Kerr, Abigail L.; Cheng, Shao-Ying; Jones, Theresa A.
Behavioral experience is at work modifying the structure and function of the brain throughout the lifespan, but it has a particularly dramatic influence after brain injury. This review summarizes recent findings on the role of experience in reorganizing the adult damaged brain, with a focus on findings from rodent stroke models of chronic upper extremity (hand and arm) impairments. A prolonged and widespread process of repair and reorganization of surviving neural circuits is instigated by injury to the adult brain. When experience impacts these same neural circuits, it interacts with degenerative and regenerative cascades to shape neural reorganization and functional outcome. This is evident in the cortical plasticity resulting from compensatory reliance on the “good” forelimb in rats with unilateral sensorimotor cortical infarcts. Behavioral interventions (e.g., rehabilitative training) can drive functionally beneficial neural reorganization in the injured hemisphere. However, experience can have both behaviorally beneficial and detrimental effects. The interactions between experience-dependent and injury-induced neural plasticity are complex, time-dependent, and varied with age and other factors. A better understanding of these interactions is needed to understand how to optimize brain remodeling and functional outcome. Learning outcomes Readers will be able to describe (a) experience effects that are maladaptive for behavioral outcome after brain damage, (b) manipulations of experience that drive functionally beneficial neural plasticity, and (c) reasons why rehabilitative training effects can be expected to vary with age, training duration and timing. PMID:21620413
Kerr, Abigail L.; Cheng, Shao-Ying; Jones, Theresa A.
Behavioral experience is at work modifying the structure and function of the brain throughout the lifespan, but it has a particularly dramatic influence after brain injury. This review summarizes recent findings on the role of experience in reorganizing the adult damaged brain, with a focus on findings from rodent stroke models of chronic upper…
Frank, Marcos G
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.
Bavelier, D.; Levi, D.M.; Li, R.W.; Dan, Y.; Hensch, T.K.
Adult brain plasticity, although possible, remains more restricted in scope than during development. Here, we address conditions under which circuit rewiring may be facilitated in the mature brain. At a cellular and molecular level, adult plasticity is actively limited. Some of these “brakes” are structural, such as peri-neuronal nets or myelin, which inhibit neurite outgrowth. Others are functional, acting directly upon excitatory-inhibitory balance within local circuits. Plasticity in adulthood can be induced either by lifting these brakes through invasive interventions or by exploiting endogenous permissive factors, such as neuromodulators. Using the amblyopic visual system as a model, we discuss genetic, pharmacological, and environmental removal of brakes to enable recovery of vision in adult rodents. Although these mechanisms remain largely uncharted in the human, we consider how they may provide a biological foundation for the remarkable increase in plasticity after action video game play by amblyopic subjects. PMID:21068299
Oliva, Carolina A.; Vargas, Jessica Y.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.
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
Oliva, Carolina A; Vargas, Jessica Y; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C
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.
National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007
"Science Briefs" summarize the findings and implications of a recent study in basic science or clinical research. This Brief summarizes the findings and implications of "Moderate Fetal Alcohol Exposure Impairs the Neurogenic Response to an Enriched Environment in Adult Mice" (I. Y. Choi; A. M. Allan; and L. A. Cunningham). Observations of mice…
Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Fortuna, Michal G; Löwel, Siegrid
The ability of the adult brain to undergo plastic changes is of particular interest in medicine, especially regarding recovery from injuries or improving learning and cognition. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with juvenile experience-dependent primary visual cortex (V1) plasticity, yet little is known about their role in this process in the adult V1. Activation of MMPs is a crucial step facilitating structural changes in a healthy brain; however, upon brain injury, upregulated MMPs promote the spread of a lesion and impair recovery. To clarify these seemingly opposing outcomes of MMP-activation, we examined the effects of MMP-inhibition on experience-induced plasticity in healthy and stoke-affected adult mice. In healthy animals, 7-day application of MMP-inhibitor prevented visual plasticity. Additionally, treatment with MMP-inhibitor once but not twice following stroke rescued plasticity, normally lost under these conditions. Our data imply that an optimal level of MMP-activity is crucial for adult visual plasticity to occur.
Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Fortuna, Michal G; Löwel, Siegrid
The ability of the adult brain to undergo plastic changes is of particular interest in medicine, especially regarding recovery from injuries or improving learning and cognition. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with juvenile experience-dependent primary visual cortex (V1) plasticity, yet little is known about their role in this process in the adult V1. Activation of MMPs is a crucial step facilitating structural changes in a healthy brain; however, upon brain injury, upregulated MMPs promote the spread of a lesion and impair recovery. To clarify these seemingly opposing outcomes of MMP-activation, we examined the effects of MMP-inhibition on experience-induced plasticity in healthy and stoke-affected adult mice. In healthy animals, 7-day application of MMP-inhibitor prevented visual plasticity. Additionally, treatment with MMP-inhibitor once but not twice following stroke rescued plasticity, normally lost under these conditions. Our data imply that an optimal level of MMP-activity is crucial for adult visual plasticity to occur. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11290.001 PMID:26609811
Ramachandran, V. S.
Recent behavioral and physiological evidence suggests that even brief sensory deprivation can lead to the rapid emergence of new and functionally effective neural connections in the adult human brain. Images Fig. 2 PMID:8248123
phase of eye movements , whereas the superimposed red and green sections are the fast saccadic movements in the left and right direction, respectively...in near vision, as well as in general processing speed, overall attention, cognitive processing, and involuntary eye movement suppression during... movement behaviors, thus supporting that improvements are contributed by brain plasticity following perceptual training. The observed improvement in
amblyopic adults (Polat, 2008, Polat, Ma‐ Naim , Belkin & Sagi, 2004). We were the first to show plasticity in adults with a visual deficit that was...Ma‐ Naim , T., Belkin, M., & Sagi, D. (2004). Improving vision in adult amblyopia by perceptual learning. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 101 (17), 6692
in amblyopic adults (Polat, 2008, Polat, Ma‐ Naim , Belkin & Sagi, 2004). We were the first to show plasticity in adults with a visual deficit that...visual functions. Vision Res, 13 Polat, U., Ma‐ Naim , T., Belkin, M., & Sagi, D. (2004). Improving vision in adult amblyopia by perceptual learning
Ramos-Moreno, Tania; Galazo, Maria J; Porrero, Cesar; Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica; Clascá, Francisco
Reelin, a large extracellular matrix glycoprotein, is secreted by several neuron populations in the developing and adult rodent brain. Secreted Reelin triggers a complex signaling pathway by binding lipoprotein and integrin membrane receptors in target cells. Reelin signaling regulates migration and dendritic growth in developing neurons, while it can modulate synaptic plasticity in adult neurons. To identify which adult neural circuits can be modulated by Reelin-mediated signaling, we systematically mapped the distribution of Reelin in adult rat brain using sensitive immunolabeling techniques. Results show that the distribution of intracellular and secreted Reelin is both very widespread and specific. Some interneuron and projection neuron populations in the cerebral cortex contain Reelin. Numerous striatal neurons are weakly immunoreactive for Reelin and these cells are preferentially located in striosomes. Some thalamic nuclei contain Reelin-immunoreactive cells. Double-immunolabeling for GABA and Reelin reveals that the Reelin-immunoreactive cells in the visual thalamus are the intrinsic thalamic interneurons. High local concentrations of extracellular Reelin selectively outline several dendrite spine-rich neuropils. Together with previous mRNA data, our observations suggest abundant axoplasmic transport and secretion in pathways such as the retino-collicular tract, the entorhino-hippocampal ('perforant') path, the lateral olfactory tract or the parallel fiber system of the cerebellum. A preferential secretion of Reelin in these neuropils is consistent with reports of rapid, activity-induced structural changes in adult brain circuits.
Sato, Masaaki; Stryker, Michael P
Sensory experience profoundly shapes neural circuitry of juvenile brain. Although the visual cortex of adult rodents retains a capacity for plasticity in response to monocular visual deprivation, the nature of this plasticity and the neural circuit changes that accompany it remain enigmatic. Here, we investigate differences between adult and juvenile ocular dominance plasticity using Fourier optical imaging of intrinsic signals in mouse visual cortex. This comparison reveals that adult plasticity takes longer than in the juvenile mouse, is of smaller magnitude, has a greater contribution from the increase in response to the open eye, and has less effect on the hemisphere ipsilateral to the deprived eye. Binocular deprivation also causes different changes in the adult. Adult plasticity is similar to juvenile plasticity in its dependence on signaling through NMDA receptors. We propose that adult ocular dominance plasticity arises from compensatory mechanisms that counterbalance the loss of afferent activity caused by visual deprivation.
Nacher, Juan; Guirado, Ramon; Castillo-Gómez, Esther
Neuronal structural plasticity is known to have a major role in cognitive processes and in the response of the CNS to aversive experiences. This type of plasticity involves processes ranging from neurite outgrowth/retraction or dendritic spine remodeling, to the incorporation of new neurons to the established circuitry. However, the study of how these structural changes take place has been focused mainly on excitatory neurons, while little attention has been paid to interneurons. The exploration of these plastic phenomena in interneurons is very important, not only for our knowledge of CNS physiology, but also for understanding better the etiology of different psychiatric and neurological disorders in which alterations in the structure and connectivity of inhibitory networks have been described. Here we review recent work on the structural remodeling of interneurons in the adult brain, both in basal conditions and after chronic stress or sensory deprivation. We also describe studies from our laboratory and others on the putative mediators of this interneuronal structural plasticity, focusing on the polysialylated form of the neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM). This molecule is expressed by some interneurons in the adult CNS and, through its anti-adhesive and insulating properties, may participate in the remodeling of their structure. Finally, we review recent findings on the possible implication of PSA-NCAM on the remodeling of inhibitory neurons in certain psychiatric disorders and their treatments.
Fernández, Guillén; Weis, Susanne; Stoffel-Wagner, Birgit; Tendolkar, Indira; Reuber, Markus; Beyenburg, Stefan; Klaver, Peter; Fell, Jürgen; de Greiff, Armin; Ruhlmann, Jürgen; Reul, Jürgen; Elger, Christian E
In rodents, cyclically fluctuating levels of gonadal steroid hormones modulate neural plasticity by altering synaptic transmission and synaptogenesis. Alterations of mood and cognition observed during the menstrual cycle suggest that steroid-related plasticity also occurs in humans. Cycle phase-dependent differences in cognitive performance have almost exclusively been found in tasks probing lateralized neuronal domains, i.e., cognitive domains such as language, which are predominantly executed by one hemisphere. To search for neural correlates of hormonally mediated neural plasticity in humans, we thus conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study measuring brain activity related to a semantic decision task in the language domain. This was contrasted with a letter-matching task in the perceptual domain, in which we expected no steroid hormone-mediated effect. We investigated 12 young healthy women in a counterbalanced repeated-measure design during low-steroid menstruation and high-steroid midluteal phase. Steroid serum levels correlated with the volume and lateralization of particular brain activations related to the semantic task but not with brain activity related to the perceptual task. More specifically, bilateral superior temporal recruitment correlated positively with progesterone and medial superior frontal recruitment with both progesterone and estradiol serum levels, whereas activations in inferior and middle frontal cortex were unaffected by steroid levels. In contrast to these specific interactions, testosterone levels correlated nonselectively with overall activation levels by neural and/or vascular factor(s). In conclusion, our data demonstrate steroid hormone responsivity in the adult human brain by revealing neural plasticity in the language domain, which appears hormone, task, and region specific.
Voss, Michelle W; Erickson, Kirk I; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Chaddock, Laura; Kim, Jennifer S; Alves, Heloisa; Szabo, Amanda; Phillips, Siobhan M; Wójcicki, Thomas R; Mailey, Emily L; Olson, Erin A; Gothe, Neha; Vieira-Potter, Victoria J; Martin, Stephen A; Pence, Brandt D; Cook, Marc D; Woods, Jeffrey A; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F
The current study examined how a randomized one-year aerobic exercise program for healthy older adults would affect serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factor type 1 (IGF-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) - putative markers of exercise-induced benefits on brain function. The study also examined whether (a) change in the concentration of these growth factors was associated with alterations in functional connectivity following exercise, and (b) the extent to which pre-intervention growth factor levels were associated with training-related changes in functional connectivity. In 65 participants (mean age=66.4), we found that although there were no group-level changes in growth factors as a function of the intervention, increased temporal lobe connectivity between the bilateral parahippocampus and the bilateral middle temporal gyrus was associated with increased BDNF, IGF-1, and VEGF for an aerobic walking group but not for a non-aerobic control group, and greater pre-intervention VEGF was associated with greater training-related increases in this functional connection. Results are consistent with animal models of exercise and the brain, but are the first to show in humans that exercise-induced increases in temporal lobe functional connectivity are associated with changes in growth factors and may be augmented by greater baseline VEGF.
... Vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) - adults; Meningioma - adults; Cancer - brain tumor (adults) ... Primary brain tumors include any tumor that starts in the brain. Primary brain tumors can start from brain cells, ...
Pallier, C; Dehaene, S; Poline, J-B; LeBihan, D; Argenti, A-M; Dupoux, E; Mehler, J
Do the neural circuits that subserve language acquisition lose plasticity as they become tuned to the maternal language? We tested adult subjects born in Korea and adopted by French families in childhood; they have become fluent in their second language and report no conscious recollection of their native language. In behavioral tests assessing their memory for Korean, we found that they do not perform better than a control group of native French subjects who have never been exposed to Korean. We also used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor cortical activations while the Korean adoptees and native French listened to sentences spoken in Korean, French and other, unknown, foreign languages. The adopted subjects did not show any specific activations to Korean stimuli relative to unknown languages. The areas activated more by French stimuli than by foreign stimuli were similar in the Korean adoptees and in the French native subjects, but with relatively larger extents of activation in the latter group. We discuss these data in light of the critical period hypothesis for language acquisition.
Bloch, Jocelyne; Kaeser, Mélanie; Sadeghi, Yalda; Rouiller, Eric M; Redmond, D Eugene; Brunet, Jean-François
We have demonstrated that cortical cell autografts might be a useful therapy in two monkey models of neurological disease: motor cortex lesion and Parkinson's disease. However, the origin of the useful transplanted cells obtained from cortical biopsies is not clear. In this report we describe the expression of doublecortin (DCX) in these cells based on reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunodetection in the adult primate cortex and cell cultures. The results showed that DCX-positive cells were present in the whole primate cerebral cortex and also expressed glial and/or neuronal markers such as glial fibrillary protein (GFAP) or neuronal nuclei (NeuN). We also demonstrated that only DCX/GFAP positive cells were able to proliferate and originate progenitor cells in vitro. We hypothesize that these DCX-positive cells in vivo have a role in cortical plasticity and brain reaction to injury. Moreover, in vitro these DCX-positive cells have the potential to reacquire progenitor characteristics that confirm their potential for brain repair.
Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Kaltschmidt, Christian
The transcription factor nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) is a well-known regulator of inflammation, stress, and immune responses as well as cell survival. In the nervous system, NF-κB is one of the crucial components in the molecular switch that converts short- to long-term memory—a process that requires de novo gene expression. Here, the researches published on NF-κB and downstream target genes in mammals will be reviewed, which are necessary for structural plasticity and long-term memory, both under normal and pathological conditions in the brain. Genetic evidence has revealed that NF-κB regulates neuroprotection, neuronal transmission, and long-term memory. In addition, after genetic ablation of all NF-κB subunits, a severe defect in hippocampal adult neurogenesis was observed during aging. Proliferation of neural precursors is increased; however, axon outgrowth, synaptogenesis, and tissue homeostasis of the dentate gyrus are hampered. In this process, the NF-κB target gene PKAcat and other downstream target genes such as Igf2 are critically involved. Therefore, NF-κB activity seems to be crucial in regulating structural plasticity and replenishment of granule cells within the hippocampus throughout the life. In addition to the function of NF-κB in neurons, we will discuss on a neuroinflammatory role of the transcription factor in glia. Finally, a model for NF-κB homeostasis on the molecular level is presented, in order to explain seemingly the contradictory, the friend or foe, role of NF-κB in the nervous system. PMID:26635522
Hensch, Takao K
Experience shapes brain function throughout life to varying degrees. In a recent issue of Nature, Donato et al. identify reversible shifts in focal parvalbumin cell state during adult learning, placing it on a mechanistic continuum with developmental critical periods. A disinhibitory microcircuit controls the plasticity switch to modulate memory formation.
Morris, Michael J.; Karra, Aroon S.; Monteggia, Lisa M.
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a family of enzymes that alter gene expression patterns by modifying chromatin architecture. There are 11 mammalian HDACs that are classified by homology into four subfamilies, all with distinct expression patterns in brain. Through the use of pharmacological HDAC inhibitors, and more recently HDAC knockout mice, the role of these enzymes in the central nervous system are starting to be elucidated. We will discuss the latest findings on the specific or redundant roles of individual HDACs in brain as well as the impact of HDAC function on complex behavior, with a focus on learning, memory formation, and affective behavior. Potential HDAC-mediated cellular mechanisms underlying those behaviors are discussed. PMID:20555253
Sterr, Annette; Conforto, Adriana Bastos
Functional reorganization forms the critical mechanism for the recovery of function after brain damage. These processes are driven by inherent changes within the central nervous system (CNS) triggered by the insult and further depend on the neural input the recovering system is processing. Therefore these processes interact with not only the interventions a patient receives, but also the activities and behaviors a patient engages in. In recent years, a wide range of research programs has addressed the association between functional reorganization and the spontaneous and treatment-induced recovery. The bulk of this work has focused on upper-limb and hand function, and today there are new treatments available that capitalize on the neuroplasticity of the brain. However, this is only true for patients with mild to moderated impairments; for those with very limited hand function, the basic understanding is much poorer and directly translates into limited treatment opportunities for these patients. The present paper aims to highlight the knowledge gap on severe stroke with a brief summary of the literature followed by a discussion of the challenges involved in the study and treatment of severe stroke and poor long-term outcome. PMID:22548196
balance between neuronal excitation or inhibition (He, Hodos & Quinlan, 2006, Maya Vetencourt, Sale, Viegi, Baroncelli, De Pasquale, O’Leary, Castren...adult visual cortex. J Neurosci, 26 (11), 2951‐2955. Maya Vetencourt, J.F., Sale, A., Viegi, A., Baroncelli, L., De Pasquale, R., O’Leary, O.F
Morita, Shoko; Furube, Eriko; Mannari, Tetsuya; Okuda, Hiroaki; Tatsumi, Kouko; Wanaka, Akio; Miyata, Seiji
The sensory circumventricular organs (CVOs), which comprise the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT), the subfornical organ (SFO) and the area postrema (AP), lack a typical blood-brain barrier (BBB) and monitor directly blood-derived information to regulate body fluid homeostasis, inflammation, feeding and vomiting. Until now, almost nothing has been documented about vascular features of the sensory CVOs except fenestration of vascular endothelial cells. We therefore examine whether continuous angiogenesis occurs in the sensory CVOs of adult mouse. The angiogenesis-inducing factor vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and the VEGF-A-regulating transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1α were highly expressed in neurons of the OVLT and SFO and in both neurons and astrocytes of the AP. Expression of the pericyte-regulating factor platelet-derived growth factor B was high in astrocytes of the sensory CVOs. Immunohistochemistry of bromodeoxyuridine and Ki-67, a nuclear protein that is associated with cellular proliferation, revealed active proliferation of endothelial cells. Moreover, immunohistochemistry of caspase-3 and the basement membrane marker laminin showed the presence of apoptosis and sprouting of endothelial cells, respectively. Treatment with the VEGF receptor-associated tyrosine kinase inhibitor AZD2171 significantly reduced proliferation and filopodia sprouting of endothelial cells, as well as the area and diameter of microvessels. The mitotic inhibitor cytosine-b-D-arabinofuranoside reduced proliferation of endothelial cells and the vascular permeability of blood-derived low-molecular-weight molecules without changing vascular area and microvessel diameter. Thus, our data indicate that continuous angiogenesis is dependent on VEGF signaling and responsible for the dynamic plasticity of vascular structure and permeability.
Kim, Sohye; Strathearn, Lane
Although dramatic postnatal changes in maternal behavior have long been noted, we are only now beginning to understand the neurobiological mechanisms that support this transition. The present paper synthesizes growing insights from both animal and human research to provide an overview of the plasticity of the mother's brain, with a particular…
Kaplan, Susan L.
This article shares a story of Ben who as a result of his premature birth, suffered a brain hemorrhage resulting in cerebral palsy, which affected his left side (left hemiparesis) and caused learning disabilities. Despite these challenges, he graduated from college and currently works doing information management for a local biotech start-up…
Rossini, P M; Noris Ferilli, M A; Ferreri, F
There is increasing evidence to support the concept that adult brain has the remarkable ability to plastically reorganize itself. Brain plasticity involves distinct functional and structural components and plays a crucial role in reorganizing central nervous system's networks after any lesion in order to partly or totally restore lost and/or compromised functions. The idea that a computer can decode brain electromagnetic signals to infer the intentions of a human and then enact those intentions directly through a machine is becoming a reasonable technical possibility. In neurological patients unable to move and to communicate with the external environment, technologies implementing brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) can be of valuable aid and support. The emerging possibility, through neuro-imaging advanced techniques, to clarify some crucial issues underlying brain plasticity will give the possibility to modulate these mechanisms in a BCI-oriented way. This approach may have a tremendous impact in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders and the clinical advent of this technology will usher in a new era of restorative medicine.
Martinez-Morga, M; Martinez, S
Neurodevelopmental disorders are associated to functional anomalies of the brain that become manifest early on in life. Traditionally, they have been related almost exclusively to the appearance of intellectual disability and delayed psychomotor development. The causes of these disorders have been partially described, and include anomalies due to genetic causes (Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, etc.), exposure to toxic factors during pregnancy (foetal alcohol syndrome), infections (cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, etc.) or other alterations, including a status of great immaturity at birth (very preterm). Epidemiological data based on a better knowledge of the diseases affecting the central nervous system suggest that some mental disorders, which appear in adolescence or early adulthood, also have their origin in anomalies in brain development. This review aims to offer an overview of brain development. Some of the cellular and molecular processes that may account for the similarities and differences in the phenotypes that generate alterations affecting normal development are also analysed. The study is conducted with a view to clearly identifying processes that are susceptible to modification by means of therapeutic intervention consisting in an early care programme.
Kolb, Bryan; Mychasiuk, Richelle; Muhammad, Arif; Gibb, Robbin
The developing normal brain shows a remarkable capacity for plastic change in response to a wide range of experiences including sensory and motor experience, psychoactive drugs, parent-child relationships, peer relationships, stress, gonadal hormones, intestinal flora, diet, and injury. The effects of injury vary with the precise age-at-injury, with the general result being that injury during cell migration and neuronal maturation has a poor functional outcome, whereas similar injury during synaptogenesis has a far better outcome. A variety of factors influence functional outcome including the nature of the behavior in question and the age at behavioral assessment as well as pre- and postinjury experiences. Here, we review the phases of brain development, how factors influence brain, and behavioral development in both the normal and perturbed brain, and propose mechanisms that may underlie these effects.
Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J.; Juranek, Jenifer J.; Bigler, Erin D.; Snead, O. Carter; Fletcher, Jack M.
It has been widely accepted that the younger the age and/or immaturity of the organism, the greater the brain plasticity, the young age plasticity privilege. This paper examines the relation of a young age to plasticity, reviewing human pediatric brain disorders, as well as selected animal models, human developmental and adult brain disorder studies. As well, we review developmental and childhood acquired disorders that involve a failure of regulatory homeostasis. Our core arguments are: Plasticity is neutral with respect to outcome. Although the effects of plasticity are often beneficial, the outcome of plasticity may be adaptive or maladaptive.The young age plasticity privilege has been overstated.Plastic change operates in concert with homeostatic mechanisms regulating change at every point in the lifespan.The same mechanisms that propel developmental change expose the immature brain to adverse events, making it more difficult for the immature than for the mature brain to sustain equilibrium between plasticity and homeostasis.Poor outcome in many neurodevelopmental disorders and childhood acquired brain insults is related to disequilibrium between plasticity and homeostasis. PMID:24096190
Baroncelli, Laura; Braschi, Chiara; Spolidoro, Maria; Begenisic, Tatjana; Maffei, Lamberto; Sale, Alessandro
One major goal in Neuroscience is the development of strategies promoting neural plasticity in the adult central nervous system, when functional recovery from brain disease and injury is limited. New evidence has underscored a pivotal role for cortical inhibitory circuitries in regulating plasticity both during development and in adulthood. This paper summarizes recent findings showing that the inhibition-excitation balance controls adult brain plasticity and is at the core of the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders like autism, Down syndrome, and Rett syndrome. PMID:21766040
Nahmani, Marc; Turrigiano, Gina G.
A primary goal of research on developmental critical periods is the recapitulation of a juvenile-like state of malleability in the adult brain that might enable recovery from injury. These ambitions are often framed in terms of the simple reinstatement of enhanced plasticity in the growth-restricted milieu of an injured adult brain. Here, we provide an analysis of the similarities and differences between deprivation-induced and injury-induced cortical plasticity, to provide for a nuanced comparison of these remarkably similar processes. As a first step, we review the factors that drive ocular dominance plasticity in the primary visual cortex of the uninjured brain during the critical period (CP) and in adults, to highlight processes that might confer adaptive advantage. In addition, we directly compare deprivation-induced cortical plasticity during the CP and plasticity following acute injury or ischemia in mature brain. We find that these two processes display a biphasic response profile following deprivation or injury: an initial decrease in GABAergic inhibition and synapse loss transitions into a period of neurite expansion and synaptic gain. This biphasic response profile emphasizes the transition from a period of cortical healing to one of reconnection and recovery of function. Yet while injury-induced plasticity in adult shares several salient characteristics with deprivation-induced plasticity during the CP, the degree to which the adult injured brain is able to functionally rewire, and the time required to do so, present major limitations for recovery. Attempts to recapitulate a measure of CP plasticity in an adult injury context will need to carefully dissect the circuit alterations and plasticity mechanisms involved while measuring functional behavioral output to assess their ultimate success. PMID:24791715
Lo Verde, Luca; Morrone, Maria Concetta; Lunghi, Claudia
It is known that, after a prolonged period of visual deprivation, the adult visual cortex can be recruited for nonvisual processing, reflecting cross-modal plasticity. Here, we investigated whether cross-modal plasticity can occur at short timescales in the typical adult brain by comparing the interaction between vision and touch during binocular rivalry before and after a brief period of monocular deprivation, which strongly alters ocular balance favoring the deprived eye. While viewing dichoptically two gratings of orthogonal orientation, participants were asked to actively explore a haptic grating congruent in orientation to one of the two rivalrous stimuli. We repeated this procedure before and after 150 min of monocular deprivation. We first confirmed that haptic stimulation interacted with vision during rivalry promoting dominance of the congruent visuo-haptic stimulus and that monocular deprivation increased the deprived eye and decreased the nondeprived eye dominance. Interestingly, after deprivation, we found that the effect of touch did not change for the nondeprived eye, whereas it disappeared for the deprived eye, which was potentiated after deprivation. The absence of visuo-haptic interaction for the deprived eye lasted for over 1 hr and was not attributable to a masking induced by the stronger response of the deprived eye as confirmed by a control experiment. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the adult human visual cortex retains a high degree of cross-modal plasticity, which can occur even at very short timescales.
Merzenich, Michael M.; Van Vleet, Thomas M.; Nahum, Mor
The primary objective of this review article is to summarize how the neuroscience of brain plasticity, exploiting new findings in fundamental, integrative and cognitive neuroscience, is changing the therapeutic landscape for professional communities addressing brain-based disorders and disease. After considering the neurological bases of training-driven neuroplasticity, we shall describe how this neuroscience-guided perspective distinguishes this new approach from (a) the more-behavioral, traditional clinical strategies of professional therapy practitioners, and (b) an even more widely applied pharmaceutical treatment model for neurological and psychiatric treatment domains. With that background, we shall argue that neuroplasticity-based treatments will be an important part of future best-treatment practices in neurological and psychiatric medicine. PMID:25018719
Berry, Alessandra; Bindocci, Erika; Alleva, Enrico
Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) was initially studied for its role as a key player in the regulation of peripheral innervations. However, the successive finding of its release in the bloodstream of male mice following aggressive encounters and its presence in the central nervous system led to the hypothesis that variations in brain NGF levels, caused by psychosocial stressor, and the related alterations in emotionality, could be functional to the development of proper strategies to cope with the stressor itself and thus to survive. Years later this vision is still relevant, and the body of evidence on the role of NGF has been strengthened and expanded from trophic factor playing a role in brain growth and differentiation to a much more complex messenger, involved in psychoneuroendocrine plasticity. PMID:22474604
Elmer, Stefan; Hänggi, Jürgen; Jäncke, Lutz
Until now, considerable effort has been made to determine structural brain characteristics related to exceptional multilingual skills. However, at least one important question has not yet been satisfactorily addressed in the previous literature, namely whether and to which extent the processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions may promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain. Based on the premise that simultaneous interpretation is a highly demanding linguistic task that places strong demands on executive and articulatory functions, here we compared grey matter volumes between professional simultaneous interpreters (SI) and multilingual control subjects. Thereby, we focused on a specific set of a-priori defined bilateral brain regions that have previously been shown to support neurocognitional aspects of language control and linguistic functions in the multilingual brain. These regions are the cingulate gyrus, caudate nucleus, frontal operculum (pars triangularis and opercularis), inferior parietal lobe (IPL) (supramarginal and angular gyrus), and the insula. As a main result, we found reduced grey matter volumes in professional SI, compared to multilingual controls, in the left middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, bilateral pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, bilateral middle part of the insula, and in the left supramarginal gyrus (SMG). Interestingly, grey matter volume in left pars triangularis, right pars opercularis, middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, and in the bilateral caudate nucleus was negatively correlated with the cumulative number of interpreting hours. Hence, we provide first evidence for an expertise-related grey matter architecture that may reflect a composite of brain characteristics that were still present before interpreting training and training-related changes.
Fallon, James B.; Irvine, Dexter R. F.; Shepherd, Robert K.
The success of modern neural prostheses is dependent on a complex interplay between the devices’ hardware and software and the dynamic environment in which the devices operate: the patient’s body or ‘wetware’. Over 110,000 severe/profoundly deaf individuals presently receive information enabling auditory awareness and speech perception from cochlear implants. The cochlear implant therefore provides a useful case study for a review of the complex interactions between hardware, software and wetware, and of the important role of the dynamic nature of wetware. This review will examine the evidence of changes in the wetware contributing to changes in speech perception and discuss how these changes relate to electrophysiological and functional imaging studies in humans. The relationship between the human data and evidence from animals of the remarkable capacity for plastic change of the central auditory system, even into adulthood, will then be examined. Finally, we will discuss the role of brain plasticity in neural prostheses in general. PMID:19850976
Fallon, James B.; Irvine, Dexter R. F.; Shepherd, Robert K.
The success of modern neural prostheses is dependent on a complex interplay between the devices' hardware and software and the dynamic environment in which the devices operate: the patient's body or 'wetware'. Over 120 000 severe/profoundly deaf individuals presently receive information enabling auditory awareness and speech perception from cochlear implants. The cochlear implant therefore provides a useful case study for a review of the complex interactions between hardware, software and wetware, and of the important role of the dynamic nature of wetware. In the case of neural prostheses, the most critical component of that wetware is the central nervous system. This paper will examine the evidence of changes in the central auditory system that contribute to changes in performance with a cochlear implant, and discuss how these changes relate to electrophysiological and functional imaging studies in humans. The relationship between the human data and evidence from animals of the remarkable capacity for plastic change of the central auditory system, even into adulthood, will then be examined. Finally, we will discuss the role of brain plasticity in neural prostheses in general.
Di Pino, Giovanni; Maravita, Angelo; Zollo, Loredana; Guglielmelli, Eugenio; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo
Today, the anthropomorphism of the tools and the development of neural interfaces require reconsidering the concept of human-tools interaction in the framework of human augmentation. This review analyses the plastic process that the brain undergoes when it comes into contact with augmenting artificial sensors and effectors and, on the other hand, the changes that the use of external augmenting devices produces in the brain. Hitherto, few studies investigated the neural correlates of augmentation, but clues on it can be borrowed from logically-related paradigms: sensorimotor training, cognitive enhancement, cross-modal plasticity, sensorimotor functional substitution, use and embodiment of tools. Augmentation modifies function and structure of a number of areas, i.e., primary sensory cortices shape their receptive fields to become sensitive to novel inputs. Motor areas adapt the neuroprosthesis representation firing-rate to refine kinematics. As for normal motor outputs, the learning process recruits motor and premotor cortices and the acquisition of proficiency decreases attentional recruitment, focuses the activity on sensorimotor areas and increases the basal ganglia drive on the cortex. Augmentation deeply relies on the frontoparietal network. In particular, premotor cortex is involved in learning the control of an external effector and owns the tool motor representation, while the intraparietal sulcus extracts its visual features. In these areas, multisensory integration neurons enlarge their receptive fields to embody supernumerary limbs. For operating an anthropomorphic neuroprosthesis, the mirror system is required to understand the meaning of the action, the cerebellum for the formation of its internal model and the insula for its interoception. In conclusion, anthropomorphic sensorized devices can provide the critical sensory afferences to evolve the exploitation of tools through their embodiment, reshaping the body representation and the sense of the self
Holtmaat, Anthony; Svoboda, Karel
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.
O’Rourke, Megan; Gasperini, Robert; Young, Kaylene M.
In this review, we outline the major neural plasticity mechanisms that have been identified in the adult central nervous system (CNS), and offer a perspective on how they regulate CNS function. In particular we examine how myelin plasticity can operate alongside neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity to influence information processing and transfer in the mature CNS. PMID:25221576
Lee, Hey-Kyoung; Whitt, Jessica L
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.
Likova, Lora T.
In a memory-guided drawing task under blindfolded conditions, we have recently used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate that the primary visual cortex (V1) may operate as the visuo-spatial buffer, or “sketchpad,” for working memory. The results implied, however, a modality-independent or amodal form of its operation. In the present study, to validate the role of V1 in non-visual memory, we eliminated not only the visual input but all levels of visual processing by replicating the paradigm in a congenitally blind individual. Our novel Cognitive-Kinesthetic method was used to train this totally blind subject to draw complex images guided solely by tactile memory. Control tasks of tactile exploration and memorization of the image to be drawn, and memory-free scribbling were also included. FMRI was run before training and after training. Remarkably, V1 of this congenitally blind individual, which before training exhibited noisy, immature, and non-specific responses, after training produced full-fledged response time-courses specific to the tactile-memory drawing task. The results reveal the operation of a rapid training-based plasticity mechanism that recruits the resources of V1 in the process of learning to draw. The learning paradigm allowed us to investigate for the first time the evolution of plastic re-assignment in V1 in a congenitally blind subject. These findings are consistent with a non-visual memory involvement of V1, and specifically imply that the observed cortical reorganization can be empowered by the process of learning to draw. PMID:22593738
Cai, Liuyang; Chan, John S Y; Yan, Jin H; Peng, Kaiping
For more than two decades, there have been extensive studies of experience-based neural plasticity exploring effective applications of brain plasticity for cognitive and motor development. Research suggests that human brains continuously undergo structural reorganization and functional changes in response to stimulations or training. From a developmental point of view, the assumption of lifespan brain plasticity has been extended to older adults in terms of the benefits of cognitive training and physical therapy. To summarize recent developments, first, we introduce the concept of neural plasticity from a developmental perspective. Secondly, we note that motor learning often refers to deliberate practice and the resulting performance enhancement and adaptability. We discuss the close interplay between neural plasticity, motor learning and cognitive aging. Thirdly, we review research on motor skill acquisition in older adults with, and without, impairments relative to aging-related cognitive decline. Finally, to enhance future research and application, we highlight the implications of neural plasticity in skills learning and cognitive rehabilitation for the aging population.
Cognitive neuroscience has revealed aging of the human brain to be rich in reorganization and change. Neuroimaging results have recast our framework around cognitive aging from one of decline to one emphasizing plasticity. Current methods use neurostimulation approaches to manipulate brain function, providing a direct test of the ways that the brain differently contributes to task performance for younger and older adults. Emerging research into emotional, social, and motivational domains provides some evidence for preservation with age, suggesting potential avenues of plasticity, alongside additional evidence for reorganization. Thus, we begin to see that aging of the brain, amidst interrelated behavioral and biological changes, is as complex and idiosyncratic as the brain itself, qualitatively changing over the life span.
Malinovskaya, Natalia A.; Komleva, Yulia K.; Salmin, Vladimir V.; Morgun, Andrey V.; Shuvaev, Anton N.; Panina, Yulia A.; Boitsova, Elizaveta B.; Salmina, Alla B.
Currently, there is a considerable interest to the assessment of blood-brain barrier (BBB) development as a part of cerebral angiogenesis developmental program. Embryonic and adult angiogenesis in the brain is governed by the coordinated activity of endothelial progenitor cells, brain microvascular endothelial cells, and non-endothelial cells contributing to the establishment of the BBB (pericytes, astrocytes, neurons). Metabolic and functional plasticity of endothelial progenitor cells controls their timely recruitment, precise homing to the brain microvessels, and efficient support of brain angiogenesis. Deciphering endothelial progenitor cells physiology would provide novel engineering approaches to establish adequate microfluidically-supported BBB models and brain microphysiological systems for translational studies. PMID:27990124
Wang, Ling; Conner, James M.; Rickert, Jessica; Tuszynski, Mark H.
Cortical networks undergo adaptations during learning, including increases in dendritic complexity and spines. We hypothesized that structural elaborations during learning are restricted to discrete subsets of cells preferentially activated by, and relevant to, novel experience. Accordingly, we examined corticospinal motor neurons segregated on the basis of their distinct descending projection patterns, and their contribution to specific aspects of motor control during a forelimb skilled grasping task in adult rats. Learning-mediated structural adaptations, including extensive expansions of spine density and dendritic complexity, were restricted solely to neurons associated with control of distal forelimb musculature required for skilled grasping; neurons associated with control of proximal musculature were unchanged by the experience. We further found that distal forelimb-projecting and proximal forelimb-projecting neurons are intermingled within motor cortex, and that this distribution does not change as a function of skill acquisition. These findings indicate that representations of novel experience in the adult motor cortex are associated with selective structural expansion in networks of functionally related, active neurons that are distributed across a single cortical domain. These results identify a distinct parcellation of cortical resources in support of learning. PMID:21257908
Sale, Alessandro; Berardi, Nicoletta; Maffei, Lamberto
Brain plasticity refers to the remarkable property of cerebral neurons to change their structure and function in response to experience, a fundamental theoretical theme in the field of basic research and a major focus for neural rehabilitation following brain disease. While much of the early work on this topic was based on deprivation approaches relying on sensory experience reduction procedures, major advances have been recently obtained using the conceptually opposite paradigm of environmental enrichment, whereby an enhanced stimulation is provided at multiple cognitive, sensory, social, and motor levels. In this survey, we aim to review past and recent work concerning the influence exerted by the environment on brain plasticity processes, with special emphasis on the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms and starting from experimental work on animal models to move to highly relevant work performed in humans. We will initiate introducing the concept of brain plasticity and describing classic paradigmatic examples to illustrate how changes at the level of neuronal properties can ultimately affect and direct key perceptual and behavioral outputs. Then, we describe the remarkable effects elicited by early stressful conditions, maternal care, and preweaning enrichment on central nervous system development, with a separate section focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders. A specific section is dedicated to the striking ability of environmental enrichment and physical exercise to empower adult brain plasticity. Finally, we analyze in the last section the ever-increasing available knowledge on the effects elicited by enriched living conditions on physiological and pathological aging brain processes.
Acute or chronic injury to the adult brain often results in substantial loss of neural tissue and subsequent permanent functional impairment. Over the last two decades, a number of approaches have been developed to harness the regenerative potential of neural stem cells and the existing fate plasticity of neural cells in the nervous system to prevent tissue loss or to enhance structural and functional regeneration upon injury. Here, we review recent advances of stem cell-associated neural repair in the adult brain, discuss current challenges and limitations, and suggest potential directions to foster the translation of experimental stem cell therapies into the clinic. PMID:26918167
Fu, Yu; Kaneko, Megumi; Tang, Yunshuo; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo; Stryker, Michael P
The adult brain continues to learn and can recover from injury, but the elements and operation of the neural circuits responsible for this plasticity are not known. In previous work, we have shown that locomotion dramatically enhances neural activity in the visual cortex (V1) of the mouse (Niell and Stryker, 2010), identified the cortical circuit responsible for this enhancement (Fu et al., 2014), and shown that locomotion also dramatically enhances adult plasticity (Kaneko and Stryker, 2014). The circuit that is responsible for enhancing neural activity in the visual cortex contains both vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and somatostatin (SST) neurons (Fu et al., 2014). Here, we ask whether this VIP-SST circuit enhances plasticity directly, independent of locomotion and aerobic activity. Optogenetic activation or genetic blockade of this circuit reveals that it is both necessary and sufficient for rapidly increasing V1 cortical responses following manipulation of visual experience in adult mice. These findings reveal a disinhibitory circuit that regulates adult cortical plasticity.
Krägeloh-Mann, Ingeborg; Lidzba, Karen; Pavlova, Marina A; Wilke, Marko; Staudt, Martin
Two competing hypotheses address neuroplasticity during early brain development: the "Kennard principle" describes the compensatory capacities of the immature developing CNS as superior to those of the adult brain, whereas the "Hebb principle" argues that the young brain is especially sensitive to insults. We provide evidence that these principles are not mutually exclusive. Following early brain lesions that are unilateral, the brain can refer to homotopic areas of the healthy hemisphere. This potential for reorganization is unique to the young brain but available only when, during ontogenesis of brain development, these areas have been used for the functions addressed. With respect to motor function, ipsilateral motor tracts can be recruited, which are only available during early brain development. Language can be reorganized to the right after early left hemispheric lesions, as the representation of the language network is initially bilateral. However, even in these situations, compensatory capacities of the developing brain are found to have limitations, probably defined by early determinants. Thus, plasticity and adaptivity are seen only within ontogenetic potential; that is, axonal or cortical structures cannot be recruited beyond early developmental possibilities. The young brain is probably more sensitive and vulnerable to lesions when these are bilateral. This is shown here for bilateral periventricular white matter lesions that clearly have an impact on cortical architecture and function, thus probably interfering with early network building.
Fagiolini, Michela; Jensen, Catherine L.; Champagne, Frances A.
A fine interplay exists between sensory experience and innate genetic programs leading to the sculpting of neuronal circuits during early brain development. Recent evidence suggests that the dynamic regulation of gene expression through epigenetic mechanisms is at the interface between environmental stimuli and long-lasting molecular, cellular and complex behavioral phenotypes acquired during periods of developmental plasticity. Understanding these mechanisms may give insight into the formation of critical periods and provide new strategies for increasing plasticity and adaptive change in adulthood. PMID:19545993
For number of years there existed two groups amongst those involved in treating mental disorders, the psychological and biological camps. Psychological camp recommending that "psychological disorders" require psychological treatments, whilst biological camp argued for biological treatment for "biological disorders". Here, I will provide emerging evidence that both forms of treatments have similar underlying neurobiological basis. Beginning at the molecular level, the fields of gene expression, functional genomics, epigenetics have become increasingly important in expanding our knowledge and providing an understanding of the mechanisms that are likely to be involved in changes that occur as result of psychological treatments. Understanding the biological basis of memory systems that include, the concepts of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) through which synaptic plasticity is thought to occur go some way towards explaining how various psychotherapies modify memories and learning in a positive way. Finally various neuroimaging studies have provided a further insight in to the neural changes occurring as a result of psychological treatments.
Hypoxic-ischaemic damage to the developing brain is a leading cause of child death, with high mortality and morbidity, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and cognitive disabilities. The developmental stage of the brain and the severity of the insult influence the selective regional vulnerability and the subsequent clinical manifestations. The increased susceptibility to hypoxia-ischaemia (HI) of periventricular white matter in preterm infants predisposes the immature brain to motor, cognitive, and sensory deficits, with cognitive impairment associated with earlier gestational age. In term infants HI causes selective damage to sensorimotor cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus, and brain stem. Even though the immature brain is more malleable to external stimuli compared to the adult one, a hypoxic-ischaemic event to the neonate interrupts the shaping of central motor pathways and can affect normal developmental plasticity through altering neurotransmission, changes in cellular signalling, neural connectivity and function, wrong targeted innervation, and interruption of developmental apoptosis. Models of neonatal HI demonstrate three morphologically different types of cell death, that is, apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy, which crosstalk and can exist as a continuum in the same cell. In the present review we discuss the mechanisms of HI injury to the immature brain and the way they affect plasticity. PMID:27047695
Neuroscience-based representations and practices of the brain aimed at lay populations present the brain in ways that both affirm biological determinism and also celebrate plasticity, or the brain's ability to change structure and function. Popular uses of neuroscientific theories of brain plasticity are saturated with a neoliberal vision of the subject. Against more optimistic readings of plasticity, I view the popular deployment of plasticity through the framework of governmentality. I describe how popular brain discourse on plasticity opens up the brain to personal techniques of enhancement and risk avoidance, and how it promotes a neuronal self. I situate brain plasticity in a context of biomedical neoliberalism, where the engineering and modification of biological life is positioned as essential to selfhood and citizenship.
Neurogenesis and neuronal recruitment occur in many vertebrates, including humans. Most of the new neurons die before reaching their destination. Those which survive migrate to various brain regions, replace older ones and connect to existing circuits. Evidence suggests that this replacement is related to acquisition of new information. Therefore, neuronal replacement can be seen as a form of brain plasticity that enables organisms to adjust to environmental changes. However, direct evidence of a causal link between replacement and learning remains elusive. Our hypothesis is that increased neuronal recruitment is associated with increase in memory load. Moreover, since neuronal recruitment is part of a turnover process, we assume that the same conditions that favor survival of some neurons induce the death of others. I present studies that investigated the effect of various behaviors and environmental conditions (food-hoarding, social change, reproductive cycle) on neuronal recruitment and survival in adult avian brains, and discuss how these phenomena relate to the life of animals. I offer a frame and rationale for comparing neuronal replacement in the adult brain, in order to uncover the pressures, rules, and mechanisms that govern its constant rejuvenation. The review emphasizes the importance of using various approaches (behavioral, anatomical, cellular and hormonal) in neuroethological research, and the need to study natural populations, in order to fully understand how neurogenesis and neuronal replacement contribute to life of animals. Finally, the review indicates to future directions and ends with the hope that a better understanding of adult neuronal replacement will lead to medical applications.
Braun, S M G; Jessberger, S
Neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) in the mammalian brain retain the ability to generate new neurones throughout life in discrete brain regions, through a process called adult neurogenesis. Adult neurogenesis, a dramatic form of adult brain circuitry plasticity, has been implicated in physiological brain function and appears to be of pivotal importance for certain forms of learning and memory. In addition, failing or altered neurogenesis has been associated with a variety of brain diseases such as major depression, epilepsy and age-related cognitive decline. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of the basic biology underlying the neurogenic process in the adult brain, focusing on mechanisms that regulate quiescence, proliferation and differentiation of NSPCs. In addition, we discuss how neurogenesis influences normal brain function, and in particular its role in memory formation, as well as its contribution to neuropsychiatric diseases. Finally, we evaluate the potential of targeting endogenous NSPCs for brain repair.
Ruiz-Perera, L.; Muniz, M.; Vierci, G.; Bornia, N.; Baroncelli, L.; Sale, A.; Rossi, F.M.
The scarce functional recovery of the adult CNS following injuries or diseases is largely due to its reduced potential for plasticity, the ability to reorganize neural connections as a function of experience. Recently, some new strategies restoring high levels of plasticity in the adult brain have been identified, especially in the paradigmatic model of the visual system. A chronic treatment with the anti-depressant fluoxetine reinstates plasticity in the adult rat primary visual cortex, inducing recovery of vision in amblyopic animals. The molecular mechanisms underlying this effect remain largely unknown. Here, we explored fluoxetine effects on mouse visual cortical plasticity, and exploited a proteomic approach to identify possible candidates mediating the outcome of the antidepressant treatment on adult cortical plasticity. We showed that fluoxetine restores ocular dominance plasticity in the adult mouse visual cortex, and identified 31 differentially expressed protein spots in fluoxetine-treated animals vs. controls. MALDITOF/TOF mass spectrometry identification followed by bioinformatics analysis revealed that these proteins are involved in the control of cytoskeleton organization, endocytosis, molecular transport, intracellular signaling, redox cellular state, metabolism and protein degradation. Altogether, these results indicate a complex effect of fluoxetine on neuronal signaling mechanisms potentially involved in restoring plasticity in the adult brain. PMID:26205348
Leung, Natalie T Y; Tam, Helena M K; Chu, Leung W; Kwok, Timothy C Y; Chan, Felix; Lam, Linda C W; Woo, Jean; Lee, Tatia M C
Increasing research has evidenced that our brain retains a capacity to change in response to experience until late adulthood. This implies that cognitive training can possibly ameliorate age-associated cognitive decline by inducing training-specific neural plastic changes at both neural and behavioral levels. This longitudinal study examined the behavioral effects of a systematic thirteen-week cognitive training program on attention and working memory of older adults who were at risk of cognitive decline. These older adults were randomly assigned to the Cognitive Training Group (n = 109) and the Active Control Group (n = 100). Findings clearly indicated that training induced improvement in auditory and visual-spatial attention and working memory. The training effect was specific to the experience provided because no significant difference in verbal and visual-spatial memory between the two groups was observed. This pattern of findings is consistent with the prediction and the principle of experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Findings of our study provided further support to the notion that the neural plastic potential continues until older age. The baseline cognitive status did not correlate with pre- versus posttraining changes to any cognitive variables studied, suggesting that the initial cognitive status may not limit the neuroplastic potential of the brain at an old age.
Loxley, Andrew; Murphy, Colette; Seery, Aidan
This article advances the thinking of Lima, Ostermann and Rezende's "Marxism in Vygotskian approaches to cultural studies of science education" and Mark Zuss' response to their paper. Firstly, it introduces Catherine Malabou's concept of plasticity, from which Hegel's dialectic can be re-read as historical materialist self-determination in a way that embraces science but non-reductively, and which leads to the possibility of challenging theoretical rigidity as a form of transformative action. Secondly, this response article provides political analysis of scientific concepts as they reproduce and reinforce particular interests and are expropriated by policy makers and unaware teacher educators whose understanding lies within a technical-instrumentalism and diluted humanism framework. Both arguments feature the human brain as an object of research in science education. From Malabou, the emancipatory conceptualisation of the brain as material, historical and sociocultural; whilst `Brain Gym' exemplifies a non-science and nonsensical misappropriation of scientific concepts for commercial gain via a para-educational intervention.
Dong, Willie K.; Greenough, William T.
Neuronal and nonneuronal plasticity are both affected by environmental and experiential factors. Remodeling of existing neurons induced by such factors has been observed throughout the brain, and includes alterations in dendritic field dimensions, synaptogenesis, and synaptic morphology. The brain loci affected by these plastic neuronal changes…
Johnston, Michael V.
Neuronal plasticity allows the central nervous system to learn skills and remember information, to reorganize neuronal networks in response to environmental stimulation, and to recover from brain and spinal cord injuries. Neuronal plasticity is enhanced in the developing brain and it is usually adaptive and beneficial but can also be maladaptive…
Alfaro, Arantxa; Bernabeu, Ángela; Agulló, Carlos; Parra, Jaime; Fernández, Eduardo
Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) are providing new ways for improving or replacing sensory abilities that have been lost due to disease or injury, and at the same time offer unprecedented opportunities to address how the nervous system could lead to an augmentation of its capacities. In this work we have evaluated a color-blind subject using a new visual-to-auditory SSD device called “Eyeborg”, that allows colors to be perceived as sounds. We used a combination of neuroimaging techniques including Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to study potential brain plasticity in this subject. Our results suggest that after 8 years of continuous use of this device there could be significant adaptive and compensatory changes within the brain. In particular, we found changes in functional neural patterns, structural connectivity and cortical topography at the visual and auditive cortex of the Eyeborg user in comparison with a control population. Although at the moment we cannot claim that the continuous use of the Eyeborg is the only reason for these findings, our results may shed further light on potential brain changes associated with the use of other SSDs. This could help to better understand how the brain adapts to several pathologies and uncover adaptive resources such as cross-modal representations. We expect that the precise understanding of these changes will have clear implications for rehabilitative training, device development and for more efficient programs for people with disabilities. PMID:25926778
Autonomic cardiac neurons have a common origin in the neural crest but undergo distinct developmental differentiation as they mature toward their adult phenotype. Progenitor cells respond to repulsive cues during migration, followed by differentiation cues from paracrine sources that promote neurochemistry and differentiation. When autonomic axons start to innervate cardiac tissue, neurotrophic factors from vascular tissue are essential for maintenance of neurons before they reach their targets, upon which target-derived trophic factors take over final maturation, synaptic strength and postnatal survival. Although target-derived neurotrophins have a central role to play in development, alternative sources of neurotrophins may also modulate innervation. Both developing and adult sympathetic neurons express proNGF, and adult parasympathetic cardiac ganglion neurons also synthesize and release NGF. The physiological function of these "non-classical" cardiac sources of neurotrophins remains to be determined, especially in relation to autocrine/paracrine sustenance during development. Cardiac autonomic nerves are closely spatially associated in cardiac plexuses, ganglia and pacemaker regions and so are sensitive to release of neurotransmitter, neuropeptides and trophic factors from adjacent nerves. As such, in many cardiac pathologies, it is an imbalance within the two arms of the autonomic system that is critical for disease progression. Although this crosstalk between sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves has been well established for adult nerves, it is unclear whether a degree of paracrine regulation occurs across the autonomic limbs during development. Aberrant nerve remodeling is a common occurrence in many adult cardiovascular pathologies, and the mechanisms regulating outgrowth or denervation are disparate. However, autonomic neurons display considerable plasticity in this regard with neurotrophins and inflammatory cytokines having a central regulatory
Hillerer, Katharina Maria; Jacobs, Volker Rudolf; Fischer, Thorsten; Aigner, Ludwig
The time of pregnancy, birth, and lactation, is characterized by numerous specific alterations in several systems of the maternal body. Peripartum-associated changes in physiology and behavior, as well as their underlying molecular mechanisms, have been the focus of research since decades, but are still far from being entirely understood. Also, there is growing evidence that pregnancy and lactation are associated with a variety of alterations in neural plasticity, including adult neurogenesis, functional and structural synaptic plasticity, and dendritic remodeling in different brain regions. All of the mentioned changes are not only believed to be a prerequisite for the proper fetal and neonatal development, but moreover to be crucial for the physiological and mental health of the mother. The underlying mechanisms apparently need to be under tight control, since in cases of dysregulation, a certain percentage of women develop disorders like preeclampsia or postpartum mood and anxiety disorders during the course of pregnancy and lactation. This review describes common peripartum adaptations in physiology and behavior. Moreover, it concentrates on different forms of peripartum-associated plasticity including changes in neurogenesis and their possible underlying molecular mechanisms. Finally, consequences of malfunction in those systems are discussed. PMID:24883213
Kleim, Jeffrey A.
