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Sample records for affects synapse function

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Astrocytes Control Synapse Formation, Function, and Elimination

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Won-Suk; Allen, Nicola J.; Eroglu, Cagla

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes, through their close associations with synapses, can monitor and alter synaptic function, thus actively controlling synaptic transmission in the adult brain. Besides their important role at adult synapses, in the last three decades a number of critical findings have highlighted the importance of astrocytes in the establishment of synaptic connectivity in the developing brain. In this article, we will review the key findings on astrocytic control of synapse formation, function, and elimination. First, we will summarize our current structural and functional understanding of astrocytes at the synapse. Then, we will discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which developing and mature astrocytes instruct the formation, maturation, and refinement of synapses. Our aim is to provide an overview of astrocytes as important players in the establishment of a functional nervous system. PMID:25663667

  5. Electrical synapses and their functional interactions with chemical synapses

    PubMed Central

    Pereda, Alberto E.

    2014-01-01

    Preface Brain function relies on the ability of neurons to communicate with each other. Interneuronal communication primarily takes place at synapses, where information from one neuron is rapidly conveyed to a second neuron. There are two main modalities of synaptic transmission: chemical and electrical. Far from functioning independently and serving unrelated functions, mounting evidence indicates that these two modalities of synaptic transmission closely interact, both during development and in the adult brain. Rather than conceiving synaptic transmission as either chemical or electrical, this article emphasizes the notion that synaptic transmission is both chemical and electrical and that interactions between these two forms of interneuronal communication might be required for normal brain development and function. PMID:24619342

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-20

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

  7. Molecular and functional asymmetry at a vertebrate electrical synapse

    PubMed Central

    Rash, John R.; Curti, Sebastian; Vanderpool, Kimberly G. V.; Kamasawa, Naomi; Nannapaneni, Srikant; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Flores, Carmen E.; Yasumura, Thomas; O’Brien, John; Lynn, Bruce D.; Bukauskas, Feliksas; Nagy, James I.; Pereda, Alberto E.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Electrical synapses are abundant in the vertebrate brain, but their functional and molecular complexity are still poorly understood. We report here that electrical synapses between auditory afferents and goldfish Mauthner cells are constructed by apposition of hemichannels formed by two homologs of mammalian connexin36 (Cx36), and that while Cx35 is restricted to presynaptic hemiplaques, Cx34.7 is restricted to postsynaptic hemiplaques, forming heterotypic junctions. This molecular asymmetry is associated with rectification of electrical transmission that may act to promote cooperativity between auditory afferents. Our data suggest that in similarity to pre- and postsynaptic sites at chemical synapses, one side in electrical synapses should not necessarily be considered the mirror image of the other. While asymmetry based on the presence of two Cx36 homologs is restricted to teleost fish, it might also be based on differences in posttranslational modifications of individual connexins or in the complement of gap junction-associated proteins. PMID:24012008

  8. Activity affects dendritic shape and synapse elimination during steroid controlled dendritic retraction in Manduca sexta.

    PubMed

    Duch, Carsten; Mentel, Tim

    2004-11-01

    Insect metamorphosis is a compelling example for dendritic and synaptic remodeling as larval and adult behaviors place distinct demands on the CNS. During the metamorphosis of the moth, Manduca sexta, many larval motoneurons are remodeled to serve a new function in the adult. During late larval life, steroid hormones trigger axonal and dendritic regression as well as larval synapse elimination. These regressive events are accompanied by stereotypical changes in motor behavior during the so-called wandering stages. Both normally occurring changes in dendritic shape and in motor output have previously been analyzed quantitatively for the individually identified motoneuron MN5. This study tested whether activity affected steroid-induced dendritic regression and synapse disassembly in MN5 by means of chronically implanted extracellular electrodes. Stimulating MN5 in vivo in intact, normally developing animals during a developmental period when it usually shows no activity significantly slowed the regression of high-order dendrites. Both physiological and anatomical analysis demonstrated that reduced dendritic regression was accompanied by a significant reduction in larval synapse disassembly. Therefore, steroid-induced alterations of dendritic shape and synaptic connectivity are modified by activity-dependent mechanisms. This interaction might be a common mechanism for rapid adjustments of rigid, inflexible, hormonal programs.

  9. A nutrient combination that can affect synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Wurtman, Richard J

    2014-04-01

    Brain neurons form synapses throughout the life span. This process is initiated by neuronal depolarization, however the numbers of synapses thus formed depend on brain levels of three key nutrients-uridine, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, and choline. Given together, these nutrients accelerate formation of synaptic membrane, the major component of synapses. In infants, when synaptogenesis is maximal, relatively large amounts of all three nutrients are provided in bioavailable forms (e.g., uridine in the UMP of mothers' milk and infant formulas). However, in adults the uridine in foods, mostly present at RNA, is not bioavailable, and no food has ever been compelling demonstrated to elevate plasma uridine levels. Moreover, the quantities of DHA and choline in regular foods can be insufficient for raising their blood levels enough to promote optimal synaptogenesis. In Alzheimer's disease (AD) the need for extra quantities of the three nutrients is enhanced, both because their basal plasma levels may be subnormal (reflecting impaired hepatic synthesis), and because especially high brain levels are needed for correcting the disease-related deficiencies in synaptic membrane and synapses. PMID:24763080

  10. Design and functional specification of the Synapses federated healthcare record server. Synapses Consortium.

    PubMed

    Hurlen, P; Skifjeld, K

    1997-01-01

    Synapses is a project funded under the EU Health Telematics Framework IV Programme. Synapses sets out to solve problems of sharing data between autonomous information systems, by providing generic and open means to combine healthcare records or dossiers consistently, simply, comprehensibly and securely, whether the data passes within a single healthcare institution or between institutions. This paper presents the specification of the Synapses server, the kernel concept of Synapses. It describes the basis in the European prestandard for Electronic Healthcare Record Architecture, the interfaces to the Synapses server and different integration mechanisms for systems providing information to the server. The specification will be verified at a number of validation sites, and the final result will be in the public domain. PMID:10179567

  11. Astrocytes, Synapses and Brain Function: A Computational Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita

    2006-03-01

    Modulation of synaptic reliability is one of the leading mechanisms involved in long- term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) and therefore has implications in information processing in the brain. A recently discovered mechanism for modulating synaptic reliability critically involves recruitments of astrocytes - star- shaped cells that outnumber the neurons in most parts of the central nervous system. Astrocytes until recently were thought to be subordinate cells merely participating in supporting neuronal functions. New evidence, however, made available by advances in imaging technology has changed the way we envision the role of these cells in synaptic transmission and as modulator of neuronal excitability. We put forward a novel mathematical framework based on the biophysics of the bidirectional neuron-astrocyte interactions that quantitatively accounts for two distinct experimental manifestation of recruitment of astrocytes in synaptic transmission: a) transformation of a low fidelity synapse transforms into a high fidelity synapse and b) enhanced postsynaptic spontaneous currents when astrocytes are activated. Such a framework is not only useful for modeling neuronal dynamics in a realistic environment but also provides a conceptual basis for interpreting experiments. Based on this modeling framework, we explore the role of astrocytes for neuronal network behavior such as synchrony and correlations and compare with experimental data from cultured networks.

  12. Ultrastructural and functional fate of recycled vesicles in hippocampal synapses.

    PubMed

    Rey, Stephanie A; Smith, Catherine A; Fowler, Milena W; Crawford, Freya; Burden, Jemima J; Staras, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Efficient recycling of synaptic vesicles is thought to be critical for sustained information transfer at central terminals. However, the specific contribution that retrieved vesicles make to future transmission events remains unclear. Here we exploit fluorescence and time-stamped electron microscopy to track the functional and positional fate of vesicles endocytosed after readily releasable pool (RRP) stimulation in rat hippocampal synapses. We show that most vesicles are recovered near the active zone but subsequently take up random positions in the cluster, without preferential bias for future use. These vesicles non-selectively queue, advancing towards the release site with further stimulation in an actin-dependent manner. Nonetheless, the small subset of vesicles retrieved recently in the stimulus train persist nearer the active zone and exhibit more privileged use in the next RRP. Our findings reveal heterogeneity in vesicle fate based on nanoscale position and timing rules, providing new insights into the origins of future pool constitution.

  13. The molecular makeup and function of regulatory and effector synapses.

    PubMed

    Reichardt, Peter; Dornbach, Bastian; Gunzer, Matthias

    2007-08-01

    Physical interactions between T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs) form the basis of any specific immune response. Upon cognate contacts, a multimolecular assembly of receptors and adhesion molecules on both cells is created, termed the immunological synapse (IS). Very diverse structures of ISs have been described, yet the functional importance for T-cell differentiation is largely unclear. Here we discuss the principal structure and function of ISs. We then focus on two characteristic T-cell-APC pairs, namely T cells contacting dendritic cells (DCs) or naive B cells, for which extremely different patterns of the IS have been observed as well as fundamentally different effects on the function of the activated T cells. We provide a model on how differences in signaling and the involvement of adhesion molecules might lead to diverse interaction kinetics and, eventually, diverse T-cell differentiation. We hypothesize that the preferred activation of the adhesion molecule leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) and of the negative regulator for T-cell activation, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), through contact with naive B cells, lead to prolonged cell-cell contacts and the generation of T cells with regulatory capacity. In contrast, DCs might have evolved mechanisms to avoid LFA-1 overactivation and CTLA-4 triggering, thereby promoting more dynamic contacts that lead to the preferential generation of effector cells.

  14. Neuroligin-1 performs neurexin-dependent and neurexin-independent functions in synapse validation.

    PubMed

    Ko, Jaewon; Zhang, Chen; Arac, Demet; Boucard, Antony A; Brunger, Axel T; Südhof, Thomas C

    2009-10-21

    Postsynaptic neuroligins are thought to perform essential functions in synapse validation and synaptic transmission by binding to, and dimerizing, presynaptic alpha- and beta-neurexins. To test this hypothesis, we examined the functional effects of neuroligin-1 mutations that impair only alpha-neurexin binding, block both alpha- and beta-neurexin binding, or abolish neuroligin-1 dimerization. Abolishing alpha-neurexin binding abrogated neuroligin-induced generation of neuronal synapses onto transfected non-neuronal cells in the so-called artificial synapse-formation assay, even though beta-neurexin binding was retained. Thus, in this assay, neuroligin-1 induces apparent synapse formation by binding to presynaptic alpha-neurexins. In transfected neurons, however, neither alpha- nor beta-neurexin binding was essential for the ability of postsynaptic neuroligin-1 to dramatically increase synapse density, suggesting a neurexin-independent mechanism of synapse formation. Moreover, neuroligin-1 dimerization was not required for either the non-neuronal or the neuronal synapse-formation assay. Nevertheless, both alpha-neurexin binding and neuroligin-1 dimerization were essential for the increase in apparent synapse size that is induced by neuroligin-1 in transfected neurons. Thus, neuroligin-1 performs diverse synaptic functions by mechanisms that include as essential components of alpha-neurexin binding and neuroligin dimerization, but extend beyond these activities.

  15. The gut-brain axis rewired: adding a functional vagal nicotinic "sensory synapse".

    PubMed

    Perez-Burgos, Azucena; Mao, Yu-Kang; Bienenstock, John; Kunze, Wolfgang A

    2014-07-01

    It is generally accepted that intestinal sensory vagal fibers are primary afferent, responding nonsynaptically to luminal stimuli. The gut also contains intrinsic primary afferent neurons (IPANs) that respond to luminal stimuli. A psychoactive Lactobacillus rhamnosus (JB-1) that affects brain function excites both vagal fibers and IPANs. We wondered whether, contrary to its primary afferent designation, the sensory vagus response to JB-1 might depend on IPAN to vagal fiber synaptic transmission. We recorded ex vivo single- and multiunit afferent action potentials from mesenteric nerves supplying mouse jejunal segments. Intramural synaptic blockade with Ca(2+) channel blockers reduced constitutive or JB-1-evoked vagal sensory discharge. Firing of 60% of spontaneously active units was reduced by synaptic blockade. Synaptic or nicotinic receptor blockade reduced firing in 60% of vagal sensory units that were stimulated by luminal JB-1. In control experiments, increasing or decreasing IPAN excitability, respectively increased or decreased nerve firing that was abolished by synaptic blockade or vagotomy. We conclude that >50% of vagal afferents function as interneurons for stimulation by JB-1, receiving input from an intramural functional "sensory synapse." This was supported by myenteric plexus nicotinic receptor immunohistochemistry. These data offer a novel therapeutic target to modify pathological gut-brain axis activity.-Perez-Burgos, A., Mao, Y.-K., Bienenstock, J., Kunze, W. A. The gut-brain axis rewired: adding a functional vagal nicotinic "sensory synapse."

  16. Excitation Control: Balancing PSD-95 Function at the Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Keith, Dove; El-Husseini, Alaa

    2008-01-01

    Excitability of individual neurons dictates the overall excitation in specific brain circuits. This process is thought to be regulated by molecules that regulate synapse number, morphology and strength. Neuronal excitation is also influenced by the amounts of neurotransmitter receptors and signaling molecules retained at particular synaptic sites. Recent studies revealed a key role for PSD-95, a scaffolding molecule enriched at glutamatergic synapses, in modulation of clustering of several neurotransmitter receptors, adhesion molecules, ion channels, cytoskeletal elements and signaling molecules at postsynaptic sites. In this review we will highlight mechanisms that control targeting of PSD-95 at the synapse, and discuss how this molecule influences the retention and clustering of diverse synaptic proteins to regulate synaptic structure and strength. We will also discuss how PSD-95 may maintain a balance between excitation and inhibition in the brain and how alterations in this balance may contribute to neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:18946537

  17. Functional imaging of single synapses in brain slices.

    PubMed

    Oertner, Thomas G

    2002-11-01

    The strength of synaptic connections in the brain is not fixed, but can be modulated by numerous mechanisms. Traditionally, electrophysiology has been used to characterize connections between neurons. Electrophysiology typically reports the activity of populations of synapses, while most mechanisms of plasticity are thought to operate at the level of single synapses. Recently, two-photon laser scanning microscopy has enabled us to perform optical quantal analysis of individual synapses in intact brain tissue. Here we introduce the basic principle of the two-photon microscope and discuss its main differences compared to the confocal microscope. Using calcium imaging in dendritic spines as an example, we explain the advantages of simultaneous dual-dye imaging for quantitative calcium measurements and address two common problems, dye saturation and background fluorescence subtraction.

  18. Orchestrating cytoskeleton and intracellular vesicle traffic to build functional immunological synapses.

    PubMed

    Soares, Helena; Lasserre, Rémi; Alcover, Andrés

    2013-11-01

    Immunological synapses are specialized cell-cell contacts formed between T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells. They are induced upon antigen recognition and are crucial for T-cell activation and effector functions. The generation and function of immunological synapses depend on an active T-cell polarization process, which results from a finely orchestrated crosstalk between the antigen receptor signal transduction machinery, the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, and controlled vesicle traffic. Although we understand how some of these particular events are regulated, we still lack knowledge on how these multiple cellular elements are harmonized to ensure appropriate T-cell responses. We discuss here our view on how T-cell receptor signal transduction initially commands cytoskeletal and vesicle traffic polarization, which in turn sets the immunological synapse molecular design that regulates T-cell activation. We also discuss how the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) hijacks some of these processes impairing immunological synapse generation and function.

  19. Novel functions for ADF/cofilin in excitatory synapses - lessons from gene-targeted mice.

    PubMed

    Rust, Marco B

    2015-01-01

    Actin filaments (F-actin) are the major structural component of excitatory synapses. In excitatory synapses, F-actin is enriched in presynaptic terminals and in postsynaptic dendritic spines, and actin dynamics - the spatiotemporally controlled assembly and disassembly of F-actin - have been implicated in pre- and postsynaptic physiology, additionally to their function in synapse morphology. Hence, actin binding proteins that control actin dynamics have moved into the focus as regulators of synapse morphology and physiology. Actin depolymerizing proteins of the ADF/cofilin family are important regulators of actin dynamics, and several recent studies highlighted the relevance of cofilin 1 for dendritic spine morphology, trafficking of postsynaptic glutamate receptors, and synaptic plasticity. Conversely, almost nothing was known about the synaptic function of ADF, a second ADF/cofilin family member present at excitatory synapses, and it remained unknown whether ADF/cofilin is relevant for presynaptic physiology. To comprehensively characterize the synaptic function of ADF/cofilin we made use of mutant mice lacking either ADF or cofilin 1 or both proteins. Our analysis revealed presynaptic defects (altered distribution and enhanced exocytosis of synaptic vesicles) and behavioral abnormalities reminiscent of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in double mutants that were not present in single mutants. Hence, by exploiting gene-targeted mice, we demonstrated the relevance of ADF for excitatory synapses, and we unraveled novel functions for ADF/cofilin in presynaptic physiology and behavior.

  20. Novel functions for ADF/cofilin in excitatory synapses - lessons from gene-targeted mice.

    PubMed

    Rust, Marco B

    2015-01-01

    Actin filaments (F-actin) are the major structural component of excitatory synapses. In excitatory synapses, F-actin is enriched in presynaptic terminals and in postsynaptic dendritic spines, and actin dynamics - the spatiotemporally controlled assembly and disassembly of F-actin - have been implicated in pre- and postsynaptic physiology, additionally to their function in synapse morphology. Hence, actin binding proteins that control actin dynamics have moved into the focus as regulators of synapse morphology and physiology. Actin depolymerizing proteins of the ADF/cofilin family are important regulators of actin dynamics, and several recent studies highlighted the relevance of cofilin 1 for dendritic spine morphology, trafficking of postsynaptic glutamate receptors, and synaptic plasticity. Conversely, almost nothing was known about the synaptic function of ADF, a second ADF/cofilin family member present at excitatory synapses, and it remained unknown whether ADF/cofilin is relevant for presynaptic physiology. To comprehensively characterize the synaptic function of ADF/cofilin we made use of mutant mice lacking either ADF or cofilin 1 or both proteins. Our analysis revealed presynaptic defects (altered distribution and enhanced exocytosis of synaptic vesicles) and behavioral abnormalities reminiscent of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in double mutants that were not present in single mutants. Hence, by exploiting gene-targeted mice, we demonstrated the relevance of ADF for excitatory synapses, and we unraveled novel functions for ADF/cofilin in presynaptic physiology and behavior. PMID:27066177

  1. Novel functions for ADF/cofilin in excitatory synapses - lessons from gene-targeted mice

    PubMed Central

    Rust, Marco B

    2015-01-01

    Actin filaments (F-actin) are the major structural component of excitatory synapses. In excitatory synapses, F-actin is enriched in presynaptic terminals and in postsynaptic dendritic spines, and actin dynamics – the spatiotemporally controlled assembly and disassembly of F-actin – have been implicated in pre- and postsynaptic physiology, additionally to their function in synapse morphology. Hence, actin binding proteins that control actin dynamics have moved into the focus as regulators of synapse morphology and physiology. Actin depolymerizing proteins of the ADF/cofilin family are important regulators of actin dynamics, and several recent studies highlighted the relevance of cofilin 1 for dendritic spine morphology, trafficking of postsynaptic glutamate receptors, and synaptic plasticity. Conversely, almost nothing was known about the synaptic function of ADF, a second ADF/cofilin family member present at excitatory synapses, and it remained unknown whether ADF/cofilin is relevant for presynaptic physiology. To comprehensively characterize the synaptic function of ADF/cofilin we made use of mutant mice lacking either ADF or cofilin 1 or both proteins. Our analysis revealed presynaptic defects (altered distribution and enhanced exocytosis of synaptic vesicles) and behavioral abnormalities reminiscent of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in double mutants that were not present in single mutants. Hence, by exploiting gene-targeted mice, we demonstrated the relevance of ADF for excitatory synapses, and we unraveled novel functions for ADF/cofilin in presynaptic physiology and behavior. PMID:27066177

  2. The LGI1-ADAM22 protein complex directs synapse maturation through regulation of PSD-95 function.

    PubMed

    Lovero, Kathryn L; Fukata, Yuko; Granger, Adam J; Fukata, Masaki; Nicoll, Roger A

    2015-07-28

    Synapse development is coordinated by a number of transmembrane and secreted proteins that come together to form synaptic organizing complexes. Whereas a variety of synaptogenic proteins have been characterized, much less is understood about the molecular networks that support the maintenance and functional maturation of nascent synapses. Here, we demonstrate that leucine-rich, glioma-inactivated protein 1 (LGI1), a secreted protein previously shown to modulate synaptic AMPA receptors, is a paracrine signal released from pre- and postsynaptic neurons that acts specifically through a disintegrin and metalloproteinase protein 22 (ADAM22) to set postsynaptic strength. We go on to describe a novel role for ADAM22 in maintaining excitatory synapses through PSD-95/Dlg1/zo-1 (PDZ) domain interactions. Finally, we show that in the absence of LGI1, the mature synapse scaffolding protein PSD-95, but not the immature synapse scaffolding protein SAP102, is unable to modulate synaptic transmission. These results indicate that LGI1 and ADAM22 form an essential synaptic organizing complex that coordinates the maturation of excitatory synapses by regulating the functional incorporation of PSD-95.

  3. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Wiera, Grzegorz; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W.

    2015-01-01

    Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed long-term potentiation (LTP) that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation. PMID:26582976

  4. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Wiera, Grzegorz; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W

    2015-01-01

    Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed long-term potentiation (LTP) that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

  5. DSCAM Localization and Function at the Mouse Cone Synapse

    PubMed Central

    de Andrade, Gabriel Belem; Long, Samuel S.; Fleming, Harrison; Li, Wei; Fuerst, Peter G.

    2014-01-01

    The Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule (DSCAM) is required for regulation of cell number, soma spacing and cell type specific dendrite avoidance in many types of retinal ganglion and amacrine cells. In this study we assay the organization of cells making up the outer plexiform layer of the retina in the absence of Dscam. Some types of OFF bipolar cells, type 3b and type 4 bipolar cells, had defects in dendrite arborization in the Dscam mutant retina, while other cell types appeared similar to wild type. The cone synapses that these cells project their dendrites to were intact, as visualized by electron microscopy, and had a distribution and density that was not significantly different than wild type. The spacing of type 3b bipolar cell dendrites was further analyzed by Voronoi domain analysis, Density Recovery Profiling (DRP) analysis and Nearest Neighbor Analysis (NNA). Spacing was found to be significantly different when comparing wild type and mutant type 3b bipolar cell dendrites. Defects in arborization of these bipolar cells could not be attributed to the disorganization of inner plexiform layer cells that occurs in the Dscam mutant retina or an increase in cell number, as they arborized when Dscam was targeted in retinal ganglion cells only or in the bax null retina. Localization of DSCAM was assayed and the protein was localized near to cone synapses in mouse, macaque and ground squirrel retinas. DSCAM protein was detected in several types of bipolar cells, including type 3b and type 4 bipolar cells. PMID:24477985

  6. DSCAM localization and function at the mouse cone synapse.

    PubMed

    de Andrade, Gabriel Belem; Long, Samuel S; Fleming, Harrison; Li, Wei; Fuerst, Peter G

    2014-08-01

    The Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (DSCAM) is required for regulation of cell number, soma spacing, and cell type-specific dendrite avoidance in many types of retinal ganglion and amacrine cells. In this study we assay the organization of cells making up the outer plexiform layer of the retina in the absence of Dscam. Some types of OFF bipolar cells, type 3b and type 4 bipolar cells, had defects in dendrite arborization in the Dscam mutant retina, whereas other cell types appeared similar to wild type. The cone synapses that these cells project their dendrites to were intact, as visualized by electron microscopy, and had a distribution and density that was not significantly different from that of wild type. The spacing of type 3b bipolar cell dendrites was further analyzed by Voronoi domain analysis, density recovery profiling (DRP) analysis, and nearest neighbor analysis. Spacing was found to be significantly different when wild-type and mutant type 3b bipolar cell dendrites were compared. Defects in arborization of these bipolar cells could not be attributed to the disorganization of inner plexiform layer cells that occurs in the Dscam mutant retina or an increase in cell number, as they arborized when Dscam was targeted in retinal ganglion cells only or in the bax null retina. Localization of DSCAM was assayed and the protein was localized near to cone synapses in mouse, macaque, and ground squirrel retinas. DSCAM protein was detected in several types of bipolar cells, including type 3b and type 4 bipolar cells.

  7. Synapses on NG2-expressing progenitors in the brain: multiple functions?

    PubMed Central

    Gallo, Vittorio; Mangin, Jean-Marie; Kukley, Maria; Dietrich, Dirk

    2008-01-01

    Progenitor cells expressing the proteoglycan NG2 represent approximately 5% of the total cells in the adult brain, and are found both in grey and white matter regions where they give rise to oligodendrocytes. The finding that these cells receive synaptic contacts from excitatory and inhibitory neurons has not only raised major interest in the possible roles of these synapses, but also stimulated further research on the developmental and cellular functions of NG2-expressing (NG2+) progenitors themselves in the context of neural circuit physiology. Here we review recent findings on the functional properties of the synapses on NG2+ cells in grey and white matter regions of the brain. In this review article we make an attempt to integrate current knowledge on the cellular and developmental properties of NG2+ progenitors with the functional attributes of their synapses, in order to understand the physiological relevance of neuron–NG2+ progenitor signal transmission. We propose that, although NG2+ progenitors receive synaptic contact in all brain regions where they are found, their synapses might have different developmental and functional roles, probably reflecting the distinct functions of NG2+ progenitors in the brain. PMID:18635642

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-20

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

  9. The role of neurexins and neuroligins in the formation, maturation, and function of vertebrate synapses.

    PubMed

    Krueger, Dilja D; Tuffy, Liam P; Papadopoulos, Theofilos; Brose, Nils

    2012-06-01

    Neurexins (NXs) and neuroligins (NLs) are transsynaptically interacting cell adhesion proteins that play a key role in the formation, maturation, activity-dependent validation, and maintenance of synapses. As complex alternative splicing processes in nerve cells generate a large number of NX and NLs variants, it has been proposed that a combinatorial interaction code generated by these variants may determine synapse identity and network connectivity during brain development. The functional importance of NXs and NLs is exemplified by the fact that mutations in NX and NL genes are associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders, most notably with autism. Accordingly, major research efforts have focused on the molecular mechanisms by which NXs and NLs operate at synapses. In this review, we summarize recent progress in this field and discuss emerging topics, such as the role of alternative interaction partners of NXs and NLs in synapse formation and function, and their relevance for synaptic plasticity in the mature brain. The novel findings highlight the fundamental importance of NX-NL interactions in a wide range of synaptic functions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-15

    Neural circuits are composed of mainly glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, which communicate through synaptic connections. Many factors instruct the formation and function of these synapses; however, it is difficult to dissect the contribution of intrinsic cell programs from that of extrinsic environmental effects in an intact network. Here, we perform paired recordings from two-neuron microculture preparations of mouse hippocampal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons to investigate how synaptic input and output of these two principal cells develop. In our reduced preparation, we found that glutamatergic neurons showed no change in synaptic output or input regardless of partner neuron cell type or neuronal activity level. In contrast, we found that glutamatergic input caused the GABAergic neuron to modify its output by way of an increase in synapse formation and a decrease in synaptic release efficiency. These findings are consistent with aspects of GABAergic synapse maturation observed in many brain regions. In addition, changes in GABAergic output are cell wide and not target-cell specific. We also found that glutamatergic neuronal activity determined the AMPA receptor properties of synapses on the partner GABAergic neuron. All modifications of GABAergic input and output required activity of the glutamatergic neuron. Because our system has reduced extrinsic factors, the changes we saw in the GABAergic neuron due to glutamatergic input may reflect initiation of maturation programs that underlie the formation and function of in vivo neural circuits. PMID:24431444

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-15

    Neural circuits are composed of mainly glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, which communicate through synaptic connections. Many factors instruct the formation and function of these synapses; however, it is difficult to dissect the contribution of intrinsic cell programs from that of extrinsic environmental effects in an intact network. Here, we perform paired recordings from two-neuron microculture preparations of mouse hippocampal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons to investigate how synaptic input and output of these two principal cells develop. In our reduced preparation, we found that glutamatergic neurons showed no change in synaptic output or input regardless of partner neuron cell type or neuronal activity level. In contrast, we found that glutamatergic input caused the GABAergic neuron to modify its output by way of an increase in synapse formation and a decrease in synaptic release efficiency. These findings are consistent with aspects of GABAergic synapse maturation observed in many brain regions. In addition, changes in GABAergic output are cell wide and not target-cell specific. We also found that glutamatergic neuronal activity determined the AMPA receptor properties of synapses on the partner GABAergic neuron. All modifications of GABAergic input and output required activity of the glutamatergic neuron. Because our system has reduced extrinsic factors, the changes we saw in the GABAergic neuron due to glutamatergic input may reflect initiation of maturation programs that underlie the formation and function of in vivo neural circuits.

  12. The Active and Periactive Zone Organization and the Functional Properties of Small and Large Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Cano, Raquel; Tabares, Lucia

    2016-01-01

    The arrival of an action potential (AP) at a synaptic terminal elicits highly synchronized quanta release. Repetitive APs produce successive synaptic vesicle (SV) fusions that require management of spent SV components in the presynaptic membrane with minimum disturbance of the secretory apparatus. To this end, the synaptic machinery is structured accordingly to the strength and the range of frequencies at which each particular synapse operates. This results in variations in the number and dimension of Active Zones (AZs), amount and distribution of SVs, and probably, in the primary endocytic mechanisms they use. Understanding better how these structural differences determine the functional response in each case has been a matter of long-term interest. Here we review the structural and functional properties of three distinct types of synapses: the neuromuscular junction (NMJ; a giant, highly reliable synapse that must exocytose a large number of quanta with each stimulus to guarantee excitation of the postsynaptic cell), the hippocampal excitatory small synapse (which most often has a single release site and a relatively small pool of vesicles), and the cerebellar mossy fiber-granule cell synapse (which possesses hundreds of release sites and is able to translocate, dock and prime vesicles at high speed). We will focus on how the release apparatus is organized in each case, the relative amount of vesicular membrane that needs to be accommodated within the periAZ upon stimulation, the different mechanisms for retrieving the excess of membrane and finally, how these factors may influence the functioning of the release sites. PMID:27252645

  13. Reconstitution of Giant Mammalian Synapses in Culture for Molecular Functional and Imaging Studies

    PubMed Central

    Takagi, Hiroshi; Guillaud, Laurent; Saitoh, Naoto; Eguchi, Kohgaku

    2016-01-01

    Giant presynaptic terminal brain slice preparations have allowed intracellular recording of electrical signals and molecular loading, elucidating cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurotransmission and modulation. However, molecular genetic manipulation or optical imaging in these preparations is hampered by factors, such as tissue longevity and background fluorescence. To overcome these difficulties, we developed a giant presynaptic terminal culture preparation, which allows genetic manipulation and enables optical measurements of synaptic vesicle dynamics, simultaneously with presynaptic electrical signal recordings. This giant synapse reconstructed from dissociated mouse brainstem neurons resembles the development of native calyceal giant synapses in several respects. Thus, this novel preparation constitutes a powerful tool for studying molecular mechanisms of neurotransmission, neuromodulation, and neuronal development. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We have developed a novel culture preparation of giant mammalian synapses. These presynaptic terminals make it possible to perform optical imaging simultaneously with presynaptic electrophysiological recording. We demonstrate that this enables one to dissect endocytic and acidification times of synaptic vesicles. In addition, developmental elimination and functional maturation in this cultured preparation provide a useful model for studying presynaptic development. Because this giant synapse preparation allows molecular genetic manipulations, it constitutes a powerful new tool for studying molecular mechanisms of neurotransmission, neuromodulation, and neuronal development. PMID:27013688

  14. Generation of Functional Inhibitory Synapses Incorporating Defined Combinations of GABA(A) or Glycine Receptor Subunits

    PubMed Central

    Dixon, Christine L.; Zhang, Yan; Lynch, Joseph W.

    2015-01-01

    Fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain is mediated by wide range of GABAA receptor (GABAAR) and glycine receptor (GlyR) isoforms, each with different physiological and pharmacological properties. Because multiple isoforms are expressed simultaneously in most neurons, it is difficult to define the properties of individual isoforms under synaptic stimulation conditions in vivo. Although recombinant expression systems permit the expression of individual isoforms in isolation, they require exogenous agonist application which cannot mimic the dynamic neurotransmitter profile characteristic of native synapses. We describe a neuron-HEK293 cell co-culture technique for generating inhibitory synapses incorporating defined combinations of GABAAR or GlyR subunits. Primary neuronal cultures, prepared from embryonic rat cerebral cortex or spinal cord, are used to provide presynaptic GABAergic and glycinergic terminals, respectively. When the cultures are mature, HEK293 cells expressing the subunits of interest plus neuroligin 2A are plated onto the neurons, which rapidly form synapses onto HEK293 cells. Patch clamp electrophysiology is then used to analyze the physiological and pharmacological properties of the inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by the recombinant receptors. The method is suitable for investigating the kinetic properties or the effects of drugs on inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by defined GABAAR or GlyR isoforms of interest, the effects of hereditary disease mutations on the formation and function of both types of synapses, and synaptogenesis and synaptic clustering mechanisms. The entire cell preparation procedure takes 2–5 weeks. PMID:26778954

  15. Loss of transforming growth factor-beta 2 leads to impairment of central synapse function

    PubMed Central

    Heupel, Katharina; Sargsyan, Vardanush; Plomp, Jaap J; Rickmann, Michael; Varoqueaux, Frédérique; Zhang, Weiqi; Krieglstein, Kerstin

    2008-01-01

    Background The formation of functional synapses is a crucial event in neuronal network formation, and with regard to regulation of breathing it is essential for life. Members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily act as intercellular signaling molecules during synaptogenesis of the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila and are involved in synaptic function of sensory neurons of Aplysia. Results Here we show that while TGF-β2 is not crucial for the morphology and function of the neuromuscular junction of the diaphragm muscle of mice, it is essential for proper synaptic function in the pre-Bötzinger complex, a central rhythm organizer located in the brainstem. Genetic deletion of TGF-β2 in mice strongly impaired both GABA/glycinergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the pre-Bötzinger complex area, while numbers and morphology of central synapses of knock-out animals were indistinguishable from their wild-type littermates at embryonic day 18.5. Conclusion The results demonstrate that TGF-β2 influences synaptic function, rather than synaptogenesis, specifically at central synapses. The functional alterations in the respiratory center of the brain are probably the underlying cause of the perinatal death of the TGF-β2 knock-out mice. PMID:18854036

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

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Kimiko; Kiyosue, Kazuyuki; Taguchi, Takahisa

    2005-04-20

    Neuronal activity regulates the synaptic strength of neuronal networks. However, it is still unclear how diminished activity changes connection patterns in neuronal circuits. To address this issue, we analyzed neuronal connectivity and relevant mechanisms using hippocampal cultures in which developmental synaptogenesis had occurred. We show that diminution of network activity in mature neuronal circuit promotes reorganization of neuronal circuits via NR2B subunit-containing NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NR2B-NMDARs), which mediate silent synapse formation. Simultaneous double whole-cell recordings revealed that diminishing neuronal circuit activity for 48 h increased the number of synaptically connected neuron pairs with both silent and functional synapses. This increase was accompanied by the specific expression of NR2B-NMDARs at synaptic sites. Analysis of miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) showed that the frequency of NMDAR-mediated, but not AMPAR-mediated, mEPSCs increased, indicating that diminished neuronal activity promotes silent synapse formation via the surface delivering NR2B-NMDARs in mature neurons. After activation of neuronal circuit by releasing from TTX blockade (referred as circuit reactivation), the frequency of AMPAR-mediated mEPSCs increased instead, and this increase was prevented by ifenprodil. The circuit reactivation also caused an increased colocalization of glutamate receptor 1-specfic and synaptic NR2B-specific puncta. These results indicate that the circuit reactivation converts rapidly silent synapses formed during activity suppression to functional synapses. These data may provide a new example of homeostatic circuit plasticity that entails the modulation of neuron-neuron connectivity by synaptic activity.

  17. Three-terminal ferroelectric synapse device with concurrent learning function for artificial neural networks

    SciTech Connect

    Nishitani, Y.; Kaneko, Y.; Ueda, M.; Fujii, E.; Morie, T.

    2012-06-15

    Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) is demonstrated in a synapse device based on a ferroelectric-gate field-effect transistor (FeFET). STDP is a key of the learning functions observed in human brains, where the synaptic weight changes only depending on the spike timing of the pre- and post-neurons. The FeFET is composed of the stacked oxide materials with ZnO/Pr(Zr,Ti)O{sub 3} (PZT)/SrRuO{sub 3}. In the FeFET, the channel conductance can be altered depending on the density of electrons induced by the polarization of PZT film, which can be controlled by applying the gate voltage in a non-volatile manner. Applying a pulse gate voltage enables the multi-valued modulation of the conductance, which is expected to be caused by a change in PZT polarization. This variation depends on the height and the duration of the pulse gate voltage. Utilizing these characteristics, symmetric and asymmetric STDP learning functions are successfully implemented in the FeFET-based synapse device by applying the non-linear pulse gate voltage generated from a set of two pulses in a sampling circuit, in which the two pulses correspond to the spikes from the pre- and post-neurons. The three-terminal structure of the synapse device enables the concurrent learning, in which the weight update can be performed without canceling signal transmission among neurons, while the neural networks using the previously reported two-terminal synapse devices need to stop signal transmission for learning.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  19. Deficiency of the microglial receptor CX3CR1 impairs postnatal functional development of thalamocortical synapses in the barrel cortex.

    PubMed

    Hoshiko, Maki; Arnoux, Isabelle; Avignone, Elena; Yamamoto, Nobuhiko; Audinat, Etienne

    2012-10-24

    Accumulative evidence indicates that microglial cells influence the normal development of brain synapses. Yet, the mechanisms by which these immune cells target maturating synapses and influence their functional development at early postnatal stages remain poorly understood. Here, we analyzed the role of CX3CR1, a microglial receptor activated by the neuronal chemokine CX3CL1 (or fractalkine) which controls key functions of microglial cells. In the whisker-related barrel field of the mouse somatosensory cortex, we show that the recruitment of microglia to the sites where developing thalamocortical synapses are concentrated (i.e., the barrel centers) occurs only after postnatal day 5 and is controlled by the fractalkine/CX3CR1 signaling pathway. Indeed, at this developmental stage fractalkine is overexpressed within the barrels and CX3CR1 deficiency delays microglial cell recruitment into the barrel centers. Functional analysis of thalamocortical synapses shows that CX3CR1 deficiency also delays the functional maturation of postsynaptic glutamate receptors which normally occurs at these synapses between the first and second postnatal week. These results show that reciprocal interactions between neurons and microglial cells control the functional maturation of cortical synapses. PMID:23100431

  20. Functional inactivation of a fraction of excitatory synapses in mice deficient for the active zone protein bassoon.

    PubMed

    Altrock, Wilko D; tom Dieck, Susanne; Sokolov, Maxim; Meyer, Alexander C; Sigler, Albrecht; Brakebusch, Cord; Fässler, Reinhard; Richter, Karin; Boeckers, Tobias M; Potschka, Heidrun; Brandt, Claudia; Löscher, Wolfgang; Grimberg, Dörte; Dresbach, Thomas; Hempelmann, Anne; Hassan, Hadir; Balschun, Detlef; Frey, Julietta U; Brandstätter, Johann H; Garner, Craig C; Rosenmund, Christian; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2003-03-01

    Mutant mice lacking the central region of the presynaptic active zone protein Bassoon were generated to establish the role of this protein in the assembly and function of active zones as sites of synaptic vesicle docking and fusion. Our data show that the loss of Bassoon causes a reduction in normal synaptic transmission, which can be attributed to the inactivation of a significant fraction of glutamatergic synapses. At these synapses, vesicles are clustered and docked in normal numbers but are unable to fuse. Phenotypically, the loss of Bassoon causes spontaneous epileptic seizures. These data show that Bassoon is not essential for synapse formation but plays an essential role in the regulated neurotransmitter release from a subset of glutamatergic synapses.

  1. Functional and structural deficits at accumbens synapses in a mouse model of Fragile X

    PubMed Central

    Neuhofer, Daniela; Henstridge, Christopher M.; Dudok, Barna; Sepers, Marja; Lassalle, Olivier; Katona, István; Manzoni, Olivier J.

    2015-01-01

    Fragile X is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and a leading cause of autism. The disease is caused by mutation of a single X-linked gene called fmr1 that codes for the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), a 71 kDa protein, which acts mainly as a translation inhibitor. Fragile X patients suffer from cognitive and emotional deficits that coincide with abnormalities in dendritic spines. Changes in spine morphology are often associated with altered excitatory transmission and long-term plasticity, the most prominent deficit in fmr1-/y mice. The nucleus accumbens, a central part of the mesocortico-limbic reward pathway, is now considered as a core structure in the control of social behaviors. Although the socio-affective impairments observed in Fragile X suggest dysfunctions in the accumbens, the impact of the lack of FMRP on accumbal synapses has scarcely been studied. Here we report for the first time a new spike timing-dependent plasticity paradigm that reliably triggers NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory afferent inputs of medium spiny neurons (MSN) in the nucleus accumbens core region. Notably, we discovered that this LTP was completely absent in fmr1-/y mice. In the fmr1-/y accumbens intrinsic membrane properties of MSNs and basal excitatory neurotransmission remained intact in the fmr1-/y accumbens but the deficit in LTP was accompanied by an increase in evoked AMPA/NMDA ratio and a concomitant reduction of spontaneous NMDAR-mediated currents. In agreement with these physiological findings, we found significantly more filopodial spines in fmr1-/y mice by using an ultrastructural electron microscopic analysis of accumbens core medium spiny neuron spines. Surprisingly, spine elongation was specifically due to the longer longitudinal axis and larger area of spine necks, whereas spine head morphology and postsynaptic density size on spine heads remained unaffected in the fmr1-/y accumbens. These findings

  2. The psychiatric disease risk factors DISC1 and TNIK interact to regulate synapse composition and function

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Q; Charych, EI; Pulito, VL; Lee, JB; Graziane, NM; Crozier, RA; Revilla-Sanchez, R; Kelly, MP; Dunlop, AJ; Murdoch, H; Taylor, N; Xie, Y; Pausch, M; Hayashi-Takagi, A; Ishizuka, K; Seshadri, S; Bates, B; Kariya, K; Sawa, A; Weinberg, RJ; Moss, SJ; Houslay, MD; Yan, Z; Brandon, NJ

    2011-01-01

    Disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), a genetic risk factor for multiple serious psychiatric diseases including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism, is a key regulator of multiple neuronal functions linked to both normal development and disease processes. As these diseases are thought to share a common deficit in synaptic function and architecture, we have analyzed the role of DISC1 using an approach that focuses on understanding the protein– protein interactions of DISC1 specifically at synapses. We identify the Traf2 and Nck-interacting kinase (TNIK), an emerging risk factor itself for disease, as a key synaptic partner for DISC1, and provide evidence that the DISC1–TNIK interaction regulates synaptic composition and activity by stabilizing the levels of key postsynaptic density proteins. Understanding the novel DISC1–TNIK interaction is likely to provide insights into the etiology and underlying synaptic deficits found in major psychiatric diseases. PMID:20838393

  3. Functional maturation of the exocytotic machinery at gerbil hair cell ribbon synapses.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Stuart L; Franz, Christoph; Knipper, Marlies; Marcotti, Walter

    2009-04-15

    Auditory afferent fibre activity in mammals relies on neurotransmission at hair cell ribbon synapses. Developmental changes in the Ca(2+) sensitivity of the synaptic machinery allow inner hair cells (IHCs), the primary auditory receptors, to encode Ca(2+) action potentials (APs) during pre-hearing stages and graded receptor potentials in adult animals. However, little is known about the time course of these changes or whether the kinetic properties of exocytosis differ as a function of IHC position along the immature cochlea. Furthermore, the role of afferent transmission in outer hair cells (OHCs) is not understood. Calcium currents and exocytosis (measured as membrane capacitance changes: DeltaC(m)) were measured with whole-cell recordings from immature gerbil hair cells using near-physiological conditions. The kinetics, vesicle pool depletion and Ca(2+) coupling of exocytosis were similar in apical and basal immature IHCs. This could indicate that possible differences in AP activity along the immature cochlea do not require synaptic specialization. Neurotransmission in IHCs became mature from postnatal day 20 (P20), although changes in its Ca(2+) dependence occurred at P9-P12 in basal and P12-P15 in apical cells. OHCs showed a smaller DeltaC(m) than IHCs that was reflected by fewer active zones in OHCs. Otoferlin, the proposed Ca(2+) sensor in cochlear hair cells, was similarly distributed in both cell types despite the high-order exocytotic Ca(2+) dependence in IHCs and the near-linear relation in OHCs. The results presented here provide a comprehensive study of the function and development of hair cell ribbon synapses. PMID:19237422

  4. Thyroid hormone is required for pruning, functioning and long-term maintenance of afferent inner hair cell synapses.

    PubMed

    Sundaresan, Srividya; Kong, Jee-Hyun; Fang, Qing; Salles, Felipe T; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Ricci, Anthony J; Mustapha, Mirna

    2016-01-01

    Functional maturation of afferent synaptic connections to inner hair cells (IHCs) involves pruning of excess synapses formed during development, as well as the strengthening and survival of the retained synapses. These events take place during the thyroid hormone (TH)-critical period of cochlear development, which is in the perinatal period for mice and in the third trimester for humans. Here, we used the hypothyroid Snell dwarf mouse (Pit1(dw)) as a model to study the role of TH in afferent type I synaptic refinement and functional maturation. We observed defects in afferent synaptic pruning and delays in calcium channel clustering in the IHCs of Pit1(dw) mice. Nevertheless, calcium currents and capacitance reached near normal levels in Pit1(dw) IHCs by the age of onset of hearing, despite the excess number of retained synapses. We restored normal synaptic pruning in Pit1(dw) IHCs by supplementing with TH from postnatal day (P)3 to P8, establishing this window as being critical for TH action on this process. Afferent terminals of older Pit1(dw) IHCs showed evidence of excitotoxic damage accompanied by a concomitant reduction in the levels of the glial glutamate transporter, GLAST. Our results indicate that a lack of TH during a critical period of inner ear development causes defects in pruning and long-term homeostatic maintenance of afferent synapses.

  5. Thyroid hormone is required for pruning, functioning and long-term maintenance of afferent inner hair cell synapses

    PubMed Central

    Sundaresan, Srividya; Kong, Jee-Hyun; Fang, Qing; Salles, Felipe T.; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Ricci, Anthony J.; Mustapha, Mirna

    2016-01-01

    Functional maturation of afferent synaptic connections to inner hair cells (IHCs) involves pruning of excess synapses formed during development, as well as the strengthening and survival of the retained synapses. These events take place during the thyroid hormone (TH)-critical period of cochlear development, which is in the perinatal period for mice and in the third trimester for humans. Here, we used the hypothyroid Snell dwarf mouse (Pit1dw) as a model to study the role of TH in afferent type I synaptic refinement and functional maturation. We observed defects in afferent synaptic pruning and delays in calcium channel clustering in the IHCs of Pit1dw mice. Nevertheless, calcium currents and capacitance reached near normal levels in Pit1dw IHCs by the age of onset of hearing, despite the excess number of retained synapses. We restored normal synaptic pruning in Pit1dw IHCs by supplementing with TH from postnatal day (P)3 to P8, establishing this window as being critical for TH action on this process. Afferent terminals of older Pit1dw IHCs showed evidence of excitotoxic damage accompanied by a concomitant reduction in the levels of the glial glutamate transporter, GLAST. Our results indicate that a lack of TH during a critical period of inner ear development causes defects in pruning and long-term homeostatic maintenance of afferent synapses. PMID:26386265

  6. Neuregulin 1 promotes excitatory synapse development and function in GABAergic interneurons.

    PubMed

    Ting, Annie K; Chen, Yongjun; Wen, Lei; Yin, Dong-Min; Shen, Chengyong; Tao, Yanmei; Liu, Xihui; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Mei, Lin

    2011-01-01

    Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) and its receptor ErbB4 are both susceptibility genes of schizophrenia. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of their malfunction. Although ErbB4 is enriched in GABAergic interneurons, the role of NRG1 in excitatory synapse formation in these neurons remains poorly understood. We showed that NRG1 increased both the number and size of PSD-95 puncta and the frequency and amplitude of miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) in GABAergic interneurons, indicating that NRG1 stimulates the formation of new synapses and strengthens existing synapses. In contrast, NRG1 treatment had no effect on either the number or size of excitatory synapses in glutamatergic neurons, suggesting its synaptogenic effect is specific to GABAergic interneurons. Ecto-ErbB4 treatment diminished both the number and size of excitatory synapses, suggesting that endogenous NRG1 may be critical for basal synapse formation. NRG1 could stimulate the stability of PSD-95 in the manner that requires tyrosine kinase activity of ErbB4. Finally, deletion of ErbB4 in parvalbumin-positive interneurons led to reduced frequency and amplitude of mEPSCs, providing in vivo evidence that ErbB4 is important in excitatory synaptogenesis in interneurons. Together, our findings suggested a novel synaptogenic role of NRG1 in excitatory synapse development, possibly via stabilizing PSD-95, and this effect is specific to GABAergic interneurons. In light of the association of the genes of both NRG1 and ErbB4 with schizophrenia and dysfunction of GABAergic system in this disorder, these results provide insight into its potential pathological mechanism.

  7. GODZ-mediated palmitoylation of GABA(A) receptors is required for normal assembly and function of GABAergic inhibitory synapses.

    PubMed

    Fang, Cheng; Deng, Lunbin; Keller, Cheryl A; Fukata, Masaki; Fukata, Yuko; Chen, Gong; Lüscher, Bernhard

    2006-12-01

    Golgi-specific DHHC (Asp-His-His-Cys) zinc finger protein (GODZ) is a DHHC family palmitoyl acyltransferase that is implicated in palmitoylation and regulated trafficking of diverse substrates that function either at inhibitory or excitatory synapses. Of particular interest is the gamma2 subunit of GABA(A) receptors, which is required for targeting these receptors to inhibitory synapses. Here, we report that GODZ and, to a lesser extent, its close paralog sertoli cell gene with a zinc finger domain-beta (SERZ-beta) are the main members of the DHHC family of enzymes that are able to palmitoylate the gamma2 subunit in heterologous cells. Yeast two-hybrid and colocalization assays in human embryonic kidney 293T (HEK293T) cells indicate that GODZ and SERZ-beta show indistinguishable palmitoylation-dependent interaction with the gamma2 subunit. After coexpression in HEK293T cells, they form homomultimers and heteromultimers, as shown by coimmunoprecipitation and in vivo cross-linking experiments. Analyses in neurons transfected with dominant-negative GODZ (GODZ(C157S)) or plasmid-based GODZ-specific RNAi indicate that GODZ is required for normal accumulation of GABA(A) receptors at synapses, for normal whole-cell and synaptic GABAergic inhibitory function and, indirectly, for GABAergic innervation. Unexpectedly, GODZ was found to be dispensable for normal postsynaptic AMPA receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission. We conclude that GODZ-mediated palmitoylation of GABA(A) receptors and possibly other substrates contributes selectively to the formation and normal function of GABAergic inhibitory synapses.

  8. Developmental downregulation of GABAergic drive parallels formation of functional synapses in cultured mouse neocortical networks.

    PubMed

    Klueva, Julia; Meis, Susanne; de Lima, Ana D; Voigt, Thomas; Munsch, Thomas

    2008-06-01

    Networks of cortical neurons in vitro spontaneously develop synchronous oscillatory electrical activity at around the second week in culture. However, the underlying mechanisms and in particular the role of GABAergic interneurons in initiation and synchronization of oscillatory activity in developing cortical networks remain elusive. Here, we examined the intrinsic properties and the development of GABAergic and glutamatergic input onto presumed projection neurons (PNs) and large interneurons (L-INs) in cortical cultures of GAD67-GFP mice. Cultures developed spontaneous synchronous activity already at 5-7 days in vitro (DIV), as revealed by imaging transient changes in Fluo-3 fluorescence. Concurrently, spontaneous glutamate-mediated and GABA(A)-mediated postsynaptic currents (sPSCs) occured at 5 DIV. For both types of neurons the frequency of glutamatergic and GABAergic sPSCs increased with DIV, whereas the charge transfer of glutamatergic sPSCs increased and the charge transfer of GABAergic sPSCs decreased with cultivation time. The ratio between GABAergic and the overall charge transfer was significantly reduced with DIV for L-INs and PNs, indicating an overall reduction in GABAergic synaptic drive with maturation of the network. In contrast, analysis of miniature PSCs (mPSCs) revealed no significant changes of charge transfer with DIV for both types of neurons, indicating that the reduction in GABAergic drive was not due to a decreased number of functional synapses. Our data suggest that the global reduction in GABAergic synaptic drive together with more synaptic input to PNs and L-INs during maturation may enhance rhythmogenesis of the network and increase the synchronization at the level of population bursts. PMID:18361402

  9. Sperm function in affective illness.

    PubMed

    Amsterdam, J; Winokur, A; Levin, R

    1981-04-01

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

  10. Hepatocyte Growth Factor Modulates MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase and β-Catenin Functional Interactions to Enhance Synapse Formation

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Zhihui; Eagleson, Kathie L.

    2016-01-01

    MET, a pleiotropic receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in autism risk, influences multiple neurodevelopmental processes. There is a knowledge gap, however, in the molecular mechanism through which MET mediates developmental events related to disorder risk. In the neocortex, MET is expressed transiently during periods of peak dendritic outgrowth and synaptogenesis, with expression enriched at developing synapses, consistent with demonstrated roles in dendritic morphogenesis, modulation of spine volume, and excitatory synapse development. In a recent coimmunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry screen, β-catenin was identified as part of the MET interactome in developing neocortical synaptosomes. Here, we investigated the influence of the MET/β-catenin complex in mouse neocortical synaptogenesis. Western blot analysis confirms that MET and β-catenin coimmunoprecipitate, but N-cadherin is not associated with the MET complex. Following stimulation with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), β-catenin is phosphorylated at tyrosine142 (Y142) and dissociates from MET, accompanied by an increase in β-catenin/N-cadherin and MET/synapsin 1 protein complexes. In neocortical neurons in vitro, proximity ligation assays confirmed the close proximity of these proteins. Moreover, in neurons transfected with synaptophysin-GFP, HGF stimulation increases the density of synaptophysin/bassoon (a presynaptic marker) and synaptophysin/PSD-95 (a postsynaptic marker) clusters. Mutation of β-catenin at Y142 disrupts the dissociation of the MET/β-catenin complex and prevents the increase in clusters in response to HGF. The data demonstrate a new mechanism for the modulation of synapse formation, whereby MET activation induces an alignment of presynaptic and postsynaptic elements that are necessary for assembly and formation of functional synapses by subsets of neocortical neurons that express MET/β-catenin complex.

  11. Hepatocyte Growth Factor Modulates MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase and β-Catenin Functional Interactions to Enhance Synapse Formation.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhihui; Eagleson, Kathie L; Wu, Hsiao-Huei; Levitt, Pat

    2016-01-01

    MET, a pleiotropic receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in autism risk, influences multiple neurodevelopmental processes. There is a knowledge gap, however, in the molecular mechanism through which MET mediates developmental events related to disorder risk. In the neocortex, MET is expressed transiently during periods of peak dendritic outgrowth and synaptogenesis, with expression enriched at developing synapses, consistent with demonstrated roles in dendritic morphogenesis, modulation of spine volume, and excitatory synapse development. In a recent coimmunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry screen, β-catenin was identified as part of the MET interactome in developing neocortical synaptosomes. Here, we investigated the influence of the MET/β-catenin complex in mouse neocortical synaptogenesis. Western blot analysis confirms that MET and β-catenin coimmunoprecipitate, but N-cadherin is not associated with the MET complex. Following stimulation with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), β-catenin is phosphorylated at tyrosine(142) (Y142) and dissociates from MET, accompanied by an increase in β-catenin/N-cadherin and MET/synapsin 1 protein complexes. In neocortical neurons in vitro, proximity ligation assays confirmed the close proximity of these proteins. Moreover, in neurons transfected with synaptophysin-GFP, HGF stimulation increases the density of synaptophysin/bassoon (a presynaptic marker) and synaptophysin/PSD-95 (a postsynaptic marker) clusters. Mutation of β-catenin at Y142 disrupts the dissociation of the MET/β-catenin complex and prevents the increase in clusters in response to HGF. The data demonstrate a new mechanism for the modulation of synapse formation, whereby MET activation induces an alignment of presynaptic and postsynaptic elements that are necessary for assembly and formation of functional synapses by subsets of neocortical neurons that express MET/β-catenin complex. PMID:27595133

  12. Hepatocyte Growth Factor Modulates MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase and β-Catenin Functional Interactions to Enhance Synapse Formation.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhihui; Eagleson, Kathie L; Wu, Hsiao-Huei; Levitt, Pat

    2016-01-01

    MET, a pleiotropic receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in autism risk, influences multiple neurodevelopmental processes. There is a knowledge gap, however, in the molecular mechanism through which MET mediates developmental events related to disorder risk. In the neocortex, MET is expressed transiently during periods of peak dendritic outgrowth and synaptogenesis, with expression enriched at developing synapses, consistent with demonstrated roles in dendritic morphogenesis, modulation of spine volume, and excitatory synapse development. In a recent coimmunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry screen, β-catenin was identified as part of the MET interactome in developing neocortical synaptosomes. Here, we investigated the influence of the MET/β-catenin complex in mouse neocortical synaptogenesis. Western blot analysis confirms that MET and β-catenin coimmunoprecipitate, but N-cadherin is not associated with the MET complex. Following stimulation with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), β-catenin is phosphorylated at tyrosine(142) (Y142) and dissociates from MET, accompanied by an increase in β-catenin/N-cadherin and MET/synapsin 1 protein complexes. In neocortical neurons in vitro, proximity ligation assays confirmed the close proximity of these proteins. Moreover, in neurons transfected with synaptophysin-GFP, HGF stimulation increases the density of synaptophysin/bassoon (a presynaptic marker) and synaptophysin/PSD-95 (a postsynaptic marker) clusters. Mutation of β-catenin at Y142 disrupts the dissociation of the MET/β-catenin complex and prevents the increase in clusters in response to HGF. The data demonstrate a new mechanism for the modulation of synapse formation, whereby MET activation induces an alignment of presynaptic and postsynaptic elements that are necessary for assembly and formation of functional synapses by subsets of neocortical neurons that express MET/β-catenin complex.

  13. Hepatocyte Growth Factor Modulates MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase and β-Catenin Functional Interactions to Enhance Synapse Formation

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Zhihui; Eagleson, Kathie L.

    2016-01-01

    MET, a pleiotropic receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in autism risk, influences multiple neurodevelopmental processes. There is a knowledge gap, however, in the molecular mechanism through which MET mediates developmental events related to disorder risk. In the neocortex, MET is expressed transiently during periods of peak dendritic outgrowth and synaptogenesis, with expression enriched at developing synapses, consistent with demonstrated roles in dendritic morphogenesis, modulation of spine volume, and excitatory synapse development. In a recent coimmunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry screen, β-catenin was identified as part of the MET interactome in developing neocortical synaptosomes. Here, we investigated the influence of the MET/β-catenin complex in mouse neocortical synaptogenesis. Western blot analysis confirms that MET and β-catenin coimmunoprecipitate, but N-cadherin is not associated with the MET complex. Following stimulation with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), β-catenin is phosphorylated at tyrosine142 (Y142) and dissociates from MET, accompanied by an increase in β-catenin/N-cadherin and MET/synapsin 1 protein complexes. In neocortical neurons in vitro, proximity ligation assays confirmed the close proximity of these proteins. Moreover, in neurons transfected with synaptophysin-GFP, HGF stimulation increases the density of synaptophysin/bassoon (a presynaptic marker) and synaptophysin/PSD-95 (a postsynaptic marker) clusters. Mutation of β-catenin at Y142 disrupts the dissociation of the MET/β-catenin complex and prevents the increase in clusters in response to HGF. The data demonstrate a new mechanism for the modulation of synapse formation, whereby MET activation induces an alignment of presynaptic and postsynaptic elements that are necessary for assembly and formation of functional synapses by subsets of neocortical neurons that express MET/β-catenin complex. PMID:27595133

  14. Food restriction modifies ultrastructure of hippocampal synapses.

    PubMed

    Babits, Réka; Szőke, Balázs; Sótonyi, Péter; Rácz, Bence

    2016-04-01

    Consumption of high-energy diets may compromise health and may also impair cognition; these impairments have been linked to tasks that require hippocampal function. Conversely, food restriction has been shown to improve certain aspects of hippocampal function, including spatial memory and memory persistence. These diet-dependent functional changes raise the possibility that the synaptic structure underlying hippocampal function is also affected. To examine how short-term food restriction (FR) alters the synaptic structure of the hippocampus, we used quantitative electron microscopy to analyze the organization of neuropil in the CA1 stratum radiatum of the hippocampus in young rats, consequent to reduced food. While four weeks of FR did not modify the density, size, or shape of postsynaptic spines, the synapses established by these spines were altered, displaying increased mean length, and more frequent perforations of postsynaptic densities. That the number of perforated synapses (believed to be an indicator of synaptic enhancement) increased, and that the CA1 spine population had on average significantly longer PSDs suggests that synaptic efficacy of axospinous synapses also increased in the CA1. Taken together, our ultrastructural data reveal previously unrecognized structural changes at hippocampal synapses as a function of food restriction, supporting a link between metabolic balance and synaptic plasticity.

  15. Development of functional thalamocortical synapses studied with current source-density analysis in whole forebrain slices in the rat.

    PubMed

    Molnár, Zoltán; Kurotani, Tohru; Higashi, Shuji; Yamamoto, Nobuhiko; Toyama, Keisuke

    2003-05-30

    We analysed the laminar distribution of transmembrane currents from embryonic (E) day 17 until adulthood after selective thalamic stimulation in slices of rat forebrain to study the development of functional thalamocortical and cortico-cortical connections. At E18 to birth a short-latency current sink was observed in the subplate and layer 6, which was decreased, but not fully abolished in a cobalt containing solution or after the application of glutamate receptor blockers (APV and DNQX). This indicated that embryonic thalamic axons were capable of conducting action potentials to the cortex and some of them had already formed functional synapses there. Between birth and P3, when thalamic axons were completing their upward growth, a sink gradually appeared more superficially in the dense cortical plate and synchronously, a current source aroused in layer 5. Both sinks and sources completely disappeared after blocking synaptic transmission. The adult-like distribution of CSDs became apparent after P7. The component in layer 6 cannot be blocked completely after this age suggesting antidromic activation. This study demonstrated that cells of the lowest layers of the cortex received functional thalamic input before birth and that thalamocortical axons formed synapses with more superficial cells as they grew into the cortical plate.

  16. Building a synapse

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young-Jun; Serpe, Mihaela

    2013-01-01

    L-glutamate is the primary neurotransmitter at excitatory synapses in the vertebrate CNS and at arthropod neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). However, the molecular mechanisms that trigger the recruitment of glutamate receptors at the onset of synaptogenesis and promote their stabilization at postsynaptic densities remain poorly understood. We have reported the discovery of a novel, evolutionary conserved molecule, Neto, essential for clustering of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) at Drosophila NMJ. Neto is the first auxiliary subunit described in Drosophila and is the only non-channel subunit absolutely required for functional iGluRs. Here we review the role of Drosophila Neto in synapse assembly, its similarities with other Neto proteins and a new perspective on how glutamatergic synapses are physically assembled and stabilized. PMID:23680998

  17. Psychiatric risk factor ANK3/Ankyrin-G nanodomains regulate the structure and function of glutamatergic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Katharine R.; Kopeikina, Katherine J.; Fawcett-Patel, Jessica M.; Leaderbrand, Katherine; Gao, Ruoqi; Schürmann, Britta; Myczek, Kristoffer; Radulovic, Jelena; Swanson, Geoffrey T.; Penzes, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Summary Recent evidence implicates glutamatergic synapses as key pathogenic sites in psychiatric disorders. Common and rare variants in the ANK3 gene, encoding ankyrin-G, have been associated with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism. Here we demonstrate that ankyrin-G is integral to AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission and maintenance of spine morphology. Using super-resolution microscopy we find that ankyrin-G forms distinct nanodomain structures within the spine head and neck. At these sites, it modulates mushroom spine structure and function, likely as a perisynaptic scaffold and barrier within the spine neck. Neuronal activity promotes ankyrin-G accumulation in distinct spine subdomains, where it differentially regulates NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity. These data implicate subsynaptic nanodomains containing a major psychiatric risk molecule, ankyrin-G, as having location-specific functions, and opens directions for basic and translational investigation of psychiatric risk molecules. PMID:25374361

  18. Induction of long-term potentiation at perforant path dentate synapses does not affect place learning or memory.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, R J; Dringenberg, H C; Hoesing, J M

    1993-04-01

    In two experiments the authors failed to detect an effect of inducing bilateral, long-lasting synaptic potentiation at perforant path dentate synapses on spatial learning by rats in the Morris place navigation task. Daily sessions of high-frequency stimulation of perforant path axons produced large increases to an asymptotic level in population spike and field excitatory postsynaptic potential recorded in ipsilateral dentate gyrus. Place learning proceeded normally 24 hours after the last of 14 high-frequency stimulation sessions in rats that had previously mastered the procedural aspects of place navigation (Experiment 1) and in rats that were naive (Experiment 2).

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans rab-3 mutant synapses exhibit impaired function and are partially depleted of vesicles.

    PubMed

    Nonet, M L; Staunton, J E; Kilgard, M P; Fergestad, T; Hartwieg, E; Horvitz, H R; Jorgensen, E M; Meyer, B J

    1997-11-01

    Rab molecules regulate vesicular trafficking in many different exocytic and endocytic transport pathways in eukaryotic cells. In neurons, rab3 has been proposed to play a crucial role in regulating synaptic vesicle release. To elucidate the role of rab3 in synaptic transmission, we isolated and characterized Caenorhabditis elegans rab-3 mutants. Similar to the mouse rab3A mutants, these mutants survived and exhibited only mild behavioral abnormalities. In contrast to the mouse mutants, synaptic transmission was perturbed in these animals. Extracellular electrophysiological recordings revealed that synaptic transmission in the pharyngeal nervous system was impaired. Furthermore, rab-3 animals were resistant to the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb, suggesting that cholinergic transmission was generally depressed. Last, synaptic vesicle populations were redistributed in rab-3 mutants. In motor neurons, vesicle populations at synapses were depleted to 40% of normal levels, whereas in intersynaptic regions of the axon, vesicle populations were elevated. On the basis of the morphological defects at neuromuscular junctions, we postulate that RAB-3 may regulate recruitment of vesicles to the active zone or sequestration of vesicles near release sites.

