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Sample records for affect synaptic function

  1. 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

  2. Endocannabinoid signaling and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Castillo, Pablo E.; Younts, Thomas J.; Chávez, Andrés E.; Hashimotodani, Yuki

    2012-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are key modulators of synaptic function. By activating cannabinoid receptors expressed in the central nervous system, these lipid messengers can regulate several neural functions and behaviors. As experimental tools advance, the repertoire of known endocannabinoid-mediated effects at the synapse, and their underlying mechanism, continues to expand. Retrograde signaling is the principal mode by which endocannabinoids mediate short- and long-term forms of plasticity at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. However, growing evidence suggests that endocannabinoids can also signal in a non-retrograde manner. In addition to mediating synaptic plasticity, the endocannabinoid system is itself subject to plastic changes. Multiple points of interaction with other neuromodulatory and signaling systems have now been identified. Synaptic endocannabinoid signaling is thus mechanistically more complex and diverse than originally thought. In this review, we focus on new advances in endocannabinoid signaling and highlight their role as potent regulators of synaptic function in the mammalian brain. PMID:23040807

  3. 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.

  4. Functionally heterogeneous synaptic vesicle pools support diverse synaptic signalling.

    PubMed

    Chamberland, Simon; Tóth, Katalin

    2016-02-15

    Synaptic communication between neurons is a highly dynamic process involving specialized structures. At the level of the presynaptic terminal, neurotransmission is ensured by fusion of vesicles to the membrane, which releases neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft. Depending on the level of activity experienced by the terminal, the spatiotemporal properties of calcium invasion will dictate the timing and the number of vesicles that need to be released. Diverse presynaptic firing patterns are translated to neurotransmitter release with a distinct temporal feature. Complex patterns of neurotransmitter release can be achieved when different vesicles respond to distinct calcium dynamics in the presynaptic terminal. Specific vesicles from different pools are recruited during various modes of release as the particular molecular composition of their membrane proteins define their functional properties. Such diversity endows the presynaptic terminal with the ability to respond to distinct physiological signals via the mobilization of specific subpopulation of vesicles. There are several mechanisms by which a diverse vesicle population could be generated in single presynaptic terminals, including distinct recycling pathways that utilize various adaptor proteins. Several additional factors could potentially contribute to the development of a heterogeneous vesicle pool such as specialized release sites, spatial segregation within the terminal and specialized delivery pathways. Among these factors molecular heterogeneity plays a central role in defining the functional properties of different subpopulations of vesicles. PMID:26614712

  5. Molecular Mechanoneurobiology: An Emerging Angle to Explore Neural Synaptic Functions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Neural synapses are intercellular asymmetrical junctions that transmit biochemical and biophysical information between a neuron and a target cell. They are very tight, dynamic, and well organized by many synaptic adhesion molecules, signaling receptors, ion channels, and their associated cytoskeleton that bear forces. Mechanical forces have been an emerging factor in regulating axon guidance and growth, synapse formation and plasticity in physiological and pathological brain activity. Therefore, mechanical forces are undoubtedly exerted on those synaptic molecules and modulate their functions. Here we review current progress on how mechanical forces regulate receptor-ligand interactions, protein conformations, ion channels activation, and cytoskeleton dynamics and discuss how these regulations potentially affect synapse formation, stabilization, and plasticity. PMID:26106609

  6. Protein Interaction Networks Link Schizophrenia Risk Loci to Synaptic Function

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Emanuel; Izmailov, Rauf; Liò, Pietro; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a severe and highly heritable psychiatric disorder affecting approximately 1% of the population. Genome-wide association studies have identified 108 independent genetic loci with genome-wide significance but their functional importance has yet to be elucidated. Here, we develop a novel strategy based on network analysis of protein–protein interactions (PPI) to infer biological function associated with variants most strongly linked to illness risk. We show that the schizophrenia loci are strongly linked to synaptic transmission (P FWE < .001) and ion transmembrane transport (P FWE = .03), but not to ontological categories previously found to be shared across psychiatric illnesses. We demonstrate that brain expression of risk-linked genes within the identified processes is strongly modulated during birth and identify a set of synaptic genes consistently changed across multiple brain regions of adult schizophrenia patients. These results suggest synaptic function as a developmentally determined schizophrenia process supported by the illness’s most associated genetic variants and their PPI networks. The implicated genes may be valuable targets for mechanistic experiments and future drug development approaches. PMID:27056717

  7. Sumoylation in Synaptic Function and Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Schorova, Lenka; Martin, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Sumoylation has recently emerged as a key post-translational modification involved in many, if not all, biological processes. Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) polypeptides are covalently attached to specific lysine residues of target proteins through a dedicated enzymatic pathway. Disruption of the SUMO enzymatic pathway in the developing brain leads to lethality indicating that this process exerts a central role during embryonic and post-natal development. However, little is still known regarding how this highly dynamic protein modification is regulated in the mammalian brain despite an increasing number of data implicating sumoylated substrates in synapse formation, synaptic communication and plasticity. The aim of this review is therefore to briefly describe the enzymatic SUMO pathway and to give an overview of our current knowledge on the function and dysfunction of protein sumoylation at the mammalian synapse. PMID:27199730

  8. PTEN recruitment controls synaptic and cognitive function in Alzheimer's models.

    PubMed

    Knafo, Shira; Sánchez-Puelles, Cristina; Palomer, Ernest; Delgado, Igotz; Draffin, Jonathan E; Mingo, Janire; Wahle, Tina; Kaleka, Kanwardeep; Mou, Liping; Pereda-Perez, Inmaculada; Klosi, Edvin; Faber, Erik B; Chapman, Heidi M; Lozano-Montes, Laura; Ortega-Molina, Ana; Ordóñez-Gutiérrez, Lara; Wandosell, Francisco; Viña, Jose; Dotti, Carlos G; Hall, Randy A; Pulido, Rafael; Gerges, Nashaat Z; Chan, Andrew M; Spaller, Mark R; Serrano, Manuel; Venero, César; Esteban, José A

    2016-03-01

    Dyshomeostasis of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) is responsible for synaptic malfunctions leading to cognitive deficits ranging from mild impairment to full-blown dementia in Alzheimer's disease. Aβ appears to skew synaptic plasticity events toward depression. We found that inhibition of PTEN, a lipid phosphatase that is essential to long-term depression, rescued normal synaptic function and cognition in cellular and animal models of Alzheimer's disease. Conversely, transgenic mice that overexpressed PTEN displayed synaptic depression that mimicked and occluded Aβ-induced depression. Mechanistically, Aβ triggers a PDZ-dependent recruitment of PTEN into the postsynaptic compartment. Using a PTEN knock-in mouse lacking the PDZ motif, and a cell-permeable interfering peptide, we found that this mechanism is crucial for Aβ-induced synaptic toxicity and cognitive dysfunction. Our results provide fundamental information on the molecular mechanisms of Aβ-induced synaptic malfunction and may offer new mechanism-based therapeutic targets to counteract downstream Aβ signaling.

  9. Ubiquitination-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic growth and function.

    PubMed

    DiAntonio, A; Haghighi, A P; Portman, S L; Lee, J D; Amaranto, A M; Goodman, C S

    2001-07-26

    The covalent attachment of ubiquitin to cellular proteins is a powerful mechanism for controlling protein activity and localization. Ubiquitination is a reversible modification promoted by ubiquitin ligases and antagonized by deubiquitinating proteases. Ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate many important processes including cell-cycle progression, apoptosis and transcriptional regulation. Here we show that ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Neuronal overexpression of the deubiquitinating protease fat facets leads to a profound disruption of synaptic growth control; there is a large increase in the number of synaptic boutons, an elaboration of the synaptic branching pattern, and a disruption of synaptic function. Antagonizing the ubiquitination pathway in neurons by expression of the yeast deubiquitinating protease UBP2 (ref. 5) also produces synaptic overgrowth and dysfunction. Genetic interactions between fat facets and highwire, a negative regulator of synaptic growth that has structural homology to a family of ubiquitin ligases, suggest that synaptic development may be controlled by the balance between positive and negative regulators of ubiquitination.

  10. Ubiquitination-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic growth and function.

    PubMed

    DiAntonio, A; Haghighi, A P; Portman, S L; Lee, J D; Amaranto, A M; Goodman, C S

    2001-07-26

    The covalent attachment of ubiquitin to cellular proteins is a powerful mechanism for controlling protein activity and localization. Ubiquitination is a reversible modification promoted by ubiquitin ligases and antagonized by deubiquitinating proteases. Ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate many important processes including cell-cycle progression, apoptosis and transcriptional regulation. Here we show that ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Neuronal overexpression of the deubiquitinating protease fat facets leads to a profound disruption of synaptic growth control; there is a large increase in the number of synaptic boutons, an elaboration of the synaptic branching pattern, and a disruption of synaptic function. Antagonizing the ubiquitination pathway in neurons by expression of the yeast deubiquitinating protease UBP2 (ref. 5) also produces synaptic overgrowth and dysfunction. Genetic interactions between fat facets and highwire, a negative regulator of synaptic growth that has structural homology to a family of ubiquitin ligases, suggest that synaptic development may be controlled by the balance between positive and negative regulators of ubiquitination. PMID:11473321

  11. Kalirin 7 is required for synaptic structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Xin-Ming; Kiraly, Drew D.; Gaier, Eric D.; Wang, Yanping; Kim, Eun-Ji; Levine, Eric S.; Eipper, Betty A.; Mains, Richard E.

    2008-01-01

    Rho GTPases activated by GDP/GTP exchange factors (GEFs) play key roles in the developing and adult nervous system. Kalirin-7 (Kal7), the predominant adult splice form of the multifunctional Kalirin RhoGEF, includes a PDZ binding domain and localizes to the postsynaptic side of excitatory synapses. In vitro studies demonstrated that overexpression of Kal7 increased dendritic spine density whereas reduced expression of endogenous Kal7 decreased spine density. To evaluate the role of Kal7 in vivo, mice lacking the terminal exon unique to Kal7 were created. Mice lacking both copies of the Kal7 exon (Kal7KO) grew and reproduced normally. Golgi impregnation and electron microscopy revealed decreased hippocampal spine density in Kal7KO mice. Behaviorally, Kal7KO mice showed decreased anxiety-like behavior in the elevated zero maze and impaired acquisition of a passive avoidance task, but normal behavior in open field, object recognition and radial arm maze tasks. Kal7KO mice were deficient in hippocampal long-term potentiation. Western blot analysis confirmed the absence of Kal7 and revealed compensatory increases in larger Kalirin isoforms. PSDs purified from the cortices of Kal7KO mice showed a deficit in Cdk5, a kinase known to phosphorylate Kal7 and play an essential role in synaptic function. The early stages of excitatory synaptic development proceeded normally in cortical neurons prepared from Kal7KO mice, with decreased excitatory synapses apparent only after 21 days in vitro. Expression of exogenous Kal7 in Kal7KO neurons rescued this deficit. Kal7 plays an essential role in synaptic structure and function, affecting a subset of cognitive processes. PMID:19020030

  12. Glycolytic Enzymes Localize to Synapses under Energy Stress to Support Synaptic Function.

    PubMed

    Jang, SoRi; Nelson, Jessica C; Bend, Eric G; Rodríguez-Laureano, Lucelenie; Tueros, Felipe G; Cartagenova, Luis; Underwood, Katherine; Jorgensen, Erik M; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A

    2016-04-20

    Changes in neuronal activity create local and transient changes in energy demands at synapses. Here we discover a metabolic compartment that forms in vivo near synapses to meet local energy demands and support synaptic function in Caenorhabditis elegans neurons. Under conditions of energy stress, glycolytic enzymes redistribute from a diffuse localization in the cytoplasm to a punctate localization adjacent to synapses. Glycolytic enzymes colocalize, suggesting the ad hoc formation of a glycolysis compartment, or a "glycolytic metabolon," that can maintain local levels of ATP. Local formation of the glycolytic metabolon is dependent on presynaptic scaffolding proteins, and disruption of the glycolytic metabolon blocks the synaptic vesicle cycle, impairs synaptic recovery, and affects locomotion. Our studies indicate that under energy stress conditions, energy demands in C. elegans synapses are met locally through the assembly of a glycolytic metabolon to sustain synaptic function and behavior. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

  13. PTEN recruitment controls synaptic and cognitive function in Alzheimer's models.

    PubMed

    Knafo, Shira; Sánchez-Puelles, Cristina; Palomer, Ernest; Delgado, Igotz; Draffin, Jonathan E; Mingo, Janire; Wahle, Tina; Kaleka, Kanwardeep; Mou, Liping; Pereda-Perez, Inmaculada; Klosi, Edvin; Faber, Erik B; Chapman, Heidi M; Lozano-Montes, Laura; Ortega-Molina, Ana; Ordóñez-Gutiérrez, Lara; Wandosell, Francisco; Viña, Jose; Dotti, Carlos G; Hall, Randy A; Pulido, Rafael; Gerges, Nashaat Z; Chan, Andrew M; Spaller, Mark R; Serrano, Manuel; Venero, César; Esteban, José A

    2016-03-01

    Dyshomeostasis of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) is responsible for synaptic malfunctions leading to cognitive deficits ranging from mild impairment to full-blown dementia in Alzheimer's disease. Aβ appears to skew synaptic plasticity events toward depression. We found that inhibition of PTEN, a lipid phosphatase that is essential to long-term depression, rescued normal synaptic function and cognition in cellular and animal models of Alzheimer's disease. Conversely, transgenic mice that overexpressed PTEN displayed synaptic depression that mimicked and occluded Aβ-induced depression. Mechanistically, Aβ triggers a PDZ-dependent recruitment of PTEN into the postsynaptic compartment. Using a PTEN knock-in mouse lacking the PDZ motif, and a cell-permeable interfering peptide, we found that this mechanism is crucial for Aβ-induced synaptic toxicity and cognitive dysfunction. Our results provide fundamental information on the molecular mechanisms of Aβ-induced synaptic malfunction and may offer new mechanism-based therapeutic targets to counteract downstream Aβ signaling. PMID:26780512

  14. Membrane palmitoylated protein 2 is a synaptic scaffold protein required for synaptic SK2-containing channel function

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Gukhan; Luján, Rafael; Schwenk, Jochen; Kelley, Melissa H; Aguado, Carolina; Watanabe, Masahiko; Fakler, Bernd; Maylie, James; Adelman, John P

    2016-01-01

    Mouse CA1 pyramidal neurons express apamin-sensitive SK2-containing channels in the post-synaptic membrane, positioned close to NMDA-type (N-methyl-D-aspartate) glutamate receptors. Activated by synaptically evoked NMDAR-dependent Ca2+ influx, the synaptic SK2-containing channels modulate excitatory post-synaptic responses and the induction of synaptic plasticity. In addition, their activity- and protein kinase A-dependent trafficking contributes to expression of long-term potentiation (LTP). We have identified a novel synaptic scaffold, MPP2 (membrane palmitoylated protein 2; p55), a member of the membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) family that interacts with SK2-containing channels. MPP2 and SK2 co-immunopurified from mouse brain, and co-immunoprecipitated when they were co-expressed in HEK293 cells. MPP2 is highly expressed in the post-synaptic density of dendritic spines on CA1 pyramidal neurons. Knocking down MPP2 expression selectively abolished the SK2-containing channel contribution to synaptic responses and decreased LTP. Thus, MPP2 is a novel synaptic scaffold that is required for proper synaptic localization and function of SK2-containing channels. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12637.001 PMID:26880549

  15. Systematic Discovery of Rab GTPases with Synaptic Functions in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Chih-Chiang; Scoggin, Shane; Wang, Dong; Cherry, Smita; Dembo, Todd; Greenberg, Ben; Jin, Eugene Jennifer; Kuey, Cansu; Lopez, Antonio; Mehta, Sunil Q.; Perkins, Theodore J.; Brankatschk, Marko; Rothenfluh, Adrian; Buszczak, Michael; Hiesinger, P. Robin

    2012-01-01

    Summary Background Neurons require highly specialized intracellular membrane trafficking, especially at synapses. Rab GTPases are considered master regulators of membrane trafficking in all cells and only very few Rabs have known neuron-specific functions. Here, we present the first systematic characterization of neuronal expression, subcellular localization and function of Rab GTPases in an organism with a brain. Results We report the surprising discovery that half of all Drosophila Rabs function specifically or predominantly in distinct subsets of neurons in the brain. Furthermore, functional profiling of the GTP/GDP-bound states reveals that these neuronal Rabs are almost exclusively active at synapses and the majority of these synaptic Rabs specifically mark synaptic recycling endosomal compartments. Our profiling strategy is based on Gal4 knock-ins in large genomic fragments that are additionally designed to generated mutants by ends-out homologous recombination. We generated 36 large genomic targeting vectors and transgenic rab-Gal4 fly strains for 25 rab genes. Proof-of-principle knock-out of the synaptic rab27 reveals a sleep phenotype that matches its cell-specific expression. Conclusions Our findings suggest that up to half of all Drosophila Rabs exert specialized synaptic functions. The tools presented here allow systematic functional studies of these Rabs and provide a method that is applicable to any large gene family in Drosophila. PMID:22000105

  16. Distinct Functions of Endophilin Isoforms in Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jifeng; Tan, Minghui; Yin, Yichen; Ren, Bingyu; Jiang, Nannan; Guo, Guoqing; Chen, Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Endophilin isoforms perform distinct characteristics in their interactions with N-type Ca(2+) channels and dynamin. However, precise functional differences for the endophilin isoforms on synaptic vesicle (SV) endocytosis remain unknown. By coupling RNA interference and electrophysiological recording techniques in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, we investigated the functional differences of three isoforms of endophilin in SV endocytosis. The results showed that the amplitude of normalized evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents in endophilin1 knockdown neurons decreased significantly for both single train and multiple train stimulations. Similar results were found using endophilin2 knockdown neurons, whereas endophilin3 siRNA exhibited no change compared with control neurons. Endophilin1 and endophilin2 affected SV endocytosis, but the effect of endophilin1 and endophilin2 double knockdown was not different from that of either knockdown alone. This result suggested that endophilin1 and endophilin2 functioned together but not independently during SV endocytosis. Taken together, our results indicate that SV endocytosis is sustained by endophilin1 and endophilin2 isoforms, but not by endophilin3, in primary cultured hippocampal neurons.

  17. Reduced Expression of the Vesicular Acetylcholine Transporter and Neurotransmitter Content Affects Synaptic Vesicle Distribution and Shape in Mouse Neuromuscular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Hermann A.; Fonseca, Matheus de C.; Camargo, Wallace L.; Lima, Patrícia M. A.; Martinelli, Patrícia M.; Naves, Lígia A.; Prado, Vânia F.; Prado, Marco A. M.; Guatimosim, Cristina

    2013-01-01

    In vertebrates, nerve muscle communication is mediated by the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine packed inside synaptic vesicles by a specific vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT). Here we used a mouse model (VAChT KDHOM) with 70% reduction in the expression of VAChT to investigate the morphological and functional consequences of a decreased acetylcholine uptake and release in neuromuscular synapses. Upon hypertonic stimulation, VAChT KDHOM mice presented a reduction in the amplitude and frequency of miniature endplate potentials, FM 1–43 staining intensity, total number of synaptic vesicles and altered distribution of vesicles within the synaptic terminal. In contrast, under electrical stimulation or no stimulation, VAChT KDHOM neuromuscular junctions did not differ from WT on total number of vesicles but showed altered distribution. Additionally, motor nerve terminals in VAChT KDHOM exhibited small and flattened synaptic vesicles similar to that observed in WT mice treated with vesamicol that blocks acetylcholine uptake. Based on these results, we propose that decreased VAChT levels affect synaptic vesicle biogenesis and distribution whereas a lower ACh content affects vesicles shape. PMID:24260111

  18. Reduced expression of the vesicular acetylcholine transporter and neurotransmitter content affects synaptic vesicle distribution and shape in mouse neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Hermann A; Fonseca, Matheus de C; Camargo, Wallace L; Lima, Patrícia M A; Martinelli, Patrícia M; Naves, Lígia A; Prado, Vânia F; Prado, Marco A M; Guatimosim, Cristina

    2013-01-01

    In vertebrates, nerve muscle communication is mediated by the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine packed inside synaptic vesicles by a specific vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT). Here we used a mouse model (VAChT KD(HOM)) with 70% reduction in the expression of VAChT to investigate the morphological and functional consequences of a decreased acetylcholine uptake and release in neuromuscular synapses. Upon hypertonic stimulation, VAChT KD(HOM) mice presented a reduction in the amplitude and frequency of miniature endplate potentials, FM 1-43 staining intensity, total number of synaptic vesicles and altered distribution of vesicles within the synaptic terminal. In contrast, under electrical stimulation or no stimulation, VAChT KD(HOM) neuromuscular junctions did not differ from WT on total number of vesicles but showed altered distribution. Additionally, motor nerve terminals in VAChT KD(HOM) exhibited small and flattened synaptic vesicles similar to that observed in WT mice treated with vesamicol that blocks acetylcholine uptake. Based on these results, we propose that decreased VAChT levels affect synaptic vesicle biogenesis and distribution whereas a lower ACh content affects vesicles shape. PMID:24260111

  19. Synaptic plasticity functions in an organic electrochemical transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Neuromuscular synaptic function in mice lacking major subsets of gangliosides.

    PubMed

    Zitman, F M P; Todorov, B; Jacobs, B C; Verschuuren, J J; Furukawa, K; Furukawa, K; Willison, H J; Plomp, J J

    2008-10-28

    Gangliosides are a family of sialylated glycosphingolipids enriched in the outer leaflet of neuronal membranes, in particular at synapses. Therefore, they have been hypothesized to play a functional role in synaptic transmission. We have measured in detail the electrophysiological parameters of synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) ex vivo of a GD3-synthase knockout mouse, expressing only the O- and a-series gangliosides, as well as of a GM2/GD2-synthase*GD3-synthase double-knockout (dKO) mouse, lacking all gangliosides except GM3. No major synaptic deficits were found in either null-mutant. However, some extra degree of rundown of acetylcholine release at high intensity use was present at the dKO NMJ and a temperature-specific increase in acetylcholine release at 35 degrees C was observed in GD3-synthase knockout NMJs, compared with wild-type. These results indicate that synaptic transmission at the NMJ is not crucially dependent on the particular presence of most ganglioside family members and remains largely intact in the sole presence of GM3 ganglioside. Rather, presynaptic gangliosides appear to play a modulating role in temperature- and use-dependent fine-tuning of transmitter output. PMID:18801416

  1. 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

  2. Synaptic Function of Rab11Fip5: Selective Requirement for Hippocampal Long-Term Depression

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Mohiuddin; Jurado, Sandra; Malenka, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Postsynaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) are among the major determinants of synaptic strength and can be trafficked into and out of synapses. Neuronal activity regulates AMPAR trafficking during synaptic plasticity to induce long-term changes in synaptic strength, including long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Rab family GTPases regulate most membrane trafficking in eukaryotic cells; particularly, Rab11 and its effectors are implicated in mediating postsynaptic AMPAR insertion during LTP. To explore the synaptic function of Rab11Fip5, a neuronal Rab11 effector and a candidate autism-spectrum disorder gene, we performed shRNA-mediated knock-down and genetic knock-out (KO) studies. Surprisingly, we observed robust shRNA-induced synaptic phenotypes that were rescued by a Rab11Fip5 cDNA but that were nevertheless not observed in conditional KO neurons. Both in cultured neurons and acute slices, KO of Rab11Fip5 had no significant effect on basic parameters of synaptic transmission, indicating that Rab11Fip5 is not required for fundamental synaptic operations, such as neurotransmitter release or postsynaptic AMPAR insertion. KO of Rab11Fip5 did, however, abolish hippocampal LTD as measured both in acute slices or using a chemical LTD protocol in cultured neurons but did not affect hippocampal LTP. The Rab11Fip5 KO mice performed normally in several behavioral tasks, including fear conditioning, but showed enhanced contextual fear extinction. These are the first findings to suggest a requirement for Rab11Fip5, and presumably Rab11, during LTD. PMID:25972173

  3. Restoration of synaptic function in sight for degenerative retinal disease

    PubMed Central

    Schubert, Timm; Wissinger, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic disorganization is a prominent feature of many neurological diseases of the CNS, including Parkinson’s disease, intellectual development disorders, and autism. Although synaptic plasticity is critical for learning and memory, it is unclear whether this innate property helps restore synaptic function in disease once the primary cause of disease is abrogated. An answer to this question may come from a recent investigation in X-linked retinoschisis, a currently untreatable retinopathy. In this issue of the JCI, Ou, Vijayasarathy, and colleagues showed progressive disorganization of key functional elements of the synapse between photoreceptors and ON-bipolar cells in a retinoschisin-deficient mouse model. Moreover, they demonstrated that adeno-associated virus–mediated (AAV-mediated) delivery of the retinoschisin gene restores structure and function to the photoreceptor to ON–bipolar cell synapse in mouse models, even in adults at advanced stages of the disease. The results of this study hold promise that AAV-based supplemental gene therapy will benefit patients with X-linked retinoschisis in a forthcoming clinical trial. PMID:26098210

  4. Functional specificity of local synaptic connections in neocortical networks

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Ho; Hofer, Sonja B.; Pichler, Bruno; Buchanan, Kate; Sjöström, P. Jesper; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D.

    2011-01-01

    Neuronal connectivity is fundamental to information processing in the brain. Understanding the mechanisms of sensory processing, therefore, requires uncovering how connection patterns between neurons relate to their function. On a coarse scale long range projections can preferentially link cortical regions with similar responses to sensory stimuli1-4. But on the local scale, where dendrites and axons overlap substantially, the functional specificity of connections remains unknown. Here we determine synaptic connectivity between nearby layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in vitro whose response properties were first characterized in mouse visual cortex in vivo. We found that connection probability was related to the similarity of visually driven neuronal activity. Neurons with the same preference for oriented stimuli connected at twice the rate of neurons with orthogonal orientation preferences. Neurons responding similarly to naturalistic stimuli formed connections at much higher rates than those with uncorrelated responses. Bidirectional synaptic connections were found more frequently between neuronal pairs with strongly correlated visual responses. Our results reveal the deg of functional specificity of local synaptic connections in visual cortex, and point to the existence of fine-scale subnetworks dedicated to processing related sensory information. PMID:21478872

  5. Control of synaptic function by endocannabinoid-mediated retrograde signaling

    PubMed Central

    KANO, Masanobu

    2014-01-01

    Since the first reports in 2001, great advances have been made towards the understanding of endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. Electrophysiological studies have revealed that one of the two major endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), is produced from membrane lipids upon postsynaptic Ca2+ elevation and/or activation of Gq/11-coupled receptors, and released from postsynaptic neurons. The released 2-AG then acts retrogradely onto presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors and induces suppression of neurotransmitter release either transiently or persistently. These forms of 2-AG-mediated retrograde synaptic modulation are functional throughout the brain. The other major endocannabinoid, anandamide, mediates a certain form of endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression (LTD). Anandamide also functions as an agonist for transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor type 1 (TRPV1) and mediates endocannabinoid-independent and TRPV1-dependent forms of LTD. It has also been demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system itself is plastic, which can be either up- or down-regulated by experimental or environmental conditions. In this review, I will make an overview of the mechanisms underlying endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. PMID:25169670

  6. Synaptic competition in structural plasticity and cognitive function

    PubMed Central

    Ramiro-Cortés, Yazmín; Hobbiss, Anna F.; Israely, Inbal

    2014-01-01

    Connections between neurons can undergo long-lasting changes in synaptic strength correlating with changes in structure. These events require the synthesis of new proteins, the availability of which can lead to cooperative and competitive interactions between synapses for the expression of plasticity. These processes can occur over limited spatial distances and temporal periods, defining dendritic regions over which activity may be integrated and could lead to the physical rewiring of synapses into functional groups. Such clustering of inputs may increase the computational power of neurons by allowing information to be combined in a greater than additive manner. The availability of new proteins may be a key modulatory step towards activity-dependent, long-term growth or elimination of spines necessary for remodelling of connections. Thus, the aberrant growth or shrinkage of dendritic spines could occur if protein levels are misregulated. Indeed, such perturbations can be seen in several mental retardation disorders, wherein either too much or too little protein translation exists, matching an observed increase or decrease in spine density, respectively. Cellular events which alter protein availability could relieve a constraint on synaptic competition and disturb synaptic clustering mechanisms. These changes may be detrimental to modifications in neural circuitry following activity. PMID:24298158

  7. miRNA Regulons Associated with Synaptic Function

    PubMed Central

    Paschou, Maria; Paraskevopoulou, Maria D.; Vlachos, Ioannis S.; Koukouraki, Pelagia; Hatzigeorgiou, Artemis G.; Doxakis, Epaminondas

    2012-01-01

    Differential RNA localization and local protein synthesis regulate synapse function and plasticity in neurons. MicroRNAs are a conserved class of regulatory RNAs that control mRNA stability and translation in tissues. They are abundant in the brain but the extent into which they are involved in synaptic mRNA regulation is poorly known. Herein, a computational analysis of the coding and 3′UTR regions of 242 presynaptic and 304 postsynaptic proteins revealed that 91% of them are predicted to be microRNA targets. Analysis of the longest 3′UTR isoform of synaptic transcripts showed that presynaptic mRNAs have significantly longer 3′UTR than control and postsynaptic mRNAs. In contrast, the shortest 3′UTR isoform of postsynaptic mRNAs is significantly shorter than control and presynaptic mRNAs, indicating they avert microRNA regulation under specific conditions. Examination of microRNA binding site density of synaptic 3′UTRs revealed that they are twice as dense as the rest of protein-coding transcripts and that approximately 50% of synaptic transcripts are predicted to have more than five different microRNA sites. An interaction map exploring the association of microRNAs and their targets revealed that a small set of ten microRNAs is predicted to regulate 77% and 80% of presynaptic and postsynaptic transcripts, respectively. Intriguingly, many of these microRNAs have yet to be identified outside primate mammals, implicating them in cognition differences observed between high-level primates and non-primate mammals. Importantly, the identified miRNAs have been previously associated with psychotic disorders that are characterized by neural circuitry dysfunction, such as schizophrenia. Finally, molecular dissection of their KEGG pathways showed enrichment for neuronal and synaptic processes. Adding on current knowledge, this investigation revealed the extent of miRNA regulation at the synapse and predicted critical microRNAs that would aid future research on the

  8. Synaptic Efficacy as a Function of Ionotropic Receptor Distribution: A Computational Study

    PubMed Central

    Allam, Sushmita L.; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C.; Hu, Eric Y.; Ambert, Nicolas; Greget, Renaud; Bischoff, Serge; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W.

    2015-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapses are the most prevalent functional elements of information processing in the brain. Changes in pre-synaptic activity and in the function of various post-synaptic elements contribute to generate a large variety of synaptic responses. Previous studies have explored postsynaptic factors responsible for regulating synaptic strength variations, but have given far less importance to synaptic geometry, and more specifically to the subcellular distribution of ionotropic receptors. We analyzed the functional effects resulting from changing the subsynaptic localization of ionotropic receptors by using a hippocampal synaptic computational framework. The present study was performed using the EONS (Elementary Objects of the Nervous System) synaptic modeling platform, which was specifically developed to explore the roles of subsynaptic elements as well as their interactions, and that of synaptic geometry. More specifically, we determined the effects of changing the localization of ionotropic receptors relative to the presynaptic glutamate release site, on synaptic efficacy and its variations following single pulse and paired-pulse stimulation protocols. The results indicate that changes in synaptic geometry do have consequences on synaptic efficacy and its dynamics. PMID:26480028

  9. Synaptic Efficacy as a Function of Ionotropic Receptor Distribution: A Computational Study.

    PubMed

    Allam, Sushmita L; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C; Hu, Eric Y; Ambert, Nicolas; Greget, Renaud; Bischoff, Serge; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W

    2015-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapses are the most prevalent functional elements of information processing in the brain. Changes in pre-synaptic activity and in the function of various post-synaptic elements contribute to generate a large variety of synaptic responses. Previous studies have explored postsynaptic factors responsible for regulating synaptic strength variations, but have given far less importance to synaptic geometry, and more specifically to the subcellular distribution of ionotropic receptors. We analyzed the functional effects resulting from changing the subsynaptic localization of ionotropic receptors by using a hippocampal synaptic computational framework. The present study was performed using the EONS (Elementary Objects of the Nervous System) synaptic modeling platform, which was specifically developed to explore the roles of subsynaptic elements as well as their interactions, and that of synaptic geometry. More specifically, we determined the effects of changing the localization of ionotropic receptors relative to the presynaptic glutamate release site, on synaptic efficacy and its variations following single pulse and paired-pulse stimulation protocols. The results indicate that changes in synaptic geometry do have consequences on synaptic efficacy and its dynamics.

  10. Functional Nanoscale Imaging of Synaptic Vesicle Cycling with Superfast Fixation.

    PubMed

    Schikorski, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Functional imaging is the measurement of structural changes during an ongoing physiological process over time. In many cases, functional imaging has been implemented by tracking a fluorescent signal in live imaging sessions. Electron microscopy, however, excludes live imaging which has hampered functional imaging approaches on the ultrastructural level. This barrier was broken with the introduction of superfast fixation. Superfast fixation is capable of stopping and fixing membrane traffic at sufficient speed to capture a physiological process at a distinct functional state. Applying superfast fixation at sequential time points allows tracking of membrane traffic in a step-by-step fashion.This technique has been applied to track labeled endocytic vesicles at central synapses as they pass through the synaptic vesicle cycle. At synapses, neurotransmitter is released from synaptic vesicles (SVs) via fast activity-dependent exocytosis. Exocytosis is coupled to fast endocytosis that retrieves SVs components from the plasma membrane shortly after release. Fluorescent FM dyes that bind to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane enter the endocytic vesicle during membrane retrieval and remain trapped in endocytic vesicles have been widely used to study SV exo-endocytic cycling in live imaging sessions. FM dyes can also be photoconverted into an electron-dense diaminobenzidine polymer which allows the investigation of SV cycling in the electron microscope. The combination of FM labeling with superfast fixation made it possible to track the fine structure of endocytic vesicles at 1 s intervals. Because this combination is not specialized to SV cycling, many other cellular processes can be studied. Furthermore, the technique is easy to set up and cost effective.This chapter describes activity-dependent FM dye labeling of SVs in cultured hippocampal neurons, superfast microwave-assisted fixation, photoconversion of the fluorescent endocytic vesicles, and the analysis of

  11. Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecules in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Leshchyns'ka, Iryna

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder associated with the loss of synapses between neurons in the brain. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules are cell surface glycoproteins which are expressed at the synaptic plasma membranes of neurons. These proteins play key roles in formation and maintenance of synapses and regulation of synaptic plasticity. Genetic studies and biochemical analysis of the human brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, and sera from AD patients indicate that levels and function of synaptic cell adhesion molecules are affected in AD. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules interact with Aβ, a peptide accumulating in AD brains, which affects their expression and synaptic localization. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules also regulate the production of Aβ via interaction with the key enzymes involved in Aβ formation. Aβ-dependent changes in synaptic adhesion affect the function and integrity of synapses suggesting that alterations in synaptic adhesion play key roles in the disruption of neuronal networks in AD. PMID:27242933

  12. The Role of GluK4 in Synaptic Plasticity and Affective Behavior in Mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catches, Justin Samuel

    Kainate receptors (KARs) are glutamate-gated ion channels that signal through both ionotropic and metabotropic pathways (Contractor et al., 2011). Combinations of five KAR subunits (GluK1-5) form tetrameric receptors with GluK1, GluK2, and GluK3 able to form functional homomeric channels. The high-affinity subunits, GluK4 and GluK5, do not form homomeric channels but modify the properties of heteromeric receptors. Expression of the GluK4 receptor subunit in the forebrain is restricted to the CA3 region of the hippocampus and dentate gyrus regions where KARs modulate synaptic plasticity. In this study, ablation of Grik4, which encodes GluK4, in mice reduced KAR synaptic currents and altered activation properties of postsynaptic receptors but left two forms of presynaptic short-term plasticity intact. Disruption of both Grik4 and Grik5 caused complete loss of the postsynaptic ionotropic KAR current and impaired presynaptic frequency facilitation. Additionally, KAR surface expression was altered at pre- and postsynaptic sites at the MF synapse. Despite the loss of ionotropic signaling, KAR-mediated inhibition of the slow afterhyperpolarization current, which is dependent on metabotropic signaling, was intact in CA3 neurons. Long-term potentiation at the MF-CA3 synapse was reduced, likely through a loss of KAR modulation of excitability of the presynaptic MF axons. Genetic variants in the human GRIK4 gene alter the susceptibility for affective disorders (Bloss and Hunter, 2010). We found that ablation of Grik4 in mice resulted in reduced anxiety and an antidepressant-like phenotype. In the elevated zero-maze, a test for anxiety and risk taking behavior, and in two anxiogenic tests, marble-burying and novelty-induced suppression of feeding, anxiety-like behavior was consistently reduced in knockout animals. In the forced swim, a test of learned helplessness used to determine depression-like behavior, knockout mice demonstrated significantly less immobility suggesting

  13. Acid-sensing ion channels: trafficking and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Extracellular acidification occurs in the brain with elevated neural activity, increased metabolism, and neuronal injury. This reduction in pH can have profound effects on brain function because pH regulates essentially every single biochemical reaction. Therefore, it is not surprising to see that Nature evolves a family of proteins, the acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), to sense extracellular pH reduction. ASICs are proton-gated cation channels that are mainly expressed in the nervous system. In recent years, a growing body of literature has shown that acidosis, through activating ASICs, contributes to multiple diseases, including ischemia, multiple sclerosis, and seizures. In addition, ASICs play a key role in fear and anxiety related psychiatric disorders. Several recent reviews have summarized the importance and therapeutic potential of ASICs in neurological diseases, as well as the structure-function relationship of ASICs. However, there is little focused coverage on either the basic biology of ASICs or their contribution to neural plasticity. This review will center on these topics, with an emphasis on the synaptic role of ASICs and molecular mechanisms regulating the spatial distribution and function of these ion channels. PMID:23281934

  14. Magnesium protects cognitive functions and synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer's model.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhi-Peng; Li, Li; Bao, Jian; Wang, Zhi-Hao; Zeng, Juan; Liu, En-Jie; Li, Xiao-Guang; Huang, Rong-Xi; Gao, Di; Li, Meng-Zhu; Zhang, Yao; Liu, Gong-Ping; Wang, Jian-Zhi

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by profound synapse loss and impairments of learning and memory. Magnesium affects many biochemical mechanisms that are vital for neuronal properties and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have demonstrated that the serum and brain magnesium levels are decreased in AD patients; however, the exact role of magnesium in AD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we found that the intraperitoneal administration of magnesium sulfate increased the brain magnesium levels and protected learning and memory capacities in streptozotocin-induced sporadic AD model rats. We also found that magnesium sulfate reversed impairments in long-term potentiation (LTP), dendritic abnormalities, and the impaired recruitment of synaptic proteins. Magnesium sulfate treatment also decreased tau hyperphosphorylation by increasing the inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK-3β at serine 9, thereby increasing the activity of Akt at Ser473 and PI3K at Tyr458/199, and improving insulin sensitivity. We conclude that magnesium treatment protects cognitive function and synaptic plasticity by inhibiting GSK-3β in sporadic AD model rats, which suggests a potential role for magnesium in AD therapy. PMID:25268773

  15. Magnesium Protects Cognitive Functions and Synaptic Plasticity in Streptozotocin-Induced Sporadic Alzheimer’s Model

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Jian; Wang, Zhi-Hao; Zeng, Juan; Liu, En-Jie; Li, Xiao-Guang; Huang, Rong-Xi; Gao, Di; Li, Meng-Zhu; Zhang, Yao; Liu, Gong-Ping; Wang, Jian-Zhi

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by profound synapse loss and impairments of learning and memory. Magnesium affects many biochemical mechanisms that are vital for neuronal properties and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have demonstrated that the serum and brain magnesium levels are decreased in AD patients; however, the exact role of magnesium in AD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we found that the intraperitoneal administration of magnesium sulfate increased the brain magnesium levels and protected learning and memory capacities in streptozotocin-induced sporadic AD model rats. We also found that magnesium sulfate reversed impairments in long-term potentiation (LTP), dendritic abnormalities, and the impaired recruitment of synaptic proteins. Magnesium sulfate treatment also decreased tau hyperphosphorylation by increasing the inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK-3β at serine 9, thereby increasing the activity of Akt at Ser473 and PI3K at Tyr458/199, and improving insulin sensitivity. We conclude that magnesium treatment protects cognitive function and synaptic plasticity by inhibiting GSK-3β in sporadic AD model rats, which suggests a potential role for magnesium in AD therapy. PMID:25268773

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

    PubMed Central

    Fauth, Michael; Wörgötter, Florentin; Tetzlaff, Christian

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Aging synaptic mitochondria exhibit dynamic proteomic changes while maintaining bioenergetic function.

    PubMed

    Stauch, Kelly L; Purnell, Phillip R; Fox, Howard S

    2014-04-01

    Aging correlates with a progressive impairment of mitochondrial homeostasis and is an influential factor for several forms of neurodegeneration. However, the mechanisms underlying age-related alterations in synaptosomal mitochondria, a neuronal mitochondria population highly susceptible to insults and critical for brain function, remain incompletely understood. Therefore this study investigates the synaptic mitochondrial proteomic and bioenergetic alterations that occur with age. The utilization of a state of the art quantitative proteomics approach allowed for the comparison of protein expression levels in synaptic mitochondria isolated from 5 (mature), 12 (old), and 24 (aged) month old mice. During the process of aging we find that dynamic proteomic alterations occur in synaptic mitochondria. Despite direct (mitochondrial DNA deletions) and indirect (increased antioxidant protein levels) signs of mitochondrial damage in the aged mice, there was an overall maintenance of mitochondrial function. Therefore the synaptic mitochondrial proteomic changes that occur with aging correlate with preservation of synaptic mitochondrial function.

  18. Myotonic dystrophy CTG expansion affects synaptic vesicle proteins, neurotransmission and mouse behaviour.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Hernández, Oscar; Guiraud-Dogan, Céline; Sicot, Géraldine; Huguet, Aline; Luilier, Sabrina; Steidl, Esther; Saenger, Stefanie; Marciniak, Elodie; Obriot, Hélène; Chevarin, Caroline; Nicole, Annie; Revillod, Lucile; Charizanis, Konstantinos; Lee, Kuang-Yung; Suzuki, Yasuhiro; Kimura, Takashi; Matsuura, Tohru; Cisneros, Bulmaro; Swanson, Maurice S; Trovero, Fabrice; Buisson, Bruno; Bizot, Jean-Charles; Hamon, Michel; Humez, Sandrine; Bassez, Guillaume; Metzger, Friedrich; Buée, Luc; Munnich, Arnold; Sergeant, Nicolas; Gourdon, Geneviève; Gomes-Pereira, Mário

    2013-03-01

    Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is a complex multisystemic inherited disorder, which displays multiple debilitating neurological manifestations. Despite recent progress in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of myotonic dystrophy type 1 in skeletal muscle and heart, the pathways affected in the central nervous system are largely unknown. To address this question, we studied the only transgenic mouse line expressing CTG trinucleotide repeats in the central nervous system. These mice recreate molecular features of RNA toxicity, such as RNA foci accumulation and missplicing. They exhibit relevant behavioural and cognitive phenotypes, deficits in short-term synaptic plasticity, as well as changes in neurochemical levels. In the search for disease intermediates affected by disease mutation, a global proteomics approach revealed RAB3A upregulation and synapsin I hyperphosphorylation in the central nervous system of transgenic mice, transfected cells and post-mortem brains of patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1. These protein defects were associated with electrophysiological and behavioural deficits in mice and altered spontaneous neurosecretion in cell culture. Taking advantage of a relevant transgenic mouse of a complex human disease, we found a novel connection between physiological phenotypes and synaptic protein dysregulation, indicative of synaptic dysfunction in myotonic dystrophy type 1 brain pathology.

  19. Myotonic dystrophy CTG expansion affects synaptic vesicle proteins, neurotransmission and mouse behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Hernández, Oscar; Guiraud-Dogan, Céline; Sicot, Géraldine; Huguet, Aline; Luilier, Sabrina; Steidl, Esther; Saenger, Stefanie; Marciniak, Elodie; Obriot, Hélène; Chevarin, Caroline; Nicole, Annie; Revillod, Lucile; Charizanis, Konstantinos; Lee, Kuang-Yung; Suzuki, Yasuhiro; Kimura, Takashi; Matsuura, Tohru; Cisneros, Bulmaro; Swanson, Maurice S.; Trovero, Fabrice; Buisson, Bruno; Bizot, Jean-Charles; Hamon, Michel; Humez, Sandrine; Bassez, Guillaume; Metzger, Friedrich; Buée, Luc; Munnich, Arnold; Sergeant, Nicolas; Gourdon, Geneviève

    2013-01-01

    Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is a complex multisystemic inherited disorder, which displays multiple debilitating neurological manifestations. Despite recent progress in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of myotonic dystrophy type 1 in skeletal muscle and heart, the pathways affected in the central nervous system are largely unknown. To address this question, we studied the only transgenic mouse line expressing CTG trinucleotide repeats in the central nervous system. These mice recreate molecular features of RNA toxicity, such as RNA foci accumulation and missplicing. They exhibit relevant behavioural and cognitive phenotypes, deficits in short-term synaptic plasticity, as well as changes in neurochemical levels. In the search for disease intermediates affected by disease mutation, a global proteomics approach revealed RAB3A upregulation and synapsin I hyperphosphorylation in the central nervous system of transgenic mice, transfected cells and post-mortem brains of patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1. These protein defects were associated with electrophysiological and behavioural deficits in mice and altered spontaneous neurosecretion in cell culture. Taking advantage of a relevant transgenic mouse of a complex human disease, we found a novel connection between physiological phenotypes and synaptic protein dysregulation, indicative of synaptic dysfunction in myotonic dystrophy type 1 brain pathology. PMID:23404338

  20. Calcineurin proteolysis in astrocytes: Implications for impaired synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Pleiss, Melanie M; Sompol, Pradoldej; Kraner, Susan D; Abdul, Hafiz Mohmmad; Furman, Jennifer L; Guttmann, Rodney P; Wilcock, Donna M; Nelson, Peter T; Norris, Christopher M

    2016-09-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that astrocyte activation, found in most forms of neural injury and disease, is linked to the hyperactivation of the protein phosphatase calcineurin. In many tissues and cell types, calcineurin hyperactivity is the direct result of limited proteolysis. However, little is known about the proteolytic status of calcineurin in activated astrocytes. Here, we developed a polyclonal antibody to a high activity calcineurin proteolytic fragment in the 45-48kDa range (ΔCN) for use in immunohistochemical applications. When applied to postmortem human brain sections, the ΔCN antibody intensely labeled cell clusters in close juxtaposition to amyloid deposits and microinfarcts. Many of these cells exhibited clear activated astrocyte morphology. The expression of ΔCN in astrocytes near areas of pathology was further confirmed using confocal microscopy. Multiple NeuN-positive cells, particularly those within microinfarct core regions, also labeled positively for ΔCN. This observation suggests that calcineurin proteolysis can also occur within damaged or dying neurons, as reported in other studies. When a similar ΔCN fragment was selectively expressed in hippocampal astrocytes of intact rats (using adeno-associated virus), we observed a significant reduction in the strength of CA3-CA1 excitatory synapses, indicating that the hyperactivation of astrocytic calcineurin is sufficient for disrupting synaptic function. Together, these results suggest that proteolytic activation of calcineurin in activated astrocytes may be a central mechanism for driving and/or exacerbating neural dysfunction during neurodegenerative disease and injury. PMID:27212416

  1. Functional organization of excitatory synaptic strength in primary visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Muir, Dylan R.; Houlton, Rachael; Sader, Elie N.; Ko, Ho; Hofer, Sonja B.; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D.

    2016-01-01

    The strength of synaptic connections fundamentally determines how neurons influence each other’s firing. Excitatory connection amplitudes between pairs of cortical neurons vary over two orders of magnitude, comprising only very few strong connections among many weaker ones1–9. Although this highly skewed distribution of connection strengths is observed in diverse cortical areas1–9, its functional significance remains unknown: it is not clear how connection strength relates to neuronal response properties, nor how strong and weak inputs contribute to information processing in local microcircuits. Here we reveal that the strength of connections between layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal neurons in mouse primary visual cortex (V1) obeys a simple rule—the few strong connections occur between neurons with most correlated responses, while only weak connections link neurons with uncorrelated responses. Moreover, we show that strong and reciprocal connections occur between cells with similar spatial receptive field structure. Although weak connections far outnumber strong connections, each neuron receives the majority of its local excitation from a small number of strong inputs provided by the few neurons with similar responses to visual features. By dominating recurrent excitation, these infrequent yet powerful inputs disproportionately contribute to feature preference and selectivity. Therefore, our results show that the apparently complex organization of excitatory connection strength reflects the similarity of neuronal responses, and suggest that rare, strong connections mediate stimulus-specific response amplification in cortical microcircuits. PMID:25652823

  2. Calcineurin proteolysis in astrocytes: Implications for impaired synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Pleiss, Melanie M; Sompol, Pradoldej; Kraner, Susan D; Abdul, Hafiz Mohmmad; Furman, Jennifer L; Guttmann, Rodney P; Wilcock, Donna M; Nelson, Peter T; Norris, Christopher M

    2016-09-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that astrocyte activation, found in most forms of neural injury and disease, is linked to the hyperactivation of the protein phosphatase calcineurin. In many tissues and cell types, calcineurin hyperactivity is the direct result of limited proteolysis. However, little is known about the proteolytic status of calcineurin in activated astrocytes. Here, we developed a polyclonal antibody to a high activity calcineurin proteolytic fragment in the 45-48kDa range (ΔCN) for use in immunohistochemical applications. When applied to postmortem human brain sections, the ΔCN antibody intensely labeled cell clusters in close juxtaposition to amyloid deposits and microinfarcts. Many of these cells exhibited clear activated astrocyte morphology. The expression of ΔCN in astrocytes near areas of pathology was further confirmed using confocal microscopy. Multiple NeuN-positive cells, particularly those within microinfarct core regions, also labeled positively for ΔCN. This observation suggests that calcineurin proteolysis can also occur within damaged or dying neurons, as reported in other studies. When a similar ΔCN fragment was selectively expressed in hippocampal astrocytes of intact rats (using adeno-associated virus), we observed a significant reduction in the strength of CA3-CA1 excitatory synapses, indicating that the hyperactivation of astrocytic calcineurin is sufficient for disrupting synaptic function. Together, these results suggest that proteolytic activation of calcineurin in activated astrocytes may be a central mechanism for driving and/or exacerbating neural dysfunction during neurodegenerative disease and injury.

  3. Functional regions of the presynaptic cytomatrix protein bassoon: significance for synaptic targeting and cytomatrix anchoring.

    PubMed

    Dresbach, Thomas; Hempelmann, Anne; Spilker, Christina; tom Dieck, Susanne; Altrock, Wilko D; Zuschratter, Werner; Garner, Craig C; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2003-06-01

    Exocytosis of neurotransmitter from synaptic vesicles is restricted to specialized sites of the presynaptic plasma membrane called active zones. A complex cytomatrix of proteins exclusively assembled at active zones, the CAZ, is thought to form a molecular scaffold that organizes neurotransmitter release sites. Here, we have analyzed synaptic targeting and cytomatrix association of Bassoon, a major scaffolding protein of the CAZ. By combining immunocytochemistry and transfection of cultured hippocampal neurons, we show that the central portion of Bassoon is crucially involved in synaptic targeting and CAZ association. An N-terminal region harbors a distinct capacity for N-myristoylation-dependent targeting to synaptic vesicle clusters, but is not incorporated into the CAZ. Our data provide the first experimental evidence for the existence of distinct functional regions in Bassoon and suggest that a centrally located CAZ targeting function may be complemented by an N-terminal capacity for targeting to membrane-bounded synaptic organelles.

  4. Mutations affecting synaptic levels of neurexin-1β in autism and mental retardation.

    PubMed

    Camacho-Garcia, Rafael J; Planelles, Maria Inmaculada; Margalef, Mar; Pecero, Maria L; Martínez-Leal, Rafael; Aguilera, Francisco; Vilella, Elisabet; Martinez-Mir, Amalia; Scholl, Francisco G

    2012-07-01

    The identification of mutations in genes encoding proteins of the synaptic neurexin-neuroligin pathway in different neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and mental retardation, has suggested the presence of a shared underlying mechanism. A few mutations have been described so far and for most of them the biological consequences are unknown. To further explore the role of the NRXN1β gene in neurodevelopmental disorders, we have sequenced the coding exons of the gene in 86 cases with autism and mental retardation and 200 controls and performed expression analysis of DNA variants identified in patients. We report the identification of four novel independent mutations that affect nearby positions in two regions of the gene/protein: i) sequences important for protein translation initiation, c.-3G>T within the Kozak sequence, and c.3G>T (p.Met1), at the initiation codon; and ii) the juxtamembrane region of the extracellular domain, p.Arg375Gln and p.Gly378Ser. These mutations cosegregate with different psychiatric disorders other than autism and mental retardation, such as psychosis and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. We provide experimental evidence for the use of an alternative translation initiation codon for c.-3G>T and p.Met1 mutations and reduced synaptic levels of neurexin-1β protein resulting from p.Met1 and p.Arg375Gln. The data reported here support a role for synaptic defects of neurexin-1β in neurodevelopmental disorders.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Carbonic anhydrase related protein 8 mutation results in aberrant synaptic morphology and excitatory synaptic function in the cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Hirasawa, Michiru; Xu, Xinjie; Trask, Robert B.; Maddatu, Terry P.; Johnson, Britt A; Naggert, Jürgen K.; Nishina, Patsy M.; Ikeda, Akihiro

    2007-01-01

    Carbonic anhydrase related protein 8 (Car8) is known to be abundantly expressed in Purkinje cells (PCs), and its genetic mutation causes a motor coordination defect. To determine the underlying mechanism, we analyzed the mouse cerebellum carrying a Car8 mutation. Electrophysiological analysis showed that spontaneous excitatory transmission was largely diminished while paired pulse ratio at parallel fiber-PC synapses was comparable to wild-type, suggesting functional synapses have normal release probability but the number of functional synapses may be lower in mutants. Light microscopic study revealed an abnormal extension of climbing fibers to the distal PC dendrites. At ultrastructural level, we found numerous PC spines not forming synapses primarily in distal dendrites and occasionally multiple spines contacting a single varicosity. These abnormalities of parallel fiber-PC synapses may underlie the functional defect in excitatory transmission. Thus, Car8 plays a critical role in synaptogenesis and/or maintenance of proper synaptic morphology and function in the cerebellum. PMID:17376701

  9. Prenatal caffeine intake differently affects synaptic proteins during fetal brain development.

    PubMed

    Mioranzza, Sabrina; Nunes, Fernanda; Marques, Daniela M; Fioreze, Gabriela T; Rocha, Andréia S; Botton, Paulo Henrique S; Costa, Marcelo S; Porciúncula, Lisiane O

    2014-08-01

    Caffeine is the psychostimulant most consumed worldwide. However, little is known about its effects during fetal brain development. In this study, adult female Wistar rats received caffeine in drinking water (0.1, 0.3 and 1.0 g/L) during the active cycle in weekdays, two weeks before mating and throughout pregnancy. Cerebral cortex and hippocampus from embryonic stages 18 or 20 (E18 or E20, respectively) were collected for immunodetection of the following synaptic proteins: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), TrkB receptor, Sonic Hedgehog (Shh), Growth Associated Protein 43 (GAP-43) and Synaptosomal-associated Protein 25 (SNAP-25). Besides, the estimation of NeuN-stained nuclei (mature neurons) and non-neuronal nuclei was verified in both brain regions and embryonic periods. Caffeine (1.0 g/L) decreased the body weight of embryos at E20. Cortical BDNF at E18 was decreased by caffeine (1.0 g/L), while it increased at E20, with no major effects on TrkB receptors. In the hippocampus, caffeine decreased TrkB receptor only at E18, with no effects on BDNF. Moderate and high doses of caffeine promoted an increase in Shh in both brain regions at E18, and in the hippocampus at E20. Caffeine (0.3g/L) decreased GAP-43 only in the hippocampus at E18. The NeuN-stained nuclei increased in the cortex at E20 by lower dose and in the hippocampus at E18 by moderate dose. Our data revealed that caffeine transitorily affect synaptic proteins during fetal brain development. The increased number of NeuN-stained nuclei by prenatal caffeine suggests a possible acceleration of the telencephalon maturation. Although some modifications in the synaptic proteins were transient, our data suggest that caffeine even in lower doses may alter the fetal brain development. PMID:24862851

  10. Effects of Anti-NMDA Antibodies on Functional Recovery and Synaptic Rearrangement Following Hemicerebellectomy.

    PubMed

    Laricchiuta, Daniela; Cavallucci, Virve; Cutuli, Debora; De Bartolo, Paola; Caporali, Paola; Foti, Francesca; Finke, Carsten; D'Amelio, Marcello; Manto, Mario; Petrosini, Laura

    2016-06-01

    The compensation that follows cerebellar lesions is based on synaptic modifications in many cortical and subcortical regions, although its cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Changes in glutamatergic receptor expression may represent the synaptic basis of the compensated state. We analyzed in rats the involvement of glutamatergic system of the cerebello-frontal network in the compensation following a right hemicerebellectomy. We evaluated motor performances, spatial competencies and molecular correlates in compensated hemicerebellectomized rats which in the frontal cortex contralateral to the hemicerebellectomy side received injections of anti-NMDA antibodies from patients affected by anti-NMDA encephalitis. In the compensated hemicerebellectomized rats, the frontal injections of anti-NMDA antibodies elicited a marked decompensation state characterized by slight worsening of the motor symptoms as well as severe impairment of spatial mnesic and procedural performances. Conversely, in the sham-operated group the frontal injections of anti-NMDA antibodies elicited slight motor and spatial impairment. The molecular analyses indicated that cerebellar compensatory processes were related to a relevant rearrangement of glutamatergic synapses (NMDA and AMPA receptors and other glutamatergic components) along the entire cortico-cerebellar network. The long-term maintenance of the rearranged glutamatergic activity plays a crucial role in the maintenance of recovered function. PMID:27027521

  11. The Conserved SKN-1/Nrf2 Stress Response Pathway Regulates Synaptic Function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Staab, Trisha A.; Griffen, Trevor C.; Corcoran, Connor; Evgrafov, Oleg; Knowles, James A.; Sieburth, Derek

    2013-01-01

    The Nrf family of transcription factors plays a critical role in mediating adaptive responses to cellular stress and defends against neurodegeneration, aging, and cancer. Here, we report a novel role for the Caenorhabditis elegans Nrf homolog SKN-1 in regulating synaptic transmission at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Activation of SKN-1, either by acute pharmacological treatment with the mitochondrial toxin sodium arsenite or by mutations that cause constitutive SKN-1 activation, results in defects in neuromuscular function. Additionally, elimination of the conserved WD40 repeat protein WDR-23, a principal negative regulator of SKN-1, results in impaired locomotion and synaptic vesicle and neuropeptide release from cholinergic motor axons. Mutations that abolish skn-1 activity restore normal neuromuscular function to wdr-23 mutants and animals treated with toxin. We show that negative regulation of SKN-1 by WDR-23 in the intestine, but not at neuromuscular junctions, is necessary and sufficient for proper neuromuscular function. WDR-23 isoforms differentially localize to the outer membranes of mitochondria and to nuclei, and the effects of WDR-23 on neuromuscular function are dependent on its interaction with cullin E3 ubiquitin ligase. Finally, whole-transcriptome RNA sequencing of wdr-23 mutants reveals an increase in the expression of known SKN-1/Nrf2-regulated stress-response genes, as well as neurotransmission genes not previously implicated in SKN-1/Nrf2 responses. Together, our results indicate that SKN-1/Nrf2 activation may be a mechanism through which cellular stress, detected in one tissue, affects cellular function of a distal tissue through endocrine signaling. These results provide insight into how SKN-1/Nrf2 might protect the nervous system from damage in response to oxidative stress. PMID:23555279

  12. Pycnogenol protects CA3-CA1 synaptic function in a rat model of traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Norris, Christopher M; Sompol, Pradoldej; Roberts, Kelly N; Ansari, Mubeen; Scheff, Stephen W

    2016-02-01

    Pycnogenol (PYC) is a patented mix of bioflavonoids with potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Previously, we showed that PYC administration to rats within hours after a controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury significantly protects against the loss of several synaptic proteins in the hippocampus. Here, we investigated the effects of PYC on CA3-CA1 synaptic function following CCI. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats received an ipsilateral CCI injury followed 15 min later by intravenous injection of saline vehicle or PYC (10 mg/kg). Hippocampal slices from the injured (ipsilateral) and uninjured (contralateral) hemispheres were prepared at seven and fourteen days post-CCI for electrophysiological analyses of CA3-CA1 synaptic function and induction of long-term depression (LTD). Basal synaptic strength was impaired in slices from the ipsilateral, relative to the contralateral, hemisphere at seven days post-CCI and susceptibility to LTD was enhanced in the ipsilateral hemisphere at both post-injury timepoints. No interhemispheric differences in basal synaptic strength or LTD induction were observed in rats treated with PYC. The results show that PYC preserves synaptic function after CCI and provides further rationale for investigating the use of PYC as a therapeutic in humans suffering from neurotrauma. PMID:26607913

  13. 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

  14. Consequences of Inhibiting Amyloid Precursor Protein Processing Enzymes on Synaptic Function and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui; Megill, Andrea; He, Kaiwen; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease, one of whose major pathological hallmarks is the accumulation of amyloid plaques comprised of aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides. It is now recognized that soluble Aβ oligomers may lead to synaptic dysfunctions early in AD pathology preceding plaque deposition. Aβ is produced by a sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by the activity of β- and γ-secretases, which have been identified as major candidate therapeutic targets of AD. This paper focuses on how Aβ alters synaptic function and the functional consequences of inhibiting the activity of the two secretases responsible for Aβ generation. Abnormalities in synaptic function resulting from the absence or inhibition of the Aβ-producing enzymes suggest that Aβ itself may have normal physiological functions which are disrupted by abnormal accumulation of Aβ during AD pathology. This interpretation suggests that AD therapeutics targeting the β- and γ-secretases should be developed to restore normal levels of Aβ or combined with measures to circumvent the associated synaptic dysfunction(s) in order to have minimal impact on normal synaptic function. PMID:22792491

  15. Consequences of inhibiting amyloid precursor protein processing enzymes on synaptic function and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Megill, Andrea; He, Kaiwen; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease, one of whose major pathological hallmarks is the accumulation of amyloid plaques comprised of aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides. It is now recognized that soluble Aβ oligomers may lead to synaptic dysfunctions early in AD pathology preceding plaque deposition. Aβ is produced by a sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by the activity of β- and γ-secretases, which have been identified as major candidate therapeutic targets of AD. This paper focuses on how Aβ alters synaptic function and the functional consequences of inhibiting the activity of the two secretases responsible for Aβ generation. Abnormalities in synaptic function resulting from the absence or inhibition of the Aβ-producing enzymes suggest that Aβ itself may have normal physiological functions which are disrupted by abnormal accumulation of Aβ during AD pathology. This interpretation suggests that AD therapeutics targeting the β- and γ-secretases should be developed to restore normal levels of Aβ or combined with measures to circumvent the associated synaptic dysfunction(s) in order to have minimal impact on normal synaptic function.

