Science.gov

Sample records for affects synapse function

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The protocadherin 17 gene affects cognition, personality, amygdala structure and function, synapse development and risk of major mood disorders.

    PubMed

    Chang, H; Hoshina, N; Zhang, C; Ma, Y; Cao, H; Wang, Y; Wu, D-D; Bergen, S E; Landén, M; Hultman, C M; Preisig, M; Kutalik, Z; Castelao, E; Grigoroiu-Serbanescu, M; Forstner, A J; Strohmaier, J; Hecker, J; Schulze, T G; Müller-Myhsok, B; Reif, A; Mitchell, P B; Martin, N G; Schofield, P R; Cichon, S; Nöthen, M M; Walter, H; Erk, S; Heinz, A; Amin, N; van Duijn, C M; Meyer-Lindenberg, A; Tost, H; Xiao, X; Yamamoto, T; Rietschel, M; Li, M

    2017-01-10

    Major mood disorders, which primarily include bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, are the leading cause of disability worldwide and pose a major challenge in identifying robust risk genes. Here, we present data from independent large-scale clinical data sets (including 29 557 cases and 32 056 controls) revealing brain expressed protocadherin 17 (PCDH17) as a susceptibility gene for major mood disorders. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the PCDH17 region are significantly associated with major mood disorders; subjects carrying the risk allele showed impaired cognitive abilities, increased vulnerable personality features, decreased amygdala volume and altered amygdala function as compared with non-carriers. The risk allele predicted higher transcriptional levels of PCDH17 mRNA in postmortem brain samples, which is consistent with increased gene expression in patients with bipolar disorder compared with healthy subjects. Further, overexpression of PCDH17 in primary cortical neurons revealed significantly decreased spine density and abnormal dendritic morphology compared with control groups, which again is consistent with the clinical observations of reduced numbers of dendritic spines in the brains of patients with major mood disorders. Given that synaptic spines are dynamic structures which regulate neuronal plasticity and have crucial roles in myriad brain functions, this study reveals a potential underlying biological mechanism of a novel risk gene for major mood disorders involved in synaptic function and related intermediate phenotypes.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 10 January 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2016.231.

  5. The gray area between synapse structure and function-Gray's synapse types I and II revisited.

    PubMed

    Klemann, Cornelius J H M; Roubos, Eric W

    2011-11-01

    On the basis of ultrastructural parameters, the concept was formulated that asymmetric Type I and symmetric Type II synapses are excitatory and inhibitory, respectively. This "functional Gray synapses concept" received strong support from the demonstration of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in Type I synapses and of the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid in Type II synapses, and is still frequently used in modern literature. However, morphological and functional evidence has accumulated that the concept is less tenable. Typical features of synapses like shape and size of presynaptic vesicles and synaptic cleft and presence of a postsynaptic density (PsD) do not always fit the postulated (excitatory/inhibitory) function of Gray's synapses. Furthermore, synapse function depends on postsynaptic receptors and associated signal transduction mechanisms rather than on presynaptic morphology and neurotransmitter type. Moreover, the notion that many synapses are difficult to classify as either asymmetric or symmetric has cast doubt on the assumption that the presence of a PsD is a sign of excitatory synaptic transmission. In view of the morphological similarities of the PsD in asymmetric synapses with membrane junctional structures such as the zonula adherens and the desmosome, asymmetric synapses may play a role as links between the postsynaptic and presynaptic membrane, thus ensuring long-term maintenance of interneuronal communication. Symmetric synapses, on the other hand, might be sites of transient communication as takes place during development, learning, memory formation, and pathogenesis of brain disorders. Confirmation of this idea might help to return the functional Gray synapse concept its central place in neuroscience. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Structural and functional maturation of active zones in large synapses.

    PubMed

    Cano, Raquel; Torres-Benito, Laura; Tejero, Rocío; Biea, Anca I; Ruiz, Rocío; Betz, William J; Tabares, Lucía

    2013-02-01

    Virtually all functions of the nervous system rely upon synapses, the sites of communication between neurons and between neurons and other cells. Synapses are complex structures, each one comprising hundreds of different types of molecules working in concert. They are organized by adhesive and scaffolding molecules that align presynaptic vesicular release sites, namely, active zones, with postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors, thereby allowing rapid and reliable intercellular communication. Most synapses are relatively small, and acting alone exerts little effect on their postsynaptic partners. Some, however, are much larger and stronger, reliably driving the postsynaptic cell to its action potential threshold, acting essentially as electrical relays of excitation. These large synapses are among the best understood, and two of these are the subject of this review, namely, the vertebrate neuromuscular junction and the calyx of Held synapse in the mammalian auditory pathway of the brain stem. Both synapses undergo through a complex and well-coordinated maturation process, during which time the molecular elements and the biophysical properties of the secretory machinery are continuously adjusted to the synapse size and to the functional requirements. We here review the morphological and functional changes occurring during postnatal maturation, noting particular similarities and differences between these two large synapses.

  7. Unique versus Redundant Functions of Neuroligin Genes in Shaping Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapse Properties.

    PubMed

    Chanda, Soham; Hale, W Dylan; Zhang, Bo; Wernig, Marius; Südhof, Thomas C

    2017-07-19

    .SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Human neuroligin genes have been associated with autism, but the cellular functions of different neuroligins and their molecular mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here, we performed comparative analyses in cultured mouse neurons of all major neuroligin isoforms, either individually or in combinations, using conditional knockouts. We found that neuroligin deletions did not affect synapse numbers but differentially impaired excitatory or inhibitory synaptic functions in an isoform-specific manner. These impairments were due, at least in part, to a decrease in synaptic distribution of neurotransmitter receptors upon deletion of neuroligins. Conversely, the overexpression of neuroligin-1 increased synapse numbers but not spine numbers. Our results suggest that various neuroligin isoforms perform unique postsynaptic functions in organizing synapses but are not essential for synapse formation or maintenance. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/376816-21$15.00/0.

  8. Functional contributions of electrical synapses in sensory and motor networks.

    PubMed

    Szczupak, Lidia

    2016-12-01

    Intercellular interactions in the nervous system are mediated by two types of dedicated structural arrangements: electrical and chemical synapses. Several characteristics distinguish these two mechanisms of communication, such as speed, reliability and the fact that electrical synapses are, potentially, bidirectional. Given these properties, electrical synapses can subserve, in addition to synchrony, three main interrelated network functions: signal amplification, noise reduction and/or coincidence detection. Specific network motifs in sensory and motor systems of invertebrates and vertebrates illustrate how signal transmission through electrical junctions contributes to a complex processing of information.

  9. 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

  10. Structure and Function of the Hair Cell Ribbon Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Nouvian, R.; Beutner, D.; Parsons, T.D.

    2006-01-01

    Faithful information transfer at the hair cell afferent synapse requires synaptic transmission to be both reliable and temporally precise. The release of neurotransmitter must exhibit both rapid on and off kinetics to accurately follow acoustic stimuli with a periodicity of 1 ms or less. To ensure such remarkable temporal fidelity, the cochlear hair cell afferent synapse undoubtedly relies on unique cellular and molecular specializations. While the electron microscopy hallmark of the hair cell afferent synapse — the electron-dense synaptic ribbon or synaptic body — has been recognized for decades, dissection of the synapse’s molecular make-up has only just begun. Recent cell physiology studies have added important insights into the synaptic mechanisms underlying fidelity and reliability of sound coding. The presence of the synaptic ribbon links afferent synapses of cochlear and vestibular hair cells to photoreceptors and bipolar neurons of the retina. This review focuses on major advances in understanding the hair cell afferent synapse molecular anatomy and function that have been achieved during the past years. PMID:16773499

  11. Cbln1 downregulates the formation and function of inhibitory synapses in mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells.

    PubMed

    Ito-Ishida, Aya; Kakegawa, Wataru; Kohda, Kazuhisa; Miura, Eriko; Okabe, Shigeo; Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2014-04-01

    The formation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses must be tightly coordinated to establish functional neuronal circuitry during development. In the cerebellum, the formation of excitatory synapses between parallel fibers and Purkinje cells is strongly induced by Cbln1, which is released from parallel fibers and binds to the postsynaptic δ2 glutamate receptor (GluD2). However, Cbln1's role, if any, in inhibitory synapse formation has been unknown. Here, we show that Cbln1 downregulates the formation and function of inhibitory synapses between Purkinje cells and interneurons. Immunohistochemical analyses with an anti-vesicular GABA transporter antibody revealed an increased density of interneuron-Purkinje cell synapses in the cbln1-null cerebellum. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from Purkinje cells showed that both the amplitude and frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents were increased in cbln1-null cerebellar slices. A 3-h incubation with recombinant Cbln1 reversed the increased amplitude of inhibitory currents in Purkinje cells in acutely prepared cbln1-null slices. Furthermore, an 8-day incubation with recombinant Cbln1 reversed the increased interneuron-Purkinje cell synapse density in cultured cbln1-null slices. In contrast, recombinant Cbln1 did not affect cerebellar slices from mice lacking both Cbln1 and GluD2. Finally, we found that tyrosine phosphorylation was upregulated in the cbln1-null cerebellum, and acute inhibition of Src-family kinases suppressed the increased inhibitory postsynaptic currents in cbln1-null Purkinje cells. These findings indicate that Cbln1-GluD2 signaling inhibits the number and function of inhibitory synapses, and shifts the excitatory-inhibitory balance towards excitation in Purkinje cells. Cbln1's effect on inhibitory synaptic transmission is probably mediated by a tyrosine kinase pathway.

  12. ARHGAP12 Functions as a Developmental Brake on Excitatory Synapse Function.

    PubMed

    Ba, W; Selten, M M; van der Raadt, J; van Veen, H; Li, L-L; Benevento, M; Oudakker, A R; Lasabuda, R S E; Letteboer, S J; Roepman, R; van Wezel, R J A; Courtney, M J; van Bokhoven, H; Nadif Kasri, N

    2016-02-16

    The molecular mechanisms that promote excitatory synapse development have been extensively studied. However, the molecular events preventing precocious excitatory synapse development so that synapses form at the correct time and place are less well understood. Here, we report the functional characterization of ARHGAP12, a previously uncharacterized Rho GTPase-activating protein (RhoGAP) in the brain. ARHGAP12 is specifically expressed in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, where it localizes to the postsynaptic compartment of excitatory synapses. ARHGAP12 negatively controls spine size via its RhoGAP activity and promotes, by interacting with CIP4, postsynaptic AMPA receptor endocytosis. Arhgap12 knockdown results in precocious maturation of excitatory synapses, as indicated by a reduction in the proportion of silent synapses. Collectively, our data show that ARHGAP12 is a synaptic RhoGAP that regulates excitatory synaptic structure and function during development. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Functional Anatomy of T Cell Activation and Synapse Formation

    PubMed Central

    Fooksman, David R.; Vardhana, Santosh; Vasiliver-Shamis, Gaia; Liese, Jan; Blair, David; Waite, Janelle; Sacristán, Catarina; Victora, Gabriel; Zanin-Zhorov, Alexandra; Dustin, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    T cell activation and function require a structured engagement of antigen-presenting cells. These cell contacts are characterized by two distinct dynamics in vivo: transient contacts resulting from promigratory junctions called immunological kinapses or prolonged contacts from stable junctions called immunological synapses. Kinapses operate in the steady state to allow referencing to self-peptide-MHC (pMHC) and searching for pathogen-derived pMHC. Synapses are induced by T cell receptor (TCR) interactions with agonist pMHC under specific conditions and correlate with robust immune responses that generate effector and memory T cells. High-resolution imaging has revealed that the synapse is highly coordinated, integrating cell adhesion, TCR recognition of pMHC complexes, and an array of activating and inhibitory ligands to promote or prevent T cell signaling. In this review, we examine the molecular components, geometry, and timing underlying kinapses and synapses. We integrate recent molecular and physiological data to provide a synthesis and suggest ways forward. PMID:19968559

  14. PTX-induced hyperexcitability affects dendritic shape and GABAergic synapse density but not synapse distribution during Manduca postembryonic motoneuron development.

    PubMed

    Meseke, Maurice; Evers, Jan Felix; Duch, Carsten

    2009-05-01

    During the metamorphosis of the holometabolous insect, Manduca sexta, the postembryonic acquisition of adult specific motor behaviors is accompanied by changes in dendritic architecture, membrane currents, and input synapses of identified motoneurons. This study aims to test whether increased activity affects dendritic architecture and sub-dendritic input synapse distribution of the identified flight motoneuron 5 (MN5). Systemic injections of the chloride channel blocker, picrotoxin (PTX), during early pupal stages increase pupal reflex responsiveness, but overall development is not impaired. MN5 input resistance, resting membrane potential, and spiking threshold are not affected. Bath application of PTX to isolated ventral nerve cords evokes spiking in pupal and adult flight motoneurons. Quantitative three-dimensional reconstructions of the dendritic tree of the adult MN5 show that systemic PTX injections into early pupae cause dendritic overgrowth and reduce the density of GABAergic inputs. In contrast, the distribution patterns of GABAergic terminals throughout the dendritic tree remain unaltered. This indicates that increased overall excitability might cause dendritic overgrowth and decreased inhibitory input during postembryonic motoneuron remodeling, whereas sub-dendritic synapse targeting might be controlled by activity-independent signals. Behavioral testing reveals that these neuronal changes do not impede the animal's ability to fly, but impair maximum flight performance.

  15. A nutrient combination that can affect synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Wurtman, Richard J

    2014-04-23

    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.

  16. Rectifying Electrical Synapses Can Affect the Influence of Synaptic Modulation on Output Pattern Robustness

    PubMed Central

    Gutierrez, Gabrielle J.

    2013-01-01

    Rectifying electrical synapses are commonplace, but surprisingly little is known about how rectification alters the dynamics of neuronal networks. In this study, we use computational models to investigate how rectifying electrical synapses change the behavior of a small neuronal network that exhibits complex rhythmic output patterns. We begin with an electrically coupled circuit of three oscillatory neurons with different starting frequencies, and subsequently add two additional neurons and inhibitory chemical synapses. The five-cell model represents a pattern-generating neuronal network with two simultaneous rhythms competing for the recruitment of a hub neuron. We compare four different configurations of rectifying synapse placement and polarity, and we investigate how rectification changes the functional output of this network. Rectification can have a striking effect on the network's sensitivity to alterations of the strengths of the chemical synapses in the network. For some configurations, the rectification makes the circuit dynamics remarkably robust against changes in synaptic strength compared with the nonrectifying case. Based on our findings, we predict that modulation of rectifying electrical synapses could have functional consequences for the neuronal circuits that express them. PMID:23926276

  17. Antidromic-rectifying gap junctions amplify chemical transmission at functionally mixed electrical-chemical synapses

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ping; Chen, Bojun; Mailler, Roger; Wang, Zhao-Wen

    2017-01-01

    Neurons communicate through chemical synapses and electrical synapses (gap junctions). Although these two types of synapses often coexist between neurons, little is known about whether they interact, and whether any interactions between them are important to controlling synaptic strength and circuit functions. By studying chemical and electrical synapses between premotor interneurons (AVA) and downstream motor neurons (A-MNs) in the Caenorhabditis elegans escape circuit, we found that disrupting either the chemical or electrical synapses causes defective escape response. Gap junctions between AVA and A-MNs only allow antidromic current, but, curiously, disrupting them inhibits chemical transmission. In contrast, disrupting chemical synapses has no effect on the electrical coupling. These results demonstrate that gap junctions may serve as an amplifier of chemical transmission between neurons with both electrical and chemical synapses. The use of antidromic-rectifying gap junctions to amplify chemical transmission is potentially a conserved mechanism in circuit functions. PMID:28317880

  18. Antidromic-rectifying gap junctions amplify chemical transmission at functionally mixed electrical-chemical synapses.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ping; Chen, Bojun; Mailler, Roger; Wang, Zhao-Wen

    2017-03-20

    Neurons communicate through chemical synapses and electrical synapses (gap junctions). Although these two types of synapses often coexist between neurons, little is known about whether they interact, and whether any interactions between them are important to controlling synaptic strength and circuit functions. By studying chemical and electrical synapses between premotor interneurons (AVA) and downstream motor neurons (A-MNs) in the Caenorhabditis elegans escape circuit, we found that disrupting either the chemical or electrical synapses causes defective escape response. Gap junctions between AVA and A-MNs only allow antidromic current, but, curiously, disrupting them inhibits chemical transmission. In contrast, disrupting chemical synapses has no effect on the electrical coupling. These results demonstrate that gap junctions may serve as an amplifier of chemical transmission between neurons with both electrical and chemical synapses. The use of antidromic-rectifying gap junctions to amplify chemical transmission is potentially a conserved mechanism in circuit functions.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26292808

  1. No simple brake--the complex functions of inhibitory synapses.

    PubMed

    Birke, G; Draguhn, A

    2010-05-01

    Synaptic inhibition can be viewed as a counterbalance of synaptic excitation. However, multiple recent studies at the cellular and network level show that inhibition serves a variety of additional, highly specific functions in the mammalian nervous system. At the molecular and cellular level, inhibitory synapses express diverse postsynaptic reversal potentials, kinetics, plasticity, and pharmacological modulation. This heterogeneity corresponds to the complexity of inhibition at the network level, where interneurons are now perceived as diverse and highly specific organizers of coherent activity patterns. We review some important new developments in the molecular, cellular and network physiology of inhibition. It turns out that understanding inhibition is a key to understanding neuronal network behaviour and, ultimately, may provide important clues for the development of novel therapeutic strategies in neuro-psychiatric diseases. (c) Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart-New York.

  2. Regenerated Synapses in Lamprey Spinal Cord Are Sparse and Small Even After Functional Recovery From Injury

    PubMed Central

    Oliphint, Paul A.; Alieva, Naila; Foldes, Andrea E.; Tytell, Eric D.; Lau, Billy Y.-B.; Pariseau, Jenna S.; Cohen, Avis H.; Morgan, Jennifer R.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the potential importance that synapse regeneration plays in restoring neuronal function after spinal cord injury (SCI), even the most basic questions about the morphology of regenerated synapses remain unanswered. Therefore, we set out to gain a better understanding of central synapse regeneration by examining the number, distribution, molecular composition, and ultrastructure of regenerated synapses under conditions in which behavioral recovery from SCI was robust. To do so, we used the giant reticulospinal (RS) neurons of lamprey spinal cord because they readily regenerate, are easily identifiable, and contain large synapses that serve as a classic model for vertebrate excitatory neurotransmission. Using a combination of light and electron microscopy, we found that regenerated giant RS synapses regained the basic structures and presynaptic organization observed at control giant RS synapses at a time when behavioral recovery was nearly complete. However, several obvious differences remained. Most strikingly, regenerated giant RS axons produced very few synapses. In addition, presynaptic sites within regenerated axons were less complex, had fewer vesicles, and had smaller active zones than normal. In contrast, the densities of presynapses and docked vesicles were nearly restored to control values. Thus, robust functional recovery from SCI can occur even when the structures of regenerated synapses are sparse and small, suggesting that functional recovery is due to a more complex set of compensatory changes throughout the spinal network. J. Comp. Neurol. 518:2854–2872, 2010. PMID:20506479

  3. 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.

  4. Functional CB2 type cannabinoid receptors at CNS synapses.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Nicola H; Stanford, Ian M; Woodhall, Gavin L

    2009-09-01

    To date, it has been thought that cannabinoid receptors in CNS are primarily of the CB1R subtype, with CB2R expressed only in glia and peripheral tissues. However, evidence for the expression of CB2 type cannabinoid receptors at neuronal sites in the CNS is building through anatomical localization of receptors and mRNA in neurons and behavioural studies of central effects of CB2R agonists. In the medial entorhinal area of the rat, we found that blockade of CB1R did not occlude suppression of GABAergic inhibition by the non-specific endogenous cannabinoid 2-AG, suggesting that CB1R could not account fully for the effects of 2-AG. Suppression could be mimicked using the CB2R agonist JWH-133 and reversed by the CB2R inverse agonist AM-630, indicating the presence of functional CB2R. When we reversed the order of drug application AM-630 blocked the effects of the CB2R agonist JWH-133, but not the CB1R inverse agonist LY320135. JTE-907, a CB2R inverse agonist structurally unrelated to AM-630 elicited increased GABAergic neurotransmission at picomolar concentrations. Analysis of mIPSCs revealed that CB2R effects were restricted to action potential dependent, but not action potential independent GABA release. These data provide pharmacological evidence for functional CB2R at CNS synapses.

  5. Structural and functional characterization of synapse-associated protein-97

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lei

    Synapse-associated protein-97 (SAP97) as a scaffold protein plays an important role in regulating neural signal transmission in the central nervous system by coupling with activated membrane receptors, ion channels, and downstream signaling proteins. SAP97 consists of six functional domains: L27, PDZ1, PDZ2, PDZ3, SH3, and GK. Each of these domains mediates the interactions of SAP97 with other proteins. Understanding the molecular mechanism of these interactions in neural signal transmission is a goal of this study. Here high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and fluorescence anisotropy are employed towards the goal of the structural and functional characterization of SAP97; specifically, we (a) characterize the binding of the PDZ domains of SAP97 with the C-terminus of NR2B, and determine the structure of the PDZ1-NR2B; (b) characterize the binding of the PDZ domains with the C-terminus of stargazin and multiple mutants, and identify the perturbed amino acids in PDZ2 upon the binding of stargazin; (c) characterize the binding specificity carried by the beta2/beta3 loop of the PDZ3 domain. These results provide insight into the molecular mechanism for the binding specificities of the PDZ domains of SAP97, thereby furthering the development of drugs that target these domains to treat neurological diseases.

  6. 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." © FASEB.

  7. Ethanol affects NMDA receptor signaling at climbing fiber-Purkinje cell synapses in mice and impairs cerebellar LTD.

    PubMed

    He, Qionger; Titley, Heather; Grasselli, Giorgio; Piochon, Claire; Hansel, Christian

    2013-03-01

    Ethanol profoundly influences cerebellar circuit function and motor control. It has recently been demonstrated that functional N-methyl-(D)-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are postsynaptically expressed at climbing fiber (CF) to Purkinje cell synapses in the adult cerebellum. Using whole cell patch-clamp recordings from mouse cerebellar slices, we examined whether ethanol can affect NMDA receptor signaling in mature Purkinje cells. NMDA receptor-mediated currents were isolated by bath application of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) receptor antagonist 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulfamoylbenzol[f]quinoxaline (NBQX). The remaining (D)-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid ((D)-APV)-sensitive current was reduced by ethanol at concentrations as low as 10 mM. At a concentration of 50 mM ethanol, the blockade of (D)-APV-sensitive CF-excitatory postsynaptic currents was significantly stronger. Ethanol also altered the waveform of CF-evoked complex spikes by reducing the afterdepolarization. This effect was not seen when NMDA receptors were blocked by (D)-APV before ethanol wash-in. In contrast to CF synaptic transmission, parallel fiber (PF) synaptic inputs were not affected by ethanol. Finally, ethanol (10 mM) impaired long-term depression (LTD) at PF to Purkinje cell synapses as induced under control conditions by paired PF and CF activity. However, LTD induced by pairing PF stimulation with depolarizing voltage steps (substituting for CF activation) was not blocked by ethanol. These observations suggest that the sensitivity of cerebellar circuit function and plasticity to low concentrations of ethanol may be caused by an ethanol-mediated impairment of NMDA receptor signaling at CF synapses onto cerebellar Purkinje cells.

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans glutamate transporters influence synaptic function and behavior at sites distant from the synapse.

    PubMed

    Mano, Itzhak; Straud, Sarah; Driscoll, Monica

    2007-11-23

    To ensure precise neurotransmission and prevent neurotoxic accumulation, l-glutamate (Glu), the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, is cleared from the synapse by glutamate transporters (GluTs). The molecular components of Glu synapses are highly conserved between Caenorhabditis elegans and mammals, yet the absence of synaptic insulation in C. elegans raises fundamental questions about Glu clearance strategies in the nematode nervous system. To gain insight into how Glu clearance is accomplished and how GluTs impact neurotransmission, we probed expression and function of all 6 GluTs found in the C. elegans genome. Disruption of each GluT impacts multiple Glu-dependent behaviors, with GluT combinations commonly increasing the severity of behavioral deficits. Interestingly, the sole GluT that we find expressed in neurons is localized predominantly in presynaptic neurons, in contrast to the postsynaptic concentration of neuronal GluTs typical in mammals. Moreover, 3 of the 6 GluT genes appear strongly expressed on the capillary excretory canal cell, where they affect Glu-dependent behaviors from positions distal to glutamatergic circuits. Indeed, our focused study of GLT-3, one of the distally expressed GluTs, shows that despite this distance, GLT-3 function can balance the activity mediated by synaptic release and synaptic receptors. The effects of distal GluTs on glutamatergic circuits support that Glu diffusion outside the vicinity of the synapse is a critical factor in C. elegans neurotransmission. Together with the presynaptic localization of neuronal GluTs, these observations suggest an unusual strategy for Glu clearance in C. elegans.

  9. Developmental alterations in the functional properties of excitatory neocortical synapses

    PubMed Central

    Feldmeyer, Dirk; Radnikow, Gabriele

    2009-01-01

    In the neocortex, most excitatory, glutamatergic synapses are established during the first 4–5 weeks after birth. During this period profound changes in the properties of synaptic transmission occur. Excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) at immature synaptic connections are profoundly and progressively reduced in response to moderate to high frequency (5–100 Hz) stimulation. With maturation, this frequency-dependent depression becomes progressively weaker and may eventually transform into a weak to moderate EPSP facilitation. In parallel to changes in the short-term plasticity, a reduction in the synaptic reliability occurs at most glutamatergic neocortical synapses: immature synapses show a high probability of neurotransmitter release as indicated by their low failure rate and small EPSP amplitude variation. This high reliability is reduced in mature synapses, which show considerably higher failure rates and more variable EPSP amplitudes. During early neocortical development synaptic vesicle pools are not yet fully differentiated and their replenishment may be slow, thus resulting in EPSP amplitude depression. The decrease in the probability of neurotransmitter release may be the result of an altered Ca2+ control in the presynaptic terminal with a reduced Ca2+ influx and/or a higher Ca2+ buffering capacity. This may lead to a lower synaptic reliability and a weaker short-term synaptic depression with maturation. PMID:19273572

  10. Distinct roles for extracellular and intracellular domains in neuroligin function at inhibitory synapses

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Quynh-Anh; Horn, Meryl E; Nicoll, Roger A

    2016-01-01

    Neuroligins (NLGNs) are postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules that interact trans-synaptically with neurexins to mediate synapse development and function. NLGN2 is only at inhibitory synapses while NLGN3 is at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. We found that NLGN3 function at inhibitory synapses in rat CA1 depends on the presence of NLGN2 and identified a domain in the extracellular region that accounted for this functional difference between NLGN2 and 3 specifically at inhibitory synapses. We further show that the presence of a cytoplasmic tail (c-tail) is indispensible, and identified two domains in the c-tail that are necessary for NLGN function at inhibitory synapses. These domains point to a gephyrin-dependent mechanism that is disrupted by an autism-associated mutation at R705 and a gephyrin-independent mechanism reliant on a putative phosphorylation site at S714. Our work highlights unique and separate roles for the extracellular and intracellular regions in specifying and carrying out NLGN function respectively. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19236.001 PMID:27805570

  11. Distinct roles for extracellular and intracellular domains in neuroligin function at inhibitory synapses.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Quynh-Anh; Horn, Meryl E; Nicoll, Roger A

    2016-11-02

    Neuroligins (NLGNs) are postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules that interact trans-synaptically with neurexins to mediate synapse development and function. NLGN2 is only at inhibitory synapses while NLGN3 is at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. We found that NLGN3 function at inhibitory synapses in rat CA1 depends on the presence of NLGN2 and identified a domain in the extracellular region that accounted for this functional difference between NLGN2 and 3 specifically at inhibitory synapses. We further show that the presence of a cytoplasmic tail (c-tail) is indispensible, and identified two domains in the c-tail that are necessary for NLGN function at inhibitory synapses. These domains point to a gephyrin-dependent mechanism that is disrupted by an autism-associated mutation at R705 and a gephyrin-independent mechanism reliant on a putative phosphorylation site at S714. Our work highlights unique and separate roles for the extracellular and intracellular regions in specifying and carrying out NLGN function respectively.

  12. Analysis of RIM Expression and Function at Mouse Photoreceptor Ribbon Synapses.

    PubMed

    Löhner, Martina; Babai, Norbert; Müller, Tanja; Gierke, Kaspar; Atorf, Jenny; Joachimsthaler, Anneka; Peukert, Angela; Martens, Henrik; Feigenspan, Andreas; Kremers, Jan; Schoch, Susanne; Brandstätter, Johann Helmut; Regus-Leidig, Hanna

    2017-08-16

    RAB3A-interacting molecule (RIM) proteins are important regulators of transmitter release from active zones. At conventional chemical synapses, RIMs contribute substantially to vesicle priming and docking and their loss reduces the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles by up to 75%. The priming function of RIMs is mediated via the formation of a tripartite complex with Munc13 and RAB3A, which brings synaptic vesicles in close proximity to Ca(2+) channels and the fusion site and activates Munc13. We reported previously that, at mouse photoreceptor ribbon synapses, vesicle priming is Munc13 independent. In this study, we examined RIM expression, distribution, and function at male and female mouse photoreceptor ribbon synapses. We provide evidence that RIM1α and RIM1β are highly likely absent from mouse photoreceptors and that RIM2α is the major large RIM isoform present at photoreceptor ribbon synapses. We show that mouse photoreceptors predominantly express RIM2 variants that lack the interaction domain for Munc13. Loss of full-length RIM2α in a RIM2α mutant mouse only marginally perturbs photoreceptor synaptic transmission. Our findings therefore strongly argue for a priming mechanism at the photoreceptor ribbon synapse that is independent of the formation of a RIM-Munc13-RAB3A complex and thus provide further evidence for a fundamental difference between photoreceptor ribbon synapses and conventional chemical synapses in synaptic vesicle exocytosis.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT RAB3A-interacting molecules 1 and 2 (RIM1/2) are essential regulators of exocytosis. At conventional chemical synapses, their function involves Ca(2+) channel clustering and synaptic vesicle priming and docking through interactions with Munc13 and RAB3A, respectively. Examining wild-type and RIM2 mutant mice, we show here that the sensory photoreceptor ribbon synapses most likely lack RIM1 and predominantly express RIM2 variants that lack the interaction domain for Munc13. Our findings

  13. FGF22 protects hearing function from gentamycin ototoxicity by maintaining ribbon synapse number.

    PubMed

    Li, Shuna; Hang, Lihua; Ma, Yongming

    2016-02-01

    Inner hair cell (IHC) ribbon synapses of cochlea play important role in transmitting sound signal into auditory nerve and are sensitive to ototoxicity. However, ototoxic damage of ribbon synapses is not understood clearly. Roles of fibroblast growth factor 22 (FGF22) on synapse formation were explored under gentamycin ototoxicity. 6-week-old mice were injected intraperitoneally once daily with 50-150 mg/kg gentamicin for 10 days. Immunostaining with anti- GluR2&3/CtBP2 was used to estimate the number of ribbon synapses in the cochlea. Expression of FGF22 and myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D) was assayed with RT-PCR. Expression and localization of FGF22 protein were visualized with anti-FGF22 immunostaining. Hearing thresholds were assessed using auditory brainstem responses. Gentamicin administration caused reduction in ribbon synapse number and hearing impairment without effect on hair cells in CBA/J mouse model. Immunohistochemistry showed that FGF22 protein was expressed in IHCs, but not OHCs of cochlea. Gentamycin attenuated expression of FGF22 but enhanced expression of MEF2D. Cochlear infusion of recombinant FGF22 inhibited expression of MEF2D, preserved ribbon synapses, and restored hearing function impaired by gentamycin. FGF22 restores hearing loss through maintaining ribbon synapse number, likely via inhibition of MEF2D. Activating FGF22 might provide the conceptual basis for the therapeutic strategies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Postsynaptic FMRP bidirectionally regulates excitatory synapses as a function of developmental age and MEF2 activity.

    PubMed

    Zang, Tong; Maksimova, Marina A; Cowan, Christopher W; Bassel-Duby, Rhonda; Olson, Eric N; Huber, Kimberly M

    2013-09-01

    Rates of synapse formation and elimination change over the course of postnatal development, but little is known of molecular mechanisms that mediate this developmental switch. Here, we report that the dendritic RNA-binding protein fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) bidirectionally and cell autonomously regulates excitatory synaptic function, which depends on developmental age as well as function of the activity-dependent transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2). The acute postsynaptic expression of FMRP in CA1 neurons of hippocampal slice cultures (during the first postnatal week, P6-P7) promotes synapse function and maturation. In contrast, the acute expression of FMRP or endogenous FMRP in more mature neurons (during the second postnatal week; P13-P16) suppresses synapse number. The ability of neuronal depolarization to stimulate MEF2 transcriptional activity increases over this same developmental period. Knockout of endogenous MEF2 isoforms causes acute postsynaptic FMRP expression to promote, instead of eliminate, synapses onto 2-week-old neurons. Conversely, the expression of active MEF2 in neonatal neurons results in a precocious FMRP-dependent synapse elimination. Our findings suggest that FMRP and MEF2 function together to fine tune synapse formation and elimination rates in response to neuronal activity levels over the course of postnatal development.

  15. Redundant Postsynaptic Functions of SynCAMs 1–3 during Synapse Formation

    PubMed Central

    Fowler, Daniel K.; Peters, James H.; Williams, Carly; Washbourne, Philip

    2017-01-01

    Investigating the roles of synaptogenic adhesion molecules during synapse formation has proven challenging, often due to compensatory functions between additional family members. The synaptic cell adhesion molecules 1–3 (SynCAM1–3) are expressed both pre- and postsynaptically, share highly homologous domains and are synaptogenic when ectopically presented to neurons; yet their endogenous functions during synaptogenesis are unclear. Here we report that SynCAM1–3 are functionally redundant and collectively necessary for synapse formation in cultured hippocampal neurons. Only triple knockdown (KD) of SynCAM1–3 using highly efficient, chained artificial microRNAs (amiRNAs) reduced synapse density and increased synapse area. Electrophysiological recordings of quantal release events supported an increase in synapse size caused by SynCAM1–3 depletion. Furthermore, a combinatorial, mosaic lentiviral approach comparing wild type (WT) and SynCAM1–3 KD neurons in the same culture demonstrate that SynCAM1–3 set synapse number and size through postsynaptic mechanisms. The results demonstrate that the redundancy between SynCAM1–3 has concealed their synaptogenic function at the postsynaptic terminal. PMID:28197078

  16. Functional switching of GABAergic synapses by ryanodine receptor activation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Miao-Kun; Nelson, Thomas J.; Alkon, Daniel L.

    2000-10-01

    The role of the ryanodine receptor (RyR) in modifiability of synapses made by the basket interneurons onto the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells was examined in rats. Associating single-cell RyR activation with postsynaptic depolarization increased intracellular free Ca2+ concentrations and reversed the basket interneuron-CA1 inhibitory postsynaptic potential into an excitatory postsynaptic potential. This synaptic transformation was accompanied by a shift of the reversal potential from that of chloride toward that of bicarbonate. This inhibitory postsynaptic potential-excitatory postsynaptic potential transformation was prevented by blocking RyR or carbonic anhydrase. Associated postsynaptic depolarization and RyR activation, therefore, changes GABAergic synapses from excitation filters to amplifier and, thereby, shapes information flow through the hippocampal network.

  17. Long-term plasticity at GABAergic and glycinergic synapses: mechanisms and functional significance.

    PubMed

    Gaiarsa, Jean-Luc; Caillard, Olivier; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel

    2002-11-01

    Activity-dependent long-term changes in synaptic efficacy are thought to be important in learning, memory formation, neuronal development and pathological states of neuronal excitability in the CNS. For the past two decades, numerous studies have investigated long-term changes in synaptic efficacy at excitatory glutamatergic synapses. Although inhibitory synapses are essential for proper functioning of the neuronal network, attention has focused only recently on describing and characterizing plasticity at these types of synapse. Not surprisingly, different forms of plasticity at GABAergic, and the closely related glycinergic, synapses have been reported in several regions of the brain. Here we review these different forms of plasticity and focus on their possible roles in developing and adult neuronal networks.

  18. 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.

