Sartini, S; Lattanzi, D; Ambrogini, P; Di Palma, M; Galati, C; Savelli, D; Polidori, E; Calcabrini, C; Rocchi, M B L; Sestili, P; Cuppini, R
Creatine supplementation has been shown to protect neurons from oxidative damage due to its antioxidant and ergogenic functions. These features have led to the hypothesis of creatine supplementation use during pregnancy as prophylactic treatment to prevent CNS damage, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Unfortunately, very little is known on the effects of creatine supplementation during neuron differentiation, while in vitro studies revealed an influence on neuron excitability, leaving the possibility of creatine supplementation during the CNS development an open question. Using a multiple approach, we studied the hippocampal neuron morphological and functional development in neonatal rats born by dams supplemented with 1% creatine in drinking water during pregnancy. CA1 pyramidal neurons of supplemented newborn rats showed enhanced dendritic tree development, increased LTP maintenance, larger evoked-synaptic responses, and higher intrinsic excitability in comparison to controls. Moreover, a faster repolarizing phase of action potential with the appearance of a hyperpolarization were recorded in neurons of the creatine-treated group. Consistently, CA1 neurons of creatine exposed pups exhibited a higher maximum firing frequency than controls. In summary, we found that creatine supplementation during pregnancy positively affects morphological and electrophysiological development of CA1 neurons in offspring rats, increasing neuronal excitability. Altogether, these findings emphasize the need to evaluate the benefits and the safety of maternal intake of creatine in humans.
AD______________ AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0301 TITLE: Identifying Molecular Regulators of Neuronal Functions Affected in the Movement Disorder...Affected in the Movement Disorder Dystonia 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0301 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S...SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT The movement disorder dystonia is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions in the limbs, hands, feet or neck. The aim
Kassis, Haifa; Shehadah, Amjad; Li, Chao; Zhang, Yi; Cui, Yisheng; Roberts, Cynthia; Sadry, Neema; Liu, Xianshuang; Chopp, Michael; Zhang, Zheng Gang
We have previously demonstrated that stroke induces nuclear shuttling of class IIa histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4). Stroke-induced nuclear shuttling of HDAC4 is positively and significantly correlated with improved indices of neuronal remodeling in the peri-infarct cortex. In this study, using a rat model for middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), we tested the effects of selective inhibition of class IIa HDACs on functional recovery and neuronal remodeling when administered 24hr after stroke. Adult male Wistar rats (n = 15-17/group) were subjected to 2 h MCAO and orally gavaged with MC1568 (a selective class IIa HDAC inhibitor), SAHA (a non-selective HDAC inhibitor), or vehicle-control for 7 days starting 24 h after MCAO. A battery of behavioral tests was performed. Lesion volume measurement and immunohistochemistry were performed 28 days after MCAO. We found that stroke increased total HDAC activity in the ipsilateral hemisphere compared to the contralateral hemisphere. Stroke-increased HDAC activity was significantly decreased by the administration of SAHA as well as by MC1568. However, SAHA significantly improved functional outcome compared to vehicle control, whereas selective class IIa inhibition with MC1568 increased mortality and lesion volume and did not improve functional outcome. In addition, MC1568 decreased microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP2, dendrites), phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain (pNFH, axons) and myelin basic protein (MBP, myelination) immunoreactivity in the peri-infarct cortex. Quantitative RT-PCR of cortical neurons isolated by laser capture microdissection revealed that MC1568, but not SAHA, downregulated CREB and c-fos expression. Additionally, MC1568 decreased the expression of phosphorylated CREB (active) in neurons. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that selective inhibition of class IIa HDACs impairs neuronal remodeling and neurological outcome. Inactivation of CREB and c-fos by MC1568 likely contributes to
Gourgou, Eleni; Chronis, Nikos
Oxidative stress (OS) impact on a single neuron’s function in vivo remains obscure. Using C. elegans as a model organism, we report the effect of paraquat (PQ)-induced OS on wild type worms on the function of the ASH polymodal neuron. By calcium (Ca2+) imaging, we quantified ASH activation upon stimulus delivery. PQ-treated worms displayed higher maximum depolarization (peak of the Ca2+ transients) compared to untreated animals. PQ had a similar effect on the ASH neuron response time (rising slope of the Ca2+ transients), except in very young worms. OS effect on ASH was partially abolished in vitamin C-treated worms. We performed octanol and osmotic avoidance tests, to investigate the OS effect on ASH-dependent behaviors. PQ-treated worms have enhanced avoidance behavior compared to untreated ones, suggesting that elevated ASH Ca2+ transients result in enhanced ASH-mediated behavior. The above findings suggest a possible hormetic effect of PQ, as a factor inducing mild oxidative stress. We also quantified locomotion parameters (velocity, bending amplitude), which are not mediated by ASH activation. Bending amplitude did not differ significantly between treated and untreated worms; velocity in older adults decreased. The differential effect of OS on behavioral patterns may mirror a selective impact on the organism’s neurons. PMID:27922032
Climer, Leslie K.; Dobretsov, Maxim; Lupashin, Vladimir
The Conserved Oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex is an evolutionarily conserved hetero-octameric protein complex that has been proposed to organize vesicle tethering at the Golgi apparatus. Defects in seven of the eight COG subunits are linked to Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG)-type II, a family of rare diseases involving misregulation of protein glycosylation, alterations in Golgi structure, variations in retrograde trafficking through the Golgi and system-wide clinical pathologies. A troublesome aspect of these diseases are the neurological pathologies such as low IQ, microcephaly, and cerebellar atrophy. The essential function of the COG complex is dependent upon interactions with other components of trafficking machinery, such as Rab-GTPases and SNAREs. COG-interacting Rabs and SNAREs have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Defects in Golgi maintenance disrupts trafficking and processing of essential proteins, frequently associated with and contributing to compromised neuron function and human disease. Despite the recent advances in molecular neuroscience, the subcellular bases for most neurodegenerative diseases are poorly understood. This article gives an overview of the potential contributions of the COG complex and its Rab and SNARE partners in the pathogenesis of different neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26578865
Floriddia, Elisa M; Rathore, Khizr I; Tedeschi, Andrea; Quadrato, Giorgia; Wuttke, Anja; Lueckmann, Jan-Matthis; Kigerl, Kristina A; Popovich, Phillip G; Di Giovanni, Simone
Following spinal trauma, the limited physiological axonal sprouting that contributes to partial recovery of function is dependent upon the intrinsic properties of neurons as well as the inhibitory glial environment. The transcription factor p53 is involved in DNA repair, cell cycle, cell survival, and axonal outgrowth, suggesting p53 as key modifier of axonal and glial responses influencing functional recovery following spinal injury. Indeed, in a spinal cord dorsal hemisection injury model, we observed a significant impairment in locomotor recovery in p53(-/-) versus wild-type mice. p53(-/-) spinal cords showed an increased number of activated microglia/macrophages and a larger scar at the lesion site. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments suggested p53 as a direct regulator of microglia/macrophages proliferation. At the axonal level, p53(-/-) mice showed a more pronounced dieback of the corticospinal tract (CST) and a decreased sprouting capacity of both CST and spinal serotoninergic fibers. In vivo expression of p53 in the sensorimotor cortex rescued and enhanced the sprouting potential of the CST in p53(-/-) mice, while, similarly, p53 expression in p53(-/-) cultured cortical neurons rescued a defect in neurite outgrowth, suggesting a direct role for p53 in regulating the intrinsic sprouting ability of CNS neurons. In conclusion, we show that p53 plays an important regulatory role at both extrinsic and intrinsic levels affecting the recovery of motor function following spinal cord injury. Therefore, we propose p53 as a novel potential multilevel therapeutic target for spinal cord injury.
Lueke, Katharina; Kaiser, Tobias; Svetlitchny, Alexei; Welzel, Oliver; Wenzel, Eva M; Tyagarajan, Shiva; Kornhuber, Johannes; Groemer, Teja W
Lithium is an effective mood-stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar affective disorder. While glycogen synthase kinase 3-mediated and inositol depletion-dependent effects of lithium have been described extensively in literature, there is very little knowledge about the consequences of lithium treatment on vesicle recycling and neurotransmitter availability. In the present study we have examined acute and chronic effects of lithium on synaptic vesicle recycling using primary hippocampal neurons. We found that exocytosis of readily releasable pool vesicles as well as recycling pool vesicles was unaffected by acute and chronic treatment within the therapeutic range or at higher lithium concentrations. Consistent with this observation, we also noticed that the network activity and number of active synapses within the network were also not significantly altered after lithium treatment. Taken together, as lithium treatment does not affect synaptic vesicle release at even high concentrations, our data suggest that therapeutic effects of lithium in bipolar affective disorder are not directly related to presynaptic function.
Baranes, Koby; Kollmar, Davida; Chejanovsky, Nathan; Sharoni, Amos; Shefi, Orit
We study the effect of topographic nano-cues on neuronal growth-morphology using invertebrate neurons in culture. We use photolithography to fabricate substrates with repeatable line-pattern ridges of nano-scale heights of 10-150 nm. We plate leech neurons atop the patterned-substrates and compare their growth pattern to neurons plated atop non-patterned substrates. The model system allows us the analysis of single neurite-single ridge interactions. The use of high resolution electron microscopy reveals small filopodia processes that attach to the line-pattern ridges. These fine processes, that cannot be detected in light microscopy, add anchoring sites onto the side of the ridges, thus additional physical support. These interactions of the neuronal process dominantly affect the neuronal growth direction. We analyze the response of the entire neuronal branching tree to the patterned substrates and find significant effect on the growth patterns compared to non-patterned substrates. Moreover, interactions with the nano-cues trigger a growth strategy similarly to interactions with other neuronal cells, as reflected in their morphometric parameters. The number of branches and the number of neurites originating from the soma decrease following the interaction demonstrating a tendency to a more simplified neuronal branching tree. The effect of the nano-cues on the neuronal function deserves further investigation and will strengthen our understanding of the interplay between function and form.
Dermentzaki, Georgia; Dimitriou, Evangelia; Xilouri, Maria; Michelakakis, Helen; Stefanis, Leonidas
To date, a plethora of studies have provided evidence favoring an association between Gaucher disease (GD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). GD, the most common lysosomal storage disorder, results from the diminished activity of the lysosomal enzyme β-glucocerebrosidase (GCase), caused by mutations in the β-glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA). Alpha-synuclein (ASYN), a presynaptic protein, has been strongly implicated in PD pathogenesis. ASYN may in part be degraded by the lysosomes and may itself aberrantly impact lysosomal function. Therefore, a putative link between deficient GCase and ASYN, involving lysosomal dysfunction, has been proposed to be responsible for the risk for PD conferred by GBA mutations. In this current work, we aimed to investigate the effects of pharmacological inhibition of GCase on ASYN accumulation/aggregation, as well as on lysosomal function, in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells and in primary neuronal cultures. Following profound inhibition of the enzyme activity, we did not find significant alterations in ASYN levels, or any changes in the clearance or formation of its oligomeric species. We further observed no significant impairment of the lysosomal degradation machinery. These findings suggest that additional interaction pathways together with aberrant GCase and ASYN must govern this complex relation between GD and PD.
Taylor, Anna M; Saifetiarova, Julia; Bhat, Manzoor A
Intricate molecular interactions between neurons and glial cells underlie the creation of unique domains that are essential for saltatory conduction of action potentials by myelinated axons. Previously, the cell surface adhesion molecule Neurofascin (Nfasc) has been shown to have a dual-role in the establishment of axonal domains from both the glial and neuronal interface. While the neuron-specific isoform of Neurofascin (NF186) is indispensable for clustering of voltage-gated sodium channels at nodes of Ranvier; the glial-specific isoform of Neurofascin (NF155) is required for myelinating glial cells to organize the paranodal domain. Although many studies have addressed the individual roles of NF155 and NF186 in assembling paranodes and nodes, respectively; critical questions about their roles in the maintenance and long-term health of the myelinated axons remain, which we aimed to address in these studies. Here using spatiotemporal ablation of Neurofascin in neurons alone or together with myelinating glia, we report that loss of NF186 individually from postnatal mice leads to progressive nodal destabilization and axonal degeneration. While individual ablation of paranodal NF155 does not disrupt nodes of Ranvier; loss of NF186 combined with NF155 causes more accelerated nodal destabilization than loss of NF186 alone, providing strong evidence regarding a supporting role for paranodes in nodal maintenance. In both cases of NF186 loss, myelinating axons show ultrastructural changes and degeneration. Our studies reveal that long-term maintenance of nodes and ultimately the health of axons is correlated with the stability of NF186 within the nodal complex and the presence of auxiliary paranodes.
Taylor, Anna M.; Saifetiarova, Julia; Bhat, Manzoor A.
Intricate molecular interactions between neurons and glial cells underlie the creation of unique domains that are essential for saltatory conduction of action potentials by myelinated axons. Previously, the cell surface adhesion molecule Neurofascin (Nfasc) has been shown to have a dual-role in the establishment of axonal domains from both the glial and neuronal interface. While the neuron-specific isoform of Neurofascin (NF186) is indispensable for clustering of voltage-gated sodium channels at nodes of Ranvier; the glial-specific isoform of Neurofascin (NF155) is required for myelinating glial cells to organize the paranodal domain. Although many studies have addressed the individual roles of NF155 and NF186 in assembling paranodes and nodes, respectively; critical questions about their roles in the maintenance and long-term health of the myelinated axons remain, which we aimed to address in these studies. Here using spatiotemporal ablation of Neurofascin in neurons alone or together with myelinating glia, we report that loss of NF186 individually from postnatal mice leads to progressive nodal destabilization and axonal degeneration. While individual ablation of paranodal NF155 does not disrupt nodes of Ranvier; loss of NF186 combined with NF155 causes more accelerated nodal destabilization than loss of NF186 alone, providing strong evidence regarding a supporting role for paranodes in nodal maintenance. In both cases of NF186 loss, myelinating axons show ultrastructural changes and degeneration. Our studies reveal that long-term maintenance of nodes and ultimately the health of axons is correlated with the stability of NF186 within the nodal complex and the presence of auxiliary paranodes. PMID:28217083
Patel, Ryan; Bauer, Claudia S.; Nieto-Rostro, Manuela; Margas, Wojciech; Ferron, Laurent; Chaggar, Kanchan; Crews, Kasumi; Ramirez, Juan D.; Bennett, David L. H.; Schwartz, Arnold; Dickenson, Anthony H.
The α2δ-1 subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels is upregulated after sensory nerve injury and is also the therapeutic target of gabapentinoid drugs. It is therefore likely to play a key role in the development of neuropathic pain. In this study, we have examined mice in which α2δ-1 gene expression is disrupted, to determine whether α2δ-1 is involved in various modalities of nociception, and for the development of behavioral hypersensitivity after partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL). We find that naive α2δ-1−/− mice show a marked behavioral deficit in mechanical and cold sensitivity, but no change in thermal nociception threshold. The lower mechanical sensitivity is mirrored by a reduced in vivo electrophysiological response of dorsal horn wide dynamic range neurons. The CaV2.2 level is reduced in brain and spinal cord synaptosomes from α2δ-1−/− mice, and α2δ-1−/− DRG neurons exhibit lower calcium channel current density. Furthermore, a significantly smaller number of DRG neurons respond to the TRPM8 agonist menthol. After PSNL, α2δ-1−/− mice show delayed mechanical hypersensitivity, which only develops at 11 d after surgery, whereas in wild-type littermates it is maximal at the earliest time point measured (3 d). There is no compensatory upregulation of α2δ-2 or α2δ-3 after PSNL in α2δ-1−/− mice, and other transcripts, including neuropeptide Y and activating transcription factor-3, are upregulated normally. Furthermore, the ability of pregabalin to alleviate mechanical hypersensitivity is lost in PSNL α2δ-1−/− mice. Thus, α2δ-1 is essential for rapid development of mechanical hypersensitivity in a nerve injury model of neuropathic pain. PMID:24133248
Patel, Ryan; Bauer, Claudia S; Nieto-Rostro, Manuela; Margas, Wojciech; Ferron, Laurent; Chaggar, Kanchan; Crews, Kasumi; Ramirez, Juan D; Bennett, David L H; Schwartz, Arnold; Dickenson, Anthony H; Dolphin, Annette C
The α2δ-1 subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels is upregulated after sensory nerve injury and is also the therapeutic target of gabapentinoid drugs. It is therefore likely to play a key role in the development of neuropathic pain. In this study, we have examined mice in which α2δ-1 gene expression is disrupted, to determine whether α2δ-1 is involved in various modalities of nociception, and for the development of behavioral hypersensitivity after partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL). We find that naive α2δ-1(-/-) mice show a marked behavioral deficit in mechanical and cold sensitivity, but no change in thermal nociception threshold. The lower mechanical sensitivity is mirrored by a reduced in vivo electrophysiological response of dorsal horn wide dynamic range neurons. The CaV2.2 level is reduced in brain and spinal cord synaptosomes from α2δ-1(-/-) mice, and α2δ-1(-/-) DRG neurons exhibit lower calcium channel current density. Furthermore, a significantly smaller number of DRG neurons respond to the TRPM8 agonist menthol. After PSNL, α2δ-1(-/-) mice show delayed mechanical hypersensitivity, which only develops at 11 d after surgery, whereas in wild-type littermates it is maximal at the earliest time point measured (3 d). There is no compensatory upregulation of α2δ-2 or α2δ-3 after PSNL in α2δ-1(-/-) mice, and other transcripts, including neuropeptide Y and activating transcription factor-3, are upregulated normally. Furthermore, the ability of pregabalin to alleviate mechanical hypersensitivity is lost in PSNL α2δ-1(-/-) mice. Thus, α2δ-1 is essential for rapid development of mechanical hypersensitivity in a nerve injury model of neuropathic pain.
Aliaga, Leonardo; Lai, Chen; Yu, Jia; Chub, Nikolai; Shim, Hoon; Sun, Lixin; Xie, Chengsong; Yang, Wan-Jou; Lin, Xian; O'Donovan, Michael J; Cai, Huaibin
The substitution of Proline with Serine at residue 56 (P56S) of vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein B (VAPB) has been linked to an atypical autosomal dominant form of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 8 (ALS8). To investigate the pathogenic mechanism of P56S VAPB in ALS, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice that heterologously express human wild-type (WT) and P56S VAPB under the control of a pan-neuronal promoter Thy1.2. While WT VAPB Tg mice did not exhibit any overt motor behavioral phenotypes, P56S VAPB Tg mice developed progressive hyperactivities and other motor abnormalities. VAPB protein was accumulated as large punctate in the soma and proximal dendrites of both corticospinal motor neurons (CSMNs) and spinal motor neurons (SMNs) in P56S VAPB Tg mice. Concomitantly, a significant increase of endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response and the resulting up-regulation of pro-apoptotic factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein expression were observed in the CSMNs and SMNs of P56S VAPB Tg mice. However, only a progressive loss of CSMNs but not SMNs was found in P56S VAPB Tg mice. In SMNs, P56S VAPB promoted a rather selective translocation of VAPB protein onto the postsynaptic site of C-boutons that altered the morphology of C-boutons and impaired the spontaneous rhythmic discharges of SMNs. Therefore, these findings provide new pathophysiological mechanisms of P56S VAPB that differentially affect the function and survival of CSMNs and SMNs in ALS8.
Aliaga, Leonardo; Lai, Chen; Yu, Jia; Chub, Nikolai; Shim, Hoon; Sun, Lixin; Xie, Chengsong; Yang, Wan-Jou; Lin, Xian; O'Donovan, Michael J.; Cai, Huaibin
The substitution of Proline with Serine at residue 56 (P56S) of vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein B (VAPB) has been linked to an atypical autosomal dominant form of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 8 (ALS8). To investigate the pathogenic mechanism of P56S VAPB in ALS, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice that heterologously express human wild-type (WT) and P56S VAPB under the control of a pan-neuronal promoter Thy1.2. While WT VAPB Tg mice did not exhibit any overt motor behavioral phenotypes, P56S VAPB Tg mice developed progressive hyperactivities and other motor abnormalities. VAPB protein was accumulated as large punctate in the soma and proximal dendrites of both corticospinal motor neurons (CSMNs) and spinal motor neurons (SMNs) in P56S VAPB Tg mice. Concomitantly, a significant increase of endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response and the resulting up-regulation of pro-apoptotic factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein expression were observed in the CSMNs and SMNs of P56S VAPB Tg mice. However, only a progressive loss of CSMNs but not SMNs was found in P56S VAPB Tg mice. In SMNs, P56S VAPB promoted a rather selective translocation of VAPB protein onto the postsynaptic site of C-boutons that altered the morphology of C-boutons and impaired the spontaneous rhythmic discharges of SMNs. Therefore, these findings provide new pathophysiological mechanisms of P56S VAPB that differentially affect the function and survival of CSMNs and SMNs in ALS8. PMID:23771029
Djuric, Ugljesa; Cheung, Aaron Y L; Zhang, Wenbo; Mok, Rebecca S; Lai, Wesley; Piekna, Alina; Hendry, Jason A; Ross, P Joel; Pasceri, Peter; Kim, Dae-Sung; Salter, Michael W; Ellis, James
MECP2 mutations cause the X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder Rett Syndrome (RTT) by consistently altering the protein encoded by the MECP2e1 alternative transcript. While mutations that simultaneously affect both MECP2e1 and MECP2e2 isoforms have been widely studied, the consequence of MECP2e1 deficiency on human neurons remains unknown. Here we report the first isoform-specific patient induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) model of RTT. RTTe1 patient iPS cell-derived neurons retain an inactive X-chromosome and express only the mutant allele. Single-cell mRNA analysis demonstrated they have a molecular signature of cortical neurons. Mutant neurons exhibited a decrease in soma size, reduced dendritic complexity and decreased cell capacitance, consistent with impaired neuronal maturation. The soma size phenotype was rescued cell-autonomously by MECP2e1 transduction in a level-dependent manner but not by MECP2e2 gene transfer. Importantly, MECP2e1 mutant neurons showed a dysfunction in action potential generation, voltage-gated Na(+) currents, and miniature excitatory synaptic current frequency and amplitude. We conclude that MECP2e1 mutation affects soma size, information encoding properties and synaptic connectivity in human neurons that are defective in RTT.
There's a new way to explore biologys secrets. With a flash of light, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energys Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley zeroed in on the type of neural cell that controls swimming in larval zebrafish. Using innovative light-activated proteins and gene expression techniques, the scientists zapped several zebrafish with a pulse of light, and initiated a swimming action in a subset of fish that was traced back to the type of neuron that drives the side-to-side motion of their tail fins. The technique behind this needle-in-haystack search for the neural roots of a specific behavior could become a powerful way to learn how any biological system works. http://newscenter.lbl.gov/press-releases/2009/09/16/light-activated-protein/
Zamboni, Valentina; Armentano, Maria; Sarò, Gabriella; Ciraolo, Elisa; Ghigo, Alessandra; Germena, Giulia; Umbach, Alessandro; Valnegri, Pamela; Passafaro, Maria; Carabelli, Valentina; Gavello, Daniela; Bianchi, Veronica; D’Adamo, Patrizia; de Curtis, Ivan; El-Assawi, Nadia; Mauro, Alessandro; Priano, Lorenzo; Ferri, Nicola; Hirsch, Emilio; Merlo, Giorgio R.
During brain development, the small GTPases Rac1/Rac3 play key roles in neuronal migration, neuritogenesis, synaptic formation and plasticity, via control of actin cytoskeleton dynamic. Their activity is positively and negatively regulated by GEFs and GAPs molecules, respectively. However their in vivo roles are poorly known. The ArhGAP15 gene, coding for a Rac-specific GAP protein, is expressed in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons of the adult hippocampus, and its loss results in the hyperactivation of Rac1/Rac3. In the CA3 and dentate gyrus (DG) regions of the ArhGAP15 mutant hippocampus the CR+, PV+ and SST+ inhibitory neurons are reduced in number, due to reduced efficiency and directionality of their migration, while pyramidal neurons are unaffected. Loss of ArhGAP15 alters neuritogenesis and the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synapses, with a net functional result consisting in increased spike frequency and bursts, accompanied by poor synchronization. Thus, the loss of ArhGAP15 mainly impacts on interneuron-dependent inhibition. Adult ArhGAP15−/− mice showed defective hippocampus-dependent functions such as working and associative memories. These findings indicate that a normal architecture and function of hippocampal inhibitory neurons is essential for higher hippocampal functions, and is exquisitely sensitive to ArhGAP15-dependent modulation of Rac1/Rac3. PMID:27713499
Zamboni, Valentina; Armentano, Maria; Sarò, Gabriella; Ciraolo, Elisa; Ghigo, Alessandra; Germena, Giulia; Umbach, Alessandro; Valnegri, Pamela; Passafaro, Maria; Carabelli, Valentina; Gavello, Daniela; Bianchi, Veronica; D'Adamo, Patrizia; de Curtis, Ivan; El-Assawi, Nadia; Mauro, Alessandro; Priano, Lorenzo; Ferri, Nicola; Hirsch, Emilio; Merlo, Giorgio R
During brain development, the small GTPases Rac1/Rac3 play key roles in neuronal migration, neuritogenesis, synaptic formation and plasticity, via control of actin cytoskeleton dynamic. Their activity is positively and negatively regulated by GEFs and GAPs molecules, respectively. However their in vivo roles are poorly known. The ArhGAP15 gene, coding for a Rac-specific GAP protein, is expressed in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons of the adult hippocampus, and its loss results in the hyperactivation of Rac1/Rac3. In the CA3 and dentate gyrus (DG) regions of the ArhGAP15 mutant hippocampus the CR+, PV+ and SST+ inhibitory neurons are reduced in number, due to reduced efficiency and directionality of their migration, while pyramidal neurons are unaffected. Loss of ArhGAP15 alters neuritogenesis and the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synapses, with a net functional result consisting in increased spike frequency and bursts, accompanied by poor synchronization. Thus, the loss of ArhGAP15 mainly impacts on interneuron-dependent inhibition. Adult ArhGAP15(-/-) mice showed defective hippocampus-dependent functions such as working and associative memories. These findings indicate that a normal architecture and function of hippocampal inhibitory neurons is essential for higher hippocampal functions, and is exquisitely sensitive to ArhGAP15-dependent modulation of Rac1/Rac3.
Huang, Shiwei; Hong, Sungho; De Schutter, Erik
In their seminal works on squid giant axons, Hodgkin, and Huxley approximated the membrane leak current as Ohmic, i.e., linear, since in their preparation, sub-threshold current rectification due to the influence of ionic concentration is negligible. Most studies on mammalian neurons have made the same, largely untested, assumption. Here we show that the membrane time constant and input resistance of mammalian neurons (when other major voltage-sensitive and ligand-gated ionic currents are discounted) varies non-linearly with membrane voltage, following the prediction of a Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz-based passive membrane model. The model predicts that under such conditions, the time constant/input resistance-voltage relationship will linearize if the concentration differences across the cell membrane are reduced. These properties were observed in patch-clamp recordings of cerebellar Purkinje neurons (in the presence of pharmacological blockers of other background ionic currents) and were more prominent in the sub-threshold region of the membrane potential. Model simulations showed that the non-linear leak affects voltage-clamp recordings and reduces temporal summation of excitatory synaptic input. Together, our results demonstrate the importance of trans-membrane ionic concentration in defining the functional properties of the passive membrane in mammalian neurons as well as other excitable cells. PMID:26594148
Daria, Vincent R.; Bachor, Hans-A.
In the last few years a multi-disciplinary approach has been launched to investigate the brain using new techniques, which are capable of probing neuronal function across the entire length scales of the brain. Here, we discuss optical tools and spatial light patterning techniques to investigate brain function from the perspective of individual neurons and neuronal circuits. We discuss both biochemical and genetic tools to stimulate neurons, as well as techniques to record neuronal activity. We discuss optical projection and imaging tricks that can be dynamically customized to a particular neuron morphology and neuronal circuit layout facilitating a systematic study of their input/output transfer functions. These optical techniques will play a major role towards understanding the operation of a brain.
Liu, Zhong-Hua; Shin, Rick; Ikemoto, Satoshi
Increasing evidence suggests that the activation of medial A10 neurons mediates positive affective encoding. However, little is known about the functions of the inhibition of midbrain dopamine neurons. Here we show evidence suggesting that the inhibition of medial A10 neurons mediates a negative affective state, leading to negative affective encoding, whereas blunting the activation of medial A10 neurons disrupts positive affective encoding involving food reward. We used a microinjection procedure, in which the D(2) dopamine receptor agonist quinpirole was administered into the cell body region of the dopamine neurons, a procedure that reduces dopamine cell firing. Microinjections of quinpirole into the posteromedial ventral tegmental area, but not its more lateral counterparts, led to conditioned place aversion. Quinpirole administration to this site also decreased food intake and basal dopamine concentration in the ventromedial striatum, a major projection area of medial A10 neurons. In addition, moderate quinpirole doses that did not lead to conditioned place aversion or disrupt food intake abolished food-conditioned place preference, suggesting that blunting dopamine impulse activity in response to food reward disrupts positive affective encoding in associated external stimuli. Our data support the hypothesis that activation of medial A10 dopamine neurons mediates a positive affective state, leading to positive affective encoding, while their inhibition mediates a negative affective state, leading to negative affective encoding. Together with previous findings, we propose that medial A10 neurons are an important component of the mechanism via which animals learn to avoid negative incentive stimuli.
Liu, Zhong-Hua; Shin, Rick; Ikemoto, Satoshi
Increasing evidence suggests that the activation of medial A10 neurons mediates positive affective encoding. However, little is known about the functions of the inhibition of midbrain dopamine neurons. Here we show evidence suggesting that the inhibition of medial A10 neurons mediates a negative affective state, leading to negative affective encoding, whereas blunting the activation of medial A10 neurons disrupts positive affective encoding involving food reward. We used a microinjection procedure, in which the D2 dopamine receptor agonist quinpirole was administered into the cell body region of the dopamine neurons, a procedure that reduces dopamine cell firing. Microinjections of quinpirole into the posteromedial ventral tegmental area, but not its more lateral counterparts, led to conditioned place aversion. Quinpirole administration to this site also decreased food intake and basal dopamine concentration in the ventromedial striatum, a major projection area of medial A10 neurons. In addition, moderate quinpirole doses that did not lead to conditioned place aversion or disrupt food intake abolished food-conditioned place preference, suggesting that blunting dopamine impulse activity in response to food reward disrupts positive affective encoding in associated external stimuli. Our data support the hypothesis that activation of medial A10 dopamine neurons mediates a positive affective state, leading to positive affective encoding, while their inhibition mediates a negative affective state, leading to negative affective encoding. Together with previous findings, we propose that medial A10 neurons are an important component of the mechanism via which animals learn to avoid negative incentive stimuli. PMID:18256592
Xia, Shi; Jiadong, Zhang
The interaction functions of electrically coupled Hindmarsh-Rose (HR) neurons for different firing patterns are investigated in this paper. By applying the phase reduction technique, the phase response curve (PRC) of the spiking neuron and burst phase response curve (BPRC) of the bursting neuron are derived. Then the interaction function of two coupled neurons can be calculated numerically according to the PRC (or BPRC) and the voltage time course of the neurons. Results show that the BPRC is more and more complicated with the increase of the spike number within a burst, and the curve of the interaction function oscillates more and more frequently with it. However, two certain things are unchanged: ϕ = 0, which corresponds to the in-phase synchronization state, is always the stable equilibrium, while the anti-phase synchronization state with ϕ = 0.5 is an unstable equilibrium. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11272065 and 11472061).
Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia
This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively observes a similar action performed by another agent. It is widely believed that mirror neurons are a genetic adaptation for action understanding; that they were designed by evolution to fulfill a specific socio-cognitive function. In contrast, we argue that mirror neurons are forged by domain-general processes of associative learning in the course of individual development, and, although they may have psychological functions, they do not necessarily have a specific evolutionary purpose or adaptive function. The evidence supporting this view shows that (1) mirror neurons do not consistently encode action "goals"; (2) the contingency- and context-sensitive nature of associative learning explains the full range of mirror neuron properties; (3) human infants receive enough sensorimotor experience to support associative learning of mirror neurons ("wealth of the stimulus"); and (4) mirror neurons can be changed in radical ways by sensorimotor training. The associative account implies that reliable information about the function of mirror neurons can be obtained only by research based on developmental history, system-level theory, and careful experimentation.
Previtera, Michelle L; Firestein, Bonnie L
Brain stiffness changes in response to injury or disease. As a secondary consequence, glutamate is released from neurons and astroglia. Two types of glutamate receptors, N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors, sense mechanotransduction, leading to downstream signaling in neurons. Recently, our group reported that these two receptors affect dendrite morphology in hippocampal neurons grown on compliant substrates. Blocking receptor activity has distinct effects on dendrites, depending on whether neurons are grown on soft or stiff gels. In the current study, we examine whether exposure to glutamate itself alters stiffness-mediated changes to dendrites in hippocampal neurons. We find that glutamate augments changes seen when neurons are grown on soft gels of 300 or 600 Pa, but in contrast, glutamate attenuates changes seen when neurons are grown on stiff gels of 3,000 Pa. These results suggest that there is interplay between mechanosensing and glutamate receptor activation in determining dendrite morphology in neurons.
Chen, Xiaoyin; Cuadros, Margarete Diaz; Chalfie, Martin
Caenorhabditis elegans senses gentle touch along the body via six touch receptor neurons. Although genetic screens and microarray analyses have identified several genes needed for touch sensitivity, these methods miss pleiotropic genes that are essential for the viability, movement, or fertility of the animals. We used neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference to screen genes that cause lethality or paralysis when mutated, and we identified 61 such genes affecting touch sensitivity, including five positive controls. We confirmed 18 genes by using available alleles, and further studied one of them, tag-170, now renamed txdc-9. txdc-9 preferentially affects anterior touch response but is needed for tubulin acetylation and microtubule formation in both the anterior and posterior touch receptor neurons. Our results indicate that neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference screens complement traditional mutageneses by identifying additional nonviable genes needed for specific neuronal functions.
Oztop, Erhan; Kawato, Mitsuo; Arbib, Michael A
Mirror neurons for manipulation fire both when the animal manipulates an object in a specific way and when it sees another animal (or the experimenter) perform an action that is more or less similar. Such neurons were originally found in macaque monkeys, in the ventral premotor cortex, area F5 and later also in the inferior parietal lobule. Recent neuroimaging data indicate that the adult human brain is endowed with a "mirror neuron system," putatively containing mirror neurons and other neurons, for matching the observation and execution of actions. Mirror neurons may serve action recognition in monkeys as well as humans, whereas their putative role in imitation and language may be realized in human but not in monkey. This article shows the important role of computational models in providing sufficient and causal explanations for the observed phenomena involving mirror systems and the learning processes which form them, and underlines the need for additional circuitry to lift up the monkey mirror neuron circuit to sustain the posited cognitive functions attributed to the human mirror neuron system.
Huang, Eric J; Reichardt, Louis F
Neurotrophins regulate development, maintenance, and function of vertebrate nervous systems. Neurotrophins activate two different classes of receptors, the Trk family of receptor tyrosine kinases and p75NTR, a member of the TNF receptor superfamily. Through these, neurotrophins activate many signaling pathways, including those mediated by ras and members of the cdc-42/ras/rho G protein families, and the MAP kinase, PI-3 kinase, and Jun kinase cascades. During development, limiting amounts of neurotrophins function as survival factors to ensure a match between the number of surviving neurons and the requirement for appropriate target innervation. They also regulate cell fate decisions, axon growth, dendrite pruning, the patterning of innervation and the expression of proteins crucial for normal neuronal function, such as neurotransmitters and ion channels. These proteins also regulate many aspects of neural function. In the mature nervous system, they control synaptic function and synaptic plasticity, while continuing to modulate neuronal survival. PMID:11520916
Hofmeijer, Jeannette; Mulder, Alex T B; Farinha, Ana C; van Putten, Michel J A M; le Feber, Joost
Eighty percent of patients with chronic mild cerebral ischemia/hypoxia resulting from chronic heart failure or pulmonary disease have cognitive impairment. Overt structural neuronal damage is lacking and the precise cause of neuronal damage is unclear. As almost half of the cerebral energy consumption is used for synaptic transmission, and synaptic failure is the first abrupt consequence of acute complete anoxia, synaptic dysfunction is a candidate mechanism for the cognitive deterioration in chronic mild ischemia/hypoxia. Because measurement of synaptic functioning in patients is problematic, we use cultured networks of cortical neurons from new born rats, grown over a multi-electrode array, as a model system. These were exposed to partial hypoxia (partial oxygen pressure of 150Torr lowered to 40-50Torr) during 3 (n=14) or 6 (n=8) hours. Synaptic functioning was assessed before, during, and after hypoxia by assessment of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses to electrical stimulation. Action potential heights and shapes and non-synaptic stimulus responses were used as measures of individual neuronal integrity. During hypoxia of 3 and 6h, there was a statistically significant decrease of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses, whereas direct responses and action potentials remained unchanged. These changes were largely reversible. Our results indicate that in cultured neuronal networks, partial hypoxia during 3 or 6h causes isolated disturbances of synaptic connectivity.
Wang, Yuming; Jones-Tabah, Jace; Chakravarty, Probir; Stewart, Aengus; Muotri, Alysson; Laposa, Rebecca R.; Svejstrup, Jesper Q.
Summary Cockayne syndrome (CS) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by growth abnormalities, premature aging, and photosensitivity. Mutation of Cockayne syndrome B (CSB) affects neuronal gene expression and differentiation, so we attempted to bypass its function by expressing downstream target genes. Intriguingly, ectopic expression of Synaptotagmin 9 (SYT9), a key component of the machinery controlling neurotrophin release, bypasses the need for CSB in neuritogenesis. Importantly, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin implicated in neuronal differentiation and synaptic modulation, and pharmacological mimics such as 7,8-dihydroxyflavone and amitriptyline can compensate for CSB deficiency in cell models of neuronal differentiation as well. SYT9 and BDNF are downregulated in CS patient brain tissue, further indicating that sub-optimal neurotrophin signaling underlies neurological defects in CS. In addition to shedding light on cellular mechanisms underlying CS and pointing to future avenues for pharmacological intervention, these data suggest an important role for SYT9 in neuronal differentiation. PMID:26972010
Lundquist, E. A.; Herman, R. K.
Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans gene mec-8 were previously shown to cause defects in mechanosensation and in the structure and dye filling of certain chemosensory neurons. Using noncomplementation screens, we have identified eight new mec-8 alleles and a deficiency that uncovers the locus. Strong mec-8 mutants exhibit an incompletely penetrant cold-sensitive embryonic and larval arrest, which we have correlated with defects in the attachment of body muscle to the hypodermis and cuticle. Mutations in mec-8 strongly enhance the mutant phenotype of unc-52(viable) mutations; double mutants exhibit an unconditional arrest and paralysis at the twofold stage of embryonic elongation, a phenotype characteristic of lethal alleles of unc-52, a gene previously shown to encode a homolog of the core protein of heparan sulfate proteogylcan, found in basement membrane, and to be involved in the anchorage of myofilament lattice to the muscle cell membrane. We have identified and characterized four extragenic recessive suppressors of a mec-8; unc-52(viable) synthetic lethality. The suppressors, which define the genes smu-1 and smu-2, can weakly suppress all mec-8 mutant phenes. They also suppress the muscular dystrophy conferred by an unc-52(viable) mutation. PMID:8001796
Kantor, Gal; Cheishvili, David; Even, Aviel; Birger, Anastasya; Turetsky, Tikva; Gil, Yaniv; Even-Ram, Sharona; Aizenman, Einat; Bashir, Nibal; Maayan, Channa; Razin, Aharon; Reubinoff, Benjamim E.; Weil, Miguel
A splicing mutation in the IKBKAP gene causes Familial Dysautonomia (FD), affecting the IKAP protein expression levels and proper development and function of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Here we found new molecular insights for the IKAP role and the impact of the FD mutation in the human PNS lineage by using a novel and unique human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line homozygous to the FD mutation originated by pre implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) analysis. We found that IKBKAP downregulation during PNS differentiation affects normal migration in FD-hESC derived neural crest cells (NCC) while at later stages the PNS neurons show reduced intracellular colocalization between vesicular proteins and IKAP. Comparative wide transcriptome analysis of FD and WT hESC-derived neurons together with the analysis of human brains from FD and WT 12 weeks old embryos and experimental validation of the results confirmed that synaptic vesicular and neuronal transport genes are directly or indirectly affected by IKBKAP downregulation in FD neurons. Moreover we show that kinetin (a drug that corrects IKBKAP alternative splicing) promotes the recovery of IKAP expression and these IKAP functional associated genes identified in the study. Altogether, these results support the view that IKAP might be a vesicular like protein that might be involved in neuronal transport in hESC derived PNS neurons. This function seems to be mostly affected in FD-hESC derived PNS neurons probably reflecting some PNS neuronal dysfunction observed in FD. PMID:26437462
Lefler, Sharon; Cohen, Malkiel A; Kantor, Gal; Cheishvili, David; Even, Aviel; Birger, Anastasya; Turetsky, Tikva; Gil, Yaniv; Even-Ram, Sharona; Aizenman, Einat; Bashir, Nibal; Maayan, Channa; Razin, Aharon; Reubinoff, Benjamim E; Weil, Miguel
A splicing mutation in the IKBKAP gene causes Familial Dysautonomia (FD), affecting the IKAP protein expression levels and proper development and function of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Here we found new molecular insights for the IKAP role and the impact of the FD mutation in the human PNS lineage by using a novel and unique human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line homozygous to the FD mutation originated by pre implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) analysis. We found that IKBKAP downregulation during PNS differentiation affects normal migration in FD-hESC derived neural crest cells (NCC) while at later stages the PNS neurons show reduced intracellular colocalization between vesicular proteins and IKAP. Comparative wide transcriptome analysis of FD and WT hESC-derived neurons together with the analysis of human brains from FD and WT 12 weeks old embryos and experimental validation of the results confirmed that synaptic vesicular and neuronal transport genes are directly or indirectly affected by IKBKAP downregulation in FD neurons. Moreover we show that kinetin (a drug that corrects IKBKAP alternative splicing) promotes the recovery of IKAP expression and these IKAP functional associated genes identified in the study. Altogether, these results support the view that IKAP might be a vesicular like protein that might be involved in neuronal transport in hESC derived PNS neurons. This function seems to be mostly affected in FD-hESC derived PNS neurons probably reflecting some PNS neuronal dysfunction observed in FD.
Liu, Yiting; Luo, Jiangnan; Nässel, Dick R.
Growth of postmitotic neurons occurs during different stages of development, including metamorphosis, and may also be part of neuronal plasticity and regeneration. Recently we showed that growth of post-mitotic neuroendocrine cells expressing the basic helix loop helix (bHLH) transcription factor Dimmed (Dimm) in Drosophila could be regulated by insulin/IGF signaling and the insulin receptor (dInR). Dimm is also known to confer a secretory phenotype to neuroendocrine cells and can be part of a combinatorial code specifying terminal differentiation in peptidergic neurons. To further understand the mechanisms of Dimm function we ectopically expressed Dimm or Dimm together with dInR in a wide range of Dimm positive and Dimm negative peptidergic neurons, sensory neurons, interneurons, motor neurons, and gut endocrine cells. We provide further evidence that dInR mediated cell growth occurs in a Dimm dependent manner and that one source of insulin-like peptide (DILP) for dInR mediated cell growth in the CNS is DILP6 from glial cells. Expressing both Dimm and dInR in Dimm negative neurons induced growth of cell bodies, whereas dInR alone did not. We also found that Dimm alone can regulate cell growth depending on specific cell type. This may be explained by the finding that the dInR is a direct target of Dimm. Conditional gene targeting experiments showed that Dimm alone could affect cell growth in certain neuron types during metamorphosis or in the adult stage. Another important finding was that ectopic Dimm inhibits apoptosis of several types of neurons normally destined for programmed cell death (PCD). Taken together our results suggest that Dimm plays multiple transcriptional roles at different developmental stages in a cell type-specific manner. In some cell types ectopic Dimm may act together with resident combinatorial code transcription factors and affect terminal differentiation, as well as act in transcriptional networks that participate in long term maintenance
Obien, Marie Engelene J.; Deligkaris, Kosmas; Bullmann, Torsten; Bakkum, Douglas J.; Frey, Urs
Microelectrode arrays and microprobes have been widely utilized to measure neuronal activity, both in vitro and in vivo. The key advantage is the capability to record and stimulate neurons at multiple sites simultaneously. However, unlike the single-cell or single-channel resolution of intracellular recording, microelectrodes detect signals from all possible sources around every sensor. Here, we review the current understanding of microelectrode signals and the techniques for analyzing them. We introduce the ongoing advancements in microelectrode technology, with focus on achieving higher resolution and quality of recordings by means of monolithic integration with on-chip circuitry. We show how recent advanced microelectrode array measurement methods facilitate the understanding of single neurons as well as network function. PMID:25610364
Dimitriadi, Maria; Derdowski, Aaron; Kalloo, Geetika; Maginnis, Melissa S.; O’Hern, Patrick; Bliska, Bryn; Sorkaç, Altar; Nguyen, Ken C. Q.; Cook, Steven J.; Poulogiannis, George; Atwood, Walter J.; Hall, David H.; Hart, Anne C.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by depletion of the ubiquitously expressed survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, with 1 in 40 Caucasians being heterozygous for a disease allele. SMN is critical for the assembly of numerous ribonucleoprotein complexes, yet it is still unclear how reduced SMN levels affect motor neuron function. Here, we examined the impact of SMN depletion in Caenorhabditis elegans and found that decreased function of the SMN ortholog SMN-1 perturbed endocytic pathways at motor neuron synapses and in other tissues. Diminished SMN-1 levels caused defects in C. elegans neuromuscular function, and smn-1 genetic interactions were consistent with an endocytic defect. Changes were observed in synaptic endocytic proteins when SMN-1 levels decreased. At the ultrastructural level, defects were observed in endosomal compartments, including significantly fewer docked synaptic vesicles. Finally, endocytosis-dependent infection by JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) was reduced in human cells with decreased SMN levels. Collectively, these results demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that SMN depletion causes defects in endosomal trafficking that impair synaptic function, even in the absence of motor neuron cell death. PMID:27402754
Belvindrah, Richard; Nosten-Bertrand, Marika; Francis, Fiona
In this review, we focus on CA3 neuronal migration disorders in the rodent. We begin by introducing the main steps of hippocampal development, and we summarize characteristic hippocampal malformations in human. We then describe various mouse mutants showing structural hippocampal defects. Notably, genes identified in human cortical neuronal migration disorders consistently give rise to a CA3 phenotype when mutated in the mouse. We successively describe their molecular, physiological and behavioral phenotypes that together contribute to a better understanding of CA3-dependent functions. We finally discuss potential factors underlying the CA3 vulnerability revealed by these mouse mutants and that may also contribute to other human neurological and psychiatric disorders. PMID:24624057
Lu, Wei; Bushong, Eric A; Shih, Tiffany P; Ellisman, Mark H; Nicoll, Roger A
The cell-autonomous role of synaptic transmission in the regulation of neuronal structural and electrical properties is unclear. We have now employed a genetic approach to eliminate glutamatergic synaptic transmission onto individual CA1 pyramidal neurons in a mosaic fashion in vivo. Surprisingly, while electrical properties are profoundly affected in these neurons, as well as inhibitory synaptic transmission, we found little perturbation of neuronal morphology, demonstrating a functional segregation of excitatory synaptic transmission from neuronal morphological development.
Zhou, Xin X.; Pan, Michael; Lin, Michael Z.
In the nervous system, protein activities are highly regulated in space and time. This regulation allows for fine modulation of neuronal structure and function during development and adaptive responses. For example, neurite extension and synaptogenesis both involve localized and transient activation of cytoskeletal and signaling proteins, allowing changes in microarchitecture to occur rapidly and in a localized manner. To investigate the role of specific protein regulation events in these processes, methods to optically control the activity of specific proteins have been developed. In this review, we focus on how photosensory domains enable optical control over protein activity and have been used in neuroscience applications. These tools have demonstrated versatility in controlling various proteins and thereby cellular functions, and possess enormous potential for future applications in nervous systems. Just as optogenetic control of neuronal firing using opsins has changed how we investigate the function of cellular circuits in vivo, optical control may yet yield another revolution in how we study the circuitry of intracellular signaling in the brain. PMID:26257603
The nervous system generates behaviours through the activity in groups of neurons assembled into networks. Understanding these networks is thus essential to our understanding of nervous system function. Understanding a network requires information on its component cells, their interactions and their functional properties. Few networks come close to providing complete information on these aspects. However, even if complete information were available it would still only provide limited insight into network function. This is because the functional and structural properties of a network are not fixed but are plastic and can change over time. The number of interacting network components, their (variable) functional properties, and various plasticity mechanisms endows networks with considerable flexibility, but these features inevitably complicate network analyses. This review will initially discuss the general approaches and problems of network analyses. It will then examine the success of these analyses in a model spinal cord locomotor network in the lamprey, to determine to what extent in this relatively simple vertebrate system it is possible to claim detailed understanding of network function and plasticity. PMID:16553310
Eshel, Neir; Tian, Ju; Bukwich, Michael; Uchida, Naoshige
Dopamine neurons are thought to signal reward prediction error, or the difference between actual and predicted reward. How dopamine neurons jointly encode this information, however, remains unclear. One possibility is that different neurons specialize in different aspects of prediction error; another is that each neuron calculates prediction error in the same way. We recorded from optogenetically-identified dopamine neurons in the lateral ventral tegmental area (VTA) while mice performed classical conditioning tasks. Our tasks allowed us to determine the full prediction error functions of dopamine neurons and compare them to each other. We found striking homogeneity among individual dopamine neurons: their responses to both unexpected and expected rewards followed the same function, just scaled up or down. As a result, we could describe both individual and population responses using just two parameters. Such uniformity ensures robust information coding, allowing each dopamine neuron to contribute fully to the prediction error signal. PMID:26854803
Pitcher, Jonathan; Abt, Anna; Myers, Jaclyn; Han, Rachel; Snyder, Melissa; Graziano, Alessandro; Festa, Lindsay; Kutzler, Michele; Garcia, Fernando; Gao, Wen-Jun; Fischer-Smith, Tracy; Rappaport, Jay; Meucci, Olimpia
Interaction of the chemokine CXCL12 with its receptor CXCR4 promotes neuronal function and survival during embryonic development and throughout adulthood. Previous studies indicated that μ-opioid agonists specifically elevate neuronal levels of the protein ferritin heavy chain (FHC), which negatively regulates CXCR4 signaling and affects the neuroprotective function of the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis. Here, we determined that CXCL12/CXCR4 activity increased dendritic spine density, and also examined FHC expression and CXCR4 status in opiate abusers and patients with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), which is typically exacerbated by illicit drug use. Drug abusers and HIV patients with HAND had increased levels of FHC, which correlated with reduced CXCR4 activation, within cortical neurons. We confirmed these findings in a nonhuman primate model of SIV infection with morphine administration. Transfection of a CXCR4-expressing human cell line with an iron-deficient FHC mutant confirmed that increased FHC expression deregulated CXCR4 signaling and that this function of FHC was independent of iron binding. Furthermore, examination of morphine-treated rodents and isolated neurons expressing FHC shRNA revealed that FHC contributed to morphine-induced dendritic spine loss. Together, these data implicate FHC-dependent deregulation of CXCL12/CXCR4 as a contributing factor to cognitive dysfunction in neuroAIDS. PMID:24401274
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.
Toronchuk, Judith A.; Ellis, George F. R.
Based on studies in affective neuroscience and evolutionary psychiatry, a tentative new proposal is made here as to the nature and identification of primordial emotional systems. Our model stresses phylogenetic origins of emotional systems, which we believe is necessary for a full understanding of the functions of emotions and additionally suggests that emotional organizing systems play a role in sculpting the brain during ontogeny. Nascent emotional systems thus affect cognitive development. A second proposal concerns two additions to the affective systems identified by Panksepp. We suggest there is substantial evidence for a primary emotional organizing program dealing with power, rank, dominance, and subordination which instantiates competitive and territorial behavior and is an evolutionary contributor to self-esteem in humans. A program underlying disgust reactions which originally functioned in ancient vertebrates to protect against infection and toxins is also suggested. PMID:23316177
Garcia-Ovejero, D.; Trejo, J. L.; Ciriza, I.; Walton, K. D.; Garcia-Segura, L. M.
Effects of microgravity on postural control and volume of extracellular fluids as well as stress associated with space flight may affect the function of hypothalamic neurosecretory neurons. Since environmental modifications in young animals may result in permanent alterations in neuroendocrine function, the present study was designed to determine the effect of a space flight on oxytocinergic and vasopressinergic magnocellular hypothalamic neurons of prepuberal rats. Fifteen-day-old Sprague-Dawley female rats were flown aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-90, Neurolab mission, experiment 150) for 16 days. Age-matched litters remained on the ground in cages similar to those of the flight animals. Six animals from each group were killed on the day of landing and eight animals from each group were maintained under standard vivarium conditions and killed 18 weeks after landing. Several signs of enhanced transcriptional and biosynthetic activity were observed in magnocellular supraoptic neurons of flight animals on the day of landing compared to control animals. These include increased c-Fos expression, larger nucleoli and cytoplasm, and higher volume occupied in the neuronal perikaryon by mitochondriae, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, lysosomes and cytoplasmic inclusions known as nematosomes. In contrast, the volume occupied by neurosecretory vesicles in the supraoptic neuronal perikarya was significantly decreased in flight rats. This decrease was associated with a significant decrease in oxytocin and vasopressin immunoreactive levels, suggestive of an increased hormonal release. Vasopressin levels, cytoplasmic volume and c-Fos expression returned to control levels by 18 weeks after landing. These reversible effects were probably associated to osmotic stimuli resulting from modifications in the volume and distribution of extracellular fluids and plasma during flight and landing. However, oxytocin levels were still reduced at 18 weeks after landing in flight
Sofiane, Boucetta; Sylvain, Crochet; Sylvain, Chauvette; Josée, Seigneur; Igor, Timofeev
Neocortical neurons can be classified in four major electrophysiological types according to their pattern of discharge: Regular-Spiking (RS), Intrinsically-Bursting (IB), Fast-Rhythmic-Bursting (FRB), and Fast-Spiking (FS). Previously, we have shown that these firing patterns are not fixed and can change as a function of membrane potential and states of vigilance. Other studies have reported that extracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]o) fluctuates as a function of the phase of the cortical slow oscillation. In the present study we investigated how spontaneous and induced changes in [Ca2+]o affect the properties of action potentials (APs) and firing patterns in cortical neurons in vivo. Intracellular recordings were performed in cats anesthetized with ketamine-xylazine during spontaneous [Ca2+]o fluctuation and while changing [Ca2+]o with reverse microdialysis. When [Ca2+]o fluctuated spontaneously according to the phase of the slow oscillation, we found an increase of the firing threshold and a decrease of the afterhyperpolarization (AHP) amplitude during the depolarizing (active, up) phase of the slow oscillation and some neurons also changed their firing pattern as compared with the hyperpolarizing (silent, down) phase. Induced changes in [Ca2+]o significantly affected the AP properties in all neurons. The AHP amplitude was increased in high calcium conditions and decreased in low calcium conditions, in particular the earliest components. Modulation of spike AHP resulted in notable modulation of intrinsic firing pattern and some RS neurons revealed burst firing when [Ca2+]o was decreased. We also found an increase in AHP amplitude in high [Ca2+]o with in vitro preparation. We suggest that during spontaneous network oscillations in vivo, the dynamic changes of firing patterns depend partially on fluctuations of the [Ca2+]o. PMID:23262121
Hu, Hui; Ni, Yingchun; Montana, Vedrana; Haddon, Robert C.; Parpura, Vladimir
We report the use of chemically modified carbon nanotubes as a substrate for cultured neurons. The morphological features of neurons that directly reflect their potential capability in synaptic transmission are characterized. The chemical properties of carbon nanotubes are systematically varied by attaching different functional groups that confer known characteristics to the substrate. By manipulating the charge carried by functionalized carbon nanotubes we are able to control the outgrowth and branching pattern of neuronal processes. PMID:21394241
Maestrone, E.; Magnelli, V.; Nobile, M.; Usai, C.
1. The action of pancuronium on transmembrane sodium conductance was investigated in dorsal root ganglion neurones of chick embryos. The Na+ current was measured by use of the patch-clamp technique in whole-cell configuration. 2. Externally perfused pancuronium (50 microM to 1 mM) reversibly inhibited the current by a fast mechanism of action. Inhibition was concentration-dependent (with a half-effective dose of 170 microM) but not voltage-dependent. 3. The activation and inactivation kinetics of the Na+ current were estimated in pancuronium and in control solution by fitting experimental data with a Hodgkin-Huxley theoretical model. 4. The activation time constant tau m, at negative membrane voltages, was larger in the presence of pancuronium than in the control. In contrast, the inactivation time constant tau h was smaller during drug perfusion at membrane voltages < -10 mV. The steady-state inactivation h infinity was not affected by pancuronium. 5. These results suggest that pancuronium may reduce the sodium current by interacting with the sodium channels in both the resting and open states. PMID:8012707
Rice, Heather; Suth, Seiyam; Cavanaugh, William; Bai, Jilin; Young-Pearse, Tracy L.
In vitro study of primary neuronal cultures allows for quantitative analyses of neurite outgrowth. In order to study how genetic alterations affect neuronal process outgrowth, shRNA or cDNA constructs can be introduced into primary neurons via chemical transfection or viral transduction. However, with primary cortical cells, a heterogeneous pool of cell types (glutamatergic neurons from different layers, inhibitory neurons, glial cells) are transfected using these methods. The use of in utero electroporation to introduce DNA constructs in the embryonic rodent cortex allows for certain subsets of cells to be targeted: while electroporation of early embryonic cortex targets deep layers of the cortex, electroporation at late embryonic timepoints targets more superficial layers. Further, differential placement of electrodes across the heads of individual embryos results in the targeting of dorsal-medial versus ventral-lateral regions of the cortex. Following electroporation, transfected cells can be dissected out, dissociated, and plated in vitro for quantitative analysis of neurite outgrowth. Here, we provide a step-by-step method to quantitatively measure neuronal process outgrowth in subsets of cortical cells. The basic protocol for in utero electroporation has been described in detail in two other JoVE articles from the Kriegstein lab 1, 2. We will provide an overview of our protocol for in utero electroporation, focusing on the most important details, followed by a description of our protocol that applies in utero electroporation to the study of gene function in neuronal process outgrowth. PMID:20972409
Bollimuntha, Sunitha; Selvaraj, Senthil
Ca2+ signaling in neurons is intimately associated with the regulation of vital physiological processes including growth, survival and differentiation. In neurons, Ca2+ elicits two major functions. First as a charge carrier, Ca2+ reveals an indispensable role in information relay via membrane depolarization, exocytosis, and the release of neurotransmitters. Second on a global basis, Ca2+ acts as a ubiquitous intracellular messenger to modulate neuronal function. Thus, to mediate Ca2+-dependent physiological events, neurons engage multiple mode of Ca2+ entry through a variety of Ca2+ permeable plasma membrane channels. Here we discuss a subset of specialized Ca2+-permeable non-selective TRPC channels and summarize their physiological and pathological role in the context of excitable cells. TRPC channels are predominately expressed in neuronal cells and are activated through complex mechanisms, including second messengers and store depletion. A growing body of evidence suggests a prime contribution of TRPC channels in regulating fundamental neuronal functions. TRPC channels have been shown to be associated with neuronal development, proliferation and differentiation. In addition, TRPC channels have also been suggested to have a potential role in regulating neurosecretion, long term potentiation, and synaptic plasticity. During the past years, numerous seminal discoveries relating TRPC channels to neurons have constantly emphasized on the significant contribution of this group of ion channels in regulating neuronal function. Here we review the major groundbreaking work that has uniquely placed TRPC channels in a pivotal position for governing neuronal Ca2+ signaling and associated physiological responses. PMID:21290317
The role of afferent activity in maintaining neuronal structure and function was investigated in second order auditory neurons in nucleus magnocellularis (NM) of the chicken. The cochlea provides the major excitatory input to NM neurons via the eighth nerve. Removal of the cochlea causes dramatic changes in NM neurons. To determine if the elimination of neuronal activity is responsible for the changes in NM seen after cochlea removal, tetrodotoxin was used block action potentials in the cochlear ganglion cells. Tetrodotoxin injections into the perilymph reliably blocked neuronal activity in the cochlear nerve and NM. Far field recordings of sound-evoked potentials revealed that responses returned within 6 hours. Changes in amino acid incorporation in NM neurons were measured by giving intracardiac injections of /sup 3/H-leucine and preparing tissue for autoradiographic demonstration of incorporated amino acid. Grain counts over individual neurons revealed that a single injection of tetrodotoxin produced a 40% decrease in grain density in ipsilateral NM neurons. It is concluded that neuronal activity plays an important contribution to the maintenance of the normal properties of NM neurons.
Yun, Sung H.; Lee, Deok S.; Lee, Hyunjung; Baeg, Eun H.; Kim, Yun B.; Jung, Min W.
To obtain evidence linking long-term potentiation (LTP) and memory, we examined whether LTP induction modifies functional relationship among neurons in the rat hippocampus. In contrast to neurons in low-frequency stimulated or AP5-treated slices, LTP induction altered "functional connectivity," as defined by the degree of synchronous firing, among…
A novel mathematical framework for the rapid learning of nonlinear mappings and topological transformations is presented. It is based on allowing the neuron's parameters to adapt as a function of learning. This fully recurrent adaptive neuron model (ANM) has been successfully applied to complex nonlinear function approximation problems such as the highly degenerate inverse kinematics problem in robotics.
Amemori, Ken-ichi; Amemori, Satoko
The judgment of whether to accept or to reject an offer is determined by positive and negative affect related to the offer, but affect also induces motivational responses. Rewarding and aversive cues influence the firing rates of many neurons in primate prefrontal and cingulate neocortical regions, but it still is unclear whether neurons in these regions are related to affective judgment or to motivation. To address this issue, we recorded simultaneously the neuronal spike activities of single units in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of macaque monkeys as they performed approach–avoidance (Ap–Av) and approach–approach (Ap–Ap) decision-making tasks that can behaviorally dissociate affective judgment and motivation. Notably, neurons having activity correlated with motivational condition could be distinguished from neurons having activity related to affective judgment, especially in the Ap–Av task. Although many neurons in both regions exhibited similar, selective patterns of task-related activity, we found a larger proportion of neurons activated in low motivational conditions in the dlPFC than in the ACC, and the onset of this activity was significantly earlier in the dlPFC than in the ACC. Furthermore, the temporal onsets of affective judgment represented by neuronal activities were significantly slower in the low motivational conditions than in the other conditions. These findings suggest that motivation and affective judgment both recruit dlPFC and ACC neurons but with differential degrees of involvement and timing. PMID:25653353
Mattson, Mark P; Duan, Wenzhen; Guo, Zhihong
Although all cells in the body require energy to survive and function properly, excessive calorie intake over long time periods can compromise cell function and promote disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and cancers. Accordingly, dietary restriction (DR; either caloric restriction or intermittent fasting, with maintained vitamin and mineral intake) can extend lifespan and can increase disease resistance. Recent studies have shown that DR can have profound effects on brain function and vulnerability to injury and disease. DR can protect neurons against degeneration in animal models of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases and stroke. Moreover, DR can stimulate the production of new neurons from stem cells (neurogenesis) and can enhance synaptic plasticity, which may increase the ability of the brain to resist aging and restore function following injury. Interestingly, increasing the time interval between meals can have beneficial effects on the brain and overall health of mice that are independent of cumulative calorie intake. The beneficial effects of DR, particularly those of intermittent fasting, appear to be the result of a cellular stress response that stimulates the production of proteins that enhance neuronal plasticity and resistance to oxidative and metabolic insults; they include neurotrophic factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), protein chaperones such as heat-shock proteins, and mitochondrial uncoupling proteins. Some beneficial effects of DR can be achieved by administering hormones that suppress appetite (leptin and ciliary neurotrophic factor) or by supplementing the diet with 2-deoxy-d-glucose, which may act as a calorie restriction mimetic. The profound influences of the quantity and timing of food intake on neuronal function and vulnerability to disease have revealed novel molecular and cellular mechanisms whereby diet affects the nervous system, and are leading to novel preventative and
Respondek, Michalina; Buszman, Ewa
Neurogenesis is a complex and multi-step process of generating completely functional neurons. This process in adult brain is based on pluripotentional neuronal stem cells (NSC), which are able to proliferation and differentiation into mature neurons or glial cells. NSC are located in subgranular zone inside hippocampus and in subventricular zone. The new neurons formation depends on many endo- and exogenous factors which modulate each step of neurogenesis. This article describes the most important regulators of adult neurogenesis, mainly: neurotrophins, growth factors, hormones, neurotransmitters and microenvironment of NSC. Some drugs, especially antipsychotics, antidepressants and normothymics may affect the neurogenic properties of adult brain. Moreover pathological processes such as neuroinflammation, stroke or epilepsy are able to induce proliferation of NSC. The proneurogenic effects of psychotropic drugs and pathological processes are associated with their ability to increase some hormones and neurotrophins level, as well as with rising the expression of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 protein and metalloproteinase MMP-2. Additionaly, some drugs, for example haloperidol, are able to block prolactin and dopaminergic neuroblasts receptors. Down-regulation of adult neurogenesis is associated with alcohol abuse and high stress level. Negative effect of many drugs, such as cytostatics, COX-2 inhibitors and opioides was also observed. The proneurogenic effect of described factors suggest their broad therapeutic potential and gives a new perspective on an effective and modern treatment of many neuropsychiatric disorders. This effect can also help to clarify the pathogenesis of disorders associated with proliferation and degeneration of adult brain cells.