Following brain injury or disease there are widespread biochemical, anatomical and physiological changes that result in what might be considered a new, very different brain. This adapted brain is forced to reacquire behaviors lost as a result of the injury or disease and relies on neural plasticity within the residual neural circuits. The same…
Brain plasticity associated with anomia recovery in aphasia is poorly understood. Here, I review four recent studies from my lab that focused on brain modulation associated with long-term anomia outcome, its behavioral treatment, and the use of transcranial brain stimulation to enhance anomia treatment success in individuals with chronic aphasia…
Mahncke, Henry W; Bronstone, Amy; Merzenich, Michael M
Aging is associated with progressive losses in function across multiple systems, including sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect. The traditional view has been that functional decline in aging is unavoidable because it is a direct consequence of brain machinery wearing down over time. In recent years, an alternative perspective has emerged, which elaborates on this traditional view of age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint--based upon decades of research in neuroscience, experimental psychology, and other related fields--argues that as people age, brain plasticity processes with negative consequences begin to dominate brain functioning. Four core factors--reduced schedules of brain activity, noisy processing, weakened neuromodulatory control, and negative learning--interact to create a self-reinforcing downward spiral of degraded brain function in older adults. This downward spiral might begin from reduced brain activity due to behavioral change, from a loss in brain function driven by aging brain machinery, or more likely from both. In aggregate, these interrelated factors promote plastic changes in the brain that result in age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint on the root causes of functional decline immediately suggests a remedial approach. Studies of adult brain plasticity have shown that substantial improvement in function and/or recovery from losses in sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect should be possible, using appropriately designed behavioral training paradigms. Driving brain plasticity with positive outcomes requires engaging older adults in demanding sensory, cognitive, and motor activities on an intensive basis, in a behavioral context designed to re-engage and strengthen the neuromodulatory systems that control learning in adults, with the goal of increasing the fidelity, reliability, and power of cortical representations. Such a training program would serve a substantial unmet need in
Contrasts and compares the theory and practice of adult education as it relates to the issue of right brain/left brain learning. The author stresses the need for a whole-brain approach to teaching and suggests that adult educators, given their philosophical directions, are the perfect potential users of this integrated system. (Editor/CT)
Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Hüppe, Janika M.; Löwel, Siegrid
The primary visual cortex (V1) is widely used to study brain plasticity, which is not only crucial for normal brain function, such as learning and memory, but also for recovery after brain injuries such as stroke. In standard cage (SC) raised mice, experience-dependent ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in V1 declines with age and is compromised by a lesion in adjacent and distant cortical regions. In contrast, mice raised in an enriched environment (EE), exhibit lifelong OD plasticity and are protected from losing OD plasticity after a stroke-lesion in the somatosensory cortex. Since SC mice with an access to a running wheel (RW) displayed preserved OD plasticity during aging, we investigated whether physical exercise might also provide a plasticity promoting effect after a cortical stroke. To this end, we tested if adult RW-raised mice preserved OD plasticity after stroke and also if short-term running after stroke restored OD plasticity to SC mice. Indeed, unlike mice without a RW, adult RW mice continued to show OD plasticity even after stroke, and a 2 weeks RW experience after stroke already restored lost OD plasticity. Additionally, the experience-enabled increase of the spatial frequency and contrast threshold of the optomotor reflex of the open eye, normally lost after a stroke, was restored in both groups of RW mice. Our data suggest that physical exercise alone can not only preserve visual plasticity into old age, but also restore it after a cortical stroke. PMID:27708575
Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Hüppe, Janika M; Löwel, Siegrid
The primary visual cortex (V1) is widely used to study brain plasticity, which is not only crucial for normal brain function, such as learning and memory, but also for recovery after brain injuries such as stroke. In standard cage (SC) raised mice, experience-dependent ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in V1 declines with age and is compromised by a lesion in adjacent and distant cortical regions. In contrast, mice raised in an enriched environment (EE), exhibit lifelong OD plasticity and are protected from losing OD plasticity after a stroke-lesion in the somatosensory cortex. Since SC mice with an access to a running wheel (RW) displayed preserved OD plasticity during aging, we investigated whether physical exercise might also provide a plasticity promoting effect after a cortical stroke. To this end, we tested if adult RW-raised mice preserved OD plasticity after stroke and also if short-term running after stroke restored OD plasticity to SC mice. Indeed, unlike mice without a RW, adult RW mice continued to show OD plasticity even after stroke, and a 2 weeks RW experience after stroke already restored lost OD plasticity. Additionally, the experience-enabled increase of the spatial frequency and contrast threshold of the optomotor reflex of the open eye, normally lost after a stroke, was restored in both groups of RW mice. Our data suggest that physical exercise alone can not only preserve visual plasticity into old age, but also restore it after a cortical stroke.
... Search Search En Español Category Cancer A-Z Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults If you have a brain or spinal cord tumor or are close to ... cope. Here you can find out all about brain and spinal cord tumors in adults, including risk ...
Kacelnik, Oliver; Nodal, Fernando R; Parsons, Carl H
Accurate auditory localization relies on neural computations based on spatial cues present in the sound waves at each ear. The values of these cues depend on the size, shape, and separation of the two ears and can therefore vary from one individual to another. As with other perceptual skills, the neural circuits involved in spatial hearing are shaped by experience during development and retain some capacity for plasticity in later life. However, the factors that enable and promote plasticity of auditory localization in the adult brain are unknown. Here we show that mature ferrets can rapidly relearn to localize sounds after having their spatial cues altered by reversibly occluding one ear, but only if they are trained to use these cues in a behaviorally relevant task, with greater and more rapid improvement occurring with more frequent training. We also found that auditory adaptation is possible in the absence of vision or error feedback. Finally, we show that this process involves a shift in sensitivity away from the abnormal auditory spatial cues to other cues that are less affected by the earplug. The mature auditory system is therefore capable of adapting to abnormal spatial information by reweighting different localization cues. These results suggest that training should facilitate acclimatization to hearing aids in the hearing impaired. PMID:16509769
Erickson, Kirk I; Gildengers, Ariel G; Butters, Meryl A
The human brain shrinks with advancing age, but recent research suggests that it is also capable of remarkable plasticity, even in late life. In this review we summarize the research linking greater amounts of physical activity to less cortical atrophy, better brain function, and enhanced cognitive function, and argue that physical activity takes advantage of the brain's natural capacity for plasticity. Further, although the effects of physical activity on the brain are relatively widespread, there is also some specificity, such that prefrontal and hippocampal areas appear to be more influenced than other areas of the brain. The specificity of these effects, we argue, provides a biological basis for understanding the capacity for physical activity to influence neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression. We conclude that physical activity is a promising intervention that can influence the endogenous pharmacology of the brain to enhance cognitive and emotional function in late adulthood.
Ricard, Damien; Idbaih, Ahmed; Ducray, François; Lahutte, Marion; Hoang-Xuan, Khê; Delattre, Jean-Yves
Important advances have been made in the understanding and management of adult gliomas and primary CNS lymphomas--the two most common primary brain tumours. Progress in imaging has led to a better analysis of the nature and grade of these tumours. Findings from large phase 3 studies have yielded some standard treatments for gliomas, and have confirmed the prognostic value of specific molecular alterations. High-throughput methods that enable genome-wide analysis of tumours have improved the knowledge of tumour biology, which should lead to a better classification of gliomas and pave the way for so-called targeted therapy trials. Primary CNS lymphomas are a group of rare non-Hodgkin lymphomas. High-dose methotrexate-based regimens increase survival, but the standards of care and the place of whole-brain radiotherapy remain unclear, and are likely to depend on the age of the patient. The focus now is on the development of new polychemotherapy regimens to reduce or defer whole-brain radiotherapy and its delayed complications.
Kempermann, Gerd; Fabel, Klaus; Ehninger, Dan; Babu, Harish; Leal-Galicia, Perla; Garthe, Alexander; Wolf, Susanne A.
Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is an unusual case of brain plasticity, since new neurons (and not just neurites and synapses) are added to the network in an activity-dependent way. At the behavioral level the plasticity-inducing stimuli include both physical and cognitive activity. In reductionistic animal studies these types of activity can be studied separately in paradigms like voluntary wheel running and environmental enrichment. In both of these, adult neurogenesis is increased but the net effect is primarily due to different mechanisms at the cellular level. Locomotion appears to stimulate the precursor cells, from which adult neurogenesis originates, to increased proliferation and maintenance over time, whereas environmental enrichment, as well as learning, predominantly promotes survival of immature neurons, that is the progeny of the proliferating precursor cells. Surprisingly, these effects are additive: boosting the potential for adult neurogenesis by physical activity increases the recruitment of cells following cognitive stimulation in an enriched environment. Why is that? We argue that locomotion actually serves as an intrinsic feedback mechanism, signaling to the brain, including its neural precursor cells, increasing the likelihood of cognitive challenges. In the wild (other than in front of a TV), no separation of physical and cognitive activity occurs. Physical activity might thus be much more than a generally healthy garnish to leading “an active life” but an evolutionarily fundamental aspect of “activity,” which is needed to provide the brain and its systems of plastic adaptation with the appropriate regulatory input and feedback. PMID:21151782
Murphy, Tytus; Dias, Gisele Pereira; Thuret, Sandrine
Dietary interventions have emerged as effective environmental inducers of brain plasticity. Among these dietary interventions, we here highlight the impact of caloric restriction (CR: a consistent reduction of total daily food intake), intermittent fasting (IF, every-other-day feeding), and diet supplementation with polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on markers of brain plasticity in animal studies. Moreover, we also discuss epidemiological and intervention studies reporting the effects of CR, IF and dietary polyphenols and PUFAs on learning, memory, and mood. In particular, we evaluate the gap in mechanistic understanding between recent findings from animal studies and those human studies reporting that these dietary factors can benefit cognition, mood, and anxiety, aging, and Alzheimer's disease-with focus on the enhancement of structural and functional plasticity markers in the hippocampus, such as increased expression of neurotrophic factors, synaptic function and adult neurogenesis. Lastly, we discuss some of the obstacles to harnessing the promising effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal studies into effective recommendations and interventions to promote healthy brain function in humans. Together, these data reinforce the important translational concept that diet, a modifiable lifestyle factor, holds the ability to modulate brain health and function.
Dias, Gisele Pereira
Dietary interventions have emerged as effective environmental inducers of brain plasticity. Among these dietary interventions, we here highlight the impact of caloric restriction (CR: a consistent reduction of total daily food intake), intermittent fasting (IF, every-other-day feeding), and diet supplementation with polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on markers of brain plasticity in animal studies. Moreover, we also discuss epidemiological and intervention studies reporting the effects of CR, IF and dietary polyphenols and PUFAs on learning, memory, and mood. In particular, we evaluate the gap in mechanistic understanding between recent findings from animal studies and those human studies reporting that these dietary factors can benefit cognition, mood, and anxiety, aging, and Alzheimer's disease—with focus on the enhancement of structural and functional plasticity markers in the hippocampus, such as increased expression of neurotrophic factors, synaptic function and adult neurogenesis. Lastly, we discuss some of the obstacles to harnessing the promising effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal studies into effective recommendations and interventions to promote healthy brain function in humans. Together, these data reinforce the important translational concept that diet, a modifiable lifestyle factor, holds the ability to modulate brain health and function. PMID:24900924
Loxley, Andrew; Murphy, Colette; Seery, Aidan
This article advances the thinking of Lima, Ostermann and Rezende's "Marxism in Vygotskian approaches to cultural studies of science education" and Mark Zuss' response to their paper. Firstly, it introduces Catherine Malabou's concept of plasticity, from which Hegel's dialectic can be re-read as historical materialist…
New mothers undergo dynamic neural changes that support positive adaptation to parenting and the development of mother-infant relationships. In this article, I review important psychological adaptations that mothers experience during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. I then review evidence of structural and functional plasticity in human…
Markham, Julie A.; Greenough, William T.
The brain is remarkably responsive to its interactions with the environment, and its morphology is altered by experience in measurable ways. Histological examination of the brains of animals exposed to either a complex (‘enriched’) environment or learning paradigm, compared with appropriate controls, has illuminated the nature of experience-induced morphological plasticity in the brain. For example, this research reveals that changes in synapse number and morphology are associated with learning and are stable, in that they persist well beyond the period of exposure to the learning experience. In addition, other components of the nervous system also respond to experience: oligodendrocytes and axonal myelination might also be permanently altered, whereas changes in astrocytes and cerebrovasculature are more transient and appear to be activity- rather than learning-driven. Thus, experience induces multiple forms of plasticity in the brain that are apparently regulated, at least in part, by independent mechanisms. PMID:16921405
Epigenetic mechanisms mediate the interaction between environment and genome. On molecular level, these mechanisms are active in plastic processes of the brain and influence brain function and the person's ability to adapt to the environment. Genomic variations provide individual options for this adaptation, and a spectrum of behavioral patterns necessary for species preservation. Adaptation processes may also be harmful in respect of individual health, leading even to psychiatric illnesses, but are still meaningful as seen through the person's inner experience, genome or environment.
Vivar, Carmen; Potter, Michelle C.; van Praag, Henriette
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
Champagne, Frances A.; Curley, James P.
Maternal behavior is dynamic and highly sensitive to experiential and contextual factors. In this review, this plasticity will be explored, with a focus on how experiences of females occurring from the time of fetal development through to adulthood impact maternal behavior and the maternal brain. Variation in postpartum maternal behavior is…
Parenting recruits a distributed network of brain structures (and neuromodulators) that coordinates caregiving responses attuned to the young's affect, needs, and developmental stage. Many of these structures and connections undergo significant structural and functional plasticity, mediated by the interplay between maternal hormones and social…
Anderson, Samira; Kraus, Nina
Improvements in digital amplification, cochlear implants, and other innovations have extended the potential for improving hearing function; yet, there remains a need for further hearing improvement in challenging listening situations, such as when trying to understand speech in noise or when listening to music. Here, we review evidence from animal and human models of plasticity in the brain’s ability to process speech and other meaningful stimuli. We considered studies targeting populations of younger through older adults, emphasizing studies that have employed randomized controlled designs and have made connections between neural and behavioral changes. Overall results indicate that the brain remains malleable through older adulthood, provided that treatment algorithms have been modified to allow for changes in learning with age. Improvements in speech-in-noise perception and cognition function accompany neural changes in auditory processing. The training-related improvements noted across studies support the need to consider auditory training strategies in the management of individuals who express concerns about hearing in difficult listening situations. Given evidence from studies engaging the brain’s reward centers, future research should consider how these centers can be naturally activated during training. PMID:25485037
Bonzano, Sara; Bovetti, Serena; Gendusa, Claudio; Peretto, Paolo; De Marchis, Silvia
The olfactory bulb (OB) is a highly plastic brain region involved in the early processing of olfactory information. A remarkably feature of the OB circuits in rodents is the constitutive integration of new neurons that takes place during adulthood. Newborn cells in the adult OB are mostly inhibitory interneurons belonging to chemically, morphologically and functionally heterogeneous types. Although there is general agreement that adult neurogenesis in the OB plays a key role in sensory information processing and olfaction-related plasticity, the contribution of each interneuron subtype to such functions is far to be elucidated. Here, we focus on the dopaminergic (DA) interneurons: we highlight recent findings about their morphological features and then describe the molecular factors required for the specification/differentiation and maintenance of the DA phenotype in adult born neurons. We also discuss dynamic changes of the DA interneuron population related to age, environmental stimuli and lesions, and their possible functional implications. PMID:27199651
Aging is a physiological process that can develop without the appearance of concurrent diseases. However, very frequently, older people suffer from memory loss and an accelerated cognitive decline. Studies of the neurobiology of aging are beginning to decipher the mechanisms underlying not only the physiology of aging of the brain but also the mechanisms that make people more vulnerable to cognitive dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases. Today we know that the aging brain retains a considerable functional plasticity, and that this plasticity is positively promoted by genes activated by different lifestyle factors. In this article some of these lifestyle factors and their mechanisms of action are reviewed, including environmental enrichment and the importance of food intake and some nutrients. Aerobic physical exercise and reduction of chronic stress are also briefly reviewed. It is proposed that lifestyle factors are powerful instruments to promote healthy and successful aging of the brain and delay the appearance of age-related cognitive deficits in elderly people.
Lephart, Edwin D; Setchell, Kenneth D R; Lund, Trent D
Because of their protective effects in age-related diseases and hormone-dependent cancers, the use of phytoestrogens (isoflavones) as 'natural' remedies has gained prominence. Isoflavones are estrogen mimics that bind estrogen receptors and act like natural selective estrogen receptors modulators. However, limited data exists regarding the influence of soy-derived dietary isoflavones in brain. This brief review will address these topics and examine the influence of dietary isoflavones on sexually dimorphic hypothalamic nuclei. We have observed that altering the isoflavone content within diet significantly affects both the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (a structure that is larger in males than in females) and the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (a structure that is larger in females than in males). Specifically, when animals were switched from phytoestrogen-rich to a phytoestrogen-free diet the volume of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area was decreased in males (no alterations were detected in females). Conversely, when the anteroventral periventricular nucleus was examined, volume changes were recorded in males and females opposite to the patterns observed for the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area. Given the practical limitations of examining the effects of dietary phytoestrogens in the human brain, it is important to establish comparative data sets to elucidate phytoestrogen's hormone action and potentially its beneficial brain health effects.
Yang, Miyoung; Kim, Juhwan; Kim, Sung-Ho; Kim, Joong-Sun; Shin, Taekyun; Moon, Changjong
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.
Kim, Pilyoung; Strathearn, Lane; Swain, James E.
Early mother-infant relationships play important roles in infants’ optimal development. New mothers undergo neurobiological changes that support developing mother-infant relationships regardless of great individual differences in those relationships. In this article, we review the neural plasticity in human mothers’ brains based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. First, we review the neural circuits that are involved in establishing and maintaining mother-infant relationships. Second, we discuss early postpartum factors (e.g., birth and feeding methods, hormones, and parental sensitivity) that are associated with individual differences in maternal brain neuroplasticity. Third, we discuss abnormal changes in the maternal brain related to psychopathology (i.e., postpartum depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse) and potential brain remodeling associated with interventions. Last, we highlight potentially important future research directions to better understand normative changes in the maternal brain and risks for abnormal changes that may disrupt early mother-infant relationships. PMID:26268151
Balog, Jenny; Matthies, Ulrike; Naumann, Lisa; Voget, Mareike; Winter, Christine; Lehmann, Konrad
Environmental factors have long been known to regulate brain plasticity. We investigated the potential influence of social experience on ocular dominance plasticity. Fully adult female or male mice were monocularly deprived for four days and kept a) either alone or in pairs of the same sex and b) either in a small cage or a large, featureless arena. While mice kept alone did not show ocular dominance plasticity, no matter whether in a cage or in an arena, paired female mice in both environmental conditions displayed a shift of ocular dominance towards the open eye. Paired male mice, in contrast, showed no plasticity in the cage, but a very strong ocular dominance shift in the arena. This effect was not due to increased locomotion, since the covered distance was similar in single and paired male mice in the arena, and furnishing cages with a running wheel did not enable ocular dominance plasticity in cage-housed mice. Confirming recent results in rats, the plasticity-enhancing effect of the social environment was shown to be mediated by serotonin. Our results demonstrate that social experience has a strong effect on cortical plasticity that is sex-dependent. This has potential consequences both for animal research and for human education and rehabilitation.
Xiong, Glen L; Doraiswamy, P Murali
Meditation practices have various health benefits including the possibility of preserving cognition and preventing dementia. While the mechanisms remain investigational, studies show that meditation may affect multiple pathways that could play a role in brain aging and mental fitness. For example, meditation may reduce stress-induced cortisol secretion and this could have neuroprotective effects potentially via elevating levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Meditation may also potentially have beneficial effects on lipid profiles and lower oxidative stress, both of which could in turn reduce the risk for cerebrovascular disease and age-related neurodegeneration. Further, meditation may potentially strengthen neuronal circuits and enhance cognitive reserve capacity. These are the theoretical bases for how meditation might enhance longevity and optimal health. Evidence to support a neuroprotective effect comes from cognitive, electroencephalogram (EEG), and structural neuroimaging studies. In one cross-sectional study, meditation practitioners were found to have a lower age-related decline in thickness of specific cortical regions. However, the enthusiasm must be balanced by the inconsistency and preliminary nature of existing studies as well as the fact that meditation comprises a heterogeneous group of practices. Key future challenges include the isolation of a potential common element in the different meditation modalities, replication of existing findings in larger randomized trials, determining the correct "dose," studying whether findings from expert practitioners are generalizable to a wider population, and better control of the confounding genetic, dietary and lifestyle influences.
McEwen, Bruce S
The brain is the central organ for adaptation to experiences, including stressors, which are capable of changing brain architecture as well as altering systemic function through neuroendocrine, autonomic, immune, and metabolic systems. Because the brain is the master regulator of these systems, as well as of behavior, alterations in brain function by chronic stress can have direct and indirect effects on cumulative allostatic overload, which refers to the cost of adaptation. There is much new knowledge on the neural control of systemic physiology and the feedback actions of physiologic mediators on brain regions regulating higher cognitive function, emotional regulation, and self-regulation. The healthy brain has a considerable capacity for resilience, based upon its ability to respond to interventions designed to open "windows of plasticity" and redirect its function toward better health. As a result, plasticity-facilitating treatments should be given within the framework of a positive behavioral intervention; negative experiences during this window may even make matters worse. Indeed, there are no magic bullets and drugs cannot substitute for targeted interventions that help an individual become resilient, of which mindfulness-based stress reduction and meditation are emerging as useful tools.
Bergan, Joseph F; Ro, Peter; Ro, Daniel; Knudsen, Eric I
The optic tectum (OT) of barn owls contains topographic maps of auditory and visual space. Barn owls reared with horizontally displacing prismatic spectacles (prisms) acquire a novel auditory space map in the OT that restores alignment with the prismatically displaced visual map. Although juvenile owls readily acquire alternative maps of auditory space as a result of experience, this plasticity is reduced greatly in adults. We tested whether hunting live prey, a natural and critically important behavior for barn owls, increases auditory map plasticity in adult owls. Two groups of naive adult owls were fit with prisms. The first group was fed dead mice during 10 weeks of prism experience, while the second group was required to hunt live prey for an identical period of time. When the owls hunted live prey, auditory maps shifted substantially farther (five times farther, on average) and the consistency of tuning curve shifts within each map increased. Only a short period of time in each day, during which the two groups experienced different conditions, accounts for this effect. In addition, increased map plasticity correlated with behavioral improvements in the owls' ability to strike and capture prey. These results indicate that the experience of hunting dramatically increases adult adaptive plasticity in this pathway.
Bhatia, Harsharan Singh; Agrawal, Rahul; Sharma, Sandeep; Huo, Yi-Xin; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando
Omega-3-fatty acid DHA is a structural component of brain plasma membranes, thereby crucial for neuronal signaling; however, the brain is inefficient at synthesizing DHA. We have asked how levels of dietary n-3 fatty acids during brain growth would affect brain function and plasticity during adult life. Pregnant rats and their male offspring were fed an n-3 adequate diet or n-3 deficient diets for 15 weeks. Results showed that the n-3 deficiency increased parameters of anxiety-like behavior using open field and elevated plus maze tests in the male offspring. Behavioral changes were accompanied by a level reduction in the anxiolytic-related neuropeptide Y-1 receptor, and an increase in the anxiogenic-related glucocorticoid receptor in the cognitive related frontal cortex, hypothalamus and hippocampus. The n-3 deficiency reduced brain levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and increased the ratio n-6/n-3 assessed by gas chromatography. The n-3 deficiency reduced the levels of BDNF and signaling through the BDNF receptor TrkB, in proportion to brain DHA levels, and reduced the activation of the BDNF-related signaling molecule CREB in selected brain regions. The n-3 deficiency also disrupted the insulin signaling pathways as evidenced by changes in insulin receptor (IR) and insulin receptor substrate (IRS). DHA deficiency during brain maturation reduces plasticity and compromises brain function in adulthood. Adequate levels of dietary DHA seem crucial for building long-term neuronal resilience for optimal brain performance and aiding in the battle against neurological disorders.
Aerts, Jeroen; Nys, Julie; Moons, Lieve; Hu, Tjing-Tjing; Arckens, Lutgarde
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are Zn(2+)-dependent endopeptidases considered to be essential for normal brain development and neuroplasticity by modulating extracellular matrix proteins, receptors, adhesion molecules, growth factors and cytoskeletal proteins. Specifically, MMP-3 has recently been implicated in synaptic plasticity, hippocampus-dependent learning and neuronal development and migration in the cerebellum. However, the function(s) of this enzyme in the neocortex is understudied. Therefore, we explored the phenotypical characteristics of the neuronal architecture and the capacity for experience-dependent cortical plasticity in the visual cortex of adult MMP-3-deficient (MMP-3(-/-)) mice. Golgi-Cox stainings revealed a significant reduction in apical dendritic length and an increased number of apical obliques for layer V pyramidal neurons in the visual cortex of adult MMP-3(-/-) mice compared to wild-type (WT) animals. In addition, a significant upregulation of both phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated neurofilament protein (NF)-high, phosphorylated NF-medium, NF-low and α-internexin was detected in the visual cortex of MMP-3(-/-) mice. To assess the effect of MMP-3 deficiency on cortical plasticity, we monocularly enucleated adult MMP-3(-/-) mice and analyzed the reactivation of the contralateral visual cortex 7 weeks post-enucleation. In contrast to previous results in C57Bl/6J adult mice, activity remained confined to the binocular zone and did not expand into the monocular regions indicative for an aberrant open-eye potentiation. Permanent hypoactivity in the monocular cortex lateral and medial to V1 also indicated a lack of cross-modal plasticity. These observations demonstrate that genetic inactivation of MMP-3 has profound effects on the structural integrity and plasticity response of the visual cortex of adult mice.
Barco, Angel; Kandel, Eric R.; Gordon, Barbara; Lickey, Marvin E.; Suzuki, Seigo; Pham, Tony A.; Graham, Sarah J.
The adult cerebral cortex can adapt to environmental change. Using monocular deprivation as a paradigm, we find that rapid experience-dependent plasticity exists even in the mature primary visual cortex. However, adult cortical plasticity differs from developmental plasticity in two important ways. First, the effect of adult, but not juvenile…
Carhuatanta, Kim A.; McInturf, Shawn M.; Miklasevich, Molly K.; Jankord, Ryan
Investigations into the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in relieving symptoms of neurological disorders and enhancing cognitive or motor performance have exhibited promising results. However, the mechanisms by which tDCS effects brain function remain under scrutiny. We have demonstrated that in vivo tDCS in rats produced a lasting effect on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, as measured using extracellular recordings. Ex vivo preparations of hippocampal slices from rats that have been subjected to tDCS of 0.10 or 0.25 mA for 30 min followed by 30 min of recovery time displayed a robust twofold enhancement in long-term potentiation (LTP) induction accompanied by a 30% increase in paired-pulse facilitation (PPF). The magnitude of the LTP effect was greater with 0.25 mA compared with 0.10 mA stimulations, suggesting a dose-dependent relationship between tDCS intensity and its effect on synaptic plasticity. To test the persistence of these observed effects, animals were stimulated in vivo for 30 min at 0.25 mA and then allowed to return to their home cage for 24 h. Observation of the enhanced LTP induction, but not the enhanced PPF, continued 24 h after completion of 0.25 mA of tDCS. Addition of the NMDA blocker AP-5 abolished LTP in both control and stimulated rats but maintained the PPF enhancement in stimulated rats. The observation of enhanced LTP and PPF after tDCS demonstrates that non-invasive electrical stimulation is capable of modifying synaptic plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Researchers have used brain stimulation such as transcranial direct current stimulation on human subjects to alleviate symptoms of neurological disorders and enhance their performance. Here, using rats, we have investigated the potential mechanisms of how in vivo brain stimulation can produce such effect. We recorded directly on viable brain slices from rats after brain stimulation to detect lasting changes in pattern of neuronal activity. Our results showed that
Ma, Dengke K; Marchetto, Maria Carolina; Guo, Junjie U; Ming, Guo-li; Gage, Fred H; Song, Hongjun
Epigenetic mechanisms regulate cell differentiation during embryonic development and also serve as important interfaces between genes and the environment in adulthood. Neurogenesis in adults, which generates functional neural cell types from adult neural stem cells, is dynamically regulated by both intrinsic state-specific cell differentiation cues and extrinsic neural niche signals. Epigenetic regulation by DNA and histone modifiers, non-coding RNAs and other self-sustained mechanisms can lead to relatively long-lasting biological effects and maintain functional neurogenesis throughout life in discrete regions of the mammalian brain. Here, we review recent evidence that epigenetic mechanisms carry out diverse roles in regulating specific aspects of adult neurogenesis and highlight the implications of such epigenetic regulation for neural plasticity and disorders. PMID:20975758
Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Bienvenu, Thibault; Stefanacci, Lisa; Muotri, Alysson R; Semendeferi, Katerina
Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemispheres in humans for different types of processing, facilitating fast and reliable communication between neural cells in an enlarged brain. The features observed in the adult brain reflect human-specific patterns of brain development. Compared to the brains of other primates, the human brain takes longer to mature, promoting an extended period for establishing cortical microcircuitry and its modifications. Together, these features may underlie the prolonged period of learning and acquisition of technical and social skills necessary for survival, creating a unique cognitive and behavioral niche typical of our species. The neuroanatomical findings are in concordance with molecular analyses, which suggest a trend toward heterochrony in the expression of genes implicated in different functions. These include synaptogenesis, neuronal maturation, and plasticity in humans, mutations in genes implicated in neurite outgrowth and plasticity, and an increased role of regulatory mechanisms, potentially promoting fast modification of neuronal morphologies in response to new computational demands. At the same time, endocranial casts of fossil hominins provide an insight into the timing of the emergence of uniquely human features in the course of evolution. We conclude by proposing several ways of combining comparative neuroanatomy, molecular biology and insights gained from fossil endocasts in future research.
Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Bienvenu, Thibault; Stefanacci, Lisa; Muotri, Alysson R.; Semendeferi, Katerina
Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemispheres in humans for different types of processing, facilitating fast and reliable communication between neural cells in an enlarged brain. The features observed in the adult brain reflect human-specific patterns of brain development. Compared to the brains of other primates, the human brain takes longer to mature, promoting an extended period for establishing cortical microcircuitry and its modifications. Together, these features may underlie the prolonged period of learning and acquisition of technical and social skills necessary for survival, creating a unique cognitive and behavioral niche typical of our species. The neuroanatomical findings are in concordance with molecular analyses, which suggest a trend toward heterochrony in the expression of genes implicated in different functions. These include synaptogenesis, neuronal maturation, and plasticity in humans, mutations in genes implicated in neurite outgrowth and plasticity, and an increased role of regulatory mechanisms, potentially promoting fast modification of neuronal morphologies in response to new computational demands. At the same time, endocranial casts of fossil hominins provide an insight into the timing of the emergence of uniquely human features in the course of evolution. We conclude by proposing several ways of combining comparative neuroanatomy, molecular biology and insights gained from fossil endocasts in future research. PMID:24194709
Belleville, Sylvie; Clément, Francis; Mellah, Samira; Gilbert, Brigitte; Fontaine, Francine; Gauthier, Serge
Subjects with mild cognitive impairment are at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Cognitive stimulation is an emerging intervention in the field of neurology and allied sciences, having already been shown to improve cognition in subjects with mild cognitive impairment. Yet no studies have attempted to unravel the brain mechanisms that support such improvement. This study uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the effect of memory training on brain activation in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and to assess whether it can reverse the brain changes associated with mild cognitive impairment. Brain activation associated with verbal encoding and retrieval was recorded twice prior to training and once after training. In subjects with mild cognitive impairment, increased activation was found after training within a large network that included the frontal, temporal and parietal areas. Healthy controls showed mostly areas of decreased activation following training. Comparison with pre-training indicated that subjects with mild cognitive impairment used a combination of specialized areas; that is, areas activated prior to training and new alternative areas activated following training. However, only activation of the right inferior parietal lobule, a new area of activation, correlated with performance. Furthermore, the differences between the brain activation patterns of subjects with mild cognitive impairment and those of healthy controls were attenuated by training in a number of brain regions. These results indicate that memory training can result in significant neural changes that are measurable with brain imaging. They also show that the brains of people with mild cognitive impairment remain highly plastic.
Chapman, Sandra B.; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Hart, John J.; Bartz, Elizabeth K.; Didehbani, Nyaz; Keebler, Molly W.; Gardner, Claire M.; Strain, Jeremy F.; DeFina, Laura F.; Lu, Hanzhang
Complex mental activity induces improvements in cognition, brain function, and structure in animals and young adults. It is not clear to what extent the aging brain is capable of such plasticity. This study expands previous evidence of generalized cognitive gains after mental training in healthy seniors. Using 3 MRI-based measurements, that is, arterial spin labeling MRI, functional connectivity, and diffusion tensor imaging, we examined brain changes across 3 time points pre, mid, and post training (12 weeks) in a randomized sample (n = 37) who received cognitive training versus a control group. We found significant training-related brain state changes at rest; specifically, 1) increases in global and regional cerebral blood flow (CBF), particularly in the default mode network and the central executive network, 2) greater connectivity in these same networks, and 3) increased white matter integrity in the left uncinate demonstrated by an increase in fractional anisotropy. Improvements in cognition were identified along with significant CBF correlates of the cognitive gains. We propose that cognitive training enhances resting-state neural activity and connectivity, increasing the blood supply to these regions via neurovascular coupling. These convergent results provide preliminary evidence that neural plasticity can be harnessed to mitigate brain losses with cognitive training in seniors. PMID:23985135
Soares, José M; Sampaio, Adriana; Marques, Paulo; Ferreira, Luís M; Santos, Nadine C; Marques, Fernanda; Palha, Joana A; Cerqueira, João J; Sousa, Nuno
Chronic stress has been widely reported to have deleterious impact in multiple biological systems. Specifically, structural and functional remodeling of several brain regions following prolonged stress exposure have been described; importantly, some of these changes are eventually reversible. Recently, we showed the impact of stress on resting state networks (RSNs), but nothing is known about the plasticity of RSNs after recovery from stress. Herein, we examined the "plasticity" of RSNs, both at functional and structural levels, by comparing the same individuals before and after recovery from the exposure to chronic stress; results were also contrasted with a control group. Here we show that the stressed individuals after recovery displayed a decreased resting functional connectivity in the default mode network (DMN), ventral attention network (VAN), and sensorimotor network (SMN) when compared to themselves immediately after stress; however, this functional plastic recovery was only partial as when compared with the control group, as there were still areas of increased connectivity in dorsal attention network (DAN), SMN and primary visual network (VN) in participants recovered from stress. Data also shows that participants after recovery from stress displayed increased deactivations in DMN, SMN, and auditory network (AN), to levels similar to those of controls, showing a normalization of the deactivation pattern in RSNs after recovery from stress. In contrast, structural changes (volumetry) of the brain areas involving these networks are absent after the recovery period. These results reveal plastic phenomena in specific RSNs and a functional remodeling of the activation-deactivation pattern following recovery from chronic-stress, which is not accompanied by significant structural plasticity.
Kolb, Bryan; Teskey, G. Campbell; Gibb, Robbin
An important development in behavioral neuroscience in the past 20 years has been the demonstration that it is possible to stimulate functional recovery after cerebral injury in laboratory animals. Rodent models of cerebral injury provide an important tool for developing such rehabilitation programs. The models include analysis at different levels including detailed behavioral paradigms, electrophysiology, neuronal morphology, protein chemistry, and epigenetics. A significant challenge for the next 20 years will be the translation of this work to improve the outcome from brain injury and disease in humans. Our goal in the article will be to synthesize the multidisciplinary laboratory work on brain plasticity and behavior in the injured brain to inform the development of rehabilitation programs. PMID:21120136
Gómez-Robles, Aida; Hopkins, William D; Sherwood, Chet C
The study of hominin brain evolution relies mostly on evaluation of the endocranial morphology of fossil skulls. However, only some general features of external brain morphology are evident from endocasts, and many anatomical details can be difficult or impossible to examine. In this study, we use geometric morphometric techniques to evaluate inter- and intraspecific differences in cerebral morphology in a sample of in vivo magnetic resonance imaging scans of chimpanzees and humans, with special emphasis on the study of asymmetric variation. Our study reveals that chimpanzee-human differences in cerebral morphology are mainly symmetric; by contrast, there is continuity in asymmetric variation between species, with humans showing an increased range of variation. Moreover, asymmetric variation does not appear to be the result of allometric scaling at intraspecific levels, whereas symmetric changes exhibit very slight allometric effects within each species. Our results emphasize two key properties of brain evolution in the hominine clade: first, evolution of chimpanzee and human brains (and probably their last common ancestor and related species) is not strongly morphologically constrained, thus making their brains highly evolvable and responsive to selective pressures; second, chimpanzee and, especially, human brains show high levels of fluctuating asymmetry indicative of pronounced developmental plasticity. We infer that these two characteristics can have a role in human cognitive evolution.
Gómez-Palacio-Schjetnan, Andrea; Escobar, Martha L
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.
Sehm, Bernhard; Taubert, Marco; Conde, Virginia; Weise, David; Classen, Joseph; Dukart, Juergen; Draganski, Bogdan; Villringer, Arno; Ragert, Patrick
We investigated morphometric brain changes in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) that are associated with balance training. A total of 20 patients and 16 healthy matched controls learned a balance task over a period of 6 weeks. Balance testing and structural magnetic resonance imaging were performed before and after 2, 4, and 6 training weeks. Balance performance was re-evaluated after ∼20 months. Balance training resulted in performance improvements in both groups. Voxel-based morphometry revealed learning-dependent gray matter changes in the left hippocampus in healthy controls. In PD patients, performance improvements were correlated with gray matter changes in the right anterior precuneus, left inferior parietal cortex, left ventral premotor cortex, bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, and left middle temporal gyrus. Furthermore, a TIME × GROUP interaction analysis revealed time-dependent gray matter changes in the right cerebellum. Our results highlight training-induced balance improvements in PD patients that may be associated with specific patterns of structural brain plasticity. In summary, we provide novel evidence for the capacity of the human brain to undergo learning-related structural plasticity even in a pathophysiological disease state such as in PD.
Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne
In recent years, research on experience-dependent plasticity has provided valuable insight on adaptation to environmental input across the lifespan, and advances in understanding the minute cellular changes underlying the brain's capacity for self-reorganization have opened exciting new possibilities for treating illness and injury. Ongoing work in this line of inquiry has also come to deeply influence another field: cognitive neuroscience of the normal aging. This complex process, once considered inevitable or beyond the reach of treatment, has been transformed into an arena of intense investigation and strategic intervention. However, important questions remain about this characterization of the aging brain, and the assumptions it makes about the social, cultural, and biological space occupied by cognition in the older individual and body. The following paper will provide a critical examination of the move from basic experiments on the neurophysiology of experience-dependent plasticity to the growing market for (and public conception of) cognitive aging as a medicalized space for intervention by neuroscience-backed technologies. Entangled with changing concepts of normality, pathology, and self-preservation, we will argue that this new understanding, led by personalized cognitive training strategies, is approaching a point where interdisciplinary research is crucial to provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of the aging process. This new outlook will allow us to move forward in a space where our knowledge, like our new conception of the brain, is never static.
Hannan, Cheryl Kamei
In this systematic review of research, the author analyzes studies of neural cortical activation, brain plasticity, and braille reading. The conclusions regarding the brain's plasticity and ability to reorganize are encouraging for individuals with degenerative eye conditions or late-onset blindness because they indicate that the brain can make…
Khaspekov, L G; Frumkina, L E
In this review we summarize published data on the involvement of glial cells in molecular mechanisms underlying brain plastic reorganization in epilepsy. The role of astrocytes as glial elements in pathological plasticity in epilepsy is discussed. Data on the involvement of aquaporin-4 in epileptogenic plastic changes and on participation of microglia and extracellular matrix in dysregulation of synaptic transmission and plastic remodeling in epileptic brain tissue are reviewed.
Roy, Arnab; Campbell, Colin; Bernier, Rachel A.; Hillary, Frank G.
One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs) evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC) based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair) such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN) and the executive control network (ECN) during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI); the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in the strength
Powers, Alice Schade
Studies of the relationship between behavioral plasticity and new cells in the adult brain in amphibians and reptiles are sparse but demonstrate that environmental and hormonal variables do have an effect on the amount of cell proliferation and/or migration. The variables that are reviewed here are: enriched environment, social stimulation, spatial area use, season, photoperiod and temperature, and testosterone. Fewer data are available for amphibians than for reptiles, but for both groups many issues are still to be resolved. It is to be hoped that the questions raised here will generate more answers in future studies.
de Arcangelis, Lucilla; Perrone-Capano, Carla; Herrmann, Hans J
Networks of living neurons exhibit an avalanche mode of activity, experimentally found in organotypic cultures. Here we present a model that is based on self-organized criticality and takes into account brain plasticity, which is able to reproduce the spectrum of electroencephalograms (EEG). The model consists of an electrical network with threshold firing and activity-dependent synapse strengths. The system exhibits an avalanche activity in a power-law distribution. The analysis of the power spectra of the electrical signal reproduces very robustly the power-law behavior with the exponent 0.8, experimentally measured in EEG spectra. The same value of the exponent is found on small-world lattices and for leaky neurons, indicating that universality holds for a wide class of brain models.
Ya, Bai-liu; Liu, Wen-yan; Ge, Feng; Zhang, Yan-xia; Zhu, Bao-liang; Bai, Bo
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.
Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne
In recent years, research on experience-dependent plasticity has provided valuable insight on adaptation to environmental input across the lifespan, and advances in understanding the minute cellular changes underlying the brain’s capacity for self-reorganization have opened exciting new possibilities for treating illness and injury. Ongoing work in this line of inquiry has also come to deeply influence another field: cognitive neuroscience of the normal aging. This complex process, once considered inevitable or beyond the reach of treatment, has been transformed into an arena of intense investigation and strategic intervention. However, important questions remain about this characterization of the aging brain, and the assumptions it makes about the social, cultural, and biological space occupied by cognition in the older individual and body. The following paper will provide a critical examination of the move from basic experiments on the neurophysiology of experience-dependent plasticity to the growing market for (and public conception of) cognitive aging as a medicalized space for intervention by neuroscience-backed technologies. Entangled with changing concepts of normality, pathology, and self-preservation, we will argue that this new understanding, led by personalized cognitive training strategies, is approaching a point where interdisciplinary research is crucial to provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of the aging process. This new outlook will allow us to move forward in a space where our knowledge, like our new conception of the brain, is never static. PMID:24782746
Nam, Min-Ho; Ahn, Kwang Seok; Choi, Seung-Hoon
The discovery of adult neurogenesis was a turning point in the field of neuroscience. Adult neurogenesis offers an enormous possibility to open a new therapeutic paradigm of neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. Recently, several studies suggested that acupuncture may enhance adult neurogenesis. Acupuncture has long been an important treatment for brain diseases in the East Asia. The scientific mechanisms of acupuncture treatment for the diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and stroke, have not been clarified yet; however, the neurogenic effect of acupuncture can be a possible reason. Here, we have reviewed the studies on the effect of stimulation at various acupoints for neurogenesis, such as ST36 and GV20. The suggested mechanisms are also discussed including upregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, basic fibroblast growth factor and neuropeptide Y, and activation of the function of primo vascular system.
Aumann, Tim D
The ability of neurons to change the amount or type of neurotransmitter they use, or 'neurotransmitter plasticity', is an emerging new form of adult brain plasticity. For example, it has recently been shown that neurons in the adult rat hypothalamus up- or down-regulate dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in response to the amount of light the animal receives (photoperiod), and that this in turn affects anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors (Dulcis et al., 2013). In this Chapter I consolidate recent evidence from my laboratory suggesting neurons in the adult mouse substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) also undergo DA neurotransmitter plasticity in response to persistent changes in their electrical activity, including that driven by the mouse's environment or behavior. Specifically, we have shown that the amounts of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate-limiting enzyme in DA synthesis) gene promoter activity, TH mRNA and TH protein in SNc neurons increases or decreases after ∼20h of altered electrical activity. Also, infusion of ion-channel agonists or antagonists into the midbrain for 2 weeks results in ∼10% (∼500 neurons) more or fewer TH immunoreactive (TH+) SNc neurons, with no change in the total number of SNc neurons (TH+ and TH-). Targeting ion-channels mediating cell-autonomous pacemaker activity in, or synaptic input and afferent pathways to, SNc neurons are equally effective in this regard. In addition, exposing mice to different environments (sex pairing or environment enrichment) for 1-2 weeks induces ∼10% more or fewer TH+ SNc (and ventral tegmental area or VTA) neurons and this is abolished by concurrent blockade of synaptic transmission in midbrain. Although further research is required to establish SNc (and VTA) DA neurotransmitter plasticity, and to determine whether it alters brain function and behavior, it is an exciting prospect because: (1) It may play important roles in movement, motor learning, reward, motivation, memory and cognition; and (2
Sammons, Rosanna P; Keck, Tara
Following loss of input due to peripheral lesions, functional reorganization occurs in the deprived cortical region in adults. Over a period of hours to months, cells in the lesion projection zone (LPZ) begin to respond to novel stimuli. This reorganization is mediated by two processes: a reduction of inhibition in a gradient throughout the cortex and input remapping via sprouting of axonal arbors from cortical regions spatially adjacent to the LPZ, and strengthening of pre-existing subthreshold inputs. Together these inputs facilitate receptive field remapping of cells in the LPZ. Recent experiments have revealed time courses and potential interactions of the mechanisms associated with functional reorganization, suggesting that large scale reorganization in the adult may utilize plasticity mechanisms prominent during development.
Ge, Shaoyu; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Sailor, Kurt A.; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun
Adult neurogenesis, the birth and integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, is a striking form of structural plasticity and highlights the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuronal activity regulates adult neurogenesis and that new neurons contribute to specific brain functions. The mechanism that regulates the integration of newly generated neurons into the pre-existing functional circuitry in the adult brain is unknown. Here we show that newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus are tonically activated by ambient GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) before being sequentially innervated by GABA- and glutamate-mediated synaptic inputs. GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, initially exerts an excitatory action on newborn neurons owing to their high cytoplasmic chloride ion content. Conversion of GABA-induced depolarization (excitation) into hyperpolarization (inhibition) in newborn neurons leads to marked defects in their synapse formation and dendritic development in vivo. Our study identifies an essential role for GABA in the synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain, and suggests an unexpected mechanism for activity-dependent regulation of adult neurogenesis, in which newborn neurons may sense neuronal network activity through tonic and phasic GABA activation.
Kolb, Bryan; Muhammad, Arif; Gibb, Robbin
Brain plasticity refers to the capacity of the nervous system to change its structure and ultimately its function over a lifetime. There have been major advances in our understanding of the principles of brain plasticity and behavior in laboratory animals and humans. Over the past decade there have been advances in the application of these…
Meredith, M A; Keniston, L P; Allman, B L
Until now, cortical crossmodal plasticity has largely been regarded as the effect of early and complete sensory loss. Recently, massive crossmodal cortical reorganization was demonstrated to result from profound hearing loss in adult ferrets (Allman et al., 2009a). Moderate adult hearing loss, on the other hand, induced not just crossmodal reorganization, but also merged new crossmodal inputs with residual auditory function to generate multisensory neurons. Because multisensory convergence can lead to dramatic levels of response integration when stimuli from more than one modality are present (and thereby potentially interfere with residual auditory processing), the present investigation sought to evaluate the multisensory properties of auditory cortical neurons in partially deafened adult ferrets. When compared with hearing controls, partially-deaf animals revealed elevated spontaneous levels and a dramatic increase (∼2 times) in the proportion of multisensory cortical neurons, but few of which showed multisensory integration. Moreover, a large proportion (68%) of neurons with somatosensory and/or visual inputs was vigorously active in core auditory cortex in the absence of auditory stimulation. Collectively, these results not only demonstrate multisensory dysfunction in core auditory cortical neurons from hearing impaired adults but also reveal a potential cortical substrate for maladaptive perceptual effects such as tinnitus.
Stokowska, Anna; Atkins, Alison L; Morán, Javier; Pekny, Tulen; Bulmer, Linda; Pascoe, Michaela C; Barnum, Scott R; Wetsel, Rick A; Nilsson, Jonas A; Dragunow, Mike; Pekna, Marcela
Ischaemic stroke induces endogenous repair processes that include proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells and extensive rewiring of the remaining neural connections, yet about 50% of stroke survivors live with severe long-term disability. There is an unmet need for drug therapies to improve recovery by promoting brain plasticity in the subacute to chronic phase after ischaemic stroke. We previously showed that complement-derived peptide C3a regulates neural progenitor cell migration and differentiation in vitro and that C3a receptor signalling stimulates neurogenesis in unchallenged adult mice. To determine the role of C3a-C3a receptor signalling in ischaemia-induced neural plasticity, we subjected C3a receptor-deficient mice, GFAP-C3a transgenic mice expressing biologically active C3a in the central nervous system, and their respective wild-type controls to photothrombotic stroke. We found that C3a overexpression increased, whereas C3a receptor deficiency decreased post-stroke expression of GAP43 (P < 0.01), a marker of axonal sprouting and plasticity, in the peri-infarct cortex. To verify the translational potential of these findings, we used a pharmacological approach. Daily intranasal treatment of wild-type mice with C3a beginning 7 days after stroke induction robustly increased synaptic density (P < 0.01) and expression of GAP43 in peri-infarct cortex (P < 0.05). Importantly, the C3a treatment led to faster and more complete recovery of forepaw motor function (P < 0.05). We conclude that C3a-C3a receptor signalling stimulates post-ischaemic neural plasticity and intranasal treatment with C3a receptor agonists is an attractive approach to improve functional recovery after ischaemic brain injury.
Ortiz-Terán, Laura; Ortiz, Tomás; Perez, David L.; Aragón, Jose Ignacio; Diez, Ibai; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Sepulcre, Jorge
It is well established that the human brain reorganizes following sensory deprivations. In blind individuals, visual processing regions including the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) are activated by auditory and tactile stimuli as demonstrated by neurophysiological and neuroimaging investigations. The mechanisms for such plasticity remain unclear, but shifts in connectivity across existing neural networks appear to play a critical role. The majority of research efforts to date have focused on neuroplastic changes within visual unimodal regions, however we hypothesized that neuroplastic alterations may also occur in brain networks beyond the visual cortices including involvement of multimodal integration regions and heteromodal cortices. In this study, two recently developed graph-theory based functional connectivity analyses, interconnector analyses and local and distant connectivity, were applied to investigate functional reorganization in regional and distributed neural-systems in late-onset blind (LB) and congenitally blind (CB) cohorts each compared to their own group of sighted controls. While functional network alterations as measured by the degree of differential links (DDL) occurred in sensory cortices, neuroplastic changes were most prominent within multimodal and association cortices. Subjects with LB showed enhanced multimodal integration connections in the parieto-opercular, temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and ventral premotor (vPM) regions, while CB individuals exhibited increased superior parietal cortex (SPC) connections. This study reveals the critical role of recipient multi-sensory integration areas in network reorganization and cross-modal plasticity in blind individuals. These findings suggest that aspects of cross-modal neuroplasticity and adaptive sensory-motor and auditory functions may potentially occur through reorganization in multimodal integration regions. PMID:27458350
Ables, Jessica L.; Breunig, Joshua J.; Eisch, Amelia J.; Rakic, Pasko
The Notch pathway is often regarded as a developmental pathway, but components of Notch signalling are expressed and active in the adult brain. With the advent of more sophisticated genetic manipulations, evidence has emerged that suggests both conserved and novel roles for Notch signalling in the adult brain. Not surprisingly, Notch is a key regulator of adult neural stem cells, but it is increasingly clear that Notch signalling also has roles in the regulation of migration, morphology, synaptic plasticity and survival of immature and mature neurons. Understanding the many functions of Notch signalling in the adult brain, and its dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease and malignancy, is crucial to the development of new therapeutics that are centred around this pathway. PMID:21505516
Lakhani, Bimal; Borich, Michael R.; Jackson, Jacob N.; Wadden, Katie P.; Peters, Sue; Villamayor, Anica; MacKay, Alex L.; Vavasour, Irene M.; Rauscher, Alexander; Boyd, Lara A.
Experience-dependent structural changes are widely evident in gray matter. Using diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), the neuroplastic effect of motor training on white matter in the brain has been demonstrated. However, in humans it is not known whether specific features of white matter relate to motor skill acquisition or if these structural changes are associated to functional network connectivity. Myelin can be objectively quantified in vivo and used to index specific experience-dependent change. In the current study, seventeen healthy young adults completed ten sessions of visuomotor skill training (10,000 total movements) using the right arm. Multicomponent relaxation imaging was performed before and after training. Significant increases in myelin water fraction, a quantitative measure of myelin, were observed in task dependent brain regions (left intraparietal sulcus [IPS] and left parieto-occipital sulcus). In addition, the rate of motor skill acquisition and overall change in myelin water fraction in the left IPS were negatively related, suggesting that a slower rate of learning resulted in greater neuroplastic change. This study provides the first evidence for experience-dependent changes in myelin that are associated with changes in skilled movements in healthy young adults. PMID:27293906
Irvine, Dexter R. F.
This article discusses findings concerning the plasticity of auditory cortical processing mechanisms in adults, including the effects of restricted cochlear damage or behavioral training with acoustic stimuli on the frequency selectivity of auditory cortical neurons and evidence for analogous injury- and use-related plasticity in the adult human…
Knowland, Victoria C. P.; Thomas, Michael S. C.
The acquisition of new skills in adulthood can positively affect an individual's quality of life, including their earning potential. In some cases, such as the learning of literacy in developing countries, it can provide an avenue to escape from poverty. In developed countries, job retraining in adulthood contributes to the flexibility of labour markets. For all adults, learning opportunities increase participation in society and family life. However, the popular view is that adults are less able to learn for an intrinsic reason: their brains are less plastic than in childhood. This article reviews what is currently known from neuroscientific research about how brain plasticity changes with age, with a particular focus on the ability to acquire new skills in adulthood. Anchoring their review in the examples of the adult acquisition of literacy and new motor skills, the authors address five specific questions: (1) Are sensitive periods in brain development relevant to learning complex educational skills like literacy? (2) Can adults become proficient in a new skill? (3) Can everyone learn equally effectively in adulthood? (4) What is the role of the learning environment? (5) Does adult education cost too much? They identify areas where further research is needed and conclude with a summary of principles for enhancing adult learning now established on a neuroscience foundation.
... are here Home Guidelines for Better Communication with Brain Impaired Adults Printer-friendly version Communicating with a loved one with a brain disorder can indeed be challenging. Finding the right ...
Ryu, Jae Ryun; Hong, Caroline Jeeyeon; Kim, Joo Yeon; Kim, Eun-Kyoung; Sun, Woong; Yu, Seong-Woon
The presence of neural stem cells (NSCs) and the production of new neurons in the adult brain have received great attention from scientists and the public because of implications to brain plasticity and their potential use for treating currently incurable brain diseases. Adult neurogenesis is controlled at multiple levels, including proliferation, differentiation, migration, and programmed cell death (PCD). Among these, PCD is the last and most prominent process for regulating the final number of mature neurons integrated into neural circuits. PCD can be classified into apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagic cell death and emerging evidence suggests that all three may be important modes of cell death in neural stem/progenitor cells. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate PCD and thereby impact the intricate balance between self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation during adult neurogenesis are not well understood. In this comprehensive review, we focus on the extent, mechanism, and biological significance of PCD for the control of adult neurogenesis in the mammalian brain. The role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the regulation of PCD at the molecular and systems levels is also discussed. Adult neurogenesis is a dynamic process, and the signals for differentiation, proliferation, and death of neural progenitor/stem cells are closely interrelated. A better understanding of how adult neurogenesis is influenced by PCD will help lead to important insights relevant to brain health and diseases.
Guerra-Carrillo, Belén; Mackey, Allyson P; Bunge, Silvia A
Although brain plasticity is greatest in the first few years of life, the brain continues to be shaped by experience throughout adulthood. Advances in fMRI have enabled us to examine the plasticity of large-scale networks using blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) correlations measured at rest. Resting-state functional connectivity analysis makes it possible to measure task-independent changes in brain function and therefore could provide unique insights into experience-dependent brain plasticity in humans. Here, we evaluate the hypothesis that resting-state functional connectivity reflects the repeated history of co-activation between brain regions. To this end, we review resting-state fMRI studies in the sensory, motor, and cognitive learning literature. This body of research provides evidence that the brain's resting-state functional architecture displays dynamic properties in young adulthood.
Sharma, Sandeep; Zhuang, Yumei; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando
To assess how the shift from a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to a diet rich in saturated fatty acid affects the substrates for brain plasticity and function, we used pregnant rats fed with omega-3 supplemented diet from their 2nd day of gestation period as well as their male pups for 12 weeks. Afterwards, the animals were randomly assigned to either a group fed on the same diet or a group fed on a high-fat diet (HFD) rich in saturated fats for 3 weeks. We found that the HFD increased vulnerability for anxiety-like behavior, and that these modifications harmonized with changes in the anxiety-related NPY1 receptor and the reduced levels of BDNF, and its signalling receptor pTrkB, as well as the CREB protein. Brain DHA contents were significantly associated with the levels of anxiety-like behavior in these rats.
Neville, Helen; Bavelier, Daphne
The results from the language studies taken as a whole point to different developmental time courses and developmental vulnerabilities of aspects of grammatical and semantic/lexical processing. They thus provide support for conceptions of language that distinguish these subprocesses within language. Similarly, following auditory deprivation, processes associated with the dorsal visual pathway were more altered than were functions associated with the ventral pathway, providing support for conceptions of visual system organization that distinguish functions along these lines. Could the effects observed in blind and deaf adults be accounted for, at least in part, by the redundant connectivity of the immature human brain? One way we tested this hypothesis was to study the differentiation of visual and auditory sensory responses in normal development (Neville, 1995). In normal adults, auditory stimuli elicit ERP responses that are large over temporal brain regions but small or absent over occipital regions. By contrast, in 6-month-old children we observed that auditory ERPs are equally large over temporal and visual brain regions, consistent with the idea that there is less specificity and more redundancy of connections between the auditory and visual cortex at this time. Between 6 and 36 months, however, we observed a gradual decrease in the amplitude of the auditory ERP over visual areas, while the amplitude over the temporal areas was unchanged. These results suggest that early in human development, there exists a redundancy of connections between auditory and visual areas and that this overlap gradually decreases after birth. This loss of redundancy may be a boundary condition that determines when sensory deprivation can result in alterations in the organization of remaining sensory systems. The considerable variability in timing of sensitive periods may also be in part due to temporal differences in the occurrence of redundancy within different systems. Ongoing
Toutounji, Hazem; Pipa, Gordon
It is a long-established fact that neuronal plasticity occupies the central role in generating neural function and computation. Nevertheless, no unifying account exists of how neurons in a recurrent cortical network learn to compute on temporally and spatially extended stimuli. However, these stimuli constitute the norm, rather than the exception, of the brain's input. Here, we introduce a geometric theory of learning spatiotemporal computations through neuronal plasticity. To that end, we rigorously formulate the problem of neural representations as a relation in space between stimulus-induced neural activity and the asymptotic dynamics of excitable cortical networks. Backed up by computer simulations and numerical analysis, we show that two canonical and widely spread forms of neuronal plasticity, that is, spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity and intrinsic plasticity, are both necessary for creating neural representations, such that these computations become realizable. Interestingly, the effects of these forms of plasticity on the emerging neural code relate to properties necessary for both combating and utilizing noise. The neural dynamics also exhibits features of the most likely stimulus in the network's spontaneous activity. These properties of the spatiotemporal neural code resulting from plasticity, having their grounding in nature, further consolidate the biological relevance of our findings.
