Science.gov

Sample records for affect neuronal function

  1. Disruption of astrocyte-neuron cholesterol cross talk affects neuronal function in Huntington's disease

    PubMed Central

    Valenza, M; Marullo, M; Di Paolo, E; Cesana, E; Zuccato, C; Biella, G; Cattaneo, E

    2015-01-01

    In the adult brain, neurons require local cholesterol production, which is supplied by astrocytes through apoE-containing lipoproteins. In Huntington's disease (HD), such cholesterol biosynthesis in the brain is severely reduced. Here we show that this defect, occurring in astrocytes, is detrimental for HD neurons. Astrocytes bearing the huntingtin protein containing increasing CAG repeats secreted less apoE-lipoprotein-bound cholesterol in the medium. Conditioned media from HD astrocytes and lipoprotein-depleted conditioned media from wild-type (wt) astrocytes were equally detrimental in a neurite outgrowth assay and did not support synaptic activity in HD neurons, compared with conditions of cholesterol supplementation or conditioned media from wt astrocytes. Molecular perturbation of cholesterol biosynthesis and efflux in astrocytes caused similarly altered astrocyte–neuron cross talk, whereas enhancement of glial SREBP2 and ABCA1 function reversed the aspects of neuronal dysfunction in HD. These findings indicate that astrocyte-mediated cholesterol homeostasis could be a potential therapeutic target to ameliorate neuronal dysfunction in HD. PMID:25301063

  2. Expression of PKC iota affects neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells at least partly independent of kinase function

    PubMed Central

    Doonachar, Alana; Schoenfeld, Alan R.

    2014-01-01

    Atypical PKC (aPKC) plays a role in establishing cell polarity and has been indicated in neuronal differentiation and polarization, including neurite formation in rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells, albeit by unclear mechanisms. Here, the role of the aPKC isoform, PKC iota (PKCι), in the early neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells was investigated. NGF-treated PC12 cells with stably expressed exogenous wild-type PKCι showed decreased expression of a neuroendocrine marker, increased expression of a neuronal marker, and increased neurite formation. Stable expression of a kinase- inactive PKCι, but not constitutively active PKCι lacking a regulatory domain, had similar although less potent effects. Pharmacological inhibition of endogenous aPKC kinase activity in parental PC12 cells did not inhibit neurite formation, suggesting that some of the observed effects of PKCι expression on neuronal differentiation are kinase- independent. Interestingly, exogenous expression of wild-type and kinase-inactive PKCι had little effect on overall PKCι activity, but caused a decrease in PKC zeta (PKCζ) kinase activity, suggesting an interplay between the two isoforms that may underlie the observed results. Overall, these findings suggest that in PC12 and perhaps other neuroendocrine precursor cells, PKCι influences an early differentiation decision between the neuroendocrine (chromaffin) and sympathetic neuron cell lineages, potentially by affecting PKCζ function. PMID:24910851

  3. Defects in the COG complex and COG-related trafficking regulators affect neuronal Golgi function

    PubMed Central

    Climer, Leslie K.; Dobretsov, Maxim; Lupashin, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. [Changes in ingestive behavior during growth affects the functional maturation of temporomandibular joint nociceptive neurons of rats].

    PubMed

    Maya, Hiranuma

    2013-03-01

    Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) loading during development promotes its growth and maintains normal structure/function. Continuous change in diet consistency is related to development and maturation of the peripheral nervous system, including the nociceptive system. However, the functional modulation of TMJ-nociceptive neurons under different ingestive behavior is unclear. We fed growing rats a liquid diet to investigate the effects of low TMJ loading on the response properties of neurons in the trigeminal spinal tract subnucleus caudalis (Sp5C). Forty 2-week-old male rats were used. They were fed chow pellets (n = 20, C group) or a liquid diet (n = 20, LD group) soon after weaning. Firing activities of single sensory units in response to TMJ pressure stimuli were recorded at 4, 5, 7 and 9 weeks. In TMJ-nociceptive neurons, the firing threshold (FT) in the LD group was significantly lower than that in the C group at each recording age. The FT in the C group remained unchanged throughout the recording period, whereas that in the LD group was the highest at 4 weeks, and gradually decreased. On the other hand, the initial firing frequency (IFF) was significantly higher in the LD group than in the C group at each recording age. The IFF in the C group remained unchanged throughout the experimental period, whereas that in the LD group was at its lowest at 4 weeks, and gradually increased. Based on these findings, ingestive behavior that results from continuous changes in the physical consistency of the diet during growth may affect the functional maturation of TMJ-nociceptive neurons. PMID:23659164

  5. [Changes in ingestive behavior during growth affects the functional maturation of temporomandibular joint nociceptive neurons of rats].

    PubMed

    Maya, Hiranuma

    2013-03-01

    Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) loading during development promotes its growth and maintains normal structure/function. Continuous change in diet consistency is related to development and maturation of the peripheral nervous system, including the nociceptive system. However, the functional modulation of TMJ-nociceptive neurons under different ingestive behavior is unclear. We fed growing rats a liquid diet to investigate the effects of low TMJ loading on the response properties of neurons in the trigeminal spinal tract subnucleus caudalis (Sp5C). Forty 2-week-old male rats were used. They were fed chow pellets (n = 20, C group) or a liquid diet (n = 20, LD group) soon after weaning. Firing activities of single sensory units in response to TMJ pressure stimuli were recorded at 4, 5, 7 and 9 weeks. In TMJ-nociceptive neurons, the firing threshold (FT) in the LD group was significantly lower than that in the C group at each recording age. The FT in the C group remained unchanged throughout the recording period, whereas that in the LD group was the highest at 4 weeks, and gradually decreased. On the other hand, the initial firing frequency (IFF) was significantly higher in the LD group than in the C group at each recording age. The IFF in the C group remained unchanged throughout the experimental period, whereas that in the LD group was at its lowest at 4 weeks, and gradually increased. Based on these findings, ingestive behavior that results from continuous changes in the physical consistency of the diet during growth may affect the functional maturation of TMJ-nociceptive neurons.

  6. p53 Regulates the neuronal intrinsic and extrinsic responses affecting the recovery of motor function following spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Floriddia, Elisa M; Rathore, Khizr I; Tedeschi, Andrea; Quadrato, Giorgia; Wuttke, Anja; Lueckmann, Jan-Matthis; Kigerl, Kristina A; Popovich, Phillip G; Di Giovanni, Simone

    2012-10-01

    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.

  7. Interactions of neurons with topographic nano cues affect branching morphology mimicking neuron-neuron interactions.

    PubMed

    Baranes, Koby; Kollmar, Davida; Chejanovsky, Nathan; Sharoni, Amos; Shefi, Orit

    2012-08-01

    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.

  8. Allotransplanted DRG neurons or Schwann cells affect functional recovery in a rodent model of sciatic nerve injury

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Weimin; Markman, John D.; Gelbard, Harris A.; Huang, Jason H.

    2015-01-01

    Objective In this study, the functional recoveries of Sprague-Dawley rats following repair of a complete sciatic nerve transection using allotransplanted dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons or Schwann cells were examined using a number of outcome measures. Methods Four groups were compared: (1) repair with a nerve guide conduit seeded with allotransplanted Schwann cells harvested from Wistar rats, (2) repair with a nerve guide conduit seeded with DRG neurons, (3) repair with solely a nerve guide conduit, and (4) sham-surgery animals where the sciatic nerve was left intact. The results corroborated our previous reported histology findings and measures of immunogenicity. Results The Wistar-DRG-treated group achieved the best recovery, significantly outperforming both the Wistar-Schwann group and the nerve guide conduit group in the Von Frey assay of touch response (P < 0.05). Additionally, Wistar-DRG and Wistar-Schwann seeded repairs showed lower frequency and severity in an autotomy measure of the self-mutilation of the injured leg because of neuralgia. Conclusion These results suggest that in complete peripheral nerve transections, surgical repair using nerve guide conduits with allotransplanted DRG and Schwann cells may improve recovery, especially DRG neurons, which elicit less of an immune response. PMID:24836462

  9. REST levels affect the functional expression of voltage dependent calcium channels and the migratory activity in immortalized GnRH neurons.

    PubMed

    Antoniotti, Susanna; Ruffinatti, Federico Alessandro; Torriano, Simona; Luganini, Anna; D'Alessandro, Rosalba; Lovisolo, Davide

    2016-08-26

    The repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) has emerged as a key controller of neuronal differentiation and has been shown to play a critical role in the expression of the neuronal phenotype; however, much has still to be learned about its role at specific developmental stages and about the functional targets affected. Among these targets, calcium signaling mechanisms are critically dependent on the developmental stage and their full expression is a hallmark of the mature, functional neuron. We have analyzed the role played by REST in GN11 cells, an immortalized cell line derived from gonadotropin hormone releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons at an early developmental stage, electrically non-excitable and with a strong migratory activity. We show for the first time that functional voltage-dependent calcium channels are expressed in wild type GN11 cells; down-regulation of REST by a silencing approach shifts these cells towards a more differentiated phenotype, increasing the functional expression of P/Q-type channels and reducing their migratory potential. PMID:27349310

  10. Neurofilament assembly and function during neuronal development.

    PubMed

    Laser-Azogui, Adi; Kornreich, Micha; Malka-Gibor, Eti; Beck, Roy

    2015-02-01

    Studies on the assembly of neuronal intermediate filaments (IFs) date back to the early work of Alzheimer. Developing neurons express a series of IF proteins, sequentially, at distinct stages of mammalian cell differentiation. This correlates with altered morphologies during the neuronal development, including axon outgrowth, guidance and conductivity. Importantly, neuronal IFs that fail to properly assemble into a filamentous network are a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease. Traditional structural methodologies fail to fully describe neuronal IF assembly, interactions and resulting function due to IFs structural plasticity, particularly in their C-terminal domains. We review here current progress in the field of neuronal-specific IFs, a dominant component affecting the cytoskeletal structure and function of neurons.

  11. Impaired thyroid function provoked by neonatal treatment with drugs affecting the maturation of monoaminergic and opioidergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Mess, B; Rúzsás, C; Hayashi, S

    1989-09-01

    The aim of the present work was to study the basal secretion rate and the reactivity of the TSH-thyroid axis in adult rats neonatally exposed to drugs influencing monoaminergic and opioidergic neurons. The early postnatal administration of drugs antagonistic with the dopaminergic or serotoninergic neurons resulted in a persistent higher rate of basal secretion of TSH, while the administration of drugs synergistic with the monoaminergic neuron systems was weakly influential in this respect. The exposure to opioids in the perinatal period resulted in a permanent reduction of serum TSH levels which was even more pronounced when the exposure to morphine was advanced to the fetal period of life. These data raise the possibility that the permanent TSH depressing effect of perinatal administration of opioids is due to their effect exerted on the maturation of the monoaminergic neurons. From the other hand, our results lead to assume that there is a perinatal critical period in the maturation of monoaminergic neurons regulating TSH secretion in the adult age. In accordance with this assumption, the data obtained in rats bearing perinatal neurotoxic destruction of catecholaminergic neurons contribute to the concept that the disturbed maturation of monoaminergic neurons in the supposed critical period of development might lead to permanent deficiency also in the reactivity of the TSH-thyroid axis.

  12. Mitochondrial retrograde signaling regulates neuronal function

    PubMed Central

    Cagin, Umut; Duncan, Olivia F.; Gatt, Ariana P.; Dionne, Marc S.; Sweeney, Sean T.; Bateman, Joseph M.

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are key regulators of cellular homeostasis, and mitochondrial dysfunction is strongly linked to neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Mitochondria communicate their bioenergetic status to the cell via mitochondrial retrograde signaling. To investigate the role of mitochondrial retrograde signaling in neurons, we induced mitochondrial dysfunction in the Drosophila nervous system. Neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction causes reduced viability, defects in neuronal function, decreased redox potential, and reduced numbers of presynaptic mitochondria and active zones. We find that neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction stimulates a retrograde signaling response that controls the expression of several hundred nuclear genes. We show that the Drosophila hypoxia inducible factor alpha (HIFα) ortholog Similar (Sima) regulates the expression of several of these retrograde genes, suggesting that Sima mediates mitochondrial retrograde signaling. Remarkably, knockdown of Sima restores neuronal function without affecting the primary mitochondrial defect, demonstrating that mitochondrial retrograde signaling is partly responsible for neuronal dysfunction. Sima knockdown also restores function in a Drosophila model of the mitochondrial disease Leigh syndrome and in a Drosophila model of familial Parkinson’s disease. Thus, mitochondrial retrograde signaling regulates neuronal activity and can be manipulated to enhance neuronal function, despite mitochondrial impairment. PMID:26489648

  13. α2δ-1 Gene Deletion Affects Somatosensory Neuron Function and Delays Mechanical Hypersensitivity in Response to Peripheral Nerve Damage

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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

  14. Calcium, iron and neuronal function.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, Cecilia; Núñez, Marco T

    2007-01-01

    Calcium and iron play dual roles in neuronal function: they are both essential but when present in excess they cause neuronal damage and may even induce neuronal death. Calcium signals are required for synaptic plasticity, a neuronal process that entails gene expression and which is presumably the cellular counterpart of cognitive brain functions such as learning and memory. Neuronal activity generates cytoplasmic and nuclear calcium signals that in turn stimulate pathways that promote the transcription of genes known to participate in synaptic plasticity. In addition, evidence discussed in this article shows that iron deficiency causes learning and memory impairments that persist following iron repletion, indicating that iron is necessary for normal development of cognitive functions. Recent results from our group indicate that iron is required for long-term potentiation in hippocampal CA1 neurons and that iron stimulates ryanodine receptor-mediated calcium release through ROS produced via the Fenton reaction leading to stimulation of the ERK signaling pathway. These combined results support a coordinated action between iron and calcium in synaptic plasticity and raise the possibility that elevated iron levels may contribute to neuronal degeneration through excessive intracellular calcium increase caused by iron-induced oxidative stress. PMID:17505966

  15. MECP2e1 isoform mutation affects the form and function of neurons derived from Rett syndrome patient iPS cells.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-04-01

    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.

  16. Neuron's function revealed

    SciTech Connect

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Disruption of ArhGAP15 results in hyperactive Rac1, affects the architecture and function of hippocampal inhibitory neurons and causes cognitive deficits

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Neuronal models of cognitive functions.

    PubMed

    Changeux, J P; Dehaene, S

    1989-11-01

    Understanding the neural bases of cognition has become a scientifically tractable problem, and neurally plausible models are proposed to establish a causal link between biological structure and cognitive function. To this end, levels of organization have to be defined within the functional architecture of neuronal systems. Transitions from any one of these interacting levels to the next are viewed in an evolutionary perspective. They are assumed to involve: (1) the production of multiple transient variations and (2) the selection of some of them by higher levels via the interaction with the outside world. The time-scale of these "evolutions" is expected to differ from one level to the other. In the course of development and in the adult this internal evolution is epigenetic and does not require alteration of the structure of the genome. A selective stabilization (and elimination) of synaptic connections by spontaneous and/or evoked activity in developing neuronal networks is postulated to contribute to the shaping of the adult connectivity within an envelope of genetically encoded forms. At a higher level, models of mental representations, as states of activity of defined populations of neurons, are discussed in terms of statistical physics, and their storage is viewed as a process of selection among variable and transient pre-representations. Theoretical models illustrate that cognitive functions such as short-term memory and handling of temporal sequences may be constrained by "microscopic" physical parameters. Finally, speculations are offered about plausible neuronal models and selectionist implementations of intentions. PMID:2691185

  19. Lack of dystrophin functionally affects α3β2/β4-nicotinic acethylcholine receptors in sympathetic neurons of dystrophic mdx mice.

    PubMed

    Di Angelantonio, Silvia; De Stefano, Maria Egle; Piccioni, Alessio; Lombardi, Loredana; Gotti, Cecilia; Paggi, Paola

    2011-02-01

    In the sympathetic superior cervical ganglion (SCG), nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast synaptic transmission. We previously demonstrated that in SCG neurons of mdx mice, an animal model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, lack of dystrophin causes a decrease, compared to the wild-type, in post-synaptic nAChRs containing the α3 subunit associated with β2 and/or β4 (α3β2/β4-nAChRs), but not in those containing the α7 subunit. Here we show, by whole cell patch-clamp recordings from cultured SCG neurons, that both nicotine and acetylcholine-evoked currents through α3β2/β4-nAChRs are significantly reduced in mdx mice compared to the wild-type, while those through α7-nAChR are unaffected. This reduction associates with that of protein levels of α3, β2 and β4 subunits. Therefore, we suggest that, in mdx mouse SCG neurons, lack of dystrophin, by specifically affecting membrane stabilization of α3β2/β4-nAChRs, could determine an increase in receptor internalization and degradation, with consequent reduction in the fast intraganglionic cholinergic transmission.

  20. Using light to probe neuronal function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  1. Non-linear leak currents affect mammalian neuron physiology

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shiwei; Hong, Sungho; De Schutter, Erik

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. Dual role of medial A10 dopamine neurons in affective encoding.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhong-Hua; Shin, Rick; Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2008-11-01

    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. PMID:18256592

  3. Interaction function of coupled bursting neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Shi; Jiadong, Zhang

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Interaction function of coupled bursting neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Shi; Jiadong, Zhang

    2016-06-01

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

  5. Functional connectivity in in vitro neuronal assemblies

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    PubMed

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    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. PMID:24775147

  7. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    PubMed

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    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.

  8. On whether mirror neurons play a significant role in processing affective prosody.

    PubMed

    Ramachandra, Vijayachandra

    2009-02-01

    Several behavioral and neuroimaging studies have indicated that both right and left cortical structures and a few subcortical ones are involved in processing affective prosody. Recent investigations have shown that the mirror neuron system plays a crucial role in several higher-level functions such as empathy, theory of mind, language, etc., but no studies so far link the mirror neuron system with affective prosody. In this paper is a speculation that the mirror neuron system, which serves as a common neural substrate for different higher-level functions, may play a significant role in processing affective prosody via its connections with the limbic lobe. Actual research must apply electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques to assess whether the mirror neuron systems underly affective prosody in humans.

  9. Rehabilitation drives enhancement of neuronal structure in functionally relevant neuronal subsets.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ling; Conner, James M; Nagahara, Alan H; Tuszynski, Mark H

    2016-03-01

    We determined whether rehabilitation after cortical injury also drives dynamic dendritic and spine changes in functionally distinct subsets of neurons, resulting in functional recovery. Moreover, given known requirements for cholinergic systems in mediating complex forms of cortical plasticity, including skilled motor learning, we hypothesized that cholinergic systems are essential mediators of neuronal structural and functional plasticity associated with motor rehabilitation. Adult rats learned a skilled forelimb grasping task and then, underwent destructive lesions of the caudal forelimb region of the motor cortex, resulting in nearly complete loss of grasping ability. Subsequent intensive rehabilitation significantly enhanced both dendritic architecture and spine number in the adjoining rostral forelimb area compared with that in the lesioned animals that were not rehabilitated. Cholinergic ablation markedly attenuated rehabilitation-induced recovery in both neuronal structure and motor function. Thus, rehabilitation focused on an affected limb robustly drives structural compensation in perilesion cortex, enabling functional recovery. PMID:26903653

  10. Rehabilitation drives enhancement of neuronal structure in functionally relevant neuronal subsets

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ling; Conner, James M.; Nagahara, Alan H.; Tuszynski, Mark H.

    2016-01-01

    We determined whether rehabilitation after cortical injury also drives dynamic dendritic and spine changes in functionally distinct subsets of neurons, resulting in functional recovery. Moreover, given known requirements for cholinergic systems in mediating complex forms of cortical plasticity, including skilled motor learning, we hypothesized that cholinergic systems are essential mediators of neuronal structural and functional plasticity associated with motor rehabilitation. Adult rats learned a skilled forelimb grasping task and then, underwent destructive lesions of the caudal forelimb region of the motor cortex, resulting in nearly complete loss of grasping ability. Subsequent intensive rehabilitation significantly enhanced both dendritic architecture and spine number in the adjoining rostral forelimb area compared with that in the lesioned animals that were not rehabilitated. Cholinergic ablation markedly attenuated rehabilitation-induced recovery in both neuronal structure and motor function. Thus, rehabilitation focused on an affected limb robustly drives structural compensation in perilesion cortex, enabling functional recovery. PMID:26903653

  11. Mirror neurons: functions, mechanisms and models.

    PubMed

    Oztop, Erhan; Kawato, Mitsuo; Arbib, Michael A

    2013-04-12

    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.

  12. Toxoplasma gondii Actively Inhibits Neuronal Function in Chronically Infected Mice

    PubMed Central

    Haroon, Fahad; Händel, Ulrike; Angenstein, Frank; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Kreutzmann, Peter; Lison, Holger; Fischer, Klaus-Dieter; Scheich, Henning; Wetzel, Wolfram; Schlüter, Dirk; Budinger, Eike

    2012-01-01

    Upon infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, fast replicating tachyzoites infect a broad spectrum of host cells including neurons. Under the pressure of the immune response, tachyzoites convert into slow-replicating bradyzoites, which persist as cysts in neurons. Currently, it is unclear whether T. gondii alters the functional activity of neurons, which may contribute to altered behaviour of T. gondii–infected mice and men. In the present study we demonstrate that upon oral infection with T. gondii cysts, chronically infected BALB/c mice lost over time their natural fear against cat urine which was paralleled by the persistence of the parasite in brain regions affecting behaviour and odor perception. Detailed immunohistochemistry showed that in infected neurons not only parasitic cysts but also the host cell cytoplasm and some axons stained positive for Toxoplasma antigen suggesting that parasitic proteins might directly interfere with neuronal function. In fact, in vitro live cell calcium (Ca2+) imaging studies revealed that tachyzoites actively manipulated Ca2+ signalling upon glutamate stimulation leading either to hyper- or hypo-responsive neurons. Experiments with the endoplasmatic reticulum Ca2+ uptake inhibitor thapsigargin indicate that tachyzoites deplete Ca2+ stores in the endoplasmatic reticulum. Furthermore in vivo studies revealed that the activity-dependent uptake of the potassium analogue thallium was reduced in cyst harbouring neurons indicating their functional impairment. The percentage of non-functional neurons increased over time In conclusion, both bradyzoites and tachyzoites functionally silence infected neurons, which may significantly contribute to the altered behaviour of the host. PMID:22530040

  13. Towards functional classification of neuronal types

    PubMed Central

    Sharpee, Tatyana O.

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Neurons with radial basis like rate functions.

    PubMed

    Kovács, Zsolt László

    2005-01-01

    Artificial neural networks constructed with "locally tuned processing units" and more generally referred to as "radial basis function networks" have been proposed by a number of workers. In this communication, I submit a conjecture, based on indirect experimental and direct computational evidence of the Hodgkin-Huxley model, that there may be biological neurons in nervous systems for which the rate function is locally tuned. If proved to be valid, this conjecture may simplify neurodynamic models of some functions of nervous systems.

  15. Mild hypoxia affects synaptic connectivity in cultured neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Hofmeijer, Jeannette; Mulder, Alex T B; Farinha, Ana C; van Putten, Michel J A M; le Feber, Joost

    2014-04-01

    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.

  16. Multiscale fingerprinting of neuronal functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Song, Gang; Tin, Chung; Poon, Chi-Sang

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Current cellular-based connectomics approaches aim to delineate the functional or structural organizations of mammalian brain circuits through neuronal activity mapping and/or axonal tracing. To discern possible connectivity between functionally identified neurons in widely distributed brain circuits, reliable and efficient network-based approaches of cross-registering or cross-correlating such functional-structural data are essential. Here, a novel cross-correlation approach that exploits multiple timing-specific, response-specific and cell-specific neuronal characteristics as coincident fingerprint markers at the systems, network and cellular levels is proposed. Application of this multiscale temporal-cellular coincident fingerprinting assay to the respiratory central pattern generator network in rats revealed a descending excitatory pathway with characteristic activity pattern and projecting from a distinct neuronal population in pons to its counterparts in medulla that control the post-inspiratory phase of the respiratory rhythm important for normal breathing, airway protection and respiratory-vocalization coordination. This enabling neurotracing approach may prove valuable for functional connectivity mapping of other brain circuits. PMID:25056933

  17. The Mec-8 Gene of Caenorhabditis Elegans Affects Muscle and Sensory Neuron Function and Interacts with Three Other Genes: Unc-52, Smu-1 and Smu-2

    PubMed Central

    Lundquist, E. A.; Herman, R. K.

    1994-01-01

    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

  18. Endocannabinoid functions controlling neuronal specification during brain development.

    PubMed

    Harkany, Tibor; Keimpema, Erik; Barabás, Klaudia; Mulder, Jan

    2008-04-16

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) regulate a broad range of physiological functions in the postnatal brain and are implicated in the neuropathogenesis of psychiatric and metabolic diseases. Accumulating evidence indicates that eCB signaling also serves key functions during neurodevelopment; and is inherently involved in the control of neurogenesis, neural progenitor proliferation, lineage segregation, and the migration and phenotypic specification of immature neurons. Recent advances in developmental biology define fundamental eCB-driven cellular mechanisms that also contribute to our understanding of the molecular substrates of prenatal drug, in particular cannabis, actions. Here, we summarize known organizing principles of eCB-signaling systems in the developing telencephalon, and outline the sequence of decision points and underlying signaling pathways upon CB1 cannabinoid receptor activation that contribute to neuronal diversification in the developing brain. Finally, we discuss how these novel principles affect the formation of complex neuronal networks.

  19. Familial Dysautonomia (FD) Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived PNS Neurons Reveal that Synaptic Vesicular and Neuronal Transport Genes Are Directly or Indirectly Affected by IKBKAP Downregulation

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  20. Revealing neuronal function through microelectrode array recordings

    PubMed Central

    Obien, Marie Engelene J.; Deligkaris, Kosmas; Bullmann, Torsten; Bakkum, Douglas J.; Frey, Urs

    2015-01-01

    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

  1. The Drosophila Transcription Factor Dimmed Affects Neuronal Growth and Differentiation in Multiple Ways Depending on Neuron Type and Developmental Stage

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yiting; Luo, Jiangnan; Nässel, Dick R.

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Probability density function learning by unsupervised neurons.

    PubMed

    Fiori, S

    2001-10-01

    In a recent work, we introduced the concept of pseudo-polynomial adaptive activation function neuron (FAN) and presented an unsupervised information-theoretic learning theory for such structure. The learning model is based on entropy optimization and provides a way of learning probability distributions from incomplete data. The aim of the present paper is to illustrate some theoretical features of the FAN neuron, to extend its learning theory to asymmetrical density function approximation, and to provide an analytical and numerical comparison with other known density function estimation methods, with special emphasis to the universal approximation ability. The paper also provides a survey of PDF learning from incomplete data, as well as results of several experiments performed on real-world problems and signals. PMID:11709808

  3. Involvement of the mirror neuron system in blunted affect in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung Suk; Chun, Ji Won; Yoon, Sang Young; Park, Hae-Jeong; Kim, Jae-Jin

    2014-01-01

    Blunted affect is a relatively enduring schizophrenic symptom and its presence brings about poor functioning and outcomes. Functional impairment in the mirror neuron system which is involved in both motor execution and imitation may be a neural basis of blunted affect, but it is not proved yet. Fifteen patients with schizophrenia and 16 healthy controls performed the facial expression task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The task was to reproduce facial expressions in response to the face or word stimuli for happiness, sadness, and meaningless expression. Brain activities during facial expressions in patients compared with controls and their relationship with affective flattening were analyzed. Compared to controls, patients exhibited decreased activity in the widespread dorsal frontal regions and increased activity in the ventral frontal and subcortical regions. Patients also demonstrated significant negative correlation of the severity of affective flattening with activities in the mirror neuron system, such as the premotor cortex, motor cortex, and inferior parietal lobule. Emotional expression in patients with schizophrenia may be related to hypoactivity of the dorsal system and hyperactivity of the ventral system. An imbalance of these two systems may contribute to blunted affect. Directly addressing blunted affect using emotional expression provides a new perspective that functional disturbance of the mirror neuron system may play an important role in manifestation of blunted affect in schizophrenia.

  4. Decreased function of survival motor neuron protein impairs endocytic pathways.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-07-26

    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

  5. Sperm function in affective illness.

    PubMed

    Amsterdam, J; Winokur, A; Levin, R

    1981-04-01

    There is evidence for functional changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis of patients with affective disorders. Little is known concerning spermatogenesis or sperm function in depressed men. We systematically evaluated the sperm indices in a group of depressed males complaining of diminished libido, and a healthy control group. No differences were noted in sperm parameters between the groups.

  6. ANALOG QUANTUM NEURON FOR FUNCTIONS APPROXIMATION

    SciTech Connect

    A. EZHOV; A. KHROMOV; G. BERMAN

    2001-05-01

    We describe a system able to perform universal stochastic approximations of continuous multivariable functions in both neuron-like and quantum manner. The implementation of this model in the form of multi-barrier multiple-silt system has been earlier proposed. For the simplified waveguide variant of this model it is proved, that the system can approximate any continuous function of many variables. This theorem is also applied to the 2-input quantum neural model analogical to the schemes developed for quantum control.

  7. Neuronal migration and its disorders affecting the CA3 region

    PubMed Central

    Belvindrah, Richard; Nosten-Bertrand, Marika; Francis, Fiona

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. Investigating neuronal function with optically controllable proteins

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xin X.; Pan, Michael; Lin, Michael Z.

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. The origin and function of mirror neurons: the missing link.

    PubMed

    Lingnau, Angelika; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2014-04-01

    We argue, by analogy to the neural organization of the object recognition system, that demonstration of modulation of mirror neurons by associative learning does not imply absence of genetic adaptation. Innate connectivity defines the types of processes mirror neurons can participate in while allowing for extensive local plasticity. However, the proper function of these neurons remains to be worked out.

  10. Dopamine neurons share common response function for reward prediction error

    PubMed Central

    Eshel, Neir; Tian, Ju; Bukwich, Michael; Uchida, Naoshige

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Dopamine neurons share common response function for reward prediction error.

    PubMed

    Eshel, Neir; Tian, Ju; Bukwich, Michael; Uchida, Naoshige

    2016-03-01

    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 marked 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 were able to 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

  12. Dopamine neurons share common response function for reward prediction error.

    PubMed

    Eshel, Neir; Tian, Ju; Bukwich, Michael; Uchida, Naoshige

    2016-03-01

    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 marked 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 were able to 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.

  13. Neuronal ferritin heavy chain and drug abuse affect HIV-associated cognitive dysfunction.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  14. Neuronal ferritin heavy chain and drug abuse affect HIV-associated cognitive dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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

  15. Role of PPARγ in the Differentiation and Function of Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Quintanilla, Rodrigo A.; Utreras, Elias; Cabezas-Opazo, Fabián A.

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal processes (neurites and axons) have an important role in brain cells communication and, generally, they are damaged in neurodegenerative diseases. Recent evidence has showed that the activation of PPARγ pathway promoted neuronal differentiation and axon polarity. In addition, activation of PPARγ using thiazolidinediones (TZDs) prevented neurodegeneration by reducing neuronal death, improving mitochondrial function, and decreasing neuroinflammation in neuropathic pain. In this review, we will discuss important evidence that supports a possible role of PPARγ in neuronal development, improvement of neuronal health, and pain signaling. Therefore, activation of PPARγ is a potential target with therapeutic applications against neurodegenerative disorders, brain injury, and pain regulation. PMID:25246934

  16. In utero electroporation followed by primary neuronal culture for studying gene function in subset of cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Rice, Heather; Suth, Seiyam; Cavanaugh, William; Bai, Jilin; Young-Pearse, Tracy L

    2010-10-08

    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. 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.

  17. Space flight affects magnocellular supraoptic neurons of young prepuberal rats: transient and permanent effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garcia-Ovejero, D.; Trejo, J. L.; Ciriza, I.; Walton, K. D.; Garcia-Segura, L. M.

    2001-01-01

    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

  18. Extracellular Ca2+ fluctuations in vivo affect afterhyperpolarization potential and modify firing patterns of neocortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Boucetta, Sofiane; Crochet, Sylvain; Chauvette, Sylvain; Seigneur, Josée; Timofeev, Igor

    2013-07-01

    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 ([Ca(2+)]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 [Ca(2+)]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 [Ca(2+)]o fluctuation and while changing [Ca(2+)]o with reverse microdialysis. When [Ca(2+)]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 [Ca(2+)]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 [Ca(2+)]o was decreased. We also found an increase in AHP amplitude in high [Ca(2+)]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 [Ca(2+)]o.

  19. Toxic effects of lead on neuronal development and function

    SciTech Connect

    Freedman, R. ); Olson, L. ); Hoffer, B.J. )

    1990-11-01

    The effects of lead on the development of the nervous system are of immediate concern to human health. While it is clear that lead can affect neuronal development at levels of exposure within the range found in the environment, the particular mechanism of the disruption is not readily ascertained. The goal of the authors research is to develop a model system in which the effects of lead on central nervous system development can be demonstrated. To study neuronal development in a system that minimizes such difficulties, the authors have grafted discrete brain regions derived from rat fetuses into the anterior chamber of the eye of adult hosts. The brain pieces continue organotypic development in the eye, but are isolated from possible secondary changes due to alterations in the development of the endocrine and other somatic systems because the adult host has these systems already fully developed. Using this system, they have discovered that lead induces a hypernoradrenergic innervation of central nervous system tissue. The increased innervation is observed not only structurally, but also functionally. Since norepinephrine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, this ingrowth may explain the profound slowing of discharge of cerebellar neurons recorded in grafts of lead-treated animals. Studies in other tissues suggest that increased axonal ingrowth may be a general problem of lead intoxication that encompasses many brain areas, as well as peripheral sympathetic systems.

  20. Nonlinear functional approximation with networks using adaptive neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tawel, Raoul

    1992-01-01

    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.

  1. LTP Induction Modifies Functional Relationship among Hippocampal Neurons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yun, Sung H.; Lee, Deok S.; Lee, Hyunjung; Baeg, Eun H.; Kim, Yun B.; Jung, Min W.

    2007-01-01

    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…

  2. Affective Neuronal Selection: The Nature of the Primordial Emotion Systems

    PubMed Central

    Toronchuk, Judith A.; Ellis, George F. R.

    2013-01-01

    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

  3. Cytoskeleton Molecular Motors: Structures and Their Functions in Neuron

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Qingpin; Hu, Xiaohui; Wei, Zhiyi; Tam, Kin Yip

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. Neuronal and glial purinergic receptors functions in neuron development and brain disease

    PubMed Central

    del Puerto, Ana; Wandosell, Francisco; Garrido, Juan José

    2013-01-01

    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

  5. GSK3 Function in the Brain during Development, Neuronal Plasticity, and Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Salcedo-Tello, Pamela; Ortiz-Matamoros, Abril; Arias, Clorinda

    2011-01-01

    GSK3 has diverse functions, including an important role in brain pathology. In this paper, we address the primary functions of GSK3 in development and neuroplasticity, which appear to be interrelated and to mediate age-associated neurological diseases. Specifically, GSK3 plays a pivotal role in controlling neuronal progenitor proliferation and establishment of neuronal polarity during development, and the upstream and downstream signals modulating neuronal GSK3 function affect cytoskeletal reorganization and neuroplasticity throughout the lifespan. Modulation of GSK3 in brain areas subserving cognitive function has become a major focus for treating neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. As a crucial node that mediates a variety of neuronal processes, GSK3 is proposed to be a therapeutic target for restoration of synaptic functioning and cognition, particularly in Alzheimer's disease. PMID:21660241

  6. Motivation and Affective Judgments Differentially Recruit Neurons in the Primate Dorsolateral Prefrontal and Anterior Cingulate Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Amemori, Ken-ichi; Amemori, Satoko

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. [Regulation of neurogenesis: factors affecting of new neurons formation in adult mammals brain].

    PubMed

    Respondek, Michalina; Buszman, Ewa

    2015-12-31

    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.

  8. Mouse Grueneberg ganglion neurons share molecular and functional features with C. elegans amphid neurons

    PubMed Central

    Brechbühl, Julien; Moine, Fabian; Broillet, Marie-Christine

    2013-01-01

    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

  9. Multivesicular Bodies in Neurons: Distribution, Protein Content, and Trafficking Functions

    PubMed Central

    VON BARTHELD, CHRISTOPHER S.; ALTICK, AMY L.

    2011-01-01

    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

  10. Loss of Sleep Affects the Ultrastructure of Pyramidal Neurons in the Adolescent Mouse Frontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    de Vivo, Luisa; Nelson, Aaron B.; Bellesi, Michele; Noguti, Juliana; Tononi, Giulio; Cirelli, Chiara

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Secretory function in subplate neurons during cortical development

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Shinichi; Al-Hasani, Hannah; Hoerder-Suabedissen, Anna; Wang, Wei Zhi; Molnár, Zoltán

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. Serotonin and insulin-like peptides modulate leucokinin-producing neurons that affect feeding and water homeostasis in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiting; Luo, Jiangnan; Carlsson, Mikael A; Nässel, Dick R

    2015-08-15

    Metabolic homeostasis and water balance is maintained by tight hormonal and neuronal regulation. In Drosophila, insulin-like peptides (DILPs) are key regulators of metabolism, and the neuropeptide leucokinin (LK) is a diuretic hormone that also modulates feeding. However, it is not known whether LK and DILPs act together to regulate feeding and water homeostasis. Because LK neurons express the insulin receptor (dInR), we tested functional links between DILP and LK signaling in feeding and water balance. Thus, we performed constitutive and conditional manipulations of activity in LK neurons and insulin-producing cells (IPCs) in adult flies and monitored food intake, responses to desiccation, and peptide expression levels. We also measured in vivo changes in LK and DILP levels in neurons in response to desiccation and drinking. Our data show that activated LK cells stimulate diuresis in vivo, and that LK and IPC signaling affect food intake in opposite directions. Overexpression of the dInR in LK neurons decreases the LK peptide levels, but only caused a subtle decrease in feeding, and had no effect on water balance. Next we demonstrated that LK neurons express the serotonin receptor 5-HT1B . Knockdown of this receptor in LK neurons diminished LK expression, increased desiccation resistance, and diminished food intake. Live calcium imaging indicates that serotonin inhibits spontaneous activity in abdominal LK neurons. Our results suggest that serotonin via 5-HT1B diminishes activity in the LK neurons and thereby modulates functions regulated by LK peptide, but the action of the dInR in these neurons remains less clear.

  13. Physiological evidence that pyramidal neurons lack functional water channels.

    PubMed

    Andrew, R David; Labron, Mark W; Boehnke, Susan E; Carnduff, Lisa; Kirov, Sergei A

    2007-04-01

    The physiological conditions that swell mammalian neurons are clinically important but contentious. Distinguishing the neuronal component of brain swelling requires viewing intact neuronal cell bodies, dendrites, and axons and measuring their changing volume in real time. Cultured or dissociated neuronal somata swell within minutes under acutely overhydrated conditions and shrink when strongly dehydrated. But paradoxically, most central nervous system (CNS) neurons do not express aquaporins, the membrane channels that conduct osmotically driven water. Using 2-photon laser scanning microscopy (2PLSM), we monitored neuronal volume under osmotic stress in real time. Specifically, the volume of pyramidal neurons in cerebral cortex and axon terminals comprising cerebellar mossy fibers was measured deep within live brain slices. The expected swelling or shrinking of the gray matter was confirmed by recording altered light transmittance and by indirectly measuring extracellular resistance over a wide osmotic range of -80 to +80 milliOsmoles (mOsm). Neurons expressing green fluorescent protein were then imaged with 2PLSM between -40 and +80 mOsm over 20 min. Surprisingly, pyramidal somata, dendrites, and spines steadfastly maintained their volume, as did the cerebellar axon terminals. This precluded a need for the neurons to acutely regulate volume, preserved their intrinsic electrophysiological stability, and confirmed that these CNS nerve cells lack functional aquaporins. Thus, whereas water easily permeates the aquaporin-rich endothelia and glia driving osmotic brain swelling, neurons tenatiously maintain their volume. However, these same neurons then swell dramatically upon oxygen/glucose deprivation or [K+]0 elevation, so prolonged depolarization (as during stroke or seizure) apparently swells neurons by opening nonaquaporin channels to water. PMID:16723408

  14. How Morphological Constraints Affect Axonal Polarity in Mouse Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bugnicourt, Ghislain; Saoudi, Yasmina; Andrieux, Annie; Gory-Fauré, Sylvie; Villard, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Neuronal differentiation is under the tight control of both biochemical and physical information arising from neighboring cells and micro-environment. Here we wished to assay how external geometrical constraints applied to the cell body and/or the neurites of hippocampal neurons may modulate axonal polarization in vitro. Through the use of a panel of non-specific poly-L-lysine micropatterns, we manipulated the neuronal shape. By applying geometrical constraints on the cell body we provided evidence that centrosome location was not predictive of axonal polarization but rather follows axonal fate. When the geometrical constraints were applied to the neurites trajectories we demonstrated that axonal specification was inhibited by curved lines. Altogether these results indicated that intrinsic mechanical tensions occur during neuritic growth and that maximal tension was developed by the axon and expressed on straight trajectories. The strong inhibitory effect of curved lines on axon specification was further demonstrated by their ability to prevent formation of multiple axons normally induced by cytochalasin or taxol treatments. Finally we provided evidence that microtubules were involved in the tension-mediated axonal polarization, acting as curvature sensors during neuronal differentiation. Thus, biomechanics coupled to physical constraints might be the first level of regulation during neuronal development, primary to biochemical and guidance regulations. PMID:22457779

  15. Dysfunction in endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria crosstalk underlies SIGMAR1 loss of function mediated motor neuron degeneration.

    PubMed

    Bernard-Marissal, Nathalie; Médard, Jean-Jacques; Azzedine, Hamid; Chrast, Roman

    2015-04-01

    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.

  16. Motor neurons control locomotor circuit function retrogradely via gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Song, Jianren; Ampatzis, Konstantinos; Björnfors, E Rebecka; El Manira, Abdeljabbar

    2016-01-21

    Motor neurons are the final stage of neural processing for the execution of motor behaviours. Traditionally, motor neurons have been viewed as the 'final common pathway', serving as passive recipients merely conveying to the muscles the final motor program generated by upstream interneuron circuits. Here we reveal an unforeseen role of motor neurons in controlling the locomotor circuit function via gap junctions in zebrafish. These gap junctions mediate a retrograde analogue propagation of voltage fluctuations from motor neurons to control the synaptic release and recruitment of the upstream V2a interneurons that drive locomotion. Selective inhibition of motor neurons during ongoing locomotion de-recruits V2a interneurons and strongly influences locomotor circuit function. Rather than acting as separate units, gap junctions unite motor neurons and V2a interneurons into functional ensembles endowed with a retrograde analogue computation essential for locomotor rhythm generation. These results show that motor neurons are not a passive recipient of motor commands but an integral component of the neural circuits responsible for motor behaviour.