Xiao, Qingpin; Hu, Xiaohui; Wei, Zhiyi; Tam, Kin Yip
Cells make use of molecular motors to transport small molecules, macromolecules and cellular organelles to target region to execute biological functions, which is utmost important for polarized cells, such as neurons. In particular, cytoskeleton motors play fundamental roles in neuron polarization, extension, shape and neurotransmission. Cytoskeleton motors comprise of myosin, kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein. F-actin filaments act as myosin track, while kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein move on microtubules. Cytoskeleton motors work together to build a highly polarized and regulated system in neuronal cells via different molecular mechanisms and functional regulations. This review discusses the structures and working mechanisms of the cytoskeleton motors in neurons.
Xiao, Qingpin; Hu, Xiaohui; Wei, Zhiyi; Tam, Kin Yip
Cells make use of molecular motors to transport small molecules, macromolecules and cellular organelles to target region to execute biological functions, which is utmost important for polarized cells, such as neurons. In particular, cytoskeleton motors play fundamental roles in neuron polarization, extension, shape and neurotransmission. Cytoskeleton motors comprise of myosin, kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein. F-actin filaments act as myosin track, while kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein move on microtubules. Cytoskeleton motors work together to build a highly polarized and regulated system in neuronal cells via different molecular mechanisms and functional regulations. This review discusses the structures and working mechanisms of the cytoskeleton motors in neurons. PMID:27570482
O'Toole, Sean M; Ferrer, Monica M; Mekonnen, Jennifer; Zhang, Haihan; Shima, Yasuyuki; Ladle, David R; Nelson, Sacha B
Neuronal cell identity is established during development and must be maintained throughout an animal's life (Fishell G, Heintz N. Neuron 80: 602-612, 2013). Transcription factors critical for establishing neuronal identity can be required for maintaining it (Deneris ES, Hobert O. Nat Neurosci 17: 899-907, 2014). Posttranscriptional regulation also plays an important role in neuronal differentiation (Bian S, Sun T. Mol Neurobiol 44: 359-373, 2011), but its role in maintaining cell identity is less established. To better understand how posttranscriptional regulation might contribute to cell identity, we examined the proprioceptive neurons in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), a highly specialized sensory neuron class, with well-established properties that distinguish them from other neurons in the ganglion. By conditionally ablating Dicer in mice, using parvalbumin (Pvalb)-driven Cre recombinase, we impaired posttranscriptional regulation in the proprioceptive sensory neuron population. Knockout (KO) animals display a progressive form of ataxia at the beginning of the fourth postnatal week that is accompanied by a cell death within the DRG. Before cell loss, expression profiling shows a reduction of proprioceptor specific genes and an increased expression of nonproprioceptive genes normally enriched in other ganglion neurons. Furthermore, although central connections of these neurons are intact, the peripheral connections to the muscle are functionally impaired. Posttranscriptional regulation is therefore necessary to retain the transcriptional identity and support functional specialization of the proprioceptive sensory neurons.NEW & NOTEWORTHY We have demonstrated that selectively impairing Dicer in parvalbumin-positive neurons, which include the proprioceptors, triggers behavioral changes, a lack of muscle connectivity, and a loss of transcriptional identity as observed through RNA sequencing. These results suggest that Dicer and, most likely by extension, micro
de Vivo, Luisa; Nelson, Aaron B.; Bellesi, Michele; Noguti, Juliana; Tononi, Giulio; Cirelli, Chiara
Study Objective: The adolescent brain may be uniquely affected by acute sleep deprivation (ASD) and chronic sleep restriction (CSR), but direct evidence is lacking. We used electron microscopy to examine how ASD and CSR affect pyramidal neurons in the frontal cortex of adolescent mice, focusing on mitochondria, endosomes, and lysosomes that together perform most basic cellular functions, from nutrient intake to prevention of cellular stress. Methods: Adolescent (1-mo-old) mice slept (S) or were sleep deprived (ASD, with novel objects and running wheels) during the first 6–8 h of the light period, chronically sleep restricted (CSR) for > 4 days (using novel objects, running wheels, social interaction, forced locomotion, caffeinated water), or allowed to recover sleep (RS) for ∼32 h after CSR. Ultrastructural analysis of 350 pyramidal neurons was performed (S = 82; ASD = 86; CSR = 103; RS = 79; 4 to 5 mice/group). Results: Several ultrastructural parameters differed in S versus ASD, S versus CSR, CSR versus RS, and S versus RS, although the different methods used to enforce wake may have contributed to some of the differences between short and long sleep loss. Differences included larger cytoplasmic area occupied by mitochondria in CSR versus S, and higher number of secondary lysosomes in CSR versus S and RS. We also found that sleep loss may unmask interindividual differences not obvious during baseline sleep. Moreover, using a combination of 11 ultrastructural parameters, we could predict in up to 80% of cases whether sleep or wake occurred at the single cell level. Conclusions: Ultrastructural analysis may be a powerful tool to identify which cellular organelles, and thus which cellular functions, are most affected by sleep and sleep loss. Citation: de Vivo L, Nelson AB, Bellesi M, Noguti J, Tononi G, Cirelli C. Loss of sleep affects the ultrastructure of pyramidal neurons in the adolescent mouse frontal cortex. SLEEP 2016;39(4):861–874. PMID:26715225
del Puerto, Ana; Wandosell, Francisco; Garrido, Juan José
Brain development requires the interaction of complex signaling pathways, involving different cell types and molecules. For a long time, most attention has focused on neurons in a neuronocentric conceptualization of central nervous system development, these cells fulfilling an intrinsic program that establishes the brain’s morphology and function. By contrast, glia have mainly been studied as support cells, offering guidance or as the cells that react to brain injury. However, new evidence is appearing that demonstrates a more fundamental role of glial cells in the control of different aspects of neuronal development and function, events in which the influence of neurons is at best weak. Moreover, it is becoming clear that the function and organization of the nervous system depends heavily on reciprocal neuron–glia interactions. During development, neurons are often generated far from their final destination and while intrinsic mechanisms are responsible for neuronal migration and growth, they need support and regulatory influences from glial cells in order to migrate correctly. Similarly, the axons emitted by neurons often have to reach faraway targets and in this sense, glia help define the way that axons grow. Moreover, oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells ultimately envelop axons, contributing to the generation of nodes of Ranvier. Finally, recent publications show that astrocytes contribute to the modulation of synaptic transmission. In this sense, purinergic receptors are expressed widely by glial cells and neurons, and recent evidence points to multiple roles of purines and purinergic receptors in neuronal development and function, from neurogenesis to axon growth and functional axonal maturation, as well as in pathological conditions in the brain. This review will focus on the role of glial and neuronal secreted purines, and on the purinergic receptors, fundamentally in the control of neuronal development and function, as well as in diseases of the
Draganich, Christina; Erdal, Kristi
The placebo effect is any outcome that is not attributed to a specific treatment but rather to an individual's mindset (Benson & Friedman, 1996). This phenomenon can extend beyond its typical use in pharmaceutical drugs to involve aspects of everyday life, such as the effect of sleep on cognitive functioning. In 2 studies examining whether…
Frank, Christopher L.; Tsai, Li-Huei
Recent studies have demonstrated that boundaries separating a cycling cell from a post-mitotic neuron are not as concrete as expected. Novel and unique physiological functions in neurons have been ascribed for proteins fundamentally required for cell cycle progression and control. These “core” cell cycle regulators serve diverse post-mitotic functions that span various developmental stages of a neuron, including neuronal migration, axonal elongation, axon pruning, dendrite morphogenesis, and synaptic maturation and plasticity. In this review, we detail the non-proliferative post-mitotic roles that these cell cycle proteins have recently been reported to play, the significance of their expression in neurons, mechanistic insight when available, and future prospects. PMID:19447088
Brechbühl, Julien; Moine, Fabian; Broillet, Marie-Christine
The mouse Grueneberg ganglion (GG) is an olfactory subsystem located at the tip of the nose close to the entry of the naris. It comprises neurons that are both sensitive to cold temperature and play an important role in the detection of alarm pheromones (APs). This chemical modality may be essential for species survival. Interestingly, GG neurons display an atypical mammalian olfactory morphology with neurons bearing deeply invaginated cilia mostly covered by ensheathing glial cells. We had previously noticed their morphological resemblance with the chemosensory amphid neurons found in the anterior region of the head of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). We demonstrate here further molecular and functional similarities. Thus, we found an orthologous expression of molecular signaling elements that was furthermore restricted to similar specific subcellular localizations. Calcium imaging also revealed a ligand selectivity for the methylated thiazole odorants that amphid neurons are known to detect. Cellular responses from GG neurons evoked by chemical or temperature stimuli were also partially cGMP-dependent. In addition, we found that, although behaviors depending on temperature sensing in the mouse, such as huddling and thermotaxis did not implicate the GG, the thermosensitivity modulated the chemosensitivity at the level of single GG neurons. Thus, the striking similarities with the chemosensory amphid neurons of C. elegans conferred to the mouse GG neurons unique multimodal sensory properties. PMID:24367309
VON BARTHELD, CHRISTOPHER S.; ALTICK, AMY L.
Summary Multivesicular bodies (MVBs) are intracellular endosomal organelles characterized by multiple internal vesicles that are enclosed within a single outer membrane. MVBs were initially regarded as purely prelysosomal structures along the degradative endosomal pathway of internalized proteins. MVBs are now known to be involved in numerous endocytic and trafficking functions, including protein sorting, recycling, transport, storage, and release. This review of neuronal MVBs summarizes their research history, morphology, distribution, accumulation of cargo and constitutive proteins, transport, and theories of functions of MVBs in neurons and glia. Due to their complex morphologies, neurons have expanded trafficking and signaling needs, beyond those of “geometrically simpler” cells, but it is not known whether neuronal MVBs perform additional transport and signaling functions. This review examines the concept of compartment-specific MVB functions in endosomal protein trafficking and signaling within synapses, axons, dendrites and cell bodies. We critically evaluate reports of the accumulation of neuronal MVBs based on evidence of stress-induced MVB formation. Furthermore, we discuss potential functions of neuronal and glial MVBs in development, in dystrophic neuritic syndromes, injury, disease, and aging. MVBs may play a role in Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Niemann-Pick diseases, some types of frontotemporal dementia, prion and virus trafficking, as well as in adaptive responses of neurons to trauma and toxin or drug exposure. Functions of MVBs in neurons have been much neglected, and major gaps in knowledge currently exist. Developing truly MVB-specific markers would help to elucidate the roles of neuronal MVBs in intra- and intercellular signaling of normal and diseased neurons. PMID:21216273
Kvetny, J; Wilms, L; Pedersen, P L; Larsen, J
The aim of the present study was to examine mitochondrial function in cells from persons with subclinical hypothyroidism and euthyroid controls. The participating persons were examined clinically and had basal oxygen consumption (VO(2)) determined. The concentrations of thyroid hormones and thyrotropine stimulating hormone were determined, and mitochondrial function in isolated mononuclear blood cells was examined by enzymatic methods [citrate synthase activity (CS)] and by flow cytometry (mitochondrial membrane potential by TMRM fluorescence and mitochondrial mass by MTG fluorescence). The ratio of T(4)/T(3) was lowered in subclinical hypothyroidism patients compared to controls (2.5+/-0.5 vs. 2.9+/-0.4, p=0.005). VO(2) was increased in persons with subclinical hypothyroidism compared to controls (adolescents: 134+/-27 ml O(2)/min*m(2) vs. 119+/-27 ml O(2)/min*m(2), p=0.006, adults: 139+/-14 ml O(2)/min*m(2) vs. 121+/-17 ml O(2)/min*m(2), p=0.001). The mitochondrial function, represented by citrate synthase activity, MTG, and TMRM fluorescence were all increased (CS in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 0.074+/-0.044 nmol/mg*min vs. 0.056+/-0.021 nmol/mg*min, p=0.005; MTG fluorescence in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 7,482+/-1,733 a.u. vs. 6,391+/-2,171 a.u., p=0.027; TMRM fluorescence in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 13,449+/-3,807 a.u. vs. 11,733+/-4,473 a.u, p=0.04). Our results indicate an increased mitochondrial stimulation, eventually caused by increased deiodination of T(4) to intracellular bioactive iodothyronines in adults and adolescents with subclinical hypothyroidism.
Url, A; Schmidt, P
In cats (most of which died from panleukopenia), cerebral neurons have recently been shown to be susceptible to canine parvovirus infection. In addition to positive immunostaining and distinct in situ hybridization signals, signs of neurodegeneration were identified by histopathology, mainly in the diencephalic area. Similar histological lesions of the diencephalic regions in dogs have also attracted attention; therefore, an immunohistochemical study was initiated to determine the possible infection of canine neurons with canine parvoviruses. The study was carried out on formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded brain tissue, with and without signs of neurodegeneration, from 40 dogs, most of them dying from parvovirus enteritis. Immunohistochemistry, using polyclonal antiserum against canine parvoviruses, was negative in all 40 cases, suggesting that, unlike cats, canine parvoviruses do not seem capable of infecting canine neurons.
Tarczyluk, Marta A; Nagel, David A; O'Neil, John D; Parri, H Rheinallt; Tse, Erin H Y; Coleman, Michael D; Hill, Eric J
The NT2.D1 cell line is one of the most well-documented embryocarcinoma cell lines, and can be differentiated into neurons and astrocytes. Great focus has also been placed on defining the electrophysiological properties of the neuronal cells, and more recently we have investigated the functional properties of their associated astrocytes. We now show for the first time that human stem cell-derived astrocytes produce glycogen and that co-cultures of these cells demonstrate a functional astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle (ANLS). The ANLS hypothesis proposes that during neuronal activity, glutamate released into the synaptic cleft is taken up by astrocytes and triggers glucose uptake, which is converted into lactate and released via monocarboxylate transporters for neuronal use. Using mixed cultures of NT2-derived neurons and astrocytes, we have shown that these cells modulate their glucose uptake in response to glutamate. Additionally, we demonstrate that in response to increased neuronal activity and under hypoglycaemic conditions, co-cultures modulate glycogen turnover and increase lactate production. Similar results were also shown after treatment with glutamate, potassium, isoproterenol, and dbcAMP. Together, these results demonstrate for the first time a functional ANLS in a human stem cell-derived co-culture.
Kondo, Shinichi; Al-Hasani, Hannah; Hoerder-Suabedissen, Anna; Wang, Wei Zhi; Molnár, Zoltán
Subplate cells are among the first generated neurons in the mammalian cerebral cortex and have been implicated in the establishment of cortical wiring. In rodents some subplate neurons persist into adulthood. Here we would like to highlight several converging findings which suggest a novel secretory function of subplate neurons during cortical development. Throughout the postnatal period in rodents, subplate neurons have highly developed rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and are under an ER stress condition. By comparing gene expression between subplate and layer 6, we found that several genes encoding secreted proteins are highly expressed in subplate neurons. One of these secreted proteins, neuroserpin, encoded by the serpini1 gene, is localized to the ER in subplate cells. We propose that subplate might influence cortical circuit formation through a transient secretory function. PMID:25859180
Wan, Qi; Douglas, Steven D; Wang, Xu; Kolson, Dennis L; O'Donnell, Lauren A; Ho, Wen-Zhe
Neuronkinin-1 receptor (NK-1R), the neuropeptide substance P (SP) preferring receptor, is highly expressed in areas of the central nervous system (CNS) that are especially implicated in depression, anxiety, and stress. Repeated exposure to opioids may sensitize neuronal systems involved in stress response. We examined the effects of morphine, the principal metabolite of heroin, on the functional expression of NK-1R in the cortical neurons. NK-1R and mu-opioid receptor (MOR) are co-expressed in the cortical neurons. Morphine enhanced NK-1R expression in the cortical neurons at both the mRNA and protein levels. The upregulated NK-1R by morphine had functional activity, because morphine-treated cortical neurons had greater SP-induced Ca(2+) mobilization than untreated neurons. Blocking opioid receptors on the cortical neurons by naltrexone or CTAP (a mu-opioid receptor antagonist) abolished the morphine action. Investigation of the mechanism(s) responsible for the morphine action showed that morphine activated NK-1R promoter and induced the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK protein in the cortical neurons. These in vitro data provide a plausible cellular mechanism for opioid-mediated neurological disorders.
Bernard-Marissal, Nathalie; Médard, Jean-Jacques; Azzedine, Hamid; Chrast, Roman
Mutations in Sigma 1 receptor (SIGMAR1) have been previously identified in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and disruption of Sigmar1 in mouse leads to locomotor deficits. However, cellular mechanisms underlying motor phenotypes in human and mouse with disturbed SIGMAR1 function have not been described so far. Here we used a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches to investigate the role of SIGMAR1 in motor neuron biology. Characterization of Sigmar1(-/-) mice revealed that affected animals display locomotor deficits associated with muscle weakness, axonal degeneration and motor neuron loss. Using primary motor neuron cultures, we observed that pharmacological or genetic inactivation of SIGMAR1 led to motor neuron axonal degeneration followed by cell death. Disruption of SIGMAR1 function in motor neurons disturbed endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria contacts, affected intracellular calcium signalling and was accompanied by activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress and defects in mitochondrial dynamics and transport. These defects were not observed in cultured sensory neurons, highlighting the exacerbated sensitivity of motor neurons to SIGMAR1 function. Interestingly, the inhibition of mitochondrial fission was sufficient to induce mitochondria axonal transport defects as well as axonal degeneration similar to the changes observed after SIGMAR1 inactivation or loss. Intracellular calcium scavenging and endoplasmic reticulum stress inhibition were able to restore mitochondrial function and consequently prevent motor neuron degeneration. These results uncover the cellular mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration mediated by loss of SIGMAR1 function and provide therapeutically relevant insight into motor neuronal diseases.
Morelli, Sabrina; Piscioneri, Antonella; Salerno, Simona; Tasselli, Franco; Di Vito, Anna; Giusi, Giuseppina; Canonaco, Marcello; Drioli, Enrico; De Bartolo, Loredana
This study focuses on the development of an advanced in vitro biohybrid culture model system based on the use of hollow fibre membranes (HFMs) and hippocampal neurons in order to promote the formation of a high density neuronal network. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and modified polyetheretherketone (PEEK-WC) membranes were prepared in hollow fibre configuration. The morphological and metabolic behaviour of hippocampal neurons cultured on PAN HF membranes were compared with those cultured on PEEK-WC HF. The differences of cell behaviour between HFMs were evidenced by the morphometric analysis in terms of axon length and also by the investigation of metabolic activity in terms of neurotrophin secretion. These findings suggested that PAN HFMs induced the in vitro reconstruction of very highly functional and complex neuronal networks. Thus, these biomaterials could potentially be used for the in vitro realization of a functional hippocampal tissue analogue for the study of neurobiological functions and/or neurodegenerative diseases.
Nakahara, T; Kawada, T; Sugimachi, M; Miyano, H; Sato, T; Shishido, T; Yoshimura, R; Miyashita, H; Inagaki, M; Alexander, J; Sunagawa, K
Recently, studies in our laboratory involving the use of a Gaussian white noise technique demonstrated that the transfer function from sympathetic stimulation frequency to heart rate (HR) response showed dynamic characteristics of a second-order low-pass filter. However, determinants for the characteristics remain to be established. We examined the effect of an increase in mean sympathetic stimulation frequency and that of a blockade of the neuronal uptake mechanism on the transfer function in anesthetized rabbits. We found that increasing mean sympathetic stimulation frequency from 1 to 4 Hz significantly (P < 0.01) decreased the dynamic gain of the transfer function without affecting other parameters, such as the natural frequency, lag time, or damping coefficient. In contrast, the administration of desipramine (0.3 mg/kg iv), a neuronal uptake blocking agent, significantly (P < 0.01) decreased both the dynamic gain and the natural frequency and prolonged the lag time. These results suggest that the removal rate of norepinephrine at the neuroeffector junction, rather than the amount of available norepinephrine, plays an important role in determining the low-pass filter characteristics of the HR response to sympathetic stimulation.
Wircer, Einav; Blechman, Janna; Borodovsky, Nataliya; Tsoory, Michael; Nunes, Ana Rita; Oliveira, Rui F; Levkowitz, Gil
Proper response to stress and social stimuli depends on orchestrated development of hypothalamic neuronal circuits. Here we address the effects of the developmental transcription factor orthopedia (Otp) on hypothalamic development and function. We show that developmental mutations in the zebrafish paralogous gene otpa but not otpb affect both stress response and social preference. These behavioral phenotypes were associated with developmental alterations in oxytocinergic (OXT) neurons. Thus, otpa and otpb differentially regulate neuropeptide switching in a newly identified subset of OXT neurons that co-express the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). Single-cell analysis revealed that these neurons project mostly to the hindbrain and spinal cord. Ablation of this neuronal subset specifically reduced adult social preference without affecting stress behavior, thereby uncoupling the contribution of a specific OXT cluster to social behavior from the general otpa−/− deficits. Our findings reveal a new role for Otp in controlling developmental neuropeptide balance in a discrete OXT circuit whose disrupted development affects social behavior. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22170.001 PMID:28094761
Mendes-de-Aguiar, Cláudia Beatriz Nedel; Alchini, Ricardo; Zucco, Juliana Klein; Costa-Silva, Bruno; Decker, Helena; Alvarez-Silva, Marcio; Tasca, Carla Inês; Trentin, Andréa Gonçalves
Astrocytes clearly play a role in neuronal development. An indirect mechanism of thyroid hormone (T3) in the regulation of neuronal development mediated by astrocytes has been proposed. T3 alters the production and organization of the extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and proteoglycans, producing a high-quality substrate for neuronal differentiation. The present study investigated the effect of hypothyroidism on the astrocyte production of fibronectin (FN) and laminin (LN) as well as their involvement in neuronal growth and neuritogenesis. Our results demonstrated that the amount of both FN and LN were significantly reduced in cultures of hypothyroid astrocytes from rat cerebellum compared with normal cells. This effect was accompanied by reduced numbers of neurons and neuritogenesis. Similarly, the proportions of neurons and neurons with neurites were reduced in cultures on ECM prepared from hypothyroid astrocytes in comparison with normal cells. The proportion of both normal and hypothyroid neurons is strongly reduced in astrocyte ECM compared with cocultures on astrocyte monolayers, suggesting that extracellular factors other than ECM proteins are involved in this process. Moreover, treatment of hypothyroid astrocytic cultures with T3 restored the area of both FN and LN immunostaining to normal levels and partially reestablished neuronal survival and neuritogenesis. Taken together, our results demonstrated that hypothyroidism involves impairment of the astrocytic microenvironment and affects the production of ECM proteins. Thus, hypothyroidism is implicated in impaired neuronal development.
Schor, Ignacio E.; Rascovan, Nicolás; Pelisch, Federico; Alló, Mariano; Kornblihtt, Alberto R.
In search for physiological pathways affecting alternative splicing through its kinetic coupling with transcription, we found that membrane depolarization of neuronal cells triggers the skipping of exon 18 from the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) mRNA, independently of the calcium/calmodulin protein kinase IV pathway. We show that this exon responds to RNA polymerase II elongation, because its inclusion is increased by a slow polymerase II mutant. Depolarization affects the chromatin template in a specific way, by causing H3K9 hyper-acetylation restricted to an internal region of the NCAM gene surrounding the alternative exon. This intragenic histone hyper-acetylation is not paralleled by acetylation at the promoter, is associated with chromatin relaxation, and is linked to H3K36 tri-methylation. The effects on acetylation and splicing fully revert when the depolarizing conditions are withdrawn and can be both duplicated and potentiated by the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A. Our results are consistent with a mechanism involving the kinetic coupling of splicing and transcription in response to depolarization through intragenic epigenetic changes on a gene that is relevant for the differentiation and function of neuronal cells. PMID:19251664
Vadodaria, K C; Mertens, J; Paquola, A; Bardy, C; Li, X; Jappelli, R; Fung, L; Marchetto, M C; Hamm, M; Gorris, M; Koch, P; Gage, F H
The brain's serotonergic system centrally regulates several physiological processes and its dysfunction has been implicated in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders. While in the past our understanding of serotonergic neurotransmission has come mainly from mouse models, the development of pluripotent stem cell and induced fibroblast-to-neuron (iN) transdifferentiation technologies has revolutionized our ability to generate human neurons in vitro. Utilizing these techniques and a novel lentiviral reporter for serotonergic neurons, we identified and overexpressed key transcription factors to successfully generate human serotonergic neurons. We found that overexpressing the transcription factors NKX2.2, FEV, GATA2 and LMX1B in combination with ASCL1 and NGN2 directly and efficiently generated serotonergic neurons from human fibroblasts. Induced serotonergic neurons (iSNs) showed increased expression of specific serotonergic genes that are known to be expressed in raphe nuclei. iSNs displayed spontaneous action potentials, released serotonin in vitro and functionally responded to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Here, we demonstrate the efficient generation of functional human serotonergic neurons from human fibroblasts as a novel tool for studying human serotonergic neurotransmission in health and disease.
Ratushnyak, Alexander S; Zapara, Tatiana A
In the present work, it was experimentally shown that a neuron in vitro was capable of responding in a manner similar to habituation, Pavlov's reflex and avoidance of the reinforcements. The locality of plastic property modifications and molecular morphology, as well as the connection between functional activity and cytoskeleton have been revealed. A hypothesis is formulated that the neuron is a molecular system which may exercise the control, forecast, recognition, and classification. The basic principles of the molecular mechanisms of the responses underlying integrative activity, learning and memory at the neuronal level are discussed.
Lee, Soo Yeun; Soltesz, Ivan
Cholecystokinin (CCK), a peptide originally discovered in the gastrointestinal tract, is one of the most the abundant and widely distributed neuropeptides in the brain. In spite of its abundance, recent data indicate that that CCK modulates intrinsic neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission in a surprisingly cell-type specific manner, acting as a key molecular switch to regulate the functional output of neuronal circuits. The central importance of CCK in neuronal networks is also reflected in its involvement in a variety of neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders including panic attacks and epilepsy. PMID:21154912
Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel
Trophic coherence, a measure of the extent to which the nodes of a directed network are organised in levels, has recently been shown to be closely related to many structural and dynamical aspects of complex systems, including graph eigenspectra, the prevalence or absence of feedback cycles, and linear stability. Furthermore, non-trivial trophic structures have been observed in networks of neurons, species, genes, metabolites, cellular signalling, concatenated words, P2P users, and world trade. Here, we consider two simple yet apparently quite different dynamical models—one a susceptible-infected-susceptible epidemic model adapted to include complex contagion and the other an Amari-Hopfield neural network—and show that in both cases the related spreading processes are modulated in similar ways by the trophic coherence of the underlying networks. To do this, we propose a network assembly model which can generate structures with tunable trophic coherence, limiting in either perfectly stratified networks or random graphs. We find that trophic coherence can exert a qualitative change in spreading behaviour, determining whether a pulse of activity will percolate through the entire network or remain confined to a subset of nodes, and whether such activity will quickly die out or endure indefinitely. These results could be important for our understanding of phenomena such as epidemics, rumours, shocks to ecosystems, neuronal avalanches, and many other spreading processes.
Cheng, Michelle Y.; Wang, Eric H.; Woodson, Wyatt J.; Wang, Stephanie; Sun, Guohua; Lee, Alex G.; Arac, Ahmet; Fenno, Lief E.; Deisseroth, Karl; Steinberg, Gary K.
Clinical and research efforts have focused on promoting functional recovery after stroke. Brain stimulation strategies are particularly promising because they allow direct manipulation of the target area’s excitability. However, elucidating the cell type and mechanisms mediating recovery has been difficult because existing stimulation techniques nonspecifically target all cell types near the stimulated site. To circumvent these barriers, we used optogenetics to selectively activate neurons that express channelrhodopsin 2 and demonstrated that selective neuronal stimulations in the ipsilesional primary motor cortex (iM1) can promote functional recovery. Stroke mice that received repeated neuronal stimulations exhibited significant improvement in cerebral blood flow and the neurovascular coupling response, as well as increased expression of activity-dependent neurotrophins in the contralesional cortex, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor, and neurotrophin 3. Western analysis also indicated that stimulated mice exhibited a significant increase in the expression of a plasticity marker growth-associated protein 43. Moreover, iM1 neuronal stimulations promoted functional recovery, as stimulated stroke mice showed faster weight gain and performed significantly better in sensory-motor behavior tests. Interestingly, stimulations in normal nonstroke mice did not alter motor behavior or neurotrophin expression, suggesting that the prorecovery effect of selective neuronal stimulations is dependent on the poststroke environment. These results demonstrate that stimulation of neurons in the stroke hemisphere is sufficient to promote recovery. PMID:25136109
Cheng, Michelle Y; Wang, Eric H; Woodson, Wyatt J; Wang, Stephanie; Sun, Guohua; Lee, Alex G; Arac, Ahmet; Fenno, Lief E; Deisseroth, Karl; Steinberg, Gary K
Clinical and research efforts have focused on promoting functional recovery after stroke. Brain stimulation strategies are particularly promising because they allow direct manipulation of the target area's excitability. However, elucidating the cell type and mechanisms mediating recovery has been difficult because existing stimulation techniques nonspecifically target all cell types near the stimulated site. To circumvent these barriers, we used optogenetics to selectively activate neurons that express channelrhodopsin 2 and demonstrated that selective neuronal stimulations in the ipsilesional primary motor cortex (iM1) can promote functional recovery. Stroke mice that received repeated neuronal stimulations exhibited significant improvement in cerebral blood flow and the neurovascular coupling response, as well as increased expression of activity-dependent neurotrophins in the contralesional cortex, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor, and neurotrophin 3. Western analysis also indicated that stimulated mice exhibited a significant increase in the expression of a plasticity marker growth-associated protein 43. Moreover, iM1 neuronal stimulations promoted functional recovery, as stimulated stroke mice showed faster weight gain and performed significantly better in sensory-motor behavior tests. Interestingly, stimulations in normal nonstroke mice did not alter motor behavior or neurotrophin expression, suggesting that the prorecovery effect of selective neuronal stimulations is dependent on the poststroke environment. These results demonstrate that stimulation of neurons in the stroke hemisphere is sufficient to promote recovery.
Cerda, Oscar; Trimmer, James S.
Phosphorylation is the most common and abundant posttranslational modification to eukaryotic proteins, regulating a plethora of dynamic cellular processes. Here, we review and discuss recent advances in our knowledge of the breadth and importance of reversible phosphorylation in regulating the expression, localization and function of mammalian neuronal voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels, key regulators of neuronal function. We highlight the role of modern mass spectrometric techniques and phosphospecific antibodies that reveal the extent and nature of phosphorylation at specific sites in Kv channels. We also emphasize the role of reversible phosphorylation in dynamically regulating diverse aspects of Kv channel biology. Finally, we discuss as important future directions the determination of the mechanistic basis for how altering phosphorylation state affects Kv channel expression, localization and function, the nature of macromolecular signaling complexes containing Kv channels and enzymes regulating their phosphorylation state, and the specific role of Kv channel phosphorylation in regulating neuronal function during physiological and pathophysiological events. PMID:20600597
Nehrenberg, Derrick L; Sheikh, Atif; Ghashghaei, H Troy
Aggression is a complex behavior that is essential for survival. Of the various forms of aggression, impulsive violent displays without prior planning or deliberation are referred to as affective aggression. Affective aggression is thought to be caused by aberrant perceptions of, and consequent responses to, threat. Understanding the neuronal networks that regulate affective aggression is pivotal to development of novel approaches to treat chronic affective aggression. Here, we provide a detailed anatomical map of neuronal activity in the forebrain of two inbred lines of mice that were selected for low (NC100) and high (NC900) affective aggression. Attack behavior was induced in male NC900 mice by exposure to an unfamiliar male in a novel environment. Forebrain maps of c-Fos+ nuclei, which are surrogates for neuronal activity during behavior, were then generated and analyzed. NC100 males rarely exhibited affective aggression in response to the same stimulus, thus their forebrain c-Fos maps were utilized to identify unique patterns of neuronal activity in NC900s. Quantitative results indicated robust differences in the distribution patterns and densities of c-Fos+ nuclei in distinct thalamic, subthalamic, and amygdaloid nuclei, together with unique patterns of neuronal activity in the nucleus accumbens and the frontal cortices. Our findings implicate these areas as foci regulating differential behavioral responses to an unfamiliar male in NC900 mice when expressing affective aggression. Based on the highly conserved patterns of connections and organization of neuronal limbic structures from mice to humans, we speculate that neuronal activities in analogous networks may be disrupted in humans prone to maladaptive affective aggression.
Starich, T.A.; Herman, R.K.; Kari, C.K.
We have identified and characterized 95 mutations that reduce or abolish dye filling of amphid and phasmid neurons and that have little effect on viability, fertility or movement. Twenty-seven mutations occurred spontaneously in strains with a high frequency of transposon insertion. Sixty-eight were isolated after treatment with EMS. All of the mutations result in defects in one or more chemosensory responses, such as chemotaxis to ammonium chloride or formation of dauer larvae under conditions of starvation and overcrowding. Seventy-five of the mutations are alleles of 12 previously defined genes, mutations which were previously shown to lead to defects in amphid ultrastructure. We have assigned 20 mutations to 13 new genes, called dyf-1 through dyf-13. We expect that the genes represented by dye-filling defective mutants are important for the differentiation of amphid and phasmid chemosensilla. 58 refs., 3 figs., 6 tabs.
Starich, T. A.; Herman, R. K.; Kari, C. K.; Yeh, W. H.; Schackwitz, W. S.; Schuyler, M. W.; Collet, J.; Thomas, J. H.; Riddle, D. L.
We have identified and characterized 95 mutations that reduce or abolish dye filling of amphid and phasmid neurons and that have little effect on viability, fertility or movement. Twenty-seven mutations occurred spontaneously in strains with a high frequency of transposon insertion. Sixty-eight were isolated after treatment with EMS. All of the mutations result in defects in one or more chemosensory responses, such as chemotaxis to ammonium chloride or formation of dauer larvae under conditions of starvation and overcrowding. Seventy-five of the mutations are alleles of 12 previously defined genes, mutations which were previously shown to lead to defects in amphid ultrastructure. We have assigned 20 mutations to 13 new genes, called dyf-1 through dyf-13. We expect that the genes represented by dye-filling defective mutants are important for the differentiation of amphid and phasmid chemosensilla. PMID:7705621
Niespodziany, Isabelle; André, Véronique Marie; Leclère, Nathalie; Hanon, Etienne; Ghisdal, Philippe; Wolff, Christian
Aims Brivaracetam (BRV) is an antiepileptic drug in Phase III clinical development. BRV binds to synaptic vesicle 2A (SV2A) protein and is also suggested to inhibit voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). To evaluate whether the effect of BRV on VGSCs represents a relevant mechanism participating in its antiepileptic properties, we explored the pharmacology of BRV on VGSCs in different cell systems and tested its efficacy at reducing the sustained repetitive firing (SRF). Methods Brivaracetam investigations on the voltage-gated sodium current (INa) were performed in N1E-155 neuroblastoma cells, cultured rat cortical neurons, and adult mouse CA1 neurons. SRF was measured in cultured cortical neurons and in CA1 neurons. All BRV (100–300 μM) experiments were performed in comparison with 100 μM carbamazepine (CBZ). Results Brivaracetam and CBZ reduced INa in N1E-115 cells (30% and 40%, respectively) and primary cortical neurons (21% and 47%, respectively) by modulating the fast-inactivated state of VGSCs. BRV, in contrast to CBZ, did not affect INa in CA1 neurons and SRF in cortical and CA1 neurons. CBZ consistently inhibited neuronal SRF by 75–93%. Conclusions The lack of effect of BRV on SRF in neurons suggests that the reported inhibition of BRV on VGSC currents does not contribute to its antiepileptic properties. PMID:25444522
Friedrich, Rainer W.; Genoud, Christel; Wanner, Adrian A.
The clever choice of animal models has been instrumental for many breakthrough discoveries in life sciences. One of the outstanding challenges in neuroscience is the in-depth analysis of neuronal circuits to understand how interactions between large numbers of neurons give rise to the computational power of the brain. A promising model organism to address this challenge is the zebrafish, not only because it is cheap, transparent and accessible to sophisticated genetic manipulations but also because it offers unique advantages for quantitative analyses of circuit structure and function. One of the most important advantages of zebrafish is its small brain size, both at larval and adult stages. Small brains enable exhaustive measurements of neuronal activity patterns by optical imaging and facilitate large-scale reconstructions of wiring diagrams by electron microscopic approaches. Such information is important, and probably essential, to obtain mechanistic insights into neuronal computations underlying higher brain functions and dysfunctions. This review provides a brief overview over current methods and motivations for dense reconstructions of neuronal activity and connectivity patterns. It then discusses selective advantages of zebrafish and provides examples how these advantages are exploited to study neuronal computations in the olfactory bulb. PMID:23630467
Iworima, Diepiriye G; Pasqualotto, Bryce A; Rintoul, Gordon L
Due to the unique architecture of neurons, trafficking of mitochondria throughout processes to regions of high energetic demand is critical to sustain neuronal health. It has been suggested that compromised mitochondrial trafficking may play a role in neurodegenerative diseases. We evaluated the consequences of disrupted kif5c-mediated mitochondrial trafficking on mitochondrial form and function in primary rat cortical neurons. Morphological changes in mitochondria appeared to be due to remodelling, a phenomenon distinct from mitochondrial fission, which resulted in punctate-shaped mitochondria. We also demonstrated that neurons displaying punctate mitochondria exhibited relatively decreased ROS and increased cellular ATP levels using ROS-sensitive GFP and ATP FRET probes, respectively. Somewhat unexpectedly, neurons overexpressing the dominant negative form of kif5c exhibited enhanced survival following excitotoxicity, suggesting that the impairment of mitochondrial trafficking conferred some form of neuroprotection. However, when neurons were exposed to H2O2, disruption of kif5c exacerbated cell death indicating that the effect on cell viability was dependent on the mode of toxicity. Our results suggest a novel role of kif5c. In addition to mediating mitochondrial transport, kif5c plays a role in the mechanism of regulating mitochondrial morphology. Our results also suggest that kif5c mediated mitochondrial dynamics may play an important role in regulating mitochondrial function and in turn cellular health. Moreover, our studies demonstrate an interesting interplay between the regulation of mitochondrial motility and morphology.
Burgstaller, Maria; Tichy, Harald
The ON and OFF olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) on the antenna of the American cockroach respond to the same changes in the concentration of the odor of lemon oil, but in the opposite direction. The same jump in concentration raises impulse frequency in the ON and lowers it in the OFF ORN and, conversely, the same concentration drop raises impulse frequency in the OFF and lowers it in the ON ORN. When the new concentration level is maintained, it becomes a background concentration and affects the responses of the ON and OFF ORNs to superimposed changes. Raising the background concentration decreases both the ON-ORN's response to concentration jumps and the OFF-ORN's response to concentration drops. In addition, the slopes of the functions approximating the relationship of impulse frequency to concentration changes become flatter for both types of ORNs as the background concentration rises. The progressively compressed scaling optimizes the detection of concentration changes in the low concentration range. The loss of information caused by the lower differential sensitivity in the high concentration range is partially compensated by the higher discharge rates of the OFF ORNs. The functional asymmetry of the ON and OFF ORNs, which reflects nonlinearity in the detection of changes in the concentration of the lemon oil odor, improves information transfer for decrements in the high concentration range.
Seijffers, Rhona; Zhang, Jiangwen; Matthews, Jonathan C; Chen, Adam; Tamrazian, Eric; Babaniyi, Olusegun; Selig, Martin; Hynynen, Meri; Woolf, Clifford J; Brown, Robert H
ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive loss of motor neurons and atrophy of distal axon terminals in muscle, resulting in loss of motor function. Motor end plates denervated by axonal retraction of dying motor neurons are partially reinnervated by remaining viable motor neurons; however, this axonal sprouting is insufficient to compensate for motor neuron loss. Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) promotes neuronal survival and axonal growth. Here, we reveal that forced expression of ATF3 in motor neurons of transgenic SOD1(G93A) ALS mice delays neuromuscular junction denervation by inducing axonal sprouting and enhancing motor neuron viability. Maintenance of neuromuscular junction innervation during the course of the disease in ATF3/SOD1(G93A) mice is associated with a substantial delay in muscle atrophy and improved motor performance. Although disease onset and mortality are delayed, disease duration is not affected. This study shows that adaptive axonal growth-promoting mechanisms can substantially improve motor function in ALS and importantly, that augmenting viability of the motor neuron soma and maintaining functional neuromuscular junction connections are both essential elements in therapy for motor neuron disease in the SOD1(G93A) mice. Accordingly, effective protection of optimal motor neuron function requires restitution of multiple dysregulated cellular pathways.
Moshkov, Dmitry A; Shtanchaev, Rashid S; Mikheeva, Irina B; Bezgina, Elena N; Kokanova, Nadezhda A; Mikhailova, Gulnara Z; Tiras, Nadezhda R; Pavlik, Lyubov' L
Goldfish are known to exhibit motor asymmetry due to functional asymmetry of their Mauthner neurons that induce the turns to the right or left during free swimming. It has been previously found that if the less active neuron is subjected to prolonged aimed visual stimulation via its ventral dendrite, the motor asymmetry of goldfish is inverted, testifying that this neuron becomes functionally dominant, while the size of the ventral dendrite under these conditions is reduced 2-3 times compared to its counterpart in mirror neuron. Earlier it has been also revealed that training optokinetic stimulation induces adaptation, a substantial resistance of both fish motor asymmetry and morphofunctional state of Mauthner neurons against prolonged optokinetic stimulation. The aim of this work was to study the cellular mechanisms of the effect of an unusual visual afferent input on goldfish motor asymmetry and Mauthner neuron function in norm and under adaptation. It was shown that serotonin applied onto Mauthner neurons greatly reduces their activity whereas its antagonist ondansetron increases it. Against the background of visual stimulation, serotonin strengthens functional asymmetry between neurons whereas ondansetron smoothes it. Taken together these data suggest the involvement of serotonergic excitatory synaptic transmission in the regulation of Mauthner neurons by vision. Ultrastructural study of the ventral dendrites after prolonged optokinetic stimulation has revealed depletions of numeral axo-axonal synapses with specific morphology, identified by means of immunogold label as serotonergic ones. These latter in turn are situated mainly on shaft boutons, which according to specific ultrastructural features are assigned to axo-dendritic inhibitory synapses. Thus, the excitatory serotonergic synapses seem to affect Mauthner neuron indirectly through inhibitory synapses. Further, it was morphometrically established that adaptation is accompanied by the significant
Avella Gonzalez, Oscar J.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.; van Pelt, Jaap; van Ooyen, Arjen
Oscillations in network activity are ubiquitous in the brain and are involved in diverse cognitive functions. Oscillation characteristics, such as power, frequency, and temporal structure, depend on both network connectivity and intrinsic cellular properties, such as ion channel composition. An important class of channels, with key roles in regulating cell excitability, are h-channels. The h-current (Ih) is a slow, hyperpolarization-activated, depolarizing current that contributes to neuronal resonance and membrane potential. The impact of Ih on network oscillations, however, remains poorly understood. To elucidate the network effects of Ih, we used a computational model of a generic oscillatory neuronal network consisting of inhibitory and excitatory cells that were externally driven by excitatory action potentials and sustained depolarizing currents. We found that Ih increased the oscillation frequency and, in combination with external action potentials, representing input from areas outside the network, strongly decreased the synchrony of firing. As a consequence, the oscillation power and the duration of episodes during which the network exhibited high-amplitude oscillations were greatly reduced in the presence of Ih. Our results suggest that modulation of Ih or impaired expression of h-channels, as observed in epilepsy, could, by affecting oscillation dynamics, markedly alter network-level activity and potentially influence oscillation-dependent cognitive processes such as learning, memory and attention. PMID:26635594
Deng, Wei; Aimone, James B.; Gage, Fred H.
The integration of adult-born neurons into the circuitry of the adult hippocampus suggests an important role for adult hippocampal neurogenesis in learning and memory, but its specific function in these processes has remained elusive. In this article, we summarize recent progress in this area, including advances based on behavioural studies and insights provided by computational modelling. Increasingly, evidence suggests that newborn neurons might be involved in hippocampal functions that are particularly dependent on the dentate gyrus, such as pattern separation. Furthermore, newborn neurons at different maturation stages may make distinct contributions to learning and memory. In particular, computational studies suggest that, before newborn neurons are fully mature, they might function as a pattern integrator by introducing a degree of similarity to the encoding of events that occur closely in time. PMID:20354534
Petralia, Ronald S.; Wang, Ya-Xian; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.
Neurons and especially their synapses often project long thin processes that can invaginate neighboring neuronal or glial cells. These “invaginating projections” can occur in almost any combination of postsynaptic, presynaptic, and glial processes. Invaginating projections provide a precise mechanism for one neuron to communicate or exchange material exclusively at a highly localized site on another neuron, e.g., to regulate synaptic plasticity. The best-known types are postsynaptic projections called “spinules” that invaginate into presynaptic terminals. Spinules seem to be most prevalent at large very active synapses. Here, we present a comprehensive review of all kinds of invaginating projections associated with both neurons in general and more specifically with synapses; we describe them in all animals including simple, basal metazoans. These structures may have evolved into more elaborate structures in some higher animal groups exhibiting greater synaptic plasticity. In addition to classic spinules and filopodial invaginations, we describe a variety of lesser-known structures such as amphid microvilli, spinules in giant mossy terminals and en marron/brush synapses, the highly specialized fish retinal spinules, the trophospongium, capitate projections, and fly gnarls, as well as examples in which the entire presynaptic or postsynaptic process is invaginated. These various invaginating projections have evolved to modify the function of a particular synapse, or to channel an effect to one specific synapse or neuron, without affecting those nearby. We discuss how they function in membrane recycling, nourishment, and cell signaling and explore how they might change in aging and disease. PMID:26007200
Koch, J C; Bitow, F; Haack, J; d'Hedouville, Z; Zhang, J-N; Tönges, L; Michel, U; Oliveira, L M A; Jovin, T M; Liman, J; Tatenhorst, L; Bähr, M; Lingor, P
Many neuropathological and experimental studies suggest that the degeneration of dopaminergic terminals and axons precedes the demise of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, which finally results in the clinical symptoms of Parkinson disease (PD). The mechanisms underlying this early axonal degeneration are, however, still poorly understood. Here, we examined the effects of overexpression of human wildtype alpha-synuclein (αSyn-WT), a protein associated with PD, and its mutant variants αSyn-A30P and -A53T on neurite morphology and functional parameters in rat primary midbrain neurons (PMN). Moreover, axonal degeneration after overexpression of αSyn-WT and -A30P was analyzed by live imaging in the rat optic nerve in vivo. We found that overexpression of αSyn-WT and of its mutants A30P and A53T impaired neurite outgrowth of PMN and affected neurite branching assessed by Sholl analysis in a variant-dependent manner. Surprisingly, the number of primary neurites per neuron was increased in neurons transfected with αSyn. Axonal vesicle transport was examined by live imaging of PMN co-transfected with EGFP-labeled synaptophysin. Overexpression of all αSyn variants significantly decreased the number of motile vesicles and decelerated vesicle transport compared with control. Macroautophagic flux in PMN was enhanced by αSyn-WT and -A53T but not by αSyn-A30P. Correspondingly, colocalization of αSyn and the autophagy marker LC3 was reduced for αSyn-A30P compared with the other αSyn variants. The number of mitochondria colocalizing with LC3 as a marker for mitophagy did not differ among the groups. In the rat optic nerve, both αSyn-WT and -A30P accelerated kinetics of acute axonal degeneration following crush lesion as analyzed by in vivo live imaging. We conclude that αSyn overexpression impairs neurite outgrowth and augments axonal degeneration, whereas axonal vesicle transport and autophagy are severely altered. PMID:26158517
Mueller, Johanna K; Heger, Sabine
Endocrine disrupting chemicals have been shown to alter the pubertal process. The controlling levels of the Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) network involve GnRH itself, KiSS1, and the transcriptional regulators enhanced at puberty 1 (EAP1), Thyroid Transcription Factor 1 (TTF1), and Yin Yang 1 (YY1). While Genistein and Bisphenol A (BPA) have been shown to advance the advent of puberty, exposure to Dioxin delayed pubertal onset. Utilizing in vitro approaches, we observed that Genistein and BPA suppress inhibitory and activate stimulatory components of the GnRH network, while Dioxin exhibit an inhibitory effect at all regulatory hierarchical levels of the GnRH network. It repressed KiSS1, Gnrh, Ttf1 and Yy1 transcription via the xenobiotic response element (XRE), while EAP1 was not affected. Therefore, EDCs alter the neuroendocrine GnRH regulatory network at all hierarchical levels.
Bahrami, Farideh; Janahmadi, Mahyar
Introduction: Antibiotic supplements are regularly used in neuronal culture media to control contamination; however, they can interfere with the neuronal excitability and affect electrophysiological properties. Therefore, in this study, the effect of penicillin/streptomycin supplements on the spontaneous electrophysiological activity of hippocampal pyramidal neurons was examined. Methods: Electrophysiological whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from rat hippocampal pyramidal cells in primary culture were performed to investigate the effects of antibiotic supplements on the intrinsic excitability of cultured cells. Results: The present findings indicated that presence of antibiotic supplements (penicillin/streptomycin) in the culture medium altered the intrinsic electrical activity of hippocampal pyramidal neurons in primary culture. These alterations included: 1) depolarized resting membrane potential; 2) a significant enhancement in the after-hyperpolarization amplitude; 3) a significant increase in the area under the action potential and in the decay and rise time of the action potential; 4) a significant broadening of action potential and 5) a significant reduction in the firing frequency. Conclusion: These findings suggest that addition of antibiotic supplements to culture media influences the neuronal excitability and alters the electrophysiological properties of cultured neurons, possibly through changing the ionic conductance underlying neuronal excitability. PMID:23567852
Larsson, Martin; Lietzau, Grazyna; Nathanson, David; Östenson, Claes-Göran; Mallard, Carina; Johansson, Maria E.; Nyström, Thomas; Patrone, Cesare; Darsalia, Vladimer
Type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients often develop early cognitive and sensorimotor impairments. The pathophysiological mechanisms behind these problems are largely unknown. Recent studies demonstrate that dysfunctional γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic) neurons are involved in age-related cognitive decline. We hypothesized that similar, but earlier dysfunction is taking place under T2D in the neocortex and striatum (two brain areas important for cognition and sensorimotor functions). We also hypothesized that the T2D-induced effects are pharmacologically reversible by anti-diabetic drugs targeting the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R). We determined the effect of T2D on cortical and striatal GABAergic neurons positive for glutamic acid decarboxylase-67 (GAD67), calbindin (CB), parvalbumin (PV) and calretinin (CR) by using immunohistochemistry and quantitative microscopy. Young and middle-aged T2D Goto-Kakizaki (GK) (a model of spontaneous T2D) and Wistar rats were used. Furthermore, we determined the therapeutic potential of the GLP1-R agonist exendin-4 (Ex-4) by treating middle-aged GK rats for 6 weeks with 0.1 μg/kg Ex-4 twice daily. We show that T2D reduced the density of GAD67-positive neurons in the striatum and of CB-positive neurons in both striatum and neocortex. T2D also increased the average volume of PV-positive interneurons in the striatum. Ex-4 treatment increased the density of CB-positive neurons in the striatum of GK rats. Our data demonstrate that T2D negatively affects GAD67 and CB-positive GABAergic neurons in the brain during aging, potentially identifying some of the pathophysiological mechanisms to explain the increased prevalence of neurological complications in T2D. We also show a specific, positive effect of Ex-4 on striatal CB-positive neurons, which could be exploited in therapeutic perspective. PMID:27780892
Huang, Dongyang; Liang, Ce; Zhang, Fan; Men, Hongchao; Du, Xiaona; Gamper, Nikita; Zhang, Hailin
T-type Ca2+ channels are important regulators of peripheral sensory neuron excitability. Accordingly, T-type Ca2+ currents are often increased in various pathological pain conditions, such as inflammation or nerve injury. Here we investigated effects of inflammation on functional expression of T-type Ca2+ channels in small-diameter cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We found that overnight treatment of DRG cultures with a cocktail of inflammatory mediators bradykinin (BK), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), norepinephrine (NE) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) strongly increased the population size of the small-diameter neurons displaying low-voltage activated (LVA, T-type) Ca2+ currents while having no effect on the peak LVA current amplitude. When applied individually, BK and ATP also increased the population size of LVA-positive neurons while NE and PGE2 had no effect. The PLC inhibitor U-73122 and B2 receptor antagonist, Hoe-140, both abolished the increase of the population of LVA-positive DRG neurons. Inflammatory treatment did not affect CaV3.2 mRNA or protein levels in DRG cultures. Furthermore, an ubiquitination inhibitor, MG132, did not increase the population of LVA-positive neurons. Our data suggest that inflammatory mediators BK and ATP increase the abundance of LVA-positive DRG neurons in total neuronal population by stimulating the recruitment of a ‘reserve pool’ of CaV3.2 channels, particularly in neurons that do not display measurable LVA currents under control conditions. PMID:26944020
La Fata, Giorgio; Gärtner, Annette; Domínguez-Iturza, Nuria; Dresselaers, Tom; Dawitz, Julia; Poorthuis, Rogier B; Averna, Michele; Himmelreich, Uwe; Meredith, Rhiannon M; Achsel, Tilmann; Dotti, Carlos G; Bagni, Claudia
Deficiencies in fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) are the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability, fragile X syndrome (FXS), with symptoms manifesting during infancy and early childhood. Using a mouse model for FXS, we found that Fmrp regulates the positioning of neurons in the cortical plate during embryonic development, affecting their multipolar-to-bipolar transition (MBT). We identified N-cadherin, which is crucial for MBT, as an Fmrp-regulated target in embryonic brain. Furthermore, spontaneous network activity and high-resolution brain imaging revealed defects in the establishment of neuronal networks at very early developmental stages, further confirmed by an unbalanced excitatory and inhibitory network. Finally, reintroduction of Fmrp or N-cadherin in the embryo normalized early postnatal neuron activity. Our findings highlight the critical role of Fmrp in the developing cerebral cortex and might explain some of the clinical features observed in patients with FXS, such as alterations in synaptic communication and neuronal network connectivity.
Hirai, Takao; Yoneda, Yukio
In cultured rat hippocampal neurons, gradual increases were seen in the expression of microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2), neuronal nuclei (NeuN) and growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43), in proportion to increased duration, up to 9 days in vitro (DIV). Sustained exposure to static magnetic fields at 100 mT for up to 9 DIV significantly decreased expression of MAP-2 and NeuN in cultured rat hippocampal neurons without markedly affecting GAP-43 expression. Although a significant increase was seen in the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in hippocampal neuronal preparations cultured for 6-9 DIV under sustained magnetism, GFAP and proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression were not affected markedly in cultured astrocytes prepared from rat hippocampus and neocortex, irrespective of cellular maturity. No significant alteration was seen in cell survivability of hippocampal neurons or astrocytes cultured under sustained magnetism. In hippocampal neurons cultured for 3 DIV under sustained magnetism, marked mRNA expression was seen for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits, NR1, NR2A-2C, NR2D, and NR3A. In addition, significant potentiation of the ability of NMDA to increase intracellular free Ca(2+) ions was observed. Differential display analysis revealed a significant decrease in mRNA expression for the transcription factor ALF1 in response to sustained magnetism for 3 DIV. These results suggest that sustained exposure to static magnetic fields may affect cellular functionality and maturity in immature cultured rat hippocampal neurons through modulation of expression of particular NMDA receptor subunits.
Beesley, Philip W; Herrera-Molina, Rodrigo; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Seidenbecher, Constanze
The Neuroplastins Np65 and Np55 are neuronal and synapse-enriched immunoglobulin superfamily molecules that play important roles in a number of key neuronal and synaptic functions including, for Np65, cell adhesion. In this review we focus on the physiological roles of the Neuroplastins in promoting neurite outgrowth, regulating the structure and function of both inhibitory and excitatory synapses in brain, and in neuronal and synaptic plasticity. We discuss the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms by which the Neuroplastins exert their physiological effects and how these are dependent upon the structural features of Np65 and Np55, which enable them to bind to a diverse range of protein partners. In turn this enables the Neuroplastins to interact with a number of key neuronal signalling cascades. These include: binding to and activation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor; Np65 trans-homophilic binding leading to activation of p38 MAPK and internalization of glutamate (GluR1) receptor subunits; acting as accessory proteins for monocarboxylate transporters, thus affecting neuronal energy supply, and binding to GABAA α1, 2 and 5 subunits, thus regulating the composition and localization of GABAA receptors. An emerging theme is the role of the Neuroplastins in regulating the trafficking and subcellular localization of specific binding partners. We also discuss the involvement of Neuroplastins in a number of pathophysiological conditions, including ischaemia, schizophrenia and breast cancer and the role of a single nucleotide polymorphism in the human Neuroplastin (NPTN) gene locus in impairment of cortical development and cognitive functions. Neuroplastins are neuronal cell adhesion molecules, which induce neurite outgrowth and play important roles in synaptic maturation and plasticity. This review summarizes the functional implications of Neuroplastins for correct synaptic membrane protein localization, neuronal energy supply, expression of LTP and LTD
Neufeld, Esra; Cassará, Antonino Mario; Montanaro, Hazael; Kuster, Niels; Kainz, Wolfgang
The understanding of interactions between electromagnetic (EM) fields and nerves are crucial in contexts ranging from therapeutic neurostimulation to low frequency EM exposure safety. To properly consider the impact of in-vivo induced field inhomogeneity on non-linear neuronal dynamics, coupled EM-neuronal dynamics modeling is required. For that purpose, novel functionalized computable human phantoms have been developed. Their implementation and the systematic verification of the integrated anisotropic quasi-static EM solver and neuronal dynamics modeling functionality, based on the method of manufactured solutions and numerical reference data, is described. Electric and magnetic stimulation of the ulnar and sciatic nerve were modeled to help understanding a range of controversial issues related to the magnitude and optimal determination of strength-duration (SD) time constants. The results indicate the importance of considering the stimulation-specific inhomogeneous field distributions (especially at tissue interfaces), realistic models of non-linear neuronal dynamics, very short pulses, and suitable SD extrapolation models. These results and the functionalized computable phantom will influence and support the development of safe and effective neuroprosthetic devices and novel electroceuticals. Furthermore they will assist the evaluation of existing low frequency exposure standards for the entire population under all exposure conditions. PMID:27224508
Neufeld, Esra; Cassará, Antonino Mario; Montanaro, Hazael; Kuster, Niels; Kainz, Wolfgang
The understanding of interactions between electromagnetic (EM) fields and nerves are crucial in contexts ranging from therapeutic neurostimulation to low frequency EM exposure safety. To properly consider the impact of in vivo induced field inhomogeneity on non-linear neuronal dynamics, coupled EM-neuronal dynamics modeling is required. For that purpose, novel functionalized computable human phantoms have been developed. Their implementation and the systematic verification of the integrated anisotropic quasi-static EM solver and neuronal dynamics modeling functionality, based on the method of manufactured solutions and numerical reference data, is described. Electric and magnetic stimulation of the ulnar and sciatic nerve were modeled to help understanding a range of controversial issues related to the magnitude and optimal determination of strength-duration (SD) time constants. The results indicate the importance of considering the stimulation-specific inhomogeneous field distributions (especially at tissue interfaces), realistic models of non-linear neuronal dynamics, very short pulses, and suitable SD extrapolation models. These results and the functionalized computable phantom will influence and support the development of safe and effective neuroprosthetic devices and novel electroceuticals. Furthermore they will assist the evaluation of existing low frequency exposure standards for the entire population under all exposure conditions.
Ikeno, Tomoko; Weil, Zachary M; Nelson, Randy J
Individuals of many species can regulate their physiology, morphology, and behavior in response to annual changes of day length (photoperiod). In mammals, the photoperiodic signal is mediated by a change in the duration of melatonin, leading to alterations in gene expressions, neuronal circuits, and hormonal secretion. The hippocampus is one of the most plastic structures in the adult brain and hippocampal neuronal morphology displays photoperiod-induced differences. Because the hippocampus is important for emotional and cognitive behaviors, photoperiod-driven remodeling of hippocampal neurons is implicated in seasonal differences of affect, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in humans. Because neuronal architecture is also affected by the day-night cycle in several brain areas, we hypothesized that hippocampal neuronal morphology would display a diurnal rhythm and that day length would influence that rhythm. In the present study, we examined diurnal and seasonal differences in hippocampal neuronal morphology, as well as mRNA expression of the neurotrophic factors (i.e., brain-derived neurotrophic factor [Bdnf], tropomyosin receptor kinase B [trkB; a receptor for BDNF], and vascular endothelial growth factor [Vegf]) and a circadian clock gene, Bmal1, in the hippocampus of Siberian hamsters. Diurnal rhythms in total length of dendrites, the number of primary dendrites, dendritic complexity, and distance of the furthest intersection from the cell body were observed only in long-day animals; however, diurnal rhythms in the number of branch points and mean length of segments were observed only in short-day animals. Spine density of dendrites displayed diurnal rhythmicity with different peak times between the CA1 and DG subregions and between long and short days. These results indicate that photoperiod affects daily morphological changes of hippocampal neurons and the daily rhythm of spine density, suggesting the possibility that photoperiod-induced adjustments
Carron, Simone F.; Alwis, Dasuni S.; Rajan, Ramesh
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by direct blows to the head or inertial forces during relative head-brain movement, can result in long-lasting cognitive and motor deficits which can be particularly consequential when they occur in young people with a long life ahead. Much is known of the molecular and anatomical changes produced in TBI but much less is known of the consequences of these changes to neuronal functionality, especially in the cortex. Given that much of our interior and exterior lives are dependent on responsiveness to information from and about the world around us, we have hypothesized that a significant contributor to the cognitive and motor deficits seen after TBI could be changes in sensory processing. To explore this hypothesis, and to develop a model test system of the changes in neuronal functionality caused by TBI, we have examined neuronal encoding of simple and complex sensory input in the rat’s exploratory and discriminative tactile system, the large face macrovibrissae, which feeds to the so-called “barrel cortex” of somatosensory cortex. In this review we describe the short-term and long-term changes in the barrel cortex encoding of whisker motion modeling naturalistic whisker movement undertaken by rats engaged in a variety of tasks. We demonstrate that the most common form of TBI results in persistent neuronal hyperexcitation specifically in the upper cortical layers, likely due to changes in inhibition. We describe the types of cortical inhibitory neurons and their roles and how selective effects on some of these could produce the particular forms of neuronal encoding changes described in TBI, and then generalize to compare the effects on inhibition seen in other forms of brain injury. From these findings we make specific predictions as to how non-invasive extra-cranial electrophysiology can be used to provide the high-precision information needed to monitor and understand the temporal evolution of changes in neuronal
Carron, Simone F; Alwis, Dasuni S; Rajan, Ramesh
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by direct blows to the head or inertial forces during relative head-brain movement, can result in long-lasting cognitive and motor deficits which can be particularly consequential when they occur in young people with a long life ahead. Much is known of the molecular and anatomical changes produced in TBI but much less is known of the consequences of these changes to neuronal functionality, especially in the cortex. Given that much of our interior and exterior lives are dependent on responsiveness to information from and about the world around us, we have hypothesized that a significant contributor to the cognitive and motor deficits seen after TBI could be changes in sensory processing. To explore this hypothesis, and to develop a model test system of the changes in neuronal functionality caused by TBI, we have examined neuronal encoding of simple and complex sensory input in the rat's exploratory and discriminative tactile system, the large face macrovibrissae, which feeds to the so-called "barrel cortex" of somatosensory cortex. In this review we describe the short-term and long-term changes in the barrel cortex encoding of whisker motion modeling naturalistic whisker movement undertaken by rats engaged in a variety of tasks. We demonstrate that the most common form of TBI results in persistent neuronal hyperexcitation specifically in the upper cortical layers, likely due to changes in inhibition. We describe the types of cortical inhibitory neurons and their roles and how selective effects on some of these could produce the particular forms of neuronal encoding changes described in TBI, and then generalize to compare the effects on inhibition seen in other forms of brain injury. From these findings we make specific predictions as to how non-invasive extra-cranial electrophysiology can be used to provide the high-precision information needed to monitor and understand the temporal evolution of changes in neuronal functionality
Vasilev, Dmitrii S.; Dubrovskaya, Nadezhda M.; Tumanova, Natalia L.; Zhuravin, Igor A.