Toutounji, Hazem; Pipa, Gordon
It is a long-established fact that neuronal plasticity occupies the central role in generating neural function and computation. Nevertheless, no unifying account exists of how neurons in a recurrent cortical network learn to compute on temporally and spatially extended stimuli. However, these stimuli constitute the norm, rather than the exception, of the brain's input. Here, we introduce a geometric theory of learning spatiotemporal computations through neuronal plasticity. To that end, we rigorously formulate the problem of neural representations as a relation in space between stimulus-induced neural activity and the asymptotic dynamics of excitable cortical networks. Backed up by computer simulations and numerical analysis, we show that two canonical and widely spread forms of neuronal plasticity, that is, spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity and intrinsic plasticity, are both necessary for creating neural representations, such that these computations become realizable. Interestingly, the effects of these forms of plasticity on the emerging neural code relate to properties necessary for both combating and utilizing noise. The neural dynamics also exhibits features of the most likely stimulus in the network's spontaneous activity. These properties of the spatiotemporal neural code resulting from plasticity, having their grounding in nature, further consolidate the biological relevance of our findings. PMID:24651447
Tognini, Paola; Napoli, Debora; Pizzorusso, Tommaso
Experience-dependent plasticity is the ability of brain circuits to undergo molecular, structural and functional changes as a function of neural activity. Neural activity continuously shapes our brain during all the stages of our life, from infancy through adulthood and beyond. Epigenetic modifications of histone proteins and DNA seem to be a leading molecular mechanism to modulate the transcriptional changes underlying the fine-tuning of synaptic connections and circuitry rewiring during activity-dependent plasticity. The recent discovery that cytosine methylation is an epigenetic mark particularly dynamic in brain cells has strongly increased the interest of neuroscientists in understanding the role of covalent modifications of DNA in activity-induced remodeling of neuronal circuits. Here, we provide an overview of the role of DNA methylation and hydroxylmethylation in brain plasticity both during adulthood, with emphasis on learning and memory related processes, and during postnatal development, focusing specifically on experience-dependent plasticity in the visual cortex. PMID:26379502
Naro, Antonino; Milardi, Demetrio; Russo, Margherita; Terranova, Carmen; Rizzo, Vincenzo; Cacciola, Alberto; Marino, Silvia; Calabro, Rocco S.; Quartarone, Angelo
Neuromodulatory effects of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) have been extensively studied in chronic pain. A hypothetic mechanism of action would be to prevent or revert the ongoing maladaptive plasticity within the pain matrix. In this review, the authors discuss the mechanisms underlying the development of maladaptive plasticity in patients with chronic pain and the putative mechanisms of NIBS in modulating synaptic plasticity in neuropathic pain conditions. PMID:27512368
Zheng, Zhiwei; Zhu, Xinyi; Yin, Shufei; Wang, Baoxi; Niu, Yanan; Huang, Xin; Li, Rui; Li, Juan
Mounting evidence suggests that enriched mental, physical, and socially stimulating activities are beneficial for counteracting age-related decreases in brain function and cognition in older adults. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate the functional plasticity of brain activity in response to a combined cognitive-psychological-physical intervention and investigated the contribution of the intervention-related brain changes to individual performance in healthy older adults. The intervention was composed of a 6-week program of combined activities including cognitive training, Tai Chi exercise, and group counseling. The results showed improved cognitive performance and reorganized regional homogeneity of spontaneous fluctuations in the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals in the superior and middle temporal gyri, and the posterior lobe of the cerebellum, in the participants who attended the intervention. Intriguingly, the intervention-induced changes in the coherence of local spontaneous activity correlated with the improvements in individual cognitive performance. Taken together with our previous findings of enhanced resting-state functional connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe regions following a combined intervention program in older adults, we conclude that the functional plasticity of the aging brain is a rather complex process, and an effective cognitive-psychological-physical intervention is helpful for maintaining a healthy brain and comprehensive cognition during old age. PMID:25810927
Southwell, Derek G; Hervey-Jumper, Shawn L; Perry, David W; Berger, Mitchel S
negative for function. Overall, 6 (33.3%) of 18 patients exhibited loss of function at 1 or more motor or language sites between surgeries. Loss of function at these sites was not associated with neurological impairment at the time of repeat surgery, suggesting that neurological function was preserved through neural circuit reorganization or activation of latent functional pathways. CONCLUSIONS The adult central nervous system reorganizes motor and language areas in patients with glioma. Ultimately, adult neural plasticity may help to preserve motor and language function in the presence of evolving structural lesions. The insight gained from this subset of patients has implications for our understanding of brain plasticity in clinical settings.
Tse, Yiu Chung; Bagot, Rosemary C; Hutter, Juliana A; Wong, Alice S; Wong, Tak Pan
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.
Demir, Ozlem Ece; Levine, Susan C.; Goldin-Meadow, Susan
Children with pre- or perinatal brain injury (PL) exhibit marked plasticity for language learning. Previous work has focused mostly on the emergence of earlier-developing skills, such as vocabulary and syntax. Here we ask whether this plasticity for earlier-developing aspects of language extends to more complex, later-developing language functions…
Mayas, Julia; Parmentier, Fabrice B. R.; Andrés, Pilar; Ballesteros, Soledad
A major goal of recent research in aging has been to examine cognitive plasticity in older adults and its capacity to counteract cognitive decline. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether older adults could benefit from brain training with video games in a cross-modal oddball task designed to assess distraction and alertness. Twenty-seven healthy older adults participated in the study (15 in the experimental group, 12 in the control group. The experimental group received 20 1-hr video game training sessions using a commercially available brain-training package (Lumosity) involving problem solving, mental calculation, working memory and attention tasks. The control group did not practice this package and, instead, attended meetings with the other members of the study several times along the course of the study. Both groups were evaluated before and after the intervention using a cross-modal oddball task measuring alertness and distraction. The results showed a significant reduction of distraction and an increase of alertness in the experimental group and no variation in the control group. These results suggest neurocognitive plasticity in the old human brain as training enhanced cognitive performance on attentional functions. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02007616 PMID:24647551
Gibbons, Hannah M; Dragunow, Mike
Studies of the brain have progressed enormously through the use of in vivo and in vitro non-human models. However, it is unlikely such studies alone will unravel the complexities of the human brain and so far no neuroprotective treatment developed in animals has worked in humans. In this review we discuss the use of adult human brain cell culture methods in brain research to unravel the biology of the normal and diseased human brain. The advantages of using adult human brain cells as tools to study human brain function from both historical and future perspectives are discussed. In particular, studies using dissociated cultures of adult human microglia, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and neurons are described and the applications of these types of study are evaluated. Alternative sources of human brain cells such as adult neural stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells and slice cultures of adult human brain tissue are also reviewed. These adult human brain cell culture methods could benefit basic research and more importantly, facilitate the translation of basic neuroscience research to the clinic for the treatment of brain disorders.
Suárez, Luz M; Muñoz, María-Dolores; Martín Del Río, Rafael; Solís, José M
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.
Liu, Kang K L; Bartsch, Ronny P; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N; Ivanov, Plamen Ch
Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of
Long-term modification of transmission efficacy at inhibitory synapses has recently been discovered in several regions of the vertebrate brain, i.e. Mauthner cells of the goldfish, cerebellar Purkinje cells, deep cerebellar nuclei and the visual cortex. Synaptic plasticity at inhibitory synapses has properties similar to that of excitatory synapses, such as dependency on intracellular Ca2+ levels, input specificity, saturation and associativity. Considering the ubiquitous distribution of inhibitory synapses and the receptors for inhibitory transmitters, GABA and glycine, plasticity of inhibitory synapses may exist widely throughout the brain. It may contribute to learning and development in concert with plasticity of excitatory synapses.
Urban, Kimberly R.; Gao, Wen-Jun
Cognitive enhancement is perhaps one of the most intriguing and controversial topics in neuroscience today. Currently, the main classes of drugs used as potential cognitive enhancers include psychostimulants (methylphenidate (MPH), amphetamine), but wakefulness-promoting agents (modafinil) and glutamate activators (ampakine) are also frequently used. Pharmacologically, substances that enhance the components of the memory/learning circuits—dopamine, glutamate (neuronal excitation), and/or norepinephrine—stand to improve brain function in healthy individuals beyond their baseline functioning. In particular, non-medical use of prescription stimulants such as MPH and illicit use of psychostimulants for cognitive enhancement have seen a recent rise among teens and young adults in schools and college campuses. However, this enhancement likely comes with a neuronal, as well as ethical, cost. Altering glutamate function via the use of psychostimulants may impair behavioral flexibility, leading to the development and/or potentiation of addictive behaviors. Furthermore, dopamine and norepinephrine do not display linear effects; instead, their modulation of cognitive and neuronal function maps on an inverted-U curve. Healthy individuals run the risk of pushing themselves beyond optimal levels into hyperdopaminergic and hypernoradrenergic states, thus vitiating the very behaviors they are striving to improve. Finally, recent studies have begun to highlight potential damaging effects of stimulant exposure in healthy juveniles. This review explains how the main classes of cognitive enhancing drugs affect the learning and memory circuits, and highlights the potential risks and concerns in healthy individuals, particularly juveniles and adolescents. We emphasize the performance enhancement at the potential cost of brain plasticity that is associated with the neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain. PMID:24860437
The mammalian neocortex contains many distinct inhibitory neuronal populations to balance excitatory neurotransmission. A correct excitation/inhibition equilibrium is crucial for normal brain development, functioning, and controlling lifelong cortical plasticity. Knowledge about how the inhibitory network contributes to brain plasticity however remains incomplete. Somatostatin- (SST-) interneurons constitute a large neocortical subpopulation of interneurons, next to parvalbumin- (PV-) and vasoactive intestinal peptide- (VIP-) interneurons. Unlike the extensively studied PV-interneurons, acknowledged as key components in guiding ocular dominance plasticity, the contribution of SST-interneurons is less understood. Nevertheless, SST-interneurons are ideally situated within cortical networks to integrate unimodal or cross-modal sensory information processing and therefore likely to be important mediators of experience-dependent plasticity. The lack of knowledge on SST-interneurons partially relates to the wide variety of distinct subpopulations present in the sensory neocortex. This review informs on those SST-subpopulations hitherto described based on anatomical, molecular, or electrophysiological characteristics and whose functional roles can be attributed based on specific cortical wiring patterns. A possible role for these subpopulations in experience-dependent plasticity will be discussed, emphasizing on learning-induced plasticity and on unimodal and cross-modal plasticity upon sensory loss. This knowledge will ultimately contribute to guide brain plasticity into well-defined directions to restore sensory function and promote lifelong learning. PMID:27403348
Karabanov, Anke; Ziemann, Ulf; Hamada, Masashi; George, Mark S; Quartarone, Angelo; Classen, Joseph; Massimini, Marcello; Rothwell, John; Siebner, Hartwig Roman
Homeostatic plasticity is thought to stabilize neural activity around a set point within a physiologically reasonable dynamic range. Over the last ten years, a wide range of non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation (NTBS) techniques have been used to probe homeostatic control of cortical plasticity in the intact human brain. Here, we review different NTBS approaches to study homeostatic plasticity on a systems level and relate the findings to both, physiological evidence from in vitro studies and to a theoretical framework of homeostatic function. We highlight differences between homeostatic and other non-homeostatic forms of plasticity and we examine the contribution of sleep in restoring synaptic homeostasis. Finally, we discuss the growing number of studies showing that abnormal homeostatic plasticity may be associated to a range of neuropsychiatric diseases.
Lopez-Ramirez, Miguel A.; Calvo, Charles-Félix; Ristori, Emma; Thomas, Jean-Léon; Nicoli, Stefania
The zebrafish is a highly relevant model organism for understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in neurogenesis and brain regeneration in vertebrates. However, an in-depth analysis of the molecular mechanisms underlying zebrafish adult neurogenesis has been limited due to the lack of a reliable protocol for isolating and culturing neural adult stem/progenitor cells. Here we provide a reproducible method to examine adult neurogenesis using a neurosphere assay derived from zebrafish whole brain or from the telencephalon, tectum and cerebellum regions of the adult zebrafish brain. The protocol involves, first the microdissection of zebrafish adult brain, then single cell dissociation and isolation of self-renewing multipotent neural stem/progenitor cells. The entire procedure takes eight days. Additionally, we describe how to manipulate gene expression in zebrafish neurospheres, which will be particularly useful to test the role of specific signaling pathways during adult neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation in zebrafish. PMID:26967835
Outlines research findings on enriched environment investigations on the development of the brain's neocortex. Although the research has been conducted on animal brains, researchers expect to find related patterns in plasticity in humans. The research is important to educators as it challenges them to define, create, and maintain an emotionally…
Acute or chronic injury of the adult mammalian brain is often associated with persistent functional deficits as its potential for regeneration and capacity to rebuild lost neural structures is limited. However, the discovery that neural stem cells (NSCs) persist throughout life in discrete regions of the brain, novel approaches to induce the formation of neuronal and glial cells, and recently developed strategies to generate tissue for exogenous cell replacement strategies opened novel perspectives how to regenerate the adult brain. Here, we will review recently developed approaches for brain repair and discuss future perspectives that may eventually allow for developing novel treatment strategies in acute and chronic brain injury. PMID:27781019
Greenberg, J. K.; Xia, J.; Zhou, X.; Thatcher, S. R.; Gu, X.; Ament, S. A.; Newman, T. C.; Green, P. J.; Zhang, W.; Robinson, G. E.; Ben-Shahar, Y.
Small, non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in many biological processes, including the development of the nervous system. However, the roles of miRNAs in natural behavioral and neuronal plasticity are not well understood. To help address this we characterized the microRNA transcriptome in the adult worker honey bee head and investigated whether changes in microRNA expression levels in the brain are associated with division of labor among honey bees, a well-established model for socially regulated behavior. We determined that several miRNAs were downregulated in bees that specialize on brood care (nurses) relative to foragers. Additional experiments showed that this downregulation is dependent upon social context; it only occurred when nurse bees were in colonies that also contained foragers. Analyses of conservation patterns of brain-expressed miRNAs across Hymenoptera suggest a role for certain miRNAs in the evolution of the Aculeata, which includes all the eusocial hymenopteran species. Our results support the intriguing hypothesis that miRNAs are important regulators of social behavior at both developmental and evolutionary time scales. PMID:22409512
Raz, Naftali; Lindenberger, Ulman
Experience-related changes induced by modification of environment, physical exercise, or cognitive training affect brain structure and function. Research on brain plasticity and its relationship to experiential changes gathers momentum and attracts significant public interest. This collection of papers is based on presentation at the First International Conference on Life-Span Plasticity of Brain and Behavior: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective that took place in Detroit, MI, on October 12-14, 2011. The conference honored Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes, the pioneers of life-span developmental psychology who initiated some of the first studies on experience- and training-related changes in cognition across the life span.
Cacialli, Pietro; Gueguen, Marie-Madeleine; Coumailleau, Pascal; D’Angelo, Livia; Kah, Olivier; Lucini, Carla; Pellegrini, Elisabeth
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a member of the neurotrophin family, has emerged as an active mediator in many essential functions in the central nervous system of mammals. BDNF plays significant roles in neurogenesis, neuronal maturation and/or synaptic plasticity and is involved in cognitive functions such as learning and memory. Despite the vast literature present in mammals, studies devoted to BDNF in the brain of other animal models are scarse. Zebrafish is a teleost fish widely known for developmental genetic studies and is emerging as model for translational neuroscience research. In addition, its brain shows many sites of adult neurogenesis allowing higher regenerative properties after traumatic injuries. To add further knowledge on neurotrophic factors in vertebrate brain models, we decided to determine the distribution of bdnf mRNAs in the larval and adult zebrafish brain and to characterize the phenotype of cells expressing bdnf mRNAs by means of double staining studies. Our results showed that bdnf mRNAs were widely expressed in the brain of 7 days old larvae and throughout the whole brain of mature female and male zebrafish. In adults, bdnf mRNAs were mainly observed in the dorsal telencephalon, preoptic area, dorsal thalamus, posterior tuberculum, hypothalamus, synencephalon, optic tectum and medulla oblongata. By combining immunohistochemistry with in situ hybridization, we showed that bdnf mRNAs were never expressed by radial glial cells or proliferating cells. By contrast, bdnf transcripts were expressed in cells with neuronal phenotype in all brain regions investigated. Our results provide the first demonstration that the brain of zebrafish expresses bdnf mRNAs in neurons and open new fields of research on the role of the BDNF factor in brain mechanisms in normal and brain repairs situations. PMID:27336917
Levi, Dennis M.
Experience-dependent plasticity is closely linked with the development of sensory function. Beyond this sensitive period, developmental plasticity is actively limited; however, new studies provide growing evidence for plasticity in the adult visual system. The amblyopic visual system is an excellent model for examining the “brakes” that limit recovery of function beyond the critical period. While amblyopia can often be reversed when treated early, conventional treatment is generally not undertaken in older children and adults. However new clinical and experimental studies in both animals and humans provide evidence for neural plasticity beyond the critical period. The results suggest that perceptual learning and video game play may be effective in improving a range of visual performance measures and importantly the improvements may transfer to better visual acuity and stereopsis. These findings, along with the results of new clinical trials, suggest that it might be time to re-consider our notions about neural plasticity in amblyopia. PMID:22581119
for sectioning and staining. To date, the brains have been sectioned and one set stained for Nissl . Using the Nissl stained sections, Dorothy...all behavioral data. • Brains have been harvested and sent to Dr. Jones’ lab • Dr. Jones’ lab has sliced the brains and stained one set with Nissl
Wu, Aiguo; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando
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.
Hübener, Mark; Bonhoeffer, Tobias
Neuronal plasticity in the brain is greatly enhanced during critical periods early in life and was long thought to be rather limited thereafter. Studies in primary sensory areas of the neocortex have revealed a substantial degree of plasticity in the mature brain, too. Often, plasticity in the adult neocortex lies dormant but can be reactivated by modifications of sensory input or sensory-motor interactions, which alter the level and pattern of activity in cortical circuits. Such interventions, potentially in combination with drugs targeting molecular brakes on plasticity present in the adult brain, might help recovery of function in the injured or diseased brain.
Errico, F; Nisticò, R; Di Giorgio, A; Squillace, M; Vitucci, D; Galbusera, A; Piccinin, S; Mango, D; Fazio, L; Middei, S; Trizio, S; Mercuri, N B; Teule, M A; Centonze, D; Gozzi, A; Blasi, G; Bertolino, A; Usiello, A
D-aspartate (D-Asp) is an atypical amino acid, which is especially abundant in the developing mammalian brain, and can bind to and activate N-methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs). In line with its pharmacological features, we find that mice chronically treated with D-Asp show enhanced NMDAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and basal cerebral blood volume in fronto-hippocampal areas. In addition, we show that both chronic administration of D-Asp and deletion of the gene coding for the catabolic enzyme D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) trigger plastic modifications of neuronal cytoarchitecture in the prefrontal cortex and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus and promote a cytochalasin D-sensitive form of synaptic plasticity in adult mouse brains. To translate these findings in humans and consistent with the experiments using Ddo gene targeting in animals, we performed a hierarchical stepwise translational genetic approach. Specifically, we investigated the association of variation in the gene coding for DDO with complex human prefrontal phenotypes. We demonstrate that genetic variation predicting reduced expression of DDO in postmortem human prefrontal cortex is mapped on greater prefrontal gray matter and activity during working memory as measured with MRI. In conclusion our results identify novel NMDAR-dependent effects of D-Asp on plasticity and physiology in rodents, which also map to prefrontal phenotypes in humans. PMID:25072322
Dumoulin Bridi, Michelle C; Aton, Sara J; Seibt, Julie; Renouard, Leslie; Coleman, Tammi; Frank, Marcos G
Rapid eye movement sleep is maximal during early life, but its function in the developing brain is unknown. We investigated the role of rapid eye movement sleep in a canonical model of developmental plasticity in vivo (ocular dominance plasticity in the cat) induced by monocular deprivation. Preventing rapid eye movement sleep after monocular deprivation reduced ocular dominance plasticity and inhibited activation of a kinase critical for this plasticity (extracellular signal-regulated kinase). Chronic single-neuron recording in freely behaving cats further revealed that cortical activity during rapid eye movement sleep resembled activity present during monocular deprivation. This corresponded to times of maximal extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation. These findings indicate that rapid eye movement sleep promotes molecular and network adaptations that consolidate waking experience in the developing brain.
Zlebnik, Natalie E.
The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has emerged as one of the most important mediators of physiological and pathological reward-related synaptic plasticity. eCBs are retrograde messengers that provide feedback inhibition, resulting in the suppression of neurotransmitter release at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses, and they serve a critical role in the spatiotemporal regulation of both short- and long-term synaptic plasticity that supports adaptive learning of reward-motivated behaviors. However, mechanisms of eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity in reward areas of the brain are impaired following exposure to drugs of abuse. Because of this, it is theorized that maladaptive eCB signaling may contribute to the development and maintenance of addiction-related behavior. Here we review various forms of eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity present in regions of the brain involved in reward and reinforcement and explore the potential physiological relevance of maladaptive eCB signaling to addiction vulnerability. PMID:27707960
Ehrlich, D E; Josselyn, S A
Learning about motivationally important stimuli involves plasticity in the amygdala, a temporal lobe structure. Amygdala-dependent learning involves a growing number of plasticity-related signaling pathways also implicated in brain development, suggesting that learning-related signaling in juveniles may simultaneously influence development. Here, we review the pleiotropic functions in nervous system development and amygdala-dependent learning of a signaling pathway that includes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), extracellular signaling-related kinases (ERKs) and cyclic AMP-response element binding protein (CREB). Using these canonical, plasticity-related genes as an example, we discuss the intersection of learning-related and developmental plasticity in the immature amygdala, when aversive and appetitive learning may influence the developmental trajectory of amygdala function. We propose that learning-dependent activation of BDNF, ERK and CREB signaling in the immature amygdala exaggerates and accelerates neural development, promoting amygdala excitability and environmental sensitivity later in life.
Dumoulin Bridi, Michelle C.; Aton, Sara J.; Seibt, Julie; Renouard, Leslie; Coleman, Tammi; Frank, Marcos G.
Rapid eye movement sleep is maximal during early life, but its function in the developing brain is unknown. We investigated the role of rapid eye movement sleep in a canonical model of developmental plasticity in vivo (ocular dominance plasticity in the cat) induced by monocular deprivation. Preventing rapid eye movement sleep after monocular deprivation reduced ocular dominance plasticity and inhibited activation of a kinase critical for this plasticity (extracellular signal–regulated kinase). Chronic single-neuron recording in freely behaving cats further revealed that cortical activity during rapid eye movement sleep resembled activity present during monocular deprivation. This corresponded to times of maximal extracellular signal–regulated kinase activation. These findings indicate that rapid eye movement sleep promotes molecular and network adaptations that consolidate waking experience in the developing brain. PMID:26601213
Zlebnik, Natalie E; Cheer, Joseph F
The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has emerged as one of the most important mediators of physiological and pathological reward-related synaptic plasticity. eCBs are retrograde messengers that provide feedback inhibition, resulting in the suppression of neurotransmitter release at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses, and they serve a critical role in the spatiotemporal regulation of both short- and long-term synaptic plasticity that supports adaptive learning of reward-motivated behaviors. However, mechanisms of eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity in reward areas of the brain are impaired following exposure to drugs of abuse. Because of this, it is theorized that maladaptive eCB signaling may contribute to the development and maintenance of addiction-related behavior. Here we review various forms of eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity present in regions of the brain involved in reward and reinforcement and explore the potential physiological relevance of maladaptive eCB signaling to addiction vulnerability.
Kaneko, Naoko; Sawada, Masato; Sawamoto, Kazunobu
Adult neurogenesis was first observed nearly 60 years ago, and it has since grown into an important neurochemistry research field. Much recent research has focused on the treatment of brain diseases through neuronal regeneration with endogenously generated neurons. In the adult brain, immature neurons called neuroblasts are continuously generated in the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ). These neuroblasts migrate rapidly through the rostral migratory stream to the olfactory bulb, where they mature and are integrated into the neuronal circuitry. After brain insult, some of the neuroblasts in the V-SVZ migrate toward the lesion to repopulate the injured tissue. This notable migratory capacity of V-SVZ-derived neuroblasts is important for efficiently regenerating neurons in remote areas of the brain. As these neurons migrate for long distances through adult brain tissue, they are supported by various guidance cues and structures that act as scaffolds. Some of these mechanisms are unique to neuroblast migration in the adult brain, and are not involved in migration in the developing brain. Here, we review the latest findings on the mechanisms of neuroblast migration in the adult brain under physiological and pathological conditions, and discuss various issues that still need to be resolved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Rubio De Casas, Rafael; Vargas, Pablo; Pérez-Corona, Esther; Manrique, Esteban; Quintana, José Ramón; García-Verdugo, Carlos; Balaguer, Luis
Background and Aims Quercus coccifera, as a long-lived sprouter, responds plastically to environmental variation. In this study, the role of foliar plasticity as a mechanism of habitat selection and modification within the canopy and across contrasted habitats was characterized. An examination was made of the differential contribution of inner and outer canopy layers to the crown plasticity expressed in the field by adult individuals and its dependence on environmental and genetic factors. Methods Within-crown variation in eight foliar traits was examined in nine populations dominated by Q. coccifera. The difference between mean trait values at the inner and outer canopy layers was used as a proxy for crown plasticity to light. Correlations between geographic distances, environmental differences (climatic and edaphic) and phenotypic divergence (means and plasticities) were assessed by partial Mantel tests. A subset of field measurements was compared with data from a previous common garden experiment. Key Results Phenotypic adjustment of sun leaves contributed significantly to the field variation in crown plasticity. Plasticity in leaf angle, lobation, xanthophyll cycle pigments and β-carotene content was expressed in sun and shade leaves concurrently and in opposite directions. Phenotypic plasticity was more strongly correlated with environmental variation than mean trait values. Populations of taller plants with larger, thinner (higher specific leaf area) and less spiny leaves exhibited greater plasticity. In these populations, the midday light environment was more uniform at the inner than at the outer canopy layers. Field and common garden data ranked populations in the same order of plasticity. Conclusions The expression of leaf plasticity resulted in a phenotypic differentiation that suggests a mechanism of habitat selection through division of labour across canopy layers. Signs of plasticity-mediated habitat modification were found only in the most plastic
Mocchetti, Italo; Bachis, Alessia; Campbell, Lee A; Avdoshina, Valeriya
Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV) causes mild or severe neurological problems, termed HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND), even when HIV patients receive antiretroviral therapy. Thus, novel adjunctive therapies are necessary to reduce or abolish the neurotoxic effect of HIV. However, new therapies require a better understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of HIV-induced neurotoxicity. HAND subjects are characterized by being profoundly depressed, and they experience deficits in memory, learning and movements. Experimental evidence has also shown that HIV reduces neurogenesis. These deficits resemble those occurring in premature brain aging or in a brain with impaired neural repair properties. Thus, it appears that HIV diminishes neuronal survival, along with reduced neuronal connections. These two phenomena should not occur in the adult and developing brain when synaptic plasticity is promoted by neurotrophic factors, polypeptides that are present in adult synapses. This review will outline experimental evidence as well as present emerging concepts for the use of neurotrophic factors and in particular brain-derived neurotrophic factor as an adjunct therapy to prevent HIV-mediated neuronal degeneration and restore the loss of synaptic connections.
Wang, Yu-Feng; Parpura, Vladimir
Brain edema formation and the ensuing brain damages are the major cause of high mortality and long term disability following the occurrence of ischemic stroke. In this process, oxygen and glucose deprivation and the resulting reperfusion injury play primary roles. In response to the ischemic insult, the neurovascular unit experiences both intracellular and extracellular edemas, associated with maladapted astrocytic plasticity. The astrocytic plasticity includes both morphological and functional plasticity. The former involves a reactive gliosis and the subsequent glial retraction. It relates to the capacity of astrocytes to buffer changes in extracellular chemical levels, particularly K+ and glutamate, as well as the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The latter involves the expression and activity of a series of ion and water transport proteins. These molecules are grouped together around glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and water channel protein aquaporin 4 (AQP4) to form functional networks, regulate hydromineral balance across cell membranes and maintain the integrity of the BBB. Intense ischemic challenges can disrupt these capacities of astrocytes and result in their maladaptation. The maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke cannot only disrupt the hydromineral homeostasis across astrocyte membrane and the BBB, but also leads to disorders of the whole neurovascular unit. This review focuses on how the maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke plays the central role in the brain edema formation. PMID:27242440
Coles, Claire D.; Goldstein, Felicia C.; Lynch, Mary Ellen; Chen, Xiangchuan; Kable, Julie A.; Johnson, Katrina C.; Hu, Xiaoping
The impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on memory and brain development was investigated in 92 African-American, young adults who were first identified in the prenatal period. Three groups (Control, n = 26; Alcohol-related Neurodevelopmental Disorder, n = 36; and Dysmorphic, n = 30) were imaged using structural MRI with brain volume calculated for…
and memory . Understanding such molecular effects will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which brain stimulation produces its effects...al., 2015). In addition to these clinical benefits, tDCS use in healthy subjects has been observed to improve declarative and working memory (Marshall...critical for learning and memory . Understanding such molecular effects will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which brain stimulation
Drawing on Allan Newell's “You can't play 20 questions with nature and win,” this article proposes that neuroscience needs to go beyond binary hypothesis testing and design experiments that follow what neurons care about. Examples from Lettvin et. al. are used to demonstrate that one can experimentally play with neurons and generate surprising results. In this manner, brains are not confused with persons, rather, persons are understood to do things with their brains. PMID:24795589
Yanagisawa, Takufumi; Fukuma, Ryohei; Seymour, Ben; Hosomi, Koichi; Kishima, Haruhiko; Shimizu, Takeshi; Yokoi, Hiroshi; Hirata, Masayuki; Yoshimine, Toshiki; Kamitani, Yukiyasu; Saitoh, Youichi
The cause of pain in a phantom limb after partial or complete deafferentation is an important problem. A popular but increasingly controversial theory is that it results from maladaptive reorganization of the sensorimotor cortex, suggesting that experimental induction of further reorganization should affect the pain, especially if it results in functional restoration. Here we use a brain–machine interface (BMI) based on real-time magnetoencephalography signals to reconstruct affected hand movements with a robotic hand. BMI training induces significant plasticity in the sensorimotor cortex, manifested as improved discriminability of movement information and enhanced prosthetic control. Contrary to our expectation that functional restoration would reduce pain, the BMI training with the phantom hand intensifies the pain. In contrast, BMI training designed to dissociate the prosthetic and phantom hands actually reduces pain. These results reveal a functional relevance between sensorimotor cortical plasticity and pain, and may provide a novel treatment with BMI neurofeedback. PMID:27807349
Yotsumoto, Yuko; Chang, Li-Hung; Ni, Rui; Pierce, Russell; Andersen, George J; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka
Visual perceptual learning (VPL) with younger subjects is associated with changes in functional activation of the early visual cortex. Although overall brain properties decline with age, it is unclear whether these declines are associated with visual perceptual learning. Here we use diffusion tensor imaging to test whether changes in white matter are involved in VPL for older adults. After training on a texture discrimination task for 3 daily sessions, both older and younger subjects show performance improvements. While the older subjects show significant changes in fractional anisotropy (FA) in the white matter beneath the early visual cortex after training, no significant change in FA is observed for younger subjects. These results suggest that the mechanism for VPL in older individuals is considerably different from that in younger individuals and that VPL of older individuals involves re-organization of white matter. PMID:25407566
Tan, Ji-Wei; Duan, Ting-Ting; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Ding, Ze-Yang; Jing, Liang; Cao, Jun; Wang, Li-Ping; Mao, Rong-Rong; Xu, Lin
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.
understood and has relied primarily on findings from studies conducted in stroke . We have demonstrated that following CCI (a rodent model of...expected based on stroke models. Despite this, the motor cortex near the contusion maintains the capacity for motor map plasticity. 15. SUBJECT TERMS...been extensively studied in animal models of stroke and have significantly influenced rehabilitation of stroke patients (for review see (T. A. Jones et
Napoli, Alessandro; Obeid, Iyad
The aim of this work was to investigate long and short-term plasticity responsible for memory formation in dissociated neuronal networks. In order to address this issue, a set of experiments was designed and implemented in which the microelectrode array electrode grid was divided into four quadrants, two of which were chronically stimulated, every two days for one hour with a stimulation paradigm that varied over time. Overall network and quadrant responses were then analyzed to quantify what level of plasticity took place in the network and how this was due to the stimulation interruption. The results demonstrate that there were no spatial differences in the stimulus-evoked activity within quadrants. Furthermore, the implemented stimulation protocol induced depression effects in the neuronal networks as demonstrated by the consistently lower network activity following stimulation sessions. Finally, the analysis demonstrated that the inhibitory effects of the stimulation decreased over time, thus suggesting a habituation phenomenon. These findings are sufficient to conclude that electrical stimulation is an important tool to interact with dissociated neuronal cultures, but localized stimuli are not enough to drive spatial synaptic potentiation or depression. On the contrary, the ability to modulate synaptic temporal plasticity was a feasible task to achieve by chronic network stimulation.
Greenstein, Deanna; Lerch, Jason; Shaw, Philip; Clasen, Liv; Giedd, Jay; Gochman, Peter; Rapoport, Judith; Gogtay, Nitin
Background: Childhood onset schizophrenia (COS) is a rare but severe form of the adult onset disorder. While structural brain imaging studies show robust, widespread, and progressive gray matter loss in COS during adolescence, there have been no longitudinal studies of sufficient duration to examine comparability with the more common adult onset…
Heinzen, Christina Carolyn
The current study employed behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures to investigate brain plasticity associated with second-language (L2) phonetic learning based on an adaptive computer training program. The program utilized the acoustic characteristics of Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) to train monolingual American English-speaking listeners to perceive Mandarin lexical tones. Behavioral identification and discrimination tasks were conducted using naturally recorded speech, carefully controlled synthetic speech, and non-speech control stimuli. The ERP experiments were conducted with selected synthetic speech stimuli in a passive listening oddball paradigm. Identical pre- and post- tests were administered on nine adult listeners, who completed two-to-three hours of perceptual training. The perceptual training sessions used pair-wise lexical tone identification, and progressed through seven levels of difficulty for each tone pair. The levels of difficulty included progression in speaker variability from one to four speakers and progression through four levels of acoustic exaggeration of duration, pitch range, and pitch contour. Behavioral results for the natural speech stimuli revealed significant training-induced improvement in identification of Tones 1, 3, and 4. Improvements in identification of Tone 4 generalized to novel stimuli as well. Additionally, comparison between discrimination of across-category and within-category stimulus pairs taken from a synthetic continuum revealed a training-induced shift toward more native-like categorical perception of the Mandarin lexical tones. Analysis of the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) responses in the ERP data revealed increased amplitude and decreased latency for pre-attentive processing of across-category discrimination as a result of training. There were also laterality changes in the MMN responses to the non-speech control stimuli, which could reflect reallocation of brain resources in processing pitch patterns
Krishnan, Keerthi; Lau, Billy Y. B.; Ewall, Gabrielle; Huang, Z. Josh; Shea, Stephen D.
Neurodevelopmental disorders are marked by inappropriate synaptic connectivity early in life, but how disruption of experience-dependent plasticity contributes to cognitive and behavioural decline in adulthood is unclear. Here we show that pup gathering behaviour and associated auditory cortical plasticity are impaired in female Mecp2het mice, a model of Rett syndrome. In response to learned maternal experience, Mecp2het females exhibited transient changes to cortical inhibitory networks typically associated with limited plasticity. Averting these changes in Mecp2het through genetic or pharmacological manipulations targeting the GABAergic network restored gathering behaviour. We propose that pup gathering learning triggers a transient epoch of inhibitory plasticity in auditory cortex that is dysregulated in Mecp2het. In this window of heightened sensitivity to sensory and social cues, Mecp2 mutations suppress adult plasticity independently from their effects on early development. PMID:28098153
Freitas, Catarina; Farzan, Faranak; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro
Sustaining brain and cognitive function across the lifespan must be one of the main biomedical goals of the twenty-first century. We need to aim to prevent neuropsychiatric diseases and, thus, to identify and remediate brain and cognitive dysfunction before clinical symptoms manifest and disability develops. The brain undergoes a complex array of changes from developmental years into old age, putatively the underpinnings of changes in cognition and behavior throughout life. A functionally “normal” brain is a changing brain, a brain whose capacity and mechanisms of change are shifting appropriately from one time-point to another in a given individual's life. Therefore, assessing the mechanisms of brain plasticity across the lifespan is critical to gain insight into an individual's brain health. Indexing brain plasticity in humans is possible with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which, in combination with neuroimaging, provides a powerful tool for exploring local cortical and brain network plasticity. Here, we review investigations to date, summarize findings, and discuss some of the challenges that need to be solved to enhance the use of TMS measures of brain plasticity across all ages. Ultimately, TMS measures of plasticity can become the foundation for a brain health index (BHI) to enable objective correlates of an individual's brain health over time, assessment across diseases and disorders, and reliable evaluation of indicators of efficacy of future preventive and therapeutic interventions. PMID:23565072
Yamaguchi, Masahiro; Seki, Tatsunori; Imayoshi, Itaru; Tamamaki, Nobuaki; Hayashi, Yoshitaka; Tatebayashi, Yoshitaka; Hitoshi, Seiji
Neurons and glia in the central nervous system (CNS) originate from neural stem cells (NSCs). Knowledge of the mechanisms of neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs is fundamental to our understanding of how complex brain architecture and function develop. NSCs are present not only in the developing brain but also in the mature brain in adults. Adult neurogenesis likely provides remarkable plasticity to the mature brain. In addition, recent progress in basic research in mental disorders suggests an etiological link with impaired neuro/gliogenesis in particular brain regions. Here, we review the recent progress and discuss future directions in stem cell and neuro/gliogenesis biology by introducing several topics presented at a joint meeting of the Japanese Association of Anatomists and the Physiological Society of Japan in 2015. Collectively, these topics indicated that neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs is a common event occurring in many brain regions at various ages in animals. Given that significant structural and functional changes in cells and neural networks are accompanied by neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs and the integration of newly generated cells into the network, stem cell and neuro/gliogenesis biology provides a good platform from which to develop an integrated understanding of the structural and functional plasticity that underlies the development of the CNS, its remodeling in adulthood, and the recovery from diseases that affect it.
Hecox, K.; Galambos, R.
Brain stem evoked potentials were recorded by conventional scalp electrodes in infants (3 weeks to 3 years of age) and adults. The latency of one of the major response components (wave V) is shown to be a function both of click intensity and the age of the subject; this latency at a given signal strength shortens postnatally to reach the adult value (about 6 msec) by 12 to 18 months of age. The demonstrated reliability and limited variability of these brain stem electrophysiological responses provide the basis for an optimistic estimate of their usefulness as an objective method for assessing hearing in infants and adults.
Kolb, Bryan; Mychasiuk, Richelle; Williams, Preston; Gibb, Robbin
Neocortical development represents more than a simple unfolding of a genetic blueprint: rather, it represents a complex dance of genetic and environmental events that interact to adapt the brain to fit a particular environmental context. Most cortical regions are sensitive to a wide range of experiential factors during development and later in life, but the injured cortex appears to be unusually sensitive to perinatal experiences. This paper reviews the factors that influence how normal and injured brains (both focal and ischemic injuries) develop and adapt into adulthood. Such factors include prenatal experiences in utero as well as postnatal experiences throughout life. Examples include the effects of sensory and motor stimulation, psychoactive drugs (including illicit and prescription drugs), maternal and postnatal stress, neurotrophic factors, and pre- and postnatal diet. All these factors influence cerebral development and influence recovery from brain injury during development.
Lui, Su; Chen, Long; Yao, Li; Xiao, Yuan; Wu, Qi-Zhu; Zhang, Jun-Ran; Huang, Xiao-Qi; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Yu-Qin; Chen, Hua-Fu; Chan, Raymond C.K.; Sweeney, John A.; Gong, Qi-Yong
Background Stress responses have been studied extensively in animal models, but effects of major life stress on the human brain remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether survivors of a major earthquake, who were presumed to have experienced extreme emotional stress during the disaster, demonstrate differences in brain anatomy relative to individuals who have not experienced such stressors. Methods Healthy survivors living in an area devastated by a major earthquake and matched healthy controls underwent 3-dimentional high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Survivors were scanned 13–25 days after the earthquake; controls had undergone MRI for other studies not long before the earthquake. We used optimized voxel-based morphometry analysis to identify regional differences of grey matter volume between the survivors and controls. Results We included 44 survivors (17 female, mean age 37 [standard deviation (SD) 10.6] yr) and 38 controls (14 female, mean age 35.3 [SD 11.2] yr) in our analysis. Compared with controls, the survivors showed significantly lower grey matter volume in the bilateral insula, hippocampus, left caudate and putamen, and greater grey matter volume in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex and the parietal lobe (all p < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparison). Limitations Differences in the variance of survivor and control data could impact study findings. Conclusion Acute anatomic alterations could be observed in earthquake survivors in brain regions where functional alterations after stress have been described. Anatomic changes in the present study were observed earlier than previously reported and were seen in prefrontal–limbic, parietal and striatal brain systems. Together with the results of previous functional imaging studies, our observations suggest a complex pattern of human brain response to major life stress affecting brain systems that modulate and respond to heightened affective arousal. PMID
Ballantyne, Angela O.; Spilkin, Amy M.; Hesselink, John; Trauner, Doris A.
The developing brain has the capacity for a great deal of plasticity. A number of investigators have demonstrated that intellectual and language skills may be in the normal range in children following unilateral perinatal stroke. Questions have been raised, however, about whether these skills can be maintained at the same level as the brain…
Kleim, Jeffrey A.; Jones, Theresa A.
Purpose: This paper reviews 10 principles of experience-dependent neural plasticity and considerations in applying them to the damaged brain. Method: Neuroscience research using a variety of models of learning, neurological disease, and trauma are reviewed from the perspective of basic neuroscientists but in a manner intended to be useful for the…
Kempermann, Gerd; Gage, Fred H.
Contrary to dogma, the human brain does produce new nerve cells in adulthood. The mature human brain spawns neurons routinely in the hippocampus, an area important to memory and learning. This research can make it possible to ease any number of disorders involving neurological damage and death. (CCM)
Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco
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
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself, "wrote Leo Tolstoy. Have you ever thought about how learning changes your brain? If yes, this paper may help you explore the research that will change our learning landscape in the next few years! Recent developers in the neurosciences and education research…
Siniaia, M S; Pinchuk, D Iu; Sheliakin, A M; Tobias, T V; Bogdanov, O V
A new test for determination of the degree of the compensatory processes after brain damage was proposed in experiments in the cats with one-sided transection of the hemisphere and children with one-sided cerebral palsy. The process of habituation of the skin galvanic reaction was used for this aim.
Rentería, Miguel E
The longitudinal fissure separates the human brain into two hemispheres that remain connected through the corpus callosum. The left and the right halves of the brain resemble each other, and almost every structure present in one side has an equivalent structure in the other. Despite this exceptional correspondence, the two hemispheres also display important anatomical differences and there is marked lateralization of certain cognitive and motor functions such as language and handedness. However, the mechanisms that underlie the establishment of these hemispheric specializations, as well as their physiological and behavioral implications, remain largely unknown. Thanks to recent advances in neuroimaging, a series of studies documenting variation in symmetry and asymmetry as a function of age, gender, brain region, and pathological state, have been published in the past decade. Here, we review evidence of normal and atypical cerebral asymmetry, and the factors that influence it at the macrostructural level. Given the prominent role that cerebral asymmetry plays in the organization of the brain, and its possible implication in neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions, further research in this area is anticipated.
Ramírez, Gabriela; Fagundez, Carol; Grosso, Juan P.; Argibay, Pablo; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M.
In eusocial insects, experiences acquired during the development have long-term consequences on mature behavior. In the honeybee that suffers profound changes associated with metamorphosis, the effect of odor experiences at larval instars on the subsequent physiological and behavioral response is still unclear. To address the impact of preimaginal experiences on the adult honeybee, colonies containing larvae were fed scented food. The effect of the preimaginal experiences with the food odor was assessed in learning performance, memory retention and generalization in 3–5- and 17–19 day-old bees, in the regulation of their expression of synaptic-related genes and in the perception and morphology of their antennae. Three-five day old bees that experienced 1-hexanol (1-HEX) as food scent responded more to the presentation of the odor during the 1-HEX conditioning than control bees (i.e., bees reared in colonies fed unscented food). Higher levels of proboscis extension response (PER) to 1-HEX in this group also extended to HEXA, the most perceptually similar odor to the experienced one that we tested. These results were not observed for the group tested at older ages. In the brain of young adults, larval experiences triggered similar levels of neurexins (NRXs) and neuroligins (Nlgs) expression, two proteins that have been involved in synaptic formation after associative learning. At the sensory periphery, the experience did not alter the number of the olfactory sensilla placoidea, but did reduce the electrical response of the antennae to the experienced and novel odor. Our study provides a new insight into the effects of preimaginal experiences in the honeybee and the mechanisms underlying olfactory plasticity at larval stage of holometabolous insects. PMID:27375445
Ramírez, Gabriela; Fagundez, Carol; Grosso, Juan P; Argibay, Pablo; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M
In eusocial insects, experiences acquired during the development have long-term consequences on mature behavior. In the honeybee that suffers profound changes associated with metamorphosis, the effect of odor experiences at larval instars on the subsequent physiological and behavioral response is still unclear. To address the impact of preimaginal experiences on the adult honeybee, colonies containing larvae were fed scented food. The effect of the preimaginal experiences with the food odor was assessed in learning performance, memory retention and generalization in 3-5- and 17-19 day-old bees, in the regulation of their expression of synaptic-related genes and in the perception and morphology of their antennae. Three-five day old bees that experienced 1-hexanol (1-HEX) as food scent responded more to the presentation of the odor during the 1-HEX conditioning than control bees (i.e., bees reared in colonies fed unscented food). Higher levels of proboscis extension response (PER) to 1-HEX in this group also extended to HEXA, the most perceptually similar odor to the experienced one that we tested. These results were not observed for the group tested at older ages. In the brain of young adults, larval experiences triggered similar levels of neurexins (NRXs) and neuroligins (Nlgs) expression, two proteins that have been involved in synaptic formation after associative learning. At the sensory periphery, the experience did not alter the number of the olfactory sensilla placoidea, but did reduce the electrical response of the antennae to the experienced and novel odor. Our study provides a new insight into the effects of preimaginal experiences in the honeybee and the mechanisms underlying olfactory plasticity at larval stage of holometabolous insects.
Smolders, Katrien; Vreysen, Samme; Laramée, Marie-Eve; Cuyvers, Annemie; Hu, Tjing-Tjing; Van Brussel, Leen; Eysel, Ulf T; Nys, Julie; Arckens, Lutgarde
Neuronal activity plays an important role in the development and structural-functional maintenance of the brain as well as in its life-long plastic response to changes in sensory stimulation. We characterized the impact of unilateral 15° laser lesions in the temporal lower visual field of the retina, on visually driven neuronal activity in the afferent visual pathway of adult mice using in situ hybridization for the activity reporter gene zif268. In the first days post-lesion, we detected a discrete zone of reduced zif268 expression in the contralateral hemisphere, spanning the border between the monocular segment of the primary visual cortex (V1) with extrastriate visual area V2M. We could not detect a clear lesion projection zone (LPZ) in areas lateral to V1 whereas medial to V2M, agranular and granular retrosplenial cortex showed decreased zif268 levels over their full extent. All affected areas displayed a return to normal zif268 levels, and this was faster in higher order visual areas than in V1. The lesion did, however, induce a permanent LPZ in the retinorecipient layers of the superior colliculus. We identified a retinotopy-based intrinsic capacity of adult mouse visual cortex to recover from restricted vision loss, with recovery speed reflecting the areal cortical magnification factor. Our observations predict incomplete visual field representations for areas lateral to V1 vs. lack of retinotopic organization for areas medial to V2M. The validation of this mouse model paves the way for future interrogations of cortical region- and cell-type-specific contributions to functional recovery, up to microcircuit level.
Cirillo, John; Todd, Gabrielle; Semmler, John G
Previous studies with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) have shown that advancing age may influence plasticity induction in human motor cortex (M1), but these changes have been assessed with TMS-induced paradigms or simple motor tasks. The aim of this study was to examine changes in corticospinal excitability and intracortical inhibition as markers of corticomotor plasticity following complex motor training in young and old adults. Electromyographic recordings were obtained from the right first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle of 16 young (20-35 years) and 16 older (aged 60-75 years) adults before and after motor skill training. Motor training consisted of three 6-minute blocks of a complex visuomotor task that required matching the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint angle of the index finger using abduction-adduction movements. Single- and paired-pulse TMS over the left M1 was used to assess changes in right FDI motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) and short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) before and after each training block. Visuomotor tracking performance was diminished in old compared with young adults throughout training. However, improvement in tracking error was similar for young and old adults (7-24% increase in each training block). For young and old adults, motor training increased FDI MEP amplitude (≥ 20%) and reduced the magnitude of SICI (≥ 19%) after each visuomotor training block, reflecting use-dependent plasticity. However, no difference in corticomotor plasticity (change in MEP or SICI) was observed between young and old adults. Further studies are needed to identify the experimental or behavioral factors that might contribute to the maintenance of corticomotor plasticity in older adults.
Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Greifzu, Franziska; Haack, Franziska; Löwel, Siegrid
Ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) declines during aging and is absent beyond postnatal day (P) 110 when mice are raised in standard cages (SCs; Lehmann and Löwel, 2008). In contrast, raising mice in an enriched environment (EE) preserved a juvenile-like OD plasticity into late adulthood (Greifzu et al., 2014). EE raising provides the mice with more social interactions, voluntary physical exercise, and cognitive stimulation compared with SC, raising the question whether all components are needed or whether one of them is already sufficient to prolong plasticity. To test whether voluntary physical exercise alone already prolongs the sensitive phase for OD plasticity, we raised mice from 7 d before birth to adulthood in slightly larger than normal SCs with or without a running wheel (RW). When the mice were older than P135, we visualized V1 activity before and after monocular deprivation (MD) using intrinsic signal optical imaging. Adult RW-raised mice continued to show an OD shift toward the open eye after 7 d of MD, while age-matched SC mice without a RW did not show OD plasticity. Notably, running just during the 7 d MD period restored OD plasticity in adult SC-raised mice. In addition, the OD shift of the RW mice was mediated by a decrease of deprived-eye responses in V1, a signature of "juvenile-like" plasticity. We conclude that voluntary physical exercise alone is sufficient to promote plasticity in adult mouse V1.
Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J.; Simic, Nevena; Sinopoli, Katia J.; Wilkinson, Amy; Yeates, Keith Owen; Taylor, H. Gerry; Bigler, Erin D.; Fletcher, Jack M.
At every point in the lifespan, the brain balances malleable processes representing neural plasticity that promote change with homeostatic processes that promote stability. Whether a child develops typically or with brain injury, his or her neural and behavioral outcome is constructed through transactions between plastic and homeostatic processes and the environment. In clinical research with children in whom the developing brain has been malformed or injured, behavioral outcomes provide an index of the result of plasticity, homeostasis, and environmental transactions. When should we assess outcome in relation to age at brain insult, time since brain insult, and age of the child at testing? What should we measure? Functions involving reacting to the past and predicting the future, as well as social-affective skills, are important. How should we assess outcome? Information from performance variability, direct measures and informants, overt and covert measures, and laboratory and ecological measures should be considered. In whom are we assessing outcome? Assessment should be cognizant of individual differences in gene, socio-economic status (SES), parenting, nutrition, and interpersonal supports, which are moderators that interact with other factors influencing functional outcome. PMID:24821533
Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J; Simic, Nevena; Sinopoli, Katia J; Wilkinson, Amy; Yeates, Keith Owen; Taylor, H Gerry; Bigler, Erin D; Fletcher, Jack M
At every point in the lifespan, the brain balances malleable processes representing neural plasticity that promote change with homeostatic processes that promote stability. Whether a child develops typically or with brain injury, his or her neural and behavioral outcome is constructed through transactions between plastic and homeostatic processes and the environment. In clinical research with children in whom the developing brain has been malformed or injured, behavioral outcomes provide an index of the result of plasticity, homeostasis, and environmental transactions. When should we assess outcome in relation to age at brain insult, time since brain insult, and age of the child at testing? What should we measure? Functions involving reacting to the past and predicting the future, as well as social-affective skills, are important. How should we assess outcome? Information from performance variability, direct measures and informants, overt and covert measures, and laboratory and ecological measures should be considered. In whom are we assessing outcome? Assessment should be cognizant of individual differences in gene, socio-economic status (SES), parenting, nutrition, and interpersonal supports, which are moderators that interact with other factors influencing functional outcome.
Levin, S G; Godukhin, O V
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.
Webb, Carol F.; Ratliff, Michelle L.; Powell, Rebecca; Wirsig-Wiechmann, Celeste R.; Lakiza, Olga; Obara, Tomoko
Despite exciting new possibilities for regenerative therapy posed by the ability to induce pluripotent stem cells, recapitulation of three-dimensional kidneys for repair or replacement has not been possible. ARID3a-deficient mouse tissues generated multipotent, developmentally plastic cells. Therefore, we assessed the adult mouse ARID3a−/− kidney cell line, KKPS5, which expresses renal progenitor surface markers as an alternative cell source for modeling kidney development. Remarkably, these cells spontaneously developed into multicellular nephron-like structures in vitro, and engrafted into immunocompromised medaka mesonephros, where they formed mouse nephron structures. These data implicate KKPS5 cells as a new model system for studying kidney development. - Highlights: • An ARID3a-deficient mouse kidney cell line expresses multiple progenitor markers. • This cell line spontaneously forms multiple nephron-like structures in vitro. • This cell line formed mouse kidney structures in immunocompromised medaka fish kidneys. • Our data identify a novel model system for studying kidney development.
Clark, J. David
Chronic pain is a highly prevalent and debilitating condition that is frequently associated with multiple comorbid psychiatric conditions and functional, biochemical, and anatomical alterations in various brain centers. Due to its widespread and diverse manifestations, chronic pain is often resistant to classical pharmacological treatment paradigms, prompting the search for alternative treatment approaches that are safe and efficacious. The current review will focus on the following themes: attentional and cognitive interventions, the role of global environmental factors, and the effects of exercise and physical rehabilitation in both chronic pain patients and preclinical pain models. The manuscript will discuss not only the analgesic efficacy of these therapies, but also their ability to reverse pain-related brain neuroplasticity. Finally, we will discuss the potential mechanisms of action for each of the interventions. PMID:28299206
Laske, C; Eschweiler, G W
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a member of the neurotrophin family and plays an important role in neuronal survival and plasticity in the CNS. The proform of BDNF (pro-BDNF) is secreted and cleaved extracellularly by the serine protease plasmin to mature BDNF, which potentiates synaptic plasticity and long-term potentiation. Recent findings in animal models suggest an involvement of BDNF and its genetic functional single nucleotide polymorphism in the pathogenesis of different psychiatric diseases including depression, mania, schizophrenia, eating disorders, dementia, and Huntington's disease. In the brain and serum, BDNF is modulated by different factors. It is downregulated by stress and upregulated by learning processes, several antidepressive treatments, physical activity, and dietary restriction. Measurement of BDNF serum concentrations may be of diagnostic value. Additionally, the influence of different strategies for BDNF allocation seems to be relevant for the treatment and prevention of the above psychiatric disorders.
serially and coronaly into sets and immunohistochemically analyzed for the following: contusion size estimated as volume of remaining tissue in Nissl ... Nissl . Using the Nissl stained sections, Dorothy Kozlowski’s lab has analyzed the size of the contusions. Previous studies have shown that if...brains, staining one set with Nissl , saving the remaining sets for Immunohistochemical staining. • Dr. Kozlowski’s lab is analyzing contusion size
Fuller, Brian F; Gold, Mark S; Wang, Kevin K W; Ottens, Andrew K
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has been linked to deleterious health effects, particularly pulmonary and cardiac disease; yet, the general public considers ETS benign to brain function in adults. In contrast, epidemiological data have suggested that ETS impacts the brain and potentially modulates neurodegenerative disease. The present study begins to examine yet unknown biochemical effects of ETS on the adult mammalian brain. In the developed animal model, adult male rats were exposed to ETS 3 h a day for 3 weeks. Biochemical data showed altered glial fibrillary acid protein levels as a main treatment effect of ETS, suggestive of reactive astrogliosis. Yet, markers of oxidative and cell stress were unaffected by ETS exposure in the brain regions examined. Increased proteolytic degradation of alphaII-spectrin by caspase-3 and the dephosphorylation of serine(116) on PEA-15 indicated greater apoptotic cell death modulated by the extrinsic pathway in the brains of ETS-exposed animals. Further, beta-synuclein was upregulated by ETS, a neuroprotective protein previously reported to exhibit anti-apoptotic and anti-fibrillogenic properties. These findings demonstrate that ETS exposure alters the neuroproteome of the adult rat brain, and suggest modulation of inflammatory and cell death processes.