  17. PAN hollow fiber membranes elicit functional hippocampal neuronal network.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Sabrina; Piscioneri, Antonella; Salerno, Simona; Tasselli, Franco; Di Vito, Anna; Giusi, Giuseppina; Canonaco, Marcello; Drioli, Enrico; De Bartolo, Loredana

    2012-01-01

    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.

  18. Loss of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons accounts for the motivational and affective deficits in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Drui, G; Carnicella, S; Carcenac, C; Favier, M; Bertrand, A; Boulet, S; Savasta, M

    2014-03-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) involves the degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) that is thought to cause the classical motor symptoms of this disease. However, motivational and affective impairments are also often observed in PD patients. These are usually attributed to a psychological reaction to the general motor impairment and to a loss of some of the neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We induced selective lesions of the VTA and SNc DA neurons that did not provoke motor deficits, and showed that bilateral dopamine loss within the SNc, but not within the VTA, induces motivational deficits and affective impairments that mimicked the symptoms of PD patients. Thus, motivational and affective deficits are a core impairment of PD, as they stem from the loss of the major group of neurons that degenerates in this disease (DA SNc neurons) and are independent of motor deficits.

  19. Placebo Sleep Affects Cognitive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Draganich, Christina; Erdal, Kristi

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Non-motor function of the midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Da Cunha, Claudio; Wietzikoski, Evellyn Claudia; Bortolanza, Mariza; Dombrowski, Patricia Andréia; dos Santos, Lucélia Mendes; Boschen, Suelen Lúcio; Miyoshi, Edmar; Vital, Maria Aparecida Barbato Frazão; Boerngen-Lacerda, Roseli; Andreatini, Roberto

    2009-01-01

    The roles of the nigrostriatal pathway are far beyond the simple control of motor functions. The tonic release of dopamine in the dorsal and ventral striatum controls the choice of proper actions toward a given environmental situation. In the striatum, a specific action is triggered by a specific stimulus associated with it. When the subject faces a novel and salient stimulus, the phasic release of dopamine allows synaptic plasticity in the cortico-striatal synapses. Neurons of different regions of cortical areas make synapses that converge to the same medium spine neurons of the striatum. The convergent associations form functional units encoding body parts, objects, locations, and symbolic representations of the subject's world. Such units emerge in the striatum in a repetitive manner, like a mosaic of broken mirrors. The phasic release of dopamine allows the association of units to encode an action of the subject directed to an object or location with the outcome of this action. Reinforced stimulus-action-outcome associations will affect future decision making when the same stimulus (object, location, idea) is presented to the subject in the future. In the absence of a minimal amount of striatal dopamine, no action is initiated as seen in Parkinson's disease subjects. The abnormal and improper association of these units leads to the initiation of unpurposeful and sometimes repetitive actions, as those observed in dyskinetic patients. The association of an excessive reinforcement of some actions, like drug consumption, leads to drug addiction. Improper associations of ideas and unpleasant outcomes may be related to traumatic and depressive symptoms common in many diseases, including Parkinson's disease. The same can be said about the learning and memory impairments observed in demented and nondemented Parkinson's disease patients.

  1. Functional circuits of new neurons in the dentate gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Vivar, Carmen; van Praag, Henriette

    2013-01-01

    The hippocampus is crucial for memory formation. New neurons are added throughout life to the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG), a brain area considered important for differential storage of similar experiences and contexts. To better understand the functional contribution of adult neurogenesis to pattern separation processes, we recently used a novel synapse specific trans-neuronal tracing approach to identify the (sub) cortical inputs to new dentate granule cells (GCs). It was observed that newly born neurons receive sequential innervation from structures important for memory function. Initially, septal-hippocampal cells provide input to new neurons, including transient innervation from mature GCs as well as direct feedback from area CA3 pyramidal neurons. After about 1 month perirhinal (PRH) and lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC), brain areas deemed relevant to integration of novel sensory and environmental information, become substantial input to new GCs. Here, we review the developmental time-course and proposed functional relevance of new neurons, within the context of their unique neural circuitry. PMID:23443839

  2. Analysis and functional implications of phosphorylation of neuronal voltage-gated potassium channels

    PubMed Central

    Cerda, Oscar; Trimmer, James S.

    2012-01-01

    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

  3. Analyzing the structure and function of neuronal circuits in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Friedrich, Rainer W.; Genoud, Christel; Wanner, Adrian A.

    2013-01-01

    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

  4. From neurons to epidemics: How trophic coherence affects spreading processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-06-01

    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.

  5. From neurons to epidemics: How trophic coherence affects spreading processes.

    PubMed

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-06-01

    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. PMID:27368799

  6. Central auditory neurons display flexible feature recombination functions.

    PubMed

    Kozlov, Andrei S; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2014-03-01

    Recognition of natural stimuli requires a combination of selectivity and invariance. Classical neurobiological models achieve selectivity and invariance, respectively, by assigning to each cortical neuron either a computation equivalent to the logical "AND" or a computation equivalent to the logical "OR." One powerful OR-like operation is the MAX function, which computes the maximum over input activities. The MAX function is frequently employed in computer vision to achieve invariance and considered a key operation in visual cortex. Here we explore the computations for selectivity and invariance in the auditory system of a songbird, using natural stimuli. We ask two related questions: does the MAX operation exist in auditory system? Is it implemented by specialized "MAX" neurons, as assumed in vision? By analyzing responses of individual neurons to combinations of stimuli we systematically sample the space of implemented feature recombination functions. Although we frequently observe the MAX function, we show that the same neurons that implement it also readily implement other operations, including the AND-like response. We then show that sensory adaptation, a ubiquitous property of neural circuits, causes transitions between these operations in individual neurons, violating the fixed neuron-to-computation mapping posited in the state-of-the-art object-recognition models. These transitions, however, accord with predictions of neural-circuit models incorporating divisive normalization and variable polynomial nonlinearities at the spike threshold. Because these biophysical properties are not tied to a particular sensory modality but are generic, the flexible neuron-to-computation mapping demonstrated in this study in the auditory system is likely a general property.

  7. Toxic effects of lead on neuronal development and function.

    PubMed Central

    Freedman, R; Olson, L; Hoffer, B J

    1990-01-01

    The effects of lead on the development of the nervous system are of immediate concern to human health. While it is clear that lead can affect neuronal development at levels of exposure within the range found in the environment, the particular mechanism of the disruption is not readily ascertained. Lack of knowledge of the mechanisms of lead-induced damaged hampers its treatment and prevention. The goal of our research is to develop a model system in which the effects of lead on central nervous system development can be demonstrated. The complexity of the brain hampers such investigations because often it is not clear if apparent toxic effects represents changes secondary to somatic changes, such as endocrine or hematological defects, that could alter brain development, or even transneuronal effects caused by toxicity at a distal site that deprives a brain area of a synaptic input needed for its proper development. A related problem is the redundancy of compensatory systems in the brain. Such system may disguise the severity of the initial toxic insult and themselves can cause functional disturbances. To study neuronal development in a system that minimizes such difficulties, we have grafted discrete brain regions derived from rat fetuses into the anterior chamber of the eye of adult hosts. The brain pieces continue organotypic development of the eye, but are isolated from possible secondary changes due to alterations in the development of the endocrine and other somatic systems because the adult host has these systems already fully developed. Similarly, effects mediated by connecting brain areas are minimized since the transplant is isolated in the anterior chamber of the eye.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2088752

  8. In Vitro Functional Assessment of Adult Spiral Ganglion Neurons (SGNs).

    PubMed

    Lee, Jeong Han; Sihn, Choongryoul; Wang, Wanging; Flores, Cristina Maria Perez; Yamoah, Ebenezer N

    2016-01-01

    Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) faithfully encode acoustic waves from hair cells to the cochlear nucleus (CN) using voltage-dependent ion channels. A sizable portion of our knowledge on SGN functions have been derived from pre-hearing neurons. In post-hearing SGNs, the mechanisms of how they encode the massive sound information without delay and precisely are largely unknown. Mature SGNs are housed in the central bony labyrinth of the cochlea, protected by a well-insulated myelin sheath, making it a technical feat to isolate viable neurons for rigorous functional electrophysiology. Recently, we have overcome the previous intractable hindrance in SGN functional analyses. We provide a step-by-step user-friendly protocol with practical applications, including patch-clamp recordings and imaging by using cultured SGNs. PMID:27259946

  9. Brivaracetam Differentially Affects Voltage-Gated Sodium Currents Without Impairing Sustained Repetitive Firing in Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Niespodziany, Isabelle; André, Véronique Marie; Leclère, Nathalie; Hanon, Etienne; Ghisdal, Philippe; Wolff, Christian

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. Visual input controls the functional activity of goldfish Mauthner neuron through the reciprocal synaptic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Moshkov, Dmitry A; Shtanchaev, Rashid S; Mikheeva, Irina B; Bezgina, Elena N; Kokanova, Nadezhda A; Mikhailova, Gulnara Z; Tiras, Nadezhda R; Pavlik, Lyubov' L

    2013-03-01

    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

  11. Mutations affecting the chemosensory neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Starich, T.A.; Herman, R.K.; Kari, C.K.

    1995-01-01

    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.

  12. Glial regulation of neuronal function: from synapse to systems physiology.

    PubMed

    Tasker, J G; Oliet, S H R; Bains, J S; Brown, C H; Stern, J E

    2012-04-01

    Classically, glia have been regarded as non-excitable cells that provide nourishment and physical scaffolding for neurones. However, it is now generally accepted that glia are active participants in brain function that can modulate neuronal communication via several mechanisms. Investigations of anatomical plasticity in the magnocellular neuroendocrine system of the hypothalamic paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei led the way in the development of much of our understanding of glial regulation of neuronal activity. In this review, we provide an overview of glial regulation of magnocellular neurone activity from a historical perspective of the development of our knowledge of the morphological changes that are evident in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei. We also focus on recent data from the authors' laboratories presented at the 9th World Congress on Neurohypophysial Hormones that have contributed to our understanding of the multiple mechanisms by which glia modulate the activity of neurones, including: gliotransmitter modulation of synaptic transmission; trans-synaptic modulation by glial neurotransmitter transporter regulation of neurotransmitter spillover; and glial neurotransmitter transporter modulation of excitability by regulation of ambient neurotransmitter levels and their action on extrasynaptic receptors. The magnocellular neuroendocrine system secretes oxytocin and vasopressin from the posterior pituitary gland to control birth, lactation and body fluid balance, and we finally speculate as to whether glial regulation of individual magnocellular neurones might co-ordinate population activity to respond appropriately to altered physiological circumstances.

  13. Mirror neuron function, psychosis, and empathy in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    McCormick, Laurie M; Brumm, Michael C; Beadle, Janelle N; Paradiso, Sergio; Yamada, Thoru; Andreasen, Nancy

    2012-03-31

    Processing of social and emotional information has been shown to be disturbed in schizophrenia. The biological underpinnings of these abnormalities may be explained by an abnormally functioning mirror neuron system. Yet the relationship between mirror neuron system activity in schizophrenia, as measured using an electroencephalography (EEG) paradigm, and socio-emotional functioning has not been assessed. The present research measured empathy and mirror neuron activity using an established EEG paradigm assessing the integrity of the Mu rhythm (8-13Hz) suppression over the sensorimotor cortex during observed and actual hand movement in 16 schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (SSD) participants (n=8 actively psychotic and n=8 in residual illness phase) and 16 age- and gender-matched healthy comparison participants. Actively psychotic SSD participants showed significantly greater mu suppression over the sensorimotor cortex of the left hemisphere than residual phase SSD and healthy comparison individuals. The latter two groups showed similar levels of mu suppression. Greater left-sided mu suppression was positively correlated with psychotic symptoms (i.e., greater mu suppression/mirror neuron activity was highest among subjects with the greater severity of psychotic symptoms). SSD subjects tended to have significantly higher levels of Personal Distress (as measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index) than healthy participants. The present study suggests that abnormal mirror neuron activity may exist among patients with schizophrenia during the active (psychotic) phase of the illness, and correlates with severity of psychosis.

  14. Perineuronal nets affect parvalbumin expression in GABAergic neurons of the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Yamada, J; Ohgomori, T; Jinno, S

    2015-02-01

    Recent studies have suggested that the perineuronal net (PNN), a specialised extracellular matrix structure, and parvalbumin (PV), an EF-hand calcium-binding protein, are involved in the regulation of plasticity of neural circuits. Here, we aimed to quantitatively estimate the relationship between the two plasticity regulators, PV and PNNs, in the hippocampus of young adult mice. Dual fluorescence staining for PV and Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (a broad PNN marker) showed that a substantial population of PV-expressing (PV(+) ) GABAergic neurons lacked PNNs. Optical disector analysis demonstrated that there were fewer PNN(+) neurons than PV(+) neurons. The ratio of PNN expression in PV(+) neurons was generally lower in the dendritic layers than in the principal cell layers, whereas the ratio of PV expression in PNN(+) neurons was effectively 100%. The mean PV fluorescence was significantly higher in PNN(+) /PV(+) neurons than in PNN(-) /PV(+) neurons. Cumulative frequencies for single-cell PV fluorescence indicated that intensely stained PV(+) neurons tend to be enwrapped by PNNs, whereas weakly stained PV(+) neurons are likely to lack PNNs. We digested the PNNs by a unilateral injection of chondroitinase ABC (chABC) into the dorsal CA1 region. Although the densities of PV(+) neurons remained unchanged, the PV fluorescence declined 7 days after chABC injection. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated a reduction in PV mRNA expression following chABC injection. These findings indicate that the presence or absence of PNNs affects the relative PV expression in GABAergic neurons in the hippocampus.

  15. Structure, Distribution, and Function of Neuronal/Synaptic Spinules and Related Invaginating Projections.

    PubMed

    Petralia, Ronald S; Wang, Ya-Xian; Mattson, Mark P; Yao, Pamela J

    2015-09-01

    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

  16. Structure, Distribution, and Function of Neuronal/Synaptic Spinules and Related Invaginating Projections

    PubMed Central

    Petralia, Ronald S.; Wang, Ya-Xian; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. An epilepsy-related ARX polyalanine expansion modifies glutamatergic neurons excitability and morphology without affecting GABAergic neurons development.

    PubMed

    Beguin, Shirley; Crépel, Valérie; Aniksztejn, Laurent; Becq, Hélène; Pelosi, Barbara; Pallesi-Pocachard, Emilie; Bouamrane, Lamine; Pasqualetti, Massimo; Kitamura, Kunio; Cardoso, Carlos; Represa, Alfonso

    2013-06-01

    Epileptic encephalopathies comprise a heterogeneous group of severe infantile disorders for which the pathophysiological basis of epilepsy is inaccurately clarified by genotype-phenotype analysis. Because a deficit of GABA neurons has been found in some of these syndromes, notably in patients with X-linked lissencephaly with abnormal genitalia, epilepsy was suggested to result from an imbalance in GABAergic inhibition, and the notion of "interneuronopathy" was proposed. Here, we studied the impact of a polyalanine expansion of aristaless-related homeobox (ARX) gene, a mutation notably found in West and Ohtahara syndromes. Analysis of Arx((GCG)7/Y) knock-in mice revealed that GABA neuron development is not affected. Moreover, pyramidal cell migration and cortical layering are unaltered in these mice. Interestingly, electrophysiological recordings show that hippocampal pyramidal neurons displayed a frequency of inhibitory postsynaptic currents similar to wild-type (WT) mice. However, these neurons show a dramatic increase in the frequency of excitatory inputs associated with a remodeling of their axonal arborization, suggesting that epilepsy in Arx((GCG)7/Y)mice would result from a glutamate network remodeling. We therefore propose that secondary alterations are instrumental for the development of disease-specific phenotypes and should be considered to explain the phenotypic diversity associated with epileptogenic mutations. PMID:22628459

  18. Confounding the origin and function of mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2014-04-01

    Cook et al. argue that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and that their function is determined by their origin. Both these claims are hard to accept. It is here suggested that a major role in the origin of the mirror mechanism is played by top-down connections rather than by associative learning.

  19. Inflammatory mediator bradykinin increases population of sensory neurons expressing functional T-type Ca2+ channels

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Dongyang; Liang, Ce; Zhang, Fan; Men, Hongchao; Du, Xiaona; Gamper, Nikita; Zhang, Hailin

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. New neurons and new memories: how does adult hippocampal neurogenesis affect learning and memory?

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Wei; Aimone, James B.; Gage, Fred H.

    2010-01-01

    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

  1. Mirror neurons and their function in cognitively understood empathy.

    PubMed

    Corradini, Antonella; Antonietti, Alessandro

    2013-09-01

    The current renewal of interest in empathy is closely connected to the recent neurobiological discovery of mirror neurons. Although the concept of empathy has been widely deployed, we shall focus upon one main psychological function it serves: enabling us to understand other peoples' intentions. In this essay we will draw on neuroscientific, psychological, and philosophical literature in order to investigate the relationships between mirror neurons and empathy as to intention understanding. Firstly, it will be explored whether mirror neurons are the neural basis of our empathic capacities: a vast array of empirical results appears to confirm this hypothesis. Secondly, the higher level capacity of reenactive empathy will be examined and the question will be addressed whether philosophical analysis alone is able to provide a foundation for this more abstract level of empathy. The conclusion will be drawn that both empirical evidence and philosophical analysis can jointly contribute to the clarification of the concept of empathy.

  2. Intracellular Calcium Measurements for Functional Characterization of Neuronal Phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Glaser, Talita; Castillo, Ana Regina G; Oliveira, Ágatha; Ulrich, Henning

    2016-01-01

    The central and peripheral nervous system is built by a network of many different neuronal phenotypes together with glial and other supporting cells. The repertoire of expressed receptors and secreted neurotransmitters and neuromodulators are unique for each single neuron leading to intracellular signaling cascades, many of them involving intracellular calcium signaling. Here we suggest the use of calcium signaling analysis upon specific agonist application to reliably identify neuronal phenotypes, being important not only for basic science, but also providing a reliable tool for functional characterization of cells prior to transplantation. Calcium imaging provides various cellular information including signaling amplitudes, cell localization, duration, and frequency. Microfluorimetry reveals a signal summarizing the entire population, and its use is indicated for high-throughput screening purposes.

  3. Functionalized anatomical models for EM-neuron Interaction modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neufeld, Esra; Cassará, Antonino Mario; Montanaro, Hazael; Kuster, Niels; Kainz, Wolfgang

    2016-06-01

    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.

  4. Serotoninergic dorsal raphe neurons possess functional postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Galindo-Charles, Luis; Hernandez-Lopez, Salvador; Galarraga, Elvira; Tapia, Dagoberto; Bargas, José; Garduño, Julieta; Frías-Dominguez, Carmen; Drucker-Colin, René; Mihailescu, Stefan

    2008-08-01

    Very few neurons in the telencephalon have been shown to express functional postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), among them, the noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurons. However, there is no evidence for postsynaptic nAChRs on serotonergic neurons. In this study, we asked if functional nAChRs are present in serotonergic (5-HT) and nonserotonergic (non-5-HT) neurons of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). In rat midbrain slices, field stimulation at the tegmental pedunculopontine (PPT) nucleus evoked postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) with different components in DRN neurons. After blocking the glutamatergic and GABAergic components, the remaining eEPSCs were blocked by mecamylamine and reduced by either the selective alpha7 nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) or the selective alpha4beta2 nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-eritroidine (DHbetaE). Simultaneous addition of MLA and DHbetaE blocked all eEPSCs. Integrity of the PPT-DRN pathway was assessed by both anterograde biocytin tracing and antidromic stimulation from the DRN. Inward currents evoked by the direct application of acetylcholine (ACh), in the presence of atropine and tetrodotoxin, consisted of two kinetically different currents: one was blocked by MLA and the other by DHbetaE; in both 5-HT and non-5-HT DR neurons. Analysis of spontaneous (sEPSCs) and evoked (eEPSCs) synaptic events led to the conclusion that nAChRs were located at the postsynaptic membrane. The possible implications of these newly described nAChRs in various physiological processes and behavioral events, such as the wake-sleep cycle, are discussed. PMID:18512214

  5. Traumatic Brain Injury and Neuronal Functionality Changes in Sensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Carron, Simone F.; Alwis, Dasuni S.; Rajan, Ramesh

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Iron insufficiency compromises motor neurons and their mitochondrial function in Irp2-null mice.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Suh Young; Crooks, Daniel R; Wilson-Ollivierre, Hayden; Ghosh, Manik C; Sougrat, Rachid; Lee, Jaekwon; Cooperman, Sharon; Mitchell, James B; Beaumont, Carole; Rouault, Tracey A

    2011-01-01

    Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2), which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice. PMID:22003390

  7. Alpha-Synuclein affects neurite morphology, autophagy, vesicle transport and axonal degeneration in CNS neurons

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. DEPTOR in POMC neurons affects liver metabolism but is dispensable for the regulation of energy balance

    PubMed Central

    Caron, Alexandre; Labbé, Sébastien M.; Mouchiroud, Mathilde; Huard, Renaud; Richard, Denis

    2016-01-01

    We have recently demonstrated that specific overexpression of DEP-domain containing mTOR-interacting protein (DEPTOR) in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) protects mice against high-fat diet-induced obesity, revealing DEPTOR as a significant contributor to energy balance regulation. On the basis of evidence that DEPTOR is expressed in the proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons of the MBH, the present study aimed to investigate whether these neurons mediate the metabolic effects of DEPTOR. Here, we report that specific DEPTOR overexpression in POMC neurons does not recapitulate any of the phenotypes observed when the protein was overexpressed in the MBH. Unlike the previous model, mice overexpressing DEPTOR only in POMC neurons 1) did not show differences in feeding behavior, 2) did not exhibit changes in locomotion activity and oxygen consumption, 3) did not show an improvement in systemic glucose metabolism, and 4) were not resistant to high-fat diet-induced obesity. These results support the idea that other neuronal populations are responsible for these phenotypes. Nonetheless, we observed a mild elevation in fasting blood glucose, insulin resistance, and alterations in liver glucose and lipid homeostasis in mice overexpressing DEPTOR in POMC neurons. Taken together, these results show that DEPTOR overexpression in POMC neurons does not affect energy balance regulation but could modulate metabolism through a brain-liver connection. PMID:27097662

  9. Estradiol selectively enhances auditory function in avian forebrain neurons.

    PubMed

    Caras, Melissa L; O'Brien, Matthew; Brenowitz, Eliot A; Rubel, Edwin W

    2012-12-01

    Sex steroids modulate vertebrate sensory processing, but the impact of circulating hormone levels on forebrain function remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that circulating sex steroids modulate single-unit responses in the avian telencephalic auditory nucleus, field L. We mimicked breeding or nonbreeding conditions by manipulating plasma 17β-estradiol levels in wild-caught female Gambel's white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii). Extracellular responses of single neurons to tones and conspecific songs presented over a range of intensities revealed that estradiol selectively enhanced auditory function in cells that exhibited monotonic rate level functions to pure tones. In these cells, estradiol treatment increased spontaneous and maximum evoked firing rates, increased pure tone response strengths and sensitivity, and expanded the range of intensities over which conspecific song stimuli elicited significant responses. Estradiol did not significantly alter the sensitivity or dynamic ranges of cells that exhibited non-monotonic rate level functions. Notably, there was a robust correlation between plasma estradiol concentrations in individual birds and physiological response properties in monotonic, but not non-monotonic neurons. These findings demonstrate that functionally distinct classes of anatomically overlapping forebrain neurons are differentially regulated by sex steroid hormones in a dose-dependent manner.

  10. FMRP regulates multipolar to bipolar transition affecting neuronal migration and cortical circuitry.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  11. Photoperiod affects the diurnal rhythm of hippocampal neuronal morphology of Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Ikeno, Tomoko; Weil, Zachary M; Nelson, Randy J

    2013-11-01

    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

  12. Loss of Tau protein affects the structure, transcription and repair of neuronal pericentromeric heterochromatin.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. Loss of Tau protein affects the structure, transcription and repair of neuronal pericentromeric heterochromatin

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Prenatal Hypoxia in Different Periods of Embryogenesis Differentially Affects Cell Migration, Neuronal Plasticity, and Rat Behavior in Postnatal Ontogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Vasilev, Dmitrii S.; Dubrovskaya, Nadezhda M.; Tumanova, Natalia L.; Zhuravin, Igor A.

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. Pulse exposure of cultured rat neurons to aluminum-maltol affected the axonal transport system.

    PubMed

    Kashiwagi, Y; Nakamura, Y; Miyamae, Y; Hashimoto, R; Takeda, M

    1998-08-01

    Although chronic aluminum neurotoxicity has been well established, the mechanism of the toxicity has not been elucidated yet. In order to simplify the study of the aluminum neurotoxicity, we employed the pulse exposure of cultured rat cortical neurons to 250 microM aluminum-maltol for 1 h at the early stage (6 h after plating), which resulted in abnormal distribution of neurofilament L (NFL) and fast axonal transported proteins, whereas the axonal transport of tubulin, actin, and clathrin were not impaired. Otherwise, the pulse exposure of neurons at the late stage (4 days after plating) to the same concentration of aluminum-maltol did not affect the cell morphology and the distribution of NFL. The pulse exposure of cultured neurons to aluminum-maltol at the early stage might affect the axonal transport system of NFL and fast axonal transported proteins. PMID:9756345

  16. The neuronal control of cardiac functions in Molluscs.

    PubMed

    Kodirov, Sodikdjon A

    2011-10-01

    In this manuscript, I review the current and relevant classical studies on properties of the Mollusca heart and their central nervous system including ganglia, neurons, and nerves involved in cardiomodulation. Similar to mammalian brain hemispheres, these invertebrates possess symmetrical pairs of ganglia albeit visceral (only one) ganglion and the parietal ganglia (the right ganglion is bigger than the left one). Furthermore, there are two major regulatory drives into the compartments (pericard, auricle, and ventricle) and cardiomyocytes of the heart. These are the excitatory and inhibitory signals that originate from a few designated neurons and their putative neurotransmitters. Many of these neurons are well-identified, their specific locations within the corresponding ganglion are mapped, and some are termed as either heart excitatory (HE) or inhibitory (HI) cells. The remaining neurons are classified as cardio-regulatory, and their direct and indirect actions on the heart's function have been documented. The cardiovascular anatomy of frequently used experimental animals, Achatina, Aplysia, Helix, and Lymnaea is relatively simple. However, as in humans, it possesses all major components including even trabeculae and atrio-ventricular valves. Since the myocardial cells are enzymatically dispersible, multiple voltage dependent cationic currents in isolated cardiomyocytes are described. The latter include at least the A-type K(+), delayed rectifier K(+), TTX-sensitive Na(+), and L-type Ca(2+) channels.

  17. Stimulation of neuronal neurite outgrowth using functionalized carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsumoto, K.; Sato, C.; Naka, Y.; Whitby, R.; Shimizu, N.

    2010-03-01

    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.

  18. Bradykinin Controls Pool Size of Sensory Neurons Expressing Functional δ-Opioid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Pettinger, Louisa; Gigout, Sylvain; Linley, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Analgesics targeting the δ-opioid receptor (DOR) may lead to fewer side effects than conventional opioid drugs, which mainly act on μ-opioid receptors (MOR), because of the less abundant expression of DOR in the CNS compared with MOR. Analgesic potential of DOR agonists increases after inflammation, an effect that may be mediated by DOR expressed in the peripheral sensory fibers. However, the expression of functional DOR at the plasma membrane of sensory neurons is controversial. Here we have used patch-clamp recordings and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to study the functional expression of DOR in sensory neurons from rat trigeminal (TG) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Real-time total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy revealed that treatment of TG and DRG cultures with the inflammatory mediator bradykinin (BK) caused robust trafficking of heterologously expressed GFP-tagged DOR to the plasma membrane. By contrast, treatment of neurons with the DOR agonist [d-Ala2, d-Leu5]-enkephalin (DADLE) caused a decrease in the membrane abundance of DOR, suggesting internalization of the receptor after agonist binding. Patch-clamp experiments revealed that DADLE inhibited voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) in 23% of small-diameter TG neurons. Pretreatment with BK resulted in more than twice as many DADLE responsive neurons (54%) but did not affect the efficacy of VGCC inhibition by DADLE. Our data suggest that inflammatory mediator-induced membrane insertion of DOR into the plasma membrane of peripheral sensory neurons may underlie increased DOR analgesia in inflamed tissue. Furthermore, the majority of BK-responsive TG neurons may have a potential to become responsive to DOR ligands in inflammatory conditions. PMID:23804098

  19. Evolutionary Insights into Premetazoan Functions of the Neuronal Protein Homer

    PubMed Central

    Burkhardt, Pawel; Grønborg, Mads; McDonald, Kent; Sulur, Tara; Wang, Qi; King, Nicole

    2014-01-01

    Reconstructing the evolution and ancestral functions of synaptic proteins promises to shed light on how neurons first evolved. The postsynaptic density (PSD) protein Homer scaffolds membrane receptors and regulates Ca2+ signaling in diverse metazoan cell types (including neurons and muscle cells), yet its ancestry and core functions are poorly understood. We find that the protein domain organization and essential biochemical properties of metazoan Homer proteins, including their ability to tetramerize, are conserved in the choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta, one of the closest living relatives of metazoans. Unlike in neurons, Homer localizes to the nucleoplasm in S. rosetta and interacts directly with Flotillin, a protein more commonly associated with cell membranes. Surprisingly, we found that the Homer/Flotillin interaction and its localization to the nucleus are conserved in metazoan astrocytes. These findings suggest that Homer originally interacted with Flotillin in the nucleus of the last common ancestor of metazoans and choanoflagellates and was later co-opted to function as a membrane receptor scaffold in the PSD. PMID:24899667

  20. Neuronal oscillations in sleep: insights from functional neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh

    2012-09-01

    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.

  1. Inhibitory ryanodine prevents ryanodine receptor-mediated Ca²⁺ release without affecting endoplasmic reticulum Ca²⁺ content in primary hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Adasme, Tatiana; Paula-Lima, Andrea; Hidalgo, Cecilia

    2015-02-27

    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.

  2. Inhibitory ryanodine prevents ryanodine receptor-mediated Ca²⁺ release without affecting endoplasmic reticulum Ca²⁺ content in primary hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Adasme, Tatiana; Paula-Lima, Andrea; Hidalgo, Cecilia

    2015-02-27

    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. PMID:25623539

  3. Sleep deprivation does not affect neuronal susceptibility to mild traumatic brain injury in the rat.

    PubMed

    Caron, Aimee M; Stephenson, Richard

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. Ablation of the mTORC2 component rictor in brain or Purkinje cells affects size and neuron morphology.

    PubMed

    Thomanetz, Venus; Angliker, Nico; Cloëtta, Dimitri; Lustenberger, Regula M; Schweighauser, Manuel; Oliveri, Filippo; Suzuki, Noboru; Rüegg, Markus A

    2013-04-15

    The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) assembles into two distinct multi-protein complexes called mTORC1 and mTORC2. Whereas mTORC1 is known to regulate cell and organismal growth, the role of mTORC2 is less understood. We describe two mouse lines that are devoid of the mTORC2 component rictor in the entire central nervous system or in Purkinje cells. In both lines neurons were smaller and their morphology and function were strongly affected. The phenotypes were accompanied by loss of activation of Akt, PKC, and SGK1 without effects on mTORC1 activity. The striking decrease in the activation and expression of several PKC isoforms, the subsequent loss of activation of GAP-43 and MARCKS, and the established role of PKCs in spinocerebellar ataxia and in shaping the actin cytoskeleton strongly suggest that the morphological deficits observed in rictor-deficient neurons are mediated by PKCs. Together our experiments show that mTORC2 has a particularly important role in the brain and that it affects size, morphology, and function of neurons.

  5. Sources and function of neuronal signalling molecules in the gonads.

    PubMed

    Mayerhofer, A; Frungieri, M B; Bulling, A; Fritz, S

    1999-01-01

    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.

  6. Diminished neuronal activity increases neuron-neuron connectivity underlying silent synapse formation and the rapid conversion of silent to functional synapses.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Kimiko; Kiyosue, Kazuyuki; Taguchi, Takahisa

    2005-04-20

    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.

  7. Interpreting actions: the goal behind mirror neuron function.

    PubMed

    Ocampo, Brenda; Kritikos, Ada

    2011-06-24

    Crucial to our everyday social functioning is an ability to interpret the behaviors of others. This process involves a rapid understanding of what a given action is not only in a physical sense (e.g., a precision grip around the stem of a wine glass) but also in a semantic sense (e.g., an invitation to "cheers"). The functional properties of fronto-parietal mirror neurons (MNs), which respond to both observed and executed actions, have been a topic of much debate in the cognitive neuroscience literature. The controversy surrounds the role of the "mirror neuron system" in action understanding: do MNs allow us to comprehend others' actions by allowing us to internally represent their behaviors or do they simply activate a direct motor representation of the perceived act without recourse to its meaning? This review outlines evidence from both human and primate literatures, indicating the importance of end-goals in action representations within the motor system and their predominance in influencing action plans. We integrate this evidence with recent views regarding the complex and dynamic nature of the mirror neuron system and its ability to respond to broad motor outcomes.

  8. Conditional Knockout of Tumor Overexpressed Gene in Mouse Neurons Affects RNA Granule Assembly, Granule Translation, LTP and Short Term Habituation

    PubMed Central

    Barbarese, Elisa; Ifrim, Marius F.; Hsieh, Lawrence; Guo, Caiying; Tatavarty, Vedakumar; Maggipinto, Michael J.; Korza, George; Tutolo, Jessica W.; Giampetruzzi, Anthony; Le, Hien; Ma, Xin-Ming; Levine, Eric; Bishop, Brian; Kim, Duck O.; Kuwada, Shigeyuki; Carson, John H.

    2013-01-01

    In neurons, specific RNAs are assembled into granules, which are translated in dendrites, however the functional consequences of granule assembly are not known. Tumor overexpressed gene (TOG) is a granule-associated protein containing multiple binding sites for heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A2, another granule component that recognizes cis-acting sequences called hnRNP A2 response elements (A2REs) present in several granule RNAs. Translation in granules is sporadic, which is believed to reflect monosomal translation, with occasional bursts, which are believed to reflect polysomal translation. In this study, TOG expression was conditionally knocked out (TOG cKO) in mouse hippocampal neurons using cre/lox technology. In TOG cKO cultured neurons granule assembly and bursty translation of activity-regulated cytoskeletal associated (ARC) mRNA, an A2RE RNA, are disrupted. In TOG cKO brain slices synaptic sensitivity and long term potentiation (LTP) are reduced. TOG cKO mice exhibit hyperactivity, perseveration and impaired short term habituation. These results suggest that in hippocampal neurons TOG is required for granule assembly, granule translation and synaptic plasticity, and affects behavior. PMID:23936366

  9. A STRIPAK component Strip regulates neuronal morphogenesis by affecting microtubule stability

    PubMed Central

    Sakuma, Chisako; Okumura, Misako; Umehara, Tomoki; Miura, Masayuki; Chihara, Takahiro

    2015-01-01

    During neural development, regulation of microtubule stability is essential for proper morphogenesis of neurons. Recently, the striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complex was revealed to be involved in diverse cellular processes. However, there is little evidence that STRIPAK components regulate microtubule dynamics, especially in vivo. Here, we show that one of the core STRIPAK components, Strip, is required for microtubule organization during neuronal morphogenesis. Knockdown of Strip causes a decrease in the level of acetylated α-tubulin in Drosophila S2 cells, suggesting that Strip influences the stability of microtubules. We also found that Strip physically and genetically interacts with tubulin folding cofactor D (TBCD), an essential regulator of α- and β-tubulin heterodimers. Furthermore, we demonstrate the genetic interaction between strip and Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam), a cell surface molecule that is known to work with TBCD. Thus, we propose that Strip regulates neuronal morphogenesis by affecting microtubule stability. PMID:26644129

  10. Defining inhibitory neurone function in respiratory circuits: opportunities with optogenetics?

    PubMed

    Abdala, Ana Paula; Paton, Julian F R; Smith, Jeffrey C

    2015-07-15

    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.

  11. Aggressive experience affects the sensitivity of neurons towards pharmacological treatment in the hypothalamic attack area.

    PubMed

    Haller, J; Abrahám, I; Zelena, D; Juhász, G; Makara, G B; Kruk, M R

    1998-09-01

    Early investigators of brain stimulation-evoked complex behaviours (attack, escape, feeding, self-grooming, sexual behaviour) reported that experience may affect the behavioural outcome of brain stimulation. This intriguing example of functional neuronal plasticity was later totally neglected. The present experiment investigated the behavioural outcome of in vivo microdialysis perfusion of the glutamate agonist kainate and/or the GABAA antagonist bicuculline into the hypothalamic attack area (HAA) of (1) animals naive to dyadic encounters; (2) animals with a recent aggressive experience (the probe being implanted 6-24 h after the last of a series of dyadic encounters); and (3) animals with an earlier aggressive experience (probe being implanted 2 weeks after the last aggressive experience). On the experimental day, rats received two 5-min infusions during a dyadic encounter lasting 35 min with an unknown opponent. Flow rate was 1.5-2 microliters/min, drug concentrations were 1.8 x 10(-5) and 1.5 x 10(-5) M for kainate and bicuculline, respectively. Behaviour was analysed before, during and after perfusions. Only the combined kainate + bicuculline treatment had significant effects on behaviour at the doses studied. A significant increase in aggressive behaviour was elicited only in animals with a recent aggressive experience, while naive animals and with an earlier experience responded to the treatments by grooming. These results appear to support early observations indicating that one important aspect of brain stimulation effects is previous experience. PMID:9832932

  12. Sleep deprivation does not affect neuronal susceptibility to mild traumatic brain injury in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Caron, Aimee M; Stephenson, Richard

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. ECM Functions During Neuronal Migration and Lamination in the Mammalian Central Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Franco, Santos J.; Müller, Ulrich

    2012-01-01

    Extracellular matrix (ECM) glycoproteins are expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) in complex and developmentally regulated patterns. The ECM provides a number of critical functions in the CNS, contributing both to the overall structural organization of the CNS and to control of individual cells. At the cellular level, the ECM effects its functions by a wide range of mechanisms, including providing structural support to cells, regulating the activity of second messenger systems, and controlling the distribution and local concentration of growth and differentiation factors. Perhaps the most well known role of the ECM is as a substrate on which motile cells can migrate. Genetic, cell biological and biochemical studies provide strong evidence that ECM glycoproteins such as laminins, tenascins and proteoglycans control neuronal migration and positioning in several regions of the developing and adult brain. Recent findings have also shed important new insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which reelin regulates migration. Here we will summarize these findings, emphasizing the emerging concept that ECM glycoproteins promote different modes of neuronal migration such as radial, tangential and chain migration. We also discuss several studies demonstrating that mutations in ECM glycoproteins can alter neuronal positioning by cell non-autonomous mechanisms that secondarily affect migrating neurons. PMID:21739613

  14. MicroRNAs in neuronal function and dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Im, Heh-In; Kenny, Paul J.

    2012-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA transcripts expressed throughout the brain that can regulate neuronal gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Here, we provide an overview of the role for miRNAs in brain development and function, and review evidence suggesting that dysfunction in miRNA signaling contributes to neurodevelopment disorders such as Rett and fragile X syndromes, as well as complex behavioral disorders including schizophrenia, depression and drug addiction. A better understanding of how miRNAs influence the development of neuropsychiatric disorders may reveal fundamental insights into the causes of these devastating illnesses and offer novel targets for therapeutic development. PMID:22436491

  15. Searching for optimal stimuli: ascending a neuron's response function.

    PubMed

    Koelling, Melinda Evrithiki; Nykamp, Duane Q

    2012-12-01

    Many methods used to analyze neuronal response assume that neuronal activity has a fundamentally linear relationship to the stimulus. However, some neurons are strongly sensitive to multiple directions in stimulus space and have a highly nonlinear response. It can be difficult to find optimal stimuli for these neurons. We demonstrate how successive linear approximations of neuronal response can effectively carry out gradient ascent and move through stimulus space towards local maxima of the response. We demonstrate search results for a simple model neuron and two models of a highly selective neuron. PMID:22580579

  16. Functional coupling with cardiac muscle promotes maturation of hPSC-derived sympathetic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Yohan; Cho, Gun-Sik; Li, Zhe; Hong, Ingie; Zhu, Renjun; Kim, Min-Jeong; Kim, Yong Jun; Tampakakis, Emmanouil; Tung, Leslie; Huganir, Richard; Dong, Xinzhong; Kwon, Chulan; Lee, Gabsang

    2016-01-01

    Summary Neurons derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are powerful tools for studying human neural development and diseases. Robust functional coupling of hPSC-derived neurons with target tissues in vitro is essential for modeling intercellular physiology in a dish and to further translational studies, but has proven difficult to achieve. Here, we derive sympathetic neurons from hPSCs and show they can form physical and functional connections with cardiac muscle cells. Using multiple hPSC reporter lines, we recapitulated human autonomic neuron development in vitro and successfully isolated PHOX2B:eGFP+ neurons that exhibit sympathetic marker expression and electrophysiological properties, and norepinephrine secretion. Upon pharmacologic and optogenetic manipulation, PHOX:eGFP+ neurons controlled beating rates of cardiomyocytes, and the physical interactions between these cells increased neuronal maturation. This study provides a foundation for human sympathetic neuron specification and for hPSC-based neuronal control of organs in a dish. PMID:27320040

  17. Cellular bioenergetics changes in magnocellular neurons may affect copeptin expression in the late phase of sepsis.

    PubMed

    Oliveira-Pelegrin, Gabriela R; Basso, Paulo J; Rocha, Maria José A

    2014-02-15

    We investigated whether inflammatory mediators during cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis may diminish copeptin expression in magnocellular neurons, thus affecting arginine-vasopressin (AVP) synthesis. The transcript abundance of IL-1β, IL-1R1, iNOS and HIF-1α was continuously elevated. IL-1β, iNOS and cytochrome c protein levels progressively increased until 24h. Immunostaining for these proteins was higher at 6 and 24h, as also seen in the annexin-V assay, while copeptin was continuously decreased. This suggests that increased IL-1β and NO levels may cause significant bioenergetics changes in magnocellular neurons, affecting copeptin expression and compromising AVP synthesis and secretion in the late phase of sepsis.