Long-term effects of prenatal hypoxia on embryonic days E14 or E18 on the number, type and localization of cortical neurons, density of labile synaptopodin-positive dendritic spines, and parietal cortex-dependent behavioral tasks were examined in the postnatal ontogenesis of rats. An injection of 5′ethynyl-2′deoxyuridine to pregnant rats was used to label neurons generated on E14 or E18 in the fetuses. In control rat pups a majority of cells labeled on E14 were localized in the lower cortical layers V-VI while the cells labeled on E18 were mainly found in the superficial cortical layers II-III. It was shown that hypoxia both on E14 and E18 results in disruption of neuroblast generation and migration but affects different cell populations. In rat pups subjected to hypoxia on E14, the total number of labeled cells in the parietal cortex was decreased while the number of labeled neurons scattered within the superficial cortical layers was increased. In rat pups subjected to hypoxia on E18, the total number of labeled cells in the parietal cortex was also decreased but the number of scattered labeled neurons was higher in the lower cortical layers. It can be suggested that prenatal hypoxia both on E14 and E18 causes a disruption in neuroblast migration but with a different outcome. Only in rats subjected to hypoxia on E14 did we observe a reduction in the total number of pyramidal cortical neurons and the density of labile synaptopodin-positive dendritic spines in the molecular cortical layer during the first month after birth which affected development of the cortical functions. As a result, rats subjected to hypoxia on E14, but not on E18, had impaired development of the whisker-placing reaction and reduced ability to learn reaching by a forepaw. The data obtained suggest that hypoxia on E14 in the period of generation of the cells, which later differentiate into the pyramidal cortical neurons of the V-VI layers and form cortical minicolumns, affects formation of
Mansuroglu, Zeyni; Benhelli-Mokrani, Houda; Marcato, Vasco; Sultan, Audrey; Violet, Marie; Chauderlier, Alban; Delattre, Lucie; Loyens, Anne; Talahari, Smail; Bégard, Séverine; Nesslany, Fabrice; Colin, Morvane; Souès, Sylvie; Lefebvre, Bruno; Buée, Luc; Galas, Marie-Christine; Bonnefoy, Eliette
Pericentromeric heterochromatin (PCH) gives rise to highly dense chromatin sub-structures rich in the epigenetic mark corresponding to the trimethylated form of lysine 9 of histone H3 (H3K9me3) and in heterochromatin protein 1α (HP1α), which regulate genome expression and stability. We demonstrate that Tau, a protein involved in a number of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), binds to and localizes within or next to neuronal PCH in primary neuronal cultures from wild-type mice. Concomitantly, we show that the clustered distribution of H3K9me3 and HP1α, two hallmarks of PCH, is disrupted in neurons from Tau-deficient mice (KOTau). Such altered distribution of H3K9me3 that could be rescued by overexpressing nuclear Tau protein was also observed in neurons from AD brains. Moreover, the expression of PCH non-coding RNAs, involved in PCH organization, was disrupted in KOTau neurons that displayed an abnormal accumulation of stress-induced PCH DNA breaks. Altogether, our results demonstrate a new physiological function of Tau in directly regulating neuronal PCH integrity that appears disrupted in AD neurons. PMID:27605042
dissociated primary neurons, immortalized cell lines derived from neuronal and non-neuronal tissues and, most recently, stem cells. The predictive value of...repair of damaged neural tissues [8,9]. However, SCN models must be shown to be competent to form context-appropriate, functioning neurons before...of neuronal maturation have been well-described in dissociated cultures of primary neurons, it is important to recognize that the source tissues
Gu, Changgui; Yang, Huijie; Rohling, Jos HT
In mammals, the main clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the brain synchronizes the body rhythms to the environmental light-dark cycle. The SCN is composed of about 2 ×104 neurons which can be classified into three oscillatory phenotypes: self-sustained oscillators, damped oscillators, and arrhythmic neurons. Exposed to an artificial external light-dark cycle with a period of 22 h instead of 24 h , two subgroups of the SCN can become desynchronized (dissociated). The ventrolateral (VL) subgroup receives photic input and is entrained to the external cycle and a dorsomedial (DM) subgroup oscillates with its endogenous (i.e., free running) period and is synchronized to the external light-dark cycle through coupling from the VL. In the present study, we examined the effects of damped oscillatory neurons on the dissociation between VL and DM under an external 22 h cycle. We found that, with increasing numbers of damped oscillatory neurons located in the VL, the dissociation between the VL and DM emerges, but if these neurons are increasingly present in the DM the dissociation disappears. Hence, the damped oscillatory neurons in different subregions of the SCN play distinct roles in the dissociation between the two subregions of the SCN. This shows that synchrony between SCN subregions is affected by the number of damped oscillatory neurons and the location of these cells. We suggest that more knowledge on the number and the location of these cells may explain why some species do show a dissociation between the subregions and others do not, as the distribution of oscillatory types of neurons offers a plausible and novel candidate mechanism to explain heterogeneity.
Adasme, Tatiana; Paula-Lima, Andrea; Hidalgo, Cecilia
Ryanodine is a cell permeant plant alkaloid that binds selectively and with high affinity to ryanodine receptor (RyR) Ca(2+) release channels. Sub-micromolar ryanodine concentrations activate RyR channels while micromolar concentrations are inhibitory. Several reports indicate that neuronal synaptic plasticity, learning and memory require RyR-mediated Ca(2+)-release, which is essential for muscle contraction. The use of micromolar (inhibitory) ryanodine represents a common strategy to suppress RyR activity in neuronal cells: however, micromolar ryanodine promotes RyR-mediated Ca(2+) release and endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) depletion in muscle cells. Information is lacking in this regard in neuronal cells; hence, we examined here if addition of inhibitory ryanodine elicited Ca(2+) release in primary hippocampal neurons, and if prolonged incubation of primary hippocampal cultures with inhibitory ryanodine affected neuronal ER calcium content. Our results indicate that inhibitory ryanodine does not cause Ca(2+) release from the ER in primary hippocampal neurons, even though ryanodine diffusion should produce initially low intracellular concentrations, within the RyR activation range. Moreover, neurons treated for 1 h with inhibitory ryanodine had comparable Ca(2+) levels as control neurons. These combined findings imply that prolonged incubation with inhibitory ryanodine, which effectively abolishes RyR-mediated Ca(2+) release, preserves ER Ca(2+) levels and thus constitutes a sound strategy to suppress neuronal RyR function.
Watanabe, Masataka; Hikosaka, Kazuo; Sakagami, Masamichi; Shirakawa, Shu-ichiro
Primate prefrontal delay neurons are involved in retaining task-relevant cognitive information in working memory (WM). Recent studies have also revealed primate prefrontal delay neurons that are related to reward/omission-of-reward expectancy. Such reward-related delay activities might constitute "affective WM" (Davidson, 2002). "Affective" and "cognitive" WM are both concerned with representing not what is currently being presented, but rather what was presented previously or might be presented in the future. However, according to the original and widely accepted definition, WM is the "temporary storage and manipulation of information for complex cognitive tasks". Reward/omission-of-reward expectancy-related neuronal activity is neither prerequisite nor essential for accurate task performance; thus, such activity is not considered to comprise the neural substrates of WM. Also, "affective WM" might not be an appropriate usage of the term "WM". We propose that WM- and reward/omission-of-reward expectancy-related neuronal activity are concerned with representing which response should be performed in order to attain a goal (reward) and the goal of the response, respectively. We further suggest that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a crucial role in the integration of cognitive (for example, WM-related) and motivational (for example, reward expectancy-related) operations for goal-directed behaviour. The PFC could then send this integrated information to other brain areas to control the behaviour.
Matsumoto, K.; Sato, C.; Naka, Y.; Whitby, R.; Shimizu, N.
Low concentrations (0.11-1.7 µg ml - 1) of functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which are multi-walled CNTs modified by amino groups, when added with nerve growth factor (NGF), promoted outgrowth of neuronal neurites in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and rat pheochromocytoma cell line PC12h cells in culture media. The quantity of active extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was higher after the addition of both 0.85 µg ml - 1 CNTs and NGF than that with NGF alone. CNTs increased the number of cells with neurite outgrowth in DRG neurons and PC12h cells after the inhibition of the ERK signaling pathway using a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor. Active ERK proteins were detected in MEK inhibitor-treated neurons after the addition of CNTs to the culture medium. These results demonstrate that CNTs may stimulate neurite outgrowth by activation of the ERK signaling pathway. Thus, CNTs are biocompatible and are promising candidates for biological applications and devices.
Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh
Recent functional neuroimaging studies have investigated brain activity patterns during sleep in humans, beyond the conventionally defined sleep stages. These works have characterized the neural activations related to the major brain oscillations of sleep, that is, spindles and slow waves during non-rapid-eye-movement sleep and ponto-geniculo-occipital waves during rapid-eye-movement sleep. These phasic events have been found associated with increases of brain activity in specific neural networks, which identify structures involved in the generation of sleep oscillations. Most importantly, these results confirm that, even during the deepest stages of sleep, neuronal network activities are sustained and organized by spontaneous brain oscillations of sleep. The understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying sleep oscillations is fundamental since increasing evidence suggests a pivotal role for these rhythms in the functional properties of sleep. In particular, interactions between the sleeping brain and the surrounding environment are closely modulated by neuronal oscillations of sleep. Functional neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that spindles distort the transmission of auditory information to the cortex, therefore isolating the brain from external disturbances during sleep. In contrast, slow waves evoked by acoustic stimulation--and also termed K-complexes--are associated with larger auditory cortex activation, thus reflecting an enhanced processing of external information during sleep. Future brain imaging studies of sleep should further explore the contribution of neuronal oscillations to the off-line consolidation of memory during sleep.
George, Joju; Dravid, Shashank M.; Prakash, Anand; Xie, Jun; Peterson, Jennifer; Jabba, Sairam V.; Baden, Daniel G.; Murray, Thomas F.
A range of extrinsic signals, including afferent activity, affect neuronal growth and plasticity. Neuronal activity regulates intracellular Ca2+ and activity-dependent calcium signaling has been shown to regulate dendritic growth and branching (Konur and Ghosh, 2005). NMDA receptor (NMDAR) stimulation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase signaling cascades has moreover been demonstrated to regulate neurite/axonal outgrowth (Wayman et al., 2004). We used a sodium channel activator, brevetoxin (PbTx-2), to explore the relationship between intracellular [Na+] and NMDAR-dependent development. PbTx-2 alone, at a concentration of 30 nM, did not affect Ca2+ dynamics in DIV-2 cerebrocortical neurons; however, this treatment robustly potentiated NMDA-induced Ca2+ influx. The 30 nM PbTx-2 treatment produced a maximum [Na+]i of 16.9 ± 1.5 mM representing an increment of 8.8 ± 1.8 mM over basal. The corresponding membrane potential change produced by 30 nM PbTx-2 was modest and therefore insufficient to relieve the voltage-dependent Mg2+ block of NMDARs. To unambiguously demonstrate the enhancement of NMDA receptor function by PbTx-2, we recorded single-channel currents from cell-attached patches. PbTx-2 treatment was found to increase both the mean open time and open probability of NMDA receptors. These effects of PbTx-2 on NMDA receptor function were dependent on extracellular Na+ and activation of Src kinase. The functional consequences of PbTx-2-induced enhancement of NMDAR function were evaluated in immature cerebrocortical neurons. PbTx-2 concentrations between 3 and 300 nM enhanced neurite outgrowth. Voltage-gated sodium channel activators may accordingly represent a novel pharmacologic strategy to regulate neuronal plasticity through an NMDA receptor and Src family kinase-dependent mechanism. PMID:19279266
Cormie, Peter; Robinson, Kenneth R
Naturally occurring electric fields (EFs) have been implicated in cell guidance during embryonic development and adult wound healing. Embryonic Xenopus laevis neurons sprout preferentially towards the cathode, turn towards the cathode, and migrate faster towards the cathode in the presence of an external EF in vitro. A recent Phase 1 clinical trial has investigated the effects of oscillating EFs on human spinal cord regeneration. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether embryonic zebrafish neurons respond to an applied EF, and thus extend this research into another vertebrate system. Neural tubes of zebrafish embryos (16-17 somites) were dissected and dissociated neuroblasts were plated onto laminin-coated glass. A 100 mV/mm EF was applied to cell cultures for 4 or 20 h and the responses of neurons to the applied EFs were investigated. After 4h in an EF neurites were significantly shorter than control neurites. No other statistically significant effects were observed. After 20 h, control and EF-exposed neurites were no different in length. No length difference was seen between cathodally- and anodally-sprouted neurites. Application of an EF did not affect the average number of neurons in a chamber. Growth cones did not migrate preferentially towards either pole of the EF and no asymmetry was seen in neurite sprout sites. We conclude that zebrafish neurons do not respond to a 100 mV/mm applied EF in vitro. This suggests that neurons of other vertebrate species may not respond to applied EFs in the same ways as Xenopus laevis neurons.
Mayerhofer, A; Frungieri, M B; Bulling, A; Fritz, S
While the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis is crucial for the function of the gonads, non-endocrine regulatory influences are exerted by other factors within the gonads. Among these factors are neurotransmitters, such as catecholamines. Several types of receptors for catecholamines exist in the gonads on vascular or endocrine cells. Their activation can alter blood flow, steroidogenesis and gene expression, depending on the target cells. Recently a neuronal-like cell type expressing catecholamine-biosynthetic enzymes and neuronal proteins was identified in testis and ovary of human and non-human primates. Together with the well-known sympathetic innervation, this gonadal nervous system may serve as a source of catecholamines. Dopamine is present in the follicular fluid. Oocytes, while not able to perform de novo synthesis of catecholamines, were shown to utilize dopamine to produce norepinephrine. This catecholamine then acts on beta-adrenoreceptors of follicular cells to increase cAMP. Oocytes may thus indirectly via dopamine and cAMP be able to control their own meiotic arrest. In addition, neurotransmitters may also be synthesized in other, non-neuronal ovarian cells. Thus, cultured human granulosa-luteal cells possess the acetylcholine synthesizing enzyme and the acetylcholine-specific vesicular transporter protein. These cells also express muscarinic-receptors (M1), which are linked to the mobilization of intracellular calcium and cell proliferation. This suggests involvement of the acetylcholine system in follicular growth and in the periovulatory events. In neurons, neurotransmitters alter the properties of the neuronal cell membrane. If this is the case in endocrine cells of the gonads is not yet clear, but the recent identification of voltage-activated potassium and sodium channels in human luteinized granulosa-luteal cells raises this question and opens a door to a new area of investigation.
Puig, M. Victoria; Gulledge, Allan T.
Higher-order executive tasks such as learning, working memory, and behavioral flexibility depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the brain region most elaborated in primates. The prominent innervation by serotonin neurons and the dense expression of serotonergic receptors in the PFC suggest that serotonin is a major modulator of its function. The most abundant serotonin receptors in the PFC, 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A and 5-HT3A receptors, are selectively expressed in distinct populations of pyramidal neurons and inhibitory interneurons, and play a critical role in modulating cortical activity and neural oscillations (brain waves). Serotonergic signaling is altered in many psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression, where parallel changes in receptor expression and brain waves have been observed. Furthermore, many psychiatric drug treatments target serotonergic receptors in the PFC. Thus, understanding the role of serotonergic neurotransmission in PFC function is of major clinical importance. Here we review recent findings concerning the powerful influences of serotonin on single neurons, neural networks, and cortical circuits in the PFC of the rat, where the effects of serotonin have been most thoroughly studied. PMID:22076606
Caron, Aimee M; Stephenson, Richard
Mild and moderate traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) (and concussion) occur frequently as a result of falls, automobile accidents, and sporting activities, and are a major cause of acute and chronic disability. Fatigue and excessive sleepiness are associated with increased risk of accidents, but it is unknown whether prior sleep debt also affects the pathophysiological outcome of concussive injury. Using the “dark neuron” (DN) as a marker of reversible neuronal damage, we tested the hypothesis that acute (48 hours) total sleep deprivation (TSD) and chronic sleep restriction (CSR; 10 days, 6-hour sleep/day) affect DN formation following mild TBI in the rat. TSD and CSR were administered using a walking wheel apparatus. Mild TBI was administered under anesthesia using a weight-drop impact model, and the acute neuronal response was observed without recovery. DNs were detected using standard bright-field microscopy with toluidine blue stain following appropriate tissue fixation. DN density was low under home cage and sleep deprivation control conditions (respective median DN densities, 0.14% and 0.22% of neurons), and this was unaffected by TSD alone (0.1%). Mild TBI caused significantly higher DN densities (0.76%), and this was unchanged by preexisting acute or chronic sleep debt (TSD, 0.23%; CSR, 0.7%). Thus, although sleep debt may be predicted to increase the incidence of concussive injury, the present data suggest that sleep debt does not exacerbate the resulting neuronal damage. PMID:26124685
Moushegian, G; Rupert, A L; Gidda, J S
This investigation was undertaken to study the timing properties of low-frequency binaural neurons located in the medulla of kangaroo rat (Dipodomys spectabilis). The results show that the response variables, vector strength (VS) and discharge rate (DR), are not necessarily related responses; each may be conveying a different parameter of acoustic stimuli. The results also lead to the conclusion that binaural low-frequency neurons, whether they are excitatory-excitatory (EE) or excitatory-inhibitory (EI), in essence, function similarly. Finally, this investigation presents findings which suggest that a clock, which may be part of a mechanism for pitch as well as for spatial localization, is activated by sounds, providing thereby a reference signal for neural discharges.
Nakayama, Kimiko; Kiyosue, Kazuyuki; Taguchi, Takahisa
Neuronal activity regulates the synaptic strength of neuronal networks. However, it is still unclear how diminished activity changes connection patterns in neuronal circuits. To address this issue, we analyzed neuronal connectivity and relevant mechanisms using hippocampal cultures in which developmental synaptogenesis had occurred. We show that diminution of network activity in mature neuronal circuit promotes reorganization of neuronal circuits via NR2B subunit-containing NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NR2B-NMDARs), which mediate silent synapse formation. Simultaneous double whole-cell recordings revealed that diminishing neuronal circuit activity for 48 h increased the number of synaptically connected neuron pairs with both silent and functional synapses. This increase was accompanied by the specific expression of NR2B-NMDARs at synaptic sites. Analysis of miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) showed that the frequency of NMDAR-mediated, but not AMPAR-mediated, mEPSCs increased, indicating that diminished neuronal activity promotes silent synapse formation via the surface delivering NR2B-NMDARs in mature neurons. After activation of neuronal circuit by releasing from TTX blockade (referred as circuit reactivation), the frequency of AMPAR-mediated mEPSCs increased instead, and this increase was prevented by ifenprodil. The circuit reactivation also caused an increased colocalization of glutamate receptor 1-specfic and synaptic NR2B-specific puncta. These results indicate that the circuit reactivation converts rapidly silent synapses formed during activity suppression to functional synapses. These data may provide a new example of homeostatic circuit plasticity that entails the modulation of neuron-neuron connectivity by synaptic activity.
Gentet, Luc J.
Although the neocortex forms a distributed system comprised of several functional areas, its vertical columnar organization is largely conserved across areas and species, suggesting the existence of a canonical neocortical microcircuit. In order to elucidate the principles governing the organization of such a cortical diagram, a detailed understanding of the dynamics binding different types of cortical neurons into a coherent algorithm is essential. Within this complex circuitry, GABAergic interneurons, while forming approximately only 15–20% of all cortical neurons, appear critical in maintaining a dynamic balance between excitation and inhibition. Despite their importance, cortical GABAergic neurons have not been extensively studied in vivo and their precise role in shaping the local microcircuit sensory response still remains to be determined. Their paucity, combined with their molecular, anatomical, and physiological diversity, has made it difficult to even establish a consensual nomenclature. However, recent technological advances in microscopy and mouse genetics have fostered a renewed interest in neocortical interneurons by putting them within “visible” reach of experimenters. The anatomically well-defined whisker-to-barrel pathway of the rodent is particularly amenable to studies attempting to link cortical circuit dynamics to behavior. To each whisker corresponds a discrete cortical unit equivalent to a single column, specialized in the encoding and processing of the sensory information it receives. In this review, we will focus on the functional role that each subtype of supragranular GABAergic neuron embedded within such a single neocortical unit may play in shaping the dynamics of the local circuit during somatosensory integration. PMID:22912602
Marconi, Emanuele; Nieus, Thierry; Maccione, Alessandro; Valente, Pierluigi; Simi, Alessandro; Messa, Mirko; Dante, Silvia; Baldelli, Pietro; Berdondini, Luca; Benfenati, Fabio
The interplay between anatomical connectivity and dynamics in neural networks plays a key role in the functional properties of the brain and in the associated connectivity changes induced by neural diseases. However, a detailed experimental investigation of this interplay at both cellular and population scales in the living brain is limited by accessibility. Alternatively, to investigate the basic operational principles with morphological, electrophysiological and computational methods, the activity emerging from large in vitro networks of primary neurons organized with imposed topologies can be studied. Here, we validated the use of a new bio-printing approach, which effectively maintains the topology of hippocampal cultures in vitro and investigated, by patch-clamp and MEA electrophysiology, the emerging functional properties of these grid-confined networks. In spite of differences in the organization of physical connectivity, our bio-patterned grid networks retained the key properties of synaptic transmission, short-term plasticity and overall network activity with respect to random networks. Interestingly, the imposed grid topology resulted in a reinforcement of functional connections along orthogonal directions, shorter connectivity links and a greatly increased spiking probability in response to focal stimulation. These results clearly demonstrate that reliable functional studies can nowadays be performed on large neuronal networks in the presence of sustained changes in the physical network connectivity. PMID:22493706
Abdala, Ana Paula; Paton, Julian F R; Smith, Jeffrey C
Pharmacological and mathematical modelling studies support the view that synaptic inhibition in mammalian brainstem respiratory circuits is essential for generating normal and stable breathing movements. GABAergic and glycinergic neurones are known components of these circuits but their precise functional roles have not been established, especially within key microcircuits of the respiratory pre-Bötzinger (pre-BötC) and Bötzinger (BötC) complexes involved in phasic control of respiratory pump and airway muscles. Here, we review briefly current concepts of relevant complexities of inhibitory synapses and the importance of synaptic inhibition in the operation of these microcircuits. We highlight results and limitations of classical pharmacological studies that have suggested critical functions of synaptic inhibition. We then explore the potential opportunities for optogenetic strategies that represent a promising new approach for interrogating function of inhibitory circuits, including a hypothetical wish list for optogenetic approaches to allow expedient application of this technology. We conclude that recent technical advances in optogenetics should provide a means to understand the role of functionally select and regionally confined subsets of inhibitory neurones in key respiratory circuits such as those in the pre-BötC and BötC.
Yang, Marty G.; West, Anne E.
The dynamic orchestration of gene expression is crucial for the proper differentiation, function, and adaptation of cells. In the brain, transcriptional regulation underlies the incredible diversity of neuronal cell types and contributes to the ability of neurons to adapt their function to the environment. Recently, novel methods for genome and epigenome editing have begun to revolutionize our understanding of gene regulatory mechanisms. In particular, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system has proven to be a particularly accessible and adaptable technique for genome engineering. Here, we review the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in neurobiology and discuss how these studies have advanced understanding of nervous system development and plasticity. We cover four especially salient applications of CRISPR/Cas9: testing the consequences of enhancer mutations, tagging genes and gene products for visualization in live cells, directly activating or repressing enhancers in vivo, and manipulating the epigenome. In each case, we summarize findings from recent studies and discuss evolving adaptations of the method. PMID:28018138
Palczewski, Krzysztof; Orban, Tivadar
G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) are essential mediators of signal transduction, neurotransmission, ion channel regulation, and other cellular events. GPCRs are activated by diverse stimuli, including light, enzymatic processing of their N-termini, and binding of proteins, peptides, or small molecules such as neurotransmitters. GPCR dysfunction caused by receptor mutations and environmental challenges contributes to many neurological diseases. Moreover, modern genetic technology has helped identify a rich array of mono- and multigenic defects in humans and animal models that connect such receptor dysfunction with disease affecting neuronal function. The visual system is especially suited to investigate GPCR structure and function because advanced imaging techniques permit structural studies of photoreceptor neurons at both macro and molecular levels that, together with biochemical and physiological assessment in animal models, provide a more complete understanding of GPCR signaling. PMID:23682660
Stancu, Ilie-Cosmin; Vasconcelos, Bruno; Ris, Laurence; Wang, Peng; Villers, Agnès; Peeraer, Eve; Buist, Arjan; Terwel, Dick; Baatsen, Peter; Oyelami, Tutu; Pierrot, Nathalie; Casteels, Cindy; Bormans, Guy; Kienlen-Campard, Pascal; Octave, Jean-Nöel; Moechars, Diederik; Dewachter, Ilse
Prion-like seeding and propagation of Tau-pathology have been demonstrated experimentally and may underlie the stereotyped progression of neurodegenerative Tauopathies. However, the involvement of templated misfolding of Tau in neuronal network dysfunction and behavioral outcomes remains to be explored in detail. Here we analyzed the repercussions of prion-like spreading of Tau-pathology via neuronal connections on neuronal network function in TauP301S transgenic mice. Spontaneous and GABA(A)R-antagonist-induced neuronal network activity were affected following templated Tau-misfolding using synthetic preformed Tau fibrils in cultured primary neurons. Electrophysiological analysis in organotypic hippocampal slices of Tau transgenic mice demonstrated impaired synaptic transmission and impaired long-term potentiation following Tau-seed induced Tau-aggregation. Intracerebral injection of Tau-seeds in TauP301S mice, caused prion-like spreading of Tau-pathology through functionally connected neuroanatomical pathways. Electrophysiological analysis revealed impaired synaptic plasticity in hippocampal CA1 region 6 months after Tau-seeding in entorhinal cortex (EC). Furthermore, templated Tau aggregation impaired cognitive function, measured in the object recognition test 6 months post-seeding. In contrast, Tau-seeding in basal ganglia and subsequent spreading through functionally connected neuronal networks involved in motor control, resulted in motoric deficits reflected in clasping and impaired inverted grid hanging, not significantly affected following Tau-seeding in EC. Immunostaining, biochemical and electron microscopic analysis in the different models suggested early pathological forms of Tau, including Tau-oligomers, rather than fully mature neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) as culprits of neuronal dysfunction. We here demonstrate for the first time using in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models, that prion-like spreading of Tau-misfolding by Tau seeds, along unique
Idowu, A J; Olatunji-Bello, I I; Olagunju, J A
During normal ageing, there are physiological changes especially in high energy demanding tissues including the brain and skeletal muscles. Ageing may disrupt homeostasis and allow tissue vulnerability to disease. To establish an appropriate animal model which is readily available and will be useful to test therapeutic strategies during normal ageing, we applied behavioral approaches to study age-related changes in memory and motor function as a basis for neuronal function in ageing in male Sprague Dawley rats. 3 months, n=5; 6 months, n=5 and 18 months, n=5 male Sprague Dawley Rats were tested using the Novel Object Recognition Task (NORT) and the Elevated plus Maze (EPM) Test. Data was analyzed by ANOVA and the Newman-Keuls post hoc test. The results showed an age-related gradual decline in exploratory behavior and locomotor activity with increasing age in 3 months, 6 months and 18 months old rats, although the values were not statistically significant, but grooming activity significantly increased with increasing age. Importantly, we established a novel finding that the minimum distance from the novel object was statistically significant between 3 months and 18 months old rats and this may be an index for age-related memory impairment in the NORT. Altogether, we conclude that the male Sprague Dawley rat show age-related changes in neuronal function and may be a useful model for carrying out investigations into the mechanisms involved in normal ageing.
Deris, Nadja; Montag, Christian; Reuter, Martin; Weber, Bernd; Markett, Sebastian
According to Jaak Panksepp's Affective Neuroscience Theory and the derived self-report measure, the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales (ANPS), differences in the responsiveness of primary emotional systems form the basis of human personality. In order to investigate neuronal correlates of personality, the underlying neuronal circuits of the primary emotional systems were analyzed in the present fMRI-study by associating the ANPS to functional connectivity in the resting brain. N=120 healthy participants were invited for the present study. The results were reinvestigated in an independent, smaller sample of N=52 participants. A seed-based whole brain approach was conducted with seed-regions bilaterally in the basolateral and superficial amygdalae. The selection of seed-regions was based on meta-analytic data on affective processing and the Juelich histological atlas. Multiple regression analyses on the functional connectivity maps revealed associations with the SADNESS-scale in both samples. Functional resting-state connectivity between the left basolateral amygdala and a cluster in the postcentral gyrus, and between the right basolateral amygdala and clusters in the superior parietal lobe and subgyral in the parietal lobe was associated with SADNESS. No other ANPS-scale revealed replicable results. The present findings give first insights into the neuronal basis of the SADNESS-scale of the ANPS and support the idea of underlying neuronal circuits. In combination with previous research on genetic associations of the ANPS functional resting-state connectivity is discussed as a possible endophenotype of personality.
Feldt, Sarah; Hetrick, Vaughn; Berke, Joshua; Zochowski, Michal
We present a novel algorithm for the detection of functional clusters in neural data. In contrast to many clustering techniques which convert functional interactions to topological distances to determine groupings, our algorithm directly utilizes the dynamics of the neurons to obtain functional groupings. No prior knowledge of the number of groups is needed, as the algorithm determines statistically significant clusters through a comparison to surrogate data sets. Additionally, we introduce a new synchronization measure and use this measure in the algorithm to observe known groupings in simulated data. We then apply our algorithm to experimental data obtained from the hippocampus of a freely moving mouse and show that it detects known changes in neural states associated with exploration and slow wave sleep. Finally, we show that the new synchronization measure can detect changes which are consistent with known neurophysiological processes involved in memory consolidation.
Roudi, Yasser; Dunn, Benjamin; Hertz, John
Our ability to collect large amounts of data from many cells has been paralleled by the development of powerful statistical models for extracting information from this data. Here we discuss how the activity of cell assemblies can be analyzed using these models, focusing on the generalized linear models and the maximum entropy models and describing a number of recent studies that employ these tools for analyzing multi-neuronal activity. We show results from simulations comparing inferred functional connectivity, pairwise correlations and the real synaptic connections in simulated networks demonstrating the power of statistical models in inferring functional connectivity. Further development of network reconstruction techniques based on statistical models should lead to more powerful methods of understanding functional anatomy of cell assemblies.
Presse, F; Conductier, G; Rovere, C; Nahon, J-L
Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a cyclic peptide highly conserved in vertebrates and was originally identified as a skin-paling factor in Teleosts. In fishes, MCH also participates in the regulation of the stress-response and feeding behaviour. Mammalian MCH is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that displays multiple functions, mostly controlling feeding behaviour and energy homeostasis. Transgenic mouse models and pharmacological studies have shown the importance of the MCH system as a potential target in the treatment of appetite disorders and obesity as well as anxiety and psychiatric diseases. Two G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) binding MCH have been characterized so far. The first, named MCH-R1 and also called SLC1, was identified through reverse pharmacology strategies by several groups as a cognate receptor of MCH. This receptor is expressed at high levels in many brain areas of rodents and primates and is also expressed in peripheral organs, albeit at a lower rate. A second receptor, designated MCH-R2, exhibited 38% identity to MCH-R1 and was identified by sequence analysis of the human genome. Interestingly, although MCH-R2 orthologues were also found in fishes, dogs, ferrets and non-human primates, this MCH receptor gene appeared either lacking or non-functional in rodents and lagomorphs. Both receptors are class I GPCRs, whose main roles are to mediate the actions of peptides and neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. However, examples of action of MCH on neuronal and non-neuronal cells are emerging that illustrate novel MCH functions. In particular, the functionality of endogenously expressed MCH-R1 has been explored in human neuroblastoma cells, SK-N-SH and SH-SY5Y cells, and in non-neuronal cell types such as the ependymocytes. Indeed, we have identified mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-dependent or calcium-dependent signalling cascades that ultimately contributed to neurite outgrowth in neuroblastoma cells or to modulation of
Ang, Seok Ting; Lee, Andy Thiam Huat; Foo, Fang Chee; Ng, Lynn; Low, Chian-Ming; Khanna, Sanjay
The present study explored the functional details of the influence of medial septal region (MSDB) on spectrum of nociceptive behaviours by manipulating intraseptal GABAergic mechanisms. Results showed that formalin-induced acute nociception was not affected by intraseptal microinjection of bicuculline, a GABAA receptor antagonist, or on selective lesion of septal GABAergic neurons. Indeed, the acute nociceptive responses were dissociated from the regulation of sensorimotor behaviour and generation of theta-rhythm by the GABAergic mechanisms in MSDB. The GABAergic lesion attenuated formalin-induced unconditioned cellular response in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and blocked formalin-induced conditioned place avoidance (F-CPA), and as well as the contextual fear induced on conditioning with brief footshock. The effects of lesion on nociceptive-conditioned cellular responses were, however, variable. Interestingly, the lesion attenuated the conditioned representation of experimental context in dorsal hippocampus field CA1 in the F-CPA task. Collectively, the preceding suggests that the MSDB is a nodal centre wherein the GABAergic neurons mediate nociceptive affect-motivation by regulating cellular mechanisms in ACC that confer an aversive value to the noxious stimulus. Further, in conjunction with a modulatory influence on hippocampal contextual processing, MSDB may integrate affect with context as part of associative learning in the F-CPA task. PMID:26487082
Ang, Seok Ting; Lee, Andy Thiam Huat; Foo, Fang Chee; Ng, Lynn; Low, Chian-Ming; Khanna, Sanjay
The present study explored the functional details of the influence of medial septal region (MSDB) on spectrum of nociceptive behaviours by manipulating intraseptal GABAergic mechanisms. Results showed that formalin-induced acute nociception was not affected by intraseptal microinjection of bicuculline, a GABAA receptor antagonist, or on selective lesion of septal GABAergic neurons. Indeed, the acute nociceptive responses were dissociated from the regulation of sensorimotor behaviour and generation of theta-rhythm by the GABAergic mechanisms in MSDB. The GABAergic lesion attenuated formalin-induced unconditioned cellular response in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and blocked formalin-induced conditioned place avoidance (F-CPA), and as well as the contextual fear induced on conditioning with brief footshock. The effects of lesion on nociceptive-conditioned cellular responses were, however, variable. Interestingly, the lesion attenuated the conditioned representation of experimental context in dorsal hippocampus field CA1 in the F-CPA task. Collectively, the preceding suggests that the MSDB is a nodal centre wherein the GABAergic neurons mediate nociceptive affect-motivation by regulating cellular mechanisms in ACC that confer an aversive value to the noxious stimulus. Further, in conjunction with a modulatory influence on hippocampal contextual processing, MSDB may integrate affect with context as part of associative learning in the F-CPA task.
Pignatelli, Angela; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Okano, Hideyuki; Belluzzi, Ottorino
The olfactory bulb of mammals contains a large population of dopaminergic interneurones within the glomerular layer. Dopamine has been shown both in vivo and in vitro to modulate several aspects of olfactory information processing, but the functional properties of dopaminergic neurones have never been described due to the inability to recognize these cells in living preparations. To overcome this difficulty, we used a transgenic mouse strain harbouring an eGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) reporter construct under the promoter of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for cathecolamine synthesis. As a result, we were able to identify dopaminergic neurones (TH-GFP cells) in living preparations and, for the first time, we could study the functional properties of such neurones in the olfactory bulb, in both slices and dissociated cells. The most prominent feature of these cells was the autorhythmicity. In these cells we identified five main voltage-dependent conductances: the two having largest amplitude were a fast transient Na+ current and a delayed rectifier K+ current. In addition, we observed three smaller inward currents, sustained by Na+ ions (persistent type) and by Ca2+ ions (LVA and HVA). Using pharmacological tools and ion substitution methods we showed that the pacemaking process is supported by the interplay of the persistent Na+ current and of a T-type Ca2+ current. We carried out a complete kinetical analysis of the five conductances present in these cells, and developed a Hodgkin-Huxley model of TH-GFP cells, capable of reproducing accurately the properties of living cells, including autorhytmicity, and allowing a precise understanding of the process. PMID:15731185
Rubert, Gemma; Miñana, Rosa; Pascual, Maria; Guerri, Consuelo
Prenatal ethanol exposure induces functional abnormalities during brain development affecting neurogenesis and gliogenesis. We have previously reported that alcohol exposure during embryogenesis disrupts radial glia (RG) and gliogenesis. Taking into account the new role of RG as neural progenitors, we have investigated whether ethanol affects RG as a neural stem cell. We found that in utero ethanol exposure impairs cell proliferation and decreases neurons and astrocytes generated in cultured RG and in embryonic cerebral cortex. Telencephalic cultures obtained at E12 from ethanol-treated rats displayed a reduction in the proportion of actively dividing RG progenitors, as demonstrated by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation, and in the percentage of brain lipid binding protein-positive RG. Consistently, neurosphere formation assay from E12 telencephalon showed a reduced number of multipotent progenitor cells in cultures isolated from ethanol-treated rats in comparison with pair-fed control group. Moreover, levels of activated Notch1 and fibroblast growth factor receptor 2, which regulate the maintenance of the progenitor state of RG, are decreased by prenatal ethanol exposure. These findings demonstrate that ethanol reduces the telencephalic RG progenitor pool and its transformation into neurons and astrocytes, which may contribute to an explanation of the defects in brain function often observed in fetal alcohol syndrome.
Medina, Paul Mark B.; Swick, Lance L.; Andersen, Ryan; Blalock, Zachary; Brenman, Jay E.
Vertebrate and invertebrate dendrites are information-processing compartments that can be found on both central and peripheral neurons. Elucidating the molecular underpinnings of information processing in the nervous system ultimately requires an understanding of the genetic pathways that regulate dendrite formation and maintenance. Despite the importance of dendrite development, few forward genetic approaches have been used to analyze the latest stages of dendrite development, including the formation of F-actin-rich dendritic filopodia or dendritic spines. We developed a forward genetic screen utilizing transgenic Drosophila second instar larvae expressing an actin, green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein (actin∷GFP) in subsets of sensory neurons. Utilizing this fluorescent transgenic reporter, we conducted a forward genetic screen of >4000 mutagenized chromosomes bearing lethal mutations that affected multiple aspects of larval dendrite development. We isolated 13 mutations on the X and second chromosomes composing 11 complementation groups affecting dendrite outgrowth/branching, dendritic filopodia formation, or actin∷GFP localization within dendrites in vivo. In a fortuitous observation, we observed that the structure of dendritic arborization (da) neuron dendritic filopodia changes in response to a changing environment. PMID:16415365
Tanimoto, Yuki; Zheng, Ying Grace; Fei, Xianfeng; Fujie, Yukako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Kimura, Koutarou D.
Many neuronal groups such as dopamine-releasing (dopaminergic) neurons are functionally divergent, although the details of such divergence are not well understood. Dopamine in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans modulates various neural functions and is released from four left-right pairs of neurons. The terminal identities of these dopaminergic neurons are regulated by the same genetic program, and previous studies have suggested that they are functionally redundant. In this study, however, we show functional divergence within the dopaminergic neurons of C. elegans. Because dopaminergic neurons of the animals were supposedly activated by mechanical stimulus upon entry into a lawn of their food bacteria, we developed a novel integrated microscope system that can auto-track a freely-moving (in actio) C. elegans to individually monitor and stimulate the neuronal activities of multiple neurons. We found that only head-dorsal pair of dopaminergic neurons (CEPD), but not head-ventral or posterior pairs, were preferentially activated upon food entry. In addition, the optogenetic activation of CEPD neurons alone exhibited effects similar to those observed upon food entry. Thus, our results demonstrated functional divergence in the genetically similar dopaminergic neurons, which may provide a new entry point toward understanding functional diversity of neurons beyond genetic terminal identification.
Hayat, Shaista; Carnwath, Tom; Garas, Shaady; Sleeman, Jonathan P.; Barker, Roger A.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that is characterised by the loss of specific populations of neurons in the brain. The mechanisms underlying this selective cell death are unknown but by using laser capture microdissection, the glycoprotein, CD24 has been identified as a potential marker of the populations of cells that are affected in PD. Using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry on sections of mouse brain, we confirmed that CD24 is robustly expressed by many of these subsets of cells. To determine if CD24 may have a functional role in PD, we modelled the dopamine cell loss of PD in Cd24 mutant mice using striatal delivery of the neurotoxin 6-OHDA. We found that Cd24 mutant mice have an anatomically normal dopamine system and that this glycoprotein does not modulate the lesion effects of 6-OHDA delivered into the striatum. We then undertook in situ hybridization studies on sections of human brain and found—as in the mouse brain—that CD24 is expressed by many of the subsets of the cells that are vulnerable in PD, but not those of the midbrain dopamine system. Finally, we sought to determine if CD24 is required for the neuroprotective effect of Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) on the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway. Our results indicate that in the absence of CD24, there is a reduction in the protective effects of GDNF on the dopaminergic fibres in the striatum, but no difference in the survival of the cell bodies in the midbrain. While we found no obvious role for CD24 in the normal development and maintenance of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal system in mice, it may have a role in mediating the neuroprotective aspects of GDNF in this system. PMID:28182766
Singh, Suchita; Bodas, Manish; Bhatraju, Naveen K; Pattnaik, Bijay; Gheware, Atish; Parameswaran, Praveen Kolumam; Thompson, Michael; Freeman, Michelle; Mabalirajan, Ulaganathan; Gosens, Reinoud; Ghosh, Balaram; Pabelick, Christina; Linneberg, Allan; Prakash, Y S; Agrawal, Anurag
There is limited knowledge regarding the consequences of hyperinsulinemia on the lung. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and epidemiological associations with asthma, this is a critical lacuna, more so with inhaled insulin on the horizon. Here, we demonstrate that insulin can adversely affect respiratory health. Insulin treatment (1 μg/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) increased the proliferation of primary human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells and induced collagen release. Additionally, ASM cells showed a significant increase in calcium response and mitochondrial respiration upon insulin exposure. Mice administered intranasal insulin showed increased collagen deposition in the lungs as well as a significant increase in airway hyperresponsiveness. PI3K/Akt mediated activation of β-catenin, a positive regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and fibrosis, was observed in the lungs of insulin-treated mice and lung cells. Our data suggests that hyperinsulinemia may have adverse effects on airway structure and function. Insulin-induced activation of β-catenin in lung tissue and the contractile effects on ASM cells may be causally related to the development of asthma-like phenotype.
Sun, Qingyan; Hua, Tianmiao; Xi, Minmin
Previous studies have reported inconsistent effects of dietary restriction (DR) on cortical inhibition. To clarify this issue, we examined the response properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) of DR and control groups of cats using in vivo extracellular single-unit recording techniques, and assessed the synthesis of inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the V1 of cats from both groups using immunohistochemical and Western blot techniques. Our results showed that the response of V1 neurons to visual stimuli was significantly modified by DR, as indicated by an enhanced selectivity for stimulus orientations and motion directions, decreased visually-evoked response, lowered spontaneous activity and increased signal-to-noise ratio in DR cats relative to control cats. Further, it was shown that, accompanied with these changes of neuronal responsiveness, GABA immunoreactivity and the expression of a key GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 in the V1 were significantly increased by DR. These results demonstrate that DR may retard brain aging by increasing the intracortical inhibition effect and improve the function of visual cortical neurons in visual information processing. This DR-induced elevation of cortical inhibition may favor the brain in modulating energy expenditure based on food availability. PMID:26863207
Akkuratov, Evgeny E; Lopacheva, Olga M; Kruusmägi, Markus; Lopachev, Alexandr V; Shah, Zahoor A; Boldyrev, Alexander A; Liu, Lijun
NMDA receptors play a crucial role in regulating synaptic plasticity and memory. Activation of NMDA receptors changes intracellular concentrations of Na(+) and K(+), which are subsequently restored by Na/K-ATPase. We used immunochemical and biochemical methods to elucidate the potential mechanisms of interaction between these two proteins. We observed that NMDA receptor and Na/K-ATPase interact with each other and this interaction was shown for both isoforms of α subunit (α1 and α3) of Na/K-ATPase expressed in neurons. Using Western blotting, we showed that long-term exposure of the primary culture of cerebellar neurons to nanomolar concentrations of ouabain (a cardiotonic steroid, a specific ligand of Na/K-ATPase) leads to a decrease in the levels of NMDA receptors which is likely mediated by the α3 subunit of Na/K-ATPase. We also observed a decrease in enzymatic activity of the α1 subunit of Na/K-ATPase caused by NMDA receptor activation. This effect is mediated by an increase in intracellular Ca(2+). Thus, Na/K-ATPase and NMDA receptor can interact functionally by forming a macromolecular complex which can be important for restoring ionic balance after neuronal excitation. Furthermore, this interaction suggests that NMDA receptor function can be regulated by endogenous cardiotonic steroids which recently have been found in cerebrospinal fluid or by pharmacological drugs affecting Na/K-ATPase function.
van Soest, P F; Kits, K S
The molluscan vasopressin/oxytocin-related neuropeptide conopressin activates two persistent inward currents in neurons from the anterior lobe of the right cerebral ganglion of Lymnaea stagnalis that are involved in the control of male copulatory behavior. The low-voltage-activated (LVA) current is activated at a wide range of membrane potentials, its amplitude being only weakly voltage dependent. The high-voltage-activated (HVA) current is activated at potentials positive to -40 mV only and shows a steep voltage dependence. Occurrence of both currents varies from cell to cell, some expressing both and others only the HVA current. In most neurons that have the LVA current, a conopressin-independent persistent inward current (INSR) is found that resembles the HVA current in its voltage dependence. The functional importance of the LVA and HVA currents was studied under current-clamp conditions in isolated anterior lobe neurons. In cells exhibiting both current types, the effect of activation of the LVA current alone was investigated as follows: previously recorded LVA current profiles were injected into the neurons, and the effects were compared with responses induced by conopressin. Both treatments resulted in a strong depolarization and firing activity. No differences in firing frequency and burst duration were observed, indicating that activation of the LVA current is sufficient to evoke bursts. In cells exhibiting only the HVA current, the effect of conopressin on the response to a depolarizing stimulus was tested. Conopressin reversibly increased the number of action potentials generated by the stimulus, suggesting that the HVA current enhances excitability and counteracts accommodation. Conopressin enhanced action potential broadening during depolarizing stimuli in many neurons. Voltage-clamp experiments performed under ion-selective conditions revealed the presence of transient sodium and calcium currents. Using the action potential clamp technique, it was
Ponomarev, Artem; Sundaresan, Alamelu; Kim, Angela; Vazquez, Marcelo E.; Guida, Peter; Kim, Myung-Hee; Cucinotta, Francis A.
A 3D Monte Carlo model of radiation transport in matter is applied to study the effect of heavy ion radiation on human neuronal cells. Central nervous system effects, including cognitive impairment, are suspected from the heavy ion component of galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) during space missions. The model can count, for instance, the number of direct hits from ions, which will have the most affect on the cells. For comparison, the remote hits, which are received through δ-rays from the projectile traversing space outside the volume of the cell, are also simulated and their contribution is estimated. To simulate tissue effects from irradiation, cellular matrices of neuronal cells, which were derived from confocal microscopy, were simulated in our model. To produce this realistic model of the brain tissue, image segmentation was used to identify cells in the images of cells cultures. The segmented cells were inserted pixel by pixel into the modeled physical space, which represents a volume of interacting cells with periodic boundary conditions (PBCs). PBCs were used to extrapolate the model results to the macroscopic tissue structures. Specific spatial patterns for cell apoptosis are expected from GCR, as heavy ions produce concentrated damage along their trajectories. The apoptotic cell patterns were modeled based on the action cross sections for apoptosis, which were estimated from the available experimental data. The cell patterns were characterized with an autocorrelation function, which values are higher for non-random cell patterns, and the values of the autocorrelation function were compared for X rays and Fe ion irradiations. The autocorrelation function indicates the directionality effects present in apoptotic neuronal cells from GCR.
Bandettini, Peter A
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI) continue to advance because creative physicists, engineers, neuroscientists, clinicians, and physiologists find new ways for extracting more information from the signal. Innovations in pulse sequence design, paradigm design, and processing methods have advanced the field and firmly established fMRI as a cornerstone for understanding the human brain. In this article, the field of fMRI is described through consideration of the central problem of separating hemodynamic from neuronal information. Discussed here are examples of how pulse sequences, activation paradigms, and processing methods are integrated such that novel, high-quality information can be obtained. Examples include the extraction of information such as activation onset latency, metabolic rate, neuronal adaptation, vascular patency, vessel diameter, vigilance, and subvoxel activation. Experimental measures include time series latency, hemodynamic shape, MR phase, multivoxel patterns, ratios of activation-related R2* to R2, metabolic rate changes, fluctuation correlations and frequencies, changes in fluctuation correlations and frequencies over time, resting correlation states, echo time dependence, and more.
Avery, L.; Bargmann, C. I.; Horvitz, H. R.
We have devised a method for selecting Caenorhabditis elegans mutants that execute feeding motions in the absence of food. One mutation isolated in this way is an allele of the gene unc-31, first discovered by S. Brenner in 1974, because of its effects on locomotion. We find that strong unc-31 mutations cause defects in four functions controlled by the nervous system. Mutant worms are lethargic, feed constitutively, are defective in egg-laying and produce dauer larvae that fail to recover. We discuss two extreme models to explain this pleiotropy: either unc-31 affects one or a few neurons that coordinately control several different functions, or it affects many neurons that independently control different functions. PMID:8325482
Haghani, M; Shabani, M; Moazzami, K
Electromagnetic field (EMF) radiations emitted from mobile phones may cause structural damage to neurons. With the increased usage of mobile phones worldwide, concerns about their possible effects on the nervous system are rising. In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the possible effects of prenatal EMF exposure on the cerebellum of offspring Wistar rats. Rats in the EMF group were exposed to 900-MHz pulse-EMF irradiation for 6h per day during all gestation period. Ten offspring per each group were evaluated for behavioral and electrophysiological evaluations. Cerebellum-related behavioral dysfunctions were analyzed using motor learning and cerebellum-dependent functional tasks (Accelerated Rotarod, Hanging and Open field tests). Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were used for electrophysiological evaluations. The results of the present study failed to show any behavioral abnormalities in rats exposed to chronic EMF radiation. However, whole-cell patch clamp recordings revealed decreased neuronal excitability of Purkinje cells in rats exposed to EMF. The most prominent changes included afterhyperpolarization amplitude, spike frequency, half width and first spike latency. In conclusion, the results of the present study show that prenatal EMF exposure results in altered electrophysiological properties of Purkinje neurons. However, these changes may not be severe enough to alter the cerebellum-dependent functional tasks.
Kempton, Matthew J; Ettinger, Ulrich; Foster, Russell; Williams, Steven C R; Calvert, Gemma A; Hampshire, Adam; Zelaya, Fernando O; O'Gorman, Ruth L; McMorris, Terry; Owen, Adrian M; Smith, Marcus S
It was recently observed that dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue and an associated increase in ventricular volume. Negative effects of dehydration on cognitive performance have been shown in some but not all studies, and it has also been reported that an increased perceived effort may be required following dehydration. However, the effects of dehydration on brain function are unknown. We investigated this question using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 10 healthy adolescents (mean age = 16.8, five females). Each subject completed a thermal exercise protocol and nonthermal exercise control condition in a cross-over repeated measures design. Subjects lost more weight via perspiration in the thermal exercise versus the control condition (P < 0.0001), and lateral ventricle enlargement correlated with the reduction in body mass (r = 0.77, P = 0.01). Dehydration following the thermal exercise protocol led to a significantly stronger increase in fronto-parietal blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response during an executive function task (Tower of London) than the control condition, whereas cerebral perfusion during rest was not affected. The increase in BOLD response after dehydration was not paralleled by a change in cognitive performance, suggesting an inefficient use of brain metabolic activity following dehydration. This pattern indicates that participants exerted a higher level of neuronal activity in order to achieve the same performance level. Given the limited availability of brain metabolic resources, these findings suggest that prolonged states of reduced water intake may adversely impact executive functions such as planning and visuo-spatial processing.
Eglen, R M
1 Muscarinic M1-M5 receptors mediate the metabotropic actions of acetylcholine in the nervous system. A growing body of data indicate they also mediate autocrine functions of the molecule. The availability of novel and selective muscarinic agonists and antagonists, as well as in vivo gene disruption techniques, has clarified the roles of muscarinic receptors in mediating both functions of acetylcholine. 2 Selective M1 agonists or mixed M1 agonists/M2 antagonists may provide an approach to the treatment of cognitive disorders, while M3 antagonism, or mixed M2/M3 antagonists, are approved for the treatment of contractility disorders including overactive bladder and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Preclinical data suggest that selective agonism of the M4 receptor will provide novel anti-nociceptive agents, while therapeutics-based upon agonism or antagonism of the muscarinic M5 receptor have yet to be reported. 3 The autocrine functions of muscarinic receptors broadly fall into two areas - control of cell growth or proliferation and mediation of the release of chemical mediators from epithelial cells, ultimately causing muscle relaxation. The former particularly are involved in embryological development, oncogenesis, keratinocyte function and immune responsiveness. The latter regulate contractility of smooth muscle in the vasculature, airways and urinary bladder. 4 Most attention has focused on muscarinic M1 or M3 receptors which mediate lymphocyte immunoresponsiveness, cell migration and release of smooth muscle relaxant factors. Muscarinic M4 receptors are implicated in the regulation of keratinocyte adhesion and M2 receptors in stem cell proliferation and development. Little data are available concerning the M5 receptor, partly due to the difficulties in defining the subtype pharmacologically. 5 The autocrine functions of acetylcholine, like those in the nervous system, involve activation of several muscarinic receptor subtypes. Consequently, the role of
Steullet, Pascal; Cabungcal, Jan-Harry; Kulak, Anita; Kraftsik, Rudolf; Chen, Ying; Dalton, Timothy P; Cuenod, Michel; Do, Kim Q
Elevated oxidative stress and alteration in antioxidant systems, including glutathione (GSH) decrease, are observed in schizophrenia. Genetic and functional data indicate that impaired GSH synthesis represents a susceptibility factor for the disorder. Here, we show that a genetically compromised GSH synthesis affects the morphological and functional integrity of hippocampal parvalbumin-immunoreactive (PV-IR) interneurons, known to be affected in schizophrenia. A GSH deficit causes a selective decrease of PV-IR interneurons in CA3 and dendate gyrus (DG) of the ventral but not dorsal hippocampus and a concomitant reduction of beta/gamma oscillations. Impairment of PV-IR interneurons emerges at the end of adolescence/early adulthood as oxidative stress increases or cumulates selectively in CA3 and DG of the ventral hippocampus. Such redox dysregulation alters stress and emotion-related behaviors but leaves spatial abilities intact, indicating functional disruption of the ventral but not dorsal hippocampus. Thus, a GSH deficit affects PV-IR interneuron's integrity and neuronal synchrony in a region- and time-specific manner, leading to behavioral phenotypes related to psychiatric disorders.
Menon, Shalini; Gupton, Stephanie L.
Neural connectivity requires proper polarization of neurons, guidance to appropriate target locations, and establishment of synaptic connections. From when neurons are born to when they finally reach their synaptic partners, neurons undergo constant rearrangment of the cytoskeleton to achieve appropriate shape and polarity. Of particular importance to neuronal guidance to target locations is the growth cone at the tip of the axon. Growth-cone steering is also dictated by the underlying cytoskeleton. All these changes require spatiotemporal control of the cytoskeletal machinery. This review summarizes the proteins that are involved in modulating the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton during the various stages of neuronal development. PMID:26940519
Li, Lishi; Rutlin, Michael; Abraira, Victoria E; Cassidy, Colleen; Kus, Laura; Gong, Shiaoching; Jankowski, Michael P; Luo, Wenqin; Heintz, Nathaniel; Koerber, H Richard; Woodbury, C Jeffery; Ginty, David D
Innocuous touch of the skin is detected by distinct populations of neurons, the low-threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs), which are classified as Aβ-, Aδ-, and C-LTMRs. Here, we report genetic labeling of LTMR subtypes and visualization of their relative patterns of axonal endings in hairy skin and the spinal cord. We found that each of the three major hair follicle types of trunk hairy skin (guard, awl/auchene, and zigzag hairs) is innervated by a unique and invariant combination of LTMRs; thus, each hair follicle type is a functionally distinct mechanosensory end organ. Moreover, the central projections of Aβ-, Aδ-, and C-LTMRs that innervate the same or adjacent hair follicles form narrow LTMR columns in the dorsal horn. These findings support a model of mechanosensation in which the activities of Aβ-, Aδ-, and C-LTMRs are integrated within dorsal horn LTMR columns and processed into outputs that underlie the perception of myriad touch sensations.
Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Watson, Charles; Paxinos, George
How are neurons distributed along the cortical surface and across functional areas? Here we use the isotropic fractionator (Herculano-Houzel and Lent, 2005) to analyze the distribution of neurons across the entire isocortex of the mouse, divided into 18 functional areas defined anatomically. We find that the number of neurons underneath a surface area (the N/A ratio) varies 4.5-fold across functional areas and neuronal density varies 3.2-fold. The face area of S1 contains the most neurons, followed by motor cortex and the primary visual cortex. Remarkably, while the distribution of neurons across functional areas does not accompany the distribution of surface area, it mirrors closely the distribution of cortical volumes-with the exception of the visual areas, which hold more neurons than expected for their volume. Across the non-visual cortex, the volume of individual functional areas is a shared linear function of their number of neurons, while in the visual areas, neuronal densities are much higher than in all other areas. In contrast, the 18 functional areas cluster into three different zones according to the relationship between the N/A ratio and cortical thickness and neuronal density: these three clusters can be called visual, sensory, and, possibly, associative. These findings are remarkably similar to those in the human cerebral cortex (Ribeiro et al., 2013) and suggest that, like the human cerebral cortex, the mouse cerebral cortex comprises two zones that differ in how neurons form the cortical volume, and three zones that differ in how neurons are distributed underneath the cortical surface, possibly in relation to local differences in connectivity through the white matter. Our results suggest that beyond the developmental divide into visual and non-visual cortex, functional areas initially share a common distribution of neurons along the parenchyma that become delimited into functional areas according to the pattern of connectivity established later.
Guaiquil, Victor H.; Pan, Zan; Karagianni, Natalia; Fukuoka, Shima; Alegre, Gemstonn; Rosenblatt, Mark I.
VEGF-B primarily provides neuroprotection and improves survival in CNS-derived neurons. However, its actions on the peripheral nervous system have been less characterized. We examined whether VEGF-B mediates peripheral nerve repair. We found that VEGF-B induced extensive neurite growth and branching in trigeminal ganglia neurons in a manner that required selective activation of transmembrane receptors and was distinct from VEGF-A–induced neuronal growth. VEGF-B–induced neurite elongation required PI3K and Notch signaling. In vivo, VEGF-B is required for normal nerve regeneration: mice lacking VEGF-B showed impaired nerve repair with concomitant impaired trophic function. VEGF-B treatment increased nerve regeneration, sensation recovery, and trophic functions of injured corneal peripheral nerves in VEGF-B–deficient and wild-type animals, without affecting uninjured nerves. These selective effects of VEGF-B on injured nerves and its lack of angiogenic activity makes VEGF-B a suitable therapeutic target to treat nerve injury. PMID:25404333
Kuraishi, Takayuki; Kenmoku, Hiroyuki; Kurata, Shoichiro
The intestinal tract is the main organ involved in host nutritional homeostasis. Intestinal function in both vertebrates and invertebrates is partly controlled by enteric neurons that innervate the gut. Though anatomical and functional aspects of enteric neurons are relatively less characterized in Drosophila than in large insects, analyses of the role of the enteric neurons in flies have remarkably progressed in the last few years. In this review, we first provide a summary of the structure and function of the Drosophila intestine. We then discuss recent studies of the structure and function of enteric neurons in Drosophila melanogaster.
Deats, Sean P; Adidharma, Widya; Yan, Lily
Light has profound effects on mood regulation as exemplified in seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and the therapeutic benefits of light therapy. However, the underlying neural pathways through which light regulates mood are not well understood. Our previous work has developed the diurnal grass rat, Arvicanthis niloticus, as an animal model of SAD. Following housing conditions of either 12:12 h dim light:dark (DLD) or 8:16 h short photoperiod (SP), which mimic the lower light intensity or short day-length of winter, respectively, grass rats exhibit an increase in depression-like behavior compared to those housed in a 12:12 h bright light:dark (BLD) condition. Furthermore, we have shown that the orexinergic system is involved in mediating the effects of light on mood and anxiety. To explore other potential neural substrates involved in the depressive phenotype, the present study examined hypothalamic dopaminergic (DA) and somatostatin (SST) neurons in the brains of grass rats housed in DLD, SP and BLD. Using immunostaining for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and SST, we found that the number of TH- and SST-ir cells in the hypothalamus was significantly lower in the DLD and SP groups compared to the BLD group. We also found that treating BLD animals with a selective orexin receptor 1 (OX1R) antagonist SB-334867 significantly reduced the number of hypothalamic TH-ir cells. The present study suggests that the hypothalamic DA neurons are sensitive to daytime light deficiency and are regulated by an orexinergic pathway. The results support the hypothesis that the orexinergic pathways mediate the effects of light on other neuronal systems that collectively contribute to light-dependent changes in the affective state.
Jastrzębska, Kamila; Walczak, Magdalena; Cieślak, Przemysław Eligiusz; Szumiec, Łukasz; Turbasa, Mateusz; Engblom, David; Błasiak, Tomasz; Parkitna, Jan Rodriguez
The role of changes in dopamine neuronal activity during the development of symptoms in affective disorders remains controversial. Here, we show that inactivation of NMDA receptors on dopaminergic neurons in adult mice led to the development of affective disorder-like symptoms. The loss of NMDA receptors altered activity and caused complete NMDA-insensitivity in dopamine-like neurons. Mutant mice exhibited increased immobility in the forced swim test and a decrease in social interactions. Mutation also led to reduced saccharin intake, however the preference of sweet taste was not significantly decreased. Additionally, we found that while mutant mice were slower to learn instrumental tasks, they were able to reach the same performance levels, had normal sensitivity to feedback and showed similar motivation to exert effort as control animals. Taken together these results show that inducing the loss of NMDA receptor-dependent activity in dopamine neurons is associated with development of affective disorder-like symptoms. PMID:27853270
Cook, Mandy; Bolkan, Bonnie J; Kretzschmar, Doris
loechrig (loe) mutant flies are characterized by progressive neuronal degeneration, behavioral deficits, and early death. The mutation is due to a P-element insertion in the gene for the γ-subunit of the trimeric AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) complex, whereby the insertion affects only one of several alternative transcripts encoding a unique neuronal isoform. AMPK is a cellular energy sensor that regulates a plethora of signaling pathways, including cholesterol and isoprenoid synthesis via its downstream target hydroxy-methylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase. We recently showed that loe interferes with isoprenoid synthesis and increases the prenylation and thereby activation of RhoA. During development, RhoA plays an important role in neuronal outgrowth by activating a signaling cascade that regulates actin dynamics. Here we show that the effect of loe/AMPKγ on RhoA prenylation leads to a hyperactivation of this signaling pathway, causing increased phosphorylation of the actin depolymerizating factor cofilin and accumulation of filamentous actin. Furthermore, our results show that the resulting cytoskeletal changes in loe interfere with neuronal growth and disrupt axonal integrity. Surprisingly, these phenotypes were enhanced by expressing the Slingshot (SSH) phosphatase, which during development promotes actin depolymerization by dephosphorylating cofilin. However, our studies suggest that in the adult SSH promotes actin polymerization, supporting in vitro studies using human SSH1 that suggested that SSH can also stabilize and bundle filamentous actin. Together with the observed increase in SSH levels in the loe mutant, our experiments suggest that in mature neurons SSH may function as a stabilization factor for filamentous actin instead of promoting actin depolymerization.