  16. RNA silencing of genes involved in Alzheimer's disease enhances mitochondrial function and synaptic activity.

    PubMed

    Manczak, Maria; Reddy, P Hemachandra

    2013-12-01

    An age-dependent increase in mRNA levels of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), the microtubule-associated protein Tau, and voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) genes are reported to be toxic to neurons affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the underlying toxic nature of these genes is not completely understood. The purpose of our study was to determine the effects of RNA silencing of APP, Tau, and VDAC1 genes in AD pathogenesis. Using human neuroblastoma (SHSY5Y) cells, we first silenced RNA for APP, Tau, and VDAC1 genes, and then performed real-time RT-PCR analysis to measure mRNA levels of 34 genes that are involved in AD pathogenesis. Using biochemical assays, we also assessed mitochondrial function by measuring levels of H2O2 production, lipid peroxidation, cytochrome c oxidase activity, ATP production, and GTPase enzymatic activity. We found that increased mRNA expression of synaptic function and mitochondrial fission genes, and reduced levels of mitochondrial fusion genes in RNA silenced the SHSY5Y cells for APP, Tau and VDAC1 genes relative to the control SHSY5Y cells. In addition, RNA-silenced APP, Tau, and VDAC1 genes in SHSY5Y cells showed reduced levels of H2O2 production, lipid peroxidation, fission-linked GTPase activity, and increased cytochrome oxidase activity and ATP production. These findings suggest that a reduction of human APP, Tau, and VDAC1 may enhance synaptic activity, may improve mitochondrial maintenance and function, and may protect against toxicities of AD-related genes. Thus, these findings also suggest that the reduction of APP, Tau, and VDAC1 mRNA expressions may have therapeutic value for patients with AD.

  17. Functional Roles for Synaptic-Depression within a Model of the Fly Antennal Lobe

    PubMed Central

    Rangan, Aaditya V.

    2012-01-01

    Several experiments indicate that there exists substantial synaptic-depression at the synapses between olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) and neurons within the drosophila antenna lobe (AL). This synaptic-depression may be partly caused by vesicle-depletion, and partly caused by presynaptic-inhibition due to the activity of inhibitory local neurons within the AL. While it has been proposed that this synaptic-depression contributes to the nonlinear relationship between ORN and projection neuron (PN) firing-rates, the precise functional role of synaptic-depression at the ORN synapses is not yet fully understood. In this paper we propose two hypotheses linking the information-coding properties of the fly AL with the network mechanisms responsible for ORNAL synaptic-depression. Our first hypothesis is related to variance coding of ORN firing-rate information — once stimulation to the ORNs is sufficiently high to saturate glomerular responses, further stimulation of the ORNs increases the regularity of PN spiking activity while maintaining PN firing-rates. The second hypothesis proposes a tradeoff between spike-time reliability and coding-capacity governed by the relative contribution of vesicle-depletion and presynaptic-inhibition to ORNAL synaptic-depression. Synaptic-depression caused primarily by vesicle-depletion will give rise to a very reliable system, whereas an equivalent amount of synaptic-depression caused primarily by presynaptic-inhibition will give rise to a less reliable system that is more sensitive to small shifts in odor stimulation. These two hypotheses are substantiated by several small analyzable toy models of the fly AL, as well as a more physiologically realistic large-scale computational model of the fly AL involving glomerular channels. PMID:22927802

  18. Reelin and apoE actions on signal transduction, synaptic function and memory formation.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Justin T; Weeber, Edwin J

    2008-08-01

    Low-density-lipoprotein receptors (LDLRs) are an evolutionarily ancient surface protein family with the ability to activate a diversity of extracellular signals across the cellular membrane in the adult central nervous system (CNS). Their intimate roles in modulating synaptic plasticity and their necessity in hippocampal-dependent learning and memory have only recently come to light. Two known LDLR ligands, specifically apolipoprotein E (apoE) and reelin, have been the most widely investigated in this regard. Most of our understanding of synaptic plasticity comes from investigation of both pre- and postsynaptic alterations. Therefore, it is interesting to note that neurons and glia that do not contribute to the synaptic junction in question can secrete signaling molecules that affect synaptic plasticity. Notably, reelin and apoE have been shown to modulate hippocampal long-term potentiation in general, and affect NMDA receptor and AMPA receptor regulation specifically. Furthermore, these receptors and signaling molecules have significant roles in neuronal degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. The recent production of recombinant proteins, knockout and transgenic mice for receptors and ligands and the development of human ApoE targeted replacement mice have significantly expanded our understanding of the roles LDLRs and their ligands have in certain disease states and the accompanying initiation of specific signaling pathways. This review describes the role LDLRs, apoE and reelin have in the regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  19. ERK Pathway Activation Bidirectionally Affects Visual Recognition Memory and Synaptic Plasticity in the Perirhinal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Silingardi, Davide; Angelucci, Andrea; De Pasquale, Roberto; Borsotti, Marco; Squitieri, Giovanni; Brambilla, Riccardo; Putignano, Elena; Pizzorusso, Tommaso; Berardi, Nicoletta

    2011-01-01

    ERK 1,2 pathway mediates experience-dependent gene transcription in neurons and several studies have identified its pivotal role in experience-dependent synaptic plasticity and in forms of long term memory involving hippocampus, amygdala, or striatum. The perirhinal cortex (PRHC) plays an essential role in familiarity-based object recognition memory. It is still unknown whether ERK activation in PRHC is necessary for recognition memory consolidation. Most important, it is unknown whether by modulating the gain of the ERK pathway it is possible to bidirectionally affect visual recognition memory and PRHC synaptic plasticity. We have first pharmacologically blocked ERK activation in the PRHC of adult mice and found that this was sufficient to impair long term recognition memory in a familiarity-based task, the object recognition task (ORT). We have then tested performance in the ORT in Ras-GRF1 knock-out (KO) mice, which exhibit a reduced activation of ERK by neuronal activity, and in ERK1 KO mice, which have an increased activation of ERK2 and exhibit enhanced striatal plasticity and striatal mediated memory. We found that Ras-GRF1 KO mice have normal short term memory but display a long term memory deficit; memory reconsolidation is also impaired. On the contrary, ERK1 KO mice exhibit a better performance than WT mice at 72 h retention interval, suggesting a longer lasting recognition memory. In parallel with behavioral data, LTD was strongly reduced and LTP was significantly smaller in PRHC slices from Ras-GRF1 KO than in WT mice while enhanced LTP and LTD were found in PRHC slices from ERK1 KO mice. PMID:22232579

  20. Structure suggests function: the case for synaptic ribbons as exocytotic nanomachines.

    PubMed

    Lenzi, D; von Gersdorff, H

    2001-09-01

    Synaptic ribbons, the organelles identified in electron micrographs of the sensory synapses involved in vision, hearing, and balance, have long been hypothesized to play an important role in regulating presynaptic function because they associate with synaptic vesicles at the active zone. Their physiology and molecular composition have, however, remained largely unknown. Recently, a series of elegant studies spurred by technical innovation have finally begun to shed light on the ultrastructure and function of ribbon synapses. Electrical capacitance measurements have provided sub-millisecond resolution of exocytosis, evanescent-wave microscopy has filmed the fusion of single 30 nm synaptic vesicles, electron tomography has revealed the 3D architecture of the synapse, and molecular cloning has begun to identify the proteins that make up ribbons. These results are consistent with the ribbon serving as a vesicle "conveyor belt" to resupply the active zone, and with the suggestion that ribbon and conventional chemical synapses have much in common.

  1. ApoE isoform-dependent changes in hippocampal synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Korwek, Kimberly M; Trotter, Justin H; Ladu, Mary Jo; Sullivan, Patrick M; Weeber, Edwin J

    2009-05-27

    The lipoprotein receptor system in the hippocampus is intimately involved in the modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity. The association of specific apoE isoform expression with human neurodegenerative disorders has focused attention on the role of these apoE isoforms in lipoprotein receptor-dependent synaptic modulation. In the present study, we used the apoE2, apoE3 and apoE4 targeted replacement (TR) mice along with recombinant human apoE isoforms to determine the role of apoE isoforms in hippocampus area CA1 synaptic function. While synaptic transmission is unaffected by apoE isoform, long-term potentiation (LTP) is significantly enhanced in apoE4 TR mice versus apoE2 TR mice. ApoE isoform-dependent differences in LTP induction require NMDA-receptor function, and apoE isoform expression alters activation of both ERK and JNK signal transduction. Acute application of specific apoE isoforms also alters LTP induction while decreasing NMDA-receptor mediated field potentials. Furthermore, acute apoE isoform application does not have the same effects on ERK and JNK activation. These findings demonstrate specific, isoform-dependent effects of human apoE isoforms on adult hippocampus synaptic plasticity and highlight mechanistic differences between chronic apoE isoform expression and acute apoE isoform exposure.

  2. Zebrafish Cacna1fa is required for cone photoreceptor function and synaptic ribbon formation

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Sujuan; Muto, Akira; Orisme, Wilda; Henson, Hannah E.; Parupalli, Chaithanyarani; Ju, Bensheng; Baier, Herwig; Taylor, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in the human CACNA1F gene cause incomplete congenital stationary night blindness type 2 (CSNB2), a non-progressive, clinically heterogeneous retinal disorder. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying CSNB2 have not been fully explored. Here, we describe the positional cloning of a blind zebrafish mutant, wait until dark (wud), which encodes a zebrafish homolog of human CACNA1F. We identified two zebrafish cacna1f paralogs and showed that the cacna1fa transcript (the gene mutated in wud) is expressed exclusively in the photoreceptor layer. We demonstrated that Cacna1fa localizes at the photoreceptor synapse and is absent from wud mutants. Electroretinograms revealed abnormal cone photoreceptor responses from wud mutants, indicating a defect in synaptic transmission. Although there are no obvious morphological differences, we found that wud mutants lacked synaptic ribbons and that wud is essential for the development of synaptic ribbons. We found that Ribeye, the most prominent synaptic ribbon protein, was less abundant and mislocalized in adult wud mutants. In addition to cloning wud, we identified synaptojanin 1 (synj1) as the defective gene in slacker (slak), a blind mutant with floating synaptic ribbons. We determined that Cacna1fa was expressed in slak photoreceptors and that Synj1 was initially expressed wud photoreceptors, but was absent by 5 days postfertilization. Collectively, our data demonstrate that Cacna1fa is essential for cone photoreceptor function and synaptic ribbon formation and reveal a previously unknown yet critical role of L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels in the expression and/or distribution of synaptic ribbon proteins, providing a new model to study the clinical variability in human CSNB2 patients. PMID:24419318

  3. Aβ42-oligomer Interacting Peptide (AIP) neutralizes toxic amyloid-β42 species and protects synaptic structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Barucker, Christian; Bittner, Heiko J.; Chang, Philip K.-Y.; Cameron, Scott; Hancock, Mark A.; Liebsch, Filip; Hossain, Shireen; Harmeier, Anja; Shaw, Hunter; Charron, François M.; Gensler, Manuel; Dembny, Paul; Zhuang, Wei; Schmitz, Dietmar; Rabe, Jürgen P.; Rao, Yong; Lurz, Rudi; Hildebrand, Peter W.; McKinney, R. Anne; Multhaup, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    The amyloid-β42 (Aβ42) peptide is believed to be the main culprit in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD), impairing synaptic function and initiating neuronal degeneration. Soluble Aβ42 oligomers are highly toxic and contribute to progressive neuronal dysfunction, loss of synaptic spine density, and affect long-term potentiation (LTP). We have characterized a short, L-amino acid Aβ-oligomer Interacting Peptide (AIP) that targets a relatively well-defined population of low-n Aβ42 oligomers, rather than simply inhibiting the aggregation of Aβ monomers into oligomers. Our data show that AIP diminishes the loss of Aβ42-induced synaptic spine density and rescues LTP in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures. Notably, the AIP enantiomer (comprised of D-amino acids) attenuated the rough-eye phenotype in a transgenic Aβ42 fly model and significantly improved the function of photoreceptors of these flies in electroretinography tests. Overall, our results indicate that specifically “trapping” low-n oligomers provides a novel strategy for toxic Aβ42-oligomer recognition and removal. PMID:26510576

  4. Aβ42-oligomer Interacting Peptide (AIP) neutralizes toxic amyloid-β42 species and protects synaptic structure and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barucker, Christian; Bittner, Heiko J.; Chang, Philip K.-Y.; Cameron, Scott; Hancock, Mark A.; Liebsch, Filip; Hossain, Shireen; Harmeier, Anja; Shaw, Hunter; Charron, François M.; Gensler, Manuel; Dembny, Paul; Zhuang, Wei; Schmitz, Dietmar; Rabe, Jürgen P.; Rao, Yong; Lurz, Rudi; Hildebrand, Peter W.; McKinney, R. Anne; Multhaup, Gerhard

    2015-10-01

    The amyloid-β42 (Aβ42) peptide is believed to be the main culprit in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD), impairing synaptic function and initiating neuronal degeneration. Soluble Aβ42 oligomers are highly toxic and contribute to progressive neuronal dysfunction, loss of synaptic spine density, and affect long-term potentiation (LTP). We have characterized a short, L-amino acid Aβ-oligomer Interacting Peptide (AIP) that targets a relatively well-defined population of low-n Aβ42 oligomers, rather than simply inhibiting the aggregation of Aβ monomers into oligomers. Our data show that AIP diminishes the loss of Aβ42-induced synaptic spine density and rescues LTP in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures. Notably, the AIP enantiomer (comprised of D-amino acids) attenuated the rough-eye phenotype in a transgenic Aβ42 fly model and significantly improved the function of photoreceptors of these flies in electroretinography tests. Overall, our results indicate that specifically “trapping” low-n oligomers provides a novel strategy for toxic Aβ42-oligomer recognition and removal.

  5. Aβ42-oligomer Interacting Peptide (AIP) neutralizes toxic amyloid-β42 species and protects synaptic structure and function.

    PubMed

    Barucker, Christian; Bittner, Heiko J; Chang, Philip K-Y; Cameron, Scott; Hancock, Mark A; Liebsch, Filip; Hossain, Shireen; Harmeier, Anja; Shaw, Hunter; Charron, François M; Gensler, Manuel; Dembny, Paul; Zhuang, Wei; Schmitz, Dietmar; Rabe, Jürgen P; Rao, Yong; Lurz, Rudi; Hildebrand, Peter W; McKinney, R Anne; Multhaup, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    The amyloid-β42 (Aβ42) peptide is believed to be the main culprit in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD), impairing synaptic function and initiating neuronal degeneration. Soluble Aβ42 oligomers are highly toxic and contribute to progressive neuronal dysfunction, loss of synaptic spine density, and affect long-term potentiation (LTP). We have characterized a short, L-amino acid Aβ-oligomer Interacting Peptide (AIP) that targets a relatively well-defined population of low-n Aβ42 oligomers, rather than simply inhibiting the aggregation of Aβ monomers into oligomers. Our data show that AIP diminishes the loss of Aβ42-induced synaptic spine density and rescues LTP in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures. Notably, the AIP enantiomer (comprised of D-amino acids) attenuated the rough-eye phenotype in a transgenic Aβ42 fly model and significantly improved the function of photoreceptors of these flies in electroretinography tests. Overall, our results indicate that specifically "trapping" low-n oligomers provides a novel strategy for toxic Aβ42-oligomer recognition and removal. PMID:26510576

  6. Regulation of synaptic development and function by the Drosophila PDZ protein Dyschronic.

    PubMed

    Jepson, James E C; Shahidullah, Mohammed; Liu, Die; le Marchand, Sylvain J; Liu, Sha; Wu, Mark N; Levitan, Irwin B; Dalva, Matthew B; Koh, Kyunghee

    2014-12-01

    Synaptic scaffold proteins control the localization of ion channels and receptors, and facilitate molecular associations between signaling components that modulate synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, we define novel roles for a recently described scaffold protein, Dsychronic (DYSC), at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. DYSC is the Drosophila homolog of whirlin/DFNB31, a PDZ domain protein linked to Usher syndrome, the most common form of human deaf-blindness. We show that DYSC is expressed presynaptically and is often localized adjacent to the active zone, the site of neurotransmitter release. Loss of DYSC results in marked alterations in synaptic morphology and cytoskeletal organization. Moreover, active zones are frequently enlarged and misshapen in dysc mutants. Electrophysiological analyses further demonstrate that dysc mutants exhibit substantial increases in both evoked and spontaneous synaptic transmission. We have previously shown that DYSC binds to and regulates the expression of the Slowpoke (SLO) BK potassium channel. Consistent with this, slo mutant larvae exhibit similar alterations in synapse morphology, active zone size and neurotransmission, and simultaneous loss of dysc and slo does not enhance these phenotypes, suggesting that dysc and slo act in a common genetic pathway to modulate synaptic development and output. Our data expand our understanding of the neuronal functions of DYSC and uncover non-canonical roles for the SLO potassium channel at Drosophila synapses.

  7. Orientation selectivity and the functional clustering of synaptic inputs in primary visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Daniel E; Whitney, David E; Scholl, Benjamin; Fitzpatrick, David

    2016-08-01

    The majority of neurons in primary visual cortex are tuned for stimulus orientation, but the factors that account for the range of orientation selectivities exhibited by cortical neurons remain unclear. To address this issue, we used in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to characterize the orientation tuning and spatial arrangement of synaptic inputs to the dendritic spines of individual pyramidal neurons in layer 2/3 of ferret visual cortex. The summed synaptic input to individual neurons reliably predicted the neuron's orientation preference, but did not account for differences in orientation selectivity among neurons. These differences reflected a robust input-output nonlinearity that could not be explained by spike threshold alone and was strongly correlated with the spatial clustering of co-tuned synaptic inputs within the dendritic field. Dendritic branches with more co-tuned synaptic clusters exhibited greater rates of local dendritic calcium events, supporting a prominent role for functional clustering of synaptic inputs in dendritic nonlinearities that shape orientation selectivity. PMID:27294510

  8. Analysis of synaptic growth and function in Drosophila with an extended larval stage

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Daniel L.; Ballard, Shannon L.; Ganetzky, Barry

    2012-01-01

    The Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a powerful system for the genetic and molecular analysis of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission, and synaptic development. However, its use for studying age-dependent processes, such as maintenance of neuronal viability and synaptic stability, are temporally limited by the onset of pupariation and metamorphosis. Here we characterize larval NMJ growth, growth regulation, structure, and function in a developmental variant with an extended third instar. RNAi-knockdown of the prothoracicotropic hormone receptor, torso, in the ring gland of developing larvae leaves the timing of first and second instar molts largely unchanged, but triples duration of the third instar from 3 to 9.5 days (McBrayer et al., 2007; Rewitz et al., 2009). During this extended third instar (ETI) period, NMJs undergo additional growth (adding over 50 boutons/NMJ), and this growth remains under the control of the canonical regulators Highwire and the TGF-β/BMP pathway. NMJ growth during the ETI period occurs via addition of new branches, satellite boutons and interstitial boutons, and continues even after muscle growth levels off. Throughout the ETI, organization of synapses and active zones remains normal, and synaptic transmission is unchanged. These results establish the ETI larval system as a viable model for studying motor neuron diseases and for investigating time-dependent effects of perturbations that impair mechanisms of neuroprotection, synaptic maintenance, and response to neural injury. PMID:23035089

  9. Analysis of synaptic growth and function in Drosophila with an extended larval stage.

    PubMed

    Miller, Daniel L; Ballard, Shannon L; Ganetzky, Barry

    2012-10-01

    The Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a powerful system for the genetic and molecular analysis of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission, and synaptic development. However, its use for studying age-dependent processes, such as maintenance of neuronal viability and synaptic stability, are temporally limited by the onset of pupariation and metamorphosis. Here we characterize larval NMJ growth, growth regulation, structure, and function in a developmental variant with an extended third instar (ETI). RNAi-knockdown of the prothoracicotropic hormone receptor, torso, in the ring gland of developing larvae leaves the timing of first and second instar molts largely unchanged, but triples duration of the third instar from 3 to 9.5 d (McBrayer et al., 2007; Rewitz et al., 2009). During this ETI period, NMJs undergo additional growth (adding >50 boutons/NMJ), and this growth remains under the control of the canonical regulators Highwire and the TGFβ/BMP pathway. NMJ growth during the ETI period occurs via addition of new branches, satellite boutons, and interstitial boutons, and continues even after muscle growth levels off. Throughout the ETI, organization of synapses and active zones remains normal, and synaptic transmission is unchanged. These results establish the ETI larval system as a viable model for studying motor neuron diseases and for investigating time-dependent effects of perturbations that impair mechanisms of neuroprotection, synaptic maintenance, and response to neural injury. PMID:23035089

  10. Axon and dendrite geography predict the specificity of synaptic connections in a functioning spinal cord network

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wen-Chang; Cooke, Tom; Sautois, Bart; Soffe, Stephen R; Borisyuk, Roman; Roberts, Alan

    2007-01-01

    Background How specific are the synaptic connections formed as neuronal networks develop and can simple rules account for the formation of functioning circuits? These questions are assessed in the spinal circuits controlling swimming in hatchling frog tadpoles. This is possible because detailed information is now available on the identity and synaptic connections of the main types of neuron. Results The probabilities of synapses between 7 types of identified spinal neuron were measured directly by making electrical recordings from 500 pairs of neurons. For the same neuron types, the dorso-ventral distributions of axons and dendrites were measured and then used to calculate the probabilities that axons would encounter particular dendrites and so potentially form synaptic connections. Surprisingly, synapses were found between all types of neuron but contact probabilities could be predicted simply by the anatomical overlap of their axons and dendrites. These results suggested that synapse formation may not require axons to recognise specific, correct dendrites. To test the plausibility of simpler hypotheses, we first made computational models that were able to generate longitudinal axon growth paths and reproduce the axon distribution patterns and synaptic contact probabilities found in the spinal cord. To test if probabilistic rules could produce functioning spinal networks, we then made realistic computational models of spinal cord neurons, giving them established cell-specific properties and connecting them into networks using the contact probabilities we had determined. A majority of these networks produced robust swimming activity. Conclusion Simple factors such as morphogen gradients controlling dorso-ventral soma, dendrite and axon positions may sufficiently constrain the synaptic connections made between different types of neuron as the spinal cord first develops and allow functional networks to form. Our analysis implies that detailed cellular recognition

  11. 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.

  12. Loss of synaptic Zn2+ transporter function increases risk of febrile seizures

    PubMed Central

    Hildebrand, Michael S.; Phillips, A. Marie; Mullen, Saul A.; Adlard, Paul A.; Hardies, Katia; Damiano, John A.; Wimmer, Verena; Bellows, Susannah T.; McMahon, Jacinta M.; Burgess, Rosemary; Hendrickx, Rik; Weckhuysen, Sarah; Suls, Arvid; De Jonghe, Peter; Scheffer, Ingrid E.; Petrou, Steven; Berkovic, Samuel F.; Reid, Christopher A.

    2015-01-01

    Febrile seizures (FS) are the most common seizure syndrome and are potentially a prelude to more severe epilepsy. Although zinc (Zn2+) metabolism has previously been implicated in FS, whether or not variation in proteins essential for Zn2+ homeostasis contributes to susceptibility is unknown. Synaptic Zn2+ is co-released with glutamate and modulates neuronal excitability. SLC30A3 encodes the zinc transporter 3 (ZNT3), which is primarily responsible for moving Zn2+ into synaptic vesicles. Here we sequenced SLC30A3 and discovered a rare variant (c.892C > T; p.R298C) enriched in FS populations but absent in population-matched controls. Functional analysis revealed a significant loss-of-function of the mutated protein resulting from a trafficking deficit. Furthermore, mice null for ZnT3 were more sensitive than wild-type to hyperthermia-induced seizures that model FS. Together our data suggest that reduced synaptic Zn2+ increases the risk of FS and more broadly support the idea that impaired synaptic Zn2+ homeostasis can contribute to neuronal hyperexcitability. PMID:26647834

  13. Graphene Oxide Nanosheets Reshape Synaptic Function in Cultured Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Rauti, Rossana; Lozano, Neus; León, Veronica; Scaini, Denis; Musto, Mattia; Rago, Ilaria; Ulloa Severino, Francesco P; Fabbro, Alessandra; Casalis, Loredana; Vázquez, Ester; Kostarelos, Kostas; Prato, Maurizio; Ballerini, Laura

    2016-04-26

    Graphene offers promising advantages for biomedical applications. However, adoption of graphene technology in biomedicine also poses important challenges in terms of understanding cell responses, cellular uptake, or the intracellular fate of soluble graphene derivatives. In the biological microenvironment, graphene nanosheets might interact with exposed cellular and subcellular structures, resulting in unexpected regulation of sophisticated biological signaling. More broadly, biomedical devices based on the design of these 2D planar nanostructures for interventions in the central nervous system require an accurate understanding of their interactions with the neuronal milieu. Here, we describe the ability of graphene oxide nanosheets to down-regulate neuronal signaling without affecting cell viability. PMID:27030936

  14. Functional characterisation of human synaptic genes expressed in the Drosophila brain.

    PubMed

    Zografos, Lysimachos; Tang, Joanne; Hesse, Franziska; Wanker, Erich E; Li, Ka Wan; Smit, August B; Davies, R Wayne; Armstrong, J Douglas

    2016-05-15

    Drosophila melanogaster is an established and versatile model organism. Here we describe and make available a collection of transgenic Drosophila strains expressing human synaptic genes. The collection can be used to study and characterise human synaptic genes and their interactions and as controls for mutant studies. It was generated in a way that allows the easy addition of new strains, as well as their combination. In order to highlight the potential value of the collection for the characterisation of human synaptic genes we also use two assays, investigating any gain-of-function motor and/or cognitive phenotypes in the strains in this collection. Using these assays we show that among the strains made there are both types of gain-of-function phenotypes investigated. As an example, we focus on the three strains expressing human tyrosine protein kinase Fyn, the small GTPase Rap1a and human Arc, respectively. Of the three, the first shows a cognitive gain-of-function phenotype while the second a motor gain-of-function phenotype. By contrast, Arc, which has no Drosophila ortholog, shows no gain-of-function phenotype.

  15. Functional characterisation of human synaptic genes expressed in the Drosophila brain

    PubMed Central

    Zografos, Lysimachos; Tang, Joanne; Hesse, Franziska; Wanker, Erich E.; Li, Ka Wan; Smit, August B.; Davies, R. Wayne; Armstrong, J. Douglas

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Drosophila melanogaster is an established and versatile model organism. Here we describe and make available a collection of transgenic Drosophila strains expressing human synaptic genes. The collection can be used to study and characterise human synaptic genes and their interactions and as controls for mutant studies. It was generated in a way that allows the easy addition of new strains, as well as their combination. In order to highlight the potential value of the collection for the characterisation of human synaptic genes we also use two assays, investigating any gain-of-function motor and/or cognitive phenotypes in the strains in this collection. Using these assays we show that among the strains made there are both types of gain-of-function phenotypes investigated. As an example, we focus on the three strains expressing human tyrosine protein kinase Fyn, the small GTPase Rap1a and human Arc, respectively. Of the three, the first shows a cognitive gain-of-function phenotype while the second a motor gain-of-function phenotype. By contrast, Arc, which has no Drosophila ortholog, shows no gain-of-function phenotype. PMID:27069252

  16. Correlative Light Electron Microscopy: Connecting Synaptic Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Begemann, Isabell; Galic, Milos

    2016-01-01

    Many core paradigms of contemporary neuroscience are based on information obtained by electron or light microscopy. Intriguingly, these two imaging techniques are often viewed as complementary, yet separate entities. Recent technological advancements in microscopy techniques, labeling tools, and fixation or preparation procedures have fueled the development of a series of hybrid approaches that allow correlating functional fluorescence microscopy data and ultrastructural information from electron micrographs from a singular biological event. As correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM) approaches become increasingly accessible, long-standing neurobiological questions regarding structure-function relation are being revisited. In this review, we will survey what developments in electron and light microscopy have spurred the advent of correlative approaches, highlight the most relevant CLEM techniques that are currently available, and discuss its potential and limitations with respect to neuronal and synapse-specific applications.

  17. Correlative Light Electron Microscopy: Connecting Synaptic Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Begemann, Isabell; Galic, Milos

    2016-01-01

    Many core paradigms of contemporary neuroscience are based on information obtained by electron or light microscopy. Intriguingly, these two imaging techniques are often viewed as complementary, yet separate entities. Recent technological advancements in microscopy techniques, labeling tools, and fixation or preparation procedures have fueled the development of a series of hybrid approaches that allow correlating functional fluorescence microscopy data and ultrastructural information from electron micrographs from a singular biological event. As correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM) approaches become increasingly accessible, long-standing neurobiological questions regarding structure-function relation are being revisited. In this review, we will survey what developments in electron and light microscopy have spurred the advent of correlative approaches, highlight the most relevant CLEM techniques that are currently available, and discuss its potential and limitations with respect to neuronal and synapse-specific applications. PMID:27601992

  18. Correlative Light Electron Microscopy: Connecting Synaptic Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Begemann, Isabell; Galic, Milos

    2016-01-01

    Many core paradigms of contemporary neuroscience are based on information obtained by electron or light microscopy. Intriguingly, these two imaging techniques are often viewed as complementary, yet separate entities. Recent technological advancements in microscopy techniques, labeling tools, and fixation or preparation procedures have fueled the development of a series of hybrid approaches that allow correlating functional fluorescence microscopy data and ultrastructural information from electron micrographs from a singular biological event. As correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM) approaches become increasingly accessible, long-standing neurobiological questions regarding structure-function relation are being revisited. In this review, we will survey what developments in electron and light microscopy have spurred the advent of correlative approaches, highlight the most relevant CLEM techniques that are currently available, and discuss its potential and limitations with respect to neuronal and synapse-specific applications. PMID:27601992

  19. Correlative Light Electron Microscopy: Connecting Synaptic Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Begemann, Isabell; Galic, Milos

    2016-01-01

    Many core paradigms of contemporary neuroscience are based on information obtained by electron or light microscopy. Intriguingly, these two imaging techniques are often viewed as complementary, yet separate entities. Recent technological advancements in microscopy techniques, labeling tools, and fixation or preparation procedures have fueled the development of a series of hybrid approaches that allow correlating functional fluorescence microscopy data and ultrastructural information from electron micrographs from a singular biological event. As correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM) approaches become increasingly accessible, long-standing neurobiological questions regarding structure-function relation are being revisited. In this review, we will survey what developments in electron and light microscopy have spurred the advent of correlative approaches, highlight the most relevant CLEM techniques that are currently available, and discuss its potential and limitations with respect to neuronal and synapse-specific applications.

  20. 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

  1. Specific trans-synaptic interaction with inhibitory interneuronal neurexin underlies differential ability of neuroligins to induce functional inhibitory synapses.

    PubMed

    Futai, Kensuke; Doty, Christopher D; Baek, Brian; Ryu, Jubin; Sheng, Morgan

    2013-02-20

    Synaptic transmission depends on the matching and alignment of presynaptically released transmitters and postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Neuroligin (NL) and Neurexin (Nrxn) proteins are trans-synaptic adhesion molecules that are important in validation and maturation of specific synapses. NL isoforms NL1 and NL2 have specific functional roles in excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively, but the molecular basis behind this distinction is still unclear. We show here that the extracellular domain of NL2 confers its unique ability to enhance inhibitory synaptic function when overexpressed in rat hippocampal pyramidal neurons, whereas NL1 normally only promotes excitatory synapses. This specificity is conferred by presynaptic Nrxn isoforms, as NL1 can also induce functional inhibitory synapse connections when the presynaptic interneurons ectopically express an Nrxn isoform that binds to NL1. Our results indicate that trans-synaptic interaction with differentially expressed presynaptic Nrxns underlies the distinct functions of NL1 and NL2, and is sufficient to induce functional inhibitory synapse formation.

  2. A catalytic independent function of the deubiquitinating enzyme USP14 regulates hippocampal synaptic short-term plasticity and vesicle number

    PubMed Central

    Walters, Brandon J; Hallengren, Jada J; Theile, Christopher S; Ploegh, Hidde L; Wilson, Scott M; Dobrunz, Lynn E

    2014-01-01

    AbstractThe ubiquitin proteasome system is required for the rapid and precise control of protein abundance that is essential for synaptic function. USP14 is a proteasome-bound deubiquitinating enzyme that recycles ubiquitin and regulates synaptic short-term synaptic plasticity. We previously reported that loss of USP14 in axJ mice causes a deficit in paired pulse facilitation (PPF) at hippocampal synapses. Here we report that USP14 regulates synaptic function through a novel, deubiquitination-independent mechanism. Although PPF is usually inversely related to release probability, USP14 deficiency impairs PPF without altering basal release probability. Instead, the loss of USP14 causes a large reduction in the number of synaptic vesicles. Over-expression of a catalytically inactive form of USP14 rescues the PPF deficit and restores synaptic vesicle number, indicating that USP14 regulates presynaptic structure and function independently of its role in deubiquitination. Finally, the PPF deficit caused by loss of USP14 can be rescued by pharmacological inhibition of proteasome activity, suggesting that inappropriate protein degradation underlies the PPF impairment. Overall, we demonstrate a novel, deubiquitination-independent function for USP14 in influencing synaptic architecture and plasticity. PMID:24218545

  3. 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

  4. Non-apoptotic function of BAD and BAX in long-term depression of synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Song; Li, Zheng

    2011-01-01

    Summary It has recently been found that caspases not only function in apoptosis, but are also crucial for non-apoptotic processes such as NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic transmission. It remains unknown, however, how caspases are activated and how neurons escape death in LTD. Here we show that caspase-3 is activated by the BAD-BAX cascade for LTD induction. This cascade is required specifically for NMDA receptor-dependent LTD but not for mGluR-LTD, and its activation is sufficient to induce synaptic depression. In contrast to apoptosis, however, BAD is activated only moderately and transiently and BAX is not translocated to mitochondria, resulting in only modest caspase-3 activation. We further demonstrate that the intensity and duration of caspase-3 activation determin whether it leads to cell death or LTD, thus fine-tuning of caspase-3 activation is critical in distinguishing between these two pathways. PMID:21609830

  5. The Zebrafish motility mutant twitch once reveals new roles for rapsyn in synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Ono, Fumihito; Shcherbatko, Anatoly; Higashijima, Shin-ichi; Mandel, Gail; Brehm, Paul

    2002-08-01

    Upon touch, twitch once zebrafish respond with one or two swimming strokes instead of typical full-blown escapes. This use-dependent fatigue is shown to be a consequence of a mutation in the tetratricopeptide domain of muscle rapsyn, inhibiting formation of subsynaptic acetylcholine receptor clusters. Physiological analysis indicates that reduced synaptic strength, attributable to loss of receptors, is augmented by a potent postsynaptic depression not seen at normal neuromuscular junctions. The synergism between these two physiological processes is causal to the use-dependent muscle fatigue. These findings offer insights into the physiological basis of human myasthenic syndrome and reveal the first demonstration of a role for rapsyn in regulating synaptic function. PMID:12151528

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

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Jiang, Qin

    2013-01-01

    This study describes a spiking model that self-organizes for stable formation and maintenance of orientation and ocular dominance maps in the visual cortex (V1). This self-organization process simulates three development phases: an early experience-independent phase, a late experience-independent phase and a subsequent refinement phase during which experience acts to shape the map properties. The ocular dominance maps that emerge accommodate the two sets of monocular inputs that arise from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) to layer 4 of V1. The orientation selectivity maps that emerge feature well-developed iso-orientation domains and fractures. During the last two phases of development the orientation preferences at some locations appear to rotate continuously through ±180° along circular paths and referred to as pinwheel-like patterns but without any corresponding point discontinuities in the orientation gradient maps. The formation of these functional maps is driven by balanced excitatory and inhibitory currents that are established via synaptic plasticity based on spike timing for both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. The stability and maintenance of the formed maps with continuous synaptic plasticity is enabled by homeostasis caused by inhibitory plasticity. However, a prolonged exposure to repeated stimuli does alter the formed maps over time due to plasticity. The results from this study suggest that continuous synaptic plasticity in both excitatory neurons and interneurons could play a critical role in the formation, stability, and maintenance of functional maps in the cortex. PMID:23450808

  7. ApoER2 Function in the Establishment and Maintenance of Retinal Synaptic Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Trotter, Justin H.; Klein, Martin; Jinwal, Umesh K.; Abisambra, Jose F.; Dickey, Chad A.; Tharkur, Jeremy; Masiulis, Irene; Ding, Jindong; Locke, Kirstin G.; Rickman, Catherine Bowes; Birch, David G.; Weeber, Edwin J.; Herz, Joachim

    2011-01-01

    The cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of inner retinal circuitry are poorly understood. Reelin and apolipoprotein E (apoE), ligands of apoE receptor 2 (ApoER2), are involved in retinal development and degeneration, respectively. Here we describe the function of ApoER2 in the developing and adult retina. ApoER2 expression was highest during postnatal inner retinal synaptic development and was considerably lower in the mature retina. Both during development and in the adult ApoER2 was expressed by A-II amacrine cells. ApoER2 knockout (KO) mice had rod bipolar morphogenic defects, altered A-II amacrine dendritic development, and impaired rod-driven retinal responses. The presence of an intact ApoER2 NPxY motif, necessary for binding disabled-1 (Dab1) and transducing the Reelin signal, was also necessary for development of the rod bipolar pathway while the alternatively-spliced exon19 was not. Mice deficient in another Reelin receptor, very low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR), had normal rod bipolar morphology but altered A-II amacrine dendritic development. VLDLR KO mice also had reductions in oscillatory potentials and delayed synaptic response intervals. Interestingly, age-related reductions in rod and cone function were observed in both ApoER2 and VLDLR KOs. These results support a pivotal role for ApoER2 in the establishment and maintenance of normal retinal synaptic connectivity. PMID:21976526

  8. Time-course of alterations in pre- and post-synaptic chemoreceptor function during developmental hyperoxia

    PubMed Central

    Donnelly, David F.; Bavis, Ryan W.; Kim, Insook; Dbouk, Hassan A; Carroll, John L.

    2009-01-01

    Postnatal hyperoxia exposure reduces the carotid body response to acute hypoxia and produces a long-lasting impairment of the ventilatory response to hypoxia. The present work investigated the time-course of pre- and post-synaptic alterations following exposure to hyperoxia (Fio2=0.6) for 1, 3, 5, 8 and 14 days (d) starting at postnatal day 7 (P7) as compared to age-matched controls. Hyperoxia exposure for 1d enhanced the nerve response and glomus cell calcium response to acute hypoxia, but exposure for 3-5d caused a significant reduction in both. Hypoxia-induced catecholamine release and nerve conduction velocity were significantly decreased by 5d hyperoxia. We conclude that hyperoxia exerts pre-synaptic (glomus cell calcium and secretory responses) and post-synaptic (afferent nerve excitability) actions to initially enhance and then reduce the chemoreceptor response to acute hypoxia. The parallel changes in glomus cell calcium response and nerve response suggest causality between the two and that environmental hyperoxia can affect the coupling between acute hypoxia and glomus cell calcium regulation. PMID:19465165

  9. alpha-Latrotoxin affects mitochondrial potential and synaptic vesicle proton gradient of nerve terminals.

    PubMed

    Tarasenko, A S; Storchak, L G; Himmelreich, N H

    2008-02-01

    Ca(2+)-independent [(3)H]GABA release induced by alpha-latrotoxin was found to consist of two sequential processes: a fast initial release realized via exocytosis and more delayed outflow through the plasma membrane GABA transporters [Linetska, M.V., Storchak, L.G., Tarasenko, A.S., Himmelreich, N.H., 2004. Involvement of membrane GABA transporters in alpha-latrotoxin-stimulated [(3)H]GABA release. Neurochem. Int. 44, 303-312]. To characterize the toxin-stimulated events attributable to the transporter-mediated [(3)H]GABA release from rat brain synaptosomes we studied the effect of alpha-latrotoxin on membrane potentials and generation of the synaptic vesicles proton gradient, using fluorescent dyes: potential-sensitive rhodamine 6G and pH-sensitive acridine orange. We revealed that alpha-latrotoxin induced a progressive dose-dependent depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential and an irreversible run-down of the synaptic vesicle proton gradient. Both processes were insensitive to the presence of cadmium, a potent blocker of toxin-formed transmembrane pores, indicating that alpha-latrotoxin-induced disturbance of the plasma membrane permeability was not responsible to these effects. A gradual dissipation of the synaptic vesicle proton gradient closely coupled with lowering the vesicular GABA transporter activity results in a leakage of the neurotransmitter from synaptic vesicles to cytoplasm. As a consequence, there is an essential increase in GABA concentration in a soluble cytosolic pool that appears to be critical parameter for altering the mode of the plasma membrane GABA transporter operation from inward to outward. Thus, our data allow clarifying what cell processes underlain a recruitment of the plasma membrane transporter-mediated pathway in alpha-LTX-stimulated secretion.

  10. Loss of the Coffin-Lowry syndrome-associated gene RSK2 alters ERK activity, synaptic function and axonal transport in Drosophila motoneurons

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Katherina; Ehmann, Nadine; Andlauer, Till F. M.; Ljaschenko, Dmitrij; Strecker, Katrin; Fischer, Matthias; Kittel, Robert J.; Raabe, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plastic changes in synaptic properties are considered as fundamental for adaptive behaviors. Extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-mediated signaling has been implicated in regulation of synaptic plasticity. Ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) acts as a regulator and downstream effector of ERK. In the brain, RSK2 is predominantly expressed in regions required for learning and memory. Loss-of-function mutations in human RSK2 cause Coffin-Lowry syndrome, which is characterized by severe mental retardation and low IQ scores in affected males. Knockout of RSK2 in mice or the RSK ortholog in Drosophila results in a variety of learning and memory defects. However, overall brain structure in these animals is not affected, leaving open the question of the pathophysiological consequences. Using the fly neuromuscular system as a model for excitatory glutamatergic synapses, we show that removal of RSK function causes distinct defects in motoneurons and at the neuromuscular junction. Based on histochemical and electrophysiological analyses, we conclude that RSK is required for normal synaptic morphology and function. Furthermore, loss of RSK function interferes with ERK signaling at different levels. Elevated ERK activity was evident in the somata of motoneurons, whereas decreased ERK activity was observed in axons and the presynapse. In addition, we uncovered a novel function of RSK in anterograde axonal transport. Our results emphasize the importance of fine-tuning ERK activity in neuronal processes underlying higher brain functions. In this context, RSK acts as a modulator of ERK signaling. PMID:26398944

  11. Loss of the Coffin-Lowry syndrome-associated gene RSK2 alters ERK activity, synaptic function and axonal transport in Drosophila motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Beck, Katherina; Ehmann, Nadine; Andlauer, Till F M; Ljaschenko, Dmitrij; Strecker, Katrin; Fischer, Matthias; Kittel, Robert J; Raabe, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    Plastic changes in synaptic properties are considered as fundamental for adaptive behaviors. Extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-mediated signaling has been implicated in regulation of synaptic plasticity. Ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) acts as a regulator and downstream effector of ERK. In the brain, RSK2 is predominantly expressed in regions required for learning and memory. Loss-of-function mutations in human RSK2 cause Coffin-Lowry syndrome, which is characterized by severe mental retardation and low IQ scores in affected males. Knockout of RSK2 in mice or the RSK ortholog in Drosophila results in a variety of learning and memory defects. However, overall brain structure in these animals is not affected, leaving open the question of the pathophysiological consequences. Using the fly neuromuscular system as a model for excitatory glutamatergic synapses, we show that removal of RSK function causes distinct defects in motoneurons and at the neuromuscular junction. Based on histochemical and electrophysiological analyses, we conclude that RSK is required for normal synaptic morphology and function. Furthermore, loss of RSK function interferes with ERK signaling at different levels. Elevated ERK activity was evident in the somata of motoneurons, whereas decreased ERK activity was observed in axons and the presynapse. In addition, we uncovered a novel function of RSK in anterograde axonal transport. Our results emphasize the importance of fine-tuning ERK activity in neuronal processes underlying higher brain functions. In this context, RSK acts as a modulator of ERK signaling.

  12. Synaptic Underpinnings of Altered Hippocampal Function in Glutaminase Deficient Mice During Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Gaisler-Salomon, Inna; Wang, Yvonne; Chuhma, Nao; Zhang, Hong; Golumbic, Yaela N.; Mihali, Andra; Arancio, Ottavio; Sibille, Etienne; Rayport, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Glutaminase-deficient mice (GLS1 hets), with reduced glutamate recycling, have a focal reduction in hippocampal activity, mainly in CA1, and manifest behavioral and neurochemical phenotypes suggestive of schizophrenia resilience. To address the basis for the hippocampal hypoactivity, we examined synaptic plastic mechanisms and glutamate receptor expression. While baseline synaptic strength was unaffected in Schaffer collateral inputs to CA1, we found that long-term potentiation was attenuated. In wild-type mice, GLS1 gene expression was highest in the hippocampus and cortex, where it was reduced by about 50% in GLS1 hets. In other brain regions with lower wild-type GLS1 gene expression there were no genotypic reductions. In adult GLS1 hets, NMDA receptor NR1 subunit gene expression was reduced, but not AMPA receptor GluR1 subunit gene expression. In contrast, juvenile GLS1 hets showed no reductions in NR1 gene expression. In concert with this, adult GLS1 hets showed a deficit in hippocampal-dependent contextual fear conditioning while juvenile GLS1 hets did not. These alterations in glutamatergic synaptic function may partly explain the hippocampal hypoactivity seen in the GLS1 hets. The maturity-onset reduction in NR1 gene expression and in contextual learning supports the premise that glutaminase inhibition in adulthood should prove therapeutic in schizophrenia. PMID:22431402

  13. The TNFα-Transgenic Rat: Hippocampal Synaptic Integrity, Cognition, Function, and Post-Ischemic Cell Loss

    PubMed Central

    Pettigrew, L. Creed; Kryscio, Richard J.; Norris, Christopher M.

    2016-01-01

    The cytokine, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), is a key regulator of neuroinflammation linked to numerous neurodegenerative conditions and diseases. The present study used transgenic rats that overexpress a murine TNFα gene, under the control of its own promoter, to investigate the impact of chronically elevated TNFα on hippocampal synaptic function. Neuronal viability and cognitive recovery in TNFα Tg rats were also determined following an ischemic insult arising from reversible middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Basal CA3-CA1 synaptic strength, recorded in acute brain slices, was not significantly different between eight-week-old TNFα Tg rats and non-Tg rats. In contrast, slices from TNFα Tg rats showed significantly greater levels of long-term potentiation (LTP) in response to 100 Hz stimulation, suggesting that synaptic networks may be hyperexcitable in the context of elevated TNFα. Cognitive and motor deficits (assessed on the Morris Water Maze and Rotarod task, respectively) were present in TNFα Tg rats in the absence of significant differences in the loss of cortical and hippocampal neurons. TNF overexpression exacerbated MCAO-dependent deficits on the rotarod, but ameliorated cortical neuron loss in response to MCAO. PMID:27144978

  14. Matched pre- and post-synaptic changes underlie synaptic plasticity over long time scales.

    PubMed

    Loebel, Alex; Le Bé, Jean-Vincent; Richardson, Magnus J E; Markram, Henry; Herz, Andreas V M

    2013-04-10

    Modifications of synaptic efficacies are considered essential for learning and memory. However, it is not known how the underlying functional components of synaptic transmission change over long time scales. To address this question, we studied cortical synapses from young Wistar rats before and after 12 h intervals of spontaneous or glutamate-induced spiking activity. We found that, under these conditions, synaptic efficacies can increase or decrease by up to 10-fold. Statistical analyses reveal that these changes reflect modifications in the number of presynaptic release sites, together with postsynaptic changes that maintain the quantal size per release site. The quantitative relation between the presynaptic and postsynaptic transmission components was not affected when synaptic plasticity was enhanced or reduced using a broad range of pharmacological agents. These findings suggest that ongoing synaptic plasticity results in matched presynaptic and postsynaptic modifications, in which elementary modules that span the synaptic cleft are added or removed as a function of experience.

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of COMPLEXIN Fusion Clamp Function in Synaptic Exocytosis Revealed in a New Drosophila Mutant

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Janani; Wahlmark, Christopher J.; Kuser-Ahnert, Giselle A.; Kawasaki, Fumiko

    2013-01-01

    The COMPLEXIN (CPX) proteins play a critical role in synaptic vesicle fusion and neurotransmitter release. Previous studies demonstrated that CPX functions in both activation of evoked neurotransmitter release and inhibition/clamping of spontaneous synaptic vesicle fusion. Here we report a new cpx mutant in Drosophila melanogaster, cpx1257, revealing spatially defined and separable pools of CPX which make distinct contributions to the activation and clamping functions. In cpx1257, lack of only the last C-terminal amino acid of CPX is predicted to disrupt prenylation and membrane targeting of CPX. Immunocytochemical analysis established localization of wild-type CPX to active zone (AZ) regions containing neurotransmitter release sites as well as broader presynaptic membrane compartments including synaptic vesicles. Parallel biochemical studies confirmed CPX membrane association and demonstrated robust binding interactions of CPX with all three SNAREs. This is in contrast to the cpx1257 mutant, in which AZ localization of CPX persists but general membrane localization and, surprisingly, the bulk of CPX-SNARE protein interactions are abolished. Furthermore, electrophysiological analysis of neuromuscular synapses revealed interesting differences between cpx1257 and a cpx null mutant. The cpx null exhibited a marked decrease in the EPSC amplitude, slowed EPSC rise and decay times and an increased mEPSC frequency with respect to wild-type. In contrast, cpx1257 exhibited a wild-type EPSC with an increased mEPSC frequency and thus a selective failure to clamp spontaneous release. These results indicate that spatially distinct and separable interactions of CPX with presynaptic membranes and SNARE proteins mediate separable activation and clamping functions of CPX in neurotransmitter release. PMID:23769723

  16. Disrupted in schizophrenia 1 and synaptic function in the mammalian central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Randall, Andrew D; Kurihara, Mai; Brandon, Nicholas J; Brown, Jon T

    2014-04-01

    The disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene is found at the breakpoint of an inherited chromosomal translocation, and segregates with major mental illnesses. Its potential role in central nervous system (CNS) malfunction has triggered intensive investigation of the biological roles played by DISC1, with the hope that this may shed new light on the pathobiology of psychiatric disease. Such work has ranged from investigations of animal behavior to detailed molecular-level analysis of the assemblies that DISC1 forms with other proteins. Here, we discuss the evidence for a role of DISC1 in synaptic function in the mammalian CNS.

  17. Disrupted in schizophrenia 1 and synaptic function in the mammalian central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Randall, Andrew D; Kurihara, Mai; Brandon, Nicholas J; Brown, Jon T

    2014-01-01

    The disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene is found at the breakpoint of an inherited chromosomal translocation, and segregates with major mental illnesses. Its potential role in central nervous system (CNS) malfunction has triggered intensive investigation of the biological roles played by DISC1, with the hope that this may shed new light on the pathobiology of psychiatric disease. Such work has ranged from investigations of animal behavior to detailed molecular-level analysis of the assemblies that DISC1 forms with other proteins. Here, we discuss the evidence for a role of DISC1 in synaptic function in the mammalian CNS. PMID:24712987

  18. Inhibition of protein kinase C affects on mode of synaptic vesicle exocytosis due to cholesterol depletion

    SciTech Connect

    Petrov, Alexey M. Zakyrjanova, Guzalija F. Yakovleva, Anastasia A. Zefirov, Andrei L.

    2015-01-02

    Highlights: • We examine the involvement of PKC in MCD induced synaptic vesicle exocytosis. • PKC inhibitor does not decrease the effect MCD on MEPP frequency. • PKC inhibitor prevents MCD induced FM1-43 unloading. • PKC activation may switch MCD induced exocytosis from kiss-and-run to a full mode. • Inhibition of phospholipase C does not lead to similar change in exocytosis. - Abstract: Previous studies demonstrated that depletion of membrane cholesterol by 10 mM methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MCD) results in increased spontaneous exocytosis at both peripheral and central synapses. Here, we investigated the role of protein kinase C in the enhancement of spontaneous exocytosis at frog motor nerve terminals after cholesterol depletion using electrophysiological and optical methods. Inhibition of the protein kinase C by myristoylated peptide and chelerythrine chloride prevented MCD-induced increases in FM1-43 unloading, whereas the frequency of spontaneous postsynaptic events remained enhanced. The increase in FM1-43 unloading still could be observed if sulforhodamine 101 (the water soluble FM1-43 quencher that can pass through the fusion pore) was added to the extracellular solution. This suggests a possibility that exocytosis of synaptic vesicles under these conditions could occur through the kiss-and-run mechanism with the formation of a transient fusion pore. Inhibition of phospholipase C did not lead to similar change in MCD-induced exocytosis.

  19. Transsynaptic Coordination of Synaptic Growth, Function, and Stability by the L1-Type CAM Neuroglian

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Eliza; Stephan, Raiko; Boerner, Jana; Godenschwege, Tanja A.; Pielage, Jan

    2013-01-01

    The precise control of synaptic connectivity is essential for the development and function of neuronal circuits. While there have been significant advances in our understanding how cell adhesion molecules mediate axon guidance and synapse formation, the mechanisms controlling synapse maintenance or plasticity in vivo remain largely uncharacterized. In an unbiased RNAi screen we identified the Drosophila L1-type CAM Neuroglian (Nrg) as a central coordinator of synapse growth, function, and stability. We demonstrate that the extracellular Ig-domains and the intracellular Ankyrin-interaction motif are essential for synapse development and stability. Nrg binds to Ankyrin2 in vivo and mutations reducing the binding affinities to Ankyrin2 cause an increase in Nrg mobility in motoneurons. We then demonstrate that the Nrg–Ank2 interaction controls the balance of synapse growth and stability at the neuromuscular junction. In contrast, at a central synapse, transsynaptic interactions of pre- and postsynaptic Nrg require a dynamic, temporal and spatial, regulation of the intracellular Ankyrin-binding motif to coordinate pre- and postsynaptic development. Our study at two complementary model synapses identifies the regulation of the interaction between the L1-type CAM and Ankyrin as an important novel module enabling local control of synaptic connectivity and function while maintaining general neuronal circuit architecture. PMID:23610557

  20. Loss of estrogen-related receptor alpha disrupts ventral-striatal synaptic function in female mice.

    PubMed

    De Jesús-Cortés, Héctor; Lu, Yuan; Anderson, Rachel M; Khan, Michael Z; Nath, Varun; McDaniel, Latisha; Lutter, Michael; Radley, Jason J; Pieper, Andrew A; Cui, Huxing

    2016-08-01

    Eating disorders (EDs), including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-ED, are mental illnesses characterized by high morbidity and mortality. While several studies have identified neural deficits in patients with EDs, the cellular and molecular basis of the underlying dysfunction has remained poorly understood. We previously identified a rare missense mutation in the transcription factor estrogen-related receptor alpha (ESRRA) associated with development of EDs. Because ventral-striatal signaling is related to the reward and motivation circuitry thought to underlie EDs, we performed functional and structural analysis of ventral-striatal synapses in Esrra-null mice. Esrra-null female, but not male, mice exhibit altered miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the ventral striatum, including increased frequency, increased amplitude, and decreased paired pulse ratio. These electrophysiological measures are associated with structural and molecular changes in synapses of MSNs in the ventral striatum, including fewer pre-synaptic glutamatergic vesicles and enhanced GluR1 function. Neuronal Esrra is thus required for maintaining normal synaptic function in the ventral striatum, which may offer mechanistic insights into the behavioral deficits observed in Esrra-null mice.

  1. Loss of estrogen-related receptor alpha disrupts ventral-striatal synaptic function in female mice.

    PubMed

    De Jesús-Cortés, Héctor; Lu, Yuan; Anderson, Rachel M; Khan, Michael Z; Nath, Varun; McDaniel, Latisha; Lutter, Michael; Radley, Jason J; Pieper, Andrew A; Cui, Huxing

    2016-08-01

    Eating disorders (EDs), including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-ED, are mental illnesses characterized by high morbidity and mortality. While several studies have identified neural deficits in patients with EDs, the cellular and molecular basis of the underlying dysfunction has remained poorly understood. We previously identified a rare missense mutation in the transcription factor estrogen-related receptor alpha (ESRRA) associated with development of EDs. Because ventral-striatal signaling is related to the reward and motivation circuitry thought to underlie EDs, we performed functional and structural analysis of ventral-striatal synapses in Esrra-null mice. Esrra-null female, but not male, mice exhibit altered miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the ventral striatum, including increased frequency, increased amplitude, and decreased paired pulse ratio. These electrophysiological measures are associated with structural and molecular changes in synapses of MSNs in the ventral striatum, including fewer pre-synaptic glutamatergic vesicles and enhanced GluR1 function. Neuronal Esrra is thus required for maintaining normal synaptic function in the ventral striatum, which may offer mechanistic insights into the behavioral deficits observed in Esrra-null mice. PMID:27155145

  2. Requirement for Microglia for the Maintenance of Synaptic Function and Integrity in the Mature Retina

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xu; Zhao, Lian; Zhang, Jun; Fariss, Robert N.; Ma, Wenxin; Kretschmer, Friedrich; Wang, Minhua; Qian, Hao hua; Badea, Tudor C.; Diamond, Jeffrey S.; Gan, Wen-Biao; Roger, Jerome E.

    2016-01-01

    Microglia, the principal resident immune cell of the CNS, exert significant influence on neurons during development and in pathological situations. However, if and how microglia contribute to normal neuronal function in the mature uninjured CNS is not well understood. We used the model of the adult mouse retina, a part of the CNS amenable to structural and functional analysis, to investigate the constitutive role of microglia by depleting microglia from the retina in a sustained manner using genetic methods. We discovered that microglia are not acutely required for the maintenance of adult retinal architecture, the survival of retinal neurons, or the laminar organization of their dendritic and axonal compartments. However, sustained microglial depletion results in the degeneration of photoreceptor synapses in the outer plexiform layer, leading to a progressive functional deterioration in retinal light responses. Our results demonstrate that microglia are constitutively required for the maintenance of synaptic structure in the adult retina and for synaptic transmission underlying normal visual function. Our findings on constitutive microglial function are relevant in understanding microglial contributions to pathology and in the consideration of therapeutic interventions that reduce or perturb constitutive microglial function. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Microglia, the principal resident immune cell population in the CNS, has been implicated in diseases in the brain and retina. However, how they contribute to the everyday function of the CNS is unclear. Using the model of the adult mouse retina, we examined the constitutive role of microglia by depleting microglia from the retina. We found that in the absence of microglia, retinal neurons did not undergo overt cell death or become structurally disorganized in their processes. However, connections between neurons called synapses begin to break down, leading to a decreased ability of the retina to transmit light responses

  3. 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

  4. Pseudopterosin A: Protection of Synaptic Function and Potential as a Neuromodulatory Agent

    PubMed Central

    Caplan, Stacee Lee; Zheng, Bo; Dawson-Scully, Ken; White, Catherine A.; West, Lyndon M.

    2016-01-01

    Natural products have provided an invaluable source of inspiration in the drug discovery pipeline. The oceans are a vast source of biological and chemical diversity. Recently, this untapped resource has been gaining attention in the search for novel structures and development of new classes of therapeutic agents. Pseudopterosins are group of marine diterpene glycosides that possess an array of potent biological activities in several therapeutic areas. Few studies have examined pseudopterosin effects during cellular stress and, to our knowledge, no studies have explored their ability to protect synaptic function. The present study probes pseudopterosin A (PsA) for its neuromodulatory properties during oxidative stress using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. We demonstrate that oxidative stress rapidly reduces neuronal activity, resulting in the loss of neurotransmission at a well-characterized invertebrate synapse. PsA mitigates this effect and promotes functional tolerance during oxidative stress by prolonging synaptic transmission in a mechanism that differs from scavenging activity. Furthermore, the distribution of PsA within mammalian biological tissues following single intravenous injection was investigated using a validated bioanalytical method. Comparable exposure of PsA in the mouse brain and plasma indicated good distribution of PsA in the brain, suggesting its potential as a novel neuromodulatory agent. PMID:26978375

  5. Myosin IXa Binds AMPAR and Regulates Synaptic Structure, LTP, and Cognitive Function

    PubMed Central

    Folci, Alessandra; Murru, Luca; Vezzoli, Elena; Ponzoni, Luisa; Gerosa, Laura; Moretto, Edoardo; Longo, Fabiana; Zapata, Jonathan; Braida, Daniela; Pistillo, Francesco; Bähler, Martin; Francolini, Maura; Sala, Mariaelvina; Bassani, Silvia

    2016-01-01

    Myosin IXa (Myo9a) is a motor protein that is highly expressed in the brain. However, the role of Myo9a in neurons remains unknown. Here, we investigated Myo9a function in hippocampal synapses. In rat hippocampal neurons, Myo9a localizes to the postsynaptic density (PSD) and binds the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) GluA2 subunit. Myo9a+/- mice displayed a thicker PSD and increased levels of PSD95 and surface AMPAR expression. Furthermore, synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP) and cognitive functions were impaired in Myo9a+/- mice. Together, these results support a key role for Myo9a in controlling the molecular structure and function of hippocampal synapses. PMID:26834556

  6. Intracellular Trafficking and Synaptic Function of APL-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Wiese, Mary; Antebi, Adam; Zheng, Hui

    2010-01-01

    Background Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder primarily characterized by the deposition of β-amyloid plaques in the brain. Plaques are composed of the amyloid-β peptide derived from cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Mutations in APP lead to the development of Familial Alzheimer's Disease (FAD), however, the normal function of this protein has proven elusive. The organism Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model as the amyloid precursor-like protein (APL-1) is the single ortholog of APP, and loss of apl-1 leads to a severe molting defect and early larval lethality. Methodology/Principal Findings We report here that lethality and molting can be rescued by full length APL-1, C-terminal mutations as well as a C-terminal truncation, suggesting that the extracellular region of the protein is essential for viability. RNAi knock-down of apl-1 followed by drug testing on the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb showed that loss of apl-1 leads to aldicarb hypersensitivity, indicating a defect in synaptic function. The aldicarb hypersensitivity can be rescued by full length APL-1 in a dose dependent fashion. At the cellular level, kinesins UNC-104/KIF-1A and UNC-116/kinesin-1 are positive regulators of APL-1 expression in the neurons. Knock-down of the small GTPase rab-5 also leads to a dramatic decrease in the amount of apl-1 expression in neurons, suggesting that trafficking from the plasma membrane to the early endosome is important for apl-1 function. Loss of function of a different small GTPase, UNC-108, on the contrary, leads to the retention of APL-1 in the cell body. Conclusions/Significance Our results reveal novel insights into the intracellular trafficking of APL-1 and we report a functional role for APL-1 in synaptic transmission. PMID:20862215

  7. Stereotyped spatial patterns of functional synaptic connectivity in the cerebellar cortex

    PubMed Central

    Valera, Antoine M; Binda, Francesca; Pawlowski, Sophie A; Dupont, Jean-Luc; Casella, Jean-François; Rothstein, Jeffrey D; Poulain, Bernard; Isope, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Motor coordination is supported by an array of highly organized heterogeneous modules in the cerebellum. How incoming sensorimotor information is channeled and communicated between these anatomical modules is still poorly understood. In this study, we used transgenic mice expressing GFP in specific subsets of Purkinje cells that allowed us to target a given set of cerebellar modules. Combining in vitro recordings and photostimulation, we identified stereotyped patterns of functional synaptic organization between the granule cell layer and its main targets, the Purkinje cells, Golgi cells and molecular layer interneurons. Each type of connection displayed position-specific patterns of granule cell synaptic inputs that do not strictly match with anatomical boundaries but connect distant cortical modules. Although these patterns can be adjusted by activity-dependent processes, they were found to be consistent and predictable between animals. Our results highlight the operational rules underlying communication between modules in the cerebellar cortex. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09862.001 PMID:26982219

  8. Obesity diminishes synaptic markers, alters microglial morphology, and impairs cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Bocarsly, Miriam E; Fasolino, Maria; Kane, Gary A; LaMarca, Elizabeth A; Kirschen, Gregory W; Karatsoreos, Ilia N; McEwen, Bruce S; Gould, Elizabeth

    2015-12-22

    Obesity is a major public health problem affecting overall physical and emotional well-being. Despite compelling data suggesting an association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction, this phenomenon has received relatively little attention. Neuroimaging studies in obese humans report reduced size of brain regions involved in cognition, but few studies have investigated the cellular processes underlying cognitive decline in obesity or the influence of obesity on cognition in the absence of obesity-related illnesses. Here, a rat model of diet-induced obesity was used to explore changes in brain regions important for cognition. Obese rats showed deficits on cognitive tasks requiring the prefrontal and perirhinal cortex. Cognitive deficits were accompanied by decreased dendritic spine density and synaptic marker expression in both brain regions. Microglial morphology was also changed in the prefrontal cortex. Detrimental changes in the prefrontal cortex and perirhinal cortex occurred before metabolic syndrome or diabetes, suggesting that these brain regions may be particularly vulnerable to early stage obesity.