  20. A Novel Topology of Proline-rich Transmembrane Protein 2 (PRRT2): HINTS FOR AN INTRACELLULAR FUNCTION AT THE SYNAPSE.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Pia; Sterlini, Bruno; Castroflorio, Enrico; Marte, Antonella; Onofri, Franco; Valtorta, Flavia; Maragliano, Luca; Corradi, Anna; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-03-18

    Proline-rich transmembrane protein 2 (PRRT2) has been identified as the single causative gene for a group of paroxysmal syndromes of infancy, including epilepsy, paroxysmal movement disorders, and migraine. On the basis of topology predictions, PRRT2 has been assigned to the recently characterized family of Dispanins, whose members share the two-transmembrane domain topology with a large N terminus and short C terminus oriented toward the outside of the cell. Because PRRT2 plays a role at the synapse, it is important to confirm the exact orientation of its N and C termini with respect to the plasma membrane to get clues regarding its possible function. Using a combination of different experimental approaches, including live immunolabeling, immunogold electron microscopy, surface biotinylation and computational modeling, we demonstrate a novel topology for this protein. PRRT2 is a type II transmembrane protein in which only the second hydrophobic segment spans the plasma membrane, whereas the first one is associated with the internal surface of the membrane and forms a helix-loop-helix structure without crossing it. Most importantly, the large proline-rich N-terminal domain is not exposed to the extracellular space but is localized intracellularly, and only the short C terminus is extracellular (N cyt/C exo topology). Accordingly, we show that PRRT2 interacts with the Src homology 3 domain-bearing protein Intersectin 1, an intracellular protein involved in synaptic vesicle cycling. These findings will contribute to the clarification of the role of PRRT2 at the synapse and the understanding of pathogenic mechanisms on the basis of PRRT2-related neurological disorders. PMID:26797119

  1. A Novel Topology of Proline-rich Transmembrane Protein 2 (PRRT2): HINTS FOR AN INTRACELLULAR FUNCTION AT THE SYNAPSE.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Pia; Sterlini, Bruno; Castroflorio, Enrico; Marte, Antonella; Onofri, Franco; Valtorta, Flavia; Maragliano, Luca; Corradi, Anna; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-03-18

    Proline-rich transmembrane protein 2 (PRRT2) has been identified as the single causative gene for a group of paroxysmal syndromes of infancy, including epilepsy, paroxysmal movement disorders, and migraine. On the basis of topology predictions, PRRT2 has been assigned to the recently characterized family of Dispanins, whose members share the two-transmembrane domain topology with a large N terminus and short C terminus oriented toward the outside of the cell. Because PRRT2 plays a role at the synapse, it is important to confirm the exact orientation of its N and C termini with respect to the plasma membrane to get clues regarding its possible function. Using a combination of different experimental approaches, including live immunolabeling, immunogold electron microscopy, surface biotinylation and computational modeling, we demonstrate a novel topology for this protein. PRRT2 is a type II transmembrane protein in which only the second hydrophobic segment spans the plasma membrane, whereas the first one is associated with the internal surface of the membrane and forms a helix-loop-helix structure without crossing it. Most importantly, the large proline-rich N-terminal domain is not exposed to the extracellular space but is localized intracellularly, and only the short C terminus is extracellular (N cyt/C exo topology). Accordingly, we show that PRRT2 interacts with the Src homology 3 domain-bearing protein Intersectin 1, an intracellular protein involved in synaptic vesicle cycling. These findings will contribute to the clarification of the role of PRRT2 at the synapse and the understanding of pathogenic mechanisms on the basis of PRRT2-related neurological disorders.

  2. ELKS controls the pool of readily releasable vesicles at excitatory synapses through its N-terminal coiled-coil domains.

    PubMed

    Held, Richard G; Liu, Changliang; Kaeser, Pascal S

    2016-06-02

    In a presynaptic nerve terminal, synaptic strength is determined by the pool of readily releasable vesicles (RRP) and the probability of release (P) of each RRP vesicle. These parameters are controlled at the active zone and vary across synapses, but how such synapse specific control is achieved is not understood. ELKS proteins are enriched at vertebrate active zones and enhance P at inhibitory hippocampal synapses, but ELKS functions at excitatory synapses are not known. Studying conditional knockout mice for ELKS, we find that ELKS enhances the RRP at excitatory synapses without affecting P. Surprisingly, ELKS C-terminal sequences, which interact with RIM, are dispensable for RRP enhancement. Instead, the N-terminal ELKS coiled-coil domains that bind to Liprin-α and Bassoon are necessary to control RRP. Thus, ELKS removal has differential, synapse-specific effects on RRP and P, and our findings establish important roles for ELKS N-terminal domains in synaptic vesicle priming.

  3. Transmission at the squid giant synapse was blocked by tetanus toxin by affecting synaptobrevin, a vesicle-bound protein.

    PubMed Central

    Llinás, R; Sugimori, M; Chu, D; Morita, M; Blasi, J; Herreros, J; Jahn, R; Marsal, J

    1994-01-01

    1. The effect of whole tetanus toxin (TeTX) and of its light chain (TeTX L-chain) on transmitter release was determined by presynaptic pressure-injection in the squid giant synapse. 2. The results indicate that whole TeTX does not modify transmission while the L-chain blocks transmission within 20-30 min. This block does not involve changes in the sodium or potassium conductances responsible for spike generation or the voltage-dependent presynaptic calcium current responsible for transmitter release. 3. Western blotting of protein fractions from the squid optic lobe demonstrated the presence of a protein which reacted with specific antibodies against mammalian synaptobrevin, a vesicular protein. In addition, this protein was enzymatically cleaved by the L-chain component of the toxin in a similar fashion to its mammalian counterpart. 4. These results demonstrate that TeTX L-chain toxin acts directly on a squid synaptobrevin and prevents synaptic release probably by interfering with the docking-fusion synaptic vesicles at the active zone. Images Figure 2 PMID:8071879

  4. Genetic Inhibition of CaMKII in Dorsal Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons Reduces Functional Excitatory Synapses and Enhances Intrinsic Excitability

    PubMed Central

    Klug, Jason R.; Mathur, Brian N.; Kash, Thomas L.; Wang, Hui-Dong; Matthews, Robert T.; Robison, A. J.; Anderson, Mark E.; Deutch, Ariel Y.; Lovinger, David M.; Colbran, Roger J.; Winder, Danny G.

    2012-01-01

    Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is abundant in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). CaMKII is dynamically regulated by changes in dopamine signaling, as occurs in Parkinson's disease as well as addiction. Although CaMKII has been extensively studied in the hippocampus where it regulates excitatory synaptic transmission, relatively little is known about how it modulates neuronal function in the striatum. Therefore, we examined the impact of selectively overexpressing an EGFP-fused CaMKII inhibitory peptide (EAC3I) in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) using a novel transgenic mouse model. EAC3I-expressing cells exhibited markedly decreased excitatory transmission, indicated by a decrease in the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). This decrease was not accompanied by changes in the probability of release, levels of glutamate at the synapse, or changes in dendritic spine density. CaMKII regulation of the AMPA receptor subunit GluA1 is a major means by which the kinase regulates neuronal function in the hippocampus. We found that the decrease in striatal excitatory transmission seen in the EAC3I mice is mimicked by deletion of GluA1. Further, while CaMKII inhibition decreased excitatory transmission onto MSNs, it increased their intrinsic excitability. These data suggest that CaMKII plays a critical role in setting the excitability rheostat of striatal MSNs by coordinating excitatory synaptic drive and the resulting depolarization response. PMID:23028932

  5. Placebo Sleep Affects Cognitive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Draganich, Christina; Erdal, Kristi

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Distinct circuit-dependent functions of presynaptic neurexin-3 at GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses.

    PubMed

    Aoto, Jason; Földy, Csaba; Ilcus, Silviana Maria Ciurea; Tabuchi, Katsuhiko; Südhof, Thomas C

    2015-07-01

    α- and β-neurexins are presynaptic cell-adhesion molecules whose general importance for synaptic transmission is well documented. The specific functions of neurexins, however, remain largely unknown because no conditional neurexin knockouts are available and targeting all α- and β-neurexins produced by a particular gene is challenging. Using newly generated constitutive and conditional knockout mice that target all neurexin-3α and neurexin-3β isoforms, we found that neurexin-3 was differentially required for distinct synaptic functions in different brain regions. Specifically, we found that, in cultured neurons and acute slices of the hippocampus, extracellular sequences of presynaptic neurexin-3 mediated trans-synaptic regulation of postsynaptic AMPA receptors. In cultured neurons and acute slices of the olfactory bulb, however, intracellular sequences of presynaptic neurexin-3 were selectively required for GABA release. Thus, our data indicate that neurexin-3 performs distinct essential pre- or postsynaptic functions in different brain regions by distinct mechanisms.

  7. Lim kinase, a bi-functional effector in injury-induced structural plasticity of synapses

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Weiwei; Townes-Anderson, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    The structural plasticity of synaptic terminals contributes to normal nervous system function but also to neural degeneration, in the form of terminal retraction, and regeneration, due to process growth. Synaptic morphological change is mediated through the actin cytoskeleton, which is enriched in axonal and dendritic terminals. Whereas the three RhoGTPases, RhoA, Cdc42 and Rac, function as upstream signaling nodes sensitive to extracellular stimuli, LIMK-cofilin activity serves as a common downstream effector to up-regulate actin turnover, which is necessary for both polymerization and depolymerization. The dual effects of LIMK activity make LIMK a potential target of therapeutic intervention for injury-induced synaptic plasticity, as LIMK inhibition can stabilize actin cytoskeleton and preserve existing structure. This therapeutic benefit of LIMK inhibition has been demonstrated in animal models of injury-induced axon retraction and neuritic sprouting by rod photoreceptors. A better understanding of the regulation of LIMK-cofilin activity and the interaction with the microtubular cytoskeleton may open new ways to promote synaptic regeneration that can benefit neuronal degenerative disease.

  8. Lim kinase, a bi-functional effector in injury-induced structural plasticity of synapses

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Weiwei; Townes-Anderson, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    The structural plasticity of synaptic terminals contributes to normal nervous system function but also to neural degeneration, in the form of terminal retraction, and regeneration, due to process growth. Synaptic morphological change is mediated through the actin cytoskeleton, which is enriched in axonal and dendritic terminals. Whereas the three RhoGTPases, RhoA, Cdc42 and Rac, function as upstream signaling nodes sensitive to extracellular stimuli, LIMK-cofilin activity serves as a common downstream effector to up-regulate actin turnover, which is necessary for both polymerization and depolymerization. The dual effects of LIMK activity make LIMK a potential target of therapeutic intervention for injury-induced synaptic plasticity, as LIMK inhibition can stabilize actin cytoskeleton and preserve existing structure. This therapeutic benefit of LIMK inhibition has been demonstrated in animal models of injury-induced axon retraction and neuritic sprouting by rod photoreceptors. A better understanding of the regulation of LIMK-cofilin activity and the interaction with the microtubular cytoskeleton may open new ways to promote synaptic regeneration that can benefit neuronal degenerative disease. PMID:27630670

  9. Lim kinase, a bi-functional effector in injury-induced structural plasticity of synapses.

    PubMed

    Wang, Weiwei; Townes-Anderson, Ellen

    2016-07-01

    The structural plasticity of synaptic terminals contributes to normal nervous system function but also to neural degeneration, in the form of terminal retraction, and regeneration, due to process growth. Synaptic morphological change is mediated through the actin cytoskeleton, which is enriched in axonal and dendritic terminals. Whereas the three RhoGTPases, RhoA, Cdc42 and Rac, function as upstream signaling nodes sensitive to extracellular stimuli, LIMK-cofilin activity serves as a common downstream effector to up-regulate actin turnover, which is necessary for both polymerization and depolymerization. The dual effects of LIMK activity make LIMK a potential target of therapeutic intervention for injury-induced synaptic plasticity, as LIMK inhibition can stabilize actin cytoskeleton and preserve existing structure. This therapeutic benefit of LIMK inhibition has been demonstrated in animal models of injury-induced axon retraction and neuritic sprouting by rod photoreceptors. A better understanding of the regulation of LIMK-cofilin activity and the interaction with the microtubular cytoskeleton may open new ways to promote synaptic regeneration that can benefit neuronal degenerative disease. PMID:27630670

  10. Age-related changes in cerebellar and hypothalamic function accompany non-microglial immune gene expression, altered synapse organization, and excitatory amino acid neurotransmission deficits

    PubMed Central

    Bonasera, Stephen J.; Arikkath, Jyothi; Boska, Michael D.; Chaudoin, Tammy R.; DeKorver, Nicholas W.; Goulding, Evan H.; Hoke, Traci A.; Mojtahedzedah, Vahid; Reyelts, Crystal D.; Sajja, Balasrinivasa; Schenk, A. Katrin; Tecott, Laurence H.; Volden, Tiffany A.

    2016-01-01

    We describe age-related molecular and neuronal changes that disrupt mobility or energy balance based on brain region and genetic background. Compared to young mice, aged C57BL/6 mice exhibit marked locomotor (but not energy balance) impairments. In contrast, aged BALB mice exhibit marked energy balance (but not locomotor) impairments. Age-related changes in cerebellar or hypothalamic gene expression accompany these phenotypes. Aging evokes upregulation of immune pattern recognition receptors and cell adhesion molecules. However, these changes do not localize to microglia, the major CNS immunocyte. Consistent with a neuronal role, there is a marked age-related increase in excitatory synapses over the cerebellum and hypothalamus. Functional imaging of these regions is consistent with age-related synaptic impairments. These studies suggest that aging reactivates a developmental program employed during embryogenesis where immune molecules guide synapse formation and pruning. Renewed activity in this program may disrupt excitatory neurotransmission, causing significant behavioral deficits. PMID:27689748

  11. Chronic ethanol exposure decreases CB1 receptor function at GABAergic synapses in the rat central amygdala.

    PubMed

    Varodayan, Florence P; Soni, Neeraj; Bajo, Michal; Luu, George; Madamba, Samuel G; Schweitzer, Paul; Parsons, Loren H; Roberto, Marisa

    2016-07-01

    The endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) influence the acute response to ethanol and the development of tolerance, dependence and relapse. Chronic alcohol exposure alters eCB levels and Type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1 ) expression and function in brain regions associated with addiction. CB1 inhibits GABA release, and GABAergic dysregulation in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is critical in the transition to alcohol dependence. We investigated possible disruptions in CB1 signaling of rat CeA GABAergic transmission following intermittent ethanol exposure. In the CeA of alcohol-naive rats, CB1 agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) decreased the frequency of spontaneous and miniature GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (s/mIPSCs). This effect was prevented by CB1 antagonism, but not Type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2 ) antagonism. After 2-3 weeks of intermittent ethanol exposure, these WIN inhibitory effects were attenuated, suggesting ethanol-induced impairments in CB1 function. The CB1 antagonist AM251 revealed a tonic eCB/CB1 control of GABAergic transmission in the alcohol-naive CeA that was occluded by calcium chelation in the postsynaptic cell. Chronic ethanol exposure abolished this tonic CB1 influence on mIPSC, but not sIPSC, frequency. Finally, acute ethanol increased CeA GABA release in both naive and ethanol-exposed rats. Although CB1 activation prevented this effect, the AM251- and ethanol-induced GABA release were additive, ruling out a direct participation of CB1 signaling in the ethanol effect. Collectively, these observations demonstrate an important CB1 influence on CeA GABAergic transmission and indicate that the CeA is particularly sensitive to alcohol-induced disruptions of CB1 signaling.

  12. Acute and chronic ethanol exposure differentially regulate CB1 receptor function at glutamatergic synapses in the rat basolateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Stacey L; Alexander, Nancy J; Bluett, Rebecca J; Patel, Sachin; McCool, Brian A

    2016-09-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) system has been suggested to play a key role in ethanol preference and intake, the acute effects of ethanol, and in the development of withdrawal symptoms following ethanol dependence. Ethanol-dependent alterations in glutamatergic signaling within the lateral/basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) are critical for the development and expression of withdrawal-induced anxiety. Notably, the eCB system significantly regulates both glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic activity within the BLA. Chronic ethanol exposure significantly alters eCB system expression within regions critical to the expression of emotionality and anxiety-related behavior, including the BLA. Here, we investigated specific interactions between the BLA eCB system and its functional regulation of synaptic activity during acute and chronic ethanol exposure. In tissue from ethanol naïve-rats, a prolonged acute ethanol exposure caused a dose dependent inhibition of glutamatergic synaptic activity via a presynaptic mechanism that was occluded by CB1 antagonist/inverse agonists SR141716a and AM251. Importantly, this acute ethanol inhibition was attenuated following 10 day chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE). CIE exposure also significantly down-regulated CB1-mediated presynaptic inhibition at glutamatergic afferent terminals but spared CB1-inhibition of GABAergic synapses arising from local inhibitory-interneurons. CIE also significantly elevated BLA N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA or anandamide) levels and decreased CB1 receptor protein levels. Collectively, these data suggest a dynamic regulation of the BLA eCB system by acute and chronic ethanol.

  13. Mechanisms and functional roles of glutamatergic synapse diversity in a cerebellar circuit

    PubMed Central

    Zampini, Valeria; Liu, Jian K; Diana, Marco A; Maldonado, Paloma P; Brunel, Nicolas; Dieudonné, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic currents display a large degree of heterogeneity of their temporal characteristics, but the functional role of such heterogeneities remains unknown. We investigated in rat cerebellar slices synaptic currents in Unipolar Brush Cells (UBCs), which generate intrinsic mossy fibers relaying vestibular inputs to the cerebellar cortex. We show that UBCs respond to sinusoidal modulations of their sensory input with heterogeneous amplitudes and phase shifts. Experiments and modeling indicate that this variability results both from the kinetics of synaptic glutamate transients and from the diversity of postsynaptic receptors. While phase inversion is produced by an mGluR2-activated outward conductance in OFF-UBCs, the phase delay of ON UBCs is caused by a late rebound current resulting from AMPAR recovery from desensitization. Granular layer network modeling indicates that phase dispersion of UBC responses generates diverse phase coding in the granule cell population, allowing climbing-fiber-driven Purkinje cell learning at arbitrary phases of the vestibular input. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15872.001 PMID:27642013

  14. Learning Discloses Abnormal Structural and Functional Plasticity at Hippocampal Synapses in the APP23 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middei, Silvia; Roberto, Anna; Berretta, Nicola; Panico, Maria Beatrice; Lista, Simone; Bernardi, Giorgio; Mercuri, Nicola B.; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; Nistico, Robert

    2010-01-01

    B6-Tg/Thy1APP23Sdz (APP23) mutant mice exhibit neurohistological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease but show intact basal hippocampal neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Here, we examine whether spatial learning differently modifies the structural and electrophysiological properties of hippocampal synapses in APP23 and wild-type mice. While…

  15. Preservation of VGLUT1 synapses on ventral calbindin-immunoreactive interneurons and normal locomotor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Thirumalai, Vatsala; Behrend, Rachel M.; Birineni, Swetha; Liu, Wenfang; Blivis, Dvir

    2013-01-01

    Dysfunction in sensorimotor synapses is one of the earliest pathological changes observed in a mouse model [spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)Δ7] of spinal muscular atrophy. Here, we examined the density of proprioceptive and cholinergic synapses on calbindin-immunoreactive interneurons ventral to the lateral motor column. This population includes inhibitory Renshaw interneurons that are known to receive synaptic input from muscle spindle afferents and from motoneurons. At postnatal day (P)13, near the end stage of the disease, the somatic area of calbindin+ neurons in the L1/L2 and L5/L6 segments was reduced in SMAΔ7 mice compared with controls. In addition, the number and density of terminals expressing the glutamate vesicular transporter (VGLUT1) and the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) were increased on calbindin+ cells in the L1-L2 but not in the L5-L6 segments of SMAΔ7 mice. In addition, the isolated spinal cord of SMA mice was able to generate locomotor-like activity at P4-P6 in the presence of a drug cocktail or in response to dorsal root stimulation. These results argue against a generalized loss of proprioceptive input to spinal circuits in SMA and suggest that the loss of proprioceptive synapses on motoneurons may be secondary to motoneuron pathology. The increased number of VGLUT1+ and VAChT+ synapses on calbindin+ neurons in the L1/L2 segments may be the result of homeostatic mechanisms. Finally, we have shown that abnormal locomotor network function is unlikely to account for the motor deficits observed in SMA mice at P4–6. PMID:23136344

  16. Rare variants analysis of neurexin-1β in autism reveals a novel start codon mutation affecting protein levels at synapses.

    PubMed

    Camacho-Garcia, Rafael J; Hervás, Amaia; Toma, Claudio; Balmaña, Noemí; Cormand, Bru; Martinez-Mir, Amalia; Scholl, Francisco G

    2013-12-01

    Neurexins are synaptic plasma membrane proteins encoded by three genes (NRXN1, -2, -3) with alternative promoters. Mutations in neurexin genes have been identified in different neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. Recently, two point mutations altering the translation initiation site of NRXN1β (c.-3G>T and c.3G>T) have been described in patients with autism and mental retardation. In this study, we analyzed the NRXN1β gene in a sample of 153 patients with autism. We report the identification of a novel mutation, c.3G>A (p.Met1), affecting the translation initiation site. Expression analysis showed that the c.3G>A mutation switches the translation start site of NRXN1β to an in-frame downstream methionine and decreases synaptic levels of the mutant protein in cultured neurons. These data reinforce a role for synaptic defects of NRXN1β in neurodevelopmental disorders.

  17. SynCAM 1 Adhesion Dynamically Regulates Synapse Number and Impacts Plasticity and Learning

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, Elissa M.; Krupp, Alexander J.; de Arce, Karen Perez; Ghosh, Ananda K.; Fogel, Adam I.; Boucard, Antony; Südhof, Thomas C.; Stein, Valentin; Biederer, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Summary Synaptogenesis is required for wiring neuronal circuits in the developing brain and continues to remodel adult networks. However, the molecules organizing synapse development and maintenance in vivo remain incompletely understood. We now demonstrate that the immunoglobulin adhesion molecule SynCAM 1 dynamically alters synapse number and plasticity. Overexpression of SynCAM 1 in transgenic mice promotes excitatory synapse number, while loss of SynCAM 1 results in fewer excitatory synapses. By turning off SynCAM 1 overexpression in transgenic brains, we show that it maintains the newly induced synapses. SynCAM 1 also functions at mature synapses to alter their plasticity by regulating long-term depression. Consistent with these effects on neuronal connectivity, SynCAM 1 expression affects spatial learning, with knock-out mice learning better. The reciprocal effects of increased SynCAM 1 expression and loss reveal that this adhesion molecule contributes to the regulation of synapse number and plasticity, and impacts how neuronal networks undergo activity-dependent changes. PMID:21145003

  18. The Human Natural Killer Cell Immune Synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Daniel M.; Chiu, Isaac; Fassett, Marlys; Cohen, George B.; Mandelboim, Ofer; Strominger, Jack L.

    1999-12-01

    Inhibitory killer Ig-like receptors (KIR) at the surface of natural killer (NK) cells induced clustering of HLA-C at the contacting surface of target cells. In this manner, inhibitory immune synapses were formed as human NK cells surveyed target cells. At target/NK cell synapses, HLA-C/KIR distributed into rings around central patches of intercellular adhesion molecule-1/lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1, the opposite orientation to mature murine T cell-activating synapses. This organization of protein was stable for at least 20 min. Cells could support multiple synapses simultaneously, and clusters of HLA-C moved as NK cells crawled over target cells. Clustering required a divalent metal cation, explaining how metal chelators inhibit KIR function. Surprisingly, however, formation of inhibitory synapses was unaffected by ATP depletion and the cytoskeletal inhibitors, colchicine and cytochalsins B and D. Clearly, supramolecular organization within plasma membranes is critical for NK cell immunosurveillance.

  19. Optically excited synapse for neural networks.

    PubMed

    Boyd, G D

    1987-07-15

    What can optics with its promise of parallelism do for neural networks which require matrix multipliers? An all optical approach requires optical logic devices which are still in their infancy. An alternative is to retain electronic logic while optically addressing the synapse matrix. This paper considers several versions of an optically addressed neural network compatible with VLSI that could be fabricated with the synapse connection unspecified. This optical matrix multiplier circuit is compared to an all electronic matrix multiplier. For the optical version a synapse consisting of back-to-back photodiodes is found to have a suitable i-v characteristic for optical matrix multiplication (a linear region) plus a clipping or nonlinear region as required for neural networks. Four photodiodes per synapse are required. The strength of the synapse connection is controlled by the optical power and is thus an adjustable parameter. The synapse network can be programmed in various ways such as a shadow mask of metal, imaged mask (static), or light valve or an acoustooptic scanned laser beam or array of beams (dynamic). A milliwatt from LEDs or lasers is adequate power. The neuron has a linear transfer function and is either a summing amplifier, in which case the synapse signal is current, or an integrator, in which case the synapse signal is charge, the choice of which depends on the programming mode. Optical addressing and settling times of microseconds are anticipated. Electronic neural networks using single-value resistor synapses or single-bit programmable synapses have been demonstrated in the high-gain region of discrete single-value feedback. As an alternative to these networks and the above proposed optical synapses, an electronic analog-voltage vector matrix multiplier is considered using MOSFETS as the variable conductance in CMOS VLSI. It is concluded that a shadow mask addressed (static) optical neural network is promising. PMID:20489950

  20. Functional alterations in gut contractility after connexin36 ablation and evidence for gap junctions forming electrical synapses between nitrergic enteric neurons

    PubMed Central

    Nagy, James Imre; Urena-Ramirez, Viridiana; Ghia, Jean-Eric

    2014-01-01

    Neurons in the enteric nervous system utilize numerous neurotransmitters to orchestrate rhythmic gut smooth muscle contractions. We examined whether electrical synapses formed by gap junctions containing connexin36 also contribute to communication between enteric neurons in mouse colon. Spontaneous contractility properties and responses to electrical field stimulation and cholinergic agonist were altered in gut from connexin36 knockout vs. wild-type mice. Immunofluorescence revealed punctate labelling of connexin36 that was localized at appositions between somata of enteric neurons immunopositive for the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. There is indication for a possible functional role of gap junctions between inhibitory nitrergic enteric neurons. PMID:24548563

  1. Coexistence of glutamatergic spine synapses and shaft synapses in substantia nigra dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Miae; Bum Um, Ki; Jang, Jinyoung; Jin Kim, Hyun; Cho, Hana; Chung, Sungkwon; Kyu Park, Myoung

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra have long been believed to have multiple aspiny dendrites which receive many glutamatergic synaptic inputs from several regions of the brain. But, here, using high-resolution two-photon confocal microscopy in the mouse brain slices, we found a substantial number of common dendritic spines in the nigral dopamine neurons including thin, mushroom, and stubby types of spines. However, the number of dendritic spines of the dopamine neurons was approximately five times lower than that of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Immunostaining and morphological analysis revealed that glutamatergic shaft synapses were present two times more than spine synapses. Using local two-photon glutamate uncaging techniques, we confirmed that shaft synapses and spine synapses had both AMPA and NMDA receptors, but the AMPA/NMDA current ratios differed. The evoked postsynaptic potentials of spine synapses showed lower amplitudes but longer half-widths than those of shaft synapses. Therefore, we provide the first evidence that the midbrain dopamine neurons have two morphologically and functionally distinct types of glutamatergic synapses, spine synapses and shaft synapses, on the same dendrite. This peculiar organization could be a new basis for unraveling many physiological and pathological functions of the midbrain dopamine neurons. PMID:26435058

  2. Shaping inhibition: activity dependent structural plasticity of GABAergic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Flores, Carmen E.; Méndez, Pablo

    2014-01-01

    Inhibitory transmission through the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) shapes network activity in the mammalian cerebral cortex by filtering synaptic incoming information and dictating the activity of principal cells. The incredibly diverse population of cortical neurons that use GABA as neurotransmitter shows an equally diverse range of mechanisms that regulate changes in the strength of GABAergic synaptic transmission and allow them to dynamically follow and command the activity of neuronal ensembles. Similarly to glutamatergic synaptic transmission, activity-dependent functional changes in inhibitory neurotransmission are accompanied by alterations in GABAergic synapse structure that range from morphological reorganization of postsynaptic density to de novo formation and elimination of inhibitory contacts. Here we review several aspects of structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses, including its induction by different forms of neuronal activity, behavioral and sensory experience and the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved. We discuss the functional consequences of GABAergic synapse structural plasticity for information processing and memory formation in view of the heterogenous nature of the structural plasticity phenomena affecting inhibitory synapses impinging on somatic and dendritic compartments of cortical and hippocampal neurons. PMID:25386117

  3. Shaping inhibition: activity dependent structural plasticity of GABAergic synapses.

    PubMed

    Flores, Carmen E; Méndez, Pablo

    2014-01-01

    Inhibitory transmission through the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) shapes network activity in the mammalian cerebral cortex by filtering synaptic incoming information and dictating the activity of principal cells. The incredibly diverse population of cortical neurons that use GABA as neurotransmitter shows an equally diverse range of mechanisms that regulate changes in the strength of GABAergic synaptic transmission and allow them to dynamically follow and command the activity of neuronal ensembles. Similarly to glutamatergic synaptic transmission, activity-dependent functional changes in inhibitory neurotransmission are accompanied by alterations in GABAergic synapse structure that range from morphological reorganization of postsynaptic density to de novo formation and elimination of inhibitory contacts. Here we review several aspects of structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses, including its induction by different forms of neuronal activity, behavioral and sensory experience and the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved. We discuss the functional consequences of GABAergic synapse structural plasticity for information processing and memory formation in view of the heterogenous nature of the structural plasticity phenomena affecting inhibitory synapses impinging on somatic and dendritic compartments of cortical and hippocampal neurons. PMID:25386117

  4. Zinc-Induced Polymerization of Killer-Cell Ig-like Receptor into Filaments Promotes Its Inhibitory Function at Cytotoxic Immunological Synapses.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Santosh; Rajagopalan, Sumati; Sarkar, Pabak; Dorward, David W; Peterson, Mary E; Liao, Hsien-Shun; Guillermier, Christelle; Steinhauser, Matthew L; Vogel, Steven S; Long, Eric O

    2016-04-01

    The inhibitory function of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) that bind HLA-C and block activation of human natural killer (NK) cells is dependent on zinc. We report that zinc induced the assembly of soluble KIR into filamentous polymers, as detected by electron microscopy, which depolymerized after zinc chelation. Similar KIR filaments were isolated from lysates of cells treated with zinc, and membrane protrusions enriched in zinc were detected on whole cells by scanning electron microscopy and imaging mass spectrometry. Two independent mutations in the extracellular domain of KIR, away from the HLA-C binding site, impaired zinc-driven polymerization and inhibitory function. KIR filaments formed spontaneously, without the addition of zinc, at functional inhibitory immunological synapses of NK cells with HLA-C(+) cells. Adding to the recent paradigm of signal transduction through higher order molecular assemblies, zinc-induced polymerization of inhibitory KIR represents an unusual mode of signaling by a receptor at the cell surface.

  5. NMDA receptor currents suppress synapse formation on sprouting axons in vivo.

    PubMed

    Colonnese, Matthew T; Zhao, Jian-Ping; Constantine-Paton, Martha

    2005-02-01

    NMDA receptors (NMDARs) play an important role in the structural maintenance and functional strength of synapses. The causal relationship between these anatomical and functional roles is poorly defined. Using quantitative confocal microscopy, synaptic vesicle immunoreactivity, and differential label of retinal projections, we measured axon volume and synapse density along ipsilateral retinal axons (ipsi axons) sprouting into the superficial visual layers of the superior colliculus (sSC) deafferented by a contralateral retinal lesion (a scotoma) 8 d earlier. When retinal lesions were made at postnatal day 6 (P6), glutamatergic synaptic currents on neurons within the scotoma were significantly reduced. Both ipsi axon sprouting and synapse density were increased by chronic d-AP-5 antagonism of NMDARs. Conversely, ipsi axon sprouting and synapse density were reduced by chronic exposure to the agonist, NMDA, known to functionally depress glutamate transmission in this system. After P11 lesions, however, NMDAR blockade had no effect on sprouting or synapse density. Developmental changes in NMDAR current kinetics could not account for this difference in the structural effects of NMDAR function. Also, synaptic current frequencies within the scotoma were not affected after the P11 lesions. The corticocollicular projection matures during the P11 survival interval and, as indicated by previous work, it is a source of competition for synaptic space and probably of maintained activity in the older sSC. Thus, our results suggest that during early development, NMDAR currents predominantly destabilize nascent synapses. As the neuropil matures, however, competition for synaptic space suppresses axon sprouting and synapse formation regardless of NMDAR function.

  6. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Won-Suk; Clarke, Laura E.; Wang, Gordon X.; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Sher, Alexander; Chakraborty, Chandrani; Joung, Julia; Foo, Lynette C.; Thompson, Andrew; Chen, Chinfei; Smith, Stephen J.; Barres, Ben A.

    2013-12-01

    To achieve its precise neural connectivity, the developing mammalian nervous system undergoes extensive activity-dependent synapse remodelling. Recently, microglial cells have been shown to be responsible for a portion of synaptic pruning, but the remaining mechanisms remain unknown. Here we report a new role for astrocytes in actively engulfing central nervous system synapses. This process helps to mediate synapse elimination, requires the MEGF10 and MERTK phagocytic pathways, and is strongly dependent on neuronal activity. Developing mice deficient in both astrocyte pathways fail to refine their retinogeniculate connections normally and retain excess functional synapses. Finally, we show that in the adult mouse brain, astrocytes continuously engulf both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. These studies reveal a novel role for astrocytes in mediating synapse elimination in the developing and adult brain, identify MEGF10 and MERTK as critical proteins in the synapse remodelling underlying neural circuit refinement, and have important implications for understanding learning and memory as well as neurological disease processes.

  7. Structure-function analyses of tyrosine phosphatase PTP69D in giant fiber synapse formation of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Lee, LaTasha H.; Godenschwege, Tanja A.

    2014-01-01

    PTP69D is a receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase (RPTP) with two intracellular catalytic domains (Cat1 and Cat2) and has been shown to play a role in axon guidance of embryonic motoneurons as well as targeting of photoreceptor neurons in the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster. Here, we characterized the developmental role of PTP69D in the giant fiber (GF) neurons, two interneurons in the central nervous system (CNS) that control the escape response of the fly. Our studies revealed that PTP69D has a function in synaptic terminal growth in the CNS. We found that missense mutations in the first immunoglobulin (Ig) domain and in the Cat1 domain, present inPtp69D10 and Ptp69D20 mutants, respectively, did not affect axon guidance or targeting but resulted in stunted terminal growth of the GFs. Cell autonomous rescue experiments demonstrated a function for the Cat1 and the first Ig domain of PTP69D in the GFs but not in its postsynaptic target neurons. In addition, complementation studies and structure-function analyses revealed that for GF terminal growth Cat1 function of PTP69D requires the immunoglobulin and the Cat2 domains, but not the fibronectin III or the membrane proximal region domains. In contrast, the fibronectin III but not the immunoglobulin domains were previously shown to be essential for axon targeting of photoreceptor neurons. Thus, our studies uncover a novel role for PTP69D in synaptic terminal growth in the CNS that is mechanistically distinct from its function in photoreceptor targeting. PMID:25433167

  8. Slitrk Missense Mutations Associated with Neuropsychiatric Disorders Distinctively Impair Slitrk Trafficking and Synapse Formation

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Hyeyeon; Han, Kyung Ah; Won, Seoung Youn; Kim, Ho Min; Lee, Young-Ho; Ko, Jaewon; Um, Ji Won

    2016-01-01

    Slit- and Trk-like (Slitrks) are a six-member family of synapse organizers that control excitatory and inhibitory synapse formation by forming trans-synaptic adhesions with LAR receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). Intriguingly, genetic mutations of Slitrks have been associated with a multitude of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, nothing is known about the neuronal and synaptic consequences of these mutations. Here, we report the structural and functional effects on synapses of various rare de novo mutations identified in patients with schizophrenia or Tourette syndrome. A number of single amino acid substitutions in Slitrk1 (N400I or T418S) or Slitrk4 (V206I or I578V) reduced their surface expression levels. These substitutions impaired glycosylation of Slitrks expressed in HEK293T cells, caused retention of Slitrks in the endoplasmic reticulum and cis-Golgi compartment in COS-7 cells and neurons, and abolished Slitrk binding to PTPδ. Furthermore, these substitutions eliminated the synapse-inducing activity of Slitrks, abolishing their functional effects on synapse density in cultured neurons. Strikingly, a valine-to-methionine mutation in Slitrk2 (V89M) compromised synapse formation activity in cultured neuron, without affecting surface transport, expression, or synapse-inducing activity in coculture assays. Similar deleterious effects were observed upon introduction of the corresponding valine-to-methionine mutation into Slitrk1 (V85M), suggesting that this conserved valine residue plays a key role in maintaining the synaptic functions of Slitrks. Collectively, these data indicate that inactivation of distinct cellular mechanisms caused by specific Slitrk dysfunctions may underlie Slitrk-associated neuropsychiatric disorders in humans, and provide a robust cellular readout for the development of knowledge-based therapies. PMID:27812321

  9. Communication Breakdown: The Impact of Ageing on Synapse Structure

    PubMed Central

    Petralia, Ronald S.; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired synaptic plasticity is implicated in the functional decline of the nervous system associated with ageing. Understanding the structure of ageing synapses is essential to understanding the functions of these synapses and their role in the ageing nervous system. In this review, we summarize studies on ageing synapses in vertebrates and invertebrates, focusing on changes in morphology and ultrastructure. We cover different parts of the nervous system, including the brain, the retina, the cochlea, and the neuromuscular junction. The morphological characteristics of aged synapses could shed light on the underlying molecular changes and their functional consequences. PMID:24495392

  10. Structure of excitatory synapses and GABAA receptor localization at inhibitory synapses are regulated by neuroplastin-65.

    PubMed

    Herrera-Molina, Rodrigo; Sarto-Jackson, Isabella; Montenegro-Venegas, Carolina; Heine, Martin; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Seidenbecher, Constanze I; Beesley, Philip W; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Montag, Dirk

    2014-03-28

    Formation, maintenance, and activity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses are essential for neuronal network function. Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are crucially involved in these processes. The CAM neuroplastin-65 (Np65) highly expressed during periods of synapse formation and stabilization is present at the pre- and postsynaptic membranes. Np65 can translocate into synapses in response to electrical stimulation and it interacts with subtypes of GABAA receptors in inhibitory synapses. Here, we report that in the murine hippocampus and in hippocampal primary culture, neurons of the CA1 region and the dentate gyrus (DG) express high Np65 levels, whereas expression in CA3 neurons is lower. In neuroplastin-deficient (Np(-/-)) mice the number of excitatory synapses in CA1 and DG, but not CA3 regions is reduced. Notably this picture is mirrored in mature Np(-/-) hippocampal cultures or in mature CA1 and DG wild-type (Np(+/+)) neurons treated with a function-blocking recombinant Np65-Fc extracellular fragment. Although the number of GABAergic synapses was unchanged in Np(-/-) neurons or in mature Np65-Fc-treated Np(+/+) neurons, the ratio of excitatory to inhibitory synapses was significantly lower in Np(-/-) cultures. Furthermore, GABAA receptor composition was altered at inhibitory synapses in Np(-/-) neurons as the α1 to α2 GABAA receptor subunit ratio was increased. Changes of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic function in Np(-/-) neurons were confirmed evaluating the presynaptic release function and using patch clamp recording. These data demonstrate that Np65 is an important regulator of the number and function of synapses in the hippocampus.

  11. Loss of MAP function leads to hippocampal synapse loss and deficits in the Morris Water Maze with aging.

    PubMed

    Ma, Qiu-Lan; Zuo, Xiaohong; Yang, Fusheng; Ubeda, Oliver J; Gant, Dana J; Alaverdyan, Mher; Kiosea, Nicolae C; Nazari, Sean; Chen, Ping Ping; Nothias, Fatiha; Chan, Piu; Teng, Edmond; Frautschy, Sally A; Cole, Greg M

    2014-05-21

    Hyperphosphorylation and accumulation of tau aggregates are prominent features in tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease, but the impact of loss of tau function on synaptic and cognitive deficits remains poorly understood. We report that old (19-20 months; OKO) but not middle-aged (8-9 months; MKO) tau knock-out mice develop Morris Water Maze (MWM) deficits and loss of hippocampal acetylated α-tubulin and excitatory synaptic proteins. Mild motor deficits and reduction in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the substantia nigra were present by middle age, but did not affect MWM performance, whereas OKO mice showed MWM deficits paralleling hippocampal deficits. Deletion of tau, a microtubule-associated protein (MAP), resulted in increased levels of MAP1A, MAP1B, and MAP2 in MKO, followed by loss of MAP2 and MAP1B in OKO. Hippocampal synaptic deficits in OKO mice were partially corrected with dietary supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and both MWM and synaptic deficits were fully corrected by combining DHA with α-lipoic acid (ALA), which also prevented TH loss. DHA or DHA/ALA restored phosphorylated and total GSK3β and attenuated hyperactivation of the tau C-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) while increasing MAP1B, dephosphorylated (active) MAP2, and acetylated α-tubulin, suggesting improved microtubule stability and maintenance of active compensatory MAPs. Our results implicate the loss of MAP function in age-associated hippocampal deficits and identify a safe dietary intervention, rescuing both MAP function and TH in OKO mice. Therefore, in addition to microtubule-stabilizing therapeutic drugs, preserving or restoring compensatory MAP function may be a useful new prevention strategy.

  12. Transmission, Development, and Plasticity of Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kathryn P.

    2015-01-01

    Chemical synapses are sites of contact and information transfer between a neuron and its partner cell. Each synapse is a specialized junction, where the presynaptic cell assembles machinery for the release of neurotransmitter, and the postsynaptic cell assembles components to receive and integrate this signal. Synapses also exhibit plasticity, during which synaptic function and/or structure are modified in response to activity. With a robust panel of genetic, imaging, and electrophysiology approaches, and strong evolutionary conservation of molecular components, Drosophila has emerged as an essential model system for investigating the mechanisms underlying synaptic assembly, function, and plasticity. We will discuss techniques for studying synapses in Drosophila, with a focus on the larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ), a well-established model glutamatergic synapse. Vesicle fusion, which underlies synaptic release of neurotransmitters, has been well characterized at this synapse. In addition, studies of synaptic assembly and organization of active zones and postsynaptic densities have revealed pathways that coordinate those events across the synaptic cleft. We will also review modes of synaptic growth and plasticity at the fly NMJ, and discuss how pre- and postsynaptic cells communicate to regulate plasticity in response to activity. PMID:26447126

  13. Presenilin/γ-secretase regulates neurexin processing at synapses.

    PubMed

    Saura, Carlos A; Servián-Morilla, Emilia; Scholl, Francisco G

    2011-04-29

    Neurexins are a large family of neuronal plasma membrane proteins, which function as trans-synaptic receptors during synaptic differentiation. The binding of presynaptic neurexins to postsynaptic partners, such as neuroligins, has been proposed to participate in a signaling pathway that regulates synapse formation/stabilization. The identification of mutations in neurexin genes associated with autism and mental retardation suggests that dysfunction of neurexins may underlie synaptic defects associated with brain disorders. However, the mechanisms that regulate neurexin function at synapses are still unclear. Here, we show that neurexins are proteolytically processed by presenilins (PS), the catalytic components of the γ-secretase complex that mediates the intramembraneous cleavage of several type I membrane proteins. Inhibition of PS/γ-secretase by using pharmacological and genetic approaches induces a drastic accumulation of neurexin C-terminal fragments (CTFs) in cultured rat hippocampal neurons and mouse brain. Neurexin-CTFs accumulate mainly at the presynaptic terminals of PS conditional double knockout (PS cDKO) mice lacking both PS genes in glutamatergic neurons of the forebrain. The fact that loss of PS function enhances neurexin accumulation at glutamatergic terminals mediated by neuroligin-1 suggests that PS regulate the processing of neurexins at glutamatergic synapses. Interestingly, presenilin 1 (PS1) is recruited to glutamatergic terminals mediated by neuroligin-1, thus concentrating PS1 at terminals containing β-neurexins. Furthermore, familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD)-linked PS1 mutations differentially affect β-neurexin-1 processing. Expression of PS1 M146L and PS1 H163R mutants in PS-/- cells rescues the processing of β-neurexin-1, whereas PS1 C410Y and PS1 ΔE9 fail to rescue the processing defect. These results suggest that PS regulate the synaptic function and processing of neurexins at glutamatergic synapses, and that impaired neurexin

  14. Neuroligin-1-dependent competition regulates cortical synaptogenesis and synapse number.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Hyung-Bae; Kozorovitskiy, Yevgenia; Oh, Won-Jong; Peixoto, Rui T; Akhtar, Nazia; Saulnier, Jessica L; Gu, Chenghua; Sabatini, Bernardo L

    2012-12-01

    Members of the neuroligin family of cell-adhesion proteins are found at excitatory and inhibitory synapses and are mutated in some familial forms of autism spectrum disorders. Although they display synaptogenic properties in heterologous systems, the function of neuroligins in vivo in the regulation of synapse formation and synapse number has been difficult to establish. We found that neuroligin-1 (NL1), which is located at excitatory postsynaptic densities, regulates activity-dependent synaptogenesis and mature synapse number on cortical layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in vivo. However, synapse number was not sensitive to absolute NL1 levels but instead depended on transcellular differences in the relative amounts of NL1. These effects were independent of the cell-autonomous regulation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors by absolute levels of NL1. Our data indicate that transcellular competitive processes govern synapse formation and number in developing cortex and that NL1 has a central function in these processes.

  15. Electrical synapse formation disrupts calcium-dependent exocytosis, but not vesicle mobilization.

    PubMed

    Neunuebel, Joshua P; Zoran, Mark J

    2005-06-01

    Electrical coupling exists prior to the onset of chemical connectivity at many developing and regenerating synapses. At cholinergic synapses in vitro, trophic factors facilitated the formation of electrical synapses and interfered with functional neurotransmitter release in response to photolytic elevations of intracellular calcium. In contrast, neurons lacking trophic factor induction and electrical coupling possessed flash-evoked transmitter release. Changes in cytosolic calcium and postsynaptic responsiveness to acetylcholine were not affected by electrical coupling. These data indicate that transient electrical synapse formation delayed chemical synaptic transmission by imposing a functional block between the accumulation of presynaptic calcium and synchronized, vesicular release. Despite the inability to release neurotransmitter, neurons that had possessed strong electrical coupling recruited secretory vesicles to sites of synaptic contact. These results suggest that the mechanism by which neurotransmission is disrupted during electrical synapse formation is downstream of both calcium influx and synaptic vesicle mobilization. Therefore, electrical synaptogenesis may inhibit synaptic vesicles from acquiring a readily releasable state. We hypothesize that gap junctions might negatively interact with exocytotic processes, thereby diminishing chemical neurotransmission. PMID:15765535

  16. Low CA1 spine synapse density is further reduced by castration in male non-human primates.

    PubMed

    Leranth, Csaba; Prange-Kiel, Janine; Frick, Karyn M; Horvath, Tamas L

    2004-05-01

    The hippocampus plays a major role in learning and memory and its morphology and function are readily affected by gonadal hormones in female non-human primates. We sought to determine whether the gonads also affect pyramidal cell spine synapse density in the CA1 hippocampal area of male primates. Unbiased electron microscopic stereological calculations were performed to determine the volumetric density of pyramidal cell spine synapses and semiquantitative analyses on the surface density of glial fibrillary acidic protein-containing glia processes and the diameter of pyramidal cell apical dendrites in the CA1 area of intact and orchidectomized (1 month) St Kitts vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus). The volumetric density (number of spine synapse/ micro m(3)) of spine synapses was significantly lower (40%) in the gonadectomized animals than in control monkeys; conversely, the density of glia processes was significantly higher (15%) and the diameter of dendritic shafts located in this area was also larger (30%) in the orchidectomized animals than in the controls. Strikingly, when compared to female values, intact male primates had lower spine synapse densities than either intact or ovariectomized females. Since the primate hippocampus is very similar to that of a human's, the present observations suggest that physiological levels of circulating androgen hormones are necessary to support normal spine synapse density in the CA1 stratum radiatum of human male hippocampus.

  17. Zinc-Induced Polymerization of Killer-Cell Ig-like Receptor into Filaments Promotes Its Inhibitory Function at Cytotoxic Immunological Synapses.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Santosh; Rajagopalan, Sumati; Sarkar, Pabak; Dorward, David W; Peterson, Mary E; Liao, Hsien-Shun; Guillermier, Christelle; Steinhauser, Matthew L; Vogel, Steven S; Long, Eric O

    2016-04-01

    The inhibitory function of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) that bind HLA-C and block activation of human natural killer (NK) cells is dependent on zinc. We report that zinc induced the assembly of soluble KIR into filamentous polymers, as detected by electron microscopy, which depolymerized after zinc chelation. Similar KIR filaments were isolated from lysates of cells treated with zinc, and membrane protrusions enriched in zinc were detected on whole cells by scanning electron microscopy and imaging mass spectrometry. Two independent mutations in the extracellular domain of KIR, away from the HLA-C binding site, impaired zinc-driven polymerization and inhibitory function. KIR filaments formed spontaneously, without the addition of zinc, at functional inhibitory immunological synapses of NK cells with HLA-C(+) cells. Adding to the recent paradigm of signal transduction through higher order molecular assemblies, zinc-induced polymerization of inhibitory KIR represents an unusual mode of signaling by a receptor at the cell surface. PMID:27058785

  18. Mapping Synapses by Conjugate Light-Electron Array Tomography

    PubMed Central

    Buchanan, JoAnn; Phend, Kristen D.; Micheva, Kristina D.; Weinberg, Richard J.; Smith, Stephen J

    2015-01-01

    Synapses of the mammalian CNS are diverse in size, structure, molecular composition, and function. Synapses in their myriad variations are fundamental to neural circuit development, homeostasis, plasticity, and memory storage. Unfortunately, quantitative analysis and mapping of the brain's heterogeneous synapse populations has been limited by the lack of adequate single-synapse measurement methods. Electron microscopy (EM) is the definitive means to recognize and measure individual synaptic contacts, but EM has only limited abilities to measure the molecular composition of synapses. This report describes conjugate array tomography (AT), a volumetric imaging method that integrates immunofluorescence and EM imaging modalities in voxel-conjugate fashion. We illustrate the use of conjugate AT to advance the proteometric measurement of EM-validated single-synapse analysis in a study of mouse cortex. PMID:25855189

  19. Artificial synapse network on inorganic proton conductor for neuromorphic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Li Qiang; Wan, Chang Jin; Guo, Li Qiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2014-01-01

    The basic units in our brain are neurons, and each neuron has more than 1,000 synapse connections. Synapse is the basic structure for information transfer in an ever-changing manner, and short-term plasticity allows synapses to perform critical computational functions in neural circuits. Therefore, the major challenge for the hardware implementation of neuromorphic computation is to develop artificial synapse network. Here in-plane lateral-coupled oxide-based artificial synapse network coupled by proton neurotransmitters are self-assembled on glass substrates at room-temperature. A strong lateral modulation is observed due to the proton-related electrical-double-layer effect. Short-term plasticity behaviours, including paired-pulse facilitation, dynamic filtering and spatiotemporally correlated signal processing are mimicked. Such laterally coupled oxide-based protonic/electronic hybrid artificial synapse network proposed here is interesting for building future neuromorphic systems.

  20. A bionics chemical synapse.

    PubMed

    Thanapitak, Surachoke; Toumazou, Christofer

    2013-06-01

    Implementation of the current mode CMOS circuit for chemical synapses (AMPA and NMDA receptors) with dynamic change of glutamate as the neurotransmitter input is presented in this paper. Additionally, circuit realisation for receptor GABA(A) and GABA(B) with an electrical signal which symbolises γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) perturbation is introduced. The chemical sensor for glutamate sensing is the modified ISFET with enzyme (glutamate oxidase) immobilisation. The measured results from these biomimetics chemical synapse circuits closely match with the simulation result from the mathematical model. The total power consumption of the whole chip (four chemical synapse circuits and all auxiliary circuits) is 168.3 μW. The total chip area is 3 mm(2) in 0.35-μm AMS CMOS technology.

  1. ELKS controls the pool of readily releasable vesicles at excitatory synapses through its N-terminal coiled-coil domains

    PubMed Central

    Held, Richard G; Liu, Changliang; Kaeser, Pascal S

    2016-01-01

    In a presynaptic nerve terminal, synaptic strength is determined by the pool of readily releasable vesicles (RRP) and the probability of release (P) of each RRP vesicle. These parameters are controlled at the active zone and vary across synapses, but how such synapse specific control is achieved is not understood. ELKS proteins are enriched at vertebrate active zones and enhance P at inhibitory hippocampal synapses, but ELKS functions at excitatory synapses are not known. Studying conditional knockout mice for ELKS, we find that ELKS enhances the RRP at excitatory synapses without affecting P. Surprisingly, ELKS C-terminal sequences, which interact with RIM, are dispensable for RRP enhancement. Instead, the N-terminal ELKS coiled-coil domains that bind to Liprin-α and Bassoon are necessary to control RRP. Thus, ELKS removal has differential, synapse-specific effects on RRP and P, and our findings establish important roles for ELKS N-terminal domains in synaptic vesicle priming. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14862.001 PMID:27253063

  2. Pretreatment of the cockroach cercal afferent/giant interneuron synapses with nicotinoids and neonicotinoids differently affects acetylcholine and nicotine-induced ganglionic depolarizations.

    PubMed

    Yassine, Benzidane; Leray, Xavier; Falaise, Charlotte; Quinchard, Sophie; Ceron-Carrasco, José Pedro; Jacquemin, Denis; Graton, Jérôme; Le Questel, Jean-Yves; Thany, Steeve H

    2013-12-01

    We have recently demonstrated that neonicotinoid insecticides were able to act as agonists of postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed at the synapse between the cercal nerve XI and the giant interneurons, in the sixth abdominal ganglion. In this work, we demonstrated that nicotinoids such as nornicotine acted as an agonist of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed at cercal afferent/giant interneurons while cotinine was a poor agonist. Indeed, nornicotine induced a ganglionic depolarization which was blocked by the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine. In addition, we found that pretreatment of the sixth abdominal ganglion with 1 and 10 μM nornicotine and cotinine had no significant effect on acetylcholine and nicotine-induced depolarization. But pretreatment with 1 and 10 μM acetamiprid and imidacloprid had a strong effect. 1 and 10 μM acetamiprid completely blocked acetylcholine-induced depolarization, whereas imidacloprid had a partial effect. The present work therefore suggests, in agreement with previous studies, that nornicotine and cotinine bind to distinct cockroach postsynaptic nAChRs, whereas acetamiprid and imidacloprid have competitive effects with acetylcholine and nicotine on ganglionic depolarization.

  3. Quantitative study of the development of neurons and synapses in rats reared in the dark during early postnatal life. 1. Superior colliculus.

    PubMed Central

    Fukui, Y; Bedi, K S

    1991-01-01

    Rearing animals in dark conditions during early postnatal life has been shown to affect both the morphology and the normal functioning of the visual system. We have investigated the effects on the synapse-to-neuron ratios in the superior colliculi of rearing male rats in the dark from birth until 30 days of age, followed in some cases by a 35 day period of rehabilitation in control lighting conditions. Control lighting conditions consisted of a room on a 12 hour light/12 hour dark cycle. Synapse-to-neuron ratios were calculated from estimates of the numerical densities of neurons and synapses. These estimates were made using the 'disector' method at the light and electron microscopical levels. Neuronal nuclei were used as the counting unit for neurons and paramembranous densities for synapses. There were no significant differences in the numerical densities of neurons, synapses or synapse-to-neuron ratios between dark-reared and control rats at 30 days of age. Sixty five days old rats, previously raised in the dark, had a significantly smaller numerical density of neurons than light-reared controls. Two-way analysis of variance techniques showed significant effects of age on the estimates of the numerical densities of neurons and synapses. However, there were no significant main effects of the lighting conditions, nor any significant interaction for any of the measures. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:2032942

  4. Molecular dynamics of the excitatory synapse.

    PubMed

    Okabe, Shigeo

    2012-01-01

    Molecular dynamics of synapses are one of the most important factors that control the remodeling of synaptic connection and efficacy of transmission. This chapter focuses on the dynamics of postsynaptic molecular machinery and describes the imaging technologies important for quantitative analyses of synapses, their application to the postsynaptic molecules, and the insights obtained from these analyses. New visualization techniques, such as super-resolution microscopy, will become an indispensable approach to reveal submicron changes of synaptic molecules. New methods of monitoring protein interactions will also be integrated with experimental paradigms of synaptic plasticity. Cell biological analyses, together with cutting-edge imaging technologies, have been applied to the studies of nascent synapse formation, synapse maintenance, and activity-dependent synapse remodeling. From these studies, a variety of new concepts emerged, such as local assembly of postsynaptic scaffolds, presence of "transport packets" of postsynaptic receptors, heterogeneity of actin movement within spines, and activity-free fluctuation of PSD/spine sizes. These new concepts are useful in understanding specific properties of postsynaptic functions and should be integrated in future to build a realistic model of the postsynaptic organization that can explain its remarkable stability and tunability. PMID:22351054

  5. Systematic substrate identification indicates a central role for the metalloprotease ADAM10 in axon targeting and synapse function

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Peer-Hendrik; Colombo, Alessio Vittorio; Schusser, Benjamin; Dreymueller, Daniela; Wetzel, Sebastian; Schepers, Ute; Herber, Julia; Ludwig, Andreas; Kremmer, Elisabeth; Montag, Dirk; Müller, Ulrike; Schweizer, Michaela; Saftig, Paul; Bräse, Stefan; Lichtenthaler, Stefan F

    2016-01-01

    Metzincin metalloproteases have major roles in intercellular communication by modulating the function of membrane proteins. One of the proteases is the a-disintegrin-and-metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10) which acts as alpha-secretase of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid precursor protein. ADAM10 is also required for neuronal network functions in murine brain, but neuronal ADAM10 substrates are only partly known. With a proteomic analysis of Adam10-deficient neurons we identified 91, mostly novel ADAM10 substrate candidates, making ADAM10 a major protease for membrane proteins in the nervous system. Several novel substrates, including the neuronal cell adhesion protein NrCAM, are involved in brain development. Indeed, we detected mistargeted axons in the olfactory bulb of conditional ADAM10-/- mice, which correlate with reduced cleavage of NrCAM, NCAM and other ADAM10 substrates. In summary, the novel ADAM10 substrates provide a molecular basis for neuronal network dysfunctions in conditional ADAM10-/- mice and demonstrate a fundamental function of ADAM10 in the brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12748.001 PMID:26802628

  6. Rhythmic Changes in Synapse Numbers in Drosophila melanogaster Motor Terminals

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz, Santiago; Ferreiro, Maria Jose; Menhert, Kerstin I.; Casanova, Gabriela; Olivera, Alvaro; Cantera, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the morphology of the neuromuscular junction of the flight motor neuron MN5 in Drosophila melanogaster undergoes daily rhythmical changes, with smaller synaptic boutons during the night, when the fly is resting, than during the day, when the fly is active. With electron microscopy and laser confocal microscopy, we searched for a rhythmic change in synapse numbers in this neuron, both under light:darkness (LD) cycles and constant darkness (DD). We expected the number of synapses to increase during the morning, when the fly has an intense phase of locomotion activity under LD and DD. Surprisingly, only our DD data were consistent with this hypothesis. In LD, we found more synapses at midnight than at midday. We propose that under LD conditions, there is a daily rhythm of formation of new synapses in the dark phase, when the fly is resting, and disassembly over the light phase, when the fly is active. Several parameters appeared to be light dependent, since they were affected differently under LD or DD. The great majority of boutons containing synapses had only one and very few had either two or more, with a 70∶25∶5 ratio (one, two and three or more synapses) in LD and 75∶20∶5 in DD. Given the maintenance of this proportion even when both bouton and synapse numbers changed with time, we suggest that there is a homeostatic mechanism regulating synapse distribution among MN5 boutons. PMID:23840613

  7. Glimepiride protects neurons against amyloid-β-induced synapse damage.

    PubMed

    Osborne, Craig; West, Ewan; Nolan, William; McHale-Owen, Harriet; Williams, Alun; Bate, Clive

    2016-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease is associated with the accumulation within the brain of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides that damage synapses and affect memory acquisition. This process can be modelled by observing the effects of Aβ on synapses in cultured neurons. The addition of picomolar concentrations of soluble Aβ derived from brain extracts triggered the loss of synaptic proteins including synaptophysin, synapsin-1 and cysteine string protein from cultured neurons. Glimepiride, a sulphonylurea used for the treatment of diabetes, protected neurons against synapse damage induced by Aβ. The protective effects of glimepiride were multi-faceted. Glimepiride treatment was associated with altered synaptic membranes including the loss of specific glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins including the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) that acts as a receptor for Aβ42, increased synaptic gangliosides and altered cell signalling. More specifically, glimepiride reduced the Aβ-induced increase in cholesterol and the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) in synapses that occurred within cholesterol-dense membrane rafts. Aβ42 binding to glimepiride-treated neurons was not targeted to membrane rafts and less Aβ42 accumulated within synapses. These studies indicate that glimepiride modified the membrane micro-environments in which Aβ-induced signalling leads to synapse damage. In addition, soluble PrP(C), released from neurons by glimepiride, neutralised Aβ-induced synapse damage. Such observations raise the possibility that glimepiride may reduce synapse damage and hence delay the progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. PMID:26432105

  8. Glimepiride protects neurons against amyloid-β-induced synapse damage.

    PubMed

    Osborne, Craig; West, Ewan; Nolan, William; McHale-Owen, Harriet; Williams, Alun; Bate, Clive

    2016-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease is associated with the accumulation within the brain of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides that damage synapses and affect memory acquisition. This process can be modelled by observing the effects of Aβ on synapses in cultured neurons. The addition of picomolar concentrations of soluble Aβ derived from brain extracts triggered the loss of synaptic proteins including synaptophysin, synapsin-1 and cysteine string protein from cultured neurons. Glimepiride, a sulphonylurea used for the treatment of diabetes, protected neurons against synapse damage induced by Aβ. The protective effects of glimepiride were multi-faceted. Glimepiride treatment was associated with altered synaptic membranes including the loss of specific glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins including the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) that acts as a receptor for Aβ42, increased synaptic gangliosides and altered cell signalling. More specifically, glimepiride reduced the Aβ-induced increase in cholesterol and the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) in synapses that occurred within cholesterol-dense membrane rafts. Aβ42 binding to glimepiride-treated neurons was not targeted to membrane rafts and less Aβ42 accumulated within synapses. These studies indicate that glimepiride modified the membrane micro-environments in which Aβ-induced signalling leads to synapse damage. In addition, soluble PrP(C), released from neurons by glimepiride, neutralised Aβ-induced synapse damage. Such observations raise the possibility that glimepiride may reduce synapse damage and hence delay the progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease.

  9. Preferential loss of dorsal-hippocampus synapses underlies memory impairments provoked by short, multimodal stress

    PubMed Central

    Maras, P M; Molet, J; Chen, Y; Rice, C; Ji, S G; Solodkin, A; Baram, T Z

    2014-01-01

    The cognitive effects of stress are profound, yet it is unknown if the consequences of concurrent multiple stresses on learning and memory differ from those of a single stress of equal intensity and duration. We compared the effects on hippocampus-dependent memory of concurrent, hours-long light, loud noise, jostling and restraint (multimodal stress) with those of restraint or of loud noise alone. We then examined if differences in memory impairment following these two stress types might derive from their differential impact on hippocampal synapses, distinguishing dorsal and ventral hippocampus. Mice exposed to hours-long restraint or loud noise were modestly or minimally impaired in novel object recognition, whereas similar-duration multimodal stress provoked severe deficits. Differences in memory were not explained by differences in plasma corticosterone levels or numbers of Fos-labeled neurons in stress-sensitive hypothalamic neurons. However, although synapses in hippocampal CA3 were impacted by both restraint and multimodal stress, multimodal stress alone reduced synapse numbers severely in dorsal CA1, a region crucial for hippocampus-dependent memory. Ventral CA1 synapses were not significantly affected by either stress modality. Probing the basis of the preferential loss of dorsal synapses after multimodal stress, we found differential patterns of neuronal activation by the two stress types. Cross-correlation matrices, reflecting functional connectivity among activated regions, demonstrated that multimodal stress reduced hippocampal correlations with septum and thalamus and increased correlations with amygdala and BST. Thus, despite similar effects on plasma corticosterone and on hypothalamic stress-sensitive cells, multimodal and restraint stress differ in their activation of brain networks and in their impact on hippocampal synapses. Both of these processes might contribute to amplified memory impairments following short, multimodal stress. PMID:24589888

  10. The Diversity of Cortical Inhibitory Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Kubota, Yoshiyuki; Karube, Fuyuki; Nomura, Masaki; Kawaguchi, Yasuo

    2016-01-01

    The most typical and well known inhibitory action in the cortical microcircuit is a strong inhibition on the target neuron by axo-somatic synapses. However, it has become clear that synaptic inhibition in the cortex is much more diverse and complicated. Firstly, at least ten or more inhibitory non-pyramidal cell subtypes engage in diverse inhibitory functions to produce the elaborate activity characteristic of the different cortical states. Each distinct non-pyramidal cell subtype has its own independent inhibitory function. Secondly, the inhibitory synapses innervate different neuronal domains, such as axons, spines, dendrites and soma, and their inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP) size is not uniform. Thus, cortical inhibition is highly complex, with a wide variety of anatomical and physiological modes. Moreover, the functional significance of the various inhibitory synapse innervation styles and their unique structural dynamic behaviors differ from those of excitatory synapses. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the inhibitory mechanisms of the cortical microcircuit. PMID:27199670

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Copper at synapse: Release, binding and modulation of neurotransmission.

    PubMed

    D'Ambrosi, Nadia; Rossi, Luisa

    2015-11-01

    Over the last decade, a piece of the research studying copper role in biological systems was devoted to unravelling a still elusive, but extremely intriguing, aspect that is the involvement of copper in synaptic function. These studies were prompted to provide a rationale to the finding that copper is released in the synaptic cleft upon depolarization. The copper pump ATP7A, which mutations are responsible for diseases with a prominent neurodegenerative component, seems to play a pivotal role in the release of copper at synapses. Furthermore, it was found that, when in the synaptic cleft, copper can control, directly or indirectly, the activity of the neurotransmitter receptors (NMDA, AMPA, GABA, P2X receptors), thus affecting excitability. In turn, neurotransmission can affect copper trafficking and delivery in neuronal cells. Furthermore, it was reported that copper can also modulate synaptic vesicles trafficking and the interaction between proteins of the secretory pathways. Interestingly, proteins with a still unclear role in neuronal system though associated with the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases (the amyloid precursor protein, APP, the prion protein, PrP, α-synuclein, α-syn) show copper-binding domains. They may act as copper buffer at synapses and participate in the interplay between copper and the neurotransmitters receptors. Given that copper dysmetabolism occurs in several diseases affecting central and peripheral nervous system, the findings on the contribution of copper in synaptic transmission, beside its more consolidate role as a neuronal enzymes cofactor, may open new insights for therapy interventions.

  14. Maternal Dietary Loads of Alpha-Tocopherol Increase Synapse Density and Glial Synaptic Coverage in the Hippocampus of Adult Offspring

    PubMed Central

    Salucci, S.; Ambrogini, P.; Lattanzi, D.; Betti, M.; Gobbi, P.; Galati, C.; Galli, F.; Cuppini, R.; Minelli, A.