Hansberg-Pastor, Valeria; González-Arenas, Aliesha; Piña-Medina, Ana Gabriela; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio
In the brain of female mammals, including humans, a number of physiological and behavioral changes occur as a result of sex hormone exposure. Estradiol and progesterone regulate several brain functions, including learning and memory. Sex hormones contribute to shape the central nervous system by modulating the formation and turnover of the interconnections between neurons as well as controlling the function of glial cells. The dynamics of neuron and glial cells morphology depends on the cytoskeleton and its associated proteins. Cytoskeletal proteins are necessary to form neuronal dendrites and dendritic spines, as well as to regulate the diverse functions in astrocytes. The expression pattern of proteins, such as actin, microtubule-associated protein 2, Tau, and glial fibrillary acidic protein, changes in a tissue-specific manner in the brain, particularly when variations in sex hormone levels occur during the estrous or menstrual cycles or pregnancy. Here, we review the changes in structure and organization of neurons and glial cells that require the participation of cytoskeletal proteins whose expression and activity are regulated by estradiol and progesterone. PMID:26635640
Sifringer, Marco; van de Looij, Yohan; Herz, Josephine; Sizonenko, Stéphane V.; Kempe, Karina; Palasz, Joanna; Hadamitzky, Martin; Fandrey, Joachim
Cerebral white and grey matter injury is the leading cause of an adverse neurodevelopmental outcome in prematurely born infants. High oxygen concentrations have been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of neonatal brain damage. Here, we focused on motor-cognitive outcome up to the adolescent and adult age in an experimental model of preterm brain injury. In search of the putative mechanisms of action we evaluated oligodendrocyte degeneration, myelination, and modulation of synaptic plasticity-related molecules. A single dose of erythropoietin (20,000 IU/kg) at the onset of hyperoxia (24 hours, 80% oxygen) in 6-day-old Wistar rats improved long-lasting neurocognitive development up to the adolescent and adult stage. Analysis of white matter structures revealed a reduction of acute oligodendrocyte degeneration. However, erythropoietin did not influence hypomyelination occurring a few days after injury or long-term microstructural white matter abnormalities detected in adult animals. Erythropoietin administration reverted hyperoxia-induced reduction of neuronal plasticity-related mRNA expression up to four months after injury. Thus, our findings highlight the importance of erythropoietin as a neuroregenerative treatment option in neonatal brain injury, leading to improved memory function in adolescent and adult rats which may be linked to increased neuronal network connectivity. PMID:27493706
Apkarian, A.V.; Hashmi, J.A.; Baliki, M.N.
We review recent advances in brain imaging in humans, concentrating on advances in our understanding of the human brain in clinical chronic pain. Understanding regarding anatomical and functional reorganization of the brain in chronic pain is emphasized. We conclude by proposing a brain model for the transition of the human from acute to chronic pain. PMID:21146929
Costello, Derek A.; Claret, Marc; Al-Qassab, Hind; Plattner, Florian; Irvine, Elaine E.; Choudhury, Agharul I.; Giese, K. Peter; Withers, Dominic J.; Pedarzani, Paola
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
Kesby, James P; Eyles, Darryl W; Burne, Thomas H J; McGrath, John J
A role for vitamin D in brain development and function has been gaining support over the last decade. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that this vitamin is actually a neuroactive steroid that acts on brain development, leading to alterations in brain neurochemistry and adult brain function. Early deficiencies have been linked with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, and adult deficiencies have been associated with a host of adverse brain outcomes, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression and cognitive decline. This review summarises the current state of research on the actions of vitamin D in the brain and the consequences of deficiencies in this vitamin. Furthermore, we discuss specific implications of vitamin D status on the neurotransmitter, dopamine.
Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz; Mattia, Donatella; Oweiss, Karim
Analyzing neural signals and providing feedback in realtime is one of the core characteristics of a brain-computer interface (BCI). As this feature may be employed to induce neural plasticity, utilizing BCI technology for therapeutic purposes is increasingly gaining popularity in the BCI community. In this paper, we discuss the state-of-the-art of research on this topic, address the principles of and challenges in inducing neural plasticity by means of a BCI, and delineate the problems of study design and outcome evaluation arising in this context. We conclude with a list of open questions and recommendations for future research in this field.
Cheeran, Binith; Talelli, Penelope; Mori, Francesco; Koch, Giacomo; Suppa, Antonio; Edwards, Mark; Houlden, Henry; Bhatia, Kailash; Greenwood, Richard; Rothwell, John C
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene (BDNF) is one of many genes thought to influence synaptic plasticity in the adult brain and shows a common single nucleotide polymorphism (BDNF Val66Met) in the normal population that is associated with differences in hippocampal volume and episodic memory. It is also thought to influence possible synaptic changes in motor cortex following a simple motor learning task. Here we extend these studies by using new non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) techniques that directly test the excitability and plasticity of neuronal circuits in human motor cortex in subjects at rest. We investigated whether the susceptibility to TMS probes of plasticity is significantly influenced by the BDNF polymorphism. Val66Met carriers were matched with Val66Val individuals and tested on the following protocols: continuous and intermittent theta burst TMS; median nerve paired associative stimulation; and homeostatic plasticity in the TDCS/1 Hz rTMS model. The response of Met allele carriers differed significantly in all protocols compared with the response of Val66Val individuals. We suggest that this is due to the effect of BNDF on the susceptibility of synapses to undergo LTP/LTD. The circuits tested here are implicated in the pathophysiology of movement disorders such as dystonia and are being assessed as potential new targets in the treatment of stroke. Thus the polymorphism may be one factor that influences the natural response of the brain to injury and disease.
Noh, Nor Azila
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive, non-pharmacological technique that is able to modulate cortical activity beyond the stimulation period. The residual aftereffects are akin to the plasticity mechanism of the brain and suggest the potential use of TMS for therapy. For years, TMS has been shown to transiently improve symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders, but the underlying neural correlates remain elusive. Recently, there is evidence that altered connectivity of brain network dynamics is the mechanism underlying symptoms of various neuropsychiatric illnesses. By combining TMS and electroencephalography (EEG), the functional connectivity patterns among brain regions, and the causal link between function or behaviour and a specific brain region can be determined. Nonetheless, the brain network connectivity are highly complex and involve the dynamics interplay among multitude of brain regions. In this review article, we present previous TMS-EEG co-registration studies, which explore the functional connectivity patterns of human cerebral cortex. We argue the possibilities of neural correlates of long-term potentiation/depression (LTP−/LTD)-like mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that drive the TMS aftereffects as shown by the dissociation between EEG and motor evoked potentials (MEP) cortical output. Here, we also explore alternative explanations that drive the EEG oscillatory modulations post TMS. The precise knowledge of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying TMS will help characterise disturbances in oscillatory patterns, and the altered functional connectivity in neuropsychiatric illnesses. PMID:27660540
Bolognini, Nadia; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Fregni, Felipe
Therapies for motor recovery after stroke or traumatic brain injury are still not satisfactory. To date the best approach seems to be the intensive physical therapy. However the results are limited and functional gains are often minimal. The goal of motor training is to minimize functional disability and optimize functional motor recovery. This is thought to be achieved by modulation of plastic changes in the brain. Therefore, adjunct interventions that can augment the response of the motor system to the behavioural training might be useful to enhance the therapy-induced recovery in neurological populations. In this context, noninvasive brain stimulation appears to be an interesting option as an add-on intervention to standard physical therapies. Two non-invasive methods of inducing electrical currents into the brain have proved to be promising for inducing long-lasting plastic changes in motor systems: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). These techniques represent powerful methods for priming cortical excitability for a subsequent motor task, demand, or stimulation. Thus, their mutual use can optimize the plastic changes induced by motor practice, leading to more remarkable and outlasting clinical gains in rehabilitation. In this review we discuss how these techniques can enhance the effects of a behavioural intervention and the clinical evidence to date. PMID:19292910
Murrell, Wayne; Palmero, Emily; Bianco, John; Stangeland, Biljana; Joel, Mrinal; Paulson, Linda; Thiede, Bernd; Grieg, Zanina; Ramsnes, Ingunn; Skjellegrind, Håvard K.; Nygård, Ståle; Brandal, Petter; Sandberg, Cecilie; Vik-Mo, Einar; Palmero, Sheryl; Langmoen, Iver A.
The discovery of stem cells in the adult human brain has revealed new possible scenarios for treatment of the sick or injured brain. Both clinical use of and preclinical research on human adult neural stem cells have, however, been seriously hampered by the fact that it has been impossible to passage these cells more than a very few times and with little expansion of cell numbers. Having explored a number of alternative culturing conditions we here present an efficient method for the establishment and propagation of human brain stem cells from whatever brain tissue samples we have tried. We describe virtually unlimited expansion of an authentic stem cell phenotype. Pluripotency proteins Sox2 and Oct4 are expressed without artificial induction. For the first time multipotency of adult human brain-derived stem cells is demonstrated beyond tissue boundaries. We characterize these cells in detail in vitro including microarray and proteomic approaches. Whilst clarification of these cells’ behavior is ongoing, results so far portend well for the future repair of tissues by transplantation of an adult patient’s own-derived stem cells. PMID:23967194
Chan, S Y; Murakami, K; Routtenberg, A
To study the role of protein kinase C (PKC) and its substrates in neuronal function, we have investigated the in vitro endogenous phosphorylation of the neuronal phosphoprotein F1 after induction of synaptic plasticity by long-term potentiation (LTP). The protein F1 phosphorylation was found to increase 5 min (Routtenberg et al., 1985), 1 hr (Lovinger et al., 1986) and 3 d (Lovinger et al., 1985) after LTP. The characteristics of this protein bear close similarities to a number of proteins characterized in various neuronal systems, such as B50 (brain specific, synaptosome-enriched protein), pp46 (a growth cone protein), and GAP 43 (nerve growth and regeneration-associated protein). A positive identification of the purified protein F1 with these proteins would link protein F1 to the developmental growth of axons, nerve regeneration, and polyphosphoinositide metabolism, as well as adult plasticity. We have therefore purified and partially characterized native protein F1 so that a meaningful comparison among the properties of these proteins can be made. Using synaptosomal plasma membrane (P2') as starting material, subsequent purification involved pH extraction, 40-80% ammonium sulfate precipitation, hydroxylapatite, and phenyl-Sepharose column chromatography. This procedure achieved greater than 800-fold purification and about 45% yield relative to P2'. Purified protein F1 (Mr = 47,000, pI = 4.5) was found to be a hydrophilic molecule and was phosphorylated by 1000-fold purified PKC in the presence of phosphatidylserine (PS) and Ca2+. The Ka of PS activation is about 15 micrograms/ml (approximately 20 microM), and that of Ca2+ is about 25 microM. Diolein and DiC:8 (a synthetic diacylglycerol) lowered the requirement of Ca2+ for maximal stimulation from 100 to 5 microM. Ca2+-calmodulin kinases type I and II did not phosphorylate protein F1. The phosphoamino acid analysis showed that 97% of the total incorporated 32P-phosphate was on the serine residue. Phosphopeptide
Liu, Heng-Wei; Chang, Chih-Ju; Hsieh, Cheng-Ta
Citrobacter koseri is a gram-negative bacillus that causes mostly meningitis and brain abscesses in neonates and infants. However, brain abscess caused by Citrobacter koseri infection in an adult is extremely rare, and only 2 cases have been described. Here, we reported a 73-year-old male presenting with a 3-week headache. A history of diabetes mellitus was noted. The images revealed a brain abscess in the left frontal lobe and pus culture confirmed the growth of Citrobacter koseri. The clinical symptoms improved completely postoperatively.
Ekdahl, Christine T.; Claasen, Jan-Hendrik; Bonde, Sara; Kokaia, Zaal; Lindvall, Olle
New hippocampal neurons are continuously generated in the adult brain. Here, we demonstrate that lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation, which gives rise to microglia activation in the area where the new neurons are born, strongly impairs basal hippocampal neurogenesis in rats. The increased neurogenesis triggered by a brain insult is also attenuated if it is associated with microglia activation caused by tissue damage or lipopolysaccharide infusion. The impaired neurogenesis in inflammation is restored by systemic administration of minocycline, which inhibits microglia activation. Our data raise the possibility that suppression of hippocampal neurogenesis by activated microglia contributes to cognitive dysfunction in aging, dementia, epilepsy, and other conditions leading to brain inflammation.
Perez, Julio D.; Rubinstein, Nimrod D.; Dulac, Catherine
Mammalian evolution entailed multiple innovations in gene regulation, including the emergence of genomic imprinting, an epigenetic regulation leading to the preferential expression of a gene from its maternal or paternal allele. Genomic imprinting is highly prevalent in the brain, yet, until recently, its central roles in neural processes have not been fully appreciated. Here, we provide a comprehensive survey of adult and developmental brain functions influenced by imprinted genes, from neural development and wiring to synaptic function and plasticity, energy balance, social behaviors, emotions, and cognition. We further review the widespread identification of parental biases alongside monoallelic expression in brain tissues, discuss their potential roles in dosage regulation of key neural pathways, and suggest possible mechanisms underlying the dynamic regulation of imprinting in the brain. This review should help provide a better understanding of the significance of genomic imprinting in the normal and pathological brain of mammals including humans. PMID:27145912
Ethier, C.; Gallego, J.A.; Miller, L.E.
There is mounting evidence that appropriately timed neuromuscular stimulation can induce neural plasticity and generate functional recovery from motor disorders. This review addresses the idea that coordinating stimulation with a patient’s voluntary effort might further enhance neurorehabilitation. Studies in cell cultures and behaving animals have delineated the rules underlying neural plasticity when single neurons are used as triggers. However, the rules governing more complex stimuli and larger networks are less well understood. We argue that functional recovery might be optimized if stimulation were modulated by a brain machine interface, to matched the details of the patient’s voluntary intent. The potential of this novel approach highlights the need for a better understanding of the complex rules underlying this form of plasticity. PMID:25827275
Ramanathan, Dhakshin; Conner, James M.; H. Tuszynski, Mark
To investigate functional mechanisms underlying cortical motor plasticity in the intact and injured brain, we used “behaviorally relevant,” long-duration intracortical microstimulation. We now report the existence of complex, multijoint movements revealed with a 500-msec duration intracortical stimulation in rat motor cortex. A consistent topographic distribution of these complex motor patterns is present across the motor cortex in naïve rats. We further document the plasticity of these complex movement patterns after focal cortical injury, with a significant expansion of specific complex movement representations in response to rehabilitative training after injury. Notably, the degree of functional recovery attained after cortical injury and rehabilitation correlates significantly with a specific feature of map reorganization, the ability to reexpress movement patterns disrupted by the initial injury. This evidence suggests the existence of complex movement representations in the rat motor cortex that exhibit plasticity after injury and rehabilitation, serving as a relevant predictor of functional recovery. PMID:16837575
Guez-Barber, Danielle; Fanous, Sanya; Harvey, Brandon K; Zhang, Yongqing; Lehrmann, Elin; Becker, Kevin G; Picciotto, Marina R; Hope, Bruce T
Molecular analysis of brain tissue is greatly complicated by having many different classes of neurons and glia interspersed throughout the brain. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) has been used to purify selected cell types from brain tissue. However, its use has been limited to brain tissue from embryos or transgenic mice with promoter-driven reporter genes. To overcome these limitations, we developed a FACS procedure for dissociating intact cell bodies from adult wild-type rat brains and sorting them using commercially available antibodies against intracellular and extracellular proteins. As an example, we isolated neurons using a NeuN antibody and confirmed their identity using microarray and real time PCR of mRNA from the sorted cells. Our FACS procedure allows rapid, high-throughput, quantitative assays of molecular alterations in identified cell types with widespread applications in neuroscience.
Kaplan, Eitan S; Cooke, Sam F; Komorowski, Robert W; Chubykin, Alexander A; Thomazeau, Aurore; Khibnik, Lena A; Gavornik, Jeffrey P; Bear, Mark F
The roles played by cortical inhibitory neurons in experience-dependent plasticity are not well understood. Here we evaluate the participation of parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) GABAergic neurons in two forms of experience-dependent modification of primary visual cortex (V1) in adult mice: ocular dominance (OD) plasticity resulting from monocular deprivation and stimulus-selective response potentiation (SRP) resulting from enriched visual experience. These two forms of plasticity are triggered by different events but lead to a similar increase in visual cortical response. Both also require the NMDA class of glutamate receptor (NMDAR). However, we find that PV+ inhibitory neurons in V1 play a critical role in the expression of SRP and its behavioral correlate of familiarity recognition, but not in the expression of OD plasticity. Furthermore, NMDARs expressed within PV+ cells, reversibly inhibited by the psychotomimetic drug ketamine, play a critical role in SRP, but not in the induction or expression of adult OD plasticity. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11450.001 PMID:26943618
Zhang, G-Y; Yang, M; Liu, B; Huang, Z-C; Li, J; Chen, J-Y; Chen, H; Zhang, P-P; Liu, L-J; Wang, J; Teng, G-J
Previous studies often report that early auditory deprivation or congenital deafness contributes to cross-modal reorganization in the auditory-deprived cortex, and this cross-modal reorganization limits clinical benefit from cochlear prosthetics. However, there are inconsistencies among study results on cortical reorganization in those subjects with long-term unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (USNHL). It is also unclear whether there exists a similar cross-modal plasticity of the auditory cortex for acquired monaural deafness and early or congenital deafness. To address this issue, we constructed the directional brain functional networks based on entropy connectivity of resting-state functional MRI and researched changes of the networks. Thirty-four long-term USNHL individuals and seventeen normally hearing individuals participated in the test, and all USNHL patients had acquired deafness. We found that certain brain regions of the sensorimotor and visual networks presented enhanced synchronous output entropy connectivity with the left primary auditory cortex in the left long-term USNHL individuals as compared with normally hearing individuals. Especially, the left USNHL showed more significant changes of entropy connectivity than the right USNHL. No significant plastic changes were observed in the right USNHL. Our results indicate that the left primary auditory cortex (non-auditory-deprived cortex) in patients with left USNHL has been reorganized by visual and sensorimotor modalities through cross-modal plasticity. Furthermore, the cross-modal reorganization also alters the directional brain functional networks. The auditory deprivation from the left or right side generates different influences on the human brain.
Blanchard, Julie; Chohan, Muhammad Omar; Li, Bin; Liu, Fei; Iqbal, Khalid; Grundke-Iqbal, Inge
A therapeutic strategy against cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease is to take advantage of the regenerative ability of the brain and the properties of neurotrophic factors to shift the balance from neurodegeneration to neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity. Although the ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) has some of the required neuroprotective characteristics, its clinical use, due to its side effects, i.e., anorexia, skeletal muscle loss, hyperalgesia, cramps, and muscle pain, has not materialized. In the present study, we report that Peptide 6c (GDDL) that corresponds to CNTF amino acid residues 147-150, enhances the dentate gyrus neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity, and improves cognition without weight loss or any other apparent side effects in mice. Normal adult C57Bl6 mice received subcutaneous implants of extended release depot pellets containing vehicle or Peptide 6c for 30 days of continuous dosing. Dentate gyrus neurogenesis was assessed by stereological analysis of cells expressing neuronal markers, doublecortin and NeuN, and BrdU uptake. We found that Peptide 6c significantly increased early neuronal commitment, differentiation, and survival of newborn progenitor cells. These newborn neurons were functionally integrated into the hippocampal network, since basal expression of c-fos was enhanced and neuronal plasticity was increased, as reflected by higher expression of MAP2a,b and synaptophysin. Consequently, Peptide 6c treatment improved encoding of hippocampal-dependent information in a spatial reference memory task in mice. Overall, these findings demonstrated the therapeutic potential of Peptide 6c for regeneration of the brain and improvement of cognition.
Bavelier, Daphne; Green, C Shawn; Pouget, Alexandre; Schrater, Paul
The ability of the human brain to learn is exceptional. Yet, learning is typically quite specific to the exact task used during training, a limiting factor for practical applications such as rehabilitation, workforce training, or education. The possibility of identifying training regimens that have a broad enough impact to transfer to a variety of tasks is thus highly appealing. This work reviews how complex training environments such as action video game play may actually foster brain plasticity and learning. This enhanced learning capacity, termed learning to learn, is considered in light of its computational requirements and putative neural mechanisms.
Montgomery, Stephen H; Merrill, Richard M; Ott, Swidbert R
Behavioral and sensory adaptations are often reflected in the differential expansion of brain components. These volumetric differences represent changes in cell number, size, and/or connectivity, which may denote changes in the functional and evolutionary relationships between different brain regions, and between brain composition and behavioral ecology. Here we describe the brain composition of two species of Heliconius butterflies, a long-standing study system for investigating ecological adaptation and speciation. We confirm a previous report of a striking volumetric expansion of the mushroom body, and explore patterns of differential posteclosion and experience-dependent plasticity between different brain regions. This analysis uncovers age- and experience-dependent posteclosion mushroom body growth comparable to that in foraging Hymenoptera, but also identifies plasticity in several other neuropils. An interspecific analysis indicates that Heliconius display a remarkably large investment in mushroom bodies for a lepidopteran, and indeed rank highly compared to other insects. Our analyses lay the foundation for future comparative and experimental analyses that will establish Heliconius as a valuable case study in evolutionary neurobiology.
In this paper, I explore the idea that consciousness is something that the brain learns to do rather than an intrinsic property of certain neural states and not others. Starting from the idea that neural activity is inherently unconscious, the question thus becomes: How does the brain learn to be conscious? I suggest that consciousness arises as a result of the brain's continuous attempts at predicting not only the consequences of its actions on the world and on other agents, but also the consequences of activity in one cerebral region on activity in other regions. By this account, the brain continuously and unconsciously learns to redescribe its own activity to itself, so developing systems of meta-representations that characterize and qualify the target first-order representations. Such learned redescriptions, enriched by the emotional value associated with them, form the basis of conscious experience. Learning and plasticity are thus central to consciousness, to the extent that experiences only occur in experiencers that have learned to know they possess certain first-order states and that have learned to care more about certain states than about others. This is what I call the "Radical Plasticity Thesis." In a sense thus, this is the enactive perspective, but turned both inwards and (further) outwards. Consciousness involves "signal detection on the mind"; the conscious mind is the brain's (non-conceptual, implicit) theory about itself. I illustrate these ideas through neural network models that simulate the relationships between performance and awareness in different tasks.
Barth, Claudia; Villringer, Arno; Sacher, Julia
Sex hormones have been implicated in neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis, dendritic branching, myelination and other important mechanisms of neural plasticity. Here we review the evidence from animal experiments and human studies reporting interactions between sex hormones and the dominant neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA and glutamate. We provide an overview of accumulating data during physiological and pathological conditions and discuss currently conceptualized theories on how sex hormones potentially trigger neuroplasticity changes through these four neurochemical systems. Many brain regions have been demonstrated to express high densities for estrogen- and progesterone receptors, such as the amygdala, the hypothalamus, and the hippocampus. As the hippocampus is of particular relevance in the context of mediating structural plasticity in the adult brain, we put particular emphasis on what evidence could be gathered thus far that links differences in behavior, neurochemical patterns and hippocampal structure to a changing hormonal environment. Finally, we discuss how physiologically occurring hormonal transition periods in humans can be used to model how changes in sex hormones influence functional connectivity, neurotransmission and brain structure in vivo. PMID:25750611
Ballantyne, Angela O; Spilkin, Amy M; Hesselink, John; Trauner, Doris A
The developing brain has the capacity for a great deal of plasticity. A number of investigators have demonstrated that intellectual and language skills may be in the normal range in children following unilateral perinatal stroke. Questions have been raised, however, about whether these skills can be maintained at the same level as the brain matures. This study aimed to examine the stability of intellectual, academic and language functioning during development in children with perinatal stroke, and to resolve the inconsistencies raised in previous studies. Participants were 29 pre-school to school-age children with documented unilateral ischaemic perinatal stroke and 24 controls. Longitudinal testing of intellectual and cognitive abilities was conducted at two time points. Study 1 examined IQ, academic skills and language functions using the same test version over the test-retest interval. Study 2 examined IQ over a longer test-retest interval (pre-school to school-age), and utilized different test versions. This study has resulted in important new findings. There is no evidence of decline in cognitive function over time in children with perinatal unilateral brain damage. These results indicate that there is sufficient ongoing plasticity in the developing brain following early focal damage to result in the stability of cognitive functions over time. Also, the presence of seizures limits plasticity such that there is not only significantly lower performance on intellectual and language measures in the seizure group (Study 1), but the course of cognitive development is significantly altered (as shown in Study 2). This study provides information to support the notion of functional plasticity in the developing brain; yields much-needed clarification in the literature of prognosis in children with early ischaemic perinatal stroke; provides evidence that seizures limit plasticity during development; and avoids many of the confounds in prior studies. A greater
Obler, Loraine K.; Rykhlevskaia, Elena; Schnyer, David; Clark-Cotton, Manuella R.; Spiro, Avron, III; Hyun, JungMoon; Kim, Dae-Shik; Goral, Mira; Albert, Martin L.
To determine structural brain correlates of naming abilities in older adults, we tested 24 individuals aged 56-79 on two confrontation-naming tests (the Boston Naming Test (BNT) and the Action Naming Test (ANT)), then collected from these individuals structural Magnetic-Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) data. Overall,…
Gulino, Rosario; Gulisano, Massimo
Adult mammals could spontaneously achieve a partial sensory-motor recovery after spinal cord injury, by mechanisms including synaptic plasticity. We previously showed that this recovery is associated to the expression of synapsin-I, and that sonic hedgehog and Notch-1 could be also involved in plasticity. The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glutamate receptors in regulating synaptic efficacy has been explored in the last decade but, although these mechanisms are now well-defined in the brain, the molecular mechanisms underlying the so called "spinal learning" are still less clear. Here, we measured the expression levels of choline acetyltransferase, synapsin-I, sonic hedgehog, Notch-1, glutamate receptor subunits (GluR1, GluR2, GluR4, NMDAR1) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, in a motoneuron-depleted mouse spinal lesion model obtained by intramuscular injection of cholera toxin-B saporin. The lesion caused the down-regulation of the majority of analysed proteins. Moreover, we found that in lesioned but not in control spinal tissue, synapsin-I expression is associated to that of both brain-derived neurotrophic factor and sonic hedgehog, whereas GluR2 expression is linked to that of Shh. These results suggest that brain-derived neurotrophic factor and sonic hedgehog could collaborate in modulating synaptic plasticity after the removal of motoneurons, by a mechanism involving both pre- and post-synaptic processes. Interestingly, the involvement of sonic hedgehog showed here is novel, and offers new routes to address spinal cord plasticity and repair.
Knott, Verner; Impey, Danielle; Fisher, Derek; Delpero, Emily; Fedoroff, Paul
Cognitive mechanisms associated with the relative lack of sexual interest in adults by pedophiles are poorly understood and may benefit from investigations examining how the brain processes adult erotic stimuli. The current study used event-related brain potentials (ERP) to investigate the time course of the explicit processing of erotic, emotional, and neutral pictures in 22 pedophilic patients and 22 healthy controls. Consistent with previous studies, early latency anterior ERP components were highly selective for erotic pictures. Although the ERPs elicited by emotional stimuli were similar in patients and controls, an early frontal positive (P2) component starting as early as 185 ms was significantly attenuated and slow to onset in pedophilia, and correlated with a clinical measure of cognitive distortions. Failure of rapid attentional capture by erotic stimuli suggests a relative reduction in early processing in pedophilic patients which may be associated with relatively diminished sexual interest in adults.
Bhattacharya, Tushar K.; Pence, Brandt D.; Ossyra, Jessica M.; Gibbons, Trisha E.; Perez, Samuel; McCusker, Robert H.; Kelley, Keith W.; Johnson, Rodney W.; Woods, Jeffrey A.; Rhodes, Justin S.
Nutrition and physical exercise can enhance cognitive function but the specific combinations of dietary bioactives that maximize pro-cognitive effects are not known nor are the contributing neurobiological mechanisms. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a flavonoid constituent of many plants with high levels found in green tea. EGCG has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is known to cross the blood brain barrier where it can affect brain chemistry and physiology. β-alanine (B-ALA) is a naturally occurring β–amino acid that could increase cognitive functioning by increasing levels of exercise via increased capacity of skeletal muscle, by crossing the blood brain barrier and acting as a neurotransmitter, or by free radical scavenging in muscle and brain after conversion into carnosine. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of EGCG (∼ 250 mg/kg/day), B-ALA (∼550 mg/kg/day), and their combination with voluntary wheel running exercise on the following outcome measures: body composition, time to fatigue, production of new cells in the granule layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus as a marker for neuronal plasticity, and behavioral performance on the contextual and cued fear conditioning tasks, as measures of associative learning and memory. Young adult male BALB/cJ mice approximately 2 months old were randomized into 8 groups varying the nutritional supplement in their diet and access to running wheels over a 39 day study period. Running increased food intake, decreased fat mass, increased time to exhaustive fatigue, increased numbers of new cells in the granule layer of the hippocampus, and enhanced retrieval of both contextual and cued fear memories. The diets had no effect on their own or in combination with exercise on any of the fitness, plasticity, and behavioral outcome measures other than B-ALA decreased percent body fat whereas EGCG increased lean body mass slightly. Results suggest that, in young adult BALB
Bhattacharya, Tushar K; Pence, Brandt D; Ossyra, Jessica M; Gibbons, Trisha E; Perez, Samuel; McCusker, Robert H; Kelley, Keith W; Johnson, Rodney W; Woods, Jeffrey A; Rhodes, Justin S
Nutrition and physical exercise can enhance cognitive function but the specific combinations of dietary bioactives that maximize pro-cognitive effects are not known nor are the contributing neurobiological mechanisms. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a flavonoid constituent of many plants with high levels found in green tea. EGCG has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is known to cross the blood brain barrier where it can affect brain chemistry and physiology. β-Alanine (B-ALA) is a naturally occurring β-amino acid that could increase cognitive functioning by increasing levels of exercise via increased capacity of skeletal muscle, by crossing the blood brain barrier and acting as a neurotransmitter, or by free radical scavenging in muscle and brain after conversion into carnosine. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of EGCG (~250mg/kg/day), B-ALA (~550mg/kg/day), and their combination with voluntary wheel running exercise on the following outcome measures: body composition, time to fatigue, production of new cells in the granule layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus as a marker for neuronal plasticity, and behavioral performance on the contextual and cued fear conditioning tasks, as measures of associative learning and memory. Young adult male BALB/cJ mice approximately 2months old were randomized into 8 groups varying the nutritional supplement in their diet and access to running wheels over a 39day study period. Running increased food intake, decreased fat mass, increased time to exhaustive fatigue, increased numbers of new cells in the granule layer of the hippocampus, and enhanced retrieval of both contextual and cued fear memories. The diets had no effect on their own or in combination with exercise on any of the fitness, plasticity, and behavioral outcome measures other than B-ALA decreased percent body fat whereas EGCG increased lean body mass slightly. Results suggest that, in young adult BALB/cJ mice, a 39
Vadodaria, Krishna C; Yanpallewar, Sudhirkumar U; Vadhvani, Mayur; Toshniwal, Devyani; Liles, L Cameron; Rommelfanger, Karen S; Weinshenker, David; Vaidya, Vidita A
The adult rodent piriform cortex has been reported to harbor immature neurons that express markers associated with neurodevelopment and plasticity, namely polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) and doublecortin (DCX). We characterized the expression of PSA-NCAM and DCX across the rostrocaudal axis of the rat piriform cortex and observed higher numbers of PSA-NCAM and DCX positive cells in the posterior subdivision. As observed in the rat piriform cortex, Nestin-GFP reporter mice also revealed a similar gradient of GFP-positive cells with an increasing rostro-caudal gradient of expression. Given the extensive noradrenergic innervation of the piriform cortex and its role in regulating piriform cortex function and synaptic plasticity, we addressed the influence of norepinephrine (NE) on piriform cortex plasticity marker expression. Depletion of NE by treatment with the noradrenergic neurotoxin DSP-4 significantly increased the number of DCX and PSA-NCAM immunopositive cells in the piriform cortex of adult rats. Similarly, DSP-4 treated Nestin-GFP reporter mice revealed a robust induction of GFP-positive cells within the piriform cortex following NE depletion. Genetic loss of NE in dopamine β-hydroxylase knockout (Dbh -/-) mice phenocopied the effects of DSP-4, with an increase noted in PSA-NCAM and DCX positive cells in the piriform cortex. Further, chronic α2-adrenergic receptor stimulation with the agonist guanabenz increased PSA-NCAM and DCX positive cells in the piriform cortex of adult rats and GFP-positive cells in the piriform cortex of Nestin-GFP mice. By contrast, chronic α2-adrenergic receptor blockade with the antagonist yohimbine reduced PSA-NCAM and DCX positive cells in the piriform cortex of adult rats. Our results provide novel evidence for a role of NE in regulating the expression of plasticity markers, including PSA-NCAM, DCX, and nestin, within the adult mouse and rat piriform cortex.
Cirillo, John; Rogasch, Nigel C; Semmler, John G
The aim of this study was to examine corticomotor excitability and plasticity following repetitive thumb abduction training in left and right hands of young and old adults. Electromyographic recordings were obtained from the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle of 12 young (aged 18-27 years) and 14 old (aged 63-75 years) adults. Motor training consisted of 300 ballistic abductions of the thumb to maximize peak abduction acceleration, with each hand tested in a separate session. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the primary motor cortex (M1) was used to assess changes in contralateral APB motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) and short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) before and after training. For young and old adults, APB MEP amplitude increased for both hands after training, which is indicative of use-dependent plasticity. However, the increase in MEP amplitude was 21% (P = 0.04) greater in the left (non-dominant) hand compared with the right (dominant) hand. This occurred despite a 40% greater improvement in peak thumb abduction acceleration (motor learning) for the right hand in young subjects compared with the left hand in young subjects (P < 0.04) and the right hand in old subjects (P < 0.01). Furthermore, no difference in use-dependent plasticity was observed between young and old adults, and SICI remained unchanged following ballistic training for both hands in all subjects. These findings suggest that there is greater strengthening of corticomotor circuits for control of the left compared with the right hand during simple ballistic thumb training and that an age-related decline in motor learning was observed only in the dominant hand. In contrast to previous studies, these data also indicate that young and old adults can demonstrate similar use-dependent corticomotor plasticity during this simple thumb-training task.
Peirouvi, T.; Yekani, F.; Azarnia, M.; Massumi, M.
Hippocampal neural stem/progenitor cells (hipp-NS/PCs) of the adult mammalian brain are important sources of neuronal and gial cell production. In this study, the main goal is to investigate the plasticity of these cells in neuronal/astroglial differentiations. To this end, the differentiation of the hipp-NS/PCs isolated from 3-month-old Wistar rats was investigated in response to the embryonic cerebrospinal fluid (E-CSF) including E13.5, E17-CSF and the adult cerebrospinal fluid (A-CSF), all extracted from rats. CSF samples were selected based on their effects on cell behavioral parameters. Primary cell culture was performed in the presence of either normal or high levels of KCL in a culture medium. High levels of KCL cause cell depolarization, and thus the activation of quiescent NSCs. Results from immunocytochemistry (ICC) and semi-quantitative RT-PCR (sRT-PCR) techniques showed that in E-CSF-treated groups, neuronal differentiation increased (E17>E13.5). In contrast, A-CSF decreased and increased neuronal and astroglial differentiations, respectively. Cell survivability and/or proliferation (S/P), evaluated by an MTT assay, increased by E13.5 CSF, but decreased by both E17 CSF and A-CSF. Based on the results, it is finally concluded that adult rat hippocampal proliferative cells are not restricted progenitors but rather show high plasticity in neuronal/astroglial differentiation according to the effects of CSF samples. In addition, using high concentrations of KCL in the primary cell culture led to an increase in the number of NSCs, which in turn resulted in the increase in neuronal or astroglial differentiations after CSF treatment. PMID:27175157
Reynaud, Alexandre; Hess, Robert F.
Several studies have shown that short-term monocular patching can induce ocular dominance plasticity in normal adults, in which the patched eye becomes stronger in binocular viewing. There is a recent study showing that exercise enhances this plasticity effect when assessed with binocular rivalry. We address one question, is this enhancement from exercise a general effect such that it is seen for measures of binocular processing other than that revealed using binocular rivalry? Using a binocular phase combination task in which we directly measure each eye's contribution to the binocularly fused percept, we show no additional effect of exercise after short-term monocular occlusion and argue that the enhancement of ocular dominance plasticity from exercise could not be demonstrated with our approach. PMID:28357142
Abe, Hiroshi; McManus, Justin N.J.; Ramalingam, Nirmala; Li, Wu; Marik, Sally A.; Meyer zum Alten Borgloh, Stephan
The functional architecture of adult cerebral cortex retains a capacity for experience-dependent change. This is seen after focal binocular lesions as rapid changes in receptive field (RF) of the lesion projection zone (LPZ) in the primary visual cortex (V1). To study the dynamics of the circuitry underlying these changes longitudinally, we implanted microelectrode arrays in macaque (Macaca mulatta) V1, eliminating the possibility of sampling bias, which was a concern in previous studies. With this method, we observed a rapid initial recovery in the LPZ and, during the following weeks, 63–89% of the sites in the LPZ showed recovery of visual responses with significant position tuning. The RFs shifted ∼3° away from the scotoma. In the absence of a lesion, visual stimulation surrounding an artificial scotoma did not elicit visual responses, suggesting that the postlesion RF shifts resulted from cortical reorganization. Interestingly, although both spikes and LFPs gave consistent prelesion position tuning, only spikes reflected the postlesion remapping. PMID:25673865
Gray, J D; Milner, T A; McEwen, B S
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a secreted protein that has been linked to numerous aspects of plasticity in the central nervous system (CNS). Stress-induced remodeling of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala is coincident with changes in the levels of BDNF, which has been shown to act as a trophic factor facilitating the survival of existing and newly born neurons. Initially, hippocampal atrophy after chronic stress was associated with reduced BDNF, leading to the hypothesis that stress-related learning deficits resulted from suppressed hippocampal neurogenesis. However, recent evidence suggests that BDNF also plays a rapid and essential role in regulating synaptic plasticity, providing another mechanism through which BDNF can modulate learning and memory after a stressful event. Numerous reports have shown BDNF levels are highly dynamic in response to stress, and not only vary across brain regions but also fluctuate rapidly, both immediately after a stressor and over the course of a chronic stress paradigm. Yet, BDNF alone is not sufficient to effect many of the changes observed after stress. Glucocorticoids and other molecules have been shown to act in conjunction with BDNF to facilitate both the morphological and molecular changes that occur, particularly changes in spine density and gene expression. This review briefly summarizes the evidence supporting BDNF's role as a trophic factor modulating neuronal survival, and will primarily focus on the interactions between BDNF and other systems within the brain to facilitate synaptic plasticity. This growing body of evidence suggests a more nuanced role for BDNF in stress-related learning and memory, where it acts primarily as a facilitator of plasticity and is dependent upon the coactivation of glucocorticoids and other factors as the determinants of the final cellular response.
Abel, Ted; Havekes, Robbert; Saletin, Jared M; Walker, Matthew P
Despite the ubiquity of sleep across phylogeny, its function remains elusive. In this review, we consider one compelling candidate: brain plasticity associated with memory processing. Focusing largely on hippocampus-dependent memory in rodents and humans, we describe molecular, cellular, network, whole-brain and behavioral evidence establishing a role for sleep both in preparation for initial memory encoding, and in the subsequent offline consolidation of memory. Sleep and sleep deprivation bidirectionally alter molecular signaling pathways that regulate synaptic strength and control plasticity-related gene transcription and protein translation. At the cellular level, sleep deprivation impairs cellular excitability necessary for inducing synaptic potentiation and accelerates the decay of long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity. In contrast, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep enhance previously induced synaptic potentiation, although synaptic de-potentiation during sleep has also been observed. Beyond single cell dynamics, large-scale cell ensembles express coordinated replay of prior learning-related firing patterns during subsequent NREM sleep. At the whole-brain level, somewhat analogous learning-associated hippocampal (re)activation during NREM sleep has been reported in humans. Moreover, the same cortical NREM oscillations associated with replay in rodents also promote human hippocampal memory consolidation, and this process can be manipulated using exogenous reactivation cues during sleep. Mirroring molecular findings in rodents, specific NREM sleep oscillations before encoding refresh human hippocampal learning capacity, while deprivation of sleep conversely impairs subsequent hippocampal activity and associated encoding. Together, these cross-descriptive level findings demonstrate that the unique neurobiology of sleep exerts powerful effects on molecular, cellular and network mechanisms of plasticity that govern both initial
French, Leon; Pavlidis, Paul
We studied the global relationship between gene expression and neuroanatomical connectivity in the adult rodent brain. We utilized a large data set of the rat brain "connectome" from the Brain Architecture Management System (942 brain regions and over 5000 connections) and used statistical approaches to relate the data to the gene expression signatures of 17,530 genes in 142 anatomical regions from the Allen Brain Atlas. Our analysis shows that adult gene expression signatures have a statistically significant relationship to connectivity. In particular, brain regions that have similar expression profiles tend to have similar connectivity profiles, and this effect is not entirely attributable to spatial correlations. In addition, brain regions which are connected have more similar expression patterns. Using a simple optimization approach, we identified a set of genes most correlated with neuroanatomical connectivity, and find that this set is enriched for genes involved in neuronal development and axon guidance. A number of the genes have been implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autistic spectrum disorder. Our results have the potential to shed light on the role of gene expression patterns in influencing neuronal activity and connectivity, with potential applications to our understanding of brain disorders. Supplementary data are available at http://www.chibi.ubc.ca/ABAMS.
Bell, Robert D.; Winkler, Ethan A.; Sagare, Abhay P.; Singh, Itender; LaRue, Barb; Deane, Rashid; Zlokovic, Berislav V.
SUMMARY Pericytes play a key role in the development of cerebral microcirculation. The exact role of pericytes in the neurovascular unit in the adult brain and during brain aging remains, however, elusive. Using adult viable pericyte-deficient mice, we show that pericyte loss leads to brain vascular damage by two parallel pathways: (1) reduction in brain microcirculation causing diminished brain capillary perfusion, cerebral blood flow and cerebral blood flow responses to brain activation which ultimately mediates chronic perfusion stress and hypoxia, and (2) blood-brain barrier breakdown associated with brain accumulation of serum proteins and several vasculotoxic and/or neurotoxic macromolecules ultimately leading to secondary neuronal degenerative changes. We show that age-dependent vascular damage in pericyte-deficient mice precedes neuronal degenerative changes, learning and memory impairment and the neuroinflammatory response. Thus, pericytes control key neurovascular functions that are necessary for proper neuronal structure and function, and pericytes loss results in a progressive age-dependent vascular-mediated neurodegeneration. PMID:21040844
Wu, Aiguo; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando
A diet high in saturated fat (HF) decreases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), to the extent that compromises neuroplasticity and cognitive function, and aggravates the outcome of brain insult. By using the antioxidant power of vitamin E, we performed studies to determine the role of oxidative stress as a mediator for the effects of BDNF on synaptic plasticity and cognition caused by consumption of the HF diet. Male adult rats were maintained on a HF diet for 2 months with or without 500 IU/kg of vitamin E. Supplementation of the HF diet with vitamin E dramatically reduced oxidative damage, normalized levels of BDNF, synapsin I and cyclic AMP-response element-binding protein (CREB), caused by the consumption of the HF diet. In addition, vitamin E supplementation preserved the process of activation of synapsin I and CREB, and reversed the HF-impaired cognitive function. It is known that BDNF facilitates the synapse by modulating synapsin I and CREB, which have been implicated in synaptic plasticity associated to learning and memory. These results show that oxidative stress can interact with the BDNF system to modulate synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Therefore, studies appear to reveal a mechanism by which events classically related to the maintenance of energy balance of the cell, such as oxidative stress, can interact with molecular events that modulate neuronal and behavioural plasticity.
Biane, Jeremy S; Takashima, Yoshio; Scanziani, Massimo; Conner, James M; Tuszynski, Mark H
Layer 5 neurons of the neocortex receive direct and relatively strong input from the thalamus. However, the intralaminar distribution of these inputs and their capacity for plasticity in adult animals are largely unknown. In slices of the primary motor cortex (M1), we simultaneously recorded from pairs of corticospinal neurons associated with control of distinct motor outputs: distal forelimb versus proximal forelimb. Activation of ChR2-expressing thalamocortical afferents in M1 before motor learning produced equivalent responses in monosynaptic excitation of neurons controlling the distal and proximal forelimb, suggesting balanced thalamic input at baseline. Following skilled grasp training, however, thalamocortical input shifted to bias activation of corticospinal neurons associated with control of the distal forelimb. This increase was associated with a cell-specific increase in mEPSC amplitude but not presynaptic release probability. These findings demonstrate distinct and highly segregated plasticity of thalamocortical projections during adult learning.
Goodwill, Alicia M; Reynolds, John; Daly, Robin M; Kidgell, Dawson J
Neurodegeneration accompanies the process of natural aging, reducing the ability to perform functional daily activities. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) alters neuronal excitability and motor performance; however its beneficial effect on the induction of primary motor cortex (M1) plasticity in older adults is unclear. Moreover, little is known as to whether the tDCS electrode arrangement differentially affects M1 plasticity and motor performance in this population. In a double-blinded, cross-over trial, we compared unilateral, bilateral and sham tDCS combined with visuomotor tracking, on M1 plasticity and motor performance of the non-dominant upper limb, immediately post and 30 min following stimulation. We found (a) unilateral and bilateral tDCS decreased tracking error by 12-22% at both time points; with sham decreasing tracking error by 10% at 30 min only, (b) at both time points, motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were facilitated (38-54%) and short-interval intracortical inhibition was released (21-36%) for unilateral and bilateral conditions relative to sham, (c) there were no differences between unilateral and bilateral conditions for any measure. These findings suggest that tDCS modulated elements of M1 plasticity, which improved motor performance irrespective of the electrode arrangement. The results provide preliminary evidence indicating that tDCS is a safe non-invasive tool to preserve or improve neurological function and motor control in older adults.
Voss, Michelle W.; Vivar, Carmen; Kramer, Arthur F.; van Praag, Henriette
Significant progress has been made in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms through which exercise protects and restores the brain. In this feature review, we integrate animal and human research, examining physical activity effects across multiple levels of description (neurons up to inter-regional pathways). We evaluate the influence of exercise on hippocampal structure and function, addressing common themes such as spatial memory and pattern separation, brain structure and plasticity, neurotrophic factors, and vasculature. Areas of research focused more within species, such as hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents, also provide crucial insight into the protective role of physical activity. Overall, converging evidence suggests exercise benefits brain function and cognition across the mammalian lifespan, which may translate into reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in humans. PMID:24029446
Klimecki, Olga M; Leiberg, Susanne; Ricard, Matthieu; Singer, Tania
Although empathy is crucial for successful social interactions, excessive sharing of others' negative emotions may be maladaptive and constitute a source of burnout. To investigate functional neural plasticity underlying the augmentation of empathy and to test the counteracting potential of compassion, one group of participants was first trained in empathic resonance and subsequently in compassion. In response to videos depicting human suffering, empathy training, but not memory training (control group), increased negative affect and brain activations in anterior insula and anterior midcingulate cortex-brain regions previously associated with empathy for pain. In contrast, subsequent compassion training could reverse the increase in negative effect and, in contrast, augment self-reports of positive affect. In addition, compassion training increased activations in a non-overlapping brain network spanning ventral striatum, pregenual anterior cingulate cortex and medial orbitofrontal cortex. We conclude that training compassion may reflect a new coping strategy to overcome empathic distress and strengthen resilience.
Voss, Michelle W; Vivar, Carmen; Kramer, Arthur F; van Praag, Henriette
Significant progress has been made in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms through which exercise protects and restores the brain. In this feature review, we integrate animal and human research, examining physical activity effects across multiple levels of description (neurons up to inter-regional pathways). We evaluate the influence of exercise on hippocampal structure and function, addressing common themes such as spatial memory and pattern separation, brain structure and plasticity, neurotrophic factors, and vasculature. Areas of research focused more within species, such as hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents, also provide crucial insight into the protective role of physical activity. Overall, converging evidence suggests exercise benefits brain function and cognition across the mammalian lifespan, which may translate into reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) in humans.
Crom, Deborah B.; Li, Zhenghong; Brinkman, Tara M.; Hudson, Melissa M.; Armstrong, Gregory T.; Neglia, Joseph; Ness, Kirsten K.
Adult survivors of childhood brain tumors experience multiple, significant, life-long deficits as a consequence of their malignancy and therapy. Current survivorship literature documents the substantial impact such impairments have on survivors’ physical health and quality of life. Psychosocial reports detail educational, cognitive, and emotional limitations characterizing survivors as especially fragile, often incompetent, and unreliable in evaluating their circumstances. Anecdotal data suggests some survivors report life experiences similar to those of healthy controls. The aim of our investigation was to determine whether life satisfaction in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors differs from that of healthy controls and to identify potential predictors of life satisfaction in survivors. This cross-sectional study compared 78 brain tumor survivors with population–based matched controls. Chi-square tests, t-tests, and linear regression models were used to investigate patterns of life satisfaction and identify potential correlates. Results indicated life satisfaction of adult survivors of childhood brain tumors was similar to that of healthy controls. Survivors’ general health expectations emerged as the primary correlate of life satisfaction. Understanding life satisfaction as an important variable will optimize the design of strategies to enhance participation in follow-up care, reduce suffering, and optimize quality of life in this vulnerable population. PMID:25027187
Crom, Deborah B; Li, Zhenghong; Brinkman, Tara M; Hudson, Melissa M; Armstrong, Gregory T; Neglia, Joseph; Ness, Kirsten K
Adult survivors of childhood brain tumors experience multiple, significant, lifelong deficits as a consequence of their malignancy and therapy. Current survivorship literature documents the substantial impact such impairments have on survivors' physical health and quality of life. Psychosocial reports detail educational, cognitive, and emotional limitations characterizing survivors as especially fragile, often incompetent, and unreliable in evaluating their circumstances. Anecdotal data suggest some survivors report life experiences similar to those of healthy controls. The aim of our investigation was to determine whether life satisfaction in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors differs from that of healthy controls and to identify potential predictors of life satisfaction in survivors. This cross-sectional study compared 78 brain tumor survivors with population-based matched controls. Chi-square tests, t tests, and linear regression models were used to investigate patterns of life satisfaction and identify potential correlates. Results indicated that life satisfaction of adult survivors of childhood brain tumors was similar to that of healthy controls. Survivors' general health expectations emerged as the primary correlate of life satisfaction. Understanding life satisfaction as an important variable will optimize the design of strategies to enhance participation in follow-up care, reduce suffering, and optimize quality of life in this vulnerable population.
Surgical treatment of low-grade gliomas (LGGs) aims to maximise the amount of tumour tissue resected, while minimising the risk of functional sequelae. In this review I address the issue of how to reconcile these two conflicting goals. First, I review the natural history of LGG-growth, invasion, and anaplastic transformation. Second, I discuss the contribution of new techniques, such as functional mapping, to our understanding of brain reorganisation in response to progressive growth of LGG. Third, I consider the clinical implications of interactions between tumour progression and brain plasticity. In particular, I show how longitudinal studies (preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative) could allow us to optimise the surgical risk-to-benefit ratios. I will also discuss controversial issues such as defining surgical indications for LGGs, predicting the risk of postoperative deficit, aspects of operative surgical neuro-oncology (eg, preoperative planning and preservation of functional areas and tracts), and postoperative functional recovery.
Miranda, Jason A; Shepard, Kathryn N; McClintock, Shannon K; Liu, Robert C
Subcortical auditory nuclei were traditionally viewed as non-plastic in adulthood so that acoustic information could be stably conveyed to higher auditory areas. Studies in a variety of species, including humans, now suggest that prolonged acoustic training can drive long-lasting brainstem plasticity. The neurobiological mechanisms for such changes are not well understood in natural behavioral contexts due to a relative dearth of in vivo animal models in which to study this. Here, we demonstrate in a mouse model that a natural life experience with increased demands on the auditory system - motherhood - is associated with improved temporal processing in the subcortical auditory pathway. We measured the auditory brainstem response to test whether mothers and pup-naïve virgin mice differed in temporal responses to both broadband and tone stimuli, including ultrasonic frequencies found in mouse pup vocalizations. Mothers had shorter latencies for early ABR peaks, indicating plasticity in the auditory nerve and the cochlear nucleus. Shorter interpeak latency between waves IV and V also suggest plasticity in the inferior colliculus. Hormone manipulations revealed that these cannot be explained solely by estrogen levels experienced during pregnancy and parturition in mothers. In contrast, we found that pup-care experience, independent of pregnancy and parturition, contributes to shortening auditory brainstem response latencies. These results suggest that acoustic experience in the maternal context imparts plasticity on early auditory processing that lasts beyond pup weaning. In addition to establishing an animal model for exploring adult auditory brainstem plasticity in a neuroethological context, our results have broader implications for models of perceptual, behavioral and neural changes that arise during maternity, where subcortical sensorineural plasticity has not previously been considered.
Chan, Micaela Y.; Park, Denise C.; Savalia, Neil K.; Petersen, Steven E.; Wig, Gagan S.
Healthy aging has been associated with decreased specialization in brain function. This characterization has focused largely on describing age-accompanied differences in specialization at the level of neurons and brain areas. We expand this work to describe systems-level differences in specialization in a healthy adult lifespan sample (n = 210; 20–89 y). A graph-theoretic framework is used to guide analysis of functional MRI resting-state data and describe systems-level differences in connectivity of individual brain networks. Young adults’ brain systems exhibit a balance of within- and between-system correlations that is characteristic of segregated and specialized organization. Increasing age is accompanied by decreasing segregation of brain systems. Compared with systems involved in the processing of sensory input and motor output, systems mediating “associative” operations exhibit a distinct pattern of reductions in segregation across the adult lifespan. Of particular importance, the magnitude of association system segregation is predictive of long-term memory function, independent of an individual’s age. PMID:25368199
Barceló-Coblijn, Gwendolyn; Wold, Loren E; Ren, Jun; Murphy, Eric J
Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most severe expression of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Although alterations in fetal and neonate brain fatty acid composition and cholesterol content are known to occur in animal models of FASD, the persistence of these alterations into adulthood is unknown. To address this question, we determined the effect of prenatal ethanol exposure on individual phospholipid class fatty acid composition, individual phospholipid class mass, and cholesterol mass in brains from 25-week-old rats that were exposed to ethanol during gestation beginning at gestational day 2. While total phospholipid mass was unaffected, phosphatidylinositol and cardiolipin mass was decreased 14 and 43 %, respectively. Exposure to prenatal ethanol modestly altered brain phospholipid fatty acid composition, and the most consistent change was a significant 1.1-fold increase in total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), in the n-3/n-6 ratio, and in the 22:6n-3 content in ethanolamine glycerophospholipids and in phosphatidylserine. In contrast, prenatal ethanol consumption significantly increased brain cholesterol mass 1.4-fold and the phospholipid to cholesterol ratio was significantly increased 1.3-fold. These results indicate that brain cholesterol mass was significantly increased in adult rats exposed prenatally to ethanol, but changes in phospholipid mass and phospholipid fatty acid composition were extremely limited. Importantly, suppression of postnatal ethanol consumption was not sufficient to reverse the large increase in cholesterol observed in the adult rats.
Hawes, Sarah L.; Gillani, Fawad; Evans, Rebekah C.; Benkert, Elizabeth A.
Long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory afferents to the dorsal striatum likely occurs with learning to encode new skills and habits, yet corticostriatal LTP is challenging to evoke reliably in brain slice under physiological conditions. Here we test the hypothesis that stimulating striatal afferents with theta-burst timing, similar to recently reported in vivo temporal patterns corresponding to learning, evokes LTP. Recording from adult mouse brain slice extracellularly in 1 mM Mg2+, we find LTP in dorsomedial and dorsolateral striatum is preferentially evoked by certain theta-burst patterns. In particular, we demonstrate that greater LTP is produced using moderate intraburst and high theta-range frequencies, and that pauses separating bursts of stimuli are critical for LTP induction. By altering temporal pattern alone, we illustrate the importance of burst-patterning for LTP induction and demonstrate that corticostriatal long-term depression is evoked in the same preparation. In accord with prior studies, LTP is greatest in dorsomedial striatum and relies on N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors. We also demonstrate a requirement for both Gq- and Gs/olf-coupled pathways, as well as several kinases associated with memory storage: PKC, PKA, and ERK. Our data build on previous reports of activity-directed plasticity by identifying effective values for distinct temporal parameters in variants of theta-burst LTP induction paradigms. We conclude that those variants which best match reports of striatal activity during learning behavior are most successful in evoking dorsal striatal LTP in adult brain slice without altering artificial cerebrospinal fluid. Future application of this approach will enable diverse investigations of plasticity serving striatal-based learning. PMID:23926032
Boggio, Paulo S.; Asthana, Manish K.; Costa, Thiago L.; Valasek, Cláudia A.; Osório, Ana A. C.