  19. Early expression of KCC2 in rat hippocampal cultures augments expression of functional GABA synapses

    PubMed Central

    Chudotvorova, Ilona; Ivanov, Anton; Rama, Sylvain; Hübner, Christian A; Pellegrino, Christophe; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Medina, Igor

    2005-01-01

    The development of GABAergic synapses is associated with an excitatory to inhibitory shift of the actions of GABA because of a reduction of [Cl−]i. This is due to a delayed postnatal expression of the K+–Cl− cotransporter KCC2, which has low levels at birth and peaks during the first few postnatal weeks. Whether the expression of the cotransporter and the excitatory to inhibitory shift have other consequences on the operation of GABAA receptors and synapses is not yet known. We have now expressed KCC2 in immature neurones at an early developmental stage and determined the consequences on the formation of GABA and glutamate synapses. We report that early expression of the cotransporter selectively enhances GABAergic synapses: there is a significant increase of the density of GABAA receptors and synapses and an increase of the frequency of GABAergic miniature postsynaptic currents. The density of glutamate synapses and frequency of AMPA miniature postsynaptic currents are not affected. We conclude that the expression of KCC2 and the reduction of [Cl−]i play a critical role in the construction of GABAergic networks that extends beyond the excitatory to inhibitory shift of the actions of GABA. PMID:15961425

  20. Early expression of KCC2 in rat hippocampal cultures augments expression of functional GABA synapses.

    PubMed

    Chudotvorova, Ilona; Ivanov, Anton; Rama, Sylvain; Hübner, Christian A; Pellegrino, Christophe; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Medina, Igor

    2005-08-01

    The development of GABAergic synapses is associated with an excitatory to inhibitory shift of the actions of GABA because of a reduction of [Cl-]i. This is due to a delayed postnatal expression of the K+ -Cl- cotransporter KCC2, which has low levels at birth and peaks during the first few postnatal weeks. Whether the expression of the cotransporter and the excitatory to inhibitory shift have other consequences on the operation of GABA(A) receptors and synapses is not yet known. We have now expressed KCC2 in immature neurones at an early developmental stage and determined the consequences on the formation of GABA and glutamate synapses. We report that early expression of the cotransporter selectively enhances GABAergic synapses: there is a significant increase of the density of GABA(A) receptors and synapses and an increase of the frequency of GABAergic miniature postsynaptic currents. The density of glutamate synapses and frequency of AMPA miniature postsynaptic currents are not affected. We conclude that the expression of KCC2 and the reduction of [Cl-]i play a critical role in the construction of GABAergic networks that extends beyond the excitatory to inhibitory shift of the actions of GABA.

  1. 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

  2. STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTION OF MOUSE PHOTORECEPTOR RIBBON SYNAPSES INVOLVE THE IMMUNOGLOBULIN ADHESION PROTEIN SYNCAM 1

    PubMed Central

    Ribic, Adema; Liu, Xinran; Crair, Michael C.; Biederer, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Adhesive interactions in the retina instruct the developmental specification of inner retinal layers. However, potential roles of adhesion in the development and function of photoreceptor synapses remain incompletely understood. This contrasts with our understanding of synapse development in the central nervous system (CNS), which can be guided by select adhesion molecules such as the Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (SynCAM 1/CADM1/Nectin-like 2 protein). This immunoglobulin superfamily protein modulates the development and plasticity of classical excitatory synapses. We now show by immuno-electron microscopy and immunoblotting that SynCAM 1 is expressed on mouse rod photoreceptors and their terminals in the outer nuclear and plexiform layers (ONL and OPL) in a developmentally regulated manner. Expression of SynCAM 1 on rods is low in early postnatal stages (P3-P7), but increases after eye opening (P14). In support of functional roles in the photoreceptors, electroretinogram recordings demonstrate impaired responses to light stimulation in SynCAM 1 knockout (KO) mice. In addition, the structural integrity of synapses in the OPL requires SynCAM 1. Quantitative ultrastructural analysis of SynCAM 1 KO retina measured fewer fully assembled, triadic rod ribbon synapses. Further, rod synapse ribbons are shortened in KO mice and protein levels of Ribeye, a major structural component of ribbons, are reduced in SynCAM 1 KO retina. Together, our results implicate SynCAM 1 in the synaptic organization of the rod visual pathway and provide evidence for novel roles of synaptic adhesion in the structural and functional integrity of ribbon synapses. PMID:23982969

  3. Structure/Function assessment of synapses at motor nerve terminals

    PubMed Central

    Johnstone, A. F. M.; Viele, K.; Cooper, R. L.

    2010-01-01

    The release of transmitter at neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) of the opener muscle in crayfish is quantal in nature. This NMJ offers the advantage of being able to record quantal events at specific visually identified release sites, thus allowing measurement of the physiological parameters of vesicle release and its response to be directly correlated with synaptic structure. These experiments take advantage of areas between the varicosities on the nerve terminal that we define as “stems”. Stems were chosen as the region to study because of their low synaptic output due to fewer synaptic sites. Through 3-D reconstruction from hundreds of serial sections, obtained by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), at a site in which focal macropatch recordings were obtained, the number of synapses and AZs are revealed. Thus, physiological profiles with various stimulation conditions can be assessed in regards to direct synaptic structure. Here we used the properties of the quantal shape to determine if distinct subsets of quantal signatures existed and if differences in the distributions are present depending on the frequency of stimulation. Such a quantal signature could come about by parameters of area, rise time, peak amplitude, latency and tau decay. In this study, it is shown that even at defined sites on the stem, with few active zones, synaptic transmission is still complex and the quantal responses appear to be variable even for a given synapse over time. In this study we could not identify a quantal signature for the conditions utilized. PMID:20730805

  4. Structure/function assessment of synapses at motor nerve terminals.

    PubMed

    Johnstone, A F M; Viele, K; Cooper, R L

    2011-04-01

    The release of transmitter at neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) of the opener muscle in crayfish is quantal in nature. This NMJ offers the advantage of being able to record quantal events at specific visually identified release sites, thus allowing measurement of the physiological parameters of vesicle release and its response to be directly correlated with synaptic structure. These experiments take advantage of areas between the varicosities on the nerve terminal that we define as "stems." Stems were chosen as the region to study because of their low synaptic output due to fewer synaptic sites. Through 3D reconstruction from hundreds of serial sections, obtained by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), at a site in which focal macropatch recordings were obtained, the number of synapses and AZs are revealed. Thus, physiological profiles with various stimulation conditions can be assessed in regards to direct synaptic structure. Here, we used the properties of the quantal shape to determine if distinct subsets of quantal signatures existed and if differences in the distributions are present depending on the frequency of stimulation. Such a quantal signature could come about by parameters of area, rise time, peak amplitude, latency, and tau decay. In this study, it is shown that even at defined sites on the stem, with few active zones, synaptic transmission is still complex and the quantal responses appear to be variable even for a given synapse over time. In this study, we could not identify a quantal signature for the conditions utilized. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. Neuroligins and neurexins: linking cell adhesion, synapse formation and cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Dean, Camin; Dresbach, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    Cell adhesion represents the most direct way of coordinating synaptic connectivity in the brain. Recent evidence highlights the importance of a trans-synaptic interaction between postsynaptic neuroligins and presynaptic neurexins. These transmembrane molecules bind each other extracellularly to promote adhesion between dendrites and axons. This signals the recruitment of presynaptic and postsynaptic molecules to form a functional synapse. Remarkably, neuroligins alone can induce the formation of fully functional presynaptic terminals in contacting axons. Conversely, neurexins alone can induce postsynaptic differentiation and clustering of receptors in dendrites. Therefore, the neuroligin-neurexin interaction has the unique ability to act as a bi-directional trigger of synapse formation. Here, we review several recent studies that offer clues as to how these proteins form synapses and how they might function in the brain to establish and modify neuronal network properties and cognition.

  6. Receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma regulates synapse structure, function and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Horn, Katherine E; Xu, Bin; Gobert, Delphine; Hamam, Bassam N; Thompson, Katherine M; Wu, Chia-Lun; Bouchard, Jean-François; Uetani, Noriko; Racine, Ronald J; Tremblay, Michel L; Ruthazer, Edward S; Chapman, C Andrew; Kennedy, Timothy E

    2012-07-01

    The mechanisms that regulate synapse formation and maintenance are incompletely understood. In particular, relatively few inhibitors of synapse formation have been identified. Receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (RPTPσ), a transmembrane tyrosine phosphatase, is widely expressed by neurons in developing and mature mammalian brain, and functions as a receptor for chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans that inhibits axon regeneration following injury. In this study, we address RPTPσ function in the mature brain. We demonstrate increased axon collateral branching in the hippocampus of RPTPσ null mice during normal aging or following chemically induced seizure, indicating that RPTPσ maintains neural circuitry by inhibiting axonal branching. Previous studies demonstrated a role for pre-synaptic RPTPσ promoting synaptic differentiation during development; however, subcellular fractionation revealed enrichment of RPTPσ in post-synaptic densities. We report that neurons lacking RPTPσ have an increased density of pre-synaptic varicosities in vitro and increased dendritic spine density and length in vivo. RPTPσ knockouts exhibit an increased frequency of miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents, and greater paired-pulse facilitation, consistent with increased synapse density but reduced synaptic efficiency. Furthermore, RPTPσ nulls exhibit reduced long-term potentiation and enhanced novel object recognition memory. We conclude that RPTPσ limits synapse number and regulates synapse structure and function in the mature CNS.

  7. Optimal Recall from Bounded Metaplastic Synapses: Predicting Functional Adaptations in Hippocampal Area CA3

    PubMed Central

    Savin, Cristina; Dayan, Peter; Lengyel, Máté

    2014-01-01

    A venerable history of classical work on autoassociative memory has significantly shaped our understanding of several features of the hippocampus, and most prominently of its CA3 area, in relation to memory storage and retrieval. However, existing theories of hippocampal memory processing ignore a key biological constraint affecting memory storage in neural circuits: the bounded dynamical range of synapses. Recent treatments based on the notion of metaplasticity provide a powerful model for individual bounded synapses; however, their implications for the ability of the hippocampus to retrieve memories well and the dynamics of neurons associated with that retrieval are both unknown. Here, we develop a theoretical framework for memory storage and recall with bounded synapses. We formulate the recall of a previously stored pattern from a noisy recall cue and limited-capacity (and therefore lossy) synapses as a probabilistic inference problem, and derive neural dynamics that implement approximate inference algorithms to solve this problem efficiently. In particular, for binary synapses with metaplastic states, we demonstrate for the first time that memories can be efficiently read out with biologically plausible network dynamics that are completely constrained by the synaptic plasticity rule, and the statistics of the stored patterns and of the recall cue. Our theory organises into a coherent framework a wide range of existing data about the regulation of excitability, feedback inhibition, and network oscillations in area CA3, and makes novel and directly testable predictions that can guide future experiments. PMID:24586137

  8. Optimal recall from bounded metaplastic synapses: predicting functional adaptations in hippocampal area CA3.

    PubMed

    Savin, Cristina; Dayan, Peter; Lengyel, Máté

    2014-02-01

    A venerable history of classical work on autoassociative memory has significantly shaped our understanding of several features of the hippocampus, and most prominently of its CA3 area, in relation to memory storage and retrieval. However, existing theories of hippocampal memory processing ignore a key biological constraint affecting memory storage in neural circuits: the bounded dynamical range of synapses. Recent treatments based on the notion of metaplasticity provide a powerful model for individual bounded synapses; however, their implications for the ability of the hippocampus to retrieve memories well and the dynamics of neurons associated with that retrieval are both unknown. Here, we develop a theoretical framework for memory storage and recall with bounded synapses. We formulate the recall of a previously stored pattern from a noisy recall cue and limited-capacity (and therefore lossy) synapses as a probabilistic inference problem, and derive neural dynamics that implement approximate inference algorithms to solve this problem efficiently. In particular, for binary synapses with metaplastic states, we demonstrate for the first time that memories can be efficiently read out with biologically plausible network dynamics that are completely constrained by the synaptic plasticity rule, and the statistics of the stored patterns and of the recall cue. Our theory organises into a coherent framework a wide range of existing data about the regulation of excitability, feedback inhibition, and network oscillations in area CA3, and makes novel and directly testable predictions that can guide future experiments.

  9. Functional roles of complexin in neurotransmitter release at ribbon synapses of mouse retinal bipolar neurons.

    PubMed

    Vaithianathan, Thirumalini; Henry, Diane; Akmentin, Wendy; Matthews, Gary

    2015-03-04

    Ribbon synapses of photoreceptor cells and bipolar neurons in the retina signal graded changes in light intensity via sustained release of neurotransmitter. One molecular specialization of retinal ribbon synapses is the expression of complexin protein subtypes Cplx3 and Cplx4, whereas conventional synapses express Cplx1 and Cplx2. Because complexins bind to the molecular machinery for synaptic vesicle fusion (the SNARE complex) and modulate transmitter release at conventional synapses, we examined the roles of ribbon-specific complexin in regulating release at ribbon synapses of ON bipolar neurons from mouse retina. To interfere acutely with the interaction of native complexins with the SNARE complex, a peptide consisting of the highly conserved SNARE-binding domain of Cplx3 was introduced via a whole-cell patch pipette placed directly on the synaptic terminal, and vesicle fusion was monitored using capacitance measurements and FM-dye destaining. The inhibitory peptide, but not control peptides, increased spontaneous synaptic vesicle fusion, partially depleted reserve synaptic vesicles, and reduced fusion triggered by opening voltage-gated calcium channels under voltage clamp, without affecting the number of synaptic vesicles associated with ribbons, as revealed by electron microscopy of recorded terminals. The results are consistent with a dual role for ribbon-specific complexin, acting as a brake on the SNARE complex to prevent spontaneous fusion in the absence of calcium influx, while at the same time facilitating release evoked by depolarization.

  10. Functional Hallmarks of GABAergic Synapse Maturation and the Diverse Roles of Neurotrophins

    PubMed Central

    Grantyn, Rosemarie; Henneberger, Christian; Jüttner, René; Meier, Jochen C.; Kirischuk, Sergei

    2011-01-01

    Functional impairment of the adult brain can result from deficits in the ontogeny of GABAergic synaptic transmission. Gene defects underlying autism spectrum disorders, Rett’s syndrome or some forms of epilepsy, but also a diverse set of syndromes accompanying perinatal trauma, hormonal imbalances, intake of sleep-inducing or mood-improving drugs or, quite common, alcohol intake during pregnancy can alter GABA signaling early in life. The search for therapeutically relevant endogenous molecules or exogenous compounds able to alleviate the consequences of dysfunction of GABAergic transmission in the embryonic or postnatal brain requires a clear understanding of its site- and state-dependent development. At the level of single synapses, it is necessary to discriminate between presynaptic and postsynaptic alterations, and to define parameters that can be regarded as both suitable and accessible for the quantification of developmental changes. Here we focus on the performance of GABAergic synapses in two brain structures, the hippocampus and the superior colliculus, describe some novel aspects of neurotrophin effects during the development of GABAergic synaptic transmission and examine the applicability of the following rules: (1) synaptic transmission starts with GABA, (2) nascent/immature GABAergic synapses operate in a ballistic mode (multivesicular release), (3) immature synaptic terminals release vesicles with higher probability than mature synapses, (4) immature GABAergic synapses are prone to paired pulse and tetanic depression, (5) synapse maturation is characterized by an increasing dominance of synchronous over asynchronous release, (6) in immature neurons GABA acts as a depolarizing transmitter, (7) synapse maturation implies inhibitory postsynaptic current shortening due to an increase in alpha1 subunit expression, (8) extrasynaptic (tonic) conductances can inhibit the development of synaptic (phasic) GABA actions. PMID:21772813

  11. Spontaneous synaptic activity is required for the formation of functional GABAergic synapses in the developing rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Colin-Le Brun, Isabelle; Ferrand, Nadine; Caillard, Olivier; Tosetti, Patrizia; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Gaïarsa, Jean-Luc

    2004-08-15

    Here we examine the role of the spontaneous synaptic activity generated by the developing rat hippocampus in the formation of functional gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapses. Intact hippocampal formations (IHFs) were dissected at birth and incubated for 1 day in control or tetrodotoxin (TTX)-supplemented medium at 25 degrees C. After the incubation, miniature GABA(A)-mediated postsynaptic currents (mGABA(A)-PSCs) were recorded in whole-cell voltage-clamped CA3 pyramidal neurones from IHF-derived slices. After 1 day in vitro in control medium, the frequency of mGABA(A)-PSCs was similar to that recorded in acute slices obtained 1 day after birth, but significantly higher than the frequency recorded from acute slices just after birth. These results suggest that the factors required in vivo for the formation of functional GABAergic synapses are preserved in the IHFs in vitro. The frequency increase was prevented when IHFs were incubated for 1 day with TTX. TTX treatment affected neither the morphology of CA3 pyramidal neurones nor cell viability. The TTX effects were reproduced when IHFs were incubated in the presence of glutamatergic or GABAergic ionotropic receptor antagonists or in high divalent cationic medium. The present results indicate that the spontaneous synaptic activity generated by the developing hippocampus is a key player in the formation of functional GABAergic synapses, possibly via network events requiring both glutamatergic and GABAergic receptors.

  12. Spontaneous synaptic activity is required for the formation of functional GABAergic synapses in the developing rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Colin-Le Brun, Isabelle; Ferrand, Nadine; Caillard, Olivier; Tosetti, Patrizia; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Gaïarsa, Jean-Luc

    2004-01-01

    Here we examine the role of the spontaneous synaptic activity generated by the developing rat hippocampus in the formation of functional γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapses. Intact hippocampal formations (IHFs) were dissected at birth and incubated for 1 day in control or tetrodotoxin (TTX)-supplemented medium at 25°C. After the incubation, miniature GABAA-mediated postsynaptic currents (mGABAA-PSCs) were recorded in whole-cell voltage-clamped CA3 pyramidal neurones from IHF-derived slices. After 1 day in vitro in control medium, the frequency of mGABAA-PSCs was similar to that recorded in acute slices obtained 1 day after birth, but significantly higher than the frequency recorded from acute slices just after birth. These results suggest that the factors required in vivo for the formation of functional GABAergic synapses are preserved in the IHFs in vitro. The frequency increase was prevented when IHFs were incubated for 1 day with TTX. TTX treatment affected neither the morphology of CA3 pyramidal neurones nor cell viability. The TTX effects were reproduced when IHFs were incubated in the presence of glutamatergic or GABAergic ionotropic receptor antagonists or in high divalent cationic medium. The present results indicate that the spontaneous synaptic activity generated by the developing hippocampus is a key player in the formation of functional GABAergic synapses, possibly via network events requiring both glutamatergic and GABAergic receptors. PMID:15218067

  13. Functional Maturation of GABA Synapses During Postnatal Development of the Monkey Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Miyamae, Takeaki; Pafundo, Diego E.; Yoshino, Hiroki; Rotaru, Diana C.; Hoftman, Gil; Datta, Dibyadeep; Zhang, Yun; Hammond, Mahjub; Sampson, Allan R.; Fish, Kenneth N.; Bard Ermentrout, G.; Lewis, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Development of inhibition onto pyramidal cells may be crucial for the emergence of cortical network activity, including gamma oscillations. In primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), inhibitory synaptogenesis starts in utero and inhibitory synapse density reaches adult levels before birth. However, in DLPFC, the expression levels of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapse-related gene products changes markedly during development until young adult age, suggesting a highly protracted maturation of GABA synapse function. Therefore, we examined the development of GABA synapses by recording GABAAR-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (GABAAR-IPSCs) from pyramidal cells in the DLPFC of neonatal, prepubertal, peripubertal, and adult macaque monkeys. We found that the decay of GABAAR-IPSCs, possibly including those from parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons, shortened by prepubertal age, while their amplitude increased until the peripubertal period. Interestingly, both GABAAR-mediated quantal response size, estimated by miniature GABAAR-IPSCs, and the density of GABAAR synaptic appositions, measured with immunofluorescence microscopy, were stable with age. Simulations in a computational model network with constant GABA synapse density showed that the developmental changes in GABAAR-IPSC properties had a significant impact on oscillatory activity and predicted that, whereas DLPFC circuits can generate gamma frequency oscillations by prepubertal age, mature levels of gamma band power are attained at late stages of development. PMID:24904071

  14. Functional Maturation of GABA Synapses During Postnatal Development of the Monkey Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Miyamae, Takeaki; Pafundo, Diego E; Yoshino, Hiroki; Rotaru, Diana C; Hoftman, Gil; Datta, Dibyadeep; Zhang, Yun; Hammond, Mahjub; Sampson, Allan R; Fish, Kenneth N; Ermentrout, G Bard; Lewis, David A

    2015-11-01

    Development of inhibition onto pyramidal cells may be crucial for the emergence of cortical network activity, including gamma oscillations. In primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), inhibitory synaptogenesis starts in utero and inhibitory synapse density reaches adult levels before birth. However, in DLPFC, the expression levels of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapse-related gene products changes markedly during development until young adult age, suggesting a highly protracted maturation of GABA synapse function. Therefore, we examined the development of GABA synapses by recording GABAAR-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (GABAAR-IPSCs) from pyramidal cells in the DLPFC of neonatal, prepubertal, peripubertal, and adult macaque monkeys. We found that the decay of GABAAR-IPSCs, possibly including those from parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons, shortened by prepubertal age, while their amplitude increased until the peripubertal period. Interestingly, both GABAAR-mediated quantal response size, estimated by miniature GABAAR-IPSCs, and the density of GABAAR synaptic appositions, measured with immunofluorescence microscopy, were stable with age. Simulations in a computational model network with constant GABA synapse density showed that the developmental changes in GABAAR-IPSC properties had a significant impact on oscillatory activity and predicted that, whereas DLPFC circuits can generate gamma frequency oscillations by prepubertal age, mature levels of gamma band power are attained at late stages of development.

  15. GABAA receptors can initiate the formation of functional inhibitory GABAergic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Fuchs, Celine; Abitbol, Karine; Burden, Jemima J; Mercer, Audrey; Brown, Laura; Iball, Jonathan; Anne Stephenson, F; Thomson, Alex M; Jovanovic, Jasmina N

    2013-01-01

    The mechanisms that underlie the selection of an inhibitory GABAergic axon's postsynaptic targets and the formation of the first contacts are currently unknown. To determine whether expression of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) themselves – the essential functional postsynaptic components of GABAergic synapses – can be sufficient to initiate formation of synaptic contacts, a novel co-culture system was devised. In this system, the presynaptic GABAergic axons originated from embryonic rat basal ganglia medium spiny neurones, whereas their most prevalent postsynaptic targets, i.e. α1/β2/γ2-GABAARs, were expressed constitutively in a stably transfected human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cell line. The first synapse-like contacts in these co-cultures were detected by colocalization of presynaptic and postsynaptic markers within 2 h. The number of contacts reached a plateau at 24 h. These contacts were stable, as assessed by live cell imaging; they were active, as determined by uptake of a fluorescently labelled synaptotagmin vesicle-luminal domain-specific antibody; and they supported spontaneous and action potential-driven postsynaptic GABAergic currents. Ultrastructural analysis confirmed the presence of characteristics typical of active synapses. Synapse formation was not observed with control or N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor-expressing HEK293 cells. A prominent increase in synapse formation and strength was observed when neuroligin-2 was co-expressed with GABAARs, suggesting a cooperative relationship between these proteins. Thus, in addition to fulfilling an essential functional role, postsynaptic GABAARs can promote the adhesion of inhibitory axons and the development of functional synapses. PMID:23909897

  16. Normal dynactin complex function during synapse growth in Drosophila requires membrane binding by Arfaptin

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Leo; Kreko, Tabita; Davison, Holly; Cusmano, Tim; Wu, Yimin; Rothenfluh, Adrian; Eaton, Benjamin A.

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in DCTN1, a component of the dynactin complex, are linked to neurodegenerative diseases characterized by a broad collection of neuropathologies. Because of the pleiotropic nature of dynactin complex function within the neuron, defining the causes of neuropathology in DCTN1 mutants has been difficult. We combined a genetic screen with cellular assays of dynactin complex function to identify genes that are critical for dynactin complex function in the nervous system. This approach identified the Drosophila homologue of Arfaptin, a multifunctional protein that has been implicated in membrane trafficking. We find that Arfaptin and the Drosophila DCTN1 homologue, Glued, function in the same pathway during synapse growth but not during axonal transport or synapse stabilization. Arfaptin physically associates with Glued and other dynactin complex components in the nervous system of both flies and mice and colocalizes with Glued at the Golgi in motor neurons. Mechanistically, membrane binding by Arfaptin mediates membrane association of the dynactin complex in motor neurons and is required for normal synapse growth. Arfaptin represents a novel dynactin complex–binding protein that specifies dynactin complex function during synapse growth. PMID:23596322

  17. 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

  18. Pursuit of Neurotransmitter Functions: Being Attracted with Fascination of the Synapse.

    PubMed

    Konishi, Shiro

    2017-01-01

     In the beginning of the 1970s, only two chemical substances, acetylcholine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), had been definitely established as neurotransmitters. Under such circumstances, I started my scientific career in Professor Masanori Otsuka's lab searching for the transmitter of primary sensory neurons. Until 1976, lines of evidence had accumulated indicating that the undecapeptide substance P could be released as a transmitter from primary afferent fibers into spinal synapses, although the substance P-mediated synaptic response had yet to be identified. Peripheral synapses could serve as a good model and thus, it was demonstrated in the prevertebral sympathetic ganglia by1985 that substance P released from axon collaterals of primary sensory neurons acts as the transmitter mediating non-cholinergic slow excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP). At that time, we also found that autonomic synapses were useful to uncover the transmitter role of the opioid peptide enkephalins, whose functions had been unknown since their discovery in 1975. Accordingly, enkephalins were found to serve a transmitter role in mediating presynaptic inhibition of cholinergic fast and non-cholinergic slow transmission in the prevertebral sympathetic ganglia. In 1990s, we attempted to devise a combined technique of brain slices and patch-clamp recordings. We applied it to study the regulatory mechanisms that operate around cerebellar GABAergic inhibitory synapses, because most of the studies then had centered on excitatory synapses and because inhibitory synapses are crucially involved in brain functions and disorders. Consequently, we discovered novel forms of heterosynaptic interactions, dual actions of a single transmitter, and receptor crosstalk, the details of which are described in this review.

  19. Astrocyte lipid metabolism is critical for synapse development and function in vivo.

    PubMed

    van Deijk, Anne-Lieke F; Camargo, Nutabi; Timmerman, Jaap; Heistek, Tim; Brouwers, Jos F; Mogavero, Floriana; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Smit, August B; Verheijen, Mark H G

    2017-04-01

    The brain is considered to be autonomous in lipid synthesis with astrocytes producing lipids far more efficiently than neurons. Accordingly, it is generally assumed that astrocyte-derived lipids are taken up by neurons to support synapse formation and function. Initial confirmation of this assumption has been obtained in cell cultures, but whether astrocyte-derived lipids support synapses in vivo is not known. Here, we address this issue and determined the role of astrocyte lipid metabolism in hippocampal synapse formation and function in vivo. Hippocampal protein expression for the sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) and its target gene fatty acid synthase (Fasn) was found in astrocytes but not in neurons. Diminishing SREBP activity in astrocytes using mice in which the SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) was deleted from GFAP-expressing cells resulted in decreased cholesterol and phospholipid secretion by astrocytes. Interestingly, SCAP mutant mice showed more immature synapses, lower presynaptic protein SNAP-25 levels as well as reduced numbers of synaptic vesicles, indicating impaired development of the presynaptic terminal. Accordingly, hippocampal short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity were defective in mutant mice. These findings establish a critical role for astrocyte lipid metabolism in presynaptic terminal development and function in vivo. GLIA 2017;65:670-682.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-15

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Optogenetic Interrogation of Functional Synapse Formation by Corticospinal Tract Axons in the Injured Spinal Cord

    PubMed Central

    Jayaprakash, Naveen; Wang, Zimei; Hoeynck, Brian; Krueger, Nicholas; Kramer, Audra; Balle, Eric; Wheeler, Daniel S.; Wheeler, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    To restore function after injury to the CNS, axons must be stimulated to extend into denervated territory and, critically, must form functional synapses with appropriate targets. We showed previously that forced overexpression of the transcription factor Sox11 increases axon growth by corticospinal tract (CST) neurons after spinal injury. However, behavioral outcomes were not improved, raising the question of whether the newly sprouted axons are able to form functional synapses. Here we developed an optogenetic strategy, paired with single-unit extracellular recordings, to assess the ability of Sox11-stimulated CST axons to functionally integrate in the circuitry of the cervical spinal cord. Initial time course experiments established the expression and function of virally expressed Channelrhodopsin (ChR2) in CST cell bodies and in axon terminals in cervical spinal cord. Pyramidotomies were performed in adult mice to deprive the left side of the spinal cord of CST input, and the right CST was treated with adeno-associated virus (AAV)–Sox11 or AAV–EBFP control, along with AAV–ChR2. As expected, Sox11 treatment caused robust midline crossing of CST axons into previously denervated left spinal cord. Clear postsynaptic responses resulted from optogenetic activation of CST terminals, demonstrating the ability of Sox11-stimulated axons to form functional synapses. Mapping of the distribution of CST-evoked spinal activity revealed overall similarity between intact and newly innervated spinal tissue. These data demonstrate the formation of functional synapses by Sox11-stimulated CST axons without significant behavioral benefit, suggesting that new synapses may be mistargeted or otherwise impaired in the ability to coordinate functional output. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT As continued progress is made in promoting the regeneration of CNS axons, questions of synaptic integration are increasingly prominent. Demonstrating direct synaptic integration by regenerated axons and

  5. Optogenetic Interrogation of Functional Synapse Formation by Corticospinal Tract Axons in the Injured Spinal Cord.

    PubMed

    Jayaprakash, Naveen; Wang, Zimei; Hoeynck, Brian; Krueger, Nicholas; Kramer, Audra; Balle, Eric; Wheeler, Daniel S; Wheeler, Robert A; Blackmore, Murray G

    2016-05-25

    To restore function after injury to the CNS, axons must be stimulated to extend into denervated territory and, critically, must form functional synapses with appropriate targets. We showed previously that forced overexpression of the transcription factor Sox11 increases axon growth by corticospinal tract (CST) neurons after spinal injury. However, behavioral outcomes were not improved, raising the question of whether the newly sprouted axons are able to form functional synapses. Here we developed an optogenetic strategy, paired with single-unit extracellular recordings, to assess the ability of Sox11-stimulated CST axons to functionally integrate in the circuitry of the cervical spinal cord. Initial time course experiments established the expression and function of virally expressed Channelrhodopsin (ChR2) in CST cell bodies and in axon terminals in cervical spinal cord. Pyramidotomies were performed in adult mice to deprive the left side of the spinal cord of CST input, and the right CST was treated with adeno-associated virus (AAV)-Sox11 or AAV-EBFP control, along with AAV-ChR2. As expected, Sox11 treatment caused robust midline crossing of CST axons into previously denervated left spinal cord. Clear postsynaptic responses resulted from optogenetic activation of CST terminals, demonstrating the ability of Sox11-stimulated axons to form functional synapses. Mapping of the distribution of CST-evoked spinal activity revealed overall similarity between intact and newly innervated spinal tissue. These data demonstrate the formation of functional synapses by Sox11-stimulated CST axons without significant behavioral benefit, suggesting that new synapses may be mistargeted or otherwise impaired in the ability to coordinate functional output. As continued progress is made in promoting the regeneration of CNS axons, questions of synaptic integration are increasingly prominent. Demonstrating direct synaptic integration by regenerated axons and distinguishing its function

  6. Relevance of presynaptic actin dynamics for synapse function and mouse behavior.

    PubMed

    Rust, Marco B; Maritzen, Tanja

    2015-07-15

    Actin is the most abundant cytoskeletal protein in presynaptic terminals as well as in postsynaptic dendritic spines of central excitatory synapses. While the relevance of actin dynamics for postsynaptic plasticity, for instance activity-induced changes in dendritic spine morphology and synaptic glutamate receptor mobility, is well-documented, only little is known about its function and regulatory mechanisms in presynaptic terminals. Moreover, studies on presynaptic actin dynamics have often been inconsistent, suggesting that actin has diverse presynaptic functions, varying likely between specific types of excitatory synapses and/or their activity states. In this review, we will summarize and discuss the function and upstream regulatory mechanisms of the actin cytoskeleton in presynaptic terminals, focusing on excitatory synapses of the mammalian central nervous system. Due to length restrictions we will mainly concentrate on new insights into actin's presynaptic function that have been gained by cell biological and mouse genetic approaches since the excellent 2008 review by Cingolani and Goda. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. WASp-dependent actin cytoskeleton stability at the dendritic cell immunological synapse is required for extensive, functional T cell contacts

    PubMed Central

    Malinova, Dessislava; Fritzsche, Marco; Nowosad, Carla R.; Armer, Hannah; Munro, Peter M. G.; Blundell, Michael P.; Charras, Guillaume; Tolar, Pavel; Bouma, Gerben; Thrasher, Adrian J.

    2016-01-01

    The immunological synapse is a highly structured and molecularly dynamic interface between communicating immune cells. Although the immunological synapse promotes T cell activation by dendritic cells, the specific organization of the immunological synapse on the dendritic cell side in response to T cell engagement is largely unknown. In this study, confocal and electron microscopy techniques were used to investigate the role of dendritic cell actin regulation in immunological synapse formation, stabilization, and function. In the dendritic cell-restricted absence of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein, an important regulator of the actin cytoskeleton in hematopoietic cells, the immunological synapse contact with T cells occupied a significantly reduced surface area. At a molecular level, the actin network localized to the immunological synapse exhibited reduced stability, in particular, of the actin-related protein-2/3-dependent, short-filament network. This was associated with decreased polarization of dendritic cell-associated ICAM-1 and MHC class II, which was partially dependent on Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein phosphorylation. With the use of supported planar lipid bilayers incorporating anti-ICAM-1 and anti-MHC class II antibodies, the dendritic cell actin cytoskeleton organized into recognizable synaptic structures but interestingly, formed Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein-dependent podosomes within this area. These findings demonstrate that intrinsic dendritic cell cytoskeletal remodeling is a key regulatory component of normal immunological synapse formation, likely through consolidation of adhesive interaction and modulation of immunological synapse stability. PMID:26590149

  8. WASp-dependent actin cytoskeleton stability at the dendritic cell immunological synapse is required for extensive, functional T cell contacts.

    PubMed

    Malinova, Dessislava; Fritzsche, Marco; Nowosad, Carla R; Armer, Hannah; Munro, Peter M G; Blundell, Michael P; Charras, Guillaume; Tolar, Pavel; Bouma, Gerben; Thrasher, Adrian J

    2016-05-01

    The immunological synapse is a highly structured and molecularly dynamic interface between communicating immune cells. Although the immunological synapse promotes T cell activation by dendritic cells, the specific organization of the immunological synapse on the dendritic cell side in response to T cell engagement is largely unknown. In this study, confocal and electron microscopy techniques were used to investigate the role of dendritic cell actin regulation in immunological synapse formation, stabilization, and function. In the dendritic cell-restricted absence of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein, an important regulator of the actin cytoskeleton in hematopoietic cells, the immunological synapse contact with T cells occupied a significantly reduced surface area. At a molecular level, the actin network localized to the immunological synapse exhibited reduced stability, in particular, of the actin-related protein-2/3-dependent, short-filament network. This was associated with decreased polarization of dendritic cell-associated ICAM-1 and MHC class II, which was partially dependent on Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein phosphorylation. With the use of supported planar lipid bilayers incorporating anti-ICAM-1 and anti-MHC class II antibodies, the dendritic cell actin cytoskeleton organized into recognizable synaptic structures but interestingly, formed Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein-dependent podosomes within this area. These findings demonstrate that intrinsic dendritic cell cytoskeletal remodeling is a key regulatory component of normal immunological synapse formation, likely through consolidation of adhesive interaction and modulation of immunological synapse stability. © The Author(s).