    2014-01-01

    An increased intake of the antioxidant α-Tocopherol (vitamin E) is recommended in complicated pregnancies, to prevent free radical damage to mother and fetus. However, the anti-PKC and antimitotic activity of α-Tocopherol raises concerns about its potential effects on brain development. Recently, we found that maternal dietary loads of α-Tocopherol through pregnancy and lactation cause developmental deficit in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rat offspring. The defect persisted into adulthood, with behavioral alterations in hippocampus-dependent learning. Here, using the same rat model of maternal supplementation, ultrastructural morphometric studies were carried out to provide mechanistic interpretation to such a functional impairment in adult offspring by the occurrence of long-term changes in density and morphological features of hippocampal synapses. Higher density of axo-spinous synapses was found in CA1 stratum radiatum of α-Tocopherol-exposed rats compared to controls, pointing to a reduced synapse pruning. No morphometric changes were found in synaptic ultrastructural features, i.e., perimeter of axon terminals, length of synaptic specializations, extension of bouton-spine contact. Gliasynapse anatomical relationship was also affected. Heavier astrocytic coverage of synapses was observed in Tocopherol-treated offspring, notably surrounding axon terminals; moreover, the percentage of synapses contacted by astrocytic endfeet at bouton-spine interface (tripartite synapses) was increased. These findings indicate that gestational and neonatal exposure to supranutritional Tocopherol intake can result in anatomical changes of offspring hippocampus that last through adulthood. These include a surplus of axo-spinous synapses and an aberrant gliasynapse relationship, which may represent the morphological signature of previously described alterations in synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning. PMID:24998923

  15. Toward a molecular catalogue of synapses.

    PubMed

    Grant, Seth G N

    2007-10-01

    1906 was a landmark year in the history of the study of the nervous system, most notably for the first 'neuroscience' Nobel prize given to the anatomists Ramon Y Cajal and Camillo Golgi. 1906 is less well known for another event, also of great significance for neuroscience, namely the publication of Charles Sherrington's book 'The Integrative Action of the Nervous system'. It was Cajal and Golgi who debated the anatomical evidence for the synapse and it was Sherrington who laid its foundation in electrophysiological function. In tribute to these pioneers in synaptic biology, this article will address the issue of synapse diversity from the molecular point of view. In particular I will reflect upon efforts to obtain a complete molecular characterisation of the synapse and the unexpectedly high degree of molecular complexity found within it. A case will be made for developing approaches that can be used to generate a general catalogue of synapse types based on molecular markers, which should have wide application.

  16. Temporally Distinct Demands for Classic Cadherins in Synapse Formation and Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Bozdagi, Ozlem; Valcin, Martin; Poskanzer, Kira; Tanaka, Hidekazu; Benson, Deanna L.

    2010-01-01

    Classic cadherins are synaptic adhesion proteins that have been implicated in synapse formation and targeting. Brief inactivation of classic cadherin function in young neurons appears to abrogate synapse formation when examined acutely. It remains unknown whether such abrogation is unique to young neurons, whether it occurs by stalling neuronal maturation or by directly interfering with the process of synapse assembly, and whether synapse targeting is altered. Here we asked whether sustained pan-cadherin blockade would prevent or alter the progression of axonal and dendritic outgrowth, synaptogenesis and the stereotypic distribution of excitatory and inhibitory synapses on cultured hippocampal neurons. While pre- and postsynaptic cadherins are required for synapse assembly in young neurons, we find that in neurons older than 10 days, classic cadherins are entirely dispensable for joining and aligning presynaptic vesicle clusters with molecular markers of the postsynaptic density. Further, we find the proportion and relative distributions of excitatory and inhibitory terminals on single neurons is not altered. However, synapse formation on neurons in which cadherin function is blocked are smaller; such synapses exhibit decreased synaptic vesicle recycling and a decreased frequency of spontaneous EPSCs. Moreover, such synapses fail to acquire resistance to F-actin depolymerization, a hallmark of mature, stable contacts. These data provide new evidence that cadherins are required to promote synapse stabilization and structural and functional maturation, but dispensable for the correct subcellular distribution of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. PMID:15555928

  17. Defects of the Glycinergic Synapse in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Ogino, Kazutoyo; Hirata, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Glycine mediates fast inhibitory synaptic transmission. Physiological importance of the glycinergic synapse is well established in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In humans, the loss of glycinergic function in the spinal cord and brainstem leads to hyperekplexia, which is characterized by an excess startle reflex to sudden acoustic or tactile stimulation. In addition, glycinergic synapses in this region are also involved in the regulation of respiration and locomotion, and in the nociceptive processing. The importance of the glycinergic synapse is conserved across vertebrate species. A teleost fish, the zebrafish, offers several advantages as a vertebrate model for research of glycinergic synapse. Mutagenesis screens in zebrafish have isolated two motor defective mutants that have pathogenic mutations in glycinergic synaptic transmission: bandoneon (beo) and shocked (sho). Beo mutants have a loss-of-function mutation of glycine receptor (GlyR) β-subunit b, alternatively, sho mutant is a glycinergic transporter 1 (GlyT1) defective mutant. These mutants are useful animal models for understanding of glycinergic synaptic transmission and for identification of novel therapeutic agents for human diseases arising from defect in glycinergic transmission, such as hyperekplexia or glycine encephalopathy. Recent advances in techniques for genome editing and for imaging and manipulating of a molecule or a physiological process make zebrafish more attractive model. In this review, we describe the glycinergic defective zebrafish mutants and the technical advances in both forward and reverse genetic approaches as well as in vivo visualization and manipulation approaches for the study of the glycinergic synapse in zebrafish. PMID:27445686

  18. Defects of the Glycinergic Synapse in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Ogino, Kazutoyo; Hirata, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Glycine mediates fast inhibitory synaptic transmission. Physiological importance of the glycinergic synapse is well established in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In humans, the loss of glycinergic function in the spinal cord and brainstem leads to hyperekplexia, which is characterized by an excess startle reflex to sudden acoustic or tactile stimulation. In addition, glycinergic synapses in this region are also involved in the regulation of respiration and locomotion, and in the nociceptive processing. The importance of the glycinergic synapse is conserved across vertebrate species. A teleost fish, the zebrafish, offers several advantages as a vertebrate model for research of glycinergic synapse. Mutagenesis screens in zebrafish have isolated two motor defective mutants that have pathogenic mutations in glycinergic synaptic transmission: bandoneon (beo) and shocked (sho). Beo mutants have a loss-of-function mutation of glycine receptor (GlyR) β-subunit b, alternatively, sho mutant is a glycinergic transporter 1 (GlyT1) defective mutant. These mutants are useful animal models for understanding of glycinergic synaptic transmission and for identification of novel therapeutic agents for human diseases arising from defect in glycinergic transmission, such as hyperekplexia or glycine encephalopathy. Recent advances in techniques for genome editing and for imaging and manipulating of a molecule or a physiological process make zebrafish more attractive model. In this review, we describe the glycinergic defective zebrafish mutants and the technical advances in both forward and reverse genetic approaches as well as in vivo visualization and manipulation approaches for the study of the glycinergic synapse in zebrafish. PMID:27445686

  19. Flotillin-1 promotes formation of glutamatergic synapses in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Swanwick, Catherine Croft; Shapiro, Marietta E; Vicini, Stefano; Wenthold, Robert J

    2010-11-01

    Synapse malformation underlies numerous neurodevelopmental illnesses, including autism spectrum disorders. Here we identify the lipid raft protein flotillin-1 as a promoter of glutamatergic synapse formation. We cultured neurons from the hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory, and examined them at two weeks in vitro, a time period rich with synapse formation. Double-label immunocytochemistry of native flot-1 with glutamatergic and GABAergic synapse markers showed that flot-1 was preferentially colocalized with the glutamatergic presynaptic marker vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1), compared to the GABAergic presynaptic marker glutamic acid decarboxylase-65 (GAD-65). Triple-label immunocytochemistry of native flot-1, VGLUT1, and NR1, the obligatory subunit of NMDA receptors, indicates that Flot-1 was preferentially localized to synaptic rather than extrasynaptic NR1. Furthermore, electrophysiological results using whole-cell patch clamp showed that Flot-1 increased the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) but not miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs), whereas amplitude and decay kinetics of either type of synaptic current was not affected. Corresponding immunocytochemical data confirmed that the number of glutamatergic synapses increased with flot-1 overexpression. Overall, our anatomical and physiological results show that flot-1 enhances the formation of glutamatergic synapses but not GABAergic synapses, suggesting that the role of flot-1 in neurodevelopmental disorders should be explored. PMID:20669324

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenhai; Li, Hong; Pan, Xiaohong

    2015-02-01

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

  1. Inhibition Potentiates the Synchronizing Action of Electrical Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Pfeuty, Benjamin; Golomb, David; Mato, Germán; Hansel, David

    2007-01-01

    In vivo and in vitro experimental studies have found that blocking electrical interactions connecting GABAergic interneurons reduces oscillatory activity in the γ range in cortex. However, recent theoretical works have shown that the ability of electrical synapses to promote or impede synchrony, when alone, depends on their location on the dendritic tree of the neurons, the intrinsic properties of the neurons and the connectivity of the network. The goal of the present paper is to show that this versatility in the synchronizing ability of electrical synapses is greatly reduced when the neurons also interact via inhibition. To this end, we study a model network comprising two-compartment conductance-based neurons interacting with both types of synapses. We investigate the effect of electrical synapses on the dynamical state of the network as a function of the strength of the inhibition. We find that for weak inhibition, electrical synapses reinforce inhibition-generated synchrony only if they promote synchrony when they are alone. In contrast, when inhibition is sufficiently strong, electrical synapses improve synchrony even if when acting alone they would stabilize asynchronous firing. We clarify the mechanism underlying this cooperative interplay between electrical and inhibitory synapses. We show that it is relevant in two physiologically observed regimes: spike-to-spike synchrony, where neurons fire at almost every cycle of the population oscillations, and stochastic synchrony, where neurons fire irregularly and at a rate which is substantially lower than the frequency of the global population rhythm. PMID:18946530

  2. Advances in Synapse Formation: Forging Connections in the Worm

    PubMed Central

    Cherra, Salvatore J.; Jin, Yishi

    2014-01-01

    Synapse formation is the quintessential process by which neurons form specific connections with their targets to enable the development of functional circuits. Over the past few decades, intense research efforts have identified thousands of proteins that localize to the pre- and postsynaptic compartments. Genetic dissection has provided important insights into the nexus of the molecular and cellular network, and greatly advanced our knowledge about how synapses are formed and function physiologically. Moreover, recent studies have highlighted the complex regulation of synapse formation with the identification of novel mechanisms involving cell interactions from nonneuronal sources. In this review, we cover the conserved pathways required for synaptogenesis and place specific focus on new themes of synapse modulation arising from studies in C. elegans. PMID:25472860

  3. Nanoscale memristor device as synapse in neuromorphic systems.

    PubMed

    Jo, Sung Hyun; Chang, Ting; Ebong, Idongesit; Bhadviya, Bhavitavya B; Mazumder, Pinaki; Lu, Wei

    2010-04-14

    A memristor is a two-terminal electronic device whose conductance can be precisely modulated by charge or flux through it. Here we experimentally demonstrate a nanoscale silicon-based memristor device and show that a hybrid system composed of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor neurons and memristor synapses can support important synaptic functions such as spike timing dependent plasticity. Using memristors as synapses in neuromorphic circuits can potentially offer both high connectivity and high density required for efficient computing.

  4. Dissecting tripartite synapses with STED microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Panatier, Aude; Arizono, Misa; Nägerl, U. Valentin

    2014-01-01

    The concept of the tripartite synapse reflects the important role that astrocytic processes are thought to play in the function and regulation of neuronal synapses in the mammalian nervous system. However, many basic aspects regarding the dynamic interplay between pre- and postsynaptic neuronal structures and their astrocytic partners remain to be explored. A major experimental hurdle has been the small physical size of the relevant glial and synaptic structures, leaving them largely out of reach for conventional light microscopic approaches such as confocal and two-photon microscopy. Hence, most of what we know about the organization of the tripartite synapse is based on electron microscopy, which does not lend itself to investigating dynamic events and which cannot be carried out in parallel with functional assays. The development and application of superresolution microscopy for neuron–glia research is opening up exciting experimental opportunities in this regard. In this paper, we provide a basic explanation of the theory and operation of stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, outlining the potential of this recent superresolution imaging modality for advancing our understanding of the morpho-functional interactions between astrocytes and neurons that regulate synaptic physiology. PMID:25225091

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  6. Decreased Expression of Synapse-Related Genes and Loss of Synapses in Major Depressive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Kang, H.J.; Voleti, B.; Hajszan, T.; Rajkowska, G.; Stockmeier, C.; Licznerski, P.; Lepack, A.; Majik, M.S.; Jeong, L.S.; Banasr, M.; Son, H.; Duman, R.S.

    2012-01-01

    Previous imaging and postmortem studies have reported a reduction in brain volume and a decrease in the size and density of neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC, area 9) of subjects with major depressive disorder (MDD).1,2 These findings suggest that synapse number and function are decreased in dlPFC of depressed patients. However, there has been no direct evidence for synapse loss in MDD and the gene expression alterations underlying these effects have not been identified. Here we use microarray gene profiling and electron microscopic stereology to reveal decreased expression of synaptic function-related genes in dlPFC of MDD subjects and a corresponding reduction in the number of synapses. We also identify a transcriptional repressor that is increased in MDD, and that when expressed in PFC neurons is sufficient to decrease expression of synapse-related genes, cause loss of spines and dendrites, and produce depressive behavior in rodent models of depression. PMID:22885997

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Gigi

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Advanced Fluorescence Protein-Based Synapse-Detectors

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hojin; Oh, Won Chan; Seong, Jihye; Kim, Jinhyun

    2016-01-01

    The complex information-processing capabilities of the central nervous system emerge from intricate patterns of synaptic input-output relationships among various neuronal circuit components. Understanding these capabilities thus requires a precise description of the individual synapses that comprise neural networks. Recent advances in fluorescent protein engineering, along with developments in light-favoring tissue clearing and optical imaging techniques, have rendered light microscopy (LM) a potent candidate for large-scale analyses of synapses, their properties, and their connectivity. Optically imaging newly engineered fluorescent proteins (FPs) tagged to synaptic proteins or microstructures enables the efficient, fine-resolution illumination of synaptic anatomy and function in large neural circuits. Here we review the latest progress in fluorescent protein-based molecular tools for imaging individual synapses and synaptic connectivity. We also identify associated technologies in gene delivery, tissue processing, and computational image analysis that will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between synapse- and system-level neuroscience. PMID:27445785

  9. Advanced Fluorescence Protein-Based Synapse-Detectors.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hojin; Oh, Won Chan; Seong, Jihye; Kim, Jinhyun

    2016-01-01

    The complex information-processing capabilities of the central nervous system emerge from intricate patterns of synaptic input-output relationships among various neuronal circuit components. Understanding these capabilities thus requires a precise description of the individual synapses that comprise neural networks. Recent advances in fluorescent protein engineering, along with developments in light-favoring tissue clearing and optical imaging techniques, have rendered light microscopy (LM) a potent candidate for large-scale analyses of synapses, their properties, and their connectivity. Optically imaging newly engineered fluorescent proteins (FPs) tagged to synaptic proteins or microstructures enables the efficient, fine-resolution illumination of synaptic anatomy and function in large neural circuits. Here we review the latest progress in fluorescent protein-based molecular tools for imaging individual synapses and synaptic connectivity. We also identify associated technologies in gene delivery, tissue processing, and computational image analysis that will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between synapse- and system-level neuroscience. PMID:27445785

  10. Bassoon speeds vesicle reloading at a central excitatory synapse.

    PubMed

    Hallermann, Stefan; Fejtova, Anna; Schmidt, Hartmut; Weyhersmüller, Annika; Silver, R Angus; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Eilers, Jens

    2010-11-18

    Sustained rate-coded signals encode many types of sensory modalities. Some sensory synapses possess specialized ribbon structures, which tether vesicles, to enable high-frequency signaling. However, central synapses lack these structures, yet some can maintain signaling over a wide bandwidth. To analyze the underlying molecular mechanisms, we investigated the function of the active zone core component Bassoon in cerebellar mossy fiber to granule cell synapses. We show that short-term synaptic depression is enhanced in Bassoon knockout mice during sustained high-frequency trains but basal synaptic transmission is unaffected. Fluctuation and quantal analysis as well as quantification with constrained short-term plasticity models revealed that the vesicle reloading rate was halved in the absence of Bassoon. Thus, our data show that the cytomatrix protein Bassoon speeds the reloading of vesicles to release sites at a central excitatory synapse.

  11. Concerning immune synapses: a spatiotemporal timeline

    PubMed Central

    Ortega-Carrion, Alvaro; Vicente-Manzanares, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    The term “immune synapse” was originally coined to highlight the similarities between the synaptic contacts between neurons in the central nervous system and the cognate, antigen-dependent interactions between T cells and antigen-presenting cells. Here, instead of offering a comprehensive molecular catalogue of molecules involved in the establishment, stabilization, function, and resolution of the immune synapse, we follow a spatiotemporal timeline that begins at the initiation of exploratory contacts between the T cell and the antigen-presenting cell and ends with the termination of the contact. We focus on specific aspects that distinguish synapses established by cytotoxic and T helper cells as well as unresolved issues and controversies regarding the formation of this intercellular structure. PMID:27092248

  12. Transfer characteristics of the hair cell's afferent synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keen, Erica C.; Hudspeth, A. J.

    2006-04-01

    The sense of hearing depends on fast, finely graded neurotransmission at the ribbon synapses connecting hair cells to afferent nerve fibers. The processing that occurs at this first chemical synapse in the auditory pathway determines the quality and extent of the information conveyed to the central nervous system. Knowledge of the synapse's input-output function is therefore essential for understanding how auditory stimuli are encoded. To investigate the transfer function at the hair cell's synapse, we developed a preparation of the bullfrog's amphibian papilla. In the portion of this receptor organ representing stimuli of 400-800 Hz, each afferent nerve fiber forms several synaptic terminals onto one to three hair cells. By performing simultaneous voltage-clamp recordings from presynaptic hair cells and postsynaptic afferent fibers, we established that the rate of evoked vesicle release, as determined from the average postsynaptic current, depends linearly on the amplitude of the presynaptic Ca2+ current. This result implies that, for receptor potentials in the physiological range, the hair cell's synapse transmits information with high fidelity. auditory system | exocytosis | glutamate | ribbon synapse | synaptic vesicle

  13. Astrocytic Gliotransmitter: Diffusion Dynamics and Induction of Information Processing on Tripartite Synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jia-Jia; Du, Meng-Meng; Wang, Rong; Lei, Jin-Zhi; Wu, Ying

    Astrocytes have important functions in the central nervous system (CNS) and are significant in our understanding of the neuronal network. Astrocytes modulate neuronal firings at both single cell level of tripartite synapses and the neuron-glial network level. Astrocytes release adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and glutamate into the neuron-glial network. These gliotransmitters diffuse over the network to form long distance signals to regulate neuron firings. In this paper, we study a neuron-glial network model that includes a diffusion of astrocytic ATP and glutamate to investigate how long distance diffusion of the gliotransmitters affects the information processing in a neuronal network. We find that gliotransmitters diffusion can compensate for the failure of information processing of interneuron network firings induced by defectively coupled synapses. Moreover, we find that calcium waves in astrocyte network and firings in interneuron network are both sensitive to the glutamate diffusion rate and feedback intensities of astrocytes on interneurons.

  14. Leaky synapses: Regulation of spontaneous neurotransmission in central synapses

    PubMed Central

    Wasser, Catherine R.; Kavalali, Ege T.

    2009-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying spontaneous neurotransmitter release are not well understood. Under physiological as well as pathophysiological circumstances, spontaneous fusion events can set the concentration of ambient levels of neurotransmitter within the synaptic cleft and in the extracellular milieu. In the brain, unregulated release of excitatory neurotransmitters, exacerbated during pathological conditions such as stroke, can lead to neuronal damage and death. In addition, recent findings suggest that under physiological circumstances spontaneous release events can trigger postsynaptic signaling events independent of evoked neurotransmitter release. Therefore, elucidation of mechanisms underlying spontaneous neurotransmission may help us better understand the functional significance of this form of release and provide tools for its selective manipulation. For instance, our recent investigations indicate that the level of cholesterol in the synapse plays a critical role in limiting spontaneous synaptic vesicle fusion. Therefore, alterations in synaptic cholesterol metabolism can be a critical determinant of glutamatergic neurotransmission at rest. This article aims to provide a closer look into our current understanding of the mechanisms underlying spontaneous neurotransmission and the signaling triggered by these unitary release events. PMID:18434032

  15. Huntingtin Is Required for Normal Excitatory Synapse Development in Cortical and Striatal Circuits

    PubMed Central

    McKinstry, Spencer U.; Karadeniz, Yonca B.; Worthington, Atesh K.; Hayrapetyan, Volodya Y.; Ozlu, M. Ilcim; Serafin-Molina, Karol; Risher, W. Christopher; Ustunkaya, Tuna; Dragatsis, Ioannis; Zeitlin, Scott; Yin, Henry H.

    2014-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the expansion of a poly-glutamine (poly-Q) stretch in the huntingtin (Htt) protein. Gain-of-function effects of mutant Htt have been extensively investigated as the major driver of neurodegeneration in HD. However, loss-of-function effects of poly-Q mutations recently emerged as potential drivers of disease pathophysiology. Early synaptic problems in the excitatory cortical and striatal connections have been reported in HD, but the role of Htt protein in synaptic connectivity was unknown. Therefore, we investigated the role of Htt in synaptic connectivity in vivo by conditionally silencing Htt in the developing mouse cortex. When cortical Htt function was silenced, cortical and striatal excitatory synapses formed and matured at an accelerated pace through postnatal day 21 (P21). This exuberant synaptic connectivity was lost over time in the cortex, resulting in the deterioration of synapses by 5 weeks. Synaptic decline in the cortex was accompanied with layer- and region-specific reactive gliosis without cell loss. To determine whether the disease-causing poly-Q mutation in Htt affects synapse development, we next investigated the synaptic connectivity in a full-length knock-in mouse model of HD, the zQ175 mouse. Similar to the cortical conditional knock-outs, we found excessive excitatory synapse formation and maturation in the cortices of P21 zQ175, which was lost by 5 weeks. Together, our findings reveal that cortical Htt is required for the correct establishment of cortical and striatal excitatory circuits, and this function of Htt is lost when the mutant Htt is present. PMID:25009276

  16. Coding Deficits in Noise-Induced Hidden Hearing Loss May Stem from Incomplete Repair of Ribbon Synapses in the Cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Lijuan; Chang, Yin; Li, Xiaowei; Aiken, Steven J.; Liu, Lijie; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence has shown that noise-induced damage to the synapse between inner hair cells (IHCs) and type I afferent auditory nerve fibers (ANFs) may occur in the absence of permanent threshold shift (PTS), and that synapses connecting IHCs with low spontaneous rate (SR) ANFs are disproportionately affected. Due to the functional importance of low-SR ANF units for temporal processing and signal coding in noisy backgrounds, deficits in cochlear coding associated with noise-induced damage may result in significant difficulties with temporal processing and hearing in noise (i.e., “hidden hearing loss”). However, significant noise-induced coding deficits have not been reported at the single unit level following the loss of low-SR units. We have found evidence to suggest that some aspects of neural coding are not significantly changed with the initial loss of low-SR ANFs, and that further coding deficits arise in association with the subsequent reestablishment of the synapses. This suggests that synaptopathy in hidden hearing loss may be the result of insufficient repair of disrupted synapses, and not simply due to the loss of low-SR units. These coding deficits include decreases in driven spike rate for intensity coding as well as several aspects of temporal coding: spike latency, peak-to-sustained spike ratio and the recovery of spike rate as a function of click-interval. PMID:27252621

  17. Early maternal deprivation immunologically primes hippocampal synapses by redistributing interleukin-1 receptor type I in a sex dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Viviani, Barbara; Boraso, Mariaserena; Valero, Manuel; Gardoni, Fabrizio; Marco, Eva Maria; Llorente, Ricardo; Corsini, Emanuela; Galli, Corrado Lodovico; Di Luca, Monica; Marinovich, Marina; López-Gallardo, Meritxell; Viveros, Maria-Paz

    2014-01-01

    Challenges experienced in early life cause an enduring phenotypical shift of immune cells towards a sensitised state that may lead to an exacerbated reaction later in life and contribute to increased vulnerability to neurological diseases. Peripheral and central inflammation may affect neuronal function through cytokines such as IL-1. The extent to which an early life challenge induces long-term alteration of immune receptors organization in neurons has not been shown. We investigated whether a single episode of maternal deprivation (MD) on post-natal day (PND) 9 affects: (i) the synapse distribution of IL-1RI together with subunits of NMDA and AMPA receptors; and (ii) the interactions between IL-1RI and the GluN2B subunit of the NMDAR in the long-term, at PND 45. MD increased IL-1RI levels and IL-1RI interactions with GluN2B at the synapse of male hippocampal neurons, without affecting the total number of IL-1RI or NMDAR subunits. Although GluN2B and GluN2A were slightly but not significantly changed at the synapse, their ratio was significantly decreased in the hippocampus of the male rats who had experienced MD; the levels of the GluA1 and GluA2 subunits of the AMPAR were also decreased. These changes were not observed immediately after the MD episode. None of the observed alterations occurred in the hippocampus of the females or in the prefrontal cortex of either sex. These data reveal a long-term, sex-dependent modification in receptor organisation at the hippocampal post-synapses following MD. We suggest that this effect might contribute to priming hippocampal synapses to the action of IL-1β. PMID:24060584

  18. Early maternal deprivation immunologically primes hippocampal synapses by redistributing interleukin-1 receptor type I in a sex dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Viviani, Barbara; Boraso, Mariaserena; Valero, Manuel; Gardoni, Fabrizio; Marco, Eva Maria; Llorente, Ricardo; Corsini, Emanuela; Galli, Corrado Lodovico; Di Luca, Monica; Marinovich, Marina; López-Gallardo, Meritxell; Viveros, Maria-Paz

    2014-01-01

    Challenges experienced in early life cause an enduring phenotypical shift of immune cells towards a sensitised state that may lead to an exacerbated reaction later in life and contribute to increased vulnerability to neurological diseases. Peripheral and central inflammation may affect neuronal function through cytokines such as IL-1. The extent to which an early life challenge induces long-term alteration of immune receptors organization in neurons has not been shown. We investigated whether a single episode of maternal deprivation (MD) on post-natal day (PND) 9 affects: (i) the synapse distribution of IL-1RI together with subunits of NMDA and AMPA receptors; and (ii) the interactions between IL-1RI and the GluN2B subunit of the NMDAR in the long-term, at PND 45. MD increased IL-1RI levels and IL-1RI interactions with GluN2B at the synapse of male hippocampal neurons, without affecting the total number of IL-1RI or NMDAR subunits. Although GluN2B and GluN2A were slightly but not significantly changed at the synapse, their ratio was significantly decreased in the hippocampus of the male rats who had experienced MD; the levels of the GluA1 and GluA2 subunits of the AMPAR were also decreased. These changes were not observed immediately after the MD episode. None of the observed alterations occurred in the hippocampus of the females or in the prefrontal cortex of either sex. These data reveal a long-term, sex-dependent modification in receptor organisation at the hippocampal post-synapses following MD. We suggest that this effect might contribute to priming hippocampal synapses to the action of IL-1β.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Millar, J. Kirsty; Price, David J.

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Synapse Maturation by Activity-Dependent Ectodomain Shedding of SIRPα

    PubMed Central

    Toth, Anna B.; Terauchi, Akiko; Zhang, Lily Y.; Johnson-Venkatesh, Erin M.; Larsen, David J.; Sutton, Michael A.; Umemori, Hisashi

    2013-01-01

    Formation of appropriate synaptic connections is critical for proper functioning of the brain. After initial synaptic differentiation, active synapses are stabilized by neural activity-dependent signals to establish functional synaptic connections. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying activity-dependent synapse maturation remain to be elucidated. Here we show that activity-dependent ectodomain shedding of SIRPα mediates presynaptic maturation. Two target-derived molecules, FGF22 and SIRPα, sequentially organize the glutamatergic presynaptic terminals during the initial synaptic differentiation and synapse maturation stages, respectively, in the mouse hippocampus. SIRPα drives presynaptic maturation in an activity-dependent fashion. Remarkably, neural activity cleaves the extracellular domain of SIRPα, and the shed ectodomain, in turn, promotes the maturation of the presynaptic terminal. This process involves CaM kinase, matrix metalloproteinases, and the presynaptic receptor CD47. Finally, SIRPα-dependent synapse maturation has significant impacts on synaptic function and plasticity. Thus, ectodomain shedding of SIRPα is an activity-dependent trans-synaptic mechanism for the maturation of functional synapses. PMID:24036914

  2. Synapse rearrangements upon learning: from divergent-sparse connectivity to dedicated sub-circuits.

    PubMed

    Caroni, Pico; Chowdhury, Ananya; Lahr, Maria

    2014-10-01

    Learning can involve formation of new synapses and loss of synapses, providing memory traces of learned skills. Recent findings suggest that these synapse rearrangements reflect assembly of task-related sub-circuits from initially broadly distributed and sparse connectivity in the brain. These local circuit remodeling processes involve rapid emergence of synapses upon learning, followed by protracted validation involving strengthening of some new synapses, and selective elimination of others. The timing of these consolidation processes can vary. Here, we review these findings, focusing on how molecular/cellular mechanisms of synapse assembly, strengthening, and elimination might interface with circuit/system mechanisms of learning and memory consolidation. An integrated understanding of these learning-related processes should provide a better basis to elucidate how experience, genetic background, and disease influence brain function.

  3. On the resemblance of synapse formation and CNS myelination.

    PubMed

    Almeida, R G; Lyons, D A

    2014-09-12

    The myelination of axons in the central nervous system (CNS) is essential for nervous system formation, function and health. CNS myelination continues well into adulthood, but not all axons become myelinated. Unlike the peripheral nervous system, where we know of numerous axon-glial signals required for myelination, we have a poor understanding of the nature or identity of such molecules that regulate which axons are myelinated in the CNS. Recent studies have started to elucidate cell behavior during myelination in vivo and indicate that the choice of which axons are myelinated is made prior to myelin sheath generation. Here we propose that interactions between axons and the exploratory processes of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) lead to myelination and may be similar to those between dendrites and axons that prefigure and lead to synapse formation. Indeed axons and OPCs form synapses with striking resemblance to those of neurons, suggesting a similar mode of formation. We discuss families of molecules with specific functions at different stages of synapse formation and address studies that implicate the same factors during axon-OPC synapse formation and myelination. We also address the possibility that the function of such synapses might directly regulate the myelinating behavior of oligodendrocyte processes in vivo. In the future it may be of benefit to consider these similarities when taking a candidate-based approach to dissect mechanisms of CNS myelination.

  4. Multimolecular Analysis of Stable Immunological Synapses Reveals Sustained Recruitment and Sequential Assembly of Signaling Clusters*

    PubMed Central

    Philipsen, Lars; Engels, Thomas; Schilling, Kerstin; Gurbiel, Slavyana; Fischer, Klaus-Dieter; Tedford, Kerry; Schraven, Burkhart; Gunzer, Matthias; Reichardt, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The formation of the immunological synapse between T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APC) begins within minutes of contact and can take hours for full T-cell activation. Although early phases of the synapse have been extensively studied for a select number of proteins, later phases have not yet been examined in detail. We studied the signaling network in stable synapses by measuring the simultaneous localization of 25 signaling and structural molecules over 2 h at the level of individual synapses using multi-epitope ligand cartography (MELC). Signaling proteins including phospho(p)ZAP70, pSLP76, pCD3ζ, and pLAT, along with proteins that influence synapse structure such as F-actin, tubulin, CD45, and ICAM-1, were localized in images of synapses and revealed the multidimensional construction of a mature synapse. The construction of the stable synapse included intense early TCR signaling, a phase of recruitment of structural proteins, and a sustained increase in signaling molecules and colocalization of TCR and pLAT signaling clusters in the center of the synapse. Consolidation of TCR and associated proteins resulted in formation of a small number of discrete synaptic microclusters. Development of synapses and cSMAC composition was greatly affected by the absence of Vav1, with an associated loss in PLCγ1 recruitment, pSLP76, and increased CXCR4. Together, these data demonstrate the use of multi-epitope ligand cartography to quantitatively analyze synapse formation and reveal successive recruitment of structural and signaling proteins and sustained phosphorylation at the mature synapse. PMID:23754785

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

    PubMed

    Bulbena, A; Berrios, G E

    1993-01-01

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

  6. Interplay between Subthreshold Oscillations and Depressing Synapses in Single Neurons.

    PubMed

    Latorre, Roberto; Torres, Joaquín J; Varona, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we analyze the interplay between the subthreshold oscillations of a single neuron conductance-based model and the short-term plasticity of a dynamic synapse with a depressing mechanism. In previous research, the computational properties of subthreshold oscillations and dynamic synapses have been studied separately. Our results show that dynamic synapses can influence different aspects of the dynamics of neuronal subthreshold oscillations. Factors such as maximum hyperpolarization level, oscillation amplitude and frequency or the resulting firing threshold are modulated by synaptic depression, which can even make subthreshold oscillations disappear. This influence reshapes the postsynaptic neuron's resonant properties arising from subthreshold oscillations and leads to specific input/output relations. We also study the neuron's response to another simultaneous input in the context of this modulation, and show a distinct contextual processing as a function of the depression, in particular for detection of signals through weak synapses. Intrinsic oscillations dynamics can be combined with the characteristic time scale of the modulatory input received by a dynamic synapse to build cost-effective cell/channel-specific information discrimination mechanisms, beyond simple resonances. In this regard, we discuss the functional implications of synaptic depression modulation on intrinsic subthreshold dynamics.

  7. Interplay between Subthreshold Oscillations and Depressing Synapses in Single Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Latorre, Roberto; Torres, Joaquín J.; Varona, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we analyze the interplay between the subthreshold oscillations of a single neuron conductance-based model and the short-term plasticity of a dynamic synapse with a depressing mechanism. In previous research, the computational properties of subthreshold oscillations and dynamic synapses have been studied separately. Our results show that dynamic synapses can influence different aspects of the dynamics of neuronal subthreshold oscillations. Factors such as maximum hyperpolarization level, oscillation amplitude and frequency or the resulting firing threshold are modulated by synaptic depression, which can even make subthreshold oscillations disappear. This influence reshapes the postsynaptic neuron’s resonant properties arising from subthreshold oscillations and leads to specific input/output relations. We also study the neuron’s response to another simultaneous input in the context of this modulation, and show a distinct contextual processing as a function of the depression, in particular for detection of signals through weak synapses. Intrinsic oscillations dynamics can be combined with the characteristic time scale of the modulatory input received by a dynamic synapse to build cost-effective cell/channel-specific information discrimination mechanisms, beyond simple resonances. In this regard, we discuss the functional implications of synaptic depression modulation on intrinsic subthreshold dynamics. PMID:26730737

  8. Analog neuromorphic module based on carbon nanotube synapses.

    PubMed

    Shen, Alex Ming; Chen, Chia-Ling; Kim, Kyunghyun; Cho, Byungjin; Tudor, Andrew; Chen, Yong

    2013-07-23

    We report an analog neuromorphic module composed of p-type carbon nanotube (CNT) synapses and an integrate-and-fire (I&F) circuit. The CNT synapse has a field-effect transistor structure with a random CNT network as its channel and an aluminum oxide dielectric layer implanted with indium ions as its gate. A positive voltage pulse (spike) applied on the gate attracts electrons into the defect sites of the gate dielectric layer, and the trapped electrons are gradually released after the pulse is removed. The electrons modify the hole concentration and induce a dynamic postsynaptic current in the CNT channel. Multiple input spikes induce excitatory or inhibitory postsynaptic currents via excitatory or inhibitory CNT synapses, which flow toward an I&F circuit to trigger output spikes. The dynamic transfer function between the input and output spikes of the neuromorphic module is analyzed. The module could potentially be scaled up to emulate biological neural networks and their functions.

  9. Disruption of the presynaptic cytomatrix protein bassoon degrades ribbon anchorage, multiquantal release, and sound encoding at the hair cell afferent synapse.

    PubMed

    Jing, Zhizi; Rutherford, Mark A; Takago, Hideki; Frank, Thomas; Fejtova, Anna; Khimich, Darina; Moser, Tobias; Strenzke, Nicola

    2013-03-01

    Inner hair cells (IHCs) of the cochlea use ribbon synapses to transmit auditory information faithfully to spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs). In the present study, we used genetic disruption of the presynaptic scaffold protein bassoon in mice to manipulate the morphology and function of the IHC synapse. Although partial-deletion mutants lacking functional bassoon (Bsn(ΔEx4/5)) had a near-complete loss of ribbons from the synapses (up to 88% ribbonless synapses), gene-trap mutants (Bsn(gt)) showed weak residual expression of bassoon and 56% ribbonless synapses, whereas the remaining 44% had a loosely anchored ribbon. Patch-clamp recordings and synaptic CaV1.3 immunolabeling indicated a larger number of Ca(2+) channels for Bsn(gt) IHCs compared with Bsn(ΔEx4/5) IHCs and for Bsn(gt) ribbon-occupied versus Bsn(gt) ribbonless synapses. An intermediate phenotype of Bsn(gt) IHCs was also found by membrane capacitance measurements for sustained exocytosis, but not for the size of the readily releasable vesicle pool. The frequency and amplitude of EPSCs were reduced in Bsn(ΔEx4/5) mouse SGNs, whereas their postsynaptic AMPA receptor clusters were largely unaltered. Sound coding in SGN, assessed by recordings of single auditory nerve fibers and their population responses in vivo, was similarly affected in Bsn(gt) and Bsn(ΔEx4/5) mice. Both genotypes showed impaired sound onset coding and reduced evoked and spontaneous spike rates. In summary, reduced bassoon expression or complete lack of full-length bassoon impaired sound encoding to a similar extent, which is consistent with the comparable reduction of the readily releasable vesicle pool. This suggests that the remaining loosely anchored ribbons in Bsn(gt) IHCs were functionally inadequate or that ribbon independent mechanisms dominated the coding deficit.

  10. Primary Afferent Synapses on Developing and Adult Renshaw Cells

    PubMed Central

    Mentis, George Z.; Siembab, Valerie C.; Zerda, Ricardo; O’Donovan, Michael J.; Alvarez, Francisco J.

    2010-01-01

    The mechanisms that diversify adult interneurons from a few pools of embryonic neurons are unknown. Renshaw cells, Ia inhibitory interneurons (IaINs), and possibly other types of mammalian spinal interneurons have common embryonic origins within the V1 group. However, in contrast to IaINs and other V1-derived interneurons, adult Renshaw cells receive motor axon synapses and lack proprioceptive inputs. Here, we investigated how this specific pattern of connectivity emerges during the development of Renshaw cells. Tract tracing and immunocytochemical markers [parvalbumin and vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1)] showed that most embryonic (embryonic day 18) Renshaw cells lack dorsal root inputs, but more than half received dorsal root synapses by postnatal day 0 (P0) and this input spread to all Renshaw cells by P10–P15. Electrophysiological recordings in neonates indicated that this input is functional and evokes Renshaw cell firing. VGLUT1-IR bouton density on Renshaw cells increased until P15 but thereafter decreased because of limited synapse proliferation coupled with the enlargement of Renshaw cell dendrites. In parallel, Renshaw cell postsynaptic densities apposed to VGLUT1-IR synapses became smaller in adult compared with P15. In contrast, vesicular acetylcholine transporter-IR motor axon synapses contact embryonic Renshaw cells and proliferate postnatally matching Renshaw cell growth. Like other V1 neurons, Renshaw cells are thus competent to receive sensory synapses. However, after P15, these sensory inputs appear deselected through arrested proliferation and synapse weakening. Thus, Renshaw cells shift from integrating sensory and motor inputs in neonates to predominantly motor inputs in adult. Similar synaptic weight shifts on interneurons may be involved in the maturation of motor reflexes and locomotor circuitry. PMID:17182780

  11. Role of GABAA-Mediated Inhibition and Functional Assortment of Synapses onto Individual Layer 4 Neurons in Regulating Plasticity Expression in Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Saez, Ignacio; Friedlander, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    Layer 4 (L4) of primary visual cortex (V1) is the main recipient of thalamocortical fibers from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd). Thus, it is considered the main entry point of visual information into the neocortex and the first anatomical opportunity for intracortical visual processing before information leaves L4 and reaches supra- and infragranular cortical layers. The strength of monosynaptic connections from individual L4 excitatory cells onto adjacent L4 cells (unitary connections) is highly malleable, demonstrating that the initial stage of intracortical synaptic transmission of thalamocortical information can be altered by previous activity. However, the inhibitory network within L4 of V1 may act as an internal gate for induction of excitatory synaptic plasticity, thus providing either high fidelity throughput to supragranular layers or transmittal of a modified signal subject to recent activity-dependent plasticity. To evaluate this possibility, we compared the induction of synaptic plasticity using classical extracellular stimulation protocols that recruit a combination of excitatory and inhibitory synapses with stimulation of a single excitatory neuron onto a L4 cell. In order to induce plasticity, we paired pre- and postsynaptic activity (with the onset of postsynaptic spiking leading the presynaptic activation by 10ms) using extracellular stimulation (ECS) in acute slices of primary visual cortex and comparing the outcomes with our previously published results in which an identical protocol was used to induce synaptic plasticity between individual pre- and postsynaptic L4 excitatory neurons. Our results indicate that pairing of ECS with spiking in a L4 neuron fails to induce plasticity in L4-L4 connections if synaptic inhibition is intact. However, application of a similar pairing protocol under GABAARs inhibition by bath application of 2μM bicuculline does induce robust synaptic plasticity, long term potentiation (LTP) or long term

  12. Corticosterone mediates the synaptic and behavioral effects of chronic stress at rat hippocampal temporoammonic synapses.

    PubMed

    Kvarta, Mark D; Bradbrook, Keighly E; Dantrassy, Hannah M; Bailey, Aileen M; Thompson, Scott M

    2015-09-01

    Chronic stress is thought to impart risk for depression via alterations in brain structure and function, but contributions of specific mediators in generating these changes remain unclear. We test the hypothesis that stress-induced increases in corticosterone (CORT), the primary rodent glucocorticoid, are the key mediator of stress-induced depressive-like behavioral changes and synaptic dysfunction in the rat hippocampus. In rats, we correlated changes in cognitive and affective behavioral tasks (spatial memory consolidation, anhedonia, and neohypophagia) with impaired excitatory strength at temporoammonic-CA1 (TA-CA1) synapses, an archetypical stress-sensitive excitatory synapse. We tested whether elevated CORT was sufficient and necessary to generate a depressive-like behavioral phenotype and decreased excitatory signaling observed at TA-CA1 after chronic unpredictable stress (CUS). Chronic CORT administration induced an anhedonia-like behavioral state and neohypophagic behavior. Like CUS, chronic, but not acute, CORT generated an impaired synaptic phenotype characterized by reduced α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)-preferring glutamate receptor-mediated excitation at TA-CA1 synapses, decreased AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit 1 protein expression, and altered serotonin-1B receptor-mediated potentiation. Repeatedly blunting stress-induced increases of CORT during CUS with the CORT synthesis inhibitor metyrapone (MET) prevented these stress-induced neurobehavioral changes. MET also prevented the CUS-induced impairment of spatial memory consolidation. We conclude that corticosterone is sufficient and necessary to mediate glutamatergic dysfunction underlying stress-induced synaptic and behavioral phenotypes. Our results indicate that chronic excessive glucocorticoids cause specific synaptic deficits in the hippocampus, a major center for cognitive and emotional processing, that accompany stress-induced behavioral dysfunction

  13. Corticosterone mediates the synaptic and behavioral effects of chronic stress at rat hippocampal temporoammonic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Kvarta, Mark D.; Bradbrook, Keighly E.; Dantrassy, Hannah M.; Bailey, Aileen M.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic stress is thought to impart risk for depression via alterations in brain structure and function, but contributions of specific mediators in generating these changes remain unclear. We test the hypothesis that stress-induced increases in corticosterone (CORT), the primary rodent glucocorticoid, are the key mediator of stress-induced depressive-like behavioral changes and synaptic dysfunction in the rat hippocampus. In rats, we correlated changes in cognitive and affective behavioral tasks (spatial memory consolidation, anhedonia, and neohypophagia) with impaired excitatory strength at temporoammonic-CA1 (TA-CA1) synapses, an archetypical stress-sensitive excitatory synapse. We tested whether elevated CORT was sufficient and necessary to generate a depressive-like behavioral phenotype and decreased excitatory signaling observed at TA-CA1 after chronic unpredictable stress (CUS). Chronic CORT administration induced an anhedonia-like behavioral state and neohypophagic behavior. Like CUS, chronic, but not acute, CORT generated an impaired synaptic phenotype characterized by reduced α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)-preferring glutamate receptor-mediated excitation at TA-CA1 synapses, decreased AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit 1 protein expression, and altered serotonin-1B receptor-mediated potentiation. Repeatedly blunting stress-induced increases of CORT during CUS with the CORT synthesis inhibitor metyrapone (MET) prevented these stress-induced neurobehavioral changes. MET also prevented the CUS-induced impairment of spatial memory consolidation. We conclude that corticosterone is sufficient and necessary to mediate glutamatergic dysfunction underlying stress-induced synaptic and behavioral phenotypes. Our results indicate that chronic excessive glucocorticoids cause specific synaptic deficits in the hippocampus, a major center for cognitive and emotional processing, that accompany stress-induced behavioral dysfunction

  14. Stabilization of memory States by stochastic facilitating synapses.

    PubMed

    Miller, Paul

    2013-12-06

    Bistability within a small neural circuit can arise through an appropriate strength of excitatory recurrent feedback. The stability of a state of neural activity, measured by the mean dwelling time before a noise-induced transition to another state, depends on the neural firing-rate curves, the net strength of excitatory feedback, the statistics of spike times, and increases exponentially with the number of equivalent neurons in the circuit. Here, we show that such stability is greatly enhanced by synaptic facilitation and reduced by synaptic depression. We take into account the alteration in times of synaptic vesicle release, by calculating distributions of inter-release intervals of a synapse, which differ from the distribution of its incoming interspike intervals when the synapse is dynamic. In particular, release intervals produced by a Poisson spike train have a coefficient of variation greater than one when synapses are probabilistic and facilitating, whereas the coefficient of variation is less than one when synapses are depressing. However, in spite of the increased variability in postsynaptic input produced by facilitating synapses, their dominant effect is reduced synaptic efficacy at low input rates compared to high rates, which increases the curvature of neural input-output functions, leading to wider regions of bistability in parameter space and enhanced lifetimes of memory states. Our results are based on analytic methods with approximate formulae and bolstered by simulations of both Poisson processes and of circuits of noisy spiking model neurons.

  15. Localization of the presynaptic cytomatrix protein Piccolo at ribbon and conventional synapses in the rat retina: comparison with Bassoon.

    PubMed

    Dick, O; Hack, I; Altrock, W D; Garner, C C; Gundelfinger, E D; Brandstätter, J H

    2001-10-15

    In recent years significant progress has been made in the elucidation of the molecular assembly of the postsynaptic density at synapses, whereas little is known as yet about the components of the presynaptic active zone. Piccolo and Bassoon, two structurally related presynaptic cytomatrix proteins, are highly concentrated at the active zones of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses in rat brain. In this study we used immunocytochemistry to examine the cellular and ultrastructural localization of Piccolo at synapses in the rat retina and compared it with that of Bassoon. Both proteins showed strong punctate immunofluorescence in the outer and the inner plexiform layers of the retina. They were found presynaptically at glutamatergic ribbon synapses and at conventional GABAergic and glycinergic synapses. Although the two proteins were coexpressed at all photoreceptor ribbon synapses and at some conventional amacrine cell synapses, at bipolar cell ribbon synapses only Piccolo was present. Our data demonstrate similarities but also differences in the molecular composition of the presynaptic apparatuses of the synapses in the retina, differences that may account for the functional differences observed between the ribbon and the conventional amacrine cell synapses and between the photoreceptor and the bipolar cell ribbon synapses in the retina.

  16. Synapse-to-neuron ratio is inversely related to neuronal density in mature neuronal cultures.

    PubMed

    Cullen, D Kacy; Gilroy, Meghan E; Irons, Hillary R; Laplaca, Michelle C

    2010-11-01

    Synapse formation is a fundamental process in neurons that occurs throughout development, maturity, and aging. Although these stages contain disparate and fluctuating numbers of mature neurons, tactics employed by neuronal networks to modulate synapse number as a function of neuronal density are not well understood. The goal of this study was to utilize an in vitro model to assess the influence of cell density and neuronal maturity on synapse number and distribution. Specifically, cerebral cortical neurons were plated in planar culture at densities ranging from 10 to 5000 neurons/mm², and synapse number and distribution were evaluated via immunocytochemistry over 21 days in vitro (DIV). High-resolution confocal microscopy revealed an elaborate three-dimensional distribution of neurites and synapses across the heights of high-density neuronal networks by 21 DIV, which were up to 18 μm thick, demonstrating the complex degree of spatial interactions even in planar high-density cultures. At 7 DIV, the mean number of synapses per neuron was less than 5, and this did not vary as a function of neuronal density. However, by 21 DIV, the number of synapses per neuron had jumped 30- to 80-fold, and the synapse-to-neuron ratio was greatest at lower neuronal densities (< 500 neurons/mm²; mean approximately 400 synapses/neuron) compared to mid and higher neuronal densities (500-4500 neurons/mm²; mean of approximately 150 synapses/neuron) (p<0.05). These results suggest a relationship between neuronal density and synapse number that may have implications in the neurobiology of developing neuronal networks as well as processes of cell death and regeneration.

  17. Factors affecting sexual function in menopause: A review article.

    PubMed

    Nazarpour, Soheila; Simbar, Masoumeh; Tehrani, Fahimeh Ramezani

    2016-08-01

    This study aimed to systematically review the articles on factors affecting sexual function during menopause. Searching articles indexed in Pubmed, Science Direct, Iranmedex, EMBASE, Scopus, and Scientific Information Database databases, a total number of 42 studies published between 2003 and 2013 were selected. Age, estrogen deficiency, type of menopause, chronic medical problems, partner's sex problems, severity of menopause symptoms, dystocia history, and health status were the physical factors influencing sexual function of menopausal women. There were conflicting results regarding the amount of androgens, hormonal therapy, exercise/physical activity, and obstetric history. In the mental-emotional area, all studies confirmed the impact of depression and anxiety. Social factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, the quality of relationship with husband, partner's loyalty, sexual knowledge, access to health care, a history of divorce or the death of a husband, living apart from a spouse, and a negative understanding of women's health were found to affect sexual function; however, there were conflicting results regarding the effects of education, occupation, socioeconomic status, marital duration, and frequency of sexual intercourse. PMID:27590367

  18. Microbial composition affects the functioning of estuarine sediments

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Heather E; Martiny, Jennifer BH

    2013-01-01

    Although microorganisms largely drive many ecosystem processes, the relationship between microbial composition and their functioning remains unclear. To tease apart the effects of composition and the environment directly, microbial composition must be manipulated and maintained, ideally in a natural ecosystem. In this study, we aimed to test whether variability in microbial composition affects functional processes in a field setting, by reciprocally transplanting riverbed sediments between low- and high-salinity locations along the Nonesuch River (Maine, USA). We placed the sediments into microbial ‘cages' to prevent the migration of microorganisms, while allowing the sediments to experience the abiotic conditions of the surroundings. We performed two experiments, short- (1 week) and long-term (7 weeks) reciprocal transplants, after which we assayed a variety of functional processes in the cages. In both experiments, we examined the composition of bacteria generally (targeting the 16S rDNA gene) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) specifically (targeting the dsrAB gene) using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP). In the short-term experiment, sediment processes (CO2 production, CH4 flux, nitrification and enzyme activities) depended on both the sediment's origin (reflecting differences in microbial composition between salt and freshwater sediments) and the surrounding environment. In the long-term experiment, general bacterial composition (but not SRB composition) shifted in response to their new environment, and this composition was significantly correlated with sediment functioning. Further, sediment origin had a diminished effect, relative to the short-term experiment, on sediment processes. Overall, this study provides direct evidence that microbial composition directly affects functional processes in these sediments. PMID:23235294

  19. The presynaptic active zone protein bassoon is essential for photoreceptor ribbon synapse formation in the retina.

    PubMed

    Dick, Oliver; tom Dieck, Susanne; Altrock, Wilko Detlef; Ammermüller, Josef; Weiler, Reto; Garner, Craig Curtis; Gundelfinger, Eckart Dieter; Brandstätter, Johann Helmut

    2003-03-01

    The photoreceptor ribbon synapse is a highly specialized glutamatergic synapse designed for the continuous flow of synaptic vesicles to the neurotransmitter release site. The molecular mechanisms underlying ribbon synapse formation are poorly understood. We have investigated the role of the presynaptic cytomatrix protein Bassoon, a major component of the photoreceptor ribbon, in a mouse retina deficient of functional Bassoon protein. Photoreceptor ribbons lacking Bassoon are not anchored to the presynaptic active zones. This results in an impaired photoreceptor synaptic transmission, an abnormal dendritic branching of neurons postsynaptic to photoreceptors, and the formation of ectopic synapses. These findings suggest a critical role of Bassoon in the formation and the function of photoreceptor ribbon synapses of the mammalian retina.

  20. Differential expression of the presynaptic cytomatrix protein bassoon among ribbon synapses in the mammalian retina.

    PubMed

    Brandstätter, J H; Fletcher, E L; Garner, C C; Gundelfinger, E D; Wässle, H

    1999-10-01

    Bassoon is a 420-kDa presynaptic protein which is highly concentrated at the active zones of nerve terminals of conventional synapses, both excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic, in rat brain. It is thought to be involved in the organization of the cytomatrix at the site of neurotransmitter release. In the retina, there are two structurally and functionally distinct types of synapses: ribbon and conventional synapses. Antibodies against bassoon were applied to sections of rat and rabbit retina. Strong punctate immunofluorescence was found in the outer and inner plexiform layers. Using pre- and post-embedding immunostaining and electron microscopy, bassoon was localized in the outer plexiform layer at ribbon synapses formed by rods and cones but was absent from basal synaptic contacts formed by cones. In the inner plexiform layer a different picture emerged. As in the brain, bassoon was found at conventional inhibitory GABAergic synapses, made by amacrine cells, but it was absent from the bipolar cell ribbon synapses. These data demonstrate differences in the molecular composition of the presynaptic apparatuses of outer and inner plexiform layer ribbon synapses. Thus, differential equipment with cytomatrix proteins may account for the functional differences observed between the two types of ribbon synapses in the retina.

  1. Synaptic Competition Sculpts the Development of GABAergic Axo-Dendritic but Not Perisomatic Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Medrihan, Lucian; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Barberis, Andrea; Wulff, Peer; Wisden, William; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco

    2013-01-01

    The neurotransmitter GABA regulates many aspects of inhibitory synapse development. We tested the hypothesis that GABAA receptors (GABAARs) work together with the synaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin 2 (NL2) to regulate synapse formation in different subcellular compartments. We investigated mice (“γ2 knockdown mice”) with an engineered allele of the GABAAR γ2 subunit gene which produced a mosaic expression of synaptic GABAARs in neighboring neurons, causing a strong imbalance in synaptic inhibition. Deletion of the γ2 subunit did not abolish synapse formation or the targeting of NL2 to distinct types of perisomatic and axo-dendritic contacts. Thus synaptic localization of NL2 does not require synaptic GABAARs. However, loss of the γ2 subunit caused a selective decrease in the number of axo-dendritic synapses on cerebellar Purkinje cells and cortical pyramidal neurons, whereas perisomatic synapses were not significantly affected. Notably, γ2-positive cells had increased axo-dendritic innervation compared with both γ2-negative and wild-type counterparts. Moreover heterologous synapses on spines, that are found after total deletion of GABAARs from all Purkinje cells, were rare in cerebella of γ2 knockdown mice. These findings reveal a selective role of γ2 subunit-containing GABAARs in regulating synapse development in distinct subcellular compartments, and support the hypothesis that the refinement of axo-dendritic synapses is regulated by activity-dependent competition between neighboring neurons. PMID:23457547

  2. A compound memristive synapse model for statistical learning through STDP in spiking neural networks

    PubMed Central

    Bill, Johannes; Legenstein, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Memristors have recently emerged as promising circuit elements to mimic the function of biological synapses in neuromorphic computing. The fabrication of reliable nanoscale memristive synapses, that feature continuous conductance changes based on the timing of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, has however turned out to be challenging. In this article, we propose an alternative approach, the compound memristive synapse, that circumvents this problem by the use of memristors with binary memristive states. A compound memristive synapse employs multiple bistable memristors in parallel to jointly form one synapse, thereby providing a spectrum of synaptic efficacies. We investigate the computational implications of synaptic plasticity in the compound synapse by integrating the recently observed phenomenon of stochastic filament formation into an abstract model of stochastic switching. Using this abstract model, we first show how standard pulsing schemes give rise to spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) with a stabilizing weight dependence in compound synapses. In a next step, we study unsupervised learning with compound synapses in networks of spiking neurons organized in a winner-take-all architecture. Our theoretical analysis reveals that compound-synapse STDP implements generalized Expectation-Maximization in the spiking network. Specifically, the emergent synapse configuration represents the most salient features of the input distribution in a Mixture-of-Gaussians generative model. Furthermore, the network's spike response to spiking input streams approximates a well-defined Bayesian posterior distribution. We show in computer simulations how such networks learn to represent high-dimensional distributions over images of handwritten digits with high fidelity even in presence of substantial device variations and under severe noise conditions. Therefore, the compound memristive synapse may provide a synaptic design principle for future neuromorphic architectures. PMID

  3. TrkB has a cell-autonomous role in the establishment of hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapses.

    PubMed

    Luikart, Bryan W; Nef, Serge; Virmani, Tuhin; Lush, Mark E; Liu, Yajuan; Kavalali, Ege T; Parada, Luis F

    2005-04-13

    Neurotrophin signaling has been implicated in the processes of synapse formation and plasticity. To gain additional insight into the mechanism of BDNF and TrkB influence on synapse formation and synaptic plasticity, we generated a conditional knock-out for TrkB using the cre/loxp system. Using three different cre-expressing transgenic mice, three unique spatial and temporal configurations of TrkB deletion were obtained with regard to the hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapse. We compare synapse formation in mutants in which TrkB is ablated either in presynaptic or in both presynaptic and postsynaptic cells at early developmental or postdevelopmental time points. Our results indicate a requirement for TrkB at both the presynaptic and postsynaptic sites during development. In the absence of TrkB, synapse numbers were significantly reduced. In vivo ablation of TrkB after synapse formation did not affect synapse numbers. In primary hippocampal cultures, deletion of TrkB in only the postsynaptic cell, before synapse formation, also resulted in deficits of synapse formation. We conclude that TrkB signaling has a cell-autonomous role required for normal development of both presynaptic and postsynaptic components of the Schaffer collateral synapse.

  4. ER to synapse trafficking of NMDA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Horak, Martin; Petralia, Ronald S.; Kaniakova, Martina; Sans, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. There are three distinct subtypes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (GluRs) that have been identified including 2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2-oxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid receptors (AMPARs), N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and kainate receptors. The most common GluRs in mature synapses are AMPARs that mediate the fast excitatory neurotransmission and NMDARs that mediate the slow excitatory neurotransmission. There have been large numbers of recent reports studying how a single neuron regulates synaptic numbers and types of AMPARs and NMDARs. Our current research is centered primarily on NMDARs and, therefore, we will focus in this review on recent knowledge of molecular mechanisms occurring (1) early in the biosynthetic pathway of NMDARs, (2) in the transport of NMDARs after their release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER); and (3) at the plasma membrane including excitatory synapses. Because a growing body of evidence also indicates that abnormalities in NMDAR functioning are associated with a number of human psychiatric and neurological diseases, this review together with other chapters in this issue may help to enhance research and to gain further knowledge of normal synaptic physiology as well as of the etiology of many human brain diseases. PMID:25505872

  5. Contact time periods in immunological synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bush, Daniel R.; Chattopadhyay, Amit K.

    2014-10-01

    This paper resolves the long standing debate as to the proper time scale <τ> of the onset of the immunological synapse bond, the noncovalent chemical bond defining the immune pathways involving T cells and antigen presenting cells. Results from our model calculations show <τ> to be of the order of seconds instead of minutes. Close to the linearly stable regime, we show that in between the two critical spatial thresholds defined by the integrin:ligand pair (Δ2˜ 40-45 nm) and the T-cell receptor TCR:peptide-major-histocompatibility-complex pMHC bond (Δ1˜ 14-15 nm), <τ> grows monotonically with increasing coreceptor bond length separation δ (= Δ2-Δ1˜ 26-30 nm) while <τ> decays with Δ1 for fixed Δ2. The nonuniversal δ-dependent power-law structure of the probability density function further explains why only the TCR:pMHC bond is a likely candidate to form a stable synapse.

  6. Wnts in action: from synapse formation to synaptic maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Dickins, Ellen M.; Salinas, Patricia C.

    2013-01-01

    A proper balance between synapse assembly and disassembly is crucial for the formation of functional neuronal circuits and synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. During development, synaptogenesis generates a vast excess of synapses, which are subsequently eliminated. Importantly, aberrant synaptic disassembly during development underpins many neurological disorders. Wnt secreted proteins are robust synaptogenic factors that regulate synapse assembly and function in the developing and mature brain. Recent studies show that Wnt blockade with the antagonist Dickkopf-1 (Dkk1) induces the rapid disassembly of synapses in mature neurons. Importantly, Dkk1 mediates synaptic loss induced by Amyloid-ß, a key pathogenic molecule in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These findings provide new insights into the potential contribution of dysfunctional Wnt signaling to synaptic loss observed in neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we discuss the role of Wnt signaling in vertebrate synaptic assembly, function and maintenance, and consider how dysfunction of Wnt signaling could contribute to synaptic disassembly in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. PMID:24223536

  7. Bisphenol A affects androgen receptor function via multiple mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Teng, Christina; Goodwin, Bonnie; Shockley, Keith; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili; Norris, John; Merrick, B Alex; Jetten, Anton M; Austin, Christopher P; Tice, Raymond R

    2013-05-25

    Bisphenol A (BPA), is a well-known endocrine disruptor compound (EDC) that affects the normal development and function of the female and male reproductive system, however the mechanisms of action remain unclear. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of how BPA may affect ten different nuclear receptors, stable cell lines containing individual nuclear receptor ligand binding domain (LBD)-linked to the β-Gal reporter were examined by a quantitative high throughput screening (qHTS) format in the Tox21 Screening Program of the NIH. The results showed that two receptors, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and androgen receptor (AR), are affected by BPA in opposite direction. To confirm the observed effects of BPA on ERα and AR, we performed transient transfection experiments with full-length receptors and their corresponding response elements linked to luciferase reporters. We also included in this study two BPA analogs, bisphenol AF (BPAF) and bisphenol S (BPS). As seen in African green monkey kidney CV1 cells, the present study confirmed that BPA and BPAF act as ERα agonists (half maximal effective concentration EC50 of 10-100 nM) and as AR antagonists (half maximal inhibitory concentration IC50 of 1-2 μM). Both BPA and BPAF antagonized AR function via competitive inhibition of the action of synthetic androgen R1881. BPS with lower estrogenic activity (EC50 of 2.2 μM), did not compete with R1881 for AR binding, when tested at 30 μM. Finally, the effects of BPA were also evaluated in a nuclear translocation assays using EGPF-tagged receptors. Similar to 17β-estradiol (E2) which was used as control, BPA was able to enhance ERα nuclear foci formation but at a 100-fold higher concentration. Although BPA was able to bind AR, the nuclear translocation was reduced. Furthermore, BPA was unable to induce functional foci in the nuclei and is consistent with the transient transfection study that BPA is unable to activate AR.

  8. Bisphenol A affects androgen receptor function via multiple mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Teng, Christina; Goodwin, Bonnie; Shockley, Keith; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili; Norris, John; Merrick, B. Alex; Jetten, Anton M.; Austin, Christopher, P.; Tice, Raymond R.

    2013-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA), is a well-known endocrine disruptor compound (EDC) that affects the normal development and function of the female and male reproductive system, however the mechanisms of action remain unclear. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of how BPA may affect ten different nuclear receptors, stable cell lines containing individual nuclear receptor ligand binding domain (LBD)-linked to the β-Gal reporter were examined by a quantitative high throughput screening (qHTS) format in the Tox21 Screening Program of the NIH. The results showed that two receptors, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and androgen receptor (AR), are affected by BPA in opposite direction. To confirm the observed effects of BPA on ERα and AR, we performed transient transfection experiments with full-length receptors and their corresponding response elements linked to luciferase reporters. We also included in this study two BPA analogs, bisphenol AF (BPAF) and bisphenol S (BPS). As seen in African green monkey kidney CV1 cells, the present study confirmed that BPA and BPAF act as ERα agonists (half maximal effective concentration EC50 of 10-100 nM) and as AR antagonists (half maximal inhibitory concentration IC50 of 1-2 μM). Both BPA and BPAF antagonized AR function via competitive inhibition of the action of synthetic androgen R1881. BPS with lower estrogenic activity (EC50 of 2.2 μM), did not compete with R1881 for AR binding, when tested at 30 μM. Finally, the effects of BPA were also evaluated in a nuclear translocation assays using EGPF-tagged receptors. Similar to 17β-estradiol (E2) which was used as control, BPA was able to enhance ERα nuclear foci formation but at a 100-fold higher concentration. Although BPA was able to bind AR, the nuclear translocation was reduced. Furthermore, BPA was unable to induce functional foci in the nuclei and is consistent with the transient transfection study that BPA is unable to activate AR. PMID:23562765

  9. Organic core-sheath nanowire artificial synapses with femtojoule energy consumption.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wentao; Min, Sung-Yong; Hwang, Hyunsang; Lee, Tae-Woo

    2016-06-01

    Emulation of biological synapses is an important step toward construction of large-scale brain-inspired electronics. Despite remarkable progress in emulating synaptic functions, current synaptic devices still consume energy that is orders of magnitude greater than do biological synapses (~10 fJ per synaptic event). Reduction of energy consumption of artificial synapses remains a difficult challenge. We report organic nanowire (ONW) synaptic transistors (STs) that emulate the important working principles of a biological synapse. The ONWs emulate the morphology of nerve fibers. With a core-sheath-structured ONW active channel and a well-confined 300-nm channel length obtained using ONW lithography, ~1.23 fJ per synaptic event for individual ONW was attained, which rivals that of biological synapses. The ONW STs provide a significant step toward realizing low-energy-consuming artificial intelligent electronics and open new approaches to assembling soft neuromorphic systems with nanometer feature size. PMID:27386556

  10. Network activity-independent coordinated gene expression program for synapse assembly

    PubMed Central

    Valor, Luis M.; Charlesworth, Paul; Humphreys, Lawrence; Anderson, Chris N. G.; Grant, Seth G. N.

