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Sample records for affect synaptic function

  1. SUMO1 Affects Synaptic Function, Spine Density and Memory

    PubMed Central

    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. 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

  3. Topoisomerase 1 inhibition reversibly impairs synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Mabb, Angela M.; Kullmann, Paul H. M.; Twomey, Margaret A.; Miriyala, Jayalakshmi; Philpot, Benjamin D.; Zylka, Mark J.

    2014-01-01

    Topotecan is a topoisomerase 1 (TOP1) inhibitor that is used to treat various forms of cancer. We recently found that topotecan reduces the expression of multiple long genes, including many neuronal genes linked to synapses and autism. However, whether topotecan alters synaptic protein levels and synapse function is currently unknown. Here we report that in primary cortical neurons, topotecan depleted synaptic proteins that are encoded by extremely long genes, including Neurexin-1, Neuroligin-1, Cntnap2, and GABAAβ3. Topotecan also suppressed spontaneous network activity without affecting resting membrane potential, action potential threshold, or neuron health. Topotecan strongly suppressed inhibitory neurotransmission via pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms and reduced excitatory neurotransmission. The effects on synaptic protein levels and inhibitory neurotransmission were fully reversible upon drug washout. Collectively, our findings suggest that TOP1 controls the levels of multiple synaptic proteins and is required for normal excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. PMID:25404338

  4. [Recent advance in research for myasthenia gravis, in relation to various antibodies affecting synaptic structure and function].

    PubMed

    Takamori, Masaharu

    2009-11-01

    Autoantibodies impair acetylcholine receptor (AChR) in myasthenia gravis (MG) and P/Q-type voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) in Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS). (1) Some of MG and LEMS patients are "seronegative" for respective antibodies or modified by antibodies that recognize other proteins than AChR and VGCC such as MuSK, AChR allosteric site, membrane Na+ channel and ryanodine receptor-1 (RyR1) in MG, and synaptotagmin-1 in LEMS. (2) Autoimmune responses affect the proteins participating in the mechanisms to compensate for synaptic disorders on the basis of presynaptic Ca2+ homeostasis provided by VGCC and non-VGCC (receptor-operated TRPCs): they act as enhancers of Ca(2+) -mediated ACh release via phospholipase C signaling pathways including M1-type presynaptic muscarinic AChR, neurotrophin receptor (TrkB), and fast-mode of synaptic vesicle recycling. (3) The pathophysiology contributive to contractile fatigue in MG includes RyR1 and also TRPC3. The TRPC3 also forms a complex with STIM1 and Orail to make up for Ca2+ after sarcoplasmic Ca2+ release. The prevalent detection of anti-TRPC3 antibodies in MG with thymoma could affect muscle contractile machineries in addition to anti-RyR1-induced affection. (4) When one faces "seronegative" MG, one should be cautious to conformation-specific antibodies and also congenital myasthenic syndromes. PMID:20030211

  5. Autophagy in synaptic development, function, and pathology.

    PubMed

    Shen, Dan-Na; Zhang, Li-Hui; Wei, Er-Qing; Yang, Yi

    2015-08-01

    In the nervous system, neurons contact each other to form neuronal circuits and drive behavior, relying heavily on synaptic connections. The proper development and growth of synapses allows functional transmission of electrical information between neurons or between neurons and muscle fibers. Defects in synapse-formation or development lead to many diseases. Autophagy, a major determinant of protein turnover, is an essential process that takes place in developing synapses. During the induction of autophagy, proteins and cytoplasmic components are encapsulated in autophagosomes, which fuse with lysosomes to form autolysosomes. The cargoes are subsequently degraded and recycled. However, aberrant autophagic activity may lead to synaptic dysfunction, which is a common pathological characteristic in several disorders. Here, we review the current understanding of autophagy in regulating synaptic development and function. In addition, autophagy-related synaptic dysfunction in human diseases is also summarized. PMID:26139541

  6. 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

  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. Postsynaptic conversion of silent synapses during LTP affects synaptic gain and transmission dynamics.

    PubMed

    Poncer, J C; Malinow, R

    2001-10-01

    Synaptic transmission relies on both the gain and the dynamics of synapses. Activity-dependent changes in synaptic gain are well-documented at excitatory synapses and may represent a substrate for information storage in the brain. Here we examine the mechanisms of changes in transmission dynamics at excitatory synapses. We show that paired-pulse ratios (PPRs) of AMPAR and NMDAR EPSCs onto dentate gyrus granule cells are often different; this difference is reduced during LTP, reflecting PPR changes of AMPAR but not NMDAR EPSCs. Presynaptic manipulations, however, produce parallel changes in AMPAR and NMDAR EPSCs. LTP at these synapses reflects a reduction in the proportion of silent synapses lacking functional AMPARs. Changes in PPR during LTP therefore reflect the initial difference between PPRs of silent and functional synapses. Functional conversion of silent synapses permits postsynaptic sampling from additional release sites and thereby affects the dynamics and gain of signals conveyed between neurons. PMID:11544481

  9. The Interplay between Synaptic Activity and Neuroligin Function in the CNS

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiaoge; Luo, Jian-hong

    2015-01-01

    Neuroligins (NLs) are postsynaptic transmembrane cell-adhesion proteins that play a key role in the regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies have suggested that NLs contribute to synapse formation and synaptic transmission. Consistent with their localization, NL1 and NL3 selectively affect excitatory synapses, whereas NL2 specifically affects inhibitory synapses. Deletions or mutations in NL genes have been found in patients with autism spectrum disorders or mental retardations, and mice harboring the reported NL deletions or mutations exhibit autism-related behaviors and synapse dysfunction. Conversely, synaptic activity can regulate the phosphorylation, expression, and cleavage of NLs, which, in turn, can influence synaptic activity. Thus, in clinical research, identifying the relationship between NLs and synapse function is critical. In this review, we primarily discuss how NLs and synaptic activity influence each other. PMID:25839034

  10. 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. PMID:27068791

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Distinct Functions of Endophilin Isoforms in Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    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 Ca2+ 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. PMID:26682072

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Bidirectional ephrin/Eph Signaling in Synaptic Functions

    PubMed Central

    Aoto, Jason; Chen, Lu

    2007-01-01

    Eph receptors, the largest family of receptor tyrosine kinases, and their membrane bound ligands, the ephrins, are involved in multiple developmental and adult processes within and outside of the nervous system. Bi-directional signaling from both the receptor and the ligand is initiated by ephrin-Eph binding upon cell-cell contact, and involves interactions with distinct subsets of downstream signaling molecules related to specific functions. In the CNS, Ephs and ephrins act as attractive/repulsive, migratory, and cell adhesive cues during development and participate in synaptic functions in adult animals. In this review, we will focus on recent findings highlighting the functions of ephrin/Eph signaling in dendritic spine morphogenesis, synapse formation, and synaptic plasticity. PMID:17166489

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

    PubMed

    Bacaj, Taulant; Ahmad, Mohiuddin; Jurado, Sandra; Malenka, Robert C; Südhof, Thomas C

    2015-05-13

    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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Schubert, Timm; Wissinger, Bernd

    2015-07-01

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Gephyrin expression and clustering affects the size of glutamatergic synaptic contacts

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wendou; De Blas, Angel L.

    2009-01-01

    We have recently shown that disrupting the expression and postsynaptic clustering of gephyrin in cultured hippocampal pyramidal cells, by either gephyrin RNAi (RNA interference) or overexpression of a dominant negative gephyrin-EGFP fusion protein, leads to decreased number of postsynaptic gephyrin and GABAA receptor clusters and to reduced GABAergic innervation of these cells. On the other hand, increasing gephyrin expression led to a small increase in the number of gephyrin and GABAA receptor clusters and to little or no effect on GABAergic innervation. We are now reporting that altering gephyrin expression and clustering affects the size but not the density of glutamatergic synaptic contacts. Knocking down gephyrin with gephyrin RNAi, or preventing gephyrin clustering by overexpression of the dominant negative gephyrin-EGFP fusion protein, leads to larger postsynaptic PSD-95 clusters and larger presynaptic glutamatergic terminals. On the other hand, overexpression of gephyrin leads to slightly smaller PSD-95 clusters and presynaptic glutamatergic terminals. The change in size of PSD-95 clusters were accompanied by a parallel change in the size of NR2-NMDA receptor clusters. It is concluded that the levels of expression and clustering of gephyrin, a protein that concentrates at the postsynaptic complex of the inhibitory synapses, not only has homotypic effects on GABAergic synaptic contacts, but also has heterotypic effects on glutamatergic synaptic contacts. We are proposing that gephyrin is a counterpart of the postsynaptic glutamatergic scaffold protein PSD-95 in regulating the number and/or size of the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic contacts. PMID:18199120

  6. APP is cleaved by Bace1 in pre-synaptic vesicles and establishes a pre-synaptic interactome, via its intracellular domain, with molecular complexes that regulate pre-synaptic vesicles functions.

    PubMed

    Del Prete, Dolores; Lombino, Franco; Liu, Xinran; D'Adamio, Luciano

    2014-01-01

    Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) is a type I membrane protein that undergoes extensive processing by secretases, including BACE1. Although mutations in APP and genes that regulate processing of APP, such as PSENs and BRI2/ITM2B, cause dementias, the normal function of APP in synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and memory formation is poorly understood. To grasp the biochemical mechanisms underlying the function of APP in the central nervous system, it is important to first define the sub-cellular localization of APP in synapses and the synaptic interactome of APP. Using biochemical and electron microscopy approaches, we have found that APP is localized in pre-synaptic vesicles, where it is processed by Bace1. By means of a proteomic approach, we have characterized the synaptic interactome of the APP intracellular domain. We focused on this region of APP because in vivo data underline the central functional and pathological role of the intracellular domain of APP. Consistent with the expression of APP in pre-synaptic vesicles, the synaptic APP intracellular domain interactome is predominantly constituted by pre-synaptic, rather than post-synaptic, proteins. This pre-synaptic interactome of the APP intracellular domain includes proteins expressed on pre-synaptic vesicles such as the vesicular SNARE Vamp2/Vamp1 and the Ca2+ sensors Synaptotagmin-1/Synaptotagmin-2, and non-vesicular pre-synaptic proteins that regulate exocytosis, endocytosis and recycling of pre-synaptic vesicles, such as target-membrane-SNAREs (Syntaxin-1b, Syntaxin-1a, Snap25 and Snap47), Munc-18, Nsf, α/β/γ-Snaps and complexin. These data are consistent with a functional role for APP, via its carboxyl-terminal domain, in exocytosis, endocytosis and/or recycling of pre-synaptic vesicles. PMID:25247712

  7. 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

  8. APP Is Cleaved by Bace1 in Pre-Synaptic Vesicles and Establishes a Pre-Synaptic Interactome, via Its Intracellular Domain, with Molecular Complexes that Regulate Pre-Synaptic Vesicles Functions

    PubMed Central

    Del Prete, Dolores; Lombino, Franco; Liu, Xinran; D'Adamio, Luciano

    2014-01-01

    Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) is a type I membrane protein that undergoes extensive processing by secretases, including BACE1. Although mutations in APP and genes that regulate processing of APP, such as PSENs and BRI2/ITM2B, cause dementias, the normal function of APP in synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and memory formation is poorly understood. To grasp the biochemical mechanisms underlying the function of APP in the central nervous system, it is important to first define the sub-cellular localization of APP in synapses and the synaptic interactome of APP. Using biochemical and electron microscopy approaches, we have found that APP is localized in pre-synaptic vesicles, where it is processed by Bace1. By means of a proteomic approach, we have characterized the synaptic interactome of the APP intracellular domain. We focused on this region of APP because in vivo data underline the central funtional and pathological role of the intracellular domain of APP. Consistent with the expression of APP in pre-synaptic vesicles, the synaptic APP intracellular domain interactome is predominantly constituted by pre-synaptic, rather than post-synaptic, proteins. This pre-synaptic interactome of the APP intracellular domain includes proteins expressed on pre-synaptic vesicles such as the vesicular SNARE Vamp2/Vamp1 and the Ca2+ sensors Synaptotagmin-1/Synaptotagmin-2, and non-vesicular pre-synaptic proteins that regulate exocytosis, endocytosis and recycling of pre-synaptic vesicles, such as target-membrane-SNAREs (Syntaxin-1b, Syntaxin-1a, Snap25 and Snap47), Munc-18, Nsf, α/β/γ-Snaps and complexin. These data are consistent with a functional role for APP, via its carboxyl-terminal domain, in exocytosis, endocytosis and/or recycling of pre-synaptic vesicles. PMID:25247712

  9. Functional gene group analysis identifies synaptic gene groups as risk factor for schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Lips, E S; Cornelisse, L N; Toonen, R F; Min, J L; Hultman, C M; Holmans, P A; O'Donovan, M C; Purcell, S M; Smit, A B; Verhage, M; Sullivan, P F; Visscher, P M; Posthuma, D

    2012-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder with a polygenic pattern of inheritance and a population prevalence of ∼1%. Previous studies have implicated synaptic dysfunction in schizophrenia. We tested the accumulated association of genetic variants in expert-curated synaptic gene groups with schizophrenia in 4673 cases and 4965 healthy controls, using functional gene group analysis. Identifying groups of genes with similar cellular function rather than genes in isolation may have clinical implications for finding additional drug targets. We found that a group of 1026 synaptic genes was significantly associated with the risk of schizophrenia (P=7.6 × 10−11) and more strongly associated than 100 randomly drawn, matched control groups of genetic variants (P<0.01). Subsequent analysis of synaptic subgroups suggested that the strongest association signals are derived from three synaptic gene groups: intracellular signal transduction (P=2.0 × 10−4), excitability (P=9.0 × 10−4) and cell adhesion and trans-synaptic signaling (P=2.4 × 10−3). These results are consistent with a role of synaptic dysfunction in schizophrenia and imply that impaired intracellular signal transduction in synapses, synaptic excitability and cell adhesion and trans-synaptic signaling play a role in the pathology of schizophrenia. PMID:21931320

  10. 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

  11. Mammalian Pumilio 2 regulates dendrite morphogenesis and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Schoderboeck, Lucia; Gingl, Ewald; Luzi, Ettore; Riefler, Julia; Di Leva, Francesca; Karra, Daniela; Thomas, Sabine; Kiebler, Michael A.; Macchi, Paolo

    2010-01-01

    In Drosophila, Pumilio (Pum) is important for neuronal homeostasis as well as learning and memory. We have recently characterized a mammalian homolog of Pum, Pum2, which is found in discrete RNA-containing particles in the somatodendritic compartment of polarized neurons. In this study, we investigated the role of Pum2 in developing and mature neurons by RNA interference. In immature neurons, loss of Pum2 led to enhanced dendritic outgrowth and arborization. In mature neurons, Pum2 down-regulation resulted in a significant reduction in dendritic spines and an increase in elongated dendritic filopodia. Furthermore, we observed an increase in excitatory synapse markers along dendritic shafts. Electrophysiological analysis of synaptic function of neurons lacking Pum2 revealed an increased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current frequency. We then identified two specific mRNAs coding for a known translational regulator, eIF4E, and for a voltage-gated sodium channel, Scn1a, which interacts with Pum2 in immunoprecipitations from brain lysates. Finally, we show that Pum2 regulates translation of the eIF4E mRNA. Taken together, our data reveal a previously undescribed role for Pum2 in dendrite morphogenesis, synapse function, and translational control. PMID:20133610

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24827396

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. FoxO6 regulates memory consolidation and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Salih, Dervis A.M.; Rashid, Asim J.; Colas, Damien; de la Torre-Ubieta, Luis; Zhu, Ruo P.; Morgan, Alexander A.; Santo, Evan E.; Ucar, Duygu; Devarajan, Keerthana; Cole, Christina J.; Madison, Daniel V.; Shamloo, Mehrdad; Butte, Atul J.; Bonni, Azad; Josselyn, Sheena A.; Brunet, Anne

    2012-01-01

    The FoxO family of transcription factors is known to slow aging downstream from the insulin/IGF (insulin-like growth factor) signaling pathway. The most recently discovered FoxO isoform in mammals, FoxO6, is highly enriched in the adult hippocampus. However, the importance of FoxO factors in cognition is largely unknown. Here we generated mice lacking FoxO6 and found that these mice display normal learning but impaired memory consolidation in contextual fear conditioning and novel object recognition. Using stereotactic injection of viruses into the hippocampus of adult wild-type mice, we found that FoxO6 activity in the adult hippocampus is required for memory consolidation. Genome-wide approaches revealed that FoxO6 regulates a program of genes involved in synaptic function upon learning in the hippocampus. Consistently, FoxO6 deficiency results in decreased dendritic spine density in hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo. Thus, FoxO6 may promote memory consolidation by regulating a program coordinating neuronal connectivity in the hippocampus, which could have important implications for physiological and pathological age-dependent decline in memory. PMID:23222102

  17. Perinatal exposure to bisphenol-A inhibits synaptogenesis and affects the synaptic morphological development in offspring male mice.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaohong; Xie, Lingdan; Hong, Xing; Ruan, Qin; Lu, Hongfei; Zhang, Qin; Zhang, Guangxia; Liu, Xingyi

    2013-05-01

    Our previous study indicated that perinatal exposure to low-dose BPA, one of the most common environmental endocrine disrupters, alters behavioral development in offspring mice. Given that synaptic structure of the hippocampus is closely related to behaviors, in the present study, we examined the effects of perinatal exposure to BPA (0.04, 0.4, and 4.0 mg kg(-1) day(-1)) on the synaptic density and the synaptic structural modification of pyramidal cells in hippocampus region CA1 and the expressions of synaptic proteins such as synapsin I and PSD-95 and glutamate NMDA and AMPA receptors in male offspring mice on postnatal day (PND) 14, 21, and 56. The results of electron microscope measurement showed that BPA significantly reduced the numeric synaptic density and altered the structural modification of synaptic interface of pyramidal cells with the enlarged synaptic cleft, the shortened active zone, and the thinned postsynaptic density (PSD) on PND 14, 21, and 56 and the increased curvature of synaptic interface on PND 14 and 21. Further analyses of Western blot indicated that BPA markedly reduced the levels of synapsin I and PSD-95 on PND 14, 21, and 56 and down-regulated NMDA receptor subunit NR1 and AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 during development and young adulthood. These results suggest that perinatal exposure to low level of BPA inhibits synaptogenesis and affects synaptic structural modification after birth. The reduced expressions of synaptic proteins synapsin I and PSD-95 and glutamate NMDA and AMPA receptors may be involved in the negative changes in the synaptic plasticity. PMID:23490186

  18. APOE genotype affects the pre-synaptic compartment of glutamatergic nerve terminals.

    PubMed

    Dumanis, Sonya B; DiBattista, Amanda M; Miessau, Matthew; Moussa, Charbel E H; Rebeck, G William

    2013-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype affects outcomes of Alzheimer's disease and other conditions of brain damage. Using APOE knock-in mice, we have previously shown that APOE-ε4 Targeted Replacement (TR) mice have fewer dendritic spines and reduced branching in cortical neurons. As dendritic spines are post-synaptic sites of excitatory neurotransmission, we used APOE TR mice to examine whether APOE genotype affected the various elements of the glutamate-glutamine cycle. We found that levels of glutamine synthetase and glutamate uptake transporters were unchanged among the APOE genotypes. However, compared with APOE-ε3 TR mice, APOE-ε4 TR mice had decreased glutaminase levels (18%, p < 0.05), suggesting decreased conversion of glutamine to glutamate. APOE-ε4 TR mice also had increased levels of the vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (20%, p < 0.05), suggesting that APOE genotype affects pre-synaptic terminal composition. To address whether these changes affected normal neurotransmission, we examined the production and metabolism of glutamate and glutamine at 4-5 months and 1 year. Using high-frequency (13)C/(1)H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we found that APOE-ε4 TR mice have decreased production of glutamate and increased levels of glutamine. These factors may contribute to the increased risk of neurodegeneration associated with APOE-ε4, and also act as surrogate markers for Alzheimer's disease risk. PMID:22862561

  19. Position along the nasal/temporal plane affects synaptic development by adult photoreceptors, revealed by micropatterning.

    PubMed

    Kung, Frank; Wang, Jianfeng; Perez-Castillejos, Raquel; Townes-Anderson, Ellen

    2015-03-01

    In retinal degeneration, death of photoreceptors causes blindness. Repair of the retina by transplanting photoreceptors has resulted in limited functional connectivity between transplanted and host neurons. We hypothesize that absence of appropriate biological cues, specifically positional (retinotopographic) cues, reduces synaptogenesis. Here we use micropatterning to test whether regional origin affects the early synaptic development of photoreceptors. Right and left retinas from salamanders were first labelled with dextran tetramethyl-rhodamine and fluorescein, respectively, bisected into nasal (N)/temporal (T) or dorsal (D)/ventral (V) halves, individually dissociated, mixed, and cultured for 1 week. Origin of cells was identified by the fluorescent label. Interactions between photoreceptors and neighboring (target) cells were assessed by the number of neuritic contacts with a presynaptic swelling (varicosity). Randomly-plated photoreceptors showed no preference for cellular origin, likely due to multiple potential interactions available to each cell. To reduce cell-cell interactions, culture substrate was patterned using a microfluidic device with 10 μm-wide channels separated by 200 μm, thus allowing only 1-2 targets per photoreceptor. In patterned cultures, 36.89% of N rod cells contacted T targets but only 27.42% of N rod cells contacted N targets; similarly 35.05% of T rod cells contacted N cells but only 17.08% contacted T cells. Thus, opposite regions were more permissive of contact. However, neither cone nor D/V rod cells showed preferences for positional origin of targets. In conclusion, micropatterning demonstrated that neuritic differentiation by rod cells depends on retinotopographic cues along the nasal/temporal plane, suggesting that transplanting rod cells of known positional origin will increase transplant success. PMID:25616113

  20. SAD-B kinase regulates pre-synaptic vesicular dynamics at hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapses and affects contextual fear memory.

    PubMed

    Watabe, Ayako M; Nagase, Masashi; Hagiwara, Akari; Hida, Yamato; Tsuji, Megumi; Ochiai, Toshitaka; Kato, Fusao; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa

    2016-01-01

    Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, such as axon specifications and maturation in central and peripheral nervous systems. At mature pre-synaptic terminals, SAD-B is associated with synaptic vesicles and the active zone cytomatrix; however, how SAD-B regulates neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in vivo remains unclear. Thus, we used SAD-B knockout (KO) mice to study the function of this pre-synaptic kinase in the brain. We found that the paired-pulse ratio was significantly enhanced at Shaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in SAD-B KO mice compared with wild-type littermates. We also found that the frequency of the miniature excitatory post-synaptic current was decreased in SAD-B KO mice. Moreover, synaptic depression following prolonged low-frequency synaptic stimulation was significantly enhanced in SAD-B KO mice. These results suggest that SAD-B kinase regulates vesicular release probability at pre-synaptic terminals and is involved in vesicular trafficking and/or regulation of the readily releasable pool size. Finally, we found that hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice. These observations suggest that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, but their roles in mature brains were only partially known. Here, we demonstrated, at mature pre-synaptic terminals, that SAD-B regulates vesicular release probability and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice, suggesting that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. PMID:26444684

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Cholesterol and synaptic vesicle exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Fratangeli, Alessandra

    2010-01-01

    Lipids may affect synaptic function in at least two ways: by acting as ligands for effector proteins [e.g., phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate, diacylglycerol-mediated signaling] or by modifying the physicochemical properties and molecular organization of synaptic membranes. One that acts in the latter manner is cholesterol, an essential structural component of plasma membranes that is largely enriched in the membranes of synapses and synaptic vesicles, in which it may be involved in lipid-lipid and protein-lipid interactions. Cholesterol is an important constituent of the “membrane rafts” that may play a role in recruiting and organizing the specific proteins of the exocytic pathways. Furthermore, many synaptic proteins bind directly to cholesterol. The regulation of cholesterol and lipid levels may therefore influence the specific interactions and activity of synaptic proteins, and have a strong impact on synaptic functions. PMID:20798824

  4. 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

  5. Functional diversity on synaptic plasticity mediated by endocannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Cachope, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) act as modulators of synaptic transmission through activation of a number of receptors, including, but not limited to, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1). eCBs share CB1 receptors as a common target with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Although THC has been used for recreational and medicinal purposes for thousands of years, little was known about its effects at the cellular level or on neuronal circuits. Identification of CB1 receptors and the subsequent development of its specific ligands has therefore enhanced our ability to study and bring together a substantial amount of knowledge regarding how marijuana and eCBs modify interneuronal communication. To date, the eCB system, composed of cannabinoid receptors, ligands and the relevant enzymes, is recognized as the best-described retrograde signalling system in the brain. Its impact on synaptic transmission is widespread and more diverse than initially thought. The aim of this review is to succinctly present the most common forms of eCB-mediated modulation of synaptic transmission, while also illustrating the multiplicity of effects resulting from specializations of this signalling system at the circuital level. PMID:23108543

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Identification of Functional Synaptic Plasticity from Spiking Activities Using Nonlinear Dynamical Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Song, Dong; Chan, Rosa H. M.; Robinson, Brian S.; Marmarelis, Vasilis Z.; Opris, Ioan; Hampson, Robert E.; Deadwyler, Sam A.; Berger, Theodore W.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a systems identification approach for studying the long-term synaptic plasticity using natural spiking activities. This approach consists of three modeling steps. First, a multi-input, single-output (MISO), nonlinear dynamical spiking neuron model is formulated to estimate and represent the synaptic strength in means of functional connectivity between input and output neurons. Second, this MISO model is extended to a nonstationary form to track the time-varying properties of the synaptic strength. Finally, a Volterra modeling method is used to extract the synaptic learning rule, e.g., spike-timing-dependent plasticity, for the explanation of the input-output nonstationarity as the consequence of the past input-output spiking patterns. This framework is developed to study the underlying mechanisms of learning and memory formation in behaving animals, and may serve as the computational basis for building the next-generation adaptive cortical prostheses. PMID:25280984

  9. Synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDA receptors differentially modulate neuronal COX-2 function, lipid peroxidation, and neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Stark, David T.; Bazan, Nicolas G.

    2011-01-01

    Stimulation of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs) induces neuroprotection, while extrasynaptic NMDARs promote excitotoxic cell death. Neuronal expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is enhanced by synaptic NMDARs, and although this enzyme mediates neuronal functions, COX-2 is also regarded as a key modulator of neuroinflammation and is thought to exacerbate excitotoxicity via overproduction of prostaglandins. This raises an apparent paradox: synaptic NMDARs are pro-survival yet are essential for robust neuronal COX-2 expression. We hypothesized that stimulation of extrasynaptic NMDARs converts COX-2 signaling from a physiological to a potentially pathological process. We combined HPLC-ESI-MS/MS-based mediator lipidomics and unbiased image analysis in mouse dissociated and organotypic cortical cultures to uncover that synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDARs differentially modulate neuronal COX-2 expression and activity. We show that synaptic NMDARs enhance neuronal COX-2 expression, while sustained synaptic stimulation limits COX-2 activity by suppressing cellular levels of the primary COX-2 substrate, arachidonic acid (AA). In contrast, extrasynaptic NMDARs suppress COX-2 expression while activating phospholipase A2 (PLA2), which enhances AA levels by hydrolysis of membrane phospholipids. Thus, sequential activation of synaptic then extrasynaptic NMDARs maximizes COX-2-dependent prostaglandin synthesis. We also show that excitotoxic events only drive induction of COX-2 expression through abnormal synaptic network excitability. Finally, we show that non-enzymatic lipid peroxidation of arachidonic and other polyunsaturated fatty acids is a function of network activity history. A new paradigm emerges from our results suggesting that pathological COX-2 signaling associated with models of stroke, epilepsy, and neurodegeneration requires specific spatio-temporal NMDAR stimulation. PMID:21957234

  10. 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

  11. Functional localization of neurotransmitter receptors and synaptic inputs to mature neurons of the medial superior olive.

    PubMed

    Couchman, Kiri; Grothe, Benedikt; Felmy, Felix

    2012-02-01

    Neurons of the medial superior olive (MSO) code for the azimuthal location of low-frequency sound sources via a binaural coincidence detection system operating on microsecond time scales. These neurons are morphologically simple and stereotyped, and anatomical studies have indicated a functional segregation of excitatory and inhibitory inputs between cellular compartments. It is thought that this morphological arrangement holds important implications for the computational task of these cells. To date, however, there has been no functional investigation into synaptic input sites or functional receptor distributions on mature neurons of the MSO. Here, functional neurotransmitter receptor maps for amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), glycine (Gly), and ionotropic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)) receptors (Rs) were compared and complemented by their corresponding synaptic input map. We find in MSO neurons from postnatal day 20-35 gerbils that AMPARs and their excitatory inputs target the soma and dendrites. Functional GlyRs and their inhibitory inputs are predominantly refined to the somata, although a pool of functional GlyRs is present extrasynaptically on MSO dendrites. GABA(A)R responses are present throughout the cell but lack direct synaptic contact indicating an involvement in volume transmission. NMDARs are present both synaptically and extrasynaptically with an overall distribution similar to GlyRs. Interestingly, even at physiological temperatures these functional NMDARs can be potentiated by synaptically released Gly. The functional receptor and synaptic input maps produced here led to the identification of a cross talk between transmitter systems and raises the possibility that extrasynaptic receptors could be modulating leak conductances as a homeostatic mechanism. PMID:22131383

  12. Synaptic clusters function as odor operators in the olfactory bulb

    PubMed Central

    Migliore, Michele; Cavarretta, Francesco; Marasco, Addolorata; Tulumello, Eleonora; Hines, Michael L.; Shepherd, Gordon M.

    2015-01-01

    How the olfactory bulb organizes and processes odor inputs through fundamental operations of its microcircuits is largely unknown. To gain new insight we focus on odor-activated synaptic clusters related to individual glomeruli, which we call glomerular units. Using a 3D model of mitral and granule cell interactions supported by experimental findings, combined with a matrix-based representation of glomerular operations, we identify the mechanisms for forming one or more glomerular units in response to a given odor, how and to what extent the glomerular units interfere or interact with each other during learning, their computational role within the olfactory bulb microcircuit, and how their actions can be formalized into a theoretical framework in which the olfactory bulb can be considered to contain “odor operators” unique to each individual. The results provide new and specific theoretical and experimentally testable predictions. PMID:26100895

  13. CX3CR1 deficiency leads to impairment of hippocampal cognitive function and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Justin, T. Rogers; Josh, M. Morganti; Adam, D. Bachstetter; Charles, E. Hudson; Melinda, M. Peters; Bethany, A. Grimmig; Edwin, J. Weeber; Paula, C. Bickford; Gemma, Carmelina

    2011-01-01

    The protective/neurotoxic role of fractalkine (CX3CL1) and its receptor CX3C chemokine receptor 1 (CX3CR1) signaling in neurodegenerative disease is an intricate and highly debated research topic and it is becoming even more complicated as new studies reveal discordant results. It appears that the CX3CL1/CX3CR1 axis plays a direct role in neurodegeneration and/or neuroprotection depending upon the CNS insult. However, all the above studies focused on the role of CX3CL1/CX3CR1 signaling in pathological conditions, ignoring the relevance of CX3CL1/CX3CR1 signaling under physiological conditions. No approach to date has been taken to decipher the significance of defects in CX3CL1/CX3CR1 signaling in physiological condition. In the present study we used CX3CR1−/−, CX3CR1+/− and wild-type mice to investigate the physiological role of CX3CR1 receptor in cognition and synaptic plasticity. Our results demonstrated for the first time that mice lacking CX3CR1 receptor show contextual fear conditioning and Morris water maze deficits. CX3CR1 deficiency also affects motor learning. Importantly, mice lacking the receptor have a significant impairment in long term potentiation (LTP). Infusion with IL-1β receptor antagonist significantly reversed the deficit in cognitive function and impairment in LTP. Our results reveal that under physiological conditions, disruption in CX3CL1 signaling will lead to impairment in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity via increased action of IL-1β. PMID:22072675

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Selemon, L D

    2013-01-01

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

  16. β-Amyloid Impairs AMPA Receptor Trafficking and Function by Reducing Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent Protein Kinase II Synaptic Distribution*

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Zhenglin; Liu, Wenhua; Yan, Zhen

    2009-01-01

    A fundamental feature of Alzheimer disease (AD) is the accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ), a peptide generated from the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Emerging evidence suggests that soluble Aβ oligomers adversely affect synaptic function, which leads to cognitive failure associated with AD. The Aβ-induced synaptic dysfunction has been attributed to the synaptic removal of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptors (AMPARs); however, it is unclear how Aβ induces the loss of AMPARs at the synapses. In this study we have examined the potential involvement of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), a signaling molecule critical for AMPAR trafficking and function. We found that the synaptic pool of CaMKII was significantly decreased in cortical neurons from APP transgenic mice, and the density of CaMKII clusters at synapses was significantly reduced by Aβ oligomer treatment. In parallel, the surface expression of GluR1 subunit as well as AMPAR-mediated synaptic response and ionic current was selectively decreased in APP transgenic mice and Aβ-treated cultures. Moreover, the reducing effect of Aβ on AMPAR current density was mimicked and occluded by knockdown of CaMKII and blocked by overexpression of CaMKII. These results suggest that the Aβ-induced change in CaMKII subcellular distribution may underlie the removal of AMPARs from synaptic membrane by Aβ. PMID:19240035

  17. Insights into synaptic function from mouse models of human cognitive disorders.

    PubMed

    Banko, Jessica L; Trotter, Justin; Weeber, Edwin J

    2011-01-01

    Modern approaches to the investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying human cognitive disease often include multidisciplinary examination of animal models engineered with specific mutations that spatially and temporally restrict expression of a gene of interest. This approach not only makes possible the development of animal models that demonstrate phenotypic similarities to their respective human disorders, but has also allowed for significant progress towards understanding the processes that mediate synaptic function and memory formation in the nondiseased state. Examples of successful mouse models where genetic manipulation of the mouse resulted in recapitulation of the symptomatology of the human disorder and was used to significantly expand our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying normal synaptic plasticity and memory formation are discussed in this article. These studies have broadened our knowledge of several signal transduction cascades that function throughout life to mediate synaptic physiology. Defining these events is key for developing therapies to address disorders of cognitive ability. PMID:25083141

  18. A Biochemical and Functional Protein Complex Involving Dopamine Synthesis and Transport into Synaptic Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Cartier, Etienne A.; Parra, Leonardo A.; Baust, Tracy B.; Quiroz, Marisol; Salazar, Gloria; Faundez, Victor; Egaña, Loreto; Torres, Gonzalo E.