  18. Deriving functional structure of neuronal networks from spike train data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldt, Sarah; Hetrick, Vaughn; Berke, Joshua; Zochowski, Michal

    2009-03-01

    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.

  19. Functional properties of dopaminergic neurones in the mouse olfactory bulb

    PubMed Central

    Pignatelli, Angela; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Okano, Hideyuki; Belluzzi, Ottorino

    2005-01-01

    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

  20. In actio optophysiological analyses reveal functional diversification of dopaminergic neurons in the nematode C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Tanimoto, Yuki; Zheng, Ying Grace; Fei, Xianfeng; Fujie, Yukako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Kimura, Koutarou D.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27193056

  1. In actio optophysiological analyses reveal functional diversification of dopaminergic neurons in the nematode C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanimoto, Yuki; Zheng, Ying Grace; Fei, Xianfeng; Fujie, Yukako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Kimura, Koutarou D.

    2016-05-01

    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.

  2. FMRP regulates multipolar to bipolar transition affecting neuronal migration and cortical circuitry.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-12-01

    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. PMID:25402856

  3. Decreased Zinc Availability Affects Glutathione Metabolism in Neuronal Cells and in the Developing Brain

    PubMed Central

    Omata, Yo; Salvador, Gabriela A.; Oteiza, Patricia I.

    2013-01-01

    A deficit in zinc (Zn) availability can increase cell oxidant production, affect the antioxidant defense system, and trigger oxidant-sensitive signals in neuronal cells. This work tested the hypothesis that a decreased Zn availability can affect glutathione (GSH) metabolism in the developing rat brain and in neuronal cells in culture, as well as the capacity of human neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells to upregulate GSH when challenged with dopamine (DA). GSH levels were low in the brain of gestation day 19 (GD19) fetuses from dams fed marginal Zn diets throughout gestation and in Zn-deficient IMR-32 cells. γ-Glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCL), the first enzyme in the GSH synthetic pathway, was altered by Zn deficiency (ZD). The protein and mRNA levels of the GCL modifier (GCLM) and catalytic (GCLC) subunits were lower in the Zn-deficient GD19 fetal brain and in IMR-32 cells compared with controls. The nuclear translocation of transcription factor nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2, which controls GCL transcription, was impaired by ZD. Posttranslationally, the caspase-3-dependent GCLC cleavage was high in Zn-deficient IMR-32 cells. Cells challenged with DA showed an increase in GCLM and GCLC protein and mRNA levels and a consequent increase in GSH concentration. Although Zn-deficient cells partially upregulated GCL subunits after exposure to DA, GSH content remained low. In summary, results show that a low Zn availability affects the GSH synthetic pathway in neuronal cells and fetal brain both at transcriptional and posttranslational levels. This can in part underlie the GSH depletion associated with ZD and the high sensitivity of Zn-deficient neurons to pro-oxidative stressors. PMID:23377617

  4. An In Silico Agent-Based Model Demonstrates Reelin Function in Directing Lamination of Neurons during Cortical Development

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, James R.; Hughes, Barry D.; Britto, Joanne M.; Landman, Kerry A.

    2014-01-01

    The characteristic six-layered appearance of the neocortex arises from the correct positioning of pyramidal neurons during development and alterations in this process can cause intellectual disabilities and developmental delay. Malformations in cortical development arise when neurons either fail to migrate properly from the germinal zones or fail to cease migration in the correct laminar position within the cortical plate. The Reelin signalling pathway is vital for correct neuronal positioning as loss of Reelin leads to a partially inverted cortex. The precise biological function of Reelin remains controversial and debate surrounds its role as a chemoattractant or stop signal for migrating neurons. To investigate this further we developed an in silico agent-based model of cortical layer formation. Using this model we tested four biologically plausible hypotheses for neuron motility and four biologically plausible hypotheses for the loss of neuron motility (conversion from migration). A matrix of 16 combinations of motility and conversion rules was applied against the known structure of mouse cortical layers in the wild-type cortex, the Reelin-null mutant, the Dab1-null mutant and a conditional Dab1 mutant. Using this approach, many combinations of motility and conversion mechanisms can be rejected. For example, the model does not support Reelin acting as a repelling or as a stopping signal. In contrast, the study lends very strong support to the notion that the glycoprotein Reelin acts as a chemoattractant for neurons. Furthermore, the most viable proposition for the conversion mechanism is one in which conversion is affected by a motile neuron sensing in the near vicinity neurons that have already converted. Therefore, this model helps elucidate the function of Reelin during neuronal migration and cortical development. PMID:25334023

  5. Disentangling the functional consequences of the connectivity between optic-flow processing neurons.

    PubMed

    Weber, Franz; Machens, Christian K; Borst, Alexander

    2012-03-01

    Typically, neurons in sensory areas are highly interconnected. Coupling two neurons can synchronize their activity and affect a variety of single-cell properties, such as their stimulus tuning, firing rate or gain. All of these factors must be considered to understand how two neurons should be coupled to optimally process stimuli. We quantified the functional effect of an interaction between two optic-flow processing neurons (Vi and H1) in the fly (Lucilia sericata). Using a generative model, we estimated a uni-directional coupling from H1 to Vi. Especially at a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), the coupling strongly improved the information about optic-flow in Vi. We identified two constraints confining the strength of the interaction. First, for weak couplings, Vi benefited from inputs by H1 without a concomitant shift of its stimulus tuning. Second, at both low and high SNR, the coupling strength lay in a range in which the information carried by single spikes is optimal.

  6. Autologous mesenchymal stem cell–derived dopaminergic neurons function in parkinsonian macaques

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Takuya; Wakao, Shohei; Kitada, Masaaki; Ose, Takayuki; Watabe, Hiroshi; Kuroda, Yasumasa; Mitsunaga, Kanae; Matsuse, Dai; Shigemoto, Taeko; Ito, Akihito; Ikeda, Hironobu; Fukuyama, Hidenao; Onoe, Hirotaka; Tabata, Yasuhiko; Dezawa, Mari

    2012-01-01

    A cell-based therapy for the replacement of dopaminergic neurons has been a long-term goal in Parkinson’s disease research. Here, we show that autologous engraftment of A9 dopaminergic neuron-like cells induced from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) leads to long-term survival of the cells and restoration of motor function in hemiparkinsonian macaques. Differentiated MSCs expressed markers of A9 dopaminergic neurons and released dopamine after depolarization in vitro. The differentiated autologous cells were engrafted in the affected portion of the striatum. Animals that received transplants showed modest and gradual improvements in motor behaviors. Positron emission tomography (PET) using [11C]-CFT, a ligand for the dopamine transporter (DAT), revealed a dramatic increase in DAT expression, with a subsequent exponential decline over a period of 7 months. Kinetic analysis of the PET findings revealed that DAT expression remained above baseline levels for over 7 months. Immunohistochemical evaluations at 9 months consistently demonstrated the existence of cells positive for DAT and other A9 dopaminergic neuron markers in the engrafted striatum. These data suggest that transplantation of differentiated autologous MSCs may represent a safe and effective cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease. PMID:23202734

  7. GABAergic neurons of the medial septum play a nodal role in facilitation of nociception-induced affect.

    PubMed

    Ang, Seok Ting; Lee, Andy Thiam Huat; Foo, Fang Chee; Ng, Lynn; Low, Chian-Ming; Khanna, Sanjay

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. GABAergic neurons of the medial septum play a nodal role in facilitation of nociception-induced affect

    PubMed Central

    Ang, Seok Ting; Lee, Andy Thiam Huat; Foo, Fang Chee; Ng, Lynn; Low, Chian-Ming; Khanna, Sanjay

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. Age-related changes to TNF receptors affect neuron survival in the presence of beta-amyloid

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Jigisha R.; Brewer, Gregory J.

    2007-01-01

    Inflammation including local accumulations of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) is a part of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology and may exacerbate age-related neurodegeneration. Most studies on TNFα and TNF neuronal receptors are conducted using embryonic neurons. Few studies consider age-related deficits that may occur in neurons. Age-related changes in susceptibility to TNFα through TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) and receptor 2 (TNFR2) expression could increase susceptibility to β-amyloid (1-42, Abeta42). Evidence is conflicting about which receptor mediates survival and/or apoptosis. We determined how aging affects receptor expression in cultured adult rat cortical neurons. Old neurons were more susceptible to Abeta42 toxicity than middle-age neurons and the addition of TNFα was neuroprotective in middle-age, but exacerbated the toxicity from Abeta42 in old neurons. These pathologic and protective responses in old and middle-age neurons respectively correlated with higher starting TNFR1 and TNFR2 mRNA levels in old versus middle-age neurons. Middle-age neurons treated with TNFα plus Abeta42 did not show an increase in either TNFR1 or TNFR2 mRNA but old neurons showed an upregulation in TNFR2 mRNA and not TNFR1 mRNA. Despite these mRNA changes, surface immunoreactivity of both TNFR1 and TNFR2 increased with dose of TNFα in middle-age neurons. However, middle-age neurons treated with TNFα plus Abeta42 showed an upregulation in both TNFR1 and TNFR2 surface expression, whereas old neurons failed to upregulate surface expression of either receptor. These findings support the hypothesis that age-related changes in TNFα surface receptor expression contribute to the neuronal loss associated with inflammation in AD. PMID:18418902

  10. Metabolic control of neuronal pacemaker activity and the rhythmic organization of central nervous functions.

    PubMed

    Chaplain, R A

    1979-08-01

    The endogenous rhythmic activity of isolated pacemaker neurones of Aplysia californica appears to be controlled by the operation of a substrate cycle. The recycling of fructose-6-phosphate is mediated by two membrane-bound enzymes: phosphofructokinase (PFK) and fructose-1,6-diphosphatase (FDPase). Allosteric effectors which promote the PFK-FDPase system either increase the regular beating activity or induce bursting discharges, while inhibitory effectors reduce pacemaker activity. Associated with the PFK-FDPase cycle are slow oscillations in membrane potential, the postulate being that changes in amplitude and time period of the waves are brought about by the cyclic fluctuations of H+ ions and ATP in the immediate vicinity of the membrane. Other enzyme reactions which affect the concentrations of gluconeogenic substrates or PFK effectors can modulate the oscillatory driving input, a good example being the neurogenic amino acid glutamate. Modifiers of FDPase and PFK are equally effective in changing pacemaker activity within the intact neuronal network and, hence, the rhythmic body function connected to this network. This has been demonstrated with pacemaker neurones governing cardiovascular activity in Apylsia, blood pressure or heart beat in the cat, and respiration or thermoregulation in the rabbit. Nature appears to have achieved a functional differentiation between different pacemaker neurones by altering their response to at least one or two of the PFK and FDPase effectors. New periodicities can be entrained by current stimuli on the pre-existing rhythms of isolated Aplysia pacemaker neurones. Stimulus-induced resetting of the discharges is in fact accompanied by a redistribution between two kinetically distinct forms of PRK, and modifiers of this enzyme can stabilize the new periodicities or facilitate the conditioning effect of a stimulus. Memory facilitation and consolidation under PFK modifiers could also be demonstrated in avoidance and discrimination

  11. Functional Interaction Between Na/K-ATPase and NMDA Receptor in Cerebellar Neurons.

    PubMed

    Akkuratov, Evgeny E; Lopacheva, Olga M; Kruusmägi, Markus; Lopachev, Alexandr V; Shah, Zahoor A; Boldyrev, Alexander A; Liu, Lijun

    2015-12-01

    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.

  12. Phthalates Induce Neurotoxicity Affecting Locomotor and Thermotactic Behaviors and AFD Neurons through Oxidative Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, I-Ling; Yang, Ying-Fei; Yu, Chan-Wei; Li, Wen-Hsuan; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan

    2013-01-01

    Background Phthalate esters are ubiquitous environmental contaminants and numerous organisms are thus exposed to various levels of phthalates in their natural habitat. Considering the critical, but limited, research on human neurobehavioral outcomes in association with phthalates exposure, we used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo model to evaluate phthalates-induced neurotoxicity and the possible associated mechanisms. Principal Findings Exposure to phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and DIBP) at the examined concentrations induced behavioral defects, including changes in body bending, head thrashing, reversal frequency, and thermotaxis in C. elegans. Moreover, phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and DIBP) exposure caused toxicity, affecting the relative sizes of cell body fluorescent puncta, and relative intensities of cell bodies in AFD neurons. The mRNA levels of the majority of the genes (TTX-1, TAX-2, TAX-4, and CEH-14) that are required for the differentiation and function of AFD neurons were decreased upon DEHP exposure. Furthermore, phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and DIBP) exposure at the examined concentrations produced elevated intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in C. elegans. Finally, pretreatment with the antioxidant ascorbic acid significantly lowered the intracellular ROS level, ameliorated the locomotor and thermotactic behavior defects, and protected the damage of AFD neurons by DEHP exposure. Conclusions Our study suggests that oxidative stress plays a critical role in the phthalate esters-induced neurotoxic effects in C. elegans. PMID:24349328

  13. Neuronal or Hemodynamic? Grappling with the Functional MRI Signal

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:25093397

  14. Desensitization of G protein-coupled receptors and neuronal functions.

    PubMed

    Gainetdinov, Raul R; Premont, Richard T; Bohn, Laura M; Lefkowitz, Robert J; Caron, Marc G

    2004-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have proven to be the most highly favorable class of drug targets in modern pharmacology. Over 90% of nonsensory GPCRs are expressed in the brain, where they play important roles in numerous neuronal functions. GPCRs can be desensitized following activation by agonists by becoming phosphorylated by members of the family of G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs). Phosphorylated receptors are then bound by arrestins, which prevent further stimulation of G proteins and downstream signaling pathways. Discussed in this review are recent progress in understanding basics of GPCR desensitization, novel functional roles, patterns of brain expression, and receptor specificity of GRKs and beta arrestins in major brain functions. In particular, screening of genetically modified mice lacking individual GRKs or beta arrestins for alterations in behavioral and biochemical responses to cocaine and morphine has revealed a functional specificity in dopamine and mu-opioid receptor regulation of locomotion and analgesia. An important and specific role of GRKs and beta arrestins in regulating physiological responsiveness to psychostimulants and morphine suggests potential involvement of these molecules in certain brain disorders, such as addiction, Parkinson's disease, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. Furthermore, the utility of a pharmacological strategy aimed at targeting this GPCR desensitization machinery to regulate brain functions can be envisaged. PMID:15217328

  15. Dietary Restriction Affects Neuronal Response Property and GABA Synthesis in the Primary Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jinfang; Wang, Qian; He, Fenfen; Ding, Yanxia; Sun, Qingyan; Hua, Tianmiao; Xi, Minmin

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. Dietary Restriction Affects Neuronal Response Property and GABA Synthesis in the Primary Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Qingyan; Hua, Tianmiao; Xi, Minmin

    2016-01-01

    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

  17. Sensory Neuron-Derived Eph Regulates Glomerular Arbors and Modulatory Function of a Central Serotonergic Neuron

    PubMed Central

    Aggarwal, Aman; Diegelmann, Soeren; Evers, Jan Felix; Karandikar, Hrishikesh; Landgraf, Matthias; VijayRaghavan, K.

    2013-01-01

    Olfactory sensory neurons connect to the antennal lobe of the fly to create the primary units for processing odor cues, the glomeruli. Unique amongst antennal-lobe neurons is an identified wide-field serotonergic neuron, the contralaterally-projecting, serotonin-immunoreactive deutocerebral neuron (CSDn). The CSDn spreads its termini all over the contralateral antennal lobe, suggesting a diffuse neuromodulatory role. A closer examination, however, reveals a restricted pattern of the CSDn arborization in some glomeruli. We show that sensory neuron-derived Eph interacts with Ephrin in the CSDn, to regulate these arborizations. Behavioural analysis of animals with altered Eph-ephrin signaling and with consequent arborization defects suggests that neuromodulation requires local glomerular-specific patterning of the CSDn termini. Our results show the importance of developmental regulation of terminal arborization of even the diffuse modulatory neurons to allow them to route sensory-inputs according to the behavioural contexts. PMID:23637622

  18. Stress-Induced Tau Phosphorylation: Functional Neuroplasticity or Neuronal Vulnerability?

    PubMed Central

    Rissman, Robert A.

    2010-01-01

    Abnormally phosphorylated tau protein is a key component of the pathology seen in neurodegenerative tauopathies, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Despite its association with disease, tau phosphorylation (tau-P) also plays an important role in neuroplasticity, such as dendritic/synaptic remodeling seen in the hippocampus in response to environmental challenges, such as stress. To define the boundaries between neuroplasticity and neuropathology, studies have attempted to characterize the paradigms, stimuli, and signaling intermediates involved in stress-induced tau-P. Supporting an involvement of stress in AD are data demonstrating alterations in stress pathways and peptides in the AD brain and epidemiological data implicating stress exposure as a risk factor for AD. In this review, the question of whether stress-induced tau-P can be used as a model for examining the relationship between functional neuroplasticity and neuronal vulnerability will be discussed. PMID:19584431

  19. Leptin signaling in GABA neurons, but not glutamate neurons, is required for reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Zuure, Wieteke A; Roberts, Amy L; Quennell, Janette H; Anderson, Greg M

    2013-11-01

    The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin acts in the brain to modulate the central driver of fertility: the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal system. This effect is indirect, as GnRH neurons do not express leptin receptors (LEPRs). Here we test whether GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons provide the intermediate pathway between the site of leptin action and the GnRH neurons. Leptin receptors were deleted from GABA and glutamate neurons using Cre-Lox transgenics, and the downstream effects on puberty onset and reproduction were examined. Both mouse lines displayed the expected increase in body weight and region-specific loss of leptin signaling in the hypothalamus. The GABA neuron-specific LEPR knock-out females and males showed significantly delayed puberty onset. Adult fertility observations revealed that these knock-out animals have decreased fecundity. In contrast, glutamate neuron-specific LEPR knock-out mice displayed normal fertility. Assessment of the estrogenic hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis regulation in females showed that leptin action on GABA neurons is not necessary for estradiol-mediated suppression of tonic luteinizing hormone secretion (an indirect measure of GnRH neuron activity) but is required for regulation of a full preovulatory-like luteinizing hormone surge. In conclusion, leptin signaling in GABAergic (but not glutamatergic neurons) plays a critical role in the timing of puberty onset and is involved in fertility regulation throughout adulthood in both sexes. These results form an important step in explaining the role of central leptin signaling in the reproductive system. Limiting the leptin-to-GnRH mediators to GABAergic cells will enable future research to focus on a few specific types of neurons.

  20. Functional tetrodotoxin-resistant Na(+) channels are expressed presynaptically in rat dorsal root ganglia neurons.

    PubMed

    Medvedeva, Y V; Kim, M-S; Schnizler, K; Usachev, Y M

    2009-03-17

    The tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) voltage-gated Na(+) channels Na(v)1.8 and Na(v)1.9 are expressed by a subset of primary sensory neurons and have been implicated in various pain states. Although recent studies suggest involvement of TTX-R Na(+) channels in sensory synaptic transmission and spinal pain processing, it remains unknown whether TTX-R Na(+) channels are expressed and function presynaptically. We examined expression of TTX-R channels at sensory synapses formed between rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord (SC) neurons in a DRG/SC co-culture system. Immunostaining showed extensive labeling of presynaptic axonal boutons with Na(v)1.8- and Na(v)1.9-specific antibodies. Measurements using the fluorescent Na(+) indicator SBFI demonstrated action potential-induced presynaptic Na(+) entry that was resistant to tetrodotoxin (TTX) but was blocked by lidocaine. Furthermore, presynaptic [Ca(2+)](i) elevation in response to a single action potential was not affected by TTX in TTX-resistant DRG neurons. Finally, glutamatergic synaptic transmission was not inhibited by TTX in more than 50% of synaptic pairs examined; subsequent treatment with lidocaine completely blocked these TTX-resistant excitatory postsynaptic currents. Taken together, these results provide evidence for presynaptic expression of functional TTX-R Na(+) channels that may be important for shaping presynaptic action potentials and regulating transmitter release at the first sensory synapse. PMID:19162133

  1. High noise correlation between the functionally connected neurons in emergent V1 microcircuits.

    PubMed

    Bharmauria, Vishal; Bachatene, Lyes; Cattan, Sarah; Chanauria, Nayan; Rouat, Jean; Molotchnikoff, Stéphane

    2016-02-01

    Neural correlations (noise correlations and cross-correlograms) are widely studied to infer functional connectivity between neurons. High noise correlations between neurons have been reported to increase the encoding accuracy of a neuronal population; however, low noise correlations have also been documented to play a critical role in cortical microcircuits. Therefore, the role of noise correlations in neural encoding is highly debated. To this aim, through multi-electrodes, we recorded neuronal ensembles in the primary visual cortex of anaesthetized cats. By computing cross-correlograms, we divulged the functional network (microcircuit) between neurons within an ensemble in relation to a specific orientation. We show that functionally connected neurons systematically exhibit higher noise correlations than functionally unconnected neurons in a microcircuit that is activated in response to a particular orientation. Furthermore, the mean strength of noise correlations for the connected neurons increases steeply than the unconnected neurons as a function of the resolution window used to calculate noise correlations. We suggest that neurons that display high noise correlations in emergent microcircuits feature functional connections which are inevitable for information encoding in the primary visual cortex.

  2. Increased actin polymerization and stabilization interferes with neuronal function and survival in the AMPKγ mutant Loechrig.

    PubMed

    Cook, Mandy; Bolkan, Bonnie J; Kretzschmar, Doris

    2014-01-01

    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.

  3. Microbial light-activatable proton pumps as neuronal inhibitors to functionally dissect neuronal networks in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Husson, Steven J; Liewald, Jana F; Schultheis, Christian; Stirman, Jeffrey N; Lu, Hang; Gottschalk, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    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

  4. Functional topography of serotonergic systems supports the Deakin/Graeff hypothesis of anxiety and affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Paul, Evan D; Lowry, Christopher A

    2013-12-01

    Over 20 years ago, Deakin and Graeff hypothesized about the role of different serotonergic pathways in controlling the behavioral and physiologic responses to aversive stimuli, and how compromise of these pathways could lead to specific symptoms of anxiety and affective disorders. A growing body of evidence suggests these serotonergic pathways arise from topographically organized subpopulations of serotonergic neurons located in the dorsal and median raphe nuclei. We argue that serotonergic neurons in the dorsal/caudal parts of the dorsal raphe nucleus project to forebrain limbic regions involved in stress/conflict anxiety-related processes, which may be relevant for anxiety and affective disorders. Serotonergic neurons in the "lateral wings" of the dorsal raphe nucleus provide inhibitory control over structures controlling fight-or-flight responses. Dysfunction of this pathway could be relevant for panic disorder. Finally, serotonergic neurons in the median raphe nucleus, and the developmentally and functionally-related interfascicular part of the dorsal raphe nucleus, give rise to forebrain limbic projections that are involved in tolerance and coping with aversive stimuli, which could be important for affective disorders like depression. Elucidating the mechanisms through which stress activates these topographically and functionally distinct serotonergic pathways, and how dysfunction of these pathways leads to symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders, may lead to the development of novel approaches to both the prevention and treatment of anxiety and affective disorders.

  5. Constrained Synaptic Connectivity in Functional Mammalian Neuronal Networks Grown on Patterned Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourdieu, Laurent; Wyart, Claire; Ybert, Christophe; Herr, Catherine; Chatenay, Didier

    2002-03-01

    The use of ordered neuronal networks in vitro is a promising approach to study the development and the activity of neuronal assemblies. However in previous attempts, sufficient growth control and physiological maturation of neurons could not be achieved. We describe an original protocol in which polylysine patterns confine the adhesion of cellular bodies to prescribed spots and the neuritic growth to thin lines. Hippocampal neurons are maintained healthy in serum free medium up to five weeks in vitro. Electrophysiology and immunochemistry show that neurons exhibit mature excitatory and inhibitory synapses and calcium imaging reveals spontaneous bursting activity of neurons in isolated networks. Neurons in these geometrical networks form functional synapses preferentially to their first neighbors. We have therefore established a simple and robust protocol to constrain both the location of neuronal cell bodies and their pattern of connectivity.

  6. Maternal mobile phone exposure adversely affects the electrophysiological properties of Purkinje neurons in rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Haghani, M; Shabani, M; Moazzami, K

    2013-10-10

    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.

  7. Depressing Antidepressant: Fluoxetine Affects Serotonin Neurons Causing Adverse Reproductive Responses in Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Campos, Bruno; Rivetti, Claudia; Kress, Timm; Barata, Carlos; Dircksen, Heinrich

    2016-06-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used antidepressants. As endocrine disruptive contaminants in the environment, SSRIs affect reproduction in aquatic organisms. In the water flea Daphnia magna, SSRIs increase offspring production in a food ration-dependent manner. At limiting food conditions, females exposed to SSRIs produce more but smaller offspring, which is a maladaptive life-history strategy. We asked whether increased serotonin levels in newly identified serotonin-neurons in the Daphnia brain mediate these effects. We provide strong evidence that exogenous SSRI fluoxetine selectively increases serotonin-immunoreactivity in identified brain neurons under limiting food conditions thereby leading to maladaptive offspring production. Fluoxetine increases serotonin-immunoreactivity at low food conditions to similar maximal levels as observed under high food conditions and concomitantly enhances offspring production. Sublethal amounts of the neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine known to specifically ablate serotonin-neurons markedly decrease serotonin-immunoreactivity and offspring production, strongly supporting the effect to be serotonin-specific by reversing the reproductive phenotype attained under fluoxetine. Thus, SSRIs impair serotonin-regulation of reproductive investment in a planktonic key organism causing inappropriately increased reproduction with potentially severe ecological impact. PMID:27128505

  8. Neuronal Heterotopias Affect the Activities of Distant Brain Areas and Lead to Behavioral Deficits.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kazuhiro; Kubo, Ken-ichiro; Endo, Toshihiro; Yoshida, Keitaro; Benner, Seico; Ito, Yukiko; Aizawa, Hidenori; Aramaki, Michihiko; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Tanaka, Kohichi; Takata, Norio; Tanaka, Kenji F; Mimura, Masaru; Tohyama, Chiharu; Kakeyama, Masaki; Nakajima, Kazunori

    2015-09-01

    Neuronal heterotopia refers to brain malformations resulting from deficits of neuronal migration. Individuals with heterotopias show a high incidence of neurological deficits, such as epilepsy. More recently, it has come to be recognized that focal heterotopias may also show a range of psychiatric problems, including cognitive and behavioral impairments. However, because focal heterotopias are not always located in the brain areas responsible for the symptoms, the causal relationship between the symptoms and heterotopias remains elusive. In this study, we showed that mice with focal heterotopias in the somatosensory cortex generated by in utero electroporation exhibited spatial working memory deficit and low competitive dominance behavior, which have been shown to be closely associated with the activity of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rodents. Analysis of the mPFC activity revealed that the immediate-early gene expression was decreased and the local field potentials of the mPFC were altered in the mice with heterotopias compared with the control mice. Moreover, activation of these ectopic and overlying sister neurons using the DREADD (designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug) system improved the working memory deficits. These findings suggest that cortical regions containing focal heterotopias can affect distant brain regions and give rise to behavioral abnormalities. Significance statement: Recent studies reported that patients with heterotopias have a variety of clinical symptoms, such as cognitive disturbance, psychiatric symptoms, and autistic behavior. However, the causal relationship between the symptoms and heterotopias remains elusive. Here we showed that mice with focal heterotopias in the somatosensory cortex generated by in utero electroporation exhibited behavioral deficits that have been shown to be associated with the mPFC activity in rodents. The existence of heterotopias indeed altered the neural activities of the mPFC, and

  9. Neuronal Heterotopias Affect the Activities of Distant Brain Areas and Lead to Behavioral Deficits.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kazuhiro; Kubo, Ken-ichiro; Endo, Toshihiro; Yoshida, Keitaro; Benner, Seico; Ito, Yukiko; Aizawa, Hidenori; Aramaki, Michihiko; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Tanaka, Kohichi; Takata, Norio; Tanaka, Kenji F; Mimura, Masaru; Tohyama, Chiharu; Kakeyama, Masaki; Nakajima, Kazunori

    2015-09-01

    Neuronal heterotopia refers to brain malformations resulting from deficits of neuronal migration. Individuals with heterotopias show a high incidence of neurological deficits, such as epilepsy. More recently, it has come to be recognized that focal heterotopias may also show a range of psychiatric problems, including cognitive and behavioral impairments. However, because focal heterotopias are not always located in the brain areas responsible for the symptoms, the causal relationship between the symptoms and heterotopias remains elusive. In this study, we showed that mice with focal heterotopias in the somatosensory cortex generated by in utero electroporation exhibited spatial working memory deficit and low competitive dominance behavior, which have been shown to be closely associated with the activity of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rodents. Analysis of the mPFC activity revealed that the immediate-early gene expression was decreased and the local field potentials of the mPFC were altered in the mice with heterotopias compared with the control mice. Moreover, activation of these ectopic and overlying sister neurons using the DREADD (designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug) system improved the working memory deficits. These findings suggest that cortical regions containing focal heterotopias can affect distant brain regions and give rise to behavioral abnormalities. Significance statement: Recent studies reported that patients with heterotopias have a variety of clinical symptoms, such as cognitive disturbance, psychiatric symptoms, and autistic behavior. However, the causal relationship between the symptoms and heterotopias remains elusive. Here we showed that mice with focal heterotopias in the somatosensory cortex generated by in utero electroporation exhibited behavioral deficits that have been shown to be associated with the mPFC activity in rodents. The existence of heterotopias indeed altered the neural activities of the mPFC, and

  10. A new approach to the determination of the stellate neuron activity function in rat's brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klymenko, O.; Oleinick, A.; Amatore, C.; Svir, I.

    2008-09-01

    In this work, we present the results of a mathematical modelling of NO· release by neurons and its transport in the brain by diffusion. The model is applied to analyze the experimental data on NO· release from a neuron monitored during its patch-clamp stimulation by an ultramicroelectrode introduced into a slice of living rat’s brain. The neuron activity function was obtained by numerical deconvolution of the experimental data using the response function of the electrode to an instantaneous spike of neuronal activity. The Gaussian decomposition of NO· release activity function allows qualitative and quantitative conclusions to be drawn about neuron activity. Since the integral activity function is readily obtained by deconvolution, the decomposition can be performed using other more relevant descriptions of NO· bursts emerging from active neurons.

  11. Cyclophosphamide-Induced Bladder Inflammation Sensitizes and Enhances P2X Receptor Function in Rat Bladder Sensory Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Dang, Khoa; Lamb, Kenneth; Cohen, Michael; Bielefeldt, Klaus; Gebhart, G. F.

    2009-01-01

    We studied sensitization of retrogradely labeled bladder sensory neurons and plasticity of P2X receptor function in a model of cystitis using patch-clamp techniques. Saline (control) or cyclophosphamide (CYP) was given intraperitoneally to rats on days 0, 2, and 4. On day 5, lumbosacral (LS, L6–S2) or thoracolumbar (TL, T12–L2) dorsal root ganglia were removed and dissociated. Bladders from CYP-treated rats showed partial loss of the urothelium and greater myeloperoxidase activity compared with controls. Bladder neurons from CYP-treated rats were increased in size (based on whole cell capacitance) compared with controls and exhibited lower activation threshold, increased action potential width, and greater number of action potentials in response to current injection or application of purinergic agonists. Most control LS bladder neurons (>85%) responded to ATP or α,β-metATP with a slowly desensitizing current; these agonists affected only half of TL neurons, producing predominantly fast/mixed desensitizing currents. CYP treatment increased the fraction of TL bladder neurons sensitive to purinergic agonists (>80%) and significantly increased current density in both LS and TL bladder neurons compared with control. Importantly, LS and TL neurons from CYP-treated rats showed a selective increase in the functional expression of heteromeric P2X2/3 and homomeric P2X3 receptors, respectively. Although desensitizing kinetics were slower in LS neurons from CYP-treated compared with control rats, recovery kinetics were similar. The present results demonstrate that bladder inflammation sensitizes and increases P2X receptor expression and/or function for both pelvic and lumbar splanchnic pathways, which contribute, in part, to the hypersensitivity associated with cystitis. PMID:17959738

  12. The effects of temperature on peripheral neuronal function in eurythermal and stenothermal crustaceans.

    PubMed

    Young, John S; Peck, Lloyd S; Matheson, Thomas

    2006-05-01

    To determine whether neuronal function in Antarctic crustaceans is adapted to the low and narrow range of temperatures at which these animals live, we have compared conduction velocities in the peripheral nervous systems of two temperate species, the decapod Carcinus maenas and the isopod Ligia oceanica, and two Antarctic species, the isopod Glyptonotus antarcticus and the amphipod Paraceradocus gibber. Neuronal conduction velocity differs among the species in the order C. maenas > G. antarcticus > P. gibber > L. oceanica. When measured at the normal environmental temperatures characteristic of each species, conduction velocity of the Antarctic peracarid P. gibber is greater than that of its similar sized temperate relative L. oceanica, demonstrating complete thermal compensation. The temperate decapod C. maenas has a higher thermal dependence of neuronal conduction velocity than either of the Antarctic species, G. antarcticus and P. gibber, but the temperate L. oceanica does not. These data, when collated with published values, indicate that peracarid crustaceans (L. oceanica, G. antarcticus and P. gibber) have lower neuronal conduction velocities and a lower thermal dependence of neuronal conduction velocity than do other arthropods, irrespective of habitat. There is a linear dependence of conduction velocity on temperature down to -1.8 degrees C in all three species. Our data extend by more than 10 degrees the lower range of temperatures at which conduction velocities have been tested systematically in previous studies. The upper thermal block of neuronal conduction is similar in C. maenas, G. antarcticus, P. gibber and L. oceanica at 24.5, 19.5, 21.5 and 19.5 degrees C, respectively. This suggests that failure to conduct action potentials is not what determines the mortality of Antarctic invertebrates at approximately 10 degrees C. The excitability of axons in the leg nerve of G. antarcticus is not affected by temperatures ranging from -1.8 to +18 degrees C

  13. A drive-reinforcement model of single neuron function: An alternative to the Hebbian neuronal model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klopf, A. Harry

    1986-08-01

    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.

  14. Hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons in an animal model of seasonal affective disorder.

    PubMed

    Deats, Sean P; Adidharma, Widya; Yan, Lily

    2015-08-18

    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.

  15. Hypothalamic Dopaminergic Neurons in an Animal Model of Seasonal Affective Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Deats, Sean P.; Adidharma, Widya; Yan, Lily

    2015-01-01

    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 12:12hr Dim Light:Dark (DLD) or 8:16hr 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 12:12hr Bright Light:Dark (BLD) condition. Furthermore, we revealed 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. PMID:26116821

  16. Overexpression of survival motor neuron improves neuromuscular function and motor neuron survival in mutant SOD1 mice

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Bradley J.; Alfazema, Neza; Sheean, Rebecca K.; Sleigh, James N.; Davies, Kay E.; Horne, Malcolm K.; Talbot, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy results from diminished levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein in spinal motor neurons. Low levels of SMN also occur in models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and genetic reduction of SMN levels exacerbates the phenotype of transgenic SOD1G93A mice. Here, we demonstrate that SMN protein is significantly reduced in the spinal cords of patients with sporadic ALS. To test the potential of SMN as a modifier of ALS, we overexpressed SMN in 2 different strains of SOD1G93A mice. Neuronal overexpression of SMN significantly preserved locomotor function, rescued motor neurons, and attenuated astrogliosis in spinal cords of SOD1G93A mice. Despite this, survival was not prolonged, most likely resulting from SMN mislocalization and depletion of gems in motor neurons of symptomatic mice. Our results reveal that SMN upregulation slows locomotor deficit onset and motor neuron loss in this mouse model of ALS. However, disruption of SMN nuclear complexes by high levels of mutant SOD1, even in the presence of SMN overexpression, might limit its survival promoting effects in this specific mouse model. Studies in emerging mouse models of ALS are therefore warranted to further explore the potential of SMN as a modifier of ALS. PMID:24210254

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Various fates of neuronal progenitor cells observed on several different chemical functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xi; Wang, Ying; He, Jin; Wang, Xiu-Mei; Cui, Fu-Zhai; Xu, Quan-Yuan

    2011-12-01

    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.

  19. Investigation of synapse formation and function in a glutamatergic-GABAergic two-neuron microcircuit.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Ling; Trimbuch, Thorsten; Chao, Hsiao-Tuan; Jordan, Julia-Christine; Herman, Melissa A; Rosenmund, Christian

    2014-01-15

    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. PMID:24431444

  20. Investigation of synapse formation and function in a glutamatergic-GABAergic two-neuron microcircuit.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Ling; Trimbuch, Thorsten; Chao, Hsiao-Tuan; Jordan, Julia-Christine; Herman, Melissa A; Rosenmund, Christian

    2014-01-15

    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.

  1. Patterned illumination for analysing neuronal function in 3D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Go, Mary Ann; Stricker, Christian; Redman, Steve; Bachor, Hans; Daria, Vincent R.

    2012-06-01

    We use patterned 3D multi-spot illumination to perform neuronal multi-site stimulation in rat brain tissue. Using a spatial light modulator, we holograpically project 3D light fields for multi-site two-photon photolysis of caged neurotransmitters to generate synaptic inputs to a neuron. Controlled photostimulation of multiple synapses from various locations in the dendritic tree provides a way to analyze how neurons integrate multiple inputs. Our holographic projection setup is incorporated into a two-photon 3D imaging microscope for visualization and for accurate positioning of specific uncaging sites along the neuron's dendritic tree. We show two-photon images and the neuron's response to holographic photostimulation of synapses along dendrites.

  2. Multiple messengers in descending serotonin neurons: localization and functional implications.

    PubMed

    Hökfelt, T; Arvidsson, U; Cullheim, S; Millhorn, D; Nicholas, A P; Pieribone, V; Seroogy, K; Ulfhake, B

    2000-02-01

    In the present review article we summarize mainly histochemical work dealing with descending bulbospinal serotonin neurons which also express a number of neuropeptides, in particular substance P and thyrotropin releasing hormone. Such neurons have been observed both in rat, cat and monkey, and may preferentially innervate the ventral horns of the spinal cord, whereas the serotonin projections to the dorsal horn seem to lack these coexisting peptides. More recent studies indicate that a small population of medullary raphe serotonin neurons, especially at rostral levels, also synthesize the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). Many serotonin neurons contain the glutamate synthesizing enzyme glutaminase and can be labelled with antibodies raised against glutamate, suggesting that one and the same neuron may release several signalling substances, causing a wide spectrum of post- (and pre-) synaptic actions. PMID:10708921

  3. Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-01-01

    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.

  4. Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:20336685

  5. Toll like receptor 9 antagonism modulates spinal cord neuronal function and survival: Direct versus astrocyte-mediated mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Acioglu, Cigdem; Mirabelli, Ersilia; Baykal, Ahmet Tarik; Ni, Li; Ratnayake, Ayomi; Heary, Robert F; Elkabes, Stella

    2016-08-01

    Toll like receptors (TLRs) are expressed by cells of the immune system and mediate the host innate immune responses to pathogens. However, increasing evidence indicates that they are important contributors to central nervous system (CNS) function in health and in pathological conditions involving sterile inflammation. In agreement with this idea, we have previously shown that intrathecal administration of a TLR9 antagonist, cytidine-phosphate-guanosine oligodeoxynucleotide 2088 (CpG ODN 2088), ameliorates the outcomes of spinal cord injury (SCI). Although these earlier studies showed a marked effect of CpG ODN 2088 on inflammatory cells, the expression of TLR9 in spinal cord (SC) neurons and astrocytes suggested that the antagonist exerts additional effects through direct actions on these cells. The current study was undertaken to assess the direct effects of CpG ODN 2088 on SC neurons, astrocytes and astrocyte-neuron interactions, in vitro. We report, for the first time, that inhibition of TLR9 in cultured SC neurons alters their function and confers protection against kainic acid (KA)-induced excitotoxic death. Moreover, the TLR9 antagonist attenuated the KA-elicited endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response in neurons, in vitro. CpG ODN 2088 also reduced the transcript levels and release of chemokine (C-X-C) motif ligand 1 (CXCL1) and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) by astrocytes and it diminished interleukin-6 (IL-6) release without affecting transcript levels in vitro. Conditioned medium (CM) of CpG ODN 2088-treated astroglial cultures decreased the viability of SC neurons compared to CM of vehicle-treated astrocytes. However, this toxicity was not observed when astrocytes were co-cultured with neurons. Although CpG ODN 2088 limited the survival-promoting effects of astroglia, it did not reduce neuronal viability compared to controls grown in the absence of astrocytes. We conclude that the TLR9 antagonist acts directly on both SC neurons and astrocytes

  6. Drosophila as a Model for MECP2 Gain of Function in Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Vonhoff, Fernando; Williams, Alison; Ryglewski, Stefanie; Duch, Carsten

    2012-01-01

    Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) is a multi-functional regulator of gene expression. In humans loss of MECP2 function causes classic Rett syndrome, but gain of MECP2 function also causes mental retardation. Although mouse models provide valuable insight into Mecp2 gain and loss of function, the identification of MECP2 genetic targets and interactors remains time intensive and complicated. This study takes a step toward utilizing Drosophila as a model to identify genetic targets and cellular consequences of MECP2 gain-of function mutations in neurons, the principle cell type affected in patients with Rett-related mental retardation. We show that heterologous expression of human MECP2 in Drosophila motoneurons causes distinct defects in dendritic structure and motor behavior, as reported with MECP2 gain of function in humans and mice. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that these defects arise from specific MECP2 function. First, neurons with MECP2-induced dendrite loss show normal membrane currents. Second, dendritic phenotypes require an intact methyl-CpG-binding domain. Third, dendritic defects are amended by reducing the dose of the chromatin remodeling protein, osa, indicating that MECP2 may act via chromatin remodeling in Drosophila. MECP2-induced motoneuron dendritic defects cause specific motor behavior defects that are easy to score in genetic screening. In sum, our data show that some aspects of MECP2 function can be studied in the Drosophila model, thus expanding the repertoire of genetic reagents that can be used to unravel specific neural functions of MECP2. However, additional genes and signaling pathways identified through such approaches in Drosophila will require careful validation in the mouse model. PMID:22363746

  7. Age-related functional changes of the glutamate receptor channels in rat Meynert neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Akaike, N; Rhee, J S

    1997-01-01

    1. The developmental changes of glutamate receptors (GluRs) in acutely dissociated rat Meynert neurones were investigated using the conventional whole cell and nystatin perforated patch recording modes under voltage-clamp conditions. 2. The neurones became less responsive to N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) with age, most dramatically between 1 day and 2 weeks, while the responses to kainic acid (KA) and L-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) gradually increased. The metabotropic GluR response appeared a few days after birth, but thereafter no further change was observed. 3. The decrease in the NMDA response during postnatal development was due to an abrupt reduction in the number of receptors without affecting the affinity, voltage-dependent Mg2+ blockade or high Ca2+ permeability (PCa/PCs approximately 7.0). 4. PCa/PCs in the presence of KA decreased from 2.8 in the 1-day-old (1D) rat neurones to 1.1 and 0.44 in the 2-week-old (2W) and 6-month-old (6M) rat neurones, respectively. The concentration-response relationship for KA shifted to the left with age. The KA response was not affected by NS-102, a KA-selective antagonist, thus indicating that the increased affinity of the receptor for the ligand resulted from the change in the AMPA receptor channel subunits. 5. The AMPA response in the presence of 10(-4) M cyclothiazide showed a change in the inward rectifying current-voltage relationship with age. The KA response was strongly cross-desensitized by the addition of AMPA and was also blocked by 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX), whereas a rapid desensitization of the AMPA response was removed in a concentration-dependent manner by cyclothiazide. These results indicate that the non-NMDA receptor channels are assembled from the subunits of the AMPA receptor family without the GluR-2 subunit, thus resulting in a high Ca2+ permeability. 6. The L-glutamate (Glu)-induced responses were more sensitive to DL-2-amino-5

  8. Functional dissociation in sweet taste receptor neurons between and within taste organs of Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Thoma, Vladimiros; Knapek, Stephan; Arai, Shogo; Hartl, Marion; Kohsaka, Hiroshi; Sirigrivatanawong, Pudith; Abe, Ayako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Tanimoto, Hiromu

    2016-02-19

    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.

