Poon, Vivian Y.; Choi, Sojoong; Park, Mikyoung
Synapses are increasingly recognized as key structures that malfunction in disorders like schizophrenia, mental retardation, and neurodegenerative diseases. The importance and complexity of the synapse has fuelled research into the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission, and plasticity. In this regard, neurotrophic factors such as netrin, Wnt, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and others have gained prominence for their ability to regulate synaptic function. Several of these factors were first implicated in neuroprotection, neuronal growth, and axon guidance. However, their roles in synaptic development and function have become increasingly clear, and the downstream signaling pathways employed by these factors have begun to be elucidated. In this review, we will address the role of these factors and their downstream effectors in synaptic function in vivo and in cultured neurons. PMID:24065916
Hashimotodani, Yuki; Ohno-Shosaku, Takako; Kano, Masanobu
Marijuana affects neural functions through the binding of its active component (Delta(9)-THC) to cannabinoid receptors in the CNS. Recent studies have elucidated that endogenous ligands for cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, serve as retrograde messengers at central synapses. Endocannabinoids are produced on demand in activity-dependent manners and released from postsynaptic neurons. The released endocannabinoids travel backward across the synapse, activate presynaptic CB1 cannabinoid receptors, and modulate presynaptic functions. Retrograde endocannabinoid signaling is crucial for certain forms of short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity at excitatory or inhibitory synapses in many brain regions, and thereby contributes to various aspects of brain function including learning and memory. Molecular identities of the CB1 receptor and enzymes involved in production and degradation of endocannabinoids have been elucidated. Anatomical studies have demonstrated unique distributions of these molecules around synapses, which provide morphological bases for the roles of endocannabinoids as retrograde messengers. CB1-knockout mice exhibit various behavioral abnormalities and multiple defects in synaptic plasticity, supporting the notion that endocannabinoid signaling is involved in various aspects of neural function. In this review article, the authors describe molecular mechanisms of the endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation and its possible physiological significance.
Hofmeijer, Jeannette; Mulder, Alex T B; Farinha, Ana C; van Putten, Michel J A M; le Feber, Joost
Eighty percent of patients with chronic mild cerebral ischemia/hypoxia resulting from chronic heart failure or pulmonary disease have cognitive impairment. Overt structural neuronal damage is lacking and the precise cause of neuronal damage is unclear. As almost half of the cerebral energy consumption is used for synaptic transmission, and synaptic failure is the first abrupt consequence of acute complete anoxia, synaptic dysfunction is a candidate mechanism for the cognitive deterioration in chronic mild ischemia/hypoxia. Because measurement of synaptic functioning in patients is problematic, we use cultured networks of cortical neurons from new born rats, grown over a multi-electrode array, as a model system. These were exposed to partial hypoxia (partial oxygen pressure of 150Torr lowered to 40-50Torr) during 3 (n=14) or 6 (n=8) hours. Synaptic functioning was assessed before, during, and after hypoxia by assessment of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses to electrical stimulation. Action potential heights and shapes and non-synaptic stimulus responses were used as measures of individual neuronal integrity. During hypoxia of 3 and 6h, there was a statistically significant decrease of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses, whereas direct responses and action potentials remained unchanged. These changes were largely reversible. Our results indicate that in cultured neuronal networks, partial hypoxia during 3 or 6h causes isolated disturbances of synaptic connectivity.
Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin essential for nervous system development and synaptic plasticity, has been found to have a significant influence on affective behaviors. The notion that an impairment in BDNF signaling might be involved in affective disorders is originated primarily from the opposing effects of antidepressants and stress on BDNF signaling. Antidepressants enhance BDNF signaling and synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, negative environmental factors such as severe stress suppress BDNF signaling, impair synaptic activity and increase susceptibility to affective disorders. Postmortem studies provided strong support for decreased BDNF signaling in depressive disorders. Remarkably, studies in humans with a single nucleotide polymorphism in the BDNF gene, the BDNF Val66Met which affects regulated release of BDNF, showed profound deficits in hippocampal and prefrontal cortical (PFC) plasticity and cognitive behaviors. BDNF regulates synaptic mechanisms responsible for various cognitive processes including attenuation of aversive memories, a key process in the regulation of affective behaviors. The unique role of BDNF in cognitive and affective behaviors suggests that cognitive deficits due to altered BDNF signaling might underlie affective disorders. Understanding how BDNF modulates synapses in neural circuits relevant to affective behaviors, particularly the medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC)-hippocampus-amygdala pathway, and its interaction with development, sex, and environmental risk factors might shed light on potential therapeutic targets for affective disorders. PMID:23747574
Santello, Mirko; Volterra, Andrea
Pathological brain states are known to induce massive production of proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). At much lower levels, these cytokines are also present in the healthy brain, where it is increasingly being recognized that they exert regulatory influences. Recent studies suggest that TNFα plays important roles in controlling synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, we discuss the evidence in support of synaptic regulation by TNFα and the underlying cellular mechanisms, including control of AMPA receptor trafficking and glutamate release from astrocytes. These findings suggest that increases in TNFα levels (caused by nervous system infection, injury, or disease) transform the physiological actions of the cytokine into deleterious ones. This functional switch may contribute to cognitive alterations in several brain pathologies.
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
Lu, Wei; Bushong, Eric A; Shih, Tiffany P; Ellisman, Mark H; Nicoll, Roger A
The cell-autonomous role of synaptic transmission in the regulation of neuronal structural and electrical properties is unclear. We have now employed a genetic approach to eliminate glutamatergic synaptic transmission onto individual CA1 pyramidal neurons in a mosaic fashion in vivo. Surprisingly, while electrical properties are profoundly affected in these neurons, as well as inhibitory synaptic transmission, we found little perturbation of neuronal morphology, demonstrating a functional segregation of excitatory synaptic transmission from neuronal morphological development.
Schorova, Lenka; Martin, Stéphane
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.
Schorova, Lenka; Martin, Stéphane
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
Chalifoux, Jason R.; Carter, Adam G.
Neuromodulators have complex effects on both the presynaptic release and postsynaptic detection of neurotransmitters. Here we describe recent advances in our understanding of synaptic modulation by metabotropic GABAB receptors. By inhibiting multivesicular release from the presynaptic terminal, these receptors decrease the synaptic glutamate signal. GABAB receptors also inhibit the Ca2+ permeability of NMDA receptors to decrease Ca2+ signals in postsynaptic spines. These new findings highlight the importance of GABAB receptors in regulating many aspects of synaptic transmission. They also point to novel questions about the spatiotemporal dynamics and sources of synaptic modulation in the brain. PMID:21376567
DiAntonio, A; Haghighi, A P; Portman, S L; Lee, J D; Amaranto, A M; Goodman, C S
The covalent attachment of ubiquitin to cellular proteins is a powerful mechanism for controlling protein activity and localization. Ubiquitination is a reversible modification promoted by ubiquitin ligases and antagonized by deubiquitinating proteases. Ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate many important processes including cell-cycle progression, apoptosis and transcriptional regulation. Here we show that ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Neuronal overexpression of the deubiquitinating protease fat facets leads to a profound disruption of synaptic growth control; there is a large increase in the number of synaptic boutons, an elaboration of the synaptic branching pattern, and a disruption of synaptic function. Antagonizing the ubiquitination pathway in neurons by expression of the yeast deubiquitinating protease UBP2 (ref. 5) also produces synaptic overgrowth and dysfunction. Genetic interactions between fat facets and highwire, a negative regulator of synaptic growth that has structural homology to a family of ubiquitin ligases, suggest that synaptic development may be controlled by the balance between positive and negative regulators of ubiquitination.
Hempel, Chris M.; Sivula, Michael; Levenson, Jonathan M.; Rose, David M.; Li, Bing; Sirianni, Ana C.; Xia, Eva; Ryan, Timothy A.; Gerber, David J.; Cottrell, Jeffrey R.
Unbiased, high-throughput screening has proven invaluable for dissecting complex biological processes. Application of this general approach to synaptic function would have a major impact on neuroscience research and drug discovery. However, existing techniques for studying synaptic physiology are labor intensive and low-throughput. Here, we describe a new high-throughput technology for performing assays of synaptic function in primary neurons cultured in microtiter plates. We show that this system can perform 96 synaptic vesicle cycling assays in parallel with high sensitivity, precision, uniformity, and reproducibility and can detect modulators of presynaptic function. By screening libraries of pharmacologically defined compounds on rat forebrain cultures, we have used this system to identify novel effects of compounds on specific aspects of presynaptic function. As a system for unbiased compound as well as genomic screening, this technology has significant applications for basic neuroscience research and for the discovery of novel, mechanism-based treatments for central nervous system disorders. PMID:21998743
Gazi, Michal; Shyamala, Baragur V.; Bhat, Krishna Moorthi
The tumor-suppressor morphogen, Patched (Ptc), has extensive homology to the Niemann-Pick-C 1 (NPC1) protein. The NPC disease is a paediatric, progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder thought to be due to an abnormal accumulation of cholesterol in neurons. Here, we report that patched mutant adults develop a progressive neurodegenerative disease and their brain contains membranous and lamellar inclusions. There is also a significant reduction in the number of synaptic terminals in the brain of the mutant adults. Interestingly, feeding cholesterol to wild type flies generates inclusions in the brain, but does not cause the disease. However, feeding cholesterol to mutant flies increases synaptic connections and suppresses the disease. Our results suggest that sequestration of cholesterol in the mutant brain in the form of membranous material and inclusions affects available pool of cholesterol for cellular functions. This, in turn, negatively affects the synaptic number and contributes to the disease-state. Consistent with this, in ptc mutants there is a reduction in the pool of cholesterol esters, and cholesterol-mediated suppression of the disease accompanies an increase in cholesterol esters. We further show that Ptc does not function directly in this process since gain-of-function for Hedgehog also induces the same disease with a reduction in the level of cholesterol esters. We believe that loss of function for ptc causes neurodegeneration via two distinct ways: de-repression of genes that interfere with lipid trafficking, and de-repression of genes outside of the lipid trafficking; the functions of both classes of genes ultimately converge on synaptic connections. PMID:19635474
Ventriglia, Francesco; Di Maio, Vito
The peak amplitudes of the quantal Excitatory Post Synaptic Currents in single hippocampal synapses show a large variability. Here, we present the results of a mathematical, computational investigation on the main sources of this variability. A detailed description of the synaptic cleft, rigorously based on empirically-derived parameters, was used. By using a Brownian motion model of neurotransmitter molecule diffusion, quantal EPSCs were computed by a simple kinetic schema of AMPA receptor dynamics. Our results show that the lack of saturation of AMPA receptors obtained in these conditions, combined with stochastic variations in basic presynaptic elements, such as the vesicle volume, the vesicle docking position, and the vesicle neurotransmitter concentration can explain almost the entire range of EPSC variability experimentally observed.
Gruol, Donna L
A growing body of evidence supports a role for glial-produced neuroimmune factors, including the cytokine IL-6, in CNS physiology and pathology. CNS expression of IL-6 has been documented in the normal CNS at low levels and at elevated levels in several neurodegenerative or psychiatric disease states as well as in CNS infection and injury. The altered CNS function associated with these conditions raises the possibility that IL-6 has neuronal or synaptic actions. Studies in in vitro and in vivo models confirmed this possibility and showed that IL-6 can regulate a number of important neuronal and synaptic functions including synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity, an important cellular mechanism of memory and learning. Behavioral studies in animal models provided further evidence of an important role for IL-6 as a regulator of CNS pathways that are critical to cognitive function. This review summarizes studies that have lead to our current state of knowledge. In spite of the progress that has been made, there is a need for a greater understanding of the physiological and pathophysiological actions of IL-6 in the CNS, the mechanisms underlying these actions, conditions that induce production of IL-6 in the CNS and therapeutic strategies that could ameliorate or promote IL-6 actions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'.
Mignogna, Maria Lidia; D'Adamo, Patrizia
Neurons are highly polarized cells that exhibit one of the more complex morphology and function. Neuronal intracellular trafficking plays a key role in dictating the directionality and specificity of vesicle formation, transport and fusion, allowing the transmission of information in sophisticate cellular network. Thus, the integrity of protein trafficking and spatial organization is especially important in neuronal cells. RAB proteins, small monomeric GTPases belonging to the RAS superfamily, spatially and temporally orchestrate specific vesicular trafficking steps. In this review we summarise the known roles of RAB GTPases involved in the maintenance of neuronal vesicular trafficking in the central nervous system. In particular, we discriminate the axonal pre-synaptic trafficking and dendritic post-synaptic trafficking, to better underlie how a correct orchestration of vesicle movement is necessary to maintain neuronal polarity and then, to permit an accurate architecture and functionality of synaptic activity.
Kim, Gukhan; Luján, Rafael; Schwenk, Jochen; Kelley, Melissa H; Aguado, Carolina; Watanabe, Masahiko; Fakler, Bernd; Maylie, James; Adelman, John P
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
Wild, Klemens; August, Alexander; Pietrzik, Claus U.; Kins, Stefan
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is ultimately linked to the amyloid precursor protein (APP). However, current research reveals an important synaptic function of APP and APP-like proteins (APLP1 and 2). In this context various neurotrophic and neuroprotective functions have been reported for the APP proteolytic fragments sAPPα, sAPPβ and the monomeric amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ). APP is a metalloprotein and binds copper and zinc ions. Synaptic activity correlates with a release of these ions into the synaptic cleft and dysregulation of their homeostasis is linked to different neurodegenerative diseases. Metal binding to APP or its fragments affects its structure and its proteolytic cleavage and therefore its physiological function at the synapse. Here, we summarize the current data supporting this hypothesis and provide a model of how these different mechanisms might be intertwined with each other. PMID:28197076
Gkoupidenis, Paschalis; Schaefer, Nathan; Strakosas, Xenofon; Fairfield, Jessamyn A.; Malliaras, George G.
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.
The central actions of the hormone leptin in regulating energy homeostasis via the hypothalamus are well documented. However, evidence is growing that this hormone can also modify the structure and function of synapses throughout the CNS. The hippocampus is a region of the forebrain that plays a crucial role in associative learning and memory and is an area also highly vulnerable to neurodegenerative processes. Recent studies indicate that leptin is a potential cognitive enhancer as it modulates the cellular processes underlying hippocampal-dependent learning and memory including dendritic morphology, glutamate receptor trafficking and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Here, we review the recent evidence implicating the hormone leptin as a key regulator of hippocampal synaptic function and discuss the role of leptin receptor-driven lipid signaling pathways involved in this process. PMID:23964236
Irving, Andrew J.; Harvey, Jenni
The endocrine hormone leptin plays a key role in regulating food intake and body weight via its actions in the hypothalamus. However, leptin receptors are highly expressed in many extra-hypothalamic brain regions and evidence is growing that leptin influences many central processes including cognition. Indeed, recent studies indicate that leptin is a potential cognitive enhancer as it markedly facilitates the cellular events underlying hippocampal-dependent learning and memory, including effects on glutamate receptor trafficking, neuronal morphology and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. However, the ability of leptin to regulate hippocampal synaptic function markedly declines with age and aberrant leptin function has been linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we review the evidence supporting a cognitive enhancing role for the hormone leptin and discuss the therapeutic potential of using leptin-based agents to treat AD. PMID:24298156
Roszkowska, Matylda; Skupien, Anna; Wójtowicz, Tomasz; Konopka, Anna; Gorlewicz, Adam; Kisiel, Magdalena; Bekisz, Marek; Ruszczycki, Blazej; Dolezyczek, Hubert; Rejmak, Emilia; Knapska, Ewelina; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W.; Wlodarczyk, Jakub; Wilczynski, Grzegorz M.; Dzwonek, Joanna
Synaptic cell adhesion molecules regulate signal transduction, synaptic function, and plasticity. However, their role in neuronal interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) is not well understood. Here we report that the CD44, a transmembrane receptor for hyaluronan, modulates synaptic plasticity. High-resolution ultrastructural analysis showed that CD44 was localized at mature synapses in the adult brain. The reduced expression of CD44 affected the synaptic excitatory transmission of primary hippocampal neurons, simultaneously modifying dendritic spine shape. The frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents decreased, accompanied by dendritic spine elongation and thinning. These structural and functional alterations went along with a decrease in the number of presynaptic Bassoon puncta, together with a reduction of PSD-95 levels at dendritic spines, suggesting a reduced number of functional synapses. Lack of CD44 also abrogated spine head enlargement upon neuronal stimulation. Moreover, our results indicate that CD44 contributes to proper dendritic spine shape and function by modulating the activity of actin cytoskeleton regulators, that is, Rho GTPases (RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42). Thus CD44 appears to be a novel molecular player regulating functional and structural plasticity of dendritic spines. PMID:27798233
Ahmad, Mohiuddin; Jurado, Sandra; Malenka, Robert C.
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
Geng, Junhua; Wang, Liping; Lee, Joo Yeun; Chen, Chun-Kan
Synaptojanin in maintaining synaptic vesicle pool size and in reserve vesicle endocytosis. As Synaptojanin and Minibrain perturbations are associated with various neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's, autism, and Down syndrome, understanding mechanisms modulating Synaptojanin function provides valuable insights into processes affecting neuronal communication. PMID:27559170
Costa, Rui Ponte; Mizusaki, Beatriz E P; Sjöström, P Jesper; van Rossum, Mark C W
Growing experimental evidence shows that both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity can be expressed presynaptically as well as postsynaptically. In this review, we start by discussing this evidence and methods used to determine expression loci. Next, we discuss the functional consequences of this diversity in pre- and postsynaptic expression of both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity. In particular, we explore the functional consequences of a biologically tuned model of pre- and postsynaptically expressed spike-timing-dependent plasticity complemented with postsynaptic homeostatic control. The pre- and postsynaptic expression in this model predicts (i) more reliable receptive fields and sensory perception, (ii) rapid recovery of forgotten information (memory savings), and (iii) reduced response latencies, compared with a model with postsynaptic expression only. Finally, we discuss open questions that will require a considerable research effort to better elucidate how the specific locus of expression of homeostatic and Hebbian plasticity alters synaptic and network computations.This article is part of the themed issue 'Integrating Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity'.
Mizusaki, Beatriz E. P.
Growing experimental evidence shows that both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity can be expressed presynaptically as well as postsynaptically. In this review, we start by discussing this evidence and methods used to determine expression loci. Next, we discuss the functional consequences of this diversity in pre- and postsynaptic expression of both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity. In particular, we explore the functional consequences of a biologically tuned model of pre- and postsynaptically expressed spike-timing-dependent plasticity complemented with postsynaptic homeostatic control. The pre- and postsynaptic expression in this model predicts (i) more reliable receptive fields and sensory perception, (ii) rapid recovery of forgotten information (memory savings), and (iii) reduced response latencies, compared with a model with postsynaptic expression only. Finally, we discuss open questions that will require a considerable research effort to better elucidate how the specific locus of expression of homeostatic and Hebbian plasticity alters synaptic and network computations. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Integrating Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity’. PMID:28093547
Hanson, Jesse E; Deng, Lunbin; Hackos, David H; Lo, Shih-Ching; Lauffer, Benjamin E; Steiner, Pascal; Zhou, Qiang
Histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) negatively regulates excitatory synapse number and memory performance. However, whether HDAC2 regulation of excitatory synapses occurs in a cell-autonomous manner and whether HDAC2 regulates inhibitory synaptic functions are not well understood. To examine these aspects of HDAC2 function, we used sparse transfection of rat hippocampal slice cultures and whole-cell recordings in pyramidal neurons. HDAC2 knockdown (KD) in single postsynaptic pyramidal neurons enhanced, whereas HDAC2 overexpression (OE) reduced, excitatory synaptic transmission. Postsynaptic KD of HDAC2 also facilitated expression of long-term potentiation induced by subthreshold induction stimuli, without altering long-term depression. In contrast, HDAC2 KD reduced, whereas HDAC2 OE enhanced, inhibitory synaptic transmission. Alterations of postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) likely underlie the impact of HDAC2 on inhibitory transmission. Consistent with this, we observed reduced transcript and protein levels of the GABA(A)R γ2 subunit and reduced surface expression of the α2 subunit after HDAC2 KD. Furthermore, we observed a reduction in synaptic but not tonic GABA(A)R currents by HDAC2 KD, suggesting that HDAC2 selectively affects synaptic abundance of functional GABA(A)Rs. Immunostaining for postsynaptic GABA(A)Rs confirmed that HDAC2 KD and OE can regulate the synaptic abundance of these receptors. Together, these results highlight a role for HDAC2 in suppressing synaptic excitation and enhancing synaptic inhibition of hippocampal neurons. Therefore, a shift in the balance of synaptic excitation versus inhibition favoring excitation could contribute to the beneficial effects of reducing HDAC2 function in wild-type mice or of inhibiting HDACs in models of cognitive impairment.
Allam, Sushmita L.; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C.; Hu, Eric Y.; Ambert, Nicolas; Greget, Renaud; Bischoff, Serge; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W.
Glutamatergic synapses are the most prevalent functional elements of information processing in the brain. Changes in pre-synaptic activity and in the function of various post-synaptic elements contribute to generate a large variety of synaptic responses. Previous studies have explored postsynaptic factors responsible for regulating synaptic strength variations, but have given far less importance to synaptic geometry, and more specifically to the subcellular distribution of ionotropic receptors. We analyzed the functional effects resulting from changing the subsynaptic localization of ionotropic receptors by using a hippocampal synaptic computational framework. The present study was performed using the EONS (Elementary Objects of the Nervous System) synaptic modeling platform, which was specifically developed to explore the roles of subsynaptic elements as well as their interactions, and that of synaptic geometry. More specifically, we determined the effects of changing the localization of ionotropic receptors relative to the presynaptic glutamate release site, on synaptic efficacy and its variations following single pulse and paired-pulse stimulation protocols. The results indicate that changes in synaptic geometry do have consequences on synaptic efficacy and its dynamics. PMID:26480028
Allam, Sushmita L; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C; Hu, Eric Y; Ambert, Nicolas; Greget, Renaud; Bischoff, Serge; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W
Glutamatergic synapses are the most prevalent functional elements of information processing in the brain. Changes in pre-synaptic activity and in the function of various post-synaptic elements contribute to generate a large variety of synaptic responses. Previous studies have explored postsynaptic factors responsible for regulating synaptic strength variations, but have given far less importance to synaptic geometry, and more specifically to the subcellular distribution of ionotropic receptors. We analyzed the functional effects resulting from changing the subsynaptic localization of ionotropic receptors by using a hippocampal synaptic computational framework. The present study was performed using the EONS (Elementary Objects of the Nervous System) synaptic modeling platform, which was specifically developed to explore the roles of subsynaptic elements as well as their interactions, and that of synaptic geometry. More specifically, we determined the effects of changing the localization of ionotropic receptors relative to the presynaptic glutamate release site, on synaptic efficacy and its variations following single pulse and paired-pulse stimulation protocols. The results indicate that changes in synaptic geometry do have consequences on synaptic efficacy and its dynamics.
Romano, Giulia; Klima, Raffaella; Buratti, Emanuele; Verstreken, Patrik; Baralle, Francisco E; Feiguin, Fabian
Alterations in TDP-43 are commonly found in patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the genetic suppression of the conserved homologue in Drosophila (TBPH) provokes alterations in the functional organization of motoneuron synaptic terminals, resulting in locomotive defects and reduced life span. To gain more insight into this pathological process, it is of fundamental importance to establish when during the fly life cycle the lack of TBPH affects motoneuron activity and whether this is a reversible phenomenon. To achieve this, we conditionally expressed the endogenous protein in TBPH minus Drosophila neurons and found that TBPH is a short lived protein permanently required for Drosophila motility and synaptic assembly through the direct modulation of vesicular proteins, such as Syntaxin 1A, indicating that synaptic transmission defects are early pathological consequences of TBPH dysfunction in vivo. Importantly, TBPH late induction is able to recover synaptogenesis and locomotion in adult flies revealing an unexpected late-stage functional and structural neuronal plasticity. These observations suggest that late therapeutic approaches based on TDP-43 functionality may also be successful for the human pathology.
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
Beesley, Philip W; Herrera-Molina, Rodrigo; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Seidenbecher, Constanze
The Neuroplastins Np65 and Np55 are neuronal and synapse-enriched immunoglobulin superfamily molecules that play important roles in a number of key neuronal and synaptic functions including, for Np65, cell adhesion. In this review we focus on the physiological roles of the Neuroplastins in promoting neurite outgrowth, regulating the structure and function of both inhibitory and excitatory synapses in brain, and in neuronal and synaptic plasticity. We discuss the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms by which the Neuroplastins exert their physiological effects and how these are dependent upon the structural features of Np65 and Np55, which enable them to bind to a diverse range of protein partners. In turn this enables the Neuroplastins to interact with a number of key neuronal signalling cascades. These include: binding to and activation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor; Np65 trans-homophilic binding leading to activation of p38 MAPK and internalization of glutamate (GluR1) receptor subunits; acting as accessory proteins for monocarboxylate transporters, thus affecting neuronal energy supply, and binding to GABAA α1, 2 and 5 subunits, thus regulating the composition and localization of GABAA receptors. An emerging theme is the role of the Neuroplastins in regulating the trafficking and subcellular localization of specific binding partners. We also discuss the involvement of Neuroplastins in a number of pathophysiological conditions, including ischaemia, schizophrenia and breast cancer and the role of a single nucleotide polymorphism in the human Neuroplastin (NPTN) gene locus in impairment of cortical development and cognitive functions. Neuroplastins are neuronal cell adhesion molecules, which induce neurite outgrowth and play important roles in synaptic maturation and plasticity. This review summarizes the functional implications of Neuroplastins for correct synaptic membrane protein localization, neuronal energy supply, expression of LTP and LTD
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
Wang, Desheng; Zheng, Wen
Previous studies have shown dietary cholesterol can enhance learning but retard memory which may be partly due to increased cholesterol levels in hippocampus and reduced afterhyperpolarization (AHP) amplitude of hippocampal CA1 neurons. This study explored the dose-dependent effect of dietary cholesterol on synaptic plasticity of rabbit hippocampal CA1 neurons and spine morphology, the postsynaptic structures responsible for synaptic plasticity. Field potential recordings revealed a low concentration of dietary cholesterol increased long-term potentiation (LTP) expression while high concentrations produced a pronounced reduction in LTP expression. Dietary cholesterol facilitated basal synaptic transmission but did not influence presynaptic function. DiI staining showed dietary cholesterol induced alterations in dendrite spine morphology characterized by increased mushroom spine density and decreased thin spine density, two kinds of dendritic spines that may be linked to memory consolidation and learning acquisition. Dietary cholesterol also modulated the geometric measures of mushroom spines. Therefore, dietary cholesterol dose-dependently modulated both synaptic plasticity and dendrite spine morphologies of hippocampal CA1 neurons that could mediate learning and memory changes previously seen to result from feeding a cholesterol diet.
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
Palazzo, Enza; Marabese, Ida; de Novellis, Vito; Rossi, Francesco; Maione, Sabatino
Metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7) is localized presynaptically at the active zone of neurotransmitter release. Unlike mGluR4 and mGluR8, which share mGluR7’s presynaptic location, mGluR7 shows low affinity for glutamate and is activated only by high glutamate concentrations. Its wide distribution in the central nervous system (CNS) and evolutionary conservation across species suggest that mGluR7 plays a primary role in controlling excitatory synapse function. High mGluR7 expression has been observed in several brain regions that are critical for CNS functioning and are involved in neurological and psychiatric disorder development. Until the recent discovery of selective ligands for mGluR7, techniques to elucidate its role in neural function were limited to the use of knockout mice and gene silencing. Studies using these two techniques have revealed that mGluR7 modulates emotionality, stress and fear responses. N,N'-dibenzhydrylethane-1,2-diamine dihydrochloride (AMN082) was reported as the first selective mGluR7 allosteric agonist. Pharmacological effects of AMN082 have not completely confirmed the mGluR7-knockout mouse phenotype; this has been attributed to rapid receptor internalization after drug treatment and to the drug’s apparent lack of in vivo selectivity. Therefore, the more recently developed mGluR7 negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) are crucial for understanding mGluR7 function and for exploiting its potential as a target for therapeutic interventions. This review presents the main findings regarding mGluR7’s effect on modulation of synaptic function and its role in normal CNS function and in models of neurologic and psychiatric disorders. PMID:27306064
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
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
Hernández-Hernández, Oscar; Guiraud-Dogan, Céline; Sicot, Géraldine; Huguet, Aline; Luilier, Sabrina; Steidl, Esther; Saenger, Stefanie; Marciniak, Elodie; Obriot, Hélène; Chevarin, Caroline; Nicole, Annie; Revillod, Lucile; Charizanis, Konstantinos; Lee, Kuang-Yung; Suzuki, Yasuhiro; Kimura, Takashi; Matsuura, Tohru; Cisneros, Bulmaro; Swanson, Maurice S; Trovero, Fabrice; Buisson, Bruno; Bizot, Jean-Charles; Hamon, Michel; Humez, Sandrine; Bassez, Guillaume; Metzger, Friedrich; Buée, Luc; Munnich, Arnold; Sergeant, Nicolas; Gourdon, Geneviève; Gomes-Pereira, Mário
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.
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
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
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
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.
Fauth, Michael; Wörgötter, Florentin; Tetzlaff, Christian
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
Stauch, Kelly L.; Purnell, Phillip R.; Fox, Howard S.
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
Stauch, Kelly L; Purnell, Phillip R; Fox, Howard S
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.
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
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
Francis, Adam A.; Mehta, Bhupesh
Synaptic ribbons are proteinaceous specialized electron-dense presynaptic structures found in nonspiking sensory cells of the vertebrate nervous system. Understanding the function of these structures is an active area of research (reviewed in Matthews G, Fuchs P. Nat Rev Neurosci 11: 812–822, 2010). Previous work had shown that ribbons could be effectively labeled and visualized using peptides that bind to the synaptic ribbon protein RIBEYE via a PXDLS motif (Zenisek D, Horst NK, Merrifield C, Sterling P, Matthews G. J Neurosci 24: 9752–9759, 2004). Here, we expand on the previous work to develop new tools and strategies for 1) better visualizing synaptic ribbons, and 2) monitoring and manipulating calcium on the synaptic ribbon. Specifically, we developed a new higher-affinity peptide-based label for visualizing ribbons in live cells and two strategies for localizing calcium indicators to the synaptic ribbon. PMID:21653726
Gómez-Palacio-Schjetnan, Andrea; Escobar, Martha L
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been proposed as a key regulator and mediator of long-term synaptic modifications related to learning and memory maintenance. Our previous studies show that application of high-frequency stimulation (HFS) sufficient to elicit LTP at the dentate gyrus (DG)-CA3 pathway produces mossy fiber structural modifications 7 days after tetanic stimulation. In the present study, we show that acute intrahippocampal microinfusion of BDNF induces a lasting potentiation of synaptic efficacy in the DG-CA3 projection of anesthetized adult rats. Furthermore, we show that BDNF functional modifications in synaptic efficacy are accompanied by a presynaptic structural long-lasting reorganization at the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway. These findings support the idea that BDNF plays an important role as synaptic messenger of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the adult mammalian brain, in vivo.
Morris, R G M
The 2004 EJN Lecture was an attempt to lay out further aspects of a developing neurobiological theory of hippocampal function [Morris, R.G.M., Moser, E.I., Riedel, G., Martin, S.J., Sandin, J., Day, M. & O'Carroll, C. (2003) Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci., 358, 773-786.] These are that (i) activity-dependent synaptic plasticity plays a key role in the automatic encoding and initial storage of attended experience; (ii) the persistence of hippocampal synaptic potentiation over time can be influenced by other independent neural events happening closely in time, an idea with behavioural implications for memory; and (iii) that systems-level consolidation of memory traces within neocortex is guided both by hippocampal traces that have been subject to cellular consolidation and by the presence of organized schema in neocortex into which relevant newly encoded information might be stored. Hippocampal memory is associative and, to study it more effectively than with previous paradigms, a new learning task is described which is unusual in requiring the incidental encoding of flavour-place paired associates, with the readout of successful storage being successful recall of a place given the flavour with which it was paired. NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity is shown to be critical for the encoding and intermediate storage of memory traces in this task, while AMPA receptor-mediated fast synaptic transmission is necessary for memory retrieval. Typically, these rapidly encoded traces decay quite rapidly over time. Synaptic potentiation also decays rapidly, but can be rendered more persistent by a process of cellular consolidation in which synaptic tagging and capture play a key part in determining whether or not it will be persistent. Synaptic tags set at the time of an event, even many trivial events, can capture the products of the synthesis of plasticity proteins set in train by events before, during or even after an event to be remembered. Tag
Petralia, Ronald S.; Wang, Ya-Xian; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.
Neurons and especially their synapses often project long thin processes that can invaginate neighboring neuronal or glial cells. These “invaginating projections” can occur in almost any combination of postsynaptic, presynaptic, and glial processes. Invaginating projections provide a precise mechanism for one neuron to communicate or exchange material exclusively at a highly localized site on another neuron, e.g., to regulate synaptic plasticity. The best-known types are postsynaptic projections called “spinules” that invaginate into presynaptic terminals. Spinules seem to be most prevalent at large very active synapses. Here, we present a comprehensive review of all kinds of invaginating projections associated with both neurons in general and more specifically with synapses; we describe them in all animals including simple, basal metazoans. These structures may have evolved into more elaborate structures in some higher animal groups exhibiting greater synaptic plasticity. In addition to classic spinules and filopodial invaginations, we describe a variety of lesser-known structures such as amphid microvilli, spinules in giant mossy terminals and en marron/brush synapses, the highly specialized fish retinal spinules, the trophospongium, capitate projections, and fly gnarls, as well as examples in which the entire presynaptic or postsynaptic process is invaginated. These various invaginating projections have evolved to modify the function of a particular synapse, or to channel an effect to one specific synapse or neuron, without affecting those nearby. We discuss how they function in membrane recycling, nourishment, and cell signaling and explore how they might change in aging and disease. PMID:26007200
Diaper, Danielle C.; Adachi, Yoshitsugu; Sutcliffe, Ben; Humphrey, Dickon M.; Elliott, Christopher J.H.; Stepto, Alan; Ludlow, Zoe N.; Vanden Broeck, Lies; Callaerts, Patrick; Dermaut, Bart; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Shaw, Christopher E.; Robinson, Iain M.; Hirth, Frank
Cytoplasmic accumulation and nuclear clearance of TDP-43 characterize familial and sporadic forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration, suggesting that either loss or gain of TDP-43 function, or both, cause disease formation. Here we have systematically compared loss- and gain-of-function of Drosophila TDP-43, TAR DNA Binding Protein Homolog (TBPH), in synaptic function and morphology, motor control, and age-related neuronal survival. Both loss and gain of TBPH severely affect development and result in premature lethality. TBPH dysfunction caused impaired synaptic transmission at the larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and in the adult. Tissue-specific knockdown together with electrophysiological recordings at the larval NMJ also revealed that alterations of TBPH function predominantly affect pre-synaptic efficacy, suggesting that impaired pre-synaptic transmission is one of the earliest events in TDP-43-related pathogenesis. Prolonged loss and gain of TBPH in adults resulted in synaptic defects and age-related, progressive degeneration of neurons involved in motor control. Toxic gain of TBPH did not downregulate or mislocalize its own expression, indicating that a dominant-negative effect leads to progressive neurodegeneration also seen with mutational inactivation of TBPH. Together these data suggest that dysfunction of Drosophila TDP-43 triggers a cascade of events leading to loss-of-function phenotypes whereby impaired synaptic transmission results in defective motor behavior and progressive deconstruction of neuronal connections, ultimately causing age-related neurodegeneration. PMID:23307927
Diaper, Danielle C; Adachi, Yoshitsugu; Sutcliffe, Ben; Humphrey, Dickon M; Elliott, Christopher J H; Stepto, Alan; Ludlow, Zoe N; Vanden Broeck, Lies; Callaerts, Patrick; Dermaut, Bart; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Shaw, Christopher E; Robinson, Iain M; Hirth, Frank
Cytoplasmic accumulation and nuclear clearance of TDP-43 characterize familial and sporadic forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration, suggesting that either loss or gain of TDP-43 function, or both, cause disease formation. Here we have systematically compared loss- and gain-of-function of Drosophila TDP-43, TAR DNA Binding Protein Homolog (TBPH), in synaptic function and morphology, motor control, and age-related neuronal survival. Both loss and gain of TBPH severely affect development and result in premature lethality. TBPH dysfunction caused impaired synaptic transmission at the larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and in the adult. Tissue-specific knockdown together with electrophysiological recordings at the larval NMJ also revealed that alterations of TBPH function predominantly affect pre-synaptic efficacy, suggesting that impaired pre-synaptic transmission is one of the earliest events in TDP-43-related pathogenesis. Prolonged loss and gain of TBPH in adults resulted in synaptic defects and age-related, progressive degeneration of neurons involved in motor control. Toxic gain of TBPH did not downregulate or mislocalize its own expression, indicating that a dominant-negative effect leads to progressive neurodegeneration also seen with mutational inactivation of TBPH. Together these data suggest that dysfunction of Drosophila TDP-43 triggers a cascade of events leading to loss-of-function phenotypes whereby impaired synaptic transmission results in defective motor behavior and progressive deconstruction of neuronal connections, ultimately causing age-related neurodegeneration.
Mioranzza, Sabrina; Nunes, Fernanda; Marques, Daniela M; Fioreze, Gabriela T; Rocha, Andréia S; Botton, Paulo Henrique S; Costa, Marcelo S; Porciúncula, Lisiane O
Caffeine is the psychostimulant most consumed worldwide. However, little is known about its effects during fetal brain development. In this study, adult female Wistar rats received caffeine in drinking water (0.1, 0.3 and 1.0 g/L) during the active cycle in weekdays, two weeks before mating and throughout pregnancy. Cerebral cortex and hippocampus from embryonic stages 18 or 20 (E18 or E20, respectively) were collected for immunodetection of the following synaptic proteins: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), TrkB receptor, Sonic Hedgehog (Shh), Growth Associated Protein 43 (GAP-43) and Synaptosomal-associated Protein 25 (SNAP-25). Besides, the estimation of NeuN-stained nuclei (mature neurons) and non-neuronal nuclei was verified in both brain regions and embryonic periods. Caffeine (1.0 g/L) decreased the body weight of embryos at E20. Cortical BDNF at E18 was decreased by caffeine (1.0 g/L), while it increased at E20, with no major effects on TrkB receptors. In the hippocampus, caffeine decreased TrkB receptor only at E18, with no effects on BDNF. Moderate and high doses of caffeine promoted an increase in Shh in both brain regions at E18, and in the hippocampus at E20. Caffeine (0.3g/L) decreased GAP-43 only in the hippocampus at E18. The NeuN-stained nuclei increased in the cortex at E20 by lower dose and in the hippocampus at E18 by moderate dose. Our data revealed that caffeine transitorily affect synaptic proteins during fetal brain development. The increased number of NeuN-stained nuclei by prenatal caffeine suggests a possible acceleration of the telencephalon maturation. Although some modifications in the synaptic proteins were transient, our data suggest that caffeine even in lower doses may alter the fetal brain development.
Sisková, Zuzana; Mahad, Don Joseph; Pudney, Carianne; Campbell, Graham; Cadogan, Mark; Asuni, Ayodeji; O'Connor, Vincent; Perry, Victor Hugh
Synaptic and dendritic pathology is a well-documented component of prion disease. In common with other neurodegenerative diseases that contain an element of protein misfolding, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of synaptic degeneration. In particular, in prion disease the relationship between synaptic malfunction, degeneration, and mitochondria has been neglected. We investigated a wide range of mitochondrial parameters, including changes in mitochondrial density, inner membrane ultrastructure, functional properties and nature of mitochondrial DNA from hippocampal tissue of mice with prion disease, which have ongoing synaptic pathology. Our results indicate that despite a lack of detectable changes in either mitochondrial density or expression of the mitochondrial proteins, mitochondrial function was impaired when compared with age-matched control animals. We observed changes in mitochondrial inner membrane morphology and a reduction in the cytochrome c oxidase activity relative to a sustained level of mitochondrial proteins such as porin and individual, functionally important subunits of complex II and complex IV. These data support the idea that mitochondrial dysfunction appears to occur due to inhibition or modification of respiratory complex rather than deletions of mitochondrial DNA. Indeed, these changes were seen in the stratum radiatum where synaptic pathology is readily detected, indicating that mitochondrial function is impaired and could potentially contribute to or even initiate the synaptic pathology in prion disease.
Staab, Trisha A; Griffen, Trevor C; Corcoran, Connor; Evgrafov, Oleg; Knowles, James A; Sieburth, Derek
The Nrf family of transcription factors plays a critical role in mediating adaptive responses to cellular stress and defends against neurodegeneration, aging, and cancer. Here, we report a novel role for the Caenorhabditis elegans Nrf homolog SKN-1 in regulating synaptic transmission at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Activation of SKN-1, either by acute pharmacological treatment with the mitochondrial toxin sodium arsenite or by mutations that cause constitutive SKN-1 activation, results in defects in neuromuscular function. Additionally, elimination of the conserved WD40 repeat protein WDR-23, a principal negative regulator of SKN-1, results in impaired locomotion and synaptic vesicle and neuropeptide release from cholinergic motor axons. Mutations that abolish skn-1 activity restore normal neuromuscular function to wdr-23 mutants and animals treated with toxin. We show that negative regulation of SKN-1 by WDR-23 in the intestine, but not at neuromuscular junctions, is necessary and sufficient for proper neuromuscular function. WDR-23 isoforms differentially localize to the outer membranes of mitochondria and to nuclei, and the effects of WDR-23 on neuromuscular function are dependent on its interaction with cullin E3 ubiquitin ligase. Finally, whole-transcriptome RNA sequencing of wdr-23 mutants reveals an increase in the expression of known SKN-1/Nrf2-regulated stress-response genes, as well as neurotransmission genes not previously implicated in SKN-1/Nrf2 responses. Together, our results indicate that SKN-1/Nrf2 activation may be a mechanism through which cellular stress, detected in one tissue, affects cellular function of a distal tissue through endocrine signaling. These results provide insight into how SKN-1/Nrf2 might protect the nervous system from damage in response to oxidative stress.
Norris, Christopher M; Sompol, Pradoldej; Roberts, Kelly N; Ansari, Mubeen; Scheff, Stephen W
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.
Sompol, Pradoldej; Roberts, Kelly N.; Ansari, Mubeen
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 (10mg/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
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.
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
Bradford, Aaron B; McNutt, Patrick M
Functional synaptogenesis and network emergence are signature endpoints of neurogenesis. These behaviors provide higher-order confirmation that biochemical and cellular processes necessary for neurotransmitter release, post-synaptic detection and network propagation of neuronal activity have been properly expressed and coordinated among cells. The development of synaptic neurotransmission can therefore be considered a defining property of neurons. Although dissociated primary neuron cultures readily form functioning synapses and network behaviors in vitro, continuously cultured neurogenic cell lines have historically failed to meet these criteria. Therefore, in vitro-derived neuron models that develop synaptic transmission are critically needed for a wide array of studies, including molecular neuroscience, developmental neurogenesis, disease research and neurotoxicology. Over the last decade, neurons derived from various stem cell lines have shown varying ability to develop into functionally mature neurons. In this review, we will discuss the neurogenic potential of various stem cells populations, addressing strengths and weaknesses of each, with particular attention to the emergence of functional behaviors. We will propose methods to functionally characterize new stem cell-derived neuron (SCN) platforms to improve their reliability as physiological relevant models. Finally, we will review how synaptically active SCNs can be applied to accelerate research in a variety of areas. Ultimately, emphasizing the critical importance of synaptic activity and network responses as a marker of neuronal maturation is anticipated to result in in vitro findings that better translate to efficacious clinical treatments. PMID:26240679
Couchman, Kiri; Grothe, Benedikt; Felmy, Felix
Neurons of the medial superior olive (MSO) code for the azimuthal location of low-frequency sound sources via a binaural coincidence detection system operating on microsecond time scales. These neurons are morphologically simple and stereotyped, and anatomical studies have indicated a functional segregation of excitatory and inhibitory inputs between cellular compartments. It is thought that this morphological arrangement holds important implications for the computational task of these cells. To date, however, there has been no functional investigation into synaptic input sites or functional receptor distributions on mature neurons of the MSO. Here, functional neurotransmitter receptor maps for amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), glycine (Gly), and ionotropic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)) receptors (Rs) were compared and complemented by their corresponding synaptic input map. We find in MSO neurons from postnatal day 20-35 gerbils that AMPARs and their excitatory inputs target the soma and dendrites. Functional GlyRs and their inhibitory inputs are predominantly refined to the somata, although a pool of functional GlyRs is present extrasynaptically on MSO dendrites. GABA(A)R responses are present throughout the cell but lack direct synaptic contact indicating an involvement in volume transmission. NMDARs are present both synaptically and extrasynaptically with an overall distribution similar to GlyRs. Interestingly, even at physiological temperatures these functional NMDARs can be potentiated by synaptically released Gly. The functional receptor and synaptic input maps produced here led to the identification of a cross talk between transmitter systems and raises the possibility that extrasynaptic receptors could be modulating leak conductances as a homeostatic mechanism.
Migliore, Michele; Cavarretta, Francesco; Marasco, Addolorata; Tulumello, Eleonora; Hines, Michael L.; Shepherd, Gordon M.