    2010-01-01

    Synaptic transmission depends on neurotransmitter pools stored within vesicles that undergo regulated exocytosis. In the brain, the vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT2) is responsible for the loading of dopamine (DA) and other monoamines into synaptic vesicles. Prior to storage within vesicles, DA synthesis occurs at the synaptic terminal in a two-step enzymatic process. First, the rate-limiting enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) converts tyrosine to di-OH-phenylalanine. Aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) then converts di-OH-phenylalanine into DA. Here, we provide evidence that VMAT2 physically and functionally interacts with the enzymes responsible for DA synthesis. In rat striata, TH and AADC co-immunoprecipitate with VMAT2, whereas in PC 12 cells, TH co-immunoprecipitates with the closely related VMAT1 and with overexpressed VMAT2. GST pull-down assays further identified three cytosolic domains of VMAT2 involved in the interaction with TH and AADC. Furthermore, in vitro binding assays demonstrated that TH directly interacts with VMAT2. Additionally, using fractionation and immunoisolation approaches, we demonstrate that TH and AADC associate with VMAT2-containing synaptic vesicles from rat brain. These vesicles exhibited specific TH activity. Finally, the coupling between synthesis and transport of DA into vesicles was impaired in the presence of fragments involved in the VMAT2/TH/AADC interaction. Taken together, our results indicate that DA synthesis can occur at the synaptic vesicle membrane, where it is physically and functionally coupled to VMAT2-mediated transport into vesicles. PMID:19903816

  19. Functional contributions of synaptically localized NR2B subunits of the NMDA receptor to synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the adult mouse CNS

    PubMed Central

    Miwa, Hideki; Fukaya, Masahiro; Watabe, Ayako M; Watanabe, Masahiko; Manabe, Toshiya

    2008-01-01

    The NMDA-type glutamate receptor is a heteromeric complex composed of the NR1 and at least one of the NR2 subunits. Switching from the NR2B to the NR2A subunit is thought to underlie functional alteration of the NMDA receptor during synaptic maturation, and it is generally believed that it results in preferential localization of NR2A subunits on the synaptic site and that of NR2B subunits on the extracellular site in the mature brain. It has also been proposed that activation of the NR2A and NR2B subunits results in long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), respectively. Furthermore, recent reports suggest that synaptic and extrasynaptic receptors may have distinct roles in synaptic plasticity as well as in gene expression associated with neuronal death. Here, we have investigated whether NR2B subunit-containing receptors are present and functional at mature synapses in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) and the CA1 region of the hippocampus, comparing their properties between the two brain regions. We have found, in contrast to the above hypotheses, that the NR2B subunit significantly contributes to synaptic transmission as well as LTP induction. Furthermore, its contribution is greater in the LA than in the CA1 region, and biophysical properties of NMDA receptors and the NR2B/NR2A ratio are different between the two brain regions. These results indicate that NR2B subunit-containing NMDA receptors accumulate on the synaptic site and are responsible for the unique properties of synaptic function and plasticity in the amygdala. PMID:18372311

  20. Importin-β11 Regulates Synaptic pMAD and Thereby Influences Synaptic Development and Function at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Higashi-Kovtun, Misao E.; Mosca, Timothy J.; Dickman, Dion K.; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.; Schwarz, Thomas L.

    2010-01-01

    Importin proteins act both at the nuclear pore to promote substrate entry and in the cytosol during signal trafficking. Here, we describe mutations in the Drosophila gene importin-β11 which has not previously been analyzed genetically. Mutants of importin-β11 died as late pupae from neuronal defects and neuronal importin-β11 was present not only at nuclear pores but also in the cytosol and at synapses. Neurons lacking importin-β11 were viable and properly differentiated but exhibited discrete defects. Synaptic transmission was defective in adult photoreceptors and at larval neuromuscular junctions. Mutant photoreceptor axons formed grossly normal projections and synaptic terminals in the brain, but synaptic arbors on larval muscles were smaller while still containing appropriate synaptic components. BMP signaling was the apparent cause of the observed NMJ defects. Importin-β11 interacted genetically with the BMP pathway and at mutant synaptic boutons, a key component of this pathway, phosphorylated Mothers Against Decapentaplegic (pMAD), was reduced. Neuronal expression of an importin-β11 transgene rescued this phenotype as well as the other observed neuromuscular phenotypes. Despite the loss of synaptic pMAD, pMAD persisted in motor neuron nuclei, suggesting a specific impairment in the local function of pMAD. Restoring levels of pMAD to mutant terminals via expression of constitutively active type I BMP receptors or by reducing retrograde transport in motor neurons, also restored synaptic strength and morphology. Thus, importin-β11 function interacts with the BMP pathway to regulate a pool of pMAD that must be present at the presynapse for its proper development and function. PMID:20392948

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Activity-driven local ATP synthesis is required for synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Rangaraju, Vidhya; Calloway, Nathaniel; Ryan, Timothy A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Cognitive function is tightly related to metabolic state but the locus of this control is not well understood. Synapses are thought to present large ATP demands however it is unclear how fuel availability and electrical activity impact synaptic ATP levels, and how ATP availability controls synaptic function. We developed a quantitative genetically-encoded optical reporter of presynaptic ATP, Syn-ATP, and find that electrical activity imposes large metabolic demands that are met via activity-driven control of both glycolysis and mitochondrial function. We discovered that the primary source of activity-driven metabolic demand is the synaptic vesicle cycle. In metabolically intact synapses, activity-driven ATP synthesis is well matched to the energetic needs of synaptic function which at steady state results in ~ 106 free ATPs per nerve terminal. Despite this large reservoir of ATP we find that several key aspects of presynaptic function are severely impaired following even brief interruptions in activity-stimulated ATP synthesis. PMID:24529383

  5. Synaptic plasticity and phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2009-01-01

    A number of neuronal functions, including synaptic plasticity, depend on proper regulation of synaptic proteins, many of which can be rapidly regulated by phosphorylation. Neuronal activity controls the function of these synaptic proteins by exquisitely regulating the balance of various protein kinase and protein phosphatase activity. Recent understanding of synaptic plasticity mechanisms underscores important roles that these synaptic phosphoproteins play in regulating both pre- and post-synaptic functions. This review will focus on key postsynaptic phosphoproteins that have been implicated to play a role in synaptic plasticity. PMID:16904750

  6. 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

  7. MAGUKs, Synaptic Development, and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Chan-Ying; Seabold, Gail K.; Horak, Martin; Petralia, Ronald S.

    2011-01-01

    MAGUKs are proteins that act as key scaffolds in surface complexes containing receptors, adhesion proteins, and various signaling molecules. These complexes evolved prior to the appearance of multicellular animals and play key roles in cell-cell intercommunication. A major example of this is the neuronal synapse, which contains several presynaptic and postsynaptic MAGUKs including PSD-95, SAP102, SAP97, PSD-93, CASK, and MAGIs. Here, they play roles in both synaptic development and in later synaptic plasticity events. During development, MAGUKs help to organize the postsynaptic density via associations with other scaffolding proteins, such as Shank, and the actin cytoskeleton. They affect the clustering of glutamate receptors and other receptors, and these associations change with development. MAGUKs are involved in long-term potentiation and depression (e.g., via their phosphorylation by kinases and phosphorylation of other proteins associated with MAGUKs). Importantly, synapse development and function are dependent on the kind of MAGUK present. For example, SAP102 shows high mobility and is present in early synaptic development. Later, much of SAP102 is replaced by PSD-95, a more stable synaptic MAGUK; this is associated with changes in glutamate receptor types that are characteristic of synaptic maturation. PMID:21498811

  8. Maternal care differentially affects neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Huy-Binh; Bagot, Rosemary C; Diorio, Josie; Wong, Tak Pan; Meaney, Michael J

    2015-06-01

    Variations in early life maternal care modulate hippocampal development to program distinct emotional-cognitive phenotypes that persist into adulthood. Adult rat offspring that received low compared with high levels of maternal licking and grooming (low LG offspring) in early postnatal life show reduced long term potentiation (LTP) and impaired hippocampal-dependent memory, suggesting a 'detrimental' maternal effect on neural development. However, these studies focused uniquely on the dorsal hippocampus. Emerging evidence suggests a distinct role of the ventral hippocampus in mediating aggression, anxiety, and fear-memory formation, which are enhanced in low LG offspring. We report that variations in maternal care in the rat associate with opposing effects on hippocampal function in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus. Reduced pup licking associated with suppressed LTP formation in the dorsal hippocampus, but enhanced ventral hippocampal LTP. Ventral hippocampal neurons in low LG offspring fired action potentials at lower threshold voltages that were of larger amplitude and faster rise rate in comparison with those in high LG offspring. Furthermore, recordings of excitatory postsynaptic potential-to-spike coupling (E-S coupling) revealed an increase in excitability of ventral hippocampal CA1 neurons in low LG offspring. These effects do not associate with changes in miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents or paired-pulse facilitation, suggesting a specific effect of maternal care on intrinsic excitability. These findings suggest region-specific influences of maternal care in shaping neural development and synaptic plasticity. PMID:25598429

  9. Maternal Care Differentially Affects Neuronal Excitability and Synaptic Plasticity in the Dorsal and Ventral Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Huy-Binh; Bagot, Rosemary C; Diorio, Josie; Wong, Tak Pan; Meaney, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Variations in early life maternal care modulate hippocampal development to program distinct emotional–cognitive phenotypes that persist into adulthood. Adult rat offspring that received low compared with high levels of maternal licking and grooming (low LG offspring) in early postnatal life show reduced long term potentiation (LTP) and impaired hippocampal-dependent memory, suggesting a ‘detrimental' maternal effect on neural development. However, these studies focused uniquely on the dorsal hippocampus. Emerging evidence suggests a distinct role of the ventral hippocampus in mediating aggression, anxiety, and fear-memory formation, which are enhanced in low LG offspring. We report that variations in maternal care in the rat associate with opposing effects on hippocampal function in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus. Reduced pup licking associated with suppressed LTP formation in the dorsal hippocampus, but enhanced ventral hippocampal LTP. Ventral hippocampal neurons in low LG offspring fired action potentials at lower threshold voltages that were of larger amplitude and faster rise rate in comparison with those in high LG offspring. Furthermore, recordings of excitatory postsynaptic potential-to-spike coupling (E-S coupling) revealed an increase in excitability of ventral hippocampal CA1 neurons in low LG offspring. These effects do not associate with changes in miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents or paired-pulse facilitation, suggesting a specific effect of maternal care on intrinsic excitability. These findings suggest region-specific influences of maternal care in shaping neural development and synaptic plasticity. PMID:25598429

  10. Morphologic and functional correlates of synaptic pathology in the cathepsin D knockout mouse model of congenital neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    PubMed

    Koch, Sabine; Molchanova, Svetlana M; Wright, Ann K; Edwards, Andrew; Cooper, Jonathan D; Taira, Tomi; Gillingwater, Thomas H; Tyynelä, Jaana

    2011-12-01

    Mutations in the cathepsin D (CTSD) gene cause an aggressive neurodegenerative disease (congenital neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis) that leads to early death. Recent evidence suggests that presynaptic abnormalities play a major role in the pathogenesis of CTSD deficiencies. To identify the early events that lead to synaptic alterations, we investigated synaptic ultrastructure and function in presymptomatic CTSD knockout (Ctsd) mice. Electron microscopy revealed that there were significantly greater numbers of readily releasable synaptic vesicles present in Ctsd mice than in wild-type control mice as early as postnatal day 16. The size of this synaptic vesicle pool continued to increase with disease progression in the hippocampus and thalamus of the Ctsd mice. Electrophysiology revealed a markedly decreased frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) with no effect on paired-pulse modulation of the evoked excitatory post synaptic potentials in the hippocampus of Ctsd mice. The reduced mEPSCs frequency was observed before the appearance of epilepsy or any morphologic sign of synaptic degeneration. Taken together, these data indicate that CTSD is required for normal synaptic function and that a failure in synaptic trafficking or recycling may bean early and important pathologic mechanism in Ctsd mice; these presynaptic abnormalities may initiate synaptic degeneration in advance of subsequent neuronal loss. PMID:22082660

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 (Zn(2+)) metabolism has previously been implicated in FS, whether or not variation in proteins essential for Zn(2+) homeostasis contributes to susceptibility is unknown. Synaptic Zn(2+) is co-released with glutamate and modulates neuronal excitability. SLC30A3 encodes the zinc transporter 3 (ZNT3), which is primarily responsible for moving Zn(2+) 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 Zn(2+) increases the risk of FS and more broadly support the idea that impaired synaptic Zn(2+) homeostasis can contribute to neuronal hyperexcitability. PMID:26647834

  13. Caveolin-1 Orchestrates TCR Synaptic Polarity, Signal Specificity, and Function in CD8 T Cells

    PubMed Central

    Tomassian, Tamar; Humphries, Lisa A.; Liu, Scot D.; Silva, Oscar; Brooks, David G.; Miceli, M. Carrie

    2013-01-01

    TCR engagement triggers the polarized recruitment of membrane, actin, and transducer assemblies within the T cell–APC contact that amplify and specify signaling cascades and Teffector activity. We report that caveolin-1, a scaffold that regulates polarity and signaling in nonlymphoid cells, is required for optimal TCR-induced actin polymerization, synaptic membrane raft polarity, and function in CD8, but not CD4, T cells. In CD8+ T cells, caveolin-1 ablation selectively impaired TCR-induced NFAT-dependent NFATc1 and cytokine gene expression, whereas caveolin-1 re-expression promoted NFATc1 gene expression. Alternatively, caveolin-1 ablation did not affect TCR-induced NF-κB–dependent Iκbα expression. Cav-1−/− mice did not efficiently promote CD8 immunity to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, nor did cav-1−/− OT-1+ CD8+ T cells efficiently respond to Listeria mono-cytogenes-OVA after transfer into wild-type hosts. Therefore, caveolin-1 is a T cell-intrinsic orchestrator of TCR-mediated membrane polarity and signal specificity selectively employed by CD8 T cells to customize TCR responsiveness. PMID:21849673

  14. Norepinephrine versus dopamine and their interaction in modulating synaptic function in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Xing, Bo; Li, Yan-Chun; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2016-06-15

    Among the neuromodulators that regulate prefrontal cortical circuit function, the catecholamine transmitters norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) stand out as powerful players in working memory and attention. Perturbation of either NE or DA signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and drug addiction. Although the precise mechanisms employed by NE and DA to cooperatively control prefrontal functions are not fully understood, emerging research indicates that both transmitters regulate electrical and biochemical aspects of neuronal function by modulating convergent ionic and synaptic signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes previous studies that investigated the effects of both NE and DA on excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in the prefrontal cortical circuitry. Specifically, we focus on the functional interaction between NE and DA in prefrontal cortical local circuitry, synaptic integration, signaling pathways, and receptor properties. Although it is clear that both NE and DA innervate the PFC extensively and modulate synaptic function by activating distinctly different receptor subtypes and signaling pathways, it remains unclear how these two systems coordinate their actions to optimize PFC function for appropriate behavior. Throughout this review, we provide perspectives and highlight several critical topics for future studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System. PMID:26790349

  15. An objective function for Hebbian self-limiting synaptic plasticity rules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gros, Claudius; Eckmann, Samuel; Echeveste, Rodrigo

    Objective functions, formulated in terms of information theoretical measures with respect to the input and output probability distributions, provide a useful framework for the formulation of guiding principles for information processing systems, such as neural networks. In the present work, a guiding principle for neural plasticity is formulated in terms of an objective function expressed as the Fisher information with respect to an operator that we denote as the synaptic flux. By minimization of this objective function, we obtain Hebbian self-limiting synaptic plasticity rules, avoiding unbounded weight growth. Furthermore, we show how the rules are selective to directions of maximal negative excess kurtosis, making them suitable for independent component analysis. As an application, the non-linear bars problem is studied, in which each neuron is presented with a non-linear superposition of horizontal and vertical bars. We show that, under the here presented rules, the neurons are able to find the independent components of the input.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. S-palmitoylation regulates AMPA receptors trafficking and function: a novel insight into synaptic regulation and therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Han, Jun; Wu, Pengfei; Wang, Fang; Chen, Jianguo

    2014-01-01

    Glutamate acting on AMPA-type ionotropic glutamate receptor (AMPAR) mediates the majority of fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. Dynamic regulation of AMPAR by post-translational modifications is one of the key elements that allow the nervous system to adapt to environment stimulations. S-palmitoylation, an important lipid modification by post-translational addition of a long-chain fatty acid to a cysteine residue, regulates AMPA receptor trafficking, which dynamically affects multiple fundamental brain functions, such as learning and memory. In vivo, S-palmitoylation is controlled by palmitoyl acyl transferases and palmitoyl thioesterases. In this review, we highlight advances in the mechanisms for dynamic AMPA receptors palmitoylation, and discuss how palmitoylation affects AMPA receptors function at synapses in recent years. Pharmacological regulation of S-palmitoylation may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy for neurobiological diseases. PMID:26579419

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Synapse-associated protein-97 isoform-specific regulation of surface AMPA receptors and synaptic function in cultured neurons.

    PubMed

    Rumbaugh, Gavin; Sia, Gek-Ming; Garner, Craig C; Huganir, Richard L

    2003-06-01

    Members of the synapse-associated protein-97 (SAP97) family of scaffold proteins have been implicated as central organizers of synaptic junctions to build macromolecular signaling complexes around specific postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. In this regard, SAP97 has been suggested to regulate the synaptic localization of glutamate receptor type 1 subunits of the AMPA-type glutamate receptors. To test this hypothesis directly, we assessed the effects of SAP97 overexpression on surface expression of synaptic AMPA receptors. We find that recombinant SAP97 not only becomes concentrated at synaptic junctions but also leads to an increase in synaptic AMPA receptors, spine enlargement, and an increase in miniature EPSC (mEPSC) frequency, indicating that SAP97 has both postsynaptic and presynaptic effects on synaptic transmission. Synaptic targeting of SAP97, increased surface AMPA receptors, and increased mEPSC frequency are dependent on the presence of specific alternatively spliced sequences in SAP97 that encode a protein 4.1 binding site. These results suggest that SAP97 can affect the synaptic recruitment of AMPA receptors and spine morphology and that these effects may be regulated by alternative splicing. PMID:12805297

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. The EHD protein Past1 controls postsynaptic membrane elaboration and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Koles, Kate; Messelaar, Emily M.; Feiger, Zachary; Yu, Crystal J.; Frank, C. Andrew; Rodal, Avital A.

    2015-01-01

    Membranes form elaborate structures that are highly tailored to their specialized cellular functions, yet the mechanisms by which these structures are shaped remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the conserved membrane-remodeling C-terminal Eps15 Homology Domain (EHD) protein Past1 is required for the normal assembly of the subsynaptic muscle membrane reticulum (SSR) at the Drosophila melanogaster larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). past1 mutants exhibit altered NMJ morphology, decreased synaptic transmission, reduced glutamate receptor levels, and a deficit in synaptic homeostasis. The membrane-remodeling proteins Amphiphysin and Syndapin colocalize with Past1 in distinct SSR subdomains and collapse into Amphiphysin-dependent membrane nodules in the SSR of past1 mutants. Our results suggest a mechanism by which the coordinated actions of multiple lipid-binding proteins lead to the elaboration of increasing layers of the SSR and uncover new roles for an EHD protein at synapses. PMID:26202464

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26982219

  7. 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

  8. Young blood reverses age-related impairments in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in mice.

    PubMed

    Villeda, Saul A; Plambeck, Kristopher E; Middeldorp, Jinte; Castellano, Joseph M; Mosher, Kira I; Luo, Jian; Smith, Lucas K; Bieri, Gregor; Lin, Karin; Berdnik, Daniela; Wabl, Rafael; Udeochu, Joe; Wheatley, Elizabeth G; Zou, Bende; Simmons, Danielle A; Xie, Xinmin S; Longo, Frank M; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2014-06-01

    As human lifespan increases, a greater fraction of the population is suffering from age-related cognitive impairments, making it important to elucidate a means to combat the effects of aging. Here we report that exposure of an aged animal to young blood can counteract and reverse pre-existing effects of brain aging at the molecular, structural, functional and cognitive level. Genome-wide microarray analysis of heterochronic parabionts--in which circulatory systems of young and aged animals are connected--identified synaptic plasticity-related transcriptional changes in the hippocampus of aged mice. Dendritic spine density of mature neurons increased and synaptic plasticity improved in the hippocampus of aged heterochronic parabionts. At the cognitive level, systemic administration of young blood plasma into aged mice improved age-related cognitive impairments in both contextual fear conditioning and spatial learning and memory. Structural and cognitive enhancements elicited by exposure to young blood are mediated, in part, by activation of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (Creb) in the aged hippocampus. Our data indicate that exposure of aged mice to young blood late in life is capable of rejuvenating synaptic plasticity and improving cognitive function. PMID:24793238

  9. Young blood reverses age-related impairments in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in mice

    PubMed Central

    Villeda, Saul A; Plambeck, Kristopher E; Middeldorp, Jinte; Castellano, Joseph M; Mosher, Kira I; Luo, Jian; Smith, Lucas K; Bieri, Gregor; Lin, Karin; Berdnik, Daniela; Wabl, Rafael; Udeochu, Joe; Wheatley, Elizabeth G; Zou, Bende; Simmons, Danielle A; Xie, Xinmin S; Longo, Frank M; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2014-01-01

    As human lifespan increases, a greater fraction of the population is suffering from age-related cognitive impairments, making it important to elucidate a means to combat the effects of aging1,2. Here we report that exposure of an aged animal to young blood can counteract and reverse pre-existing effects of brain aging at the molecular, structural, functional and cognitive level. Genome-wide microarray analysis of heterochronic parabionts—in which circulatory systems of young and aged animals are connected—identified synaptic plasticity–related transcriptional changes in the hippocampus of aged mice. Dendritic spine density of mature neurons increased and synaptic plasticity improved in the hippocampus of aged heterochronic parabionts. At the cognitive level, systemic administration of young blood plasma into aged mice improved age-related cognitive impairments in both contextual fear conditioning and spatial learning and memory. Structural and cognitive enhancements elicited by exposure to young blood are mediated, in part, by activation of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (Creb) in the aged hippocampus. Our data indicate that exposure of aged mice to young blood late in life is capable of rejuvenating synaptic plasticity and improving cognitive function. PMID:24793238

  10. Syntaxin Opening by the MUN Domain Underlies the Function of Munc13 in Synaptic Vesicle Priming

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaoyu; Wang, Shen; Sheng, Yi; Zhang, Mingshu; Zou, Wenjuan; Wu, Lijie; Kang, Lijun; Rizo, Josep; Zhang, Rongguang; Xu, Tao; Ma, Cong

    2016-01-01

    UNC-13-Munc13s play a central function in synaptic vesicle priming through their MUN domains. However, it is unclear whether this function arises from the ability of the MUN domain to mediate the transition from the Munc18-1–closed syntaxin-1 complex to the SNARE complex in vitro. The crystal structure of rat Munc13-1 MUN domain now reveals an elongated, arch-shaped architecture formed by α-helical bundles, with a highly conserved hydrophobic pocket in the middle. Mutation of two residues (NF) in this pocket abolishes the stimulation caused by the Munc13-1 MUN domain on SNARE complex assembly and on SNARE-dependent proteoliposome fusion in vitro. Moreover, the same mutation in UNC-13 abrogates synaptic vesicle priming in C. elegans neuromuscular junctions. These results strongly support the notion that orchestration of syntaxin-1 opening and SNARE complex assembly underlies the central role of UNC-13-Munc13s in synaptic vesicle priming. PMID:26030875

  11. α-synuclein and synapsin III cooperatively regulate synaptic function in dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Zaltieri, Michela; Grigoletto, Jessica; Longhena, Francesca; Navarria, Laura; Favero, Gaia; Castrezzati, Stefania; Colivicchi, Maria Alessandra; Della Corte, Laura; Rezzani, Rita; Pizzi, Marina; Benfenati, Fabio; Spillantini, Maria Grazia; Missale, Cristina; Spano, PierFranco; Bellucci, Arianna

    2015-07-01

    The main neuropathological features of Parkinson's disease are dopaminergic nigrostriatal neuron degeneration, and intraneuronal and intraneuritic proteinaceous inclusions named Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, respectively, which mainly contain α-synuclein (α-syn, also known as SNCA). The neuronal phosphoprotein synapsin III (also known as SYN3), is a pivotal regulator of dopamine neuron synaptic function. Here, we show that α-syn interacts with and modulates synapsin III. The absence of α-syn causes a selective increase and redistribution of synapsin III, and changes the organization of synaptic vesicle pools in dopamine neurons. In α-syn-null mice, the alterations of synapsin III induce an increased locomotor response to the stimulation of synapsin-dependent dopamine overflow, despite this, these mice show decreased basal and depolarization-dependent striatal dopamine release. Of note, synapsin III seems to be involved in α-syn aggregation, which also coaxes its increase and redistribution. Furthermore, synapsin III accumulates in the caudate and putamen of individuals with Parkinson's disease. These findings support a reciprocal modulatory interaction of α-syn and synapsin III in the regulation of dopamine neuron synaptic function. PMID:25967550

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:26398944

  15. Synaptic underpinnings of altered hippocampal function in glutaminase-deficient mice during maturation.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    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. Although baseline synaptic strength was unaffected in Schaffer collateral inputs to CA1, we found that long-term potentiation was attenuated. In wild-type (WT) 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 WT 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, whereas 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

  16. 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

  17. Nociception-induced spatial and temporal plasticity of synaptic connection and function in the hippocampal formation of rats: a multi-electrode array recording

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xiao-Yan; Liu, Ming-Gang; Yuan, Dong-Liang; Wang, Yan; He, Ying; Wang, Dan-Dan; Chen, Xue-Feng; Zhang, Fu-Kang; Li, Hua; He, Xiao-Sheng; Chen, Jun

    2009-01-01

    Background Pain is known to be processed by a complex neural network (neuromatrix) in the brain. It is hypothesized that under pathological state, persistent or chronic pain can affect various higher brain functions through ascending pathways, leading to co-morbidities or mental disability of pain. However, so far the influences of pathological pain on the higher brain functions are less clear and this may hinder the advances in pain therapy. In the current study, we studied spatiotemporal plasticity of synaptic connection and function in the hippocampal formation (HF) in response to persistent nociception. Results On the hippocampal slices of rats which had suffered from persistent nociception for 2 h by receiving subcutaneous bee venom (BV) or formalin injection into one hand paw, multisite recordings were performed by an 8 × 8 multi-electrode array probe. The waveform of the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP), induced by perforant path electrical stimulation and pharmacologically identified as being activity-dependent and mediated by ionotropic glutamate receptors, was consistently positive-going in the dentate gyrus (DG), while that in the CA1 was negative-going in shape in naïve and saline control groups. For the spatial characteristics of synaptic plasticity, BV- or formalin-induced persistent pain significantly increased the number of detectable fEPSP in both DG and CA1 area, implicating enlargement of the synaptic connection size by the injury or acute inflammation. Moreover, the input-output function of synaptic efficacy was shown to be distinctly enhanced by the injury with the stimulus-response curve being moved leftward compared to the control. For the temporal plasticity, long-term potentiation produced by theta burst stimulation (TBS) conditioning was also remarkably enhanced by pain. Moreover, it is strikingly noted that the shape of fEPSP waveform was drastically deformed or split by a TBS conditioning under the condition of

  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. 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

  20. 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. PMID:24712987

  1. 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

  2. Functional properties and synaptic integration of genetically labelled dopaminergic neurons in intrastriatal grafts.

    PubMed

    Sørensen, Andreas Toft; Thompson, Lachlan; Kirik, Deniz; Björklund, Anders; Lindvall, Olle; Kokaia, Merab

    2005-05-01

    Intrastriatal grafts of fetal ventral mesencephalic tissue, rich in dopaminergic neurons, can reverse symptoms in Parkinson's disease. For development of effective cell replacement therapy, other sources of dopaminergic neurons, e.g. derived from stem cells, are needed. However, the electrophysiological properties grafted cells need to have in order to induce substantial functional recovery are poorly defined. It has not been possible to prospectively identify and record from dopaminergic neurons in fetal transplants. Here we used transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein under control of the rat tyrosine hydroxylase promoter for whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of endogenous and grafted dopaminergic neurons. We transplanted ventral mesencephalic tissue from E12.5 transgenic mice into striatum of neonatal rats with or without lesions of the nigrostriatal dopamine system. The transplanted cells exhibited intrinsic electrophysiological properties typical of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons, i.e. broad action potentials, inward rectifying currents with characteristic 'sag', and spontaneous action potentials. The grafted dopaminergic neurons also received functional excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs from the host brain, as shown by the presence of both spontaneous and stimulation-evoked excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents. Occurrence of spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory currents was lower, and of spontaneous action potentials was higher, in neurons placed in the dopamine-depleted striatum than of those in the intact striatum. Our findings define specific electrophysiological characteristics of transplanted fetal dopaminergic neurons, and we provide the first direct evidence of functional synaptic integration of these neurons into host neural circuitries. PMID:15926926

  3. 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

  4. Calcineurin Aγ is a Functional Phosphatase That Modulates Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Cottrell, Jeffrey R; Li, Bing; Kyung, Jae Won; Ashford, Crystle J; Mann, James J; Horvath, Tamas L; Ryan, Timothy A; Kim, Sung Hyun; Gerber, David J

    2016-01-22

    Variation in PPP3CC, the gene that encodes the γ isoform of the calcineurin catalytic subunit, has been reported to be associated with schizophrenia. Because of its low expression level in most tissues, there has been little research devoted to the specific function of the calcineurin Aγ (CNAγ) versus the calcineurin Aα (CNAα) and calcineurin Aβ (CNAβ) catalytic isoforms. Consequently, we have a limited understanding of the role of altered CNAγ function in psychiatric disease. In this study, we demonstrate that CNAγ is present in the rodent and human brain and dephosphorylates a presynaptic substrate of calcineurin. Through a combination of immunocytochemistry and immuno-EM, we further show that CNAγ is localized to presynaptic terminals in hippocampal neurons. Critically, we demonstrate that RNAi-mediated knockdown of CNAγ leads to a disruption of synaptic vesicle cycling in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. These data indicate that CNAγ regulates a critical aspect of synaptic vesicle cycling and suggest that variation in PPP3CC may contribute to psychiatric disease by altering presynaptic function. PMID:26627835

  5. Loss of presenilin function causes impairments of memory and synaptic plasticity followed by age-dependent neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Saura, Carlos A; Choi, Se-Young; Beglopoulos, Vassilios; Malkani, Seema; Zhang, Dawei; Shankaranarayana Rao, B S; Chattarji, Sumantra; Kelleher, Raymond J; Kandel, Eric R; Duff, Karen; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Shen, Jie

    2004-04-01

    Mutations in presenilins are the major cause of familial Alzheimer's disease, but the pathogenic mechanism by which presenilin mutations cause memory loss and neurodegeneration remains unclear. Here we demonstrate that conditional double knockout mice lacking both presenilins in the postnatal forebrain exhibit impairments in hippocampal memory and synaptic plasticity. These deficits are associated with specific reductions in NMDA receptor-mediated responses and synaptic levels of NMDA receptors and alphaCaMKII. Furthermore, loss of presenilins causes reduced expression of CBP and CREB/CBP target genes, such as c-fos and BDNF. With increasing age, mutant mice develop striking neurodegeneration of the cerebral cortex and worsening impairments of memory and synaptic function. Neurodegeneration is accompanied by increased levels of the Cdk5 activator p25 and hyperphosphorylated tau. These results define essential roles and molecular targets of presenilins in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, and neuronal survival in the adult cerebral cortex. PMID:15066262

  6. Effects of white spirits on rat brain 5-HT receptor functions and synaptic remodeling.

    PubMed

    Lam, H R; Plenge, P; Jørgensen, O S

    2001-01-01

    Previously, inhalation exposure to different types of white spirit (i.e. complex mixtures of aliphatic, aromatic, alkyl aromatic, and naphthenic hydrocarbons) has been shown to induce neurochemical effects in rat brains. Especially, the serotonergic system was involved at the global, regional, and subcellular levels. This study investigates the effects of two types of white spirit on 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) transporters (5-HTT), 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(4) receptor expression in forebrain, and on neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) and 25-kDa synaptosomal associated protein (SNAP-25) concentrations when applied as indices for synaptic remodeling in forebrain, hippocampus, and entorhinal cortex. Male Wistar rats were exposed to 0, 400, or 800 ppm of aromatic (20 vol.% aromatic hydrocarbons) or dearomatized white spirit (catalytically hydrogenated white spirit) in the inhaled air for 6 h/day, 7 days/week for 3 weeks. The 5-HTT B(max) and K(d) were not affected. Both types of white spirit at 800 ppm decreased B(max) for the 5-HT(2A) receptor. The aromatic type decreased the K(d) of the 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(4) receptors at 800 ppm. Aromatic white spirit did not affect NCAM or SNAP-25 concentrations or NCAM/SNAP-25 ratio in forebrain, whereas NCAM increased in hippocampus and the NCAM/SNAP-25 ratio decreased in entorhinal cortex. Dearomatized white spirit did not affect NCAM, SNAP-25, or NCAM/SNAP-25 ratio in any brain region. The affected 5-HT receptor expression and synaptic plasticity marker proteins indicate that inhalation exposure to high concentrations of white spirit may be neurotoxic to rats, especially the aromatic white spirit type. PMID:11792528

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro.