  9. Functional dissociation in sweet taste receptor neurons between and within taste organs of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Thoma, Vladimiros; Knapek, Stephan; Arai, Shogo; Hartl, Marion; Kohsaka, Hiroshi; Sirigrivatanawong, Pudith; Abe, Ayako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Tanimoto, Hiromu

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Functional dissociation in sweet taste receptor neurons between and within taste organs of Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Thoma, Vladimiros; Knapek, Stephan; Arai, Shogo; Hartl, Marion; Kohsaka, Hiroshi; Sirigrivatanawong, Pudith; Abe, Ayako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Tanimoto, Hiromu

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Functional Connectome Analysis of Dopamine Neuron Glutamatergic Connections in Forebrain Regions

    PubMed Central

    Mingote, Susana; Chuhma, Nao; Kusnoor, Sheila V.; Field, Bianca; Deutch, Ariel Y.

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. Molecular functionalization of carbon nanotubes and use as substrates for neuronal growth.

    PubMed

    Mattson, M P; Haddon, R C; Rao, A M

    2000-06-01

    Carbon nanotubes are strong, flexible, conduct electrical current, and can be functionalized with different molecules, properties that may be useful in basic and applied neuroscience research. We report the first application of carbon nanotube technology to neuroscience research. Methods were developed for growing embryonic rat-brain neurons on multiwalled carbon nanotubes. On unmodified nanotubes, neurons extend only one or two neurites, which exhibit very few branches. In contrast, neurons grown on nanotubes coated with the bioactive molecule 4-hydroxynonenal elaborate multiple neurites, which exhibit extensive branching. These findings establish the feasability of using nanotubes as substrates for nerve cell growth and as probes of neuronal function at the nanometer scale.

  13. Neurocognitive poetics: methods and models for investigating the neuronal and cognitive-affective bases of literature reception.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Arthur M

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. Neurocognitive poetics: methods and models for investigating the neuronal and cognitive-affective bases of literature reception

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Neurocognitive poetics: methods and models for investigating the neuronal and cognitive-affective bases of literature reception.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Arthur M

    2015-01-01

    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.

  16. Voltage imaging to understand connections and functions of neuronal circuits.

    PubMed

    Antic, Srdjan D; Empson, Ruth M; Knöpfel, Thomas

    2016-07-01

    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. PMID:27075539

  17. Responses of pigeon vestibulocerebellar neurons to optokinetic stimulation. I. Functional organization of neurons discriminating between translational and rotational visual flow.

    PubMed

    Wylie, D R; Kripalani, T; Frost, B J

    1993-12-01

    groups, most neurons (70%) showed an ipsilateral dominance. 5. For most binocular neurons (91%), the maximum depth of modulation occurred with simultaneous stimulation of both eyes, compared with monocular stimulation of the dominant eye alone. For the translation neurons (descent and ascent), binocular inphase stimulation produced the maximum depth of modulation, whereas for the rotation neurons (roll and yaw), binocular antiphase stimulation produced the maximum depth of modulation. 6. There was a clear functional segregation of the translation and rotation neurons.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

  18. Electrophysiological evidence for functionally distinct neuronal populations in the human substantia nigra.

    PubMed

    Ramayya, Ashwin G; Zaghloul, Kareem A; Weidemann, Christoph T; Baltuch, Gordon H; Kahana, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    The human substantia nigra (SN) is thought to consist of two functionally distinct neuronal populations-dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the pars compacta subregion and GABA-ergic neurons in the pars reticulata subregion. However, a functional dissociation between these neuronal populations has not previously been demonstrated in the awake human. Here we obtained microelectrode recordings from the SN of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for Parkinson's disease as they performed a two-alternative reinforcement learning task. Following positive feedback presentation, we found that putative DA and GABA neurons demonstrated distinct temporal dynamics. DA neurons demonstrated phasic increases in activity (250-500 ms post-feedback) whereas putative GABA neurons demonstrated more delayed and sustained increases in activity (500-1000 ms post-feedback). These results provide the first electrophysiological evidence for a functional dissociation between DA and GABA neurons in the human SN. We discuss possible functions for these neuronal responses based on previous findings in human and animal studies. PMID:25249957

  19. HERC 1 Ubiquitin Ligase Mutation Affects Neocortical, CA3 Hippocampal and Spinal Cord Projection Neurons: An Ultrastructural Study

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz, Rocío; Pérez-Villegas, Eva María; Bachiller, Sara; Rosa, José Luis; Armengol, José Angel

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. HERC 1 Ubiquitin Ligase Mutation Affects Neocortical, CA3 Hippocampal and Spinal Cord Projection Neurons: An Ultrastructural Study.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Rocío; Pérez-Villegas, Eva María; Bachiller, Sara; Rosa, José Luis; Armengol, José Angel

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. Phencyclidine affects firing activity of ventral tegmental area neurons that are related to reward and social behaviors in rats.

    PubMed

    Katayama, T; Okamoto, M; Suzuki, Y; Hoshino, K-Y; Jodo, E

    2013-06-14

    Patients with schizophrenia exhibit deficits in motivation and affect, which suggests an impairment in the reward system. The psychotomimetic drug, phencyclidine (PCP), also induces schizophrenia-like negative symptoms, such as reduced motivation, blunted affect, and social withdrawal in both humans and animals. Previous studies have indicated that the dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) play a pivotal role in the development of reward-associated learning and motivation. However, how PCP affects the activity of VTA neurons during performance of a reward-related task and social interaction with others in unanesthetized animals remains unclear. Here, we recorded the unit activity of VTA neurons in freely moving rats before and after systemic administration of PCP in a classical conditioning paradigm, and during social interaction with an unfamiliar partner. In the classical conditioning task, two different tones were sequentially presented, one of which accompanied electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle as an unconditioned stimulus. After identifying the response properties of recorded neurons in the classical conditioning task and social interaction, animals received an intraperitoneal injection of PCP. Our study demonstrated that most VTA neurons responsive to reward-associated stimuli were also activated during social interaction. Such activation of neurons was considerably suppressed by systemic administration of PCP, thus, PCP may affect the firing activity of VTA neurons that are involved in motivation, learning, and social interaction. Disruption of the response of VTA neurons to reward stimuli and socially interactive situations may be involved in PCP-induced impairments similar to the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

  2. Neuronal Dysregulation in Stroke-Associated Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA): Diagnostic Scales and Current Treatment Options

    PubMed Central

    Lapchak, Paul A

    2015-01-01

    Until recently there was little understanding of the exact pathophysiology and treatment choices for stroke patients with Pseudobulbar affect (PBA). PBA is typically characterized by outbursts or uncontrollable laughing or crying and in the majority of patients, the outbursts being involuntary and incompatible with the patients’ emotional state. PBA is a behavioral syndrome reported to be displayed in 28–52% of stroke patients with first or multiple strokes, and incidence may be higher in patients who have had prior stroke events, and higher in females. There is typically involvement of glutaminergic, serotoninergic and dopaminergic neuronal circuits of the corticolimbic-subcorticothalamic-pontocerebellar network. PBA is now understood to be a disinhibition syndrome in which specific pathways involving serotonin and glutamate are disrupted or modulated causing reduced cortical inhibition of a cerebellar/brainstem-situated “emotional” laughing or crying focal center. Stroke-induced disruption of one or more neuronal pathway circuits may “disinhibit” voluntary laughing and crying making the process involuntary. With a “new” treatment currently being marketed to treat PBA patients, this article will delve into the neurological and physiological basis for PBA in stroke, and review progress with the diagnosis and treatment of PBA. PMID:26693049

  3. Histological and Functional Benefit Following Transplantation of Motor Neuron Progenitors to the Injured Rat Spinal Cord

    PubMed Central

    Wyatt, Tanya; Yin, Hong Zhen; Poole, Aleksandra J.; Weiss, John H.; Gardener, Matthew J.; Dijkstra, Sipke; Fischer, David F.; Keirstead, Hans S.

    2010-01-01

    Background Motor neuron loss is characteristic of cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) and contributes to functional deficit. Methodology/Principal Findings In order to investigate the amenability of the injured adult spinal cord to motor neuron differentiation, we transplanted spinal cord injured animals with a high purity population of human motor neuron progenitors (hMNP) derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). In vitro, hMNPs displayed characteristic motor neuron-specific markers, a typical electrophysiological profile, functionally innervated human or rodent muscle, and secreted physiologically active growth factors that caused neurite branching and neuronal survival. hMNP transplantation into cervical SCI sites in adult rats resulted in suppression of intracellular signaling pathways associated with SCI pathogenesis, which correlated with greater endogenous neuronal survival and neurite branching. These neurotrophic effects were accompanied by significantly enhanced performance on all parameters of the balance beam task, as compared to controls. Interestingly, hMNP transplantation resulted in survival, differentiation, and site-specific integration of hMNPs distal to the SCI site within ventral horns, but hMNPs near the SCI site reverted to a neuronal progenitor state, suggesting an environmental deficiency for neuronal maturation associated with SCI. Conclusions/Significance These findings underscore the barriers imposed on neuronal differentiation of transplanted cells by the gliogenic nature of the injured spinal cord, and the physiological relevance of transplant-derived neurotrophic support to functional recovery. PMID:20686613

  4. Strategies to promote differentiation of newborn neurons into mature functional cells in Alzheimer brain.

    PubMed

    Schaeffer, Evelin L; Novaes, Barbara A; da Silva, Emanuelle R; Skaf, Heni D; Mendes-Neto, Alvaro G

    2009-10-01

    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.

  5. Importance of being Nernst: Synaptic activity and functional relevance in stem cell-derived neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bradford, Aaron B; McNutt, Patrick M

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Processing of Reelin by embryonic neurons is important for function in tissue but not in dissociated cultured neurons.

    PubMed

    Jossin, Yves; Gui, Lanrun; Goffinet, André M

    2007-04-18

    Reelin, the protein defective in reeler mutant mice, plays a key role during brain development. Reelin is processed proteolytically at two sites, and the central fragment mimics function in vitro. Here, we show that processing is functionally important in vivo, a question that could not be addressed in our previous study. New monoclonal antibodies directed against central Reelin block its binding to lipoprotein receptors and perturb cortical development in vitro, confirming the importance of the central fragment that is detected in tissue and body fluids. Processing occurs when Reelin is incubated with embryonic neurons in culture or with their supernatant, but inhibition of processing by a metalloproteinase blocker does not prevent Reelin signaling in neurons. Furthermore, neurons internalize similarly full-length or central Reelin. In contrast, inhibition of processing prevents signaling and perturbs cortical development in cultured embryonic brain slices. Moreover, in vivo, the concentration of central Reelin is dramatically and selectively increased in receptor-deficient tissue, suggesting its specific downregulation after binding to receptors and internalization. We propose that processing by end-migration neurons is required in tissue (where Reelin is likely anchored to the extracellular matrix) to release the central fragment that diffuses locally and signals to target cells, whereas, in vitro, all Reelin forms have indiscriminate access to cells, so that cleavage is not necessary for signaling.

  7. Interleukin-6 Deficiency Does Not Affect Motor Neuron Disease Caused by Superoxide Dismutase 1 Mutation

    PubMed Central

    Han, Yongmei; Ripley, Barry; Serada, Satoshi; Naka, Tetsuji; Fujimoto, Minoru

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. Functional Upregulation of Ca2+ -Activated K+ Channels in the Development of Substantia Nigra Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-Latorre, José A.

    2012-01-01

    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

  9. Segregated cholinergic transmission modulates dopamine neurons integrated in distinct functional circuits

    PubMed Central

    Dautan, Daniel; Souza, Albert S.; Huerta-Ocampo, Icnelia; Valencia, Miguel; Assous, Maxime; Witten, Ilana B.; Deisseroth, Karl; Tepper, James M.; Bolam, J. Paul; Gerdjikov, Todor V.; Mena-Segovia, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) receive cholinergic innervation from brainstem structures associated with either movement or reward. While cholinergic neurons of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) carry an associative/motor signal, those of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT) convey limbic information. Here we used optogenetic methods combined with in vivo juxtacellular recording/labeling to dissect the influence of brainstem cholinergic innervation of distinct neuronal subpopulations in the VTA. We found that LDT cholinergic axons selectively enhance the bursting activity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons that are excited by aversive stimulation. In contrast, PPN cholinergic axons activate and change the discharge properties of VTA neurons that are integrated in distinct functional circuits and are inhibited by aversive stimulation. While both structures conveyed a reinforcing signal, they had opposite roles in locomotion. Our results demonstrate that two modes of cholinergic transmission operate in the VTA and segregate neurons involved in different reward circuits. PMID:7666171

  10. Segregated cholinergic transmission modulates dopamine neurons integrated in distinct functional circuits.

    PubMed

    Dautan, Daniel; Souza, Albert S; Huerta-Ocampo, Icnelia; Valencia, Miguel; Assous, Maxime; Witten, Ilana B; Deisseroth, Karl; Tepper, James M; Bolam, J Paul; Gerdjikov, Todor V; Mena-Segovia, Juan

    2016-08-01

    Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) receive cholinergic innervation from brainstem structures that are associated with either movement or reward. Whereas cholinergic neurons of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) carry an associative/motor signal, those of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT) convey limbic information. We used optogenetics and in vivo juxtacellular recording and labeling to examine the influence of brainstem cholinergic innervation of distinct neuronal subpopulations in the VTA. We found that LDT cholinergic axons selectively enhanced the bursting activity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons that were excited by aversive stimulation. In contrast, PPN cholinergic axons activated and changed the discharge properties of VTA neurons that were integrated in distinct functional circuits and were inhibited by aversive stimulation. Although both structures conveyed a reinforcing signal, they had opposite roles in locomotion. Our results demonstrate that two modes of cholinergic transmission operate in the VTA and segregate the neurons involved in different reward circuits.

  11. Circadian Activators Are Expressed Days before They Initiate Clock Function in Late Pacemaker Neurons from Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tianxin; Mahesh, Guruswamy; Houl, Jerry H; Hardin, Paul E

    2015-06-01

    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.

  12. Functional Coupling with Cardiac Muscle Promotes Maturation of hPSC-Derived Sympathetic Neurons.

    PubMed

    Oh, Yohan; Cho, Gun-Sik; Li, Zhe; Hong, Ingie; Zhu, Renjun; Kim, Min-Jeong; Kim, Yong Jun; Tampakakis, Emmanouil; Tung, Leslie; Huganir, Richard; Dong, Xinzhong; Kwon, Chulan; Lee, Gabsang

    2016-07-01

    Neurons derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are powerful tools for studying human neural development and diseases. Robust functional coupling of hPSC-derived neurons with target tissues in vitro is essential for modeling intercellular physiology in a dish and to further translational studies, but it has proven difficult to achieve. Here, we derive sympathetic neurons from hPSCs and show that they can form physical and functional connections with cardiac muscle cells. Using multiple hPSC reporter lines, we recapitulated human autonomic neuron development in vitro and successfully isolated PHOX2B::eGFP+ neurons that exhibit sympathetic marker expression and electrophysiological properties and norepinephrine secretion. Upon pharmacologic and optogenetic manipulation, PHOX2B::eGFP+ neurons controlled beating rates of cardiomyocytes, and the physical interactions between these cells increased neuronal maturation. This study provides a foundation for human sympathetic neuron specification and for hPSC-based neuronal control of organs in a dish. PMID:27320040

  13. Chondrolectin affects cell survival and neuronal outgrowth in in vitro and in vivo models of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Sleigh, James N; Barreiro-Iglesias, Antón; Oliver, Peter L; Biba, Angeliki; Becker, Thomas; Davies, Kay E; Becker, Catherina G; Talbot, Kevin

    2014-02-15

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is characterized by the selective loss of spinal motor neurons owing to reduced levels of survival motor neuron (Smn) protein. In addition to its well-established role in assembling constituents of the spliceosome, diverse cellular functions have been proposed for Smn, but the reason why low levels of this widely expressed protein result in selective motor neuron pathology is still debated. In longitudinal studies of exon-level changes in SMA mouse model tissues, designed to determine the contribution of splicing dysfunction to the disease, we have previously shown that a generalized defect in splicing is unlikely to play a causative role in SMA. Nevertheless, we identified a small subset of genes that were alternatively spliced in the spinal cord compared with control mice before symptom onset, indicating a possible mechanistic role in disease. Here, we have performed functional studies of one of these genes, chondrolectin (Chodl), known to be highly expressed in motor neurons and important for correct motor axon outgrowth in zebrafish. Using in vitro and in vivo models of SMA, we demonstrate altered expression of Chodl in SMA mouse spinal motor neurons, show that Chodl has distinct effects on cell survival and neurite outgrowth and that increasing the expression of chodl can rescue motor neuron outgrowth defects in Smn-depleted zebrafish. Our findings thus link the dysregulation of Chodl to the pathophysiology of motor neuron degeneration in SMA.

  14. Diverse Roles of Axonemal Dyneins in Drosophila Auditory Neuron Function and Mechanical Amplification in Hearing

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Diverse Roles of Axonemal Dyneins in Drosophila Auditory Neuron Function and Mechanical Amplification in Hearing.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-11-26

    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.

  16. A large-scale functional screen identifies Nova1 and Ncoa3 as regulators of neuronal miRNA function

    PubMed Central

    Störchel, Peter H; Thümmler, Juliane; Siegel, Gabriele; Aksoy-Aksel, Ayla; Zampa, Federico; Sumer, Simon; Schratt, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26105073

  17. Dynamin-related protein 1 is required for normal mitochondrial bioenergetic and synaptic function in CA1 hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. The Hem protein mediates neuronal migration by inhibiting WAVE degradation and functions opposite of Abelson tyrosine kinase

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Zengrong; Bhat, Krishna Moorthi

    2011-01-01

    In the nervous system, neurons form in different regions, then they migrate and occupy specific positions. We have previously shown that RP2/sib, a well-studied neuronal pair in the Drosophila ventral nerve cord (VNC), has a complex migration route. Here, we show that the Hem protein, via the WAVE complex, regulates migration of GMC-1 and its progeny RP2 neuron. In Hem or WAVE mutants, RP2 neuron either abnormally migrates, crossing the midline from one hemisegment to the contralateral hemisegment, or does not migrate at al and fail to send out its axon projection. We report that Hem regulates neuronal migration through stabilizing WAVE. Since Hem and WAVE normally form a complex, our data argues that in the absence of Hem, WAVE, which is presumably no longer in a complex, becomes susceptible to degradation. We also find that Abelson Tyrosine kinase affects RP2 migration in a similar manner as Hem and WAVE, and appears to operate via WAVE. However, while Abl negatively regulates the levels of WAVE, it regulates migration via regulating the activity of WAVE. Our results also show that during the degradation of WAVE, Hem function is opposite to that of and downstream of Abl. PMID:21726548

  19. Functional Interplay between Dopaminergic and Serotonergic Neuronal Systems during Development and Adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Dymecki, Susan M.

    2016-01-01

    The complex integration of neurotransmitter signals in the nervous system contributes to the shaping of behavioral and emotional constitutions throughout development. Imbalance among these signals may result in pathological behaviors and psychiatric illnesses. Therefore, a better understanding of the interplay between neurotransmitter systems holds potential to facilitate therapeutic development. Of particular clinical interest are the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems, as both modulate a broad array of behaviors and emotions and have been implicated in a wide range of affective disorders. Here we review evidence speaking to an interaction between the dopaminergic and serotonergic neuronal systems across development. We highlight data stemming from developmental, functional, and clinical studies, reflecting the importance of this transmonoaminergic interplay. PMID:25747116

  20. Functional Interplay between Dopaminergic and Serotonergic Neuronal Systems during Development and Adulthood.

    PubMed

    Niederkofler, Vera; Asher, Tedi E; Dymecki, Susan M

    2015-07-15

    The complex integration of neurotransmitter signals in the nervous system contributes to the shaping of behavioral and emotional constitutions throughout development. Imbalance among these signals may result in pathological behaviors and psychiatric illnesses. Therefore, a better understanding of the interplay between neurotransmitter systems holds potential to facilitate therapeutic development. Of particular clinical interest are the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems, as both modulate a broad array of behaviors and emotions and have been implicated in a wide range of affective disorders. Here we review evidence speaking to an interaction between the dopaminergic and serotonergic neuronal systems across development. We highlight data stemming from developmental, functional, and clinical studies, reflecting the importance of this transmonoaminergic interplay.

  1. The weaver gene expression affects neuronal generation patterns depending on age and encephalic region.

    PubMed

    Martí, Joaquín; Carmen Santa-Cruz, M; Bayer, Shirley A; Hervás, José P

    2006-04-01

    Cell generation and survival are investigated in three different neuronal populations of weaver mice: Purkinje and fastigial neurons in the cerebellum, and dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Tritiated thymidine was supplied to pregnant females at the time that these neurons were being produced. Autoradiography was then applied on brain sections obtained from the control and weaver offspring at postnatal (P) day 8 and 90. This makes it possible to assess the differential survival of neurons that were born at distinct embryonic times on the basis of the proportion of labeled cells at two postnatal ages. When labeling profiles were measured at P8, the inferred time of origin was similar between +/+ and wv/wv genotypes for each neuronal population considered. The same occurred at P90 for Purkinje or fastigial neurons, but the labeling profiles of midbrain neurons were different between wild type and weaver homozygotes. There is already a substantial reduction in the number of Purkinje and fastigial cells at P8, but loss of dopaminergic neurons was only detected in 90-day-old weavers and, therefore, vulnerability is built into this midbrain neural system during its late postnatal development. Our results show that depletion of Purkinje and fastigial cells is random with respect to the time of their birth, whereas the weaver gene seems to be specifically targeting the late-generated dopaminergic neurons.

  2. Constrained synaptic connectivity in functional mammalian neuronal networks grown on patterned surfaces.

    PubMed

    Wyart, Claire; Ybert, Christophe; Bourdieu, Laurent; Herr, Catherine; Prinz, Christelle; Chatenay, Didier

    2002-06-30

    The use of ordered neuronal networks in vitro is a promising approach to study the development and the activity of small neuronal assemblies. However, in previous attempts, sufficient growth control and physiological maturation of neurons could not be achieved. Here we describe an original protocol in which polylysine patterns confine the adhesion of cellular bodies to prescribed spots and the neuritic growth to thin lines. Hippocampal neurons in these networks are maintained healthy in serum free medium up to 5 weeks in vitro. Electrophysiology and immunochemistry show that neurons exhibit mature excitatory and inhibitory synapses and calcium imaging reveals spontaneous activity of neurons in isolated networks. We demonstrate that neurons in these geometrical networks form functional synapses preferentially to their first neighbors. We have, therefore, established a simple and robust protocol to constrain both the location of neuronal cell bodies and their pattern of connectivity. Moreover, the long term maintenance of the geometry and the physiology of the networks raises the possibility of new applications for systematic screening of pharmacological agents and for electronic to neuron devices.

  3. Prenatal exposure to cannabinoids evokes long-lasting functional alterations by targeting CB1 receptors on developing cortical neurons

    PubMed Central

    de Salas-Quiroga, Adán; Díaz-Alonso, Javier; García-Rincón, Daniel; Remmers, Floortje; Vega, David; Gómez-Cañas, María; Lutz, Beat; Guzmán, Manuel; Galve-Roperh, Ismael

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. Prenatal exposure to cannabinoids evokes long-lasting functional alterations by targeting CB1 receptors on developing cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    de Salas-Quiroga, Adán; Díaz-Alonso, Javier; García-Rincón, Daniel; Remmers, Floortje; Vega, David; Gómez-Cañas, María; Lutz, Beat; Guzmán, Manuel; Galve-Roperh, Ismael

    2015-11-01

    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.

  5. Depletion of Calcium Stores in Injured Sensory Neurons: Anatomic and Functional Correlates

    PubMed Central

    Gemes, Geza; Rigaud, Marcel; Weyker, Paul D.; Abram, Stephen E.; Weihrauch, Dorothee; Poroli, Mark; Zoga, Vasiliki; Hogan, Quinn H.

    2010-01-01

    Background Painful nerve injury leads to disrupted Ca2+ signaling in primary sensory neurons, including decreased endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ storage. The present study examines potential causes and functional consequences of Ca2+ store limitation after injury. Methods Neurons were dissociated from axotomized fifth lumbar (L5) and the adjacent L4 dorsal root ganglia following L5 spinal nerve ligation that produced hyperalgesia, and were compared to neurons from control animals. Intracellular Ca2+ levels were measured with Fura-2 microfluorometry, and ER was labeled with probes or antibodies. Ultrastructural morphology was analyzed by electron microscopy of nondissociated dorsal root ganglia, and intracellular electrophysiological recordings were obtained from intact ganglia. Results Live neuron staining with BODIPY FL-X thapsigargin (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA) revealed a 40% decrease in sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase binding in axotomized L5 neurons and a 34% decrease in L4 neurons. Immunocytochemical labeling for the ER Ca2+-binding protein calreticulin was unaffected by injury. Total length of ER profiles in electron micrographs was reduced by 53% in small axotomized L5 neurons, but increased in L4 neurons. Cisternal stacks of ER and aggregation of ribosomes occurred less frequently in axotomized neurons. Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release, examined by microfluorometry with dantrolene, was eliminated in axotomized neurons. Pharmacologic blockade of Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release with dantrolene produced hyperexcitability in control neurons, confirming its functional importance. Conclusions After axotomy, ER Ca2+ stores are reduced by anatomic loss and possibly diminished sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase. The resulting disruption of Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release and protein synthesis may contribute to the generation of neuropathic pain. PMID:19602957

  6. Striatal astrocytes transdifferentiate into functional mature neurons following ischemic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Chun‐Ling; Liu, Chong‐Wei; Shen, Shu‐Wen; Yu, Zhang; Mo, Jia‐Lin; Chen, Xian‐Hua

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. The Regulation and Function of Fibroblast Growth Factor 8 and Its Function during Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neuron Development

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Wilson C. J.; Linscott, Megan L.; Rodriguez, Karla M.; Stewart, Courtney E.

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. The Regulation and Function of Fibroblast Growth Factor 8 and Its Function during Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neuron Development

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Wilson C. J.; Linscott, Megan L.; Rodriguez, Karla M.; Stewart, Courtney E.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  9. The Regulation and Function of Fibroblast Growth Factor 8 and Its Function during Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neuron Development.

    PubMed

    Chung, Wilson C J; Linscott, Megan L; Rodriguez, Karla M; Stewart, Courtney E

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Mapping Functional Connectivity between Neuronal Ensembles with Larval Zebrafish Transgenic for a Ratiometric Calcium Indicator

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Louis; Lauderdale, James D.; Sornborger, Andrew T.

    2010-01-01

    The ability to map functional connectivity is necessary for the study of the flow of activity in neuronal circuits. Optical imaging of calcium indicators, including FRET-based genetically encoded indicators and extrinsic dyes, is an important adjunct to electrophysiology and is widely used to visualize neuronal activity. However, techniques for mapping functional connectivities with calcium imaging data have been lacking. We present a procedure to compute reduced functional couplings between neuronal ensembles undergoing seizure activity from ratiometric calcium imaging data in three steps: (1) calculation of calcium concentrations and neuronal firing rates from ratiometric data; (2) identification of putative neuronal populations from spatio-temporal time-series of neural bursting activity; and then, (3) derivation of reduced connectivity matrices that represent neuronal population interactions. We apply our method to the larval zebrafish central nervous system undergoing chemoconvulsant-induced seizures. These seizures generate propagating, central nervous system-wide neural activity from which population connectivities may be calculated. This automatic functional connectivity mapping procedure provides a practical and user-independent means for summarizing the flow of activity between neuronal ensembles. PMID:21373259

  11. Modeling Neurological Disease by Rapid Conversion of Human Urine Cells into Functional Neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shu-Zhen; Ma, Li-Xiang; Qian, Wen-Jing; Li, Hong-Fu; Wang, Zhong-Feng; Wang, Hong-Xia; Wu, Zhi-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Somatic cells can be directly converted into functional neurons by ectopic expression of defined factors and/or microRNAs. Since the first report of conversion mouse embryonic fibroblasts into functional neurons, the postnatal mouse, and human fibroblasts, astroglia, hepatocytes, and pericyte-derived cells have been converted into functional dopaminergic and motor neurons both in vitro and in vivo. However, it is invasive to get all these materials. In the current study, we provide a noninvasive approach to obtain directly reprogrammed functional neurons by overexpression of the transcription factors Ascl1, Brn2, NeuroD, c-Myc, and Myt1l in human urine cells. These induced neuronal (iN) cells could express multiple neuron-specific proteins and generate action potentials. Moreover, urine cells from Wilson's disease (WD) patient could also be directly converted into neurons. In conclusion, generation of iN cells from nonneural lineages is a feasible and befitting approach for neurological disease modeling. PMID:26770203

  12. The Central Dogma Decentralized: New Perspectives on RNA Function and Local Translation in Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Holt, Christine E.; Schuman, Erin M.

    2013-01-01

    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

  13. Genetically encoded tools: bridging the gap between neuronal identity and function.

    PubMed

    Cho, Yong Ku

    2015-01-21

    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.

  14. Overcoming the hurdles for a reproducible generation of human functionally mature reprogrammed neurons

    PubMed Central

    Rubio, Alicia; Taverna, Stefano; Yekhlef, Latefa

    2015-01-01

    The advent of cell reprogramming technologies has widely disclosed the possibility to have direct access to human neurons for experimental and biomedical applications. Human pluripotent stem cells can be instructed in vitro to generate specific neuronal cell types as well as different glial cells. Moreover, new approaches of direct neuronal cell reprogramming can strongly accelerate the generation of different neuronal lineages. However, genetic heterogeneity, reprogramming fidelity, and time in culture of the starting cells can still significantly bias their differentiation efficiency and quality of the neuronal progenies. In addition, reprogrammed human neurons exhibit a very slow pace in gaining a full spectrum of functional properties including physiological levels of membrane excitability, sustained and prolonged action potential firing, mature synaptic currents and synaptic plasticity. This delay poses serious limitations for their significance as biological experimental model and screening platform. We will discuss new approaches of neuronal cell differentiation and reprogramming as well as methods to accelerate the maturation and functional activity of the converted human neurons. PMID:25790823

  15. Cdk5rap2 regulates centrosome function and chromosome segregation in neuronal progenitors.

    PubMed

    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

    2010-06-01

    Microcephaly affects approximately 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 Cdk5rap2(an/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. Cdk5rap2(an/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

  16. Newly generated neurons at 2 months post-status epilepticus are functionally integrated into neuronal circuitry in mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Hu, Ming; Zhu, Kun; Chen, Xin-Lin; Zhang, Yao-Jie; Zhang, Jian-Shui; Xiao, Xin-Li; Liu, Jian-Xin; Liu, Yong

    2015-11-01

    Emerging evidence has linked chronic temporal lobe epilepsy to dramatically reduced neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. However, the profile of different components of neurogenesis in the chronically epileptic hippocampus is still unclear, especially the incorporation of newly generated cells. To address the issue, newly generated cells in the sub-granular zone of the dentate gyrus were labeled by the proliferation marker bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) or retroviral vector expressing green fluorescent protein 2 months after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. The newly generated neurons that extended axons to CA3 area or integrated into memory circuits were visualized by cholera toxin B subunit retrograde tracing, and detecting activation of BrdU(+) cells following a recall of spatial memory test at the chronic stage of TLE. We found that the microenvironment was still able to sustain significant neuronal differentiation of newly generated cells at 2 months post-status epilepticus time-point, and newly added neurons into granular cell layer were still able to integrate into neuronal circuitry, both anatomically and functionally. Quantified analyses of BrdU(+) or Ki-67(+) cells demonstrated that there was a reduced proliferation of progenitor cells and diminished survival of newly generated cells in the epileptic hippocampus. Both decreased levels of neurotrophic factors in the surrounding milieu and cell loss in the CA3 area might contribute the decreased production of new cells and their survival following chronic epilepsy. These results suggest that decreased neurogenesis in the chronically epileptic hippocampus 2 months post status epilepticus is not associated with altered integration of newly generated neurons, and that developing strategies to augment hippocampal neurogenesis in chronic epilepsy might be protective.

  17. Neural mechanisms of imitation and 'mirror neuron' functioning in autistic spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Williams, Justin H G; Waiter, Gordon D; Gilchrist, Anne; Perrett, David I; Murray, Alison D; Whiten, Andrew

    2006-01-01

    An association between autistic spectrum disorder and imitative impairment might result from dysfunction in mirror neurons (MNs) that serve to relate observed actions to motor codings. To explore this hypothesis, we employed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) protocol previously used to identify the neural substrate of imitation, and human MN function, to compare 16 adolescent males of normal intelligence with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and age, sex and IQ matched controls. In the control group, in accord with previous findings, we identified activity attributable to MNs in areas of the right parietal lobe. Activity in this area was less extensive in the ASD group and was absent during non-imitative action execution. Broca's area was minimally active during imitation in controls. Differential patterns of activity during imitation and action observation in ASD and controls were most evident in an area at the right temporo-parietal junction also associated with a 'theory of mind' (ToM) function. ASD participants also failed to show modulation of left amygdala activity during imitation that was evident in the controls. This may have implications for understanding the imitation of emotional stimuli in ASD. Overall, we suggest that ASD is associated with altered patterns of brain activity during imitation, which could stem from poor integration between areas serving visual, motor, proprioceptive and emotional functions. Such poor integration is likely to adversely affect the development of ToM through imitation as well as other aspects of social cognitive function in ASD. PMID:16140346

  18. Bitter taste receptors confer diverse functions to neurons

    PubMed Central

    Delventhal, Rebecca; Carlson, John R

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. Fluctuations in Neuronal Activity: Clues to Brain Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez Velazquez, José L.; Guevara, Ramón; Belkas, Jason; Wennberg, Richard; Senjanoviè, Goran; García Dominguez, Luis

    2005-08-01

    Recordings from neuronal preparations, either in vitro or in the intact brain, are characterized by fluctuations, what is commonly considered as "noise". Due to the current recording and analysis methods, it is not feasible to separate what we term noise, from the "meaningful" neuronal activity. We propose that fluctuations serve to maintain brain activity in an optimal state for cognitive processing, not allowing it to fall into long-term periodic behaviour. We have studied fluctuations in magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings from normal subjects and epileptic patients, in electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings from children with impact injury, as well as in intracerebral electrophysiological recordings in freely moving rats. Specifically, we have determined phase locking patterns between brain areas from these recordings, which display fluctuations at different scales. We submit the idea that the variability in phase synchronization affords a more complete search of all possible phase differences in a hypothetical phase-locking state space that contributes to brain information processing. In brain pathologies, like epileptiform activity here studied, different levels of fluctuations in phase synchrony may favour the generation of stable synchronized states that characterize epileptic seizures. While the border between noise and high-dimensional dynamics is fuzzy, the scrutiny of neuronal fluctuations at different levels will provide important insights to the unravelling of the relation between brain and behaviour.

  20. Spatio-temporal regulations and functions of neuronal alternative RNA splicing in developing and adult brains.

    PubMed

    Iijima, Takatoshi; Hidaka, Chiharu; Iijima, Yoko

    2016-08-01

    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.

  1. Beadex function in the motor neurons is essential for female reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Kairamkonda, Subhash; Nongthomba, Upendra

    2014-01-01

    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.

  2. Tissue-specific regulation and function of Grb10 during growth and neuronal commitment

    PubMed Central

    Plasschaert, Robert N.; Bartolomei, Marisa S.

    2015-01-01

    Growth-factor receptor bound protein 10 (Grb10) is a signal adapter protein encoded by an imprinted gene that has roles in growth control, cellular proliferation, and insulin signaling. Additionally, Grb10 is critical for the normal behavior of the adult mouse. These functions are paralleled by Grb10’s unique tissue-specific imprinted expression; the paternal copy of Grb10 is expressed in a subset of neurons whereas the maternal copy is expressed in most other adult tissues in the mouse. The mechanism that underlies this switch between maternal and paternal expression is still unclear, as is the role for paternally expressed Grb10 in neurons. Here, we review recent work and present complementary data that contribute to the understanding of Grb10 gene regulation and function, with specific emphasis on growth and neuronal development. Additionally, we show that in vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into alpha motor neurons recapitulates the switch from maternal to paternal expression observed during neuronal development in vivo. We postulate that this switch in allele-specific expression is related to the functional role of Grb10 in motor neurons and other neuronal tissues. PMID:25368187

  3. Ascl1 Converts Dorsal Midbrain Astrocytes into Functional Neurons In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yueguang; Miao, Qinglong; Yuan, Jiacheng; Han, Su'e; Zhang, Panpan; Li, Sanlan; Rao, Zhiping; Zhao, Wenlong; Ye, Qian; Geng, Junlan; Zhang, Xiaohui; Cheng, Leping

    2015-06-24

    In vivo induction of non-neuronal cells into neurons by transcription factors offers potential therapeutic approaches for neural regeneration. Although generation of induced neuronal (iN) cells in vitro and in vivo has been reported, whether iN cells can be fully integrated into existing circuits remains unclear. Here we show that expression of achaete-scute complex homolog-like 1 (Ascl1) alone is sufficient to convert dorsal midbrain astrocytes of mice into functional iN cells in vitro and in vivo. Specific expression of Ascl1 in astrocytes by infection with GFAP-adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector converts astrocytes in dorsal midbrain, striatum, and somatosensory cortex of postnatal and adult mice into functional neurons in vivo. These iN cells mature progressively, exhibiting neuronal morphology and markers, action potentials, and synaptic inputs from and output to existing neurons. Thus, a single transcription factor, Ascl1, is sufficient to convert brain astrocytes into functional neurons, and GFAP-AAV is an efficient vector for generating iN cells from astrocytes in vivo.

  4. Defective neuroepithelial cell cohesion affects tangential branchiomotor neuron migration in the zebrafish neural tube.

    PubMed

    Stockinger, Petra; Maître, Jean-Léon; Heisenberg, Carl-Philipp

    2011-11-01

    Facial branchiomotor neurons (FBMNs) in zebrafish and mouse embryonic hindbrain undergo a characteristic tangential migration from rhombomere (r) 4, where they are born, to r6/7. Cohesion among neuroepithelial cells (NCs) has been suggested to function in FBMN migration by inhibiting FBMNs positioned in the basal neuroepithelium such that they move apically between NCs towards the midline of the neuroepithelium instead of tangentially along the basal side of the neuroepithelium towards r6/7. However, direct experimental evaluation of this hypothesis is still lacking. Here, we have used a combination of biophysical cell adhesion measurements and high-resolution time-lapse microscopy to determine the role of NC cohesion in FBMN migration. We show that reducing NC cohesion by interfering with Cadherin 2 (Cdh2) activity results in FBMNs positioned at the basal side of the neuroepithelium moving apically towards the neural tube midline instead of tangentially towards r6/7. In embryos with strongly reduced NC cohesion, ectopic apical FBMN movement frequently results in fusion of the bilateral FBMN clusters over the apical midline of the neural tube. By contrast, reducing cohesion among FBMNs by interfering with Contactin 2 (Cntn2) expression in these cells has little effect on apical FBMN movement, but reduces the fusion of the bilateral FBMN clusters in embryos with strongly diminished NC cohesion. These data provide direct experimental evidence that NC cohesion functions in tangential FBMN migration by restricting their apical movement.

  5. The Intrinsic Electrophysiological Properties of Mammalian Neurons: Insights into Central Nervous System Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Llinas, Rodolfo R.

    1988-12-01

    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.

  6. Efficient derivation of functional dopaminergic neurons from human embryonic stem cells on a large scale.

    PubMed

    Cho, Myung-Soo; Hwang, Dong-Youn; Kim, Dong-Wook

    2008-01-01

    Cell-replacement therapy using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) holds great promise in treating Parkinson's disease. We have recently reported a highly efficient method to generate functional dopaminergic (DA) neurons from hESCs. Our method includes a unique step, the formation of spherical neural masses (SNMs), and offers the highest yield of DA neurons ever achieved so far. In this report, we describe our method step by step, covering not only how to differentiate hESCs into DA neurons at a high yield, but also how to amplify, freeze and thaw the SNMs, which are the key structures that make our protocol unique and advantageous. Although the whole process of generation of DA neurons from hESCs takes about 2 months, only 14 d are needed to derive DA neurons from the SNMs.