Frickenhaus, Marie; Wagner, Marina; Mallik, Moushami; Catinozzi, Marica; Storkebaum, Erik
To expand the rich genetic toolkit of Drosophila melanogaster, we evaluated whether introducing FRT or LoxP sites in endogenous genes could allow for cell-type-specific gene inactivation in both dividing and postmitotic cells by GAL4-driven expression of FLP or Cre recombinase. For proof of principle, conditional alleles were generated for cabeza (caz), the Drosophila homolog of human FUS, a gene implicated in the neurodegenerative disorders amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Upon selective expression in neurons or muscle, both FLP and Cre mediated caz inactivation in all neurons or muscle cells, respectively. Neuron-selective caz inactivation resulted in failure of pharate adult flies to eclose from the pupal case, and adult escapers displayed motor performance defects and reduced life span. Due to Cre-toxicity, FLP/FRT is the preferred system for cell-type-specific gene inactivation, and this strategy outperforms RNAi-mediated knock-down. Furthermore, the GAL80 target system allowed for temporal control over gene inactivation, as induction of FLP expression from the adult stage onwards still inactivated caz in >99% of neurons. Remarkably, selective caz inactivation in adult neurons did not affect motor performance and life span, indicating that neuronal caz is required during development, but not for maintenance of adult neuronal function.
Wang, Desheng; Zheng, Wen
Previous studies have shown dietary cholesterol can enhance learning but retard memory which may be partly due to increased cholesterol levels in hippocampus and reduced afterhyperpolarization (AHP) amplitude of hippocampal CA1 neurons. This study explored the dose-dependent effect of dietary cholesterol on synaptic plasticity of rabbit hippocampal CA1 neurons and spine morphology, the postsynaptic structures responsible for synaptic plasticity. Field potential recordings revealed a low concentration of dietary cholesterol increased long-term potentiation (LTP) expression while high concentrations produced a pronounced reduction in LTP expression. Dietary cholesterol facilitated basal synaptic transmission but did not influence presynaptic function. DiI staining showed dietary cholesterol induced alterations in dendrite spine morphology characterized by increased mushroom spine density and decreased thin spine density, two kinds of dendritic spines that may be linked to memory consolidation and learning acquisition. Dietary cholesterol also modulated the geometric measures of mushroom spines. Therefore, dietary cholesterol dose-dependently modulated both synaptic plasticity and dendrite spine morphologies of hippocampal CA1 neurons that could mediate learning and memory changes previously seen to result from feeding a cholesterol diet.
Husson, Steven J.; Liewald, Jana F.; Schultheis, Christian; Stirman, Jeffrey N.; Lu, Hang; Gottschalk, Alexander
Essentially any behavior in simple and complex animals depends on neuronal network function. Currently, the best-defined system to study neuronal circuits is the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, as the connectivity of its 302 neurons is exactly known. Individual neurons can be activated by photostimulation of Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) using blue light, allowing to directly probe the importance of a particular neuron for the respective behavioral output of the network under study. In analogy, other excitable cells can be inhibited by expressing Halorhodopsin from Natronomonas pharaonis (NpHR) and subsequent illumination with yellow light. However, inhibiting C. elegans neurons using NpHR is difficult. Recently, proton pumps from various sources were established as valuable alternative hyperpolarizers. Here we show that archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch) from Halorubrum sodomense and a proton pump from the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans (Mac) can be utilized to effectively inhibit excitable cells in C. elegans. Arch is the most powerful hyperpolarizer when illuminated with yellow or green light while the action spectrum of Mac is more blue-shifted, as analyzed by light-evoked behaviors and electrophysiology. This allows these tools to be combined in various ways with ChR2 to analyze different subsets of neurons within a circuit. We exemplify this by means of the polymodal aversive sensory ASH neurons, and the downstream command interneurons to which ASH neurons signal to trigger a reversal followed by a directional turn. Photostimulating ASH and subsequently inhibiting command interneurons using two-color illumination of different body segments, allows investigating temporal aspects of signaling downstream of ASH. PMID:22815873
Dinc, Mehmet Emre; Dalgic, Abdullah; Ulusoy, Seckin; Dizdar, Denizhan; Develioglu, Omer; Topak, Murat
Conclusion This study found a negative effect of IDA on olfactory function. IDA leads to a reduction in olfactory function, and decreases in hemoglobin levels result in further reduction in olfactory function. Objective This study examined the effects of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) on olfactory function. Method The study enrolled 50 IDA patients and 50 healthy subjects. Olfactory function was evaluated using the Sniffin' Sticks olfactory test. The diagnosis of IDA was made according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results Patients with IDA had a significantly lower threshold, discrimination, and identification (TDI) value, and a lower threshold compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of smell selectivity values.
Podda, Maria Vittoria; D'Ascenzo, Marcello; Leone, Lucia; Piacentini, Roberto; Azzena, Gian Battista; Grassi, Claudio
Although cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels are expressed in numerous brain areas, little information is available on their functions in CNS neurons. The aim of the present study was to define the distribution of CNG channels in the rat medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) and their possible involvement in regulating MVN neuron (MVNn) excitability. The majority of MVNn expressed both CNG1 and CNG2 A subunits. In whole-cell current-clamp experiments carried out on brainstem slices containing the MVNn, the membrane-permeant analogues of cyclic nucleotides, 8-Br-cGMP and 8-Br-cAMP (1 mm), induced membrane depolarizations (8.9 ± 0.8 and 9.2 ± 1.0 mV, respectively) that were protein kinase independent. The cGMP-induced depolarization was associated with a significant decrease in the membrane input resistance. The effects of cGMP on membrane potential were almost completely abolished by the CNG channel blockers, Cd2+ and l-cis-diltiazem, but they were unaffected by blockade of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. In voltage-clamp experiments, 8-Br-cGMP induced non-inactivating inward currents (−22.2 ± 3.9 pA) with an estimated reversal potential near 0 mV, which were markedly inhibited by reduction of extracellular Na+ and Ca2+ concentrations. Membrane depolarization induced by CNG channel activation increased the firing rate of MVNn without changing the action potential shape. Collectively, these findings provide novel evidence that CNG channels affect membrane potential and excitability of MVNn. Such action should have a significant impact on the function of these neurons in sensory–motor integration processes. More generally, it might represent a broad mechanism for regulating the excitability of different CNS neurons. PMID:18048449
Jacobs, Arthur M.
A long tradition of research including classical rhetoric, esthetics and poetics theory, formalism and structuralism, as well as current perspectives in (neuro)cognitive poetics has investigated structural and functional aspects of literature reception. Despite a wealth of literature published in specialized journals like Poetics, however, still little is known about how the brain processes and creates literary and poetic texts. Still, such stimulus material might be suited better than other genres for demonstrating the complexities with which our brain constructs the world in and around us, because it unifies thought and language, music and imagery in a clear, manageable way, most often with play, pleasure, and emotion (Schrott and Jacobs, 2011). In this paper, I discuss methods and models for investigating the neuronal and cognitive-affective bases of literary reading together with pertinent results from studies on poetics, text processing, emotion, or neuroaesthetics, and outline current challenges and future perspectives. PMID:25932010
Jacobs, Arthur M
A long tradition of research including classical rhetoric, esthetics and poetics theory, formalism and structuralism, as well as current perspectives in (neuro)cognitive poetics has investigated structural and functional aspects of literature reception. Despite a wealth of literature published in specialized journals like Poetics, however, still little is known about how the brain processes and creates literary and poetic texts. Still, such stimulus material might be suited better than other genres for demonstrating the complexities with which our brain constructs the world in and around us, because it unifies thought and language, music and imagery in a clear, manageable way, most often with play, pleasure, and emotion (Schrott and Jacobs, 2011). In this paper, I discuss methods and models for investigating the neuronal and cognitive-affective bases of literary reading together with pertinent results from studies on poetics, text processing, emotion, or neuroaesthetics, and outline current challenges and future perspectives.
Klopf, A. Harry
A neuronal learning mechanism is proposed that accounts for the basic animal learning phenomena that have been observed. Among the classical conditioning phenomena predicted by the neuronal model are delay conditioning, trace conditioning, simultaneous conditioning, conditioned stimulus duration and amplitude effects, unconditioned stimulus amplitude effects, interstimulus interval effects, second and higher order conditioning, conditioned inhibition, habituation and extinction, reacquisition effects, backward conditioning, blocking, overshadowing and serial compound conditioning. The proposed neuronal model and learning mechanism offer a new building block for constructing neural network-like computer arthitectures for artificial intelligence.
Liu, Xi; Wang, Ying; He, Jin; Wang, Xiu-Mei; Cui, Fu-Zhai; Xu, Quan-Yuan
Neuronal progenitor cells cultured on gold-coated glass surfaces modified by different chemical functional groups, including hydroxyl (-OH), carboxyl (-COOH), amino (-NH2), bromo (-Br), mercapto (-SH), - Phenyl and methyl (-CH3), were studied here to investigate the influence of surface chemistry on the cells' adhesion, morphology, proliferation and functional gene expression. Focal adhesion staining indicated in the initial culture stage cells exhibited morphological changes in response to different chemical functional groups. Cells cultured on -NH2 grafted surface displayed focal adhesion plaque and flattened morphology and had the largest contact area. However, their counter parts on -CH3 grafted surface displayed no focal adhesion and rounded morphology and had the smallest contact area. After 6 days culture, the proliferation trend was as follows: -NH2 > -SH> -COOH> - Phenyl > - Br > -OH> -CH3. To determine the neural functional properties of the cells affected by surface chemistry, the expression of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD67), nerve growth factor (NGF) and brainderived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were characterized. An increase of GAD67 expression was observed on -NH2, -COOH and -SH grafted surfaces, while no increase in NGF and BDNF expression was observed on any chemical surfaces. These results highlight the importance of surface chemistry in the fate determination of neuronal progenitor cells, and suggest that surface chemistry must be considered in the design of biomaterials for neural tissue engineering.
Lekholm, Emilia; Perland, Emelie; Eriksson, Mikaela M.; Hellsten, Sofie V.; Lindberg, Frida A.; Rostami, Jinar; Fredriksson, Robert
Characterization of orphan transporters is of importance due to their involvement in cellular homeostasis but also in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. The tissue and cellular localization, as well as function, is still unknown for many of the solute carriers belonging to the major facilitator superfamily (MFS) Pfam clan. Here, we have characterized two putative novel transporters MFSD14A (HIAT1) and MFSD14B (HIATL1) in the mouse central nervous system and found protein staining throughout the adult mouse brain. Both transporters localized to neurons and MFSD14A co-localized with the Golgi marker Giantin in primary embryonic cortex cultures, while MFSD14B staining co-localized with an endoplasmic retention marker, KDEL. Based on phylogenetic clustering analyses, we predict both to have organic substrate profiles, and possible involvement in energy homeostasis. Therefore, we monitored gene regulation changes in mouse embryonic primary cultures after amino acid starvations and found both transporters to be upregulated after 3 h of starvation. Interestingly, in mice subjected to 24 h of food starvation, both transporters were downregulated in the hypothalamus, while Mfsd14a was also downregulated in the brainstem. In addition, in mice fed a high fat diet (HFD), upregulation of both transporters was seen in the striatum. Both MFSD14A and MFSD14B were intracellular neuronal membrane-bound proteins, expressed in the Golgi and Endoplasmic reticulum, affected by both starvation and HFD to varying degree in the mouse brain. PMID:28179877
Chang, Chia-Ling; Trimbuch, Thorsten; Chao, Hsiao-Tuan; Jordan, Julia-Christine; Herman, Melissa A; Rosenmund, Christian
Neural circuits are composed of mainly glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, which communicate through synaptic connections. Many factors instruct the formation and function of these synapses; however, it is difficult to dissect the contribution of intrinsic cell programs from that of extrinsic environmental effects in an intact network. Here, we perform paired recordings from two-neuron microculture preparations of mouse hippocampal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons to investigate how synaptic input and output of these two principal cells develop. In our reduced preparation, we found that glutamatergic neurons showed no change in synaptic output or input regardless of partner neuron cell type or neuronal activity level. In contrast, we found that glutamatergic input caused the GABAergic neuron to modify its output by way of an increase in synapse formation and a decrease in synaptic release efficiency. These findings are consistent with aspects of GABAergic synapse maturation observed in many brain regions. In addition, changes in GABAergic output are cell wide and not target-cell specific. We also found that glutamatergic neuronal activity determined the AMPA receptor properties of synapses on the partner GABAergic neuron. All modifications of GABAergic input and output required activity of the glutamatergic neuron. Because our system has reduced extrinsic factors, the changes we saw in the GABAergic neuron due to glutamatergic input may reflect initiation of maturation programs that underlie the formation and function of in vivo neural circuits.
Cassata, G; Kagoshima, H; Andachi, Y; Kohara, Y; Dürrenberger, M B; Hall, D H; Bürglin, T R
In Caenorhabditis elegans three pairs of neurons, AFD, AIY, and AIZ, play a key role in thermosensation. The LIM homeobox gene ceh-14 is expressed in the AFD thermosensory neurons. ceh-14 mutant animals display athermotactic behaviors, although the neurons are still present and differentiated. Two other LIM homeobox genes, ttx-3 and lin-11, function in the two interneurons AIY and AIZ, respectively. Thus, the three key thermosensory neurons are specified by three different LIM homeobox genes. ceh-14 ttx-3 lin-11 triple mutant animals have a basic cryophilic thermotaxis behavior indicative of a second thermotaxis pathway. Misexpression of ceh-14 in chemosensory neurons can restore thermotactic behavior without impairing the chemosensory function. Thus, ceh-14 confers thermosensory function to neurons.
Ruiz, Rocío; Pérez-Villegas, Eva María; Bachiller, Sara; Rosa, José Luis; Armengol, José Angel
The spontaneous mutation tambaleante is caused by the Gly483Glu substitution in the highly conserved N terminal RCC1-like domain of the HERC1 protein, which leads to the increase of mutated protein levels responsible for cerebellar Purkinje cell death by autophagy. Until now, Purkinje cells have been the only central nervous neurons reported as being targeted by the mutation, and their degeneration elicits an ataxic syndrome in adult mutant mice. However, the ultrastructural analysis performed here demonstrates that signs of autophagy, such as autophagosomes, lysosomes, and altered mitochondria, are present in neocortical pyramidal, CA3 hippocampal pyramidal, and spinal cord motor neurons. The main difference is that the reduction in the number of neurons affected in the tambaleante mutation in the neocortex, the hippocampus, and the spinal cord is not so evident as the dramatic loss of cerebellar Purkinje cells. Interestingly, signs of autophagy are absent in both interneurons and neuroglia cells. Affected neurons have in common that they are projection neurons which receive strong and varied synaptic inputs, and possess the highest degree of neuronal activity. Therefore, because the integrity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system is essential for protein degradation and hence, for normal protein turnover, it could be hypothesized that the deleterious effects of the misrouting of these pathways would depend directly on the neuronal activity. PMID:27147983
Ruiz, Rocío; Pérez-Villegas, Eva María; Bachiller, Sara; Rosa, José Luis; Armengol, José Angel
The spontaneous mutation tambaleante is caused by the Gly483Glu substitution in the highly conserved N terminal RCC1-like domain of the HERC1 protein, which leads to the increase of mutated protein levels responsible for cerebellar Purkinje cell death by autophagy. Until now, Purkinje cells have been the only central nervous neurons reported as being targeted by the mutation, and their degeneration elicits an ataxic syndrome in adult mutant mice. However, the ultrastructural analysis performed here demonstrates that signs of autophagy, such as autophagosomes, lysosomes, and altered mitochondria, are present in neocortical pyramidal, CA3 hippocampal pyramidal, and spinal cord motor neurons. The main difference is that the reduction in the number of neurons affected in the tambaleante mutation in the neocortex, the hippocampus, and the spinal cord is not so evident as the dramatic loss of cerebellar Purkinje cells. Interestingly, signs of autophagy are absent in both interneurons and neuroglia cells. Affected neurons have in common that they are projection neurons which receive strong and varied synaptic inputs, and possess the highest degree of neuronal activity. Therefore, because the integrity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system is essential for protein degradation and hence, for normal protein turnover, it could be hypothesized that the deleterious effects of the misrouting of these pathways would depend directly on the neuronal activity.
Nagahama, Tatsumi; Suzuki, Takeshi; Yoshikawa, Shinya; Iseki, Mineo
In neural mechanisms of animal learning, intracellular cAMP has been known to play an important role. In the present experiments we attempted functional transplant of a photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC) isolated from Euglena into Aplysia neurons, and explored whether PAC can produce cAMP in the neurons by light stimulation. Serotonergic modulation of mechanoafferent sensory neurons in Aplysia pleural ganglia has been reported to increase intracellular cAMP level and promotes synaptic transmission to motor neurons by increasing spike width of sensory neurons. When cAMP was directly injected into the sensory neurons, spike amplitude temporarily decreased while spike width temporarily increased. This effect was not substituted by injection of 5'AMP, and maintained longer in a bath solution containing IBMX, the phosphodiesterase inhibitor. We, therefore, explored these changes as indicators of appearance of the PAC function. PAC or the PAC expression vector (pNEX-PAC) was injected into cell bodies of sensory neurons. Spike amplitude decreased in both cases and spike width increased in the PAC injection when the neurons were stimulated with light, suggesting that the transplanted PAC works well in Aplysia neurons. These results indicate that we can control cAMP production in specific neurons with light by the functional transplant of PAC.
Carvalho, Tiago P.; Buonomano, Dean V.
Ultimately, whether or not a neuron produces a spike determines its contribution to local computations. In response to brief stimuli the probability a neuron will fire can be described by its input-output function, which depends on the net balance and timing of excitatory and inhibitory currents. While excitatory and inhibitory synapses are plastic, most studies examine plasticity of subthreshold events. Thus, the effects of concerted regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic strength on neuronal input-output functions are not well understood. Here, theoretical analyses reveal that excitatory synaptic strength controls the threshold of the neuronal input-output function, while inhibitory plasticity alters the threshold and gain. Experimentally, changes in the balance of excitation and inhibition in CA1 pyramidal neurons also altered their input-output function as predicted by the model. These results support the existence of two functional modes of plasticity that can be used to optimize information processing: threshold and gain plasticity. PMID:19285473
Thoma, Vladimiros; Knapek, Stephan; Arai, Shogo; Hartl, Marion; Kohsaka, Hiroshi; Sirigrivatanawong, Pudith; Abe, Ayako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Tanimoto, Hiromu
Finding food sources is essential for survival. Insects detect nutrients with external taste receptor neurons. Drosophila possesses multiple taste organs that are distributed throughout its body. However, the role of different taste organs in feeding remains poorly understood. By blocking subsets of sweet taste receptor neurons, we show that receptor neurons in the legs are required for immediate sugar choice. Furthermore, we identify two anatomically distinct classes of sweet taste receptor neurons in the leg. The axonal projections of one class terminate in the thoracic ganglia, whereas the other projects directly to the brain. These two classes are functionally distinct: the brain-projecting neurons are involved in feeding initiation, whereas the thoracic ganglia-projecting neurons play a role in sugar-dependent suppression of locomotion. Distinct receptor neurons for the same taste quality may coordinate early appetitive responses, taking advantage of the legs as the first appendages to contact food. PMID:26893070
Keast, Janet R.; Smith-Anttila, Casey J. A.; Osborne, Peregrine B.
The development of organs occurs in parallel with the formation of their nerve supply. The innervation of pelvic organs (lower urinary tract, hindgut, and sexual organs) is complex and we know remarkably little about the mechanisms that form these neural pathways. The goal of this short review is to use the urinary bladder as an example to stimulate interest in this question. The bladder requires a healthy mature nervous system to store urine and release it at behaviorally appropriate times. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the construction of these neural circuits is not only relevant to defining the basis of developmental problems but may also suggest strategies to restore connectivity and function following injury or disease in adults. The bladder nerve supply comprises multiple classes of sensory, and parasympathetic or sympathetic autonomic effector (motor) neurons. First, we define the developmental endpoint by describing this circuitry in adult rodents. Next we discuss the innervation of the developing bladder, identifying challenges posed by this area of research. Last we provide examples of genetically modified mice with bladder dysfunction and suggest potential neural contributors to this state. PMID:26389118
Antic, Srdjan D; Empson, Ruth M; Knöpfel, Thomas
Understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying brain functions such as cognition and emotions requires monitoring of membrane voltage at the cellular, circuit, and system levels. Seminal voltage-sensitive dye and calcium-sensitive dye imaging studies have demonstrated parallel detection of electrical activity across populations of interconnected neurons in a variety of preparations. A game-changing advance made in recent years has been the conceptualization and development of optogenetic tools, including genetically encoded indicators of voltage (GEVIs) or calcium (GECIs) and genetically encoded light-gated ion channels (actuators, e.g., channelrhodopsin2). Compared with low-molecular-weight calcium and voltage indicators (dyes), the optogenetic imaging approaches are 1) cell type specific, 2) less invasive, 3) able to relate activity and anatomy, and 4) facilitate long-term recordings of individual cells' activities over weeks, thereby allowing direct monitoring of the emergence of learned behaviors and underlying circuit mechanisms. We highlight the potential of novel approaches based on GEVIs and compare those to calcium imaging approaches. We also discuss how novel approaches based on GEVIs (and GECIs) coupled with genetically encoded actuators will promote progress in our knowledge of brain circuits and systems.
Mingote, Susana; Chuhma, Nao; Kusnoor, Sheila V.; Field, Bianca; Deutch, Ariel Y.
In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subpopulation of dopamine neurons express vesicular glutamate transporter 2 and make glutamatergic connections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) and olfactory tubercle (OT) neurons. However, their glutamatergic connections across the forebrain have not been explored systematically. To visualize dopamine neuron forebrain projections and to enable photostimulation of their axons independent of transmitter status, we virally transfected VTA neurons with channelrhodopsin-2 fused to enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (ChR2-EYFP) and used DATIREScre mice to restrict expression to dopamine neurons. ChR2-EYFP-expressing neurons almost invariably stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, identifying them as dopaminergic. Dopamine neuron axons visualized by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence projected most densely to the striatum, moderately to the amygdala and entorhinal cortex (ERC), sparsely to prefrontal and cingulate cortices, and rarely to the hippocampus. Guided by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence, we recorded systematically from putative principal neurons in target areas and determined the incidence and strength of glutamatergic connections by activating all dopamine neuron terminals impinging on recorded neurons with wide-field photostimulation. This revealed strong glutamatergic connections in the NAc, OT, and ERC; moderate strength connections in the central amygdala; and weak connections in the cingulate cortex. No glutamatergic connections were found in the dorsal striatum, hippocampus, basolateral amygdala, or prefrontal cortex. These results indicate that VTA dopamine neurons elicit widespread, but regionally distinct, glutamatergic signals in the forebrain and begin to define the dopamine neuron excitatory functional connectome. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dopamine neurons are important for the control of motivated behavior and are involved in the pathophysiology of several major neuropsychiatric disorders. Recent studies have shown that some ventral midbrain
Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake; Des Roches, Simone; Chase, Jonathan M; Shurin, Jonathan B; Schluter, Dolph
Explaining the ecological causes of evolutionary diversification is a major focus of biology, but surprisingly little has been said about the effects of evolutionary diversification on ecosystems. The number of species in an ecosystem and their traits are key predictors of many ecosystem-level processes, such as rates of productivity, biomass sequestration and decomposition. Here we demonstrate short-term ecosystem-level effects of adaptive radiation in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) over the past 10,000 years. These fish have undergone recent parallel diversification in several lakes in coastal British Columbia, resulting in the formation of two specialized species (benthic and limnetic) from a generalist ancestor. Using a mesocosm experiment, we demonstrate that this diversification has strong effects on ecosystems, affecting prey community structure, total primary production, and the nature of dissolved organic materials that regulate the spectral properties of light transmission in the system. However, these ecosystem effects do not simply increase in their relative strength with increasing specialization and species richness; instead, they reflect the complex and indirect consequences of ecosystem engineering by sticklebacks. It is well known that ecological factors influence adaptive radiation. We demonstrate that adaptive radiation, even over short timescales, can have profound effects on ecosystems.
Han, Yongmei; Ripley, Barry; Serada, Satoshi; Naka, Tetsuji; Fujimoto, Minoru
Background & Aim Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset, progressive, motor neuron degenerative disease. Recent evidence indicates that inflammation is associated with many neurodegenerative diseases including ALS. Previously, abnormal levels of inflammatory cytokines including IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α were described in ALS patients and/or in mouse ALS models. In addition, one study showed that blocking IL-1β could slow down progression of ALS-like symptoms in mice. In this study, we examined a role for IL-6 in ALS, using an animal model for familial ALS. Methods Mice with mutant SOD1 (G93A) transgene, a model for familial ALS, were used in this study. The expression of the major inflammatory cytokines, IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α, in spinal cords of these SOD1 transgenic (TG) mice were assessed by real time PCR. Mice were then crossed with IL-6(-/-) mice to generate SOD1TG/IL-6(-/-) mice. SOD1 TG/IL-6(-/-) mice (n = 17) were compared with SOD1 TG/IL-6(+/-) mice (n = 18), SOD1 TG/IL-6(+/+) mice (n = 11), WT mice (n = 15), IL-6(+/-) mice (n = 5) and IL-6(-/-) mice (n = 8), with respect to neurological disease severity score, body weight and the survival. We also histologically compared the motor neuron loss in lumber spinal cords and the atrophy of hamstring muscles between these mouse groups. Results Levels of IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α in spinal cords of SOD1 TG mice was increased compared to WT mice. However, SOD1 TG/IL-6(-/-) mice exhibited weight loss, deterioration in motor function and shortened lifespan (167.55 ± 11.52 days), similarly to SOD1 TG /IL-6(+/+) mice (164.31±12.16 days). Motor neuron numbers and IL-1β and TNF-α levels in spinal cords were not significantly different in SOD1 TG /IL-6(-/-) mice and SOD1 TG /IL-6 (+/+) mice. Conclusion These results provide compelling preclinical evidence indicating that IL-6 does not directly contribute to motor neuron disease caused by SOD1 mutations. PMID:27070121
Sonner, Patrick M; Stern, Javier E
Despite the fact that paraventricular nucleus (PVN) neurones innervating the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) play important roles in the control of sympathetic function both in physiological and pathological conditions, the precise mechanisms controlling their activity are still incompletely understood. In the present study, we evaluated whether the transient outward potassium current IA is expressed in PVN-RVLM neurones, characterized its biophysical and pharmacological properties, and determined its role in shaping action potentials and firing discharge in these neurones. Patch-clamp recordings obtained from retrogradely labelled, PVN-RVLM neurones indicate that a 4-AP sensitive, TEA insensitive current, with biophysical properties consistent with IA, is present in these neurones. Pharmacological blockade of IA depolarized resting Vm and prolonged Na+ action potential duration, by increasing its width and by slowing down its decay time course. Interestingly, blockade of IA either increased or decreased the firing activity of PVN-RVLM neurones, supporting the presence of subsets of PVN-RVLM neurones differentially modulated by IA. In all cases, the effects of IA on firing activity were prevented by a broad spectrum Ca2+ channel blocker. Immunohistochemical studies suggest that IA in PVN-RVLM neurons is mediated by Kv1.4 and/or Kv4.3 channel subunits. Overall, our results demonstrate the presence of IA in PVN-RVLM neurones, which actively modulates their action potential waveform and firing activity. These studies support IA as an important intrinsic mechanism controlling neuronal excitability in this central presympathetic neuronal population. PMID:17525115
Miller, Richard J.; Jung, Hosung; Bhangoo, Sonia K.; White, Fletcher A.
Pain normally subserves a vital role in the survival of the organism, prompting the avoidance of situations associated with tissue damage. However, the sensation of pain can become dissociated from its normal physiological role. In conditions of neuropathic pain, spontaneous or hypersensitive pain behavior occurs in the absence of the appropriate stimuli. Our incomplete understanding of the mechanisms underlying chronic pain hypersensitivity accounts for the general ineffectiveness of currently available options for the treatment of chronic pain syndromes. Despite its complex pathophysiological nature, it is clear that neuropathic pain is associated with short- and long-term changes in the excitability of sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) as well as their central connections. Recent evidence suggests that the upregulated expression of inflammatory cytokines in association with tissue damage or infection triggers the observed hyperexcitability of pain sensory neurons. The actions of inflammatory cytokines synthesized by DRG neurons and associated glial cells, as well as by astrocytes and microglia in the spinal cord, can produce changes in the excitability of nociceptive sensory neurons. These changes include rapid alterations in the properties of ion channels expressed by these neurons, as well as longer-term changes resulting from new gene transcription. In this chapter we review the diverse changes produced by inflammatory cytokines in the behavior of sensory neurons in the context of chronic pain syndromes. PMID:19655114
Schaeffer, Evelin L; Novaes, Barbara A; da Silva, Emanuelle R; Skaf, Heni D; Mendes-Neto, Alvaro G
Adult neurogenesis occurs in the subgranular zone (SGZ) and subventricular zone (SVZ). New SGZ neurons migrate into the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus (DG). New SVZ neurons seem to enter the association neocortex and entorhinal cortex besides the olfactory bulb. Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by neuron loss in the hippocampus (DG and CA1 field), entorhinal cortex, and association neocortex, which underlies the learning and memory deficits. We hypothesized that, if the AD brain can support neurogenesis, strategies to stimulate the neurogenesis process could have therapeutic value in AD. We reviewed the literature on: (a) the functional significance of adult-born neurons; (b) the occurrence of endogenous neurogenesis in AD; and (c) strategies to stimulate the adult neurogenesis process. We found that: (a) new neurons in the adult DG contribute to memory function; (b) new neurons are generated in the SGZ and SVZ of AD brains, but they fail to differentiate into mature neurons in the target regions; and (c) numerous strategies (Lithium, Glatiramer Acetate, nerve growth factor, environmental enrichment) can enhance adult neurogenesis and promote maturation of newly generated neurons. Such strategies might help to compensate for the loss of neurons and improve the memory function in AD.
Bradford, Aaron B; McNutt, Patrick M
Functional synaptogenesis and network emergence are signature endpoints of neurogenesis. These behaviors provide higher-order confirmation that biochemical and cellular processes necessary for neurotransmitter release, post-synaptic detection and network propagation of neuronal activity have been properly expressed and coordinated among cells. The development of synaptic neurotransmission can therefore be considered a defining property of neurons. Although dissociated primary neuron cultures readily form functioning synapses and network behaviors in vitro, continuously cultured neurogenic cell lines have historically failed to meet these criteria. Therefore, in vitro-derived neuron models that develop synaptic transmission are critically needed for a wide array of studies, including molecular neuroscience, developmental neurogenesis, disease research and neurotoxicology. Over the last decade, neurons derived from various stem cell lines have shown varying ability to develop into functionally mature neurons. In this review, we will discuss the neurogenic potential of various stem cells populations, addressing strengths and weaknesses of each, with particular attention to the emergence of functional behaviors. We will propose methods to functionally characterize new stem cell-derived neuron (SCN) platforms to improve their reliability as physiological relevant models. Finally, we will review how synaptically active SCNs can be applied to accelerate research in a variety of areas. Ultimately, emphasizing the critical importance of synaptic activity and network responses as a marker of neuronal maturation is anticipated to result in in vitro findings that better translate to efficacious clinical treatments. PMID:26240679
Mesik, Lukas; Ma, Wen-pei; Li, Ling-yun; Ibrahim, Leena A.; Huang, Z. J.; Zhang, Li I.; Tao, Huizhong W.
Despite accounting for about 20% of all the layer 2/3 inhibitory interneurons, the vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) expressing neurons remain the least thoroughly studied of the major inhibitory subtypes. In recent studies, VIP neurons have been shown to be activated by a variety of cortico-cortical and neuromodulatory inputs, but their basic sensory response properties remain poorly characterized. We set out to explore the functional properties of layer 2/3 VIP neurons in the primary visual (V1) and primary auditory cortex (A1), using two-photon imaging guided patch recordings. We found that in the V1, VIP neurons were generally broadly tuned, with their sensory response properties resembling those of parvalbumin (PV) expressing neurons. With the exception of response latency, they did not exhibit a significant difference from PV neurons across any of the properties tested, including overlap index, response modulation, orientation selectivity, and direction selectivity. In the A1, on the other hand, VIP neurons had a strong tendency to be intensity selective, which is a property associated with a subset of putative pyramidal cells and virtually absent in PV neurons. VIP neurons had a best intensity that was significantly lower than that of PV and putative pyramidal neurons. Finally, sensory evoked spike responses of VIP neurons were delayed relative to pyramidal and PV neurons in both the V1 and A1. Combined, these results demonstrate that the sensory response properties of VIP neurons do not fit a simple model of being either PV-like broadly tuned or pyramidal-like narrowly tuned. Instead, the selectivity pattern varies with sensory area and can even be, as in the case of low sound intensity responsiveness, distinct from both PV and pyramidal neurons. PMID:26106301
Sengupta, J N
Much work has been done in recent years to understand the functional roles of sensory neurons that regulate reflexes and sensations. Information about the response patterns of spinal dorsal horn and brain stem neurons associated with esophageal functions has become available by using electrophysiological techniques. These techniques allow understanding of response characteristics of neurons to various types of stimuli, neurotransmitters involved in excitation or inhibition of neurons, changes in response characteristics of neurons under pathological conditions, and the shape and size of a particular neuron in the central nervous system, as well as its projection to other areas of the brain. Response properties of primary afferent fibers in the vagus and thoracic sympathetic nerves have been studied in intact animal models by using single-fiber or extracellular microelectrode recording techniques. Recently, the single-fiber recording technique has been used in vitro in isolated esophagus-vagus nerve preparations. Recordings from the brain stem nuclei and thoracic spinal dorsal horn neurons also have examined the response characteristics of second-order neurons receiving afferent input from the esophagus. In the spinal cord, dorsal horn neurons responsive to esophageal distension also receive ipsilateral somatic input (ie, viscero-somatic convergence) from the upper thoracic area. These neurons exhibit sensitization of response after repeated noxious distension of the esophagus or instillation of irritant substances in the esophagus. In the nucleus ambiguus, neurons receiving input from the distal esophagus exhibit excitation to distension of the distal esophagus but undergo inhibition to midthoracic esophageal distension or to swallow. Neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius receiving input from the distal esophagus exhibit 2 types of responses to proximal and distal esophageal distension. One type of response is a rhythmic firing synchronized with peristaltic
Ramírez-Latorre, José A.
Many connections in the basal ganglia are made around birth when animals are exposed to a host of new affective, cognitive, and sensori-motor stimuli. It is thought that dopamine modulates cortico-striatal synapses that result in the strengthening of those connections that lead to desired outcomes. We propose that there must be a time before which stimuli cannot be processed into functional connections, otherwise it would imply an effective link between stimulus, response, and reward in uterus. Consistent with these ideas, we present evidence that early in development dopamine neurons are electrically immature and do not produce high-frequency firing in response to salient stimuli. We ask first, what makes dopamine neurons immature? and second, what are the implications of this immaturity for the basal ganglia? As an answer to the first question, we find that at birth the outward current is small (3nS-V), insensitive to , TEA, BK, and SK blockers. Rapidly after birth, the outward current increases to 15nS-V and becomes sensitive to , TEA, BK, and SK blockers. We make a detailed analysis of the kinetics of the components of the outward currents and produce a model for BK and SK channels that we use to reproduce the outward current, and to infer the geometrical arrangement of BK and channels in clusters. In the first cluster, T-type and BK channels are coupled within distances of 20 nm (200 Å). The second cluster consists of L-type and BK channels that are spread over distances of at least 60 nm. As for the second question, we propose that early in development, the mechanism of action selection is in a “locked-in” state that would prevent dopamine neurons from reinforcing cortico-striatal synapses that do not have a functional experiential-based value. PMID:23284723
Ramírez-Latorre, José A
Many connections in the basal ganglia are made around birth when animals are exposed to a host of new affective, cognitive, and sensori-motor stimuli. It is thought that dopamine modulates cortico-striatal synapses that result in the strengthening of those connections that lead to desired outcomes. We propose that there must be a time before which stimuli cannot be processed into functional connections, otherwise it would imply an effective link between stimulus, response, and reward in uterus. Consistent with these ideas, we present evidence that early in development dopamine neurons are electrically immature and do not produce high-frequency firing in response to salient stimuli. We ask first, what makes dopamine neurons immature? and second, what are the implications of this immaturity for the basal ganglia? As an answer to the first question, we find that at birth the outward current is small (3nS-V), insensitive to Ca(2+), TEA, BK, and SK blockers. Rapidly after birth, the outward current increases to 15nS-V and becomes sensitive to Ca(2+), TEA, BK, and SK blockers. We make a detailed analysis of the kinetics of the components of the outward currents and produce a model for BK and SK channels that we use to reproduce the outward current, and to infer the geometrical arrangement of BK and Ca(2+) channels in clusters. In the first cluster, T-type Ca(2+) and BK channels are coupled within distances of ~20 nm (200 Å). The second cluster consists of L-type Ca(2+) and BK channels that are spread over distances of at least 60 nm. As for the second question, we propose that early in development, the mechanism of action selection is in a "locked-in" state that would prevent dopamine neurons from reinforcing cortico-striatal synapses that do not have a functional experiential-based value.
Agasse, Fabienne; Bernardino, Liliana; Silva, Bruno; Ferreira, Raquel; Grade, Sofia; Malva, João O
Subventricular zone (SVZ) cell cultures contain mixed populations of immature cells, neurons, astrocytes, and progenitors in different stages of development. In the present work, we examined whether cell types of the SVZ could be functionally discriminated on the basis of intracellular free calcium level ([Ca(2+)](i)) variations following KCl and histamine stimulation. For this purpose, [Ca(2+)](i) were measured in SVZ cell cultures from neonatal P1-3 C57Bl/6 donor mice, in single cells, after stimulation with 100 microM histamine or 50 mM KCl. MAP-2-positive neurons and doublecortin-positive neuroblasts were distinguished on the basis of their selective ratio of response to KCl and/or histamine stimulation. Moreover, we could distinguish immature cells on the basis of the selective response to histamine via the histamine 1 receptor activation. Exposure of SVZ cultures to the pro-neurogenic stem cell factor (SCF) induced an increase in the number of cells responding to KCl and a decrease in the number of cells responding to histamine, consistent with neuronal differentiation. The selective response to KCl/histamine in single cell calcium imaging analysis offers a rapid and efficient way for the functional discrimination of neuronal differentiation in SVZ cell cultures, opening new perspectives for the search of potential pro-neurogenic factors.
Fontaine, Romain; Affaticati, Pierre; Bureau, Charlotte; Colin, Ingrid; Demarque, Michaël; Dufour, Sylvie; Vernier, Philippe; Yamamoto, Kei; Pasqualini, Catherine
Dopaminergic (DA) neurons located in the preoptico-hypothalamic region of the brain exert a major neuroendocrine control on reproduction, growth, and homeostasis by regulating the secretion of anterior pituitary (or adenohypophysis) hormones. Here, using a retrograde tract tracing experiment, we identified the neurons playing this role in the zebrafish. The DA cells projecting directly to the anterior pituitary are localized in the most anteroventral part of the preoptic area, and we named them preoptico-hypophyseal DA (POHDA) neurons. During development, these neurons do not appear before 72 hours postfertilization (hpf) and are the last dopaminergic cell group to differentiate. We found that the number of neurons in this cell population continues to increase throughout life proportionally to the growth of the fish. 5-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation analysis suggested that this increase is due to continuous neurogenesis and not due to a phenotypic change in already-existing neurons. Finally, expression profiles of several genes (foxg1a, dlx2a, and nr4a2a/b) were different in the POHDA compared with the adjacent suprachiasmatic DA neurons, suggesting that POHDA neurons develop as a distinct DA cell population in the preoptic area. This study offers some insights into the regional identity of the preoptic area and provides the first bases for future functional genetic studies on the development of DA neurons controlling anterior pituitary functions.
Liu, Tianxin; Mahesh, Guruswamy; Houl, Jerry H; Hardin, Paul E
Circadian pacemaker neurons in the Drosophila brain control daily rhythms in locomotor activity. These pacemaker neurons can be subdivided into early or late groups depending on whether rhythms in period (per) and timeless (tim) expression are initiated at the first instar (L1) larval stage or during metamorphosis, respectively. Because CLOCK-CYCLE (CLK-CYC) heterodimers initiate circadian oscillator function by activating per and tim transcription, a Clk-GFP transgene was used to mark when late pacemaker neurons begin to develop. We were surprised to see that CLK-GFP was already expressed in four of five clusters of late pacemaker neurons during the third instar (L3) larval stage. CLK-GFP is only detected in postmitotic neurons from L3 larvae, suggesting that these four late pacemaker neuron clusters are formed before the L3 larval stage. A GFP-cyc transgene was used to show that CYC, like CLK, is also expressed exclusively in pacemaker neurons from L3 larval brains, demonstrating that CLK-CYC is not sufficient to activate per and tim in late pacemaker neurons at the L3 larval stage. These results suggest that most late pacemaker neurons develop days before novel factors activate circadian oscillator function during metamorphosis.
AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0189 TITLE: Muscle-Derived GDNF: A Gene Therapeutic Approach for Preserving Motor Neuron Function in ALS PRINCIPAL...NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0189 Muscle-Derived GDNF: A Gene Therapeutic Approach for Preserving Motor Neuron Function in ALS 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM...production in muscles. Hypothesis: Intramuscular AAV5-GDNF injection will ameliorate motor neuron function in the SOD1G93A rat model of ALS. Objectives
Duan, Chun-Ling; Liu, Chong-Wei; Shen, Shu-Wen; Yu, Zhang; Mo, Jia-Lin; Chen, Xian-Hua; Sun, Feng-Yan
To determine whether reactive astrocytes stimulated by brain injury can transdifferentiate into functional new neurons, we labeled these cells by injecting a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) targeted enhanced green fluorescence protein plasmid (pGfa2-eGFP plasmid) into the striatum of adult rats immediately following a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and performed immunolabeling with specific neuronal markers to trace the neural fates of eGFP-expressing (GFP(+)) reactive astrocytes. The results showed that a portion of striatal GFP(+) astrocytes could transdifferentiate into immature neurons at 1 week after MCAO and mature neurons at 2 weeks as determined by double staining GFP-expressing cells with βIII-tubulin (GFP(+)-Tuj-1(+)) and microtubule associated protein-2 (GFP(+)-MAP-2(+)), respectively. GFP(+) neurons further expressed choline acetyltransferase, glutamic acid decarboxylase, dopamine receptor D2-like family proteins, and the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit R2, indicating that astrocyte-derived neurons could develop into cholinergic or GABAergic neurons and express dopamine and glutamate receptors on their membranes. Electron microscopy analysis indicated that GFP(+) neurons could form synapses with other neurons at 13 weeks after MCAO. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that action potentials and active postsynaptic currents could be recorded in the neuron-like GFP(+) cells but not in the astrocyte-like GFP(+) cells, demonstrating that new GFP(+) neurons possessed the capacity to fire action potentials and receive synaptic inputs. These results demonstrated that striatal astrocyte-derived new neurons participate in the rebuilding of functional neural networks, a fundamental basis for brain repair after injury. These results may lead to new therapeutic strategies for enhancing brain repair after ischemic stroke.
Jin, Yoonhee; Seo, Jungmok; Lee, Jung Seung; Shin, Sera; Park, Hyun-Ji; Min, Sungjin; Cheong, Eunji; Lee, Taeyoon; Cho, Seung-Woo
Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) can be an effective cell reprogramming platform for producing functional neuronal cells for therapeutic applications. Triboelectric stimulation accelerates nonviral direct conversion of functional induced neuronal cells from fibroblasts, increases the conversion efficiency, and induces highly matured neuronal phenotypes with improved electrophysiological functionalities. TENG devices may also be used for biomedical in vivo reprogramming.
Hayashi, Mirian A F; Guerreiro, Juliano R; Cassola, Antonio C; Lizier, Nelson F; Kerkis, Alexandre; Camargo, Antonio C M; Kerkis, Irina
Innumerous protocols, using the mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells as model for in vitro study of neurons functional properties and features, have been developed. Most of these protocols are short lasting, which, therefore, does not allow a careful analysis of the neurons maturation, aging, and death processes. We describe here a novel and efficient long-lasting protocol for in vitro ES cells differentiation into neuronal cells. It consists of obtaining embryoid bodies, followed by induction of neuronal differentiation with retinoic acid of nonadherent embryoid bodies (three-dimensional model), which further allows their adherence and formation of adherent neurospheres (AN, bi-dimensional model). The AN can be maintained for at least 12 weeks in culture under repetitive mechanical splitting, providing a constant microenvironment (in vitro niche) for the neuronal progenitor cells avoiding mechanical dissociation of AN. The expression of neuron-specific proteins, such as nestin, sox1, beta III-tubulin, microtubule-associated protein 2, neurofilament medium protein, Tau, neuronal nuclei marker, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and 5-hydroxytryptamine, were confirmed in these cells maintained during 3 months under several splitting. Additionally, expression pattern of microtubule-associated proteins, such as lissencephaly (Lis1) and nuclear distribution element-like (Ndel1), which were shown to be essential for differentiation and migration of neurons during embryogenesis, was also studied. As expected, both proteins were expressed in undifferentiated ES cells, AN, and nonrosette neurons, although presenting different spatial distribution in AN. In contrast to previous studies, using cultured neuronal cells derived from embryonic and adult tissues, only Ndel1 expression was observed in the centrosome region of early neuroblasts from AN. Mature neurons, obtained from ES cells in this work, display ionic channels and oscillations of membrane electrical potential typical of
Störchel, Peter H; Thümmler, Juliane; Siegel, Gabriele; Aksoy-Aksel, Ayla; Zampa, Federico; Sumer, Simon; Schratt, Gerhard
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of neuronal development, network connectivity, and synaptic plasticity. While many neuronal miRNAs were previously shown to modulate neuronal morphogenesis, little is known regarding the regulation of miRNA function. In a large-scale functional screen, we identified two novel regulators of neuronal miRNA function, Nova1 and Ncoa3. Both proteins are expressed in the nucleus and the cytoplasm of developing hippocampal neurons. We found that Nova1 and Ncoa3 stimulate miRNA function by different mechanisms that converge on Argonaute (Ago) proteins, core components of the miRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC). While Nova1 physically interacts with Ago proteins, Ncoa3 selectively promotes the expression of Ago2 at the transcriptional level. We further show that Ncoa3 regulates dendritic complexity and dendritic spine maturation of hippocampal neurons in a miRNA-dependent fashion. Importantly, both the loss of miRNA activity and increased dendrite complexity upon Ncoa3 knockdown were rescued by Ago2 overexpression. Together, we uncovered two novel factors that control neuronal miRISC function at the level of Ago proteins, with possible implications for the regulation of synapse development and plasticity.
Dombeck, Daniel A.; Graziano, Michael S.; Tank, David W.
Macroscopic (millimeter scale) functional clustering is a hallmark characteristic of motor cortex spatial organization in awake behaving mammals; however, almost no information is known about the functional micro-organization (~100 microns scale). Here, we optically recorded intracellular calcium transients of layer 2/3 neurons with cellular resolution over ~200 micron diameter fields in the forelimb motor cortex of mobile, head-restrained mice during two distinct movements (running and grooming). We showed that the temporal correlation between neurons was statistically larger the closer the neurons were to each other. We further explored this correlation by using two separate methods to spatially segment the neurons within each imaging field: K-means clustering and correlations between single neuron activity and mouse movements. The two methods segmented the neurons similarly and led to the conclusion that the origin of the inverse relationship between correlation and distance seen statistically was two-fold: clusters of highly temporally correlated neurons were often spatially distinct from one another and (even when the clusters were spatially intermingled) within the clusters, the more correlated the neurons were to each other, the shorter the distance between them. Our results represent a direct observation of functional clustering within the micro-circuitry of the awake mouse motor cortex. PMID:19889987
Karak, Somdatta; Jacobs, Julie S.; Kittelmann, Maike; Spalthoff, Christian; Katana, Radoslaw; Sivan-Loukianova, Elena; Schon, Michael A.; Kernan, Maurice J.; Eberl, Daniel F.; Göpfert, Martin C.
Much like vertebrate hair cells, the chordotonal sensory neurons that mediate hearing in Drosophila are motile and amplify the mechanical input of the ear. Because the neurons bear mechanosensory primary cilia whose microtubule axonemes display dynein arms, we hypothesized that their motility is powered by dyneins. Here, we describe two axonemal dynein proteins that are required for Drosophila auditory neuron function, localize to their primary cilia, and differently contribute to mechanical amplification in hearing. Promoter fusions revealed that the two axonemal dynein genes Dmdnah3 (=CG17150) and Dmdnai2 (=CG6053) are expressed in chordotonal neurons, including the auditory ones in the fly’s ear. Null alleles of both dyneins equally abolished electrical auditory neuron responses, yet whereas mutations in Dmdnah3 facilitated mechanical amplification, amplification was abolished by mutations in Dmdnai2. Epistasis analysis revealed that Dmdnah3 acts downstream of Nan-Iav channels in controlling the amplificatory gain. Dmdnai2, in addition to being required for amplification, was essential for outer dynein arms in auditory neuron cilia. This establishes diverse roles of axonemal dyneins in Drosophila auditory neuron function and links auditory neuron motility to primary cilia and axonemal dyneins. Mutant defects in sperm competition suggest that both dyneins also function in sperm motility. PMID:26608786
Shields, L Y; Kim, H; Zhu, L; Haddad, D; Berthet, A; Pathak, D; Lam, M; Ponnusamy, R; Diaz-Ramirez, L G; Gill, T M; Sesaki, H; Mucke, L; Nakamura, K
Disrupting particular mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins leads to the death of specific neuronal populations; however, the normal functions of mitochondrial fission in neurons are poorly understood, especially in vivo, which limits the understanding of mitochondrial changes in disease. Altered activity of the central mitochondrial fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) may contribute to the pathophysiology of several neurologic diseases. To study Drp1 in a neuronal population affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD), stroke, and seizure disorders, we postnatally deleted Drp1 from CA1 and other forebrain neurons in mice (CamKII-Cre, Drp1lox/lox (Drp1cKO)). Although most CA1 neurons survived for more than 1 year, their synaptic transmission was impaired, and Drp1cKO mice had impaired memory. In Drp1cKO cell bodies, we observed marked mitochondrial swelling but no change in the number of mitochondria in individual synaptic terminals. Using ATP FRET sensors, we found that cultured neurons lacking Drp1 (Drp1KO) could not maintain normal levels of mitochondrial-derived ATP when energy consumption was increased by neural activity. These deficits occurred specifically at the nerve terminal, but not the cell body, and were sufficient to impair synaptic vesicle cycling. Although Drp1KO increased the distance between axonal mitochondria, mitochondrial-derived ATP still decreased similarly in Drp1KO boutons with and without mitochondria. This indicates that mitochondrial-derived ATP is rapidly dispersed in Drp1KO axons, and that the deficits in axonal bioenergetics and function are not caused by regional energy gradients. Instead, loss of Drp1 compromises the intrinsic bioenergetic function of axonal mitochondria, thus revealing a mechanism by which disrupting mitochondrial dynamics can cause dysfunction of axons. PMID:25880092
Magnani, Dario; Hardingham, Giles E.; Chandran, Siddharthan
Abstract The in vitro derivation of regionally defined human neuron types from patient‐derived stem cells is now established as a resource to investigate human development and disease. Characterization of such neurons initially focused on the expression of developmentally regulated transcription factors and neural markers, in conjunction with the development of protocols to direct and chart the fate of differentiated neurons. However, crucial to the understanding and exploitation of this technology is to determine the degree to which neurons recapitulate the key functional features exhibited by their native counterparts, essential for determining their usefulness in modelling human physiology and disease in vitro. Here, we review the emerging data concerning functional properties of human pluripotent stem cell‐derived excitatory cortical neurons, in the context of both maturation and regional specificity. PMID:26608229
de Salas-Quiroga, Adán; Díaz-Alonso, Javier; García-Rincón, Daniel; Remmers, Floortje; Vega, David; Gómez-Cañas, María; Lutz, Beat; Guzmán, Manuel; Galve-Roperh, Ismael
The CB1 cannabinoid receptor, the main target of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most prominent psychoactive compound of marijuana, plays a crucial regulatory role in brain development as evidenced by the neurodevelopmental consequences of its manipulation in animal models. Likewise, recreational cannabis use during pregnancy affects brain structure and function of the progeny. However, the precise neurobiological substrates underlying the consequences of prenatal THC exposure remain unknown. As CB1 signaling is known to modulate long-range corticofugal connectivity, we analyzed the impact of THC exposure on cortical projection neuron development. THC administration to pregnant mice in a restricted time window interfered with subcerebral projection neuron generation, thereby altering corticospinal connectivity, and produced long-lasting alterations in the fine motor performance of the adult offspring. Consequences of THC exposure were reminiscent of those elicited by CB1 receptor genetic ablation, and CB1-null mice were resistant to THC-induced alterations. The identity of embryonic THC neuronal targets was determined by a Cre-mediated, lineage-specific, CB1 expression-rescue strategy in a CB1-null background. Early and selective CB1 reexpression in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons but not forebrain GABAergic neurons rescued the deficits in corticospinal motor neuron development of CB1-null mice and restored susceptibility to THC-induced motor alterations. In addition, THC administration induced an increase in seizure susceptibility that was mediated by its interference with CB1-dependent regulation of both glutamatergic and GABAergic neuron development. These findings demonstrate that prenatal exposure to THC has long-lasting deleterious consequences in the adult offspring solely mediated by its ability to disrupt the neurodevelopmental role of CB1 signaling. PMID:26460022
de Salas-Quiroga, Adán; Díaz-Alonso, Javier; García-Rincón, Daniel; Remmers, Floortje; Vega, David; Gómez-Cañas, María; Lutz, Beat; Guzmán, Manuel; Galve-Roperh, Ismael
The CB1 cannabinoid receptor, the main target of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most prominent psychoactive compound of marijuana, plays a crucial regulatory role in brain development as evidenced by the neurodevelopmental consequences of its manipulation in animal models. Likewise, recreational cannabis use during pregnancy affects brain structure and function of the progeny. However, the precise neurobiological substrates underlying the consequences of prenatal THC exposure remain unknown. As CB1 signaling is known to modulate long-range corticofugal connectivity, we analyzed the impact of THC exposure on cortical projection neuron development. THC administration to pregnant mice in a restricted time window interfered with subcerebral projection neuron generation, thereby altering corticospinal connectivity, and produced long-lasting alterations in the fine motor performance of the adult offspring. Consequences of THC exposure were reminiscent of those elicited by CB1 receptor genetic ablation, and CB1-null mice were resistant to THC-induced alterations. The identity of embryonic THC neuronal targets was determined by a Cre-mediated, lineage-specific, CB1 expression-rescue strategy in a CB1-null background. Early and selective CB1 reexpression in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons but not forebrain GABAergic neurons rescued the deficits in corticospinal motor neuron development of CB1-null mice and restored susceptibility to THC-induced motor alterations. In addition, THC administration induced an increase in seizure susceptibility that was mediated by its interference with CB1-dependent regulation of both glutamatergic and GABAergic neuron development. These findings demonstrate that prenatal exposure to THC has long-lasting deleterious consequences in the adult offspring solely mediated by its ability to disrupt the neurodevelopmental role of CB1 signaling.
Chung, Wilson C. J.; Linscott, Megan L.; Rodriguez, Karla M.; Stewart, Courtney E.
Over the last few years, numerous studies solidified the hypothesis that fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling regulates neuroendocrine progenitor cell proliferation, fate specification, and cell survival and, therefore, is critical for the regulation and maintenance of homeostasis of the body. One important example that underscores the involvement of FGF signaling during neuroendocrine cell development is gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuron ontogenesis. Indeed, transgenic mice with reduced olfactory placode (OP) Fgf8 expression do not have GnRH neurons. This observation indicates the requirement of FGF8 signaling for the emergence of the GnRH neuronal system in the embryonic OP, the putative birth place of GnRH neurons. Mammalian reproductive success depends on the presence of GnRH neurons to stimulate gonadotropin secretion from the anterior pituitary, which activates gonadal steroidogenesis and gametogenesis. Together, these observations are critical for understanding the function of GnRH neurons and their control of the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis to maintain fertility. Taken together, these studies illustrate that GnRH neuron emergence and hence HPG function is vulnerable to genomic and molecular signals that abnormally modify Fgf8 expression in the developing mouse OP. In this short review, we focus on research that is aimed at unraveling how androgen, all-trans retinoic acid, and how epigenetic factors modify control mouse OP Fgf8 transcription in the context of GnRH neuronal development and mammalian reproductive success. PMID:27656162
Dejanovic, Borislav; Djémié, Tania; Grünewald, Nora; Suls, Arvid; Kress, Vanessa; Hetsch, Florian; Craiu, Dana; Zemel, Matthew; Gormley, Padhraig; Lal, Dennis; Myers, Candace T; Mefford, Heather C; Palotie, Aarno; Helbig, Ingo; Meier, Jochen C; De Jonghe, Peter; Weckhuysen, Sarah; Schwarz, Guenter
Synaptic inhibition is essential for shaping the dynamics of neuronal networks, and aberrant inhibition plays an important role in neurological disorders. Gephyrin is a central player at inhibitory postsynapses, directly binds and organizes GABAA and glycine receptors (GABAARs and GlyRs), and is thereby indispensable for normal inhibitory neurotransmission. Additionally, gephyrin catalyzes the synthesis of the molybdenum cofactor (MoCo) in peripheral tissue. We identified a de novo missense mutation (G375D) in the gephyrin gene (GPHN) in a patient with epileptic encephalopathy resembling Dravet syndrome. Although stably expressed and correctly folded, gephyrin-G375D was non-synaptically localized in neurons and acted dominant-negatively on the clustering of wild-type gephyrin leading to a marked decrease in GABAAR surface expression and GABAergic signaling. We identified a decreased binding affinity between gephyrin-G375D and the receptors, suggesting that Gly375 is essential for gephyrin-receptor complex formation. Surprisingly, gephyrin-G375D was also unable to synthesize MoCo and activate MoCo-dependent enzymes. Thus, we describe a missense mutation that affects both functions of gephyrin and suggest that the identified defect at GABAergic synapses is the mechanism underlying the patient's severe phenotype.
Lizarraga, Sofia B.; Margossian, Steven P.; Harris, Marian H.; Campagna, Dean R.; Han, An-Ping; Blevins, Sherika; Mudbhary, Raksha; Barker, Jane E.; Walsh, Christopher A.; Fleming, Mark D.
Microcephaly affects ∼1% of the population and is associated with mental retardation, motor defects and, in some cases, seizures. We analyzed the mechanisms underlying brain size determination in a mouse model of human microcephaly. The Hertwig's anemia (an) mutant shows peripheral blood cytopenias, spontaneous aneuploidy and a predisposition to hematopoietic tumors. We found that the an mutation is a genomic inversion of exon 4 of Cdk5rap2, resulting in an in-frame deletion of exon 4 from the mRNA. The finding that CDK5RAP2 human mutations cause microcephaly prompted further analysis of Cdk5rap2an/an mice and we demonstrated that these mice exhibit microcephaly comparable to that of the human disease, resulting from striking neurogenic defects that include proliferative and survival defects in neuronal progenitors. Cdk5rap2an/an neuronal precursors exit the cell cycle prematurely and many undergo apoptosis. These defects are associated with impaired mitotic progression coupled with abnormal mitotic spindle pole number and mitotic orientation. Our findings suggest that the reduction in brain size observed in humans with mutations in CDK5RAP2 is associated with impaired centrosomal function and with changes in mitotic spindle orientation during progenitor proliferation. PMID:20460369
Duan, Chun‐Ling; Liu, Chong‐Wei; Shen, Shu‐Wen; Yu, Zhang; Mo, Jia‐Lin; Chen, Xian‐Hua
To determine whether reactive astrocytes stimulated by brain injury can transdifferentiate into functional new neurons, we labeled these cells by injecting a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) targeted enhanced green fluorescence protein plasmid (pGfa2‐eGFP plasmid) into the striatum of adult rats immediately following a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and performed immunolabeling with specific neuronal markers to trace the neural fates of eGFP‐expressing (GFP+) reactive astrocytes. The results showed that a portion of striatal GFP+ astrocytes could transdifferentiate into immature neurons at 1 week after MCAO and mature neurons at 2 weeks as determined by double staining GFP‐expressing cells with βIII‐tubulin (GFP+‐Tuj‐1+) and microtubule associated protein‐2 (GFP+‐MAP‐2+), respectively. GFP+ neurons further expressed choline acetyltransferase, glutamic acid decarboxylase, dopamine receptor D2‐like family proteins, and the N‐methyl‐d‐aspartate receptor subunit R2, indicating that astrocyte‐derived neurons could develop into cholinergic or GABAergic neurons and express dopamine and glutamate receptors on their membranes. Electron microscopy analysis indicated that GFP+ neurons could form synapses with other neurons at 13 weeks after MCAO. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that action potentials and active postsynaptic currents could be recorded in the neuron‐like GFP+ cells but not in the astrocyte‐like GFP+ cells, demonstrating that new GFP+ neurons possessed the capacity to fire action potentials and receive synaptic inputs. These results demonstrated that striatal astrocyte‐derived new neurons participate in the rebuilding of functional neural networks, a fundamental basis for brain repair after injury. These results may lead to new therapeutic strategies for enhancing brain repair after ischemic stroke. GLIA 2015;63:1660–1670 PMID:26031629
Holt, Christine E.; Schuman, Erin M.
The elaborate morphology of neurons together with the information processing that occurs in remote dendritic and axonal compartments makes the use of decentralized cell biological machines necessary. Recent years have witnessed a revolution in our understanding of signaling in neuronal compartments and the manifold functions of a variety of RNA molecules that regulate protein translation and other cellular functions. Here we discuss the view that mRNA localization and RNA-regulated and localized translation underlie many fundamental neuronal processes and highlight key issues for future experiments. PMID:24183017
Cho, Yong Ku
Genetically encoded tools are positioned to serve a unique and critical role in bridging the gap between the genetic identity of neurons and their functional properties. However, the use of these tools is limited by our current understanding of cell-type identity. As we make technological advances that focus on capturing functional aspects of neurons such as connectivity, activity, and metabolic states, our understanding of neuronal identity will deepen and may enable the use of genetically encoded tools for modulating disease-specific circuits for therapeutic purposes.
In recent work, we introduced nonlinear adaptive activation function (FAN) artificial neuron models, which learn their activation functions in an unsupervised way by information-theoretic adapting rules. We also applied networks of these neurons to some blind signal processing problems, such as independent component analysis and blind deconvolution. The aim of this letter is to study some fundamental aspects of FAN units' learning by investigating the properties of the associated learning differential equation systems.
Ballester-Rosado, Carlos J.; Sun, Hao; Huang, Jui-Yen
etiology of many neurological diseases. Here we conducted mosaic analysis to reveal the cell-autonomous role of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5). We found that mGluR5 is required for several key steps in wiring up the thalamocortical connections to form the cortical somatosensory map. mGluR5-dependent processes during early postnatal brain development affect the following: (1) placement of activity-directed cortical neurons; (2) regulation of polarized dendritic outgrowth toward thalamocortical axons relaying sensory information, (3) synaptogenesis; and (4) development of functional connectivity in spiny stellate neurons. Perturbing mGluR5 expression could lead to abnormal neuronal circuits, which may contribute to neurological and psychiatric disease. PMID:27559164
Ibañez-Tallon, Inés; Nitabach, Michael N.
Tethering genetically encoded peptide toxins or ligands close to their point of activity at the cell plasma membrane provides a new approach to the study of cell networks and neuronal circuits, as it allows selective targeting of specific cell populations, enhances the working concentration of the ligand or blocker peptide, and permits the engineering of a large variety of t-peptides (e.g., including use of fluorescent markers, viral vectors and point mutation variants). This review describes the development of tethered toxins and peptides derived from the identification of the cell surface nAChR modulator lynx1, the existence of related endogenous cell surface modulators of nAChR and AMPA receptors, and the application of the t-toxin and t-neuropeptide technology to the dissection of neuronal circuits in metazoans. PMID:22119144
Augusti-Tocco, G; Sato, G
Clonal lines of neurons were obtained in culture from a mouse neuroblastoma. The neuroblastoma cells were adapted to culture growth by the animal-culture alternate passage technique and cloned after single-cell plating. The clonal lines retained the ability to form tumors when injected back into mice. A striking morphological change was observed in the cells adapted to culture growth; they appeared as mature neurons, while the cells of the tumor appeared as immature neuroblasts. Acetylcholinesterase and the enzymes for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, cholineacetylase and tyrosine hydroxylase were assayed in the tumor and compared with brain levels; tyrosine hydroxylase was found to be particularly high, as described previously in human neuroblastomas. The three enzymes were found in the clonal cultures at levels comparable to those found in the tumors. Similarly, there were no remarkable differences between the three clones examined.