    PubMed

    Bardy, Cedric; van den Hurk, Mark; Eames, Tameji; Marchand, Cynthia; Hernandez, Ruben V; Kellogg, Mariko; Gorris, Mark; Galet, Ben; Palomares, Vanessa; Brown, Joshua; Bang, Anne G; Mertens, Jerome; Böhnke, Lena; Boyer, Leah; Simon, Suzanne; Gage, Fred H

    2015-05-19

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely used to culture neurons. We found that classic basal media, as well as serum, impair action potential generation and synaptic communication. To overcome this problem, we designed a new neuronal medium (BrainPhys basal + serum-free supplements) in which we adjusted the concentrations of inorganic salts, neuroactive amino acids, and energetic substrates. We then tested that this medium adequately supports neuronal activity and survival of human neurons in culture. Long-term exposure to this physiological medium also improved the proportion of neurons that were synaptically active. The medium was designed to culture human neurons but also proved adequate for rodent neurons. The improvement in BrainPhys basal medium to support neurophysiological activity is an important step toward reducing the gap between brain physiological conditions in vivo and neuronal models in vitro. PMID:25870293

  13. Alternative functions of core cell cycle regulators in neuronal migration, neuronal maturation, and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Christopher L.; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that boundaries separating a cycling cell from a post-mitotic neuron are not as concrete as expected. Novel and unique physiological functions in neurons have been ascribed for proteins fundamentally required for cell cycle progression and control. These “core” cell cycle regulators serve diverse post-mitotic functions that span various developmental stages of a neuron, including neuronal migration, axonal elongation, axon pruning, dendrite morphogenesis, and synaptic maturation and plasticity. In this review, we detail the non-proliferative post-mitotic roles that these cell cycle proteins have recently been reported to play, the significance of their expression in neurons, mechanistic insight when available, and future prospects. PMID:19447088

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies demonstrated that depletion of membrane cholesterol by 10mM 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. PMID:25446113

  15. Functional improvement after motor training is correlated with synaptic plasticity in rat thalamus.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yuchuan; Li, Jie; Lai, Qin; Azam, Salman; Rafols, José A; Diaz, Fernando G

    2002-12-01

    The goals of this study were to determine whether functional outcome after motor training in rats was linked to synaptic plasticity in thalamus, and whether the Rota-rod apparatus, widely used to test motor function, could be used as an easy and quantitative motor skill training procedure. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 39) were evaluated under three training conditions: 1. Movement requiring balance and coordination skills on Rota-rod; 2. simple exercise on treadmill; 3. nontrained controls. Motor function was evaluated by a series of motor tests (foot fault placing, parallel bar crossing, rope and ladder climbing) before and 14 or 28 days after training procedure. Synaptic strength in brain was assessed by synaptophysin immunocytochemistry. After 14 days of training, Rota-rod-trained animals significantly (p < 0.01) improved motor performance, compared to treadmill and nontrained animals. Animals with up to 28 days of simple exercises on the treadmill did not show a significantly improved performance on most motor tasks, except for an improvement in foot fault placing. Intensive synaptophysin immunoreactivity was present in the right but not the left mediodorsal and ventromedial nuclei of thalamus in Rota-rod-trained rats at 14 and 28 days, and in treadmill-trained rats at 28 days. The data suggested that functional outcome is effectively improved by motor skill training rather than by simple exercises, and this may be related, at least partially, to uniquely lateralized synaptogenesis in the thalamus. Both Rota-rod and treadmill could be quantitatively used in rats for motor training of different complexity. PMID:12500709

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Pharmacological Selectivity Within Class I Histone Deacetylases Predicts Effects on Synaptic Function and Memory Rescue.

    PubMed

    Rumbaugh, Gavin; Sillivan, Stephanie E; Ozkan, Emin D; Rojas, Camilo S; Hubbs, Christopher R; Aceti, Massimiliano; Kilgore, Mark; Kudugunti, Shashi; Puthanveettil, Sathyanarayanan V; Sweatt, J David; Rusche, James; Miller, Courtney A

    2015-09-01

    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are promising therapeutic targets for neurological and psychiatric disorders that impact cognitive ability, but the relationship between various HDAC isoforms and cognitive improvement is poorly understood, particularly in mouse models of memory impairment. A goal shared by many is to develop HDAC inhibitors with increased isoform selectivity in order to reduce unwanted side effects, while retaining procognitive effects. However, studies addressing this tack at the molecular, cellular and behavioral level are limited. Therefore, we interrogated the biological effects of class I HDAC inhibitors with varying selectivity and assessed a subset of these compounds for their ability to regulate transcriptional activity, synaptic function and memory. The HDAC-1, -2, and -3 inhibitors, RGFP963 and RGFP968, were most effective at stimulating synaptogenesis, while the selective HDAC3 inhibitor, RGFP966, with known memory enhancing abilities, had minimal impact. Furthermore, RGFP963 increased hippocampal spine density, while HDAC3 inhibition was ineffective. Genome-wide gene expression analysis by RNA sequencing indicated that RGFP963 and RGFP966 induce largely distinct transcriptional profiles in the dorsal hippocampus of mature mice. The results of bioinformatic analyses were consistent with RGFP963 inducing a transcriptional program that enhances synaptic efficacy. Finally, RGFP963, but not RGFP966, rescued memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer's Disease. Together, these studies suggest that the specific memory promoting properties of class I HDAC inhibitors may depend on isoform selectivity and that certain pathological brain states may be more receptive to HDAC inhibitors that improve network function by enhancing synapse efficacy. PMID:25837283

  19. Low-dose ionizing radiation rapidly affects mitochondrial and synaptic signaling pathways in murine hippocampus and cortex.

    PubMed

    Kempf, Stefan J; Moertl, Simone; Sepe, Sara; von Toerne, Christine; Hauck, Stefanie M; Atkinson, Michael J; Mastroberardino, Pier G; Tapio, Soile

    2015-05-01

    The increased use of radiation-based medical imaging methods such as computer tomography is a matter of concern due to potential radiation-induced adverse effects. Efficient protection against such detrimental effects has not been possible due to inadequate understanding of radiation-induced alterations in signaling pathways. The aim of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanisms behind learning and memory deficits after acute low and moderate doses of ionizing radiation. Female C57BL/6J mice were irradiated on postnatal day 10 (PND10) with gamma doses of 0.1 or 0.5 Gy. This was followed by evaluation of the cellular proteome, pathway-focused transcriptome, and neurological development/disease-focused miRNAome of hippocampus and cortex 24 h postirradiation. Our analysis showed that signaling pathways related to mitochondrial and synaptic functions were changed by acute irradiation. This may lead to reduced mitochondrial function paralleled by enhanced number of dendritic spines and neurite outgrowth due to elevated long-term potentiation, triggered by increased phosphorylated CREB. This was predominately observed in the cortex at 0.1 and 0.5 Gy and in the hippocampus only at 0.5 Gy. Moreover, a radiation-induced increase in the expression of several neural miRNAs associated with synaptic plasticity was found. The early changes in signaling pathways related to memory formation may be associated with the acute neurocognitive side effects in patients after brain radiotherapy but might also contribute to late radiation-induced cognitive injury. PMID:25807253

  20. Onset of cholinergic efferent synaptic function in sensory hair cells of the rat cochlea.

    PubMed

    Roux, Isabelle; Wersinger, Eric; McIntosh, J Michael; Fuchs, Paul A; Glowatzki, Elisabeth

    2011-10-19

    In the developing mammalian cochlea, the sensory hair cells receive efferent innervation originating in the superior olivary complex. This input is mediated by α9/α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and is inhibitory due to the subsequent activation of calcium-dependent SK2 potassium channels. We examined the acquisition of this cholinergic efferent input using whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings from inner hair cells (IHCs) in acutely excised apical turns of the rat cochlea from embryonic day 21 to postnatal day 8 (P8). Responses to 1 mm acetylcholine (ACh) were detected from P0 on in almost every IHC. The ACh-activated current amplitude increased with age and demonstrated the same pharmacology as α9-containing nAChRs. Interestingly, at P0, the ACh response was not coupled to SK2 channels, so that the initial cholinergic response was excitatory and could trigger action potentials in IHCs. Coupling to SK current was detected earliest at P1 in a subset of IHCs and by P3 in every IHC studied. Clustered nAChRs and SK2 channels were found on IHCs from P1 on using Alexa Fluor 488 conjugated α-bungarotoxin and SK2 immunohistochemistry. The number of nAChRs clusters increased with age to 16 per IHC at P8. Cholinergic efferent synaptic currents first appeared in a subset of IHCs at P1 and by P3 in every IHC studied, contemporaneously with ACh-evoked SK currents, suggesting that SK2 channels may be necessary at onset of synaptic function. An analogous pattern of development was observed for the efferent synapses that form later (P6-P8) on outer hair cells in the basal cochlea. PMID:22016543

  1. Age-dependent impairment of cognitive and synaptic function in the htau mouse model of tau pathology

    PubMed Central

    Polydoro, Manuela; Acker, Christopher M.; Duff, Karen; Castillo, Pablo E.; Davies, Peter

    2009-01-01

    A hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease pathology is the presence of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), which are intracellular aggregates of conformationally abnormal and hyperphosphorylated tau. The presence of NFTs in the forebrain is associated with impairments of cognitive function, supporting a central role for tau in dementia. The significance of the accumulation of NFTs for neuronal and cognitive function is still obscure. It is possible that NFTs disrupt synaptic transmission and plasticity, leading to memory deficits and cognitive malfunction. To elucidate the relationship between the development of tau pathology and synaptic and cognitive functions, we performed behavioral tests and electrophysiological experiments in the htau mouse. Here we report age-dependent cognitive and physiological impairments in htau mice which preceded neurodegeneration. 12-month-old htau mice with moderate tau pathology, but not 4-month-old mice with early stage tau pathology, presented cognitive deficits in an object recognition memory task in which the visual recognition memory of a novel object was disrupted. Moreover, only 12-month-old htau mice exhibit spatial memory deficits, as indicated by the impaired performance in the Morris water maze. In addition, we report that basal synaptic transmission and induction of long-term potentiation with high frequency stimulation, but not theta burst stimulation, is perturbed in hippocampal CA1 region of old but not young htau mice. Our results suggest that tau pathology may underlie an age-dependent learning impairment through disruption of synaptic function. PMID:19710325

  2. Age-dependent impairment of cognitive and synaptic function in the htau mouse model of tau pathology.

    PubMed

    Polydoro, Manuela; Acker, Christopher M; Duff, Karen; Castillo, Pablo E; Davies, Peter

    2009-08-26

    A hallmark feature of Alzheimer's disease pathology is the presence of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), which are intracellular aggregates of conformationally abnormal and hyperphosphorylated tau. The presence of NFTs in the forebrain is associated with impairments of cognitive function, supporting a central role for tau in dementia. The significance of the accumulation of NFTs for neuronal and cognitive function is still obscure. It is possible that NFTs disrupt synaptic transmission and plasticity, leading to memory deficits and cognitive malfunction. To elucidate the relationship between the development of tau pathology and synaptic and cognitive functions, we performed behavioral tests and electrophysiological experiments in the htau mouse. Here we report age-dependent cognitive and physiological impairments in htau mice that preceded neurodegeneration. Twelve-month-old htau mice with moderate tau pathology, but not 4-month-old mice with early-stage tau pathology, presented cognitive deficits in an object recognition memory task in which the visual recognition memory of a novel object was disrupted. Moreover, only 12-month-old htau mice exhibit spatial memory deficits, as indicated by the impaired performance in the Morris water maze. In addition, we report that basal synaptic transmission and induction of long-term potentiation with high-frequency stimulation, but not theta burst stimulation, is perturbed in hippocampal CA1 region of old but not young htau mice. Our results suggest that tau pathology may underlie an age-dependent learning impairment through disruption of synaptic function. PMID:19710325

  3. UNC-18 Promotes Both the Anterograde Trafficking and Synaptic Function of Syntaxin

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Jason M.

    2008-01-01

    The SM protein UNC-18 has been proposed to regulate several aspects of secretion, including synaptic vesicle docking, priming, and fusion. Here, we show that UNC-18 has a chaperone function in neurons, promoting anterograde transport of the plasma membrane soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) protein Syntaxin-1. In unc-18 mutants, UNC-64 (Caenorhabditis elegans Syntaxin-1) accumulates in neuronal cell bodies. Colocalization studies and analysis of carbohydrate modifications both suggest that this accumulation occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum. This trafficking defect is specific for UNC-64 Syntaxin-1, because 14 other SNARE proteins and two active zone markers were unaffected. UNC-18 binds to Syntaxin through at least two mechanisms: binding to closed Syntaxin, or to the N terminus of Syntaxin. It is unclear which of these binding modes mediates UNC-18 function in neurons. The chaperone function of UNC-18 was eliminated in double mutants predicted to disrupt both modes of Syntaxin binding, but it was unaffected in single mutants. By contrast, mutations predicted to disrupt UNC-18 binding to the N terminus of Syntaxin caused significant defects in locomotion behavior and responsiveness to cholinesterase inhibitors. Collectively, these results demonstrate the UNC-18 acts as a molecular chaperone for Syntaxin transport in neurons and that the two modes of UNC-18 binding to Syntaxin are involved in different aspects of UNC-18 function. PMID:18596236

  4. 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…

  5. Molecular cause and functional impact of altered synaptic lipid signaling due to a prg-1 gene SNP.

    PubMed

    Vogt, Johannes; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Mobascher, Arian; Cheng, Jin; Li, Yunbo; Liu, Xingfeng; Baumgart, Jan; Thalman, Carine; Kirischuk, Sergei; Unichenko, Petr; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Stroh, Albrecht; Richers, Sebastian; Sahragard, Nassim; Distler, Ute; Tenzer, Stefan; Qiao, Lianyong; Lieb, Klaus; Tüscher, Oliver; Binder, Harald; Ferreiros, Nerea; Tegeder, Irmgard; Morris, Andrew J; Gropa, Sergiu; Nürnberg, Peter; Toliat, Mohammad R; Winterer, Georg; Luhmann, Heiko J; Huai, Jisen; Nitsch, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Loss of plasticity-related gene 1 (PRG-1), which regulates synaptic phospholipid signaling, leads to hyperexcitability via increased glutamate release altering excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance in cortical networks. A recently reported SNP in prg-1 (R345T/mutPRG-1) affects ~5 million European and US citizens in a monoallelic variant. Our studies show that this mutation leads to a loss-of-PRG-1 function at the synapse due to its inability to control lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) levels via a cellular uptake mechanism which appears to depend on proper glycosylation altered by this SNP. PRG-1(+/-) mice, which are animal correlates of human PRG-1(+/mut) carriers, showed an altered cortical network function and stress-related behavioral changes indicating altered resilience against psychiatric disorders. These could be reversed by modulation of phospholipid signaling via pharmacological inhibition of the LPA-synthesizing molecule autotaxin. In line, EEG recordings in a human population-based cohort revealed an E/I balance shift in monoallelic mutPRG-1 carriers and an impaired sensory gating, which is regarded as an endophenotype of stress-related mental disorders. Intervention into bioactive lipid signaling is thus a promising strategy to interfere with glutamate-dependent symptoms in psychiatric diseases. PMID:26671989

  6. 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. PMID:26440732

  7. Large and Small Dendritic Spines Serve Different Interacting Functions in Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Paulin, Joshua J. W.; Haslehurst, Peter; Fellows, Alexander D.; Liu, Wenfei; Jackson, Joshua D.; Joel, Zelah; Cummings, Damian M.; Edwards, Frances A.

    2016-01-01

    The laying down of memory requires strong stimulation resulting in specific changes in synaptic strength and corresponding changes in size of dendritic spines. Strong stimuli can also be pathological, causing a homeostatic response, depressing and shrinking the synapse to prevent damage from too much Ca2+ influx. But do all types of dendritic spines serve both of these apparently opposite functions? Using confocal microscopy in organotypic slices from mice expressing green fluorescent protein in hippocampal neurones, the size of individual spines along sections of dendrite has been tracked in response to application of tetraethylammonium. This strong stimulus would be expected to cause both a protective homeostatic response and long-term potentiation. We report separation of these functions, with spines of different sizes reacting differently to the same strong stimulus. The immediate shrinkage of large spines suggests a homeostatic protective response during the period of potential danger. In CA1, long-lasting growth of small spines subsequently occurs consolidating long-term potentiation but only after the large spines return to their original size. In contrast, small spines do not change in dentate gyrus where potentiation does not occur. The separation in time of these changes allows clear functional differentiation of spines of different sizes. PMID:26881123

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Dgcr8 is required in pyramidal neurons for normal inhibitory synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Ruby; Schofield, Claude M; Cruz, Cassandra G Dela; Jones-Davis, Dorothy M; Blelloch, Robert; Ullian, Erik M

    2012-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are critical regulators of nervous system function, and in vivo knockout studies have demonstrated that miRNAs are necessary for multiple aspects of neuronal development and survival. However, the requirements of miRNA biogenesis in the formation and function of synapses in the cerebral cortex are only minimally understood. Here, we have generated and characterized a mouse line with a conditional neuronal deletion of Dgcr8, a miRNA biogenesis protein predicted to process miRNAs exclusively. Loss of Dgcr8 in pyramidal neurons of the cortex results in a non-cell-autonomous reduction in parvalbumin interneurons in the prefrontal cortex, accompanied by a severe deficit in inhibitory synaptic transmission and a corresponding reduction of inhibitory synapses. Together, these results suggest a vital role for miRNAs in governing essential aspects of inhibitory transmission and interneuron development in the mammalian nervous system. These results may be relevant to human diseases such as schizophrenia, where both altered Dgcr8 levels as well as aberrant inhibitory transmission in the prefrontal cortex have been postulated to contribute to the pathophysiology of the disease. PMID:22728723

  12. Structural elements that underlie Doc2β function during asynchronous synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Xue, Renhao; Gaffaney, Jon D; Chapman, Edwin R

    2015-08-01

    Double C2-like domain-containing proteins alpha and beta (Doc2α and Doc2β) are tandem C2-domain proteins proposed to function as Ca(2+) sensors for asynchronous neurotransmitter release. Here, we systematically analyze each of the negatively charged residues that mediate binding of Ca(2+) to the β isoform. The Ca(2+) ligands in the C2A domain were dispensable for Ca(2+)-dependent translocation to the plasma membrane, with one exception: neutralization of D220 resulted in constitutive translocation. In contrast, three of the five Ca(2+) ligands in the C2B domain are required for translocation. Importantly, translocation was correlated with the ability of the mutants to enhance asynchronous release when overexpressed in neurons. Finally, replacement of specific Ca(2+)/lipid-binding loops of synaptotagmin 1, a Ca(2+) sensor for synchronous release, with corresponding loops from Doc2β, resulted in chimeras that yielded slower kinetics in vitro and slower excitatory postsynaptic current decays in neurons. Together, these data reveal the key determinants of Doc2β that underlie its function during the slow phase of synaptic transmission. PMID:26195798

  13. Structural elements that underlie Doc2β function during asynchronous synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Renhao; Gaffaney, Jon D.; Chapman, Edwin R.

    2015-01-01

    Double C2-like domain-containing proteins alpha and beta (Doc2α and Doc2β) are tandem C2-domain proteins proposed to function as Ca2+ sensors for asynchronous neurotransmitter release. Here, we systematically analyze each of the negatively charged residues that mediate binding of Ca2+ to the β isoform. The Ca2+ ligands in the C2A domain were dispensable for Ca2+-dependent translocation to the plasma membrane, with one exception: neutralization of D220 resulted in constitutive translocation. In contrast, three of the five Ca2+ ligands in the C2B domain are required for translocation. Importantly, translocation was correlated with the ability of the mutants to enhance asynchronous release when overexpressed in neurons. Finally, replacement of specific Ca2+/lipid-binding loops of synaptotagmin 1, a Ca2+ sensor for synchronous release, with corresponding loops from Doc2β, resulted in chimeras that yielded slower kinetics in vitro and slower excitatory postsynaptic current decays in neurons. Together, these data reveal the key determinants of Doc2β that underlie its function during the slow phase of synaptic transmission. PMID:26195798

  14. 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. PMID:26589247

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Tilting the balance between facilitatory and inhibitory functions of mammalian and Drosophila Complexins orchestrates synaptic vesicle exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Mingshan; Lin, Yong Qi; Pan, Hongling; Reim, Kerstin; Deng, Hui; Bellen, Hugo J.; Rosenmund, Christian

    2009-01-01

    Summary SNARE-mediated synaptic exocytosis is orchestrated by facilitatory and inhibitory mechanisms. Genetic ablations of Complexins, a family of SNARE complex–binding proteins, in mice and Drosophila cause apparently opposite effects on neurotransmitter release, leading to contradictory hypotheses of Complexin function. Reconstitution experiments with different fusion assays and Complexins also yield conflicting results. We therefore performed cross-species rescue experiments to compare the functions of murine and Drosophila Complexins in both mouse and fly synapses. We found that murine and Drosophila Complexins employ conserved mechanisms to regulate exocytosis despite their strikingly different overall effects on neurotransmitter release. Both Complexins contain distinct domains that facilitate or inhibit synaptic vesicle fusion, and the strength of each facilitatory or inhibitory function differs significantly between murine and Drosophila Complexins. Our results show that a relative shift in the balance of facilitatory and inhibitory functions results in differential regulation of neurotransmitter release by murine and Drosophila Complexins in vivo, reconciling previous incompatible findings. PMID:19914185

  18. Changes in hippocampal synaptic functions and protein expression in monosodium glutamate-treated obese mice during development of glucose intolerance.

    PubMed

    Sasaki-Hamada, Sachie; Hojo, Yuki; Koyama, Hajime; Otsuka, Hayuma; Oka, Jun-Ichiro

    2015-05-01

    Glucose is the sole neural fuel for the brain and is essential for cognitive function. Abnormalities in glucose tolerance may be associated with impairments in cognitive function. Experimental obese model mice can be generated by an intraperitoneal injection of monosodium glutamate (MSG; 2 mg/g) once a day for 5 days from 1 day after birth. MSG-treated mice have been shown to develop glucose intolerance and exhibit chronic neuroendocrine dysfunction associated with marked cognitive malfunctions at 28-29  weeks old. Although hippocampal synaptic plasticity is impaired in MSG-treated mice, changes in synaptic transmission remain unknown. Here, we investigated whether glucose intolerance influenced cognitive function, synaptic properties and protein expression in the hippocampus. We demonstrated that MSG-treated mice developed glucose intolerance due to an impairment in the effectiveness of insulin actions, and showed cognitive impairments in the Y-maze test. Moreover, long-term potentiation (LTP) at Schaffer collateral-CA1 pyramidal synapses in hippocampal slices was impaired, and the relationship between the slope of extracellular field excitatory postsynaptic potential and stimulus intensity of synaptic transmission was weaker in MSG-treated mice. The protein levels of vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and GluA1 glutamate receptor subunits decreased in the CA1 region of MSG-treated mice. These results suggest that deficits in glutamatergic presynapses as well as postsynapses lead to impaired synaptic plasticity in MSG-treated mice during the development of glucose intolerance, though it remains unknown whether impaired LTP is due to altered inhibitory transmission. It may be important to examine changes in glucose tolerance in order to prevent cognitive malfunctions associated with diabetes. PMID:25851080

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, D; Dunaway, E P; Bhattacharya, S; Bloemer, J; Buabeid, M; Escobar, M; Suppiramaniam, V; Dhanasekaran, 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 GSK3

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Neurotrophin-3 Enhances the Synaptic Organizing Function of TrkC-Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase σ in Rat Hippocampal Neurons.

    PubMed

    Ammendrup-Johnsen, Ina; Naito, Yusuke; Craig, Ann Marie; Takahashi, Hideto

    2015-09-01

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and its high-affinity receptor TrkC play crucial trophic roles in neuronal differentiation, axon outgrowth, and synapse development and plasticity in the nervous system. We demonstrated previously that postsynaptic TrkC functions as a glutamatergic synapse-inducing (synaptogenic) cell adhesion molecule trans-interacting with presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ). Given that NT-3 and PTPσ bind distinct domains of the TrkC extracellular region, here we tested the hypothesis that NT-3 modulates TrkC/PTPσ binding and synaptogenic activity. NT-3 enhanced PTPσ binding to cell surface-expressed TrkC and facilitated the presynapse-inducing activity of TrkC in rat hippocampal neurons. Imaging of recycling presynaptic vesicles combined with TrkC knockdown and rescue approaches demonstrated that NT-3 rapidly potentiates presynaptic function via binding endogenous postsynaptic TrkC in a tyrosine kinase-independent manner. Thus, NT-3 positively modulates the TrkC-PTPσ complex for glutamatergic presynaptic assembly and function independently from TrkC kinase activation. Our findings provide new insight into synaptic roles of neurotrophin signaling and mechanisms controlling synaptic organizing complexes. Significance statement: Although many synaptogenic adhesion complexes have been identified in recent years, little is known about modulatory mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate a novel role of neurotrophin-3 in synaptic assembly and function as a positive modulator of the TrkC-protein tyrosine phosphatase σ complex. This study provides new insight into the involvement of neurotrophin signaling in synapse development and plasticity, presenting a molecular mechanism that may underlie previous observations of short- and long-term enhancement of presynaptic function by neurotrophin. Given the links of synaptogenic adhesion molecules to autism and schizophrenia, this study might also contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of

  4. Morphological and Functional Correlates of Synaptic Pathology in the Cathepsin D Knock-Out Mouse Model of Congenital Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinosis

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Sabine; Molchanova, Svetlana M.; Wright, Ann K; Edwards, Andrew; Cooper, Jon D.; Taira, Tomi; Gillingwater, Thomas H.; Tyynelä, Jaana

    2011-01-01

    Mutations in the cathepsin D (CTSD) gene cause an aggressive neurodegenerative disease (congenital neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis) that leads to early death. Recent evidence suggests that presynaptic abnormalities play a major role in the pathogenesis of CTSD deficiencies. To identify the early events that lead to synaptic alterations, we investigated synaptic ultrastructure and function in pre-symptomatic CTSD knock-out (Ctsd−/−) mice. Electron microscopy revealed that there were significantly greater numbers of readily releasable synaptic vesicles present in Ctsd−/− mice than in wild-type control mice as early as postnatal day 16. The size of this synaptic vesicle pool continued to increase with disease progression in the hippocampus and thalamus of the Ctsd−/− mice. Electrophysiology revealed a markedly decreased frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) with no effect on pair-pulse modulation of the evoked EPSPs in the hippocampus of Ctsd−/− mice. The reduced miniature EPSC frequency was observed before the appearance of epilepsy or any morphological sign of synaptic degeneration. Taken together, the data indicate that CTSD is required for normal synaptic function, and that a failure in synaptic trafficking or recycling may be an early and important pathological mechanism in Ctsd−/− mice; these presynaptic abnormalities may initiate synaptic degeneration in advance of subsequent neuronal loss. PMID:22082660

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Syntaxin-1 N-peptide and Habc-domain perform distinct essential functions in synaptic vesicle fusion

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Peng; Pang, Zhiping P; Yang, Xiaofei; Zhang, Yingsha; Rosenmund, Christian; Bacaj, Taulant; Südhof, Thomas C

    2013-01-01

    Among SNARE proteins mediating synaptic vesicle fusion, syntaxin-1 uniquely includes an N-terminal peptide (‘N-peptide') that binds to Munc18-1, and a large, conserved Habc-domain that also binds to Munc18-1. Previous in vitro studies suggested that the syntaxin-1 N-peptide is functionally important, whereas the syntaxin-1 Habc-domain is not, but limited information is available about the in vivo functions of these syntaxin-1 domains. Using rescue experiments in cultured syntaxin-deficient neurons, we now show that the N-peptide and the Habc-domain of syntaxin-1 perform distinct and independent roles in synaptic vesicle fusion. Specifically, we found that the N-peptide is essential for vesicle fusion as such, whereas the Habc-domain regulates this fusion, in part by forming the closed syntaxin-1 conformation. Moreover, we observed that deletion of the Habc-domain but not deletion of the N-peptide caused a loss of Munc18-1 which results in a decrease in the readily releasable pool of vesicles at a synapse, suggesting that Munc18 binding to the Habc-domain stabilizes Munc18-1. Thus, the N-terminal syntaxin-1 domains mediate different functions in synaptic vesicle fusion, probably via formation of distinct Munc18/SNARE-protein complexes. PMID:23188083

  8. Chronic nicotine exposure inhibits estrogen-mediated synaptic functions in hippocampus of female rats.

    PubMed

    Raval, Ami P; Sick, Justin T; Gonzalez, Gabriel J; Defazio, R Anthony; Dong, Chuanhui; Sick, Thomas J

    2012-05-23

    Nicotine, the addictive agent in cigarettes, reduces circulating estradiol-17β (E₂) and inhibits E₂-mediated intracellular signaling in hippocampus of female rats. In hippocampus, E₂-signaling regulates synaptic plasticity by phosphorylation of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor subunit NR2B and cyclic-AMP response element binding protein (pCREB). Therefore, we hypothesized that chronic nicotine exposure induces synaptic dysfunction in hippocampus of female rats. Female rats were exposed to nicotine or saline for 16 days followed by electrophysiological analysis of hippocampus. Briefly, population measurements of excitatory post-synaptic field potentials (fEPSPs) were recorded from stratum radiatum of the CA1 hippocampal slice subfield. A strict software-controlled protocol was used which recorded 30 min of baseline data (stimulation rate of 1/min), a paired-pulse stimulation sequence followed by tetanic stimulation, and 1h of post-tetanus recording. EPSP amplitude and the initial EPSP slope were measured off-line. We then investigated by Western blot analysis the effects of nicotine on hippocampal estrogen receptor-beta (ER-β), NR2B and pCREB. The results demonstrated significantly decreased post-tetanic potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation at the 40, and 80 ms interval in nicotine-exposed rats compared to the saline group. Western blot analysis revealed that nicotine decreased protein levels of ER-β, NR2B, and pCREB. We also confirmed the role of E₂ in regulating NR2B and pCREB phosphorylation by performing Western blots in hippocapmal tissue obtained from E₂-treated ovariectomized rats. In conclusion, chronic nicotine exposure attenuates short-term synaptic plasticity, and the observed synaptic defects might be a consequence of loss of estradiol-17β-signaling. However, determining the exact molecular mechanisms of chronic nicotine exposure on synaptic plasticity specific to the female brain require further investigation. PMID:22521583

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. Localization of Presynaptic Plasticity Mechanisms Enables Functional Independence of Synaptic and Ectopic Transmission in the Cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Dobson, Katharine L.; Bellamy, Tomas C.