    2007-01-01

    Global biological datasets generated by genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics provide new approaches to understanding the relationship between the genome and the synapse. Combined transcriptome analysis and multielectrode recordings of neuronal network activity were used in mouse embryonic primary neuronal cultures to examine synapse formation and activity-dependent gene regulation. Evidence for a coordinated gene expression program for assembly of synapses was observed in the expression of 642 genes encoding postsynaptic and plasticity proteins. This synaptogenesis gene expression program preceded protein expression of synapse markers and onset of spiking activity. Continued expression was followed by maturation of morphology and electrical neuronal networks, which was then followed by the expression of activity-dependent genes. Thus, two distinct sequentially active gene expression programs underlie the genomic programs of synapse function. PMID:17360580

  11. Organic core-sheath nanowire artificial synapses with femtojoule energy consumption

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Wentao; Min, Sung-Yong; Hwang, Hyunsang; Lee, Tae-Woo

    2016-01-01

    Emulation of biological synapses is an important step toward construction of large-scale brain-inspired electronics. Despite remarkable progress in emulating synaptic functions, current synaptic devices still consume energy that is orders of magnitude greater than do biological synapses (~10 fJ per synaptic event). Reduction of energy consumption of artificial synapses remains a difficult challenge. We report organic nanowire (ONW) synaptic transistors (STs) that emulate the important working principles of a biological synapse. The ONWs emulate the morphology of nerve fibers. With a core-sheath–structured ONW active channel and a well-confined 300-nm channel length obtained using ONW lithography, ~1.23 fJ per synaptic event for individual ONW was attained, which rivals that of biological synapses. The ONW STs provide a significant step toward realizing low-energy–consuming artificial intelligent electronics and open new approaches to assembling soft neuromorphic systems with nanometer feature size. PMID:27386556

  12. Can lifestyle modification affect men’s erectile function?

    PubMed Central

    Hehemann, Marah C.

    2016-01-01

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition affecting millions of men worldwide. The pathophysiology and epidemiologic links between ED and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well-established. Lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, weight reduction, dietary modification, physical activity, and psychological stress reduction have been increasingly recognized as foundational to the prevention and treatment of ED. The aim of this review is to outline behavioral choices which may increase ones risk of developing ED, to present relevant studies addressing lifestyle factors correlated with ED, and to highlight proposed mechanisms for intervention aimed at improving erectile function in men with ED. These recommendations can provide a framework for counseling patients with ED about lifestyle modification. PMID:27141445

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

    PubMed

    Kempton, Matthew J; Ettinger, Ulrich; Foster, Russell; Williams, Steven C R; Calvert, Gemma A; Hampshire, Adam; Zelaya, Fernando O; O'Gorman, Ruth L; McMorris, Terry; Owen, Adrian M; Smith, Marcus S

    2011-01-01

    It was recently observed that dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue and an associated increase in ventricular volume. Negative effects of dehydration on cognitive performance have been shown in some but not all studies, and it has also been reported that an increased perceived effort may be required following dehydration. However, the effects of dehydration on brain function are unknown. We investigated this question using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 10 healthy adolescents (mean age = 16.8, five females). Each subject completed a thermal exercise protocol and nonthermal exercise control condition in a cross-over repeated measures design. Subjects lost more weight via perspiration in the thermal exercise versus the control condition (P < 0.0001), and lateral ventricle enlargement correlated with the reduction in body mass (r = 0.77, P = 0.01). Dehydration following the thermal exercise protocol led to a significantly stronger increase in fronto-parietal blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response during an executive function task (Tower of London) than the control condition, whereas cerebral perfusion during rest was not affected. The increase in BOLD response after dehydration was not paralleled by a change in cognitive performance, suggesting an inefficient use of brain metabolic activity following dehydration. This pattern indicates that participants exerted a higher level of neuronal activity in order to achieve the same performance level. Given the limited availability of brain metabolic resources, these findings suggest that prolonged states of reduced water intake may adversely impact executive functions such as planning and visuo-spatial processing.

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

    PubMed

    Kempton, Matthew J; Ettinger, Ulrich; Foster, Russell; Williams, Steven C R; Calvert, Gemma A; Hampshire, Adam; Zelaya, Fernando O; O'Gorman, Ruth L; McMorris, Terry; Owen, Adrian M; Smith, Marcus S

    2011-01-01

    It was recently observed that dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue and an associated increase in ventricular volume. Negative effects of dehydration on cognitive performance have been shown in some but not all studies, and it has also been reported that an increased perceived effort may be required following dehydration. However, the effects of dehydration on brain function are unknown. We investigated this question using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 10 healthy adolescents (mean age = 16.8, five females). Each subject completed a thermal exercise protocol and nonthermal exercise control condition in a cross-over repeated measures design. Subjects lost more weight via perspiration in the thermal exercise versus the control condition (P < 0.0001), and lateral ventricle enlargement correlated with the reduction in body mass (r = 0.77, P = 0.01). Dehydration following the thermal exercise protocol led to a significantly stronger increase in fronto-parietal blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response during an executive function task (Tower of London) than the control condition, whereas cerebral perfusion during rest was not affected. The increase in BOLD response after dehydration was not paralleled by a change in cognitive performance, suggesting an inefficient use of brain metabolic activity following dehydration. This pattern indicates that participants exerted a higher level of neuronal activity in order to achieve the same performance level. Given the limited availability of brain metabolic resources, these findings suggest that prolonged states of reduced water intake may adversely impact executive functions such as planning and visuo-spatial processing. PMID:20336685

  15. Functional roles affect diversity-succession relationships for boreal beetles.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim

    2013-01-01

    Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of "functional" groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience.

  16. Microglia and synapse interactions: fine tuning neural circuits and candidate molecules

    PubMed Central

    Miyamoto, Akiko; Wake, Hiroaki; Moorhouse, Andrew J.; Nabekura, Junichi

    2013-01-01

    Brain function depends critically on the interactions among the underlying components that comprise neural circuits. This includes coordinated activity in pre-synaptic and postsynaptic neuronal elements, but also in the non-neuronal elements such as glial cells. Microglia are glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS) that have well-known roles in neuronal immune function, responding to infections and brain injury and influencing the progress of neurodegenerative disorders. However, microglia are also surveyors of the healthy brain, continuously extending and retracting their processes and making contacts with pre- and postsynaptic elements of neural circuits, a process that clearly consumes considerable energy. Pruning of synapses during development and in response to injury has also been documented, and we propose that this extensive surveillance of the brain parenchyma in adult healthy brain results in similar “fine-tuning” of neural circuits. A reasonable extension is that a dysfunction of such a homeostatic role of microglia could be a primary cause of neuronal disease. Indeed, neuronal functions including cognition, personality, and information processing are affected by immune status. In this review we focus on the interactions between microglia and synapses, the possible cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate such contacts, and the possible implications these interactions may have in the fine tuning of neural circuits that is so important for physiological brain function. PMID:23720611

  17. To what extent does urbanisation affect fragmented grassland functioning?

    PubMed

    van der Walt, L; Cilliers, S S; Kellner, K; Du Toit, M J; Tongway, D

    2015-03-15

    Urbanisation creates altered environments characterised by increased human habitation, impermeable surfaces, artificial structures, landscape fragmentation, habitat loss, resulting in different resource loss pathways. The vulnerable Rand Highveld Grassland vegetation unit in the Tlokwe Municipal area, South Africa, has been extensively affected and transformed by urbanisation, agriculture, and mining. Grassland fragments in urban areas are often considered to be less species rich and less functional than in the more untransformed or "natural" exurban environments, and are therefore seldom a priority for conservation. Furthermore, urban grassland fragments are often being more intensely managed than exurban areas, such as consistent mowing in open urban areas. Four urbanisation measures acting as indicators for patterns and processes associated with urban areas were calculated for matrix areas surrounding each selected grassland fragment to quantify the position of each grassland remnant along an urbanisation gradient. The grassland fragments were objectively classified into two classes of urbanisation, namely "exurban" and "urban" based on the urbanisation measure values. Grazing was recorded in some exurban grasslands and mowing in some urban grassland fragments. Unmanaged grassland fragments were present in both urban and exurban areas. Fine-scale biophysical landscape function was determined by executing the Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) method. LFA assesses fine-scale landscape patchiness (entailing resource conserving potential and erosion resistance) and 11 soil surface indicators to produce three main LFA parameters (stability, infiltration, and nutrient cycling), which indicates how well a system is functioning in terms of fine-scale biophysical soil processes and characteristics. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of urbanisation and associated management practices on fine-scale biophysical landscape function of urban and exurban

  18. To what extent does urbanisation affect fragmented grassland functioning?

    PubMed

    van der Walt, L; Cilliers, S S; Kellner, K; Du Toit, M J; Tongway, D

    2015-03-15

    Urbanisation creates altered environments characterised by increased human habitation, impermeable surfaces, artificial structures, landscape fragmentation, habitat loss, resulting in different resource loss pathways. The vulnerable Rand Highveld Grassland vegetation unit in the Tlokwe Municipal area, South Africa, has been extensively affected and transformed by urbanisation, agriculture, and mining. Grassland fragments in urban areas are often considered to be less species rich and less functional than in the more untransformed or "natural" exurban environments, and are therefore seldom a priority for conservation. Furthermore, urban grassland fragments are often being more intensely managed than exurban areas, such as consistent mowing in open urban areas. Four urbanisation measures acting as indicators for patterns and processes associated with urban areas were calculated for matrix areas surrounding each selected grassland fragment to quantify the position of each grassland remnant along an urbanisation gradient. The grassland fragments were objectively classified into two classes of urbanisation, namely "exurban" and "urban" based on the urbanisation measure values. Grazing was recorded in some exurban grasslands and mowing in some urban grassland fragments. Unmanaged grassland fragments were present in both urban and exurban areas. Fine-scale biophysical landscape function was determined by executing the Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) method. LFA assesses fine-scale landscape patchiness (entailing resource conserving potential and erosion resistance) and 11 soil surface indicators to produce three main LFA parameters (stability, infiltration, and nutrient cycling), which indicates how well a system is functioning in terms of fine-scale biophysical soil processes and characteristics. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of urbanisation and associated management practices on fine-scale biophysical landscape function of urban and exurban

  19. Fear learning increases the number of polyribosomes associated with excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the barrel cortex.

    PubMed

    Jasinska, Malgorzata; Siucinska, Ewa; Jasek, Ewa; Litwin, Jan A; Pyza, Elzbieta; Kossut, Malgorzata

    2013-01-01

    Associative fear learning, resulting from whisker stimulation paired with application of a mild electric shock to the tail in a classical conditioning paradigm, changes the motor behavior of mice and modifies the cortical functional representation of sensory receptors involved in the conditioning. It also induces the formation of new inhibitory synapses on double-synapse spines of the cognate barrel hollows. We studied density and distribution of polyribosomes, the putative structural markers of enhanced synaptic activation, following conditioning. By analyzing serial sections of the barrel cortex by electron microscopy and stereology, we found that the density of polyribosomes was significantly increased in dendrites of the barrel activated during conditioning. The results revealed fear learning-induced increase in the density of polyribosomes associated with both excitatory and inhibitory synapses located on dendritic spines (in both single- and double-synapse spines) and only with the inhibitory synapses located on dendritic shafts. This effect was accompanied by a significant increase in the postsynaptic density area of the excitatory synapses on single-synapse spines and of the inhibitory synapses on double-synapse spines containing polyribosomes. The present results show that associative fear learning not only induces inhibitory synaptogenesis, as demonstrated in the previous studies, but also stimulates local protein synthesis and produces modifications of the synapses that indicate their potentiation.

  20. Interferon gamma induces retrograde dendritic retraction and inhibits synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Kim, In-Jung; Beck, Hiroko Nagasawa; Lein, Pamela J; Higgins, Dennis

    2002-06-01

    The expression of interferon gamma (IFNgamma) increases after neural injury, and it is sustained in chronic inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis and infection with human immunodeficiency virus. To understand how exposure to this proinflammatory cytokine might affect neural function, we examined its effects on cultures of neurons derived from the central and peripheral nervous systems. IFNgamma inhibits initial dendritic outgrowth in cultures of embryonic rat sympathetic and hippocampal neurons, and this inhibitory effect on process growth is associated with a decrease in the rate of synapse formation. In addition, in older cultures of sympathetic neurons, IFNgamma also selectively induces retraction of existing dendrites, ultimately leading to an 88% decrease in the size of the arbor. Dendritic retraction induced by IFNgamma represents a specific cellular response because it occurs without affecting axonal outgrowth or cell survival, and it is not observed with tumor necrosis factor alpha or other inflammatory cytokines. IFNgamma-induced dendritic retraction is associated with the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), and expression of a dominant-negative STAT1 construct attenuates the inhibitory effect of IFNgamma. Moreover, retrograde dendritic retraction is observed when distal axons are selectively exposed to IFNgamma. These data imply that IFNgamma-mediated STAT1 activation induces both dendritic atrophy and synaptic loss and that this occurs both at the sites of IFNgamma release and at remote loci. Regressive actions of IFNgamma on dendrites may contribute to the neuropathology of inflammatory diseases.

  1. Integrating Negative Affect Measures in a Measurement Model: Assessing the Function of Negative Affect as Interference to Self-Regulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magno, Carlo

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated the composition of negative affect and its function as inhibitory to thought processes such as self-regulation. Negative affect in the present study were composed of anxiety, worry, thought suppression, and fear of negative evaluation. These four factors were selected based on the criteria of negative affect by…

  2. Does Ramadan Fasting Adversely Affect Cognitive Function in Young Females?

    PubMed Central

    Ghayour Najafabadi, Mahboubeh; Rahbar Nikoukar, Laya; Memari, Amir; Ekhtiari, Hamed; Beygi, Sara

    2015-01-01

    We examined the effects of Ramadan fasting on cognitive function in 17 female athletes. Data were obtained from participants of two fasting (n = 9) and nonfasting (n = 8) groups at three periods of the study (before Ramadan, at the third week in Ramadan, and after Ramadan). Digit span test (DST) and Stroop color test were employed to assess short-term memory and inhibition/cognitive flexibility at each time point. There were no significant changes for DST and Stroop task 1 in both groups, whereas Stroop task 2 and task 3 showed significant improvements in Ramadan condition (p < 0.05). Interference indices did not change significantly across the study except in post-Ramadan period of fasting group (p < 0.05). Group × week interaction was significant only for error numbers (p < 0.05). Athletes in nonfasting showed a significant decrease in number of errors in Ramadan compared to baseline (p < 0.05). The results suggest that Ramadan fasting may not adversely affect cognitive function in female athletes. PMID:26697263

  3. Functional Roles Affect Diversity-Succession Relationships for Boreal Beetles

    PubMed Central

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim

    2013-01-01

    Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of “functional” groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience. PMID:23977350

  4. Spine synapse remodeling in the pathophysiology and treatment of depression

    PubMed Central

    Duman, Catharine H.; Duman, Ronald S.

    2015-01-01

    Clinical brain imaging and postmortem studies provide evidence of structural and functional abnormalities of key limbic and cortical structures in depressed patients, suggesting that spine synapse connectivity is altered in depression. Characterization of the cellular determinants underlying these changes in patients are limited, but studies in rodent models demonstrate alterations of dendrite complexity and spine density and function that could contribute to the morphological and functional alterations observed in humans. Rodent studies demonstrate region specific effects in chronic stress models of depression, including reductions in dendrite complexity and spine density in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) but increases in the basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens. Alterations of spine synapse connectivity in these regions are thought to contribute to the behavioral symptoms of depression, including disruption of cognition, mood, emotion, motivation, and reward. Studies of the mechanisms underlying these effects demonstrate a role for altered brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling that regulates synaptic protein synthesis. In contrast, there is evidence that chronic antidepressant treatment can block or reverse the spine synapse alterations caused by stress. Notably, the new fast acting antidepressant ketamine, which produces rapid therapeutic actions in treatment resistant MDD patients, rapidly increases spine synapse number in the PFC of rodents and reverses the effects of chronic stress. The rapid synaptic and behavioral actions of ketamine occur via increased BDNF regulation of synaptic protein synthesis. Together these studies provide evidence for a neurotophic and synaptogenic hypothesis of depression and treatment response and indicate that spine synapse connectivity in key cortical and limbic brain regions is critical for control of mood and emotion. PMID:25582786

  5. The cytomatrix protein bassoon contributes to fast transmission at conventional and ribbon synapses.

    PubMed

    Joselevitch, Christina; Zenisek, David

    2010-11-18

    The presynaptic active zone contains a complex web of proteins involved in synaptic transmission. In this issue of Neuron, two articles show evidence that one of these proteins, Bassoon, coordinates multiple functions in a conventional and ribbon-type synapse.

  6. Proteomics, ultrastructure, and physiology of hippocampal synapses in a fragile X syndrome mouse model reveal presynaptic phenotype.

    PubMed

    Klemmer, Patricia; Meredith, Rhiannon M; Holmgren, Carl D; Klychnikov, Oleg I; Stahl-Zeng, Jianru; Loos, Maarten; van der Schors, Roel C; Wortel, Joke; de Wit, Heidi; Spijker, Sabine; Rotaru, Diana C; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Smit, August B; Li, Ka Wan

    2011-07-22

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of hereditary mental retardation, is caused by a loss-of-function mutation of the Fmr1 gene, which encodes fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). FMRP affects dendritic protein synthesis, thereby causing synaptic abnormalities. Here, we used a quantitative proteomics approach in an FXS mouse model to reveal changes in levels of hippocampal synapse proteins. Sixteen independent pools of Fmr1 knock-out mice and wild type mice were analyzed using two sets of 8-plex iTRAQ experiments. Of 205 proteins quantified with at least three distinct peptides in both iTRAQ series, the abundance of 23 proteins differed between Fmr1 knock-out and wild type synapses with a false discovery rate (q-value) <5%. Significant differences were confirmed by quantitative immunoblotting. A group of proteins that are known to be involved in cell differentiation and neurite outgrowth was regulated; they included Basp1 and Gap43, known PKC substrates, and Cend1. Basp1 and Gap43 are predominantly expressed in growth cones and presynaptic terminals. In line with this, ultrastructural analysis in developing hippocampal FXS synapses revealed smaller active zones with corresponding postsynaptic densities and smaller pools of clustered vesicles, indicative of immature presynaptic maturation. A second group of proteins involved in synaptic vesicle release was up-regulated in the FXS mouse model. In accordance, paired-pulse and short-term facilitation were significantly affected in these hippocampal synapses. Together, the altered regulation of presynaptically expressed proteins, immature synaptic ultrastructure, and compromised short-term plasticity points to presynaptic changes underlying glutamatergic transmission in FXS at this stage of development.

  7. Absence of functional active zone protein Bassoon affects assembly and transport of ribbon precursors during early steps of photoreceptor synaptogenesis.

    PubMed

    Regus-Leidig, Hanna; tom Dieck, Susanne; Brandstätter, Johann Helmut

    2010-06-01

    The retinal photoreceptor ribbon synapse is a structurally and functionally unique type of chemical synapse, specialized for tonic release of neurotransmitter in the dark. It is characterized by the presynaptic ribbon, an electron-dense organelle at the active zone, which is covered by hundreds of synaptic vesicles. Recently we showed that photoreceptor ribbon complexes are assembled from non-membranous, spherical densities--the precursor spheres--during the first two postnatal weeks of photoreceptor synaptogenesis. A core component of the precursor spheres and a key player in attaching the ribbon to the active zone is the presynaptic cytomatrix protein Bassoon. In this study, we examined in a comprehensive light and electron microscopic analysis whether Bassoon plays a role in the formation of the precursor spheres using Bassoon mutant mice lacking functional Bassoon. We report that developing Bassoon mutant photoreceptors contain fewer and smaller precursor spheres and that transport of precursor spheres to nascent synapses is delayed compared to wild-type controls. Moreover, western blot analyses of homogenates from postnatal day 0 (P0) to P14 Bassoon mutant retinae exhibit lower RIBEYE and Piccolo protein levels compared to the wild type, indicating elevated protein degradation in the absence of Bassoon. Our findings reveal a novel function of Bassoon in the early formation and delivery of precursor spheres to nascent ribbon synaptic sites in addition to its known role in ribbon anchoring during later stages of photoreceptor ribbon synaptogenesis.

  8. Inhibition promotes long-term potentiation at cerebellar excitatory synapses

    PubMed Central

    Binda, F.; Dorgans, K.; Reibel, S.; Sakimura, K.; Kano, M.; Poulain, B.; Isope, P.

    2016-01-01

    The ability of the cerebellar cortex to learn from experience ensures the accuracy of movements and reflex adaptation, processes which require long-term plasticity at granule cell (GC) to Purkinje neuron (PN) excitatory synapses. PNs also receive GABAergic inhibitory inputs via GCs activation of interneurons; despite the involvement of inhibition in motor learning, its role in long-term plasticity is poorly characterized. Here we reveal a functional coupling between ionotropic GABAA receptors and low threshold CaV3 calcium channels in PNs that sustains calcium influx and promotes long-term potentiation (LTP) at GC to PN synapses. High frequency stimulation induces LTP at GC to PN synapses and CaV3-mediated calcium influx provided that inhibition is intact; LTP is mGluR1, intracellular calcium store and CaV3 dependent. LTP is impaired in CaV3.1 knockout mice but it is nevertheless recovered by strengthening inhibitory transmission onto PNs; promoting a stronger hyperpolarization via GABAA receptor activation leads to an enhanced availability of an alternative Purkinje-expressed CaV3 isoform compensating for the lack of CaV3.1 and restoring LTP. Accordingly, a stronger hyperpolarization also restores CaV3-mediated calcium influx in PNs from CaV3.1 knockout mice. We conclude that by favoring CaV3 channels availability inhibition promotes LTP at cerebellar excitatory synapses. PMID:27641070

  9. Inhibition promotes long-term potentiation at cerebellar excitatory synapses.

    PubMed

    Binda, F; Dorgans, K; Reibel, S; Sakimura, K; Kano, M; Poulain, B; Isope, P

    2016-01-01

    The ability of the cerebellar cortex to learn from experience ensures the accuracy of movements and reflex adaptation, processes which require long-term plasticity at granule cell (GC) to Purkinje neuron (PN) excitatory synapses. PNs also receive GABAergic inhibitory inputs via GCs activation of interneurons; despite the involvement of inhibition in motor learning, its role in long-term plasticity is poorly characterized. Here we reveal a functional coupling between ionotropic GABAA receptors and low threshold CaV3 calcium channels in PNs that sustains calcium influx and promotes long-term potentiation (LTP) at GC to PN synapses. High frequency stimulation induces LTP at GC to PN synapses and CaV3-mediated calcium influx provided that inhibition is intact; LTP is mGluR1, intracellular calcium store and CaV3 dependent. LTP is impaired in CaV3.1 knockout mice but it is nevertheless recovered by strengthening inhibitory transmission onto PNs; promoting a stronger hyperpolarization via GABAA receptor activation leads to an enhanced availability of an alternative Purkinje-expressed CaV3 isoform compensating for the lack of CaV3.1 and restoring LTP. Accordingly, a stronger hyperpolarization also restores CaV3-mediated calcium influx in PNs from CaV3.1 knockout mice. We conclude that by favoring CaV3 channels availability inhibition promotes LTP at cerebellar excitatory synapses. PMID:27641070

  10. Age-associated synapse elimination in mouse parasympathetic ganglia.

    PubMed

    Coggan, Jay S; Grutzendler, Jaime; Bishop, Derron L; Cook, Melissa R; Gan, Wenbiao; Heym, Jason; Lichtman, Jeff W

    2004-08-01

    Little is known about the effects of aging on synapses in the mammalian nervous system. We examined the innervation of individual mouse submandibular ganglion (SMG) neurons for evidence of age-related changes in synapse efficacy and number. For approximately 85% of adult life expectancy (30 months) the efficacy of synaptic transmission, as determined by excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) amplitudes, remains constant. Similarly, the number of synapses contacting individual SMG neurons is also unchanged. After 30 months of age, however, some neurons (23%) dramatically lose synaptic input exhibiting both smaller EPSP amplitude and fewer synaptic boutons. Attenuation of both the amplitude and frequency of miniature EPSPs was also observed in neurons from aged animals. Electron micrographs revealed that, although there were many vesicle-laden preganglionic axonal processes in the vicinity of the postsynaptic membrane, the number of synaptic contacts was significantly lower in old animals. These results demonstrate primary, age-associated synapse elimination with functional consequences that cannot be explained by pre- or postsynaptic cell death.

  11. COMMUNICATION: Neuron network activity scales exponentially with synapse density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brewer, G. J.; Boehler, M. D.; Pearson, R. A.; DeMaris, A. A.; Ide, A. N.; Wheeler, B. C.

    2009-02-01

    Neuronal network output in the cortex as a function of synapse density during development has not been explicitly determined. Synaptic scaling in cortical brain networks seems to alter excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to produce a representative rate of synaptic output. Here, we cultured rat hippocampal neurons over a three-week period to correlate synapse density with the increase in spontaneous spiking activity. We followed the network development as synapse formation and spike rate in two serum-free media optimized for either (a) neuron survival (Neurobasal/B27) or (b) spike rate (NbActiv4). We found that while synaptophysin synapse density increased linearly with development, spike rates increased exponentially in developing neuronal networks. Synaptic receptor components NR1, GluR1 and GABA-A also increase linearly but with more excitatory receptors than inhibitory. These results suggest that the brain's information processing capability gains more from increasing connectivity of the processing units than increasing processing units, much as Internet information flow increases much faster than the linear number of nodes and connections.

  12. GABAergic inhibition regulates developmental synapse elimination in the cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Hisako; Miyazaki, Taisuke; Kitamura, Kazuo; Hashimoto, Kouichi; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Obata, Kunihiko; Sakimura, Kenji; Watanabe, Masahiko; Kano, Masanobu

    2012-04-26

    Functional neural circuit formation during development involves massive elimination of redundant synapses. In the cerebellum, one-to-one connection from excitatory climbing fiber (CF) to Purkinje cell (PC) is established by elimination of early-formed surplus CFs. This process depends on glutamatergic excitatory inputs, but contribution of GABAergic transmission remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate impaired CF synapse elimination in mouse models with diminished GABAergic transmission by mutation of a single allele for the GABA synthesizing enzyme GAD67, by conditional deletion of GAD67 from PCs and GABAergic interneurons or by pharmacological inhibition of cerebellar GAD activity. The impaired CF synapse elimination was rescued by enhancing GABA(A) receptor sensitivity in the cerebellum by locally applied diazepam. Our electrophysiological and Ca2+ imaging data suggest that GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibition onto the PC soma from molecular layer interneurons influences CF-induced Ca2+ transients in the soma and regulates CF synapse elimination from postnatal day 10 (P10) to around P16. PMID:22542190

  13. Creation of AMPA-silent synapses in the neonatal hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Min-Yi; Wasling, Pontus; Hanse, Eric; Gustafsson, Bengt

    2004-03-01

    In the developing brain, many glutamate synapses have been found to transmit only NMDA receptor-mediated signaling, that is, they are AMPA-silent. This result has been taken to suggest that glutamate synapses are initially AMPA-silent when they are formed, and that AMPA signaling is acquired through activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. The present study on CA3-CA1 synapses in the hippocampus of the neonatal rat suggests that AMPA-silent synapses are created through a form of activity-dependent silencing of AMPA signaling. We found that AMPA signaling, but not NMDA signaling, could be very rapidly silenced by presynaptic electrical stimulation at frequencies commonly used to probe synaptic function (0.05-1 Hz). Although this AMPA silencing required a rise in postsynaptic Ca(2+), it did not require activation of NMDA receptors, metabotropic glutamate receptors or voltage-gated calcium channels. The AMPA silencing, possibly explained by a removal of postsynaptic AMPA receptors, could subsequently be reversed by paired presynaptic and postsynaptic activity.

  14. The network and the synapse: 100 years after Cajal.

    PubMed

    Dhawale, Ashesh; Bhalla, Upinder S

    2008-02-01

    A century ago, Ramón y Cajal proposed that the brain consisted of huge numbers of neurons that communicated with each other through junctions called synapses. Today we routinely monitor single neuron and single synapse responses, and we have elaborate maps of connections between different regions of the brain. What we lack is a way to bridge these two scales of representing neuronal circuits. The challenges in doing so are formidable: even a small mammalian neuronal circuit has many thousands of neurons and millions of synapses. Can we keep track of individual cells and synapses in this crowd? Here we examine how two recent techniques may complement each other to do so. The recent "Brainbow" method is a way to color-code cells and their projections, so we can see which cells come near each other, but cannot be sure they connect. Functional circuit mapping tells us about connections between cells, but we cannot identify more than a handful at a time. Together these methods may fill in each other's blanks and give us brain wiring diagrams that combine scale and precision. PMID:19404449

  15. Neuron network activity scales exponentially with synapse density.

    PubMed

    Brewer, G J; Boehler, M D; Pearson, R A; DeMaris, A A; Ide, A N; Wheeler, B C

    2009-02-01

    Neuronal network output in the cortex as a function of synapse density during development has not been explicitly determined. Synaptic scaling in cortical brain networks seems to alter excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to produce a representative rate of synaptic output. Here, we cultured rat hippocampal neurons over a three-week period to correlate synapse density with the increase in spontaneous spiking activity. We followed the network development as synapse formation and spike rate in two serum-free media optimized for either (a) neuron survival (Neurobasal/B27) or (b) spike rate (NbActiv4). We found that while synaptophysin synapse density increased linearly with development, spike rates increased exponentially in developing neuronal networks. Synaptic receptor components NR1, GluR1 and GABA-A also increase linearly but with more excitatory receptors than inhibitory. These results suggest that the brain's information processing capability gains more from increasing connectivity of the processing units than increasing processing units, much as Internet information flow increases much faster than the linear number of nodes and connections. PMID:19104141

  16. Inhibition promotes long-term potentiation at cerebellar excitatory synapses.

    PubMed

    Binda, F; Dorgans, K; Reibel, S; Sakimura, K; Kano, M; Poulain, B; Isope, P

    2016-09-19

    The ability of the cerebellar cortex to learn from experience ensures the accuracy of movements and reflex adaptation, processes which require long-term plasticity at granule cell (GC) to Purkinje neuron (PN) excitatory synapses. PNs also receive GABAergic inhibitory inputs via GCs activation of interneurons; despite the involvement of inhibition in motor learning, its role in long-term plasticity is poorly characterized. Here we reveal a functional coupling between ionotropic GABAA receptors and low threshold CaV3 calcium channels in PNs that sustains calcium influx and promotes long-term potentiation (LTP) at GC to PN synapses. High frequency stimulation induces LTP at GC to PN synapses and CaV3-mediated calcium influx provided that inhibition is intact; LTP is mGluR1, intracellular calcium store and CaV3 dependent. LTP is impaired in CaV3.1 knockout mice but it is nevertheless recovered by strengthening inhibitory transmission onto PNs; promoting a stronger hyperpolarization via GABAA receptor activation leads to an enhanced availability of an alternative Purkinje-expressed CaV3 isoform compensating for the lack of CaV3.1 and restoring LTP. Accordingly, a stronger hyperpolarization also restores CaV3-mediated calcium influx in PNs from CaV3.1 knockout mice. We conclude that by favoring CaV3 channels availability inhibition promotes LTP at cerebellar excitatory synapses.

  17. Neuron-glia synapses in the brain.

    PubMed

    Bergles, Dwight E; Jabs, Ronald; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2010-05-01

    The ability to investigate the electrophysiological properties of individual cells in acute brain tissue led to the discovery that many glial cells have the capacity to respond rapidly to neuronal activity. In particular, a distinct class of neuroglial cells known as NG2 cells, which exhibit many of the properties that have been described for glial subtypes such as complex cells, polydendrocytes, synantocytes and GluR cells, express ionotropic receptors for glutamate and GABA. In both gray and white matter, NG2 cells form direct synaptic junctions with axons, which enable transient activation of these receptors. Electrophysiological analyses have shown that these neuron-glia synapses exhibit all the hallmarks of 'classical' neuron-neuron synapses, including rapid activation, quantized responses, facilitation and depression, and presynaptic inhibition. Electron microscopy indicates that axons form morphologically distinct junctions at discrete sites along processes of NG2 cells, suggesting that NG2 cells are an overt target of axonal projections. AMPA receptors expressed by NG2 cells exhibit varying degrees of Ca(2+) permeability, depending on the brain region and stage of development, and in white matter NG2 cells have also been shown to express functional NMDA receptors. Ca(2+) influx through AMPA receptors following repetitive stimulation can trigger long term potentiation of synaptic currents in NG2 cells. The expression of receptors with significant Ca(2+) permeability may increase the susceptibility of NG2 cells to excitotoxic injury. Future studies using transgenic mice in which expression of receptors can be manipulated selectively in NG2 cells have to define the functions of this enigmatic neuron-glia signaling in the normal and diseased CNS.

  18. Changes in GABAergic and non-GABAergic synapses during chronic ethanol exposure and withdrawal in the dentate fascia of LS and SS mice.

    PubMed

    Fifková, E; Eason, H; Bueltmann, K; Lanman, J

    1994-08-01

    Ethanol-sensitive LSIBG and ethanol-insensitive SSIBG mice were exposed to ethanol (23.5% ethanol-derived calories) for 4 months. Half of the animals was sacrificed at this time and the other half was withdrawn from the ethanol diet for 1 month. GABA immunoelectron microscopy was used to study the impact of the treatments on synaptic contacts in the dentate molecular layer. In the LS mice a significant loss of non-GABAergic axospinous synapses (26.7%; p < 0.05) was observed during ethanol exposure which was followed by a loss of GABAergic synapses on dendritic shafts (54.7%; p < 0.01) during withdrawal. In the SS mice there was a significant decrease in the non-GABAergic axospinous synapses (23.5%; p < 0.05) and a significant increase in axodendritic synapses (63.3%; p < 0.05) during ethanol exposure. The observed changes in the GABAergic and non-GABAergic innervation of the dentate fascia induced by ethanol were observed in the projection zone of the perforant path. They could adversely affect the hippocampal physiology with a consequent impairment of mnemonic functions.

  19. Looking Forward to EphB Signaling in Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Sloniowski, Slawomir; Ethell, Iryna M.

    2011-01-01

    Eph receptors and their ligands ephrins comprise a complex signaling system with diverse functions that span a wide range of tissues and developmental stages. The variety of Eph receptor functions stems from their ability to mediate bidirectional signaling through trans-cellular Eph/ephrin interactions. Initially thought to act by directing repulsion between cells, Ephs have also been demonstrated to induce and maintain cell adhesive responses at excitatory synapses in the central nervous system. EphB receptors are essential to the development and maintenance of dendritic spines, which accommodate the postsynaptic sites of most glutamatergic excitatory synapses in the brain. Functions of EphB receptors are not limited to control of the actin cytoskeleton in dendritic spines, as EphB receptors are also involved in the formation of functional synaptic specializations through the regulation of glutamate receptor trafficking and functions. In addition, EphB receptors have recently been linked to the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease and neuropathic pain, thus becoming promising targets for therapeutic interventions. In this review, we discuss recent findings on EphB receptor functions in synapses, as well as the mechanisms of bidirectional trans-synaptic ephrin-B/EphB receptor signaling that shape dendritic spines and influence post-synaptic differentiation. PMID:22040917

  20. Increased Asynchronous Release and Aberrant Calcium Channel Activation in Amyloid Precursor Protein Deficient Neuromuscular Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Li; Wang, Baiping; Long, Cheng; Wu, Gangyi; Zheng, Hui

    2007-01-01

    Despite the critical roles of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis, its physiological function remains poorly established. Our previous studies implicated a structural and functional activity of the APP family of proteins in the developing neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Here we performed comprehensive analyses of neurotransmission in mature neuromuscular synapse of APP deficient mice. We found that APP deletion led to reduced paired-pulse facilitation and increased depression of synaptic transmission with repetitive stimulation. Readily releasable pool size and total releasable vesicles were not affected, but probability of release was significantly increased. Strikingly, the amount of asynchronous release, a measure sensitive to presynaptic calcium concentration, was dramatically increased, and pharmacological studies revealed that it was attributed to aberrant activation of N- and L-type Ca2+ channels. We propose that APP modulates synaptic transmission at the NMJ by ensuring proper Ca2+ channel function. PMID:17919826

  1. Autism-Associated Chromatin Regulator Brg1/SmarcA4 Is Required for Synapse Development and Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2-Mediated Synapse Remodeling.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zilai; Cao, Mou; Chang, Chia-Wei; Wang, Cindy; Shi, Xuanming; Zhan, Xiaoming; Birnbaum, Shari G; Bezprozvanny, Ilya; Huber, Kimberly M; Wu, Jiang I

    2016-01-01

    Synapse development requires normal neuronal activities and the precise expression of synapse-related genes. Dysregulation of synaptic genes results in neurological diseases such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Mutations in genes encoding chromatin-remodeling factor Brg1/SmarcA4 and its associated proteins are the genetic causes of several developmental diseases with neurological defects and autistic symptoms. Recent large-scale genomic studies predicted Brg1/SmarcA4 as one of the key nodes of the ASD gene network. We report that Brg1 deletion in early postnatal hippocampal neurons led to reduced dendritic spine density and maturation and impaired synapse activities. In developing mice, neuronal Brg1 deletion caused severe neurological defects. Gene expression analyses indicated that Brg1 regulates a significant number of genes known to be involved in synapse function and implicated in ASD. We found that Brg1 is required for dendritic spine/synapse elimination mediated by the ASD-associated transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) and that Brg1 regulates the activity-induced expression of a specific subset of genes that overlap significantly with the targets of MEF2. Our analyses showed that Brg1 interacts with MEF2 and that MEF2 is required for Brg1 recruitment to target genes in response to neuron activation. Thus, Brg1 plays important roles in both synapse development/maturation and MEF2-mediated synapse remodeling. Our study reveals specific functions of the epigenetic regulator Brg1 in synapse development and provides insights into its role in neurological diseases such as ASD.

  2. Autism-Associated Chromatin Regulator Brg1/SmarcA4 Is Required for Synapse Development and Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2-Mediated Synapse Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zilai; Cao, Mou; Chang, Chia-Wei; Wang, Cindy; Shi, Xuanming; Zhan, Xiaoming; Birnbaum, Shari G.; Bezprozvanny, Ilya; Huber, Kimberly M.

    2015-01-01

    Synapse development requires normal neuronal activities and the precise expression of synapse-related genes. Dysregulation of synaptic genes results in neurological diseases such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Mutations in genes encoding chromatin-remodeling factor Brg1/SmarcA4 and its associated proteins are the genetic causes of several developmental diseases with neurological defects and autistic symptoms. Recent large-scale genomic studies predicted Brg1/SmarcA4 as one of the key nodes of the ASD gene network. We report that Brg1 deletion in early postnatal hippocampal neurons led to reduced dendritic spine density and maturation and impaired synapse activities. In developing mice, neuronal Brg1 deletion caused severe neurological defects. Gene expression analyses indicated that Brg1 regulates a significant number of genes known to be involved in synapse function and implicated in ASD. We found that Brg1 is required for dendritic spine/synapse elimination mediated by the ASD-associated transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) and that Brg1 regulates the activity-induced expression of a specific subset of genes that overlap significantly with the targets of MEF2. Our analyses showed that Brg1 interacts with MEF2 and that MEF2 is required for Brg1 recruitment to target genes in response to neuron activation. Thus, Brg1 plays important roles in both synapse development/maturation and MEF2-mediated synapse remodeling. Our study reveals specific functions of the epigenetic regulator Brg1 in synapse development and provides insights into its role in neurological diseases such as ASD. PMID:26459759

  3. Graphene Dynamic Synapse with Modulatable Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Tian, He; Mi, Wentian; Wang, Xue-Feng; Zhao, Haiming; Xie, Qian-Yi; Li, Cheng; Li, Yu-Xing; Yang, Yi; Ren, Tian-Ling

    2015-12-01

    The synaptic activities in the nervous system is the basis of memory and learning behaviors, and the concept of biological synapse has also spurred the development of neuromorphic engineering. In recent years, the hardware implementation of the biological synapse has been achieved based on CMOS circuits, resistive switching memory, and field effect transistors with ionic dielectrics. However, the artificial synapse with regulatable plasticity has never been realized of the device level. Here, an artificial dynamic synapse based on twisted bilayer graphene is demonstrated with tunable plasticity. Due to the ambipolar conductance of graphene, both behaviors of the excitatory synapse and the inhibitory synapse could be realized in a single device. Moreover, the synaptic plasticity could also be modulated by tuning the carrier density of graphene. Because the artificial synapse here could be regulated and inverted via changing the bottom gate voltage, the whole process of synapse development could be imitated. Hence, this work would offer a broad new vista for the 2D material electronics and guide the innovation of neuro-electronics fundamentally.

  4. Critical avalanches and subsampling in map-based neural networks coupled with noisy synapses.

    PubMed

    Girardi-Schappo, M; Kinouchi, O; Tragtenberg, M H R

    2013-08-01

    Many different kinds of noise are experimentally observed in the brain. Among them, we study a model of noisy chemical synapse and obtain critical avalanches for the spatiotemporal activity of the neural network. Neurons and synapses are modeled by dynamical maps. We discuss the relevant neuronal and synaptic properties to achieve the critical state. We verify that networks of functionally excitable neurons with fast synapses present power-law avalanches, due to rebound spiking dynamics. We also discuss the measuring of neuronal avalanches by subsampling our data, shedding light on the experimental search for self-organized criticality in neural networks.

  5. Molecular composition of the endocannabinoid system at glutamatergic synapses.

    PubMed

    Katona, István; Urbán, Gabriella M; Wallace, Matthew; Ledent, Catherine; Jung, Kwang-Mook; Piomelli, Daniele; Mackie, Ken; Freund, Tamás F

    2006-05-24

    Endocannabinoids play central roles in retrograde signaling at a wide variety of synapses throughout the CNS. Although several molecular components of the endocannabinoid system have been identified recently, their precise location and contribution to retrograde synaptic signaling is essentially unknown. Here we show, by using two independent riboprobes, that principal cell populations of the hippocampus express high levels of diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DGL-alpha), the enzyme involved in generation of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG). Immunostaining with two independent antibodies against DGL-alpha revealed that this lipase was concentrated in heads of dendritic spines throughout the hippocampal formation. Furthermore, quantification of high-resolution immunoelectron microscopic data showed that this enzyme was highly compartmentalized into a wide perisynaptic annulus around the postsynaptic density of axospinous contacts but did not occur intrasynaptically. On the opposite side of the synapse, the axon terminals forming these excitatory contacts were found to be equipped with presynaptic CB1 cannabinoid receptors. This precise anatomical positioning suggests that 2-AG produced by DGL-alpha on spine heads may be involved in retrograde synaptic signaling at glutamatergic synapses, whereas CB1 receptors located on the afferent terminals are in an ideal position to bind 2-AG and thereby adjust presynaptic glutamate release as a function of postsynaptic activity. We propose that this molecular composition of the endocannabinoid system may be a general feature of most glutamatergic synapses throughout the brain and may contribute to homosynaptic plasticity of excitatory synapses and to heterosynaptic plasticity between excitatory and inhibitory contacts.

  6. A Distinct Perisynaptic Glial Cell Type Forms Tripartite Neuromuscular Synapses in the Drosophila Adult

    PubMed Central

    Strauss, Alexandra L.; Kawasaki, Fumiko; Ordway, Richard W.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies of Drosophila flight muscle neuromuscular synapses have revealed their tripartite architecture and established an attractive experimental model for genetic analysis of glial function in synaptic transmission. Here we extend these findings by defining a new Drosophila glial cell type, designated peripheral perisynaptic glia (PPG), which resides in the periphery and interacts specifically with fine motor axon branches forming neuromuscular synapses. Identification and specific labeling of PPG was achieved through cell type-specific RNAi-mediated knockdown (KD) of a glial marker, Glutamine Synthetase 2 (GS2). In addition, comparison among different Drosophila neuromuscular synapse models from adult and larval developmental stages indicated the presence of tripartite synapses on several different muscle types in the adult. In contrast, PPG appear to be absent from larval body wall neuromuscular synapses, which do not exhibit a tripartite architecture but rather are imbedded in the muscle plasma membrane. Evolutionary conservation of tripartite synapse architecture and peripheral perisynaptic glia in vertebrates and Drosophila suggests ancient and conserved roles for glia-synapse interactions in synaptic transmission. PMID:26053860

  7. ADF/cofilin: a crucial regulator of synapse physiology and behavior.

    PubMed

    Rust, Marco B

    2015-09-01

    Actin filaments (F-actin) are the major structural component of excitatory synapses, being present in presynaptic terminals and in postsynaptic dendritic spines. In the last decade, it has been appreciated that actin dynamics, the assembly and disassembly of F-actin, is crucial not only for the structure of excitatory synapses, but also for pre- and postsynaptic physiology. Hence, regulators of actin dynamics take a central role in mediating neurotransmitter release, synaptic plasticity, and ultimately behavior. Actin depolymerizing proteins of the ADF/cofilin family are essential regulators of actin dynamics, and a number of recent studies highlighted their crucial functions in excitatory synapses. In dendritic spines, ADF/cofilin activity is required for spine enlargement during initial long-term potentiation (LTP), but needs to be switched off during spine stabilization and LTP consolidation. Conversely, active ADF/cofilin is needed for spine pruning during long-term depression (LTD). Moreover, ADF/cofilin controls activity-induced synaptic availability of glutamate receptors, and exocytosis of synaptic vesicles. These data show that the activity of ADF/cofilin in synapses needs to be spatially and temporally tightly controlled through several upstream regulatory pathways, which have been identified recently. Hence, ADF/cofilin-controlled actin dynamics emerged as a critical and central regulator of synapse physiology. In this review, I will summarize and discuss our current knowledge on the roles of ADF/cofilin in synapse physiology and behavior, by focusing on excitatory synapses of the mammalian central nervous system.

  8. How and why does the immunological synapse form? Physical chemistry meets cell biology.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Arup K

    2002-03-05

    During T lymphocyte (T cell) recognition of an antigen, a highly organized and specific pattern of membrane proteins forms in the junction between the T cell and the antigen-presenting cell (APC). This specialized cell-cell junction is called the immunological synapse. It is several micrometers large and forms over many minutes. A plethora of experiments are being performed to study the mechanisms that underlie synapse formation and the way in which information transfer occurs across the synapse. The wealth of experimental data that is beginning to emerge must be understood within a mechanistic framework if it is to prove useful in developing modalities to control the immune response. Quantitative models can complement experiments in the quest for such a mechanistic understanding by suggesting experimentally testable hypotheses. Here, a quantitative synapse assembly model is described. The model uses concepts developed in physical chemistry and cell biology and is able to predict the spatiotemporal evolution of cell shape and receptor protein patterns observed during synapse formation. Attention is directed to how the juxtaposition of model predictions and experimental data has led to intriguing hypotheses regarding the role of null and self peptides during synapse assembly, as well as correlations between T cell effector functions and the robustness of synapse assembly. We remark on some ways in which synergistic experiments and modeling studies can improve current models, and we take steps toward a better understanding of information transfer across the T cell-APC junction.

  9. Evidence for synergistic and complementary roles of Bassoon and darkness in organizing the ribbon synapse.

    PubMed

    Spiwoks-Becker, I; Lamberti, R; Tom Dieck, S; Spessert, R

    2013-04-16

    Ribbon synapses are tonically active high-throughput synapses. The performance of the ribbon synapse is accomplished by a specialization of the cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ) referred to as the synaptic ribbon (SR). Progress in our understanding of the structure-function relationship at the ribbon synapse has come from observations that, in photoreceptors lacking a full-size scaffolding protein Bassoon (Bsn(ΔEx4/5)), dissociation of SRs coincides with perturbed signal transfer. The aim of the present study has been to elaborate the role of Bassoon as a structural organizer of the ribbon synapse and to differentiate it with regard to the ambient lighting conditions. The ultrastructure of retinal ribbon synapses has been compared between wild-type (Wt) and Bsn(ΔEx4/5) mice adapted to light (low activity) and darkness (high activity). The results obtained suggest that Bassoon and environmental illumination synergistically and complementarily act as organizers of the ribbon synapse. Thus, light-dependent and Bassoon-independent regulation involves initial SR tethering to the membrane and a basic shape transition of ribbon material from spherical to rod-like, since darkness induces these features in Bsn(ΔEx4/5) rod spherules. However, the tight anchorage of the SR via an arciform density and the proper assembly of SRs to the full-sized horseshoe-shaped complex depend on Bassoon, as these steps fail in Bsn(ΔEx4/5) rod spherules.

  10. SynCAM 1 improves survival of adult-born neurons by accelerating synapse maturation.

    PubMed

    Doengi, Michael; Krupp, Alexander J; Körber, Nils; Stein, Valentin

    2016-03-01

    The survival of adult-born dentate gyrus granule cells critically depends on their synaptic integration into the existing neuronal network. Excitatory inputs are thought to increase the survival rate of adult born neurons. Therefore, whether enhancing the stability of newly formed excitatory synapses by overexpressing the synaptic cell adhesion molecule SynCAM 1 improves the survival of adult-born neurons was tested. Here it is shown that overexpression of SynCAM 1 improves survival of adult-born neurons, but has no effect on the proliferation rate of precursor cells. As expected, overexpression of SynCAM 1 increased the synapse density in adult-born granule neurons. While adult-born granule neurons have very few functional synapses 15 days after birth, it was found that at this age adult-born neurons in SynCAM 1 overexpressing mice exhibited around three times more excitatory synapses, which were stronger than synapses of adult-born neurons of control littermates. In summary, the data indicated that additional SynCAM 1 accelerated synapse maturation, which improved the stability of newly formed synapses and in turn increased the likelihood of survival of adult-born neurons.

  11. How and why does the immunological synapse form? Physical chemistry meets cell biology.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Arup K

    2002-03-01

    During T lymphocyte (T cell) recognition of an antigen, a highly organized and specific pattern of membrane proteins forms in the junction between the T cell and the antigen-presenting cell (APC). This specialized cell-cell junction is called the immunological synapse. It is several micrometers large and forms over many minutes. A plethora of experiments are being performed to study the mechanisms that underlie synapse formation and the way in which information transfer occurs across the synapse. The wealth of experimental data that is beginning to emerge must be understood within a mechanistic framework if it is to prove useful in developing modalities to control the immune response. Quantitative models can complement experiments in the quest for such a mechanistic understanding by suggesting experimentally testable hypotheses. Here, a quantitative synapse assembly model is described. The model uses concepts developed in physical chemistry and cell biology and is able to predict the spatiotemporal evolution of cell shape and receptor protein patterns observed during synapse formation. Attention is directed to how the juxtaposition of model predictions and experimental data has led to intriguing hypotheses regarding the role of null and self peptides during synapse assembly, as well as correlations between T cell effector functions and the robustness of synapse assembly. We remark on some ways in which synergistic experiments and modeling studies can improve current models, and we take steps toward a better understanding of information transfer across the T cell-APC junction. PMID:11880685

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

    PubMed

    Abrahamsson, Therése; Gustafsson, Bengt; Hanse, Eric

    2005-12-15

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

  13. In vivo administration of epidermal growth factor and its homologue attenuates developmental maturation of functional excitatory synapses in cortical GABAergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Nagano, Tadasato; Namba, Hisaaki; Abe, Yuichi; Aoki, Hiroyuki; Takei, Nobuyuki; Nawa, Hiroyuki

    2007-01-01

    The ErbB1 ligand family includes epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor-alpha (TGFalpha), heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor, amphiregulin and betacellulin. Previously, we demonstrated that TGFalpha decreases alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)-type glutamate receptors in cultured neocortical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons. In the present study, we examined in vivo effects of EGF and TGFalpha in the mouse neocortex using electrophysiological and biochemical techniques. In mouse neonates, subcutaneously administered EGF penetrated the blood-brain barrier and activated ErbB1 in the neocortex. Daily administration of EGF or TGFalpha attenuates developmental increases in expression of the AMPA receptor subunits (GluR1 and GluR2/3) in the neocortex of postnatal mice. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the reduction in AMPA receptor expression was significant in the GABAergic neurons, especially those positive for parvalbumin. Using cortical slices prepared from EGF-treated mice, we recorded miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) in both GABAergic and pyramidal neurons. Subchronic treatment with EGF decreased the amplitude and frequency of mEPSCs in GABAergic neurons, but its effects were negligible on pyramidal neurons. We conclude that EGF or other ErbB1 ligand(s) attenuates a developmental increase in AMPA receptor expression and function in cortical GABAergic neurons.

  14. Human NK cell development requires CD56-mediated motility and formation of the developmental synapse

    PubMed Central

    Mace, Emily M.; Gunesch, Justin T.; Dixon, Amera; Orange, Jordan S.

    2016-01-01

    While distinct stages of natural killer (NK) cell development have been defined, the molecular interactions that shape human NK cell maturation are poorly understood. Here we define intercellular interactions between developing NK cells and stromal cells which, through contact-dependent mechanisms, promote the generation of mature, functional human NK cells from CD34+ precursors. We show that developing NK cells undergo unique, developmental stage-specific sustained and transient interactions with developmentally supportive stromal cells, and that the relative motility of NK cells increases as they move through development in vitro and ex vivo. These interactions include the formation of a synapse between developing NK cells and stromal cells, which we term the developmental synapse. Finally, we identify a role for CD56 in developmental synapse structure, NK cell motility and NK cell development. Thus, we define the developmental synapse leading to human NK cell functional maturation. PMID:27435370

  15. A Positive Feedback Synapse from Retinal Horizontal Cells to Cone Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Jackman, Skyler L.; Babai, Norbert; Chambers, James J.; Thoreson, Wallace B.; Kramer, Richard H.

    2011-01-01

    Cone photoreceptors and horizontal cells (HCs) have a reciprocal synapse that underlies lateral inhibition and establishes the antagonistic center-surround organization of the visual system. Cones transmit to HCs through an excitatory synapse and HCs feed back to cones through an inhibitory synapse. Here we report that HCs also transmit to cone terminals a positive feedback signal that elevates intracellular Ca2+ and accelerates neurotransmitter release. Positive and negative feedback are both initiated by AMPA receptors on HCs, but positive feedback appears to be mediated by a change in HC Ca2+, whereas negative feedback is mediated by a change in HC membrane potential. Local uncaging of AMPA receptor agonists suggests that positive feedback is spatially constrained to active HC-cone synapses, whereas the negative feedback signal spreads through HCs to affect release from surrounding cones. By locally offsetting the effects of negative feedback, positive feedback may amplify photoreceptor synaptic release without sacrificing HC-mediated contrast enhancement. PMID:21559323

  16. CNQX and AMPA inhibit electrical synaptic transmission: a potential interaction between electrical and glutamatergic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qin; Burrell, Brian D.

    2008-01-01

    Electrical synapses play an important role in signaling between neurons and the synaptic connections between many neurons possess both electrical and chemical components. Although modulation of electrical synapses is frequently observed, the cellular processes that mediate such changes have not been studied as thoroughly as plasticity in chemical synapses. In the leech (Hirudo sp), the competitive AMPA receptor antagonist CNQX inhibited transmission at the rectifying electrical synapse of a mixed glutamatergic/electrical synaptic connection. This CNQX-mediated inhibition of the electrical synapse was blocked by concanavalin A (Con A) and dynamin inhibitory peptide (DIP), both of which are known to inhibit endocytosis of neurotransmitter receptors. CNQX-mediated inhibition was also blocked by pep2-SVKI (SVKI), a synthetic peptide that prevents internalization of AMPA-type glutamate receptor. AMPA itself also inhibited electrical synaptic transmission and this AMPA-mediated inhibition was partially blocked by Con A, DIP and SVKI. Low frequency stimulation induced long-term depression (LTD) in both the electrical and chemical components of these synapses and this LTD was blocked by SVKI. GYKI 52466, a selective non-competitive antagonist of AMPA receptors, did not affect the electrical EPSP, although it did block the chemical component of these synapses. CNQX did not affect non-rectifying electrical synapses in two different pairs of neurons. These results suggest an interaction between AMPA-type glutamate receptors and the gap junction proteins that mediate electrical synaptic transmission. This putative interaction between glutamate receptors and gap junction proteins represents a novel mechanism for regulating the strength of synaptic transmission. PMID:18601913

  17. Biophysical Aspects of T Lymphocyte Activation at the Immune Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Hivroz, Claire; Saitakis, Michael

    2016-01-01

    T lymphocyte activation is a pivotal step of the adaptive immune response. It requires the recognition by T-cell receptors (TCR) of peptides presented in the context of major histocompatibility complex molecules (pMHC) present at the surface of antigen-presenting cells (APCs). T lymphocyte activation also involves engagement of costimulatory receptors and adhesion molecules recognizing ligands on the APC. Integration of these different signals requires the formation of a specialized dynamic structure: the immune synapse. While the biochemical and molecular aspects of this cell–cell communication have been extensively studied, its mechanical features have only recently been addressed. Yet, the immune synapse is also the place of exchange of mechanical signals. Receptors engaged on the T lymphocyte surface are submitted to many tensile and traction forces. These forces are generated by various phenomena: membrane undulation/protrusion/retraction, cell mobility or spreading, and dynamic remodeling of the actomyosin cytoskeleton inside the T lymphocyte. Moreover, the TCR can both induce force development, following triggering, and sense and convert forces into biochemical signals, as a bona fide mechanotransducer. Other costimulatory molecules, such as LFA-1, engaged during immune synapse formation, also display these features. Moreover, T lymphocytes themselves are mechanosensitive, since substrate stiffness can modulate their response. In this review, we will summarize recent studies from a biophysical perspective to explain how mechanical cues can affect T lymphocyte activation. We will particularly discuss how forces are generated during immune synapse formation; how these forces affect various aspects of T lymphocyte biology; and what are the key features of T lymphocyte response to stiffness. PMID:26913033

  18. Selective control of inhibitory synapse development by Slitrk3-PTPδ trans-synaptic interaction.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Hideto; Katayama, Kei-Ichi; Sohya, Kazuhiro; Miyamoto, Hiroyuki; Prasad, Tuhina; Matsumoto, Yoshifumi; Ota, Maya; Yasuda, Hiroki; Tsumoto, Tadaharu; Aruga, Jun; Craig, Ann Marie

    2012-03-01

    Balanced development of excitatory and inhibitory synapses is required for normal brain function, and an imbalance in this development may underlie the pathogenesis of many neuropsychiatric disorders. Compared with the many identified trans-synaptic adhesion complexes that organize excitatory synapses, little is known about the organizers that are specific for inhibitory synapses. We found that Slit and NTRK-like family member 3 (Slitrk3) actS as a postsynaptic adhesion molecule that selectively regulates inhibitory synapse development via trans-interaction with axonal tyrosine phosphatase receptor PTPδ. When expressed in fibroblasts, Slitrk3 triggered only inhibitory presynaptic differentiation in contacting axons of co-cultured rat hippocampal neurons. Recombinant Slitrk3 preferentially localized to inhibitory postsynaptic sites. Slitrk3-deficient mice exhibited decreases in inhibitory, but not excitatory, synapse number and function in hippocampal CA1 neurons and exhibited increased seizure susceptibility and spontaneous epileptiform activity. Slitrk3 required trans-interaction with axonal PTPδ to induce inhibitory presynaptic differentiation. These results identify Slitrk3-PTPδ as an inhibitory-specific trans-synaptic organizing complex that is required for normal functional GABAergic synapse development. PMID:22286174

  19. SALM4 suppresses excitatory synapse development by cis-inhibiting trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion.

    PubMed

    Lie, Eunkyung; Ko, Ji Seung; Choi, Su-Yeon; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Cho, Yi Sul; Noh, Ran; Kim, Doyoun; Li, Yan; Kang, Hyeyeon; Choi, Tae-Yong; Nam, Jungyong; Mah, Won; Lee, Dongmin; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Kim, Ho Min; Kim, Hyun; Choi, Se-Young; Um, Ji Won; Kang, Myoung-Goo; Bae, Yong Chul; Ko, Jaewon; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate various aspects of synapse development, function and plasticity. These functions mainly involve trans-synaptic interactions and positive regulations, whereas cis-interactions and negative regulation are less understood. Here we report that SALM4, a member of the SALM/Lrfn family of synaptic adhesion molecules, suppresses excitatory synapse development through cis inhibition of SALM3, another SALM family protein with synaptogenic activity. Salm4-mutant (Salm4(-/-)) mice show increased excitatory synapse numbers in the hippocampus. SALM4 cis-interacts with SALM3, inhibits trans-synaptic SALM3 interaction with presynaptic LAR family receptor tyrosine phosphatases and suppresses SALM3-dependent presynaptic differentiation. Importantly, deletion of Salm3 in Salm4(-/-) mice (Salm3(-/-); Salm4(-/-)) normalizes the increased excitatory synapse number. These results suggest that SALM4 negatively regulates excitatory synapses via cis inhibition of the trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion.

  20. SALM4 suppresses excitatory synapse development by cis-inhibiting trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion.

    PubMed

    Lie, Eunkyung; Ko, Ji Seung; Choi, Su-Yeon; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Cho, Yi Sul; Noh, Ran; Kim, Doyoun; Li, Yan; Kang, Hyeyeon; Choi, Tae-Yong; Nam, Jungyong; Mah, Won; Lee, Dongmin; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Kim, Ho Min; Kim, Hyun; Choi, Se-Young; Um, Ji Won; Kang, Myoung-Goo; Bae, Yong Chul; Ko, Jaewon; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate various aspects of synapse development, function and plasticity. These functions mainly involve trans-synaptic interactions and positive regulations, whereas cis-interactions and negative regulation are less understood. Here we report that SALM4, a member of the SALM/Lrfn family of synaptic adhesion molecules, suppresses excitatory synapse development through cis inhibition of SALM3, another SALM family protein with synaptogenic activity. Salm4-mutant (Salm4(-/-)) mice show increased excitatory synapse numbers in the hippocampus. SALM4 cis-interacts with SALM3, inhibits trans-synaptic SALM3 interaction with presynaptic LAR family receptor tyrosine phosphatases and suppresses SALM3-dependent presynaptic differentiation. Importantly, deletion of Salm3 in Salm4(-/-) mice (Salm3(-/-); Salm4(-/-)) normalizes the increased excitatory synapse number. These results suggest that SALM4 negatively regulates excitatory synapses via cis inhibition of the trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion. PMID:27480238

  1. Concomitant gastroparesis negatively affects children with functional gallbladder disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Activation of Extrasynaptic NMDARs at Individual Parallel Fiber–Molecular Layer Interneuron Synapses in Cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Nahir, Ben

    2013-01-01

    NMDA receptors (NMDARs) expressed by cerebellar molecular layer interneurons (MLIs) are not activated by single exocytotic events but can respond to glutamate spillover following coactivation of adjacent parallel fibers (PFs), indicating that NMDARs are perisynaptic. Several types of synaptic plasticity rely on these receptors but whether they are activated at isolated synapses is not known. Using a combination of electrophysiological and optical recording techniques in acute slices of rat cerebellum, along with modeling, we find that repetitive activation of single PF–MLI synapses can activate NMDARs in MLIs. High-frequency stimulation, multivesicular release (MVR), or asynchronous release can each activate NMDARs. Frequency facilitation was found at all PF–MLI synapses but, while some showed robust MVR with increased release probability, most were limited to univesicular release. Together, these results reveal a functional diversity of PF synapses, which use different mechanisms to activate NMDARs. PMID:24107963

  3. Microglia contact induces synapse formation in developing somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Miyamoto, Akiko; Wake, Hiroaki; Ishikawa, Ayako Wendy; Eto, Kei; Shibata, Keisuke; Murakoshi, Hideji; Koizumi, Schuichi; Moorhouse, Andrew J.; Yoshimura, Yumiko; Nabekura, Junichi

    2016-01-01

    Microglia are the immune cells of the central nervous system that play important roles in brain pathologies. Microglia also help shape neuronal circuits during development, via phagocytosing weak synapses and regulating neurogenesis. Using in vivo multiphoton imaging of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the developing somatosensory cortex, we demonstrate here that microglial contact with dendrites directly induces filopodia formation. This filopodia formation occurs only around postnatal day 8–10, a period of intense synaptogenesis and when microglia have an activated phenotype. Filopodia formation is preceded by contact-induced Ca2+ transients and actin accumulation. Inhibition of microglia by genetic ablation decreases subsequent spine density, functional excitatory synapses and reduces the relative connectivity from layer 4 neurons. Our data provide the direct demonstration of microglial-induced spine formation and provide further insights into immune system regulation of neuronal circuit development, with potential implications for developmental disorders of immune and brain dysfunction. PMID:27558646

  4. Crossbar Nanoscale HfO2-Based Electronic Synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matveyev, Yury; Kirtaev, Roman; Fetisova, Alena; Zakharchenko, Sergey; Negrov, Dmitry; Zenkevich, Andrey

    2016-03-01

    Crossbar resistive switching devices down to 40 × 40 nm2 in size comprising 3-nm-thick HfO2 layers are forming-free and exhibit up to 105 switching cycles. Four-nanometer-thick devices display the ability of gradual switching in both directions, thus emulating long-term potentiation/depression properties akin to biological synapses. Both forming-free and gradual switching properties are modeled in terms of oxygen vacancy generation in an ultrathin HfO2 layer. By applying the voltage pulses to the opposite electrodes of nanodevices with the shape emulating spikes in biological neurons, spike-timing-dependent plasticity functionality is demonstrated. Thus, the fabricated memristors in crossbar geometry are promising candidates for hardware implementation of hybrid CMOS-neuron/memristor-synapse neural networks.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Hebbian synapses in visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Kirkwood, A; Bear, M F

    1994-03-01

    We discovered in slices of rat visual cortex that reliable long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic responses in layer III could be elicited by theta burst stimulation delivered to a site in the middle of the cortical thickness, corresponding mainly to layer IV. This synaptic plasticity was reflected in the extracellular field potentials and intracellular EPSPs in layer III, but was not observed in the intracellular responses of layer V neurons, suggesting a preferential involvement of synapses on layer III neurons. Tetanus-induced LTP in this preparation was input specific, and was blocked by application of an NMDA receptor antagonist (but not by an antagonist of nitric oxide synthase). In addition, LTP of layer IV-evoked responses could also be produced reliably by pairing low-frequency synaptic stimulation (approximately 100 pulses at 1 Hz) with strong intracellular depolarization of layer III neurons. Thus, LTP in this circuit satisfies the definition of a "Hebbian" modification. Tetanic stimulation of the white matter, in sharp contrast, consistently failed to elicit LTP in layer III unless a GABAA receptor antagonist was applied to the slice. Analysis indicated that the critical difference between layer IV and white matter stimulation was not the magnitude of the responses to single stimuli delivered to the two sites, but that it might lie in the postsynaptic response during high-frequency stimulation. Consistent with this idea, "associative" LTP could be elicited from white matter when converging but independent inputs from the white matter and layer IV simultaneously received tetanic conditioning stimulation. A hypothetical model is presented to account for the differences between layer IV and white matter stimulation. According to this "plasticity gate hypothesis," inhibitory circuitry in layer IV normally acts as a sort of band-pass filter that constrains the types of activity patterns that can gain access to the modifiable synapses in layer III. By

  7. Muscarinic presynaptic modulation in GABAergic pallidal synapses of the rat.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Martínez, Ricardo; Aceves, José J; Rueda-Orozco, Pavel E; Hernández-Flores, Teresa; Hernández-González, Omar; Tapia, Dagoberto; Galarraga, Elvira; Bargas, José

    2015-02-01

    The external globus pallidus (GPe) is central for basal ganglia processing. It expresses muscarinic cholinergic receptors and receives cholinergic afferents from the pedunculopontine nuclei (PPN) and other regions. The role of these receptors and afferents is unknown. Muscarinic M1-type receptors are expressed by synapses from striatal projection neurons (SPNs). Because axons from SPNs project to the GPe, one hypothesis is that striatopallidal GABAergic terminals may be modulated by M1 receptors. Alternatively, some M1 receptors may be postsynaptic in some pallidal neurons. Evidence of muscarinic modulation in any of these elements would suggest that cholinergic afferents from the PPN, or other sources, could modulate the function of the GPe. In this study, we show this evidence using striatopallidal slice preparations: after field stimulation in the striatum, the cholinergic muscarinic receptor agonist muscarine significantly reduced the amplitude of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) from synapses that exhibited short-term synaptic facilitation. This inhibition was associated with significant increases in paired-pulse facilitation, and quantal content was proportional to IPSC amplitude. These actions were blocked by atropine, pirenzepine, and mamba toxin-7, suggesting that receptors involved were M1. In addition, we found that some pallidal neurons have functional postsynaptic M1 receptors. Moreover, some evoked IPSCs exhibited short-term depression and a different kind of modulation: they were indirectly modulated by muscarine via the activation of presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Thus pallidal synapses presenting distinct forms of short-term plasticity were modulated differently. PMID:25392165

  8. The resilient synapse: insights from genetic interference of synaptic cell adhesion molecules.

    PubMed

    Piechotta, Kerstin; Dudanova, Irina; Missler, Markus

    2006-11-01

    Synaptic cell adhesion molecules (SCAMs) are mostly membrane-anchored molecules with extracellular domains that extend into the synaptic cleft. Prototypical SCAMs interact with homologous or heterologous molecules on the surface of adjacent cells, ensuring the precise apposition of pre- and postsynaptic elements. More recent definitions of SCAMs often include molecules involved in axon pathfinding, cell recognition and synaptic differentiation events, making SCAMs functionally and molecularly a highly diverse group. In this review, we summarize the proposed in vivo functions of a large variety of SCAMs. We mainly focus on results obtained from analyses of genetic model organisms, mostly mouse knockout mutants, lacking expression of the respective candidate genes. In contrast to the substantial effect yielded by some knockouts of molecules involved in synaptic vesicle release, no SCAM mutant has been reported thus far that shows a prominently altered structure of the majority of synapses or even lacks synapses altogether. This surprising resilience of synaptic structure might be explained by a high redundancy between different SCAMs, by the assumption that the crucial molecular players in synapse structure have yet to be discovered or by a grand variability in the mechanisms of synapse formation that underlies the diversity of synapses. Whatever the final answer turns out to be, the genetic dissection of the SCAM superfamilies has led to a much better understanding of the different steps required to form, differentiate and modify a synapse.