  7. Background complexity affects response of a looming-sensitive neuron to object motion.

    PubMed

    Silva, Ana C; McMillan, Glyn A; Santos, Cristina P; Gray, John R

    2015-01-01

    An increasing number of studies show how stimulus complexity affects the responses of looming-sensitive neurons across multiple animal taxa. Locusts contain a well-described, descending motion-sensitive pathway that is preferentially looming sensitive. However, the lobula giant movement detector/descending contralateral movement detector (LGMD/DCMD) pathway responds to more than simple objects approaching at constant, predictable trajectories. In this study, we presented Locusta migratoria with a series of complex three-dimensional visual stimuli presented while simultaneously recording DCMD activity extracellularly. In addition to a frontal looming stimulus, we used a combination of compound trajectories (nonlooming transitioning to looming) presented at different velocities and onto a simple, scattered, or progressive flow field background. Regardless of stimulus background, DCMD responses to looming were characteristic and related to previously described effects of azimuthal approach angle and velocity of object expansion. However, increasing background complexity caused reduced firing rates, delayed peaks, shorter rise phases, and longer fall phases. DCMD responded to transitions to looming with a characteristic drop in a firing rate that was relatively invariant across most stimulus combinations and occurred regardless of stimulus background. Spike numbers were higher in the presence of the scattered background and reduced in the flow field background. We show that DCMD response time to a transition depends on unique expansion parameters of the moving stimulus irrespective of background complexity. Our results show how background complexity shapes DCMD responses to looming stimuli, which is explained within a behavioral context.

  8. A functional glutamatergic neurone network in the medial septum and diagonal band area.

    PubMed

    Manseau, F; Danik, M; Williams, S

    2005-08-01

    The medial septum and diagonal band complex (MS/DB) is important for learning and memory and is known to contain cholinergic and GABAergic neurones. Glutamatergic neurones have also been recently described in this area but their function remains unknown. Here we show that local glutamatergic neurones can be activated using 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) and the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline in regular MS/DB slices, or mini-MS/DB slices. The spontaneous glutamatergic responses were mediated by AMPA receptors and, to a lesser extend, NMDA receptors, and were characterized by large, sometimes repetitive activity that elicited bursts of action potentials postsynaptically. Similar repetitive AMPA receptor-mediated bursts were generated by glutamatergic neurone activation within the MS/DB in disinhibited organotypic MS/DB slices, suggesting that the glutamatergic responses did not originate from extrinsic glutamatergic synapses. It is interesting that glutamatergic neurones were part of a synchronously active network as large repetitive AMPA receptor-mediated bursts were generated concomitantly with extracellular field potentials in intact half-septum preparations in vitro. Glutamatergic neurones appeared important to MS/DB activation as strong glutamatergic responses were present in electrophysiologically identified putative cholinergic, GABAergic and glutamatergic neurones. In agreement with this, we found immunohistochemical evidence that vesicular glutamate-2 (VGLUT2)-positive puncta were in proximity to choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-, glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67)- and VGLUT2-positive neurones. Finally, MS/DB glutamatergic neurones could be activated under more physiological conditions as a cholinergic agonist was found to elicit rhythmic AMPA receptor-mediated EPSPs at a theta relevant frequency of 6-10 Hz. We propose that glutamatergic neurones within the MS/DB can excite cholinergic and GABAergic neurones, and that they are part of a connected

  9. A functional glutamatergic neurone network in the medial septum and diagonal band area

    PubMed Central

    Manseau, F; Danik, M; Williams, S

    2005-01-01

    The medial septum and diagonal band complex (MS/DB) is important for learning and memory and is known to contain cholinergic and GABAergic neurones. Glutamatergic neurones have also been recently described in this area but their function remains unknown. Here we show that local glutamatergic neurones can be activated using 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) and the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline in regular MS/DB slices, or mini-MS/DB slices. The spontaneous glutamatergic responses were mediated by AMPA receptors and, to a lesser extend, NMDA receptors, and were characterized by large, sometimes repetitive activity that elicited bursts of action potentials postsynaptically. Similar repetitive AMPA receptor-mediated bursts were generated by glutamatergic neurone activation within the MS/DB in disinhibited organotypic MS/DB slices, suggesting that the glutamatergic responses did not originate from extrinsic glutamatergic synapses. It is interesting that glutamatergic neurones were part of a synchronously active network as large repetitive AMPA receptor-mediated bursts were generated concomitantly with extracellular field potentials in intact half-septum preparations in vitro. Glutamatergic neurones appeared important to MS/DB activation as strong glutamatergic responses were present in electrophysiologically identified putative cholinergic, GABAergic and glutamatergic neurones. In agreement with this, we found immunohistochemical evidence that vesicular glutamate-2 (VGLUT2)-positive puncta were in proximity to choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-, glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67)- and VGLUT2-positive neurones. Finally, MS/DB glutamatergic neurones could be activated under more physiological conditions as a cholinergic agonist was found to elicit rhythmic AMPA receptor-mediated EPSPs at a theta relevant frequency of 6–10 Hz. We propose that glutamatergic neurones within the MS/DB can excite cholinergic and GABAergic neurones, and that they are part of a connected

  10. Prenatal sodium arsenite affects early development of serotonergic neurons in the fetal rat brain.

    PubMed

    Senuma, Mika; Mori, Chisato; Ogawa, Tetsuo; Kuwagata, Makiko

    2014-11-01

    Prenatal arsenite exposure has been associated with developmental disorders in children, including reduced IQ and language abnormalities. Animal experiments have also shown that exposure to arsenite during development induced developmental neurotoxicity after birth. However, the evidence is not enough, and the mechanism is poorly understood, especially on the exposure during early brain development. This study assessed effects of sodium (meta) arsenite shortly after exposure on early developing fetal rat brains. Pregnant rats were administered 50 mg/L arsenite in their drinking water or 20 mg/kg arsenite orally using a gastric tube, on gestational days (GD) 9-15. Fetal brains were examined on GD16. Pregnant rats administered 20 mg/kg arsenite showed reductions in maternal body weight gain and food consumption during treatment, but not with 50 mg/L arsenite. Arsenite did not affect fetal development, as determined by body weight, mortality and brain size. Arsenite also did not induce excessive cell death or affect neural cell division in any region of the fetal neuroepithelium. Thyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry revealed no difference in the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons between fetuses of arsenite treated and control rats. However, reductions in the number of serotonin positive cells in the fetal median and dorsal raphe nuclei were observed following maternal treatment with 20mg/kg arsenite. Image analysis showed that the serotonin positive areas decreased in all fetal mid- and hind-brain areas without altering distribution patterns. Maternal stress induced by arsenite toxicity did not alter fetal development. These results suggest that arsenite-induced neurodevelopmental toxicity involves defects in the early development of the serotonin nervous system.

  11. VOLTAGE-GATED POTASSIUM CHANNELS AT THE CROSSROADS OF NEURONAL FUNCTION, ISCHEMIC TOLERANCE, AND NEURODEGENERATION

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Niyathi Hegde; Aizenman, Elias

    2013-01-01

    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

  12. Increased dosage of RAB39B affects neuronal development and could explain the cognitive impairment in male patients with distal Xq28 copy number gains.

    PubMed

    Vanmarsenille, Lieselot; Giannandrea, Maila; Fieremans, Nathalie; Verbeeck, Jelle; Belet, Stefanie; Raynaud, Martine; Vogels, Annick; Männik, Katrin; Õunap, Katrin; Jacqueline, Vigneron; Briault, Sylvain; Van Esch, Hilde; D'Adamo, Patrizia; Froyen, Guy

    2014-03-01

    Copy number gains at Xq28 are a frequent cause of X-linked intellectual disability (XLID). Here, we report on a recurrent 0.5 Mb tandem copy number gain at distal Xq28 not including MECP2, in four male patients with nonsyndromic mild ID and behavioral problems. The genomic region is duplicated in two families and triplicated in a third reflected by more distinctive clinical features. The X-inactivation patterns in carrier females correspond well with their clinical symptoms. Our mapping data confirm that this recurrent gain is likely mediated by nonallelic homologous recombination between two directly oriented Int22h repeats. The affected region harbors eight genes of which RAB39B encoding a small GTPase, was the prime candidate since loss-of-function mutations had been linked to ID. RAB39B is expressed at stable levels in lymphocytes from control individuals, suggesting a tight regulation. mRNA levels in our patients were almost two-fold increased. Overexpression of Rab39b in mouse primary hippocampal neurons demonstrated a significant decrease in neuronal branching as well as in the number of synapses when compared with the control neurons. Taken together, we provide evidence that the increased dosage of RAB39B causes a disturbed neuronal development leading to cognitive impairment in patients with this recurrent copy number gain.

  13. Passive Dendrites Enable Single Neurons to Compute Linearly Non-separable Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cazé, Romain Daniel; Humphries, Mark; Gutkin, Boris

    2013-01-01

    Local supra-linear summation of excitatory inputs occurring in pyramidal cell dendrites, the so-called dendritic spikes, results in independent spiking dendritic sub-units, which turn pyramidal neurons into two-layer neural networks capable of computing linearly non-separable functions, such as the exclusive OR. Other neuron classes, such as interneurons, may possess only a few independent dendritic sub-units, or only passive dendrites where input summation is purely sub-linear, and where dendritic sub-units are only saturating. To determine if such neurons can also compute linearly non-separable functions, we enumerate, for a given parameter range, the Boolean functions implementable by a binary neuron model with a linear sub-unit and either a single spiking or a saturating dendritic sub-unit. We then analytically generalize these numerical results to an arbitrary number of non-linear sub-units. First, we show that a single non-linear dendritic sub-unit, in addition to the somatic non-linearity, is sufficient to compute linearly non-separable functions. Second, we analytically prove that, with a sufficient number of saturating dendritic sub-units, a neuron can compute all functions computable with purely excitatory inputs. Third, we show that these linearly non-separable functions can be implemented with at least two strategies: one where a dendritic sub-unit is sufficient to trigger a somatic spike; another where somatic spiking requires the cooperation of multiple dendritic sub-units. We formally prove that implementing the latter architecture is possible with both types of dendritic sub-units whereas the former is only possible with spiking dendrites. Finally, we show how linearly non-separable functions can be computed by a generic two-compartment biophysical model and a realistic neuron model of the cerebellar stellate cell interneuron. Taken together our results demonstrate that passive dendrites are sufficient to enable neurons to compute linearly non

  14. Positive and negative affective processing exhibit dissociable functional hubs during the viewing of affective pictures.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenhai; Li, Hong; Pan, Xiaohong

    2015-02-01

    Recent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies using graph theory metrics have revealed that the functional network of the human brain possesses small-world characteristics and comprises several functional hub regions. However, it is unclear how the affective functional network is organized in the brain during the processing of affective information. In this study, the fMRI data were collected from 25 healthy college students as they viewed a total of 81 positive, neutral, and negative pictures. The results indicated that affective functional networks exhibit weaker small-worldness properties with higher local efficiency, implying that local connections increase during viewing affective pictures. Moreover, positive and negative emotional processing exhibit dissociable functional hubs, emerging mainly in task-positive regions. These functional hubs, which are the centers of information processing, have nodal betweenness centrality values that are at least 1.5 times larger than the average betweenness centrality of the network. Positive affect scores correlated with the betweenness values of the right orbital frontal cortex (OFC) and the right putamen in the positive emotional network; negative affect scores correlated with the betweenness values of the left OFC and the left amygdala in the negative emotional network. The local efficiencies in the left superior and inferior parietal lobe correlated with subsequent arousal ratings of positive and negative pictures, respectively. These observations provide important evidence for the organizational principles of the human brain functional connectome during the processing of affective information.

  15. The functional significance of newly born neurons integrated into olfactory bulb circuits

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Masayuki; Kageyama, Ryoichiro; Imayoshi, Itaru

    2014-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is the first central processing center for olfactory information connecting with higher areas in the brain, and this neuronal circuitry mediates a variety of odor-evoked behavioral responses. In the adult mammalian brain, continuous neurogenesis occurs in two restricted regions, the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle and the hippocampal dentate gyrus. New neurons born in the SVZ migrate through the rostral migratory stream and are integrated into the neuronal circuits of the OB throughout life. The significance of this continuous supply of new neurons in the OB has been implicated in plasticity and memory regulation. Two decades of huge investigation in adult neurogenesis revealed the biological importance of integration of new neurons into the olfactory circuits. In this review, we highlight the recent findings about the physiological functions of newly generated neurons in rodent OB circuits and then discuss the contribution of neurogenesis in the brain function. Finally, we introduce cutting edge technologies to monitor and manipulate the activity of new neurons. PMID:24904263

  16. Histone and DNA Modifications as Regulators of Neuronal Development and Function.

    PubMed

    Lomvardas, Stavros; Maniatis, Tom

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARYDNA and histone modifications, together with constraints imposed by nuclear architecture, contribute to the transcriptional regulatory landscape of the nervous system. Here, we provide select examples showing how these regulatory layers, often referred to as epigenetic, contribute to neuronal differentiation and function. We describe the interplay between DNA methylation and Polycomb-mediated repression during neuronal differentiation, the role of DNA methylation and long-range enhancer-promoter interactions in Protocadherin promoter choice, and the contribution of heterochromatic silencing and nuclear organization in singular olfactory receptor expression. Finally, we explain how the activity-dependent expression of a histone variant determines the longevity of olfactory sensory neurons. PMID:27371659

  17. On the capabilities of higher-order neurons: a radial basis function approach.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Michael

    2005-03-01

    Higher-order neurons with k monomials in n variables are shown to have Vapnik-Chervonenkis (VC) dimension at least nk + 1. This result supersedes the previously known lower bound obtained via k-term monotone disjunctive normal form (DNF) formulas. Moreover, it implies that the VC dimension of higher-order neurons with k monomials is strictly larger than the VC dimension of k-term monotone DNF. The result is achieved by introducing an exponential approach that employs gaussian radial basis function neural networks for obtaining classifications of points in terms of higher-order neurons.

  18. In-vivo visualization and functional characterization of primary somatic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Chao; Donnelly, David F.; LaMotte, Robert H.

    2010-01-01

    In-vivo electrophysiological recordings from cell bodies of primary sensory neurons are used to determine sensory function but are commonly performed blindly and without access to voltage-(patch-clamp) electrophysiology or optical imaging. We present a procedure to visualize and patch-clamp the neuronal cell body in the dorsal root ganglion, in vivo, manipulate its chemical environment, determine its receptive field properties, and remove it either to obtain subsequent molecular analyses or to gain access to deeper lying cells. This method allows the association of the peripheral transduction capacities of a sensory neuron with the biophysical and chemical characteristics of its cell body. PMID:20558205

  19. Effects of non-neuronal components for functional connectivity analysis from resting-state functional MRI toward automated diagnosis of schizophrenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Junghoe; Lee, Jong-Hwan

    2014-03-01

    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.

  20. Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor OSG-1 Confers Functional Aging via Dysregulated Rho Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Zhibing; Sesti, Federico

    2015-01-01

    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

  1. ALS-associated mutant FUS induces selective motor neuron degeneration through toxic gain of function

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Aarti; Lyashchenko, Alexander K.; Lu, Lei; Nasrabady, Sara Ebrahimi; Elmaleh, Margot; Mendelsohn, Monica; Nemes, Adriana; Tapia, Juan Carlos; Mentis, George Z.; Shneider, Neil A.

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in FUS cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), including some of the most aggressive, juvenile-onset forms of the disease. FUS loss-of-function and toxic gain-of-function mechanisms have been proposed to explain how mutant FUS leads to motor neuron degeneration, but neither has been firmly established in the pathogenesis of ALS. Here we characterize a series of transgenic FUS mouse lines that manifest progressive, mutant-dependent motor neuron degeneration preceded by early, structural and functional abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction. A novel, conditional FUS knockout mutant reveals that postnatal elimination of FUS has no effect on motor neuron survival or function. Moreover, endogenous FUS does not contribute to the onset of the ALS phenotype induced by mutant FUS. These findings demonstrate that FUS-dependent motor degeneration is not due to loss of FUS function, but to the gain of toxic properties conferred by ALS mutations. PMID:26842965

  2. Functional Diversification of Motor Neuron-specific Isl1 Enhancers during Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Namhee; Park, Chungoo; Jeong, Yongsu; Song, Mi-Ryoung

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. TRPM8 function and expression in vagal sensory neurons and afferent nerves innervating guinea pig esophagus.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiaoyun; Hu, Youtian; Ru, Fei; Kollarik, Marian; Undem, Bradley J; Yu, Shaoyong

    2015-03-15

    Sensory transduction in esophageal afferents requires specific ion channels and receptors. TRPM8 is a new member of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family and participates in cold- and menthol-induced sensory transduction, but its role in visceral sensory transduction is still less clear. This study aims to determine TRPM8 function and expression in esophageal vagal afferent subtypes. TRPM8 agonist WS-12-induced responses were first determined in nodose and jugular neurons by calcium imaging and then investigated by whole cell patch-clamp recordings in Dil-labeled esophageal nodose and jugular neurons. Extracellular single-unit recordings were performed in nodose and jugular C fiber neurons using ex vivo esophageal-vagal preparations with intact nerve endings in the esophagus. TRPM8 mRNA expression was determined by single neuron RT-PCR in Dil-labeled esophageal nodose and jugular neurons. The TRPM8 agonist WS-12 elicited calcium influx in a subpopulation of jugular but not nodose neurons. WS-12 activated outwardly rectifying currents in esophageal Dil-labeled jugular but not nodose neurons in a dose-dependent manner, which could be inhibited by the TRPM8 inhibitor AMTB. WS-12 selectively evoked action potential discharges in esophageal jugular but not nodose C fibers. Consistently, TRPM8 transcripts were highly expressed in esophageal Dil-labeled TRPV1-positive jugular neurons. In summary, the present study demonstrated a preferential expression and function of TRPM8 in esophageal vagal jugular but not nodose neurons and C fiber subtypes. This provides a distinctive role of TRPM8 in esophageal sensory transduction and may lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms of esophageal sensation and nociception.

  4. Intact neuronal function in Rheb1 mutant mice: implications for TORC1-based treatments.

    PubMed

    Goorden, Susanna M I; Abs, Elisabeth; Bruinsma, Caroline F; Riemslagh, Fréderike W; van Woerden, Geeske M; Elgersma, Ype

    2015-06-15

    Target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) is an important regulator of neuronal function. However, whereas a modest activation of the TORC1 signaling pathway has been shown to affect synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, the effect of TORC1 hypo-activation is less clear. This knowledge is particularly important since TORC1 inhibitors may hold great promise for treating a variety of disorders, including developmental disorders, aging-related disorders, epilepsy and cancer. Such treatments are likely to be long lasting and could involve treating young children. Hence, it is pivotal that the effects of sustained TORC1 inhibition on brain development and cognitive function are determined. Here, we made use of constitutive and conditional Rheb1 mutant mice to study the effect of prolonged and specific reduction in the TORC1 pathway. We show that Rheb1 mutant mice show up to 75% reduction in TORC1 signaling, but develop normally and show intact synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. We discuss our findings in light of current literature in which the effect of pharmacological inhibition of TORC1 is studied in the context of synaptic plasticity and learning. We conclude that in contrast to TORC1 hyper-activity, cognitive function is not very sensitive to sustained and specific down-regulation of TORC1 activity. PMID:25759467

  5. Intact neuronal function in Rheb1 mutant mice: implications for TORC1-based treatments.

    PubMed

    Goorden, Susanna M I; Abs, Elisabeth; Bruinsma, Caroline F; Riemslagh, Fréderike W; van Woerden, Geeske M; Elgersma, Ype

    2015-06-15

    Target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) is an important regulator of neuronal function. However, whereas a modest activation of the TORC1 signaling pathway has been shown to affect synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, the effect of TORC1 hypo-activation is less clear. This knowledge is particularly important since TORC1 inhibitors may hold great promise for treating a variety of disorders, including developmental disorders, aging-related disorders, epilepsy and cancer. Such treatments are likely to be long lasting and could involve treating young children. Hence, it is pivotal that the effects of sustained TORC1 inhibition on brain development and cognitive function are determined. Here, we made use of constitutive and conditional Rheb1 mutant mice to study the effect of prolonged and specific reduction in the TORC1 pathway. We show that Rheb1 mutant mice show up to 75% reduction in TORC1 signaling, but develop normally and show intact synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. We discuss our findings in light of current literature in which the effect of pharmacological inhibition of TORC1 is studied in the context of synaptic plasticity and learning. We conclude that in contrast to TORC1 hyper-activity, cognitive function is not very sensitive to sustained and specific down-regulation of TORC1 activity.

  6. Parthenogenetic dopamine neurons from primate embryonic stem cells restore function in experimental Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyojin; Patterson, Michaela; Reske-Nielsen, Casper; Yoshizaki, Takahito; Sonntag, Kai C.; Studer, Lorenz; Isacson, Ole

    2008-01-01

    The identity and functional potential of dopamine neurons derived in vitro from embryonic stem cells are critical for the development of a stem cell-based replacement therapy for Parkinson's disease. Using a parthenogenetic primate embryonic stem cell line, we have generated dopamine neurons that display persistent expression of midbrain regional and cell-specific transcription factors, which establish their proper identity and allow for their survival. We show here that transplantation of parthenogenetic dopamine neurons restores motor function in hemi-parkinsonian, 6-hydroxy-dopamine-lesioned rats. Exposure to Wnt5a and fibroblast growth factors (FGF) 20 and 2 at the final stage of in vitro differentiation enhanced the survival of dopamine neurons and, correspondingly, the extent of motor recovery of transplanted animals. Importantly for future development of clinical applications, dopamine neurons were post-mitotic at the time of transplantation and there was no tumour formation. These data provide proof for the concept that parthenogenetic stem cells are a suitable source of functional neurons for therapeutic applications. PMID:18669499

  7. DPP4-inhibitor improves neuronal insulin receptor function, brain mitochondrial function and cognitive function in rats with insulin resistance induced by high-fat diet consumption.

    PubMed

    Pipatpiboon, Noppamas; Pintana, Hiranya; Pratchayasakul, Wasana; Chattipakorn, Nipon; Chattipakorn, Siriporn C

    2013-03-01

    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.

  8. An addressable confocal microscope for functional imaging of neuronal activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bansal, Vivek

    2005-07-01

    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

  9. An old test for new neurons: refining the Morris water maze to study the functional relevance of adult hippocampal neurogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Garthe, Alexander; Kempermann, Gerd

    2013-01-01

    The Morris water maze represents the de-facto standard for testing hippocampal function in laboratory rodents. In the field of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, however, using this paradigm to assess the functional relevance of the new neurons yielded surprisingly inconsistent results. While some authors found aspects of water maze performance to be linked to adult neurogenesis, others obtained different results or could not demonstrate any effect of manipulating adult neurogenesis. In this review we discuss evidence that the large diversity of protocols and setups used is an important aspect in interpreting the differences in the results that have been obtained. Even simple parameters such as pool size, number, and configuration of visual landmarks, or number of trials can become highly relevant for getting the new neurons involved at all. Sets of parameters are often chosen with implicit or explicit concepts in mind and these might lead to different views on the function of adult-generated neurons. We propose that the classical parameters usually used to measure spatial learning performance in the water maze might not be particularly well-suited to sensitively and specifically detect the supposedly highly specific functional changes elicited by the experimental modulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis. As adult neurogenesis is supposed to affect specific aspects of information processing only in the hippocampus, any claim for a functional relevance of the new neurons has to be based on hippocampus-specific parameters. We also placed a special emphasis on the fact that the dentate gyrus (DG) facilitates the differentiation between contexts as opposed to just differentiating places. In conclusion, while the Morris water maze has proven to be one of the most effective testing paradigms to assess hippocampus-dependent spatial learning, new and more specific questions ask for new parameters. Therefore, the full potential of the water maze task remains to be tapped

  10. Spontaneous miniature hyperpolarizations affect threshold for action potential generation in mudpuppy cardiac neurons.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Rodney L; Barstow, Karen L; Scornik, Fabiana S

    2002-09-01

    Mudpuppy parasympathetic neurons exhibit spontaneous miniature hyperpolarizations (SMHs) that are generated by potassium currents, which are spontaneous miniature outward currents (SMOCs), flowing through clusters of large conductance voltage- and calcium (Ca(2+))-activated potassium (BK) channels. The underlying SMOCs are initiated by a Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) mechanism. Perforated-patch whole cell voltage recordings were used to determine whether activation of SMHs contributed to action potential (AP) repolarization or affected the latency to AP generation. Blockade of BK channels by iberiotoxin (IBX, 100 nM) slowed AP repolarization and increased AP duration. Treatment with omega-conotoxin GVIA (3 microM) or nifedipine (10 microM) to inhibit Ca(2+) influx through N- or L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs), respectively, also decreased the rate of AP repolarization and increased AP duration. Elimination of CICR by treatment with either thapsigargin (1 microM) or ryanodine (10 microM) produced no significant change in AP repolarization or duration. Blockade of BK channels with IBX and inhibition of N-type VDCCs with omega-conotoxin GVIA, but not inhibition of L-type VDCCs with nifedipine, decreased the latency of AP generation. A decrease in latency to AP generation occurred with elimination of SMHs by inhibition of CICR following treatment with thapsigargin. Ryanodine treatment decreased AP latency in three of six cells. Apamin (100 nM) had no affect on AP repolarization, duration, or latency to AP generation, but did decrease the hyperpolarizing afterpotential (HAP). Inhibition of L-type VDCCs by nifedipine also decreased HAP amplitude. Inhibition of CICR by either thapsigargin or ryanodine treatment increased the number of APs generated with long depolarizing current pulses, whereas exposure to IBX or omega-conotoxin GVIA depressed excitability. We conclude that CICR, the process responsible for SMH generation, represents a unique

  11. Chronic Social Stress Affects Synaptic Maturation of Newly Generated Neurons in the Adult Mouse Dentate Gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chien-Chung; Huang, Chiung-Chun

    2016-01-01

    Background: Chronic stress has been found to suppress adult neurogenesis, but it remains unclear whether it may affect the maturation process of adult-born neurons. Here, we examined the influence of chronic social defeat stress on the morphological and electrophysiological properties of adult-born dentate granule cells at different developmental stages. Methods: Adult C57BL/6 mice were subjected to 10 days of chronic social defeat stress followed by a social interaction test 24 hours after the last defeat. Defeated mice were segregated into susceptible and unsusceptible subpopulations based on a measure of social interaction test. Combining electrophysiology with retrovirus-mediated birth-dating and labeling, we examined the impact of chronic social defeat stress on temporal regulation of synaptic plasticity of adult-born dentate granule cells along their maturation. Results: Chronic social defeat stress decreases the survival and dendritic complexity of adult-born dentate granule cells. While chronic social defeat stress doesn’t alter the intrinsic electrophysiological properties and synaptic transmission of surviving adult-born dentate granule cells, it promotes the developmental switch in synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors from predominant GluN2B- to GluN2A-containing receptors, which transform the immature synapse of adult-born dentate granule cells from one that exhibits enhanced long-term potentiation to one that has normal levels of long-term potentiation. Furthermore, chronic social defeat stress increases the level of endogenous repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor mRNA in adult-born dentate granule cells, and knockdown of the repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor in adult-born dentate granule cells rescues chronic social defeat stress-induced morphological deficits and accelerated developmental switch in synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit composition. Conclusions: These results uncover a previously

  12. Pre-existing astrocytes form functional perisynaptic processes on neurons generated in the adult hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Krzisch, Marine; Temprana, Silvio G; Mongiat, Lucas A; Armida, Jan; Schmutz, Valentin; Virtanen, Mari A; Kocher-Braissant, Jacqueline; Kraftsik, Rudolf; Vutskits, Laszlo; Conzelmann, Karl-Klaus; Bergami, Matteo; Gage, Fred H; Schinder, Alejandro F; Toni, Nicolas

    2015-07-01

    The adult dentate gyrus produces new neurons that morphologically and functionally integrate into the hippocampal network. In the adult brain, most excitatory synapses are ensheathed by astrocytic perisynaptic processes that regulate synaptic structure and function. However, these processes are formed during embryonic or early postnatal development and it is unknown whether astrocytes can also ensheathe synapses of neurons born during adulthood and, if so, whether they play a role in their synaptic transmission. Here, we used a combination of serial-section immuno-electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, and electrophysiology to examine the formation of perisynaptic processes on adult-born neurons. We found that the afferent and efferent synapses of newborn neurons are ensheathed by astrocytic processes, irrespective of the age of the neurons or the size of their synapses. The quantification of gliogenesis and the distribution of astrocytic processes on synapses formed by adult-born neurons suggest that the majority of these processes are recruited from pre-existing astrocytes. Furthermore, the inhibition of astrocytic glutamate re-uptake significantly reduced postsynaptic currents and increased paired-pulse facilitation in adult-born neurons, suggesting that perisynaptic processes modulate synaptic transmission on these cells. Finally, some processes were found intercalated between newly formed dendritic spines and potential presynaptic partners, suggesting that they may also play a structural role in the connectivity of new spines. Together, these results indicate that pre-existing astrocytes remodel their processes to ensheathe synapses of adult-born neurons and participate to the functional and structural integration of these cells into the hippocampal network.

  13. KCC2 rescues functional deficits in human neurons derived from patients with Rett syndrome

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. KCC2 rescues functional deficits in human neurons derived from patients with Rett syndrome.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-01-19

    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

  15. KCC2 rescues functional deficits in human neurons derived from patients with Rett syndrome.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-01-19

    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.

  16. Dendritic atrophy constricts functional maps in resonance and impedance properties of hippocampal model neurons

    PubMed Central

    Dhupia, Neha; Rathour, Rahul K.; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. Impairment of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons associated with aging and long-term loss of ovarian function.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, R B

    1998-06-01

    Recent studies suggest that women are at greater risk for Alzheimer's disease than men and that estrogen replacement can help to reduce the risk and severity of Alzheimer's-related dementia in postmenopausal women. We have hypothesized that the increased risk for Alzheimer's-related dementia is due, in part, to the loss of ovarian function in postmenopausal women and to the effects that decreased levels of ovarian hormones have on basal forebrain cholinergic function. In the present study, the effects of aging and ovariectomy on cholinergic neurons in the rat basal forebrain were examined to determine (1) whether aging differentially affects cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain of males vs females, and (2) whether long-term loss of ovarian function produces deficits in basal forebrain cholinergic function beyond those associated with aging and sex. In part I of the study, gonadally intact male and female rats were sacrificed at 13, 19, and 25 months of age and the effects of aging on cholinergic neurons in the medial septum (MS) and nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) were compared. In part II of the study, female rats were ovariectomized at 13 months of age and then sacrificed 3 and 6 months later along with gonadally intact, age-matched controls. Adjacent sections through the MS and NBM were processed for either immunocytochemical detection of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and p75NTR-like immunoreactivity or for in situ hybridization detection and quantification of ChAT and trkA mRNA. Results from part I revealed no significant effects of age on the relative size or density of cholinergic neurons in the MS and NBM of gonadally intact animals. Likewise, no significant effects on the relative numbers of cholinergic neurons expressing p75NTR protein were detected. However, a significant decrease in trkA mRNA was detected in the MS of gonadally intact females, but not males, between 13 and 25 months of age. No significant effects of aging on ChAT mRNA were

  18. Mycolactone-mediated neurite degeneration and functional effects in cultured human and rat DRG neurons

    PubMed Central

    Sinisi, M; Fox, M; MacQuillan, A; Quick, T; Korchev, Y; Bountra, C; McCarthy, T; Anand, P

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. Extrasynaptic Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors on Neuronal Cell Bodies Regulate Presynaptic Function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Jason P.; Staab, Trisha A.; Wang, Han; Mazzasette, Chiara; Butte, Zara

    2013-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) is a potent neuromodulator in the brain, and its effects on cognition and memory formation are largely performed through muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs). mAChRs are often preferentially distributed on specialized membrane regions in neurons, but the significance of mAChR localization in modulating neuronal function is not known. Here we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans homolog of the M1/M3/M5 family of mAChRs, gar-3, is expressed in cholinergic motor neurons, and GAR-3-GFP fusion proteins localize to cell bodies where they are enriched at extrasynaptic regions that are in contact with the basal lamina. The GAR-3 N-terminal extracellular domain is necessary and sufficient for this asymmetric distribution, and mutation of a predicted N-linked glycosylation site within the N-terminus disrupts GAR-3-GFP localization. In transgenic animals expressing GAR-3 variants that are no longer asymmetrically localized, synaptic transmission at neuromuscular junctions is impaired and there is a reduction in the abundance of the presynaptic protein sphingosine kinase at release sites. Finally, GAR-3 can be activated by endogenously produced ACh released from neurons that do not directly contact cholinergic motor neurons. Together, our results suggest that humoral activation of asymmetrically localized mAChRs by ACh is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism by which ACh modulates neuronal function. PMID:23986249

  20. Role of PKA in regulating mitochondrial function and neuronal development: implications to neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Dagda, Ruben K.; Banerjee, Tania Das

    2015-01-01

    In neurons, enhanced PKA signaling elevates synaptic plasticity, promotes neuronal development, and increases dopamine synthesis. On the other hand, a decline in PKA signaling contributes to the etiology of several brain degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease suggesting that PKA predominantly plays a neuroprotective role. A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAP) are large multi-domain scaffold proteins that target PKA and other signaling molecules to distinct subcellular sites to strategically localize PKA signaling at dendrites, dendritic spines, cytosol, and axons. PKA can be recruited to outer mitochondrial membrane by associating with three different AKAPs to regulate mitochondrial dynamics, structure, mitochondrial respiration, trafficking, dendrite morphology, and neuronal survival. In this review, we survey the myriad of essential neuronal functions modulated by PKA but place a special emphasis on mitochondrially-localized PKA. Finally, we offer an updated overview of how loss of PKA signaling contributes to the etiology of several brain degenerative diseases. PMID:25741943

  1. Structural and functional analysis of single neurons to correlate synaptic connectivity with grooming behavior.

    PubMed

    Kays, Ibrahim; Cvetkovska, Vedrana; Chen, Brian E

    2014-01-01

    We describe a protocol to image the complex axonal branching structure of identified mechanosensory neurons in Drosophila, combined with a behavioral assay to evaluate the functional output of the neuron. The stimulation of identified mechanosensory neurons in live animals produces a stereotyped grooming reflex. The mechanosensory axonal arbor within the CNS is subsequently labeled with a lipophilic fluorescent dye and imaged by fluorescence microscopy. The behavioral output can therefore be correlated to the axonal morphology of the stimulated neuron in the same animal. Combining this protocol with genetic analysis provides a powerful tool for identifying the roles of molecules involved in different aspects of hard-wired neural circuit formation underlying an innate behavior. From behavioral analysis to axonal imaging, the protocol takes 4 d.

  2. Kv7.2 regulates the function of peripheral sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    King, Chih H.; Lancaster, Eric; Salomon, Daniela; Peles, Elior; Scherer, Steven S.

    2014-01-01

    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

  3. Kv7.2 regulates the function of peripheral sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    King, Chih H; Lancaster, Eric; Salomon, Daniela; Peles, Elior; Scherer, Steven S

    2014-10-01

    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

  4. Reactive species modify NaV1.8 channels and affect action potentials in murine dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Schink, Martin; Leipold, Enrico; Schirmeyer, Jana; Schönherr, Roland; Hoshi, Toshinori; Heinemann, Stefan H

    2016-01-01

    Dorsal root ganglion (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

  5. Reactive species modify NaV1.8 channels and affect action potentials in murine dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Schink, Martin; Leipold, Enrico; Schirmeyer, Jana; Schönherr, Roland; Hoshi, Toshinori; Heinemann, Stefan H

    2016-01-01

    Dorsal root ganglion (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.

  6. P2X3 and TRPV1 functionally interact and mediate sensitization of trigeminal sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Saloman, Jami L.; Chung, Man-Kyo; Ro, Jin Y.

    2012-01-01

    Musculoskeletal pain conditions, particularly those associated with temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMD) affect a large percentage of the population. Identifying mechanisms underlying hyperalgesia could contribute to the development of new treatment strategies for the management of TMD and other muscle pain conditions. In this study, we provide evidence of functional interactions between two ligand-gated channels, P2X3 and TRPV1, in trigeminal sensory neurons, and propose that the interactions serve as an underlying mechanism for the development of mechanical hyperalgesia. Mechanical sensitivity of the masseter muscle was assessed in lightly anesthetized rats via an electronic anesthesiometer (Ro et al., 2009). Direct intramuscular injection of a selective P2X3 agonist, αβmeATP, induced a dose- and time-dependent hyperalgesia. Mechanical sensitivity in the contralateral muscle was unaffected suggesting local P2X3 mediate the hyperalgesia. Anesthetizing the overlying skin had no effect on αβmeATP-induced hyperalgesia confirming the contribution of P2X3 from muscle. Importantly, the αβmeATP-induced hyperalgesia was prevented by pretreatment of the muscle with a TRPV1 antagonist, AMG9810. P2X3 was co-expressed with TRPV1 in masseter muscle afferents confirming the possibility for intracellular interactions. Additionally, in a subpopulation of P2X3/TRPV1 positive neurons, capsaicin-induced Ca2+ transients were significantly amplified following P2X3 activation. Finally, activation of P2X3 induced phosphorylation of serine, but not threonine, residues in TRPV1 in trigeminal ganglia cultures. Significant phosphorylation was observed at 15 min, the time point at which behavioral hyperalgesia was prominent. Previously, activation of either P2X3 or TRPV1 had been independently implicated in the development of mechanical hyperalgesia. Our data propose P2X3 and TRPV1 interact in a facilitatory manner, which could contribute to the peripheral sensitization

  7. P2X₃ and TRPV1 functionally interact and mediate sensitization of trigeminal sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Saloman, J L; Chung, M-K; Ro, J Y

    2013-03-01

    Musculoskeletal pain conditions, particularly those associated with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) affect a large percentage of the population. Identifying mechanisms underlying hyperalgesia could contribute to the development of new treatment strategies for the management of TMD and other muscle pain conditions. In this study, we provide evidence of functional interactions between two ligand-gated channels, P2X₃ and transient receptor potential V1 (TRPV1), in trigeminal sensory neurons, and propose that the interactions serve as an underlying mechanism for the development of mechanical hyperalgesia. Mechanical sensitivity of the masseter muscle was assessed in lightly anesthetized rats via an electronic anesthesiometer (Ro et al., 2009). Direct intramuscular injection of a selective P2X₃ agonist, alpha,beta-methylene adenosine triphosphate (αβmeATP), induced a dose- and time-dependent hyperalgesia. Mechanical sensitivity in the contralateral muscle was unaffected suggesting local P2X₃ mediate hyperalgesia. Anesthetizing the overlying skin had no effect on αβmeATP-induced hyperalgesia confirming the contribution of P2X₃ from the muscle. Importantly, the αβmeATP-induced hyperalgesia was prevented by pretreatment of the muscle with a TRPV1 antagonist, AMG9810. P2X₃ was co-expressed with TRPV1 in the masseter muscle afferents confirming the possibility for intracellular interactions. Additionally, in a subpopulation of P2Xv/TRPV1 positive neurons, capsaicin-induced Ca(2+) transients were significantly amplified following P2X₃ activation. Finally, activation of P2X₃ induced phosphorylation of serine, but not threonine, residues in TRPV1 in trigeminal ganglia cultures. Significant phosphorylation was observed at 15 min, the time point at which behavioral hyperalgesia was prominent. Previously, activation of either P2X₃ or TRPV1 had been independently implicated in the development of mechanical hyperalgesia. Our data propose P2X₃ and TRPV1

  8. Functional Connectivity and Tuning Curves in Populations of Simultaneously Recorded Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Ian H.; London, Brian M.; Oby, Emily R.; Sachs, Nicholas A.; Reimer, Jacob; Englitz, Bernhard; David, Stephen V.; Shamma, Shihab A.; Blanche, Timothy J.; Mizuseki, Kenji; Zandvakili, Amin; Hatsopoulos, Nicholas G.; Miller, Lee E.; Kording, Konrad P.

    2012-01-01

    How interactions between neurons relate to tuned neural responses is a longstanding question in systems neuroscience. Here we use statistical modeling and simultaneous multi-electrode recordings to explore the relationship between these interactions and tuning curves in six different brain areas. We find that, in most cases, functional interactions between neurons provide an explanation of spiking that complements and, in some cases, surpasses the influence of canonical tuning curves. Modeling functional interactions improves both encoding and decoding accuracy by accounting for noise correlations and features of the external world that tuning curves fail to capture. In cortex, modeling coupling alone allows spikes to be predicted more accurately than tuning curve models based on external variables. These results suggest that statistical models of functional interactions between even relatively small numbers of neurons may provide a useful framework for examining neural coding. PMID:23166484

  9. FLP-4 neuropeptide and its receptor in a neuronal circuit regulate preference choice through functions of ASH-2 trithorax complex in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yonglin; Zhi, Lingtong; Guan, Xiangmin; Wang, Daoyong; Wang, Dayong

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26887501

  10. FLP-4 neuropeptide and its receptor in a neuronal circuit regulate preference choice through functions of ASH-2 trithorax complex in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yonglin; Zhi, Lingtong; Guan, Xiangmin; Wang, Daoyong; Wang, Dayong

    2016-02-18

    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.