Being socially connected directly impacts our basic needs and survival. People with deficits in social cognition might exhibit abnormal behaviors and face many challenges in our highly social-dependent world. These challenges and limitations are associated with a substantial economical and subjective impact. As many conditions where social cognition is affected are highly prevalent, more treatments have to be developed. Based on recent research, we review studies where non-invasive neuromodulatory techniques have been used to promote Social Plasticity in developmental disorders. We focused on three populations where non-invasive brain stimulation seems to be a promising approach in inducing social plasticity: Schizophrenia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Williams Syndrome (WS). There are still very few studies directly evaluating the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the social cognition of these populations. However, when considering the promising preliminary evidences presented in this review and the limited amount of clinical interventions available for treating social cognition deficits in these populations today, it is clear that the social neuroscientist arsenal may profit from non-invasive brain stimulation techniques for rehabilitation and promotion of social plasticity. PMID:26388712
Mottron, Laurent; Belleville, Sylvie; Rouleau, Guy A; Collignon, Olivier
The phenotype of autism involves heterogeneous adaptive traits (strengths vs. disabilities), different domains of alterations (social vs. non-social), and various associated genetic conditions (syndromic vs. nonsyndromic autism). Three observations suggest that alterations in experience-dependent plasticity are an etiological factor in autism: (1) the main cognitive domains enhanced in autism are controlled by the most plastic cortical brain regions, the multimodal association cortices; (2) autism and sensory deprivation share several features of cortical and functional reorganization; and (3) genetic mutations and/or environmental insults involved in autism all appear to affect developmental synaptic plasticity, and mostly lead to its upregulation. We present the Trigger-Threshold-Target (TTT) model of autism to organize these findings. In this model, genetic mutations trigger brain reorganization in individuals with a low plasticity threshold, mostly within regions sensitive to cortical reallocations. These changes account for the cognitive enhancements and reduced social expertise associated with autism. Enhanced but normal plasticity may underlie non-syndromic autism, whereas syndromic autism may occur when a triggering mutation or event produces an altered plastic reaction, also resulting in intellectual disability and dysmorphism in addition to autism. Differences in the target of brain reorganization (perceptual vs. language regions) account for the main autistic subgroups. In light of this model, future research should investigate how individual and sex-related differences in synaptic/regional brain plasticity influence the occurrence of autism.
Childs, Charmaine; Lunn, Kueh Wern
Surrogate or 'proxy' measures of brain temperature are used in the routine management of patients with brain damage. The prevailing view is that the brain is 'hotter' than the body. The polarity and magnitude of temperature differences between brain and body, however, remains unclear after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The focus of this systematic review is on the adult patient admitted to intensive/neurocritical care with a diagnosis of severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score of less than 8). The review considered studies that measured brain temperature and core body temperature. Articles published in English from the years 1980 to 2012 were searched in databases, CINAHL, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Science Direct, Ovid SP, Mednar and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database. For the review, publications of randomised controlled trials, non-randomised controlled trials, before and after studies, cohort studies, case-control studies and descriptive studies were considered for inclusion. Of 2,391 records identified via the search strategies, 37 were retrieved for detailed examination (including two via hand searching). Fifteen were reviewed and assessed for methodological quality. Eleven studies were included in the systematic review providing 15 brain-core body temperature comparisons. The direction of mean brain-body temperature differences was positive (brain higher than body temperature) and negative (brain lower than body temperature). Hypothermia is associated with large brain-body temperature differences. Brain temperature cannot be predicted reliably from core body temperature. Concurrent monitoring of brain and body temperature is recommended in patients where risk of temperature-related neuronal damage is a cause for clinical concern and when deliberate induction of below-normal body temperature is instituted.
Johnston, Lindsey; Ball, Rebecca E.; Acuff, Seth; Gaudet, John; Sornborger, Andrew; Lauderdale, James D.
Previously, electrophysiological studies in adult zebrafish have been limited to slice preparations or to eye cup preparations and electrorentinogram recordings. This paper describes how an adult zebrafish can be immobilized, intubated, and used for in vivo electrophysiological experiments, allowing recording of neural activity. Immobilization of the adult requires a mechanism to deliver dissolved oxygen to the gills in lieu of buccal and opercular movement. With our technique, animals are immobilized and perfused with habitat water to fulfill this requirement. A craniotomy is performed under tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222; tricaine) anesthesia to provide access to the brain. The primary electrode is then positioned within the craniotomy window to record extracellular brain activity. Through the use of a multitube perfusion system, a variety of pharmacological compounds can be administered to the adult fish and any alterations in the neural activity can be observed. The methodology not only allows for observations to be made regarding changes in neurological activity, but it also allows for comparisons to be made between larval and adult zebrafish. This gives researchers the ability to identify the alterations in neurological activity due to the introduction of various compounds at different life stages. PMID:24300281
Holmes, Melissa M; Putz, Oliver; Crews, David; Wade, Juli
The copulatory neuromuscular system of lizards is highly sexually dimorphic. Adult males possess bilateral penises called hemipenes, which are independently controlled by two muscles, the retractor penis magnus (RPM) and transversus penis (TPN). These structures are not obvious in adult females. However, in adult female leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), testosterone induces hemipene growth. We investigated whether these structures develop de novo in adulthood or are histologically present as rudimentary structures in the female leopard gecko. We also investigated the extent of sexual dimorphisms and plasticity in the associated neuromuscular components. To do this, we compared copulatory morphology (sizes of hemipenes, RPM and TPN muscle fibers, and associated motoneurons, as well as motoneuron and RPM fiber number) in adult females treated with testosterone, control females, and control males. All of the geckos possessed hemipenes, RPMs and TPNs, but these structures were indeed vestigial in control females. Testosterone induced striking increases in hemipene and copulatory muscle fiber size in females, but not to levels equivalent to control males. In parallel, males with increased levels of androgenic activity had larger hemipenes, suggesting naturally occurring steroid-induced plasticity. Copulatory motoneurons were not sexually dimorphic in size or number, and these measures did not respond to testosterone. The data demonstrate that the copulatory system of leopard geckos, in which gonadal sex is determined by egg incubation temperature, differs from that of many species (both reptilian and mammalian) with genotypic sex determination. Indeed, the system is remarkable in that adult females have normally occurring intersex characteristics and they exhibit substantial steroid-induced morphological plasticity in adulthood.
Sabel, B A; Matzke, S; Prilloff, S
The journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience (RNN) is now published in its 25th volume since its inception in 1989. RNN focuses on the emerging field of brain plasticity, repair and rehabilitation, including original and review papers both in basic research (animal experiments, in vitro studies) and in the clinical domain, including brain imaging studies. During the last decade RNN has experienced a steady progress in its reference value and scientific impact. The ISI-impact factor has risen from 1.117 (1997) to 2.862 (2006). This places the journal at the 81st rank among all 200 neuroscience journals, i.e. 60% of all neuroscience journals have a lower impact factor. When compared to other journals in the field of rehabilitation, RNN ranks number 1. Causes for this positive development are, among others: (1) the field of neuroplasticity, regeneration, recovery and rehabilitation is an emerging field in medicine and therefore the number of publications and their citation rate overall increases, (2) the special issues strategy, (3) a top level editorial board, and (4) the quality of papers submitted to RNN continuously improves as RNN is gaining increasing acceptance in the scientific community. Thus, in the space of neuroscience in general, and rehabilitation in particular, RNN has become a visible, high impact journal and a leading source of original scientific information pertaining to brain plasticity , rehabilitation and repair. RNN is likely to gain more momentum as the field matures further.
Prosperini, Luca; Piattella, Maria Cristina
Rehabilitation is recognized to be important in ameliorating motor and cognitive functions, reducing disease burden, and improving quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). In this systematic review, we summarize the existing evidences that motor and cognitive rehabilitation may enhance functional and structural brain plasticity in patients with MS, as assessed by means of the most advanced neuroimaging techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging and task-related and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In most cases, the rehabilitation program was based on computer-assisted/video game exercises performed in either an outpatient or home setting. Despite their heterogeneity, all the included studies describe changes in white matter microarchitecture, in task-related activation, and/or in functional connectivity following both task-oriented and selective training. When explored, relevant correlation between improved function and MRI-detected brain changes was often found, supporting the hypothesis that training-induced brain plasticity is specifically linked to the trained domain. Small sample sizes, lack of randomization and/or an active control group, as well as missed relationship between MRI-detected changes and clinical performance, are the major drawbacks of the selected studies. Knowledge gaps in this field of research are also discussed to provide a framework for future investigations. PMID:26064692
Durand, Edith; Marcotte, Karine; Ansaldo, Ana Inés
Anomia, or impaired word retrieval, is the most widespread symptom of aphasia, an acquired language impairment secondary to brain damage. In the last decades, functional neuroimaging techniques have enabled studying the neural basis underlying anomia and its recovery. The present study aimed to explore maladaptive plasticity in persistent verb anomia, in three male participants with chronic nonfluent aphasia. Brain activation maps associated with semantic verb paraphasia occurring within an oral picture-naming task were identified with an event-related fMRI paradigm. These maps were compared with those obtained in our previous study examining adaptive plasticity (i.e., successful verb naming) in the same participants. The results show that activation patterns related to semantic verb paraphasia and successful verb naming comprise a number of common areas, contributing to both maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms. This finding suggests that the segregation of brain areas provides only a partial view of the neural basis of verb anomia and successful verb naming. Therefore, it indicates the importance of network approaches which may better capture the complexity of maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms in anomia recovery. PMID:27429808
Spielmann, Kerstin; Durand, Edith; Marcotte, Karine; Ansaldo, Ana Inés
Anomia, or impaired word retrieval, is the most widespread symptom of aphasia, an acquired language impairment secondary to brain damage. In the last decades, functional neuroimaging techniques have enabled studying the neural basis underlying anomia and its recovery. The present study aimed to explore maladaptive plasticity in persistent verb anomia, in three male participants with chronic nonfluent aphasia. Brain activation maps associated with semantic verb paraphasia occurring within an oral picture-naming task were identified with an event-related fMRI paradigm. These maps were compared with those obtained in our previous study examining adaptive plasticity (i.e., successful verb naming) in the same participants. The results show that activation patterns related to semantic verb paraphasia and successful verb naming comprise a number of common areas, contributing to both maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms. This finding suggests that the segregation of brain areas provides only a partial view of the neural basis of verb anomia and successful verb naming. Therefore, it indicates the importance of network approaches which may better capture the complexity of maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms in anomia recovery.
Neistadt, M E
Adults with acquired brain injury often demonstrate dysfunction in meal preparation due to deficits in component cognitive-perceptual skills. Although occupational therapy for these clients routinely includes meal preparation training, there are no protocols in the occupational therapy literature to help structure that activity to address clients' cognitive-perceptual deficits. This paper describes a meal preparation treatment protocol based on cognitive-perceptual information processing theory that has been pilot tested in a treatment outcome study with adult men with traumatic or anoxic acquired brain injury. In that study, the group of 23 subjects treated with this meal preparation protocol showed significant improvement in their meal preparation skill, as measured by the Rabideau Kitchen Evaluation-Revised (RKE-R), a test of meal preparation skill, and in their cognitive-perceptual skill, as measured by the WAIS-R Block Design Test. The treatment protocol includes descriptions of the structure, grading, and cuing methods for light meal preparation activities.
Ross, M. D.
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
Grand, Jacob H.G.; Stawski, Robert S.; MacDonald, Stuart W.S.
Introduction Recent theorizing differentiates key constraints on cognition, including one’s current range of processing efficiency (i.e., flexibility or inconsistency) as well as the capacity to expand flexibility over time (i.e., plasticity). The present study uses intensive assessment of response time data to examine the interplay between markers of intraindividual variability (inconsistency) and gains across biweekly retest sessions (plasticity) in relation to age-related cognitive function. Method Participants included 304 adults (aged 64 to 92 years: M=74.02, SD=5.95) from Project MIND, a longitudinal burst design study assessing performance across micro and macro intervals (response latency trials, weekly bursts, annual retests). For two reaction time measures (choice RT and one-back choice RT), baseline measures of response time (RT) inconsistency (intraindividual standard deviation (ISD) across-trials at the first testing session) and plasticity (within-person performance gains in average RT across the 5 biweekly burst sessions) were computed, and then employed in linear mixed models as predictors of individual differences in cognitive function and longitudinal (6 year) rates of cognitive change. Results Independent of chronological age and years of education, higher RT inconsistency was associated uniformly with poorer cognitive function at baseline and with increased cognitive decline for measures of episodic memory and crystallized verbal ability. In contrast, predictive associations for plasticity were more modest for baseline cognitive function and were absent for 6-year cognitive change. Conclusions These findings underscore the potential utility of response times for articulating inconsistency and plasticity as dynamic predictors of cognitive function in older adults. PMID:26898536
Baeck, Jong-Su; Kim, Yang-Tae; Seo, Jee-Hye; Ryeom, Hun-Kyu; Lee, Jongmin; Choi, Sung-Mook; Woo, Minjung; Kim, Woojong; Kim, Jin Gu; Chang, Yongmin
Evidence from previous studies has suggested that motor imagery and motor action engage overlapping brain systems. As a result of this observation that motor imagery can activate brain regions associated with actual motor movement, motor imagery is expected to enhance motor skill performance and become an underlying principle for physical training in sports and physical rehabilitation. However, few studies have examined the effects of physical training on motor imagery in beginners. Also, differences in neural networks related to motor imagery before and after training have seldom been studied. In the current study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated the question of whether motor imagery can reflect plastic changes of neural correlates associated with intensive training. In fact, motor imagery was used in this study as a tool to assess the brain areas involved in shooting and involved in learning of shooting. We discovered that use of motor imagery resulted in recruitment of widely distributed common cortical areas, which were suggested to play a role in generation and maintenance of mental images before and after 90 h of shooting training. In addition to these common areas, brain activation before and after 90 h of shooting practice showed regionally distinct patterns of activity change in subcortical motor areas. That is, basal ganglia showed increased activity after 90 h of shooting practice, suggesting the occurrence of plastic change in association with gains in performance and reinforcement learning. Therefore, our results suggest that, in order to reach a level of expertise, the brain would change through initial reinforcement of preexistent connections during the training period and then use more focused neural correlates through formation of new connections.
In this paper, I explore the idea that consciousness is something that the brain learns to do rather than an intrinsic property of certain neural states and not others. Starting from the idea that neural activity is inherently unconscious, the question thus becomes: How does the brain learn to be conscious? I suggest that consciousness arises as a result of the brain's continuous attempts at predicting not only the consequences of its actions on the world and on other agents, but also the consequences of activity in one cerebral region on activity in other regions. By this account, the brain continuously and unconsciously learns to redescribe its own activity to itself, so developing systems of meta-representations that characterize and qualify the target first-order representations. Such learned redescriptions, enriched by the emotional value associated with them, form the basis of conscious experience. Learning and plasticity are thus central to consciousness, to the extent that experiences only occur in experiencers that have learned to know they possess certain first-order states and that have learned to care more about certain states than about others. This is what I call the “Radical Plasticity Thesis.” In a sense thus, this is the enactive perspective, but turned both inwards and (further) outwards. Consciousness involves “signal detection on the mind”; the conscious mind is the brain's (non-conceptual, implicit) theory about itself. I illustrate these ideas through neural network models that simulate the relationships between performance and awareness in different tasks. PMID:21687455
Royall, Joshua J.; Sunkin, Susan M.; Ng, Lydia; Facer, Benjamin A.C.; Lesnar, Phil; Guillozet‐Bongaarts, Angie; McMurray, Bergen; Szafer, Aaron; Dolbeare, Tim A.; Stevens, Allison; Tirrell, Lee; Benner, Thomas; Caldejon, Shiella; Dalley, Rachel A.; Dee, Nick; Lau, Christopher; Nyhus, Julie; Reding, Melissa; Riley, Zackery L.; Sandman, David; Shen, Elaine; van der Kouwe, Andre; Varjabedian, Ani; Write, Michelle; Zollei, Lilla; Dang, Chinh; Knowles, James A.; Koch, Christof; Phillips, John W.; Sestan, Nenad; Wohnoutka, Paul; Zielke, H. Ronald; Hohmann, John G.; Jones, Allan R.; Bernard, Amy; Hawrylycz, Michael J.; Hof, Patrick R.; Fischl, Bruce
ABSTRACT Detailed anatomical understanding of the human brain is essential for unraveling its functional architecture, yet current reference atlases have major limitations such as lack of whole‐brain coverage, relatively low image resolution, and sparse structural annotation. We present the first digital human brain atlas to incorporate neuroimaging, high‐resolution histology, and chemoarchitecture across a complete adult female brain, consisting of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion‐weighted imaging (DWI), and 1,356 large‐format cellular resolution (1 µm/pixel) Nissl and immunohistochemistry anatomical plates. The atlas is comprehensively annotated for 862 structures, including 117 white matter tracts and several novel cyto‐ and chemoarchitecturally defined structures, and these annotations were transferred onto the matching MRI dataset. Neocortical delineations were done for sulci, gyri, and modified Brodmann areas to link macroscopic anatomical and microscopic cytoarchitectural parcellations. Correlated neuroimaging and histological structural delineation allowed fine feature identification in MRI data and subsequent structural identification in MRI data from other brains. This interactive online digital atlas is integrated with existing Allen Institute for Brain Science gene expression atlases and is publicly accessible as a resource for the neuroscience community. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3127–3481, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27418273
Hudry, Bruno; Khadayate, Sanjay; Miguel-Aliaga, Irene
SUMMARY Sex differences in physiology and disease susceptibility are commonly attributed to developmental and/or hormonal factors, but there is increasing realisation that cell-intrinsic mechanisms play important and persistent roles1,2. Here we use the Drosophila melanogaster intestine to investigate the nature and significance of cellular sex in an adult somatic organ in vivo. We find that the adult intestinal epithelium is a cellular mosaic of different sex differentiation pathways, and displays extensive sex differences in expression of genes with roles in growth and metabolism. Cell-specific reversals of the sexual identity of adult intestinal stem cells uncover its key roles in controlling organ size, its reproductive plasticity and its response to genetically induced tumours. Unlike previous examples of sexually dimorphic somatic stem cell activity, the sex differences in intestinal stem cell behaviour arise from intrinsic mechanisms, which control cell cycle duration and involve a new doublesex- and fruitless-independent branch of the sex differentiation pathway downstream of transformer. Together, our findings indicate that the plasticity of an adult somatic organ is reversibly controlled by its sexual identity, imparted by a new mechanism that may be active in more tissues than previously recognised. PMID:26887495
Moreno, Sylvain; Marques, Carlos; Santos, Andreia; Santos, Manuela; Castro, São Luís; Besson, Mireille
We conducted a longitudinal study with 32 nonmusician children over 9 months to determine 1) whether functional differences between musician and nonmusician children reflect specific predispositions for music or result from musical training and 2) whether musical training improves nonmusical brain functions such as reading and linguistic pitch processing. Event-related brain potentials were recorded while 8-year-old children performed tasks designed to test the hypothesis that musical training improves pitch processing not only in music but also in speech. Following the first testing sessions nonmusician children were pseudorandomly assigned to music or to painting training for 6 months and were tested again after training using the same tests. After musical (but not painting) training, children showed enhanced reading and pitch discrimination abilities in speech. Remarkably, 6 months of musical training thus suffices to significantly improve behavior and to influence the development of neural processes as reflected in specific pattern of brain waves. These results reveal positive transfer from music to speech and highlight the influence of musical training. Finally, they demonstrate brain plasticity in showing that relatively short periods of training have strong consequences on the functional organization of the children's brain.
Lopes-Cardozo, M.; Klein, W.
The regulation of ketone-body metabolism and the quantitative importance of ketone bodies as lipid precursors in adult rat brain has been studied in vitro. Utilization of ketone bodies and of pyruvate by homogenates of adult rat brain was measured and the distribution of /sup 14/C from (3-/sup 14/C)ketone bodies among the metabolic products was analysed. The rate of ketone-body utilization was maximal in the presence of added Krebs-cycle intermediates and uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation. The consumption of acetoacetate was faster than that of D-3-hydroxybutyrate, whereas, pyruvate produced twice as much acetyl-CoA as acetoacetate under optimal conditions. Millimolar concentrations of ATP in the presence of uncoupler lowered the consumption of ketone bodies but not of pyruvate. Indirect evidence is presented suggesting that ATP interferes specifically with the mitochondrial uptake of ketone bodies. Interconversion of ketone bodies and the accumulation of acid-soluble intermediates (mainly citrate and glutamate) accounted for the major part of ketone-body utilization, whereas only a small part was oxidized to CO/sub 2/. Ketone bodies were not incorporated into lipids or protein. We conclude that adult rat-brain homogenates use ketone bodies exclusively for oxidative purposes.
Rivera-Rivera, Paola A; Rios-Lago, Marcos; Sanchez-Casarrubios, Sandra; Salazar, Osman; Yus, Miguel; González-Hidalgo, Mercedes; Sanz, Ana; Avecillas-Chasin, Josué; Alvarez-Linera, Juan; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Oliviero, Antonio; Barcia, Juan A
OBJECTIVE The extent of resection is the most important prognostic factor following brain glioma surgery. However, eloquent areas within tumors limit the extent of resection and, thus, critically affect outcomes. The authors hypothesized that presurgical suppression of the eloquent areas within a tumor by continuous cortical electrical stimulation, coupled with appropriate behavioral training ("prehabilitation"), would induce plastic reorganization and enable a more extensive resection. METHODS The authors report on 5 patients harboring gliomas involving eloquent brain areas within tumors as identified on intraoperative stimulation mapping. A grid of electrodes was placed over the residual tumor, and continuous cortical electrical stimulation was targeted to the functional areas. The stimulation intensity was adjusted daily to provoke a mild functional impairment while the function was intensively trained. RESULTS The stimulation intensity required to impair function increased progressively in all patients, and all underwent another operation a mean of 33.6 days later (range 27-37 days), when the maximal stimulation voltage in all active contacts induced no functional deficit. In all cases, a substantially more extensive resection of the tumor was possible. Intraoperative mapping and functional MRI demonstrated a plastic reorganization, and most previously demonstrated eloquent areas within the tumor were silent, while there was new functional activation of brain areas in the same region or toward the contralateral hemisphere. CONCLUSIONS Prehabilitation with continuous cortical electrical stimulation and appropriate behavioral training prior to surgery in patients with WHO Grade II and III gliomas affecting eloquent areas accelerate plastic changes. This can help maximize tumor resection and, thus, improve survival while maintaining function.
Background Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)/ Deep-brain Magnetic Stimulation (DMS) is an effective therapy for various neuropsychiatric disorders including major depression disorder. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the impacts of rTMS/DMS on the brain are not yet fully understood. Results Here we studied the effects of deep-brain magnetic stimulation to brain on the molecular and cellular level. We examined the adult hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal synaptic plasticity of rodent under stress conditions with deep-brain magnetic stimulation treatment. We found that DMS promotes adult hippocampal neurogenesis significantly and facilitates the development of adult new-born neurons. Remarkably, DMS exerts anti-depression effects in the learned helplessness mouse model and rescues hippocampal long-term plasticity impaired by restraint stress in rats. Moreover, DMS alleviates the stress response in a mouse model for Rett syndrome and prolongs the life span of these animals dramatically. Conclusions Deep-brain magnetic stimulation greatly facilitates adult hippocampal neurogenesis and maturation, also alleviates depression and stress-related responses in animal models. PMID:24512669
Grady, Cheryl L; Luk, Gigi; Craik, Fergus I M; Bialystok, Ellen
Bilingual older adults typically have better performance on tasks of executive control (EC) than do their monolingual peers, but differences in brain activity due to language experience are not well understood. Based on studies showing a relation between the dynamic range of brain network activity and performance on EC tasks, we hypothesized that life-long bilingual older adults would show increased functional connectivity relative to monolinguals in networks related to EC. We assessed intrinsic functional connectivity and modulation of activity in task vs. fixation periods in two brain networks that are active when EC is engaged, the frontoparietal control network (FPC) and the salience network (SLN). We also examined the default mode network (DMN), which influences behavior through reduced activity during tasks. We found stronger intrinsic functional connectivity in the FPC and DMN in bilinguals than in monolinguals. Although there were no group differences in the modulation of activity across tasks and fixation, bilinguals showed stronger correlations than monolinguals between intrinsic connectivity in the FPC and task-related increases of activity in prefrontal and parietal regions. This bilingual difference in network connectivity suggests that language experience begun in childhood and continued throughout adulthood influences brain networks in ways that may provide benefits in later life.
Grady, Cheryl L.; Luk, Gigi; Craik, Fergus I.M.; Bialystok, Ellen
Bilingual older adults typically have better performance on tasks of executive control (EC) than do their monolingual peers, but differences in brain activity due to language experience are not well understood. Based on studies showing a relation between the dynamic range of brain network activity and performance on EC tasks, we hypothesized that life-long bilingual older adults would show increased functional connectivity relative to monolinguals in networks related to EC. We assessed intrinsic functional connectivity and modulation of activity in task vs. fixation periods in two brain networks that are active when EC is engaged, the frontoparietal control network (FPC) and the salience network (SLN). We also examined the default mode network (DMN), which influences behavior through reduced activity during tasks. We found stronger intrinsic functional connectivity in the FPC and DMN in bilinguals than in monolinguals. Although there were no group differences in the modulation of activity across tasks and fixation, bilinguals showed stronger correlations than monolinguals between intrinsic connectivity in the FPC and task-related increases of activity in prefrontal and parietal regions. This bilingual difference in network connectivity suggests that language experience begun in childhood and continued throughout adulthood influences brain networks in ways that may provide benefits in later life. PMID:25445783
Enright, Robert B., Jr.
Surveyed 233 family caregivers for brain-impaired adults. Spousal caregivers (both husbands and wives) devoted much time to caregiving. Most caregivers received little assistance from other family members and friends, but husbands received more than others. Employed spouses received more paid help than unemployed spouses; employment did not affect…
Donato, Flavio; Rompani, Santiago Belluco; Caroni, Pico
Learning and memory processes can be influenced by recent experience, but the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Enhanced plasticity during critical periods of early life is linked to differentiating parvalbumin (PV)-interneuron networks, suggesting that recent experience may modulate learning by targeting the differentiation state of PV neurons in the adult. Here we show that environmental enrichment and Pavlovian contextual fear conditioning induce opposite, sustained and reversible hippocampal PV-network configurations in adult mice. Specifically, enrichment promotes the emergence of large fractions of low-differentiation (low PV and GAD67 expression) basket cells with low excitatory-to-inhibitory synaptic-density ratios, whereas fear conditioning leads to large fractions of high-differentiation (high PV and GAD67 expression) basket cells with high excitatory-to-inhibitory synaptic-density ratios. Pharmacogenetic inhibition or activation of PV neurons was sufficient to induce such opposite low-PV-network or high-PV-network configurations, respectively. The low-PV-network configuration enhanced structural synaptic plasticity, and memory consolidation and retrieval, whereas these were reduced by the high-PV-network configuration. We then show that maze navigation learning induces a hippocampal low-PV-network configuration paralleled by enhanced memory and structural synaptic plasticity throughout training, followed by a shift to a high-PV-network configuration after learning completion. The shift to a low-PV-network configuration specifically involved increased vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-positive GABAergic boutons and synaptic transmission onto PV neurons. Closely comparable low- and high-PV-network configurations involving VIP boutons were specifically induced in primary motor cortex upon rotarod motor learning. These results uncover a network plasticity mechanism induced after learning through VIP-PV microcircuit modulation, and involving
Mueller, Karsten; Möller, Harald E.; Horstmann, Annette; Busse, Franziska; Lepsien, Jöran; Blüher, Matthias; Stumvoll, Michael; Villringer, Arno; Pleger, Burkhard
Previous cross-sectional studies on body-weight-related alterations in brain structure revealed profound changes in the gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) that resemble findings obtained from individuals with advancing age. This suggests that obesity may lead to structural brain changes that are comparable with brain aging. Here, we asked whether weight-loss-dependent improved metabolic and neurotrophic functioning parallels the reversal of obesity-related alterations in brain structure. To this end we applied magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) together with voxel-based morphometry and diffusion-tensor imaging in overweight to obese individuals who participated in a fitness course with intensive physical training twice a week over a period of 3 months. After the fitness course, participants presented, with inter-individual heterogeneity, a reduced body mass index (BMI), reduced serum leptin concentrations, elevated high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), and alterations of serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentrations suggesting changes of metabolic and neurotrophic function. Exercise-dependent changes in BMI and serum concentration of BDNF, leptin, and HDL-C were related to an increase in GM density in the left hippocampus, the insular cortex, and the left cerebellar lobule. We also observed exercise-dependent changes of diffusivity parameters in surrounding WM structures as well as in the corpus callosum. These findings suggest that weight-loss due to physical exercise in overweight to obese participants induces profound structural brain plasticity, not primarily of sensorimotor brain regions involved in physical exercise, but of regions previously reported to be structurally affected by an increased body weight and functionally implemented in gustation and cognitive processing. PMID:26190989
Sanchez-Mendoza, Eduardo H.; de Carvalho, Tayana Silva; Hermann, Dirk M.
The study of neuronal plasticity under pathological conditions is now a major point of focus on the field of neurological recovery. After the repeated failure of acute neuroprotection strategies for stroke treatment, the design of studies aimed at promoting the reconstruction of neuronal networks has become essential. Methods for the delivery of therapeutic agents on a steady dosage, thus preventing pharmacological peaks or excessive manipulation of experimental animals, are thus required. Additionally, methods that allow the visualization of neurological remodeling processes are fundamental to the understanding of how a therapeutic agent exerts its function. Here we describe how the use of miniosmotic pumps for the steady delivery of such agents, together with tract tracer injections, can be combined to unveil important information on how the brain changes after stroke and how therapeutic agents promote brain remodeling recovery. PMID:28123397
Sanchez-Mendoza, Eduardo H; de Carvalho, Tayana Silva; Hermann, Dirk M
The study of neuronal plasticity under pathological conditions is now a major point of focus on the field of neurological recovery. After the repeated failure of acute neuroprotection strategies for stroke treatment, the design of studies aimed at promoting the reconstruction of neuronal networks has become essential. Methods for the delivery of therapeutic agents on a steady dosage, thus preventing pharmacological peaks or excessive manipulation of experimental animals, are thus required. Additionally, methods that allow the visualization of neurological remodeling processes are fundamental to the understanding of how a therapeutic agent exerts its function. Here we describe how the use of miniosmotic pumps for the steady delivery of such agents, together with tract tracer injections, can be combined to unveil important information on how the brain changes after stroke and how therapeutic agents promote brain remodeling recovery.
Pawluski, Jodi L
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications are the most common antidepressant treatment used during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Up to 10% of pregnant women are prescribed SSRIs. Serotonin plays an integral part in neurodevelopment, and questions have been raised about the placental transfer of SSRIs and the effects of preventing reuptake of presynaptic serotonin on fetal neurodevelopment. Preclinical data is beginning to document a role of early exposure to SSRIs in long-term developmental outcomes related to a number of brain regions, such as the hippocampus, cortex and cerebellum. To date, the majority of preclinical work has investigated the developmental effects of SSRIs in the offspring of healthy mothers; however, more research is needed on the effects of these medications in the face of maternal adversity. This minireview will highlight emerging evidence from clinical and preclinical studies investigating the impact of perinatal SSRI exposure on brain development and neural plasticity.
Advances in the fields of cognitive and affective developmental neuroscience, developmental psychopathology, neurobiology, genetics, and applied behavior analysis have contributed to a more optimistic outcome for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These advances have led to new methods for early detection and more effective treatments. For the first time, prevention of ASD is plausible. Prevention will entail detecting infants at risk before the full syndrome is present and implementing treatments designed to alter the course of early behavioral and brain development. This article describes a developmental model of risk, risk processes, symptom emergence, and adaptation in ASD that offers a framework for understanding early brain plasticity in ASD and its role in prevention of the disorder.
Lavers, Jennifer L; Bond, Alexander L
The ingestion of plastic by seabirds has been used as an indicator of population and ocean health. However, few studies have examined adults and juveniles of the same species concurrent with the availability of plastic in the local marine environment. In King George Sound (KGS), Western Australia, 13% of adult flesh-footed shearwaters (Ardenna carneipes) and 90% of fledglings contained plastic items in their digestive tract. On Lord Howe Island (LHI), New South Wales, 75% of adult shearwaters and 100% of fledglings contained plastic. Ingested items were assessed using Jaccard's Index (where J = 0 indicates complete dissimilarity and J = 1 complete similarity). The colour of items ingested by self- and chick-provisioning shearwaters from KGS exhibited broad overlap with plastic available in the local environment (J = 0.78-0.80), and plastic in adults and fledglings from LHI were less similar to those available (J = 0.31-0.58). Additional data on seabird colour selection would improve our understanding of the factors influencing the behaviour of ingesting plastic, and its contribution to the decline of some species.
Garza-Lombó, Carla; Gonsebatt, María E.
The kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) integrates signals triggered by energy, stress, oxygen levels, and growth factors. It regulates ribosome biogenesis, mRNA translation, nutrient metabolism, and autophagy. mTOR participates in various functions of the brain, such as synaptic plasticity, adult neurogenesis, memory, and learning. mTOR is present during early neural development and participates in axon and dendrite development, neuron differentiation, and gliogenesis, among other processes. Furthermore, mTOR has been shown to modulate lifespan in multiple organisms. This protein is an important energy sensor that is present throughout our lifetime its role must be precisely described in order to develop therapeutic strategies and prevent diseases of the central nervous system. The aim of this review is to present our current understanding of the functions of mTOR in neural development, the adult brain and aging. PMID:27378854
Miura, Eriko; Iijima, Takatoshi; Yuzaki, Michisuke; Watanabe, Masahiko
Cbln1 belongs to the C1q and tumour necrosis factor superfamily, and plays crucial roles as a cerebellar granule cell-derived transneuronal regulator for synapse integrity and plasticity in Purkinje cells. Although Cbln2-Cbln4 are also expressed in the brain and could form heteromeric complexes with Cbln1, their precise expressions remain unclear. Here, we investigated gene expression of the Cbln family in developing and adult C57BL mouse brains by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Northern blot, and high-resolution in situ hybridization (ISH) analyses. In the adult brain, spatial patterns of mRNA expression were highly differential depending on Cbln subtypes. Notably, particularly high levels of Cbln mRNAs were expressed in some nuclei and neurons, whereas their postsynaptic targets often lacked or were low for any Cbln mRNAs, as seen for cerebellar granule cells/Purkinje cells, entorhinal cortex/hippocampus, intralaminar group of thalamic nuclei/caudate-putamen, and dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus/central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. In the developing brain, Cbln1, 2, and 4 mRNAs appeared as early as embryonic day 10-13, and exhibited transient up-regulation during the late embryonic and neonatal periods. For example, Cbln2 mRNA was expressed in the cortical plate of the developing neocortex, displaying a high rostromedial to low caudolateral gradient. In contrast, Cbln3 mRNA was selective to cerebellar granule cells throughout development, and its onset was as late as postnatal day 7-10. These results will provide a molecular-anatomical basis for future studies that characterize roles played by the Cbln family.
Teles, Magda C; Cardoso, Sara D; Oliveira, Rui F
Social living animals need to adjust the expression of their behavior to their status within the group and to changes in social context and this ability (social plasticity) has an impact on their Darwinian fitness. At the proximate level social plasticity must rely on neuroplasticity in the brain social decision-making network (SDMN) that underlies the expression of social behavior, such that the same neural circuit may underlie the expression of different behaviors depending on social context. Here we tested this hypothesis in zebrafish by characterizing the gene expression response in the SDMN to changes in social status of a set of genes involved in different types of neural plasticity: bdnf, involved in changes in synaptic strength; npas4, involved in contextual learning and dependent establishment of GABAergic synapses; neuroligins (nlgn1 and nlgn2) as synaptogenesis markers; and genes involved in adult neurogenesis (wnt3 and neurod). Four social phenotypes were experimentally induced: Winners and Losers of a real-opponent interaction; Mirror-fighters, that fight their own image in a mirror and thus do not experience a change in social status despite the expression of aggressive behavior; and non-interacting fish, which were used as a reference group. Our results show that each social phenotype (i.e., Winners, Losers, and Mirror-fighters) present specific patterns of gene expression across the SDMN, and that different neuroplasticity genes are differentially expressed in different nodes of the network (e.g., BDNF in the dorsolateral telencephalon, which is a putative teleost homolog of the mammalian hippocampus). Winners expressed unique patterns of gene co-expression across the SDMN, whereas in Losers and Mirror-fighters the co-expression patterns were similar in the dorsal regions of the telencephalon and in the supracommissural nucleus of the ventral telencephalic area, but differents in the remaining regions of the ventral telencephalon. These results
Teles, Magda C.; Cardoso, Sara D.; Oliveira, Rui F.
Social living animals need to adjust the expression of their behavior to their status within the group and to changes in social context and this ability (social plasticity) has an impact on their Darwinian fitness. At the proximate level social plasticity must rely on neuroplasticity in the brain social decision-making network (SDMN) that underlies the expression of social behavior, such that the same neural circuit may underlie the expression of different behaviors depending on social context. Here we tested this hypothesis in zebrafish by characterizing the gene expression response in the SDMN to changes in social status of a set of genes involved in different types of neural plasticity: bdnf, involved in changes in synaptic strength; npas4, involved in contextual learning and dependent establishment of GABAergic synapses; neuroligins (nlgn1 and nlgn2) as synaptogenesis markers; and genes involved in adult neurogenesis (wnt3 and neurod). Four social phenotypes were experimentally induced: Winners and Losers of a real-opponent interaction; Mirror-fighters, that fight their own image in a mirror and thus do not experience a change in social status despite the expression of aggressive behavior; and non-interacting fish, which were used as a reference group. Our results show that each social phenotype (i.e., Winners, Losers, and Mirror-fighters) present specific patterns of gene expression across the SDMN, and that different neuroplasticity genes are differentially expressed in different nodes of the network (e.g., BDNF in the dorsolateral telencephalon, which is a putative teleost homolog of the mammalian hippocampus). Winners expressed unique patterns of gene co-expression across the SDMN, whereas in Losers and Mirror-fighters the co-expression patterns were similar in the dorsal regions of the telencephalon and in the supracommissural nucleus of the ventral telencephalic area, but differents in the remaining regions of the ventral telencephalon. These results
Demir, Ozlem Ece; Levine, Susan C; Goldin-Meadow, Susan
Children with pre- or perinatal brain injury (PL) exhibit marked plasticity for language learning. Previous work has focused mostly on the emergence of earlier-developing skills, such as vocabulary and syntax. Here we ask whether this plasticity for earlier-developing aspects of language extends to more complex, later-developing language functions by examining the narrative production of children with PL. Using an elicitation technique that involves asking children to create stories de novo in response to a story stem, we collected narratives from 11 children with PL and 20 typically developing (TD) children. Narratives were analysed for length, diversity of the vocabulary used, use of complex syntax, complexity of the macro-level narrative structure and use of narrative evaluation. Children's language performance on vocabulary and syntax tasks outside the narrative context was also measured. Findings show that children with PL produced shorter stories, used less diverse vocabulary, produced structurally less complex stories at the macro-level, and made fewer inferences regarding the cognitive states of the story characters. These differences in the narrative task emerged even though children with PL did not differ from TD children on vocabulary and syntax tasks outside the narrative context. Thus, findings suggest that there may be limitations to the plasticity for language functions displayed by children with PL, and that these limitations may be most apparent in complex, decontextualized language tasks such as narrative production.
Jakobs, Ruth; Gariepy, Tara D; Sinclair, Brent J
Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is a worldwide emerging pest of soft fruits, but its cold tolerance has not been thoroughly explored. We determined the cold tolerance strategy, low temperature thermal limits, and plasticity of cold tolerance in both male and female adult D. suzukii. We reared flies under common conditions (long days, 21°C; control) and induced plasticity by rapid cold-hardening (RCH, 1h at 0°C followed by 1h recovery), cold acclimation (CA, 5 days at 6°C) or acclimation under fluctuating temperatures (FA). D. suzukii had supercooling points (SCPs) between -16 and -23°C, and were chill-susceptible. 80% of control flies were killed after 1h at -7.2°C (males) or -7.5°C (females); CA and FA improved survival of this temperature in both sexes, but RCH did not. 80% of control flies were killed after 70 h (male) or 92 h (female) at 0°C, and FA shifted this to 112 h (males) and 165 h (females). FA flies entered chill coma (CTmin) at approximately -1.7°C, which was ca. 0.5°C colder than control flies; RCH and CA increased the CTmin compared to controls. Control and RCH flies exposed to 0°C for 8h took 30-40 min to recover movement, but this was reduced to <10 min in CA and FA. Flies placed outside in a field cage in London, Ontario, were all killed by a transient cold snap in December. We conclude that adult phenotypic plasticity is not sufficient to allow D. suzukii to overwinter in temperate habitats, and suggest that flies could overwinter in association with built structures, or that there may be additional cold tolerance imparted by developmental plasticity.
Tay, Tuan Leng; Savage, Julie C; Hui, Chin Wai; Bisht, Kanchan; Tremblay, Marie-Ève
Microglia are the only immune cells that permanently reside in the central nervous system (CNS) alongside neurons and other types of glial cells. The past decade has witnessed a revolution in our understanding of their roles during normal physiological conditions. Cutting-edge techniques revealed that these resident immune cells are critical for proper brain development, actively maintain health in the mature brain, and rapidly adapt their function to physiological or pathophysiological needs. In this review, we highlight recent studies on microglial origin (from the embryonic yolk sac) and the factors regulating their differentiation and homeostasis upon brain invasion. Elegant experiments tracking microglia in the CNS allowed studies of their unique roles compared with other types of resident macrophages. Here we review the emerging roles of microglia in brain development, plasticity and cognition, and discuss the implications of the depletion or dysfunction of microglia for our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Immune activation, inflammation and various other conditions resulting in undesirable microglial activity at different stages of life could severely impair learning, memory and other essential cognitive functions. The diversity of microglial phenotypes across the lifespan, between compartments of the CNS, and sexes, as well as their crosstalk with the body and external environment, is also emphasised. Understanding what defines particular microglial phenotypes is of major importance for future development of innovative therapies controlling their effector functions, with consequences for cognition across chronic stress, ageing, neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases.
Leung, Katherine; Thuret, Sandrine
Gut microbiota have recently been a topic of great interest in the field of microbiology, particularly their role in normal physiology and its influence on human health in disease. A large body of research has supported the presence of a pathway of communication between the gut and the brain, modulated by gut microbiota, giving rise to the term "microbiota-gut-brain" axis. It is now thought that, through this pathway, microbiota can affect behaviour and modulate brain plasticity and cognitive function in ageing. This review summarizes the evidence supporting the existence of such a connection and possible mechanisms of action whereby microbiota can influence the function of the central nervous system. Since normalisation of gut flora has been shown to prevent changes in behaviour, we further postulate on possible therapeutic targets to intervene with cognitive decline in ageing. The research poses various limitations, for example uncertainty about how this data translates to broad human populations. Nonetheless, the microbiota-gut-brain axis is an exciting field worthy of further investigation, particularly with regards to its implications on the ageing population.
Thaut, Michael H; Peterson, David A; McIntosh, Gerald C; Hoemberg, Volker
Recent research on music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music and rhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory, we investigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and if music-assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measured systems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music-assisted learning. Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) in alpha and beta frequency bands in 54 patients with MS. The study sample was randomly divided into two groups, either hearing a spoken or a musical (sung) presentation of Rey's auditory verbal learning test. We defined the "learning-related synchronization" (LRS) as the percent change in EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent word encoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and the spoken conditions in low alpha and upper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better word order memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. The evidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization in prefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicit in musical stimuli enhances "deep encoding" during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neural dynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS.
Pieramico, Valentina; Esposito, Roberto; Cesinaro, Stefano; Frazzini, Valerio; Sensi, Stefano L.
Brain aging and aging-related neurodegenerative disorders are major health challenges faced by modern societies. Brain aging is associated with cognitive and functional decline and represents the favourable background for the onset and development of dementia. Brain aging is associated with early and subtle anatomo-functional physiological changes that often precede the appearance of clinical signs of cognitive decline. Neuroimaging approaches unveiled the functional correlates of these alterations and helped in the identification of therapeutic targets that can be potentially useful in counteracting age-dependent cognitive decline. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that cognitive stimulation and aerobic training can preserve and enhance operational skills in elderly individuals as well as reduce the incidence of dementia. This review aims at providing an extensive and critical overview of the most recent data that support the efficacy of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions aimed at enhancing cognition and brain plasticity in healthy elderly individuals as well as delaying the cognitive decline associated with dementia. PMID:25228860
Flor, Herta; Nees, Frauke
We review evidence from our laboratory that suggests that in addition to enhanced cue conditioning and delayed cue extinction disturbed contextual learning may play an important role in the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder. Based on data from a longitudinal sample of rescue workers at high risk for posttraumatic stress disorder and data on single trauma exposed persons with and without posttraumatic stress disorder we show the crucial role of the hippocampus for contextual memory and impaired contextual learning along with enhanced cue conditioning and delayed extinction in PTSD. Using structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging we confirmed animal data on the role of the hippocampus in contextual and the importance of the amygdala in cue conditioning and the role of the frontal cortex in extinction. Genetic variants related to the modulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis are associated with cue and genetic variants related to calcium signaling and memory processes and the regulation of the stress response are associated with context conditioning. These genes also play a role in PTSD. Further research needs to identify the predictive nature of these learning processes and plastic brain changes and their interaction with genetic characteristics changes for the transition into PTSD and its maintenance. A further focus needs to be on the identification of learning and memory mechanisms and the associated brain plasticity across disorders.
Urban, Kimberly R; Gao, Wen-Jun
Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is the most commonly prescribed psychoactive drug for juveniles and adolescents. Used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and for cognitive enhancement in healthy individuals, it has been regarded as a relatively safe medication for the past several decades. However, a thorough review of the literature reveals that the age-dependent activities of the drug, as well as potential developmental effects, are largely ignored. In addition, the diagnosis of ADHD is subjective, leaving open the possibility of misdiagnosis and excessive prescription of the drug. Recent studies have suggested that early life exposure of healthy rodent models to methylphenidate resulted in altered sleep/wake cycle, heightened stress reactivity, and, in fact, a dosage previously thought of as therapeutic depressed neuronal function in juvenile rats. Furthermore, juvenile rats exposed to low-dose methylphenidate displayed alterations in neural markers of plasticity, indicating that the drug might alter the basic properties of prefrontal cortical circuits. In this review of the current literature, we propose that juvenile exposure to methylphenidate may cause abnormal prefrontal function and impaired plasticity in the healthy brain, strengthening the case for developing a more thorough understanding of methylphenidate's actions on the developing, juvenile brain, as well as better diagnostic measures for ADHD.
Sabel, B A; Matzke, S; Prilloff, S
The journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience (RNN) is focused on the emerging field of brain plasticity, repair and rehabilitation, including original and review papers both in basic research (in vitro studies, animal experiments) and in the clinical domain, including brain imaging studies. The publication of special issues on vital topics, summarizing the work of leading experts in the field of restoration and plasticity has become a major strategy of RNN and has attracted worldwide attention. Special issues are typically organized by specialized guest-editors familiar with the respective science field. Special issues cover a particular sub-discipline and often contain laboratory review papers. The first special issue appeared in 1990, and until today RNN has published a total of 25 special issues on a variety of basic science and clinical matters. In this way, RNN promotes the dissemination of information in the field of neuroplasticity, repair and rehabilitation, providing the reader with up-to-date information prepared by leading experts in the field.
Guzik-Kornacka, Anna; van der Bourg, Alexander; Vajda, Flora; Joly, Sandrine; Christ, Franziska; Schwab, Martin E; Pernet, Vincent
The inhibitory action of Nogo-A on axonal growth has been well described. However, much less is known about the effects that Nogo-A could exert on the plasticity of neuronal circuits under physiological conditions. We investigated the effects of Nogo-A knock-out (KO) on visual function of adult mice using the optokinetic response (OKR) and the monocular deprivation (MD)-induced OKR plasticity and analyzed the anatomical organization of the eye-specific retinal projections. The spatial frequency sensitivity was higher in intact Nogo-A KO than in wild-type (WT) mice. After MD, Nogo-A KO mice reached a significantly higher spatial frequency and contrast sensitivity. Bilateral ablation of the visual cortex did not affect the OKR sensitivity before MD but reduced the MD-induced enhancement of OKR by approximately 50% in Nogo-A KO and WT mice. These results suggest that cortical and subcortical brain structures contribute to the OKR plasticity. The tracing of retinal projections to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) revealed that the segregation of eye-specific terminals was decreased in the adult Nogo-A KO dLGN compared with WT mice. Strikingly, MD of the right eye led to additional desegregation of retinal projections in the left dLGN of Nogo-A KO but not in WT mice. In particular, MD promoted ectopic varicosity formation in Nogo-A KO dLGN axons. The present data show that Nogo-A restricts visual experience-driven plasticity of the OKR and plays a role in the segregation and maintenance of retinal projections to the brain.
Tsubota, Tadashi; Okubo-Suzuki, Reiko; Ohashi, Yohei; Tamura, Keita; Ogata, Koshin; Yaguchi, Masae; Matsuyama, Makoto; Inokuchi, Kaoru; Miyashita, Yasushi
During sensory deprivation, the barrel cortex undergoes expansion of a functional column representing spared inputs (spared column), into the neighboring deprived columns (representing deprived inputs) which are in turn shrunk. As a result, the neurons in a deprived column simultaneously increase and decrease their responses to spared and deprived inputs, respectively. Previous studies revealed that dendritic spines are remodeled during this barrel map plasticity. Because cofilin1, a predominant regulator of actin filament turnover, governs both the expansion and shrinkage of the dendritic spine structure in vitro, it hypothetically regulates both responses in barrel map plasticity. However, this hypothesis remains untested. Using lentiviral vectors, we knocked down cofilin1 locally within layer 2/3 neurons in a deprived column. Cofilin1-knocked-down neurons were optogenetically labeled using channelrhodopsin-2, and electrophysiological recordings were targeted to these knocked-down neurons. We showed that cofilin1 knockdown impaired response increases to spared inputs but preserved response decreases to deprived inputs, indicating that cofilin1 dependency is dissociated in these two types of barrel map plasticity. To explore the structural basis of this dissociation, we then analyzed spine densities on deprived column dendritic branches, which were supposed to receive dense horizontal transcolumnar projections from the spared column. We found that spine number increased in a cofilin1-dependent manner selectively in the distal part of the supragranular layer, where most of the transcolumnar projections existed. Our findings suggest that cofilin1-mediated actin dynamics regulate functional map plasticity in an input-specific manner through the dendritic spine remodeling that occurs in the horizontal transcolumnar circuits. These new mechanistic insights into transcolumnar plasticity in adult rats may have a general significance for understanding reorganization of
Hyodo, Kazuki; Dan, Ippeita; Suwabe, Kazuya; Kyutoku, Yasushi; Yamada, Yuhki; Akahori, Mitsuya; Byun, Kyeongho; Kato, Morimasa; Soya, Hideaki
A growing number of reports state that regular exercise enhances brain function in older adults. Recently a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study revealed that an acute bout of moderate exercise enhanced activation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (L-DLPFC) associated with Stroop interference in young adults. Whether this acute effect is also applicable to older adults was examined. Sixteen older adults performed a color-word matching Stroop task before and after 10 minutes of exercise on a cycle ergometer at a moderate intensity. Cortical hemodynamics of the prefrontal area was monitored with a fNIRS during the Stroop task. We analyzed Stroop interference (incongruent-neutral) as Stroop performance. Though activation for Stroop interference was found in the bilateral prefrontal area before the acute bout of exercise, activation of the right frontopolar area (R-FPA) was enhanced after exercise. In the majority of participants, this coincided with improved performance reflected in Stroop interference results. Thus, an acute bout of moderate exercise improved Stroop performance in older adults, and this was associated with contralateral compensatory activation.
Terblanche, John S.; Chown, Steven L.
Summary Recent reviews of the adaptive hypotheses for animal responses to acclimation have highlighted the importance of distinguishing between developmental and adult (non-developmental) phenotypic plasticity. However, little work has been undertaken separating the effects of developmental plasticity from adult acclimation in physiological traits. Therefore, we investigate the relative contributions of these two distinct forms of plasticity to the environmental physiology of adult tsetse flies by exposing developing pupae or adult flies to different temperatures and comparing their responses. We also exposed flies to different temperatures during development and re-exposed them as adults to the same temperatures to investigate possible cumulative effects. Critical thermal maxima were relatively inflexible in response to acclimation temperatures (21, 25, 29 °C) with plasticity type accounting for the majority of the variation (49-67 %, nested ANOVA). By contrast, acclimation had a larger effect on critical thermal minima with treatment temperature accounting for most of the variance (84-92 %). Surprisingly little of the variance in desiccation rate could be explained by plasticity type (30-47 %). The only significant effect of acclimation on standard (resting) metabolic rate of adult flies occurred in response to 21 °C, resulting in treatment temperature, rather than plasticity type, accounting for the majority of the variance (30-76 %). This study demonstrates that the stage at which acclimation takes place has significant, though often different effects on several adult physiological traits in G. pallidipes, and therefore that it is not only important to consider the form of plasticity but also the direction of the response and its significance from a life-history perspective. PMID:16513933
Temple, Nikki; Donald, Cortny; Skora, Amanda; Reed, Warren
Penetrating brain injuries (PBI) are a medical emergency, often resulting in complex damage and high mortality rates. Neuroimaging is essential to evaluate the location and extent of injuries, and to manage them accordingly. Currently, a myriad of imaging modalities are included in the diagnostic workup for adult PBI, including skull radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and angiography, with each modality providing their own particular benefits. This literature review explores the current modalities available for investigating PBI and aims to assist in decision making for the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging when presented with an adult PBI. Based on the current literature, the authors have developed an imaging pathway for adult penetrating brain injury that functions as both a learning tool and reference guide for radiographers and other health professionals. Currently, CT is recommended as the imaging modality of choice for the initial assessment of PBI patients, while MRI is important in the sub-acute setting where it aids prognosis prediction and rehabilitation planning, Additional follow-up imaging, such as angiography, should be dependent upon clinical findings. PMID:26229677
Temple, Nikki; Donald, Cortny; Skora, Amanda; Reed, Warren
Penetrating brain injuries (PBI) are a medical emergency, often resulting in complex damage and high mortality rates. Neuroimaging is essential to evaluate the location and extent of injuries, and to manage them accordingly. Currently, a myriad of imaging modalities are included in the diagnostic workup for adult PBI, including skull radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and angiography, with each modality providing their own particular benefits. This literature review explores the current modalities available for investigating PBI and aims to assist in decision making for the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging when presented with an adult PBI. Based on the current literature, the authors have developed an imaging pathway for adult penetrating brain injury that functions as both a learning tool and reference guide for radiographers and other health professionals. Currently, CT is recommended as the imaging modality of choice for the initial assessment of PBI patients, while MRI is important in the sub-acute setting where it aids prognosis prediction and rehabilitation planning, Additional follow-up imaging, such as angiography, should be dependent upon clinical findings.
Temple, Nikki; Donald, Cortny; Skora, Amanda; Reed, Warren
Penetrating brain injuries (PBI) are a medical emergency, often resulting in complex damage and high mortality rates. Neuroimaging is essential to evaluate the location and extent of injuries, and to manage them accordingly. Currently, a myriad of imaging modalities are included in the diagnostic workup for adult PBI, including skull radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and angiography, with each modality providing their own particular benefits. This literature review explores the current modalities available for investigating PBI and aims to assist in decision making for the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging when presented with an adult PBI. Based on the current literature, the authors have developed an imaging pathway for adult penetrating brain injury that functions as both a learning tool and reference guide for radiographers and other health professionals. Currently, CT is recommended as the imaging modality of choice for the initial assessment of PBI patients, while MRI is important in the sub-acute setting where it aids prognosis prediction and rehabilitation planning, Additional follow-up imaging, such as angiography, should be dependent upon clinical findings.
Wilson, Blake S.; Dorman, Michael F.; Woldorff, Marty G.; Tucci, Debara L.