    2015-01-01

    In the cerebellar molecular layer parallel fibre terminals release glutamate from both the active zone and from extrasynaptic “ectopic” sites. Ectopic release mediates transmission to the Bergmann glia that ensheathe the synapse, activating Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors and glutamate transporters. Parallel fibre terminals exhibit several forms of presynaptic plasticity, including cAMP-dependent long-term potentiation and endocannabinoid-dependent long-term depression, but it is not known whether these presynaptic forms of long-term plasticity also influence ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia. Stimulation of parallel fibre inputs at 16 Hz evoked LTP of synaptic transmission, but LTD of ectopic transmission. Pharmacological activation of adenylyl cyclase by forskolin caused LTP at Purkinje neurons, but only transient potentiation at Bergmann glia, reinforcing the concept that ectopic sites lack the capacity to express sustained cAMP-dependent potentiation. Activation of mGluR1 caused depression of synaptic transmission via retrograde endocannabinoid signalling but had no significant effect at ectopic sites. In contrast, activation of NMDA receptors suppressed both synaptic and ectopic transmission. The results suggest that the signalling mechanisms for presynaptic LTP and retrograde depression by endocannabinoids are restricted to the active zone at parallel fibre synapses, allowing independent modulation of synaptic transmission to Purkinje neurons and ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia. PMID:26171253

  13. Astrocytes: Orchestrating synaptic plasticity?

    PubMed

    De Pittà, M; Brunel, N; Volterra, A

    2016-05-26

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity of a preexisting connection between two neurons to change in strength as a function of neural activity. Because synaptic plasticity is the major candidate mechanism for learning and memory, the elucidation of its constituting mechanisms is of crucial importance in many aspects of normal and pathological brain function. In particular, a prominent aspect that remains debated is how the plasticity mechanisms, that encompass a broad spectrum of temporal and spatial scales, come to play together in a concerted fashion. Here we review and discuss evidence that pinpoints to a possible non-neuronal, glial candidate for such orchestration: the regulation of synaptic plasticity by astrocytes. PMID:25862587

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

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Zhiping P.; Han, Weiping

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22582733

  15. Cognitive Deficits, Changes in Synaptic Function, and Brain Pathology in a Mouse Model of Normal Aging1,2,3

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Tiffany; Hanson, Jesse E.; Alam, Nazia M.; Ngu, Hai; Lauffer, Benjamin E.; Lin, Han H.; Dominguez, Sara L.; Reeder, Jens; Tom, Jennifer; Steiner, Pascal; Foreman, Oded; Prusky, Glen T.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Age is the main risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, cognitive decline in aged rodents has been less well studied, possibly due to concomitant changes in sensory or locomotor function that can complicate cognitive tests. We tested mice that were 3, 11, and 23 months old in cognitive, sensory, and motor measures, and postmortem measures of gliosis and neural activity (c-Fos). Hippocampal synaptic function was also examined. While age-related impairments were detectable in tests of spatial memory, greater age-dependent effects were observed in tests of associative learning [active avoidance (AA)]. Gross visual function was largely normal, but startle responses to acoustic stimuli decreased with increased age, possibly due to hearing impairments. Therefore, a novel AA variant in which light alone served as the conditioning stimuli was used. Age-related deficits were again observed. Mild changes in vision, as measured by optokinetic responses, were detected in 19- versus 4-month-old mice, but these were not correlated to AA performance. Thus, deficits in hearing or vision are unlikely to account for the observed deficits in cognitive measures. Increased gliosis was observed in the hippocampal formation at older ages. Age-related changes in neural function and plasticity were observed with decreased c-Fos in the dentate gyrus, and decreased synaptic strength and paired-pulse facilitation in CA1 slices. This work, which carefully outlines age-dependent impairments in cognitive and synaptic function, c-Fos activity, and gliosis during normal aging in the mouse, suggests robust translational measures that will facilitate further study of the biology of aging. PMID:26473169

  16. Functional properties of GABA synaptic inputs onto GABA neurons in monkey prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Rotaru, Diana C; Olezene, Cameron; Miyamae, Takeaki; Povysheva, Nadezhda V; Zaitsev, Aleksey V; Lewis, David A; Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo

    2015-03-15

    In rodent cortex GABAA receptor (GABAAR)-mediated synapses are a significant source of input onto GABA neurons, and the properties of these inputs vary among GABA neuron subtypes that differ in molecular markers and firing patterns. Some features of cortical interneurons are different between rodents and primates, but it is not known whether inhibition of GABA neurons is prominent in the primate cortex and, if so, whether these inputs show heterogeneity across GABA neuron subtypes. We thus studied GABAAR-mediated miniature synaptic events in GABAergic interneurons in layer 3 of monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Interneurons were identified on the basis of their firing pattern as fast spiking (FS), regular spiking (RS), burst spiking (BS), or irregular spiking (IS). Miniature synaptic events were common in all of the recorded interneurons, and the frequency of these events was highest in FS neurons. The amplitude and kinetics of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (mIPSPs) also differed between DLPFC interneuron subtypes in a manner correlated with their input resistance and membrane time constant. FS neurons had the fastest mIPSP decay times and the strongest effects of the GABAAR modulator zolpidem, suggesting that the distinctive properties of inhibitory synaptic inputs onto FS cells are in part conferred by GABAARs containing α1 subunits. Moreover, mIPSCs differed between FS and RS interneurons in a manner consistent with the mIPSP findings. These results show that in the monkey DLPFC GABAAR-mediated synaptic inputs are prominent in layer 3 interneurons and may differentially regulate the activity of different interneuron subtypes. PMID:25540225

  17. 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

  18. A Map of Functional Synaptic Connectivity in the Mouse Anteroventral Cochlear Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Campagnola, Luke

    2014-01-01

    The cochlear nuclei are the first central processors of auditory information and provide inputs to all the major brainstem and midbrain auditory nuclei. Although the local circuits within the cochlear nuclei are understood at a cellular level, the spatial patterns of connectivity and the connection strengths in these circuits have been less well characterized. We have applied a novel, quantitative approach to mapping local circuits projecting to cells in the mouse anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN) using laser-scanning photostimulation and glutamate uncaging. The amplitude and kinetics of individual evoked synaptic events were measured to reveal the patterns and strengths of synaptic connections. We found that the two major excitatory projection cell classes, the bushy and T-stellate cells, receive a spatially broad inhibition from D-stellate cells in the AVCN, and a spatially confined inhibition from the tuberculoventral cells of the dorsal cochlear nucleus. Furthermore, T-stellate cells integrate D-stellate inhibition from an area that spans twice the frequency range of that integrated by bushy cells. A subset of both bushy and T-stellate cells receives inhibition from an unidentified cell population at the dorsal–medial boundary of the AVCN. A smaller subset of cells receives local excitation from within the AVCN. Our results show that inhibitory circuits can have target-specific patterns of spatial convergence, synaptic strength, and receptor kinetics, resulting in different spectral and temporal processing capabilities. PMID:24501361

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  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. PMID:26123488

  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. How mental stress affects endothelial function.

    PubMed

    Toda, Noboru; Nakanishi-Toda, Megumi

    2011-12-01

    Mental stress is an important factor contributing to recognized mechanisms underlying cardiovascular events. Among these, stress-related endothelial dysfunction is an early risk factor that predicts future development of severe cardiovascular disorders. Acute mental stress by a variety of tests impairs endothelial function in humans, although the opposite results have been reported by some investigators. Chronic stress always deteriorates endothelial function in humans and experimental animals. Stress hormones, such as glucocorticoids and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and endothelin-1 liberated in response to mental stress participate in endothelial dysfunction possibly via downregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression, eNOS inactivation, decreased nitric oxide (NO) actions, and increased NO degradation, together with vasoconstriction counteracting against NO-induced vasodilatation. Catecholamines do not directly affect endothelial function but impair its function when blood pressure elevation by the amines is sustained. Endogenous opioids favorably affect endothelial function, which counteract deteriorating effects of other stress hormones and mediators. Inhibition of cortisol and endothelin-1 production, prevention of pro-inflammatory mediator accumulation, hypnotics, mirthful laughter, humor orientation, and lifestyle modification would contribute to the prevention and treatment for stress-related endothelial dysfunction and future serious cardiovascular disease. PMID:21947555

  4. Danish dementia mice suggest that loss of function and not the amyloid cascade causes synaptic plasticity and memory deficits

    PubMed Central

    Tamayev, Robert; Matsuda, Shuji; Fà, Mauro; Arancio, Ottavio; D’Adamio, Luciano

    2010-01-01

    According to the prevailing “amyloid cascade hypothesis,” genetic dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease and familial Danish dementia (FDD) are caused by amyloid deposits that trigger tauopathy, neurodegeneration, and behavioral/cognitive alterations. To efficiently reproduce amyloid lesions, murine models of human dementias invariably use transgenic expression systems. However, recent FDD transgenic models showed that Danish amyloidosis does not cause memory defects, suggesting that other mechanisms cause Danish dementia. We studied an animal knock-in model of FDD (FDDKI/+) genetically congruous with human cases. FDDKI/+ mice present reduced Bri2 levels, impaired synaptic plasticity and severe hippocampal memory deficits. These animals show no cerebral lesions that are reputed characteristics of human dementia, such as tangles or amyloid plaques. Bri2+/− mice exhibit synaptic and memory deficits similar to FDDKI/+ mice, and memory loss of FDDKI/+ mice is prevented by expression of WT BRI2, indicating that Danish dementia is caused by loss of BRI2 function. Together, the data suggest that clinical dementia in Danish patients occurs via a loss of function mechanism and not as a result of amyloidosis and tauopathy. PMID:21098268

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. Estrogen treatment affects brain functioning after menopause.

    PubMed

    Bayer, Ulrike; Hausmann, Markus

    2011-12-01

    Sex hormones have powerful neuromodulatory effects on functional brain organization and cognitive functioning. This paper reviews findings from studies investigating the influence of sex hormones in postmenopausal women with and without hormone therapy (HT). Functional brain organization was investigated using different behavioural tasks in postmenopausal women using either estrogen therapy or combined estrogen plus gestagen therapy and age- and IQ-matched postmenopausal women not taking HT. The results revealed HT-related modulations in specific aspects of functional brain organization including functional cerebral asymmetries and interhemispheric interaction. In contrast to younger women during the menstrual cycle, however, it seems that HT, and especially estrogen therapy, after menopause affects intrahemispheric processing rather than interhemispheric interaction. This might be explained by a faster and more pronounced age-related decline in intrahemispheric relative to interhemispheric functioning, which might be associated with higher sensitivity to HT. Taken together, the findings suggest that the female brain retains its plasticity even after reproductive age and remains susceptible to the effects of sex hormones throughout the lifetime, which might help to discover new clinical approaches in the hormonal treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. PMID:22120942

  8. The functional nature of synaptic circuitry is altered in area CA3 of the hippocampus in a mouse model of Down's syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Jesse E; Blank, Martina; Valenzuela, Ricardo A; Garner, Craig C; Madison, Daniel V

    2007-01-01

    Down's syndrome (DS) is the most common cause of mental retardation, and memory impairments are more severe in DS than in most if not all other causes of mental retardation. The Ts65Dn mouse, a genetic model of DS, exhibits phenotypes of DS, including memory impairments indicative of hippocampal dysfunction. We examined functional synaptic connectivity in area CA3 of the hippocampus of Ts65Dn mice using organotypic slice cultures as a model. We found reductions in multiple measures of synaptic function in both excitatory and inhibitory inputs to pyramidal neurons in CA3 of the Ts65Dn hippocampus. However, associational synaptic connections between pyramidal neurons were more abundant and more likely to be active rather than silent in the Ts65Dn hippocampus. Synaptic potentiation was normal in these associational connections. Decreased overall functional synaptic input onto pyramidal neurons expressed along with the specific hyperconnectivity of associational connections between pyramidal neurons will result in predictable alterations of CA3 network function, which may contribute to the memory impairments seen in DS. PMID:17158177

  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. PMID:21430152

  10. Synaptic function is modulated by LRRK2 and glutamate release is increased in cortical neurons of G2019S LRRK2 knock-in mice

    PubMed Central

    Beccano-Kelly, Dayne A.; Kuhlmann, Naila; Tatarnikov, Igor; Volta, Mattia; Munsie, Lise N.; Chou, Patrick; Cao, Li-Ping; Han, Heather; Tapia, Lucia; Farrer, Matthew J.; Milnerwood, Austen J.

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase-2 (LRRK2) result in familial Parkinson's disease and the G2019S mutation alone accounts for up to 30% in some ethnicities. Despite this, the function of LRRK2 is largely undetermined although evidence suggests roles in phosphorylation, protein interactions, autophagy and endocytosis. Emerging reports link loss of LRRK2 to altered synaptic transmission, but the effects of the G2019S mutation upon synaptic release in mammalian neurons are unknown. To assess wild type and mutant LRRK2 in established neuronal networks, we conducted immunocytochemical, electrophysiological and biochemical characterization of >3 week old cortical cultures of LRRK2 knock-out, wild-type overexpressing and G2019S knock-in mice. Synaptic release and synapse numbers were grossly normal in LRRK2 knock-out cells, but discretely reduced glutamatergic activity and reduced synaptic protein levels were observed. Conversely, synapse density was modestly but significantly increased in wild-type LRRK2 overexpressing cultures although event frequency was not. In knock-in cultures, glutamate release was markedly elevated, in the absence of any change to synapse density, indicating that physiological levels of G2019S LRRK2 elevate probability of release. Several pre-synaptic regulatory proteins shown by others to interact with LRRK2 were expressed at normal levels in knock-in cultures; however, synapsin 1 phosphorylation was significantly reduced. Thus, perturbations to the pre-synaptic release machinery and elevated synaptic transmission are early neuronal effects of LRRK2 G2019S. Furthermore, the comparison of knock-in and overexpressing cultures suggests that one copy of the G2019S mutation has a more pronounced effect than an ~3-fold increase in LRRK2 protein. Mutant-induced increases in transmission may convey additional stressors to neuronal physiology that may eventually contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. PMID:25309331

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. 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

  14. Can lifestyle modification affect men's erectile function?

    PubMed

    Hehemann, Marah C; Kashanian, James A

    2016-04-01

    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

  15. 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.

  16. Modulation of dendritic spines and synaptic function by Rac1: A possible link to Fragile X syndrome pathology

    PubMed Central

    Bongmba, Odelia Y. N.; Martinez, Luis A.; Elhardt, Mary E.; Butler, Karlis; Tejada-Simon, Maria V.

    2011-01-01

    Rac1, a protein of the Rho GTPase subfamily, has been implicated in neuronal and spine development as well as the formation of synapses with appropriate partners. Dendrite and spine abnormalities have been implicated in several psychiatric disorders such as Fragile-X syndrome, where neurons show a high density of long, thin, and immature dendritic spines. Although abnormalities in dendrites and spines have been correlated with impaired cognitive abilities in mental retardation, the causes of these malformations are not yet well understood. Fragile X syndrome is the most common type of inherited mental retardation caused by the absence of FMRP protein, a RNA-binding protein implicated in the regulation of mRNA translation and transport, leading to protein synthesis. We suggest that FMRP might act as a negative regulator on the synthesis of Rac1. Maintaining an optimal level of Rac1 and facilitating the reorganization of the cytoskeleton likely leads to normal neuronal morphology during activity-dependent plasticity. In our study, we first demonstrated that Rac1 is not only associated but necessary for normal spine development and long-term synaptic plasticity. We further showed that, in Fmr1 knockout mice, lack of FMRP induces an overactivation of Rac1 in the mouse brain and other organs that have been shown to be altered in Fragile X syndrome. In those animals, pharmacological manipulation of Rac1 partially reverses their altered long-term plasticity. Thus, regulation of Rac1 may provide a functional link among deficient neuronal morphology, aberrant synaptic plasticity and cognition impairment in Fragile X syndrome. PMID:21645877

  17. Hyperinsulinemia adversely affects lung structure and function.

    PubMed

    Singh, Suchita; Bodas, Manish; Bhatraju, Naveen K; Pattnaik, Bijay; Gheware, Atish; Parameswaran, Praveen Kolumam; Thompson, Michael; Freeman, Michelle; Mabalirajan, Ulaganathan; Gosens, Reinoud; Ghosh, Balaram; Pabelick, Christina; Linneberg, Allan; Prakash, Y S; Agrawal, Anurag

    2016-05-01

    There is limited knowledge regarding the consequences of hyperinsulinemia on the lung. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and epidemiological associations with asthma, this is a critical lacuna, more so with inhaled insulin on the horizon. Here, we demonstrate that insulin can adversely affect respiratory health. Insulin treatment (1 μg/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) increased the proliferation of primary human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells and induced collagen release. Additionally, ASM cells showed a significant increase in calcium response and mitochondrial respiration upon insulin exposure. Mice administered intranasal insulin showed increased collagen deposition in the lungs as well as a significant increase in airway hyperresponsiveness. PI3K/Akt mediated activation of β-catenin, a positive regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and fibrosis, was observed in the lungs of insulin-treated mice and lung cells. Our data suggests that hyperinsulinemia may have adverse effects on airway structure and function. Insulin-induced activation of β-catenin in lung tissue and the contractile effects on ASM cells may be causally related to the development of asthma-like phenotype. PMID:26919895

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. Mutation of Drosophila Focal Adhesion Kinase Induces Bang-Sensitive Behavior and Disrupts Glial Function, Axonal Conduction and Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Ueda, Atsushi; Grabbe, Caroline; Lee, Jihye; Lee, Jisue; Palmer, Ruth H.; Wu, Chun-Fang

    2009-01-01

    The role of the conserved Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) family of protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) in the development and physiological functions of the CNS has long been an area of interest among neuroscientists. In this report, we observe that Drosophila mutants lacking Fak56 exhibit a decreased life span, accompanied by a bang-sensitive phenotype, which is characterised by sensitivity to mechanical and high-frequency electrical stimulation. Fak56 mutant animals display lower thresholds and higher rates of seizures in response to electroconvulsive stimuli, and direct measurements of action potential conduction in larval segmental nerves demonstrate a slowed propagation speed and failure during high-frequency nerve stimulation. In addition, neuromuscular junctions in Fak56 mutant animals display transmission blockade during high-frequency activity as a result of action potential failure. Endogenous Fak56 protein is abundant in glial cells ensheathing the axon bundles, and structural alterations of segmental nerve bundles can be observed in mutants. Manipulation of Fak56 function specifically in glial cells also disrupts action potential conduction and neurotransmission, suggesting a glial component in the Fak56 bang-sensitive phenotype. Furthermore, we show that increased intracellular calcium levels result in the dephosphorylation of endogenous Fak56 protein in Drosophila cell lines, in parallel with our observations of highly variable synaptic potentials at a higher Ca2+ level in Fak56 mutant larvae. Together these findings suggest that modulation of Fak56 function is important for action potential propagation and Ca2+-regulated neuromuscular transmission in vivo. PMID:18540882

  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. 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. PMID:26719090

  4. JAKMIP1, a Novel Regulator of Neuronal Translation, Modulates Synaptic Function and Autistic-like Behaviors in Mouse.

    PubMed

    Berg, Jamee M; Lee, Changhoon; Chen, Leslie; Galvan, Laurie; Cepeda, Carlos; Chen, Jane Y; Peñagarikano, Olga; Stein, Jason L; Li, Alvin; Oguro-Ando, Asami; Miller, Jeremy A; Vashisht, Ajay A; Starks, Mary E; Kite, Elyse P; Tam, Eric; Gdalyahu, Amos; Al-Sharif, Noor B; Burkett, Zachary D; White, Stephanie A; Fears, Scott C; Levine, Michael S; Wohlschlegel, James A; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2015-12-16

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heritable, common neurodevelopmental disorder with diverse genetic causes. Several studies have implicated protein synthesis as one among several of its potential convergent mechanisms. We originally identified Janus kinase and microtubule-interacting protein 1 (JAKMIP1) as differentially expressed in patients with distinct syndromic forms of ASD, fragile X syndrome, and 15q duplication syndrome. Here, we provide multiple lines of evidence that JAKMIP1 is a component of polyribosomes and an RNP translational regulatory complex that includes fragile X mental retardation protein, DEAD box helicase 5, and the poly(A) binding protein cytoplasmic 1. JAKMIP1 loss dysregulates neuronal translation during synaptic development, affecting glutamatergic NMDAR signaling, and results in social deficits, stereotyped activity, abnormal postnatal vocalizations, and other autistic-like behaviors in the mouse. These findings define an important and novel role for JAKMIP1 in neural development and further highlight pathways regulating mRNA translation during synaptogenesis in the genesis of neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:26627310

  5. BCL-xL regulates synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Jonas, Elizabeth

    2006-08-01

    Mitochondria are the predominant organelle within many presynaptic terminals. During times of high synaptic activity, they affect intracellular calcium homeostasis and provide the energy needed for synaptic vesicle recycling and for the continued operation of membrane ion pumps. Recent discoveries have altered our ideas about the role of mitochondria in the synapse. Mitochondrial localization, morphology, and docking at synaptic sites may indeed alter the kinetics of transmitter release and calcium homeostasis in the presynaptic terminal. In addition, the mitochondrial ion channel BCL-xL, known as a protector against programmed cell death, regulates mitochondrial membrane conductance and bioenergetics in the synapse and can thereby alter synaptic transmitter release and the recycling of pools of synaptic vesicles. BCL-xL, therefore, not only affects the life and death of the cell soma, but its actions in the synapse may underlie the regulation of basic synaptic processes that subtend learning, memory and synaptic development. PMID:16960143

  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. 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

  10. Does iron deficiency anemia affect olfactory function?

    PubMed

    Dinc, Mehmet Emre; Dalgic, Abdullah; Ulusoy, Seckin; Dizdar, Denizhan; Develioglu, Omer; Topak, Murat

    2016-07-01

    Conclusion This study found a negative effect of IDA on olfactory function. IDA leads to a reduction in olfactory function, and decreases in hemoglobin levels result in further reduction in olfactory function. Objective This study examined the effects of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) on olfactory function. Method The study enrolled 50 IDA patients and 50 healthy subjects. Olfactory function was evaluated using the Sniffin' Sticks olfactory test. The diagnosis of IDA was made according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results Patients with IDA had a significantly lower threshold, discrimination, and identification (TDI) value, and a lower threshold compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of smell selectivity values. PMID:26963317

  11. The role of microRNAs in synaptic development and function

    PubMed Central

    Corbin, Rachel; Olsson-Carter, Katherine; Slack, Frank

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs control gene expression by inhibiting translation or promoting degradation of their target mRNAs. Since the discovery of the first microRNAs, lin-4 and let-7, in C. elegans, hundreds of microRNAs have been identified as key regulators of cell fate determination, lifespan, and cancer in species ranging from plants to humans. However, while microRNAs have been shown to be particularly abundant in the brain, their role in the development and activity of the nervous system is still largely unknown. In this review, we describe recent advances in our understanding of microRNA function at synapses, the specialized structures required for communication between neurons and their targets. We also propose how these advances might inform the molecular model of memory. PMID:19335998

  12. Environmental enrichment decreases GABAergic inhibition and improves cognitive abilities, synaptic plasticity, and visual functions in a mouse model of Down syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Begenisic, Tatjana; Spolidoro, Maria; Braschi, Chiara; Baroncelli, Laura; Milanese, Marco; Pietra, Gianluca; Fabbri, Maria E.; Bonanno, Giambattista; Cioni, Giovanni; Maffei, Lamberto; Sale, Alessandro

    2011-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic disorder associated with mental retardation. It has been repeatedly shown that Ts65Dn mice, the prime animal model for DS, have severe cognitive and neural plasticity defects due to excessive inhibition. We report that increasing sensory-motor stimulation in adulthood through environmental enrichment (EE) reduces brain inhibition levels and promotes recovery of spatial memory abilities, hippocampal synaptic plasticity, and visual functions in adult Ts65Dn mice. PMID:22207837

  13. 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

  14. EphB3 signaling propagates synaptic dysfunction in the traumatic injured brain.

    PubMed

    Perez, Enmanuel J; Cepero, Maria L; Perez, Sebastian U; Coyle, Joseph T; Sick, Thomas J; Liebl, Daniel J

    2016-10-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI), ranging from mild concussion to severe penetrating wounds, can involve brain regions that contain damaged or lost synapses in the absence of neuronal death. These affected regions significantly contribute to sensory, motor and/or cognitive deficits. Thus, studying the mechanisms responsible for synaptic instability and dysfunction is important for protecting the nervous system from the consequences of progressive TBI. Our controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury produces ~20% loss of synapses and mild changes in synaptic protein levels in the CA3-CA1 hippocampus without neuronal losses. These synaptic changes are associated with functional deficits, indicated by >50% loss in synaptic plasticity and impaired learning behavior. We show that the receptor tyrosine kinase EphB3 participates in CCI injury-induced synaptic damage, where EphB3(-/-) mice show preserved long-term potentiation and hippocampal-dependent learning behavior as compared with wild type (WT) injured mice. Improved synaptic function in the absence of EphB3 results from attenuation in CCI injury-induced synaptic losses and reduced d-serine levels compared with WT injured mice. Together, these findings suggest that EphB3 signaling plays a deleterious role in synaptic stability and plasticity after TBI. PMID:27317833

  15. Aging alters the expression of genes for neuroprotection and synaptic function following acute estradiol treatment

    PubMed Central

    Aenlle, Kristina K.; Foster, Thomas C.

    2009-01-01

    This study used microarray analysis to examine age-related changes in gene expression 6 and 12 hr following a single estradiol injection in ovariectomized mice. Estradiol-responsive gene expression at the 6 hr time point was reduced in aged (18 mo) animals compared to young (4 mo) and middle-aged (MA, 12 mo) mice. Examination of gene clustering within biological and functional pathways indicated that young and MA mice exhibited increased expression of genes for cellular components of the synapse and decreased expression of genes related to oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial dysfunction. At the 12 hr time point, estradiol-responsive gene expression increased in aged animals and decreased in young and MA mice compared to the 6 hr time point. Gene clustering analysis indicated that aged mice exhibited increased expression of genes for signaling pathways that are rapidly influenced by estradiol. The age differences in gene expression for rapid signaling pathways may relate to disparity in basal pathway activity and estradiol mediated activation of rapid signaling cascades. PMID:19790252

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:25620674

  20. Molecular Underpinnings of Synaptic Vesicle Pool Heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Devon C.; Kavalali, Ege T.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25620674

  1. [Functional changes in the chromatophilic substance and RNA content of the cytoplasm of sympathetic neurons in the presence of synaptic transmission disorders].

    PubMed

    Gorelikov, P L

    1981-07-01

    At a disturbed synaptic transmission in the rabbit cranial sympathetic cervical ganglion in histological sections stained with gallocyanin chrome alum, distribution of the chromatophilic substance was studied, and in the same sections RNA content was determined cytophotometrically. In ganglia of intact animals three groups of neurons with various structure of the chromatophilic substance were defined and their quantitative relation was stated. After administration of various doses of the ganglio-blockader, there was an essential difference in the changes of the chromatophilic substance, but they were unitypical in mono- and double-nuclear neurons. In the same cells, the synaptic blockade produced a rather great increase in the content of the cytoplasmic RNA. Comparing the quantitative data with the visual observation results, a conclusion was made that it is not reliable to use any changes in the chromatophilic substance as a criterium on quantitative shifts in the neuronal RNA and for the morphological test of the neuronal functional activity. PMID:6170279

  2. 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

  3. Auditory neuropathy--neural and synaptic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Moser, Tobias; Starr, Arnold

    2016-03-01

    Sensorineural hearing impairment is the most common form of hearing loss, and encompasses pathologies of the cochlea and the auditory nerve. Hearing impairment caused by abnormal neural encoding of sound stimuli despite preservation of sensory transduction and amplification by outer hair cells is known as 'auditory neuropathy'. This term was originally coined for a specific type of hearing impairment affecting speech comprehension beyond changes in audibility: patients with this condition report that they "can hear but cannot understand". This type of hearing impairment can be caused by damage to the sensory inner hair cells (IHCs), IHC ribbon synapses or spiral ganglion neurons. Human genetic and physiological studies, as well as research on animal models, have recently shown that disrupted IHC ribbon synapse function--resulting from genetic alterations that affect presynaptic glutamate loading of synaptic vesicles, Ca(2+) influx, or synaptic vesicle exocytosis--leads to hearing impairment termed 'auditory synaptopathy'. Moreover, animal studies have demonstrated that sound overexposure causes excitotoxic loss of IHC ribbon synapses. This mechanism probably contributes to hearing disorders caused by noise exposure or age-related hearing loss. This Review provides an update on recently elucidated sensory, synaptic and neural mechanisms of hearing impairment, their corresponding clinical findings, and discusses current rehabilitation strategies as well as future therapies. PMID:26891769

  4. Administration of nicotinic receptor antagonists during the period of memory consolidation affects passive avoidance learning and modulates synaptic efficiency in the CA1 region in vivo.

    PubMed

    Dobryakova, Y V; Gurskaya, O Ya; Markevich, V A

    2015-01-22

    We examined whether a non-selective antagonist of nAChRs mecamylamine and selective antagonists of α4β2-containing nAChRs dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE) and α7-containing nAChRs methyllycaconitine (MLA) affect learning performance and synaptic efficiency in the CA1 area of the hippocampus of freely moving rats during the memory consolidation period. Adult male Wistar rats received mecamylamine (0.5 mg/kg), DHβE (1 mg/kg), MLA (2 mg/kg) or saline immediately after training in a passive avoidance task. Memory retention was examined 24 h after the training. The changes in the latency of the first entry into a dark compartment of a test chamber were chosen as a criterion of learning. The ability of nAChRs antagonists to induce changes in the basal level of focal potentials (fEPSP, field excitatory postsynaptic potential) was estimated before training (baseline), 90 min after the training (consolidation period) and 24 h after the training (retention period). We found that in untrained rats mecamylamine, DHβE and MLA diminished the amplitude of fEPSP within the first 90 min after the injection; similar effect was observed in DHβE- and MLA-treated trained animals. These suppressive effects of DHβE and MLA were associated with memory loss. In contrast, mecamylamine, when applied to trained animals, tended to increase latency to enter the dark chamber and did not influence fEPSP during first 90 min after injection. Thus, the nAChRs antagonists with different selectivity induced different changes in fEPSP and behavior which suggests that nAChRs with different subunit composition are diversely involved in memory consolidation. PMID:25450966

  5. Synaptic dynamics in analog VLSI.

    PubMed

    Bartolozzi, Chiara; Indiveri, Giacomo

    2007-10-01

    Synapses are crucial elements for computation and information transfer in both real and artificial neural systems. Recent experimental findings and theoretical models of pulse-based neural networks suggest that synaptic dynamics can play a crucial role for learning neural codes and encoding spatiotemporal spike patterns. Within the context of hardware implementations of pulse-based neural networks, several analog VLSI circuits modeling synaptic functionality have been proposed. We present an overview of previously proposed circuits and describe a novel analog VLSI synaptic circuit suitable for integration in large VLSI spike-based neural systems. The circuit proposed is based on a computational model that fits the real postsynaptic currents with exponentials. We present experimental data showing how the circuit exhibits realistic dynamics and show how it can be connected to additional modules for implementing a wide range of synaptic properties. PMID:17716003

  6. 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

  7. dTip60 HAT Activity Controls Synaptic Bouton Expansion at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Sarthi, Jessica; Elefant, Felice

    2011-01-01

    Background Histone acetylation of chromatin plays a key role in promoting the dynamic transcriptional responses in neurons that influence the neuroplasticity linked to cognitive ability, yet the specific histone acetyltransferases (HATs) that create such epigenetic marks remain to be elucidated. Methods and Findings Here we use the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) as a well-characterized synapse model to identify HATs that control synaptic remodeling and structure. We show that the HAT dTip60 is concentrated both pre and post-synaptically within the NMJ. Presynaptic targeted reduction of dTip60 HAT activity causes a significant increase in synaptic bouton number that specifically affects type Is boutons. The excess boutons show a suppression of the active zone synaptic function marker bruchpilot, suggesting defects in neurotransmission function. Analysis of microtubule organization within these excess boutons using immunohistochemical staining to the microtubule associated protein futsch reveals a significant increase in the rearrangement of microtubule loop architecture that is required for bouton division. Moreover, α-tubulin acetylation levels of microtubules specifically extending into the terminal synaptic boutons are reduced in response to dTip60 HAT reduction. Conclusions Our results are the first to demonstrate a causative role for the HAT dTip60 in the control of synaptic plasticity that is achieved, at least in part, via regulation of the synaptic microtubule cytoskeleton. These findings have implications for dTip60 HAT dependant epigenetic mechanisms underlying cognitive function. PMID:22046262

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. [Multiscale functional imaging: reconstructing network dynamics from the synaptic echoes recorded in a single visual cortex neuron].

    PubMed

    Fregnac, Yves; Baudot, Pierre; Chavane, Frédéric; Marre, Olivier; Monier, Cyril; Pananceau, Marc; Sadoc, Gérard

    2009-04-01

    In vivo intracellular electrophysiology offers the unique possibility of listening to the "synaptic rumor " of the cortical network, captured by a recording electrode in a single V1 cell. It allows one to reconstruct the distribution of input sources in space and time, i.e. the effective network dynamics. We have used a reverse engineering method to demonstrate the propagation of visually evoked activity through lateral (and feedback) connectivity in the primary cortex of higher mammals. This approach, based on synaptic echography, is compared here with a real-time brain imaging technique based on voltage-sensitive dye imaging. The former method gives access to the microscopic convergence processes of single neurons, whereas the latter describes the macroscopic divergence process on the neuronal map. A combination of the two techniques can be used to elucidate the cortical origin of low-level (non attentive) binding processes participating in the emergence of Gestalt percepts. PMID:20120274

  12. Membrane-tethered AKT kinase regulates basal synaptic transmission and early phase LTP expression by modulation of post-synaptic AMPA receptor level.

    PubMed

    Pen, Y; Borovok, N; Reichenstein, M; Sheinin, A; Michaelevski, I

    2016-09-01

    The serine/threonine kinase AKT/PKB plays a fundamental role in a wide variety of neuronal functions, including neuronal cell development, axonal growth, and synaptic plasticity. Multiple evidence link AKT signaling pathways to regulation of late phase long-term synaptic plasticity, synaptogenesis, and spinogenesis, as well as long-term memory formation. Nevertheless, the downstream effectors mediating the effects of AKT on early phase long-term potentiation (eLTP) are currently unknown. Here we report that using different regimes of pharmacological activation and inhibition of AKT activity in acute hippocampal slices, we found that AKT regulates the post-synaptic expression of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPA) receptors affecting solely the expression of eLTP, with no effect on its induction and maintenance. We further show that both maintenance of basal synaptic activity and expression of eLTP require plasma membrane tethering by activated AKT and that basal synaptic activity may be regulated via the direct effects of AKT1 on the expression level of post-synaptic AMPA receptors bypassing the canonical AKT signaling. Finally, we establish that eLTP expression requires the involvement of both the canonical AKT signaling pathways and the direct effect of AKT1 on AMPA receptor activity/expression in the post-synaptic membrane. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27068236

  13. Excitatory synaptic function and plasticity is persistently altered in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons after prenatal ethanol exposure.