  11. FLP-4 neuropeptide and its receptor in a neuronal circuit regulate preference choice through functions of ASH-2 trithorax complex in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yonglin; Zhi, Lingtong; Guan, Xiangmin; Wang, Daoyong; Wang, Dayong

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26887501

  12. Non-dopaminergic neurons expressing dopamine synthesis enzymes: differentiation and functional significance.

    PubMed

    Ugryumov, M V; Mel'nikova, V I; Ershov, P V; Balan, I S; Kalas, A

    2002-01-01

    The development and functional significance of neurons in the arcuate nucleus expressing tyrosine hydroxylase and/or aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase were studied in rat fetuses, neonates, and adults using immunocytochemical (single and double immunolabeling of tyrosine hydroxylase and aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase) methods with a confocal microscope and computerized image analysis, HPLC with electrochemical detection, and radioimmunological analysis. Single-enzyme neurons containing tyrosine hydroxylase were first seen on day 18 of embryonic development in the ventrolateral part of the arcuate nucleus. Neurons expressing only aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase or both enzymes of the dopamine synthesis pathway were first seen on day 20 of embryonic development, in the dorsomedial part of the nucleus. On days 20-21 of embryonic development, dopaminergic (containing both enzymes) neurons amounted to less than 1% of all neurons expressing tyrosine hydroxylase and/or aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase. Nonetheless, in the ex vivo arcuate nucleus and in primary neuron cultures from this structure, there were relatively high leveLs of dopamine and L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), and these substances were secreted spontaneously and in response to stimulation. In addition. dopamine levels in the arcuate nucleus in fetuses were sufficient to support the inhibitory regulation of prolactin secretion by the hypophysis, which is typical of adult animals. During development, the proportion of dopaminergic neurons increased, reaching 38% in adult rats. Specialized contacts between single-enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase-containing and aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase-containing neurons were present by day 21 of embryonic development; these were probably involved in transporting L-DOPA from the former neurons to the latter. It was also demonstrated that the axons of single-enzyme decarboxylase-containing neurons projected into the median eminence, supporting the

  13. Estradiol Facilitates Functional Integration of iPSC-Derived Dopaminergic Neurons into Striatal Neuronal Circuits via Activation of Integrin α5β1.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Doi, Daisuke; Samata, Bumpei; Murayama, Shigeo; Tahara, Tsuyoshi; Onoe, Hirotaka; Takahashi, Jun

    2016-04-12

    For cell transplantation therapy for Parkinson's disease (PD) to be realized, the grafted neurons should be integrated into the host neuronal circuit to restore the lost neuronal function. Here, using wheat-germ agglutinin-based transsynaptic tracing, we show that integrin α5 is selectively expressed in striatal neurons that are innervated by midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. In addition, we found that integrin α5β1 was activated by the administration of estradiol-2-benzoate (E2B) in striatal neurons of adult female rats. Importantly, we observed that the systemic administration of E2B into hemi-parkinsonian rat models facilitates the functional integration of grafted DA neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells into the host striatal neuronal circuit via the activation of integrin α5β1. Finally, methamphetamine-induced abnormal rotation was recovered earlier in E2B-administered rats than in rats that received other regimens. Our results suggest that the simultaneous administration of E2B with stem cell-derived DA progenitors can enhance the efficacy of cell transplantation therapy for PD. PMID:26997644

  14. Estradiol Facilitates Functional Integration of iPSC-Derived Dopaminergic Neurons into Striatal Neuronal Circuits via Activation of Integrin α5β1

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Doi, Daisuke; Samata, Bumpei; Murayama, Shigeo; Tahara, Tsuyoshi; Onoe, Hirotaka; Takahashi, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Summary For cell transplantation therapy for Parkinson's disease (PD) to be realized, the grafted neurons should be integrated into the host neuronal circuit to restore the lost neuronal function. Here, using wheat-germ agglutinin-based transsynaptic tracing, we show that integrin α5 is selectively expressed in striatal neurons that are innervated by midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. In addition, we found that integrin α5β1 was activated by the administration of estradiol-2-benzoate (E2B) in striatal neurons of adult female rats. Importantly, we observed that the systemic administration of E2B into hemi-parkinsonian rat models facilitates the functional integration of grafted DA neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells into the host striatal neuronal circuit via the activation of integrin α5β1. Finally, methamphetamine-induced abnormal rotation was recovered earlier in E2B-administered rats than in rats that received other regimens. Our results suggest that the simultaneous administration of E2B with stem cell-derived DA progenitors can enhance the efficacy of cell transplantation therapy for PD. PMID:26997644

  15. Affect integration and reflective function: clarification of central conceptual issues.

    PubMed

    Solbakken, Ole André; Hansen, Roger Sandvik; Monsen, Jon Trygve

    2011-07-01

    The importance of affect regulation, modulation or integration for higher-order reflection and adequate functioning is increasingly emphasized across different therapeutic approaches and theories of change. These processes are probably central to any psychotherapeutic endeavor, whether explicitly conceptualized or not, and in recent years a number of therapeutic approaches have been developed that explicitly target them as a primary area of change. However, there still is important lack of clarity in the field regarding the understanding and operationalization of affect integration, particularly when it comes to specifying underlying mechanisms, the significance of different affect states, and the establishment of operational criteria for measurement. The conceptual relationship between affect integration and reflective function thus remains ambiguous. The present article addresses these topics, indicating ways in which a more complex and exhaustive understanding of integration of affect, cognition and behavior can be attained.

  16. Building artificial networks of neuronal cells with light-assisted polymer surface functionalization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolau, Dan V.; Taniguchi, Hideo; Taguchi, Takahisa; Yoshikawa, Susumu

    1997-11-01

    The surface of photosensible diazo-naphto-quinone/novolak film was chemically manipulated through UV exposure and subsequent functionalization processes to obtain surfaces with different chemistries (DNQ, carboxylic, and peptidic groups). The neuronal cell attachment is controlled by three pairs of antagonistic surface variables: charged/uncharged species, amino/carboxylic groups and hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance, in which the former promote the adhesion. The study proves that microlithographic techniques in connection with surface functionalization with specific neuro-peptides can be used to build artificial networks with neuronal cells.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Gigi

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Disruption of neuronal function by soluble hyperphosphorylated tau in a Drosophila model of tauopathy.

    PubMed

    Cowan, Catherine M; Chee, Francis; Shepherd, David; Mudher, Amritpal

    2010-04-01

    Axonal microtubules are essential for transport of materials to the synapse. Compromised microtubules and synaptic loss have been demonstrated in AD (Alzheimer's disease), which is believed to contribute to cognitive dysfunction before neuronal death in the early stages of the disease. The mechanism by which hyperphosphorylated tau, the building block of neurofibrillary tangles, one of the pathological hallmarks of AD, disrupts neuronal and synaptic function is unclear. There is a theory that hyperphosphorylated tau does not bind effectively to microtubules and is no longer able to function in stabilizing them, thus axonal transport can no longer proceed efficiently. This leads to synaptic dysfunction. We have tested this theory in a Drosophila model of tauopathies in which we expressed human tau (h-tau). Using this model, we have tested all aspects of this hypothesis and have demonstrated that axonal transport does become compromised in the presence of hyperphosphorylated h-tau and this leads to synaptic and behavioural defects. We are currently investigating the mechanism by which hyperphosphorylated h-tau mediates this effect and are preliminary data indicate that this entails phospho-tau-mediated effects that are predicted by the tau-microtubule hypothesis, as well as novel effects. These deleterious effects of h-tau occur in the absence of tau filaments and before neuronal death. This sequence of pathogenic events may constitute the mechanism by which abnormal tau disrupts neuronal and synaptic function and contributes to cognitive impairment before neuronal death in the early stages of tauopathies such as AD. PMID:20298222

  19. "The developmental and functional logic of neuronal circuits": commentary on the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Glover, J C

    2009-11-10

    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.

  20. Human cerebral cortex Cajal-Retzius neuron: development, structure and function. A Golgi study.

    PubMed

    Marín-Padilla, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    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

  1. Functional Interaction between the Scaffold Protein Kidins220/ARMS and Neuronal Voltage-Gated Na+ Channels*

    PubMed Central

    Cesca, Fabrizia; Satapathy, Annyesha; Ferrea, Enrico; Nieus, Thierry; Benfenati, Fabio; Scholz-Starke, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. The neuron as a dynamic electrogenic machine: modulation of sodium-channel expression as a basis for functional plasticity in neurons.

    PubMed Central

    Waxman, S G

    2000-01-01

    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

  3. Affect Regulation, Mirror Neurons, and the Third Hand: Formulating Mindful Empathic Art Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franklin, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Visual empathy through empathic art interventions are discussed in this article with respect to attachment theory; recent research on the mirror neuron system; art, empathy, and mindfulness; and an artistic strategy for crafting third-hand interventions (Kramer, 1986). A case vignette demonstrates the art therapist's applied use of visual art…

  4. Neurons Differentiated from Transplanted Stem Cells Respond Functionally to Acoustic Stimuli in the Awake Monkey Brain.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jing-Kuan; Wang, Wen-Chao; Zhai, Rong-Wei; Zhang, Yu-Hua; Yang, Shang-Chuan; Rizak, Joshua; Li, Ling; Xu, Li-Qi; Liu, Li; Pan, Ming-Ke; Hu, Ying-Zhou; Ghanemi, Abdelaziz; Wu, Jing; Yang, Li-Chuan; Li, Hao; Lv, Long-Bao; Li, Jia-Li; Yao, Yong-Gang; Xu, Lin; Feng, Xiao-Li; Yin, Yong; Qin, Dong-Dong; Hu, Xin-Tian; Wang, Zheng-Bo

    2016-07-26

    Here, we examine whether neurons differentiated from transplanted stem cells can integrate into the host neural network and function in awake animals, a goal of transplanted stem cell therapy in the brain. We have developed a technique in which a small "hole" is created in the inferior colliculus (IC) of rhesus monkeys, then stem cells are transplanted in situ to allow for investigation of their integration into the auditory neural network. We found that some transplanted cells differentiated into mature neurons and formed synaptic input/output connections with the host neurons. In addition, c-Fos expression increased significantly in the cells after acoustic stimulation, and multichannel recordings indicated IC specific tuning activities in response to auditory stimulation. These results suggest that the transplanted cells have the potential to functionally integrate into the host neural network.

  5. Assigning Function to Adult-Born Neurons: A Theoretical Framework for Characterizing Neural Manipulation of Learning

    PubMed Central

    Hersman, Sarah; Rodriguez Barrera, Vanessa; Fanselow, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Neuroscientists are concerned with neural processes or computations, but these may not be directly observable. In the field of learning, a behavioral procedure is observed to lead to performance outcomes, but differing inferences on underlying internal processes can lead to difficulties in interpreting conflicting results. An example of this challenge is how many functions have been attributed to adult-born granule cells in the dentate gyrus. Some of these functions were suggested by computational models of the properties of these neurons, while others were hypothesized after manipulations of adult-born neurons resulted in changes to behavioral metrics. This review seeks to provide a framework, based in learning theory classification of behavioral procedures, of the processes that may be underlying behavioral results after manipulating procedure and observing performance. We propose that this framework can serve to clarify experimental findings on adult-born neurons as well as other classes of neural manipulations and their effects on behavior. PMID:26778981

  6. Neurons Differentiated from Transplanted Stem Cells Respond Functionally to Acoustic Stimuli in the Awake Monkey Brain.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jing-Kuan; Wang, Wen-Chao; Zhai, Rong-Wei; Zhang, Yu-Hua; Yang, Shang-Chuan; Rizak, Joshua; Li, Ling; Xu, Li-Qi; Liu, Li; Pan, Ming-Ke; Hu, Ying-Zhou; Ghanemi, Abdelaziz; Wu, Jing; Yang, Li-Chuan; Li, Hao; Lv, Long-Bao; Li, Jia-Li; Yao, Yong-Gang; Xu, Lin; Feng, Xiao-Li; Yin, Yong; Qin, Dong-Dong; Hu, Xin-Tian; Wang, Zheng-Bo

    2016-07-26

    Here, we examine whether neurons differentiated from transplanted stem cells can integrate into the host neural network and function in awake animals, a goal of transplanted stem cell therapy in the brain. We have developed a technique in which a small "hole" is created in the inferior colliculus (IC) of rhesus monkeys, then stem cells are transplanted in situ to allow for investigation of their integration into the auditory neural network. We found that some transplanted cells differentiated into mature neurons and formed synaptic input/output connections with the host neurons. In addition, c-Fos expression increased significantly in the cells after acoustic stimulation, and multichannel recordings indicated IC specific tuning activities in response to auditory stimulation. These results suggest that the transplanted cells have the potential to functionally integrate into the host neural network. PMID:27425612

  7. Structure of Spike Count Correlations Reveals Functional Interactions between Neurons in Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Area 8a of Behaving Primates

    PubMed Central

    Leavitt, Matthew L.; Pieper, Florian; Sachs, Adam; Joober, Ridha; Martinez-Trujillo, Julio C.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons within the primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) are clustered in microcolumns according to their visuospatial tuning. One issue that remains poorly investigated is how this anatomical arrangement influences functional interactions between neurons during behavior. To investigate this question we implanted 4 mm×4 mm multielectrode arrays in two macaques' dlPFC area 8a and measured spike count correlations (rsc) between responses of simultaneously recorded neurons when animals maintained stationary gaze. Positive and negative rsc were significantly higher than predicted by chance across a wide range of inter-neuron distances (from 0.4 to 4 mm). Positive rsc were stronger between neurons with receptive fields (RFs) separated by ≤90° of angular distance and progressively decreased as a function of inter-neuron physical distance. Negative rsc were stronger between neurons with RFs separated by >90° and increased as a function of inter-neuron distance. Our results show that short- and long-range functional interactions between dlPFC neurons depend on the physical distance between them and the relationship between their visuospatial tuning preferences. Neurons with similar visuospatial tuning show positive rsc that decay with inter-neuron distance, suggestive of excitatory interactions within and between adjacent microcolumns. Neurons with dissimilar tuning from spatially segregated microcolumns show negative rsc that increase with inter-neuron distance, suggestive of inhibitory interactions. This pattern of results shows that functional interactions between prefrontal neurons closely follow the pattern of connectivity reported in anatomical studies. Such interactions may be important for the role of the prefrontal cortex in the allocation of attention to targets in the presence of competing distracters. PMID:23630595

  8. Response functions for electrically coupled neuronal network: a method of local point matching and its applications.

    PubMed

    Yihe, Lu; Timofeeva, Yulia

    2016-06-01

    Neuronal networks connected by electrical synapses, also referred to as gap junctions, are present throughout the entire central nervous system. Many instances of gap-junctional coupling are formed between dendritic arbours of individual cells, and these dendro-dendritic gap junctions are known to play an important role in mediating various brain rhythms in both normal and pathological states. The dynamics of such neuronal networks modelled by passive or quasi-active (resonant) membranes can be described by the Green's function which provides the fundamental input-output relationships of the entire network. One of the methods for calculating this response function is the so-called 'sum-over-trips' framework which enables the construction of the Green's function for an arbitrary network as a convergent infinite series solution. Here we propose an alternative and computationally efficient approach for constructing the Green's functions on dendro-dendritic gap junction-coupled neuronal networks which avoids any infinite terms in the solutions. Instead, the Green's function is constructed from the solution of a system of linear algebraic equations. We apply this new method to a number of systems including a simple single cell model and two-cell neuronal networks. We also demonstrate that the application of this novel approach allows one to reduce a model with complex dendritic formations to an equivalent model with a much simpler morphological structure. PMID:26994016

  9. Extrastriatal monoamine neuron function in Parkinson's disease: an 18F-dopa PET study.

    PubMed

    Moore, Robert Y; Whone, Alan L; Brooks, David J

    2008-03-01

    The early motor manifestations of Parkinson's disease (PD) reflect degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons projecting to the caudal putamen. However, extrastriatal dopamine and other monoamine systems are also involved, particularly in later disease. We used (18)F-dopa PET in a cross-sectional study to characterize extrastriatal monoamine neuronal dysfunction in PD. 16 Controls and 41 patients underwent investigation. We found that (18)F-dopa uptake was decreased in cortical motor areas, particularly the motor cortex, even in early disease. Frontal association areas were also affected in later disease but limbic areas were spared except for hypothalamus. The substantia nigra, midbrain raphe and locus coeruleus showed normal or increased (18)F-dopa uptake until PD was advanced, indicating compensatory responses in intact monoamine neuron perikarya. The red nucleus, subthalamus, ventral thalamus and pineal gland were also eventually involved. These findings provide a further basis for understanding the complex pathophysiology of PD in vivo and complement pathological studies.

  10. Functional Integration of Adult-Born Hippocampal Neurons after Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Villasana, Laura E.; Kim, Kristine N.

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Functional expression of two system A glutamine transporter isoforms in rat auditory brainstem neurons

    PubMed Central

    Blot, A.; Billups, D.; Bjørkmo, M.; Quazi, A.Z.; Uwechue, N.M.; Chaudhry, F.A.; Billups, B.

    2009-01-01

    Glutamine plays multiple roles in the CNS, including metabolic functions and production of the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA. It has been proposed to be taken up into neurons via a variety of membrane transport systems, including system A, which is a sodium-dependent electrogenic amino acid transporter system. In this study, we investigate glutamine transport by application of amino acids to individual principal neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) in acutely isolated rat brain slices. A glutamine transport current was studied in patch-clamped neurons, which had the electrical and pharmacological properties of system A: it was sodium-dependent, had a non-reversing current-voltage relationship, was activated by proline, occluded by N-(methylamino)isobutyric acid (MeAIB), and was unaffected by 2-aminobicyclo-[2.2.1]-heptane-2-carboxylic acid (BCH). Additionally, we examined the expression of different system A transporter isoforms using immunocytochemical staining with antibodies raised against system A transporter 1 and 2 (SAT1 and SAT2). Our results indicate that both isoforms are expressed in MNTB principal neurons, and demonstrate that functional system A transporters are present in the plasma membrane of neurons. Since system A transport is highly regulated by a number of cellular signaling mechanisms and glutamine then goes on to activate other pathways, the study of these transporters in situ gives an indication of the mechanisms of neuronal glutamine supply as well as points of regulation of neurotransmitter production, cellular signaling and metabolism in the native neuronal environment. PMID:19751803

  12. Functional expression of bradykinin B1 and B2 receptors in neonatal rat trigeminal ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Kawaguchi, Aya; Sato, Masaki; Kimura, Maki; Yamazaki, Takaki; Yamamoto, Hitoshi; Tazaki, Masakazu; Ichinohe, Tatsuya; Shibukawa, Yoshiyuki

    2015-01-01

    Bradykinin (BK) and its receptors (B1 and B2 receptors) play important roles in inflammatory nociception. However, the patterns of expression and physiological/pathological functions of B1 and B2 receptors in trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons remain to be fully elucidated. We investigated the functional expression of BK receptors in rat TG neurons. We observed intense immunoreactivity of B2 receptors in TG neurons, while B1 receptors showed weak immunoreactivity. Expression of the B2 receptor colocalized with immunoreactivities against the pan-neuronal marker, neurofilament H, substance P, isolectin B4, and tropomyosin receptor kinase A antibodies. Both in the presence and absence of extracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]o), BK application increased the concentration of intracellular free Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]i). The amplitudes of BK-induced [Ca(2+)]i increase in the absence of [Ca(2+)]o were significantly smaller than those in the presence of Ca(2+). In the absence of [Ca(2+)]o, BK-induced [Ca(2+)]i increases were sensitive to B2 receptor antagonists, but not to a B1 receptor antagonist. However, B1 receptor agonist, Lys-[Des-Arg(9)]BK, transiently increased [Ca(2+)]i in primary cultured TG neurons, and these increases were sensitive to a B1 receptor antagonist in the presence of [Ca(2+)]o. These results indicated that B2 receptors were constitutively expressed and their activation induced the mobilization of [Ca(2+)]i from intracellular stores with partial Ca(2+) influx by BK. Although constitutive B1 receptor expression could not be clearly observed immunohistochemically in the TG cryosection, cultured TG neurons functionally expressed B1 receptors, suggesting that both B1 and B2 receptors involve pathological and physiological nociceptive functions.

  13. Functional Properties of Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons in Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Weick, Jason P.

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Juxtasomal Biocytin Labeling to Study the Structure-function Relationship of Individual Cortical Neurons

    PubMed Central

    de Haan, Roel; Pieneman, Anton W.; de Kock, Christiaan P.J.

    2014-01-01

    The cerebral cortex is characterized by multiple layers and many distinct cell-types that together as a network are responsible for many higher cognitive functions including decision making, sensory-guided behavior or memory. To understand how such intricate neuronal networks perform such tasks, a crucial step is to determine the function (or electrical activity) of individual cell types within the network, preferentially when the animal is performing a relevant cognitive task. Additionally, it is equally important to determine the anatomical structure of the network and the morphological architecture of the individual neurons to allow reverse engineering the cortical network. Technical breakthroughs available today allow recording cellular activity in awake, behaving animals with the valuable option of post hoc identifying the recorded neurons. Here, we demonstrate the juxtasomal biocytin labeling technique, which involves recording action potential spiking in the extracellular (or loose-patch) configuration using conventional patch pipettes. The juxtasomal recording configuration is relatively stable and applicable across behavioral conditions, including anesthetized, sedated, awake head-fixed, and even in the freely moving animal. Thus, this method allows linking cell-type specific action potential spiking during animal behavior to reconstruction of the individual neurons and ultimately, the entire cortical microcircuit. In this video manuscript, we show how individual neurons in the juxtasomal configuration can be labeled with biocytin in the urethane-anaesthetized rat for post hoc identification and morphological reconstruction. PMID:24638127

  15. Uncoupling Neogenin association with lipid rafts promotes neuronal survival and functional recovery after stroke.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-05-07

    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.

  16. Specific involvement of gonadal hormones in the functional maturation of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) neurons.

    PubMed

    Gouty-Colomer, Laurie-Anne; Méry, Pierre-François; Storme, Emilie; Gavois, Elodie; Robinson, Iain C; Guérineau, Nathalie C; Mollard, Patrice; Desarménien, Michel G

    2010-12-01

    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.

  17. Dopaminergic neurons generated from monkey embryonic stem cells function in a Parkinson primate model.

    PubMed

    Takagi, Yasushi; Takahashi, Jun; Saiki, Hidemoto; Morizane, Asuka; Hayashi, Takuya; Kishi, Yo; Fukuda, Hitoshi; Okamoto, Yo; Koyanagi, Masaomi; Ideguchi, Makoto; Hayashi, Hideki; Imazato, Takayuki; Kawasaki, Hiroshi; Suemori, Hirofumi; Omachi, Shigeki; Iida, Hidehiko; Itoh, Nobuyuki; Nakatsuji, Norio; Sasai, Yoshiki; Hashimoto, Nobuo

    2005-01-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. ES cells are currently the most promising donor cell source for cell-replacement therapy in PD. We previously described a strong neuralizing activity present on the surface of stromal cells, named stromal cell-derived inducing activity (SDIA). In this study, we generated neurospheres composed of neural progenitors from monkey ES cells, which are capable of producing large numbers of DA neurons. We demonstrated that FGF20, preferentially expressed in the substantia nigra, acts synergistically with FGF2 to increase the number of DA neurons in ES cell-derived neurospheres. We also analyzed the effect of transplantation of DA neurons generated from monkey ES cells into 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-treated (MPTP-treated) monkeys, a primate model for PD. Behavioral studies and functional imaging revealed that the transplanted cells functioned as DA neurons and attenuated MPTP-induced neurological symptoms.

  18. Parent-of-origin genetic background affects the transcriptional levels of circadian and neuronal plasticity genes following sleep loss

    PubMed Central

    Tinarelli, Federico; Garcia-Garcia, Celina; Nicassio, Francesco; Tucci, Valter

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. Walnuts improve neuronal and behavioral function in aging

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  20. HMGB4 is expressed by neuronal cells and affects the expression of genes involved in neural differentiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  1. HMGB4 is expressed by neuronal cells and affects the expression of genes involved in neural differentiation

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. HMGB4 is expressed by neuronal cells and affects the expression of genes involved in neural differentiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  3. HMGB4 is expressed by neuronal cells and affects the expression of genes involved in neural differentiation.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Millar, J. Kirsty; Price, David J.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Menthol suppresses nicotinic acetylcholine receptor functioning in sensory neurons via allosteric modulation.

    PubMed

    Hans, M; Wilhelm, M; Swandulla, D

    2012-06-01

    In this study, we have investigated how the function of native and recombinant nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is modulated by the monoterpenoid alcohol from peppermint (-) menthol. In trigeminal neurons (TG), we found that nicotine (75 μM)-activated whole-cell currents through nAChRs were reversibly reduced by menthol in a concentration-dependent manner with an IC₅₀ of 111 μM. To analyze the mechanism underlying menthol's action in more detail, we used single channel and whole-cell recordings from recombinant human α4β2 nAChR expressed in HEK tsA201 cells. Here, we found a shortening of channel open time and a prolongation of channel closed time, and an increase in single channel amplitude leading in summary to a reduction in single channel current. Furthermore, menthol did not affect nicotine's EC₅₀ value for currents through recombinant human α4β2 nAChRs but caused a significant reduction in nicotine's efficacy. Taken together, these findings indicate that menthol is a negative allosteric modulator of nAChRs.

  7. Glutamate mediates the function of melanocortin receptor 4 on sim1 neurons in body weight regulation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  8. Absence of alsin function leads to corticospinal motor neuron vulnerability via novel disease mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Mukesh; Jara, Javier H; Sekerkova, Gabriella; Yasvoina, Marina V; Martina, Marco; Özdinler, P Hande

    2016-03-15

    Mutations in the ALS2 gene result in early-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paraplegia and juvenile primary lateral sclerosis, suggesting prominent upper motor neuron involvement. However, the importance of alsin function for corticospinal motor neuron (CSMN) health and stability remains unknown. To date, four separate alsin knockout (Alsin(KO)) mouse models have been generated, and despite hopes of mimicking human pathology, none displayed profound motor function defects. This, however, does not rule out the possibility of neuronal defects within CSMN, which is not easy to detect in these mice. Detailed cellular analysis of CSMN has been hampered due to their limited numbers and the complex and heterogeneous structure of the cerebral cortex. In an effort to visualize CSMN in vivo and to investigate precise aspects of neuronal abnormalities in the absence of alsin function, we generated Alsin(KO)-UeGFP mice, by crossing Alsin(KO) and UCHL1-eGFP mice, a CSMN reporter line. We find that CSMN display vacuolated apical dendrites with increased autophagy, shrinkage of soma size and axonal pathology even in the pons region. Immunocytochemistry coupled with electron microscopy reveal that alsin is important for maintaining cellular cytoarchitecture and integrity of cellular organelles. In its absence, CSMN displays selective defects both in mitochondria and Golgi apparatus. UCHL1-eGFP mice help understand the underlying cellular factors that lead to CSMN vulnerability in diseases, and our findings reveal unique importance of alsin function for CSMN health and stability. PMID:26755825

  9. Tracing functional circuits using c-Fos regulated expression of marker genes targeted to neuronal projections.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Mark; Greferath, Ursula; Nag, Nupur; Nithianantharajah, Jess; Wilson, Yvette M

    2004-01-01

    We have developed novel techniques to trace functionally activated circuits and synaptic plasticity within the brain. We have generated transgenic mice, FTL, which contain a tau-lacZ fusion gene regulated by the promoter for c-fos. Following a particular nervous system stimulation in these mice, only neurons, which are functionally activated, will express LacZ, which is targeted to neuronal processes by the tau protein. In the FTL mice, we found highly inducible expression of lacZ by a range of different stimuli, and successful targeting of expression to neuronal cell bodies, axons and dendrites. To test if a functionally activated circuit could be visualized, the mice were deprived of water, which activates nuclei involved in body fluid homeostasis. LacZ was induced in these nuclei and their projections, allowing the mapping of a neuroendocrine circuit. Further studies have employed these mice in the analysis of neurons and circuits activated in vision, and learning and memory. We have also developed methods to measure markers of synaptic plasticity in the brain, and found significant experience dependent changes in the levels of these markers in different parts of the brain. We believe these techniques will aid in the identification of circuits for many different brain functions, and within those circuits, the locations of synaptic plasticity.

  10. Does vitamin C deficiency affect cognitive development and function?

    PubMed

    Hansen, Stine Normann; Tveden-Nyborg, Pernille; Lykkesfeldt, Jens

    2014-09-01

    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.

  11. Does Vitamin C Deficiency Affect Cognitive Development and Function?

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Stine Normann; Tveden-Nyborg, Pernille; Lykkesfeldt, Jens

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25244370

  12. Leptin regulation of neuronal morphology and hippocampal synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Jenni

    2013-01-01

    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

  13. Early developmental stress negatively affects neuronal recruitment to avian song system nucleus HVC.

    PubMed

    Honarmand, Mariam; Thompson, Christopher K; Schatton, Adriana; Kipper, Silke; Scharff, Constance

    2016-01-01

    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.

  14. Automated screening for mutants affecting dopaminergic-neuron specification in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Doitsidou, Maria; Flames, Nuria; Lee, Albert C; Boyanov, Alexander; Hobert, Oliver

    2008-10-01

    We describe an automated method to isolate mutant Caenorhabditis elegans that do not appropriately execute cellular differentiation programs. We used a fluorescence-activated sorting mechanism implemented in the COPAS Biosort machine to isolate mutants with subtle alterations in the cellular specificity of GFP expression. This methodology is considerably more efficient than comparable manual screens and enabled us to isolate mutants in which dopamine neurons do not differentiate appropriately. PMID:18758453

  15. Drosophila Ten-m and Filamin Affect Motor Neuron Growth Cone Guidance

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Lihua; Michelson, Yehudit; Freger, Vita; Avraham, Ziva; Venken, Koen J. T.; Bellen, Hugo J.; Justice, Monica J.; Wides, Ron

    2011-01-01

    The Drosophila Ten-m (also called Tenascin-major, or odd Oz (odz)) gene has been associated with a pair-rule phenotype. We identified and characterized new alleles of Drosophila Ten-m to establish that this gene is not responsible for segmentation defects but rather causes defects in motor neuron axon routing. In Ten-m mutants the inter-segmental nerve (ISN) often crosses segment boundaries and fasciculates with the ISN in the adjacent segment. Ten-m is expressed in the central nervous system and epidermal stripes during the stages when the growth cones of the neurons that form the ISN navigate to their targets. Over-expression of Ten-m in epidermal cells also leads to ISN misrouting. We also found that Filamin, an actin binding protein, physically interacts with the Ten-m protein. Mutations in cheerio, which encodes Filamin, cause defects in motor neuron axon routing like those of Ten-m. During embryonic development, the expression of Filamin and Ten-m partially overlap in ectodermal cells. These results suggest that Ten-m and Filamin in epidermal cells might together influence growth cone progression. PMID:21857973

  16. Doxorubicin Affects Expression of Proteins of Neuronal Pathways in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Petrovic, Marian; Simillion, Cedric; Kruzliak, Peter; Sabo, Jan; Heller, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    In the present article, we report on the semi-quantitative proteome analysis and related changes in protein expression of the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line following treatment with doxorubicin, using the precursor acquisition independent from ion count (PAcIFIC) mass spectrometry method. PAcIFIC represents a cost-effective and easy-to-use proteomics approach, enabling for deep proteome sequencing with minimal sample handling. The acquired proteomic data sets were searched for regulated Reactome pathways and Gene Ontology annotation terms using a new algorithm (SetRank). Using this approach, we identified pathways with significant changes (≤0.05), such as chromatin organization, DNA binding, embryo development, condensed chromosome, sequence-specific DNA binding, response to oxidative stress and response to toxin, as well as others. These sets of pathways are already well-described as being susceptible to chemotherapeutic drugs. Additionally, we found pathways related to neuron development, such as central nervous system neuron differentiation, neuron projection membrane and SNAP receptor activity. These later pathways might indicate biological mechanisms on the molecular level causing the known side-effect of doxorubicin chemotherapy, characterized as cognitive impairment, also called 'chemo brain'. Mass spectrometry data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002998.

  17. Paternal deprivation affects the development of corticotrophin-releasing factor-expressing neurones in prefrontal cortex, amygdala and hippocampus of the biparental Octodon degus.

    PubMed

    Seidel, K; Poeggel, G; Holetschka, R; Helmeke, C; Braun, K

    2011-11-01

    Although the critical role of maternal care on the development of brain and behaviour of the offspring has been extensively studied, knowledge about the importance of paternal care is comparatively scarce. In biparental species, paternal care significantly contributes to a stimulating socio-emotional family environment, which most likely also includes protection from stressful events. In the biparental caviomorph rodent Octodon degus, we analysed the impact of paternal care on the development of neurones in prefrontal-limbic brain regions, which express corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF). CRF is a polypeptidergic hormone that is expressed and released by a neuronal subpopulation in the brain, and which not only is essential for regulating stress and emotionality, but also is critically involved in cognitive functions. At weaning age [postnatal day (P)21], paternal deprivation resulted in an elevated density of CRF-containing neurones in the orbitofrontal cortex and in the basolateral amygdala of male degus, whereas a reduced density of CRF-expressing neurones was measured in the dentate gyrus and stratum pyramidale of the hippocampal CA1 region at this age. With the exception of the CA1 region, the deprivation-induced changes were no longer evident in adulthood (P90), which suggests a transient change that, in later life, might be normalised by other socio-emotional experience. The central amygdala, characterised by dense clusters of CRF-immunopositive neuropil, and the precentral medial, anterior cingulate, infralimbic and prelimbic cortices, were not affected by paternal deprivation. Taken together, this is the first evidence that paternal care interferes with the developmental expression pattern of CRF-expressing interneurones in an age- and region-specific manner.

  18. Knocking down of heat-shock protein 27 directs differentiation of functional glutamatergic neurons from placenta-derived multipotent cells

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Yu-Che; Huang, Chi-Jung; Lee, Yih-Jing; Tien, Lu-Tai; Ku, Wei-Chi; Chien, Raymond; Lee, Fa-Kung; Chien, Chih-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    This study presents human placenta-derived multipotent cells (PDMCs) as a source from which functional glutamatergic neurons can be derived. We found that the small heat-shock protein 27 (HSP27) was downregulated during the neuronal differentiation process. The in vivo temporal and spatial profiles of HSP27 expression were determined and showed inverted distributions with neuronal proteins during mouse embryonic development. Overexpression of HSP27 in stem cells led to the arrest of neuronal differentiation; however, the knockdown of HSP27 yielded a substantially enhanced ability of PDMCs to differentiate into neurons. These neurons formed synaptic networks and showed positive staining for multiple neuronal markers. Additionally, cellular phenomena including the absence of apoptosis and rare proliferation in HSP27-silenced PDMCs, combined with molecular events such as cleaved caspase-3 and the loss of stemness with cleaved Nanog, indicated that HSP27 is located upstream of neuronal differentiation and constrains that process. Furthermore, the induced neurons showed increasing intracellular calcium concentrations upon glutamate treatment. These differentiated cells co-expressed the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, vesicular glutamate transporter, and synaptosomal-associated protein 25 but did not show expression of tyrosine hydroxylase, choline acetyltransferase or glutamate decarboxylase 67. Therefore, we concluded that HSP27-silenced PDMCs differentiated into neurons possessing the characteristics of functional glutamatergic neurons. PMID:27444754

  19. Effects of photoperiod on kisspeptin neuronal populations of the ewe diencephalon in connection with reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Chalivoix, S; Bagnolini, A; Caraty, A; Cognié, J; Malpaux, B; Dufourny, L

    2010-02-01

    Kisspeptin (Kiss) is a key regulator of reproductive function in both prepubertal and adult mammals. Its expression appears to vary throughout the year in seasonal species. We aimed to determine the impact of a change of photoperiod on the size of Kiss neuronal populations found in the preoptic area (POA) and arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the ewe brain. Using immunocytochemistry, we first examined the proportion of neurones expressing Kiss, using HuC/D as a neuronal marker, at different time-points after transition from long days (LD; 16 : 8 h light/dark cycle) to short days (SD; 8 : 16 h light/dark cycle). Luteinising hormone (LH) secretion was measured in ovariectomised oestradiol replaced ewes from the month preceding the transition to SD until the sacrifice of the animals at days 0, 45 and 112 from this photoperiodic transition. High LH levels were only observed in animals killed at day 112. The number of Kiss neurones/mm(2) doubled in the caudal ARC at day 112. The percentage of neurones showing Kiss immunoreactivity increased significantly in both the POA and ARC in the day 112 group. In a second experiment, ewes kept in LD received an i.c.v. injection of colchicine 20 h before sacrifice. Colchicine treatment increased the number and the percentage of neurones with Kiss in both the POA and caudal ARC. The data obtained suggest that the increase in Kiss neurones detected in the POA and caudal ARC after transition to SD stemmed from an increase in Kiss synthesis. This up-regulation of Kiss content under the shorter day condition appears to be a late event within the cascade activated by a longer secretion of melatonin, which is a critical factor in switching gonadotrophin-releasing hormone secretion to a breeding season profile.

  20. Role of Striatal-Enriched Tyrosine Phosphatase in Neuronal Function.

    PubMed

    Kamceva, Marija; Benedict, Jessie; Nairn, Angus C; Lombroso, Paul J

    2016-01-01

    Striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) is a CNS-enriched protein implicated in multiple neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders. STEP regulates key signaling proteins required for synaptic strengthening as well as NMDA and AMPA receptor trafficking. Both high and low levels of STEP disrupt synaptic function and contribute to learning and behavioral deficits. High levels of STEP are present in human postmortem samples and animal models of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and schizophrenia and in animal models of fragile X syndrome. Low levels of STEP activity are present in additional disorders that include ischemia, Huntington's chorea, alcohol abuse, and stress disorders. Thus the current model of STEP is that optimal levels are required for optimal synaptic function. Here we focus on the role of STEP in Alzheimer's disease and the mechanisms by which STEP activity is increased in this illness. Both genetic lowering of STEP levels and pharmacological inhibition of STEP activity in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease reverse the biochemical and cognitive abnormalities that are present. These findings suggest that STEP is an important point for modulation of proteins required for synaptic plasticity. PMID:27190655

  1. Role of Striatal-Enriched Tyrosine Phosphatase in Neuronal Function

    PubMed Central

    Lombroso, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    Striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) is a CNS-enriched protein implicated in multiple neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders. STEP regulates key signaling proteins required for synaptic strengthening as well as NMDA and AMPA receptor trafficking. Both high and low levels of STEP disrupt synaptic function and contribute to learning and behavioral deficits. High levels of STEP are present in human postmortem samples and animal models of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and schizophrenia and in animal models of fragile X syndrome. Low levels of STEP activity are present in additional disorders that include ischemia, Huntington's chorea, alcohol abuse, and stress disorders. Thus the current model of STEP is that optimal levels are required for optimal synaptic function. Here we focus on the role of STEP in Alzheimer's disease and the mechanisms by which STEP activity is increased in this illness. Both genetic lowering of STEP levels and pharmacological inhibition of STEP activity in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease reverse the biochemical and cognitive abnormalities that are present. These findings suggest that STEP is an important point for modulation of proteins required for synaptic plasticity. PMID:27190655

  2. 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

    PubMed Central

    Hermann, Petra M.; Watson, Shawn N.; Wildering, Willem C.

    2014-01-01

    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

  3. Semi-loose seal Neurobiotin electroporation for combined structural and functional analysis of neurons.

    PubMed

    Kanjhan, Refik; Vaney, David I

    2008-11-01

    Intracellular sharp-electrode, whole-cell patch clamp and juxtacellular labeling methods have previously been developed for combined analysis of neuronal structure and function. We describe a novel electroporation technique for labeling neurons with Neurobiotin, using patch electrodes in a semi-loose seal configuration (R = 100-300 MOmega) with very small amplitude pulses (50 mV). The addition of 2% Neurobiotin to the intracellular solution in the patch electrode reduces the dielectric membrane breakdown voltage threshold by about threefold. The resulting pore formation allows for (1) the stable recording of spontaneous and light-evoked postsynaptic potentials without significant cytoplasmic washout and (2) the passage of dye without spillover. The efficiency and reliability of the method makes it particularly suitable for the serial recording and labeling of multiple neurons in a small area of tissue.

  4. Impaired Autophagy and Defective Mitochondrial Function: Converging Paths on the Road to Motor Neuron Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Edens, Brittany M.; Miller, Nimrod; Ma, Yong-Chao

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. New Pharmacotherapy Targeting Cognitive Dysfunction of Schizophrenia via Modulation of GABA Neuronal Function

    PubMed Central

    Jeon, Won Je; Sumiyoshi, Tomiki; Kurachi, Masayoshi

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is considered a neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorder. Cognitive impairment is a core symptom in patients with the illness, and has been suggested a major predictor of functional outcomes. Reduction of parvalbumin (PV)-positive γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) interneurons has been associated with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, in view of the link between the abnormality of GABA neurons and cognitive impairments of the disease. It is assumed that an imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory (E-I) activity induced by low activity of glutamatergic projections and PV-positive GABA interneurons in the prefrontal cortex resulted in sustained neural firing and gamma oscillation, leading to impaired cognitive function. Therefore, it is important to develop novel pharmacotherapy targeting GABA neurons and their activities. Clinical evidence suggests serotonin (5-HT) 1A receptor agonist improves cognitive disturbances of schizophrenia, consistent with results from preclinical studies, through mechanism that corrects E-I imbalance via the suppression of GABA neural function. On the other hand, T-817MA, a novel neurotrophic agent, ameliorated loss of PV-positive GABA neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex and reduction of gamma-band activity, as well as cognitive dysfunction in animal model of schizophrenia. In conclusion, a pharmacotherapy to alleviate abnormalities in GABA neurons through 5-HT1A agonists and T-817MA is expected to prevent the onset and/or progression of schizophrenia. PMID:26630957

  6. Gliotransmission by Prostaglandin E2: A Prerequisite for GnRH Neuronal Function?

    PubMed Central

    Clasadonte, Jerome; Sharif, Ariane; Baroncini, Marc; Prevot, Vincent

    2011-01-01

    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

  7. Cell Death, Neuronal Plasticity and Functional Loading in the Development of the Central Nervous System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keefe, J. R.

    1985-01-01

    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.

  8. Nerve growth factor in the urinary bladder of the adult regulates neuronal form and function.

    PubMed Central

    Steers, W D; Kolbeck, S; Creedon, D; Tuttle, J B

    1991-01-01

    Urethral obstruction produces increased voiding frequency (0.7 +/- 0.06 to 1.1 +/- 0.08 h-1) and hypertrophy of the urinary bladder (89 +/- 1.7 to 708 +/- 40 mg) with profound increments in the dimensions of afferent (4, 6) and efferent neurons (299 +/- 4.7 to 573 +/- 8.6 microns2) supplying this organ in the rat. We discovered that hypertrophied bladders of rat and human contain significantly more nerve growth factor (NGF) per milligram wet weight, protein, and DNA than normal bladders. The temporal correlation between NGF content, neuronal hypertrophy, and bladder weight was consistent with a role for this growth factor in the neurotrophic effects associated with obstruction. Autoimmunity to NGF abolished the hypertrophy of NGF-sensitive bladder neurons in the pelvic ganglion after obstruction. Relief of urethral obstruction reduced bladder size (349 +/- 78 mg), but neuronal hypertrophy (460.2 +/- 10.2 microns2) and elevated NGF levels were only partially reversed. Bladder hypertrophy (133 +/- 4.3 mg) induced by osmotic diuresis slightly increased ganglion cell area (365.2 +/- 6.1 microns2) and only doubled NGF content of the bladder. These findings provide important new evidence that parenchymal cells in the hypertrophied bladder can synthesize NGF and possibly other molecular messengers that act to alter the size and function of neurons in adult animals and man. Images PMID:1939656

  9. Expression of Nampt in Hippocampal and Cortical Excitatory Neurons Is Critical for Cognitive Function

    PubMed Central

    Stein, Liana Roberts; Wozniak, David F.; Dearborn, Joshua T.; Kubota, Shunsuke; Apte, Rajendra S.; Izumi, Yukitoshi; Zorumski, Charles F.