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
Singer, Joshua H; Glowatzki, Elisabeth; Moser, Tobias; Strowbridge, Ben W; Bhandawat, Vikas; Sampath, Alapakkam P
Sensory receptors transduce physical stimuli in the environment into neural signals that are interpreted by the brain. Although considerable attention has been given to how the sensitivity and dynamic range of sensory receptors is established, peripheral synaptic interactions improve the fidelity with which receptor output is transferred to the brain. For instance, synapses in the retina, cochlea, and primary olfactory system use mechanisms that fine-tune the responsiveness of postsynaptic neurons and the dynamics of exocytosis; these permit microcircuit interactions to encode efficiently the output of sensory receptors with the fidelity and dynamic range necessary to extract the salient features of the physical stimuli. The continuous matching of presynaptic and postsynaptic responsiveness highlight how the primary sensory organs have been optimized and can be modulated to resolve sparse sensory signals and to encode the entire range of receptor output.
Siegel, Friederike; Lohmann, Christian
Calcium imaging has become a widely used technique to probe neuronal activity on the cellular and subcellular levels. In contrast to standard electrophysiological methods, calcium imaging resolves sub- and suprathreshold activation patterns in structures as small as fine dendritic branches and spines. This review highlights recent findings gained on the subcellular level using calcium imaging, with special emphasis on synaptic transmission and plasticity in individual spines. Since imaging allows monitoring activity across populations of synapses, it has recently been adopted to investigate how dendrites integrate information from many synapses. Future experiments, ideally carried out in vivo, will reveal how the dendritic tree integrates and computes afferent signals. For example, it is now possible to directly test the concept that dendritic inputs are clustered and that single dendrites or dendritic stretches act as independent computational units.
Niesmann, Katharina; Breuer, Dorothee; Brockhaus, Johannes; Born, Gesche; Wolff, Ilka; Reissner, Carsten; Kilimann, Manfred W.; Rohlmann, Astrid; Missler, Markus
A challenge in neuroscience is to understand the mechanisms underlying synapse formation. Most excitatory synapses in the brain are built on spines, which are actin-rich protrusions from dendrites. Spines are a major substrate of brain plasticity, and spine pathologies are observed in various mental illnesses. Here we investigate the role of neurobeachin (Nbea), a multidomain protein previously linked to cases of autism, in synaptogenesis. We show that deletion of Nbea leads to reduced numbers of spinous synapses in cultured neurons from complete knockouts and in cortical tissue from heterozygous mice, accompanied by altered miniature postsynaptic currents. In addition, excitatory synapses terminate mostly at dendritic shafts instead of spine heads in Nbea mutants, and actin becomes less enriched synaptically. As actin and synaptopodin, a spine-associated protein with actin-bundling activity, accumulate ectopically near the Golgi apparatus of mutant neurons, a role emerges for Nbea in trafficking important cargo to pre- and postsynaptic compartments. PMID:22109531
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
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
Tao, Can; Zhang, Guangwei; Xiong, Ying; Zhou, Yi
Neuronal activity is dominated by synaptic inputs from excitatory or inhibitory neural circuits. With the development of in vivo patch-clamp recording, especially in vivo voltage-clamp recording, researchers can not only directly measure neuronal activity, such as spiking responses or membrane potential dynamics, but also quantify synaptic inputs from excitatory and inhibitory circuits in living animals. This approach enables researchers to directly unravel different synaptic components and to understand their underlying roles in particular brain functions. Combining in vivo patch-clamp recording with other techniques, such as two-photon imaging or optogenetics, can provide even clearer functional dissection of the synaptic contributions of different neurons or nuclei. Here, we summarized current applications and recent research progress using the in vivo patch-clamp recording method and focused on its role in the functional dissection of different synaptic inputs. The key factors of a successful in vivo patch-clamp experiment and possible solutions based on references and our experiences were also discussed. PMID:26052270
Selemon, L D
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
Jaffe, R A; Laszewski, B L; Carr, D B; Phillips, R D
Several reports have suggested that the nervous system can be affected by exposure to electric fields and that these effects may have detrimental health consequences for the exposed organism. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic (30-day) exposure of rats to a 60Hz, 100-kV/m electric field on synaptic transmission and peripheral-nerve function. One hundred forty-four rats, housed in individual polycarbonate cages were exposed to uniform, vertical, 60-Hz electric fields in a system free of corona discharge and ozone formation and in which the animals did not receive spark discharges or other shocks during exposure. Following 30 days of exposure to the electric field, superior cervical sympathetic ganglia, vagus and sciatic nerves were removed from rats anesthetized with urethan, placed in a temperature-controlled chamber, and superfused with a modified mammalian Ringer's solution equilibrated with 95% O2 and 5% CO2. Several measures and tests were used to characterize synaptic transmission and peripheral-nerve function. These included amplitude, area, and configuration of the postsynaptic or whole-nerve compound-action potential; conduction velocity; accommodation; refractory period; strength-duration curves; conditioning-test (C-T) response, frequency response; post-tetanic response; and high-frequency-induced fatigue. The results of a series of neurophysiologic tests and measurements indicate that only synaptic transmission is significantly and consistently affected by chronic (30-day) exposure to a 60-Hz, 100-kV/m electric field. Specifically, and increase in synaptic excitability was detected in replicated measurements of the C-T response ratio. In addition, there are trends in other data that can be interpreted to suggest a generalized increase in neuronal excitability in exposed animals.
Jia, Sujuan; Muto, Akira; Orisme, Wilda; Henson, Hannah E.; Parupalli, Chaithanyarani; Ju, Bensheng; Baier, Herwig; Taylor, Michael R.
Mutations in the human CACNA1F gene cause incomplete congenital stationary night blindness type 2 (CSNB2), a non-progressive, clinically heterogeneous retinal disorder. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying CSNB2 have not been fully explored. Here, we describe the positional cloning of a blind zebrafish mutant, wait until dark (wud), which encodes a zebrafish homolog of human CACNA1F. We identified two zebrafish cacna1f paralogs and showed that the cacna1fa transcript (the gene mutated in wud) is expressed exclusively in the photoreceptor layer. We demonstrated that Cacna1fa localizes at the photoreceptor synapse and is absent from wud mutants. Electroretinograms revealed abnormal cone photoreceptor responses from wud mutants, indicating a defect in synaptic transmission. Although there are no obvious morphological differences, we found that wud mutants lacked synaptic ribbons and that wud is essential for the development of synaptic ribbons. We found that Ribeye, the most prominent synaptic ribbon protein, was less abundant and mislocalized in adult wud mutants. In addition to cloning wud, we identified synaptojanin 1 (synj1) as the defective gene in slacker (slak), a blind mutant with floating synaptic ribbons. We determined that Cacna1fa was expressed in slak photoreceptors and that Synj1 was initially expressed wud photoreceptors, but was absent by 5 days postfertilization. Collectively, our data demonstrate that Cacna1fa is essential for cone photoreceptor function and synaptic ribbon formation and reveal a previously unknown yet critical role of L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels in the expression and/or distribution of synaptic ribbon proteins, providing a new model to study the clinical variability in human CSNB2 patients. PMID:24419318
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
Rangaraju, Vidhya; Calloway, Nathaniel; Ryan, Timothy A.
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
Jones, Ross A.; Reich, Caitlan D.; Dissanayake, Kosala N.; Kristmundsdottir, Fanney; Findlater, Gordon S.; Ribchester, Richard R.; Simmen, Martin W.
The ability to form synapses is one of the fundamental properties required by the mammalian nervous system to generate network connectivity. Structural and functional diversity among synaptic populations is a key hallmark of network diversity, and yet we know comparatively little about the morphological principles that govern variability in the size, shape and strength of synapses. Using the mouse neuromuscular junction (NMJ) as an experimentally accessible model synapse, we report on the development of a robust, standardized methodology to facilitate comparative morphometric analysis of synapses (‘NMJ-morph’). We used NMJ-morph to generate baseline morphological reference data for 21 separate pre- and post-synaptic variables from 2160 individual NMJs belonging to nine anatomically distinct populations of synapses, revealing systematic differences in NMJ morphology between defined synaptic populations. Principal components analysis revealed that overall NMJ size and the degree of synaptic fragmentation, alongside pre-synaptic axon diameter, were the most critical parameters in defining synaptic morphology. ‘Average’ synaptic morphology was remarkably conserved between comparable synapses from the left and right sides of the body. Systematic differences in synaptic morphology predicted corresponding differences in synaptic function that were supported by physiological recordings, confirming the robust relationship between synaptic size and strength. PMID:27927794
Wilson, Daniel E.; Whitney, David E.; Scholl, Benjamin; Fitzpatrick, David
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 2-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
Pananceau, M; Rispal-Padel, L; Meftah, E M
1. Some connections from the afferents to the magnocellular red nucleus (RNm), like the corticorubral synapses, have plastic properties that are thought to contribute to long-term changes such as functional readaptation, motor learning, and the establishment of conditioned responses. Because previous studies have focused on corticorubral synaptic reorganization after these events, we attempted to investigate cerebellorubral connections in intact adult cats during associative conditioning by pairing electrical stimulation of interpositus nucleus [the conditional stimulus (CS)] with electrical simulation of the forelimb [the unconditional stimulus (UCS)]. A large increase in the amplitude of the forelimb flexion (conditioned response) induced by the CS was observed after several days of paired CS-UCS presentations. 2. For this purpose, both behavioral and electrophysiological methods were used to correlate synaptic plasticity with changes in the motor responses. The somatotopically organized sensorimotor network functionally related to the control of the elbow joint movements was studied in awake adult cats. This circuit was defined on the basis of sites at which elbow flexions could be evoked both as a CS and a UCS. The CS was applied in the cerebellar interpositus nucleus (IN) site and the UCS was given to the skin on the dorsum of the distal part of the forepaw. Daily classical conditioning consisted of repetitive pairings of CS and UCS with an interstimulus interval (ISI) of 100 ms. 3. The transmission efficacy resulting from the conditioning was tested in various targets of the cerebellar efferent pathway, including the RNm. Electrophysiological responses evoked in these relay structures by the CS and the forelimb angular deviations were simultaneously recorded throughout each daily conditioning session. The surface areas of the rubral responses to CS and the percentage response rate, the angular deviation (amplitude), and the latency of the motor responses were
Carvalho, Tiago P.; Buonomano, Dean V.
Ultimately, whether or not a neuron produces a spike determines its contribution to local computations. In response to brief stimuli the probability a neuron will fire can be described by its input-output function, which depends on the net balance and timing of excitatory and inhibitory currents. While excitatory and inhibitory synapses are plastic, most studies examine plasticity of subthreshold events. Thus, the effects of concerted regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic strength on neuronal input-output functions are not well understood. Here, theoretical analyses reveal that excitatory synaptic strength controls the threshold of the neuronal input-output function, while inhibitory plasticity alters the threshold and gain. Experimentally, changes in the balance of excitation and inhibition in CA1 pyramidal neurons also altered their input-output function as predicted by the model. These results support the existence of two functional modes of plasticity that can be used to optimize information processing: threshold and gain plasticity. PMID:19285473
Perez, Pablo D; Hall, Gabrielle; Zubcevic, Jasenka; Febo, Marcelo
Manganese enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) has been previously used to determine the effect of acute cocaine on calcium-dependent synaptic activity in male rats. However, there have been no MEMRI studies examining sex differences in the functional neural circuits affected by repeated cocaine. In the present study, we used MEMRI to investigate the effects of repeated cocaine on brain activation in female and male rats. Adult female and male rats were scanned at 4.7 Tesla three days after final treatment with saline, a single cocaine injection (15 mg kg(-1), i.p. × 1 day) or repeated cocaine injections (15 mg kg(-1), i.p. × 10 days). A day before imaging rats were provided with an i.p. injection of manganese chloride (70 mg kg(-1)). Cocaine produced effects on MEMRI activity that were dependent on sex. In females, we observed that a single cocaine injection reduced MEMRI activity in hippocampal CA3, ventral tegmental area (VTA), and median Raphé, whereas repeated cocaine increased MEMRI activity in dentate gyrus and interpeduncular nucleus. In males, repeated cocaine reduced MEMRI activity in VTA. Overall, it appeared that female rats showed a general trend towards increase MEMRI activity with single cocaine and reduced activity with repeated exposure, while male rats showed a trend towards opposite effects. Our results provide evidence for sex differences in the in vivo neural response to cocaine, which involves primarily hippocampal, amygdala and midbrain areas.
Gaier, Eric D; Eipper, Betty A; Mains, Richard E
Cu is an essential element with many biological roles, but its roles in the mammalian nervous system are poorly understood. Mice deficient in the cuproenzyme peptidylglycine α-amidating monooxygenase (PAM+/− mice) were initially generated to study neuropeptide amidation. PAM+/− mice exhibited profound deficits in a few behavioral tasks, including enhancements in innate fear along with deficits in acquired fear. Interestingly, several PAM+/− phenotypes were recapitulated in Cu restricted wildtype mice and rescued in Cu supplemented PAM+/− mice. These behaviors correspond to enhanced excitability and deficient synaptic plasticity in the amygdala of PAM+/− mice, which are also rescued by Cu supplementation. Cu and ATP7A are present at synapses, in key positions to respond to and influence synaptic activity. Further study demonstrated that extracellular Cu is necessary for wildtype synaptic plasticity and sufficient to rescue PAM+/− LTP. These experiments support roles for PAM in Cu homeostasis and for synaptic Cu in amygdalar function. PMID:24593825
Han, Jun; Wu, Pengfei; Wang, Fang; Chen, Jianguo
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
Begemann, Isabell; Galic, Milos
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
Spinal cord injury research has greatly expanded in recent years, but our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the functional recovery that can occur over the weeks and months following the initial injury, is far from complete. To grasp the scope of the problem, it is important to begin by defining the sensorimotor pathways that might be involved by a spinal injury. This is done in the rodent and nonhuman primate, which are two of the most commonly used animal models in basic and translational spinal injury research. Many of the better known experimentally induced models are then reviewed in terms of the pathways they involve and the reorganization and recovery that have been shown to follow. The better understood neuronal mechanisms mediating such post-injury plasticity, including dendritic spine growth and axonal sprouting, are then examined. PMID:19307422
Corlew, Rebekah; Brasier, Daniel J.; Feldman, Daniel E.; Philpot, Benjamin D.
Many aspects of synaptic development, plasticity, and neurotransmission are critically influenced by NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs). Moreover, dysfunction of NMDARs has been implicated in a broad array of neurological disorders, including schizophrenia, stroke, epilepsy, and neuropathic pain. Classically, NMDARs were thought to be exclusively postsynaptic. However, substantial evidence in the last 10 years demonstrates that NMDARs also exist presynaptically, and that presynaptic NMDA receptors (preNMDARs) modulate synapse function and have critical roles in plasticity at many synapses. Here we review current knowledge of the role of preNMDARs in synaptic transmission and plasticity, focusing on the neocortex. We discuss the prevalence, function, and development of these receptors, and their potential modification by experience and in brain pathology. PMID:19029059
Shields, L Y; Kim, H; Zhu, L; Haddad, D; Berthet, A; Pathak, D; Lam, M; Ponnusamy, R; Diaz-Ramirez, L G; Gill, T M; Sesaki, H; Mucke, L; Nakamura, K
Disrupting particular mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins leads to the death of specific neuronal populations; however, the normal functions of mitochondrial fission in neurons are poorly understood, especially in vivo, which limits the understanding of mitochondrial changes in disease. Altered activity of the central mitochondrial fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) may contribute to the pathophysiology of several neurologic diseases. To study Drp1 in a neuronal population affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD), stroke, and seizure disorders, we postnatally deleted Drp1 from CA1 and other forebrain neurons in mice (CamKII-Cre, Drp1lox/lox (Drp1cKO)). Although most CA1 neurons survived for more than 1 year, their synaptic transmission was impaired, and Drp1cKO mice had impaired memory. In Drp1cKO cell bodies, we observed marked mitochondrial swelling but no change in the number of mitochondria in individual synaptic terminals. Using ATP FRET sensors, we found that cultured neurons lacking Drp1 (Drp1KO) could not maintain normal levels of mitochondrial-derived ATP when energy consumption was increased by neural activity. These deficits occurred specifically at the nerve terminal, but not the cell body, and were sufficient to impair synaptic vesicle cycling. Although Drp1KO increased the distance between axonal mitochondria, mitochondrial-derived ATP still decreased similarly in Drp1KO boutons with and without mitochondria. This indicates that mitochondrial-derived ATP is rapidly dispersed in Drp1KO axons, and that the deficits in axonal bioenergetics and function are not caused by regional energy gradients. Instead, loss of Drp1 compromises the intrinsic bioenergetic function of axonal mitochondria, thus revealing a mechanism by which disrupting mitochondrial dynamics can cause dysfunction of axons. PMID:25880092
Colin-Le Brun, Isabelle; Ferrand, Nadine; Caillard, Olivier; Tosetti, Patrizia; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Gaïarsa, Jean-Luc
Here we examine the role of the spontaneous synaptic activity generated by the developing rat hippocampus in the formation of functional gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapses. Intact hippocampal formations (IHFs) were dissected at birth and incubated for 1 day in control or tetrodotoxin (TTX)-supplemented medium at 25 degrees C. After the incubation, miniature GABA(A)-mediated postsynaptic currents (mGABA(A)-PSCs) were recorded in whole-cell voltage-clamped CA3 pyramidal neurones from IHF-derived slices. After 1 day in vitro in control medium, the frequency of mGABA(A)-PSCs was similar to that recorded in acute slices obtained 1 day after birth, but significantly higher than the frequency recorded from acute slices just after birth. These results suggest that the factors required in vivo for the formation of functional GABAergic synapses are preserved in the IHFs in vitro. The frequency increase was prevented when IHFs were incubated for 1 day with TTX. TTX treatment affected neither the morphology of CA3 pyramidal neurones nor cell viability. The TTX effects were reproduced when IHFs were incubated in the presence of glutamatergic or GABAergic ionotropic receptor antagonists or in high divalent cationic medium. The present results indicate that the spontaneous synaptic activity generated by the developing hippocampus is a key player in the formation of functional GABAergic synapses, possibly via network events requiring both glutamatergic and GABAergic receptors.
Colin-Le Brun, Isabelle; Ferrand, Nadine; Caillard, Olivier; Tosetti, Patrizia; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Gaïarsa, Jean-Luc
Here we examine the role of the spontaneous synaptic activity generated by the developing rat hippocampus in the formation of functional γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapses. Intact hippocampal formations (IHFs) were dissected at birth and incubated for 1 day in control or tetrodotoxin (TTX)-supplemented medium at 25°C. After the incubation, miniature GABAA-mediated postsynaptic currents (mGABAA-PSCs) were recorded in whole-cell voltage-clamped CA3 pyramidal neurones from IHF-derived slices. After 1 day in vitro in control medium, the frequency of mGABAA-PSCs was similar to that recorded in acute slices obtained 1 day after birth, but significantly higher than the frequency recorded from acute slices just after birth. These results suggest that the factors required in vivo for the formation of functional GABAergic synapses are preserved in the IHFs in vitro. The frequency increase was prevented when IHFs were incubated for 1 day with TTX. TTX treatment affected neither the morphology of CA3 pyramidal neurones nor cell viability. The TTX effects were reproduced when IHFs were incubated in the presence of glutamatergic or GABAergic ionotropic receptor antagonists or in high divalent cationic medium. The present results indicate that the spontaneous synaptic activity generated by the developing hippocampus is a key player in the formation of functional GABAergic synapses, possibly via network events requiring both glutamatergic and GABAergic receptors. PMID:15218067
Porter, David; Faivre, Emilie; Flatt, Peter R; Hölscher, Christian; Gault, Victor A
The incretin hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) improve markers of cognitive function in obesity-diabetes, however, both are rapidly degraded to their major metabolites, GLP-1(9-36)amide and GIP(3-42), respectively. Therefore, the present study investigated effects of GLP-1(9-36)amide and GIP(3-42) on locomotor activity, cognitive function and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in mice with diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. High-fat fed Swiss TO mice treated with GLP-1(9-36)amide, GIP(3-42) or exendin(9-39)amide (twice-daily for 60 days) did not exhibit any changes in bodyweight, non-fasting plasma glucose and plasma insulin concentrations or glucose tolerance compared with high-fat saline controls. Similarly, locomotor and feeding activity, O(2) consumption, CO(2) production, respiratory exchange ratio and energy expenditure were not altered by chronic treatment with incretin metabolites. Administration of the truncated metabolites did not alter general behavior in an open field test or learning and memory ability as recorded during an object recognition test. High-fat mice exhibited a significant impairment in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) which was not affected by treatment with incretin metabolites. These data indicate that incretin metabolites do not influence locomotor activity, cognitive function and hippocampal synaptic plasticity when administered at pharmacological doses to mice fed a high-fat diet.
Takahashi, Hideto; Arstikaitis, Pamela; Prasad, Tuhina; Bartlett, Thomas E.; Wang, Yu Tian; Murphy, Timothy H.; Craig, Ann Marie
SUMMARY Neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinases (Trks) have well-defined trophic roles in nervous system development through kinase activation by neurotrophins. Yet Trks have typical cell-adhesion domains and express non-catalytic isoforms suggesting additional functions. Here we discovered non-catalytic TrkC in an unbiased hippocampal neuron-fibroblast coculture screen for proteins that trigger differentiation of neurotransmitter release sites in axons. All TrkC isoforms, but not TrkA or TrkB, function directly in excitatory glutamatergic synaptic adhesion by neurotrophin-independent high-affinity trans-binding to axonal PTPσ tyrosine phosphatase receptor. PTPσ triggers and TrkC mediates clustering of postsynaptic molecules in dendrites, indicating bidirectional synaptic organizing functions. Effects of a TrkC neutralizing antibody that blocks TrkC-PTPσ interaction and TrkC knockdown in culture and in vivo reveal essential roles of TrkC-PTPσ in glutamatergic synapse formation. Thus, postsynaptic TrkC trans-interaction with presynaptic PTPσ generates bidirectional adhesion and recruitment essential for excitatory synapse development and positions these signaling molecules at the center of synaptic pathways. PMID:21262467
Ip, Fanny CF; Fu, Wing-Yu; Cheng, Elaine YL; Tong, Estella PS; Lok, Ka-Chun; Liang, Yan; Ye, Wen-Cai; Ip, Nancy Y
Compounds that have the ability to both strengthen synaptic function and facilitate neuroprotection are valuable cognitive enhancers that may improve health and quality of life, as well as retard age-related cognitive deterioration. Medicinal plants are an abundant source of potential cognitive enhancers. Here we report that anemoside A3 (AA3) isolated from Pulsatilla chinensis modulates synaptic connectivity in circuits central to memory enhancement. AA3 specifically modulates the function of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) by increasing serine phosphorylation within the GluA1 subunit, which is a modification required for the trafficking of GluA1-containing AMPARs to synapses. Furthermore, AA3 administration activates several synaptic signaling molecules and increases protein expressions of the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor and monoamine neurotransmitters in the mouse hippocampus. In addition to acting through AMPARs, AA3 also acts as a non-competitive NMDA receptor (NMDAR) modulator with a neuroprotective capacity against ischemic brain injury and overexcitation in rats. These findings collectively suggest that AA3 possesses a unique ability to modulate the functions of both AMPARs and NMDARs. Concordantly, behavioral studies indicate that AA3 not only facilitates hippocampal long-term potentiation but also enhances spatial reference memory formation in mice. These multifaceted roles suggest that AA3 is an attractive candidate for further development as a cognitive enhancer capable of alleviating memory dysfunctions associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25649278
Kristensson, Krister; Nygård, Mikael; Bertini, Giuseppe; Bentivoglio, Marina
The extracellular parasite Trypanosoma brucei causes human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness. Trypanosomes are transmitted by tsetse flies and HAT occurs in foci in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease, which is invariably lethal if untreated, evolves in a first hemo-lymphatic stage, progressing to a second meningo-encephalitic stage when the parasites cross the blood-brain barrier. At first, trypanosomes are restricted to circumventricular organs and choroid plexus in the brain outside the blood-brain barrier, and to dorsal root ganglia. Later, parasites cross the blood-brain barrier at post-capillary venules, through a multi-step process similar to that of lymphocytes. Accumulation of parasites in the brain is regulated by cytokines and chemokines. Trypanosomes can alter neuronal function and the most prominent manifestation is represented by sleep alterations. These are characterized, in HAT and experimental rodent infections, by disruption of the sleep-wake 24h cycle and internal sleep structure. Trypanosome infections alter also some, but not all, other endogenous biological rhythms. A number of neural pathways and molecules may be involved in such effects. Trypanosomes secrete prostaglandins including the somnogenic PGD2, and they interact with the host's immune system to cause release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. From the sites of early localization of parasites in the brain and meninges, such molecules could affect adjacent brain areas implicated in sleep-wakefulness regulation, including the suprachiasmatic nucleus and its downstream targets, to cause the changes characteristic of the disease. This raises challenging issues on the effects of cytokines on synaptic functions potentially involved in sleep-wakefulness alterations.
Salazar, Anna M.; Silverman, Edward J.; Menon, Kaushiki P.; Zinn, Kai
We identified Pumilio (Pum), a Drosophila translational repressor, in a computational search for metazoan proteins whose activities might be regulated by assembly into ordered aggregates. The search algorithm was based on evolutionary sequence conservation patterns observed for yeast prion proteins, which contain aggregation-prone glutamine/asparagine (Q/N)-rich domains attached to functional domains of normal amino acid composition. We examined aggregation of Pum and its nematode ortholog PUF-9 by expression in yeast. A domain of Pum containing the Q/N-rich sequence, denoted as NQ1, the entire Pum N-terminus, and the complete PUF-9 protein localize to macroscopic aggregates (foci) in yeast. NQ1 and PUF-9 can generate the yeast Pin+ trait, which is transmitted by a heritable aggregate. NQ1 also assembles into amyloid fibrils in vitro. In Drosophila, Pum regulates postsynaptic translation at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). To assess whether NQ1 affects synaptic Pum activity in vivo, we expressed it in muscles. We found that it negatively regulates endogenous Pum, producing gene dosage-dependent pum loss-of-function NMJ phenotypes. NQ1 coexpression also suppresses lethality and NMJ phenotypes caused by overexpression of Pum in muscles. The Q/N block of NQ1 is required for these phenotypic effects. Negative regulation of Pum by NQ1 might be explained by formation of inactive aggregates, but we have been unable to demonstrate that NQ1 aggregates in Drosophila. NQ1 could also regulate Pum by a “dominant-negative” effect, in which it would block Q/N-mediated interactions of Pum with itself or with cofactors required for translational repression. PMID:20071514
Moshkov, Dmitry A; Shtanchaev, Rashid S; Mikheeva, Irina B; Bezgina, Elena N; Kokanova, Nadezhda A; Mikhailova, Gulnara Z; Tiras, Nadezhda R; Pavlik, Lyubov' L
Goldfish are known to exhibit motor asymmetry due to functional asymmetry of their Mauthner neurons that induce the turns to the right or left during free swimming. It has been previously found that if the less active neuron is subjected to prolonged aimed visual stimulation via its ventral dendrite, the motor asymmetry of goldfish is inverted, testifying that this neuron becomes functionally dominant, while the size of the ventral dendrite under these conditions is reduced 2-3 times compared to its counterpart in mirror neuron. Earlier it has been also revealed that training optokinetic stimulation induces adaptation, a substantial resistance of both fish motor asymmetry and morphofunctional state of Mauthner neurons against prolonged optokinetic stimulation. The aim of this work was to study the cellular mechanisms of the effect of an unusual visual afferent input on goldfish motor asymmetry and Mauthner neuron function in norm and under adaptation. It was shown that serotonin applied onto Mauthner neurons greatly reduces their activity whereas its antagonist ondansetron increases it. Against the background of visual stimulation, serotonin strengthens functional asymmetry between neurons whereas ondansetron smoothes it. Taken together these data suggest the involvement of serotonergic excitatory synaptic transmission in the regulation of Mauthner neurons by vision. Ultrastructural study of the ventral dendrites after prolonged optokinetic stimulation has revealed depletions of numeral axo-axonal synapses with specific morphology, identified by means of immunogold label as serotonergic ones. These latter in turn are situated mainly on shaft boutons, which according to specific ultrastructural features are assigned to axo-dendritic inhibitory synapses. Thus, the excitatory serotonergic synapses seem to affect Mauthner neuron indirectly through inhibitory synapses. Further, it was morphometrically established that adaptation is accompanied by the significant
Cristino, Luigia; Busetto, Giuseppe; Imperatore, Roberta; Ferrandino, Ida; Palomba, Letizia; Silvestri, Cristoforo; Petrosino, Stefania; Orlando, Pierangelo; Bentivoglio, Marina; Mackie, Kenneth; Di Marzo, Vincenzo
Acute or chronic alterations in energy status alter the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and associated synaptic plasticity to allow for the adaptation of energy metabolism to new homeostatic requirements. The impact of such changes on endocannabinoid and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)-mediated modulation of synaptic transmission and strength is not known, despite the fact that this signaling system is an important target for the development of new drugs against obesity. We investigated whether CB1-expressing excitatory vs. inhibitory inputs to orexin-A-containing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus are altered in obesity and how this modifies endocannabinoid control of these neurons. In lean mice, these inputs are mostly excitatory. By confocal and ultrastructural microscopic analyses, we observed that in leptin-knockout (ob/ob) obese mice, and in mice with diet-induced obesity, orexinergic neurons receive predominantly inhibitory CB1-expressing inputs and overexpress the biosynthetic enzyme for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which retrogradely inhibits synaptic transmission at CB1-expressing axon terminals. Patch-clamp recordings also showed increased CB1-sensitive inhibitory innervation of orexinergic neurons in ob/ob mice. These alterations are reversed by leptin administration, partly through activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway in neuropeptide-Y-ergic neurons of the arcuate nucleus, and are accompanied by CB1-mediated enhancement of orexinergic innervation of target brain areas. We propose that enhanced inhibitory control of orexin-A neurons, and their CB1-mediated disinhibition, are a consequence of leptin signaling impairment in the arcuate nucleus. We also provide initial evidence of the participation of this phenomenon in hyperphagia and hormonal dysregulation in obesity.
Srinivasa, Narayan; Jiang, Qin
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.
Howes, Oliver D; Montgomery, Andrew J; Asselin, Marie-Claude; Murray, Robin M; Grasby, Paul M; McGuire, Philip K
Background The dopamine hypothesis has been the major pathophysiological theory of psychosis in recent decades. Molecular imaging studies have provided in vivo evidence of increased dopamine synaptic availability and increased pre-synaptic dopamine synthesis in the striata of people with psychotic illnesses. These studies support the predictions of the dopamine hypothesis, but it remains to be determined whether dopaminergic abnormalities pre-date or are secondary to the development of psychosis. Method We selectively review the molecular imaging studies of the striatal dopaminergic system in psychosis and link this to models of psychosis and the functional sub-divisions of the striatum to make predictions for dopaminergic system in the prodromal phase of psychosis. Results A fairly consistent body of evidence indicates that pre-synaptic dopamine synthesis and synaptic dopamine availability is increased in the striata of people with psychotic illnesses. There may also be a small increase in striatal D2 dopamine receptor levels, although the evidence is less consistent. No studies to date have investigated striatal dopaminergic function longitudinally in people with psychosis or who are in the prodromal phase of psychosis. Evidence indicates that people with psychosis and at risk of psychosis show characteristic cognitive biases which support models of psychosis that link cognitive processes underlying appraisal to the development of delusions. Conclusions Current findings indicate an association between dopaminergic abnormalities and psychosis, which supports the dopamine hypothesis. However it is not possible to infer a causal relationship from these data. Studies of the dopaminergic system in the prodromal phase of psychosis and over the course of the developing psychotic illness are needed to determine whether dopaminergic abnormalities are secondary or primary, and whether dopaminergic abnormalities underlie the cognitive biases and impairments associated with
De Rossi, P; Harde, E; Dupuis, J P; Martin, L; Chounlamountri, N; Bardin, M; Watrin, C; Benetollo, C; Pernet-Gallay, K; Luhmann, H J; Honnorat, J; Malleret, G; Groc, L; Acker-Palmer, A; Salin, P A; Meissirel, C
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is known to be required for the action of antidepressant therapies but its impact on brain synaptic function is poorly characterized. Using a combination of electrophysiological, single-molecule imaging and conditional transgenic approaches, we identified the molecular basis of the VEGF effect on synaptic transmission and plasticity. VEGF increases the postsynaptic responses mediated by the N-methyl-D-aspartate type of glutamate receptors (GluNRs) in hippocampal neurons. This is concurrent with the formation of new synapses and with the synaptic recruitment of GluNR expressing the GluN2B subunit (GluNR-2B). VEGF induces a rapid redistribution of GluNR-2B at synaptic sites by increasing the surface dynamics of these receptors within the membrane. Consistently, silencing the expression of the VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) in neural cells impairs hippocampal-dependent synaptic plasticity and consolidation of emotional memory. These findings demonstrated the direct implication of VEGF signaling in neurons via VEGFR2 in proper synaptic function. They highlight the potential of VEGF as a key regulator of GluNR synaptic function and suggest a role for VEGF in new therapeutic approaches targeting GluNR in depression. PMID:26728568
Kim, Seung-Nam; Doo, Ah-Reum; Park, Ji-Yeun; Bae, Hyungjin; Chae, Younbyoung; Shim, Insop; Lee, Hyangsook; Moon, Woongjoon; Lee, Hyejung; Park, Hi-Joon
Parkinson's disease (PD) is caused by the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and the depletion of striatal dopamine (DA). Acupuncture, as an alternative therapy for PD, has beneficial effects in both PD patients and PD animal models, although the underlying mechanisms therein remain uncertain. The present study investigated whether acupuncture treatment affected dopamine neurotransmission in a PD mouse model using 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We found that acupuncture treatment at acupoint GB34 improved motor function with accompanying dopaminergic neuron protection against MPTP but did not restore striatal dopamine depletion. Instead, acupuncture treatment increased dopamine release that in turn, may lead to the enhancement of dopamine availability in the synaptic cleft. Moreover, acupuncture treatment mitigated MPTP-induced abnormal postsynaptic changes, suggesting that acupuncture treatment may increase postsynaptic dopamine neurotransmission and facilitate the normalization of basal ganglia activity. These results suggest that the acupuncture-induced enhancement of synaptic dopamine availability may play a critical role in motor function improvement against MPTP.
Beck, Katherina; Ehmann, Nadine; Andlauer, Till F M; Ljaschenko, Dmitrij; Strecker, Katrin; Fischer, Matthias; Kittel, Robert J; Raabe, Thomas
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.
Beck, Katherina; Ehmann, Nadine; Andlauer, Till F. M.; Ljaschenko, Dmitrij; Strecker, Katrin; Fischer, Matthias; Kittel, Robert J.; Raabe, Thomas
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
Pettigrew, L. Creed; Kryscio, Richard J.; Norris, Christopher M.
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
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.
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
Goldberg, Ethan M; Watanabe, Shigeo; Chang, Su Ying; Joho, Rolf H; Huang, Z Josh; Leonard, Christopher S; Rudy, Bernardo
Potassium (K+) channel subunits of the Kv3 subfamily (Kv3.1-Kv3.4) display a positively shifted voltage dependence of activation and fast activation/deactivation kinetics when compared with other voltage-gated K+ channels, features that confer on Kv3 channels the ability to accelerate the repolarization of the action potential (AP) efficiently and specifically. In the cortex, the Kv3.1 and Kv3.2 proteins are expressed prominently in a subset of GABAergic interneurons known as fast-spiking (FS) cells and in fact are a significant determinant of the fast-spiking discharge pattern. However, in addition to expression at FS cell somata, Kv3.1 and Kv3.2 proteins also are expressed prominently at FS cell terminals, suggesting roles for Kv3 channels in neurotransmitter release. We investigated the effect of 1.0 mM tetraethylammonium (TEA; which blocks Kv3 channels) on inhibitory synaptic currents recorded in layer II/III neocortical pyramidal cells. Spike-evoked GABA release by FS cells was enhanced nearly twofold by 1.0 mM TEA, with a decrease in the paired pulse ratio (PPR), effects not reproduced by blockade of the non-Kv3 subfamily K+ channels also blocked by low concentrations of TEA. Moreover, in Kv3.1/Kv3.2 double knock-out (DKO) mice, the large effects of TEA were absent, spike-evoked GABA release was larger, and the PPR was lower than in wild-type mice. Together, these results suggest specific roles for Kv3 channels at FS cell terminals that are distinct from those of Kv1 and large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (also present at the FS cell synapse). We propose that at FS cell terminals synaptically localized Kv3 channels keep APs brief, limiting Ca2+ influx and hence release probability, thereby influencing synaptic depression at a synapse designed for sustained high-frequency synaptic transmission.
Petrov, Alexey M. Zakyrjanova, Guzalija F. Yakovleva, Anastasia A. Zefirov, Andrei L.
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.
Latimer, Caitlin S.; Brewer, Lawrence D.; Searcy, James L.; Chen, Kuey-Chu; Popović, Jelena; Kraner, Susan D.; Thibault, Olivier; Blalock, Eric M.; Landfield, Philip W.; Porter, Nada M.
Vitamin D is an important calcium-regulating hormone with diverse functions in numerous tissues, including the brain. Increasing evidence suggests that vitamin D may play a role in maintaining cognitive function and that vitamin D deficiency may accelerate age-related cognitive decline. Using aging rodents, we attempted to model the range of human serum vitamin D levels, from deficient to sufficient, to test whether vitamin D could preserve or improve cognitive function with aging. For 5–6 mo, middle-aged F344 rats were fed diets containing low, medium (typical amount), or high (100, 1,000, or 10,000 international units/kg diet, respectively) vitamin D3, and hippocampal-dependent learning and memory were then tested in the Morris water maze. Rats on high vitamin D achieved the highest blood levels (in the sufficient range) and significantly outperformed low and medium groups on maze reversal, a particularly challenging task that detects more subtle changes in memory. In addition to calcium-related processes, hippocampal gene expression microarrays identified pathways pertaining to synaptic transmission, cell communication, and G protein function as being up-regulated with high vitamin D. Basal synaptic transmission also was enhanced, corroborating observed effects on gene expression and learning and memory. Our studies demonstrate a causal relationship between vitamin D status and cognitive function, and they suggest that vitamin D-mediated changes in hippocampal gene expression may improve the likelihood of successful brain aging. PMID:25267625
Randall, Andrew D; Kurihara, Mai; Brandon, Nicholas J; Brown, Jon T
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.
Wu, Xu; Lu, Huan; Hu, Lijuan; Gong, Wankun; Wang, Juan; Fu, Cuiping; Liu, Zilong; Li, Shanqun
Evidence has shown that hypoxic episodes elicit hypoglossal neuroplasticity which depends on elevated serotonin (5-HT), in contrast to the rationale of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that deficient serotonergic input to HMs fails to keep airway patency. Therefore, understanding of the 5-HT dynamic changes at hypoglossal nucleus (HN) during chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) will be essential to central pathogenic mechanism and pharmacological therapy of OSA. Moreover, the effect of CIH on BDNF-TrkB signaling proteins was quantiﬁed in an attempt to elucidate cellular cascades/synaptic mechanisms following 5-HT alteration. Male rats were randomly exposed to normal air (control), intermittent hypoxia of 3 weeks (IH3) and 5 weeks (IH5) groups. Through electrical stimulation of dorsal raphe nuclei (DRN), we conducted amperometric technique with carbon fiber electrode in vivo to measure the real time release of 5-HT at XII nucleus. 5-HT2A receptors immunostaining measured by intensity and c-Fos quantiﬁed visually were both determined by immunohistochemistry. CIH significantly reduced endogenous serotonergic inputs from DRN to XII nucleus, shown as decreased peak value of 5-HT signals both in IH3 and IH5groups, whereas time to peak and half-life period of 5-HT were unaffected. Neither 5-HT2A receptors nor c-Fos expression in HN were signiﬁcantly altered by CIH. Except for marked increase in phosphorylation of ERK in IH5 rats, BDNF-TrkB signaling and synaptophys consistently demonstrated downregulated levels. These results suggest that the deficiency of 5-HT and BDNF-dependent synaptic proteins in our CIH protocol contribute to the decompensated mechanism of OSA. PMID:28337282
Kantor, Gal; Cheishvili, David; Even, Aviel; Birger, Anastasya; Turetsky, Tikva; Gil, Yaniv; Even-Ram, Sharona; Aizenman, Einat; Bashir, Nibal; Maayan, Channa; Razin, Aharon; Reubinoff, Benjamim E.; Weil, Miguel
A splicing mutation in the IKBKAP gene causes Familial Dysautonomia (FD), affecting the IKAP protein expression levels and proper development and function of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Here we found new molecular insights for the IKAP role and the impact of the FD mutation in the human PNS lineage by using a novel and unique human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line homozygous to the FD mutation originated by pre implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) analysis. We found that IKBKAP downregulation during PNS differentiation affects normal migration in FD-hESC derived neural crest cells (NCC) while at later stages the PNS neurons show reduced intracellular colocalization between vesicular proteins and IKAP. Comparative wide transcriptome analysis of FD and WT hESC-derived neurons together with the analysis of human brains from FD and WT 12 weeks old embryos and experimental validation of the results confirmed that synaptic vesicular and neuronal transport genes are directly or indirectly affected by IKBKAP downregulation in FD neurons. Moreover we show that kinetin (a drug that corrects IKBKAP alternative splicing) promotes the recovery of IKAP expression and these IKAP functional associated genes identified in the study. Altogether, these results support the view that IKAP might be a vesicular like protein that might be involved in neuronal transport in hESC derived PNS neurons. This function seems to be mostly affected in FD-hESC derived PNS neurons probably reflecting some PNS neuronal dysfunction observed in FD. PMID:26437462
Lefler, Sharon; Cohen, Malkiel A; Kantor, Gal; Cheishvili, David; Even, Aviel; Birger, Anastasya; Turetsky, Tikva; Gil, Yaniv; Even-Ram, Sharona; Aizenman, Einat; Bashir, Nibal; Maayan, Channa; Razin, Aharon; Reubinoff, Benjamim E; Weil, Miguel
A splicing mutation in the IKBKAP gene causes Familial Dysautonomia (FD), affecting the IKAP protein expression levels and proper development and function of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Here we found new molecular insights for the IKAP role and the impact of the FD mutation in the human PNS lineage by using a novel and unique human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line homozygous to the FD mutation originated by pre implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) analysis. We found that IKBKAP downregulation during PNS differentiation affects normal migration in FD-hESC derived neural crest cells (NCC) while at later stages the PNS neurons show reduced intracellular colocalization between vesicular proteins and IKAP. Comparative wide transcriptome analysis of FD and WT hESC-derived neurons together with the analysis of human brains from FD and WT 12 weeks old embryos and experimental validation of the results confirmed that synaptic vesicular and neuronal transport genes are directly or indirectly affected by IKBKAP downregulation in FD neurons. Moreover we show that kinetin (a drug that corrects IKBKAP alternative splicing) promotes the recovery of IKAP expression and these IKAP functional associated genes identified in the study. Altogether, these results support the view that IKAP might be a vesicular like protein that might be involved in neuronal transport in hESC derived PNS neurons. This function seems to be mostly affected in FD-hESC derived PNS neurons probably reflecting some PNS neuronal dysfunction observed in FD.
Mendoza, E; Miranda-Barrientos, J A; Vázquez-Roque, R A; Morales-Herrera, E; Ruelas, A; De la Rosa, G; Flores, G; Hernández-Echeagaray, E
Experimental evidence has revealed the role of mitochondria in various aspects of neuronal physiology. Mitochondrial failure results in alterations that underlie the pathogeneses of many neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP) has been used to model failure; for example, systemic administration of 3-NP imitates the striatal degeneration that is exhibited in the postmortem tissue of patients afflicted with HD. We have demonstrated that low, sub-chronic doses of 3-NP are sufficient to initiate the damage to striatal neurons that is associated with changes in neurotrophin expression levels. However, the mechanisms underlying the alterations in neuronal activity and neurotransmission due to 3-NP-induced mitochondrial dysfunction remain to be elucidated. In this paper, we focus on how corticostriatal transmission and its modulation by neurotrophins are altered in vivo after 5 days of mitochondrial inhibition with 3-NP. Recordings of population spikes and a paired pulse (PP) stimulation protocol were used to document changes in corticostriatal synapses in 3-NP-treated brain slices. The corticostriatal synapses were modulated by neurotrophins but displayed differential amplitude increases in the presence of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), or neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4/5) under control conditions. Neurotrophin-mediated synaptic modulation was decreased in slices from 3-NP-treated mice. The protein and mRNA levels of neurotrophins and their receptors were also modified in the 3-NP-treated tissue. Neuronal structural evaluation demonstrated that synaptic length and density were reduced in the 3-NP-treated mice, which partially explained the changes in the amplitudes of the synaptic field responses. Our results demonstrate that corticostriatal synapses are differentially modulated by neurotrophins
Madeo, Marianna; Kovács, Attila D; Pearce, David A
SV2A is a synaptic vesicle membrane protein expressed in neurons and endocrine cells and involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release. Although the exact function of SV2A still remains elusive, it was identified as the specific binding site for levetiracetam, a second generation antiepileptic drug. Our sequence analysis demonstrates that SV2A has significant homology with several yeast transport proteins belonging to the major facilitator superfamily (MFS). Many of these transporters are involved in sugar transport into yeast cells. Here we present evidence showing, for the first time, that SV2A is a galactose transporter. We expressed human SV2A in hexose transport-deficient EBY.VW4000 yeast cells and demonstrated that these cells are able to grow on galactose-containing medium but not on other fermentable carbon sources. Furthermore, the addition of the SV2A-binding antiepileptic drug levetiracetam to the medium inhibited the galactose-dependent growth of hexose transport-deficient EBY.VW4000 yeast cells expressing human SV2A. Most importantly, direct measurement of galactose uptake in the same strain verified that SV2A is able to transport extracellular galactose inside the cells. The newly identified galactose transport capability of SV2A may have an important role in regulating/modulating synaptic function.
Badin, Antoine-Scott; Fermani, Francesco; Greenfield, Susan A.