  9. Early sequential formation of functional GABA(A) and glutamatergic synapses on CA1 interneurons of the rat foetal hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Hennou, Sonia; Khalilov, Ilgam; Diabira, Diabé; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Gozlan, Henri

    2002-07-01

    During postnatal development of CA1 pyramidal neurons, GABAergic synapses are excitatory and established prior to glutamatergic synapses. As interneurons are generated before pyramidal cells, we have tested the hypothesis that the GABAergic interneuronal network is operative before glutamate pyramidal neurons and provides the initial patterns of activity. We patch-clamp recorded interneurons in foetal (69 neurons) and neonatal P0 (162 neurons) hippocampal slices and performed a morphofunctional analysis of biocytin-filled neurons. At P0, three types of interneurons were found: (i) non-innervated "silent" interneurons (5%) with no spontaneous or evoked synaptic currents; (ii) G interneurons (17%) with GABA(A) synapses only; and (iii) GG interneurons with GABA and glutamatergic synapses (78%). Relying on the neuronal capacitance, cell body size and arborization of dendrites and axons, the three types of interneurons correspond to three stages of development with non-innervated neurons and interneurons with GABA(A) and glutamatergic synapses being, respectively, the least and the most developed. Recordings from both pyramidal neurons and interneurons in foetuses (E18-20) revealed that the majority of interneurons (65%) had functional synapses whereas nearly 90% of pyramidal neurons were quiescent. Therefore, interneurons follow the same GABA-glutamate sequence of synapse formation but earlier than the principal cells. Interneurons are the source and the target of the first synapses formed in the hippocampus and are thus in a position to modulate the development of the hippocampus in the foetal stage.

  10. [An analysis of the functional heterogeneity of the sensory motor neuron synapse of the frog].

    PubMed

    Ditiatev, A E

    1989-01-01

    Four models of the amplitude fluctuations of postsynaptic potentials have been compared. Better agreement of convolution of the two binomial distributions and beta-model as compared to the binomial model is demonstrated. The beta-model is based on the assumption that the probability of the transmitter quantum release is a random variable which has beta distribution. The number of the quantum generators estimated by the beta-model is close to the number of synaptic boutons in the sensory-motor synapses of the frog. Investigation of this model has shown that the number of generators estimated by the binomial model may be interpreted as the number of transmitter release sites functioning with probabilities exceeding 0.2. Results obtained confirm the hypothesis concerning the functional heterogeneity of release sites at the frog interneuronal synapses.

  11. Functional Organization of Cutaneous and Muscle Afferent Synapses onto Immature Spinal Lamina I Projection Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jie

    2017-01-01

    It is well established that sensory afferents innervating muscle are more effective at inducing hyperexcitability within spinal cord circuits compared with skin afferents, which likely contributes to the higher prevalence of chronic musculoskeletal pain compared with pain of cutaneous origin. However, the mechanisms underlying these differences in central nociceptive signaling remain incompletely understood, as nothing is known about how superficial dorsal horn neurons process sensory input from muscle versus skin at the synaptic level. Using a novel ex vivo spinal cord preparation, here we identify the functional organization of muscle and cutaneous afferent synapses onto immature rat lamina I spino-parabrachial neurons, which serve as a major source of nociceptive transmission to the brain. Stimulation of the gastrocnemius nerve and sural nerve revealed significant convergence of muscle and cutaneous afferent synaptic input onto individual projection neurons. Muscle afferents displayed a higher probability of glutamate release, although short-term synaptic plasticity was similar between the groups. Importantly, muscle afferent synapses exhibited greater relative expression of Ca2+-permeable AMPARs compared with cutaneous inputs. In addition, the prevalence and magnitude of spike timing-dependent long-term potentiation were significantly higher at muscle afferent synapses, where it required Ca2+-permeable AMPAR activation. Collectively, these results provide the first evidence for afferent-specific properties of glutamatergic transmission within the superficial dorsal horn. A larger propensity for activity-dependent strengthening at muscle afferent synapses onto developing spinal projection neurons could contribute to the enhanced ability of these sensory inputs to sensitize central nociceptive networks and thereby evoke persistent pain in children following injury. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The neurobiological mechanisms underlying the high prevalence of chronic

  12. Functional and structural remodeling of glutamate synapses in prefrontal and frontal cortex induced by behavioral stress.

    PubMed

    Musazzi, Laura; Treccani, Giulia; Popoli, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence has shown that the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, is associated with abnormal function and regulation of the glutamatergic system. Consistently, preclinical studies on stress-based animal models of pathology showed that glucocorticoids and stress exert crucial effects on neuronal excitability and function, especially in cortical and limbic areas. In prefrontal and frontal cortex, acute stress was shown to induce enhancement of glutamate release/transmission dependent on activation of corticosterone receptors. Although the mechanisms whereby stress affects glutamate transmission have not yet been fully understood, it was shown that synaptic, non-genomic action of corticosterone is required to increase the readily releasable pool of glutamate vesicles, but is not sufficient to enhance transmission in prefrontal and frontal cortex. Slower, partly genomic mechanisms are probably necessary for the enhancement of glutamate transmission induced by stress. Combined evidence has suggested that the changes in glutamate release and transmission are responsible for the dendritic remodeling and morphological changes induced by stress and it has been argued that sustained alterations of glutamate transmission may play a key role in the long-term structural/functional changes associated with mood disorders in patients. Intriguingly, modifications of the glutamatergic system induced by stress in the prefrontal cortex seem to be biphasic. Indeed, while the fast response to stress suggests an enhancement in the number of excitatory synapses, synaptic transmission and working memory, long-term adaptive changes - including those consequent to chronic stress - induce opposite effects. Better knowledge of the cellular effectors involved in this biphasic effect of stress may be useful to understand the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, and open new paths for the development of therapeutic approaches.

  13. Functional and Structural Remodeling of Glutamate Synapses in Prefrontal and Frontal Cortex Induced by Behavioral Stress

    PubMed Central

    Musazzi, Laura; Treccani, Giulia; Popoli, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence has shown that the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, is associated with abnormal function and regulation of the glutamatergic system. Consistently, preclinical studies on stress-based animal models of pathology showed that glucocorticoids and stress exert crucial effects on neuronal excitability and function, especially in cortical and limbic areas. In prefrontal and frontal cortex, acute stress was shown to induce enhancement of glutamate release/transmission dependent on activation of corticosterone receptors. Although the mechanisms whereby stress affects glutamate transmission have not yet been fully understood, it was shown that synaptic, non-genomic action of corticosterone is required to increase the readily releasable pool of glutamate vesicles, but is not sufficient to enhance transmission in prefrontal and frontal cortex. Slower, partly genomic mechanisms are probably necessary for the enhancement of glutamate transmission induced by stress. Combined evidence has suggested that the changes in glutamate release and transmission are responsible for the dendritic remodeling and morphological changes induced by stress and it has been argued that sustained alterations of glutamate transmission may play a key role in the long-term structural/functional changes associated with mood disorders in patients. Intriguingly, modifications of the glutamatergic system induced by stress in the prefrontal cortex seem to be biphasic. Indeed, while the fast response to stress suggests an enhancement in the number of excitatory synapses, synaptic transmission and working memory, long-term adaptive changes – including those consequent to chronic stress – induce opposite effects. Better knowledge of the cellular effectors involved in this biphasic effect of stress may be useful to understand the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, and open new paths for the development of therapeutic approaches. PMID

  14. 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.

  15. [Three-dimensional reconstruction of synapse and dendritic spines in the hippocampus of rats and ground squirrels: new paradigms of the structure and function of a synapse].

    PubMed

    Popov, V I; Deev, A A; Klimenko, O A; Kraev, I V; Kuz'minykh, S B; Medvedev, N I; Patrushev, I V; Popov, R V; Rogachevskiĭ, V V; Khutsian, S S; Stewart, M G; Fesenko, E E

    2004-01-01

    The article reviews the literature data and results obtained by the authors concerning synaptic plasticity and remodeling of synaptic organelles in the central nervous system. Modern techniques of laser scanning confocal microscopy and serial thin sectioning for in vivo and in vitro studies of dendritic spines including a correlation between morphological changes and synaptic transmission efficiency are discussed, particularly, in relation to long-term potentiation. Organization of different types of dendritic spines and involvement of filopodia in spine genesis are examined. Significance of serial ultrathin sections for unbiased quantitative stereological analysis and three-dimensional reconstructions is discussed. The contact of one dendritic spine with two presynaptic boutons (multiple synapses) on both CA1 mushroom dendritic spines is discussed. The analyzed findings suggest new ideas for organization and functioning of synapses.

  16. Ultrastructural and Functional Properties of a Giant Synapse Driving the Piriform Cortex to Mediodorsal Thalamus Projection

    PubMed Central

    Pelzer, Patric; Horstmann, Heinz; Kuner, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Neocortico-thalamo-cortical loops represent a common, yet poorly understood, circuit employing giant synapses also referred to as “class I”, giant, or driver synapses. Here, we characterize a giant synapse formed by projection neurons of the paleocortical piriform cortex (PIR) onto neurons of the mediodorsal thalamus (MD). Three-dimensional (3D) ultrastructure of labeled PIR-MD terminals, obtained by using serial-section scanning electron microscopy (EM) combined with photooxidation-based detection of labeled terminals, revealed a large terminal engulfing multiple postsynaptic dendritic excrescences. The terminal contained multiple synaptic contacts, a high density of synaptic vesicles and several central mitochondria. Using targeted stimulations of single identified PIR-MD terminals in combination with patch-clamp recordings from the connected MD neuron, we found large postsynaptic currents with fast kinetics and strong short-term depression, yet fast recovery upon repetitive stimulation. We conclude that the phylogenetically old paleocortex already developed giant synaptic connections exhibiting similar functional properties as connections formed by giant neocortico-thalamic projections. PMID:28197093

  17. Drosophila Tubulin-specific chaperone E functions at neuromuscular synapses and is required for microtubule network formation.

    PubMed

    Jin, Shan; Pan, Luyuan; Liu, Zhihua; Wang, Qifu; Xu, Zhiheng; Zhang, Yong Q

    2009-05-01

    Hypoparathyroidism, mental retardation and facial dysmorphism (HRD) is a fatal developmental disease caused by mutations in tubulin-specific chaperone E (TBCE). A mouse Tbce mutation causes progressive motor neuronopathy. To dissect the functions of TBCE and the pathogenesis of HRD, we generated mutations in Drosophila tbce, and manipulated its expression in a tissue-specific manner. Drosophila tbce nulls are embryonic lethal. Tissue-specific knockdown and overexpression of tbce in neuromusculature resulted in disrupted and increased microtubules, respectively. Alterations in TBCE expression also affected neuromuscular synapses. Genetic analyses revealed an antagonistic interaction between TBCE and the microtubule-severing protein Spastin. Moreover, treatment of muscles with the microtubule-depolymerizing drug nocodazole implicated TBCE as a tubulin polymerizing protein. Taken together, our results demonstrate that TBCE is required for the normal development and function of neuromuscular synapses and that it promotes microtubule formation. As defective microtubules are implicated in many neurological and developmental diseases, our work on TBCE may offer novel insights into their basis.

  18. Regulation of synapse structure and function by distinct myosin II motors.

    PubMed

    Rubio, Maria D; Johnson, Richard; Miller, Courtney A; Huganir, Richard L; Rumbaugh, Gavin

    2011-01-26

    Ongoing synaptic function and rapid, bidirectional plasticity are both controlled by regulatory mechanisms within dendritic spines. Spine actin dynamics maintain synapse structure and function, and cytoskeletal rearrangements in these structures trigger structural and functional plasticity. Therefore, proteins that interact with actin filaments are attractive candidates to regulate synaptic actin dynamics and, thus, synapse structure and function. Here, we have cloned the rat isoform of class II myosin heavy chain MyH7B in brain. Unexpectedly, this isoform resembles muscle-type myosin II rather than the ubiquitously expressed nonmuscle myosin II isoforms, suggesting that a rich functional diversity of myosin II motors may exist in neurons. Indeed, reducing the expression of MyH7B in mature neurons caused profound alterations to dendritic spine structure and excitatory synaptic strength. Structurally, dendritic spines had large, irregularly shaped heads that contained many filopodia-like protrusions. Neurons with reduced MyH7B expression also had impaired miniature EPSC amplitudes accompanied by a decrease in synaptic AMPA receptors, which was linked to alterations of the actin cytoskeleton. MyH7B-mediated control over spine morphology and synaptic strength was distinct from that of a nonmuscle myosin, myosin IIb. Interestingly, when myosin IIb expression and MyH7B expression were simultaneously knocked-down in neurons, a third, more pronounced phenotype emerged. Together, our data provide evidence that distinct myosin II isoforms work together to regulate synapse structure and function in cultured hippocampal neurons. Thus, myosin II motor activity is emerging as a broad regulatory mechanism for control over complex actin networks within dendritic spines.

  19. Regulation of Synapse Structure and Function by Distinct Myosin II Motors

    PubMed Central

    Rubio, Maria D.; Johnson, Richard; Miller, Courtney A.; Huganir, Richard L.; Rumbaugh, Gavin

    2011-01-01

    Ongoing synaptic function and rapid, bidirectional plasticity are both controlled by regulatory mechanisms within dendritic spines. Spine actin dynamics maintain synapse structure and function, and cytoskeletal rearrangements in these structures trigger structural and functional plasticity. Therefore, proteins that interact with actin filaments are attractive candidates to regulate synaptic actin dynamics, and thus, synapse structure and function. Here, we have cloned the rat isoform of class II myosin heavy chain MyH7B in brain. Unexpectedly, this isoform resembles muscle-type myosin II, rather than the ubiquitously expressed non-muscle myosin II isoforms, suggesting that a rich functional diversity of myosin II motors may exist in neurons. Indeed, reducing the expression of MyH7B in mature neurons caused profound alterations to dendritic spine structure and excitatory synaptic strength. Structurally, dendritic spines had large, irregular shaped heads that contained many filopodia-like protrusions. Neurons with reduced MyH7B expression also had impaired mEPSC amplitudes, accompanied by a decrease in synaptic AMPA receptors, which was linked to alterations of the actin cytoskeleton. MyH7B-mediated control over spine morphology and synaptic strength was distinct from that of a non-muscle myosin, myosin IIb. Interestingly, when myosin IIb and MyH7B expression were simultaneously knocked-down in neurons, a third, more pronounced phenotype emerged. Taken together, our data provide evidence that distinct myosin II isoforms work together to regulate synapse structure and function in cultured hippocampal neurons. Thus, myosin II motor activity is emerging as a broad regulatory mechanism for control over complex actin networks within dendritic spines. PMID:21273429

  20. Structural organization and function of mouse photoreceptor ribbon synapses involve the immunoglobulin protein synaptic cell adhesion molecule 1.

    PubMed

    Ribic, Adema; Liu, Xinran; Crair, Michael C; Biederer, Thomas

    2014-03-01

    Adhesive interactions in the retina instruct the developmental specification of inner retinal layers. However, potential roles of adhesion in the development and function of photoreceptor synapses remain incompletely understood. This contrasts with our understanding of synapse development in the CNS, which can be guided by select adhesion molecules such as the Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (SynCAM 1/CADM1/nectin-like 2 protein). This immunoglobulin superfamily protein modulates the development and plasticity of classical excitatory synapses. We show here by immunoelectron microscopy and immunoblotting that SynCAM 1 is expressed on mouse rod photoreceptors and their terminals in the outer nuclear and plexiform layers in a developmentally regulated manner. Expression of SynCAM 1 on rods is low in early postnatal stages (P3-P7) but increases after eye opening (P14). In support of functional roles in the photoreceptors, electroretinogram recordings demonstrate impaired responses to light stimulation in SynCAM 1 knockout (KO) mice. In addition, the structural integrity of synapses in the OPL requires SynCAM 1. Quantitative ultrastructural analysis of SynCAM 1 KO retina measured fewer fully assembled, triadic rod ribbon synapses. Furthermore, rod synapse ribbons are shortened in KO mice, and protein levels of Ribeye, a major structural component of ribbons, are reduced in SynCAM 1 KO retina. Together, our results implicate SynCAM 1 in the synaptic organization of the rod visual pathway and provide evidence for novel roles of synaptic adhesion in the structural and functional integrity of ribbon synapses.

  1. Targeting CD28, CTLA-4 and PD-L1 Costimulation Differentially Controls Immune Synapses and Function of Human Regulatory and Conventional T-Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hulin, Philippe; Coulon, Flora; Mary, Caroline; Ville, Simon; Vie, Henri; Clémenceau, Béatrice; Blancho, Gilles; Vanhove, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    CD28, CTLA-4 and PD-L1, the three identified ligands for CD80/86, are pivotal positive and negative costimulatory molecules that, among other functions, control T cell motility and formation of immune synapse between T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs). What remains incompletely understood is how CD28 leads to the activation of effector T cells (Teff) but inhibition of suppression by regulatory T cells (Tregs), while CTLA-4 and PD-L1 inhibit Teff function but are crucial for the suppressive function of Tregs. Using alloreactive human T cells and blocking antibodies, we show here by live cell dynamic microscopy that CD28, CTLA-4, and PD-L1 differentially control velocity, motility and immune synapse formation in activated Teff versus Tregs. Selectively antagonizing CD28 costimulation increased Treg dwell time with APCs and induced calcium mobilization which translated in increased Treg suppressive activity, in contrast with the dampening effect on Teff responses. The increase in Treg suppressive activity after CD28 blockade was also confirmed with polyclonal Tregs. Whereas CTLA-4 played a critical role in Teff by reversing TCR-induced STOP signals, it failed to affect motility in Tregs but was essential for formation of the Treg immune synapse. Furthermore, we identified a novel role for PD-L1-CD80 interactions in suppressing motility specifically in Tregs. Thus, our findings reveal that the three identified ligands of CD80/86, CD28, CTLA-4 and PD-L1, differentially control immune synapse formation and function of the human Teff and Treg cells analyzed here. Individually targeting CD28, CTLA-4 and PD-L1 might therefore represent a valuable therapeutic strategy to treat immune disorders where effector and regulatory T cell functions need to be differentially targeted. PMID:24376655

  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. Plastic changes at corticostriatal synapses predict improved motor function in a partial lesion model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Bentea, Eduard; Moore, Cynthia; Deneyer, Lauren; Verbruggen, Lise; Churchill, Madeline J; Hood, Rebecca L; Meshul, Charles K; Massie, Ann

    2017-02-19

    In Parkinson's disease, striatal dopamine depletion leads to plastic changes at excitatory corticostriatal and thalamostriatal synapses. The functional consequences of these responses on the expression of behavioral deficits are incompletely understood. In addition, most of the information on striatal synaptic plasticity has been obtained in models with severe striatal dopamine depletion, and less is known regarding changes during early stages of striatal denervation. Using a partial model of nigral cell loss based on intranigral injection of the proteasome inhibitor lactacystin, we demonstrate ultrastructural changes at corticostriatal synapses with a 15% increase in the length and 30% increase in the area of the postsynaptic densities at corticostriatal synapses 1 week following toxin administration. This increase was positively correlated with the performance of lactacystin-lesioned mice on the rotarod task, such that mice with a greater increase in the size of the postsynaptic density performed better on the rotarod task. We therefore propose that lengthening of the postsynaptic density at corticostriatal synapses acts as a compensatory mechanism to maintain motor function under conditions of partial dopamine depletion. The ultrastructure of thalamostriatal synapses remained unchanged following lactacystin administration. Our findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and behavioral compensation following partial loss of substantia nigra pars compacta neurons, such as those occurring during the early stages of Parkinson's disease.

  4. MEF2C, a transcription factor that facilitates learning and memory by negative regulation of synapse numbers and function.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Ana C; Kim, Mi-Sung; Ertunc, Mert; Adachi, Megumi; Nelson, Erika D; McAnally, John; Richardson, James A; Kavalali, Ege T; Monteggia, Lisa M; Bassel-Duby, Rhonda; Olson, Eric N

    2008-07-08

    Learning and memory depend on the activity-dependent structural plasticity of synapses and changes in neuronal gene expression. We show that deletion of the MEF2C transcription factor in the CNS of mice impairs hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Unexpectedly, these behavioral changes were accompanied by a marked increase in the number of excitatory synapses and potentiation of basal and evoked synaptic transmission. Conversely, neuronal expression of a superactivating form of MEF2C results in a reduction of excitatory postsynaptic sites without affecting learning and memory performance. We conclude that MEF2C limits excessive synapse formation during activity-dependent refinement of synaptic connectivity and thus facilitates hippocampal-dependent learning and memory.

  5. 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.

  6. Sildenafil affects olfactory function.

    PubMed

    Gudziol, V; Mück-Weymann, M; Seizinger, O; Rauh, R; Siffert, W; Hummel, T

    2007-01-01

    Sildenafil is the first member of a new class of oral drugs effective for erectile dysfunction. However, approximately 20% of patients complain about nasal congestion after sildenafil administration. Because nasal airflow and olfaction are closely linked, the sense of smell was evaluated in 20 young, healthy volunteers after the administration of 50 and 100 mg sildenafil, and placebo in a double-blinded, crossover study. Olfactory function was evaluated using a standardized and validated test (Sniffin' Sticks). To investigate a possible impact of G-protein beta3 subunit C825T polymorphism on the effect of sildenafil on olfaction the genotype of all subjects was determined. The effect of sildenafil on olfaction was only present at a dose of 100 mg but not at a dose of 50 mg sildenafil. The genotypes TT, CC and TC of the G-protein beta3 C825T polymorphism had no impact on the change in olfactory function. Higher sildenafil doses may produce decreased olfactory sensitivity.

  7. A cell culture model for investigation of synapse influenceability: epigenetics, expression and function of gene targets important for synapse formation and preservation in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells differentiated by retinoic acid.

    PubMed

    Jahn, Kirsten; Wieltsch, C; Blumer, N; Mehlich, M; Pathak, H; Khan, A Q; Hildebrandt, H; Frieling, H

    2017-09-08

    SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells are frequently used for different neuronal cell culture models. As there is no "gold-standard", miscellaneous protocols exist to differentiate these cells into a neuronal cell type. Here, the aim was to find a differentiation condition making cells suitable for investigation of influenceability of synapses by environmental conditions in pharmacologic experiments. For this purpose, effects on synapse molecules should be somehow rateable and cells should be usable for functional analysis like calcium imaging. A system like this is desirable for example in basic research concerning schizophrenia, depression, autism or neurodegeneration as synaptic plasticity and neuronal maturation are known to have a significant impact in these diseases. Cells grown on laminin-coated glass cover slips and treated with 50 µM retinoic acid (RA) turned out to show most convincing morphological signs of neuronal differentiation and attached strongly to the ground, thereby also fulfilling preconditions for functional analysis. Systematic characterisation of this differentiation condition in comparison to non-treated controls revealed lower methylation rates and higher expression of most candidate molecules relevant for formation, preservation and function of synapses as well as differential function. In conclusion, this combination of differentiation strategy and markers seems to be a suitable system to estimate synapse modifications in basic research as it could help to identify possible dedifferentiating effects. To our knowledge, differentiation of SH-SY5Y has not been described as systematic before regarding comprehensiveness of the set of investigated synapse molecules and coverage of applied methods spanning from epigenetics to protein function. Furthermore, this is the first time that SH-SY5Y cells were differentiated on glass cover slips to an extent making them suitable for investigation of synapse molecules as part of stable intercellular

  8. Gene expression profile during functional maturation of a central mammalian synapse.

    PubMed

    Körber, Christoph; Dondzillo, Anna; Eisenhardt, Gisela; Herrmannsdörfer, Frank; Wafzig, Oliver; Kuner, Thomas

    2014-09-01

    Calyx of Held giant presynaptic terminals in the auditory brainstem form glutamatergic axosomatic synapses that have advanced to one of the best-studied synaptic connections of the mammalian brain. As the auditory system matures and adjusts to high-fidelity synaptic transmission, the calyx undergoes extensive structural and functional changes - in mice, it is formed at about postnatal day 3 (P3), achieves immature function until hearing onset at about P10 and can be considered mature from P21 onwards. This setting provides a unique opportunity to examine the repertoire of genes driving synaptic structure and function during postnatal maturation. Here, we determined the gene expression profile of globular bushy cells (GBCs), neurons giving rise to the calyx of Held, at different maturational stages (P3, P8, P21). GBCs were retrogradely labelled by stereotaxic injection of fluorescent cholera toxin-B, and their mRNA content was collected by laser microdissection. Microarray profiling, successfully validated with real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and nCounter approaches, revealed genes regulated during maturation. We found that mostly genes implicated in the general cell biology of the neuron were regulated, while most genes related to synaptic function were regulated around the onset of hearing. Among these, voltage-gated ion channels and calcium-binding proteins were strongly regulated, whereas most genes involved in the synaptic vesicle cycle were only moderately regulated. These results suggest that changes in the expression patterns of ion channels and calcium-binding proteins are a dominant factor in defining key synaptic properties during maturation of the calyx of Held.

  9. The structure and function of ‘active zone material’ at synapses

    PubMed Central

    Szule, Joseph A.; Jung, Jae Hoon; McMahan, Uel J.

    2015-01-01

    The docking of synaptic vesicles on the presynaptic membrane and their priming for fusion with it to mediate synaptic transmission of nerve impulses typically occur at structurally specialized regions on the membrane called active zones. Stable components of active zones include aggregates of macromolecules, ‘active zone material’ (AZM), attached to the presynaptic membrane, and aggregates of Ca2+-channels in the membrane, through which Ca2+ enters the cytosol to trigger impulse-evoked vesicle fusion with the presynaptic membrane by interacting with Ca2+-sensors on the vesicles. This laboratory has used electron tomography to study, at macromolecular spatial resolution, the structure and function of AZM at the simply arranged active zones of axon terminals at frog neuromuscular junctions. The results support the conclusion that AZM directs the docking and priming of synaptic vesicles and essential positioning of Ca2+-channels relative to the vesicles' Ca2+-sensors. Here we review the findings and comment on their applicability to understanding mechanisms of docking, priming and Ca2+-triggering at other synapses, where the arrangement of active zone components differs. PMID:26009768

  10. Diet and energy-sensing inputs affect TorC1-mediated axon misrouting but not TorC2-directed synapse growth in a Drosophila model of tuberous sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Dimitroff, Brian; Howe, Katie; Watson, Adrienne; Campion, Bridget; Lee, Hyun-Gwan; Zhao, Na; O'Connor, Michael B; Neufeld, Thomas P; Selleck, Scott B

    2012-01-01

    The Target of Rapamycin (TOR) growth regulatory system is influenced by a number of different inputs, including growth factor signaling, nutrient availability, and cellular energy levels. While the effects of TOR on cell and organismal growth have been well characterized, this pathway also has profound effects on neural development and behavior. Hyperactivation of the TOR pathway by mutations in the upstream TOR inhibitors TSC1 (tuberous sclerosis complex 1) or TSC2 promotes benign tumors and neurological and behavioral deficits, a syndrome known as tuberous sclerosis (TS). In Drosophila, neuron-specific overexpression of Rheb, the direct downstream target inhibited by Tsc1/Tsc2, produced significant synapse overgrowth, axon misrouting, and phototaxis deficits. To understand how misregulation of Tor signaling affects neural and behavioral development, we examined the influence of growth factor, nutrient, and energy sensing inputs on these neurodevelopmental phenotypes. Neural expression of Pi3K, a principal mediator of growth factor inputs to Tor, caused synapse overgrowth similar to Rheb, but did not disrupt axon guidance or phototaxis. Dietary restriction rescued Rheb-mediated behavioral and axon guidance deficits, as did overexpression of AMPK, a component of the cellular energy sensing pathway, but neither was able to rescue synapse overgrowth. While axon guidance and behavioral phenotypes were affected by altering the function of a Tor complex 1 (TorC1) component, Raptor, or a TORC1 downstream element (S6k), synapse overgrowth was only suppressed by reducing the function of Tor complex 2 (TorC2) components (Rictor, Sin1). These findings demonstrate that different inputs to Tor signaling have distinct activities in nervous system development, and that Tor provides an important connection between nutrient-energy sensing systems and patterning of the nervous system.

  11. Diet and Energy-Sensing Inputs Affect TorC1-Mediated Axon Misrouting but Not TorC2-Directed Synapse Growth in a Drosophila Model of Tuberous Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Dimitroff, Brian; Lee, Hyun-Gwan; Zhao, Na; O'Connor, Michael B.; Neufeld, Thomas P.; Selleck, Scott B.

    2012-01-01

    The Target of Rapamycin (TOR) growth regulatory system is influenced by a number of different inputs, including growth factor signaling, nutrient availability, and cellular energy levels. While the effects of TOR on cell and organismal growth have been well characterized, this pathway also has profound effects on neural development and behavior. Hyperactivation of the TOR pathway by mutations in the upstream TOR inhibitors TSC1 (tuberous sclerosis complex 1) or TSC2 promotes benign tumors and neurological and behavioral deficits, a syndrome known as tuberous sclerosis (TS). In Drosophila, neuron-specific overexpression of Rheb, the direct downstream target inhibited by Tsc1/Tsc2, produced significant synapse overgrowth, axon misrouting, and phototaxis deficits. To understand how misregulation of Tor signaling affects neural and behavioral development, we examined the influence of growth factor, nutrient, and energy sensing inputs on these neurodevelopmental phenotypes. Neural expression of Pi3K, a principal mediator of growth factor inputs to Tor, caused synapse overgrowth similar to Rheb, but did not disrupt axon guidance or phototaxis. Dietary restriction rescued Rheb-mediated behavioral and axon guidance deficits, as did overexpression of AMPK, a component of the cellular energy sensing pathway, but neither was able to rescue synapse overgrowth. While axon guidance and behavioral phenotypes were affected by altering the function of a Tor complex 1 (TorC1) component, Raptor, or a TORC1 downstream element (S6k), synapse overgrowth was only suppressed by reducing the function of Tor complex 2 (TorC2) components (Rictor, Sin1). These findings demonstrate that different inputs to Tor signaling have distinct activities in nervous system development, and that Tor provides an important connection between nutrient-energy sensing systems and patterning of the nervous system. PMID:22319582

  12. 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

    2011-01-05

    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.

  13. Myosin VI is required for the proper maturation and function of inner hair cell ribbon synapses.

    PubMed

    Roux, Isabelle; Hosie, Suzanne; Johnson, Stuart L; Bahloul, Amel; Cayet, Nadège; Nouaille, Sylvie; Kros, Corné J; Petit, Christine; Safieddine, Saaid

    2009-12-01

    The ribbon synapses of auditory inner hair cells (IHCs) undergo morphological and electrophysiological transitions during cochlear development. Here we report that myosin VI (Myo6), an actin-based motor protein involved in genetic forms of deafness, is necessary for some of these changes to occur. By using post-embedding immunogold electron microscopy, we showed that Myo6 is present at the IHC synaptic active zone. In Snell's waltzer mutant mice, which lack Myo6, IHC ionic currents and ribbon synapse maturation proceeded normally until at least post-natal day 6. In adult mutant mice, however, the IHCs displayed immature potassium currents and still fired action potentials, as normally only observed in immature IHCs. In addition, the number of ribbons per IHC was reduced by 30%, and 30% of the remaining ribbons were morphologically immature. Ca2+-dependent exocytosis probed by capacitance measurement was markedly reduced despite normal Ca2+ currents and the large proportion of morphologically mature synapses, which suggests additional defects, such as loose Ca2+-exocytosis coupling or inefficient vesicular supply. Finally, we provide evidence that Myo6 and otoferlin, a putative Ca2+ sensor of synaptic exocytosis also involved in a genetic form of deafness, interact at the IHC ribbon synapse, and we suggest that this interaction is involved in the recycling of synaptic vesicles. Our findings thus uncover essential roles for Myo6 at the IHC ribbon synapse, in addition to that proposed in membrane turnover and anchoring at the apical surface of the hair cells.

  14. Adenosine gates synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Kimberly A.; Nicoll, Roger A.; Schmitz, Dietmar

    2003-11-01

    The release properties of synapses in the central nervous system vary greatly, not only across anatomically distinct types of synapses but also among the same class of synapse. This variation manifests itself in large part by differences in the probability of transmitter release, which affects such activity-dependent presynaptic forms of plasticity as paired-pulse facilitation and frequency facilitation. This heterogeneity in presynaptic function reflects differences in the intrinsic properties of the synaptic terminal and the activation of presynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Here we show that the unique presynaptic properties of the hippocampal mossy fiber synapse are largely imparted onto the synapse by the continuous local action of extracellular adenosine at presynaptic A1 adenosine receptors, which maintains a low basal probability of transmitter release.

  15. Impaired T-Cell Function in B-Cell Lymphoma: A Direct Consequence of Events at the Immunological Synapse?

    PubMed Central

    Nassef Kadry Naguib Roufaiel, Marian; Wells, James W.; Steptoe, Raymond J.

