ribosomal subunit protein 40) as a contributor to abnormal STP. Two-photon imaging of the genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicator GCaMP6, expressed in presynaptic cytosol or mitochondria, showed that Mrpl40 haploinsufficiency deregulates STP via impaired calcium extrusion from the mitochondrial matrix through the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This led to abnormally high cytosolic calcium transients in presynaptic terminals and deficient working memory but did not affect long-term spatial memory. Thus, we propose that mitochondrial calcium deregulation is a novel pathogenic mechanism of cognitive deficiencies in schizophrenia. PMID:27184122

  18. Effects of Early Life Stress on Synaptic Plasticity in the Developing Hippocampus of Male and Female Rats

    PubMed Central

    Krugers, Harm J.; Hoogenraad, Casper C.; Joëls, Marian; Sarabdjitsingh, R. Angela

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Early life stress (ELS) increases the risk for developing psychopathology in adulthood. When these effects occur is largely unknown. We here studied at which time during development ELS affects hippocampal synaptic plasticity, from early life to adulthood, in a rodent ELS model. Moreover, we investigated whether the sensitivity of synaptic plasticity to the stress-hormone corticosterone is altered by exposure to ELS. Materials & Methods Male and female Wistar rats were exposed to maternal deprivation (MD) for 24h on postnatal day (P)3 or left undisturbed with their mother (control). On P8-9, 22–24 and P85-95, plasma corticosterone (CORT) levels, body weight, and thymus and adrenal weights were determined to validate the neuroendocrine effects of MD. Field potentials in the CA1 hippocampus were recorded in vitro before and after high frequency stimulation. Brain slices were incubated for 20 min with 100nM CORT or vehicle 1-4h prior to high frequency stimulation, to mimic high-stress conditions in vitro. Results & Discussion Body weight was decreased by MD only at P4 (p = 0.02). There were minimal effects on P8-9, 22–24 or 85–95 thymus and adrenal weight and basal CORT levels. Glutamate transmission underwent strong developmental changes: half-maximal signal size strongly increased (p<0.0001) while the required half-maximal stimulation intensity concomitantly decreased with age (p = 0.04). Synaptic plasticity developed from long-term depression at P8-9 to increasing levels of long-term potentiation at later ages (p = 0.0001). MD caused a significant increase in long-term potentiation of P22-24 males (p = 0.03) and P85-95 females (p = 0.04). Bayesian modeling strongly supported the age-dependent development, with some evidence for accelerated maturation after MD in males (Bayes factor 1.23). CORT suppressed LTP in adult males; synaptic plasticity at other ages and in females remained unaffected. Thus, MD affects the development of synaptic

  19. Status Epilepticus Impairs Synaptic Plasticity in Rat Hippocampus and Is Followed by Changes in Expression of NMDA Receptors.

    PubMed

    Postnikova, T Y; Zubareva, O E; Kovalenko, A A; Kim, K K; Magazanik, L G; Zaitsev, A V

    2017-03-01

    Cognitive deficits and memory loss are frequent in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Persistent changes in synaptic efficacy are considered as a cellular substrate underlying memory processes. Electrophysiological studies have shown that the properties of short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity in the cortex and hippocampus may undergo substantial changes after seizures. However, the neural mechanisms responsible for these changes are not clear. In this study, we investigated the properties of short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity in rat hippocampal slices 24 h after pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced status epilepticus. We found that the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in CA1 pyramidal cells is reduced compared to the control, while short-term facilitation is increased. The experimental results do not support the hypothesis that status epilepticus leads to background potentiation of hippocampal synapses and further LTP induction becomes weaker due to occlusion, as the dependence of synaptic responses on the strength of input stimulation was not different in the control and experimental animals. The decrease in LTP can be caused by impairment of molecular mechanisms of neuronal plasticity, including those associated with NMDA receptors and/or changes in their subunit composition. Real-time PCR demonstrated significant increases in the expression of GluN1 and GluN2A subunits 3 h after PTZ-induced status epilepticus. The overexpression of obligate GluN1 subunit suggests an increase in the total number of NMDA receptors in the hippocampus. A 3-fold increase in the expression of the GluN2B subunit observed 24 h after PTZ-induced status epilepticus might be indicative of an increase in the proportion of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors. Increased expression of the GluN2B subunit may be a cause for reducing the magnitude of LTP at hippocampal synapses after status epilepticus.

  20. Hunger States Control the Directions of Synaptic Plasticity via Switching Cell Type-Specific Subunits of NMDA Receptors.