The cochlear implant (CI) is one of the great success stories of modern medicine. A high level of function is provided for most patients. However, some patients still do not achieve excellent or even good results using the present-day devices. Accumulating evidence is pointing to differences in the processing abilities of the “auditory brain” among patients as a principal contributor to this remaining and still large variability in outcomes. In this chapter, we describe a new approach to the design of CIs that takes these differences into account and thereby may improve outcomes for patients with compromised auditory brains. PMID:21867799
Lim, Fei Tieng; Ogawa, Satoshi; Parhar, Ishwar S
Sprouty-related protein-2 (Spred-2) is a negative regulator of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) pathway, which is important for cell proliferation, neuronal differentiation, plasticity and survival. Nevertheless, its general molecular characteristics such as gene expression patterns and potential role in neural repair in the brain remain unknown. Thus, this study aimed to characterise the expression of spred-2 in the zebrafish brain. Digoxigenin-in situ hybridization showed spred-2 mRNA-expressing cells were mainly seen in the proliferative zones such as the olfactory bulb, telencephalon, optic tectum, cerebellum, and the dorsal and ventral hypothalamus, and most of which were neuronal cells. To evaluate the potential role of spred-2 in neuro-regeneration, spred-2 gene expression was examined in the dorsal telencephalon followed by mechanical-lesion. Real-time PCR showed a significant reduction of spred-2 mRNA levels in the telencephalon on 1-day till 2-days post-lesion and gradually increased to normal levels as compared with intact. Furthermore, to confirm involvement of Spred-2 signalling in the cell proliferation after brain injury, double-labelling of spred-2 in-situ hybridization with immunofluorescence of BrdU and phosphorylated-ERK1/2 (p-ERK1/2), a downstream of Spred-2 was performed. Increase of BrdU and p-ERK1/2 immunoreactive cells suggest that a decrease in spred-2 after injury might associated with activation of the ERK pathway to stimulate cell proliferation in the adult zebrafish brain. The present study demonstrates the possible role of Spred-2 signalling in cell proliferative phase during the neural repair in the injured zebrafish brain.
Hahn, Andreas; Kranz, Georg S.; Sladky, Ronald; Kaufmann, Ulrike; Ganger, Sebastian; Hummer, Allan; Seiger, Rene; Spies, Marie; Vanicek, Thomas; Winkler, Dietmar; Kasper, Siegfried; Windischberger, Christian; Swaab, Dick F.
Abstract Although the sex steroid hormone testosterone is integrally involved in the development of language processing, ethical considerations mostly limit investigations to single hormone administrations. To circumvent this issue we assessed the influence of continuous high‐dose hormone application in adult female‐to‐male transsexuals. Subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging before and after 4 weeks of testosterone treatment, with each scan including structural, diffusion weighted and functional imaging. Voxel‐based morphometry analysis showed decreased gray matter volume with increasing levels of bioavailable testosterone exclusively in Broca's and Wernicke's areas. Particularly, this may link known sex differences in language performance to the influence of testosterone on relevant brain regions. Using probabilistic tractography, we further observed that longitudinal changes in testosterone negatively predicted changes in mean diffusivity of the corresponding structural connection passing through the extreme capsule. Considering a related increase in myelin staining in rodents, this potentially reflects a strengthening of the fiber tract particularly involved in language comprehension. Finally, functional images at resting‐state were evaluated, showing increased functional connectivity between the two brain regions with increasing testosterone levels. These findings suggest testosterone‐dependent neuroplastic adaptations in adulthood within language‐specific brain regions and connections. Importantly, deteriorations in gray matter volume seem to be compensated by enhancement of corresponding structural and functional connectivity. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1738–1748, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26876303
Schipper, H M
Corpora amylacea (CA) are glycoproteinaceous inclusions that accumulate in astroglia and other brain cells as a function of advancing age and, to an even greater extent, in several human neurodegenerative conditions. The mechanisms responsible for their biogenesis and their subcellular origin(s) remain unclear. We previously demonstrated that the sulfhydryl agent, cysteamine (CSH), promotes the accumulation of CA-like inclusions in cultured rat astroglia. In the present study, we show that subcutaneous administration of CSH to adult rats (150 mg/kg for 6 weeks followed by a 5-week drug-washout period) elicits the accumulation of CA in many cortical and subcortical brain regions. As in the aging human brain and in CSH-treated rat astrocyte cultures, the inclusions are periodic acid-Schiff -positive and are consistently immunostained with antibodies directed against mitochondrial epitopes and ubiquitin. Our findings support our contention that mitochondria are important structural precursors of CA, and that CSH accelerates aging-like processes in rat astroglia both in vitro and in the intact brain.
Hahn, Andreas; Kranz, Georg S; Sladky, Ronald; Kaufmann, Ulrike; Ganger, Sebastian; Hummer, Allan; Seiger, Rene; Spies, Marie; Vanicek, Thomas; Winkler, Dietmar; Kasper, Siegfried; Windischberger, Christian; Swaab, Dick F; Lanzenberger, Rupert
Although the sex steroid hormone testosterone is integrally involved in the development of language processing, ethical considerations mostly limit investigations to single hormone administrations. To circumvent this issue we assessed the influence of continuous high-dose hormone application in adult female-to-male transsexuals. Subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging before and after 4 weeks of testosterone treatment, with each scan including structural, diffusion weighted and functional imaging. Voxel-based morphometry analysis showed decreased gray matter volume with increasing levels of bioavailable testosterone exclusively in Broca's and Wernicke's areas. Particularly, this may link known sex differences in language performance to the influence of testosterone on relevant brain regions. Using probabilistic tractography, we further observed that longitudinal changes in testosterone negatively predicted changes in mean diffusivity of the corresponding structural connection passing through the extreme capsule. Considering a related increase in myelin staining in rodents, this potentially reflects a strengthening of the fiber tract particularly involved in language comprehension. Finally, functional images at resting-state were evaluated, showing increased functional connectivity between the two brain regions with increasing testosterone levels. These findings suggest testosterone-dependent neuroplastic adaptations in adulthood within language-specific brain regions and connections. Importantly, deteriorations in gray matter volume seem to be compensated by enhancement of corresponding structural and functional connectivity. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1738-1748, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Blaze, Jennifer; Asok, A.; Moyer, E. L.; Roth, T. L.; Ronca, A. E.
In utero exposure to stress can shape neurobiological and behavioral outcomes in offspring, producing vulnerability to psychopathology later in life. Animal models of prenatal stress likewise have demonstrated long--term alterations in brain function and behavioral deficits in offspring. For example, using a rodent model of unpredictable variable prenatal stress (UVPS), in which dams are exposed to unpredictable, variable stress across pregnancy, we have found increased body weight and anxiety--like behavior in adult male, but not female, offspring. DNA methylation (addition of methyl groups to cytosines which normally represses gene transcription) and changes in telomere length (TTAGGG repeats on the ends of chromosomes) are two molecular modifications that result from stress and could be responsible for the long--term effects of UVPS. Here, we measured methylation of brain--derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf), a gene important in development and plasticity, and telomere length in the brains of adult offspring from the UVPS model. Results indicate that prenatally stressed adult males have greater methylation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) compared to non--stressed controls, while females have greater methylation in the ventral hippocampus compared to controls. Further, prenatally stressed males had shorter telomeres than controls in the mPFC. These findings demonstrate the ability of UVPS to produce epigenetic alterations and changes in telomere length across behaviorally--relevant brain regions, which may have linkages to the phenotypic outcomes.
Handa, R J; Ogawa, S; Wang, J M; Herbison, A E
Oestradiol exerts a profound influence upon multiple brain circuits. For the most part, these effects are mediated by oestrogen receptor (ER)α. We review here the roles of ERβ, the other ER isoform, in mediating rodent oestradiol-regulated anxiety, aggressive and sexual behaviours, the control of gonadotrophin secretion, and adult neurogenesis. Evidence exists for: (i) ERβ located in the paraventricular nucleus underpinning the suppressive influence of oestradiol on the stress axis and anxiety-like behaviour; (ii) ERβ expressed in gonadotrophin-releasing hormone neurones contributing to oestrogen negative-feedback control of gonadotrophin secretion; (iii) ERβ controlling the offset of lordosis behaviour; (iv) ERβ suppressing aggressive behaviour in males; (v) ERβ modulating responses to social stimuli; and (vi) ERβ in controlling adult neurogenesis. This review highlights two major themes; first, ERβ and ERα are usually tightly inter-related in the oestradiol-dependent control of a particular brain function. For example, even though oestradiol feedback to control reproduction occurs principally through ERα-dependent mechanisms, modulatory roles for ERβ also exist. Second, the roles of ERα and ERβ within a particular neural network may be synergistic or antagonistic. Examples of the latter include the role of ERα to enhance, and ERβ to suppress, anxiety-like and aggressive behaviours. Splice variants such as ERβ2, acting as dominant negative receptors, are of further particular interest because their expression levels may reflect preceeding oestradiol exposure of relevance to oestradiol replacement therapy. Together, this review highlights the predominant modulatory, but nonetheless important, roles of ERβ in mediating the many effects of oestradiol upon adult brain function.
Kochunov, P; Fox, P; Lancaster, J; Tan, L H; Amunts, K; Zilles, K; Mazziotta, J; Gao, J H
Deformation field morphometry was applied to magnetic resonance images to detect differences in brain shape between English-speaking Caucasians and Chinese-speaking Asians. Anatomical differences between these two groups were limited to gyri in the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes, which are known (through functional imaging studies) to differentiate Chinese speakers from English speakers. We interpret these anatomical differences as evidence of neural plasticity shaped by the process of language acquisition during childhood. While anatomical plasticity due to manual skill acquisition (e.g. in musicians) has been established, to our knowledge this is the first report of a brain anatomical difference attributable to a learned cognitive strategy.
Vo, Tam; Carulli, Daniela; Ehlert, Erich M E; Kwok, Jessica C F; Dick, Gunnar; Mecollari, Vasil; Moloney, Elizabeth B; Neufeld, Gera; de Winter, Fred; Fawcett, James W; Verhaagen, Joost
In the adult rodent brain, subsets of neurons are surrounded by densely organised extracellular matrix called perineuronal nets (PNNs). PNNs consist of hyaluronan, tenascin-R, chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs), and the link proteins Crtl1 and Bral2. PNNs restrict plasticity at the end of critical periods and can be visualised with Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA). Using a number of antibodies raised against the different regions of semaphorin3A (Sema3A) we demonstrate that this secreted chemorepulsive axon guidance protein is localised to WFA-positive PNNs around inhibitory interneurons in the cortex and several other PNN-bearing neurons throughout the brain and co-localises with aggrecan, versican, phosphacan and tenascin-R. Chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) was injected in the cortex to degrade glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) from the CSPGs, abolishing WFA staining of PNNs around the injection site. Sema3A-positive nets were no longer observed in the area devoid of WFA staining. In mice lacking the link protein Crtl1 in the CNS only vestigial PNNs are present, and in these mice there were no Sema3A-positive PNN structures. A biochemical analysis shows that Sema3A protein binds with high-affinity to CS-GAGs and aggrecan and versican extracted from PNNs in the adult rat brain, and a significant proportion of Sema3A is retrieved in brain extracts that are enriched in PNN-associated GAGs. The Sema3A receptor components PlexinA1 and A4 are selectively expressed by inhibitory interneurons in the cortex that are surrounded by Sema3A positive PNNs. We conclude that the chemorepulsive axon guidance molecule Sema3A is present in PNNs of the adult rodent brain, bound to the GAGs of the CSPGs. These observations suggest a novel concept namely that chemorepulsive axon guidance molecules like Sema3A may be important functional attributes of PNNs in the adult brain.
Buendia, Javier; Loayza, Francis R; Luis, Elkin O; Celorrio, Marta; Pastor, Maria A; Hontanilla, Bernardo
Several techniques have been described for smile restoration after facial nerve paralysis. When a nerve other than the contralateral facial nerve is used to restore the smile, some controversy appears because of the nonphysiological mechanism of smile recovering. Different authors have reported natural results with the masseter nerve. The physiological pathways which determine whether this is achieved continue to remain unclear. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, brain activation pattern measuring blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal during smiling and jaw clenching was recorded in a group of 24 healthy subjects (11 females). Effective connectivity of premotor regions was also compared in both tasks. The brain activation pattern was similar for smile and jaw-clenching tasks. Smile activations showed topographic overlap though more extended for smile than clenching. Gender comparisons during facial movements, according to kinematics and BOLD signal, did not reveal significant differences. Effective connectivity results of psychophysiological interaction (PPI) from the same seeds located in bilateral facial premotor regions showed significant task and gender differences (p < 0.001). The hypothesis of brain plasticity between the facial nerve and masseter nerve areas is supported by the broad cortical overlap in the representation of facial and masseter muscles.
Biojone, Caroline; Casarotto, Plinio Cabrera; Joca, Samia Regiane; Castrén, Eero
Nitric oxide is a gaseous neuromodulator that displays a core role in several neuronal processes. Beyond regulating the release of neurotransmitters, nitric oxide also plays a role in cell differentiation and maturation in the central nervous system. Although the mode of action of nitric oxide is not fully understood, it involves the activation of soluble guanylate cyclase as well as the nitration and S-nitrosylation of specific amino acid residues in other proteins. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a member of neurotrophic factor family and, acting through its receptor tropomyosinrelated kinase B, increases the production of nitric oxide, modulates neuronal differentiation and survival, and plays a crucial role in synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation. Furthermore, nitric oxide is an important regulator of the production of these factors. The aim of the present review is to present a condensed view of the evidence related to the interaction between nitric oxide and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Additionally, we conducted bioinformatics analysis based on the amino acid sequences of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and tropomyosin-related kinase receptors, and proposed that nitric oxide might nitrate/S-nitrosylate these proteins. Thus, we suggest a putative direct mode of action between these molecules to be further explored.
Hervais-Adelman, Alexis; Moser-Mercer, Barbara; Golestani, Narly
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to longitudinally examine brain plasticity arising from long-term, intensive simultaneous interpretation training. Simultaneous interpretation is a bilingual task with heavy executive control demands. We compared brain responses observed during simultaneous interpretation with those observed during simultaneous speech repetition (shadowing) in a group of trainee simultaneous interpreters, at the beginning and at the end of their professional training program. Age, sex and language-proficiency matched controls were scanned at similar intervals. Using multivariate pattern classification, we found distributed patterns of changes in functional responses from the first to second scan that distinguished the interpreters from the controls. We also found reduced recruitment of the right caudate nucleus during simultaneous interpretation as a result of training. Such practice-related change is consistent with decreased demands on multilingual language control as the task becomes more automatized with practice. These results demonstrate the impact of simultaneous interpretation training on the brain functional response in a cerebral structure that is not specifically linguistic, but that is known to be involved in learning, in motor control, and in a variety of domain-general executive functions. Along with results of recent studies showing functional and structural adaptations in the caudate nuclei of experts in a broad range of domains, our results underline the importance of this structure as a central node in expertise-related networks.
... fullstory_162923.html Hour-Long Nap May Boost Brain Function in Older Adults Linked to improved memory and ... during the day had any effects on their brain function. Nearly 60 percent of the people regularly napped ...
Interactions between genes and environment are a critical feature of development and both contribute to shape individuality. They are at the core of vulnerability resiliency for mental illnesses. During the early postnatal period, several brain structures involved in cognitive and emotional processing, such as the hippocampus, still develop and it is likely that interferences with this neuronal development, which is genetically determined, might lead to long-lasting structural and functional consequences and increase the risk of developing psychopathology. One particular target is adult neurogenesis, which is involved in the regulation of cognitive and emotional processes. Insights into the dynamic interplay between genes and environmental factors in setting up individual rates of neurogenesis have come from laboratory studies exploring experience-dependent changes in adult neurogenesis as a function of individual’s genetic makeup. These studies have implications for our understanding of the mechanisms regulating adult neurogenesis, which could constitute a link between environmental challenges and psychopathology. PMID:26300723
Roux, F; Boulanouar, K; Ibarrola, D; Tremoulet, M; Chollet, F; Berry, I
OBJECTIVE—To support the hypothesis about the potential compensatory role of ipsilateral corticofugal pathways when the contralateral pathways are impaired by brain tumours. METHODS—Retrospective analysis was carried out on the results of functional MRI (fMRI) of a selected group of five paretic patients with Rolandic brain tumours who exhibited an abnormally high ipsilateral/contralateral ratio of activation—that is, movements of the paretic hand activated predominately the ipsilateral cortex. Brain activation was achieved with a flexion extension of the fingers. Statistical parametric activation was obtained using a t test and a threshold of p<0.001. These patients, candidates for tumour resection, also underwent cortical intraoperative stimulation that was correlated to the fMRI spatial data using three dimensional reconstructions of the brain. Three patients also had postoperative control fMRI. RESULTS—The absence of fMRI activation of the primary sensorimotor cortex normally innervating the paretic hand for the threshold chosen, was correlated with completely negative cortical responses of the cortical hand area during the operation. The preoperative fMRI activation of these patients predominantly found in the ipsilateral frontal and primary sensorimotor cortices could be related to the residual ipsilateral hand function. Postoperatively, the fMRI activation returned to more classic patterns of activation, reflecting the consequences of therapy. CONCLUSION—In paretic patients with brain tumours, ipsilateral control could be implicated in the residual hand function, when the normal primary pathways are impaired. The possibility that functional tissue still remains in the peritumorous sensorimotor cortex even when the preoperative fMRI and the cortical intraoperative stimulations are negative, should be taken into account when planning the tumour resection and during the operation. PMID:10990503
Alison, Malcolm R; Poulsom, Richard; Otto, William R; Vig, Pamela; Brittan, Mairi; Direkze, Natalie C; Preston, Sean L; Wright, Nicholas A
Notwithstanding the fact that adult bone marrow cell engraftment to epithelial organs seems a somewhat uncommon event, there is no doubt it does occur, and under appropriate conditions of a strong and positive selection pressure these cells will expand clonally and make a significant contribution to tissue replacement. Likewise, bone-marrow-derived cells can be amplified in vitro and differentiated into a multitude of tissues. These in essence are the goals of regenerative medicine using any source of stem cells, be it embryonic or adult. Despite such irrefutable evidence of what is possible, a veritable chorus of detractors of adult stem cell plasticity has emerged, some doubting its very existence, motivated perhaps by more than a little self-interest. The issues that have led to this state of affairs have included the inability to reproduce certain widely quoted data, one case where the apparent transdifferentiation was due to contamination of the donor tissue with haematopoietic cells and, most notoriously, extrapolating from the behaviour of embryonic stem cells to suggest that adult bone marrow cells simply fuse with other cells and adopt their phenotype. While these issues need resolving, slamming this whole new field because not everything is crystal clear is not good science. The fact that a phenomenon is quite rare in no way mitigates against its very existence: asteroid collisions with the Earth are rare, but try telling the dinosaurs they do not occur! When such events do occur (transdifferentiation or collision), they certainly can make an impact.
Burness, Gary; Huard, Jacqueline R.; Malcolm, Emily; Tattersall, Glenn J.
Across taxa, the early rearing environment contributes to adult morphological and physiological variation. For example, in birds, environmental temperature plays a key role in shaping bill size and clinal trends across latitudinal/thermal gradients. Such patterns support the role of the bill as a thermal window and in thermal balance. It remains unknown whether bill size and thermal function are reversibly plastic. We raised Japanese quail in warm (30°C) or cold (15°C) environments and then at a common intermediate temperature. We predicted that birds raised in cold temperatures would develop smaller bills than warm-reared individuals, and that regulation of blood flow to the bill in response to changing temperatures would parallel the bill's role in thermal balance. Cold-reared birds developed shorter bills, although bill size exhibited ‘catch-up’ growth once adults were placed at a common temperature. Despite having lived in a common thermal environment as adults, individuals that were initially reared in the warmth had higher bill surface temperatures than cold-reared individuals, particularly under cold conditions. This suggests that blood vessel density and/or the control over blood flow in the bill retained a memory of early thermal ontogeny. We conclude that post-hatch temperature reversibly affects adult bill morphology but irreversibly influences the thermal physiological role of bills and may play an underappreciated role in avian energetics. PMID:23884093
Moeskops, Pim; Viergever, Max A.; Benders, Manon J. N. L.; Išgum, Ivana
Automatic brain tissue segmentation is of clinical relevance in images acquired at all ages. The literature presents a clear distinction between methods developed for MR images of infants, and methods developed for images of adults. The aim of this work is to evaluate a method developed for neonatal images in the segmentation of adult images. The evaluated method employs supervised voxel classification in subsequent stages, exploiting spatial and intensity information. Evaluation was performed using images available within the MRBrainS13 challenge. The obtained average Dice coefficients were 85.77% for grey matter, 88.66% for white matter, 81.08% for cerebrospinal fluid, 95.65% for cerebrum, and 96.92% for intracranial cavity, currently resulting in the best overall ranking. The possibility of applying the same method to neonatal as well as adult images can be of great value in cross-sectional studies that include a wide age range.
Boulanger, Jenna J.; Messier, Claude
Key Points Oligodendrocyte precursor cells express doublecortin, a microtubule-associated protein.Oligodendrocyte precursor cells express doublecortin, but at a lower level of expression than in neuronal precursor.Doublecortin is not associated with a potential immature neuronal phenotype in Oligodendrocyte precursor cells. Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC) are glial cells that differentiate into myelinating oligodendrocytes during embryogenesis and early stages of post-natal life. OPCs continue to divide throughout adulthood and some eventually differentiate into oligodendrocytes in response to demyelinating lesions. There is growing evidence that OPCs are also involved in activity-driven de novo myelination of previously unmyelinated axons and myelin remodeling in adulthood. Considering these roles in the adult brain, OPCs are likely mobile cells that can migrate on some distances before they differentiate into myelinating oligodendrocytes. A number of studies have noted that OPCs express doublecortin (DCX), a microtubule-associated protein expressed in neural precursor cells and in migrating immature neurons. Here we describe the distribution of DCX in OPCs. We found that almost all OPCs express DCX, but the level of expression appears to be much lower than what is found in neural precursor. We found that DCX is downregulated when OPCs start expressing mature oligodendrocyte markers and is absent in myelinating oligodendrocytes. DCX does not appear to signal an immature neuronal phenotype in OPCs in the adult mouse brain. Rather, it could be involved either in cell migration, or as a marker of an immature oligodendroglial cell phenotype.
Feliciano, David M; Bordey, Angélique; Bonfanti, Luca
Two decades after the discovery that neural stem cells (NSCs) populate some regions of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), deep knowledge has been accumulated on their capacity to generate new neurons in the adult brain. This constitutive adult neurogenesis occurs throughout life primarily within remnants of the embryonic germinal layers known as "neurogenic sites." Nevertheless, some processes of neurogliogenesis also occur in the CNS parenchyma commonly considered as "nonneurogenic." This "noncanonical" cell genesis has been the object of many claims, some of which turned out to be not true. Indeed, it is often an "incomplete" process as to its final outcome, heterogeneous by several measures, including regional location, progenitor identity, and fate of the progeny. These aspects also strictly depend on the animal species, suggesting that persistent neurogenic processes have uniquely adapted to the brain anatomy of different mammals. Whereas some examples of noncanonical neurogenesis are strictly parenchymal, others also show stem cell niche-like features and a strong link with the ventricular cavities. This work will review results obtained in a research field that expanded from classic neurogenesis studies involving a variety of areas of the CNS outside of the subventricular zone (SVZ) and subgranular zone (SGZ). It will be highlighted how knowledge concerning noncanonical neurogenic areas is still incomplete owing to its regional and species-specific heterogeneity, and to objective difficulties still hampering its full identification and characterization.
Maleszka, Joanna; Barron, Andrew B; Helliwell, Paul G; Maleszka, Ryszard
We examined the effects of behaviour, age and social environment on mushroom body volume in adult bees. The mushroom bodies are regions of the central brain important for sensory integration and learning. Their volume was influenced by behaviour throughout life: always larger in forager bees than age-matched nurse bees, even in old bees up to 93 days of age as adults. Mushroom body development was influenced by the social environment in the first 8 days of adult life, with different environments having markedly different effects on mushroom body size. Compared to hive-reared bees, isolation slowed mushroom body growth, but bees reared in isolation confined with a single dead bee showed a dramatic increase in mushroom body volume comparable to that seen in active foragers. Despite their precocious mushroom body development, these bees did not show improved performance in an olfactory learning test. Since simple environmental manipulations can both accelerate and delay mushroom body growth in young bees, and since mushroom body volume is sensitive to behaviour throughout life, the honey bee has great potential as a model for exploring the interactions between environment, behaviour and brain structure.
Jakubs, Katherine; Bonde, Sara; Iosif, Robert E; Ekdahl, Christine T; Kokaia, Zaal; Kokaia, Merab; Lindvall, Olle
Inflammation influences several steps of adult neurogenesis, but whether it regulates the functional integration of the new neurons is unknown. Here, we explored, using confocal microscopy and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, whether a chronic inflammatory environment affects the morphological and electrophysiological properties of new dentate gyrus granule cells, labeled with a retroviral vector encoding green fluorescent protein. Rats were exposed to intrahippocampal injection of lipopolysaccharide, which gave rise to long-lasting microglia activation. Inflammation caused no changes in intrinsic membrane properties, location, dendritic arborization, or spine density and morphology of the new cells. Excitatory synaptic drive increased to the same extent in new and mature cells in the inflammatory environment, suggesting increased network activity in hippocampal neural circuitries of lipopolysaccharide-treated animals. In contrast, inhibitory synaptic drive was more enhanced by inflammation in the new cells. Also, larger clusters of the postsynaptic GABA(A) receptor scaffolding protein gephyrin were found on dendrites of new cells born in the inflammatory environment. We demonstrate for the first time that inflammation influences the functional integration of adult-born hippocampal neurons. Our data indicate a high degree of synaptic plasticity of the new neurons in the inflammatory environment, which enables them to respond to the increase in excitatory input with a compensatory upregulation of activity and efficacy at their afferent inhibitory synapses.
Quinn, K. J.; Didier, A. J.; Baker, J. F.; Peterson, B. W.
A simple model of vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) function was used to analyze several hypotheses currently held concerning the characteristics of VOR plasticity. The network included a direct vestibular pathway and an indirect path via the cerebellum. An optimization analysis of this model suggests that regulation of brain stem sites is critical for the proper modification of VOR gain. A more physiologically plausible learning rule was also applied to this network. Analysis of these simulation results suggests that the preferred error correction signal controlling gain modification of the VOR is the direct output of the accessory optic system (AOS) to the vestibular nuclei vs. a signal relayed through the cerebellum via floccular Purkinje cells. The potential anatomical and physiological basis for this conclusion is discussed, in relation to our current understanding of the latency of the adapted VOR response.
Thaut, Michael H.; Peterson, David A.; McIntosh, Gerald C.; Hoemberg, Volker
Recent research on music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music and rhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory, we investigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and if music-assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measured systems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music-assisted learning. Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) in alpha and beta frequency bands in 54 patients with MS. The study sample was randomly divided into two groups, either hearing a spoken or a musical (sung) presentation of Rey’s auditory verbal learning test. We defined the “learning-related synchronization” (LRS) as the percent change in EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent word encoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and the spoken conditions in low alpha and upper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better word order memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. The evidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization in prefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicit in musical stimuli enhances “deep encoding” during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neural dynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS. PMID:24982626
Ng, Tony; Miller, Paul
As a complex system, a successful organism is one that can react effectively to environmental fluctuations. Not only should its response repertoire be commensurate with the number of independent conditions that it encounters, behavioral and environmental variations need to be matched at the appropriate scales. In the cortex, neuronal clusters, not individual cells, operate at the proper scale that is necessary to generate appropriate responses to external states of the world. Single neurons, however, serve on a finer scale to mediate interactions between neuronal assemblies. The distinction of scales is significant, as plasticity mechanisms can operate on various spatial and temporal scales. The brain has apparently evolved complex-system strategies to calibrate its own dynamics at multiple scales. This makes the joint study of local balance and global homeostasis fundamentally important, where criticality emerges as a signature of a computationally powerful system. We show via simulations how plasticity mechanisms at multiple scales are inextricably tied to spike-based neuronal avalanches, which are microscopic in origin and poorly predictive of animal behavior, and cluster-based avalanches, which are manifest macroscopically and are relevant to cognition and behavior.
Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of sensory and motor skills over the course of a musician’s lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying behavioral-cognitive as well as brain effects of acquiring, practicing, and maintaining these specialized skills. Research has shown that repeatedly practicing the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation), while receiving continuous multisensory feedback will strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) as well as multimodal integration regions. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. Furthermore, the plasticity of this system as a result of long term and intense interventions suggest the potential for music making activities (e.g., forms of singing) as an intervention for neurological and developmental disorders to learn and relearn associations between auditory and motor functions such as vocal motor functions. PMID:25725909
Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of sensory and motor skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying behavioral-cognitive as well as brain effects of acquiring, practicing, and maintaining these specialized skills. Research has shown that repeatedly practicing the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation), while receiving continuous multisensory feedback will strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) as well as multimodal integration regions. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. Furthermore, the plasticity of this system as a result of long term and intense interventions suggest the potential for music making activities (e.g., forms of singing) as an intervention for neurological and developmental disorders to learn and relearn associations between auditory and motor functions such as vocal motor functions.
Shende, Vishvesh H.; McArthur, Simon; Gillies, Glenda E.; Opacka-Juffry, Jolanta
The long-term effects of antenatal dexamethasone treatment on brain remodelling in 3-month-old male Sprague Dawley rats whose mothers had been treated with dexamethasone were investigated in the present study. Dorsal hippocampus, basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens volume, cell numbers, and GFAP-immunoreactive astroglial cell morphology were analysed using stereology. Total brain volume as assessed by micro-CT was not affected by the treatment. The relative volume of the dorsal hippocampus (% of total brain volume) showed a moderate, by 8%, but significant reduction in dexamethasone-treated versus control animals. Dexamethasone had no effect on the total and GFAP-positive cell numbers in the hippocampal subregions, basolateral amygdala, and nucleus accumbens. Morphological analysis indicated that numbers of astroglial primary processes were not affected in any of the hippocampal subregions analysed but significant reductions in the total primary process length were observed in CA1 by 32%, CA3 by 50%, and DG by 25%. Mean primary process length values were also significantly decreased in CA1 by 25%, CA3 by 45%, and DG by 25%. No significant astroglial morphological changes were found in basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens. We propose that the dexamethasone-dependent impoverishment of hippocampal astroglial morphology is the case of maladaptive glial plasticity induced prenatally. PMID:26345609
Shende, Vishvesh H; McArthur, Simon; Gillies, Glenda E; Opacka-Juffry, Jolanta
The long-term effects of antenatal dexamethasone treatment on brain remodelling in 3-month-old male Sprague Dawley rats whose mothers had been treated with dexamethasone were investigated in the present study. Dorsal hippocampus, basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens volume, cell numbers, and GFAP-immunoreactive astroglial cell morphology were analysed using stereology. Total brain volume as assessed by micro-CT was not affected by the treatment. The relative volume of the dorsal hippocampus (% of total brain volume) showed a moderate, by 8%, but significant reduction in dexamethasone-treated versus control animals. Dexamethasone had no effect on the total and GFAP-positive cell numbers in the hippocampal subregions, basolateral amygdala, and nucleus accumbens. Morphological analysis indicated that numbers of astroglial primary processes were not affected in any of the hippocampal subregions analysed but significant reductions in the total primary process length were observed in CA1 by 32%, CA3 by 50%, and DG by 25%. Mean primary process length values were also significantly decreased in CA1 by 25%, CA3 by 45%, and DG by 25%. No significant astroglial morphological changes were found in basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens. We propose that the dexamethasone-dependent impoverishment of hippocampal astroglial morphology is the case of maladaptive glial plasticity induced prenatally.
Wang, Xiaoting; Gao, Xiang; Michalski, Stephanie; Zhao, Shu; Chen, Jinhui
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been proven to enhance neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. However, various groups have reported contradictory results on whether TBI increases neurogenesis, partially due to a wide range in the severities of injuries seen with different TBI models. To address whether the severity of TBI affects neurogenesis in the injured brain, we assessed neurogenesis in mouse brains receiving different severities of controlled cortical impact (CCI) with the same injury device. The mice were subjected to mild, moderate, or severe TBI by a CCI device. The effects of TBI severity on neurogenesis were evaluated at three stages: NSC proliferation, immature neurons, and newly-generated mature neurons. The results showed that mild TBI did not affect neurogenesis at any of the three stages. Moderate TBI promoted NSC proliferation without increasing neurogenesis. Severe TBI increased neurogenesis at all three stages. Our data suggest that the severity of injury affects adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus, and thus it may partially explain the inconsistent results of different groups regarding neurogenesis following TBI. Further understanding the mechanism of TBI-induced neurogenesis may provide a potential approach for using endogenous NSCs to protect against neuronal loss after trauma.
Agrawal, Rahul; Tyagi, Ethika; Vergnes, Laurent; Reue, Karen; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando
Metabolic dysfunction occurring after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important risk factor for the development of psychiatric illness. In the present study, we utilized an omega-3 diet during early life as a metabolic preconditioning to alter the course of TBI during adulthood. TBI animals under omega-3 deficiency were more prone to alterations in energy homeostasis (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase; AMPK phosphorylation and cytochrome C oxidase II; COII levels) and mitochondrial biogenesis (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha; PGC-1α and mitochondrial transcription factor A; TFAM). A similar response was found for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its signaling through tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB). The results from in vitro studies showed that 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF), a TrkB receptor agonist, upregulates the levels of biogenesis activator PGC-1α, and CREB phosphorylation in neuroblastoma cells suggesting that BDNF-TrkB signaling is pivotal for engaging signals related to synaptic plasticity and energy metabolism. The treatment with 7,8-DHF elevated the mitochondrial respiratory capacity, which emphasizes the role of BDNF-TrkB signaling as mitochondrial bioenergetics stimulator. Omega-3 deficiency worsened the effects of TBI on anxiety-like behavior and potentiated a reduction of anxiolytic neuropeptide Y1 receptor (NPY1R). These results highlight the action of metabolic preconditioning for building long-term neuronal resilience against TBI incurred during adulthood. Overall, the results emphasize the interactive action of metabolic and plasticity signals for supporting neurological health.
Armstrong, Regina C; Mierzwa, Amanda J; Sullivan, Genevieve M; Sanchez, Maria A
Impact to the head or rapid head acceleration-deceleration can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) with a characteristic pathology of traumatic axonal injury (TAI) and secondary damage in white matter tracts. Myelin and oligodendrocyte lineage cells have significant roles in the progression of white matter pathology after TBI and in the potential for plasticity and subsequent recovery. The myelination pattern of specific brain regions, such as frontal cortex, may also increase susceptibility to neurodegeneration and psychiatric symptoms after TBI. White matter pathology after TBI depends on the extent and distribution of axon damage, microhemorrhages and/or neuroinflammation. TAI occurs in a pattern of damaged axons dispersed among intact axons in white matter tracts. TAI accompanied by bleeding and/or inflammation produces focal regions of overt tissue destruction, resulting in loss of both axons and myelin. White matter regions with TAI may also exhibit demyelination of intact axons. Demyelinated axons that remain viable have the potential for remyelination and recovery of function. Indeed, animal models of TBI have demonstrated demyelination that is associated with evidence of remyelination, including oligodendrocyte progenitor cell proliferation, generation of new oligodendrocytes, and formation of thinner myelin. Changes in neuronal activity that accompany TBI may also involve myelin remodeling, which modifies conduction efficiency along intact myelinated fibers. Thus, effective remyelination and myelin remodeling may be neurobiological substrates of plasticity in neuronal circuits that require long-distance communication. This perspective integrates findings from multiple contexts to propose a model of myelin and oligodendrocyte lineage cell relevance in white matter injury after TBI. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Oligodendrocytes in Health and Disease'.
Lai, Bin; Mao, Xiao Ou; Xie, Lin; Chang, Su-Youne; Xiong, Zhi-Gang; Jin, Kunlin; Greenberg, David A.
The subventricular zone (SVZ) is a principal site of adult neurogenesis and appears to participate in the brain’s response to injury. Thus, measures that enhance SVZ neurogenesis may have a role in treatment of neurological disease. To better characterize SVZ cells and identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention, we studied electrophysiological properties of SVZ cells in adult mouse brain slices using patch-clamp techniques. Electrophysiology was correlated with immunohistochemical phenotype by injecting cells with lucifer yellow and by studying transgenic mice carrying green fluorescent protein under control of the doublecortin (DCX) or glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter. We identified five types of cells in the adult mouse SVZ: type 1 cells, with 4-aminopyridine (4-AP)/tetraethylammonium (TEA)-sensitive and CdCl2-sensitive inward currents; type 2 cells, with Ca2+-sensitive K+ and both 4-AP/TEA-sensitive and -insensitive currents; type 3 cells, with 4-AP/TEA-sensitive and -insensitive and small Na+ currents; type 4 cells, with slowly activating, large linear outward current and sustained outward current without fast-inactivating component; and type 5 cells, with a large outward rectifying current with a fast inactivating component. Type 2 and 3 cells expressed DCX, types 4 and 5 cells expressed GFAP, and type 1 cells expressed neither. We propose that SVZ neurogenesis involves a progression of electrophysiological cell phenotypes from types 4 and 5 cells (astrocytes) to type 1 cells (neuronal progenitors) to types 2 and 3 cells (nascent neurons), and that drugs acting on. ion channels expressed during neurogenesis might promote therapeutic neurogenesis in the injured brain. PMID:20434436
Garcia, Alexandra N.; Shah, Mansi A.; Dixon, C. Edward; Wagner, Amy K.; Kline, Anthony E.
Neuroplastic changes, whether induced by traumatic brain injury (TBI) or therapeutic interventions, alter neurobehavioral outcome. Here we present several treatment strategies that have been evaluated using experimental TBI models and discuss potential mechanisms of action (i.e., plasticity) and how such changes affect function. PMID:21703575
Wong-Goodrich, Sarah J.E.; Pfau, Madeline L.; Flores, Catherine T.; Fraser, Jennifer A.; Williams, Christina L.; Jones, Lee W.
Whole-brain irradiation (WBI) therapy produces progressive learning and memory deficits in patients with primary or secondary brain tumors. Exercise enhances memory and adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the intact brain, so we hypothesized that exercise may be an effective treatment to alleviate consequences of WBI. Previous studies using animal models to address this issue have yielded mixed results and have not examined potential molecular mechanisms. We investigated the short- and long-term effects of WBI on spatial learning and memory retention, and determined whether voluntary running after WBI aids recovery of brain and cognitive function. Forty adult female C57Bl/6 mice given a single dose of 5 Gy or sham WBI were trained 2.5 weeks and up to four months after WBI in a Barnes maze. Half of the mice received daily voluntary wheel access starting one month after sham- or WBI. Daily running following WBI prevented the marked decline in spatial memory retention observed months after irradiation. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) immunolabeling and ELISA indicated that this behavioral rescue was accompanied by a partial restoration of newborn BrdU+/NeuN+ neurons in the dentate gyrus and increased hippocampal expression of brain-derived vascular endothelial growth factor and insulin-like growth factor, and occurred despite irradiation-induced elevations in hippocampal pro-inflammatory cytokines. WBI in adult mice produced a progressive memory decline consistent with what has been reported in cancer patients receiving WBI therapy. Our findings show that running can abrogate this memory decline and aid recovery of adult hippocampal plasticity, thus highlighting exercise as a potential therapeutic intervention. PMID:20884629
Kijak, Ewelina; Pyza, Elżbieta
Drosophila melanogaster is a common model used to study circadian rhythms in behavior and circadian clocks. However, numerous circadian rhythms have also been detected in non-clock neurons, especially in the first optic neuropil (lamina) of the fly's visual system. Such rhythms have been observed in the number of synapses and in the structure of interneurons, which exhibit changes in size and shape in a circadian manner. Although the patterns of these changes are known, the mechanism remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the role of the TOR signaling pathway and autophagy in regulating circadian rhythms based on the behavior and structural plasticity of the lamina L2 monopolar cell dendritic trees. In addition, we examined the cyclic expression of the TOR signaling pathway (Tor, Pi3K class 1, Akt1) and autophagy (Atg5 and Atg7) genes in the fly's brain. We observed that Tor, Atg5 and Atg7 exhibit rhythmic expressions in the brain of wild-type flies in day/night conditions (LD 12:12) that are abolished in per01 clock mutants. The silencing of Tor in per expressing cells shortens a period of the locomotor activity rhythm of flies. In addition, silencing of the Tor and Atg5 genes in L2 cells disrupts the circadian plasticity of the L2 cell dendritic trees measured in the distal lamina. In turn, silencing of the Atg7 gene in L2 cells changes the pattern of this rhythm. Our results indicate that the TOR signaling pathway and autophagy are involved in the regulation of circadian rhythms in the behavior and plasticity of neurons in the brain of adult flies.
Kijak, Ewelina; Pyza, Elżbieta
Drosophila melanogaster is a common model used to study circadian rhythms in behavior and circadian clocks. However, numerous circadian rhythms have also been detected in non-clock neurons, especially in the first optic neuropil (lamina) of the fly’s visual system. Such rhythms have been observed in the number of synapses and in the structure of interneurons, which exhibit changes in size and shape in a circadian manner. Although the patterns of these changes are known, the mechanism remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the role of the TOR signaling pathway and autophagy in regulating circadian rhythms based on the behavior and structural plasticity of the lamina L2 monopolar cell dendritic trees. In addition, we examined the cyclic expression of the TOR signaling pathway (Tor, Pi3K class 1, Akt1) and autophagy (Atg5 and Atg7) genes in the fly’s brain. We observed that Tor, Atg5 and Atg7 exhibit rhythmic expressions in the brain of wild-type flies in day/night conditions (LD 12:12) that are abolished in per01 clock mutants. The silencing of Tor in per expressing cells shortens a period of the locomotor activity rhythm of flies. In addition, silencing of the Tor and Atg5 genes in L2 cells disrupts the circadian plasticity of the L2 cell dendritic trees measured in the distal lamina. In turn, silencing of the Atg7 gene in L2 cells changes the pattern of this rhythm. Our results indicate that the TOR signaling pathway and autophagy are involved in the regulation of circadian rhythms in the behavior and plasticity of neurons in the brain of adult flies. PMID:28196106
Liu, Y W J; Curtis, M A; Gibbons, H M; Mee, E W; Bergin, P S; Teoh, H H; Connor, B; Dragunow, M; Faull, R L M
Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) is a neurological disorder associated with spontaneous recurrent complex partial seizures and hippocampal sclerosis. Although increased hippocampal neurogenesis has been reported in animal models of MTLE, increased neurogenesis has not been reported in the hippocampus of adult human MTLE cases. Here we showed that cells expressing doublecortin (Dcx), a microtubule-associated protein expressed in migrating neuroblasts, were present in the hippocampus and temporal cortex of the normal and MTLE adult human brain. In particular, increased numbers of Dcx-positive cells were observed in the epileptic compared with the normal temporal cortex. Importantly, 56% of Dcx-expressing cells in the epileptic temporal cortex coexpressed both the proliferative cell marker, proliferating cell nuclear antigen and early neuronal marker, TuJ1, suggesting that they may be newly generated neurons. A subpopulation of Dcx-positive cells in the epileptic temporal cortex also coexpressed the mature neuronal marker, NeuN, suggesting that epilepsy may promote the generation of new neurons in the temporal cortex. This study has identified, for the first time, a novel population of Dcx-positive cells in the adult human temporal cortex that can be upregulated by epilepsy and thus, raises the possibility that these cells may have functional significance in the pathophysiology of epilepsy.
Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Greifzu, Franziska; Löwel, Siegrid
It was previously shown that a small lesion in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) prevented both cortical plasticity and sensory learning in the adult mouse visual system: While 3-month-old control mice continued to show ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in their primary visual cortex (V1) after monocular deprivation (MD), age-matched mice with a small photothrombotically induced (PT) stroke lesion in S1, positioned at least 1 mm anterior to the anterior border of V1, no longer expressed OD-plasticity. In addition, in the S1-lesioned mice, neither the experience-dependent increase of the spatial frequency threshold ("visual acuity") nor of the contrast threshold ("contrast sensitivity") of the optomotor reflex through the open eye was present. To assess whether these plasticity impairments can also occur if a lesion is placed more distant from V1, we tested the effect of a PT-lesion in the secondary motor cortex (M2). We observed that mice with a small M2-lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers no longer expressed an OD-shift towards the open eye after 7 days of MD in V1 of the lesioned hemisphere. Consistent with previous findings about the consequences of an S1-lesion, OD-plasticity in V1 of the nonlesioned hemisphere of the M2-lesioned mice was still present. In addition, the experience-dependent improvements of both visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of the open eye were severely reduced. In contrast, sham-lesioned mice displayed both an OD-shift and improvements of visual capabilities of their open eye. To summarize, our data indicate that even a very small lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers and more than 3mm anterior to the anterior border of V1 compromised V1-plasticity and impaired learning-induced visual improvements in adult mice. Thus both plasticity phenomena cannot only depend on modality-specific and local nerve cell networks but are clearly influenced by long-range interactions even from distant brain regions.
Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Greifzu, Franziska; Löwel, Siegrid
It was previously shown that a small lesion in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) prevented both cortical plasticity and sensory learning in the adult mouse visual system: While 3-month-old control mice continued to show ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in their primary visual cortex (V1) after monocular deprivation (MD), age-matched mice with a small photothrombotically induced (PT) stroke lesion in S1, positioned at least 1 mm anterior to the anterior border of V1, no longer expressed OD-plasticity. In addition, in the S1-lesioned mice, neither the experience-dependent increase of the spatial frequency threshold (“visual acuity”) nor of the contrast threshold (“contrast sensitivity”) of the optomotor reflex through the open eye was present. To assess whether these plasticity impairments can also occur if a lesion is placed more distant from V1, we tested the effect of a PT-lesion in the secondary motor cortex (M2). We observed that mice with a small M2-lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers no longer expressed an OD-shift towards the open eye after 7 days of MD in V1 of the lesioned hemisphere. Consistent with previous findings about the consequences of an S1-lesion, OD-plasticity in V1 of the nonlesioned hemisphere of the M2-lesioned mice was still present. In addition, the experience-dependent improvements of both visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of the open eye were severely reduced. In contrast, sham-lesioned mice displayed both an OD-shift and improvements of visual capabilities of their open eye. To summarize, our data indicate that even a very small lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers and more than 3mm anterior to the anterior border of V1 compromised V1-plasticity and impaired learning-induced visual improvements in adult mice. Thus both plasticity phenomena cannot only depend on modality-specific and local nerve cell networks but are clearly influenced by long-range interactions even from distant brain
Han, Xiaoning; Chen, Michael; Wang, Fushun; Windrem, Martha; Wang, Su; Shanz, Steven; Xu, Qiwu; Oberheim, Nancy Ann; Bekar, Lane; Betstadt, Sarah; Silva, Alcino J; Takano, Takahiro; Goldman, Steven A; Nedergaard, Maiken
Human astrocytes are larger and more complex than those of infraprimate mammals, suggesting that their role in neural processing has expanded with evolution. To assess the cell-autonomous and species-selective properties of human glia, we engrafted human glial progenitor cells (GPCs) into neonatal immunodeficient mice. Upon maturation, the recipient brains exhibited large numbers and high proportions of both human glial progenitors and astrocytes. The engrafted human glia were gap-junction-coupled to host astroglia, yet retained the size and pleomorphism of hominid astroglia, and propagated Ca2+ signals 3-fold faster than their hosts. Long-term potentiation (LTP) was sharply enhanced in the human glial chimeric mice, as was their learning, as assessed by Barnes maze navigation, object-location memory, and both contextual and tone fear conditioning. Mice allografted with murine GPCs showed no enhancement of either LTP or learning. These findings indicate that human glia differentially enhance both activity-dependent plasticity and learning in mice.
van den Heuvel, J; Zandveld, J; Mulder, M; Brakefield, P M; Kirkwood, T B L; Shanley, D P; Zwaan, B J
Many adult traits in Drosophila melanogaster show phenotypic plasticity, and the effects of diet on traits such as lifespan and reproduction are well explored. Although plasticity in response to food is still present in older flies, it is unknown how sustained environmental variation affects life-history traits. Here, we explore how such life-long fluctuations of food supply affect weight and survival in groups of flies and affect weight, survival and reproduction in individual flies. In both experiments, we kept adults on constant high or low food and compared these to flies that experienced fluctuations of food either once or twice a week. For these 'yoyo' groups, the initial food level and the duration of the dietary variation differed during adulthood, creating four 'yoyo' fly groups. In groups of flies, survival and weight were affected by adult food. However, for individuals, survival and reproduction, but not weight, were affected by adult food, indicating that single and group housing of female flies affects life-history trajectories. Remarkably, both the manner and extent to which life-history traits varied in relation to food depended on whether flies initially experienced high or low food after eclosion. We therefore conclude that the expression of life-history traits in adult life is affected not only by adult plasticity, but also by early adult life experiences. This is an important but often overlooked factor in studies of life-history evolution and may explain variation in life-history experiments.
Coffey, Emily B. J.; Herholz, Sibylle C.
Training studies, in which the structural or functional neurophysiology is compared before and after expertise is acquired, are increasingly being used as models for understanding the human brain’s potential for reorganization. It is proving difficult to use these results to answer basic and important questions like how task training leads to both specific and general changes in behavior and how these changes correspond with modifications in the brain. The main culprit is the diversity of paradigms used as complex task models. An assortment of activities ranging from juggling to deciphering Morse code has been reported. Even when working in the same general domain, few researchers use similar training models. New ways to meaningfully compare complex tasks are needed. We propose a method for characterizing and deconstructing the task requirements of complex training paradigms, which is suitable for application to both structural and functional neuroimaging studies. We believe this approach will aid brain plasticity research by making it easier to compare training paradigms, identify “missing puzzle pieces,” and encourage researchers to design training protocols to bridge these gaps. PMID:24115927
Apps, Matthew A J; Tajadura-Jiménez, Ana; Sereno, Marty; Blanke, Olaf; Tsakiris, Manos
Nothing provides as strong a sense of self as seeing one's face. Nevertheless, it remains unknown how the brain processes the sense of self during the multisensory experience of looking at one's face in a mirror. Synchronized visuo-tactile stimulation on one's own and another's face, an experience that is akin to looking in the mirror but seeing another's face, causes the illusory experience of ownership over the other person's face and changes in self-recognition. Here, we investigate the neural correlates of this enfacement illusion using fMRI. We examine activity in the human brain as participants experience tactile stimulation delivered to their face, while observing either temporally synchronous or asynchronous tactile stimulation delivered to another's face on either a specularly congruent or incongruent location. Activity in the multisensory right temporo-parietal junction, intraparietal sulcus, and the unimodal inferior occipital gyrus showed an interaction between the synchronicity and the congruency of the stimulation and varied with the self-reported strength of the illusory experience, which was recorded after each stimulation block. Our results highlight the important interplay between unimodal and multimodal information processing for self-face recognition, and elucidate the neurobiological basis for the plasticity required for identifying with our continuously changing visual appearance.
Bryck, Richard L; Fisher, Philip A
Prior researchers have shown that the brain has a remarkable ability for adapting to environmental changes. The positive effects of such neural plasticity include enhanced functioning in specific cognitive domains and shifts in cortical representation following naturally occurring cases of sensory deprivation; however, maladaptive changes in brain function and development owing to early developmental adversity and stress have also been well documented. Researchers examining enriched rearing environments in animals have revealed the potential for inducing positive brain plasticity effects and have helped to popularize methods for training the brain to reverse early brain deficits or to boost normal cognitive functioning. In this article, two classes of empirically based methods of brain training in children are reviewed and critiqued: laboratory-based, mental process training paradigms and ecological interventions based upon neurocognitive conceptual models. Given the susceptibility of executive function disruption, special attention is paid to training programs that emphasize executive function enhancement. In addition, a third approach to brain training, aimed at tapping into compensatory processes, is postulated. Study results showing the effectiveness of this strategy in the field of neurorehabilitation and in terms of naturally occurring compensatory processing in human aging lend credence to the potential of this approach. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Li, Bin; Piao, Chun-Shu; Liu, Xiao-Yun; Guo, Wen-Ping; Xue, Yue-Qiang; Duan, Wei-Ming; Gonzalez-Toledo, Maria E; Zhao, Li-Ru
Convincing evidence has shown that brain ischemia causes the proliferation of neural stem cells/neural progenitor cells (NSCs/NPCs) in both the subventricular zone (SVZ) and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of adult brain. The role of brain ischemia-induced NSC/NPC proliferation, however, has remained unclear. Here we have determined whether brain ischemia-induced amplification of the NSCs/NPCs in adult brain is required for brain self-protection. The approach of intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of cytosine arabinoside (Ara-C), an inhibitor for cell proliferation, for the first 7days after brain ischemia was used to block ischemia-induced NSC/NPC proliferation. We observed that ICV infusion of Ara-C caused a complete blockade of NSC/NPC proliferation in the SVZ and a dramatic reduction of NSC/NPC proliferation in the SGZ. Additionally, as a result of the inhibition of ischemia-induced NSC/NPC pool amplification, the number of neurons in the hippocampal CA1 and CA3 was significantly reduced, the infarction size was significantly enlarged, and neurological deficits were significantly worsened after focal brain ischemia. We also found that an NSC/NPC-conditioned medium showed neuroprotective effects in vitro and that adult NSC/NPC-released brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are required for NSC/NPC-conditioned medium-induced neuroprotection. These data suggest that NSC/NPC-generated trophic factors are neuroprotective and that brain ischemia-triggered NSC/NPC proliferation is crucial for brain protection. This study provides insights into the contribution of endogenous NSCs/NPCs to brain self-protection in adult brain after ischemia injury.
Vaynman, S; Ying, Z; Wu, A; Gomez-Pinilla, F
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.
Milhaud, Monique; Pappas, George D.
The brains of four adult cats treated with pargyline (a nonhydrazide monoaminoxidase inhibitor) were examined at both the light and electron microscopic levels. Formation of typical mature cilia with the 9 + 2 pattern was observed in neural cells in the following areas: habenula nuclei, interpeduncular nuclei, hippocampus, mammillary bodies, thalamus, and caudate nucleus. The most marked ciliation occurs in the habenula nuclei. In general, glial cells greatly predominate in the formation of cilia. It is not clear whether ciliation in the central nervous system is the direct result of pargyline or if it occurs indirectly as a result of inhibition of monoaminoxidase. These findings are compared with the serotonin effect on ciliation in the embryogenesis of lower forms. It is suggested that pharmacological stimulation of centriolar reproduction without subsequent mitosis may lead to ciliary formation. PMID:11905194
Ubeda, Francisco; Gardner, Andy
Genomic imprinting refers to genes that are silenced when inherited via sperm or via egg. The silencing of genes conditional upon their parental origin requires an evolutionary explanation. The most widely accepted theory for the evolution of genomic imprinting-the kinship theory-argues that conflict between maternally inherited and paternally inherited genes over phenotypes with asymmetric effects on matrilineal and patrilineal kin results in self-imposed silencing of one of the copies. This theory has been applied to imprinting of genes expressed in the placenta, and infant brain determining the allocation of parental resources being the source of conflict parental promiscuity. However, there is growing evidence that imprinted genes are expressed in the postinfant brain where parental promiscuity per se is no longer a source of conflict. Here, we advance the kinship theory by developing an evolutionary model of genomic imprinting in adults, driven by intragenomic conflict over allocation to parental versus communal care. We consider the role of sex differences in dispersal and variance in reproductive success as sources of conflict. We predict that, in hominids and birds, parental care will be expressed by maternally inherited genes. In nonhominid mammals, we predict more diversity, with some mammals showing the same pattern and other showing the reverse. We use the model to interpret experimental data on imprinted genes in the house mouse: specifically, paternally expressed Peg1 and Peg3 genes, underlying maternal care, and maternally expressed Gnas and paternally expressed Gnasxl genes, underlying communal care. We also use the model to relate ancestral demography to contemporary imprinting disorders of adults, in humans and other taxa.
Hawkins, Robert D
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 mammals, where it may contribute to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in several psychiatric disorders. In Aplysia, spontaneous release is enhanced by activation of presynaptic serotonin receptors, but presynaptic D1 dopamine receptors or nicotinic acetylcholine receptors could play a similar role in mammals. Those receptors enhance spontaneous release of glutamate in hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, prefrontal cortex, ventral tegmental area, and nucleus accumbens. In all of those brain areas, glutamate can activate postsynaptic receptors to elevate Ca(2+) and engage mechanisms of early-phase long-term potentiation (LTP), including AMPA receptor insertion, and of late-phase LTP, including protein synthesis and growth. Thus, presynaptic receptors and spontaneous release may contribute to postsynaptic mechanisms of plasticity in brain regions involved in reward and memory, and could play roles in disorders that affect plasticity in those regions, including addiction, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Dunlap, Kent D; McCarthy, Elizabeth A; Jashari, Denisa
Social interaction can have profound influences on the structure of the adult brain, but little is known about the precise stimulus feature found within social interaction that induces such brain plasticity. We examined the effects of social stimuli on cell addition and radial glial fiber formation in the brains of adult electric fish. These fish communicate primarily through weak, quasi-sinusoidal electric signals. Fish were housed in isolation, paired with another fish or exposed to only the electrocommunication signals of another fish for 7 days. After 3 days of exposure to these stimulus conditions, fish were injected with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to mark newborn cells. We sacrificed the fish 4 days after BrdU injection and used immunohistochemistry to measure cell addition (BrdU+), the fraction of added cells that differentiated into neurons (BrdU+/NeuroTrace+) and the density of radial glia fibers (vimentin+) in the periventricular zone of the diencephalon. Fish that were exposed only to the electrocommunication signals of another fish and no other social stimuli had equivalent levels of cell addition and radial glial fiber density to fish that were housed with full social interaction and higher levels than fish housed in isolation. About 60% of the added cells differentiated into neurons; this fraction did not differ among treatment groups. Artificial sine wave electrical stimuli that mimicked electrocommunication signals were ineffective in increasing cell addition and glia fiber formation above those found in isolated fish. Thus, stimuli through a single modality are sufficient for inducing this brain plasticity, but the waveform or dynamic features of communication signals are crucial for the effect.