    PubMed

    Hausknecht, Kathryn; Haj-Dahmane, Samir; Shen, Ying-Ling; Vezina, Paul; Dlugos, Cynthia; Shen, Roh-Yu

    2015-03-01

    Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) is one of the developmental factors leading to increased addiction propensity (risk). However, the neuronal mechanisms underlying this effect remain unknown. We examined whether increased excitatory synaptic transmission in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons, which is associated with drug addiction, was impacted by PE. Pregnant rats were exposed to ethanol (0 or 6 g/kg/day) via intragastric intubation from gestational day 8-20. Amphetamine self-administration, whole-cell recordings, and electron microscopy were performed in male offspring between 2 and 12-week-old. The results showed enhanced amphetamine self-administration in PE animals. In PE animals, we observed a persistent augmentation in calcium-permeable AMPA receptor (CP-AMPAR) expression, indicated by increased rectification and reduced decay time of AMPAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (AMPAR-EPSCs), enhanced depression of AMPAR-EPSCs by NASPM (a selective CP-AMPAR antagonist), and increased GluA3 subunits in VTA DA neuron dendrites. Increased CP-AMPAR expression in PE animals led to enhanced excitatory synaptic strength and the induction of CP-AMPAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP), an anti-Hebbian form of LTP. These observations suggest that, in PE animals, increased excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons might be susceptible to further strengthening even in the absence of impulse flow. The PE-induced persistent increase in CP-AMPAR expression, the resulting enhancement in excitatory synaptic strength, and CP-AMPAR-dependent LTP are similar to effects observed after repeated exposure to drugs of abuse, conditions known to increase addiction risk. Therefore, these mechanisms could be important neuronal substrates underlying PE-induced enhancement in amphetamine self-administration and increased addiction risk in individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. PMID:25284318

  14. Gain-of-function mutations in protein kinase Cα (PKCα) may promote synaptic defects in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Alfonso, Stephanie I; Callender, Julia A; Hooli, Basavaraj; Antal, Corina E; Mullin, Kristina; Sherman, Mathew A; Lesné, Sylvain E; Leitges, Michael; Newton, Alexandra C; Tanzi, Rudolph E; Malinow, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive dementia disorder characterized by synaptic degeneration and amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation in the brain. Through whole-genome sequencing of 1345 individuals from 410 families with late-onset AD (LOAD), we identified three highly penetrant variants in PRKCA, the gene that encodes protein kinase Cα (PKCα), in five of the families. All three variants linked with LOAD displayed increased catalytic activity relative to wild-type PKCα as assessed in live-cell imaging experiments using a genetically encoded PKC activity reporter. Deleting PRKCA in mice or adding PKC antagonists to mouse hippocampal slices infected with a virus expressing the Aβ precursor CT100 revealed that PKCα was required for the reduced synaptic activity caused by Aβ. In PRKCA(-/-) neurons expressing CT100, introduction of PKCα, but not PKCα lacking a PDZ interaction moiety, rescued synaptic depression, suggesting that a scaffolding interaction bringing PKCα to the synapse is required for its mediation of the effects of Aβ. Thus, enhanced PKCα activity may contribute to AD, possibly by mediating the actions of Aβ on synapses. In contrast, reduced PKCα activity is implicated in cancer. Hence, these findings reinforce the importance of maintaining a careful balance in the activity of this enzyme. PMID:27165780

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular Motors and Synaptic Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Qian; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2016-01-01

    Proper synaptic function requires the seamless integration of the transport, assembly, and regulation of synaptic components and structures. Inasmuch as the synapse is often distant from the neuronal cell body, newly synthesized synaptic proteins, the precursors of synaptic vesicles, active zone compartments, channels and receptors, and mitochondria, must be transported along lengthy neuronal processes to participate in synaptogenesis. Neuronal transport is mediated by motor proteins that associate with their cargoes via adaptors (or receptors) and that travel along the cytoskeleton network within the neuronal processes. Thus, the identity of membranous protein cargoes and the specificity of motor-cargo interactions are critical for correctly targeting cargoes and properly assembling synapses in developing neurons and in remodeling synapses of mature neurons in response to neuronal activity. In this article, the authors review recent progress in characterizing microtubule- and actin-based motor proteins that are involved in delivering synaptic components and discuss potential mechanisms underlying the formation of motor- receptor-cargo complexes that contribute to synaptogenesis and activity-induced synaptic plasticity. PMID:19218232

  17. 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. PMID:26338675

  18. Social functioning and age across affective and non-affective psychoses

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Elizabeth A.; Öngür, Dost; Cohen, Bruce M.; Lewandowski, Kathryn E.

    2014-01-01

    Both non-affective and affective psychoses are associated with deficits in social functioning across the course of the illness. However, it is not clear how social functioning varies among diagnostic groups as a function of age. The current study examined the relationship between social functioning and age in schizophrenia (SZ), schizoaffective disorder (SZA), and psychotic bipolar disorder (PBD). We found that individuals with PBD had the highest functioning while individuals with SZ had the poorest. The functioning of individuals with SZA fell in between the other groups. We also found that older ages were associated with poorer functioning. Although there was not a significant diagnostic group by age interaction, visual inspection of our data suggests a subtly steeper trajectory of decline in PBD. These results indicate that a decline in social functioning with may be an important area of unmet need in treatment across psychotic disorders. PMID:25503785

  19. Clathrin regenerates synaptic vesicles from endosomes

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Shigeki; Trimbuch, Thorsten; Camacho-Pérez, Marcial; Rost, Benjamin R.; Brokowski, Bettina; Söhl-Kielczynski, Berit; Felies, Annegret; Davis, M. Wayne; Rosenmund, Christian; Jorgensen, Erik M.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Ultrafast endocytosis can retrieve a single large endocytic vesicle as fast as 50-100 ms after synaptic vesicle fusion. However, the fate of the large endocytic vesicles is not known. Here we demonstrate that these vesicles transition to a synaptic endosome about one second after stimulation. The endosome is resolved into coated vesicles after 3 seconds, which in turn become small-diameter synaptic vesicles 5-6 seconds after stimulation. We disrupted clathrin function using RNAi and found that clathrin is not required for ultrafast endocytosis but is required to generate synaptic vesicles from the endosome. Ultrafast endocytosis fails when actin polymerization is disrupted, or when neurons are stimulated at room temperature instead of physiological temperature. In the absence of ultrafast endocytosis, synaptic vesicles are retrieved directly from the plasma membrane by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. These results explain in large part discrepancies among published experiments concerning the role of clathrin in synaptic vesicle endocytosis. PMID:25296249

  20. The synaptic targeting of mGluR1 by its carboxyl-terminal domain is crucial for cerebellar function.

    PubMed

    Ohtani, Yoshiaki; Miyata, Mariko; Hashimoto, Kouichi; Tabata, Toshihide; Kishimoto, Yasushi; Fukaya, Masahiro; Kase, Daisuke; Kassai, Hidetoshi; Nakao, Kazuki; Hirata, Tatsumi; Watanabe, Masahiko; Kano, Masanobu; Aiba, Atsu

    2014-02-12

    The metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 1 (mGluR1, Grm1) in cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) is essential for motor coordination and motor learning. At the synaptic level, mGluR1 has a critical role in long-term synaptic depression (LTD) at parallel fiber (PF)-PC synapses, and in developmental elimination of climbing fiber (CF)-PC synapses. mGluR1a, a predominant splice variant in PCs, has a long carboxyl (C)-terminal domain that interacts with Homer scaffolding proteins. Cerebellar roles of the C-terminal domain at both synaptic and behavior levels remain poorly understood. To address this question, we introduced a short variant, mGluR1b, which lacks this domain into PCs of mGluR1-knock-out (KO) mice (mGluR1b-rescue mice). In mGluR1b-rescue mice, mGluR1b showed dispersed perisynaptic distribution in PC spines. Importantly, mGluR1b-rescue mice exhibited impairments in inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R)-mediated Ca(2+) release, CF synapse elimination, LTD induction, and delay eyeblink conditioning: they showed normal transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) currents and normal motor coordination. In contrast, PC-specific rescue of mGluR1a restored all cerebellar defects of mGluR1-KO mice. We conclude that the long C-terminal domain of mGluR1a is required for the proper perisynaptic targeting of mGluR1, IP3R-mediated Ca(2+) release, CF synapse elimination, LTD, and motor learning, but not for TRPC currents and motor coordination. PMID:24523559

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

    PubMed

    Jia, Yan; Parker, David

    2016-01-01

    The output of a neuronal network depends on the organization and functional properties of its component cells and synapses. While the characterization of synaptic properties has lagged cellular analyses, a potentially important aspect in rhythmically active networks is how network synapses affect, and are in turn affected by, network activity. This could lead to a potential circular interaction where short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is both influenced by and influences the network output. The analysis of synaptic plasticity in the lamprey locomotor network was extended here to characterize the short-term plasticity of connections between network interneurons and to try and address its potential network role. Paired recordings from identified interneurons in quiescent networks showed synapse-specific synaptic properties and plasticity that supported the presence of two hemisegmental groups that could influence bursting: depression in an excitatory interneuron group, and facilitation in an inhibitory feedback circuit. The influence of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity on network activity was investigated experimentally by changing Ringer Ca(2+) levels, and in a simple computer model. A potential caveat of the experimental analyses was that changes in Ringer Ca(2+) (and compensatory adjustments in Mg(2+) in some cases) could alter several other cellular and synaptic properties. Several of these properties were tested, and while there was some variability, these were not usually significantly affected by the Ringer changes. The experimental analyses suggested that depression of excitatory inputs had the strongest influence on the patterning of network activity. The simulation supported a role for this effect, and also suggested that the inhibitory facilitating group could modulate the influence of the excitatory synaptic depression. Short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has not generally been considered in spinal cord models. These

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

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Yan; Parker, David

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

  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. Pharmacological challenge and synaptic response - assessing dopaminergic function in the rat striatum with small animal single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET).

    PubMed

    Nikolaus, Susanne; Larisch, Rolf; Vosberg, Henning; Beu, Markus; Wirrwar, Andreas; Antke, Christina; Kley, Konstantin; Silva, Maria Angelica De Souza; Huston, Joseph P; Müller, Hans-Wilhelm

    2011-01-01

    Disturbances of dopaminergic neurotransmission may be caused by changes in concentrations of synaptic dopamine (DA) and/or availabilities of pre- and post-synaptic transporter and receptor binding sites. We present a series of experiments which focus on the regulatory mechanisms of the dopamin(DA)ergic synapse in the rat striatum. In these studies, DA transporter (DAT) and/or D(2) receptor binding were assessed with either small animal single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or positron emission tomography (PET) after pharmacological challenge with haloperidol, L-DOPA and methylphenidate, and after nigrostriatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. Investigations of DAT binding were performed with [(123)I]N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane ([(123)I]FP-CIT). D(2) receptor bindingd was assessed with either [(123)I](S)-2-hydroxy-3-iodo-6-methoxy-N-[(1-ethyl-2-pyrrolidinyl)methyl]benzamide ([(123)I]IBZM) or [(18)F]1[3-(4'fluorobenzoyl)propyl]-4-(2-keto-3-methyl-1-benzimidazolinyl)piperidine ([(18)F]FMB). Findings demonstrate that in vivo investigations of transporter and/or receptor binding are feasible with small animal SPECT and PET. Therefore, tracers that are radiolabeled with isotopes of comparatively long half-lives such as (123)I may be employed. Our approach to quantify DAT and/or D(2) receptor binding at baseline and after pharmacological interventions inducing DAT blockade, D(2) receptor blockade, and increases or decreases of endogenous DA concentrations holds promise for the in vivo assessment of synaptic function. This pertains to animal models of diseases associated with pre- or postsynaptic DAergic deficiencies such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia or drug abuse. PMID:22103308

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Calcineurin Mediates Synaptic Scaling Via Synaptic Trafficking of Ca2+-Permeable AMPA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seonil; Ziff, Edward B.

    2014-01-01

    Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a negative-feedback mechanism for compensating excessive excitation or inhibition of neuronal activity. When neuronal activity is chronically suppressed, neurons increase synaptic strength across all affected synapses via synaptic scaling. One mechanism for this change is alteration of synaptic AMPA receptor (AMPAR) accumulation. Although decreased intracellular Ca2+ levels caused by chronic inhibition of neuronal activity are believed to be an important trigger of synaptic scaling, the mechanism of Ca2+-mediated AMPAR-dependent synaptic scaling is not yet understood. Here, we use dissociated mouse cortical neurons and employ Ca2+ imaging, electrophysiological, cell biological, and biochemical approaches to describe a novel mechanism in which homeostasis of Ca2+ signaling modulates activity deprivation-induced synaptic scaling by three steps: (1) suppression of neuronal activity decreases somatic Ca2+ signals; (2) reduced activity of calcineurin, a Ca2+-dependent serine/threonine phosphatase, increases synaptic expression of Ca2+-permeable AMPARs (CPARs) by stabilizing GluA1 phosphorylation; and (3) Ca2+ influx via CPARs restores CREB phosphorylation as a homeostatic response by Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release from the ER. Therefore, we suggest that synaptic scaling not only maintains neuronal stability by increasing postsynaptic strength but also maintains nuclear Ca2+ signaling by synaptic expression of CPARs and ER Ca2+ propagation. PMID:24983627

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Serotonin and Dopamine: Unifying Affective, Activational, and Decision Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cools, Roshan; Nakamura, Kae; Daw, Nathaniel D

    2011-01-01

    Serotonin, like dopamine (DA), has long been implicated in adaptive behavior, including decision making and reinforcement learning. However, although the two neuromodulators are tightly related and have a similar degree of functional importance, compared with DA, we have a much less specific understanding about the mechanisms by which serotonin affects behavior. Here, we draw on recent work on computational models of dopaminergic function to suggest a framework by which many of the seemingly diverse functions associated with both DA and serotonin—comprising both affective and activational ones, as well as a number of other functions not overtly related to either—can be seen as consequences of a single root mechanism. PMID:20736991

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Bruchpilot, a protein with homology to ELKS/CAST, is required for structural integrity and function of synaptic active zones in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Wagh, Dhananjay A; Rasse, Tobias M; Asan, Esther; Hofbauer, Alois; Schwenkert, Isabell; Dürrbeck, Heike; Buchner, Sigrid; Dabauvalle, Marie-Christine; Schmidt, Manuela; Qin, Gang; Wichmann, Carolin; Kittel, Robert; Sigrist, Stephan J; Buchner, Erich

    2006-03-16

    Neurotransmitters are released at presynaptic active zones (AZs). In the fly Drosophila, monoclonal antibody (MAB) nc82 specifically labels AZs. We employ nc82 to identify Bruchpilot protein (BRP) as a previously unknown AZ component. BRP shows homology to human AZ protein ELKS/CAST/ERC, which binds RIM1 in a complex with Bassoon and Munc13-1. The C terminus of BRP displays structural similarities to multifunctional cytoskeletal proteins. During development, transcription of the bruchpilot locus (brp) coincides with neuronal differentiation. Panneural reduction of BRP expression by RNAi constructs permits a first functional characterization of this large AZ protein: larvae show reduced evoked but normal spontaneous transmission at neuromuscular junctions. In adults, we observe loss of T bars at active zones, absence of synaptic components in electroretinogram, locomotor inactivity, and unstable flight (hence "bruchpilot"-crash pilot). We propose that BRP is critical for intact AZ structure and normal-evoked neurotransmitter release at chemical synapses of Drosophila. PMID:16543132

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Lifetime affect and midlife cognitive function: prospective birth cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Richards, M.; Barnett, J. H.; Xu, M. K.; Croudace, T. J.; Gaysina, D.; Kuh, D.; Jones, P. B.

    2014-01-01

    Background Recurrent affective problems are predictive of cognitive impairment, but the timing and directionality, and the nature of the cognitive impairment, are unclear. Aims To test prospective associations between life-course affective symptoms and cognitive function in late middle age. Method A total of 1668 men and women were drawn from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (the British 1946 birth cohort). Longitudinal affective symptoms spanning age 13-53 years served as predictors; outcomes consisted of self-reported memory problems at 60-64 years and decline in memory and information processing from age 53 to 60-64 years. Results Regression analyses revealed no clear pattern of association between longitudinal affective symptoms and decline in cognitive test scores, after adjusting for gender, childhood cognitive ability, education and midlife socioeconomic status. In contrast, affective symptoms were strongly, diffusely and independently associated with self-reported memory problems. Conclusions Affective symptoms are more clearly associated with self-reported memory problems in late midlife than with objectively measured cognitive performance. PMID:24357571

  4. Early synaptic dysfunction in Parkinson's disease: Insights from animal models.

    PubMed

    Schirinzi, Tommaso; Madeo, Graziella; Martella, Giuseppina; Maltese, Marta; Picconi, Barbara; Calabresi, Paolo; Pisani, Antonio

    2016-06-01

    The appearance of motor manifestations in Parkinson's disease (PD) is invariably linked to degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta. Traditional views on PD neuropathology have been grounded in the assumption that the prime event of neurodegeneration involves neuronal cell bodies with the accumulation of metabolic products. However, this view has recently been challenged by both clinical and experimental evidence. Neuropathological studies in human brain samples and both in vivo and in vitro models support the hypothesis that nigrostriatal synapses may indeed be affected at the earliest stages of the neurodegenerative process. The mechanisms leading to either structural or functional synaptic dysfunction are starting to be elucidated and include dysregulation of axonal transport, impairment of the exocytosis and endocytosis machinery, altered intracellular trafficking, and loss of corticostriatal synaptic plasticity. The aim of this review is to try to integrate different lines of evidence from both pathogenic and genetic animal models that, to different extents, suggest that early synaptic impairment may represent the key event in PD pathogenesis. Understanding the molecular and cellular events underlying such synaptopathy is a fundamental step toward developing specific biomarkers of early dopaminergic dysfunction and, more importantly, designing novel therapies targeting the synaptic apparatus of selective, vulnerable synapses. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. PMID:27193205

  5. Does Subacromial Osteolysis Affect Shoulder Function after Clavicle Hook Plating?

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Siwei; Gan, Minfeng; Sun, Han; Wu, Guizhong; Yang, Huilin; Zhou, Feng

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate whether subacromial osteolysis, one of the major complications of the clavicle hook plate procedure, affects shoulder function. Methods. We had performed a retrospective study of 72 patients diagnosed with a Neer II lateral clavicle fracture or Degree-III acromioclavicular joint dislocation in our hospital from July 2012 to December 2013. All these patients had undergone surgery with clavicle hook plate and were divided into two groups based on the occurrence of subacromial osteolysis. By using the Constant-Murley at the first follow-up visit after plates removal, we evaluated patients' shoulder function to judge if it has been affected by subacromial osteolysis. Results. We have analyzed clinical data for these 72 patients, which shows that there is no significant difference between group A (39 patients) and group B (33 patients) in age, gender, injury types or side, and shoulder function (the Constant-Murley scores are 93.38 ± 3.56 versus 94.24 ± 3.60, P > 0.05). Conclusion. The occurrence of subacromial osteolysis is not rare, and also it does not significantly affect shoulder function. PMID:27034937

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 is unclear. This study 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. We 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 sub-micromolar 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, we found that sub-micromolar 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. α/β-Hydrolase domain-containing 6 (ABHD6) negatively regulates the surface delivery and synaptic function of AMPA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Mengping; Zhang, Jian; Jia, Moye; Yang, Chaojuan; Pan, Yunlong; Li, Shuaiqi; Luo, Yiwen; Zheng, Junyuan; Ji, Jianguo; Chen, Jianguo; Hu, Xinli; Xiong, Jingwei; Shi, Yun; Zhang, Chen

    2016-01-01

    In the brain, AMPA-type glutamate receptors are major postsynaptic receptors at excitatory synapses that mediate fast neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. α/β-Hydrolase domain-containing 6 (ABHD6), a monoacylglycerol lipase, was previously found to be a component of AMPA receptor macromolecular complexes, but its physiological significance in the function of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) has remained unclear. The present study shows that overexpression of ABHD6 in neurons drastically reduced excitatory neurotransmission mediated by AMPA but not by NMDA receptors at excitatory synapses. Inactivation of ABHD6 expression in neurons by either CRISPR/Cas9 or shRNA knockdown methods significantly increased excitatory neurotransmission at excitatory synapses. Interestingly, overexpression of ABHD6 reduced glutamate-induced currents and the surface expression of GluA1 in HEK293T cells expressing GluA1 and stargazin, suggesting a direct functional interaction between these two proteins. The C-terminal tail of GluA1 was required for the binding between of ABHD6 and GluA1. Mutagenesis analysis revealed a GFCLIPQ sequence in the GluA1 C terminus that was essential for the inhibitory effect of ABHD6. The hydrolase activity of ABHD6 was not required for the effects of ABHD6 on AMPAR function in either neurons or transfected HEK293T cells. Thus, these findings reveal a novel and unexpected mechanism governing AMPAR trafficking at synapses through ABHD6. PMID:27114538

  14. α/β-Hydrolase domain-containing 6 (ABHD6) negatively regulates the surface delivery and synaptic function of AMPA receptors.

    PubMed

    Wei, Mengping; Zhang, Jian; Jia, Moye; Yang, Chaojuan; Pan, Yunlong; Li, Shuaiqi; Luo, Yiwen; Zheng, Junyuan; Ji, Jianguo; Chen, Jianguo; Hu, Xinli; Xiong, Jingwei; Shi, Yun; Zhang, Chen

    2016-05-10

    In the brain, AMPA-type glutamate receptors are major postsynaptic receptors at excitatory synapses that mediate fast neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. α/β-Hydrolase domain-containing 6 (ABHD6), a monoacylglycerol lipase, was previously found to be a component of AMPA receptor macromolecular complexes, but its physiological significance in the function of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) has remained unclear. The present study shows that overexpression of ABHD6 in neurons drastically reduced excitatory neurotransmission mediated by AMPA but not by NMDA receptors at excitatory synapses. Inactivation of ABHD6 expression in neurons by either CRISPR/Cas9 or shRNA knockdown methods significantly increased excitatory neurotransmission at excitatory synapses. Interestingly, overexpression of ABHD6 reduced glutamate-induced currents and the surface expression of GluA1 in HEK293T cells expressing GluA1 and stargazin, suggesting a direct functional interaction between these two proteins. The C-terminal tail of GluA1 was required for the binding between of ABHD6 and GluA1. Mutagenesis analysis revealed a GFCLIPQ sequence in the GluA1 C terminus that was essential for the inhibitory effect of ABHD6. The hydrolase activity of ABHD6 was not required for the effects of ABHD6 on AMPAR function in either neurons or transfected HEK293T cells. Thus, these findings reveal a novel and unexpected mechanism governing AMPAR trafficking at synapses through ABHD6. PMID:27114538

  15. Functional significance of preserved affect recognition in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Fiszdon, Joanna M.; Johannesen, Jason K.

    2009-01-01

    Affect recognition (AR) is a core component of social information processing, thus may be critical to understanding social behavior and functioning in broader aspects of daily living. Deficits in AR are well documented in schizophrenia, however, there is also evidence that many individuals with schizophrenia perform AR tasks at near-normal levels. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the functional significance of AR deficits in schizophrenia by comparing subgroups with normal-range and impaired AR performance on proxy and interviewer-rated measures of real-world functioning. Schizophrenia outpatients were classified as normal-range (N=17) and impaired (N=31) based on a logistic cut point in the sample distribution of BLERT scores, referenced to a normative sample of healthy control subjects (N=56). The derived schizophrenia subgroups were then compared on proxy (UCSD, UPSA, SSPA, MMAA) and interviewer-rated (QLS, ILSS) measures of functioning, as well as battery of neurocognitive tests. Initial analyses indicated superior MMAA and QLS performance in the near-normal AR subgroup. Covariate analyses indicated that group differences in neurocognition fully mediated the observed associations between AR and MMAA and attenuated the observed relationships between AR classification and QLS. These results support three main conclusions. First, AR, like many other domains of psychopathology studied in schizophrenia, is preserved in select subgroups. Second, there is a positive relationship between AR performance and functional outcome measures. Third, neurocognition appears to mediate the relationship between AR and measures of functioning. PMID:20202689

  16. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

    Fifteen years ago the concept of the "tripartite synapse" was proposed to conceptualize the functional view that astrocytes are integral elements of synapses. The signaling exchange between astrocytes and neurons within the tripartite synapse results in the synaptic regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity through an autocrine form of communication. However, recent evidence indicates that the astrocyte synaptic regulation is not restricted to the active tripartite synapse but can be manifested through astrocyte signaling at synapses relatively distant from active synapses, a process termed lateral astrocyte synaptic regulation. This phenomenon resembles the classical heterosynaptic modulation but is mechanistically different because it involves astrocytes and its properties critically depend on the morphological and functional features of astrocytes. Therefore, the functional concept of the tripartite synapse as a fundamental unit must be expanded to include the interaction between tripartite synapses. Through lateral synaptic regulation, astrocytes serve as an active processing bridge for synaptic interaction and crosstalk between synapses with no direct neuronal connectivity, supporting the idea that neural network function results from the coordinated activity of astrocytes and neurons. PMID:25732135

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Connexin 30 sets synaptic strength by controlling astroglial synapse invasion.

    PubMed

    Pannasch, Ulrike; Freche, Dominik; Dallérac, Glenn; Ghézali, Grégory; Escartin, Carole; Ezan, Pascal; Cohen-Salmon, Martine; Benchenane, Karim; Abudara, Veronica; Dufour, Amandine; Lübke, Joachim H R; Déglon, Nicole; Knott, Graham; Holcman, David; Rouach, Nathalie

    2014-04-01

    Astrocytes play active roles in brain physiology by dynamic interactions with neurons. Connexin 30, one of the two main astroglial gap-junction subunits, is thought to be involved in behavioral and basic cognitive processes. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are unknown. We show here in mice that connexin 30 controls hippocampal excitatory synaptic transmission through modulation of astroglial glutamate transport, which directly alters synaptic glutamate levels. Unexpectedly, we found that connexin 30 regulated cell adhesion and migration and that connexin 30 modulation of glutamate transport, occurring independently of its channel function, was mediated by morphological changes controlling insertion of astroglial processes into synaptic clefts. By setting excitatory synaptic strength, connexin 30 plays an important role in long-term synaptic plasticity and in hippocampus-based contextual memory. Taken together, these results establish connexin 30 as a critical regulator of synaptic strength by controlling the synaptic location of astroglial processes. PMID:24584052

  20. Complementary functions of SK and Kv7/M potassium channels in excitability control and synaptic integration in rat hippocampal dentate granule cells

    PubMed Central

    Mateos-Aparicio, Pedro; Murphy, Ricardo; Storm, Johan F

    2014-01-01

    The dentate granule cells (DGCs) form the most numerous neuron population of the hippocampal memory system, and its gateway for cortical input. Yet, we have only limited knowledge of the intrinsic membrane properties that shape their responses. Since SK and Kv7/M potassium channels are key mechanisms of neuronal spiking and excitability control, afterhyperpolarizations (AHPs) and synaptic integration, we studied their functions in DGCs. The specific SK channel blockers apamin or scyllatoxin increased spike frequency (excitability), reduced early spike frequency adaptation, fully blocked the medium-duration AHP (mAHP) after a single spike or spike train, and increased postsynaptic EPSP summation after spiking, but had no effect on input resistance (Rinput) or spike threshold. In contrast, blockade of Kv7/M channels by XE991 increased Rinput, lowered the spike threshold, and increased excitability, postsynaptic EPSP summation, and EPSP–spike coupling, but only slightly reduced mAHP after spike trains (and not after single spikes). The SK and Kv7/M channel openers 1-EBIO and retigabine, respectively, had effects opposite to the blockers. Computational modelling reproduced many of these effects. We conclude that SK and Kv7/M channels have complementary roles in DGCs. These mechanisms may be important for the dentate network function, as CA3 neurons can be activated or inhibition recruited depending on DGC firing rate. PMID:24366266

  1. Synaptic AMPA receptor composition in development, plasticity and disease.

    PubMed

    Henley, Jeremy M; Wilkinson, Kevin A

    2016-06-01

    AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are assemblies of four core subunits, GluA1-4, that mediate most fast excitatory neurotransmission. The component subunits determine the functional properties of AMPARs, and the prevailing view is that the subunit composition also determines AMPAR trafficking, which is dynamically regulated during development, synaptic plasticity and in response to neuronal stress in disease. Recently, the subunit dependence of AMPAR trafficking has been questioned, leading to a reappraisal of this field. In this Review, we discuss what is known, uncertain, conjectured and unknown about the roles of the individual subunits, and how they affect AMPAR assembly, trafficking and function under both normal and pathological conditions. PMID:27080385

  2. Synaptic circuit remodelling by matrix metalloproteinases in health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Huntley, George W.

    2016-01-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are extracellularly acting enzymes that have long been known to have deleterious roles in brain injury and disease. In particular, widespread and protracted MMP activity can contribute to neuronal loss and synaptic dysfunction. However, recent studies show that rapid and focal MMP-mediated proteolysis proactively drives synaptic structural and functional remodelling that is crucial for ongoing cognitive processes. Deficits in synaptic remodelling are associated with psychiatric and neurological disorders, and aberrant MMP expression or function may contribute to the molecular mechanisms underlying these deficits. This Review explores the paradigm shift in our understanding of the contribution of MMPs to normal and abnormal synaptic plasticity and function. PMID:23047773

  3. How does temperature affect the function of tissue macrophages?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chen-Ting; Repasky, Elizabeth A.

    2011-03-01

    Macrophages create a major danger signal following injury or infection and upon activation release pro-inflammatory cytokines, which in turn help to generate febrile conditions. Thus, like other cells of the body, tissue macrophages are often exposed to naturally occurring elevations in tissue temperature during inflammation and fever. However, whether macrophages sense and respond to temperature changes in a specific manner which modulates their function is still not clear. In this brief review, we highlight recent studies which have analyzed the effects of temperatures on macrophage function, and summarize the possible underlying molecular mechanisms which have been identified. Mild, physiological range hyperthermia has been shown to have both pro- and anti-inflammatory roles in regulating macrophage inflammatory cytokine production and at the meeting presentation, we will show new data demonstrating that hyperthermia can indeed exert both positive and negative signals to macrophages. While some thermal effects are correlated with the induction of heat shock factors/heat shock proteins, overall it is not clear how mild hyperthermia can exert both pro- and anti-inflammatory functions. We also summarize data which shows that hyperthermia can affect other macrophage effector functions, including the anti-tumor cytotoxicity. Overall, these studies may help us to better understand the immunological role of tissue temperature and may provide important information needed to maximize the application of heat in the treatment of various diseases including cancer.

  4. Can the hydrophilicity of functional monomers affect chemical interaction?

    PubMed

    Feitosa, V P; Ogliari, F A; Van Meerbeek, B; Watson, T F; Yoshihara, K; Ogliari, A O; Sinhoreti, M A; Correr, A B; Cama, G; Sauro, S

    2014-02-01

    The number of carbon atoms and/or ester/polyether groups in spacer chains may influence the interaction of functional monomers with calcium and dentin. The present study assessed the chemical interaction and bond strength of 5 standard-synthesized phosphoric-acid ester functional monomers with different spacer chain characteristics, by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), ATR-FTIR, thin-film x-ray diffraction (TF-XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and microtensile bond strength (μTBS). The tested functional monomers were 2-MEP (two-carbon spacer chain), 10-MDP (10-carbon), 12-MDDP (12-carbon), MTEP (more hydrophilic polyether spacer chain), and CAP-P (intermediate hydrophilicity ester spacer). The intensity of monomer-calcium salt formation measured by AAS differed in the order of 12-MDDP=10-MDP>CAP-P>MTEP>2-MEP. FTIR and SEM analyses of monomer-treated dentin surfaces showed resistance to rinsing for all monomer-dentin bonds, except with 2-MEP. TF-XRD confirmed the weaker interaction of 2-MEP. Highest µTBS was observed for 12-MDDP and 10-MDP. A shorter spacer chain (2-MEP) of phosphate functional monomers induced formation of unstable monomer-calcium salts, and lower chemical interaction and dentin bond strength. The presence of ester or ether groups within longer spacer carbon chains (CAP-P and MTEP) may affect the hydrophilicity, μTBS, and also the formation of monomer-calcium salts. PMID:24284259

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. Quercetin Affects Erythropoiesis and Heart Mitochondrial Function in Mice.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Lina M; Salazar, Celia; Jensen, Erik; Ruiz, Paula A; Tiznado, William; Quintanilla, Rodrigo A; Barreto, Marlen; Elorza, Alvaro A

    2015-01-01

    Quercetin, a dietary flavonoid used as a food supplement, showed powerful antioxidant effects in different cellular models. However, recent in vitro and in vivo studies in mammals have suggested a prooxidant effect of quercetin and described an interaction with mitochondria causing an increase in O2 (∙-) production, a decrease in ATP levels, and impairment of respiratory chain in liver tissue. Therefore, because of its dual actions, we studied the effect of quercetin in vivo to analyze heart mitochondrial function and erythropoiesis. Mice were injected with 50 mg/kg of quercetin for 15 days. Treatment with quercetin decreased body weight, serum insulin, and ceruloplasmin levels as compared with untreated mice. Along with an impaired antioxidant capacity in plasma, quercetin-treated mice showed a significant delay on erythropoiesis progression. Heart mitochondrial function was also impaired displaying more protein oxidation and less activity for IV, respectively, than no-treated mice. In addition, a significant reduction in the protein expression levels of Mitofusin 2 and Voltage-Dependent Anion Carrier was observed. All these results suggest that quercetin affects erythropoiesis and mitochondrial function and then its potential use as a dietary supplement should be reexamined. PMID:26106459

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:23562765

  12. Endocannabinoid Signaling and Long-term Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Heifets, Boris D.; Castillo, Pablo E.