  9. SLEEPLESS is a bi-functional regulator of excitability and cholinergic synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Meilin; Robinson, James E.; Joiner, William J.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Background Although sleep is conserved throughout evolution, the molecular basis of its control is still largely a mystery. We previously showed that the quiver/sleepless (qvr/sss) gene encodes a membrane-tethered protein that is required for normal sleep in Drosophila. SLEEPLESS (SSS) protein functions, at least in part, by upregulating the levels and open probability of Shaker (Sh) potassium channels to suppress neuronal excitability and enable sleep. Consistent with this proposed mechanism, loss-of-function mutations in Sh phenocopy qvr/sss null mutants. However, sleep is more genetically modifiable in Sh than in qvr/sss mutants, suggesting that sss may regulate additional molecules to influence sleep. Results Here we show that SSS also antagonizes nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) to reduce synaptic transmission and promote sleep. Mimicking this antagonism with the nAChR inhibitor mecamylamine or by RNAi knockdown of specific nAChR subunits is sufficient to restore sleep to qvr/sss mutants. Regulation of nAChR activity by SSS occurs post-transcriptionally since the levels of nAChR mRNAs are unchanged in qvr/sss mutants. Regulation of nAChR activity by SSS may in fact be direct, since SSS forms a stable complex with and antagonizes fly nAChR function in transfected cells. Intriguingly, lynx1, a mammalian homolog of SSS, can partially restore normal sleep to qvr/sss mutants, and lynx1 can form stable complexes with Shaker-type channels and nAChRs. Conclusions Together, our data point to an evolutionarily conserved, bi-functional role for SSS and its homologs in controlling excitability and synaptic transmission in fundamental processes of the nervous system such as sleep. PMID:24613312

  10. Differential mechanisms of CRF1 and CRF2 receptor functions in the amygdala in pain-related synaptic facilitation and behavior

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Yu; Neugebauer, Volker

    2008-01-01

    A major site of extra-hypothalamic expression of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and its G-protein-coupled CRF1 and CRF2 receptors is the amygdala, a key player in emotions and affective disorders. Pain-related plasticity in the latero-capsular division of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeLC) generates emotional-affective responses and anxiety-like behavior. CRF1 receptor antagonists have anxiolytic effects. Although both CRF1 and CRF2 receptors couple positively to adenylyl-cyclase, they can have opposite effects, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. This study addressed CRF1 and CRF2 receptor functions and mechanisms in the amygdala in a model of arthritic pain. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of CeLC neurons, we found that a selective CRF1 receptor antagonist (NBI27914) inhibited synaptic facilitation in brain slices from arthritic rats through a postsynaptic mechanism. Inhibition of the NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic component was occluded by a PKA inhibitor, consistent with our previous demonstration of PKA-dependent increased NMDA receptor function in arthritis pain-related plasticity. NBI27914 also decreased neuronal excitability through inhibition of highly TEA-sensitive ion channels that contribute to action potential repolarization and firing rate. In contrast, a CRF2 receptor antagonist (astressin-2B) facilitated synaptic transmission through presynaptic inhibition of GABAergic transmission (disinhibition). NBI27914 inhibited arthritis pain-related behaviors (audible and ultrasonic vocalizations and hindlimb withdrawal reflexes). Astressin-2B had no significant behavioral effect. The data suggest that endogenous CRF1 receptor activation in the amygdala contributes to pain-related synaptic facilitation, increased excitability, and pain behavior through a postsynaptic mechanism involving activation of PKA and highly TEA-sensitive K+-currents. Presynaptic CRF2 receptor-mediated inhibition does not reach behavioral significance. PMID

  11. Functional specializations of primary auditory afferents on the Mauthner cells: interactions between membrane and synaptic properties.

    PubMed

    Curti, Sebastian; Pereda, Alberto E

    2010-01-01

    Primary auditory afferents are usually perceived as passive, timing-preserving, lines of communication. Contrasting this view, a special class of auditory afferents to teleost Mauthner cells, a command neuron that organizes tail-flip escape responses, undergoes potentiation of their mixed (electrical and chemical) synapses in response to high frequency cellular activity. This property is likely to represent a mechanism of input sensitization as these neurons provide the Mauthner cell with essential information for the initiation of an escape response. We review here the anatomical and physiological specializations of these identifiable auditory afferents. In particular, we discuss how their membrane and synaptic properties act in concert to more efficaciously activate the Mauthner cells. The striking functional specializations of these neurons suggest that primary auditory afferents might be capable of more sophisticated contributions to auditory processing than has been generally recognized. PMID:19941953

  12. Differential role of APP and APLPs for neuromuscular synaptic morphology and function.

    PubMed

    Klevanski, Maja; Saar, Martina; Baumkötter, Frederik; Weyer, Sascha W; Kins, Stefan; Müller, Ulrike C

    2014-07-01

    The analysis of mouse models indicated that APP and the related APLPs are important for synapse formation and function. The synaptic role of APP is, however, complex due to partially overlapping functions within the gene family. APP/APLPs are proteolytically cleaved and have both adhesive and signaling properties. Mice lacking individual APP family members are viable, whereas APP/APLP2 and APLP1/APLP2 double knockout (DKO) mice die shortly after birth. Here, we analyzed the morphology of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of lethal APLP1/APLP2-DKO mice in comparison to lethal APP/APLP2-DKO mutants and viable single KO mice. We report that, surprisingly, the NMJ phenotype of APLP1/APLP2-DKO mice shows striking differences as compared to APP/APLP2-DKO mice. Unexpectedly, APLP1/APLP2-DKO mice exhibit normal endplate patterning and lack presynaptic nerve terminal sprouting. However, at the level of individual synapses we show that APLP1/APLP2-DKO mice exhibit reduced size of pre- and postsynaptic compartments and reduced colocalization. As APP/APLP2-DKO and APLP1/APLP2-DKO mice show similar penetrance of early postnatal lethality, this suggests that deficits at the level of individual synapses due to impaired synaptic apposition and/or deficits in transmitter release may cause lethality. Using an in vitro cell-adhesion assay, we observed that APP trans-dimerization is considerably less efficient than APLP2 trans-interaction. Thus, differences between APP/APLP2 and APP/APLP1 NMJ formation may be in part explained by differences in APP/APLP2 trans-dimerization properties. Collectively, our study further highlights the distinct and essential role of APLP2 at NMJ synapses that cannot be compensated by APP. PMID:24998676

  13. The role of deubiquitinating enzymes in synaptic function and nervous system diseases.

    PubMed

    Kowalski, Jennifer R; Juo, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Posttranslational modification of proteins by ubiquitin has emerged as a critical regulator of synapse development and function. Ubiquitination is a reversible modification mediated by the concerted action of a large number of specific ubiquitin ligases and ubiquitin proteases, called deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs). The balance of activity of these enzymes determines the localization, function, and stability of target proteins. While some DUBs counter the action of specific ubiquitin ligases by removing ubiquitin and editing ubiquitin chains, other DUBs function more generally to maintain the cellular pool of free ubiquitin monomers. The importance of DUB function at the synapse is underscored by the association of specific mutations in DUB genes with several neurological disorders. Over the last decade, although much research has led to the identification and characterization of many ubiquitin ligases at the synapse, our knowledge of the relevant DUBs that act at the synapse has lagged. This review is focused on highlighting our current understanding of DUBs that regulate synaptic function and the diseases that result from dysfunction of these DUBs.

  14. Regulation of synaptic functions in central nervous system by endocrine hormones and the maintenance of energy homoeostasis.

    PubMed

    Pang, Zhiping P; Han, Weiping

    2012-10-01

    Energy homoeostasis, a co-ordinated balance of food intake and energy expenditure, is regulated by the CNS (central nervous system). The past decade has witnessed significant advances in our understanding of metabolic processes and brain circuitry which responds to a broad range of neural, nutrient and hormonal signals. Accumulating evidence demonstrates altered synaptic plasticity in the CNS in response to hormone signals. Moreover, emerging observations suggest that synaptic plasticity underlies all brain functions, including the physiological regulation of energy homoeostasis, and that impaired synaptic constellation and plasticity may lead to pathological development and conditions. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the regulation of postsynaptic receptors such as AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid), NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) and GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) receptors, and the presynaptic components by hormone signals. A detailed understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms by which hormones regulate energy homoeostasis may lead to novel strategies in treating metabolic disorders.

  15. SAHA enhances synaptic function and plasticity in vitro but has limited brain availability in vivo and does not impact cognition.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jesse E; La, Hank; Plise, Emile; Chen, Yung-Hsiang; Ding, Xiao; Hanania, Taleen; Sabath, Emily V; Alexandrov, Vadim; Brunner, Dani; Leahy, Emer; Steiner, Pascal; Liu, Lichuan; Scearce-Levie, Kimberly; Zhou, Qiang

    2013-01-01

    Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) is an inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs) used for the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) and under consideration for other indications. In vivo studies suggest reducing HDAC function can enhance synaptic function and memory, raising the possibility that SAHA treatment could have neurological benefits. We first examined the impacts of SAHA on synaptic function in vitro using rat organotypic hippocampal brain slices. Following several days of SAHA treatment, basal excitatory but not inhibitory synaptic function was enhanced. Presynaptic release probability and intrinsic neuronal excitability were unaffected suggesting SAHA treatment selectively enhanced postsynaptic excitatory function. In addition, long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory synapses was augmented, while long-term depression (LTD) was impaired in SAHA treated slices. Despite the in vitro synaptic enhancements, in vivo SAHA treatment did not rescue memory deficits in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Along with the lack of behavioral impact, pharmacokinetic analysis indicated poor brain availability of SAHA. Broader assessment of in vivo SAHA treatment using high-content phenotypic characterization of C57Bl6 mice failed to demonstrate significant behavioral effects of up to 150 mg/kg SAHA following either acute or chronic injections. Potentially explaining the low brain exposure and lack of behavioral impacts, SAHA was found to be a substrate of the blood brain barrier (BBB) efflux transporters Pgp and Bcrp1. Thus while our in vitro data show that HDAC inhibition can enhance excitatory synaptic strength and potentiation, our in vivo data suggests limited brain availability may contribute to the lack of behavioral impact of SAHA following peripheral delivery. These results do not predict CNS effects of SAHA during clinical use and also emphasize the importance of analyzing brain drug levels when interpreting preclinical

  16. 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…

  17. A truncating mutation in Alzheimer's disease inactivates neuroligin-1 synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Tristán-Clavijo, Enriqueta; Camacho-Garcia, Rafael J; Robles-Lanuza, Estefanía; Ruiz, Agustín; van der Zee, Julie; Van Broeckhoven, Christine; Hernandez, Isabel; Martinez-Mir, Amalia; Scholl, Francisco G

    2015-12-01

    Neuroligins (NLs) are cell-adhesion proteins that regulate synapse formation and function. Neuroligin 1 (NL1) promotes the formation of glutamatergic synapses and mediates long-term potentiation in mouse models. Thus, altered NL1 function could mediate the synaptic and memory deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we describe a frameshift mutation, c.875_876insTT, in the neuroligin 1 gene (NLGN1) in a patient with AD and familial history of AD. The insertion generates a premature stop codon in the extracellular domain of NL1 (p.Thr271fs). Expression of mutant NL1 shows accumulation of truncated NL1 proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. In hippocampal neurons, the p.Thr271fs mutation abolishes the ability of NL1 to promote the formation of glutamatergic synapses. Our data support a role for inactivating mutations in NLGN1 in AD. Previous studies have reported rare mutations in X-linked NLGNL3 and NLGNL4 genes in patients with autism, which result in the inactivation of the mutant alleles. Therefore, together with a role in neurodevelopmental disorders, altered NL function could underlie the molecular mechanisms associated with brain diseases in the elderly.

  18. Drosophila Spastin Regulates Synaptic Microtubule Networks and Is Required for Normal Motor Function

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    The most common form of human autosomal dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia (AD-HSP) is caused by mutations in the SPG4 (spastin) gene, which encodes an AAA ATPase closely related in sequence to the microtubule-severing protein Katanin. Patients with AD-HSP exhibit degeneration of the distal regions of the longest axons in the spinal cord. Loss-of-function mutations in the Drosophila spastin gene produce larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) phenotypes. NMJ synaptic boutons in spastin mutants are more numerous and more clustered than in wild-type, and transmitter release is impaired. spastin-null adult flies have severe movement defects. They do not fly or jump, they climb poorly, and they have short lifespans. spastin hypomorphs have weaker behavioral phenotypes. Overexpression of Spastin erases the muscle microtubule network. This gain-of-function phenotype is consistent with the hypothesis that Spastin has microtubule-severing activity, and implies that spastin loss-of-function mutants should have an increased number of microtubules. Surprisingly, however, we observed the opposite phenotype: in spastin-null mutants, there are fewer microtubule bundles within the NMJ, especially in its distal boutons. The Drosophila NMJ is a glutamatergic synapse that resembles excitatory synapses in the mammalian spinal cord, so the reduction of organized presynaptic microtubules that we observe in spastin mutants may be relevant to an understanding of human Spastin's role in maintenance of axon terminals in the spinal cord. PMID:15562320

  19. Presynaptic DLG regulates synaptic function through the localization of voltage-activated Ca2+ Channels

    PubMed Central

    Astorga, César; Jorquera, Ramón A.; Ramírez, Mauricio; Kohler, Andrés; López, Estefanía; Delgado, Ricardo; Córdova, Alex; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2016-01-01

    The DLG-MAGUK subfamily of proteins plays a role on the recycling and clustering of glutamate receptors (GLUR) at the postsynaptic density. discs-large1 (dlg) is the only DLG-MAGUK gene in Drosophila and originates two main products, DLGA and DLGS97 which differ by the presence of an L27 domain. Combining electrophysiology, immunostaining and genetic manipulation at the pre and postsynaptic compartments we study the DLG contribution to the basal synaptic-function at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. Our results reveal a specific function of DLGS97 in the regulation of the size of GLUR fields and their subunit composition. Strikingly the absence of any of DLG proteins at the presynaptic terminal disrupts the clustering and localization of the calcium channel DmCa1A subunit (Cacophony), decreases the action potential-evoked release probability and alters short-term plasticity. Our results show for the first time a crucial role of DLG proteins in the presynaptic function in vivo. PMID:27573697

  20. Presynaptic DLG regulates synaptic function through the localization of voltage-activated Ca(2+) Channels.

    PubMed

    Astorga, César; Jorquera, Ramón A; Ramírez, Mauricio; Kohler, Andrés; López, Estefanía; Delgado, Ricardo; Córdova, Alex; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2016-01-01

    The DLG-MAGUK subfamily of proteins plays a role on the recycling and clustering of glutamate receptors (GLUR) at the postsynaptic density. discs-large1 (dlg) is the only DLG-MAGUK gene in Drosophila and originates two main products, DLGA and DLGS97 which differ by the presence of an L27 domain. Combining electrophysiology, immunostaining and genetic manipulation at the pre and postsynaptic compartments we study the DLG contribution to the basal synaptic-function at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. Our results reveal a specific function of DLGS97 in the regulation of the size of GLUR fields and their subunit composition. Strikingly the absence of any of DLG proteins at the presynaptic terminal disrupts the clustering and localization of the calcium channel DmCa1A subunit (Cacophony), decreases the action potential-evoked release probability and alters short-term plasticity. Our results show for the first time a crucial role of DLG proteins in the presynaptic function in vivo. PMID:27573697

  1. Long-Term Relationships between Synaptic Tenacity, Synaptic Remodeling, and Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Minerbi, Amir; Kahana, Roni; Goldfeld, Larissa; Kaufman, Maya; Marom, Shimon; Ziv, Noam E.

    2009-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is widely believed to constitute a key mechanism for modifying functional properties of neuronal networks. This belief implicitly implies, however, that synapses, when not driven to change their characteristics by physiologically relevant stimuli, will maintain these characteristics over time. How tenacious are synapses over behaviorally relevant time scales? To begin to address this question, we developed a system for continuously imaging the structural dynamics of individual synapses over many days, while recording network activity in the same preparations. We found that in spontaneously active networks, distributions of synaptic sizes were generally stable over days. Following individual synapses revealed, however, that the apparently static distributions were actually steady states of synapses exhibiting continual and extensive remodeling. In active networks, large synapses tended to grow smaller, whereas small synapses tended to grow larger, mainly during periods of particularly synchronous activity. Suppression of network activity only mildly affected the magnitude of synaptic remodeling, but dependence on synaptic size was lost, leading to the broadening of synaptic size distributions and increases in mean synaptic size. From the perspective of individual neurons, activity drove changes in the relative sizes of their excitatory inputs, but such changes continued, albeit at lower rates, even when network activity was blocked. Our findings show that activity strongly drives synaptic remodeling, but they also show that significant remodeling occurs spontaneously. Whereas such spontaneous remodeling provides an explanation for “synaptic homeostasis” like processes, it also raises significant questions concerning the reliability of individual synapses as sites for persistently modifying network function. PMID:19554080

  2. Cholesterol-loaded nanoparticles ameliorate synaptic and cognitive function in Huntington's disease mice.

    PubMed

    Valenza, Marta; Chen, Jane Y; Di Paolo, Eleonora; Ruozi, Barbara; Belletti, Daniela; Ferrari Bardile, Costanza; Leoni, Valerio; Caccia, Claudio; Brilli, Elisa; Di Donato, Stefano; Boido, Marina M; Vercelli, Alessandro; Vandelli, Maria A; Forni, Flavio; Cepeda, Carlos; Levine, Michael S; Tosi, Giovanni; Cattaneo, Elena

    2015-12-01

    Brain cholesterol biosynthesis and cholesterol levels are reduced in mouse models of Huntington's disease (HD), suggesting that locally synthesized, newly formed cholesterol is less available to neurons. This may be detrimental for neuronal function, especially given that locally synthesized cholesterol is implicated in synapse integrity and remodeling. Here, we used biodegradable and biocompatible polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) modified with glycopeptides (g7) and loaded with cholesterol (g7-NPs-Chol), which per se is not blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeable, to obtain high-rate cholesterol delivery into the brain after intraperitoneal injection in HD mice. We report that g7-NPs, in contrast to unmodified NPs, efficiently crossed the BBB and localized in glial and neuronal cells in different brain regions. We also found that repeated systemic delivery of g7-NPs-Chol rescued synaptic and cognitive dysfunction and partially improved global activity in HD mice. These results demonstrate that cholesterol supplementation to the HD brain reverses functional alterations associated with HD and highlight the potential of this new drug-administration route to the diseased brain.

  3. Obesity diminishes synaptic markers, alters microglial morphology, and impairs cognitive function

    PubMed Central

    Bocarsly, Miriam E.; Fasolino, Maria; Kane, Gary A.; LaMarca, Elizabeth A.; Kirschen, Gregory W.; Karatsoreos, Ilia N.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Gould, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Obesity is a major public health problem affecting overall physical and emotional well-being. Despite compelling data suggesting an association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction, this phenomenon has received relatively little attention. Neuroimaging studies in obese humans report reduced size of brain regions involved in cognition, but few studies have investigated the cellular processes underlying cognitive decline in obesity or the influence of obesity on cognition in the absence of obesity-related illnesses. Here, a rat model of diet-induced obesity was used to explore changes in brain regions important for cognition. Obese rats showed deficits on cognitive tasks requiring the prefrontal and perirhinal cortex. Cognitive deficits were accompanied by decreased dendritic spine density and synaptic marker expression in both brain regions. Microglial morphology was also changed in the prefrontal cortex. Detrimental changes in the prefrontal cortex and perirhinal cortex occurred before metabolic syndrome or diabetes, suggesting that these brain regions may be particularly vulnerable to early stage obesity. PMID:26644559

  4. Obesity diminishes synaptic markers, alters microglial morphology, and impairs cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Bocarsly, Miriam E; Fasolino, Maria; Kane, Gary A; LaMarca, Elizabeth A; Kirschen, Gregory W; Karatsoreos, Ilia N; McEwen, Bruce S; Gould, Elizabeth

    2015-12-22

    Obesity is a major public health problem affecting overall physical and emotional well-being. Despite compelling data suggesting an association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction, this phenomenon has received relatively little attention. Neuroimaging studies in obese humans report reduced size of brain regions involved in cognition, but few studies have investigated the cellular processes underlying cognitive decline in obesity or the influence of obesity on cognition in the absence of obesity-related illnesses. Here, a rat model of diet-induced obesity was used to explore changes in brain regions important for cognition. Obese rats showed deficits on cognitive tasks requiring the prefrontal and perirhinal cortex. Cognitive deficits were accompanied by decreased dendritic spine density and synaptic marker expression in both brain regions. Microglial morphology was also changed in the prefrontal cortex. Detrimental changes in the prefrontal cortex and perirhinal cortex occurred before metabolic syndrome or diabetes, suggesting that these brain regions may be particularly vulnerable to early stage obesity. PMID:26644559

  5. Interleukin-18 regulates motor activity, anxiety and spatial learning without affecting synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Yaguchi, Takahiro; Nagata, Tetsu; Yang, Dongqin; Nishizaki, Tomoyuki

    2010-01-01

    Expression of Schaffer collateral-CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) was not affected in hippocampal slices from wild-type mice pretreated with lipopolysaccharide (0.25mg/kg, i.p.), to increase interleukin-18 (IL-18) concentrations in the brain. For IL-18 knock-out (IL-18 KO) mice, the LTP was still expressed, the extent being similar to that for wild-type mice. In the open-field test to assess motor activity, rearing activity for IL-18 KO mice was significantly suppressed as compared with that for wild-type mice, without significant difference in the locomotion activity between two groups. In the passive avoidance test to assess fear memory, the retention latency for IL-18 KO mice was much shorter than for wild-type mice, without significant difference in the acquisition latency between two groups. In the water maze test, the acquisition latency for IL-18 KO mice significantly prolonged as compared with that for wild-type mice, without significant difference in the retention latency between two groups. For IL-18 KO mice, intraventricular injection with IL-18 for 4 days (total, 240 fg) prior to water maze task shortened the prolonged acquisition latency, reaching a level similar to that for wild-type mice. The results of the present study, thus, suggest that IL-18 is a critical regulator for exploratory activity, fear memory, and spatial learning.

  6. β-Adrenergic Control of Hippocampal Function: Subserving the Choreography of Synaptic Information Storage and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Hagena, Hardy; Hansen, Niels; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-01-01

    Noradrenaline (NA) is a key neuromodulator for the regulation of behavioral state and cognition. It supports learning by increasing arousal and vigilance, whereby new experiences are “earmarked” for encoding. Within the hippocampus, experience-dependent information storage occurs by means of synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, novel spatial, contextual, or associative learning drives changes in synaptic strength, reflected by the strengthening of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). NA acting on β-adrenergic receptors (β-AR) is a key determinant as to whether new experiences result in persistent hippocampal synaptic plasticity. This can even dictate the direction of change of synaptic strength. The different hippocampal subfields play different roles in encoding components of a spatial representation through LTP and LTD. Strikingly, the sensitivity of synaptic plasticity in these subfields to β-adrenergic control is very distinct (dentate gyrus > CA3 > CA1). Moreover, NA released from the locus coeruleus that acts on β-AR leads to hippocampal LTD and an enhancement of LTD-related memory processing. We propose that NA acting on hippocampal β-AR, that is graded according to the novelty or saliency of the experience, determines the content and persistency of synaptic information storage in the hippocampal subfields and therefore of spatial memories. PMID:26804338

  7. Impaired ILK Function Is Associated with Deficits in Hippocampal Based Memory and Synaptic Plasticity in a FASD Rat Model

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharya, D.; Dunaway, E. P.; Bhattacharya, S.; Bloemer, J.; Buabeid, M.; Escobar, M.

    2015-01-01

    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of anatomical and behavioral problems in children who are exposed to alcohol during the prenatal period. There is no effective treatment for FASD, because of lack of complete characterization of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this condition. Alcohol has been previously characterized to affect integrins and growth factor signaling receptors. Integrin Linked Kinase (ILK) is an effector of integrin and growth-factor signaling which regulates various signaling processes. In FASD, a downstream effector of ILK, Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β (GSK3β) remains highly active (reduced Ser9 phosphorylation). GSK3β has been known to modulate glutamate receptor trafficking and channel properties. Therefore, we hypothesize that the cognitive deficits accompanying FASD are associated with impairments in the ILK signaling pathway. Pregnant Sprague Dawley rats consumed a “moderate” amount of alcohol throughout gestation, or a calorie-equivalent sucrose solution. Contextual fear conditioning was used to evaluate memory performance in 32–33-day-old pups. Synaptic plasticity was assessed in the Schaffer Collateral pathway, and hippocampal protein lysates were used to evaluate ILK signaling. Alcohol exposed pups showed impaired contextual fear conditioning, as compared to control pups. This reduced memory performance was consistent with decrease in LTP as compared to controls. Hippocampal ILK activity and GSK3β Ser21/9 phosphorylation were significantly lower in alcohol-exposed pups than controls. Increased synaptic expression of GluR2 AMPA receptors was observed with immunoprecipitation of post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD95). Furthermore, immunoprecipitation of ILK revealed a decreased interaction with GluR2. The ILK pathway appears to play a significant role in memory and synaptic plasticity impairments in FASD rats. These impairments appear to be mediated by reduced

  8. Structure-function-behavior relationship in estrogen-induced synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Vierk, R; Bayer, J; Freitag, S; Muhia, M; Kutsche, K; Wolbers, T; Kneussel, M; Sommer, T; Rune, G M

    2015-08-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Estradiol and Cognition". In estrogen-induced synaptic plasticity, a correlation of structure, function and behavior in the hippocampus has been widely established. 17ß-estradiol has been shown to increase dendritic spine density on hippocampal neurons and is accompanied by enhanced long-term potentiation and improved performance of animals in hippocampus-dependent memory tests. After inhibition of aromatase, the final enzyme of estradiol synthesis, with letrozole we consistently found a strong and significant impairment of long-term potentiation (LTP) in female mice as early as after six hours of treatment. LTP impairment was followed by loss of hippocampal spine synapses in the hippocampal CA1 area. Interestingly, these effects were not found in male animals. In the Morris water maze test, chronic administration of letrozole did not alter spatial learning and memory in either female or male mice. In humans, analogous effects of estradiol on hippocampal morphology and physiology were observed using neuroimaging techniques. However, similar to our findings in mice, an effect of estradiol on memory performance has not been consistently observed.

  9. FMRP stalls ribosomal translocation on mRNAs linked to synaptic function and autism

    PubMed Central

    Darnell, Jennifer C.; Van Driesche, Sarah J.; Zhang, Chaolin; Hung, Ka Ying Sharon; Mele, Aldo; Fraser, Claire E.; Stone, Elizabeth F.; Chen, Cynthia; Fak, John J.; Chi, Sung Wook; Licatalosi, Donny D.; Richter, Joel D.; Darnell, Robert B.

    2011-01-01

    Summary FMRP loss-of-function causes Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and autistic features. FMRP is a polyribosome-associated neuronal RNA-binding protein, suggesting that it plays a key role in regulating neuronal translation, but there has been little consensus regarding either its RNA targets or mechanism of action. Here we use high throughput sequencing of RNAs isolated by crosslinking immunoprecipitation (HITS-CLIP) to identify FMRP interactions with mouse brain polyribosomal mRNAs. FMRP interacts with the coding region of transcripts encoding pre- and postsynaptic proteins, and transcripts implicated in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We developed a brain polyribosome-programmed translation system, revealing that FMRP reversibly stalls ribosomes specifically on its target mRNAs. Our results indicate that loss of a translational brake on the synthesis of a subset of synaptic proteins may contribute to FXS. In addition, they provide insight into the molecular basis of the cognitive and allied defects in FXS and ASD, and suggest multiple targets for clinical intervention. PMID:21784246

  10. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

  11. Desensitization contributes to the synaptic response of gain-of-function mutants of the muscle nicotinic receptor.

    PubMed

    Elenes, Sergio; Ni, Ying; Cymes, Gisela D; Grosman, Claudio

    2006-11-01

    Although the muscle nicotinic receptor (AChR) desensitizes almost completely in the steady presence of high concentrations of acetylcholine (ACh), it is well established that AChRs do not accumulate in desensitized states under normal physiological conditions of neurotransmitter release and clearance. Quantitative considerations in the framework of plausible kinetic schemes, however, lead us to predict that mutations that speed up channel opening, slow down channel closure, and/or slow down the dissociation of neurotransmitter (i.e., gain-of-function mutations) increase the extent to which AChRs desensitize upon ACh removal. In this paper, we confirm this prediction by applying high-frequency trains of brief ( approximately 1 ms) ACh pulses to outside-out membrane patches expressing either lab-engineered or naturally occurring (disease-causing) gain-of-function mutants. Entry into desensitization was evident in our experiments as a frequency-dependent depression in the peak value of succesive macroscopic current responses, in a manner that is remarkably consistent with the theoretical expectation. We conclude that the comparatively small depression of the macroscopic currents observed upon repetitive stimulation of the wild-type AChR is due, not to desensitization being exceedingly slow but, rather, to the particular balance between gating, entry into desensitization, and ACh dissociation rate constants. Disruption of this fine balance by, for example, mutations can lead to enhanced desensitization even if the kinetics of entry into, and recovery from, desensitization themselves are not affected. It follows that accounting for the (usually overlooked) desensitization phenomenon is essential for the correct interpretation of mutagenesis-driven structure-function relationships and for the understanding of pathological synaptic transmission at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction.

  12. Endogenous Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor in the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius Tonically Regulates Synaptic and Autonomic Function

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Catharine G.; Hasser, Eileen M.; Kunze, Diana L.; Katz, David M.; Kline, David D.

    2012-01-01

    Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor, TrkB, are highly expressed in the nucleus tractus solitarius (nTS), the principal target of cardiovascular primary afferent input to the brainstem. However, little is known about the role of BDNF signaling in nTS in cardiovascular homeostasis. We examined whether BDNF in nTS modulates cardiovascular function in vivo and regulates synaptic and/or neuronal activity in isolated brainstem slices. Microinjection of BDNF into the rat medial nTS (mnTS), a region critical for baroreflex control of sympathetic outflow, produced dose-dependent increases in mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR) and lumbar sympathetic nerve activity (LSNA) that were blocked by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor K252a. In contrast, immunoneutralization of endogenous BDNF (antiBDNF), or microinjection of K252a alone, decreased MAP, HR and LSNA. The effects of antiBDNF were abolished by blockade of ionotropic glutamate receptors, indicating a role for glutamate signaling in the response to BDNF. In vitro, BDNF reduced the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) as well as solitary tract (TS)-evoked EPSC amplitude and action potential discharge (APD) in second-order nTS neurons. BDNF effects on EPSCs were independent of GABAergic signaling and ablated by AMPA receptor blockade. In contrast, K252a increased spontaneous EPSC frequency and TS-evoked EPSC amplitude. BDNF also attenuated APD evoked by injection of depolarizing current into second-order neurons, indicating reduced intrinsic neuronal excitability. Our data demonstrate that BDNF signaling in mnTS plays a tonic role in regulating cardiovascular function, likely via modulation of primary afferent glutamatergic excitatory transmission and neural activity. PMID:21865474

  13. 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.

  14. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Using neurolipidomics to identify phospholipid mediators of synaptic (dys)function in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Steffany A. L.; Valenzuela, Nicolas; Xu, Hongbin; Franko, Bettina; Fai, Stephen; Figeys, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Not all of the mysteries of life lie in our genetic code. Some can be found buried in our membranes. These shells of fat, sculpted in the central nervous system into the cellular (and subcellular) boundaries of neurons and glia, are themselves complex systems of information. The diversity of neural phospholipids, coupled with their chameleon-like capacity to transmute into bioactive molecules, provides a vast repertoire of immediate response second messengers. The effects of compositional changes on synaptic function have only begun to be appreciated. Here, we mined 29 neurolipidomic datasets for changes in neuronal membrane phospholipid metabolism in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Three overarching metabolic disturbances were detected. We found that an increase in the hydrolysis of platelet activating factor precursors and ethanolamine-containing plasmalogens, coupled with a failure to regenerate relatively rare alkyl-acyl and alkenyl-acyl structural phospholipids, correlated with disease severity. Accumulation of specific bioactive metabolites [i.e., PC(O-16:0/2:0) and PE(P-16:0/0:0)] was associated with aggravating tau pathology, enhancing vesicular release, and signaling neuronal loss. Finally, depletion of PI(16:0/20:4), PI(16:0/22:6), and PI(18:0/22:6) was implicated in accelerating Aβ42 biogenesis. Our analysis further suggested that converging disruptions in platelet activating factor, plasmalogen, phosphoinositol, phosphoethanolamine (PE), and docosahexaenoic acid metabolism may contribute mechanistically to catastrophic vesicular depletion, impaired receptor trafficking, and morphological dendritic deformation. Together, this analysis supports an emerging hypothesis that aberrant phospholipid metabolism may be one of multiple critical determinants required for Alzheimer disease conversion. PMID:23882219

  17. ESTROGEN AND AGING AFFECT THE SYNAPTIC DISTRIBUTION OF ESTROGEN RECEPTOR BETA-IMMUNOREACTIVITY IN THE CA1 REGION OF FEMALE RAT HIPPOCAMPUS

    PubMed Central

    Waters, Elizabeth M.; Yildirim, Murat; Janssen, William G.M.; Lou, W.Y. Wendy; McEwen, Bruce S.; Morrison, John H.; Milner, Teresa A.

    2010-01-01

    Estradiol (E) mediates increased synaptogenesis in the hippocampal CA1 stratum radiatum (sr) and enhances memory in young and some aged female rats, depending on dose and age. Young females rats express more estrogen receptor α (ERα) immunolabeling in CA1sr spine synapse complexes than aged rats and ERα regulation is E sensitive in young but not aged rats. The current study examined whether estrogen receptor β (ERβ) expression in spine synapse complexes may be altered by age or E treatment. Young (3–4 months) and aged (22–23 months) female rats were ovariectomized 7 days prior to implantation of silastic capsules containing either vehicle (cholesterol) or E (10% in cholesterol) for 2 days. ERβ immunoreactivity (ir) in CA1sr was quantitatively analyzed using post-embedding electron microscopy. ERβ-ir was more prominent postsynaptically than presynaptically and both age and E treatment affected its synaptic distribution. While age decreased the spine synaptic complex localization of ERβ-ir (i.e., within 60 nm of the pre- and post-synaptic membranes), E treatment increased synaptic ERβ in both young and aged rats. In addition, the E treatment, but not age, increased dendritic shaft labeling. This data demonstrates that like ERα the levels of ERβ-ir decrease in CA1 axospinous synapses with age, however, unlike ERα the levels of ERβ-ir increase in these synapses in both young and aged rats in response to E. This suggests that synaptic ERβ may be a more responsive target to E, particularly in aged females. PMID:20875808

  18. A multicenter study of the early detection of synaptic dysfunction in Mild Cognitive Impairment using Magnetoencephalography-derived functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Maestú, Fernando; Peña, Jose-Maria; Garcés, Pilar; González, Santiago; Bajo, Ricardo; Bagic, Anto; Cuesta, Pablo; Funke, Michael; Mäkelä, Jyrki P; Menasalvas, Ernestina; Nakamura, Akinori; Parkkonen, Lauri; López, Maria E; Del Pozo, Francisco; Sudre, Gustavo; Zamrini, Edward; Pekkonen, Eero; Henson, Richard N; Becker, James T

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic disruption is an early pathological sign of the neurodegeneration of Dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT). The changes in network synchronization are evident in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) at the group level, but there are very few Magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies regarding discrimination at the individual level. In an international multicenter study, we used MEG and functional connectivity metrics to discriminate MCI from normal aging at the individual person level. A labeled sample of features (links) that distinguished MCI patients from controls in a training dataset was used to classify MCI subjects in two testing datasets from four other MEG centers. We identified a pattern of neuronal hypersynchronization in MCI, in which the features that best discriminated MCI were fronto-parietal and interhemispheric links. The hypersynchronization pattern found in the MCI patients was stable across the five different centers, and may be considered an early sign of synaptic disruption and a possible preclinical biomarker for MCI/DAT.

  19. SYN2 is an autism predisposing gene: loss-of-function mutations alter synaptic vesicle cycling and axon outgrowth.

    PubMed

    Corradi, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Piton, Amélie; Patry, Lysanne; Marte, Antonella; Rossi, Pia; Cadieux-Dion, Maxime; Gauthier, Julie; Lapointe, Line; Mottron, Laurent; Valtorta, Flavia; Rouleau, Guy A; Fassio, Anna; Benfenati, Fabio; Cossette, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of genes predisposing to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has been identified, many of which are implicated in synaptic function. This 'synaptic autism pathway' notably includes disruption of SYN1 that is associated with epilepsy, autism and abnormal behavior in both human and mice models. Synapsins constitute a multigene family of neuron-specific phosphoproteins (SYN1-3) present in the majority of synapses where they are implicated in the regulation of neurotransmitter release and synaptogenesis. Synapsins I and II, the major Syn isoforms in the adult brain, display partially overlapping functions and defects in both isoforms are associated with epilepsy and autistic-like behavior in mice. In this study, we show that nonsense (A94fs199X) and missense (Y236S and G464R) mutations in SYN2 are associated with ASD in humans. The phenotype is apparent in males. Female carriers of SYN2 mutations are unaffected, suggesting that SYN2 is another example of autosomal sex-limited expression in ASD. When expressed in SYN2  knockout neurons, wild-type human Syn II fully rescues the SYN2 knockout phenotype, whereas the nonsense mutant is not expressed and the missense mutants are virtually unable to modify the SYN2 knockout phenotype. These results identify for the first time SYN2  as a novel predisposing gene for ASD and strengthen the hypothesis that a disturbance of synaptic homeostasis underlies ASD. PMID:23956174

  20. Regulation of synaptic structure and function by FMRP-associated microRNAs miR-125b and miR-132

    PubMed Central

    Edbauer, Dieter; Neilson, Joel R.; Foster, Kelly A.; Wang, Chi-Fong; Seeburg, Daniel P.; Batterton, Matthew N.; Tada, Tomoko; Dolan, Bridget M.; Sharp, Phillip A.; Sheng, Morgan

    2016-01-01

    Summary MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs that suppress translation of specific mRNAs. The miRNA machinery interacts with Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), which functions as translational repressor. We show that miR-125b and miR-132, as well as several other miRNAs, are associated with FMRP in mouse brain. miR-125b and miR-132 had largely opposing effects on dendritic spine morphology and synaptic physiology in hippocampal neurons. FMRP knockdown ameliorates the effect of miRNA overexpression on spine morphology. We identified NMDA receptor subunit NR2A as novel target of miR-125b and show that NR2A mRNA is specifically associated with FMRP in brain. In hippocampal neurons, NR2A expression is negatively regulated through its 3’UTR by FMRP, miR-125b and Argonaute 1. Regulation of NR2A 3’UTR by FMRP depends in part on miR-125b. Because NMDA receptor subunit composition profoundly affects synaptic plasticity, these observations have implications for the pathophysiology of Fragile X Syndrome, in which plasticity is altered. PMID:20159450

  1. Increased neuronal PreP activity reduces Aβ accumulation, attenuates neuroinflammation and improves mitochondrial and synaptic function in Alzheimer disease's mouse model.

    PubMed

    Fang, Du; Wang, Yongfu; Zhang, Zhihua; Du, Heng; Yan, Shiqiang; Sun, Qinru; Zhong, Changjia; Wu, Long; Vangavaragu, Jhansi Rani; Yan, Shijun; Hu, Gang; Guo, Lan; Rabinowitz, Molly; Glaser, Elzbieta; Arancio, Ottavio; Sosunov, Alexander A; McKhann, Guy M; Chen, John Xi; Yan, Shirley ShiDu

    2015-09-15

    Accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) in synaptic mitochondria is associated with mitochondrial and synaptic injury. The underlying mechanisms and strategies to eliminate Aβ and rescue mitochondrial and synaptic defects remain elusive. Presequence protease (PreP), a mitochondrial peptidasome, is a novel mitochondrial Aβ degrading enzyme. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that increased expression of active human PreP in cortical neurons attenuates Alzheimer disease's (AD)-like mitochondrial amyloid pathology and synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction, and suppresses mitochondrial oxidative stress. Notably, PreP-overexpressed AD mice show significant reduction in the production of proinflammatory mediators. Accordingly, increased neuronal PreP expression improves learning and memory and synaptic function in vivo AD mice, and alleviates Aβ-mediated reduction of long-term potentiation (LTP). Our results provide in vivo evidence that PreP may play an important role in maintaining mitochondrial integrity and function by clearance and degradation of mitochondrial Aβ along with the improvement in synaptic and behavioral function in AD mouse model. Thus, enhancing PreP activity/expression may be a new therapeutic avenue for treatment of AD.

  2. Altered Intrinsic Pyramidal Neuron Properties and Pathway-Specific Synaptic Dysfunction Underlie Aberrant Hippocampal Network Function in a Mouse Model of Tauopathy

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Clair A.; Witton, Jonathan; Nowacki, Jakub; Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira; Jones, Matthew W.; Randall, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    The formation and deposition of tau protein aggregates is proposed to contribute to cognitive impairments in dementia by disrupting neuronal function in brain regions, including the hippocampus. We used a battery of in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological recordings in the rTg4510 transgenic mouse model, which overexpresses a mutant form of human tau protein, to investigate the effects of tau pathology on hippocampal neuronal function in area CA1 of 7- to 8-month-old mice, an age point at which rTg4510 animals exhibit advanced tau pathology and progressive neurodegeneration. In vitro recordings revealed shifted theta-frequency resonance properties of CA1 pyramidal neurons, deficits in synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral synapses, and blunted plasticity and imbalanced inhibition at temporoammonic synapses. These changes were associated with aberrant CA1 network oscillations, pyramidal neuron bursting, and spatial information coding in vivo. Our findings relate tauopathy-associated changes in cellular neurophysiology to altered behavior-dependent network function. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dementia is characterized by the loss of learning and memory ability. The deposition of tau protein aggregates in the brain is a pathological hallmark of dementia; and the hippocampus, a brain structure known to be critical in processing learning and memory, is one of the first and most heavily affected regions. Our results show that, in area CA1 of hippocampus, a region involved in spatial learning and memory, tau pathology is associated with specific disturbances in synaptic, cellular, and network-level function, culminating in the aberrant encoding of spatial information and spatial memory impairment. These studies identify several novel ways in which hippocampal information processing may be disrupted in dementia, which may provide targets for future therapeutic intervention. PMID:26758828

  3. Synaptic activity controls localization and function of CtBP1 via binding to Bassoon and Piccolo

    PubMed Central

    Ivanova, Daniela; Dirks, Anika; Montenegro-Venegas, Carolina; Schöne, Cornelia; Altrock, Wilko D; Marini, Claudia; Frischknecht, Renato; Schanze, Denny; Zenker, Martin; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Fejtova, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Persistent experience-driven adaptation of brain function is associated with alterations in gene expression patterns, resulting in structural and functional neuronal remodeling. How synaptic activity—in particular presynaptic performance—is coupled to gene expression in nucleus remains incompletely understood. Here, we report on a role of CtBP1, a transcriptional co-repressor enriched in presynapses and nuclei, in the activity-driven reconfiguration of gene expression in neurons. We demonstrate that presynaptic and nuclear pools of CtBP1 are interconnected and that both synaptic retention and shuttling of CtBP1 between cytoplasm and nucleus are co-regulated by neuronal activity. Finally, we show that CtBP1 is targeted and/or anchored to presynapses by direct interaction with the active zone scaffolding proteins Bassoon and Piccolo. This association is regulated by neuronal activity via modulation of cellular NAD/NADH levels and restrains the size of the CtBP1 pool available for nuclear import, thus contributing to the control of activity-dependent gene expression. Our combined results reveal a mechanism for coupling activity-induced molecular rearrangements in the presynapse with reconfiguration of neuronal gene expression. PMID:25652077

  4. Synaptic activity controls localization and function of CtBP1 via binding to Bassoon and Piccolo.

    PubMed

    Ivanova, Daniela; Dirks, Anika; Montenegro-Venegas, Carolina; Schöne, Cornelia; Altrock, Wilko D; Marini, Claudia; Frischknecht, Renato; Schanze, Denny; Zenker, Martin; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Fejtova, Anna

    2015-04-15

    Persistent experience-driven adaptation of brain function is associated with alterations in gene expression patterns, resulting in structural and functional neuronal remodeling. How synaptic activity-in particular presynaptic performance-is coupled to gene expression in nucleus remains incompletely understood. Here, we report on a role of CtBP1, a transcriptional co-repressor enriched in presynapses and nuclei, in the activity-driven reconfiguration of gene expression in neurons. We demonstrate that presynaptic and nuclear pools of CtBP1 are interconnected and that both synaptic retention and shuttling of CtBP1 between cytoplasm and nucleus are co-regulated by neuronal activity. Finally, we show that CtBP1 is targeted and/or anchored to presynapses by direct interaction with the active zone scaffolding proteins Bassoon and Piccolo. This association is regulated by neuronal activity via modulation of cellular NAD/NADH levels and restrains the size of the CtBP1 pool available for nuclear import, thus contributing to the control of activity-dependent gene expression. Our combined results reveal a mechanism for coupling activity-induced molecular rearrangements in the presynapse with reconfiguration of neuronal gene expression.

  5. Structure and function of the amygdaloid NPY system: NPY Y2 receptors regulate excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the centromedial amygdala.

    PubMed

    Wood, J; Verma, D; Lach, G; Bonaventure, P; Herzog, H; Sperk, G; Tasan, R O

    2016-09-01

    The amygdala is essential for generating emotional-affective behaviors. It consists of several nuclei with highly selective, elaborate functions. In particular, the central extended amygdala, consisting of the central amygdala (CEA) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is an essential component actively controlling efferent connections to downstream effectors like hypothalamus and brain stem. Both, CEA and BNST contain high amounts of different neuropeptides that significantly contribute to synaptic transmission. Among these, neuropeptide Y (NPY) has emerged as an important anxiolytic and fear-reducing neuromodulator. Here, we characterized the expression, connectivity and electrophysiological function of NPY and Y2 receptors within the CEA. We identified several NPY-expressing neuronal populations, including somatostatin- and calretinin-expressing neurons. Furthermore, in the main intercalated nucleus, NPY is expressed primarily in dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons but also in interspersed somatostatin-expressing neurons. Interestingly, NPY neurons did not co-localize with the Y2 receptor. Retrograde tract tracing experiments revealed that NPY neurons reciprocally connect the CEA and BNST. Functionally, the Y2 receptor agonist PYY3-36, reduced both, inhibitory as well as excitatory synaptic transmission in the centromedial amygdala (CEm). However, we also provide evidence that lack of NPY or Y2 receptors results in increased GABA release specifically at inhibitory synapses in the CEm. Taken together, our findings suggest that NPY expressed by distinct populations of neurons can modulate afferent and efferent projections of the CEA via presynaptic Y2 receptors located at inhibitory and excitatory synapses.

  6. Interaction of electrically evoked activity with intrinsic dynamics of cultured cortical networks with and without functional fast GABAergic synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Baltz, Thomas; Voigt, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The modulation of neuronal activity by means of electrical stimulation is a successful therapeutic approach for patients suffering from a variety of central nervous system disorders. Prototypic networks formed by cultured cortical neurons represent an important model system to gain general insights in the input–output relationships of neuronal tissue. These networks undergo a multitude of developmental changes during their maturation, such as the excitatory–inhibitory shift of the neurotransmitter GABA. Very few studies have addressed how the output properties to a given stimulus change with ongoing development. Here, we investigate input–output relationships of cultured cortical networks by probing cultures with and without functional GABAAergic synaptic transmission with a set of stimulation paradigms at various stages of maturation. On the cellular level, low stimulation rates (<15 Hz) led to reliable neuronal responses; higher rates were increasingly ineffective. Similarly, on the network level, lowest stimulation rates (<0.1 Hz) lead to maximal output rates at all ages, indicating a network wide refractory period after each stimulus. In cultures aged 3 weeks and older, a gradual recovery of the network excitability within tens of milliseconds was in contrast to an abrupt recovery after about 5 s in cultures with absent GABAAergic synaptic transmission. In these GABA deficient cultures evoked responses were prolonged and had multiple discharges. Furthermore, the network excitability changed periodically, with a very slow spontaneous change of the overall network activity in the minute range, which was not observed in cultures with absent GABAAergic synaptic transmission. The electrically evoked activity of cultured cortical networks, therefore, is governed by at least two potentially interacting mechanisms: A refractory period in the order of a few seconds and a very slow GABA dependent oscillation of the network excitability. PMID:26236196

  7. Synaptic Mitochondria in Synaptic Transmission and Organization of Vesicle Pools in Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Vos, Melissa; Lauwers, Elsa; Verstreken, Patrik

    2010-01-01

    Cell types rich in mitochondria, including neurons, display a high energy demand and a need for calcium buffering. The importance of mitochondria for proper neuronal function is stressed by the occurrence of neurological defects in patients suffering from a great variety of diseases caused by mutations in mitochondrial genes. Genetic and pharmacological evidence also reveal a role of these organelles in various aspects of neuronal physiology and in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Yet the mechanisms by which mitochondria can affect neurotransmission largely remain to be elucidated. In this review we focus on experimental data that suggest a critical function of synaptic mitochondria in the function and organization of synaptic vesicle pools, and in neurotransmitter release during intense neuronal activity. We discuss how calcium handling, ATP production and other mitochondrial mechanisms may influence synaptic vesicle pool organization and synaptic function. Given the link between synaptic mitochondrial function and neuronal communication, efforts toward better understanding mitochondrial biology may lead to novel therapeutic approaches of neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and psychiatric disorders that are at least in part caused by mitochondrial deficits. PMID:21423525

  8. Synaptic connectivity in engineered neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Molnar, Peter; Kang, Jung-Fong; Bhargava, Neelima; Das, Mainak; Hickman, James J

    2014-01-01

    We have developed a method to organize cells in dissociated cultures using engineered chemical clues on a culture surface and determined their connectivity patterns. Although almost all elements of the synaptic transmission machinery can be studied separately in single cell models in dissociated cultures, the complex physiological interactions between these elements are usually lost. Thus, factors affecting synaptic transmission are generally studied in organotypic cultures, brain slices, or in vivo where the cellular architecture generally remains intact. However, by utilizing engineered neuronal networks complex phenomenon such as synaptic transmission or synaptic plasticity can be studied in a simple, functional, cell culture-based system. We have utilized self-assembled monolayers and photolithography to create the surface templates. Embryonic hippocampal cells, plated on the resultant patterns in serum-free medium, followed the surface clues and formed the engineered neuronal networks. Basic whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology was applied to characterize the synaptic connectivity in these engineered two-cell networks. The same technology has been used to pattern other cell types such as cardiomyocytes or skeletal muscle fibers.

  9. NMDA currents modulate the synaptic input-output functions of neurons in the dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus in Mongolian gerbils.

    PubMed

    Porres, Christian P; Meyer, Elisabeth M M; Grothe, Benedikt; Felmy, Felix

    2011-03-23

    Neurons in the dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (DNLL) receive excitatory and inhibitory inputs from the superior olivary complex (SOC) and convey GABAergic inhibition to the contralateral DNLL and the inferior colliculi. Unlike the fast glycinergic inhibition in the SOC, this GABAergic inhibition outlasts auditory stimulation by tens of milliseconds. Two mechanisms have been postulated to explain this persistent inhibition. One, an "integration-based" mechanism, suggests that postsynaptic excitatory integration in DNLL neurons generates prolonged activity, and the other favors the synaptic time course of the DNLL output itself. The feasibility of the integration-based mechanism was tested in vitro in DNLL neurons of Mongolian gerbils by quantifying the cellular excitability and synaptic input-output functions (IO-Fs). All neurons were sustained firing and generated a near monotonic IO-F on current injections. From synaptic stimulations, we estimate that activation of approximately five fibers, each on average liberating ∼18 vesicles, is sufficient to trigger a single postsynaptic action potential. A strong single pulse of afferent fiber stimulation triggered multiple postsynaptic action potentials. The steepness of the synaptic IO-F was dependent on the synaptic NMDA component. The synaptic NMDA receptor current defines the slope of the synaptic IO-F by enhancing the temporal and spatial EPSP summation. Blocking this NMDA-dependent amplification during postsynaptic integration of train stimulations resulted into a ∼20% reduction of the decay time course of the GABAergic inhibition. Thus, our data show that the NMDA-dependent amplification of the postsynaptic activity contributes to the GABAergic persistent inhibition generated by DNLL neurons.

  10. The epitranscriptome in modulating spatiotemporal RNA translation in neuronal post-synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Shobbir; Bashir, Zafar I.

    2015-01-01

    The application of next-generation-sequencing based methods has recently allowed the sequence-specific occurrence of RNA modifications to be investigated in transcriptome-wide settings. This has led to the emergence of a new field of molecular genetics research termed “epitranscriptomics.” Investigations have shown that these modifications can exert control over protein synthesis via various mechanisms, and particularly when occurring on messenger RNAs, can be dynamically regulated. Here, we propose that RNA modifications may be a critical regulator over the spatiotemporal control of protein-synthesis in neurons, which is supported by our finding that the RNA methylase NSun2 colocalizes with the translational-repressor FMRP at neuronal dendrites. We also observe that NSun2 commonly methylates mRNAs which encode components of the postsynaptic proteome, and further find that NSun2 and FMRP likely share a common subset of mRNA targets which include those that are known to be translated at dendrites in an activity-dependent manner. We consider potential roles for RNA modifications in space- time- and activity-dependent regulation of protein synthesis in neuronal physiology, with a particular focus on synaptic plasticity modulation. PMID:26582006

  11. Altered Striatal Synaptic Function and Abnormal Behaviour in Shank3 Exon4-9 Deletion Mouse Model of Autism.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Thomas C; Speed, Haley E; Xuan, Zhong; Reimers, Jeremy M; Liu, Shunan; Powell, Craig M

    2016-03-01

    Shank3 is a multi-domain, synaptic scaffolding protein that organizes proteins in the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. Clinical studies suggest that ∼ 0.5% of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases may involve SHANK3 mutation/deletion. Patients with SHANK3 mutations exhibit deficits in cognition along with delayed/impaired speech/language and repetitive and obsessive/compulsive-like (OCD-like) behaviors. To examine how mutation/deletion of SHANK3 might alter brain function leading to ASD, we have independently created mice with deletion of Shank3 exons 4-9, a region implicated in ASD patients. We find that homozygous deletion of exons 4-9 (Shank3(e4-9) KO) results in loss of the two highest molecular weight isoforms of Shank3 and a significant reduction in other isoforms. Behaviorally, both Shank3(e4-9) heterozygous (HET) and Shank3(e4-9) KO mice display increased repetitive grooming, deficits in novel and spatial object recognition learning and memory, and abnormal ultrasonic vocalizations. Shank3(e4-9) KO mice also display abnormal social interaction when paired with one another. Analysis of synaptosome fractions from striata of Shank3(e4-9) KO mice reveals decreased Homer1b/c, GluA2, and GluA3 expression. Both Shank3(e4-9) HET and KO demonstrated a significant reduction in NMDA/AMPA ratio at excitatory synapses onto striatal medium spiny neurons. Furthermore, Shank3(e4-9) KO mice displayed reduced hippocampal LTP despite normal baseline synaptic transmission. Collectively these behavioral, biochemical and physiological changes suggest Shank3 isoforms have region-specific roles in regulation of AMPAR subunit localization and NMDAR function in the Shank3(e4-9) mutant mouse model of autism. PMID:26559786

  12. The effect of sevoflurane on the cognitive function of rats and its association with the inhibition of synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Deng-Xin; Jiang, Shan; Yu, Li-Na; Zhang, Feng-Jiang; Zhuang, Qing; Yan, Min

    2015-01-01

    To observe the effects of different concentrations of sevoflurane on synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) expression, synaptic long term depression (LTD), and paired pulse depression (PPD) in the rat hippocampus as well as to investigate the association between these effects and the cognitive function of rats. A total of 24 male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were selected and randomly divided into 3 groups: the control group (group A), which inhaled air; group B, which inhaled 0.65 minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) sevoflurane for 2 h; and group C, which inhaled 1.30 MAC sevoflurane for 2 h. The subsequent experiments were performed after one day. (1) Y maze tests were performed, and the expression of Syt1 in hippocampal tissues was detected using western blot. (2) The changes in LTD and PPD in rat hippocampal slices were examined using electrophysiological techniques. Compared to the control group, the cognitive function was decreased and Syt1 expression in the hippocampus was significantly decreased in rats in the 1.30 MAC sevoflurane inhalation group. After 60 min of low frequency stimulation, the amplitudes of population spike (PS) potentials in rat hippocampal slices were significantly decreased. After induction of PPD, the P2/P1 ratio was significantly increased. No indicators in the 0.65 MAC sevoflurane inhalation group showed any significant changes. Inhalation of high concentrations of sevoflurane significantly reduced Syt1 protein levels in the rat hippocampus, significantly inhibited the release of presynaptic neurotransmitters, and reduced the efficiency of synaptic transmission, thus causing memory impairment. PMID:26885010

  13. Prenatal nicotine changes the response to postnatal chlorpyrifos: Interactions targeting serotonergic synaptic function and cognition.

    PubMed

    Slotkin, Theodore A; Skavicus, Samantha; Levin, Edward D; Seidler, Frederic J

    2015-02-01

    Nicotine and chlorpyrifos are developmental neurotoxicants that target serotonin systems. We examined whether prenatal nicotine exposure alters the subsequent response to chlorpyrifos given postnatally. Pregnant rats received nicotine throughout gestation at 3mg/kg/day, a regimen designed to achieve plasma levels seen in smokers; chlorpyrifos was given to pups on postnatal days (PN) 1-4 at 1mg/kg, just above the detection threshold for brain cholinesterase inhibition. We assessed long-term effects from adolescence (PN30) through full adulthood (PN150), measuring the expression of serotonin receptors and serotonin turnover (index of presynaptic impulse activity) in cerebrocortical brain regions encompassing the projections that are known targets for nicotine and chlorpyrifos. Nicotine or chlorpyrifos individually increased the expression of serotonin receptors, with greater effects on males than on females and with distinct temporal and regional patterns indicative of adaptive synaptic changes rather than simply an extension of initial injury. This interpretation was confirmed by our finding an increase in serotonin turnover, connoting presynaptic serotonergic hyperactivity. Animals receiving the combined treatment showed a reduction in these adaptive effects on receptor binding and turnover relative to the individual agents, or even an effect in the opposite direction; further, normal sex differences in serotonin receptor concentrations were dissipated or reversed, an effect that was confirmed by behavioral evaluations in the Novel Objection Recognition Test. In addition to the known liabilities associated with maternal smoking during pregnancy, our results point to additional costs in the form of heightened vulnerability to neurotoxic chemicals encountered later in life. PMID:25592617

  14. Functional reconstitution of the. gamma. -aminobutyric acid transporter from synaptic vesicles using artificial ion gradients

    SciTech Connect

    Hell, J.W.; Edelmann, L.; Hartinger, J.; Jahn, R. )

    1991-12-24

    The {gamma}-aminobutyric acid transporter of rat brain synaptic vesicles was reconstituted in proteoliposomes, and its activity was studied in response to artificially created membrane potentials or proton gradients. Changes of the membrane potential were monitored using the dyes oxonol VI and 3,3{prime}-diisopropylthiodicarbocyanine iodide, and changes of the H{sup +} gradient were followed using acridine orange. An inside positive membrane potential was generated by the creation of an inwardly directed K{sup +} gradient and the subsequent addition of valinomycin. Under these conditions, valinomycin evoked uptake of ({sup 3}H)GABA which was saturable. Similarly, ({sup 3}H)glutamate uptake was stimulated by valinomycin, indicating that both transporters can be driven by the membrane potential. Proton gradients were generated by the incubation of K{sup +}-loaded proteoliposomes in a buffer free of K{sup +} or Na{sup +} ions and the subsequent addition of nigericin. Proton gradients were also generated via the endogenous H{sup +} ATPase by incubation of K{sup +}-loaded proteoliposomes in equimolar K{sup +} buffer in the presence of valinomycin. These proton gradients evoked nonspecific, nonsaturable uptake of GABA and {beta}-alanine but not of glycine in proteoliposomes as well as protein-free liposomes. Therefore, transporter activity was monitored using glycine as an alternative substrate. Proton gradients generated by both methods elicited saturable glycine uptake in proteoliposomes. Together, these data confirm that the vesicular GABA transporter can be energized by both the membrane potential and the pH gradient and show that transport can be achieved by artificial gradients independently of the endogenous proton ATPase.

  15. Neonatal Parathion Exposure Disrupts Serotonin and Dopamine Synaptic Function in Rat Brain Regions

    PubMed Central

    Slotkin, Theodore A.; Wrench, Nicola; Ryde, Ian T.; Lassiter, T. Leon; Levin, Edward D.; Seidler, Frederic J.

    2009-01-01

    The consequences of exposure to developmental neurotoxicants are influenced by environmental factors. In the present study, we examined the role of dietary fat intake. We administered parathion to neonatal rats and then evaluated whether a high-fat diet begun in adulthood could modulate the persistent effects on 5HT and DA systems. Neonatal rats received parathion on postnatal days 1-4 at 0.1 or 0.2 mg/kg/day, straddling the cholinesterase inhibition threshold. In adulthood, half the animals in each exposure group were given a high-fat diet for 8 weeks. We assessed 5HT and DA concentrations and turnover in brain regions containing their respective cell bodies and projections. In addition, we monitored 5HT1A and 5HT2 receptor binding and the concentration of 5HT presynaptic transporters. Neonatal parathion exposure evoked widespread increases in neurotransmitter turnover, indicative of presynaptic hyperactivity, further augmented by 5HT receptor upregulation. In control rats, consumption of a high-fat diet recapitulated many of the changes seen with neonatal parathion exposure; the effects represented convergent mechanisms, since the high-fat diet often obtunded further increases caused by parathion. Neonatal parathion exposure causes lasting hyperactivity of 5HT and DA systems accompanied by 5HT receptor upregulation, consistent with “miswiring” of neuronal projections. A high-fat diet obtunds the effect of parathion, in part by eliciting similar changes itself. Thus, dietary factors may produce similar synaptic changes as do developmental neurotoxicants, potentially contributing to the increasing incidence in neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:19616088

  16. Synaptic encoding of temporal contiguity

    PubMed Central

    Ostojic, Srdjan; Fusi, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Often we need to perform tasks in an environment that changes stochastically. In these situations it is important to learn the statistics of sequences of events in order to predict the future and the outcome of our actions. The statistical description of many of these sequences can be reduced to the set of probabilities that a particular event follows another event (temporal contiguity). Under these conditions, it is important to encode and store in our memory these transition probabilities. Here we show that for a large class of synaptic plasticity models, the distribution of synaptic strengths encodes transitions probabilities. Specifically, when the synaptic dynamics depend on pairs of contiguous events and the synapses can remember multiple instances of the transitions, then the average synaptic weights are a monotonic function of the transition probabilities. The synaptic weights converge to the distribution encoding the probabilities also when the correlations between consecutive synaptic modifications are considered. We studied how this distribution depends on the number of synaptic states for a specific model of a multi-state synapse with hard bounds. In the case of bistable synapses, the average synaptic weights are a smooth function of the transition probabilities and the accuracy of the encoding depends on the learning rate. As the number of synaptic states increases, the average synaptic weights become a step function of the transition probabilities. We finally show that the information stored in the synaptic weights can be read out by a simple rate-based neural network. Our study shows that synapses encode transition probabilities under general assumptions and this indicates that temporal contiguity is likely to be encoded and harnessed in almost every neural circuit in the brain. PMID:23641210

  17. Loss of D2 dopamine receptor function modulates cocaine-induced glutamatergic synaptic potentiation in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Madhavan, Anuradha; Argilli, Emanuela; Bonci, Antonello; Whistler, Jennifer L

    2013-07-24

    Potentiation of glutamate responses is a critical synaptic response to cocaine exposure in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. However, the mechanism by which cocaine exposure promotes potentiation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and subsequently AMPA receptors (AMPARs) is not fully understood. In this study we demonstrate that repeated cocaine treatment causes loss of D2 dopamine receptor functional responses via interaction with lysosome-targeting G-protein-associated sorting protein1 (GASP1). We also show that the absence of D2 downregulation in GASP1-KO mice prevents cocaine-induced potentiation of NMDAR currents, elevation of the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and redistribution of NMDAR and AMPAR subunits to the membrane. As a pharmacological parallel, coadministration of the high-affinity D2 agonist, aripiprazole, reduces not only functional downregulation of D2s in response to cocaine but also potentiation of NMDAR and AMPAR responses in wild-type mice. Together these data suggest that functional loss of D2 receptors is a critical mechanism mediating cocaine-induced glutamate plasticity in VTA neurons.