Mannari, T; Miyata, S
Notch signalling has a key role in cell fate specification in developing brains; however, recent studies have shown that Notch signalling also participates in the regulation of synaptic plasticity in adult brains. In the present study, we examined the expression of Notch3 and Delta-like ligand 4 (DLL4) in the hypothalamic-neurohypophysial system (HNS) of the adult mouse. The expression of DLL4 was higher in the supraoptic nucleus (SON) and paraventricular nucleus (PVN) compared to adjacent hypothalamic regions. Double-labelling immunohistochemistry using vesicular GABA transporter and glutamate transporter revealed that DLL4 was localised at a subpopulation of excitatory and inhibitory axonal boutons against somatodendrites of arginine vasopressin (AVP)- and oxytocin (OXT)-containing magnocellular neurones. In the neurohypophysis (NH), the expression of DLL4 was seen at OXT- but not AVP-containing axonal terminals. The expression of Notch3 was seen at somatodendrites of AVP- and OXT-containing magnocellular neurones in the SON and PVN and at pituicytes in the NH. Chronic physiological stimulation by salt loading, which remarkably enhances the release of AVP and OXT, decreased the number of DLL4-immunoreactive axonal boutons in the SON and PVN. Moreover, chronic and acute osmotic stimulation promoted proteolytic cleavage of Notch3 to yield the intracellular fragments of Notch3 in the HNS. Thus, the present study demonstrates activity-dependent reduction of DLL4 expression and proteolytic cleavage of Notch3 in the HNS, suggesting that Notch signalling possibly participates in synaptic interaction in the hypothalamic nuclei and neuroglial interaction in the NH.
Elbasiouny, Sherif M.; Collins, William F.; Heckman, C. J.
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
Saffarzadeh, Fatemeh; Eslamizade, Mohammad J; Ghadiri, Tahereh; Modarres Mousavi, Sayed Mostafa; Hadjighassem, Mahmoudreza; Gorji, Ali
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.
Williamson, Cait M.; Franks, Becca; Curley, James P.
Laboratory studies of social behavior have typically focused on dyadic interactions occurring within a limited spatiotemporal context. However, this strategy prevents analyses of the dynamics of group social behavior and constrains identification of the biological pathways mediating individual differences in behavior. In the current study, we aimed to identify the spatiotemporal dynamics and hierarchical organization of a large social network of male mice. We also sought to determine if standard assays of social and exploratory behavior are predictive of social behavior in this social network and whether individual network position was associated with the mRNA expression of two plasticity-related genes, DNA methyltransferase 1 and 3a. Mice were observed to form a hierarchically organized social network and self-organized into two separate social network communities. Members of both communities exhibited distinct patterns of socio-spatial organization within the vivaria that was not limited to only agonistic interactions. We further established that exploratory and social behaviors in standard behavioral assays conducted prior to placing the mice into the large group was predictive of initial network position and behavior but were not associated with final social network position. Finally, we determined that social network position is associated with variation in mRNA levels of two neural plasticity genes, DNMT1 and DNMT3a, in the hippocampus but not the mPOA. This work demonstrates the importance of understanding the role of social context and complex social dynamics in determining the relationship between individual differences in social behavior and brain gene expression. PMID:27540359
Williamson, Cait M; Franks, Becca; Curley, James P
Laboratory studies of social behavior have typically focused on dyadic interactions occurring within a limited spatiotemporal context. However, this strategy prevents analyses of the dynamics of group social behavior and constrains identification of the biological pathways mediating individual differences in behavior. In the current study, we aimed to identify the spatiotemporal dynamics and hierarchical organization of a large social network of male mice. We also sought to determine if standard assays of social and exploratory behavior are predictive of social behavior in this social network and whether individual network position was associated with the mRNA expression of two plasticity-related genes, DNA methyltransferase 1 and 3a. Mice were observed to form a hierarchically organized social network and self-organized into two separate social network communities. Members of both communities exhibited distinct patterns of socio-spatial organization within the vivaria that was not limited to only agonistic interactions. We further established that exploratory and social behaviors in standard behavioral assays conducted prior to placing the mice into the large group was predictive of initial network position and behavior but were not associated with final social network position. Finally, we determined that social network position is associated with variation in mRNA levels of two neural plasticity genes, DNMT1 and DNMT3a, in the hippocampus but not the mPOA. This work demonstrates the importance of understanding the role of social context and complex social dynamics in determining the relationship between individual differences in social behavior and brain gene expression.
Cecchetti, Luca; Kupers, Ron; Ptito, Maurice; Pietrini, Pietro; Ricciardi, Emiliano
Research in blind individuals has primarily focused for a long time on the brain plastic reorganization that occurs in early visual areas. Only more recently, scientists have developed innovative strategies to understand to what extent vision is truly a mandatory prerequisite for the brain's fine morphological architecture to develop and function. As a whole, the studies conducted to date in sighted and congenitally blind individuals have provided ample evidence that several "visual" cortical areas develop independently from visual experience and do process information content regardless of the sensory modality through which a particular stimulus is conveyed: a property named supramodality. At the same time, lack of vision leads to a structural and functional reorganization within "visual" brain areas, a phenomenon known as cross-modal plasticity. Cross-modal recruitment of the occipital cortex in visually deprived individuals represents an adaptative compensatory mechanism that mediates processing of non-visual inputs. Supramodality and cross-modal plasticity appears to be the "yin and yang" of brain development: supramodal is what takes place despite the lack of vision, whereas cross-modal is what happens because of lack of vision. Here we provide a critical overview of the research in this field and discuss the implications that these novel findings have for the development of educative/rehabilitation approaches and sensory substitution devices (SSDs) in sensory-impaired individuals.
De Riu, Pier Luigi; Russo, Antonella; Pellitteri, Rosalia; Stanzani, Stefania; Tringali, Giovanni; Roccazzello, Anna Maria; De Riu, Giacomo; Marongiu, Patrizia; Mameli, Ombretta
Alpha-tyrosinated tubulin is a cytoskeletal protein that is involved in axonal growth and is considered a marker of neuronal plasticity in adult mammals. In adult rats, unilateral ablation of the left facial sensorimotor cortical areas induces degeneration of corticotrigeminal projections and marked denervation of the contralateral sensory trigeminal nuclei. Western blotting and real-time-PCR of homogenates of the contralateral trigeminal ganglion (TG) revealed consistent overexpression of growth proteins 15 days after left decortication in comparison with the ipsilateral side. Immunohistochemical analyses indicated marked overexpression of alpha-tyrosinated tubulin in the cells of the ganglion on the right side. Cytoskeletal changes were primarily observed in the small ganglionic neurons. Application of HRP-CT, WGA-HRP, and HRP to infraorbital nerves on both sides 15 days after left decortication showed a significant degree of terminal sprouting and neosynaptogenesis from right primary afferents at the level of the right caudalis and interpolaris trigeminal subnuclei. These observations suggest that the adaptive response of TG neurons to central deafferentation, leading to overcrowding and rearrangement of the trigeminal primary afferent terminals on V spinal subnuclei neurons, could represent the anatomical basis for distortion of facial modalities, perceived as allodynia and hyperalgesia, despite nerve integrity.
Cognitive training, physical activity, and exercise have often been reported to improve cognitive performance in older adults. This paper reviews some seminal and recent studies using these approaches to improve cognition and physical functioning in healthy older adults and in patients suffering from non-neurological chronic medical conditions. Results from cognitive training studies suggest that despite performance improvement in trained tasks, transfer effects appeared very limited. Surprisingly though, computerized dual-task training has been shown to improve balance and postural control in tests of physical functioning, suggesting that broad transfer can sometimes be observed. Physical exercise intervention studies generally found significant and large improvements in physical capacity, in some cognitive domains, and in quality of life. The benefits seem to be equivalent between frail and nonfrail participants. Overall, results reviewed here support the notion that cognitive plasticity for attentional control, as induced by cognitive training or physical activity and exercise, is preserved in late adulthood. Moreover, results of studies with patients at risk of cognitive decline also suggest that cognitive training and exercise interventions are promising nonpharmaceutical tools to help improve cognition in older at-risk individuals.
Bonné, Stefan; Heremans, Yves; Borup, Rehannah; Van de Casteele, Mark; Ling, Zhidong; Pipeleers, Daniel; Ravassard, Philippe; Nielsen, Finn; Ferrer, Jorge; Heimberg, Harry
Aims/Hypothesis Duct cells isolated from adult human pancreas can be reprogrammed to express islet beta cell genes by adenoviral transduction of the developmental transcription factor neurogenin3 (Ngn3). In this study we aimed to fully characterize the extent of this reprogramming and intended to improve it. Methods The extent of the Ngn3-mediated duct-to-endocrine cell reprogramming was measured employing genome wide mRNA profiling. By modulation of the Delta-Notch signaling or addition of pancreatic endocrine transcription factors Myt1, MafA and Pdx1 we intended to improve the reprogramming. Results Ngn3 stimulates duct cells to express a focused set of genes that are characteristic for islet endocrine cells and/or neural tissues. This neuro-endocrine shift however, is incomplete with less than 10% of full duct-to-endocrine reprogramming achieved. Transduction of exogenous Ngn3 activates endogenous Ngn3 suggesting auto-activation of this gene. Furthermore, pancreatic endocrine reprogramming of human duct cells can be moderately enhanced by inhibition of Delta-Notch signaling as well as by co-expressing the transcription factor Myt1, but not MafA and Pdx1. Conclusions/Interpretation The results provide further insight into the plasticity of adult human duct cells and suggest measurable routes to enhance Ngn3-mediated in vitro reprogramming protocols for regenerative beta cell therapy in diabetes. PMID:22606327
Trujillo-Pozo, Isabel; Martín-Monzón, Isabel; Rodríguez-Romero, Rafael
The use of intracarotid propofol procedure (IPP) when assessing musical lateralization has not been reported in literature up to now. This procedure (similar to Wada Test) has provided the opportunity to investigate not only lateralization of language and memory functions on epileptic patients but also offers a functional mapping approach with superior spatial and temporal resolution to analyze the lateralization of musical abilities. Findings in literature suggest that musical training modifies functional and structural brain organization. We studied hemispheric lateralization in a professional musician, a 33 years old woman with refractory left medial temporal lobe (MTL) epilepsy (TLE). A longitudinal neuropsychological study was performed over a period of 21 months. Before epilepsy surgery, musical abilities, language and memory were tested during IPP by means of a novel and exhaustive neuropsychological battery focusing on the processing of music. We used a selection of stimuli to analyze listening, score reading, and tempo discrimination. Our results suggested that IPP is an excellent method to determine not only language, semantic, and episodic memory, but also musical dominance in a professional musician who may be candidate for epilepsy surgery. Neuropsychological testing revealed that right hemisphere's patient is involved in semantic and episodic musical memory processes, whereas her score reading and tempo processing require contribution from both hemispheres. At one-year follow-up, outcome was excellent with respect to seizures and professional skills, meanwhile cognitive abilities improved. These findings indicate that IPP helps to predict who might be at risk for postoperative musical, language, and memory deficits after epilepsy surgery. Our research suggests that musical expertise and epilepsy critically modifies long-term memory processes and induces brain structural and functional plasticity. PMID:24367312
Mei, Feng; Han, Juan; Huang, Yue; Jiang, Zhong-Yong; Xiong, Cheng-Jie; Zhou, De-Shan
Although it is well known that the reduction of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) is associated with several gastrointestinal motility disorders in clinic, it is unknown whether the mature ICCs still have an active plasticity in adult mammals. This study focused on the issues of the reduction of ICCs during Imatinib administration and the recovery of ICCs following drug withdrawal in the small intestine of adult guinea pigs. ICCs were revealed by immunofluorescence on whole mount preparations with anti-Kit, alpha-smooth muscle actin, (alpha-SMA), and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) antibodies. Moreover, the occurrence of apoptosis was also assayed. Imatinib treatment led to a gradual reduction of ICCs in number around the myenteric plexus and deep muscular plexus, which was dependent on the time but no apoptosis of ICCs was detected with the TUNEL method. During Imatinib treatment, some ICC-like cells were double labeled for Kit and alpha-SMA and a few ICC-like cells were only stained with alpha-SMA. When Imatinib was discontinued, the number of ICCs recovered to normal within 32 days. During this time, some proliferating ICCs were demonstrated by double labeling with Kit and BrdU antibodies. Our results indicated that Kit signaling was essential for the maintenance of survival and proliferation of the mature ICCs in the small intestine of adult guinea pigs. Moreover, ICCs might transdifferentiate to a type of alpha-SMA(+) cells, perhaps a phenotype of smooth muscle cells, when there is a loss-of-function of Kit.
Bear, Ashley; Monteiro, Antónia
Environmental cues can act to initiate alternative developmental trajectories that result in different adult phenotypes, including behavioral phenotypes. The developmental period when an organism is sensitive to the cue is often described as a critical period. Here we investigated the critical period for temperature-sensitive courtship rate plasticity in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana. We performed a series of temperature-shift experiments in which larvae, pupae, or adults were shifted for blocks of time from one temperature to an alternative temperature, and then we quantified the courtship rate exhibited by adult males. We discovered that the critical period begins during pupal development and extends into adulthood, but temperature experienced during larval development does not affect male courtship rate. This finding allows us to develop hypotheses that address how developmental and physiological factors may have influenced the evolution of behavioral plasticity in this species. PMID:23717531
Zöllig, Jacqueline; Mattli, Florentina; Sutter, Christine; Aurelio, Andrea; Martin, Mike
Younger adults consistently outperform older adults in laboratory prospective memory tasks. This study examines the effectiveness of an intervention that familiarizes older adults with the sequence of ongoing events to compensate their reduced prospective memory performance. We compared performance and electrophysiological measures of an intervention group (N = 20, 69-83 years) receiving a familiarization intervention to an individually matched control group (N = 20). As ongoing activity a 2-back working memory task was administered. Neural correlates were studied using event related potentials (ERPs) and source localization (standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography). Behavioural data showed faster reaction times in correct prospective trials and fewer prospective false alarms in the familiarization intervention group. ERP analyses displayed differential patterns for the two groups and source localization measures distinctively presented group differences in prospective memory trials with the control group recruiting more resources for a successful prospective memory performance. Together our data support the hypothesis that the familiarity with the sequence of ongoing events increases prospective memory performance and that this might be based on a higher efficiency of attentional monitoring resources and evaluation processes in the intervention group.
Athanasopoulos, Panos; Dering, Benjamin; Wiggett, Alison; Kuipers, Jan-Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume
The validity of the linguistic relativity principle continues to stimulate vigorous debate and research. The debate has recently shifted from the behavioural investigation arena to a more biologically grounded field, in which tangible physiological evidence for language effects on perception can be obtained. Using brain potentials in a colour oddball detection task with Greek and English speakers, a recent study suggests that language effects may exist at early stages of perceptual integration [Thierry, G., Athanasopoulos, P., Wiggett, A., Dering, B., & Kuipers, J. (2009). Unconscious effects of language-specific terminology on pre-attentive colour perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 4567-4570]. In this paper, we test whether in Greek speakers exposure to a new cultural environment (UK) with contrasting colour terminology from their native language affects early perceptual processing as indexed by an electrophysiological correlate of visual detection of colour luminance. We also report semantic mapping of native colour terms and colour similarity judgements. Results reveal convergence of linguistic descriptions, cognitive processing, and early perception of colour in bilinguals. This result demonstrates for the first time substantial plasticity in early, pre-attentive colour perception and has important implications for the mechanisms that are involved in perceptual changes during the processes of language learning and acculturation.
Goldszal, A F; Tretiak, O J; Liu, D D; Hand, P J
In this work, we developed and implemented a multimodality multidimensional imaging system which is capable of generating and displaying anatomical and functional images of selected structures and processes within a vertebrate's central nervous system (CNS). The functional images are generated from [14C]-2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) autoradiography whereas the anatomic images are derived from cytochrome oxidase (CO) histochemistry. This multi-modality imaging system has been used to study mechanisms underlying information processing in the rat brain. We have applied this technique to visualize and measure the plasticity (deformation) observed in the rat's whisker system due to neonatal lesioning of selected peripheral sensory organs. Application of this imaging system revealed detailed information about the shape, size, and directionality of selected cortical and subcortical structures. Previous 2-D imaging techniques were unable to deliver such holistic information. Another important issue addressed in this work is related to image registration problems. We developed an image registration technique which employs extrinsic fiduciary marks for alignment and is capable of registering images with subpixel accuracy. It uses the information from all available fiduciary marks to promote alignment of the sections and to avoid propagation of errors across a serial data set.
Wan, Catherine Y.; Schlaug, Gottfried
Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying the brain effects of acquiring specialized sensorimotor skills. For example, musicians learn and repeatedly practice the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation) while receiving continuous multisensory feedback. This association learning can strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) while activating multimodal integration regions (e.g., around the intraparietal sulcus). We argue that training of this neural network may produce cross-modal effects on other behavioral or cognitive operations that draw on this network. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. These enhancements suggest the potential for music making as an interactive treatment or intervention for neurological and developmental disorders, as well as those associated with normal aging. PMID:20889966
Grassie, C; Braithwaite, V A; Nilsson, J; Nilsen, T O; Teien, H-C; Handeland, S O; Stefansson, S O; Tronci, V; Gorissen, M; Flik, G; Ebbesson, L O E
Aluminum (Al) toxicity occurs frequently in natural aquatic ecosystems as a result of acid deposition and natural weathering processes. Detrimental effects of Al toxicity on aquatic organisms are well known and can have consequences for survival. Fish exposed to Al in low pH waters will experience physiological and neuroendocrine changes that disrupt homeostasis and alter behavior. To investigate the effects of Al exposure on both the brain and behavior, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) kept in water treated with Al (pH 5.7, 0.37±0.04 μmol 1(-1) Al) for 2 weeks were compared with fish kept in under control conditions (pH 6.7, <0.04 μmol 1(-1) Al). Fish exposed to Al and acidic conditions had increased Al accumulation in the gills and decreased gill Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity, which impaired osmoregulatory capacity and caused physiological stress, indicated by elevated plasma cortisol and glucose levels. Here we show for the first time that exposure to Al in acidic conditions also impaired learning performance in a maze task. Al toxicity also reduced the expression of NeuroD1 transcript levels in the forebrain of exposed fish. As in mammals, these data show that exposure to chronic stress, such as acidified Al, can reduce neural plasticity during behavioral challenges in salmon, and may impair the ability to cope with new environments.
Wan, Catherine Y; Schlaug, Gottfried
Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying the brain effects of acquiring specialized sensorimotor skills. For example, musicians learn and repeatedly practice the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation) while receiving continuous multisensory feedback. This association learning can strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) while activating multimodal integration regions (e.g., around the intraparietal sulcus). We argue that training of this neural network may produce cross-modal effects on other behavioral or cognitive operations that draw on this network. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. These enhancements suggest the potential for music making as an interactive treatment or intervention for neurological and developmental disorders, as well as those associated with normal aging.
Choi, Yoon-Hee; Lee, Shi-Uk
Lumbar spinal cord stimulation (LSCS) is reportedly effective for the recovery of locomotive intraspinal neural network, motor cortex and basal ganglia in animals with complete spinal cord injury and parkinsonism. We evaluated the effect of LSCS in combination with gait training on the recovery of locomotive function and brain plasticity using a rat model of brain ischemia. Adult male Sprague Dawley rats with ischemia were randomly assigned into one of four groups: sham treatment (group 1), LSCS only (group 2), LSCS with gait training and 50% (group 3) and 80% (group 4) of body weight support. Evaluations before randomization and 4 weeks after intervention included motor scoring index, real-time PCR and Western blot. Motor scoring index was significantly improved after the intervention in groups 2 and 3. The ratio of phospho-Protein Kinase C (PKC) to PKC measured in the infarcted area tended to be higher in groups 3 and 4. Protein expression of mGluR2 and mRNA expression of mGluR1 measured in the contralateral cortex were lower in groups 3 and 4. The ratio of phospho-Akt to Akt and mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor measured in the ischemic border zone were higher in group 2. The mRNA expression of MAP1b measured in the infarcted area was significantly higher in group 2. The findings suggest that LSCS and gait training with an adequate amount of body weight support may promote brain plasticity and facilitate the functional recovery.
Betti, Michele; Ambrogini, Patrizia; Minelli, Andrea; Floridi, Alessandro; Lattanzi, Davide; Ciuffoli, Stefano; Bucherelli, Corrado; Prospero, Emilia; Frontini, Andrea; Santarelli, Lory; Baldi, Elisabetta; Benetti, Fernando; Galli, Francesco; Cuppini, Riccardo
Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) supplementation has been tested as prophylaxis against gestational disorders associated with oxidative damage. However, recent evidence showing that high maternal α-tocopherol intake can adversely affect offspring development raises concerns on the safety of vitamin E extradosages during pregnancy. Besides acting as an antioxidant, α-tocopherol depresses cell proliferation and modulates cell signaling through inhibiting protein kinase C (PKC), a kinase that is deeply involved in neural maturation and plasticity. Possible effects of α-tocopherol loads in the maturing brain, where PKC dysregulation is associated to developmental dysfunctions, are poorly known. Here, supranutritional doses of α-tocopherol were fed to pregnant and lactating dams to evaluate the effects on PKC signaling and morphofunctional maturation in offspring hippocampus. Results showed that maternal supplementation potentiates hippocampal α-tocopherol incorporation in offspring and leads to marked decrease of PKC phosphorylation throughout postnatal maturation, accompanied by reduced phosphorylation of growth-associated protein-43 and myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate, two PKC substrates involved in neural development and plasticity. Although processes of neuronal maturation, synapse formation and targeting appeared unaffected, offspring of supplemented mothers displayed a marked reduction of long-term synaptic plasticity in juvenile hippocampus. Interestingly, this impairment persisted in adulthood, when a deficit in hippocampus-dependent, long-lasting spatial memory was also revealed. In conclusion, maternal supplementation with elevated doses of α-tocopherol can influence cell signaling and synaptic plasticity in developing hippocampus and promotes permanent adverse effects in adult offspring. The present results emphasize the need to evaluate the safety of supranutritional maternal intake of α-tocopherol in humans.
Maussion, Gilles; Diallo, Alpha B; Gigek, Carolina O; Chen, Elizabeth S; Crapper, Liam; Théroux, Jean-Francois; Chen, Gary G; Vasuta, Cristina; Ernst, Carl
Several neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are caused by mutations in genes expressed in fetal brain, but little is known about these same genes in adult human brain. Here, we test the hypothesis that genes associated with NDDs continue to have a role in adult human brain to explore the idea that NDD symptoms may be partially a result of their adult function rather than just their neurodevelopmental function. To demonstrate adult brain function, we performed expression analyses and ChIPseq in human neural stem cell(NSC) lines at different developmental stages and adult human brain, targeting two genes associated with NDDs, SATB2 and EHMT1, and the WNT signaling gene TCF7L2, which has not been associated with NDDs. Analysis of DNA interaction sites in neural stem cells reveals high (40-50 %) overlap between proliferating and differentiating cells for each gene in temporal space. Studies in adult brain demonstrate that consensus sites are similar to NSCs but occur at different genomic locations. We also performed expression analyses using BrainSpan data for NDD-associated genes SATB2, EHMT1, FMR1, MECP2, MBD5, CTNND2, RAI1, CHD8, GRIN2A, GRIN2B, TCF4, SCN2A, and DYRK1A and find high expression of these genes in adult brain, at least comparable to developing human brain, confirming that genes associated with NDDs likely have a role in adult tissue. Adult function of genes associated with NDDs might be important in clinical disease presentation and may be suitable targets for therapeutic intervention.
Cecchetti, Luca; Kupers, Ron; Ptito, Maurice; Pietrini, Pietro; Ricciardi, Emiliano
Research in blind individuals has primarily focused for a long time on the brain plastic reorganization that occurs in early visual areas. Only more recently, scientists have developed innovative strategies to understand to what extent vision is truly a mandatory prerequisite for the brain’s fine morphological architecture to develop and function. As a whole, the studies conducted to date in sighted and congenitally blind individuals have provided ample evidence that several “visual” cortical areas develop independently from visual experience and do process information content regardless of the sensory modality through which a particular stimulus is conveyed: a property named supramodality. At the same time, lack of vision leads to a structural and functional reorganization within “visual” brain areas, a phenomenon known as cross-modal plasticity. Cross-modal recruitment of the occipital cortex in visually deprived individuals represents an adaptative compensatory mechanism that mediates processing of non-visual inputs. Supramodality and cross-modal plasticity appears to be the “yin and yang” of brain development: supramodal is what takes place despite the lack of vision, whereas cross-modal is what happens because of lack of vision. Here we provide a critical overview of the research in this field and discuss the implications that these novel findings have for the development of educative/rehabilitation approaches and sensory substitution devices (SSDs) in sensory-impaired individuals. PMID:27877116
Melleu, F F; Santos, T S; Lino-de-Oliveira, C; Marino-Neto, J
Doublecortin (DCX) is a microtubule-associated protein essential for the migration of immature neurons in the developing and adult vertebrate brain. Herein, the distribution of DCX-immunoreactive (DCX-ir) cells in the prosencephalon of the adult pigeon (Columba livia) is described, in order to collect the evidence of their immature neural phenotype and to investigate their putative place of origin. Bipolar and multipolar DCX-ir cells were observed to be widespread throughout the parenchyma of the adult pigeon forebrain. Small, bipolar and fusiform DCX-ir cells were especially concentrated at the tips of the lateral walls of the lateral ventricles (VZ) and sparsely distributed in the remaining ependyma. Multipolar DCX-ir cells populated the pallial regions. None of these DCX-ir cells seemed to co-express NeuN or GFAP, suggesting that they were immature neurons. Two different migratory-like routes of DCX-ir cells from the VZ toward different targets in the parenchyma were putatively identified: (i) rostral migratory-like bundle; and (ii) lateral migratory-like bundle. In addition, pial surface bundles and intra-ependymal fascicles were also observed. Pigeons treated with 5-bromo-desoxyuridine (BrdU, 3 intraperitoneal injections of 100mg/kg 2h apart, sacrificed 2h after last injection) displayed BrdU-immunoreactive cells (BrdU-ir) in VZ and ependyma whereas the parenchyma was free of such cells. Despite the regional overlapping, there was no evidence of double-labeling between BrdU and DCX. Therefore, the VZ in the brain of adult pigeons seems to have rapidly dividing cells as putative progenitors of newborn neurons populating the forebrain. The distribution of the newborn neurons in the avian prosencephalon and their migration pathways appear to be larger than in mammals, suggesting that the morphological turnover of forebrain circuits is an important mechanism for brain plasticity in avian species during adulthood.
Tighilet, Brahim; Mourre, Christiane; Lacour, Michel
After unilateral vestibular neurectomy (UVN) many molecular and neurochemical mechanisms underlie the neurophysiological reorganizations occurring in the vestibular nuclei (VN) complex, as well as the behavioral recovery process. As a key regulator, the histaminergic system appears to be a likely candidate because drugs interfering with histamine (HA) neurotransmission facilitate behavioral recovery after vestibular lesion. This study aimed at analyzing the post-lesion changes of the histaminergic system by quantifying binding to histamine H3 receptors (H3R; mediating namely histamine autoinhibition) using a histamine H3 receptor agonist ([3H]N-α-methylhistamine). Experiments were done in brain sections of control cats (N = 6) and cats submitted to UVN and killed 1 (N = 6) or 3 (N = 6) weeks after the lesion. UVN induced a bilateral decrease in binding density of the agonist [3H]N-α-methylhistamine to H3R in the tuberomammillary nuclei (TMN) at 1 week post-lesion, with a predominant down-regulation in the ipsilateral TMN. The bilateral decrease remained at the 3 weeks survival time and became symmetric. Concerning brainstem structures, binding density in the VN, the prepositus hypoglossi, the subdivisions of the inferior olive decreased unilaterally on the ipsilateral side at 1 week and bilaterally 3 weeks after UVN. Similar changes were observed in the subdivisions of the solitary nucleus only 1 week after the lesion. These findings indicate vestibular lesion induces plasticity of the histamine H3R, which could contribute to vestibular function recovery. PMID:24427120
Brenes, Juan C; Lackinger, Martin; Höglinger, Günter U; Schratt, Gerhard; Schwarting, Rainer K W; Wöhr, Markus
Environmental enrichment (EE) exerts beneficial effects on brain plasticity, cognition, and anxiety/depression, leading to a brain that can counteract deficits underlying various brain disorders. Because the complexity of the EE commonly used makes it difficult to identify causal aspects, we examined possible factors using a 2 × 2 design with social EE (two vs. six rats) and physical EE (physically enriched vs. nonenriched). For the first time, we demonstrate that social and physical EE have differential effects on brain plasticity, cognition, and ultrasonic communication. Expectedly, physical EE promoted neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation, but not in the subventricular zone, and, as a novel finding, affected microRNA expression levels, with the activity-dependent miR-124 and miR-132 being upregulated. Concomitant improvements in cognition were observed, yet social deficits were seen in the emission of prosocial 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) paralleled by a lack of social approach in response to them, consistent with the intense world syndrome/theory of autism. In contrast, social EE had only minor effects on brain plasticity and cognition, but led to increased prosocial 50-kHz USV emission rates and enhanced social approach behavior. Importantly, social deficits following physical EE were prevented by additional social EE. The finding that social EE has positive whereas physical EE has negative effects on social behavior indicates that preclinical studies focusing on EE as a potential treatment in models for neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by social deficits, such as autism, should include social EE in addition to physical EE, because its lack might worsen social deficits.
McCall, Nora; Mahadevia, Darshini; Corriveau, Jennifer A.; Glenn, Melissa
The present study explored the effects of supplementing male rats with either choline, omega-3 fatty acids, or phytoestrogens, from weaning into early adulthood, on emotionality and hippocampal plasticity. Because of the neuroprotective properties of these nutrients, we hypothesized that they would positively affect both behavior and hippocampal function when compared to non-supplemented control rats. To test this hypothesis, male Sprague Dawley rats were assigned to one of four nutrient conditions after weaning: 1) control (normal rat chow); 2) choline (supplemented in drinking water); 3) omega 3 fatty acids (daily oral supplements); or 4) phytoestrogens (supplemented in chow). After 4 weeks on their respective diets, a subset of rats began 3 weeks of behavioral testing, while the remaining behaviorally naïve rats were sacrificed after 6 weeks on the diets to assess numbers of adult-born hippocampal neurons using the immature neuron marker, doublecortin. The results revealed that choline supplementation affected emotional functioning; compared to rats in other diet conditions, rats in this group were less anxious in an open field and after exposure to predator odor and showed less behavioral despair after forced swimming. Similar behavioral findings were evident following supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and phytoestrogens supplementation, though not on all tests and not to the same magnitude. Histological findings followed a pattern consistent with the behavioral findings: choline supplementation, followed by omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, but not phytoestrogen supplementation, significantly increased the numbers of new-born hippocampal neurons. Choline and omega −3 fatty acids have similar biological functions—affecting cell membranes, growth factor levels, and epigenetically altering gene transcription. Thus, the present findings suggest that targeting nutrients with these effects may be a viable strategy to combat adult psychopathologies
It is usually considered that larger brains have larger neurons, which consume more energy individually, and are therefore accompanied by a larger number of glial cells per neuron. These notions, however, have never been tested. Based on glucose and oxygen metabolic rates in awake animals and their recently determined numbers of neurons, here I show that, contrary to the expected, the estimated glucose use per neuron is remarkably constant, varying only by 40% across the six species of rodents and primates (including humans). The estimated average glucose use per neuron does not correlate with neuronal density in any structure. This suggests that the energy budget of the whole brain per neuron is fixed across species and brain sizes, such that total glucose use by the brain as a whole, by the cerebral cortex and also by the cerebellum alone are linear functions of the number of neurons in the structures across the species (although the average glucose consumption per neuron is at least 10× higher in the cerebral cortex than in the cerebellum). These results indicate that the apparently remarkable use in humans of 20% of the whole body energy budget by a brain that represents only 2% of body mass is explained simply by its large number of neurons. Because synaptic activity is considered the major determinant of metabolic cost, a conserved energy budget per neuron has several profound implications for synaptic homeostasis and the regulation of firing rates, synaptic plasticity, brain imaging, pathologies, and for brain scaling in evolution.
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.
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
Eggenberger, Patrick; Wolf, Martin; Schumann, Martina; de Bruin, Eling D.
Different types of exercise training have the potential to induce structural and functional brain plasticity in the elderly. Thereby, functional brain adaptations were observed during cognitive tasks in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that correlated with improved cognitive performance. This study aimed to investigate if exercise training induces functional brain plasticity during challenging treadmill walking and elicits associated changes in cognitive executive functions. Forty-two elderly participants were recruited and randomly assigned to either interactive cognitive-motor video game dancing (DANCE) or balance and stretching training (BALANCE). The 8-week intervention included three sessions of 30 min per week and was completed by 33 participants (mean age 74.9 ± 6.9 years). Prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during preferred and fast walking speed on a treadmill was assessed applying functional near infrared spectroscopy pre- and post-intervention. Additionally, executive functions comprising shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed. The results showed that both interventions significantly reduced left and right hemispheric PFC oxygenation during the acceleration of walking (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.25–0.36), while DANCE showed a larger reduction at the end of the 30-s walking task compared to BALANCE in the left PFC [F(1, 31) = 3.54, p = 0.035, r = 0.32]. These exercise training induced modulations in PFC oxygenation correlated with improved executive functions (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.31–0.50). The observed reductions in PFC activity may release cognitive resources to focus attention on other processes while walking, which could be relevant to improve mobility and falls prevention in the elderly. This study provides a deeper understanding of the associations between exercise training, brain function during walking, and cognition in older adults. PMID:27148041
Eggenberger, Patrick; Wolf, Martin; Schumann, Martina; de Bruin, Eling D
Different types of exercise training have the potential to induce structural and functional brain plasticity in the elderly. Thereby, functional brain adaptations were observed during cognitive tasks in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that correlated with improved cognitive performance. This study aimed to investigate if exercise training induces functional brain plasticity during challenging treadmill walking and elicits associated changes in cognitive executive functions. Forty-two elderly participants were recruited and randomly assigned to either interactive cognitive-motor video game dancing (DANCE) or balance and stretching training (BALANCE). The 8-week intervention included three sessions of 30 min per week and was completed by 33 participants (mean age 74.9 ± 6.9 years). Prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during preferred and fast walking speed on a treadmill was assessed applying functional near infrared spectroscopy pre- and post-intervention. Additionally, executive functions comprising shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed. The results showed that both interventions significantly reduced left and right hemispheric PFC oxygenation during the acceleration of walking (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.25-0.36), while DANCE showed a larger reduction at the end of the 30-s walking task compared to BALANCE in the left PFC [F (1, 31) = 3.54, p = 0.035, r = 0.32]. These exercise training induced modulations in PFC oxygenation correlated with improved executive functions (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.31-0.50). The observed reductions in PFC activity may release cognitive resources to focus attention on other processes while walking, which could be relevant to improve mobility and falls prevention in the elderly. This study provides a deeper understanding of the associations between exercise training, brain function during walking, and cognition in older adults.
Fabrizi, Lorenzo; Verriotis, Madeleine; Williams, Gemma; Lee, Amy; Meek, Judith; Olhede, Sofia; Fitzgerald, Maria
Newborn human infants display robust pain behaviour and specific cortical activity following noxious skin stimulation, but it is not known whether brain processing of nociceptive information differs in infants and adults. Imaging studies have emphasised the overlap between infant and adult brain connectome architecture, but electrophysiological analysis of infant brain nociceptive networks can provide further understanding of the functional postnatal development of pain perception. Here we hypothesise that the human infant brain encodes noxious information with different neuronal patterns compared to adults. To test this we compared EEG responses to the same time-locked noxious skin lance in infants aged 0–19 days (n = 18, clinically required) and adults aged 23–48 years (n = 21). Time-frequency analysis revealed that while some features of adult nociceptive network activity are present in infants at longer latencies, including beta-gamma oscillations, infants display a distinct, long latency, noxious evoked 18-fold energy increase in the fast delta band (2–4 Hz) that is absent in adults. The differences in activity between infants and adults have a widespread topographic distribution across the brain. These data support our hypothesis and indicate important postnatal changes in the encoding of mechanical pain in the human brain. PMID:27345331
Yang, Ji-Feng; Yang, Li-Ming; Zheng, Li-Ying; Ying, Guang-Guo; Liu, Cheng-Bin; Luo, Sheng-Lian
Concentrations of six phthalates were determined in 69 plastic bottled non-alcoholic beverages collected from marketplaces in China. Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) were the most detected compounds with frequencies of 100%. Dimethyl phthalate was found less, with a mean frequency of almost 34%. The samples were divided into seven groups. The frequencies of phthalates in these groups ranged from 6.67% to 100%, which indicated that different types of beverages were differently contaminated by phthalates. DEHP contained the highest mean and median concentrations (1.60 ng g(-1) and 0.62 ng g(-1)), followed by DBP (1.34 ng g(-1) and 0.27 ng g(-1)). For DBP, the highest phthalate concentration of 14.3 ng g(-1) was measured. The results of estimated daily intake (EDI) showed that the risk of Chinese adults exposed to these 6 phthalates in beverages examined was lower than the reference doses as suggested by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The range of EDI values was between 1.77 × 10(-)(4) μg kg-bw(-1) day(-1) and 0.478 μg kg-bw(-1) day(-1).
Castillo, David; Seidel, Kerstin; Salcedo, Ernesto; Ahn, Christina; de Sauvage, Frederic J; Klein, Ophir D; Barlow, Linda A
Taste buds are assemblies of elongated epithelial cells, which are innervated by gustatory nerves that transmit taste information to the brain stem. Taste cells are continuously renewed throughout life via proliferation of epithelial progenitors, but the molecular regulation of this process remains unknown. During embryogenesis, sonic hedgehog (SHH) negatively regulates taste bud patterning, such that inhibition of SHH causes the formation of more and larger taste bud primordia, including in regions of the tongue normally devoid of taste buds. Here, using a Cre-lox system to drive constitutive expression of SHH, we identify the effects of SHH on the lingual epithelium of adult mice. We show that misexpression of SHH transforms lingual epithelial cell fate, such that daughter cells of lingual epithelial progenitors form cell type-replete, onion-shaped taste buds, rather than non-taste, pseudostratified epithelium. These SHH-induced ectopic taste buds are found in regions of the adult tongue previously thought incapable of generating taste organs. The ectopic buds are composed of all taste cell types, including support cells and detectors of sweet, bitter, umami, salt and sour, and recapitulate the molecular differentiation process of endogenous taste buds. In contrast to the well-established nerve dependence of endogenous taste buds, however, ectopic taste buds form independently of both gustatory and somatosensory innervation. As innervation is required for SHH expression by endogenous taste buds, our data suggest that SHH can replace the need for innervation to drive the entire program of taste bud differentiation.
Castillo, David; Seidel, Kerstin; Salcedo, Ernesto; Ahn, Christina; de Sauvage, Frederic J.; Klein, Ophir D.; Barlow, Linda A.
Taste buds are assemblies of elongated epithelial cells, which are innervated by gustatory nerves that transmit taste information to the brain stem. Taste cells are continuously renewed throughout life via proliferation of epithelial progenitors, but the molecular regulation of this process remains unknown. During embryogenesis, sonic hedgehog (SHH) negatively regulates taste bud patterning, such that inhibition of SHH causes the formation of more and larger taste bud primordia, including in regions of the tongue normally devoid of taste buds. Here, using a Cre-lox system to drive constitutive expression of SHH, we identify the effects of SHH on the lingual epithelium of adult mice. We show that misexpression of SHH transforms lingual epithelial cell fate, such that daughter cells of lingual epithelial progenitors form cell type-replete, onion-shaped taste buds, rather than non-taste, pseudostratified epithelium. These SHH-induced ectopic taste buds are found in regions of the adult tongue previously thought incapable of generating taste organs. The ectopic buds are composed of all taste cell types, including support cells and detectors of sweet, bitter, umami, salt and sour, and recapitulate the molecular differentiation process of endogenous taste buds. In contrast to the well-established nerve dependence of endogenous taste buds, however, ectopic taste buds form independently of both gustatory and somatosensory innervation. As innervation is required for SHH expression by endogenous taste buds, our data suggest that SHH can replace the need for innervation to drive the entire program of taste bud differentiation. PMID:24993944
Benekareddy, Madhurima; Nair, Amrita R; Dias, Brian G; Suri, Deepika; Autry, Anita E; Monteggia, Lisa M; Vaidya, Vidita A
Exposure to stress and hallucinogens in adulthood evokes persistent alterations in neurocircuitry and emotional behaviour. The structural and functional changes induced by stress and hallucinogen exposure are thought to involve transcriptional alterations in specific effector immediate early genes. The immediate early gene, activity regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc), is important for both activity and experience dependent plasticity. We sought to examine whether trophic factor signalling through brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) contributes to the neocortical regulation of Arc mRNA in response to distinct stimuli such as immobilization stress and the hallucinogen 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI). Acute exposure to either immobilization stress or DOI induced Arc mRNA levels within the neocortex. BDNF infusion into the neocortex led to a robust up-regulation of local Arc transcript expression. Further, baseline Arc mRNA expression in the neocortex was significantly decreased in inducible BDNF knockout mice with an adult-onset, forebrain specific BDNF loss. The induction of Arc mRNA levels in response to both acute immobilization stress or a single administration of DOI was significantly attenuated in the inducible BDNF knockout mice. Taken together, our results implicate trophic factor signalling through BDNF in the regulation of cortical Arc mRNA expression, both under baseline conditions and following stress and hallucinogen exposure. These findings suggest the possibility that the regulation of Arc expression via BDNF provides a molecular substrate for the structural and synaptic plasticity observed following stimuli such as stress and hallucinogens.
Botterill, J J; Nogovitsyn, N; Caruncho, H J; Kalynchuk, L E
The vulnerability and plasticity of hippocampal GABAergic interneurons is a topic of broad interest and debate in the field of epilepsy. In this experiment, we used the electrical kindling model of epilepsy to determine whether seizures that originate in different brain regions have differential effects on hippocampal interneuron subpopulations. Long-Evans rats received 99 electrical stimulations of the hippocampus, amygdala, or caudate nucleus, followed by sacrifice and immunohistochemical or western blot analyses. We analyzed markers of dendritic (somatostatin), perisomatic (parvalbumin), and interneuron-selective (calretinin) inhibition, as well as an overall indicator (GAD67) of interneuron distribution across all major hippocampal subfields. Our results indicate that kindling produces selective effects on the number and morphology of different functional classes of GABAergic interneurons. In particular, limbic kindling appears to enhance dendritic inhibition, indicated by a greater number of somatostatin-immunoreactive (-ir) cells in the CA1 pyramidal layer and robust morphological sprouting in the dentate gyrus. We also found a reduction in the number of interneuron-selective calretinin-ir cells in the dentate gyrus of hippocampal-kindled rats, which suggests a possible reduction of synchronized dendritic inhibition. In contrast, perisomatic inhibition indicated by parvalbumin immunoreactivity appears to be largely resilient to the effects of kindling. Finally, we found a significant induction in the number of GAD67-cells in caudate-kindled rats in the dentate gyrus and CA3 hippocampal subfields. Taken together, our results demonstrate that kindling has subfield-selective effects on the different functional classes of hippocampal GABAergic interneurons. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:389-406, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Isstas, Marcel; Teichert, Manuel; Bolz, Jürgen; Lehmann, Konrad
The maturation of cortical inhibition provided by parvalbumin-containing basket cells derived from the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) is a key event in starting the enhanced visual cortical plasticity during the critical period. Although it is generally assumed that a further increase in inhibition closes the critical period again, it was recently shown that embryonic interneurons derived from the MGE can induce an additional, artificial critical period when injected into the visual cortex of young mice. It has, however, remained open whether this effect was indeed specific for MGE-derived cells, and whether critical period-like plasticity could also be induced in fully adult animals. To clarify these issues, we injected explants from either the MGE or the caudal ganglionic eminence (CGE) into the visual cortices of fully adult mice, and performed monocular deprivation 33 days later for 4 days. Animals implanted with MGE cells, but not with CGE cells, showed marked ocular dominance plasticity. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that the injected cells from both sources migrated far in the host cortex, that most developed into neurons producing GABA, and that only cells from the MGE expressed parvalbumin. Thus, our results confirm that the plasticity-inducing effect of embryonic interneurons is specific for cells from the MGE, and is independent of the host animal's age.
Yu, Xin; Chung, Seungsoo; Chen, Der-Yow; Wang, Shumin; Dodd, Stephen; Walters, Judith; Isaac, John; Koretsky, Alan
Summary Experience-dependent plasticity in the adult brain has clinical potential for functional rehabilitation following central and peripheral nerve injuries. Here, plasticity induced by unilateral infraorbital (IO) nerve resection in four week-old rats was mapped using MRI and synaptic mechanisms were elucidated by slice electrophysiology. Functional MRI demonstrates a cortical potentiation compared to thalamus two weeks after IO nerve resection. Tracing thalamocortical (TC) projections with manganese-enhanced MRI revealed circuit changes in the spared layer 4 (L4) barrel cortex. Brain slice electrophysiology revealed TC input strengthening onto L4 stellate cells due to an increase in postsynaptic strength and the number of functional synapses. This work shows that the TC input is a site for robust plasticity after the end of the previously defined critical period for this input. Thus, TC inputs may represent a major site for adult plasticity in contrast to the consensus that adult plasticity mainly occurs at cortico-cortical connections. PMID:22632730
Liu, He; Song, Ni
Recent advances in neuroscience challenge the old dogma that neurogenesis occurs only during embryonic development. Mounting evidence suggests that functional neurogenesis occurs throughout adulthood. This review article discusses molecular factors that affect adult neurogenesis, including morphogens, growth factors, neurotransmitters, transcription factors, and epigenetic factors. Furthermore, we summarize and compare current evidence of associations between adult neurogenesis and human brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and brain tumors. PMID:27375363
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
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.
Qian, Qi; Liu, Qiuji; Zhou, Dongming; Pan, Hongyu; Liu, Zhiwei; He, Fangping; Ji, Suying; Wang, Dongpi; Bao, Wangxiao; Liu, Xinyi; Liu, Zhaoling; Zhang, Heng; Zhang, Xiaoqin; Zhang, Ling; Wang, Mingkai; Xu, Ying; Huang, Fude; Luo, Benyan; Sun, Binggui
Efr3 is a newly identified plasma membrane protein and plays an important role in the phosphoinositide metabolism on the plasma membrane. However, although it is highly expressed in the brain, the functional significance of Efr3 in the brain is not clear. In the present study, we generated Efr3a(f/f) mice and then crossed them with Nestin-Cre mice to delete Efr3a, one of the Efr3 isoforms, specifically in the brain. We found that brain-specific ablation of Efr3a promoted adult hippocampal neurogenesis by increasing survival and maturation of newborn neurons without affecting their dendritic tree morphology. Moreover, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) signaling pathway was significantly enhanced in the hippocampus of Efr3a-deficient mice, as reflected by increased expression of BDNF, TrkB, and the downstream molecules, including phospho-MAPK and phospho-Akt. Furthermore, the number of TUNEL(+) cells was decreased in the subgranular zone of dentate gyrus in Efr3a-deficient mice compared with that of control mice. Our data suggest that brain-specific deletion of Efr3a could promote adult hippocampal neurogenesis, presumably by upregulating the expression of BDNF and its receptor, TrkB, and therefore provide new insight into the roles of Efr3 in the brain.-Qian, Q., Liu, Q., Zhou, D., Pan, H., Liu, Z., He, F., Ji, S., Wang, D., Bao, W., Liu, X., Liu, Z., Zhang, H., Zhang, X., Zhang, L., Wang, M., Xu, Y., Huang, F., Luo, B., Sun B. Brain-specific ablation of Efr3a promotes adult hippocampal neurogenesis via the brain-derived neurotrophic factor pathway.
Krishna, Gokul; Agrawal, Rahul; Zhuang, Yumei; Ying, Zhe; Paydar, Afshin; Harris, Neil G; Royes, Luiz Fernando F; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando
Metabolic dysfunction accompanying traumatic brain injury (TBI) severely impairs the ability of injured neurons to comply with functional demands. This limits the success of rehabilitative strategies by compromising brain plasticity and function, and highlights the need for early interventions to promote energy homeostasis. We sought to examine whether the TrkB agonist, 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) normalizes brain energy deficits and restablishes more normal patterns of functional connectivity, while enhancing the effects of exercise during post-TBI period. Moderate fluid percussion injury (FPI) was performed and 7,8-DHF (5mg/kg, i.p.) was administered in animals subjected to FPI that either had access to voluntary wheel running for 7days after injury or were sedentary. Compared to sham-injured controls, TBI resulted in reduced hippocampal activation of the BDNF receptor TrkB and associated CREB, reduced levels of plasticity markers GAP-43 and Syn I, as well as impaired memory as indicated by the Barnes maze task. While 7,8-DHF treatment and exercise individually mitigated TBI-induced effects, administration of 7,8-DHF concurrently with exercise facilitated memory performance and augmented levels of markers of cell energy metabolism viz., PGC-1α, COII and AMPK. In parallel to these findings, resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) acquired at 2weeks after injury showed that 7,8-DHF with exercise enhanced hippocampal functional connectivity, and suggests 7,8-DHF and exercise to promote increases in functional connectivity. Together, these findings indicate that post-injury 7,8-DHF treatment promotes enhanced levels of cell metabolism, synaptic plasticity in combination with exercise increases in brain circuit function that facilitates greater physical rehabilitation after TBI.
Dams-O’Connor, Kristen; Gibbons, Laura E; Landau, Alexandra; Larson, Eric B; Crane, Paul K.
Objectives To evaluate whether indices of pre-injury health and functioning were associated with risk for incident traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of consciousness (LOC), and evaluated health-related factors associated with mortality among those with an incident TBI. Design Prospective community cohort study. Setting Group Health, Seattle Washington. Participants 3,363 individuals aged 65 and older with no self-reported prior TBI with LOC were enrolled and followed every 2 years for an average of 7.5 years (range 0–18 years). Measurements We used Weibull survival models to evaluate baseline and time-varying predictors of incident TBI with LOC, including measures of depression, activities of daily living, cerebrovascular disease, and disease comorbidity. Results In an adjusted multivariate model, baseline depression symptoms as measured by CES-D score (hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for 4 points = 1.34 (1.13, 1.58); p<0.05) and baseline impairment in activities of daily living (ADL; HR (95% CI) = 2.37 (1.24, 4.53); p<0.01) were associated with incident TBI. In a model that included time-dependent covariates, cerebrovascular disease at the previous visit (HR (95% CI) = 2.28 (1.37, 3.78); p<0.01), CES-D score the previous visit (HR for 4 points (95% CI) = 1.23 (1.02, 1.49); p<0.05) and baseline impairment in ADL (HR (95% CI) 2.14 (1.11, 4.13); p<0.05) predicted incident TBI. Of factors considered, cerebrovascular disease and ADL impairment were associated with earlier mortality among those with an incident TBI with LOC. Conclusion Indices of health, mood, and functional status predict incident TBI with LOC in older adults. These findings may have implications for injury prevention and post-injury clinical management. PMID:26925541
Mudra, Regina M.; Nadler, Andreas; Keller, Emanuella; Niederer, Peter
When near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is applied noninvasively to the adult head for brain monitoring, extra-cerebral bone and surface tissue exert a substantial influence on the cerebral signal. Most attempts to subtract extra-cerebral contamination involve spatially resolved spectroscopy (SRS). However, inter-individual variability of anatomy restrict the reliability of SRS. We simulated the light propagation with Monte Carlo techniques on the basis of anatomical structures determined from 3D-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exhibiting a voxel resolution of 0.8 x 0.8 x 0.8 mm3 for three different pairs of T1/T2 values each. The MRI data were used to define the material light absorption and dispersion coefficient for each voxel. The resulting spatial matrix was applied in the Monte Carlo Simulation to determine the light propagation in the cerebral cortex and overlaying structures. The accuracy of the Monte Carlo Simulation was furthermore increased by using a constant optical path length for the photons which was less than the median optical path length of the different materials. Based on our simulations we found a differential pathlength factor (DPF) of 6.15 which is close to with the value of 5.9 found in the literature for a distance of 4.5cm between the external sensors. Furthermore, we weighted the spatial probability distribution of the photons within the different tissues with the probabilities of the relative blood volume within the tissue. The results show that 50% of the NIRS signal is determined by the grey matter of the cerebral cortex which allows us to conclude that NIRS can produce meaningful cerebral blood flow measurements providing that the necessary corrections for extracerebral contamination are included.
Coelho, Carl A.; And Others
This article discusses adults with brain injuries and resulting cognitive communicative disorders. The incidence of brain injuries, the effects of cognitive-communication disorders, the role of the speech-language pathologist, the benefits of treatment, and the effects of different treatments are discussed. Charts are included that summarize…
Lizen, Benoit; Hutlet, Bertrand; Bissen, Diane; Sauvegarde, Deborah; Hermant, Maryse; Ahn, Marie-Thérèse; Gofflot, Françoise
Hoxa5 is a member of the Hox gene family, which plays critical roles in successive steps of the central nervous system formation during embryonic and fetal development. Hoxa5 expression in the adult mouse brain has been reported, suggesting that this gene may be functionally required in the brain after birth. To provide further insight into the Hoxa5 expression pattern and potential functions in the brain, we have characterized its neuroanatomical profile from embryonic stages to adulthood. While most Hox mapping studies have been based solely on transcript analysis, we extended our analysis to HOXA5 protein localization in adulthood using specific antibodies. Our results show that Hoxa5 expression appears in the most caudal part of the hindbrain at fetal stages, where it is maintained until adulthood. In the medulla oblongata and pons, we detected Hoxa5 expression in many precerebellar neurons and in several nuclei implicated in the control of autonomic functions. In these territories, the HOXA5 protein is present solely in neurons, specifically in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic, glutamatergic, and catecholaminergic neurons. Finally, we also detected Hoxa5 transcripts, but not the HOXA5 protein, in the thalamus and the cortex, from postnatal stages to adult stages, and in the cerebellum at adulthood. We provide evidence that some larger variants of Hoxa5 transcripts are present in these territories. Our mapping analysis allowed us to build hypotheses regarding HOXA5 functions in the nervous system after birth, such as a potential role in the establishment and refinement/plasticity of precerebellar circuits during postnatal and adult life. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1155-1175, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Stein, M; Dierks, T; Brandeis, D; Wirth, M; Strik, W; Koenig, T
Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to trace changes in brain activity related to progress in second language learning. Twelve English-speaking exchange students learning German in Switzerland were recruited. ERPs to visually presented single words from the subjects' native language (English), second language (German) and an unknown language (Romansh) were measured before (day 1) and after (day 2) 5 months of intense German language learning. When comparing ERPs to German words from day 1 and day 2, we found topographic differences between 396 and 540 ms. These differences could be interpreted as a latency shift indicating faster processing of German words on day 2. Source analysis indicated that the topographic differences were accounted for by shorter activation of left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) on day 2. In ERPs to English words, we found Global Field Power differences between 472 and 644 ms. This may due to memory traces related to English words being less easily activated on day 2. Alternatively, it might reflect the fact that--with German words becoming familiar on day 2--English words loose their oddball character and thus produce a weaker P300-like effect on day 2. In ERPs to Romansh words, no differences were observed. Our results reflect plasticity in the neuronal networks underlying second language acquisition. They indicate that with a higher level of second language proficiency, second language word processing is faster and requires shorter frontal activation. Thus, our results suggest that the reduced IFG activation found in previous fMRI studies might not reflect a generally lower activation but rather a shorter duration of activity.
Anaya-Martínez, Verónica; Gutierrez-Valdez, Ana Luisa; Ordoñez-Librado, Jose Luis; Montiel-Flores, Enrique; Sánchez-Betancourt, Javier; Sánchez Vázquez del Mercado, César; Reynoso-Erazo, Leonardo; Tron-Alvarez, Rocío; Avila-Costa, Maria Rosa
Synaptic plasticity is the process by which long-lasting changes take place at synaptic connections. The phenomenon itself is complex and can involve many levels of organization. Some authors separate forms into adaptations that have positive or negative consequences for the individual. It has been hypothesized that an increase in the number of synapses may represent a structural basis for the enduring expression of synaptic plasticity during some events that involve memory and learning; also, it has been suggested that perforated synapses increase in number after some diseases and experimental situations. The aim of this study was to analyze whether dopamine depletion induces changes in the synaptology of the corpus striatum of rats after the unilateral injection of 6-OHDA. The findings suggest that after the lesion, both contralateral and ipsilateral striata exhibit an increased length of the synaptic ending in ipsilateral (since third day) and contralateral striatum (since Day 20), loss of axospinous synapses in ipsilateral striatum and a significant increment in the number of perforated synapses, suggesting brain plasticity that might be deleterious for the spines, because this type of synaptic contacts are presumably excitatory, and in the absence of the modulatory effects of dopamine, the neuron could die through excitotoxic mechanisms. Thus, we can conclude that the presence of perforated synapses after striatal dopamine depletion might be a form of maladaptive synaptic plasticity.