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an enzyme cofactor or cosubstrate in many essential biological pathways. To date, the primary source of neuronal NAD+ has been unclear. NAD+ can be synthesized from several different precursors, among which nicotinamide is the substrate predominantly used in mammals. The rate-limiting step in the NAD+ biosynthetic pathway from nicotinamide is performed by nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt). Here, we tested the hypothesis that neurons use intracellular Nampt-mediated NAD+ biosynthesis by generating and evaluating mice lacking Nampt in forebrain excitatory neurons (CaMKIIαNampt−/− mice). CaMKIIαNampt−/− mice showed hippocampal and cortical atrophy, astrogliosis, microgliosis, and abnormal CA1 dendritic morphology by 2–3 months of age. Importantly, these histological changes occurred with altered intrahippocampal connectivity and abnormal behavior; including hyperactivity, some defects in motor skills, memory impairment, and reduced anxiety, but in the absence of impaired sensory processes or long-term potentiation of the Schaffer collateral pathway. These results clearly demonstrate that forebrain excitatory neurons mainly use intracellular Nampt-mediated NAD+ biosynthesis to mediate their survival and function. Studying this particular NAD+ biosynthetic pathway in these neurons provides critical insight into their vulnerability to pathophysiological stimuli and the development of therapeutic and preventive interventions for their preservation. PMID:24760840

  10. Physiological Transgene Regulation and Functional Complementation of a Neurological Disease Gene Deficiency in Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Peruzzi, Pier Paolo; Lawler, Sean E; Senior, Steve L; Dmitrieva, Nina; Edser, Pauline AH; Gianni, Davide; Chiocca, E Antonio; Wade-Martins, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) and α-synuclein (SNCA) genes play central roles in neurodegenerative disorders. Mutations in each gene cause familial disease, whereas common genetic variation at both loci contributes to susceptibility to sporadic neurodegenerative disease. Here, we demonstrate exquisite gene regulation of the human MAPT and SNCA transgene loci and functional complementation in neuronal cell cultures and organotypic brain slices using the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) amplicon-based infectious bacterial artificial chromosome (iBAC) vector to express complete loci >100 kb. Cell cultures transduced by iBAC vectors carrying a 143 kb MAPT or 135 kb SNCA locus expressed the human loci similar to the endogenous gene. We focused on analysis of the iBAC-MAPT vector carrying the complete MAPT locus. On transduction into neuronal cultures, multiple MAPT transcripts were expressed from iBAC-MAPT under strict developmental and cell type–specific control. In primary neurons from Mapt−/− mice, the iBAC-MAPT vector expressed the human tau protein, as detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunocytochemistry, and restored sensitivity of Mapt−/− neurons to Aβ peptide treatment in dissociated neuronal cultures and in organotypic slice cultures. The faithful retention of gene expression and phenotype complementation by the system provides a novel method to analyze neurological disease genes. PMID:19352323

  11. Functional properties of parietal hand manipulation-related neurons and mirror neurons responding to vision of own hand action.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Kazutaka; Ishida, Hiroaki; Nakajima, Katsumi; Inase, Masahiko; Murata, Akira

    2015-03-01

    Parietofrontal pathways play an important role in visually guided motor control. In this pathway, hand manipulation-related neurons in the inferior parietal lobule represent 3-D properties of an object and motor patterns to grasp it. Furthermore, mirror neurons show visual responses that are concerned with the actions of others and motor-related activity during execution of the same grasping action. Because both of these categories of neurons integrate visual and motor signals, these neurons may play a role in motor control based on visual feedback signals. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these neurons in inferior parietal lobule including the anterior intraparietal area and PFG of macaques represent visual images of the monkey's own hand during a self-generated grasping action. We recorded 235 neurons related to hand manipulation tasks. Of these, 54 responded to video clips of the monkey's own hand action, the same as visual feedback during that action or clips of the experimenter's hand action in a lateral view. Of these 54 neurons, 25 responded to video clips of the monkey's own hand, even without an image of the target object. We designated these 25 neurons as "hand-type." Thirty-three of 54 neurons that were defined as mirror neurons showed visual responses to the experimenter's action and motor responses. Thirteen of these mirror neurons were classified as hand-type. These results suggest that activity of hand manipulation-related and mirror neurons in anterior intraparietal/PFG plays a fundamental role in monitoring one's own body state based on visual feedback.

  12. Functional repression of cAMP response element in 6-hydroxydopamine-treated neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    Chalovich, Elisabeth M; Zhu, Jian-hui; Caltagarone, John; Bowser, Robert; Chu, Charleen T

    2006-06-30

    Impaired survival signaling may represent a central mechanism in neurodegeneration. 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is an oxidative neurotoxin used to injure catecholaminergic cells of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Although 6-OHDA elicits phosphorylation of several kinases, downstream transcriptional effects that influence neuronal cell death are less defined. The cAMP response element (CRE) is present in the promoter sequences of several important neuronal survival factors. Treatment of catecholaminergic neuronal cell lines (B65 and SH-SY5Y) with 6-OHDA resulted in repression of basal CRE transactivation. Message levels of CRE-driven genes such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor and the survival factor Bcl-2 were decreased in 6-OHDA-treated cells, but message levels of genes lacking CRE sequences were not affected. Repression of CRE could be reversed by delayed treatment with cAMP several hours after initiation of 6-OHDA injury. Furthermore, restoration of CRE-driven transcription was associated with significant neuroprotection. In contrast to observations in other model systems, the mechanism of CRE repression did not involve decreased phosphorylation of its binding protein CREB. Instead, total CREB and phospho-CREB (pCREB) were increased in the cytoplasm and decreased in the nucleus of 6-OHDA-treated cells. 6-OHDA also decreased nuclear pCREB in dopaminergic neurons of primary mouse midbrain cultures. Co-treatment with cAMP promoted/restored nuclear localization of pCREB in both immortalized and primary culture systems. Increased cytoplasmic pCREB was observed in degenerating human Parkinson/Lewy body disease substantia nigra neurons but not in age-matched controls. Notably, cytoplasmic accumulation of activated upstream CREB kinases has been observed previously in both 6-OHDA-treated cells and degenerating human neurons, supporting a potential role for impaired nuclear import of phosphorylated signaling proteins.

  13. Prions, From Structure to Epigenetics and Neuronal Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindquist, Susan

    2012-02-01

    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

  14. The influence of stress and gonadal hormones on neuronal structure and function.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Mollee R; Gruene, Tina M; Shansky, Rebecca M

    2015-11-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "SBN 2014". The brain is highly plastic, allowing us to adapt and respond to environmental and physiological challenges and experiences. In this review, we discuss the relationships among alterations in dendritic arborization, spine morphology, and behavior due to stress exposure, endogenous hormone fluctuation, or exogenous hormonal manipulation. Very few studies investigate structure-function associations directly in the same cohort of animals, and there are notable inconsistencies in evidence of structure-function relationships in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Moreover, little work has been done to probe the causal relationship between dendritic morphology and neuronal excitability, leaving only speculation about the adaptive versus maladaptive nature of experience-dependent dendritic remodeling. We propose that future studies combine electrophysiology with a circuit-level approach to better understand how dendritic structure contributes to neuronal functional properties and behavioral outcomes.

  15. The influence of stress and gonadal hormones on neuronal structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Farrell, Mollee R.; Gruene, Tina M.; Shansky, Rebecca M.

    2015-01-01

    The brain is highly plastic, allowing us to adapt and respond to environmental and physiological challenges and experiences. In this review, we discuss the relationships among alterations in dendritic arborization, spine morphology, and behavior due to stress exposure, endogenous hormone fluctuation, or exogenous hormonal manipulation. Very few studies investigate structure-function associations directly in the same cohort of animals, and there are notable inconsistencies in evidence of structure-function relationships in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Moreover, little work has been done to probe the causal relationship between dendritic morphology and neuronal excitability, leaving only speculation about the adaptive versus maladaptive nature of experience-dependent dendritic remodeling. We propose that future studies combine electrophysiology with a circuit-level approach to better understand how dendritic structure contributes to neuronal functional properties and behavioral outcomes. PMID:25819727

  16. "Small axonless neurons": postnatally generated neocortical interneurons with delayed functional maturation.

    PubMed

    Le Magueresse, Corentin; Alfonso, Julieta; Khodosevich, Konstantin; Arroyo Martín, Angel A; Bark, Christine; Monyer, Hannah

    2011-11-16

    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.

  17. Dominant negative effect of polyglutamine expansion perturbs normal function of ataxin-3 in neuronal cells

    PubMed Central

    Neves-Carvalho, Andreia; Logarinho, Elsa; Freitas, Ana; Duarte-Silva, Sara; Costa, Maria do Carmo; Silva-Fernandes, Anabela; Martins, Margarida; Serra, Sofia Cravino; Lopes, André T.; Paulson, Henry L.; Heutink, Peter; Relvas, João B.; Maciel, Patrícia

    2015-01-01

    The physiological function of Ataxin-3 (ATXN3), a deubiquitylase (DUB) involved in Machado–Joseph Disease (MJD), remains elusive. In this study, we demonstrate that ATXN3 is required for neuronal differentiation and for normal cell morphology, cytoskeletal organization, proliferation and survival of SH-SY5Y and PC12 cells. This cellular phenotype is associated with increased proteasomal degradation of α5 integrin subunit (ITGA5) and reduced activation of integrin signalling and is rescued by ITGA5 overexpression. Interestingly, silencing of ATXN3, overexpression of mutant versions of ATXN3 lacking catalytic activity or bearing an expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) tract led to partially overlapping phenotypes. In vivo analysis showed that both Atxn3 knockout and MJD transgenic mice had decreased levels of ITGA5 in the brain. Furthermore, abnormal morphology and reduced branching were observed both in cultured neurons expressing shRNA for ATXN3 and in those obtained from MJD mice. Our results show that ATXN3 rescues ITGA5 from proteasomal degradation in neurons and that polyQ expansion causes a partial loss of this cellular function, resulting in reduced integrin signalling and neuronal cytoskeleton modifications, which may be contributing to neurodegeneration. PMID:25143392

  18. Evaluation of neurotoxic and neuroprotective pathways affected by antiepileptic drugs in cultured hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Morte, Maria I; Carreira, Bruno P; Falcão, Maria J; Ambrósio, António F; Soares-da-Silva, Patrício; Araújo, Inês M; Carvalho, Caetana M

    2013-12-01

    In this study we evaluated the neurotoxicity of eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL), and of its in vivo metabolites eslicarbazepine (S-Lic) and R-licarbazepine (R-Lic), as compared to the structurally-related compounds carbamazepine (CBZ) and oxcarbazepine (OXC), in an in vitro model of cultured rat hippocampal neurons. The non-related antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) lamotrigine (LTG) and sodium valproate (VPA) were also studied. We assessed whether AEDs modulate pro-survival/pro-apoptotic pathways, such as extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), Akt and stress activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (SAPK/JNK). We found that neither ESL nor its metabolites, CBZ or LTG, up to 0.3mM, for 24h of exposure, decreased cell viability. OXC was the most toxic drug decreasing cell viability in a concentration-dependent manner, leading to activation of caspase-3 and PARP cleavage. VPA caused the appearance of the apoptotic markers, but did not alter cell viability. ESL, S-Lic and OXC decreased the levels of phospho-ERK1/2 and of phospho-Akt, when compared to basal levels, whereas CBZ decreased phospho-SAPK/JNK and phospho-Akt levels. LTG and VPA increased the phosphorylation levels of SAPK/JNK. These results suggest that ESL and its main metabolite S-Lic, as well as CBZ, LTG and VPA, are less toxic to hippocampal neurons than OXC, which was the most toxic agent.

  19. Toward on-chip functional neuronal networks: computational study on the effect of synaptic connectivity on neural activity.

    PubMed

    Foroushani, Armin Najarpour; Ghafar-Zadeh, Ebrahim

    2014-01-01

    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.

  20. Functional properties of grasping-related neurons in the dorsal premotor area F2 of the macaque monkey.

    PubMed

    Raos, Vassilis; Umiltá, Maria-Alessandra; Gallese, Vittorio; Fogassi, Leonardo

    2004-10-01

    We investigated the properties of neurons located in the distal forelimb field of dorsal premotor area F2 of macaque monkey using a behavioral paradigm for studying the neuronal discharge during observation (object fixation condition) and grasping of different 3-dimensional objects with and without visual guidance of the movement (movement in light and movement in dark conditions, respectively). The main result is that almost all studied neurons were selective for both the type of prehension and the wrist orientation required for grasping an object. Three categories of neurons were found: purely motor, visually modulated, and visuomotor neurons. The discharge of purely motor neurons was not affected by either object presentation or by the visual feedback of the hand approaching to and interacting with the object. Visually modulated neurons presented a different discharge in the 2 movement conditions, this determining a decrease in selectivity for the grip and wrist orientation in the movement in dark condition. Visuomotor neurons typically discharged during the object fixation task even in the absence of any grasping movement. Nine of them also displayed a different discharge rate between the 2 movement conditions. Congruence was observed between the neuron response during the most effective type of prehension and the neuron response during observation of the object requiring that particular prehension. These results indicate an important role of F2 in the control of goal-related hand movements. PMID:15163668

  1. Maturation of neuronal form and function in a mouse thalamo-cortical circuit.

    PubMed

    Warren, R A; Jones, E G

    1997-01-01

    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.

  2. Exercise inhibits neuronal apoptosis and improves cerebral function following rat traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Itoh, Tatsuki; Imano, Motohiro; Nishida, Shozo; Tsubaki, Masahiro; Hashimoto, Shigeo; Ito, Akihiko; Satou, Takao

    2011-09-01

    Exercise is reported to inhibit neuronal apoptotic cell death in the hippocampus and improve learning and memory. However, the effect of exercise on inhibition of neuronal apoptosis surrounding the area of damage after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the improvement of cerebral dysfunction following TBI are unknown. Here, we investigate the effect of exercise on morphology and cerebral function following TBI in rats. Wistar rats received TBI by a pneumatic controlled injury device were randomly divided into two groups: (1) non-exercise group and (2) exercise group. The exercise group ran on a treadmill for 30 min/day at 22 m/min for seven consecutive days. Immunohistochemical and behavioral studies were performed following TBI. The number of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-positive cells around the damaged area early after TBI was significantly reduced in the exercise group compared with the non-exercise group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, most ssDNA-positive cells in the non-exercise group co-localized with neuronal cells. However, in the exercise group, a few ssDNA-positive cells co-localized with neurons. In addition, there was a significant increase in neuronal cell number and improvement in cerebral dysfunction after TBI in the exercise group compared with the non-exercise group (P < 0.05). These results indicate that exercise following TBI inhibits neuronal degeneration and apoptotic cell death around the damaged area, which results in improvement of cerebral dysfunction. In summary, treadmill running improved cerebral dysfunction following TBI, indicating its potential as an effective clinical therapy. Therefore, exercise therapy (rehabilitation) in the early phase following TBI is important for recuperation from cerebral dysfunction.

  3. Identification of a histaminergic circuit in the caudal hypothalamus: an evidence for functional heterogeneity of histaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Umehara, Hayato; Mizuguchi, Hiroyuki; Fukui, Hiroyuki

    2012-11-01

    It is well established that histaminergic neurons in the posterior hypothalamus make connections with whole brain areas and regulate several functions. Recent evidence indicates that histaminergic neurons are heterogeneous cell group and organized into distinct circuits. However, functional circuits of histaminergic neurons have not been fully mapped so far. To address this issue, we have investigated antihistamine-sensitive neuronal activation in the hypothalamus to determine the hypothalamic region primarily innervated by histaminergic neurons. Here we review our recent findings showing the existence of the heterogeneous subpopulations of histaminergic neurons in the TMN that innervated distinct regions to regulate particular functions. We have identified the caudal part of the arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus (cARC) as a target region of histaminergic neurons in food-restricted rats by assessing suppression of c-Fos expression by pretreatment with antihistamines. Histaminergic neurons in the tuberomammillary nucleus (TMN) are morphologically subdivided into five groups (E1-E5). Among the subdivisions, the E3 group was found to be activated corresponding to the activation of cARC neurons. Our findings suggest that this subpopulation selectively innervate cARC neurons. Accumulating reports have also described c-Fos expression in other TMN subpopulations. Various stress challenge induced c-Fos expression primarily in E4 and E5 subpopulations. Motivation- and drug-induced arousal elicited in common activation of ventrolateral part of the TMN containing E1 and E2 subdivisions, which receive projections from wake-active orexin neurons and sleep-active GABA neurons. These lines of evidence support the hypothesis that there are heterogeneous subpopulations in the TMN that innervated distinct regions to regulate particular functions.

  4. Endocannabinoids affect the reproductive functions in teleosts and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Cottone, E; Guastalla, A; Mackie, K; Franzoni, M F

    2008-04-16

    Following the discovery in the brain of the bonyfish Fugu rubripes of two genes encoding for type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1A and CB1B), investigations on the phylogeny of these receptors have indicated that the cannabinergic system is highly conserved. Among the multiple functions modulated by cannabinoids/endocannabinoids through the CB1 receptors one of the more investigated is the mammalian reproduction. Therefore, since studies performed in animal models other than mammals might provide further insight into the biology of these signalling molecules, the major aim of the present paper was to review the comparative data pointing toward the endocannabinoid involvement in the reproductive control of non-mammalian vertebrates, namely bonyfish and amphibians. The expression and distribution of CB1 receptors were investigated in the CNS and gonads of two teleosts, Pelvicachromis pulcher and Carassius auratus as well as in the anuran amphibians Xenopus laevis and Rana esculenta. In general the large diffusion of neurons targeted by cannabinoids in both fish and amphibian forebrain indicate endocannabinoids as pivotal local messengers in several neural circuits involved in either sensory integrative activities, like the olfactory processes (in amphibians) and food response (in bonyfish), or neuroendocrine machinery (in both). By using immunohistochemistry for CB1 and GnRH-I, the codistribution of the two signalling molecules was found in the fish basal telencephalon and preoptic area, which are key centers for gonadotropic regulation in all vertebrates. A similar topographical codistribution was observed also in the septum of the telencephalon in Rana esculenta and Xenopus laevis. Interestingly, the double standard immunofluorescence on the same brain section, aided with a laser confocal microscope, showed that in anurans a subset of GnRH-I neurons exhibited also the CB1 immunostaining. The fact that CB1-LI-IR was found indeed in the FSH gonadotrophs of the Xenopus

  5. miR-212/132 expression and functions: within and beyond the neuronal compartment

    PubMed Central

    Wanet, Anaïs; Tacheny, Aurélie; Arnould, Thierry; Renard, Patricia

    2012-01-01

    During the last two decades, microRNAs (miRNAs) emerged as critical regulators of gene expression. By modulating the expression of numerous target mRNAs mainly at the post-transcriptional level, these small non-coding RNAs have been involved in most, if not all, biological processes as well as in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases. miR-132 and miR-212 are tandem miRNAs whose expression is necessary for the proper development, maturation and function of neurons and whose deregulation is associated with several neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and tauopathies (neurodegenerative diseases resulting from the pathological aggregation of tau protein in the human brain). Although their involvement in neuronal functions is the most described, evidences point towards a role of these miRNAs in many other biological processes, including inflammation and immune functions. Incidentally, miR-132 was recently classified as a ‘neurimmiR’, a class of miRNAs operating within and between the neural and immune compartments. In this review, we propose an outline of the current knowledge about miR-132 and miR-212 functions in neurons and immune cells, by describing the signalling pathways and transcription factors regulating their expression as well as their putative or demonstrated roles and validated mRNA targets. PMID:22362752

  6. 916 MHz electromagnetic field exposure affects rat behavior and hippocampal neuronal discharge☆

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Dongmei; Yang, Lei; Chen, Su; Tian, Yonghao; Wu, Shuicai

    2012-01-01

    Wistar rats were exposed to a 916 MHz, 10 W/m2 mobile phone electromagnetic field for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. Average completion times in an eight-arm radial maze were longer in the exposed rats than control rats after 4–5 weeks of exposure. Error rates in the exposed rats were greater than the control rats at 6 weeks. Hippocampal neurons from the exposed rats showed irregular firing patterns during the experiment, and they exhibited decreased spiking activity 6–9 weeks compared with that after 2–5 weeks of exposure. These results indicate that 916 MHz electromagnetic fields influence learning and memory in rats during exposure, but long-term effects are not obvious. PMID:25657684

  7. Oligodendrocyte ablation affects the coordinated interaction between granule and Purkinje neurons during cerebellum development

    SciTech Connect

    Collin, Ludovic; Doretto, Sandrine; Malerba, Monica; Ruat, Martial; Borrelli, Emiliana . E-mail: borrelli@uci.edu

    2007-08-01

    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.

  8. Cognitive function in the affective disorders: a prospective study.

    PubMed

    Bulbena, A; Berrios, G E

    1993-01-01

    A prospective, controlled study of 50 subjects confirmed claims that major depression or mania may cause temporary disorders of attention, memory, visuo-spatial function, and choice reaction time, and cause-independently of medication-the appearance of glabellar tap, positive hand-face test, nuchocephalic reflex, and graphesthesia. On follow-up, all these phenomena either disappeared or markedly improved. Age and age of onset, but not pre-morbid intelligence or history of ECT, seemed to modulate the severity of the cognitive impairment. Presence of delusions predicted poor (but reversible) visuo-spatial function. Cognitive impairment accompanied by reversible soft neurological signs was more marked but patients thus affected surprisingly showed lower depressive scores; this was interpreted as representing a secondary, 'organic' form of affective disorder (i.e. a behavioural phenocopy of depression) characterised by a reduced capacity to experience depressive symptoms and by little improvement at follow-up.

  9. In search of neural mechanisms of mirror neuron dysfunction in schizophrenia: resting state functional connectivity approach.

    PubMed

    Zaytseva, Yuliya; Bendova, Marie; Garakh, Zhanna; Tintera, Jaroslav; Rydlo, Jan; Spaniel, Filip; Horacek, Jiri

    2015-09-01

    It has been repeatedly shown that schizophrenia patients have immense alterations in goal-directed behaviour, social cognition, and social interactions, cognitive abilities that are presumably driven by the mirror neurons system (MNS). However, the neural bases of these deficits still remain unclear. Along with the task-related fMRI and EEG research tapping into the mirror neuron system, the characteristics of the resting state activity in the particular areas that encompass mirror neurons might be of interest as they obviously determine the baseline of the neuronal activity. Using resting state fMRI, we investigated resting state functional connectivity (FC) in four predefined brain structures, ROIs (inferior frontal gyrus, superior parietal lobule, premotor cortex and superior temporal gyrus), known for their mirror neurons activity, in 12 patients with first psychotic episode and 12 matched healthy individuals. As a specific hypothesis, based on the knowledge of the anatomical inputs of thalamus to all preselected ROIs, we have investigated the FC between thalamus and the ROIs. Of all ROIs included, seed-to-voxel connectivity analysis revealed significantly decreased FC only in left posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG) and the areas in visual cortex and cerebellum in patients as compared to controls. Using ROI-to-ROI analysis (thalamus and selected ROIs), we have found an increased FC of STG and bilateral thalamus whereas the FC of these areas was decreased in controls. Our results suggest that: (1) schizophrenia patients exhibit FC of STG which corresponds to the previously reported changes of superior temporal gyrus in schizophrenia and might contribute to the disturbances of specific functions, such as emotional processing or spatial awareness; (2) as the thalamus plays a pivotal role in the sensory gating, providing the filtering of the redundant stimulation, the observed hyperconnectivity between the thalami and the STGs in patients with schizophrenia

  10. In search of neural mechanisms of mirror neuron dysfunction in schizophrenia: resting state functional connectivity approach.

    PubMed

    Zaytseva, Yuliya; Bendova, Marie; Garakh, Zhanna; Tintera, Jaroslav; Rydlo, Jan; Spaniel, Filip; Horacek, Jiri

    2015-09-01

    It has been repeatedly shown that schizophrenia patients have immense alterations in goal-directed behaviour, social cognition, and social interactions, cognitive abilities that are presumably driven by the mirror neurons system (MNS). However, the neural bases of these deficits still remain unclear. Along with the task-related fMRI and EEG research tapping into the mirror neuron system, the characteristics of the resting state activity in the particular areas that encompass mirror neurons might be of interest as they obviously determine the baseline of the neuronal activity. Using resting state fMRI, we investigated resting state functional connectivity (FC) in four predefined brain structures, ROIs (inferior frontal gyrus, superior parietal lobule, premotor cortex and superior temporal gyrus), known for their mirror neurons activity, in 12 patients with first psychotic episode and 12 matched healthy individuals. As a specific hypothesis, based on the knowledge of the anatomical inputs of thalamus to all preselected ROIs, we have investigated the FC between thalamus and the ROIs. Of all ROIs included, seed-to-voxel connectivity analysis revealed significantly decreased FC only in left posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG) and the areas in visual cortex and cerebellum in patients as compared to controls. Using ROI-to-ROI analysis (thalamus and selected ROIs), we have found an increased FC of STG and bilateral thalamus whereas the FC of these areas was decreased in controls. Our results suggest that: (1) schizophrenia patients exhibit FC of STG which corresponds to the previously reported changes of superior temporal gyrus in schizophrenia and might contribute to the disturbances of specific functions, such as emotional processing or spatial awareness; (2) as the thalamus plays a pivotal role in the sensory gating, providing the filtering of the redundant stimulation, the observed hyperconnectivity between the thalami and the STGs in patients with schizophrenia

  11. Current view on the functional regulation of the neuronal K+-Cl− cotransporter KCC2

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Igor; Friedel, Perrine; Rivera, Claudio; Kahle, Kristopher T.; Kourdougli, Nazim; Uvarov, Pavel; Pellegrino, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    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

  12. TRIO loss of function is associated with mild intellectual disability and affects dendritic branching and synapse function.

    PubMed

    Ba, Wei; Yan, Yan; Reijnders, Margot R F; Schuurs-Hoeijmakers, Janneke H M; Feenstra, Ilse; Bongers, Ernie M H F; Bosch, Daniëlle G M; De Leeuw, Nicole; Pfundt, Rolph; Gilissen, Christian; De Vries, Petra F; Veltman, Joris A; Hoischen, Alexander; Mefford, Heather C; Eichler, Evan E; Vissers, Lisenka E L M; Nadif Kasri, Nael; De Vries, Bert B A

    2016-03-01

    Recently, we marked TRIO for the first time as a candidate gene for intellectual disability (ID). Across diverse vertebrate species, TRIO is a well-conserved Rho GTPase regulator that is highly expressed in the developing brain. However, little is known about the specific events regulated by TRIO during brain development and its clinical impact in humans when mutated. Routine clinical diagnostic testing identified an intragenic de novo deletion of TRIO in a boy with ID. Targeted sequencing of this gene in over 2300 individuals with ID, identified three additional truncating mutations. All index cases had mild to borderline ID combined with behavioral problems consisting of autistic, hyperactive and/or aggressive behavior. Studies in dissociated rat hippocampal neurons demonstrated the enhancement of dendritic formation by suppressing endogenous TRIO, and similarly decreasing endogenous TRIO in organotypic hippocampal brain slices significantly increased synaptic strength by increasing functional synapses. Together, our findings provide new mechanistic insight into how genetic deficits in TRIO can lead to early neuronal network formation by directly affecting both neurite outgrowth and synapse development. PMID:26721934

  13. Proteomic Profiling in the Brain of CLN1 Disease Model Reveals Affected Functional Modules.

    PubMed

    Tikka, Saara; Monogioudi, Evanthia; Gotsopoulos, Athanasios; Soliymani, Rabah; Pezzini, Francesco; Scifo, Enzo; Uusi-Rauva, Kristiina; Tyynelä, Jaana; Baumann, Marc; Jalanko, Anu; Simonati, Alessandro; Lalowski, Maciej

    2016-03-01

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are the most commonly inherited progressive encephalopathies of childhood. Pathologically, they are characterized by endolysosomal storage with different ultrastructural features and biochemical compositions. The molecular mechanisms causing progressive neurodegeneration and common molecular pathways linking expression of different NCL genes are largely unknown. We analyzed proteome alterations in the brains of a mouse model of human infantile CLN1 disease-palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (Ppt1) gene knockout and its wild-type age-matched counterpart at different stages: pre-symptomatic, symptomatic and advanced. For this purpose, we utilized a combination of laser capture microdissection-based quantitative liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (MS) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight MS imaging to quantify/visualize the changes in protein expression in disease-affected brain thalamus and cerebral cortex tissue slices, respectively. Proteomic profiling of the pre-symptomatic stage thalamus revealed alterations mostly in metabolic processes and inhibition of various neuronal functions, i.e., neuritogenesis. Down-regulation in dynamics associated with growth of plasma projections and cellular protrusions was further corroborated by findings from RNA sequencing of CLN1 patients' fibroblasts. Changes detected at the symptomatic stage included: mitochondrial functions, synaptic vesicle transport, myelin proteome and signaling cascades, such as RhoA signaling. Considerable dysregulation of processes related to mitochondrial cell death, RhoA/Huntington's disease signaling and myelin sheath breakdown were observed at the advanced stage of the disease. The identified changes in protein levels were further substantiated by bioinformatics and network approaches, immunohistochemistry on brain tissues and literature knowledge, thus identifying various functional modules affected in the CLN1 childhood

  14. Cellular and Behavioral Outcomes of Dorsal Striatonigral Neuron Ablation: New Insights into Striatal Functions

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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

  15. Impairment of movement-associated brain deactivation in multiple sclerosis: further evidence for a functional pathology of interhemispheric neuronal inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Manson, S.C.; Wegner, C.; Filippi, M.; Barkhof, F.; Beckmann, C.; Ciccarelli, O; De Stefano, N.; Enzinger, Christian; Fazekas, F.; Agosta, F.; Gass, A.; Hirsch, J.; Johansen-Berg, H.; Kappos, L.; Korteweg, T.; Polman, C.; Mancini, L.; Manfredonia, F.; Marino, S.; Miller, D.H.; Montalban, X.; Palace, J.; Rocca, M.; Ropele, S.; Rovira, A.; Smith, S.; Thompson, A.; Thornton, J.; Yousry, T.; Frank, J.A.; Matthews, P. M.

    2008-01-01

    Motor control demands coordinated excitation and inhibition across distributed brain neuronal networks. Recent work has suggested that multiple sclerosis (MS) may be associated with impairments of neuronal inhibition, as part of more general progressive impairments of connectivity. Here we report results from a prospective, multi-centre fMRI study designed to characterise the changes in patients relative to healthy controls during a simple cued hand movement task. This study was conducted at eight European sites using 1.5 Tesla scanners. Brain deactivation during right hand movement was assessed in 56 right-handed patients with relapsing-remitting or secondary progressive MS without clinically-evident hand impairment and in 60 age-matched, healthy subjects. The MS patients showed reduced task-associated deactivation relative to healthy controls in the pre- and postcentral gyri of the ipsilateral hemisphere in the region functionally specialised for hand movement control. We hypothesise that this impairment of deactivation is related to deficits of transcallosal connectivity and GABAergic neurotransmission occurring with the progression of pathology in the MS patients. This study has substantially extended previous observations with a well-powered, multicentre study. The clinical significance of these deactivation changes is still uncertain, but the functional anatomy of the affected region suggests that they could contribute to impairments of motor control. PMID:18236036

  16. Influence of a genetic variant of the neuronal growth associated protein Stathmin 1 on cognitive and affective control processes: an event-related potential study.

    PubMed

    Ehlis, Ann-Christine; Bauernschmitt, Katharina; Dresler, Thomas; Hahn, Tim; Herrmann, Martin J; Röser, Christoph; Romanos, Marcel; Warnke, Andreas; Gerlach, Manfred; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Fallgatter, Andreas J; Renner, Tobias J

    2011-04-01

    Stathmin 1 (STMN1) is a neuronal growth associated protein (NGAP) that is involved in microtubule dynamics and plays an important role in neurite outgrowth and synaptic plasticity. It is highly expressed in the amygdala, but also in different areas of the neocortex including the frontal lobe. Based on previous findings regarding an impact of STMN1 on fear processing, the present study aimed at extending the evidence concerning its functional role to include the domain of executive (frontal lobe) functions. To this end, a group of 59 healthy volunteers stratified for the single-nucleotide polymorphism rs182455 of the STMN1 gene was examined by means of three experimental paradigms probing different aspects of cognitive-affective functioning. Event-related potential measures of cognitive response control, emotional interference processing, and action monitoring were analyzed. STMN1 genotype significantly affected the NoGo-anteriorization (NGA)-a neurophysiological marker of cognitive response control associated with medial prefrontal cortex activation-as well as the modulation of the P300 by the valence of emotional Stroop stimuli. In both cases, carriers of the rs182455 C-allele showed altered cognitive-affective processing; effects appeared to be more pronounced in females. Our findings indicate a functional impact of STMN1 on cognitive and affective control processes, thereby complementing previous evidence on its role in fear processing. Based on these results, an influence of STMN1 should be considered in studies aiming at the etiopathogenesis of a broad range of neuropsychiatric disorders with dysfunctional networking, including neurodegenerative disorders as well as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, and ADHD. PMID:21438138

  17. Rootletin organizes the ciliary rootlet to achieve neuron sensory function in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jieyan V; Kao, Ling-Rong; Jana, Swadhin C; Sivan-Loukianova, Elena; Mendonça, Susana; Cabrera, Oscar A; Singh, Priyanka; Cabernard, Clemens; Eberl, Daniel F; Bettencourt-Dias, Monica; Megraw, Timothy L

    2015-10-26

    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

  18. Neuron-Specific Deletion of the Nf2 Tumor Suppressor Impairs Functional Nerve Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Alexander; Büttner, Robert; Toledo, Andrea; Baader, Stephan L; von Maltzahn, Julia; Irintchev, Andrey; Bauer, Reinhard; Morrison, Helen

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. Rootletin organizes the ciliary rootlet to achieve neuron sensory function in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Kao, Ling-Rong; Jana, Swadhin C.; Sivan-Loukianova, Elena; Mendonça, Susana; Cabrera, Oscar A.; Singh, Priyanka; Cabernard, Clemens; Eberl, Daniel F.; Bettencourt-Dias, Monica

    2015-01-01

    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

  20. The function of the neuronal proteins Shc and huntingtin in stem cells and neurons: pharmacologic exploitation for human brain diseases.

    PubMed

    Zuccato, Chiara; Conti, Luciano; Reitano, Erika; Tartari, Marzia; Cattaneo, Elena

    2005-05-01

    The identification of intracellular molecules and soluble factors that are important for neuronal differentiation and survival are of critical importance for development of therapeutic strategies for brain diseases. First, the activity of these factors/molecules may be enhanced in vivo in the attempt to induce proper neuronal differentiation and integration of the resident stem cells. Second, these factors may be applied ex vivo to increase the recovery of neurons from stem cells. Third, for those intracellular molecules that play crucial roles in neuronal survival, identification of their downstream targets may give us the chance to develop drug screening assays that use these targets for therapeutic purposes. In recent years, it has become evident that intracellular signaling processes are critical mediators of the responses of neural stem cells and neurons to growth factors. Analysis of the mechanisms of signal transduction has led to the striking finding that a handful of conserved signaling pathways appear to be used in different combinations to specify a wide variety of tissues or cells. This review will focus on the mechanisms by which specific molecules control the transition from proliferation to differentiation of neural progenitor cells and the subsequent survival of postmitotic neurons; it also discusses how this knowledge may be exploited to increase the potential efficacy of stem cell replacement in the damaged brain. PMID:15965106

  1. The maintenance of specific aspects of neuronal function and behavior is dependent on programmed cell death of adult-generated neurons in the dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Kim, Woon Ryoung; Park, Ok-Hee; Choi, Sukwoo; Choi, Se-Young; Park, Soon Kwon; Lee, Kea Joo; Rhyu, Im Joo; Kim, Hyun; Lee, Yeon Kyung; Kim, Hyun Taek; Oppenheim, Ronald W; Sun, Woong

    2009-04-01

    A considerable number of new neurons are generated daily in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the adult hippocampus, but only a subset of these survive, as many adult-generated neurons undergo programmed cell death (PCD). However, the significance of PCD in the adult brain for the functionality of DG circuits is not known. Here, we examined the electrophysiological and behavioral characteristics of Bax-knockout (Bax-KO) mice in which PCD of post-mitotic neurons is prevented. The continuous increase in DG cell numbers in Bax-KO mice resulted in the readjustment of afferent and efferent synaptic connections, represented by age-dependent reductions in the dendritic arborization of DG neurons and in the synaptic contact ratio of mossy fibers with CA3 dendritic spines. These neuroanatomical changes were associated with reductions in synaptic transmission and reduced performance in a contextual fear memory task in 6-month-old Bax-KO mice. These results suggest that the elimination of excess DG neurons via Bax-dependent PCD in the adult brain is required for the normal organization and function of the hippocampus.

  2. The maintenance of specific aspects of neuronal function and behavior is dependent on programmed cell death of adult-generated neurons in the dentate gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Woon Ryoung; Park, Ok-hee; Choi, Sukwoo; Choi, Se-Young; Park, Soon Kwon; Lee, Kea Joo; Rhyu, Im Joo; Kim, Hyun; Lee, Yeon Kyung; Kim, Hyun Taek; Oppenheim, Ronald W; Sun, Woong

    2009-01-01

    A considerable number of new neurons are generated daily in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the adult hippocampus, but only a subset of these survive, as many adult-generated neurons undergo programmed cell death (PCD). However, the significance of PCD in the adult brain for the functionality of DG circuits is not known. Here we examined the electrophysiological and behavioral characteristics of Bax-KO mice in which PCD of post-mitotic neurons is prevented. The continuous increase in DG cell numbers in Bax-KO mice, resulted in the readjustment of afferent and efferent synaptic connections, represented by age-dependent reductions in the dendritic arborization of DG neurons and in the synaptic contact ratio of mossy fibers (MF) with CA3 dendritic spines. These neuroanatomical changes were associated with reductions in synaptic transmission and reduced performance in a contextual fear memory task in 6-month old Bax-KO mice. These results suggest that the elimination of excess DG neurons via Bax-dependent PCD in the adult brain is required for the normal organization and function of the hippocampus. PMID:19519627

  3. Transient neuronal coactivations embedded in globally propagating waves underlie resting-state functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Teppei; Murakami, Tomonari; Ohki, Kenichi

    2016-06-01

    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

  4. Genetic and functional modularity of Hox activities in the specification of limb-innervating motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Lacombe, Julie; Hanley, Olivia; Jung, Heekyung; Philippidou, Polyxeni; Surmeli, Gulsen; Grinstein, Jonathan; Dasen, Jeremy S

    2013-01-01

    A critical step in the assembly of the neural circuits that control tetrapod locomotion is the specification of the lateral motor column (LMC), a diverse motor neuron population targeting limb musculature. Hox6 paralog group genes have been implicated as key determinants of LMC fate at forelimb levels of the spinal cord, through their ability to promote expression of the LMC-restricted genes Foxp1 and Raldh2 and to suppress thoracic fates through exclusion of Hoxc9. The specific roles and mechanisms of Hox6 gene function in LMC neurons, however, are not known. We show that Hox6 genes are critical for diverse facets of LMC identity and define motifs required for their in vivo specificities. Although Hox6 genes are necessary for generating the appropriate number of LMC neurons, they are not absolutely required for the induction of forelimb LMC molecular determinants. In the absence of Hox6 activity, LMC identity appears to be preserved through a diverse array of Hox5-Hox8 paralogs, which are sufficient to reprogram thoracic motor neurons to an LMC fate. In contrast to the apparently permissive Hox inputs to early LMC gene programs, individual Hox genes, such as Hoxc6, have specific roles in promoting motor neuron pool diversity within the LMC. Dissection of motifs required for Hox in vivo specificities reveals that either cross-repressive interactions or cooperativity with Pbx cofactors are sufficient to induce LMC identity, with the N-terminus capable of promoting columnar, but not pool, identity when transferred to a heterologous homeodomain. These results indicate that Hox proteins orchestrate diverse aspects of cell fate specification through both the convergent regulation of gene programs regulated by many paralogs and also more restricted actions encoded through specificity determinants in the N-terminus.

  5. Transient neuronal coactivations embedded in globally propagating waves underlie resting-state functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Matsui, Teppei; Murakami, Tomonari; Ohki, Kenichi

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Mesenchymal stem cells protect CNS neurons against glutamate excitotoxicity by inhibiting glutamate receptor expression and function.

    PubMed

    Voulgari-Kokota, A; Fairless, R; Karamita, M; Kyrargyri, V; Tseveleki, V; Evangelidou, M; Delorme, B; Charbord, P; Diem, R; Probert, L

    2012-07-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) promote functional recovery in experimental models of central nervous system (CNS) pathology and are currently being tested in clinical trials for stroke, multiple sclerosis and CNS injury. Their beneficial effects are attributed to the activation of endogenous CNS protection and repair processes as well as immune regulation but their mechanisms of action are poorly understood. Here we investigated the neuroprotective effects of mouse MSC in rodent MSC-neuron co-cultures and mice using models of glutamate excitotoxicity. A 24h pre-culture of mouse primary cortical neurons with MSC protected them against glutamate (NMDA) receptor-induced death and conditioned medium from MSC (MSC CM) was sufficient for this effect. Protection by MSC CM was associated with reduced mRNA levels of genes encoding NMDA receptor subunits, and increased levels for genes associated with non-neuronal and stem cell types, as shown by RT-PCR and cDNA microarray analyses. Changes in gene expression were not associated with alterations in cell lineage representation within the cultures. Further, MSC CM-mediated neuroprotection in rat retinal ganglion cells was associated with reduced glutamate-induced calcium influx. The adoptive transfer of EGFP(+)MSC in a mouse kainic acid epilepsy model also provided neuroprotection against glutamate excitotoxicity in vivo, as shown by reduced neuron damage and glial cell activation in the hippocampus. These results show that MSC mediate direct neuroprotection by reducing neuronal sensitivity to glutamate receptor ligands and altering gene expression, and suggest a link between the therapeutic effects of MSC and the activation of cell plasticity in the damaged CNS. PMID:22561409

  7. PyramidalExplorer: A New Interactive Tool to Explore Morpho-Functional Relations of Human Pyramidal Neurons.

    PubMed

    Toharia, Pablo; Robles, Oscar D; Fernaud-Espinosa, Isabel; Makarova, Julia; Galindo, Sergio E; Rodriguez, Angel; Pastor, Luis; Herreras, Oscar; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    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.