Šekeljić, Vera; Andjus, Pavle R
The extracellular matrix glycoprotein tenascin-C (TN-C), a molecule highly conserved in vertebrates, is widely expressed in neural and non-neural tissue during development, repair processes in the adult organism, and tumorigenesis. In the developing central nervous system (CNS), in different brain regions TN-C is expressed in specific spatial and temporal patterns. In the adult CNS, its expression remains in areas of active neurogenesis and areas that exhibit neuronal plasticity. Understanding of the contribution of this extracellular matrix constituent to the major developmental processes such as cell proliferation and migration, axonal guidance, as well as synaptic plasticity, is derived from studies on TN-C deficient mice. Studies on these mice demonstrated that TN-C plays an important role in neuronal plasticity in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum, possibly by modulating the activity of L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels.
Delventhal, Rebecca; Carlson, John R
Bitter compounds elicit an aversive response. In Drosophila, bitter-sensitive taste neurons coexpress many members of the Gr family of taste receptors. However, the molecular logic of bitter signaling is unknown. We used an in vivo expression approach to analyze the logic of bitter taste signaling. Ectopic or overexpression of bitter Grs increased endogenous responses or conferred novel responses. Surprisingly, expression of Grs also suppressed many endogenous bitter responses. Conversely, deletion of an endogenous Gr led to novel responses. Expression of individual Grs conferred strikingly different effects in different neurons. The results support a model in which bitter Grs interact, exhibiting competition, inhibition, or activation. The results have broad implications for the problem of how taste systems evolve to detect new environmental dangers. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11181.001 PMID:26880560
Errichelli, Lorenzo; Dini Modigliani, Stefano; Laneve, Pietro; Colantoni, Alessio; Legnini, Ivano; Capauto, Davide; Rosa, Alessandro; De Santis, Riccardo; Scarfò, Rebecca; Peruzzi, Giovanna; Lu, Lei; Caffarelli, Elisa; Shneider, Neil A.; Morlando, Mariangela; Bozzoni, Irene
The RNA-binding protein FUS participates in several RNA biosynthetic processes and has been linked to the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia. Here we report that FUS controls back-splicing reactions leading to circular RNA (circRNA) production. We identified circRNAs expressed in in vitro-derived mouse motor neurons (MNs) and determined that the production of a considerable number of these circRNAs is regulated by FUS. Using RNAi and overexpression of wild-type and ALS-associated FUS mutants, we directly correlate the modulation of circRNA biogenesis with alteration of FUS nuclear levels and with putative toxic gain of function activities. We also demonstrate that FUS regulates circRNA biogenesis by binding the introns flanking the back-splicing junctions and that this control can be reproduced with artificial constructs. Most circRNAs are conserved in humans and specific ones are deregulated in human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived MNs carrying the FUSP525L mutation associated with ALS. PMID:28358055
Errichelli, Lorenzo; Dini Modigliani, Stefano; Laneve, Pietro; Colantoni, Alessio; Legnini, Ivano; Capauto, Davide; Rosa, Alessandro; De Santis, Riccardo; Scarfò, Rebecca; Peruzzi, Giovanna; Lu, Lei; Caffarelli, Elisa; Shneider, Neil A; Morlando, Mariangela; Bozzoni, Irene
The RNA-binding protein FUS participates in several RNA biosynthetic processes and has been linked to the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia. Here we report that FUS controls back-splicing reactions leading to circular RNA (circRNA) production. We identified circRNAs expressed in in vitro-derived mouse motor neurons (MNs) and determined that the production of a considerable number of these circRNAs is regulated by FUS. Using RNAi and overexpression of wild-type and ALS-associated FUS mutants, we directly correlate the modulation of circRNA biogenesis with alteration of FUS nuclear levels and with putative toxic gain of function activities. We also demonstrate that FUS regulates circRNA biogenesis by binding the introns flanking the back-splicing junctions and that this control can be reproduced with artificial constructs. Most circRNAs are conserved in humans and specific ones are deregulated in human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived MNs carrying the FUS(P525L) mutation associated with ALS.
For fast neural computations within the brain it is very likely that the timing of single firing events is relevant. Recently Maass has shown that under certain weak assumptions a weighted sum can be computed in temporal coding by leaky integrate-and-fire neurons. This construction can be extended to approximate arbitrary functions. In comparison to integrate-and-fire neurons there are several sources in biologically more realistic neurons for additional nonlinear effects like e.g. the spatial and temporal interaction of postsynaptic potentials or voltage-gated ion channels at the soma. Here we demonstrate with the help of computer simulations using GENESIS that despite of these nonlinearities such neurons can compute linear functions in a natural and straightforward way based on the main principles of the construction given by Maass. One only has to assume that a neuron receives all its inputs in a time interval of approximately the length of the rising segment of its excitatory postsynaptic potentials. We also show that under certain assumptions there exists within this construction some type of activation function being computed by such neurons. Finally we demonstrate that on the basis of these results it is possible to realize in a simple way pattern analysis with spiking neurons. It allows the analysis of a mixture of several learned patterns within a few milliseconds.
Kairamkonda, Subhash; Nongthomba, Upendra
Drosophila melanogaster has served as an excellent model system for understanding the neuronal circuits and molecular mechanisms regulating complex behaviors. The Drosophila female reproductive circuits, in particular, are well studied and can be used as a tool to understand the role of novel genes in neuronal function in general and female reproduction in particular. In the present study, the role of Beadex, a transcription co-activator, in Drosophila female reproduction was assessed by generation of mutant and knock down studies. Null allele of Beadex was generated by transposase induced excision of P-element present within an intron of Beadex gene. The mutant showed highly compromised reproductive abilities as evaluated by reduced fecundity and fertility, abnormal oviposition and more importantly, the failure of sperm release from storage organs. However, no defect was found in the overall ovariole development. Tissue specific, targeted knock down of Beadex indicated that its function in neurons is important for efficient female reproduction, since its neuronal knock down led to compromised female reproductive abilities, similar to Beadex null females. Further, different neuronal class specific knock down studies revealed that Beadex function is required in motor neurons for normal fecundity and fertility of females. Thus, the present study attributes a novel and essential role for Beadex in female reproduction through neurons.
Iijima, Takatoshi; Hidaka, Chiharu; Iijima, Yoko
Alternative pre-mRNA splicing is a fundamental mechanism that generates molecular diversity from a single gene. In the central nervous system (CNS), key neural developmental steps are thought to be controlled by alternative splicing decisions, including the molecular diversity underlying synaptic wiring, plasticity, and remodeling. Significant progress has been made in understanding the molecular mechanisms and functions of alternative pre-mRNA splicing in neurons through studies in invertebrate systems; however, recent studies have begun to uncover the potential role of neuronal alternative splicing in the mammalian CNS. This article provides an overview of recent findings regarding the regulation and function of neuronal alternative splicing. In particular, we focus on the spatio-temporal regulation of neurexin, a synaptic adhesion molecule, by neuronal cell type-specific factors and neuronal activity, which are thought to be especially important for characterizing neural development and function within the mammalian CNS. Notably, there is increasing evidence that implicates the dysregulation of neuronal splicing events in several neurological disorders. Therefore, understanding the detailed mechanisms of neuronal alternative splicing in the mammalian CNS may provide plausible treatment strategies for these diseases.
Llinas, Rodolfo R.
This article reviews the electroresponsive properties of single neurons in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). In some of these cells the ionic conductances responsible for their excitability also endow them with autorhythmic electrical oscillatory properties. Chemical or electrical synaptic contacts between these neurons often result in network oscillations. In such networks, autorhytmic neurons may act as true oscillators (as pacemakers) or as resonators (responding preferentially to certain firing frequencies). Oscillations and resonance in the CNS are proposed to have diverse functional roles, such as (i) determining global functional states (for example, sleep-wakefulness or attention), (ii) timing in motor coordination, and (iii) specifying connectivity during development. Also, oscillation, especially in the thalamo-cortical circuits, may be related to certain neurological and psychiatric disorders. This review proposes that the autorhythmic electrical properties of central neurons and their connectivity form the basis for an intrinsic functional coordinate system that provides internal context to sensory input.
Llinás, R R
This article reviews the electroresponsive properties of single neurons in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). In some of these cells the ionic conductances responsible for their excitability also endow them with autorhythmic electrical oscillatory properties. Chemical or electrical synaptic contacts between these neurons often result in network oscillations. In such networks, autorhythmic neurons may act as true oscillators (as pacemakers) or as resonators (responding preferentially to certain firing frequencies). Oscillations and resonance in the CNS are proposed to have diverse functional roles, such as (i) determining global functional states (for example, sleep-wakefulness or attention), (ii) timing in motor coordination, and (iii) specifying connectivity during development. Also, oscillation, especially in the thalamo-cortical circuits, may be related to certain neurological and psychiatric disorders. This review proposes that the autorhythmic electrical properties of central neurons and their connectivity form the basis for an intrinsic functional coordinate system that provides internal context to sensory input.
Ripamonti, Silvia; Ambrozkiewicz, Mateusz C; Guzzi, Francesca; Gravati, Marta; Biella, Gerardo; Bormuth, Ingo; Hammer, Matthieu; Tuffy, Liam P; Sigler, Albrecht; Kawabe, Hiroshi; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Toselli, Mauro; Brose, Nils; Parenti, Marco; Rhee, JeongSeop
Beyond its role in parturition and lactation, oxytocin influences higher brain processes that control social behavior of mammals, and perturbed oxytocin signaling has been linked to the pathogenesis of several psychiatric disorders. However, it is still largely unknown how oxytocin exactly regulates neuronal function. We show that early, transient oxytocin exposure in vitro inhibits the development of hippocampal glutamatergic neurons, leading to reduced dendrite complexity, synapse density, and excitatory transmission, while sparing GABAergic neurons. Conversely, genetic elimination of oxytocin receptors increases the expression of protein components of excitatory synapses and excitatory synaptic transmission in vitro. In vivo, oxytocin-receptor-deficient hippocampal pyramidal neurons develop more complex dendrites, which leads to increased spine number and reduced γ-oscillations. These results indicate that oxytocin controls the development of hippocampal excitatory neurons and contributes to the maintenance of a physiological excitation/inhibition balance, whose disruption can cause neurobehavioral disturbances.
Omoto, Jaison Jiro; Keleş, Mehmet Fatih; Nguyen, Bao-Chau Minh; Bolanos, Cheyenne; Lovick, Jennifer Kelly; Frye, Mark Arthur; Hartenstein, Volker
The Drosophila central brain consists of stereotyped neural lineages, developmental-structural units of macrocircuitry formed by the sibling neurons of single progenitors called neuroblasts. We demonstrate that the lineage principle guides the connectivity and function of neurons, providing input to the central complex, a collection of neuropil compartments important for visually guided behaviors. One of these compartments is the ellipsoid body (EB), a structure formed largely by the axons of ring (R) neurons, all of which are generated by a single lineage, DALv2. Two further lineages, DALcl1 and DALcl2, produce neurons that connect the anterior optic tubercle, a central brain visual center, with R neurons. Finally, DALcl1/2 receive input from visual projection neurons of the optic lobe medulla, completing a three-legged circuit that we call the anterior visual pathway (AVP). The AVP bears a fundamental resemblance to the sky-compass pathway, a visual navigation circuit described in other insects. Neuroanatomical analysis and two-photon calcium imaging demonstrate that DALcl1 and DALcl2 form two parallel channels, establishing connections with R neurons located in the peripheral and central domains of the EB, respectively. Although neurons of both lineages preferentially respond to bright objects, DALcl1 neurons have small ipsilateral, retinotopically ordered receptive fields, whereas DALcl2 neurons share a large excitatory receptive field in the contralateral hemifield. DALcl2 neurons become inhibited when the object enters the ipsilateral hemifield and display an additional excitation after the object leaves the field of view. Thus, the spatial position of a bright feature, such as a celestial body, may be encoded within this pathway.
Borcel, Erika; Palczynska, Magda; Krzisch, Marine; Dimitrov, Mitko; Ulrich, Giorgio; Toni, Nicolas; Fraering, Patrick C.
Neurexins are transmembrane synaptic cell adhesion molecules involved in the development and maturation of neuronal synapses. In the present study, we report that Nrxn3β is processed by the metalloproteases ADAM10, ADAM17, and by the intramembrane-cleaving protease γ-secretase, producing secreted neurexin3β (sNrxn3β) and a single intracellular domain (Nrxn3β-ICD). We further completed the full characterization of the sites at which Nrxn3β is processed by these proteases. Supporting the physiological relevance of the Nrxn3β processing, we demonstrate in vivo a significant effect of the secreted shedding product sNrxn3β on the morphological development of adult newborn neurons in the mouse hippocampus. We show that sNrxn3β produced by the cells of the dentate gyrus increases the spine density of newborn neurons whereas sNrxn3β produced by the newborn neuron itself affects the number of its mossy fiber terminal extensions. These results support a pivotal role of sNrxn3β in plasticity and network remodeling during neuronal development. PMID:27991559
The maternal employment becomes an irreversible trend across the globe. The effect of maternal employment on children's socioemotional functioning is so pervasive that it warrants special attention to investigate into the issue. A trajectory of analytical framework of how maternal employment affects children's socioemotional functioning originates…
Kim, Euiseok J; Juavinett, Ashley L; Kyubwa, Espoir M; Jacobs, Matthew W; Callaway, Edward M
Cortical layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons integrate inputs from many sources and distribute outputs to cortical and subcortical structures. Previous studies demonstrate two L5 pyramid types: cortico-cortical (CC) and cortico-subcortical (CS). We characterize connectivity and function of these cell types in mouse primary visual cortex and reveal a new subtype. Unlike previously described L5 CC and CS neurons, this new subtype does not project to striatum [cortico-cortical, non-striatal (CC-NS)] and has distinct morphology, physiology, and visual responses. Monosynaptic rabies tracing reveals that CC neurons preferentially receive input from higher visual areas, while CS neurons receive more input from structures implicated in top-down modulation of brain states. CS neurons are also more direction-selective and prefer faster stimuli than CC neurons. These differences suggest distinct roles as specialized output channels, with CS neurons integrating information and generating responses more relevant to movement control and CC neurons being more important in visual perception.
Shah, Niyathi Hegde; Aizenman, Elias
Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels are widely expressed in the central and peripheral nervous system, and are crucial mediators of neuronal excitability. Importantly, these channels also actively participate in cellular and molecular signaling pathways that regulate the life and death of neurons. Injury-mediated increased K+ efflux through Kv2.1 channels promotes neuronal apoptosis, contributing to widespread neuronal loss in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. In contrast, some forms of neuronal activity can dramatically alter Kv2.1 channel phosphorylation levels and influence their localization. These changes are normally accompanied by modifications in channel voltage-dependence, which may be neuroprotective within the context of ischemic injury. Kv1 and Kv7 channel dysfunction leads to neuronal hyperexcitability that critically contributes to the pathophysiology of human clinical disorders such as episodic ataxia and epilepsy. This review summarizes the neurotoxic, neuroprotective, and neuroregulatory roles of Kv channels, and highlights the consequences of Kv channel dysfunction on neuronal physiology. The studies described in this review thus underscore the importance of normal Kv channel function in neurons, and emphasize the therapeutic potential of targeting Kv channels in the treatment of a wide range of neurological diseases. PMID:24323720
elicited ion currents. Effect of uridine on ion current amplitude was non-monotonic showing a wave-like behavior of dose - response curve with two peaks at...potentiation occurs at the lowest dose of substance. Presence of several peaks in the dose - response curve suggests availability in neuron membrane of...somewhat from the effect in cortical neurons showing the wave-like dose - response curve and blocking effect of DSIP at concentrations higher than 1
Bojnordi, Maryam Nazm; Azizi, Hossein; Skutella, Thomas; Movahedin, Mansoureh; Pourabdolhossein, Fereshteh; Shojaei, Amir; Hamidabadi, Hatef Ghasemi
Transplantation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. However, ESCs are not usable clinically due to immunological and ethical limitations. The identification of an alternative safe cell source opens novel options via autologous transplantation in neuro-regeneration circumventing these problems. Here, we examined the neurogenic capacity of embryonic stem-like cells (ES-like cells) derived from the testis using neural growth factor inducers and utilized them to generate functional mature neurons. The neuronal differentiation of ES-like cells is induced in three stages. Stage 1 is related to embryoid body (EB) formation. To induce neuroprogenitor cells, EBs were cultured in the presence of retinoic acid, N2 supplement and fibroblast growth factor followed by culturing in a neurobasal medium containing B27, N2 supplements for additional 10 days, to allow the maturation and development of neuronal progenitor cells. The neurogenic differentiation was confirmed by immunostaining for markers of mature neurons. The differentiated neurons were positive for Tuj1 and Tau1. Real-time PCR dates indicated the expression of Nestin and Neuro D (neuroprogenitor markers) in induced cells at the second stage of the differentiation protocol. The differentiated mature neurons exhibited the specific neuron markers Map2 and β-tubulin. The functional maturity of neurons was confirmed by an electrophysiological analysis of passive and active neural membrane properties. These findings indicated a differentiation capacity of ES-like cells derived from the testis to functionally mature neurons, which proposes them as a novel cell source for neuroregenerative medicine.
Zhang, Ren; Dhillon, Harveen; Yin, Huali; Yoshimura, Akihiko; Lowell, Bradford B; Maratos-Flier, Eleftheria; Flier, Jeffrey S
Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (Socs3) has been identified as a mediator of central leptin resistance, but the identity of specific neurons in which Socs3 acts to suppress leptin signaling remains elusive. The ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) was recently shown to be an important site for leptin action because deleting leptin receptor within VMH neurons causes obesity. To examine the role of VMH Socs3 in leptin resistance and energy homeostasis, we generated mice lacking Socs3 specifically in neurons positive for steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1), which is expressed abundantly in the VMH. These mice had increased phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 in VMH neurons, suggesting improved leptin signaling, and consistently, food intake and weight-reducing effects of exogenous leptin were enhanced. Furthermore, on either chow or high-fat diets, these mice had reduced food intake. Unexpectedly, energy expenditure was reduced as well. Mice lacking Socs3 in SF1 neurons, despite no change in body weight, had improved glucose homeostasis and were partially protected from hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia induced by high-fat diets. These results suggest that Socs3 in SF1 neurons negatively regulates leptin signaling and plays important roles in mediating leptin sensitivity, glucose homeostasis, and energy expenditure.
Kim, Junghoe; Lee, Jong-Hwan
A functional connectivity (FC) analysis from resting-state functional MRI (rsfMRI) is gaining its popularity toward the clinical application such as diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disease. To delineate the brain networks from rsfMRI data, non-neuronal components including head motions and physiological artifacts mainly observed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), white matter (WM) along with a global brain signal have been regarded as nuisance variables in calculating the FC level. However, it is still unclear how the non-neuronal components can affect the performance toward diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disease. In this study, a systematic comparison of classification performance of schizophrenia patients was provided employing the partial correlation coefficients (CCs) as feature elements. Pair-wise partial CCs were calculated between brain regions, in which six combinatorial sets of nuisance variables were considered. The partial CCs were used as candidate feature elements followed by feature selection based on the statistical significance test between two groups in the training set. Once a linear support vector machine was trained using the selected features from the training set, the classification performance was evaluated using the features from the test set (i.e. leaveone- out cross validation scheme). From the results, the error rate using all non-neuronal components as nuisance variables (12.4%) was significantly lower than those using remaining combination of non-neuronal components as nuisance variables (13.8 ~ 20.0%). In conclusion, the non-neuronal components substantially degraded the automated diagnosis performance, which supports our hypothesis that the non-neuronal components are crucial in controlling the automated diagnosis performance of the neuropsychiatric disease using an fMRI modality.
Duan, Zhibing; Sesti, Federico
Rho signaling regulates a variety of biological processes, but whether it is implicated in aging remains an open question. Here we show that a guanine nucleotide exchange factor of the Dbl family, OSG-1, confers functional aging by dysregulating Rho GTPases activities in C. elegans. Thus, gene reporter analysis revealed widespread OSG-1 expression in muscle and neurons. Loss of OSG-1 gene function was not associated with developmental defects. In contrast, suppression of OSG-1 lessened loss of function (chemotaxis) in ASE sensory neurons subjected to conditions of oxidative stress generated during natural aging, by oxidative challenges, or by genetic mutations. RNAi analysis showed that OSG-1 was specific toward activation of RHO-1 GTPase signaling. RNAi further implicated actin-binding proteins ARX-3 and ARX-5, thus the actin cytoskeleton, as one of the targets of OSG-1/RHO-1 signaling. Taken together these data suggest that OSG-1 is recruited under conditions of oxidative stress, a hallmark of aging, and contributes to promote loss of neuronal function by affecting the actin cytoskeleton via altered RHO-1 activity. PMID:25527286
Halder, Debasish; Lee, Chang-Hee; Hyun, Ji Young; Chang, Gyeong-Eon; Cheong, Eunji; Shin, Injae
Sin3 is a transcriptional corepressor for REST silencing machinery that represses multiple neuronal genes in non-neuronal cells. However, functions of Sin3 (Sin3A and Sin3B) in suppression of neuronal phenotypes are not well characterized. Herein we show that Sin3A knockdown impedes the repressive activity of REST and enhances differentiation of pluripotent P19 cells into electrophysiologically active neurons without inducing astrogenesis. It is also found that silencing Sin3B induces neurogenesis of P19 cells with a lower efficiency than Sin3A knockdown. The results suggest that Sin3A has a more profound effect on REST repressive machinery for silencing neuronal genes in P19 cells than Sin3B. Furthermore, we show that a peptide inhibitor of Sin3A-REST interactions promotes differentiation of P19 cells into functional neurons. Observations made in studies using genetic deletion and a synthetic inhibitor suggests that Sin3A plays an important role in the repression of neuronal genes by the REST regulatory mechanism. PMID:28303954
Wilson, Daniel E; Smith, Gordon B; Jacob, Amanda L; Walker, Theo; Dimidschstein, Jordane; Fishell, Gord; Fitzpatrick, David
Functional circuits in the visual cortex require the coordinated activity of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Molecular genetic approaches in the mouse have led to the "local non-specific pooling principle" of inhibitory connectivity, in which inhibitory neurons are untuned for stimulus features due to the random pooling of local inputs. However, it remains unclear whether this principle generalizes to species with a columnar organization of feature selectivity such as carnivores, primates, and humans. Here we use virally mediated GABAergic-specific GCaMP6f expression to demonstrate that inhibitory neurons in ferret visual cortex respond robustly and selectively to oriented stimuli. We find that the tuning of inhibitory neurons is inconsistent with the local non-specific pooling of excitatory inputs and that inhibitory neurons exhibit orientation-specific noise correlations with local and distant excitatory neurons. These findings challenge the generality of the non-specific pooling principle for inhibitory neurons, suggesting different rules for functional excitatory-inhibitory interactions in non-murine species.
Valdearcos, Martin; Robblee, Megan M.; Benjamin, Daniel I.; Nomura, Daniel K.; Xu, Allison W.; Koliwad, Suneil K.
Diets rich in saturated fat produce inflammation, gliosis, and neuronal stress in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH). Here we show that microglia mediate this process and its functional impact. Although microglia and astrocytes accumulate in the MBH of mice fed a diet rich in saturated fatty acids (SFAs), only the microglia undergo inflammatory activation, along with a build-up of hypothalamic SFAs. Enteric gavage specifically with SFAs reproduces microglial activation and neuronal stress in the MBH, and SFA treatment activates murine microglia, but not astrocytes, in culture. Moreover, depleting microglia abrogates SFA-induced inflammation in hypothalamic slices. Remarkably, depleting microglia from the MBH of mice abolishes inflammation and neuronal stress induced by excess SFA consumption, and in this context, microglial depletion enhances leptin signaling and reduces food intake. We thus show that microglia sense SFAs and orchestrate an inflammatory process in the MBH that alters neuronal function when SFA consumption is high. PMID:25497089
Kim, Namhee; Park, Chungoo; Jeong, Yongsu; Song, Mi-Ryoung
Functional diversification of motor neurons has occurred in order to selectively control the movements of different body parts including head, trunk and limbs. Here we report that transcription of Isl1, a major gene necessary for motor neuron identity, is controlled by two enhancers, CREST1 (E1) and CREST2 (E2) that allow selective gene expression of Isl1 in motor neurons. Introduction of GFP reporters into the chick neural tube revealed that E1 is active in hindbrain motor neurons and spinal cord motor neurons, whereas E2 is active in the lateral motor column (LMC) of the spinal cord, which controls the limb muscles. Genome-wide ChIP-Seq analysis combined with reporter assays showed that Phox2 and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex bind to E1 and drive hindbrain and spinal cord-specific expression of Isl1, respectively. Interestingly, Lhx3 alone was sufficient to activate E1, and this may contribute to the initiation of Isl1 expression when progenitors have just developed into motor neurons. E2 was induced by onecut 1 (OC-1) factor that permits Isl1 expression in LMCm neurons. Interestingly, the core region of E1 has been conserved in evolution, even in the lamprey, a jawless vertebrate with primitive motor neurons. All E1 sequences from lamprey to mouse responded equally well to Phox2a and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex. Conversely, E2, the enhancer for limb-innervating motor neurons, was only found in tetrapod animals. This suggests that evolutionarily-conserved enhancers permit the diversification of motor neurons. PMID:26447474
Pipatpiboon, Noppamas; Pintana, Hiranya; Pratchayasakul, Wasana; Chattipakorn, Nipon; Chattipakorn, Siriporn C
High-fat diet (HFD) consumption has been demonstrated to cause peripheral and neuronal insulin resistance, and brain mitochondrial dysfunction in rats. Although the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, vildagliptin, is known to improve peripheral insulin sensitivity, its effects on neuronal insulin resistance and brain mitochondrial dysfunction caused by a HFD are unknown. We tested the hypothesis that vildagliptin prevents neuronal insulin resistance, brain mitochondrial dysfunction, learning and memory deficit caused by HFD. Male rats were divided into two groups to receive either a HFD or normal diet (ND) for 12 weeks, after which rats in each group were fed with either vildagliptin (3 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for 21 days. The cognitive function was tested by the Morris Water Maze prior to brain removal for studying neuronal insulin receptor (IR) and brain mitochondrial function. In HFD rats, neuronal insulin resistance and brain mitochondrial dysfunction were demonstrated, with impaired learning and memory. Vildagliptin prevented neuronal insulin resistance by restoring insulin-induced long-term depression and neuronal IR phosphorylation, IRS-1 phosphorylation and Akt/PKB-ser phosphorylation. It also improved brain mitochondrial dysfunction and cognitive function. Vildagliptin effectively restored neuronal IR function, increased glucagon-like-peptide 1 levels and prevented brain mitochondrial dysfunction, thus attenuating the impaired cognitive function caused by HFD.
Baxter, James C.; Ramachandra, Renuka; Mayne, Dustin R.
The exercise pressor reflex (EPR) is generated by group III and IV muscle afferents during exercise to increase cardiovascular function. Muscle contraction is triggered by ACh, which is metabolized into choline that could serve as a signal of exercise-induced activity. We demonstrate that ACh can induce current in muscle afferents neurons isolated from male Sprague-Dawley rats. The nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs) appear to be expressed by some group III-IV neurons since capsaicin (TRPV1) and/or ATP (P2X) induced current in 56% of ACh-responsive neurons. α7- And α4β2-nAChRs have been shown to be expressed in sensory neurons. An α7-nAChR antibody stained 83% of muscle afferent neurons. Functional expression was demonstrated by using the specific α7-nAChR blockers α-conotoxin ImI (IMI) and methyllycaconitine (MLA). MLA inhibited ACh responses in 100% of muscle afferent neurons, whereas IMI inhibited ACh responses in 54% of neurons. Dihydro-β-erythroidine, an α4β2-nAChR blocker, inhibited ACh responses in 50% of muscle afferent neurons, but recovery from block was not observed. Choline, an α7-nAChR agonist, elicited a response in 60% of ACh-responsive neurons. Finally, we demonstrated the expression of α7-nAChR by peripherin labeled (group IV) afferent fibers within gastrocnemius muscles. Some of these α7-nAChR-positive fibers were also positive for P2X3 receptors. Thus choline could serve as an activator of the EPR by opening α7-nAChR expressed by group IV (and possible group III) afferents. nAChRs could become pharmacological targets for suppressing the excessive EPR activation in patients with peripheral vascular disease. PMID:24966300
Schink, Martin; Leipolcf, Enrico; Schirmeyer, Jana; Schönherr, Roland; Hoshi, Toshinori; Heinemann, Stefan H.
Dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons are important relay stations between the periphery and the central nervous system and are essential for somatosensory signaling. Reactive species are produced in a variety of physiological and pathophysiological conditions and are known to alter electric signaling. Here we studied the influence of reactive species on the electrical properties of DRG neurons from mice with the whole-cell patch-clamp method. Even mild stress induced by either low concentrations of chloramine-T (10 µM) or low-intensity blue-light irradiation profoundly diminished action potential frequency but prolonged single action potentials in wild-type neurons. The impact on evoked action potentials was much smaller in neurons deficient of the tetrodotoxin (TTX)-resistant voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.8 (NaV1.8−/−), the channel most important for the action potential upstroke in DRG neurons. Low concentrations of chloramine-T caused a significant reduction of NaV1.8 peak current and at higher concentrations progressively slowed down inactivation. Blue light had a smaller effect on amplitude but slowed down NaV1.8 channel inactivation. The observed effects were less apparent for TTX-sensitive NaV channels. NaV1.8 is an important reactive-species-sensitive component in the electrical signaling of DRG neurons, potentially giving rise to loss-of-function and gain-of-function phenomena depending on the type of reactive species and their effective concentration and time of exposure. PMID:26383867
Kaneez, Fatima Shad; Saeed, Sheikh Arshad
We have recently suggested that platelets could be used as a model for neuronal receptors. In this paper we have investigated gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) metabolism and GABA receptors in platelets and in cultured neurons to see whether platelets' GABA mimics neuronal GABA receptor activities. We used the ELISA technique for detecting the GABA concentration in platelet rich plasma and cultured neurons. The functional effects of GABA and its receptor ligands on platelets were determined using an aggregometer. We found that the GABA concentration is 30% lower in platelets than in neurons and in both preparations GABA was metabolized by GABA transaminase (GABA-T). GABA potentiated calcium dependent platelet aggregation with a higher value in washed platelets suspension (WPS) then in platelet rich plasma (PRP). This effect was inhibited by benzodiazepines, calcium channel blockers and the selective phosphoinositide 3-kinase antagonist Wortmannin. GABA neurotransmission is involved in most aspects of normal brain function and can be perturbed in many neuropathologic conditions. We concluded that platelets could be further developed to be used as a peripheral model to study neuronal GABAergic function and its abnormality in diseases such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. Furthermore our results indicated that PI3-kinase is involved in calcium dependent GABA induced platelet aggregation as this synergistic effect is inhibited by Wortmannin in dose dependent manner.
The study of computation occurring in single neurons and small networks of interconnected neurons is often limited by (1) the number of sites that can be simultaneously probed with electrophysiology tools such as patch pipettes and (2) the recording speed of fluorescence imaging tools such as confocal or multiphoton microscopy. Even in the line scan mode of galvanometer-based scanners, where one scan dimension is sacrificed to gain overall speed, the effective frame rate is limited to less than 1 kHz with no flexibility in site selection. To overcome these limitations and allow the study of many sites throughout the dendritic arbor, we have developed an addressable confocal laser-scanning microscope that permits recording from user-selected sites-of-interest at high frame rates, in addition to conventional full frame imaging. Our system utilizes acousto-optic deflectors (AODs) in the illumination pathway to allow for rapid user-defined positioning of a focused laser spot. However, since AODs rely on diffraction to steer a laser beam, they cannot effectively descan the fluorescence emission spectrum as done in mirror-based systems which utilize reflection; this prevents the use of a stationary pinhole as a spatial filter. Instead, we implement an addressable spatial filter using a digital micromirror device (DMD) in conjunction with the AODs to achieve confocality. A registration algorithm synchronizes the AODs and DMD such that point illumination and point detection are always colocalized in conjugate image planes. The current version of the confocal system has a spatial resolution of ˜1 mum. Furthermore, by letting the user tailor which sites are visited, we have shown that recordings can be made at an aggregate frame rate of ˜40 kHz. We have successfully demonstrated that the system is capable of optical sectioning and thus exhibits the main advantage of a confocal microscope for light-scattering biological tissue. This property was used to create three
Tang, Xin; Kim, Julie; Zhou, Li; Wengert, Eric; Zhang, Lei; Wu, Zheng; Carromeu, Cassiano; Muotri, Alysson R.; Marchetto, Maria C. N.; Gage, Fred H.; Chen, Gong
Rett syndrome is a severe form of autism spectrum disorder, mainly caused by mutations of a single gene methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) on the X chromosome. Patients with Rett syndrome exhibit a period of normal development followed by regression of brain function and the emergence of autistic behaviors. However, the mechanism behind the delayed onset of symptoms is largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that neuron-specific K+-Cl− cotransporter2 (KCC2) is a critical downstream gene target of MeCP2. We found that human neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with Rett syndrome showed a significant deficit in KCC2 expression and consequently a delayed GABA functional switch from excitation to inhibition. Interestingly, overexpression of KCC2 in MeCP2-deficient neurons rescued GABA functional deficits, suggesting an important role of KCC2 in Rett syndrome. We further identified that RE1-silencing transcriptional factor, REST, a neuronal gene repressor, mediates the MeCP2 regulation of KCC2. Because KCC2 is a slow onset molecule with expression level reaching maximum later in development, the functional deficit of KCC2 may offer an explanation for the delayed onset of Rett symptoms. Our studies suggest that restoring KCC2 function in Rett neurons may lead to a potential treatment for Rett syndrome. PMID:26733678
Tang, Xin; Kim, Julie; Zhou, Li; Wengert, Eric; Zhang, Lei; Wu, Zheng; Carromeu, Cassiano; Muotri, Alysson R; Marchetto, Maria C N; Gage, Fred H; Chen, Gong
Rett syndrome is a severe form of autism spectrum disorder, mainly caused by mutations of a single gene methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) on the X chromosome. Patients with Rett syndrome exhibit a period of normal development followed by regression of brain function and the emergence of autistic behaviors. However, the mechanism behind the delayed onset of symptoms is largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that neuron-specific K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter2 (KCC2) is a critical downstream gene target of MeCP2. We found that human neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with Rett syndrome showed a significant deficit in KCC2 expression and consequently a delayed GABA functional switch from excitation to inhibition. Interestingly, overexpression of KCC2 in MeCP2-deficient neurons rescued GABA functional deficits, suggesting an important role of KCC2 in Rett syndrome. We further identified that RE1-silencing transcriptional factor, REST, a neuronal gene repressor, mediates the MeCP2 regulation of KCC2. Because KCC2 is a slow onset molecule with expression level reaching maximum later in development, the functional deficit of KCC2 may offer an explanation for the delayed onset of Rett symptoms. Our studies suggest that restoring KCC2 function in Rett neurons may lead to a potential treatment for Rett syndrome.
Lemon, Christian H; Kang, Yi; Li, Jinrong
Oral temperature is a component and modifier of taste perception. Both trigeminal (V) and taste-sensitive cells, including those in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), can respond to oral temperature. However, functional associations in thermal sensitivity between V and gustatory neurons are poorly understood. To study this we recorded electrophysiological responses to oral stimulation with cool (9, 15, 25, 32, and 34 °C) and warm (40 and 45 °C) temperatures from medullary V (n = 45) and taste-sensitive NTS (n = 27) neurons in anesthetized mice. Results showed temperatures below 34 °C activated the majority of V neurons but only a minority of NTS units. V neurons displayed larger responses to cooling and responded to temperatures that poorly stimulated NTS cells. Multivariate analyses revealed different temperatures induced larger differences in responses across V compared with NTS neurons, indicating V pathways possess greater capacity to signal temperature. Conversely, responses to temperature in NTS units associated with gustatory tuning. Further analyses identified two types of cooling-sensitive V neurons oriented toward innocuous or noxious cooling. Multivariate analyses indicated the combined response of these cells afforded distinction among a broad range of cool temperatures, suggesting multiple types of V neurons work together to represent oral cooling.
Dhupia, Neha; Rathour, Rahul K.; Narayanan, Rishikesh
A gradient in the density of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic-nucleotide gated (HCN) channels is necessary for the emergence of several functional maps within hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Here, we systematically analyzed the impact of dendritic atrophy on nine such functional maps, related to input resistance and local/transfer impedance properties, using conductance-based models of hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We introduced progressive dendritic atrophy in a CA1 pyramidal neuron reconstruction through a pruning algorithm, measured all functional maps in each pruned reconstruction, and arrived at functional forms for the dependence of underlying measurements on dendritic length. We found that, across frequencies, atrophied neurons responded with higher efficiency to incoming inputs, and the transfer of signals across the dendritic tree was more effective in an atrophied reconstruction. Importantly, despite the presence of identical HCN-channel density gradients, spatial gradients in input resistance, local/transfer resonance frequencies and impedance profiles were significantly constricted in reconstructions with dendritic atrophy, where these physiological measurements across dendritic locations converged to similar values. These results revealed that, in atrophied dendritic structures, the presence of an ion channel density gradient alone was insufficient to sustain homologous functional maps along the same neuronal topograph. We assessed the biophysical basis for these conclusions and found that this atrophy-induced constriction of functional maps was mediated by an enhanced spatial spread of the influence of an HCN-channel cluster in atrophied trees. These results demonstrated that the influence fields of ion channel conductances need to be localized for channel gradients to express themselves as homologous functional maps, suggesting that ion channel gradients are necessary but not sufficient for the emergence of functional maps within single neurons
Dhupia, Neha; Rathour, Rahul K; Narayanan, Rishikesh
A gradient in the density of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic-nucleotide gated (HCN) channels is necessary for the emergence of several functional maps within hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Here, we systematically analyzed the impact of dendritic atrophy on nine such functional maps, related to input resistance and local/transfer impedance properties, using conductance-based models of hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We introduced progressive dendritic atrophy in a CA1 pyramidal neuron reconstruction through a pruning algorithm, measured all functional maps in each pruned reconstruction, and arrived at functional forms for the dependence of underlying measurements on dendritic length. We found that, across frequencies, atrophied neurons responded with higher efficiency to incoming inputs, and the transfer of signals across the dendritic tree was more effective in an atrophied reconstruction. Importantly, despite the presence of identical HCN-channel density gradients, spatial gradients in input resistance, local/transfer resonance frequencies and impedance profiles were significantly constricted in reconstructions with dendritic atrophy, where these physiological measurements across dendritic locations converged to similar values. These results revealed that, in atrophied dendritic structures, the presence of an ion channel density gradient alone was insufficient to sustain homologous functional maps along the same neuronal topograph. We assessed the biophysical basis for these conclusions and found that this atrophy-induced constriction of functional maps was mediated by an enhanced spatial spread of the influence of an HCN-channel cluster in atrophied trees. These results demonstrated that the influence fields of ion channel conductances need to be localized for channel gradients to express themselves as homologous functional maps, suggesting that ion channel gradients are necessary but not sufficient for the emergence of functional maps within single neurons.
Cristino, Luigia; Busetto, Giuseppe; Imperatore, Roberta; Ferrandino, Ida; Palomba, Letizia; Silvestri, Cristoforo; Petrosino, Stefania; Orlando, Pierangelo; Bentivoglio, Marina; Mackie, Kenneth; Di Marzo, Vincenzo
Acute or chronic alterations in energy status alter the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and associated synaptic plasticity to allow for the adaptation of energy metabolism to new homeostatic requirements. The impact of such changes on endocannabinoid and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)-mediated modulation of synaptic transmission and strength is not known, despite the fact that this signaling system is an important target for the development of new drugs against obesity. We investigated whether CB1-expressing excitatory vs. inhibitory inputs to orexin-A-containing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus are altered in obesity and how this modifies endocannabinoid control of these neurons. In lean mice, these inputs are mostly excitatory. By confocal and ultrastructural microscopic analyses, we observed that in leptin-knockout (ob/ob) obese mice, and in mice with diet-induced obesity, orexinergic neurons receive predominantly inhibitory CB1-expressing inputs and overexpress the biosynthetic enzyme for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which retrogradely inhibits synaptic transmission at CB1-expressing axon terminals. Patch-clamp recordings also showed increased CB1-sensitive inhibitory innervation of orexinergic neurons in ob/ob mice. These alterations are reversed by leptin administration, partly through activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway in neuropeptide-Y-ergic neurons of the arcuate nucleus, and are accompanied by CB1-mediated enhancement of orexinergic innervation of target brain areas. We propose that enhanced inhibitory control of orexin-A neurons, and their CB1-mediated disinhibition, are a consequence of leptin signaling impairment in the arcuate nucleus. We also provide initial evidence of the participation of this phenomenon in hyperphagia and hormonal dysregulation in obesity.
Cools, Roshan; Nakamura, Kae; Daw, Nathaniel D
Serotonin, like dopamine (DA), has long been implicated in adaptive behavior, including decision making and reinforcement learning. However, although the two neuromodulators are tightly related and have a similar degree of functional importance, compared with DA, we have a much less specific understanding about the mechanisms by which serotonin affects behavior. Here, we draw on recent work on computational models of dopaminergic function to suggest a framework by which many of the seemingly diverse functions associated with both DA and serotonin—comprising both affective and activational ones, as well as a number of other functions not overtly related to either—can be seen as consequences of a single root mechanism. PMID:20736991
Hansen, Stine Normann; Tveden-Nyborg, Pernille; Lykkesfeldt, Jens
Vitamin C is a pivotal antioxidant in the brain and has been reported to have numerous functions, including reactive oxygen species scavenging, neuromodulation, and involvement in angiogenesis. Absence of vitamin C in the brain has been shown to be detrimental to survival in newborn SVCT2(-/-) mice and perinatal deficiency have shown to reduce hippocampal volume and neuron number and cause decreased spatial cognition in guinea pigs, suggesting that maternal vitamin C deficiency could have severe consequences for the offspring. Furthermore, vitamin C deficiency has been proposed to play a role in age-related cognitive decline and in stroke risk and severity. The present review discusses the available literature on effects of vitamin C deficiency on the developing and aging brain with particular focus on in vivo experimentation and clinical studies.
Research has demonstrated, in both human and animals, that cognition decreases with age, to include deficits in processing speed, executive function, memory, and spatial learning. The cause of these functional declines is not entirely understood; however, neuronal losses and the associated changes i...
Corina, David P.; Corrigan, Neva; Schoenfield-McNeill, Julie; Poliakov, Andrew; Zamora, Leona; Zanos, Stavros
The relationship between changes in functional magnetic resonance imaging and neuronal activity remains controversial. Data collected during awake neurosurgical procedures for the treatment of epilepsy provided a rare opportunity to examine this relationship in human temporal association cortex. We obtained functional magnetic resonance imaging blood oxygen dependent signals, single neuronal activity and local field potentials from 8 to 300 Hz at 13 temporal cortical sites, from nine subjects, during paired associate learning and control measures. The relation between the functional magnetic resonance imaging signal and the electrophysiologic parameters was assessed in two ways: colocalization between significant changes in these signals on the same paired associate-control comparisons and multiple linear regressions of the electrophysiologic measures on the functional magnetic resonance imaging signal, across all tasks. Significant colocalization was present between increased functional magnetic resonance imaging signals and increased local field potentials power in the 50–250 Hz range. Local field potentials power greater than 100 Hz was also a significant regressor for the functional magnetic resonance imaging signal, establishing this local field potentials frequency range as a neuronal correlate of the functional magnetic resonance imaging signal. There was a trend for a relation between power in some low frequency local field potentials frequencies and the functional magnetic resonance imaging signal, for 8–15 Hz increases in the colocalization analysis and 16–23 Hz in the multiple linear regression analysis. Neither analysis provided evidence for an independent relation to frequency of single neuron activity. PMID:19773355
Lauber, Emanuel; Filice, Federica; Schwaller, Beat
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) comprise a number of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental diseases characterized by core behavioral symptoms in the domains of social interaction, language/communication and repetitive or stereotyped patterns of behavior. In utero exposure to valproic acid (VPA) has evolved as a highly recognized rodent ASD model due to the robust behavioral phenotype observed in the offspring and the proven construct-, face- and predictive validity of the model. The number of parvalbumin-immunoreactive (PV+) GABAergic interneurons has been consistently reported to be decreased in human ASD subjects and in ASD animal models. The presumed loss of this neuron subpopulation hereafter termed Pvalb neurons and/or PV deficits were proposed to result in an excitation/inhibition imbalance often observed in ASD. Importantly, loss of Pvalb neurons and decreased/absent PV protein levels have two fundamentally different consequences. Thus, Pvalb neurons were investigated in in utero VPA-exposed male (“VPA”) mice in the striatum, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and somatosensory cortex (SSC), three ASD-associated brain regions. Unbiased stereology of PV+ neurons and Vicia Villosa Agglutinin-positive (VVA+) perineuronal nets, which specifically enwrap Pvalb neurons, was carried out. Analyses of PV protein expression and mRNA levels for Pvalb, Gad67, Kcnc1, Kcnc2, Kcns3, Hcn1, Hcn2, and Hcn4 were performed. We found a ∼15% reduction in the number of PV+ cells and decreased Pvalb mRNA and PV protein levels in the striatum of VPA mice compared to controls, while the number of VVA+ cells was unchanged, indicating that Pvalb neurons were affected at the level of the transcriptome. In selected cortical regions (mPFC, SSC) of VPA mice, no quantitative loss/decrease of PV+ cells was observed. However, expression of Kcnc1, coding for the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv3.1 specifically expressed in Pvalb neurons, was decreased by ∼40% in forebrain lysates of VPA mice
Zhou, Li; Liu, Ming-Zhe; Li, Qing; Deng, Juan; Mu, Di; Sun, Yan-Gang
Serotonergic neurons play key roles in various biological processes. However, circuit mechanisms underlying tight control of serotonergic neurons remain largely unknown. Here, we systematically investigated the organization of long-range synaptic inputs to serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) of mice with a combination of viral tracing, slice electrophysiological, and optogenetic techniques. We found that DRN serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons receive largely comparable synaptic inputs from six major upstream brain areas. Upon further analysis of the fine functional circuit structures, we found both bilateral and ipsilateral patterns of topographic connectivity in the DRN for the axons from different inputs. Moreover, the upstream brain areas were found to bidirectionally control the activity of DRN serotonergic neurons by recruiting feedforward inhibition or via a push-pull mechanism. Our study provides a framework for further deciphering the functional roles of long-range circuits controlling the activity of serotonergic neurons in the DRN.
Sinisi, M; Fox, M; MacQuillan, A; Quick, T; Korchev, Y; Bountra, C; McCarthy, T; Anand, P
Background Mycolactone is a polyketide toxin secreted by the mycobacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans, responsible for the extensive hypoalgesic skin lesions characteristic of patients with Buruli ulcer. A recent pre-clinical study proposed that mycolactone may produce analgesia via activation of the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R). In contrast, AT2R antagonist EMA401 has shown analgesic efficacy in animal models and clinical trials for neuropathic pain. We therefore investigated the morphological and functional effects of mycolactone in cultured human and rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons and the role of AT2R using EMA401. Primary sensory neurons were prepared from avulsed cervical human DRG and rat DRG; 24 h after plating, neurons were incubated for 24 to 96 h with synthetic mycolactone A/B, followed by immunostaining with antibodies to PGP9.5, Gap43, β tubulin, or Mitotracker dye staining. Acute functional effects were examined by measuring capsaicin responses with calcium imaging in DRG neuronal cultures treated with mycolactone. Results Morphological effects: Mycolactone-treated cultures showed dramatically reduced numbers of surviving neurons and non-neuronal cells, reduced Gap43 and β tubulin expression, degenerating neurites and reduced cell body diameter, compared with controls. Dose-related reduction of neurite length was observed in mycolactone-treated cultures. Mitochondria were distributed throughout the length of neurites and soma of control neurons, but clustered in the neurites and soma of mycolactone-treated neurons. Functional effects: Mycolactone-treated human and rat DRG neurons showed dose-related inhibition of capsaicin responses, which were reversed by calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine and phosphodiesterase inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-Methylxanthine, indicating involvement of cAMP/ATP reduction. The morphological and functional effects of mycolactone were not altered by Angiotensin II or AT2R antagonist EMA401. Conclusion Mycolactone
Kuge, Hideaki; Akahori, Kana; Yagyu, Ken-ichi; Honke, Koichi
In neurons, the plasma membrane is functionally separated into several distinct segments. Neurons form these domains by delivering selected components to and by confining them within each segment of the membrane. Although some mechanisms of the delivery are elucidated, that of the confinement is unclear. We show here that 1-oleoyl-2-palmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine (OPPC), a unique molecular species of phospholipids, is concentrated at the protrusion tips of several neuronal culture cells and the presynaptic area of neuronal synapses of the mouse brain. In PC12 cells, NGF-stimulated neuronal differentiation induces a phospholipase A1 activity at the protrusion tips, which co-localizes with the OPPC domain. Inhibition of the phospholipase A1 activity leads to suppression of phospholipid remodeling in the tip membrane and results in disappearance of the OPPC at the tips. In these cells, confinement of dopamine transporter and Gαo proteins to the tip was also disrupted. These findings link the lateral distribution of the molecular species of phospholipids to the formation of functional segments in the plasma membrane of neurons and to the mechanism of protein confinement at the synapse. PMID:25096572
Wang, Xiaowan; Li, Hailong; Ding, Shinghua
NAD+ is an essential co-enzyme for cellular energy metabolism and is also involved as a substrate for many cellular enzymatic reactions. It has been shown that NAD+ has a beneficial effect on neuronal survival and brain injury in in vitro and in vivo ischemic models. However, the effect of NAD+ on mitochondrial biogenesis and function in ischemia has not been well investigated. In the present study, we used an in vitro glutamate excitotoxicity model of primary cultured cortical neurons to study the effect of NAD+ on apoptotic neuronal death and mitochondrial biogenesis and function. Our results show that supplementation of NAD+ could effectively reduce apoptotic neuronal death, and apoptotic inducing factor translocation after neurons were challenged with excitotoxic glutamate stimulation. Using different approaches including confocal imaging, mitochondrial DNA measurement and Western blot analysis of PGC-1 and NRF-1, we also found that NAD+ could significantly attenuate glutamate-induced mitochondrial fragmentation and the impairment of mitochondrial biogenesis. Furthermore, NAD+ treatment effectively inhibited mitochondrial membrane potential depolarization and NADH redistribution after excitotoxic glutamate stimulation. Taken together, our results demonstrated that NAD+ is capable of inhibiting apoptotic neuronal death after glutamate excitotoxicity via preserving mitochondrial biogenesis and integrity. Our findings provide insights into potential neuroprotective strategies in ischemic stroke.
King, Chih H.; Lancaster, Eric; Salomon, Daniela; Peles, Elior; Scherer, Steven S.
The Kv7 (KCNQ) family of voltage-gated K+ channels regulates cellular excitability. The functional role of Kv7.2 has been hampered by the lack of a viable Kcnq2-null animal model. In this study, we generated homozygous Kcnq2-null sensory neurons using the Cre-Lox system; in these mice, Kv7.2 expression is absent in the peripheral sensory neurons, whereas the expression of other molecular components of nodes (including Kv7.3), paranodes, and juxtaparanodes is not altered. The conditional Kcnq2-null animals exhibit normal motor performance, but have increased thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia. Whole cell patch recording technique demonstrates that Kcnq2-null sensory neurons have increased excitability and reduced spike frequency adaptation. Taken together, our results suggest that the loss of Kv7.2 activity increases the excitability of primary sensory neurons. PMID:24687876
Millar, J. Kirsty; Price, David J.
Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) gene has been linked to schizophrenia and related major mental illness. Mouse Disc1 has been implicated in brain development, mainly in the proliferation, differentiation, lamination, neurite outgrowth and synapse formation and maintenance of cortical excitatory neurons. Here, the effects of two loss-of-function point mutations in the mouse Disc1 sequence (Q31L and L100P) on cortical inhibitory interneurons were investigated. None of the mutations affected the overall number of interneurons. However, the 100P, but not the 31L, mutation resulted in a significant decrease in the numbers of interneurons expressing parvalbumin mRNA and protein across the sensory cortex. To investigate role of Disc1 in regulation of parvalbumin expression, mouse wild-type Disc-1 or the 100P mutant form were electroporated in utero into cortical excitatory neurons. Overexpression of wild-type Disc1 in these cells caused increased densities of parvalbumin-expressing interneurons in the electroporated area and in areas connected with it, whereas expression of Disc1-100P did not. We conclude that the 100P mutation prevents expression of parvalbumin by a normally sized cohort of interneurons and that altering Disc1 function in cortical excitatory neurons indirectly affects parvalbumin expression by cortical interneurons, perhaps as a result of altered functional input from the excitatory neurons. PMID:27244370
Currais, Antonio; Kato, Kiyoko; Canuet, Leonides; Ishii, Ryouhei; Tanaka, Toshihisa; Takeda, Masatoshi; Soriano, Salvador
Neuronal cell cycle reentry, which is associated with aberrant tau phosphorylation, is thought to be a mechanism of neurodegeneration in AD. Caffeine is a neuroprotective drug known to inhibit the cell cycle, suggesting that its neuroprotective nature may rely, at least in part, on preventing tau abnormalities secondary to its inhibitory effect on neuronal cell cycle-related pathways. Accordingly, we have explored in the present study the impact of caffeine on cell cycle-linked parameters and tau phosphorylation patterns in an attempt to identify molecular clues to its neuroprotective effect. We show that caffeine blocks the cell cycle at G1 phase in neuroblastoma cells and leads to a decrease in tau phosphorylation; similarly, exposure of postmitotic neurons to caffeine led to changes in tau phosphorylation concomitantly with downregulation of Akt signaling. Taken together, our results show a unique impact of caffeine on tau phosphorylation and warrant further investigation to address whether caffeine may help prevent neuronal death by preventing tau abnormalities secondary to aberrant entry into the cell cycle.
Cui, Jianxia; Canavier, Carmen C; Butera, Robert J
Phase response curves (PRCs) for a single neuron are often used to predict the synchrony of mutually coupled neurons. Previous theoretical work on pulse-coupled oscillators used single-pulse perturbations. We propose an alternate method in which functional PRCs (fPRCs) are generated using a train of pulses applied at a fixed delay after each spike, with the PRC measured when the phasic relationship between the stimulus and the subsequent spike in the neuron has converged. The essential information is the dependence of the recovery time from pulse onset until the next spike as a function of the delay between the previous spike and the onset of the applied pulse. Experimental fPRCs in Aplysia pacemaker neurons were different from single-pulse PRCs, principally due to adaptation. In the biological neuron, convergence to the fully adapted recovery interval was slower at some phases than that at others because the change in the effective intrinsic period due to adaptation changes the effective phase resetting in a way that opposes and slows the effects of adaptation. The fPRCs for two isolated adapting model neurons were used to predict the existence and stability of 1:1 phase-locked network activity when the two neurons were coupled. A stability criterion was derived by linearizing a coupled map based on the fPRC and the existence and stability criteria were successfully tested in two-simulated-neuron networks with reciprocal inhibition or excitation. The fPRC is the first PRC-based tool that can account for adaptation in analyzing networks of neural oscillators.
Cui, Jianxia; Canavier, Carmen C.; Butera, Robert J.
Phase response curves (PRCs) for a single neuron are often used to predict the synchrony of mutually coupled neurons. Previous theoretical work on pulse-coupled oscillators used single-pulse perturbations. We propose an alternate method in which functional PRCs (fPRCs) are generated using a train of pulses applied at a fixed delay after each spike, with the PRC measured when the phasic relationship between the stimulus and the subsequent spike in the neuron has converged. The essential information is the dependence of the recovery time from pulse onset until the next spike as a function of the delay between the previous spike and the onset of the applied pulse. Experimental fPRCs in Aplysia pacemaker neurons were different from single-pulse PRCs, principally due to adaptation. In the biological neuron, convergence to the fully adapted recovery interval was slower at some phases than that at others because the change in the effective intrinsic period due to adaptation changes the effective phase resetting in a way that opposes and slows the effects of adaptation. The fPRCs for two isolated adapting model neurons were used to predict the existence and stability of 1:1 phase-locked network activity when the two neurons were coupled. A stability criterion was derived by linearizing a coupled map based on the fPRC and the existence and stability criteria were successfully tested in two-simulated-neuron networks with reciprocal inhibition or excitation. The fPRC is the first PRC-based tool that can account for adaptation in analyzing networks of neural oscillators. PMID:19420126
Zhao, Yuhong; Guo, Kaihua; Li, Dongpei; Yuan, Qunfang; Yao, Zhibin
Nestin(+) neurons have been shown to express choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) in the medial septum-diagonal band of Broca in adult rats. This study explored the projection of nestin(+) neurons to the olfactory bulb and the time course of nestin(+) neurons in the medial septum-diagonal band of Broca in adult rats during injury recovery after olfactory nerve transection. This study observed that all nestin(+) neurons were double-labeled with ChAT in the medial septum-diagonal band of Broca. Approximately 53.6% of nestin(+) neurons were projected to the olfactory bulb and co-labeled with fast blue. A large number of nestin(+) neurons were not present in each region of the medial septum-diagonal band of Broca. Nestin(+) neurons in the medial septum and vertical limb of the diagonal band of Broca showed obvious compensatory function. The number of nestin(+) neurons decreased to a minimum later than nestin(-)/ChAT(+) neurons in the medial septum-diagonal band of Broca. The results suggest that nestin(+) cholinergic neurons may have a closer connection to olfactory bulb neurons. Nestin(+) cholinergic neurons may have a stronger tolerance to injury than Nestin(-)/ChAT(+) neurons. The difference between nestin(+) and nestin(-)/ChAT(+) neurons during the recovery process requires further investigations.
Yu, Yonglin; Zhi, Lingtong; Guan, Xiangmin; Wang, Daoyong; Wang, Dayong
Preference choice on food is an important response strategy for animals living in the environment. Using assay system of preference choice on bacterial foods, OP50 and PA14, we identified the involvement of ADL sensory neurons in the control of preference choice in Caenorhabditis elegans. Both genetically silencing and ChR2-mediated activation of ADL sensory neurons significantly affected preference choice. ADL regulated preference choice by inhibiting function of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)/SRH-220. ADL sensory neurons might regulate preference choice through peptidergic signals of FLP-4 and NLP-10, and function of FLP-4 or NLP-10 in regulating preference choice was regulated by SRH-220. FLP-4 released from ADL sensory neurons further regulated preference choice through its receptor of NPR-4 in AIB interneurons. In AIB interneurons, NPR-4 was involved in the control of preference choice by activating the functions of ASH-2 trithorax complex consisting of SET-2, ASH-2, and WDR-5, implying the crucial role of molecular machinery of trimethylation of histone H3K4 in the preference choice control. The identified novel neuronal circuit and the underlying molecular mechanisms will strengthen our understanding neuronal basis of preference choice in animals.
Geed, Shashwati; McCurdy, Martha L.; van Kan, Peter L. E.
Coordinated reach-to-grasp movements require precise spatiotemporal synchrony between proximal forelimb muscles (shoulder, elbow) that transport the hand toward a target during reach, and distal muscles (wrist, digit) that simultaneously preshape and orient the hand for grasp. The precise mechanisms through which the redundant neuromuscular circuitry coordinates reach with grasp, however, remain unclear. Recently, Geed and Van Kan (2016) demonstrated, using exploratory factor analysis (EFA), that limited numbers of global, template-like transport/preshape- and grasp-related muscle components underlie the complexity and variability of intramuscular electromyograms (EMGs) of up to 21 distal and proximal muscles recorded while monkeys performed reach-to-grasp tasks. Importantly, transport/preshape- and grasp-related muscle components showed invariant spatiotemporal coupling, which provides a potential mechanism for coordinating forelimb muscles during reach-to-grasp movements. In the present study, we tested whether ensemble discharges of forelimb neurons in the cerebellar nucleus interpositus (NI) and its target, the magnocellular red nucleus (RNm), a source of rubrospinal fibers, function as neuronal correlates of the transport/preshape- and grasp-related muscle components we identified. EFA applied to single-unit discharges of populations of NI and RNm neurons recorded while the same monkeys that were used previously performed the same reach-to-grasp tasks, revealed neuronal components in the ensemble discharges of both NI and RNm neuronal populations with characteristics broadly similar to muscle components. Subsets of NI and RNm neuronal components were strongly and significantly crosscorrelated with subsets of muscle components, suggesting that similar functional units of reach-to-grasp behavior are expressed by NI and RNm neuronal populations and forelimb muscles. Importantly, like transport/preshape- and grasp-related muscle components, their NI and RNm
Tinarelli, Federico; Garcia-Garcia, Celina; Nicassio, Francesco; Tucci, Valter
Sleep homoeostasis refers to a process in which the propensity to sleep increases as wakefulness progresses and decreases as sleep progresses. Sleep is tightly organized around the circadian clock and is regulated by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. The homoeostatic response of sleep, which is classically triggered by sleep deprivation, is generally measured as a rebound effect of electrophysiological measures, for example delta sleep. However, more recently, gene expression changes following sleep loss have been investigated as biomarkers of sleep homoeostasis. The genetic background of an individual may affect this sleep-dependent gene expression phenotype. In this study, we investigated whether parental genetic background differentially modulates the expression of genes following sleep loss. We tested the progeny of reciprocal crosses of AKR/J and DBA/2J mouse strains and we show a parent-of-origin effect on the expression of circadian, sleep and neuronal plasticity genes following sleep deprivation. Thus, we further explored, by in silico, specific functions or upstream mechanisms of regulation and we observed that several upstream mechanisms involving signalling pathways (i.e. DICER1, PKA), growth factors (CSF3 and BDNF) and transcriptional regulators (EGR2 and ELK4) may be differentially modulated by parental effects. This is the first report showing that a behavioural manipulation (e.g. sleep deprivation) in adult animals triggers specific gene expression responses according to parent-of-origin genomic mechanisms. Our study suggests that the same mechanism may be extended to other behavioural domains and that the investigation of gene expression following experimental manipulations should take seriously into account parent-of-origin effects. PMID:24446504
Tinarelli, Federico; Garcia-Garcia, Celina; Nicassio, Francesco; Tucci, Valter
Sleep homoeostasis refers to a process in which the propensity to sleep increases as wakefulness progresses and decreases as sleep progresses. Sleep is tightly organized around the circadian clock and is regulated by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. The homoeostatic response of sleep, which is classically triggered by sleep deprivation, is generally measured as a rebound effect of electrophysiological measures, for example delta sleep. However, more recently, gene expression changes following sleep loss have been investigated as biomarkers of sleep homoeostasis. The genetic background of an individual may affect this sleep-dependent gene expression phenotype. In this study, we investigated whether parental genetic background differentially modulates the expression of genes following sleep loss. We tested the progeny of reciprocal crosses of AKR/J and DBA/2J mouse strains and we show a parent-of-origin effect on the expression of circadian, sleep and neuronal plasticity genes following sleep deprivation. Thus, we further explored, by in silico, specific functions or upstream mechanisms of regulation and we observed that several upstream mechanisms involving signalling pathways (i.e. DICER1, PKA), growth factors (CSF3 and BDNF) and transcriptional regulators (EGR2 and ELK4) may be differentially modulated by parental effects. This is the first report showing that a behavioural manipulation (e.g. sleep deprivation) in adult animals triggers specific gene expression responses according to parent-of-origin genomic mechanisms. Our study suggests that the same mechanism may be extended to other behavioural domains and that the investigation of gene expression following experimental manipulations should take seriously into account parent-of-origin effects.
Uschakov, Aaron; McGinty, Dennis; Szymusiak, Ronald; McKinley, Michael J.
The lamina terminalis (LT) consists of the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) the median preoptic nucleus (MnPO) and the subfornical organ (SFO). All subdivisions of the LT project to the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG). The LT and the vlPAG are implicated in several homeostatic and behavioral functions including body fluid homeostasis, thermoregulation and the regulation of sleep and waking. By combining visualization of c-Fos protein and retrograde neuroanatomical tracer we have examined the functional correlates of LT-vlPAG projection neurons. Rats were injected with retrograde tracer into the vlPAG and following a one week recovery period, they were subjected to either, hypertonic saline administration (0.5M NaCl, 1ml/100g-i.p.), 24hrs water deprivation, isoproterenol administration (increases circulating AngII; 50μg/kg-s.c.), heat exposure (39°C for 60 mins) or permitted 180 minutes spontaneous sleep. Retrogradely labelled neurons from the vlPAG and double labelled neurons were then identified and quantified throughout the LT. OVLT-vlPAG projection neurons were most responsive to hypertonic saline and water deprivation. SFO-vlPAG projection neurons were most active following isoproterenol administration and MnPO-vlPAG projection neurons displayed significantly more Fos immunostaining following water deprivation, heat exposure and sleep. These results support the existence of functional subdivisions of LT-vlPAG projecting neurons and indicate three patterns of activity that correspond to thermal and sleep wake regulation, osmotic or hormonal stimuli. PMID:20092577
Iyer, Srividya Chandramouli; Wang, Dennis; Iyer, Eswar Prasad R.; Trunnell, Sarah A.; Meduri, Ramakrishna; Shinwari, Riaz; Sulkowski, Mikolaj J.; Cox, Daniel N.