    PubMed

    Qi, Yong; Yang, Yunlei

    2015-09-23

    It remains largely unknown whether and how hunger states control activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). We here report that both LTP and LTD of excitatory synaptic strength within the appetite control circuits residing in hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) behave in a manner of hunger states dependence and cell type specificity. For instance, we find that tetanic stimulation induces LTP at orexigenic agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons in ad libitum fed mice, whereas it induces LTD in food-deprived mice. In an opposite direction, the same induction protocol induces LTD at anorexigenic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in fed mice but weak LTP in deprived mice. Mechanistically, we also find that food deprivation increases the expressions of NR2C/NR2D/NR3-containing NMDA receptors (NMDARs) at AgRP neurons that contribute to the inductions of LTD, whereas it decreases their expressions at POMC neurons. Collectively, our data reveal that hunger states control the directions of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity by switching NMDA receptor subpopulations in a cell type-specific manner, providing insights into NMDAR-mediated interactions between energy states and associative memory. Significance statement: Based on the experiments performed in this study, we demonstrate that activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is also under the control of energy states by regulating NMDAR subpopulations in a cell type-specific manner. We thus propose a reversible memory configuration constructed from energy states-dependent cell type-specific bidirectional conversions of LTP and LTD. Together with the distinct functional roles played by NMDAR signaling in the control of food intake and energy states, these findings reveal a new reciprocal interaction between energy states and associative memory, one that might serve as a target for therapeutic treatments of the energy-related memory disorders or vice versa.

  1. Sex differences in high-fat diet-induced obesity, metabolic alterations and learning, and synaptic plasticity deficits in mice.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Ling-Ling; Wang, Chien-Hua; Li, Tzu-Ling; Chang, Shih-Dar; Lin, Li-Chun; Chen, Ching-Ping; Chen, Chiung-Tong; Liang, Keng-Chen; Ho, Ing-Kang; Yang, Wei-Shiung; Chiou, Lih-Chu

    2010-03-01

    Obesity is a potential risk factor for cognitive deficits in the elder humans. Using a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mouse model, we investigated the impacts of HFD on obesity, metabolic and stress hormones, learning performance, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Both male and female C57BL/6J mice fed with HFD (3 weeks to 9-12 months) gained significantly more weights than the sex-specific control groups. Compared with the obese female mice, the obese males had similar energy intake but developed more weight gains. The obese male mice developed hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypercholesterolemia, and hyperleptinemia, but not hypertriglyceridemia. The obese females had less hyperinsulinemia and hypercholesterolemia than the obese males, and no hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia. In the contextual fear conditioning and step-down passive avoidance tasks, the obese male, but not female, mice showed poorer learning performance than their normal counterparts. These learning deficits were not due to sensorimotor impairment as verified by the open-field and hot-plate tests. Although, basal synaptic transmission characteristics (input-output transfer and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) ratio) were not significantly different between normal and HFD groups, the magnitudes of synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD)) were lower at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampal slices isolated from the obese male, but not female, mice, as compared with their sex-specific controls. Our results suggest that male mice are more vulnerable than the females to the impacts of HFD on weight gains, metabolic alterations and deficits of learning, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  2. Sharp-Wave Ripples Orchestrate the Induction of Synaptic Plasticity during Reactivation of Place Cell Firing Patterns in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Sadowski, Josef H.L.P.; Jones, Matthew W.; Mellor, Jack R.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Place cell firing patterns reactivated during hippocampal sharp-wave ripples (SWRs) in rest or sleep are thought to induce synaptic plasticity and thereby promote the consolidation of recently encoded information. However, the capacity of reactivated spike trains to induce plasticity has not been directly tested. Here, we show that reactivated place cell firing patterns simultaneously recorded from CA3 and CA1 of rat dorsal hippocampus are able to induce long-term potentiation (LTP) at synapses between CA3 and CA1 cells but only if accompanied by SWR-associated synaptic activity and resulting dendritic depolarization. In addition, we show that the precise timing of coincident CA3 and CA1 place cell spikes in relation to SWR onset is critical for the induction of LTP and predictive of plasticity generated by reactivation. Our findings confirm an important role for SWRs in triggering and tuning plasticity processes that underlie memory consolidation in the hippocampus during rest or sleep. PMID:26904941

  3. Differential regulation of BDNF, synaptic plasticity and sprouting in the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway of male and female rats.

    PubMed

    Scharfman, Helen E; MacLusky, Neil J

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have described potent effects of BDNF, 17β-estradiol or androgen on hippocampal synapses and their plasticity. Far less information is available about the interactions between 17β-estradiol and BDNF in hippocampus, or interactions between androgen and BDNF in hippocampus. Here we review the regulation of BDNF in the mossy fiber pathway, a critical part of hippocampal circuitry. We discuss the emerging view that 17β-estradiol upregulates mossy fiber BDNF synthesis in the adult female rat, while testosterone exerts a tonic suppression of mossy fiber BDNF levels in the adult male rat. The consequences are interesting to consider: in females, increased excitability associated with high levels of BDNF in mossy fibers could improve normal functions of area CA3, such as the ability to perform pattern completion. However, memory retrieval may lead to anxiety if stressful events are recalled. Therefore, the actions of 17β-estradiol on the mossy fiber pathway in females may provide a potential explanation for the greater incidence of anxiety-related disorders and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) in women relative to men. In males, suppression of BDNF-dependent plasticity in the mossy fibers may be protective, but at the 'price' of reduced synaptic plasticity in CA3. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'BDNF Regulation of Synaptic Structure, Function, and Plasticity'.