    2015-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are key activity-dependent signals regulating synaptic transmission throughout the CNS. Accordingly, eCBs are involved in neural functions ranging from feeding homeostasis to cognition. There is great interest in understanding how exogenous (e.g. cannabis) and endogenous cannabinoids affect behavior. As behavioral adaptations are widely considered to rely on changes in synaptic strength, the prevalence of eCB-mediated long term depression (eCB-LTD) at synapses throughout the brain merits close attention. The induction and expression of eCB-LTD, while remarkably similar at various synapses, is controlled by an array of regulatory influences which we are just beginning to uncover. This complexity endows eCB-LTD with important computational properties, such as coincidence detection and input specificity, critical for higher CNS functions like learning and memory. In this article, we review the major molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying eCB-LTD, as well as the potential physiological relevance of this widespread form of synaptic plasticity. PMID:19575681

  13. 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

  14. Scorpion venom components that affect ion-channels function

    PubMed Central

    Quintero-Hernández, V.; Jiménez-Vargas, J.M.; Gurrola, G.B.; Valdivia, H.H.F.; Possani, L.D.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The number and types of venom components that affect ion-channel function are reviewed. These are the most important venom components responsible for human intoxication, deserving medical attention, often requiring the use of specific anti-venoms. Special emphasis is given to peptides that recognize Na+-, K+- and Ca++-channels of excitable cells. Knowledge generated by direct isolation of peptides from venom and components deduced from cloned genes, whose amino acid sequences are deposited into databanks are now adays in the order of 1.5 thousands, out of an estimate biodiversity closed to 300,000. Here the diversity of components is briefly reviewed with mention to specific references. Structural characteristic are discussed with examples taken from published work. The principal mechanisms of action of the three different types of peptides are also reviewed. Na+-channel specific venom components usually are modifier of the open and closing kinetic mechanisms of the ion-channels, whereas peptides affecting K+-channels are normally pore blocking agents. The Ryanodine Ca++-channel specific peptides are known for causing sub-conducting stages of the channels conductance and some were shown to be able to internalize penetrating inside the muscle cells. PMID:23891887

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    Neuronal activity influences genes involved in circuit development and information processing. However, the molecular basis of this process remains poorly understood. We found that HDAC4, a histone deacetylase that shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm, controls a transcriptional program essential for synaptic plasticity and memory. The nuclear import of HDAC4 and its association with chromatin is negatively regulated by NMDA receptors. In the nucleus, HDAC4 represses genes encoding constituents of central synapses, thereby affecting synaptic architecture and strength. Furthermore, we show that a truncated form of HDAC4 encoded by an allele associated with mental retardation is a gain-of-function nuclear repressor that abolishes transcription and synaptic transmission despite the loss of the deacetylase domain. Accordingly, mice carrying a mutant that mimics this allele exhibit deficits in neurotransmission, spatial learning, and memory. These studies elucidate a mechanism of experience-dependent plasticity and define the biological role of HDAC4 in the brain. PMID:23141539

  16. 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

  17. Metabolic turnover of synaptic proteins: kinetics, interdependencies and implications for synaptic maintenance.

    PubMed

    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

  18. 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

  19. Nicotinic modulation of glutamate receptor function at nerve terminal level: a fine-tuning of synaptic signals.

    PubMed

    Marchi, Mario; Grilli, Massimo; Pittaluga, Anna M

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on a specific interaction occurring between the nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) and the glutamatergic receptors (GluRs) at the nerve endings level. We have employed synaptosomes in superfusion and supplemented and integrated our findings with data obtained using techniques from molecular biology and immuno-cytochemistry, and the assessment of receptor trafficking. In particular, we characterize the following: (1) the direct and unequivocal localization of native α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamatergic receptors on specific nerve terminals, (2) their pharmacological characterization and functional co-localization with nAChRs on the same nerve endings, and (3) the existence of synergistic or antagonistic interactions among them. Indeed, in the rat nucleus accumbens (NAc), the function of some AMPA and NMDA receptors present on the dopaminergic and glutamatergic nerve terminals can be regulated negatively or positively in response to a brief activation of nAChRs. This effect occurs rapidly and involves the trafficking of AMPA and NMDA receptors. The event takes place also at very low concentrations of nicotine and involves the activation of several nAChRs subtypes. This dynamic control by cholinergic nicotinic system of glutamatergic NMDA and AMPA receptors might therefore represent an important neuronal presynaptic adaptation associated with nicotine administration. The understanding of the role of these nicotine-induced functional changes might open new and interesting perspectives both in terms of explaining the mechanisms that underlie some of the effects of nicotine addiction and in the development of new drugs for smoking cessation. PMID:25972809

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. Harmonin (Ush1c) is required in zebrafish Müller glial cells for photoreceptor synaptic development and function

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Jennifer B.; Blanco-Sanchez, Bernardo; Lentz, Jennifer J.; Tallafuss, Alexandra; Khanobdee, Kornnika; Sampath, Srirangan; Jacobs, Zachary G.; Han, Philip F.; Mishra, Monalisa; Titus, Tom A.; Williams, David S.; Keats, Bronya J.; Washbourne, Philip; Westerfield, Monte

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Usher syndrome is the most prevalent cause of hereditary deaf-blindness, characterized by congenital sensorineural hearing impairment and progressive photoreceptor degeneration beginning in childhood or adolescence. Diagnosis and management of this disease are complex, and the molecular changes underlying sensory cell impairment remain poorly understood. Here we characterize two zebrafish models for a severe form of Usher syndrome, Usher syndrome type 1C (USH1C): one model is a mutant with a newly identified ush1c nonsense mutation, and the other is a morpholino knockdown of ush1c. Both have defects in hearing, balance and visual function from the first week of life. Histological analyses reveal specific defects in sensory cell structure that are consistent with these behavioral phenotypes and could implicate Müller glia in the retinal pathology of Usher syndrome. This study shows that visual defects associated with loss of ush1c function in zebrafish can be detected from the onset of vision, and thus could be applicable to early diagnosis for USH1C patients. PMID:21757509

  3. 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

  4. Opposing effects of traumatic brain injury on excitatory synaptic function in the lateral amygdala in the absence and presence of preinjury stress.

    PubMed

    Klein, Rebecca C; Acheson, Shawn K; Qadri, Laura H; Dawson, Alina A; Rodriguiz, Ramona M; Wetsel, William C; Moore, Scott D; Laskowitz, Daniel T; Dawson, Hana N

    2016-06-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability among young adults and is highly prevalent among recently deployed military personnel. Survivors of TBI often experience cognitive and emotional deficits, suggesting that long-term effects of injury may disrupt neuronal function in critical brain regions, including the amygdala, which is involved in emotion and fear memory. Amygdala hyperexcitability has been reported in both TBI and posttraumatic stress disorder patients, yet little is known regarding the effects of combined stress and TBI on amygdala structure and function at the neuronal level. The present study seeks to determine how the long-term effects of preinjury foot-shock stress and TBI interact to influence synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA) of adult male C57BL/6J mice by using whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology 2-3 months postinjury. In the absence of stress, TBI resulted in a significant increase in membrane excitability and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in LA pyramidal-like neurons. Foot-shock stress in the absence of TBI also resulted in increased sEPSC activity. In contrast, when preinjury stress and TBI occurred in combination, sEPSC activity was significantly decreased compared with either condition alone. There were no significant differences in inhibitory activity or total dendritic length among any of the treatment groups. These results demonstrate that stress and TBI may be contributing to amygdala hyperexcitability via different mechanisms and that these pathways may counterbalance each other with respect to long-term pathophysiology in the LA. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26707710

  5. 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

  6. Grape polyphenols do not affect vascular function in healthy men.

    PubMed

    van Mierlo, Linda A J; Zock, Peter L; van der Knaap, Henk C M; Draijer, Richard

    2010-10-01

    Data suggest that polyphenol-rich products may improve endothelial function and other cardiovascular health risk factors. Grape and wine contain high amounts of polyphenols, but effects of these polyphenols have hardly been investigated in isolation in randomized controlled studies. Our objective in this study was to test the chronic effect of polyphenol-rich solids derived from either a wine grape mix or grape seed on flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Blood pressure and other vascular function measures, platelet function, and blood lipids were secondary outcomes. Thirty-five healthy males were randomized in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study consisting of three 2-wk intervention periods separated by 1-wk washout periods. The test products, containing 800 mg of polyphenols, were consumed as capsules. At the end of each intervention period, effects were measured after consumption of a low-fat breakfast (~751 kJ, 25% fat) and a high-fat lunch (~3136 kJ, 78% fat). After the low-fat breakfast, the treatments did not significantly affect FMD. The absolute difference after the wine grape solid treatment was -0.4% (95% CI = -1.8 to 0.9; P = 0.77) and after grape seed solids, 0.2% (95% CI = -1.2 to 1.5; P = 0.94) compared with after the placebo treatment. FMD effects after the high-fat lunch and effects on secondary outcomes also showed no consistent differences between both of the grape solids and placebo treatment. In conclusion, consumption of grape polyphenols has no major impact on FMD in healthy men. Future studies should address whether grape polyphenols can improve FMD and other cardiovascular health risk factors in populations with increased cardiovascular risk. PMID:20702747

  7. Does Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy Affect Cognitive Function?

    PubMed Central

    Wadsworth, P.; Blackburne, H.; Dixon, L.; Dobbs, B.; Eglinton, T.; Ing, A.; Mulder, R.; Porter, R.J.; Wakeman, C.; Frizelle, F.A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Colonoscopy is a common procedure used in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of bowel disorders. Prior preparation involving potent laxatives is a necessary stage to ensure adequate visualization of the bowel wall. It is known that the sedatives given to most patients during the colonoscopy cause a temporary impairment in cognitive function; however, the potential for bowel preparation to affect cognitive function has not previously been investigated. To assess the effect of bowel preparation for colonoscopy on cognitive function. This was a prospective, nonrandomized controlled study of cognitive function in patients who had bowel preparation for colonoscopy compared with those having gastroscopy and therefore no bowel preparation. Cognitive function was assessed using the Modified Mini Mental State Examination (MMMSE) and selected tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Individual test scores and changes between initial and subsequent tests were compared between the groups. Age, gender, and weight were also compared. Forty-three colonoscopy and 25 gastroscopy patients were recruited. The 2 groups were similar for age and gender; however, patients having gastroscopy were heavier. MMMSE scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 28.6 and 29.5 (P = 0.24) at baseline, 28.7 and 29.8 (P = 0.32) at test 2, 28.1 and 28.5 (P = 0.76) at test 3. Motor screening scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 349.3 and 354.1 (P = 0.97) at baseline, 307.5 and 199.7 (P = 0.06) at test 2, 212.0 and 183.2 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Spatial working memory scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 14.4 and 6.7 (P = 0.29) at baseline, 9.7 and 4.3 (P = 0.27) at test 2, 10 and 4.5 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Digit Symbol Substitution Test scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 36.3 and 37.8 (P = 0.84) at baseline, 36.4 and

  8. Does Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy Affect Cognitive Function?

    PubMed

    Wadsworth, P; Blackburne, H; Dixon, L; Dobbs, B; Eglinton, T; Ing, A; Mulder, R; Porter, R J; Wakeman, C; Frizelle, F A

    2015-11-01

    Colonoscopy is a common procedure used in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of bowel disorders. Prior preparation involving potent laxatives is a necessary stage to ensure adequate visualization of the bowel wall. It is known that the sedatives given to most patients during the colonoscopy cause a temporary impairment in cognitive function; however, the potential for bowel preparation to affect cognitive function has not previously been investigated. To assess the effect of bowel preparation for colonoscopy on cognitive function. This was a prospective, nonrandomized controlled study of cognitive function in patients who had bowel preparation for colonoscopy compared with those having gastroscopy and therefore no bowel preparation. Cognitive function was assessed using the Modified Mini Mental State Examination (MMMSE) and selected tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Individual test scores and changes between initial and subsequent tests were compared between the groups. Age, gender, and weight were also compared. Forty-three colonoscopy and 25 gastroscopy patients were recruited. The 2 groups were similar for age and gender; however, patients having gastroscopy were heavier. MMMSE scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 28.6 and 29.5 (P = 0.24) at baseline, 28.7 and 29.8 (P = 0.32) at test 2, 28.1 and 28.5 (P = 0.76) at test 3. Motor screening scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 349.3 and 354.1 (P = 0.97) at baseline, 307.5 and 199.7 (P = 0.06) at test 2, 212.0 and 183.2 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Spatial working memory scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 14.4 and 6.7 (P = 0.29) at baseline, 9.7 and 4.3 (P = 0.27) at test 2, 10 and 4.5 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Digit Symbol Substitution Test scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 36.3 and 37.8 (P = 0.84) at baseline, 36.4 and 40.0 (P

  9. 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

  10. Functional analysis of glutamate transporters in excitatory synaptic transmission of GLAST1 and GLAST1/EAAC1 deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Stoffel, Wilhelm; Körner, Rafael; Wachtmann, Dagmar; Keller, Bernhard U

    2004-09-28

    The high affinity, Na(+)-dependent, electrogenic glial L-glutamate transporters GLAST1 and GLT1, and two neuronal EAAC1 and EAAT4, regulate the neurotransmitter concentration in excitatory synapses of the central nervous system. We dissected the function of the individual transporters in the monogenic null allelic mouse lines, glast1(-/-) and eaac1(-/-), and the derived double mutant glast(-/-)eaac1(-/-). Unexpectedly, the biochemical analysis and the behavioral phenotypes of these null allelic mouse lines were inconspicuous. Inhibition studies of the Na(+)-dependent glutamate transport by plasma membrane vesicles and by isolated astrocytes of wt and glast1(-/-) mouse brains indicated the pivotal compensatory role of GLT1 in the absence particularly of GLAST1 and GLAST1 and EAAC1 mutant mice. In electrophysiological studies, the decay rate of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) of Purkinje cells (PC) after selective activation of parallel and climbing fibers proved to be similar in wt and eaac1(-/-), but was significantly prolonged in glast1(-/-) PCs. Bath application of the glutamate uptake blocker SYM2081 prolonged EPSC decay profiles in both wt and double mutant glast1(-/-)eaac1(-/-) PCs by 286% and 229%, respectively, indicating a prominent role of compensatory glutamate transport in shaping glast1(-/-)eaac1(-/-) EPSCs. PMID:15363892

  11. 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

  12. ELECTRON MICROSCOPY OF SYNAPTIC STRUCTURE OF OCTOPUS BRAIN.

    PubMed

    GRAY, E G; YOUNG, J Z

    1964-04-01

    The well known type of synapse between a presynaptic process containing vesicles and a "clear" postsynaptic process can be commonly observed in the various lobes of the brain of Octopus. The presynaptic vesicles are aggregated near regions of the synaptic membranes which show specialisation and asymmetric "thickening" indicating functional polarisation, and here chemical transmission is presumed to take place. In addition, in the vertical lobe a very interesting serial arrangement of synaptic contacts occurs. Presynaptic bags, formed from varicosities of fibres from the superior frontal lobe, contact the trunks of amacrine cells in the manner just described. The trunks, however, although apparently postsynaptic are themselves packed with synaptic vesicles. The trunks, in turn, make "presynaptic" contacts with clear spinous processes of other neurons of yet undetermined origin. Typical polarised membrane specialisations occur at the contact regions. The trunk vesicles aggregated closest to the contact regions have a shell of particles round their walls. At present, there is no way of telling whether the membrane conductance to the various ions is differently affected at either of the transmission sites, and, if an inhibitory mechanism is involved, whether it is of the presynaptic or postsynaptic variety. PMID:14154498

  13. 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. PMID:26701298

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrieux, David; Monnai, Takaaki

    2009-08-01

    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.

  16. Extracellular ATP hydrolysis inhibits synaptic transmission by increasing ph buffering in the synaptic cleft.

    PubMed

    Vroman, Rozan; Klaassen, Lauw J; Howlett, Marcus H C; Cenedese, Valentina; Klooster, Jan; Sjoerdsma, Trijntje; Kamermans, Maarten

    2014-05-01

    Neuronal computations strongly depend on inhibitory interactions. One such example occurs at the first retinal synapse, where horizontal cells inhibit photoreceptors. This interaction generates the center/surround organization of bipolar cell receptive fields and is crucial for contrast enhancement. Despite its essential role in vision, the underlying synaptic mechanism has puzzled the neuroscience community for decades. Two competing hypotheses are currently considered: an ephaptic and a proton-mediated mechanism. Here we show that horizontal cells feed back to photoreceptors via an unexpected synthesis of the two. The first one is a very fast ephaptic mechanism that has no synaptic delay, making it one of the fastest inhibitory synapses known. The second one is a relatively slow (τ≈200 ms), highly intriguing mechanism. It depends on ATP release via Pannexin 1 channels located on horizontal cell dendrites invaginating the cone synaptic terminal. The ecto-ATPase NTPDase1 hydrolyses extracellular ATP to AMP, phosphate groups, and protons. The phosphate groups and protons form a pH buffer with a pKa of 7.2, which keeps the pH in the synaptic cleft relatively acidic. This inhibits the cone Ca²⁺ channels and consequently reduces the glutamate release by the cones. When horizontal cells hyperpolarize, the pannexin 1 channels decrease their conductance, the ATP release decreases, and the formation of the pH buffer reduces. The resulting alkalization in the synaptic cleft consequently increases cone glutamate release. Surprisingly, the hydrolysis of ATP instead of ATP itself mediates the synaptic modulation. Our results not only solve longstanding issues regarding horizontal cell to photoreceptor feedback, they also demonstrate a new form of synaptic modulation. Because pannexin 1 channels and ecto-ATPases are strongly expressed in the nervous system and pannexin 1 function is implicated in synaptic plasticity, we anticipate that this novel form of synaptic

  17. Extracellular ATP Hydrolysis Inhibits Synaptic Transmission by Increasing pH Buffering in the Synaptic Cleft

    PubMed Central

    Vroman, Rozan; Klaassen, Lauw J.; Howlett, Marcus H.C.; Cenedese, Valentina; Klooster, Jan; Sjoerdsma, Trijntje; Kamermans, Maarten

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal computations strongly depend on inhibitory interactions. One such example occurs at the first retinal synapse, where horizontal cells inhibit photoreceptors. This interaction generates the center/surround organization of bipolar cell receptive fields and is crucial for contrast enhancement. Despite its essential role in vision, the underlying synaptic mechanism has puzzled the neuroscience community for decades. Two competing hypotheses are currently considered: an ephaptic and a proton-mediated mechanism. Here we show that horizontal cells feed back to photoreceptors via an unexpected synthesis of the two. The first one is a very fast ephaptic mechanism that has no synaptic delay, making it one of the fastest inhibitory synapses known. The second one is a relatively slow (τ≈200 ms), highly intriguing mechanism. It depends on ATP release via Pannexin 1 channels located on horizontal cell dendrites invaginating the cone synaptic terminal. The ecto-ATPase NTPDase1 hydrolyses extracellular ATP to AMP, phosphate groups, and protons. The phosphate groups and protons form a pH buffer with a pKa of 7.2, which keeps the pH in the synaptic cleft relatively acidic. This inhibits the cone Ca2+ channels and consequently reduces the glutamate release by the cones. When horizontal cells hyperpolarize, the pannexin 1 channels decrease their conductance, the ATP release decreases, and the formation of the pH buffer reduces. The resulting alkalization in the synaptic cleft consequently increases cone glutamate release. Surprisingly, the hydrolysis of ATP instead of ATP itself mediates the synaptic modulation. Our results not only solve longstanding issues regarding horizontal cell to photoreceptor feedback, they also demonstrate a new form of synaptic modulation. Because pannexin 1 channels and ecto-ATPases are strongly expressed in the nervous system and pannexin 1 function is implicated in synaptic plasticity, we anticipate that this novel form of synaptic modulation

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. Fragile X mental retardation protein regulates trans-synaptic signaling in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, Samuel H.; Dani, Neil; Rushton, Emma; Broadie, Kendal

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common inherited determinant of intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders, is caused by loss of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene product (FMRP), an mRNA-binding translational repressor. A number of conserved FMRP targets have been identified in the well-characterized Drosophila FXS disease model, but FMRP is highly pleiotropic in function and the full spectrum of FMRP targets has yet to be revealed. In this study, screens for upregulated neural proteins in Drosophila fmr1 (dfmr1) null mutants reveal strong elevation of two synaptic heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs): GPI-anchored glypican Dally-like protein (Dlp) and transmembrane Syndecan (Sdc). Our recent work has shown that Dlp and Sdc act as co-receptors regulating extracellular ligands upstream of intracellular signal transduction in multiple trans-synaptic pathways that drive synaptogenesis. Consistently, dfmr1 null synapses exhibit altered WNT signaling, with changes in both Wingless (Wg) ligand abundance and downstream Frizzled-2 (Fz2) receptor C-terminal nuclear import. Similarly, a parallel anterograde signaling ligand, Jelly belly (Jeb), and downstream ERK phosphorylation (dpERK) are depressed at dfmr1 null synapses. In contrast, the retrograde BMP ligand Glass bottom boat (Gbb) and downstream signaling via phosphorylation of the transcription factor MAD (pMAD) seem not to be affected. To determine whether HSPG upregulation is causative for synaptogenic defects, HSPGs were genetically reduced to control levels in the dfmr1 null background. HSPG correction restored both (1) Wg and Jeb trans-synaptic signaling, and (2) synaptic architecture and transmission strength back to wild-type levels. Taken together, these data suggest that FMRP negatively regulates HSPG co-receptors controlling trans-synaptic signaling during synaptogenesis, and that loss of this regulation causes synaptic structure and function defects characterizing the FXS

  4. Cholesterol reduction impairs exocytosis of synaptic vesicles.

    PubMed

    Linetti, Anna; Fratangeli, Alessandra; Taverna, Elena; Valnegri, Pamela; Francolini, Maura; Cappello, Valentina; Matteoli, Michela; Passafaro, Maria; Rosa, Patrizia

    2010-02-15

    Cholesterol and sphingolipids are abundant in neuronal membranes, where they help the organisation of the membrane microdomains involved in major roles such as axonal and dendritic growth, and synapse and spine stability. The aim of this study was to analyse their roles in presynaptic physiology. We first confirmed the presence of proteins of the exocytic machinery (SNARES and Ca(v)2.1 channels) in the lipid microdomains of cultured neurons, and then incubated the neurons with fumonisin B (an inhibitor of sphingolipid synthesis), or with mevastatin or zaragozic acid (two compounds that affect the synthesis of cholesterol by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase or squalene synthase). The results demonstrate that fumonisin B and zaragozic acid efficiently decrease sphingolipid and cholesterol levels without greatly affecting the viability of neurons or the expression of synaptic proteins. Electron microscopy showed that the morphology and number of synaptic vesicles in the presynaptic boutons of cholesterol-depleted neurons were similar to those observed in control neurons. Zaragozic acid (but not fumonisin B) treatment impaired synaptic vesicle uptake of the lipophilic dye FM1-43 and an antibody directed against the luminal epitope of synaptotagmin-1, effects that depended on the reduction in cholesterol because they were reversed by cholesterol reloading. The time-lapse confocal imaging of neurons transfected with ecliptic SynaptopHluorin showed that cholesterol depletion affects the post-depolarisation increase in fluorescence intensity. Taken together, these findings show that reduced cholesterol levels impair synaptic vesicle exocytosis in cultured neurons. PMID:20103534

  5. Synaptic gain-of-function effects of mutant Cav2.1 channels in a mouse model of familial hemiplegic migraine are due to increased basal [Ca2+]i.

    PubMed

    Di Guilmi, Mariano N; Wang, Tiantian; Inchauspe, Carlota Gonzalez; Forsythe, Ian D; Ferrari, Michel D; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M J M; Borst, J Gerard G; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2014-05-21

    Specific missense mutations in the CACNA1A gene, which encodes a subunit of voltage-gated CaV2.1 channels, are associated with familial hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1), a rare monogenic subtype of common migraine with aura. We used transgenic knock-in (KI) mice harboring the human pathogenic FHM1 mutation S218L to study presynaptic Ca(2+) currents, EPSCs, and in vivo activity at the calyx of Held synapse. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of presynaptic terminals from S218L KI mice showed a strong shift of the calcium current I-V curve to more negative potentials, leading to an increase in basal [Ca(2+)]i, increased levels of spontaneous transmitter release, faster recovery from synaptic depression, and enhanced synaptic strength despite smaller action-potential-elicited Ca(2+) currents. The gain-of-function of transmitter release of the S218L mutant was reproduced in vivo, including evidence for an increased release probability, demonstrating its relevance for glutamatergic transmission. This synaptic phenotype may explain the misbalance between excitation and inhibition in neuronal circuits resulting in a persistent hyperexcitability state and other migraine-relevant mechanisms such as an increased susceptibility to cortical spreading depression. PMID:24849341

  6. SYNAPTIC VESICLE PROTEIN TRAFFICKING AT THE GLUTAMATE SYNAPSE

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Magda S.; Li, Haiyan; Voglmaier, Susan M.

    2009-01-01

    Expression of the integral and associated proteins of synaptic vesicles is subject to regulation over time, by region, and in response to activity. The process by which changes in protein levels and isoforms result in different properties of neurotransmitter release involves protein trafficking to the synaptic vesicle. How newly synthesized proteins are incorporated into synaptic vesicles at the presynaptic bouton is poorly understood. During synaptogenesis, synaptic vesicle proteins sort through the secretory pathway and are transported down the axon in precursor vesicles that undergo maturation to form synaptic vesicles. Changes in protein content of synaptic vesicles could involve the formation of new vesicles that either mix with the previous complement of vesicles or replace them, presumably by their degradation or inactivation. Alternatively, new proteins could individually incorporate into existing synaptic vesicles, changing their functional properties. Glutamatergic vesicles likely express many of the same integral membrane proteins and share certain common mechanisms of biogenesis, recycling, and degradation with other synaptic vesicles. However, glutamatergic vesicles are defined by their ability to package glutamate for release, a property conferred by the expression of a vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT). VGLUTs are subject to regional, developmental, and activity-dependent changes in expression. In addition, VGLUT isoforms differ in their trafficking, which may target them to different pathways during biogenesis or after recycling, which may in turn sort them to different vesicle pools. Emerging data indicate that differences in the association of VGLUTs and other synaptic vesicle proteins with endocytic adaptors may influence their trafficking. These observations indicate that independent regulation of synaptic vesicle protein trafficking has the potential to influence synaptic vesicle protein composition, the maintenance of synaptic vesicle

  7. Synaptic Vesicle Pools: An Update

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. DREAM (Downstream Regulatory Element Antagonist Modulator) contributes to synaptic depression and contextual fear memory

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    The downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM), a multifunctional Ca2+-binding protein, binds specifically to DNA and several nucleoproteins regulating gene expression and with proteins outside the nucleus to regulate membrane excitability or calcium homeostasis. DREAM is highly expressed in the central nervous system including the hippocampus and cortex; however, the roles of DREAM in hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity have not been investigated. Taking advantage of transgenic mice overexpressing a Ca2+-insensitive DREAM mutant (TgDREAM), we used integrative methods including electrophysiology, biochemistry, immunostaining, and behavior tests to study the function of DREAM in synaptic transmission, long-term plasticity and fear memory in hippocampal CA1 region. We found that NMDA receptor but not AMPA receptor-mediated current was decreased in TgDREAM mice. Moreover, synaptic plasticity, such as long-term depression (LTD) but not long-term potentiation (LTP), was impaired in TgDREAM mice. Biochemical experiments found that DREAM interacts with PSD-95 and may inhibit NMDA receptor function through this interaction. Contextual fear memory was significantly impaired in TgDREAM mice. By contrast, sensory responses to noxious stimuli were not affected. Our results demonstrate that DREAM plays a novel role in postsynaptic modulation of the NMDA receptor, and contributes to synaptic plasticity and behavioral memory. PMID:20205763

  13. DREAM (downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator) contributes to synaptic depression and contextual fear memory.

    PubMed

    Wu, Long-Jun; Mellström, Britt; Wang, Hansen; Ren, Ming; Domingo, Sofia; Kim, Susan S; Li, Xiang-Yao; Chen, Tao; Naranjo, Jose R; Zhuo, Min

    2010-01-01

    The downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM), a multifunctional Ca2+-binding protein, binds specifically to DNA and several nucleoproteins regulating gene expression and with proteins outside the nucleus to regulate membrane excitability or calcium homeostasis. DREAM is highly expressed in the central nervous system including the hippocampus and cortex; however, the roles of DREAM in hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity have not been investigated. Taking advantage of transgenic mice overexpressing a Ca2+-insensitive DREAM mutant (TgDREAM), we used integrative methods including electrophysiology, biochemistry, immunostaining, and behavior tests to study the function of DREAM in synaptic transmission, long-term plasticity and fear memory in hippocampal CA1 region. We found that NMDA receptor but not AMPA receptor-mediated current was decreased in TgDREAM mice. Moreover, synaptic plasticity, such as long-term depression (LTD) but not long-term potentiation (LTP), was impaired in TgDREAM mice. Biochemical experiments found that DREAM interacts with PSD-95 and may inhibit NMDA receptor function through this interaction. Contextual fear memory was significantly impaired in TgDREAM mice. By contrast, sensory responses to noxious stimuli were not affected. Our results demonstrate that DREAM plays a novel role in postsynaptic modulation of the NMDA receptor, and contributes to synaptic plasticity and behavioral memory. PMID:20205763

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  17. 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. PMID:25402556

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Mammalian cadherins DCHS1-FAT4 affect functional cerebral architecture.

    PubMed

    Beste, Christian; Ocklenburg, Sebastian; von der Hagen, Maja; Di Donato, Nataliya

    2016-06-01

    Cortical development is a complex process where a multitude of factors, including cadherins, plays an important role and where disruptions are known to have far reaching effects in neural development and cortical patterning. Cadherins play a central role in structural left-right differentiation during brain and body development, but their effect on a functional level remains elusive. We addressed this question by examining functional cerebral asymmetries in a patient with Van Maldergem Syndrome (VMS) (MIM#601390), which is caused by mutations in DCHS1-FAT4 cadherins, using a dichotic listening task. Using neurophysiological (EEG) data, we show that when key regulators during mammalian cerebral cortical development are disrupted due to DCHS1-FAT4 mutations, functional cerebral asymmetries are stronger. Basic perceptual processing of biaurally presented auditory stimuli was unaffected. This suggests that the strength and emergence of functional cerebral asymmetries is a direct function of proliferation and differentiation of neuronal stem cells. Moreover, these results support the recent assumption that the molecular mechanisms establishing early left-right differentiation are an important factor in the ontogenesis of functional lateralization. PMID:25930014

  3. NMDA Receptors Mediate Synaptic Competition in Culture

    PubMed Central

    She, Kevin; Craig, Ann Marie

    2011-01-01

    Background Activity through NMDA type glutamate receptors sculpts connectivity in the developing nervous system. This topic is typically studied in the visual system in vivo, where activity of inputs can be differentially regulated, but in which individual synapses are difficult to visualize and mechanisms governing synaptic competition can be difficult to ascertain. Here, we develop a model of NMDA-receptor dependent synaptic competition in dissociated cultured hippocampal neurons. Methodology/Principal Findings GluN1 -/- (KO) mouse hippocampal neurons lacking the essential NMDA receptor subunit were cultured alone or cultured in defined ratios with wild type (WT) neurons. The absence of functional NMDA receptors did not alter neuron survival. Synapse development was assessed by immunofluorescence for postsynaptic PSD-95 family scaffold and apposed presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter VGlut1. Synapse density was specifically enhanced onto minority wild type neurons co-cultured with a majority of GluN1 -/- neighbour neurons, both relative to the GluN1 -/- neighbours and relative to sister pure wild type cultures. This form of synaptic competition was dependent on NMDA receptor activity and not conferred by the mere physical presence of GluN1. In contrast to these results in 10% WT and 90% KO co-cultures, synapse density did not differ by genotype in 50% WT and 50% KO co-cultures or in 90% WT and 10% KO co-cultures. Conclusions/Significance The enhanced synaptic density onto NMDA receptor-competent neurons in minority coculture with GluN1 -/- neurons represents a cell culture paradigm for studying synaptic competition. Mechanisms involved may include a retrograde ‘reward’ signal generated by WT neurons, although in this paradigm there was no ‘punishment’ signal against GluN1 -/- neurons. Cell culture assays involving such defined circuits may help uncover the rules and mechanisms of activity-dependent synaptic competition in the developing nervous

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    Previous studies indicated that diabetes affects synaptic transmission in the hippocampus, leading to impairments of synaptic plasticity and defects in learning and memory. Although berberine treatment ameliorates memory impairment and improves synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats, it is not clear if the effects are pre- or post-synaptic or both. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of berberine chloride on short-term plasticity in inhibitory interneurons in the dentate gyrus of STZ-induced diabetic rats. Experimental groups included: The control, control berberine treated (100 mg/kg), diabetic and diabetic berberine treated (50,100 mg/kg/day for 12 weeks) groups. The paired pulse paradigm was used to stimulate the perforant pathway and field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSP) were recorded in dentate gyrus (DG). In comparison with control, paired pulse facilitation in the diabetic group was significantly increased (P < 0.01) and this effect prevented by chronic berberine treatment (50,100 mg/kg). However, there were no differences between responses of the control berberine 100 mg/kg treated and diabetes berberine treated (50 and 100 mg/kg) groups as compared to the control group. The present results suggest that the pre-synaptic component of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus is affected under diabetic conditions and that berberine prevents this effect. PMID:23640014

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is hypothesized to play an integral role in brain plasticity. This has traditionally been investigated using behavioral assays. In the last 10-15 years, studies combining sleep measurements with in vitro and in vivo models of synaptic plasticity have provided exciting new insights into how sleep alters synaptic strength. In addition, new theories have been proposed that integrate older ideas about sleep function and recent discoveries in the field of synaptic plasticity. There remain, however, important challenges and unanswered questions. For example, sleep does not appear to have a single effect on synaptic strength. An unbiased review of the literature indicates that the effects of sleep vary widely depending on ontogenetic stage, the type of waking experience (or stimulation protocols) that precede sleep and the type of neuronal synapse under examination. In this review, I discuss these key findings in the context of current theories that posit different roles for sleep in synaptic plasticity. PMID:24671703

  7. 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

  8. Temperament Affects Sympathetic Nervous Function in a Normal Population

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Bora; Lee, Jae-Hon; Kang, Eun-Ho