Background As the primary sites of synaptic or sensory input in the nervous system, dendrites play an essential role in processing neuronal and sensory information. Moreover, the specification of class specific dendrite arborization is critically important in establishing neural connectivity and the formation of functional networks. Cytoskeletal modulation provides a key mechanism for establishing, as well as reorganizing, dendritic morphology among distinct neuronal subtypes. While previous studies have established differential roles for the small GTPases Rac and Rho in mediating dendrite morphogenesis, little is known regarding the direct regulators of these genes in mediating distinct dendritic architectures. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we demonstrate that the RhoGEF Trio is required for the specification of class specific dendritic morphology in dendritic arborization (da) sensory neurons of the Drosophila peripheral nervous system (PNS). Trio is expressed in all da neuron subclasses and loss-of-function analyses indicate that Trio functions cell-autonomously in promoting dendritic branching, field coverage, and refining dendritic outgrowth in various da neuron subtypes. Moreover, overexpression studies demonstrate that Trio acts to promote higher order dendritic branching, including the formation of dendritic filopodia, through Trio GEF1-dependent interactions with Rac1, whereas Trio GEF-2-dependent interactions with Rho1 serve to restrict dendritic extension and higher order branching in da neurons. Finally, we show that de novo dendritic branching, induced by the homeodomain transcription factor Cut, requires Trio activity suggesting these molecules may act in a pathway to mediate dendrite morphogenesis. Conclusions/Significance Collectively, our analyses implicate Trio as an important regulator of class specific da neuron dendrite morphogenesis via interactions with Rac1 and Rho1 and indicate that Trio is required as downstream effector in Cut
Li, Guang; Gong, Jianke; Lei, Haoyun; Liu, Jianfeng; Xu, X. Z. Shawn
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are well known to elicit a plethora of detrimental effects on cellular functions by causing damages to proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. Neurons are particularly vulnerable to ROS, and nearly all forms of neurodegenerative diseases are associated with oxidative stress. Here, we report the surprising finding that exposing C. elegans to low doses of H2O2 promotes, rather than compromises, sensory behavior and the function of sensory neurons such as ASH. This beneficial effect of H2O2 is mediated by an evolutionarily conserved peroxiredoxin-p38/MAPK signaling cascade. We further show that p38/MAPK signals to AKT and the TRPV channel OSM-9, a sensory channel in ASH neurons. AKT phosphorylates OSM-9, and such phosphorylation is required for H2O2-induced potentiation of sensory behavior and ASH neuron function. Our results uncover a beneficial effect of ROS on neurons, revealing unexpected complexity of the action of oxidative stressors in the nervous system. PMID:27824033
Glover, J C
The first Kavli Prize in Neuroscience recognizes a confluence of career achievements that together provide a fundamental understanding of how brain and spinal cord circuits are assembled during development and function in the adult. The members of the Kavli Neuroscience Prize Committee have decided to reward three scientists (Sten Grillner, Thomas Jessell, and Pasko Rakic) jointly "for discoveries on the developmental and functional logic of neuronal circuits". Pasko Rakic performed groundbreaking studies of the developing cerebral cortex, including the discovery of how radial glia guide the neuronal migration that establishes cortical layers and for the radial unit hypothesis and its implications for cortical connectivity and evolution. Thomas Jessell discovered molecular principles governing the specification and patterning of different neuron types and the development of their synaptic interconnection into sensorimotor circuits. Sten Grillner elucidated principles of network organization in the vertebrate locomotor central pattern generator, along with its command systems and sensory and higher order control. The discoveries of Rakic, Jessell and Grillner provide a framework for how neurons obtain their identities and ultimate locations, establish appropriate connections with each other, and how the resultant neuronal networks operate. Their work has significantly advanced our understanding of brain development and function and created new opportunities for the treatment of neurological disorders. Each has pioneered an important area of neuroscience research and left a legacy of exceptional scientific achievement, insight, communication, mentoring and leadership.
The development, morphology and possible functional activity of the Cajal-Retzius cell of the developing human cerebral cortex are explored herein. The C-RC, of extracortical origin, is the essential neuron of the neocortex first lamina. It receives inputs from afferent fibers that reach the first lamina early in development. Although the origin and function of these original afferent fibers remain unknown, their target is the first lamina sole neuron: the C-RC. This neuron orchestrates the arrival, size and stratification of all pyramidal neurons (of ependymal origin) of the neocortex gray matter. Its axonic terminals spread radially and horizontally throughout the entirety of the first lamina establishing contacts with the dendritic terminals of all gray matter pyramidal cells regardless of size, location and/or eventual functional roles. While the neuron axonic terminals spread radially and horizontally throughout the first lamina, the neuronal' body undergoes progressive developmental dilution and locating any of them in the adult brain become quite difficult. The neuron bodies are probably retained in the older regions of the neocortex while their axonic collaterals will spread throughout its more recent ones and eventually will extend to great majority of the cortical surface. The neocortex first lamina evolution and composition and that of the C-RC are intertwined and mutually interdependent. It is not possible to understand the C-RC evolving morphology without understanding that of the first lamina. The first lamina composition and its structural and functional organizations obtained with different staining methods may be utterly different. These differences have added unnecessary confusion about its nature. The essential emptiness observed in hematoxylin and eosin preparations (most commonly used) contrast sharply with the concentration of dendrites (the cortex' largest) obtained using special (MAP-2) stain for dendrites. Only Golgi preparations
Rouhiainen, Ari; Zhao, Xiang; Vanttola, Päivi; Qian, Kui; Kulesskiy, Evgeny; Kuja-Panula, Juha; Gransalke, Kathleen; Grönholm, Mikaela; Unni, Emmanual; Meistrich, Marvin; Tian, Li; Auvinen, Petri; Rauvala, Heikki
HMGB4 is a new member in the family of HMGB proteins that has been characterized in sperm cells, but little is known about its functions in somatic cells. Here we show that HMGB4 and the highly similar rat Transition Protein 4 (HMGB4L1) are expressed in neuronal cells. Both proteins had slow mobility in nucleus of living NIH-3T3 cells. They interacted with histones and their differential expression in transformed cells of the nervous system altered the post-translational modification statuses of histones in vitro. Overexpression of HMGB4 in HEK 293T cells made cells more susceptible to cell death induced by topoisomerase inhibitors in an oncology drug screening array and altered variant composition of histone H3. HMGB4 regulated over 800 genes in HEK 293T cells with a p-value ≤0.013 (n = 3) in a microarray analysis and displayed strongest association with adhesion and histone H2A –processes. In neuronal and transformed cells HMGB4 regulated the expression of an oligodendrocyte marker gene PPP1R14a and other neuronal differentiation marker genes. In conclusion, our data suggests that HMGB4 is a factor that regulates chromatin and expression of neuronal differentiation markers. PMID:27608812
Sato, Kaoru; Takahashi, Kanako; Shigemoto-Mogami, Yukari; Chujo, Kaori; Sekino, Yuko
The in vitro use of neurons that are differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC-neurons) is expected to improve the prediction accuracy of preclinical tests for both screening and safety assessments in drug development. To achieve this goal, hiPSC neurons are required to differentiate into functional neurons that form excitatory networks and stably express N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). Recent studies have identified some astrocyte-derived factors that are important for the functional maturation of neurons. We therefore examined the effects of the astrocyte-derived factor glypican 6 (GPC6) on hiPSC-neurons. When we pharmacologically examined which receptor subtypes mediate L-glutamate (L-Glu)-induced changes in the intracellular Ca2+ concentrations in hiPSC neurons using fura-2 Ca2+ imaging, NMDAR-mediated responses were not detected through 7 days in vitro (DIV). These cells were also not vulnerable to excitotoxicity at 7 DIV. However, a 5-days treatment with GPC6 from 3 DIV induced an NMDAR-mediated Ca2+ increase in hiPSC-neurons and increased the level of NMDARs on the cell surface. We also found that GPC6-treated hiPSC-neurons became responsive to excitotoxicity. These results suggest that GPC6 increases the level of functional NMDARs in hiPSC-neurons. Glial factors may play a key role in accelerating the functional maturation of hiPSC neurons for drug-development applications. PMID:27895553
Kurokawa, M; Ito, S; Okamoto, T
In order to explore the functions of the peripheral neurons in the enteric nervous system (ENS) of the gastropods, Aplysia and Lymnaea, we investigated the correlation between peripheral neuronal activities and movements of the digestive tract. In Aplysia, movements of the gizzard were distinguished into two types of contraction: a large constriction of the whole gizzard following bursting activities of the neurons on the gizzard and EJP-like potentials in the musculature; and a small contraction of a restricted part of the gizzard following a slow muscle potential. When TTX was applied to isolated gizzard preparation, the bursting activities were blocked and the EJP-like potentials and the subsequent constriction disappeared, whereas the slow potentials in the musculature and partial contractions appeared to be unaffected. Therefore, it was suggested that the peripheral neurons on the gizzard were motor neurons for constriction, while the partial contraction was thought to be myogenic. In Lymnaea, we recorded periodic bursting activities in the enteric nervous system that were followed by EJP-like potentials and gastrointestinal movements. The results show that, in both species, there may exist motor neurons in the ENS that are responsible for neurogenic movements of the digestive tract.
Weinberg, Marc S; Criswell, Hugh E; Powell, Sara K; Bhatt, Aadra P; McCown, Thomas J
Recent advances suggest that in vivo reprogramming of endogenous cell populations provides a viable alternative for neuron replacement. Astrocytes and oligodendrocyte precursor cells can be induced to transdifferentiate into neurons in the CNS, but, in these instances, reprogramming requires either transgenic mice or retroviral-mediated gene expression. We developed a microRNA (miRNA)-GFP construct that in vitro significantly reduced the expression of polypyrimidine tract-binding protein, and, subsequently, we packaged this construct in a novel oligodendrocyte preferring adeno-associated virus vector. Ten days after rat striatal transduction, the vast majority of the GFP-positive cells were oligodendrocytes, but 6 weeks to 6 months later, the majority of GFP-positive cells exhibited neuronal morphology and co-localized with the neuronal marker NeuN. Patch-clamp studies on striatal slices established that the GFP-positive cells exhibited electrophysiological properties indicative of mature neurons, such as spontaneous action potentials and spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents. Also, 3 months after striatal vector administration, GFP-positive terminals in the ipsilateral globus pallidus or substantia nigra retrogradely transported fluorescent beads back to GFP-positive striatal cell bodies, indicating the presence of functional presynaptic terminals. Thus, this viral vector approach provides a potential means to harness resident oligodendrocytes as an endogenous source for in vivo neuronal replacement.
Cesca, Fabrizia; Satapathy, Annyesha; Ferrea, Enrico; Nieus, Thierry; Benfenati, Fabio; Scholz-Starke, Joachim
Kidins220 (kinase D-interacting substrate of 220 kDa)/ankyrin repeat-rich membrane spanning (ARMS) acts as a signaling platform at the plasma membrane and is implicated in a multitude of neuronal functions, including the control of neuronal activity. Here, we used the Kidins220−/− mouse model to study the effects of Kidins220 ablation on neuronal excitability. Multielectrode array recordings showed reduced evoked spiking activity in Kidins220−/− hippocampal networks, which was compatible with the increased excitability of GABAergic neurons determined by current-clamp recordings. Spike waveform analysis further indicated an increased sodium conductance in this neuronal subpopulation. Kidins220 association with brain voltage-gated sodium channels was shown by co-immunoprecipitation experiments and Na+ current recordings in transfected HEK293 cells, which revealed dramatic alterations of kinetics and voltage dependence. Finally, an in silico interneuronal model incorporating the Kidins220-induced Na+ current alterations reproduced the firing phenotype observed in Kidins220−/− neurons. These results identify Kidins220 as a novel modulator of Nav channel activity, broadening our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating network excitability. PMID:26037926
Honarmand, Mariam; Thompson, Christopher K; Schatton, Adriana; Kipper, Silke; Scharff, Constance
Adverse environmental conditions can impact the life history trajectory of animals. Adaptive responses enable individuals to cope with unfavorable conditions, but altered metabolism and resource allocation can bear long-term costs. In songbirds, early developmental stress can cause lifelong changes in learned song, a culturally transmitted trait, and nestlings experiencing developmental stress develop smaller song control nucleus HVCs. We investigated whether nutrition-related developmental stress impacts neurogenesis in HVC, which may explain how poor nutrition leads to smaller HVC volume. We provided different quality diets (LOW and HIGH) by varying the husks-to-seeds ratio to zebra finch families for the first 35 days after the young hatched (PHD). At PHD14-18 and again at nutritional independence (PHD35), juveniles were injected with different cell division markers. To monitor growth, we took body measures at PHD10, 17, and 35. At PHD35 the number of newly recruited neurons in HVC and the rate of proliferation in the adjacent ventricular zone (VZ) were counted. Males raised on the LOW diet for their first weeks of life had significantly fewer new neurons in HVC than males raised on the HIGH diet. At the time when these new HVC neurons were born and labeled in the VZ (PHD17) the birds exposed to the LOW diet had significantly lower body mass. At PHD35 body mass or neuronal proliferation no longer differed. Our study shows that even transitory developmental stress can have negative consequences on the cellular processes underlying the development of neural circuits.
Waxman, S G
Neurons signal each other via regenerative electrical impulses (action potentials) and thus can be thought of as electrogenic machines. Voltage-gated sodium channels produce the depolarizations necessary for action potential activity in most neurons and, in this respect, lie close to the heart of the electrogenic machinery. Although classical neurophysiological doctrine accorded 'the' sodium channel a crucial role in electrogenesis, it is now clear that nearly a dozen genes encode distinct sodium channels with different molecular structures and functional properties, and the majority of these channels are expressed within the mammalian nervous system. The transcription of these sodium-channel genes, and the deployment of the channels that they encode, can change significantly within neurons following various injuries. Moreover, the transcription of these genes and the deployment of various types of sodium channels within neurons of the normal nervous system can change markedly as neurons respond to changing milieus or physiological inputs. As a result of these changes in sodium-channel expression, the membranes of neurons may be retuned so as to alter their transductive and/or encoding properties. Neurons within the normal and injured nervous system can thus function as dynamic electrogenic machines with electroresponsive properties that change not only in response to pathological insults, but also in response to shifting functional needs. PMID:10724456
Villasana, Laura E.; Kim, Kristine N.
Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases hippocampal neurogenesis, which may contribute to cognitive recovery after injury. However, it is unknown whether TBI-induced adult-born neurons mature normally and functionally integrate into the hippocampal network. We assessed the generation, morphology, and synaptic integration of new hippocampal neurons after a controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury model of TBI. To label TBI-induced newborn neurons, we used 2-month-old POMC-EGFP mice, which transiently and specifically express EGFP in immature hippocampal neurons, and doublecortin-CreERT2 transgenic mice crossed with Rosa26-CAG-tdTomato reporter mice, to permanently pulse-label a cohort of adult-born hippocampal neurons. TBI increased the generation, outward migration, and dendritic complexity of neurons born during post-traumatic neurogenesis. Cells born after TBI had profound alterations in their dendritic structure, with increased dendritic branching proximal to the soma and widely splayed dendritic branches. These changes were apparent during early dendritic outgrowth and persisted as these cells matured. Whole-cell recordings from neurons generated during post-traumatic neurogenesis demonstrate that they are excitable and functionally integrate into the hippocampal circuit. However, despite their dramatic morphologic abnormalities, we found no differences in the rate of their electrophysiological maturation, or their overall degree of synaptic integration when compared to age-matched adult-born cells from sham mice. Our results suggest that cells born after TBI participate in information processing, and receive an apparently normal balance of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. However, TBI-induced changes in their anatomic localization and dendritic projection patterns could result in maladaptive network properties. PMID:26478908
Introduction Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and polyphenols which have been shown to improve neurochemical and behavioral function. Objectives This study investigated the mechanisms associated with age-related behavioral improvements in rats fed diets supplemented with walnu...
Sample, Susannah J; Behan, Mary; Smith, Lesley; Oldenhoff, William E; Markel, Mark D; Kalscheur, Vicki L; Hao, Zhengling; Miletic, Vjekoslav; Muir, Peter
Regulation of load-induced bone formation is considered a local phenomenon controlled by osteocytes, although it has also been hypothesized that functional adaptation may be neuronally regulated. The aim of this study was to examine bone formation in multiple bones, in response to loading of a single bone, and to determine whether adaptation may be neuronally regulated. Load-induced responses in the left and right ulnas and humeri were determined after loading of the right ulna in male Sprague-Dawley rats (69 +/- 16 days of age). After a single period of loading at -760-, -2000-, or -3750-microepsilon initial peak strain, rats were given calcein to label new bone formation. Bone formation and bone neuropeptide concentrations were determined at 10 days. In one group, temporary neuronal blocking was achieved by perineural anesthesia of the brachial plexus with bupivicaine during loading. We found right ulna loading induces adaptive responses in other bones in both thoracic limbs compared with Sham controls and that neuronal blocking during loading abrogated bone formation in the loaded ulna and other thoracic limb bones. Skeletal adaptation was more evident in distal long bones compared with proximal long bones. We also found that the single period of loading modulated bone neuropeptide concentrations persistently for 10 days. We conclude that functional adaptation to loading of a single bone in young rapidly growing rats is neuronally regulated and involves multiple bones. Persistent changes in bone neuropeptide concentrations after a single loading period suggest that plasticity exists in the innervation of bone.
Shabanzadeh, A P; Tassew, N G; Szydlowska, K; Tymianski, M; Banerjee, P; Vigouroux, R J; Eubanks, J H; Huang, L; Geraerts, M; Koeberle, P D; Mueller, B K; Monnier, P P
The dependence receptor Neogenin and its ligand, the repulsive guidance molecule a (RGMa), regulate apoptosis and axonal growth in the developing and the adult central nervous system (CNS). Here, we show that this pathway has also a critical role in neuronal death following stroke, and that providing RGMa to neurons blocks Neogenin-induced death. Interestingly, the Neogenin pro-death function following ischemic insult depends on Neogenin association with lipid rafts. Thus, a peptide that prevents Neogenin association with lipid rafts increased neuronal survival in several in vitro stroke models. In rats, a pro-survival effect was also observed in a model of ocular ischemia, as well as after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Treatments that prevented Neogenin association with lipid rafts improved neuronal survival and the complexity of the neuronal network following occlusion of the middle artery. Toward the development of a treatment for stroke, we developed a human anti-RGMa antibody that also prevents Neogenin association with lipid rafts. We show that this antibody also protected CNS tissue from ischemic damage and that its application resulted in a significant functional improvement even when administrated 6 h after artery occlusion. Thus, our results draw attention to the role of Neogenin and lipid rafts as potential targets following stroke. PMID:25950474
Weick, Jason P.
Stem cell-derived neurons from various source materials present unique model systems to examine the fundamental properties of central nervous system (CNS) development as well as the molecular underpinnings of disease phenotypes. In order to more accurately assess potential therapies for neurological disorders, multiple strategies have been employed in recent years to produce neuronal populations that accurately represent in vivo regional and transmitter phenotypes. These include new technologies such as direct conversion of somatic cell types into neurons and glia which may accelerate maturation and retain genetic hallmarks of aging. In addition, novel forms of genetic manipulations have brought human stem cells nearly on par with those of rodent with respect to gene targeting. For neurons of the CNS, the ultimate phenotypic characterization lies with their ability to recapitulate functional properties such as passive and active membrane characteristics, synaptic activity, and plasticity. These features critically depend on the coordinated expression and localization of hundreds of ion channels and receptors, as well as scaffolding and signaling molecules. In this review I will highlight the current state of knowledge regarding functional properties of human stem cell-derived neurons, with a primary focus on pluripotent stem cells. While significant advances have been made, critical hurdles must be overcome in order for this technology to support progression toward clinical applications. PMID:27274733
Gouty-Colomer, Laurie-Anne; Méry, Pierre-François; Storme, Emilie; Gavois, Elodie; Robinson, Iain C; Guérineau, Nathalie C; Mollard, Patrice; Desarménien, Michel G
Growth hormone (GH) is the key hormone involved in the regulation of growth and metabolism, two functions that are highly modulated during infancy. GH secretion, controlled mainly by GH releasing hormone (GHRH), has a characteristic pattern during postnatal development that results in peaks of blood concentration at birth and puberty. A detailed knowledge of the electrophysiology of the GHRH neurons is necessary to understand the mechanisms regulating postnatal GH secretion. Here, we describe the unique postnatal development of the electrophysiological properties of GHRH neurons and their regulation by gonadal hormones. Using GHRH-eGFP mice, we demonstrate that already at birth, GHRH neurons receive numerous synaptic inputs and fire large and fast action potentials (APs), consistent with effective GH secretion. Concomitant with the GH secretion peak occurring at puberty, these neurons display modifications of synaptic input properties, decrease in AP duration, and increase in a transient voltage-dependant potassium current. Furthermore, the modulation of both the AP duration and voltage-dependent potassium current are specifically controlled by gonadal hormones because gonadectomy prevented the maturation of these active properties and hormonal treatment restored it. Thus, GHRH neurons undergo specific developmental modulations of their electrical properties over the first six postnatal weeks, in accordance with hormonal demand. Our results highlight the importance of the interaction between the somatotrope and gonadotrope axes during the establishment of adapted neuroendocrine functions.
Stocker, K M; Ciment, G; Baizer, L
The expression of GAP-43 in developing and regenerating neurons has been well characterized, but the function of this membrane-bound phosphoprotein is still unclear. Although GAP-43 is considered to be neuron-specific, it is also expressed in various glial cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems and in at least two populations of mesenchymal cells in the developing chick limb. GAP-43 mRNA is expressed transiently in developing limbs, which contain axons of spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion neurons, but do not contain neuronal cell bodies. This expression is correlated temporally with the in-growth of neurites and axons to the limbs, but appears to be independent of nerves. In some regions of the limb, GAP-43 immunoreactivity co-localizes in cells that are also immunoreactive for meromyosin, a muscle-specific marker. In addition, GAP-43 mRNA and protein are particularly abundant in the interdigital mesenchyme that undergoes apoptosis, or programmed cell death. GAP-43 has been postulated to mediate rapid changes in cell shape and the extension of processes in neuronal growth cones and elongating axons. We suggest here that GAP-43 may serve a similar function in glial cells, in myoblasts fusing to form myotubes, and in apoptotic and phagocytic cells of the interdigital mesenchyme.
The development, morphology and possible functional activity of the Cajal-Retzius cell of the developing human cerebral cortex are explored herein. The C-RC, of extracortical origin, is the essential neuron of the neocortex first lamina. It receives inputs from afferent fibers that reach the first lamina early in development. Although the origin and function of these original afferent fibers remain unknown, their target is the first lamina sole neuron: the C-RC. This neuron orchestrates the arrival, size and stratification of all pyramidal neurons (of ependymal origin) of the neocortex gray matter. Its axonic terminals spread radially and horizontally throughout the entirety of the first lamina establishing contacts with the dendritic terminals of all gray matter pyramidal cells regardless of size, location and/or eventual functional roles. While the neuron axonic terminals spread radially and horizontally throughout the first lamina, the neuronal’ body undergoes progressive developmental dilution and locating any of them in the adult brain become quite difficult. The neuron bodies are probably retained in the older regions of the neocortex while their axonic collaterals will spread throughout its more recent ones and eventually will extend to great majority of the cortical surface. The neocortex first lamina evolution and composition and that of the C-RC are intertwined and mutually interdependent. It is not possible to understand the C-RC evolving morphology without understanding that of the first lamina. The first lamina composition and its structural and functional organizations obtained with different staining methods may be utterly different. These differences have added unnecessary confusion about its nature. The essential emptiness observed in hematoxylin and eosin preparations (most commonly used) contrast sharply with the concentration of dendrites (the cortex’ largest) obtained using special (MAP-2) stain for dendrites. Only Golgi preparations
Łopacińska, Joanna M.; Emnéus, Jenny; Dufva, Martin
Introduction Microfluidics systems usually consist of materials like PMMA - poly(methyl methacrylate) and PDMS - poly(dimethylsiloxane) and not polystyrene (PS), which is usually used for cell culture. Cellular and molecular responses in cells grown on PS are well characterized due to decades of accumulated research. In contrast, the experience base is limited for materials used in microfludics chip fabrication. Methods The effect of different materials (PS, PMMA and perforated PMMA with a piece of PDMS underneath) on the growth and differentiation of PC12 (adrenal phaeochromocytoma) cells into neuronal-like cells was investigated using cell viability, cell cycle distribution, morphology, and gene expression analysis. Results/Conclusions After differentiation, the morphology, viability and cell cycle distribution of PC12 cells grown on PS, PMMA with and without PDMS underneath was the same. By contrast, 41 genes showed different expression for PC12 cells differentiating on PMMA as compared to on PS. In contrast, 677 genes showed different expression on PMMA with PDMS underneath as compared with PC12 cells on PS. The differentially expressed genes are involved in neuronal cell development and function. However, there were also many markers for neuronal cell development and functions that were expressed similarly in cells differentiating on PS, PMMA and PMMA with PDMS underneath. In conclusion, it was shown that PMMA has a minor impact and PDMS a major impact on gene expression in PC12 cells. PMID:23301028
The central actions of the hormone leptin in regulating energy homeostasis via the hypothalamus are well documented. However, evidence is growing that this hormone can also modify the structure and function of synapses throughout the CNS. The hippocampus is a region of the forebrain that plays a crucial role in associative learning and memory and is an area also highly vulnerable to neurodegenerative processes. Recent studies indicate that leptin is a potential cognitive enhancer as it modulates the cellular processes underlying hippocampal-dependent learning and memory including dendritic morphology, glutamate receptor trafficking and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Here, we review the recent evidence implicating the hormone leptin as a key regulator of hippocampal synaptic function and discuss the role of leptin receptor-driven lipid signaling pathways involved in this process. PMID:23964236
Grossman, Ruth B.; Bemis, Rhyannon H.; Skwerer, Daniela Plesa; Tager-Flusberg, Helen
Purpose We investigated perception and production of lexical stress and processing of affective prosody in adolescents with high functioning autism (HFA). We hypothesized preserved processing of lexical and affective prosody, but atypical lexical prosody production. Method 16 children with HFA and 15 typically developing (TD) peers participated in three experiments: 1. Perception of affective prosody, 2. Lexical stress perception, 3. Lexical stress production. In Experiment 1, participants labeled sad, happy, and neutral spoken sentences that were low-pass filtered, to eliminate verbal content. In Experiment 2 participants disambiguated word meanings based on lexical stress (HOTdog, vs. hotDOG). In Experiment 3 participants produced these words in a sentence completion task. Productions were analyzed using acoustic measures. Results Accuracy levels showed no group differences. Participants with HFA could determine affect from filtered sentences and disambiguate words based on lexical stress. They produced appropriately differentiated lexical stress patterns but demonstrated atypically long productions indicating reduced ability in natural prosody production. Conclusions Children with HFA were as capable as their TD peers in receptive tasks of lexical stress and affective prosody. Prosody productions were atypically long, despite accurate differentiation of lexical stress patterns. Future research should use larger samples and spontaneous vs. elicited productions. PMID:20530388
The melanocortin receptor 4 (MC4R) is a well-established mediator of body weight homeostasis. However, the neurotransmitter(s) that mediate MC4R function remain largely unknown; as a result, little is known about the second-order neurons of the MC4R neural pathway. Single-minded 1 (Sim1)-expressing ...
Hu, Hui; Ni, Yingchun; Mandal, Swadhin K; Montana, Vedrana; Zhao, Bin; Haddon, Robert C; Parpura, Vladimir
We report the synthesis of a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) graft copolymer. This polymer was prepared by the functionalization of SWNTs with polyethyleneimine (PEI). We used this graft copolymer, SWNT-PEI, as a substrate for cultured neurons and found that it promotes neurite outgrowth and branching.
Zheng, Lu; Bernard-Marissal, Nathalie; Moullan, Norman; D'Amico, Davide; Auwerx, Johan; Moore, Darren J; Knott, Graham; Aebischer, Patrick; Schneider, Bernard L
To understand the cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), it is important to determine the functional interactions between factors linked to the disease. Parkin is associated with autosomal recessive early-onset PD, and controls the transcription of PGC-1α, a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. These two factors functionally interact to regulate the turnover and quality of mitochondria, by increasing both mitophagic activity and mitochondria biogenesis. In cortical neurons, co-expressing PGC-1α and Parkin increases the number of mitochondria, enhances maximal respiration, and accelerates the recovery of the mitochondrial membrane potential following mitochondrial uncoupling. PGC-1α enhances Mfn2 transcription, but also leads to increased degradation of the Mfn2 protein, a key ubiquitylation target of Parkin on mitochondria. In vivo, Parkin has significant protective effects on the survival and function of nigral dopaminergic neurons in which the chronic expression of PGC-1α is induced. Ultrastructural analysis shows that these two factors together control the density of mitochondria and their interaction with the endoplasmic reticulum These results highlight the combined effects of Parkin and PGC-1α in the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis in dopaminergic neurons. These two factors synergistically control the quality and function of mitochondria, which is important for the survival of neurons in Parkinson's disease.
Rouyar, Angela; Party, Virginie; Prešern, Janez; Blejec, Andrej; Renou, Michel
In nature the aerial trace of pheromone used by male moths to find a female appears as a train of discontinuous pulses separated by gaps among a complex odorant background constituted of plant volatiles. We investigated the effect of such background odor on behavior and coding of temporal parameters of pheromone pulse trains in the pheromone olfactory receptor neurons of Spodoptera littoralis. Effects of linalool background were tested by measuring walking behavior towards a source of pheromone. While velocity and orientation index did drop when linalool was turned on, both parameters recovered back to pre-background values after 40 s with linalool still present. Photo-ionization detector was used to characterize pulse delivery by our stimulator. The photo-ionization detector signal reached 71% of maximum amplitude at 50 ms pulses and followed the stimulus period at repetition rates up to 10 pulses/s. However, at high pulse rates the concentration of the odorant did not return to base level during inter-pulse intervals. Linalool decreased the intensity and shortened the response of receptor neurons to pulses. High contrast (>10 dB) in firing rate between pulses and inter-pulse intervals was observed for 1 and 4 pulses/s, both with and without background. Significantly more neurons followed the 4 pulses/s pattern when delivered over linalool; at the same time the information content was preserved almost to the control values. Rapid recovery of behavior shows that change of perceived intensity is more important than absolute stimulus intensity. While decreasing the response intensity, background odor preserved the temporal parameters of the specific signal. PMID:22028879
Gorren, A C; Schrammel, A; Schmidt, K; Mayer, B
We investigated how pH affects rat brain neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) with regard to spin-state equilibrium and the thiolate ligand bond of the haem group, catalytic activity, and monomerleft and right arrow dimer equilibrium. At neutral pH, nNOS containing 1 equiv. of (6R)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-l-biopterin (BH4) per dimer was mostly high-spin (lambdamax at 398 nm), whereas the BH4-free enzyme consisted of a mixture of the high-spin and two low-spin forms (lambdamax at 418 nm, and at 376 and 456 nm respectively). With BH4-free nNOS, an appreciable high-spin fraction was only observed between pH 7 and 8; at pH 6 and 9, the 418 and 376/456 nm low-spin forms predominated respectively. With nNOS containing 1 equiv. of BH4 per dimer, similar observations were made, but these involved only half of the enzyme; the other half, presumably the BH4-containing subunits, remained high-spin. Since the spin state in the BH4-free subunit appeared little affected by the state of the other subunit, we conclude that, in dimeric nNOS, the two haem groups function independently. Low pH destabilized thiolate binding and the interaction between NOS subunits, as indicated by CO-binding studies and gel electrophoresis respectively. Formation of l-citrulline was optimal between pH 7.0 and 7.5; the decrease in NOS activity at lower pH proved to be due to uncoupling of NADPH oxidation, resulting in increased formation of H2O2. At high pH strict coupling of l-arginine and NADPH oxidation was maintained, even in the absence of exogenous BH4. The possible pathophysiological implications of the uncoupling at low pH are discussed. PMID:9560307
Mäki-Marttunen, Tuomo; Halnes, Geir; Devor, Anna; Witoelar, Aree; Bettella, Francesco; Djurovic, Srdjan; Wang, Yunpeng; Einevoll, Gaute T.; Andreassen, Ole A.; Dale, Anders M.
Background Recent genome-wide association studies have identified a large number of genetic risk factors for schizophrenia (SCZ) featuring ion channels and calcium transporters. For some of these risk factors, independent prior investigations have examined the effects of genetic alterations on the cellular electrical excitability and calcium homeostasis. In the present proof-of-concept study, we harnessed these experimental results for modeling of computational properties on layer V cortical pyramidal cells and identified possible common alterations in behavior across SCZ-related genes. Methods We applied a biophysically detailed multicompartmental model to study the excitability of a layer V pyramidal cell. We reviewed the literature on functional genomics for variants of genes associated with SCZ and used changes in neuron model parameters to represent the effects of these variants. Results We present and apply a framework for examining the effects of subtle single nucleotide polymorphisms in ion channel and calcium transporter-encoding genes on neuron excitability. Our analysis indicates that most of the considered SCZ-related genetic variants affect the spiking behavior and intracellular calcium dynamics resulting from summation of inputs across the dendritic tree. Conclusions Our results suggest that alteration in the ability of a single neuron to integrate the inputs and scale its excitability may constitute a fundamental mechanistic contributor to mental disease, alongside the previously proposed deficits in synaptic communication and network behavior. PMID:26949748
Handley, Mark T W; Lian, Lu-Yun; Haynes, Lee P; Burgoyne, Robert D
Neuronal calcium sensor-1 (NCS-1) is a Ca(2+) sensor protein that has been implicated in the regulation of various aspects of neuronal development and neurotransmission. It exerts its effects through interactions with a range of target proteins one of which is interleukin receptor accessory protein like-1 (IL1RAPL1) protein. Mutations in IL1RAPL1 have recently been associated with autism spectrum disorders and a missense mutation (R102Q) on NCS-1 has been found in one individual with autism. We have examined the effect of this mutation on the structure and function of NCS-1. From use of NMR spectroscopy, it appeared that the R102Q affected the structure of the protein particularly with an increase in the extent of conformational exchange in the C-terminus of the protein. Despite this change NCS-1(R102Q) did not show changes in its affinity for Ca(2+) or binding to IL1RAPL1 and its intracellular localisation was unaffected. Assessment of NCS-1 dynamics indicated that it could rapidly cycle between cytosolic and membrane pools and that the cycling onto the plasma membrane was specifically changed in NCS-1(R102Q) with the loss of a Ca(2+) -dependent component. From these data we speculate that impairment of the normal cycling of NCS-1 by the R102Q mutation could have subtle effects on neuronal signalling and physiology in the developing and adult brain.
Mitsumori, Kazuhiko; Takei, Yosuke; Hirokawa, Nobutaka
In neurons, RNA transport is important for local protein synthesis. Messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are transported along dendrites as large RNA granules. The localization and dynamics of Puralpha and Stau1, major components of RNA transport granules, were investigated in cultured hippocampal neurons. Puralpha-positive granules were localized in both the shafts and spines of dendrites. In contrast, Stau1-positive granules tended to be localized mainly in dendritic shafts. More than 90% of Puralpha-positive granules were positive for Stau1 in immature dendrites, while only half were positive in mature dendrites. Stau1-negative Puralpha granules tended to be stationary with fewer anterograde and retrograde movements than Stau1-positive Puralpha granules. After metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) activation, Stau-1 positive granules remained in the dendritic shafts, while Puralpha granules translocated from the shaft to the spine. The translocation of Puralpha granules was dependent on Myosin Va, an actin-based molecular motor protein. Collectively, our findings suggest the possibility that the loss of Stau1 in Puralpha-positive RNA granules might promote their activity-dependent translocation into dendritic spines, which could underlie the regulation of protein synthesis in synapses.
Lu, Beika; Zelle, Kathleen M; Seltzer, Raya; Hefetz, Abraham; Ben-Shahar, Yehuda
The response of individual animals to mating signals depends on the sexual identity of the individual and the genetics of the mating targets, which represent the mating social context (social environment). However, how social signals are sensed and integrated during mating decisions remains a mystery. One of the models for understanding mating behaviors in molecular and cellular terms is the male courtship ritual in the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster). We have recently shown that a subset of gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) that are enriched in the male appendages and express the ion channel ppk23 play a major role in the initiation and maintenance of male courtship via the perception of cuticular contact pheromones, and are likely to represent the main chemosensory pathway that influences mating decisions by males. Here we show that genetic feminization of ppk23-expressing GRNs in male flies resulted in a significant increase in male-male sexual attraction without an apparent impact on sexual attraction to females. Furthermore, we show that this increase in male-male sexual attraction is sensory specific, which can be modulated by variable social contexts. Finally, we show that feminization of ppk23-expressing sensory neurons lead to major transcriptional shifts, which may explain the altered interpretation of the social environment by feminized males. Together, these data indicate that the sexual cellular identity of pheromone sensing GRNs plays a major role in how individual flies interpret their social environment in the context of mating decisions.
Anand, Praveen; Yiangou, Yiangos; Anand, Uma; Mukerji, Gaurav; Sinisi, Marco; Fox, Michael; McQuillan, Anthony; Quick, Tom; Korchev, Yuri E; Hein, Peter
The nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide receptor (NOP), activated by its endogenous peptide ligand nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), exerts several effects including modulation of pain signalling. We have examined, for the first time, the tissue distribution of the NOP receptor in clinical visceral and somatic pain disorders by immunohistochemistry and assessed functional effects of NOP and μ-opioid receptor activation in cultured human and rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Quantification of NOP-positive nerve fibres within the bladder suburothelium revealed a remarkable several-fold increase in detrusor overactivity (P < 0.0001) and painful bladder syndrome patient specimens (P = 0.0014) compared with controls. In postmortem control human DRG, 75% to 80% of small/medium neurons (≤50 μm diameter) in the lumbar (somatic) and sacral (visceral) DRG were positive for NOP, and fewer large neurons; avulsion-injured cervical human DRG neurons showed similar numbers. NOP immunoreactivity was significantly decreased in injured peripheral nerves (P = 0.0004), and also in painful neuromas (P = 0.025). Calcium-imaging studies in cultured rat DRG neurons demonstrated dose-dependent inhibition of capsaicin responses in the presence of N/OFQ, with an IC50 of 8.6 pM. In cultured human DRG neurons, 32% inhibition of capsaicin responses was observed in the presence of 1 pM N/OFQ (P < 0.001). The maximum inhibition of capsaicin responses was greater with N/OFQ than μ-opioid receptor agonist DAMGO. Our findings highlight the potential of NOP agonists, particularly in urinary bladder overactivity and pain syndromes. The regulation of NOP expression in visceral and somatic sensory neurons by target-derived neurotrophic factors deserves further study, and the efficacy of NOP selective agonists in clinical trials.
Bryson, J Barney; Machado, Carolina Barcellos; Crossley, Martin; Stevenson, Danielle; Bros-Facer, Virginie; Burrone, Juan; Greensmith, Linda; Lieberam, Ivo
Damage to the central nervous system caused by traumatic injury or neurological disorders can lead to permanent loss of voluntary motor function and muscle paralysis. Here, we describe an approach that circumvents central motor circuit pathology to restore specific skeletal muscle function. We generated murine embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons that express the light-sensitive ion channel channelrhodopsin-2, which we then engrafted into partially denervated branches of the sciatic nerve of adult mice. These engrafted motor neurons not only reinnervated lower hind-limb muscles but also enabled their function to be restored in a controllable manner using optogenetic stimulation. This synthesis of regenerative medicine and optogenetics may be a successful strategy to restore muscle function after traumatic injury or disease.
Lafourcade, Mathieu; Larrieu, Thomas; Mato, Susana; Duffaud, Anais; Sepers, Marja; Matias, Isabelle; De Smedt-Peyrusse, Veronique; Labrousse, Virginie F; Bretillon, Lionel; Matute, Carlos; Rodríguez-Puertas, Rafael; Layé, Sophie; Manzoni, Olivier J
The corollaries of the obesity epidemic that plagues developed societies are malnutrition and resulting biochemical imbalances. Low levels of essential n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have been linked to neuropsychiatric diseases, but the underlying synaptic alterations are mostly unknown. We found that lifelong n-3 PUFAs dietary insufficiency specifically ablates long-term synaptic depression mediated by endocannabinoids in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex and accumbens. In n-3-deficient mice, presynaptic cannabinoid CB(1) receptors (CB(1)Rs) normally responding to endocannabinoids were uncoupled from their effector G(i/o) proteins. Finally, the dietary-induced reduction of CB(1)R functions in mood-controlling structures was associated with impaired emotional behavior. These findings identify a plausible synaptic substrate for the behavioral alterations caused by the n-3 PUFAs deficiency that is often observed in western diets.
Phospholipase A2 – nexus of aging, oxidative stress, neuronal excitability, and functional decline of the aging nervous system? Insights from a snail model system of neuronal aging and age-associated memory impairment
Hermann, Petra M.; Watson, Shawn N.; Wildering, Willem C.
The aging brain undergoes a range of changes varying from subtle structural and physiological changes causing only minor functional decline under healthy normal aging conditions, to severe cognitive or neurological impairment associated with extensive loss of neurons and circuits due to age-associated neurodegenerative disease conditions. Understanding how biological aging processes affect the brain and how they contribute to the onset and progress of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases is a core research goal in contemporary neuroscience. This review focuses on the idea that changes in intrinsic neuronal electrical excitability associated with (per)oxidation of membrane lipids and activation of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes are an important mechanism of learning and memory failure under normal aging conditions. Specifically, in the context of this special issue on the biology of cognitive aging we portray the opportunities offered by the identifiable neurons and behaviorally characterized neural circuits of the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis in neuronal aging research and recapitulate recent insights indicating a key role of lipid peroxidation-induced PLA2 as instruments of aging, oxidative stress and inflammation in age-associated neuronal and memory impairment in this model system. The findings are discussed in view of accumulating evidence suggesting involvement of analogous mechanisms in the etiology of age-associated dysfunction and disease of the human and mammalian brain. PMID:25538730
Hanson, Jesse E; Deng, Lunbin; Hackos, David H; Lo, Shih-Ching; Lauffer, Benjamin E; Steiner, Pascal; Zhou, Qiang
Histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) negatively regulates excitatory synapse number and memory performance. However, whether HDAC2 regulation of excitatory synapses occurs in a cell-autonomous manner and whether HDAC2 regulates inhibitory synaptic functions are not well understood. To examine these aspects of HDAC2 function, we used sparse transfection of rat hippocampal slice cultures and whole-cell recordings in pyramidal neurons. HDAC2 knockdown (KD) in single postsynaptic pyramidal neurons enhanced, whereas HDAC2 overexpression (OE) reduced, excitatory synaptic transmission. Postsynaptic KD of HDAC2 also facilitated expression of long-term potentiation induced by subthreshold induction stimuli, without altering long-term depression. In contrast, HDAC2 KD reduced, whereas HDAC2 OE enhanced, inhibitory synaptic transmission. Alterations of postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) likely underlie the impact of HDAC2 on inhibitory transmission. Consistent with this, we observed reduced transcript and protein levels of the GABA(A)R γ2 subunit and reduced surface expression of the α2 subunit after HDAC2 KD. Furthermore, we observed a reduction in synaptic but not tonic GABA(A)R currents by HDAC2 KD, suggesting that HDAC2 selectively affects synaptic abundance of functional GABA(A)Rs. Immunostaining for postsynaptic GABA(A)Rs confirmed that HDAC2 KD and OE can regulate the synaptic abundance of these receptors. Together, these results highlight a role for HDAC2 in suppressing synaptic excitation and enhancing synaptic inhibition of hippocampal neurons. Therefore, a shift in the balance of synaptic excitation versus inhibition favoring excitation could contribute to the beneficial effects of reducing HDAC2 function in wild-type mice or of inhibiting HDACs in models of cognitive impairment.
Edens, Brittany M.; Miller, Nimrod; Ma, Yong-Chao
Selective motor neuron degeneration is a hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Around 10% of all cases present as familial ALS (FALS), while sporadic ALS (SALS) accounts for the remaining 90%. Diverse genetic mutations leading to FALS have been identified, but the underlying causes of SALS remain largely unknown. Despite the heterogeneous and incompletely understood etiology, different types of ALS exhibit overlapping pathology and common phenotypes, including protein aggregation and mitochondrial deficiencies. Here, we review the current understanding of mechanisms leading to motor neuron degeneration in ALS as they pertain to disrupted cellular clearance pathways, ATP biogenesis, calcium buffering and mitochondrial dynamics. Through focusing on impaired autophagic and mitochondrial functions, we highlight how the convergence of diverse cellular processes and pathways contributes to common pathology in motor neuron degeneration. PMID:26973461
Ferrari-Toninelli, Giulia; Bonini, Sara Anna; Uberti, Daniela; Napolitano, Francesco; Stante, Maria; Santoro, Federica; Minopoli, Giuseppina; Zambrano, Nicola; Russo, Tommaso; Memo, Maurizio
Notch proteins are definitely recognized as key regulators of the neuronal fate during embryo development, but their function in the adult brain is still largely unknown. We have previously demonstrated that Notch pathway stimulation increases microtubules stability followed by the remodeling of neuronal morphology with neurite varicosities loss, thicker neuritis, and enlarged growth cones. Here we show that the neurite remodeling is a dynamic event, dependent on transcription and translation, and with functional implications. Exposure of differentiated human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells to the Notch ligand Jagged1 induces varicosities loss all along the neurites, accompanied by the redistribution of presynaptic vesicles and the decrease in neurotransmitters release. As evaluated by time lapse digital imaging, dynamic changes in neurite morphology were rapidly reversible and dependent on the activation of the Notch signaling pathway. In fact, it was prevented by the inhibition of the proteolytic gamma-secretase enzyme or the transcription machinery, and was mimicked by the transfection of the intracellular domain of Notch. One hour after treatment with Jagged1, several genes were downregulated. Many of these genes encode proteins that are known to be involved in protein synthesis. These data suggest that in adult neurons, Notch pathway activates a transcriptional program that regulates the equilibrium between varicosities formation and varicosities loss in the neuronal presynaptic compartment involving the expression and redistribution of both structural and functional proteins.
Couchman, Kiri; Grothe, Benedikt; Felmy, Felix
Neurons of the medial superior olive (MSO) code for the azimuthal location of low-frequency sound sources via a binaural coincidence detection system operating on microsecond time scales. These neurons are morphologically simple and stereotyped, and anatomical studies have indicated a functional segregation of excitatory and inhibitory inputs between cellular compartments. It is thought that this morphological arrangement holds important implications for the computational task of these cells. To date, however, there has been no functional investigation into synaptic input sites or functional receptor distributions on mature neurons of the MSO. Here, functional neurotransmitter receptor maps for amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), glycine (Gly), and ionotropic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)) receptors (Rs) were compared and complemented by their corresponding synaptic input map. We find in MSO neurons from postnatal day 20-35 gerbils that AMPARs and their excitatory inputs target the soma and dendrites. Functional GlyRs and their inhibitory inputs are predominantly refined to the somata, although a pool of functional GlyRs is present extrasynaptically on MSO dendrites. GABA(A)R responses are present throughout the cell but lack direct synaptic contact indicating an involvement in volume transmission. NMDARs are present both synaptically and extrasynaptically with an overall distribution similar to GlyRs. Interestingly, even at physiological temperatures these functional NMDARs can be potentiated by synaptically released Gly. The functional receptor and synaptic input maps produced here led to the identification of a cross talk between transmitter systems and raises the possibility that extrasynaptic receptors could be modulating leak conductances as a homeostatic mechanism.
Fiszdon, Joanna M.; Johannesen, Jason K.
Affect recognition (AR) is a core component of social information processing, thus may be critical to understanding social behavior and functioning in broader aspects of daily living. Deficits in AR are well documented in schizophrenia, however, there is also evidence that many individuals with schizophrenia perform AR tasks at near-normal levels. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the functional significance of AR deficits in schizophrenia by comparing subgroups with normal-range and impaired AR performance on proxy and interviewer-rated measures of real-world functioning. Schizophrenia outpatients were classified as normal-range (N=17) and impaired (N=31) based on a logistic cut point in the sample distribution of BLERT scores, referenced to a normative sample of healthy control subjects (N=56). The derived schizophrenia subgroups were then compared on proxy (UCSD, UPSA, SSPA, MMAA) and interviewer-rated (QLS, ILSS) measures of functioning, as well as battery of neurocognitive tests. Initial analyses indicated superior MMAA and QLS performance in the near-normal AR subgroup. Covariate analyses indicated that group differences in neurocognition fully mediated the observed associations between AR and MMAA and attenuated the observed relationships between AR classification and QLS. These results support three main conclusions. First, AR, like many other domains of psychopathology studied in schizophrenia, is preserved in select subgroups. Second, there is a positive relationship between AR performance and functional outcome measures. Third, neurocognition appears to mediate the relationship between AR and measures of functioning. PMID:20202689
Ripamonti, Silvia; Ambrozkiewicz, Mateusz C; Guzzi, Francesca; Gravati, Marta; Biella, Gerardo; Bormuth, Ingo; Hammer, Matthieu; Tuffy, Liam P; Sigler, Albrecht; Kawabe, Hiroshi; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Toselli, Mauro; Brose, Nils; Parenti, Marco; Rhee, JeongSeop
Beyond its role in parturition and lactation, oxytocin influences higher brain processes that control social behavior of mammals, and perturbed oxytocin signaling has been linked to the pathogenesis of several psychiatric disorders. However, it is still largely unknown how oxytocin exactly regulates neuronal function. We show that early, transient oxytocin exposure in vitro inhibits the development of hippocampal glutamatergic neurons, leading to reduced dendrite complexity, synapse density, and excitatory transmission, while sparing GABAergic neurons. Conversely, genetic elimination of oxytocin receptors increases the expression of protein components of excitatory synapses and excitatory synaptic transmission in vitro. In vivo, oxytocin-receptor-deficient hippocampal pyramidal neurons develop more complex dendrites, which leads to increased spine number and reduced γ-oscillations. These results indicate that oxytocin controls the development of hippocampal excitatory neurons and contributes to the maintenance of a physiological excitation/inhibition balance, whose disruption can cause neurobehavioral disturbances. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22466.001 PMID:28231043
Clasadonte, Jerome; Sharif, Ariane; Baroncini, Marc; Prevot, Vincent
Over the past four decades it has become clear that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a phospholipid-derived signaling molecule, plays a fundamental role in modulating the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuroendocrine system and in shaping the hypothalamus. In this review, after a brief historical overview, we highlight studies revealing that PGE2 released by glial cells such as astrocytes and tanycytes is intimately involved in the active control of GnRH neuronal activity and neurosecretion. Recent evidence suggests that hypothalamic astrocytes surrounding GnRH neuronal cell bodies may respond to neuronal activity with an activation of the erbB receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, triggering the release of PGE2 as a chemical transmitter from the glia themselves, and, in turn, leading to the feedback regulation of GnRH neuronal activity. At the GnRH neurohemal junction, in the median eminence of the hypothalamus, PGE2 is released by tanycytes in response to cell–cell signaling initiated by glial cells and vascular endothelial cells. Upon its release, PGE2 causes the retraction of the tanycyte end-feet enwrapping the GnRH nerve terminals, enabling them to approach the adjacent pericapillary space and thus likely facilitating neurohormone diffusion from these nerve terminals into the pituitary portal blood. In view of these new insights, we suggest that synaptically associated astrocytes and perijunctional tanycytes are integral modulatory elements of GnRH neuronal function at the cell soma/dendrite and nerve terminal levels, respectively. PMID:22649391
Keefe, J. R.
Research on the precise timing and regulation of neuron production and maturation in the vestibular and visual systems of Wistar rats and several inbred strains of mice (C57B16 and Pallid mutant) concentrated upon establishing a timing baseline for mitotic development of the neurons of the vestibular nuclei and the peripheral vestibular sensory structures (maculae, cristae). This involved studies of the timing and site of neuronal cell birth and preliminary studies of neuronal cell death in both central and peripheral elements of the mammalian vestibular system. Studies on neuronal generation and maturation in the retina were recently added to provide a mechanism for more properly defining the in utero' developmental age of the individual fetal subject and to closely monitor potential transplacental effects of environmentally stressed maternal systems. Information is given on current efforts concentrating upon the (1) perinatal period of development (E18 thru P14) and (2) the role of cell death in response to variation in the functional loading of the vestibular and proprioreceptive systems in developing mammalian organisms.
Azzarelli, Roberta; Guillemot, François; Pacary, Emilie
The mammalian cerebral cortex contains a high variety of neuronal subtypes that acquire precise spatial locations and form long or short-range connections to establish functional neuronal circuits. During embryonic development, cortical projection neurons are generated in the areas lining the lateral ventricles and they subsequently undergo radial migration to reach the position of their final maturation within the cortical plate. The control of the neuroblast migratory behavior and the coordination of the migration process with other neurogenic events such as cell cycle exit, differentiation and final maturation are crucial to normal brain development. Among the key regulators of cortical neuron migration, the small GTP binding proteins of the Rho family and the atypical Rnd members play important roles in integrating intracellular signaling pathways into changes in cytoskeletal dynamics and motility behavior. Here we review the role of Rnd proteins during cortical neuronal migration and we discuss both the upstream mechanisms that regulate Rnd protein activity and the downstream molecular pathways that mediate Rnd effects on cell cytoskeleton. PMID:25705175
Jakobsson, Albin; Ottosson, Maximilian; Zalis, Marina Castro; O'Carroll, David; Johansson, Ulrica Englund; Johansson, Fredrik
We demonstrate an artificial three-dimensional (3D) electrical active human neuronal network system, by the growth of brain neural progenitors in highly porous low density electrospun poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) fiber scaffolds. In neuroscience research cell-based assays are important experimental instruments for studying neuronal function in health and disease. Traditional cell culture at 2D-surfaces induces abnormal cell-cell contacts and network formation. Hence, there is a tremendous need to explore in vivo-resembling 3D neural cell culture approaches. We present an improved electrospinning method for fabrication of scaffolds that promote neuronal differentiation into highly 3D integrated networks, formation of inhibitory and excitatory synapses and extensive neurite growth. Notably, in 3D scaffolds in vivo-resembling intermixed neuronal and glial cell network were formed, whereas in parallel 2D cultures a neuronal cell layer grew separated from an underlying glial cell layer. Hence, the use of the 3D cell assay presented will most likely provide more physiological relevant results.
Deflorio, Cristina; Blanchard, Stéphane; Carisì, Maria Carla; Bohl, Delphine; Maskos, Uwe
Tobacco smoking is a public health problem, with ∼5 million deaths per year, representing a heavy burden for many countries. No effective therapeutic strategies are currently available for nicotine addiction, and it is therefore crucial to understand the etiological and pathophysiological factors contributing to this addiction. The neuronal α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit is critically involved in nicotine dependence. In particular, the human polymorphism α5D398N corresponds to the strongest correlation with nicotine dependence risk found to date in occidental populations, according to meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. To understand the specific contribution of this subunit in the context of nicotine addiction, an efficient screening system for native human nAChRs is needed. We have differentiated human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons and obtained a comprehensive characterization of these neurons by quantitative RT-PCR. The functional properties of nAChRs expressed in these human DA neurons, with or without the polymorphism in the α5 subunit, were studied with the patch-clamp electrophysiological technique. Our results in human DA neurons carrying the polymorphism in the α5 subunit showed an increase in EC50, indicating that, in the presence of the polymorphism, more nicotine or acetylcholine chloride is necessary to obtain the same effect. This human cell culturing system can now be used in drug discovery approaches to screen for compounds that interact specifically with human native and polymorphic nAChRs.-Deflorio, C., Blanchard, S., Carisì, M. C., Bohl, D., Maskos, U. Human polymorphisms in nicotinic receptors: a functional analysis in iPS-derived dopaminergic neurons.
Abstract Significance: Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS, respectively) can intimately control neuronal excitability and synaptic strength by regulating the function of many ion channels. In peripheral sensory neurons, such regulation contributes towards the control of somatosensory processing; therefore, understanding the mechanisms of such regulation is necessary for the development of new therapeutic strategies and for the treatment of sensory dysfunctions, such as chronic pain. Recent Advances: Tremendous progress in deciphering nitric oxide (NO) and ROS signaling in the nervous system has been made in recent decades. This includes the recognition of these molecules as important second messengers and the elucidation of their metabolic pathways and cellular targets. Mounting evidence suggests that these targets include many ion channels which can be directly or indirectly modulated by ROS and NO. However, the mechanisms specific to sensory neurons are still poorly understood. This review will therefore summarize recent findings that highlight the complex nature of the signaling pathways involved in redox/NO regulation of sensory neuron ion channels and excitability; references to redox mechanisms described in other neuron types will be made where necessary. Critical Issues: The complexity and interplay within the redox, NO, and other gasotransmitter modulation of protein function are still largely unresolved. Issues of specificity and intracellular localization of these signaling cascades will also be addressed. Future Directions: Since our understanding of ROS and RNS signaling in sensory neurons is limited, there is a multitude of future directions; one of the most important issues for further study is the establishment of the exact roles that these signaling pathways play in pain processing and the translation of this understanding into new therapeutics. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 486–504. PMID:24735331
Walter, Lais Takata; Higa, Guilherme Shigueto Vilar; Schmeltzer, Christian; Sousa, Erica; Kinjo, Erika Reime; Rüdiger, Sten; Hamassaki, Dânia Emi; Cerchiaro, Giselle; Kihara, Alexandre Hiroaki
In the nervous system within physiological conditions, nitric oxide (NO) production depends on the activity of nitric oxide synthases (NOSs), and particularly on the expression of the neuronal isoform (nNOS). In the sensory systems, the role of NO is poorly understood. In this study, we identified nNOS-positive cells in the inner nuclear layer (INL) of the rat retina, with distinct characteristics such as somata size, immunolabeling level and location. Employing mathematical cluster analysis, we determined that nNOS amacrine cells are formed by two distinct populations. We next investigated the molecular identity of these cells, which did not show colocalization with calbindin (CB), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), parvalbumin (PV) or protein kinase C (PKC), and only partial colocalization with calretinin (CR), revealing the accumulation of nNOS in specific amacrine cell populations. To access the functional, circuitry-related roles of these cells, we performed experiments after adaptation to different ambient light conditions. After 24h of dark-adaptation, we detected a subtle, yet statistically significant decrease in nNOS transcript levels, which returned to steady-state levels after 24h of normal light-dark cycle, revealing that nNOS expression is governed by ambient light conditions. Employing electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), we demonstrated that dark-adaptation decreases NO production in the retina. Furthermore, nNOS accumulation changed in the dark-adapted retinas, with a general reduction in the inner plexiform layer. Finally, computational analysis based on clustering techniques revealed that dark-adaptation differently affected both types of nNOS-positive amacrine cells. Taken together, our data disclosed functional regulation of nNOS expression and activity, disclosing new circuitry-related roles of nNOS-positive cells. More importantly, this study indicated unsuspected roles for NO in the sensory systems, particularly related to adaptation to
Huffaker, Stephen J; Chen, Jingshan; Nicodemus, Kristin K; Sambataro, Fabio; Yang, Feng; Mattay, Venkata; Lipska, Barbara K; Hyde, Thomas M; Song, Jian; Rujescu, Dan; Giegling, Ina; Mayilyan, Karine; Proust, Morgan J; Soghoyan, Armen; Caforio, Grazia; Callicott, Joseph H; Bertolino, Alessandro; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Chang, Jay; Ji, Yuanyuan; Egan, Michael F; Goldberg, Terry E; Kleinman, Joel E; Lu, Bai; Weinberger, Daniel R
Organized neuronal firing is crucial for cortical processing and is disrupted in schizophrenia. Using rapid amplification of 5' complementary DNA ends in human brain, we identified a primate-specific isoform (3.1) of the ether-a-go-go-related K(+) channel KCNH2 that modulates neuronal firing. KCNH2-3.1 messenger RNA levels are comparable to full-length KCNH2 (1A) levels in brain but three orders of magnitude lower in heart. In hippocampus from individuals with schizophrenia, KCNH2-3.1 expression is 2.5-fold greater than KCNH2-1A expression. A meta-analysis of five clinical data sets (367 families, 1,158 unrelated cases and 1,704 controls) shows association of single nucleotide polymorphisms in KCNH2 with schizophrenia. Risk-associated alleles predict lower intelligence quotient scores and speed of cognitive processing, altered memory-linked functional magnetic resonance imaging signals and increased KCNH2-3.1 mRNA levels in postmortem hippocampus. KCNH2-3.1 lacks a domain that is crucial for slow channel deactivation. Overexpression of KCNH2-3.1 in primary cortical neurons induces a rapidly deactivating K(+) current and a high-frequency, nonadapting firing pattern. These results identify a previously undescribed KCNH2 channel isoform involved in cortical physiology, cognition and psychosis, providing a potential new therapeutic drug target.
Collin, Ludovic; Doretto, Sandrine; Malerba, Monica; Ruat, Martial; Borrelli, Emiliana . E-mail: email@example.com
Oligodendrocytes (OLs) are the glial cells of the central nervous system (CNS) classically known to be devoted to the formation of myelin sheaths around most axons of the vertebrate brain. We have addressed the role of these cells during cerebellar development, by ablating OLs in vivo. Previous analyses had indicated that OL ablation during the first six postnatal days results into a striking cerebellar phenotype, whose major features are a strong reduction of granule neurons and aberrant Purkinje cells development. These two cell types are highly interconnected during cerebellar development through the production of molecules that help their proliferation, differentiation and maintenance. In this article, we present data showing that OL ablation has major effects on the physiology of Purkinje (PC) and granule cells (GC). In particular, OL ablation results into a reduction of sonic hedgehog (Shh), Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), and Reelin (Rln) expression. These results indicate that absence of OLs profoundly alters the normal cerebellar developmental program.
Taylor, Stephan F; Demeter, Elise; Phan, K Luan; Tso, Ivy F; Welsh, Robert C
Deficits in the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system have been reported in postmortem studies of schizophrenia, and therapeutic interventions in schizophrenia often involve potentiation of GABA receptors (GABAR) to augment antipsychotic therapy and treat negative affect such as anxiety. To map GABAergic mechanisms associated with processing affect, we used a benzodiazepine challenge while subjects viewed salient visual stimuli. Fourteen stable, medicated schizophrenia/schizoaffective patients and 13 healthy comparison subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging using the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) technique while they viewed salient emotional images. Subjects received intravenous lorazepam (LRZ; 0.01 mg/kg) or saline in a single-blinded, cross-over design (two sessions separated by 1-3 weeks). A predicted group by drug interaction was noted in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) as well as right superior frontal gyrus and left and right occipital regions, such that psychosis patients showed an increased BOLD signal to LRZ challenge, rather than the decreased signal exhibited by the comparison group. A main effect of reduced BOLD signal in bilateral occipital areas was noted across groups. Consistent with the role of the dmPFC in processing emotion, state negative affect positively correlated with the response to the LRZ challenge in the dmPFC for the patients and comparison subjects. The altered response to LRZ challenge is consistent with altered inhibition predicted by postmortem findings of altered GABAR in schizophrenia. These results also suggest that negative affect in schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder is associated-directly or indirectly-with GABAergic function on a continuum with normal behavior.