  18. Loss of D2 Dopamine Receptor Function Modulates Cocaine-Induced Glutamatergic Synaptic Potentiation in the Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Madhavan, Anuradha; Argilli, Emanuela; Bonci, Antonello

    2013-01-01

    Potentiation of glutamate responses is a critical synaptic response to cocaine exposure in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. However, the mechanism by which cocaine exposure promotes potentiation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and subsequently AMPA receptors (AMPARs) is not fully understood. In this study we demonstrate that repeated cocaine treatment causes loss of D2 dopamine receptor functional responses via interaction with lysosome-targeting G-protein-associated sorting protein1 (GASP1). We also show that the absence of D2 downregulation in GASP1-KO mice prevents cocaine-induced potentiation of NMDAR currents, elevation of the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and redistribution of NMDAR and AMPAR subunits to the membrane. As a pharmacological parallel, coadministration of the high-affinity D2 agonist, aripiprazole, reduces not only functional downregulation of D2s in response to cocaine but also potentiation of NMDAR and AMPAR responses in wild-type mice. Together these data suggest that functional loss of D2 receptors is a critical mechanism mediating cocaine-induced glutamate plasticity in VTA neurons. PMID:23884939

  19. Loss of D2 dopamine receptor function modulates cocaine-induced glutamatergic synaptic potentiation in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Madhavan, Anuradha; Argilli, Emanuela; Bonci, Antonello; Whistler, Jennifer L

    2013-07-24

    Potentiation of glutamate responses is a critical synaptic response to cocaine exposure in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. However, the mechanism by which cocaine exposure promotes potentiation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and subsequently AMPA receptors (AMPARs) is not fully understood. In this study we demonstrate that repeated cocaine treatment causes loss of D2 dopamine receptor functional responses via interaction with lysosome-targeting G-protein-associated sorting protein1 (GASP1). We also show that the absence of D2 downregulation in GASP1-KO mice prevents cocaine-induced potentiation of NMDAR currents, elevation of the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and redistribution of NMDAR and AMPAR subunits to the membrane. As a pharmacological parallel, coadministration of the high-affinity D2 agonist, aripiprazole, reduces not only functional downregulation of D2s in response to cocaine but also potentiation of NMDAR and AMPAR responses in wild-type mice. Together these data suggest that functional loss of D2 receptors is a critical mechanism mediating cocaine-induced glutamate plasticity in VTA neurons. PMID:23884939

  20. Ultrastructural readout of functional synaptic vesicle pools in hippocampal slices based on FM dye labeling and photoconversion.

    PubMed

    Marra, Vincenzo; Burden, Jemima J; Crawford, Freya; Staras, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Fast activity-driven turnover of neurotransmitter-filled vesicles at presynaptic terminals is a crucial step in information transfer in the CNS. Characterization of the relationship between the nanoscale organization of synaptic vesicles and their functional properties during transmission is currently of interest. Here we outline a procedure for ultrastructural investigation of functional vesicles in synapses from native mammalian brain tissue. FM dye is injected into the target region of a brain slice and upstream axons are electrically activated to stimulate vesicle turnover and dye uptake. In the presence of diaminobenzidine (DAB), photoactivation of dye-filled vesicles yields an osmiophilic precipitate that is visible in electron micrographs. When combined with serial-section electron microscopy, fundamental ultrastructure-function relationships of presynaptic terminals in native circuits are revealed. We outline the utility of this protocol for the 3D reconstruction of a recycling vesicle pool in CA3-CA1 synapses from an acute hippocampal slice and for the characterization of its anatomically defined docked pool. This protocol requires 6-7 d.

  1. Impact of Increased Astrocyte Expression of IL-6, CCL2 or CXCL10 in Transgenic Mice on Hippocampal Synaptic Function

    PubMed Central

    Gruol, Donna L.

    2016-01-01

    An important aspect of CNS disease and injury is the elevated expression of neuroimmune factors. These factors are thought to contribute to processes ranging from recovery and repair to pathology. The complexity of the CNS and the multitude of neuroimmune factors that are expressed in the CNS during disease and injury is a challenge to an understanding of the consequences of the elevated expression relative to CNS function. One approach to address this issue is the use of transgenic mice that express elevated levels of a specific neuroimmune factor in the CNS by a cell type that normally produces it. This approach can provide basic information about the actions of specific neuroimmune factors and can contribute to an understanding of more complex conditions when multiple neuroimmune factors are expressed. This review summarizes studies using transgenic mice that express elevated levels of IL-6, CCL2 or CXCL10 through increased astrocyte expression. The studies focus on the effects of these neuroimmune factors on synaptic function at the Schaffer collateral to CA1 pyramidal neuron synapse of the hippocampus, a brain region that plays a key role in cognitive function. PMID:27322336

  2. Altered GluN2B NMDA receptor function and synaptic plasticity during early pathology in the PS2APP mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Jesse E.; Pare, Jean-Francois; Deng, Lunbin; Smith, Yoland; Zhou, Qiang

    2015-01-01

    GluN2B subunit containing NMDARs (GluN2B-NMDARs) mediate pathophysiological effects of acutely applied amyloid beta (Aβ), including impaired long-term potentiation (LTP). However, in transgenic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mouse models which feature gradual Aβ accumulation, the function of GluN2B-NMDARs and their contribution to synaptic plasticity are unknown. Therefore, we examined the role of GluN2B-NMDARs in synaptic function and plasticity in the hippocampus of PS2APP transgenic mice. Although LTP induced by theta burst stimulation (TBS) was normal in PS2APP mice, it was significantly reduced by the selective GluN2B-NMDAR antagonist Ro25-6981 (Ro25) in PS2APP mice, but not wild type (wt) mice. While NMDARs activated by single synaptic stimuli were not blocked by Ro25, NMDARs recruited during burst stimulation showed larger blockade by Ro25 in PS2APP mice. Thus, the unusual dependence of LTP on GluN2B-NMDARs in PS2APP mice suggests that non-synaptic GluN2B-NMDARs are activated by glutamate that spills out of synaptic cleft during the burst stimulation used to induce LTP. While long-term depression (LTD) was normal in PS2APP mice, and Ro25 had no impact on LTD in wt mice, Ro25 impaired LTD in PS2APP mice, again demonstrating aberrant GluN2B-NMDAR function during plasticity. Together these results demonstrate altered GluN2B-NMDAR function in a model of early AD pathology that has implications for the therapeutic targeting of NMDARs in AD. PMID:25484285

  3. Modification of extracellular matrix by enzymatic removal of chondroitin sulfate and by lack of tenascin-R differentially affects several forms of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Bukalo, O; Schachner, M; Dityatev, A

    2001-01-01

    The extracellular matrix is a complex network of macromolecules including glycoproteins, polysaccharides and proteoglycans. Tenascin-R and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans are essential components of hippocampal extracellular matrix co-localised in perineuronal nets on interneurons. Mutant mice deficient in expression of tenascin-R showed a two-fold reduction of long-term potentiation induced by theta-burst stimulation of Schaffer collaterals in the stratum radiatum of the CA1 region of the hippocampus, as compared to wild-type mice. The same reduction in potentiation was observed in slices from wild-type mice pretreated for 2h with chondroitinase ABC that completely removed chondroitin sulfates from the extracellular matrix. Treatment of slices from tenascin-R deficient animals with the enzyme did not further reduce potentiation in comparison with untreated slices from these mice, showing an occlusion of effects produced by removal of tenascin-R and chondroitin sulfates. However, the level of potentiation recorded immediately after theta-burst stimulation was significantly higher in wild-type than in tenascin-R deficient mice, whereas chondroitinase ABC had no significant effect on this short-term form of plasticity. Enzymatic treatment also did not affect short-term depression evoked by low-frequency stimulation, whereas this form of synaptic plasticity was reduced in tenascin-R deficient mice. In contrast, long-term depression in CA1 was impaired by digestion of chondroitin sulfates but appeared normal in tenascin-R mutants. Our data demonstrate that tenascin-R and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans differentially modulate several forms of synaptic plasticity, suggesting that different mechanisms are involved.

  4. Excitatory amino acid transporters tonically restrain nTS synaptic and neuronal activity to modulate cardiorespiratory function.

    PubMed

    Matott, Michael P; Ruyle, Brian C; Hasser, Eileen M; Kline, David D

    2016-03-01

    The nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS) is the initial central termination site for visceral afferents and is important for modulation and integration of multiple reflexes including cardiorespiratory reflexes. Glutamate is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter in the nTS and is removed from the extracellular milieu by excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs). The goal of this study was to elucidate the role of EAATs in the nTS on basal synaptic and neuronal function and cardiorespiratory regulation. The majority of glutamate clearance in the central nervous system is believed to be mediated by astrocytic EAAT 1 and 2. We confirmed the presence of EAAT 1 and 2 within the nTS and their colocalization with astrocytic markers. EAAT blockade withdl-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartic acid (TBOA) produced a concentration-related depolarization, increased spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) frequency, and enhanced action potential discharge in nTS neurons. Solitary tract-evoked EPSCs were significantly reduced by EAAT blockade. Microinjection of TBOA into the nTS of anesthetized rats induced apneic, sympathoinhibitory, depressor, and bradycardic responses. These effects mimicked the response to microinjection of exogenous glutamate, and glutamate responses were enhanced by EAAT blockade. Together these data indicate that EAATs tonically restrain nTS excitability to modulate cardiorespiratory function.

  5. The Role of β-Amyloid Protein in Synaptic Function: Implications for Alzheimer’s Disease Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Peña, F; Gutiérrez-Lerma, AI; Quiroz-Baez, R; Arias, C

    2006-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive and irreversible loss of memory and other cognitive functions. Substantial evidence based on genetic, neuropathological and biochemical data has established the central role of β-amyloid protein (βAP) in this pathology. Although the precise etiology of AD is not well understood yet, strong evidence for some of the molecular events that lead to progressive brain dysfunction and neurodegeneration in AD has been afforded by identification of biochemical pathways implicated in the generation of βAP, development of transgenic models exhibiting progressive disease pathology and by data on the effects of βAP at the neuronal network level. However, the mechanisms by which βAP causes cognitive decline have not been determined, nor is it clear if the degree of dementia correlates in time with the degree of neuronal loss. Hence, it is of interest to understand the biochemical processes involved in the mechanisms of βAP-induced neurotoxicity and the mechanisms involved in electrophysiological effects of this protein on different parameters of synaptic transmission and on neuronal firing properties. In this review we analyze recent evidence suggesting a complex role of βAP in the molecular events that lead to progressive loss of function and eventually to neurodegeneration in AD as well as the therapeutic implications based on βAP metabolism inhibition. PMID:18615129

  6. Synaptic Tagging During Memory Allocation

    PubMed Central

    Rogerson, Thomas; Cai, Denise; Frank, Adam; Sano, Yoshitake; Shobe, Justin; Aranda, Manuel L.; Silva, Alcino J.

    2014-01-01

    There is now compelling evidence that the allocation of memory to specific neurons (neuronal allocation) and synapses (synaptic allocation) in a neurocircuit is not random and that instead specific mechanisms, such as increases in neuronal excitability and synaptic tagging and capture, determine the exact sites where memories are stored. We propose an integrated view of these processes, such that neuronal allocation, synaptic tagging and capture, spine clustering and metaplasticity reflect related aspects of memory allocation mechanisms. Importantly, the properties of these mechanisms suggest a set of rules that profoundly affect how memories are stored and recalled. PMID:24496410

  7. Altered Cortical Dynamics and Cognitive Function upon Haploinsufficiency of the Autism-Linked Excitatory Synaptic Suppressor MDGA2.

    PubMed

    Connor, Steven A; Ammendrup-Johnsen, Ina; Chan, Allen W; Kishimoto, Yasushi; Murayama, Chiaki; Kurihara, Naokazu; Tada, Atsushi; Ge, Yuan; Lu, Hong; Yan, Ryan; LeDue, Jeffrey M; Matsumoto, Hirotaka; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Kirino, Yutaka; Matsuzaki, Fumio; Suzuki, Toshiharu; Murphy, Timothy H; Wang, Yu Tian; Yamamoto, Tohru; Craig, Ann Marie

    2016-09-01

    Mutations in a synaptic organizing pathway contribute to autism. Autism-associated mutations in MDGA2 (MAM domain containing glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor 2) are thought to reduce excitatory/inhibitory transmission. However, we show that mutation of Mdga2 elevates excitatory transmission, and that MDGA2 blocks neuroligin-1 interaction with neurexins and suppresses excitatory synapse development. Mdga2(+/-) mice, modeling autism mutations, demonstrated increased asymmetric synapse density, mEPSC frequency and amplitude, and altered LTP, with no change in measures of inhibitory synapses. Behavioral assays revealed an autism-like phenotype including stereotypy, aberrant social interactions, and impaired memory. In vivo voltage-sensitive dye imaging, facilitating comparison with fMRI studies in autism, revealed widespread increases in cortical spontaneous activity and intracortical functional connectivity. These results suggest that mutations in MDGA2 contribute to altered cortical processing through the dual disadvantages of elevated excitation and hyperconnectivity, and indicate that perturbations of the NRXN-NLGN pathway in either direction from the norm increase risk for autism. PMID:27608760

  8. Acute Toluene Exposure alters expression of genes associated with synaptic structure and function

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toluene (TOL), a volatile organic compound, is a ubiquitous air pollutant of interest to EPA regulatory programs. Whereas its acute functional effects are well described, several potential modes of action in the CNS have been proposed. Therefore, the genomic response to acute TOL...

  9. Insulin-like growth factor I interfaces with brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated synaptic plasticity to modulate aspects of exercise-induced cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Ding, Q; Vaynman, S; Akhavan, M; Ying, Z; Gomez-Pinilla, F

    2006-07-01

    The ability of exercise to benefit neuronal and cognitive plasticity is well recognized. This study reveals that the effects of exercise on brain neuronal and cognitive plasticity are in part modulated by a central source of insulin-like growth factor-I. Exercise selectively increased insulin-like growth factor-I expression without affecting insulin-like growth factor-II expression in the rat hippocampus. To determine the role that insulin-like growth factor-I holds in mediating exercise-induced neuronal and cognitive enhancement, a specific antibody against the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor was used to block the action of insulin-like growth factor-I in the hippocampus during a 5-day voluntary exercise period. A two-trial-per-day Morris water maze was performed for five consecutive days, succeeded by a probe trial 2 days later. Blocking hippocampal insulin-like growth factor-I receptors did not significantly attenuate the ability of exercise to enhance learning acquisition, but abolished the effect of exercise on augmenting recall. Blocking the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor significantly reversed the exercise-induced increase in the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA and protein and pro-brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein, suggesting that the effects of insulin-like growth factor-I may be partially accomplished by modulating the precursor to the mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor. A molecular analysis revealed that exercise significantly elevated proteins downstream to brain-derived neurotrophic factor activation important for synaptic function, i.e. synapsin I, and signal transduction cascades associated with memory processes, i.e. phosphorylated calcium/calmodulin protein kinase II and phosphorylated mitogen-activated protein kinase II. Blocking the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor abolished these exercise-induced increases. Our results illustrate a possible mechanism by which insulin-like growth factor-I interfaces

  10. Overexpression of Swedish mutant APP in aged astrocytes attenuates excitatory synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Katsurabayashi, Shutaro; Kawano, Hiroyuki; Ii, Miyuki; Nakano, Sachiko; Tatsumi, Chihiro; Kubota, Kaori; Takasaki, Kotaro; Mishima, Kenichi; Fujiwara, Michihiro; Iwasaki, Katsunori

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid precursor protein (APP), a type I transmembrane protein, has different aspects, namely, performs essential physiological functions and produces β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). Overexpression of neuronal APP is responsible for synaptic dysfunction. In the central nervous system, astrocytes - a major glial cell type - have an important role in the regulation of synaptic transmission. Although APP is expressed in astrocytes, it remains unclear whether astrocytic overexpression of mutant APP affects synaptic transmission. In this study, the effect of astrocytic overexpression of a mutant APP on the excitatory synaptic transmission was investigated using coculture system of the transgenic (Tg) cortical astrocytes that express the human APP695 polypeptide with the double mutation K670N + M671L found in a large Swedish family with early onset Alzheimer's disease, and wild-type hippocampal neuron. Significant secretion of Aβ 1-40 and 1-42 was observed in cultured cortical astrocytes from the Tg2576 transgenic mouse that genetically overexpresses Swedish mutant APP. Under the condition, Tg astrocytes did not affect excitatory synaptic transmission of cocultured wild-type neurons. However, aged Tg astrocytes cultured for 9 weeks elicited a significant decrease in excitatory synaptic transmission in cocultured neurons. Moreover, a reduction in the number of readily releasable synaptic vesicles accompanied a decrease in the number of excitatory synapses in neurons cocultured with aged Tg astrocytes. These observations indicate that astrocytic expression of the mutant APP is involved in the downregulation of synaptic transmission with age. PMID:26733247

  11. An improved test for detecting multiplicative homeostatic synaptic scaling.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jimok; Tsien, Richard W; Alger, Bradley E

    2012-01-01

    Homeostatic scaling of synaptic strengths is essential for maintenance of network "gain", but also poses a risk of losing the distinctions among relative synaptic weights, which are possibly cellular correlates of memory storage. Multiplicative scaling of all synapses has been proposed as a mechanism that would preserve the relative weights among them, because they would all be proportionately adjusted. It is crucial for this hypothesis that all synapses be affected identically, but whether or not this actually occurs is difficult to determine directly. Mathematical tests for multiplicative synaptic scaling are presently carried out on distributions of miniature synaptic current amplitudes, but the accuracy of the test procedure has not been fully validated. We now show that the existence of an amplitude threshold for empirical detection of miniature synaptic currents limits the use of the most common method for detecting multiplicative changes. Our new method circumvents the problem by discarding the potentially distorting subthreshold values after computational scaling. This new method should be useful in assessing the underlying neurophysiological nature of a homeostatic synaptic scaling transformation, and therefore in evaluating its functional significance.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. FGF21 improves cognition by restored synaptic plasticity, dendritic spine density, brain mitochondrial function and cell apoptosis in obese-insulin resistant male rats.

    PubMed

    Sa-Nguanmoo, Piangkwan; Tanajak, Pongpan; Kerdphoo, Sasiwan; Satjaritanun, Pattarapong; Wang, Xiaojie; Liang, Guang; Li, Xiaokun; Jiang, Chao; Pratchayasakul, Wasana; Chattipakorn, Nipon; Chattipakorn, Siriporn C

    2016-09-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is an endocrine hormone which exerts beneficial effects on metabolic regulation in obese and diabetic models. However, the effect of FGF21 on cognition in obese-insulin resistant rats has not been investigated. We hypothesized that FGF21 prevented cognitive decline in obese-insulin resistant rats by improving hippocampal synaptic plasticity, dendritic spine density, brain mitochondrial function and brain FGF21 signaling as well as decreasing brain cell apoptosis. Eighteen male Wistar rats were divided into two groups, and received either a normal diet (ND) (n=6) or a high fat diet (HFD) (n=12) for 12weeks. At week 13, the HFD-fed rats were subdivided into two subgroups (n=6/subgroup) to receive either vehicle or recombinant human FGF21 (0.1mg/kg/day) for four weeks. ND-fed rats were given vehicle for four weeks. At the end of the treatment, cognitive function, metabolic parameters, pro-inflammatory markers, brain mitochondrial function, cell apoptosis, hippocampal synaptic plasticity, dendritic spine density and brain FGF21 signaling were determined. The results showed that vehicle-treated HFD-fed rats developed obese-insulin resistance and cognitive decline with impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity, decreased dendritic spine density, brain mitochondrial dysfunction and increased brain cell apoptosis. Impaired brain FGF 21 signaling was found in these obese-insulin resistant rats. FGF21-treated obese-insulin resistant rats had improved peripheral insulin sensitivity, increased hippocampal synaptic plasticity, increased dendritic spine density, restored brain mitochondrial function, attenuated brain cells apoptosis and increased brain FGF21 signaling, leading to a prevention of cognitive decline. These findings suggest that FGF21 treatment exerts neuroprotection in obese-insulin resistant rats. PMID:27566237

  15. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Marcos G.

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Energy substrates to support glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic function: role of glycogen, glucose and lactate.

    PubMed

    Schousboe, Arne; Bak, Lasse K; Sickmann, Helle M; Sonnewald, Ursula; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2007-12-01

    Maintenance of glutamatergic and GABAergic activity requires a continuous supply of energy since the exocytotic processes as well as high affinity glutamate and GABA uptake and subsequent metabolism of glutamate to glutamine are energy demanding processes. The main energy substrate for the brain under normal conditions is glucose but at the cellular level, i.e., neurons and astrocytes, lactate may play an important role as well. In addition to this the possibility exists that glycogen, which functions as a glucose storage molecule and which is only present in astrocytes, could play a role not only during aglycemia but also during normoglycemia. These issues are discussed and it is concluded that both glucose and lactate are of importance for the maintenance of normal glutamatergic and GABAergic activity. However, with regard to maintenance of an adequate capacity for glutamate transport, it appears that glucose metabolism via the glycolytic pathway plays a fundamental role. Additionally, evidence is presented to support the notion that glycogen turnover may play an important role in this context. Moreover, it should be noted that the amino acid neurotransmitters can be used as metabolic substrates. This requires pyruvate recycling, a process that is discussed as well.

  18. 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.

  19. Analysis of functional polymorphisms in three synaptic plasticity-related genes (BDNF, COMT AND UCHL1) in Alzheimer's disease in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Forero, Diego A; Benítez, Bruno; Arboleda, Gonzalo; Yunis, Juan J; Pardo, Rodrigo; Arboleda, Humberto

    2006-07-01

    In recent years, it has been proposed that synaptic dysfunction may be an important etiological factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). This hypothesis has important implications for the analysis of AD genetic risk in case-control studies. In the present work, we analyzed common functional polymorphisms in three synaptic plasticity-related genes (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF Val66Met; catechol-O-methyl transferase, COMT Val158; ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydroxylase, UCHL1 S18Y) in a sample of 102 AD cases and 168 age and sex matched controls living in Bogotá, Colombia. There was not association between UCHL1 polymorphism and AD in our sample. We have found an initial association with BDNF polymorphism in familial cases and with COMT polymorphism in male and sporadic patients. These initial associations were lost after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. Unadjusted results may be compatible with the expected functional effect of variations in these genes on pathological memory and cognitive dysfunction, as has been implicated in animal and cell models and also from neuropsychological analysis of normal subjects carriers of the AD associated genotypes. An exploration of functional variants in these and in other synaptic plasticity-related genes (a synaptogenomics approach) in independent larger samples will be important to discover new genes associated with AD.

  20. Modulation of synaptic function by VAC14, a protein that regulates the phosphoinositides PI(3,5)P2 and PI(5)P

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yanling; McCartney, Amber J; Zolov, Sergey N; Ferguson, Cole J; Meisler, Miriam H; Sutton, Michael A; Weisman, Lois S

    2012-01-01

    Normal steady-state levels of the signalling lipids PI(3,5)P2 and PI(5)P require the lipid kinase FAB1/PIKfyve and its regulators, VAC14 and FIG4. Mutations in the PIKfyve/VAC14/FIG4 pathway are associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in humans, and profound neurodegeneration in mice. Hence, tight regulation of this pathway is critical for neural function. Here, we examine the localization and physiological role of VAC14 in neurons. We report that endogenous VAC14 localizes to endocytic organelles in fibroblasts and neurons. Unexpectedly, VAC14 exhibits a pronounced synaptic localization in hippocampal neurons, suggesting a role in regulating synaptic function. Indeed, the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents is enhanced in both Vac14−/− and Fig4−/− neurons. Re-introduction of VAC14 in postsynaptic Vac14−/− cells reverses this effect. These changes in synaptic strength in Vac14−/− neurons are associated with enhanced surface levels of the AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit GluA2, an effect that is due to diminished regulated endocytosis of AMPA receptors. Thus, VAC14, PI(3,5)P2 and/or PI(5)P play a role in controlling postsynaptic function via regulation of endocytic cycling of AMPA receptors. PMID:22842785

  1. Optical fiber synaptic sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisarchik, A. N.; Jaimes-Reátegui, R.; Sevilla-Escoboza, R.; García-Lopez, J. H.; Kazantsev, V. B.

    2011-06-01

    Understanding neuron connections is a great challenge, which is needed to solve many important problems in neurobiology and neuroengineering for recreation of brain functions and efficient biorobotics. In particular, a design of an optical synapse capable to communicate with neuron spike sequences would be crucial to improve the functionality of neuromimmetic networks. In this work we propose an optical synaptic sensor based on an erbium-doped fiber laser driven by a FitzHung-Nagumo electronic neuron, to connect with another electronic neuron. Two possible optical synaptic configurations are analyzed for optoelectronic coupling between neurons: laser cavity loss modulation and pump laser modulation. The control parameters of the proposed optical synapse provide additional degrees of flexibility to the neuron connection traditionally controlled only by coupling strengths in artificial networks.

  2. Synaptic Control of Motoneuronal Excitability

    PubMed Central

    Rekling, Jens C.; Funk, Gregory D.; Bayliss, Douglas A.; Dong, Xiao-Wei; Feldman, Jack L.

    2016-01-01

    Movement, the fundamental component of behavior and the principal extrinsic action of the brain, is produced when skeletal muscles contract and relax in response to patterns of action potentials generated by motoneurons. The processes that determine the firing behavior of motoneurons are therefore important in understanding the transformation of neural activity to motor behavior. Here, we review recent studies on the control of motoneuronal excitability, focusing on synaptic and cellular properties. We first present a background description of motoneurons: their development, anatomical organization, and membrane properties, both passive and active. We then describe the general anatomical organization of synaptic input to motoneurons, followed by a description of the major transmitter systems that affect motoneuronal excitability, including ligands, receptor distribution, pre- and postsynaptic actions, signal transduction, and functional role. Glutamate is the main excitatory, and GABA and glycine are the main inhibitory transmitters acting through ionotropic receptors. These amino acids signal the principal motor commands from peripheral, spinal, and supraspinal structures. Amines, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, and neuropeptides, as well as the glutamate and GABA acting at metabotropic receptors, modulate motoneuronal excitability through pre- and postsynaptic actions. Acting principally via second messenger systems, their actions converge on common effectors, e.g., leak K+ current, cationic inward current, hyperpolarization-activated inward current, Ca2+ channels, or presynaptic release processes. Together, these numerous inputs mediate and modify incoming motor commands, ultimately generating the coordinated firing patterns that underlie muscle contractions during motor behavior. PMID:10747207

  3. Synaptic clustering within dendrites: an emerging theory of memory formation.

    PubMed

    Kastellakis, George; Cai, Denise J; Mednick, Sara C; Silva, Alcino J; Poirazi, Panayiota

    2015-03-01

    It is generally accepted that complex memories are stored in distributed representations throughout the brain, however the mechanisms underlying these representations are not understood. Here, we review recent findings regarding the subcellular mechanisms implicated in memory formation, which provide evidence for a dendrite-centered theory of memory. Plasticity-related phenomena which affect synaptic properties, such as synaptic tagging and capture, synaptic clustering, branch strength potentiation and spinogenesis provide the foundation for a model of memory storage that relies heavily on processes operating at the dendrite level. The emerging picture suggests that clusters of functionally related synapses may serve as key computational and memory storage units in the brain. We discuss both experimental evidence and theoretical models that support this hypothesis and explore its advantages for neuronal function.

  4. Synaptic clustering within dendrites: an emerging theory of memory formation

    PubMed Central

    Kastellakis, George; Cai, Denise J.; Mednick, Sara C.; Silva, Alcino J.; Poirazi, Panayiota

    2015-01-01

    It is generally accepted that complex memories are stored in distributed representations throughout the brain, however the mechanisms underlying these representations are not understood. Here, we review recent findings regarding the subcellular mechanisms implicated in memory formation, which provide evidence for a dendrite-centered theory of memory. Plasticity-related phenomena which affect synaptic properties, such as synaptic tagging and capture, synaptic clustering, branch strength potentiation and spinogenesis provide the foundation for a model of memory storage that relies heavily on processes operating at the dendrite level. The emerging picture suggests that clusters of functionally related synapses may serve as key computational and memory storage units in the brain. We discuss both experimental evidence and theoretical models that support this hypothesis and explore its advantages for neuronal function. PMID:25576663

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

    PubMed Central

    De Pittà, Maurizio; Brunel, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Molecular underpinnings of synaptic vesicle pool heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Devon C; Kavalali, Ege T

    2015-04-01

    Neuronal communication relies on chemical synaptic transmission for information transfer and processing. Chemical neurotransmission is initiated by synaptic vesicle fusion with the presynaptic active zone resulting in release of neurotransmitters. Classical models have assumed that all synaptic vesicles within a synapse have the same potential to fuse under different functional contexts. In this model, functional differences among synaptic vesicle populations are ascribed to their spatial distribution in the synapse with respect to the active zone. Emerging evidence suggests, however, that synaptic vesicles are not a homogenous population of organelles, and they possess intrinsic molecular differences and differential interaction partners. Recent studies have reported a diverse array of synaptic molecules that selectively regulate synaptic vesicles' ability to fuse synchronously and asynchronously in response to action potentials or spontaneously irrespective of action potentials. Here we discuss these molecular mediators of vesicle pool heterogeneity that are found on the synaptic vesicle membrane, on the presynaptic plasma membrane, or within the cytosol and consider some of the functional consequences of this diversity. This emerging molecular framework presents novel avenues to probe synaptic function and uncover how synaptic vesicle pools impact neuronal signaling.

  7. Targeted inactivation of synaptic HRG4(UNC119) causes dysfunction in the distal photoreceptor and slow retinal degeneration, revealing a new function

    PubMed Central

    Ishiba, Yasutsugu; Higashide, Tomomi; Mori, Naoki; Kobayashi, Akira; Kutobta, Shinya; McLaren, Margaret J.; Satoh, Hiromasa; Wong, Fulton; Inana, George

    2007-01-01

    HRG4(UNC119) is a photoreceptor protein predominantly localized to the photoreceptor synapses and to the inner segments to a lesser degree. A heterozygous truncation mutation in HRG4 was found in a patient with late onset cone-rod dystrophy, and a transgenic (TG) mouse expressing the identical mutant protein developed late onset retinal degeneration, confirming the pathogenic potential of HRG4. Recently, the dominant negative pathogenic mechanism in the TG model was shown to involve increased affinity of the truncated mutant HRG4 for its target, ARL2, which leads to a delayed decrease in its downstream target, mitochondrial ANT1, mitochondrial stress, synaptic degeneration, trans-synaptic degeneration, and whole photoreceptor degeneration by apoptosis. In this study, the mouse HRG4 (MRG4) gene was cloned and targeted to construct a knock-out (KO) mouse model of HRG4 in order to study the effects of completely inactivating this protein. The KO model was examined by genomic Southern blotting, western blotting, immunofluorescence, funduscopy, LM and EM histopathology, ERG, and TUNEL analyses. The KO model developed a slowly progressive retinal degeneration, characterized by mottling in the fundus, mild thinning of the photoreceptor layer, and increase in apoptosis as early as 6 months, dramatic acceleration at ~17 months, and virtual obliteration of the photoreceptors by 20 months. When compared to retinal degeneration in the TG model, significant differences existed in the KO consisting of more severe and early photoreceptor death without evidence of early synaptic and trans-synaptic degeneration as seen in the TG, confirmed by LM and EM histopathology, ERG, and western blotting of synaptic proteins. The results indicated a dysfunction in the KO outside the synapses in the distal end of photoreceptors where MRG4 is also localized. Differences in the phenotypes of retinal degeneration in the KO and TG models reflect a dysfunction in the two opposite ends of

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Blockade of Astrocytic Calcineurin/NFAT Signaling Helps to Normalize Hippocampal Synaptic Function and Plasticity in a Rat Model of Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Furman, Jennifer L.; Sompol, Pradoldej; Kraner, Susan D.; Pleiss, Melanie M.; Putman, Esther J.; Dunkerson, Jacob; Mohmmad Abdul, Hafiz; Roberts, Kelly N.; Scheff, Stephen W.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the calcineurin (CN)-dependent transcription factor NFAT (Nuclear Factor of Activated T cells) mediates deleterious effects of astrocytes in progressive neurodegenerative conditions. However, the impact of astrocytic CN/NFAT signaling on neural function/recovery after acute injury has not been investigated extensively. Using a controlled cortical impact (CCI) procedure in rats, we show that traumatic brain injury is associated with an increase in the activities of NFATs 1 and 4 in the hippocampus at 7 d after injury. NFAT4, but not NFAT1, exhibited extensive labeling in astrocytes and was found throughout the axon/dendrite layers of CA1 and the dentate gyrus. Blockade of the astrocytic CN/NFAT pathway in rats using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors expressing the astrocyte-specific promoter Gfa2 and the NFAT-inhibitory peptide VIVIT prevented the injury-related loss of basal CA1 synaptic strength and key synaptic proteins and reduced the susceptibility to induction of long-term depression. In conjunction with these seemingly beneficial effects, VIVIT treatment elicited a marked increase in the expression of the prosynaptogenic factor SPARCL1 (hevin), especially in hippocampal tissue ipsilateral to the CCI injury. However, in contrast to previous work on Alzheimer's mouse models, AAV-Gfa2-VIVIT had no effects on the levels of GFAP and Iba1, suggesting that synaptic benefits of VIVIT were not attributable to a reduction in glial activation per se. Together, the results implicate the astrocytic CN/NFAT4 pathway as a key mechanism for disrupting synaptic remodeling and homeostasis in the hippocampus after acute injury. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Similar to microglia, astrocytes become strongly “activated” with neural damage and exhibit numerous morphologic/biochemical changes, including an increase in the expression/activity of the protein phosphatase calcineurin. Using adeno-associated virus (AAV) to inhibit the calcineurin

  10. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Rial, Daniel; Lemos, Cristina; Pinheiro, Helena; Duarte, Joana M; Gonçalves, Francisco Q; Real, Joana I; Prediger, Rui D; Gonçalves, Nélio; Gomes, Catarina A; Canas, Paula M; Agostinho, Paula; Cunha, Rodrigo A

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies combining pharmacological, behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular approaches indicate that depression results from maladaptive neuroplastic processes occurring in defined frontolimbic circuits responsible for emotional processing such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral striatum. However, the exact mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity that are disrupted to trigger depressive conditions have not been elucidated. Since glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) tightly and dynamically interact with synapses, engaging a bi-directional communication critical for the processing of synaptic information, we now revisit the role of glial cells in the etiology of depression focusing on a dysfunction of the "quad-partite" synapse. This interest is supported by the observations that depressive-like conditions are associated with a decreased density and hypofunction of astrocytes and with an increased microglia "activation" in frontolimbic regions, which is expected to contribute for the synaptic dysfunction present in depression. Furthermore, the traditional culprits of depression (glucocorticoids, biogenic amines, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF) affect glia functioning, whereas antidepressant treatments (serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, electroshocks, deep brain stimulation) recover glia functioning. In this context of a quad-partite synapse, systems modulating glia-synapse bidirectional communication-such as the purinergic neuromodulation system operated by adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine-emerge as promising candidates to "re-normalize" synaptic function by combining direct synaptic effects with an ability to also control astrocyte and microglia function. This proposed triple action of purines to control aberrant synaptic function illustrates the rationale to consider the interference with glia dysfunction as a mechanism of action driving the design of future pharmacological tools to

  11. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Rial, Daniel; Lemos, Cristina; Pinheiro, Helena; Duarte, Joana M.; Gonçalves, Francisco Q.; Real, Joana I.; Prediger, Rui D.; Gonçalves, Nélio; Gomes, Catarina A.; Canas, Paula M.; Agostinho, Paula; Cunha, Rodrigo A.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies combining pharmacological, behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular approaches indicate that depression results from maladaptive neuroplastic processes occurring in defined frontolimbic circuits responsible for emotional processing such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral striatum. However, the exact mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity that are disrupted to trigger depressive conditions have not been elucidated. Since glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) tightly and dynamically interact with synapses, engaging a bi-directional communication critical for the processing of synaptic information, we now revisit the role of glial cells in the etiology of depression focusing on a dysfunction of the “quad-partite” synapse. This interest is supported by the observations that depressive-like conditions are associated with a decreased density and hypofunction of astrocytes and with an increased microglia “activation” in frontolimbic regions, which is expected to contribute for the synaptic dysfunction present in depression. Furthermore, the traditional culprits of depression (glucocorticoids, biogenic amines, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF) affect glia functioning, whereas antidepressant treatments (serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, electroshocks, deep brain stimulation) recover glia functioning. In this context of a quad-partite synapse, systems modulating glia-synapse bidirectional communication—such as the purinergic neuromodulation system operated by adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine—emerge as promising candidates to “re-normalize” synaptic function by combining direct synaptic effects with an ability to also control astrocyte and microglia function. This proposed triple action of purines to control aberrant synaptic function illustrates the rationale to consider the interference with glia dysfunction as a mechanism of action driving the design of future

  12. Gain control of synaptic response function in cerebellar nuclear neurons by a calcium-activated potassium conductance.

    PubMed

    Feng, Steven Si; Lin, Risa; Gauck, Volker; Jaeger, Dieter

    2013-10-01

    Small conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium (SK) current provides an important modulator of excitatory synaptic transmission, which undergoes plastic regulation via multiple mechanisms. We examined whether inhibitory input processing is also dependent on SK current in the cerebellar nuclei (CN) where inhibition provides the only route of information transfer from the cerebellar cortical Purkinje cells. We employed dynamic clamping in conjunction with computer simulations to address this question. We found that SK current plays a critical role in the inhibitory synaptic control of spiking output. Specifically, regulation of SK current density resulted in a gain control of spiking output, such that low SK current promoted large output signaling for large inhibitory cell input fluctuations due to Purkinje cell synchronization. In contrast, smaller nonsynchronized Purkinje cell input fluctuations were not amplified. Regulation of SK density in the CN therefore would likely lead to important consequences for the transmission of synchronized Purkinje cell activity to the motor system. PMID:23605187

  13. 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.

  14. Long-tailed distribution of synaptic strength reveals origin and functional roles of ongoing fluctuation in cortical circuit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teramae, Jun-nosuke

    2016-06-01

    Neurons in the cortical circuit continuous to generate irregular spike firing with extremely low firing rate (about 1-2 Hz) even when animals neither receive any external stimuli nor they do not show any significant motor movement. The ongoing activity is often called neuronal noise because measured spike trains are often highly irregular and also spike timings are highly asynchronous among neurons. Many experiments imply that neural networks themselves must generate the noisy activity as an intrinsic property of cortical circuit. However, how a network of neurons sustains the irregular spike firings with low firing rate remains unclear. Recently, by focusing on long-tailed distribution of amplitude of synaptic connections or EPSP (Excitatory Post-Synaptic Potential), we successfully revealed that due to coexistence of a few extremely strong synaptic connections and majority of weak synapses, nonlinear dynamics of population of spiking neurons can have a nontrivial stable state that corresponding to the intrinsic ongoing fluctuation of the cortical circuit. We also found that due to the fluctuation fidelity of spike transmission between neurons are optimized. Here, we report our recent findings of the ongoing fluctuation from viewpoints of mathematical and computational side.

  15. Shank synaptic scaffold proteins: keys to understanding the pathogenesis of autism and other synaptic disorders.

    PubMed

    Sala, Carlo; Vicidomini, Cinzia; Bigi, Ilaria; Mossa, Adele; Verpelli, Chiara

    2015-12-01

    Shank/ProSAP proteins are essential to synaptic formation, development, and function. Mutations in the family of SHANK genes are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as intellectual disability (ID), and schizophrenia. Thus, the term 'Shankopathies' identifies a number of neuronal diseases caused by alteration of Shank protein expression leading to abnormal synaptic development. With this review we want to summarize the major genetic, molecular, behavior and electrophysiological studies that provide new clues into the function of Shanks and pave the way for the discovery of new therapeutic drugs targeted to treat patients with SHANK mutations and also patients affected by other neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Shank/ProSAP proteins are essential to synaptic formation, development, and function. Mutations in the family of SHANK genes are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as intellectual disability (ID), and schizophrenia (SCZ). With this review we want to summarize the major genetic, molecular, behavior and electrophysiological studies that provide new clues into the function of Shanks and pave the way for the discovery of new therapeutic drugs targeted to treat patients with SHANK mutations.

  16. Phosphorylation of Ser1166 on GluN2B by PKA Is Critical to Synaptic NMDA Receptor Function and Ca2+ Signaling in Spines

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Jessica A.; Stein, Ivar S.; Lau, C. Geoffrey; Peixoto, Rui T.; Aman, Teresa K.; Kaneko, Naoki; Aromolaran, Kelly; Saulnier, Jessica L.; Popescu, Gabriela K.

    2014-01-01

    The NMDA-type glutamate receptor (NMDAR) is essential for synaptogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and higher cognitive function. Emerging evidence indicates that NMDAR Ca2+ permeability is under the control of cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling. Whereas the functional impact of PKA on NMDAR-dependent Ca2+ signaling is well established, the molecular target remains unknown. Here we identify serine residue 1166 (Ser1166) in the carboxy-terminal tail of the NMDAR subunit GluN2B to be a direct molecular and functional target of PKA phosphorylation critical to NMDAR-dependent Ca2+ permeation and Ca2+ signaling in spines. Activation of β-adrenergic and D1/D5-dopamine receptors induces Ser1166 phosphorylation. Loss of this single phosphorylation site abolishes PKA-dependent potentiation of NMDAR Ca2+ permeation, synaptic currents, and Ca2+ rises in dendritic spines. We further show that adverse experience in the form of forced swim, but not exposure to fox urine, elicits striking phosphorylation of Ser1166 in vivo, indicating differential impact of different forms of stress. Our data identify a novel molecular and functional target of PKA essential to NMDAR-mediated Ca2+ signaling at synapses and regulated by the emotional response to stress. PMID:24431445

  17. Neutralization of inhibitory molecule NG2 improves synaptic transmission, retrograde transport, and locomotor function after spinal cord injury in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Petrosyan, Hayk A; Hunanyan, Arsen S; Alessi, Valentina; Schnell, Lisa; Levine, Joel; Arvanian, Victor L

    2013-02-27

    NG2 belongs to the family of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans that are upregulated after spinal cord injury (SCI) and are major inhibitory factors restricting the growth of fibers after SCI. Neutralization of NG2's inhibitory effect on axon growth by anti-NG2 monoclonal antibodies (NG2-Ab) has been reported. In addition, recent studies show that exogenous NG2 induces a block of axonal conduction. In this study, we demonstrate that acute intraspinal injections of NG2-Ab prevented an acute block of conduction by NG2. Chronic intrathecal infusion of NG2-Ab improved the following deficits induced by chronic midthoracic lateral hemisection (HX) injury: (1) synaptic transmission to lumbar motoneurons, (2) retrograde transport of fluororuby anatomical tracer from L5 to L1, and (3) locomotor function assessed by automated CatWalk gait analysis. We collected data in an attempt to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the NG2-Ab-induced improvement of synaptic transmission in HX-injured spinal cord. These data showed the following: (1) that chronic NG2-Ab infusion improved conduction and axonal excitability in chronically HX-injured rats, (2) that antibody treatment increased the density of serotonergic axons with ventral regions of spinal segments L1-L5, (3) and that NG2-positive processes contact nodes of Ranvier within the nodal gap at the location of nodal Na(+) channels, which are known to be critical for propagation of action potentials along axons. Together, these results demonstrate that treatment with NG2-Ab partially improves both synaptic and anatomical plasticity in damaged spinal cord and promotes functional recovery after HX SCI. Neutralizing antibodies against NG2 may be an excellent way to promote axonal conduction after SCI. PMID:23447612

  18. Synaptic AMPA Receptor Plasticity and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Kessels, Helmut W.; Malinow, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    The ability to change behavior likely depends on the selective strengthening and weakening of brain synapses. The cellular models of synaptic plasticity, long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) of synaptic strength, can be expressed by the synaptic insertion or removal of AMPA receptors (AMPARs), respectively. We here present an overview of studies that have used animal models to show that such AMPAR trafficking underlies several experience-driven phenomena—from neuronal circuit formation to the modification of behavior. We argue that monitoring and manipulating synaptic AMPAR trafficking represents an attractive means to study cognitive function and dysfunction in animal models. PMID:19217372

  19. LRRK2 kinase activity regulates synaptic vesicle trafficking and neurotransmitter release through modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex

    PubMed Central

    Cirnaru, Maria D.; Marte, Antonella; Belluzzi, Elisa; Russo, Isabella; Gabrielli, Martina; Longo, Francesco; Arcuri, Ludovico; Murru, Luca; Bubacco, Luigi; Matteoli, Michela; Fedele, Ernesto; Sala, Carlo; Passafaro, Maria; Morari, Michele; Greggio, Elisa; Onofri, Franco; Piccoli, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are associated with familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 is a complex protein that consists of multiple domains executing several functions, including GTP hydrolysis, kinase activity, and protein binding. Robust evidence suggests that LRRK2 acts at the synaptic site as a molecular hub connecting synaptic vesicles to cytoskeletal elements via a complex panel of protein-protein interactions. Here we investigated the impact of pharmacological inhibition of LRRK2 kinase activity on synaptic function. Acute treatment with LRRK2 inhibitors reduced the frequency of spontaneous currents, the rate of synaptic vesicle trafficking and the release of neurotransmitter from isolated synaptosomes. The investigation of complementary models lacking LRRK2 expression allowed us to exclude potential off-side effects of kinase inhibitors on synaptic functions. Next we studied whether kinase inhibition affects LRRK2 heterologous interactions. We found that the binding among LRRK2, presynaptic proteins and synaptic vesicles is affected by kinase inhibition. Our results suggest that LRRK2 kinase activity influences synaptic vesicle release via modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex. PMID:24904275

  20. LRRK2 kinase activity regulates synaptic vesicle trafficking and neurotransmitter release through modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex.

    PubMed

    Cirnaru, Maria D; Marte, Antonella; Belluzzi, Elisa; Russo, Isabella; Gabrielli, Martina; Longo, Francesco; Arcuri, Ludovico; Murru, Luca; Bubacco, Luigi; Matteoli, Michela; Fedele, Ernesto; Sala, Carlo; Passafaro, Maria; Morari, Michele; Greggio, Elisa; Onofri, Franco; Piccoli, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are associated with familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 is a complex protein that consists of multiple domains executing several functions, including GTP hydrolysis, kinase activity, and protein binding. Robust evidence suggests that LRRK2 acts at the synaptic site as a molecular hub connecting synaptic vesicles to cytoskeletal elements via a complex panel of protein-protein interactions. Here we investigated the impact of pharmacological inhibition of LRRK2 kinase activity on synaptic function. Acute treatment with LRRK2 inhibitors reduced the frequency of spontaneous currents, the rate of synaptic vesicle trafficking and the release of neurotransmitter from isolated synaptosomes. The investigation of complementary models lacking LRRK2 expression allowed us to exclude potential off-side effects of kinase inhibitors on synaptic functions. Next we studied whether kinase inhibition affects LRRK2 heterologous interactions. We found that the binding among LRRK2, presynaptic proteins and synaptic vesicles is affected by kinase inhibition. Our results suggest that LRRK2 kinase activity influences synaptic vesicle release via modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex. PMID:24904275

  1. LRRK2 kinase activity regulates synaptic vesicle trafficking and neurotransmitter release through modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex.

    PubMed

    Cirnaru, Maria D; Marte, Antonella; Belluzzi, Elisa; Russo, Isabella; Gabrielli, Martina; Longo, Francesco; Arcuri, Ludovico; Murru, Luca; Bubacco, Luigi; Matteoli, Michela; Fedele, Ernesto; Sala, Carlo; Passafaro, Maria; Morari, Michele; Greggio, Elisa; Onofri, Franco; Piccoli, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are associated with familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 is a complex protein that consists of multiple domains executing several functions, including GTP hydrolysis, kinase activity, and protein binding. Robust evidence suggests that LRRK2 acts at the synaptic site as a molecular hub connecting synaptic vesicles to cytoskeletal elements via a complex panel of protein-protein interactions. Here we investigated the impact of pharmacological inhibition of LRRK2 kinase activity on synaptic function. Acute treatment with LRRK2 inhibitors reduced the frequency of spontaneous currents, the rate of synaptic vesicle trafficking and the release of neurotransmitter from isolated synaptosomes. The investigation of complementary models lacking LRRK2 expression allowed us to exclude potential off-side effects of kinase inhibitors on synaptic functions. Next we studied whether kinase inhibition affects LRRK2 heterologous interactions. We found that the binding among LRRK2, presynaptic proteins and synaptic vesicles is affected by kinase inhibition. Our results suggest that LRRK2 kinase activity influences synaptic vesicle release via modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex.

  2. 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.

  3. Archaerhodopsin Selectively and Reversibly Silences Synaptic Transmission through Altered pH.

    PubMed

    El-Gaby, Mohamady; Zhang, Yu; Wolf, Konstantin; Schwiening, Christof J; Paulsen, Ole; Shipton, Olivia A

    2016-08-23

    Tools that allow acute and selective silencing of synaptic transmission in vivo would be invaluable for understanding the synaptic basis of specific behaviors. Here, we show that presynaptic expression of the proton pump archaerhodopsin enables robust, selective, and reversible optogenetic synaptic silencing with rapid onset and offset. Two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed that this effect is accompanied by a transient increase in pH restricted to archaerhodopsin-expressing boutons. Crucially, clamping intracellular pH abolished synaptic silencing without affecting the archaerhodopsin-mediated hyperpolarizing current, indicating that changes in pH mediate the synaptic silencing effect. To verify the utility of this technique, we used trial-limited, archaerhodopsin-mediated silencing to uncover a requirement for CA3-CA1 synapses whose afferents originate from the left CA3, but not those from the right CA3, for performance on a long-term memory task. These results highlight optogenetic, pH-mediated silencing of synaptic transmission as a spatiotemporally selective approach to dissecting synaptic function in behaving animals. PMID:27524609

  4. 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…

  5. Increased EID1 nuclear translocation impairs synaptic plasticity and memory function associated with pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Liu, Rugao; Lei, Joy X; Luo, Chun; Lan, Xun; Chi, Liying; Deng, Panyue; Lei, Saobo; Ghribi, Othman; Liu, Qing Yan

    2012-03-01

    Though loss of function in CBP/p300, a family of CREB-binding proteins, has been causally associated with a variety of human neurological disorders, such as Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, Huntington's disease and drug addiction, the role of EP300 interacting inhibitor of differentiation 1 (EID1), a CBP/p300 inhibitory protein, in modulating neurological functions remains completely unknown. Through the examination of EID1 expression and cellular distribution, we discovered that there is a significant increase of EID1 nuclear translocation in the cortical neurons of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patient brains compared to that of control brains. To study the potential effects of EID1 on neurological functions associated with learning and memory, we generated a transgenic mouse model with a neuron-specific expression of human EID1 gene in the brain. Overexpression of EID1 led to an increase in its nuclear localization in neurons mimicking that seen in human AD brains. The transgenic mice had a disrupted neurofilament organization and increase of astrogliosis in the cortex and hippocampus. Furthermore, we demonstrated that overexpression of EID1 reduced hippocampal long-term potentiation and impaired spatial learning and memory function in the transgenic mice. Our results indicated that the negative effects of extra nuclear EID1 in transgenic mouse brains are likely due to its inhibitory function on CBP/p300 mediated histone and p53 acetylation, thus affecting the expression of downstream genes involved in the maintenance of neuronal structure and function. Together, our data raise the possibility that alteration of EID1 expression, particularly the increase of EID1 nuclear localization that inhibits CBP/p300 activity in neuronal cells, may play an important role in AD pathogenesis. PMID:22186421

  6. Parental origin impairment of synaptic functions and behaviors in cytoplasmic FMRP interacting protein 1 (Cyfip1) deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Chung, Leeyup; Wang, Xiaoming; Zhu, Li; Towers, Aaron J; Cao, Xinyu; Kim, Il Hwan; Jiang, Yong-hui

    2015-12-10

    CYFIP1 maps to the interval between proximal breakpoint 1 (BP1) and breakpoint 2 (BP2) of chromosomal 15q11-q13 deletions that are implicated in the Angelman (AS) and Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). There is only one breakpoint (BP3) at the distal end of deletion. CYFIP1 is deleted in AS patients with the larger class I deletion (BP1 to BP3) and the neurological presentations in these patients are more severe than that of patients with class II (BP2 to BP3) deletion. The haploinsufficiency of CYFIP1 is hypothesized to contribute to more severe clinical presentations in class I AS patients. The expression of CYFIP1 is suggested to be bi-allelic in literature but the possibility of parental origin of expression is not completely excluded. We generated and characterized Cyfip1 mutant mice. Homozygous Cyfip1 mice were early embryonic lethal. However, there was a parental origin specific effect between paternal Cyfip1 deficiency (m+/p-) and maternal deficiency (m-/p+) on both synaptic transmissions and behaviors in hippocampal CA1 synapses despite no evidence supporting the parental origin difference for the expression. Both m-/p+ and m+/p- showed the impaired input-output response and paired-pulse facilitation. While the long term-potentiation and group I mGluR mediated long term depression induced by DHPG was not different between Cyfip1 m-/p+ and m+/p- mice, the initial DHPG induced response was significantly enhanced in m-/p+ but not in m+/p- mice. m+/p- but not m-/p+ mice displayed increased freezing in cued fear conditioning and abnormal transitions in zero-maze test. The impaired synaptic transmission and behaviors in haploinsufficiency of Cyfip1 mice provide the evidence supporting the role of CYFIP1 modifying the clinical presentation of class I AS patients and in human neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26474913

  7. Probiotics treatment improves diabetes-induced impairment of synaptic activity and cognitive function: behavioral and electrophysiological proofs for microbiome-gut-brain axis.

    PubMed

    Davari, S; Talaei, S A; Alaei, H; Salami, M

    2013-06-14

    Diabetes mellitus-induced metabolic disturbances underlie the action of many systems including some higher functions of the brain such as learning and memory. Plenty of evidence supports the effects of probiotics on the function of many systems including the nervous system. Here we report the effect of probiotics treatment on the behavioral and electrophysiological aspects of learning and memory disorders. Diabetic rats were made through intraperitoneal injection of streptozocin. The control and diabetic rats were fed with either normal regimen (control rats recieving normal regimen (CO) and diabetics rats receiving normal regimen (DC), respectively) or normal regimen plus probiotic supplementation for 2months (control rats receiving probiotic supplementation (CP) and diabetics rats recieving probiotic supplementation (DP), respectively). The animals were first introduced to spatial learning task in the Morris water maze. Then, in electrophysiological experiments, stimulating the Schaffer collaterals the basic and potentiated excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSPs) were recorded in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. Finally, the serum levels of glucose, insulin, superoxide dismutase and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) were measured. We found that probiotics administration considerably improved the impaired spatial memory in the diabetic animals. The probiotics supplementation in the diabetic rats recovered the declined basic synaptic transmission and further restored the hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). While the probiotics administration enhanced the activation of superoxide dismutase and increased the insulin level of serum it decreased both the glucose level of serum and the 8-OHdG factor. From the present results we concluded that probiotics efficiently reverse deteriorated brain functions in the levels of cognitive performances and their proposed synaptic mechanisms in diabetes mellitus. These considerations imply on the necessity of an optimal

  8. Synaptic vesicle endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Saheki, Yasunori; De Camilli, Pietro

    2012-09-01

    Neurons can sustain high rates of synaptic transmission without exhausting their supply of synaptic vesicles. This property relies on a highly efficient local endocytic recycling of synaptic vesicle membranes, which can be reused for hundreds, possibly thousands, of exo-endocytic cycles. Morphological, physiological, molecular, and genetic studies over the last four decades have provided insight into the membrane traffic reactions that govern this recycling and its regulation. These studies have shown that synaptic vesicle endocytosis capitalizes on fundamental and general endocytic mechanisms but also involves neuron-specific adaptations of such mechanisms. Thus, investigations of these processes have advanced not only the field of synaptic transmission but also, more generally, the field of endocytosis. This article summarizes current information on synaptic vesicle endocytosis with an emphasis on the underlying molecular mechanisms and with a special focus on clathrin-mediated endocytosis, the predominant pathway of synaptic vesicle protein internalization.

  9. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Saheki, Yasunori; De Camilli, Pietro

    2012-01-01

    Neurons can sustain high rates of synaptic transmission without exhausting their supply of synaptic vesicles. This property relies on a highly efficient local endocytic recycling of synaptic vesicle membranes, which can be reused for hundreds, possibly thousands, of exo-endocytic cycles. Morphological, physiological, molecular, and genetic studies over the last four decades have provided insight into the membrane traffic reactions that govern this recycling and its regulation. These studies have shown that synaptic vesicle endocytosis capitalizes on fundamental and general endocytic mechanisms but also involves neuron-specific adaptations of such mechanisms. Thus, investigations of these processes have advanced not only the field of synaptic transmission but also, more generally, the field of endocytosis. This article summarizes current information on synaptic vesicle endocytosis with an emphasis on the underlying molecular mechanisms and with a special focus on clathrin-mediated endocytosis, the predominant pathway of synaptic vesicle protein internalization. PMID:22763746

  10. 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

  11. Synaptic fatigue at the naive perforant path-dentate granule cell synapse in the rat.

    PubMed

    Abrahamsson, Therése; Gustafsson, Bengt; Hanse, Eric

    2005-12-15

    Synaptic activation at low frequency is often used to probe synaptic function and synaptic plasticity, but little is known about how such low-frequency activation itself affects synaptic transmission. In the present study, we have examined how the perforant path-dentate granule cell (PP-GC) synapse adapts to low-frequency activation from a previously non-activated (naive) state. Stimulation at 0.2 Hz in acute slices from developing rats (7-12 days old) caused a gradual depression of the AMPA EPSC (at -80 mV) to about half within 50 stimuli. This synaptic fatigue was unaffected by the NMDA and metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor antagonists d-AP5 and LY-341495. A smaller component of this synaptic fatigue was readily reversible when switching to very low-frequency stimulation (0.033-0.017 Hz) and is attributed to a reversible decrease in release probability, which is probably due to depletion of readily releasable vesicles. Thus, it was expressed to the same extent by AMPA and NMDA EPSCs, and was associated with a decrease in quantal content (measured as 1/CV(2)) with no change in the paired-pulse ratio. The larger component of the synaptic fatigue was not readily reversible, was selective for AMPA EPSCs and was associated with a decrease in 1/CV(2), thus probably representing silencing of AMPA signalling in a subset of synapses. In adult rats (> 30 days old), the AMPA silencing had disappeared while the low-frequency depression remained unaltered. The present study has thus identified two forms of synaptic plasticity that contribute to fatigue of synaptic transmission at low frequencies at the developing PP-GC synapse; AMPA silencing and a low-frequency depression of release probability.

  12. Excitability and responsiveness of rat barrel cortex neurons in the presence and absence of spontaneous synaptic activity in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Altwegg-Boussac, Tristan; Chavez, Mario; Mahon, Séverine; Charpier, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    The amplitude and temporal dynamics of spontaneous synaptic activity in the cerebral cortex vary as a function of brain states. To directly assess the impact of different ongoing synaptic activities on neocortical function, we performed in vivo intracellular recordings from barrel cortex neurons in rats under two pharmacological conditions generating either oscillatory or tonic synaptic drive. Cortical neurons membrane excitability and firing responses were compared, in the same neurons, before and after complete suppression of background synaptic drive following systemic injection of a high dose of anaesthetic. Compared to the oscillatory state, the tonic pattern resulted in a more depolarized and less fluctuating membrane potential (Vm), a lower input resistance (Rm) and steeper relations of firing frequency versus injected current (F–I). Whatever their temporal dynamics, suppression of background synaptic activities increased mean Vm, without affecting Rm, and induced a rightward shift of F–I curves. Both types of synaptic drive generated a high variability in current-induced firing rate and patterns in cortical neurons, which was much reduced after removal of spontaneous activity. These findings suggest that oscillatory and tonic synaptic patterns differentially facilitate the input–output function of cortical neurons but result in a similar moment-to-moment variability in spike responses to incoming depolarizing inputs. PMID:24732430

  13. Drosophila Syncrip modulates the expression of mRNAs encoding key synaptic proteins required for morphology at the neuromuscular junction

    PubMed Central

    McDermott, Suzanne M.; Yang, Lu; Halstead, James M.; Hamilton, Russell S.; Meignin, Carine

    2014-01-01

    Localized mRNA translation is thought to play a key role in synaptic plasticity, but the identity of the transcripts and the molecular mechanism underlying their function are still poorly understood. Here, we show that Syncrip, a regulator of localized translation in the Drosophila oocyte and a component of mammalian neuronal mRNA granules, is also expressed in the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction, where it regulates synaptic growth. We use RNA-immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing and qRT-PCR to show that Syncrip associates with a number of mRNAs encoding proteins with key synaptic functions, including msp-300, syd-1, neurexin-1, futsch, highwire, discs large, and α-spectrin. The protein levels of MSP-300, Discs large, and a number of others are significantly affected in syncrip null mutants. Furthermore, syncrip mutants show a reduction in MSP-300 protein levels and defects in muscle nuclear distribution characteristic of msp-300 mutants. Our results highlight a number of potential new players in localized translation during synaptic plasticity in the neuromuscular junction. We propose that Syncrip acts as a modulator of synaptic plasticity by regulating the translation of these key mRNAs encoding synaptic scaffolding proteins and other important components involved in synaptic growth and function. PMID:25171822

  14. 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

  15. Learning, AMPA receptor mobility and synaptic plasticity depend on n-cofilin-mediated actin dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Rust, Marco B; Gurniak, Christine B; Renner, Marianne; Vara, Hugo; Morando, Laura; Görlich, Andreas; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco; Banchaabouchi, Mumna Al; Giustetto, Maurizio; Triller, Antoine; Choquet, Daniel; Witke, Walter

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity is an important process for learning, memory and complex behaviour. Rapid remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton in the postsynaptic compartment is thought to have an important function for synaptic plasticity. However, the actin-binding proteins involved and the molecular mechanisms that in vivo link actin dynamics to postsynaptic physiology are not well understood. Here, we show that the actin filament depolymerizing protein n-cofilin is controlling dendritic spine morphology and postsynaptic parameters such as late long-term potentiation and long-term depression. Loss of n-cofilin-mediated synaptic actin dynamics in the forebrain specifically leads to impairment of all types of associative learning, whereas exploratory learning is not affected. We provide evidence for a novel function of n-cofilin function in synaptic plasticity and in the control of extrasynaptic excitatory AMPA receptors diffusion. These results suggest a critical function of actin dynamics in associative learning and postsynaptic receptor availability. PMID:20407421

  16. Examination of synaptic vesicle recycling using FM dyes during evoked, spontaneous, and miniature synaptic activities.