“Neuronal assemblies” are defined here as coalitions within the brain of millions of neurons extending in space up to 1–2 mm, and lasting for hundreds of milliseconds: as such they could potentially link bottom-up, micro-scale with top-down, macro-scale events. The perspective first compares the features in vitro versus in vivo of this underappreciated “meso-scale” level of brain processing, secondly considers the various diverse functions in which assemblies may play a pivotal part, and thirdly analyses whether the surprisingly spatially extensive and prolonged temporal properties of assemblies can be described exclusively in terms of classic synaptic transmission or whether additional, different types of signaling systems are likely to operate. Based on our own voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSDI) data acquired in vitro we show how restriction to only one signaling process, i.e., synaptic transmission, is unlikely to be adequate for modeling the full profile of assemblies. Based on observations from VSDI with its protracted spatio-temporal scales, we suggest that two other, distinct processes are likely to play a significant role in assembly dynamics: “volume” transmission (the passive diffusion of diverse bioactive transmitters, hormones, and modulators), as well as electrotonic spread via gap junctions. We hypothesize that a combination of all three processes has the greatest potential for deriving a realistic model of assemblies and hence elucidating the various complex brain functions that they may mediate. PMID:28119576
Perez-Alcazar, Marta; Daborg, Jonny; Stokowska, Anna; Wasling, Pontus; Björefeldt, Andreas; Kalm, Marie; Zetterberg, Henrik; Carlström, Karl E; Blomgren, Klas; Ekdahl, Christine T; Hanse, Eric; Pekna, Marcela
Previous work implicated the complement system in adult neurogenesis as well as elimination of synapses in the developing and injured CNS. In the present study, we used mice lacking the third complement component (C3) to elucidate the role the complement system plays in hippocampus-dependent learning and synaptic function. We found that the constitutive absence of C3 is associated with enhanced place and reversal learning in adult mice. Our findings of lower release probability at CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapses in combination with unaltered overall efficacy of these synapses in C3 deficient mice implicate C3 as a negative regulator of the number of functional glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampus. The C3 deficient mice showed no signs of spontaneous epileptiform activity in the hippocampus. We conclude that C3 plays a role in the regulation of the number and function of glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampus and exerts negative effects on hippocampus-dependent cognitive performance.
Um, Ji Won
Postsynaptic scaffolding proteins interact with numerous synaptic proteins to ensure the organization and specialization of functional excitatory and inhibitory synapses. IQSECs (IQ motif and SEC7 domain-containing proteins) are a class of ADP ribosylation factor-guanine nucleotide exchange factors (ARF-GEFs), whose functions are beginning to be understood as both scaffolding and signaling proteins. Specifically, IQSEC1 binds to PSD-95, and IQSEC2 functions as a regulator of AMPA receptor trafficking at excitatory synapses, whereas IQSEC3 interacts with gephyrin to promote inhibitory synapse development. Here, I review the currently known findings on IQSECs and discuss the possible relations between dysfunctions of IQSECs and the pathophysiology of brain disorders.
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
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
Wiese, Mary; Antebi, Adam; Zheng, Hui
Background Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder primarily characterized by the deposition of β-amyloid plaques in the brain. Plaques are composed of the amyloid-β peptide derived from cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Mutations in APP lead to the development of Familial Alzheimer's Disease (FAD), however, the normal function of this protein has proven elusive. The organism Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model as the amyloid precursor-like protein (APL-1) is the single ortholog of APP, and loss of apl-1 leads to a severe molting defect and early larval lethality. Methodology/Principal Findings We report here that lethality and molting can be rescued by full length APL-1, C-terminal mutations as well as a C-terminal truncation, suggesting that the extracellular region of the protein is essential for viability. RNAi knock-down of apl-1 followed by drug testing on the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb showed that loss of apl-1 leads to aldicarb hypersensitivity, indicating a defect in synaptic function. The aldicarb hypersensitivity can be rescued by full length APL-1 in a dose dependent fashion. At the cellular level, kinesins UNC-104/KIF-1A and UNC-116/kinesin-1 are positive regulators of APL-1 expression in the neurons. Knock-down of the small GTPase rab-5 also leads to a dramatic decrease in the amount of apl-1 expression in neurons, suggesting that trafficking from the plasma membrane to the early endosome is important for apl-1 function. Loss of function of a different small GTPase, UNC-108, on the contrary, leads to the retention of APL-1 in the cell body. Conclusions/Significance Our results reveal novel insights into the intracellular trafficking of APL-1 and we report a functional role for APL-1 in synaptic transmission. PMID:20862215
Valera, Antoine M; Binda, Francesca; Pawlowski, Sophie A; Dupont, Jean-Luc; Casella, Jean-François; Rothstein, Jeffrey D; Poulain, Bernard; Isope, Philippe
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
Frank, Christopher L.; Tsai, Li-Huei
Recent studies have demonstrated that boundaries separating a cycling cell from a post-mitotic neuron are not as concrete as expected. Novel and unique physiological functions in neurons have been ascribed for proteins fundamentally required for cell cycle progression and control. These “core” cell cycle regulators serve diverse post-mitotic functions that span various developmental stages of a neuron, including neuronal migration, axonal elongation, axon pruning, dendrite morphogenesis, and synaptic maturation and plasticity. In this review, we detail the non-proliferative post-mitotic roles that these cell cycle proteins have recently been reported to play, the significance of their expression in neurons, mechanistic insight when available, and future prospects. PMID:19447088
Berryer, Martin H; Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Xing, Paul; Riebe, Ilse; Bosoi, Ciprian; Sanon, Nathalie; Antoine-Bertrand, Judith; Lévesque, Maxime; Avoli, Massimo; Hamdan, Fadi F; Carmant, Lionel; Lamarche-Vane, Nathalie; Lacaille, Jean-Claude; Michaud, Jacques L; Di Cristo, Graziella
Haploinsufficiency of the SYNGAP1 gene, which codes for a Ras GTPase-activating protein, impairs cognition both in humans and in mice. Decrease of Syngap1 in mice has been previously shown to cause cognitive deficits at least in part by inducing alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission and premature maturation of excitatory connections. Whether Syngap1 plays a role in the development of cortical GABAergic connectivity and function remains unclear. Here, we show that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency significantly reduces the formation of perisomatic innervations by parvalbumin-positive basket cells, a major population of GABAergic neurons, in a cell-autonomous manner. We further show that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency in GABAergic cells derived from the medial ganglionic eminence impairs their connectivity, reduces inhibitory synaptic activity and cortical gamma oscillation power, and causes cognitive deficits. Our results indicate that Syngap1 plays a critical role in GABAergic circuit function and further suggest that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency in GABAergic circuits may contribute to cognitive deficits.
Eastwood, S L; Harrison, P J
Synaptic protein gene expression is altered in schizophrenia. In the hippocampal formation there may be particular involvement of glutamatergic neurons and their synapses, but overall the profile remains unclear. In this in situ hybridization histochemistry (ISHH) study, we examined four informative synaptic protein transcripts: vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) 1, VGLUT2, complexin I, and complexin II, in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DPFC), superior temporal cortex (STC), and hippocampal formation, in 13 subjects with schizophrenia and 18 controls. In these areas, VGLUT1 and complexin II are expressed primarily by excitatory neurons, whereas complexin I is mainly expressed by inhibitory neurons. In schizophrenia, VGLUT1 mRNA was decreased in hippocampal formation and DPFC, complexin II mRNA was reduced in DPFC and STC, and complexin I mRNA decreased in STC. Hippocampal VGLUT1 mRNA declined with age selectively in the schizophrenia group. VGLUT2 mRNA was not quantifiable due to its low level. The data provide additional evidence for a synaptic pathology in schizophrenia, in terms of a reduced expression of three synaptic protein genes. In the hippocampus, the loss of VGLUT1 mRNA supports data indicating that glutamatergic presynaptic deficits are prominent, whereas the pattern of results in temporal and frontal cortex suggests broadly similar changes may affect inhibitory and excitatory neurons. The impairment of synaptic transmission implied by the synaptic protein reductions may contribute to the dysfunction of cortical neural circuits that characterises the disorder.
Neuillé, Marion; Cao, Yan; Caplette, Romain; Guerrero-Given, Debbie; Thomas, Connon; Kamasawa, Naomi; Sahel, José-Alain; Hamel, Christian P.; Audo, Isabelle; Picaud, Serge; Martemyanov, Kirill A.; Zeitz, Christina
Purpose Mutations in LRIT3 lead to complete congenital stationary night blindness (cCSNB). Using a cCSNB mouse model lacking Lrit3 (nob6), we recently have shown that LRIT3 has a role in the correct localization of TRPM1 (transient receptor potential melastatin 1) to the dendritic tips of ON-bipolar cells (BCs), contacting both rod and cone photoreceptors. Furthermore, postsynaptic clustering of other mGluR6 cascade components is selectively eliminated at the dendritic tips of cone ON-BCs. The purpose of this study was to further define the role of LRIT3 in structural and functional organization of cone synapses. Methods Exhaustive electroretinogram analysis was performed in a patient with LRIT3 mutations. Multielectrode array recordings were performed at the level of retinal ganglion cells in nob6 mice. Targeting of GluR1 and GluR5 at the dendritic tips of OFF-BCs in nob6 retinas was assessed by immunostaining and confocal microscopy. The ultrastructure of photoreceptor synapses was evaluated by electron microscopy in nob6 mice. Results The patient with LRIT3 mutations had a selective ON-BC dysfunction with relatively preserved OFF-BC responses. In nob6 mice, complete lack of ON-pathway function with robust, yet altered signaling processing in OFF-pathways was detected. Consistent with these observations, molecules essential for the OFF-BC signaling were normally targeted to the synapse. Finally, synaptic contacts made by ON-BC but not OFF-BC neurons with the cone pedicles were disorganized without ultrastructural alterations in cone terminals, horizontal cell processes, or synaptic ribbons. Conclusions These results suggest that LRIT3 is likely involved in coordination of the transsynaptic communication between cones and ON-BCs during synapse formation and function. PMID:28334377
Draganich, Christina; Erdal, Kristi
The placebo effect is any outcome that is not attributed to a specific treatment but rather to an individual's mindset (Benson & Friedman, 1996). This phenomenon can extend beyond its typical use in pharmaceutical drugs to involve aspects of everyday life, such as the effect of sleep on cognitive functioning. In 2 studies examining whether…
Kvetny, J; Wilms, L; Pedersen, P L; Larsen, J
The aim of the present study was to examine mitochondrial function in cells from persons with subclinical hypothyroidism and euthyroid controls. The participating persons were examined clinically and had basal oxygen consumption (VO(2)) determined. The concentrations of thyroid hormones and thyrotropine stimulating hormone were determined, and mitochondrial function in isolated mononuclear blood cells was examined by enzymatic methods [citrate synthase activity (CS)] and by flow cytometry (mitochondrial membrane potential by TMRM fluorescence and mitochondrial mass by MTG fluorescence). The ratio of T(4)/T(3) was lowered in subclinical hypothyroidism patients compared to controls (2.5+/-0.5 vs. 2.9+/-0.4, p=0.005). VO(2) was increased in persons with subclinical hypothyroidism compared to controls (adolescents: 134+/-27 ml O(2)/min*m(2) vs. 119+/-27 ml O(2)/min*m(2), p=0.006, adults: 139+/-14 ml O(2)/min*m(2) vs. 121+/-17 ml O(2)/min*m(2), p=0.001). The mitochondrial function, represented by citrate synthase activity, MTG, and TMRM fluorescence were all increased (CS in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 0.074+/-0.044 nmol/mg*min vs. 0.056+/-0.021 nmol/mg*min, p=0.005; MTG fluorescence in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 7,482+/-1,733 a.u. vs. 6,391+/-2,171 a.u., p=0.027; TMRM fluorescence in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 13,449+/-3,807 a.u. vs. 11,733+/-4,473 a.u, p=0.04). Our results indicate an increased mitochondrial stimulation, eventually caused by increased deiodination of T(4) to intracellular bioactive iodothyronines in adults and adolescents with subclinical hypothyroidism.
Gault, V A; Porter, W D; Flatt, P R; Hölscher, C
High-calorie diet has been shown to impair learning ability and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rodents. This study examined effects of daily treatment with the glucagon-like peptide-1 mimetic, exendin-4, on cognitive function and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a model of diet-induced obesity, which exhibits compromised cognitive performance. Mice fed a high-fat diet were treated with exendin-4 (25 nmol kg(-1) bodyweight; twice daily) or saline vehicle (0.9% (w/v) NaCl) over 21 days. In addition to improving metabolic control, exendin-4-treated mice exhibited a marked increase in recognition index highlighting improved learning and memory. High-fat diet resulted in the elimination of in vivo electrophysiological long-term potentiation, which was rescued following exendin-4 treatment. This study shows that exendin-4 therapy improves cognitive function and ameliorates impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity in dietary-induced obesity.
Curti, Sebastian; Pereda, Alberto E.
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
Etlin, Alex; Bráz, Joao M.; Kuhn, Julia A.; Wang, Xidao; Hamel, Katherine A.; Llewellyn-Smith, Ida J.
Spinal cord transplants of embryonic cortical GABAergic progenitor cells derived from the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) can reverse mechanical hypersensitivity in the mouse models of peripheral nerve injury- and paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain. Here, we used electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy to examine the extent to which MGE cells integrate into host circuitry and recapitulate endogenous inhibitory circuits. Whether the transplants were performed before or after nerve injury, the MGE cells developed into mature neurons and exhibited firing patterns characteristic of subpopulations of cortical and spinal cord inhibitory interneurons. Conversely, the transplanted cells preserved cortical morphological and neurochemical properties. We also observed a robust anatomical and functional synaptic integration of the transplanted cells into host circuitry in both injured and uninjured animals. The MGE cells were activated by primary afferents, including TRPV1-expressing nociceptors, and formed GABAergic, bicuculline-sensitive, synapses onto host neurons. Unexpectedly, MGE cells transplanted before injury prevented the development of mechanical hypersensitivity. Together, our findings provide direct confirmation of an extensive, functional synaptic integration of MGE cells into host spinal cord circuits. This integration underlies normalization of the dorsal horn inhibitory tone after injury and may be responsible for the prophylactic effect of preinjury transplants. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Spinal cord transplants of embryonic cortical GABAergic interneuron progenitors from the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE), can overcome the mechanical hypersensitivity produced in different neuropathic pain models in adult mice. Here, we examined the properties of transplanted MGE cells and the extent to which they integrate into spinal cord circuitry. Using electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy, we demonstrate that MGE cells
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
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
Föcking, M; Dicker, P; Lopez, L M; Hryniewiecka, M; Wynne, K; English, J A; Cagney, G; Cotter, D R
The postsynaptic density (PSD) contains a complex set of proteins of known relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We enriched for this anatomical structure in the anterior cingulate cortex of 16 bipolar disorder samples and 20 controls from the Stanley Medical Research Institute. Unbiased shotgun proteomics incorporating label-free quantitation was used to identify differentially expressed proteins. Quantitative investigation of the PSD identified 2033 proteins, among which 288 were found to be differentially expressed. Validation of expression changes of DNM1, DTNA, NDUFV2, SEPT11 and SSBP was performed by western blotting. Bioinformatics analysis of the differentially expressed proteins implicated metabolic pathways including mitochondrial function, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, protein translation and calcium signaling. The data implicate PSD-associated proteins, and specifically mitochondrial function in bipolar disorder. They relate synaptic function in bipolar disorder and the energy pathways that underpin it. Overall, our findings add to a growing literature linking the PSD and mitochondrial function in psychiatric disorders generally, and suggest that mitochondrial function associated with the PSD is particularly important in bipolar disorder. PMID:27898073
Roux, Isabelle; Wersinger, Eric; McIntosh, J. Michael; Fuchs, Paul A.; Glowatzki, Elisabeth
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
Pang, Zhiping P; Han, Weiping
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.
Paulin, Joshua J. W.; Haslehurst, Peter; Fellows, Alexander D.; Liu, Wenfei; Jackson, Joshua D.; Joel, Zelah; Cummings, Damian M.; Edwards, Frances A.
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
Astorga, César; Jorquera, Ramón A.; Ramírez, Mauricio; Kohler, Andrés; López, Estefanía; Delgado, Ricardo; Córdova, Alex; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena
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
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
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.
Liu, Huisheng; Bai, Hua; Hui, Enfu; Yang, Lu; Evans, Chantell S; Wang, Zhao; Kwon, Sung E; Chapman, Edwin R
Synaptotagmin (syt) 7 is one of three syt isoforms found in all metazoans; it is ubiquitously expressed, yet its function in neurons remains obscure. Here, we resolved Ca(2+)-dependent and Ca(2+)-independent synaptic vesicle (SV) replenishment pathways, and found that syt 7 plays a selective and critical role in the Ca(2+)-dependent pathway. Mutations that disrupt Ca(2+)-binding to syt 7 abolish this function, suggesting that syt 7 functions as a Ca(2+)-sensor for replenishment. The Ca(2+)-binding protein calmodulin (CaM) has also been implicated in SV replenishment, and we found that loss of syt 7 was phenocopied by a CaM antagonist. Moreover, we discovered that syt 7 binds to CaM in a highly specific and Ca(2+)-dependent manner; this interaction requires intact Ca(2+)-binding sites within syt 7. Together, these data indicate that a complex of two conserved Ca(2+)-binding proteins, syt 7 and CaM, serve as a key regulator of SV replenishment in presynaptic nerve terminals. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01524.001.
Hanson, Jesse E; La, Hank; Plise, Emile; Chen, Yung-Hsiang; Ding, Xiao; Hanania, Taleen; Sabath, Emily V; Alexandrov, Vadim; Brunner, Dani; Leahy, Emer; Steiner, Pascal; Liu, Lichuan; Scearce-Levie, Kimberly; Zhou, Qiang
Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) is an inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs) used for the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) and under consideration for other indications. In vivo studies suggest reducing HDAC function can enhance synaptic function and memory, raising the possibility that SAHA treatment could have neurological benefits. We first examined the impacts of SAHA on synaptic function in vitro using rat organotypic hippocampal brain slices. Following several days of SAHA treatment, basal excitatory but not inhibitory synaptic function was enhanced. Presynaptic release probability and intrinsic neuronal excitability were unaffected suggesting SAHA treatment selectively enhanced postsynaptic excitatory function. In addition, long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory synapses was augmented, while long-term depression (LTD) was impaired in SAHA treated slices. Despite the in vitro synaptic enhancements, in vivo SAHA treatment did not rescue memory deficits in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Along with the lack of behavioral impact, pharmacokinetic analysis indicated poor brain availability of SAHA. Broader assessment of in vivo SAHA treatment using high-content phenotypic characterization of C57Bl6 mice failed to demonstrate significant behavioral effects of up to 150 mg/kg SAHA following either acute or chronic injections. Potentially explaining the low brain exposure and lack of behavioral impacts, SAHA was found to be a substrate of the blood brain barrier (BBB) efflux transporters Pgp and Bcrp1. Thus while our in vitro data show that HDAC inhibition can enhance excitatory synaptic strength and potentiation, our in vivo data suggests limited brain availability may contribute to the lack of behavioral impact of SAHA following peripheral delivery. These results do not predict CNS effects of SAHA during clinical use and also emphasize the importance of analyzing brain drug levels when interpreting preclinical
Berryer, Martin H.; Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Xing, Paul; Riebe, Ilse; Bosoi, Ciprian; Sanon, Nathalie; Antoine-Bertrand, Judith; Lévesque, Maxime; Avoli, Massimo; Hamdan, Fadi F.; Carmant, Lionel; Lamarche-Vane, Nathalie; Lacaille, Jean-Claude; Michaud, Jacques L.; Di Cristo, Graziella
Haploinsufficiency of the SYNGAP1 gene, which codes for a Ras GTPase-activating protein, impairs cognition both in humans and in mice. Decrease of Syngap1 in mice has been previously shown to cause cognitive deficits at least in part by inducing alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission and premature maturation of excitatory connections. Whether Syngap1 plays a role in the development of cortical GABAergic connectivity and function remains unclear. Here, we show that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency significantly reduces the formation of perisomatic innervations by parvalbumin-positive basket cells, a major population of GABAergic neurons, in a cell-autonomous manner. We further show that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency in GABAergic cells derived from the medial ganglionic eminence impairs their connectivity, reduces inhibitory synaptic activity and cortical gamma oscillation power, and causes cognitive deficits. Our results indicate that Syngap1 plays a critical role in GABAergic circuit function and further suggest that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency in GABAergic circuits may contribute to cognitive deficits. PMID:27827368
Bocarsly, Miriam E.; Fasolino, Maria; Kane, Gary A.; LaMarca, Elizabeth A.; Kirschen, Gregory W.; Karatsoreos, Ilia N.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Gould, Elizabeth
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
Martins-de-Souza, Daniel; Guest, Paul C; Vanattou-Saifoudine, Natacha; Rahmoune, Hassan; Bahn, Sabine
There is still a lack in the molecular comprehension of major depressive disorder (MDD) although this condition affects approximately 10% of the world population. Protein phosphorylation is a posttranslational modification that regulates approximately one-third of the human proteins involved in a range of cellular and biological processes such as cellular signaling. Whereas phosphoproteome studies have been carried out extensively in cancer research, few such investigations have been carried out in studies of psychiatric disorders. Here, we present a comparative phosphoproteome analysis of postmortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex tissues from 24 MDD patients and 12 control donors. Tissue extracts were analyzed using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry in a data-independent manner (LC-MS(E)). Our analyses resulted in the identification of 5,195 phosphopeptides, corresponding to 802 non-redundant proteins. Ninety of these proteins showed differential levels of phosphorylation in tissues from MDD subjects compared to controls, being 20 differentially phosphorylated in at least 2 peptides. The majority of these phosphorylated proteins were associated with synaptic transmission and cellular architecture not only pointing out potential biomarker candidates but mainly shedding light to the comprehension of MDD pathobiology.
Sasaki-Hamada, Sachie; Hojo, Yuki; Koyama, Hajime; Otsuka, Hayuma; Oka, Jun-Ichiro
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.
Hagena, Hardy; Hansen, Niels; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise
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.
Hagena, Hardy; Hansen, Niels; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise
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
CASK, which belongs to the family of membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) proteins, is recognized as a multidomain scaffolding protein highly expressed in the mammalian nervous system. MAGUK proteins generally target to neuronal synapses and regulate trafficking, targeting, and signaling of ion channels. However, CASK is a unique MAGUK protein in several respects. It not only plays a role in synaptic protein targeting but also contributes to neural development and regulation of gene expression. Several CASK-interacting proteins have been identified from yeast two-hybrid screening and biochemical isolation. These proteins, whose interactions with CASK are reviewed here, include the Parkinson's disease molecule parkin, the adhesion molecule neurexin, syndecans, calcium channel proteins, the cytoplasmic adaptor protein Mint1, Veli/mLIN-7/MALS, SAP97, caskin and CIP98, transcription factor Tbr-1, and nucleosome assembly protein CINAP. More important, CASK may form different complexes with different binding partners and perform different functions. Among these interactions, CASK, Tbr-1, and CINAP can form a transcriptional complex regulating gene expression. Reelin and NMDAR subunit 2b (NR2b) genes have been identified as Tbr-1 target genes. Reelin is critical for neural development. NR2b is an important subunit of NMDAR, which plays important roles in neural function and neurological diseases. Regulation of reelin and NR2b expression suggests the potential roles of the Tbr-1-CASK-CINAP complex in neural activity, development, and disease. The functions of these CASK protein complexes are also discussed in detail in this review.
Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique
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 . 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 . Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 . 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 . He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the
Rotschafer, Sarah E.; Marshak, Sonya; Cramer, Karina S.
Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), a neurodevelopmental disorder, is the most prevalent single-gene cause of autism spectrum disorder. Autism has been associated with impaired auditory processing, abnormalities in the auditory brainstem response (ABR), and reduced cell number and size in the auditory brainstem nuclei. FXS is characterized by elevated cortical responses to sound stimuli, with some evidence for aberrant ABRs. Here, we assessed ABRs and auditory brainstem anatomy in Fmr1-/- mice, an animal model of FXS. We found that Fmr1-/- mice showed elevated response thresholds to both click and tone stimuli. Amplitudes of ABR responses were reduced in Fmr1-/- mice for early peaks of the ABR. The growth of the peak I response with sound intensity was less steep in mutants that in wild type mice. In contrast, amplitudes and response growth in peaks IV and V did not differ between these groups. We did not observe differences in peak latencies or in interpeak latencies. Cell size was reduced in Fmr1-/- mice in the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) and in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB). We quantified levels of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic inputs in these nuclei using markers for presynaptic proteins. We measured VGAT and VGLUT immunolabeling in VCN, MNTB, and the lateral superior olive (LSO). VGAT expression in MNTB was significantly greater in the Fmr1-/- mouse than in wild type mice. Together, these observations demonstrate that FXS affects peripheral and central aspects of hearing and alters the balance of excitation and inhibition in the auditory brainstem. PMID:25679778
Foroushani, Armin Najarpour; Ghafar-Zadeh, Ebrahim
This paper presents a new unified computational-experimental approach to study the role of the synaptic activity on the activity of neurons in the small neuronal networks (NNs). In a neuronal tissue/organ, this question is investigated with higher complexities by recording action potentials from population of neurons in order to find the relationship between connectivity and the recorded activities. In this approach, we study the dynamics of very small cortical neuronal networks, which can be experimentally synthesized on chip with constrained connectivity. Multi-compartmental Hodgkin-Huxley model is used in NEURON software to reproduce cells by extracting the experimental data from the synthesized NNs. We thereafter demonstrate how the type of synaptic activity affects the network response to specific spike train using the simulation results.
Giachello, Carlo Natale Giuseppe; Premoselli, Federica; Montarolo, Pier Giorgio; Ghirardi, Mirella
Epileptic activity is generally induced in experimental models by local application of epileptogenic drugs, including pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), widely used on both vertebrate and invertebrate neurons. Despite the high prevalence of this neurological disorder and the extensive research on it, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis still remain unclear. In this work, we examined PTZ-induced neuronal changes in Helix monosynaptic circuits formed in vitro, as a simpler experimental model to investigate the effects of epileptiform activity on both basal release and post-tetanic potentiation (PTP), a form of short-term plasticity. We observed a significant enhancement of basal synaptic strength, with kinetics resembling those of previously described use-dependent forms of plasticity, determined by changes in estimated quantal parameters, such as the readily releasable pool and the release probability. Moreover, these neurons exhibited a strong reduction in PTP expression and in its decay time constant, suggesting an impairment in the dynamic reorganization of synaptic vesicle pools following prolonged stimulation of synaptic transmission. In order to explain this imbalance, we determined whether epileptic activity is related to the phosphorylation level of synapsin, which is known to modulate synaptic plasticity. Using western blot and immunocytochemical staining we found a PTZ-dependent increase in synapsin phosphorylation at both PKA/CaMKI/IV and MAPK/Erk sites, both of which are important for modulating synaptic plasticity. Taken together, our findings suggest that prolonged epileptiform activity leads to an increase in the synapsin phosphorylation status, thereby contributing to an alteration of synaptic strength in both basal condition and tetanus-induced potentiation. PMID:23437283
Ludewig, Susann; Korte, Martin
The amyloid precursor protein (APP) is well known to be involved in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) via its cleavage product amyloid ß (Aß). However, the physiological role of APP, its various proteolytic products and the amyloid precursor-like proteins 1 and 2 (APLP1/2) are still not fully clarified. Interestingly, it has been shown that learning and memory processes represented by functional and structural changes at synapses are altered in different APP and APLP1/2 mouse mutants. In addition, APP and its fragments are implicated in regulating synaptic strength further reinforcing their modulatory role at the synapse. While APLP2 and APP are functionally redundant, the exclusively CNS expressed APLP1, might have individual roles within the synaptic network. The proteolytic product of non-amyloidogenic APP processing, APPsα, emerged as a neurotrophic peptide that facilitates long-term potentiation (LTP) and restores impairments occurring with age. Interestingly, the newly discovered η-secretase cleavage product, An-α acts in the opposite direction, namely decreasing LTP. In this review we summarize recent findings with emphasis on the physiological role of the APP gene family and its proteolytic products on synaptic function and plasticity, especially during processes of hippocampal LTP. Therefore, we focus on literature that provide electrophysiological data by using different mutant mouse strains either lacking full-length or parts of the APP proteins or that utilized secretase inhibitors as well as secreted APP fragments.
Ludewig, Susann; Korte, Martin
The amyloid precursor protein (APP) is well known to be involved in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) via its cleavage product amyloid ß (Aß). However, the physiological role of APP, its various proteolytic products and the amyloid precursor-like proteins 1 and 2 (APLP1/2) are still not fully clarified. Interestingly, it has been shown that learning and memory processes represented by functional and structural changes at synapses are altered in different APP and APLP1/2 mouse mutants. In addition, APP and its fragments are implicated in regulating synaptic strength further reinforcing their modulatory role at the synapse. While APLP2 and APP are functionally redundant, the exclusively CNS expressed APLP1, might have individual roles within the synaptic network. The proteolytic product of non-amyloidogenic APP processing, APPsα, emerged as a neurotrophic peptide that facilitates long-term potentiation (LTP) and restores impairments occurring with age. Interestingly, the newly discovered η-secretase cleavage product, An-α acts in the opposite direction, namely decreasing LTP. In this review we summarize recent findings with emphasis on the physiological role of the APP gene family and its proteolytic products on synaptic function and plasticity, especially during processes of hippocampal LTP. Therefore, we focus on literature that provide electrophysiological data by using different mutant mouse strains either lacking full-length or parts of the APP proteins or that utilized secretase inhibitors as well as secreted APP fragments. PMID:28163673
Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P.; Liu, P.; Hu, S. G.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, Q.; Lee, P. S.
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.
Kim, Sei Eun; Lee, Seul Yi; Blanco, Cynthia L.
The human fetus starts to hear and undergoes major developmental changes in the auditory system during the third trimester of pregnancy. Although there are significant data regarding development of the auditory system in rodents, changes in intrinsic properties and synaptic function of auditory neurons in developing primate brain at hearing onset are poorly understood. We performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of principal neurons in the medial nucleus of trapezoid body (MNTB) in preterm and term baboon brainstem slices to study the structural and functional maturation of auditory synapses. Each MNTB principal neuron received an excitatory input from a single calyx of Held terminal, and this one-to-one pattern of innervation was already formed in preterm baboons delivered at 67% of normal gestation. There was no difference in frequency or amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic synaptic currents between preterm and term MNTB neurons. In contrast, the frequency of spontaneous GABAA/glycine receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic synaptic currents, which were prevalent in preterm MNTB neurons, was significantly reduced in term MNTB neurons. Preterm MNTB neurons had a higher input resistance than term neurons and fired in bursts, whereas term MNTB neurons fired a single action potential in response to suprathreshold current injection. The maturation of intrinsic properties and dominance of excitatory inputs in the primate MNTB allow it to take on its mature role as a fast and reliable relay synapse. PMID:25143619
Zeier, Z; Kumar, A; Bodhinathan, K; Feller, J A; Foster, T C; Bloom, D C
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by a mutation that silences the fragile X mental retardation gene (FMR1), which encodes the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). To determine whether FMRP replacement can rescue phenotypic deficits in a fmr1-knockout (KO) mouse model of FXS, we constructed an adeno-associated virus-based viral vector that expresses the major central nervous system (CNS) isoform of FMRP. Using this vector, we tested whether FMRP replacement could rescue the fmr1-KO phenotype of enhanced long-term depression (LTD), a form of synaptic plasticity that may be linked to cognitive impairments associated with FXS. Extracellular excitatory postsynaptic field potentials were recorded from CA3-CA1 synaptic contacts in hippocampal slices from wild-type (WT) and fmr1-KO mice in the presence of AP-5 and anisomycin. Paired-pulse low-frequency stimulation (PP-LFS)-induced LTD is enhanced in slices obtained from fmr1 KO compared with WT mice. Analyses of hippocampal synaptic function in fmr1-KO mice that received hippocampal injections of vector showed that the PP-LFS-induced LTD was restored to WT levels. These results indicate that expression of the major CNS isoform of FMRP alone is sufficient to rescue this phenotype and suggest that post-developmental protein replacement may have the potential to improve cognitive function in FXS.
Chang, Karen T; Min, Kyung-Tai
At the neuronal level of Down syndrome (DS) brains, there are evidences of altered shape, number, and density of synapses, as well as aberrant endocytosis associated with accumulation of enlarged endosomes, suggesting that proteins involved in synaptic vesicle recycling may play key roles in DS neurons. However, the exact mechanism underlying those anomalies is not well understood. We hypothesize that overexpression of three genes, dap160/itsn1, synj/synj1, and nla/dscr1, located on human chromosome 21 play important roles in DS neurons. Here, we systematically investigate the effects of multiple gene overexpression on synaptic morphology and endocytosis to identify possible dominant gene or genes. We found that overexpression of individual genes lead to abnormal synaptic morphology, but all three genes are necessary to cause impaired vesicle recycling and affect locomotor vigor. Furthermore, we report that dap160 overexpression alters the subcellular distribution of synaptojanin, and overexpression of nla regulates the phosphoinositol 5' phosphatase activity of synaptojanin. These findings imply that restoring the level of any one of these genes may reduce endocytic defects seen in DS.
Chang, Karen T.; Min, Kyung-Tai
At the neuronal level of Down syndrome (DS) brains, there are evidences of altered shape, number, and density of synapses, as well as aberrant endocytosis associated with accumulation of enlarged endosomes, suggesting that proteins involved in synaptic vesicle recycling may play key roles in DS neurons. However, the exact mechanism underlying those anomalies is not well understood. We hypothesize that overexpression of three genes, dap160/itsn1, synj/synj1, and nla/dscr1, located on human chromosome 21 play important roles in DS neurons. Here, we systematically investigate the effects of multiple gene overexpression on synaptic morphology and endocytosis to identify possible dominant gene or genes. We found that overexpression of individual genes lead to abnormal synaptic morphology, but all three genes are necessary to cause impaired vesicle recycling and affect locomotor vigor. Furthermore, we report that dap160 overexpression alters the subcellular distribution of synaptojanin, and overexpression of nla regulates the phosphoinositol 5′ phosphatase activity of synaptojanin. These findings imply that restoring the level of any one of these genes may reduce endocytic defects seen in DS. PMID:19805187
Feng, Guoping; Krejci, Eric; Molgo, Jordi; Cunningham, Jeanette M.; Massoulié, Jean; Sanes, Joshua R.
Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) occurs in both asymmetric forms, covalently associated with a collagenous subunit called Q (ColQ), and globular forms that may be either soluble or membrane associated. At the skeletal neuromuscular junction, asymmetric AChE is anchored to the basal lamina of the synaptic cleft, where it hydrolyzes acetylcholine to terminate synaptic transmission. AChE has also been hypothesized to play developmental roles in the nervous system, and ColQ is also expressed in some AChE-poor tissues. To seek roles of ColQ and AChE at synapses and elsewhere, we generated ColQ-deficient mutant mice. ColQ−/− mice completely lacked asymmetric AChE in skeletal and cardiac muscles and brain; they also lacked asymmetric forms of the AChE homologue, butyrylcholinesterase. Thus, products of the ColQ gene are required for assembly of all detectable asymmetric AChE and butyrylcholinesterase. Surprisingly, globular AChE tetramers were also absent from neonatal ColQ−/− muscles, suggesting a role for the ColQ gene in assembly or stabilization of AChE forms that do not themselves contain a collagenous subunit. Histochemical, immunohistochemical, toxicological, and electrophysiological assays all indicated absence of AChE at ColQ−/− neuromuscular junctions. Nonetheless, neuromuscular function was initially robust, demonstrating that AChE and ColQ do not play obligatory roles in early phases of synaptogenesis. Moreover, because acute inhibition of synaptic AChE is fatal to normal animals, there must be compensatory mechanisms in the mutant that allow the synapse to function in the chronic absence of AChE. One structural mechanism appears to be a partial ensheathment of nerve terminals by Schwann cells. Compensation was incomplete, however, as animals lacking ColQ and synaptic AChE failed to thrive and most died before they reached maturity. PMID:10087275
Plotegher, N.; Berti, G.; Ferrari, E.; Tessari, I.; Zanetti, M.; Lunelli, L.; Greggio, E.; Bisaglia, M.; Veronesi, M.; Girotto, S.; Dalla Serra, M.; Perego, C.; Casella, L.; Bubacco, L.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the death of dopaminergic neurons and by accumulation of alpha-synuclein (aS) aggregates in the surviving neurons. The dopamine catabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL) is a highly reactive and toxic molecule that leads to aS oligomerization by covalent modifications to lysine residues. Here we show that DOPAL-induced aS oligomer formation in neurons is associated with damage of synaptic vesicles, and with alterations in the synaptic vesicles pools. To investigate the molecular mechanism that leads to synaptic impairment, we first aimed to characterize the biochemical and biophysical properties of the aS-DOPAL oligomers; heterogeneous ensembles of macromolecules able to permeabilise cholesterol-containing lipid membranes. aS-DOPAL oligomers can induce dopamine leak in an in vitro model of synaptic vesicles and in cellular models. The dopamine released, after conversion to DOPAL in the cytoplasm, could trigger a noxious cycle that further fuels the formation of aS-DOPAL oligomers, inducing neurodegeneration. PMID:28084443
Bullinger, Katie L; Nardelli, Paul; Pinter, Martin J; Alvarez, Francisco J; Cope, Timothy C
Regeneration of a cut muscle nerve fails to restore the stretch reflex, and the companion paper to this article [Alvarez FJ, Titus-Mitchell HE, Bullinger KL, Kraszpulski M, Nardelli P, Cope TC. J Neurophysiol (August 10, 2011). doi:10.1152/jn.01095.2010] suggests an important central contribution from substantial and persistent disassembly of synapses between regenerated primary afferents and motoneurons. In the present study we tested for physiological correlates of synaptic disruption. Anesthetized adult rats were studied 6 mo or more after a muscle nerve was severed and surgically rejoined. We recorded action potentials (spikes) from individual muscle afferents classified as IA like (*IA) by several criteria and tested for their capacity to produce excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) in homonymous motoneurons, using spike-triggered averaging (STA). Nearly every paired recording from a *IA afferent and homonymous motoneuron (93%) produced a STA EPSP in normal rats, but that percentage was only 17% in rats with regenerated nerves. In addition, the number of motoneurons that produced aggregate excitatory stretch synaptic potentials (eSSPs) in response to stretch of the reinnervated muscle was reduced from 100% normally to 60% after nerve regeneration. The decline in functional connectivity was not attributable to synaptic depression, which returned to its normally low level after regeneration. From these findings and those in the companion paper, we put forward a model in which synaptic excitation of motoneurons by muscle stretch is reduced not only by misguided axon regeneration that reconnects afferents to the wrong receptor type but also by retraction of synapses with motoneurons by spindle afferents that successfully reconnect with spindle receptors in the periphery.
Enríquez, M; Jiménez, I; Rudomin, P
The present investigation documents the patterns of primary afferent depolarization (PAD) of single, functionally identified muscle afferents from the medial gastrocnemius nerve in the intact, anesthetized cat. Classification of the impaled muscle afferents as from muscle spindles or from tendon organs was made according to several criteria, which comprised measurement of conduction velocity and electrical threshold of the peripheral axons, and the maximal frequency followed by the afferent fibers during vibration, as well as the changes in discharge frequency during longitudinal stretch, the projection of the afferent fiber to the motor pool, and, in unparalyzed preparations, the changes in afferent activity during a muscle twitch. In confirmation of a previous study, we found that most muscle spindle afferents (46.1-66.6%, depending on the combination of criteria utilized for receptor classification) had a type A PAD pattern. That is, they were depolarized by stimulation of group I fibers of the posterior biceps and semitendinosus (PBSt) nerve, but not by stimulation of cutaneous nerves (sural and superficial peroneus) or the bulbar reticular formation (RF), which in many cases inhibited the PBSt-induced PAD. In addition, we found a significant fraction of muscle spindle primaries that were depolarized by stimulation of group I PBSt fibers and also by stimulation of the bulbar RF. Stimulation of cutaneous nerves produced PAD in 9.1-31.2% of these fibers (type B PAD pattern) and no PAD in 8.2-15.4% (type C PAD pattern). In contrast to muscle spindle afferents, only the 7.7-15.4% of fibers from tendon organs had a type A PAD pattern, 23-46.1% had a type B and 50-61.5% a type C PAD pattern. These observations suggest that the neuronal circuitry involved in the control of the synaptic effectiveness of muscle spindles and tendon organs is subjected to excitatory as well as to inhibitory influences from cutaneous and reticulospinal fibers. As shown in the accompanying
Almonte, Antoine G; Sweatt, J David
Serine proteases, serine protease inhibitors, and protease-activated receptors have been intensively investigated in the periphery and their roles in a wide range of processes-coagulation, inflammation, and digestion, for example-have been well characterized (see Coughlin, 2000; Macfarlane et al., 2001; Molinari et al., 2003; Wang et al., 2008; Di Cera, 2009 for reviews). A growing number of studies demonstrate that these protein systems are widely expressed in many cell types and regions in mammalian brains. Accumulating lines of evidence suggest that the brain has co-opted the activities of these interesting proteins to regulate various processes underlying synaptic activity and behavior. In this review, we discuss emerging roles for serine proteases in the regulation of mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and memory formation.
Feng, Steven Si; Lin, Risa; Gauck, Volker; Jaeger, Dieter
Small conductance Ca2+ 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 non-synchronized 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
Dale, Elena; Zhang, Hong; Leiser, Steven C; Xiao, Yixin; Lu, Dunguo; Yang, Charles R; Plath, Niels; Sanchez, Connie
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
Poljak, Anne; Selvaraju, Subash; Al-Adawi, Samir; Manivasagm, Thamilarasan; Thenmozhi, Arokiasamy Justin; Ooi, Lezanne; Sachdev, Perminder; Guillemin, Gilles J.
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by extracellular plaques containing abnormal Amyloid Beta (Aβ) aggregates, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles containing hyperphosphorylated tau protein, microglia-dominated neuroinflammation, and impairments in synaptic plasticity underlying cognitive deficits. Therapeutic strategies for the treatment of AD are currently limited. In this study, we investigated the effects of dietary supplementation of 4% pomegranate extract to a standard chow diet on neuroinflammation, and synaptic plasticity in APPsw/Tg2576 mice brain. Treatment with a custom mixed diet (pellets) containing 4% pomegranate for 15 months ameliorated the loss of synaptic structure proteins, namely PSD-95, Munc18-1, and SNAP25, synaptophysin, phosphorylation of Calcium/Calmodulin Dependent Protein Kinase IIα (p-CaMKIIα/ CaMKIIα), and phosphorylation of Cyclic AMP-Response Element Binding Protein (pCREB/CREB), inhibited neuroinflammatory activity, and enhanced autophagy, and activation of the phophoinositide-3-kinase-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin signaling pathway. These neuroprotective effects were associated with reduced β-site cleavage of Amyloid Precursor Protein in APPsw/Tg2576 mice. Therefore, long-term supplementation with pomegranates can attenuate AD pathology by reducing inflammation, and altering APP-dependent processes. PMID:27486879
Dale, Elena; Zhang, Hong; Leiser, Steven C; Xiao, Yixin; Lu, Dunguo; Yang, Charles R; Plath, Niels; Sanchez, Connie
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.
Mansilla, Alicia; Chaves-Sanjuan, Antonio; Campillo, Nuria E; Semelidou, Ourania; Martínez-González, Loreto; Infantes, Lourdes; González-Rubio, Juana María; Gil, Carmen; Conde, Santiago; Skoulakis, Efthimios M C; Ferrús, Alberto; Martínez, Ana; Sánchez-Barrena, María José
The protein complex formed by the Ca(2+) sensor neuronal calcium sensor 1 (NCS-1) and the guanine exchange factor protein Ric8a coregulates synapse number and probability of neurotransmitter release, emerging as a potential therapeutic target for diseases affecting synapses, such as fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common heritable autism disorder. Using crystallographic data and the virtual screening of a chemical library, we identified a set of heterocyclic small molecules as potential inhibitors of the NCS-1/Ric8a interaction. The aminophenothiazine FD44 interferes with NCS-1/Ric8a binding, and it restores normal synapse number and associative learning in a Drosophila FXS model. The synaptic effects elicited by FD44 feeding are consistent with the genetic manipulation of NCS-1. The crystal structure of NCS-1 bound to FD44 and the structure-function studies performed with structurally close analogs explain the FD44 specificity and the mechanism of inhibition, in which the small molecule stabilizes a mobile C-terminal helix inside a hydrophobic crevice of NCS-1 to impede Ric8a interaction. Our study shows the drugability of the NCS-1/Ric8a interface and uncovers a suitable region in NCS-1 for development of additional drugs of potential use on FXS and related synaptic disorders.
Ribic, Adema; Liu, Xinran; Crair, Michael C; Biederer, Thomas
Adhesive interactions in the retina instruct the developmental specification of inner retinal layers. However, potential roles of adhesion in the development and function of photoreceptor synapses remain incompletely understood. This contrasts with our understanding of synapse development in the CNS, which can be guided by select adhesion molecules such as the Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (SynCAM 1/CADM1/nectin-like 2 protein). This immunoglobulin superfamily protein modulates the development and plasticity of classical excitatory synapses. We show here by immunoelectron microscopy and immunoblotting that SynCAM 1 is expressed on mouse rod photoreceptors and their terminals in the outer nuclear and plexiform layers in a developmentally regulated manner. Expression of SynCAM 1 on rods is low in early postnatal stages (P3-P7) but increases after eye opening (P14). In support of functional roles in the photoreceptors, electroretinogram recordings demonstrate impaired responses to light stimulation in SynCAM 1 knockout (KO) mice. In addition, the structural integrity of synapses in the OPL requires SynCAM 1. Quantitative ultrastructural analysis of SynCAM 1 KO retina measured fewer fully assembled, triadic rod ribbon synapses. Furthermore, rod synapse ribbons are shortened in KO mice, and protein levels of Ribeye, a major structural component of ribbons, are reduced in SynCAM 1 KO retina. Together, our results implicate SynCAM 1 in the synaptic organization of the rod visual pathway and provide evidence for novel roles of synaptic adhesion in the structural and functional integrity of ribbon synapses.