    2015-01-01

    Tumors can escape immune destruction through the development of antigen loss variants and loss of antigen processing/presentation pathways, thereby rendering them invisible to T cells. Alternatively, mechanisms of peripheral T-cell tolerance that would normally be important for protection from the development of autoimmunity may also be co-opted to (i) generate an immuno-inhibitory tumor environment, (ii) promote development of regulatory cell populations, or (iii) cell-intrinsically inactivate tumor-specific T cells. Emerging evidence suggests that T-cell function is impaired in hematological malignancies, which may manifest from cognate interactions between T cells and the tumor. The immunological synapse forms the cognate T-cell and antigen-presenting cell interaction and is the site where key signalling events, including those delivered by co-inhibitory receptors, that determine the fate of T cells occur. Here, we review evidence that events at the immune synapse between T cells and malignant B cells and alterations in immune synapse function may contribute to loss of T-cell function in B-cell malignancies. PMID:26082776

  16. Genetic targeting of NRXN2 in mice unveils role in excitatory cortical synapse function and social behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Born, Gesche; Grayton, Hannah M.; Langhorst, Hanna; Dudanova, Irina; Rohlmann, Astrid; Woodward, Benjamin W.; Collier, David A.; Fernandes, Cathy; Missler, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Human genetics has identified rare copy number variations and deleterious mutations for all neurexin genes (NRXN1-3) in patients with neurodevelopmental diseases, and electrophysiological recordings in animal brains have shown that Nrxns are important for synaptic transmission. While several mouse models for Nrxn1α inactivation have previously been studied for behavioral changes, very little information is available for other variants. Here, we validate that mice lacking Nrxn2α exhibit behavioral abnormalities, characterized by social interaction deficits and increased anxiety-like behavior, which partially overlap, partially differ from Nrxn1α mutant behaviors. Using patch-clamp recordings in Nrxn2α knockout brains, we observe reduced spontaneous transmitter release at excitatory synapses in the neocortex. We also analyse at this cellular level a novel NRXN2 mouse model that carries a combined deletion of Nrxn2α and Nrxn2β. Electrophysiological analysis of this Nrxn2-mutant mouse shows surprisingly similar defects of excitatory release to Nrxn2α, indicating that the β-variant of Nrxn2 has no strong function in basic transmission at these synapses. Inhibitory transmission as well as synapse densities and ultrastructure remain unchanged in the neocortex of both models. Furthermore, at Nrxn2α and Nrxn2-mutant excitatory synapses we find an altered facilitation and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function because NMDAR-dependent decay time and NMDAR-mediated responses are reduced. As Nrxn can indirectly be linked to NMDAR via neuroligin and PSD-95, the trans-synaptic nature of this complex may help to explain occurrence of presynaptic and postsynaptic effects. Since excitatory/inhibitory imbalances and impairment of NMDAR function are alledged to have a role in autism and schizophrenia, our results support the idea of a related pathomechanism in these disorders. PMID:25745399

  17. Building and Remodeling Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Benson, Deanna L.; Huntley, George W.

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic junctions are generated by adhesion proteins that bridge the synaptic cleft to firmly anchor pre- and postsynaptic membranes. Several cell adhesion molecule (CAM) families localize to synapses, but it is not yet completely understood how each synaptic CAM family contributes to synapse formation and/or structure, and whether or how smaller groups of CAMs serve as minimal, functionally cooperative adhesive units upon which structure is based. Synapse structure and function evolve over the course of development, and in mature animals, synapses are composed of a greater number of proteins, surrounded by a stabilizing extracellular matrix, and often contacted by astrocytic processes. Thus, in mature networks undergoing plasticity, persistent changes in synapse strength, morphology or number must be accompanied by selective and regulated remodeling of the neuropil. Recent work indicates that regulated, extracellular proteolysis may be essential for this, and rather than simply acting permissively to enable synapse plasticity, is more likely playing a proactive role in driving coordinated synaptic structural and functional modifications that underlie persistent changes in network activity. PMID:20882551

  18. Presynaptic Neuronal Pentraxin Receptor Organizes Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Mengping; Zhang, Chen; Pak, ChangHui; Trotter, Justin

    2017-01-01

    Three neuronal pentraxins are expressed in brain, the membrane-bound “neuronal pentraxin receptor” (NPR) and the secreted proteins NP1 and NARP (i.e., NP2). Neuronal pentraxins bind to AMPARs at excitatory synapses and play important, well-documented roles in the activity-dependent regulation of neural circuits via this binding activity. However, it is unknown whether neuronal pentraxins perform roles in synapses beyond modulating postsynaptic AMPAR-dependent plasticity, and whether they may even act in inhibitory synapses. Here, we show that NPR expressed in non-neuronal cells potently induces formation of both excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic specializations in cocultured hippocampal neurons. Knockdown of NPR in hippocampal neurons, conversely, dramatically decreased assembly and function of both excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic specializations. Overexpression of NPR rescued the NPR knockdown phenotype but did not in itself change synapse numbers or properties. However, the NPR knockdown decreased the levels of NARP, whereas NPR overexpression produced a dramatic increase in the levels of NP1 and NARP, suggesting that NPR recruits and stabilizes NP1 and NARP on the presynaptic plasma membrane. Mechanistically, NPR acted in excitatory synapse assembly by binding to the N-terminal domain of AMPARs; antagonists of AMPA and GABA receptors selectively inhibited NPR-induced heterologous excitatory and inhibitory synapse assembly, respectively, but did not affect neurexin-1β-induced synapse assembly as a control. Our data suggest that neuronal pentraxins act as signaling complexes that function as general trans-synaptic organizers of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses by a mechanism that depends, at least in part, on the activity of the neurotransmitter receptors at these synapses. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neuronal pentraxins comprise three neuronal proteins, neuronal pentraxin receptor (NPR) which is a type-II transmembrane protein on the neuronal

  19. Presynaptic Neuronal Pentraxin Receptor Organizes Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sung-Jin; Wei, Mengping; Zhang, Chen; Maxeiner, Stephan; Pak, ChangHui; Calado Botelho, Salome; Trotter, Justin; Sterky, Fredrik H; Südhof, Thomas C

    2017-02-01

    Three neuronal pentraxins are expressed in brain, the membrane-bound "neuronal pentraxin receptor" (NPR) and the secreted proteins NP1 and NARP (i.e., NP2). Neuronal pentraxins bind to AMPARs at excitatory synapses and play important, well-documented roles in the activity-dependent regulation of neural circuits via this binding activity. However, it is unknown whether neuronal pentraxins perform roles in synapses beyond modulating postsynaptic AMPAR-dependent plasticity, and whether they may even act in inhibitory synapses. Here, we show that NPR expressed in non-neuronal cells potently induces formation of both excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic specializations in cocultured hippocampal neurons. Knockdown of NPR in hippocampal neurons, conversely, dramatically decreased assembly and function of both excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic specializations. Overexpression of NPR rescued the NPR knockdown phenotype but did not in itself change synapse numbers or properties. However, the NPR knockdown decreased the levels of NARP, whereas NPR overexpression produced a dramatic increase in the levels of NP1 and NARP, suggesting that NPR recruits and stabilizes NP1 and NARP on the presynaptic plasma membrane. Mechanistically, NPR acted in excitatory synapse assembly by binding to the N-terminal domain of AMPARs; antagonists of AMPA and GABA receptors selectively inhibited NPR-induced heterologous excitatory and inhibitory synapse assembly, respectively, but did not affect neurexin-1β-induced synapse assembly as a control. Our data suggest that neuronal pentraxins act as signaling complexes that function as general trans-synaptic organizers of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses by a mechanism that depends, at least in part, on the activity of the neurotransmitter receptors at these synapses. Neuronal pentraxins comprise three neuronal proteins, neuronal pentraxin receptor (NPR) which is a type-II transmembrane protein on the neuronal surface, and secreted

  20. Pitx3 deficiency in mice affects cholinergic modulation of GABAergic synapses in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    de Rover, Mischa; Lodder, Johannes C; Smidt, Marten P; Brussaard, Arjen B

    2006-10-01

    We investigated to what extent Pitx3 deficiency, causing hyperdopaminergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens microcircuitry, may lead to developmental changes. First, spontaneous firing activity of cholinergic interneurons in the nucleus accumbens was recorded in vitro. Firing patterns in the Pitx3-deficient mice were more variable and intrinsically different from those observed in wild-type mice. Next, to test whether the irregular firing patterns observed in mutant mice affected the endogenous nicotinic modulation of the GABAergic input of medium spiny neurons, we recorded spontaneous GABAergic inputs to these cells before and after the application of the nicotinic receptor blocker mecamylamine. Effects of mecamylamine were found in slices of either genotype, but in a rather inconsistent manner. Possibly this was attributable to heterogeneity in firing of nearby cholinergic interneurons. Thus paired recordings of cholinergic interneurons and medium spiny neurons were performed to more precisely control the experimental conditions of the cholinergic modulation of GABAergic synaptic transmission. We found that controlling action potential firing in cholinergic neurons leads to a conditional increase in GABAergic input frequency in wild-type mice but not in Pitx3-deficient mice. We conclude that Pitx3-deficient mice have neural adaptations at the level of the nucleus accumbens microcircuitry that in turn may have behavioral consequences. It is discussed to what extent dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens may be a long-term gating mechanism leading to alterations in cholinergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens, in line with previously reported neural adaptations found as consequences of repeated drug treatment in rodents.

  1. Age affects reciprocal cellular interactions in neuromuscular synapses following peripheral nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Kawabuchi, Masaru; Tan, Huibing; Wang, Songyan

    2011-01-01

    Studies of the influence of age on regeneration and reinnervation in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and neuromuscular junction (NMJ) are reviewed, with a particular focus on aged and denervated skeletal muscles. The morphological and functional features of incomplete regeneration and reinnervation are compared between adult and aged animals. In addition, some possible mechanisms of the age-related defects will be discussed. Increased fragmentation or damage in individual components of the NMJ (terminal Schwann cells (TSCs), axon terminals and acetylcholine receptor sites occurs during muscle reinnervation following PNS injury in the aged animals. The capacity to produce ultraterminal sprouting or multiple innervation secondary to PNS injury is maintained, but not the capacity to eliminate such anomalous axonal profiles. The frequency and accuracy of reoccupation of the synaptic sites by TSCs and axon terminals are impaired. Thus, despite the capability of extending neural processes, the rate at which regenerating nerve fibers grow, mature and precisely appose the postsynaptic muscle fiber is impaired, resulting in the failure of re-establishment of the normal single motor innervation in the NMJ. A complex set of cellular interactions in the NMJ are known to participate in the neurotrophism and neurotrophism to support growth of the regenerating and sprouting axons and their pathfinding to direct the target muscle fiber. Besides the capability of α-motoneurons, signaling originating from the TSCs and muscle may be impaired during aging. Crown Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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

  3. Diversity of Spine Synapses in Animals

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Here we examine the structure of the various types of spine synapses throughout the animal kingdom. Based on available evidence, we suggest that there are two major categories of spine synapses: invaginating and non-invaginating, with distributions that vary among different groups of animals. In the simplest living animals with definitive nerve cells and synapses, the cnidarians and ctenophores, most chemical synapses do not form spine synapses. But some cnidarians have invaginating spine synapses, especially in photoreceptor terminals of motile cnidarians with highly complex visual organs, and also in some mainly sessile cnidarians with rapid prey capture reflexes. This association of invaginating spine synapses with complex sensory inputs is retained in the evolution of higher animals in photoreceptor terminals and some mechanoreceptor synapses. In contrast to invaginating spine synapse, non-invaginating spine synapses have been described only in animals with bilateral symmetry, heads and brains, associated with greater complexity in neural connections. This is apparent already in the simplest bilaterians, the flatworms, which can have well-developed non-invaginating spine synapses in some cases. Non-invaginating spine synapses diversify in higher animal groups. We also discuss the functional advantages of having synapses on spines and more specifically, on invaginating spines. And finally we discuss pathologies associated with spine synapses, concentrating on those systems and diseases where invaginating spine synapses are involved. PMID:27230661

  4. Mechanisms of synaptic depression at the hair cell ribbon synapse that support auditory nerve function.

    PubMed

    Goutman, Juan D

    2017-09-05

    Inner hair cells (IHCs) in the cochlea are the mammalian phono-receptors, transducing sound energy into graded changes in membrane potentials, the so called "receptor potentials." Ribbon synapses between IHCs and auditory nerve neurons are responsible for converting receptor potentials into spike rates. The characteristics of auditory nerve responses to sound have been described extensively. For instance, persistent acoustic stimulation produces sensory adaptation, which is revealed as a reduction in neuronal spike rate with time constants in the range of milliseconds to seconds. Since the amplitude of IHC receptor potentials is invariant during this period, the classic hypothesis pointed to vesicle depletion at the IHC as responsible for auditory adaptation. In this study, we observed that fast synaptic depression occurred in responses to stimuli of varying intensities. Nevertheless, release continued after this initial depression, via synaptic vesicles with slower exocytotic kinetics. Heterogeneity in kinetic elements, therefore, favored synaptic responses with an early peak and a sustained phase. The application of cyclothiazide (CTZ) revealed that desensitization of postsynaptic receptors contributed to synaptic depression, which was more pronounced during stronger stimulation. Thus, desensitization had a twofold effect: It abbreviated signaling between IHC and the auditory nerve and also balanced differences in decay kinetics between responses to different stimulation strengths. We therefore propose that both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms at the IHC ribbon synapse contribute to synaptic depression at the IHC ribbon synapse and spike rate adaptation in the auditory nerve.

  5. Numbers of presynaptic Ca(2+) channel clusters match those of functionally defined vesicular docking sites in single central synapses.

    PubMed

    Miki, Takafumi; Kaufmann, Walter A; Malagon, Gerardo; Gomez, Laura; Tabuchi, Katsuhiko; Watanabe, Masahiko; Shigemoto, Ryuichi; Marty, Alain

    2017-06-27

    Many central synapses contain a single presynaptic active zone and a single postsynaptic density. Vesicular release statistics at such "simple synapses" indicate that they contain a small complement of docking sites where vesicles repetitively dock and fuse. In this work, we investigate functional and morphological aspects of docking sites at simple synapses made between cerebellar parallel fibers and molecular layer interneurons. Using immunogold labeling of SDS-treated freeze-fracture replicas, we find that Cav2.1 channels form several clusters per active zone with about nine channels per cluster. The mean value and range of intersynaptic variation are similar for Cav2.1 cluster numbers and for functional estimates of docking-site numbers obtained from the maximum numbers of released vesicles per action potential. Both numbers grow in relation with synaptic size and decrease by a similar extent with age between 2 wk and 4 wk postnatal. Thus, the mean docking-site numbers were 3.15 at 2 wk (range: 1-10) and 2.03 at 4 wk (range: 1-4), whereas the mean numbers of Cav2.1 clusters were 2.84 at 2 wk (range: 1-8) and 2.37 at 4 wk (range: 1-5). These changes were accompanied by decreases of miniature current amplitude (from 93 pA to 56 pA), active-zone surface area (from 0.0427 μm(2) to 0.0234 μm(2)), and initial success rate (from 0.609 to 0.353), indicating a tightening of synaptic transmission with development. Altogether, these results suggest a close correspondence between the number of functionally defined vesicular docking sites and that of clusters of voltage-gated calcium channels.

  6. Influence of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse formation on postnatal development of climbing fiber-Purkinje cell synapses in the cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, K; Yoshida, T; Sakimura, K; Mishina, M; Watanabe, M; Kano, M

    2009-09-01

    The climbing fiber (CF) to Purkinje cell (PC) synapse in the cerebellum provides an ideal model for the study of developmental rearrangements of neural circuits. At birth, each PC is innervated by multiple CFs. These surplus CFs are eliminated during postnatal development, and mono innervation is attained by postnatal day 20 (P20) in mice. Earlier studies on spontaneous mutant mice and animals with "hypogranular" cerebella indicate that regression of surplus CFs requires normal generation of granule cells and their axons, parallel fibers (PFs), and normal formation of PF-PC synapses. Our understanding of how PF-PC synapse formation affects development of CF-PC synapse has been greatly advanced by analyses of mutant mice deficient in glutamate receptor delta2 subunit (GluRdelta2), an orphan receptor expressed selectively in PCs. Deletion of GluRdelta2 results in impairment of PF-PC synapse formation, which leads to defects in development of CF-PC synapses. In this article, we review how impaired PF-PC synapse formation affects wiring of CFs to PCs based mostly on our data on GluRdelta2 knockout mice. We propose a new scheme that CF-PC synapses are shaped by the three consecutive events, namely functional differentiation of multiple CFs into one strong and a few weak inputs from P3 to P7, "early phase" of CF synapse elimination from P7 to around P11, and "late phase" of CF synapse elimination from around P12. Normal PF-PC synapse formation is required for the "late phase" of CF synapse elimination.

  7. 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.

  8. Postsynaptic inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate signaling maintains presynaptic function of parallel fiber–Purkinje cell synapses via BDNF

    PubMed Central

    Furutani, Kazuharu; Okubo, Yohei; Kakizawa, Sho; Iino, Masamitsu

    2006-01-01

    The maintenance of synaptic functions is essential for neuronal information processing, but cellular mechanisms that maintain synapses in the adult brain are not well understood. Here, we report an activity-dependent maintenance mechanism of parallel fiber (PF)–Purkinje cell (PC) synapses in the cerebellum. When postsynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) or inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) signaling was chronically inhibited in vivo, PF–PC synaptic strength decreased because of a decreased transmitter release probability. The same effects were observed when PF activity was inhibited in vivo by the suppression of NMDA receptor-mediated inputs to granule cells. PF–PC synaptic strength similarly decreased after the in vivo application of an antibody against brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Furthermore, the weakening of synaptic connection caused by the blockade of mGluR–IP3 signaling was reversed by the in vivo application of BDNF. These results indicate that a signaling cascade comprising PF activity, postsynaptic mGluR–IP3 signaling and subsequent BDNF signaling maintains presynaptic functions in the mature cerebellum. PMID:16709674

  9. Optimal Learning Rules for Discrete Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Adam B.; van Rossum, M. C. W.

    2008-01-01

    There is evidence that biological synapses have a limited number of discrete weight states. Memory storage with such synapses behaves quite differently from synapses with unbounded, continuous weights, as old memories are automatically overwritten by new memories. Consequently, there has been substantial discussion about how this affects learning and storage capacity. In this paper, we calculate the storage capacity of discrete, bounded synapses in terms of Shannon information. We use this to optimize the learning rules and investigate how the maximum information capacity depends on the number of synapses, the number of synaptic states, and the coding sparseness. Below a certain critical number of synapses per neuron (comparable to numbers found in biology), we find that storage is similar to unbounded, continuous synapses. Hence, discrete synapses do not necessarily have lower storage capacity. PMID:19043540

  10. Satellite signaling at synapses

    PubMed Central

    O'Connor-Giles, Kate M.; Ganetzky, Barry

    2013-01-01

    Neural function requires effective communication between neurons and their targets at synapses. Thus, proper formation, growth and plasticity of synapses are critical to behavior. A retrograde (muscle to neuron) BMP signal is required to promote synaptic growth, homeostasis and stability at Drosophila neuromuscular junctions (NMJs).1-4 We recently demonstrated that this signal constitutes an instructive signal that sculpts synaptic growth in a graded manner and uncovered a presynaptic endocytic mechanism that modulates BMP signaling levels. In the absence of this regulation, excessive BMP signaling results in overgrown NMJs with a proliferation of ectopic boutons.5 PMID:20798607

  11. Loss of Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 8 Alters Synapse Composition and Function, Resulting in Behavioral Defects.

    PubMed

    Penney, Jay; Seo, Jinsoo; Kritskiy, Oleg; Elmsaouri, Sara; Gao, Fan; Pao, Ping-Chieh; Su, Susan C; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2017-09-06

    Diverse molecular mechanisms regulate synaptic composition and function in the mammalian nervous system. The multifunctional protein arginine methyltransferase 8 (PRMT8) possesses both methyltransferase and phospholipase activities. Here we examine the role of this neuron-specific protein in hippocampal plasticity and cognitive function. PRMT8 protein localizes to synaptic sites, and conditional whole-brain Prmt8 deletion results in altered levels of multiple synaptic proteins in the hippocampus, using both male and female mice. Interestingly, these altered protein levels are due to post-transcriptional mechanisms as the corresponding mRNA levels are unaffected. Strikingly, electrophysiological recordings from hippocampal slices of mice lacking PRMT8 reveal multiple defects in excitatory synaptic function and plasticity. Furthermore, behavioral analyses show that PRMT8 conditional knock-out mice exhibit impaired hippocampal-dependent fear learning. Together, these findings establish PRMT8 as an important component of the molecular machinery required for hippocampal neuronal function.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Numerous molecular processes are critically required for normal brain function. Here we use mice lacking protein arginine methyltransferase 8 (PRMT8) in the brain to examine how loss of this protein affects the structure and function of neurons in the hippocampus. We find that PRMT8 localizes to the sites of communication between neurons. Hippocampal neurons from mice lacking PRMT8 have no detectable structural differences compared with controls; however, multiple aspects of their function are altered. Consistently, we find that mice lacking PRMT8 also exhibit reduced hippocampus-dependent memory. Together, our findings establish important roles for PRMT8 in regulating neuron function and cognition in the mammalian brain. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/378655-12$15.00/0.

  12. Remodeling and Tenacity of Inhibitory Synapses: Relationships with Network Activity and Neighboring Excitatory Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Rubinski, Anna; Ziv, Noam E.

    2015-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapse size remodeling is governed not only by specific activity forms but also by apparently stochastic processes with well-defined statistics. These spontaneous remodeling processes can give rise to skewed and stable synaptic size distributions, underlie scaling of these distributions and drive changes in glutamatergic synapse size “configurations”. Where inhibitory synapses are concerned, however, little is known on spontaneous remodeling dynamics, their statistics, their activity dependence or their long-term consequences. Here we followed individual inhibitory synapses for days, and analyzed their size remodeling dynamics within the statistical framework previously developed for glutamatergic synapses. Similar to glutamatergic synapses, size distributions of inhibitory synapses were skewed and stable; at the same time, however, sizes of individual synapses changed considerably, leading to gradual changes in synaptic size configurations. The suppression of network activity only transiently affected spontaneous remodeling dynamics, did not affect synaptic size configuration change rates and was not followed by the scaling of inhibitory synapse size distributions. Comparisons with glutamatergic synapses within the same dendrites revealed a degree of coupling between nearby inhibitory and excitatory synapse remodeling, but also revealed that inhibitory synapse size configurations changed at considerably slower rates than those of their glutamatergic neighbors. These findings point to quantitative differences in spontaneous remodeling dynamics of inhibitory and excitatory synapses but also reveal deep qualitative similarities in the processes that control their sizes and govern their remodeling dynamics. PMID:26599330

  13. Remodeling and Tenacity of Inhibitory Synapses: Relationships with Network Activity and Neighboring Excitatory Synapses.

    PubMed

    Rubinski, Anna; Ziv, Noam E

    2015-11-01

    Glutamatergic synapse size remodeling is governed not only by specific activity forms but also by apparently stochastic processes with well-defined statistics. These spontaneous remodeling processes can give rise to skewed and stable synaptic size distributions, underlie scaling of these distributions and drive changes in glutamatergic synapse size "configurations". Where inhibitory synapses are concerned, however, little is known on spontaneous remodeling dynamics, their statistics, their activity dependence or their long-term consequences. Here we followed individual inhibitory synapses for days, and analyzed their size remodeling dynamics within the statistical framework previously developed for glutamatergic synapses. Similar to glutamatergic synapses, size distributions of inhibitory synapses were skewed and stable; at the same time, however, sizes of individual synapses changed considerably, leading to gradual changes in synaptic size configurations. The suppression of network activity only transiently affected spontaneous remodeling dynamics, did not affect synaptic size configuration change rates and was not followed by the scaling of inhibitory synapse size distributions. Comparisons with glutamatergic synapses within the same dendrites revealed a degree of coupling between nearby inhibitory and excitatory synapse remodeling, but also revealed that inhibitory synapse size configurations changed at considerably slower rates than those of their glutamatergic neighbors. These findings point to quantitative differences in spontaneous remodeling dynamics of inhibitory and excitatory synapses but also reveal deep qualitative similarities in the processes that control their sizes and govern their remodeling dynamics.

  14. Coordinating structural and functional synapse development: postsynaptic p21-activated kinase independently specifies glutamate receptor abundance and postsynaptic morphology.

    PubMed

    Albin, Stephanie D; Davis, Graeme W

    2004-08-04

    Here, we show that postsynaptic p21-activated kinase (Pak) signaling diverges into two genetically separable pathways at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. One pathway controls glutamate receptor abundance. Pak signaling within this pathway is specified by a required interaction with the adaptor protein Dreadlocks (Dock). We demonstrate that Dock is localized to the synapse via an Src homology 2-mediated protein interaction. Dock is not necessary for Pak localization but is necessary to restrict Pak signaling to control glutamate receptor abundance. A second genetically separable function of Pak kinase signaling controls muscle membrane specialization through the regulation of synaptic Discs-large. In this pathway, Dock is dispensable. We present a model in which divergent Pak signaling is able to coordinate two different features of postsynaptic maturation, receptor abundance, and muscle membrane specialization.

  15. The Proteome of BLOC-1 Genetic Defects Identifies the Arp2/3 Actin Polymerization Complex to Function Downstream of the Schizophrenia Susceptibility Factor Dysbindin at the Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Hartwig, Cortnie; Freeman, Amanda H.; Das, Ravi; Zlatic, Stephanie A.; Vistein, Rachel; Burch, Amelia; Carrot, Guillemette; Lewis, Arielle F.; Nelms, Sheldon; Dickman, Dion K.; Puthenveedu, Manojkumar A.; Cox, Daniel N.

    2016-01-01

    Proteome modifications downstream of monogenic or polygenic disorders have the potential to uncover novel molecular mechanisms participating in pathogenesis and/or extragenic modification of phenotypic expression. We tested this idea by determining the proteome sensitive to genetic defects in a locus encoding dysbindin, a protein required for synapse biology and implicated in schizophrenia risk. We applied quantitative mass spectrometry to identify proteins expressed in neuronal cells the abundance of which was altered after downregulation of the schizophrenia susceptibility factor dysbindin (Bloc1s8) or two other dysbindin-interacting polypeptides, which assemble into the octameric biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex 1 (BLOC-1). We found 491 proteins sensitive to dysbindin and BLOC-1 loss of function. Gene ontology of these 491 proteins singled out the actin cytoskeleton and the actin polymerization factor, the Arp2/3 complex, as top statistical molecular pathways contained within the BLOC-1-sensitive proteome. Subunits of the Arp2/3 complex were downregulated by BLOC-1 loss of function, thus affecting actin dynamics in early endosomes of BLOC-1-deficient cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Arp2/3, dysbindin, and subunits of the BLOC-1 complex biochemically and genetically interact, modulating Drosophila melanogaster synapse morphology and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Our results indicate that ontologically prioritized proteomics identifies novel pathways that modify synaptic phenotypes associated with neurodevelopmental disorder gene defects. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The mechanisms associated with schizophrenia are mostly unknown despite the increasing number of genetic loci identified that increase disease risk. We present an experimental strategy that impartially and comprehensively interrogates the proteome of neurons to identify effects of genetic mutations in a schizophrenia risk factor, dysbindin. We find that the expression of the

  16. The Proteome of BLOC-1 Genetic Defects Identifies the Arp2/3 Actin Polymerization Complex to Function Downstream of the Schizophrenia Susceptibility Factor Dysbindin at the Synapse.

    PubMed

    Gokhale, Avanti; Hartwig, Cortnie; Freeman, Amanda H; Das, Ravi; Zlatic, Stephanie A; Vistein, Rachel; Burch, Amelia; Carrot, Guillemette; Lewis, Arielle F; Nelms, Sheldon; Dickman, Dion K; Puthenveedu, Manojkumar A; Cox, Daniel N; Faundez, Victor

    2016-12-07

    Proteome modifications downstream of monogenic or polygenic disorders have the potential to uncover novel molecular mechanisms participating in pathogenesis and/or extragenic modification of phenotypic expression. We tested this idea by determining the proteome sensitive to genetic defects in a locus encoding dysbindin, a protein required for synapse biology and implicated in schizophrenia risk. We applied quantitative mass spectrometry to identify proteins expressed in neuronal cells the abundance of which was altered after downregulation of the schizophrenia susceptibility factor dysbindin (Bloc1s8) or two other dysbindin-interacting polypeptides, which assemble into the octameric biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex 1 (BLOC-1). We found 491 proteins sensitive to dysbindin and BLOC-1 loss of function. Gene ontology of these 491 proteins singled out the actin cytoskeleton and the actin polymerization factor, the Arp2/3 complex, as top statistical molecular pathways contained within the BLOC-1-sensitive proteome. Subunits of the Arp2/3 complex were downregulated by BLOC-1 loss of function, thus affecting actin dynamics in early endosomes of BLOC-1-deficient cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Arp2/3, dysbindin, and subunits of the BLOC-1 complex biochemically and genetically interact, modulating Drosophila melanogaster synapse morphology and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Our results indicate that ontologically prioritized proteomics identifies novel pathways that modify synaptic phenotypes associated with neurodevelopmental disorder gene defects. The mechanisms associated with schizophrenia are mostly unknown despite the increasing number of genetic loci identified that increase disease risk. We present an experimental strategy that impartially and comprehensively interrogates the proteome of neurons to identify effects of genetic mutations in a schizophrenia risk factor, dysbindin. We find that the expression of the actin polymerization

  17. Silencing synapses

    PubMed Central

    Caleo, Matteo; Restani, Laura; Perry, V. Hugh

    2013-01-01

    The degeneration of pre-synaptic boutons in the stratum radiatum of the dorsal hippocampus is one of earliest components of neurodegeneration in several models of murine prion disease. We recently showed that blockade of synaptic transmission by infusion of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) into the hippocampus several weeks prior to the onset of degeneration, had no detectable impact on the extent of the synaptic degeneration.1 We elaborate here on the rationale for these experiments and highlight why we believe that this negative result is interesting and important. We also discuss new observations that might provide insights into the molecular events that underlie synapse degeneration. PMID:23357830

  18. Hair cell ribbon synapses

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Andreas; Lysakowski, Anna

    2010-01-01

    Hearing and balance rely on the faithful synaptic coding of mechanical input by the auditory and vestibular hair cells of the inner ear. Mechanical deflection of their stereocilia causes the opening of mechanosensitive channels, resulting in hair cell depolarization, which controls the release of glutamate at ribbon-type synapses. Hair cells have a compact shape with strong polarity. Mechanoelectrical transduction and active membrane turnover associated with stereociliar renewal dominate the apical compartment. Transmitter release occurs at several active zones along the basolateral membrane. The astonishing capability of the hair cell ribbon synapse for temporally precise and reliable sensory coding has been the subject of intense investigation over the past few years. This research has been facilitated by the excellent experimental accessibility of the hair cell. For the same reason, the hair cell serves as an important model for studying presynaptic Ca2+ signaling and stimulus-secretion coupling. In addition to common principles, hair cell synapses differ in their anatomical and functional properties among species, among the auditory and vestibular organs, and among hair cell positions within the organ. Here, we briefly review synaptic morphology and connectivity and then focus on stimulus-secretion coupling at hair cell synapses. PMID:16944206

  19. 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.

  20. Leptin Regulation of Synaptic Function at Hippocampal TA-CA1 and SC-CA1 Synapses: Implications for Health and Disease.

    PubMed

    McGregor, Gemma; Harvey, Jenni

    2017-08-18

    Growing evidence indicates that the endocrine hormone leptin regulates hippocampal synaptic function in addition to its established role as a hypothalamic satiety signal. Indeed, numerous studies show that leptin facilitates the cellular events that underlie hippocampal learning and memory including activity-dependent synaptic plasticity and glutamate receptor trafficking, indicating that leptin may be a potential cognitive enhancer. Although there has been extensive investigation into the modulatory role of leptin at hippocampal Schaffer collateral (SC)-CA1 synapses, recent evidence indicates that leptin also potently regulates excitatory synaptic transmission at the anatomically distinct temporoammonic (TA) input to hippocampal CA1 neurons. The cellular mechanisms underlying activity-dependent synaptic plasticity at TA-CA1 synapses differ from those at SC-CA1 synapses and the TA input is implicated in spatial and episodic memory formation. Furthermore, the TA input is an early target for neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and aberrant leptin function is linked to AD. Here, we review the evidence that leptin regulates hippocampal synaptic function at both SC- and TA-CA1 synapses and discuss the consequences for neurodegenerative disorders like AD.

  1. Automated analysis of a diverse synapse population.

    PubMed

    Busse, Brad; Smith, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Synapses of the mammalian central nervous system are highly diverse in function and molecular composition. Synapse diversity per se may be critical to brain function, since memory and homeostatic mechanisms are thought to be rooted primarily in activity-dependent plastic changes in specific subsets of individual synapses. Unfortunately, the measurement of synapse diversity has been restricted by the limitations of methods capable of measuring synapse properties at the level of individual synapses. Array tomography is a new high-resolution, high-throughput proteomic imaging method that has the potential to advance the measurement of unit-level synapse diversity across large and diverse synapse populations. Here we present an automated feature extraction and classification algorithm designed to quantify synapses from high-dimensional array tomographic data too voluminous for manual analysis. We demonstrate the use of this method to quantify laminar distributions of synapses in mouse somatosensory cortex and validate the classification process by detecting the presence of known but uncommon proteomic profiles. Such classification and quantification will be highly useful in identifying specific subpopulations of synapses exhibiting plasticity in response to perturbations from the environment or the sensory periphery.

  2. Automated Analysis of a Diverse Synapse Population

    PubMed Central

    Busse, Brad; Smith, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Synapses of the mammalian central nervous system are highly diverse in function and molecular composition. Synapse diversity per se may be critical to brain function, since memory and homeostatic mechanisms are thought to be rooted primarily in activity-dependent plastic changes in specific subsets of individual synapses. Unfortunately, the measurement of synapse diversity has been restricted by the limitations of methods capable of measuring synapse properties at the level of individual synapses. Array tomography is a new high-resolution, high-throughput proteomic imaging method that has the potential to advance the measurement of unit-level synapse diversity across large and diverse synapse populations. Here we present an automated feature extraction and classification algorithm designed to quantify synapses from high-dimensional array tomographic data too voluminous for manual analysis. We demonstrate the use of this method to quantify laminar distributions of synapses in mouse somatosensory cortex and validate the classification process by detecting the presence of known but uncommon proteomic profiles. Such classification and quantification will be highly useful in identifying specific subpopulations of synapses exhibiting plasticity in response to perturbations from the environment or the sensory periphery. PMID:23555213

  3. RNA-binding protein Hermes/RBPMS inversely affects synapse density and axon arbor formation in retinal ganglion cells in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Hörnberg, Hanna; Horck, Francis Wollerton-van; Maurus, Daniel; Zwart, Maarten; Svoboda, Hanno; Harris, William A.; Holt, Christine E.

    2015-01-01

    The RNA-binding protein, Hermes (RBPMS), is expressed exclusively in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the CNS, but its function in these cells is not known. Here we show that Hermes protein translocates in granules from RGC bodies down the growing axons. Hermes loss-of-function in both Xenopus laevis and zebrafish embryos leads to a significant reduction in retinal axon arbor complexity in the optic tectum, and expression of a dominant acting mutant Hermes protein, defective in RNA-granule localisation, causes similar defects in arborisation. Time-lapse analysis of branch dynamics reveals that the decrease in arbor complexity is caused by a reduction in new branches rather than a decrease in branch stability. Surprisingly, Hermes depletion also leads to enhanced early visual behaviour and an increase in the density of pre-synaptic puncta suggesting that reduced arborisation is accompanied by increased synaptogenesis to maintain synapse number. PMID:23785151

  4. AMPA-silent synapses in brain development and pathology.

    PubMed

    Hanse, Eric; Seth, Henrik; Riebe, Ilse

    2013-12-01

    Synapses are constantly generated at a high rate in the developing, prepubescent brain. Newly generated glutamatergic synapses lack functional AMPA receptor-mediated transmission. Most of these 'AMPA-silent' synapses are eliminated during the developmental period, but some are specifically selected for AMPA unsilencing by correlated pre-and postsynaptic activity as the first step in a process that leads to stabilization of the synapse. Premature, or delayed, unsilencing of AMPA-silent synapses has been implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, and abnormal generation of AMPA-silent synapses is associated with brain trauma, addiction and neurodegenerative disorders, further highlighting the importance of AMPA-silent synapses in brain pathology.

  5. Intra-synapse-type and inter-synapse-type relationships between synaptic size and AMPAR expression.

    PubMed

    Fukazawa, Yugo; Shigemoto, Ryuichi

    2012-06-01

    To gain insights into structure-function relationship of excitatory synapses, we revisit our quantitative analysis of synaptic AMPAR by highly sensitive freeze-fracture replica labeling in eight different connections. All of these connections showed linear correlation between synapse size and AMPAR number indicating a common intra-synapse-type relationship in CNS synapses. On the contrary, inter-synapse-type relationship is unexpected indicating no correlation between averages of synapse size and AMPAR number. Interestingly, connections with large average synapse size and low AMPAR density showed high variability of AMPAR number and mosaic distribution within the postsynaptic membrane. We propose an idea that these connections may quickly exhibit synaptic plasticity by modifying AMPAR density/number whereas those with high AMPAR density change their efficacy by modifying synapse size. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Genomewide analysis of the Drosophila tetraspanins reveals a subset with similar function in the formation of the embryonic synapse

    PubMed Central

    Fradkin, Lee G.; Kamphorst, Jessica T.; DiAntonio, Aaron; Goodman, Corey S.; Noordermeer, Jasprina N.

    2002-01-01

    Tetraspanins encode a large conserved family of proteins that span the membrane four times and are expressed in a variety of eukaryotic tissues. They are part of membrane complexes that are involved in such diverse processes as intracellular signaling, cellular motility, metastasis, and tumor suppression. The single fly tetraspanin characterized to date, late bloomer (lbm), is expressed on the axons, terminal arbors, and growth cones of motoneurons. In embryos lacking Lbm protein, motoneurons reach their muscle targets, but initially fail to form synaptic terminals. During larval stages, however, functional contacts are formed. The newly available genomic sequence of Drosophila melanogaster indicates the existence of 34 additional members of the tetraspanin family in the fly. To address the possibility that other tetraspanins with functions that might compensate for a lack of lbm exist, we determined the expression domains of the Drosophila tetraspanin gene family members by RNA in situ analysis. We found two other tetraspanins also expressed in motoneurons and subsequently generated a small chromosomal deletion that removes all three motoneuron-specific tetraspanins. The deletion results in a significant enhancement in the lbm phenotype, indicating that the two additional motoneuron-expressed tetraspanins can, at least in part, compensate for the absence of lbm during the formation of the embryonic synapse. PMID:12370414

  7. 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

  8. Genetic inhibition of CaMKII in dorsal striatal medium spiny neurons reduces functional excitatory synapses and enhances intrinsic excitability.

    PubMed

    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

    Ca(2+)/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.

  9. Embryonic and larval neural connectivity: progressive changes in synapse form and function at the neuromuscular junction mediated by cytoskeletal regulation.

    PubMed

    Long, Jennifer B; Van Vactor, David

    2013-01-01

    During development, precise formation of millions of synaptic connections is critical for the formation of a functional nervous system. Synaptogenesis is a complex multistep process in which axons follow gradients of secreted and cell surface guidance cues to reach their target area, at which point they must accurately distinguish their specific target. Upon target recognition, the axonal growth cone undergoes rapid growth and morphological changes, ultimately forming a functional synapse that continues to remodel during activity-dependent plasticity. Significant evidence suggests that the underlying actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletons are key effectors throughout synaptogenesis downstream of numerous receptors and signaling pathways. An increasing number of cytoskeletal-associated proteins have been shown to influence actin and MT stability and dynamics and many of these regulators have been implicated during synaptic morphogenesis using both mammalian and invertebrate model systems. In this review, we present an overview of the role cytoskeletal regulators play during the formation of the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Chronic fluoxetine administration enhances synaptic plasticity and increases functional dynamics in hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses.

    PubMed

    Dina, Popova; Castren, Eero; Taira, Tomi

    2017-09-05

    Recent studies demonstrate that chronic administration of the widely used antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX) promotes neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity in the adult hippocampus, cortex and amygdala. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects and how are they related to the clinical antidepressant efficacy are still poorly understood. We show here that chronic FLX administration decreases hippocampus-associated neophobia in naïve mice. In parallel, electrophysiological recordings in hippocampal CA3-CA1 circuitry revealed that the FLX treatment resulted in increased short- and long-term plasticity likely attributed to changes in presynaptic function. These changes were accompanied by enhancement in the expression of proteins related to vesicular trafficking and release, namely synaptophysin, synaptotagmin 1, MUNC 18 and syntaxin 1. Thus, chronic FLX administration is associated with enhanced synaptic dynamics atypical of mature CA1 synapses, elevated hippocampal plasticity, improved hippocampus-dependent behavior as well as altered expression of synaptic proteins regulating neurotransmitter trafficking and release. The results support the idea that antidepressants can promote neuronal plasticity and show that they can increase the functional dynamic range and information processing in synaptic circuitries. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. The contribution of the sodium-calcium exchanger (NCX) and plasma membrane Ca(2+) ATPase (PMCA) to cerebellar synapse function.