Kikuchihara, Yoh; Abe, Hajime; Tanaka, Takeshi; Kato, Mizuho; Wang, Liyun; Ikarashi, Yoshiaki; Yoshida, Toshinori; Shibutani, Makoto
We previously found persistent aberration of hippocampal adult neurogenesis, along with brain manganese (Mn) accumulation, in mouse offspring after developmental exposure to 800-ppm dietary Mn. Reduction of parvalbumin (Pvalb)(+) γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic interneurons in the hilus of the dentate gyrus along with promoter region hypermethylation are thought to be responsible for this aberrant neurogenesis. The present study was conducted to examine the relationship between the induction of aberrant neurogenesis and brain Mn accumulation after oral Mn exposure as well as the responsible mechanism in young adult animals. We used two groups of mice with 28- or 56-day exposure periods to oral MnCl2·xH2O at 800 ppm as Mn, a dose sufficient to lead to aberrant neurogenesis after developmental exposure. A third group of mice received intravenous injections of Mn at 5-mg/kg body weight once weekly for 28 days. The 28-day oral Mn exposure did not cause aberrations in neurogenesis. In contrast, 56-day oral exposure caused aberrations in neurogenesis suggestive of reductions in type 2b and type 3 progenitor cells and immature granule cells in the dentate subgranular zone. Brain Mn accumulation in 56-day exposed cases, as well as in directly Mn-injected cases occurred in parallel with reduction of Pvalb(+) GABAergic interneurons in the dentate hilus, suggesting that this may be responsible for aberrant neurogenesis. For reduction of Pvalb(+) interneurons, suppression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated signaling of mature granule cells may occur via suppression of c-Fos-mediated neuronal plasticity due to direct Mn-toxicity rather than promoter region hypermethylation of Pvalb.
Zhang, Y; Brownstein, A J; Buonora, M; Niikura, K; Ho, A; Correa da Rosa, J; Kreek, M J; Ott, J
Abuse and addiction to prescription opioids such as oxycodone (a short-acting Mu opioid receptor (MOP-r) agonist) in adolescence is a pressing public health issue. We have previously shown differences in oxycodone self-administration behaviors between adolescent and adult C57BL/6J mice and expression of striatal neurotransmitter receptor genes, in areas involved in reward. In this study, we aimed to determine whether oxycodone self-administration differentially affects genes regulating synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of adolescent compared to adult mice, since the hippocampus may be involved in learning aspects associated with chronic drug self administration. Hippocampus was isolated for mRNA analysis from mice that had self administered oxycodone (0.25 mg/kg/infusion) 2h/day for 14 consecutive days or from yoked saline controls. Gene expression was analyzed with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a commercially available "synaptic plasticity" PCR array containing 84 genes. We found that adolescent and adult control mice significantly differed in the expression of several genes in the absence of oxycodone exposure, including those coding for mitogen-activated protein kinase, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II gamma subunit, glutamate receptor, ionotropic AMPA2 and metabotropic 5. Chronic oxycodone self administration increased proviral integration site 1 (Pim1) and thymoma viral proto-oncogene 1 mRNA levels compared to controls in both age groups. Both Pim1 and cadherin 2 mRNAs showed a significant combined effect of Drug Condition and Age × Drug Condition. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of both cadherin 2 and cAMP response element modulators showed an experiment-wise significant difference between oxycodone and saline control in adult but not in adolescent mice. Overall, this study demonstrates for the first time that chronic oxycodone self-administration differentially alters synaptic plasticity gene expression in the hippocampus
Ius, Tamara; Angelini, Elsa; Thiebaut de Schotten, Michel; Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues
Despite recent advances in non-invasive brain mapping imaging, the resectability of a given area in a patient harboring a WHO grade II glioma cannot be predicted preoperatively with high reliability, due to mechanisms of functional reorganization. Therefore, intraoperative mapping by direct electrical stimulation remains the gold standard for detection and preservation of eloquent areas during glioma surgery, because it enables to perform on-line anatomo-functional correlations. To study potentials and limitations of brain plasticity, we gathered 58 postoperative MRI of patients operated on for a WHO grade II glioma under direct electrical cortico-subcortical stimulation. Postoperative images were registered on the MNI template to construct an atlas of functional resectability for which each voxel represents the probability to observe residual non-resectable tumor, that is, non-compensable area. The resulting atlas offers a rigorous framework to identify areas with high plastic potential (i.e. with probabilities of residual tumor close to 0), with low compensatory capabilities (i.e. probabilities of residual tumor close to 1) and with intermediate level of resectability (probability around 0.5). The resulting atlas highlights the utmost importance of preserving a core of connectivity through the main associative pathways, namely, it supports the existence of a "minimal common brain" among patients.
Degeneffe, Charles Edmund; Olney, Marjorie F.
This study examined future concerns conveyed by adult siblings who provided regular caregiving support to their brothers and sisters with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The authors surveyed a national sample of 280 adult siblings of persons with TBI. Using a constant comparative approach to text analysis, the authors analyzed responses to the…
Degeneffe, Charles Edmund; Lynch, Ruth Torkelson
Using Pearlin's stress process model, this study examined correlates of depression in 170 adult siblings of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Approximately 39% of adult sibling participants evinced "Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression" (CES-D; Radloff, 1977) scores indicating clinically significant depressive symptoms. Background…
The purpose was to examine psychosocial factors that influence the physical activity behaviors of adults with brain injuries. Two differing models, based on Harter's model of self-worth, were proposed to examine the relationship between perceived competence, social support, physical self-worth, affect, and motivation. Adults numbering 384 with…
Negredo, P; Martin, Y B; Lagares, A; Castro, J; Villacorta, J A; Avendaño, C
In the rodent trigeminal principal nucleus (Pr5) the barrelette thalamic-projecting neurons relay information from individual whiskers to corresponding contralateral thalamic barreloids. Here we investigated the presence of lateral asymmetries in the dendritic trees of these neurons, and the morphometric changes resulting from input-dependent plasticity in young adult rats. After retrograde labeling with dextran amines from the thalamus, neurons were digitally reconstructed with Neurolucida, and metrically and topologically analyzed with NeuroExplorer. The most unexpected and remarkable result was the observation of side-to-side asymmetries in the barrelette neurons of control rats. These asymmetries more significantly involved the number of low-grade trees and the total dendritic length, which were greater on the left side. Chronic global input loss resulting from infraorbital nerve (IoN) transection, or loss of active touch resulting from whisker clipping in the right neutralized, or even reversed, the observed lateral differences. While results after IoN transection have to be interpreted in the context of partial neuron death in this model, profound bilateral changes were found after haptic loss, which is achieved without inflicting any nerve damage. After whisker trimming, neurons on the left side closely resembled neurons on the right in controls, the natural dendritic length asymmetry being reversed mainly by a shortening of the left trees and a more moderate elongation of the right trees. These results demonstrate that dendritic morphometry is both side- and input-dependent, and that unilateral manipulation of the sensory periphery leads to bilateral morphometric changes in second order neurons of the whisker-barrel system. The presence of anatomical asymmetries in neural structures involved in early stages of somatosensory processing could help explain the expression of sensory input-dependent behavioral asymmetries.
Fares, Raafat P; Belmeguenai, Amor; Sanchez, Pascal E; Kouchi, Hayet Y; Bodennec, Jacques; Morales, Anne; Georges, Béatrice; Bonnet, Chantal; Bouvard, Sandrine; Sloviter, Robert S; Bezin, Laurent
Environmental enrichment of laboratory animals influences brain plasticity, stimulates neurogenesis, increases neurotrophic factor expression, and protects against the effects of brain insult. However, these positive effects are not constantly observed, probably because standardized procedures of environmental enrichment are lacking. Therefore, we engineered an enriched cage (the Marlau™ cage), which offers: (1) minimally stressful social interactions; (2) increased voluntary exercise; (3) multiple entertaining activities; (4) cognitive stimulation (maze exploration), and (5) novelty (maze configuration changed three times a week). The maze, which separates food pellet and water bottle compartments, guarantees cognitive stimulation for all animals. Compared to rats raised in groups in conventional cages, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited increased cortical thickness, hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal levels of transcripts encoding various genes involved in tissue plasticity and remodeling. In addition, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited better performances in learning and memory, decreased anxiety-associated behaviors, and better recovery of basal plasma corticosterone level after acute restraint stress. Marlau™ cages also insure inter-experiment reproducibility in spatial learning and brain gene expression assays. Finally, housing rats in Marlau™ cages after severe status epilepticus at weaning prevents the cognitive impairment observed in rats subjected to the same insult and then housed in conventional cages. By providing a standardized enriched environment for rodents during housing, the Marlau™ cage should facilitate the uniformity of environmental enrichment across laboratories.
Ueno, Yuji; Koike, Masato; Shimada, Yoshiaki; Shimura, Hideki; Hira, Kenichiro; Tanaka, Ryota; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Hattori, Nobutaka; Urabe, Takao
Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion causes white-matter lesions (WMLs) with oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. However, the biologic mechanisms that regulate axonal plasticity under chronic cerebral hypoperfusion have not been fully investigated. Here, we investigated whether L-carnitine, an antioxidant agent, enhances axonal plasticity and oligodendrocyte expression, and explored the signaling pathways that mediate axonal plasticity in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model. Adult male Wistar rats subjected to ligation of the bilateral common carotid arteries (LBCCA) were treated with or without L-carnitine. L-carnitine-treated rats exhibited significantly reduced escape latency in the Morris water maze task at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. Western blot analysis indicated that L-carnitine increased levels of phosphorylated high-molecular weight neurofilament (pNFH), concurrent with a reduction in phosphorylated phosphatase tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), and increased phosphorylated Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine reduced lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage, and enhanced oligodendrocyte marker expression and myelin sheath thickness after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine regulates the PTEN/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, and enhances axonal plasticity while concurrently ameliorating oxidative stress and increasing oligodendrocyte myelination of axons, thereby improving WMLs and cognitive impairment in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model.
Ueno, Yuji; Koike, Masato; Shimada, Yoshiaki; Shimura, Hideki; Hira, Kenichiro; Tanaka, Ryota; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Hattori, Nobutaka; Urabe, Takao
Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion causes white-matter lesions (WMLs) with oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. However, the biologic mechanisms that regulate axonal plasticity under chronic cerebral hypoperfusion have not been fully investigated. Here, we investigated whether L-carnitine, an antioxidant agent, enhances axonal plasticity and oligodendrocyte expression, and explored the signaling pathways that mediate axonal plasticity in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model. Adult male Wistar rats subjected to ligation of the bilateral common carotid arteries (LBCCA) were treated with or without L-carnitine. L-carnitine-treated rats exhibited significantly reduced escape latency in the Morris water maze task at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. Western blot analysis indicated that L-carnitine increased levels of phosphorylated high-molecular weight neurofilament (pNFH), concurrent with a reduction in phosphorylated phosphatase tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), and increased phosphorylated Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine reduced lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage, and enhanced oligodendrocyte marker expression and myelin sheath thickness after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine regulates the PTEN/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, and enhances axonal plasticity while concurrently ameliorating oxidative stress and increasing oligodendrocyte myelination of axons, thereby improving WMLs and cognitive impairment in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model. PMID:25465043
Webb, Alexandra R.; Heller, Howard T.; Benson, Carol B.; Lahav, Amir
Brain development is largely shaped by early sensory experience. However, it is currently unknown whether, how early, and to what extent the newborn’s brain is shaped by exposure to maternal sounds when the brain is most sensitive to early life programming. The present study examined this question in 40 infants born extremely prematurely (between 25- and 32-wk gestation) in the first month of life. Newborns were randomized to receive auditory enrichment in the form of audio recordings of maternal sounds (including their mother’s voice and heartbeat) or routine exposure to hospital environmental noise. The groups were otherwise medically and demographically comparable. Cranial ultrasonography measurements were obtained at 30 ± 3 d of life. Results show that newborns exposed to maternal sounds had a significantly larger auditory cortex (AC) bilaterally compared with control newborns receiving standard care. The magnitude of the right and left AC thickness was significantly correlated with gestational age but not with the duration of sound exposure. Measurements of head circumference and the widths of the frontal horn (FH) and the corpus callosum (CC) were not significantly different between the two groups. This study provides evidence for experience-dependent plasticity in the primary AC before the brain has reached full-term maturation. Our results demonstrate that despite the immaturity of the auditory pathways, the AC is more adaptive to maternal sounds than environmental noise. Further studies are needed to better understand the neural processes underlying this early brain plasticity and its functional implications for future hearing and language development. PMID:25713382
Lieberwirth, Claudia; Wang, Zuoxin
Adult neurogenesis – the formation of new neurons in adulthood – has been shown to be modulated by a variety of endogenous (e.g., trophic factors, neurotransmitters, and hormones) as well as exogenous (e.g., physical activity and environmental complexity) factors. Research on exogenous regulators of adult neurogenesis has focused primarily on the non-social environment. More recently, however, evidence has emerged suggesting that the social environment can also affect adult neurogenesis. The present review details the effects of adult–adult (e.g., mating and chemosensory interactions) and adult–offspring (e.g., gestation, parenthood, and exposure to offspring) interactions on adult neurogenesis. In addition, the effects of a stressful social environment (e.g., lack of social support and dominant–subordinate interactions) on adult neurogenesis are reviewed. The underlying hormonal mechanisms and potential functional significance of adult-generated neurons in mediating social behaviors are also discussed. PMID:22586385
Blais, Mélody; Martin, Elodie; Albaret, Jean-Michel; Tallet, Jessica
Despite the apparent age-related decline in perceptual-motor performance, recent studies suggest that the elderly people can improve their reaction time when relevant sensory information are available. However, little is known about which sensory information may improve motor behaviour itself. Using a synchronization task, the present study investigates how visual and/or auditory stimulations could increase accuracy and stability of three bimanual coordination modes produced by elderly and young adults. Neurophysiological activations are recorded with ElectroEncephaloGraphy (EEG) to explore neural mechanisms underlying behavioural effects. Results reveal that the elderly stabilize all coordination modes when auditory or audio-visual stimulations are available, compared to visual stimulation alone. This suggests that auditory stimulations are sufficient to improve temporal stability of rhythmic coordination, even more in the elderly. This behavioural effect is primarily associated with increased attentional and sensorimotor-related neural activations in the elderly but similar perceptual-related activations in elderly and young adults. This suggests that, despite a degradation of attentional and sensorimotor neural processes, perceptual integration of auditory stimulations is preserved in the elderly. These results suggest that perceptual-related brain plasticity is, at least partially, conserved in normal aging.
Sheikh, Ahmad Y; Ahmadi-Kashani, Mastaneh; Mohindra, Vibha; Friedenberg, Allison; Pramanik, Sharmila B; Ogden, William D
Plastic bronchitis is a rare life-threatening complication observed after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). We describe a case of a 54-year-old man in whom a fulminant case of plastic bronchitis developed after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and mitral valve repair. A brief review of the literature is also presented.
Sakata, Kazuko; Akbarian, Schahram; Bates, Brian; Jaenisch, Rudolf; Lu, Bai; Shimazu, Kazuhiro; Zhao, Mingrui
In the adult brain, the expression of NT-3 is largely confined to the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG), an area exhibiting significant neurogenesis. Using a conditional mutant line in which the "NT-3" gene is deleted in the brain, we investigated the role of NT-3 in adult neurogenesis, hippocampal plasticity, and memory. Bromodeoxyuridine…
Berg, Daniel A; Kirkham, Matthew; Beljajeva, Anna; Knapp, Dunja; Habermann, Bianca; Ryge, Jesper; Tanaka, Elly M; Simon, András
In contrast to mammals, salamanders and teleost fishes can efficiently repair the adult brain. It has been hypothesised that constitutively active neurogenic niches are a prerequisite for extensive neuronal regeneration capacity. Here, we show that the highly regenerative salamander, the red spotted newt, displays an unexpectedly similar distribution of active germinal niches with mammals under normal physiological conditions. Proliferation zones in the adult newt brain are restricted to the forebrain, whereas all other regions are essentially quiescent. However, ablation of midbrain dopamine neurons in newts induced ependymoglia cells in the normally quiescent midbrain to proliferate and to undertake full dopamine neuron regeneration. Using oligonucleotide microarrays, we have catalogued a set of differentially expressed genes in these activated ependymoglia cells. This strategy identified hedgehog signalling as a key component of adult dopamine neuron regeneration. These data show that brain regeneration can occur by activation of neurogenesis in quiescent brain regions.
Cho, Yong Won; Song, Hui-Jin; Lee, Jae Jun; Lee, Joo Hwa; Lee, Hui Joong; Yi, Sang Doe; Chang, Hyuk Won; Berl, Madison M.; Gaillard, William D.; Chang, Yongmin
Older adults perform much like younger adults on language. This similar level of performance, however, may come about through different underlying brain processes. In the present study, we evaluated age-related differences in the brain areas outside the typical language areas among adults using a category decision task. Our results showed that…
Coleman, Leon Garland; Liu, Wen; Oguz, Ipek; Styner, Martin; Crews, Fulton T
Adolescents binge drink more than any other age group, increasing risk of disrupting the development of the frontal cortex. We hypothesized that adolescent binge drinking would lead to persistent alterations in adulthood. In this study, we modeled adolescent weekend underage binge-drinking, using adolescent mice (post-natal days [P] 28-37). The adolescent intermittent binge ethanol (AIE) treatment includes 6 binge intragastric doses of ethanol in an intermittent pattern across adolescence. Assessments were conducted in adulthood following extended abstinence to determine if there were persistent changes in adults. Reversal learning, open field and other behavioral assessments as well as brain structure using magnetic imaging and immunohistochemistry were determined. We found that AIE did not impact adult Barnes Maze learning. However, AIE did cause reversal learning deficits in adults. AIE also caused structural changes in the adult brain. AIE was associated with adulthood volume enlargements in specific brain regions without changes in total brain volume. Enlarged regions included the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC, 4%), cerebellum (4.5%), thalamus (2%), internal capsule (10%) and genu of the corpus callosum (7%). The enlarged OFC volume in adults after AIE is consistent with previous imaging studies in human adolescents. AIE treatment was associated with significant increases in the expression of several extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in the adult OFC including WFA (55%), Brevican (32%), Neurocan (105%), Tenacin-C (25%), and HABP (5%). These findings are consistent with AIE causing persistent changes in brain structure that could contribute to a lack of behavioral flexibility.
Coleman, Leon Garland; Liu, Wen; Oguz, Ipek; Styner, Martin; Crews, Fulton T.
Adolescents binge drink more than any other age group, increasing risk of disrupting the development of the frontal cortex. We hypothesized that adolescent binge drinking would lead to persistent alterations in adulthood. In this study, we modeled adolescent weekend underage binge-drinking, using adolescent mice (post-natal days [P] 28–37). The adolescent intermittent binge ethanol (AIE) treatment includes 6 binge intragastric doses of ethanol in an intermittent pattern across adolescence. Assessments were conducted in adulthood following extended abstinence to determine if there were persistent changes in adults. Reversal learning, open field and other behavioral assessments as well as brain structure using magnetic imaging and immunohistochemistry were determined. We found AIE did not impact adult Barnes Maze learning. However, AIE did cause reversal learning deficits in adults. AIE also caused structural changes in the adult brain. AIE was associated with adulthood volume enlargements in specific brain regions without changes in total brain volume. Enlarged regions included the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC, 4%), cerebellum (4.5%), thalamus (2%), internal capsule (10%) and genu of the corpus callosum (7%). The enlarged OFC volume in adults after AIE is consistent with previous imaging studies in human adolescents. AIE treatment was associated with significant increases in the expression of several extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in the adult OFC including WFA (55%), Brevican (32%), Neurocan (105%), Tenacin-C (25%), and HABP (5%). These findings are consistent with AIE causing persistent changes in brain structure that could contribute to a lack of behavioral flexibility. PMID:24275185
Poldrack, R A
The neural plasticity associated with learning and development is increasingly being studied using functional neuroimaging methods such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In this paper I outline a set of conceptual and methodological issues that are particularly relevant for the study of neural plasticity. A number of confounds, related to changes in performance and the inherently temporal nature of learning and development, must be addressed when imaging plasticity. The interpretation of changes in imaging signals is greatly underdetermined, suggesting that hypothesis-driven research approaches may be most fruitful. Finally, I argue that the imaging of learning-related and developmental plasticity can enhance the ability of functional neuroimaging to identify and characterize the underlying neural basis of cognition.
Henriksson, Richard; Bäckman, Cristina M; Harvey, Brandon K; Kadyrova, Helena; Bazov, Igor; Shippenberg, Toni S; Bakalkin, Georgy
The dynorphin κ-opioid receptor system is implicated in mental health and brain/mental disorders. However, despite accumulating evidence that PDYN and/or dynorphin peptide expression is altered in the brain of individuals with brain/mental disorders, little is known about transcriptional control of PDYN in humans. In the present study, we show that PDYN is targeted by the transcription factor REST in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells and that that interfering with REST activity increases PDYN expression in these cells. We also show that REST binding to PDYN is reduced in the adult human brain compared to SH-SY5Y cells, which coincides with higher PDYN expression. This may be related to MIR-9 mediated down-regulation of REST as suggested by a strong inverse correlation between REST and MIR-9 expression. Our results suggest that REST represses PDYN expression in SH-SY5Y cells and the adult human brain and may have implications for mental health and brain/mental disorders.
Good, Arla; Reed, Maureen J.; Russo, Frank A.
When one sense is unavailable, sensory responsibilities shift and processing of the remaining modalities becomes enhanced to compensate for missing information. This shift, referred to as compensatory plasticity, results in a unique sensory experience for individuals who are deaf, including the manner in which music is perceived. This paper evaluates the neural, behavioural and cognitive evidence for compensatory plasticity following auditory deprivation and considers how this manifests in a unique experience of music that emphasizes visual and vibrotactile modalities. PMID:25354235
Morais, Mónica; Santos, Paulo A R; Mateus-Pinheiro, António; Patrício, Patrícia; Pinto, Luísa; Sousa, Nuno; Pedroso, Pedro; Almeida, Susana; Filipe, Augusto; Bessa, João M
There is accumulating evidence that adult neurogenesis and dendritic plasticity in the hippocampus are neuroplastic phenomena, highly sensitive to the effects of chronic stress and treatment with most classes of antidepressant drugs, being involved in the onset and recovery from depression. However, the effects of antidepressants that act through the selective inhibition of monoamine oxidase subtype A (MAO-A) in these phenomena are still largely unknown. In the present study, adult neurogenesis and neuronal morphology were examined in the hippocampus of rats exposed to chronic mild stress (CMS) and treated with the selective reversible MAO-A inhibitor (RIMA) drug, pirlindole and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), fluoxetine. The results provide the first demonstration that selective MAO-A inhibition with pirlindole is able to revert the behavioural effects of stress exposure while promoting hippocampal adult neurogenesis and rescuing the stress-induced dendritic atrophy of granule neurons.
Petti, Cathy A; Mirrett, Stanley; Woods, Christopher W; Reller, L Barth
A new, clear-plastic nonvented aerobic FA bottle, designed to prevent breakage, has been developed for the BacT/ALERT blood culture system. We assessed the new plastic FA bottle by comparing its performance with that of the current glass FA bottle for recovery of microorganisms and time to detection of growth in blood samples obtained for culture from adult patients with suspected bloodstream infections. We conclude that the BacT/ALERT plastic and glass FA bottles are comparable for recovery of microorganisms and that the safety advantage of plastic bottles can be achieved without compromising performance.
This review discusses some aspects of plasticity of connections after spinal injury in adult animal models as a basis for functional recovery of locomotion. After reviewing some pitfalls that must be avoided when claiming functional recovery and the importance of a conceptual framework for the control of locomotion, locomotor recovery after spinal lesions, mainly in cats, is summarized. It is concluded that recovery is partly due to plastic changes within the existing spinal locomotor networks. Locomotor training appears to change the excitability of simple reflex pathways as well as more complex circuitry. The spinal cord possesses an intrinsic capacity to adapt to lesions of central tracts or peripheral nerves but, as a rule, adaptation to lesions entails changes at both spinal and supraspinal levels. A brief summary of the spinal capacity of the rat, mouse and human to express spinal locomotor patterns is given, indicating that the concepts derived mainly from work in the cat extend to other adult mammals. It is hoped that some of the issues presented will help to evaluate how plasticity of existing connections may combine with and potentiate treatments designed to promote regeneration to optimize remaining motor functions. PMID:16939980
Chen, Ji; Fan, Cunxiu; Li, Jinqiang; Han, Qiaoqing; Lin, Jianzhong; Yang, Tianhe; Zhang, Jiaxing
The human brain is intrinsically plastic such that its functional architecture can be reorganized in response to environmental pressures and physiological changes. However, it remains unclear whether a compensatory modification of spontaneous neural activity occurs in adult brain during prolonged high-altitude (HA) adaptation. In this study, we obtained resting-state functional magnetic resonance (MR) images in 16 adults who have immigrated to Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (2300-4400 m) for 2 years and in 16 age-matched sea level (SL) controls. A validated regional homogeneity (Reho) method was employed to investigate the local synchronization of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals. Seed connectivity analysis was carried out subsequently. Cognitive and physiological assessments were made and correlated with the image metrics. Compared with SL controls, global mean Reho was significantly increased in HA immigrants as well as a regional increase in the right inferolateral sensorimotor cortex. Furthermore, mean z-Reho value extracted within the inferolateral sensorimotor area showed trend-level significant inverse correlation with memory search reaction time in HA immigrants. These observations, for the first time, provide evidence of adult brain resilience of spontaneous neural activity after long-term HA exposure without inherited and developmental effects. Resting-state fMRI could yield valuable information for central mechanisms underlying respiratory and cognitive compensations in adults during prolonged environmentally hypoxic adaptation, paving the way for future HA-adaptive training.
Titus, D. J.; Furones, C.; Kang, Y.; Atkins, C. M.
The elderly have comparatively worse cognitive impairments from traumatic brain injury (TBI) relative to younger adults, but the molecular mechanisms that underlie this exacerbation of cognitive deficits are unknown. Experimental models of TBI have demonstrated that the cyclic AMP-protein kinase A (cAMP-PKA) signaling pathway is downregulated after brain trauma. Since the cAMPPKA signaling pathway is a key mediator of long-term memory formation, we investigated whether the TBI-induced decrease in cAMP levels is exacerbated in aged animals. Aged (19 months) and young adult (3 months) male Fischer 344 rats received sham surgery or mild (1.4–1.6 atmospheres, atm) or moderate (1.7–2.1 atm) parasagittal fluid-percussion brain injury. At various time points after surgery, the ipsilateral parietal cortex, hippocampus, and thalamus were assayed for cAMP levels. Mild TBI lowered cAMP levels in the hippocampus of aged, but not young adult animals. Moderate TBI lowered cAMP levels in the hippocampus and parietal cortex of both age groups. In the thalamus, cAMP levels were significantly lowered after moderate, but not mild TBI. To determine if the TBI-induced decreases in cAMP had physiological consequences in aged animals, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) in the Schaffer collateral pathway of the CA1 region was assessed. LTP was significantly decreased in both young adult and aged animals after mild and moderate TBI as compared to sham surgery animals. Rolipram rescued the LTP deficits after mild TBI for young adult animals and caused a partial recovery for aged animals. However, rolipram did not rescue LTP deficits after moderate TBI in either young adult or aged animals. These results indicate that exacerbation of cognitive impairments in aged animals with TBI may be due to decreased cAMP levels and deficits in hippocampal LTP. PMID:23238576
Stamm, S; Casper, D; Lees-Miller, J P; Helfman, D M
In this study we report on the developmental and regional expression of two brain-specific isoforms of tropomyosin, TMBr-1 and TMBr-3, that are generated from the rat alpha-tropomyosin gene via the use of alternative promoters and alternative RNA splicing. Western blot analysis using an exon-specific peptide polyclonal antibody revealed that the two isoforms are differentially expressed in development with TMBr-3 appearing in the embryonic brain at 16 days of gestation, followed by the expression of TMBr-1 at 20 days after birth. TMBr-3 was detected in all brain regions examined, whereas TMBr-1 was detected predominantly in brain areas that derived from the prosencephalon. Immunocytochemical studies on mixed primary cultures made from rat embryonic midbrain indicate that expression of the brain-specific epitope is restricted to neurons. The developmental pattern and neuronal localization of these forms of tropomyosin suggest that these isoforms have a specialized role in the development and plasticity of the nervous system. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:7694294
Helekar, S A; Espino, G G; Botas, A; Rosenfield, D B
Oscines learn their birdsongs from tutors. The authors found that a small fraction (approximately 7%) of captive male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) produce variant acoustic birdsong profiles consisting of repetitions of single song syllables at high frequencies. Juvenile offspring of nonrepeaters can selectively learn the syntactic rule or habit of repeating syllables from repeaters. Adult tutored syllable repeaters, unlike spontaneous repeaters, undergo a form of song plasticity involving progressive reduction of the mean number and variance of repeated syllables as a function of long-term exposure to nonrepeater songs without altering the number or sequence of syllables within motifs. These findings suggest that aspects of song syntax or temporal frame can be acquired independently of song syllable or spectral content, and plasticity involving restorative alteration of acquired variant temporal frames can occur after the closure of the critical period for song learning.
McEwen, Sarah C.; Hardy, Anthony; Ellingson, Benjamin M.; Jarrahi, Behnaz; Sandu, Navjot; Subotnik, Kenneth L.; Ventura, Joseph; Nuechterlein, Keith H.
Objective Our objective in the present study was to conduct the first empirical study to examine regular physical activity habits and their relationship with brain volume and cortical thickness in patients in the early phase of schizophrenia. Relationships between larger brain volumes and higher physical activity levels have been reported in samples of healthy and aging populations, but have never been explored in first-episode schizophrenia patients. Method We collected MRI structural scans in fourteen first-episode schizophrenia patients with either self-reported low or high physical activity levels. Results We found a reduction in total grey matter volume, prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampal grey matter volumes in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. Cortical thickness in the dorsolateral and orbitofrontal PFC were also significantly reduced in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. In the combined sample, greater overall physical activity levels showed a non-significant tendency with better performance on tests of verbal memory and social cognition. Conclusions Together these pilot study findings suggest that greater amounts of physical activity may have a positive influence on brain health and cognition in first-episode schizophrenia patients and support the development of physical exercise interventions in this patient population to improve brain plasticity and cognitive functioning. PMID:26581798
McEwen, B S
The brain is a target of steroid hormone actions that affect brain architecture, molecular and neurochemical processes, behavior and neuroprotection via both genomic and non-genomic actions. Estrogens have such effects throughout the brain and this article provides an historical and current view of how this new view has come about and how it has affected the study of sex differences, as well as other areas of neuroscience, including the effects of stress on the brain.
Yu, Hung-Hsiang; Awasaki, Takeshi; Schroeder, Mark David; Long, Fuhui; Yang, Jacob S.; He, Yisheng; Ding, Peng; Kao, Jui-Chun; Wu, Gloria Yueh-Yi; Peng, Hanchuan; Myers, Gene; Lee, Tzumin
Summary Background The insect brain can be divided into neuropils that are formed by neurites of both local and remote origin. The complexity of the interconnections obscures how these neuropils are established and interconnected through development. The Drosophila central brain develops from a fixed number of neuroblasts (NBs) that deposit neurons in regional clusters. Results By determining individual NB clones and pursuing their projections into specific neuropils we unravel the regional development of the brain neural network. Exhaustive clonal analysis revealed 95 stereotyped neuronal lineages with characteristic cell body locations and neurite trajectories. Most clones show complex projection patterns, but despite the complexity, neighboring clones often co-innervate the same local neuropil(s) and further target a restricted set of distant neuropils. Conclusions These observations argue for regional clonal development of both neuropils and neuropil connectivity throughout the Drosophila central brain. PMID:23541733
According to the ‘Kennard Principle’, there is a negative linear relation between age at brain injury and functional outcome. Other things being equal, the younger the lesioned organism, the better the outcome. But the ‘Kennard Principle’ is neither Kennard’s nor a principle. In her work, Kennard sought to explain the factors that predicted functional outcome (age, to be sure, but also staging, laterality, location, and number of brain lesions, and outcome domain) and the neural mechanisms that altered the lesioned brain’s functionality. This paper discusses Kennard’s life and years at Yale (1931–1943); considers the genesis and scope of her work on early-onset brain lesions, which represents an empirical and theoretical foundation for current developmental neuropsychology; offers an historical explanation of why the ‘Kennard Principle’ emerged in the context of early 1970s work on brain plasticity; shows why uncritical belief in the ‘Kennard Principle’ continues to shape current research and practice; and reviews the continuing importance of her work. PMID:20079891
Wi, Soohyun; Yu, Ji Hea; Kim, MinGi
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
The reported investigation shows that nontarget stimuli which are infrequently presented and deviate from the background elicit Nc and Pc waves in children. The same stimuli elicit P3 waves in adults. The scalp distribution of P3 waves in adults appears to vary with the ease of stimulus recognition or the degree of stimulus novelty. However, the Nc and Pc distributions in children do not seem to vary with these factors. The differences between children and adults in event-related potentials suggest corresponding differences in the mode of processing employed by each when rare, deviant stimuli are encountered
Kim, Eunkyung; Kang, Hyejin; Lee, Hyekyoung; Lee, Hyo-Jeong; Suh, Myung-Whan; Song, Jae-Jin; Oh, Seung-Ha; Lee, Dong Soo
Prolonged deprivation of auditory input can change brain networks in pre- and postlingual deaf adults by brain-wide reorganization. To investigate morphological changes in these brains voxel-based morphometry, voxel-wise correlation with the primary auditory cortex, and whole brain network analyses using morphological covariance were performed in eight prelingual deaf, eleven postlingual deaf, and eleven hearing adults. Network characteristics based on graph theory and network filtration based on persistent homology were examined. Gray matter density in the primary auditor cortex was preserved in prelingual deafness, while it tended to decrease in postlingual deafness. Unlike postlingual, prelingual deafness showed increased bilateral temporal connectivity of the primary auditory cortex compared to the hearing adults. Of the graph theory-based characteristics, clustering coefficient, betweenness centrality, and nodal efficiency all increased in prelingual deafness, while all the parameters of postlingual deafness were similar to the hearing adults. Patterns of connected components changing during network filtration were different between prelingual deafness and hearing adults according to the barcode, dendrogram, and single linkage matrix representations, while these were the same in postlingual deafness. Nodes in fronto-limbic and left temporal components were closely coupled, and nodes in the temporo-parietal component were loosely coupled, in prelingual deafness. Patterns of connected components changing in postlingual deafness were the same as hearing adults. We propose that the preserved density of auditory cortex associated with increased connectivity in prelingual deafness, and closer coupling between certain brain areas, represent distinctive reorganization of auditory and related cortices compared with hearing or postlingual deaf adults. The differential network reorganization in the prelingual deaf adults could be related to the absence of auditory speech
Dai, Yakang; Wang, Yaping; Wang, Li; Wu, Guorong; Shi, Feng; Shen, Dinggang
Longitudinal brain image analysis is critical for revealing subtle but complex structural and functional changes of brain during aging or in neurodevelopmental disease. However, even with the rapid increase of clinical research and trials, a software toolbox dedicated for longitudinal image analysis is still lacking publicly. To cater for this increasing need, we have developed a dedicated 4D Adult Brain Extraction and Analysis Toolbox (aBEAT) to provide robust and accurate analysis of the longitudinal adult brain MR images. Specially, a group of image processing tools were integrated into aBEAT, including 4D brain extraction, 4D tissue segmentation, and 4D brain labeling. First, a 4D deformable-surface-based brain extraction algorithm, which can deform serial brain surfaces simultaneously under temporal smoothness constraint, was developed for consistent brain extraction. Second, a level-sets-based 4D tissue segmentation algorithm that incorporates local intensity distribution, spatial cortical-thickness constraint, and temporal cortical-thickness consistency was also included in aBEAT for consistent brain tissue segmentation. Third, a longitudinal groupwise image registration framework was further integrated into aBEAT for consistent ROI labeling by simultaneously warping a pre-labeled brain atlas to the longitudinal brain images. The performance of aBEAT has been extensively evaluated on a large number of longitudinal MR T1 images which include normal and dementia subjects, achieving very promising results. A Linux-based standalone package of aBEAT is now freely available at http://www.nitrc.org/projects/abeat. PMID:23577105
Zhou, June; Keenan, Michael J; Fernandez-Kim, Sun Ok; Pistell, Paul J; Ingram, Donald K; Li, Bing; Raggio, Anne M; Shen, Li; Zhang, Hanjie; McCutcheon, Kathleen L; Tulley, Richard T; Blackman, Marc R; Keller, Jeffrey N; Martin, Roy J
Resistant starch (RS) is a dietary fiber that exerts multiple beneficial effects. The current study explored the effects of dietary RS on selected brain and behavioral functions in adult and aged rodents. Because glucokinase (GK) expression in hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and area postrema of the brainstem is important for brain glucose sensing, GK mRNA was measured by brain nuclei microdissection and PCR. Adult RS-fed rats had a higher GK mRNA than controls in both brain nuclei, an indicator of improved brain glucose sensing. Next, we tested whether dietary RS improve selected behaviors in aged mice. RS-fed aged mice exhibited (i) an increased eating responses to fasting, a behavioral indicator of improvement in aged brain glucose sensing; (ii) a longer latency to fall from an accelerating rotarod, a behavioral indicator of improved motor coordination; and (iii) a higher serum active glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Then, GLP-1 receptor null (GLP-1RKO) mice were used to test the role of GLP-1 in brain glucose sensing, and they exhibited impaired eating responses to fasting. We conclude that in rodents (i) dietary RS improves two important indicators of brain function: glucose sensing and motor coordination, and (ii) GLP-1 is important in the optimal feeding response to a fast.
Pinilla, Fernando Gomez
Lifestyle involves our preference to engage in behaviors that can remarkably influence the fitness level of our body and brain. Dietary factors are a powerful means to influence brain function on a daily basis. We have shown that the consumption of a diet rich in saturated fat decreases learning and memory and increases metabolic distress. Conversely, diets supplemented either with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E or the curry spice curcumin benefit cognitive function. Equally impressive is the action of exercise on cognitive function as documented by studies showing that exercise enhances learning and memory. The beneficial action of exercise on the brain can be used therapeutically to overcome the effects of consuming a poor diet. We suggest that the managed use of diet and exercise can help the brain to cope with several types of insults and ultimately benefit brain function.
Vierci, Gabriela; Pannunzio, Bruno; Bornia, Natalia; Rossi, Francesco M.
Histone posttranslational modifications play a fundamental role in orchestrating gene expression. In this work, we analyzed the acetylation of H3 and H4 histones (AcH3–AcH4) and its modulation by visual experience in the mouse visual cortex (VC) during normal development and in two experimental conditions that restore juvenile-like plasticity levels in adults (fluoxetine treatment and enriched environment). We found that AcH3–AcH4 declines with age and is upregulated by treatments restoring plasticity in the adult. We also found that visual experience modulates AcH3–AcH4 in young and adult plasticity-restored mice but not in untreated ones. Finally, we showed that the transporter vGAT is downregulated in adult plasticity-restored models. In summary, we identified a dynamic regulation of AcH3–AcH4, which is associated with high plasticity levels and enhanced by visual experience. These data, along with recent ones, indicate H3–H4 acetylation as a central hub in the control of experience-dependent plasticity in the VC. PMID:27891053
National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007
"Science Briefs" summarize the findings and implications of a recent study in basic science or clinical research. This Brief reports on the study "Perinatal Exposure to a Noncoplanar Bichlorinated Biphenol Alters Tonotopy, Receptive Fields and Plasticity in the Auditory Cortex" (T. Kenet; R. C. Froemke; C. E. Schreiner; I. N. Pessah; and M. M.…
Hosokawa, Shinichi; Furuyama, Kenichiro; Horiguchi, Masashi; Aoyama, Yoshiki; Tsuboi, Kunihiko; Sakikubo, Morito; Goto, Toshihiko; Hirata, Koji; Tanabe, Wataru; Nakano, Yasuhiro; Akiyama, Haruhiko; Kageyama, Ryoichiro; Uemoto, Shinji; Kawaguchi, Yoshiya
In the adult pancreas, there has been a long-standing dispute as to whether stem/precursor populations that retain plasticity to differentiate into endocrine or acinar cell types exist in ducts. We previously reported that adult Sox9-expressing duct cells are sufficiently plastic to supply new acinar cells in Sox9-IRES-CreERT2 knock-in mice. In the present study, using Sox9-IRES-CreERT2 knock-in mice as a model, we aimed to analyze how plasticity is controlled in adult ducts. Adult duct cells in these mice express less Sox9 than do wild-type mice but Hes1 equally. Acinar cell differentiation was accelerated by Hes1 inactivation, but suppressed by NICD induction in adult Sox9-expressing cells. Quantitative analyses showed that Sox9 expression increased with the induction of NICD but did not change with Hes1 inactivation, suggesting that Notch regulates Hes1 and Sox9 in parallel. Taken together, these findings suggest that Hes1-mediated Notch activity determines the plasticity of adult pancreatic duct cells and that there may exist a dosage requirement of Sox9 for keeping the duct cell identity in the adult pancreas. In contrast to the extended capability of acinar cell differentiation by Hes1 inactivation, we obtained no evidence of islet neogenesis from Hes1-depleted duct cells in physiological or PDL-induced injured conditions. PMID:25687338
Licht, Tamar; Keshet, Eli
Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (abbreviated throughout this review as VEGF) is mostly known for its angiogenic activity, for its activity as a vascular permeability factor, and for its vascular survival activity . There is a growing body of evidence, however, that VEGF fulfills additional less 'traditional' functions in multiple organs, both during development, as well as homeostatic functions in fully developed organs. This review focuses on the multiple roles of VEGF in the adult brain and is less concerned with the roles played by VEGF during brain development, functions described elsewhere in this review series. Most functions of VEGF that are essential for proper brain development are, in fact, dispensable in the adult brain as was clearly demonstrated using a conditional brain-specific VEGF loss-of-function (LOF) approach. Thus, in contrast to VEGF LOF in the developing brain, a process which is detrimental for the growth and survival of blood vessels and leads to massive neuronal apoptosis [2-4], continued signaling by VEGF in the mature brain is no longer required for maintaining already established cerebral vasculature and its inhibition does not cause appreciable vessel regression, hypoxia or apoptosis [4-7]. Yet, VEGF continues to be expressed in the adult brain in a constitutive manner. Moreover, VEGF is expressed in the adult brain in a region-specific manner and in distinctive spatial patterns incompatible with an angiogenic role (see below), strongly suggesting angiogenesis-independent and possibly also perfusion-independent functions. Here we review current knowledge on some of these 'non-traditional', often unexpected homeostatic VEGF functions, including those unrelated to its effects on the brain vasculature. These effects could be mediated directly (on non-vascular cells expressing cognate VEGF receptors) or indirectly (via the endothelium). Experimental approaches aimed at distinguishing between these possibilities for each particular
Okonogi, Noriyuki; Nakamura, Kazuhiro; Suzuki, Yoshiyuki; Suto, Nana; Suzue, Kazutomo; Kaminuma, Takuya; Nakano, Takashi; Hirai, Hirokazu
Postnatal hematopoietic progenitor cells do not contribute to microglial homeostasis in adult mice under normal conditions. However, previous studies using whole-body irradiation and bone marrow (BM) transplantation models have shown that adult BM cells migrate into the brain tissue and differentiate into microglia (BM-derived microglia; BMDM). Here, we investigated whether cranial irradiation alone was sufficient to induce the generation of BMDM in the adult mouse brain. Transgenic mice that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of a murine stem cell virus (MSCV) promoter (MSCV-GFP mice) were used. MSCV-GFP mice express GFP in BM cells but not in the resident microglia in the brain. Therefore, these mice allowed us to detect BM-derived cells in the brain without BM reconstitution. MSCV-GFP mice, aged 8-12 weeks, received 13.0 Gy irradiation only to the cranium, and BM-derived cells in the brain were quantified at 3 and 8 weeks after irradiation. No BM-derived cells were detected in control non-irradiated MSCV-GFP mouse brains, but numerous GFP-labeled BM-derived cells were present in the brain stem, basal ganglia and cerebral cortex of the irradiated MSCV-GFP mice. These BM-derived cells were positive for Iba1, a marker for microglia, indicating that GFP-positive BM-derived cells were microglial in nature. The population of BMDM was significantly greater at 8 weeks post-irradiation than at 3 weeks post-irradiation in all brain regions examined. Our results clearly show that cranial irradiation alone is sufficient to induce the generation of BMDM in the adult mouse.
Yi, Jae-Hyuk; Katagiri, Yasuhiro; Yu, Panpan; Lourie, Jacob; Bangayan, Nathanael J.; Symes, Aviva J.; Geller, Herbert M.
The role of type IIA receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases (RPTPs), which includes LAR, RPTPσ and RPTPδ, in the nervous system is becoming increasingly recognized. Evidence supports a significant role for these RPTPs during the development of the nervous system as well as after injury, and mutations in RPTPs are associated with human disease. However, a major open question is the nature of the ligands that interact with type IIA RPTPs in the adult brain. Candidates include several different proteins as well as the glycosaminoglycan chains of proteoglycans. In order to investigate this problem, we used a receptor affinity probe assay with RPTPσ-AP fusion proteins on sections of adult mouse brain and to cultured neurons. Our results demonstrate that the major binding sites for RPTPσ in adult mouse brain are on neurons and are not proteoglycan GAG chains, as RPTPσ binding overlaps with the neuronal marker NeuN and was not significantly altered by treatments which eliminate chondroitin sulfate, heparan sulfate, or both. We also demonstrate no overlap of binding of RPTPσ with perineuronal nets, and a unique modulation of RPTPσ binding to brain by divalent cations. Our data therefore point to neuronal proteins, rather than CSPGs, as being the ligands for RPTPσ in the adult, uninjured brain. PMID:24530640
Burdette, Jonathan H; Laurienti, Paul J; Espeland, Mark A; Morgan, Ashley; Telesford, Qawi; Vechlekar, Crystal D; Hayasaka, Satoru; Jennings, Janine M; Katula, Jeffrey A; Kraft, Robert A; Rejeski, W Jack
Literature has shown that exercise is beneficial for cognitive function in older adults and that aerobic fitness is associated with increased hippocampal tissue and blood volumes. The current study used novel network science methods to shed light on the neurophysiological implications of exercise-induced changes in the hippocampus of older adults. Participants represented a volunteer subgroup of older adults that were part of either the exercise training (ET) or healthy aging educational control (HAC) treatment arms from the Seniors Health and Activity Research Program Pilot (SHARP-P) trial. Following the 4-month interventions, MRI measures of resting brain blood flow and connectivity were performed. The ET group's hippocampal cerebral blood flow (CBF) exhibited statistically significant increases compared to the HAC group. Novel whole-brain network connectivity analyses showed greater connectivity in the hippocampi of the ET participants compared to HAC. Furthermore, the hippocampus was consistently shown to be within the same network neighborhood (module) as the anterior cingulate cortex only within the ET group. Thus, within the ET group, the hippocampus and anterior cingulate were highly interconnected and localized to the same network neighborhood. This project shows the power of network science to investigate potential mechanisms for exercise-induced benefits to the brain in older adults. We show a link between neurological network features and CBF, and it is possible that this alteration of functional brain networks may lead to the known improvement in cognitive function among older adults following exercise.
Madore, Charlotte; Nadjar, Agnès; Delpech, Jean-Christophe; Sere, A; Aubert, A; Portal, Céline; Joffre, Corinne; Layé, Sophie
Low dietary intake of the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is a causative factor of neurodevelopmental disorders. However the mechanisms linking n-3 PUFAs low dietary intake and neurodevelopmental disorders are poorly understood. Microglia, known mainly for their immune function in the injured or infected brain, have recently been demonstrated to play a pivotal role in regulating maturation of neuronal circuits during normal brain development. Disruption of this role during the perinatal period therefore could significantly contribute to psychopathologies with a neurodevelopmental neurodevelopmental component. N-3 PUFAs, essential lipids and key structural components of neuronal membrane phospholipids, are highly incorporated in cell membranes during the gestation and lactation phase. We previously showed that in a context of perinatal n-3 PUFAs deficiency, accretion of these latter is decreased and this is correlated to an alteration of endotoxin-induced inflammatory response. We thus postulated that dietary n-3 PUFAs imbalance alters the activity of microglia in the developing brain, leading to abnormal formation of neuronal networks. We first confirmed that mice fed with a n-3 PUFAs deficient diet displayed decreased n-3 PUFAs levels in the brain at post-natal days (PND)0 and PND21. We then demonstrated that n-3 PUFAs deficiency altered microglia phenotype and motility in the post-natal developing brain. This was paralleled by an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines expression at PND21 and to modification of neuronal plasticity-related genes expression. Overall, our findings show for the first time that a dietary n-3 PUFAs deficiency from the first day of gestation leads to the development of a pro-inflammatory condition in the central nervous system that may contribute to neurodevelopmental alterations.
Gallen, Courtney L.; Baniqued, Pauline L.; Chapman, Sandra B.; Aslan, Sina; Keebler, Molly; Didehbani, Nyaz; D’Esposito, Mark
Cognitive training interventions are a promising approach to mitigate cognitive deficits common in aging and, ultimately, to improve functioning in older adults. Baseline neural factors, such as properties of brain networks, may predict training outcomes and can be used to improve the effectiveness of interventions. Here, we investigated the relationship between baseline brain network modularity, a measure of the segregation of brain sub-networks, and training-related gains in cognition in older adults. We found that older adults with more segregated brain sub-networks (i.e., more modular networks) at baseline exhibited greater training improvements in the ability to synthesize complex information. Further, the relationship between modularity and training-related gains was more pronounced in sub-networks mediating “associative” functions compared with those involved in sensory-motor processing. These results suggest that assessments of brain networks can be used as a biomarker to guide the implementation of cognitive interventions and improve outcomes across individuals. More broadly, these findings also suggest that properties of brain networks may capture individual differences in learning and neuroplasticity. Trail Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT#00977418 PMID:28006029
Steib, Kathrin; Schäffner, Iris; Jagasia, Ravi; Ebert, Birgit; Lie, D Chichung
Neural stem cells in the adult mammalian hippocampus continuously generate new functional neurons, which modify the hippocampal network and significantly contribute to cognitive processes and mood regulation. Here, we show that the development of new neurons from stem cells in adult mice is paralleled by extensive changes to mitochondrial mass, distribution, and shape. Moreover, exercise-a strong modifier of adult hippocampal neurogenesis-accelerates neuronal maturation and induces a profound increase in mitochondrial content and the presence of mitochondria in dendritic segments. Genetic inhibition of the activity of the mitochondrial fission factor dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) inhibits neurogenesis under basal and exercise conditions. Conversely, enhanced Drp1 activity furthers exercise-induced acceleration of neuronal maturation. Collectively, these results indicate that adult hippocampal neurogenesis requires adaptation of the mitochondrial compartment and suggest that mitochondria are targets for enhancing neurogenesis-dependent hippocampal plasticity.
Williams, Diane L; Cherkassky, Vladimir L; Mason, Robert A; Keller, Timothy A; Minshew, Nancy J; Just, Marcel Adam
Comparison of brain function between children and adults with autism provides an understanding of the effects of the disorder and associated maturational differences on language processing. Functional imaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging) was used to examine brain activation and cortical synchronization during the processing of literal and ironic texts in 15 children with autism, 14 children with typical development, 13 adults with autism, and 12 adult controls. Both the children and adults with autism had lower functional connectivity (synchronization of brain activity among activated areas) than their age and ability comparison group in the left hemisphere language network during irony processing, and neither autism group had an increase in functional connectivity in response to increased task demands. Activation differences for the literal and irony conditions occurred in key language-processing regions (left middle temporal, left pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, left medial frontal, and right middle temporal). The children and adults with autism differed from each other in the use of some brain regions during the irony task, with the adults with autism having activation levels similar to those of the control groups. Overall, the children and adults with autism differed from the adult and child controls in (a) the degree of network coordination, (b) the distribution of the workload among member nodes, and (3) the dynamic recruitment of regions in response to text content. Moreover, the differences between the two autism age groups may be indicative of positive changes in the neural function related to language processing associated with maturation and/or educational experience.
Grote, Steffi; Prüfer, Kay; Kelso, Janet; Dannemann, Michael
We present ABAEnrichment, an R package that tests for expression enrichment in specific brain regions at different developmental stages using expression information gathered from multiple regions of the adult and developing human brain, together with ontologically organized structural information about the brain, both provided by the Allen Brain Atlas. We validate ABAEnrichment by successfully recovering the origin of gene sets identified in specific brain cell-types and developmental stages.
Eldridge, Brittany N; Xing, Fei; Fahrenholtz, Cale D; Singh, Ravi N
There is a growing interest in the use of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to treat diseases of the brain. Little is known about the effects of MWCNTs on human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs), which make up the blood vessels in the brain. In our studies, we evaluate the cytotoxicity of MWCNTs and acid oxidized MWNCTs, with or without a phospholipid-polyethylene glycol coating. We determined the cytotoxic effects of MWCNTs on both tissue-mimicking cultures of HBMECs grown on basement membrane and on monolayer cultures of HBMECs grown on plastic. We also evaluated the effects of MWCNT exposure on the capacity of HBMECs to form rings after plating on basement membrane, a commonly used assay to evaluate angiogenesis. We show that tissue-mimicking cultures of HBMECs are less sensitive to all types of MWCNTs than monolayer cultures of HBMECs. Furthermore, we found that MWCNTs have little impact on the capacity of HBMECs to form rings. Our results indicate that relative cytotoxicity of MWCNTs is significantly affected by the type of cell culture model used for testing, and supports further research into the use of tissue-mimicking endothelial cell culture models to help bridge the gap between in vitro and in vivo toxicology.
Almklov, Erin L; Drummond, Sean P A; Orff, Henry; Alhassoon, Omar M
Few studies have examined the effects of total sleep deprivation (TSD) on cognitive performance and brain activation using functional MRI (fMRI) in older adults. The current study examines blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activation in older adults and younger adults during the sustained attention (GO) and response inhibition (NOGO) portions of a GO-NOGO cognitive task following 36 hr of total sleep deprivation. No significant performance differences were observed between the groups on the behavioral outcome measures of total hits and false alarms. Neuroimaging results, however, revealed a significant interaction between age-group and sleep-deprivation status. Specifically, older adults showed greater BOLD activation as compared to younger adults after 36 hours total sleep deprivation in brain regions typically associated with attention and inhibitory processes. These results suggest in order for older adults to perform the GO-NOGO task effectively after sleep deprivation, they rely on compensatory recruitment of brain regions that aide in the maintenance of cognitive performance.
Sershen, H; Shearman, E; Fallon, S; Chakraborty, G; Smiley, J; Lajtha, A
The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of acetaldehyde administration on neurotransmitters in the presence of nicotine in brain areas associated with cognition and reward. We assayed these effects via microdialysis in conscious freely moving male Sprague-Dawley rats. It was reported that low doses of acetaldehyde enhance nicotine self-administration in young, but not in adult rats. Since nicotine enhances reward and learning, while acetaldehyde is reported to enhance reward but inhibit learning, acetaldehyde thus would be likely to stimulate reward without stimulating learning. We hoped that examining the effects of acetaldehyde (on nicotine-mediated neurotransmitter changes) would help to distinguish reward mechanisms less influenced by learning mechanisms. To avoid the aversive effect of acetaldehyde, we used a low dose of acetaldehyde (0.16 mg/kg) administered after nicotine (0.3mg/kg). We analyzed six brain regions: nucleus accumbens shell (NAccS), ventral tegmental area (VTA), ventral and dorsal hippocampus (VH and DH), and prefrontal and medial temporal cortex (PFC, MTC), assaying dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT) and their metabolites in young and adult rats. The effect of acetaldehyde on nicotine-induced transmitter changes was different in young as compared to adult rat brain regions. In the NAccS of the young, DA was not affected while NE and 5-HT were increased. In the adult in this area DA and NE were decreased, while 5-HT was not altered. In other areas also in many cases, the effect of acetaldehyde in the young and in the adult was different. As an example, acetaldehyde administration increased NE in young and decreased NE in adult DH. We found stimulation of nicotine-induced changes by acetaldehyde in seven instances - six of these were observed in areas in young brain, NE in four areas (NAccS, DH, VH, and PFC), and 5-HT in two (NAccS and DH). Only one increase was noted in adult brain (DA in VTA). Inhibition of