Paciorkowski, Alex R; Thio, Liu Lin; Rosenfeld, Jill A; Gajecka, Marzena; Gurnett, Christina A; Kulkarni, Shashikant; Chung, Wendy K; Marsh, Eric D; Gentile, Mattia; Reggin, James D; Wheless, James W; Balasubramanian, Sandhya; Kumar, Ravinesh; Christian, Susan L; Marini, Carla; Guerrini, Renzo; Maltsev, Natalia; Shaffer, Lisa G; Dobyns, William B
Infantile spasms (ISS) are an epilepsy disorder frequently associated with severe developmental outcome and have diverse genetic etiologies. We ascertained 11 subjects with ISS and novel copy number variants (CNVs) and combined these with a new cohort with deletion 1p36 and ISS, and additional published patients with ISS and other chromosomal abnormalities. Using bioinformatics tools, we analyzed the gene content of these CNVs for enrichment in pathways of pathogenesis. Several important findings emerged. First, the gene content was enriched for the gene regulatory network involved in ventral forebrain development. Second, genes in pathways of synaptic function were overrepresented, significantly those involved in synaptic vesicle transport. Evidence also suggested roles for GABAergic synapses and the postsynaptic density. Third, we confirm the association of ISS with duplication of 14q12 and maternally inherited duplication of 15q11q13, and report the association with duplication of 21q21. We also present a patient with ISS and deletion 7q11.3 not involving MAGI2. Finally, we provide evidence that ISS in deletion 1p36 may be associated with deletion of KLHL17 and expand the epilepsy phenotype in that syndrome to include early infantile epileptic encephalopathy. Several of the identified pathways share functional links, and abnormalities of forebrain synaptic growth and function may form a common biologic mechanism underlying both ISS and autism. This study demonstrates a novel approach to the study of gene content in subjects with ISS and copy number variation, and contributes further evidence to support specific pathways of pathogenesis. PMID:21694734
Booth, Clair A.; Witton, Jonathan; Nowacki, Jakub; Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira; Jones, Matthew W.; Randall, Andrew D.
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
Salio, Chiara; Lossi, Laura; Ferrini, Francesco; Merighi, Adalberto
Neuropeptides are small protein molecules (composed of 3-100 amino-acid residues) that have been localized to discrete cell populations of central and peripheral neurons. In most instances, they coexist with low-molecular-weight neurotransmitters within the same neurons. At the subcellular level, neuropeptides are selectively stored, singularly or more frequently in combinations, within large granular vesicles. Release occurs through mechanisms different from classical calcium-dependent exocytosis at the synaptic cleft, and thus they account for slow synaptic and/or non-synaptic communication in neurons. Neuropeptide co-storage and coexistence can be observed throughout the central nervous system and are responsible for a series of functional interactions that occur at both pre- and post-synaptic levels. Thus, the subcellular site(s) of storage and sorting mechanisms into different neuronal compartments are crucial to the mode of release and the function of neuropeptides as neuronal messengers.
Kiraly, Drew D.; Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad; Levine, Eric S.; Mains, Richard E.; Eipper, Betty A.
The ability of dendritic spines to change size and shape rapidly is critical in modulating synaptic strength; these morphological changes are dependent upon rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton. Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) localized to the postsynaptic density (PSD), modulates dendritic spine morphology in vitro and in vivo. Kal7 activates Rac and interacts with several PSD proteins including PSD-95, DISC-1, AF-6 and Arf6. Mice genetically lacking Kal7 (Kal7KO) exhibit deficient hippocampal LTP as well as behavioral abnormalities in models of addiction and learning. Purified PSDs from Kal7KO mice contain diminished levels of NR2B, an NMDA receptor subunit that plays a critical role in LTP induction. Here we demonstrate that Kal7KO animals have decreased levels of NR2B-dependent NMDA receptor currents in cortical pyramidal neurons as well as a specific deficit in cell-surface expression of NR2B. Additionally, we demonstrate that the genotypic differences in conditioned place preference and passive avoidance learning seen in Kal7KO mice are abrogated when animals are treated with an NR2B-specific antagonist during conditioning. Finally, we identify a stable interaction between the pleckstrin homology domain of Kal7 and the juxtamembrane region of NR2B preceding its cytosolic C-terminal domain. Binding of NR2B to a protein that modulates the actin cytoskeleton is important, as NMDA receptors require actin integrity for synaptic localization and function. These studies demonstrate a novel and functionally important interaction between the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor and Kalirin, proteins known to be essential for normal synaptic plasticity. PMID:21880917
Kiraly, Drew D; Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad; Levine, Eric S; Mains, Richard E; Eipper, Betty A
The ability of dendritic spines to change size and shape rapidly is critical in modulating synaptic strength; these morphological changes are dependent upon rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton. Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor localized to the postsynaptic density (PSD), modulates dendritic spine morphology in vitro and in vivo. Kal7 activates Rac and interacts with several PSD proteins, including PSD-95, DISC-1, AF-6, and Arf6. Mice genetically lacking Kal7 (Kal7(KO)) exhibit deficient hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) as well as behavioral abnormalities in models of addiction and learning. Purified PSDs from Kal7(KO) mice contain diminished levels of NR2B, an NMDA receptor subunit that plays a critical role in LTP induction. Here we demonstrate that Kal7(KO) animals have decreased levels of NR2B-dependent NMDA receptor currents in cortical pyramidal neurons as well as a specific deficit in cell surface expression of NR2B. Additionally, we demonstrate that the genotypic differences in conditioned place preference and passive avoidance learning seen in Kal7(KO) mice are abrogated when animals are treated with an NR2B-specific antagonist during conditioning. Finally, we identify a stable interaction between the pleckstrin homology domain of Kal7 and the juxtamembrane region of NR2B preceding its cytosolic C-terminal domain. Binding of NR2B to a protein that modulates the actin cytoskeleton is important, as NMDA receptors require actin integrity for synaptic localization and function. These studies demonstrate a novel and functionally important interaction between the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor and Kalirin, proteins known to be essential for normal synaptic plasticity.
Latif-Hernandez, Amira; Shah, Disha; Ahmed, Tariq; Lo, Adrian C.; Callaerts-Vegh, Zsuzsanna; Van der Linden, Annemie; Balschun, Detlef; D’Hooge, Rudi
Intracerebral injection of the excitotoxic, endogenous tryptophan metabolite, quinolinic acid (QA), constitutes a chemical model of neurodegenerative brain disease. Complementary techniques were combined to examine the consequences of QA injection into medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of C57BL6 mice. In accordance with the NMDAR-mediated synapto- and neurotoxic action of QA, we found an initial increase in excitability and an augmentation of hippocampal long-term potentiation, converting within two weeks into a reduction and impairment, respectively, of these processes. QA-induced mPFC excitotoxicity impaired behavioral flexibility in a reversal variant of the hidden-platform Morris water maze (MWM), whereas regular, extended MWM training was unaffected. QA-induced mPFC damage specifically affected the spatial-cognitive strategies that mice use to locate the platform during reversal learning. These behavioral and cognitive defects coincided with changes in cortical functional connectivity (FC) and hippocampal neuroplasticity. FC between various cortical regions was assessed by resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI) methodology, and mice that had received QA injection into mPFC showed increased FC between various cortical regions. mPFC and hippocampus (HC) are anatomically as well as functionally linked as part of a cortical network that controls higher-order cognitive functions. Together, these observations demonstrate the central functional importance of rodent mPFC as well as the validity of QA-induced mPFC damage as a preclinical rodent model of the early stages of neurodegeneration. PMID:27819338
Joshi, Pooja; Gabrielli, Martina; Ponzoni, Luisa; Pelucchi, Silvia; Stravalaci, Matteo; Beeg, Marten; Mazzitelli, Sonia; Braida, Daniela; Sala, Mariaelvina; Boda, Enrica; Buffo, Annalisa; Gobbi, Marco; Gardoni, Fabrizio; Matteoli, Michela; Marcello, Elena; Verderio, Claudia
Fingolimod, also known as FTY720, is an analogue of the sphingolipid sphingosine, which has been proved to be neuroprotective in rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Several cellular and molecular targets underlying the neuroprotective effects of FTY720 have been recently identified. However, whether the drug directly protects neurons from toxicity of amyloid-beta (Aβ) still remains poorly defined. Using a combination of biochemical assays, live imaging and electrophysiology we demonstrate that FTY720 induces a rapid increase in GLUN2A-containing neuroprotective NMDARs on the surface of dendritic spines in cultured hippocampal neurons. In addition, the drug mobilizes extrasynaptic GLUN2B-containing NMDARs, which are coupled to cell death, to the synapses. Altered ratio of synaptic/extrasynaptic NMDARs decreases calcium responsiveness of neurons to neurotoxic soluble Aβ 1–42 and renders neurons resistant to early alteration of calcium homeostasis. The fast defensive response of FTY720 occurs through a Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor (S1P-R) -dependent mechanism, as it is lost in the presence of S1P-R1 and S1P-R3 antagonists. We propose that rapid synaptic relocation of NMDARs might have direct impact on amelioration of cognitive performance in transgenic APPswe/PS1dE9 AD mice upon sub-chronic treatment with FTY720. PMID:28134307
Wood, J; Verma, D; Lach, G; Bonaventure, P; Herzog, H; Sperk, G; Tasan, R O
The amygdala is essential for generating emotional-affective behaviors. It consists of several nuclei with highly selective, elaborate functions. In particular, the central extended amygdala, consisting of the central amygdala (CEA) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is an essential component actively controlling efferent connections to downstream effectors like hypothalamus and brain stem. Both, CEA and BNST contain high amounts of different neuropeptides that significantly contribute to synaptic transmission. Among these, neuropeptide Y (NPY) has emerged as an important anxiolytic and fear-reducing neuromodulator. Here, we characterized the expression, connectivity and electrophysiological function of NPY and Y2 receptors within the CEA. We identified several NPY-expressing neuronal populations, including somatostatin- and calretinin-expressing neurons. Furthermore, in the main intercalated nucleus, NPY is expressed primarily in dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons but also in interspersed somatostatin-expressing neurons. Interestingly, NPY neurons did not co-localize with the Y2 receptor. Retrograde tract tracing experiments revealed that NPY neurons reciprocally connect the CEA and BNST. Functionally, the Y2 receptor agonist PYY3-36, reduced both, inhibitory as well as excitatory synaptic transmission in the centromedial amygdala (CEm). However, we also provide evidence that lack of NPY or Y2 receptors results in increased GABA release specifically at inhibitory synapses in the CEm. Taken together, our findings suggest that NPY expressed by distinct populations of neurons can modulate afferent and efferent projections of the CEA via presynaptic Y2 receptors located at inhibitory and excitatory synapses.
Bae, Jae-Sung; Han, Hyung Soo; Youn, Dong-Ho; Carter, Janet E; Modo, Michel; Schuchman, Edward H; Jin, Hee Kyung
Recent studies have shown that bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) improve neurological deficits when transplanted into animal models of neurological disorders. However, the precise mechanism by which this occurs remains unknown. Herein we demonstrate that BM-MSCs are able to promote neuronal networks with functional synaptic transmission after transplantation into Niemann-Pick disease type C (NP-C) mouse cerebellum. To address the mechanism by which this occurs, we used gene microarray, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, and immunohistochemistry to evaluate expression of neurotransmitter receptors on Purkinje neurons in the NP-C cerebellum. Gene microarray analysis revealed upregulation of genes involved in both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission encoding subunits of the ionotropic glutamate receptors (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid, AMPA) GluR4 and GABA(A) receptor beta2. We also demonstrated that BM-MSCs, when originated by fusion-like events with existing Purkinje neurons, develop into electrically active Purkinje neurons with functional synaptic formation. This study provides the first in vivo evidence that upregulation of neurotransmitter receptors may contribute to synapse formation via cell fusion-like processes after BM-MSC transplantation into mice with neurodegenerative disease. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
Ivanova, Daniela; Dirks, Anika; Montenegro-Venegas, Carolina; Schöne, Cornelia; Altrock, Wilko D; Marini, Claudia; Frischknecht, Renato; Schanze, Denny; Zenker, Martin; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Fejtova, Anna
Persistent experience-driven adaptation of brain function is associated with alterations in gene expression patterns, resulting in structural and functional neuronal remodeling. How synaptic activity—in particular presynaptic performance—is coupled to gene expression in nucleus remains incompletely understood. Here, we report on a role of CtBP1, a transcriptional co-repressor enriched in presynapses and nuclei, in the activity-driven reconfiguration of gene expression in neurons. We demonstrate that presynaptic and nuclear pools of CtBP1 are interconnected and that both synaptic retention and shuttling of CtBP1 between cytoplasm and nucleus are co-regulated by neuronal activity. Finally, we show that CtBP1 is targeted and/or anchored to presynapses by direct interaction with the active zone scaffolding proteins Bassoon and Piccolo. This association is regulated by neuronal activity via modulation of cellular NAD/NADH levels and restrains the size of the CtBP1 pool available for nuclear import, thus contributing to the control of activity-dependent gene expression. Our combined results reveal a mechanism for coupling activity-induced molecular rearrangements in the presynapse with reconfiguration of neuronal gene expression. PMID:25652077
Wilent, W Bryan; Contreras, Diego
To study the synaptic and spike responses of barrel cortex neurons as a function of cortical layer and stimulus intensity, we recorded intracellularly in vivo from barbiturate anesthetized rats while increasing the velocity-acceleration of the whisker deflection. Granular (Gr; layer 4) cells had the EPSP with the shortest peak and onset latency, whereas supragranular (SGr; layers 2-3) cells had the EPSP with longest duration and slowest rate of rise. Infragranular (Igr; layers 5-6) cells had intermediate values, and thus each layer was unique. The spike response peak of Gr cells was followed by IGr and then by SGr cells. In all cells, depolarization reduced the duration and amplitude of the response, but only in Gr cells did it reveal an early IPSP that cut short the EPSP. This early IPSP was associated with a large decrease in input resistance and an apparent reversal potential below spike threshold; consequently, synaptic integration in Gr cells was limited to the initial 5-7 msec of the response. In contrast, in SGr and IGr cells, results suggest an overlap in time of the EPSP and IPSP, with a small drop in input resistance and an apparent reversal potential above spike threshold, facilitating input integration for up to 20 msec. Decreasing stimulus intensity (velocity-acceleration) reduced the amplitude and increased the peak latency of the response without altering its synaptic composition. We propose that layer 4 circuits are better suited to perform coincidence detection, whereas supra and infragranular circuits are better designed for input integration.
Baltz, Thomas; Voigt, Thomas
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
Hanson, Jesse E; Blank, Martina; Valenzuela, Ricardo A; Garner, Craig C; Madison, Daniel V
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.
Scudder, Samantha L; Patrick, Gentry N
The posttranslational modification of proteins by the ubiquitin-like small molecule NEDD8 has previously been shown to be vital in a number of cell signaling pathways. In particular, conjugation of NEDD8 (neddylation) serves to regulate protein ubiquitination through modifications to E3 ubiquitin ligases. Despite the prevalence of NEDD8 in neurons, very little work has been done to characterize the role of this modifier in these cells. Here, we use the recently developed NEDD8 Activating Enzyme (NAE) inhibitor MLN4924 and report evidence of a role for NEDD8 in regulating mammalian excitatory synapses. Application of this drug to dissociated rat hippocampal neurons caused reductions in synaptic strength, surface glutamate receptor levels, dendritic spine width, and spine density, suggesting that neddylation is involved in the maintenance of synapses.
Niu, Yang; Dai, Zhonghua; Liu, Wenxue; Zhang, Cheng; Yang, Yanrui; Guo, Zhenzhen; Li, Xiaoyu; Xu, Chenchang; Huang, Xiahe; Wang, Yingchun; Shi, Yun S; Liu, Jia-Jia
SNX6 is a ubiquitously expressed PX-BAR protein that plays important roles in retromer-mediated retrograde vesicular transport from endosomes. Here we report that CNS-specific Snx6 knockout mice exhibit deficits in spatial learning and memory, accompanied with loss of spines from distal dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells. SNX6 interacts with Homer1b/c, a postsynaptic scaffold protein crucial for the synaptic distribution of other postsynaptic density (PSD) proteins and structural integrity of dendritic spines. We show that SNX6 functions independently of retromer to regulate distribution of Homer1b/c in the dendritic shaft. We also find that Homer1b/c translocates from shaft to spines by protein diffusion, which does not require SNX6. Ablation of SNX6 causes reduced distribution of Homer1b/c in distal dendrites, decrease in surface levels of AMPAR and impaired AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission. These findings reveal a physiological role of SNX6 in CNS excitatory neurons. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20991.001 PMID:28134614
Furman, Moran; Xu, Hong-Ping; Crair, Michael C
Prior to eye opening, waves of spontaneous activity sweep across the developing retina. These "retinal waves," together with genetically encoded molecular mechanisms, mediate the formation of visual maps in the brain. However, the specific role of wave activity in synapse development in retino-recipient brain regions is unclear. Here we compare the functional development of synapses and the morphological development of neurons in the superior colliculus (SC) of wild-type (WT) and transgenic (β2-TG) mice in which retinal wave propagation is spatially truncated (Xu HP, Furman M, Mineur YS, Chen H, King SL, Zenisek D, Zhou ZJ, Butts DA, Tian N, Picciotto MR, Crair MC. Neuron 70: 1115-1127, 2011). We use two recently developed brain slice preparations to examine neurons and synapses in the binocular vs. mainly monocular SC. We find that retinocollicular synaptic strength is reduced whereas the number of retinal inputs is increased in the binocular SC of β2-TG mice compared with WT mice. In contrast, in the mainly monocular SC the number of retinal inputs is normal in β2-TG mice, but, transiently, synapses are abnormally strong, possibly because of enhanced activity-dependent competition between local, "small" retinal wave domains. These findings demonstrate that retinal wave size plays an instructive role in the synaptic and morphological development of SC neurons, possibly through a competitive process among retinofugal axons.
Hernandez, Ruben V.; Puro, Alana C.; Manos, Jessica C.; Huitron-Resendiz, Salvador; Reyes, Kenneth C.; Liu, Kevin; Vo, Khanh; Roberts, Amanda J.; Gruol, Donna L.
A growing body of evidence has revealed that resident cells of the central nervous system (CNS), and particularly the glial cells, comprise a neuroimmune system that serves a number of functions in the normal CNS and during adverse conditions. Cells of the neuroimmune system regulate CNS functions through the production of signaling factors, referred to as neuroimmune factors. Recent studies show that ethanol can activate cells of the neuroimmune system, resulting in the elevated production of neuroimmune factors, including the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6). Here we analyzed the consequences of this CNS action of ethanol using transgenic mice that express elevated levels of IL-6 through increased astrocyte expression (IL-6-tg) to model the increased IL-6 expression that occurs with ethanol use. Results show that increased IL-6 expression induces neuroadaptive changes that alter the effects of ethanol. In hippocampal slices from non-transgenic (non-tg) littermate control mice, synaptically evoked dendritic field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) and somatic population spike (PS) at the Schaffer collateral to CA1 pyramidal neuron synapse were reduced by acute ethanol (20 or 60 mM). In contrast, acute ethanol enhanced the fEPSP and PS in hippocampal slices from IL-6 tg mice. Long-term synaptic plasticity of the fEPSP (i.e., LTP) showed the expected dose-dependent reduction by acute ethanol in non-tg hippocampal slices, whereas LTP in the IL-6 tg hippocampal slices was resistant to this depressive effect of acute ethanol. Consistent with altered effects of acute ethanol on synaptic function in the IL-6 tg mice, EEG recordings showed a higher level of CNS activity in the IL-6 tg mice than in the non-tg mice during the period of withdrawal from an acute high dose of ethanol. These results suggest a potential role for neuroadaptive effects of ethanol-induced astrocyte production of IL-6 as a mediator or modulator of the actions of ethanol on the CNS, including
Hernandez, Ruben V; Puro, Alana C; Manos, Jessica C; Huitron-Resendiz, Salvador; Reyes, Kenneth C; Liu, Kevin; Vo, Khanh; Roberts, Amanda J; Gruol, Donna L
A growing body of evidence has revealed that resident cells of the central nervous system (CNS), and particularly the glial cells, comprise a neuroimmune system that serves a number of functions in the normal CNS and during adverse conditions. Cells of the neuroimmune system regulate CNS functions through the production of signaling factors, referred to as neuroimmune factors. Recent studies show that ethanol can activate cells of the neuroimmune system, resulting in the elevated production of neuroimmune factors, including the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6). Here we analyzed the consequences of this CNS action of ethanol using transgenic mice that express elevated levels of IL-6 through increased astrocyte expression (IL-6-tg) to model the increased IL-6 expression that occurs with ethanol use. Results show that increased IL-6 expression induces neuroadaptive changes that alter the effects of ethanol. In hippocampal slices from non-transgenic (non-tg) littermate control mice, synaptically evoked dendritic field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) and somatic population spike (PS) at the Schaffer collateral to CA1 pyramidal neuron synapse were reduced by acute ethanol (20 or 60 mM). In contrast, acute ethanol enhanced the fEPSP and PS in hippocampal slices from IL-6 tg mice. Long-term synaptic plasticity of the fEPSP (i.e., LTP) showed the expected dose-dependent reduction by acute ethanol in non-tg hippocampal slices, whereas LTP in the IL-6 tg hippocampal slices was resistant to this depressive effect of acute ethanol. Consistent with altered effects of acute ethanol on synaptic function in the IL-6 tg mice, EEG recordings showed a higher level of CNS activity in the IL-6 tg mice than in the non-tg mice during the period of withdrawal from an acute high dose of ethanol. These results suggest a potential role for neuroadaptive effects of ethanol-induced astrocyte production of IL-6 as a mediator or modulator of the actions of ethanol on the CNS, including
Singh, Suchita; Bodas, Manish; Bhatraju, Naveen K; Pattnaik, Bijay; Gheware, Atish; Parameswaran, Praveen Kolumam; Thompson, Michael; Freeman, Michelle; Mabalirajan, Ulaganathan; Gosens, Reinoud; Ghosh, Balaram; Pabelick, Christina; Linneberg, Allan; Prakash, Y S; Agrawal, Anurag
There is limited knowledge regarding the consequences of hyperinsulinemia on the lung. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and epidemiological associations with asthma, this is a critical lacuna, more so with inhaled insulin on the horizon. Here, we demonstrate that insulin can adversely affect respiratory health. Insulin treatment (1 μg/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) increased the proliferation of primary human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells and induced collagen release. Additionally, ASM cells showed a significant increase in calcium response and mitochondrial respiration upon insulin exposure. Mice administered intranasal insulin showed increased collagen deposition in the lungs as well as a significant increase in airway hyperresponsiveness. PI3K/Akt mediated activation of β-catenin, a positive regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and fibrosis, was observed in the lungs of insulin-treated mice and lung cells. Our data suggests that hyperinsulinemia may have adverse effects on airway structure and function. Insulin-induced activation of β-catenin in lung tissue and the contractile effects on ASM cells may be causally related to the development of asthma-like phenotype.
Molnar, Peter; Kang, Jung-Fong; Bhargava, Neelima; Das, Mainak; Hickman, James J
We have developed a method to organize cells in dissociated cultures using engineered chemical clues on a culture surface and determined their connectivity patterns. Although almost all elements of the synaptic transmission machinery can be studied separately in single cell models in dissociated cultures, the complex physiological interactions between these elements are usually lost. Thus, factors affecting synaptic transmission are generally studied in organotypic cultures, brain slices, or in vivo where the cellular architecture generally remains intact. However, by utilizing engineered neuronal networks complex phenomenon such as synaptic transmission or synaptic plasticity can be studied in a simple, functional, cell culture-based system. We have utilized self-assembled monolayers and photolithography to create the surface templates. Embryonic hippocampal cells, plated on the resultant patterns in serum-free medium, followed the surface clues and formed the engineered neuronal networks. Basic whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology was applied to characterize the synaptic connectivity in these engineered two-cell networks. The same technology has been used to pattern other cell types such as cardiomyocytes or skeletal muscle fibers.
Jaramillo, Thomas C; Speed, Haley E; Xuan, Zhong; Reimers, Jeremy M; Liu, Shunan; Powell, Craig M
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.
Zhang, Deng-Xin; Jiang, Shan; Yu, Li-Na; Zhang, Feng-Jiang; Zhuang, Qing; Yan, Min
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
Jaramillo, Thomas C.; Speed, Haley E.; Xuan, Zhong; Reimers, Jeremy M.; Liu, Shunan; Powell, Craig M.
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 (Shank3e4–9 KO) results in loss of the two highest molecular weight isoforms of Shank3 and a significant reduction in other isoforms. Behaviorally, both Shank3e4–9 heterozygous (HET) and Shank3e4–9 KO mice display increased repetitive grooming, deficits in novel and spatial object recognition learning and memory, and abnormal ultrasonic vocalizations. Shank3e4–9 KO mice also display abnormal social interaction when paired with one another. Analysis of synaptosome fractions from striata of Shank3e4–9 KO mice reveals decreased Homer1b/c, GluA2, and GluA3 expression. Both Shank3e4–9 HET and KO demonstrated a significant reduction in NMDA/AMPA ratio at excitatory synapses onto striatal medium spiny neurons. Furthermore, Shank3e4–9 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 Shank3e4–9 mutant mouse model of autism. PMID:26559786
Porres, Christian P; Meyer, Elisabeth M M; Grothe, Benedikt; Felmy, Felix
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.
Pröschel, Christoph; Hansen, Jeanne N; Ali, Adil; Tuttle, Emily; Lacagnina, Michelle; Buscaglia, Georgia; Halterman, Marc W; Paciorkowski, Alex R
SIK1 syndrome is a newly described developmental epilepsy disorder caused by heterozygous mutations in the salt-inducible kinase SIK1. To better understand the pathophysiology of SIK1 syndrome, we studied the effects of SIK1 pathogenic sequence variations in human neurons. Primary human fetal cortical neurons were transfected with a lentiviral vector to overexpress wild-type and mutant SIK1 protein. We evaluated the transcriptional activity of known downstream gene targets in neurons expressing mutant SIK1 compared with wild type. We then assayed neuronal morphology by measuring neurite length, number and branching. Truncating SIK1 sequence variations were associated with abnormal MEF2C transcriptional activity and decreased MEF2C protein levels. Epilepsy-causing SIK1 sequence variations were associated with significantly decreased expression of ARC (activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated) and other synaptic activity response element genes. Assay of mRNA levels for other MEF2C target genes NR4A1 (Nur77) and NRG1, found significantly, decreased the expression of these genes as well. The missense p.(Pro287Thr) SIK1 sequence variation was associated with abnormal neuronal morphology, with significant decreases in mean neurite length, mean number of neurites and a significant increase in proximal branches compared with wild type. Epilepsy-causing SIK1 sequence variations resulted in abnormalities in the MEF2C-ARC pathway of neuronal development and synapse activity response. This work provides the first insights into the mechanisms of pathogenesis in SIK1 syndrome, and extends the ARX-MEF2C pathway in the pathogenesis of developmental epilepsy.
Sun, Chongran; Sun, Hui; Wu, Steven; Lee, Chih Cheng; Akamatsu, Yosuke; Wang, Ruikang K.; Kernie, Steven G.
The causal relationship between neurogenesis and the recovery of poststroke cognitive function has not been properly explored. The current study aimed to determine whether depleting neuroprogenitor cells (NPCs) affects poststroke functional outcome in nestin-δ-HSV-TK-EGFP transgenic mice, in which the expression of a truncated viral thymidine kinase gene and EGFP was restricted to nestin-expressing NPCs. Ganciclovir (GCV; 200 mg/kg/d) or saline was continuously administered via osmotic pumps in mice for 4 weeks before the induction of experimental stroke. Both baseline and stroke-induced type 1 and type 2 NPCs were conditionally ablated. GCV eliminated NPCs in a duration-dependent fashion, but it did not attenuate the genesis of astroglia or oligodendrocytes in the peri-infarct cortex, nor did it affect infarct size or cerebral blood reperfusion after stroke. Transgenic stroke mice given GCV displayed impaired spatial learning and memory in the Barnes maze test compared with saline control or wild-type stroke mice given GCV, suggesting a contributing role of stroke-induced neurogenesis in the recovery of cognitive function. However, there was no significant difference in poststroke motor function between transgenic mice treated with GCV and those treated with vehicle, despite a significant ablation of NPCs in the subventricular zone of the former. Furthermore, nestin-δ-HSV-TK-EGFP mice treated with GCV had fewer retrogradely labeled neurons in the entorhinal cortex (EC) when injected with the polysynaptic viral marker PRV614 in the dentate gyrus (DG), suggesting that there might be reduced synaptic connectivity between the DG and EC following ablation of NPCs, which may contribute to impaired poststroke memory function. PMID:24174664
Newman-Tancredi, A; Martel, J-C; Assié, M-B; Buritova, J; Lauressergues, E; Cosi, C; Heusler, P; Slot, L Bruins; Colpaert, FC; Vacher, B; Cussac, D
Background and purpose: Activation of post-synaptic 5-HT1A receptors may provide enhanced therapy against depression. We describe the signal transduction profile of F15599, a novel 5-HT1A receptor agonist. Experimental approach: F15599 was compared with a chemical congener, F13714, and with (+)8-OH-DPAT in models of signal transduction in vitro and ex vivo. Key results: F15599 was highly selective for 5-HT1A receptors in binding experiments and in [35S]-GTPγS autoradiography of rat brain, where F15599 increased labelling in regions expressing 5-HT1A receptors. In cell lines expressing h5-HT1A receptors, F15599 more potently stimulated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) phosphorylation, compared with G-protein activation, internalization of h5-HT1A receptors or inhibition of cAMP accumulation. F13714, (+)8-OH-DPAT and 5-HT displayed a different rank order of potency for these responses. F15599 stimulated [35S]-GTPγS binding more potently in frontal cortex than raphe. F15599, unlike 5-HT, more potently and efficaciously stimulated Gαi than Gαo activation. In rat prefrontal cortex (a region expressing post-synaptic 5-HT1A receptors), F15599 potently activated ERK1/2 phosphorylation and strongly induced c-fos mRNA expression. In contrast, in raphe regions (expressing pre-synaptic 5-HT1A receptors) F15599 only weakly or did not induce c-fos mRNA expression. Finally, despite its more modest affinity in vitro, F15599 bound to 5-HT1A receptors in vivo almost as potently as F13714. Conclusions and implications: F15599 showed a distinctive activation profiles for 5-HT1A receptor-mediated signalling pathways, unlike those of reference agonists and consistent with functional selectivity at 5-HT1A receptors. In rat, F15599 potently activated signalling in prefrontal cortex, a feature likely to underlie its beneficial effects in models of depression and cognition. PMID:19154445
Identification of BDNF Sensitive Electrophysiological Markers of Synaptic Activity and Their Structural Correlates in Healthy Subjects Using a Genetic Approach Utilizing the Functional BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism
Soltész, Fruzsina; Suckling, John; Lawrence, Phil; Tait, Roger; Ooi, Cinly; Bentley, Graham; Dodds, Chris M.; Miller, Sam R.; Wille, David R.; Byrne, Misha; McHugh, Simon M.; Bellgrove, Mark A.; Croft, Rodney J.; Lu, Bai; Bullmore, Edward T.; Nathan, Pradeep J.
Increasing evidence suggests that synaptic dysfunction is a core pathophysiological hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders. Brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) is key synaptogenic molecule and targeting synaptic repair through modulation of BDNF signalling has been suggested as a potential drug discovery strategy. The development of such “synaptogenic” therapies depend on the availability of BDNF sensitive markers of synaptic function that could be utilized as biomarkers for examining target engagement or drug efficacy in humans. Here we have utilized the BDNF Val66Met genetic polymorphism to examine the effect of the polymorphism and genetic load (i.e. Met allele load) on electrophysiological (EEG) markers of synaptic activity and their structural (MRI) correlates. Sixty healthy adults were prospectively recruited into the three genetic groups (Val/Val, Val/Met, Met/Met). Subjects also underwent fMRI, tDCS/TMS, and cognitive assessments as part of a larger study. Overall, some of the EEG markers of synaptic activity and brain structure measured with MRI were the most sensitive markers of the polymorphism. Met carriers showed decreased oscillatory activity and synchrony in the neural network subserving error-processing, as measured during a flanker task (ERN); and showed increased slow-wave activity during resting. There was no evidence for a Met load effect on the EEG measures and the polymorphism had no effects on MMN and P300. Met carriers also showed reduced grey matter volume in the anterior cingulate and in the (left) prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, anterior cingulate grey matter volume, and oscillatory EEG power during the flanker task predicted subsequent behavioural adaptation, indicating a BDNF dependent link between brain structure, function and behaviour associated with error processing and monitoring. These findings suggest that EEG markers such as ERN and resting EEG could be used as BDNF sensitive functional markers in early clinical
Slotkin, Theodore A; Skavicus, Samantha; Levin, Edward D; Seidler, Frederic J
Nicotine and chlorpyrifos are developmental neurotoxicants that target serotonin systems. We examined whether prenatal nicotine exposure alters the subsequent response to chlorpyrifos given postnatally. Pregnant rats received nicotine throughout gestation at 3mg/kg/day, a regimen designed to achieve plasma levels seen in smokers; chlorpyrifos was given to pups on postnatal days (PN) 1-4 at 1mg/kg, just above the detection threshold for brain cholinesterase inhibition. We assessed long-term effects from adolescence (PN30) through full adulthood (PN150), measuring the expression of serotonin receptors and serotonin turnover (index of presynaptic impulse activity) in cerebrocortical brain regions encompassing the projections that are known targets for nicotine and chlorpyrifos. Nicotine or chlorpyrifos individually increased the expression of serotonin receptors, with greater effects on males than on females and with distinct temporal and regional patterns indicative of adaptive synaptic changes rather than simply an extension of initial injury. This interpretation was confirmed by our finding an increase in serotonin turnover, connoting presynaptic serotonergic hyperactivity. Animals receiving the combined treatment showed a reduction in these adaptive effects on receptor binding and turnover relative to the individual agents, or even an effect in the opposite direction; further, normal sex differences in serotonin receptor concentrations were dissipated or reversed, an effect that was confirmed by behavioral evaluations in the Novel Objection Recognition Test. In addition to the known liabilities associated with maternal smoking during pregnancy, our results point to additional costs in the form of heightened vulnerability to neurotoxic chemicals encountered later in life.
Ostojic, Srdjan; Fusi, Stefano
Often we need to perform tasks in an environment that changes stochastically. In these situations it is important to learn the statistics of sequences of events in order to predict the future and the outcome of our actions. The statistical description of many of these sequences can be reduced to the set of probabilities that a particular event follows another event (temporal contiguity). Under these conditions, it is important to encode and store in our memory these transition probabilities. Here we show that for a large class of synaptic plasticity models, the distribution of synaptic strengths encodes transitions probabilities. Specifically, when the synaptic dynamics depend on pairs of contiguous events and the synapses can remember multiple instances of the transitions, then the average synaptic weights are a monotonic function of the transition probabilities. The synaptic weights converge to the distribution encoding the probabilities also when the correlations between consecutive synaptic modifications are considered. We studied how this distribution depends on the number of synaptic states for a specific model of a multi-state synapse with hard bounds. In the case of bistable synapses, the average synaptic weights are a smooth function of the transition probabilities and the accuracy of the encoding depends on the learning rate. As the number of synaptic states increases, the average synaptic weights become a step function of the transition probabilities. We finally show that the information stored in the synaptic weights can be read out by a simple rate-based neural network. Our study shows that synapses encode transition probabilities under general assumptions and this indicates that temporal contiguity is likely to be encoded and harnessed in almost every neural circuit in the brain. PMID:23641210
Gruol, Donna L.
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
Oh, Kelly H; Haney, James J; Wang, Xiaohong; Chuang, Chiou-Fen; Richmond, Janet E; Kim, Hongkyun
Voltage- and calcium-dependent BK channels regulate calcium-dependent cellular events such as neurotransmitter release by limiting calcium influx. Their plasma membrane abundance is an important factor in determining BK current and thus regulation of calcium-dependent events. In C. elegans, we show that ERG-28, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane protein, promotes the trafficking of SLO-1 BK channels from the ER to the plasma membrane by shielding them from premature degradation. In the absence of ERG-28, SLO-1 channels undergo aspartic protease DDI-1-dependent degradation, resulting in markedly reduced expression at presynaptic terminals. Loss of erg-28 suppressed phenotypic defects of slo-1 gain-of-function mutants in locomotion, neurotransmitter release, and calcium-mediated asymmetric differentiation of the AWC olfactory neuron pair, and conferred significant ethanol-resistant locomotory behavior, resembling slo-1 loss-of-function mutants, albeit to a lesser extent. Our study thus indicates that the control of BK channel trafficking is a critical regulatory mechanism for synaptic transmission and neural function. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.24733.001 PMID:28168949
Madhavan, Anuradha; Argilli, Emanuela; Bonci, Antonello; Whistler, Jennifer L
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.
Dinc, Mehmet Emre; Dalgic, Abdullah; Ulusoy, Seckin; Dizdar, Denizhan; Develioglu, Omer; Topak, Murat
Conclusion This study found a negative effect of IDA on olfactory function. IDA leads to a reduction in olfactory function, and decreases in hemoglobin levels result in further reduction in olfactory function. Objective This study examined the effects of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) on olfactory function. Method The study enrolled 50 IDA patients and 50 healthy subjects. Olfactory function was evaluated using the Sniffin' Sticks olfactory test. The diagnosis of IDA was made according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results Patients with IDA had a significantly lower threshold, discrimination, and identification (TDI) value, and a lower threshold compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of smell selectivity values.
Reuss, Stefan; Disque-Kaiser, Ursula; Binzen, Uta; Greffrath, Wolfgang; Peschke, Elmar
Synaptic ribbons (SRs) are presynaptic structures thought to regulate and facilitate multivesicular release. In the pineal gland, they display a circadian rhythm with higher levels at night paralleling melatonin synthesis. To gain more insight into the processes involved and the possible functions of these structures, a series of experiments were conducted in rodents. We studied the regional distribution of a molecular marker of pineal SRs, the kinesin motor KIF3A in the gland. Respective immunoreactivity was abundant in central regions of the gland where sympathetic fibers were less dense, and vice versa, revealing that intercellular communication between adjacent pinealocytes is enhanced under low sympathetic influence. KIF3A was found to be colocalized to the transient receptor potential channel of the vanilloid receptor family, subtype 1 (TRPV1). The TRPV1 agonist capsaicin increased melatonin secretion from perifused pineals in a dose-dependent manner that was blocked by the competitive TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine. No change in free intracellular calcium was observed in response to TRPV1 ligands applied to pinealocytes responding to norepinephrine, bradykinin and/or depolarization. These data clearly indicate that TRPV1 actively regulates pineal gland function.
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 with dl-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
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.
SUMMARY Autism spectrum disorder 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 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
Pribiag, Horia; Peng, Huashan; Shah, Waris Ali; Stellwagen, David; Carbonetto, Salvatore
Dystroglycan (DG), a cell adhesion molecule well known to be essential for skeletal muscle integrity and formation of neuromuscular synapses, is also present at inhibitory synapses in the central nervous system. Mutations that affect DG function not only result in muscular dystrophies, but also in severe cognitive deficits and epilepsy. Here we demonstrate a role of DG during activity-dependent homeostatic regulation of hippocampal inhibitory synapses. Prolonged elevation of neuronal activity up-regulates DG expression and glycosylation, and its localization to inhibitory synapses. Inhibition of protein synthesis prevents the activity-dependent increase in synaptic DG and GABAA receptors (GABAARs), as well as the homeostatic scaling up of GABAergic synaptic transmission. RNAi-mediated knockdown of DG blocks homeostatic scaling up of inhibitory synaptic strength, as does knockdown of like-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (LARGE)--a glycosyltransferase critical for DG function. In contrast, DG is not required for the bicuculline-induced scaling down of excitatory synaptic strength or the tetrodotoxin-induced scaling down of inhibitory synaptic strength. The DG ligand agrin increases GABAergic synaptic strength in a DG-dependent manner that mimics homeostatic scaling up induced by increased activity, indicating that activation of this pathway alone is sufficient to regulate GABAAR trafficking. These data demonstrate that DG is regulated in a physiologically relevant manner in neurons and that DG and its glycosylation are essential for homeostatic plasticity at inhibitory synapses.
Liu, Weilin; Wu, Jie; Zhuo, Peiyuan; Lin, Yunjiao; Wang, Lulu; Lin, Ruhui
MircoRNAs (miRs) have been implicated in learning and memory, by regulating LIM domain kinase (LIMK1) to induce synaptic-dendritic plasticity. The study aimed to investigate whether miRNAs/LIMK1 signaling was involved in electroacupuncture- (EA-) mediated synaptic-dendritic plasticity in a rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion induced cognitive deficit (MICD). Compared to untreatment or non-acupoint-EA treatment, EA at DU20 and DU24 acupoints could shorten escape latency and increase the frequency of crossing platform in Morris water maze test. T2-weighted imaging showed that the MICD rat brain lesions were located in cortex, hippocampus, corpus striatum, and thalamus regions and injured volumes were reduced after EA. Furthermore, we found that the density of dendritic spine and the number of synapses in the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells were obviously reduced at Day 14 after MICD. However, synaptic-dendritic loss could be rescued after EA. Moreover, the synaptic-dendritic plasticity was associated with increases of the total LIMK1 and phospho-LIMK1 levels in hippocampal CA1 region, wherein EA decreased the expression of miR-134, negatively regulating LIMK1 to enhance synaptic-dendritic plasticity. Therefore, miR-134-mediated LIMK1 was involved in EA-induced hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which served as a contributor to improving learning and memory during the recovery stage of ischemic stroke. PMID:28116173
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...
Krugers, Harmen J.; Lucassen, Paul J.; Karst, Henk; Joëls, Marian
Exposure of an organism to environmental challenges activates two hormonal systems that help the organism to adapt. As part of this adaptational process, brain processes are changed such that appropriate behavioral strategies are selected that allow optimal performance at the short term, while relevant information is stored for the future. Over the past years it has become evident that chronic uncontrollable and unpredictable stress also exerts profound effects on structure and function of limbic neurons, but the impact of chronic stress is not a mere accumulation of repeated episodes of acute stress exposure. Dendritic trees are reduced in some regions but expanded in others, and cells are generally exposed to a higher calcium load upon depolarization. Synaptic strengthening is largely impaired. Neurotransmitter responses are also changed, e.g., responses to serotonin. We here discuss: (a) the main cellular effects after chronic stress with emphasis on the hippocampus, (b) how such effects could contribute to the development of psychopathology in genetically vulnerable individuals, and (c) their normalization by brief treatment with anti-glucocorticoids. PMID:21423510
Short term memory traces are probably induced by a sustained and specific functional activation of some sensory and/or motor circuits in brain. These modifications, which could concern a large proportion of the brain but especially the limbic areas, are constituted primarily by ionic mechanisms and second messengers cascades induced by the activation of glutamatergic receptors (namely NMDA). In the invertebrate (Drosophilia melanogaster, aplysia), the role of serotonergic receptors seems to be more important. The activated cAMP-dependent and calcium dependent protein kinases target several proteins which are reversibly phosphorylated modifying the synaptic functions which in turn induce potentiated (PLT) or depressed (DLT) post-synaptic responses. These phenomena are at the basis of specific protein neosynthesis which is initiated by several early genes or trancription factor (cfos, zif 268, jun, CREB). Specific mRNA migrate to the potentiated synapse or dendritic spine where activated polyribosomes synthesize trophic factor, adhesion molecules and synaptic constituents. The building of new synaptic contacts and/or the plastic evolution of existing synapses could explain long-term LTP and long-term memory traces.
dissociated primary neurons, immortalized cell lines derived from neuronal and non-neuronal tissues and, most recently, stem cells. The predictive value of...repair of damaged neural tissues [8,9]. However, SCN models must be shown to be competent to form context-appropriate, functioning neurons before...of neuronal maturation have been well-described in dissociated cultures of primary neurons, it is important to recognize that the source tissues
Willeit, Matthäus; Sitte, Harald H; Thierry, Nikolaus; Michalek, Klaus; Praschak-Rieder, Nicole; Zill, Peter; Winkler, Dietmar; Brannath, Werner; Fischer, Michael B; Bondy, Brigitta; Kasper, Siegfried; Singer, Ernst A
Decreased synaptic serotonin during depressive episodes is a central element of the monoamine hypothesis of depression. The serotonin transporter (5-HTT, SERT) is a key molecule for the control of synaptic serotonin levels. Here we aimed to detect state-related alterations in the efficiency of 5-HTT-mediated inward and outward transport in platelets of drug-free depressed patients suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 5-HTT turnover rate, a measure for the number of inward transport events per minute, and tyramine-induced, 5-HTT-mediated outward transport were assessed at baseline, after 4 weeks of bright light therapy, and in summer using a case-control design in a consecutive sample of 73 drug-free depressed patients with SAD and 70 nonseasonal healthy controls. Patients were drug-naive or medication-free for at least 6 months prior to study inclusion, females patients were studied in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. All participants were genotyped for a 5-HTT-promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) to assess the influence of this polymorphism on 5-HTT parameters. Efficiency of 5-HTT-mediated inward (p=0.014) and outward (p=0.003) transport was enhanced in depressed patients. Both measures normalized toward control levels after therapy and in natural summer remission. Changes in outward transport showed a clear correlation with treatment response (rho=0.421, p=0.001). Changes in inward transport were mediated by changes in 5-HTT transport efficiency rather than affinity or density. 5-HTTLPR was not associated with any of the 5-HTT parameters. In sum, we conclude that the 5-HTT is in a hyperfunctional state during depression in SAD and normalizes after light therapy and in natural summer remission.
Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake; Des Roches, Simone; Chase, Jonathan M; Shurin, Jonathan B; Schluter, Dolph
Explaining the ecological causes of evolutionary diversification is a major focus of biology, but surprisingly little has been said about the effects of evolutionary diversification on ecosystems. The number of species in an ecosystem and their traits are key predictors of many ecosystem-level processes, such as rates of productivity, biomass sequestration and decomposition. Here we demonstrate short-term ecosystem-level effects of adaptive radiation in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) over the past 10,000 years. These fish have undergone recent parallel diversification in several lakes in coastal British Columbia, resulting in the formation of two specialized species (benthic and limnetic) from a generalist ancestor. Using a mesocosm experiment, we demonstrate that this diversification has strong effects on ecosystems, affecting prey community structure, total primary production, and the nature of dissolved organic materials that regulate the spectral properties of light transmission in the system. However, these ecosystem effects do not simply increase in their relative strength with increasing specialization and species richness; instead, they reflect the complex and indirect consequences of ecosystem engineering by sticklebacks. It is well known that ecological factors influence adaptive radiation. We demonstrate that adaptive radiation, even over short timescales, can have profound effects on ecosystems.
Frank, Marcos G
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.
Frank, Marcos G.
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
Sebastião, Ana M; Ribeiro, Joaquim A
Synaptic plasticity mechanisms, i.e. the sequence of events that underlies persistent changes in synaptic strength as a consequence of transient alteration in neuronal firing, are greatly influenced by the 'chemical atmosphere' of the synapses, that is to say by the presence of molecules at the synaptic cleft able to fine-tune the activity of other molecules more directly related to plasticity. One of those fine tuners is adenosine, known for a long time as an ubiquitous neuromodulator and metamodulator and recognized early as influencing synaptic plasticity. In this review we will refer to the mechanisms that adenosine can use to affect plasticity, emphasizing aspects of the neurobiology of adenosine relevant to its ability to control synaptic functioning. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain and Memory.
Ikegami, Koji; Heier, Robb L; Taruishi, Midori; Takagi, Hiroshi; Mukai, Masahiro; Shimma, Shuichi; Taira, Shu; Hatanaka, Ken; Morone, Nobuhiro; Yao, Ikuko; Campbell, Patrick K; Yuasa, Shigeki; Janke, Carsten; Macgregor, Grant R; Setou, Mitsutoshi
Microtubules function as molecular tracks along which motor proteins transport a variety of cargo to discrete destinations within the cell. The carboxyl termini of alpha- and beta-tubulin can undergo different posttranslational modifications, including polyglutamylation, which is particularly abundant within the mammalian nervous system. Thus, this modification could serve as a molecular "traffic sign" for motor proteins in neuronal cells. To investigate whether polyglutamylated alpha-tubulin could perform this function, we analyzed ROSA22 mice that lack functional PGs1, a subunit of alpha-tubulin-selective polyglutamylase. In wild-type mice, polyglutamylated alpha-tubulin is abundant in both axonal and dendritic neurites. ROSA22 mutants display a striking loss of polyglutamylated alpha-tubulin within neurons, including their neurites, which is associated with decreased binding affinity of certain structural microtubule-associated proteins and motor proteins, including kinesins, to microtubules purified from ROSA22-mutant brain. Of the kinesins examined, KIF1A, a subfamily of kinesin-3, was less abundant in neurites from ROSA22 mutants in vitro and in vivo, whereas the distribution of KIF3A (kinesin-2) and KIF5 (kinesin-1) appeared unaltered. The density of synaptic vesicles, a cargo of KIF1A, was decreased in synaptic terminals in the CA1 region of hippocampus in ROSA22 mutants. Consistent with this finding, ROSA22 mutants displayed more rapid depletion of synaptic vesicles than wild-type littermates after high-frequency stimulation. These data provide evidence for a role of polyglutamylation of alpha-tubulin in vivo, as a molecular traffic sign for targeting of KIF1 kinesin required for continuous synaptic transmission.
Pisarchik, A. N.; Jaimes-Reátegui, R.; Sevilla-Escoboza, R.; García-Lopez, J. H.; Kazantsev, V. B.
Understanding neuron connections is a great challenge, which is needed to solve many important problems in neurobiology and neuroengineering for recreation of brain functions and efficient biorobotics. In particular, a design of an optical synapse capable to communicate with neuron spike sequences would be crucial to improve the functionality of neuromimmetic networks. In this work we propose an optical synaptic sensor based on an erbium-doped fiber laser driven by a FitzHung-Nagumo electronic neuron, to connect with another electronic neuron. Two possible optical synaptic configurations are analyzed for optoelectronic coupling between neurons: laser cavity loss modulation and pump laser modulation. The control parameters of the proposed optical synapse provide additional degrees of flexibility to the neuron connection traditionally controlled only by coupling strengths in artificial networks.
A recent experimental study shows that astrocytes, a subtype of glia, are able to influence the spontaneous activity in the brain via calcium dependent glutamate release. We model the coupling mechanism between an astrocyte and a neuron based on experimental data. This coupling is dynamic and bi-directional, such that the modulations in intracellular calcium concentrations in astrocytes affect neuronal excitability and vice versa via a glutamatergic pathway. We demonstrate through simple neural-glial circuits that increases in the intracellular calcium concentration in astrocytes nearby can enhance spontaneous activity in a neuron, a significant mechanism said to be involved in plasticity and learning. The pattern of this marked increase in spontaneous firing rate in our model quantitatively follows that observed in the experiment. Further, depending on the type of synaptic connections diverging from the neuron, it can either inhibit or excite the ensuing dynamics and potentiate synaptic transmission, thus reinstating the integral role played by astrocytes in normal neuronal dynamics.
Rekling, Jens C.; Funk, Gregory D.; Bayliss, Douglas A.; Dong, Xiao-Wei; Feldman, Jack L.
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
De Pittà, Maurizio; Brunel, Nicolas
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
Kastellakis, George; Cai, Denise J.; Mednick, Sara C.; Silva, Alcino J.; Poirazi, Panayiota
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
Ishiba, Yasutsugu; Higashide, Tomomi; Mori, Naoki; Kobayashi, Akira; Kutobta, Shinya; McLaren, Margaret J.; Satoh, Hiromasa; Wong, Fulton; Inana, George
HRG4(UNC119) is a photoreceptor protein predominantly localized to the photoreceptor synapses and to the inner segments to a lesser degree. A heterozygous truncation mutation in HRG4 was found in a patient with late onset cone-rod dystrophy, and a transgenic (TG) mouse expressing the identical mutant protein developed late onset retinal degeneration, confirming the pathogenic potential of HRG4. Recently, the dominant negative pathogenic mechanism in the TG model was shown to involve increased affinity of the truncated mutant HRG4 for its target, ARL2, which leads to a delayed decrease in its downstream target, mitochondrial ANT1, mitochondrial stress, synaptic degeneration, trans-synaptic degeneration, and whole photoreceptor degeneration by apoptosis. In this study, the mouse HRG4 (MRG4) gene was cloned and targeted to construct a knock-out (KO) mouse model of HRG4 in order to study the effects of completely inactivating this protein. The KO model was examined by genomic Southern blotting, western blotting, immunofluorescence, funduscopy, LM and EM histopathology, ERG, and TUNEL analyses. The KO model developed a slowly progressive retinal degeneration, characterized by mottling in the fundus, mild thinning of the photoreceptor layer, and increase in apoptosis as early as 6 months, dramatic acceleration at ~17 months, and virtual obliteration of the photoreceptors by 20 months. When compared to retinal degeneration in the TG model, significant differences existed in the KO consisting of more severe and early photoreceptor death without evidence of early synaptic and trans-synaptic degeneration as seen in the TG, confirmed by LM and EM histopathology, ERG, and western blotting of synaptic proteins. The results indicated a dysfunction in the KO outside the synapses in the distal end of photoreceptors where MRG4 is also localized. Differences in the phenotypes of retinal degeneration in the KO and TG models reflect a dysfunction in the two opposite ends of
Daumas, Stephanie; Hunter, Christopher J.; Mistry, Rajen B.; Cooper, Daniel D.; Reyskens, Kathleen M.; Flynn, Harry T.
Abstract The later stages of long-term potentiation (LTP) in vitro and spatial memory in vivo are believed to depend upon gene transcription. Accordingly, considerable attempts have been made to identify both the mechanisms by which transcription is regulated and indeed the gene products themselves. Previous studies have shown that deletion of one regulator of transcription, the mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1 (MSK1), causes an impairment of spatial memory. Given the ability of MSK1 to regulate gene expression via the phosphorylation of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) at serine 133 (S133), MSK1 is a plausible candidate as a prime regulator of transcription underpinning synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. Indeed, prior work has revealed the necessity for MSK1 in homeostatic and experience-dependent synaptic plasticity. However, using a knock-in kinase-dead mouse mutant of MSK1, the current study demonstrates that, while the kinase function of MSK1 is important in regulating the phosphorylation of CREB at S133 and basal synaptic transmission in hippocampal area CA1, it is not required for metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent long-term depression (mGluR-LTD), two forms of LTP or several forms of spatial learning in the watermaze. These data indicate that other functions of MSK1, such as a structural role for the whole enzyme, may explain previous observations of a role for MSK1 in learning and memory. PMID:28275711
Piubelli, Chiara; Vighini, Miriam; Mathé, Aleksander A; Domenici, Enrico; Carboni, Lucia
Large-scale investigations aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanism of action of antidepressant treatment are achievable through the application of proteomic technologies. We performed a proteomic study on the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL), a genetically selected rat model of depression, and the control Flinders Resistant Line (FRL). To evaluate gene-environment interactions, FSL and FRL animals were separated from their mothers for 3 h from postnatal days 2 to 14 (maternal separation; MS), since early-life trauma is considered an important antecedent of depression. All groups received either escitalopram (Esc) admixed to food pellets (25 mg/kg.d) or vehicle for 1 month. Protein extracts from prefrontal/frontal cortex and hippocampus were separated by 2D electrophoresis. Proteins differentially modulated were identified by mass spectrometry. Bioinformatics analyses were performed to discover gene ontology terms associated with the modulated proteins. This paper was focused on the modifications induced by the environmental challenge of MS, both on the predisposed genetic background and on the resistant phenotype. The combination between Esc treatment and MS was investigated by comparing the MS, Esc-treated rats with rats subjected to each single procedure. In MS rats, antidepressant treatment influenced mainly proteins involved in carbohydrate metabolism in FSL rats and in vesicle-mediated transport in FRL rats. When studying the interaction between Esc and MS vs. non-separated rats, proteins playing a role in cytoskeleton organization, neuronal development, vesicle-mediated transport and synaptic plasticity were identified. The results provide further support to the available reports that antidepressant treatment affects intracellular pathways and also suggest new potential targets for future therapeutic intervention.
Popoli, Maurizio; Gennarelli, Massimo; Racagni, Giorgio
Recent preclinical and clinical studies have shown that mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity and survival are involved in both the outcome of stressful experiences and the action of antidepressants. Whereas most antidepressants predominantly affect the brain levels of monoamine neurotransmitters, it is increasingly appreciated that they also modulate neurotransmission at synapses using the neurotransmitter glutamate (the most abundant in the brain). In the hippocampus, a main area of the limbic system involved in cognitive functions as well as attention and affect, specific molecules enriched at glutamatergic synapses mediate major changes in synaptic plasticity induced by stress paradigms or antidepressant treatments. We analyze here the modifications induced by stress or antidepressants in the strength of synaptic transmission in hippocampus, and the molecular modifications induced by antidepressants in two main mediators of synaptic plasticity: the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor complex for glutamate and the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II). Both stress and antidepressants induce alterations in long-term potentiation of hippocampal glutamatergic synapses, which may be partly accounted for by the influence of environmental or drug-induced stimulation of monoaminergic pathways projecting to the hippocampus. In the course of antidepressant treatments significant changes have been described in both the NMDA receptor and CaM kinase II, which may account for the physiological changes observed. A central role in these synaptic changes is exerted by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which modulates both synaptic plasticity and its molecular mediators, as well as inducing morphological synaptic changes. The role of these molecular effectors in synaptic plasticity is discussed in relation to the action of antidepressants and the search for new molecular targets of drug action in the therapy of mood disorders.
Skaper, Stephen D; Facci, Laura; Zusso, Morena; Giusti, Pietro
Neuroplasticity is not only shaped by learning and memory but is also a mediator of responses to neuron attrition and injury (compensatory plasticity). As an ongoing process it reacts to neuronal cell activity and injury, death, and genesis, which encompasses the modulation of structural and functional processes of axons, dendrites, and synapses. The range of structural elements that comprise plasticity includes long-term potentiation (a cellular correlate of learning and memory), synaptic efficacy and remodelling, synaptogenesis, axonal sprouting and dendritic remodelling, and neurogenesis and recruitment. Degenerative diseases of the human brain continue to pose one of biomedicine's most intractable problems. Research on human neurodegeneration is now moving from descriptive to mechanistic analyses. At the same time, it is increasing apparent that morphological lesions traditionally used by neuropathologists to confirm post-mortem clinical diagnosis might furnish us with an experimentally tractable handle to understand causative pathways. Consider the aging-dependent neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD) which is characterised at the neuropathological level by deposits of insoluble amyloid b-peptide (Ab) in extracellular plaques and aggregated tau protein, which is found largely in the intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. We now appreciate that mild cognitive impairment in early AD may be due to synaptic dysfunction caused by accumulation of non-fibrillar, oligomeric Ab, occurring well in advance of evident widespread synaptic loss and neurodegeneration. Soluble Ab oligomers can adversely affect synaptic structure and plasticity at extremely low concentrations, although the molecular substrates by which synaptic memory mechanisms are disrupted remain to be fully elucidated. The dendritic spine constitutes a primary locus of excitatory synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. These structures protruding from dendritic shafts
Balietti, Marta; Tamagnini, Francesco; Fattoretti, Patrizia; Burattini, Costanza; Casoli, Tiziana; Platano, Daniela; Lattanzio, Fabrizia
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
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.
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
Südhof, Thomas C.; Rizo, Josep
Presynaptic nerve terminals release neurotransmitters by synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Membrane fusion mediating synaptic exocytosis and other intracellular membrane traffic is affected by a universal machinery that includes SNARE (for “soluble NSF-attachment protein receptor”) and SM (for “Sec1/Munc18-like”) proteins. During fusion, vesicular and target SNARE proteins assemble into an α-helical trans-SNARE complex that forces the two membranes tightly together, and SM proteins likely wrap around assembling trans-SNARE complexes to catalyze membrane fusion. After fusion, SNARE complexes are dissociated by the ATPase NSF (for “N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor”). Fusion-competent conformations of SNARE proteins are maintained by chaperone complexes composed of CSPα, Hsc70, and SGT, and by nonenzymatically acting synuclein chaperones; dysfunction of these chaperones results in neurodegeneration. The synaptic membrane-fusion machinery is controlled by synaptotagmin, and additionally regulated by a presynaptic protein matrix (the “active zone”) that includes Munc13 and RIM proteins as central components. PMID:22026965
Bartolozzi, Chiara; Indiveri, Giacomo
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.
Daoud, Fatma; Candelario-Martínez, Aurora; Billard, Jean-Marie; Avital, Avi; Khelfaoui, Malik; Rozenvald, Yael; Guegan, Maryvonne; Mornet, Dominique; Jaillard, Danielle; Nudel, Uri; Chelly, Jamel; Martínez-Rojas, Dalila; Laroche, Serge; Yaffe, David; Vaillend, Cyrille
Background Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by deficient expression of the cytoskeletal protein, dystrophin. One third of DMD patients also have mental retardation (MR), likely due to mutations preventing expression of dystrophin and other brain products of the DMD gene expressed from distinct internal promoters. Loss of Dp71, the major DMD-gene product in brain, is thought to contribute to the severity of MR; however, the specific function of Dp71 is poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Complementary approaches were used to explore the role of Dp71 in neuronal function and identify mechanisms by which Dp71 loss may impair neuronal and cognitive functions. Besides the normal expression of Dp71 in a subpopulation of astrocytes, we found that a pool of Dp71 colocalizes with synaptic proteins in cultured neurons and is expressed in synaptic subcellular fractions in adult brains. We report that Dp71-associated protein complexes interact with specialized modular scaffolds of proteins that cluster glutamate receptors and organize signaling in postsynaptic densities. We then undertook the first functional examination of the brain and cognitive alterations in the Dp71-null mice. We found that these mice display abnormal synapse organization and maturation in vitro, altered synapse density in the adult brain, enhanced glutamatergic transmission and reduced synaptic plasticity in CA1 hippocampus. Dp71-null mice show selective behavioral disturbances characterized by reduced exploratory and novelty-seeking behavior, mild retention deficits in inhibitory avoidance, and impairments in spatial learning and memory. Conclusions/Significance Results suggest that Dp71 expression in neurons play a regulatory role in glutamatergic synapse organization and function, which provides a new mechanism by which inactivation of Dp71 in association with that of other DMD-gene products may lead to increased severity of MR. PMID:19649270
Brickman, Adam M.; Small, Scott A.; Fleisher, Adam
During its earliest stage, before cell loss and independent of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, Alzheimer's disease (AD) causes synaptic loss affecting the basal functional properties of neurons. In principle, synaptic loss can be detected by measuring AD-induced changes in basal function, or by measuring stimulus-evoked responses on top of basal changes. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is sensitive to both basal changes and evoked-responses, and there are therefore two experimental approaches in which fMRI can be used to pinpoint synaptic loss in AD. In this review, we will compare and contrast both approaches for pinpointing when and where synaptic loss in AD begins and for monitoring therapeutic efficacy. PMID:19847048
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.
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
Moscato, Emilia H; Jain, Ankit; Peng, Xiaoyu; Hughes, Ethan G; Dalmau, Josep; Balice-Gordon, Rita J
Recently, several novel, potentially lethal and treatment-responsive syndromes that affect hippocampal and cortical function have been shown to be associated with auto-antibodies against synaptic antigens, notably glutamate or GABA-B receptors. Patients with these auto-antibodies, sometimes associated with teratomas and other neoplasms, present with psychiatric symptoms, seizures, memory deficits and decreased levels of consciousness. These symptoms often improve dramatically after immunotherapy or tumor resection. Here we review studies of the cellular and synaptic effects of these antibodies in hippocampal neurons in vitro and preliminary work in rodent models. Our work suggests that patient antibodies lead to rapid and reversible removal of neurotransmitter receptors from synaptic sites, leading to changes in synaptic and circuit function that in turn are likely to lead to behavioral deficits. We also discuss several of the many questions raised by these and related disorders. Determining the mechanisms underlying these novel anti-neurotransmitter receptor encephalopathies will provide insights into the cellular and synaptic bases of the memory and cognitive deficits that are hallmarks of these disorders, and potentially suggest avenues for therapeutic intervention.
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…
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.
Lueke, Katharina; Kaiser, Tobias; Svetlitchny, Alexei; Welzel, Oliver; Wenzel, Eva M; Tyagarajan, Shiva; Kornhuber, Johannes; Groemer, Teja W
Lithium is an effective mood-stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar affective disorder. While glycogen synthase kinase 3-mediated and inositol depletion-dependent effects of lithium have been described extensively in literature, there is very little knowledge about the consequences of lithium treatment on vesicle recycling and neurotransmitter availability. In the present study we have examined acute and chronic effects of lithium on synaptic vesicle recycling using primary hippocampal neurons. We found that exocytosis of readily releasable pool vesicles as well as recycling pool vesicles was unaffected by acute and chronic treatment within the therapeutic range or at higher lithium concentrations. Consistent with this observation, we also noticed that the network activity and number of active synapses within the network were also not significantly altered after lithium treatment. Taken together, as lithium treatment does not affect synaptic vesicle release at even high concentrations, our data suggest that therapeutic effects of lithium in bipolar affective disorder are not directly related to presynaptic function.
Murphy, Jessica A.; Stein, Ivar S.; Lau, C. Geoffrey; Peixoto, Rui T.; Aman, Teresa K.; Kaneko, Naoki; Aromolaran, Kelly; Saulnier, Jessica L.; Popescu, Gabriela K.
The NMDA-type glutamate receptor (NMDAR) is essential for synaptogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and higher cognitive function. Emerging evidence indicates that NMDAR Ca2+ permeability is under the control of cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling. Whereas the functional impact of PKA on NMDAR-dependent Ca2+ signaling is well established, the molecular target remains unknown. Here we identify serine residue 1166 (Ser1166) in the carboxy-terminal tail of the NMDAR subunit GluN2B to be a direct molecular and functional target of PKA phosphorylation critical to NMDAR-dependent Ca2+ permeation and Ca2+ signaling in spines. Activation of β-adrenergic and D1/D5-dopamine receptors induces Ser1166 phosphorylation. Loss of this single phosphorylation site abolishes PKA-dependent potentiation of NMDAR Ca2+ permeation, synaptic currents, and Ca2+ rises in dendritic spines. We further show that adverse experience in the form of forced swim, but not exposure to fox urine, elicits striking phosphorylation of Ser1166 in vivo, indicating differential impact of different forms of stress. Our data identify a novel molecular and functional target of PKA essential to NMDAR-mediated Ca2+ signaling at synapses and regulated by the emotional response to stress. PMID:24431445
Prox, Johannes; Bernreuther, Christian; Altmeppen, Hermann; Grendel, Jasper; Glatzel, Markus; D'Hooge, Rudi; Stroobants, Stijn; Ahmed, Tariq; Balschun, Detlef; Willem, Michael; Lammich, Sven; Isbrandt, Dirk; Schweizer, Michaela; Horré, Katrien; De Strooper, Bart; Saftig, Paul
The metalloproteinase ADAM10 is of importance for Notch-dependent cortical brain development. The protease is tightly linked with α-secretase activity toward the amyloid precursor protein (APP) substrate. Increasing ADAM10 activity is suggested as a therapy to prevent the production of the neurotoxic amyloid β (Aβ) peptide in Alzheimer's disease. To investigate the function of ADAM10 in postnatal brain, we generated Adam10 conditional knock-out (A10cKO) mice using a CaMKIIα-Cre deleter strain. The lack of ADAM10 protein expression was evident in the brain cortex leading to a reduced generation of sAPPα and increased levels of sAPPβ and endogenous Aβ peptides. The A10cKO mice are characterized by weight loss and increased mortality after weaning associated with seizures. Behavioral comparison of adult mice revealed that the loss of ADAM10 in the A10cKO mice resulted in decreased neuromotor abilities and reduced learning performance, which were associated with altered in vivo network activities in the hippocampal CA1 region and impaired synaptic function. Histological and ultrastructural analysis of ADAM10-depleted brain revealed astrogliosis, microglia activation, and impaired number and altered morphology of postsynaptic spine structures. A defect in spine morphology was further supported by a reduction of the expression of NMDA receptors subunit 2A and 2B. The reduced shedding of essential postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins such as N-Cadherin, Nectin-1, and APP may explain the postsynaptic defects and the impaired learning, altered network activity, and synaptic plasticity of the A10cKO mice. Our study reveals that ADAM10 is instrumental for synaptic and neuronal network function in the adult murine brain.
Graubard, Katherine; Raper, Jonathan A.; Hartline, Daniel K.
Graded synaptic transmission occurs between spiking neurons of the lobster stomatogastric ganglion. In addition to eliciting spike-evoked inhibitory potentials in postsynaptic cells, these neurons also release functionally significant amounts of transmitter below the threshold for action potentials. The spikeless postsynaptic potentials grade in amplitude with presynaptic voltage and can be maintained for long periods. Graded synaptic transmission can be modulated by synaptic input to the presynaptic neuron.
Brown, Jessica M.; Kvarta, Mark D.; Lu, Jay Y. J.; Schneider, Lauren R.; Nadim, Farzan; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M.
Neuromodulators modify network output by altering neuronal firing properties and synaptic strength at multiple sites; however, the functional importance of each site is often unclear. We determined the importance of monoamine modulation of a single synapse for regulation of network cycle frequency in the oscillatory pyloric network of the lobster. The pacemaker kernel of the pyloric network receives only one chemical synaptic feedback, an inhibitory synapse from the lateral pyloric (LP) neuron to the pyloric dilator (PD) neurons, which can limit cycle frequency. We measured the effects of dopamine (DA), octopamine (Oct), and serotonin (5HT) on the strength of the LP→PD synapse and the ability of the modified synapse to regulate pyloric cycle frequency. DA and Oct strengthened, whereas 5HT weakened, LP→PD inhibition. Surprisingly, the DA-strengthened LP→PD synapse lost its ability to slow the pyloric oscillations, whereas the 5HT-weakened LP→PD synapse gained a greater influence on the oscillations. These results are explained by monoamine modulation of factors that determine the firing phase of the LP neuron in each cycle. DA acts via multiple mechanisms to phase-advance the LP neuron into the pacemaker's refractory period, where the strengthened synapse has little effect. In contrast, 5HT phase-delays LP activity into a region of greater pacemaker sensitivity to LP synaptic input. Only Oct enhanced LP regulation of cycle period simply by enhancing LP→PD synaptic strength. These results show that modulation of the strength and timing of a synaptic input can differentially affect the synapse's efficacy in the network. PMID:21047938
Cools, Roshan; Nakamura, Kae; Daw, Nathaniel D
Serotonin, like dopamine (DA), has long been implicated in adaptive behavior, including decision making and reinforcement learning. However, although the two neuromodulators are tightly related and have a similar degree of functional importance, compared with DA, we have a much less specific understanding about the mechanisms by which serotonin affects behavior. Here, we draw on recent work on computational models of dopaminergic function to suggest a framework by which many of the seemingly diverse functions associated with both DA and serotonin—comprising both affective and activational ones, as well as a number of other functions not overtly related to either—can be seen as consequences of a single root mechanism. PMID:20736991
Sartini, S; Lattanzi, D; Ambrogini, P; Di Palma, M; Galati, C; Savelli, D; Polidori, E; Calcabrini, C; Rocchi, M B L; Sestili, P; Cuppini, R
Creatine supplementation has been shown to protect neurons from oxidative damage due to its antioxidant and ergogenic functions. These features have led to the hypothesis of creatine supplementation use during pregnancy as prophylactic treatment to prevent CNS damage, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Unfortunately, very little is known on the effects of creatine supplementation during neuron differentiation, while in vitro studies revealed an influence on neuron excitability, leaving the possibility of creatine supplementation during the CNS development an open question. Using a multiple approach, we studied the hippocampal neuron morphological and functional development in neonatal rats born by dams supplemented with 1% creatine in drinking water during pregnancy. CA1 pyramidal neurons of supplemented newborn rats showed enhanced dendritic tree development, increased LTP maintenance, larger evoked-synaptic responses, and higher intrinsic excitability in comparison to controls. Moreover, a faster repolarizing phase of action potential with the appearance of a hyperpolarization were recorded in neurons of the creatine-treated group. Consistently, CA1 neurons of creatine exposed pups exhibited a higher maximum firing frequency than controls. In summary, we found that creatine supplementation during pregnancy positively affects morphological and electrophysiological development of CA1 neurons in offspring rats, increasing neuronal excitability. Altogether, these findings emphasize the need to evaluate the benefits and the safety of maternal intake of creatine in humans.
Most, Dana; Leiter, Courtney; Blednov, Yuri A; Harris, R Adron; Mayfield, R Dayne
Local translation of mRNAs in the synapse has a major role in synaptic structure and function. Chronic alcohol use causes persistent changes in synaptic mRNA expression, possibly mediated by microRNAs localized in the synapse. We profiled the transcriptome of synaptoneurosomes (SN) obtained from the amygdala of mice that consumed 20% ethanol (alcohol) in a 30-day continuous two-bottle choice test to identify the microRNAs that target alcohol-induced mRNAs. SN are membrane vesicles containing pre- and post-synaptic compartments of neurons and astroglia and are a unique model for studying the synaptic transcriptome. We previously showed that chronic alcohol regulates mRNA expression in a coordinated manner. Here, we examine microRNAs and mRNAs from the same samples to define alcohol-responsive synaptic microRNAs and their predicted interactions with targeted mRNAs. The aim of the study was to identify the microRNA–mRNA synaptic interactions that are altered by alcohol. This was accomplished by comparing the effect of alcohol in SN and total homogenate preparations from the same samples. We used a combination of unbiased bioinformatic methods (differential expression, correlation, co-expression, microRNA-mRNA target prediction, co-targeting, and cell type-specific analyses) to identify key alcohol-sensitive microRNAs. Prediction analysis showed that a subset of alcohol-responsive microRNAs was predicted to target many alcohol-responsive mRNAs, providing a bidirectional analysis for identifying microRNA–mRNA interactions. We found microRNAs and mRNAs with overlapping patterns of expression that correlated with alcohol consumption. Cell type-specific analysis revealed that a significant number of alcohol-responsive mRNAs and microRNAs were unique to glutamate neurons and were predicted to target each other. Chronic alcohol consumption appears to perturb the coordinated microRNA regulation of mRNAs in SN, a mechanism that may explain the aberrations in synaptic
Most, Dana; Leiter, Courtney; Blednov, Yuri A; Harris, R Adron; Mayfield, R Dayne
Local translation of mRNAs in the synapse has a major role in synaptic structure and function. Chronic alcohol use causes persistent changes in synaptic mRNA expression, possibly mediated by microRNAs localized in the synapse. We profiled the transcriptome of synaptoneurosomes (SN) obtained from the amygdala of mice that consumed 20% ethanol (alcohol) in a 30-day continuous two-bottle choice test to identify the microRNAs that target alcohol-induced mRNAs. SN are membrane vesicles containing pre- and post-synaptic compartments of neurons and astroglia and are a unique model for studying the synaptic transcriptome. We previously showed that chronic alcohol regulates mRNA expression in a coordinated manner. Here, we examine microRNAs and mRNAs from the same samples to define alcohol-responsive synaptic microRNAs and their predicted interactions with targeted mRNAs. The aim of the study was to identify the microRNA-mRNA synaptic interactions that are altered by alcohol. This was accomplished by comparing the effect of alcohol in SN and total homogenate preparations from the same samples. We used a combination of unbiased bioinformatic methods (differential expression, correlation, co-expression, microRNA-mRNA target prediction, co-targeting, and cell type-specific analyses) to identify key alcohol-sensitive microRNAs. Prediction analysis showed that a subset of alcohol-responsive microRNAs was predicted to target many alcohol-responsive mRNAs, providing a bidirectional analysis for identifying microRNA-mRNA interactions. We found microRNAs and mRNAs with overlapping patterns of expression that correlated with alcohol consumption. Cell type-specific analysis revealed that a significant number of alcohol-responsive mRNAs and microRNAs were unique to glutamate neurons and were predicted to target each other. Chronic alcohol consumption appears to perturb the coordinated microRNA regulation of mRNAs in SN, a mechanism that may explain the aberrations in synaptic
Littleton, J T; Bai, J; Vyas, B; Desai, R; Baltus, A E; Garment, M B; Carlson, S D; Ganetzky, B; Chapman, E R
Synaptotagmin has been proposed to function as a Ca(2+) sensor that regulates synaptic vesicle exocytosis, whereas the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex is thought to form the core of a conserved membrane fusion machine. Little is known concerning the functional relationships between synaptotagmin and SNAREs. Here we report that synaptotagmin can facilitate SNARE complex formation in vitro and that synaptotagmin mutations disrupt SNARE complex formation in vivo. Synaptotagmin oligomers efficiently bind SNARE complexes, whereas Ca(2+) acting via synaptotagmin triggers cross-linking of SNARE complexes into dimers. Mutations in Drosophila that delete the C2B domain of synaptotagmin disrupt clathrin AP-2 binding and endocytosis. In contrast, a mutation that blocks Ca(2+)-triggered conformational changes in C2B and diminishes Ca(2+)-triggered synaptotagmin oligomerization results in a postdocking defect in neurotransmitter release and a decrease in SNARE assembly in vivo. These data suggest that Ca(2+)-driven oligomerization via the C2B domain of synaptotagmin may trigger synaptic vesicle fusion via the assembly and clustering of SNARE complexes.
Slotkin, Theodore A; Seidler, Frederic J
Fetal coexposure to nicotine and dexamethasone is common: maternal smoking increases the incidence of preterm delivery and glucocorticoids are the consensus treatment for prematurity. We gave pregnant rats 3mg/kg/day of nicotine throughout gestation, a regimen that reproduces smokers' plasma levels, and then on gestational days 17, 18 and 19, we administered 0.2mg/kg of dexamethasone. We evaluated developmental indices for serotonin (5HT) and dopamine synaptic function throughout adolescence, young adulthood and later adulthood, assessing the brain regions possessing major 5HT and dopamine projections and cell bodies. Males displayed persistent upregulation of 5HT(1A) and 5HT(2) receptors and the 5HT transporter, with a distinct hierarchy of effects: nicotine
Jia, Yan; Parker, David
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
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
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
Loos, Maarten; Li, Ka Wan; van der Schors, Roel; Gouwenberg, Yvonne; van der Loo, Rolinka; Williams, Robert W; Smit, August B; Spijker, Sabine
The relative abundance of synaptic proteins shapes protein complex formation and is essential for synapse function and behavioral fitness. Here, we have used a panel of highly diverse inbred strains of mice-NOD/LtJ, A/J, 129S1/SvImJ, FVB/NJ, C57BL/6J, WSB/EiJ, PWK/PhJ, and CAST/EiJ-to quantify the effects of genetic variation on the synaptic proteome between strains. Using iTRAQ-based quantitative proteome analyses, we detected significant differences in ∼20% of 400 core synaptic proteins. Surprisingly, the differentially abundant proteins showed a modest range of variation across strains, averaging about 1.3-fold. Analysis of protein abundance covariation across the eight strains identified known protein-protein relations (proteins of Arp2/3 complex), as well as novel relations (e.g. Dlg family, Fscn1). Moreover, covariation of synaptic proteins was substantially tighter (∼fourfold more dense than chance level) than corresponding networks of synaptic transcripts (∼twofold more dense than chance). The tight stoichiometry and coherent synaptic protein covariation networks suggest more intense evolutionary selection at this level of molecular organization. In conclusion, genetic diversity in the mouse genome differentially affects the transcriptome and proteome, and only partially penetrates the synaptic proteome. Protein abundance correlation analyses in genetically divergent strains can complement protein-protein interaction network analyses, to provide insight into protein interactomes.
Learning and sensory processing in the brain relies on the effective transmission of information across synapses. The strength and efficacy of synaptic transmission is modifiable through training and can be modulated with noninvasive electrical brain stimulation. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), specifically, induces weak intensity and spatially diffuse electric fields in the brain. Despite being weak, electric fields modulate spiking probability and the efficacy of synaptic transmission. These effects critically depend on the direction of the electric field relative to the orientation of the neuron and on the level of endogenous synaptic activity. TES has been used to modulate a wide range of neuropsychiatric indications, for various rehabilitation applications, and cognitive performance in diverse tasks. How can a weak and diffuse electric field, which simultaneously polarizes neurons across the brain, have precise changes in brain function? Designing therapies to maximize desired outcomes and minimize undesired effects presents a challenging problem. A series of experiments and computational models are used to define the anatomical and functional factors leading to specificity of TES. Anatomical specificity derives from guiding current to targeted brain structures and taking advantage of the direction-sensitivity of neurons with respect to the electric field. Functional specificity originates from preferential modulation of neuronal networks that are already active. Diffuse electric fields may recruit connected brain networks involved in a training task and promote plasticity along active synaptic pathways. In vitro, electric fields boost endogenous synaptic plasticity and raise the ceiling for synaptic learning with repeated stimulation sessions. Synapses undergoing strong plasticity are preferentially modulated over weak synapses. Therefore, active circuits that are involved in a task could be more susceptible to stimulation than inactive circuits
White, Edward L
The principal focus of this treatise is the specificity of synaptic connectivity in the mammalian central nervous system. The occurrence of stereotypical patterns of connection at the macro level (e.g., the general consistency with which axonal pathways impinge on and originate within specific cortical areas and layers) implies that the cerebral cortex is a highly ordered structure. Order is seen also at the more micro level of synaptic connectivity, for instance, in the contrasting synaptic patterns of spiny vs. non-spiny neurons. Quantitative electron microscopic studies of synapses between identified neurons and correlative anatomical/electrophysiological investigations indicate that the high degree of order characterizing many aspects of cortical organization is mirrored by an equally ordered arrangement of synaptic connections between specific types of neurons. The recognition of recurring synaptic patterns has generated increased support for the notion of synaptic specificity as opposed to randomness, and we have begun now to understand the role of specificity in cortical function. At the core of cortical processing lie myriad possibilities for computation provided by the wealth of synaptic connections involving each neuron. Specificity, by limiting possibilities for connection, imposes an order on synaptic interactions even as processes of dynamic selection or synaptic remodeling ensure the constant formation and dissolution of cortical circuits. Collectively, these operations make maximal use of the richness of cortical synaptic connections to produce a highly flexible system, irrespective of the degree of hard-wiring, mutability, randomness or specificity that obtains for cortical wiring at any particular time. A brief, historical account of developments leading to our current understanding of cortical synaptic organization will precede the presentation of evidence for synaptic specificity.
Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Alfaro, Iván E.; Serrano, Felipe G.; Parodi, Jorge; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.
Growing evidence indicates that Wingless-type (Wnt) signaling plays an important role in the maturation of the central nervous system. We report here that Wingless-type family member 5A (Wnt-5a) is expressed early in development and stimulates dendrite spine morphogenesis, inducing de novo formation of spines and increasing the size of the preexisting ones in hippocampal neurons. Wnt-5a increased intracellular calcium concentration in dendritic processes and the amplitude of NMDA spontaneous miniature currents. Acute application of Wnt-5a increased the amplitude of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) in hippocampal slices, an effect that was prevented by calcium-channel blockers. The physiological relevance of our findings is supported by studies showing that Wnt scavengers decreased spine density, miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, and fEPSP amplitude. We conclude that Wnt-5a stimulates different aspects of synaptic differentiation and plasticity in the mammalian central nervous system. PMID:21084636
Chung, Leeyup; Wang, Xiaoming; Zhu, Li; Towers, Aaron J; Cao, Xinyu; Kim, Il Hwan; Jiang, Yong-hui
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.
Tebano, Maria Teresa; Martire, Alberto; Chiodi, Valentina; Ferrante, Antonella; Popoli, Patrizia
In the last few years, accumulating evidence has shown the existence of an important cross-talk between adenosine A(2A) receptors (A(2A)Rs) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Not only are A(2A)Rs involved in the mechanism of transactivation of BDNF receptor TrkB, they also modulate the effect of BDNF on synaptic transmission, playing a facilitatory and permissive role. The cAMP-PKA pathway, the main transduction system operated by A(2A)Rs, is involved in such effects. Furthermore, a basal tonus of A(2A)Rs is required to allow the regulation of BDNF physiological levels in the brain, as demonstrated by the reduced protein levels measured in A(2A)Rs KO mice. The crucial role of adenosine A(2A)Rs in the maintenance of synaptic functions and BDNF levels will be reviewed here and discussed in the light of possible implications for Huntington's disease therapy, in which a joint impairment of BDNF and A(2A)Rs seems to play a pathogenetic role.
Davari, S; Talaei, S A; Alaei, H; Salami, M
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
Sun, Wenzhi; Mahaffey, Connie L.; Curk, Tomaž; Rot, Gregor; Ule, Jernej; Frankel, Wayne N.
RNA–binding proteins have emerged as causal agents of complex neurological diseases. Mice deficient for neuronal RNA–binding protein CELF4 have a complex neurological disorder with epilepsy as a prominent feature. Human CELF4 has recently been associated with clinical features similar to those seen in mutant mice. CELF4 is expressed primarily in excitatory neurons, including large pyramidal cells of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, and it regulates excitatory but not inhibitory neurotransmission. We examined mechanisms underlying neuronal hyperexcitability in Celf4 mutants by identifying CELF4 target mRNAs and assessing their fate in the absence of CELF4 in view of their known functions. CELF4 binds to at least 15%–20% of the transcriptome, with striking specificity for the mRNA 3′ untranslated region. CELF4 mRNA targets encode a variety of proteins, many of which are well established in neuron development and function. While the overall abundance of these mRNA targets is often dysregulated in Celf4 deficient mice, the actual expression changes are modest at the steady-state level. In contrast, by examining the transcriptome of polysome fractions and the mRNA distribution along the neuronal cell body-neuropil axis, we found that CELF4 is critical for maintaining mRNA stability and availability for translation. Among biological processes associated with CELF4 targets that accumulate in neuropil of mutants, regulation of synaptic plasticity and transmission are the most prominent. Together with a related study of the impact of CELF4 loss on sodium channel Nav1.6 function, we suggest that CELF4 deficiency leads to abnormal neuronal function by combining a specific effect on neuronal excitation with a general impairment of synaptic transmission. These results also expand our understanding of the vital roles RNA–binding proteins play in regulating and shaping the activity of neural circuits. PMID:23209433
Grossman, Ruth B.; Bemis, Rhyannon H.; Skwerer, Daniela Plesa; Tager-Flusberg, Helen
Purpose We investigated perception and production of lexical stress and processing of affective prosody in adolescents with high functioning autism (HFA). We hypothesized preserved processing of lexical and affective prosody, but atypical lexical prosody production. Method 16 children with HFA and 15 typically developing (TD) peers participated in three experiments: 1. Perception of affective prosody, 2. Lexical stress perception, 3. Lexical stress production. In Experiment 1, participants labeled sad, happy, and neutral spoken sentences that were low-pass filtered, to eliminate verbal content. In Experiment 2 participants disambiguated word meanings based on lexical stress (HOTdog, vs. hotDOG). In Experiment 3 participants produced these words in a sentence completion task. Productions were analyzed using acoustic measures. Results Accuracy levels showed no group differences. Participants with HFA could determine affect from filtered sentences and disambiguate words based on lexical stress. They produced appropriately differentiated lexical stress patterns but demonstrated atypically long productions indicating reduced ability in natural prosody production. Conclusions Children with HFA were as capable as their TD peers in receptive tasks of lexical stress and affective prosody. Prosody productions were atypically long, despite accurate differentiation of lexical stress patterns. Future research should use larger samples and spontaneous vs. elicited productions. PMID:20530388
Romcy-Pereira, Rodrigo N; Leite, João P; Garcia-Cairasco, Norberto
Activity-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy (i.e., synaptic plasticity) can alter the way neurons communicate and process information as a result of experience. Synaptic plasticity mechanisms involve both molecular and structural modifications that affect synaptic functioning, either enhancing or depressing neuronal transmission. They include redistribution of postsynaptic receptors, activation of intracellular signaling cascades, and formation/retraction of dendritic spines, among others. During the sleep-wake cycle, as the result of particular neurochemical and neuronal firing modes, distinct oscillatory patterns organize the activity of neuronal populations, modulating synaptic plasticity. Such modulation, for example, has been shown in the visual cortex following sleep deprivation and in the ability to induce hippocampal long-term potentiation during sleep. In epilepsy, synchronized behavioral states tend to contribute to the initiation of paroxystic discharges and are considered more epileptogenic than desynchronized states. Here, we review some of the current understandings of synaptic plasticity changes in wake and sleep states and how sleep may affect epileptic seizures.
McDermott, Suzanne M; Yang, Lu; Halstead, James M; Hamilton, Russell S; Meignin, Carine; Davis, Ilan
Localized mRNA translation is thought to play a key role in synaptic plasticity, but the identity of the transcripts and the molecular mechanism underlying their function are still poorly understood. Here, we show that Syncrip, a regulator of localized translation in the Drosophila oocyte and a component of mammalian neuronal mRNA granules, is also expressed in the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction, where it regulates synaptic growth. We use RNA-immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing and qRT-PCR to show that Syncrip associates with a number of mRNAs encoding proteins with key synaptic functions, including msp-300, syd-1, neurexin-1, futsch, highwire, discs large, and α-spectrin. The protein levels of MSP-300, Discs large, and a number of others are significantly affected in syncrip null mutants. Furthermore, syncrip mutants show a reduction in MSP-300 protein levels and defects in muscle nuclear distribution characteristic of msp-300 mutants. Our results highlight a number of potential new players in localized translation during synaptic plasticity in the neuromuscular junction. We propose that Syncrip acts as a modulator of synaptic plasticity by regulating the translation of these key mRNAs encoding synaptic scaffolding proteins and other important components involved in synaptic growth and function.
A Fogel; Y Li; Q Wang; T Lam; Y Modis; T Biederer
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.
Fiszdon, Joanna M.; Johannesen, Jason K.