    PubMed

    Roome, Chris J; Empson, Ruth M

    2013-01-01

    The cerebellum, a part of the brain critically involved in motor learning and sensory adaptation, expresses high levels of the sodium-calcium exchanger (NCX) and the plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA). Both these transporters control calcium dynamics at a variety of synapses, and here, we draw upon the available literature to discuss how NCX and PMCA work together to shape pre-synaptic calcium dynamics at cerebellar synapses.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Abelson Family Tyrosine Kinases Regulate the Function of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors and Nicotinic Synapses on Autonomic NeuronsS⃞

    PubMed Central

    Jayakar, Selwyn S.

    2011-01-01

    Abelson family kinases (AFKs; Abl1, Abl2) are non-receptor tyrosine kinases (NRTKs) implicated in cancer, but they also have important physiological roles that include regulating synaptic structure and function. Recent studies using Abl-deficient mice and the antileukemia drug STI571 [imatinib mesylate (Gleevec); Novartis], which potently and selectively blocks Abl kinase activity, implicate AFKs in regulating presynaptic neurotransmitter release in hippocampus and postsynaptic clustering of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in muscle. Here, we tested whether AFKs are relevant for regulating nAChRs and nAChR-mediated synapses on autonomic neurons. AFK immunoreactivity was detected in ciliary ganglion (CG) lysates and neurons, and STI571 application blocked endogenous Abl tyrosine kinase activity. With similar potency, STI571 specifically reduced whole-cell current responses generated by both nicotinic receptor subtypes present on CG neurons (α3*- and α7-nAChRs) and lowered the frequency and amplitude of α3*-nAChR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents. Quantal analysis indicated that the synaptic perturbations were postsynaptic in origin, and confocal imaging experiments revealed they were unaccompanied by changes in nAChR clustering or alignment with presynaptic terminals. The results indicate that in autonomic neurons, Abl kinase activity normally supports postsynaptic nAChR function to sustain nAChR-mediated neurotransmission. Such consequences contrast with the influence of Abl kinase activity on presynaptic function and synaptic structure in hippocampus and muscle, respectively, demonstrating a cell-specific mechanism of action. Finally, because STI571 potently inhibits Abl kinase activity, the autonomic dysfunction side effects associated with its use as a chemotherapeutic agent may result from perturbed α3*- and/or α7-nAChR function. PMID:21502378

  15. Impaired Cognitive Function and Altered Hippocampal Synapse Morphology in Mice Lacking Lrrtm1, a Gene Associated with Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Sakoori, Kazuto; Akagi, Takumi; Hashikawa, Tsutomu; Morimura, Naoko; Yamada, Kazuyuki; Aruga, Jun

    2011-01-01

    Recent genetic linkage analysis has shown that LRRTM1 (Leucine rich repeat transmembrane neuronal 1) is associated with schizophrenia. Here, we characterized Lrrtm1 knockout mice behaviorally and morphologically. Systematic behavioral analysis revealed reduced locomotor activity in the early dark phase, altered behavioral responses to novel environments (open-field box, light-dark box, elevated plus maze, and hole board), avoidance of approach to large inanimate objects, social discrimination deficit, and spatial memory deficit. Upon administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801, Lrrtm1 knockout mice showed both locomotive activities in the open-field box and responses to the inanimate object that were distinct from those of wild-type mice, suggesting that altered glutamatergic transmission underlay the behavioral abnormalities. Furthermore, administration of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (fluoxetine) rescued the abnormality in the elevated plus maze. Morphologically, the brains of Lrrtm1 knockout mice showed reduction in total hippocampus size and reduced synaptic density. The hippocampal synapses were characterized by elongated spines and diffusely distributed synaptic vesicles, indicating the role of Lrrtm1 in maintaining synaptic integrity. Although the pharmacobehavioral phenotype was not entirely characteristic of those of schizophrenia model animals, the impaired cognitive function may warrant the further study of LRRTM1 in relevance to schizophrenia. PMID:21818371

  16. Activity-dependent inhibitory synapse remodeling through gephyrin phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Flores, Carmen E; Nikonenko, Irina; Mendez, Pablo; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Tyagarajan, Shiva K; Muller, Dominique

    2015-01-06

    Maintaining a proper balance between excitation and inhibition is essential for the functioning of neuronal networks. However, little is known about the mechanisms through which excitatory activity can affect inhibitory synapse plasticity. Here we used tagged gephyrin, one of the main scaffolding proteins of the postsynaptic density at GABAergic synapses, to monitor the activity-dependent adaptation of perisomatic inhibitory synapses over prolonged periods of time in hippocampal slice cultures. We find that learning-related activity patterns known to induce N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent long-term potentiation and transient optogenetic activation of single neurons induce within hours a robust increase in the formation and size of gephyrin-tagged clusters at inhibitory synapses identified by correlated confocal electron microscopy. This inhibitory morphological plasticity was associated with an increase in spontaneous inhibitory activity but did not require activation of GABAA receptors. Importantly, this activity-dependent inhibitory plasticity was prevented by pharmacological blockade of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), it was associated with an increased phosphorylation of gephyrin on a site targeted by CaMKII, and could be prevented or mimicked by gephyrin phospho-mutants for this site. These results reveal a homeostatic mechanism through which activity regulates the dynamics and function of perisomatic inhibitory synapses, and they identify a CaMKII-dependent phosphorylation site on gephyrin as critically important for this process.

  17. Dystroglycan mediates homeostatic synaptic plasticity at GABAergic synapses.

    PubMed

    Pribiag, Horia; Peng, Huashan; Shah, Waris Ali; Stellwagen, David; Carbonetto, Salvatore

    2014-05-06

    Dystroglycan (DG), a cell adhesion molecule well known to be essential for skeletal muscle integrity and formation of neuromuscular synapses, is also present at inhibitory synapses in the central nervous system. Mutations that affect DG function not only result in muscular dystrophies, but also in severe cognitive deficits and epilepsy. Here we demonstrate a role of DG during activity-dependent homeostatic regulation of hippocampal inhibitory synapses. Prolonged elevation of neuronal activity up-regulates DG expression and glycosylation, and its localization to inhibitory synapses. Inhibition of protein synthesis prevents the activity-dependent increase in synaptic DG and GABAA receptors (GABAARs), as well as the homeostatic scaling up of GABAergic synaptic transmission. RNAi-mediated knockdown of DG blocks homeostatic scaling up of inhibitory synaptic strength, as does knockdown of like-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (LARGE)--a glycosyltransferase critical for DG function. In contrast, DG is not required for the bicuculline-induced scaling down of excitatory synaptic strength or the tetrodotoxin-induced scaling down of inhibitory synaptic strength. The DG ligand agrin increases GABAergic synaptic strength in a DG-dependent manner that mimics homeostatic scaling up induced by increased activity, indicating that activation of this pathway alone is sufficient to regulate GABAAR trafficking. These data demonstrate that DG is regulated in a physiologically relevant manner in neurons and that DG and its glycosylation are essential for homeostatic plasticity at inhibitory synapses.

  18. Expression of utrophin at dystrophin-deficient neuromuscular synapses of mdx mice: a study of protected and affected muscles.

    PubMed

    Ferretti, Renato; Neto, Humberto Santo; Marques, Maria Julia

    2011-02-01

    In mdx mice, intrinsic laryngeal muscles are spared and sternomastoid muscles are affected, showing cycles of muscle regeneration. We observed that utrophin and acetylcholine receptors are fragmented only in affected muscles, providing further evidence that changes in the overall distribution of molecules at dystrophic neuromuscular junctions may be correlated with muscle regeneration. 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Subclinical hypothyroidism affects mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Kvetny, J; Wilms, L; Pedersen, P L; Larsen, J

    2010-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine mitochondrial function in cells from persons with subclinical hypothyroidism and euthyroid controls. The participating persons were examined clinically and had basal oxygen consumption (VO(2)) determined. The concentrations of thyroid hormones and thyrotropine stimulating hormone were determined, and mitochondrial function in isolated mononuclear blood cells was examined by enzymatic methods [citrate synthase activity (CS)] and by flow cytometry (mitochondrial membrane potential by TMRM fluorescence and mitochondrial mass by MTG fluorescence). The ratio of T(4)/T(3) was lowered in subclinical hypothyroidism patients compared to controls (2.5+/-0.5 vs. 2.9+/-0.4, p=0.005). VO(2) was increased in persons with subclinical hypothyroidism compared to controls (adolescents: 134+/-27 ml O(2)/min*m(2) vs. 119+/-27 ml O(2)/min*m(2), p=0.006, adults: 139+/-14 ml O(2)/min*m(2) vs. 121+/-17 ml O(2)/min*m(2), p=0.001). The mitochondrial function, represented by citrate synthase activity, MTG, and TMRM fluorescence were all increased (CS in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 0.074+/-0.044 nmol/mg*min vs. 0.056+/-0.021 nmol/mg*min, p=0.005; MTG fluorescence in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 7,482+/-1,733 a.u. vs. 6,391+/-2,171 a.u., p=0.027; TMRM fluorescence in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 13,449+/-3,807 a.u. vs. 11,733+/-4,473 a.u, p=0.04). Our results indicate an increased mitochondrial stimulation, eventually caused by increased deiodination of T(4) to intracellular bioactive iodothyronines in adults and adolescents with subclinical hypothyroidism.

  20. Tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside ameliorates memory and movement functions, protects synapses and inhibits α-synuclein aggregation in hippocampus and striatum in aged mice.

    PubMed

    Shen, Cong; Sun, Fang-ling; Zhang, Ru-yi; Zhang, Li; Li, Ya-li; Zhang, Lan; Li, Lin

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the effects of 2,3,5,4'-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-β-D-glucoside (TSG) on the memory and movement functions and its mechanisms related to synapses and α-synuclein in aged mice. The memory ability of mice was detected by step-through passive avoidance task. The movement function was measured by the pole test and rotarod test. Transmission electron microscopy was used to observe the synaptic ultrastructure. Western blotting was applied to measure the expression of synapse-related proteins and α-synuclein. Intragastrical administration of TSG for 3 months significantly improved the memory and movement functions in aged mice. TSG treatment obviously protected the synaptic ultrastructure and increased the number of synaptic connections in the hippocampal CA1 region and striatum; enhanced the expression of synaptophysin, phosphorylated synapsin I and postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), elevated phosphorylated calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (p-CaMKII) expression, and inhibited the overexpression and aggregation of α-synuclein in the hippocampus, striatum and cerebral cortex of aged mice. TSG improved the memory and movement functions in aged mice through protecting synapses and inhibiting α-synuclein overexpression and aggregation in multiple brain regions. The results suggest that TSG may be beneficial to the treatment of ageing-related neurodegenerative diseases.

  1. Dendrodendritic synapses in the mouse olfactory bulb external plexiform layer.

    PubMed

    Bartel, Dianna L; Rela, Lorena; Hsieh, Lawrence; Greer, Charles A

    2015-06-01

    Odor information relayed by olfactory bulb projection neurons, mitral and tufted cells (M/T), is modulated by pairs of reciprocal dendrodendritic synaptic circuits in the external plexiform layer (EPL). Interneurons, which are accounted for largely by granule cells, receive depolarizing input from M/T dendrites and in turn inhibit current spread in M/T dendrites via hyperpolarizing reciprocal dendrodendritic synapses. Because the location of dendrodendritic synapses may significantly affect the cascade of odor information, we assessed synaptic properties and density within sublaminae of the EPL and along the length of M/T secondary dendrites. In electron micrographs the M/T to granule cell synapse appeared to predominate and was equivalent in both the outer and inner EPL. However, the dendrodendritic synapses from granule cell spines onto M/T dendrites were more prevalent in the outer EPL. In contrast, individual gephyrin-immunoreactive (IR) puncta, a postsynaptic scaffolding protein at inhibitory synapses used here as a proxy for the granule to M/T dendritic synapse was equally distributed throughout the EPL. Of significance to the organization of intrabulbar circuits, gephyrin-IR synapses are not uniformly distributed along M/T secondary dendrites. Synaptic density, expressed as a function of surface area, increases distal to the cell body. Furthermore, the distributions of gephyrin-IR puncta are heterogeneous and appear as clusters along the length of the M/T dendrites. Consistent with computational models, our data suggest that temporal coding in M/T cells is achieved by precisely located inhibitory input and that distance from the soma is compensated for by an increase in synaptic density.

  2. The Impact of Sustained Engagement on Cognitive Function in Older Adults: The Synapse Project

    PubMed Central

    Park, Denise C.; Lodi-Smith, Jennifer; Drew, Linda; Haber, Sara; Hebrank, Andrew; Bischof, Gérard N.; Aamodt, Whitley

    2014-01-01

    In the research reported here, we tested the hypothesis that sustained engagement in learning new skills that activated working memory, episodic memory, and reasoning over a period of 3 months would enhance cognitive function in older adults. In three conditions with high cognitive demands, participants learned to quilt, learned digital photography, or engaged in both activities for an average of 16.51 hr a week for 3 months. Results at posttest indicated that episodic memory was enhanced in these productive-engagement conditions relative to receptive-engagement conditions, in which participants either engaged in nonintellectual activities with a social group or performed low-demand cognitive tasks with no social contact. The findings suggest that sustained engagement in cognitively demanding, novel activities enhances memory function in older adulthood, but, somewhat surprisingly, we found limited cognitive benefits of sustained engagement in social activities. PMID:24214244

  3. Decrease of SYNGAP1 in GABAergic cells impairs inhibitory synapse connectivity, synaptic inhibition and cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Berryer, Martin H; Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Xing, Paul; Riebe, Ilse; Bosoi, Ciprian; Sanon, Nathalie; Antoine-Bertrand, Judith; Lévesque, Maxime; Avoli, Massimo; Hamdan, Fadi F; Carmant, Lionel; Lamarche-Vane, Nathalie; Lacaille, Jean-Claude; Michaud, Jacques L; Di Cristo, Graziella

    2016-11-09

    Haploinsufficiency of the SYNGAP1 gene, which codes for a Ras GTPase-activating protein, impairs cognition both in humans and in mice. Decrease of Syngap1 in mice has been previously shown to cause cognitive deficits at least in part by inducing alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission and premature maturation of excitatory connections. Whether Syngap1 plays a role in the development of cortical GABAergic connectivity and function remains unclear. Here, we show that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency significantly reduces the formation of perisomatic innervations by parvalbumin-positive basket cells, a major population of GABAergic neurons, in a cell-autonomous manner. We further show that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency in GABAergic cells derived from the medial ganglionic eminence impairs their connectivity, reduces inhibitory synaptic activity and cortical gamma oscillation power, and causes cognitive deficits. Our results indicate that Syngap1 plays a critical role in GABAergic circuit function and further suggest that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency in GABAergic circuits may contribute to cognitive deficits.

  4. The impact of sustained engagement on cognitive function in older adults: the Synapse Project.

    PubMed

    Park, Denise C; Lodi-Smith, Jennifer; Drew, Linda; Haber, Sara; Hebrank, Andrew; Bischof, Gérard N; Aamodt, Whitley

    2014-01-01

    In the research reported here, we tested the hypothesis that sustained engagement in learning new skills that activated working memory, episodic memory, and reasoning over a period of 3 months would enhance cognitive function in older adults. In three conditions with high cognitive demands, participants learned to quilt, learned digital photography, or engaged in both activities for an average of 16.51 hr a week for 3 months. Results at posttest indicated that episodic memory was enhanced in these productive-engagement conditions relative to receptive-engagement conditions, in which participants either engaged in nonintellectual activities with a social group or performed low-demand cognitive tasks with no social contact. The findings suggest that sustained engagement in cognitively demanding, novel activities enhances memory function in older adulthood, but, somewhat surprisingly, we found limited cognitive benefits of sustained engagement in social activities.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 because 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 -3β isoforms, we here show that neurexin-3 is differentially required for distinct synaptic functions in different brain regions. Specifically, we find that in cultured neurons and acute slices of the hippocampus, presynaptic neurexin-3 mediates trans-synaptic regulation of postsynaptic AMPA-receptors via its extracellular sequences. In cultured neurons and acute slices of the olfactory bulb, however, presynaptic neurexin-3 is selectively required for GABA release by a mechanism involving its intracellular sequences. Thus, our data demonstrate that neurexin-3 performs distinct essential pre- or postsynaptic functions in different brain regions by distinct mechanisms. PMID:26030848

  6. Functional asymmetry and plasticity of electrical synapses interconnecting neurons through a 36-state model of gap junction channel gating

    PubMed Central

    Kraujalis, Tadas; Maciunas, Kestutis

    2017-01-01

    We combined the Hodgkin–Huxley equations and a 36-state model of gap junction channel gating to simulate electrical signal transfer through electrical synapses. Differently from most previous studies, our model can account for dynamic modulation of junctional conductance during the spread of electrical signal between coupled neurons. The model of electrical synapse is based on electrical properties of the gap junction channel encompassing two fast and two slow gates triggered by the transjunctional voltage. We quantified the influence of a difference in input resistances of electrically coupled neurons and instantaneous conductance–voltage rectification of gap junctions on an asymmetry of cell-to-cell signaling. We demonstrated that such asymmetry strongly depends on junctional conductance and can lead to the unidirectional transfer of action potentials. The simulation results also revealed that voltage spikes, which develop between neighboring cells during the spread of action potentials, can induce a rapid decay of junctional conductance, thus demonstrating spiking activity-dependent short-term plasticity of electrical synapses. This conclusion was supported by experimental data obtained in HeLa cells transfected with connexin45, which is among connexin isoforms expressed in neurons. Moreover, the model allowed us to replicate the kinetics of junctional conductance under different levels of intracellular concentration of free magnesium ([Mg2+]i), which was experimentally recorded in cells expressing connexin36, a major neuronal connexin. We demonstrated that such [Mg2+]i-dependent long-term plasticity of the electrical synapse can be adequately reproduced through the changes of slow gate parameters of the 36-state model. This suggests that some types of chemical modulation of gap junctions can be executed through the underlying mechanisms of voltage gating. Overall, the developed model accounts for direction-dependent asymmetry, as well as for short- and long

  7. Fiber Pathway Pathology, Synapse Loss and Decline of Cortical Function in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Max R.; Farnell, Les; Gibson, William G.

    2013-01-01

    A quantitative cortical model is developed, based on both computational and simulation approaches, which relates measured changes in cortical activity of gray matter with changes in the integrity of longitudinal fiber pathways. The model consists of modules of up to 5,000 neurons each, 80% excitatory and 20% inhibitory, with these having different degrees of synaptic connectiveness both within a module as well as between modules. It is shown that if the inter-modular synaptic connections are reduced to zero while maintaining the intra-modular synaptic connections constant, then activity in the modules is reduced by about 50%. This agrees with experimental observations in which cortical electrical activity in a region of interest, measured using the rate of oxidative glucose metabolism (CMRglc(ox)), is reduced by about 50% when the cortical region is isolated, either by surgical means or by transient cold block. There is also a 50% decrease in measured cortical activity following inactivation of the nucleus of Meynert and the intra-laminar nuclei of the thalamus, which arise either following appropriate lesions or in sleep. This occurs in the model if the inter-modular synaptic connections require input from these nuclei in order to function. In schizophrenia there is a 24% decrease in functional anisotropy of longitudinal fasciculi accompanied by a 7% decrease in cortical activity (CMRglc(ox)).The cortical model predicts this, namely for a 24% decrease in the functioning of the inter-modular connections, either through the complete loss of 24% of axons subserving the connections or due to such a decrease in the efficacy of all the inter-modular connections, there will be about a 7% decrease in the activity of the modules. This work suggests that deterioration of longitudinal fasciculi in schizophrenia explains the loss of activity in the gray matter. PMID:23593232

  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. Function of neuromuscular synapses in the zebrafish choline-acetyltransferase mutant bajan.

    PubMed

    Wang, Meng; Wen, Hua; Brehm, Paul

    2008-10-01

    We have identified a zebrafish mutant line, bajan, in which compromised motility and fatigue result from a point mutation in the gene coding choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the enzyme responsible for acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis. Although the mutation predicts loss of ChAT function, bajan inexplicably retains low levels of neuromuscular transmission. We exploited this residual activity and determined the consequences for synaptic function. The attenuated synaptic responses were a direct consequence of a decrease in both resting mean quantal size and quantal content. To replicate behavioral fatigue in swimming, motorneurons were stimulated at high frequencies. A prominent reduction in quantal content, reflecting vesicle depletion, was coincident with a small additional reduction in quantal size. In humans, defective ChAT leads to episodic apnea, a form of congenital myasthenic syndrome characterized by use-dependent fatigue. In contrast to bajan, however, afflicted individuals exhibit a normal resting quantal size and quantal content. The fatigue in humans results from a pronounced long-lasting drop in quantal size with little or no change in quantal content. These differences have important implications for interpreting fatigue as well as on understanding the impact of ACh availability on vesicle filling and recycling.

  10. Decrease of SYNGAP1 in GABAergic cells impairs inhibitory synapse connectivity, synaptic inhibition and cognitive function

    PubMed Central

    Berryer, Martin H.; Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Xing, Paul; Riebe, Ilse; Bosoi, Ciprian; Sanon, Nathalie; Antoine-Bertrand, Judith; Lévesque, Maxime; Avoli, Massimo; Hamdan, Fadi F.; Carmant, Lionel; Lamarche-Vane, Nathalie; Lacaille, Jean-Claude; Michaud, Jacques L.; Di Cristo, Graziella

    2016-01-01

    Haploinsufficiency of the SYNGAP1 gene, which codes for a Ras GTPase-activating protein, impairs cognition both in humans and in mice. Decrease of Syngap1 in mice has been previously shown to cause cognitive deficits at least in part by inducing alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission and premature maturation of excitatory connections. Whether Syngap1 plays a role in the development of cortical GABAergic connectivity and function remains unclear. Here, we show that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency significantly reduces the formation of perisomatic innervations by parvalbumin-positive basket cells, a major population of GABAergic neurons, in a cell-autonomous manner. We further show that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency in GABAergic cells derived from the medial ganglionic eminence impairs their connectivity, reduces inhibitory synaptic activity and cortical gamma oscillation power, and causes cognitive deficits. Our results indicate that Syngap1 plays a critical role in GABAergic circuit function and further suggest that Syngap1 haploinsufficiency in GABAergic circuits may contribute to cognitive deficits. PMID:27827368

  11. 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

  12. Presynaptic muscarinic receptors, calcium channels, and protein kinase C modulate the functional disconnection of weak inputs at polyinnervated neonatal neuromuscular synapses.

    PubMed

    Santafe, M M; Garcia, N; Lanuza, M A; Tomàs, M; Besalduch, N; Tomàs, J

    2009-04-01

    We studied the relation among calcium inflows, voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCC), presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs), and protein kinase C (PKC) activity in the modulation of synapse elimination. We used intracellular recording to determine the synaptic efficacy in dually innervated endplates of the levator auris longus muscle of newborn rats during axonal competition in the postnatal synaptic elimination period. In these dual junctions, the weak nerve terminal was potentiated by partially reducing calcium entry (P/Q-, N-, or L-type VDCC-specific block or 500 muM magnesium ions), M1- or M4-type selective mAChR block, or PKC block. Moreover, reducing calcium entry or blocking PKC or mAChRs results in unmasking functionally silent nerve endings that now recover neurotransmitter release. Our results show interactions between these molecules and indicate that there is a release inhibition mechanism based on an mAChR-PKC-VDCC intracellular cascade. When it is fully active in certain weak motor axons, it can depress ACh release and even disconnect synapses. We suggest that this mechanism plays a central role in the elimination of redundant neonatal synapses, because functional axonal withdrawal can indeed be reversed by mAChRs, VDCCs, or PKC block.

  13. 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.

  14. Chronic ethanol and withdrawal differentially modulate pre- and postsynaptic function at glutamatergic synapses in rat basolateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Läck, Anna K; Diaz, Marvin R; Chappell, Ann; DuBois, Dustin W; McCool, Brian A

    2007-12-01

    Withdrawal anxiety is a significant factor contributing to continued alcohol abuse in alcoholics. This anxiety is long-lasting, can manifest well after the overt physical symptoms of withdrawal, and is frequently associated with relapse in recovering alcoholics. The neurobiological mechanisms governing these withdrawal-associated increases in anxiety are currently unknown. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a major emotional center in the brain and regulates the expression of both learned fear and anxiety. Neurotransmitter system alterations within this brain region may therefore contribute to withdrawal-associated anxiety. Because evidence suggests that glutamate-gated neurotransmitter receptors are sensitive to acute ethanol exposure, we examined the effect of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) and withdrawal (WD) on glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the BLA. We found that slices prepared from CIE and WD animals had significantly increased contributions by synaptic NMDA receptors. In addition, CIE increased the amplitude of AMPA-receptor-mediated spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs), whereas only WD altered the amplitude and kinetics of tetrodotoxin-resistant spontaneous events (mEPSCs). Similarly, the frequency of sEPSCs was increased in both CIE and WD neurons, although only WD increased the frequency of mEPSCs. These data suggest that CIE and WD differentially alter both pre- and postsynaptic properties of BLA glutamatergic synapses. Finally, we show that microinjection of the AMPA-receptor antagonist, DNQX, can attenuate withdrawal-related anxiety-like behavior. Together, our results suggest that increased glutamatergic function may contribute to anxiety expressed during withdrawal from chronic ethanol.

  15. Chronic Ethanol and Withdrawal Differentially Modulate Pre- and Post-synaptic Function at Glutamatergic Synapses in Rat Basolateral Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Läck, Anna K.; Diaz, Marvin R.; Chappell, Ann; DuBois, Dustin W.; McCool, Brian A.

    2008-01-01

    Withdrawal anxiety is a significant factor contributing to continued alcohol abuse in alcoholics. This anxiety is long lasting, can manifest well after the overt physical symptoms of withdrawal, and is frequently associated with relapse in recovering alcoholics. The neurobiological mechanisms governing these withdrawal-associated increases in anxiety are currently unknown. The basolateral amygdala is a major emotional center in the brain and regulates the expression of both learned-fear and anxiety. Neurotransmitter system alterations within this brain region may therefore contribute to withdrawal-associated anxiety. Since evidence suggests that glutamate-gated neurotransmitter receptors are sensitive to acute ethanol exposure, we examined the effect of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) and withdrawal (WD) on glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the basolateral amygdala. We found that slices prepared from CIE and WD animals had significantly increased contributions by synaptic NMDA-receptors. In addition, CIE increased the amplitude of AMPA receptor-mediated spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSC), while only WD altered the amplitude and kinetics of tetrodotoxin-resistant spontaneous events (mEPSC). Similarly, the frequency of sEPSCs was increased in both CIE and WD neurons; but, only WD increased the frequency of mEPSCs. These data suggest that CIE and WD differentially alter both pre- and post-synaptic properties of BLA glutamatergic synapses. Finally, we show that microinjection of the AMPA receptor antagonist, DNQX, can attenuate withdrawal-related anxiety-like behavior. Together, our results suggest that increased glutamatergic function may contribute to anxiety expressed during withdrawal from chronic ethanol. PMID:17898152

  16. 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

  17. Synapse clusters are preferentially formed by synapses with large recycling pool sizes.

    PubMed

    Welzel, Oliver; Tischbirek, Carsten H; Jung, Jasmin; Kohler, Eva M; Svetlitchny, Alexei; Henkel, Andreas W; Kornhuber, Johannes; Groemer, Teja W

    2010-10-20

    Synapses are distributed heterogeneously in neural networks. The relationship between the spatial arrangement of synapses and an individual synapse's structural and functional features remains to be elucidated. Here, we examined the influence of the number of adjacent synapses on individual synaptic recycling pool sizes. When measuring the discharge of the styryl dye FM1-43 from electrically stimulated synapses in rat hippocampal tissue cultures, a strong positive correlation between the number of neighbouring synapses and recycling vesicle pool sizes was observed. Accordingly, vesicle-rich synapses were found to preferentially reside next to neighbours with large recycling pool sizes. Although these synapses with large recycling pool sizes were rare, they were densely arranged and thus exhibited a high amount of release per volume. To consolidate these findings, functional terminals were marked by live-cell antibody staining with anti-synaptotagmin-1-cypHer or overexpression of synaptopHluorin. Analysis of synapse distributions in these systems confirmed the results obtained with FM 1-43. Our findings support the idea that clustering of synapses with large recycling pool sizes is a distinct developmental feature of newly formed neural networks and may contribute to functional plasticity.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Kupfer-type immunological synapse characteristics do not predict anti-brain tumor cytolytic T-cell function in vivo.

    PubMed

    Yang, J; Sanderson, N S R; Wawrowsky, K; Puntel, M; Castro, M G; Lowenstein, P R

    2010-03-09

    To analyze the in vivo structure of antigen-specific immunological synapses during an effective immune response, we established brain tumors expressing the surrogate tumor antigen ovalbumin and labeled antigen-specific anti-glioma T cells using specific tetramers. Using these techniques, we determined that a significant number of antigen-specific T cells were localized to the brain tumor and surrounding brain tissue and a large percentage could be induced to express IFNgamma when exposed to the specific ovalbumin-derived peptide epitope SIINFEKL. Detailed morphological analysis of T cells immunoreactive for tetramers in direct physical contact with tumor cells expressing ovalbumin indicated that the interface between T cells and target tumor cells displayed various morphologies, including Kupfer-type immunological synapses. Quantitative analysis of adjacent confocal optical sections was performed to determine if the higher frequency of antigen-specific antiglioma T cells present in animals that developed an effective antitumor immune response could be correlated with a specific immunological synaptic morphology. Detailed in vivo quantitative analysis failed to detect an increased proportion of immunological synapses displaying the characteristic Kupfer-type morphology in animals mounting a strong and effective antitumor immune response as compared with those experiencing a clinically ineffective response. We conclude that an effective cytolytic immune response is not dependent on an increased frequency of Kupfer-type immunological synapses between T cells and tumor cells.

  1. Retrograde signaling for climbing fiber synapse elimination.

    PubMed

    Uesaka, Naofumi; Uchigashima, Motokazu; Mikuni, Takayasu; Hirai, Hirokazu; Watanabe, Masahiko; Kano, Masanobu

    2015-02-01

    Neurons form exuberant synapses with target cells early in development. Then, necessary synapses are selectively strengthened whereas unnecessary connections are weakened and eventually eliminated during postnatal development. This process is known as synapse elimination and is a crucial step for shaping immature neural circuits into functionally mature versions. Accumulating evidence suggests that retrograde signaling from postsynaptic cells regulates synapse elimination, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we show that semaphorin3A (Sema3A) and semaphorin7A (Sema7A) mediate retrograde signals for elimination of redundant climbing fiber (CF) to Purkinje cell (PC) synapses in the developing cerebellum, a representative model of synapse elimination in the central nervous system. We picked up candidate retrograde signaling molecules that are expressed in PCs during the period of CF synapse elimination and the receptors of these candidate molecules that are present in CFs. We then assessed the effects of lentivirus-mediated RNAi-knockdown of these molecules on CF synapse elimination. By this systematic screening, we found that knockdown of Sema3A in PCs or its co-receptor, plexinA4 (PlxnA4), in CFs accelerated CF synapse elimination and decreased CF-mediated synaptic inputs. Conversely, knockdown of Sema7A in PCs or either of the two receptors for Sema7A, plexinC1 (PlxnC1) and integrinB1 (ItgB1), in CFs impaired CF synapse elimination. Importantly, the effect of Sema7A involves signaling by type 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR1), a canonical pathway in PCs for the final stage of CF synapse elimination. These results demonstrate that specific semaphorins act as retrograde signaling molecules and regulate distinct processes of CF synapse elimination during postnatal cerebellar development.

  2. Involvement of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the functional elimination of synaptic contacts at polyinnervated neuromuscular synapses during development.

    PubMed

    Garcia, N; Santafe, M M; Tomàs, M; Lanuza, M A; Besalduch, N; Tomàs, J

    2010-05-15

    We use immunohistochemistry to describe the localization of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptors trkB and p75(NTR) in the neuromuscular synapses of postnatal rats (P6-P7) during the synapse elimination period. The receptor protein p75(NTR) is present in the nerve terminal, muscle cell and glial Schwann cell whereas BDNF and trkB proteins can be detected mainly in the pre- and postsynaptic elements. Exogenously applied BDNF (10 nM for 3 hr or 50 nM for 1 hr) increases ACh release from singly and dually innervated synapses. This effect may be specific for BDNF because the neurotrophin NT-4 (2-8 nM) does not modulate release at P6-P7. Blocking the receptors trkB and p75(NTR) (with K-252a and anti-p75-192-IgG, respectively) completely abolishes the potentiating effect of exogenous BDNF. In addition, exogenous BDNF transiently recruits functionally depressed silent terminals, and this effect seems to be mediated by trkB. Calcium ions, the L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels and protein kinase C are involved in BDNF-mediated nerve ending recruitment. Blocking experiments suggest that endogenous BDNF could operate through p75(NTR) receptors coupled to potentiate ACh release in all nerve terminals because the anti-p75-192-IgG reduces release. However, blocking the trkB receptor (K-252a) or neutralizing endogenous BDNF with the trkB-IgG fusion protein reveals a trkB-mediated release inhibition on almost mature strong endings in dual junctions. Taken together these results suggest that a BDNF-induced p75(NTR)-mediated ACh release potentiating mechanism and a BDNF-induced trkB-mediated release inhibitory mechanism may contribute to developmental synapse disconnection.

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

    PubMed

    Thirumalai, Vatsala; Behrend, Rachel M; Birineni, Swetha; Liu, Wenfang; Blivis, Dvir; O'Donovan, Michael J

    2013-02-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Synapses and Memory Storage

    PubMed Central

    Mayford, Mark; Siegelbaum, Steven A.; Kandel, Eric R.

    2012-01-01

    The synapse is the functional unit of the brain. During the last several decades we have acquired a great deal of information on its structure, molecular components, and physiological function. It is clear that synapses are morphologically and molecularly diverse and that this diversity is recruited to different functions. One of the most intriguing findings is that the size of the synaptic response in not invariant, but can be altered by a variety of homo- and heterosynaptic factors such as past patterns of use or modulatory neurotransmitters. Perhaps the most difficult challenge in neuroscience is to design experiments that reveal how these basic building blocks of the brain are put together and how they are regulated to mediate the information flow through neural circuits that is necessary to produce complex behaviors and store memories. In this review we will focus on studies that attempt to uncover the role of synaptic plasticity in the regulation of whole-animal behavior by learning and memory. PMID:22496389

  6. Daily affect and female sexual function.

    PubMed

    Kalmbach, David A; Pillai, Vivek

    2014-12-01

    The specific affective experiences related to changes in various aspects of female sexual function have received little attention as most prior studies have focused instead on the role of clinical mood and anxiety disorders and their influence on sexual dysfunction. We sought to understand the transaction between daily affect and female sexual function in effort to provide a more nuanced understanding of the interplay between affective and sexual experiences. The present study used a 2-week daily diary approach to examine same-day and temporal relations between positive and negative affect states and sexual function in young women. We examined the unique relations between positive (i.e., joviality, serenity, self-assurance) and negative (i.e., fear, sadness, hostility) affects and female sexual response (i.e., desire, subjective arousal, vaginal lubrication, orgasmic function, and sexual pain) while controlling for higher order sexual distress, depression, and anxiety, as well as age effects and daily menstruation. Analyses revealed different aspects of both positive and negative affects to be independently related to sexual response indices. Specifically, results indicated that joviality was related to same-day sexual desire and predicted increased desire the following day. This latter relation was partially mediated by sexual activity. Further, greater sexual desire predicted next-day calmness, which was partially mediated by sexual activity. Notably, fear was related to same-day subjective arousal, lubrication, orgasmic function, and vaginal pain, whereas poorer orgasmic function predicted greater next-day sadness. These findings describe the manner in which changes in affect correspond to variations in female sexual function, thus highlighting the inextricability of mental and sexual health. Further, these findings may offer insight into the progression of normative levels of affect and sexual function as they develop into comorbid depression, anxiety, and

  7. Role of Mental Retardation-Associated Dystrophin-Gene Product Dp71 in Excitatory Synapse Organization, Synaptic Plasticity and Behavioral Functions

    PubMed Central

    Daoud, Fatma; Candelario-Martínez, Aurora; Billard, Jean-Marie; Avital, Avi; Khelfaoui, Malik; Rozenvald, Yael; Guegan, Maryvonne; Mornet, Dominique; Jaillard, Danielle; Nudel, Uri; Chelly, Jamel; Martínez-Rojas, Dalila; Laroche, Serge; Yaffe, David; Vaillend, Cyrille

    2009-01-01

    Background Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by deficient expression of the cytoskeletal protein, dystrophin. One third of DMD patients also have mental retardation (MR), likely due to mutations preventing expression of dystrophin and other brain products of the DMD gene expressed from distinct internal promoters. Loss of Dp71, the major DMD-gene product in brain, is thought to contribute to the severity of MR; however, the specific function of Dp71 is poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Complementary approaches were used to explore the role of Dp71 in neuronal function and identify mechanisms by which Dp71 loss may impair neuronal and cognitive functions. Besides the normal expression of Dp71 in a subpopulation of astrocytes, we found that a pool of Dp71 colocalizes with synaptic proteins in cultured neurons and is expressed in synaptic subcellular fractions in adult brains. We report that Dp71-associated protein complexes interact with specialized modular scaffolds of proteins that cluster glutamate receptors and organize signaling in postsynaptic densities. We then undertook the first functional examination of the brain and cognitive alterations in the Dp71-null mice. We found that these mice display abnormal synapse organization and maturation in vitro, altered synapse density in the adult brain, enhanced glutamatergic transmission and reduced synaptic plasticity in CA1 hippocampus. Dp71-null mice show selective behavioral disturbances characterized by reduced exploratory and novelty-seeking behavior, mild retention deficits in inhibitory avoidance, and impairments in spatial learning and memory. Conclusions/Significance Results suggest that Dp71 expression in neurons play a regulatory role in glutamatergic synapse organization and function, which provides a new mechanism by which inactivation of Dp71 in association with that of other DMD-gene products may lead to increased severity of MR. PMID:19649270

  8. 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.