Prions are a unique type of protein that can misfold and convert other proteins to the same shape. The well-characterized yeast prion [PSI+] is formed from an inactive amyloid fiber conformation of the translation-termination factor, Sup35. This altered conformation is passed from mother cells to daughters, acting as a template to perpetuate the prion state and providing a mechanism of protein-based inheritance. We employed a variety of methods to determine the structure of Sup35 amyloid fibrils. First, using fluorescent tags and cross-linking we identified specific segments of the protein monomer that form intermolecular contacts in a ``Head-to-Head,'' ``Tail-to-Tail'' fashion while a central region forms intramolecular contacts. Then, using peptide arrays we mapped the region responsible for the prion transmission barrier between two different yeast species. We have also used optical tweezers to reveal that the non-covalent intermolecular contacts between monomers are unusually strong, and maintain fibril integrity even under forces that partially unfold individual monomers and extend fibril length. Based on the handful of known yeast prion proteins we predicted sequences that could be responsible for prion-like amyloid folding. Our screen identified 19 new candidate prions, whose protein-folding properties and diverse cellular functions we have characterized using a combination of genetic and biochemical techniques. Prion-driven phenotypic diversity increases under stress, and can be amplified by the dynamic maturation of prion-initiating states. These qualities allow prions to act as ``bet-hedging'' devices that facilitate the adaptation of yeast to stressful environments, and might speed the evolution of new traits. Together with Kandel and Si, we have also found that a regulatory protein that plays an important role in synaptic plasticity behaves as a prion in yeast. Cytoplasmic polyAdenylation element binding protein, CPEB, maintains synapses by promoting
Walsh, J.J.; Han, M.H.
The ventral tegmental area (VTA) in the brain’s reward circuitry is composed of a heterogeneous population of dopamine, GABA, and glutamate neurons that play important roles in mediating mood-related functions including depression. These neurons project to different brain regions, including the nucleus accumbens (NAc), the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and the amygdala. The functional understanding of these projection pathways has been improved since the extensive use of advanced techniques such as viral-mediated gene transfer, cell-type specific neurophysiology and circuit-probing optogenetics. In this article, we will discuss the recent progress in understanding these VTA projection-specific functions, focusing on mood-related disorders. PMID:24931766
Le Magueresse, Corentin; Alfonso, Julieta; Khodosevich, Konstantin; Arroyo Martín, Angel A; Bark, Christine; Monyer, Hannah
GABAergic interneurons of the mouse cortex are generated embryonically in the ventral telencephalon. Recent evidence, however, indicated that a subset of cortical cells expressing interneuronal markers originate in the neonatal subventricular zone. This has raised interest in the functional development and incorporation of these postnatally generated cells into cortical circuits. Here we demonstrate that these cells integrate in the cortex, and that they constitute two distinct GABAergic interneuronal classes. Whereas one class reflects the tail end of embryonic interneuron genesis, the other class comprises interneurons that are exclusively generated perinatally and postnatally. The latter constitute a novel subclass of interneurons. They are preferentially located in the deeper layers of the olfactory and orbital cortices, exhibit a unique firing pattern and slow functional maturation. Based on their distinct morphology we termed them "small axonless neurons" and indeed, unlike other cortical neurons, they communicate with their neuronal partners via dendrodendritic synapses. Finally, we provide evidence that the number of small axonless neurons is enhanced by odor enrichment, a further indication that they integrate into neural circuits and participate to olfactory processing.
Hori, Nobuaki; Kadota, Tomoko; Akaike, Norio
Chronic treatment of rats with methamphetamine (MAP) causes a range of functional changes to the central nervous system (CNS), including a toxicity that is widespread throughout the brain (Frost and Cadet 2000; Fasihpour et al. 2013). In this report, we examined the effect of chronic MAP treatment on pyramidal neurons of the rat piriform cortex, an area involved in sensory processing, associative learning and a model system for studies on synaptic plasticity. MAP treatment significantly depolarized the membrane potential and decreased neuronal input resistance. Furthermore, the voltage-dependence of both AMPA and NMDA responses was disturbed by chronic MAP treatment, and the extent of long-term potentiation (LTP) was decreased. Morphological changes of MAP-treated rat pyramidal neurons were observed as blebbing of the dendrite trees. The changes we observed represent detrimental effects on the function of piriform cortical neurons further illustrating deficits in synaptic plasticity extend beyond the hippocampus. These changes may contribute to behavioural deficits in chronic MAP-treated animals.
Hu, Guangfu; Lin, Chengyuan; He, Mulan; Wong, Anderson O L
In mammals, neurokinin B (NKB), the gene product of the tachykinin family member TAC3, is known to be a key regulator for episodic release of luteinizing hormone (LH). Its regulatory actions are mediated by a subpopulation of kisspeptin neurons within the arcuate nucleus with co-expression of NKB and dynorphin A (commonly called the "KNDy neurons"). By forming an "autosynaptic feedback loop" within the hypothalamus, the KNDy neurons can modulate gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulsatility and subsequent LH release in the pituitary. NKB regulation of LH secretion has been recently demonstrated in zebrafish, suggesting that the reproductive functions of NKB may be conserved from fish to mammals. Interestingly, the TAC3 genes in fish not only encode the mature peptide of NKB but also a novel tachykinin-like peptide, namely NKB-related peptide (or neurokinin F). Recent studies in zebrafish also reveal that the neuroanatomy of TAC3/kisspeptin system within the fish brain is quite different from that of mammals. In this article, the current ideas of "KNDy neuron" model for GnRH regulation and steroid feedback, other reproductive functions of NKB including its local actions in the gonad and placenta, the revised model of tachykinin evolution from invertebrates to vertebrates, as well as the emerging story of the two TAC3 gene products in fish, NKB and NKB-related peptide, will be reviewed with stress on the areas with interesting questions for future investigations.
Chen, Zhe; Putrino, David F; Ghosh, Soumya; Barbieri, Riccardo; Brown, Emery N
The ability to accurately infer functional connectivity between ensemble neurons using experimentally acquired spike train data is currently an important research objective in computational neuroscience. Point process generalized linear models and maximum likelihood estimation have been proposed as effective methods for the identification of spiking dependency between neurons. However, unfavorable experimental conditions occasionally results in insufficient data collection due to factors such as low neuronal firing rates or brief recording periods, and in these cases, the standard maximum likelihood estimate becomes unreliable. The present studies compares the performance of different statistical inference procedures when applied to the estimation of functional connectivity in neuronal assemblies with sparse spiking data. Four inference methods were compared: maximum likelihood estimation, penalized maximum likelihood estimation, using either l(2) or l(1) regularization, and hierarchical Bayesian estimation based on a variational Bayes algorithm. Algorithmic performances were compared using well-established goodness-of-fit measures in benchmark simulation studies, and the hierarchical Bayesian approach performed favorably when compared with the other algorithms, and this approach was then successfully applied to real spiking data recorded from the cat motor cortex. The identification of spiking dependencies in physiologically acquired data was encouraging, since their sparse nature would have previously precluded them from successful analysis using traditional methods.
Eitan, Erez; Tamar, Admoni; Yossi, Grin; Peleg, Refael; Braiman, Alex; Priel, Esther
Telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein, is highly expressed and active in many tumor cells and types, therefore it is considered to be a target for anti-cancer agents. On the other hand, recent studies demonstrated that activation of telomerase is a potential therapeutic target for age related diseases. Telomerase mainly consists of a catalytic protein subunit with a reverse transcription activity (TERT) and an RNA component (TERC), a long non-coding RNA, which serves as a template for the re-elongation of telomeres by TERT. We previously showed that TERT is highly expressed in distinct neuronal cells of the mouse brain and its expression declined with age. To understand the role of telomerase in non-mitotic, fully differentiated cells such neurons we here examined the expression of the other component, TERC, in mouse brain. Surprisingly, by first using bioinformatics analysis, we identified an alternative TERC gene (alTERC) in the mouse genome. Using further experimental approaches we described the presence of a functional alTERC in the mouse brain and spleen, in cultures of motor neurons- like cells and neuroblastoma tumor cells. The alTERC is similar (87%) to mouse TERC (mTERC) with a deletion of 18 bp in the TERC conserved region 4 (CR4). This alTERC gene is expressed and its product interacts with the endogenous mTERT protein and with an exogenous human TERT protein (hTERT) to form an active enzyme. Overexpression of the alTERC and the mTERC genes, in mouse motor neurons like cells, increased the activity of TERT without affecting its protein level. Under oxidative stress conditions, alTERC significantly increased the survival of motor neurons cells without altering the level of TERT protein or its activity. The results suggest that the expression of the alTERC gene in the mouse brain provides an additional way for regulating telomerase activity under normal and stress conditions and confers protection to neuronal cells from oxidative stress. PMID:27823970
Bifari, Francesco; Decimo, Ilaria; Pino, Annachiara; Llorens-Bobadilla, Enric; Zhao, Sheng; Lange, Christian; Panuccio, Gabriella; Boeckx, Bram; Thienpont, Bernard; Vinckier, Stefan; Wyns, Sabine; Bouché, Ann; Lambrechts, Diether; Giugliano, Michele; Dewerchin, Mieke; Martin-Villalba, Ana; Carmeliet, Peter
Whether new neurons are added in the postnatal cerebral cortex is still debated. Here, we report that the meninges of perinatal mice contain a population of neurogenic progenitors formed during embryonic development that migrate to the caudal cortex and differentiate into Satb2(+) neurons in cortical layers II-IV. The resulting neurons are electrically functional and integrated into local microcircuits. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified meningeal cells with distinct transcriptome signatures characteristic of (1) neurogenic radial glia-like cells (resembling neural stem cells in the SVZ), (2) neuronal cells, and (3) a cell type with an intermediate phenotype, possibly representing radial glia-like meningeal cells differentiating to neuronal cells. Thus, we have identified a pool of embryonically derived radial glia-like cells present in the meninges that migrate and differentiate into functional neurons in the neonatal cerebral cortex.
Foroushani, Armin Najarpour; Ghafar-Zadeh, Ebrahim
This paper presents a new unified computational-experimental approach to study the role of the synaptic activity on the activity of neurons in the small neuronal networks (NNs). In a neuronal tissue/organ, this question is investigated with higher complexities by recording action potentials from population of neurons in order to find the relationship between connectivity and the recorded activities. In this approach, we study the dynamics of very small cortical neuronal networks, which can be experimentally synthesized on chip with constrained connectivity. Multi-compartmental Hodgkin-Huxley model is used in NEURON software to reproduce cells by extracting the experimental data from the synthesized NNs. We thereafter demonstrate how the type of synaptic activity affects the network response to specific spike train using the simulation results.
Warren, R A; Jones, E G
Postnatal development of physiological properties underlying slow intrathalamic oscillations was studied by whole-cell recording from synaptically coupled neurons of the reticular nucleus (RTN) and ventral posterior nucleus (VPN) of mouse brain slices in vitro and compared with the morphological development of dye-injected cells. Between postnatal days 3 and 11 (P3-P11), progressive changes in RTN and VPN neurons included shortening of the membrane time constant, decreasing input resistance, and lowering of the resting membrane potential (RMP). Low-threshold Ca2+ spikes (LTS) were present from P3, but their capacity to sustain multispike bursts was limited before P11. Synaptic responses were evoked in RTN and VPN neurons by electrical stimulation of the internal capsule from P3. Younger RTN neurons responded with a single spike, but their capacity to fire bursts gradually improved as the RMP reached levels below the LTS activation potential. Concomitantly, as the reversal potential of the inhibitory postsynaptic potential in VPN neurons became more negative, its capacity to deinactivate the LTS increased, and rebound bursts that could maintain oscillations were produced; sustained oscillations became the typical response to internal capsule stimulation at P12. The functional maturation of the intrathalamic circuitry, particularly between P10 and P14, occurs in parallel with the morphological maturation (size, dendritic growth, and dendritic field structure) of individual RTN and VPN neurons, as studied by confocal microscopy. Maturation of RTN cells led that of VPN cells by 2-3 d. The appearance of intrathalamic oscillations is probably correlated with the appearance of slow-wave sleep in postnatal animals.
Feitosa, V P; Ogliari, F A; Van Meerbeek, B; Watson, T F; Yoshihara, K; Ogliari, A O; Sinhoreti, M A; Correr, A B; Cama, G; Sauro, S
The number of carbon atoms and/or ester/polyether groups in spacer chains may influence the interaction of functional monomers with calcium and dentin. The present study assessed the chemical interaction and bond strength of 5 standard-synthesized phosphoric-acid ester functional monomers with different spacer chain characteristics, by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), ATR-FTIR, thin-film x-ray diffraction (TF-XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and microtensile bond strength (μTBS). The tested functional monomers were 2-MEP (two-carbon spacer chain), 10-MDP (10-carbon), 12-MDDP (12-carbon), MTEP (more hydrophilic polyether spacer chain), and CAP-P (intermediate hydrophilicity ester spacer). The intensity of monomer-calcium salt formation measured by AAS differed in the order of 12-MDDP=10-MDP>CAP-P>MTEP>2-MEP. FTIR and SEM analyses of monomer-treated dentin surfaces showed resistance to rinsing for all monomer-dentin bonds, except with 2-MEP. TF-XRD confirmed the weaker interaction of 2-MEP. Highest µTBS was observed for 12-MDDP and 10-MDP. A shorter spacer chain (2-MEP) of phosphate functional monomers induced formation of unstable monomer-calcium salts, and lower chemical interaction and dentin bond strength. The presence of ester or ether groups within longer spacer carbon chains (CAP-P and MTEP) may affect the hydrophilicity, μTBS, and also the formation of monomer-calcium salts.
Lee, Chen-Ting; Repasky, Elizabeth A.
Macrophages create a major danger signal following injury or infection and upon activation release pro-inflammatory cytokines, which in turn help to generate febrile conditions. Thus, like other cells of the body, tissue macrophages are often exposed to naturally occurring elevations in tissue temperature during inflammation and fever. However, whether macrophages sense and respond to temperature changes in a specific manner which modulates their function is still not clear. In this brief review, we highlight recent studies which have analyzed the effects of temperatures on macrophage function, and summarize the possible underlying molecular mechanisms which have been identified. Mild, physiological range hyperthermia has been shown to have both pro- and anti-inflammatory roles in regulating macrophage inflammatory cytokine production and at the meeting presentation, we will show new data demonstrating that hyperthermia can indeed exert both positive and negative signals to macrophages. While some thermal effects are correlated with the induction of heat shock factors/heat shock proteins, overall it is not clear how mild hyperthermia can exert both pro- and anti-inflammatory functions. We also summarize data which shows that hyperthermia can affect other macrophage effector functions, including the anti-tumor cytotoxicity. Overall, these studies may help us to better understand the immunological role of tissue temperature and may provide important information needed to maximize the application of heat in the treatment of various diseases including cancer.
Witt, M R; Dekermendjian, K; Frandsen, A; Schousboe, A; Nielsen, M
Primary cultures of cerebral cortical neurons and single-cell imaging of intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) with the ratiometric dye fura-2 were used to assess excitatory amino acid (EAA)-induced neurotoxicity; the loss of neuronal function as defined by the ability of the cells to respond to K(+)-induced depolarization by a transient increase in Ca2+ influx was measured. The responsiveness of individual neurons was measured quantitatively as the [Ca2+]i values of the second KCl (2.KCl) stimulation divided by those of the first KCl (1.KCl) stimulation, giving the value of the ratio (2.KCl/1.KCl). Exposure to EAAs led to an increase in [Ca2+]i, but no simple correlation between the increase in [Ca2+]i and neuronal responsiveness could be demonstrated. Rather, below a threshold level of [Ca2+]i (ca. 1 microM), the neuronal responsiveness was largely independent of the glutamate receptor-agonist-induced increase in [Ca2+]i. However, when [Ca2+]i increased above this threshold level, the neurons almost invariably lost the ability to respond to a K(+)-induced depolarization, particularly after exposure to glutamate. Therefore, the cortical neurons were found to be exceptionally vulnerable to the glutamate-induced loss of function when compared with the effect induced by the glutamate receptor subtype-specific agonists, N-methyl-D-aspartate, quisqualate, and 2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazol-4-yl) propionate. The findings suggest that the loss of neuronal membrane polarization precedes plasma membrane disruption and is a sensitive marker of EAA-induced neurodegeneration observed at the single-cell level. Images PMID:7527559
Lin, Qi; Hai, Jian; Yao, Li-Yun; Lu, Yang
The neuroprotective effects of N-stearoyl-L-tyrosine (NSTyr) on cognitive function and neuronal plasticity during chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) in rats were investigated. After induction of CCH, NSTyr was administered daily for 3 months intraperitoneally. Cognitive functions were evaluated by Morris water maze and hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). Neuropathological changes were examined using light micrograph and Fluoro-Jade B staining. Neuronal plasticity was assessed by measuring the expression of MAP-2, GAP-43 and synaptophysin on hippocampal regions of rats with immunohistochemistry and western blotting. CCH resulted in significant spatial memory impairment and inhibition of LTP, and led to neurodegeneration in the CA1 region of the hippocampus in the model rats compared with the sham-operated rats. In the model rats treated with NSTyr, cognitive function improved. The expression levels of MAP-2 and synaptophysin protein in hippocampal areas in the model rats were less than those in the sham-operated rats, and increased in the model rats treated with NSTyr. However, no statistical significance of GAP-43 expression among the sham, model and NSTyr groups was observed. These data indicate that NSTyr exerts protective effects on cognitive function of rats after CCH, which may be related to the changes of neurodegeneration and neuronal plasticity in the hippocampal area of rats.
Gagnon, D.; Petryszyn, S.; Sanchez, M. G.; Bories, C.; Beaulieu, J. M.; De Koninck, Y.; Parent, A.; Parent, M.
The loss of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease induces a reduction in the number of dendritic spines on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the striatum expressing D1 or D2 dopamine receptor. Consequences on MSNs expressing both receptors (D1/D2 MSNs) are currently unknown. We looked for changes induced by dopamine denervation in the density, regional distribution and morphological features of D1/D2 MSNs, by comparing 6-OHDA-lesioned double BAC transgenic mice (Drd1a-tdTomato/Drd2-EGFP) to sham-lesioned animals. D1/D2 MSNs are uniformly distributed throughout the dorsal striatum (1.9% of MSNs). In contrast, they are heterogeneously distributed and more numerous in the ventral striatum (14.6% in the shell and 7.3% in the core). Compared to D1 and D2 MSNs, D1/D2 MSNs are endowed with a smaller cell body and a less profusely arborized dendritic tree with less dendritic spines. The dendritic spine density of D1/D2 MSNs, but also of D1 and D2 MSNs, is significantly reduced in 6-OHDA-lesioned mice. In contrast to D1 and D2 MSNs, the extent of dendritic arborization of D1/D2 MSNs appears unaltered in 6-OHDA-lesioned mice. Our data indicate that D1/D2 MSNs in the mouse striatum form a distinct neuronal population that is affected differently by dopamine deafferentation that characterizes Parkinson’s disease. PMID:28128287
Pfisterer, Ulrich; Khodosevich, Konstantin
Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether a particular neuron will die. To accommodate this signaling, immature neurons in the brain express a number of transmembrane factors as well as intracellular signaling molecules that will regulate the cell survival/death decision, and many of these factors cease being expressed upon neuronal maturation. Furthermore, pro-survival factors and intracellular responses depend on the type of neuron and region of the brain. Thus, in addition to some common neuronal pro-survival signaling, different types of neurons possess a variety of 'neuron type-specific' pro-survival constituents that might help them to adapt for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various types of immature neurons. Importantly, we mainly focus on in vivo data to describe neuronal survival specifically in the brain, without extrapolating data obtained in the PNS or spinal cord, and thus emphasize the influence of the complex brain environment on neuronal survival during development.
Llinás, Rodolfo R
This brief review summarizes work done in mammalian neuroscience concerning the intrinsic electrophysiological properties of four neuronal types; Cerebellar Purkinje cells, inferior olivary cells, thalamic cells, and some cortical interneurons. It is a personal perspective addressing an interesting time in neuroscience when the reflex view of brain function, as the paradigm to understand global neuroscience, began to be modified toward one in which sensory input modulates rather than dictates brain function. The perspective of the paper is not a comprehensive description of the intrinsic electrical properties of all nerve cells but rather addresses a set of cell types that provide indicative examples of mechanisms that modulate brain function.
Llinás, Rodolfo R.
This brief review summarizes work done in mammalian neuroscience concerning the intrinsic electrophysiological properties of four neuronal types; Cerebellar Purkinje cells, inferior olivary cells, thalamic cells, and some cortical interneurons. It is a personal perspective addressing an interesting time in neuroscience when the reflex view of brain function, as the paradigm to understand global neuroscience, began to be modified toward one in which sensory input modulates rather than dictates brain function. The perspective of the paper is not a comprehensive description of the intrinsic electrical properties of all nerve cells but rather addresses a set of cell types that provide indicative examples of mechanisms that modulate brain function. PMID:25408634
Medina, Igor; Friedel, Perrine; Rivera, Claudio; Kahle, Kristopher T.; Kourdougli, Nazim; Uvarov, Pavel; Pellegrino, Christophe
In the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), the inhibitory strength of chloride (Cl−)-permeable GABAA and glycine receptors (GABAAR and GlyR) depends on the intracellular Cl− concentration ([Cl−]i). Lowering [Cl−]i enhances inhibition, whereas raising [Cl−]i facilitates neuronal activity. A neuron's basal level of [Cl−]i, as well as its Cl− extrusion capacity, is critically dependent on the activity of the electroneutral K+-Cl− cotransporter KCC2, a member of the SLC12 cation-Cl− cotransporter (CCC) family. KCC2 deficiency compromises neuronal migration, formation and the maturation of GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic connections, and results in network hyperexcitability and seizure activity. Several neurological disorders including multiple epilepsy subtypes, neuropathic pain, and schizophrenia, as well as various insults such as trauma and ischemia, are associated with significant decreases in the Cl− extrusion capacity of KCC2 that result in increases of [Cl−]i and the subsequent hyperexcitability of neuronal networks. Accordingly, identifying the key upstream molecular mediators governing the functional regulation of KCC2, and modifying these signaling pathways with small molecules, might constitute a novel neurotherapeutic strategy for multiple diseases. Here, we discuss recent advances in the understanding of the mechanisms regulating KCC2 activity, and of the role these mechanisms play in neuronal Cl− homeostasis and GABAergic neurotransmission. As KCC2 mediates electroneutral transport, the experimental recording of its activity constitutes an important research challenge; we therefore also, provide an overview of the different methodological approaches utilized to monitor function of KCC2 in both physiological and pathological conditions. PMID:24567703
Kakizawa, Sho; Yamazawa, Toshiko; Chen, Yili; Ito, Akihiro; Murayama, Takashi; Oyamada, Hideto; Kurebayashi, Nagomi; Sato, Osamu; Watanabe, Masahiko; Mori, Nozomu; Oguchi, Katsuji; Sakurai, Takashi; Takeshima, Hiroshi; Saito, Nobuhito; Iino, Masamitsu
Mobilization of intracellular Ca(2+) stores regulates a multitude of cellular functions, but the role of intracellular Ca(2+) release via the ryanodine receptor (RyR) in the brain remains incompletely understood. We found that nitric oxide (NO) directly activates RyRs, which induce Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores of central neurons, and thereby promote prolonged Ca(2+) signalling in the brain. Reversible S-nitrosylation of type 1 RyR (RyR1) triggers this Ca(2+) release. NO-induced Ca(2+) release (NICR) is evoked by type 1 NO synthase-dependent NO production during neural firing, and is essential for cerebellar synaptic plasticity. NO production has also been implicated in pathological conditions including ischaemic brain injury, and our results suggest that NICR is involved in NO-induced neuronal cell death. These findings suggest that NICR via RyR1 plays a regulatory role in the physiological and pathophysiological functions of the brain.
Aloe, Luigi; Bianchi, Patrizia; De Bellis, Alberto; Soligo, Marzia; Rocco, Maria Luisa
The purpose of this work was to investigate whether, by intranasal administration, the nerve growth factor bypasses the blood-brain barrier and turns over the spinal cord neurons and if such therapeutic approach could be of value in the treatment of spinal cord injury. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats with intact and injured spinal cord received daily intranasal nerve growth factor administration in both nostrils for 1 day or for 3 consecutive weeks. We found an increased content of nerve growth factor and enhanced expression of nerve growth factor receptor in the spinal cord 24 hours after a single intranasal administration of nerve growth factor in healthy rats, while daily treatment for 3 weeks in a model of spinal cord injury improved the deficits in locomotor behaviour and increased spinal content of both nerve growth factor and nerve growth factor receptors. These outcomes suggest that the intranasal nerve growth factor bypasses blood-brain barrier and affects spinal cord neurons in spinal cord injury. They also suggest exploiting the possible therapeutic role of intranasally delivered nerve growth factor for the neuroprotection of damaged spinal nerve cells. PMID:25206755
Squillaro, Tiziana; Alessio, Nicola; Cipollaro, Marilena; Melone, Mariarosa Anna Beatrice; Hayek, Giuseppe; Renieri, Alessandra; Giordano, Antonio; Galderisi, Umberto
MECP2 protein binds preferentially to methylated CpGs and regulates gene expression by causing changes in chromatin structure. The mechanism by which impaired MECP2 activity can induce pathological abnormalities in the nervous system of patients with Rett syndrome (RTT) is not clearly understood. To gain further insight into the role of MECP2 in human neurogenesis, we compared the neural differentiation process in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) obtained from a RTT patient and from healthy donors. We further analyzed neural differentiation in a human neuroblastoma cell line carrying a partially silenced MECP2 gene. Senescence and reduced expression of neural markers were observed in proliferating and differentiating MSCs from the RTT patient, which suggests that impaired activity of MECP2 protein may impair neural differentiation, as observed in RTT patients. Next, we used an inducible expression system to silence MECP2 in neuroblastoma cells before and after the induction of neural differentiation via retinoic acid treatment. This approach was used to test whether MECP2 inactivation affected the cell fate of neural progenitors and/or neuronal differentiation and maintenance. Overall, our data suggest that neural cell fate and neuronal maintenance may be perturbed by senescence triggered by impaired MECP2 activity either before or after neural differentiation.
Aggarwal, Tanya; Polanco, Maria J; Scaramuzzino, Chiara; Rocchi, Anna; Milioto, Carmelo; Emionite, Laura; Ognio, Emanuela; Sambataro, Fabio; Galbiati, Mariarita; Poletti, Angelo; Pennuto, Maria
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons and skeletal muscle atrophy. Epidemiologic and experimental evidence suggest the involvement of androgens in ALS pathogenesis, but the mechanism through which androgens modify the ALS phenotype is unknown. Here, we show that androgen ablation by surgical castration extends survival and disease duration of a transgenic mouse model of ALS expressing mutant human SOD1 (hSOD1-G93A). Furthermore, long-term treatment of orchiectomized hSOD1-G93A mice with nandrolone decanoate (ND), an anabolic androgenic steroid, worsened disease manifestations. ND treatment induced muscle fiber hypertrophy but caused motor neuron death. ND negatively affected survival, thereby dissociating skeletal muscle pathology from life span in this ALS mouse model. Interestingly, orchiectomy decreased androgen receptor levels in the spinal cord and muscle, whereas ND treatment had the opposite effect. Notably, stimulation with ND promoted the recruitment of endogenous androgen receptor into biochemical complexes that were insoluble in sodium dodecyl sulfate, a finding consistent with protein aggregation. Overall, our results shed light on the role of androgens as modifiers of ALS pathogenesis via dysregulation of androgen receptor homeostasis.
Das, Suman; Holland, Peter; Frens, Maarten A.; Donchin, Opher
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive brain stimulation technique, modulates neuronal excitability by the application of a small electrical current. The low cost and ease of the technique has driven interest in potential clinical applications. However, outcomes are highly sensitive to stimulation parameters, leading to difficulty maximizing the technique's effectiveness. Although reversing the polarity of stimulation often causes opposite effects, this is not always the case. Effective clinical application will require an understanding of how tDCS works; how it modulates a neuron; how it affects the local network; and how it alters inter-network signaling. We have summarized what is known regarding the mechanisms of tDCS from sub-cellular processing to circuit level communication with a particular focus on what can be learned from the polarity specificity of the effects. PMID:27965533
Hallam, S; Singer, E; Waring, D; Jin, Y
The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor NeuroD (Neurod1) has been implicated in neuronal fate determination, differentiation and survival. Here we report the expression and functional analysis of cnd-1, a C. elegans NeuroD homolog. cnd-1 expression was first detected in neuroblasts of the AB lineage in 14 cell embryos and maintained in many neuronal descendants of the AB lineage during embryogenesis, diminishing in most terminally differentiated neurons prior to hatching. Specifically, cnd-1 reporter genes were expressed in the precursors of the embryonic ventral cord motor neurons and their progeny. A loss-of-function mutant, cnd-1(ju29), exhibited multiple defects in the ventral cord motor neurons. First, the number of motor neurons was reduced, possibly caused by the premature withdrawal of the precursors from mitotic cycles. Second, the strict correlation between the fate of a motor neuron with respect to its lineage and position in the ventral cord was disrupted, as manifested by the variable expression pattern of motor neuron fate specific markers. Third, motor neurons also exhibited defects in terminal differentiation characteristics including axonal morphology and synaptic connectivity. Finally, the expression patterns of three neuronal type-specific transcription factors, unc-3, unc-4 and unc-30, were altered. Our data suggest that cnd-1 may specify the identity of ventral cord motor neurons both by maintaining the mitotic competence of their precursors and by modulating the expression of neuronal type-specific determination factors. cnd-1 appears to have combined the functions of several vertebrate neurogenic bHLH proteins and may represent an ancestral form of this protein family.
Carlson, Erik S; Tkac, Ivan; Magid, Rhamy; O'Connor, Michael B; Andrews, Nancy C; Schallert, Timothy; Gunshin, Hiromi; Georgieff, Michael K; Petryk, Anna
Iron deficiency (ID) is the most prevalent micronutrient deficiency in the world and it affects neurobehavioral outcome. It is unclear whether the effect of dietary ID on the brain is due to the lack of neuronal iron or from other processes occurring in conjunction with ID (e.g. hypoxia due to anemia). We delineated the role of murine Slc11a2 [divalent metal ion transporter-1 (DMT-1)] in hippocampal neuronal iron uptake during development and memory formation. Camk2a gene promoter-driven cre recombinase (Cre) transgene (Camk2a-Cre) mice were mated with Slc11a2 flox/flox mice to obtain nonanemic Slc11a2(hipp/hipp) (double mutant, hippocampal neuron-specific knockout of Slc11a2(hipp/hipp)) mice, the first conditionally targeted model of iron uptake in the brain. Slc11a2(hipp/hipp) mice had lower hippocampal iron content; altered developmental expression of genes involved in iron homeostasis, energy metabolism, and dendrite morphogenesis; reductions in markers for energy metabolism and glutamatergic neurotransmission on magnetic resonance spectroscopy; and altered pyramidal neuron dendrite morphology in area 1 of Ammon's Horn in the hippocampus. Slc11a2(hipp/hipp) mice did not reach the criterion on a difficult spatial navigation test but were able to learn a spatial navigation task on an easier version of the Morris water maze (MWM). Learning of the visual cued task did not differ between the Slc11a2(WT/WT) and Slc11a2(hipp/hipp) mice. Slc11a2(WT/WT) mice had upregulation of genes involved in iron uptake and metabolism in response to MWM training, and Slc11a2(hipp/hipp) mice had differential expression of these genes compared with Slc11a2(WT/WT) mice. Neuronal iron uptake by DMT-1 is essential for normal hippocampal neuronal development and Slc11a2 expression is induced by spatial memory training. Deletion of Slc11a2 disrupts hippocampal neuronal development and spatial memory behavior.
McManus, Jeffrey M; Lu, Hui; Cullins, Miranda J; Chiel, Hillel J
To survive, animals must use the same peripheral structures to perform a variety of tasks. How does a nervous system employ one muscle to perform multiple functions? We addressed this question through work on the I3 jaw muscle of the marine mollusk Aplysia californica's feeding system. This muscle mediates retraction of Aplysia's food grasper in multiple feeding responses and is innervated by a pool of identified neurons that activate different muscle regions. One I3 motor neuron, B38, is active in the protraction phase, rather than the retraction phase, suggesting the muscle has an additional function. We used intracellular, extracellular, and muscle force recordings in several in vitro preparations as well as recordings of nerve and muscle activity from intact, behaving animals to characterize B38's activation of the muscle and its activity in different behavior types. We show that B38 specifically activates the anterior region of I3 and is specifically recruited during one behavior, swallowing. The function of this protraction-phase jaw muscle contraction is to hold food; thus the I3 muscle has an additional function beyond mediating retraction. We additionally show that B38's typical activity during in vivo swallowing is insufficient to generate force in an unmodulated muscle and that intrinsic and extrinsic modulation shift the force-frequency relationship to allow contraction. Using methods that traverse levels from individual neuron to muscle to intact animal, we show how regional muscle activation, differential motor neuron recruitment, and neuromodulation are key components in Aplysia's generation of multifunctionality.
Smyth, Lesley A; Boardman, Dominic A; Tung, Sim L; Lechler, Robert; Lombardi, Giovanna
MicroRNA (miRNA) are small, non-coding RNA molecules that have been linked with immunity through regulating/modulating gene expression. A role for these molecules in T-cell and B-cell development and function has been well established. An increasing body of literature now highlights the importance of specific miRNA in dendritic cell (DC) development as well as their maturation process, antigen presentation capacity and cytokine release. Given the unique role of DC within the immune system, linking the innate and adaptive immune responses, understanding how specific miRNA affect DC function is of importance for understanding disease. In this review we summarize recent developments in miRNA and DC research, highlighting the requirement of miRNA in DC lineage commitment from bone marrow progenitors and for the development of subsets such as plasmacytoid DC and conventional DC. In addition, we discuss how infections and tumours modulate miRNA expression and consequently DC function. PMID:25244106
Révy, Delphine; Jaouen, Florence; Salin, Pascal; Melon, Christophe; Chabbert, Dorian; Tafi, Elisiana; Concetta, Lena; Langa, Francina; Amalric, Marianne; Kerkerian-Le Goff, Lydia; Marie, Hélène; Beurrier, Corinne
The striatum is the input structure of the basal ganglia network that contains heterogeneous neuronal populations, including two populations of projecting neurons called the medium spiny neurons (MSNs), and different types of interneurons. We developed a transgenic mouse model enabling inducible ablation of the striatonigral MSNs constituting the direct pathway by expressing the human diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor under the control of the Slc35d3 gene promoter, a gene enriched in striatonigral MSNs. DT injection into the striatum triggered selective elimination of the majority of striatonigral MSNs. DT-mediated ablation of striatonigral MSNs caused selective loss of cholinergic interneurons in the dorsal striatum but not in the ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens), suggesting a region-specific critical role of the direct pathway in striatal cholinergic neuron homeostasis. Mice with DT injection into the dorsal striatum showed altered basal and cocaine-induced locomotion and dramatic reduction of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in the parkinsonian condition. In addition, these mice exhibited reduced anxiety, revealing a role of the dorsal striatum in the modulation of behaviors involving an emotional component, behaviors generally associated with limbic structures. Altogether, these results highlight the implication of the direct striatonigral pathway in the regulation of heterogeneous functions from cell survival to regulation of motor and emotion-associated behaviors.
Martin, Bronwen; de Maturana, Rakel Lopez; Brenneman, Randall; Walent, Tom; Mattson, Mark P.; Maudsley, Stuart
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) play pivotal roles in regulating the function and plasticity of neuronal circuits in the nervous system. Among the myriad of GPCRs expressed in neural cells, class II GPCRs which couples predominantly to the Gs–adenylate cyclase–cAMP signaling pathway, have recently received considerable attention for their involvement in regulating neuronal survival. Neuropeptides that activate class II GPCRs include secretin, glucagon-like peptides (GLP-1 and GLP-2), growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide (PACAP), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), parathyroid hormone (PTH), and calcitonin-related peptides. Studies of patients and animal and cell culture models, have revealed possible roles for class II GPCRs signaling in the pathogenesis of several prominent neurodegenerative conditions including stroke, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases. Many of the peptides that activate class II GPCRs promote neuron survival by increasing the resistance of the cells to oxidative, metabolic, and excitotoxic injury. A better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which class II GPCRs signaling modulates neuronal survival and plasticity will likely lead to novel therapeutic interventions for neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:16052036
Cassata, G; Röhrig, S; Kuhn, F; Hauri, H P; Baumeister, R; Bürglin, T R
LIM homeodomain (LIM-HD) and nuclear LIM-only proteins play important roles in a variety of developmental processes in animals. In some cases their activities are modulated by a nuclear LIM binding protein family called Ldb/NLI/Clim. Here we characterize the Ldb/NLI/Clim orthologue ldb-1 of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Two alternatively spliced variants exist, which differ in their amino-termini. The ldb-1 orthologue of Caenorhabditis briggsae has the same structure as that of C. elegans and is highly conserved throughout the open reading frame, while conservation to fly and vertebrate proteins is restricted to specific domains: the dimerization domain, the nuclear localization sequence, and the LIM interaction domain. C. elegans ldb-1 is expressed in neurogenic tissues in embryos, in all neurons in larval and adult stages, and in vulval cells, gonadal sheath cells, and some body muscle cells. C. elegans LDB-1 is able to specifically bind LIM domains in yeast two-hybrid assays. RNA inactivation studies suggest that C. elegans ldb-1 is not required for the differentiation of neurons that express the respective LIM-HD genes or for LIM-HD gene autoregulation. In contrast, ldb-1 is necessary for several neuronal functions mediated by LIM-HD proteins, including the transcriptional activation of mec-2, the mechanosensory neuron-specific stomatin.
Révy, Delphine; Jaouen, Florence; Salin, Pascal; Melon, Christophe; Chabbert, Dorian; Tafi, Elisiana; Concetta, Lena; Langa, Francina; Amalric, Marianne; Kerkerian-Le Goff, Lydia; Marie, Hélène; Beurrier, Corinne
The striatum is the input structure of the basal ganglia network that contains heterogeneous neuronal populations, including two populations of projecting neurons called the medium spiny neurons (MSNs), and different types of interneurons. We developed a transgenic mouse model enabling inducible ablation of the striatonigral MSNs constituting the direct pathway by expressing the human diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor under the control of the Slc35d3 gene promoter, a gene enriched in striatonigral MSNs. DT injection into the striatum triggered selective elimination of the majority of striatonigral MSNs. DT-mediated ablation of striatonigral MSNs caused selective loss of cholinergic interneurons in the dorsal striatum but not in the ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens), suggesting a region-specific critical role of the direct pathway in striatal cholinergic neuron homeostasis. Mice with DT injection into the dorsal striatum showed altered basal and cocaine-induced locomotion and dramatic reduction of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in the parkinsonian condition. In addition, these mice exhibited reduced anxiety, revealing a role of the dorsal striatum in the modulation of behaviors involving an emotional component, behaviors generally associated with limbic structures. Altogether, these results highlight the implication of the direct striatonigral pathway in the regulation of heterogeneous functions from cell survival to regulation of motor and emotion-associated behaviors. PMID:24903652
Teng, Christina; Goodwin, Bonnie; Shockley, Keith; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili; Norris, John; Merrick, B Alex; Jetten, Anton M; Austin, Christopher P; Tice, Raymond R
Bisphenol A (BPA), is a well-known endocrine disruptor compound (EDC) that affects the normal development and function of the female and male reproductive system, however the mechanisms of action remain unclear. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of how BPA may affect ten different nuclear receptors, stable cell lines containing individual nuclear receptor ligand binding domain (LBD)-linked to the β-Gal reporter were examined by a quantitative high throughput screening (qHTS) format in the Tox21 Screening Program of the NIH. The results showed that two receptors, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and androgen receptor (AR), are affected by BPA in opposite direction. To confirm the observed effects of BPA on ERα and AR, we performed transient transfection experiments with full-length receptors and their corresponding response elements linked to luciferase reporters. We also included in this study two BPA analogs, bisphenol AF (BPAF) and bisphenol S (BPS). As seen in African green monkey kidney CV1 cells, the present study confirmed that BPA and BPAF act as ERα agonists (half maximal effective concentration EC50 of 10-100 nM) and as AR antagonists (half maximal inhibitory concentration IC50 of 1-2 μM). Both BPA and BPAF antagonized AR function via competitive inhibition of the action of synthetic androgen R1881. BPS with lower estrogenic activity (EC50 of 2.2 μM), did not compete with R1881 for AR binding, when tested at 30 μM. Finally, the effects of BPA were also evaluated in a nuclear translocation assays using EGPF-tagged receptors. Similar to 17β-estradiol (E2) which was used as control, BPA was able to enhance ERα nuclear foci formation but at a 100-fold higher concentration. Although BPA was able to bind AR, the nuclear translocation was reduced. Furthermore, BPA was unable to induce functional foci in the nuclei and is consistent with the transient transfection study that BPA is unable to activate AR.
Sun, Chunhui; Shao, Jing; Su, Le; Zhao, Jing; Bi, Jianzhong; Yang, Shaonan; Zhang, Shangli; Gao, Jiangang; Miao, Junying
The rate of neuronal differentiation of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) in vivo is very low; therefore, it is necessary to elevate the number of BMSC-derived neurons to cure neurodegenerative diseases. We previously reported that tricyclodecane-9-yl-xanthogenate (D609), an inhibitor of phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC), induced BMSCs to differentiate into neuron-like cells in vitro. However, the neuronal type is not clear, and it is still unknown whether these neuron-like cells possess physiological properties of functional neurons and whether they can contribute to the recovery of neuron dysfunction. To answer these questions, we investigated their characteristics by detecting neuronal function-related neurotransmitters and calcium image. The results showed that these cells exhibited functional cholinergic neurons in vitro. Transplantation of these cholinergic neuron-like cells promoted the recovery of spinal cord-injured mice, and they were more effective than BMSCs. The number of cholinergic neurons was increased after injection with BMSC-derived cholinergic neuron-like cells, indicating their high differentiation rate in vivo. Moreover, the proportion of cholinergic neurons in host cells and secretion of acetylcholine were increased, and preservation of neurofilament was also observed in the lesion of mice implanted with BMSC-derived neurons, suggesting the neuronal protection of BMSC-derived neurons. Our findings provide both a simple method to induce the differentiation of BMSCs into cholinergic neuron-like cells and a putative strategy for the therapy of spinal cord injuries.
Kao, Ling-Rong; Jana, Swadhin C.; Sivan-Loukianova, Elena; Mendonça, Susana; Cabrera, Oscar A.; Singh, Priyanka; Cabernard, Clemens; Eberl, Daniel F.; Bettencourt-Dias, Monica
Cilia are essential for cell signaling and sensory perception. In many cell types, a cytoskeletal structure called the ciliary rootlet links the cilium to the cell body. Previous studies indicated that rootlets support the long-term stability of some cilia. Here we report that Drosophila melanogaster Rootletin (Root), the sole orthologue of the mammalian paralogs Rootletin and C-Nap1, assembles into rootlets of diverse lengths among sensory neuron subtypes. Root mutant neurons lack rootlets and have dramatically impaired sensory function, resulting in behavior defects associated with mechanosensation and chemosensation. Root is required for cohesion of basal bodies, but the cilium structure appears normal in Root mutant neurons. We show, however, that normal rootlet assembly requires centrioles. The N terminus of Root contains a conserved domain and is essential for Root function in vivo. Ectopically expressed Root resides at the base of mother centrioles in spermatocytes and localizes asymmetrically to mother centrosomes in neuroblasts, both requiring Bld10, a basal body protein with varied functions. PMID:26483560
Hehemann, Marah C.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition affecting millions of men worldwide. The pathophysiology and epidemiologic links between ED and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well-established. Lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, weight reduction, dietary modification, physical activity, and psychological stress reduction have been increasingly recognized as foundational to the prevention and treatment of ED. The aim of this review is to outline behavioral choices which may increase ones risk of developing ED, to present relevant studies addressing lifestyle factors correlated with ED, and to highlight proposed mechanisms for intervention aimed at improving erectile function in men with ED. These recommendations can provide a framework for counseling patients with ED about lifestyle modification. PMID:27141445
Yakubowski, Jasmine M; McMillan, Glyn A; Gray, John R
Stimulus complexity affects the response of looming sensitive neurons in a variety of animal taxa. The Lobula Giant Movement Detector/Descending Contralateral Movement Detector (LGMD/DCMD) pathway is well-characterized in the locust visual system. It responds to simple objects approaching on a direct collision course (i.e., looming) as well as complex motion defined by changes in stimulus velocity, trajectory, and transitions, all of which are affected by the presence or absence of background visual motion. In this study, we focused on DCMD responses to objects transitioning away from a collision course, which emulates a successful locust avoidance behavior. We presented each of 20 locusts with a sequence of complex three-dimensional visual stimuli in simple, scattered, and progressive flow field backgrounds while simultaneously recording DCMD activity extracellularly. DCMD responses to looming stimuli were generally characteristic irrespective of stimulus background. However, changing background complexity affected, peak firing rates, peak time, and caused changes in peak rise and fall phases. The DCMD response to complex object motion also varied with the azimuthal approach angle and the dynamics of object edge expansion. These data fit with an existing correlational model that relates expansion properties to firing rate modulation during trajectory changes.
Torper, Olof; Ottosson, Daniella Rylander; Pereira, Maria; Lau, Shong; Cardoso, Tiago; Grealish, Shane; Parmar, Malin
Summary The possibility of directly converting non-neuronal cells into neurons in situ in the brain would open therapeutic avenues aimed at repairing the brain after injury or degenerative disease. We have developed an adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based reporter system that allows selective GFP labeling of reprogrammed neurons. In this system, GFP is turned on only in reprogrammed neurons where it is stable and maintained for long time periods, allowing for histological and functional characterization of mature neurons. When combined with a modified rabies virus-based trans-synaptic tracing methodology, the system allows mapping of 3D circuitry integration into local and distal brain regions and shows that the newly reprogrammed neurons are integrated into host brain. PMID:26166567
Quintero-Hernández, V.; Jiménez-Vargas, J.M.; Gurrola, G.B.; Valdivia, H.H.F.; Possani, L.D.
SUMMARY The number and types of venom components that affect ion-channel function are reviewed. These are the most important venom components responsible for human intoxication, deserving medical attention, often requiring the use of specific anti-venoms. Special emphasis is given to peptides that recognize Na+-, K+- and Ca++-channels of excitable cells. Knowledge generated by direct isolation of peptides from venom and components deduced from cloned genes, whose amino acid sequences are deposited into databanks are now adays in the order of 1.5 thousands, out of an estimate biodiversity closed to 300,000. Here the diversity of components is briefly reviewed with mention to specific references. Structural characteristic are discussed with examples taken from published work. The principal mechanisms of action of the three different types of peptides are also reviewed. Na+-channel specific venom components usually are modifier of the open and closing kinetic mechanisms of the ion-channels, whereas peptides affecting K+-channels are normally pore blocking agents. The Ryanodine Ca++-channel specific peptides are known for causing sub-conducting stages of the channels conductance and some were shown to be able to internalize penetrating inside the muscle cells. PMID:23891887
Kim, Sei Eun; Lee, Seul Yi; Blanco, Cynthia L.
The human fetus starts to hear and undergoes major developmental changes in the auditory system during the third trimester of pregnancy. Although there are significant data regarding development of the auditory system in rodents, changes in intrinsic properties and synaptic function of auditory neurons in developing primate brain at hearing onset are poorly understood. We performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of principal neurons in the medial nucleus of trapezoid body (MNTB) in preterm and term baboon brainstem slices to study the structural and functional maturation of auditory synapses. Each MNTB principal neuron received an excitatory input from a single calyx of Held terminal, and this one-to-one pattern of innervation was already formed in preterm baboons delivered at 67% of normal gestation. There was no difference in frequency or amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic synaptic currents between preterm and term MNTB neurons. In contrast, the frequency of spontaneous GABAA/glycine receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic synaptic currents, which were prevalent in preterm MNTB neurons, was significantly reduced in term MNTB neurons. Preterm MNTB neurons had a higher input resistance than term neurons and fired in bursts, whereas term MNTB neurons fired a single action potential in response to suprathreshold current injection. The maturation of intrinsic properties and dominance of excitatory inputs in the primate MNTB allow it to take on its mature role as a fast and reliable relay synapse. PMID:25143619
Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim
Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of "functional" groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience.
Kim, Hanna; Hong, Jung-Hwa; Kim, Mirang; Park, Mikyoung
Cyclin Y (CCNY), which is a cyclin protein known to play a role in cell division, is unexpectedly and thus interestingly expressed in non-proliferating neuronal cells. There have been only a few studies reporting the neuronal functions of CCNY in synapse remodeling and hippocampal long-term potentiation. Therefore, we here provide global and comprehensive information on the putative functions of CCNY in biological and functional pathways in neuronal systems. We adopted high-throughput RNA-sequencing technology for analyzing transcriptomes regulated by CCNY and utilized bioinformatics for identifying putative molecules, biological processes, and functional pathways that are possibly connected to CCNY functions in hippocampal neuronal cells of rats. We revealed that several enriched annotation terms and pathways associated with CCNY expression within neurons, including apoptosis, learning or memory, synaptic plasticity, actin cytoskeleton, focal adhesion, extracellular matrix-receptor interaction and chemokine signaling pathway are targeted by CCNY. In addition, the mRNA levels of some genes enriched for those annotation terms and pathways or genes reported to be altered in Alzheimer’s disease mouse model were further validated by quantitative real-time PCR in hippocampal neuronal cells. The present study provides an excellent resource for future investigations of CCNY functions in neuronal systems. PMID:28241067
Than, Minh T; Kudlow, Brian A; Han, Min
Identifying the physiological functions of microRNAs (miRNAs) is often challenging because miRNAs commonly impact gene expression under specific physiological conditions through complex miRNA::mRNA interaction networks and in coordination with other means of gene regulation, such as transcriptional regulation and protein degradation. Such complexity creates difficulties in dissecting miRNA functions through traditional genetic methods using individual miRNA mutations. To investigate the physiological functions of miRNAs in neurons, we combined a genetic "enhancer" approach complemented by biochemical analysis of neuronal miRNA-induced silencing complexes (miRISCs) in C. elegans. Total miRNA function can be compromised by mutating one of the two GW182 proteins (AIN-1), an important component of miRISC. We found that combining an ain-1 mutation with a mutation in unc-3, a neuronal transcription factor, resulted in an inappropriate entrance into the stress-induced, alternative larval stage known as dauer, indicating a role of miRNAs in preventing aberrant dauer formation. Analysis of this genetic interaction suggests that neuronal miRNAs perform such a role partly by regulating endogenous cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling, potentially influencing two other dauer-regulating pathways. Through tissue-specific immunoprecipitations of miRISC, we identified miRNAs and their likely target mRNAs within neuronal tissue. We verified the biological relevance of several of these miRNAs and found that many miRNAs likely regulate dauer formation through multiple dauer-related targets. Further analysis of target mRNAs suggests potential miRNA involvement in various neuronal processes, but the importance of these miRNA::mRNA interactions remains unclear. Finally, we found that neuronal genes may be more highly regulated by miRNAs than intestinal genes. Overall, our study identifies miRNAs and their targets, and a physiological function of these miRNAs in neurons. It
van der Walt, L; Cilliers, S S; Kellner, K; Du Toit, M J; Tongway, D
Urbanisation creates altered environments characterised by increased human habitation, impermeable surfaces, artificial structures, landscape fragmentation, habitat loss, resulting in different resource loss pathways. The vulnerable Rand Highveld Grassland vegetation unit in the Tlokwe Municipal area, South Africa, has been extensively affected and transformed by urbanisation, agriculture, and mining. Grassland fragments in urban areas are often considered to be less species rich and less functional than in the more untransformed or "natural" exurban environments, and are therefore seldom a priority for conservation. Furthermore, urban grassland fragments are often being more intensely managed than exurban areas, such as consistent mowing in open urban areas. Four urbanisation measures acting as indicators for patterns and processes associated with urban areas were calculated for matrix areas surrounding each selected grassland fragment to quantify the position of each grassland remnant along an urbanisation gradient. The grassland fragments were objectively classified into two classes of urbanisation, namely "exurban" and "urban" based on the urbanisation measure values. Grazing was recorded in some exurban grasslands and mowing in some urban grassland fragments. Unmanaged grassland fragments were present in both urban and exurban areas. Fine-scale biophysical landscape function was determined by executing the Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) method. LFA assesses fine-scale landscape patchiness (entailing resource conserving potential and erosion resistance) and 11 soil surface indicators to produce three main LFA parameters (stability, infiltration, and nutrient cycling), which indicates how well a system is functioning in terms of fine-scale biophysical soil processes and characteristics. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of urbanisation and associated management practices on fine-scale biophysical landscape function of urban and exurban
Matsui, Teppei; Murakami, Tomonari; Ohki, Kenichi
Resting-state functional connectivity (FC), which measures the correlation of spontaneous hemodynamic signals (HemoS) between brain areas, is widely used to study brain networks noninvasively. It is commonly assumed that spatial patterns of HemoS-based FC (Hemo-FC) reflect large-scale dynamics of underlying neuronal activity. To date, studies of spontaneous neuronal activity cataloged heterogeneous types of events ranging from waves of activity spanning the entire neocortex to flash-like activations of a set of anatomically connected cortical areas. However, it remains unclear how these various types of large-scale dynamics are interrelated. More importantly, whether each type of large-scale dynamics contributes to Hemo-FC has not been explored. Here, we addressed these questions by simultaneously monitoring neuronal calcium signals (CaS) and HemoS in the entire neocortex of mice at high spatiotemporal resolution. We found a significant relationship between two seemingly different types of large-scale spontaneous neuronal activity—namely, global waves propagating across the neocortex and transient coactivations among cortical areas sharing high FC. Different sets of cortical areas, sharing high FC within each set, were coactivated at different timings of the propagating global waves, suggesting that spatial information of cortical network characterized by FC was embedded in the phase of the global waves. Furthermore, we confirmed that such transient coactivations in CaS were indeed converted into spatially similar coactivations in HemoS and were necessary to sustain the spatial structure of Hemo-FC. These results explain how global waves of spontaneous neuronal activity propagating across large-scale cortical network contribute to Hemo-FC in the resting state. PMID:27185944
Toharia, Pablo; Robles, Oscar D; Fernaud-Espinosa, Isabel; Makarova, Julia; Galindo, Sergio E; Rodriguez, Angel; Pastor, Luis; Herreras, Oscar; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth
This work presents PyramidalExplorer, a new tool to interactively explore and reveal the detailed organization of the microanatomy of pyramidal neurons with functionally related models. It consists of a set of functionalities that allow possible regional differences in the pyramidal cell architecture to be interactively discovered by combining quantitative morphological information about the structure of the cell with implemented functional models. The key contribution of this tool is the morpho-functional oriented design that allows the user to navigate within the 3D dataset, filter and perform Content-Based Retrieval operations. As a case study, we present a human pyramidal neuron with over 9000 dendritic spines in its apical and basal dendritic trees. Using PyramidalExplorer, we were able to find unexpected differential morphological attributes of dendritic spines in particular compartments of the neuron, revealing new aspects of the morpho-functional organization of the pyramidal neuron.
Toharia, Pablo; Robles, Oscar D.; Fernaud-Espinosa, Isabel; Makarova, Julia; Galindo, Sergio E.; Rodriguez, Angel; Pastor, Luis; Herreras, Oscar; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth
This work presents PyramidalExplorer, a new tool to interactively explore and reveal the detailed organization of the microanatomy of pyramidal neurons with functionally related models. It consists of a set of functionalities that allow possible regional differences in the pyramidal cell architecture to be interactively discovered by combining quantitative morphological information about the structure of the cell with implemented functional models. The key contribution of this tool is the morpho-functional oriented design that allows the user to navigate within the 3D dataset, filter and perform Content-Based Retrieval operations. As a case study, we present a human pyramidal neuron with over 9000 dendritic spines in its apical and basal dendritic trees. Using PyramidalExplorer, we were able to find unexpected differential morphological attributes of dendritic spines in particular compartments of the neuron, revealing new aspects of the morpho-functional organization of the pyramidal neuron. PMID:26778972
Ghayour Najafabadi, Mahboubeh; Rahbar Nikoukar, Laya; Memari, Amir; Ekhtiari, Hamed; Beygi, Sara
We examined the effects of Ramadan fasting on cognitive function in 17 female athletes. Data were obtained from participants of two fasting (n = 9) and nonfasting (n = 8) groups at three periods of the study (before Ramadan, at the third week in Ramadan, and after Ramadan). Digit span test (DST) and Stroop color test were employed to assess short-term memory and inhibition/cognitive flexibility at each time point. There were no significant changes for DST and Stroop task 1 in both groups, whereas Stroop task 2 and task 3 showed significant improvements in Ramadan condition (p < 0.05). Interference indices did not change significantly across the study except in post-Ramadan period of fasting group (p < 0.05). Group × week interaction was significant only for error numbers (p < 0.05). Athletes in nonfasting showed a significant decrease in number of errors in Ramadan compared to baseline (p < 0.05). The results suggest that Ramadan fasting may not adversely affect cognitive function in female athletes. PMID:26697263
Veyrac, Alexandra; Gros, Alexandra; Bruel-Jungerman, Elodie; Rochefort, Christelle; Kleine Borgmann, Felix B; Jessberger, Sebastian; Laroche, Serge
New neurons are continuously added to the dentate gyrus of the adult mammalian brain. During the critical period of a few weeks after birth when newborn neurons progressively mature, a restricted fraction is competitively selected to survive in an experience-dependent manner, a condition for their contribution to memory processes. The mechanisms that control critical stages of experience-dependent functional incorporation of adult newborn neurons remain largely unknown. Here, we identify a unique transcriptional regulator of the functional integration of newborn neurons, the inducible immediate early gene zif268/egr1. We show that newborn neurons in zif268-KO mice undergo accelerated death during the critical period of 2-3 wk around their birth and exhibit deficient neurochemical and morphological maturation, including reduced GluR1 expression, increased NKCC1/KCC2b chloride cotransporter ratio, altered dendritic development, and marked spine growth defect. Investigating responsiveness of newborn neurons to activity-dependent expression of zif268 in learning, we demonstrate that in the absence of zif268, training in a spatial learning task during this critical period fails to recruit newborn neurons and promote their survival, leading to impaired long-term memory. This study reveals a previously unknown mechanism for the control of the selection, functional maturation, and experience-dependent recruitment of dentate gyrus newborn neurons that depends on the inducible immediate early gene zif268, processes that are critical for their contribution to hippocampal-dependent long-term memory.
Nakano, Masayuki; Tamura, Yasuhisa; Yamato, Masanori; Kume, Satoshi; Eguchi, Asami; Takata, Kumi; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi; Kataoka, Yosky
NG2-expressing neural progenitor cells (i.e., NG2 glial cells) maintain their proliferative and migratory activities even in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) and produce myelinating oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. Although NG2 glial cells have been observed in close proximity to neuronal cell bodies in order to receive synaptic inputs, substantive non-proliferative roles of NG2 glial cells in the adult CNS remain unclear. In the present study, we generated NG2-HSVtk transgenic rats and selectively ablated NG2 glial cells in the adult CNS. Ablation of NG2 glial cells produced defects in hippocampal neurons due to excessive neuroinflammation via activation of the interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) pro-inflammatory pathway, resulting in hippocampal atrophy. Furthermore, we revealed that the loss of NG2 glial cell-derived hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) exacerbated these abnormalities. Our findings suggest that NG2 glial cells maintain neuronal function and survival via the control of neuroimmunological function. PMID:28195192
Grumbles, Robert M; Sesodia, Sanjay; Wood, Patrick M; Thomas, Christine K
Motoneuron death can occur over several spinal levels with disease or trauma, resulting in muscle denervation. We tested whether cotransplantation of embryonic neurons with 1 or more neurotrophic factors into peripheral nerve improved axon regeneration, muscle fiber area, reinnervation, and function to a greater degree than cell transplantation alone. Sciatic nerves of adult Fischer rats were cut to denervate muscles; 1 week later, embryonic ventral spinal cord cells (days 14-15) were transplanted into the tibial nerve stump as the only source of neurons for muscle reinnervation. Factors that promote motoneuron survival (cardiotrophin 1; fibroblast growth factor 2; glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor; insulin-like growth factor 1; leukemia inhibitory factor; and hepatocyte growth factor) were added to the transplant individually or in combinations. Inclusion of a single factor with the cells resulted in comparable myelinated axon counts, muscle fiber areas, and evoked electromyographic activity to cells alone 10 weeks after transplantation. Only cell transplantation with glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, hepatocyte growth factor, and insulin-like growth factor 1 significantly increased motoneuron survival, myelinated axon counts, muscle reinnervation, and evoked electromyographic activity compared with cells alone. Thus, immediate application of a specific combination of factors to dissociated embryonic neurons improves survival of motoneurons and the long-term function of reinnervated muscle.
Kyung, Jae Won; Cho, In Ha; Lee, Sukmook; Song, Woo Keun; Ryan, Timothy A.; Hoppa, Michael B.; Kim, Sung Hyun
The complexity and diversity of a neural network requires regulated elongation and branching of axons, as well as the formation of synapses between neurons. In the present study we explore the role of AP-2, a key endocytic adaptor protein complex, in the development of rat hippocampal neurons. We found that the loss of AP-2 during the early stage of development resulted in impaired axon extension and failed maturation of the axon initial segment (AIS). Normally the AIS performs two tasks in concert, stabilizing neural polarity and generating action potentials. In AP-2 silenced axons polarity is established, however there is a failure to establish action potential firing. Consequently, this impairs activity-driven Ca2+ influx and exocytosis at nerve terminals. In contrast, removal of AP-2 from older neurons does not impair axonal growth or signaling and synaptic function. Our data reveal that AP-2 has important roles in functional axogenesis by proper extension of axon as well as the formation of AIS during the early step of neurodevelopment. PMID:28139716
Kant, Nasir Ali; Dar, Mohamad Rafiq; Khanday, Farooq Ahmad
The output of every neuron in neural network is specified by the employed activation function (AF) and therefore forms the heart of neural networks. As far as the design of artificial neural networks (ANNs) is concerned, hardware approach is preferred over software one because it promises the full utilization of the application potential of ANNs. Therefore, besides some arithmetic blocks, designing AF in hardware is the most important for designing ANN. While attempting to design the AF in hardware, the designs should be compatible with the modern Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) design techniques. In this regard, the implemented designs should: only be in Metal Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) technology in order to be compatible with the digital designs, provide electronic tunability feature, and be able to operate at ultra-low voltage. Companding is one of the promising circuit design techniques for achieving these goals. In this paper, 0.5 V design of Liao's AF using sinh-domain technique is introduced. Furthermore, the function is tested by implementing inertial neuron model. The performance of the AF and inertial neuron model have been evaluated through simulation results, using the PSPICE software with the MOS transistor models provided by the 0.18-μm Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturer Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (TSM CMOS) process.
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
Ockenga, Wymke; Kühne, Sina; Bocksberger, Simone; Banning, Antje; Tikkanen, Ritva
Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter whose effects are mediated by two classes of receptors. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are ion channels, whereas the muscarinic receptors belong to the large family of G protein coupled seven transmembrane helix receptors. Beyond its function in neuronal systems, it has become evident that acetylcholine also plays an important role in non-neuronal cells such as epithelial and immune cells. Furthermore, many cell types in the periphery are capable of synthesizing acetylcholine and express at least some of the receptors. In this review, we summarize the non-neuronal functions of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, especially those of the M2 muscarinic receptor in epithelial cells. We will review the mechanisms of signaling by the M2 receptor but also the cellular trafficking and ARF6 mediated endocytosis of this receptor, which play an important role in the regulation of signaling events. In addition, we provide an overview of the M2 receptor in human pathological conditions such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. PMID:24705159
Jena, Bhanu P.
Cup-shaped secretory portals at the cell plasma membrane called porosomes mediate secretion from cells. Membrane bound secretory vesicles transiently dock and fuse at the cytosolic compartment of the porosome base to expel intravesicular contents to the outside during cell secretion. In the past decade, the structure, isolation, composition, and functional reconstitution of the neuronal porosome complex has been accomplished providing a molecular understanding of its structure-function. Neuronal porosomes are 15 nm cup-shaped lipoprotein structures composed of nearly 40 proteins; compared to the 120 nm nuclear pore complex comprised of over 500 protein molecules composed of 30 different proteins. Being a membrane-associated supramolecular complex has precluded determination of the atomic structure of the porosome. However recent studies using small-angle X-ray solution scattering (SAXS), provide at sub-nanometer resolution, the native 3D structure of the neuronal porosome complex associated with docked synaptic vesicle at the nerve terminal. Additionally, results from the SAXS study and earlier studies using atomic force microscopy, provide the possible molecular mechanism involved in porosome-mediated neurotransmitter release at the nerve terminal.