Affect recognition (AR) is a core component of social information processing, thus may be critical to understanding social behavior and functioning in broader aspects of daily living. Deficits in AR are well documented in schizophrenia, however, there is also evidence that many individuals with schizophrenia perform AR tasks at near-normal levels. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the functional significance of AR deficits in schizophrenia by comparing subgroups with normal-range and impaired AR performance on proxy and interviewer-rated measures of real-world functioning. Schizophrenia outpatients were classified as normal-range (N=17) and impaired (N=31) based on a logistic cut point in the sample distribution of BLERT scores, referenced to a normative sample of healthy control subjects (N=56). The derived schizophrenia subgroups were then compared on proxy (UCSD, UPSA, SSPA, MMAA) and interviewer-rated (QLS, ILSS) measures of functioning, as well as battery of neurocognitive tests. Initial analyses indicated superior MMAA and QLS performance in the near-normal AR subgroup. Covariate analyses indicated that group differences in neurocognition fully mediated the observed associations between AR and MMAA and attenuated the observed relationships between AR classification and QLS. These results support three main conclusions. First, AR, like many other domains of psychopathology studied in schizophrenia, is preserved in select subgroups. Second, there is a positive relationship between AR performance and functional outcome measures. Third, neurocognition appears to mediate the relationship between AR and measures of functioning. PMID:20202689
Kittel, Robert J.; Heckmann, Manfred
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
Parihar, Mordhwaj S; Brewer, Gregory J
Alzheimer’s disease is associated with synapse loss, memory dysfunction and pathological accumulation of amyloid beta in plaques. However, an exclusively pathological role for amyloid beta is being challenged by new evidence for an essential function of amyloid beta at the synapse. Amyloid beta protein exists in different assembly states in the central nervous system and plays distinct roles ranging from synapse and memory formation to memory loss and neuronal cell death. Amyloid beta is present in the brain of symptom-free people where it likely performs important physiological roles. New evidence indicates that synaptic activity directly evokes the release of amyloid beta at the synapse. At physiological levels, amyloid beta is a normal, soluble product of neuronal metabolism that regulates synaptic function beginning early in life. Monomeric amyloid beta 40 and 42 are the predominant forms required for synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival. With age, some assemblies of amyloid beta are associated with synaptic failure and Alzheimer’s disease pathology, possibly targeting the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor through the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR), mitochondrial amyloid-β alcohol dehydrogenase (ABAD) and cyclophilin D. But emerging data suggests a distinction between age effects on the target response in contrast to the assembly state or the accumulation of the peptide. Both aging and beta amyloid independently decrease neuronal plasticity. Our laboratory has reported that amyloid beta, glutamate and lactic acid are each increasingly toxic with neuron age. The basis of the age-related toxicity partly resides in age-related mitochondrial dysfunction and an oxidative shift in mitochondrial and cytoplasmic redox potential. In turn, signaling through phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (pERK) is affected along with an age-independent increase in phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (p
Garcia-Bereguiain, Miguel Angel; Gonzalez-Islas, Carlos; Lindsly, Casie
GABAA receptor activation due to action-potential-independent GABA vesicle release can trigger scaling. The findings suggest that scaling in the living embryonic spinal cord functions to maintain synaptic strength and challenge the view that scaling acts to regulate spiking activity homeostatically. Finally, the results indicate that fetal exposure to drugs that influence GABA spontaneous release, such as nicotine, could profoundly affect synaptic maturation. PMID:27383600
Wang, Haitao; Hu, Lingli; Liu, Chunhua; Su, Zhenghui; Wang, Lihui; Pan, Guangjin; Guo, Yiping; He, Jufang
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
Taylor, Stephan F; Demeter, Elise; Phan, K Luan; Tso, Ivy F; Welsh, Robert C
Deficits in the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system have been reported in postmortem studies of schizophrenia, and therapeutic interventions in schizophrenia often involve potentiation of GABA receptors (GABAR) to augment antipsychotic therapy and treat negative affect such as anxiety. To map GABAergic mechanisms associated with processing affect, we used a benzodiazepine challenge while subjects viewed salient visual stimuli. Fourteen stable, medicated schizophrenia/schizoaffective patients and 13 healthy comparison subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging using the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) technique while they viewed salient emotional images. Subjects received intravenous lorazepam (LRZ; 0.01 mg/kg) or saline in a single-blinded, cross-over design (two sessions separated by 1-3 weeks). A predicted group by drug interaction was noted in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) as well as right superior frontal gyrus and left and right occipital regions, such that psychosis patients showed an increased BOLD signal to LRZ challenge, rather than the decreased signal exhibited by the comparison group. A main effect of reduced BOLD signal in bilateral occipital areas was noted across groups. Consistent with the role of the dmPFC in processing emotion, state negative affect positively correlated with the response to the LRZ challenge in the dmPFC for the patients and comparison subjects. The altered response to LRZ challenge is consistent with altered inhibition predicted by postmortem findings of altered GABAR in schizophrenia. These results also suggest that negative affect in schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder is associated-directly or indirectly-with GABAergic function on a continuum with normal behavior.
Kawano, Hiroyuki; Katsurabayashi, Shutaro; Kakazu, Yasuhiro; Yamashita, Yuta; Kubo, Natsuko; Kubo, Masafumi; Okuda, Hideto; Takasaki, Kotaro; Kubota, Kaori; Mishima, Kenichi; Fujiwara, Michihiro; Harata, N. Charles; Iwasaki, Katsunori
The astrocyte is a major glial cell type of the brain, and plays key roles in the formation, maturation, stabilization and elimination of synapses. Thus, changes in astrocyte condition and age can influence information processing at synapses. However, whether and how aging astrocytes affect synaptic function and maturation have not yet been thoroughly investigated. Here, we show the effects of prolonged culture on the ability of astrocytes to induce synapse formation and to modify synaptic transmission, using cultured autaptic neurons. By 9 weeks in culture, astrocytes derived from the mouse cerebral cortex demonstrated increases in β-galactosidase activity and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression, both of which are characteristic of aging and glial activation in vitro. Autaptic hippocampal neurons plated on these aging astrocytes showed a smaller amount of evoked release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and a lower frequency of miniature release of glutamate, both of which were attributable to a reduction in the pool of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. Other features of synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission were retained, for example the ability to induce structural synapses, the presynaptic release probability, the fraction of functional presynaptic nerve terminals, and the ability to recruit functional AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptors to synapses. Thus the presence of aging astrocytes affects the efficiency of synaptic transmission. Given that the pool of readily releasable vesicles is also small at immature synapses, our results are consistent with astrocytic aging leading to retarded synapse maturation. PMID:23110166
Jiang, Lulu; Chen, Shih-Heng; Chu, Chun-Hsien; Wang, Shi-Jun; Oyarzabal, Esteban; Wilson, Belinda; Sanders, Virginia; Xie, Keqin; Wang, Qingshan; Hong, Jau-Shyong
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.
Jiang, Lulu; Chen, Shih-Heng; Chu, Chun-Hsien; Wang, Shi-Jun; Oyarzabal, Esteban; Wilson, Belinda; Sanders, Virginia; Xie, Keqin; Wang, Qingshan; Hong, Jau-Shyong
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
Lancaster, Eric; Martinez-Hernandez, Eugenia
The identification of encephalitis associated with antibodies against cell surface and synaptic proteins, although recent, has already had a substantial impact in clinical neurology and neuroscience. The target antigens are receptors and proteins that have critical roles in synaptic transmission and plasticity, including the NMDA receptor, the AMPA receptor, the GABAB receptor, and the glycine receptor. Other autoantigens, such as leucine-rich glioma-inactivated 1 and contactin-associated protein-like 2, form part of trans-synaptic complexes and neuronal cell adhesion molecules involved in fine-tuning synaptic transmission and nerve excitability. Syndromes resulting from these immune responses resemble those of pharmacologic or genetic models in which the antigens are disrupted. For some immune responses, there is evidence that the antibodies alter the structure and function of the antigen, suggesting a direct pathogenic effect. These disorders are important because they can affect children and young adults, are severe and protracted, occur with or without tumor association, and respond to treatment but may relapse. This review provides an update on these syndromes and autoantigens with special emphasis on clinical diagnosis and treatment. PMID:21747075
Chance, Frances S
The role of background synaptic activity in cortical processing has recently received much attention. How do individual neurons extract information when embedded in a noisy background? When examining the impact of a synaptic input on postsynaptic firing, it is important to distinguish a change in overall firing probability from a true change in neuronal sensitivity to a particular input (synaptic efficacy) that corresponds to a change in detection performance. Here we study the impact of background synaptic input on neuronal sensitivity to individual synaptic inputs using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. We use the area under the ROC curve as a measure of synaptic efficacy, here defined as the ability of a postsynaptic action potential to identify a particular synaptic input event. An advantage of using ROC analysis to measure synaptic efficacy is that it provides a measure that is independent of postsynaptic firing rate. Furthermore, changes in mean excitation or inhibition, although affecting overall firing probability, do not modulate synaptic efficacy when measured in this way. Changes in overall conductance also affect firing probability but not this form of synaptic efficacy. Input noise, here defined as the variance of the input current, does modulate synaptic efficacy, however. This effect persists when the change in input variance is coupled with a change in conductance (as would result from changing background activity).
Feitosa, V P; Ogliari, F A; Van Meerbeek, B; Watson, T F; Yoshihara, K; Ogliari, A O; Sinhoreti, M A; Correr, A B; Cama, G; Sauro, S
The number of carbon atoms and/or ester/polyether groups in spacer chains may influence the interaction of functional monomers with calcium and dentin. The present study assessed the chemical interaction and bond strength of 5 standard-synthesized phosphoric-acid ester functional monomers with different spacer chain characteristics, by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), ATR-FTIR, thin-film x-ray diffraction (TF-XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and microtensile bond strength (μTBS). The tested functional monomers were 2-MEP (two-carbon spacer chain), 10-MDP (10-carbon), 12-MDDP (12-carbon), MTEP (more hydrophilic polyether spacer chain), and CAP-P (intermediate hydrophilicity ester spacer). The intensity of monomer-calcium salt formation measured by AAS differed in the order of 12-MDDP=10-MDP>CAP-P>MTEP>2-MEP. FTIR and SEM analyses of monomer-treated dentin surfaces showed resistance to rinsing for all monomer-dentin bonds, except with 2-MEP. TF-XRD confirmed the weaker interaction of 2-MEP. Highest µTBS was observed for 12-MDDP and 10-MDP. A shorter spacer chain (2-MEP) of phosphate functional monomers induced formation of unstable monomer-calcium salts, and lower chemical interaction and dentin bond strength. The presence of ester or ether groups within longer spacer carbon chains (CAP-P and MTEP) may affect the hydrophilicity, μTBS, and also the formation of monomer-calcium salts.
Lee, Chen-Ting; Repasky, Elizabeth A.
Macrophages create a major danger signal following injury or infection and upon activation release pro-inflammatory cytokines, which in turn help to generate febrile conditions. Thus, like other cells of the body, tissue macrophages are often exposed to naturally occurring elevations in tissue temperature during inflammation and fever. However, whether macrophages sense and respond to temperature changes in a specific manner which modulates their function is still not clear. In this brief review, we highlight recent studies which have analyzed the effects of temperatures on macrophage function, and summarize the possible underlying molecular mechanisms which have been identified. Mild, physiological range hyperthermia has been shown to have both pro- and anti-inflammatory roles in regulating macrophage inflammatory cytokine production and at the meeting presentation, we will show new data demonstrating that hyperthermia can indeed exert both positive and negative signals to macrophages. While some thermal effects are correlated with the induction of heat shock factors/heat shock proteins, overall it is not clear how mild hyperthermia can exert both pro- and anti-inflammatory functions. We also summarize data which shows that hyperthermia can affect other macrophage effector functions, including the anti-tumor cytotoxicity. Overall, these studies may help us to better understand the immunological role of tissue temperature and may provide important information needed to maximize the application of heat in the treatment of various diseases including cancer.
Stauch, Kelly L; Purnell, Phillip R; Fox, Howard S
Synaptic mitochondria are essential for maintaining calcium homeostasis and producing ATP, processes vital for neuronal integrity and synaptic transmission. Synaptic mitochondria exhibit increased oxidative damage during aging and are more vulnerable to calcium insult than nonsynaptic mitochondria. Why synaptic mitochondria are specifically more susceptible to cumulative damage remains to be determined. In this study, the generation of a super-SILAC mix that served as an appropriate internal standard for mouse brain mitochondria mass spectrometry based analysis allowed for the quantification of the proteomic differences between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria isolated from 10-month-old mice. We identified a total of 2260 common proteins between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria of which 1629 were annotated as mitochondrial. Quantitative proteomic analysis of the proteins common between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria revealed significant differential expression of 522 proteins involved in several pathways including oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial fission/fusion, calcium transport, and mitochondrial DNA replication and maintenance. In comparison to nonsynaptic mitochondria, synaptic mitochondria exhibited increased age-associated mitochondrial DNA deletions and decreased bioenergetic function. These findings provide insights into synaptic mitochondrial susceptibility to damage.
Pribiag, Horia; Stellwagen, David
Homeostatic synaptic plasticity refers to a set of negative-feedback mechanisms that are used by neurons to maintain activity within a functional range. While it is becoming increasingly clear that homeostatic regulation of synapse function is a key principle in the nervous system, the molecular details of this regulation are only beginning to be uncovered. Recent evidence implicates molecules classically associated with the peripheral immune system in the modulation of homeostatic synaptic plasticity. In particular, the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα, class I major histocompatibility complex, and neuronal pentraxin 2 are essential in the regulation of the compensatory synaptic response that occurs in response to prolonged neuronal inactivity. This review will present and discuss current evidence implicating neuroimmune molecules in the homeostatic regulation of synapse function. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity'.
Walker, James A.; Gouzi, Jean Y.; Long, Jennifer B.; Huang, Sidong; Maher, Robert C.; Xia, Hongjing; Khalil, Kheyal; Ray, Arjun; Van Vactor, David; Bernards, René; Bernards, André
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic disease that affects 1 in 3,000, is caused by loss of a large evolutionary conserved protein that serves as a GTPase Activating Protein (GAP) for Ras. Among Drosophila melanogaster Nf1 (dNf1) null mutant phenotypes, learning/memory deficits and reduced overall growth resemble human NF1 symptoms. These and other dNf1 defects are relatively insensitive to manipulations that reduce Ras signaling strength but are suppressed by increasing signaling through the 3′-5′ cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) dependent Protein Kinase A (PKA) pathway, or phenocopied by inhibiting this pathway. However, whether dNf1 affects cAMP/PKA signaling directly or indirectly remains controversial. To shed light on this issue we screened 486 1st and 2nd chromosome deficiencies that uncover >80% of annotated genes for dominant modifiers of the dNf1 pupal size defect, identifying responsible genes in crosses with mutant alleles or by tissue-specific RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown. Validating the screen, identified suppressors include the previously implicated dAlk tyrosine kinase, its activating ligand jelly belly (jeb), two other genes involved in Ras/ERK signal transduction and several involved in cAMP/PKA signaling. Novel modifiers that implicate synaptic defects in the dNf1 growth deficiency include the intersectin-related synaptic scaffold protein Dap160 and the cholecystokinin receptor-related CCKLR-17D1 drosulfakinin receptor. Providing mechanistic clues, we show that dAlk, jeb and CCKLR-17D1 are among mutants that also suppress a recently identified dNf1 neuromuscular junction (NMJ) overgrowth phenotype and that manipulations that increase cAMP/PKA signaling in adipokinetic hormone (AKH)-producing cells at the base of the neuroendocrine ring gland restore the dNf1 growth deficiency. Finally, supporting our previous contention that ALK might be a therapeutic target in NF1, we report that human ALK is expressed in cells that give rise
García-Cáceres, Cristina; Fuente-Martín, Esther; Burgos-Ramos, Emma; Granado, Miriam; Frago, Laura M.; Barrios, Vicente; Horvath, Tamas
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
Edelmann, Elke; Lessmann, Volkmar; Brigadski, Tanja
Overwhelming evidence collected since the early 1990's strongly supports the notion that BDNF is among the key regulators of synaptic plasticity in many areas of the mammalian central nervous system. Still, due to the extremely low expression levels of endogenous BDNF in most brain areas, surprisingly little data i) pinpointing pre- and postsynaptic release sites, ii) unraveling the time course of release, and iii) elucidating the physiological levels of synaptic activity driving this secretion are available. Likewise, our knowledge regarding pre- and postsynaptic effects of endogenous BDNF at the single cell level in mediating long-term potentiation still is sparse. Thus, our review will discuss the data currently available regarding synaptic BDNF secretion in response to physiologically relevant levels of activity, and will discuss how endogenously secreted BDNF affects synaptic plasticity, giving a special focus on spike timing-dependent types of LTP and on mossy fiber LTP. We will attempt to open up perspectives how the remaining challenging questions regarding synaptic BDNF release and action might be addressed by future experiments. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'BDNF Regulation of Synaptic Structure, Function, and Plasticity'.
Martinez, Tara L; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A; Crowder, Melissa E; Van Meerbeke, James P; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J; Lutz, Cathleen M; Rich, Mark M; Sumner, Charlotte J
The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power.
Kim, Sungho; Yoon, Jinsu; Kim, Hee-Dong; Choi, Sung-Jin
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.
Smyth, Lesley A; Boardman, Dominic A; Tung, Sim L; Lechler, Robert; Lombardi, Giovanna
MicroRNA (miRNA) are small, non-coding RNA molecules that have been linked with immunity through regulating/modulating gene expression. A role for these molecules in T-cell and B-cell development and function has been well established. An increasing body of literature now highlights the importance of specific miRNA in dendritic cell (DC) development as well as their maturation process, antigen presentation capacity and cytokine release. Given the unique role of DC within the immune system, linking the innate and adaptive immune responses, understanding how specific miRNA affect DC function is of importance for understanding disease. In this review we summarize recent developments in miRNA and DC research, highlighting the requirement of miRNA in DC lineage commitment from bone marrow progenitors and for the development of subsets such as plasmacytoid DC and conventional DC. In addition, we discuss how infections and tumours modulate miRNA expression and consequently DC function. PMID:25244106
Teng, Christina; Goodwin, Bonnie; Shockley, Keith; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili; Norris, John; Merrick, B Alex; Jetten, Anton M; Austin, Christopher P; Tice, Raymond R
Bisphenol A (BPA), is a well-known endocrine disruptor compound (EDC) that affects the normal development and function of the female and male reproductive system, however the mechanisms of action remain unclear. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of how BPA may affect ten different nuclear receptors, stable cell lines containing individual nuclear receptor ligand binding domain (LBD)-linked to the β-Gal reporter were examined by a quantitative high throughput screening (qHTS) format in the Tox21 Screening Program of the NIH. The results showed that two receptors, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and androgen receptor (AR), are affected by BPA in opposite direction. To confirm the observed effects of BPA on ERα and AR, we performed transient transfection experiments with full-length receptors and their corresponding response elements linked to luciferase reporters. We also included in this study two BPA analogs, bisphenol AF (BPAF) and bisphenol S (BPS). As seen in African green monkey kidney CV1 cells, the present study confirmed that BPA and BPAF act as ERα agonists (half maximal effective concentration EC50 of 10-100 nM) and as AR antagonists (half maximal inhibitory concentration IC50 of 1-2 μM). Both BPA and BPAF antagonized AR function via competitive inhibition of the action of synthetic androgen R1881. BPS with lower estrogenic activity (EC50 of 2.2 μM), did not compete with R1881 for AR binding, when tested at 30 μM. Finally, the effects of BPA were also evaluated in a nuclear translocation assays using EGPF-tagged receptors. Similar to 17β-estradiol (E2) which was used as control, BPA was able to enhance ERα nuclear foci formation but at a 100-fold higher concentration. Although BPA was able to bind AR, the nuclear translocation was reduced. Furthermore, BPA was unable to induce functional foci in the nuclei and is consistent with the transient transfection study that BPA is unable to activate AR.
Rosenbaum, Robert; Rubin, Jonathan; Doiron, Brent
Depletion of synaptic neurotransmitter vesicles induces a form of short term depression in synapses throughout the nervous system. This plasticity affects how synapses filter presynaptic spike trains. The filtering properties of short term depression are often studied using a deterministic synapse model that predicts the mean synaptic response to a presynaptic spike train, but ignores variability introduced by the probabilistic nature of vesicle release and stochasticity in synaptic recovery time. We show that this additional variability has important consequences for the synaptic filtering of presynaptic information. In particular, a synapse model with stochastic vesicle dynamics suppresses information encoded at lower frequencies more than information encoded at higher frequencies, while a model that ignores this stochasticity transfers information encoded at any frequency equally well. This distinction between the two models persists even when large numbers of synaptic contacts are considered. Our study provides strong evidence that the stochastic nature neurotransmitter vesicle dynamics must be considered when analyzing the information flow across a synapse.
Hehemann, Marah C.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition affecting millions of men worldwide. The pathophysiology and epidemiologic links between ED and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well-established. Lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, weight reduction, dietary modification, physical activity, and psychological stress reduction have been increasingly recognized as foundational to the prevention and treatment of ED. The aim of this review is to outline behavioral choices which may increase ones risk of developing ED, to present relevant studies addressing lifestyle factors correlated with ED, and to highlight proposed mechanisms for intervention aimed at improving erectile function in men with ED. These recommendations can provide a framework for counseling patients with ED about lifestyle modification. PMID:27141445
Quintero-Hernández, V.; Jiménez-Vargas, J.M.; Gurrola, G.B.; Valdivia, H.H.F.; Possani, L.D.
SUMMARY The number and types of venom components that affect ion-channel function are reviewed. These are the most important venom components responsible for human intoxication, deserving medical attention, often requiring the use of specific anti-venoms. Special emphasis is given to peptides that recognize Na+-, K+- and Ca++-channels of excitable cells. Knowledge generated by direct isolation of peptides from venom and components deduced from cloned genes, whose amino acid sequences are deposited into databanks are now adays in the order of 1.5 thousands, out of an estimate biodiversity closed to 300,000. Here the diversity of components is briefly reviewed with mention to specific references. Structural characteristic are discussed with examples taken from published work. The principal mechanisms of action of the three different types of peptides are also reviewed. Na+-channel specific venom components usually are modifier of the open and closing kinetic mechanisms of the ion-channels, whereas peptides affecting K+-channels are normally pore blocking agents. The Ryanodine Ca++-channel specific peptides are known for causing sub-conducting stages of the channels conductance and some were shown to be able to internalize penetrating inside the muscle cells. PMID:23891887
Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim
Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of "functional" groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience.
Kempton, Matthew J; Ettinger, Ulrich; Foster, Russell; Williams, Steven C R; Calvert, Gemma A; Hampshire, Adam; Zelaya, Fernando O; O'Gorman, Ruth L; McMorris, Terry; Owen, Adrian M; Smith, Marcus S
It was recently observed that dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue and an associated increase in ventricular volume. Negative effects of dehydration on cognitive performance have been shown in some but not all studies, and it has also been reported that an increased perceived effort may be required following dehydration. However, the effects of dehydration on brain function are unknown. We investigated this question using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 10 healthy adolescents (mean age = 16.8, five females). Each subject completed a thermal exercise protocol and nonthermal exercise control condition in a cross-over repeated measures design. Subjects lost more weight via perspiration in the thermal exercise versus the control condition (P < 0.0001), and lateral ventricle enlargement correlated with the reduction in body mass (r = 0.77, P = 0.01). Dehydration following the thermal exercise protocol led to a significantly stronger increase in fronto-parietal blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response during an executive function task (Tower of London) than the control condition, whereas cerebral perfusion during rest was not affected. The increase in BOLD response after dehydration was not paralleled by a change in cognitive performance, suggesting an inefficient use of brain metabolic activity following dehydration. This pattern indicates that participants exerted a higher level of neuronal activity in order to achieve the same performance level. Given the limited availability of brain metabolic resources, these findings suggest that prolonged states of reduced water intake may adversely impact executive functions such as planning and visuo-spatial processing.
Luong, Lucas; Bannon, Nicholas M; Redenti, Andrew; Chistiakova, Marina; Volgushev, Maxim
Ethanol is one of the most commonly used substances in the world. Behavioral effects of alcohol are well described, however, cellular mechanisms of its action are poorly understood. There is an apparent contradiction between measurable behavioral changes produced by low concentrations of ethanol, and lack of evidence of synaptic changes at these concentrations. Furthermore, effects of ethanol on synaptic transmission in the neocortex are poorly understood. Here, we set to determine effects of ethanol on excitatory synaptic transmission in the neocortex. We show that 1-50 mm ethanol suppresses excitatory synaptic transmission to layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in rat visual cortex in a concentration-dependent manner. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of the effects of very low concentrations of ethanol (from 1 mm) on synaptic transmission in the neocortex. We further show that a selective antagonist of A1 adenosine receptors, 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (DPCPX), blocks effects of 1-10 mm ethanol on synaptic transmission. However, the reduction in excitatory postsynaptic potential amplitude by 50 mm ethanol was not affected by DPCPX. We propose that ethanol depresses excitatory synaptic transmission in the neocortex by at least two mechanisms, engaged at different concentrations: low concentrations of ethanol reduce synaptic transmission via A1 R-dependent mechanism and involve presynaptic changes, while higher concentrations activate additional, adenosine-independent mechanisms with predominantly postsynaptic action. Involvement of adenosine signaling in mediating effects of low concentrations of ethanol may have important implications for understanding alcohol's effects on brain function, and provide a mechanistic explanation to the interaction between alcohol and caffeine.
van der Walt, L; Cilliers, S S; Kellner, K; Du Toit, M J; Tongway, D
Urbanisation creates altered environments characterised by increased human habitation, impermeable surfaces, artificial structures, landscape fragmentation, habitat loss, resulting in different resource loss pathways. The vulnerable Rand Highveld Grassland vegetation unit in the Tlokwe Municipal area, South Africa, has been extensively affected and transformed by urbanisation, agriculture, and mining. Grassland fragments in urban areas are often considered to be less species rich and less functional than in the more untransformed or "natural" exurban environments, and are therefore seldom a priority for conservation. Furthermore, urban grassland fragments are often being more intensely managed than exurban areas, such as consistent mowing in open urban areas. Four urbanisation measures acting as indicators for patterns and processes associated with urban areas were calculated for matrix areas surrounding each selected grassland fragment to quantify the position of each grassland remnant along an urbanisation gradient. The grassland fragments were objectively classified into two classes of urbanisation, namely "exurban" and "urban" based on the urbanisation measure values. Grazing was recorded in some exurban grasslands and mowing in some urban grassland fragments. Unmanaged grassland fragments were present in both urban and exurban areas. Fine-scale biophysical landscape function was determined by executing the Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) method. LFA assesses fine-scale landscape patchiness (entailing resource conserving potential and erosion resistance) and 11 soil surface indicators to produce three main LFA parameters (stability, infiltration, and nutrient cycling), which indicates how well a system is functioning in terms of fine-scale biophysical soil processes and characteristics. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of urbanisation and associated management practices on fine-scale biophysical landscape function of urban and exurban
Mateos-Aparicio, Pedro; Murphy, Ricardo; Storm, Johan F
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
Covelo, A; Araque, A
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.
Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C
Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism.
Ghayour Najafabadi, Mahboubeh; Rahbar Nikoukar, Laya; Memari, Amir; Ekhtiari, Hamed; Beygi, Sara
We examined the effects of Ramadan fasting on cognitive function in 17 female athletes. Data were obtained from participants of two fasting (n = 9) and nonfasting (n = 8) groups at three periods of the study (before Ramadan, at the third week in Ramadan, and after Ramadan). Digit span test (DST) and Stroop color test were employed to assess short-term memory and inhibition/cognitive flexibility at each time point. There were no significant changes for DST and Stroop task 1 in both groups, whereas Stroop task 2 and task 3 showed significant improvements in Ramadan condition (p < 0.05). Interference indices did not change significantly across the study except in post-Ramadan period of fasting group (p < 0.05). Group × week interaction was significant only for error numbers (p < 0.05). Athletes in nonfasting showed a significant decrease in number of errors in Ramadan compared to baseline (p < 0.05). The results suggest that Ramadan fasting may not adversely affect cognitive function in female athletes. PMID:26697263
Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim
Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of “functional” groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience. PMID:23977350
Wadsworth, P.; Blackburne, H.; Dixon, L.; Dobbs, B.; Eglinton, T.; Ing, A.; Mulder, R.; Porter, R.J.; Wakeman, C.; Frizelle, F.A.
Abstract Colonoscopy is a common procedure used in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of bowel disorders. Prior preparation involving potent laxatives is a necessary stage to ensure adequate visualization of the bowel wall. It is known that the sedatives given to most patients during the colonoscopy cause a temporary impairment in cognitive function; however, the potential for bowel preparation to affect cognitive function has not previously been investigated. To assess the effect of bowel preparation for colonoscopy on cognitive function. This was a prospective, nonrandomized controlled study of cognitive function in patients who had bowel preparation for colonoscopy compared with those having gastroscopy and therefore no bowel preparation. Cognitive function was assessed using the Modified Mini Mental State Examination (MMMSE) and selected tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Individual test scores and changes between initial and subsequent tests were compared between the groups. Age, gender, and weight were also compared. Forty-three colonoscopy and 25 gastroscopy patients were recruited. The 2 groups were similar for age and gender; however, patients having gastroscopy were heavier. MMMSE scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 28.6 and 29.5 (P = 0.24) at baseline, 28.7 and 29.8 (P = 0.32) at test 2, 28.1 and 28.5 (P = 0.76) at test 3. Motor screening scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 349.3 and 354.1 (P = 0.97) at baseline, 307.5 and 199.7 (P = 0.06) at test 2, 212.0 and 183.2 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Spatial working memory scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 14.4 and 6.7 (P = 0.29) at baseline, 9.7 and 4.3 (P = 0.27) at test 2, 10 and 4.5 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Digit Symbol Substitution Test scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 36.3 and 37.8 (P = 0.84) at baseline, 36.4 and
Fink, Christian G.; Murphy, Geoffrey G.; Zochowski, Michal; Booth, Victoria
Although sleep is a fundamental behavior observed in virtually all animal species, its functions remain unclear. One leading proposal, known as the synaptic renormalization hypothesis, suggests that sleep is necessary to counteract a global strengthening of synapses that occurs during wakefulness. Evidence for sleep-dependent synaptic downscaling (or synaptic renormalization) has been observed experimentally, but the physiological mechanisms which generate this phenomenon are unknown. In this study, we propose that changes in neuronal membrane excitability induced by acetylcholine may provide a dynamical mechanism for both wake-dependent synaptic upscaling and sleep-dependent downscaling. We show in silico that cholinergically-induced changes in network firing patterns alter overall network synaptic potentiation when synaptic strengths evolve through spike-timing dependent plasticity mechanisms. Specifically, network synaptic potentiation increases dramatically with high cholinergic concentration and decreases dramatically with low levels of acetylcholine. We demonstrate that this phenomenon is robust across variation of many different network parameters. PMID:23516342
Thomas, J B; Wyman, R J
By studying the effects of mutations on a simple circuit of identified neurons in Drosophila, we have found genes whose proper functioning is necessary to produce normal synaptic connections between the neurons. These neurons comprise the giant fiber (GF) system; the GFs are command neurons activated by a light-off stimulus and evoke a stereotyped pattern of activity in the thoracic muscles producing an escape jump. Each GF monosynaptically drives a motor neuron innervating the tergotrochanteral muscle (jump muscle, TTM). Each GF also disynaptically drives the motor neurons innervating the dorsal longitudinal flight muscle (DLM) via the peripherally synapsing interneuron (PSI) (King, D. G., and R. J. Wyman (1980) J. Neurocytol. 9: 753-770; M. A. Tanouye and R. J. Wyman (1980) J. Neurophysiol. 44: 405-421). A search was made for mutations affecting these identified synapses. Fifty thousand mutagenized flies were screened for nonjumping behavior to the light-off stimulus. Fifty-seven nonjumping mutant lines were established from individuals selected in the screen. Members of the lines were then tested for abnormal GF motor output to the TTM and DLM. From these lines, four X-linked mutations (representing three complementation groups) were isolated which affect the circuit. The mutations differentially disrupt specific synapses within the GF system. One mutation, bendless, disrupts synaptic transmission between the GF and the TTM motor neuron. Another, gfA, disrupts the synaptic connections of the PSI, and a third mutation, passover, disrupts transmission in both pathways.
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 ...
Nadkarni, Suhita; Jung, Peter; Levine, Herbert
Most neuronal synapses in the central nervous system are enwrapped by an astrocytic process. This relation allows the astrocyte to listen to and feed back to the synapse and to regulate synaptic transmission. We combine a tested mathematical model for the Ca^2+ response of the synaptic astrocyte and presynaptic feedback with a detailed model for vesicle release of neurotransmitter at active zones. The predicted Ca^2+ dependence of the presynaptic synaptic vesicle release compares favorably for several types of synapses, including the Calyx of Held. We hypothesize that the feedback regulation of the astrocyte onto the presynaptic terminal optimizes the fidelity of the synapse in terms of information transmission.
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
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
Kalappa, Bopanna I.; Anderson, Charles T.; Lippard, Stephen J.; Tzounopoulos, Thanos
The vast amount of fast excitatory neurotransmission in the mammalian central nervous system is mediated by AMPA-subtype glutamate receptors (AMPARs). As a result, AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission is implicated in nearly all aspects of brain development, function, and plasticity. Despite the central role of AMPARs in neurobiology, the fine-tuning of synaptic AMPA responses by endogenous modulators remains poorly understood. Here we provide evidence that endogenous zinc, released by single presynaptic action potentials, inhibits synaptic AMPA currents in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) and hippocampus. Exposure to loud sound reduces presynaptic zinc levels in the DCN and abolishes zinc inhibition, implicating zinc in experience-dependent AMPAR synaptic plasticity. Our results establish zinc as an activity-dependent, endogenous modulator of AMPARs that tunes fast excitatory neurotransmission and plasticity in glutamatergic synapses. PMID:26647187
Jordaens, Lies; Van Hoeck, Veerle; Maillo, Veronica; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso; Marei, Waleed Fawzy A; Vlaeminck, Bruno; Thys, Sofie; Sturmey, Roger G S; Bols, Peter; Leroy, Jo
We hypothesized that elevated non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) modify in vitro bovine oviduct epithelial cell (BOEC) metabolism and barrier function. Hereto, BOECs were studied in a polarized system with 24h-treatments at day 9: 1) CONTROL (0µM NEFA + 0%EtOH), 2) SOLVENT CONTROL (0µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH), 3) BASAL NEFA (720µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH in the basal compartment), 4) APICAL NEFA (720µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH in the apical compartment). FITC-albumin was used for monolayer permeability assessment, and related to Transepithelial Electric Resistance (TER). Fatty acid (FA), glucose, lactate and pyruvate concentrations were measured in spent medium. Intracellular lipid droplets (LD) and FA-uptake were studied using Bodipy 493/503 and immunolabelling of FA-transporters (FAT/CD36, FABP3 and caveolin1). BOEC-mRNA was retrieved for qRT-PCR. Results revealed that APICAL NEFA reduced relative TER-increase (46.85%) during treatment, and increased FITC-albumin flux (27.59%) compared to other treatments. In BASAL NEFA, FAs were transferred to the apical compartment as free FAs: mostly palmitic and oleic acid increased, respectively 56.0 % and 33.5% of initial FA-concentrations. APICAL NEFA allowed no FA-transfer, but induced LD-accumulation and upregulated FA-transporter expression (↑CD36, ↑FABP3, ↑CAV1-protein-expression). Gene expression in APICAL NEFA indicated increased anti-apoptotic (↑BCL2) and anti-oxidative (↑SOD1) capacity, upregulated lipid metabolism (↑CPT1, ↑ACSL1 and ↓ACACA), and FA-uptake (↑CAV1). All treatments had similar carbohydrate metabolism and oviduct function specific gene expression (=OVGP1, ESR1, FOXJ1). Overall, elevated NEFAs affected BOEC-metabolism and barrier function differently depending on NEFA-exposure side. Data substantiate the concept of the oviduct as a gatekeeper that may actively alter early embryonic developmental conditions.
Diógenes, Maria José; Neves-Tomé, Raquel; Fucile, Sergio; Martinello, Katiuscia; Scianni, Maria; Theofilas, Panos; Lopatár, Jan; Ribeiro, Joaquim A; Maggi, Laura; Frenguelli, Bruno G; Limatola, Cristina; Boison, Detlev; Sebastião, Ana M
Extracellular adenosine, a key regulator of neuronal excitability, is metabolized by astrocyte-based enzyme adenosine kinase (ADK). We hypothesized that ADK might be an upstream regulator of adenosine-based homeostatic brain functions by simultaneously affecting several downstream pathways. We therefore studied the relationship between ADK expression, levels of extracellular adenosine, synaptic transmission, intrinsic excitability, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-dependent synaptic actions in transgenic mice underexpressing or overexpressing ADK. We demonstrate that ADK: 1) Critically influences the basal tone of adenosine, evaluated by microelectrode adenosine biosensors, and its release following stimulation; 2) determines the degree of tonic adenosine-dependent synaptic inhibition, which correlates with differential plasticity at hippocampal synapses with low release probability; 3) modulates the age-dependent effects of BDNF on hippocampal synaptic transmission, an action dependent upon co-activation of adenosine A2A receptors; and 4) influences GABAA receptor-mediated currents in CA3 pyramidal neurons. We conclude that ADK provides important upstream regulation of adenosine-based homeostatic function of the brain and that this mechanism is necessary and permissive to synaptic actions of adenosine acting on multiple pathways. These mechanistic studies support previous therapeutic studies and implicate ADK as a promising therapeutic target for upstream control of multiple neuronal signaling pathways crucial for a variety of neurological disorders.
Marchi, Mario; Grilli, Massimo; Pittaluga, Anna M
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.
Vlčková, Radoslava; Sopková, Drahomíra; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Valocký, Igor; Kádasi, Attila; Harrath, Abdel Halim; Petrilla, Vladimír; Sirotkin, Alexander V
Yucca (Yucca schidigera) is a popular medicinal plant due to its many positive effects on animal and human physiology, including their reproductive systems. To examine the effect of supplemental yucca feeding on sheep reproduction, including ovarian functions and their hormonal regulators, ewes were fed (or not fed, control) yucca powder (1.5 g/head/day, 30 days). Macromorphometric indexes of the oviduct, ovary, and ovarian folliculogenesis were measured. Reproductive hormone levels in the blood were measured using a radioimmunoassay. Granulosa cells were aspirated from the ovary, and their proliferation and apoptosis were detected using immunocytochemistry. To assess secretory activity and its response to gonadotropin, ovarian fragments of treated and control ewes were cultured with and without follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 0, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 IU/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones into the culture medium was evaluated. Finally, to examine the direct action of yucca on the ovary, ovarian fragments from control ewes were cultured with and without yucca extract (1, 10, or 100 μg/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones was measured. Yucca supplementation significantly decreased the size of small antral follicles (2 to <5 mm in diameter), increased accumulation of the apoptosis marker bax, and decreased serum progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) levels. It inhibited the release of P4 (but not other hormones), to prevent the stimulatory action of FSH on P4 output and promoted insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) release by fragments cultured with FSH. However, yucca supplementation did not affect the size of larger follicles and number of follicles, volume and weight of ovaries, length and weight of oviducts, caspase 3 accumulation, cell proliferation, testosterone (T) or IGF-I serum levels, or T or E2 release by cultured ovarian fragments and their response to FSH. Yucca addition to culture medium inhibited P4 and IGF-I, but not T or E2
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Engelmann, Christian; Haenold, Ronny
Activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factors is required for the induction of synaptic plasticity and memory formation. All components of this signaling pathway are localized at synapses, and transcriptionally active NF-κB dimers move to the nucleus to translate synaptic signals into altered gene expression. Neuron-specific inhibition results in altered connectivity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses and functionally in selective learning deficits. Recent research on transgenic mice with impaired or hyperactivated NF-κB gave important insights into plasticity-related target gene expression that is regulated by NF-κB. In this minireview, we update the available data on the role of this transcription factor for learning and memory formation and comment on cross-sectional activation of NF-κB in the aged and diseased brain that may directly or indirectly affect κB-dependent transcription of synaptic genes.
Sando, Richard; Gounko, Natalia; Pieraut, Simon; Liao, Lujian; Yates, John; Maximov, Anton
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.
Milstein, Aaron D; Zhou, Wei; Karimzadegan, Siavash; Bredt, David S; Nicoll, Roger A
A family of transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) profoundly affects the trafficking and gating of AMPA receptors (AMPARs). Although TARP subtypes are differentially expressed throughout the CNS, it is unclear whether this imparts functional diversity to AMPARs in distinct neuronal populations. Here, we examine the effects of each TARP subtype on the kinetics of AMPAR gating in heterologous cells and in neurons. We report a striking heterogeneity in the effects of TARP subtypes on AMPAR deactivation and desensitization, which we demonstrate controls the time course of synaptic transmission. In addition, we find that some TARP subtypes dramatically slow AMPAR activation kinetics. Synaptic AMPAR kinetics also depend on TARP expression level, suggesting a variable TARP/AMPAR stoichiometry. Analysis of quantal synaptic transmission in a TARP gamma-4 knockout (KO) mouse corroborates our expression data and demonstrates that TARP subtype-specific gating of AMPARs contributes to the kinetics of native AMPARs at central synapses.
Buresh, Ia; Koroleva, V I; Gorelova, A N
The evidence reviewed in the paper shows that the spreading depression (SD) belongs to the mass of closely packed neurons which can support qualitatively new phenomena occurring at a more primitive level of cellular interaction. The latter becomes prepotent under extreme conditions, overloading the local energy supply and homeostatic mechanisms. The two levels of neural integration, the highly heterogeneous specifically connected synaptic level and the statistically uniform diffusively organized nonsynaptic level, are always present in all forms of brain activity and mutually influence each other. While phenomena mediated by nonsynaptic interaction overrule the synaptic ones under resting conditions, excessive synaptic excitation may either switch the affected brain region from synaptic to nonsynaptic interaction (spike-triggered SD) or assert the synaptic interaction over the nonsynaptic one (functional blockade of SD). Nonsynaptic interaction is an inherent property of brain, an obligatory consequence of the trade-off between maximal packing density and independent function of individual elements of the system which sets definite limits to the maximum activation of synaptic processes, contributes to slow synchronization of neural populations and plays an important role in various instances of brain pathology. The phenomena generated at this level belong to the family of autowaves, share their typical properties and can be described by similar formal rules.
Mosca, Timothy J.
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
Mosca, Timothy J
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.
Hemond, Peter J; O'Boyle, Michael P; Roberts, Carson B; Delgado-Reyes, Alfonso; Hemond, Zoe; Suter, Kelly J
Hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons integrate the multiple internal and external cues that regulate sexual reproduction. In contrast to other neurons that exhibit extensive dendritic arbors, GnRH neurons usually have a single dendrite with relatively little branching. This largely precludes the integration strategy in which a single dendritic branch serves as a unit of integration. In the present study, we identify a gradient in L-type calcium channels in dendrites of mouse GnRH neurons and its interaction with GABAergic and glutamatergic inputs. Higher levels of L-type calcium channels are in somata/proximal dendrites (i.e., 0-26 μm) and distal dendrites (∼130 μm dendrite length), but intervening midlengths of dendrite (∼27-130 μm) have reduced L-type calcium channels. Using uncaging of GABA, there is a decreasing GABAergic influence along the dendrite and the impact of GABA(A) receptors is dependent on activation of L-type calcium channels. This results in amplification of proximal GABAergic signals and attenuation of distal dendritic signals. Most interestingly, the intervening dendritic regions create a filter through which only relatively high-amplitude, low-frequency GABAergic signaling to dendrites elicits action potentials. The findings of the present study suggest that GnRH dendrites adopt an integration strategy whereby segments of single nonbranching GnRH dendrites create functional microdomains and thus serve as units of integration.
Zhou, Xianju; Ding, Qi; Chen, Zhuoyou; Yun, Huifang; Wang, Hongbing
GluN2A and GluN2B are the major subunits of functional NMDA receptors (NMDAR). Previous studies have suggested that GluN2A and GluN2B may differentially mediate NMDAR function at synaptic and extrasynaptic locations and play opposing roles in excitotoxicity, such as neurodegeneration triggered by ischemic stroke and brain injury. By using pharmacological and molecular approaches to suppress or enhance the function of GluN2A and GluN2B in cultured cortical neurons, we examined NMDAR-mediated, bidirectional regulation of prosurvival signaling (i.e. the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB)-Bdnf cascade) and cell death. Inhibition of GluN2A or GluN2B attenuated the up-regulation of prosurvival signaling triggered by the activation of either synaptic or extrasynaptic NMDAR. Inhibition of GluN2A or GluN2B also attenuated the down-regulation of prosurvival signaling triggered by the coactivation of synaptic and extrasynaptic receptors. The effects of GluN2B on CREB-Bdnf signaling were larger than those of GluN2A. Consistently, compared with suppression of GluN2A, suppression of GluN2B resulted in more reduction of NMDA- and oxygen glucose deprivation-induced excitotoxicity as well as NMDAR-mediated elevation of intracellular calcium. Moreover, excitotoxicity and down-regulation of CREB were exaggerated in neurons overexpressing GluN2A or GluN2B. Together, we found that GluN2A and GluN2B are involved in the function of both synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDAR, demonstrating that they play similar rather than opposing roles in NMDAR-mediated bidirectional regulation of prosurvival signaling and neuronal death.
Frühholz, Sascha; Sander, David; Grandjean, Didier
Neuroimaging studies have verified the important integrative role of the basal ganglia during affective vocalizations. They, however, also point to additional regions supporting vocal monitoring, auditory-motor feedback processing, and online adjustments of vocal motor responses. For the case of affective vocalizations, we suggest partly extending the model to fully consider the link between primate-general and human-specific neural components.