    2012-01-01

    Objective Although specific temperaments have been known to be related to autonomic nervous function in some psychiatric disorders, there are few studies that have examined the relationship between temperaments and autonomic nervous function in a normal population. In this study, we examined the effect of temperament on the sympathetic nervous function in a normal population. Methods Sixty eight healthy subjects participated in the present study. Temperament was assessed using the Korean version of the Cloninger Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Autonomic nervous function was determined by measuring skin temperature in a resting state, which was recorded for 5 minutes from the palmar surface of the left 5th digit using a thermistor secured with a Velcro® band. Pearson's correlation analysis and multiple linear regression were used to examine the relationship between temperament and skin temperature. Results A higher harm avoidance score was correlated with a lower skin temperature (i.e. an increased sympathetic tone; r=-0.343, p=0.004) whereas a higher persistence score was correlated with a higher skin temperature (r=0.433, p=0.001). Hierarchical linear regression analysis revealed that harm avoidance was able to predict the variance of skin temperature independently, with a variance of 7.1% after controlling for sex, blood pressure and state anxiety and persistence was the factor predicting the variance of skin temperature with a variance of 5.0%. Conclusion These results suggest that high harm avoidance is related to an increased sympathetic nervous function whereas high persistence is related to decreased sympathetic nervous function in a normal population. PMID:22993530

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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. PMID:26325197

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:25797282

  17. Synaptic plasticity in the rod terminals after partial photoreceptor cell loss in the heterozygous rds mutant mouse.

    PubMed

    Jansen, H G; Sanyal, S

    1992-02-01

    In the retina of mice heterozygous for the retinal degeneration slow gene (rds/+) the photoreceptor cells, both rods and cones, develop abnormal outer segments but establish normal synaptic contacts. The other retinal layers also show normal structural organization. Starting from the age of 2 months, a very slow loss of photoreceptor cells progresses throughout life. As a result, the photoreceptor cell population in the retina of the affected mice is reduced to less than half at the age of 9-18 months. In some of the surviving rod terminals during this period, an increase in the number of synaptic ribbons is recorded. At the same time, the profiles of processes originating from the second order neurons and participating in these synapses are also increased in number so that the multiple ribbons appear as centres of multiple synaptic sites. Morphometric measurements of the perimeter of the synaptic profiles in rod terminals show a significant increase in the rds/+ retina over that of the control retina. Observations based on serial electron microscopy indicate that multiple synaptic sites are developed while the number of the second order neuronal processes, entering the terminals, remains unchanged. The frequency of terminals with multiple synapses in the rds/+ retina increases with progressive photoreceptor cell loss. Similar changes do not occur in the terminals of the cones. It is postulated that loss of some rod photoreceptor cells within a group that is presynaptic to common bipolars or horizontal cells results in partial deafferentation which in turn stimulates the growth of the remaining synaptic elements. The possible compensatory effect and functional significance of such synaptic growth are discussed. PMID:1573048

  18. 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

  19. RIGHT HEMISPHERIC FUNCTION IN NORMALS, AFFECTIVE DISORDER AND SCHIZOPHRENIA

    PubMed Central

    Borde, Milind; Roy, Amal; Davis, Elizabeth J.B.; Davis, Rachel

    1996-01-01

    The happy-sad chimeric faces test has been established as a useful test of right hemispheric function. It is known to elicit a left hemifacial bias (LHF bias) in right handed subjects. 41 normals and 19 manic, depressive and schizophrenic patients each were tested. All subjects were strictly right handed. Normals and depressives showed significant LHF bias. Monies and schizophrenics did not show significant LHF Bias. This suggests right hemispheric dysfunction in both mania and schizophrenia. PMID:21584135

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. Nuclear cyclophilins affect spliceosome assembly and function in vitro

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25967372

  3. Prenatal Drug Exposure Affects Neonatal Brain Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Salzwedel, Andrew P.; Vachet, Clement; Gerig, Guido; Lin, Weili

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. 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

  5. Mutual and intermittent enhancements of synchronization transitions by autaptic and synaptic delay in scale-free neuron networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qi; Gong, Yubing; Xie, Huijuan

    2016-05-01

    In neural networks, there exist both synaptic delays among different neurons and autaptic self-feedback delays in a neuron itself. In this paper, we study synchronization transitions induced by synaptic and autaptic delays in scale-free neuron networks, mainly exploring how these two time delays affect synchronization transitions induced by each other. It is found that the synchronization transitions induced by synaptic (autaptic) delay are intermittently enhanced when autaptic (synaptic) delay is varied. There are optimal autaptic strength and synaptic coupling strength by which the synchronization transitions induced by autaptic and synaptic delays become strongest. The underlying mechanisms are briefly discussed in terms of the relationships of autaptic delay, synaptic delay, and inter-burst interval. These results show that synaptic and autaptic delays could contribute to each other and enhance synchronization transitions in the neuronal networks. This implies that autaptic and synaptic delays could play a vital role for the information transmission in neural systems.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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. PMID:26621910

  10. Affected functional networks associated with sentence production in classic galactosemia.

    PubMed

    Timmers, Inge; van den Hurk, Job; Hofman, Paul Am; Zimmermann, Luc Ji; Uludağ, Kâmil; Jansma, Bernadette M; Rubio-Gozalbo, M Estela

    2015-08-01

    Patients with the inherited metabolic disorder classic galactosemia have language production impairments in several planning stages. Here, we assessed potential deviations in recruitment and connectivity across brain areas responsible for language production that may explain these deficits. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study neural activity and connectivity while participants carried out a language production task. This study included 13 adolescent patients and 13 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Participants passively watched or actively described an animated visual scene using two conditions, varying in syntactic complexity (single words versus a sentence). Results showed that patients recruited additional and more extensive brain regions during sentence production. Both groups showed modulations with syntactic complexity in left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), a region associated with syntactic planning, and in right insula. In addition, patients showed a modulation with syntax in left superior temporal gyrus (STG), whereas the controls did not. Further, patients showed increased activity in right STG and right supplementary motor area (SMA). The functional connectivity data showed similar patterns, with more extensive connectivity with frontal and motor regions, and restricted and weaker connectivity with superior temporal regions. Patients also showed higher baseline cerebral blood flow (CBF) in right IFG and trends towards higher CBF in bilateral STG, SMA and the insula. Taken together, the data demonstrate that language abnormalities in classic galactosemia are associated with specific changes within the language network. These changes point towards impairments related to both syntactic planning and speech motor planning in these patients. PMID:25979518

  11. 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

  12. Gene Risk Factors for Age-Related Brain Disorders May Affect Immune System Function

    MedlinePlus

    ... for age-related brain disorders may affect immune system function June 17, 2014 Scientists have discovered gene ... factors for age-related neurological disorders to immune system functions, such as inflammation, offers new insights into ...

  13. 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

  14. Mevalonate availability affects human and rat resistance vessel function.

    PubMed Central

    Roullet, J B; Xue, H; Roullet, C M; Fletcher, W S; Cipolla, M J; Harker, C T; McCarron, D A

    1995-01-01

    Previous data in rat conductance vessels indicated that cellular mevalonate contributes to vascular tone and systemic blood pressure control. Using exogenous mevalonate (M) or lovastatin, a 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor (L), we characterized the role of mevalonate availability in resistance artery function, both in experimental animals and humans. Rat mesenteric artery resistance vessels (MARV, n = 9) were incubated for 48 h with either L, M, L + M, or vehicle (V) and tested for reactivity to NE, serotonin, acetylcholine, atrial natriuretic peptide, and sodium nitroprusside (SNP). Lovastatin increased sensitivity to NE (P < 0.03) and serotonin (P < 0.003), and significantly impaired the response to all three vasodilators. These effects were reversed by co-incubation with mevalonate. Mevalonate alone had no effect. In separate experiments, intravascular free Ca2+ concentration (ivfCa2+) was determined in fura-2AM loaded MARV. Basal ivfCa2+ was increased after a 48-h exposure to L (52.7 +/- 4.6 nM, L, vs. 29.7 +/- 2.4 nM, V, n = 12, P < 0.003), as were ivfCa2+ levels following stimulation with low (100 nM) NE concentrations. Similar ivfCa2+ concentrations were achieved during maximum contraction with NE (10 mM) in both groups. Human resistance arteries of human adipose tissue were also studied. Lovastatin increased the sensitivity to NE (ED50 = 372 +/- 56 nM, V, and 99 +/- 33 nM, L, P < 0.001) and significantly decreased the relaxation to acetylcholine and SNP of human vessels. We conclude that mevalonate availability directly contribute to resistance vessel function and vascular signal transduction systems in both experimental animals and humans. The study calls for the identification of non-sterol, mevalonate-derived vasoactive metabolites, and suggests that disorders of the mevalonate pathway can alter vascular tone and cause hypertension. PMID:7615793

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Cigarette smoke extract affects mitochondrial function in alveolar epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Ballweg, Korbinian; Mutze, Kathrin; Königshoff, Melanie; Eickelberg, Oliver; Meiners, Silke

    2014-12-01

    Cigarette smoke is the main risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Exposure of cells to cigarette smoke induces an initial adaptive cellular stress response involving increased oxidative stress and induction of inflammatory signaling pathways. Exposure of mitochondria to cellular stress alters their fusion/fission dynamics. Whereas mild stress induces a prosurvival response termed stress-induced mitochondrial hyperfusion, severe stress results in mitochondrial fragmentation and mitophagy. In the present study, we analyzed the mitochondrial response to mild and nontoxic doses of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) in alveolar epithelial cells. We characterized mitochondrial morphology, expression of mitochondrial fusion and fission genes, markers of mitochondrial proteostasis, as well as mitochondrial functions such as membrane potential and oxygen consumption. Murine lung epithelial (MLE)12 and primary mouse alveolar epithelial cells revealed pronounced mitochondrial hyperfusion upon treatment with CSE, accompanied by increased expression of the mitochondrial fusion protein mitofusin 2 and increased metabolic activity. We did not observe any alterations in mitochondrial proteostasis, i.e., induction of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response or mitophagy. Therefore, our data indicate an adaptive prosurvival response of mitochondria of alveolar epithelial cells to nontoxic concentrations of CSE. A hyperfused mitochondrial network, however, renders the cell more vulnerable to additional stress, such as sustained cigarette smoke exposure. As such, cigarette smoke-induced mitochondrial hyperfusion, although part of a beneficial adaptive stress response in the first place, may contribute to the pathogenesis of COPD. PMID:25326581

  18. 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…

  19. Functional TLR5 genetic variants affect human colorectal cancer survival.

    PubMed

    Klimosch, Sascha N; Försti, Asta; Eckert, Jana; Knezevic, Jelena; Bevier, Melanie; von Schönfels, Witigo; Heits, Nils; Walter, Jessica; Hinz, Sebastian; Lascorz, Jesus; Hampe, Jochen; Hartl, Dominik; Frick, Julia-Stefanie; Hemminki, Kari; Schafmayer, Clemens; Weber, Alexander N R

    2013-12-15

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are overexpressed on many types of cancer cells, including colorectal cancer cells, but little is known about the functional relevance of these immune regulatory molecules in malignant settings. Here, we report frequent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the flagellin receptor TLR5 and the TLR downstream effector molecules MyD88 and TIRAP that are associated with altered survival in a large cohort of Caucasian patients with colorectal cancer (n = 613). MYD88 rs4988453, a SNP that maps to a promoter region shared with the acetyl coenzyme-A acyl-transferase-1 (ACAA1), was associated with decreased survival of patients with colorectal cancer and altered transcriptional activity of the proximal genes. In the TLR5 gene, rs5744174/F616L was associated with increased survival, whereas rs2072493/N592S was associated with decreased survival. Both rs2072493/N592S and rs5744174/F616L modulated TLR5 signaling in response to flagellin or to different commensal and pathogenic intestinal bacteria. Notably, we observed a reduction in flagellin-induced p38 phosphorylation, CD62L shedding, and elevated expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β mRNA in human primary immune cells from TLR5 616LL homozygote carriers, as compared with 616FF carriers. This finding suggested that the well-documented effect of cytokines like IL-6 on colorectal cancer progression might be mediated by TLR5 genotype-dependent flagellin sensing. Our results establish an important link between TLR signaling and human colorectal cancer with relevance for biomarker and therapy development. PMID:24154872

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. Roles for short-term synaptic plasticity in behavior.

    PubMed

    Fortune, Eric S; Rose, Gary J

    2002-01-01

    Short-term synaptic plasticity is phylogenetically widespread in ascending sensory systems of vertebrate brains. Such plasticity is found at all levels of sensory processing, including in sensory cortices. The functional roles of this apparently ubiquitous short-term synaptic plasticity, however, are not well understood. Data obtained in midbrain electrosensory neurons of Eigenmannia suggest that this plasticity has at least two roles in sensory processing; enhancing low-pass temporal filtering and generating phase shifts used in processing moving sensory images. Short-term synaptic plasticity may serve similar roles in other sensory modalities, including vision. PMID:14692501

  3. Synaptic plasticity in inhibitory neurons of the auditory brainstem

    PubMed Central

    Bender, Kevin J.; Trussell, Laurence O.

    2011-01-01

    There is a growing appreciation of synaptic plasticity in the early levels of auditory processing, and particularly of its role in inhibitory circuits. Synaptic strength in auditory brainstem and midbrain is sensitive to standard protocols for induction of long-term depression, potentiation, and spike-timing-dependent plasticity. Differential forms of plasticity are operative at synapses onto inhibitory versus excitatory neurons within a circuit, and together these could serve to tune circuits involved in sound localization or multisensory integration. Such activity-dependent control of synaptic function in inhibitory neurons may also be expressed after hearing loss and could underlie persistent neuronal activity in patients with tinnitus. PMID:21185317

  4. 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…

  5. Synaptic gene dysregulation within hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in mild cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Counts, Scott E.; Alldred, Melissa J.; Che, Shaoli; Ginsberg, Stephen D.; Mufson, Elliott J.

    2014-01-01

    Clinical neuropathologic studies suggest that the selective vulnerability of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal projection neurons plays a key role in the onset of cognitive impairment during the early phases of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Disruption of this neuronal population likely affects hippocampal pre- and postsynaptic efficacy underlying episodic memory circuits. Therefore, identifying perturbations in the expression of synaptic gene products within CA1 neurons prior to frank AD is crucial for the development of disease modifying therapies. Here we used custom-designed microarrays to examine progressive alterations in synaptic gene expression within CA1 neurons in cases harvested from the Rush Religious Orders Study who died with a clinical diagnosis of no cognitive impairment (NCI), mild cognitive impairment (MCI, a putative prodromal AD stage), or mild/moderate AD. Quantitative analysis revealed that 21 out of 28 different transcripts encoding regulators of synaptic function were significantly downregulated (1.4 to 1.8 fold) in CA1 neurons in MCI and AD compared to NCI, whereas synaptic transcript levels were not significantly different between MCI and AD. The downregulated transcripts encoded regulators of presynaptic vesicle trafficking, including synaptophysin and synaptogyrin, regulators of vesicle docking and fusion/release, such as synaptotagmin and syntaxin 1, and regulators of glutamatergic postsynaptic function, including PSD-95 and synaptopodin. Clinical pathologic correlation analysis revealed that downregulation of these synaptic markers was strongly associated with poorer antemortem cognitive status and postmortem AD pathological criteria such as Braak stage, NIA-Reagan, and CERAD diagnosis. In contrast to the widespread loss of synaptic gene expression observed in CA1 neurons in MCI, transcripts encoding β-amyloid precursor protein (APP), APP family members, and regulators of APP metabolism were not differentially regulated in CA1 neurons across the

  6. 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. PMID:23999572

  7. Rapamycin improves motor function, reduces 4-hydroxynonenal adducted protein in brain, and attenuates synaptic injury in a mouse model of synucleinopathy

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Xiang; Wey, Margaret Chia-Ying; Fernandez, Elizabeth; Hart, Matthew J.; Gelfond, Jonathan; Bokov, Alex F.; Rani, Sheela; Strong, Randy

    2015-01-01

    Background Synucleinopathy is any of a group of age-related neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy, and dementia with Lewy Bodies, which is characterized by α-synuclein inclusions and parkinsonian motor deficits affecting millions of patients worldwide. But there is no cure at present for synucleinopathy. Rapamycin has been shown to be neuroprotective in several in vitro and in vivo synucleinopathy models. However, there are no reports on the long-term effects of RAPA on motor function or measures of neurodegeneration in models of synucleinopathy. Methods We determined whether long-term feeding a rapamycin diet (14 ppm in diet; 2.25 mg/kg body weight/day) improves motor function in neuronal A53T α-synuclein transgenic mice (TG) and explored underlying mechanisms using a variety of behavioral and biochemical approaches. Results After 24 weeks of treatment, rapamycin improved performance on the forepaw stepping adjustment test, accelerating rotarod and pole test. Rapamycin did not alter A53T α-synuclein content. There was no effect of rapamycin treatment on midbrain or striatal monoamines or their metabolites. Proteins adducted to the lipid peroxidation product 4-hydroxynonenal were decreased in brain regions of both wild-type and TG mice treated with rapamycin. Reduced levels of the presynaptic marker synaptophysin were found in several brain regions of TG mice. Rapamycin attenuated the loss of synaptophysin protein in the affected brain regions. Rapamycin also attenuated the loss of synaptophysin protein and prevented the decrease of neurite length in SH-SY5Y cells treated with 4-hydroxynonenal. Conclusion Taken together, these data suggest that rapamycin, an FDA approved drug, may prove useful in the treatment of synucleinopathy. PMID:26306821

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Cerebellar Synaptic Plasticity and the Credit Assignment Problem.

    PubMed

    Jörntell, Henrik

    2016-04-01

    The mechanism by which a learnt synaptic weight change can contribute to learning or adaptation of brain function is a type of credit assignment problem, which is a key issue for many parts of the brain. In the cerebellum, detailed knowledge not only of the local circuitry connectivity but also of the topography of different sources of afferent/external information makes this problem particularly tractable. In addition, multiple forms of synaptic plasticity and their general rules of induction have been identified. In this review, we will discuss the possible roles of synaptic and cellular plasticity at specific locations in contributing to behavioral changes. Focus will be on the parts of the cerebellum that are devoted to limb control, which constitute a large proportion of the cortex and where the knowledge of the external connectivity is particularly well known. From this perspective, a number of sites of synaptic plasticity appear to primarily have the function of balancing the overall level of activity in the cerebellar circuitry, whereas the locations at which synaptic plasticity leads to functional changes in terms of limb control are more limited. Specifically, the postsynaptic forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) at the parallel fiber synapses made on interneurons and Purkinje cells, respectively, are the types of plasticity that mediate the widest associative capacity and the tightest link between the synaptic change and the external functions that are to be controlled. PMID:25417189

  13. Mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction and excitotoxicity in Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Sepers, Marja D; Raymond, Lynn A

    2014-07-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder of movement, mood and cognition, caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the huntingtin (Htt) protein. Genetic mouse models of HD, along with improved imaging techniques in humans at risk of, or affected by, HD, have advanced understanding of the cellular and/or molecular mechanisms underlying its pathogenesis. The striatum begins to degenerate before other brain areas, and altered activity at corticostriatal synapses contributes to an imbalance in survival versus death signaling pathways in this brain region. Striatal projection neurons of the indirect pathway are most vulnerable, and their dysfunction contributes to motor symptoms at early stages of the disease. Mutant Htt expression changes striatal excitatory synaptic activity by decreasing glutamate uptake and increasing signaling at N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDAR). A variety of studies indicate that reduced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) transcription, transport and signaling contribute importantly to striatal neuronal dysfunction and degeneration in HD. Striatal dopamine and endocannabinoid signaling are also altered and progressively become dysfunctional. Changes at striatal neurons vary with the stage of disease and clinical symptoms. Therapeutics targeting multiple neurotransmitter signaling systems could support physiological synaptic function and delay disease onset. PMID:24603212

  14. Synapsin Isoforms and Synaptic Vesicle Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Song, Sang-Ho; Augustine, George J.

    2015-01-01

    Synapsins were the first presynaptic proteins identified and have served as the flagship of the presynaptic protein field. Here we review recent studies demonstrating that different members of the synapsin family play different roles at presynaptic terminals employing different types of synaptic vesicles. The structural underpinnings for these functions are just beginning to be understood and should provide a focus for future efforts. PMID:26627875

  15. Effect of VGLUT inhibitors on glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the rodent hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Neale, S A; Copeland, C S; Salt, T E

    2014-07-01

    Vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs) are known to be important in the uptake of glutamate into vesicles in the presynaptic terminal; thereby playing a role in synaptic function. VGLUT dysfunction has also been suggested in neurological and psychiatric disorders such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. A number of compounds have been identified as VGLUT inhibitors; however, little is known as to how these compounds affect synaptic transmission. We therefore investigated the effects of structurally unrelated VGLUT inhibitors on synaptic transmission in the rodent hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. In the CA1 and dentate gyrus regions of the in vitro slice preparation of mouse hippocampus, AMPA receptor-mediated field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) were evoked in response to Schaffer collateral/commissural pathway stimulation. Application of the VGLUT inhibitors Rose Bengal (RB), Congo Red (CR) or Chicago Sky Blue 6B (CB) resulted in a concentration-related reduction of fEPSP amplitudes. RB (30μM) or CB (300μM) also depressed NMDA receptor-mediated responses in the CA1 region. The naturally occurring kynurenine Xanthurenic Acid (XA) is reported to be a VGLUT inhibitor. We found XA attenuated both AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. The potency order of the VGLUT inhibitors was consistent with literature Ki values for VGLUT inhibition. Impaired glutamatergic neurotransmission is believed to contribute to schizophrenia, and VGLUTs have also been implicated in this disease. We therefore investigated the effect of VGLUT inhibition in the prefrontal cortex. Application of the VGLUT inhibitors RB or CB resulted in a concentration-dependent reduction in the amplitude of glutamate receptor-mediated fEPSPs recorded in layer V/VI in response to stimulation in the forceps minor. We conclude that VGLUT inhibitors can modulate glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the PFC and hippocampus. This could be important in the pathophysiology of nervous

  16. Depletion of the AMPAR reserve pool impairs synaptic plasticity in a model of hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Schroeter, Annett; Wen, Shuping; Mölders, Andrea; Erlenhardt, Nadine; Stein, Valentin; Klöcker, Nikolaj

    2015-09-01

    Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is the most common neuropsychiatric complication of acute or chronic liver failure. Clinical symptoms include cognitive and intellectual dysfunction as well as impaired motor activity and coordination. There is general consensus that increased levels of ammonia play a central role in the pathogenesis of HE. However, it is still elusive how cognitive performance including the ability to learn and memorize information is affected by ammonia at molecular levels. In the present study, we have employed a neuroglial co-culture model, which preserves neuroglial interplay but allows for cell-type specific molecular and functional analyses, to investigate glutamatergic neurotransmission under conditions of high ammonia. Chronic exposure to ammonia significantly reduced neuronal mRNA and protein expression of AMPA-subtype glutamate receptors (AMPARs), which mediate most fast excitatory neurotransmission in the brain. Surprisingly, neurons were able to fully maintain basal glutamatergic neurotransmission as recorded by AMPAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) even when >50% of total AMPARs were lost. However, long-lasting, activity-dependent changes in the efficacy of synaptic communication, which model the capability of the brain to learn and store information, were severely constrained. Whereas synaptic efficacy could still be depressed, an increase in synaptic strength was abolished. We conclude that neurons retain basal glutamatergic transmission at the expense of the extrasynaptic population of AMPARs, which is revealed when the extrasynaptic reserve pool is recruited in vain for synaptic potentiation. Our findings thus offer a molecular model, which might not only explain impaired synaptic plasticity in HE but also in other neurological diseases accompanied by a decrease in extrasynaptic AMPAR expression. PMID:26363416

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Tetanus toxin blocks the exocytosis of synaptic vesicles clustered at synapses but not of synaptic vesicles in isolated axons.

    PubMed

    Verderio, C; Coco, S; Bacci, A; Rossetto, O; De Camilli, P; Montecucco, C; Matteoli, M

    1999-08-15

    Recycling synaptic vesicles are already present in isolated axons of developing neurons (Matteoli et al., Zakharenko et al., 1999). This vesicle recycling is distinct from the vesicular traffic implicated in axon outgrowth. Formation of synaptic contacts coincides with a clustering of synaptic vesicles at the contact site and with a downregulation of their basal rate of exo-endocytosis (Kraszewski et al, 1995; Coco et al., 1998) We report here that tetanus toxin-mediated cleavage of synaptobrevin/vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP2), previously shown not to affect axon outgrowth, also does not inhibit synaptic vesicle exocytosis in isolated axons, despite its potent blocking effect on their exocytosis at synapses. This differential effect of tetanus toxin could be seen even on different branches of a same neuron. In contrast, botulinum toxins A and E [which cleave synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa. (SNAP-25)] and F (which cleaves synaptobrevin/VAMP1 and 2) blocked synaptic vesicle exocytosis both in isolated axons and at synapses, strongly suggesting that this process is dependent on "classical" synaptic SNAP receptor (SNARE) complexes both before and after synaptogenesis. A tetanus toxin-resistant form of synaptic vesicle recycling, which proceeds in the absence of external stimuli and is sensitive to botulinum toxin F, E, and A, persists at mature synapses. These data suggest the involvement of a tetanus toxin-resistant, but botulinum F-sensitive, isoform of synaptobrevin/VAMP in synaptic vesicle exocytosis before synapse formation and the partial persistence of this form of exocytosis at mature synaptic contacts. PMID:10436029

  20. 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

  1. Improved signaling as a result of randomness in synaptic vesicle release

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Calvin; Peskin, Charles S.

    2015-01-01

    The probabilistic nature of neurotransmitter release in synapses is believed to be one of the most significant sources of noise in the central nervous system. We show how p0, the probability of release per docked vesicle when an action potential arrives, affects the dynamics of the rate of vesicle release in response to changes in the rate of arrival of action potentials. Furthermore, we examine the theoretical capability of a synapse in the estimation of desired signals using information from the stochastic vesicle release events under the framework of optimal linear filter theory. We find that a small p0, such as 0.1, reduces the error in the reconstruction of the input, or in the reconstruction of the time derivative of the input, from the time series of vesicle release events. Our results imply that the probabilistic nature of synaptic vesicle release plays a direct functional role in synaptic transmission. PMID:26627245

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:26571461

  4. Oligomeric Aβ-induced synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Tu, Shichun; Okamoto, Shu-ichi; Lipton, Stuart A; Xu, Huaxi

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating disease characterized by synaptic and neuronal loss in the elderly. Compelling evidence suggests that soluble amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) oligomers induce synaptic loss in AD. Aβ-induced synaptic dysfunction is dependent on overstimulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) resulting in aberrant activation of redox-mediated events as well as elevation of cytoplasmic Ca2+, which in turn triggers downstream pathways involving phospho-tau (p-tau), caspases, Cdk5/dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), calcineurin/PP2B, PP2A, Gsk-3β, Fyn, cofilin, and CaMKII and causes endocytosis of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) as well as NMDARs. Dysfunction in these pathways leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, bioenergetic compromise and consequent synaptic dysfunction and loss, impaired long-term potentiation (LTP), and cognitive decline. Evidence also suggests that Aβ may, at least in part, mediate these events by causing an aberrant rise in extrasynaptic glutamate levels by inhibiting glutamate uptake or triggering glutamate release from glial cells. Consequent extrasynaptic NMDAR (eNMDAR) overstimulation then results in synaptic dysfunction via the aforementioned pathways. Consistent with this model of Aβ-induced synaptic loss, Aβ synaptic toxicity can be partially ameliorated by the NMDAR antagonists (such as memantine and NitroMemantine). PSD-95, an important scaffolding protein that regulates synaptic distribution and activity of both NMDA and AMPA receptors, is also functionally disrupted by Aβ. PSD-95 dysregulation is likely an important intermediate step in the pathological cascade of events caused by Aβ. In summary, Aβ-induced synaptic dysfunction is a complicated process involving multiple pathways, components and biological events, and their underlying mechanisms, albeit as yet incompletely understood, may offer hope for new therapeutic avenues. PMID:25394486

  5. 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. PMID:25657706

  6. Injury-specific functional alteration of N-type voltage-gated calcium channels in synaptic transmission of primary afferent C-fibers in the rat spinal superficial dorsal horn.

    PubMed

    Takasu, Keiko; Ogawa, Koichi; Minami, Kazuhisa; Shinohara, Shunji; Kato, Akira

    2016-02-01

    We investigated functional alterations of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) in excitatory synaptic transmission from primary afferent A- and C-fibers after peripheral nerve injury. Patch-clamp recordings were performed on substantia gelatinosa (SG) neurons of spinal cord slices with an attached dorsal root, prepared from L5 spinal nerve-ligated (SNL) rats. The effects of neuronal VGCC blockers, ω-conotoxin GVIA (ω-CgTX) for N-type channels and ω-agatoxin IVA (ω-AgaIVA) for P/Q-type channels, on evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) by stimulation of A- or C-fibers were studied. Besides, electrophysiological assay using dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and immunohistochemistry were done. In naïve rats, ω-CgTX (0.1-1μM) reduced more effectively A-fiber eEPSCs than C-fiber ones. After nerve injury, ω-CgTX produced great inhibition of C-fiber eEPSCs in slices with the injured L5 dorsal root of SNL model rats, as compared to sham-operated rats. By contrast, in slices with the non-injured L4 one, inhibitory effects of ω-CgTX were not changed. This occurred concurrently with increased expression of N-type VGCCs in L5 spinal dorsal horn and with enhanced Ca(2+) currents through N-type VGCCs in small-sized (C-type) L5 DRG. In terms of A-fiber eEPSCs, ω-CgTX elicited similar inhibition in nerve-injured and sham-operated rats. ω-AgaIVA (0.1μM) had less effect on A- or C-fiber eEPSCs. These results indicate that N-type, but not P/Q-type, VGCCs mainly contribute to excitatory synaptic transmission from A- and C-fibers in the spinal dorsal horn. More importantly, following nerve injury, the functional contribution of N-type VGCCs to nociceptive transmission is increased in the pre-synaptic terminals of injured C-fibers. PMID:26708163

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Skipped-Stimulus Approach Reveals That Short-Term Plasticity Dominates Synaptic Strength during Ongoing Activity

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hua

    2015-01-01

    All synapses show activity-dependent changes in strength, which affect the fidelity of postsynaptic spiking. This is particularly important at auditory nerve synapses, where the presence and timing of spikes carry information about a sound's structure, which must be passed along for proper processing. However, it is not clear how synaptic plasticity influences spiking during ongoing activity. Under these conditions, conventional analyses erroneously suggest that synaptic plasticity has no influence on EPSC amplitude or spiking. Therefore, we developed new approaches to study how ongoing activity influences synaptic strength, using voltage- and current-clamp recordings from bushy cells in brain slices from mouse anteroventral cochlear nucleus. We applied identical trains of stimuli, except for one skipped stimulus, and found that EPSC amplitude was affected for 60 ms following a skipped stimulus. We further showed that the initial probability of release, calcium-dependent mechanisms of recovery, and desensitization all play a role even during ongoing activity. Current-clamp experiments indicated that these processes had a significant effect on postsynaptic spiking, as did the refractory period to a smaller extent. Thus short-term plasticity has real, important functional consequences. PMID:26019343

  10. Regulated transcription of the immediate-early gene Zif268: mechanisms and gene dosage-dependent function in synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

    PubMed

    Bozon, Bruno; Davis, Sabrina; Laroche, Serge

    2002-01-01

    The immediate-early gene Zif268 is a member of the Egr family of inducible transcription factors. Data from gene expression studies have suggested that this gene may play a critical role in initial triggering of the genetic machinery that has long been considered a necessary mechanism for maintenance of the later phases of LTP and also for the consolidation or stabilization of long-lasting memories. Until recently, however, the data supporting this assumption have been based primarily on circumstantial evidence, with no direct evidence to suggest that Zif268 is required for long-lasting synaptic plasticity and memory. In this report, we review our own data using Zif268 mutant mice; we show that although the early phase of dentate gyrus LTP is normal in these mice, the later phases are not present, and the ability of the mice to maintain learned information over a 24-h period is deficient. In addition, we present new information showing a task-dependent gene dosage effect in Zif268 heterozygous mice. We show that spatial learning is particularly sensitive to reduced levels of Zif268, as one-half of the complement of Zif268 in heterozygous mice is insufficient to maintain spatial long-term memories. PMID:12440572

  11. Corticostriatal synaptic adaptations in Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Plotkin, Joshua L; Surmeier, D James

    2015-08-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that profoundly impairs corticostriatal information processing. While late stage pathology includes cell death, the appearance of motor symptoms parallels more subtle changes in neuronal function and synaptic integration. Because of the difficulty in modeling the disease and the complexity of the corticostriatal network, understanding the mechanisms driving pathology has been slow to develop. In recent years, advances in animal models and network analysis tools have begun to shed light on the circuit-specific deficits. These studies have revealed a progressive impairment of corticostriatal synaptic signaling in subpopulations of striatal neurons, turning classical excitotoxicity models of HD upside down. Disrupted brain derived neurotrophic factor signaling appears to be a key factor in this decline. PMID:25700146

  12. Genetic modulation of soluble Aβ rescues cognitive and synaptic impairment in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    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; Jankowsky, Joanna L

    2014-06-01

    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

  13. Translational Control in Synaptic Plasticity and Cognitive Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Buffington, Shelly A.; Huang, Wei; Costa-Mattioli, Mauro

    2016-01-01

    Activity-dependent changes in the strength of synaptic connections are fundamental to the formation and maintenance of memory. The mechanisms underlying persistent changes in synaptic strength in the hippocampus, specifically long-term potentiation and depression, depend on new protein synthesis. Such changes are thought to be orchestrated by engaging the signaling pathways that regulate mRNA translation in neurons. In this review, we discuss the key regulatory pathways that govern translational control in response to synaptic activity and the mRNA populations that are specifically targeted by these pathways. The critical contribution of regulatory control over new protein synthesis to proper cognitive function is underscored by human disorders associated with either silencing or mutation of genes encoding proteins that directly regulate translation. In light of these clinical implications, we also consider the therapeutic potential of targeting dysregulated translational control to treat cognitive disorders of synaptic dysfunction. PMID:25032491

  14. Synaptic plasticity in the pathophysiology and treatment of bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Du, Jing; Machado-Vieira, Rodrigo; Khairova, Rushaniya

    2011-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that synaptic plasticity is intimately involved in the pathophysiology and treatment of bipolar disorder (BPD). Under certain conditions, over-strengthened and/or weakened synapses at different circuits in the brain could disturb brain functions in parallel, causing manic-like or depressive-like behaviors in animal models. In this chapter, we summarize the regulation of synaptic plasticity by medications, psychological conditions, hormones, and neurotrophic factors, and their correlation with mood-associated animal behaviors. We conclude that increased serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), acute corticosterone, and antidepressant treatments lead to enhanced synaptic strength in the hippocampus and also correlate with antidepressant-like behaviors. In contrast, inhibiting monoaminergic signaling, long-term stress, and pathophysiological concentrations of cytokines weakens glutamatergic synaptic strength in the hippocampus and is associated with depressive-like symptoms. PMID:25236555

  15. Synaptic remodeling of neuronal circuits in early retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Soto, Florentina; Kerschensteiner, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptor degenerations are a major cause of blindness and among the most common forms of neurodegeneration in humans. Studies of mouse models revealed that synaptic dysfunction often precedes photoreceptor degeneration, and that abnormal synaptic input from photoreceptors to bipolar cells causes circuits in the inner retina to become hyperactive. Here, we provide a brief overview of frequently used mouse models of photoreceptor degenerations. We then discuss insights into circuit remodeling triggered by early synaptic dysfunction in the outer and hyperactivity in the inner retina. We discuss these insights in the context of other experimental manipulations of synaptic function and activity. Knowledge of the plasticity and early remodeling of retinal circuits will be critical for the design of successful vision rescue strategies. PMID:26500497

  16. 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

  17. Upward synaptic scaling is dependent on neurotransmission rather than spiking

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25751516

  18. Age-dependent modulation of synaptic plasticity and insulin mimetic effect of lipoic acid on a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Sancheti, Harsh; Akopian, Garnik; Yin, Fei; Brinton, Roberta D; Walsh, John P; Cadenas, Enrique

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that entails impairments of memory, thinking and behavior and culminates into brain atrophy. Impaired glucose uptake (accumulating into energy deficits) and synaptic plasticity have been shown to be affected in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. This study examines the ability of lipoic acid to increase brain glucose uptake and lead to improvements in synaptic plasticity on a triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (3xTg-AD) that shows progression of pathology as a function of age; two age groups: 6 months (young) and 12 months (old) were used in this study. 3xTg-AD mice fed 0.23% w/v lipoic acid in drinking water for 4 weeks showed an insulin mimetic effect that consisted of increased brain glucose uptake, activation of the insulin receptor substrate and of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Lipoic acid supplementation led to important changes in synaptic function as shown by increased input/output (I/O) and long term potentiation (LTP) (measured by electrophysiology). Lipoic acid was more effective in stimulating an insulin-like effect and reversing the impaired synaptic plasticity in the old mice, wherein the impairment of insulin signaling and synaptic plasticity was more pronounced than those in young mice. PMID:23875003

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Balanced Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Currents Promote Efficient Coding and Metabolic Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Sengupta, Biswa; Laughlin, Simon B.; Niven, Jeremy E.