  9. Ongoing intrinsic synchronous activity is required for the functional maturation of CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapses.

    PubMed

    Huupponen, Johanna; Molchanova, Svetlana M; Lauri, Sari E; Taira, Tomi

    2013-11-01

    Fine-tuning of synaptic connectivity during development is guided by intrinsic activity of the immature networks characteristically consisting of intermittent bursts of synchronous activity. However, the role of synchronous versus asynchronous activity in synapse maturation in the brain is unclear. Here, we have pharmacologically prevented generation of synchronous activity in the immature rat CA3-CA1 circuitry in a manner that preserves unitary activity. Long-term desynchronization of the network resulted in weakening of AMPA-receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission in CA1 pyramidal cells. This weakening was dependent on protein phosphatases and mGluR activity, associated with an increase in the proportion of silent synapses and a decrease in the protein levels of GluA4 suggesting postsynaptic mechanisms of expression. The findings demonstrate that synchronous activity in the immature CA3-CA1 circuitry is critical for the induction and maintenance of glutamatergic synapses and underscores the importance of temporal activity patterns in shaping the synaptic circuitry during development.

  10. MST3 Kinase Phosphorylates TAO1/2 to Enable Myosin Va Function in Promoting Spine Synapse Development

    PubMed Central

    Ultanir, Sila K.; Yadav, Smita; Hertz, Nicholas T.; Oses-Prieto, Juan A.; Claxton, Suzanne; Burlingame, Alma L.; Shokat, Kevan M.; Jan, Lily Y.; Jan, Yuh-Nung

    2014-01-01

    Summary Mammalian Sterile 20 (Ste20)-like kinase 3 (MST3) is a ubiquitously expressed kinase capable of enhancing axon outgrowth. Whether and how MST3 kinase signaling might regulate development of dendritic filopodia and spine synapses is unknown. Through shRNA-mediated depletion of MST3 and kinase-dead MST3 expression in developing hippocampal cultures, we found that MST3 is necessary for proper filopodia, dendritic spine, and excitatory synapse development. Knockdown of MST3 in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons via in utero electroporation also reduced spine density in vivo. Using chemical genetics, we discovered thirteen candidate MST3 substrates and identified the phosphorylation sites. Among the identified MST3 substrates, TAO kinases regulate dendritic filopodia and spine development, similar to MST3. Furthermore, using stable isotope labeling by amino acids in culture (SILAC), we show that phosphorylated TAO1/2 associates with Myosin Va and is necessary for its dendritic localization, thus revealing a mechanism for excitatory synapse development in the mammalian CNS. PMID:25456499

  11. MST3 kinase phosphorylates TAO1/2 to enable Myosin Va function in promoting spine synapse development.

    PubMed

    Ultanir, Sila K; Yadav, Smita; Hertz, Nicholas T; Oses-Prieto, Juan A; Claxton, Suzanne; Burlingame, Alma L; Shokat, Kevan M; Jan, Lily Y; Jan, Yuh-Nung

    2014-12-03

    Mammalian Sterile 20 (Ste20)-like kinase 3 (MST3) is a ubiquitously expressed kinase capable of enhancing axon outgrowth. Whether and how MST3 kinase signaling might regulate development of dendritic filopodia and spine synapses is unknown. Through shRNA-mediated depletion of MST3 and kinase-dead MST3 expression in developing hippocampal cultures, we found that MST3 is necessary for proper filopodia, dendritic spine, and excitatory synapse development. Knockdown of MST3 in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons via in utero electroporation also reduced spine density in vivo. Using chemical genetics, we discovered thirteen candidate MST3 substrates and identified the phosphorylation sites. Among the identified MST3 substrates, TAO kinases regulate dendritic filopodia and spine development, similar to MST3. Furthermore, using stable isotope labeling by amino acids in culture (SILAC), we show that phosphorylated TAO1/2 associates with Myosin Va and is necessary for its dendritic localization, thus revealing a mechanism for excitatory synapse development in the mammalian CNS.

  12. Bipolar Disorder Associated microRNA, miR-1908-5p, Regulates the Expression of Genes Functioning in Neuronal Glutamatergic Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yoonhee; Zhang, Yinhua; Pang, Kaifang; Kang, Hyojin; Park, Heejoo; Lee, Yeunkum; Lee, Bokyoung; Lee, Heon-Jeong; Kim, Won-Ki; Geum, Dongho

    2016-01-01

    Bipolar disorder (BD), characterized by recurrent mood swings between depression and mania, is a highly heritable and devastating mental illness with poorly defined pathophysiology. Recent genome-wide molecular genetic studies have identified several protein-coding genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) significantly associated with BD. Notably, some of the proteins expressed from BD-associated genes function in neuronal synapses, suggesting that abnormalities in synaptic function could be one of the key pathogenic mechanisms of BD. In contrast, however, the role of BD-associated miRNAs in disease pathogenesis remains largely unknown, mainly because of a lack of understanding about their target mRNAs and pathways in neurons. To address this problem, in this study, we focused on a recently identified BD-associated but uncharacterized miRNA, miR-1908-5p. We identified and validated its novel target genes including DLGAP4, GRIN1, STX1A, CLSTN1 and GRM4, which all function in neuronal glutamatergic synapses. Moreover, bioinformatic analyses of human brain expression profiles revealed that the expression levels of miR-1908-5p and its synaptic target genes show an inverse-correlation in many brain regions. In our preliminary experiments, the expression of miR-1908-5p was increased after chronic treatment with valproate but not lithium in control human neural progenitor cells. In contrast, it was decreased by valproate in neural progenitor cells derived from dermal fibroblasts of a BD subject. Together, our results provide new insights into the potential role of miR-1908-5p in the pathogenesis of BD and also propose a hypothesis that neuronal synapses could be a key converging pathway of some BD-associated protein-coding genes and miRNAs. PMID:28035180

  13. Stabilization of spontaneous neurotransmitter release at ribbon synapses by ribbon-specific subtypes of Complexin

    PubMed Central

    Vaithianathan, Thirumalini; Zanazzi, George; Henry, Diane; Akmentin, Wendy; Matthews, Gary

    2013-01-01

    Ribbon synapses of tonically releasing sensory neurons must provide a large pool of releasable vesicles for sustained release, while minimizing spontaneous release in the absence of stimulation. Complexins are presynaptic proteins that may accomplish this dual task at conventional synapses, by interacting with the molecular machinery of synaptic vesicle fusion at the active zone to retard spontaneous vesicle exocytosis yet facilitate release evoked by depolarization. However, ribbon synapses of photoreceptor cells and bipolar neurons in the retina express distinct Complexin subtypes, perhaps reflecting the special requirements of these synapses for tonic release. To investigate the role of ribbon-specific Complexins in transmitter release, we combined presynaptic voltage-clamp, fluorescence imaging, electron microscopy, and behavioral assays of photoreceptive function in zebrafish. Acute interference with Complexin function using a peptide derived from the SNARE-binding domain increased spontaneous synaptic vesicle fusion at ribbon synapses of retinal bipolar neurons without affecting release triggered by depolarization. Knockdown of Complexin by injection of an antisense morpholino into zebrafish embryos prevented photoreceptor-driven migration of pigment in skin melanophores and caused the pigment distribution to remain in the dark-adapted state even when embryos were exposed to light. This suggests that loss of Complexin function elevated spontaneous release in illuminated photoreceptors sufficiently to mimic the higher release rate normally associated with darkness, thus interfering with visual signaling. We conclude that visual system-specific Complexins are required for proper illumination-dependent modulation of the rate of neurotransmitter release at visual system ribbon synapses. PMID:23658160

  14. Stabilization of spontaneous neurotransmitter release at ribbon synapses by ribbon-specific subtypes of complexin.

    PubMed

    Vaithianathan, Thirumalini; Zanazzi, George; Henry, Diane; Akmentin, Wendy; Matthews, Gary

    2013-05-08

    Ribbon synapses of tonically releasing sensory neurons must provide a large pool of releasable vesicles for sustained release, while minimizing spontaneous release in the absence of stimulation. Complexins are presynaptic proteins that may accomplish this dual task at conventional synapses by interacting with the molecular machinery of synaptic vesicle fusion at the active zone to retard spontaneous vesicle exocytosis yet facilitate release evoked by depolarization. However, ribbon synapses of photoreceptor cells and bipolar neurons in the retina express distinct complexin subtypes, perhaps reflecting the special requirements of these synapses for tonic release. To investigate the role of ribbon-specific complexins in transmitter release, we combined presynaptic voltage clamp, fluorescence imaging, electron microscopy, and behavioral assays of photoreceptive function in zebrafish. Acute interference with complexin function using a peptide derived from the SNARE-binding domain increased spontaneous synaptic vesicle fusion at ribbon synapses of retinal bipolar neurons without affecting release triggered by depolarization. Knockdown of complexin by injection of an antisense morpholino into zebrafish embryos prevented photoreceptor-driven migration of pigment in skin melanophores and caused the pigment distribution to remain in the dark-adapted state even when embryos were exposed to light. This suggests that loss of complexin function elevated spontaneous release in illuminated photoreceptors sufficiently to mimic the higher release rate normally associated with darkness, thus interfering with visual signaling. We conclude that visual system-specific complexins are required for proper illumination-dependent modulation of the rate of neurotransmitter release at visual system ribbon synapses.

  15. Separate serotonin and dopamine receptors modulate the duration of post-tetanic potentiation at an Aplysia synapse without affecting other aspects of synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Newlin, S A; Schlapfer, W T; Barondes, S H

    1980-01-06

    We have studied the effect of the biogenic amines, serotonin and dopamine, on post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) at an identified synapse in the abdominal ganglion of Aplysia californica. We found that: (1) 10(-7) M perfused serotonin doubles the rate constant of decay of PTP. The effect is specific in that neither the size of the non-potentiated (isolated) EPSP nor the amplitude of PTP is affected. As reported previously, higher doses of serotonin will also increase the amplitude of PTP and decrease the size of the isolated EPSP; (2) 5 X 10(-7) M dopamine in the perfusate increases the rate constant of decay of PTP by about 50%. The effect is also specific in that neither PTP amplitude nor the size of the isolated EPSP is affected; (3) SQ10,631, a serotonin antagonist, blocks the effect of perfused serotonin on PTP decay rate. It does not antagonize the dopamine effect. SQ10,631 also slows the endogenous decay of PTP in some preparations which exhibit an unusually fast PTP decay rate, suggesting a naturally occurring source of serotonin within the ganglion capable of affecting the rate constant of PTP decay; (4) (+)-butaclamol, a dopamine antagonist, blocks the effect of dopamine on the rate constant of PTP decay, whereas (-)-butaclamol has little effect. Butaclamol does not block the effect of serotonin on the rate constant of PTP decay; (5) phosphodiesterase inhibitors potentiate the effect of serotonin on the rate constant of PTP decay, and cyclic AMP analogues mimic the effect of the biogenic amines, suggesting that the aminergic modulation of the rate of decay of PTP is coupled with activation of adenylate cyclase and accumulation of cyclic AMP; and (6) the evidence presented is consistent with the hypothesis that serotonin and dopamine are capable of specifically modifying the rate of change in the efficacy of transmitter release which underlies PTP. It also suggests that the two biogenic amines operate separately and in parallel via presynaptic receptor

  16. Ultrastructure of Synapses in the Mammalian Brain

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kristen M.; Weinberg, Richard J.

    2012-01-01

    The morphology and molecular composition of synapses provide the structural basis for synaptic function. This article reviews the electron microscopy of excitatory synapses on dendritic spines, using data from rodent hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and cerebellar cortex. Excitatory synapses have a prominent postsynaptic density, in contrast with inhibitory synapses, which have less dense presynaptic or postsynaptic specializations and are usually found on the cell body or proximal dendritic shaft. Immunogold labeling shows that the presynaptic active zone provides a scaffold for key molecules involved in the release of neurotransmitter, whereas the postsynaptic density contains ligand-gated ionic channels, other receptors, and a complex network of signaling molecules. Delineating the structure and molecular organization of these axospinous synapses represents a crucial step toward understanding the mechanisms that underlie synaptic transmission and the dynamic modulation of neurotransmission associated with short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. PMID:22357909

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-05

    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.

  19. 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

  20. nArgBP2 regulates excitatory synapse formation by controlling dendritic spine morphology.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Eun; Kim, Yoonju; Han, Jeong-Kyu; Park, Hoyong; Lee, Unghwi; Na, Myeongsu; Jeong, Soomin; Chung, ChiHye; Cestra, Gianluca; Chang, Sunghoe

    2016-06-14

    Neural Abelson-related gene-binding protein 2 (nArgBP2) was originally identified as a protein that directly interacts with synapse-associated protein 90/postsynaptic density protein 95-associated protein 3 (SAPAP3), a postsynaptic scaffolding protein critical for the assembly of glutamatergic synapses. Although genetic deletion of nArgBP2 in mice leads to manic/bipolar-like behaviors resembling many aspects of symptoms in patients with bipolar disorder, the actual function of nArgBP2 at the synapse is completely unknown. Here, we found that the knockdown (KD) of nArgBP2 by specific small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) resulted in a dramatic change in dendritic spine morphology. Reintroducing shRNA-resistant nArgBP2 reversed these defects. In particular, nArgBP2 KD impaired spine-synapse formation such that excitatory synapses terminated mostly at dendritic shafts instead of spine heads in spiny neurons, although inhibitory synapse formation was not affected. nArgBP2 KD further caused a marked increase of actin cytoskeleton dynamics in spines, which was associated with increased Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein-family verprolin homologous protein 1 (WAVE1)/p21-activated kinase (PAK) phosphorylation and reduced activity of cofilin. These effects of nArgBP2 KD in spines were rescued by inhibiting PAK or activating cofilin combined with sequestration of WAVE. Together, our results suggest that nArgBP2 functions to regulate spine morphogenesis and subsequent spine-synapse formation at glutamatergic synapses. They also raise the possibility that the aberrant regulation of synaptic actin filaments caused by reduced nArgBP2 expression may contribute to the manifestation of the synaptic dysfunction observed in manic/bipolar disorder.

  1. The Nesprin Family Member ANC-1 Regulates Synapse Formation and Axon Termination by Functioning in a Pathway with RPM-1 and β-Catenin

    PubMed Central

    Tulgren, Erik D.; Turgeon, Shane M.; Opperman, Karla J.; Grill, Brock

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in Nesprin-1 and 2 (also called Syne-1 and 2) are associated with numerous diseases including autism, cerebellar ataxia, cancer, and Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy. Nesprin-1 and 2 have conserved orthologs in flies and worms called MSP-300 and abnormal nuclear Anchorage 1 (ANC-1), respectively. The Nesprin protein family mediates nuclear and organelle anchorage and positioning. In the nervous system, the only known function of Nesprin-1 and 2 is in regulation of neurogenesis and neural migration. It remains unclear if Nesprin-1 and 2 regulate other functions in neurons. Using a proteomic approach in C. elegans, we have found that ANC-1 binds to the Regulator of Presynaptic Morphology 1 (RPM-1). RPM-1 is part of a conserved family of signaling molecules called Pam/Highwire/RPM-1 (PHR) proteins that are important regulators of neuronal development. We have found that ANC-1, like RPM-1, regulates axon termination and synapse formation. Our genetic analysis indicates that ANC-1 functions via the β-catenin BAR-1, and the ANC-1/BAR-1 pathway functions cell autonomously, downstream of RPM-1 to regulate neuronal development. Further, ANC-1 binding to the nucleus is required for its function in axon termination and synapse formation. We identify variable roles for four different Wnts (LIN-44, EGL-20, CWN-1 and CWN-2) that function through BAR-1 to regulate axon termination. Our study highlights an emerging, broad role for ANC-1 in neuronal development, and unveils a new and unexpected mechanism by which RPM-1 functions. PMID:25010424

  2. The Nesprin family member ANC-1 regulates synapse formation and axon termination by functioning in a pathway with RPM-1 and β-Catenin.

    PubMed

    Tulgren, Erik D; Turgeon, Shane M; Opperman, Karla J; Grill, Brock

    2014-07-01

    Mutations in Nesprin-1 and 2 (also called Syne-1 and 2) are associated with numerous diseases including autism, cerebellar ataxia, cancer, and Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy. Nesprin-1 and 2 have conserved orthologs in flies and worms called MSP-300 and abnormal nuclear Anchorage 1 (ANC-1), respectively. The Nesprin protein family mediates nuclear and organelle anchorage and positioning. In the nervous system, the only known function of Nesprin-1 and 2 is in regulation of neurogenesis and neural migration. It remains unclear if Nesprin-1 and 2 regulate other functions in neurons. Using a proteomic approach in C. elegans, we have found that ANC-1 binds to the Regulator of Presynaptic Morphology 1 (RPM-1). RPM-1 is part of a conserved family of signaling molecules called Pam/Highwire/RPM-1 (PHR) proteins that are important regulators of neuronal development. We have found that ANC-1, like RPM-1, regulates axon termination and synapse formation. Our genetic analysis indicates that ANC-1 functions via the β-catenin BAR-1, and the ANC-1/BAR-1 pathway functions cell autonomously, downstream of RPM-1 to regulate neuronal development. Further, ANC-1 binding to the nucleus is required for its function in axon termination and synapse formation. We identify variable roles for four different Wnts (LIN-44, EGL-20, CWN-1 and CWN-2) that function through BAR-1 to regulate axon termination. Our study highlights an emerging, broad role for ANC-1 in neuronal development, and unveils a new and unexpected mechanism by which RPM-1 functions.

  3. N-CADHERIN PRODOMAIN CLEAVAGE REGULATES SYNAPSE FORMATION IN VIVO

    PubMed Central

    Latefi, Nazlie S.; Pedraza, Liliana; Schohl, Anne; Li, Ziwei; Ruthazer, Edward S.

    2009-01-01

    Cadherins are initially synthesized bearing a prodomain that is thought to limit adhesion during early stages of biosynthesis. Functional cadherins lack this prodomain, raising the intriguing possibility that cells may utilize prodomain cleavage as a means to temporally or spatially regulate adhesion after delivery of cadherin to the cell surface. In support of this idea, immunostaining for the prodomain of zebrafish N-cadherin revealed enriched labeling at neuronal surfaces at the soma and along axonal processes. To determine whether post-translational cleavage of the prodomain affects synapse formation, we imaged Rohon-Beard cells in zebrafish embryos expressing GFP-tagged wild-type N-cadherin (NCAD-GFP) or a GFP-tagged N-cadherin mutant expressing an uncleavable prodomain (PRON-GFP) rendering it non-adhesive. NCAD-GFP accumulated at synaptic microdomains in a developmentally regulated manner, and its overexpression transiently accelerated synapse formation. PRON-GFP was much more diffusely distributed along the axon and its overexpression delayed synapse formation. Our results support the notion that N-cadherin serves to stabilize pre- to postsynaptic contacts early in synapse development and suggests that regulated cleavage of the N-cadherin prodomain may be a mechanism by which the kinetics of synaptogenesis are regulated. PMID:19365814

  4. N-cadherin prodomain cleavage regulates synapse formation in vivo.

    PubMed

    Latefi, Nazlie S; Pedraza, Liliana; Schohl, Anne; Li, Ziwei; Ruthazer, Edward S

    2009-07-01

    Cadherins are initially synthesized bearing a prodomain that is thought to limit adhesion during early stages of biosynthesis. Functional cadherins lack this prodomain, raising the intriguing possibility that cells may utilize prodomain cleavage as a means to temporally or spatially regulate adhesion after delivery of cadherin to the cell surface. In support of this idea, immunostaining for the prodomain of zebrafish N-cadherin revealed enriched labeling at neuronal surfaces at the soma and along axonal processes. To determine whether post-translational cleavage of the prodomain affects synapse formation, we imaged Rohon-Beard cells in zebrafish embryos expressing GFP-tagged wild-type N-cadherin (NCAD-GFP) or a GFP-tagged N-cadherin mutant expressing an uncleavable prodomain (PRON-GFP) rendering it nonadhesive. NCAD-GFP accumulated at synaptic microdomains in a developmentally regulated manner, and its overexpression transiently accelerated synapse formation. PRON-GFP was much more diffusely distributed along the axon and its overexpression delayed synapse formation. Our results support the notion that N-cadherin serves to stabilize pre- to postsynaptic contacts early in synapse development and suggests that regulated cleavage of the N-cadherin prodomain may be a mechanism by which the kinetics of synaptogenesis are regulated.

  5. Neuroligins, synapse balance and neuropsychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Maćkowiak, Marzena; Mordalska, Patrycja; Wędzony, Krzysztof

    2014-10-01

    Neuroligins are postsynaptic adhesion molecules that are involved in the regulation of synapse organisation and function. Four neuroligin proteins have been identified (neuroligin 1, 2, 3, 4), which are differentially enriched in the postsynaptic specialisation of synapses. Neuroligin 1 is localised on excitatory (glutamatergic) synapses, whereas neuroligin 2 is located on inhibitory (GABAergic/glycinergic) synapses. Neuroligin 3 and 4 are present on both types of synapses. Recent data indicate that neuroligins are involved in synapse maturation and specification. Because of their synaptic localisation and function, neuroligins control the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Animal studies with neuroligin transgenic mice showed the involvement of neuroligin 1 in memory formation, and neuroligin 2, 3 or 4 in social behaviour. Interestingly, genetic analysis of humans showed a mutation in the neuroligin 2 gene in schizophrenic patients, while mutations in neuroligin 3 or 4 genes were found in autism. Copyright © 2014 Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner Sp. z o.o. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

    2016-04-07

    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.

  7. Fast changes in the functional status of release sites during short-term plasticity: involvement of a frequency-dependent bypass of Rac at Aplysia synapses

    PubMed Central

    Humeau, Yann; Doussau, Frédéric; Popoff, Michel R; Benfenati, Fabio; Poulain, Bernard

    2007-01-01

    Synaptic transmission can be described as a stochastic quantal process defined by three main parameters: N, the number of functional release sites; P, the release probability; and Q, the quantum of response. Many changes in synaptic strength that are observed during expression of short term plasticity rely on modifications in P. Regulation of N has been also suggested. We have investigated at identified cholinergic inhibitory Aplysia synapses the cellular mechanism of post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) expressed under control conditions or after N has been depressed by applying lethal toxin (LT) from Clostridium sordellii or tetanus toxin (TeNT). The analysis of the Ca2+ dependency, paired-pulse ratio and variance to mean amplitude relationship of the postsynaptic responses elicited at distinct extracellular [Ca2+]/[Mg2+] elicited during control post-tetanic potentiation (PTPcont) indicated that PTPcont is mainly driven by an increase in release probability, P. The PTP expressed at TeNT-treated synapses (PTPTeNT) was found to be similar to PTPcont, but scaled to the extent of reduction in N produced by TeNT. Despite LT inducing a decrease in N as TeNT does, the PTP expressed at LT-treated synapses (PTPLT) was characterized by exceptionally large amplitude and bi-exponential time course, as compared to PTPcont or the PTPTeNT. Analysis of the Ca2+ dependency of PTPLT, paired-pulse ratio and fluctuations in amplitude of the postsynaptic responses elicited during PTPLT or the variance to mean amplitude relationship of time-locked postsynaptic responses in a series of subsequent PTPLT indicated that an N-driven change is involved in the early phase (1 s time scale) of PTPLT, while at a later stage PTPLT is composed of both N and P increases. Our results suggest that fast switching on of the functional status of the release sites occurs also during the early events of PTPcont. The early N-driven phase of PTPLT is likely to be a functional recovery of the release sites

  8. Medications affecting functional status in older persons.

    PubMed

    Corsonello, Andrea; Onder, Graziano; Maggio, Marcello; Corica, Francesco; Lattanzio, Fabrizia

    2014-01-01

    Current evidence suggests that functional status is an important outcome of pharmacologic treatments in older people. At the moment, studies have shown diverse effects of medications on functional status. For example, some have shown potentially detrimental effects, while others have found improvements on physical function in elders. Overall, suboptimal prescribing and the occurrence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) may negatively affect functional status. The use of selected drugs acting on central nervous system (CNS), e.g. benzodiazepines and antipsychotics, is generally associated with an increased risk of functional decline. The greater sensitivity of older people to these drugs, together with age-related changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, account for the observed detrimental effect and suggests a cautious approach to older and frail patients when prescribing CNS agents. On the other hand, selected drugs may slow or delay functional decline in older people. In particular, drugs aimed at targeting sarcopenia (loss in muscle mass and strength), such as testosterone in androgen deficiency, ACE-inhibitors, vitamin D and β-hydroxy β-methyl butyrate (HMB), as well as the recently developed selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) may hold extreme importance. This review will provide available evidence of the diverse impacts of drug medications on functional status in older persons.

  9. A Novel Growth-Promoting Pathway Formed by GDNF-Overexpressing Schwann Cells Promotes Propriospinal Axonal Regeneration, Synapse formation, and Partial Recovery of Function after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Lingxiao; Deng, Ping; Ruan, Yiwen; Xu, Zao Cheng; Liu, Naikui; Wen, Xuejun; Smith, George M.; Xu, Xiao-Ming

    2013-01-01

    Descending propriospinal neurons (DPSN) are known to establish functional relays for supraspinal signals, and they display a greater growth response after injury than do the long projecting axons. However, their regenerative response is still deficient due to their failure to depart from growth supportive cellular transplants back into the host spinal cord, which contains numerous impediments to axon growth. Here we report the construction of a continuous growth-promoting pathway in adult rats, formed by grafted Schwann cells (SCs) overexpressing glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). We demonstrate that such a growth-promoting pathway, extending from the axonal cut ends to the site of innervation in the distal spinal cord, promoted regeneration of DPSN axons through and beyond the lesion gap of a spinal cord hemisection. Within the distal host spinal cord, regenerated DPSN axons formed synapses with host neurons leading to the restoration of action potentials and partial recovery of function. PMID:23536080

  10. 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.

  11. The immunological synapse

    PubMed Central

    Dustin, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    The molecular interactions underlying regulation of the immune response take place in a nano-scale gap between T cells and antigen presenting cells, termed the immunological synapse. If these interactions are regulated appropriately, the host is defended against a wide range of pathogens and deranged host cells. If these interactions are dis-regulated, the host is susceptible to pathogens or tumor escape at one extreme and autoimmunity at the other. Treatments targeting the synapse have helped to establish immunotherapy as a mainstream element in cancer treatment. This Masters primer will cover the basics of the immunological synapse and some of the applications to tumor immunology. PMID:25367977

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lee, LaTasha H; Godenschwege, Tanja A

    2015-01-01

    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 in Ptp69D10 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.

  14. Specific functions of synaptically localized potassium channels in synaptic transmission at the neocortical GABAergic fast-spiking cell synapse.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Ethan M; Watanabe, Shigeo; Chang, Su Ying; Joho, Rolf H; Huang, Z Josh; Leonard, Christopher S; Rudy, Bernardo

    2005-05-25

    Potassium (K+) channel subunits of the Kv3 subfamily (Kv3.1-Kv3.4) display a positively shifted voltage dependence of activation and fast activation/deactivation kinetics when compared with other voltage-gated K+ channels, features that confer on Kv3 channels the ability to accelerate the repolarization of the action potential (AP) efficiently and specifically. In the cortex, the Kv3.1 and Kv3.2 proteins are expressed prominently in a subset of GABAergic interneurons known as fast-spiking (FS) cells and in fact are a significant determinant of the fast-spiking discharge pattern. However, in addition to expression at FS cell somata, Kv3.1 and Kv3.2 proteins also are expressed prominently at FS cell terminals, suggesting roles for Kv3 channels in neurotransmitter release. We investigated the effect of 1.0 mM tetraethylammonium (TEA; which blocks Kv3 channels) on inhibitory synaptic currents recorded in layer II/III neocortical pyramidal cells. Spike-evoked GABA release by FS cells was enhanced nearly twofold by 1.0 mM TEA, with a decrease in the paired pulse ratio (PPR), effects not reproduced by blockade of the non-Kv3 subfamily K+ channels also blocked by low concentrations of TEA. Moreover, in Kv3.1/Kv3.2 double knock-out (DKO) mice, the large effects of TEA were absent, spike-evoked GABA release was larger, and the PPR was lower than in wild-type mice. Together, these results suggest specific roles for Kv3 channels at FS cell terminals that are distinct from those of Kv1 and large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (also present at the FS cell synapse). We propose that at FS cell terminals synaptically localized Kv3 channels keep APs brief, limiting Ca2+ influx and hence release probability, thereby influencing synaptic depression at a synapse designed for sustained high-frequency synaptic transmission.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Synapse engineering: A new level of brain modulation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yelin; Geng, Yang

    2017-03-01

    Brain modulation is a powerful approach to study brain function in vivo. Tremendous progress had been made by controlling brain activity with different brain modulation tools. Synapse is the more fundamental functional unit of brain. In theory, synapse engineering could modulate brain function more precisely. However this had not been possible until recently. Our review provides a brief introduction of various brain modulation methods, and elaborates on a recently developed synapse-engineering tool. This technique allows modulation of specific synapses in vivo for the first time and has been used to clarify the causal role of synaptic plasticity in learning and memory. We also discuss its potentials for further development.

  18. Communication breakdown: the impact of ageing on synapse structure.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Mutation of wrb, a Component of the Guided Entry of Tail-Anchored Protein Pathway, Disrupts Photoreceptor Synapse Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Daniele, Lauren L.; Emran, Farida; Lobo, Glenn P.; Gaivin, Robert J.; Perkins, Brian D.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Tail-anchored (TA) proteins contain a single hydrophobic domain at the C-terminus and are posttranslationally inserted into the ER membrane via the GET (guided entry of tail-anchored proteins) pathway. The role of the GET pathway in photoreceptors is unexplored. The goal of this study was to characterize the zebrafish pinball wizard mutant, which disrupts Wrb, a core component of the GET pathway. Methods Electroretinography, optokinetic response measurements (OKR), immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy analyses were employed to assess ribbon synapse function, protein expression, and ultrastructure in 5-day-old zebrafish larvae. Expression of wrb was investigated with real-time qRT-PCR and in situ hybridization. Results Mutation of wrb abolished the OKR and greatly diminished the ERG b-wave, but not the a-wave. Ribeye and SV2 were partially mislocalized in both photoreceptors and hair cells of wrb mutants. Fewer contacts were seen between photoreceptors and bipolar cells in wrb−/− mutants. Expression of wrb was observed throughout the nervous system and Wrb localized to the ER and synaptic region of photoreceptors. Morpholino knockdown of the cytosolic ATPase trc40, which targets TA proteins to the ER, also diminished the OKR. Overexpression of wrb fully restored contrast sensitivity in mutants, while overexpression of mutant wrbR73A, which cannot bind Trc40, did not. Conclusions Proteins Wrb and Trc40 are required for synaptic transmission between photoreceptors and bipolar cells, indicating that TA protein insertion by the TRC pathway is a critical step in ribbon synapse assembly and function. PMID:27273592

  1. 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.

  2. Bcl-xL induces Drp1-dependent synapse formation in cultured hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongmei; Chen, Yingbei; Jones, Adrienne F; Sanger, Richard H; Collis, Leon P; Flannery, Richard; McNay, Ewan C; Yu, Tingxi; Schwarzenbacher, Robert; Bossy, Blaise; Bossy-Wetzel, Ella; Bennett, Michael V L; Pypaert, Marc; Hickman, John A; Smith, Peter J S; Hardwick, J Marie; Jonas, Elizabeth A

    2008-02-12

    Maturation of neuronal synapses is thought to involve mitochondria. Bcl-xL protein inhibits mitochondria-mediated apoptosis but may have other functions in healthy adult neurons in which Bcl-xL is abundant. Here, we report that overexpression of Bcl-xL postsynaptically increases frequency and amplitude of spontaneous miniature synaptic currents in rat hippocampal neurons in culture. Bcl-xL, overexpressed either pre or postsynaptically, increases synapse number, the number and size of synaptic vesicle clusters, and mitochondrial localization to vesicle clusters and synapses, likely accounting for the changes in miniature synaptic currents. Conversely, knockdown of Bcl-xL or inhibiting it with ABT-737 decreases these morphological parameters. The mitochondrial fission protein, dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), is a GTPase known to localize to synapses and affect synaptic function and structure. The effects of Bcl-xL appear mediated through Drp1 because overexpression of Drp1 increases synaptic markers, and overexpression of the dominant-negative dnDrp1-K38A decreases them. Furthermore, Bcl-xL coimmunoprecipitates with Drp1 in tissue lysates, and in a recombinant system, Bcl-xL protein stimulates GTPase activity of Drp1. These findings suggest that Bcl-xL positively regulates Drp1 to alter mitochondrial function in a manner that stimulates synapse formation.

  3. Bcl-xL induces Drp1-dependent synapse formation in cultured hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongmei; Chen, Yingbei; Jones, Adrienne F.; Sanger, Richard H.; Collis, Leon P.; Flannery, Richard; McNay, Ewan C.; Yu, Tingxi; Schwarzenbacher, Robert; Bossy, Blaise; Bossy-Wetzel, Ella; Bennett, Michael V. L.; Pypaert, Marc; Hickman, John A.; Smith, Peter J. S.; Hardwick, J. Marie; Jonas, Elizabeth A.

    2008-01-01

    Maturation of neuronal synapses is thought to involve mitochondria. Bcl-xL protein inhibits mitochondria-mediated apoptosis but may have other functions in healthy adult neurons in which Bcl-xL is abundant. Here, we report that overexpression of Bcl-xL postsynaptically increases frequency and amplitude of spontaneous miniature synaptic currents in rat hippocampal neurons in culture. Bcl-xL, overexpressed either pre or postsynaptically, increases synapse number, the number and size of synaptic vesicle clusters, and mitochondrial localization to vesicle clusters and synapses, likely accounting for the changes in miniature synaptic currents. Conversely, knockdown of Bcl-xL or inhibiting it with ABT-737 decreases these morphological parameters. The mitochondrial fission protein, dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), is a GTPase known to localize to synapses and affect synaptic function and structure. The effects of Bcl-xL appear mediated through Drp1 because overexpression of Drp1 increases synaptic markers, and overexpression of the dominant-negative dnDrp1-K38A decreases them. Furthermore, Bcl-xL coimmunoprecipitates with Drp1 in tissue lysates, and in a recombinant system, Bcl-xL protein stimulates GTPase activity of Drp1. These findings suggest that Bcl-xL positively regulates Drp1 to alter mitochondrial function in a manner that stimulates synapse formation. PMID:18250306

  4. 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.