  4. Different synaptic stimulation patterns influence the local androgenic and estrogenic neurosteroid availability triggering hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the male rat.

    PubMed

    Di Mauro, Michela; Tozzi, Alessandro; Calabresi, Paolo; Pettorossi, Vito Enrico; Grassi, Silvarosa

    2017-02-01

    Electrophysiological recordings were used to investigate the role of the local synthesis of 17β-estradiol (E2) and 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on synaptic long-term effects induced in the hippocampal CA1 region of male rat slices. Long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP), induced by different stimulation patterns, were examined under the block of the DHT synthesis by finasteride (FIN), and the E2 synthesis by letrozole (LET). We used low frequency stimulation (LFS) for LTD, high frequency stimulation (HFS) for LTP, and intermediate patterns differing in duration or frequency. We found that FIN reverted the LFS-LTD into LTP and enhanced LTP induced by intermediate and HFSs. These effects were abolished by exogenous DHT at concentration higher than the basal one, suggesting a stimulus dependent increase in DHT availability. No effect on the synaptic responses was observed giving DHT alone. Moreover, we found that the inhibition of E2 synthesis influenced the HFS-LTP by reducing its amplitude, and the exogenous E2 either enhanced HFS-LTP or reverted the LFS-LTD into LTP. The equivalence of the E2 concentration for rescuing the full HFS-LTP under LET and reverting the LFS-LTD into LTP suggests an enhancement of the endogenous E2 availability that is specifically driven by the HFS. No effect of FIN or LET was observed on the responses to stimuli that did not induce either LTD or LTP. This study provides evidence that the E2 and DHT availability combined with specific stimulation patterns is determinant for the sign and amplitude of the long-term effects.

  5. Impairment of adenylyl cyclase-mediated glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the periaqueductal grey in a rat model of neuropathic pain

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Yu-Cheng; Cheng, Jen-Kun; Chiou, Lih-Chu

    2015-01-01

    Key points Long-lasting neuropathic pain has been attributed to elevated neuronal plasticity changes in spinal, peripheral and cortical levels. Here, we found that reduced neuronal plasticity in the ventrolateral periaqueductal grey (vlPAG), a midbrain region important for initiating descending pain inhibition, may also contribute to neuropathic pain. Forskolin- and isoproterenol (isoprenaline)-elicited EPSC potentiation was impaired in the vlPAG of a rat model of neuropathic pain induced by spinal nerve injury. Down-regulation of adenylyl cyclase–cAMP– PKA signalling, due to impaired adenylyl cyclase, but not phosphodiesterase, in glutamatergic terminals may contribute to the hypofunction of excitatory synaptic plasticity in the vlPAG of neuropathic rats and the subsequent descending pain inhibition, ultimately leading to long-lasting neuropathic pain. Our results suggest that drugs that activate adenylyl cyclase in the vlPAG have the potential for relieving neuropathic pain. Abstract Neuropathic pain has been attributed to nerve injury-induced elevation of peripheral neuronal discharges and spinal excitatory synaptic plasticity while little is known about the contribution of neuroplasticity changes in the brainstem. Here, we examined synaptic plasticity changes in the ventrolateral (vl) periaqueductal grey (PAG), a crucial midbrain region for initiating descending pain inhibition, in spinal nerve ligation (SNL)-induced neuropathic rats. In vlPAG slices of sham-operated rats, forskolin, an adenylyl cyclase (AC) activator, produced long-lasting enhancement of EPSCs. This is a presynaptic effect since forskolin decreased the paired-pulse ratio and failure rate of EPSCs, and increased the frequency, but not the amplitude, of miniature EPSCs. Forskolin-induced EPSC potentiation was mimicked by a β-adrenergic agonist (isoproterenol (isoprenaline)), and prevented by an AC inhibitor (SQ 22536) and a cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) inhibitor (H89), but not by a

  6. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot.