    PubMed

    Iwabuchi, Sadahiro; Kakazu, Yasuhiro; Koh, Jin-Young; Goodman, Kirsty M; Harata, N Charles

    2014-03-31

    Synaptic vesicles in functional nerve terminals undergo exocytosis and endocytosis. This synaptic vesicle recycling can be effectively analyzed using styryl FM dyes, which reveal membrane turnover. Conventional protocols for the use of FM dyes were designed for analyzing neurons following stimulated (evoked) synaptic activity. Recently, protocols have become available for analyzing the FM signals that accompany weaker synaptic activities, such as spontaneous or miniature synaptic events. Analysis of these small changes in FM signals requires that the imaging system is sufficiently sensitive to detect small changes in intensity, yet that artifactual changes of large amplitude are suppressed. Here we describe a protocol that can be applied to evoked, spontaneous, and miniature synaptic activities, and use cultured hippocampal neurons as an example. This protocol also incorporates a means of assessing the rate of photobleaching of FM dyes, as this is a significant source of artifacts when imaging small changes in intensity.

  17. Examination of Synaptic Vesicle Recycling Using FM Dyes During Evoked, Spontaneous, and Miniature Synaptic Activities

    PubMed Central

    Iwabuchi, Sadahiro; Kakazu, Yasuhiro; Koh, Jin-Young; Goodman, Kirsty M.; Harata, N. Charles

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic vesicles in functional nerve terminals undergo exocytosis and endocytosis. This synaptic vesicle recycling can be effectively analyzed using styryl FM dyes, which reveal membrane turnover. Conventional protocols for the use of FM dyes were designed for analyzing neurons following stimulated (evoked) synaptic activity. Recently, protocols have become available for analyzing the FM signals that accompany weaker synaptic activities, such as spontaneous or miniature synaptic events. Analysis of these small changes in FM signals requires that the imaging system is sufficiently sensitive to detect small changes in intensity, yet that artifactual changes of large amplitude are suppressed. Here we describe a protocol that can be applied to evoked, spontaneous, and miniature synaptic activities, and use cultured hippocampal neurons as an example. This protocol also incorporates a means of assessing the rate of photobleaching of FM dyes, as this is a significant source of artifacts when imaging small changes in intensity. PMID:24747983

  18. N-Glycosylation at the SynCAM (Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecule) Immunoglobulin Interface Modulates Synaptic Adhesion

    SciTech Connect

    A Fogel; Y Li; Q Wang; T Lam; Y Modis; T Biederer

    2011-12-31

    Select adhesion molecules connect pre- and postsynaptic membranes and organize developing synapses. The regulation of these trans-synaptic interactions is an important neurobiological question. We have previously shown that the synaptic cell adhesion molecules (SynCAMs) 1 and 2 engage in homo- and heterophilic interactions and bridge the synaptic cleft to induce presynaptic terminals. Here, we demonstrate that site-specific N-glycosylation impacts the structure and function of adhesive SynCAM interactions. Through crystallographic analysis of SynCAM 2, we identified within the adhesive interface of its Ig1 domain an N-glycan on residue Asn(60). Structural modeling of the corresponding SynCAM 1 Ig1 domain indicates that its glycosylation sites Asn(70)/Asn(104) flank the binding interface of this domain. Mass spectrometric and mutational studies confirm and characterize the modification of these three sites. These site-specific N-glycans affect SynCAM adhesion yet act in a differential manner. Although glycosylation of SynCAM 2 at Asn(60) reduces adhesion, N-glycans at Asn(70)/Asn(104) of SynCAM 1 increase its interactions. The modification of SynCAM 1 with sialic acids contributes to the glycan-dependent strengthening of its binding. Functionally, N-glycosylation promotes the trans-synaptic interactions of SynCAM 1 and is required for synapse induction. These results demonstrate that N-glycosylation of SynCAM proteins differentially affects their binding interface and implicate post-translational modification as a mechanism to regulate trans-synaptic adhesion.

  19. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kittel, Robert J; Heckmann, Manfred

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kittel, Robert J.; Heckmann, Manfred

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Overlapping functions of stonin 2 and SV2 in sorting of the calcium sensor synaptotagmin 1 to synaptic vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Kaempf, Natalie; Kochlamazashvili, Gaga; Puchkov, Dmytro; Maritzen, Tanja; Bajjalieh, Sandra M.; Kononenko, Natalia L.; Haucke, Volker

    2015-01-01

    Neurotransmission involves the calcium-regulated exocytic fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) and the subsequent retrieval of SV membranes followed by reformation of properly sized and shaped SVs. An unresolved question is whether each SV protein is sorted by its own dedicated adaptor or whether sorting is facilitated by association between different SV proteins. We demonstrate that endocytic sorting of the calcium sensor synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is mediated by the overlapping activities of the Syt1-associated SV glycoprotein SV2A/B and the endocytic Syt1-adaptor stonin 2 (Stn2). Deletion or knockdown of either SV2A/B or Stn2 results in partial Syt1 loss and missorting of Syt1 to the neuronal surface, whereas deletion of both SV2A/B and Stn2 dramatically exacerbates this phenotype. Selective missorting and degradation of Syt1 in the absence of SV2A/B and Stn2 impairs the efficacy of neurotransmission at hippocampal synapses. These results indicate that endocytic sorting of Syt1 to SVs is mediated by the overlapping activities of SV2A/B and Stn2 and favor a model according to which SV protein sorting is guarded by both cargo-specific mechanisms as well as association between SV proteins. PMID:26015569

  2. Reduction of the Cholesterol Sensor SCAP in the Brains of Mice Causes Impaired Synaptic Transmission and Altered Cognitive Function

    PubMed Central

    Chee, Melissa J.; Maratos-Flier, Eleftheria; Kahn, C. Ronald

    2013-01-01

    The sterol sensor SCAP is a key regulator of SREBP-2, the major transcription factor controlling cholesterol synthesis. Recently, we showed that there is a global down-regulation of cholesterol synthetic genes, as well as SREBP-2, in the brains of diabetic mice, leading to a reduction of cholesterol synthesis. We now show that in mouse models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, this is, in part, the result of a decrease of SCAP. Homozygous disruption of the Scap gene in the brains of mice causes perinatal lethality associated with microcephaly and gliosis. Mice with haploinsufficiency of Scap in the brain show a 60% reduction of SCAP protein and ∼30% reduction in brain cholesterol synthesis, similar to what is observed in diabetic mice. This results in impaired synaptic transmission, as measured by decreased paired pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, and is associated with behavioral and cognitive changes. Thus, reduction of SCAP and the consequent suppression of cholesterol synthesis in the brain may play an important role in the increased rates of cognitive decline and Alzheimer disease observed in diabetic states. PMID:23585733

  3. Ca2+ channel to synaptic vesicle distance accounts for the readily releasable pool kinetics at a functionally mature auditory synapse.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zuxin; Das, Brati; Nakamura, Yukihiro; DiGregorio, David A; Young, Samuel M

    2015-02-01

    Precise regulation of synaptic vesicle (SV) release at the calyx of Held is critical for auditory processing. At the prehearing calyx of Held, synchronous and asynchronous release is mediated by fast and slow releasing SVs within the readily releasable pool (RRP). However, the posthearing calyx has dramatically different release properties. Whether developmental alterations in RRP properties contribute to the accelerated release time course found in posthearing calyces is not known. To study these questions, we performed paired patch-clamp recordings, deconvolution analysis, and numerical simulations of buffered Ca(2+) diffusion and SV release in postnatal day (P) 16-19 mouse calyces, as their release properties resemble mature calyces of Held. We found the P16-P19 calyx RRP consists of two pools: a fast pool (τ ≤ 0.9 ms) and slow pool (τ ∼4 ms), in which release kinetics and relative composition of the two pools were unaffected by 5 mm EGTA. Simulations of SV release from the RRP revealed that two populations of SVs were necessary to reproduce the experimental release rates: (1) SVs located close (∼5-25 nm) and (2) more distal (25-100 nm) to VGCC clusters. This positional coupling was confirmed by experiments showing 20 mm EGTA preferentially blocked distally coupled SVs. Lowering external [Ca(2+)] to in vivo levels reduced only the fraction SVs released from the fast pool. Therefore, we conclude that a dominant parameter regulating the mature calyx RRP release kinetics is the distance between SVs and VGCC clusters.

  4. Selective Activation of Microglia Facilitates Synaptic Strength

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Anna K.; Gruber-Schoffnegger, Doris; Drdla-Schutting, Ruth; Gerhold, Katharina J.; Malcangio, Marzia

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is thought to be initiated by neurons only, with the prevailing view assigning glial cells mere specify supportive functions for synaptic transmission and plasticity. We now demonstrate that glial cells can control synaptic strength independent of neuronal activity. Here we show that selective activation of microglia in the rat is sufficient to rapidly facilitate synaptic strength between primary afferent C-fibers and lamina I neurons, the first synaptic relay in the nociceptive pathway. Specifically, the activation of the CX3CR1 receptor by fractalkine induces the release of interleukin-1β from microglia, which modulates NMDA signaling in postsynaptic neurons, leading to the release of an eicosanoid messenger, which ultimately enhances presynaptic neurotransmitter release. In contrast to the conventional view, this form of plasticity does not require enhanced neuronal activity to trigger the events leading to synaptic facilitation. Augmentation of synaptic strength in nociceptive pathways represents a cellular model of pain amplification. The present data thus suggest that, under chronic pain states, CX3CR1-mediated activation of microglia drives the facilitation of excitatory synaptic transmission in the dorsal horn, which contributes to pain hypersensitivity in chronic pain states. PMID:25788673

  5. Overexpression of Isoforms of Nitric Oxide Synthase 1 Adaptor Protein, Encoded by a Risk Gene for Schizophrenia, Alters Actin Dynamics and Synaptic Function.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Kristina; Swiatkowski, Przemyslaw; Patel, Mihir V; Liang, Chen; Dudzinski, Natasha R; Brzustowicz, Linda M; Firestein, Bonnie L

    2016-01-01

    Proper communication between neurons depends upon appropriate patterning of dendrites and correct distribution and structure of spines. Schizophrenia is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by alterations in dendrite branching and spine density. Nitric oxide synthase 1 adaptor protein (NOS1AP), a risk gene for schizophrenia, encodes proteins that are upregulated in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of individuals with schizophrenia. To elucidate the effects of NOS1AP overexpression observed in individuals with schizophrenia, we investigated changes in actin dynamics and spine development when a long (NOS1AP-L) or short (NOS1AP-S) isoform of NOS1AP is overexpressed. Increased NOS1AP-L protein promotes the formation of immature spines when overexpressed in rat cortical neurons from day in vitro (DIV) 14 to DIV 17 and reduces the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). In contrast, increased NOS1AP-S protein increases the rate of actin polymerization and the number of immature and mature spines, which may be attributed to a decrease in total Rac1 expression and a reduction in the levels of active cofilin. The increase in the number of mature spines by overexpression of NOS1AP-S is accompanied by an increase in the frequency of mEPSCs. Our findings show that overexpression of NOS1AP-L or NOS1AP-S alters the actin cytoskeleton and synaptic function. However, the mechanisms by which these isoforms induce these changes are distinct. These results are important for understanding how increased expression of NOS1AP isoforms can influence spine development and synaptic function. PMID:26869880

  6. Overexpression of Isoforms of Nitric Oxide Synthase 1 Adaptor Protein, Encoded by a Risk Gene for Schizophrenia, Alters Actin Dynamics and Synaptic Function

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Kristina; Swiatkowski, Przemyslaw; Patel, Mihir V.; Liang, Chen; Dudzinski, Natasha R.; Brzustowicz, Linda M.; Firestein, Bonnie L.

    2016-01-01

    Proper communication between neurons depends upon appropriate patterning of dendrites and correct distribution and structure of spines. Schizophrenia is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by alterations in dendrite branching and spine density. Nitric oxide synthase 1 adaptor protein (NOS1AP), a risk gene for schizophrenia, encodes proteins that are upregulated in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of individuals with schizophrenia. To elucidate the effects of NOS1AP overexpression observed in individuals with schizophrenia, we investigated changes in actin dynamics and spine development when a long (NOS1AP-L) or short (NOS1AP-S) isoform of NOS1AP is overexpressed. Increased NOS1AP-L protein promotes the formation of immature spines when overexpressed in rat cortical neurons from day in vitro (DIV) 14 to DIV 17 and reduces the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). In contrast, increased NOS1AP-S protein increases the rate of actin polymerization and the number of immature and mature spines, which may be attributed to a decrease in total Rac1 expression and a reduction in the levels of active cofilin. The increase in the number of mature spines by overexpression of NOS1AP-S is accompanied by an increase in the frequency of mEPSCs. Our findings show that overexpression of NOS1AP-L or NOS1AP-S alters the actin cytoskeleton and synaptic function. However, the mechanisms by which these isoforms induce these changes are distinct. These results are important for understanding how increased expression of NOS1AP isoforms can influence spine development and synaptic function. PMID:26869880

  7. Dopamine and corticotropin-releasing factor synergistically alter basolateral amygdala-to-medial prefrontal cortex synaptic transmission: functional switch after chronic cocaine administration.

    PubMed

    Orozco-Cabal, Luis; Liu, Jie; Pollandt, Sebastian; Schmidt, Kady; Shinnick-Gallagher, Patricia; Gallagher, Joel P

    2008-01-01

    Basolateral amygdala (BLA) neurons provide a major excitatory input to medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)-layer V pyramidal neurons. Under stressful conditions, commonly associated with chronic cocaine abuse, altered BLA-to-mPFC synaptic transmission could lead to defective emotional information processing and decision making within the mPFC and result in misguided and inappropriate behaviors. We examined the effects of cocaine administered chronically in vivo on EPSCs recorded from a putative BLA-mPFC pathway in vitro and their modulation by dopamine (DA), corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), and their combination (DA plus CRF). In saline-treated animals, activation of D(1/5) receptors depressed BLA-mPFC EPSCs, whereas CRF1 receptor activation alone had no effect on EPSCs. Activating D(1/5) and CRF1 receptors in combination, however, worked synergistically through presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms to depress EPSCs to levels greater than D(1/5) receptor activation alone. After chronic cocaine administration, the function of DA(1/5) and CRF receptors switched from inhibitory to excitatory. In slices from cocaine-treated animals, putative BLA-mPFC EPSCs were depressed through a presynaptic mechanism. Now, activation of either D(1/5) or CRF2 receptors increased the cocaine-induced, depressed EPSCs. Additionally, simultaneous activation of presynaptic D(1/5) and CRF2 receptors led to further enhancement of EPSCs. These data indicate that CRF acting synergistically with DA normally potentiates D(1/5)-induced synaptic depression. However, after chronic cocaine, the combined synergistic actions of DA and CRF switched polarity to enhance facilitation of BLA-mPFC glutamatergic transmission. Also unmasked after acute withdrawal from chronic cocaine are endogenous, tonic-inhibitory D2-like and tonic-facilitatory CRF2 receptor actions. These multiple functional and receptor changes may underlie the altered, possibly aberrant, decision-making process after chronic cocaine.

  8. Spike train statistics and dynamics with synaptic input from any renewal process: a population density approach.

    PubMed

    Ly, Cheng; Tranchina, Daniel

    2009-02-01

    In the probability density function (PDF) approach to neural network modeling, a common simplifying assumption is that the arrival times of elementary postsynaptic events are governed by a Poisson process. This assumption ignores temporal correlations in the input that sometimes have important physiological consequences. We extend PDF methods to models with synaptic event times governed by any modulated renewal process. We focus on the integrate-and-fire neuron with instantaneous synaptic kinetics and a random elementary excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP), A. Between presynaptic events, the membrane voltage, v, decays exponentially toward rest, while s, the time since the last synaptic input event, evolves with unit velocity. When a synaptic event arrives, v jumps by A, and s is reset to zero. If v crosses the threshold voltage, an action potential occurs, and v is reset to v(reset). The probability per unit time of a synaptic event at time t, given the elapsed time s since the last event, h(s, t), depends on specifics of the renewal process. We study how regularity of the train of synaptic input events affects output spike rate, PDF and coefficient of variation (CV) of the interspike interval, and the autocorrelation function of the output spike train. In the limit of a deterministic, clocklike train of input events, the PDF of the interspike interval converges to a sum of delta functions, with coefficients determined by the PDF for A. The limiting autocorrelation function of the output spike train is a sum of delta functions whose coefficients fall under a damped oscillatory envelope. When the EPSP CV, sigma A/mu A, is equal to 0.45, a CV for the intersynaptic event interval, sigma T/mu T = 0.35, is functionally equivalent to a deterministic periodic train of synaptic input events (CV = 0) with respect to spike statistics. We discuss the relevance to neural network simulations. PMID:19431264

  9. 5-HT2 receptors mediate functional modulation of GABAa receptors and inhibitory synaptic transmissions in human iPS-derived neurons

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Haitao; Hu, Lingli; Liu, Chunhua; Su, Zhenghui; Wang, Lihui; Pan, Guangjin; Guo, Yiping; He, Jufang

    2016-01-01

    Neural progenitors differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) hold potentials for treating neurological diseases. Serotonin has potent effects on neuronal functions through multiple receptors, underlying a variety of neural disorders. Glutamate and GABA receptors have been proven functional in neurons differentiated from iPS, however, little is known about 5-HT receptor-mediated modulation in such neuronal networks. In the present study, human iPS were differentiated into cells possessing featured physiological properties of cortical neurons. Whole-cell patch-clamp recording was used to examine the involvement of 5-HT2 receptors in functional modulation of GABAergic synaptic transmission. We found that serotonin and DOI (a selective agonist of 5-HT2A/C receptor) reversibly reduced GABA-activated currents, and this 5-HT2A/C receptor mediated inhibition required G protein, PLC, PKC, and Ca2+ signaling. Serotonin increased the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs), which could be mimicked by α-methylserotonin, a 5-HT2 receptor agonist. In contrast, DOI reduced both frequency and amplitude of mIPSCs. These findings suggested that in iPS-derived human neurons serotonin postsynaptically reduced GABAa receptor function through 5-HT2A/C receptors, but presynaptically other 5-HT2 receptors counteracted the action of 5-HT2A/C receptors. Functional expression of serotonin receptors in human iPS-derived neurons provides a pre-requisite for their normal behaviors after grafting. PMID:26837719

  10. Encephalitis and antibodies to synaptic and neuronal cell surface proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lancaster, Eric; Martinez-Hernandez, Eugenia

    2011-01-01

    The identification of encephalitis associated with antibodies against cell surface and synaptic proteins, although recent, has already had a substantial impact in clinical neurology and neuroscience. The target antigens are receptors and proteins that have critical roles in synaptic transmission and plasticity, including the NMDA receptor, the AMPA receptor, the GABAB receptor, and the glycine receptor. Other autoantigens, such as leucine-rich glioma-inactivated 1 and contactin-associated protein-like 2, form part of trans-synaptic complexes and neuronal cell adhesion molecules involved in fine-tuning synaptic transmission and nerve excitability. Syndromes resulting from these immune responses resemble those of pharmacologic or genetic models in which the antigens are disrupted. For some immune responses, there is evidence that the antibodies alter the structure and function of the antigen, suggesting a direct pathogenic effect. These disorders are important because they can affect children and young adults, are severe and protracted, occur with or without tumor association, and respond to treatment but may relapse. This review provides an update on these syndromes and autoantigens with special emphasis on clinical diagnosis and treatment. PMID:21747075

  11. A novel role of microglial NADPH oxidase in mediating extra-synaptic function of norepinephrine in regulating brain immune homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Lulu; Chen, Shih-Heng; Chu, Chun-Hsien; Wang, Shi-Jun; Oyarzabal, Esteban; Wilson, Belinda; Sanders, Virginia; Xie, Keqin; Wang, Qingshan; Hong, Jau-Shyong

    2015-06-01

    Although the peripheral anti-inflammatory effect of norepinephrine (NE) is well documented, the mechanism by which this neurotransmitter functions as an anti-inflammatory/neuroprotective agent in the central nervous system (CNS) is unclear. This article aimed to determine the anti-inflammatory/neuroprotective effects and underlying mechanisms of NE in inflammation-based dopaminergic neurotoxicity models. In mice, NE-depleting toxin N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP-4) was injected at 6 months of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation. It was found that NE depletion enhanced LPS-induced dopaminergic neuron loss in the substantia nigra. This piece of in vivo data prompted us to conduct a series of studies in an effort to elucidate the mechanism as to how NE affects dopamine neuron survival by using primary midbrain neuron/glia cultures. Results showed that submicromolar concentrations of NE dose-dependently protected dopaminergic neurons from LPS-induced neurotoxicity by inhibiting microglia activation and subsequent release of pro-inflammatory factors. However, NE-elicited neuroprotection was not totally abolished in cultures from β2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR)-deficient mice, suggesting that novel pathways other than β2-AR are involved. To this end, It was found that submicromolar NE dose-dependently inhibited NADPH oxidase (NOX2)-generated superoxide, which contributes to the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of NE. This novel mechanism was indeed adrenergic receptors independent since both (+) and (-) optic isomers of NE displayed the same potency. We further demonstrated that NE inhibited LPS-induced NOX2 activation by blocking the translocation of its cytosolic subunit to plasma membranes. In summary, we revealed a potential physiological role of NE in maintaining brain immune homeostasis and protecting neurons via a novel mechanism. PMID:25740080

  12. Quantitative proteomics of synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria: insights for synaptic mitochondrial vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Stauch, Kelly L; Purnell, Phillip R; Fox, Howard S

    2014-05-01

    Synaptic mitochondria are essential for maintaining calcium homeostasis and producing ATP, processes vital for neuronal integrity and synaptic transmission. Synaptic mitochondria exhibit increased oxidative damage during aging and are more vulnerable to calcium insult than nonsynaptic mitochondria. Why synaptic mitochondria are specifically more susceptible to cumulative damage remains to be determined. In this study, the generation of a super-SILAC mix that served as an appropriate internal standard for mouse brain mitochondria mass spectrometry based analysis allowed for the quantification of the proteomic differences between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria isolated from 10-month-old mice. We identified a total of 2260 common proteins between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria of which 1629 were annotated as mitochondrial. Quantitative proteomic analysis of the proteins common between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria revealed significant differential expression of 522 proteins involved in several pathways including oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial fission/fusion, calcium transport, and mitochondrial DNA replication and maintenance. In comparison to nonsynaptic mitochondria, synaptic mitochondria exhibited increased age-associated mitochondrial DNA deletions and decreased bioenergetic function. These findings provide insights into synaptic mitochondrial susceptibility to damage.

  13. Drosophila Syd-1, Liprin-α, and Protein Phosphatase 2A B′ Subunit Wrd Function in a Linear Pathway to Prevent Ectopic Accumulation of Synaptic Materials in Distal Axons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Long; Tian, Xiaolin; Zhu, Mingwei; Bulgari, Dinara; Böhme, Mathias A.; Goettfert, Fabian; Wichmann, Carolin; Sigrist, Stephan J.; Levitan, Edwin S.

    2014-01-01

    During synaptic development, presynaptic differentiation occurs as an intrinsic property of axons to form specialized areas of plasma membrane [active zones (AZs)] that regulate exocytosis and endocytosis of synaptic vesicles. Genetic and biochemical studies in vertebrate and invertebrate model systems have identified a number of proteins involved in AZ assembly. However, elucidating the molecular events of AZ assembly in a spatiotemporal manner remains a challenge. Syd-1 (synapse defective-1) and Liprin-α have been identified as two master organizers of AZ assembly. Genetic and imaging analyses in invertebrates show that Syd-1 works upstream of Liprin-α in synaptic assembly through undefined mechanisms. To understand molecular pathways downstream of Liprin-α, we performed a proteomic screen of Liprin-α-interacting proteins in Drosophila brains. We identify Drosophila protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulatory subunit B′ [Wrd (Well Rounded)] as a Liprin-α-interacting protein, and we demonstrate that it mediates the interaction of Liprin-α with PP2A holoenzyme and the Liprin-α-dependent synaptic localization of PP2A. Interestingly, loss of function in syd-1, liprin-α, or wrd shares a common defect in which a portion of synaptic vesicles, dense-core vesicles, and presynaptic cytomatrix proteins ectopically accumulate at the distal, but not proximal, region of motoneuron axons. Strong genetic data show that a linear syd-1/liprin-α/wrd pathway in the motoneuron antagonizes glycogen synthase kinase-3β kinase activity to prevent the ectopic accumulation of synaptic materials. Furthermore, we provide data suggesting that the syd-1/liprin-α/wrd pathway stabilizes AZ specification at the nerve terminal and that such a novel function is independent of the roles of syd-1/liprin-α in regulating the morphology of the T-bar structural protein BRP (Bruchpilot). PMID:24948803

  14. A genetic screen for synaptic transmission mutants mapping to the right arm of chromosome 3 in Drosophila.

    PubMed Central

    Babcock, Michael C; Stowers, R Steven; Leither, Jennifer; Goodman, Corey S; Pallanck, Leo J

    2003-01-01

    Neuronal function depends upon the proper formation of synaptic connections and rapid communication at these sites, primarily through the regulated exocytosis of chemical neurotransmitters. Recent biochemical and genomic studies have identified a large number of candidate molecules that may function in these processes. To complement these studies, we are pursuing a genetic approach to identify genes affecting synaptic transmission in the Drosophila visual system. Our screening approach involves a recently described genetic method allowing efficient production of mosaic flies whose eyes are entirely homozygous for a mutagenized chromosome arm. From a screen of 42,500 mutagenized flies, 32 mutations on chromosome 3R that confer synaptic transmission defects in the visual system were recovered. These mutations represent 14 complementation groups, of which at least 9 also appear to perform functional roles outside of the eye. Three of these complementation groups disrupt photoreceptor axonal projection, whereas the remaining complementation groups confer presynaptic defects in synaptic transmission without detectably altering photoreceptor structure. Mapping and complementation testing with candidate mutations revealed new alleles of the neuronal fate determinant svp and the synaptic vesicle trafficking component lap among the collection of mutants recovered in this screen. Given the tools available for investigation of synaptic function in Drosophila, these mutants represent a valuable resource for future analysis of synapse development and function. PMID:14504225

  15. 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.

  16. Abnormal Synaptic Vesicle Biogenesis in Drosophila Synaptogyrin Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Robin J.; Akbergenova, Yulia; Jorquera, Ramon A.; Littleton, J. Troy

    2012-01-01

    Sustained neuronal communication relies on the coordinated activity of multiple proteins that regulate synaptic vesicle biogenesis and cycling within the presynaptic terminal. Synaptogyrin and synaptophysin are conserved MARVEL domain-containing transmembrane proteins that are among the most abundant synaptic vesicle constituents, although their role in the synaptic vesicle cycle has remained elusive. To further investigate the function of these proteins, we generated and characterized a synaptogyrin (gyr) null mutant in Drosophila, whose genome encodes a single synaptogyrin isoform and lacks a synaptophysin homolog. We demonstrate that Drosophila synaptogyrin plays a modulatory role in synaptic vesicle biogenesis at larval neuromuscular junctions. Drosophila lacking synaptogyrin are viable and fertile and have no overt deficits in motor function. However, ultrastructural analysis of gyr larvae revealed increased synaptic vesicle diameter and enhanced variability in the size of synaptic vesicles. In addition, the resolution of endocytic cisternae into synaptic vesicles in response to strong stimulation is defective in gyr mutants. Electrophysiological analysis demonstrated an increase in quantal size and a concomitant decrease in quantal content, suggesting functional consequences for transmission caused by the loss of synaptogyrin. Furthermore, high-frequency stimulation resulted in increased facilitation and a delay in recovery from synaptic depression, indicating that synaptic vesicle exo-endocytosis is abnormally regulated during intense stimulation conditions. These results suggest that synaptogyrin modulates the synaptic vesicle exo-endocytic cycle and is required for the proper biogenesis of synaptic vesicles at nerve terminals. PMID:23238721

  17. Carbon Nanotube Synaptic Transistor Network for Pattern Recognition.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sungho; Yoon, Jinsu; Kim, Hee-Dong; Choi, Sung-Jin

    2015-11-18

    Inspired by the human brain, a neuromorphic system combining complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) and adjustable synaptic devices may offer new computing paradigms by enabling massive neural-network parallelism. In particular, synaptic devices, which are capable of emulating the functions of biological synapses, are used as the essential building blocks for an information storage and processing system. However, previous synaptic devices based on two-terminal resistive devices remain challenging because of their variability and specific physical mechanisms of resistance change, which lead to a bottleneck in the implementation of a high-density synaptic device network. Here we report that a three-terminal synaptic transistor based on carbon nanotubes can provide reliable synaptic functions that encode relative timing and regulate weight change. In addition, using system-level simulations, the developed synaptic transistor network associated with CMOS circuits can perform unsupervised learning for pattern recognition using a simplified spike-timing-dependent plasticity scheme.

  18. Carbon Nanotube Synaptic Transistor Network for Pattern Recognition.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sungho; Yoon, Jinsu; Kim, Hee-Dong; Choi, Sung-Jin

    2015-11-18

    Inspired by the human brain, a neuromorphic system combining complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) and adjustable synaptic devices may offer new computing paradigms by enabling massive neural-network parallelism. In particular, synaptic devices, which are capable of emulating the functions of biological synapses, are used as the essential building blocks for an information storage and processing system. However, previous synaptic devices based on two-terminal resistive devices remain challenging because of their variability and specific physical mechanisms of resistance change, which lead to a bottleneck in the implementation of a high-density synaptic device network. Here we report that a three-terminal synaptic transistor based on carbon nanotubes can provide reliable synaptic functions that encode relative timing and regulate weight change. In addition, using system-level simulations, the developed synaptic transistor network associated with CMOS circuits can perform unsupervised learning for pattern recognition using a simplified spike-timing-dependent plasticity scheme. PMID:26512729

  19. Differential Acute and Chronic Effects of Leptin on Hypothalamic Astrocyte Morphology and Synaptic Protein Levels

    PubMed Central

    García-Cáceres, Cristina; Fuente-Martín, Esther; Burgos-Ramos, Emma; Granado, Miriam; Frago, Laura M.; Barrios, Vicente; Horvath, Tamas

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes participate in neuroendocrine functions partially through modulation of synaptic input density in the hypothalamus. Indeed, glial ensheathing of neurons is modified by specific hormones, thus determining the availability of neuronal membrane space for synaptic inputs, with the loss of this plasticity possibly being involved in pathological processes. Leptin modulates synaptic inputs in the hypothalamus, but whether astrocytes participate in this action is unknown. Here we report that astrocyte structural proteins, such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin, are induced and astrocyte morphology modified by chronic leptin administration (intracerebroventricular, 2 wk), with these changes being inversely related to modifications in synaptic protein densities. Similar changes in glial structural proteins were observed in adult male rats that had increased body weight and circulating leptin levels due to neonatal overnutrition (overnutrition: four pups/litter vs. control: 12 pups/litter). However, acute leptin treatment reduced hypothalamic GFAP levels and induced synaptic protein levels 1 h after administration, with no effect on vimentin. In primary hypothalamic astrocyte cultures leptin also reduced GFAP levels at 1 h, with an induction at 24 h, indicating a possible direct effect of leptin. Hence, one mechanism by which leptin may affect metabolism is by modifying hypothalamic astrocyte morphology, which in turn could alter synaptic inputs to hypothalamic neurons. Furthermore, the responses to acute and chronic leptin exposure are inverse, raising the possibility that increased glial activation in response to chronic leptin exposure could be involved in central leptin resistance. PMID:21343257

  20. Overexpression of Guanylate Cyclase Activating Protein 2 in Rod Photoreceptors In Vivo Leads to Morphological Changes at the Synaptic Ribbon

    PubMed Central

    López-Begines, Santiago; Fernández-Sánchez, Laura; Cuenca, Nicolás; Llorens, Jordi; de la Villa, Pedro; Méndez, Ana

    2012-01-01

    Guanylate cyclase activating proteins are EF-hand containing proteins that confer calcium sensitivity to retinal guanylate cyclase at the outer segment discs of photoreceptor cells. By making the rate of cGMP synthesis dependent on the free intracellular calcium levels set by illumination, GCAPs play a fundamental role in the recovery of the light response and light adaptation. The main isoforms GCAP1 and GCAP2 also localize to the synaptic terminal, where their function is not known. Based on the reported interaction of GCAP2 with Ribeye, the major component of synaptic ribbons, it was proposed that GCAP2 could mediate the synaptic ribbon dynamic changes that happen in response to light. We here present a thorough ultrastructural analysis of rod synaptic terminals in loss-of-function (GCAP1/GCAP2 double knockout) and gain-of-function (transgenic overexpression) mouse models of GCAP2. Rod synaptic ribbons in GCAPs−/− mice did not differ from wildtype ribbons when mice were raised in constant darkness, indicating that GCAPs are not required for ribbon early assembly or maturation. Transgenic overexpression of GCAP2 in rods led to a shortening of synaptic ribbons, and to a higher than normal percentage of club-shaped and spherical ribbon morphologies. Restoration of GCAP2 expression in the GCAPs−/− background (GCAP2 expression in the absence of endogenous GCAP1) had the striking result of shortening ribbon length to a much higher degree than overexpression of GCAP2 in the wildtype background, as well as reducing the thickness of the outer plexiform layer without affecting the number of rod photoreceptor cells. These results indicate that preservation of the GCAP1 to GCAP2 relative levels is relevant for maintaining the integrity of the synaptic terminal. Our demonstration of GCAP2 immunolocalization at synaptic ribbons at the ultrastructural level would support a role of GCAPs at mediating the effect of light on morphological remodeling changes of synaptic

  1. Survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons determines synaptic integrity in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Tara L; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A; Crowder, Melissa E; Van Meerbeke, James P; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J; Lutz, Cathleen M; Rich, Mark M; Sumner, Charlotte J

    2012-06-20

    The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power.

  2. Genetic and Functional Studies Implicate Synaptic Overgrowth and Ring Gland cAMP/PKA Signaling Defects in the Drosophila melanogaster Neurofibromatosis-1 Growth Deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Walker, James A.; Gouzi, Jean Y.; Long, Jennifer B.; Huang, Sidong; Maher, Robert C.; Xia, Hongjing; Khalil, Kheyal; Ray, Arjun; Van Vactor, David; Bernards, René; Bernards, André

    2013-01-01

    Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic disease that affects 1 in 3,000, is caused by loss of a large evolutionary conserved protein that serves as a GTPase Activating Protein (GAP) for Ras. Among Drosophila melanogaster Nf1 (dNf1) null mutant phenotypes, learning/memory deficits and reduced overall growth resemble human NF1 symptoms. These and other dNf1 defects are relatively insensitive to manipulations that reduce Ras signaling strength but are suppressed by increasing signaling through the 3′-5′ cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) dependent Protein Kinase A (PKA) pathway, or phenocopied by inhibiting this pathway. However, whether dNf1 affects cAMP/PKA signaling directly or indirectly remains controversial. To shed light on this issue we screened 486 1st and 2nd chromosome deficiencies that uncover >80% of annotated genes for dominant modifiers of the dNf1 pupal size defect, identifying responsible genes in crosses with mutant alleles or by tissue-specific RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown. Validating the screen, identified suppressors include the previously implicated dAlk tyrosine kinase, its activating ligand jelly belly (jeb), two other genes involved in Ras/ERK signal transduction and several involved in cAMP/PKA signaling. Novel modifiers that implicate synaptic defects in the dNf1 growth deficiency include the intersectin-related synaptic scaffold protein Dap160 and the cholecystokinin receptor-related CCKLR-17D1 drosulfakinin receptor. Providing mechanistic clues, we show that dAlk, jeb and CCKLR-17D1 are among mutants that also suppress a recently identified dNf1 neuromuscular junction (NMJ) overgrowth phenotype and that manipulations that increase cAMP/PKA signaling in adipokinetic hormone (AKH)-producing cells at the base of the neuroendocrine ring gland restore the dNf1 growth deficiency. Finally, supporting our previous contention that ALK might be a therapeutic target in NF1, we report that human ALK is expressed in cells that give rise

  3. Reactivation of stalled polyribosomes in synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Graber, Tyson E; Hébert-Seropian, Sarah; Khoutorsky, Arkady; David, Alexandre; Yewdell, Jonathan W; Lacaille, Jean-Claude; Sossin, Wayne S

    2013-10-01

    Some forms of synaptic plasticity require rapid, local activation of protein synthesis. Although this is thought to reflect recruitment of mRNAs to free ribosomes, this would limit the speed and magnitude of translational activation. Here we provide compelling in situ evidence supporting an alternative model in which synaptic mRNAs are transported as stably paused polyribosomes. Remarkably, we show that metabotropic glutamate receptor activation allows the synthesis of proteins that lead to a functional long-term depression phenotype even when translation initiation has been greatly reduced. Thus, neurons evolved a unique mechanism to swiftly translate synaptic mRNAs into functional protein upon synaptic signaling using stalled polyribosomes to bypass the rate-limiting step of translation initiation. Because dysregulated plasticity is implicated in neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders such as fragile X syndrome, this work uncovers a unique translational target for therapies.

  4. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-01

    Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism.

  5. Synaptic protein alterations in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Pienaar, Ilse S; Burn, David; Morris, Christopher; Dexter, David

    2012-02-01

    Alterations occur within distal neuronal compartments, including axons and synapses, during the course of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD). These changes could hold important implications for the functioning of neural networks, especially since research studies have shown a loss of dendritic spines locating to medium spiny projection neurons and impaired axonal transport in PD-affected brains. However, despite ever-increasing awareness of the vulnerability of synapses and axons, inadequate understanding of the independent mechanisms regulating non-somatic neurodegeneration prevails. This has resulted in limited therapeutic strategies capable of targeting these distinct cellular compartments. Deregulated protein synthesis, folding and degrading proteins, and protein quality-control systems have repeatedly been linked with morphological and functional alterations of synapses in the PD-affected brains. Here, we review current understanding concerning the proteins involved in structural and functional changes that affect synaptic contact-points in PD. The collection of studies discussed emphasizes the need for developing therapeutics aimed at deregulated protein synthesis and degradation pathways operating at axonal and dendritic synapses for preserving "normal" circuitry and function, for as long as possible.

  6. Loss of Cdc42 leads to defects in synaptic plasticity and remote memory recall

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Il Hwan; Wang, Hong; Soderling, Scott H; Yasuda, Ryohei

    2014-01-01

    Cdc42 is a signaling protein important for reorganization of actin cytoskeleton and morphogenesis of cells. However, the functional role of Cdc42 in synaptic plasticity and in behaviors such as learning and memory are not well understood. Here we report that postnatal forebrain deletion of Cdc42 leads to deficits in synaptic plasticity and in remote memory recall using conditional knockout of Cdc42. We found that deletion of Cdc42 impaired LTP in the Schaffer collateral synapses and postsynaptic structural plasticity of dendritic spines in CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus. Additionally, loss of Cdc42 did not affect memory acquisition, but instead significantly impaired remote memory recall. Together these results indicate that the postnatal functions of Cdc42 may be crucial for the synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons, which contribute to the capacity for remote memory recall. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02839.001 PMID:25006034

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Synaptic adhesion molecule IgSF11 regulates synaptic transmission and plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Drosophila Neuroligin 2 is Required Presynaptically and Postsynaptically for proper Synaptic Differentiation and Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yu-Chi; Lin, Yong Qi; Banerjee, Swati; Venken, Koen; Li, Jingjun; Ismat, Afshan; Chen, Kuchuan; Duraine, Lita; Bellen, Hugo J.; Bhat, Manzoor A.

    2012-01-01

    Trans-synaptic adhesion between Neurexins and Neuroligins is thought to be required for proper synapse organization and modulation, and mutations in several human NEUROLIGINS have shown association with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Here we report the generation and phenotypic characterization of Drosophila neuroligin 2 (dnlg2) mutants. Loss of dnlg2 results in reduced bouton numbers, aberrant pre- and post-synaptic development at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), and impaired synaptic transmission. In dnlg2 mutants, the evoked responses are decreased in amplitude, whereas the total active zone numbers at the NMJ are comparable to wild type, suggesting a decrease in the release probability. Ultrastructurally, the presynaptic active zone number per bouton area and the postsynaptic density area are both increased in dnlg2 mutants, whereas the subsynaptic reticulum (SSR) is reduced in volume. We show that both pre- and post-synaptic expression of Dnlg2 is required to restore synaptic growth and function in dnlg2 mutants. Post-synaptic expression of Dnlg2 in dnlg2 mutants and wild type leads to reduced bouton growth whereas pre- and post-synaptic overexpression in wild type animals results in synaptic overgrowth. Since Neuroligins have been shown to bind to Neurexins, we created double mutants. These mutants are viable and display phenotypes that closely resemble those of dnlg2 and dnrx single mutants. Our results provide compelling evidence that Dnlg2 functions both pre- and post-synaptically together with Neurexin to determine the proper number of boutons as well as the number of active zones and size of synaptic densities during the development of NMJs. PMID:23136438

  11. AMPA receptor inhibition by synaptically released zinc.

    PubMed

    Kalappa, Bopanna I; Anderson, Charles T; Goldberg, Jacob M; Lippard, Stephen J; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-12-22

    The vast amount of fast excitatory neurotransmission in the mammalian central nervous system is mediated by AMPA-subtype glutamate receptors (AMPARs). As a result, AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission is implicated in nearly all aspects of brain development, function, and plasticity. Despite the central role of AMPARs in neurobiology, the fine-tuning of synaptic AMPA responses by endogenous modulators remains poorly understood. Here we provide evidence that endogenous zinc, released by single presynaptic action potentials, inhibits synaptic AMPA currents in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) and hippocampus. Exposure to loud sound reduces presynaptic zinc levels in the DCN and abolishes zinc inhibition, implicating zinc in experience-dependent AMPAR synaptic plasticity. Our results establish zinc as an activity-dependent, endogenous modulator of AMPARs that tunes fast excitatory neurotransmission and plasticity in glutamatergic synapses.

  12. AMPA receptor inhibition by synaptically released zinc

    PubMed Central

    Kalappa, Bopanna I.; Anderson, Charles T.; Lippard, Stephen J.; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-01-01

    The vast amount of fast excitatory neurotransmission in the mammalian central nervous system is mediated by AMPA-subtype glutamate receptors (AMPARs). As a result, AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission is implicated in nearly all aspects of brain development, function, and plasticity. Despite the central role of AMPARs in neurobiology, the fine-tuning of synaptic AMPA responses by endogenous modulators remains poorly understood. Here we provide evidence that endogenous zinc, released by single presynaptic action potentials, inhibits synaptic AMPA currents in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) and hippocampus. Exposure to loud sound reduces presynaptic zinc levels in the DCN and abolishes zinc inhibition, implicating zinc in experience-dependent AMPAR synaptic plasticity. Our results establish zinc as an activity-dependent, endogenous modulator of AMPARs that tunes fast excitatory neurotransmission and plasticity in glutamatergic synapses. PMID:26647187

  13. Protein kinase C substrate phosphorylation in relation to neural growth and synaptic plasticity: a common molecular mechanism underlying multiple neural functions

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, R.B.

    1987-01-01

    In these studies, we addressed the issues of: (1) whether neural protein kinase C (PKC) substrates might be altered in phosphorylation following induction of long-term potentiation (LTP); (2) whether PKC substrate phosphorylation might be specifically related to a model of neural plasticity other than LTP; and (3) whether the PKC substrates implicated in adult synaptic plasticity might be present in axonal growth cones given reports that high concentrations of PKC are found in these structures. Using quantitative analysis of multiple two-dimensional gels, we found that the two major substrates of exogenous purified PKC in adult hippocampal homogenate are both directly correlated to persistence of LTP. In rhesus monkey cerebral cortex, the proteins corresponding to protein F1 and 80k displayed topographical gradients in /sup 32/P-incorporation along the occipitotemporal visual processing pathway. The phosphorylation of both proteins was 11- and 14-fold higher, respectively, in temporal regions of this pathway implicated in the storage of visual representations, than in occipital regions, which do not appear to directly participate in visual memory functions.

  14. Acute Toluene Exposure Alters Expression of Genes in the Central Nervous System Associated With Synaptic Structure and Function

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toluene is a volatile organic compound (VOC) and a ubiquitous air pollutant of interest to EPA regulatory programs. Whereas its acute functional effects are well described, several modes of action in the CNS have been proposed. Therefore, we sought to identify potential pathways ...

  15. A Critical and Cell-Autonomous Role for MeCP2 in Synaptic Scaling Up

    PubMed Central

    Blackman, Melissa P.; Djukic, Biljana; Nelson, Sacha B.; Turrigiano, Gina G.

    2012-01-01

    Rett syndrome is the leading genetic cause of mental retardation in females. Most cases of Rett are due to loss of function mutations in the gene coding for the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2), but despite much effort it remains unclear how a loss of MeCP2 function generates the neurological deficits of Rett. Here we show that MeCP2 plays an essential and cell-autonomous role in homeostatic synaptic scaling up in response to reduced firing or reduced sensory drive in rat visual cortical pyramidal neurons. We found that acute RNAi knockdown of MeCP2 blocked synaptic scaling within targeted neocortical pyramidal neurons. Further, MeCP2 knockdown decreased excitatory synapse number without affecting basal mEPSC amplitude or AMPAR accumulation at spared synapses, demonstrating that MeCP2 acts cell-autonomously to maintain both excitatory synapse number and synaptic scaling in individual neocortical neurons. Finally, we used a mouse model of Rett to show that MeCP2 loss prevents homeostatic synaptic scaling up in response to visual deprivation in vivo, demonstrating for the first time that MeCP2 loss disrupts homeostatic plasticity within the intact developing neocortex. Our results establish MeCP2 as a critical mediator of synaptic scaling, and raise the possibility that some of the neurological defects of Rett arise from a disruption of homeostatic plasticity. PMID:23015442

  16. A critical and cell-autonomous role for MeCP2 in synaptic scaling up.

    PubMed

    Blackman, Melissa P; Djukic, Biljana; Nelson, Sacha B; Turrigiano, Gina G

    2012-09-26

    Rett syndrome (Rett) is the leading genetic cause of mental retardation in females. Most cases of Rett are caused by loss-of-function mutations in the gene coding for the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2), but despite much effort, it remains unclear how a loss of MeCP2 function generates the neurological deficits of Rett. Here we show that MeCP2 plays an essential and cell-autonomous role in homeostatic synaptic scaling up in response to reduced firing or reduced sensory drive in rat visual cortical pyramidal neurons. We found that acute RNAi knockdown of MeCP2 blocked synaptic scaling within targeted neocortical pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, MeCP2 knockdown decreased excitatory synapse number without affecting basal mEPSC amplitude or AMPAR accumulation at spared synapses, demonstrating that MeCP2 acts cell-autonomously to maintain both excitatory synapse number and synaptic scaling in individual neocortical neurons. Finally, we used a mouse model of Rett to show that MeCP2 loss prevents homeostatic synaptic scaling up in response to visual deprivation in vivo, demonstrating for the first time that MeCP2 loss disrupts homeostatic plasticity within the intact developing neocortex. Our results establish MeCP2 as a critical mediator of synaptic scaling and raise the possibility that some of the neurological defects of Rett arise from a disruption of homeostatic plasticity. PMID:23015442

  17. The Chemokine MIP-1α/CCL3 impairs mouse hippocampal synaptic transmission, plasticity and memory

    PubMed Central

    Marciniak, Elodie; Faivre, Emilie; Dutar, Patrick; Alves Pires, Claire; Demeyer, Dominique; Caillierez, Raphaëlle; Laloux, Charlotte; Buée, Luc; Blum, David; Humez, Sandrine

    2015-01-01

    Chemokines are signaling molecules playing an important role in immune regulations. They are also thought to regulate brain development, neurogenesis and neuroendocrine functions. While chemokine upsurge has been associated with conditions characterized with cognitive impairments, their ability to modulate synaptic plasticity remains ill-defined. In the present study, we specifically evaluated the effects of MIP1-α/CCL3 towards hippocampal synaptic transmission, plasticity and spatial memory. We found that CCL3 (50 ng/ml) significantly reduced basal synaptic transmission at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapse without affecting NMDAR-mediated field potentials. This effect was ascribed to post-synaptic regulations, as CCL3 did not impact paired-pulse facilitation. While CCL3 did not modulate long-term depression (LTD), it significantly impaired long-term potentiation (LTP), an effect abolished by Maraviroc, a CCR5 specific antagonist. In addition, sub-chronic intracerebroventricular (icv) injections of CCL3 also impair LTP. In accordance with these electrophysiological findings, we demonstrated that the icv injection of CCL3 in mouse significantly impaired spatial memory abilities and long-term memory measured using the two-step Y-maze and passive avoidance tasks. These effects of CCL3 on memory were inhibited by Maraviroc. Altogether, these data suggest that the chemokine CCL3 is an hippocampal neuromodulator able to regulate synaptic plasticity mechanisms involved in learning and memory functions. PMID:26511387

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Metabolic Turnover of Synaptic Proteins: Kinetics, Interdependencies and Implications for Synaptic Maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Laurie D.; Zuchman, Rina; Sorokina, Oksana; Müller, Anke; Dieterich, Daniela C.; Armstrong, J. Douglas; Ziv, Tamar; Ziv, Noam E.

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synapses contain multitudes of proteins, which in common with all proteins, have finite lifetimes and therefore need to be continuously replaced. Given the huge numbers of synaptic connections typical neurons form, the demand to maintain the protein contents of these connections might be expected to place considerable metabolic demands on each neuron. Moreover, synaptic proteostasis might differ according to distance from global protein synthesis sites, the availability of distributed protein synthesis facilities, trafficking rates and synaptic protein dynamics. To date, the turnover kinetics of synaptic proteins have not been studied or analyzed systematically, and thus metabolic demands or the aforementioned relationships remain largely unknown. In the current study we used dynamic Stable Isotope Labeling with Amino acids in Cell culture (SILAC), mass spectrometry (MS), Fluorescent Non–Canonical Amino acid Tagging (FUNCAT), quantitative immunohistochemistry and bioinformatics to systematically measure the metabolic half-lives of hundreds of synaptic proteins, examine how these depend on their pre/postsynaptic affiliation or their association with particular molecular complexes, and assess the metabolic load of synaptic proteostasis. We found that nearly all synaptic proteins identified here exhibited half-lifetimes in the range of 2–5 days. Unexpectedly, metabolic turnover rates were not significantly different for presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins, or for proteins for which mRNAs are consistently found in dendrites. Some functionally or structurally related proteins exhibited very similar turnover rates, indicating that their biogenesis and degradation might be coupled, a possibility further supported by bioinformatics-based analyses. The relatively low turnover rates measured here (∼0.7% of synaptic protein content per hour) are in good agreement with imaging-based studies of synaptic protein trafficking, yet indicate that the metabolic load

  1. 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

  2. On the Teneurin track: a new synaptic organization molecule emerges

    PubMed Central

    Mosca, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    To achieve proper synaptic development and function, coordinated signals must pass between the pre- and postsynaptic membranes. Such transsynaptic signals can be comprised of receptors and secreted ligands, membrane associated receptors, and also pairs of synaptic cell adhesion molecules. A critical open question bridging neuroscience, developmental biology, and cell biology involves identifying those signals and elucidating how they function. Recent work in Drosophila and vertebrate systems has implicated a family of proteins, the Teneurins, as a new transsynaptic signal in both the peripheral and central nervous systems. The Teneurins have established roles in neuronal wiring, but studies now show their involvement in regulating synaptic connections between neurons and bridging the synaptic membrane and the cytoskeleton. This review will examine the Teneurins as synaptic cell adhesion molecules, explore how they regulate synaptic organization, and consider how some consequences of human Teneurin mutations may have synaptopathic origins. PMID:26074772

  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. 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.

  6. Primary hippocampal neurons, which lack four crucial extracellular matrix molecules, display abnormalities of synaptic structure and function and severe deficits in perineuronal net formation.

    PubMed

    Geissler, Maren; Gottschling, Christine; Aguado, Ainhara; Rauch, Uwe; Wetzel, Christian H; Hatt, Hanns; Faissner, Andreas

    2013-05-01

    The extracellular matrix (ECM) of the brain plays crucial roles during the development, maturation, and regeneration of the CNS. In a subpopulation of neurons, the ECM condenses to superstructures called perineuronal nets (PNNs) that surround synapses. Camillo Golgi described PNNs a century ago, yet their biological functions remain elusive. Here, we studied a mouse mutant that lacks four ECM components highly enriched in the developing brain: the glycoproteins tenascin-C and tenascin-R and the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans brevican and neurocan. Primary embryonic hippocampal neurons and astrocytes were cultivated using a cell insert system that allows for co-culture of distinct cell populations in the absence of direct membrane contacts. The wild-type and knock-out cells were combined in the four possible permutations. Using this approach, neurons cultivated in the presence of mutant astrocytes displayed a transient increase of synapses after 2 weeks. However, after a period of 3 weeks or longer, synapse formation and stabilization were compromised when either neuron or astrocyte cell populations or both were of mutant origin. The development of PNN structures was observed, but their size was substantially reduced on knock-out neurons. The synaptic activity of both wild-type and knock-out neurons was monitored using whole-cell patch clamping. The salient observation was a reduced frequency of IPSCs and EPSCs, whereas the amplitudes were not modified. Remarkably, the knock-out neuron phenotypes could not be rescued by wild-type astrocytes. We conclude that the elimination of four ECM genes compromises neuronal function.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Urban air pollutants reduce synaptic function of CA1 neurons via an NMDA/NO• pathway in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Davis, David A.; Akopian, Garnik; Walsh, John P.; Sioutas, Constantinos; Morgan, Todd E.; Finch, Caleb E.

    2013-01-01

    Airborne particulate matter (PM) from urban vehicular aerosols altered glutamate receptor functions and induced glial inflammatory responses in rodent models after chronic exposure. Potential neurotoxic mechanisms were analyzed in vitro. In hippocampal slices, 2 h exposure to aqueous nanosized PM (nPM) selectively altered postsynaptic proteins in CA1 neurons: increased GluA1, GluN2A, and GluN2B, but not GluA2, GluN1 or mGlur5; increased PSD95 and spinophilin, but not synaptophysin, while dentate gyrus (DG) neurons were unresponsive. In hippocampal slices and neurons, MitoSOX red fluorescence was increased by nPM, implying free radical production. Specifically, NO• production by slices was increased within 15 min of exposure to nPM with dose dependence, 1–10 µg/ml. Correspondingly, CA1 neurons exhibited increased nitrosylation of the GluN2A receptor and dephosphorylation of GluN2B (S1303) and of GluA1 (S831 & S845). Again, DG neurons were unresponsive to nPM. The induction of NO• and nitrosylation were inhibited by AP5, an NMDA receptor antagonist, which also protects neurite outgrowth in vitro from inhibition by nPM. Membrane injury (EthidiumD-1 uptake) showed parallel specificity. Finally, nPM decreased evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) of CA1 neurons. These findings further document the selective impact of nPM on glutamatergic functions and identify novel responses of NMDA receptor-stimulated NO• production and nitrosylation reactions during nPM-mediated neurotoxicity. PMID:23927064

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. High-Throughput All-Optical Analysis of Synaptic Transmission and Synaptic Vesicle Recycling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Wabnig, Sebastian; Liewald, Jana Fiona; Yu, Szi-chieh; Gottschalk, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic vesicles (SVs) undergo a cycle of biogenesis and membrane fusion to release transmitter, followed by recycling. How exocytosis and endocytosis are coupled is intensively investigated. We describe an all-optical method for identification of neurotransmission genes that can directly distinguish SV recycling factors in C. elegans, by motoneuron photostimulation and muscular RCaMP Ca2+ imaging. We verified our approach on mutants affecting synaptic transmission. Mutation of genes affecting SV recycling (unc-26 synaptojanin, unc-41 stonin, unc-57 endophilin, itsn-1 intersectin, snt-1 synaptotagmin) showed a distinct ‘signature’ of muscle Ca2+ dynamics, induced by cholinergic motoneuron photostimulation, i.e. faster rise, and earlier decrease of the signal, reflecting increased synaptic fatigue during ongoing photostimulation. To facilitate high throughput, we measured (3–5 times) ~1000 nematodes for each gene. We explored if this method enables RNAi screening for SV recycling genes. Previous screens for synaptic function genes, based on behavioral or pharmacological assays, allowed no distinction of the stage of the SV cycle in which a protein might act. We generated a strain enabling RNAi specifically only in cholinergic neurons, thus resulting in healthier animals and avoiding lethal phenotypes resulting from knockdown elsewhere. RNAi of control genes resulted in Ca2+ measurements that were consistent with results obtained in the respective genomic mutants, albeit to a weaker extent in most cases, and could further be confirmed by opto-electrophysiological measurements for mutants of some of the genes, including synaptojanin. We screened 95 genes that were previously implicated in cholinergic transmission, and several controls. We identified genes that clustered together with known SV recycling genes, exhibiting a similar signature of their Ca2+ dynamics. Five of these genes (C27B7.7, erp-1, inx-8, inx-10, spp-10) were further assessed in respective

  13. 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

  14. Extracting information from the power spectrum of synaptic noise.

    PubMed

    Destexhe, Alain; Rudolph, Michael

    2004-01-01

    In cortical neurons, synaptic "noise" is caused by the nearly random release of thousands of synapses. Few methods are presently available to analyze synaptic noise and deduce properties of the underlying synaptic inputs. We focus here on the power spectral density (PSD) of several models of synaptic noise. We examine different classes of analytically solvable kinetic models for synaptic currents, such as the "delta kinetic models," which use Dirac delta functions to represent the activation of the ion channel. We first show that, for this class of kinetic models, one can obtain an analytic expression for the PSD of the total synaptic conductance and derive equivalent stochastic models with only a few variables. This yields a method for constraining models of synaptic currents by analyzing voltage-clamp recordings of synaptic noise. Second, we show that a similar approach can be followed for the PSD of the the membrane potential (Vm) through an effective-leak approximation. Third, we show that this approach is also valid for inputs distributed in dendrites. In this case, the frequency scaling of the Vm PSD is preserved, suggesting that this approach may be applied to intracellular recordings of real neurons. In conclusion, using simple mathematical tools, we show that Vm recordings can be used to constrain kinetic models of synaptic currents, as well as to estimate equivalent stochastic models. This approach, therefore, provides a direct link between intracellular recordings in vivo and the design of models consistent with the dynamics and spectral structure of synaptic noise. PMID:15483395

  15. Rabx-5 regulates RAB-5 early endosomal compartments and synaptic vesicles in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Sann, Sharon B; Crane, Matthew M; Lu, Hang; Jin, Yishi

    2012-01-01

    Early endosomal membrane compartments are required for the formation and recycling of synaptic vesicles, but how these compartments are regulated is incompletely understood. We performed a forward genetic screen in C. elegans for mutations that affect RAB-5 labeled early endosomal compartments in GABAergic motoneurons. Here we report the isolation and characterization of one mutation, rabx-5. The rabx-5 mutation leads to decreased intensity of YFP::RAB-5 in the cell soma but increased intensity in the synaptic and intersynaptic regions of the axon. This effect is due to the bias of the cycling state of RAB-5, and results from a change in the organization of the early endosomal compartment as well as the membrane binding state of RAB-5. Synaptic vesicle accumulation is altered in rabx-5 mutants, and synaptic transmission from cholinergic neurons is decreased. Early endosomal membrane compartments show disorganization with ageing and rabx-5 mutant animals age faster. These results suggest that rabx-5 regulation of RAB-5 compartments is important for maintaining proper synaptic function throughout the lifetime.

  16. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) influences spatial cognition and modulates hippocampal structural synaptic plasticity in aging mice.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jun; Zhang, Zhanchi; Kang, Lin; Geng, Dandan; Wang, Yanyong; Wang, Mingwei; Cui, Huixian

    2014-10-01

    Normal aging is characteristic with the gradual decline in cognitive function associated with the progressive reduction of structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has developed into a novel neurological and psychiatric tool that can be used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency rTMS (≤1Hz) affects synaptic plasticity in rats with vascular dementia (VaD), and it ameliorates the spatial cognitive ability in mice with Aβ1-42-mediated memory deficits, but there are little concerns about the effects of rTMS on normal aging related cognition and synaptic plasticity changes. Thus, the current study investigated the effects of rTMS on spatial memory behavior, neuron and synapse morphology in the hippocampus, and synaptic protein markers and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) in normal aging mice, to illustrate the mechanisms of rTMS in regulating cognitive capacity. Relative to adult animals, aging caused hippocampal-dependent cognitive impairment, simultaneously inhibited the activation of the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway, reduced the transcription and expression of synaptic protein markers: synaptophysin (SYN), growth associated protein 43 (GAP43) and post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), as well as decreased synapse density and PSD (post-synaptic density) thickness. Interestingly, rTMS with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, LIMS) triggered the activation of BDNF and TrkB, upregulated the level of synaptic protein markers, and increased synapse density and thickened PSD, and further reversed the spatial cognition dysfunction in aging mice. Conversely, high-intensity magnetic stimulation (150% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, HIMS) appeared to be detrimental, inducing thinning of PSDs, disordered synaptic structure, and a large number of

  17. Synaptic activity and Alzheimer's disease: a critical update

    PubMed Central

    Tampellini, Davide

    2015-01-01

    Synapses have been known for many years to be the crucial target of pathology in different forms of dementia, in particular Alzheimer's disease (AD). Synapses and their appropriate activation or inhibition are fundamental for the proper brain function. Alterations in synaptic/neuronal activity and brain metabolism are considered among the earliest symptoms linked to the progression of AD, and lead to a central question in AD research: what is the role played by synaptic activity in AD pathogenesis? Intriguingly, in the last decade, important studies demonstrated that the state of activation of synapses affects the homeostasis of beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau, both of which aggregate and accumulate during AD, and are involved in neuronal dysfunction. In this review we aim to summarize the up-to-date data linking synaptic/neuronal activity with Aβ and tau; moreover, we also intend to provide a critical overview on brain activity alterations in AD, and their role in the disease's pathophysiology. PMID:26582973

  18. LTD-like molecular pathways in developmental synaptic pruning

    PubMed Central

    Piochon, Claire; Kano, Masanobu; Hansel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    In long-term depression (LTD) at synapses in the adult brain, synaptic strength is reduced in an experience-dependent manner. LTD thus provides a cellular mechanism for information storage in some forms of learning. A similar activity-dependent reduction in synaptic strength also occurs in the developing brain and there provides an essential step in synaptic pruning and the postnatal development of neural circuits. Here we review evidence suggesting that LTD and synaptic pruning share components of their underlying molecular machinery and may thus represent two developmental stages of the same type of synaptic modulation that serve different, but related, functions in neural circuit plasticity. We also assess the relationship between LTD and synaptic pruning in the context of recent findings of LTD dysregulation in several mouse models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and discuss whether LTD deficits can indicate impaired pruning processes that are required for proper brain development. PMID:27669991

  19. LTD-like molecular pathways in developmental synaptic pruning.

    PubMed

    Piochon, Claire; Kano, Masanobu; Hansel, Christian

    2016-09-27

    In long-term depression (LTD) at synapses in the adult brain, synaptic strength is reduced in an experience-dependent manner. LTD thus provides a cellular mechanism for information storage in some forms of learning. A similar activity-dependent reduction in synaptic strength also occurs in the developing brain and there provides an essential step in synaptic pruning and the postnatal development of neural circuits. Here we review evidence suggesting that LTD and synaptic pruning share components of their underlying molecular machinery and may thus represent two developmental stages of the same type of synaptic modulation that serve different, but related, functions in neural circuit plasticity. We also assess the relationship between LTD and synaptic pruning in the context of recent findings of LTD dysregulation in several mouse models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and discuss whether LTD deficits can indicate impaired pruning processes that are required for proper brain development. PMID:27669991

  20. Translational control of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Richter, Joel D

    2010-12-01

    Synapses, points of contact between axons and dendrites, are conduits for the flow of information in the circuitry of the central nervous system. The strength of synaptic transmission reflects the interconnectedness of the axons and dendrites at synapses; synaptic strength in turn is modified by the frequency with which the synapses are stimulated. This modulation of synaptic strength, or synaptic plasticity, probably forms the cellular basis for learning and memory. RNA metabolism, particularly translational control at or near the synapse, is one process that controls long-lasting synaptic plasticity and, by extension, memory formation and consolidation. In the present paper, I review some salient features of translational control of synaptic plasticity.