Bukalo, Olena; Campanac, Emilie; Hoffman, Dax A; Fields, R Douglas
Learning and other cognitive tasks require integrating new experiences into context. In contrast to sensory-evoked synaptic plasticity, comparatively little is known of how synaptic plasticity may be regulated by intrinsic activity in the brain, much of which can involve nonclassical modes of neuronal firing and integration. Coherent high-frequency oscillations of electrical activity in CA1 hippocampal neurons [sharp-wave ripple complexes (SPW-Rs)] functionally couple neurons into transient ensembles. These oscillations occur during slow-wave sleep or at rest. Neurons that participate in SPW-Rs are distinguished from adjacent nonparticipating neurons by firing action potentials that are initiated ectopically in the distal region of axons and propagate antidromically to the cell body. This activity is facilitated by GABA(A)-mediated depolarization of axons and electrotonic coupling. The possible effects of antidromic firing on synaptic strength are unknown. We find that facilitation of spontaneous SPW-Rs in hippocampal slices by increasing gap-junction coupling or by GABA(A)-mediated axon depolarization resulted in a reduction of synaptic strength, and electrical stimulation of axons evoked a widespread, long-lasting synaptic depression. Unlike other forms of synaptic plasticity, this synaptic depression is not dependent upon synaptic input or glutamate receptor activation, but rather requires L-type calcium channel activation and functional gap junctions. Synaptic stimulation delivered after antidromic firing, which was otherwise too weak to induce synaptic potentiation, triggered a long-lasting increase in synaptic strength. Rescaling synaptic weights in subsets of neurons firing antidromically during SPW-Rs might contribute to memory consolidation by sharpening specificity of subsequent synaptic input and promoting incorporation of novel information.
Wabnig, Sebastian; Liewald, Jana Fiona; Yu, Szi-chieh; Gottschalk, Alexander
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
Newlin, S A; Schlapfer, W T; Barondes, S H
We have studied the effect of the biogenic amines, serotonin and dopamine, on post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) at an identified synapse in the abdominal ganglion of Aplysia californica. We found that: (1) 10(-7) M perfused serotonin doubles the rate constant of decay of PTP. The effect is specific in that neither the size of the non-potentiated (isolated) EPSP nor the amplitude of PTP is affected. As reported previously, higher doses of serotonin will also increase the amplitude of PTP and decrease the size of the isolated EPSP; (2) 5 X 10(-7) M dopamine in the perfusate increases the rate constant of decay of PTP by about 50%. The effect is also specific in that neither PTP amplitude nor the size of the isolated EPSP is affected; (3) SQ10,631, a serotonin antagonist, blocks the effect of perfused serotonin on PTP decay rate. It does not antagonize the dopamine effect. SQ10,631 also slows the endogenous decay of PTP in some preparations which exhibit an unusually fast PTP decay rate, suggesting a naturally occurring source of serotonin within the ganglion capable of affecting the rate constant of PTP decay; (4) (+)-butaclamol, a dopamine antagonist, blocks the effect of dopamine on the rate constant of PTP decay, whereas (-)-butaclamol has little effect. Butaclamol does not block the effect of serotonin on the rate constant of PTP decay; (5) phosphodiesterase inhibitors potentiate the effect of serotonin on the rate constant of PTP decay, and cyclic AMP analogues mimic the effect of the biogenic amines, suggesting that the aminergic modulation of the rate of decay of PTP is coupled with activation of adenylate cyclase and accumulation of cyclic AMP; and (6) the evidence presented is consistent with the hypothesis that serotonin and dopamine are capable of specifically modifying the rate of change in the efficacy of transmitter release which underlies PTP. It also suggests that the two biogenic amines operate separately and in parallel via presynaptic receptor
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Wang, J H; Ko, G Y; Kelly, P T
Discoveries made during the past decade have greatly improved our understanding of how the nervous system functions. This review article examines the relation between memory and the cellular mechanisms of neuronal and synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system. Evidence indicating that activity-dependent short- and long-term changes in strength of synaptic transmission are important for memory processes is examined. Focus is placed on one model of synaptic plasticity called long-term potentiation, and its similarities with memory processes are illustrated. Recent studies show that the regulation of synaptic strength is bidirectional (e.g., synaptic potentiation or depression). Mechanisms involving intracellular signaling pathways that regulate synaptic strength are described, and the specific roles of calcium, protein kinases, protein phosphatases, and retrograde messengers are emphasized. Evidence suggests that changes in synaptic ultrastructure, dendritic ultrastructure, and neuronal gene expression may also contribute to mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. Also discussed are recent findings about postsynaptic mechanisms that regulate short-term synaptic facilitation and neuronal burst-pattern activity, as well as evidence about the subcellular location (presynaptic or postsynaptic) of mechanisms involved in long-term synaptic plasticity.
Adlaf, Elena W; Vaden, Ryan J; Niver, Anastasia J; Manuel, Allison F; Onyilo, Vincent C; Araujo, Matheus T; Dieni, Cristina V; Vo, Hai T; King, Gwendalyn D; Wadiche, Jacques I; Overstreet-Wadiche, Linda
Adult-born neurons are continually produced in the dentate gyrus but it is unclear whether synaptic integration of new neurons affects the pre-existing circuit. Here we investigated how manipulating neurogenesis in adult mice alters excitatory synaptic transmission to mature dentate neurons. Enhancing neurogenesis by conditional deletion of the pro-apoptotic gene Bax in stem cells reduced excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and spine density in mature neurons, whereas genetic ablation of neurogenesis increased EPSCs in mature neurons. Unexpectedly, we found that Bax deletion in developing and mature dentate neurons increased EPSCs and prevented neurogenesis-induced synaptic suppression. Together these results show that neurogenesis modifies synaptic transmission to mature neurons in a manner consistent with a redistribution of pre-existing synapses to newly integrating neurons and that a non-apoptotic function of the Bax signaling pathway contributes to ongoing synaptic refinement within the dentate circuit. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19886.001 PMID:28135190
Gocel, James; Larson, John
It has been suggested that age-related impairments in learning and memory may be due to age-related deficits in long-term potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission. For example, olfactory discrimination learning is significantly affected by aging in mice and this may be due, in part, to diminished synaptic plasticity in piriform cortex. In the present study, we tested for alterations in electrophysiological properties and synaptic transmission in this simple cortical network. Whole-cell recordings were made from principal neurons in slices of anterior piriform cortex from young (3-6 months old) and old (24-28 months) C57Bl/6 mice. Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) mediated by AMPA receptors were collected from cells in presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX) and held at -80 mV in voltage-clamp. Amplitudes of mEPSCs were significantly reduced in aged mice, suggesting that synaptic AMPA receptor expression is decreased during aging. In a second set of experiments, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (s/mEPSCs) were recorded in slices from different cohorts of young and old mice, in the absence of TTX. These currents resembled mEPSCs and were similarly reduced in amplitude in old mice. The results represent the first electrophysiological evidence for age-related declines in glutamatergic synaptic function in the mammalian olfactory system.
Sui, Li; Song, Xiao-Jin; Ren, Jie; Ju, Li-Hua; Wang, Yan
Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of ouabain, a specific Na-K-ATPase inhibitor, in rats mimics the manic phenotypes of bipolar disorder and thus has been proposed as one of the best animal models of mania. Bipolar mania has been known to be associated with dysfunctions of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain area critically involved in mental functions; however, the exact mechanism underlying these dysfunctions is not yet clear. The present study investigated synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity, and dopamine release in Sprague-Dawley rat mPFC following ICV administration of ouabain (5 μl of 1 mM ouabain). The electrophysiological results demonstrated that ouabain depressed the short- and the long-term synaptic plasticity, represented by paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, respectively, in the mPFC. These ouabain-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity can be prevented by pre-treatment with lithium (intraperitoneal injection of 47.5 mg/kg lithium, twice a day, 7 days), which acts as an effective mood stabilizer in preventing mania. The electrochemical results demonstrated that ICV administration of ouabain enhanced dopamine release in the mPFC, which did not be affected by pre-treatment with lithium. These findings suggested that alterations in synaptic plasticity and dopamine release in the mPFC might underlie the dysfunctions of mPFC accompanied with ouabain administration-induced bipolar mania.
Ma, Jun; Zhang, Zhanchi; Kang, Lin; Geng, Dandan; Wang, Yanyong; Wang, Mingwei; Cui, Huixian
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
Synapses have been known for many years to be the crucial target of pathology in different forms of dementia, in particular Alzheimer's disease (AD). Synapses and their appropriate activation or inhibition are fundamental for the proper brain function. Alterations in synaptic/neuronal activity and brain metabolism are considered among the earliest symptoms linked to the progression of AD, and lead to a central question in AD research: what is the role played by synaptic activity in AD pathogenesis? Intriguingly, in the last decade, important studies demonstrated that the state of activation of synapses affects the homeostasis of beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau, both of which aggregate and accumulate during AD, and are involved in neuronal dysfunction. In this review we aim to summarize the up-to-date data linking synaptic/neuronal activity with Aβ and tau; moreover, we also intend to provide a critical overview on brain activity alterations in AD, and their role in the disease's pathophysiology. PMID:26582973
Wu, Aiguo; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando
The pervasive action of oxidative stress on neuronal function and plasticity after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is becoming increasingly recognized. Here, we evaluated the capacity of the powerful antioxidant curry spice curcumin ingested in the diet to counteract the oxidative damage encountered in the injured brain. In addition, we have examined the possibility that dietary curcumin may favor the injured brain by interacting with molecular mechanisms that maintain synaptic plasticity and cognition. The analysis was focused on the BDNF system based on its action on synaptic plasticity and cognition by modulating synapsin I and CREB. Rats were exposed to a regular diet or a diet high in saturated fat, with or without 500 ppm curcumin for 4 weeks (n = 8/group), before a mild fluid percussion injury (FPI) was performed. The high-fat diet has been shown to exacerbate the effects of TBI on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Supplementation of curcumin in the diet dramatically reduced oxidative damage and normalized levels of BDNF, synapsin I, and CREB that had been altered after TBI. Furthermore, curcumin supplementation counteracted the cognitive impairment caused by TBI. These results are in agreement with previous evidence, showing that oxidative stress can affect the injured brain by acting through the BDNF system to affect synaptic plasticity and cognition. The fact that oxidative stress is an intrinsic component of the neurological sequel of TBI and other insults indicates that dietary antioxidant therapy is a realistic approach to promote protective mechanisms in the injured brain.
Cerpa, Waldo; Gambrill, Abigail; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.; Barria, Andres
Wnt ligands are secreted glycoproteins controlling gene expression and cytoskeleton reorganization involved in embryonic development of the nervous system. However, their role in later stages of brain development, particularly in the regulation of established synaptic connections is not known. We found that Wnt-5a acutely and specifically up-regulates synaptic NMDAR currents in rat hippocampal slices facilitating induction of LTP, a cellular model of learning and memory. This effect requires an increase in postsynaptic Ca2+ and activation of non-canonical downstream effectors of the Wnt signaling pathway. In contrast, Wnt-7a, an activator of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway, has no effect on NMDAR mediated synaptic transmission. Moreover, endogenous Wnt ligands are necessary to maintain basal NMDAR synaptic transmission adjusting the threshold for synaptic potentiation. This novel role for Wnt ligands provides a mechanism for Wnt signaling to acutely modulate synaptic plasticity and brain function in later stages of development and in the mature organism. PMID:21715611
Piochon, Claire; Kano, Masanobu; Hansel, Christian
In long-term depression (LTD) at synapses in the adult brain, synaptic strength is reduced in an experience-dependent manner. LTD thus provides a cellular mechanism for information storage in some forms of learning. A similar activity-dependent reduction in synaptic strength also occurs in the developing brain and there provides an essential step in synaptic pruning and the postnatal development of neural circuits. Here we review evidence suggesting that LTD and synaptic pruning share components of their underlying molecular machinery and may thus represent two developmental stages of the same type of synaptic modulation that serve different, but related, functions in neural circuit plasticity. We also assess the relationship between LTD and synaptic pruning in the context of recent findings of LTD dysregulation in several mouse models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and discuss whether LTD deficits can indicate impaired pruning processes that are required for proper brain development. PMID:27669991
Christensen, Ryan; Shao, Zhiyong; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A
Proper circuit connectivity is critical for nervous system function. Connectivity derives from the interaction of two interdependent modules: synaptic specificity and synaptic assembly. Specificity involves both targeting of neurons to specific laminar regions and the formation of synapses onto defined subcellular areas. In this review, we focus discussion on recently elucidated molecular mechanisms that control synaptic specificity and link them to synapse assembly. We use these molecular pathways to underscore fundamental cell biological concepts that underpin, and help explain, the rules governing synaptic specificity.
Xu, Xiaohong; Gu, Ting; Shen, Qiaoqiao
Bisphenol-A (BPA) has the capability of interfering with the effects of estrogens on modulating brain function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of BPA on memory and synaptic modification in the hippocampus of female mice under different levels of cycling estrogen. BPA exposure (40, 400 μg/kg/day) for 8 weeks did not affect spatial memory and passive avoidance task of gonadally intact mice but improved ovariectomy (Ovx)-induced memory impairment, whereas co-exposure of BPA with estradiol benzoate (EB) diminished the rescue effect of EB on memory behavior of Ovx mice. The results of morphometric measurement showed that BPA positively modified the synaptic interface structure and increased the synaptic density of CA1 pyramidal cell in the hippocampus of Ovx females, but inhibited the enhancement of EB on synaptic modification and synaptogenesis of Ovx mice. Furthermore, BPA up-regulated synaptic proteins synapsin I and PSD-95 and NMDA receptor NR2B but inhibited EB-induced increase in PSD-95 and NR2B in the hippocampus of Ovx mice. These results suggest that BPA interfered with normal hormonal regulation in synaptic plasticity and memory of female mice as a potent estrogen mimetic and as a disruptor of estrogen under various concentrations of cycling estrogen.
Andrieux, David; Monnai, Takaaki
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.
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...
Ding, Juan; Xi, Yuan-Di; Zhang, Dan-Di; Zhao, Xia; Liu, Jin-Meng; Li, Chao-Qun; Han, Jing; Xiao, Rong
This research aims to investigate whether soybean isoflavone (SIF) could alleviate the learning and memory deficit induced by β-amyloid peptides 1-42 (Aβ 1-42) by protecting the synapses of rats. Adult male Wistar rats were randomly allocated to the following groups: (1) control group; (2) Aβ 1-42 group; (3) SIF group; (4) SIF + Aβ 1-42 group (SIF pretreatment group) according to body weight. The 80 mg/kg/day of SIF was administered orally by gavage to the rats in SIF and SIF+Aβ 1-42 groups. Aβ 1-42 was injected into the lateral cerebral ventricle of rats in Aβ 1-42 and SIF+Aβ 1-42 groups. The ability of learning and memory, ultramicrostructure of hippocampal synapses, and expression of synaptic related proteins were investigated. The Morris water maze results showed the escape latency and total distance were decreased in the rats of SIF pretreatment group compared to the rats in Aβ1-42 group. Furthermore, SIF pretreatment could alleviate the synaptic structural damage and antagonize the down-regulation expressions of below proteins induced by Aβ1-42: (1) mRNA and protein of the synaptophysin and postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95); (2) protein of calmodulin (CaM), Ca(2+) /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMK II), and cAMP response element binding protein (CREB); (3) phosphorylation levels of CaMK II and CREB (pCAMK II, pCREB). These results suggested that SIF pretreatment could ameliorate the impairment of learning and memory ability in rats induced by Aβ 1-42, and its mechanism might be associated with the protection of synaptic plasticity by improving the synaptic structure and regulating the synaptic related proteins.
Vroman, Rozan; Klaassen, Lauw J.; Howlett, Marcus H.C.; Cenedese, Valentina; Klooster, Jan; Sjoerdsma, Trijntje; Kamermans, Maarten
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
Grønli, Janne; Soulé, Jonathan; Bramham, Clive R.
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
Dan Cao; Yingjie Li; Ling Wei; Yingying Tang
Prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in the emotional processing as well as in the functional brain network. Hyperactivity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) would be found in anxious participants. However, it is still unclear what the role of PFC played in a resting functional network. Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) is an effective tool to create virtual lesions on brain regions. In this paper, we applied cTBS over right prefrontal area, and investigated the effects of cTBS on the brain activity for functional connectivity by the method of graph theory. We recorded 64-channels EEG on thirteen healthy participants in the resting condition and emotional tasks before and after 40 s of cTBS. This work focused on the effect of cTBS on cortical activities in the resting condition by calculating the coherence between EEG channels and building functional networks before and after cTBS in the delta, theta, alpha and beta bands. Results revealed that 1) The functional connectivity after cTBS was significantly increased compared with that before cTBS in delta, theta, alpha and beta bands in the resting condition; 2) The efficiency-cost reached the maximum before and after cTBS both with the cost about 0.3 in the bands above, which meant that the information transmission of functional brain network with this cost was highly efficient; 3) the clustering coefficient and path length after cTBS was significantly increased in delta, theta and beta bands. In conclusion, cTBS over PFC indeed enhanced the functional connectivity in the resting condition. In addition, the information transmission in the resting brain network was highly efficient with the cost about 0.3.
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
Hegde, Ashok N.
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…
Friedman, Samuel H; Dani, Neil; Rushton, Emma; Broadie, Kendal
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 disease
Trabelsi, Y; Pariès, J; Harrabi, I; Zbidi, A; Tabka, Z; Richalet, J P; Buvry, A
We undertook to evaluate the impacts of morphology at birth, physical activity, anthropometric, socioeconomic and environmental factors on lung function in healthy Tunisian children. Pulmonary function parameters were measured with a Minato portable spirometer in a randomized population of 756 healthy children (388 males and 368 females) aged between 6 and 16. The morphology at birth, the gestational age, the physical activity, the socioeconomic status, the type of habitation, and the environmental factors were all assessed by a standard questionnaire. Using univariate analysis, we found that: (1) morphometric parameters (height, weight, maximal inspiratory, and expiratory perimeter), as well as sex were highly associated with pulmonary function parameters; (2) Height at birth showed strong significant relations with FVC, FEV(1), and FEV(1)/FVC; (3) lung function parameters were influenced by physical training of our children, socioeconomic status, indoor pollution, and passive smoking; and (4) we did not observe any association between the gestational age and the weight at their birth and lung function parameters. Using a general linear model analysis, morphometric parameters, age, sex, type of heating, and maximal inspiratory and expiratory perimeters had significant relation with respiratory parameters. In our population of healthy Tunisian children, the main predictive factors of the pulmonary development were the morphological factors such as height, weight, maximal inspiratory, and expiratory thoracic perimeter, sex and age, and the environmental conditions such as type of heating but not morphology at birth, physical activity, or socioeconomic status.
Tse, Yiu Chung; Bagot, Rosemary C; Hutter, Juliana A; Wong, Alice S; Wong, Tak Pan
Stress exerts a profound impact on learning and memory, in part, through the actions of adrenal corticosterone (CORT) on synaptic plasticity, a cellular model of learning and memory. Increasing findings suggest that CORT exerts its impact on synaptic plasticity by altering the functional properties of glutamate receptors, which include changes in the motility and function of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid subtype of glutamate receptor (AMPAR) that are responsible for the expression of synaptic plasticity. Here we provide evidence that CORT could also regulate synaptic plasticity by modulating the function of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), which mediate the induction of synaptic plasticity. We found that stress level CORT applied to adult rat hippocampal slices potentiated evoked NMDAR-mediated synaptic responses within 30 min. Surprisingly, following this fast-onset change, we observed a slow-onset (>1 hour after termination of CORT exposure) increase in synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs. To investigate the consequences of the distinct fast- and slow-onset modulation of NMDARs for synaptic plasticity, we examined the formation of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) within relevant time windows. Paralleling the increased NMDAR function, both LTP and LTD were facilitated during CORT treatment. However, 1-2 hours after CORT treatment when synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs is increased, bidirectional plasticity was no longer facilitated. Our findings reveal the remarkable plasticity of NMDARs in the adult hippocampus in response to CORT. CORT-mediated slow-onset increase in GluN2A in hippocampal synapses could be a homeostatic mechanism to normalize synaptic plasticity following fast-onset stress-induced facilitation.
Iaconelli, Cyril; Lemetais, Guillaume; Kechaou, Noura; Chain, Florian; Bermúdez-Humarán, Luis G; Langella, Philippe; Gervais, Patrick; Beney, Laurent
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.
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...
Richardson, T.; Kester, J. J.
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…
Stevens, Robin J; Littleton, J Troy
Manipulations of the actin-capping protein adducin in Drosophila and mammalian neurons provide new insights into the mechanisms linking structural changes to synaptic plasticity and learning. Adducin regulates synaptic remodeling, providing a molecular switch that controls synaptic growth versus disassembly during plasticity.
Vetter, Nora C; Altgassen, Mareike; Phillips, Louise; Mahy, Caitlin E V; Kliegel, Matthias
Theory of mind, the ability to understand mental states, involves inferences about others' cognitive (cognitive theory of mind) and emotional (affective theory of mind) mental states. The current study explored the role of executive functions in developing affective theory of mind across adolescence. Affective theory of mind and three subcomponents of executive functions (inhibition, updating, and shifting) were measured. Affective theory of mind was positively related to age, and all three executive functions. Specifically, inhibition explained the largest amount of variance in age-related differences in affective theory of mind.
Hentzer, Morten; Teitzel, Gail M.; Balzer, Grant J.; Heydorn, Arne; Molin, Søren; Givskov, Michael; Parsek, Matthew R.
During the course of chronic cystic fibrosis (CF) infections, Pseudomonas aeruginosa undergoes a conversion to a mucoid phenotype, which is characterized by overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Chronic P. aeruginosa infections involve surface-attached, highly antibiotic-resistant communities of microorganisms organized in biofilms. Although biofilm formation and the conversion to mucoidy are both important aspects of CF pathogenesis, the relationship between them is at the present unclear. In this study, we report that the overproduction of alginate affects biofilm development on an abiotic surface. Biofilms formed by an alginate-overproducing strain exhibit a highly structured architecture and are significantly more resistant to the antibiotic tobramycin than a biofilm formed by an isogenic nonmucoid strain. These results suggest that an important consequence of the conversion to mucoidy is an altered biofilm architecture that shows increasing resistance to antimicrobial treatments. PMID:11514525
Adams, B M; Coates, Miranda N; Jackson, S RaElle; Jurica, Melissa S; Davis, Tara L
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.
Salzwedel, Andrew P.; Vachet, Clement; Gerig, Guido; Lin, Weili
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
Hao, M H; Scheraga, H A
The relationship between the optimization of the potential function and the foldability of theoretical protein models is studied based on investigations of a 27-mer cubic-lattice protein model and a more realistic lattice model for the protein crambin. In both the simple and the more complicated systems, optimization of the energy parameters achieves significant improvements in the statistical-mechanical characteristics of the systems and leads to foldable protein models in simulation experiments. The foldability of the protein models is characterized by their statistical-mechanical properties--e.g., by the density of states and by Monte Carlo folding simulations of the models. With optimized energy parameters, a high level of consistency exists among different interactions in the native structures of the protein models, as revealed by a correlation function between the optimized energy parameters and the native structure of the model proteins. The results of this work are relevant to the design of a general potential function for folding proteins by theoretical simulations. PMID:8643516
Lee, Sunmin; Kawachi, Ichiro; Grodstein, Francine
Increasing numbers of women provide care to their ill spouses; however, no studies have examined possible effects of caregiving stress on cognitive function. We administered 6 tests of cognitive function to 13740 Nurses' Health Study participants aged 70-79 years. We collected information on caregiving and numerous potential confounding variables via biennial mailed questionnaires. After adjustment for potential confounders (age, education, mental health index, vitality index, use of antidepressants, and history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease), we found modest but significantly increased risks of low cognitive function on three of the cognitive tests among women who provided care to a disabled or ill spouse compared with women who did not provide any care. For example, on the TICS, a test of general cognition, the risk of a low score was 31% higher in women who provided care compared with women who did not (RR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.10, 1.56). We found a moderately increased risk of poor performance on several cognitive tests among women who provided care to their disabled or ill husbands.
Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; O'Connor, Nessa E; Thompson, Richard
Biological effects of microplastics on the health of bivalves have been demonstrated elsewhere, but ecological impacts on the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of bivalve-dominated habitats are unknown. Thus, we exposed intact sediment cores containing European flat oysters (Ostrea edulis) or blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) in seawater to two different densities (2.5 or 25 μg L(-1)) of biodegradable or conventional microplastics in outdoor mesocosms. We hypothesized that filtration rates of the bivalves, inorganic nitrogen cycling, primary productivity of sediment dwelling microphytobenthos, and the structure of invertebrate benthic assemblages would be influenced by microplastics. After 50 days, filtration by M. edulis was significantly less when exposed to 25 μg L(-1) of either type of microplastics, but there were no effects on ecosystem functioning or the associated invertebrate assemblages. Contrastingly, filtration by O. edulis significantly increased when exposed to 2.5 or 25 μg L(-1) of microplastics, and porewater ammonium and biomass of benthic cyanobacteria decreased. Additionally the associated infaunal invertebrate assemblages differed, with significantly less polychaetes and more oligochaetes in treatments exposed to microplastics. These findings highlight the potential of microplastics to impact the functioning and structure of sedimentary habitats and show that such effects may depend on the dominant bivalve present.
Adams, B.M.; Coates, Miranda N.; Jackson, S. RaElle; Jurica, Melissa S.; Davis, Tara L.
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
Spruston, N; Jaffe, D B; Johnston, D
The dendritic trees of neurons are structurally and functionally complex integrative units receiving thousands of synaptic inputs that have excitatory and inhibitory, fast and slow, and electrical and biochemical effects. The pattern of activation of these synaptic inputs determines if the neuron will fire an action potential at any given point in time and how it will respond to similar inputs in the future. Two critical factors affect the integrative function of dendrites: the distribution of voltage-gated ion channels in the dendritic tree and the passive electrical properties, or 'electrotonic structure', upon which these active channels are superimposed. The authors review recent data from patch-clamp recordings that provide new estimates of the passive membrane properties of hippocampal neurons, and show, with examples, how these properties affect the shaping and attenuation of synaptic potentials as they propagate in the dendrites, as well as how they affect the measurement of current from synapses located in the dendrites. Voltage-gated channels might influence the measurement of 'passive' membrane properties and, reciprocally, passive membrane properties might affect the activation of voltage-gated channels in dendrites.
Lussier, April L.; Weeber, Edwin J.; Rebeck, G. William
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
Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian
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.
Sarkar, Anindita; Marchetto, Maria C; Gage, Fred H
Schizophrenia is a polygenic disorder with a complex etiology. While the genetic and molecular underpinnings of the disease are poorly understood, variations in genes encoding synaptic pathways are consistently implicated. Although its impact is still an open question, a deficit in synaptic activity provides an attractive model to explain the cognitive etiology of schizophrenia. Recent advances in high-throughput imaging and functional studies bring new hope for the application of in vitro disease modeling with patient-derived neurons to empirically ascertain the extent to which these synaptic pathways are involved in the disease. In addition, the emergent avenue of research targeted to probe neuronal connections is revealing critical insight into circuitry and may influence how we think about psychiatric disorders in the near future. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Exploiting human neurons.
Teoli, Dac A; Smith, Merideth D; Leys, Monique J; Jain, Priyanka; Odom, J Vernon
Eye-related pathological conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration commonly lead to decreased peripheral/central field, decreased visual acuity, and increased functional disability. We sought to answer if relationships exist between measures of visual function and reported prosocial behaviors in an older adult population with eye-related diagnoses. The sample consisted of adults, aged ≥ 60 years old, at an academic hospital's eye institute. Vision ranged from normal to severe impairment. Medical charts determined the visual acuities, ocular disease, duration of disease (DD), and visual fields (VF). Measures of giving help were via validated questionnaires on giving formal support (GFS) and giving informal support; measures of help received were perceived support (PS) and informal support received (ISR). ISR had subscales: tangible support (ISR-T), emotional support (ISR-E), and composite (ISR-C). Visual acuities of the better and worse seeing eyes were converted to LogMAR values. VF information converted to a 4-point rating scale of binocular field loss severity. DD was in years. Among 96 participants (mean age 73.28; range 60-94), stepwise regression indicated a relationship of visual variables to GFS (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.1679 with acuity-better eye, VF rating, and DD), PS (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.2254 with acuity-better eye), ISR-C (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.041 with acuity-better eye), and ISR-T (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.1421 with acuity-better eye). The findings suggest eye-related conditions can impact levels and perceptions of support exchanges. Our data reinforces the importance of visual function as an influence on prosocial behavior in older adults.
Timmers, Inge; van den Hurk, Job; Hofman, Paul Am; Zimmermann, Luc Ji; Uludağ, Kâmil; Jansma, Bernadette M; Rubio-Gozalbo, M Estela
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.
Ojo, Bunmi; Rezaie, Payam; Gabbott, Paul L; Davies, Heather; Colyer, Frances; Cowley, Thelma R; Lynch, Marina; Stewart, Michael G
Altered synaptic morphology, progressive loss of synapses and glial (astrocyte and microglial) cell activation are considered as characteristic hallmarks of aging. Recent evidence suggests that there is a concomitant age-related decrease in expression of the presynaptic protein, synaptophysin, and the neuronal glycoprotein CD200, which, by interacting with its receptor, plays a role in maintaining microglia in a quiescent state. These age-related changes may be indicative of reduced neuroglial support of synapses. FG Loop (FGL) peptide synthesized from the second fibronectin type III module of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), has previously been shown to attenuate age-related glial cell activation, and to 'restore' cognitive function in aged rats. The mechanisms by which FGL exerts these neuroprotective effects remain unclear, but could involve regulation of CD200, modifying glial-synaptic interactions (affecting neuroglial 'support' at synapses), or impacting directly on synaptic function. Light and electron microscopic (EM) analyses were undertaken to investigate whether systemic treatment with FGL (i) alters CD200, synaptophysin (presynaptic) and PSD-95 (postsynaptic) immunohistochemical expression levels, (ii) affects synaptic number, or (iii) exerts any effects on glial-synaptic interactions within young (4 month-old) and aged (22 month-old) rat hippocampus. Treatment with FGL attenuated the age-related loss of synaptophysin immunoreactivity (-ir) within CA3 and hilus (with no major effect on PSD-95-ir), and of CD200-ir specifically in the CA3 region. Ultrastructural morphometric analyses showed that FGL treatment (i) prevented age-related loss in astrocyte-synaptic contacts, (ii) reduced microglia-synaptic contacts in the CA3 stratum radiatum, but (iii) had no effect on the mean number of synapses in this region. These data suggest that FGL mediates its neuroprotective effects by regulating glial-synaptic interaction.
Cialdai, Francesca; Vignali, Leonardo; Morbidelli, Lucia; Colciago, Alessandra; Celotti, Fabio; Santi, Alice; Caselli, Anna; Cirri, Paolo; Monici, Monica
Wound healing is crucial for the survival of an organism. Therefore, in the perspective of space exploration missions, it is important to understand if and how microgravity conditions affect the behavior of the cell populations involved in wound healing and the evolution of the process. Since fibroblasts are the major players in tissue repair, this study was focused on the behavior of fibroblasts in microgravity conditions, modeled by a RCCS. Cell cytoskeleton was studied by immunofluorescence microscopy, the ability to migrate was assessed by microchemotaxis and scratch assay, and the expression of markers of fibroblast activation, angiogenesis, and inflammation was assessed by western blot. Results revealed that after cell exposure to modeled microgravity conditions, a thorough rearrangement of microtubules occurred and α-SMA bundles were replaced by a tight network of faulty and disorganized filaments. Exposure to modeled microgravity induced a decrease in α-SMA and E-CAD expressions. Also, the expression of the pro-angiogenic protein VEGF decreased, while that of the inflammatory signal COX-2 increased. Fibroblast ability to adhere, migrate, and respond to chemoattractants (PRP), closely related to cytoskeleton integrity and membrane junctions, was significantly impaired. Nevertheless, PRP was able to partially restore fibroblast migration.
Cialdai, Francesca; Vignali, Leonardo; Morbidelli, Lucia; Colciago, Alessandra; Celotti, Fabio; Santi, Alice; Caselli, Anna; Cirri, Paolo; Monici, Monica
Wound healing is crucial for the survival of an organism. Therefore, in the perspective of space exploration missions, it is important to understand if and how microgravity conditions affect the behavior of the cell populations involved in wound healing and the evolution of the process. Since fibroblasts are the major players in tissue repair, this study was focused on the behavior of fibroblasts in microgravity conditions, modeled by a RCCS. Cell cytoskeleton was studied by immunofluorescence microscopy, the ability to migrate was assessed by microchemotaxis and scratch assay, and the expression of markers of fibroblast activation, angiogenesis, and inflammation was assessed by western blot. Results revealed that after cell exposure to modeled microgravity conditions, a thorough rearrangement of microtubules occurred and α-SMA bundles were replaced by a tight network of faulty and disorganized filaments. Exposure to modeled microgravity induced a decrease in α-SMA and E-CAD expressions. Also, the expression of the pro-angiogenic protein VEGF decreased, while that of the inflammatory signal COX-2 increased. Fibroblast ability to adhere, migrate, and respond to chemoattractants (PRP), closely related to cytoskeleton integrity and membrane junctions, was significantly impaired. Nevertheless, PRP was able to partially restore fibroblast migration.
Yokoo, Edna M; Valente, Joaquim G; Grattan, Lynn; Schmidt, Sérgio Luís; Platt, Illeane; Silbergeld, Ellen K
-dependent effect. Conclusions This study suggests that adults exposed to MeHg may be at risk for deficits in neurocognitive function. The functions disrupted in adults, namely attention, fine-motor function and verbal memory, are similar to some of those previously reported in children with prenatal exposures. PMID:12844364
Cartocci, Veronica; Servadio, Michela; Trezza, Viviana; Pallottini, Valentina
Cholesterol is an important component for cell physiology. It regulates the fluidity of cell membranes and determines the physical and biochemical properties of proteins. In the central nervous system, cholesterol controls synapse formation and function and supports the saltatory conduction of action potential. In recent years, the role of cholesterol in the brain has caught the attention of several research groups since a breakdown of cholesterol metabolism has been associated with different neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, and interestingly also with psychiatric conditions. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge about the connection between cholesterol dysregulation and various neurologic and psychiatric disorders based on clinical and preclinical studies. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 281-286, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Hansen, Stine Normann; Tveden-Nyborg, Pernille; Lykkesfeldt, Jens
Vitamin C is a pivotal antioxidant in the brain and has been reported to have numerous functions, including reactive oxygen species scavenging, neuromodulation, and involvement in angiogenesis. Absence of vitamin C in the brain has been shown to be detrimental to survival in newborn SVCT2(-/-) mice and perinatal deficiency have shown to reduce hippocampal volume and neuron number and cause decreased spatial cognition in guinea pigs, suggesting that maternal vitamin C deficiency could have severe consequences for the offspring. Furthermore, vitamin C deficiency has been proposed to play a role in age-related cognitive decline and in stroke risk and severity. The present review discusses the available literature on effects of vitamin C deficiency on the developing and aging brain with particular focus on in vivo experimentation and clinical studies.
DiProspero, Nicholas A; Chen, Er-Yun; Charles, Vinod; Plomann, Markus; Kordower, Jeffrey H; Tagle, Danilo A
Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a polyglutamine repeat expansion in the N-terminus of the huntingtin protein. Huntingtin is normally present in the cytoplasm where it may interact with structural and synaptic elements. The mechanism of HD pathogenesis remains unknown but studies indicate a toxic gain-of-function possibly through aberrant protein interactions. To investigate whether early degenerative changes in HD involve alterations of cytoskeletal and vesicular components, we examined early cellular changes in the frontal cortex of HD presymptomatic (PS), early pathological grade (grade 1) and late-stage (grade 3 and 4) patients as compared to age-matched controls. Morphologic analysis using silver impregnation revealed a progressive decrease in neuronal fiber density and organization in pyramidal cell layers beginning in presymptomatic HD cases. Immunocytochemical analyses for the cytoskeletal markers alpha -tubulin, microtubule-associated protein 2, and phosphorylated neurofilament demonstrated a concomitant loss of staining in early grade cases. Immunoblotting for synaptic proteins revealed a reduction in complexin 2, which was marked in some grade 1 HD cases and significantly reduced in all late stage cases. Interestingly, we demonstrate that two synaptic proteins, dynamin and PACSIN 1, which were unchanged by immunoblotting, showed a striking loss by immunocytochemistry beginning in early stage HD tissue suggesting abnormal distribution of these proteins. We propose that mutant huntingtin affects proteins involved in synaptic function and cytoskeletal integrity before symptoms develop which may influence early disease onset and/or progression.
Li, Yi; Zhong, Yingpeng; Zhang, Jinjian; Xu, Lei; Wang, Qing; Sun, Huajun; Tong, Hao; Cheng, Xiaoming; Miao, Xiangshui
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.
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…
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.
Ross, Elliott D.; Monnot, Marilee
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…
Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Swaab-Barneveld, Hanna; De Sonneville, Leo; Buitelaar, Jan
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…
Ostrowski, Tim D.; Ostrowski, Daniela; Hasser, Eileen M.
Serotonin (5-HT), and its 5-HT1A receptor (5-HT1AR) subtype, is a powerful modulator of the cardiorespiratory system and its sensory reflexes. The nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS) serves as the first central station for visceral afferent integration and is critical for cardiorespiratory reflex responses. However, the physiological and synaptic role of 5-HT1ARs in the nTS is relatively unknown. In the present study, we examined the distribution and modulation of 5-HT1ARs on cardiorespiratory and synaptic parameters in the nTS. 5-HT1ARs were widely distributed to cell bodies within the nTS but not synaptic terminals. In anesthetized rats, activation of 5-HT1ARs by microinjection of the 5-HT1AR agonist 8-OH-DPAT into the caudal nTS decreased minute phrenic neural activity via a reduction in phrenic amplitude. In brain stem slices, 8-OH-DPAT decreased the amplitude of glutamatergic tractus solitarii-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents, and reduced overall spontaneous excitatory nTS network activity. These effects persisted in the presence of GABAA receptor blockade and were antagonized by coapplication of 5-HT1AR blocker WAY-100135. 5-HT1AR blockade alone had no effect on tractus solitarii-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents, but increased excitatory network activity. On the other hand, GABAergic nTS-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents did not change by activation of the 5-HT1ARs, but spontaneous inhibitory nTS network activity decreased. Blocking 5-HT1ARs tended to increase nTS-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents and inhibitory network activity. Taken together, 5-HT1ARs in the caudal nTS decrease breathing, likely via attenuation of afferent transmission, as well as overall nTS network activity. PMID:24671532
She, Kevin; Craig, Ann Marie
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
Moghaddam, Hamid Kalalian; Baluchnejadmojarad, Tourandokht; Roghani, Mehrdad; Goshadrou, Fatemeh; Ronaghi, Abdolaziz
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.
Pignatelli, Marco; Umanah, George Kwabena Essien; Ribeiro, Sissi Palma; Chen, Rong; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar Senthil; Yau, Hau-Jie; Eacker, Stephen; Dawson, Valina Lynn; Dawson, Ted Murray; Bonci, Antonello
Fear learning is a fundamental behavioral process that requires dopamine (DA) release. Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity occurs on DA neurons while an organism is engaged in aversive experiences. However, whether synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons is causally involved in aversion learning is unknown. Here, we show that a stress priming procedure enhances fear learning by engaging VTA synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we took advantage of the ability of the ATPase Thorase to regulate the internalization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in order to selectively manipulate glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on DA neurons. Genetic ablation of Thorase in DAT(+) neurons produced increased AMPAR surface expression and function that lead to impaired induction of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Strikingly, animals lacking Thorase in DAT(+) neurons expressed greater associative learning in a fear conditioning paradigm. In conclusion, our data provide a novel, causal link between synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons and fear learning.
Frank, Marcos G
Sleep is hypothesized to play an integral role in brain plasticity. This has traditionally been investigated using behavioral assays. In the last 10-15 years, studies combining sleep measurements with in vitro and in vivo models of synaptic plasticity have provided exciting new insights into how sleep alters synaptic strength. In addition, new theories have been proposed that integrate older ideas about sleep function and recent discoveries in the field of synaptic plasticity. There remain, however, important challenges and unanswered questions. For example, sleep does not appear to have a single effect on synaptic strength. An unbiased review of the literature indicates that the effects of sleep vary widely depending on ontogenetic stage, the type of waking experience (or stimulation protocols) that precede sleep and the type of neuronal synapse under examination. In this review, I discuss these key findings in the context of current theories that posit different roles for sleep in synaptic plasticity.
Woolfrey, Kevin M.; Dell'Acqua, Mark L.
A central theme in nervous system function is equilibrium: synaptic strengths wax and wane, neuronal firing rates adjust up and down, and neural circuits balance excitation with inhibition. This push/pull regulatory theme carries through to the molecular level at excitatory synapses, where protein function is controlled through phosphorylation and dephosphorylation by kinases and phosphatases. However, these opposing enzymatic activities are only part of the equation as scaffolding interactions and assembly of multi-protein complexes are further required for efficient, localized synaptic signaling. This review will focus on coordination of postsynaptic serine/threonine kinase and phosphatase signaling by scaffold proteins during synaptic plasticity. PMID:26453308
Ball, Robin W.; Peled, Einat; Guerrero, Giovanna; Isacoff, Ehud Y.
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
Beltrán, Jesús Q; Reyes, Sebastián; Pérez-Guzmán, José A; Elías-Viñas, David; Gutiérrez, Rafael
Pyramidal cells of CA3 area receive glutamatergic signals from the mossy fibers (MFs), perforant path and collaterals of other pyramidal cells, as well as GABAergic inputs from interneurons. In hippocampal slices, an extracellular stimulation electrode is often used to activate the MFs, with the disadvantage of possibly activating fibers other than MFs. We set-up a preparation that allows the analysis of the glutamatergic input from identified, giant MF boutons as well as of GABAergic inputs from boutons of interneurons on single CA3 pyramidal cells. Mossy fiber boutons were labeled by exposing hippocampal slices to a zinc-reactive fluorescent dye, or by injecting a fluorescent dye in the granule cell layer and allowing its transport along the MFs to their terminals in CA3 area. After conducting an enzyme-free, mechanical dissociation of CA3 area, we obtained pyramidal cells containing fluorescent, giant MF boutons attached to their apical dendrites, as well as boutons of interneuronal origin. Whole cell recordings were then performed, whereby synaptic responses could be evoked by selective stimulation of the identified boutons. The synaptic currents evoked by stimulation of MF boutons, unlike those evoked by stimulation of interneuronal boutons, underwent strong frequency potentiation and were depressed by activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors, which are characteristics of transmission of MF origin. Combination of fluorophores can be used to label different tracts/boutons allowing the study of the different characteristics of neurotransmitter release from a variety of sources on single target cells.
Morales, Juan; Rodríguez, Angel; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Merchán-Pérez, Angel
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
Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, forming
Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, forming trans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft or cis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics. PMID:28255461
Rohrbough, Jeffrey; Rushton, Emma; Palanker, Laura; Woodruff, Elvin; Matthies, Heinrich J. G.; Acharya, Usha; Acharya, Jairaj K.; Broadie, Kendal
A screen for Drosophila synaptic dysfunction mutants identified slug-a-bed (slab). The slab gene encodes ceramidase, a central enzyme in sphingolipid metabolism and regulation. Sphingolipids are major constituents of lipid rafts, membrane domains with roles in vesicle trafficking, and signaling pathways. Null slab mutants arrest as fully developed embryos with severely reduced movement. The SLAB protein is widely expressed in different tissues but enriched in neurons at all stages of development. Targeted neuronal expression of slab rescues mutant lethality, demonstrating the essential neuronal function of the protein. C5-ceramide applied to living preparations is rapidly accumulated at neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapses dependent on the SLAB expression level, indicating that synaptic sphingolipid trafficking and distribution is regulated by SLAB function. Evoked synaptic currents at slab mutant NMJs are reduced by 50–70%, whereas postsynaptic glutamate-gated currents are normal, demonstrating a specific presynaptic impairment. Hypertonic saline-evoked synaptic vesicle fusion is similarly impaired by 50–70%, demonstrating a loss of readily releasable vesicles. In addition, FM1-43 dye uptake is reduced in slab mutant presynaptic terminals, indicating a smaller cycling vesicle pool. Ultrastructural analyses of mutants reveal a normal vesicle distribution clustered and docked at active zones, but fewer vesicles in reserve regions, and a twofold to threefold increased incidence of vesicles linked together and tethered at the plasma membrane. These results indicate that SLAB ceramidase function controls presynaptic terminal sphingolipid composition to regulate vesicle fusion and trafficking, and thus the strength and reliability of synaptic transmission. PMID:15356190
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
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
Maas, James W. Jr.; Yang, Jing; Edwards, Robert H.
Dominant mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) produce the most common inherited form of Parkinson’s disease (PD) but the function of LRRK2 remains poorly understood. The presynaptic role of multiple genes linked to PD including α-synuclein (α-syn) has suggested that LRRK2 may also influence neurotransmitter release, a possibility supported by recent work. However, the use of disease-associated mutants that cause toxicity complicates the analysis. To determine whether LRRK2 normally influences the synaptic vesicle, we have now used a combination of imaging and electrophysiology to study LRRK2 knockout (KO) mice. Surprisingly, we find that in hippocampal (generally excitatory) neurons, the loss of LRRK2 does not affect synaptic vesicle exocytosis, endocytosis or the mobility of α-syn. Double KO (DKO) mice lacking LRRK1 as well as LRRK2 also show no defect in transmitter release by hippocampal neurons. However, in striatal neurons, which express LRRK2 at higher levels, the loss of LRRK2 leads to modest acceleration of synaptic vesicle endocytosis. Thus, endogenous LRRK2 normally slows synaptic vesicle recycling at striatal terminals. PMID:28280464
Rosenberg, Tali; Gal-Ben-Ari, Shunit; Dieterich, Daniela C.; Kreutz, Michael R.; Ziv, Noam E.; Gundelfinger, Eckart D.; Rosenblum, Kobi
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
Stoyanova, Irina I; le Feber, Joost; Rutten, Wim L C
Ghrelin was initially related to appetite stimulation and growth hormone secretion. However, it also has a neuroprotective effect in neurodegenerative diseases and regulates cognitive function. The cellular basis of these processes is related to synaptic efficacy and plasticity. Previous studies indicated that ghrelin has an excitatory effect on neuronal activity, and stimulates synaptic plasticity in vivo. Plasticity in the adult brain occurs in many different ways, including changes in synapse morphology and number. Therefore, we used in vitro neuronal cultures to investigate how ghrelin affects synaptogenesis. We used dissociated cortical cultures of newborn rats, chronically treated with different doses of ghrelin (0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2μM). After one-, two-, three- or four weeks cultures were immunostained for the presynaptic marker synaptophysin. In parallel, additional groups of non-treated cultures were immunostained for detection of ghrelin receptor (GHSR1). During development, GHSR1was increasingly expressed in all type of neurons, as well as the synaptophysin. Synaptic density depended on ghrelin concentration, and was much higher than in controls in all age groups. In conclusion, ghrelin leads to earlier network formation in dissociated cortical networks and an increase in number of synapses. The effect is probably mediated by GHSR1. These findings suggest that ghrelin may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of disorders related to synaptic impairment.