    PubMed

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2015-01-01

    Walking animals, like insects, with little neural computing can effectively perform complex behaviors. For example, they can walk around their environment, escape from corners/deadlocks, and avoid or climb over obstacles. While performing all these behaviors, they can also adapt their movements to deal with an unknown situation. As a consequence, they successfully navigate through their complex environment. The versatile and adaptive abilities are the result of an integration of several ingredients embedded in their sensorimotor loop. Biological studies reveal that the ingredients include neural dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking robot. The turning information is transmitted as descending steering signals to the neural locomotion control which translates the signals into motor actions. As a result, the robot can walk around and adapt its turning angle for avoiding obstacles in different situations. The adaptation also enables the robot to effectively escape from sharp corners or deadlocks. Using backbone joint control embedded in the the locomotion control allows the robot to climb over small obstacles

  7. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot

    PubMed Central

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2015-01-01

    Walking animals, like insects, with little neural computing can effectively perform complex behaviors. For example, they can walk around their environment, escape from corners/deadlocks, and avoid or climb over obstacles. While performing all these behaviors, they can also adapt their movements to deal with an unknown situation. As a consequence, they successfully navigate through their complex environment. The versatile and adaptive abilities are the result of an integration of several ingredients embedded in their sensorimotor loop. Biological studies reveal that the ingredients include neural dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking robot. The turning information is transmitted as descending steering signals to the neural locomotion control which translates the signals into motor actions. As a result, the robot can walk around and adapt its turning angle for avoiding obstacles in different situations. The adaptation also enables the robot to effectively escape from sharp corners or deadlocks. Using backbone joint control embedded in the the locomotion control allows the robot to climb over small obstacles

  8. Rapamycin Effectively Impedes Melamine-Induced Impairments of Cognition and Synaptic Plasticity in Wistar Rats.

    PubMed

    Fu, Jingxuan; Wang, Hui; Gao, Jing; Yu, Mei; Wang, Rubin; Yang, Zhuo; Zhang, Tao

    2017-03-01

    Our previous investigation demonstrated that autophagy significantly reduced melamine-induced cell death in PC12 cells via inhibiting the excessive generation of ROS. In the present study, we further examine if rapamycin, used as an autophagy activator, can play a significant role in protecting neurons and alleviating the impairment of spatial cognition and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in melamine-treated rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into three groups: control, melamine-treated, and melamine-treated + rapamycin. The animal model was established by administering melamine at a dose of 300 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks. Rapamycin was intraperitoneally given at a dose of 1 mg/kg/day for 28 consecutive days. The Morris water maze test showed that spatial learning and reversal learning in melamine-treated rats were considerably damaged, whereas rapamycin significantly impeded the cognitive function impairment. Rapamycin efficiently alleviated the melamine-induced impairments of both long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation, which were damaged in melamine rats. Rapamycin further increased the expression level of autophagy markers, which were significantly enhanced in melamine rats. Moreover, rapamycin noticeably decreased the reactive oxygen species level, while the superoxide dismutase activity was remarkably increased by rapamycin in melamine rats. Malondialdehyde assay exhibited that rapamycin prominently reduced the malondialdehyde (MDA) level of hippocampal neurons in melamine-treated rats. In addition, rapamycin significantly decreased the caspase-3 activity, which was elevated by melamine. Consequently, our results suggest that regulating autophagy may become a new targeted therapy to relieve the damage induced by melamine.

  9. How voltage-gated calcium channels gate forms of homeostatic synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, C. Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Throughout life, animals face a variety of challenges such as developmental growth, the presence of toxins, or changes in temperature. Neuronal circuits and synapses respond to challenges by executing an array of neuroplasticity paradigms. Some paradigms allow neurons to up- or downregulate activity outputs, while countervailing ones ensure that outputs remain within appropriate physiological ranges. A growing body of evidence suggests that homeostatic synaptic plasticity (HSP) is critical in the latter case. Voltage-gated calcium channels gate forms of HSP. Presynaptically, the aggregate data show that when synapse activity is weakened, homeostatic signaling systems can act to correct impairments, in part by increasing calcium influx through presynaptic CaV2-type channels. Increased calcium influx is often accompanied by parallel increases in the size of active zones and the size of the readily releasable pool of presynaptic vesicles. These changes coincide with homeostatic enhancements of neurotransmitter release. Postsynaptically, there is a great deal of evidence that reduced network activity and loss of calcium influx through CaV1-type calcium channels also results in adaptive homeostatic signaling. Some adaptations drive presynaptic enhancements of vesicle pool size and turnover rate via retrograde signaling, as well as de novo insertion of postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Enhanced calcium influx through CaV1 after network activation or single cell stimulation can elicit the opposite response—homeostatic depression via removal of excitatory receptors. There exist intriguing links between HSP and calcium channelopathies—such as forms of epilepsy, migraine, ataxia, and myasthenia. The episodic nature of some of these disorders suggests alternating periods of stable and unstable function. Uncovering information about how calcium channels are regulated in the context of HSP could be relevant toward understanding these and other disorders. PMID

  10. Simvastatin treatment preserves synaptic plasticity in AβPPswe/PS1dE9 mice.

    PubMed

    Métais, Charles; Brennan, Kathryn; Mably, Alex J; Scott, Michael; Walsh, Dominic M; Herron, Caroline E