  5. Optogenetic mapping of cerebellar inhibitory circuitry reveals spatially biased coordination of interneurons via electrical synapses.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jinsook; Lee, Soojung; Tsuda, Sachiko; Zhang, Xuying; Asrican, Brent; Gloss, Bernd; Feng, Guoping; Augustine, George J

    2014-06-12

    We used high-speed optogenetic mapping technology to examine the spatial organization of local inhibitory circuits formed by cerebellar interneurons. Transgenic mice expressing channelrhodopsin-2 exclusively in molecular layer interneurons allowed us to focally photostimulate these neurons, while measuring resulting responses in postsynaptic Purkinje cells. This approach revealed that interneurons converge upon Purkinje cells over a broad area and that at least seven interneurons form functional synapses with a single Purkinje cell. The number of converging interneurons was reduced by treatment with gap junction blockers, revealing that electrical synapses between interneurons contribute substantially to the spatial convergence. Remarkably, gap junction blockers affected convergence in sagittal slices, but not in coronal slices, indicating a sagittal bias in electrical coupling between interneurons. We conclude that electrical synapse networks spatially coordinate interneurons in the cerebellum and may also serve this function in other brain regions.

  6. 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

  7. Transmission, Development, and Plasticity of Synapses.

    PubMed

    Harris, Kathryn P; Littleton, J Troy

    2015-10-01

    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. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Mapping synapses by conjugate light-electron array tomography.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-08

    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.

  12. Hyperinsulinemia adversely affects lung structure and function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    There is limited knowledge regarding the consequences of hyperinsulinemia on the lung. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and epidemiological associations with asthma, this is a critical lacuna, more so with inhaled insulin on the horizon. Here, we demonstrate that insulin can adversely affect respiratory health. Insulin treatment (1 μg/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) increased the proliferation of primary human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells and induced collagen release. Additionally, ASM cells showed a significant increase in calcium response and mitochondrial respiration upon insulin exposure. Mice administered intranasal insulin showed increased collagen deposition in the lungs as well as a significant increase in airway hyperresponsiveness. PI3K/Akt mediated activation of β-catenin, a positive regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and fibrosis, was observed in the lungs of insulin-treated mice and lung cells. Our data suggests that hyperinsulinemia may have adverse effects on airway structure and function. Insulin-induced activation of β-catenin in lung tissue and the contractile effects on ASM cells may be causally related to the development of asthma-like phenotype. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  13. Hyperinsulinemia adversely affects lung structure and function

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Asymmetry of glia near central synapses favors presynaptically directed glutamate escape.

    PubMed Central

    Lehre, Knut Petter; Rusakov, Dmitri A

    2002-01-01

    Recent findings demonstrate that synaptically released excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate activates receptors outside the immediate synaptic cleft and that the extent of such extrasynaptic actions is regulated by the high affinity glutamate uptake. The bulk of glutamate transporter systems are evenly distributed in the synaptic neuropil, and it is generally assumed that glutamate escaping the cleft affects pre- and postsynaptic receptors to a similar degree. To test whether this is indeed the case, we use quantitative electron microscopy and establish the stochastic pattern of glial occurrence in the three-dimensional (3D) vicinity of two common types of excitatory central synapses, stratum radiatum synapses in hippocampus and parallel fiber synapses in cerebellum. We find that the occurrence of glia postsynaptically is strikingly higher (3-4-fold) than presynaptically, in both types of synapses. To address the functional consequences of this asymmetry, we simulate diffusion and transport of synaptically released glutamate in these two brain areas using a detailed 3D compartmental model of the extracellular space with glutamate transporters arranged unevenly, in accordance with the obtained experimental data. The results predict that glutamate escaping the synaptic cleft is 2-4 times more likely to activate presynaptic compared to postsynaptic receptors. Simulations also show that postsynaptic neuronal transporters (EAAT4 type) at dendritic spines of cerebellar Purkinje cells exaggerate this asymmetry further. Our data suggest that the perisynaptic environment of these common central synapses favors fast presynaptic feedback in the information flow while preserving the specificity of the postsynaptic input. PMID:12080105

  16. Can Cholesterol Metabolism Modulation Affect Brain Function and Behavior?

    PubMed

    Cartocci, Veronica; Servadio, Michela; Trezza, Viviana; Pallottini, Valentina

    2017-02-01

    Cholesterol is an important component for cell physiology. It regulates the fluidity of cell membranes and determines the physical and biochemical properties of proteins. In the central nervous system, cholesterol controls synapse formation and function and supports the saltatory conduction of action potential. In recent years, the role of cholesterol in the brain has caught the attention of several research groups since a breakdown of cholesterol metabolism has been associated with different neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, and interestingly also with psychiatric conditions. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge about the connection between cholesterol dysregulation and various neurologic and psychiatric disorders based on clinical and preclinical studies. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 281-286, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Quantitative Neuroproteomics of the Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Ramos-Ortolaza, Dinah Lee; Bushlin, Ittai; Abul-Husn, Noura; Annagudi, Suresh P.; Sweedler, Jonathan; Devi, Lakshmi A.

    2011-01-01

    An emerging way to study neuropsychiatric or neurodegenerative diseases is by performing proteomic analyses of brain tissues. Here, we describe methods used to isolate and identify the proteins associated with a sample of interest, such as the synapse, as well as to compare the levels of proteins in the sample under different conditions. These techniques, involving subcellular fractionation and modern quantitative proteomics using isotopic labels, can be used to understand the organization of neuronal compartments and the regulation of synaptic function under various conditions. PMID:20013213

  20. 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.

  1. Impaired presynaptic function and elimination of synapses at premature stages during postnatal development of the cerebellum in the absence of CALEB (CSPG5/neuroglycan C).

    PubMed

    Jüttner, René; Montag, Dirk; Craveiro, Rogerio B; Babich, Aleksei; Vetter, Petra; Rathjen, Fritz G

    2013-11-01

    Chicken acidic leucine-rich EGF-like domain-containing brain protein (CALEB), also known as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG)5 or neuroglycan C, is a neural chondroitin sulfate-containing and epidermal growth factor (EGF)-domain-containing transmembrane protein that is implicated in synaptic maturation. Here, we studied the role of CALEB within the developing cerebellum. Adult CALEB-deficient mice displayed impaired motor coordination in Rota-Rod experiments. Analysis of the neuronal connectivity of Purkinje cells by patch-clamp recordings demonstrated impairments of presynaptic maturation of inhibitory synapses. GABAergic synapses on Purkinje cells revealed decreased evoked amplitudes, altered paired-pulse facilitation and reduced depression after repetitive stimulation at early postnatal but not at mature stages. Furthermore, the elimination of supernumerary climbing fiber synapses on Purkinje cells was found to occur at earlier developmental stages in the absence of CALEB. For example, at postnatal day 8 in wild-type mice, 54% of Purkinje cells had three or more climbing fiber synapses in contrast to mutants where this number was decreased to less than 25%. The basic properties of the climbing fiber Purkinje cell synapse remained unaffected. Using Sholl analysis of dye-injected Purkinje cells we revealed that the branching pattern of the dendritic tree of Purkinje cells was not impaired in CALEB-deficient mice. The alterations observed by patch-clamp recordings correlated with a specific pattern and timing of expression of CALEB in Purkinje cells, i.e. it is dynamically regulated during development from a high chondroitin sulfate-containing form to a non-chondroitin sulfate-containing form. Thus, our results demonstrated an involvement of CALEB in the presynaptic differentiation of cerebellar GABAergic synapses and revealed a new role for CALEB in synapse elimination in Purkinje cells.

  2. Low dietary soy isoflavonoids increase hippocampal spine synapse density in ovariectomized rats.

    PubMed

    MacLusky, Neil J; Thomas, Gladis; Leranth, Csaba

    2017-02-15

    High dietary intake of plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) can affect brain structure and function. The effects of phytoestrogen intake within the range of normal animal and human dietary consumption, however, remain uncertain. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of the isoflavonoids present in a standard low phytoestrogen laboratory rat chow on spine synapse density in the stratum radiatum of area CA1 of the hippocampus. Weanling rats (22days old) were fed either standard chow (Teklad 2018), a nutritionally comparable diet without soy (Teklad 2016) or a custom diet containing Teklad 2016 supplemented with the principal soy isoflavonoids, daidzein and genistein, for 40days. Rats were ovariectomized at 54days of age. Eight days later, spine synapse density on the apical dendrites of hippocampal pyramidal neurons in the stratum radiatum of area CA1 was measured by electron microscopic stereological analysis. Animals maintained on Teklad 2016 exhibited an approximately 60% lower CA1 spine synapse density than animals consuming Teklad 2018. Replacing genistein and daidzein in Teklad 2016 returned synapse density to levels indistinguishable from those in animals on Teklad 2018. These results indicate that the isoflavonoids in a standard laboratory rat diet exert significant effects on spine synapse density in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Since changes in spine synapse density in this region of the hippocampus have been linked to cognitive performance and mood state, these data suggest that even relatively low daily consumption of soy phytoestrogens may be sufficient to influence hippocampal function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Does iron deficiency anemia affect olfactory function?

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. CD103 or LFA-1 engagement at the immune synapse between cytotoxic T cells and tumor cells promotes maturation and regulates T-cell effector functions.

    PubMed

    Franciszkiewicz, Katarzyna; Le Floc'h, Audrey; Boutet, Marie; Vergnon, Isabelle; Schmitt, Alain; Mami-Chouaib, Fathia

    2013-01-15

    T-cell adhesion/costimulatory molecules and their cognate receptors on target cells play a major role in T-cell receptor (TCR)-mediated activities. Here, we compared the involvement of CD103 and LFA-1, and their respective ligands, in the maturation of the cytotoxic immune synapse (cIS) and in the activation of CTL effector functions. Our results indicate that cytotoxicity toward cancer cells and, to a lesser extent, cytokine production by specific CTL require, together with TCR engagement, the interaction of either CD103 with E-cadherin or LFA-1 with ICAM-1. Flow-based adhesion assay showed that engagement of CD103 or LFA-1, together with TCR, enhances the strength of the T-cell/target cell interaction. Moreover, electron microscopic analyses showed that integrin-dependent mature cIS (mcIS) displays a cohesive ultrastructure, with tight membrane contacts separated by extensive clefts. In contrast, immature cIS (icIS), which is unable to trigger target cell lysis, is loose, with multiple protrusions in the effector cell membrane. Experiments using confocal microscopy revealed polarized cytokine release and degranulation at the mcIS associated with target cell killing, whereas icIS is characterized by failure of IFN-γ and granzyme B relocalization. Thus, interactive forces between CTL and epithelial tumor cells, mainly regulated by integrin engagement, correlate with maturity and the ultrastructure of the cIS and influence CTL effector functions. These results provide new insights into molecular mechanisms regulating antitumor CTL responses and may lead to the development of more efficient cancer immunotherapy strategies.

  5. 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

  6. Rhythmic changes in synapse numbers in Drosophila melanogaster motor terminals.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Hebbian synapses in hippocampus.

    PubMed Central

    Kelso, S R; Ganong, A H; Brown, T H

    1986-01-01

    A combination of current- and voltage-clamp techniques applied to hippocampal brain slices was used to evaluate the role of postsynaptic electrogenesis in the induction of associative synaptic enhancement. In accordance with Hebb's postulate for learning, repetitive postsynaptic spiking enabled enhancement in just those synapses that were eligible to change by virtue of concurrent presynaptic activity. However, the essential postsynaptic electrogenic event that controlled the enhancement was shown to involve biophysical processes that were unknown when Hebb formulated his neurophysiological postulate. The demonstrated spatiotemporal specificity of this pseudo-Hebbian conjunctive mechanism can account qualitatively for the known neurophysiological properties of associative long-term potentiation in these synapses, which in turn can explain the "cooperativity" requirement for long-term potentiation. PMID:3460096

  9. The kinesin KIF21B regulates microtubule dynamics and is essential for neuronal morphology, synapse function and learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    Muhia, Mary; Thies, Edda; Labonté, Dorthe; Ghiretti, Amy E.; Gromova, Kira V.; Xompero, Francesca; Lappe-Siefke, Corinna; Hermans-Borgmeyer, Irm; Kuhl, Dietmar; Schweizer, Michaela; Ohana, Ora; Schwarz, Jürgen R.; Holzbaur, Erika L.F.

    2017-01-01

    SUMMARY The kinesin KIF21B is implicated in several human neurological disorders including delayed cognitive development, yet it remains unclear how KIF21B dysfunction may contribute to pathology. One limitation is that relatively little is known about KIF21B-mediated physiological mechanisms. Here, we generated Kif21b knockout mice and used cellular assays to investigate the relevance of KIF21B in neuronal and in vivo function. We show that KIF21B is a processive motor, and identify an additional role for KIF21B in regulating microtubule dynamics. In neurons lacking KIF21B, microtubules grow more slowly and persistently, leading to tighter packing in dendrites. KIF21B-deficient neurons exhibit decreased dendritic arbor complexity and reduced spine density, which correlate with deficits in synaptic transmission. Consistent with these observations, KIF21B-null mice exhibit behavioral changes involving learning and memory deficits. Collectively, our study provides insight into the cellular function of KIF21B and the basis for cognitive decline resulting from KIF21B dysregulation. PMID:27117409

  10. 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

  11. Synapse formation during embryogenesis on ganglion cells lacking a periphery

    PubMed Central

    Landmesser, Lynn; Pilar, G.

    1974-01-01

    1. The development of transmission was studied in chick ciliary ganglia that had been deprived of their periphery during early embryonic development. 2. Peripherally deprived neurones in the ganglion differentiate in normal numbers and send functional axons into the post-ganglionic nerve. 3. Ganglion cells lacking a periphery follow the normal developmental sequence sending out transient dendrites at the time ganglion cell synapses are formed, and later retracting them when calyces appear. 4. Synapses, which appear functionally and ultrastructurally normal, form on all ganglion cells at the normal time and transmission is normal until Stage 34. Therefore information from the periphery is not required for ganglion cell synapse formation per se. 5. From Stages 35 to 38 most cells die, so that only 8% of the original number of cells remain in the operated ganglion. Transmission fails in many cells during this same time, but precedes cell loss by only a short time, so that deafferentation probably does not contribute substantially to cell death. 6. Both ciliary and choroid cells achieve full cytologic differentiation and are distinct from each other, indicating that the periphery is not required for the elaboration of the distinctive characteristics of these cells. Presynaptic fibres also differentiate into typical bouton as well as calyciform endings. Therefore, the type of preganglionic ending does not depend on ganglion cells establishing proper peripheral contacts. 7. It has not been possible to ascertain whether ganglion cell specificity is affected by the periphery. 8. Peripheral removal affects ganglion cell migration, so that two ganglia are formed. Approximately half of the cells migrate into the remnant optic cup forming a second misplaced ganglion. Ciliary and choroid cells occur in both ganglia and these cells go through the typical sequence of events described above. ImagesPlate 1Plate 2Plate 3 PMID:4373567

  12. A GIT1/PIX/Rac/PAK signaling module regulates spine morphogenesis and synapse formation through MLC.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huaye; Webb, Donna J; Asmussen, Hannelore; Niu, Shuang; Horwitz, Alan F

    2005-03-30

    Three of seven recently identified genes mutated in nonsyndromic mental retardation are involved in Rho family signaling. Two of the gene products, alpha-p-21-activated kinase (PAK) interacting exchange factor (alphaPIX) and PAK3, form a complex with the synaptic adaptor protein G-protein-coupled receptor kinase-interacting protein 1 (GIT1). Using an RNA interference approach, we show that GIT1 is critical for spine and synapse formation. We also show that Rac is locally activated in dendritic spines using fluorescence resonance energy transfer. This local activation of Rac is regulated by PIX, a Rac guanine nucleotide exchange factor. PAK1 and PAK3 serve as downstream effectors of Rac in regulating spine and synapse formation. Active PAK promotes the formation of spines and dendritic protrusions, which correlates with an increase in the number of excitatory synapses. These effects are dependent on the kinase activity of PAK, and PAK functions through phosphorylating myosin II regulatory light chain (MLC). Activated MLC causes an increase in dendritic spine and synapse formation, whereas inhibiting myosin ATPase activity results in decreased spine and synapse formation. Finally, both activated PAK and activated MLC can rescue the defects of GIT1 knockdown, suggesting that PAK and MLC are downstream of GIT1 in regulating spine and synapse formation. Our results point to a signaling complex, consisting of GIT1, PIX, Rac, and PAK, that plays an essential role in the regulation of dendritic spine and synapse formation and provides a potential mechanism by which alphaPIX and PAK3 mutations affect cognitive functions in mental retardation.

  13. 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

  14. Evolution of complexity in the zebrafish synapse proteome

    PubMed Central

    Bayés, Àlex; Collins, Mark O.; Reig-Viader, Rita; Gou, Gemma; Goulding, David; Izquierdo, Abril; Choudhary, Jyoti S.; Emes, Richard D.; Grant, Seth G. N.

    2017-01-01

    The proteome of human brain synapses is highly complex and is mutated in over 130 diseases. This complexity arose from two whole-genome duplications early in the vertebrate lineage. Zebrafish are used in modelling human diseases; however, its synapse proteome is uncharacterized, and whether the teleost-specific genome duplication (TSGD) influenced complexity is unknown. We report the characterization of the proteomes and ultrastructure of central synapses in zebrafish and analyse the importance of the TSGD. While the TSGD increases overall synapse proteome complexity, the postsynaptic density (PSD) proteome of zebrafish has lower complexity than mammals. A highly conserved set of ∼1,000 proteins is shared across vertebrates. PSD ultrastructural features are also conserved. Lineage-specific proteome differences indicate that vertebrate species evolved distinct synapse types and functions. The data sets are a resource for a wide range of studies and have important implications for the use of zebrafish in modelling human synaptic diseases. PMID:28252024

  15. Evolution of complexity in the zebrafish synapse proteome.

    PubMed

    Bayés, Àlex; Collins, Mark O; Reig-Viader, Rita; Gou, Gemma; Goulding, David; Izquierdo, Abril; Choudhary, Jyoti S; Emes, Richard D; Grant, Seth G N

    2017-03-02

    The proteome of human brain synapses is highly complex and is mutated in over 130 diseases. This complexity arose from two whole-genome duplications early in the vertebrate lineage. Zebrafish are used in modelling human diseases; however, its synapse proteome is uncharacterized, and whether the teleost-specific genome duplication (TSGD) influenced complexity is unknown. We report the characterization of the proteomes and ultrastructure of central synapses in zebrafish and analyse the importance of the TSGD. While the TSGD increases overall synapse proteome complexity, the postsynaptic density (PSD) proteome of zebrafish has lower complexity than mammals. A highly conserved set of ∼1,000 proteins is shared across vertebrates. PSD ultrastructural features are also conserved. Lineage-specific proteome differences indicate that vertebrate species evolved distinct synapse types and functions. The data sets are a resource for a wide range of studies and have important implications for the use of zebrafish in modelling human synaptic diseases.

  16. SynDB: a Synapse protein DataBase based on synapse ontology

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wuxue; Zhang, Yong; Zheng, Hui; Zhang, Chen; Xiong, Wei; Olyarchuk, John G.; Walker, Michael; Xu, Weifeng; Zhao, Min; Zhao, Shuqi; Zhou, Zhuan; Wei, Liping

    2007-01-01

    A synapse is the junction across which a nerve impulse passes from an axon terminal to a neuron, muscle cell or gland cell. The functions and building molecules of the synapse are essential to almost all neurobiological processes. To describe synaptic structures and functions, we have developed Synapse Ontology (SynO), a hierarchical representation that includes 177 terms with hundreds of synonyms and branches up to eight levels deep. associated 125 additional protein keywords and 109 InterPro domains with these SynO terms. Using a combination of automated keyword searches, domain searches and manual curation, we collected 14 000 non-redundant synapse-related proteins, including 3000 in human. We extensively annotated the proteins with information about sequence, structure, function, expression, pathways, interactions and disease associations and with hyperlinks to external databases. The data are stored and presented in the Synapse protein DataBase (SynDB, ). SynDB can be interactively browsed by SynO, Gene Ontology (GO), domain families, species, chromosomal locations or Tribe-MCL clusters. It can also be searched by text (including Boolean operators) or by sequence similarity. SynDB is the most comprehensive database to date for synaptic proteins. PMID:17098931

  17. Modulation, Plasticity and Pathophysiology of the Parallel Fiber-Purkinje Cell Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Hoxha, Eriola; Tempia, Filippo; Lippiello, Pellegrino; Miniaci, Maria Concetta

    2016-01-01

    The parallel fiber-Purkinje cell (PF-PC) synapse represents the point of maximal signal divergence in the cerebellar cortex with an estimated number of about 60 billion synaptic contacts in the rat and 100,000 billions in humans. At the same time, the Purkinje cell dendritic tree is a site of remarkable convergence of more than 100,000 parallel fiber synapses. Parallel fiber activity generates fast postsynaptic currents via α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors, and slower signals, mediated by mGlu1 receptors, resulting in Purkinje cell depolarization accompanied by sharp calcium elevation within dendritic regions. Long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) have been widely described for the PF-PC synapse and have been proposed as mechanisms for motor learning. The mechanisms of induction for LTP and LTD involve different signaling mechanisms within the presynaptic terminal and/or at the postsynaptic site, promoting enduring modification in the neurotransmitter release and change in responsiveness to the neurotransmitter. The PF-PC synapse is finely modulated by several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, noradrenaline and acetylcholine. The ability of these neuromodulators to gate LTP and LTD at the PF-PC synapse could, at least in part, explain their effect on cerebellar-dependent learning and memory paradigms. Overall, these findings have important implications for understanding the cerebellar involvement in a series of pathological conditions, ranging from ataxia to autism. For example, PF-PC synapse dysfunctions have been identified in several murine models of spino-cerebellar ataxia (SCA) types 1, 3, 5 and 27. In some cases, the defect is specific for the AMPA receptor signaling (SCA27), while in others the mGlu1 pathway is affected (SCA1, 3, 5). Interestingly, the PF-PC synapse has been shown to be hyper-functional in a mutant mouse model of autism spectrum disorder, with a selective deletion of Pten in

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-09

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. New (but old) molecules regulating synapse integrity and plasticity: Cbln1 and the delta2 glutamate receptor.

    PubMed

    Yuzaki, M

    2009-09-01

    The delta2 glutamate receptor (GluRdelta2) is predominantly expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells and plays crucial roles in cerebellar functions: GluRdelta2-null mice display ataxia and impaired motor learning. Interestingly, the contact state of synapses between parallel fibers (PFs) and Purkinje cells is specifically and severely affected, and the number of normal PF synapses is markedly reduced in GluRdelta2-null Purkinje cells. Furthermore, long-term depression at PF-Purkinje cell synapses is abrogated. Cbln1, a member of the C1q/tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily, is predominantly expressed and released from cerebellar granule cells. Unexpectedly, the behavioral, physiological and anatomical phenotypes of cbln1-null mice precisely mimic those of GluRdelta2-null mice. Thus, we propose that Cbln1, which is released from granule cells, and GluRdelta2, which is predominantly expressed in Purkinje cells, are involved in a common signaling pathway crucial for synapse formation/maintenance and plasticity in the cerebellum. Since molecules related to Cbln1 are expressed in various brain regions other than the cerebellum, other C1q/TNF superfamily proteins may also regulate various aspects of synapses in the CNS. Therefore, an understanding of the signaling mechanisms underlying Cbln1 and GluRdelta2 in the cerebellum will provide new insights into the roles of C1q/TNF superfamily proteins as new cytokines that regulate normal and abnormal brain functions.

  1. 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.

  2. A genetic basis for molecular asymmetry at vertebrate electrical synapses

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Adam C; Whitebirch, Alex C; Shah, Arish N; Marsden, Kurt C; Granato, Michael; O'Brien, John; Moens, Cecilia B

    2017-01-01

    Neural network function is based upon the patterns and types of connections made between neurons. Neuronal synapses are adhesions specialized for communication and they come in two types, chemical and electrical. Communication at chemical synapses occurs via neurotransmitter release whereas electrical synapses utilize gap junctions for direct ionic and metabolic coupling. Electrical synapses are often viewed as symmetrical structures, with the same components making both sides of the gap junction. By contrast, we show that a broad set of electrical synapses in zebrafish, Danio rerio, require two gap-junction-forming Connexins for formation and function. We find that one Connexin functions presynaptically while the other functions postsynaptically in forming the channels. We also show that these synapses are required for the speed and coordination of escape responses. Our data identify a genetic basis for molecular asymmetry at vertebrate electrical synapses and show they are required for appropriate behavioral performance. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.25364.001 PMID:28530549

  3. Neurotransmission selectively regulates synapse formation in parallel circuits in vivo.

    PubMed

    Kerschensteiner, Daniel; Morgan, Josh L; Parker, Edward D; Lewis, Renate M; Wong, Rachel O L

    2009-08-20

    Activity is thought to guide the patterning of synaptic connections in the developing nervous system. Specifically, differences in the activity of converging inputs are thought to cause the elimination of synapses from less active inputs and increase connectivity with more active inputs. Here we present findings that challenge the generality of this notion and offer a new view of the role of activity in synapse development. To imbalance neurotransmission from different sets of inputs in vivo, we generated transgenic mice in which ON but not OFF types of bipolar cells in the retina express tetanus toxin (TeNT). During development, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) select between ON and OFF bipolar cell inputs (ON or OFF RGCs) or establish a similar number of synapses with both on separate dendritic arborizations (ON-OFF RGCs). In TeNT retinas, ON RGCs correctly selected the silenced ON bipolar cell inputs over the transmitting OFF bipolar cells, but were connected with them through fewer synapses at maturity. Time-lapse imaging revealed that this was caused by a reduced rate of synapse formation rather than an increase in synapse elimination. Similarly, TeNT-expressing ON bipolar cell axons generated fewer presynaptic active zones. The remaining active zones often recruited multiple, instead of single, synaptic ribbons. ON-OFF RGCs in TeNT mice maintained convergence of ON and OFF bipolar cells inputs and had fewer synapses on their ON arbor without changes to OFF arbor synapses. Our results reveal an unexpected and remarkably selective role for activity in circuit development in vivo, regulating synapse formation but not elimination, affecting synapse number but not dendritic or axonal patterning, and mediating independently the refinement of connections from parallel (ON and OFF) processing streams even where they converge onto the same postsynaptic cell.

  4. Evolutionary diversification in stickleback affects ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake; Des Roches, Simone; Chase, Jonathan M; Shurin, Jonathan B; Schluter, Dolph

    2009-04-30

    Explaining the ecological causes of evolutionary diversification is a major focus of biology, but surprisingly little has been said about the effects of evolutionary diversification on ecosystems. The number of species in an ecosystem and their traits are key predictors of many ecosystem-level processes, such as rates of productivity, biomass sequestration and decomposition. Here we demonstrate short-term ecosystem-level effects of adaptive radiation in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) over the past 10,000 years. These fish have undergone recent parallel diversification in several lakes in coastal British Columbia, resulting in the formation of two specialized species (benthic and limnetic) from a generalist ancestor. Using a mesocosm experiment, we demonstrate that this diversification has strong effects on ecosystems, affecting prey community structure, total primary production, and the nature of dissolved organic materials that regulate the spectral properties of light transmission in the system. However, these ecosystem effects do not simply increase in their relative strength with increasing specialization and species richness; instead, they reflect the complex and indirect consequences of ecosystem engineering by sticklebacks. It is well known that ecological factors influence adaptive radiation. We demonstrate that adaptive radiation, even over short timescales, can have profound effects on ecosystems.

  5. Silent synapses in neuromuscular junction development.

    PubMed

    Tomàs, Josep; Santafé, Manel M; Lanuza, Maria A; García, Neus; Besalduch, Nuria; Tomàs, Marta

    2011-01-01

    In the last few years, evidence has been found to suggest that some synaptic contacts become silent but can be functionally recruited before they completely retract during postnatal synapse elimination in muscle. The physiological mechanism of developmental synapse elimination may be better understood by studying this synapse recruitment. This Mini-Review collects previously published data and new results to propose a molecular mechanism for axonal disconnection. The mechanism is based on protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent inhibition of acetylcholine (ACh) release. PKC activity may be stimulated by a methoctramine-sensitive M2-type muscarinic receptor and by calcium inflow though P/Q- and L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels. In addition, tropomyosin-related tyrosine kinase B (trkB) receptor-mediated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activity may oppose the PKC-mediated ACh release depression. Thus, a balance between trkB and muscarinic pathways may contribute to the final functional suppression of some neuromuscular synapses during development. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Differential mechanisms of transmission at three types of mossy fiber synapse.

    PubMed

    Toth, K; Suares, G; Lawrence, J J; Philips-Tansey, E; McBain, C J

    2000-11-15

    The axons of the dentate gyrus granule cells, the so-called mossy fibers, innervate their inhibitory interneuron and pyramidal neuron targets via both anatomically and functionally specialized synapses. Mossy fiber synapses onto inhibitory interneurons were comprised of either calcium-permeable (CP) or calcium-impermeable (CI) AMPA receptors, whereas only calcium-impermeable AMPA receptors existed at CA3 principal neuron synapses. In response to brief trains of high-frequency stimuli (20 Hz), pyramidal neuron synapses invariably demonstrated short-term facilitation, whereas interneuron EPSCs demonstrated either short-term facilitation or depression. Facilitation at all CI AMPA synapses was voltage independent, whereas EPSCs at CP AMPA synapses showed greater facilitation at -20 than at -80 mV, consistent with a role for the postsynaptic unblock of polyamines. At pyramidal cell synapses, mossy fiber EPSCs possessed marked frequency-dependent facilitation (commencing at stimulation frequencies >0.1 Hz), whereas EPSCs at either type of interneuron synapse showed only moderate frequency-dependent facilitation or underwent depression. Presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) decreased transmission at all three synapse types in a frequency-dependent manner. However, after block of presynaptic mGluRs, transmission at interneuron synapses still did not match the dynamic range of EPSCs at pyramidal neuron synapses. High-frequency stimulation of mossy fibers induced long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD), or no change at pyramidal neuron synapses, interneuron CP AMPA synapses, and CI AMPA synapses, respectively. Induction of LTP or LTD altered the short-term plasticity of transmission onto both pyramidal cells and interneuron CP AMPA synapses by a mechanism consistent with changes in release probability. These data reveal differential mechanisms of transmission at three classes of mossy fiber synapse made onto distinct targets.

  7. 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

  8. GABA and neuroligin signaling: linking synaptic activity and adhesion in inhibitory synapse development

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Z. Josh; Scheiffele, Peter

    2013-01-01

    GABA-mediated synaptic inhibition is crucial in neural circuit operations. In mammalian brains, the development of inhibitory synapses and innervation patterns is often a prolonged postnatal process, regulated by neural activity. Emerging evidence indicates that GABA acts beyond inhibitory transmission and regulates inhibitory synapse development. Indeed, GABAA receptors not only function as chloride channels that regulate membrane voltage and conductance but also play structural roles in synapse maturation and stabilization. The link from GABAA receptors to post- and pre- synaptic adhesion is likely mediated, in part, by neuroligin-reurexin interactions, which are potent in promoting GABAergic synapse formation. Therefore, similar to glutamate signaling at excitatory synapse, GABA signaling may coordinate maturation of pre- and post- synaptic sites at inhibitory synapses. Defining the many steps from GABA signaling to receptor trafficking/stability and neuroligin function will provide further mechanistic insights into activity-dependent development and possibly plasticity of inhibitory synapses. PMID:18513949

  9. Pikachurin, a dystroglycan ligand, is essential for photoreceptor ribbon synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Sato, Shigeru; Omori, Yoshihiro; Katoh, Kimiko; Kondo, Mineo; Kanagawa, Motoi; Miyata, Kentaro; Funabiki, Kazuo; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Kajimura, Naoko; Miyoshi, Tomomitsu; Sawai, Hajime; Kobayashi, Kazuhiro; Tani, Akiko; Toda, Tatsushi; Usukura, Jiro; Tano, Yasuo; Fujikado, Takashi; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2008-08-01

    Exquisitely precise synapse formation is crucial for the mammalian CNS to function correctly. Retinal photoreceptors transfer information to bipolar and horizontal cells at a specialized synapse, the ribbon synapse. We identified pikachurin, an extracellular matrix-like retinal protein, and observed that it localized to the synaptic cleft in the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. Pikachurin null-mutant mice showed improper apposition of the bipolar cell dendritic tips to the photoreceptor ribbon synapses, resulting in alterations in synaptic signal transmission and visual function. Pikachurin colocalized with both dystrophin and dystroglycan at the ribbon synapses. Furthermore, we observed direct biochemical interactions between pikachurin and dystroglycan. Together, our results identify pikachurin as a dystroglycan-interacting protein and demonstrate that it has an essential role in the precise interactions between the photoreceptor ribbon synapse and the bipolar dendrites. This may also advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the retinal electrophysiological abnormalities observed in muscular dystrophy patients.

  10. 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

  11. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Altered TCR Signaling from Geometrically Repatterned ImmunologicalSynapses

    SciTech Connect

    Mossman, Kaspar D.; Campi, Gabriele; Groves, Jay T.; Dustin,Michael L.

    2005-10-18

    The immunological synapse is a specialized junction between lymphocytes that is defined by large-scale spatial patterns of receptors and signaling molecules. This structure, which has been probed using imaging, simulation, and genetics, remains enigmatic in terms of its formation and its function. Here, we use supported bilayer membranes and nanometer-scale structures fabricated onto the underlying substrate to impose geometric constraints on immunological synapse formation. The resulting alternatively patterned synapses provide insight into the mechanisms of formation and the relationship between synaptic pattern and the tyrosine kinase signaling cascades that are required to sustain T cell activation.

  13. Role of LRRTMs in synapse development and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Roppongi, Reiko T; Karimi, Benyamin; Siddiqui, Tabrez J

    2017-03-01

    Leucine-rich-repeat transmembrane neuronal proteins (LRRTMs) are a family of four synapse organizing proteins critical for the development and function of excitatory synapses. The genes encoding LRRTMs and their binding partners, neurexins and HSPGs, are strongly associated with multiple psychiatric disorders. Here, we review the literature covering their structural features, expression patterns in the developing and adult brains, evolutionary origins, and discovery as synaptogenic proteins. We also discuss their role in the development and plasticity of excitatory synapses as well as their disease associations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Septin 11 Is Present in GABAergic Synapses and Plays a Functional Role in the Cytoarchitecture of Neurons and GABAergic Synaptic Connectivity*

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xuejing; Serwanski, David R.; Miralles, Celia P.; Nagata, Koh-ichi; De Blas, Angel L.

    2009-01-01

    Mass spectrometry and immunoblot analysis of a rat brain fraction enriched in type-II postsynaptic densities and postsynaptic GABAergic markers showed enrichment in the protein septin 11. Septin 11 is expressed throughout the brain, being particularly high in the spiny branchlets of the Purkinje cells in the molecular layer of cerebellum and in the olfactory bulb. Immunofluorescence of cultured hippocampal neurons showed that 54 ± 4% of the GABAergic synapses and 25 ± 2% of the glutamatergic synapses had colocalizing septin 11 clusters. Similar colocalization numbers were found in the molecular layer of cerebellar sections. In cultured hippocampal neurons, septin 11 clusters were frequently present at the base of dendritic protrusions and at the bifurcation points of the dendritic branches. Electron microscopy immunocytochemistry of the rat brain cerebellum revealed the accumulation of septin 11 at the neck of dendritic spines, at the bifurcation of dendritic branches, and at some GABAergic synapses. Knocking down septin 11 in cultured hippocampal neurons with septin 11 small hairpin RNAs showed (i) reduced dendritic arborization; (ii) decreased density and increased length of dendritic protrusions; and (iii) decreased GABAergic synaptic contacts that these neurons receive. The results indicate that septin 11 plays important roles in the cytoarchitecture of neurons, including dendritic arborization and dendritic spines, and that septin 11 also plays a role in GABAergic synaptic connectivity. PMID:19380581

  15. A model of dopamine modulated glutamatergic synapse.

    PubMed

    Di Maio, Vito; Ventriglia, Francesco; Santillo, Silvia

    2015-10-01

    The dopamine neurotransmitter regulates important neural pathways and its action in the brain is very complex. When dopaminergic neurons make synapses on spiny neurons of the striatum nucleus, they tune the responsiveness of glutamatergic synapses by means of the dopamine D1 and D2 receptors. We studied the effect of dopamine D1 receptors on glutamatergic synapse of GABAergic spiny neurons in striatum nucleus where they are located on the neck of the same spine. The action of dopamine consists essentially in promoting the phosphorylation of AMPA and NMDA receptors thus increasing the Excitatory Post Synaptic Current peak amplitude. The consequence is a cooperative effect of glutamatergic and dopaminergic synapses for the regulation of the GABAergic neuronal code. The mechanisms by which the phosphorylation induces the increase of the EPSC amplitude still remain unclear although the lack of this regulation can be involved in several pathologies as, for example, the Parkinson's disease. We tested, by computational experiments based on our model of glutamatergic synapse, three parameters of the synaptic function that could be involved in dopamine action: (a) time binding of glutamate to receptors; (b) open probability of the receptors; and (c) single receptor conductance. For different reasons, any of the three parameters could be responsible of the increased EPSC-dopamine-dependent. Our computational results were compared and discussed with experimental results found in literature. Although for our model both the open probability and the single receptor conductance can reproduce the phosphorylation effect of dopamine, we argue that the dopamine effect consists essentially in an increase of the single receptor conductance due to a 3D rearrangement of the phosphorylated receptors.