  9. Long-term depression triggers the selective elimination of weakly integrated synapses

    PubMed Central

    Wiegert, J. Simon; Oertner, Thomas G.

    2013-01-01

    Long-term depression (LTD) weakens synaptic transmission in an activity-dependent manner. It is not clear, however, whether individual synapses are able to maintain a depressed state indefinitely, as intracellular recordings rarely exceed 1 h. Here, we combine optogenetic stimulation of identified Schaffer collateral axons with two-photon imaging of postsynaptic calcium signals and follow the fate of individual synapses for 7 d after LTD induction. Optogenetic stimulation of CA3 pyramidal cells at 1 Hz led to strong and reliable depression of postsynaptic calcium transients in CA1. NMDA receptor activation was necessary for successful induction of LTD. We found that, in the days following LTD, many depressed synapses and their “neighbors” were eliminated from the hippocampal circuit. The average lifetime of synapses on nonstimulated dendritic branches of the same neurons remained unaffected. Persistence of individual depressed synapses was highly correlated with reliability of synaptic transmission, but not with spine size or the amplitude of spine calcium transients. Our data suggest that LTD initially leads to homogeneous depression of synaptic function, followed by selective removal of unreliable synapses and recovery of function in the persistent fraction. PMID:24191047

  10. Opioids potentiate electrical transmission at mixed synapses on the Mauthner cell

    PubMed Central

    Cachope, Roger

    2015-01-01

    Opioid receptors were shown to modulate a variety of cellular processes in the vertebrate central nervous system, including synaptic transmission. While the effects of opioid receptors on chemically mediated transmission have been extensively investigated, little is known of their actions on gap junction-mediated electrical synapses. Here we report that pharmacological activation of mu-opioid receptors led to a long-term enhancement of electrical (and glutamatergic) transmission at identifiable mixed synapses on the goldfish Mauthner cells. The effect also required activation of both dopamine D1/5 receptors and postsynaptic cAMP-dependent protein kinase A, suggesting that opioid-evoked actions are mediated indirectly via the release of dopamine from varicosities known to be located in the vicinity of the synaptic contacts. Moreover, inhibitory inputs situated in the immediate vicinity of these excitatory synapses on the lateral dendrite of the Mauthner cell were not affected by activation of mu-opioid receptors, indicating that their actions are restricted to electrical and glutamatergic transmissions co-existing at mixed contacts. Thus, as their chemical counterparts, electrical synapses can be a target for the modulatory actions of the opioid system. Because gap junctions at these mixed synapses are formed by fish homologs of the neuronal connexin 36, which is widespread in mammalian brain, it is likely that this regulatory property applies to electrical synapses elsewhere as well. PMID:26019311

  11. Investigating complex I deficiency in Purkinje cells and synapses in patients with mitochondrial disease

    PubMed Central

    Chrysostomou, Alexia; Grady, John P.; Laude, Alex; Taylor, Robert W.; Turnbull, Doug M.

    2015-01-01

    Aims Cerebellar ataxia is common in patients with mitochondrial disease, and despite previous neuropathological investigations demonstrating vulnerability of the olivocerebellar pathway in patients with mitochondrial disease, the exact neurodegenerative mechanisms are still not clear. We use quantitative quadruple immunofluorescence to enable precise quantification of mitochondrial respiratory chain protein expression in Purkinje cell bodies and their synaptic terminals in the dentate nucleus. Methods We investigated NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] 1 alpha subcomplex subunit 13 protein expression in 12 clinically and genetically defined patients with mitochondrial disease and ataxia and 10 age‐matched controls. Molecular genetic analysis was performed to determine heteroplasmy levels of mutated mitochondrial DNA in Purkinje cell bodies and inhibitory synapses. Results Our data reveal that complex I deficiency is present in both Purkinje cell bodies and their inhibitory synapses which surround dentate nucleus neurons. Inhibitory synapses are fewer and enlarged in patients which could represent a compensatory mechanism. Mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy demonstrated similarly high levels of mutated mitochondrial DNA in cell bodies and synapses. Conclusions This is the first study to use a validated quantitative immunofluorescence technique to determine complex I expression in neurons and presynaptic terminals, evaluating the distribution of respiratory chain deficiencies and assessing the degree of morphological abnormalities affecting synapses. Respiratory chain deficiencies detected in Purkinje cell bodies and their synapses and structural synaptic changes are likely to contribute to altered cerebellar circuitry and progression of ataxia. PMID:26337858

  12. Synapses that compute motion. Memorandum report

    SciTech Connect

    Poggio, T.; Koch, C.

    1987-06-01

    Biophysics of computation is a new field that attempts to characterize the role in information processing of the several biophysical mechanisms in neurons, synapses, and membranes that have been uncovered in recent years. This article reviews a synaptic mechanism, based on the interaction between excitation and silent inhibition, that implements a veto-like operation. Synapses of this type may underlie direction selectivity to direction of motion in the vertebrate retina.

  13. Communication, the centrosome and the immunological synapse

    PubMed Central

    Stinchcombe, Jane C.; Griffiths, Gillian M.

    2014-01-01

    Recent findings on the behaviour of the centrosome at the immunological synapse suggest a critical role for centrosome polarization in controlling the communication between immune cells required to generate an effective immune response. The features observed at the immunological synapse show parallels to centrosome (basal body) polarization seen in cilia and flagella, and the cellular communication that is now known to occur at all of these sites. PMID:25047617

  14. Telomerase deficiency affects normal brain functions in mice.

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. mGluR2/3 in the Lateral Amygdala is Required for Fear Extinction: Cortical Input Synapses onto the Lateral Amygdala as a Target Site of the mGluR2/3 Action.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jihye; An, Bobae; Kim, Jeongyeon; Park, Sewon; Park, Sungmo; Hong, Ingie; Lee, Sukwon; Park, Kyungjoon; Choi, Sukwoo

    2015-12-01

    Various subtypes of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) have been implicated in fear extinction, but mGluR2/3 subtype has not been tested. Here, we found that microinjection of an mGluR2/3 antagonist, LY341495, into the lateral amygdala (LA), but not into the adjacent central amygdala (CeA), impaired extinction retention without affecting within-session extinction. In contrast, we failed to detect any significant changes in motility and anxiety during a period when extinction training or retention was performed after LY341495 injection, suggesting that the effect of LY341495 is specific to conditioned responses. Subsequently, on the basis of a previous finding that a long-term potentiation of presynaptic efficacy at cortical input synapses onto the lateral amygdala (C-LA synapses) supports conditioned fear, we tested the hypothesis that activation of mGluR2/3 leads to fear extinction via a long-term weakening of presynaptic functions at C-LA synapses. Fear extinction produced a decrease in C-LA synaptic efficacy, whereas LY341495 infusion into the LA blocked this extinction-induced C-LA efficacy decrease without altering synaptic efficacy at other LA synapses. Furthermore, extinction enhanced paired pulse ratio (PPR) of EPSCs, which inversely correlates with presynaptic release probability, whereas LY341495 infusion into the LA attenuated the extinction-induced increase in PPR, suggesting the presence of mGluR2/3-dependent presynaptic changes after extinction. Consistently, extinction occluded a presynaptic form of depression at C-LA synapses, whereas the LY341495 infusion into the LA rescued this occlusion. Together, our findings suggest that mGluR2/3 is required for extinction retention and that the mGluR2/3 action is mediated by the long-term weakening of release probability at C-LA synapses.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, T.; Kester, J. J.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. Drying process strongly affects probiotics viability and functionalities.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-20

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

  20. SLE-associated risk factors affect DC function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. SLE-associated risk factors affect DC function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. SLE-associated risk factors affect DC function

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. cAMP-Inhibits Cytoplasmic Phospholipase A₂ and Protects Neurons against Amyloid-β-Induced Synapse Damage.

    PubMed

    Bate, Clive; Williams, Alun

    2015-01-01

    A key event in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the production of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides and the loss of synapses. In cultured neurons Aβ triggered synapse damage as measured by the loss of synaptic proteins. α-synuclein (αSN), aggregates of which accumulate in Parkinson's disease, also caused synapse damage. Synapse damage was associated with activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A₂ (cPLA₂), an enzyme that regulates synapse function and structure, and the production of prostaglandin (PG) E₂. In synaptosomes PGE₂ increased concentrations of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) which suppressed the activation of cPLA₂ demonstrating an inhibitory feedback system. Thus, Aβ/αSN-induced activated cPLA₂ produces PGE₂ which increases cAMP which in turn suppresses cPLA₂ and, hence, its own production. Neurons pre-treated with pentoxifylline and caffeine (broad spectrum phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors) or the PDE4 specific inhibitor rolipram significantly increased the Aβ/αSN-induced increase in cAMP and consequently protected neurons against synapse damage. The addition of cAMP analogues also inhibited cPLA₂ and protected neurons against synapse damage. These results suggest that drugs that inhibit Aβ-induced activation of cPLA₂ and cross the blood-brain barrier may reduce synapse damage in AD. PMID:26389963

  4. cAMP-Inhibits Cytoplasmic Phospholipase A2 and Protects Neurons against Amyloid-β-Induced Synapse Damage

    PubMed Central

    Bate, Clive; Williams, Alun

    2015-01-01

    A key event in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the production of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides and the loss of synapses. In cultured neurons Aβ triggered synapse damage as measured by the loss of synaptic proteins. α-synuclein (αSN), aggregates of which accumulate in Parkinson’s disease, also caused synapse damage. Synapse damage was associated with activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), an enzyme that regulates synapse function and structure, and the production of prostaglandin (PG) E2. In synaptosomes PGE2 increased concentrations of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) which suppressed the activation of cPLA2 demonstrating an inhibitory feedback system. Thus, Aβ/αSN-induced activated cPLA2 produces PGE2 which increases cAMP which in turn suppresses cPLA2 and, hence, its own production. Neurons pre-treated with pentoxifylline and caffeine (broad spectrum phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors) or the PDE4 specific inhibitor rolipram significantly increased the Aβ/αSN-induced increase in cAMP and consequently protected neurons against synapse damage. The addition of cAMP analogues also inhibited cPLA2 and protected neurons against synapse damage. These results suggest that drugs that inhibit Aβ-induced activation of cPLA2 and cross the blood–brain barrier may reduce synapse damage in AD. PMID:26389963

  5. Calcium channel subtypes differ at two types of cholinergic synapse in lumbar sympathetic neurones of guinea-pigs

    PubMed Central

    Ireland, David R; Davies, Philip J; McLachlan, Elspeth M

    1999-01-01

    The involvement of different presynaptic Ca2+ channels in transmission at ‘weak’ (subthreshold) and ‘strong’ (suprathreshold) synapses was investigated in guinea-pig paravertebral ganglia isolated in vitro. Selective Ca2+ channel antagonists were used to block excitatory synaptic currents evoked by stimulating single preganglionic axons.The N-type Ca2+ channel blocker, ω-conotoxin GVIA (100 nm), reduced peak synaptic conductance by similar amounts at weak synapses (by 39 ± 6%) and strong synapses (34 ± 6%).The P-type Ca2+ channel blocker, ω-agatoxin IVA (40 nm), significantly reduced transmitter release at weak synapses (by 42 ± 6%) but had only a small effect at strong synapses (reduced by 6 ± 2%).Blockers of Q-, L- or T-type Ca2+ channels had no significant effects on peak synaptic conductance at either type of synapse.We conclude that the two functionally distinct types of preganglionic terminal in sympathetic ganglia which synapse on the same neurone differ in their expression of particular types of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. Both types utilize N-type channels and channels resistant to blockade by specific antagonists, but Ca2+ entry through P-type channels makes a substantial contribution to acetylcholine release only at weak synapses. PMID:9831716

  6. Human Umbilical Tissue-Derived Cells Promote Synapse Formation and Neurite Outgrowth via Thrombospondin Family Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Sehwon; Kim, Namsoo; Yin, Henry H.; Harris, Ian R.; Dejneka, Nadine S.

    2015-01-01

    Cell therapy demonstrates great potential for the treatment of neurological disorders. Human umbilical tissue-derived cells (hUTCs) were previously shown to have protective and regenerative effects in animal models of stroke and retinal degeneration, but the underlying therapeutic mechanisms are unknown. Because synaptic dysfunction, synapse loss, degeneration of neuronal processes, and neuronal death are hallmarks of neurological diseases and retinal degenerations, we tested whether hUTCs contribute to tissue repair and regeneration by stimulating synapse formation, neurite outgrowth, and neuronal survival. To do so, we used a purified rat retinal ganglion cell culture system and found that hUTCs secrete factors that strongly promote excitatory synaptic connectivity and enhance neuronal survival. Additionally, we demonstrated that hUTCs support neurite outgrowth under normal culture conditions and in the presence of the growth-inhibitory proteins chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, myelin basic protein, or Nogo-A (reticulon 4). Furthermore, through biochemical fractionation and pharmacology, we identified the major hUTC-secreted synaptogenic factors as the thrombospondin family proteins (TSPs), TSP1, TSP2, and TSP4. Silencing TSP expression in hUTCs, using small RNA interference, eliminated both the synaptogenic function of these cells and their ability to promote neurite outgrowth. However, the majority of the prosurvival functions of hUTC-conditioned media was spared after TSP knockdown, indicating that hUTCs secrete additional neurotrophic factors. Together, our findings demonstrate that hUTCs affect multiple aspects of neuronal health and connectivity through secreted factors, and each of these paracrine effects may individually contribute to the therapeutic function of these cells. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Human umbilical tissue-derived cells (hUTC) are currently under clinical investigation for the treatment of geographic atrophy secondary to age-related macular

  7. Prenatal drug exposure affects neonatal brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Prenatal drug exposure affects neonatal brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Sensory experience shapes the development of the visual system's first synapse.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Felice A; Della Santina, Luca; Parker, Edward D; Wong, Rachel O L

    2013-12-01

    Specific connectivity patterns among neurons create the basic architecture underlying parallel processing in our nervous system. Here we focus on the visual system's first synapse to examine the structural and functional consequences of sensory deprivation on the establishment of parallel circuits. Dark rearing reduces synaptic strength between cones and cone bipolar cells, a previously unappreciated effect of sensory deprivation. In contrast, rod bipolar cells, which utilize the same glutamate receptor to contact rods, are unaffected by dark rearing. Underlying the physiological changes, we find the localization of metabotropic glutamate receptors within cone bipolar, but not rod bipolar, cell dendrites is a light-dependent process. Furthermore, although cone bipolar cells share common cone partners, each bipolar cell type that we examined depends differentially on sensory input to achieve mature connectivity. Thus, visual experience differentially affects maturation of rod versus cone pathways and of cell types within the cone pathway. PMID:24314727

  12. Sensory experience shapes the development of the visual system’s first synapse

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Felice A.; Santina, Luca Della; Parker, Edward D.; Wong, Rachel O.L.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Specific connectivity patterns among neurons create the basic architecture underlying parallel processing in our nervous system. Here we focus on the visual system’s first synapse to examine the structural and functional consequences of sensory deprivation on the establishment of parallel circuits. Dark rearing reduces synaptic strength between cones and cone bipolar cells, a previously unappreciated effect of sensory deprivation. In contrast, rod bipolar cells, which utilize the same glutamate receptor to contact rods, are unaffected by dark rearing. Underlying the physiological changes, we find the localization of metabotropic glutamate receptors within cone bipolar, but not rod bipolar, cell dendrites is a light-dependent process. Furthermore, although cone bipolar cells share common cone partners, each bipolar cell type we examined depends differentially on sensory input to achieve mature connectivity. Thus, visual experience differentially affects maturation of rod versus cone pathways and of cell types within the cone pathway. PMID:24314727

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Fundamental GABAergic amacrine cell circuitries in the retina: nested feedback, concatenated inhibition, and axosomatic synapses.

    PubMed

    Marc, R E; Liu, W

    2000-10-01

    Presynaptic gamma-aminobutyrate-immunoreactive (GABA+) profiles were mapped in the cyprinid retina with overlay microscopy: a fusion of electron and optical imaging affording high-contrast ultrastructural and immunocytochemical visualization. GABA+ synapses, deriving primarily from amacrine cells (ACs), compose 92% of conventional synapses and 98% of the input to bipolar cells (BCs) in the inner plexiform layer. GABA+ AC synapses, the sign-inverting elements of signal processing, are deployed in micronetworks and distinctive synaptic source/target topologies. Nested feedback micronetworks are formed by three types of links (BC --> AC, reciprocal BC <-- AC, and AC --> AC synapses) arranged as nested BC<--> [AC --> AC] loops. Circuits using nested feedback can possess better temporal performance than those using simple reciprocal feedback loops. Concatenated GABA+ micronetworks of AC --> AC and AC --> AC --> AC chains are common and must be key elements for lateral spatial, temporal, and spectral signal processing. Concatenated inhibitions may represent exceptionally stable, low-gain, sign-conserving devices for receptive field construction. Some chain elements are GABA immunonegative (GABA-) and are, thus, likely glycinergic synapses. GABA+ synaptic baskets target the somas of certain GABA+ and GABA- cells, resembling cortical axosomatic synapses. Finally, all myelinated intraretinal profiles are GABA+, suggesting that some efferent systems are sources of GABAergic inhibition in the cyprinid retina and may comprise all axosomatic synapses. These micronetworks are likely the fundamental elements for receptive field shaping in the inner plexiform layer, although few receptive field models incorporate them as functional components. Conversely, simple feedback and feedforward synapses may often be chimeras: the result of an incomplete view of synaptic topology.

  15. Morphological and molecular changes in aging rat prelimbic prefrontal cortical synapses

    PubMed Central

    Bloss, Erik B.; Puri, Rishi; Yuk, Frank; Punsoni, Michael; Hara, Yuko; Janssen, William G.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Morrison, John H.

    2012-01-01

    Age-related impairments of executive functions appear to be related to reductions of the number and plasticity of dendritic spine synapses in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Experimental evidence suggests that synaptic plasticity is mediated by the spine actin cytoskeleton, and a major pathway regulating actin-based plasticity is controlled by phosphorylated LIM kinase (pLIMK). We asked whether aging resulted in altered synaptic density, morphology, and pLIMK expression in the rat prelimbic region of the PFC. Using unbiased electron microscopy, we found a ~50% decrease in the density of small synapses with aging, while the density of large synapses remained unchanged. Postembedding immunogold revealed that pLIMK localized predominantly to the postsynaptic density where it was increased in aging synapses by ~50%. Furthermore, the age-related increase in pLIMK occurred selectively within the largest subset of prelimbic PFC synapses. Since pLIMK is known to inhibit actin filament plasticity, these data support the hypothesis that age-related increases in pLIMK may explain the stability of large synapses at the expense of their plasticity. PMID:22727942

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Artificial Synapses: Organometal Halide Perovskite Artificial Synapses (Adv. Mater. 28/2016).

    PubMed

    Xu, Wentao; Cho, Himchan; Kim, Young-Hoon; Kim, Young-Tae; Wolf, Christoph; Park, Chan-Gyung; Lee, Tae-Woo

    2016-07-01

    A synapse-emulating electronic device based on organometal halide perovskite thin films is described by T.-W. Lee and co-workers on page 5916. The device successfully emulates important characteristics of a biological synapse. This work extends the application of organometal halide perovskites to bioinspired electronic devices, and contributes to the development of neuromorphic electronics. PMID:27442971

  19. Single-Synapse Analysis of a Diverse Synapse Population: Proteomic Imaging Methods and Markers

    PubMed Central

    Micheva, Kristina D.; Busse, Brad; Weiler, Nicholas C.; O’Rourke, Nancy; Smith, Stephen J

    2010-01-01

    Summary A lack of methods for measuring the protein compositions of individual synapses in situ has so far hindered the exploration and exploitation of synapse molecular diversity. Here we describe the use of array tomography, a new high-resolution proteomic imaging method, to determine the composition of glutamate and GABA synapses in somatosensory cortex of Line-H-YFP Thy-1 transgenic mice. We find that virtually all synapses are recognized by antibodies to the presynaptic phosphoprotein synapsin I, while antibodies to 16 other synaptic proteins discriminate amongst 4 subtypes of glutamatergic synapses and GABAergic synapses. Cell-specific YFP expression in the YFP-H mouse line allows synapses to be assigned to specific presynaptic and postsynaptic partners and reveals that a subpopulation of spines on layer 5 pyramidal cells receives both VGluT1-subtype glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic inputs. These results establish a means for the high-throughput acquisition of proteomic data from individual cortical synapses in situ. PMID:21092855

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Lack of Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Causes Synapse Dysfunction in the Drosophila Visual System.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, Anna B; Ménagé, Cindy; Grégoire, Stéphane; Garcia, Thibault; Ferveur, Jean-François; Bretillon, Lionel; Grosjean, Yael

    2015-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential nutrients for animals and necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system. A lack of PUFAs can result from the consumption of a deficient diet or genetic factors, which impact PUFA uptake and metabolism. Both can cause synaptic dysfunction, which is associated with numerous disorders. However, there is a knowledge gap linking these neuronal dysfunctions and their underlying molecular mechanisms. Because of its genetic manipulability and its easy, fast, and cheap breeding, Drosophila melanogaster has emerged as an excellent model organism for genetic screens, helping to identify the genetic bases of such events. As a first step towards the understanding of PUFA implications in Drosophila synaptic physiology we designed a breeding medium containing only very low amounts of PUFAs. We then used the fly's visual system, a well-established model for studying signal transmission and neurological disorders, to measure the effects of a PUFA deficiency on synaptic function. Using both visual performance and eye electrophysiology, we found that PUFA deficiency strongly affected synaptic transmission in the fly's visual system. These defects were rescued by diets containing omega-3 or omega-6 PUFAs alone or in combination. In summary, manipulating PUFA contents in the fly's diet was powerful to investigate the role of these nutrients on the fly´s visual synaptic function. This study aims at showing how the first visual synapse of Drosophila can serve as a simple model to study the effects of PUFAs on synapse function. A similar approach could be further used to screen for genetic factors underlying the molecular mechanisms of synaptic dysfunctions associated with altered PUFA levels.

  2. Lack of Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Causes Synapse Dysfunction in the Drosophila Visual System

    PubMed Central

    Ziegler, Anna B.; Ménagé, Cindy; Grégoire, Stéphane; Garcia, Thibault; Ferveur, Jean-François; Bretillon, Lionel; Grosjean, Yael

    2015-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential nutrients for animals and necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system. A lack of PUFAs can result from the consumption of a deficient diet or genetic factors, which impact PUFA uptake and metabolism. Both can cause synaptic dysfunction, which is associated with numerous disorders. However, there is a knowledge gap linking these neuronal dysfunctions and their underlying molecular mechanisms. Because of its genetic manipulability and its easy, fast, and cheap breeding, Drosophila melanogaster has emerged as an excellent model organism for genetic screens, helping to identify the genetic bases of such events. As a first step towards the understanding of PUFA implications in Drosophila synaptic physiology we designed a breeding medium containing only very low amounts of PUFAs. We then used the fly’s visual system, a well-established model for studying signal transmission and neurological disorders, to measure the effects of a PUFA deficiency on synaptic function. Using both visual performance and eye electrophysiology, we found that PUFA deficiency strongly affected synaptic transmission in the fly’s visual system. These defects were rescued by diets containing omega-3 or omega-6 PUFAs alone or in combination. In summary, manipulating PUFA contents in the fly’s diet was powerful to investigate the role of these nutrients on the fly´s visual synaptic function. This study aims at showing how the first visual synapse of Drosophila can serve as a simple model to study the effects of PUFAs on synapse function. A similar approach could be further used to screen for genetic factors underlying the molecular mechanisms of synaptic dysfunctions associated with altered PUFA levels. PMID:26308084

  3. Lack of Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Causes Synapse Dysfunction in the Drosophila Visual System.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, Anna B; Ménagé, Cindy; Grégoire, Stéphane; Garcia, Thibault; Ferveur, Jean-François; Bretillon, Lionel; Grosjean, Yael

    2015-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential nutrients for animals and necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system. A lack of PUFAs can result from the consumption of a deficient diet or genetic factors, which impact PUFA uptake and metabolism. Both can cause synaptic dysfunction, which is associated with numerous disorders. However, there is a knowledge gap linking these neuronal dysfunctions and their underlying molecular mechanisms. Because of its genetic manipulability and its easy, fast, and cheap breeding, Drosophila melanogaster has emerged as an excellent model organism for genetic screens, helping to identify the genetic bases of such events. As a first step towards the understanding of PUFA implications in Drosophila synaptic physiology we designed a breeding medium containing only very low amounts of PUFAs. We then used the fly's visual system, a well-established model for studying signal transmission and neurological disorders, to measure the effects of a PUFA deficiency on synaptic function. Using both visual performance and eye electrophysiology, we found that PUFA deficiency strongly affected synaptic transmission in the fly's visual system. These defects were rescued by diets containing omega-3 or omega-6 PUFAs alone or in combination. In summary, manipulating PUFA contents in the fly's diet was powerful to investigate the role of these nutrients on the fly´s visual synaptic function. This study aims at showing how the first visual synapse of Drosophila can serve as a simple model to study the effects of PUFAs on synapse function. A similar approach could be further used to screen for genetic factors underlying the molecular mechanisms of synaptic dysfunctions associated with altered PUFA levels. PMID:26308084

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    Vitamin C is a pivotal antioxidant in the brain and has been reported to have numerous functions, including reactive oxygen species scavenging, neuromodulation, and involvement in angiogenesis. Absence of vitamin C in the brain has been shown to be detrimental to survival in newborn SVCT2(-/-) mice and perinatal deficiency have shown to reduce hippocampal volume and neuron number and cause decreased spatial cognition in guinea pigs, suggesting that maternal vitamin C deficiency could have severe consequences for the offspring. Furthermore, vitamin C deficiency has been proposed to play a role in age-related cognitive decline and in stroke risk and severity. The present review discusses the available literature on effects of vitamin C deficiency on the developing and aging brain with particular focus on in vivo experimentation and clinical studies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin C is a pivotal antioxidant in the brain and has been reported to have numerous functions, including reactive oxygen species scavenging, neuromodulation, and involvement in angiogenesis. Absence of vitamin C in the brain has been shown to be detrimental to survival in newborn SVCT2(−/−) mice and perinatal deficiency have shown to reduce hippocampal volume and neuron number and cause decreased spatial cognition in guinea pigs, suggesting that maternal vitamin C deficiency could have severe consequences for the offspring. Furthermore, vitamin C deficiency has been proposed to play a role in age-related cognitive decline and in stroke risk and severity. The present review discusses the available literature on effects of vitamin C deficiency on the developing and aging brain with particular focus on in vivo experimentation and clinical studies. PMID:25244370

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-16

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

  7. Consumption of bee pollen affects rat ovarian functions.

    PubMed

    Kolesarova, A; Bakova, Z; Capcarova, M; Galik, B; Juracek, M; Simko, M; Toman, R; Sirotkin, A V

    2013-12-01

    The aim of this study was to examine possible effects of bee pollen added to the feed mixture (FM) on rat ovarian functions (secretion activity and apoptosis). We evaluated the bee pollen effect on the release of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and steroid hormones (progesterone and estradiol), as well as on the expression of markers of apoptosis (Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3) in rat ovarian fragments. Female rats (n = 15) were fed during 90 days by FM without or with rape seed bee pollen in dose either 3 kg/1000 kg FM or 5 kg/1000 kg FM. Fragments of ovaries isolated from rats of each group (totally 72 pieces) were incubated for 24 h. Hormonal secretion into the culture medium was detected by RIA. The markers of apoptosis were evaluated by Western blotting. It was observed that IGF-I release by rat ovarian fragments was significantly (p < 0.05) decreased; on the other hand, progesterone and estradiol secretion was increased after bee pollen treatment at dose 5 kg/1000 kg FM but not at 3 kg/1000 FM. Accumulation of Bcl-2 was increased by bee pollen added at 3 kg/1000 kg FM, but not at higher dose. Accumulation of Bax was increased in ovaries of rats fed by bee pollen at doses either 3 or 5 kg/1000 kg FM, whilst accumulation of caspase-3 increased after feeding with bee pollen at dose 5 kg/1000 kg FM, but not at 3 kg/1000 kg FM. Our results contribute to new insights regarding the effect of bee pollen on both secretion activity (release of growth factor IGF-I and steroid hormones progesterone and estradiol) and apoptosis (anti- and pro-apoptotic markers Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3). Bee pollen is shown to be a potent regulator of rat ovarian functions. PMID:23137268

  8. Impaired immunological synapse in sperm associated antigen 6 (SPAG6) deficient mice

    PubMed Central

    Cooley, Lauren Folgosa; El Shikh, Mohey Eldin; Li, Wei; Keim, Rebecca C.; Zhang, Zhengang; Strauss, Jerome F.; Zhang, Zhibing; Conrad, Daniel H.

    2016-01-01

    Sperm associated antigen 6 (SPAG6), a component of the central apparatus of the “9 + 2” axoneme, plays a central role in ciliary and flagellar motility; but, its contribution to adaptive immunity and immune system development is completely unknown. While immune cells lack a cilium, the immunological synapse is a surrogate cilium as it utilizes the same machinery as ciliogenesis including the nucleation of microtubules at the centrosome. This prompted our hypothesis that SPAG6 critically regulates the formation and function of immunological synapses. Using bone marrow reconstitution studies of adult WT mice, we demonstrate that SPAG6 is expressed in primary and secondary lymphoid tissues, is associated with the centrosome in lymphocytes, and its deficiency results in synapse disruption due to loss of centrosome polarization and actin clearance at the synaptic cleft. Improper synapse formation in Spag6KO mice was associated with defective CTL functions and impaired humoral immunity as indicated by reduced germinal centers reactions, follicular CD4 T cells, and production of class-switched antibody, together with expansion of B1 B cells. This novel report demonstrates the requirement of SPAG6 for optimal synapse formation and function, its direct role in immune cell function, and provides a novel mechanism for infertility disorders related to SPAG6. PMID:27169488

  9. Impaired immunological synapse in sperm associated antigen 6 (SPAG6) deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Cooley, Lauren Folgosa; El Shikh, Mohey Eldin; Li, Wei; Keim, Rebecca C; Zhang, Zhengang; Strauss, Jerome F; Zhang, Zhibing; Conrad, Daniel H

    2016-05-12

    Sperm associated antigen 6 (SPAG6), a component of the central apparatus of the "9 + 2" axoneme, plays a central role in ciliary and flagellar motility; but, its contribution to adaptive immunity and immune system development is completely unknown. While immune cells lack a cilium, the immunological synapse is a surrogate cilium as it utilizes the same machinery as ciliogenesis including the nucleation of microtubules at the centrosome. This prompted our hypothesis that SPAG6 critically regulates the formation and function of immunological synapses. Using bone marrow reconstitution studies of adult WT mice, we demonstrate that SPAG6 is expressed in primary and secondary lymphoid tissues, is associated with the centrosome in lymphocytes, and its deficiency results in synapse disruption due to loss of centrosome polarization and actin clearance at the synaptic cleft. Improper synapse formation in Spag6KO mice was associated with defective CTL functions and impaired humoral immunity as indicated by reduced germinal centers reactions, follicular CD4 T cells, and production of class-switched antibody, together with expansion of B1 B cells. This novel report demonstrates the requirement of SPAG6 for optimal synapse formation and function, its direct role in immune cell function, and provides a novel mechanism for infertility disorders related to SPAG6.

  10. Impaired immunological synapse in sperm associated antigen 6 (SPAG6) deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Cooley, Lauren Folgosa; El Shikh, Mohey Eldin; Li, Wei; Keim, Rebecca C; Zhang, Zhengang; Strauss, Jerome F; Zhang, Zhibing; Conrad, Daniel H

    2016-01-01

    Sperm associated antigen 6 (SPAG6), a component of the central apparatus of the "9 + 2" axoneme, plays a central role in ciliary and flagellar motility; but, its contribution to adaptive immunity and immune system development is completely unknown. While immune cells lack a cilium, the immunological synapse is a surrogate cilium as it utilizes the same machinery as ciliogenesis including the nucleation of microtubules at the centrosome. This prompted our hypothesis that SPAG6 critically regulates the formation and function of immunological synapses. Using bone marrow reconstitution studies of adult WT mice, we demonstrate that SPAG6 is expressed in primary and secondary lymphoid tissues, is associated with the centrosome in lymphocytes, and its deficiency results in synapse disruption due to loss of centrosome polarization and actin clearance at the synaptic cleft. Improper synapse formation in Spag6KO mice was associated with defective CTL functions and impaired humoral immunity as indicated by reduced germinal centers reactions, follicular CD4 T cells, and production of class-switched antibody, together with expansion of B1 B cells. This novel report demonstrates the requirement of SPAG6 for optimal synapse formation and function, its direct role in immune cell function, and provides a novel mechanism for infertility disorders related to SPAG6. PMID:27169488

  11. Ectomycorrhizal symbiosis affects functional diversity of rhizosphere fluorescent pseudomonads.

    PubMed

    Frey-Klett, Pascale; Chavatte, Michaël; Clausse, Marie-Lise; Courrier, Sébastien; Le Roux, Christine; Raaijmakers, Jos; Martinotti, Maria Giovanna; Pierrat, Jean-Claude; Garbaye, Jean

    2005-01-01

    Here we characterized the effect of the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis on the genotypic and functional diversity of soil Pseudomonas fluorescens populations and analysed its possible consequences in terms of plant nutrition, development and health. Sixty strains of P. fluorescens were isolated from the bulk soil of a forest nursery, the ectomycorrhizosphere and the ectomycorrhizas of the Douglas fir (Pseudostuga menziesii) seedlings-Laccaria bicolor S238N. They were characterized in vitro with the following criteria: ARDRA, phosphate solubilization, siderophore, HCN and AIA production, genes of N2-fixation and antibiotic synthesis, in vitro confrontation with a range of phytopathogenic and ectomycorrhizal fungi, effect on the Douglas fir-L. bicolor symbiosis. For most of these criteria, we demonstrated that the ectomycorrhizosphere significantly structures the P. fluorescens populations and selects strains potentially beneficial to the symbiosis and to the plant. This prompts us to propose the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis as a true microbial complex where multitrophic interactions take place. Moreover it underlines the fact that this symbiosis has an indirect positive effect on plant growth, via its selective pressure on bacterial communities, in addition to its known direct positive effect. PMID:15720643

  12. Aluminum fluoride affects the structure and functions of cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Norris, B; Villena, F; Cuevas, F; Sotomayor, P; Zatta, P

    2004-06-01

    No useful biological function for aluminum has been found. To the contrary, it might play an important role in several pathologies, which could be related to its interactions with cell membranes. On the other hand, fluoride is a normal component of body fluids, soft tissues, bones and teeth. Its sodium salt is frequently added to drinking water to prevent dental caries. However, large doses cause severe pathological alterations. In view of the toxicity of Al(3+) and F(-) ions, it was thought of interest to explore the damaging effects that AlF(3) might induce in cell membranes. With this aim, it was incubated with human erythrocytes, which were examined by phase contrast and scanning electron microscopy, and molecular models of biomembranes. The latter consisted of large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and bilayers of DMPC and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) which were studied by fluorescence spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction, respectively. In order to understand the effects of AlF(3) on ion transport (principally sodium and chloride) we used the isolated toad skin to which electrophysiological measurements were applied. It was found that AlF(3) altered the shape of erythrocytes inducing the formation of echinocytes. This effect was explained by X-ray diffraction which revealed that AlF(3) perturbed the structure of DMPC, class of lipids located in the outer monolayer of the erythrocyte membrane. This result was confirmed by fluorescence spectroscopy on DMPC LUV. The biphasic (stimulatory followed by inhibitory) effects on the isolated skin suggested changes in apical Cl(-) secretion and moderate ATPase inactivation. PMID:15110101

  13. Automated quantification of synapses by fluorescence microscopy.

    PubMed

    Schätzle, Philipp; Wuttke, René; Ziegler, Urs; Sonderegger, Peter

    2012-02-15

    The quantification of synapses in neuronal cultures is essential in studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Conventional counting of synapses based on morphological or immunocytochemical criteria is extremely work-intensive. We developed a fully automated method which quantifies synaptic elements and complete synapses based on immunocytochemistry. Pre- and postsynaptic elements are detected by their corresponding fluorescence signals and their proximity to dendrites. Synapses are defined as the combination of a pre- and postsynaptic element within a given distance. The analysis is performed in three dimensions and all parameters required for quantification can be easily adjusted by a graphical user interface. The integrated batch processing enables the analysis of large datasets without any further user interaction and is therefore efficient and timesaving. The potential of this method was demonstrated by an extensive quantification of synapses in neuronal cultures from DIV 7 to DIV 21. The method can be applied to all datasets containing a pre- and postsynaptic labeling plus a dendritic or cell surface marker.

  14. Ultrastructure of the retinal synapses in cubozoans.

    PubMed

    Gray, G Clark; Martin, Vicki J; Satterlie, Richard A

    2009-08-01

    Cubomedusae (box jellyfish) are well known for strong directional swimming, rapid responses to visual stimuli, and complex lensed eyes comparable to those of more advanced multicellular animals. They possess a total of 24 eyes that are of four morphologically different types, yet little is known about the neural organization of their eyes. The eyes are located on ganglion-like structures called rhopalia. Each of the four rhopalia contains an upper and a lower lensed eye (with a cornea, lens, and retina), two pit ocelli, and two slit ocelli. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine the synaptic morphology of the eyes and pacemaker region of four species of cubozoans (Tamoya haplonema, Carybdea marsupialis, Tripedalia cystophora, and Chiropsalmus quadrumanus). Invaginated synapses were found in all four species, but only in the upper and lower lensed eyes. Density measurements indicated that the invaginated synapses were located close to the basal region of photoreceptor cells, and size differences of invaginated synapses were observed between the upper and lower lensed eyes, as well as between species. Four additional types of chemical synapses-clear unidirectional, dense-core unidirectional, clear bidirectional, and clear and dense-core bidirectional-were also observed in the rhopalia. The invaginated synapses of the lensed eyes may be useful as markers to help sort out the neural circuitry in the retinal region of these complex cubomedusan eyes. PMID:19679721

  15. Neurology of Affective Prosody and Its Functional-Anatomic Organization in Right Hemisphere

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Elliott D.; Monnot, Marilee

    2008-01-01

    Unlike the aphasic syndromes, the organization of affective prosody in brain has remained controversial because affective-prosodic deficits may occur after left or right brain damage. However, different patterns of deficits are observed following left and right brain damage that suggest affective prosody is a dominant and lateralized function of…

  16. Initial loss but later excess of GABAergic synapses with dentate granule cells in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Thind, Khushdev K; Yamawaki, Ruth; Phanwar, Ibanri; Zhang, Guofeng; Wen, Xiling; Buckmaster, Paul S

    2010-03-01

    Many patients with temporal lobe epilepsy display neuron loss in the dentate gyrus. One potential epileptogenic mechanism is loss of GABAergic interneurons and inhibitory synapses with granule cells. Stereological techniques were used to estimate numbers of gephyrin-positive punctae in the dentate gyrus, which were reduced short-term (5 days after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus) but later rebounded beyond controls in epileptic rats. Stereological techniques were used to estimate numbers of synapses in electron micrographs of serial sections processed for postembedding GABA-immunoreactivity. Adjacent sections were used to estimate numbers of granule cells and glutamic acid decarboxylase-positive neurons per dentate gyrus. GABAergic neurons were reduced to 70% of control levels short-term, where they remained in epileptic rats. Integrating synapse and cell counts yielded average numbers of GABAergic synapses per granule cell, which decreased short-term and rebounded in epileptic animals beyond control levels. Axo-shaft and axo-spinous GABAergic synapse numbers in the outer molecular layer changed most. These findings suggest interneuron loss initially reduces numbers of GABAergic synapses with granule cells, but later, synaptogenesis by surviving interneurons overshoots control levels. In contrast, the average number of excitatory synapses per granule cell decreased short-term but recovered only toward control levels, although in epileptic rats excitatory synapses in the inner molecular layer were larger than in controls. These findings reveal a relative excess of GABAergic synapses and suggest that reports of reduced functional inhibitory synaptic input to granule cells in epilepsy might be attributable not to fewer but instead to abundant but dysfunctional GABAergic synapses.

  17. Phosphate Ions Affect the Water Structure at Functionalized Membrane Surfaces.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Aliyah; Imbrogno, Joseph; Belfort, Georges; Petersen, Poul B

    2016-09-01

    Antifouling surfaces improve function, efficiency, and safety in products such as water filtration membranes, marine vehicle coatings, and medical implants by resisting protein and biofilm adhesion. Understanding the role of water structure at these materials in preventing protein adhesion and biofilm formation is critical to designing more effective coatings. Such fouling experiments are typically performed under biological conditions using isotonic aqueous buffers. Previous studies have explored the structure of pure water at a few different antifouling surfaces, but the effect of electrolytes and ionic strength (I) on the water structure at antifouling surfaces is not well studied. Here sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy is used to characterize the interfacial water structure at poly(ether sulfone) (PES) and two surface-modified PES films in contact with 0.01 M phosphate buffer with high and low salt (Ionic strength, I= 0.166 and 0.025 M, respectively). Unmodified PES, commonly used as a filtration membrane, and modified PES with a hydrophobic alkane (C18) and with a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were used. In the low ionic strength phosphate buffer, water was strongly ordered near the surface of the PEG-modified PES film due to exclusion of phosphate ions and the creation of a surface potential resulting from charge separation between phosphate anions and sodium cations. However, in the high ionic strength phosphate buffer, the sodium and potassium chloride (138 and 3 mM, respectively) in the phosphate buffered saline screened this charge and substantially reduced water ordering. A much smaller water ordering and subsequent reduction upon salt addition was observed for the C18-modified PES, and little water structure change was seen for the unmodified PES. The large difference in water structuring with increasing ionic strength between widely used phosphate buffer and phosphate buffered saline at the PEG interface demonstrates the importance of studying

  18. Familial Clustering of Executive Functioning in Affected Sibling Pair Families with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Swaab-Barneveld, Hanna; De Sonneville, Leo; Buitelaar, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To investigate familial clustering of executive functioning (i.e., response inhibition, fine visuomotor functioning, and attentional control) in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-affected sibling pairs. Method: Fifty-two affected sibling pairs aged 6 to 18 years and diagnosed with ADHD according to DSM-IV performed the…

  19. The cerebellum: its role in language and related cognitive and affective functions.

    PubMed

    De Smet, Hyo Jung; Paquier, Philippe; Verhoeven, Jo; Mariën, Peter

    2013-12-01

    The traditional view on the cerebellum as the sole coordinator of motor function has been substantially redefined during the past decades. Neuroanatomical, neuroimaging and clinical studies have extended the role of the cerebellum to the modulation of cognitive and affective processing. Neuroanatomical studies have demonstrated cerebellar connectivity with the supratentorial association areas involved in higher cognitive and affective functioning, while functional neuroimaging and clinical studies have provided evidence of cerebellar involvement in a variety of cognitive and affective tasks. This paper reviews the recently acknowledged role of the cerebellum in linguistic and related cognitive and behavioral-affective functions. In addition, typical cerebellar syndromes such as the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome (CCAS) and the posterior fossa syndrome (PFS) will be briefly discussed and the current hypotheses dealing with the presumed neurobiological mechanisms underlying the linguistic, cognitive and affective modulatory role of the cerebellum will be reviewed.

  20. Interaction proteomics of synapse protein complexes

    PubMed Central

    Klemmer, Patricia; Smit, August B.

    2010-01-01

    The brain integrates complex types of information, and executes a wide range of physiological and behavioral processes. Trillions of tiny organelles, the synapses, are central to neuronal communication and information processing in the brain. Synaptic transmission involves an intricate network of synaptic proteins that forms the molecular machinery underlying transmitter release, activation, and modulation of transmitter receptors and signal transduction cascades. These processes are dynamically regulated and underlie neuroplasticity, crucial to learning and memory formation. In recent years, interaction proteomics has increasingly been used to elucidate the constituents of synaptic protein complexes. Unlike classic hypothesis-based assays, interaction proteomics detects both known and novel interactors without bias. In this trend article, we focus on the technical aspects of recent proteomics to identify synapse protein complexes, and the complementary methods used to verify the protein–protein interaction. Moreover, we discuss the experimental feasibility of performing global analysis of the synapse protein interactome. PMID:20361179

  1. Loss of SynDIG1 Reduces Excitatory Synapse Maturation But Not Formation In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Inderpreet; Liu, Xiao-Bo; Kirk, Lyndsey M.; Speca, David J.; McMahon, Samuel A.; Zito, Karen

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Modification of the strength of excitatory synaptic connections is a fundamental mechanism by which neural circuits are refined during development and learning. Synapse Differentiation Induced Gene 1 (SynDIG1) has been shown to play a key role in regulating synaptic strength in vitro. Here, we investigated the role of SynDIG1 in vivo in mice with a disruption of the SynDIG1 gene rather than use an alternate loxP-flanked conditional mutant that we find retains a partial protein product. The gene-trap insertion with a reporter cassette mutant mice shows that the SynDIG1 promoter is active during embryogenesis in the retina with some activity in the brain, and postnatally in the mouse hippocampus, cortex, hindbrain, and spinal cord. Ultrastructural analysis of the hippocampal CA1 region shows a decrease in the average PSD length of synapses and a decrease in the number of synapses with a mature phenotype. Intriguingly, the total synapse number appears to be increased in SynDIG1 mutant mice. Electrophysiological analyses show a decrease in AMPA and NMDA receptor function in SynDIG1-deficient hippocampal neurons. Glutamate stimulation of individual dendritic spines in hippocampal slices from SynDIG1-deficient mice reveals increased short-term structural plasticity. Notably, the overall levels of PSD-95 or glutamate receptors enriched in postsynaptic biochemical fractions remain unaltered; however, activity-dependent synapse development is strongly compromised upon the loss of SynDIG1, supporting its importance for excitatory synapse maturation. Together, these data are consistent with a model in which SynDIG1 regulates the maturation of excitatory synapse structure and function in the mouse hippocampus in vivo. PMID:27800545

  2. Identity of the NMDA receptor coagonist is synapse specific and developmentally regulated in the hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Le Bail, Matildé; Martineau, Magalie; Sacchi, Silvia; Yatsenko, Natalia; Radzishevsky, Inna; Conrod, Sandrine; Ait Ouares, Karima; Wolosker, Herman; Pollegioni, Loredano; Billard, Jean-Marie; Mothet, Jean-Pierre

    2015-01-01

    NMDA receptors (NMDARs) require the coagonists d-serine or glycine for their activation, but whether the identity of the coagonist could be synapse specific and developmentally regulated remains elusive. We therefore investigated the contribution of d-serine and glycine by recording NMDAR-mediated responses at hippocampal Schaffer collaterals (SC)–CA1 and medial perforant path–dentate gyrus (mPP–DG) synapses in juvenile and adult rats. Selective depletion of endogenous coagonists with enzymatic scavengers as well as pharmacological inhibition of endogenous d-amino acid oxidase activity revealed that d-serine is the preferred coagonist at SC–CA1 mature synapses, whereas, unexpectedly, glycine is mainly involved at mPP–DG synapses. Nevertheless, both coagonist functions are driven by the levels of synaptic activity as inferred by recording long-term potentiation generated at both connections. This regional compartmentalization in the coagonist identity is associated to different GluN1/GluN2A to GluN1/GluN2B subunit composition of synaptic NMDARs. During postnatal development, the replacement of GluN2B- by GluN2A-containing NMDARs at SC–CA1 synapses parallels a change in the identity of the coagonist from glycine to d-serine. In contrast, NMDARs subunit composition at mPP–DG synapses is not altered and glycine remains the main coagonist throughout postnatal development. Altogether, our observations disclose an unprecedented relationship in the identity of the coagonist not only with the GluN2 subunit composition at synaptic NMDARs but also with astrocyte activity in the developing and mature hippocampus that reconciles the complementary functions of d-serine and glycine in modulating NMDARs during the maturation of tripartite glutamatergic synapses. PMID:25550512

  3. The formation and distribution of hippocampal synapses on patterned neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dowell-Mesfin, Natalie M.

    Communication within the central nervous system is highly orchestrated with neurons forming trillions of specialized junctions called synapses. In vivo, biochemical and topographical cues can regulate neuronal growth. Biochemical cues also influence synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity. The effects of topography on the development of synapses have been less studied. In vitro, neuronal growth is unorganized and complex making it difficult to study the development of networks. Patterned topographical cues guide and control the growth of neuronal processes (axons and dendrites) into organized networks. The aim of this dissertation was to determine if patterned topographical cues can influence synapse formation and distribution. Standard fabrication and compression molding procedures were used to produce silicon masters and polystyrene replicas with topographical cues presented as 1 mum high pillars with diameters of 0.5 and 2.0 mum and gaps of 1.0 to 5.0 mum. Embryonic rat hippocampal neurons grown unto patterned surfaces. A developmental analysis with immunocytochemistry was used to assess the distribution of pre- and post-synaptic proteins. Activity-dependent pre-synaptic vesicle uptake using functional imaging dyes was also performed. Adaptive filtering computer algorithms identified synapses by segmenting juxtaposed pairs of pre- and post-synaptic labels. Synapse number and area were automatically extracted from each deconvolved data set. In addition, neuronal processes were traced automatically to assess changes in synapse distribution. The results of these experiments demonstrated that patterned topographic cues can induce organized and functional neuronal networks that can serve as models for the study of synapse formation and plasticity as well as for the development of neuroprosthetic devices.

  4. Resolving the structure of inner ear ribbon synapses with STED microscopy.

    PubMed

    Rutherford, Mark A

    2015-05-01

    Synapses are diverse in form and function; however, the mechanisms underlying this diversity are poorly understood. To illuminate structure/function relationships, robust analysis of molecular composition and morphology is needed. The molecular-anatomical components of synapses-vesicles, clusters of voltage-gated ion channels in presynaptic densities, arrays of transmitter receptors in postsynaptic densities-are only tens to hundreds of nanometers in size. Measuring the topographies of synaptic proteins requires nanoscale resolution of their molecularly specific labels. Super-resolution light microscopy has emerged to meet this need. Achieving 50 nm resolution in thick tissue, we employed stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy to image the functionally and molecularly unique ribbon-type synapses in the inner ear that connect mechano-sensory inner hair cells to cochlear nerve fibers. Synaptic ribbons, bassoon protein, voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels, and glutamate receptors are inhomogeneous in their spatial distributions within synapses; the protein clusters assume variations of shapes typical for each protein specifically at cochlear afferent synapses. Heterogeneity of substructure among these synapses may contribute to functional differences among auditory nerve fibers. The morphology of synaptic voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels matures over development in a way that depends upon bassoon protein, which aggregates in similar form. Functional properties of synaptic transmission appear to depend on voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel cluster morphology and position relative to synaptic vesicles. Super-resolution light microscopy is a group of techniques that complement electron microscopy and conventional light microscopy. Although technical hurdles remain, we are beginning to resolve the details of molecular nanoanatomy that relate mechanistically to synaptic function.

  5. An excitatory synapse hypothesis of depression

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Scott M.; Kallarackal, Angy J.; Kvarta, Mark D.; Van Dyke, Adam M.; LeGates, Tara A.; Cai, Xiang

    2015-01-01

    Depression is a common cause of mortality and morbidity, but the biological bases of the deficits in emotional and cognitive processing remain incompletely understood. Current antidepressant therapies are effective in only some patients and act slowly. We propose an excitatory synapse hypothesis of depression in which chronic stress and genetic susceptibility cause changes in the strength of subsets of glutamatergic synapses at multiple locations, including the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and nucleus accumbens, leading to a dysfunction of cortico-mesolimbic reward circuitry that underlies many of the symptoms of depression. This hypothesis accounts for current depression treatments and suggests an updated framework for the development of better therapeutic compounds. PMID:25887240

  6. Abeta oligomer-induced aberrations in synapse composition, shape, and density provide a molecular basis for loss of connectivity in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Lacor, Pascale N; Buniel, Maria C; Furlow, Paul W; Clemente, Antonio Sanz; Velasco, Pauline T; Wood, Margaret; Viola, Kirsten L; Klein, William L

    2007-01-24

    The basis for memory loss in early Alzheimer's disease (AD) seems likely to involve synaptic damage caused by soluble Abeta-derived oligomers (ADDLs). ADDLs have been shown to build up in the brain and CSF of AD patients and are known to interfere with mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, acting as gain-of-function ligands that attach to synapses. Because of the correlation between AD dementia and synaptic degeneration, we investigated here the ability of ADDLs to affect synapse composition, structure, and abundance. Using highly differentiated cultures of hippocampal neurons, a preferred model for studies of synapse cell biology, we found that ADDLs bound to neurons with specificity, attaching to presumed excitatory pyramidal neurons but not GABAergic neurons. Fractionation of ADDLs bound to forebrain synaptosomes showed association with postsynaptic density complexes containing NMDA receptors, consistent with observed attachment of ADDLs to dendritic spines. During binding to hippocampal neurons, ADDLs promoted a rapid decrease in membrane expression of memory-related receptors (NMDA and EphB2). Continued exposure resulted in abnormal spine morphology, with induction of long thin spines reminiscent of the morphology found in mental retardation, deafferentation, and prionoses. Ultimately, ADDLs caused a significant decrease in spine density. Synaptic deterioration, which was accompanied by decreased levels of the spine cytoskeletal protein drebrin, was blocked by the Alzheimer's therapeutic drug Namenda. The observed disruption of dendritic spines links ADDLs to a major facet of AD pathology, providing strong evidence that ADDLs in AD brain cause neuropil damage believed to underlie dementia.

  7. Endosome-mediated endocytic mechanism replenishes the majority of synaptic vesicles at mature CNS synapses in an activity-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Park, Joohyun; Cho, Oh Yeon; Kim, Jung Ah; Chang, Sunghoe

    2016-01-01

    Whether synaptic vesicles (SVs) are recovered via endosome-mediated pathways is a matter of debate; however, recent evidence suggests that clathrin-independent bulk endocytosis (CIE) via endosomes is functional and preferentially replenishes SV pools during strong stimulation. Here, using brefeldin-A (BFA) to block CIE, we found that CIE retrieved a minority of SVs at developing CNS synapses during strong stimulation, but its contribution increased up to 61% at mature CNS synapses. Contrary to previous views, BFA not only blocked SV formation from the endosome but also blocked the endosome formation at the plasma membrane. Adaptor protein 1 and 3 (AP-1/3) have key roles in SV reformation from endosomes during CIE, and AP-1 also affects bulk endosome formation from the plasma membrane. Finally, temporary blocking of chronic or acute neuronal activity with tetrodotoxin in mature neurons redirected most SV retrieval to endosome-independent pathways. These results show that during high neuronal activity, CIE becomes the major endocytic pathway at mature CNS synapses. Moreover, mature neurons use clathrin-mediated endocytosis and the CIE pathway to different extents depending on their previous activity; this may result in activity-dependent alterations of the SV composition which ultimately influence transmitter release and contribute to synaptic plasticity. PMID:27534442

  8. Endosome-mediated endocytic mechanism replenishes the majority of synaptic vesicles at mature CNS synapses in an activity-dependent manner

    PubMed Central

    Park, Joohyun; Cho, Oh Yeon; Kim, Jung Ah; Chang, Sunghoe

    2016-01-01

    Whether synaptic vesicles (SVs) are recovered via endosome-mediated pathways is a matter of debate; however, recent evidence suggests that clathrin-independent bulk endocytosis (CIE) via endosomes is functional and preferentially replenishes SV pools during strong stimulation. Here, using brefeldin-A (BFA) to block CIE, we found that CIE retrieved a minority of SVs at developing CNS synapses during strong stimulation, but its contribution increased up to 61% at mature CNS synapses. Contrary to previous views, BFA not only blocked SV formation from the endosome but also blocked the endosome formation at the plasma membrane. Adaptor protein 1 and 3 (AP-1/3) have key roles in SV reformation from endosomes during CIE, and AP-1 also affects bulk endosome formation from the plasma membrane. Finally, temporary blocking of chronic or acute neuronal activity with tetrodotoxin in mature neurons redirected most SV retrieval to endosome-independent pathways. These results show that during high neuronal activity, CIE becomes the major endocytic pathway at mature CNS synapses. Moreover, mature neurons use clathrin-mediated endocytosis and the CIE pathway to different extents depending on their previous activity; this may result in activity-dependent alterations of the SV composition which ultimately influence transmitter release and contribute to synaptic plasticity. PMID:27534442

  9. Role of intracellular calcium stores in hair-cell ribbon synapse

    PubMed Central

    Castellano-Muñoz, Manuel; Ricci, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular calcium stores control many neuronal functions such as excitability, gene expression, synaptic plasticity, and synaptic release. Although the existence of calcium stores along with calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) has been demonstrated in conventional and ribbon synapses, functional significance and the cellular mechanisms underlying this role remains unclear. This review summarizes recent experimental evidence identifying contribution of CICR to synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity in the CNS, retina and inner ear. In addition, the potential role of CICR in the recruitment of vesicles to releasable pools in hair-cell ribbon synapses will be specifically discussed. PMID:24971053

  10. Tau and spectraplakins promote synapse formation and maintenance through Jun kinase and neuronal trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Voelzmann, Andre; Okenve-Ramos, Pilar; Qu, Yue; Chojnowska-Monga, Monika; del Caño-Espinel, Manuela; Prokop, Andreas; Sanchez-Soriano, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms regulating synapse numbers during development and ageing are essential for normal brain function and closely linked to brain disorders including dementias. Using Drosophila, we demonstrate roles of the microtubule-associated protein Tau in regulating synapse numbers, thus unravelling an important cellular requirement of normal Tau. In this context, we find that Tau displays a strong functional overlap with microtubule-binding spectraplakins, establishing new links between two different neurodegenerative factors. Tau and the spectraplakin Short Stop act upstream of a three-step regulatory cascade ensuring adequate delivery of synaptic proteins. This cascade involves microtubule stability as the initial trigger, JNK signalling as the central mediator, and kinesin-3 mediated axonal transport as the key effector. This cascade acts during development (synapse formation) and ageing (synapse maintenance) alike. Therefore, our findings suggest novel explanations for intellectual disability in Tau deficient individuals, as well as early synapse loss in dementias including Alzheimer’s disease. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14694.001 PMID:27501441

  11. Optical quantal analysis indicates that long-term potentiation at single hippocampal mossy fiber synapses is expressed through increased release probability, recruitment of new release sites, and activation of silent synapses.

    PubMed

    Reid, Christopher A; Dixon, Don B; Takahashi, Michiko; Bliss, Tim V P; Fine, Alan

    2004-04-01

    It is generally believed that long-term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses between dentate granule and CA3 pyramidal cells is expressed through presynaptic mechanisms leading to an increase in quantal content. The source of this increase has remained undefined but could include enhanced probability of transmitter release at existing functional release sites or increases in the number of active release sites. We performed optical quantal analyses of transmission at individual mossy fiber synapses in cultured hippocampal slices, using confocal microscopy and intracellular fluorescent Ca(2+) indicators. Our results indicate that LTP is expressed at functional synapses by both increased probability of transmitter release and recruitment of new release sites, including the activation of previously silent synapses here visualized for the first time.

  12. Polarized release of T-cell-receptor-enriched microvesicles at the immunological synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhuri, Kaushik; Llodrá, Jaime; Roth, Eric W.; Tsai, Jones; Gordo, Susana; Wucherpfennig, Kai W.; Kam, Lance C.; Stokes, David L.; Dustin, Michael L.

    2014-03-01

    The recognition events that mediate adaptive cellular immunity and regulate antibody responses depend on intercellular contacts between T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs). T-cell signalling is initiated at these contacts when surface-expressed T-cell receptors (TCRs) recognize peptide fragments (antigens) of pathogens bound to major histocompatibility complex molecules (pMHC) on APCs. This, along with engagement of adhesion receptors, leads to the formation of a specialized junction between T cells and APCs, known as the immunological synapse, which mediates efficient delivery of effector molecules and intercellular signals across the synaptic cleft. T-cell recognition of pMHC and the adhesion ligand intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) on supported planar bilayers recapitulates the domain organization of the immunological synapse, which is characterized by central accumulation of TCRs, adjacent to a secretory domain, both surrounded by an adhesive ring. Although accumulation of TCRs at the immunological synapse centre correlates with T-cell function, this domain is itself largely devoid of TCR signalling activity, and is characterized by an unexplained immobilization of TCR-pMHC complexes relative to the highly dynamic immunological synapse periphery. Here we show that centrally accumulated TCRs are located on the surface of extracellular microvesicles that bud at the immunological synapse centre. Tumour susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101) sorts TCRs for inclusion in microvesicles, whereas vacuolar protein sorting 4 (VPS4) mediates scission of microvesicles from the T-cell plasma membrane. The human immunodeficiency virus polyprotein Gag co-opts this process for budding of virus-like particles. B cells bearing cognate pMHC receive TCRs from T cells and initiate intracellular signals in response to isolated synaptic microvesicles. We conclude that the immunological synapse orchestrates TCR sorting and release in extracellular microvesicles. These

  13. Heterotypic gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses are abundant in goldfish brain

    PubMed Central

    Rash, John E.; Kamasawa, Naomi; Vanderpool, Kimberly G.; Yasumura, Thomas; O'Brien, John; Nannapaneni, Srikant; Pereda, Alberto E.; Nagy, James I.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junctions provide for direct intercellular electrical and metabolic coupling. The abundance of gap junctions at “large myelinated club ending” synapses on Mauthner cells of the teleost brain provided a convenient model to correlate anatomical and physiological properties of electrical synapses. There, presynaptic action potentials were found to evoke short-latency electrical “pre-potentials” immediately preceding their accompanying glutamate-induced depolarizations, making these the first unambiguously identified “mixed” (i.e., chemical plus electrical) synapses in the vertebrate CNS. We recently showed that gap junctions at these synapses exhibit asymmetric electrical resistance (i.e., electrical rectification), which we correlated with total molecular asymmetry of connexin composition in their apposing gap junction hemiplaques, with Cx35 restricted to axon terminal hemiplaques and Cx34.7 restricted to apposing Mauthner cell plasma membranes. We now show that similarly heterotypic neuronal gap junctions are abundant throughout goldfish brain, with labeling exclusively for Cx35 in presynaptic hemiplaques and exclusively for Cx34.7 in postsynaptic hemiplaques. Moreover, the vast majority of these asymmetric gap junctions occur at glutamatergic axon terminals. The widespread distribution of heterotypic gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses throughout goldfish brain and spinal cord implies that pre- vs. postsynaptic asymmetry at electrical synapses evolved early in the chordate lineage. We propose that the advantages of the molecular and functional asymmetry of connexins at electrical synapses that are so prominently expressed in the teleost CNS are unlikely to have been abandoned in higher vertebrates. However, to create asymmetric coupling in mammals, where most gap junctions are composed of Cx36 on both sides, would require some other mechanism, such as differential phosphorylation of connexins on opposite sides of the same gap junction or

  14. Selective Localization of Shanks to VGLUT1-Positive Excitatory Synapses in the Mouse Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Heise, Christopher; Schroeder, Jan C.; Schoen, Michael; Halbedl, Sonja; Reim, Dominik; Woelfle, Sarah; Kreutz, Michael R.; Schmeisser, Michael J.; Boeckers, Tobias M.

    2016-01-01

    Members of the Shank family of multidomain proteins (Shank1, Shank2, and Shank3) are core components of the postsynaptic density (PSD) of excitatory synapses. At synaptic sites Shanks serve as scaffolding molecules that cluster neurotransmitter receptors as well as cell adhesion molecules attaching them to the actin cytoskeleton. In this study we investigated the synapse specific localization of Shank1-3 and focused on well-defined synaptic contacts within the hippocampal formation. We found that all three family members are present only at VGLUT1-positive synapses, which is particularly visible at mossy fiber contacts. No costaining was found at VGLUT2-positive contacts indicating that the molecular organization of VGLUT2-associated PSDs diverges from classical VGLUT1-positive excitatory contacts in the hippocampus. In light of SHANK mutations in neuropsychiatric disorders, this study indicates which glutamatergic networks within the hippocampus will be primarily affected by shankopathies. PMID:27199660

  15. Age-related decline of presumptive inhibitory synapses in the sensorimotor cortex as revealed by the physical disector.

    PubMed

    Poe, B H; Linville, C; Brunso-Bechtold, J

    2001-10-01

    The synapse, as the site of functional neural interaction, has been suggested as a possible substrate for age-related impairment of cognitive ability. Using the physical disector probe with tissue prepared for ultrastructural analysis, we find an age-related decline in the numerical density of presumptive inhibitory synapses in layer 2 of the sensorimotor cortex of the Brown Norway x Fisher 344 rat. This age-related decline in presumptive inhibitory synapses is maintained when the density of synapses is combined with the numerical density of neurons quantified from the same anatomical space to arrive at a ratio of synapses per neuron. The numerical density of these synapses declines between middle-aged (18 months) and old (29 months) animals by 36% whereas numerical density of neurons does not change between these ages, resulting in a decline in the ratio of presumptive inhibitory synapses per neuron in this cortical area. This study demonstrates a deficit in the intrinsic inhibitory circuitry of the aging neocortex, which suggests an anatomical substrate for age-related cognitive impairment.