Maas, James W Jr; Yang, Jing; Edwards, Robert H
Dominant mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) produce the most common inherited form of Parkinson's disease (PD) but the function of LRRK2 remains poorly understood. The presynaptic role of multiple genes linked to PD including α-synuclein (α-syn) has suggested that LRRK2 may also influence neurotransmitter release, a possibility supported by recent work. However, the use of disease-associated mutants that cause toxicity complicates the analysis. To determine whether LRRK2 normally influences the synaptic vesicle, we have now used a combination of imaging and electrophysiology to study LRRK2 knockout (KO) mice. Surprisingly, we find that in hippocampal (generally excitatory) neurons, the loss of LRRK2 does not affect synaptic vesicle exocytosis, endocytosis or the mobility of α-syn. Double KO (DKO) mice lacking LRRK1 as well as LRRK2 also show no defect in transmitter release by hippocampal neurons. However, in striatal neurons, which express LRRK2 at higher levels, the loss of LRRK2 leads to modest acceleration of synaptic vesicle endocytosis. Thus, endogenous LRRK2 normally slows synaptic vesicle recycling at striatal terminals.
Gómez-Galán, Marta; Femenía, Teresa; Åberg, Elin; Graae, Lisette; Van Eeckhaut, Ann; Smolders, Ilse; Brené, Stefan; Lindskog, Maria
Stress, such as social isolation, is a well-known risk factor for depression, most probably in combination with predisposing genetic factors. Physical exercise on the other hand, is depicted as a wonder-treatment that makes you healthier, happier and live longer. However, the published results on the effects of exercise are ambiguous, especially when it comes to neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we combine a paradigm of social isolation with a genetic rat model of depression, the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL), already known to have glutamatergic synaptic alterations. Compared to group-housed FSL rats, we found that social isolation further affects synaptic plasticity and increases basal synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. These functional synaptic alterations co-exist with changes in hippocampal protein expression levels: social isolation in FSL rats reduce expression of the glial glutamate transporter GLT-1, and increase expression of the GluA2 AMPA-receptor subunit. We further show that physical exercise in form of voluntary running prevents the stress-induced synaptic effects but do not restore the endogenous mechanisms of depression already present in the FSL rat. PMID:27764188
Stein, Efrat Shavit; Itsekson-Hayosh, Zeev; Aronovich, Anna; Reisner, Yair; Bushi, Doron; Pick, Chaim G.; Tanne, David; Chapman, Joab; Vlachos, Andreas; Maggio, Nicola
Acute brain ischemia modifies synaptic plasticity by inducing ischemic long-term potentiation (iLTP) of synaptic transmission through the activation of N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR). Thrombin, a blood coagulation factor, affects synaptic plasticity in an NMDAR dependent manner. Since its activity and concentration is increased in brain tissue upon acute stroke, we sought to clarify whether thrombin could mediate iLTP through the activation of its receptor Protease-Activated receptor 1 (PAR1). Extracellular recordings were obtained in CA1 region of hippocampal slices from C57BL/6 mice. In vitro ischemia was induced by acute (3 minutes) oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD). A specific ex vivo enzymatic assay was employed to assess thrombin activity in hippocampal slices, while OGD-induced changes in prothrombin mRNA levels were assessed by (RT)qPCR. Upon OGD, thrombin activity increased in hippocampal slices. A robust potentiation of excitatory synaptic strength was detected, which occluded the ability to induce further LTP. Inhibition of either thrombin or its receptor PAR1 blocked iLTP and restored the physiological, stimulus induced LTP. Our study provides important insights on the early changes occurring at excitatory synapses after ischemia and indicates the thrombin/PAR1 pathway as a novel target for developing therapeutic strategies to restore synaptic function in the acute phase of ischemic stroke. PMID:25604482
1 Award Number: W81XWH-13-1-0440 TITLE: Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Anna...29Sep2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-13-1-0440 5b...Here we investigated how Maternal Immune Activation (MIA), a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affects the development of synapses
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
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
Renger, J J; Ueda, A; Atwood, H L; Govind, C K; Wu, C F
Mutations of the genes rutabaga (rut) and dunce (dnc) affect the synthesis and degradation of cAMP, respectively, and disrupt learning in Drosophila. Combined ultrastructural analysis and focal electrophysiological recording in the larval neuromuscular junction revealed a loss of stability and fine tuning of synaptic structure and function in both mutants. Increased ratios of docked/undocked vesicles and poorly defined synaptic specializations characterized dnc synapses. In contrast, rut boutons possessed fewer, although larger, synapses with lower proportions of docked vesicles. At reduced Ca(2+) levels, decreased quantal content coupled with an increase in failure rate was seen in rut boutons and reduced pair-pulse facilitation were found in both rut and dnc mutants. At physiological Ca(2+) levels, strong enhancement, instead of depression, in evoked release was observed in some dnc and rut boutons during 10 Hz tetanus. Furthermore, increased variability of synaptic transmission, including fluctuation and asynchronicity of evoked release, paralleled an increase in synapse size variation in both dnc and rut boutons, which might impose problems for effective signal processing in the nervous system. Pharmacological and genetic studies indicated broader ranges of physiological alteration by dnc and rut mutations than either the acute effects of cAMP analogs or the available mutations that affect cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) activity. This is consistent with previous reports of more severe learning defects in dnc and rut mutations than these PKA mutants and allows identification of the phenotypes involving long-term developmental regulation and those conferred by PKA.
He, Quanhua; Wang, Ping; Tian, Ning
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
Huang, Yangqi; Kang, Wang; Zhang, Xichao; Zhou, Yan; Zhao, Weisheng
Magnetic skyrmions are promising candidates for next-generation information carriers, owing to their small size, topological stability, and ultralow depinning current density. A wide variety of skyrmionic device concepts and prototypes have recently been proposed, highlighting their potential applications. Furthermore, the intrinsic properties of skyrmions enable new functionalities that may be inaccessible to conventional electronic devices. Here, we report on a skyrmion-based artificial synapse device for neuromorphic systems. The synaptic weight of the proposed device can be strengthened/weakened by positive/negative stimuli, mimicking the potentiation/depression process of a biological synapse. Both short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation functionalities have been demonstrated with micromagnetic simulations. This proposal suggests new possibilities for synaptic devices in neuromorphic systems with adaptive learning function.
Huang, Yangqi; Kang, Wang; Zhang, Xichao; Zhou, Yan; Zhao, Weisheng
Magnetic skyrmions are promising candidates for next-generation information carriers, owing to their small size, topological stability, and ultralow depinning current density. A wide variety of skyrmionic device concepts and prototypes have recently been proposed, highlighting their potential applications. Furthermore, the intrinsic properties of skyrmions enable new functionalities that may be inaccessible to conventional electronic devices. Here, we report on a skyrmion-based artificial synapse device for neuromorphic systems. The synaptic weight of the proposed device can be strengthened/weakened by positive/negative stimuli, mimicking the potentiation/depression process of a biological synapse. Both short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation functionalities have been demonstrated with micromagnetic simulations. This proposal suggests new possibilities for synaptic devices in neuromorphic systems with adaptive learning function.
Shenk, Chad E; Putnam, Frank W; Noll, Jennie G
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.
Alford, Simon T.; Alpert, Michael H.
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
Bourne, Jennifer N.; Harris, Kristen M.
In the 1950’s, transmission electron microscopy was first used to reveal the diversity in synaptic structure and composition in the central nervous system [1;2]. Since then, visualization and reconstruction of serial thin sections have provided three-dimensional contexts in which to understand how synapses are modified with plasticity, learning, and sensory input [3–17]. Three-dimensional reconstruction from serial section electron microscopy (ssEM) has proven invaluable for the comprehensive analysis of structural synaptic plasticity. It has provided the needed nanometer resolution to localize and measure key subcellular structures, such as the postsynaptic density (PSD) and presynaptic vesicles which define a synapse, polyribosomes as sites of local protein synthesis, smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) for local regulation of calcium and trafficking of membrane proteins, endosomes for recycling, and fine astroglial processes at the perimeter of some synapses. Thus, ssEM is an essential tool for nanoscale analysis of the cell biological and anatomical modifications that underlie changes in synaptic strength. Here we discuss several important issues associated with interpreting the functional significance of structural synaptic plasticity, especially during long-term potentiation, a widely studied cellular model of learning and memory. PMID:22088391
Levy, Jonathan M; Chen, Xiaobing; Reese, Thomas S; Nicoll, Roger A
The mechanisms controlling synapse growth and maintenance are of critical importance for learning and memory. The MAGUK family of synaptic scaffolding proteins is abundantly expressed at glutamatergic central synapses, but their importance in controlling the synaptic content of glutamate receptors is poorly understood. Here, we use a chained RNAi-mediated knockdown approach to simultaneously remove PSD-93, PSD-95, and SAP102, the MAGUKs previously shown to be responsible for synaptic localization of glutamate receptors. We find that MAGUKs are specifically responsible for creating functional synapses after initial spine formation by filling functionally silent spines with glutamate receptors. Removal of the MAGUKs causes a transient reduction in AMPA receptor quantal size followed by synaptic consolidation resulting in a normalization of quantal size at the few remaining functional synapses. Consolidation requires signaling through L-type calcium channels, CaM kinase kinase, and the GluA2 AMPA receptor subunit, akin to a homeostatic process.
Kerrisk, Meghan E.; Cingolani, Lorenzo A.; Koleske, Anthony J.
During central nervous system development, extracellular matrix (ECM) receptors and their ligands play key roles as guidance molecules, informing neurons where and when to send axonal and dendritic projections, establish connections, and form synapses between pre- and postsynaptic cells. Once stable synapses are formed, many ECM receptors transition in function to control the maintenance of stable connections between neurons and regulate synaptic plasticity. These receptors bind to and are activated by ECM ligands. In turn, ECM receptor activation modulates downstream signaling cascades that control cytoskeletal dynamics and synaptic activity to regulate neuronal structure and function and thereby impact animal behavior. The activities of cell adhesion receptors that mediate interactions between pre- and post-synaptic partners are also strongly influenced by ECM composition. This chapter highlights a number of ECM receptors, their roles in the control of synapse structure and function, and the impact of these receptors on synaptic plasticity and animal behavior. PMID:25410355
Bai, Xiang; Wey, Margaret Chia-Ying; Fernandez, Elizabeth; Hart, Matthew J.; Gelfond, Jonathan; Bokov, Alex F.; Rani, Sheela; Strong, Randy
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
Xu, Xiaxia; An, Lei; Mi, Xichao; Zhang, Tao
Changes of neural oscillations at a variety of physiological rhythms are effectively associated with cognitive performance. The present study investigated whether the directional indices of neural information flow (NIF) could be used to symbolize the synaptic plasticity impairment in hippocampal CA3-CA1 network in a rat model of melamine. Male Wistar rats were employed while melamine was administered at a dose of 300 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks. Behavior was measured by the Morris water maze(MWM)test. Local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded before long-term potentiation (LTP) induction. Generalized partial directed coherence (gPDC) and phase-amplitude coupling conditional mutual information (PAC_CMI) were used to measure the unidirectional indices in both theta and low gamma oscillations (LG, ~ 30-50 Hz). Our results showed that melamine induced the cognition deficits consistent with the reduced LTP in CA1 area. Phase locking values (PLVs) showed that the synchronization between CA3 and CA1 in both theta and LG rhythms was reduced by melamine. In both theta and LG rhythms, unidirectional indices were significantly decreased in melamine treated rats while a similar variation trend was observed in LTP reduction, implying that the effects of melamine on cognitive impairment were possibly mediated via profound alterations of NIF on CA3-CA1 pathway in hippocampus. The results suggested that LFPs activities at these rhythms were most likely involved in determining the alterations of information flow in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 network, which might be associated with the alteration of synaptic transmission to some extent.
He, Y; Kulasiri, D; Samarasinghe, S
Synaptic plasticity, an emergent property of synaptic networks, has shown strong correlation to one of the essential functions of the brain, memory formation. Through understanding synaptic plasticity, we hope to discover the modulators and mechanisms that trigger memory formation. In this paper, we first review the well understood modulators and mechanisms underlying N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor dependent synaptic plasticity, a major form of synaptic plasticity in hippocampus, and then comment on the key mathematical modelling approaches available in the literature to understand synaptic plasticity as the integration of the established functionalities of synaptic components.
Grossman, Ruth B.; Bemis, Rhyannon H.; Skwerer, Daniela Plesa; Tager-Flusberg, Helen
Purpose: To investigate the perception and production of lexical stress and processing of affective prosody in adolescents with high-functioning autism (HFA). We hypothesized preserved processing of lexical and affective prosody but atypical lexical prosody production. Method: Sixteen children with HFA and 15 typically developing (TD) peers…
Kelso, Stephen R.; Brown, Thomas H.
An electrophysiological stimulation paradigm similar to one that produces Pavlovian conditioning was applied to synaptic inputs to pyramidal neurons of hippocampal brain slices. Persistent synaptic enhancement was induced in one of two weak synaptic inputs by pairing high-frequency electrical stimulation of the weak input with stimulation of a third, stronger input to the same region. Forward (temporally overlapping) but not backward (temporally separate) pairings caused this enhancement. Thus hippocampal synapses in vitro can undergo the conditional and selective type of associative modification that could provide the substrate for some of the mnemonic functions in which the hippocampus is thought to participate.
Klann, Eric; Antion, Marcia D.; Banko, Jessica L.; Hou, Lingfei
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…
Counts, Scott E.; Alldred, Melissa J.; Che, Shaoli; Ginsberg, Stephen D.; Mufson, Elliott J.
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
Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Wong, H-S Philip
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.
Kastner, David B.; Schwalger, Tilo; Ziegler, Lorric; Gerstner, Wulfram
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
Margeta, Milica A.; Shen, Kang
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
Johnston, Daniel; Christie, Brian R; Frick, Andreas; Gray, Richard; Hoffman, Dax A; Schexnayder, Lalania K; Watanabe, Shigeo; Yuan, Li-Lian
The dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus express numerous types of voltage-gated ion channel, but the distributions or densities of many of these channels are very non-uniform. Sodium channels in the dendrites are responsible for action potential (AP) propagation from the axon into the dendrites (back-propagation); calcium channels are responsible for local changes in dendritic calcium concentrations following back-propagating APs and synaptic potentials; and potassium channels help regulate overall dendritic excitability. Several lines of evidence are presented here to suggest that back-propagating APs, when coincident with excitatory synaptic input, can lead to the induction of either long-term depression (LTD) or long-term potentiation (LTP). The induction of LTD or LTP is correlated with the magnitude of the rise in intracellular calcium. When brief bursts of synaptic potentials are paired with postsynaptic APs in a theta-burst pairing paradigm, the induction of LTP is dependent on the invasion of the AP into the dendritic tree. The amplitude of the AP in the dendrites is dependent, in part, on the activity of a transient, A-type potassium channel that is expressed at high density in the dendrites and correlates with the induction of the LTP. Furthermore, during the expression phase of the LTP, there are local changes in dendritic excitability that may result from modulation of the functioning of this transient potassium channel. The results support the view that the active properties of dendrites play important roles in synaptic integration and synaptic plasticity of these neurons. PMID:12740112
Xu, Jian-Yi; Chen, Chu
Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are endogenous lipid mediators involved in a variety of physiological, pharmacological, and pathological processes. While activation of the eCB system primarily induces inhibitory effects on both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity through acting on presynaptically-expressed CB1 receptors in the brain, accumulated information suggests that eCB signaling is also capable of facilitating or potentiating excitatory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. Recent studies show that a long-lasting potentiation of excitatory synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral (SC)-CA1 synapses is induced by spatiotemporally primed inputs, accompanying with a long-term depression of inhibitory synaptic transmission (I-LTD) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. This input-timing-dependent long-lasting synaptic potentiation at SC-CA1 synapses is mediated by 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) signaling triggered by activation of postsynaptic NMDA receptors, group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), and a concurrent rise in intracellular Ca2+. Emerging evidence now also indicates that 2-AG is an important signaling mediator keeping brain homeostasis by exerting its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in response to harmful insults through CB1/2 receptor-dependent and/or independent mechanisms. Activation of the nuclear receptor protein peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) apparently is one of the important mechanisms in resolving neuroinflammation and protecting neurons produced by 2-AG signaling. Thus, the information summarized in this review suggests that the role of eCB signaling in maintaining integrity of brain function is greater than what we thought previously. PMID:24571856
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
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.
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.
Gatys, Leon A.; Ecker, Alexander S.; Tchumatchenko, Tatjana; Bethge, Matthias
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.
Huang, Zhuo; Li, Gengyu; Aguado, Carolina; Lujan, Rafael; Shah, Mala M.
The hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN1) channels are predominantly located in pyramidal cell dendrites within the cortex. Recent evidence suggests these channels also exist pre-synaptically in a subset of synaptic terminals within the mature entorhinal cortex (EC). Inhibition of pre-synaptic HCN channels enhances miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) onto EC layer III pyramidal neurons, suggesting that these channels decrease the release of the neurotransmitter, glutamate. Thus, do pre-synaptic HCN channels alter the rate of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and thereby enhance neurotransmitter release? To address this, we imaged the release of FM1-43, a dye that is incorporated into synaptic vesicles, from EC synaptic terminals using two photon microscopy in slices obtained from forebrain specific HCN1 deficient mice, global HCN1 knockouts and their wildtype littermates. This coupled with electrophysiology and pharmacology showed that HCN1 channels restrict the rate of exocytosis from a subset of cortical synaptic terminals within the EC and in this way, constrain non-action potential-dependent and action potential-dependent spontaneous release as well as synchronous, evoked release. Since HCN1 channels also affect post-synaptic potential kinetics and integration, our results indicate that there are diverse ways by which HCN1 channels influence synaptic strength and plasticity. PMID:28071723
Westcott, S L; Powers, R K; Robinson, F R; Binder, M D
We applied supramaximal, repetitive stimulation to the lateral vestibular nucleus (Deiters' nucleus, DN) at 200 Hz to evoke stead-state synaptic potentials in ipsilateral triceps surae motoneurons of the cat. The effective synaptic currents underlying these potentials were measured using a modified voltage-clamp technique. The steady-state effective synaptic currents evoked by activating DN were generally small and depolarizing (mean 2.5 +/- 2.6 nA). DN stimulation generated hyperpolarizing synaptic currents in 2 of the 34 triceps motoneurons studied. The effective synaptic currents from DN tended to be larger in putative type F motoneurons than in putative type S cells (type F mean 3.0 +/- 3.1 nA; type S mean 1.8 +/- 1.0 nA). There was a statistically significant difference between the inputs to putative type FF and putative type S motoneurons (mean difference 2.8 nA, t = 2.87, P < 0.01). The synaptic input from DN to medial gastrocnemius motoneurons had approximately the same amplitude as that from homonymous Ia afferent fibers. However, the distribution of DN input with respect to putative motor unit type was the opposite of that previously reported for Ia afferent input. Thus, the synaptic input from DN might act to compress the range of recruitment thresholds within the motoneuron pool and thereby increase the gain of its input-output function.
Grove, Tyler B; Tso, Ivy F; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A; Taylor, Stephan F; Ellingrod, Vicki L; McInnis, Melvin G; Deldin, Patricia J
Most people with a serious mental illness experience significant functional impairment despite ongoing pharmacological treatment. Thus, in order to improve outcomes, a better understanding of functional predictors is needed. This study examined negative affect, a construct comprised of negative emotional experience, as a predictor of social functioning across serious mental illnesses. One hundred twenty-seven participants with schizophrenia, 113 with schizoaffective disorder, 22 with psychosis not otherwise specified, 58 with bipolar disorder, and 84 healthy controls (N=404) completed self-report negative affect measures. Elevated levels of negative affect were observed in clinical participants compared with healthy controls. For both clinical and healthy control participants, negative affect measures were significantly correlated with social functioning, and consistently explained significant amounts of variance in functioning. For clinical participants, this relationship persisted even after accounting for cognition and positive/negative symptoms. The findings suggest that negative affect is a strong predictor of outcome across these populations and treatment of serious mental illnesses should target elevated negative affect in addition to cognition and positive/negative symptoms.
Moskowitz, Judith Tedlie; Shmueli-Blumberg, Dikla; Acree, Michael; Folkman, Susan
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
Yang, Hongfei; Li, Juan
The present study examined the associations between linking, response to positive affect, and psychological functioning in Chinese college students. The results of conducting multiple mediation analyses indicated that emotion- and self-focused positive rumination mediated the relationship between linking and psychological functioning, whereas…
Fol, Romain; Braudeau, Jerome; Ludewig, Susann; Abel, Tobias; Weyer, Sascha W; Roederer, Jan-Peter; Brod, Florian; Audrain, Mickael; Bemelmans, Alexis-Pierre; Buchholz, Christian J; Korte, Martin; Cartier, Nathalie; Müller, Ulrike C
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by synaptic failure, dendritic and axonal atrophy, neuronal death and progressive loss of cognitive functions. It is commonly assumed that these deficits arise due to β-amyloid accumulation and plaque deposition. However, increasing evidence indicates that loss of physiological APP functions mediated predominantly by neurotrophic APPsα produced in the non-amyloidogenic α-secretase pathway may contribute to AD pathogenesis. Upregulation of APPsα production via induction of α-secretase might, however, be problematic as this may also affect substrates implicated in tumorigenesis. Here, we used a gene therapy approach to directly overexpress APPsα in the brain using AAV-mediated gene transfer and explored its potential to rescue structural, electrophysiological and behavioral deficits in APP/PS1∆E9 AD model mice. Sustained APPsα overexpression in aged mice with already preexisting pathology and amyloidosis restored synaptic plasticity and partially rescued spine density deficits. Importantly, AAV-APPsα treatment also resulted in a functional rescue of spatial reference memory in the Morris water maze. Moreover, we demonstrate a significant reduction of soluble Aβ species and plaque load. In addition, APPsα induced the recruitment of microglia with a ramified morphology into the vicinity of plaques and upregulated IDE and TREM2 expression suggesting enhanced plaque clearance. Collectively, these data indicate that APPsα can mitigate synaptic and cognitive deficits, despite established pathology. Increasing APPsα may therefore be of therapeutic relevance for AD.
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
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.
Objectives The complex relationship and exact extent of the contribution of plausible indictors to social functional outcome in schizophrenia remain unclear. The present study aimed to explore the functional significance of clinical symptoms, neurocognition, and affect recognition simultaneously in schizophrenia. Methods The clinical symptoms, basic neurocognition, facial emotion recognition, and social functioning of 154 subjects, including 74 with schizophrenia and 80 nonclinical comparisons, were assessed. Results We observed that various subdomains of social functioning were extensively related to general intelligence, basic neurocognition, facial emotion recognition, and clinical symptoms, with different association patterns. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that years of education, age, sustained attention, working memory, and facial emotion recognition were significantly associated with global social functioning in schizophrenia. Conclusion Our findings suggest that affect recognition combined with nonsocial neurocognition demonstrated a crucial role in predicting global social function in schizophrenia. PMID:28099444
Freeman, Amanda; Franciscovich, Amy; Bowers, Mallory; Sandstrom, David J.; Sanyal, Subhabrata
The calcium-regulated transcription factor NFAT is emerging as a key regulator of neuronal development and plasticity but precise cellular consequences of NFAT function remain poorly understood. Here, we report that the single Drosophila NFAT homolog is widely expressed in the nervous system including motor neurons and unexpectedly controls neural excitability. Likely due to this effect on excitability, NFAT regulates overall larval locomotion and both chronic and acute forms of activity-dependent plasticity at the larval glutamatergic neuro-muscular synapse. Specifically, NFAT-dependent synaptic phenotypes include changes in the number of pre-synaptic boutons, stable modifications in synaptic microtubule architecture and pre-synaptic transmitter release, while no evidence is found for synaptic retraction or alterations in the level of the synaptic cell adhesion molecule FasII. We propose that NFAT regulates pre-synaptic development and constraints long-term plasticity by dampening neuronal excitability. PMID:21185939
Moore, Kimberly A.; Nicoll, Roger A.; Schmitz, Dietmar
The release properties of synapses in the central nervous system vary greatly, not only across anatomically distinct types of synapses but also among the same class of synapse. This variation manifests itself in large part by differences in the probability of transmitter release, which affects such activity-dependent presynaptic forms of plasticity as paired-pulse facilitation and frequency facilitation. This heterogeneity in presynaptic function reflects differences in the intrinsic properties of the synaptic terminal and the activation of presynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Here we show that the unique presynaptic properties of the hippocampal mossy fiber synapse are largely imparted onto the synapse by the continuous local action of extracellular adenosine at presynaptic A1 adenosine receptors, which maintains a low basal probability of transmitter release.
Yang, Miyoung; Kim, Juhwan; Kim, Sung-Ho; Kim, Joong-Sun; Shin, Taekyun; Moon, Changjong
Methotrexate, which is used to treat many malignancies and autoimmune diseases, affects brain functions including hippocampal-dependent memory function. However, the precise mechanisms underlying methotrexate-induced hippocampal dysfunction are poorly understood. To evaluate temporal changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals, the expression and activity of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, cAMP responsive element-binding protein, glutamate receptor 1, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor were examined in the hippocampi of adult C57BL/6 mice after methotrexate (40 mg/kg) intraperitoneal injection. Western blot analysis showed biphasic changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult hippocampi following methotrexate treatment. N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and glutamate receptor 1 were acutely activated during the early phase (1 day post-injection), while extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and cAMP responsive element-binding protein activation showed biphasic increases during the early (1 day post-injection) and late phases (7-14 days post-injection). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor expression increased significantly during the late phase (7-14 days post-injection). Therefore, methotrexate treatment affects synaptic plasticity-related signals in the adult mouse hippocampus, suggesting that changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals may be associated with neuronal survival and plasticity-related cellular remodeling.
Permanent, sex-selective effects of prenatal or adolescent nicotine exposure, separately or sequentially, in rat brain regions: indices of cholinergic and serotonergic synaptic function, cell signaling, and neural cell number and size at 6 months of age.
Slotkin, Theodore A; MacKillop, Emiko A; Rudder, Charles L; Ryde, Ian T; Tate, Charlotte A; Seidler, Frederic J
Nicotine is a neuroteratogen that disrupts neurodevelopment and synaptic function, with vulnerability extending into adolescence. We assessed the permanence of effects in rats on indices of neural cell number and size, and on acetylcholine and serotonin (5HT) systems, conducting assessments at 6 months of age, after prenatal nicotine exposure, adolescent exposure, or sequential exposure in both periods. For prenatal nicotine, indices of cell number and size showed few abnormalities by 6 months, but there were persistent deficits in cerebrocortical choline acetyltransferase activity and hemicholinium-3 binding to the presynaptic choline transporter, a pattern consistent with cholinergic hypoactivity; these effects were more prominent in males than females. The expression of 5HT receptors also showed permanent effects in males, with suppression of the 5HT(1A) subtype and upregulation of 5HT(2) receptors. In addition, cell signaling through adenylyl cyclase showed heterologous uncoupling of neurotransmitter responses. Nicotine exposure in adolescence produced lasting effects that were similar to those of prenatal nicotine. However, when animals were exposed to prenatal nicotine and received nicotine subsequently in adolescence, the adverse effects then extended to females, whereas the net effect in males was similar to that of prenatal nicotine by itself. Our results indicate that prenatal or adolescent nicotine exposure evoke permanent changes in synaptic function that transcend the recovery of less-sensitive indices of structural damage; further, prenatal exposure sensitizes females to the subsequent adverse effects of adolescent nicotine, thus creating a population that may be especially vulnerable to the lasting behavioral consequences of nicotine intake in adolescence.
Lores-Arnaiz, Silvia; Lombardi, Paulina; Karadayian, Analía G; Orgambide, Federico; Cicerchia, Daniela; Bustamante, Juanita
Alterations in mitochondrial bioenergetics have been associated with brain aging. In order to evaluate the susceptibility of brain cortex synaptosomes and non-synaptic mitochondria to aging-dependent dysfunction, male Swiss mice of 3 or 17 months old were used. Mitochondrial function was evaluated by oxygen consumption, mitochondrial membrane potential and respiratory complexes activity, together with UCP-2 protein expression. Basal respiration and respiration driving proton leak were decreased by 26 and 33 % in synaptosomes from 17-months old mice, but spare respiratory capacity was not modified by aging. Succinate supported state 3 respiratory rate was decreased by 45 % in brain cortex non-synaptic mitochondria from 17-month-old mice, as compared with young animals, but respiratory control was not affected. Synaptosomal mitochondria would be susceptible to undergo calcium-induced depolarization in 17 months-old mice, while non-synaptic mitochondria would not be affected by calcium overload. UCP-2 was significantly up-regulated in both synaptosomal and submitochondrial membranes from 17-months old mice, compared to young animals. UCP-2 upregulation seems to be a possible mechanism by which mitochondria would be resistant to suffer oxidative damage during aging.
Wickelgren, W O
1. Synaptic potentials evoked by electrical stimulation of cranial nerves were recorded in giant reticulospinal neurones (Müller cells) of lamprey. A variety of patterns of stimulation was employed to explore further the functional properties of the pathways intervening between the cranial nerve fibres and Müller cells.2. Simultaneous low intensity stimulation of two different cranial nerves produced excitatory short-latency synaptic potentials whose amplitudes summed linearly.3. Tetanic (10/sec) stimulation of a cranial nerve depressed the evoked short-latency synaptic response, but following the tetanus the synaptic response was potentiated above control amplitude for several minutes. Tetanic stimulation of one cranial nerve had no effect upon the synaptic responses evoked by stimulation of other cranial nerves.4. Low-frequency stimulation (1/sec to 1/20 sec) of a cranial nerve produced a progressive decrease in the amplitude of the evoked short-latency synaptic response. This phenomenon was termed synaptic habituation because its characteristics were functionally similar to behavioural habituation in animals.5. Habituation of the synaptic response to stimulation of one cranial nerve had no effect on the synaptic responses produced by stimulation of other cranial nerves.6. Synaptic afterdischarges lasting from several seconds to several minutes were recorded in Müller cells. They occurred both spontaneously and in response to strong electrical stimulation of cranial nerves. For several minutes following an afterdischarge the amplitudes of short-latency synaptic potentials produced by stimulation of any one of the cranial nerves were increased as much as twofold. This facilitation occurred equally well whether the short-latency synaptic responses had been habituated or not.7. A theoretical cell-wiring diagram is proposed to account for the properties of short-latency evoked synaptic responses and synaptic afterdischarges and for the facilitation of short
Froemke, Robert C.; Schreiner, Christoph E.
Processing of auditory information requires constant adjustment due to alterations of the environment and changing conditions in the nervous system with age, health, and experience. Consequently, patterns of activity in cortical networks have complex dynamics over a wide range of timescales, from milliseconds to days and longer. In the primary auditory cortex (AI), multiple forms of adaptation and plasticity shape synaptic input and action potential output. However, the variance of neuronal responses has made it difficult to characterize AI receptive fields and to determine the function of AI in processing auditory information such as vocalizations. Here we describe recent studies on the temporal modulation of cortical responses and consider the relation of synaptic plasticity to neural coding. PMID:26497430
Pinto, Joshua G. A.; Jones, David G.; Williams, C. Kate; Murphy, Kathryn M.
Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin) and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex (V1) continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the four proteins and include a stage during early development (<1 year) when only Gephyrin has high inter-individual variability. We also found that pre- and post-synaptic protein balances develop quickly, suggesting that maturation of certain synaptic functions happens within the 1 year or 2 of life. A multidimensional analysis (principle component analysis) showed that most of the variance was captured by the sum of the four synaptic proteins. We used that sum to compare development of human and rat visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic. PMID:25729353
Pinto, Joshua G A; Jones, David G; Williams, C Kate; Murphy, Kathryn M
Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin) and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex (V1) continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the four proteins and include a stage during early development (<1 year) when only Gephyrin has high inter-individual variability. We also found that pre- and post-synaptic protein balances develop quickly, suggesting that maturation of certain synaptic functions happens within the 1 year or 2 of life. A multidimensional analysis (principle component analysis) showed that most of the variance was captured by the sum of the four synaptic proteins. We used that sum to compare development of human and rat visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic.
Aldskogius, H; Liu, L; Svensson, M
We review three principally different forms of injury-induced synaptic alterations. (1) Displacement of presynaptic terminals from perikarya and dendrites of axotomized neurons, (2) central changes in primary afferent terminals of peripherally axotomized sensory ganglion cells, and (3) anterograde Wallerian-type degeneration following interruption of central axonal pathways. All these instances rapidly activate astrocytes and microglia in the vicinity of the affected synaptic terminals. The evidence suggests that activated astrocytes play important and direct roles in synapse elimination and in the processes mediating collateral reinnervation. The roles of microglia are enigmatic. They undergo activation close to axotomized motoneuron perikarya, where synapse displacement occurs, but not adjacent to axotomized intrinsic central nervous system neurons, where synapse displacement also occurs. Microglia are also rapidly activated around central primary sensory terminals of peripherally axotomized sensory ganglion cells. Occasional phagocytosis of degenerating axon terminals by microglia occur in the latter situation. However, the role of microglia may be more oriented toward the general tissue conditions rather than specifically toward synaptic terminals.
Sivanesan, Senthilkumar; Tan, Aaron; Rajadas, Jayakumar
The soluble Abeta oligomers in brain are highly correlated with memory related synaptic dysfunctions in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, more recent studies implicate the involvement of Abeta dimers and trimers in memory related AD pathology. Apparently, Abeta oligomers can bind with cellular prion protein at the membrane receptors, forming annular amyloid pores and membrane ion channels to induce aberrant spine cytoskeletal changes. Hence synapse targeting of Abeta oligomers involves activation of many receptors such as N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), alpha-amino-3- hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), nicotinic acetylcholine (nAChRs), p75 neurotrophin (p75NTR) following aberrant clustering of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5) leading to neuronal loss and LTP failure. In particular, NMDA and AMPA receptor activation by soluble amyloid oligomers involves calcium mediated mitochondrial dysfunction, decreased Ca((2+))/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) levels at the synapses accompanying dramatic loss of synaptic proteins such as postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95), dynamin-1 and synaptophysin. This kind of receptor-Abeta oligomer interaction might eventually affect the neuronal membrane integrity by altering dielectric barrier, various synaptic proteins, spine morphology and density and P/Q calcium currents that might provoke a cascade of events leading to neuronal loss and memory failure. In this review, we try to explain in detail the various possible mechanisms that connect Abeta oligomers with synapse damage and memory failure.
Chang, H; Hoshina, N; Zhang, C; Ma, Y; Cao, H; Wang, Y; Wu, D-D; Bergen, S E; Landén, M; Hultman, C M; Preisig, M; Kutalik, Z; Castelao, E; Grigoroiu-Serbanescu, M; Forstner, A J; Strohmaier, J; Hecker, J; Schulze, T G; Müller-Myhsok, B; Reif, A; Mitchell, P B; Martin, N G; Schofield, P R; Cichon, S; Nöthen, M M; Walter, H; Erk, S; Heinz, A; Amin, N; van Duijn, C M; Meyer-Lindenberg, A; Tost, H; Xiao, X; Yamamoto, T; Rietschel, M; Li, M
Major mood disorders, which primarily include bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, are the leading cause of disability worldwide and pose a major challenge in identifying robust risk genes. Here, we present data from independent large-scale clinical data sets (including 29 557 cases and 32 056 controls) revealing brain expressed protocadherin 17 (PCDH17) as a susceptibility gene for major mood disorders. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the PCDH17 region are significantly associated with major mood disorders; subjects carrying the risk allele showed impaired cognitive abilities, increased vulnerable personality features, decreased amygdala volume and altered amygdala function as compared with non-carriers. The risk allele predicted higher transcriptional levels of PCDH17 mRNA in postmortem brain samples, which is consistent with increased gene expression in patients with bipolar disorder compared with healthy subjects. Further, overexpression of PCDH17 in primary cortical neurons revealed significantly decreased spine density and abnormal dendritic morphology compared with control groups, which again is consistent with the clinical observations of reduced numbers of dendritic spines in the brains of patients with major mood disorders. Given that synaptic spines are dynamic structures which regulate neuronal plasticity and have crucial roles in myriad brain functions, this study reveals a potential underlying biological mechanism of a novel risk gene for major mood disorders involved in synaptic function and related intermediate phenotypes.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 10 January 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2016.231.
AD______________ AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0301 TITLE: Identifying Molecular Regulators of Neuronal Functions Affected in the Movement Disorder...Affected in the Movement Disorder Dystonia 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0301 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S...SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT The movement disorder dystonia is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions in the limbs, hands, feet or neck. The aim
Bandura, Albert; Caprara, Gian Vittorio; Barbaranelli, Claudio; Gerbino, Maria; Pastorelli, Concetta
This prospective study with 464 older adolescents (14 to 19 years at Time 1; 16 to 21 years at Time 2) tested the structural paths of influence through which perceived self-efficacy for affect regulation operates in concert with perceived behavioral efficacy in governing diverse spheres of psychosocial functioning. Self-efficacy to regulate positive and negative affect is accompanied by high efficacy to manage one's academic development, to resist social pressures for antisocial activities, and to engage oneself with empathy in others' emotional experiences. Perceived self-efficacy for affect regulation essentially operated mediationally through the latter behavioral forms of self-efficacy rather than directly on prosocial behavior, delinquent conduct, and depression. Perceived empathic self-efficacy functioned as a generalized contributor to psychosocial functioning. It was accompanied by prosocial behavior and low involvement in delinquency but increased vulnerability to depression in adolescent females.
Tully, Philip J.; Hennig, Matthias H.; Lansner, Anders
Learning and memory operations in neural circuits are believed to involve molecular cascades of synaptic and nonsynaptic changes that lead to a diverse repertoire of dynamical phenomena at higher levels of processing. Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity, neuromodulation, and intrinsic excitability all conspire to form and maintain memories. But it is still unclear how these seemingly redundant mechanisms could jointly orchestrate learning in a more unified system. To this end, a Hebbian learning rule for spiking neurons inspired by Bayesian statistics is proposed. In this model, synaptic weights and intrinsic currents are adapted on-line upon arrival of single spikes, which initiate a cascade of temporally interacting memory traces that locally estimate probabilities associated with relative neuronal activation levels. Trace dynamics enable synaptic learning to readily demonstrate a spike-timing dependence, stably return to a set-point over long time scales, and remain competitive despite this stability. Beyond unsupervised learning, linking the traces with an external plasticity-modulating signal enables spike-based reinforcement learning. At the postsynaptic neuron, the traces are represented by an activity-dependent ion channel that is shown to regulate the input received by a postsynaptic cell and generate intrinsic graded persistent firing levels. We show how spike-based Hebbian-Bayesian learning can be performed in a simulated inference task using integrate-and-fire (IAF) neurons that are Poisson-firing and background-driven, similar to the preferred regime of cortical neurons. Our results support the view that neurons can represent information in the form of probability distributions, and that probabilistic inference could be a functional by-product of coupled synaptic and nonsynaptic mechanisms operating over several timescales. The model provides a biophysical realization of Bayesian computation by reconciling several observed neural phenomena whose
De Bellis, Francesco; Ferrara, Antonia; Errico, Domenico; Panico, Francesco; Sagliano, Laura; Conson, Massimiliano; Trojano, Luigi
Recent evidence shows that activation of motor information can favor identification of related tools, thus suggesting a strict link between motor and conceptual knowledge in cognitive representation of tools. However, the involvement of motor information in further semantic processing has not been elucidated. In three experiments, we aimed to ascertain whether motor information provided by observation of actions could affect processing of conceptual knowledge about tools. In Experiment 1, healthy participants judged whether pairs of tools evoking different functional handgrips had the same function. In Experiment 2 participants judged whether tools were paired with appropriate recipients. Finally, in Experiment 3 we again required functional judgments as in Experiment 1, but also included in the set of stimuli pairs of objects having different function and similar functional handgrips. In all experiments, pictures displaying either functional grasping (aimed to use tools) or structural grasping (just aimed to move tools independently from their use) were presented before each stimulus pair. The results demonstrated that, in comparison with structural grasping, observing functional grasping facilitates judgments about tools' function when objects did not imply the same functional manipulation (Experiment 1), whereas worsened such judgments when objects shared functional grasp (Experiment 3). Instead, action observation did not affect judgments concerning tool-recipient associations (Experiment 2). Our findings support a task-dependent influence of motor information on high-order conceptual tasks and provide further insights into how motor and conceptual processing about tools can interact.
Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa
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
Kelty, Jonathan D; Noseworthy, Peter A; Feder, Martin E; Robertson, R Meldrum; Ramirez, Jan-Marino
As with other tissues, exposing the mammalian CNS to nonlethal heat stress (i.e., thermal preconditioning) increases levels of heat-shock proteins (Hsps) such as Hsp70 and enhances the viability of neurons under subsequent stress. Using a medullary slice preparation from a neonatal mouse, including the site of the neural network that generates respiratory rhythm (the pre-Bötzinger complex), we show that thermal preconditioning has an additional fundamental effect, protection of synaptic function. Relative to 30 degrees C baseline, initial thermal stress (40 degrees C) greatly increased the frequency of synaptic currents recorded without pharmacological manipulation by approximately 17-fold (p < 0.01) and of miniature postsynaptic currents (mPSCs) elicited by GABA (20-fold) glutamate (10-fold), and glycine (36-fold). Thermal preconditioning (15 min at 40 degrees C) eliminated the increase in frequency of overall synaptic transmission during acute thermal stress and greatly attenuated the frequency increases of GABAergic, glutamatergic, and glycinergic mPSCs (for each, p < 0.05). Moreover, without thermal preconditioning, incubation of slices in solution containing inducible Hsp70 (Hsp72) mimicked the effect of thermal preconditioning on the stress-induced release of neurotransmitter. That preconditioning and exogenous Hsp72 can affect and preserve normal physiological function has important therapeutic implications.
Mine, N; Taniguchi, W; Nishio, N; Izumi, N; Miyazaki, N; Yamada, H; Nakatsuka, T; Yoshida, M
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.
Hoy, Jennifer L.; Haeger, Paola A.; Constable, John R. L.; Arias, Renee J.; McCallum, Raluca; Kyweriga, Michael; Davis, Lawrence; Schnell, Eric; Wehr, Michael; Castillo, Pablo E.; Washbourne, Philip
In vitro studies suggest that the intracellular C-terminus of Neuroligin1 (NL1) could play a central role in the maturation of excitatory synapses. However, it is unknown how this activity affects synapses in vivo, and whether it may impact the development of complex behaviors. To determine how NL1 influences the state of glutamatergic synapses in vivo, we compared the synaptic and behavioral phenotypes of mice overexpressing a full length version of NL1 (NL1FL) with mice overexpressing a version missing part of the intracellular domain (NL1ΔC). We show that overexpression of full length NL1 yielded an increase in the proportion of synapses with mature characteristics and impaired learning and flexibility. In contrast, the overexpression of NL1ΔC increased the number of excitatory postsynaptic structures and led to enhanced flexibility in mnemonic and social behaviors. Transient overexpression of NL1FL revealed that elevated levels are not necessary to maintain synaptic and behavioral states altered earlier in development. In contrast, overexpression of NL1FL in the fully mature adult was able to impair normal learning behavior after one month of expression. These results provide the first evidence that NL1 significantly impacts key developmental processes that permanently shape circuit function and behavior, as well as the function of fully developed neural circuits. Overall, these manipulations of NL1 function illuminate the significance of NL1 intracellular signaling in vivo, and enhance our understanding of the factors that gate the maturation of glutamatergic synapses and complex behavior. This has significant implications for our ability to address disorders such as ASD. PMID:23719805
Johnston, Jamie; Postlethwaite, Michael; Forsythe, Ian D
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.
Maraula, Giovanna; Lana, Daniele; Coppi, Elisabetta; Gentile, Francesca; Mello, Tommaso; Melani, Alessia; Galli, Andrea; Giovannini, Maria Grazia; Pedata, Felicita; Pugliese, Anna Maria
Purinergic P2X and P2Y receptors are broadly expressed on both neurons and glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS), including dentate gyrus (DG). The aim of this research was to determine the synaptic and proliferative response of the DG to severe oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in acute rat hippocampal slices and to investigate the contribution of P2X7 and P2Y1 receptor antagonism to recovery of synaptic activity after OGD. Extracellular field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in granule cells of the DG were recorded from rat hippocampal slices. Nine-min OGD elicited an irreversible loss of fEPSP and was invariably followed by the appearance of anoxic depolarization (AD). Application of MRS2179 (selective antagonist of P2Y1 receptor) and BBG (selective antagonist of P2X7 receptor), before and during OGD, prevented AD appearance and allowed a significant recovery of neurotransmission after 9-min OGD. The effects of 9-min OGD on proliferation and maturation of cells localized in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of slices prepared from rats treated with 5-Bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) were investigated. Slices were further incubated with an immature neuron marker, doublecortin (DCX). The number of BrdU+ cells in the SGZ was signi