    2014-01-01

    Epidemiological evidence suggests that chronic treatment with simvastatin may protect against the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but as yet it is unclear how this effect is mediated. Extensive data also indicates that the amyloid β-protein (Aβ) plays a central role in the disease process, and it has been suggested that the protective effects of simvastatin may be mediated by reducing Aβ production or by counteracting the toxic effects of Aβ. Accordingly, using the AβPPswe/PS1dE9 mouse model of AD, we investigated the effects of simvastatin on long-term potentiation (LTP), amyloid biology, and two key kinases involved in Aβ-mediated toxicity. Since burgeoning data indicate that both fibrillar and non-fibrillar forms of Aβ play a prominent role in AD pathogenesis, we were careful to investigate the effects of simvastatin on three biochemically distinct pools of Aβ. In untreated AβPPswe/PS1dE9 mice, there was a dramatic and significant increase in the levels of water-soluble Aβ between 6 and 8 months, but this remained constant between 8 and 18 months. In contrast, the concentrations of detergent-soluble and formic acid (FA)-soluble Aβ species increased across all ages examined, thus demonstrating that while amyloid deposition continued, the levels of water-soluble Aβ remained relatively constant. LTP was normal at 6 months, but was significantly impaired at 8 and 18 months. Importantly, a diet supplemented with 0.04% simvastatin for one month (at 7 months) positively affected synaptic plasticity in AβPPswe/PS1dE9 mice and did not significantly alter levels of water-soluble, detergent-soluble, or FA-soluble Aβ, but did increase phosphorylation of both Akt and GSK-3, while tau and tau phosphorylation were unaltered. These results indicate that the protective effects of simvastatin may be mediated by maintaining signaling pathways that help to protect and rescue LTP.

  11. The Plastic Glial-Synaptic Dynamics within the Neuropil: A Self-Organizing System Composed of Polyelectrolytes in Phase Transition

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes de Lima, Vera Maura; Pereira, Alfredo

    2016-01-01

    Several explanations have been proposed to account for the mechanisms of neuroglial interactions involved in neural plasticity. We review experimental results addressing plastic nonlinear interactions between glial membranes and synaptic terminals. These results indicate the necessity of elaborating on a model based on the dynamics of hydroionic waves within the neuropil. These waves have been detected in a small scale experimental model of the central nervous system, the in vitro retina. We suggest that the brain, as the heart and kidney, is a system for which the state of water is functional. The use of nonlinear thermodynamics supports experiments at convenient biological spatiotemporal scales, while an understanding of the properties of ions and their interactions with water requires explanations based on quantum theories. In our approach, neural plasticity is seen as part of a larger process that encompasses higher brain functions; in this regard, hydroionic waves within the neuropil are considered to carry both physiological and cognitive functions. PMID:26949548

  12. Role of Mental Retardation-Associated Dystrophin-Gene Product Dp71 in Excitatory Synapse Organization, Synaptic Plasticity and Behavioral Functions

    PubMed Central

    Daoud, Fatma; Candelario-Martínez, Aurora; Billard, Jean-Marie; Avital, Avi; Khelfaoui, Malik; Rozenvald, Yael; Guegan, Maryvonne; Mornet, Dominique; Jaillard, Danielle; Nudel, Uri; Chelly, Jamel; Martínez-Rojas, Dalila; Laroche, Serge; Yaffe, David; Vaillend, Cyrille

    2009-01-01

    Background Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by deficient expression of the cytoskeletal protein, dystrophin. One third of DMD patients also have mental retardation (MR), likely due to mutations preventing expression of dystrophin and other brain products of the DMD gene expressed from distinct internal promoters. Loss of Dp71, the major DMD-gene product in brain, is thought to contribute to the severity of MR; however, the specific function of Dp71 is poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Complementary approaches were used to explore the role of Dp71 in neuronal function and identify mechanisms by which Dp71 loss may impair neuronal and cognitive functions. Besides the normal expression of Dp71 in a subpopulation of astrocytes, we found that a pool of Dp71 colocalizes with synaptic proteins in cultured neurons and is expressed in synaptic subcellular fractions in adult brains. We report that Dp71-associated protein complexes interact with specialized modular scaffolds of proteins that cluster glutamate receptors and organize signaling in postsynaptic densities. We then undertook the first functional examination of the brain and cognitive alterations in the Dp71-null mice. We found that these mice display abnormal synapse organization and maturation in vitro, altered synapse density in the adult brain, enhanced glutamatergic transmission and reduced synaptic plasticity in CA1 hippocampus. Dp71-null mice show selective behavioral disturbances characterized by reduced exploratory and novelty-seeking behavior, mild retention deficits in inhibitory avoidance, and impairments in spatial learning and memory. Conclusions/Significance Results suggest that Dp71 expression in neurons play a regulatory role in glutamatergic synapse organization and function, which provides a new mechanism by which inactivation of Dp71 in association with that of other DMD-gene products may lead to increased severity of MR. PMID:19649270

  13. A combined optogenetic-knockdown strategy reveals a major role of tomosyn in mossy fiber synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Simon, Yoav; Rodenas-Ruano, Alma; Alviña, Karina; Lam, Alice D.; Stuenkel, Edward L.; Castillo, Pablo E.; Ashery, Uri