  16. Espina: A Tool for the Automated Segmentation and Counting of Synapses in Large Stacks of Electron Microscopy Images

    PubMed Central

    Morales, Juan; Alonso-Nanclares, Lidia; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Rodríguez, Ángel; Merchán-Pérez, Ángel

    2011-01-01

    The synapses in the cerebral cortex can be classified into two main types, Gray's type I and type II, which correspond to asymmetric (mostly glutamatergic excitatory) and symmetric (inhibitory GABAergic) synapses, respectively. Hence, the quantification and identification of their different types and the proportions in which they are found, is extraordinarily important in terms of brain function. The ideal approach to calculate the number of synapses per unit volume is to analyze 3D samples reconstructed from serial sections. However, obtaining serial sections by transmission electron microscopy is an extremely time consuming and technically demanding task. Using focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope microscopy, we recently showed that virtually all synapses can be accurately identified as asymmetric or symmetric synapses when they are visualized, reconstructed, and quantified from large 3D tissue samples obtained in an automated manner. Nevertheless, the analysis, segmentation, and quantification of synapses is still a labor intensive procedure. Thus, novel solutions are currently necessary to deal with the large volume of data that is being generated by automated 3D electron microscopy. Accordingly, we have developed ESPINA, a software tool that performs the automated segmentation and counting of synapses in a reconstructed 3D volume of the cerebral cortex, and that greatly facilitates and accelerates these processes. PMID:21633491

  17. HVEM serial-section analysis of rabbit foliate taste buds: I. Type III cells and their synapses.

    PubMed

    Royer, S M; Kinnamon, J C

    1991-04-01

    Serially sectioned rabbit foliate taste buds were examined with high voltage electron microscopy (HVEM) and computer-assisted, three-dimensional reconstruction. This report focuses on the ultrastructure of the type III cells and their synapses with sensory nerve fibers. Type III cells have previously been proposed to be the primary gustatory receptor cells in taste buds of rabbits and other mammals. Within rabbit foliate taste buds, type III cells constitute a well-defined, easily recognizable class and are the only taste bud cells observed to form synapses with intragemmal nerve fibers. Among 18 type III cells reconstructed from serial sections, 11 formed from 1 to 6 synapses each with nerve fibers; 7 reconstructed type III cells formed no synapses. Examples of both convergence and divergence of synaptic input from type III cells onto nerve fibers were observed. The sizes of the active zones of the synapses and numbers of vesicles associated with the presynaptic membrane specializations were highly variable. Dense-cored vesicles 80-140 nm in diameter were often found among the 40-60 nm clear vesicles clustered at presynaptic sites. At some synapses, these large dense-cored vesicles appeared to be the predominant vesicle type. This observation suggests that there may be functionally different types of synapses in taste buds, distinguished by the prevalence of either clear or dense-cored vesicles. Previous investigations have indicated that the dense-cored vesicles in type III cells may be storage sites for biogenic amines.

  18. Training of affect recognition (TAR) in schizophrenia--impact on functional outcome.

    PubMed

    Sachs, G; Winklbaur, B; Jagsch, R; Lasser, I; Kryspin-Exner, I; Frommann, N; Wölwer, W

    2012-07-01

    Deficits in facial affect recognition as one aspect of social cognitive deficits are treatment targets to improve functional outcome in schizophrenia. According to preliminary results antipsychotics alone show little effects on affect recognition. A few randomized intervention studies have evaluated special psychosocial treatment programs on social cognition. In this study, the effects of a computer-based training of affect recognition were investigated as well as its impact on facial affect recognition and functional outcome, particularly on patients' quality of life. Forty clinically stabilized schizophrenic patients were randomized to a six-week training on affect recognition (TAR) or treatment as usual including occupational therapy (TAU) and completed pre- and post-treatment assessments of emotion recognition, cognition, quality of life and clinical symptoms. Between pre- and post treatment, the TAR group achieved significant improvements in facial affect recognition, in particular in recognizing sad faces and, in addition, in the quality of life domain social relationship. These changes were not found in the TAU group. Furthermore, the TAR training contributes to enhancing some aspects of cognitive functioning and negative symptoms. These improvements in facial affect recognition and quality of life were independent of changes in clinical symptoms and general cognitive functions. The findings support the efficacy of an affect recognition training for patients with schizophrenia and the generalization to social relationship. Further development is needed in the impact of a psychosocial intervention in other aspects of social cognition and functional outcome.

  19. Predicting the accuracy of facial affect recognition: the interaction of child maltreatment and intellectual functioning.

    PubMed

    Shenk, Chad E; Putnam, Frank W; Noll, Jennie G

    2013-02-01

    Previous research demonstrates that both child maltreatment and intellectual performance contribute uniquely to the accurate identification of facial affect by children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to extend this research by examining whether child maltreatment affects the accuracy of facial recognition differently at varying levels of intellectual functioning. A sample of maltreated (n=50) and nonmaltreated (n=56) adolescent females, 14 to 19 years of age, was recruited to participate in this study. Participants completed demographic and study-related questionnaires and interviews to control for potential psychological and psychiatric confounds such as symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, negative affect, and difficulties in emotion regulation. Participants also completed an experimental paradigm that recorded responses to facial affect displays starting in a neutral expression and changing into a full expression of one of six emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, or surprise. Hierarchical multiple regression assessed the incremental advantage of evaluating the interaction between child maltreatment and intellectual functioning. Results indicated that the interaction term accounted for a significant amount of additional variance in the accurate identification of facial affect after controlling for relevant covariates and main effects. Specifically, maltreated females with lower levels of intellectual functioning were least accurate in identifying facial affect displays, whereas those with higher levels of intellectual functioning performed as well as nonmaltreated females. These results suggest that maltreatment and intellectual functioning interact to predict the recognition of facial affect, with potential long-term consequences for the interpersonal functioning of maltreated females.

  20. Predicting the accuracy of facial affect recognition: the interaction of child maltreatment and intellectual functioning.

    PubMed

    Shenk, Chad E; Putnam, Frank W; Noll, Jennie G

    2013-02-01

    Previous research demonstrates that both child maltreatment and intellectual performance contribute uniquely to the accurate identification of facial affect by children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to extend this research by examining whether child maltreatment affects the accuracy of facial recognition differently at varying levels of intellectual functioning. A sample of maltreated (n=50) and nonmaltreated (n=56) adolescent females, 14 to 19 years of age, was recruited to participate in this study. Participants completed demographic and study-related questionnaires and interviews to control for potential psychological and psychiatric confounds such as symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, negative affect, and difficulties in emotion regulation. Participants also completed an experimental paradigm that recorded responses to facial affect displays starting in a neutral expression and changing into a full expression of one of six emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, or surprise. Hierarchical multiple regression assessed the incremental advantage of evaluating the interaction between child maltreatment and intellectual functioning. Results indicated that the interaction term accounted for a significant amount of additional variance in the accurate identification of facial affect after controlling for relevant covariates and main effects. Specifically, maltreated females with lower levels of intellectual functioning were least accurate in identifying facial affect displays, whereas those with higher levels of intellectual functioning performed as well as nonmaltreated females. These results suggest that maltreatment and intellectual functioning interact to predict the recognition of facial affect, with potential long-term consequences for the interpersonal functioning of maltreated females. PMID:23036371

  1. Localization of glutamate receptors at a complex synapse. The mammalian photoreceptor synapse.

    PubMed

    Brandstätter, J H; Hack, I

    2001-01-01

    A key feature of signal processing in the mammalian retina is parallel processing, where the segregation of visual information, e.g., brightness, darkness, and color, starts at the first synapse in the retina, the photoreceptor synapse. These various aspects are transmitted in parallel from the input neurons of the retina, the photoreceptor cells, through the interconnecting bipolar cells, to the output neurons, the ganglion cells. The photoreceptors and bipolar cells release a single excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate, at their synapses. This parsimony is contrasted by the expression of a plethora of glutamate receptors, receptor subunits, and isoforms. The detailed knowledge of the synaptic distribution of glutamate receptors thus is of major importance in understanding the mechanisms of retinal signal processing. This review intends to highlight recent studies on the distribution of glutamate receptors at the photoreceptor synapses of the mammalian retina.

  2. The ever-changing electrical synapse

    PubMed Central

    O’Brien, John

    2014-01-01

    A wealth of research has revealed that electrical synapses in the central nervous system exhibit a high degree of plasticity. Several recent studies, particularly in the retina and inferior olive, highlight this plasticity. Three classes of mechanisms can alter electrical coupling over time courses ranging from milliseconds to days. Changes of membrane conductance through synaptic input or spiking activity shunt current and decouple neurons on the millisecond time scale. Such activity can also alter coupling symmetry, rectifying electrical synapses. More stable rectification can be accomplished through molecular asymmetry of the synapse itself. On the minutes time scale, changes in connexin phosphorylation can change coupling quasi-stably with order of magnitude dynamic range. On the hours to days time scale, changes in expression level of connexins alter coupling through the course of circadian time, over developmental time, or in response to tissue injury. Combined, all of these mechanisms allow electrical coupling to be highly dynamic, changing in response to demands at the whole network level, in small portions of a network, or at the level of an individual synapse. PMID:24955544

  3. How to dismantle a detonator synapse.

    PubMed

    Pelkey, Kenneth A; McBain, Chris J

    2005-02-01

    Direct electrophysiological evaluation of ion channels in vertebrate presynaptic nerve terminals has been limited to synapses such as the neuromuscular junction and the giant calyx of Held. In this issue of Neuron, Engel and Jonas demonstrate that mossy fiber boutons have specialized voltage-gated Na(+) channels that critically impact upon presynaptic Ca(2+) influx by amplifying terminal invading action potentials.

  4. Lexical and Affective Prosody in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grossman, Ruth B.; Bemis, Rhyannon H.; Skwerer, Daniela Plesa; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the perception and production of lexical stress and processing of affective prosody in adolescents with high-functioning autism (HFA). We hypothesized preserved processing of lexical and affective prosody but atypical lexical prosody production. Method: Sixteen children with HFA and 15 typically developing (TD) peers…

  5. Slitrk1 is localized to excitatory synapses and promotes their development

    PubMed Central

    Beaubien, François; Raja, Reesha; Kennedy, Timothy E.; Fournier, Alyson E.; Cloutier, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    Following the migration of the axonal growth cone to its target area, the initial axo-dendritic contact needs to be transformed into a functional synapse. This multi-step process relies on overlapping but distinct combinations of molecules that confer synaptic identity. Slitrk molecules are transmembrane proteins that are highly expressed in the central nervous system. We found that two members of the Slitrk family, Slitrk1 and Slitrk2, can regulate synapse formation between hippocampal neurons. Slitrk1 is enriched in postsynaptic fractions and is localized to excitatory synapses. Overexpression of Slitrk1 and Slitrk2 in hippocampal neurons increased the number of synaptic contacts on these neurons. Furthermore, decreased expression of Slitrk1 in hippocampal neurons led to a reduction in the number of excitatory, but not inhibitory, synapses formed in hippocampal neuron cultures. In addition, we demonstrate that different leucine rich repeat domains of the extracellular region of Slitrk1 are necessary to mediate interactions with Slitrk binding partners of the LAR receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase family, and to promote dimerization of Slitrk1. Altogether, our results demonstrate that Slitrk family proteins regulate synapse formation. PMID:27273464

  6. Direct visualization of trans-synaptic neurexin-neuroligin interactions during synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Tsetsenis, Theodoros; Boucard, Antony A; Araç, Demet; Brunger, Axel T; Südhof, Thomas C

    2014-11-01

    Neurexins and neuroligins are synaptic cell-adhesion molecules that are essential for normal synapse specification and function and are thought to bind to each other trans-synaptically, but such interactions have not been demonstrated directly. Here, we generated neurexin-1β and neuroligin-1 and neuroligin-2 fusion proteins containing complementary "split" GFP fragments positioned such that binding of neurexin-1β to neuroligin-1 or neuroligin-2 allowed GFP reconstitution without dramatically changing their binding affinities. GFP fluorescence was only reconstituted from split-GFP-modified neurexin-1β and neuroligin-1 if and after neurexin-1β bound to its neuroligin partner; reassociation of the split-GFP components with each other did not mediate binding. Using trans-cellular reconstitution of GFP fluorescence from split-GFP-modified neurexin-1β and neuroligins as an assay, we demonstrate that trans-synaptic neurexin/neuroligin binding indeed occurred when mouse hippocampal neurons formed synapses onto non-neuronal COS-7 cells expressing neuroligins or when mouse hippocampal neurons formed synapses with each other. This visualization of synapses by neurexin/neuroligin binding prompted us to refer to this approach as "SynView." Our data demonstrate that neurexin-1β forms a trans-synaptic complex with neuroligin-1 and neuroligin-2 and that this interaction can be used to label synapses in a specific fashion in vivo.

  7. Neuron-synapse IC chip-set for large-scale chaotic neural networks.

    PubMed

    Horio, Y; Aihara, K; Yamamoto, O

    2003-01-01

    We propose a neuron-synapse integrated circuit (IC) chip-set for large-scale chaotic neural networks. We use switched-capacitor (SC) circuit techniques to implement a three-internal-state transiently-chaotic neural network model. The SC chaotic neuron chip faithfully reproduces complex chaotic dynamics in real numbers through continuous state variables of the analog circuitry. We can digitally control most of the model parameters by means of programmable capacitive arrays embedded in the SC chaotic neuron chip. Since the output of the neuron is transfered into a digital pulse according to the all-or-nothing property of an axon, we design a synapse chip with digital circuits. We propose a memory-based synapse circuit architecture to achieve a rapid calculation of a vast number of weighted summations. Both of the SC neuron and the digital synapse circuits have been fabricated as IC forms. We have tested these IC chips extensively, and confirmed the functions and performance of the chip-set. The proposed neuron-synapse IC chip-set makes it possible to construct a scalable and reconfigurable large-scale chaotic neural network with 10000 neurons and 10000/sup 2/ synaptic connections. PMID:18244585

  8. Synapse loss induced by interleukin-1β requires pre- and post-synaptic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Anjuli; Kim, Hee Jung; Shin, Angela H; Thayer, Stanley A

    2012-09-01

    Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is an inflammatory cytokine that exerts marked effects on neuronal function and survival. Here we examined the effects of IL-1β on synapses between rat hippocampal neurons in culture using an imaging-based assay to quantify clusters of the scaffolding protein postsynaptic density 95 fused to green fluorescent protein. Treatment with IL-1β for 24 h induced a 23 ± 3% loss in the number of synaptic sites. Pharmacological studies indicated that synapse loss was mediated by the IL-1 receptor with subsequent activation of two pathways. COX2-mediated prostaglandin production and postsynaptic activation of a Src family tyrosine kinase were required. Presynaptic release of glutamate with subsequent activation of NMDA receptors was necessary for IL-1β-induced synapse loss. Neither Src activation nor prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) application alone was sufficient to reduce the number of synapses. However, in cells expressing constitutively active or pharmacologically activated Src, PGE2 induced synapse loss. Thus, IL-1β reduces the number of synaptic connections by simultaneously activating multiple pathways that require both pre- and post-synaptic activity. These results highlight targets that may prove important for pharmacotherapy of neuroinflammatory disease.

  9. Synapse Loss Induced by Interleukin-1β Requires Pre- and Post-Synaptic Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Anjuli; Kim, Hee Jung; Shin, Angela H.

    2012-01-01

    Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is an inflammatory cytokine that exerts marked effects on neuronal function and survival. Here we examined the effects of IL-1β on synapses between rat hippocampal neurons in culture using an imaging-based assay to quantify clusters of the scaffolding protein postsynaptic density 95 fused to green fluorescent protein. Treatment with IL-1β for 24 h induced a 23±3 % loss in the number of synaptic sites. Pharmacological studies indicated that synapse loss was mediated by the IL-1 receptor with subsequent activation of two pathways. COX2-mediated prostaglandin production and postsynaptic activation of a Src family tyrosine kinase were required. Presynaptic release of glutamate with subsequent activation of NMDA receptors was necessary for IL-1β-induced synapse loss. Neither Src activation nor prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) application alone was sufficient to reduce the number of synapses. However, in cells expressing constitutively active or pharmacologically activated Src, PGE2 induced synapse loss. Thus, IL-1β reduces the number of synaptic connections by simultaneously activating multiple pathways that require both pre- and post-synaptic activity. These results highlight targets that may prove important for pharmacotherapy of neuroinflammatory disease. PMID:22311599

  10. Changes in input strength and number are driven by distinct mechanisms at the retinogeniculate synapse

    PubMed Central

    Lin, David J.; Kang, Erin

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that vision influences the functional remodeling of the mouse retinogeniculate synapse, the connection between retinal ganglion cells and thalamic relay neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Initially, each relay neuron receives a large number of weak retinal inputs. Over a 2- to 3-wk developmental window, the majority of these inputs are eliminated, and the remaining inputs are strengthened. This period of refinement is followed by a critical period when visual experience changes the strength and connectivity of the retinogeniculate synapse. Visual deprivation of mice by dark rearing from postnatal day (P)20 results in a dramatic weakening of synaptic strength and recruitment of additional inputs. In the present study we asked whether experience-dependent plasticity at the retinogeniculate synapse represents a homeostatic response to changing visual environment. We found that visual experience starting at P20 following visual deprivation from birth results in weakening of existing retinal inputs onto relay neurons without significant changes in input number, consistent with homeostatic synaptic scaling of retinal inputs. On the other hand, the recruitment of new inputs to the retinogeniculate synapse requires previous visual experience prior to the critical period. Taken together, these findings suggest that diverse forms of homeostatic plasticity drive experience-dependent remodeling at the retinogeniculate synapse. PMID:24848465

  11. Positive Regulation of Neocortical Synapse Formation by the Plexin-D1 Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Levitt, P.

    2015-01-01

    Synapse formation is a critical process during neural development and is coordinated by multiple signals. Several lines of evidence implicate the Plexin-D1 receptor in synaptogenesis. Studies have shown that Plexin-D1 signaling is involved in synaptic specificity and synapse formation in spinal cord and striatum. Expression of Plexin-D1 and its principal neural ligand, Sema3E, by neocortical neurons is temporally and spatially regulated, reaching the highest level at the time of synaptogenesis in mice. In this study, we examined the function of Plexin-D1 in synapse formation by primary neocortical neurons in vitro. A novel, automated image analysis method was developed to quantitate synapse formation under baseline conditions and with manipulation of Plexin-D1 levels. shRNA and overexpression manipulations caused opposite changes, with reduction resulting in less synapse formation, an effect distinct from that reported in the striatum. The data indicate that Plexin-D1 operates in a cell context-specific fashion, mediating different synaptogenic outcomes depending upon neuron type. PMID:25976775

  12. Changes in ribbon synapses and rough endoplasmic reticulum of rat utricular macular hair cells in weightlessness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.

    2000-01-01

    This study combined ultrastructural and statistical methods to learn the effects of weightlessness on rat utricular maculae. A principle aim was to determine whether weightlessness chiefly affects ribbon synapses of type II cells, since the cells communicate predominantly with branches of primary vestibular afferent endings. Maculae were microdissected from flight and ground control rat inner ears collected on day 13 of a 14-day spaceflight (F13), landing day (R0) and day 14 postflight (R14) and were prepared for ultrastructural study. Ribbon synapses were counted in hair cells examined in a Zeiss 902 transmission electron microscope. Significance of synaptic mean differences was determined for all hair cells contained within 100 section series, and for a subset of complete hair cells, using SuperANOVA software. The synaptic mean for all type II hair cells of F13 flight rats increased by 100%, and that for complete cells by 200%. Type I cells were less affected, with synaptic mean differences statistically insignificant in complete cells. Synapse deletion began within 8 h upon return to Earth. Additionally, hair cell laminated rough endoplasmic reticulum of flight rats was reversibly disorganized on R0. Results support the thesis that synapses in type II hair cells are uniquely affected by altered gravity. Type II hair cells may be chiefly sensors of gravitational and type I cells of translational linear accelerations.

  13. Neuroligin-2 accelerates GABAergic synapse maturation in cerebellar granule cells.

    PubMed

    Fu, Zhanyan; Vicini, Stefano

    2009-09-01

    Neuroligins (NLGs) are postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules that are thought to function in synaptogenesis. To investigate the role of NLGs on synaptic transmission once the synapse is formed, we transfected neuroligin-2 (NLG-2) in cultured mouse cerebellar granule cells (CGCs), and recorded GABA(A) (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor mediated miniature postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs). NLG-2 transfected cells had mIPSCs with faster decay than matching GFP expressing controls at young culture ages (days in vitro, DIV7-8). Down-regulation of NLG-2 by the isoform specific shRNA-NLG-2 resulted in an opposite effect. We and others have shown that the switch of alpha subunits of GABA(A)Rs from alpha2/3 to alpha1 underlies developmental speeding of the IPSC decay in various CNS regions, including the cerebellum. To assess whether the reduced decay time of mIPSCs by NLG-2 is due to the recruitment of more alpha1 containing GABA(A)Rs at the synapses, we examined the prolongation of current decay by the Zolpidem, which has been shown to preferentially enhance the activity of alpha1 subunit-containing GABA channel. The application of Zolpidem resulted in a significantly greater prolongation kinetics of synaptic currents in NLG-2 over-expressing cells than control cells, suggesting that NLG-2 over-expression accelerates synapse maturation by promoting incorporation of the alpha1 subunit-containing GABA(A)Rs at postsynaptic sites in immature cells. In addition, the effect of NLG-2 on the speeding of decay time course of synaptic currents was abolished when we used CGC cultures from alpha1-/- mice. Lastly, to exclude the possibility that the fast decay of mIPSCs induced by NLG-2 could be also due to the impacts of NLG-2 on the GABA transient in synaptic cleft, we measured the sensitivity of mIPSCs to the fast-off competitive antagonists TPMPA. We found that TPMPA similarly inhibits mIPSCs in control and NLG-2 over-expressing CGCs both at young age (DIV8) and old age (DIV14) of

  14. Neuroligin-2 accelerates GABAergic synapse maturation in cerebellar granule cells

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Zhanyan; Vicini, Stefano

    2009-01-01

    Neuroligins (NLGs) are postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules that are thought to function in synaptogenesis. To investigate the role of NLGs on synaptic transmission once the synapse is formed, we transfected neuroligin-2(NLG2) in cultured mouse cerebellar granule cells (CGCs), and recorded GABAA (γ-aminobutyric acid) receptor mediated miniature postsynaptic currents (mISPCs). NLG2 transfected cells had mIPSCs with faster decay than matching GFP expressing controls at young culture ages (days in vitro, DIV 7-8). Down-regulation of NLG2 by the isoform specific shRNA-NLG2 resulted in an opposite effect. We and others have shown that the switch of α subunits of GABAA Rs from α2/3 to α1 underlies developmental speeding of the IPSC decay in various CNS regions, including the cerebellum. To assess whether the reduced decay time of mIPSCs by NLG2 is due to the recruitment of more α1 containing GABAARs at the synapses, we examined the prolongation of current decay by the zolpidem, which has been shown to preferentially enhance the activity of α1 subunit containing GABA channel. The application of zolpidem resulted in a significantly greater prolongation kinetics of synaptic currents in NLG2 over-expressing cells than control cells, suggesting that NLG2 over-expression accelerates synapse maturation by promoting incorporation of the α1 subunit-containing GABAARs at postsynaptic sites in immature cells. In addition, the effect of NLG2 on the speeding of decay time course of synaptic currents was abolished when we used CGC cultures from α1-/- mice. Lastly, to exclude the possibility that the fast decay of mIPSCs induced by NLG2 could be also due to the impacts of NLG2 on the GABA transient in synaptic cleft, we measured the sensitivity of mIPSCs to the fast-off competitive antagonists TPMPA. We found that TPMPA similarly inhibits mIPSCs in control and NLG2 over-expressing CGCs both at young age (DIV8) and old age (DIV14) of cultures. However, we confirm our previous

  15. Differential regulation of neurexin at glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses.

    PubMed

    Pregno, Giulia; Frola, Elena; Graziano, Stefania; Patrizi, Annarita; Bussolino, Federico; Arese, Marco; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco

    2013-01-01

    Neurexins (Nrxs) have emerged as potential determinants of synaptic specificity, but little is known about their localization at central synapses. Here we show that Nrxs have a remarkably selective localization at distinct types of glutamatergic synapses and we reveal an unexpected ontogenetic regulation of Nrx expression at GABAergic synapses. Our data indicate that synapses are specified by molecular interactions that involve both Nrx-dependent and Nrx-independent mechanisms. We propose that differences in the spatio-temporal profile of Nrx expression may contribute to specify the molecular identity of synapses.

  16. Nanogranular SiO2 proton gated silicon layer transistor mimicking biological synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, M. J.; Huang, G. S.; Feng, P.; Guo, Q. L.; Shao, F.; Tian, Z. A.; Li, G. J.; Wan, Q.; Mei, Y. F.

    2016-06-01

    Silicon on insulator (SOI)-based transistors gated by nanogranular SiO2 proton conducting electrolytes were fabricated to mimic synapse behaviors. This SOI-based device has both top proton gate and bottom buried oxide gate. Electrical transfer properties of top proton gate show hysteresis curves different from those of bottom gate, and therefore, excitatory post-synaptic current and paired pulse facilitation (PPF) behavior of biological synapses are mimicked. Moreover, we noticed that PPF index can be effectively tuned by the spike interval applied on the top proton gate. Synaptic behaviors and functions, like short-term memory, and its properties are also experimentally demonstrated in our device. Such SOI-based electronic synapses are promising for building neuromorphic systems.

  17. TRPA1 channels regulate astrocyte resting calcium levels and inhibitory synapse efficacy via GAT-3

    PubMed Central

    Shigetomi, Eiji; Tong, Xiaoping; Kwan, Kelvin Y.; Corey, David P.; Khakh, Baljit S.

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes contribute to the formation and function of synapses and are found throughout the brain where they display intracellular store mediated Ca2+ signals. Here, using a membrane tethered genetically encoded calcium indicator (Lck-GCaMP3), we report the serendipitous discovery of a novel Ca2+ signal in rat hippocampal astrocyte-neuron co-cultures. We found that TRPA1 channel mediated Ca2+ fluxes give rise to frequent and highly localised near membrane “spotty” Ca2+ microdomains that contribute significantly to resting Ca2+ levels of astrocytes. Mechanistic evaluations in brain slices show that decreasing astrocyte resting Ca2+ levels mediated by TRPA1 channels decreased interneuron inhibitory synapse efficacy by reducing GABA transport via GAT-3, thus elevating extracellular GABA levels. Our data indicate how a novel transmembrane Ca2+ source (TRPA1) targets a transporter (GAT-3) in astrocytes to regulate inhibitory synapses. PMID:22158513

  18. Bassoon and Piccolo maintain synapse integrity by regulating protein ubiquitination and degradation.

    PubMed

    Waites, Clarissa L; Leal-Ortiz, Sergio A; Okerlund, Nathan; Dalke, Hannah; Fejtova, Anna; Altrock, Wilko D; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Garner, Craig C

    2013-04-01

    The presynaptic active zone (AZ) is a specialized microdomain designed for the efficient and repetitive release of neurotransmitter. Bassoon and Piccolo are two high molecular weight components of the AZ, with hypothesized roles in its assembly and structural maintenance. However, glutamatergic synapses lacking either protein exhibit relatively minor defects, presumably due to their significant functional redundancy. In the present study, we have used interference RNAs to eliminate both proteins from glutamatergic synapses, and find that they are essential for maintaining synaptic integrity. Loss of Bassoon and Piccolo leads to the aberrant degradation of multiple presynaptic proteins, culminating in synapse degeneration. This phenotype is mediated in part by the E3 ubiquitin ligase Siah1, an interacting partner of Bassoon and Piccolo whose activity is negatively regulated by their conserved zinc finger domains. Our findings demonstrate a novel role for Bassoon and Piccolo as critical regulators of presynaptic ubiquitination and proteostasis.

  19. Short-Term Plasticity and Long-Term Potentiation in Magnetic Tunnel Junctions: Towards Volatile Synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sengupta, Abhronil; Roy, Kaushik

    2016-02-01

    Synaptic memory is considered to be the main element responsible for learning and cognition in humans. Although traditionally nonvolatile long-term plasticity changes are implemented in nanoelectronic synapses for neuromorphic applications, recent studies in neuroscience reveal that biological synapses undergo metastable volatile strengthening followed by a long-term strengthening provided that the frequency of the input stimulus is sufficiently high. Such "memory strengthening" and "memory decay" functionalities can potentially lead to adaptive neuromorphic architectures. In this paper, we demonstrate the close resemblance of the magnetization dynamics of a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) to short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation observed in biological synapses. We illustrate that, in addition to the magnitude and duration of the input stimulus, the frequency of the stimulus plays a critical role in determining long-term potentiation of the MTJ. Such MTJ synaptic memory arrays can be utilized to create compact, ultrafast, and low-power intelligent neural systems.

  20. Physical Realization of a Supervised Learning System Built with Organic Memristive Synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yu-Pu; Bennett, Christopher H.; Cabaret, Théo; Vodenicarevic, Damir; Chabi, Djaafar; Querlioz, Damien; Jousselme, Bruno; Derycke, Vincent; Klein, Jacques-Olivier

    2016-09-01

    Multiple modern applications of electronics call for inexpensive chips that can perform complex operations on natural data with limited energy. A vision for accomplishing this is implementing hardware neural networks, which fuse computation and memory, with low cost organic electronics. A challenge, however, is the implementation of synapses (analog memories) composed of such materials. In this work, we introduce robust, fastly programmable, nonvolatile organic memristive nanodevices based on electrografted redox complexes that implement synapses thanks to a wide range of accessible intermediate conductivity states. We demonstrate experimentally an elementary neural network, capable of learning functions, which combines four pairs of organic memristors as synapses and conventional electronics as neurons. Our architecture is highly resilient to issues caused by imperfect devices. It tolerates inter-device variability and an adaptable learning rule offers immunity against asymmetries in device switching. Highly compliant with conventional fabrication processes, the system can be extended to larger computing systems capable of complex cognitive tasks, as demonstrated in complementary simulations.

  1. State of synapses of the cortex of cerebral hemispheres on gamma-irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Gaidamakin, N.A.; Ushakov, I.B.

    1989-11-01

    In adult rats with developing neurological disorders we detected destructive changes in most of the synapses of the brain sensorimotor cortex 1.6-4.3 h after a single dose of gamma-irradiation (200 Gy). All functionally important parts on the axonal and dendritic sides of the synapses had undergone changes: mitochondria, synaptic vesicles, pre- and postsynaptic membranes, synaptic complexes, and subsynaptic consolidations, axonal and dendritic plasma, and their inclusions. These changes possibly cause disconnection of the neurons and provide a structural basis for neurological deficiencies following a high substantial ionizing radiation.

  2. Transition of spatiotemporal patterns in neuronal networks with chemical synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rong; Li, Jiajia; Du, Mengmeng; Lei, Jinzhi; Wu, Ying

    2016-11-01

    In mammalian neocortex plane waves, spiral and irregular waves appear alternately. In this paper, we study the transition of spatiotemporal patterns in neuronal networks in which neurons are coupled via two types of chemical synapses: fast excitatory synapse and fast inhibitory synapse. Our results indicate that the fast excitatory synapse connection is easier to induce regular spatiotemporal patterns than fast inhibitory synapse connection, and the mechanism is discussed through bifurcation analysis of a single neuron. We introduce the permutation entropy as a measure of network firing complexity to study the mechanisms of formation and transition of spatiotemporal patterns. Our calculations show that the spatiotemporal pattern transitions are closely connected to a sudden decrease in the firing complexity of neuronal networks, and the neuronal networks with fast excitatory synapses have higher firing complexity than those with fast inhibitory synapses.

  3. Power-law forgetting in synapses with metaplasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehta, A.; Luck, J. M.

    2011-09-01

    The idea of using metaplastic synapses to incorporate the separate storage of long- and short-term memories via an array of hidden states was put forward in the cascade model of Fusi et al. In this paper, we devise and investigate two models of a metaplastic synapse based on these general principles. The main difference between the two models lies in their available mechanisms of decay, when a contrarian event occurs after the build-up of a long-term memory. In one case, this leads to the conversion of the long-term memory to a short-term memory of the opposite kind, while in the other, a long-term memory of the opposite kind may be generated as a result. Appropriately enough, the response of both models to short-term events is not affected by this difference in architecture. On the contrary, the transient response of both models, after long-term memories have been created by the passage of sustained signals, is rather different. The asymptotic behaviour of both models is, however, characterised by power-law forgetting with the same universal exponent.

  4. Perception of affective prosody in major depression: a link to executive functions?

    PubMed

    Uekermann, Jennifer; Abdel-Hamid, Mona; Lehmkämper, Caroline; Vollmoeller, Wolfgang; Daum, Irene

    2008-07-01

    Major depression is associated with impairments of executive functions and affect perception deficits, both being linked to dysfunction of fronto-subcortical networks. So far, little is known about the relationship between cognitive and affective deficits in major depression. In the present investigation, affect perception and executive functions were assessed in 29 patients with a diagnosis of major depression (Dep) and 29 healthy controls (HC). Both groups were comparable on IQ, age, and gender distribution. Depressed patients showed deficits of perception of affective prosody, which were significantly related to inhibition, set shifting, and working memory. Our findings suggest a significant association between cognitive deficits and affect perception impairments in major depression, which may be of considerable clinical relevance and might be addressed in treatment approaches. Future studies are desirable to investigate the nature of the association in more detail.

  5. Vesicular reuptake inhibition by a synaptotagmin I C2B domain antibody at the squid giant synapse.

    PubMed

    Llinás, Rodolfo R; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Moran, Kimberly A; Moreira, Jorge E; Fukuda, Mitsunori

    2004-12-21

    Synaptotagmin (Syt) I, a ubiquitous synaptic vesicle protein, comprises a transmembrane region and two C2 domains. The C2 domains, which have been shown to be essential for both synaptic vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis, are also seen as the Ca(2+) sensors in synaptic vesicular release. In a previous study, we reported that a polyclonal antibody raised against the squid (Loligo pealei) Syt I C2B domain, while inhibiting vesicular endocytosis, was synaptic release neutral at the squid giant synapse. Recent reports concerning the C2B requirements for synaptic release prompted us to readdress the role of C2B in squid giant synapse function. Presynaptic injection of another anti-Syt I-C2B antibody (using recombinant whole C2B domain expressed in mammalian cell culture as an antigen) into the presynaptic terminal reproduced our previous results, i.e., reduction of vesicular endocytosis without affecting synaptic release. This set of results addresses the issue of the geometrical arrangement of the Ca(2+) sensor, allowing the C2B domain antibody to restrict Ca(2+)-dependent C2B self-oligomerization without modifying the Ca(2+)-dependent release process.

  6. Vesicular reuptake inhibition by a synaptotagmin I C2B domain antibody at the squid giant synapse

    PubMed Central

    Llinás, Rodolfo R.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Moran, Kimberly A.; Moreira, Jorge E.; Fukuda, Mitsunori

    2004-01-01

    Synaptotagmin (Syt) I, a ubiquitous synaptic vesicle protein, comprises a transmembrane region and two C2 domains. The C2 domains, which have been shown to be essential for both synaptic vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis, are also seen as the Ca2+ sensors in synaptic vesicular release. In a previous study, we reported that a polyclonal antibody raised against the squid (Loligo pealei) Syt I C2B domain, while inhibiting vesicular endocytosis, was synaptic release neutral at the squid giant synapse. Recent reports concerning the C2B requirements for synaptic release prompted us to readdress the role of C2B in squid giant synapse function. Presynaptic injection of another anti-Syt I-C2B antibody (using recombinant whole C2B domain expressed in mammalian cell culture as an antigen) into the presynaptic terminal reproduced our previous results, i.e., reduction of vesicular endocytosis without affecting synaptic release. This set of results addresses the issue of the geometrical arrangement of the Ca2+ sensor, allowing the C2B domain antibody to restrict Ca2+-dependent C2B self-oligomerization without modifying the Ca2+-dependent release process. PMID:15591349

  7. Centenary of the synapse: from Sherrington to the molecular biology of the synapse and beyond.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, G M; Erulkar, S D

    1997-09-01

    Few concepts have meant more to neuroscience than the synapse, commonly understood to mean the junction between two excitable cells. The term was introduced by Charles Sherrington in 1897. The centenary of this event is an appropriate time to review the term's origins and utility. There are some surprises. The term didn't actually come from him. His concept was more functional than structural. The pioneering physiological and structural studies in the 1950s in fact did not lead to a rigorous definition. There is still confusion on how to define neurotransmitters. As molecular biological approaches are increasingly refining the concept of a fundamental synaptic unit, many types of neuronal interactions are appearing that do not fit with the synaptic concept. Are the neural circuits underlying behaviour strictly synaptic? In dealing with these questions, a longer perspective is useful for understanding how the term arose, how it has evolved to the present, and what kinds of challenges may be coming in the future.

  8. Negative affect predicts social functioning across schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: Findings from an integrated data analysis.

    PubMed

    Grove, Tyler B; Tso, Ivy F; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A; Taylor, Stephan F; Ellingrod, Vicki L; McInnis, Melvin G; Deldin, Patricia J

    2016-09-30

    Most people with a serious mental illness experience significant functional impairment despite ongoing pharmacological treatment. Thus, in order to improve outcomes, a better understanding of functional predictors is needed. This study examined negative affect, a construct comprised of negative emotional experience, as a predictor of social functioning across serious mental illnesses. One hundred twenty-seven participants with schizophrenia, 113 with schizoaffective disorder, 22 with psychosis not otherwise specified, 58 with bipolar disorder, and 84 healthy controls (N=404) completed self-report negative affect measures. Elevated levels of negative affect were observed in clinical participants compared with healthy controls. For both clinical and healthy control participants, negative affect measures were significantly correlated with social functioning, and consistently explained significant amounts of variance in functioning. For clinical participants, this relationship persisted even after accounting for cognition and positive/negative symptoms. The findings suggest that negative affect is a strong predictor of outcome across these populations and treatment of serious mental illnesses should target elevated negative affect in addition to cognition and positive/negative symptoms.

  9. Linking and Psychological Functioning in a Chinese Sample: The Multiple Mediation of Response to Positive Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Hongfei; Li, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the associations between linking, response to positive affect, and psychological functioning in Chinese college students. The results of conducting multiple mediation analyses indicated that emotion- and self-focused positive rumination mediated the relationship between linking and psychological functioning, whereas…

  10. Determining place and process: functional traits of ectomycorrhizal fungi that affect both community structure and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Koide, Roger T; Fernandez, Christopher; Malcolm, Glenna

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing interest amongst community ecologists in functional traits. Response traits determine membership in communities. Effect traits influence ecosystem function. One goal of community ecology is to predict the effect of environmental change on ecosystem function. Environmental change can directly and indirectly affect ecosystem function. Indirect effects are mediated through shifts in community structure. It is difficult to predict how environmental change will affect ecosystem function via the indirect route when the change in effect trait distribution is not predictable from the change in response trait distribution. When response traits function as effect traits, however, it becomes possible to predict the indirect effect of environmental change on ecosystem function. Here we illustrate four examples in which key attributes of ectomycorrhizal fungi function as both response and effect traits. While plant ecologists have discussed response and effect traits in the context of community structuring and ecosystem function, this approach has not been applied to ectomycorrhizal fungi. This is unfortunate because of the large effects of ectomycorrhizal fungi on ecosystem function. We hope to stimulate further research in this area in the hope of better predicting the ecosystem- and landscape-level effects of the fungi as influenced by changing environmental conditions.

  11. Visualizing the Distribution of Synapses from Individual Neurons in the Mouse Brain

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ling; Tasic, Bosiljka; Micheva, Kristina D.; Ivanov, Vsevolod M.; Spletter, Maria L.; Smith, Stephen J.; Luo, Liqun

    2010-01-01

    Background Proper function of the mammalian brain relies on the establishment of highly specific synaptic connections among billions of neurons. To understand how complex neural circuits function, it is crucial to precisely describe neuronal connectivity and the distributions of synapses to and from individual neurons. Methods and Findings In this study, we present a new genetic synaptic labeling method that relies on expression of a presynaptic marker, synaptophysin-GFP (Syp-GFP) in individual neurons in vivo. We assess the reliability of this method and use it to analyze the spatial patterning of synapses in developing and mature cerebellar granule cells (GCs). In immature GCs, Syp-GFP is distributed in both axonal and dendritic regions. Upon maturation, it becomes strongly enriched in axons. In mature GCs, we analyzed synapses along their ascending segments and parallel fibers. We observe no differences in presynaptic distribution between GCs born at different developmental time points and thus having varied depths of projections in the molecular layer. We found that the mean densities of synapses along the parallel fiber and the ascending segment above the Purkinje cell (PC) layer are statistically indistinguishable, and higher than previous estimates. Interestingly, presynaptic terminals were also found in the ascending segments of GCs below and within the PC layer, with the mean densities two-fold lower than that above the PC layer. The difference in the density of synapses in these parts of the ascending segment likely reflects the regional differences in postsynaptic target cells of GCs. Conclusions The ability to visualize synapses of single neurons in vivo is valuable for studying synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity within individual neurons as well as information flow in neural circuits. PMID:20634890

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Neurons and especially their synapses often project long thin processes that can invaginate neighboring neuronal or glial cells. These "invaginating projections" can occur in almost any combination of postsynaptic, presynaptic, and glial processes. Invaginating projections provide a precise mechanism for one neuron to communicate or exchange material exclusively at a highly localized site on another neuron, e.g., to regulate synaptic plasticity. The best-known types are postsynaptic projections called "spinules" that invaginate into presynaptic terminals. Spinules seem to be most prevalent at large very active synapses. Here, we present a comprehensive review of all kinds of invaginating projections associated with both neurons in general and more specifically with synapses; we describe them in all animals including simple, basal metazoans. These structures may have evolved into more elaborate structures in some higher animal groups exhibiting greater synaptic plasticity. In addition to classic spinules and filopodial invaginations, we describe a variety of lesser-known structures such as amphid microvilli, spinules in giant mossy terminals and en marron/brush synapses, the highly specialized fish retinal spinules, the trophospongium, capitate projections, and fly gnarls, as well as examples in which the entire presynaptic or postsynaptic process is invaginated. These various invaginating projections have evolved to modify the function of a particular synapse, or to channel an effect to one specific synapse or neuron, without affecting those nearby. We discuss how they function in membrane recycling, nourishment, and cell signaling and explore how they might change in aging and disease. PMID:26007200

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Neurons and especially their synapses often project long thin processes that can invaginate neighboring neuronal or glial cells. These “invaginating projections” can occur in almost any combination of postsynaptic, presynaptic, and glial processes. Invaginating projections provide a precise mechanism for one neuron to communicate or exchange material exclusively at a highly localized site on another neuron, e.g., to regulate synaptic plasticity. The best-known types are postsynaptic projections called “spinules” that invaginate into presynaptic terminals. Spinules seem to be most prevalent at large very active synapses. Here, we present a comprehensive review of all kinds of invaginating projections associated with both neurons in general and more specifically with synapses; we describe them in all animals including simple, basal metazoans. These structures may have evolved into more elaborate structures in some higher animal groups exhibiting greater synaptic plasticity. In addition to classic spinules and filopodial invaginations, we describe a variety of lesser-known structures such as amphid microvilli, spinules in giant mossy terminals and en marron/brush synapses, the highly specialized fish retinal spinules, the trophospongium, capitate projections, and fly gnarls, as well as examples in which the entire presynaptic or postsynaptic process is invaginated. These various invaginating projections have evolved to modify the function of a particular synapse, or to channel an effect to one specific synapse or neuron, without affecting those nearby. We discuss how they function in membrane recycling, nourishment, and cell signaling and explore how they might change in aging and disease. PMID:26007200

  14. Effects of age and insulin-like growth factor-1 on neuron and synapse numbers in area CA3 of hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Poe, B H; Linville, C; Riddle, D R; Sonntag, W E; Brunso-Bechtold, J K

    2001-01-01

    Age-related effects associated with the hippocampus include declines in numbers of neurons and synapses in the dentate gyrus and area CA1, and decreased cognitive ability as assessed with the Morris water maze. The present study quantified both neuron and synapse number in the same tissue block of area CA3 of the hippocampus. No investigations of both density of neurons and synapses together in area CA3 of hippocampus have been performed previously, despite its importance as the terminal field of dentate gyrus mossy fibers, the second synapse in the trisynaptic circuit in the hippocampus. Numerical density of neurons and synapses were assessed in 4-, 18-, and 29-month-old rats receiving infusions of saline into the lateral ventricle and in 29-month-old rats receiving infusions of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Numerical density of neurons of the stratum pyramidale of CA3 of hippocampus remained constant across the life span as did the numerical density of synapses in stratum lucidum of area CA3. Despite the reported role of IGF-1 in synaptogenesis and improvements in behavior with age, ventricular infusion of this growth factor did not affect the numerical density of neurons or synapses in 29-month-old rats when compared to saline-infused old rats. Further, reported effects of IGF-1 on adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus are not reflected in an IGF-1-related increase in synapse density in this region.

  15. Spikes and ribbon synapses in early vision.

    PubMed

    Baden, Tom; Euler, Thomas; Weckström, Matti; Lagnado, Leon

    2013-08-01

    Image processing begins in the retina, where neurons respond with graded voltage changes that must be converted into spikes. This conversion from 'analog' to 'digital' coding is a fundamental transformation carried out by the visual system, but the mechanisms are still not well understood. Recent work demonstrates that, in vertebrates, graded-to-spiking conversion of the visual signal begins in the axonal system of bipolar cells (BCs), which transmit visual information through ribbon-type synapses specialized for responding to graded voltage signals. Here, we explore the evidence for and against the idea that ribbon synapses also transmit digital information. We then discuss the potential costs and benefits of digitization at different stages of visual pathways in vertebrates and invertebrates. PMID:23706152

  16. Monoacylated Cellular Prion Proteins Reduce Amyloid-β-Induced Activation of Cytoplasmic Phospholipase A2 and Synapse Damage.

    PubMed

    West, Ewan; Osborne, Craig; Nolan, William; Bate, Clive

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) and the loss of synapses. Aggregation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) by Aβ oligomers induced synapse damage in cultured neurons. PrPC is attached to membranes via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, the composition of which affects protein targeting and cell signaling. Monoacylated PrPC incorporated into neurons bound "natural Aβ", sequestering Aβ outside lipid rafts and preventing its accumulation at synapses. The presence of monoacylated PrPC reduced the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) and Aβ-induced synapse damage. This protective effect was stimulus specific, as treated neurons remained sensitive to α-synuclein, a protein associated with synapse damage in Parkinson's disease. In synaptosomes, the aggregation of PrPC by Aβ oligomers triggered the formation of a signaling complex containing the cPLA2.a process, disrupted by monoacylated PrPC. We propose that monoacylated PrPC acts as a molecular sponge, binding Aβ oligomers at the neuronal perikarya without activating cPLA2 or triggering synapse damage. PMID:26043272

  17. Monoacylated Cellular Prion Proteins Reduce Amyloid-β-Induced Activation of Cytoplasmic Phospholipase A2 and Synapse Damage

    PubMed Central

    West, Ewan; Osborne, Craig; Nolan, William; Bate, Clive

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) and the loss of synapses. Aggregation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) by Aβ oligomers induced synapse damage in cultured neurons. PrPC is attached to membranes via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, the composition of which affects protein targeting and cell signaling. Monoacylated PrPC incorporated into neurons bound “natural Aβ”, sequestering Aβ outside lipid rafts and preventing its accumulation at synapses. The presence of monoacylated PrPC reduced the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) and Aβ-induced synapse damage. This protective effect was stimulus specific, as treated neurons remained sensitive to α-synuclein, a protein associated with synapse damage in Parkinson’s disease. In synaptosomes, the aggregation of PrPC by Aβ oligomers triggered the formation of a signaling complex containing the cPLA2.a process, disrupted by monoacylated PrPC. We propose that monoacylated PrPC acts as a molecular sponge, binding Aβ oligomers at the neuronal perikarya without activating cPLA2 or triggering synapse damage. PMID:26043272

  18. Nonvolatile Array Of Synapses For Neural Network

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tawel, Raoul

    1993-01-01

    Elements of array programmed with help of ultraviolet light. A 32 x 32 very-large-scale integrated-circuit array of electronic synapses serves as building-block chip for analog neural-network computer. Synaptic weights stored in nonvolatile manner. Makes information content of array invulnerable to loss of power, and, by eliminating need for circuitry to refresh volatile synaptic memory, makes architecture simpler and more compact.

  19. A novel function for serotonin-mediated short-term facilitation in Aplysia: Conversion of a transient, cell-wide homosynaptic Hebbian plasticity into a persistent, protein synthesis-independent synapse-specific enhancement

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Craig H.; Giustetto, Maurizio; Zhu, Hiuxiang; Chen, Mary; Kandel, Eric R.

    2000-01-01

    Studies of sensitization and classical conditioning of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia have shown that the synaptic connections between identified glutamatergic sensory neurons and motor neurons can be enhanced in one of two ways: by a heterosynaptic (modulatory input-dependent) mechanism that gives rise with repetition to long-term facilitation and by a homosynaptic (activity-dependent) mechanism that gives rise with repetition to a facilitation that is partially blocked by 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid and by injection of 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetate (BAPTA) into the postsynaptic cell and is similar to long-term potentiation in the hippocampus. We here have examined how these two forms of facilitation interact at the level of an individual synaptic connection by using a culture preparation consisting of a single bifurcated sensory neuron that forms independent synaptic contacts with each of two spatially separated motor neurons. We find that the homosynaptic facilitation produced by a train of action potentials is cell wide and is evident at all of the terminals of the sensory neuron. By contrast, the heterosynaptic facilitation mediated by the modulatory transmitter serotonin (5-HT) can operate at the level of a single synapse. Homosynaptic activation gives rise to only a transient facilitation lasting a few hours, even when repeated in a spaced manner. The heterosynaptic facilitation produced by a single pulse of 5-HT, applied to one terminal of the sensory neuron, also lasts only minutes. However, when one or more homosynaptic trains of spike activity are paired with even a single pulse of 5-HT applied to one of the two branches of the sensory neuron, the combined actions lead to a selective enhancement in synaptic strength only at the 5-HT-treated branch that now lasts more than a day, and thus amplifies, by more than 20-fold, the duration of the individually produced homo- and heterosynaptic facilitation. This form of

  20. Modulating excitation through plasticity at inhibitory synapses

    PubMed Central

    Chevaleyre, Vivien; Piskorowski, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    Learning is believed to depend on lasting changes in synaptic efficacy such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression. As a result, a profusion of studies has tried to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these forms of plasticity. Traditionally, experience-dependent changes at excitatory synapses were assumed to underlie learning and memory formation. However, with the relatively more recent investigation of inhibitory transmission, it had become evident that inhibitory synapses are not only plastic, but also provide an additional way to modulate excitatory transmission and the induction of plasticity at excitatory synapses. Thanks to recent technological advances, progress has been made in understanding synaptic transmission and plasticity from particular interneuron subtypes. In this review article, we will describe various forms of synaptic plasticity that have been ascribed to two fairly well characterized populations of interneurons in the hippocampus, those expressing cholecystokinin (CCK) and parvalbumin (PV). We will discuss the resulting changes in the strength and plasticity of excitatory transmission that occur in the local circuit as a result of the modulation of inhibitory transmission. We will focus on the hippocampus because this region has a relatively well-understood circuitry, numerous forms of activity-dependent plasticity and a multitude of identified interneuron subclasses. PMID:24734003

  1. Sex-specific pruning of neuronal synapses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Oren-Suissa, Meital; Bayer, Emily A; Hobert, Oliver

    2016-05-12

    Whether and how neurons that are present in both sexes of the same species can differentiate in a sexually dimorphic manner is not well understood. A comparison of the connectomes of the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite and male nervous systems reveals the existence of sexually dimorphic synaptic connections between neurons present in both sexes. Here we demonstrate sex-specific functions of these sex-shared neurons and show that many neurons initially form synapses in a hybrid manner in both the male and hermaphrodite pattern before sexual maturation. Sex-specific synapse pruning then results in the sex-specific maintenance of subsets of these connections. Reversal of the sexual identity of either the pre- or postsynaptic neuron alone transforms the patterns of synaptic connectivity to that of the opposite sex. A dimorphically expressed and phylogenetically conserved transcription factor is both necessary and sufficient to determine sex-specific connectivity patterns. Our studies reveal new insights into sex-specific circuit development. PMID:27144354

  2. Kainate receptors act as conditional amplifiers of spike transmission at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses.

    PubMed

    Sachidhanandam, Shankar; Blanchet, Christophe; Jeantet, Yannick; Cho, Yoon H; Mulle, Christophe

    2009-04-15

    Hippocampal mossy fiber (Mf) synapses are viewed as conditional detonators, assisting CA3 cells in complex network functions. By analyzing mice deficient for GluK2 (GluR6), GluK3 (GluR7) and GluK5 (KA2) genes we show that kainate receptors (KARs) play a crucial role in the control of synaptic integration and spike transmission efficacy at Mf synapses. We dissected out the role of the different KAR functions at Mf synapses and we show that presynaptic and postsynaptic KARs concur to amplify unitary Mf synaptic inputs to trigger spike discharge within a wide range of frequencies (from 1 to 50 Hz). Moreover, KARs strongly favor spike transmission in response to patterns of presynaptic activity mimicking in vivo dentate granule cell activity. By amplifying spike transmission, KARs also facilitate the induction of associative long-term potentiation in CA3. Hence the actions of KARs as amplifiers of spike transmission contribute largely to the "conditional detonator" function of Mf synapses and are likely important for spatial information processing.

  3. Effects of Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 in Cerebellar Development: Role in Synapse Formation

    PubMed Central

    Araujo, Ana P. B.; Diniz, Luan P.; Eller, Cristiane M.; de Matos, Beatriz G.; Martinez, Rodrigo; Gomes, Flávia C. A.

    2016-01-01

    Granule cells (GC) are the most numerous glutamatergic neurons in the cerebellar cortex and represent almost half of the neurons of the central nervous system. Despite recent advances, the mechanisms of how the glutamatergic synapses are formed in the cerebellum remain unclear. Among the TGF-β family, TGF-beta 1 (TGF-β1) has been described as a synaptogenic molecule in invertebrates and in the vertebrate peripheral nervous system. A recent paper from our group demonstrated that TGF-β1 increases the excitatory synapse formation in cortical neurons. Here, we investigated the role of TGF-β1 in glutamatergic cerebellar neurons. We showed that the expression profile of TGF-β1 and its receptor, TβRII, in the cerebellum is consistent with a role in synapse formation in vitro and in vivo. It is low in the early postnatal days (P1–P9), increases after postnatal day 12 (P12), and remains high until adulthood (P30). We also found that granule neurons express the TGF-β receptor mRNA and protein, suggesting that they may be responsive to the synaptogenic effect of TGF-β1. Treatment of granular cell cultures with TGF-β1 increased the number of glutamatergic excitatory synapses by 100%, as shown by immunocytochemistry assays for presynaptic (synaptophysin) and post-synaptic (PSD-95) proteins. This effect was dependent on TβRI activation because addition of a pharmacological inhibitor of TGF-β, SB-431542, impaired the formation of synapses between granular neurons. Together, these findings suggest that TGF-β1 has a specific key function in the cerebellum through regulation of excitatory synapse formation between granule neurons. PMID:27199658

  4. Lithium Increases Synapse Formation between Hippocampal Neurons by Depleting PhosphoinositidesS⃞

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hee Jung; Thayer, Stanley A.

    2009-01-01

    The mood-stabilizing effects of lithium are well documented, although its mechanism of action remains unknown. Increases in gray matter volume detected in patients with bipolar disorder who were treated with lithium suggest that changes in the number of synapses might underlie its therapeutic effects. We investigated the effects of lithium on the number of synaptic connections between hippocampal neurons in culture. Confocal imaging of neurons expressing postsynaptic density protein 95 fused to green fluorescent protein (PSD95-GFP) enabled visualization of synaptic sites. PSD95-GFP fluorescent puncta represented functional synapses, and lithium (4 h, 5 mM) increased their number by 150 ± 12%. The increase was time- and concentration-dependent (EC50 = 1.0 ± 0.6 mM). Lithium induced a parallel increase in the presynaptic marker synaptophysin-GFP. Valproic acid, another mood stabilizer, also increased the number of fluorescent puncta at a clinically relevant concentration. Inhibition of postsynaptic glutamate receptors or presynaptic inhibition of neurotransmitter release significantly reduced lithium-induced synapse formation, indicating that glutamatergic synaptic transmission was required. Pretreatment with exogenous myo-inositol inhibited synapse formation, demonstrating that depletion of inositol was necessary to increase synaptic connections. In contrast, inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β did not mimic lithium-induced synapse formation. Pharmacological and lipid reconstitution experiments showed that new synapses formed as a result of depletion of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate rather than a build-up of polyphosphoinositides or changes in the activity of phospholipase C, protein kinase C, or phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase. Increased synaptic connections may underlie the mood-stabilizing effects of lithium in patients with bipolar disorder and could contribute to the convulsions produced by excessive doses of this drug. PMID:19188338

  5. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  6. Affect and the Brain's Functional Organization: A Resting-State Connectivity Approach

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Christiane S.; Okon-Singer, Hadas; Craddock, R. Cameron; Villringer, Arno; Margulies, Daniel S.

    2013-01-01

    The question of how affective processing is organized in the brain is still a matter of controversial discussions. Based on previous initial evidence, several suggestions have been put forward regarding the involved brain areas: (a) right-lateralized dominance in emotional processing, (b) hemispheric dominance according to positive or negative valence, (c) one network for all emotional processing and (d) region-specific discrete emotion matching. We examined these hypotheses by investigating intrinsic functional connectivity patterns that covary with results of the Positive and Negative Affective Schedule (PANAS) from 65 participants. This approach has the advantage of being able to test connectivity rather than activation, and not requiring a potentially confounding task. Voxelwise functional connectivity from 200 regions-of-interest covering the whole brain was assessed. Positive and negative affect covaried with functional connectivity involving a shared set of regions, including the medial prefrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate, the visual cortex and the cerebellum. In addition, each affective domain had unique connectivity patterns, and the lateralization index showed a right hemispheric dominance for negative affect. Therefore, our results suggest a predominantly right-hemispheric network with affect-specific elements as the underlying organization of emotional processes. PMID:23935850

  7. Sexual function and affect in parkinsonian men treated with L-dopa.

    PubMed

    Brown, E; Brown, G M; Kofman, O; Quarrington, B

    1978-12-01

    Using psychiatric interviews, sexual and affect rating scales, hormonal studies, and neurologic assessment, the authors assessed the effect of L-dopa treatment on men with Parkinson's disease. Patients demonstrated variable affect changes. Approximately one-half of the patients reported an increased sexual interest that was not related to improvement in locomotor function. Hormonal factors appeared to be involved. The findings suggest that male parkinsonian patients who possess an intact hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis experience increased sexual function related to L-dopa treatment.

  8. Input- and subunit-specific AMPA receptor trafficking underlying long-term potentiation at hippocampal CA3 synapses.

    PubMed

    Kakegawa, Wataru; Tsuzuki, Keisuke; Yoshida, Yukari; Kameyama, Kimihiko; Ozawa, Seiji

    2004-07-01

    Hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons receive synaptic inputs from both mossy fibres (MFs) and associational fibres (AFs). Long-term potentiation (LTP) at these synapses differs in its induction sites and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dependence. Most evidence favours the presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms for induction of MF LTP and AF LTP, respectively. This implies that molecular and functional properties differ between MF and AF synapses at both presynaptic and postsynaptic sites. In this study, we focused on the difference in the postsynaptic trafficking of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) between these synapses. To trace the subunit-specific trafficking of AMPARs at each synapse, GluR1 and GluR2 subunits were introduced into CA3 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal organotypic cultures using the Sindbis viral expression system. The electrophysiologically-tagged GluR2 AMPARs, produced by the viral-mediated transfer of the unedited form of GluR2 (GluR2Q), were inserted into both MF and AF postsynaptic sites in a neuronal activity-independent manner. Endogenous Ca(2+)-impermeable AMPARs at these synapses were replaced with exogenous Ca(2+)-permeable receptors, and Ca(2+) influx via the newly expressed postsynaptic AMPARs induced NMDAR-independent LTP at AF synapses. In contrast, no GluR1 AMPAR produced by the gene transfer was constitutively incorporated into AF postsynaptic sites, and only a small amount into MF postsynaptic sites. The synaptic trafficking of GluR1 AMPARs was triggered by the activity of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase II or high-frequency stimulation to induce LTP at AF synapses, but not at MF synapses. These results indicate that MF and AF postsynaptic sites possess distinct properties for AMPAR trafficking in CA3 pyramidal neurons.

  9. Aβ-dependent reduction of NCAM2-mediated synaptic adhesion contributes to synapse loss in Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Leshchyns'ka, Iryna; Liew, Heng Tai; Shepherd, Claire; Halliday, Glenda M.; Stevens, Claire H.; Ke, Yazi D.; Ittner, Lars M.; Sytnyk, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by synapse loss due to mechanisms that remain poorly understood. We show that the neural cell adhesion molecule 2 (NCAM2) is enriched in synapses in the human hippocampus. This enrichment is abolished in the hippocampus of AD patients and in brains of mice overexpressing the human amyloid-β (Aβ) precursor protein carrying the pathogenic Swedish mutation. Aβ binds to NCAM2 at the cell surface of cultured hippocampal neurons and induces removal of NCAM2 from synapses. In AD hippocampus, cleavage of the membrane proximal external region of NCAM2 is increased and soluble extracellular fragments of NCAM2 (NCAM2-ED) accumulate. Knockdown of NCAM2 expression or incubation with NCAM2-ED induces disassembly of GluR1-containing glutamatergic synapses in cultured hippocampal neurons. Aβ-dependent disassembly of GluR1-containing synapses is inhibited in neurons overexpressing a cleavage-resistant mutant of NCAM2. Our data indicate that Aβ-dependent disruption of NCAM2 functions in AD hippocampus contributes to synapse loss. PMID:26611261

  10. Aβ-dependent reduction of NCAM2-mediated synaptic adhesion contributes to synapse loss in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Leshchyns'ka, Iryna; Liew, Heng Tai; Shepherd, Claire; Halliday, Glenda M; Stevens, Claire H; Ke, Yazi D; Ittner, Lars M; Sytnyk, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by synapse loss due to mechanisms that remain poorly understood. We show that the neural cell adhesion molecule 2 (NCAM2) is enriched in synapses in the human hippocampus. This enrichment is abolished in the hippocampus of AD patients and in brains of mice overexpressing the human amyloid-β (Aβ) precursor protein carrying the pathogenic Swedish mutation. Aβ binds to NCAM2 at the cell surface of cultured hippocampal neurons and induces removal of NCAM2 from synapses. In AD hippocampus, cleavage of the membrane proximal external region of NCAM2 is increased and soluble extracellular fragments of NCAM2 (NCAM2-ED) accumulate. Knockdown of NCAM2 expression or incubation with NCAM2-ED induces disassembly of GluR1-containing glutamatergic synapses in cultured hippocampal neurons. Aβ-dependent disassembly of GluR1-containing synapses is inhibited in neurons overexpressing a cleavage-resistant mutant of NCAM2. Our data indicate that Aβ-dependent disruption of NCAM2 functions in AD hippocampus contributes to synapse loss. PMID:26611261

  11. Alcohol potently modulates climbing fiber-->Purkinje neuron synapses: role of metabotropic glutamate receptors.

    PubMed

    Carta, Mario; Mameli, Manuel; Valenzuela, C Fernando

    2006-02-15

    Consumption of alcoholic beverages produces alterations in motor coordination and equilibrium that are responsible for millions of accidental deaths. Studies indicate that ethanol produces these alterations by affecting the cerebellum, a brain region involved in the control of motor systems. Purkinje neurons of the cerebellar cortex have been shown to be particularly important targets of ethanol. However, its mechanism of action at these neurons is poorly understood. We hypothesized that ethanol could modulate Purkinje neuron function by altering the excitatory input provided by the climbing fiber from the inferior olive, which evokes a powerful all-or-none response denoted as the complex spike. To test this hypothesis, we performed whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiological and Ca2+ imaging experiments in acute slices from rat cerebella. We found that ethanol potently inhibits the late phase of the complex spike and that this effect is the result of inhibition of type-1 metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent responses at the postsynaptic level. Moreover, ethanol inhibited climbing fiber long-term depression, a form of synaptic plasticity that also depends on activation of these metabotropic receptors. Our findings identify the climbing fiber-->Purkinje neuron synapse as an important target of ethanol in the cerebellar cortex and indicate that ethanol significantly affects cerebellar circuits even at concentrations as low as 10 mm (legal blood alcohol level in the United States is below 0.08 g/dl = 17 mm). PMID:16481422

  12. CPG15 regulates synapse stability in the developing and adult brain.

    PubMed

    Fujino, Tadahiro; Leslie, Jennifer H; Eavri, Ronen; Chen, Jerry L; Lin, Walter C; Flanders, Genevieve H; Borok, Erzsebet; Horvath, Tamas L; Nedivi, Elly

    2011-12-15

    Use-dependent selection of optimal connections is a key feature of neural circuit development and, in the mature brain, underlies functional adaptation, such as is required for learning and memory. Activity patterns guide circuit refinement through selective stabilization or elimination of specific neuronal branches and synapses. The molecular signals that mediate activity-dependent synapse and arbor stabilization and maintenance remain elusive. We report that knockout of the activity-regulated gene cpg15 in mice delays developmental maturation of axonal and dendritic arbors visualized by anterograde tracing and diolistic labeling, respectively. Electrophysiology shows that synaptic maturation is also delayed, and electron microscopy confirms that many dendritic spines initially lack functional synaptic contacts. While circuits eventually develop, in vivo imaging reveals that spine maintenance is compromised in the adult, leading to a gradual attrition in spine numbers. Loss of cpg15 also results in poor learning. cpg15 knockout mice require more trails to learn, but once they learn, memories are retained. Our findings suggest that CPG15 acts to stabilize active synapses on dendritic spines, resulting in selective spine and arbor stabilization and synaptic maturation, and that synapse stabilization mediated by CPG15 is critical for efficient learning. PMID:22190461

  13. Astrocytes regulate inhibitory synapse formation via Trk-mediated modulation of postsynaptic GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Elmariah, Sarina B; Oh, Eun Joo; Hughes, Ethan G; Balice-Gordon, Rita J

    2005-04-01

    Astrocytes promote the formation and function of excitatory synapses in the CNS. However, whether and how astrocytes modulate inhibitory synaptogenesis are essentially unknown. We asked whether astrocytes regulate the formation of inhibitory synapses between hippocampal neurons during maturation in vitro. Neuronal coculture with astrocytes or treatment with astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) increased the number of inhibitory presynaptic terminals, the frequency of miniature IPSCs, and the number and synaptic localization of GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) clusters during the first 10 d in vitro. We asked whether neurotrophins, which are potent modulators of inhibitory synaptic structure and function, mediate the effects of astrocytes on inhibitory synapses. ACM from BDNF- or tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB)-deficient astrocytes increased inhibitory presynaptic terminals and postsynaptic GABA(A)R clusters in wild-type neurons, suggesting that BDNF and TrkB expression in astrocytes is not required for these effects. In contrast, although the increase in the number of inhibitory presynaptic terminals persisted, no increase was observed in postsynaptic GABA(A)R clusters after ACM treatment of hippocampal neurons lacking BDNF or TrkB. These results suggest that neurons, not astrocytes, are the relevant source of BDNF and are the site of TrkB activation required for postsynaptic GABA(A)R modulation. These data also suggest that astrocytes may modulate postsynaptic development indirectly by stimulating Trk signaling between neurons. Together, these data show that astrocytes modulate inhibitory synapse formation via distinct presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms.