  1. Mapping homeostatic synaptic plasticity using cable properties of dendrites.

    PubMed

    Queenan, B N; Lee, K J; Tan, H; Huganir, R L; Vicini, S; Pak, D T S

    2016-02-19

    When chronically silenced, cortical and hippocampal neurons homeostatically upregulate excitatory synaptic function. However, the subcellular position of such changes on the dendritic tree is not clear. We exploited the cable-filtering properties of dendrites to derive a parameter, the dendritic filtering index (DFI), to map the spatial distribution of synaptic currents. Our analysis indicates that young rat cortical neurons globally scale AMPA receptor-mediated currents, while mature hippocampal neurons do not, revealing distinct homeostatic strategies between brain regions and developmental stages. The DFI presents a useful tool for mapping the dendritic origin of synaptic currents and the location of synaptic plasticity changes.

  2. The cell biology of synaptic specificity during development

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Ryan; Shao, Zhiyong; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A

    2013-01-01

    Proper circuit connectivity is critical for nervous system function. Connectivity derives from the interaction of two interdependent modules: synaptic specificity and synaptic assembly. Specificity involves both targeting of neurons to specific laminar regions and the formation of synapses onto defined subcellular areas. In this review, we focus discussion on recently elucidated molecular mechanisms that control synaptic specificity and link them to synapse assembly. We use these molecular pathways to underscore fundamental cell biological concepts that underpin, and help explain, the rules governing synaptic specificity. PMID:23932598

  3. Different effects of bisphenol-A on memory behavior and synaptic modification in intact and estrogen-deprived female mice.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaohong; Gu, Ting; Shen, Qiaoqiao

    2015-03-01

    Bisphenol-A (BPA) has the capability of interfering with the effects of estrogens on modulating brain function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of BPA on memory and synaptic modification in the hippocampus of female mice under different levels of cycling estrogen. BPA exposure (40, 400 μg/kg/day) for 8 weeks did not affect spatial memory and passive avoidance task of gonadally intact mice but improved ovariectomy (Ovx)-induced memory impairment, whereas co-exposure of BPA with estradiol benzoate (EB) diminished the rescue effect of EB on memory behavior of Ovx mice. The results of morphometric measurement showed that BPA positively modified the synaptic interface structure and increased the synaptic density of CA1 pyramidal cell in the hippocampus of Ovx females, but inhibited the enhancement of EB on synaptic modification and synaptogenesis of Ovx mice. Furthermore, BPA up-regulated synaptic proteins synapsin I and PSD-95 and NMDA receptor NR2B but inhibited EB-induced increase in PSD-95 and NR2B in the hippocampus of Ovx mice. These results suggest that BPA interfered with normal hormonal regulation in synaptic plasticity and memory of female mice as a potent estrogen mimetic and as a disruptor of estrogen under various concentrations of cycling estrogen.

  4. Firing rate of noisy integrate-and-fire neurons with synaptic current dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Andrieux, David; Monnai, Takaaki

    2009-08-15

    We derive analytical formulas for the firing rate of integrate-and-fire neurons endowed with realistic synaptic dynamics. In particular, we include the possibility of multiple synaptic inputs as well as the effect of an absolute refractory period into the description. The latter affects the firing rate through its interaction with the synaptic dynamics.

  5. Structural and functional characterization of dendritic arbors and GABAergic synaptic inputs on interneurons and principal cells in the rat basolateral amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Klenowski, Paul M.; Fogarty, Matthew J.; Belmer, Arnauld; Noakes, Peter G.; Bellingham, Mark C.

    2015-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a complex brain region associated with processing emotional states, such as fear, anxiety, and stress. Some aspects of these emotional states are driven by the network activity of synaptic connections, derived from both local circuitry and projections to the BLA from other regions. Although the synaptic physiology and general morphological characteristics are known for many individual cell types within the BLA, the combination of morphological, electrophysiological, and distribution of neurochemical GABAergic synapses in a three-dimensional neuronal arbor has not been reported for single neurons from this region. The aim of this study was to assess differences in morphological characteristics of BLA principal cells and interneurons, quantify the distribution of GABAergic neurochemical synapses within the entire neuronal arbor of each cell type, and determine whether GABAergic synaptic density correlates with electrophysiological recordings of inhibitory postsynaptic currents. We show that BLA principal neurons form complex dendritic arborizations, with proximal dendrites having fewer spines but higher densities of neurochemical GABAergic synapses compared with distal dendrites. Furthermore, we found that BLA interneurons exhibited reduced dendritic arbor lengths and spine densities but had significantly higher densities of putative GABAergic synapses compared with principal cells, which was correlated with an increased frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents. The quantification of GABAergic connectivity, in combination with morphological and electrophysiological measurements of the BLA cell types, is the first step toward a greater understanding of how fear and stress lead to changes in morphology, local connectivity, and/or synaptic reorganization of the BLA. PMID:26041829

  6. ATP-ases of synaptic plasma membranes in striatum: enzymatic systems for synapses functionality by in vivo administration of L-acetylcarnitine in relation to Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Villa, R F; Ferrari, F; Gorini, A

    2013-09-17

    The maximum rate (Vmax) of some enzymatic activities related to energy consumption was evaluated in synaptic plasma membranes from rat brain striatum, the synaptic energy state being a crucial factor in neurodegenerative diseases etiopathogenesis. Two types of synaptic plasma membranes were isolated from rats subjected to in vivo treatment with L-acetylcarnitine at two different doses (30 and 60 mg × kg(-1) i.p., 28 days, 5 days/week). The following enzyme activities were evaluated: acetylcholinesterase (AChE); Na(+), K(+), Mg(2+)-ATP-ase; ouabain insensitive Mg(2+)-ATP-ase; Na(+), K(+)-ATP-ase; direct Mg(2+)-ATP-ase; Ca(2+), Mg(2+)-ATP-ase; and low- and high-affinity Ca(2+)-ATP-ase. In control (vehicle-treated) animals, enzymatic activities are differently expressed in synaptic plasma membranes type I (SPM1) with respect to synaptic plasma membranes type II (SPM2), the evaluated enzymatic activities being higher in SPM2. Subchronic treatment with L-acetylcarnitine decreased AChE on SPM1 and SPM2 at the dose of 30 mg × kg(-1). Pharmacological treatment decreased ouabain insensitive Mg(2+)-ATP-ase activity and high affinity Ca(2+)-ATP-ase activity at the doses of 30 and 60 mg × kg(-1) respectively on SPM1, while it decreased Na(+), K(+)-ATP-ase, direct Mg(2+)-ATP-ase and Ca(2+), Mg(2+)-ATP-ase activities at the dose of 30 mg × kg(-1) on SPM2. These results suggest that the sensitivity to drug treatment is different between these two populations of synaptic plasma membranes from the striatum, confirming the micro-heterogeneity of these subfractions, possessing different metabolic machinery with respect to energy consumption and utilization and the regional selective effect of L-acetylcarnitine on cerebral tissue, depending on the considered area. The drug potential effect at the synaptic level in Parkinson's Disease neuroprotection is also discussed with respect to acetylcholine and energy metabolism.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Convergent synaptic and circuit substrates underlying autism genetic risks

    PubMed Central

    McGee, Aaron; Li, Guohui; Lu, Zhongming; Qiu, Shenfeng

    2014-01-01

    There has been a surge of diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over the past decade. While large, high powered genome screening studies of children with ASD have identified numerous genetic risk factors, research efforts to understanding how each of these risk factors contributes to the development autism has met with limited success. Revealing the mechanisms by which these genetic risk factors affect brain development and predispose a child to autism requires mechanistic understanding of the neurobiological changes underlying this devastating group of developmental disorders at multifaceted molecular, cellular and system levels. It has been increasingly clear that the normal trajectory of neurodevelopment is compromised in autism, in multiple domains as much as aberrant neuronal production, growth, functional maturation, patterned connectivity, and balanced excitation and inhibition of brain networks. Many autism risk factors identified in humans have been now reconstituted in experimental mouse models to allow mechanistic interrogation of the biological role of the risk gene. Studies utilizing these mouse models have revealed that underlying the enormous heterogeneity of perturbed cellular events, mechanisms directing synaptic and circuit assembly may provide a unifying explanation for the pathophysiological changes and behavioral endophenotypes seen in autism, although synaptic perturbations are far from being the only alterations relevant for ASD. In this review, we discuss synaptic and circuit abnormalities obtained from several prevalent mouse models, particularly those reflecting syndromic forms of ASD that are caused by single gene perturbations. These compiled results reveal that ASD risk genes contribute to proper signaling of the developing gene networks that maintain synaptic and circuit homeostasis, which is fundamental to normal brain development. PMID:24999357

  9. Thrombin regulation of synaptic plasticity: implications for physiology and pathology.

    PubMed

    Maggio, Nicola; Itsekson, Zeev; Dominissini, Dan; Blatt, Ilan; Amariglio, Ninette; Rechavi, Gideon; Tanne, David; Chapman, Joab

    2013-09-01

    Thrombin, a serine protease involved in the coagulation cascade has been recently shown to affect neuronal function following blood-brain barrier breakdown. Several lines of evidence have shown that thrombin may exist in the brain parenchyma under normal physiological conditions, yet its role in normal brain functions and synaptic transmission has not been established. In an attempt to shed light on the physiological functions of thrombin and Protease Activated Receptor 1 (PAR1) in the brain, we studied the effects of thrombin and a PAR1 agonist on long term potentiation (LTP) in mice hippocampal slices. Surprisingly, different concentrations of thrombin affect LTP through different molecular routes converging on PAR1. High thrombin concentrations induced an NMDA dependent, slow onset LTP, whereas low concentrations of thrombin promoted a VGCCs, mGluR-5 dependent LTP through activated Protein C (aPC). Remarkably, aPC facilitated LTP by activating PAR1 through an Endothelial Protein C Receptor (EPCR)-mediated mechanism which involves intracellular calcium stores. These findings reveal a novel mechanism by which PAR1 may regulate the threshold for synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and provide additional insights into the role of this receptor in normal and pathological conditions.

  10. Role of MicroRNA in Governing Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  11. The Ubiquitin-Proteasome Pathway and Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hegde, Ashok N.

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Zolpidem, a clinical hypnotic that affects electronic transfer, alters synaptic activity through potential GABA receptors in the nervous system without significant free radical generation.

    PubMed

    Kovacic, Peter; Somanathan, Ratnasamy

    2009-01-01

    Zolpidem (trade name Ambien) has attracted much interest as a sleep-inducing agent and also in research. Attention has been centered mainly on receptor binding and electrochemistry in the central nervous system which are briefly addressed herein. A novel integrated approach to mode of action is presented. The pathways to be discussed involve basicity, reduction potential, electrostatics, cell signaling, GABA receptor binding, electron transfer (ET), pharmacodynamics, structure activity relationships (SAR) and side effects. The highly conjugated pyridinium salt formed by protonation of the amidine moiety is proposed to be the active form acting as an ET agent. Extrapolation of reduction potentials for related compounds supports the premise that zolpidem may act as an ET species in vivo. From recent literature reports, electrostatics is believed to play a significant role in drug action. The pyridinium cation displays molecular electrostatic potential which may well play a role energetically or as a bridging mechanism. An SAR analysis points to analogy with other physiologically active xenobiotics, namely benzodiazepines and paraquat in the conjugated iminium category. Inactivity of metabolites indicates that the parent is the active form of zolpidem. Absence of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress is in line with minor side effects. In contrast, generally, the prior literature contains essentially no discussion of these fundamental biochemical relationships. Pharmacodynamics may play an important role. Concerning behavior at the blood-brain barrier, useful insight can be gained from investigations of the related cationic anesthetics that are structurally related to acetyl choline. Evidently, the neutral form of the drug penetrates the neuronal membrane, with the salt form operating at the receptor. The pathways of zolpidem have several clinical implications since the agent affects sedation, electroencephalographic activity, oxidative metabolites and

  13. Synaptic vesicle pools: an update.

    PubMed

    Denker, Annette; Rizzoli, Silvio O

    2010-01-01

    During the last few decades synaptic vesicles have been assigned to a variety of functional and morphological classes or "pools". We have argued in the past (Rizzoli and Betz, 2005) that synaptic activity in several preparations is accounted for by the function of three vesicle pools: the readily releasable pool (docked at active zones and ready to go upon stimulation), the recycling pool (scattered throughout the nerve terminals and recycling upon moderate stimulation), and finally the reserve pool (occupying most of the vesicle clusters and only recycling upon strong stimulation). We discuss here the advancements in the vesicle pool field which took place in the ensuing years, focusing on the behavior of different pools under both strong stimulation and physiological activity. Several new findings have enhanced the three-pool model, with, for example, the disparity between recycling and reserve vesicles being underlined by the observation that the former are mobile, while the latter are "fixed". Finally, a number of altogether new concepts have also evolved such as the current controversy on the identity of the spontaneously recycling vesicle pool. PMID:21423521

  14. Synaptic vesicle release regulates myelin sheath number of individual oligodendrocytes in vivo.

    PubMed

    Mensch, Sigrid; Baraban, Marion; Almeida, Rafael; Czopka, Tim; Ausborn, Jessica; El Manira, Abdeljabbar; Lyons, David A

    2015-05-01

    The myelination of axons by oligodendrocytes markedly affects CNS function, but how this is regulated by neuronal activity in vivo is not known. We found that blocking synaptic vesicle release impaired CNS myelination by reducing the number of myelin sheaths made by individual oligodendrocytes during their short period of formation. We also found that stimulating neuronal activity increased myelin sheath formation by individual oligodendrocytes. These data indicate that neuronal activity regulates the myelinating capacity of single oligodendrocytes.

  15. The Corticohippocampal Circuit, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory.

    PubMed

    Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A

    2015-11-02

    Synaptic plasticity serves as a cellular substrate for information storage in the central nervous system. The entorhinal cortex (EC) and hippocampus are interconnected brain areas supporting basic cognitive functions important for the formation and retrieval of declarative memories. Here, we discuss how information flow in the EC-hippocampal loop is organized through circuit design. We highlight recently identified corticohippocampal and intrahippocampal connections and how these long-range and local microcircuits contribute to learning. This review also describes various forms of activity-dependent mechanisms that change the strength of corticohippocampal synaptic transmission. A key point to emerge from these studies is that patterned activity and interaction of coincident inputs gives rise to associational plasticity and long-term regulation of information flow. Finally, we offer insights about how learning-related synaptic plasticity within the corticohippocampal circuit during sensory experiences may enable adaptive behaviors for encoding spatial, episodic, social, and contextual memories.

  16. EONS: an online synaptic modeling platform.

    PubMed

    Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C; Qiu, Yumei; Ziane, Mohammed B; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W

    2006-01-01

    Chemical synapses, although representing the smallest unit of communication between two neurons in the nervous system constitute a complex ensemble of mechanisms. Understanding these mechanisms and the way synaptic transmission occurs is critical for our comprehension of CNS functions in general and learning and memory in particular. Here we describe a modeling platform called EONS (Elementary Object of Neural System) accessible online, which allows neuroscientists throughout the world to study qualitatively, but also quantitatively the relative contributions of diverse mechanisms underlying synaptic efficacy: the relevance of each and every elements that comprise a synapse, the interactions between these components and their subcellular distribution, as well as the influence of synaptic geometry (presynaptic terminal, cleft and postsynaptic density).

  17. Astroglial Metabolic Networks Sustain Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian

    2008-12-01

    Astrocytes provide metabolic substrates to neurons in an activity-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this function, as well as its role in synaptic transmission, remain unclear. Here, we show that the gap-junction subunit proteins connexin 43 and 30 allow intercellular trafficking of glucose and its metabolites through astroglial networks. This trafficking is regulated by glutamatergic synaptic activity mediated by AMPA receptors. In the absence of extracellular glucose, the delivery of glucose or lactate to astrocytes sustains glutamatergic synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity only when they are connected by gap junctions. These results indicate that astroglial gap junctions provide an activity-dependent intercellular pathway for the delivery of energetic metabolites from blood vessels to distal neurons.

  18. Synaptic pathology: A shared mechanism in neurological disease.

    PubMed

    Henstridge, Christopher M; Pickett, Eleanor; Spires-Jones, Tara L

    2016-07-01

    Synaptic proteomes have evolved a rich and complex diversity to allow the exquisite control of neuronal communication and information transfer. It is therefore not surprising that many neurological disorders are associated with alterations in synaptic function. As technology has advanced, our ability to study the anatomical and physiological function of synapses in greater detail has revealed a critical role for both central and peripheral synapses in neurodegenerative disease. Synapse loss has a devastating effect on cellular communication, leading to wide ranging effects such as network disruption within central neural systems and muscle wastage in the periphery. These devastating effects link synaptic pathology to a diverse range of neurological disorders, spanning Alzheimer's disease to multiple sclerosis. This review will highlight some of the current literature on synaptic integrity in animal models of disease and human post-mortem studies. Synaptic changes in normal brain ageing will also be discussed and finally the current and prospective treatments for neurodegenerative disorders will be summarised. PMID:27108053

  19. Age-related changes in the hippocampus (loss of synaptophysin and glial-synaptic interaction) are modified by systemic treatment with an NCAM-derived peptide, FGL.

    PubMed

    Ojo, Bunmi; Rezaie, Payam; Gabbott, Paul L; Davies, Heather; Colyer, Frances; Cowley, Thelma R; Lynch, Marina; Stewart, Michael G

    2012-07-01

    Altered synaptic morphology, progressive loss of synapses and glial (astrocyte and microglial) cell activation are considered as characteristic hallmarks of aging. Recent evidence suggests that there is a concomitant age-related decrease in expression of the presynaptic protein, synaptophysin, and the neuronal glycoprotein CD200, which, by interacting with its receptor, plays a role in maintaining microglia in a quiescent state. These age-related changes may be indicative of reduced neuroglial support of synapses. FG Loop (FGL) peptide synthesized from the second fibronectin type III module of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), has previously been shown to attenuate age-related glial cell activation, and to 'restore' cognitive function in aged rats. The mechanisms by which FGL exerts these neuroprotective effects remain unclear, but could involve regulation of CD200, modifying glial-synaptic interactions (affecting neuroglial 'support' at synapses), or impacting directly on synaptic function. Light and electron microscopic (EM) analyses were undertaken to investigate whether systemic treatment with FGL (i) alters CD200, synaptophysin (presynaptic) and PSD-95 (postsynaptic) immunohistochemical expression levels, (ii) affects synaptic number, or (iii) exerts any effects on glial-synaptic interactions within young (4 month-old) and aged (22 month-old) rat hippocampus. Treatment with FGL attenuated the age-related loss of synaptophysin immunoreactivity (-ir) within CA3 and hilus (with no major effect on PSD-95-ir), and of CD200-ir specifically in the CA3 region. Ultrastructural morphometric analyses showed that FGL treatment (i) prevented age-related loss in astrocyte-synaptic contacts, (ii) reduced microglia-synaptic contacts in the CA3 stratum radiatum, but (iii) had no effect on the mean number of synapses in this region. These data suggest that FGL mediates its neuroprotective effects by regulating glial-synaptic interaction.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chandrasekaran, Lakshmi

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Activity-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity of a Chalcogenide Electronic Synapse for Neuromorphic Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  2. Activity-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity of a Chalcogenide Electronic Synapse for Neuromorphic Systems

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Nanoscale inorganic electronic synapses or synaptic devices, which are capable of emulating the functions of biological synapses of brain neuronal systems, are regarded as the basic building blocks for beyond-Von Neumann computing architecture, combining information storage and processing. Here, we demonstrate a Ag/AgInSbTe/Ag structure for chalcogenide memristor-based electronic synapses. The memristive characteristics with reproducible gradual resistance tuning are utilised to mimic the activity-dependent synaptic plasticity that serves as the basis of memory and learning. Bidirectional long-term Hebbian plasticity modulation is implemented by the coactivity of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, and the sign and degree are affected by assorted factors including the temporal difference, spike rate and voltage. Moreover, synaptic saturation is observed to be an adjustment of Hebbian rules to stabilise the growth of synaptic weights. Our results may contribute to the development of highly functional plastic electronic synapses and the further construction of next-generation parallel neuromorphic computing architecture. PMID:24809396

  3. Phosphodiesterase Inhibition to Target the Synaptic Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bales, Kelly R.; Plath, Niels; Svenstrup, Niels; Menniti, Frank S.

    Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a disease of synaptic dysfunction that ultimately proceeds to neuronal death. There is a wealth of evidence that indicates the final common mediator of this neurotoxic process is the formation and actions on synaptotoxic b-amyloid (Aβ). The premise in this review is that synaptic dysfunction may also be an initiating factor in for AD and promote synaptotoxic Aβ formation. This latter hypothesis is consistent with the fact that the most common risk factors for AD, apolipoprotein E (ApoE) allele status, age, education, and fitness, encompass suboptimal synaptic function. Thus, the synaptic dysfunction in AD may be both cause and effect, and remediating synaptic dysfunction in AD may have acute effects on the symptoms present at the initiation of therapy and also slow disease progression. The cyclic nucleotide (cAMP and cGMP) signaling systems are intimately involved in the regulation of synaptic homeostasis. The phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are a superfamily of enzymes that critically regulate spatial and temporal aspects of cyclic nucleotide signaling through metabolic inactivation of cAMP and cGMP. Thus, targeting the PDEs to promote improved synaptic function, or 'synaptic resilience', may be an effective and facile approach to new symptomatic and disease modifying therapies for AD. There continues to be a significant drug discovery effort aimed at discovering PDE inhibitors to treat a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we review the current status of those efforts as they relate to potential new therapies for AD.

  4. Radiation-induced alterations in synaptic neurotransmission of dentate granule cells depend on the dose and species of charged particles.

    PubMed

    Marty, V N; Vlkolinsky, R; Minassian, N; Cohen, T; Nelson, G A; Spigelman, I

    2014-12-01

    The evaluation of potential health risks associated with neuronal exposure to space radiation is critical for future long duration space travel. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the effects of low-dose proton and high-energy charged particle (HZE) radiation on electrophysiological parameters of the granule cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus and its associated functional consequences. We examined excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in DG granule cells (DGCs) in dorsal hippocampal slices from male C57BL/6 mice at 3 months after whole body irradiation with accelerated proton, silicon or iron particles. Multielectrode arrays were used to investigate evoked field synaptic potentials, an extracellular measurement of synaptic excitability in the perforant path to DG synaptic pathway. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were used to measure miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) and miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) in DGCs. Exposure to proton radiation increased synaptic excitability and produced dose-dependent decreases in amplitude and charge transfer of mIPSCs, without affecting the expression of γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor α2, β3 and γ2 subunits determined by Western blotting. Exposure to silicon radiation had no significant effects on synaptic excitability, mEPSCs or mIPSCs of DGCs. Exposure to iron radiation had no effect on synaptic excitability and mIPSCs, but significantly increased mEPSC frequency at 1 Gy, without changes in mEPSC kinetics, suggesting a presynaptic mechanism. Overall, the data suggest that proton and HZE exposure results in radiation dose- and species-dependent long-lasting alterations in synaptic neurotransmission, which could cause radiation-induced impairment of hippocampal-dependent cognitive functions.

  5. Peripherally restricted viral challenge elevates extracellular glutamate and enhances synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Hunsberger, Holly C; Wang, Desheng; Petrisko, Tiffany J; Alhowail, Ahmad; Setti, Sharay E; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu; Konat, Gregory W; Reed, Miranda N

    2016-07-01

    Peripheral infections increase the propensity and severity of seizures in susceptible populations. We have previously shown that intraperitoneal injection of a viral mimic, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (PIC), elicits hypersusceptibility of mice to kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures. This study was undertaken to determine whether this seizure hypersusceptibility entails alterations in glutamate signaling. Female C57BL/6 mice were intraperitoneally injected with PIC, and after 24 h, glutamate homeostasis in the hippocampus was monitored using the enzyme-based microelectrode arrays. PIC challenge robustly increased the level of resting extracellular glutamate. While pre-synaptic potassium-evoked glutamate release was not affected, glutamate uptake was profoundly impaired and non-vesicular glutamate release was augmented, indicating functional alterations of astrocytes. Electrophysiological examination of hippocampal slices from PIC-challenged mice revealed a several fold increase in the basal synaptic transmission as compared to control slices. PIC challenge also increased the probability of pre-synaptic glutamate release as seen from a reduction of paired-pulse facilitation and synaptic plasticity as seen from an enhancement of long-term potentiation. Altogether, our results implicate a dysregulation of astrocytic glutamate metabolism and an alteration of excitatory synaptic transmission as the underlying mechanism for the development of hippocampal hyperexcitability, and consequently seizure hypersusceptibility following peripheral PIC challenge. Peripheral infections/inflammations enhance seizure susceptibility. Here, we explored the effect of peritoneal inflammation induced by a viral mimic on glutamate homeostasis and glutamatergic neurotransmission in the mouse hippocampus. We found that peritoneal inflammation elevated extracellular glutamate concentration and enhanced the probability of pre-synaptic glutamate release resulting in hyperexcitability of

  6. Copper signaling in the mammalian nervous system: synaptic effects

    PubMed Central

    Gaier, ED; Eipper, BA; Mains, RE

    2014-01-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential metal present at high levels in the CNS. Its role as a co-factor in mitochondrial ATP production and in other essential cuproenzymes is well defined. Menkes and Wilson’s diseases are severe neurodegenerative conditions that demonstrate the importance of Cu transport into the secretory pathway. Brain levels of Cu, which is almost entirely protein bound, exceed extracellular levels by more than a hundred-fold. Cu stored in the secretory pathway is released in a Ca2+-dependent manner and can transiently reach concentrations over 100 µM at synapses. The ability of low µM levels of Cu to bind to and modulate the function of γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and voltage-gated Ca2+ channels contributes to its effects on synaptic transmission. Cu also binds to amyloid precursor protein and prion protein; both proteins are found at synapses and brain Cu homeostasis is disrupted in mice lacking either protein. Especially intriguing is the ability of Cu to affect AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a monitor of cellular energy status. Despite this, few investigators have examined the direct effects of Cu on synaptic transmission and plasticity. Although the variability of results demonstrates complex influences of Cu that are highly method-sensitive, these studies nevertheless strongly support important roles for endogenous Cu and new roles for Cu-binding proteins in synaptic function/plasticity and behavior. Further study of the many roles of Cu in nervous system function will reveal targets for intervention in other diseases in which Cu homeostasis is disrupted. PMID:23115049

  7. Concomitant gastroparesis negatively affects children with functional gallbladder disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The aim of the present study was to determine whether concomitant gastroparesis and biliary dyskinesia (BD) occur in children, and if so, to determine whether concomitant gastroparesis affects clinical outcome in children with BD. We conducted a retrospective chart review of children with BD (ejecti...

  8. Subcellular Imbalances in Synaptic Activity.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Naoya; Kobayashi, Chiaki; Ishikawa, Tomoe; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2016-02-16

    The dynamic interactions between synaptic excitation and inhibition (E/I) shape membrane potential fluctuations and determine patterns of neuronal outputs; however, the spatiotemporal organization of these interactions within a single cell is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the relationship between local synaptic excitation and global inhibition in hippocampal pyramidal neurons using functional dendrite imaging in combination with whole-cell recordings of inhibitory postsynaptic currents. We found that the sums of spine inputs over dendritic trees were counterbalanced by a proportional amount of somatic inhibitory inputs. This online E/I correlation was maintained in dendritic segments that were longer than 50 μm. However, at the single spine level, only 22% of the active spines were activated with inhibitory inputs. This inhibition-coupled activity occurred mainly in the spines with large heads. These results shed light on a microscopic E/I-balancing mechanism that operates at selected synapses and that may increase the accuracy of neural information. PMID:26854220

  9. Optogenetics and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yu-feng; Jackson, Michael F; Macdonald, John F

    2013-11-01

    The intricate and complex interaction between different populations of neurons in the brain has imposed limits on our ability to gain detailed understanding of synaptic transmission and its integration when employing classical electrophysiological approaches. Indeed, electrical field stimulation delivered via traditional microelectrodes does not permit the targeted, precise and selective control of neuronal activity amongst a varied population of neurons and their inputs (eg, cholinergic, dopaminergic or glutamatergic neurons). Recently established optogenetic techniques overcome these limitations allowing precise control of the target neuron populations, which is essential for the elucidation of the neural substrates underlying complex animal behaviors. Indeed, by introducing light-activated channels (ie, microbial opsin genes) into specific neuronal populations, optogenetics enables non-invasive optical control of specific neurons with milliseconds precision. These approaches can readily be applied to freely behaving live animals. Recently there is increased interests in utilizing optogenetics tools to understand synaptic plasticity and learning/memory. Here, we summarize recent progress in applying optogenetics in in the study of synaptic plasticity.

  10. Location-dependent synaptic plasticity rules by dendritic spine cooperativity.

    PubMed

    Weber, Jens P; Andrásfalvy, Bertalan K; Polito, Marina; Magó, Ádám; Ujfalussy, Balázs B; Makara, Judit K

    2016-01-01

    Nonlinear interactions between coactive synapses enable neurons to discriminate between spatiotemporal patterns of inputs. Using patterned postsynaptic stimulation by two-photon glutamate uncaging, here we investigate the sensitivity of synaptic Ca(2+) signalling and long-term plasticity in individual spines to coincident activity of nearby synapses. We find a proximodistally increasing gradient of nonlinear NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated amplification of spine Ca(2+) signals by a few neighbouring coactive synapses along individual perisomatic dendrites. This synaptic cooperativity does not require dendritic spikes, but is correlated with dendritic Na(+) spike propagation strength. Furthermore, we show that repetitive synchronous subthreshold activation of small spine clusters produces input specific, NMDAR-dependent cooperative long-term potentiation at distal but not proximal dendritic locations. The sensitive synaptic cooperativity at distal dendritic compartments shown here may promote the formation of functional synaptic clusters, which in turn can facilitate active dendritic processing and storage of information encoded in spatiotemporal synaptic activity patterns. PMID:27098773

  11. Location-dependent synaptic plasticity rules by dendritic spine cooperativity

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Jens P.; Andrásfalvy, Bertalan K.; Polito, Marina; Magó, Ádám; Ujfalussy, Balázs B.; Makara, Judit K.

    2016-01-01

    Nonlinear interactions between coactive synapses enable neurons to discriminate between spatiotemporal patterns of inputs. Using patterned postsynaptic stimulation by two-photon glutamate uncaging, here we investigate the sensitivity of synaptic Ca2+ signalling and long-term plasticity in individual spines to coincident activity of nearby synapses. We find a proximodistally increasing gradient of nonlinear NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated amplification of spine Ca2+ signals by a few neighbouring coactive synapses along individual perisomatic dendrites. This synaptic cooperativity does not require dendritic spikes, but is correlated with dendritic Na+ spike propagation strength. Furthermore, we show that repetitive synchronous subthreshold activation of small spine clusters produces input specific, NMDAR-dependent cooperative long-term potentiation at distal but not proximal dendritic locations. The sensitive synaptic cooperativity at distal dendritic compartments shown here may promote the formation of functional synaptic clusters, which in turn can facilitate active dendritic processing and storage of information encoded in spatiotemporal synaptic activity patterns. PMID:27098773

  12. Regulation of synaptic connectivity: levels of Fasciclin II influence synaptic growth in the Drosophila CNS.

    PubMed

    Baines, Richard A; Seugnet, Laurent; Thompson, Annemarie; Salvaterra, Paul M; Bate, Michael

    2002-08-01

    Much of our understanding of synaptogenesis comes from studies that deal with the development of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Although well studied, it is not clear how far the NMJ represents an adequate model for the formation of synapses within the CNS. Here we investigate the role of Fasciclin II (Fas II) in the development of synapses between identified motor neurons and cholinergic interneurons in the CNS of Drosophila. Fas II is a neural cell adhesion molecule homolog that is involved in both target selection and synaptic plasticity at the NMJ in Drosophila. In this study, we show that levels of Fas II are critical determinants of synapse formation and growth in the CNS. The initial establishment of synaptic contacts between these identified neurons is seemingly independent of Fas II. The subsequent proliferation of these synaptic connections that occurs postembryonically is, in contrast, significantly retarded by the absence of Fas II. Although the initial formation of synaptic connectivity between these neurons is seemingly independent of Fas II, we show that their formation is, nevertheless, significantly affected by manipulations that alter the relative balance of Fas II in the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Increasing expression of Fas II in either the presynaptic or postsynaptic neurons, during embryogenesis, is sufficient to disrupt the normal level of synaptic connectivity that occurs between these neurons. This effect of Fas II is isoform specific and, moreover, phenocopies the disruption to synaptic connectivity observed previously after tetanus toxin light chain-dependent blockade of evoked synaptic vesicle release in these neurons. PMID:12151538

  13. Telomerase deficiency affects normal brain functions in mice.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jaehoon; Jo, Yong Sang; Sung, Young Hoon; Hwang, In Koo; Kim, Hyuk; Kim, Song-Yi; Yi, Sun Shin; Choi, June-Seek; Sun, Woong; Seong, Je Kyung; Lee, Han-Woong

    2010-02-01

    Telomerase maintains telomere structures and chromosome stability, and it is essential for preserving the characteristics of stem and progenitor cells. In the brain, the hippocampus and the olfactory bulbs are continuously supplied with neural stem and progenitor cells that are required for adult neurogenesis throughout the life. Therefore, we examined whether telomerase plays important roles in maintaining normal brain functions in vivo. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) expression was observed in the hippocampus, the olfactory bulbs, and the cerebellum, but the telomerase RNA component (TERC) was not detected in hippocampus and olfactory bulbs. Interestingly, TERT-deficient mice exhibited significantly altered anxiety-like behaviors and abnormal olfaction measuring the functions of the hippocampus and the olfactory bulbs, respectively. However, the cerebellum-dependent behavior was not changed in these mutant mice. These results suggest that TERT is constitutively expressed in the hippocampus and the olfactory bulbs, and that it is important for regulating normal brain functions. PMID:19685288

  14. Depressed GABA and glutamate synaptic signaling by 5-HT1A receptors in the nucleus tractus solitarii and their role in cardiorespiratory function

    PubMed Central

    Ostrowski, Tim D.; Ostrowski, Daniela; Hasser, Eileen M.

    2014-01-01

    Serotonin (5-HT), and its 5-HT1A receptor (5-HT1AR) subtype, is a powerful modulator of the cardiorespiratory system and its sensory reflexes. The nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS) serves as the first central station for visceral afferent integration and is critical for cardiorespiratory reflex responses. However, the physiological and synaptic role of 5-HT1ARs in the nTS is relatively unknown. In the present study, we examined the distribution and modulation of 5-HT1ARs on cardiorespiratory and synaptic parameters in the nTS. 5-HT1ARs were widely distributed to cell bodies within the nTS but not synaptic terminals. In anesthetized rats, activation of 5-HT1ARs by microinjection of the 5-HT1AR agonist 8-OH-DPAT into the caudal nTS decreased minute phrenic neural activity via a reduction in phrenic amplitude. In brain stem slices, 8-OH-DPAT decreased the amplitude of glutamatergic tractus solitarii-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents, and reduced overall spontaneous excitatory nTS network activity. These effects persisted in the presence of GABAA receptor blockade and were antagonized by coapplication of 5-HT1AR blocker WAY-100135. 5-HT1AR blockade alone had no effect on tractus solitarii-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents, but increased excitatory network activity. On the other hand, GABAergic nTS-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents did not change by activation of the 5-HT1ARs, but spontaneous inhibitory nTS network activity decreased. Blocking 5-HT1ARs tended to increase nTS-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents and inhibitory network activity. Taken together, 5-HT1ARs in the caudal nTS decrease breathing, likely via attenuation of afferent transmission, as well as overall nTS network activity. PMID:24671532

  15. Functional proteomics of synaptic plasma membrane ATP-ases of rat hippocampus: effect of l-acetylcarnitine and relationships with Dementia and Depression pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Federica; Gorini, Antonella; Villa, Roberto Federico

    2015-06-01

    Synaptic energy state and mitochondrial dysfunction are crucial factors in many brain pathologies. l-acetylcarnitine, a natural derivative of carnitine, improves brain energy metabolism, and has been proposed for the Therapy of many neurological and psychiatric diseases. The effects of the drug on the maximum rate (Vmax) of enzymatic activities related to hippocampal synaptic energy utilization were evaluated, in the perspective of its employment for Dementias and Depression Therapy. Two types of synaptic plasma membranes (SPM1 and SPM2) were isolated from the hippocampus of rats treated with l-acetylcarnitine (30 and 60mg/kg i.p., 28 days, 5 days/week). Acetylcholinesterase (AChE); Na(+), K(+), Mg(2+)-ATP-ase; ouabain-insensitive Mg(2+)-ATP-ase; Na(+), K(+)-ATP-ase; Ca(2+), Mg(2+)-ATP-ase activities were evaluated. In control animals, enzymatic activities were differently expressed in SPM1 , being the evaluated enzymatic activities higher in SPM2. Subchronic treatment with l-acetylcarnitine (i) did not modify AChE on both SPMs; (ii) increased Na(+), K(+), Mg(2+)-ATP-ase, ouabain-insensitive Mg(2+)-ATP-ase and Na(+), K(+)-ATP-ase at the dose of 30 and 60mg/kg on SPM1 and SPM2; (iii) increased Ca(2+), Mg(2+)-ATP-ase activity on both SPMs at the dose of 60mg/kg. These results have been discussed considering the pathophysiology and treatment of Dementias and Depression because, although referred to normal healthy animals, they support the notion that l-acetylcarnitine may have positive effects in these pathologies.

  16. Fetal urinoma and prenatal hydronephrosis: how is renal function affected?

    PubMed Central

    Oktar, Tayfun; Salabaş, Emre; Kalelioğlu, İbrahim; Atar, Arda; Ander, Haluk; Ziylan, Orhan; Has, Recep; Yüksel, Atıl

    2013-01-01

    Objective: In our study, the functional prognosis of kidneys with prenatal urinomas were investigated. Material and methods: Between 2006 and 2010, fetal urinomas were detected in 19 fetuses using prenatal ultrasonography (US), and the medical records were reviewed retrospectively. Of the 19 cases, the follow-up data were available for 10 fetuses. The gestational age at diagnosis, prognosis of urinomas, clinical course and renal functions were recorded. Postnatal renal functions were assessed with renal scintigraphy. Results: Unilateral urinomas and increased parenchyma echogenicity in the ipsilateral kidney were detected in all of the fetuses. Of the 10 fetuses with follow-up data, the option of termination was offered in 6 cases of anhydramnios, including 3 cases with signs of infravesical obstruction (a possible posterior urethral valve (PUV) and poor prognostic factors and 3 cases with unilateral hydronephrosis and increased echogenicity in the contralateral kidney. Only one family agreed the termination. The other 5 fetuses died during the early postnatal period. The average postnatal follow-up period in the 4 surviving fetuses was 22.5 months (8–38 months). One patient with a PUV underwent ablation surgery during the early postnatal period. In the postnatal period, none of the 4 kidneys that were ipsilateral to the urinoma were functional on scintigraphic evaluation. The urinomas disappeared in 3 cases. Nephrectomy was performed in one case due to recurrent urinary tract infections. Conclusion: In our study, no function was detected in the ipsilateral kidney of surviving patients with urinomas. Upper urinary tract dilatation accompanied by a urinoma is a poor prognostic factor for renal function. PMID:26328088

  17. BMP signaling and microtubule organization regulate synaptic strength

    PubMed Central

    Ball, Robin W.; Peled, Einat; Guerrero, Giovanna; Isacoff, Ehud Y.

    2015-01-01

    The strength of synaptic transmission between a neuron and multiple postsynaptic partners can vary considerably. We have studied synaptic heterogeneity using the glutamatergic Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ), which contains multiple synaptic connections of varying strength between a motor axon and muscle fiber. In larval NMJs, there is a gradient of synaptic transmission from weak proximal to strong distal boutons. We imaged synaptic transmission with the postsynaptically targeted fluorescent calcium sensor SynapCam, to investigate the molecular pathways that determine synaptic strength and set up this gradient. We discovered that mutations in the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling pathway disrupt production of strong distal boutons. We find that strong connections contain unbundled microtubules in the boutons, suggesting a role for microtubule organization in transmission strength. The spastin mutation, which disorganizes microtubules, disrupted the transmission gradient, supporting this interpretation. We propose that the BMP pathway, shown previously to function in the homeostatic regulation of synaptic growth, also boosts synaptic transmission in a spatially selective manner that depends on the microtubule system. PMID:25681521

  18. Coordination of Protein Phosphorylation and Dephosphorylation in Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Woolfrey, Kevin M; Dell'Acqua, Mark L

    2015-11-27

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

  19. Reelin Proteolysis Affects Signaling Related to Normal Synapse Function and Neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Lussier, April L; Weeber, Edwin J; Rebeck, G William

    2016-01-01

    Reelin is a neurodevelopmental protein important in adult synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. Recent evidence points to the importance for Reelin proteolysis in normal signaling and in cognitive function. Support for the dysfunction of Reelin proteolysis in neurodegeneration and cognitive dysfunction comes from postmortem analysis of Alzheimer's diseases (AD) tissues including cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), showing that levels of Reelin fragments are altered in AD compared to control. Potential key proteases involved in Reelin proteolysis have recently been defined, identifying processes that could be altered in neurodegeneration. Introduction of full-length Reelin and its proteolytic fragments into several mouse models of neurodegeneration and neuropsychiatric disorders quickly promote learning and memory. These findings support a role for Reelin in learning and memory and suggest further understanding of these processes are important to harness the potential of this pathway in treating cognitive symptoms in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27065802

  20. Reelin Proteolysis Affects Signaling Related to Normal Synapse Function and Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lussier, April L.; Weeber, Edwin J.; Rebeck, G. William

    2016-01-01

    Reelin is a neurodevelopmental protein important in adult synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. Recent evidence points to the importance for Reelin proteolysis in normal signaling and in cognitive function. Support for the dysfunction of Reelin proteolysis in neurodegeneration and cognitive dysfunction comes from postmortem analysis of Alzheimer’s diseases (AD) tissues including cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), showing that levels of Reelin fragments are altered in AD compared to control. Potential key proteases involved in Reelin proteolysis have recently been defined, identifying processes that could be altered in neurodegeneration. Introduction of full-length Reelin and its proteolytic fragments into several mouse models of neurodegeneration and neuropsychiatric disorders quickly promote learning and memory. These findings support a role for Reelin in learning and memory and suggest further understanding of these processes are important to harness the potential of this pathway in treating cognitive symptoms in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27065802

  1. Chemical Modifications that Affect Nutritional and Functional Properties of Proteins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, T.; Kester, J. J.

    1984-01-01

    Discusses chemical alterations of selected amino acids resulting from environmental effects (photooxidations, pH extremes, thermally induced effects). Also dicusses use of intentional chemical derivatizations of various functional groups in amino acid residue side chains and how recombinant DNA techniques might be useful in structure/function…

  2. Can Particulate Pollution Affect Lung Function in Healthy Adults?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accompanying editorial to paper from Harvard by Rice et al. entitled "Long-Term Exposure to Traffic Emissions and Fine Particulate Matter and Lung Function Decline in the Framingham Heart StudyBy almost any measure the Clean Air Act and its amendments has to be considered as one...

  3. Drying process strongly affects probiotics viability and functionalities.

    PubMed

    Iaconelli, Cyril; Lemetais, Guillaume; Kechaou, Noura; Chain, Florian; Bermúdez-Humarán, Luis G; Langella, Philippe; Gervais, Patrick; Beney, Laurent

    2015-11-20

    Probiotic formulations are widely used and are proposed to have a variety of beneficial effects, depending on the probiotic strains present in the product. The impact of drying processes on the viability of probiotics is well documented. However, the impact of these processes on probiotics functionality remains unclear. In this work, we investigated variations in seven different bacterial markers after various desiccation processes. Markers were composed of four different viability evaluation (combining two growth abilities and two cytometric measurements) and in three in vitro functionalities: stimulation of IL-10 and IL-12 production by PBMCs (immunomodulation) and bacterial adhesion to hexadecane. We measured the impact of three drying processes (air-drying, freeze-drying and spray-drying), without the use of protective agents, on three types of probiotic bacteria: Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus zeae. Our results show that the bacteria respond differently to the three different drying processes, in terms of viability and functionality. Drying methods produce important variations in bacterial immunomodulation and hydrophobicity, which are correlated. We also show that adherence can be stimulated (air-drying) or inhibited (spray-drying) by drying processes. Results of a multivariate analysis show no direct correlation between bacterial survival and functionality, but do show a correlation between probiotic responses to desiccation-rewetting and the process used to dry the bacteria.

  4. Characterization and extraction of the synaptic apposition surface for synaptic geometry analysis

    PubMed Central

    Morales, Juan; Rodríguez, Angel; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Merchán-Pérez, Angel

    2013-01-01

    Geometrical features of chemical synapses are relevant to their function. Two critical components of the synaptic junction are the active zone (AZ) and the postsynaptic density (PSD), as they are related to the probability of synaptic release and the number of postsynaptic receptors, respectively. Morphological studies of these structures are greatly facilitated by the use of recent electron microscopy techniques, such as combined focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), and software tools that permit reconstruction of large numbers of synapses in three dimensions. Since the AZ and the PSD are in close apposition and have a similar surface area, they can be represented by a single surface—the synaptic apposition surface (SAS). We have developed an efficient computational technique to automatically extract this surface from synaptic junctions that have previously been three-dimensionally reconstructed from actual tissue samples imaged by automated FIB/SEM. Given its relationship with the release probability and the number of postsynaptic receptors, the surface area of the SAS is a functionally relevant measure of the size of a synapse that can complement other geometrical features like the volume of the reconstructed synaptic junction, the equivalent ellipsoid size and the Feret's diameter. PMID:23847474

  5. SLE-associated risk factors affect DC function.

    PubMed

    Son, Myoungsun; Kim, Sun Jung; Diamond, Betty

    2016-01-01

    Numerous risk alleles for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have now been identified. Analysis of the expression of genes with risk alleles in cells of hematopoietic origin demonstrates them to be most abundantly expressed in B cells and dendritic cells (DCs), suggesting that these cell types may be the drivers of the inflammatory changes seen in SLE. DCs are of particular interest as they act to connect the innate and the adaptive immune response. Thus, DCs can transform inflammation into autoimmunity, and autoantibodies are the hallmark of SLE. In this review, we focus on mechanisms of tolerance that maintain DCs in a non-activated, non-immunogenic state. We demonstrate, using examples from our own studies, how alterations in DC function stemming from either DC-intrinsic abnormalities or DC-extrinsic regulators of function can predispose to autoimmunity.

  6. SLE-associated risk factors affect DC function.

    PubMed

    Son, Myoungsun; Kim, Sun Jung; Diamond, Betty

    2016-01-01

    Numerous risk alleles for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have now been identified. Analysis of the expression of genes with risk alleles in cells of hematopoietic origin demonstrates them to be most abundantly expressed in B cells and dendritic cells (DCs), suggesting that these cell types may be the drivers of the inflammatory changes seen in SLE. DCs are of particular interest as they act to connect the innate and the adaptive immune response. Thus, DCs can transform inflammation into autoimmunity, and autoantibodies are the hallmark of SLE. In this review, we focus on mechanisms of tolerance that maintain DCs in a non-activated, non-immunogenic state. We demonstrate, using examples from our own studies, how alterations in DC function stemming from either DC-intrinsic abnormalities or DC-extrinsic regulators of function can predispose to autoimmunity. PMID:26683148

  7. SLE-associated risk factors affect DC function

    PubMed Central

    Son, Myoungsun; Kim, Sun Jung; Diamond, Betty

    2016-01-01

    Numerous risk alleles for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have now been identified. Analysis of the expression of genes with risk alleles in cells of hematopoietic origin demonstrates them to be most abundantly expressed in B cells and dendritic cells (DCs), suggesting that these cell types may be the drivers of the inflammatory changes seen in SLE. DCs are of particular interest as they act to connect the innate and the adaptive immune response. Thus, DCs can transform inflammation into autoimmunity, and autoantibodies are the hallmark of SLE. In this review, we focus on mechanisms of tolerance that maintain DCs in a non-activated, non-immunogenic state. We demonstrate, using examples from our own studies, how alterations in DC function stemming from either DC-intrinsic abnormalities or DC-extrinsic regulators of function can predispose to autoimmunity. PMID:26683148

  8. Prenatal drug exposure affects neonatal brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Salzwedel, Andrew P; Grewen, Karen M; Vachet, Clement; Gerig, Guido; Lin, Weili; Gao, Wei

    2015-04-01

    Prenatal drug exposure, particularly prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE), incurs great public and scientific interest because of its associated neurodevelopmental consequences. However, the neural underpinnings of PCE remain essentially uncharted, and existing studies in school-aged children and adolescents are confounded greatly by postnatal environmental factors. In this study, leveraging a large neonate sample (N = 152) and non-invasive resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we compared human infants with PCE comorbid with other drugs (such as nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and antidepressant) with infants with similar non-cocaine poly drug exposure and drug-free controls. We aimed to characterize the neural correlates of PCE based on functional connectivity measurements of the amygdala and insula at the earliest stage of development. Our results revealed common drug exposure-related connectivity disruptions within the amygdala-frontal, insula-frontal, and insula-sensorimotor circuits. Moreover, a cocaine-specific effect was detected within a subregion of the amygdala-frontal network. This pathway is thought to play an important role in arousal regulation, which has been shown to be irregular in PCE infants and adolescents. These novel results provide the earliest human-based functional delineations of the neural-developmental consequences of prenatal drug exposure and thus open a new window for the advancement of effective strategies aimed at early risk identification and intervention.

  9. Prenatal drug exposure affects neonatal brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Salzwedel, Andrew P; Grewen, Karen M; Vachet, Clement; Gerig, Guido; Lin, Weili; Gao, Wei

    2015-04-01

    Prenatal drug exposure, particularly prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE), incurs great public and scientific interest because of its associated neurodevelopmental consequences. However, the neural underpinnings of PCE remain essentially uncharted, and existing studies in school-aged children and adolescents are confounded greatly by postnatal environmental factors. In this study, leveraging a large neonate sample (N = 152) and non-invasive resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we compared human infants with PCE comorbid with other drugs (such as nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and antidepressant) with infants with similar non-cocaine poly drug exposure and drug-free controls. We aimed to characterize the neural correlates of PCE based on functional connectivity measurements of the amygdala and insula at the earliest stage of development. Our results revealed common drug exposure-related connectivity disruptions within the amygdala-frontal, insula-frontal, and insula-sensorimotor circuits. Moreover, a cocaine-specific effect was detected within a subregion of the amygdala-frontal network. This pathway is thought to play an important role in arousal regulation, which has been shown to be irregular in PCE infants and adolescents. These novel results provide the earliest human-based functional delineations of the neural-developmental consequences of prenatal drug exposure and thus open a new window for the advancement of effective strategies aimed at early risk identification and intervention. PMID:25855194

  10. Nuclear cyclophilins affect spliceosome assembly and function in vitro.

    PubMed

    Adams, B M; Coates, Miranda N; Jackson, S RaElle; Jurica, Melissa S; Davis, Tara L

    2015-07-15

    Cyclophilins are ubiquitously expressed proteins that bind to prolines and can catalyse cis/trans isomerization of proline residues. There are 17 annotated members of the cyclophilin family in humans, ubiquitously expressed and localized variously to the cytoplasm, nucleus or mitochondria. Surprisingly, all eight of the nuclear localized cyclophilins are found associated with spliceosomal complexes. However, their particular functions within this context are unknown. We have therefore adapted three established assays for in vitro pre-mRNA splicing to probe the functional roles of nuclear cyclophilins in the context of the human spliceosome. We find that four of the eight spliceosom-associated cyclophilins exert strong effects on splicing in vitro. These effects are dose-dependent and, remarkably, uniquely characteristic of each cyclophilin. Using both qualitative and quantitative means, we show that at least half of the nuclear cyclophilins can act as regulatory factors of spliceosome function in vitro. The present work provides the first quantifiable evidence that nuclear cyclophilins are splicing factors and provides a novel approach for future work into small molecule-based modulation of pre-mRNA splicing.

  11. Development of affective theory of mind across adolescence: disentangling the role of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Nora C; Altgassen, Mareike; Phillips, Louise; Mahy, Caitlin E V; Kliegel, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    Theory of mind, the ability to understand mental states, involves inferences about others' cognitive (cognitive theory of mind) and emotional (affective theory of mind) mental states. The current study explored the role of executive functions in developing affective theory of mind across adolescence. Affective theory of mind and three subcomponents of executive functions (inhibition, updating, and shifting) were measured. Affective theory of mind was positively related to age, and all three executive functions. Specifically, inhibition explained the largest amount of variance in age-related differences in affective theory of mind.

  12. Developmentally regulated switch in alternatively spliced SNAP-25 isoforms alters facilitation of synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Bark, Christina; Bellinger, Frederick P; Kaushal, Ashutosh; Mathews, James R; Partridge, L Donald; Wilson, Michael C

    2004-10-01

    Although the basic molecular components that promote regulated neurotransmitter release are well established, the contribution of these proteins as regulators of the plasticity of neurotransmission and refinement of synaptic connectivity during development is elaborated less fully. For example, during the period of synaptic growth and maturation in brain, the expression of synaptosomal protein 25 kDa (SNAP-25), a neuronal t-SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) essential for action potential-dependent neuroexocytosis, is altered through alternative splicing of pre-mRNA transcripts. We addressed the role of the two splice-variant isoforms of SNAP-25 with a targeted mouse mutation that impairs the shift from SNAP-25a to SNAP-25b. Most of these mutant mice die between 3 and 5 weeks of age, which coincides with the time when SNAP-25b expression normally reaches mature levels in brain and synapse formation is essentially completed. The altered expression of these SNAP-25 isoforms influences short-term synaptic function by affecting facilitation but not the initial probability of release. This suggests that mechanisms controlling alternative splicing between SNAP-25 isoforms contribute to a molecular switch important for survival that helps to guide the transition from immature to mature synaptic connections, as well as synapse regrowth and remodeling after neural injury.

  13. Synaptic plasticity defect following visual deprivation in Alzheimer disease model transgenic mice

    PubMed Central

    William, Christopher M.; Andermann, Mark L.; Goldey, Glenn J.; Roumis, Demetris K.; Reid, R. Clay; Shatz, Carla J.; Albers, Mark W.; Frosch, Matthew P.; Hyman, Bradley T.

    2012-01-01

    Amyloid-beta (Aβ)-induced changes in synaptic function in experimental models of Alzheimer disease (AD) suggest that Aβ generation and accumulation may affect fundamental mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of amyloid precursor protein (APP) overexpression on a well-characterized, in vivo, developmental model of systems-level plasticity, ocular dominance plasticity (ODP). Following monocular visual deprivation during the critical period, mice that express mutant alleles of amyloid precursor protein (APPswe) and Presenilin1 (PS1dE9), as well as mice that express APPswe alone, lack ocular dominance plasticity in visual cortex. Defects in the spatial extent and magnitude of the plastic response are evident using two complementary approaches, Arc induction and optical imaging of intrinsic signals in awake mice. This defect in a classic paradigm of systems level synaptic plasticity shows that Aβ overexpression, even early in postnatal life, can perturb plasticity in cerebral cortex, and supports the idea that decreased synaptic plasticity due to elevated Aβ exposure contributes to cognitive impairment in AD. PMID:22674275

  14. Synaptic change in the posterior cingulate gyrus in the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Scheff, Stephen W; Price, Douglas A; Ansari, Mubeen A; Roberts, Kelly N; Schmitt, Frederick A; Ikonomovic, Milos D; Mufson, Elliott J

    2015-01-01

    Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered to be an early stage in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) providing an opportunity to investigate brain pathogenesis prior to the onset of dementia. Neuroimaging studies have identified the posterior cingulate gyrus (PostC) as a cortical region affected early in the onset of AD. This association cortex is involved in a variety of different cognitive tasks and is intimately connected with the hippocampal/entorhinal cortex region, a component of the medial temporal memory circuit that displays early AD pathology. We quantified the total number of synapses in lamina 3 of the PostC using unbiased stereology coupled with electron microscopy from short postmortem autopsy tissue harvested from cases at different stage of AD progression. Individuals in the early stages of AD showed a significant decline in synaptic numbers compared to individuals with no cognitive impairment (NCI). Subjects with MCI exhibited synaptic numbers that were between the AD and NCI cohorts. Adjacent tissue was evaluated for changes in both pre and postsynaptic proteins levels. Individuals with MCI demonstrated a significant loss in presynaptic markers synapsin-1 and synaptophysin and postsynaptic markers PSD-95 and SAP-97. Levels of [3H]PiB binding was significantly increased in MCI and AD and correlated strongly with levels of synaptic proteins. All synaptic markers showed a significant association with Mini-Mental Status Examination scores. These results support the idea that the PostC synaptic function is affected during the prodromal stage of the disease and may underlie some of the early clinical sequelae associated with AD.

  15. HCN1 channels in cerebellar Purkinje cells promote late stages of learning and constrain synaptic inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Rinaldi, Arianna; Defterali, Cagla; Mialot, Antoine; Garden, Derek L F; Beraneck, Mathieu; Nolan, Matthew F

    2013-01-01

    Neural computations rely on ion channels that modify neuronal responses to synaptic inputs. While single cell recordings suggest diverse and neurone type-specific computational functions for HCN1 channels, their behavioural roles in any single neurone type are not clear. Using a battery of behavioural assays, including analysis of motor learning in vestibulo-ocular reflex and rotarod tests, we find that deletion of HCN1 channels from cerebellar Purkinje cells selectively impairs late stages of motor learning. Because deletion of HCN1 modifies only a subset of behaviours involving Purkinje cells, we asked whether the channel also has functional specificity at a cellular level. We find that HCN1 channels in cerebellar Purkinje cells reduce the duration of inhibitory synaptic responses but, in the absence of membrane hyperpolarization, do not affect responses to excitatory inputs. Our results indicate that manipulation of subthreshold computation in a single neurone type causes specific modifications to behaviour. PMID:24000178

  16. The effect of negative affect on cognition: Anxiety, not anger, impairs executive function.

    PubMed

    Shields, Grant S; Moons, Wesley G; Tewell, Carl A; Yonelinas, Andrew P

    2016-09-01

    It is often assumed that negative affect impairs the executive functions that underlie our ability to control and focus our thoughts. However, support for this claim has been mixed. Recent work has suggested that different negative affective states like anxiety and anger may reflect physiologically separable states with distinct effects on cognition. However, the effects of these 2 affective states on executive function have never been assessed. As such, we induced anxiety or anger in participants and examined the effects on executive function. We found that anger did not impair executive function relative to a neutral mood, whereas anxiety did. In addition, self-reports of induced anxiety, but not anger, predicted impairments in executive function. These results support functional models of affect and cognition, and highlight the need to consider differences between anxiety and anger when investigating the influence of negative affect on fundamental cognitive processes such as memory and executive function. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27100367

  17. Neuronal BDNF Signaling Is Necessary for the Effects of Treadmill Exercise on Synaptic Stripping of Axotomized Motoneurons

    PubMed Central

    Krakowiak, Joey; Liu, Caiyue; Papudesu, Chandana; Ward, P. Jillian; Wilhelm, Jennifer C.; English, Arthur W.

    2015-01-01

    The withdrawal of synaptic inputs from the somata and proximal dendrites of spinal motoneurons following peripheral nerve injury could contribute to poor functional recovery. Decreased availability of neurotrophins to afferent terminals on axotomized motoneurons has been implicated as one cause of the withdrawal. No reduction in contacts made by synaptic inputs immunoreactive to the vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 is noted on axotomized motoneurons if modest treadmill exercise, which stimulates the production of neurotrophins by spinal motoneurons, is applied after nerve injury. In conditional, neuron-specific brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) knockout mice, a reduction in synaptic contacts onto motoneurons was noted in intact animals which was similar in magnitude to that observed after nerve transection in wild-type controls. No further reduction in coverage was found if nerves were cut in knockout mice. Two weeks of moderate daily treadmill exercise following nerve injury in these BDNF knockout mice did not affect synaptic inputs onto motoneurons. Treadmill exercise has a profound effect on synaptic inputs to motoneurons after peripheral nerve injury which requires BDNF production by those postsynaptic cells. PMID:25918648

  18. Running Opposes the Effects of Social Isolation on Synaptic Plasticity and Transmission in a Rat Model of Depression

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Galán, Marta; Femenía, Teresa; Åberg, Elin; Graae, Lisette; Van Eeckhaut, Ann; Smolders, Ilse; Brené, Stefan; Lindskog, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Stress, such as social isolation, is a well-known risk factor for depression, most probably in combination with predisposing genetic factors. Physical exercise on the other hand, is depicted as a wonder-treatment that makes you healthier, happier and live longer. However, the published results on the effects of exercise are ambiguous, especially when it comes to neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we combine a paradigm of social isolation with a genetic rat model of depression, the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL), already known to have glutamatergic synaptic alterations. Compared to group-housed FSL rats, we found that social isolation further affects synaptic plasticity and increases basal synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. These functional synaptic alterations co-exist with changes in hippocampal protein expression levels: social isolation in FSL rats reduce expression of the glial glutamate transporter GLT-1, and increase expression of the GluA2 AMPA-receptor subunit. We further show that physical exercise in form of voluntary running prevents the stress-induced synaptic effects but do not restore the endogenous mechanisms of depression already present in the FSL rat. PMID:27764188

  19. Thrombin induces ischemic LTP (iLTP): implications for synaptic plasticity in the acute phase of ischemic stroke

    PubMed Central

    Stein, Efrat Shavit; Itsekson-Hayosh, Zeev; Aronovich, Anna; Reisner, Yair; Bushi, Doron; Pick, Chaim G.; Tanne, David; Chapman, Joab; Vlachos, Andreas; Maggio, Nicola

    2015-01-01

    Acute brain ischemia modifies synaptic plasticity by inducing ischemic long-term potentiation (iLTP) of synaptic transmission through the activation of N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR). Thrombin, a blood coagulation factor, affects synaptic plasticity in an NMDAR dependent manner. Since its activity and concentration is increased in brain tissue upon acute stroke, we sought to clarify whether thrombin could mediate iLTP through the activation of its receptor Protease-Activated receptor 1 (PAR1). Extracellular recordings were obtained in CA1 region of hippocampal slices from C57BL/6 mice. In vitro ischemia was induced by acute (3 minutes) oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD). A specific ex vivo enzymatic assay was employed to assess thrombin activity in hippocampal slices, while OGD-induced changes in prothrombin mRNA levels were assessed by (RT)qPCR. Upon OGD, thrombin activity increased in hippocampal slices. A robust potentiation of excitatory synaptic strength was detected, which occluded the ability to induce further LTP. Inhibition of either thrombin or its receptor PAR1 blocked iLTP and restored the physiological, stimulus induced LTP. Our study provides important insights on the early changes occurring at excitatory synapses after ischemia and indicates the thrombin/PAR1 pathway as a novel target for developing therapeutic strategies to restore synaptic function in the acute phase of ischemic stroke. PMID:25604482

  20. Light-evoked synaptic activity of retinal ganglion and amacrine cells is regulated in developing mouse retina

    PubMed Central

    He, Quanhua; Wang, Ping; Tian, Ning

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have shown a continued maturation of visual responsiveness and synaptic activity of retina after eye opening, including the size of receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), light-evoked synaptic output of RGCs, bipolar cell spontaneous synaptic inputs to RGCs, and the synaptic connections between RGCs and ON and OFF bipolar cells. Light deprivation retarded some of these age-dependent changes. However, many other functional and morphological features of RGCs are not sensitive to visual experience. To determine whether light-evoked synaptic responses of RGCs undergo developmental change, we directly examined the light-evoked synaptic inputs from ON and OFF synaptic pathways to RGCs in developing retinas and found that both light-evoked excitatory and inhibitory synaptic currents decreased, but not increased, with age. We also examined the light-evoked synaptic inputs from ON and OFF synaptic pathways to amacrine cells in developing retinas and found that the light-evoked synaptic input of amacrine cells is also down-regulated in developing mouse retina. Different from the developmental changes of RGC spontaneous synaptic activity, dark rearing has little effect on the developmental changes of light-evoked synaptic activity of both RGCs and amacrine cells. Therefore, we concluded that the synaptic mechanisms mediating spontaneous and light-evoked synaptic activity of RGCs and amacrine cells are likely to be different. PMID:21091802

  1. Does prolonged cycling of moderate intensity affect immune cell function?

    PubMed Central

    Scharhag, J; Meyer, T; Gabriel, H; Schlick, B; Faude, O; Kindermann, W; Shephard, R

    2005-01-01

    Background: Prolonged exercise may induce temporary immunosuppression with a presumed increased susceptibility for infection. However, there are only few data on immune cell function after prolonged cycling at moderate intensities typical for road cycling training sessions. Methods: The present study examined the influence on immune cell function of 4 h of cycling at a constant intensity of 70% of the individual anaerobic threshold. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP), leukocyte and lymphocyte populations, activities of natural killer (NK), neutrophils, and monocytes were examined before and after exercise, and also on a control day without exercise. Results: Cycling for 4 h induced a moderate acute phase response with increases in IL-6 from 1.0 (SD 0.5) before to 9.6 (5.6) pg/ml 1 h after exercise and CRP from 0.5 (SD 0.4) before to 1.8 (1.3) mg/l 1 day after exercise. Although absolute numbers of circulating NK cells, monocytes, and neutrophils increased during exercise, on a per cell basis NK cell activity, neutrophil and monocyte phagocytosis, and monocyte oxidative burst did not significantly change after exercise. However, a minor effect over time for neutrophil oxidative burst was noted, tending to decrease after exercise. Conclusions: Prolonged cycling at moderate intensities does not seem to seriously alter the function of cells of the first line of defence. Therefore, the influence of a single typical road cycling training session on the immune system is only moderate and appears to be safe from an immunological point of view. PMID:15728699

  2. Yersinia enterocolitica Affects Intestinal Barrier Function in the Colon.

    PubMed

    Hering, Nina A; Fromm, Anja; Kikhney, Judith; Lee, In-Fah M; Moter, Annette; Schulzke, Jörg D; Bücker, Roland

    2016-04-01

    Infection with Yersinia enterocolitica causes acute diarrhea in early childhood. A mouse infection model presents new findings on pathological mechanisms in the colon. Symptoms involve diarrhea with watery feces and weight loss that have their functional correlates in decreased transepithelial electrical resistance and increased fluorescein permeability. Y. enterocolitica was present within the murine mucosa of both ileum and colon. Here, the bacterial insult was of focal nature and led to changes in tight junction protein expression and architecture. These findings are in concordance with observations from former cell culture studies and suggest a leak flux mechanism of diarrhea.