    2013-01-01

    A balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic currents is thought to be important for several aspects of information processing in cortical neurons in vivo, including gain control, bandwidth and receptive field structure. These factors will affect the firing rate of cortical neurons and their reliability, with consequences for their information coding and energy consumption. Yet how balanced synaptic currents contribute to the coding efficiency and energy efficiency of cortical neurons remains unclear. We used single compartment computational models with stochastic voltage-gated ion channels to determine whether synaptic regimes that produce balanced excitatory and inhibitory currents have specific advantages over other input regimes. Specifically, we compared models with only excitatory synaptic inputs to those with equal excitatory and inhibitory conductances, and stronger inhibitory than excitatory conductances (i.e. approximately balanced synaptic currents). Using these models, we show that balanced synaptic currents evoke fewer spikes per second than excitatory inputs alone or equal excitatory and inhibitory conductances. However, spikes evoked by balanced synaptic inputs are more informative (bits/spike), so that spike trains evoked by all three regimes have similar information rates (bits/s). Consequently, because spikes dominate the energy consumption of our computational models, approximately balanced synaptic currents are also more energy efficient than other synaptic regimes. Thus, by producing fewer, more informative spikes approximately balanced synaptic currents in cortical neurons can promote both coding efficiency and energy efficiency. PMID:24098105

  3. Synaptic modulation of excitatory synaptic transmission by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in spinal ventral horn neurons.

    PubMed

    Mine, N; Taniguchi, W; Nishio, N; Izumi, N; Miyazaki, N; Yamada, H; Nakatsuka, T; Yoshida, M

    2015-04-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are distributed widely in the central nervous system and play important roles in higher brain functions, including learning, memory, and recognition. However, functions of the cholinergic system in spinal motoneurons remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the actions of presynaptic and postsynaptic nAChRs in spinal ventral horn neurons by performing whole-cell patch-clamp recordings on lumbar slices from male rats. The application of nicotine or acetylcholine generated slow inward currents and increased the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). Slow inward currents by acetylcholine or nicotine were not inhibited by tetrodotoxin (TTX) or glutamate receptor antagonists. In the presence of TTX, the frequency and amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) were also increased by acetylcholine or nicotine. A selective α4β2 nicotinic receptor antagonist, dihydro-β-erythroidine hydrobromide (DhβE), significantly decreased nicotine-induced inward currents without affecting the enhancement of sEPSCs and mEPSCs. In addition, a selective α7 nicotinic receptor antagonist, methyllycaconitine, did not affect either nicotine-induced inward currents or the enhancement of sEPSCs and mEPSCs. These results suggest that α4β2 AChRs are localized at postsynaptic sites in the spinal ventral horn, non-α4β2 and non-α7 nAChRs are located presynaptically, and nAChRs enhance excitatory synaptic transmission in the spinal ventral horn. PMID:25613686

  4. The impact of synaptic conductance on action potential waveform: evoking realistic action potentials with a simulated synaptic conductance.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Jamie; Postlethwaite, Michael; Forsythe, Ian D

    2009-10-15

    Most current clamp studies trigger action potentials (APs) by step current injection through the recording electrode and assume that the resulting APs are essentially identical to those triggered by orthodromic synaptic inputs. However this assumption is not always valid, particularly when the synaptic conductance is of large magnitude and of close proximity to the axon initial segment. We addressed this question of similarity using the Calyx of Held/MNTB synapse; we compared APs evoked by long duration step current injections, short step current injections and orthodromic synaptic stimuli. Neither injected current protocol evoked APs that matched the evoked orthodromic AP waveform, showing differences in AP height, half-width and after-hyperpolarization. We postulated that this 'error' could arise from changes in the instantaneous conductance during the combined synaptic and AP waveforms, since the driving forces for the respective ionic currents are integrating and continually evolving over this time-course. We demonstrate that a simple Ohm's law manipulation of the EPSC waveform, which accounts for the evolving driving force on the synaptic conductance during the AP, produces waveforms that closely mimic those generated by physiological synaptic stimulation. This stimulation paradigm allows supra-threshold physiological stimulation (single stimuli or trains) without the variability caused by quantal fluctuation in transmitter release, and can be implemented without a specialised dynamic clamp system. Combined with pharmacological tools this method provides a reliable means to assess the physiological roles of postsynaptic ion channels without confounding affects from the presynaptic input. PMID:19560491

  5. Positive Affect in the Midst of Distress: Implications for Role Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Moskowitz, Judith Tedlie; Shmueli-Blumberg, Dikla; Acree, Michael; Folkman, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Stress has been shown to deplete the self-regulation resources hypothesized to facilitate effective role functioning. However, recent research suggests that positive affect may help to replenish these vital self-regulation resources. Based on revised Stress and Coping theory and the Broaden-and-Build theory of positive emotion, three studies provide evidence of the potential adaptive function of positive affect in the performance of roles for participants experiencing stress. Participants were students (Study 1), caregivers of ill children (Study 2), and individuals recently diagnosed with HIV (Study 3). In cross sectional analyses, using role functioning as an indicator of self-regulation performance, we found that positive affect was significantly correlated with better self regulation performance, independent of the effects of negative affect. The effects were not as strong longitudinally, however, and there was little evidence of a reciprocal association between increases in positive affect and improvements in role functioning over time. The results provide some modest support for hypotheses stemming from the Broaden and Build model of positive emotion and revised Stress and Coping theory, both of which argue for unique adaptive functions of positive affect under stressful conditions. PMID:23175617

  6. [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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Graded boosting of synaptic signals by low-threshold voltage-activated calcium conductance.

    PubMed

    Carbó Tano, Martín; Vilarchao, María Eugenia; Szczupak, Lidia

    2015-07-01

    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 Ni(2+) 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 Ca(2+) 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

  12. Balance within the Neurexin Trans-Synaptic Connexus Stabilizes Behavioral Control

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24578685

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Inactivation of Drosophila Huntingtin affects long-term adult functioning and the pathogenesis of a Huntington’s disease model

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Sheng; Feany, Mel B.; Saraswati, Sudipta; Littleton, J. Troy; Perrimon, Norbert

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY A polyglutamine expansion in the huntingtin (HTT) gene causes neurodegeneration in Huntington’s disease (HD), but the in vivo function of the native protein (Htt) is largely unknown. Numerous biochemical and in vitro studies have suggested a role for Htt in neuronal development, synaptic function and axonal trafficking. To test these models, we generated a null mutant in the putative Drosophila HTT homolog (htt, hereafter referred to asdhtt) and, surprisingly, found that dhtt mutant animals are viable with no obvious developmental defects. Instead, dhtt is required for maintaining the mobility and long-term survival of adult animals, and for modulating axonal terminal complexity in the adult brain. Furthermore, removing endogenous dhtt significantly accelerates the neurodegenerative phenotype associated with a Drosophila model of polyglutamine Htt toxicity (HD-Q93), providing in vivo evidence that disrupting the normal function of Htt might contribute to HD pathogenesis. PMID:19380309

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. First effects of rising amyloid-β in transgenic mouse brain: synaptic transmission and gene expression.

    PubMed

    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; Edwards, Frances A

    2015-07-01

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Astrocytes contribute to the effects of etomidate on synaptic transmission in rat primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hao; Wang, Yuan; Zhang, Yu; Zhang, You; Xu, Mao-Sheng; Yuan, Jie; Yu, Tian

    2016-07-01

    Little is known about the mechanisms of unconsciousness induced by general anesthetics. Previous studies have shown that the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is a sensitive region to a variety of intravenous general anesthetics. Etomidate is a widely used intravenous anesthetic that can influence synaptic transmission. Recently, there are some evidences suggesting that astrocytes, a type of glia cell, also contribute to information transmission in the brain, and modulate synaptic function by releasing neuroactive substances. However, it is unknown whether astrocytes influence the effects of etomidate on information transmission in S1 pyramidal neurons. In the present study, the role of astrocytes in etomidate-induced unconsciousness was investigated by using the whole-cell patch clamp technique. We observed etomidate at clinically relevant concentrations inhibited the spontaneous postsynaptic currents (sPSCs) of rat S1 pyramidal neurons in a concentration-dependent manner, and the EC50 value of etomidate for inhibiting sPSCs from the concentration-effect curve was 6.9μM. Furthermore, in the presence of fluorocitrate, a glia-selective metabolism inhibitor that blocks the aconitase enzyme, both the amplitude and frequency of sPSCs in rat S1 pyramidal neurons were reduced, and the inhibitory effects of etomidate on sPSCs amplitude was strengthened without affecting the effects of etomidate on frequency. From these data, we deduce that etomidate suppresses synaptic activity via presynaptic and postsynaptic components. Furthermore, astrocytes participate in synaptic transmission and influence the effects of etomidate on postsynaptic receptors. This study provides new insight into the role of astrocytes in etomidate-induced unconsciousness. PMID:27045115

  9. 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

  10. Fbxo45, a Novel Ubiquitin Ligase, Regulates Synaptic Activity*

    PubMed Central

    Tada, Hirobumi; Okano, Hirotaka James; Takagi, Hiroshi; Shibata, Shinsuke; Yao, Ikuko; Matsumoto, Masaki; Saiga, Toru; Nakayama, Keiichi I.; Kashima, Haruo; Takahashi, Takuya; Setou, Mitsutoshi; Okano, Hideyuki

    2010-01-01

    Neurons communicate with each other through synapses. To establish the precise yet flexible connections that make up neural networks in the brain, continuous synaptic modulation is required. The ubiquitin-proteasome system of protein degradation is one of the critical mechanisms that underlie this process, playing crucial roles in the regulation of synaptic structure and function. We identified a novel ubiquitin ligase, Fbxo45, that functions at synapses. Fbxo45 is evolutionarily conserved and selectively expressed in the nervous system. We demonstrated that the knockdown of Fbxo45 in primary cultured hippocampal neurons resulted in a greater frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. We also found that Fbxo45 induces the degradation of a synaptic vesicle-priming factor, Munc13-1. We propose that Fbxo45 plays an important role in the regulation of neurotransmission by modulating Munc13-1 at the synapse. PMID:19996097

  11. AMPA receptor regulation during synaptic plasticity in hippocampus and neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hey-Kyoung; Kirkwood, Alfredo

    2011-01-01

    Discovery of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus of the rabbit hippocampus by Bliss and Lømo opened up a whole new field to study activity-dependent long-term synaptic modifications in the brain. Since then hippocampal synapses have been a key model system to study the mechanisms of different forms of synaptic plasticity. At least for the postsynaptic forms of LTP and long-term depression (LTD), regulation of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) has emerged as a key mechanism. While many of the synaptic plasticity mechanisms uncovered in at the hippocampal synapses apply to synapses across diverse brain regions, there are differences in the mechanisms that often reveal the specific functional requirements of the brain area under study. Here we will review AMPAR regulation underlying synaptic plasticity in hippocampus and neocortex. The main focus of this review will be placed on postsynaptic forms of synaptic plasticity that impinge on the regulation of AMPARs using hippocampal CA1 and primary sensory cortices as examples. And through the comparison, we will highlight the key similarities and functional differences between the two synapses. PMID:21856433

  12. Evolving Synaptic Plasticity with an Evolutionary Cellular Development Model

    PubMed Central

    Yerushalmi, Uri; Teicher, Mina

    2008-01-01

    Since synaptic plasticity is regarded as a potential mechanism for memory formation and learning, there is growing interest in the study of its underlying mechanisms. Recently several evolutionary models of cellular development have been presented, but none have been shown to be able to evolve a range of biological synaptic plasticity regimes. In this paper we present a biologically plausible evolutionary cellular development model and test its ability to evolve different biological synaptic plasticity regimes. The core of the model is a genomic and proteomic regulation network which controls cells and their neurites in a 2D environment. The model has previously been shown to successfully evolve behaving organisms, enable gene related phenomena, and produce biological neural mechanisms such as temporal representations. Several experiments are described in which the model evolves different synaptic plasticity regimes using a direct fitness function. Other experiments examine the ability of the model to evolve simple plasticity regimes in a task -based fitness function environment. These results suggest that such evolutionary cellular development models have the potential to be used as a research tool for investigating the evolutionary aspects of synaptic plasticity and at the same time can serve as the basis for novel artificial computational systems. PMID:19002249

  13. Role of DHA in aging-related changes in mouse brain synaptic plasma membrane proteome.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Vishaldeep K; Huang, Bill X; Desai, Abhishek; Kevala, Karl; Kim, Hee-Yong

    2016-05-01

    Aging has been related to diminished cognitive function, which could be a result of ineffective synaptic function. We have previously shown that synaptic plasma membrane proteins supporting synaptic integrity and neurotransmission were downregulated in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-deprived brains, suggesting an important role of DHA in synaptic function. In this study, we demonstrate aging-induced synaptic proteome changes and DHA-dependent mitigation of such changes using mass spectrometry-based protein quantitation combined with western blot or messenger RNA analysis. We found significant reduction of 15 synaptic plasma membrane proteins in aging brains including fodrin-α, synaptopodin, postsynaptic density protein 95, synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2B, synaptosomal-associated protein 25, synaptosomal-associated protein-α, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit epsilon-2 precursor, AMPA2, AP2, VGluT1, munc18-1, dynamin-1, vesicle-associated membrane protein 2, rab3A, and EAAT1, most of which are involved in synaptic transmission. Notably, the first 9 proteins were further reduced when brain DHA was depleted by diet, indicating that DHA plays an important role in sustaining these synaptic proteins downregulated during aging. Reduction of 2 of these proteins was reversed by raising the brain DHA level by supplementing aged animals with an omega-3 fatty acid sufficient diet for 2 months. The recognition memory compromised in DHA-depleted animals was also improved. Our results suggest a potential role of DHA in alleviating aging-associated cognitive decline by offsetting the loss of neurotransmission-regulating synaptic proteins involved in synaptic function. PMID:27103520

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Recent advances in understanding synaptic abnormalities in Rett syndrome

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Metacognitive Awareness of Facial Affect in Higher-Functioning Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMahon, Camilla M.; Henderson, Heather A.; Newell, Lisa; Jaime, Mark; Mundy, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Higher-functioning participants with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD) viewed a series of face stimuli, made decisions regarding the affect of each face, and indicated their confidence in each decision. Confidence significantly predicted accuracy across all participants, but this relation was stronger for participants with typical…

  20. Automatic Processing of Emotional Faces in High-Functioning Pervasive Developmental Disorders: An Affective Priming Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamio, Yoko; Wolf, Julie; Fein, Deborah

    2006-01-01

    This study examined automatic processing of emotional faces in individuals with high-functioning Pervasive Developmental Disorders (HFPDD) using an affective priming paradigm. Sixteen participants (HFPDD and matched controls) were presented with happy faces, fearful faces or objects in both subliminal and supraliminal exposure conditions, followed…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. The interactive role of CB(1) and GABA(B) receptors in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rats.

    PubMed

    Nazari, Masoumeh; Komaki, Alireza; Karamian, Ruhollah; Shahidi, Siamak; Sarihi, Abdolrahman; Asadbegi, Masoumeh

    2016-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is a cellular process underlying learning and memory. Cannabinoids are known to be powerful modulators of this kind of synaptic plasticity. Changes in GABAergic inhibition have also been shown to affect synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. GABA receptor type B (GABAB) and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) exhibit overlapping anatomical localization in some brain areas including the hippocampus. CB1 and GABAB are also localized to the same cells and share a common signaling pathway in some brain areas. In this study, we examined the hippocampal effects of co-administrating AM251 and CGP55845, which are CB1 and GABAB antagonists, respectively, on LTP induction in the dentate gyrus (DG) of rats. LTP in the hippocampal area was induced by high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of the perforant path. Our results showed that HFS coupled with administration of the CB1 antagonist increased both the population spike (PS) amplitude and field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP). Conversely, the GABAB antagonist decreased these parameters along with decreased LTP induction. We also demonstrated that the co-administration of CB1 and GABAB antagonists had different effects on the PS amplitude and fEPSP slope. It is likely that GABAB receptor antagonists modulate cannabinoid outputs that cause a decrease in synaptic plastisity, while in the simultaneous consumption of two antagonists, CB1 antagonists can alter the release of GABA which in turn results in enhancement of LTP induction. These findings suggest that there are functional interactions between the CB1 and GABAB receptor in the hippocampus. PMID:26611204

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Synaptic dysfunction in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Picconi, Barbara; Piccoli, Giovanni; Calabresi, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Activity-dependent modifications in synaptic efficacy, such as long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP), represent key cellular substrates for adaptive motor control and procedural memory. The impairment of these two forms of synaptic plasticity in the nucleus striatum could account for the onset and the progression of motor and cognitive symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), characterized by the massive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. In fact, both LTD and LTP are peculiarly controlled and modulated by dopaminergic transmission coming from nigrostriatal terminals. Changes in corticostriatal and nigrostriatal neuronal excitability may influence profoundly the threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity, and changes in striatal synaptic transmission efficacy are supposed to play a role in the occurrence of PD symptoms. Understanding of these maladaptive forms of synaptic plasticity has mostly come from the analysis of experimental animal models of PD. A series of cellular and synaptic alterations occur in the striatum of experimental parkinsonism in response to the massive dopaminergic loss. In particular, dysfunctions in trafficking and subunit composition of glutamatergic NMDA receptors on striatal efferent neurons contribute to the clinical features of the experimental parkinsonism. Interestingly, it has become increasingly evident that in striatal spiny neurons, the correct assembly of NMDA receptor complex at the postsynaptic site is a major player in early phases of PD, and it is sensitive to distinct degrees of DA denervation. The molecular defects at the basis of PD progression may be not confined just at the postsynaptic neuron: accumulating evidences have recently shown that the genes linked to PD play a critical role at the presynaptic site. DA release into the synaptic cleft relies on a proper presynaptic vesicular transport; impairment of SV trafficking, modification of DA flow, and altered presynaptic plasticity have

  9. Ziram, a pesticide associated with increased risk for Parkinson's disease, differentially affects the presynaptic function of aminergic and glutamatergic nerve terminals at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Martin, Ciara A; Myers, Katherine M; Chen, Audrey; Martin, Nathan T; Barajas, Angel; Schweizer, Felix E; Krantz, David E

    2016-01-01

    Multiple populations of aminergic neurons are affected in Parkinson's disease (PD), with serotonergic and noradrenergic loci responsible for some non-motor symptoms. Environmental toxins, such as the dithiocarbamate fungicide ziram, significantly increase the risk of developing PD and the attendant spectrum of both motor and non-motor symptoms. The mechanisms by which ziram and other environmental toxins increase the risk of PD, and the potential effects of these toxins on aminergic neurons, remain unclear. To determine the relative effects of ziram on the synaptic function of aminergic versus non-aminergic neurons, we used live-imaging at the Drosophila melanogaster larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). In contrast to nearly all other studies of this model synapse, we imaged presynaptic function at both glutamatergic Type Ib and aminergic Type II boutons, the latter responsible for storage and release of octopamine, the invertebrate equivalent of noradrenalin. To quantify the kinetics of exo- and endo-cytosis, we employed an acid-sensitive form of GFP fused to the Drosophila vesicular monoamine transporter (DVMAT-pHluorin). Additional genetic probes were used to visualize intracellular calcium flux (GCaMP) and voltage changes (ArcLight). We find that at glutamatergic Type Ib terminals, exposure to ziram increases exocytosis and inhibits endocytosis. By contrast, at octopaminergic Type II terminals, ziram has no detectable effect on exocytosis and dramatically inhibits endocytosis. In contrast to other reports on the neuronal effects of ziram, these effects do not appear to result from perturbation of the Ubiquitin Proteasome System (UPS) or calcium homeostasis. Unexpectedly, ziram also caused spontaneous and synchronized bursts of calcium influx (measured by GCaMP) and electrical activity (measured by ArcLight) at aminergic Type II, but not glutamatergic Type Ib, nerve terminals. These events are sensitive to both tetrodotoxin and cadmium chloride, and thus appear

  10. Synaptic dysfunction in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Bagetta, Vincenza; Ghiglieri, Veronica; Sgobio, Carmelo; Calabresi, Paolo; Picconi, Barbara

    2010-04-01

    In neuronal circuits, memory storage depends on activity-dependent modifications in synaptic efficacy, such as LTD (long-term depression) and LTP (long-term potentiation), the two main forms of synaptic plasticity in the brain. In the nucleus striatum, LTD and LTP represent key cellular substrates for adaptive motor control and procedural memory. It has been suggested that their impairment could account for the onset and progression of motor symptoms of PD (Parkinson's disease), a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the massive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons projecting to the striatum. In fact, a peculiar aspect of striatal plasticity is the modulation exerted by DA (dopamine) on LTP and LTD. Our understanding of these maladaptive forms of plasticity has mostly come from the electrophysiological, molecular and behavioural analyses of experimental animal models of PD. In PD, a host of cellular and synaptic changes occur in the striatum in response to the massive loss of DA innervation. Chronic L-dopa therapy restores physiological synaptic plasticity and behaviour in treated PD animals, but most of them, similarly to patients, exhibit a reduction in the efficacy of the drug and disabling AIMs (abnormal involuntary movements) defined, as a whole, as L-dopa-induced dyskinesia. In those animals experiencing AIMs, synaptic plasticity is altered and is paralleled by modifications in the postsynaptic compartment. In particular, dysfunctions in trafficking and subunit composition of NMDARs [NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors] on striatal efferent neurons result from chronic non-physiological dopaminergic stimulation and contribute to the pathogenesis of dyskinesias. According to these pathophysiological concepts, therapeutic strategies targeting signalling proteins coupled to NMDARs within striatal spiny neurons could represent new pharmaceutical interventions for PD and L-dopa-induced dyskinesia. PMID:20298209

  11. 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

  12. Waves and bumps in neuronal networks with axo-dendritic synaptic interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coombes, S.; Lord, G. J.; Owen, M. R.

    2003-04-01

    We consider a firing rate model of a neuronal network continuum that incorporates axo-dendritic synaptic processing and the finite conduction velocities of action potentials. The model equation is an integral one defined on a spatially extended domain. Apart from a spatial integral mixing the network connectivity function with space-dependent delays, arising from non-instantaneous axonal communication, the integral model also includes a temporal integration over some appropriately identified distributed delay kernel. These distributed delay kernels are biologically motivated and represent the response of biological synapses to spiking inputs. They are interpreted as Green’s functions of some linear differential operator. Exploiting this Green’s function description we discuss formal reductions of this non-local system to equivalent partial differential equation (PDE) models. We distinguish between those spatial connectivity functions that give rise to local PDE models and those that give rise to PDE models with delayed non-local terms. For cases in which local PDEs are derived, we investigate traveling wave solutions in a comoving frame by numerically computing global heteroclinic connections for sigmoidal firing rate functions. We also calculate exact solutions, parameterized by axonal conduction velocity, for the Heaviside firing rate function (the sigmoidal firing rate function in the limit of infinite gain). The inclusion of synaptic adaptation is shown to alter traveling wave fronts to traveling pulses, which we study analytically and numerically in terms of a global homoclinic orbit. Finally, we consider the impact of dendritic interactions on waves and on static spatially localized solutions. Exact analysis for infinite gain shows that axonal delays do not affect the stability of single bumps. Furthermore, numerical continuation for finite gain leads to multiple bump solutions, and it is demonstrated that such localized multi-bumps are lost (in favor of

  13. Cholinergic and serotonergic modulations differentially affect large-scale functional networks in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Shah, Disha; Blockx, Ines; Keliris, Georgios A; Kara, Firat; Jonckers, Elisabeth; Verhoye, Marleen; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2016-07-01

    Resting-state functional MRI (rsfMRI) is a widely implemented technique used to investigate large-scale topology in the human brain during health and disease. Studies in mice provide additional advantages, including the possibility to flexibly modulate the brain by pharmacological or genetic manipulations in combination with high-throughput functional connectivity (FC) investigations. Pharmacological modulations that target specific neurotransmitter systems, partly mimicking the effect of pathological events, could allow discriminating the effect of specific systems on functional network disruptions. The current study investigated the effect of cholinergic and serotonergic antagonists on large-scale brain networks in mice. The cholinergic system is involved in cognitive functions and is impaired in, e.g., Alzheimer's disease, while the serotonergic system is involved in emotional and introspective functions and is impaired in, e.g., Alzheimer's disease, depression and autism. Specific interest goes to the default-mode-network (DMN), which is studied extensively in humans and is affected in many neurological disorders. The results show that both cholinergic and serotonergic antagonists impaired the mouse DMN-like network similarly, except that cholinergic modulation additionally affected the retrosplenial cortex. This suggests that both neurotransmitter systems are involved in maintaining integrity of FC within the DMN-like network in mice. Cholinergic and serotonergic modulations also affected other functional networks, however, serotonergic modulation impaired the frontal and thalamus networks more extensively. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the utility of pharmacological rsfMRI in animal models to provide insights into the role of specific neurotransmitter systems on functional networks in neurological disorders. PMID:26195064

  14. An investigation on pharmacy functions and services affecting satisfaction of patients with prescriptions in community pharmacies.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Hidehiko; Nakajima, Fumio; Tada, Yuichirou; Yoshikawa, Emi; Iwahashi, Yoshiki; Fujita, Kenji; Hayase, Yukitoshi

    2009-05-01

    Various functions expected by patient expects are needed with progress in the system for separation of dispensing and prescribing functions. In this investigation, the relationship between patient satisfaction and pharmacy function were analyzed quantitatively. A questionnaire survey was conducted in 178 community pharmacies. Questions on pharmacy functions and services totaled 87 items concerning information service, amenities, safety, personnel training, etc. The questionnaires for patients had five-grade scales and composed 11 items (observed variables). Based on the results, "the percentage of satisfied patients" was determined. Multivariate analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between patient satisfaction and pharmacy functions or services provided, to confirm patient's evaluation of the pharmacy, and how factors affected comprehensive satisfaction. In correlation analysis, "the number of pharmacists" and "comprehensive satisfaction" had a negative correlation. Other interesting results were obtained. As a results of factor analysis, three latent factors were obtained: the "human factor," "patients' convenience," and "environmental factor," Multiple regression analysis showed that the "human factor" affected "comprehensive satisfaction" the most. Various pharmacy functions and services influence patient satisfaction, and improvement in their quality increases patient satisfaction. This will result in the practice of patient-centered medicine. PMID:19420889

  15. Functions and sources of perceived social support among children affected by HIV/AIDS in China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guoxiang; Li, Xiaoming; Fang, Xiaoyi; Zhao, Junfeng; Hong, Yan; Lin, Xiuyun; Stanton, Bonita

    2011-06-01

    While the relationship between perceived social support (PSS) and psychosocial well-being has been well documented in the global literature, existing studies also suggest the existence of multiple domains in definition and measurement of PSS. The current study, utilizing data from 1299 rural children affected by HIV/AIDS in central China, examines the relative importance of PSS functional measures (informational/emotional, material/tangible, affectionate, and social interaction) and PSS structural measures (family/relatives, teachers, friends, and significant others) in predicting psychosocial outcomes including internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and educational resilience. Both functional and structural measures of PSS provided reliable measures of related but unique aspects of PSS. The findings of the current study confirmed the previous results that PSS is highly correlated with children's psychosocial well-being and such correlations vary by functions and sources of the PSS as well as different psychosocial outcomes. The findings in the current study suggested the roles of specific social support functions or resources may need to be assessed in relation to specific psychosocial outcome and the context of children's lives. The strong association between PSS and psychosocial outcomes underscores the importance of adequate social support to alleviate stressful life events and improve psychosocial well-being of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, the study findings call for gender and developmentally appropriate and situation-specific social support for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. PMID:21287421

  16. pH during non-synaptic epileptiform activity-computational simulations.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Antônio Márcio; Santos, Luiz Eduardo Canton; Covolan, Luciene; Hamani, Clement; de Almeida, Antônio-Carlos Guimarães

    2015-10-01

    The excitability of neuronal networks is strongly modulated by changes in pH. The origin of these changes, however, is still under debate. The high complexity of neural systems justifies the use of computational simulation to investigate mechanisms that are possibly involved. Simulated neuronal activity includes non-synaptic epileptiform events (NEA) induced in hippocampal slices perfused with high-K(+) and zero-Ca(2+), therefore in the absence of the synaptic circuitry. A network of functional units composes the NEA model. Each functional unit represents one interface of neuronal/extracellular space/glial segments. Each interface contains transmembrane ionic transports, such as ionic channels, cotransporters, exchangers and pumps. Neuronal interconnections are mediated by gap-junctions, electric field effects and extracellular ionic fluctuations modulated by extracellular electrodiffusion. Mechanisms investigated are those that change intracellular and extracellular ionic concentrations and are able to affect [H(+)]. Our simulations suggest that the intense fluctuations in intra and extracellular concentrations of Na(+), K(+) and Cl(-) that accompany NEA are able to affect the combined action of the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger (NHE), [HCO(-)(3)]/Cl(-) exchanger (HCE), H(+) pump and the catalytic activity of intra and extracellular carbonic anhydrase. Cellular volume changes and extracellular electrodiffusion are responsible for modulating pH. PMID:26332081

  17. pH during non-synaptic epileptiform activity—computational simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Márcio Rodrigues, Antônio; Canton Santos, Luiz Eduardo; Covolan, Luciene; Hamani, Clement; Guimarães de Almeida, Antônio-Carlos

    2015-10-01

    The excitability of neuronal networks is strongly modulated by changes in pH. The origin of these changes, however, is still under debate. The high complexity of neural systems justifies the use of computational simulation to investigate mechanisms that are possibly involved. Simulated neuronal activity includes non-synaptic epileptiform events (NEA) induced in hippocampal slices perfused with high-K+ and zero-Ca2+, therefore in the absence of the synaptic circuitry. A network of functional units composes the NEA model. Each functional unit represents one interface of neuronal/extracellular space/glial segments. Each interface contains transmembrane ionic transports, such as ionic channels, cotransporters, exchangers and pumps. Neuronal interconnections are mediated by gap-junctions, electric field effects and extracellular ionic fluctuations modulated by extracellular electrodiffusion. Mechanisms investigated are those that change intracellular and extracellular ionic concentrations and are able to affect [H+]. Our simulations suggest that the intense fluctuations in intra and extracellular concentrations of Na+, K+ and Cl- that accompany NEA are able to affect the combined action of the Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE), {{{HCO}}}3-/Cl- exchanger (HCE), H+ pump and the catalytic activity of intra and extracellular carbonic anhydrase. Cellular volume changes and extracellular electrodiffusion are responsible for modulating pH.

  18. 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

  19. AMPARs and Synaptic Plasticity: The Last 25 Years

    PubMed Central

    Huganir, Richard L.; Nicoll, Roger A.

    2014-01-01

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