Palazzolo, Gemma; Broguiere, Nicolas; Cenciarelli, Orlando; Dermutz, Harald; Zenobi-Wong, Marcy
Neuron development and function are exquisitely sensitive to the mechanical properties of their surroundings. Three-dimensional (3D) cultures are therefore being explored as they better mimic the features of the native extracellular matrix. Limitations of existing 3D culture models include poorly defined composition, rapid degradation, and suboptimal biocompatibility. Here we show that ionically cross-linked ultrasoft hydrogels made from unmodified alginate can potently promote neuritogenesis. Alginate hydrogels were characterized mechanically and a remarkable range of stiffness (10-4000 Pa) could be produced by varying the macromer content (0.1-0.4% w/v) and CaCl2 concentration. Dissociated rat embryonic cortical neurons encapsulated within the softest of the hydrogels (0.1% w/v, 10 mM CaCl2) showed excellent viability, extensive formation of axons and dendrites, and long-term activity as determined by calcium imaging. In conclusion, alginate is an off-the-shelf, easy to handle, and inexpensive material, which can be used to make ultrasoft hydrogels for the formation of stable and functional 3D neuronal networks. This 3D culture system could have important applications in neuropharmacology, toxicology, and regenerative medicine.
Harris, Robin M; Pfeiffer, Barret D; Rubin, Gerald M; Truman, James W
Drosophila central neurons arise from neuroblasts that generate neurons in a pair-wise fashion, with the two daughters providing the basis for distinct A and B hemilineage groups. 33 postembryonically-born hemilineages contribute over 90% of the neurons in each thoracic hemisegment. We devised genetic approaches to define the anatomy of most of these hemilineages and to assessed their functional roles using the heat-sensitive channel dTRPA1. The simplest hemilineages contained local interneurons and their activation caused tonic or phasic leg movements lacking interlimb coordination. The next level was hemilineages of similar projection cells that drove intersegmentally coordinated behaviors such as walking. The highest level involved hemilineages whose activation elicited complex behaviors such as takeoff. These activation phenotypes indicate that the hemilineages vary in their behavioral roles with some contributing to local networks for sensorimotor processing and others having higher order functions of coordinating these local networks into complex behavior. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04493.001 PMID:26193122
Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim
Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of “functional” groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience. PMID:23977350
Wadsworth, P.; Blackburne, H.; Dixon, L.; Dobbs, B.; Eglinton, T.; Ing, A.; Mulder, R.; Porter, R.J.; Wakeman, C.; Frizelle, F.A.
Abstract Colonoscopy is a common procedure used in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of bowel disorders. Prior preparation involving potent laxatives is a necessary stage to ensure adequate visualization of the bowel wall. It is known that the sedatives given to most patients during the colonoscopy cause a temporary impairment in cognitive function; however, the potential for bowel preparation to affect cognitive function has not previously been investigated. To assess the effect of bowel preparation for colonoscopy on cognitive function. This was a prospective, nonrandomized controlled study of cognitive function in patients who had bowel preparation for colonoscopy compared with those having gastroscopy and therefore no bowel preparation. Cognitive function was assessed using the Modified Mini Mental State Examination (MMMSE) and selected tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Individual test scores and changes between initial and subsequent tests were compared between the groups. Age, gender, and weight were also compared. Forty-three colonoscopy and 25 gastroscopy patients were recruited. The 2 groups were similar for age and gender; however, patients having gastroscopy were heavier. MMMSE scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 28.6 and 29.5 (P = 0.24) at baseline, 28.7 and 29.8 (P = 0.32) at test 2, 28.1 and 28.5 (P = 0.76) at test 3. Motor screening scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 349.3 and 354.1 (P = 0.97) at baseline, 307.5 and 199.7 (P = 0.06) at test 2, 212.0 and 183.2 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Spatial working memory scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 14.4 and 6.7 (P = 0.29) at baseline, 9.7 and 4.3 (P = 0.27) at test 2, 10 and 4.5 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Digit Symbol Substitution Test scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 36.3 and 37.8 (P = 0.84) at baseline, 36.4 and
Tan, Xiao-Ying; Pi, Yan-Ling; Wang, Jue; Li, Xue-Pei; Zhang, Lan-Lan; Dai, Wen; Zhu, Hua; Ni, Zhen; Zhang, Jian; Wu, Yin
The cortical structural and functional differences in athletes and novices were investigated with a cross-sectional paradigm. We measured the gray matter volumes and resting-state functional connectivity in 21 basketball players and 21 novices with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. It was found that gray matter volume in the left anterior insula (AI), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), precuneus is greater in basketball players than that in novices. These five brain regions were selected as the seed regions for testing the resting-state functional connectivity in the second experiment. We found higher functional connectivity in default mode network, salience network and executive control network in basketball players compared to novices. We conclude that the morphology and functional connectivity in cortical neuronal networks in athletes and novices are different. PMID:28101012
Tan, Xiao-Ying; Pi, Yan-Ling; Wang, Jue; Li, Xue-Pei; Zhang, Lan-Lan; Dai, Wen; Zhu, Hua; Ni, Zhen; Zhang, Jian; Wu, Yin
The cortical structural and functional differences in athletes and novices were investigated with a cross-sectional paradigm. We measured the gray matter volumes and resting-state functional connectivity in 21 basketball players and 21 novices with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. It was found that gray matter volume in the left anterior insula (AI), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), precuneus is greater in basketball players than that in novices. These five brain regions were selected as the seed regions for testing the resting-state functional connectivity in the second experiment. We found higher functional connectivity in default mode network, salience network and executive control network in basketball players compared to novices. We conclude that the morphology and functional connectivity in cortical neuronal networks in athletes and novices are different.
Ericson, Milton Nance; McKnight, Timothy E; Melechko, Anatoli Vasilievich; Simpson, Michael L; Morrison, Barclay; Yu, Zhe
Neural chips, which are capable of simultaneous, multi-site neural recording and stimulation, have been used to detect and modulate neural activity for almost 30 years. As a neural interface, neural chips provide dynamic functional information for neural decoding and neural control. By improving sensitivity and spatial resolution, nano-scale electrodes may revolutionize neural detection and modulation at cellular and molecular levels as nano-neuron interfaces. We developed a carbon-nanofiber neural chip with lithographically defined arrays of vertically aligned carbon nanofiber electrodes and demonstrated its capability of both stimulating and monitoring electrophysiological signals from brain tissues in vitro and monitoring dynamic information of neuroplasticity. This novel nano-neuron interface can potentially serve as a precise, informative, biocompatible, and dual-mode neural interface for monitoring of both neuroelectrical and neurochemical activity at the single cell level and even inside the cell.
Yuan, Kexin; Shih, Jonathan Y.; Winer, Jeffery A.; Schreiner, Christoph E.
Inhibitory interneurons constitute ~20% of auditory cortical cells and are essential for shaping sensory processing. Connectivity patterns of interneurons in relation to functional organization principles are not well understood. We contrasted the connection patterns of parvalbumin-immunoreactive cells in two functionally distinct cortical regions, the tonotopic, narrowly frequency-tuned module (cNB) of cat central primary auditory cortex (AI), and the non-tonotopic, broadly tuned second auditory field (AII). Interneuronal connectivity patterns and laminar distribution were identified by combining a retrograde tracer (WAHG) with labeling of the Ca2+ binding protein, parvalbumin (Pv), a marker for the GABAergic interneurons usually described physiologically as fast-spiking neurons. In AI, PV+ cells constituted 13% of the retrograde labeled cells in the immediate vicinity of the injection site, compared to 10% in AII. The retrograde labeling of Pv+ cells along isofrequency countours was confined to cNB. The spatial spread of labeled excitatory neurons in AI was more than twice that found for Pv+ cells. By contrast, in AII, the spread of Pv+ cells was nearly equal to that of excitatory neurons. The retrograde labeling of Pv+ cells was anisotropic in AI and isotropic in AII. This demonstration of inhibitory networks in auditory cortex reveals that the connections of cat GABAergic AI and AII cells follow different anatomical plans and, thus, contribute differently to the shaping of neural response properties. The finding that local connectivity of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons in AI is closely aligned with spectral integration properties demonstrates the critical role of inhibition in creating distinct processing modules in AI. PMID:21917816
Kleinschmidt, Sven; Nolte, Ingo; Hewicker-Trautwein, Marion
Immunohistochemical examinations of the enteric nervous system (ENS) were performed on biopsies of healthy cats and compared to findings in cats suffering from inflammatory bowel disease or intestinal lymphoma. In lymphocytic-plasmacytic enterocolitis all affected samples had significant reductions in glial fibrillary acidic protein and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and mostly of neuron-specific enolase (NSE) possibly reflecting alterations in enteric glial cells and neurons. In cases with eosinophilic gastroenterocolitis significantly reduced phosphorylated neurofilament (PN) expression was present suggesting a disturbance in neuronal cytoskeleton, whereas cats with fibrosing enteropathy had reduced expression of NSE, non-phosphorylated neurofilaments (NPN), PN and VIP, possibly reflecting neuronal disturbances. In cases with intestinal lymphoma only the reduction in PN and the increase in NPN were obvious suggesting direct damage or interference of neoplastic cells with enteric neurons. In conclusion, structural and functional alterations of the ENS may contribute to clinically evident signs of vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Qi, Yuchen; Zhang, Xin-Jun; Renier, Nicolas; Wu, Zhuhao; Atkin, Talia; Sun, Ziyi; Ozair, M Zeeshan; Tchieu, Jason; Zimmer, Bastian; Fattahi, Faranak; Ganat, Yosif; Azevedo, Ricardo; Zeltner, Nadja; Brivanlou, Ali H; Karayiorgou, Maria; Gogos, Joseph; Tomishima, Mark; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Shi, Song-Hai; Studer, Lorenz
Considerable progress has been made in converting human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into functional neurons. However, the protracted timing of human neuron specification and functional maturation remains a key challenge that hampers the routine application of hPSC-derived lineages in disease modeling and regenerative medicine. Using a combinatorial small-molecule screen, we previously identified conditions to rapidly differentiate hPSCs into peripheral sensory neurons. Here we generalize the approach to central nervous system (CNS) fates by developing a small-molecule approach for accelerated induction of early-born cortical neurons. Combinatorial application of six pathway inhibitors induces post-mitotic cortical neurons with functional electrophysiological properties by day 16 of differentiation, in the absence of glial cell co-culture. The resulting neurons, transplanted at 8 d of differentiation into the postnatal mouse cortex, are functional and establish long-distance projections, as shown using iDISCO whole-brain imaging. Accelerated differentiation into cortical neuron fates should facilitate hPSC-based strategies for disease modeling and cell therapy in CNS disorders.
Pleil, Kristen E; Lowery-Gionta, Emily G; Crowley, Nicole A; Li, Chia; Marcinkiewcz, Catherine A; Rose, Jamie H; McCall, Nora M; Maldonado-Devincci, Antoniette M; Morrow, A Leslie; Jones, Sara R; Kash, Thomas L
Chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal leads to anxiety, escalated alcohol drinking behavior, and alcohol dependence. Alterations in the function of key structures within the cortico-limbic neural circuit have been implicated in underlying the negative behavioral consequences of chronic alcohol exposure in both humans and rodents. Here, we used chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE) in male C57BL/6J mice to evaluate the effects of chronic alcohol exposure and withdrawal on anxiety-like behavior and basal synaptic function and neuronal excitability in prefrontal cortical and extended amygdala brain regions. Forty-eight hours after four cycles of CIE, mice were either assayed in the marble burying test (MBT) or their brains were harvested and whole-cell electrophysiological recordings were performed in the prelimbic and infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PLC and ILC), the lateral and medial central nucleus of the amygdala (lCeA and mCeA), and the dorsal and ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dBNST and vBNST). Ethanol-exposed mice displayed increased anxiety in the MBT compared to air-exposed controls, and alterations in neuronal function were observed in all brain structures examined, including several distinct differences between subregions within each structure. Chronic ethanol exposure induced hyperexcitability of the ILC, as well as a shift toward excitation in synaptic drive and hyperexcitability of vBNST neurons; in contrast, there was a net inhibition of the CeA. This study reveals extensive effects of chronic ethanol exposure on the basal function of cortico-limbic brain regions, suggests that there may be complex interactions between these regions in the regulation of ethanol-dependent alterations in anxiety state, and highlights the need for future examination of projection-specific effects of ethanol in cortico-limbic circuitry.
Pleil, Kristen E.; Lowery-Gionta, Emily G.; Crowley, Nicole A.; Li, Chia; Marcinkiewcz, Catherine A.; Rose, Jamie H.; McCall, Nora M.; Maldonado-Devincci, Antoniette M.; Morrow, A. Leslie; Jones, Sara R.; Kash, Thomas L.
Chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal leads to anxiety, escalated alcohol drinking behavior, and alcohol dependence. Alterations in the function of key structures within the cortico-limbic neural circuit have been implicated in underlying the negative behavioral consequences of chronic alcohol exposure in both humans and rodents. Here, we used chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE) in male C57BL/6J mice to evaluate the effects of chronic alcohol exposure and withdrawal on anxiety-like behavior and basal synaptic function and neuronal excitability in prefrontal cortical and extended amygdala brain regions. Forty-eight hours after four cycles of CIE, mice were either assayed in the marble burying test (MBT) or their brains were harvested and whole-cell electrophysiological recordings were performed in the prelimbic and infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PLC and ILC), the lateral and medial central nucleus of the amygdala (lCeA and mCeA), and the dorsal and ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dBNST and vBNST). Ethanol-exposed mice displayed increased anxiety in the MBT compared to air-exposed controls, and alterations in neuronal function were observed in all brain structures examined, including several distinct differences between subregions within each structure. Chronic ethanol exposure induced hyperexcitability of the ILC, as well as a shift toward excitation in synaptic drive and hyperexcitability of vBNST neurons; in contrast, there was a net inhibition of the CeA. This study reveals extensive effects of chronic ethanol exposure on the basal function of cortico-limbic brain regions, suggests that there may be complex interactions between these regions in the regulation of ethanol-dependent alterations in anxiety state, and highlights the need for future examination of projection-specific effects of ethanol in cortico-limbic circuitry. PMID:26188147
Hayashi, Y; Tomimatsu, Y; Suzuki, H; Yamada, J; Wu, Z; Yao, H; Kagamiishi, Y; Tateishi, N; Sawada, M; Nakanishi, H
In the present study, we have attempted to elucidate the effects of the intra-arterial injection of microglia on the global ischemia-induced functional and morphological deficits of hippocampal CA1 neurons. When PKH26-labeled immortalized microglial cells, GMIR1, were injected into the subclavian artery, these exogenous microglia were found to accumulate in the hippocampus at 24 h after ischemia. In hippocampal slices prepared from medium-injected rats subjected to ischemia 48 h earlier, synaptic dysfunctions including a significant reduction of synaptic responses and a marked reduction of long-term potentiation (LTP) of the CA3-CA1 Schaffer collateral synapses were observed. At this stage, however, neither significant neuronal degeneration nor gliosis was observed in the hippocampus. At 96 h after ischemia, there was a total loss of the synaptic activity and a marked neuronal death in the CA1 subfield. In contrast, the basal synaptic transmission and LTP of the CA3-CA1 synapses were well preserved after ischemia in the slices prepared from the microglia-injected animals. We also found the microglial-conditioned medium (MCM) to significantly increase the frequency of the spontaneous postsynaptic currents of CA1 neurons without affecting the amplitude, thus indicating that MCM increased the provability of the neurotransmitter release. The protective effect of the intra-arterial injected microglia against the ischemia-induced neuronal degeneration in the hippocampus was substantiated by immunohistochemical and immunoblot analyses. Furthermore, the arterial-injected microglia prevented the ischemia-induced decline of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in CA1 neurons. These observations strongly suggest that the arterial-injection of microglia protected CA1 neurons against the ischemia-induced neuronal degeneration. The restoration of the ischemia-induced synaptic deficits and the resultant reduction of the BDNF levels in CA1 neurons, possibly by the
Jordaens, Lies; Van Hoeck, Veerle; Maillo, Veronica; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso; Marei, Waleed Fawzy A; Vlaeminck, Bruno; Thys, Sofie; Sturmey, Roger G S; Bols, Peter; Leroy, Jo
We hypothesized that elevated non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) modify in vitro bovine oviduct epithelial cell (BOEC) metabolism and barrier function. Hereto, BOECs were studied in a polarized system with 24h-treatments at day 9: 1) CONTROL (0µM NEFA + 0%EtOH), 2) SOLVENT CONTROL (0µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH), 3) BASAL NEFA (720µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH in the basal compartment), 4) APICAL NEFA (720µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH in the apical compartment). FITC-albumin was used for monolayer permeability assessment, and related to Transepithelial Electric Resistance (TER). Fatty acid (FA), glucose, lactate and pyruvate concentrations were measured in spent medium. Intracellular lipid droplets (LD) and FA-uptake were studied using Bodipy 493/503 and immunolabelling of FA-transporters (FAT/CD36, FABP3 and caveolin1). BOEC-mRNA was retrieved for qRT-PCR. Results revealed that APICAL NEFA reduced relative TER-increase (46.85%) during treatment, and increased FITC-albumin flux (27.59%) compared to other treatments. In BASAL NEFA, FAs were transferred to the apical compartment as free FAs: mostly palmitic and oleic acid increased, respectively 56.0 % and 33.5% of initial FA-concentrations. APICAL NEFA allowed no FA-transfer, but induced LD-accumulation and upregulated FA-transporter expression (↑CD36, ↑FABP3, ↑CAV1-protein-expression). Gene expression in APICAL NEFA indicated increased anti-apoptotic (↑BCL2) and anti-oxidative (↑SOD1) capacity, upregulated lipid metabolism (↑CPT1, ↑ACSL1 and ↓ACACA), and FA-uptake (↑CAV1). All treatments had similar carbohydrate metabolism and oviduct function specific gene expression (=OVGP1, ESR1, FOXJ1). Overall, elevated NEFAs affected BOEC-metabolism and barrier function differently depending on NEFA-exposure side. Data substantiate the concept of the oviduct as a gatekeeper that may actively alter early embryonic developmental conditions.
Kline, David D
The autonomic nervous and respiratory systems, as well as their coupling, adapt over a wide range of conditions. Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) is a model for recurrent apneas and induces alterations in breathing and increases in sympathetic nerve activity which may ultimately result in hypertension if left untreated. These alterations are believed to be due to increases in the carotid body chemoreflex pathway. Here we present evidence that the nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS), the central brainstem termination site of chemoreceptor afferents, expresses a form of synaptic plasticity that increases overall nTS activity following intermittent hypoxia. Following CIH, an increase in presynaptic spontaneous neurotransmitter release occurs under baseline conditions. Furthermore, during and following afferent stimulation there is an augmentation of spontaneous transmitter release that occurs out of synchrony with sensory stimulation. On the other hand, afferent evoked synchronous transmitter release is attenuated. Overall, this shift from synchronous to asynchronous transmitter release enhances nTS cellular discharge. The role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in CIH-induced plasticity is also discussed. Dopamine attenuates synaptic transmission in nTS cells by blockade of N-type calcium channels, and this mechanism occurs tonically following normoxia and CIH. This dopaminergic pathway, however, is not altered in CIH. Taken together, alterations in nTS synaptic activity may play a role in the changes of chemoreflex function and cardiorespiratory activity in the CIH apnea model.
Meyer, Arne F.; Williamson, Ross S.; Linden, Jennifer F.; Sahani, Maneesh
Rich, dynamic, and dense sensory stimuli are encoded within the nervous system by the time-varying activity of many individual neurons. A fundamental approach to understanding the nature of the encoded representation is to characterize the function that relates the moment-by-moment firing of a neuron to the recent history of a complex sensory input. This review provides a unifying and critical survey of the techniques that have been brought to bear on this effort thus far—ranging from the classical linear receptive field model to modern approaches incorporating normalization and other nonlinearities. We address separately the structure of the models; the criteria and algorithms used to identify the model parameters; and the role of regularizing terms or “priors.” In each case we consider benefits or drawbacks of various proposals, providing examples for when these methods work and when they may fail. Emphasis is placed on key concepts rather than mathematical details, so as to make the discussion accessible to readers from outside the field. Finally, we review ways in which the agreement between an assumed model and the neuron's response may be quantified. Re-implemented and unified code for many of the methods are made freely available. PMID:28127278
Jiang, Xia; Lu, Hanbing; Shigeno, Shuichi; Tan, Li-Hai; Yang, Yihong; Ragsdale, Clifton W.; Gao, Jia-Hong
Purpose Despite the efforts that have been devoted to detecting the transient magnetic fields generated by neuronal firing, the conclusion that a functionally relevant signal can be measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is still controversial. For human studies of neuronal current MRI (nc-MRI), the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) effect remains an irresolvable confound. For tissue studies where hemoglobin is removed, natural sensory stimulation is not possible. This study investigates the feasibility of detecting a physiologically induced nc-MRI signal in vivo in a BOLD-free environment. Methods The cephalopod mollusc Octopus bimaculoides has vertebrate-like eyes, large optic lobes (OLs) and blood that does not contain hemoglobin. Visually evoked potentials were measured in the octopus retina and OL by electroretinogram and local field potential. nc-MRI scans were conducted at 9.4 Tesla to capture these activities. Results Electrophysiological recording detected strong responses in the retina and OL in vivo; however, nc-MRI failed to demonstrate any statistically significant signal change with a detection threshold of 0.2° for phase and 0.2% for magnitude. Experiments in a dissected eye-OL preparation yielded similar results. Conclusion These findings in a large hemoglobin-free nervous system suggest that sensory evoked neuronal magnetic fields are too weak for direct detection with current MRI technology. PMID:24301336
Meyer, Arne F; Williamson, Ross S; Linden, Jennifer F; Sahani, Maneesh
Rich, dynamic, and dense sensory stimuli are encoded within the nervous system by the time-varying activity of many individual neurons. A fundamental approach to understanding the nature of the encoded representation is to characterize the function that relates the moment-by-moment firing of a neuron to the recent history of a complex sensory input. This review provides a unifying and critical survey of the techniques that have been brought to bear on this effort thus far-ranging from the classical linear receptive field model to modern approaches incorporating normalization and other nonlinearities. We address separately the structure of the models; the criteria and algorithms used to identify the model parameters; and the role of regularizing terms or "priors." In each case we consider benefits or drawbacks of various proposals, providing examples for when these methods work and when they may fail. Emphasis is placed on key concepts rather than mathematical details, so as to make the discussion accessible to readers from outside the field. Finally, we review ways in which the agreement between an assumed model and the neuron's response may be quantified. Re-implemented and unified code for many of the methods are made freely available.
Töpfer, Felix M.; Wood, Phillip G.; Busskamp, Volker; Bamberg, Ernst
Differentiated neurons can be rapidly acquired, within days, by inducing stem cells to express neurogenic transcription factors. We developed a protocol to maintain long-term cultures of human neurons, called iNGNs, which are obtained by inducing Neurogenin-1 and Neurogenin-2 expression in induced pluripotent stem cells. We followed the functional development of iNGNs over months and they showed many hallmark properties for neuronal maturation, including robust electrical and synaptic activity. Using iNGNs expressing a variant of channelrhodopsin-2, called CatCh, we could control iNGN activity with blue light stimulation. In combination with optogenetic tools, iNGNs offer opportunities for studies that require precise spatial and temporal resolution. iNGNs developed spontaneous network activity, and these networks had excitatory glutamatergic synapses, which we characterized with single-cell synaptic recordings. AMPA glutamatergic receptor activity was especially dominant in postsynaptic recordings, whereas NMDA glutamatergic receptor activity was absent from postsynaptic recordings but present in extrasynaptic recordings. Our results on long-term cultures of iNGNs could help in future studies elucidating mechanisms of human synaptogenesis and neurotransmission, along with the ability to scale-up the size of the cultures. PMID:28052116
Maqueshudul Haque Bhuiyan, Mohammad; Mohibbullah, Md; Hannan, Md Abdul; Hong, Yong-Ki; Choi, Jae-Suk; Choi, In Soon; Moon, Il Soo
Reductions in neurotrophic factors are implicated in synaptic dysfunction in the central nervous system, but exogenous neurotrophic factors with potential effects on neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction could offer therapeutic and preventive strategies for treating memory-related neurological disorders. In an earlier effort to identify natural neurotrophic agents, we found that the ethanol extract of the edible marine alga Undaria pinnatifida (UPE) had promising effects on the neuritogenesis of cultured hippocampal neurons. Here, we further investigated the ability of UPE to promote spinogenesis and synaptogenesis in primary cultures of hippocampal neurons. It was found that UPE triggered significant increase in numbers of dendritic filopodia and spines, promoted the formation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses, and potentiated synaptic transmission by increasing the sizes of reserve vesicle pools at presynaptic terminals. These findings indicate a substantial role for UPE in the morphological and functional maturation of neurons and suggest that UPE is a possible therapeutic preventative measure and treatment for neurodegenerative diseases, such as those involving cognitive disorders and memory impairments.
Zhang, Xiaonan; Gaudry, Quentin
Serotonin plays a critical role in regulating many behaviors that rely on olfaction and recently there has been great effort in determining how this molecule functions in vivo. However, it remains unknown how serotonergic neurons that innervate the first olfactory relay respond to odor stimulation and how they integrate synaptically into local circuits. We examined the sole pair of serotonergic neurons that innervates the Drosophila antennal lobe (the first olfactory relay) to characterize their physiology, connectivity, and contribution to pheromone processing. We report that nearly all odors inhibit these cells, likely through connections made reciprocally within the antennal lobe. Pharmacological and immunohistochemical analyses reveal that these neurons likely release acetylcholine in addition to serotonin and that exogenous and endogenous serotonin have opposing effects on olfactory responses. Finally, we show that activation of the entire serotonergic network, as opposed to only activation of those fibers innervating the antennal lobe, may be required for persistent serotonergic modulation of pheromone responses in the antennal lobe. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16836.001 PMID:27572257
Alaverdashvili, Mariam; Hackett, Mark J; Caine, Sally; Paterson, Phyllis G
While protein-energy malnutrition in the adult has been reported to induce motor abnormalities and exaggerate motor deficits caused by stroke, it is not known if alterations in mature cortical neurons contribute to the functional deficits. Therefore, we explored if PEM in adult rats provoked changes in the biochemical profile of neurons in the forelimb and hindlimb regions of the motor cortex. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging using a synchrotron generated light source revealed for the first time altered lipid composition in neurons and subcellular domains (cytosol and nuclei) in a cortical layer and region-specific manner. This change measured by the area under the curve of the δ(CH2) band may indicate modifications in membrane fluidity. These PEM-induced biochemical changes were associated with the development of abnormalities in forelimb use and posture. The findings of this study provide a mechanism by which PEM, if not treated, could exacerbate the course of various neurological disorders and diminish treatment efficacy.
Shibata, C; Balsiger, B M; Anding, W J; Duenes, J A; Miller, V M; Sarr, M G
This experiment was designed to determine mechanisms of change in nonadrenergic, noncholinergic (NANC) inhibitory neurons in the ileum after small bowel transplantation (SBT) in the rat and whether nitric oxide (NO) serves as an important NANC inhibitory neurotransmitter in the rat ileum. Eight groups of rats (N > or =8 rats/group) were studied: neurally intact unoperated controls; rats one week after anesthesia and sham celiotomy; and separate groups one and eight weeks after either 40 min of cold ischemia of the jejunoileum, combined jejunal and ileal intestinal transection/reanastomosis, or orthotopic SBT of the entire jejunoileum. Contractile activity was evaluated in full-thickness ileal circular muscle strips under isometric conditions. Spontaneous activity did not differ among groups. In all groups, exogenous NO, NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA, an NO synthase inhibitor), and methylene blue (soluble guanylate cyclase inhibitor) had no effect on spontaneous activity, while 8-bromocyclic guanosine monophosphate (8Br-cGMP) inhibited contractile activity in all groups. Low frequency (2-10 Hz) electrical field stimulation (EFS) inhibited contractile activity only in control and SBT groups; L-NMMA and methylene blue did not alter the response to EFS in any group. These results suggest that each aspect of the SBT procedure, ischemia/reperfusion injury, disruption of enteric neural continuity by intestinal transection, and extrinsic denervation, alter function of enteric ileal inhibitory neurons separately early (one week) after operation. NO, a known inhibitory neurotransmitter in other gut regions, does not affect ileal circular muscle in neurally intact tissue nor mediate functional changes in inhibitory nerve function nor smooth muscle contractility after SBT.
Ward, Patricia J.; Jones, Laura N.; Mulligan, Amanda; Goolsby, William; Wilhelm, Jennifer C.; English, Arthur W.
Peripheral nerve injuries are common, and functional recovery is very poor. Beyond surgical repair of the nerve, there are currently no treatment options for these patients. In experimental models of nerve injury, interventions (such as exercise and electrical stimulation) that increase neuronal activity of the injured neurons effectively enhance axon regeneration. Here, we utilized optogenetics to determine whether increased activity alone is sufficient to promote motor axon regeneration. In thy-1-ChR2/YFP transgenic mice in which a subset of motoneurons express the light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin (ChR2), we activated axons in the sciatic nerve using blue light immediately prior to transection and surgical repair of the sciatic nerve. At four weeks post-injury, direct muscle EMG responses evoked with both optical and electrical stimuli as well as the ratio of these optical/electrical evoked EMG responses were significantly greater in mice that received optical treatment. Thus, significantly more ChR2+ axons successfully re-innervated the gastrocnemius muscle in mice that received optical treatment. Sections of the gastrocnemius muscles were reacted with antibodies to Synaptic Vesicle Protein 2 (SV2) to quantify the number of re-occupied motor endplates. The number of SV2+ endplates was greater in mice that received optical treatment. The number of retrogradely-labeled motoneurons following intramuscular injection of cholera toxin subunit B (conjugated to Alexa Fluor 555) was greater in mice that received optical treatment. Thus, the acute (1 hour), one-time optical treatment resulted in robust, long-lasting effects compared to untreated animals as well as untreated axons (ChR2-). We conclude that neuronal activation is sufficient to promote motor axon regeneration, and this regenerative effect is specific to the activated neurons. PMID:27152611
Ghosh, Anamitra; Saminathan, Hariharan; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Jin, Huajun; Sondarva, Gautam; Harischandra, Dilshan S.; Qian, Ziqing; Rana, Ajay; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G.
Parkinson disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by a slow and progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PD remain unclear. Pin1, a major peptidyl-prolyl isomerase, has recently been associated with certain diseases. Notably, Ryo et al. (Ryo, A., Togo, T., Nakai, T., Hirai, A., Nishi, M., Yamaguchi, A., Suzuki, K., Hirayasu, Y., Kobayashi, H., Perrem, K., Liou, Y. C., and Aoki, I. (2006) J. Biol. Chem. 281, 4117–4125) implicated Pin1 in PD pathology. Therefore, we sought to systematically characterize the role of Pin1 in PD using cell culture and animal models. To our surprise we observed a dramatic up-regulation of Pin1 mRNA and protein levels in dopaminergic MN9D neuronal cells treated with the parkinsonian toxicant 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) as well as in the substantia nigra of the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD mouse model. Notably, a marked expression of Pin1 was also observed in the substantia nigra of human PD brains along with a high co-localization of Pin1 within dopaminergic neurons. In functional studies, siRNA-mediated knockdown of Pin1 almost completely prevented MPP+-induced caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation, indicating that Pin1 plays a proapoptotic role. Interestingly, multiple pharmacological Pin1 inhibitors, including juglone, attenuated MPP+-induced Pin1 up-regulation, α-synuclein aggregation, caspase-3 activation, and cell death. Furthermore, juglone treatment in the MPTP mouse model of PD suppressed Pin1 levels and improved locomotor deficits, dopamine depletion, and nigral dopaminergic neuronal loss. Collectively, our findings demonstrate for the first time that Pin1 is up-regulated in PD and has a pathophysiological role in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system and suggest that modulation of Pin1 levels may be a useful translational therapeutic strategy in PD. PMID:23754278
Vlčková, Radoslava; Sopková, Drahomíra; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Valocký, Igor; Kádasi, Attila; Harrath, Abdel Halim; Petrilla, Vladimír; Sirotkin, Alexander V
Yucca (Yucca schidigera) is a popular medicinal plant due to its many positive effects on animal and human physiology, including their reproductive systems. To examine the effect of supplemental yucca feeding on sheep reproduction, including ovarian functions and their hormonal regulators, ewes were fed (or not fed, control) yucca powder (1.5 g/head/day, 30 days). Macromorphometric indexes of the oviduct, ovary, and ovarian folliculogenesis were measured. Reproductive hormone levels in the blood were measured using a radioimmunoassay. Granulosa cells were aspirated from the ovary, and their proliferation and apoptosis were detected using immunocytochemistry. To assess secretory activity and its response to gonadotropin, ovarian fragments of treated and control ewes were cultured with and without follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 0, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 IU/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones into the culture medium was evaluated. Finally, to examine the direct action of yucca on the ovary, ovarian fragments from control ewes were cultured with and without yucca extract (1, 10, or 100 μg/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones was measured. Yucca supplementation significantly decreased the size of small antral follicles (2 to <5 mm in diameter), increased accumulation of the apoptosis marker bax, and decreased serum progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) levels. It inhibited the release of P4 (but not other hormones), to prevent the stimulatory action of FSH on P4 output and promoted insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) release by fragments cultured with FSH. However, yucca supplementation did not affect the size of larger follicles and number of follicles, volume and weight of ovaries, length and weight of oviducts, caspase 3 accumulation, cell proliferation, testosterone (T) or IGF-I serum levels, or T or E2 release by cultured ovarian fragments and their response to FSH. Yucca addition to culture medium inhibited P4 and IGF-I, but not T or E2
Han, Chongyang; Hoeijmakers, Janneke G J; Liu, Shujun; Gerrits, Monique M; te Morsche, Rene H M; Lauria, Giuseppe; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Drenth, Joost P H; Faber, Catharina G; Merkies, Ingemar S J; Waxman, Stephen G
Patients with small fibre neuropathy typically manifest pain in distal extremities and severe autonomic dysfunction. However, occasionally patients present with minimal autonomic symptoms. The basis for this phenotypic difference is not understood. Sodium channel Na(v)1.7, encoded by the SCN9A gene, is preferentially expressed in the peripheral nervous system within sensory dorsal root ganglion and sympathetic ganglion neurons and their small diameter peripheral axons. We recently reported missense substitutions in SCN9A that encode functional Na(v)1.7 variants in 28% of patients with biopsy-confirmed small fibre neuropathy. Two patients with biopsy-confirmed small fibre neuropathy manifested minimal autonomic dysfunction unlike the other six patients in this series, and both of these patients carry the Na(v)1.7/R185H variant, presenting the opportunity to compare variants associated with extreme ends of a spectrum from minimal to severe autonomic dysfunction. Herein, we show by voltage-clamp that R185H variant channels enhance resurgent currents within dorsal root ganglion neurons and show by current-clamp that R185H renders dorsal root ganglion neurons hyperexcitable. We also show that in contrast, R185H variant channels do not produce detectable changes when studied by voltage-clamp within sympathetic neurons of the superior cervical ganglion, and have no effect on the excitability of these cells. As a comparator, we studied the Na(v)1.7 variant I739V, identified in three patients with small fibre neuropathy characterized by severe autonomic dysfunction as well as neuropathic pain, and show that this variant impairs channel slow inactivation within both dorsal root ganglion and superior cervical ganglion neurons, and renders dorsal root ganglion neurons hyperexcitable and superior cervical ganglion neurons hypoexcitable. Thus, we show that R185H, from patients with minimal autonomic dysfunction, does not produce detectable changes in the properties of
Parrish, Jay Z; Xu, Peizhang; Kim, Charles C; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung
In addition to establishing dendritic coverage of the receptive field, neurons need to adjust their dendritic arbors to match changes of the receptive field. Here, we show that dendrite arborization (da) sensory neurons establish dendritic coverage of the body wall early in Drosophila larval development and then grow in precise proportion to their substrate, the underlying body wall epithelium, as the larva more than triples in length. This phenomenon, referred to as scaling growth of dendrites, requires the function of the microRNA (miRNA) bantam (ban) in the epithelial cells rather than the da neurons themselves. We further show that ban in epithelial cells dampens Akt kinase activity in adjacent neurons to influence dendrite growth. This signaling between epithelial cells and neurons receiving sensory input from the body wall synchronizes their growth to ensure proper dendritic coverage of the receptive field.
Loers, Gabriele; Saini, Vedangana; Mishra, Bibhudatta; Gul, Sheraz; Chaudhury, Sidhartha; Wallqvist, Anders; Kaur, Gurcharan; Schachner, Melitta
Polysialic acid (PSA), a large, linear glycan composed of 8 to over 100 α2,8-linked sialic acid residues, modulates development of the nervous system by enhancing cell migration, axon pathfinding, and synaptic targeting and by regulating differentiation of progenitor cells. PSA also functions in developing and adult immune systems and is a signature of many cancers. In this study we identified vinorelbine, a semi-synthetic third generation vinca alkaloid, and epirubicin, an anthracycline and 4'-epimer of doxorubicin, as PSA mimetics. Similar to PSA, vinorelbine and epirubicin bind to the PSA-specific monoclonal antibody 735 and compete with the bacterial analog of PSA, colominic acid in binding to monoclonal antibody 735. Vinorelbine and epirubicin stimulate neurite outgrowth of cerebellar neurons via the neural cell adhesion molecule, via myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate, and via fibroblast growth factor receptor, signaling through Erk pathways. Furthermore, the two compounds enhance process formation of Schwann cells and migration of cerebellar neurons in culture, and reduce migration of astrocytes after injury. These novel results show that the structure and function of PSA can be mimicked by the small organic compounds vinorelbine and epirubicin, thus raising the possibility to re-target drugs used in treatment of cancers to nervous system repair. Vinorelbine and epirubicin, identified as PSA mimetics, enhance, like PSA, neuronal migration, neuritogenesis, and formation of Schwann cell processes, and reduce astrocytic migration. Ablating NCAM, inhibiting fibroblast growth factor (FGFR) receptor, or adding the effector domain of myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS) minimize the vinorelbine and epirubicin effects, indicating that they are true PSA mimetics triggering PSA-mediated functions.
Barabas, Marie E; Kossyreva, Elena A; Stucky, Cheryl L
Subpopulations of somatosensory neurons are characterized by functional properties and expression of receptor proteins and surface markers. CGRP expression and IB4-binding are commonly used to define peptidergic and non-peptidergic subpopulations. TRPA1 is a polymodal, plasma membrane ion channel that contributes to mechanical and cold hypersensitivity during tissue injury, making it a key target for pain therapeutics. Some studies have shown that TRPA1 is predominantly expressed by peptidergic sensory neurons, but others indicate that TRPA1 is expressed extensively within non-peptidergic, IB4-binding neurons. We used FURA-2 calcium imaging to define the functional distribution of TRPA1 among peptidergic and non-peptidergic adult mouse (C57BL/6J) DRG neurons. Approximately 80% of all small-diameter (<27 µm) neurons from lumbar 1-6 DRGs that responded to TRPA1 agonists allyl isothiocyanate (AITC; 79%) or cinnamaldehyde (84%) were IB4-positive. Retrograde labeling via plantar hind paw injection of WGA-Alexafluor594 showed similarly that most (81%) cutaneous neurons responding to TRPA1 agonists were IB4-positive. Additionally, we cultured DRG neurons from a novel CGRP-GFP mouse where GFP expression is driven by the CGRPα promoter, enabling identification of CGRP-expressing live neurons. Interestingly, 78% of TRPA1-responsive neurons were CGRP-negative. Co-labeling with IB4 revealed that the majority (66%) of TRPA1 agonist responders were IB4-positive but CGRP-negative. Among TRPA1-null DRGs, few small neurons (2-4%) responded to either TRPA1 agonist, indicating that both cinnamaldehyde and AITC specifically target TRPA1. Additionally, few large neurons (≥27 µm diameter) responded to AITC (6%) or cinnamaldehyde (4%), confirming that most large-diameter somata lack functional TRPA1. Comparison of mouse and rat DRGs showed that the majority of TRPA1-responsive neurons in both species were IB4-positive. Together, these data demonstrate that TRPA1 is functionally
Borg, Rebecca; Cauchi, Ruben J.
Membership of the survival motor neuron (SMN) complex extends to nine factors, including the SMN protein, the product of the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) disease gene, Gemins 2–8 and Unrip. The best-characterised function of this macromolecular machine is the assembly of the Sm-class of uridine-rich small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) particles and each SMN complex member has a key role during this process. So far, however, only little is known about the function of the individual Gemin components in vivo. Here, we make use of the Drosophila model organism to uncover loss-of-function phenotypes of Gemin2, Gemin3 and Gemin5, which together with SMN form the minimalistic fly SMN complex. We show that ectopic overexpression of the dead helicase Gem3ΔN mutant or knockdown of Gemin3 result in similar motor phenotypes, when restricted to muscle, and in combination cause lethality, hence suggesting that Gem3ΔN overexpression mimics a loss-of-function. Based on the localisation pattern of Gem3ΔN, we predict that the nucleus is the primary site of the antimorphic or dominant-negative mechanism of Gem3ΔN-mediated interference. Interestingly, phenotypes induced by human SMN overexpression in Drosophila exhibit similarities to those induced by overexpression of Gem3ΔN. Through enhanced knockdown we also uncover a requirement of Gemin2, Gemin3 and Gemin5 for viability and motor behaviour, including locomotion as well as flight, in muscle. Notably, in the case of Gemin3 and Gemin5, such function also depends on adequate levels of the respective protein in neurons. Overall, these findings lead us to speculate that absence of any one member is sufficient to arrest the SMN-Gemins complex function in a nucleocentric pathway, which is critical for motor function in vivo. PMID:24391840
Wang, Dong V; Viereckel, Thomas; Zell, Vivien; Konradsson-Geuken, Åsa; Broker, Carl J; Talishinsky, Aleksandr; Yoo, Ji Hoon; Galinato, Melissa H; Arvidsson, Emma; Kesner, Andrew J; Hnasko, Thomas S; Wallén-Mackenzie, Åsa; Ikemoto, Satoshi
Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) were previously found to express vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) and to co-transmit glutamate in the ventral striatum (VStr). This capacity may play an important role in reinforcement learning. Although it is known that activation of the VTA-VStr dopamine system readily reinforces behavior, little is known about the role of glutamate co-transmission in such reinforcement. By combining electrode recording and optogenetics, we found that stimulation of VTA dopamine neurons in vivo evoked fast excitatory responses in many VStr neurons of adult mice. Whereas conditional knockout of the gene encoding VGLUT2 in dopamine neurons largely eliminated fast excitatory responses, it had little effect on the acquisition of conditioned responses reinforced by dopamine neuron activation. Therefore, glutamate co-transmission appears dispensable for acquisition of conditioned responding reinforced by DA neuron activation.
Shmuel, Amir; Leopold, David A
Recent studies have demonstrated large amplitude spontaneous fluctuations in functional-MRI (fMRI) signals in humans in the resting state. Importantly, these spontaneous fluctuations in blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signal are often synchronized over distant parts of the brain, a phenomenon termed functional-connectivity. Functional-connectivity is widely assumed to reflect interregional coherence of fluctuations in activity of the underlying neuronal networks. Despite the large body of human imaging literature on spontaneous activity and functional-connectivity in the resting state, the link to underlying neural activity remains tenuous. Through simultaneous fMRI and intracortical neurophysiological recording, we demonstrate correlation between slow fluctuations in BOLD signals and concurrent fluctuations in the underlying locally measured neuronal activity. This correlation varied with time-lag of BOLD relative to neuronal activity, resembling a traditional hemodynamic response function with peaks at approximately 6 s lag of BOLD signal. The correlations were reliably detected when the neuronal signal consisted of either the spiking rate of a small group of neurons, or relative power changes in the multi-unit activity band, and particularly in the local field potential gamma band. Analysis of correlation between the voxel-by-voxel fMRI time-series and the neuronal activity measured within one cortical site showed patterns of correlation that slowly traversed cortex. BOLD fluctuations in widespread areas in visual cortex of both hemispheres were significantly correlated with neuronal activity from a single recording site in V1. To the extent that our V1 findings can be generalized to other cortical areas, fMRI-based functional-connectivity between remote regions in the resting state can be linked to synchronization of slow fluctuations in the underlying neuronal signals.
AD Award Number: W81XWH-04-1-0599 TITLE: Functional Genomics of Dopaminergic Neurons and Cellular Susceptibility in Parkinson’s Disease PRINCIPAL... Disease 5b. GRANTNUMBER W81XWH-04-1-0599 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER Stefano Gustincich, Ph.D. 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT...vulnerability of selected classes of dopaminergic cells in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). During the first year of research we have established an in house cDNA
Seth, Anil K.; Edelman, Gerald M.
The mammalian brain is an extraordinary object: its networks give rise to our conscious experiences as well as to the generation of adaptive behavior for the organism within its environment. Progress in understanding the structure, dynamics and function of the brain faces many challenges. Biological neural networks change over time, their detailed structure is difficult to elucidate, and they are highly heterogeneous both in their neuronal units and synaptic connections. In facing these challenges, graph-theoretic and information-theoretic approaches have yielded a number of useful insights and promise many more.
Boretti, Albert; Castelletto, Stefania
This contribution highlights and compares some recent achievements in the use of k-space and real space imaging (scanning probe and wide-filed microscope techniques), when applied to a luminescent color center in diamond, known as nitrogen vacancy (NV) center. These techniques combined with the optically detected magnetic resonance of NV, provide a unique platform to achieve nanometric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) resolution of nearby nuclear spins (known as nanoMRI), and nanometric NV real space localization. •Atomic size optically detectable spin probe.•High magnetic field sensitivity and nanometric resolution.•Non-invasive mapping of functional activity in neuronal networks.
Kreutzmann, J C; Havekes, R; Abel, T; Meerlo, P
Despite the ongoing fundamental controversy about the physiological function of sleep, there is general consensus that sleep benefits neuronal plasticity, which ultimately supports brain function and cognition. In agreement with this are numerous studies showing that sleep deprivation (SD) results in learning and memory impairments. Interestingly, such impairments appear to occur particularly when these learning and memory processes require the hippocampus, suggesting that this brain region may be particularly sensitive to the consequences of sleep loss. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep and memory formation remain to be investigated, available evidence suggests that SD may impair hippocampal neuronal plasticity and memory processes by attenuating intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) signaling which may lead to alterations in cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-mediated gene transcription, neurotrophic signaling, and glutamate receptor expression. When restricted sleep becomes a chronic condition, it causes a reduction of hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis, which may eventually lead to a reduction in hippocampal volume. Ultimately, by impairing hippocampal plasticity and function, chronically restricted and disrupted sleep contributes to cognitive disorders and psychiatric diseases.
Schulz, Alexander; Büttner, Robert; Toledo, Andrea; Baader, Stephan L.; von Maltzahn, Julia; Irintchev, Andrey; Bauer, Reinhard; Morrison, Helen
In contrast to axons of the central nervous system (CNS), axons of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) show better, but still incomplete and often slow regeneration following injury. The tumor suppressor protein merlin, mutated in the hereditary tumor syndrome Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), has recently been shown to have RhoA regulatory functions in PNS neurons—in addition to its well-characterized, growth-inhibitory activity in Schwann cells. Here we report that the conditional knockout of merlin in PNS neurons leads to impaired functional recovery of mice following sciatic nerve crush injury, in a gene-dosage dependent manner. Gross anatomical or electrophysiological alterations of sciatic nerves could not be detected. However, correlating with attenuated RhoA activation due to merlin deletion, ultrastructural analysis of nerve samples indicated enhanced sprouting of axons with reduced caliber size and increased myelination compared to wildtype animals. We conclude that deletion of the tumor suppressor merlin in the neuronal compartment of peripheral nerves results in compromised functional regeneration after injury. This mechanism could explain the clinical observation that NF2 patients suffer from higher incidences of slowly recovering facial nerve paralysis after vestibular schwannoma surgery. PMID:27467574
Valor, Luis M; Pulopulos, Matias M; Jimenez-Minchan, Maria; Olivares, Roman; Lutz, Beat; Barco, Angel
Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RSTS) is an inheritable disease associated with mutations in the gene encoding the CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein)-binding protein (CBP) and characterized by growth impairment, learning disabilities, and distinctive facial and skeletal features. Studies in mouse models for RSTS first suggested a direct role for CBP and histone acetylation in cognition and memory. Here, we took advantage of the genetic tools for generating mice in which the CBP gene is specifically deleted in postmitotic principal neurons of the forebrain to investigate the consequences of the loss of CBP in the adult brain. In contrast to the conventional CBP knock-out mice, which exhibit very early embryonic lethality, postnatal forebrain-restricted CBP mutants were viable and displayed no overt abnormalities. We identified the dimer of histones H2A and H2B as the preferred substrate of the histone acetyltransferase domain of CBP. Surprisingly, the loss of CBP and subsequent histone hypoacetylation had a very modest impact in the expression of a number of immediate early genes and did not affect neuronal viability. In addition, the behavioral characterization of these mice dissociated embryonic and postnatal deficits caused by impaired CBP function, narrowed down the anatomical substrate of specific behavioral defects, and confirmed the special sensitivity of object recognition memory to CBP deficiency. Overall, our study provides novel insights into RSTS etiology and clarifies some of the standing questions concerning the role of CBP and histone acetylation in activity-driven gene expression, memory formation, and neurodegeneration.
Frühholz, Sascha; Sander, David; Grandjean, Didier
Neuroimaging studies have verified the important integrative role of the basal ganglia during affective vocalizations. They, however, also point to additional regions supporting vocal monitoring, auditory-motor feedback processing, and online adjustments of vocal motor responses. For the case of affective vocalizations, we suggest partly extending the model to fully consider the link between primate-general and human-specific neural components.
Bardy, C; van den Hurk, M; Kakaradov, B; Erwin, J A; Jaeger, B N; Hernandez, R V; Eames, T; Paucar, A A; Gorris, M; Marchand, C; Jappelli, R; Barron, J; Bryant, A K; Kellogg, M; Lasken, R S; Rutten, B P F; Steinbusch, H W M; Yeo, G W; Gage, F H
Human neural progenitors derived from pluripotent stem cells develop into electrophysiologically active neurons at heterogeneous rates, which can confound disease-relevant discoveries in neurology and psychiatry. By combining patch clamping, morphological and transcriptome analysis on single-human neurons in vitro, we defined a continuum of poor to highly functional electrophysiological states of differentiated neurons. The strong correlations between action potentials, synaptic activity, dendritic complexity and gene expression highlight the importance of methods for isolating functionally comparable neurons for in vitro investigations of brain disorders. Although whole-cell electrophysiology is the gold standard for functional evaluation, it often lacks the scalability required for disease modeling studies. Here, we demonstrate a multimodal machine-learning strategy to identify new molecular features that predict the physiological states of single neurons, independently of the time spent in vitro. As further proof of concept, we selected one of the potential neurophysiological biomarkers identified in this study-GDAP1L1-to isolate highly functional live human neurons in vitro.
Muratore, Robert; LaManna, Justine; Szulman, Erin; Kalisz, M. S. Andrew; Lamprecht, Michael; Simon, M. S. Melissa; Yu, M. S. Zhe; Xu, Nina; Morrison, Barclay
Direct and safe manipulation of neurons by external means is an increasingly studied therapeutic modality with the potential to treat many neurological diseases. Anticipating such future applications, we investigated reversible bioeffects of very low dose focused ultrasound on neuronal cell morphology and function in vitro. To test morphological changes, undifferentiated PC12 cells were serum-cultured. The culture plates were placed on an inverted optical microscope. An f/1.1 ultrasound transducer with a water-filled coupling cone was focused on the culture and excited with 30-ms 4.67-MHz 100-kPa pulses. To test functional changes, rat hippocampal slices were cultured and individually transferred to the well of a 60-channel multi electrode array. An f/2.1 ultrasound transducer with a water-filled coupling cone was focused on a culture and excited with 100-μs 4.04-MHz 77-kPa pulses. The culture was stimulated before and after the ultrasonic stimulus with a 100-μs 100-μA biphasic electrical stimulus. Optical microscopy of PC12 cultures under insonification revealed that cells that were clustered near the ultrasound focal region elongated by approximately 2 μm during insonification and returned to approximately their original shapes following insonification. We conclude that the acoustic radiation force is capable of reversibly deforming cultured cells. In the rat hippocampal cultures, the ultrasonically and electrically evoked responses exhibited similar biphasic waveforms. In addition, robust electrically evoked responses following insonification indicated that the insonified cultures remained viable. We conclude that low-dose ultrasound can stimulate neurons; the mechanism is currently under investigation.
Yamada, K; Akasu, T
1. The effects of substance P (SP) and related tachykinins on the function of gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) receptors were examined in acutely dissociated neurones of bullfrog dorsal root ganglia (DRG) by using whole-cell voltage-clamp techniques. 2. Application of SP (10 nM to 1 microM) depressed inward currents produced by GABAA receptor activation (IGABA). Neurokinin A (NKA) and neurokinin B (NKB) also depressed IGABA; the rank order of agonist potency was SP > NKA > NKB. Spantide ([D-Arg1, D-Trp7,9,Leu11]SP) and L-703,606, NK1 receptor antagonists, blocked the SP-induced depression of IGABA. 3. SP irreversibly depressed IGABA, when neurones were intracellularly dialysed with GTP gamma S. Intracellular application of GDP beta S prevented the SP-induced depression of IGABA. Pertussis toxin (PTX) did not block the inhibitory effect of SP on IGABA. 4. The depression of IGABA produced by SP was inhibited by H-7 and PKC(19-36), protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors, but not by H-9 and HA-1004, protein kinase A inhibitors. IGABA was suppressed by application of sn-1,2-dioctanoyl glycerol (DOG), a PKC activator. 5. It is concluded that activation of neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptors downregulates the function of the GABAA receptor of primary sensory neurones through a PTX-insensitive G-protein. PKC may be involved in the transduction pathway of the tachykinin-induced inhibition of the GABAA receptor. PMID:8910228
Sharma, Ruchi; Livesey, Matthew Robert; Wyllie, David J A; Proudfoot, Christopher; Whitelaw, Christopher Bruce Alexander; Hay, David Christopher; Donadeu, Francesc Xavier
Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) offer unprecedented biomedical potential not only in relation to humans but also companion animals, particularly the horse. Despite this, attempts to generate bona fide equine embryonic stem cells have been unsuccessful. A very limited number of induced PSC lines have so far been generated from equine fibroblasts but their potential for directed differentiation into clinically relevant tissues has not been explored. In this study, we used retroviral vectors to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with comparatively high efficiency from equine keratinocytes. Expression of endogenous PSC markers (OCT4, SOX2, LIN28, NANOG, DNMT3B, and REX1) was effectively restored in these cells, which could also form in vivo several tissue derivatives of the three germ layers, including functional neurons, keratinized epithelium, cartilage, bone, muscle, and respiratory and gastric epithelia. Comparative analysis of different reprogrammed cell lines revealed an association between the ability of iPSCs to form well-differentiated teratomas and the distinct endogenous expression of OCT4 and REX1 and reduced expression of viral transgenes. Importantly, unlike in previous studies, equine iPSCs were successfully expanded using simplified feeder-free culture conditions, constituting significant progress toward future biomedical applications. Further, under appropriate conditions equine iPSCs generated cells with features of cholinergic motor neurons including the ability to generate action potentials, providing the first report of functional cells derived from equine iPSCs. The ability to derive electrically active neurons in vitro from a large animal reveals highly conserved pathways of differentiation across species and opens the way for new and exciting applications in veterinary regenerative medicine.
Huang, Chih-Hsu; Lin, Chou-Ching K; Ju, Ming-Shaung
Compared with the Monte Carlo method, the population density method is efficient for modeling collective dynamics of neuronal populations in human brain. In this method, a population density function describes the probabilistic distribution of states of all neurons in the population and it is governed by a hyperbolic partial differential equation. In the past, the problem was mainly solved by using the finite difference method. In a previous study, a continuous Galerkin finite element method was found better than the finite difference method for solving the hyperbolic partial differential equation; however, the population density function often has discontinuity and both methods suffer from a numerical stability problem. The goal of this study is to improve the numerical stability of the solution using discontinuous Galerkin finite element method. To test the performance of the new approach, interaction of a population of cortical pyramidal neurons and a population of thalamic neurons was simulated. The numerical results showed good agreement between results of discontinuous Galerkin finite element and Monte Carlo methods. The convergence and accuracy of the solutions are excellent. The numerical stability problem could be resolved using the discontinuous Galerkin finite element method which has total-variation-diminishing property. The efficient approach will be employed to simulate the electroencephalogram or dynamics of thalamocortical network which involves three populations, namely, thalamic reticular neurons, thalamocortical neurons and cortical pyramidal neurons.
Kallhoff-Munoz, Verena; Hu, Lingyun; Chen, Xiaoli; Pautler, Robia G.; Zheng, Hui
Cell cycle markers have been shown to be upregulated and proposed to lead to apoptosis of post-mitotic neurons in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Presenilin (PS) plays a critical role in AD pathogenesis, and loss of function studies in mice established a potent effect of PS in cell proliferation in peripheral tissues. Whether PS has a similar activity in the neuronal cell cycle has not been investigated. PS exhibits γ-secretase-dependent and -independent functions; the former requires aspartate 257 (D257) as part of the active site, and the latter involves the hydrophilic loop domain encoded by exon 10. We used two novel mouse models, one expressing the PS1 D257A mutation on a postnatal PS conditional knockout background and the other deleting exon 10 of PS1, to dissect the γ-secretase-dependent and -independent activities of PS in the adult CNS. Whereas γ-secretase plays a dominant role in neuronal survival, our studies reveal potent neuronal cell cycle regulation mediated by the PS1 hydrophilic loop. Although neurons expressing cell cycle markers do not directly succumb to apoptosis, they are more vulnerable under stress conditions. Importantly, our data identify a novel pool of cytoplasmic p53 as a downstream mediator of this cellular vulnerability. These results support a model whereby the PS γ-secretase activity is essential in maintaining neuronal viability, and the PS1 loop domain modulates neuronal homeostasis through cell cycle and cytoplasmic p53 control. PMID:18971484
Pinkernelle, Josephine; Fansa, Hisham; Ebmeyer, Uwe; Keilhoff, Gerburg
Background Minocycline, a second-generation tetracycline antibiotic, exhibits anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in various experimental models of neurological diseases, such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injury. However, conflicting results have prompted a debate regarding the beneficial effects of minocycline. Methods In this study, we analyzed minocycline treatment in organotypic spinal cord cultures of neonatal rats as a model of motor neuron survival and regeneration after injury. Minocycline was administered in 2 different concentrations (10 and 100 µM) at various time points in culture and fixed after 1 week. Results Prolonged minocycline administration decreased the survival of motor neurons in the organotypic cultures. This effect was strongly enhanced with higher concentrations of minocycline. High concentrations of minocycline reduced the number of DAPI-positive cell nuclei in organotypic cultures and simultaneously inhibited microglial activation. Astrocytes, which covered the surface of the control organotypic cultures, revealed a peripheral distribution after early minocycline treatment. Thus, we further analyzed the effects of 100 µM minocycline on the viability and migration ability of dispersed primary glial cell cultures. We found that minocycline reduced cell viability, delayed wound closure in a scratch migration assay and increased connexin 43 protein levels in these cultures. Conclusions The administration of high doses of minocycline was deleterious for motor neuron survival. In addition, it inhibited microglial activation and impaired glial viability and migration. These data suggest that especially high doses of minocycline might have undesired affects in treatment of spinal cord injury. Further experiments are required to determine the conditions for the safe clinical administration of minocycline in spinal cord injured patients. PMID:23967343
Ishida, Akimasa; Misumi, Sachiyo; Ueda, Yoshitomo; Shimizu, Yuko; Cha-Gyun, Jung; Tamakoshi, Keigo; Ishida, Kazuto; Hida, Hideki
Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) promotes functional recovery of impaired forelimbs after hemiplegic strokes, including intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We used a rat model of subcortical hemorrhage to compare the effects of delivering early or late CIMT after ICH. The rat model was made by injecting collagenase into the globus pallidus near the internal capsule, and then forcing rats to use the affected forelimb for 7 days starting either 1 day (early CIMT) or 17 days (late CIMT) after the lesion. Recovery of forelimb function in the skilled reaching test and the ladder stepping test was found after early-CIMT, while no significant recovery was shown after late CIMT or in the non-CIMT controls. Early CIMT was associated with greater numbers of ΔFosB-positive cells in the ipsi-lesional sensorimotor cortex layers II-III and V. Additionally, we found expression of the growth-related genes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and growth-related protein 43 (GAP-43), and abundant dendritic arborization of pyramidal neurons in the sensorimotor area. Similar results were not detected in the contra-lesional cortex. In contrast to early CIMT, late CIMT failed to induce any changes in plasticity. We conclude that CIMT induces molecular and morphological plasticity in the ipsi-lesional sensorimotor cortex and facilitates better functional recovery when initiated immediately after hemorrhage.
Badin, Antoine-Scott; Fermani, Francesco; Greenfield, Susan A.
“Neuronal assemblies” are defined here as coalitions within the brain of millions of neurons extending in space up to 1–2 mm, and lasting for hundreds of milliseconds: as such they could potentially link bottom-up, micro-scale with top-down, macro-scale events. The perspective first compares the features in vitro versus in vivo of this underappreciated “meso-scale” level of brain processing, secondly considers the various diverse functions in which assemblies may play a pivotal part, and thirdly analyses whether the surprisingly spatially extensive and prolonged temporal properties of assemblies can be described exclusively in terms of classic synaptic transmission or whether additional, different types of signaling systems are likely to operate. Based on our own voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSDI) data acquired in vitro we show how restriction to only one signaling process, i.e., synaptic transmission, is unlikely to be adequate for modeling the full profile of assemblies. Based on observations from VSDI with its protracted spatio-temporal scales, we suggest that two other, distinct processes are likely to play a significant role in assembly dynamics: “volume” transmission (the passive diffusion of diverse bioactive transmitters, hormones, and modulators), as well as electrotonic spread via gap junctions. We hypothesize that a combination of all three processes has the greatest potential for deriving a realistic model of assemblies and hence elucidating the various complex brain functions that they may mediate. PMID:28119576
Mishra, Bibhudatta; Gul, Sheraz; Chaudhury, Sidhartha; Wallqvist, Anders; Kaur, Gurcharan; Schachner, Melitta
Polysialic acid (PSA), a large, linear glycan composed of 8 to over 100 α2,8-linked sialic acid residues, modulates development of the nervous system by enhancing cell migration, axon pathfinding, synaptic targeting and by regulating differentiation of progenitor cells. PSA also functions in developing and adult immune systems and is a signature of many cancers. In this study we identified vinorelbine, a semi-synthetic third generation vinca alkaloid, and epirubicin, an anthracycline and 4′-epimer of doxorubicin, as PSA mimetics. Similar to PSA, vinorelbine and epirubicin bind to the PSA-specific monoclonal antibody 735 and compete with the bacterial analogue of PSA, colominic acid in binding to monoclonal antibody 735. Vinorelbine and epirubicin stimulate neurite outgrowth of cerebellar neurons via the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), via myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate, and via fibroblast growth factor receptor, signaling through Erk pathways. Furthermore, the two compounds enhance process formation of Schwann cells and migration of cerebellar neurons in culture, and reduce migration of astrocytes after injury. These novel results show that the structure and function of PSA can be mimicked by the small organic compounds vinorelbine and epirubicin, thus raising the possibility to retarget drugs used in treatment of cancers to nervous system repair. PMID:26443186
Rubio, Marina; Villain, Hélène; Docagne, Fabian; Roussel, Benoit D; Ramos, José Antonio; Vivien, Denis; Fernandez-Ruiz, Javier; Ali, Carine
Cessation of chronic ethanol consumption can increase the sensitivity of the brain to excitotoxic damages. Cannabinoids have been proposed as neuroprotectants in different models of neuronal injury, but their effect have never been investigated in a context of excitotoxicity after alcohol cessation. Here we examined the effects of the pharmacological activation/inhibition of the endocannabinoid system in an in vitro model of chronic ethanol exposure and withdrawal followed by an excitotoxic challenge. Ethanol withdrawal increased N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-evoked neuronal death, probably by altering the ratio between GluN2A and GluN2B NMDA receptor subunits. The stimulation of the endocannabinoid system with the cannabinoid agonist HU-210 decreased NMDA-induced neuronal death exclusively in ethanol-withdrawn neurons. This neuroprotection could be explained by a decrease in NMDA-stimulated calcium influx after the administration of HU-210, found exclusively in ethanol-withdrawn neurons. By contrast, the inhibition of the cannabinoid system with the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant (SR141716) during ethanol withdrawal increased death of ethanol-withdrawn neurons without any modification of NMDA-stimulated calcium influx. Moreover, chronic administration of rimonabant increased NMDA-stimulated toxicity not only in withdrawn neurons, but also in control neurons. In summary, we show for the first time that the stimulation of the endocannabinoid system is protective against the hyperexcitability developed during alcohol withdrawal. By contrast, the blockade of the endocannabinoid system is highly counterproductive during alcohol withdrawal.