  3. Repeated Traumatic Brain Injury Affects Composite Cognitive Function in Piglets

    PubMed Central

    Friess, Stuart H.; Ichord, Rebecca N.; Ralston, Jill; Ryall, Karen; Helfaer, Mark A.; Smith, Colin

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Cumulative effects of repetitive mild head injury in the pediatric population are unknown. We have developed a cognitive composite dysfunction score that correlates white matter injury severity in neonatal piglets with neurobehavioral assessments of executive function, memory, learning, and problem solving. Anesthetized 3- to 5-day-old piglets were subjected to single (n = 7), double one day apart (n = 7), and double one week apart (n = 7) moderate (190 rad/s) rapid non-impact axial rotations of the head and compared to instrumented shams (n = 7). Animals experiencing two head rotations one day apart had a significantly higher mortality rate (43%) compared to the other groups and had higher failures rates in visual-based problem solving compared to instrumented shams. White matter injury, assessed by β-APP staining, was significantly higher in the double one week apart group compared to that with single injury and sham. Worsening performance on cognitive composite score correlated well with increasing severity of white matter axonal injury. In our immature large animal model of TBI, two head rotations produced poorer outcome as assessed by neuropathology and neurobehavioral functional outcomes compared to that with single rotations. More importantly, we have observed an increase in injury severity and mortality when the head rotations occur 24 h apart compared to 7 days apart. These observations have important clinical translation to infants subjected to repeated inflicted head trauma. PMID:19275468

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Alternative roles for Cdk5 in learning and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Hawasli, Ammar H; Bibb, James A

    2007-08-01

    Protein kinases mediate the intracellular signal transduction pathways controlling synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system. While the majority of protein kinases achieve this function via the phosphorylation of synaptic substrates, some kinases may contribute through alternative mechanisms in addition to enzymatic activity. There is growing evidence that protein kinases may often play structural roles in plasticity as well. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) has been implicated in learning and synaptic plasticity. Initial scrutiny focused on its enzymatic activity using pharmacological inhibitors and genetic modifications of Cdk5 cofactors. Quite recently Cdk5 has been shown to govern learning and plasticity via regulation of glutamate receptor degradation, a function that may not dependent on phosphorylation of downstream effectors. From these new studies, two roles emerge for Cdk5 in plasticity: one in which it controls structural plasticity via phosphorylation of synaptic substrates, and a second where it regulates functional plasticity via protein-protein interactions.

  7. Regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity by BDNF.

    PubMed

    Leal, Graciano; Afonso, Pedro M; Salazar, Ivan L; Duarte, Carlos B

    2015-09-24

    The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has emerged as a major regulator of activity-dependent plasticity at excitatory synapses in the mammalian central nervous system. In particular, much attention has been given to the role of the neurotrophin in the regulation of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a sustained enhancement of excitatory synaptic strength believed to underlie learning and memory processes. In this review we summarize the evidence pointing to a role for BDNF in generating functional and structural changes at synapses required for both early- and late phases of LTP in the hippocampus. The available information regarding the pre- and/or postsynaptic release of BDNF and action of the neurotrophin during LTP will be also reviewed. Finally, we discuss the effects of BDNF on the synaptic proteome, either by acting on the protein synthesis machinery and/or by regulating protein degradation by calpains and possibly by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). This fine-tuned control of the synaptic proteome rather than a simple upregulation of the protein synthesis may play a key role in BDNF-mediated synaptic potentiation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory. PMID:25451089

  8. A synaptic mechanism for network synchrony

    PubMed Central

    Alford, Simon T.; Alpert, Michael H.

    2014-01-01

    Within neural networks, synchronization of activity is dependent upon the synaptic connectivity of embedded microcircuits and the intrinsic membrane properties of their constituent neurons. Synaptic integration, dendritic Ca2+ signaling, and non-linear interactions are crucial cellular attributes that dictate single neuron computation, but their roles promoting synchrony and the generation of network oscillations are not well understood, especially within the context of a defined behavior. In this regard, the lamprey spinal central pattern generator (CPG) stands out as a well-characterized, conserved vertebrate model of a neural network (Smith et al., 2013a), which produces synchronized oscillations in which neural elements from the systems to cellular level that control rhythmic locomotion have been determined. We review the current evidence for the synaptic basis of oscillation generation with a particular emphasis on the linkage between synaptic communication and its cellular coupling to membrane processes that control oscillatory behavior of neurons within the locomotor network. We seek to relate dendritic function found in many vertebrate systems to the accessible lamprey central nervous system in which the relationship between neural network activity and behavior is well understood. This enables us to address how Ca2+ signaling in spinal neuron dendrites orchestrate oscillations that drive network behavior. PMID:25278839

  9. 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

  10. Consumption of bee pollen affects rat ovarian functions.

    PubMed

    Kolesarova, A; Bakova, Z; Capcarova, M; Galik, B; Juracek, M; Simko, M; Toman, R; Sirotkin, A V

    2013-12-01

    The aim of this study was to examine possible effects of bee pollen added to the feed mixture (FM) on rat ovarian functions (secretion activity and apoptosis). We evaluated the bee pollen effect on the release of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and steroid hormones (progesterone and estradiol), as well as on the expression of markers of apoptosis (Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3) in rat ovarian fragments. Female rats (n = 15) were fed during 90 days by FM without or with rape seed bee pollen in dose either 3 kg/1000 kg FM or 5 kg/1000 kg FM. Fragments of ovaries isolated from rats of each group (totally 72 pieces) were incubated for 24 h. Hormonal secretion into the culture medium was detected by RIA. The markers of apoptosis were evaluated by Western blotting. It was observed that IGF-I release by rat ovarian fragments was significantly (p < 0.05) decreased; on the other hand, progesterone and estradiol secretion was increased after bee pollen treatment at dose 5 kg/1000 kg FM but not at 3 kg/1000 FM. Accumulation of Bcl-2 was increased by bee pollen added at 3 kg/1000 kg FM, but not at higher dose. Accumulation of Bax was increased in ovaries of rats fed by bee pollen at doses either 3 or 5 kg/1000 kg FM, whilst accumulation of caspase-3 increased after feeding with bee pollen at dose 5 kg/1000 kg FM, but not at 3 kg/1000 kg FM. Our results contribute to new insights regarding the effect of bee pollen on both secretion activity (release of growth factor IGF-I and steroid hormones progesterone and estradiol) and apoptosis (anti- and pro-apoptotic markers Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3). Bee pollen is shown to be a potent regulator of rat ovarian functions. PMID:23137268

  11. Ectomycorrhizal symbiosis affects functional diversity of rhizosphere fluorescent pseudomonads.

    PubMed

    Frey-Klett, Pascale; Chavatte, Michaël; Clausse, Marie-Lise; Courrier, Sébastien; Le Roux, Christine; Raaijmakers, Jos; Martinotti, Maria Giovanna; Pierrat, Jean-Claude; Garbaye, Jean

    2005-01-01

    Here we characterized the effect of the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis on the genotypic and functional diversity of soil Pseudomonas fluorescens populations and analysed its possible consequences in terms of plant nutrition, development and health. Sixty strains of P. fluorescens were isolated from the bulk soil of a forest nursery, the ectomycorrhizosphere and the ectomycorrhizas of the Douglas fir (Pseudostuga menziesii) seedlings-Laccaria bicolor S238N. They were characterized in vitro with the following criteria: ARDRA, phosphate solubilization, siderophore, HCN and AIA production, genes of N2-fixation and antibiotic synthesis, in vitro confrontation with a range of phytopathogenic and ectomycorrhizal fungi, effect on the Douglas fir-L. bicolor symbiosis. For most of these criteria, we demonstrated that the ectomycorrhizosphere significantly structures the P. fluorescens populations and selects strains potentially beneficial to the symbiosis and to the plant. This prompts us to propose the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis as a true microbial complex where multitrophic interactions take place. Moreover it underlines the fact that this symbiosis has an indirect positive effect on plant growth, via its selective pressure on bacterial communities, in addition to its known direct positive effect. PMID:15720643

  12. Aluminum fluoride affects the structure and functions of cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Norris, B; Villena, F; Cuevas, F; Sotomayor, P; Zatta, P

    2004-06-01

    No useful biological function for aluminum has been found. To the contrary, it might play an important role in several pathologies, which could be related to its interactions with cell membranes. On the other hand, fluoride is a normal component of body fluids, soft tissues, bones and teeth. Its sodium salt is frequently added to drinking water to prevent dental caries. However, large doses cause severe pathological alterations. In view of the toxicity of Al(3+) and F(-) ions, it was thought of interest to explore the damaging effects that AlF(3) might induce in cell membranes. With this aim, it was incubated with human erythrocytes, which were examined by phase contrast and scanning electron microscopy, and molecular models of biomembranes. The latter consisted of large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and bilayers of DMPC and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) which were studied by fluorescence spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction, respectively. In order to understand the effects of AlF(3) on ion transport (principally sodium and chloride) we used the isolated toad skin to which electrophysiological measurements were applied. It was found that AlF(3) altered the shape of erythrocytes inducing the formation of echinocytes. This effect was explained by X-ray diffraction which revealed that AlF(3) perturbed the structure of DMPC, class of lipids located in the outer monolayer of the erythrocyte membrane. This result was confirmed by fluorescence spectroscopy on DMPC LUV. The biphasic (stimulatory followed by inhibitory) effects on the isolated skin suggested changes in apical Cl(-) secretion and moderate ATPase inactivation. PMID:15110101

  13. Differential Conditioning of Associative Synaptic Enhancement in Hippocampal Brain Slices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelso, Stephen R.; Brown, Thomas H.

    1986-04-01

    An electrophysiological stimulation paradigm similar to one that produces Pavlovian conditioning was applied to synaptic inputs to pyramidal neurons of hippocampal brain slices. Persistent synaptic enhancement was induced in one of two weak synaptic inputs by pairing high-frequency electrical stimulation of the weak input with stimulation of a third, stronger input to the same region. Forward (temporally overlapping) but not backward (temporally separate) pairings caused this enhancement. Thus hippocampal synapses in vitro can undergo the conditional and selective type of associative modification that could provide the substrate for some of the mnemonic functions in which the hippocampus is thought to participate.

  14. Synaptic plasticity and memory functions achieved in a WO3-x-based nanoionics device by using the principle of atomic switch operation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Rui; Terabe, Kazuya; Yao, Yiping; Tsuruoka, Tohru; Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi; Gimzewski, James K; Aono, Masakazu

    2013-09-27

    A compact neuromorphic nanodevice with inherent learning and memory properties emulating those of biological synapses is the key to developing artificial neural networks rivaling their biological counterparts. Experimental results showed that memorization with a wide time scale from volatile to permanent can be achieved in a WO3-x-based nanoionics device and can be precisely and cumulatively controlled by adjusting the device's resistance state and input pulse parameters such as the amplitude, interval, and number. This control is analogous to biological synaptic plasticity including short-term plasticity, long-term potentiation, transition from short-term memory to long-term memory, forgetting processes for short- and long-term memory, learning speed, and learning history. A compact WO3-x-based nanoionics device with a simple stacked layer structure should thus be a promising candidate for use as an inorganic synapse in artificial neural networks due to its striking resemblance to the biological synapse. PMID:23999098

  15. Synaptic plasticity and memory functions achieved in a WO3-x-based nanoionics device by using the principle of atomic switch operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Rui; Terabe, Kazuya; Yao, Yiping; Tsuruoka, Tohru; Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi; Gimzewski, James K.; Aono, Masakazu

    2013-09-01

    A compact neuromorphic nanodevice with inherent learning and memory properties emulating those of biological synapses is the key to developing artificial neural networks rivaling their biological counterparts. Experimental results showed that memorization with a wide time scale from volatile to permanent can be achieved in a WO3-x-based nanoionics device and can be precisely and cumulatively controlled by adjusting the device’s resistance state and input pulse parameters such as the amplitude, interval, and number. This control is analogous to biological synaptic plasticity including short-term plasticity, long-term potentiation, transition from short-term memory to long-term memory, forgetting processes for short- and long-term memory, learning speed, and learning history. A compact WO3-x-based nanoionics device with a simple stacked layer structure should thus be a promising candidate for use as an inorganic synapse in artificial neural networks due to its striking resemblance to the biological synapse.

  16. Neurology of Affective Prosody and Its Functional-Anatomic Organization in Right Hemisphere

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Elliott D.; Monnot, Marilee

    2008-01-01

    Unlike the aphasic syndromes, the organization of affective prosody in brain has remained controversial because affective-prosodic deficits may occur after left or right brain damage. However, different patterns of deficits are observed following left and right brain damage that suggest affective prosody is a dominant and lateralized function of…

  17. Plasmin potentiates synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor function in hippocampal neurons through activation of protease-activated receptor-1.

    PubMed

    Mannaioni, Guido; Orr, Anna G; Hamill, Cecily E; Yuan, Hongjie; Pedone, Katherine H; McCoy, Kelly L; Berlinguer Palmini, Rolando; Junge, Candice E; Lee, C Justin; Yepes, Manuel; Hepler, John R; Traynelis, Stephen F

    2008-07-18

    Protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1) is activated by a number of serine proteases, including plasmin. Both PAR1 and plasminogen, the precursor of plasmin, are expressed in the central nervous system. In this study we examined the effects of plasmin in astrocyte and neuronal cultures as well as in hippocampal slices. We find that plasmin evokes an increase in both phosphoinositide hydrolysis (EC(50) 64 nm) and Fura-2/AM fluorescence (195 +/- 6.7% above base line, EC(50) 65 nm) in cortical cultured murine astrocytes. Plasmin also activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) within cultured astrocytes. The plasmin-induced rise in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) and the increase in phospho-ERK1/2 levels were diminished in PAR1(-/-) astrocytes and were blocked by 1 microm BMS-200261, a selective PAR1 antagonist. However, plasmin had no detectable effect on ERK1/2 or [Ca(2+)](i) signaling in primary cultured hippocampal neurons or in CA1 pyramidal cells in hippocampal slices. Plasmin (100-200 nm) application potentiated the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent component of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents recorded from CA1 pyramidal neurons but had no effect on alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate- or gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor-mediated synaptic currents. Plasmin also increased NMDA-induced whole cell receptor currents recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells (2.5 +/- 0.3-fold potentiation over control). This effect was blocked by BMS-200261 (1 microm; 1.02 +/- 0.09-fold potentiation over control). These data suggest that plasmin may serve as an endogenous PAR1 activator that can increase [Ca(2+)](i) in astrocytes and potentiate NMDA receptor synaptic currents in CA1 pyramidal neurons.

  18. Phosphate Ions Affect the Water Structure at Functionalized Membrane Surfaces.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Aliyah; Imbrogno, Joseph; Belfort, Georges; Petersen, Poul B

    2016-09-01

    Antifouling surfaces improve function, efficiency, and safety in products such as water filtration membranes, marine vehicle coatings, and medical implants by resisting protein and biofilm adhesion. Understanding the role of water structure at these materials in preventing protein adhesion and biofilm formation is critical to designing more effective coatings. Such fouling experiments are typically performed under biological conditions using isotonic aqueous buffers. Previous studies have explored the structure of pure water at a few different antifouling surfaces, but the effect of electrolytes and ionic strength (I) on the water structure at antifouling surfaces is not well studied. Here sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy is used to characterize the interfacial water structure at poly(ether sulfone) (PES) and two surface-modified PES films in contact with 0.01 M phosphate buffer with high and low salt (Ionic strength, I= 0.166 and 0.025 M, respectively). Unmodified PES, commonly used as a filtration membrane, and modified PES with a hydrophobic alkane (C18) and with a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were used. In the low ionic strength phosphate buffer, water was strongly ordered near the surface of the PEG-modified PES film due to exclusion of phosphate ions and the creation of a surface potential resulting from charge separation between phosphate anions and sodium cations. However, in the high ionic strength phosphate buffer, the sodium and potassium chloride (138 and 3 mM, respectively) in the phosphate buffered saline screened this charge and substantially reduced water ordering. A much smaller water ordering and subsequent reduction upon salt addition was observed for the C18-modified PES, and little water structure change was seen for the unmodified PES. The large difference in water structuring with increasing ionic strength between widely used phosphate buffer and phosphate buffered saline at the PEG interface demonstrates the importance of studying

  19. Familial Clustering of Executive Functioning in Affected Sibling Pair Families with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Swaab-Barneveld, Hanna; De Sonneville, Leo; Buitelaar, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To investigate familial clustering of executive functioning (i.e., response inhibition, fine visuomotor functioning, and attentional control) in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-affected sibling pairs. Method: Fifty-two affected sibling pairs aged 6 to 18 years and diagnosed with ADHD according to DSM-IV performed the…

  20. The cerebellum: its role in language and related cognitive and affective functions.

    PubMed

    De Smet, Hyo Jung; Paquier, Philippe; Verhoeven, Jo; Mariën, Peter

    2013-12-01

    The traditional view on the cerebellum as the sole coordinator of motor function has been substantially redefined during the past decades. Neuroanatomical, neuroimaging and clinical studies have extended the role of the cerebellum to the modulation of cognitive and affective processing. Neuroanatomical studies have demonstrated cerebellar connectivity with the supratentorial association areas involved in higher cognitive and affective functioning, while functional neuroimaging and clinical studies have provided evidence of cerebellar involvement in a variety of cognitive and affective tasks. This paper reviews the recently acknowledged role of the cerebellum in linguistic and related cognitive and behavioral-affective functions. In addition, typical cerebellar syndromes such as the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome (CCAS) and the posterior fossa syndrome (PFS) will be briefly discussed and the current hypotheses dealing with the presumed neurobiological mechanisms underlying the linguistic, cognitive and affective modulatory role of the cerebellum will be reviewed.

  1. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    PubMed

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-09-27

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented.

  3. Endocannabinoids in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jian-Yi; Chen, Chu

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Margeta, Milica A.; Shen, Kang

    2011-01-01

    Synapses are specialized junctions that mediate information flow between neurons and their targets. A striking feature of the nervous system is the specificity of its synaptic connections: an individual neuron will form synapses only with a small subset of available presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. Synaptic specificity has been classically thought to arise from homophilic or heterophilic interactions between adhesive molecules acting across the synaptic cleft. Over the past decade, many new mechanisms giving rise to synaptic specificity have been identified. Synapses can be specified by secreted molecules that promote or inhibit synaptogenesis, and their source can be a neighboring guidepost cell, not just presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Furthermore, lineage, fate, and timing of development can also play critical roles in shaping neural circuits. Future work utilizing large-scale screens will aim to elucidate the full scope of cellular mechanisms and molecular players that can give rise to synaptic specificity. PMID:19969086

  5. A Model of Synaptic Reconsolidation

    PubMed Central

    Kastner, David B.; Schwalger, Tilo; Ziegler, Lorric; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2016-01-01

    Reconsolidation of memories has mostly been studied at the behavioral and molecular level. Here, we put forward a simple extension of existing computational models of synaptic consolidation to capture hippocampal slice experiments that have been interpreted as reconsolidation at the synaptic level. The model implements reconsolidation through stabilization of consolidated synapses by stabilizing entities combined with an activity-dependent reservoir of stabilizing entities that are immune to protein synthesis inhibition (PSI). We derive a reduced version of our model to explore the conditions under which synaptic reconsolidation does or does not occur, often referred to as the boundary conditions of reconsolidation. We find that our computational model of synaptic reconsolidation displays complex boundary conditions. Our results suggest that a limited resource of hypothetical stabilizing molecules or complexes, which may be implemented by protein phosphorylation or different receptor subtypes, can underlie the phenomenon of synaptic reconsolidation. PMID:27242410

  6. Agrin and Synaptic Laminin Are Required to Maintain Adult Neuromuscular Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Samuel, Melanie A.; Valdez, Gregorio; Tapia, Juan C.; Lichtman, Jeff W.; Sanes, Joshua R.

    2012-01-01

    As synapses form and mature the synaptic partners produce organizing molecules that regulate each other’s differentiation and ensure precise apposition of pre- and post-synaptic specializations. At the skeletal neuromuscular junction (NMJ), these molecules include agrin, a nerve-derived organizer of postsynaptic differentiation, and synaptic laminins, muscle-derived organizers of presynaptic differentiation. Both become concentrated in the synaptic cleft as the NMJ develops and are retained in adulthood. Here, we used mutant mice to ask whether these organizers are also required for synaptic maintenance. Deletion of agrin from a subset of adult motor neurons resulted in the loss of acetylcholine receptors and other components of the postsynaptic apparatus and synaptic cleft. Nerve terminals also atrophied and eventually withdrew from muscle fibers. On the other hand, mice lacking the presynaptic organizer laminin-α4 retained most of the synaptic cleft components but exhibited synaptic alterations reminiscent of those observed in aged animals. Although we detected no marked decrease in laminin or agrin levels at aged NMJs, we observed alterations in the distribution and organization of these synaptic cleft components suggesting that such changes could contribute to age-related synaptic disassembly. Together, these results demonstrate that pre- and post-synaptic organizers actively function to maintain the structure and function of adult NMJs. PMID:23056392

  7. Electron tomographic analysis of synaptic ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Burette, Alain C; Lesperance, Thomas; Crum, John; Martone, Maryann; Volkmann, Niels; Ellisman, Mark H; Weinberg, Richard J

    2012-08-15

    Synaptic function depends on interactions among sets of proteins that assemble into complex supramolecular machines. Molecular biology, electrophysiology, and live-cell imaging studies have provided tantalizing glimpses into the inner workings of the synapse, but fundamental questions remain regarding the functional organization of these "nano-machines." Electron tomography reveals the internal structure of synapses in three dimensions with exceptional spatial resolution. Here we report results from an electron tomographic study of axospinous synapses in neocortex and hippocampus of the adult rat, based on aldehyde-fixed material stabilized with tannic acid in lieu of postfixation with osmium tetroxide. Our results provide a new window into the structural basis of excitatory synaptic processing in the mammalian brain. PMID:22684938

  8. Synaptic unreliability facilitates information transmission in balanced cortical populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gatys, Leon A.; Ecker, Alexander S.; Tchumatchenko, Tatjana; Bethge, Matthias

    2015-06-01

    Synaptic unreliability is one of the major sources of biophysical noise in the brain. In the context of neural information processing, it is a central question how neural systems can afford this unreliability. Here we examine how synaptic noise affects signal transmission in cortical circuits, where excitation and inhibition are thought to be tightly balanced. Surprisingly, we find that in this balanced state synaptic response variability actually facilitates information transmission, rather than impairing it. In particular, the transmission of fast-varying signals benefits from synaptic noise, as it instantaneously increases the amount of information shared between presynaptic signal and postsynaptic current. Furthermore we show that the beneficial effect of noise is based on a very general mechanism which contrary to stochastic resonance does not reach an optimum at a finite noise level.

  9. Synaptic mechanisms underlying sparse coding of active touch.

    PubMed

    Crochet, Sylvain; Poulet, James F A; Kremer, Yves; Petersen, Carl C H

    2011-03-24

    Sensory information is actively gathered by animals, but the synaptic mechanisms driving neuronal circuit function during active sensory processing are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the synaptically driven membrane potential dynamics during active whisker sensation using whole-cell recordings from layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the primary somatosensory barrel cortex of behaving mice. Although whisker contact with an object evoked rapid depolarization in all neurons, these touch responses only drove action potentials in ∼10% of the cells. Such sparse coding was ensured by cell-specific reversal potentials of the touch-evoked response that were hyperpolarized relative to action potential threshold for most neurons. Intercontact interval profoundly influenced touch-evoked postsynaptic potentials, interestingly without affecting the peak membrane potential of the touch response. Dual whole-cell recordings indicated highly correlated membrane potential dynamics during active touch. Sparse action potential firing within synchronized cortical layer 2/3 microcircuits therefore appears to robustly signal each active touch response.

  10. Classification: Molecular & Synaptic Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Lussier, Marc P.; Gu, Xinglong; Lu, Wei; Roche, Katherine W.

    2014-01-01

    Controlling the density of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) at synapses is essential for regulating the strength of excitatory neurotransmission. In particular, the phosphorylation of AMPARs is important for defining both synaptic expression and intracellular routing of receptors. Phosphorylation is a posttranslational modification known to regulate many cellular events and the C-termini of glutamate receptors are important targets. Recently, the first intracellular loop1 region of the GluA1 subunit of AMPARs was reported to regulate synaptic targeting through phosphorylation of S567 by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). Intriguingly, the loop1 region of all four AMPAR subunits contains many putative phosphorylation sites (S/T/Y), leaving the possibility that other kinases may regulate AMPAR surface expression via phosphorylation of the loop regions. To explore this hypothesis, we used in vitro phosphorylation assays with a small panel of purified kinases and found that casein kinase 2 (CK2) phosphorylates the GluA1 and GluA2 loop1 regions, but not GluA3 or GluA4. Interestingly, when we reduced the endogenous expression of CK2 using a specific shRNA against the regulatory subunit CK2β, we detected a reduction of GluA1 surface expression, whereas GluA2 was unchanged. Furthermore, we identified S579 of GluA1 as a substrate of CK2, and the expression of GluA1 phospho-deficient mutants in hippocampal neurons displayed reduced surface expression. Therefore, our study identifies CK2 as a regulator of GluA1 surface expression by phosphorylating the intracellular loop1 region. PMID:24712994

  11. Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Mouse and Human Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 Function.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiao; Walter, Nicole A R; Harkness, John H; Neve, Kim A; Williams, Robert W; Lu, Lu; Belknap, John K; Eshleman, Amy J; Phillips, Tamara J; Janowsky, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) and neurotransmitter precursors and metabolites such as tyramine, octopamine, and β-phenethylamine stimulate the G protein-coupled trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). TAAR1 has been implicated in human conditions including obesity, schizophrenia, depression, fibromyalgia, migraine, and addiction. Additionally TAAR1 is expressed on lymphocytes and astrocytes involved in inflammation and response to infection. In brain, TAAR1 stimulation reduces synaptic dopamine availability and alters glutamatergic function. TAAR1 is also expressed at low levels in heart, and may regulate cardiovascular tone. Taar1 knockout mice orally self-administer more MA than wild type and are insensitive to its aversive effects. DBA/2J (D2) mice express a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in Taar1 that does not respond to MA, and D2 mice are predisposed to high MA intake, compared to C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Here we demonstrate that endogenous agonists stimulate the recombinant B6 mouse TAAR1, but do not activate the D2 mouse receptor. Progeny of the B6XD2 (BxD) family of recombinant inbred (RI) strains have been used to characterize the genetic etiology of diseases, but contrary to expectations, BXDs derived 30-40 years ago express only the functional B6 Taar1 allele whereas some more recently derived BXD RI strains express the D2 allele. Data indicate that the D2 mutation arose subsequent to derivation of the original RIs. Finally, we demonstrate that SNPs in human TAAR1 alter its function, resulting in expressed, but functional, sub-functional and non-functional receptors. Our findings are important for identifying a predisposition to human diseases, as well as for developing personalized treatment options. PMID:27031617

  12. Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Mouse and Human Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 Function

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xiao; Walter, Nicole A. R.; Harkness, John H.; Neve, Kim A.; Williams, Robert W.; Lu, Lu; Belknap, John K.; Eshleman, Amy J.; Phillips, Tamara J.; Janowsky, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) and neurotransmitter precursors and metabolites such as tyramine, octopamine, and β-phenethylamine stimulate the G protein-coupled trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). TAAR1 has been implicated in human conditions including obesity, schizophrenia, depression, fibromyalgia, migraine, and addiction. Additionally TAAR1 is expressed on lymphocytes and astrocytes involved in inflammation and response to infection. In brain, TAAR1 stimulation reduces synaptic dopamine availability and alters glutamatergic function. TAAR1 is also expressed at low levels in heart, and may regulate cardiovascular tone. Taar1 knockout mice orally self-administer more MA than wild type and are insensitive to its aversive effects. DBA/2J (D2) mice express a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in Taar1 that does not respond to MA, and D2 mice are predisposed to high MA intake, compared to C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Here we demonstrate that endogenous agonists stimulate the recombinant B6 mouse TAAR1, but do not activate the D2 mouse receptor. Progeny of the B6XD2 (BxD) family of recombinant inbred (RI) strains have been used to characterize the genetic etiology of diseases, but contrary to expectations, BXDs derived 30–40 years ago express only the functional B6 Taar1 allele whereas some more recently derived BXD RI strains express the D2 allele. Data indicate that the D2 mutation arose subsequent to derivation of the original RIs. Finally, we demonstrate that SNPs in human TAAR1 alter its function, resulting in expressed, but functional, sub-functional and non-functional receptors. Our findings are important for identifying a predisposition to human diseases, as well as for developing personalized treatment options. PMID:27031617

  13. Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Mouse and Human Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 Function.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiao; Walter, Nicole A R; Harkness, John H; Neve, Kim A; Williams, Robert W; Lu, Lu; Belknap, John K; Eshleman, Amy J; Phillips, Tamara J; Janowsky, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) and neurotransmitter precursors and metabolites such as tyramine, octopamine, and β-phenethylamine stimulate the G protein-coupled trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). TAAR1 has been implicated in human conditions including obesity, schizophrenia, depression, fibromyalgia, migraine, and addiction. Additionally TAAR1 is expressed on lymphocytes and astrocytes involved in inflammation and response to infection. In brain, TAAR1 stimulation reduces synaptic dopamine availability and alters glutamatergic function. TAAR1 is also expressed at low levels in heart, and may regulate cardiovascular tone. Taar1 knockout mice orally self-administer more MA than wild type and are insensitive to its aversive effects. DBA/2J (D2) mice express a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in Taar1 that does not respond to MA, and D2 mice are predisposed to high MA intake, compared to C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Here we demonstrate that endogenous agonists stimulate the recombinant B6 mouse TAAR1, but do not activate the D2 mouse receptor. Progeny of the B6XD2 (BxD) family of recombinant inbred (RI) strains have been used to characterize the genetic etiology of diseases, but contrary to expectations, BXDs derived 30-40 years ago express only the functional B6 Taar1 allele whereas some more recently derived BXD RI strains express the D2 allele. Data indicate that the D2 mutation arose subsequent to derivation of the original RIs. Finally, we demonstrate that SNPs in human TAAR1 alter its function, resulting in expressed, but functional, sub-functional and non-functional receptors. Our findings are important for identifying a predisposition to human diseases, as well as for developing personalized treatment options.

  14. Effects of synaptic synchrony on the neuronal input-output relationship.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaoshen; Ascoli, Giorgio A

    2008-07-01

    The firing rate of individual neurons depends on the firing frequency of their distributed synaptic inputs, with linear and nonlinear relations subserving different computational functions. This letter explores the relationship between the degree of synchrony among excitatory synapses and the linearity of the response using detailed compartmental models of cortical pyramidal cells. Synchronous input resulted in a linear input-output relationship, while asynchronous stimulation yielded sub- and supraproportional outputs at low and high frequencies, respectively. The dependence of input-output linearity on synchrony was sigmoidal and considerably robust with respect to dendritic location, stimulus irregularity, and alteration of active and synaptic properties. Moreover, synchrony affected firing rate differently at lower and higher input frequencies. A reduced integrate-and-fire model suggested a mechanism explaining these results based on spatiotemporal integration, with fundamental implications relating synchrony to memory encoding. PMID:18254692

  15. Viral gene transfer of APPsα rescues synaptic failure in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model.

    PubMed

    Fol, Romain; Braudeau, Jerome; Ludewig, Susann; Abel, Tobias; Weyer, Sascha W; Roederer, Jan-Peter; Brod, Florian; Audrain, Mickael; Bemelmans, Alexis-Pierre; Buchholz, Christian J; Korte, Martin; Cartier, Nathalie; Müller, Ulrike C

    2016-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by synaptic failure, dendritic and axonal atrophy, neuronal death and progressive loss of cognitive functions. It is commonly assumed that these deficits arise due to β-amyloid accumulation and plaque deposition. However, increasing evidence indicates that loss of physiological APP functions mediated predominantly by neurotrophic APPsα produced in the non-amyloidogenic α-secretase pathway may contribute to AD pathogenesis. Upregulation of APPsα production via induction of α-secretase might, however, be problematic as this may also affect substrates implicated in tumorigenesis. Here, we used a gene therapy approach to directly overexpress APPsα in the brain using AAV-mediated gene transfer and explored its potential to rescue structural, electrophysiological and behavioral deficits in APP/PS1∆E9 AD model mice. Sustained APPsα overexpression in aged mice with already preexisting pathology and amyloidosis restored synaptic plasticity and partially rescued spine density deficits. Importantly, AAV-APPsα treatment also resulted in a functional rescue of spatial reference memory in the Morris water maze. Moreover, we demonstrate a significant reduction of soluble Aβ species and plaque load. In addition, APPsα induced the recruitment of microglia with a ramified morphology into the vicinity of plaques and upregulated IDE and TREM2 expression suggesting enhanced plaque clearance. Collectively, these data indicate that APPsα can mitigate synaptic and cognitive deficits, despite established pathology. Increasing APPsα may therefore be of therapeutic relevance for AD.

  16. Wnts in action: from synapse formation to synaptic maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Dickins, Ellen M.; Salinas, Patricia C.

    2013-01-01

    A proper balance between synapse assembly and disassembly is crucial for the formation of functional neuronal circuits and synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. During development, synaptogenesis generates a vast excess of synapses, which are subsequently eliminated. Importantly, aberrant synaptic disassembly during development underpins many neurological disorders. Wnt secreted proteins are robust synaptogenic factors that regulate synapse assembly and function in the developing and mature brain. Recent studies show that Wnt blockade with the antagonist Dickkopf-1 (Dkk1) induces the rapid disassembly of synapses in mature neurons. Importantly, Dkk1 mediates synaptic loss induced by Amyloid-ß, a key pathogenic molecule in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These findings provide new insights into the potential contribution of dysfunctional Wnt signaling to synaptic loss observed in neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we discuss the role of Wnt signaling in vertebrate synaptic assembly, function and maintenance, and consider how dysfunction of Wnt signaling could contribute to synaptic disassembly in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. PMID:24223536

  17. Mutations in NONO lead to syndromic intellectual disability and inhibitory synaptic defects.

    PubMed

    Mircsof, Dennis; Langouët, Maéva; Rio, Marlène; Moutton, Sébastien; Siquier-Pernet, Karine; Bole-Feysot, Christine; Cagnard, Nicolas; Nitschke, Patrick; Gaspar, Ludmila; Žnidarič, Matej; Alibeu, Olivier; Fritz, Ann-Kristina; Wolfer, David P; Schröter, Aileen; Bosshard, Giovanna; Rudin, Markus; Koester, Christina; Crestani, Florence; Seebeck, Petra; Boddaert, Nathalie; Prescott, Katrina; Hines, Rochelle; Moss, Steven J; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Munnich, Arnold; Amiel, Jeanne; Brown, Steven A; Tyagarajan, Shiva K; Colleaux, Laurence

    2015-12-01

    The NONO protein has been characterized as an important transcriptional regulator in diverse cellular contexts. Here we show that loss of NONO function is a likely cause of human intellectual disability and that NONO-deficient mice have cognitive and affective deficits. Correspondingly, we find specific defects at inhibitory synapses, where NONO regulates synaptic transcription and gephyrin scaffold structure. Our data identify NONO as a possible neurodevelopmental disease gene and highlight the key role of the DBHS protein family in functional organization of GABAergic synapses.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-25

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

  19. Synaptic, transcriptional, and chromatin genes disrupted in autism

    PubMed Central

    De Rubeis, Silvia; He, Xin; Goldberg, Arthur P.; Poultney, Christopher S.; Samocha, Kaitlin; Cicek, A Ercument; Kou, Yan; Liu, Li; Fromer, Menachem; Walker, Susan; Singh, Tarjinder; Klei, Lambertus; Kosmicki, Jack; Fu, Shih-Chen; Aleksic, Branko; Biscaldi, Monica; Bolton, Patrick F.; Brownfeld, Jessica M.; Cai, Jinlu; Campbell, Nicholas J.; Carracedo, Angel; Chahrour, Maria H.; Chiocchetti, Andreas G.; Coon, Hilary; Crawford, Emily L.; Crooks, Lucy; Curran, Sarah R.; Dawson, Geraldine; Duketis, Eftichia; Fernandez, Bridget A.; Gallagher, Louise; Geller, Evan; Guter, Stephen J.; Hill, R. Sean; Ionita-Laza, Iuliana; Gonzalez, Patricia Jimenez; Kilpinen, Helena; Klauck, Sabine M.; Kolevzon, Alexander; Lee, Irene; Lei, Jing; Lehtimäki, Terho; Lin, Chiao-Feng; Ma'ayan, Avi; Marshall, Christian R.; McInnes, Alison L.; Neale, Benjamin; Owen, Michael J.; Ozaki, Norio; Parellada, Mara; Parr, Jeremy R.; Purcell, Shaun; Puura, Kaija; Rajagopalan, Deepthi; Rehnström, Karola; Reichenberg, Abraham; Sabo, Aniko; Sachse, Michael; Sanders, Stephan J.; Schafer, Chad; Schulte-Rüther, Martin; Skuse, David; Stevens, Christine; Szatmari, Peter; Tammimies, Kristiina; Valladares, Otto; Voran, Annette; Wang, Li-San; Weiss, Lauren A.; Willsey, A. Jeremy; Yu, Timothy W.; Yuen, Ryan K.C.; Cook, Edwin H.; Freitag, Christine M.; Gill, Michael; Hultman, Christina M.; Lehner, Thomas; Palotie, Aarno; Schellenberg, Gerard D.; Sklar, Pamela; State, Matthew W.; Sutcliffe, James S.; Walsh, Christopher A.; Scherer, Stephen W.; Zwick, Michael E.; Barrett, Jeffrey C.; Cutler, David J.; Roeder, Kathryn; Devlin, Bernie; Daly, Mark J.; Buxbaum, Joseph D.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The genetic architecture of autism spectrum disorder involves the interplay of common and rare variation and their impact on hundreds of genes. Using exome sequencing, analysis of rare coding variation in 3,871 autism cases and 9,937 ancestry-matched or parental controls implicates 22 autosomal genes at a false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05, and a set of 107 autosomal genes strongly enriched for those likely to affect risk (FDR < 0.30). These 107 genes, which show unusual evolutionary constraint against mutations, incur de novo loss-of-function mutations in over 5% of autistic subjects. Many of the genes implicated encode proteins for synaptic, transcriptional, and chromatin remodeling pathways. These include voltage-gated ion channels regulating propagation of action potentials, pacemaking, and excitability-transcription coupling, as well as histone-modifying enzymes and chromatin remodelers, prominently histone post-translational modifications involving lysine methylation/demethylation. PMID:25363760

  20. Inhibitory Control of Synaptic and Behavioral Plasticity by Octopaminergic Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Koon, Alex C.; Budnik, Vivian

    2012-01-01

    Adrenergic receptors and their ligands are important regulators of synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity, but the exact mechanisms underlying their action are still poorly understood. Octopamine, the invertebrate homolog of mammalian adrenaline or noradrenaline, plays important roles in modulating behavior and synaptic functions. We previously uncovered an octopaminergic positive feedback mechanism to regulate structural synaptic plasticity during development and in response to starvation. Under this mechanism, activation of Octß2R autoreceptors by octopamine at octopaminergic neurons initiated a cAMP-dependent cascade that stimulated the development of new synaptic boutons at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). However, the regulatory mechanisms that served to brake such positive feedback were not known. Here, we report the presence of an alternative octopamine autoreceptor, Octß1R, with antagonistic functions on synaptic growth. Mutations in octß1r result in the overgrowth of both glutamatergic and octopaminergic NMJs suggesting that Octß1R is a negative regulator of synaptic expansion. As Octß2R, Octß1R functioned in a cell autonomous manner at presynaptic motorneurons. However, unlike Octß2R, which activated a cAMP pathway, Octß1R likely inhibited cAMP production through inhibitory Goα. Despite its inhibitory role, Octß1R was required for acute changes in synaptic structure in response to octopamine and for starvation-induced increase in locomotor speed. These results demonstrate the dual action of octopamine on synaptic growth and behavioral plasticity, and highlight the important role of inhibitory influences for normal responses to physiological stimuli. PMID:22553037

  1. Permanent, sex-selective effects of prenatal or adolescent nicotine exposure, separately or sequentially, in rat brain regions: indices of cholinergic and serotonergic synaptic function, cell signaling, and neural cell number and size at 6 months of age.

    PubMed

    Slotkin, Theodore A; MacKillop, Emiko A; Rudder, Charles L; Ryde, Ian T; Tate, Charlotte A; Seidler, Frederic J

    2007-05-01

    Nicotine is a neuroteratogen that disrupts neurodevelopment and synaptic function, with vulnerability extending into adolescence. We assessed the permanence of effects in rats on indices of neural cell number and size, and on acetylcholine and serotonin (5HT) systems, conducting assessments at 6 months of age, after prenatal nicotine exposure, adolescent exposure, or sequential exposure in both periods. For prenatal nicotine, indices of cell number and size showed few abnormalities by 6 months, but there were persistent deficits in cerebrocortical choline acetyltransferase activity and hemicholinium-3 binding to the presynaptic choline transporter, a pattern consistent with cholinergic hypoactivity; these effects were more prominent in males than females. The expression of 5HT receptors also showed permanent effects in males, with suppression of the 5HT(1A) subtype and upregulation of 5HT(2) receptors. In addition, cell signaling through adenylyl cyclase showed heterologous uncoupling of neurotransmitter responses. Nicotine exposure in adolescence produced lasting effects that were similar to those of prenatal nicotine. However, when animals were exposed to prenatal nicotine and received nicotine subsequently in adolescence, the adverse effects then extended to females, whereas the net effect in males was similar to that of prenatal nicotine by itself. Our results indicate that prenatal or adolescent nicotine exposure evoke permanent changes in synaptic function that transcend the recovery of less-sensitive indices of structural damage; further, prenatal exposure sensitizes females to the subsequent adverse effects of adolescent nicotine, thus creating a population that may be especially vulnerable to the lasting behavioral consequences of nicotine intake in adolescence.

  2. Training of affect recognition (TAR) in schizophrenia--impact on functional outcome.

    PubMed

    Sachs, G; Winklbaur, B; Jagsch, R; Lasser, I; Kryspin-Exner, I; Frommann, N; Wölwer, W

    2012-07-01

    Deficits in facial affect recognition as one aspect of social cognitive deficits are treatment targets to improve functional outcome in schizophrenia. According to preliminary results antipsychotics alone show little effects on affect recognition. A few randomized intervention studies have evaluated special psychosocial treatment programs on social cognition. In this study, the effects of a computer-based training of affect recognition were investigated as well as its impact on facial affect recognition and functional outcome, particularly on patients' quality of life. Forty clinically stabilized schizophrenic patients were randomized to a six-week training on affect recognition (TAR) or treatment as usual including occupational therapy (TAU) and completed pre- and post-treatment assessments of emotion recognition, cognition, quality of life and clinical symptoms. Between pre- and post treatment, the TAR group achieved significant improvements in facial affect recognition, in particular in recognizing sad faces and, in addition, in the quality of life domain social relationship. These changes were not found in the TAU group. Furthermore, the TAR training contributes to enhancing some aspects of cognitive functioning and negative symptoms. These improvements in facial affect recognition and quality of life were independent of changes in clinical symptoms and general cognitive functions. The findings support the efficacy of an affect recognition training for patients with schizophrenia and the generalization to social relationship. Further development is needed in the impact of a psychosocial intervention in other aspects of social cognition and functional outcome.

  3. Predicting the accuracy of facial affect recognition: the interaction of child maltreatment and intellectual functioning.

    PubMed

    Shenk, Chad E; Putnam, Frank W; Noll, Jennie G

    2013-02-01

    Previous research demonstrates that both child maltreatment and intellectual performance contribute uniquely to the accurate identification of facial affect by children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to extend this research by examining whether child maltreatment affects the accuracy of facial recognition differently at varying levels of intellectual functioning. A sample of maltreated (n=50) and nonmaltreated (n=56) adolescent females, 14 to 19 years of age, was recruited to participate in this study. Participants completed demographic and study-related questionnaires and interviews to control for potential psychological and psychiatric confounds such as symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, negative affect, and difficulties in emotion regulation. Participants also completed an experimental paradigm that recorded responses to facial affect displays starting in a neutral expression and changing into a full expression of one of six emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, or surprise. Hierarchical multiple regression assessed the incremental advantage of evaluating the interaction between child maltreatment and intellectual functioning. Results indicated that the interaction term accounted for a significant amount of additional variance in the accurate identification of facial affect after controlling for relevant covariates and main effects. Specifically, maltreated females with lower levels of intellectual functioning were least accurate in identifying facial affect displays, whereas those with higher levels of intellectual functioning performed as well as nonmaltreated females. These results suggest that maltreatment and intellectual functioning interact to predict the recognition of facial affect, with potential long-term consequences for the interpersonal functioning of maltreated females.

  4. Predicting the accuracy of facial affect recognition: the interaction of child maltreatment and intellectual functioning.

    PubMed

    Shenk, Chad E; Putnam, Frank W; Noll, Jennie G

    2013-02-01

    Previous research demonstrates that both child maltreatment and intellectual performance contribute uniquely to the accurate identification of facial affect by children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to extend this research by examining whether child maltreatment affects the accuracy of facial recognition differently at varying levels of intellectual functioning. A sample of maltreated (n=50) and nonmaltreated (n=56) adolescent females, 14 to 19 years of age, was recruited to participate in this study. Participants completed demographic and study-related questionnaires and interviews to control for potential psychological and psychiatric confounds such as symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, negative affect, and difficulties in emotion regulation. Participants also completed an experimental paradigm that recorded responses to facial affect displays starting in a neutral expression and changing into a full expression of one of six emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, or surprise. Hierarchical multiple regression assessed the incremental advantage of evaluating the interaction between child maltreatment and intellectual functioning. Results indicated that the interaction term accounted for a significant amount of additional variance in the accurate identification of facial affect after controlling for relevant covariates and main effects. Specifically, maltreated females with lower levels of intellectual functioning were least accurate in identifying facial affect displays, whereas those with higher levels of intellectual functioning performed as well as nonmaltreated females. These results suggest that maltreatment and intellectual functioning interact to predict the recognition of facial affect, with potential long-term consequences for the interpersonal functioning of maltreated females. PMID:23036371

  5. Miniature Neurotransmission Regulates Drosophila Synaptic Structural Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Ben Jiwon; Imlach, Wendy L.; Jiao, Wei; Wolfram, Verena; Wu, Ying; Grbic, Mark; Cela, Carolina; Baines, Richard A.; Nitabach, Michael N.; McCabe, Brian D.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Miniature neurotransmission is the transsynaptic process where single synaptic vesicles spontaneously released from presynaptic neurons induce miniature postsynaptic potentials. Since their discovery over 60 years ago, miniature events have been found at every chemical synapse studied. However, the in vivo necessity for these small-amplitude events has remained enigmatic. Here, we show that miniature neurotransmission is required for the normal structural maturation of Drosophila glutamatergic synapses in a developmental role that is not shared by evoked neurotransmission. Conversely, we find that increasing miniature events is sufficient to induce synaptic terminal growth. We show that miniature neurotransmission acts locally at terminals to regulate synapse maturation via a Trio guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) and Rac1 GTPase molecular signaling pathway. Our results establish that miniature neurotransmission, a universal but often-overlooked feature of synapses, has unique and essential functions in vivo. PMID:24811381

  6. Upward synaptic scaling is dependent on neurotransmission rather than spiking.

    PubMed

    Fong, Ming-fai; Newman, Jonathan P; Potter, Steve M; Wenner, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Homeostatic plasticity encompasses a set of mechanisms that are thought to stabilize firing rates in neural circuits. The most widely studied form of homeostatic plasticity is upward synaptic scaling (upscaling), characterized by a multiplicative increase in the strength of excitatory synaptic inputs to a neuron as a compensatory response to chronic reductions in firing rate. While reduced spiking is thought to trigger upscaling, an alternative possibility is that reduced glutamatergic transmission generates this plasticity directly. However, spiking and neurotransmission are tightly coupled, so it has been difficult to determine their independent roles in the scaling process. Here we combined chronic multielectrode recording, closed-loop optogenetic stimulation, and pharmacology to show that reduced glutamatergic transmission directly triggers cell-wide synaptic upscaling. This work highlights the importance of synaptic activity in initiating signalling cascades that mediate upscaling. Moreover, our findings challenge the prevailing view that upscaling functions to homeostatically stabilize firing rates.

  7. Proteomic Analysis of Unbounded Cellular Compartments: Synaptic Clefts.

    PubMed

    Loh, Ken H; Stawski, Philipp S; Draycott, Austin S; Udeshi, Namrata D; Lehrman, Emily K; Wilton, Daniel K; Svinkina, Tanya; Deerinck, Thomas J; Ellisman, Mark H; Stevens, Beth; Carr, Steven A; Ting, Alice Y

    2016-08-25

    Cellular compartments that cannot be biochemically isolated are challenging to characterize. Here we demonstrate the proteomic characterization of the synaptic clefts that exist at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Normal brain function relies on the careful balance of these opposing neural connections, and understanding how this balance is achieved relies on knowledge of their protein compositions. Using a spatially restricted enzymatic tagging strategy, we mapped the proteomes of two of the most common excitatory and inhibitory synaptic clefts in living neurons. These proteomes reveal dozens of synaptic candidates and assign numerous known synaptic proteins to a specific cleft type. The molecular differentiation of each cleft allowed us to identify Mdga2 as a potential specificity factor influencing Neuroligin-2's recruitment of presynaptic neurotransmitters at inhibitory synapses. PMID:27565350

  8. Synaptic theory of replicator-like melioration.

    PubMed

    Loewenstein, Yonatan

    2010-01-01

    According to the theory of Melioration, organisms in repeated choice settings shift their choice preference in favor of the alternative that provides the highest return. The goal of this paper is to explain how this learning behavior can emerge from microscopic changes in the efficacies of synapses, in the context of a two-alternative repeated-choice experiment. I consider a large family of synaptic plasticity rules in which changes in synaptic efficacies are driven by the covariance between reward and neural activity. I construct a general framework that predicts the learning dynamics of any decision-making neural network that implements this synaptic plasticity rule and show that melioration naturally emerges in such networks. Moreover, the resultant learning dynamics follows the Replicator equation which is commonly used to phenomenologically describe changes in behavior in operant conditioning experiments. Several examples demonstrate how the learning rate of the network is affected by its properties and by the specifics of the plasticity rule. These results help bridge the gap between cellular physiology and learning behavior.

  9. Synaptic theory of replicator-like melioration.

    PubMed

    Loewenstein, Yonatan

    2010-01-01

    According to the theory of Melioration, organisms in repeated choice settings shift their choice preference in favor of the alternative that provides the highest return. The goal of this paper is to explain how this learning behavior can emerge from microscopic changes in the efficacies of synapses, in the context of a two-alternative repeated-choice experiment. I consider a large family of synaptic plasticity rules in which changes in synaptic efficacies are driven by the covariance between reward and neural activity. I construct a general framework that predicts the learning dynamics of any decision-making neural network that implements this synaptic plasticity rule and show that melioration naturally emerges in such networks. Moreover, the resultant learning dynamics follows the Replicator equation which is commonly used to phenomenologically describe changes in behavior in operant conditioning experiments. Several examples demonstrate how the learning rate of the network is affected by its properties and by the specifics of the plasticity rule. These results help bridge the gap between cellular physiology and learning behavior. PMID:20617184

  10. Genetic Modulation of Soluble Aβ Rescues Cognitive and Synaptic Impairment in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Fowler, Stephanie W.; Chiang, Angie C. A.; Savjani, Ricky R.; Larson, Megan E.; Sherman, Mathew A.; Schuler, Dorothy R.; Cirrito, John R.; Lesné, Sylvain E.

    2014-01-01

    An unresolved debate in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is whether amyloid plaques are pathogenic, causing overt physical disruption of neural circuits, or protective, sequestering soluble forms of amyloid-β (Aβ) that initiate synaptic damage and cognitive decline. Few animal models of AD have been capable of isolating the relative contribution made by soluble and insoluble forms of Aβ to the behavioral symptoms and biochemical consequences of the disease. Here we use a controllable transgenic mouse model expressing a mutant form of amyloid precursor protein (APP) to distinguish the impact of soluble Aβ from that of deposited amyloid on cognitive function and synaptic structure. Rapid inhibition of transgenic APP modulated the production of Aβ without affecting pre-existing amyloid deposits and restored cognitive performance to the level of healthy controls in Morris water maze, radial arm water maze, and fear conditioning. Selective reduction of Aβ with a γ-secretase inhibitor provided similar improvement, suggesting that transgene suppression restored cognition, at least in part by lowering Aβ. Cognitive improvement coincided with reduced levels of synaptotoxic Aβ oligomers, greater synaptic density surrounding amyloid plaques, and increased expression of presynaptic and postsynaptic markers. Together these findings indicate that transient Aβ species underlie much of the cognitive and synaptic deficits observed in this model and demonstrate that significant functional and structural recovery can be attained without removing deposited amyloid. PMID:24899710

  11. Effects of hypoxic preconditioning on synaptic ultrastructure in mice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yi; Sun, Zhishan; Sun, Shufeng; Duan, Yunxia; Shi, Jingfei; Qi, Zhifeng; Meng, Ran; Sun, Yongxin; Zeng, Xianwei; Chui, Dehua; Ji, Xunming

    2015-01-01

    Hypoxic preconditioning (HPC) elicits resistance to more drastic subsequent insults, which potentially provide neuroprotective therapeutic strategy, but the underlying mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. Here, we examined the effects of HPC on synaptic ultrastructure in olfactory bulb of mice. Mice underwent up to five cycles of repeated HPC treatments, and hypoxic tolerance was assessed with a standard gasp reflex assay. As expected, HPC induced an increase in tolerance time. To assess synaptic responses, Western blots were used to quantify protein levels of representative markers for glia, neuron, and synapse, and transmission electron microscopy was used to examine synaptic ultrastructure and mitochondrial density. HPC did not significantly alter the protein levels of astroglial marker (GFAP), neuron-specific markers (GAP43, Tuj-1, and OMP), synaptic number markers (synaptophysin and SNAP25) or the percentage of excitatory synapses versus inhibitory synapses. However, HPC significantly affected synaptic curvature and the percentage of synapses with presynaptic mitochondria, which showed concomitant change pattern. These findings demonstrate that HPC is associated with changes in synaptic ultrastructure. PMID:25155519

  12. Lexical and Affective Prosody in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grossman, Ruth B.; Bemis, Rhyannon H.; Skwerer, Daniela Plesa; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the perception and production of lexical stress and processing of affective prosody in adolescents with high-functioning autism (HFA). We hypothesized preserved processing of lexical and affective prosody but atypical lexical prosody production. Method: Sixteen children with HFA and 15 typically developing (TD) peers…

  13. Plasticity-Related Gene 1 Affects Mouse Barrel Cortex Function via Strengthening of Glutamatergic Thalamocortical Transmission.

    PubMed

    Unichenko, Petr; Kirischuk, Sergei; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Baumgart, Jan; Roskoden, Thomas; Schneider, Patrick; Sommer, Angela; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes; Luhmann, Heiko J

    2016-07-01

    Plasticity-related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific protein that modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Here we investigated the functional role of PRG-1 in adolescent and adult mouse barrel cortex both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with wild-type (WT) animals, PRG-1-deficient (KO) mice showed specific behavioral deficits in tests assessing sensorimotor integration and whisker-based sensory discrimination as shown in the beam balance/walking test and sandpaper tactile discrimination test, respectively. At P25-31, spontaneous network activity in the barrel cortex in vivo was higher in KO mice compared with WT littermates, but not at P16-19. At P16-19, sensory evoked cortical responses in vivo elicited by single whisker stimulation were comparable in KO and WT mice. In contrast, at P25-31 evoked responses were smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in WT animals, whereas KO mice revealed no such developmental changes. In thalamocortical slices from KO mice, spontaneous activity was increased already at P16-19, and glutamatergic thalamocortical inputs to Layer 4 spiny stellate neurons were potentiated. We conclude that genetic ablation of PRG-1 modulates already at P16-19 spontaneous and evoked excitability of the barrel cortex, including enhancement of thalamocortical glutamatergic inputs to Layer 4, which distorts sensory processing in adulthood.

  14. 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

  15. Plasticity-Related Gene 1 Affects Mouse Barrel Cortex Function via Strengthening of Glutamatergic Thalamocortical Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Unichenko, Petr; Kirischuk, Sergei; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Baumgart, Jan; Roskoden, Thomas; Schneider, Patrick; Sommer, Angela; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes; Luhmann, Heiko J.

    2016-01-01

    Plasticity-related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific protein that modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Here we investigated the functional role of PRG-1 in adolescent and adult mouse barrel cortex both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with wild-type (WT) animals, PRG-1-deficient (KO) mice showed specific behavioral deficits in tests assessing sensorimotor integration and whisker-based sensory discrimination as shown in the beam balance/walking test and sandpaper tactile discrimination test, respectively. At P25-31, spontaneous network activity in the barrel cortex in vivo was higher in KO mice compared with WT littermates, but not at P16-19. At P16-19, sensory evoked cortical responses in vivo elicited by single whisker stimulation were comparable in KO and WT mice. In contrast, at P25-31 evoked responses were smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in WT animals, whereas KO mice revealed no such developmental changes. In thalamocortical slices from KO mice, spontaneous activity was increased already at P16-19, and glutamatergic thalamocortical inputs to Layer 4 spiny stellate neurons were potentiated. We conclude that genetic ablation of PRG-1 modulates already at P16-19 spontaneous and evoked excitability of the barrel cortex, including enhancement of thalamocortical glutamatergic inputs to Layer 4, which distorts sensory processing in adulthood. PMID:26980613

  16. Plasticity-Related Gene 1 Affects Mouse Barrel Cortex Function via Strengthening of Glutamatergic Thalamocortical Transmission.