  14. Vulnerability-Based Critical Neurons, Synapses, and Pathways in the Caenorhabditis elegans Connectome.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seongkyun; Kim, Hyoungkyu; Kralik, Jerald D; Jeong, Jaeseung

    2016-08-01

    Determining the fundamental architectural design of complex nervous systems will lead to significant medical and technological advances. Yet it remains unclear how nervous systems evolved highly efficient networks with near optimal sharing of pathways that yet produce multiple distinct behaviors to reach the organism's goals. To determine this, the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model system. Progress has been made in delineating the behavioral circuits of the C. elegans, however, many details are unclear, including the specific functions of every neuron and synapse, as well as the extent the behavioral circuits are separate and parallel versus integrative and serial. Network analysis provides a normative approach to help specify the network design. We investigated the vulnerability of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome by performing computational experiments that (a) "attacked" 279 individual neurons and 2,990 weighted synaptic connections (composed of 6,393 chemical synapses and 890 electrical junctions) and (b) quantified the effects of each removal on global network properties that influence information processing. The analysis identified 12 critical neurons and 29 critical synapses for establishing fundamental network properties. These critical constituents were found to be control elements-i.e., those with the most influence over multiple underlying pathways. Additionally, the critical synapses formed into circuit-level pathways. These emergent pathways provide evidence for (a) the importance of backward locomotion, avoidance behavior, and social feeding behavior to the organism; (b) the potential roles of specific neurons whose functions have been unclear; and PMID:27540747

  15. The cytotoxic T lymphocyte immune synapse at a glance.

    PubMed

    Dieckmann, Nele M G; Frazer, Gordon L; Asano, Yukako; Stinchcombe, Jane C; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2016-08-01

    The immune synapse provides an important structure for communication with immune cells. Studies on immune synapses formed by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) highlight the dynamic changes and specialised mechanisms required to facilitate focal signalling and polarised secretion in immune cells. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we illustrate the different steps that reveal the specialised mechanisms used to focus secretion at the CTL immune synapse and allow CTLs to be such efficient and precise serial killers.

  16. Energy-efficient neuron, synapse and STDP integrated circuits.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Albrecht, Jose M; Yung, Michael W; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2012-06-01

    Ultra-low energy biologically-inspired neuron and synapse integrated circuits are presented. The synapse includes a spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) learning rule circuit. These circuits have been designed, fabricated and tested using a 90 nm CMOS process. Experimental measurements demonstrate proper operation. The neuron and the synapse with STDP circuits have an energy consumption of around 0.4 pJ per spike and synaptic operation respectively. PMID:23853146

  17. Regulation of Synaptic Extracellular Matrix Composition Is Critical for Proper Synapse Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Kurshan, Peri T.; Phan, Allan Q.; Wang, George J.; Crane, Matthew M.; Lu, Hang

    2014-01-01

    Synapses are surrounded by a layer of extracellular matrix (ECM), which is instrumental for their development and maintenance. ECM composition is dynamically controlled by proteases, but how the precise composition of the ECM affects synaptic morphology is largely unknown. Through an unbiased forward genetic screen, we found that Caenorhabditis elegans gon-1, a conserved extracellular ADAMTS protease, is required for maintaining proper synaptic morphology at the neuromuscular junction. In gon-1 mutants, once synapse formation is complete, motor neuron presynaptic varicosities develop into large bulbous protrusions that contain synaptic vesicles and active zone proteins. A concomitant overgrowth of postsynaptic muscle membrane is found in close apposition to presynaptic axonal protrusions. Mutations in the muscle-specific, actin-severing protein cofilin (unc-60) suppress the axon phenotype, suggesting that muscle outgrowth is necessary for presynaptic protrusions. gon-1 mutants can also be suppressed by loss of the ECM components collagen IV (EMB-9) and fibulin (FBL-1). We propose that GON-1 regulates a developmental switch out of an initial “pro-growth” phase during which muscle arms grow out and form synapses with motor neuron axons. We postulate that this switch involves degradation or reorganization of collagen IV (EMB-9), whereas FBL-1 opposes GON-1 by stabilizing EMB-9. Our results describe a mechanism for regulating synaptic ECM composition and reveal the importance of precise ECM composition for neuronal morphology and synapse integrity. PMID:25232106

  18. SMAD4 Defect Causes Auditory Neuropathy Via Specialized Disruption of Cochlear Ribbon Synapses in Mice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ke; Ji, Fei; Yang, Guan; Hou, Zhaohui; Sun, Jianhe; Wang, Xiaoyu; Guo, Weiwei; Sun, Wei; Yang, Weiyan; Yang, Xiao; Yang, Shiming

    2016-10-01

    More than 100 genes have been associated with deafness. However, SMAD4 is rarely considered a contributor to deafness in humans, except for its well-defined role in cell differentiation and regeneration. Here, we report that a SMAD4 defect in mice can cause auditory neuropathy, which was defined as a mysterious hearing and speech perception disorder in human for which the genetic background remains unclear. Our study showed that a SMAD4 defect induces failed formation of cochlear ribbon synapse during the earlier stage of auditory development in mice. Further investigation found that there are nearly normal morphology of outer hair cells (OHCs) and post-synapse spiral ganglion nerves (SGNs) in SMAD4 conditional knockout mice (cKO); however, a preserved distortion product of otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) and cochlear microphonic (CM) still can be evoked in cKO mice. Moreover, a partial restoration of hearing detected by electric auditory brainstem response (eABR) has been obtained in the cKO mice using electrode stimuli toward auditory nerves. Additionally, the ribbon synapses in retina are not affected by this SMAD4 defect. Thus, our findings suggest that this SMAD4 defect causes auditory neuropathy via specialized disruption of cochlear ribbon synapses.

  19. Acute Zonal Occult Outer Retinopathy in Japanese Patients: Clinical Features, Visual Function, and Factors Affecting Visual Function

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Saho; Saito, Wataru; Saito, Michiyuki; Hashimoto, Yuki; Mori, Shohei; Noda, Kousuke; Namba, Kenichi; Ishida, Susumu

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the clinical features and investigate their relationship with visual function in Japanese patients with acute zonal occult outer retinopathy (AZOOR). Methods Fifty-two eyes of 38 Japanese AZOOR patients (31 female and 7 male patients; mean age at first visit, 35.0 years; median follow-up duration, 31 months) were retrospectively collected: 31 untreated eyes with good visual acuity and 21 systemic corticosteroid-treated eyes with progressive visual acuity loss. Variables affecting the logMAR values of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and the mean deviation (MD) on Humphrey perimetry at initial and final visits were examined using multiple stepwise linear regression analysis. Results In untreated eyes, the mean MD at the final visit was significantly higher than that at the initial visit (P = 0.00002). In corticosteroid-treated eyes, the logMAR BCVA and MD at the final visit were significantly better than the initial values (P = 0.007 and P = 0.02, respectively). The final logMAR BCVA was 0.0 or less in 85% of patients. Variables affecting initial visual function were moderate anterior vitreous cells, myopia severity, and a-wave amplitudes on electroretinography; factors affecting final visual function were the initial MD values, female sex, moderate anterior vitreous cells, and retinal atrophy. Conclusions Our data indicated that visual functions in enrolled patients significantly improved spontaneously or after systemic corticosteroids therapy, suggesting that Japanese patients with AZOOR have good visual outcomes during the follow-up period of this study. Furthermore, initial visual field defects, gender, anterior vitreous cells, and retinal atrophy affected final visual functions in these patients. PMID:25919689

  20. The dendritic cell side of the immunological synapse.

    PubMed

    Verboogen, Danielle R J; Dingjan, Ilse; Revelo, Natalia H; Visser, Linda J; ter Beest, Martin; van den Bogaart, Geert

    2016-02-01

    Immune responses are initiated by the interactions between antigen-presenting cells (APCs), such as dendritic cells (DCs), with responder cells, such as T cells, via a tight cellular contact interface called the immunological synapse. The immunological synapse is a highly organized subcellular structure that provides a platform for the presentation of antigen in major histocompatibility class I and II complexes (MHC class I and II) on the surface of the APC to receptors on the surface of the responder cells. In T cells, these contacts lead to highly polarized membrane trafficking that results in the local release of lytic granules and in the delivery and recycling of T cell receptors at the immunological synapse. Localized trafficking also occurs at the APC side of the immunological synapse, especially in DCs where antigen loaded in MHC class I and II is presented and cytokines are released specifically at the synapse. Whereas the molecular mechanisms underlying polarized membrane trafficking at the T cell side of the immunological synapse are increasingly well understood, these are still very unclear at the APC side. In this review, we discuss the organization of the APC side of the immunological synapse. We focus on the directional trafficking and release of membrane vesicles carrying MHC molecules and cytokines at the immunological synapses of DCs. We hypothesize that the specific delivery of MHC and the release of cytokines at the immunological synapse mechanistically resemble that of lytic granule release from T cells. PMID:26741354

  1. Silent Synapse-Based Circuitry Remodeling in Drug Addiction

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to cocaine, and likely other drugs of abuse, generates α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor-silent glutamatergic synapses in the nucleus accumbens. These immature synaptic contacts evolve after drug withdrawal to redefine the neurocircuital properties. These results raise at least three critical questions: (1) what are the molecular and cellular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced generation of silent synapses; (2) how are neurocircuits remodeled upon generation and evolution of drug-generated silent synapses; and (3) what behavioral consequences are produced by silent synapse-based circuitry remodeling? This short review analyzes related experimental results, and extends them to some speculations. PMID:26721952

  2. Handgrip Strength, Positive Affect, and Perceived Health Are Prospectively Associated with Fewer Functional Limitations among Centenarians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franke, Warren D.; Margrett, Jennifer A.; Heinz, Melinda; Martin, Peter

    2012-01-01

    This study assessed the association between perceived health, fatigue, positive and negative affect, handgrip strength, objectively measured physical activity, body mass index, and self-reported functional limitations, assessed 6 months later, among 11 centenarians (age = 102 plus or minus 1). Activities of daily living, assessed 6 months prior to…

  3. Weight Reduction in Athletes May Adversely Affect the Phagocytic Function of Monocytes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kono, Ichiro; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Study of the monocyte phagocytic function in nine competitive athletes before and after a two-week weight reduction (through calorie restriction) program revealed that their pre-program phagocytic activity was higher than in sedentary controls but decreased significantly after the program. This suggests calorie restriction may affect the human…

  4. Identification of oscillatory firing neurons associated with locomotion in the earthworm through synapse imaging.

    PubMed

    Shimoi, T; Mizutani, K; Kojima, D; Kitamura, Y; Hotta, K; Ogawa, H; Oka, K

    2014-05-30

    We used FM imaging to identify neurons that receive sensory feedback from the body wall in a circuit for octopamine (OA)-evoked rhythmic locomotion in the earthworm, Eisenia fetida. We visualized synapses in which postsynaptic neurons receive the sensory feedback, by using FM1-43 dye to label the synapses of both motor and sensory pathways that are associated with locomotion, then clearing the motor pathway synapse labeling, and finally identifying the target synapses by distinguishing physiologically functional synapses through destaining using a high-K(+) solution. A pair of synaptic regions associated with the sensory feedback was found to be located two or three cell body-widths away from the midline, between the anterior parts of the roots of the second lateral nerves (LNs) at the segmental ganglia (SGs). Using conventional intracellular recording and dye loading of the cell bodies surrounding these synaptic regions, we identified a pair of bilateral neurons with cell bodies larger than those of other cells in these regions, and named them "Oscillatory firing neurons Projecting to Peripheral nerves" (OPPs). These had a bipolar shape and projected neurites to the ipsilateral first and third LNs, fired rhythmically, and had a burst timing synchronized with the motor pattern bursts from the ipsilateral first LNs. Current injection into an OPP caused firing in the ipsilateral first LNs, supporting the hypothesis that OPPs functionally project to the peripheral nerves. OPPs also sent neurites to the adjacent anterior and posterior SGs, suggesting connections with the adjacent segments. We conclude that FM imaging can be used to identify neurons involved in specific functions, and that OPPs are the first neurons to be associated with OA-induced locomotion in the earthworm. PMID:24657777

  5. Automatic facial responses to affective stimuli in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Mathersul, Danielle; McDonald, Skye; Rushby, Jacqueline A

    2013-01-17

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate atypical behavioural responses to affective stimuli, although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Investigating automatic responses to these stimuli may help elucidate these mechanisms. 18 high-functioning adults with ASDs and 18 typically developing controls viewed 54 extreme pleasant (erotica), extreme unpleasant (mutilations), and non-social neutral images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Two-thirds of images received an acoustic startle probe 3s post-picture onset. Facial electromyography (EMG) activity (orbicularis, zygomaticus, corrugator), skin conductance (SCR) and cardiac responses were recorded. The adults with ASDs demonstrated typical affective startle modulation and automatic facial EMG responses but atypical autonomic (SCRs and cardiac) responses, suggesting a failure to orient to, or a deliberate effort to disconnect from, socially relevant stimuli (erotica, mutilations). These results have implications for neural systems known to underlie affective processes, including the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala. PMID:23142408

  6. Anergic CD4+ T cells form mature immunological synapses with enhanced accumulation of c-Cbl and Cbl-b1

    PubMed Central

    Doherty, Melissa; Osborne, Douglas G.; Browning, Diana L.; Parker, David C.; Wetzel, Scott A.

    2010-01-01

    CD4+ T cell recognition of MHC:peptide complexes in the context of a costimulatory signal results in the large-scale redistribution of molecules at the T-APC interface to form the immunological synapse. The immunological synapse is the location of sustained TCR signaling and delivery of a subset of effector functions. T cells activated in the absence of costimulation are rendered anergic and are hyporesponsive when presented with antigen in the presence of optimal costimulation. Several previous studies have looked at aspects of immunological synapses formed by anergic T cells, but it remains unclear whether there are differences in the formation or composition of anergic immunological synapses. In this study we anergized primary murine CD4+ T cells by incubation of costimulation-deficient, transfected fibroblast APC. Using a combination of TCR, MHC:peptide, and ICAM-1 staining, we found that anergic T cells make mature immunological synapses with characteristic cSMAC and pSMAC domains that were indistinguishable from control synapses. There were small increases in total phosphotyrosine at the anergic synapse along with significant decreases in phosphorylated ERK 1/2 accumulation. Most striking, there was specific accumulation of c-Cbl and Cbl-b to the anergic synapses. Cbl-b, previously shown to be essential in anergy induction, was found in both the pSMAC and the cSMAC of the anergic synapse. This Cbl-b (and c-Cbl) accumulation at the anergic synapse may play an important role in anergy maintenance and/or induction. PMID:20207996

  7. Factors affecting longitudinal functional decline and survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Hazuki; Atsuta, Naoki; Nakamura, Ryoichi; Hirakawa, Akihiro; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Ito, Mizuki; Senda, Jo; Katsuno, Masahisa; Izumi, Yuishin; Morita, Mitsuya; Tomiyama, Hiroyuki; Taniguchi, Akira; Aiba, Ikuko; Abe, Koji; Mizoguchi, Kouichi; Oda, Masaya; Kano, Osamu; Okamoto, Koichi; Kuwabara, Satoshi; Hasegawa, Kazuko; Imai, Takashi; Aoki, Masashi; Tsuji, Shoji; Nakano, Imaharu; Kaji, Ryuji; Sobue, Gen

    2015-06-01

    Our objective was to elucidate the clinical factors affecting functional decline and survival in Japanese amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. We constructed a multicenter prospective ALS cohort that included 451 sporadic ALS patients in the analysis. We longitudinally utilized the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) as the functional scale, and determined the timing of introduction of a tracheostomy for positive-pressure ventilation and death. A joint modelling approach was employed to identify prognostic factors for functional decline and survival. Age at onset was a common prognostic factor for both functional decline and survival (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, respectively). Female gender (p = 0.019) and initial symptoms, including upper limb weakness (p = 0.010), lower limb weakness (p = 0.008) or bulbar symptoms (p = 0.005), were related to early functional decline, whereas neck weakness as an initial symptom (p = 0.018), non-use of riluzole (p = 0.030) and proximal dominant muscle weakness in the upper extremities (p = 0.01) were related to a shorter survival time. A decline in the ALSFRS-R score was correlated with a shortened survival time (p < 0.001). In conclusion, the factors affecting functional decline and survival in ALS were common in part but different to some extent. This difference has not been previously well recognized but is informative in clinical practice and for conducting trials.

  8. MT5-MMP, ADAM-10, and N-Cadherin Act in Concert To Facilitate Synapse Reorganization after Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Kelly M.; Reeves, Thomas M.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) influence synaptic recovery following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Membrane type 5-matrix metalloproteinase (MT5-MMP) and a distintegrin and metalloproteinase-10 (ADAM-10) are membrane-bound MMPs that cleave N-cadherin, a protein critical to synapse stabilization. This study examined protein and mRNA expression of MT5-MMP, ADAM-10, and N-cadherin after TBI, contrasting adaptive and maladaptive synaptogenesis. The effect of MMP inhibition on MT5-MMP, ADAM-10, and N-cadherin was assessed during maladaptive plasticity and correlated with synaptic function. Rats were subjected to adaptive unilateral entorhinal cortical lesion (UEC) or maladaptive fluid percussion TBI+bilateral entorhinal cortical lesion (TBI+BEC). Hippocampal MT5-MMP and ADAM-10 protein was significantly elevated 2 and 7 days post-injury. At 15 days after UEC, each MMP returned to control level, while TBI+BEC ADAM-10 remained elevated. At 2 and 7 days, N-cadherin protein was below control. By the 15-day synapse stabilization phase, UEC N-cadherin rose above control, a shift not seen for TBI+BEC. At 7 days, increased TBI+BEC ADAM-10 transcript correlated with protein elevation. UEC ADAM-10 mRNA did not change, and no differences in MT5-MMP or N-cadherin mRNA were detected. Confocal imaging showed MT5-MMP, ADAM-10, and N-cadherin localization within reactive astrocytes. MMP inhibition attenuated ADAM-10 protein 15 days after TBI+BEC and increased N-cadherin. This inhibition partially restored long-term potentiation induction, but did not affect paired-pulse facilitation. Our results confirm time- and injury-dependent expression of MT5-MMP, ADAM-10, and N-cadherin during reactive synaptogenesis. Persistent ADAM-10 expression was correlated with attenuated N-cadherin level and reduced functional recovery. MMP inhibition shifted ADAM-10 and N-cadherin toward adaptive expression and improved synaptic function. PMID:22489706

  9. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  10. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  11. Small but Powerful: Top Predator Local Extinction Affects Ecosystem Structure and Function in an Intermittent Stream

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators’ extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a ‘mesopredator release’, affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to ‘mesopredator release’, and also to ‘prey release’ despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem’s structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers’ extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  12. Cadherins and catenins in dendrite and synapse morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Seong, Eunju; Yuan, Li; Arikkath, Jyothi

    2015-01-01

    Neurons are highly polarized specialized cells. Neuronal integrity and functional roles are critically dependent on dendritic architecture and synaptic structure, function and plasticity. The cadherins are glycosylated transmembrane proteins that form cell adhesion complexes in various tissues. They are associated with a group of cytosolic proteins, the catenins. While the functional roles of the complex have been extensively investigates in non-neuronal cells, it is becoming increasingly clear that components of the complex have critical roles in regulating dendritic and synaptic architecture, function and plasticity in neurons. Consistent with these functional roles, aberrations in components of the complex have been implicated in a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we discuss the roles of the classical cadherins and catenins in various aspects of dendrite and synapse architecture and function and their relevance to human neurological disorders. Cadherins are glycosylated transmembrane proteins that were initially identified as Ca2+-dependent cell adhesion molecules. They are present on plasma membrane of a variety of cell types from primitive metazoans to humans. In the past several years, it has become clear that in addition to providing mechanical adhesion between cells, cadherins play integral roles in tissue morphogenesis and homeostasis. The cadherin family is composed of more than 100 members and classified into several subfamilies, including classical cadherins and protocadherins. Several of these cadherin family members have been implicated in various aspects of neuronal development and function.1-3 The classical cadherins are associated with a group of cytosolic proteins, collectively called the catenins. While the functional roles of the cadherin-catenin cell adhesion complex have been extensively investigated in epithelial cells, it is now clear that components of the complex are well expressed in central neurons at different

  13. Spin switches for compact implementation of neuron and synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quang Diep, Vinh; Sutton, Brian; Behin-Aein, Behtash; Datta, Supriyo

    2014-06-01

    Nanomagnets driven by spin currents provide a natural implementation for a neuron and a synapse: currents allow convenient summation of multiple inputs, while the magnet provides the threshold function. The objective of this paper is to explore the possibility of a hardware neural network implementation using a spin switch (SS) as its basic building block. SS is a recently proposed device based on established technology with a transistor-like gain and input-output isolation. This allows neural networks to be constructed with purely passive interconnections without intervening clocks or amplifiers. The weights for the neural network are conveniently adjusted through analog voltages that can be stored in a non-volatile manner in an underlying CMOS layer using a floating gate low dropout voltage regulator. The operation of a multi-layer SS neural network designed for character recognition is demonstrated using a standard simulation model based on coupled Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equations, one for each magnet in the network.

  14. Spin switches for compact implementation of neuron and synapse

    SciTech Connect

    Quang Diep, Vinh Sutton, Brian; Datta, Supriyo; Behin-Aein, Behtash

    2014-06-02

    Nanomagnets driven by spin currents provide a natural implementation for a neuron and a synapse: currents allow convenient summation of multiple inputs, while the magnet provides the threshold function. The objective of this paper is to explore the possibility of a hardware neural network implementation using a spin switch (SS) as its basic building block. SS is a recently proposed device based on established technology with a transistor-like gain and input-output isolation. This allows neural networks to be constructed with purely passive interconnections without intervening clocks or amplifiers. The weights for the neural network are conveniently adjusted through analog voltages that can be stored in a non-volatile manner in an underlying CMOS layer using a floating gate low dropout voltage regulator. The operation of a multi-layer SS neural network designed for character recognition is demonstrated using a standard simulation model based on coupled Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equations, one for each magnet in the network.

  15. Translational control at the synapse: role of RNA regulators

    PubMed Central

    Iacoangeli, Anna; Tiedge, Henri

    2012-01-01

    Translational control of gene expression is instrumental in the regulation of eukaryotic cellular form and function. Neurons in particular rely on this form of control as their numerous synaptic connections need to be independently modulated in an input-specific manner. Brain cytoplasmic (BC) RNAs implement translational control at neuronal synapses. BC RNAs regulate protein synthesis by interacting with eIF4 translation initiation factors. Recent evidence suggests that such regulation is required to control synaptic strength, and that dysregulation of local protein synthesis precipitates neuronal hyperexcitability and a propensity for epileptogenic responses. A similar phenotype results from lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), indicating that BC RNAs and FMRP use overlapping and convergent modes of action in neuronal translational regulation. PMID:23218750

  16. Block of transmitter release by botulinum C1 action on syntaxin at the squid giant synapse.

    PubMed

    Marsal, J; Ruiz-Montasell, B; Blasi, J; Moreira, J E; Contreras, D; Sugimori, M; Llinás, R

    1997-12-23

    Electrophysiological, morphological, and biochemical approaches were combined to study the effect of the presynaptic injection of the light chain of botulinum toxin C1 into the squid giant synapse. Presynaptic injection was accompanied by synaptic block that occurred progressively as the toxin filled the presynaptic terminal. Neither the presynaptic action potential nor the Ca2+ currents in the presynaptic terminal were affected by the toxin. Biochemical analysis of syntaxin moiety in squid indicates that the light chain of botulinum toxin C1 lyses syntaxin in vitro, suggesting that this was the mechanism responsible for synaptic block. Ultrastructure of the injected synapses demonstrates an enormous increase in the number of presynaptic vesicles, suggesting that the release rather than the docking of vesicles is affected by biochemical lysing of the syntaxin molecule.

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  18. The specific α-neurexin interactor calsyntenin-3 promotes excitatory and inhibitory synapse development.

    PubMed

    Pettem, Katherine L; Yokomaku, Daisaku; Luo, Lin; Linhoff, Michael W; Prasad, Tuhina; Connor, Steven A; Siddiqui, Tabrez J; Kawabe, Hiroshi; Chen, Fang; Zhang, Ling; Rudenko, Gabby; Wang, Yu Tian; Brose, Nils; Craig, Ann Marie

    2013-10-01

    Perturbations of cell surface synapse-organizing proteins, particularly α-neurexins, contribute to neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. From an unbiased screen, we identify calsyntenin-3 (alcadein-β) as a synapse-organizing protein unique in binding and recruiting α-neurexins, but not β-neurexins. Calsyntenin-3 is present in many pyramidal neurons throughout cortex and hippocampus but is most highly expressed in interneurons. The transmembrane form of calsyntenin-3 can trigger excitatory and inhibitory presynapse differentiation in contacting axons. However, calsyntenin-3-shed ectodomain, which represents about half the calsyntenin-3 pool in brain, suppresses the ability of multiple α-neurexin partners including neuroligin 2 and LRRTM2 to induce presynapse differentiation. Clstn3⁻/⁻ mice show reductions in excitatory and inhibitory synapse density by confocal and electron microscopy and corresponding deficits in synaptic transmission. These results identify calsyntenin-3 as an α-neurexin-specific binding partner required for normal functional GABAergic and glutamatergic synapse development.

  19. In vivo knockdown of Piccolino disrupts presynaptic ribbon morphology in mouse photoreceptor synapses

    PubMed Central

    Regus-Leidig, Hanna; Fuchs, Michaela; Löhner, Martina; Leist, Sarah R.; Leal-Ortiz, Sergio; Chiodo, Vince A.; Hauswirth, William W.; Garner, Craig C.; Brandstätter, Johann H.

    2014-01-01

    Piccolo is the largest known cytomatrix protein at active zones of chemical synapses. A growing number of studies on conventional chemical synapses assign Piccolo a role in the recruitment and integration of molecules relevant for both endo- and exocytosis of synaptic vesicles, the dynamic assembly of presynaptic F-actin, as well as the proteostasis of presynaptic proteins, yet a direct function in the structural organization of the active zone has not been uncovered in part due to the expression of multiple alternatively spliced isoforms. We recently identified Piccolino, a Piccolo splice variant specifically expressed in sensory ribbon synapses of the eye and ear. Here we down regulated Piccolino in vivo via an adeno-associated virus-based RNA interference approach and explored the impact on the presynaptic structure of mouse photoreceptor ribbon synapses. Detailed immunocytochemical light and electron microscopical analysis of Piccolino knockdown in photoreceptors revealed a hitherto undescribed photoreceptor ribbon synaptic phenotype with striking morphological changes of synaptic ribbon ultrastructure. PMID:25232303

  20. Short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation mimicked in single inorganic synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohno, Takeo; Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi; Tsuruoka, Tohru; Terabe, Kazuya; Gimzewski, James K.; Aono, Masakazu

    2011-08-01

    Memory is believed to occur in the human brain as a result of two types of synaptic plasticity: short-term plasticity (STP) and long-term potentiation (LTP; refs , , , ). In neuromorphic engineering, emulation of known neural behaviour has proven to be difficult to implement in software because of the highly complex interconnected nature of thought processes. Here we report the discovery of a Ag2S inorganic synapse, which emulates the synaptic functions of both STP and LTP characteristics through the use of input pulse repetition time. The structure known as an atomic switch, operating at critical voltages, stores information as STP with a spontaneous decay of conductance level in response to intermittent input stimuli, whereas frequent stimulation results in a transition to LTP. The Ag2S inorganic synapse has interesting characteristics with analogies to an individual biological synapse, and achieves dynamic memorization in a single device without the need of external preprogramming. A psychological model related to the process of memorizing and forgetting is also demonstrated using the inorganic synapses. Our Ag2S element indicates a breakthrough in mimicking synaptic behaviour essential for the further creation of artificial neural systems that emulate characteristics of human memory.

  1. Impaired development of hippocampal mossy fibre synapses in mouse mutants for the presynaptic scaffold protein Bassoon.

    PubMed

    Lanore, Frederic; Blanchet, Christophe; Fejtova, Anna; Pinheiro, Paulo; Richter, Karin; Balschun, Detlef; Gundelfinger, Eckart; Mulle, Christophe

    2010-06-15

    Bassoon, a protein highly concentrated at the synaptic active zone, is thought to participate in the organization of the cytomatrix at the site of neurotransmitter release. Bassoon is amongst the first proteins to accumulate at newly formed synaptic junctions, raising the question of the functional role of this protein in the early stages of synaptic development. Here we show that the course of synaptic maturation of hippocampal mossy fibre (MF) synapses (glutamatergic synapses with multiple release sites) is markedly altered during the first 2 weeks of postnatal development in mutant mice lacking the central region of Bassoon (Bsn(-/-) mice). At postnatal day 7 (P7), Bsn(-/-) mice display large amplitude MF-EPSCs with decreased paired pulse ratios, an abnormality which may be linked to deficits in the organization of the presynaptic active zone. Surprisingly, 1 week later, decreased MF-EPSCs amplitude is observed in Bsn(-/-) mice, consistent with the inactivation of a subset of synaptic release sites. Finally, at more mature states a decreased posttetanic potentiation is observed at MF-synapses. These results support the notion that Bassoon is important for organizing the presynaptic active zone during the postnatal maturation of glutamatergic synapses.

  2. Diacylglycerol kinase α establishes T cell polarity by shaping diacylglycerol accumulation at the immunological synapse.

    PubMed

    Chauveau, Anne; Le Floc'h, Audrey; Bantilan, Niels S; Koretzky, Gary A; Huse, Morgan

    2014-08-26

    Polarization of the T cell microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) to the immunological synapse between the T cell and an antigen-presenting cell (APC) maintains the specificity of T cell effector responses by enabling directional secretion toward the APC. The reorientation of the MTOC is guided by a sharp gradient of the second messenger diacylglycerol (DAG), which is centered at the immunological synapse. We used a single-cell photoactivation approach to demonstrate that diacylglycerol kinase α (DGK-α), which catalyzes the conversion of DAG to phosphatidic acid, determined T cell polarity by limiting the diffusion of DAG. DGK-α-deficient T cells exhibited enlarged accumulations of DAG at the immunological synapse, as well as impaired reorientation of the MTOC. In contrast, T cells lacking the related isoform DGK-ζ did not display polarization defects. We also found that DGK-α localized preferentially to the periphery of the immunological synapse, suggesting that it constrained the area over which DAG accumulated. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase activity was required for the peripheral localization pattern of DGK-α, which suggests a link between DAG and phosphatidylinositol signaling during T cell activation. These results reveal a previously unappreciated function of DGK-α and provide insight into the mechanisms that determine lymphocyte polarity.

  3. The complete synchronization of coupled Morris-Lecar neurons with chemical synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Guanping; Jin, Wuyin; Wang, An

    2016-05-01

    Based on the basic principles of stability theory and Lyapunov function, the condition of complete synchronization in coupled Morris-Lecar (ML) neuronal system with chemical synapses is studied in this work. The boundedness of the model solution is proved by analytical approach, the sufficient condition of the complete synchronization is proposed based on the quadratic of the constructed Lyapunov function and the result is verified by simulations.

  4. Independent origins of neurons and synapses: insights from ctenophores.

    PubMed

    Moroz, Leonid L; Kohn, Andrea B

    2016-01-01

    There is more than one way to develop neuronal complexity, and animals frequently use different molecular toolkits to achieve similar functional outcomes. Genomics and metabolomics data from basal metazoans suggest that neural signalling evolved independently in ctenophores and cnidarians/bilaterians. This polygenesis hypothesis explains the lack of pan-neuronal and pan-synaptic genes across metazoans, including remarkable examples of lineage-specific evolution of neurogenic and signalling molecules as well as synaptic components. Sponges and placozoans are two lineages without neural and muscular systems. The possibility of secondary loss of neurons and synapses in the Porifera/Placozoa clades is a highly unlikely and less parsimonious scenario. We conclude that acetylcholine, serotonin, histamine, dopamine, octopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were recruited as transmitters in the neural systems in cnidarian and bilaterian lineages. By contrast, ctenophores independently evolved numerous secretory peptides, indicating extensive adaptations within the clade and suggesting that early neural systems might be peptidergic. Comparative analysis of glutamate signalling also shows numerous lineage-specific innovations, implying the extensive use of this ubiquitous metabolite and intercellular messenger over the course of convergent and parallel evolution of mechanisms of intercellular communication. Therefore: (i) we view a neuron as a functional character but not a genetic character, and (ii) any given neural system cannot be considered as a single character because it is composed of different cell lineages with distinct genealogies, origins and evolutionary histories. Thus, when reconstructing the evolution of nervous systems, we ought to start with the identification of particular cell lineages by establishing distant neural homologies or examples of convergent evolution. In a corollary of the hypothesis of the independent origins of neurons, our analyses

  5. Independent origins of neurons and synapses: insights from ctenophores.

    PubMed

    Moroz, Leonid L; Kohn, Andrea B

    2016-01-01

    There is more than one way to develop neuronal complexity, and animals frequently use different molecular toolkits to achieve similar functional outcomes. Genomics and metabolomics data from basal metazoans suggest that neural signalling evolved independently in ctenophores and cnidarians/bilaterians. This polygenesis hypothesis explains the lack of pan-neuronal and pan-synaptic genes across metazoans, including remarkable examples of lineage-specific evolution of neurogenic and signalling molecules as well as synaptic components. Sponges and placozoans are two lineages without neural and muscular systems. The possibility of secondary loss of neurons and synapses in the Porifera/Placozoa clades is a highly unlikely and less parsimonious scenario. We conclude that acetylcholine, serotonin, histamine, dopamine, octopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were recruited as transmitters in the neural systems in cnidarian and bilaterian lineages. By contrast, ctenophores independently evolved numerous secretory peptides, indicating extensive adaptations within the clade and suggesting that early neural systems might be peptidergic. Comparative analysis of glutamate signalling also shows numerous lineage-specific innovations, implying the extensive use of this ubiquitous metabolite and intercellular messenger over the course of convergent and parallel evolution of mechanisms of intercellular communication. Therefore: (i) we view a neuron as a functional character but not a genetic character, and (ii) any given neural system cannot be considered as a single character because it is composed of different cell lineages with distinct genealogies, origins and evolutionary histories. Thus, when reconstructing the evolution of nervous systems, we ought to start with the identification of particular cell lineages by establishing distant neural homologies or examples of convergent evolution. In a corollary of the hypothesis of the independent origins of neurons, our analyses

  6. Independent origins of neurons and synapses: insights from ctenophores

    PubMed Central

    Moroz, Leonid L.; Kohn, Andrea B.

    2016-01-01

    There is more than one way to develop neuronal complexity, and animals frequently use different molecular toolkits to achieve similar functional outcomes. Genomics and metabolomics data from basal metazoans suggest that neural signalling evolved independently in ctenophores and cnidarians/bilaterians. This polygenesis hypothesis explains the lack of pan-neuronal and pan-synaptic genes across metazoans, including remarkable examples of lineage-specific evolution of neurogenic and signalling molecules as well as synaptic components. Sponges and placozoans are two lineages without neural and muscular systems. The possibility of secondary loss of neurons and synapses in the Porifera/Placozoa clades is a highly unlikely and less parsimonious scenario. We conclude that acetylcholine, serotonin, histamine, dopamine, octopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were recruited as transmitters in the neural systems in cnidarian and bilaterian lineages. By contrast, ctenophores independently evolved numerous secretory peptides, indicating extensive adaptations within the clade and suggesting that early neural systems might be peptidergic. Comparative analysis of glutamate signalling also shows numerous lineage-specific innovations, implying the extensive use of this ubiquitous metabolite and intercellular messenger over the course of convergent and parallel evolution of mechanisms of intercellular communication. Therefore: (i) we view a neuron as a functional character but not a genetic character, and (ii) any given neural system cannot be considered as a single character because it is composed of different cell lineages with distinct genealogies, origins and evolutionary histories. Thus, when reconstructing the evolution of nervous systems, we ought to start with the identification of particular cell lineages by establishing distant neural homologies or examples of convergent evolution. In a corollary of the hypothesis of the independent origins of neurons, our analyses

  7. Control of synapse development and plasticity by Rho GTPase regulatory proteins

    PubMed Central

    Tolias, Kimberley F.; Duman, Joseph G.; Um, Kyongmi

    2011-01-01

    Synapses are specialized cell-cell contacts that mediate communication between neurons. Most excitatory synapses in the brain are housed on dendritic spines, small actin-rich protrusions extending from dendrites. During development and in response to environmental stimuli, spines undergo marked changes in shape and number thought to underlie processes like learning and memory. Improper spine development, in contrast, likely impedes information processing in the brain, since spine abnormalities are associated with numerous brain disorders. Elucidating the mechanisms that regulate the formation and plasticity of spines and their resident synapses is therefore crucial to our understanding of cognition and disease. Rho-family GTPases, key regulators of the actin cytoskeleton, play essential roles in orchestrating the development and remodeling of spines and synapses. Precise spatio-temporal regulation of Rho GTPase activity is critical for their function, since aberrant Rho GTPase signaling can cause spine and synapse defects as well as cognitive impairments. Rho GTPases are activated by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and inhibited by GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs). We propose that Rho-family GEFs and GAPs provide the spatiotemporal regulation and signaling specificity necessary for proper Rho GTPase function based on the following features they possess: (i) existence of multiple GEFs and GAPs per Rho GTPase, (ii) developmentally regulated expression, (iii) discrete localization, (iv) ability to bind to and organize specific signaling networks, and (v) tightly regulated activity, perhaps involving GEF/GAP interactions. Recent studies describe several Rho-family GEFs and GAPs that uniquely contribute to spinogenesis and synaptogenesis. Here, we highlight several of these proteins and discuss how they occupy distinct biochemical niches critical for synaptic development. PMID:21530608

  8. A machine learning method for the prediction of receptor activation in the simulation of synapses.

    PubMed

    Montes, Jesus; Gomez, Elena; Merchán-Pérez, Angel; Defelipe, Javier; Peña, Jose-Maria

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission involves the release of a neurotransmitter that diffuses in the extracellular space and interacts with specific receptors located on the postsynaptic membrane. Computer simulation approaches provide fundamental tools for exploring various aspects of the synaptic transmission under different conditions. In particular, Monte Carlo methods can track the stochastic movements of neurotransmitter molecules and their interactions with other discrete molecules, the receptors. However, these methods are computationally expensive, even when used with simplified models, preventing their use in large-scale and multi-scale simulations of complex neuronal systems that may involve large numbers of synaptic connections. We have developed a machine-learning based method that can accurately predict relevant aspects of the behavior of synapses, such as the percentage of open synaptic receptors as a function of time since the release of the neurotransmitter, with considerably lower computational cost compared with the conventional Monte Carlo alternative. The method is designed to learn patterns and general principles from a corpus of previously generated Monte Carlo simulations of synapses covering a wide range of structural and functional characteristics. These patterns are later used as a predictive model of the behavior of synapses under different conditions without the need for additional computationally expensive Monte Carlo simulations. This is performed in five stages: data sampling, fold creation, machine learning, validation and curve fitting. The resulting procedure is accurate, automatic, and it is general enough to predict synapse behavior under experimental conditions that are different to the ones it has been trained on. Since our method efficiently reproduces the results that can be obtained with Monte Carlo simulations at a considerably lower computational cost, it is suitable for the simulation of high numbers of synapses and it is

  9. A Machine Learning Method for the Prediction of Receptor Activation in the Simulation of Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Montes, Jesus; Gomez, Elena; Merchán-Pérez, Angel; DeFelipe, Javier; Peña, Jose-Maria

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission involves the release of a neurotransmitter that diffuses in the extracellular space and interacts with specific receptors located on the postsynaptic membrane. Computer simulation approaches provide fundamental tools for exploring various aspects of the synaptic transmission under different conditions. In particular, Monte Carlo methods can track the stochastic movements of neurotransmitter molecules and their interactions with other discrete molecules, the receptors. However, these methods are computationally expensive, even when used with simplified models, preventing their use in large-scale and multi-scale simulations of complex neuronal systems that may involve large numbers of synaptic connections. We have developed a machine-learning based method that can accurately predict relevant aspects of the behavior of synapses, such as the percentage of open synaptic receptors as a function of time since the release of the neurotransmitter, with considerably lower computational cost compared with the conventional Monte Carlo alternative. The method is designed to learn patterns and general principles from a corpus of previously generated Monte Carlo simulations of synapses covering a wide range of structural and functional characteristics. These patterns are later used as a predictive model of the behavior of synapses under different conditions without the need for additional computationally expensive Monte Carlo simulations. This is performed in five stages: data sampling, fold creation, machine learning, validation and curve fitting. The resulting procedure is accurate, automatic, and it is general enough to predict synapse behavior under experimental conditions that are different to the ones it has been trained on. Since our method efficiently reproduces the results that can be obtained with Monte Carlo simulations at a considerably lower computational cost, it is suitable for the simulation of high numbers of synapses and it is

  10. Epileptiform stimulus increases Homer 1a expression to modulate synapse number and activity in hippocampal cultures

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yan; Popko, Jonathan; Krogh, Kelly A.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons adapt to seizure activity structurally and functionally to attenuate hyperactive neural circuits. Homer proteins provide a scaffold in the postsynaptic density (PSD) by binding to ligands through an EVH1 domain and to other Homer proteins by a coiled-coil domain. The short Homer isoform 1a (H1a) has a ligand-binding domain but lacks a coiled-coil domain and thus acts in a dominant-negative manner to uncouple Homer scaffolds. Here, we show that treating rat hippocampal cultures with bicuculline and 4-aminopyridine (Bic+4-AP) evoked epileptiform activity and synchronized Ca2+ spiking, measured with whole cell current-clamp and fura-2-based digital imaging; Bic+4-AP increased H1a mRNA through the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5). Treatment with Bic+4-AP for 4 h attenuated burst firing and induced synapse loss. Synaptic changes were measured using a confocal imaging-based assay that quantified clusters of PSD-95 fused to green fluorescent protein. Treatment with an mGluR5 antagonist blocked H1a expression, synapse loss, and burst attenuation. Overexpression of H1a inhibited burst firing similar to Bic+4-AP treatment. Furthermore, knockdown of H1a using a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) strategy reduced synapse loss and burst attenuation induced by Bic+4-AP treatment. Thus an epileptiform stimulus applied to hippocampal neurons in culture induced burst firing and H1a expression through the activation of mGluR5; a 4-h exposure to this stimulus resulted in synapse loss and burst attenuation. These results suggest that H1a expression functions in a negative-feedback manner to reduce network excitability by regulating the number of synapses. PMID:23274309

  11. Back-propagation operation for analog neural network hardware with synapse components having hysteresis characteristics.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Michihito; Nishitani, Yu; Kaneko, Yukihiro; Omote, Atsushi

    2014-01-01

    To realize an analog artificial neural network hardware, the circuit element for synapse function is important because the number of synapse elements is much larger than that of neuron elements. One of the candidates for this synapse element is a ferroelectric memristor. This device functions as a voltage controllable variable resistor, which can be applied to a synapse weight. However, its conductance shows hysteresis characteristics and dispersion to the input voltage. Therefore, the conductance values vary according to the history of the height and the width of the applied pulse voltage. Due to the difficulty of controlling the accurate conductance, it is not easy to apply the back-propagation learning algorithm to the neural network hardware having memristor synapses. To solve this problem, we proposed and simulated a learning operation procedure as follows. Employing a weight perturbation technique, we derived the error change. When the error reduced, the next pulse voltage was updated according to the back-propagation learning algorithm. If the error increased the amplitude of the next voltage pulse was set in such way as to cause similar memristor conductance but in the opposite voltage scanning direction. By this operation, we could eliminate the hysteresis and confirmed that the simulation of the learning operation converged. We also adopted conductance dispersion numerically in the simulation. We examined the probability that the error decreased to a designated value within a predetermined loop number. The ferroelectric has the characteristics that the magnitude of polarization does not become smaller when voltages having the same polarity are applied. These characteristics greatly improved the probability even if the learning rate was small, if the magnitude of the dispersion is adequate. Because the dispersion of analog circuit elements is inevitable, this learning operation procedure is useful for analog neural network hardware. PMID:25393715

  12. Shank–cortactin interactions control actin dynamics to maintain flexibility of neuronal spines and synapses

    PubMed Central

    MacGillavry, Harold D.; Kerr, Justin M.; Kassner, Josh; Frost, Nicholas A.; Blanpied, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    The family of Shank scaffolding molecules (comprising Shank1, 2 and 3) are core components of the postsynaptic density (PSD) in neuronal synapses. Shanks link surface receptors to other scaffolding molecules within the PSD, as well as to the actin cytoskeleton. However, determining the function of Shank proteins in neurons has been complicated because the different Shank isoforms share a very high degree of sequence and domain homology. Therefore, to control Shank content while minimizing potential compensatory effects, a miRNA-based knockdown strategy was developed to reduce the expression of all synaptically targeted Shank isoforms simultaneously in rat hippocampal neurons. Using this approach, a strong (>75%) reduction in total Shank protein levels was achieved at individual dendritic spines, prompting an approximately 40% decrease in mushroom spine density. Furthermore, Shank knockdown reduced spine actin levels and increased sensitivity to the actin depolymerizing agent Latrunculin A. A SHANK2 mutant lacking the proline-rich cortactin-binding motif (SHANK2-ΔPRO) was unable to rescue these defects. Furthermore, Shank knockdown reduced cortactin levels in spines and increased the mobility of spine cortactin as measured by single-molecule tracking photoactivated localization microscopy, suggesting that Shank proteins recruit and stabilize cortactin at the synapse. Furthermore, it was found that Shank knockdown significantly reduced spontaneous remodelling of synapse morphology that could not be rescued by the SHANK2-ΔPRO mutant. It was concluded that Shank proteins are key intermediates between the synapse and the spine interior that, via cortactin, permit the actin cytoskeleton to dynamically regulate synapse morphology and function. PMID:26547831

  13. A machine learning method for the prediction of receptor activation in the simulation of synapses.

    PubMed

    Montes, Jesus; Gomez, Elena; Merchán-Pérez, Angel; Defelipe, Javier; Peña, Jose-Maria

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission involves the release of a neurotransmitter that diffuses in the extracellular space and interacts with specific receptors located on the postsynaptic membrane. Computer simulation approaches provide fundamental tools for exploring various aspects of the synaptic transmission under different conditions. In particular, Monte Carlo methods can track the stochastic movements of neurotransmitter molecules and their interactions with other discrete molecules, the receptors. However, these methods are computationally expensive, even when used with simplified models, preventing their use in large-scale and multi-scale simulations of complex neuronal systems that may involve large numbers of synaptic connections. We have developed a machine-learning based method that can accurately predict relevant aspects of the behavior of synapses, such as the percentage of open synaptic receptors as a function of time since the release of the neurotransmitter, with considerably lower computational cost compared with the conventional Monte Carlo alternative. The method is designed to learn patterns and general principles from a corpus of previously generated Monte Carlo simulations of synapses covering a wide range of structural and functional characteristics. These patterns are later used as a predictive model of the behavior of synapses under different conditions without the need for additional computationally expensive Monte Carlo simulations. This is performed in five stages: data sampling, fold creation, machine learning, validation and curve fitting. The resulting procedure is accurate, automatic, and it is general enough to predict synapse behavior under experimental conditions that are different to the ones it has been trained on. Since our method efficiently reproduces the results that can be obtained with Monte Carlo simulations at a considerably lower computational cost, it is suitable for the simulation of high numbers of synapses and it is

  14. Human Immunodeficiency Virus Protein Tat Induces Synapse Loss via a Reversible Process that is Distinct from Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hee Jung; Martemyanov, Kirill A.; Thayer, Stanley A.

    2008-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection of the CNS produces changes in dendritic morphology that correlate with cognitive decline in patients with HIV-1 associated dementia (HAD). Here we investigated the effects of HIV-1 transactivator of transcription (Tat), a protein released by virus-infected cells, on synapses between hippocampal neurons using an imaging-based assay that quantified clusters of the scaffolding protein postsynaptic density 95 fused to green fluorescent protein (PSD95-GFP). Tat (24 h) decreased the number of PSD95-GFP puncta by 50±7 %. The decrease was concentration-dependent (EC50=6±2 ng/ml) and preceded cell death. Tat acted via the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) because the specific LRP blocker, receptor associated protein (RAP), prevented the Tat-induced decrease in the number of PSD95-GFP puncta. Ca2+ influx through the NMDA receptor was necessary for Tat-induced synapse loss. Expression of an ubiquitin ligase inhibitor protected synapses, implicating the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. In contrast to synapse loss, Tat induced cell death (48 h) required activation of nitric oxide synthase. The ubiquitin ligase-inhibitor nutlin-3 prevented synapse loss, but not cell death induced by Tat. Thus, the pathways diverged, consistent with the hypothesis that synapse loss is a mechanism to reduce excess excitatory input rather than a symptom of the neuron’s demise. Furthermore, application of RAP to cultures treated with Tat for 16 hrs reversed synapse loss. These results suggest that the impaired network function and decreased neuronal survival produced by Tat involve distinct mechanisms and that pharmacologic targets, such as LRP, might prove useful in restoring function in HAD patients. PMID:19036954

  15. Mechanism of Oxidative Stress and Synapse Dysfunction in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease: Understanding the Therapeutics Strategies.

    PubMed

    Kamat, Pradip K; Kalani, Anuradha; Rai, Shivika; Swarnkar, Supriya; Tota, Santoshkumar; Nath, Chandishwar; Tyagi, Neetu

    2016-01-01

    Synapses are formed by interneuronal connections that permit a neuronal cell to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell. This passage usually gets damaged or lost in most of the neurodegenerative diseases. It is widely believed that the synaptic dysfunction and synapse loss contribute to the cognitive deficits in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although pathological hallmarks of AD are senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and neuronal degeneration which are associated with increased oxidative stress, synaptic loss is an early event in the pathogenesis of AD. The involvement of major kinases such as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), extracellular receptor kinase (ERK), calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMKII), glycogen synthase-3β (GSK-3β), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), and calcineurin is dynamically associated with oxidative stress-mediated abnormal hyperphosphorylation of tau and suggests that alteration of these kinases could exclusively be involved in the pathogenesis of AD. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR) activation and beta amyloid (Aβ) toxicity alter the synapse function, which is also associated with protein phosphatase (PP) inhibition and tau hyperphosphorylation (two main events of AD). However, the involvement of oxidative stress in synapse dysfunction is poorly understood. Oxidative stress and free radical generation in the brain along with excitotoxicity leads to neuronal cell death. It is inferred from several studies that excitotoxicity, free radical generation, and altered synaptic function encouraged by oxidative stress are associated with AD pathology. NMDARs maintain neuronal excitability, Ca(2+) influx, and memory formation through mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. Recently, we have reported the mechanism of the synapse redox stress associated with NMDARs altered expression. We suggest that oxidative stress mediated through NMDAR and their interaction with other molecules might

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

  19. Differential changes in thalamic and cortical excitatory synapses onto striatal spiny projection neurons in a Huntington disease mouse model.

    PubMed

    Kolodziejczyk, Karolina; Raymond, Lynn A

    2016-02-01

    Huntington disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder caused by CAG repeat expansion in the gene encoding huntingtin, predominantly affects the striatum, especially the spiny projection neurons (SPN). The striatum receives excitatory input from cortex and thalamus, and the role of the former has been well-studied in HD. Here, we report that mutated huntingtin alters function of thalamostriatal connections. We used a novel thalamostriatal (T-S) coculture and an established corticostriatal (C-S) coculture, generated from YAC128 HD and WT (FVB/NJ background strain) mice, to investigate excitatory neurotransmission onto striatal SPN. SPN in T-S coculture from WT mice showed similar mini-excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency and amplitude as in C-S coculture; however, both the frequency and amplitude were significantly reduced in YAC128 T-S coculture. Further investigation in T-S coculture showed similar excitatory synapse density in WT and YAC128 SPN dendrites by immunostaining, suggesting changes in total dendritic length or probability of release as possible explanations for mEPSC frequency changes. Synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) current was similar, but extrasynaptic current, associated with cell death signaling, was enhanced in YAC128 SPN in T-S coculture. Employing optical stimulation of cortical versus thalamic afferents and recording from striatal SPN in brain slice, we found increased glutamate release probability and reduced AMPAR/NMDAR current ratios in thalamostriatal synapses, most prominently in YAC128. Enhanced extrasynaptic NMDAR current in YAC128 SPN was apparent with both cortical and thalamic stimulation. We conclude that thalamic afferents to the striatum are affected early, prior to an overt HD phenotype; however, changes in NMDAR localization in SPN are independent of the source of glutamatergic input.

  20. BC1-FMRP interaction is modulated by 2′-O-methylation: RNA-binding activity of the tudor domain and translational regulation at synapses

    PubMed Central

    Lacoux, Caroline; Di Marino, Daniele; Pilo Boyl, Pietro; Zalfa, Francesca; Yan, Bing; Ciotti, Maria Teresa; Falconi, Mattia; Urlaub, Henning; Achsel, Tilmann; Mougin, Annie; Caizergues-Ferrer, Michèle; Bagni, Claudia

    2012-01-01

    The brain cytoplasmic RNA, BC1, is a small non-coding RNA that is found in different RNP particles, some of which are involved in translational control. One component of BC1-containing RNP complexes is the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) that is implicated in translational repression. Peptide mapping and computational simulations show that the tudor domain of FMRP makes specific contacts to BC1 RNA. Endogenous BC1 RNA is 2′-O-methylated in nucleotides that contact the FMRP interface, and methylation can affect this interaction. In the cell body BC1 2′-O-methylations are present in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm, but they are virtually absent at synapses where the FMRP–BC1–mRNA complex exerts its function. These results strongly suggest that subcellular region-specific modifications of BC1 affect the binding to FMRP and the interaction with its mRNA targets. We finally show that BC1 RNA has an important role in translation of certain mRNAs associated to FMRP. All together these findings provide further insights into the translational regulation by the FMRP–BC1 complex at synapses. PMID:22238374

  1. Social-adaptive and psychological functioning of patients affected by Fabry disease.

    PubMed

    Laney, Dawn Alyssia; Gruskin, Daniel J; Fernhoff, Paul M; Cubells, Joseph F; Ousley, Opal Y; Hipp, Heather; Mehta, Ami J

    2010-12-01

    Fabry disease (FD) is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficiency of alpha-galactosidase A. In addition to the debilitating physical symptoms of FD, there are also under-recognized and poorly characterized psychiatric features. As a first step toward characterizing psychiatric features of FD, we administered the Achenbach adult self report questionnaire to 30 FD patients and the Achenbach adult behavior checklist questionnaire to 28 partners/parents/friends of FD patients. Data from at least one of the questionnaires were available on 33 subjects. Analysis focused on social-adaptive functioning in various aspects of daily life and on criteria related to the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders IV (DSM-IV). Adaptive functioning scale values, which primarily measure social and relationship functioning and occupational success, showed that eight FD patients (six female and two male) had mean adaptive functioning deficits as compared to population norms. Greater rates of depression (P < 0.01), anxiety (P = 0.05), depression and anxiety (P = 0.03), antisocial personality (P < 0.001), attention-deficit/hyperactivity (AD/H; P < 0.01), hyperactivity-impulsivity (P < 0.01), and aggressive behavior (P = 0.03) were associated with poorer adaptive functioning. Decreased social-adaptive functioning in this study was not statistically significantly associated to disease severity, pain, or level of vitality. This study shows for the first time that FD patients, particularly women, are affected by decreased social-adaptive functioning. Comprehensive treatment plans for FD should consider assessments and interventions to evaluate and improve social, occupational, and psychological functioning. Attention to the behavioral aspects of FD could lead to improved treatment outcome and improved quality of life. Individuals affected by Fabry disease exhibited social-adaptive functioning deficits that were significantly correlated with anxiety

  2. Not committing barbarisms: Sherrington and the synapse, 1897.

    PubMed

    Tansey, E M

    1997-01-01

    The word synapse first appeared in 1897, in the seventh edition of Michael Foster's Textbook of Physiology. Foster was assisted in writing the volume on the nervous system by Charles Sherrington, who can be credited with developing and advocating the physiological concept of a synapse. The word itself however, was derived by a Cambridge classicist, Arthur Verrall.

  3. Inhibitory synapses in the developing auditory system are glutamatergic.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Deda C; Kim, Gunsoo; Kandler, Karl

    2005-03-01

    Activity-dependent synapse refinement is crucial for the formation of precise excitatory and inhibitory neuronal circuits. Whereas the mechanisms that guide refinement of excitatory circuits are becoming increasingly clear, the mechanisms guiding inhibitory circuits have remained obscure. In the lateral superior olive (LSO), a nucleus in the mammalian sound localization system that receives inhibitory input from the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB), specific elimination and strengthening of synapses that are both GABAergic and glycinergic (GABA/glycinergic synapses) is essential for the formation of a precise tonotopic map. We provide evidence that immature GABA/glycinergic synapses in the rat LSO also release the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, which activates postsynaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Immunohistochemical studies demonstrate synaptic colocalization of the vesicular glutamate transporter 3 with the vesicular GABA transporter, indicating that GABA, glycine and glutamate are released from single MNTB terminals. Glutamatergic transmission at MNTB-LSO synapses is most prominent during the period of synapse elimination. Synapse-specific activation of NMDARs by glutamate release at GABAergic and glycinergic synapses could be important in activity-dependent refinement of inhibitory circuits.

  4. Changes in rat hippocampal CA1 synapses following imipramine treatment.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fenghua; Madsen, Torsten M; Wegener, Gregers; Nyengaard, Jens R

    2008-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity in hippocampus is hypothesized to play an important role in both the pathophysiology of depressive disorders and the treatment. In this study, we investigated the consequences of imipramine treatment on neuroplasticity (including neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, and remodelling of synapses) in subregions of the hippocampus by quantifying number of neurons and synapses. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with imipramine or saline (i.p.) daily for 14 days. Unbiased stereological methods were used to quantify the number of neurons and synapses. No differences in the volume and number of neurons of hippocampal subregions following imipramine treatment were found. However, the number and percentage of CA1 asymmetric spine synapses increased significantly and, conversely, the percentage of asymmetric shaft synapses significantly decreased in the imipramine treated group. Our results indicate that administration of imipramine for 14 days in normal rats could significantly increase the excitatory spine synapses, and change the relative distribution of spine and shaft synapses. We speculate that the present findings may be explained by the establishment of new synaptic connections and by remodelling or transformation of existing synapses.

  5. Cognitive Function in Adolescent Patients with Anorexia Nervosa and Unipolar Affective Disorders.

    PubMed

    Sarrar, Lea; Holzhausen, Martin; Warschburger, Petra; Pfeiffer, Ernst; Lehmkuhl, Ulrike; Schneider, Nora

    2016-05-01

    Studies have shown impairments in cognitive function among adult patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and affective disorders (AD). The association between cognitive dysfunctions, AN and AD as well as the specificity for these psychiatric diagnoses remains unclear. Therefore, we examined cognitive flexibility and processing speed in 47 female adolescent patients with AN, 21 female adolescent patients with unipolar affective disorders and 48 female healthy adolescents. All participants completed a neuropsychological test battery. There were no significant group differences regarding cognitive function, except for psychomotor processing speed with poorer performance in patients with AN. A further analysis revealed that all groups performed with the normal range, although patients with AN were over represented in the poorest performing quartile. We found no severe cognitive impairments in either patient group. Nevertheless, belonging to the AN group contributed significantly to poor performances in neuropsychological tasks. Therefore, we conclude that the risk for cognitive impairments is slightly higher for patients with AN.

  6. The relationship between sleep-wake cycle and cognitive functioning in young people with affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Joanne S; Robillard, Rébecca; Lee, Rico S C; Hermens, Daniel F; Naismith, Sharon L; White, Django; Whitwell, Bradley; Scott, Elizabeth M; Hickie, Ian B

    2015-01-01

    Although early-stage affective disorders are associated with both cognitive dysfunction and sleep-wake disruptions, relationships between these factors have not been specifically examined in young adults. Sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances in those with affective disorders are considerably heterogeneous, and may not relate to cognitive dysfunction in a simple linear fashion. This study aimed to characterise profiles of sleep and circadian disturbance in young people with affective disorders and examine associations between these profiles and cognitive performance. Actigraphy monitoring was completed in 152 young people (16-30 years; 66% female) with primary diagnoses of affective disorders, and 69 healthy controls (18-30 years; 57% female). Patients also underwent detailed neuropsychological assessment. Actigraphy data were processed to estimate both sleep and circadian parameters. Overall neuropsychological performance in patients was poor on tasks relating to mental flexibility and visual memory. Two hierarchical cluster analyses identified three distinct patient groups based on sleep variables and three based on circadian variables. Sleep clusters included a 'long sleep' cluster, a 'disrupted sleep' cluster, and a 'delayed and disrupted sleep' cluster. Circadian clusters included a 'strong circadian' cluster, a 'weak circadian' cluster, and a 'delayed circadian' cluster. Medication use differed between clusters. The 'long sleep' cluster displayed significantly worse visual memory performance compared to the 'disrupted sleep' cluster. No other cognitive functions differed between clusters. These results highlight the heterogeneity of sleep and circadian profiles in young people with affective disorders, and provide preliminary evidence in support of a relationship between sleep and visual memory, which may be mediated by use of antipsychotic medication. These findings have implications for the personalisation of treatments and improvement of functioning in

  7. The relationship between sleep-wake cycle and cognitive functioning in young people with affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Joanne S; Robillard, Rébecca; Lee, Rico S C; Hermens, Daniel F; Naismith, Sharon L; White, Django; Whitwell, Bradley; Scott, Elizabeth M; Hickie, Ian B

    2015-01-01

    Although early-stage affective disorders are associated with both cognitive dysfunction and sleep-wake disruptions, relationships between these factors have not been specifically examined in young adults. Sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances in those with affective disorders are considerably heterogeneous, and may not relate to cognitive dysfunction in a simple linear fashion. This study aimed to characterise profiles of sleep and circadian disturbance in young people with affective disorders and examine associations between these profiles and cognitive performance. Actigraphy monitoring was completed in 152 young people (16-30 years; 66% female) with primary diagnoses of affective disorders, and 69 healthy controls (18-30 years; 57% female). Patients also underwent detailed neuropsychological assessment. Actigraphy data were processed to estimate both sleep and circadian parameters. Overall neuropsychological performance in patients was poor on tasks relating to mental flexibility and visual memory. Two hierarchical cluster analyses identified three distinct patient groups based on sleep variables and three based on circadian variables. Sleep clusters included a 'long sleep' cluster, a 'disrupted sleep' cluster, and a 'delayed and disrupted sleep' cluster. Circadian clusters included a 'strong circadian' cluster, a 'weak circadian' cluster, and a 'delayed circadian' cluster. Medication use differed between clusters. The 'long sleep' cluster displayed significantly worse visual memory performance compared to the 'disrupted sleep' cluster. No other cognitive functions differed between clusters. These results highlight the heterogeneity of sleep and circadian profiles in young people with affective disorders, and provide preliminary evidence in support of a relationship between sleep and visual memory, which may be mediated by use of antipsychotic medication. These findings have implications for the personalisation of treatments and improvement of functioning in

  8. Intermediate Filaments as Organizers of Cellular Space: How They Affect Mitochondrial Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Nicole; Leube, Rudolf E.

    2016-01-01

    Intermediate filaments together with actin filaments and microtubules form the cytoskeleton, which is a complex and highly dynamic 3D network. Intermediate filaments are the major mechanical stress protectors but also affect cell growth, differentiation, signal transduction, and migration. Using intermediate filament-mitochondrial crosstalk as a prominent example, this review emphasizes the importance of intermediate filaments as crucial organizers of cytoplasmic space to support these functions. We summarize observations in different mammalian cell types which demonstrate how intermediate filaments influence mitochondrial morphology, subcellular localization, and function through direct and indirect interactions and how perturbations of these interactions may lead to human diseases. PMID:27399781

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

    PubMed

    Paul, Evan D; Lowry, Christopher A

    2013-12-01

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

  10. Facilitation at single synapses probed with optical quantal analysis.

    PubMed

    Oertner, Thomas G; Sabatini, Bernardo L; Nimchinsky, Esther A; Svoboda, Karel

    2002-07-01

    Many synapses can change their strength rapidly in a use-dependent manner, but the mechanisms of such short-term plasticity remain unknown. To understand these mechanisms, measurements of neurotransmitter release at single synapses are required. We probed transmitter release by imaging transient increases in [Ca(2+)] mediated by synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) in individual dendritic spines of CA1 pyramidal neurons in rat brain slices, enabling quantal analysis at single synapses. We found that changes in release probability, produced by paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) or by manipulation of presynaptic adenosine receptors, were associated with changes in glutamate concentration in the synaptic cleft, indicating that single synapses can release a variable amount of glutamate per action potential. The relationship between release probability and response size is consistent with a binomial model of vesicle release with several (>5) independent release sites per active zone, suggesting that multivesicular release contributes to facilitation at these synapses.