    2015-01-01

    Summary Neurotransmitter release probability (Pr) largely determines the dynamic properties of synapses. While much is known on the role of presynaptic proteins in transmitter release, their specific contribution to synaptic plasticity is unclear. One such protein, tomosyn, is believed to reduce Pr by interfering with the SNARE complex formation. Tomosyn is enriched at hippocampal mossy fiber-to-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses (MF-CA3), which characteristically exhibit low Pr, strong synaptic facilitation and pre-synaptic PKA-dependent LTP. To evaluate tomosyn's role in MF-CA3 function, we used a combined knockdown (KD)-optogenetic strategy whereby presynaptic neurons with reduced tomosyn levels were selectively activated by light. Using this approach in mouse hippocampal slices we found that facilitation, LTP, and PKA-induced potentiation were significantly impaired at tomosyn-deficient synapses. These findings not only indicate that tomosyn is a key regulator of MF-CA3 plasticity, but also highlight the power of a combined KD-optogenetic approach to determine the role of presynaptic proteins. PMID:26166572

  14. In Vivo Expression of Reprogramming Factors Increases Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Synaptic Plasticity in Chronic Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Wi, Soohyun; Yu, Ji Hea; Kim, MinGi

    2016-01-01

    Neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity can be stimulated in vivo in the brain. In this study, we hypothesized that in vivo expression of reprogramming factors such as Klf4, Sox2, Oct4, and c-Myc would facilitate endogenous neurogenesis and functional recovery. CD-1® mice were induced at 1 week of age by unilaterally carotid artery ligation and exposure to hypoxia. At 6 weeks of age, mice were injected GFP only or both four reprogramming factors and GFP into lateral ventricle. Passive avoidance task and open field test were performed to evaluate neurobehavioral function. Neurogenesis and synaptic activity in the hippocampus were evaluated using immunohistochemistry, qRT-PCR, and/or western blot analyses. Whereas BrdU+GFAP+ cells in the subgranular zone of the hippocampus were not significantly different, the numbers of BrdU+βIII-tubulin+ and BrdU+NeuN+ cells were significantly higher in treatment group than control group. Expressions of synaptophysin and PSD-95 were also higher in treatment group than control group. Importantly, passive avoidance task and open field test showed improvement in long-term memory and decreased anxiety in treatment group. In conclusion, in vivo expression of reprogramming factors improved behavioral functions in chronic hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. The mechanisms underlying these repair processes included endogenous neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. PMID:27900211

  15. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-receptor 1 and 2 mediate homeostatic synaptic plasticity of denervated mouse dentate granule cells

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Denise; Deller, Thomas; Vlachos, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Neurological diseases are often accompanied by neuronal cell death and subsequent deafferentation of connected brain regions. To study functional changes after denervation we generated entorhino-hippocampal slice cultures, transected the entorhinal pathway, and denervated dentate granule cells in vitro. Our previous work revealed that partially denervated neurons respond to the loss of input with a compensatory, i.e., homeostatic, increase in their excitatory synaptic strength. TNFα maintains this denervation-induced homeostatic strengthening of excitatory synapses. Here, we used pharmacological approaches and mouse genetics to assess the role of TNF-receptor 1 and 2 in lesion-induced excitatory synaptic strengthening. Our experiments disclose that both TNF-receptors are involved in the regulation of denervation-induced synaptic plasticity. In line with this result TNF-receptor 1 and 2 mRNA-levels were upregulated after deafferentation in vitro. These findings implicate TNF-receptor signaling cascades in the regulation of homeostatic plasticity of denervated networks and suggest an important role for TNFα-signaling in the course of neurological diseases accompanied by deafferentation. PMID:26246237

  16. Synaptic Plasticity Selectively Activated by Polarization-Dependent Energy-Efficient Ion Migration in an Ultrathin Ferroelectric Tunnel Junction.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Chansoo; Lee, Ji Hye; Lee, Sangik; Jeon, Ji Hoon; Jang, Jun Tae; Kim, Dae Hwan; Kim, Young Heon; Park, Bae Ho

    2017-03-08

    Selectively activated inorganic synaptic devices, showing a high on/off ratio, ultrasmall dimensions, low power consumption, and short programming time, are required to emulate the functions of high-capacity and energy-efficient reconfigurable human neural systems combining information storage and processing ( Li et al. Sci. Rep. 2014 , 4 , 4096 ). Here, we demonstrate that such a synaptic device is realized using a Ag/PbZr0.52Ti0.48O3 (PZT)/La0.8Sr0.2MnO3 (LSMO) ferroelectric tunnel junction (FTJ) with ultrathin PZT (thickness of ∼4 nm). Ag ion migration through the very thin FTJ enables a large on/off ratio (10(7)) and low energy consumption (potentiation energy consumption = ∼22 aJ and depression energy consumption = ∼2.5 pJ). In addition, the simple alignment of the downward polarization in PZT selectively activates the synaptic plasticity of the FTJ and the transition from short-term plasticity to long-term potentiation.