  8. PyramidalExplorer: A New Interactive Tool to Explore Morpho-Functional Relations of Human Pyramidal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Toharia, Pablo; Robles, Oscar D.; Fernaud-Espinosa, Isabel; Makarova, Julia; Galindo, Sergio E.; Rodriguez, Angel; Pastor, Luis; Herreras, Oscar; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. PyramidalExplorer: A New Interactive Tool to Explore Morpho-Functional Relations of Human Pyramidal Neurons.

    PubMed

    Toharia, Pablo; Robles, Oscar D; Fernaud-Espinosa, Isabel; Makarova, Julia; Galindo, Sergio E; Rodriguez, Angel; Pastor, Luis; Herreras, Oscar; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. Ribosomal DNA transcription in dorsal raphe nucleus neurons is increased in residual schizophrenia compared to depressed patients with affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Krzyżanowska, Marta; Steiner, Johann; Brisch, Ralf; Mawrin, Christian; Busse, Stefan; Braun, Katharina; Jankowski, Zbigniew; Bernstein, Hans-Gert; Bogerts, Bernhard; Gos, Tomasz

    2015-12-15

    The central serotonergic system is implicated differentially in the pathogenesis of depression and schizophrenia. The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) is the main source of serotonergic innervation of forebrain limbic structures disturbed in both disorders. The study was carried out on paraffin-embedded brains from 27 depressed (15 major depressive disorder, MDD and 12 bipolar disorder, BD) and 17 schizophrenia (9 residual and 8 paranoid) patients and 28 matched controls without mental disorders. The transcriptional activity of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) in DRN neurons was evaluated by the AgNOR silver staining method. A significant effect of diagnosis on rDNA activity was found in the cumulative analysis of all DRN subnuclei. Further analysis revealed an increase in this activity in residual (but not paranoid) schizophrenia compared to depressed (both MDD and BD) patients. The effect was most probably neither confounded by suicide nor related to antidepressant and antipsychotic medication. Our findings suggest that increased activity of rDNA in DRN neurons is a distinct phenomenon in residual schizophrenia, related presumably to differentially disturbed inputs to the DRN and/or their local transformation compared with depressive episodes in patients with affective disorders.

  11. Intranasal nerve growth factor bypasses the blood-brain barrier and affects spinal cord neurons in spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Aloe, Luigi; Bianchi, Patrizia; De Bellis, Alberto; Soligo, Marzia; Rocco, Maria Luisa

    2014-01-01

    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

  12. Androgens affect muscle, motor neuron, and survival in a mouse model of SOD1-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Tanya; Polanco, Maria J; Scaramuzzino, Chiara; Rocchi, Anna; Milioto, Carmelo; Emionite, Laura; Ognio, Emanuela; Sambataro, Fabio; Galbiati, Mariarita; Poletti, Angelo; Pennuto, Maria

    2014-08-01

    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.

  13. Functional integration of grafted neural stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons monitored by optogenetics in an in vitro Parkinson model.

    PubMed

    Tønnesen, Jan; Parish, Clare L; Sørensen, Andreas T; Andersson, Angelica; Lundberg, Cecilia; Deisseroth, Karl; Arenas, Ernest; Lindvall, Olle; Kokaia, Merab

    2011-03-04

    Intrastriatal grafts of stem cell-derived dopamine (DA) neurons induce behavioral recovery in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD), but how they functionally integrate in host neural circuitries is poorly understood. Here, Wnt5a-overexpressing neural stem cells derived from embryonic ventral mesencephalon of tyrosine hydroxylase-GFP transgenic mice were expanded as neurospheres and transplanted into organotypic cultures of wild type mouse striatum. Differentiated GFP-labeled DA neurons in the grafts exhibited mature neuronal properties, including spontaneous firing of action potentials, presence of post-synaptic currents, and functional expression of DA D₂ autoreceptors. These properties resembled those recorded from identical cells in acute slices of intrastriatal grafts in the 6-hydroxy-DA-induced mouse PD model and from DA neurons in intact substantia nigra. Optogenetic activation or inhibition of grafted cells and host neurons using channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and halorhodopsin (NpHR), respectively, revealed complex, bi-directional synaptic interactions between grafted cells and host neurons and extensive synaptic connectivity within the graft. Our data demonstrate for the first time using optogenetics that ectopically grafted stem cell-derived DA neurons become functionally integrated in the DA-denervated striatum. Further optogenetic dissection of the synaptic wiring between grafted and host neurons will be crucial to clarify the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying behavioral recovery as well as adverse effects following stem cell-based DA cell replacement strategies in PD.

  14. Regulation and Function of RFRP-3 (GnIH) Neurons during Postnatal Development

    PubMed Central

    Poling, Matthew C.; Kauffman, Alexander S.

    2015-01-01

    RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3) [mammalian ortholog to gonadotropin-inhibiting hormone (GnIH)] potently inhibits gonadotropin secretion in mammals. Studies of RFRP-3 immunoreactivity and Rfrp expression (the gene encoding RFRP-3) in mammalian brains have uncovered several possible pathways regulating RFRP-3 neurons, shedding light on their potential role in reproduction and other processes, and pharmacological studies have probed the target sites of RFRP-3 action. Despite this, there is currently no major consensus on RFRP-3’s specific endogenous role(s) in reproductive physiology. Here, we discuss the latest evidence relating to RFRP-3 neuron regulation and function during development and sexual maturation, focusing on rodents. We highlight significant changes in RFRP-3 and Rfrp expression, as well as RFRP-3 neuronal activation, during key stages of postnatal and pubertal development and also discuss recent evidence testing the requisite role of RFRP-3 receptors for normal pubertal timing and developmental LH secretion. Interestingly, some findings suggest that endogenous RFRP-3 signaling may not be necessary for the puberty timing, at least in some species, forcing new hypotheses to be generated regarding this peptide’s functional significance to sexual maturation and development. PMID:26441840

  15. Circadian gating of neuronal functionality: a basis for iterative metaplasticity1

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Rajashekar; Wang, Tongfei A.; Gillette, Martha U.

    2014-01-01

    Brain plasticity, the ability of the nervous system to encode experience, is a modulatory process leading to long-lasting structural and functional changes. Salient experiences induce plastic changes in neurons of the hippocampus, the basis of memory formation and recall. In the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the central circadian (~24-h) clock, experience with light at night induces changes in neuronal state, leading to circadian plasticity. The SCN's endogenous ~24-h time-generator comprises a dynamic series of functional states, which gate plastic responses. This restricts light-induced alteration in SCN state-dynamics and outputs to the nighttime. Endogenously generated circadian oscillators coordinate the cyclic states of excitability and intracellular signaling molecules that prime SCN receptivity to plasticity signals, generating nightly windows of susceptibility. We propose that this constitutes a paradigm of ~24-h iterative metaplasticity, the repeated, patterned occurrence of susceptibility to induction of neuronal plasticity. We detail effectors permissive for the cyclic susceptibility to plasticity. We consider similarities of intracellular and membrane mechanisms underlying plasticity in SCN circadian plasticity and in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). The emerging prominence of the hippocampal circadian clock points to iterative metaplasticity in that tissue as well. Exploring these links holds great promise for understanding circadian shaping of synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. PMID:25285070

  16. The role of mitochondrial function in glutamate-dependent metabolism in neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    Smaili, S S; Ureshino, R P; Rodrigues, L; Rocha, K K; Carvalho, J T; Oseki, K T; Bincoletto, C; Lopes, G S; Hirata, H

    2011-12-01

    Glutamate is an important neurotransmitter in neurons and glial cells and it is one of the keys to the neuron-glial interaction in the brain. Glutamate transmission is strongly dependent on calcium homeostasis and on mitochondrial function. In the present work we presented several aspects related to the role of mitochondria in glutamate signaling and in brain diseases. We focused on glutamateinduced calcium signaling and its relation to the organelle dysfunction with cell death processes. In addition, we have discussed how alterations in this pathway may lead or aggravate a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. We compiled information on how mitochondria can influence cell fate during glutamate stimulation and calcium signaling. These organelles play a pivotal role in neuron and glial exchange, in synaptic plasticity and several pathological conditions related to Aging, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. We have also presented autophagy as a mechanism activated during mitochondrial dysfunction which may function as a protective mechanism during injury. Furthermore, some new perspectives and approaches to treat these neurodegenerative diseases are offered and evaluated.

  17. The atRA-responsive gene neuron navigator 2 functions in neurite outgrowth and axonal elongation.

    PubMed

    Muley, P D; McNeill, E M; Marzinke, M A; Knobel, K M; Barr, M M; Clagett-Dame, M

    2008-11-01

    Neuron navigator 2 (Nav2) was first identified as an all-trans retinoic acid (atRA)-responsive gene in human neuroblastoma cells (retinoic acid-induced in neuroblastoma 1, RAINB1) that extend neurites after exposure to atRA. It is structurally related to the Caenorhabditis elegans unc-53 gene that is required for cell migration and axonal outgrowth. To gain insight into NAV2 function, the full-length human protein was expressed in C. elegans unc-53 mutants under the control of a mechanosensory neuron promoter. Transgene expression of NAV2 rescued the defects in unc-53 mutant mechanosensory neuron elongation, indicating that Nav2 is an ortholog of unc-53. Using a loss-of-function approach, we also show that Nav2 induction is essential for atRA to induce neurite outgrowth in SH-SY5Y cells. The NAV2 protein is located both in the cell body and along the length of the growing neurites of SH-SY5Y cells in a pattern that closely mimics that of neurofilament and microtubule proteins. Transfection of Nav2 deletion constructs in Cos-1 cells reveals a region of the protein (aa 837-1065) that directs localization with the microtubule cytoskeleton. Collectively, this work supports a role for NAV2 in neurite outgrowth and axonal elongation and suggests this protein may act by facilitating interactions between microtubules and other proteins such as neurofilaments that are key players in the formation and stability of growing neurites.

  18. An ultra-low-voltage electronic implementation of inertial neuron model with nonmonotonous Liao's activation function.

    PubMed

    Kant, Nasir Ali; Dar, Mohamad Rafiq; Khanday, Farooq Ahmad

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:27030660

  19. Pericytes control key neurovascular functions and neuronal phenotype in the adult brain and during brain aging

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Robert D.; Winkler, Ethan A.; Sagare, Abhay P.; Singh, Itender; LaRue, Barb; Deane, Rashid; Zlokovic, Berislav V.

    2010-01-01

    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

  20. Ultrasoft Alginate Hydrogels Support Long-Term Three-Dimensional Functional Neuronal Networks.

    PubMed

    Palazzolo, Gemma; Broguiere, Nicolas; Cenciarelli, Orlando; Dermutz, Harald; Zenobi-Wong, Marcy

    2015-08-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  2. Microbial composition affects the functioning of estuarine sediments

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Heather E; Martiny, Jennifer BH

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Vertically aligned carbon nanofiber as nano-neuron interface for monitoring neural function

    SciTech Connect

    Ericson, Milton Nance; McKnight, Timothy E; Melechko, Anatoli Vasilievich; Simpson, Michael L; Morrison, Barclay; Yu, Zhe

    2012-01-01

    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.

  4. Computer Modelling of Functional Aspects of Noise in Endogenously Oscillating Neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, M. T.; Dewald, M.; Voigt, K.; Braun, H. A.; Moss, F.

    1998-03-01

    Membrane potential oscillations are a widespread feature of neuronal activity. When such oscillations operate close to the spike-triggering threshold, noise can become an essential property of spike-generation. According to that, we developed a minimal Hodgkin-Huxley-type computer model which includes a noise term. This model accounts for experimental data from quite different cells ranging from mammalian cortical neurons to fish electroreceptors. With slight modifications of the parameters, the model's behavior can be tuned to bursting activity, which additionally allows it to mimick temperature encoding in peripheral cold receptors including transitions to apparently chaotic dynamics as indicated by methods for the detection of unstable periodic orbits. Under all conditions, cooperative effects between noise and nonlinear dynamics can be shown which, beyond stochastic resonance, might be of functional significance for stimulus encoding and neuromodulation.

  5. Functional networks of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons in cat auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Kexin; Shih, Jonathan Y; Winer, Jeffery A; Schreiner, Christoph E

    2011-09-14

    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 [central narrow band (cNB)] of cat central primary auditory cortex (AI) and the nontonotopic, broadly tuned second auditory field (AII). Interneuronal connectivity patterns and laminar distribution were identified by combining a retrograde tracer (wheat-germ agglutinin apo-horseradish peroxidase colloidal gold) with labeling of the Ca(2+) binding protein parvalbumin (Pv), a marker for the GABAergic interneurons usually described physiologically as fast-spiking neurons. In AI, parvalbumin-positive (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 the cNB. The spatial spread of labeled excitatory neurons in AI was more than twice that found for Pv+ cells. By contrast, in the 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.

  6. Error-based analysis of optimal tuning functions explains phenomena observed in sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Yaeli, Steve; Meir, Ron

    2010-01-01

    Biological systems display impressive capabilities in effectively responding to environmental signals in real time. There is increasing evidence that organisms may indeed be employing near optimal Bayesian calculations in their decision-making. An intriguing question relates to the properties of optimal encoding methods, namely determining the properties of neural populations in sensory layers that optimize performance, subject to physiological constraints. Within an ecological theory of neural encoding/decoding, we show that optimal Bayesian performance requires neural adaptation which reflects environmental changes. Specifically, we predict that neuronal tuning functions possess an optimal width, which increases with prior uncertainty and environmental noise, and decreases with the decoding time window. Furthermore, even for static stimuli, we demonstrate that dynamic sensory tuning functions, acting at relatively short time scales, lead to improved performance. Interestingly, the narrowing of tuning functions as a function of time was recently observed in several biological systems. Such results set the stage for a functional theory which may explain the high reliability of sensory systems, and the utility of neuronal adaptation occurring at multiple time scales. PMID:21079749

  7. Apelin acts in the subfornical organ to influence neuronal excitability and cardiovascular function.

    PubMed

    Dai, Li; Smith, Pauline M; Kuksis, Markus; Ferguson, Alastair V

    2013-07-01

    Apelin is an adipocyte-derived hormone involved in the regulation of water balance, food intake and the cardiovascular system partially through actions in the CNS. The subfornical organ (SFO) is a circumventricular organ with identified roles in body fluid homeostasis, cardiovascular control and energy balance. The SFO lacks a normal blood-brain barrier, and is thus able to detect circulating signalling molecules such as angiotensin II and leptin. In this study, we investigated actions of apelin-13, the predominant apelin isoform in brain and circulatory system, on the excitability of dissociated SFO neurons using electrophysiological approaches, and determined the cardiovascular consequences of direct administration into the SFO of anaesthetized rats. Whole cell current clamp recording revealed that bath-applied 100 nm apelin-13 directly influences the excitability of the majority of SFO neurons by eliciting either depolarizing (31.8%, mean 7.0 ± 0.8 mV) or hyperpolarizing (28.6%, mean -10.4 ± 1.8 mV) responses. Using voltage-clamp techniques, we also identified modulatory actions of apelin-13 on specific ion channels, demonstrating that apelin-13 activates a non-selective cationic conductance to depolarize SFO neurons while activation of the delayed rectifier potassium conductance underlies hyperpolarizing effects. In anaesthetized rats, microinjection of apelin into SFO decreased both blood pressure (BP) (mean area under the curve -1492.3 ± 357.1 mmHg.s, n = 5) and heart rate (HR) (-32.4 ± 10.39 beats, n = 5). Our data suggest that circulating apelin can directly affect BP and HR as a consequence of the ability of this peptide to modulate the excitability of SFO neurons.

  8. Apelin acts in the subfornical organ to influence neuronal excitability and cardiovascular function

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Li; Smith, Pauline M; Kuksis, Markus; Ferguson, Alastair V

    2013-01-01

    Apelin is an adipocyte-derived hormone involved in the regulation of water balance, food intake and the cardiovascular system partially through actions in the CNS. The subfornical organ (SFO) is a circumventricular organ with identified roles in body fluid homeostasis, cardiovascular control and energy balance. The SFO lacks a normal blood–brain barrier, and is thus able to detect circulating signalling molecules such as angiotensin II and leptin. In this study, we investigated actions of apelin-13, the predominant apelin isoform in brain and circulatory system, on the excitability of dissociated SFO neurons using electrophysiological approaches, and determined the cardiovascular consequences of direct administration into the SFO of anaesthetized rats. Whole cell current clamp recording revealed that bath-applied 100 nm apelin-13 directly influences the excitability of the majority of SFO neurons by eliciting either depolarizing (31.8%, mean 7.0 ± 0.8 mV) or hyperpolarizing (28.6%, mean −10.4 ± 1.8 mV) responses. Using voltage-clamp techniques, we also identified modulatory actions of apelin-13 on specific ion channels, demonstrating that apelin-13 activates a non-selective cationic conductance to depolarize SFO neurons while activation of the delayed rectifier potassium conductance underlies hyperpolarizing effects. In anaesthetized rats, microinjection of apelin into SFO decreased both blood pressure (BP) (mean area under the curve −1492.3 ± 357.1 mmHg.s, n= 5) and heart rate (HR) (−32.4 ± 10.39 beats, n= 5). Our data suggest that circulating apelin can directly affect BP and HR as a consequence of the ability of this peptide to modulate the excitability of SFO neurons. PMID:23629509

  9. Structural and functional changes of neuronal and glial components of the feline enteric nervous system in cats with chronic inflammatory and non-inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

    PubMed

    Kleinschmidt, Sven; Nolte, Ingo; Hewicker-Trautwein, Marion

    2011-12-01

    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.

  10. Effects of chronic ethanol exposure on neuronal function in the prefrontal cortex and extended amygdala.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  11. Cajal's second great battle for the neuron doctrine: the nature and function of neurofibrils.

    PubMed

    Frixione, Eugenio

    2009-03-01

    One hundred years ago, a novel kind of reticularism threatened to displace the neuron doctrine as the established model of functional organization of the nervous system. The challenging paradigm, championed by Stephan von Apáthy and Albrecht Bethe, held that nerve impulses propagate along neurofibrils connected in a continuous network throughout all nerve cells. Santiago Ramón y Cajal, a leading figure in the conception of the neuron doctrine, headed again the battle against this return of reticularism. Dissatisfied with the available staining techniques, he devised the "reduced silver nitrate method" that even Camillo Golgi recognized as the best at the time for revealing the neurofibrils. In 1904 Cajal already published over a dozen papers in three languages describing neurofibril distributions in the nervous systems of diverse vertebrates and invertebrates, under both normal and experimental conditions. Next he investigated the involvement of neurofibrils in the process of nerve regeneration. This unprecedented survey led him to the conclusion that the neurofibrils are linear "colonies" of particles constituting a semi-solid, dynamic internal skeleton of the nerve cell. Apáthy reacted with a long invective paper that Cajal had no choice but acknowledging. His comprehensive reply, published in 1908, meant the effective end of the renewed reticularist campaign against the neuron doctrine. Along the way, a visionary and today almost forgotten chapter in the history of the cytoskeleton had also been written. PMID:19111572

  12. Functional integration of a serotonergic neuron in the Drosophila antennal lobe

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaonan; Gaudry, Quentin

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. Emerging evidence for specific neuronal functions of auxiliary calcium channel α2δ subunits

    PubMed Central

    Obermair, Gerald J.

    2015-01-01

    In nerve cells the ubiquitous second messenger calcium regulates a variety of vitally important functions including neurotransmitter release, gene regulation, and neuronal plasticity. The entry of calcium into cells is tightly regulated by voltage-gated calcium channels, which consist of a heteromultimeric complex of a pore forming α1, and the auxiliary β and α2δ subunits. Four genes (Cacna2d1-4) encode for the extracellular membrane-attached α2δ subunits (α2δ-1 to α2δ-4), out of which three isoforms (α2δ-1 to -3) are strongly expressed in the central nervous system. Over the years a wealth of studies has demonstrated the classical role of α2δ subunits in channel trafficking and calcium current modulation. Recent studies in specialized neuronal cell systems propose roles of α2δ subunits beyond the classical view and implicate α2δ subunits as important regulators of synapse formation. These findings are supported by the identification of novel human disease mutations associated with α2δ subunits and by the fact that α2δ subunits are the target of the anti-epileptic and anti-allodynic drugs gabapentin and pregabalin. Here we review the recently emerging evidence for specific as well as redundant neuronal roles of α2δ subunits and discuss the mechanisms for establishing and maintaining specificity. PMID:25504062

  14. Mirror neuron activation in children with developmental coordination disorder: A functional MRI study.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Jess E; Licari, Melissa K; Billington, Jac; Chen, Yihui; Aziz-Zadeh, Lisa; Werner, Julie; Winsor, Anne M; Bynevelt, Michael

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to reveal cortical areas that may contribute to the movement difficulties seen in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Specifically, we hypothesized that there may be a deficit in the mirror neuron system (MNS), a neural system that responds to both performed and observed actions. Using functional MRI, 14 boys with DCD (x=10.08 years ± 1.31, range=7.83-11.58 years) and 12 typically developing controls (x=10.10 years ± 1.15, range=8.33-12.00 years) were scanned observing, executing and imitating a finger sequencing task using their right hand. Cortical activations of mirror neuron regions, including posterior inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), ventral premotor cortex, anterior inferior parietal lobule and superior temporal sulcus were examined. Children with DCD had decreased cortical activation mirror neuron related regions, including the precentral gyrus and IFG, as well as in the posterior cingulate and precuneus complex when observing the sequencing task. Region of interest analysis revealed lower activation in the pars opercularis, a primary MNS region, during imitation in the DCD group compared to controls. These findings provide some preliminary evidence to support a possible MNS dysfunction in children with DCD. PMID:26523778

  15. Optically-Induced Neuronal Activity Is Sufficient to Promote Functional Motor Axon Regeneration In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Patricia J.; Jones, Laura N.; Mulligan, Amanda; Goolsby, William; Wilhelm, Jennifer C.; English, Arthur W.

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. Optically-Induced Neuronal Activity Is Sufficient to Promote Functional Motor Axon Regeneration In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Ward, Patricia J; Jones, Laura N; Mulligan, Amanda; Goolsby, William; Wilhelm, Jennifer C; English, Arthur W

    2016-01-01

    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

  17. Fast three-dimensional random access multi-photon microscopy for functional recording of neuronal activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddy, Duemani; Saggau, Peter

    2007-07-01

    The dendritic processes of neurons have been shown to possess active and dynamic properties that give them the ability to modulate synaptic integration and shape individual synaptic responses. Effectively studying these properties at multiple locations on a live neuron in highly light scattering brain tissue requires an imaging/recording mechanism with high spatio-temporal resolution as well as optical sectioning and random access site selection capabilities. Our lab has made significant steps in developing such a system by combining the spatial resolution and optical sectioning ability of advanced imaging techniques such as confocal and multi-photon microscopy with the temporal resolution and random access capability provided by acousto-optic laser scanning. However, all systems that have been developed to date restrict fast imaging to two-dimensional (2D) scan patterns. This severely limits the extent to which many neurons can be studied since they represent complex three-dimensional (3D) structures. We have previously demonstrated a scheme for fast 3D scanning which utilizes a unique arrangement of acoustooptic deflectors and does not require axial movements of the objective lens. We have also shown how, when used with the ultra-fast laser pulses needed in multi-photon microscopy, this scheme inherently compensates for the spatial dispersion which would otherwise significantly reduce the resolution of acousto-optic based multi-photon microscopy. We have now coupled this scanning scheme to a modified commercial research microscope and use the combined system to effectively image user-defined sites of interest on fluorescent 3D structures with positioning times that are in the low microsecond (μs) range. The resulting random-access scanning mechanism allows for functional imaging of complex 3D structures such as neuronal dendrites at several thousand volumes per second.

  18. Vinorelbine and epirubicin share common features with polysialic acid and modulate neuronal and glial functions.

    PubMed

    Loers, Gabriele; Saini, Vedangana; Mishra, Bibhudatta; Gul, Sheraz; Chaudhury, Sidhartha; Wallqvist, Anders; Kaur, Gurcharan; Schachner, Melitta

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26443186

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-25

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

  20. Bisphenol A affects androgen receptor function via multiple mechanisms

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Nanometric resolution magnetic resonance imaging methods for mapping functional activity in neuronal networks

    PubMed Central

    Boretti, Albert; Castelletto, Stefania

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27144128

  2. Channel based generating function approach to the stochastic Hodgkin-Huxley neuronal system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ling, Anqi; Huang, Yandong; Shuai, Jianwei; Lan, Yueheng

    2016-03-01

    Internal and external fluctuations, such as channel noise and synaptic noise, contribute to the generation of spontaneous action potentials in neurons. Many different Langevin approaches have been proposed to speed up the computation but with waning accuracy especially at small channel numbers. We apply a generating function approach to the master equation for the ion channel dynamics and further propose two accelerating algorithms, with an accuracy close to the Gillespie algorithm but with much higher efficiency, opening the door for expedited simulation of noisy action potential propagating along axons or other types of noisy signal transduction.

  3. Theoretical Neuroanatomy:Analyzing the Structure, Dynamics,and Function of Neuronal Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. Channel based generating function approach to the stochastic Hodgkin-Huxley neuronal system

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Anqi; Huang, Yandong; Shuai, Jianwei; Lan, Yueheng

    2016-01-01

    Internal and external fluctuations, such as channel noise and synaptic noise, contribute to the generation of spontaneous action potentials in neurons. Many different Langevin approaches have been proposed to speed up the computation but with waning accuracy especially at small channel numbers. We apply a generating function approach to the master equation for the ion channel dynamics and further propose two accelerating algorithms, with an accuracy close to the Gillespie algorithm but with much higher efficiency, opening the door for expedited simulation of noisy action potential propagating along axons or other types of noisy signal transduction. PMID:26940002

  5. Nanometric resolution magnetic resonance imaging methods for mapping functional activity in neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Boretti, Albert; Castelletto, Stefania

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27144128

  6. Nanometric resolution magnetic resonance imaging methods for mapping functional activity in neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Boretti, Albert; Castelletto, Stefania

    2016-01-01

    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.

  7. Neuron-Specific Deletion of the Nf2 Tumor Suppressor Impairs Functional Nerve Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Alexander; Büttner, Robert; Toledo, Andrea; Baader, Stephan L.; von Maltzahn, Julia; Irintchev, Andrey; Bauer, Reinhard; Morrison, Helen

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. Sleep deprivation and hippocampal vulnerability: changes in neuronal plasticity, neurogenesis and cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Kreutzmann, J C; Havekes, R; Abel, T; Meerlo, P

    2015-11-19

    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.

  9. Sleep deprivation and hippocampal vulnerability: changes in neuronal plasticity, neurogenesis and cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Kreutzmann, J C; Havekes, R; Abel, T; Meerlo, P

    2015-11-19

    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. PMID:25937398

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

    PubMed Central

    Hehemann, Marah C.

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Role of Positive Selection in Functional Divergence of Mammalian Neuronal Apoptosis Inhibitor Proteins during Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Fanzhi; Su, Zhaoliang; Zhou, Chenglin; Sun, Caixia; Liu, Yanfang; Zheng, Dong; Yuan, Hongyan; Yin, Jingping; Fang, Jie; Wang, Shengjun; Xu, Huaxi

    2011-01-01

    Neuronal apoptosis inhibitor proteins (NAIPs) are members of Nod-like receptor (NLR) protein family. Recent research demostrated that some NAIP genes were strongly associated with both innate immunity and many inflammatory diseases in humans. However, no similar phenomena have been reported in other mammals. Furthermore, some NAIP genes have undergone pseudogenization or have been lost during the evolution of some higher mammals. We therefore aimed to determine if functional divergence had occurred, and if natural selection had played an important role in the evolution of these genes. The results showed that NAIP genes have undergone pseudogenization and functional divergence, driven by positive selection. Positive selection has also influenced NAIP protein structure, resulting in further functional divergence. PMID:22131819

  12. Functional roles affect diversity-succession relationships for boreal beetles.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim

    2013-01-01

    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.

  13. Neuronal polarization.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-15

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

  14. beta -Neuregulin-1 is required for the in vivo development of functional Ca2+-activated K+ channels in parasympathetic neurons.

    PubMed

    Cameron, J S; Dryer, L; Dryer, S E

    2001-02-27

    The development of functional Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (K(Ca)) in chick ciliary ganglion (CG) neurons requires interactions with afferent preganglionic nerve terminals. Here we show that the essential preganglionic differentiation factor is an isoform of beta-neuregulin-1. beta-Neuregulin-1 transcripts are expressed in the midbrain preganglionic Edinger-Westphal nucleus at developmental stages that coincide with or precede the normal onset of macroscopic K(Ca) in CG neurons. Injection of beta-neuregulin-1 peptide into the brains of developing embryos evoked a robust stimulation of functional K(Ca) channels at stages before the normal appearance of these channels in CG neurons developing in vivo. Conversely, injection of a neutralizing antiserum specific for beta-neuregulin-1 inhibited the development of K(Ca) channels in CG neurons. Low concentrations of beta-neuregulin-1 evoked a robust increase in whole-cell K(Ca) in CG neurons cocultured with iris target tissues. By contrast, culturing CG neurons with iris cells or low concentrations of beta-neuregulin-1 by themselves was insufficient to stimulate K(Ca). These data suggest that the preganglionic factor required for the development of K(Ca) in ciliary ganglion neurons is an isoform of beta-neuregulin-1, and that this factor acts in concert with target-derived trophic molecules to regulate the differentiation of excitability.

  15. Discontinuous Galerkin finite element method for solving population density functions of cortical pyramidal and thalamic neuronal populations.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chih-Hsu; Lin, Chou-Ching K; Ju, Ming-Shaung

    2015-02-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-15

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

  18. Generation of functional neurons from feeder-free, keratinocyte-derived equine induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Ruchi; Livesey, Matthew Robert; Wyllie, David J A; Proudfoot, Christopher; Whitelaw, Christopher Bruce Alexander; Hay, David Christopher; Donadeu, Francesc Xavier

    2014-07-01

    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. PMID:24548115

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magno, Carlo

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Functional Roles Affect Diversity-Succession Relationships for Boreal Beetles

    PubMed Central

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim

    2013-01-01

    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

  2. The Physiological Role of Arcuate Kisspeptin Neurons in the Control of Reproductive Function in Female Rats

    PubMed Central

    Beale, K.E.; Kinsey-Jones, J.S.; Gardiner, J.V.; Harrison, E.K.; Thompson, E.L.; Hu, M.H.; Sleeth, M.L.; Sam, A.H.; Greenwood, H.C.; McGavigan, A.K.; Dhillo, W.S.; Mora, J.M.; Li, X.F.; Franks, S.; Bloom, S.R.; O'Byrne, K.T.

    2014-01-01

    Kisspeptin plays a pivotal role in pubertal onset and reproductive function. In rodents, kisspeptin perikarya are located in 2 major populations: the anteroventral periventricular nucleus and the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). These nuclei are believed to play functionally distinct roles in the control of reproduction. The anteroventral periventricular nucleus population is thought to be critical in the generation of the LH surge. However, the physiological role played by the ARC kisspeptin neurons remains to be fully elucidated. We used bilateral stereotactic injection of recombinant adeno-associated virus encoding kisspeptin antisense into the ARC of adult female rats to investigate the physiological role of kisspeptin neurons in this nucleus. Female rats with kisspeptin knockdown in the ARC displayed a significantly reduced number of both regular and complete oestrous cycles and significantly longer cycles over the 100-day period of the study. Further, kisspeptin knockdown in the ARC resulted in a decrease in LH pulse frequency. These data suggest that maintenance of ARC-kisspeptin levels is essential for normal pulsatile LH release and oestrous cyclicity. PMID:24424033

  3. A coding-independent function of an alternative Ube3a transcript during neuronal development.

    PubMed

    Valluy, Jeremy; Bicker, Silvia; Aksoy-Aksel, Ayla; Lackinger, Martin; Sumer, Simon; Fiore, Roberto; Wüst, Tatjana; Seffer, Dominik; Metge, Franziska; Dieterich, Christoph; Wöhr, Markus; Schwarting, Rainer; Schratt, Gerhard

    2015-05-01

    The E3 ubiquitin ligase Ube3a is an important regulator of activity-dependent synapse development and plasticity. Ube3a mutations cause Angelman syndrome and have been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the biological significance of alternative Ube3a transcripts generated in mammalian neurons remains unknown. We report here that Ube3a1 RNA, a transcript that encodes a truncated Ube3a protein lacking catalytic activity, prevents exuberant dendrite growth and promotes spine maturation in rat hippocampal neurons. Surprisingly, Ube3a1 RNA function was independent of its coding sequence but instead required a unique 3' untranslated region and an intact microRNA pathway. Ube3a1 RNA knockdown increased activity of the plasticity-regulating miR-134, suggesting that Ube3a1 RNA acts as a dendritic competing endogenous RNA. Accordingly, the dendrite-growth-promoting effect of Ube3a1 RNA knockdown in vivo is abolished in mice lacking miR-134. Taken together, our results define a noncoding function of an alternative Ube3a transcript in dendritic protein synthesis, with potential implications for Angelman syndrome and ASD. PMID:25867122

  4. Patterning human neuronal networks on photolithographically engineered silicon dioxide substrates functionalized with glial analogues.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Mark A; Brennan, Paul M; Bunting, Andrew S; Cameron, Katherine; Murray, Alan F; Shipston, Mike J

    2014-05-01

    Interfacing neurons with silicon semiconductors is a challenge being tackled through various bioengineering approaches. Such constructs inform our understanding of neuronal coding and learning and ultimately guide us toward creating intelligent neuroprostheses. A fundamental prerequisite is to dictate the spatial organization of neuronal cells. We sought to pattern neurons using photolithographically defined arrays of polymer parylene-C, activated with fetal calf serum. We used a purified human neuronal cell line [Lund human mesencephalic (LUHMES)] to establish whether neurons remain viable when isolated on-chip or whether they require a supporting cell substrate. When cultured in isolation, LUHMES neurons failed to pattern and did not show any morphological signs of differentiation. We therefore sought a cell type with which to prepattern parylene regions, hypothesizing that this cellular template would enable secondary neuronal adhesion and network formation. From a range of cell lines tested, human embryonal kidney (HEK) 293 cells patterned with highest accuracy. LUHMES neurons adhered to pre-established HEK 293 cell clusters and this coculture environment promoted morphological differentiation of neurons. Neurites extended between islands of adherent cell somata, creating an orthogonally arranged neuronal network. HEK 293 cells appear to fulfill a role analogous to glia, dictating cell adhesion, and generating an environment conducive to neuronal survival. We next replaced HEK 293 cells with slower growing glioma-derived precursors. These primary human cells patterned accurately on parylene and provided a similarly effective scaffold for neuronal adhesion. These findings advance the use of this microfabrication-compatible platform for neuronal patterning.

  5. Genetic control of adult neurogenesis: interplay of differentiation, proliferation and survival modulates new neurons function, and memory circuits

    PubMed Central

    Tirone, Felice; Farioli-Vecchioli, Stefano; Micheli, Laura; Ceccarelli, Manuela; Leonardi, Luca

    2013-01-01

    Within the hippocampal circuitry, the basic function of the dentate gyrus is to transform the memory input coming from the enthorinal cortex into sparse and categorized outputs to CA3, in this way separating related memory information. New neurons generated in the dentate gyrus during adulthood appear to facilitate this process, allowing a better separation between closely spaced memories (pattern separation). The evidence underlying this model has been gathered essentially by ablating the newly adult-generated neurons. This approach, however, does not allow monitoring of the integration of new neurons into memory circuits and is likely to set in motion compensatory circuits, possibly leading to an underestimation of the role of new neurons. Here we review the background of the basic function of the hippocampus and of the known properties of new adult-generated neurons. In this context, we analyze the cognitive performance in mouse models generated by us and others, with modified expression of the genes Btg2 (PC3/Tis21), Btg1, Pten, BMP4, etc., where new neurons underwent a change in their differentiation rate or a partial decrease of their proliferation or survival rate rather than ablation. The effects of these modifications are equal or greater than full ablation, suggesting that the architecture of circuits, as it unfolds from the interaction between existing and new neurons, can have a greater functional impact than the sheer number of new neurons. We propose a model which attempts to measure and correlate the set of cellular changes in the process of neurogenesis with the memory function. PMID:23734097

  6. Early constraint-induced movement therapy promotes functional recovery and neuronal plasticity in a subcortical hemorrhage model rat.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Akimasa; Misumi, Sachiyo; Ueda, Yoshitomo; Shimizu, Yuko; Cha-Gyun, Jung; Tamakoshi, Keigo; Ishida, Kazuto; Hida, Hideki

    2015-05-01

    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.

  7. Prenatal Exposure to Benzo(a)pyrene Impairs Later-Life Cortical Neuronal Function

    PubMed Central

    McCallister, Monique M.; Maguire, Mark; Ramesh, Aramandla; Aimin, Qiao; Liu, Sheng; Khoshbouei, Habibeh; Aschner, Michael; Ebner, Ford F.; Hood, Darryl B.

    2009-01-01

    Prenatal exposure to environmental contaminants, such as Benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P] has been shown to impair brain development. The overarching hypothesis of our work is that glutamate receptor subunit expression is crucial for cortical evoked responses and that prenatal B(a)P exposure modulates the temporal developmental expression of glutamatergic receptor subunits in the somatosensory cortex. To characterize prenatal B(a)P exposure on the development of cortical function, pregnant Long Evans rats were exposed to low-level B(a)P (300μg/kg BW) by oral gavage on gestational days 14 to 17. At this exposure dose, there was no significant effect of B(a)P on 1) the number of pups born per litter, 2) the pre-weaning growth curves and 3) initial and final brain to body weight ratios. Control and B(a)P-exposed offspring were profiled for B(a)P metabolites in plasma and whole brain during the pre-weaning period. No detectable levels of metabolites were found in the control offspring. However, a time-dependent decrease in total metabolite concentration was observed in B(a)P-exposed offspring. On PND100-120, cerebrocortical mRNA expression was determined for the glutamatergic NMDA receptor subunit (NR2B) in control and B(a)P-exposed offspring. Neural activity was also recorded from neurons in primary somatic sensory (barrel) cortex. Semiquantitative PCR from B(a)P-exposed offspring revealed a significant 50% reduction in NR2B mRNA expression in B(a)P-exposed offspring relative to controls. Recordings from B(a)P-exposed offspring revealed that N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor -dependent neuronal activity in barrel cortex evoked by whisker stimulation was also significantly reduced (70%) as compared to controls. Analysis showed that the greatest deficit in cortical neuronal responses occurred in the shorter latency epochs from 5-20ms post-stimulus. The results suggest that in utero exposure to benzo(a)pyrene results in diminished mRNA expression of the NMDA NR2B receptor

  8. Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant mitotempo protects mitochondrial function against amyloid beta toxicity in primary cultured mouse neurons.

    PubMed

    Hu, Hongtao; Li, Mo

    2016-09-01

    Mitochondrial defects including excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and compromised ATP generation are featured pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Amyloid beta (Aβ)-mediated mitochondrial ROS overproduction disrupts intra-neuronal Redox balance, in turn exacerbating mitochondrial dysfunction leading to neuronal injury. Previous studies have found the beneficial effects of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants in preventing mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal injury in AD animal and cell models, suggesting that mitochondrial ROS scavengers hold promise for the treatment of this neurological disorder. In this study, we have determined that mitotempo, a novel mitochondria-targeted antioxidant protects mitochondrial function from the toxicity of Aβ in primary cultured neurons. Our results showed that Aβ-promoted mitochondrial superoxide production and neuronal lipid oxidation were significantly suppressed by the application of mitotempo. Moreover, mitotempo also demonstrated protective effects on mitochondrial bioenergetics evidenced by preserved mitochondrial membrane potential, cytochrome c oxidase activity as well as ATP production. In addition, the Aβ-induced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion and decreased expression levels of mtDNA replication-related DNA polymerase gamma (DNA pol γ) and Twinkle were substantially mitigated by mitotempo. Therefore, our study suggests that elimination of excess mitochondrial ROS rescues mitochondrial function in Aβ-insulted neruons; and mitotempo has the potential to be a promising therapeutic agent to protect mitochondrial and neuronal function in AD.

  9. Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant mitotempo protects mitochondrial function against amyloid beta toxicity in primary cultured mouse neurons.

    PubMed

    Hu, Hongtao; Li, Mo

    2016-09-01

    Mitochondrial defects including excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and compromised ATP generation are featured pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Amyloid beta (Aβ)-mediated mitochondrial ROS overproduction disrupts intra-neuronal Redox balance, in turn exacerbating mitochondrial dysfunction leading to neuronal injury. Previous studies have found the beneficial effects of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants in preventing mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal injury in AD animal and cell models, suggesting that mitochondrial ROS scavengers hold promise for the treatment of this neurological disorder. In this study, we have determined that mitotempo, a novel mitochondria-targeted antioxidant protects mitochondrial function from the toxicity of Aβ in primary cultured neurons. Our results showed that Aβ-promoted mitochondrial superoxide production and neuronal lipid oxidation were significantly suppressed by the application of mitotempo. Moreover, mitotempo also demonstrated protective effects on mitochondrial bioenergetics evidenced by preserved mitochondrial membrane potential, cytochrome c oxidase activity as well as ATP production. In addition, the Aβ-induced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion and decreased expression levels of mtDNA replication-related DNA polymerase gamma (DNA pol γ) and Twinkle were substantially mitigated by mitotempo. Therefore, our study suggests that elimination of excess mitochondrial ROS rescues mitochondrial function in Aβ-insulted neruons; and mitotempo has the potential to be a promising therapeutic agent to protect mitochondrial and neuronal function in AD. PMID:27444386

  10. Grafts of fetal dopamine neurons survive and improve motor function in Parkinson's disease

    SciTech Connect

    Lindvall, O.; Brundin, P.; Widner, H.; Rehncrona, S.; Gustavii, B.; Frackowiak, R.; Leenders, K.L.; Sawle, G.; Rothwell, J.C.; Marsden, C.D. )

    1990-02-02

    Neural transplantation can restore striatal dopaminergic neurotransmission in animal models of Parkinson's disease. It has now been shown that mesencephalic dopamine neurons, obtained from human fetuses of 8 to 9 weeks gestational age, can survive in the human brain and produce marked and sustained symptomatic relief in a patient severely affected with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. The grafts, which were implanted unilaterally into the putamen by stereotactic surgery, restored dopamine synthesis and storage in the grafted area, as assessed by positron emission tomography with 6-L-({sup 18}F)fluorodopa. This neurochemical change was accompanied