  11. Direct imaging of lateral movements of AMPA receptors inside synapses.

    PubMed

    Tardin, Catherine; Cognet, Laurent; Bats, Cécile; Lounis, Brahim; Choquet, Daniel

    2003-09-15

    Trafficking of AMPA receptors in and out of synapses is crucial for synaptic plasticity. Previous studies have focused on the role of endo/exocytosis processes or that of lateral diffusion of extra-synaptic receptors. We have now directly imaged AMPAR movements inside and outside synapses of live neurons using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Inside individual synapses, we found immobile and mobile receptors, which display restricted diffusion. Extra-synaptic receptors display free diffusion. Receptors could also exchange between these membrane compartments through lateral diffusion. Glutamate application increased both receptor mobility inside synapses and the fraction of mobile receptors present in a juxtasynaptic region. Block of inhibitory transmission to favor excitatory synaptic activity induced a transient increase in the fraction of mobile receptors and a decrease in the proportion of juxtasynaptic receptors. Altogether, our data show that rapid exchange of receptors between a synaptic and extra-synaptic localization occurs through regulation of receptor diffusion inside synapses. PMID:12970178

  12. SALM4 suppresses excitatory synapse development by cis-inhibiting trans-synaptic SALM3–LAR adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Lie, Eunkyung; Ko, Ji Seung; Choi, Su-Yeon; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Cho, Yi Sul; Noh, Ran; Kim, Doyoun; Li, Yan; Kang, Hyeyeon; Choi, Tae-Yong; Nam, Jungyong; Mah, Won; Lee, Dongmin; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Kim, Ho Min; Kim, Hyun; Choi, Se-Young; Um, Ji Won; Kang, Myoung-Goo; Bae, Yong Chul; Ko, Jaewon; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate various aspects of synapse development, function and plasticity. These functions mainly involve trans-synaptic interactions and positive regulations, whereas cis-interactions and negative regulation are less understood. Here we report that SALM4, a member of the SALM/Lrfn family of synaptic adhesion molecules, suppresses excitatory synapse development through cis inhibition of SALM3, another SALM family protein with synaptogenic activity. Salm4-mutant (Salm4−/−) mice show increased excitatory synapse numbers in the hippocampus. SALM4 cis-interacts with SALM3, inhibits trans-synaptic SALM3 interaction with presynaptic LAR family receptor tyrosine phosphatases and suppresses SALM3-dependent presynaptic differentiation. Importantly, deletion of Salm3 in Salm4−/− mice (Salm3−/−; Salm4−/−) normalizes the increased excitatory synapse number. These results suggest that SALM4 negatively regulates excitatory synapses via cis inhibition of the trans-synaptic SALM3–LAR adhesion. PMID:27480238

  13. The intellectual disability gene Kirrel3 regulates target-specific mossy fiber synapse development in the hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Martin, E Anne; Muralidhar, Shruti; Wang, Zhirong; Cervantes, Diégo Cordero; Basu, Raunak; Taylor, Matthew R; Hunter, Jennifer; Cutforth, Tyler; Wilke, Scott A; Ghosh, Anirvan; Williams, Megan E

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic target specificity, whereby neurons make distinct types of synapses with different target cells, is critical for brain function, yet the mechanisms driving it are poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrate Kirrel3 regulates target-specific synapse formation at hippocampal mossy fiber (MF) synapses, which connect dentate granule (DG) neurons to both CA3 and GABAergic neurons. Here, we show Kirrel3 is required for formation of MF filopodia; the structures that give rise to DG-GABA synapses and that regulate feed-forward inhibition of CA3 neurons. Consequently, loss of Kirrel3 robustly increases CA3 neuron activity in developing mice. Alterations in the Kirrel3 gene are repeatedly associated with intellectual disabilities, but the role of Kirrel3 at synapses remained largely unknown. Our findings demonstrate that subtle synaptic changes during development impact circuit function and provide the first insight toward understanding the cellular basis of Kirrel3-dependent neurodevelopmental disorders. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09395.001 PMID:26575286

  14. Associations between early adrenarche, affective brain function and mental health in children

    PubMed Central

    Whittle, Sarah; Simmons, Julian G.; Byrne, Michelle L.; Strikwerda-Brown, Cherie; Kerestes, Rebecca; Seal, Marc L.; Olsson, Craig A.; Dudgeon, Paul; Mundy, Lisa K.; Patton, George C.

    2015-01-01

    Early timing of adrenarche, associated with relatively high levels of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in children, has been associated with mental health and behavioral problems. However, little is known about effects of adreneracheal timing on brain function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of early adrenarche (defined by high DHEA levels independent of age) on affective brain function and symptoms of psychopathology in late childhood (N = 83, 43 females, M age 9.53 years, s.d. 0.34 years). Results showed that higher DHEA levels were associated with decreased affect-related brain activity (i) in the mid-cingulate cortex in the whole sample, and (ii) in a number of cortical and subcortical regions in female but not male children. Higher DHEA levels were also associated with increased externalizing symptoms in females, an association that was partly mediated by posterior insula activation to happy facial expressions. These results suggest that timing of adrenarche is an important moderator of affect-related brain function, and that this may be one mechanism linking early adrenarche to psychopathology. PMID:25678548

  15. Associations between early adrenarche, affective brain function and mental health in children.

    PubMed

    Whittle, Sarah; Simmons, Julian G; Byrne, Michelle L; Strikwerda-Brown, Cherie; Kerestes, Rebecca; Seal, Marc L; Olsson, Craig A; Dudgeon, Paul; Mundy, Lisa K; Patton, George C; Allen, Nicholas B

    2015-09-01

    Early timing of adrenarche, associated with relatively high levels of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in children, has been associated with mental health and behavioral problems. However, little is known about effects of adreneracheal timing on brain function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of early adrenarche (defined by high DHEA levels independent of age) on affective brain function and symptoms of psychopathology in late childhood (N = 83, 43 females, M age 9.53 years, s.d. 0.34 years). Results showed that higher DHEA levels were associated with decreased affect-related brain activity (i) in the mid-cingulate cortex in the whole sample, and (ii) in a number of cortical and subcortical regions in female but not male children. Higher DHEA levels were also associated with increased externalizing symptoms in females, an association that was partly mediated by posterior insula activation to happy facial expressions. These results suggest that timing of adrenarche is an important moderator of affect-related brain function, and that this may be one mechanism linking early adrenarche to psychopathology.

  16. Revealing how species loss affects ecosystem function: the trait-based Price Equation partition.

    PubMed

    Fox, Jeremy W; Harpole, W Stanley

    2008-01-01

    Species loss can alter ecosystem function. Recent work proposes a general theoretical framework, the "Price Equation partition," for understanding how species loss affects ecosystem functions that comprise the summed contributions of individual species (e.g., primary production). The Price Equation partition shows how the difference in function between a pre-species-loss site and a post-loss site can be partitioned into effects of random loss of species richness (species-richness effect; SRE), nonrandom loss of high- or low-functioning species (species-composition effect; SCE), and post-loss changes in the functional contributions of the remaining species (context-dependence effect; CDE). However, the Price Equation partition is silent on the underlying determinants of species' functional contributions. Here we extend the Price Equation partition by using multiple regression to describe how species' functional contributions depend on species' traits. This allows us to reexpress the SCE and CDE in terms of nonrandom loss of species with particular traits (trait-based SCE), and post-loss changes in species' traits and in the relationship between species' traits and species' functional contributions (trait-based CDE). We apply this new trait-based Price Equation partition to studies of species loss from grassland plant communities and protist microcosm food webs. In both studies, post-loss changes in the relationship between species' traits and their functional contributions alter ecosystem function more than nonrandom loss of species with particular traits. The protist microcosm data also illustrate how the trait-based Price Equation partition can be applied when species' functional contributions depend in part on the traits of other species. To do this, we define "synecological" traits that quantify how unique species are (e.g., in diet) compared to other species. Context dependence in the protist microcosm experiment arises in part because species loss alters the

  17. Synapse-Centric Mapping of Cortical Models to the SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Architecture.

    PubMed

    Knight, James C; Furber, Steve B

    2016-01-01

    While the adult human brain has approximately 8.8 × 10(10) neurons, this number is dwarfed by its 1 × 10(15) synapses. From the point of view of neuromorphic engineering and neural simulation in general this makes the simulation of these synapses a particularly complex problem. SpiNNaker is a digital, neuromorphic architecture designed for simulating large-scale spiking neural networks at speeds close to biological real-time. Current solutions for simulating spiking neural networks on SpiNNaker are heavily inspired by work on distributed high-performance computing. However, while SpiNNaker shares many characteristics with such distributed systems, its component nodes have much more limited resources and, as the system lacks global synchronization, the computation performed on each node must complete within a fixed time step. We first analyze the performance of the current SpiNNaker neural simulation software and identify several problems that occur when it is used to simulate networks of the type often used to model the cortex which contain large numbers of sparsely connected synapses. We then present a new, more flexible approach for mapping the simulation of such networks to SpiNNaker which solves many of these problems. Finally we analyze the performance of our new approach using both benchmarks, designed to represent cortical connectivity, and larger, functional cortical models. In a benchmark network where neurons receive input from 8000 STDP synapses, our new approach allows 4× more neurons to be simulated on each SpiNNaker core than has been previously possible. We also demonstrate that the largest plastic neural network previously simulated on neuromorphic hardware can be run in real time using our new approach: double the speed that was previously achieved. Additionally this network contains two types of plastic synapse which previously had to be trained separately but, using our new approach, can be trained simultaneously.

  18. DYNAMICS OF NASCENT AND ACTIVE ZONE ULTRASTRUCTURE AS SYNAPSES ENLARGE DURING LTP IN MATURE HIPPOCAMPUS

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Maria Elizabeth; Bourne, Jennifer N.; Chirillo, Michael A.; Mendenhall, John M.; Kuwajima, Masaaki; Harris, Kristen M.

    2014-01-01

    Nascent zones and active zones are adjacent synaptic regions that share a postsynaptic density, but nascent zones lack the presynaptic vesicles found at active zones. Here dendritic spine synapses were reconstructed through serial section electron microscopy (3DEM) and EM tomography to investigate nascent zone dynamics during long-term potentiation (LTP) in mature rat hippocampus. LTP was induced with theta-burst stimulation and comparisons were made to control stimulation in the same hippocampal slices at 5 minutes, 30 minutes, and 2 hours post-induction and to perfusion-fixed hippocampus in vivo. Nascent zones were present at the edges of ~35% of synapses in perfusion-fixed hippocampus and as many as ~50% of synapses in some hippocampal slice conditions. By 5 minutes, small dense core vesicles known to transport active zone proteins moved into more presynaptic boutons. By 30 minutes, nascent zone area decreased without significant change in synapse area, suggesting that presynaptic vesicles were recruited to pre-existing nascent zones. By 2 hours, both nascent and active zones were enlarged. Immunogold labeling revealed that glutamate receptors can be found in nascent zones; however, average distances from nascent zones to docked presynaptic vesicles ranged from 170±5 nm in perfusion-fixed hippocampus to 251±4 nm at enlarged synapses by 2 hours during LTP. Prior stochastic modeling suggests that falloff in glutamate concentration reduces the probability of glutamate receptor activation from 0.4 at the center of release to 0.1 just 200 nm away. Thus, conversion of nascent zones to functional active zones likely requires the recruitment of presynaptic vesicles during LTP. PMID:25043676

  19. Synapse-Centric Mapping of Cortical Models to the SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Knight, James C.; Furber, Steve B.

    2016-01-01

    While the adult human brain has approximately 8.8 × 1010 neurons, this number is dwarfed by its 1 × 1015 synapses. From the point of view of neuromorphic engineering and neural simulation in general this makes the simulation of these synapses a particularly complex problem. SpiNNaker is a digital, neuromorphic architecture designed for simulating large-scale spiking neural networks at speeds close to biological real-time. Current solutions for simulating spiking neural networks on SpiNNaker are heavily inspired by work on distributed high-performance computing. However, while SpiNNaker shares many characteristics with such distributed systems, its component nodes have much more limited resources and, as the system lacks global synchronization, the computation performed on each node must complete within a fixed time step. We first analyze the performance of the current SpiNNaker neural simulation software and identify several problems that occur when it is used to simulate networks of the type often used to model the cortex which contain large numbers of sparsely connected synapses. We then present a new, more flexible approach for mapping the simulation of such networks to SpiNNaker which solves many of these problems. Finally we analyze the performance of our new approach using both benchmarks, designed to represent cortical connectivity, and larger, functional cortical models. In a benchmark network where neurons receive input from 8000 STDP synapses, our new approach allows 4× more neurons to be simulated on each SpiNNaker core than has been previously possible. We also demonstrate that the largest plastic neural network previously simulated on neuromorphic hardware can be run in real time using our new approach: double the speed that was previously achieved. Additionally this network contains two types of plastic synapse which previously had to be trained separately but, using our new approach, can be trained simultaneously.

  20. Synapse-Centric Mapping of Cortical Models to the SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Architecture.

    PubMed

    Knight, James C; Furber, Steve B

    2016-01-01

    While the adult human brain has approximately 8.8 × 10(10) neurons, this number is dwarfed by its 1 × 10(15) synapses. From the point of view of neuromorphic engineering and neural simulation in general this makes the simulation of these synapses a particularly complex problem. SpiNNaker is a digital, neuromorphic architecture designed for simulating large-scale spiking neural networks at speeds close to biological real-time. Current solutions for simulating spiking neural networks on SpiNNaker are heavily inspired by work on distributed high-performance computing. However, while SpiNNaker shares many characteristics with such distributed systems, its component nodes have much more limited resources and, as the system lacks global synchronization, the computation performed on each node must complete within a fixed time step. We first analyze the performance of the current SpiNNaker neural simulation software and identify several problems that occur when it is used to simulate networks of the type often used to model the cortex which contain large numbers of sparsely connected synapses. We then present a new, more flexible approach for mapping the simulation of such networks to SpiNNaker which solves many of these problems. Finally we analyze the performance of our new approach using both benchmarks, designed to represent cortical connectivity, and larger, functional cortical models. In a benchmark network where neurons receive input from 8000 STDP synapses, our new approach allows 4× more neurons to be simulated on each SpiNNaker core than has been previously possible. We also demonstrate that the largest plastic neural network previously simulated on neuromorphic hardware can be run in real time using our new approach: double the speed that was previously achieved. Additionally this network contains two types of plastic synapse which previously had to be trained separately but, using our new approach, can be trained simultaneously. PMID:27683540

  1. Synapse-Centric Mapping of Cortical Models to the SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Knight, James C.; Furber, Steve B.

    2016-01-01

    While the adult human brain has approximately 8.8 × 1010 neurons, this number is dwarfed by its 1 × 1015 synapses. From the point of view of neuromorphic engineering and neural simulation in general this makes the simulation of these synapses a particularly complex problem. SpiNNaker is a digital, neuromorphic architecture designed for simulating large-scale spiking neural networks at speeds close to biological real-time. Current solutions for simulating spiking neural networks on SpiNNaker are heavily inspired by work on distributed high-performance computing. However, while SpiNNaker shares many characteristics with such distributed systems, its component nodes have much more limited resources and, as the system lacks global synchronization, the computation performed on each node must complete within a fixed time step. We first analyze the performance of the current SpiNNaker neural simulation software and identify several problems that occur when it is used to simulate networks of the type often used to model the cortex which contain large numbers of sparsely connected synapses. We then present a new, more flexible approach for mapping the simulation of such networks to SpiNNaker which solves many of these problems. Finally we analyze the performance of our new approach using both benchmarks, designed to represent cortical connectivity, and larger, functional cortical models. In a benchmark network where neurons receive input from 8000 STDP synapses, our new approach allows 4× more neurons to be simulated on each SpiNNaker core than has been previously possible. We also demonstrate that the largest plastic neural network previously simulated on neuromorphic hardware can be run in real time using our new approach: double the speed that was previously achieved. Additionally this network contains two types of plastic synapse which previously had to be trained separately but, using our new approach, can be trained simultaneously. PMID:27683540

  2. Affective Response to a Loved One's Pain: Insula Activity as a Function of Individual Differences

    PubMed Central

    Mazzola, Viridiana; Latorre, Valeria; Petito, Annamaria; Gentili, Nicoletta; Fazio, Leonardo; Popolizio, Teresa; Blasi, Giuseppe; Arciero, Giampiero; Bondolfi, Guido

    2010-01-01

    Individual variability in emotion processing may be associated with genetic variation as well as with psychological predispositions such as dispositional affect styles. Our previous fMRI study demonstrated that amygdala reactivity was independently predicted by affective-cognitive styles (phobic prone or eating disorders prone) and genotype of the serotonin transporter in a discrimination task of fearful facial expressions. Since the insula is associated with the subjective evaluation of bodily states and is involved in human feelings, we explored whether its activity could also vary in function of individual differences. In the present fMRI study, the association between dispositional affects and insula reactivity has been examined in two groups of healthy participants categorized according to affective-cognitive styles (phobic prone or eating disorders prone). Images of the faces of partners and strangers, in both painful and neutral situations, were used as visual stimuli. Interaction analyses indicate significantly different activations in the two groups in reaction to a loved one's pain: the phobic prone group exhibited greater activation in the left posterior insula. These results demonstrate that affective-cognitive style is associated with insula activity in pain empathy processing, suggesting a greater involvement of the insula in feelings for a certain cohort of people. In the mapping of individual differences, these results shed new light on variability in neural networks of emotion. PMID:21179564

  3. Structural plasticity upon learning: regulation and functions.

    PubMed

    Caroni, Pico; Donato, Flavio; Muller, Dominique

    2012-07-01

    Recent studies have provided long-sought evidence that behavioural learning involves specific synapse gain and elimination processes, which lead to memory traces that influence behaviour. The connectivity rearrangements are preceded by enhanced synapse turnover, which can be modulated through changes in inhibitory connectivity. Behaviourally related synapse rearrangement events tend to co-occur spatially within short stretches of dendrites, and involve signalling pathways partially overlapping with those controlling the functional plasticity of synapses. The new findings suggest that a mechanistic understanding of learning and memory processes will require monitoring ensembles of synapses in situ and the development of synaptic network models that combine changes in synaptic function and connectivity.

  4. How the sourdough may affect the functional features of leavened baked goods.

    PubMed

    Gobbetti, Marco; Rizzello, Carlo G; Di Cagno, Raffaella; De Angelis, Maria

    2014-02-01

    Sourdough fermentation is one of the oldest food biotechnologies, which has been studied and recently rediscovered for its effect on the sensory, structural, nutritional and shelf life properties of leavened baked goods. Acidification, proteolysis and activation of a number of enzymes as well as the synthesis of microbial metabolites cause several changes during sourdough fermentation, which affect the dough and baked good matrix, and influence the nutritional/functional quality. Currently, the literature is particularly rich of results, which show how the sourdough fermentation may affect the functional features of leavened baked goods. In the form of pre-treating raw materials, fermentation through sourdough may stabilize or to increase the functional value of bran fractions and wheat germ. Sourdough fermentation may decrease the glycaemic response of baked goods, improve the properties and bioavailability of dietary fibre complex and phytochemicals, and may increase the uptake of minerals. Microbial metabolism during sourdough fermentation may also produce new nutritionally active compounds, such as peptides and amino acid derivatives (e.g., γ-amino butyric acid) with various functionalities, and potentially prebiotic exo-polysaccharides. The wheat flour digested via fungal proteases and selected sourdough lactobacilli has been demonstrated to be probably safe for celiac patients.

  5. How the sourdough may affect the functional features of leavened baked goods.

    PubMed

    Gobbetti, Marco; Rizzello, Carlo G; Di Cagno, Raffaella; De Angelis, Maria

    2014-02-01

    Sourdough fermentation is one of the oldest food biotechnologies, which has been studied and recently rediscovered for its effect on the sensory, structural, nutritional and shelf life properties of leavened baked goods. Acidification, proteolysis and activation of a number of enzymes as well as the synthesis of microbial metabolites cause several changes during sourdough fermentation, which affect the dough and baked good matrix, and influence the nutritional/functional quality. Currently, the literature is particularly rich of results, which show how the sourdough fermentation may affect the functional features of leavened baked goods. In the form of pre-treating raw materials, fermentation through sourdough may stabilize or to increase the functional value of bran fractions and wheat germ. Sourdough fermentation may decrease the glycaemic response of baked goods, improve the properties and bioavailability of dietary fibre complex and phytochemicals, and may increase the uptake of minerals. Microbial metabolism during sourdough fermentation may also produce new nutritionally active compounds, such as peptides and amino acid derivatives (e.g., γ-amino butyric acid) with various functionalities, and potentially prebiotic exo-polysaccharides. The wheat flour digested via fungal proteases and selected sourdough lactobacilli has been demonstrated to be probably safe for celiac patients. PMID:24230470

  6. Tunnel junction based memristors as artificial synapses

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Andy; Niehörster, Stefan; Fabretti, Savio; Shepheard, Norman; Kuschel, Olga; Küpper, Karsten; Wollschläger, Joachim; Krzysteczko, Patryk; Chicca, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    We prepared magnesia, tantalum oxide, and barium titanate based tunnel junction structures and investigated their memristive properties. The low amplitudes of the resistance change in these types of junctions are the major obstacle for their use. Here, we increased the amplitude of the resistance change from 10% up to 100%. Utilizing the memristive properties, we looked into the use of the junction structures as artificial synapses. We observed analogs of long-term potentiation, long-term depression and spike-time dependent plasticity in these simple two terminal devices. Finally, we suggest a possible pathway of these devices toward their integration in neuromorphic systems for storing analog synaptic weights and supporting the implementation of biologically plausible learning mechanisms. PMID:26217173

  7. Organizing polarized delivery of exosomes at synapses

    PubMed Central

    Mittelbrunn, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that transport different molecules between cells. They are formed and stored inside multivesicular bodies (MVB) until they are released to the extracellular environment. MVB fuse along the plasma membrane, driving non-polarized secretion of exosomes. However, polarized signalling can potentially direct MVBs to a specific point in the plasma membrane to mediate a focal delivery of exosomes. MVB polarization occurs across a broad set of cellular situations, e.g. in immune and neuronal synapses, cell migration and in epithelial sheets. In this review, we summarize the current understanding regarding polarized MVB docking and the specification of secretory sites at the plasma membrane. The current view is that MVB positioning and subsequent exosome delivery requires a polarizing, cytoskeletal dependent- trafficking mechanism. In this context, we propose scenarios in which biochemical and mechanical signals could drive the polarized delivery of exosomes in highly polarized cells, such as lymphocytes, neurons and epithelia. PMID:25614958

  8. FGF22 signaling regulates synapse formation during post-injury remodeling of the spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Jacobi, Anne; Loy, Kristina; Schmalz, Anja M; Hellsten, Mikael; Umemori, Hisashi; Kerschensteiner, Martin; Bareyre, Florence M

    2015-01-01

    The remodeling of axonal circuits after injury requires the formation of new synaptic contacts to enable functional recovery. Which molecular signals initiate such axonal and synaptic reorganisation in the adult central nervous system is currently unknown. Here, we identify FGF22 as a key regulator of circuit remodeling in the injured spinal cord. We show that FGF22 is produced by spinal relay neurons, while its main receptors FGFR1 and FGFR2 are expressed by cortical projection neurons. FGF22 deficiency or the targeted deletion of FGFR1 and FGFR2 in the hindlimb motor cortex limits the formation of new synapses between corticospinal collaterals and relay neurons, delays their molecular maturation, and impedes functional recovery in a mouse model of spinal cord injury. These results establish FGF22 as a synaptogenic mediator in the adult nervous system and a crucial regulator of synapse formation and maturation during post-injury remodeling in the spinal cord. PMID:25766255

  9. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands.

  10. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands. PMID:27164912

  11. Presynaptic injection of syntaxin-specific antibodies blocks transmission in the squid giant synapse.

    PubMed

    Sugimori, M; Tong, C K; Fukuda, M; Moreira, J E; Kojima, T; Mikoshiba, K; Llinás, R

    1998-09-01

    A polyclonal antibody, raised against the squid (Loligo pealei) syntaxin I, inhibited Ca2+-dependent interaction of syntaxin with synaptotagmin C2A domain in vitro. Presynaptic injection of the anti-Loligo syntaxin IgG into the squid giant synapse blocked synaptic transmission without affecting the presynaptic action potential or the voltage-gated calcium current responsible for transmitter release. Repetitive presynaptic stimulation produced a gradual decrease in the amplitude of the postsynaptic potential as the synaptic block progressed, indicating that the antibody interferes with vesicular fusion. Confocal microscopy of the fluorescein-labelled anti-Loligo syntaxin IgG showed binding at the synaptic active zone, while ultrastructurally, an increase in synaptic vesicular numbers in synapses blocked when this antibody was observed. These results implicate syntaxin in the vesicular fusion step of transmitter release in concert with synaptotagmin.

  12. Phthalate esters affect maturation and function of primate testis tissue ectopically grafted in mice.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Sosa, Jose R; Bondareva, Alla; Tang, Lin; Avelar, Gleide F; Coyle, Krysta M; Modelski, Mark; Alpaugh, Whitney; Conley, Alan; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine; França, Luiz R; Meyers, Stuart; Dobrinski, Ina

    2014-12-01

    Di-n-Butyl (DBP) and Di-(2-EthylHexyl) (DEHP) phthalates can leach from daily-use products resulting in environmental exposure. In male rodents, phthalate exposure results in reproductive effects. To evaluate effects on the immature primate testis, testis fragments from 6-month-old rhesus macaques were grafted subcutaneously to immune-deficient mice, which were exposed to 0, 10, or 500 mg/kg of DBP or DEHP for 14 weeks or 28 weeks (DBP only). DBP exposure reduced the expression of key steroidogenic genes, indicating that Leydig cell function was compromised. Exposure to 500 mg/kg impaired tubule formation and germ cell differentiation and reduced numbers of spermatogonia. Exposure to 10 mg/kg did not affect development, but reduced Sertoli cell number and resulted in increased expression of inhibin B. Exposure to DEHP for 14 week also affected steroidogenic genes expression. Therefore, long-term exposure to phthalate esters affected development and function of the primate testis in a time and dosage dependent manner.

  13. Incubation temperature affects the immune function of hatchling soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis

    PubMed Central

    Dang, Wei; Zhang, Wen; Du, Wei-Guo

    2015-01-01

    Identifying how developmental temperature affects the immune system is critical for understanding how ectothermic animals defend against pathogens and their fitness in the changing world. However, reptiles have received little attention regarding this issue. We incubated eggs at three ecologically relevant temperatures to determine how incubation temperature affects the immune function of hatchling soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis. When exposed to bacterial infections, hatchlings from 24 °C had lower cumulative mortalities (55%, therefore, higher immunocompetence) than those from 28 °C (85%) or 32 °C (100%). Consistent with higher immunocompetence, hatchlings from low incubation temperature had higher IgM, IgD, and CD3γ expressions than their counterparts from the other two higher incubation temperatures. Conversely, the activity of immunity-related enzymes did not match the among-temperature difference in immune function. Specifically, enzyme activity was higher at intermediate temperatures (alkaline phosphatase) or was not affected by incubation temperature (acid phosphatase, lysozyme). Our study is the first to provide unequivocal evidence (at the molecular and organismal level) about the significant effect of incubation temperature on offspring immunity in reptiles. Our results also indicate that the reduced immunity induced by high developmental temperatures might increase the vulnerability of reptiles to the outbreak of diseases under global warming scenarios. PMID:26028216

  14. Phthalate esters affect maturation and function of primate testis tissue ectopically grafted in mice

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Sosa, Jose R; Bondareva, Alla; Tang, Lin; Avelar, Gleide F.; Coyle, Krysta M.; Modelski, Mark; Alpaugh, Whitney; Conley, Alan; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine; França, Luiz R; Meyers, Stuart; Dobrinski, Ina

    2014-01-01

    Di-n-Butyl (DBP) and Di-(2-EthylHexyl) (DEHP) phthalates can leach from daily-use products resulting in environmental exposure. In male rodents, phthalate exposure results in reproductive effects. To evaluate effects on the immature primate testis, testis fragments from 6-month-old rhesus macaques were grafted subcutaneously to immune-deficient mice, which were exposed to 0, 10, or 500 mg/kg of DBP or DEHP for 14 weeks or 28 weeks (DBP only). DBP exposure reduced the expression of key steroidogenic genes, indicating that Leydig cell function was compromised. Exposure to 500 mg/kg impaired tubule formation and germ cell differentiation and reduced numbers of spermatogonia. Exposure to 10 mg/kg did not affect development, but reduced Sertoli cell number and resulted in increased expression of inhibin B. Exposure to DEHP for 14 week also affected steroidogenic genes expression. Therefore, long-term exposure to phthalate esters affected development and function of the primate testis in a time and dosage dependent manner. PMID:25450860

  15. Incubation temperature affects the immune function of hatchling soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis.

    PubMed

    Dang, Wei; Zhang, Wen; Du, Wei-Guo

    2015-06-01

    Identifying how developmental temperature affects the immune system is critical for understanding how ectothermic animals defend against pathogens and their fitness in the changing world. However, reptiles have received little attention regarding this issue. We incubated eggs at three ecologically relevant temperatures to determine how incubation temperature affects the immune function of hatchling soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis. When exposed to bacterial infections, hatchlings from 24 °C had lower cumulative mortalities (55%, therefore, higher immunocompetence) than those from 28 °C (85%) or 32 °C (100%). Consistent with higher immunocompetence, hatchlings from low incubation temperature had higher IgM, IgD, and CD3γ expressions than their counterparts from the other two higher incubation temperatures. Conversely, the activity of immunity-related enzymes did not match the among-temperature difference in immune function. Specifically, enzyme activity was higher at intermediate temperatures (alkaline phosphatase) or was not affected by incubation temperature (acid phosphatase, lysozyme). Our study is the first to provide unequivocal evidence (at the molecular and organismal level) about the significant effect of incubation temperature on offspring immunity in reptiles. Our results also indicate that the reduced immunity induced by high developmental temperatures might increase the vulnerability of reptiles to the outbreak of diseases under global warming scenarios.

  16. Modulation of α power and functional connectivity during facial affect recognition.

    PubMed

    Popov, Tzvetan; Miller, Gregory A; Rockstroh, Brigitte; Weisz, Nathan

    2013-04-01

    Research has linked oscillatory activity in the α frequency range, particularly in sensorimotor cortex, to processing of social actions. Results further suggest involvement of sensorimotor α in the processing of facial expressions, including affect. The sensorimotor face area may be critical for perception of emotional face expression, but the role it plays is unclear. The present study sought to clarify how oscillatory brain activity contributes to or reflects processing of facial affect during changes in facial expression. Neuromagnetic oscillatory brain activity was monitored while 30 volunteers viewed videos of human faces that changed their expression from neutral to fearful, neutral, or happy expressions. Induced changes in α power during the different morphs, source analysis, and graph-theoretic metrics served to identify the role of α power modulation and cross-regional coupling by means of phase synchrony during facial affect recognition. Changes from neutral to emotional faces were associated with a 10-15 Hz power increase localized in bilateral sensorimotor areas, together with occipital power decrease, preceding reported emotional expression recognition. Graph-theoretic analysis revealed that, in the course of a trial, the balance between sensorimotor power increase and decrease was associated with decreased and increased transregional connectedness as measured by node degree. Results suggest that modulations in α power facilitate early registration, with sensorimotor cortex including the sensorimotor face area largely functionally decoupled and thereby protected from additional, disruptive input and that subsequent α power decrease together with increased connectedness of sensorimotor areas facilitates successful facial affect recognition.

  17. Functional connectivity of pain-mediated affect regulation in Borderline Personality Disorder.

    PubMed

    Niedtfeld, Inga; Kirsch, Peter; Schulze, Lars; Herpertz, Sabine C; Bohus, Martin; Schmahl, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Affective instability and self-injurious behavior are important features of Borderline Personality Disorder. Whereas affective instability may be caused by a pattern of limbic hyperreactivity paired with dysfunctional prefrontal regulation mechanisms, painful stimulation was found to reduce affective arousal at the neural level, possibly underlying the soothing effect of pain in BPD.We used psychophysiological interactions to analyze functional connectivity of (para-) limbic brain structures (i.e. amygdala, insula, anterior cingulate cortex) in Borderline Personality Disorder in response to painful stimulation. Therefore, we re-analyzed a dataset from 20 patients with Borderline Personality Disorder and 23 healthy controls who took part in an fMRI-task inducing negative (versus neutral) affect and subsequently applying heat pain (versus warmth perception).Results suggest an enhanced negative coupling between limbic as well as paralimbic regions and prefrontal regions, specifically with the medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, when patients experienced pain in addition to emotional arousing pictures. When neutral pictures were combined with painful heat sensation, we found positive connectivity in Borderline Personality Disorder between (para-)limbic brain areas and parts of the basal ganglia (lentiform nucleus, putamen), as well areas involved in self-referential processing (precuneus and posterior cingulate).We found further evidence for alterations in the emotion regulation process in Borderline Personality Disorder, in the way that pain improves the inhibition of limbic activity by prefrontal areas. This study provides new insights in pain processing in BPD, including enhanced coupling of limbic structures and basal ganglia. PMID:22428013

  18. Biphasic Alteration of the Inhibitory Synapse Scaffold Protein Gephyrin in Early and Late Stages of an Alzheimer Disease Model.

    PubMed

    Kiss, Eva; Gorgas, Karin; Schlicksupp, Andrea; Groß, Dagmar; Kins, Stefan; Kirsch, Joachim; Kuhse, Jochen

    2016-09-01

    The pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD) is thought to begin many years before the diagnosis of dementia. Accumulating evidence indicates the involvement of GABAergic neurotransmission in the physiopathology of AD. However, in comparison to excitatory synapses, the structural and functional alterations of inhibitory synapses in AD are less well characterized. We studied the expression and distribution of proteins specific for inhibitory synapses in hippocampal areas of APPPS1 mice at different ages. Interestingly, by immunoblotting and confocal fluorescence microscopy, we disclosed a robust increase in the expression of gephyrin, an organizer of ligand-gated ion channels at inhibitory synapses in hippocampus CA1 and dentate gyrus of young presymptomatic APPPS1 mice (1 to 3 months) as compared to controls. The postsynaptic γ2-GABA(A)-receptor subunit and the presynaptic vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter protein showed similar expression patterns. In contrast, adult transgenic animals (12 months) displayed decreased levels of these proteins in comparison to wild type in hippocampus areas devoid of amyloid plaques. Within most plaques, strong gephyrin immunoreactivity was detected, partially colocalizing with vesicular amino acid transporter and GABA(A)-receptor γ2 subunit immunoreactivities. Our results indicate a biphasic alteration in expression of hippocampal inhibitory synapse components in AD. Altered inhibition of neurotransmission might be an early prognostic marker and might even be involved in the pathogenesis of AD. PMID:27423698

  19. The number and organization of Ca2+ channels in the active zone shapes neurotransmitter release from Schaffer collateral synapses

    PubMed Central

    Scimemi, Annalisa; Diamond, Jeffrey S.

    2013-01-01

    Fast synaptic transmission requires tight co-localization of Ca2+ channels and neurotransmitter vesicles. It is generally thought that Ca2+ channels are expressed abundantly in presynaptic active zones, that vesicles within the same active zone have similar release properties and that significant vesicle depletion only occurs at synapses with high release probability. Here we show, at excitatory CA3→CA1 synapses in mouse hippocampus, that release from individual vesicles is generally triggered by only one Ca2+ channel and that only few functional Ca2+ channels may be spread in the active zone at variable distances to neighboring neurotransmitter vesicles. Using morphologically realistic Monte Carlo simulations, we show that this arrangement leads to a widely heterogeneous distribution of release probability across the vesicles docked at the active zone, and that depletion of the vesicles closest to Ca2+ channels can account for the Ca2+-dependence of short term plasticity at these synapses. These findings challenge the prevailing view that efficient synaptic transmission requires numerous presynaptic Ca2+ channels in the active zone, and indicate that the relative arrangement of Ca2+ channels and vesicles contributes to the heterogeneity of release probability within and across synapses and to vesicle depletion at small central synapses with low average release probability. PMID:23238730

  20. Biphasic Alteration of the Inhibitory Synapse Scaffold Protein Gephyrin in Early and Late Stages of an Alzheimer Disease Model.

    PubMed

    Kiss, Eva; Gorgas, Karin; Schlicksupp, Andrea; Groß, Dagmar; Kins, Stefan; Kirsch, Joachim; Kuhse, Jochen

    2016-09-01

    The pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD) is thought to begin many years before the diagnosis of dementia. Accumulating evidence indicates the involvement of GABAergic neurotransmission in the physiopathology of AD. However, in comparison to excitatory synapses, the structural and functional alterations of inhibitory synapses in AD are less well characterized. We studied the expression and distribution of proteins specific for inhibitory synapses in hippocampal areas of APPPS1 mice at different ages. Interestingly, by immunoblotting and confocal fluorescence microscopy, we disclosed a robust increase in the expression of gephyrin, an organizer of ligand-gated ion channels at inhibitory synapses in hippocampus CA1 and dentate gyrus of young presymptomatic APPPS1 mice (1 to 3 months) as compared to controls. The postsynaptic γ2-GABA(A)-receptor subunit and the presynaptic vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter protein showed similar expression patterns. In contrast, adult transgenic animals (12 months) displayed decreased levels of these proteins in comparison to wild type in hippocampus areas devoid of amyloid plaques. Within most plaques, strong gephyrin immunoreactivity was detected, partially colocalizing with vesicular amino acid transporter and GABA(A)-receptor γ2 subunit immunoreactivities. Our results indicate a biphasic alteration in expression of hippocampal inhibitory synapse components in AD. Altered inhibition of neurotransmission might be an early prognostic marker and might even be involved in the pathogenesis of AD.

  1. Molecular Basis and Therapeutic Strategies to Rescue Factor IX Variants That Affect Splicing and Protein Function.

    PubMed

    Tajnik, Mojca; Rogalska, Malgorzata Ewa; Bussani, Erica; Barbon, Elena; Balestra, Dario; Pinotti, Mirko; Pagani, Franco

    2016-05-01

    Mutations that result in amino acid changes can affect both pre-mRNA splicing and protein function. Understanding the combined effect is essential for correct diagnosis and for establishing the most appropriate therapeutic strategy at the molecular level. We have identified a series of disease-causing splicing mutations in coagulation factor IX (FIX) exon 5 that are completely recovered by a modified U1snRNP particle, through an SRSF2-dependent enhancement mechanism. We discovered that synonymous mutations and missense substitutions associated to a partial FIX secretion defect represent targets for this therapy as the resulting spliced-corrected proteins maintains normal FIX coagulant specific activity. Thus, splicing and protein alterations contribute to define at the molecular level the disease-causing effect of a number of exonic mutations in coagulation FIX exon 5. In addition, our results have a significant impact in the development of splicing-switching therapies in particular for mutations that affect both splicing and protein function where increasing the amount of a correctly spliced protein can circumvent the basic functional defects. PMID:27227676

  2. Laterality affects spontaneous recovery of contralateral hand motor function following motor cortex injury in rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Darling, Warren G; Helle, Nicole; Pizzimenti, Marc A; Rotella, Diane L; Hynes, Stephanie M; Ge, Jizhi; Stilwell-Morecraft, Kimberly S; Morecraft, Robert J

    2013-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to test whether brain laterality influences spontaneous recovery of hand motor function after controlled brain injuries to arm areas of M1 and lateral premotor cortex (LPMC) of the hemisphere contralateral to the preferred hand in rhesus monkeys. We hypothesized that monkeys with stronger hand preference would exhibit poorer recovery of skilled hand use after such brain injury. Degree of handedness was assessed using a standard dexterity board task in which subjects could use either hand to retrieve small food pellets. Fine hand/digit motor function was assessed using a modified dexterity board before and after the M1 and LPMC lesions in ten monkeys. We found a strong negative relationship between the degree of handedness and the recovery of manipulation skill, demonstrating that higher hand preference was associated with poorer recovery of hand fine motor function. We also observed that monkeys with larger lesions within M1 and LPMC had greater initial impairment of manipulation and poorer recovery of reaching skill. We conclude that monkeys with a stronger hand preference are likely to show poorer recovery of contralesional hand fine motor skill after isolated brain lesions affecting the lateral frontal motor areas. These data may be extended to suggest that humans who exhibit weak hand dominance, and perhaps individuals who use both hands for fine motor tasks, may have a more favorable potential for recovery after a unilateral stroke or brain injury affecting the lateral cortical motor areas than individuals with a high degree of hand dominance.

  3. Microbial Functional Potential and Community Composition in Permafrost-Affected Soils of the NW Canadian Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Frank-Fahle, Béatrice A.; Yergeau, Étienne; Greer, Charles W.; Lantuit, Hugues; Wagner, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost-affected soils are among the most obvious ecosystems in which current microbial controls on organic matter decomposition are changing as a result of global warming. Warmer conditions in polygonal tundra will lead to a deepening of the seasonal active layer, provoking changes in microbial processes and possibly resulting in exacerbated carbon degradation under increasing anoxic conditions. To identify current microbial assemblages in carbon rich, water saturated permafrost environments, four polygonal tundra sites were investigated on Herschel Island and the Yukon Coast, Western Canadian Arctic. Ion Torrent sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA amplicons revealed the presence of all major microbial soil groups and indicated a local, vertical heterogeneity of the polygonal tundra soil community with increasing depth. Microbial diversity was found to be highest in the surface layers, decreasing towards the permafrost table. Quantitative PCR analysis of functional genes involved in carbon and nitrogen-cycling revealed a high functional potential in the surface layers, decreasing with increasing active layer depth. We observed that soil properties driving microbial diversity and functional potential varied in each study site. These results highlight the small-scale heterogeneity of geomorphologically comparable sites, greatly restricting generalizations about the fate of permafrost-affected environments in a warming Arctic. PMID:24416279

  4. Microbial functional potential and community composition in permafrost-affected soils of the NW Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Frank-Fahle, Béatrice A; Yergeau, Etienne; Greer, Charles W; Lantuit, Hugues; Wagner, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost-affected soils are among the most obvious ecosystems in which current microbial controls on organic matter decomposition are changing as a result of global warming. Warmer conditions in polygonal tundra will lead to a deepening of the seasonal active layer, provoking changes in microbial processes and possibly resulting in exacerbated carbon degradation under increasing anoxic conditions. To identify current microbial assemblages in carbon rich, water saturated permafrost environments, four polygonal tundra sites were investigated on Herschel Island and the Yukon Coast, Western Canadian Arctic. Ion Torrent sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA amplicons revealed the presence of all major microbial soil groups and indicated a local, vertical heterogeneity of the polygonal tundra soil community with increasing depth. Microbial diversity was found to be highest in the surface layers, decreasing towards the permafrost table. Quantitative PCR analysis of functional genes involved in carbon and nitrogen-cycling revealed a high functional potential in the surface layers, decreasing with increasing active layer depth. We observed that soil properties driving microbial diversity and functional potential varied in each study site. These results highlight the small-scale heterogeneity of geomorphologically comparable sites, greatly restricting generalizations about the fate of permafrost-affected environments in a warming Arctic.

  5. Molecular Basis and Therapeutic Strategies to Rescue Factor IX Variants That Affect Splicing and Protein Function

    PubMed Central

    Bussani, Erica; Barbon, Elena; Pinotti, Mirko; Pagani, Franco

    2016-01-01

    Mutations that result in amino acid changes can affect both pre-mRNA splicing and protein function. Understanding the combined effect is essential for correct diagnosis and for establishing the most appropriate therapeutic strategy at the molecular level. We have identified a series of disease-causing splicing mutations in coagulation factor IX (FIX) exon 5 that are completely recovered by a modified U1snRNP particle, through an SRSF2-dependent enhancement mechanism. We discovered that synonymous mutations and missense substitutions associated to a partial FIX secretion defect represent targets for this therapy as the resulting spliced-corrected proteins maintains normal FIX coagulant specific activity. Thus, splicing and protein alterations contribute to define at the molecular level the disease-causing effect of a number of exonic mutations in coagulation FIX exon 5. In addition, our results have a significant impact in the development of splicing-switching therapies in particular for mutations that affect both splicing and protein function where increasing the amount of a correctly spliced protein can circumvent the basic functional defects. PMID:27227676

  6. Effects of light therapy on neuropsychological function and mood in seasonal affective disorder.

    PubMed Central

    Michalon, M; Eskes, G A; Mate-Kole, C C

    1997-01-01

    To date, little attention has been paid to changes in neuropsychological function in seasonal affective disorders (SAD). In this study, we investigated the performance of 30 patients with SAD on a wide range of cognitive variables before and after 2 weeks of light treatment with either white or placebo red light, as well as later in the summertime. Performance of subjects with SAD on neuropsychological tests was compared with a group of 29 age- and education-matched healthy control subjects. The most consistent deficits associated with SAD were on tests of cognitive failures, visual memory, and visual-construction skills. In contrast to specific bright light effects on psychiatric measures, reports of cognitive failures did not change with either light treatment. Visual memory and constructional deficits responded nonspecifically to treatment with either white or the presumed placebo red light. Surprisingly, visual memory deficits were seen again in the summer, at a time when mood, cognitive failures, and other cognitive functions appeared at normal levels. These data suggest that cognitive functioning is affected by SAD. In addition, light treatment may have differential effects on mood and cognition. PMID:9002389

  7. Dietary protein during gestation affects circulating indicators of placental function and fetal development in heifers.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, T M; Micke, G C; Magalhaes, R S; Martin, G B; Wallace, C R; Green, J A; Perry, V E A

    2009-04-01

    The influences of nutritional protein during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy on placental hormones and fetal growth were determined in composite beef heifers. At artificial insemination, heifers were stratified by weight within each composite genotype into 4 treatment groups: High High (HH=1.4kg crude protein (CP)/day for first and second trimesters of gestation; n=16), High Low (HL=1.4kg CP/day for first trimester and 0.4kg CP/day for second trimester; n=19), Low High (LH=0.4kg CP/day for first trimester and 1.4kg CP/day for second trimester; n=17) or Low Low (LL=0.4kg CP/day for first and second trimesters; n=19). Maternal plasma bovine pregnancy associated glycoprotein (bPAG) and progesterone (P4) were determined at gestation day (gd) 28, 82, 179 and 271 (mean gestation length 286 days) in addition to P4 at term. Estrone sulphate (ES) and bovine placental lactogen (bPL) concentrations were measured at gd 124, 179, 236 and 271 and at term in addition to ES at gd 82. Low dietary protein increased placental function as indicated by increased bPAG (P<0.001) and ES (P=0.02) concentrations in first trimester and increased bPL concentrations (P=0.01) in the second trimester of gestation. In the third trimester, when dietary treatment had ceased, placental function was no longer associated with previous dietary treatments. Dam genotype affected placental function as measured by bPL (P<0.001) and ES concentrations (P=0.02). Calf gender, heifer age and maternal insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, -II and leptin did not affect hormonal indicators or circulating markers of placental function. Enhanced placental function during the third trimester, as measured by ES, was associated with increased calf birth weight (P=0.003).

  8. Cure Kinetics of Epoxy Nanocomposites Affected by MWCNTs Functionalization: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Saeb, Mohammad Reza; Bakhshandeh, Ehsan; Khonakdar, Hossein Ali; Mäder, Edith; Scheffler, Christina; Heinrich, Gert

    2013-01-01

    The current paper provides an overview to emphasize the role of functionalization of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in manipulating cure kinetics of epoxy nanocomposites, which itself determines ultimate properties of the resulting compound. In this regard, the most commonly used functionalization schemes, that is, carboxylation and amidation, are thoroughly surveyed to highlight the role of functionalized nanotubes in controlling the rate of autocatalytic and vitrification kinetics. The current literature elucidates that the mechanism of curing in epoxy/MWCNTs nanocomposites remains almost unaffected by the functionalization of carbon nanotubes. On the other hand, early stage facilitation of autocatalytic reactions in the presence of MWCNTs bearing amine groups has been addressed by several researchers. When carboxylated nanotubes were used to modify MWCNTs, the rate of such reactions diminished as a consequence of heterogeneous dispersion within the epoxy matrix. At later stages of curing, however, the prolonged vitrification was seen to be dominant. Thus, the type of functional groups covalently located on the surface of MWCNTs directly affects the degree of polymer-nanotube interaction followed by enhancement of curing reaction. Our survey demonstrated that most widespread efforts ever made to represent multifarious surface-treated MWCNTs have not been directed towards preparation of epoxy nanocomposites, but they could result in property synergism. PMID:24348181

  9. The Functional Effect of Teacher Positive and Neutral Affect on Task Performance of Students with Significant Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Sungho; Singer, George H. S.; Gibson, Mary

    2005-01-01

    The study uses an alternating treatment design to evaluate the functional effect of teacher's affect on students' task performance. Tradition in special education holds that teachers should engage students using positive and enthusiastic affect for task presentations and praise. To test this assumption, we compared two affective conditions. Three…

  10. Astroglial cradle in the life of the synapse

    PubMed Central

    Verkhratsky, Alexei; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2014-01-01

    Astroglial perisynaptic sheath covers the majority of synapses in the central nervous system. This glial coverage evolved as a part of the synaptic structure in which elements directly responsible for neurotransmission (exocytotic machinery and appropriate receptors) concentrate in neuronal membranes, whereas multiple molecules imperative for homeostatic maintenance of the synapse (transporters for neurotransmitters, ions, amino acids, etc.) are shifted to glial membranes that have substantially larger surface area. The astrocytic perisynaptic processes act as an ‘astroglial cradle’ essential for synaptogenesis, maturation, isolation and maintenance of synapses, representing the fundamental mechanism contributing to synaptic connectivity, synaptic plasticity and information processing in the nervous system. PMID:25225089

  11. Diminished KCC2 confounds synapse specificity of LTP during senescence.

    PubMed

    Ferando, Isabella; Faas, Guido C; Mody, Istvan

    2016-09-01

    The synapse specificity of long-term potentiation (LTP) ensures that no interference arises from inputs irrelevant to the memory to be encoded. In hippocampi of aged (21-28 months) mice, LTP was relayed to unstimulated synapses, blemishing its synapse specificity. Diminished levels of the K(+)/Cl(-) cotransporter KCC2 and a depolarizing GABAA receptor-mediated synaptic component following LTP were the most likely causes for the spreading of potentiation, unveiling mechanisms hindering information storage in the aged brain and identifying KCC2 as a potential target for intervention. PMID:27500406

  12. Six-Digit CPK and Mildly Affected Renal Function in McArdle Disease

    PubMed Central

    Mcinnes, Andrew D.; DeGroote, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    A previously healthy, white 12-year-old girl presented with diffuse body aches and poor perfusion. She developed severe respiratory failure and marked rhabdomyolysis and was mechanically ventilated. Although her CPK peaked at 500,000 IU/L, her renal function was mildly affected and her creatinine did not exceed the 0.8 mg/dL. The rhabdomyolysis was gradually resolved following aggressive fluid hydration. The patient did not require dialysis and made a complete recovery. Genetic studies revealed the diagnosis of McArdle disease. PMID:25371840

  13. Rapid and Differential Regulation of AMPA and Kainate Receptors at Hippocampal Mossy Fibre Synapses by PICK1 and GRIP

    PubMed Central

    Hirbec, Hélène; Francis, Joanna C.; Lauri, Sari E.; Braithwaite, Steven P.; Coussen, Françoise; Mulle, Christophe; Dev, Kumlesh K.; Couthino, Victoria; Meyer, Guido; Isaac, John T.R.; Collingridge, Graham L.; Henley, Jeremy M.

    2012-01-01

    Summary We identified four PDZ domain-containing proteins, syntenin, PICK1, GRIP, and PSD95, as interactors with the kainate receptor (KAR) subunits GluR52b, GluR52c, and GluR6. Of these, we show that both GRIP and PICK1 interactions are required to maintain KAR-mediated synaptic function at mossy fiber-CA3 synapses. In addition, PKCα can phosphorylate ct-GluR52b at residues S880 and S886, and PKC activity is required to maintain KAR-mediated synaptic responses. We propose that PICK1 targets PKCα to phosphorylate KARs, causing their stabilization at the synapse by an interaction with GRIP. Importantly, this mechanism is not involved in the constitutive recycling of AMPA receptors since blockade of PDZ interactions can simultaneously increase AMPAR- and decrease KAR-mediated synaptic transmission at the same population of synapses. PMID:12597860

  14. Ecosystem structure, function, and composition in rangelands are negatively affected by livestock grazing.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Poore, Alistair G B; Ruiz-Colmenero, Marta; Letnic, Mike; Soliveres, Santiago

    2016-06-01

    Reports of positive or neutral effects of grazing on plant species richness have prompted calls for livestock grazing to be used as a tool for managing land for conservation. Grazing effects, however, are likely to vary among different response variables, types, and intensity of grazing, and across abiotic conditions. We aimed to examine how grazing affects ecosystem structure, function, and composition. We compiled a database of 7615 records reporting an effect of grazing by sheep and cattle on 278 biotic and abiotic response variables for published studies across Australia. Using these data, we derived three ecosystem measures based on structure, function, and composition, which were compared against six contrasts of grazing pressure, ranging from low to heavy, two different herbivores (sheep, cattle), and across three different climatic zones. Grazing reduced structure (by 35%), function (24%), and composition (10%). Structure and function (but not composition) declined more when grazed by sheep and cattle together than sheep alone. Grazing reduced plant biomass (40%), animal richness (15%), and plant and animal abundance, and plant and litter cover (25%), but had no effect on plant richness nor soil function. The negative effects of grazing on plant biomass, plant cover, and soil function were more pronounced in drier environments. Grazing effects on plant and animal richness and composition were constant, or even declined, with increasing aridity. Our study represents a comprehensive continental assessment of the implications of grazing for managing Australian rangelands. Grazing effects were largely negative, even at very low levels of grazing. Overall, our results suggest that livestock grazing in Australia is unlikely to produce positive outcomes for ecosystem structure, function, and composition or even as a blanket conservation tool unless reduction in specific response variables is an explicit management objective.

  15. Ecosystem structure, function, and composition in rangelands are negatively affected by livestock grazing.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Poore, Alistair G B; Ruiz-Colmenero, Marta; Letnic, Mike; Soliveres, Santiago

    2016-06-01

    Reports of positive or neutral effects of grazing on plant species richness have prompted calls for livestock grazing to be used as a tool for managing land for conservation. Grazing effects, however, are likely to vary among different response variables, types, and intensity of grazing, and across abiotic conditions. We aimed to examine how grazing affects ecosystem structure, function, and composition. We compiled a database of 7615 records reporting an effect of grazing by sheep and cattle on 278 biotic and abiotic response variables for published studies across Australia. Using these data, we derived three ecosystem measures based on structure, function, and composition, which were compared against six contrasts of grazing pressure, ranging from low to heavy, two different herbivores (sheep, cattle), and across three different climatic zones. Grazing reduced structure (by 35%), function (24%), and composition (10%). Structure and function (but not composition) declined more when grazed by sheep and cattle together than sheep alone. Grazing reduced plant biomass (40%), animal richness (15%), and plant and animal abundance, and plant and litter cover (25%), but had no effect on plant richness nor soil function. The negative effects of grazing on plant biomass, plant cover, and soil function were more pronounced in drier environments. Grazing effects on plant and animal richness and composition were constant, or even declined, with increasing aridity. Our study represents a comprehensive continental assessment of the implications of grazing for managing Australian rangelands. Grazing effects were largely negative, even at very low levels of grazing. Overall, our results suggest that livestock grazing in Australia is unlikely to produce positive outcomes for ecosystem structure, function, and composition or even as a blanket conservation tool unless reduction in specific response variables is an explicit management objective. PMID:27509764

  16. GABAA receptor activity shapes the formation of inhibitory synapses between developing medium spiny neurons

    PubMed Central

    Arama, Jessica; Abitbol, Karine; Goffin, Darren; Fuchs, Celine; Sihra, Talvinder S.; Thomson, Alex M.; Jovanovic, Jasmina N.

    2015-01-01

    Basal ganglia play an essential role in motor coordination and cognitive functions. The GABAergic medium spiny neurons (MSNs) account for ~95% of all the neurons in this brain region. Central to the normal functioning of MSNs is integration of synaptic activity arriving from the glutamatergic corticostriatal and thalamostriatal afferents, with synaptic inhibition mediated by local interneurons and MSN axon collaterals. In this study we have investigated how the specific types of GABAergic synapses between the MSNs develop over time, and how the activity of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) influences this development. Isolated embryonic (E17) MSNs form a homogenous population in vitro and display spontaneous synaptic activity and functional properties similar to their in vivo counterparts. In dual whole-cell recordings of synaptically connected pairs of MSNs, action potential (AP)-activated synaptic events were detected between 7 and 14 days in vitro (DIV), which coincided with the shift in GABAAR operation from depolarization to hyperpolarization, as detected indirectly by intracellular calcium imaging. In parallel, the predominant subtypes of inhibitory synapses, which innervate dendrites of MSNs and contain GABAAR α1 or α2 subunits, underwent distinct changes in the size of postsynaptic clusters, with α1 becoming smaller and α2 larger over time, while both the percentage and the size of mixed α1/α2-postsynaptic clusters were increased. When activity of GABAARs was under chronic blockade between 4–7 DIV, the structural properties of these synapses remained unchanged. In contrast, chronic inhibition of GABAARs between 7–14 DIV led to reduction in size of α1- and α1/α2-postsynaptic clusters and a concomitant increase in number and size of α2-postsynaptic clusters. Thus, the main subtypes of GABAergic synapses formed by MSNs are regulated by GABAAR activity, but in opposite directions, and thus appear to be driven by different molecular mechanisms. PMID

  17. Protein kinase Mζ-dependent maintenance of GluA2 at the synapse: a possible target for preventing or treating age-related memory decline?

    PubMed

    Aicardi, Giorgio

    2013-08-01

    Age-related functional alterations in the perforant path projection from the entorhinal cortex to the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus play a major role in age-related memory impairments, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms responsible for these changes. In a recent interesting study, Hara and colleagues (J Neurosci 2012;32:7336-7344) tested young and aged monkeys on the visual recognition memory test "delayed nonmatching-to-sample" (DNMS). Then they performed electron microscopy immunocytochemistry in the hippocampal DG to determine the subcellular localization of the GluA2 subunit of the glutamate α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) and protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ), which promotes memory storage by regulating GluA2-containing AMPAR trafficking. The results obtained suggest that age-related deficits in visual recognition memory are coupled with impairment in PKMζ-dependent maintenance of GluA2 at the synapse. Together with previous evidence of the critical role of PKMζ in memory consolidation, these data render this enzyme an attractive potential therapeutic target for preventing or treating age-related memory decline, and support the view that the pharmacological manipulation of AMPAR trafficking in the synapses may provide new insights in the search of memory enhancers for aged individuals, including those affected by Alzheimer disease.

  18. Modest maternal caffeine exposure affects developing embryonic cardiovascular function and growth.

    PubMed

    Momoi, Nobuo; Tinney, Joseph P; Liu, Li J; Elshershari, Huda; Hoffmann, Paul J; Ralphe, John C; Keller, Bradley B; Tobita, Kimimasa

    2008-05-01

    Caffeine consumption during pregnancy is reported to increase the risk of in utero growth restriction and spontaneous abortion. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that modest maternal caffeine exposure affects in utero developing embryonic cardiovascular (CV) function and growth without altering maternal hemodynamics. Caffeine (10 mg.kg(-1).day(-1) subcutaneous) was administered daily to pregnant CD-1 mice from embryonic days (EDs) 9.5 to 18.5 of a 21-day gestation. We assessed maternal and embryonic CV function at baseline and at peak maternal serum caffeine concentration using high-resolution echocardiography on EDs 9.5, 11.5, 13.5, and 18.5. Maternal caffeine exposure did not influence maternal body weight gain, maternal CV function, or embryo resorption. However, crown-rump length and body weight were reduced in maternal caffeine treated embryos by ED 18.5 (P < 0.05). At peak maternal serum caffeine concentration, embryonic carotid artery, dorsal aorta, and umbilical artery flows transiently decreased from baseline at ED 11.5 (P < 0.05). By ED 13.5, embryonic aortic and umbilical artery flows were insensitive to the peak maternal caffeine concentration; however, the carotid artery flow remained affected. By ED 18.5, baseline embryonic carotid artery flow increased and descending aortic flow decreased versus non-caffeine-exposed embryos. Maternal treatment with the adenosine A(2A) receptor inhibitor reproduced the embryonic hemodynamic effects of maternal caffeine exposure. Adenosine A(2A) receptor gene expression levels of ED 11.5 embryo and ED 18.5 uterus were decreased. Results suggest that modest maternal caffeine exposure has adverse effects on developing embryonic CV function and growth, possibly mediated via adenosine A(2A) receptor blockade.

  19. Factors affecting recovery of postoperative bowel function after pediatric laparoscopic surgery

    PubMed Central

    Michelet, Daphnée; Andreu-Gallien, Juliette; Skhiri, Alia; Bonnard, Arnaud; Nivoche, Yves; Dahmani, Souhayl

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims: Laparoscopic pediatric surgery allows a rapid postoperative rehabilitation and hospital discharge. However, the optimal postoperative pain management preserving advantages of this surgical technique remains to be determined. This study aimed to identify factors affecting the postoperative recovery of bowel function after laparoscopic surgery in children. Material and Methods: A retrospective analysis of factors affecting recovery of bowel function in children and infants undergoing laparoscopic surgery between January 1, 2009 and September 30, 2009, was performed. Factors included were: Age, weight, extent of surgery (extensive, regional or local), chronic pain (sickle cell disease or chronic intestinal inflammatory disease), American Society of Anaesthesiologists status, postoperative analgesia (ketamine, morphine, nalbuphine, paracetamol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs], nefopam, regional analgesia) both in the Postanesthesia Care Unit and in the surgical ward; and surgical complications. Data analysis used classification and regression tree analysis (CART) with a 10-fold cross validation. Results: One hundred and sixty six patients were included in the analysis. Recovery of bowel function depended upon: The extent of surgery, the occurrence of postoperative surgical complications, the administration of postoperative morphine in the surgical ward, the coadministration of paracetamol and NSAIDs and/or nefopam in the surgical ward and the emergency character of the surgery. The CART method generated a decision tree with eight terminal nodes. The percentage of explained variability of the model and the cross validation were 58% and 49%, respectively. Conclusion: Multimodal analgesia using nonopioid analgesia that allows decreasing postoperative morphine consumption should be considered for the speed of bowel function recovery after laparoscopic pediatric surgery. PMID:27625488

  20. Factors affecting recovery of postoperative bowel function after pediatric laparoscopic surgery

    PubMed Central

    Michelet, Daphnée; Andreu-Gallien, Juliette; Skhiri, Alia; Bonnard, Arnaud; Nivoche, Yves; Dahmani, Souhayl

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims: Laparoscopic pediatric surgery allows a rapid postoperative rehabilitation and hospital discharge. However, the optimal postoperative pain management preserving advantages of this surgical technique remains to be determined. This study aimed to identify factors affecting the postoperative recovery of bowel function after laparoscopic surgery in children. Material and Methods: A retrospective analysis of factors affecting recovery of bowel function in children and infants undergoing laparoscopic surgery between January 1, 2009 and September 30, 2009, was performed. Factors included were: Age, weight, extent of surgery (extensive, regional or local), chronic pain (sickle cell disease or chronic intestinal inflammatory disease), American Society of Anaesthesiologists status, postoperative analgesia (ketamine, morphine, nalbuphine, paracetamol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs], nefopam, regional analgesia) both in the Postanesthesia Care Unit and in the surgical ward; and surgical complications. Data analysis used classification and regression tree analysis (CART) with a 10-fold cross validation. Results: One hundred and sixty six patients were included in the analysis. Recovery of bowel function depended upon: The extent of surgery, the occurrence of postoperative surgical complications, the administration of postoperative morphine in the surgical ward, the coadministration of paracetamol and NSAIDs and/or nefopam in the surgical ward and the emergency character of the surgery. The CART method generated a decision tree with eight terminal nodes. The percentage of explained variability of the model and the cross validation were 58% and 49%, respectively. Conclusion: Multimodal analgesia using nonopioid analgesia that allows decreasing postoperative morphine consumption should be considered for the speed of bowel function recovery after laparoscopic pediatric surgery.

  1. Functional Connectivity under Anticipation of Shock: Correlates of Trait Anxious Affect versus Induced Anxiety.

    PubMed

    Bijsterbosch, Janine; Smith, Stephen; Bishop, Sonia J

    2015-09-01

    Sustained anxiety about potential future negative events is an important feature of anxiety disorders. In this study, we used a novel anticipation of shock paradigm to investigate individual differences in functional connectivity during prolonged threat of shock. We examined the correlates of between-participant differences in trait anxious affect and induced anxiety, where the latter reflects changes in self-reported anxiety resulting from the shock manipulation. Dissociable effects of trait anxious affect and induced anxiety were observed. Participants with high scores on a latent dimension of anxious affect showed less increase in ventromedial pFC-amygdala connectivity between periods of safety and shock anticipation. Meanwhile, lower levels of induced anxiety were linked to greater augmentation of dorsolateral pFC-anterior insula connectivity during shock anticipation. These findings suggest that ventromedial pFC-amygdala and dorsolateral pFC-insula networks might both contribute to regulation of sustained fear responses, with their recruitment varying independently across participants. The former might reflect an evolutionarily old mechanism for reducing fear or anxiety, whereas the latter might reflect a complementary mechanism by which cognitive control can be implemented to diminish fear responses generated due to anticipation of aversive stimuli or events. These two circuits might provide complementary, alternate targets for exploration in future pharmacological and cognitive intervention studies. PMID:25961638

  2. Noise affects the shape of female preference functions for acoustic signals.

    PubMed

    Reichert, Michael S; Ronacher, Bernhard

    2015-02-01

    The shape of female mate preference functions influences the speed and direction of sexual signal evolution. However, the expression of female preferences is modulated by interactions between environmental conditions and the female's sensory processing system. Noise is an especially relevant environmental condition because it interferes directly with the neural processing of signals. Although noise is therefore likely a significant force in the evolution of communication systems, little is known about its effects on preference function shape. In the grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus, female preferences for male calling song characteristics are likely to be affected by noise because its auditory system is sensitive to fine temporal details of songs. We measured female preference functions for variation in male song characteristics in several levels of masking noise and found strong effects of noise on preference function shape. The overall responsiveness to signals in noise generally decreased. Preference strength increased for some signal characteristics and decreased for others, largely corresponding to expectations based on neurophysiological studies of acoustic signal processing. These results suggest that different signal characteristics will be favored under different noise conditions, and thus that signal evolution may proceed differently depending on the extent and temporal patterning of environmental noise.

  3. Light availability affects stream biofilm bacterial community composition and function, but not diversity.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Karoline; Besemer, Katharina; Burns, Nancy R; Battin, Tom J; Bengtsson, Mia M

    2015-12-01

    Changes in riparian vegetation or water turbidity and browning in streams alter the local light regime with potential implications for stream biofilms and ecosystem functioning. We experimented with biofilms in microcosms grown under a gradient of light intensities (range: 5-152 μmole photons s(-1)  m(-2) ) and combined 454-pyrosequencing and enzymatic activity assays to evaluate the effects of light on biofilm structure and function. We observed a shift in bacterial community composition along the light gradient, whereas there was no apparent change in alpha diversity. Multifunctionality, based on extracellular enzymes, was highest under high light conditions and decoupled from bacterial diversity. Phenol oxidase activity, involved in the degradation of polyphenolic compounds, was twice as high on average under the lowest compared with the highest light condition. This suggests a shift in reliance of microbial heterotrophs on biofilm phototroph-derived organic matter under high light availability to more complex organic matter under low light. Furthermore, extracellular enzyme activities correlated with nutrient cycling and community respiration, supporting the link between biofilm structure-function and biogeochemical fluxes in streams. Our findings demonstrate that changes in light availability are likely to have significant impacts on biofilm structure and function, potentially affecting stream ecosystem processes.

  4. Light availability affects stream biofilm bacterial community composition and function, but not diversity.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Karoline; Besemer, Katharina; Burns, Nancy R; Battin, Tom J; Bengtsson, Mia M

    2015-12-01

    Changes in riparian vegetation or water turbidity and browning in streams alter the local light regime with potential implications for stream biofilms and ecosystem functioning. We experimented with biofilms in microcosms grown under a gradient of light intensities (range: 5-152 μmole photons s(-1)  m(-2) ) and combined 454-pyrosequencing and enzymatic activity assays to evaluate the effects of light on biofilm structure and function. We observed a shift in bacterial community composition along the light gradient, whereas there was no apparent change in alpha diversity. Multifunctionality, based on extracellular enzymes, was highest under high light conditions and decoupled from bacterial diversity. Phenol oxidase activity, involved in the degradation of polyphenolic compounds, was twice as high on average under the lowest compared with the highest light condition. This suggests a shift in reliance of microbial heterotrophs on biofilm phototroph-derived organic matter under high light availability to more complex organic matter under low light. Furthermore, extracellular enzyme activities correlated with nutrient cycling and community respiration, supporting the link between biofilm structure-function and biogeochemical fluxes in streams. Our findings demonstrate that changes in light availability are likely to have significant impacts on biofilm structure and function, potentially affecting stream ecosystem processes. PMID:26013911

  5. The consequences of depressive affect on functioning in relation to Cluster B personality disorder features.