  17. Altered Striatal Synaptic Function and Abnormal Behaviour in Shank3 Exon4-9 Deletion Mouse Model of Autism.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Thomas C; Speed, Haley E; Xuan, Zhong; Reimers, Jeremy M; Liu, Shunan; Powell, Craig M

    2016-03-01

    Shank3 is a multi-domain, synaptic scaffolding protein that organizes proteins in the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. Clinical studies suggest that ∼ 0.5% of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases may involve SHANK3 mutation/deletion. Patients with SHANK3 mutations exhibit deficits in cognition along with delayed/impaired speech/language and repetitive and obsessive/compulsive-like (OCD-like) behaviors. To examine how mutation/deletion of SHANK3 might alter brain function leading to ASD, we have independently created mice with deletion of Shank3 exons 4-9, a region implicated in ASD patients. We find that homozygous deletion of exons 4-9 (Shank3(e4-9) KO) results in loss of the two highest molecular weight isoforms of Shank3 and a significant reduction in other isoforms. Behaviorally, both Shank3(e4-9) heterozygous (HET) and Shank3(e4-9) KO mice display increased repetitive grooming, deficits in novel and spatial object recognition learning and memory, and abnormal ultrasonic vocalizations. Shank3(e4-9) KO mice also display abnormal social interaction when paired with one another. Analysis of synaptosome fractions from striata of Shank3(e4-9) KO mice reveals decreased Homer1b/c, GluA2, and GluA3 expression. Both Shank3(e4-9) HET and KO demonstrated a significant reduction in NMDA/AMPA ratio at excitatory synapses onto striatal medium spiny neurons. Furthermore, Shank3(e4-9) KO mice displayed reduced hippocampal LTP despite normal baseline synaptic transmission. Collectively these behavioral, biochemical and physiological changes suggest Shank3 isoforms have region-specific roles in regulation of AMPAR subunit localization and NMDAR function in the Shank3(e4-9) mutant mouse model of autism.

  18. Altered Striatal Synaptic Function and Abnormal Behaviour in Shank3 Exon4–9 Deletion Mouse Model of Autism

    PubMed Central

    Jaramillo, Thomas C.; Speed, Haley E.; Xuan, Zhong; Reimers, Jeremy M.; Liu, Shunan; Powell, Craig M.

    2016-01-01

    Shank3 is a multi-domain, synaptic scaffolding protein that organizes proteins in the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. Clinical studies suggest that ~0.5% of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases may involve SHANK3 mutation/deletion. Patients with SHANK3 mutations exhibit deficits in cognition along with delayed/impaired speech/language and repetitive and obsessive/compulsive-like (OCD-like) behaviors. To examine how mutation/deletion of SHANK3 might alter brain function leading to ASD, we have independently created mice with deletion of Shank3 exons 4–9, a region implicated in ASD patients. We find that homozygous deletion of exons 4–9 (Shank3e4–9 KO) results in loss of the two highest molecular weight isoforms of Shank3 and a significant reduction in other isoforms. Behaviorally, both Shank3e4–9 heterozygous (HET) and Shank3e4–9 KO mice display increased repetitive grooming, deficits in novel and spatial object recognition learning and memory, and abnormal ultrasonic vocalizations. Shank3e4–9 KO mice also display abnormal social interaction when paired with one another. Analysis of synaptosome fractions from striata of Shank3e4–9 KO mice reveals decreased Homer1b/c, GluA2, and GluA3 expression. Both Shank3e4–9 HET and KO demonstrated a significant reduction in NMDA/AMPA ratio at excitatory synapses onto striatal medium spiny neurons. Furthermore, Shank3e4–9 KO mice displayed reduced hippocampal LTP despite normal baseline synaptic transmission. Collectively these behavioral, biochemical and physiological changes suggest Shank3 isoforms have region-specific roles in regulation of AMPAR subunit localization and NMDAR function in the Shank3e4–9 mutant mouse model of autism. PMID:26559786