    PubMed

    Unichenko, Petr; Kirischuk, Sergei; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Baumgart, Jan; Roskoden, Thomas; Schneider, Patrick; Sommer, Angela; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes; Luhmann, Heiko J

    2016-07-01

    Plasticity-related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific protein that modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Here we investigated the functional role of PRG-1 in adolescent and adult mouse barrel cortex both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with wild-type (WT) animals, PRG-1-deficient (KO) mice showed specific behavioral deficits in tests assessing sensorimotor integration and whisker-based sensory discrimination as shown in the beam balance/walking test and sandpaper tactile discrimination test, respectively. At P25-31, spontaneous network activity in the barrel cortex in vivo was higher in KO mice compared with WT littermates, but not at P16-19. At P16-19, sensory evoked cortical responses in vivo elicited by single whisker stimulation were comparable in KO and WT mice. In contrast, at P25-31 evoked responses were smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in WT animals, whereas KO mice revealed no such developmental changes. In thalamocortical slices from KO mice, spontaneous activity was increased already at P16-19, and glutamatergic thalamocortical inputs to Layer 4 spiny stellate neurons were potentiated. We conclude that genetic ablation of PRG-1 modulates already at P16-19 spontaneous and evoked excitability of the barrel cortex, including enhancement of thalamocortical glutamatergic inputs to Layer 4, which distorts sensory processing in adulthood. PMID:26980613

  17. Endocytosis of VAMP is facilitated by a synaptic vesicle targeting signal

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    After synaptic vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane and release their contents, vesicle membrane proteins recycle by endocytosis and are targeted to newly formed synaptic vesicles. The membrane traffic of an epitope-tagged form of VAMP-2 (VAMP-TAg) was observed in transfected cells to identify sequence requirements for recycling of a synaptic vesicle membrane protein. In the neuroendocrine PC12 cell line VAMP-TAg is found not only in synaptic vesicles, but also in endosomes and on the plasma membrane. Endocytosis of VAMP-TAg is a rapid and saturable process. At high expression levels VAMP-TAg accumulates at the cell surface. Rapid endocytosis of VAMP-TAg also occurs in transfected CHO cells and is therefore independent of other synaptic proteins. The majority of the measured endocytosis is not directly into synaptic vesicles since mutations in VAMP-TAg that enhance synaptic vesicle targeting did not affect endocytosis. Nonetheless, mutations that inhibited synaptic vesicle targeting, in particular replacement of methionine-46 by alanine, inhibited endocytosis by 85% in PC12 cells and by 35% in CHO cells. These results demonstrate that the synaptic vesicle targeting signal is also used for endocytosis and can be recognized in cells lacking synaptic vesicles. PMID:8647886

  18. Activity-dependent facilitation of Synaptojanin and synaptic vesicle recycling by the Minibrain kinase.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Kan; Bregere, Catherine; Paluch, Jeremy; Lu, Jason F; Dickman, Dion K; Chang, Karen T

    2014-01-01

    Phosphorylation has emerged as a crucial regulatory mechanism in the nervous system to integrate the dynamic signalling required for proper synaptic development, function and plasticity, particularly during changes in neuronal activity. Here we present evidence that Minibrain (Mnb; also known as Dyrk1A), a serine/threonine kinase implicated in autism spectrum disorder and Down syndrome, is required presynaptically for normal synaptic growth and rapid synaptic vesicle endocytosis at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We find that Mnb-dependent phosphorylation of Synaptojanin (Synj) is required, in vivo, for complex endocytic protein interactions and to enhance Synj activity. Neuronal stimulation drives Mnb mobilization to endocytic zones and triggers Mnb-dependent phosphorylation of Synj. Our data identify Mnb as a synaptic kinase that promotes efficient synaptic vesicle recycling by dynamically calibrating Synj function at the Drosophila NMJ, and in turn endocytic capacity, to adapt to conditions of high synaptic activity. PMID:24977345

  19. Synaptic vesicle exocytosis in hippocampal synaptosomes correlates directly with total mitochondrial volume

    PubMed Central

    Ivannikov, Maxim V.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity in many regions of the central nervous system leads to the continuous adjustment of synaptic strength, which is essential for learning and memory. In this study, we show by visualizing synaptic vesicle release in mouse hippocampal synaptosomes that presynaptic mitochondria and specifically, their capacities for ATP production are essential determinants of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and its magnitude. Total internal reflection microscopy of FM1-43 loaded hippocampal synaptosomes showed that inhibition of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation reduces evoked synaptic release. This reduction was accompanied by a substantial drop in synaptosomal ATP levels. However, cytosolic calcium influx was not affected. Structural characterization of stimulated hippocampal synaptosomes revealed that higher total presynaptic mitochondrial volumes were consistently associated with higher levels of exocytosis. Thus, synaptic vesicle release is linked to the presynaptic ability to regenerate ATP, which itself is a utility of mitochondrial density and activity. PMID:22772899

  20. Possible Effects of Synaptic Imbalances on Oligodendrocyte–Axonic Interactions in Schizophrenia: A Hypothetical Model

    PubMed Central

    Mitterauer, Bernhard J.; Kofler-Westergren, Birgitta

    2011-01-01

    A model of glial–neuronal interactions is proposed that could be explanatory for the demyelination identified in brains with schizophrenia. It is based on two hypotheses: (1) that glia–neuron systems are functionally viable and important for normal brain function, and (2) that disruption of this postulated function disturbs the glial categorization function, as shown by formal analysis. According to this model, in schizophrenia receptors on astrocytes in glial–neuronal synaptic units are not functional, loosing their modulatory influence on synaptic neurotransmission. Hence, an unconstrained neurotransmission flux occurs that hyperactivates the axon and floods the cognate receptors of neurotransmitters on oligodendrocytes. The excess of neurotransmitters may have a toxic effect on oligodendrocytes and myelin, causing demyelination. In parallel, an increasing impairment of axons may disconnect neuronal networks. It is formally shown how oligodendrocytes normally categorize axonic information processing via their processes. Demyelination decomposes the oligodendrocyte–axonic system making it incapable to generate categories of information. This incoherence may be responsible for symptoms of disorganization in schizophrenia, such as thought disorder, inappropriate affect and incommunicable motor behavior. In parallel, the loss of oligodendrocytes affects gap junctions in the panglial syncytium, presumably responsible for memory impairment in schizophrenia. PMID:21647404

  1. Perception of affective prosody in major depression: a link to executive functions?

    PubMed

    Uekermann, Jennifer; Abdel-Hamid, Mona; Lehmkämper, Caroline; Vollmoeller, Wolfgang; Daum, Irene

    2008-07-01

    Major depression is associated with impairments of executive functions and affect perception deficits, both being linked to dysfunction of fronto-subcortical networks. So far, little is known about the relationship between cognitive and affective deficits in major depression. In the present investigation, affect perception and executive functions were assessed in 29 patients with a diagnosis of major depression (Dep) and 29 healthy controls (HC). Both groups were comparable on IQ, age, and gender distribution. Depressed patients showed deficits of perception of affective prosody, which were significantly related to inhibition, set shifting, and working memory. Our findings suggest a significant association between cognitive deficits and affect perception impairments in major depression, which may be of considerable clinical relevance and might be addressed in treatment approaches. Future studies are desirable to investigate the nature of the association in more detail.

  2. Negative affect predicts social functioning across schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: Findings from an integrated data analysis.

    PubMed

    Grove, Tyler B; Tso, Ivy F; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A; Taylor, Stephan F; Ellingrod, Vicki L; McInnis, Melvin G; Deldin, Patricia J

    2016-09-30

    Most people with a serious mental illness experience significant functional impairment despite ongoing pharmacological treatment. Thus, in order to improve outcomes, a better understanding of functional predictors is needed. This study examined negative affect, a construct comprised of negative emotional experience, as a predictor of social functioning across serious mental illnesses. One hundred twenty-seven participants with schizophrenia, 113 with schizoaffective disorder, 22 with psychosis not otherwise specified, 58 with bipolar disorder, and 84 healthy controls (N=404) completed self-report negative affect measures. Elevated levels of negative affect were observed in clinical participants compared with healthy controls. For both clinical and healthy control participants, negative affect measures were significantly correlated with social functioning, and consistently explained significant amounts of variance in functioning. For clinical participants, this relationship persisted even after accounting for cognition and positive/negative symptoms. The findings suggest that negative affect is a strong predictor of outcome across these populations and treatment of serious mental illnesses should target elevated negative affect in addition to cognition and positive/negative symptoms.

  3. [Motor Proteins of Microtubules and Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity].

    PubMed

    Vasilyeva, N A; Pivovarov, A S

    2016-01-01

    Motor proteins of microtubules, kinesin and dynein superfamily proteins play an important role in the intracellular transport. Inside a neuron they are involved in the transport of organelles, proteins and mRNAs along the axons and dendrites to the nerve terminals and back to the cell bodies. Disturbance of axonal transport may affect neurotransmitter release and short-term presynaptic plasticity. Disturbance of dendritic transport, in particular the recycling of synaptic receptors, affects postsynaptic plasticity. The review attempts to trace the connections between the motor proteins of microtubules and mechanisms of synaptic plasticity from the perspective of their involvement in the intracellular transport of proteins and organelles, which play role in the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. PMID:27538280

  4. Linking and Psychological Functioning in a Chinese Sample: The Multiple Mediation of Response to Positive Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Hongfei; Li, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the associations between linking, response to positive affect, and psychological functioning in Chinese college students. The results of conducting multiple mediation analyses indicated that emotion- and self-focused positive rumination mediated the relationship between linking and psychological functioning, whereas…

  5. Determining place and process: functional traits of ectomycorrhizal fungi that affect both community structure and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Koide, Roger T; Fernandez, Christopher; Malcolm, Glenna

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing interest amongst community ecologists in functional traits. Response traits determine membership in communities. Effect traits influence ecosystem function. One goal of community ecology is to predict the effect of environmental change on ecosystem function. Environmental change can directly and indirectly affect ecosystem function. Indirect effects are mediated through shifts in community structure. It is difficult to predict how environmental change will affect ecosystem function via the indirect route when the change in effect trait distribution is not predictable from the change in response trait distribution. When response traits function as effect traits, however, it becomes possible to predict the indirect effect of environmental change on ecosystem function. Here we illustrate four examples in which key attributes of ectomycorrhizal fungi function as both response and effect traits. While plant ecologists have discussed response and effect traits in the context of community structuring and ecosystem function, this approach has not been applied to ectomycorrhizal fungi. This is unfortunate because of the large effects of ectomycorrhizal fungi on ecosystem function. We hope to stimulate further research in this area in the hope of better predicting the ecosystem- and landscape-level effects of the fungi as influenced by changing environmental conditions.

  6. Synaptic Activity Regulates the Abundance and Binding of Complexin

    PubMed Central

    Wragg, Rachel T.; Gouzer, Géraldine; Bai, Jihong; Arianna, Gianluca; Ryan, Timothy A.; Dittman, Jeremy S.

    2015-01-01

    Nervous system function relies on precise chemical communication between neurons at specialized junctions known as synapses. Complexin (CPX) is one of a small number of cytoplasmic proteins that are indispensable in controlling neurotransmitter release through SNARE and synaptic vesicle interactions. However, the mechanisms that recruit and stabilize CPX are poorly understood. The mobility of CPX tagged with photoactivatable green fluorescent protein (pGFP) was quantified in vivo using Caenorhabditis elegans. Although pGFP escaped the synapse within seconds, CPX-pGFP displayed both fast and slow decay components, requiring minutes for complete exchange of the synaptic pool. The longer synaptic residence time of CPX arose from both synaptic vesicle and SNARE interactions, and surprisingly, CPX mobility depended on synaptic activity. Moreover, mouse CPX-GFP reversibly dispersed out of hippocampal presynaptic terminals during stimulation, and blockade of vesicle fusion prevented CPX dispersion. Hence, synaptic CPX can rapidly redistribute and this exchange is influenced by neuronal activity, potentially contributing to use-dependent plasticity. PMID:25809246

  7. The role of mitochondrially derived ATP in synaptic vesicle recycling.

    PubMed

    Pathak, Divya; Shields, Lauren Y; Mendelsohn, Bryce A; Haddad, Dominik; Lin, Wei; Gerencser, Akos A; Kim, Hwajin; Brand, Martin D; Edwards, Robert H; Nakamura, Ken

    2015-09-11

    Synaptic mitochondria are thought to be critical in supporting neuronal energy requirements at the synapse, and bioenergetic failure at the synapse may impair neural transmission and contribute to neurodegeneration. However, little is known about the energy requirements of synaptic vesicle release or whether these energy requirements go unmet in disease, primarily due to a lack of appropriate tools and sensitive assays. To determine the dependence of synaptic vesicle cycling on mitochondrially derived ATP levels, we developed two complementary assays sensitive to mitochondrially derived ATP in individual, living hippocampal boutons. The first is a functional assay for mitochondrially derived ATP that uses the extent of synaptic vesicle cycling as a surrogate for ATP level. The second uses ATP FRET sensors to directly measure ATP at the synapse. Using these assays, we show that endocytosis has high ATP requirements and that vesicle reacidification and exocytosis require comparatively little energy. We then show that to meet these energy needs, mitochondrially derived ATP is rapidly dispersed in axons, thereby maintaining near normal levels of ATP even in boutons lacking mitochondria. As a result, the capacity for synaptic vesicle cycling is similar in boutons without mitochondria as in those with mitochondria. Finally, we show that loss of a key respiratory subunit implicated in Leigh disease markedly decreases mitochondrially derived ATP levels in axons, thus inhibiting synaptic vesicle cycling. This proves that mitochondria-based energy failure can occur and be detected in individual neurons that have a genetic mitochondrial defect.

  8. Reactive astrocytosis-induced perturbation of synaptic homeostasis is restored by nerve growth factor.

    PubMed

    Cirillo, Giovanni; Bianco, Maria Rosaria; Colangelo, Anna Maria; Cavaliere, Carlo; Daniele, De Luca; Zaccaro, Laura; Alberghina, Lilia; Papa, Michele

    2011-03-01

    Reactive gliosis has been implicated in both inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. However, mechanisms by which astrocytic activation affects synaptic efficacy have been poorly elucidated. We have used the spared nerve injury (SNI) of the sciatic nerve to induce reactive astrocytosis in the lumbar spinal cord and investigate its potential role in disrupting the neuro-glial circuitry. Analysis of spinal cord sections revealed that SNI was associated with an increase of microglial (Iba1) and astrocytic (GFAP) markers. These changes, indicative of reactive gliosis, were paralleled by (i) a decrease of glial amino acid transporters (GLT1 and GlyT1) and increased levels of (ii) neuronal glutamate transporter EAAC1, (iii) neuronal vesicular GABA transporter (vGAT) and (iv) the GABAergic neuron marker GAD65/67. Besides the increase of Glutamate/GABA ratio, indicative of the perturbation of synaptic circuitry homeostasis, the boost of glutamate also compromised glial function in neuroprotection by up-regulating the xCT subunit of the glutamate-cystine antiport system and reducing glutathione (GSH) production. Finally, this study also shows that all these structural changes were linked to an alteration of endogenous NGF metabolism, as demonstrated by the decrease of endogenous NGF expression levels and increased activity of the NGF-degrading metalloproteinases. All the changes displayed by SNI-animals were reversed by a 7-days i.t. administration of NGF or GM6001, a generic metalloproteinase inhibitor, as compared to vehicle (ACSF)-treated animals. All together, these data strongly support the correlation between reactive astrogliosis and mechanisms underlying the perturbation of the synaptic circuitry in the SNI model of peripheral nerve injury, and the essential role of NGF in restoring both synaptic homeostasis and the neuroprotective function of glia.

  9. Absence of functional active zone protein Bassoon affects assembly and transport of ribbon precursors during early steps of photoreceptor synaptogenesis.

    PubMed

    Regus-Leidig, Hanna; tom Dieck, Susanne; Brandstätter, Johann Helmut

    2010-06-01

    The retinal photoreceptor ribbon synapse is a structurally and functionally unique type of chemical synapse, specialized for tonic release of neurotransmitter in the dark. It is characterized by the presynaptic ribbon, an electron-dense organelle at the active zone, which is covered by hundreds of synaptic vesicles. Recently we showed that photoreceptor ribbon complexes are assembled from non-membranous, spherical densities--the precursor spheres--during the first two postnatal weeks of photoreceptor synaptogenesis. A core component of the precursor spheres and a key player in attaching the ribbon to the active zone is the presynaptic cytomatrix protein Bassoon. In this study, we examined in a comprehensive light and electron microscopic analysis whether Bassoon plays a role in the formation of the precursor spheres using Bassoon mutant mice lacking functional Bassoon. We report that developing Bassoon mutant photoreceptors contain fewer and smaller precursor spheres and that transport of precursor spheres to nascent synapses is delayed compared to wild-type controls. Moreover, western blot analyses of homogenates from postnatal day 0 (P0) to P14 Bassoon mutant retinae exhibit lower RIBEYE and Piccolo protein levels compared to the wild type, indicating elevated protein degradation in the absence of Bassoon. Our findings reveal a novel function of Bassoon in the early formation and delivery of precursor spheres to nascent ribbon synaptic sites in addition to its known role in ribbon anchoring during later stages of photoreceptor ribbon synaptogenesis.

  10. Balance and stability of synaptic structures during synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Daniel; Bonhoeffer, Tobias; Scheuss, Volker

    2014-04-16

    Subsynaptic structures such as bouton, active zone, postsynaptic density (PSD) and dendritic spine, are highly correlated in their dimensions and also correlate with synapse strength. Why this is so and how such correlations are maintained during synaptic plasticity remains poorly understood. We induced spine enlargement by two-photon glutamate uncaging and examined the relationship between spine, PSD, and bouton size by two-photon time-lapse imaging and electron microscopy. In enlarged spines the PSD-associated protein Homer1c increased rapidly, whereas the PSD protein PSD-95 increased with a delay and only in cases of persistent spine enlargement. In the case of nonpersistent spine enlargement, the PSD proteins remained unchanged or returned to their original level. The ultrastructure at persistently enlarged spines displayed matching dimensions of spine, PSD, and bouton, indicating their correlated enlargement. This supports a model in which balancing of synaptic structures is a hallmark for the stabilization of structural modifications during synaptic plasticity. PMID:24742464

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Balance within the Neurexin Trans-Synaptic Connexus Stabilizes Behavioral Control.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Raymond A; Eapen, Valsamma

    2014-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by a broad spectrum of behavioral deficits of unknown etiology. ASD associated mutations implicate numerous neurological pathways including a common association with the neurexin trans-synaptic connexus (NTSC) which regulates neuronal cell-adhesion, neuronal circuitry, and neurotransmission. Comparable DNA lesions affecting the NTSC, however, associate with a diversity of behavioral deficits within and without the autism spectrum including a very strong association with Tourette syndrome. The NTSC is comprised of numerous post-synaptic ligands competing for trans-synaptic connection with one of the many different neurexin receptors yet no apparent association exists between specific NTSC molecules/complexes and specific behavioral deficits. Together these findings indicate a fundamental role for NTSC-balance in stabilizing pre-behavioral control. Further molecular and clinical characterization and stratification of ASD and TS on the basis of NTSC status will help elucidate the molecular basis of behavior - and define how the NTSC functions in combination with other molecular determinates to strengthen behavioral control and specify behavioral deficits.

  13. Forebrain glutamatergic neurons mediate leptin action on depression-like behaviors and synaptic depression.

    PubMed

    Guo, Ming; Lu, Yuan; Garza, Jacob C; Li, Yuqing; Chua, Streamson C; Zhang, Wei; Lu, Bai; Lu, Xin-Yun

    2012-01-01

    The glutamatergic system has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression and the mechanism of action of antidepressants. Leptin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, has antidepressant-like properties. However, the functional role of leptin receptor (Lepr) signaling in glutamatergic neurons remains to be elucidated. In this study, we generated conditional knockout mice in which the long form of Lepr was ablated selectively in glutamatergic neurons located in the forebrain structures, including the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (Lepr cKO). Lepr cKO mice exhibit normal growth and body weight. Behavioral characterization of Lepr cKO mice reveals depression-like behavioral deficits, including anhedonia, behavioral despair, enhanced learned helplessness and social withdrawal, with no evident signs of anxiety. In addition, loss of Lepr in forebrain glutamatergic neurons facilitates NMDA-induced hippocampal long-term synaptic depression (LTD), whereas conventional LTD or long-term potentiation (LTP) was not affected. The facilitated LTD induction requires activation of the GluN2B subunit as it was completely blocked by a selective GluN2B antagonist. Moreover, Lepr cKO mice are highly sensitive to the antidepressant-like behavioral effects of the GluN2B antagonist but resistant to leptin. These results support important roles for Lepr signaling in glutamatergic neurons in regulating depression-related behaviors and modulating excitatory synaptic strength, suggesting a possible association between synaptic depression and behavioral manifestations of depression.

  14. Local Sharing as a Predominant Determinant of Synaptic Matrix Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Zamorano, Pedro; Dresbach, Thomas; Boeckers, Tobias; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Garner, Craig C; Ziv, Noam E

    2006-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that central nervous system synapses can persist for weeks, months, perhaps lifetimes, yet little is known as to how synapses maintain their structural and functional characteristics for so long. As a step toward a better understanding of synaptic maintenance we examined the loss, redistribution, reincorporation, and replenishment dynamics of Synapsin I and ProSAP2/Shank3, prominent presynaptic and postsynaptic matrix molecules, respectively. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and photoactivation experiments revealed that both molecules are continuously lost from, redistributed among, and reincorporated into synaptic structures at time-scales of minutes to hours. Exchange rates were not affected by inhibiting protein synthesis or proteasome-mediated protein degradation, were accelerated by stimulation, and greatly exceeded rates of replenishment from somatic sources. These findings indicate that the dynamics of key synaptic matrix molecules may be dominated by local protein exchange and redistribution, whereas protein synthesis and degradation serve to maintain and regulate the sizes of local, shared pools of these proteins. PMID:16903782

  15. Graded boosting of synaptic signals by low-threshold voltage-activated calcium conductance

    PubMed Central

    Carbó Tano, Martín; Vilarchao, María Eugenia

    2015-01-01

    Low-threshold voltage-activated calcium conductances (LT-VACCs) play a substantial role in shaping the electrophysiological attributes of neurites. We have investigated how these conductances affect synaptic integration in a premotor nonspiking (NS) neuron of the leech nervous system. These cells exhibit an extensive neuritic tree, do not fire Na+-dependent spikes, but express an LT-VACC that was sensitive to 250 μM Ni2+ and 100 μM NNC 55-0396 (NNC). NS neurons responded to excitation of mechanosensory pressure neurons with depolarizing responses for which amplitude was a linear function of the presynaptic firing frequency. NNC decreased these synaptic responses and abolished the concomitant widespread Ca2+ signals. Coherent with the interpretation that the LT-VACC amplified signals at the postsynaptic level, this conductance also amplified the responses of NS neurons to direct injection of sinusoidal current. Synaptic amplification thus is achieved via a positive feedback in which depolarizing signals activate an LT-VACC that, in turn, boosts these signals. The wide distribution of LT-VACC could support the active propagation of depolarizing signals, turning the complex NS neuritic tree into a relatively compact electrical compartment. PMID:25972583

  16. A phenomenological theory of spatially structured local synaptic connectivity.

    PubMed

    Amirikian, Bagrat

    2005-06-01

    The structure of local synaptic circuits is the key to understanding cortical function and how neuronal functional modules such as cortical columns are formed. The central problem in deciphering cortical microcircuits is the quantification of synaptic connectivity between neuron pairs. I present a theoretical model that accounts for the axon and dendrite morphologies of pre- and postsynaptic cells and provides the average number of synaptic contacts formed between them as a function of their relative locations in three-dimensional space. An important aspect of the current approach is the representation of a complex structure of an axonal/dendritic arbor as a superposition of basic structures-synaptic clouds. Each cloud has three structural parameters that can be directly estimated from two-dimensional drawings of the underlying arbor. Using empirical data available in literature, I applied this theory to three morphologically different types of cell pairs. I found that, within a wide range of cell separations, the theory is in very good agreement with empirical data on (i) axonal-dendritic contacts of pyramidal cells and (ii) somatic synapses formed by the axons of inhibitory interneurons. Since for many types of neurons plane arborization drawings are available from literature, this theory can provide a practical means for quantitatively deriving local synaptic circuits based on the actual observed densities of specific types of neurons and their morphologies. It can also have significant implications for computational models of cortical networks by making it possible to wire up simulated neural networks in a realistic fashion.

  17. Differentiated effect of ageing on the enzymes of Krebs' cycle, electron transfer complexes and glutamate metabolism of non-synaptic and intra-synaptic mitochondria from cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Villa, R F; Gorini, A; Hoyer, S

    2006-11-01

    The effect of ageing on the activity of enzymes linked to Krebs' cycle, electron transfer chain and glutamate metabolism was studied in three different types of mitochondria of cerebral cortex of 1-year old and 2-year old male Wistar rats. We assessed the maximum rate (V(max)) of the mitochondrial enzyme activities in non-synaptic perikaryal mitochondria, and in two populations of intra-synaptic mitochondria. The results indicated that: (i) in normal, steady-state cerebral cortex the values of the catalytic activities of the enzymes markedly differed in the various populations of mitochondria; (ii) in intra-synaptic mitochondria, ageing affected the catalytic properties of the enzymes linked to Krebs' cycle, electron transfer chain and glutamate metabolism; (iii) these changes were more evident in intra-synaptic "heavy" than "light" mitochondria. These results indicate a different age-related vulnerability of subpopulations of mitochondria in vivo located into synapses than non-synaptic ones.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Prenatal alcohol exposure alters synaptic activity of adult hippocampal dentate granule cells under conditions of enriched environment.

    PubMed

    Kajimoto, Kenta; Valenzuela, C Fernando; Allan, Andrea M; Ge, Shaoyu; Gu, Yan; Cunningham, Lee Anna

    2016-08-01

    Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) results in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which is characterized by a wide range of cognitive and behavioral deficits that may be linked to impaired hippocampal function and adult neurogenesis. Preclinical studies in mouse models of FASD indicate that PAE markedly attenuates enrichment-mediated increases in the number of adult-generated hippocampal dentate granule cells (aDGCs), but whether synaptic activity is also affected has not been studied. Here, we utilized retroviral birth-dating coupled with whole cell patch electrophysiological recordings to assess the effects of PAE on enrichment-mediated changes in excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activity as a function of DGC age. We found that exposure to an enriched environment (EE) had no effect on baseline synaptic activity of 4- or 8-week-old aDGCs from control mice, but significantly enhanced the excitatory/inhibitory ratio of synaptic activity in 8-week-old aDGCs from PAE mice. In contrast, exposure to EE significantly enhanced the excitatory/inhibitory ratio of synaptic activity in older pre-existing DGCs situated in the outer dentate granule cell layer (i.e., those generated during embryonic development; dDGCs) in control mice, an effect that was blunted in PAE mice. These findings indicate distinct electrophysiological responses of hippocampal DGCs to behavioral challenge based on cellular ontogenetic age, and suggest that PAE disrupts EE-mediated changes in overall hippocampal network activity. These findings may have implications for future therapeutic targeting of hippocampal dentate circuitry in clinical FASD. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27009742

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    The Reelin signaling pathway is implicated in processes controlling synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. A single direct in vivo application of Reelin enhances long-term potentiation, increases dendritic spine density and improves associative and spatial learning and memory. Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurological disorder that presents with an overall defect in synaptic function, including decreased long-term potentiation, reduced dendritic spine density, and deficits in learning and memory, making it an attractive model in which to examine the ability of Reelin to recover synaptic function and cognitive deficits. In this study, we investigated the effects of Reelin administration on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in a mouse model of AS and demonstrated that bilateral, intraventricular injections of Reelin recover synaptic function and corresponding hippocampus-dependent associative and spatial learning and memory. Additionally, we describe alteration of the Reelin profile in tissue from both the AS mouse and post-mortem human brain. PMID:25864922

  2. LRRK2 regulates retrograde synaptic compensation at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction

    PubMed Central

    Penney, Jay; Tsurudome, Kazuya; Liao, Edward H.; Kauwe, Grant; Gray, Lindsay; Yanagiya, Akiko; R. Calderon, Mario; Sonenberg, Nahum; Haghighi, A. Pejmun

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease gene leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) has been implicated in a number of processes including the regulation of mitochondrial function, autophagy and endocytic dynamics; nevertheless, we know little about its potential role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity. Here we demonstrate that postsynaptic knockdown of the fly homologue of LRRK2 thwarts retrograde, homeostatic synaptic compensation at the larval neuromuscular junction. Conversely, postsynaptic overexpression of either the fly or human LRRK2 transgene induces a retrograde enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release by increasing the size of the release ready pool of vesicles. We show that LRRK2 promotes cap-dependent translation and identify Furin 1 as its translational target, which is required for the synaptic function of LRRK2. As the regulation of synaptic homeostasis plays a fundamental role in ensuring normal and stable synaptic function, our findings suggest that aberrant function of LRRK2 may lead to destabilization of neural circuits. PMID:27432119

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The Reelin signaling pathway is implicated in processes controlling synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. A single direct in vivo application of Reelin enhances long-term potentiation, increases dendritic spine density and improves associative and spatial learning and memory. Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurological disorder that presents with an overall defect in synaptic function, including decreased long-term potentiation, reduced dendritic spine density, and deficits in learning and memory, making it an attractive model in which to examine the ability of Reelin to recover synaptic function and cognitive deficits. In this study, we investigated the effects of Reelin administration on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in a mouse model of AS and demonstrated that bilateral, intraventricular injections of Reelin recover synaptic function and corresponding hippocampus-dependent associative and spatial learning and memory. Additionally, we describe alteration of the Reelin profile in tissue from both the AS mouse and post-mortem human brain. PMID:25864922

  4. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  5. Resistance of Cu(Aβ4-16) to Copper Capture by Metallothionein-3 Supports a Function for the Aβ4-42 Peptide as a Synaptic Cu(II) Scavenger.

    PubMed

    Wezynfeld, Nina E; Stefaniak, Ewelina; Stachucy, Kinga; Drozd, Agnieszka; Płonka, Dawid; Drew, Simon C; Krężel, Artur; Bal, Wojciech

    2016-07-11

    Aβ4-42 is a major species of Aβ peptide in the brains of both healthy individuals and those affected by Alzheimer's disease. It has recently been demonstrated to bind Cu(II) with an affinity approximately 3000 times higher than the commonly studied Aβ1-42 and Aβ1-40 peptides, which are implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Metallothionein-3, a protein considered to orchestrate copper and zinc metabolism in the brain and provide antioxidant protection, was shown to extract Cu(II) from Aβ1-40 when acting in its native Zn7 MT-3 form. This reaction is assumed to underlie the neuroprotective effect of Zn7 MT-3 against Aβ toxicity. In this work, we used the truncated model peptides Aβ1-16 and Aβ4-16 to demonstrate that the high-affinity Cu(II) complex of Aβ4-16 is resistant to Zn7 MT-3 reactivity. This indicates that the analogous complex of the full-length peptide Cu(Aβ4-42) will not yield copper to MT-3 in the brain, thus supporting the concept of a physiological role for Aβ4-42 as a Cu(II) scavenger in the synaptic cleft. PMID:27238224

  6. Affect and the Brain's Functional Organization: A Resting-State Connectivity Approach

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Christiane S.; Okon-Singer, Hadas; Craddock, R. Cameron; Villringer, Arno; Margulies, Daniel S.

    2013-01-01

    The question of how affective processing is organized in the brain is still a matter of controversial discussions. Based on previous initial evidence, several suggestions have been put forward regarding the involved brain areas: (a) right-lateralized dominance in emotional processing, (b) hemispheric dominance according to positive or negative valence, (c) one network for all emotional processing and (d) region-specific discrete emotion matching. We examined these hypotheses by investigating intrinsic functional connectivity patterns that covary with results of the Positive and Negative Affective Schedule (PANAS) from 65 participants. This approach has the advantage of being able to test connectivity rather than activation, and not requiring a potentially confounding task. Voxelwise functional connectivity from 200 regions-of-interest covering the whole brain was assessed. Positive and negative affect covaried with functional connectivity involving a shared set of regions, including the medial prefrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate, the visual cortex and the cerebellum. In addition, each affective domain had unique connectivity patterns, and the lateralization index showed a right hemispheric dominance for negative affect. Therefore, our results suggest a predominantly right-hemispheric network with affect-specific elements as the underlying organization of emotional processes. PMID:23935850

  7. Opposing Effects of Intrinsic Conductance and Correlated Synaptic Input on Vm-Fluctuations during Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kolind, Jens; Hounsgaard, Jørn; Berg, Rune W.

    2012-01-01

    Neurons often receive massive concurrent bombardment of synaptic inhibition and excitation during functional network activity. This increases membrane conductance and causes fluctuations in membrane potential (Vm) and spike timing. The conductance increase is commonly attributed to synaptic conductance, but also includes the intrinsic conductances recruited during network activity. These two sources of conductance have contrasting dynamic properties at sub-threshold membrane potentials. Synaptic transmitter gated conductance changes abruptly and briefly with each presynaptic action potential. If the spikes arrive at random times the changes in synaptic conductance are therefore stochastic and rapid during intense network activity. In comparison, sub-threshold intrinsic conductances vary smoothly in time. In the present study this discrepancy is investigated using two conductance-based models: a (1) compartment model and a (2) compartment with realistic slow intrinsic conductances. We examine the effects of varying the relative contributions of non-fluctuating intrinsic conductance with fluctuating concurrent inhibitory and excitatory synaptic conductance. For given levels of correlation in the synaptic input we find that the magnitude of the membrane fluctuations uniquely determines the relative contribution of synaptic and intrinsic conductance. We also quantify how Vm-fluctuations vary with synaptic correlations for fixed ratios of synaptic and intrinsic conductance. Interestingly, the levels of Vm -fluctuations and conductance observed experimentally during functional network activity leave little room for intrinsic conductance to contribute. Even without intrinsic conductances the variance in Vm -fluctuations can only be explained by a high degree of correlated firing among presynaptic neurons. PMID:22783184

  8. Sexual function and affect in parkinsonian men treated with L-dopa.

    PubMed

    Brown, E; Brown, G M; Kofman, O; Quarrington, B

    1978-12-01

    Using psychiatric interviews, sexual and affect rating scales, hormonal studies, and neurologic assessment, the authors assessed the effect of L-dopa treatment on men with Parkinson's disease. Patients demonstrated variable affect changes. Approximately one-half of the patients reported an increased sexual interest that was not related to improvement in locomotor function. Hormonal factors appeared to be involved. The findings suggest that male parkinsonian patients who possess an intact hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis experience increased sexual function related to L-dopa treatment.

  9. On the Estimation of Population-Specific Synaptic Currents from Laminar Multielectrode Recordings

    PubMed Central

    Gratiy, Sergey L.; Devor, Anna; Einevoll, Gaute T.; Dale, Anders M.

    2011-01-01

    Multielectrode array recordings of extracellular electrical field potentials along the depth axis of the cerebral cortex are gaining popularity as an approach for investigating the activity of cortical neuronal circuits. The low-frequency band of extracellular potential, i.e., the local field potential (LFP), is assumed to reflect synaptic activity and can be used to extract the laminar current source density (CSD) profile. However, physiological interpretation of the CSD profile is uncertain because it does not disambiguate synaptic inputs from passive return currents and does not identify population-specific contributions to the signal. These limitations prevent interpretation of the CSD in terms of synaptic functional connectivity in the columnar microcircuit. Here we present a novel anatomically informed model for decomposing the LFP signal into population-specific contributions and for estimating the corresponding activated synaptic projections. This involves a linear forward model, which predicts the population-specific laminar LFP in response to synaptic inputs applied at different positions along each population and a linear inverse model, which reconstructs laminar profiles of synaptic inputs from laminar LFP data based on the forward model. Assuming spatially smooth synaptic inputs within individual populations, the model decomposes the columnar LFP into population-specific contributions and estimates the corresponding laminar profiles of synaptic input as a function of time. It should be noted that constant synaptic currents at all positions along a neuronal population cannot be reconstructed, as this does not result in a change in extracellular potential. However, constraining the solution using a priori knowledge of the spatial distribution of synaptic connectivity provides the further advantage of estimating the strength of active synaptic projections from the columnar LFP profile thus fully specifying synaptic inputs. PMID:22203801

  10. Dephosphorylated synapsin I anchors synaptic vesicles to actin cytoskeleton: an analysis by videomicroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ceccaldi, P E; Grohovaz, F; Benfenati, F; Chieregatti, E; Greengard, P; Valtorta, F

    1995-03-01

    Synapsin I is a synaptic vesicle-associated protein which inhibits neurotransmitter release, an effect which is abolished upon its phosphorylation by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II). Based on indirect evidence, it was suggested that this effect on neurotransmitter release may be achieved by the reversible anchoring of synaptic vesicles to the actin cytoskeleton of the nerve terminal. Using video-enhanced microscopy, we have now obtained experimental evidence in support of this model: the presence of dephosphorylated synapsin I is necessary for synaptic vesicles to bind actin; synapsin I is able to promote actin polymerization and bundling of actin filaments in the presence of synaptic vesicles; the ability to cross-link synaptic vesicles and actin is specific for synapsin I and is not shared by other basic proteins; the cross-linking between synaptic vesicles and actin is specific for the membrane of synaptic vesicles and does not reflect either a non-specific binding of membranes to the highly surface active synapsin I molecule or trapping of vesicles within the thick bundles of actin filaments; the formation of the ternary complex is virtually abolished when synapsin I is phosphorylated by CaM kinase II. The data indicate that synapsin I markedly affects synaptic vesicle traffic and cytoskeleton assembly in the nerve terminal and provide a molecular basis for the ability of synapsin I to regulate the availability of synaptic vesicles for exocytosis and thereby the efficiency of neurotransmitter release. PMID:7876313

  11. Prion protein facilitates synaptic vesicle release by enhancing release probability.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Susan W; Nugent, Marie L; Dinsdale, David; Steinert, Joern R

    2014-09-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) has been implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases as a result of protein misfolding. In humans, prion disease occurs typically with a sporadic origin where uncharacterized mechanisms induce spontaneous PrP(C) misfolding leading to neurotoxic PrP-scrapie formation (PrP(SC)). The consequences of misfolded PrP(C) signalling are well characterized but little is known about the physiological roles of PrP(C) and its involvement in disease. Here we investigated wild-type PrP(C) signalling in synaptic function as well as the effects of a disease-relevant mutation within PrP(C) (proline-to-leucine mutation at codon 101). Expression of wild-type PrP(C) at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction leads to enhanced synaptic responses as detected in larger miniature synaptic currents which are caused by enlarged presynaptic vesicles. The expression of the mutated PrP(C) leads to reduction of both parameters compared with wild-type PrP(C). Wild-type PrP(C) enhances synaptic release probability and quantal content but reduces the size of the ready-releasable vesicle pool. Partially, these changes are not detectable following expression of the mutant PrP(C). A behavioural test revealed that expression of either protein caused an increase in locomotor activities consistent with enhanced synaptic release and stronger muscle contractions. Both proteins were sensitive to proteinase digestion. These data uncover new functions of wild-type PrP(C) at the synapse with a disease-relevant mutation in PrP(C) leading to diminished functional phenotypes. Thus, our data present essential new information possibly related to prion pathogenesis in which a functional synaptic role of PrP(C) is compromised due to its advanced conversion into PrP(SC) thereby creating a lack-of-function scenario.

  12. (28)Silicon radiation-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of naïve and cognitively tested mice.

    PubMed

    Raber, Jacob; Rudobeck, Emil; Campbell-Beachler, Mary; Allen, Antiño R; Allen, Barrett; Rosi, Susanna; Nelson, Gregory A; Ramachandran, Shaila; Turner, Jennifer; Fike, John R; Vlkolinsky, Roman

    2014-04-01

    The space radiation environment consists of multiple species of high-energy charge particles (HZE), including (56)Fe and (28)Si nuclei, that may impact neuronal cells, but their damaging effects on the central nervous system (CNS) have been poorly defined. Hippocampus-dependent memory functions have been shown to be highly sensitive to (56)Fe HZE particles, which poses a significant risk to the cognitive performance of astronauts during space missions. While low doses of (56)Fe radiation do not induce cell death of mature neurons, they affect synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region, the principal neuronal output of the hippocampal formation involved in memory formation. The effects of (28)Si on the CNS have not been defined. Compared to behaviorally naïve mice, cognitive testing might affect synaptic plasticity and the effects of (28)Si radiation on synaptic plasticity might be modulated by prior cognitive testing. Therefore, in the current study, we quantified the effects of whole-body (28)Si radiation (600 MeV/n, 0.25 and 1 Gy) on hippocampus-dependent contextual freezing and synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of animals not exposed (behaviorally naïve mice) and animals exposed to the contextual freezing test (cognitively tested mice). In behaviorally naïve mice exposed to 0.25 and 1 Gy of (28)Si radiation, the magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP) was enhanced. However, in mice irradiated with 0.25 Gy contextual fear conditioning was enhanced and was associated with a further enhancement of the LTP magnitude. Such increase in synaptic plasticity was not seen in cognitively tested mice irradiated with 1 Gy. Thus, low dose (28)Si radiation has effects on synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of the hippocampus and these effects are modulated by cognitive testing in a contextual fear-conditioning test. PMID:24673255

  13. (28)Silicon radiation-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of naïve and cognitively tested mice.

    PubMed

    Raber, Jacob; Rudobeck, Emil; Campbell-Beachler, Mary; Allen, Antiño R; Allen, Barrett; Rosi, Susanna; Nelson, Gregory A; Ramachandran, Shaila; Turner, Jennifer; Fike, John R; Vlkolinsky, Roman

    2014-04-01

    The space radiation environment consists of multiple species of high-energy charge particles (HZE), including (56)Fe and (28)Si nuclei, that may impact neuronal cells, but their damaging effects on the central nervous system (CNS) have been poorly defined. Hippocampus-dependent memory functions have been shown to be highly sensitive to (56)Fe HZE particles, which poses a significant risk to the cognitive performance of astronauts during space missions. While low doses of (56)Fe radiation do not induce cell death of mature neurons, they affect synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region, the principal neuronal output of the hippocampal formation involved in memory formation. The effects of (28)Si on the CNS have not been defined. Compared to behaviorally naïve mice, cognitive testing might affect synaptic plasticity and the effects of (28)Si radiation on synaptic plasticity might be modulated by prior cognitive testing. Therefore, in the current study, we quantified the effects of whole-body (28)Si radiation (600 MeV/n, 0.25 and 1 Gy) on hippocampus-dependent contextual freezing and synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of animals not exposed (behaviorally naïve mice) and animals exposed to the contextual freezing test (cognitively tested mice). In behaviorally naïve mice exposed to 0.25 and 1 Gy of (28)Si radiation, the magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP) was enhanced. However, in mice irradiated with 0.25 Gy contextual fear conditioning was enhanced and was associated with a further enhancement of the LTP magnitude. Such increase in synaptic plasticity was not seen in cognitively tested mice irradiated with 1 Gy. Thus, low dose (28)Si radiation has effects on synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of the hippocampus and these effects are modulated by cognitive testing in a contextual fear-conditioning test.

  14. First effects of rising amyloid-β in transgenic mouse brain: synaptic transmission and gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Cummings, Damian M.; Liu, Wenfei; Portelius, Erik; Bayram, Sevinç; Yasvoina, Marina; Ho, Sui-Hin; Smits, Hélène; Ali, Shabinah S.; Steinberg, Rivka; Pegasiou, Chrysia-Maria; James, Owain T.; Matarin, Mar; Richardson, Jill C.; Zetterberg, Henrik; Blennow, Kaj; Hardy, John A.; Salih, Dervis A.

    2015-01-01

    strongly affected but often showing significant changes only by 4 months. We thus demonstrate that, in a mouse model of rising amyloid-β, the initial deposition of plaques does not occur until several months after the first amyloid-β becomes detectable but coincides with a rapid acceleration in the rise of amyloid-β levels and the amyloid-β42:amyloid-β40 ratio. Prior to acceleration, however, there is already a pronounced synaptic dysfunction, reflected as changes in synaptic transmission and altered gene expression, indicating that restoring synaptic function early in the disease progression may represent the earliest possible target for intervention in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:25981962

  15. p53 prevents neurodegeneration by regulating synaptic genes.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Paola; Frost, Bess; Peng, Shouyong; Yang, Yawei J; Park, Peter J; Feany, Mel

    2014-12-16

    DNA damage has been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies, but the consequences of genotoxic stress to postmitotic neurons are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that p53, a key mediator of the DNA damage response, plays a neuroprotective role in a Drosophila model of tauopathy. Further, through a whole-genome ChIP-chip analysis, we identify genes controlled by p53 in postmitotic neurons. We genetically validate a specific pathway, synaptic function, in p53-mediated neuroprotection. We then demonstrate that the control of synaptic genes by p53 is conserved in mammals. Collectively, our results implicate synaptic function as a central target in p53-dependent protection from neurodegeneration.

  16. Dendritic Spines as Tunable Regulators of Synaptic Signals

    PubMed Central

    Tønnesen, Jan; Nägerl, U. Valentin

    2016-01-01

    Neurons are perpetually receiving vast amounts of information in the form of synaptic input from surrounding cells. The majority of input occurs at thousands of dendritic spines, which mediate excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain, and is integrated by the dendritic and somatic compartments of the postsynaptic neuron. The functional role of dendritic spines in shaping biochemical and electrical signals transmitted via synapses has long been intensely studied. Yet, many basic questions remain unanswered, in particular regarding the impact of their nanoscale morphology on electrical signals. Here, we review our current understanding of the structure and function relationship of dendritic spines, focusing on the controversy of electrical compartmentalization and the potential role of spine structural changes in synaptic plasticity. PMID:27340393

  17. Corticosterone mediates the synaptic and behavioral effects of chronic stress at rat hippocampal temporoammonic synapses.

    PubMed

    Kvarta, Mark D; Bradbrook, Keighly E; Dantrassy, Hannah M; Bailey, Aileen M; Thompson, Scott M

    2015-09-01

    Chronic stress is thought to impart risk for depression via alterations in brain structure and function, but contributions of specific mediators in generating these changes remain unclear. We test the hypothesis that stress-induced increases in corticosterone (CORT), the primary rodent glucocorticoid, are the key mediator of stress-induced depressive-like behavioral changes and synaptic dysfunction in the rat hippocampus. In rats, we correlated changes in cognitive and affective behavioral tasks (spatial memory consolidation, anhedonia, and neohypophagia) with impaired excitatory strength at temporoammonic-CA1 (TA-CA1) synapses, an archetypical stress-sensitive excitatory synapse. We tested whether elevated CORT was sufficient and necessary to generate a depressive-like behavioral phenotype and decreased excitatory signaling observed at TA-CA1 after chronic unpredictable stress (CUS). Chronic CORT administration induced an anhedonia-like behavioral state and neohypophagic behavior. Like CUS, chronic, but not acute, CORT generated an impaired synaptic phenotype characterized by reduced α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)-preferring glutamate receptor-mediated excitation at TA-CA1 synapses, decreased AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit 1 protein expression, and altered serotonin-1B receptor-mediated potentiation. Repeatedly blunting stress-induced increases of CORT during CUS with the CORT synthesis inhibitor metyrapone (MET) prevented these stress-induced neurobehavioral changes. MET also prevented the CUS-induced impairment of spatial memory consolidation. We conclude that corticosterone is sufficient and necessary to mediate glutamatergic dysfunction underlying stress-induced synaptic and behavioral phenotypes. Our results indicate that chronic excessive glucocorticoids cause specific synaptic deficits in the hippocampus, a major center for cognitive and emotional processing, that accompany stress-induced behavioral dysfunction

  18. Corticosterone mediates the synaptic and behavioral effects of chronic stress at rat hippocampal temporoammonic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Kvarta, Mark D.; Bradbrook, Keighly E.; Dantrassy, Hannah M.; Bailey, Aileen M.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic stress is thought to impart risk for depression via alterations in brain structure and function, but contributions of specific mediators in generating these changes remain unclear. We test the hypothesis that stress-induced increases in corticosterone (CORT), the primary rodent glucocorticoid, are the key mediator of stress-induced depressive-like behavioral changes and synaptic dysfunction in the rat hippocampus. In rats, we correlated changes in cognitive and affective behavioral tasks (spatial memory consolidation, anhedonia, and neohypophagia) with impaired excitatory strength at temporoammonic-CA1 (TA-CA1) synapses, an archetypical stress-sensitive excitatory synapse. We tested whether elevated CORT was sufficient and necessary to generate a depressive-like behavioral phenotype and decreased excitatory signaling observed at TA-CA1 after chronic unpredictable stress (CUS). Chronic CORT administration induced an anhedonia-like behavioral state and neohypophagic behavior. Like CUS, chronic, but not acute, CORT generated an impaired synaptic phenotype characterized by reduced α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)-preferring glutamate receptor-mediated excitation at TA-CA1 synapses, decreased AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit 1 protein expression, and altered serotonin-1B receptor-mediated potentiation. Repeatedly blunting stress-induced increases of CORT during CUS with the CORT synthesis inhibitor metyrapone (MET) prevented these stress-induced neurobehavioral changes. MET also prevented the CUS-induced impairment of spatial memory consolidation. We conclude that corticosterone is sufficient and necessary to mediate glutamatergic dysfunction underlying stress-induced synaptic and behavioral phenotypes. Our results indicate that chronic excessive glucocorticoids cause specific synaptic deficits in the hippocampus, a major center for cognitive and emotional processing, that accompany stress-induced behavioral dysfunction

  19. Spaceflight induces changes in the synaptic circuitry of the postnatal developing neocortex

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeFelipe, J.; Arellano, J. I.; Merchan-Perez, A.; Gonzalez-Albo, M. C.; Walton, K.; Llinas, R.

    2002-01-01

    The establishment of the adult pattern of neocortical circuitry depends on various intrinsic and extrinsic factors, whose modification during development can lead to alterations in cortical organization and function. We report the effect of 16 days of spaceflight [Neurolab mission; from postnatal day 14 (P14) to P30] on the neocortical representation of the hindlimb synaptic circuitry in rats. As a result, we show, for the first time, that development in microgravity leads to changes in the number and morphology of cortical synapses in a laminar-specific manner. In the layers II/III and Va, the synaptic cross-sectional lengths were significantly larger in flight animals than in ground control animals. Flight animals also showed significantly lower synaptic densities in layers II/III, IV and Va. The greatest difference was found in layer II/III, where there was a difference of 344 million synapses per mm(3) (15.6% decrease). Furthermore, after a 4 month period of re-adaptation to terrestrial gravity, some changes disappeared (i.e. the alterations were transient), while conversely, some new differences also appeared. For example, significant differences in synaptic density in layers II/III and Va after re-adaptation were no longer observed, whereas in layer IV the density of synapses increased notably in flight animals (a difference of 185 million synapses per mm(3) or 13.4%). In addition, all the changes observed only affected asymmetrical synapses, which are known to be excitatory. These results indicates that terrestrial gravity is a necessary environmental parameter for normal cortical synaptogenesis. These findings are fundamental in planning future long-term spaceflights.

  20. Synaptic contacts impaired by styrene-7,8-oxide toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Corsi, P. D'Aprile, A.; Nico, B.; Costa, G.L.; Assennato, G.

    2007-10-01

    Styrene-7,8-oxide (SO), a chemical compound widely used in industrial applications, is a potential hazard for humans, particularly in occupational settings. Neurobehavioral changes are consistently observed in occupationally exposed individuals and alterations of neurotransmitters associated with neuronal loss have been reported in animal models. Although the toxic effects of styrene have been extensively documented, the molecular mechanisms responsible for SO-induced neurotoxicity are still unclear. A possible dopamine-mediated effect of styrene neurotoxicity has been previously demonstrated, since styrene oxide alters dopamine neurotransmission in the brain. Thus, the present study hypothesizes that styrene neurotoxicity may involve synaptic contacts. Primary striatal neurons were exposed to styrene oxide at different concentrations (0.1-1 mM) for different time periods (8, 16, and 24 h) to evaluate the dose able to induce synaptic impairments. The expression of proteins crucial for synaptic transmission such as Synapsin, Synaptophysin, and RAC-1 were considered. The levels of Synaptophysin and RAC-1 decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Accordingly, morphological alterations, observed at the ultrastructural level, primarily involved the pre-synaptic compartment. In SO-exposed cultures, the biochemical cascade of caspases was activated affecting the cytoskeleton components as their target. Thus the impairments in synaptic contacts observed in SO-exposed cultures might reflect a primarily morphological alteration of neuronal cytoskeleton. In addition, our data support the hypothesis developed by previous authors of reactive oxygen species (ROS) initiating events of SO cytotoxicity.

  1. Energy Efficient Sparse Connectivity from Imbalanced Synaptic Plasticity Rules

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Acute Zonal Occult Outer Retinopathy in Japanese Patients: Clinical Features, Visual Function, and Factors Affecting Visual Function

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Saho; Saito, Wataru; Saito, Michiyuki; Hashimoto, Yuki; Mori, Shohei; Noda, Kousuke; Namba, Kenichi; Ishida, Susumu

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the clinical features and investigate their relationship with visual function in Japanese patients with acute zonal occult outer retinopathy (AZOOR). Methods Fifty-two eyes of 38 Japanese AZOOR patients (31 female and 7 male patients; mean age at first visit, 35.0 years; median follow-up duration, 31 months) were retrospectively collected: 31 untreated eyes with good visual acuity and 21 systemic corticosteroid-treated eyes with progressive visual acuity loss. Variables affecting the logMAR values of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and the mean deviation (MD) on Humphrey perimetry at initial and final visits were examined using multiple stepwise linear regression analysis. Results In untreated eyes, the mean MD at the final visit was significantly higher than that at the initial visit (P = 0.00002). In corticosteroid-treated eyes, the logMAR BCVA and MD at the final visit were significantly better than the initial values (P = 0.007 and P = 0.02, respectively). The final logMAR BCVA was 0.0 or less in 85% of patients. Variables affecting initial visual function were moderate anterior vitreous cells, myopia severity, and a-wave amplitudes on electroretinography; factors affecting final visual function were the initial MD values, female sex, moderate anterior vitreous cells, and retinal atrophy. Conclusions Our data indicated that visual functions in enrolled patients significantly improved spontaneously or after systemic corticosteroids therapy, suggesting that Japanese patients with AZOOR have good visual outcomes during the follow-up period of this study. Furthermore, initial visual field defects, gender, anterior vitreous cells, and retinal atrophy affected final visual functions in these patients. PMID:25919689

  3. The leucine-rich repeat superfamily of synaptic adhesion molecules: LRRTMs and Slitrks.

    PubMed

    Ko, Jaewon

    2012-10-01

    Synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions connected by multiple synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs). Synaptic CAMs function in various stages of synaptogenesis - the process of synapse creation - encompassing synapse formation, maturation, refinement, plasticity, and elimination. The list of synaptic CAMs has rapidly grown, although their precise functions of most CAMs at synapses remain incomplete. Members of an emerging class of transmembrane proteins containing leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domains have received considerable recent research attention. In this minireview, I discuss recent findings on LRR-containing synaptic CAMs that impact synapse development and circuit formation, focusing on two families of LRR synaptic CAMs: leucine-rich transmembrane proteins (LRRTMs) and Slit and Trk-like family (Slitrks). Their basic biochemical properties, proposed functions at synapses, physiological significances, and open questions are summarized.

  4. Pregnenolone sulfate as a modulator of synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Conor C.; Gibbs, Terrell T.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Handgrip Strength, Positive Affect, and Perceived Health Are Prospectively Associated with Fewer Functional Limitations among Centenarians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franke, Warren D.; Margrett, Jennifer A.; Heinz, Melinda; Martin, Peter

    2012-01-01

    This study assessed the association between perceived health, fatigue, positive and negative affect, handgrip strength, objectively measured physical activity, body mass index, and self-reported functional limitations, assessed 6 months later, among 11 centenarians (age = 102 plus or minus 1). Activities of daily living, assessed 6 months prior to…

  6. Weight Reduction in Athletes May Adversely Affect the Phagocytic Function of Monocytes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kono, Ichiro; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Study of the monocyte phagocytic function in nine competitive athletes before and after a two-week weight reduction (through calorie restriction) program revealed that their pre-program phagocytic activity was higher than in sedentary controls but decreased significantly after the program. This suggests calorie restriction may affect the human…

  7. Automatic facial responses to affective stimuli in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Mathersul, Danielle; McDonald, Skye; Rushby, Jacqueline A

    2013-01-17

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate atypical behavioural responses to affective stimuli, although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Investigating automatic responses to these stimuli may help elucidate these mechanisms. 18 high-functioning adults with ASDs and 18 typically developing controls viewed 54 extreme pleasant (erotica), extreme unpleasant (mutilations), and non-social neutral images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Two-thirds of images received an acoustic startle probe 3s post-picture onset. Facial electromyography (EMG) activity (orbicularis, zygomaticus, corrugator), skin conductance (SCR) and cardiac responses were recorded. The adults with ASDs demonstrated typical affective startle modulation and automatic facial EMG responses but atypical autonomic (SCRs and cardiac) responses, suggesting a failure to orient to, or a deliberate effort to disconnect from, socially relevant stimuli (erotica, mutilations). These results have implications for neural systems known to underlie affective processes, including the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala. PMID:23142408

  8. Factors affecting longitudinal functional decline and survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Hazuki; Atsuta, Naoki; Nakamura, Ryoichi; Hirakawa, Akihiro; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Ito, Mizuki; Senda, Jo; Katsuno, Masahisa; Izumi, Yuishin; Morita, Mitsuya; Tomiyama, Hiroyuki; Taniguchi, Akira; Aiba, Ikuko; Abe, Koji; Mizoguchi, Kouichi; Oda, Masaya; Kano, Osamu; Okamoto, Koichi; Kuwabara, Satoshi; Hasegawa, Kazuko; Imai, Takashi; Aoki, Masashi; Tsuji, Shoji; Nakano, Imaharu; Kaji, Ryuji; Sobue, Gen

    2015-06-01

    Our objective was to elucidate the clinical factors affecting functional decline and survival in Japanese amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. We constructed a multicenter prospective ALS cohort that included 451 sporadic ALS patients in the analysis. We longitudinally utilized the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) as the functional scale, and determined the timing of introduction of a tracheostomy for positive-pressure ventilation and death. A joint modelling approach was employed to identify prognostic factors for functional decline and survival. Age at onset was a common prognostic factor for both functional decline and survival (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, respectively). Female gender (p = 0.019) and initial symptoms, including upper limb weakness (p = 0.010), lower limb weakness (p = 0.008) or bulbar symptoms (p = 0.005), were related to early functional decline, whereas neck weakness as an initial symptom (p = 0.018), non-use of riluzole (p = 0.030) and proximal dominant muscle weakness in the upper extremities (p = 0.01) were related to a shorter survival time. A decline in the ALSFRS-R score was correlated with a shortened survival time (p < 0.001). In conclusion, the factors affecting functional decline and survival in ALS were common in part but different to some extent. This difference has not been previously well recognized but is informative in clinical practice and for conducting trials.

  9. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  10. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  11. Small but Powerful: Top Predator Local Extinction Affects Ecosystem Structure and Function in an Intermittent Stream

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators’ extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a ‘mesopredator release’, affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to ‘mesopredator release’, and also to ‘prey release’ despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem’s structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers’ extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  12. Relationship of spikes, synaptic activity, and local changes of cerebral blood flow.

    PubMed

    Lauritzen, M

    2001-12-01

    The coupling of electrical activity in the brain to changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) is of interest because hemodynamic changes are used to track brain function. Recent studies, especially those investigating the cerebellar cortex, have shown that the spike rate in the principal target cell of a brain region (i.e. the efferent cell) does not affect vascular response amplitude. Subthreshold integrative synaptic processes trigger changes in the local microcirculation and local glucose consumption. The spatial specificity of the vascular response on the brain surface is limited because of the functional anatomy of the pial vessels. Within the cortex there is a characteristic laminar flow distribution, the largest changes of which are observed at the depth of maximal synaptic activity (i.e. layer IV) for an afferent input system. Under most conditions, increases in CBF are explained by activity in postsynaptic neurons, but presynaptic elements can contribute. Neurotransmitters do not mediate increases in CBF that are triggered by the concerted action of several second messenger molecules. It is important to distinguish between effective synaptic inhibition and deactivation that increase and decrease CBF and glucose consumption, respectively. In summary, hemodynamic changes evoked by neuronal activity depend on the afferent input function (i.e. all aspects of presynaptic and postsynaptic processing), but are totally independent of the efferent function (i.e., the spike rate of the same region). Thus, it is not possible to conclude whether the output level of activity of a region is increased based on brain maps that use blood-flow changes as markers. PMID:11740198

  13. Dendritic and synaptic effects in systems of coupled cortical oscillators.

    PubMed

    Crook, S M; Ermentrout, G B; Bower, J M

    1998-07-01

    We explore the influence of synaptic location and form on the behavior of networks of coupled cortical oscillators. First, we develop a model of two coupled somatic oscillators that includes passive dendritic cables. Using a phase model approach, we show that the synchronous solution can change from a stable solution to an unstable one as the cable lengthens and the synaptic position moves further from the soma. We confirm this prediction using a system of coupled compartmental models. We also demonstrate that when the synchronous solution becomes unstable, a bifurcation occurs and a pair of asynchronous stable solutions appear, causing a phase lag between the cells in the system. Then using a variety of coupling functions and different synaptic positions, we show that distal connections and broad synaptic time courses encourage phase lags that can be reduced, eliminated, or enhanced by the presence of active currents in the dendrite. This mechanism may appear in neural systems where proximal connections could be used to encourage synchrony, and distal connections and broad synaptic time courses could be used to produce phase lags that can be modulated by active currents.

  14. Ion channels in synaptic vesicles from Torpedo electric organ.

    PubMed Central

    Rahamimoff, R; DeRiemer, S A; Sakmann, B; Stadler, H; Yakir, N

    1988-01-01

    A simple method has been developed for fusing synaptic vesicles into spherical structures 20-50 micron in diameter. The method has been applied to purified cholinergic synaptic vesicles from Torpedo electric organ, and the membrane properties of these fused structures have been studied by the "cell"-attached version of the patch clamp technique. A large conductance potassium-preferring channel, termed the P channel, was consistently observed in preparations of fused synaptic vesicles. The selectivity of the channel for potassium over sodium was approximately equal to 2.8-fold. Two major conductance levels were observed during P-channel activity, and their relative proportion was dependent on the voltage applied to the membrane through the patch pipette. P channels were not seen in fused preparations of purified Torpedo lipids, nor was the frequency of their occurrence increased in preparations enriched with plasma membrane or nonvesicular membranes. We suggest, therefore, that the P channels are components of the synaptic vesicle membrane. Their function in synaptic transmission physiology is still unknown. Images PMID:2455900

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Innervation regulates synaptic ribbons in lateral line mechanosensory hair cells.

    PubMed

    Suli, Arminda; Pujol, Remy; Cunningham, Dale E; Hailey, Dale W; Prendergast, Andrew; Rubel, Edwin W; Raible, David W

    2016-06-01

    Failure to form proper synapses in mechanosensory hair cells, the sensory cells responsible for hearing and balance, leads to deafness and balance disorders. Ribbons are electron-dense structures that tether synaptic vesicles to the presynaptic zone of mechanosensory hair cells where they are juxtaposed with the post-synaptic endings of afferent fibers. They are initially formed throughout the cytoplasm, and, as cells mature, ribbons translocate to the basolateral membrane of hair cells to form functional synapses. We have examined the effect of post-synaptic elements on ribbon formation and maintenance in the zebrafish lateral line system by observing mutants that lack hair cell innervation, wild-type larvae whose nerves have been transected and ribbons in regenerating hair cells. Our results demonstrate that innervation is not required for initial ribbon formation but suggest that it is crucial for regulating the number, size and localization of ribbons in maturing hair cells, and for ribbon maintenance at the mature synapse.

  18. Neurexin and neuroligin mediate retrograde synaptic inhibition in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhitao; Hom, Sabrina; Kudze, Tambudzai; Tong, Xia-Jing; Choi, Seungwon; Aramuni, Gayane; Zhang, Weiqi; Kaplan, Joshua M

    2012-08-24

    The synaptic adhesion molecules neurexin and neuroligin alter the development and function of synapses and are linked to autism in humans. Here, we found that Caenorhabditis elegans neurexin (NRX-1) and neuroligin (NLG-1) mediated a retrograde synaptic signal that inhibited neurotransmitter release at neuromuscular junctions. Retrograde signaling was induced in mutants lacking a muscle microRNA (miR-1) and was blocked in mutants lacking NLG-1 or NRX-1. Release was rapid and abbreviated when the retrograde signal was on, whereas release was slow and prolonged when retrograde signaling was blocked. The retrograde signal adjusted release kinetics by inhibiting exocytosis of synaptic vesicles (SVs) that are distal to the site of calcium entry. Inhibition of release was mediated by increased presynaptic levels of tomosyn, an inhibitor of SV fusion.

  19. Synaptic proteins and receptors defects in autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jianling; Yu, Shunying; Fu, Yingmei; Li, Xiaohong

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have found that hundreds of genetic variants, including common and rare variants, rare and de novo mutations, and common polymorphisms contribute to the occurrence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The mutations in a number of genes such as neurexin, neuroligin, postsynaptic density protein 95, SH3, and multiple ankyrin repeat domains 3 (SHANK3), synapsin, gephyrin, cadherin, and protocadherin, thousand-and-one-amino acid 2 kinase, and contactin, have been shown to play important roles in the development and function of synapses. In addition, synaptic receptors, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors and glutamate receptors, have also been associated with ASDs. This review will primarily focus on the defects of synaptic proteins and receptors associated with ASDs and their roles in the pathogenesis of ASDs via synaptic pathways. PMID:25309321

  20. Innervation regulates synaptic ribbons in lateral line mechanosensory hair cells.

    PubMed

    Suli, Arminda; Pujol, Remy; Cunningham, Dale E; Hailey, Dale W; Prendergast, Andrew; Rubel, Edwin W; Raible, David W

    2016-06-01

    Failure to form proper synapses in mechanosensory hair cells, the sensory cells responsible for hearing and balance, leads to deafness and balance disorders. Ribbons are electron-dense structures that tether synaptic vesicles to the presynaptic zone of mechanosensory hair cells where they are juxtaposed with the post-synaptic endings of afferent fibers. They are initially formed throughout the cytoplasm, and, as cells mature, ribbons translocate to the basolateral membrane of hair cells to form functional synapses. We have examined the effect of post-synaptic elements on ribbon formation and maintenance in the zebrafish lateral line system by observing mutants that lack hair cell innervation, wild-type larvae whose nerves have been transected and ribbons in regenerating hair cells. Our results demonstrate that innervation is not required for initial ribbon formation but suggest that it is crucial for regulating the number, size and localization of ribbons in maturing hair cells, and for ribbon maintenance at the mature synapse. PMID:27103160