  19. The brain-tumor related protein podoplanin regulates synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    Cicvaric, Ana; Yang, Jiaye; Krieger, Sigurd; Khan, Deeba; Kim, Eun-Jung; Dominguez-Rodriguez, Manuel; Cabatic, Maureen; Molz, Barbara; Acevedo Aguilar, Juan Pablo; Milicevic, Radoslav; Smani, Tarik; Breuss, Johannes M.; Kerjaschki, Dontscho; Pollak, Daniela D.; Uhrin, Pavel; Monje, Francisco J.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Introduction: Podoplanin is a cell-surface glycoprotein constitutively expressed in the brain and implicated in human brain tumorigenesis. The intrinsic function of podoplanin in brain neurons remains however uncharacterized. Materials and methods: Using an established podoplanin-knockout mouse model and electrophysiological, biochemical, and behavioral approaches, we investigated the brain neuronal role of podoplanin. Results: Ex-vivo electrophysiology showed that podoplanin deletion impairs dentate gyrus synaptic strengthening. In vivo, podoplanin deletion selectively impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory without affecting amygdala-dependent cued fear conditioning. In vitro, neuronal overexpression of podoplanin promoted synaptic activity and neuritic outgrowth whereas podoplanin-deficient neurons exhibited stunted outgrowth and lower levels of p-Ezrin, TrkA, and CREB in response to nerve growth factor (NGF). Surface Plasmon Resonance data further indicated a physical interaction between podoplanin and NGF. Discussion: This work proposes podoplanin as a novel component of the neuronal machinery underlying neuritogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and hippocampus-dependent memory functions. The existence of a relevant cross-talk between podoplanin and the NGF/TrkA signaling pathway is also for the first time proposed here, thus providing a novel molecular complex as a target for future multidisciplinary studies of the brain function in the physiology and the pathology.Key messagesPodoplanin, a protein linked to the promotion of human brain tumors, is required in vivo for proper hippocampus-dependent learning and memory functions.Deletion of podoplanin selectively impairs activity-dependent synaptic strengthening at the neurogenic dentate-gyrus and hampers neuritogenesis and phospho Ezrin, TrkA and CREB protein levels upon NGF stimulation.Surface plasmon resonance data indicates a physical interaction between podoplanin and NGF. On these

  20. Excitatory synaptic activity is associated with a rapid structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses on hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells.

    PubMed

    Lushnikova, Irina; Skibo, Galina; Muller, Dominique; Nikonenko, Irina

    2011-04-01

    Synaptic activity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), has been shown to induce morphological plasticity of excitatory synapses on dendritic spines through the spine head and postsynaptic density (PSD) enlargement and reorganization. Much less, however, is known about activity-induced morphological modifications of inhibitory synapses. Using an in vitro model of rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and electron microscopy, we studied activity-related morphological changes of somatic inhibitory inputs triggered by a brief oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) episode, a condition associated with a synaptic enhancement referred to as anoxic LTP and a structural remodeling of excitatory synapses. Three-dimensional reconstruction of inhibitory axo-somatic synapses at different times before and after brief OGD revealed important morphological changes. The PSD area significantly and markedly increased at synapses with large and complex PSDs, but not at synapses with simple, macular PSDs. Activity-related changes of PSD size and presynaptic bouton volume developed in a strongly correlated manner. Analyses of single and serial sections further showed that the density of inhibitory synaptic contacts on the cell soma did not change within 1 h after OGD. In contrast, the proportion of the cell surface covered with inhibitory PSDs, as well as the complexity of these PSDs significantly increased, with less macular PSDs and more complex, segmented shapes. Together, these data reveal a rapid activity-related restructuring of somatic inhibitory synapses characterized by an enlargement and increased complexity of inhibitory PSDs, providing a new mechanism for a quick adjustment of the excitatory-inhibitory balance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Synaptic Plasticity & Interneurons'.

  1. Back-propagating action potentials in pyramidal neurons: a putative signaling mechanism for the induction of Hebbian synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Colbert, C M

    2001-01-01

    A hallmark of synaptic plasticity is the associative, or Hebbian, nature of its induction. By associative, we mean that the timing relationships between activity of the pre- and postsynaptic elements of a synapse determine whether synaptic strengths are modified. lt is well-established that associativity results, in large part, from the dual requirements for activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-ionophore, namely presynaptic neurotransmitter release and postsynaptic depolarization. However, the specific dendritic events that provide the postsynaptic depolarization have been relatively unexplored. Increasing evidence suggests that back-propagating (i.e., antidromic) Na(+) action potentials provide the necessary postsynaptic depolarization to allow induction of associative synaptic plasticities. In hippocampal CAI and neocortical layer V pyramidal neurons, these action potentials provide much greater levels of dendritic depolarization than would be expected from synaptic currents alone. Moreover, they provide a relatively brief and synchronous depolarization throughout the dendritic arbor, allowing timing relationships to more directly reflect pre- and postsynaptic cell firing. Interestingly, certain properties of the back-propagating actions potentials differ from axonal or somatic action potentials in ways that seem to reflect their function. For example, the all-or-none property of action potential amplitude does not hold in the dendrites. In this review we discuss the back-propagating action potential as a dendritic signal that provides information to synapses about the firing state of the postsynaptic neuron. First, we consider the evidence that action potentials propagate back from the axon. Second, we describe the characteristics of the back-propagating action potential in terms of interactions of its underlying ionic currents. Third, we describe how these properties contribute to the timing aspects of the induction of long-term potentiation. Finally

  2. A synaptically controlled, associative signal for Hebbian plasticity in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Magee, J C; Johnston, D

    1997-01-10

    The role of back-propagating d