  16. 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

  17. Neurobeachin is required postsynaptically for electrical and chemical synapse formation

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Adam C.; Voelker, Lisa H.; Shah, Arish N.; Moens, Cecilia B.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Background Neural networks and their function are defined by synapses, which are adhesions specialized for intercellular communication that can be either chemical or electrical. At chemical synapses transmission between neurons is mediated by neurotransmitters, while at electrical synapses direct ionic and metabolic coupling occurs via gap junctions between neurons. The molecular pathways required for electrical synaptogenesis are not well understood and whether they share mechanisms of formation with chemical synapses is not clear. Results Here, using a forward genetic screen in zebrafish we find that the autism-associated gene neurobeachin (nbea), which encodes a BEACH-domain containing protein implicated in endomembrane trafficking, is required for both electrical and chemical synapse formation. Additionally, we find that nbea is dispensable for axonal formation and early dendritic outgrowth, but is required to maintain dendritic complexity. These synaptic and morphological defects correlate with deficiencies in behavioral performance. Using chimeric animals in which individually identifiable neurons are either mutant or wildtype we find that Nbea is necessary and sufficient autonomously in the postsynaptic neuron for both synapse formation and dendritic arborization. Conclusions Our data identify a surprising link between electrical and chemical synapse formation and show that Nbea acts as a critical regulator in the postsynaptic neuron for the coordination of dendritic morphology with synaptogenesis. PMID:25484298

  18. BMP signaling specifies the development of a large and fast CNS synapse.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Le; Michalski, Nicolas; Kronander, Elin; Gjoni, Enida; Genoud, Christel; Knott, Graham; Schneggenburger, Ralf

    2013-07-01

    Large excitatory synapses with multiple active zones ensure reliable and fast information transfer at specific points in neuronal circuits. However, the mechanisms that determine synapse size in CNS circuits are largely unknown. Here we use the calyx of Held synapse, a major relay in the auditory system, to identify and study signaling pathways that specify large nerve terminal size and fast synaptic transmission. Using genome-wide screening, we identified bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) as candidate signaling molecules in the area of calyx synapses. Conditional deletion of BMP receptors in the auditory system of mice led to aberrations of synapse morphology and function specifically at the calyx of Held, with impaired nerve terminal growth, loss of monoinnervation and less mature transmitter release properties. Thus, BMP signaling specifies large and fast-transmitting synapses in the auditory system in a process that shares homologies with, but also extends beyond, retrograde BMP signaling at Drosophila neuromuscular synapses.

  19. Axonal Synapses Utilize Multiple Synaptic Ribbons in the Mammalian Retina

    PubMed Central

    Koo, Tae-Hyung; Lee, U-Young; Jeong, Eojin; Chun, Myung-Hoon; Moon, Jung-Il; Massey, Stephen C.; Kim, In-Beom

    2012-01-01

    In the mammalian retina, bipolar cells and ganglion cells which stratify in sublamina a of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) show OFF responses to light stimuli while those that stratify in sublamina b show ON responses. This functional relationship between anatomy and physiology is a key principle of retinal organization. However, there are at least three types of retinal neurons, including intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) and dopaminergic amacrine cells, which violate this principle. These cell types have light-driven ON responses, but their dendrites mainly stratify in sublamina a of the IPL, the OFF sublayer. Recent anatomical studies suggested that certain ON cone bipolar cells make axonal or ectopic synapses as they descend through sublamina a, thus providing ON input to cells which stratify in the OFF sublayer. Using immunoelectron microscopy with 3-dimensional reconstruction, we have identified axonal synapses of ON cone bipolar cells in the rabbit retina. Ten calbindin ON cone bipolar axons made en passant ribbon synapses onto amacrine or ganglion dendrites in sublamina a of the IPL. Compared to the ribbon synapses made by bipolar terminals, these axonal ribbon synapses were characterized by a broad postsynaptic element that appeared as a monad and by the presence of multiple short synaptic ribbons. These findings confirm that certain ON cone bipolar cells can provide ON input to amacrine and ganglion cells whose dendrites stratify in the OFF sublayer via axonal synapses. The monadic synapse with multiple ribbons may be a diagnostic feature of the ON cone bipolar axonal synapse in sublamina a. The presence of multiple ribbons and a broad postsynaptic density suggest these structures may be very efficient synapses. We also identified axonal inputs to ipRGCs with the architecture described above. PMID:23284975

  20. Agrin and the molecular choreography of synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Nastuk, M A; Fallon, J R

    1993-02-01

    High concentrations of neurotransmitter receptors characterize neuromuscular junctions as well as neuron-neuron synapses in the brain and periphery. Synaptic function is critically dependent upon this marshalling of neurotransmitter receptors to the post-synaptic membrane. This review discusses agrin's role in orchestrating the molecular topography of the post-synaptic apparatus at nerve-muscle synapses and the emerging evidence suggesting a role for agrin in synaptogenesis in the brain.

  1. Functional role of NT-3 in synapse regeneration by spiral ganglion neurons on inner hair cells after excitotoxic trauma in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qiong; Green, Steven H.

    2011-01-01

    Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) are postsynaptic to hair cells and project to the brainstem. The inner hair cell (IHC) to SGN synapse is susceptible to glutamate excitotoxicity and to acoustic trauma, with potentially adverse consequences to long-term SGN survival. We used a cochlear explant culture from P6 rat pups consisting of a portion of organ of Corti maintained intact with the corresponding portion of spiral ganglion to investigate excitotoxic damage to IHC-SGN synapses in vitro. The normal innervation pattern is preserved in vitro. Brief treatment with NMDA and kainate results in loss of IHC–SGN synapses and degeneration of the distal type 1 SGN peripheral axons, mimicking damage to SGN peripheral axons caused by excitotoxicity or noise in vivo. The number of IHC presynaptic ribbons is not significantly altered. Reinnervation of IHCs occurs and regenerating axons remain restricted to the IHC row. However, the number of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) does not fully recover and not all axons regrow to the IHCs. Addition of either NT-3 or BDNF increases axon growth and synaptogenesis. Selective blockade of endogenous NT-3 signaling with TrkC-IgG reduced regeneration of axons and PSDs, but TrkB-IgG, which blocks BDNF, has no such effect, indicating that endogenous NT-3 is necessary for SGN axon growth and synaptogenesis. Remarkably, TrkC-IgG reduced axon growth and synaptogenesis even in the presence of BDNF, indicating that endogenous NT-3 has a distinctive role, not mimicked by BDNF, in promoting SGN axon growth in the organ of Corti and synaptogenesis on IHCs. PMID:21613508

  2. Heterogeneity in synaptic vesicle release at neuromuscular synapses of mice expressing synaptopHluorin.

    PubMed

    Wyatt, Ryan M; Balice-Gordon, Rita J

    2008-01-02

    Mammalian neuromuscular junctions are useful model synapses to study the relationship between synaptic structure and function, although these have rarely been studied together at the same synapses. To do this, we generated transgenic lines of mice in which the thy1.2 promoter drives expression of synaptopHluorin (spH) as a means of optically measuring synaptic vesicle distribution and release. SpH is colocalized with other synaptic vesicle proteins in presynaptic terminals and does not alter normal synaptic function. Nerve stimulation leads to readily detectable and reproducible fluorescence changes in motor axon terminals that vary with stimulus frequency and, when compared with electrophysiological recordings, are reliable indicators of neurotransmitter release. Measurements of fluorescence intensity changes reveal a surprising amount of heterogeneity in synaptic vesicle release throughout individual presynaptic motor axon terminals. Some discrete terminal regions consistently displayed a greater rate and extent of release than others, regardless of stimulation frequency. The amount of release at a particular site is highly correlated to the relative abundance of synaptic vesicles there, indicating that a relatively constant fraction of the total vesicular pool, approximately 30%, is released in response to activity. These studies reveal previously unknown relationships between synaptic structure and function at mammalian neuromuscular junctions and demonstrate the usefulness of spH expressing mice as a tool for studying neuromuscular synapses in adults, as well as during development and diseases that affect neuromuscular synaptic function.

  3. Synapse microarray identification of small molecules that enhance synaptogenesis.

    PubMed

    Shi, Peng; Scott, Mark A; Ghosh, Balaram; Wan, Dongpeng; Wissner-Gross, Zachary; Mazitschek, Ralph; Haggarty, Stephen J; Yanik, Mehmet Fatih

    2011-10-25

    Synaptic function is affected in many brain diseases and disorders. Technologies for large-scale synapse assays can facilitate identification of drug leads. Here we report a 'synapse microarray' technology that enables ultra-sensitive, high-throughput and quantitative screening of synaptogenesis. Our platform enables the induction of synaptic structures in regular arrays by precise positioning of non-neuronal cells expressing synaptic proteins, while allowing neurites to grow freely around these cells. The technology increases by tenfold the sensitivity of the traditional assays, and simultaneously decreases the time required to capture synaptogenic events by an order of magnitude. It is readily incorporated into multiwell formats compatible with industrial high-throughput screening platforms. Using this technology, we screened a chemical library, and identified novel histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors that improve neuroligin-1-induced synaptogenesis by modulating class-I HDACs. We also found a structure-activity relationship for designing novel potent histone deacetylase inhibitors, which can be applied towards development of new therapeutics.

  4. Identification of small molecules that Enhance Synaptogenesis using Synapse Microarrays

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Peng; Scott, Mark A; Ghosh, Balaram; Wan, Dongpeng; Wissner-Gross, Zachary; Mazitschek, Ralph; Haggarty, Stephen J.; Yanik, Mehmet Fatih

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic function is affected in many brain diseases and disorders. Technologies for large-scale synapse assays can facilitate identification of drug leads. Here we report a “synapse microarray” technology that enables ultra-sensitive, high-throughput, and quantitative screening of synaptogenesis. Our platform enables the induction of synaptic structures in regular arrays by precise positioning of non-neuronal cells expressing synaptic proteins, while allowing neurites to grow freely around these cells. The technology increases by tenfold the sensitivity of the traditional assays, and simultaneously decreases the time required to capture synaptogenic events by an order of magnitude. It is readily incorporated into multiwell formats compatible with industrial high-throughput screening platforms. Using this technology, we screened a chemical library and identified novel histone deacetylase inhibitors that improve neuroligin-1 induced synaptogenesis via modulating class-I histone deacetylases. We also found a structure-activity relationship for designing novel potent histone deacetylase inhibitors, which can be applied towards development of new therapeutics. PMID:22027590

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. Bassoon Speeds Vesicle Reloading at a Central Excitatory Synapse

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Summary 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. PMID:21092860

  9. Double inverse stochastic resonance with dynamic synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzuntarla, Muhammet; Torres, Joaquin J.; So, Paul; Ozer, Mahmut; Barreto, Ernest

    2017-01-01

    We investigate the behavior of a model neuron that receives a biophysically realistic noisy postsynaptic current based on uncorrelated spiking activity from a large number of afferents. We show that, with static synapses, such noise can give rise to inverse stochastic resonance (ISR) as a function of the presynaptic firing rate. We compare this to the case with dynamic synapses that feature short-term synaptic plasticity and show that the interval of presynaptic firing rate over which ISR exists can be extended or diminished. We consider both short-term depression and facilitation. Interestingly, we find that a double inverse stochastic resonance (DISR), with two distinct wells centered at different presynaptic firing rates, can appear.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. Transsynaptic Teneurin Signaling in Neuromuscular Synapse Organization and Target Choice

    PubMed Central

    Mosca, Timothy J.; Hong, Weizhe; Dani, Vardhan S.; Favaloro, Vincenzo; Luo, Liqun

    2012-01-01

    Synapse assembly requires transsynaptic signals between the pre- and postsynapse1, but the understanding of essential organizational molecules remains incomplete2. Teneurins are conserved, EGF-repeat containing transmembrane proteins with large extracellular domains3. Here we show that two Drosophila Teneurins, Ten-m and Ten-a, are required for neuromuscular synapse organization and target selection. Ten-a is presynaptic while Ten-m is mostly postsynaptic; neuronal Ten-a and muscle Ten-m form a complex in vivo. Pre- or postsynaptic Teneurin perturbations cause severe synapse loss and impair many facets of organization transsynaptically and cell-autonomously. These include defects in active zone apposition, release sites, membrane and vesicle organization, and synaptic transmission. Moreover, the presynaptic microtubule and postsynaptic spectrin cytoskeletons are severely disrupted, suggesting a mechanism whereby Teneurins organize the cytoskeleton, which in turn affects other aspects of synapse development. Supporting this, Ten-m physically interacts with α-spectrin. Genetic analyses of teneurin and neuroligin reveal their differential roles that synergize to promote synapse assembly. Finally, at elevated endogenous levels, Ten-m regulates specific motoneuron-muscle target selection. Our study identifies the Teneurins as a key bi-directional transsynaptic signal in general synapse organization, and demonstrates that such a molecule can also regulate target selection. PMID:22426000

  14. Early degeneration of photoreceptor synapse in Ccl2/Cx3cr1-deficient mice on Crb1(rd8) background.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jun; Tuo, Jingsheng; Cao, Xiaoguan; Shen, Defen; Li, Wei; Chan, Chi-Chao

    2013-08-01

    Photoreceptor ribbon synapse releases glutamate to postsynaptic targets. The synaptic ribbon may play multiple roles in ribbon synapse development, synaptic vesicle recycling, and synaptic transmission. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients appear to have fewer or no detectable synaptic ribbons as well as abnormal swelling in the photoreceptor terminals in the macula. However, reports on changes of photoreceptor synapses in AMD are scarce and photoreceptor type and quantity affected in early AMD is still unclear. Here, we employed multiple anatomical techniques to investigate these questions in Ccl2⁻/⁻/Cx3cr1⁻/⁻ mouse on Crb1(rd8) background (DKO rd8) at one month of age. We found that approximately 17% of photoreceptors over the focal lesion were lost. Immunostaining for synapse-associated proteins (CtBP2, synaptophysin, and vesicular glutamate transporter 1) showed significantly reduced expression and ectopic localization. Cone opsins demonstrated dramatic reduction in expression (S-opsins) and extensive mislocalization (M-opsins). Quantitative ultrastructural analysis confirmed a significant decrease in the number of cone terminals and nuclei, numerous vacuoles in remaining cone terminals, reduction in the number of synaptic ribbons in photoreceptor terminals, and ectopic rod ribbon synapses. In addition, glutamate receptor immunoreactivity on aberrant sprouting of rod bipolar cells and horizontal cells were identified at the ectopic synapses. These results indicate that synaptic alterations occur at the early stages of disease and cones are likely more susceptible to damage caused by DKO rd8 mutation. They provide a new insight into potential mechanism of vision function lost due to synaptic degeneration before cell death in the early stages of AMD. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Persistent Long-Term Facilitation at an Identified Synapse Becomes Labile with Activation of Short-Term Heterosynaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Schacher, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    Short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity are cellular correlates of learning and memory of different durations. Little is known, however, how these two forms of plasticity interact at the same synaptic connection. We examined the reciprocal impact of short-term heterosynaptic or homosynaptic plasticity at sensorimotor synapses of Aplysia in cell culture when expressing persistent long-term facilitation (P-LTF) evoked by serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)]. Short-term heterosynaptic plasticity induced by 5-HT (facilitation) or the neuropeptide FMRFa (depression) and short-term homosynaptic plasticity induced by tetanus [post-tetanic potentiation (PTP)] or low-frequency stimulation [homosynaptic depression (HSD)] of the sensory neuron were expressed in both control synapses and synapses expressing P-LTF in the absence or presence of protein synthesis inhibitors. All forms of short-term plasticity failed to significantly affect ongoing P-LTF in the absence of protein synthesis inhibitors. However, P-LTF reversed to control levels when either 5-HT or FMRFa was applied in the presence of rapamycin. In contrast, P-LTF was unaffected when either PTP or HSD was evoked in the presence of either rapamycin or anisomycin. These results indicate that synapses expressing persistent plasticity acquire a “new” baseline and functionally express short-term changes as naive synapses, but the new baseline becomes labile following selective activations—heterosynaptic stimuli that evoke opposite forms of plasticity—such that when presented in the presence of protein synthesis inhibitors produce a rapid reversal of the persistent plasticity. Activity-selective induction of a labile state at synapses expressing persistent plasticity may facilitate the development of therapies for reversing inappropriate memories. PMID:24695698

  16. Huntingtin is required for normal excitatory synapse development in cortical and striatal circuits.

    PubMed

    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; Eroglu, Cagla

    2014-07-09

    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. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/349455-18$15.00/0.

  17. Decreased expression of synapse-related genes and loss of synapses in major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Kang, Hyo Jung; Voleti, Bhavya; Hajszan, Tibor; Rajkowska, Grazyna; Stockmeier, Craig A; Licznerski, Pawel; Lepack, Ashley; Majik, Mahesh S; Jeong, Lak Shin; Banasr, Mounira; Son, Hyeon; Duman, Ronald S

    2012-09-01

    Previous imaging and postmortem studies have reported a lower brain volume and a smaller size and density of neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) of subjects with major depressive disorder (MDD). These findings suggest that synapse number and function are decreased in the dlPFC of patients with MDD. However, there has been no direct evidence reported 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 lower expression of synaptic-function–related genes (CALM2, SYN1, RAB3A, RAB4B and TUBB4) in the dlPFC of subjects with MDD and a corresponding lower number of synapses. We also identify a transcriptional repressor, GATA1, expression of which is higher in MDD and that, when expressed in PFC neurons, is sufficient to decrease the expression of synapse-related genes, cause loss of dendritic spines and dendrites, and produce depressive behavior in rat models of depression.

  18. 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

  19. Nitric oxide mediates local activity-dependent excitatory synapse development.

    PubMed

    Nikonenko, Irina; Nikonenko, Alexander; Mendez, Pablo; Michurina, Tatyana V; Enikolopov, Grigori; Muller, Dominique

    2013-10-29

    Learning related paradigms play an important role in shaping the development and specificity of synaptic networks, notably by regulating mechanisms of spine growth and pruning. The molecular events underlying these synaptic rearrangements remain poorly understood. Here we identify NO signaling as a key mediator of activity-dependent excitatory synapse development. We find that chronic blockade of NO production in vitro and in vivo interferes with the development of hippocampal and cortical excitatory spine synapses. The effect results from a selective loss of activity-mediated spine growth mechanisms and is associated with morphological and functional alterations of remaining synapses. These effects of NO are mediated by a cGMP cascade and can be reproduced or prevented by postsynaptic expression of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein phospho-mimetic or phospho-resistant mutants. In vivo analyses show that absence of NO prevents the increase in excitatory synapse density induced by environmental enrichment and interferes with the formation of local clusters of excitatory synapses. We conclude that NO plays an important role in regulating the development of excitatory synapses by promoting local activity-dependent spine-growth mechanisms.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Lenalidomide enhances the function of chimeric antigen receptor T cells against the epidermal growth factor receptor variant III by enhancing immune synapses.

    PubMed

    Kuramitsu, S; Ohno, M; Ohka, F; Shiina, S; Yamamichi, A; Kato, A; Tanahashi, K; Motomura, K; Kondo, G; Kurimoto, M; Senga, T; Wakabayashi, T; Natsume, A

    2015-10-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) is exclusively expressed on the cell surface in ~50% of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This variant strongly and persistently activates the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt signaling pathway in a ligand-independent manner resulting in enhanced tumorigenicity, cellular motility and resistance to chemoradiotherapy. Our group generated a recombinant single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibody specific to the EGFRvIII, referred to as 3C10-scFv. In the current study, we constructed a lentiviral vector transducing the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that consisted of 3C10-scFv, CD3ζ, CD28 and 4-1BB (3C10-CAR). The 3C10-CAR-transduced peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and CD3(+) T cells specifically lysed the glioma cells that express EGFRvIII. Moreover, we demonstrated that CAR CD3(+) T cells migrated to the intracranial xenograft of GBM in the mice treated with 3C10-CAR PBMCs. An important and novel finding of our study was that a thalidomide derivative lenalidomide induced 3C10-CAR PBMC proliferation and enhanced the persistent antitumor effect of the cells in vivo. Lenalidomide also exhibited enhanced immunological synapses between the effector cells and the target cells as determined by CD11a and F-actin polymerization. Collectively, lentiviral-mediated transduction of CAR effectors targeting the EGFRvIII showed specific efficacy, and lenalidomide even intensified CAR cell therapy by enhanced formation of immunological synapses.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Basic presynaptic functions in hippocampal neurons are not affected by acute or chronic lithium treatment.

    PubMed

    Lueke, Katharina; Kaiser, Tobias; Svetlitchny, Alexei; Welzel, Oliver; Wenzel, Eva M; Tyagarajan, Shiva; Kornhuber, Johannes; Groemer, Teja W

    2014-02-01

    Lithium is an effective mood-stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar affective disorder. While glycogen synthase kinase 3-mediated and inositol depletion-dependent effects of lithium have been described extensively in literature, there is very little knowledge about the consequences of lithium treatment on vesicle recycling and neurotransmitter availability. In the present study we have examined acute and chronic effects of lithium on synaptic vesicle recycling using primary hippocampal neurons. We found that exocytosis of readily releasable pool vesicles as well as recycling pool vesicles was unaffected by acute and chronic treatment within the therapeutic range or at higher lithium concentrations. Consistent with this observation, we also noticed that the network activity and number of active synapses within the network were also not significantly altered after lithium treatment. Taken together, as lithium treatment does not affect synaptic vesicle release at even high concentrations, our data suggest that therapeutic effects of lithium in bipolar affective disorder are not directly related to presynaptic function.

  8. Modifications of Gustatory Nerve Synapses onto Nucleus of the Solitary Tract Neurons Induced by Dietary Sodium-Restriction During Development

    PubMed Central

    MAY, OLIVIA L.; ERISIR, ALEV; HILL, DAVID L.

    2008-01-01

    The terminal fields of nerves carrying gustatory information to the rat brainstem show a remarkable amount of expansion in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) as a result of early dietary sodium restriction. However, the extent to which these axonal changes represent corresponding changes in synapses is not known. To identify the synaptic characteristics that accompany the terminal field expansion, the greater superficial petrosal (GSP), chorda tympani (CT), and glossopharyngeal (IX) nerves were labeled in rats fed a sodium-restricted diet during pre- and postnatal development. The morphology of these nerve terminals within the NTS region where the terminal fields of all three nerves overlap was evaluated by transmission electron microscopy. Compared to data from control rats, CT axons were the most profoundly affected. The density of CT arbors and synapses quadrupled as a result of the near life-long dietary manipulation. In contrast, axon and synapse densities of GSP and IX nerves were not modified in sodium-restricted rats. Furthermore, compared to controls, CT terminals displayed more instances of contacts with postsynaptic dendritic protrusions and IX terminals synapsed more frequently with dendritic shafts. Thus, dietary sodium restriction throughout pre- and postnatal development had differential effects on the synaptic organization of the three nerves in the NTS. These anatomical changes may underlie the impact of sensory restriction during development on the functional processing of taste information and taste-related behaviors. PMID:18366062

  9. Identification of the novel activity-driven interaction between synaptotagmin 1 and presenilin 1 links calcium, synapse, and amyloid beta.

    PubMed

    Kuzuya, Akira; Zoltowska, Katarzyna M; Post, Kathryn L; Arimon, Muriel; Li, Xuejing; Svirsky, Sarah; Maesako, Masato; Muzikansky, Alona; Gautam, Vivek; Kovacs, Dora; Hyman, Bradley T; Berezovska, Oksana

    2016-03-31

    Synaptic loss strongly correlates with memory deterioration. Local accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) peptide, and neurotoxic Aβ42 in particular, due to abnormal neuronal activity may underlie synaptic dysfunction, neurodegeneration, and memory impairments. To gain an insight into molecular events underlying neuronal activity-regulated Aβ production at the synapse, we explored functional outcomes of the newly discovered calcium-dependent interaction between Alzheimer's disease-associated presenilin 1 (PS1)/γ-secretase and synaptic vesicle proteins. Mass spectrometry screen of mouse brain lysates identified synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) as a novel synapse-specific PS1-binding partner that shows Ca(2+)-dependent PS1 binding profiles in vitro and in vivo. We found that Aβ level, and more critically, conformation of the PS1 and the Aβ42/40 ratio, are affected by Syt1 overexpression or knockdown, indicating that Syt1 and its interaction with PS1 might regulate Aβ production at the synapse. Moreover, β-secretase 1 (BACE1) stability, β- and γ-secretase activity, as well as intracellular compartmentalization of PS1 and BACE1, but not of amyloid precursor protein (APP), nicastrin (Nct), presenilin enhancer 2 (Pen-2), or synaptophysin (Syp) were altered in the absence of Syt1, suggesting a selective effect of Syt1 on PS1 and BACE1 trafficking. Our findings identify Syt1 as a novel Ca(2+)-sensitive PS1 modulator that could regulate synaptic Aβ, opening avenues for novel and selective synapse targeting therapeutic strategies.

  10. Effects of curcumin on synapses in APPswe/PS1dE9 mice.

    PubMed

    He, Yingkun; Wang, Pengwen; Wei, Peng; Feng, Huili; Ren, Ying; Yang, Jinduo; Rao, Yingxue; Shi, Jing; Tian, Jinzhou

    2016-06-01

    Significant losses of synapses have been demonstrated in studies of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but structural and functional changes in synapses that depend on alterations of the postsynaptic density (PSD) area occur prior to synaptic loss and play a crucial role in the pathology of AD. Evidence suggests that curcumin can ameliorate the learning and memory deficits of AD. To investigate the effects of curcumin on synapses, APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice (an AD model) were used, and the ultra-structures of synapses and synapse-associated proteins were observed. Six months after administration, few abnormal synapses were observed upon electron microscopy in the hippocampal CA1 areas of the APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice. The treatment of the mice with curcumin resulted in improvements in the quantity and structure of the synapses. Immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses revealed that the expressions of PSD95 and Shank1 were reduced in the hippocampal CA1 areas of the APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice, but curcumin treatment increased the expressions of these proteins. Our findings suggest that curcumin improved the structure and function of the synapses by regulating the synapse-related proteins PSD95 and Shank1. © The Author(s) 2016.

  11. Tricornered Kinase Regulates Synapse Development by Regulating the Levels of Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein.

    PubMed

    Natarajan, Rajalaxmi; Barber, Kara; Buckley, Amanda; Cho, Phillip; Egbejimi, Anuoluwapo; Wairkar, Yogesh P

    2015-01-01

    Precise regulation of synapses during development is essential to ensure accurate neural connectivity and function of nervous system. Many signaling pathways, including the mTOR (mechanical Target of Rapamycin) pathway operate in neurons to maintain genetically determined number of synapses during development. mTOR, a kinase, is shared between two functionally distinct multi-protein complexes- mTORC1 and mTORC2, that act downstream of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). We and others have suggested an important role for TSC in synapse development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapses. In addition, our data suggested that the regulation of the NMJ synapse numbers in Drosophila largely depends on signaling via mTORC2. In the present study, we further this observation by identifying Tricornered (Trc) kinase, a serine/threonine kinase as a likely mediator of TSC signaling. trc genetically interacts with Tsc2 to regulate the number of synapses. In addition, Tsc2 and trc mutants exhibit a dramatic reduction in synaptic levels of WASP, an important regulator of actin polymerization. We show that Trc regulates the WASP levels largely, by regulating the transcription of WASP. Finally, we show that overexpression of WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein) in trc mutants can suppress the increase in the number of synapses observed in trc mutants, suggesting that WASP regulates synapses downstream of Trc. Thus, our data provide a novel insight into how Trc may regulate the genetic program that controls the number of synapses during development.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Lexical and Affective Prosody in Children with High Functioning Autism

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Purpose We investigated perception and production of lexical stress and processing of affective prosody in adolescents with high functioning autism (HFA). We hypothesized preserved processing of lexical and affective prosody, but atypical lexical prosody production. Method 16 children with HFA and 15 typically developing (TD) peers participated in three experiments: 1. Perception of affective prosody, 2. Lexical stress perception, 3. Lexical stress production. In Experiment 1, participants labeled sad, happy, and neutral spoken sentences that were low-pass filtered, to eliminate verbal content. In Experiment 2 participants disambiguated word meanings based on lexical stress (HOTdog, vs. hotDOG). In Experiment 3 participants produced these words in a sentence completion task. Productions were analyzed using acoustic measures. Results Accuracy levels showed no group differences. Participants with HFA could determine affect from filtered sentences and disambiguate words based on lexical stress. They produced appropriately differentiated lexical stress patterns but demonstrated atypically long productions indicating reduced ability in natural prosody production. Conclusions Children with HFA were as capable as their TD peers in receptive tasks of lexical stress and affective prosody. Prosody productions were atypically long, despite accurate differentiation of lexical stress patterns. Future research should use larger samples and spontaneous vs. elicited productions. PMID:20530388

  15. 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

    2013-03-06

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Primary afferent synapses on developing and adult Renshaw cells.

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-20

    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.

  18. Ultrastructural features of sprouted mossy fiber synapses in kindled and kainic acid-treated rats.

    PubMed

    Cavazos, José E; Zhang, Peisu; Qazi, Romena; Sutula, Thomas P

    2003-04-07

    The mossy fiber pathway in the dentate gyrus undergoes sprouting and synaptic reorganization in response to seizures. The types of new synapses, their location and number, and the identity of their postsynaptic targets determine the functional properties of the reorganized circuitry. The goal of this study was to characterize the types and proportions of sprouted mossy fiber synapses in kindled and kainic acid-treated rats. In normal rats, synapses labeled by Timm histochemistry or dynorphin immunohistochemistry were rarely observed in the supragranular region of the inner molecular layer when examined by electron microscopy. In epileptic rats, sprouted mossy fiber synaptic terminals were frequently observed. The ultrastructural analysis of the types of sprouted synapses revealed that 1) in the supragranular region, labeled synaptic profiles were more frequently axospinous than axodendritic, and many axospinous synapses were perforated; 2) sprouted mossy fiber synaptic terminals formed exclusively asymmetric, putatively excitatory synapses with dendritic spines and shafts in the supragranular region and with the soma of granule cells in the granule cell layer; 3) in contrast to the large sprouted mossy fiber synapses in resected human epileptic hippocampus, the synapses formed by sprouted mossy fibers in rats were smaller; and 4) in several cases, the postsynaptic targets of sprouted synapses were identified as granule cells, but, in one case, a sprouted synaptic terminal formed a synapse with an inhibitory interneuron. The results demonstrate that axospinous asymmetric synapses are the most common type of synapse formed by sprouted mossy fiber terminals, supporting the viewpoint that most sprouted mossy fibers contribute to recurrent excitation in epilepsy.

  19. GABA signaling promotes synapse elimination and axon pruning in developing cortical inhibitory interneurons.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaoyun; Fu, Yu; Knott, Graham; Lu, Jiangteng; Di Cristo, Graziella; Huang, Z Josh

    2012-01-04

    Accumulating evidence indicates that GABA acts beyond inhibitory synaptic transmission and regulates the development of inhibitory synapses in the vertebrate brain, but the underlying cellular mechanism is not well understood. We have combined live imaging of cortical GABAergic axons across time scales from minutes to days with single-cell genetic manipulation of GABA release to examine its role in distinct steps of inhibitory synapse formation in the mouse neocortex. We have shown previously, by genetic knockdown of GABA synthesis in developing interneurons, that GABA signaling promotes the maturation of inhibitory synapses and axons. Here we found that a complete blockade of GABA release in basket interneurons resulted in an opposite effect, a cell-autonomous increase in axon and bouton density with apparently normal synapse structures. These results not only demonstrate that GABA is unnecessary for synapse formation per se but also uncover a novel facet of GABA in regulating synapse elimination and axon pruning. Live imaging revealed that developing GABAergic axons form a large number of transient boutons, but only a subset was stabilized. Release blockade led to significantly increased bouton stability and filopodia density, increased axon branch extension, and decreased branch retraction. Our results suggest that a major component of GABA function in synapse development is transmission-mediated elimination of subsets of nascent contacts. Therefore, GABA may regulate activity-dependent inhibitory synapse formation by coordinately eliminating certain nascent contacts while promoting the maturation of other nascent synapses.

  20. GABA Signaling Promotes Synapse Elimination and Axon Pruning in Developing Cortical Inhibitory Interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaoyun; Fu, Yu; Knott, Graham; Lu, Jiangteng; Di Cristo, Graziella

    2012-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that GABA acts beyond inhibitory synaptic transmission and regulates the development of inhibitory synapses in the vertebrate brain, but the underlying cellular mechanism is not well understood. We have combined live imaging of cortical GABAergic axons across time scales from minutes to days with single-cell genetic manipulation of GABA release to examine its role in distinct steps of inhibitory synapse formation in the mouse neocortex. We have shown previously, by genetic knockdown of GABA synthesis in developing interneurons, that GABA signaling promotes the maturation of inhibitory synapses and axons. Here we found that a complete blockade of GABA release in basket interneurons resulted in an opposite effect, a cell-autonomous increase in axon and bouton density with apparently normal synapse structures. These results not only demonstrate that GABA is unnecessary for synapse formation per se but also uncover a novel facet of GABA in regulating synapse elimination and axon pruning. Live imaging revealed that developing GABAergic axons form a large number of transient boutons, but only a subset was stabilized. Release blockade led to significantly increased bouton stability and filopodia density, increased axon branch extension, and decreased branch retraction. Our results suggest that a major component of GABA function in synapse development is transmission-mediated elimination of subsets of nascent contacts. Therefore, GABA may regulate activity-dependent inhibitory synapse formation by coordinately eliminating certain nascent contacts while promoting the maturation of other nascent synapses. PMID:22219294

  1. Neurotrophin-3 regulates ribbon synapse density in the cochlea and induces synapse regeneration after acoustic trauma

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Guoqiang; Gómez-Casati, Maria E; Gigliello, Angelica R; Liberman, M Charles; Corfas, Gabriel

    2014-01-01

    Neurotrophin-3 (Ntf3) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) are critical for sensory neuron survival and establishment of neuronal projections to sensory epithelia in the embryonic inner ear, but their postnatal functions remain poorly understood. Using cell-specific inducible gene recombination in mice we found that, in the postnatal inner ear, Bbnf and Ntf3 are required for the formation and maintenance of hair cell ribbon synapses in the vestibular and cochlear epithelia, respectively. We also show that supporting cells in these epithelia are the key endogenous source of the neurotrophins. Using a new hair cell CreERT line with mosaic expression, we also found that Ntf3's effect on cochlear synaptogenesis is highly localized. Moreover, supporting cell-derived Ntf3, but not Bbnf, promoted recovery of cochlear function and ribbon synapse regeneration after acoustic trauma. These results indicate that glial-derived neurotrophins play critical roles in inner ear synapse density and synaptic regeneration after injury. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03564.001 PMID:25329343

  2. Presynaptic nanodomains: a tale of two synapses.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lu-Yang; Augustine, George J

    2014-01-01

    Here we summarize the evidence from two "giant" presynaptic terminals-the squid giant synapse and the mammalian calyx of Held-supporting the involvement of nanodomain calcium signals in triggering of neurotransmitter release. At the squid synapse, there are three main lines of experimental evidence for nanodomain signaling. First, changing the size of the unitary calcium channel current by altering external calcium concentration causes a non-linear change in transmitter release, while changing the number of open channels by broadening the presynaptic action potential causes a linear change in release. Second, low-affinity calcium indicators, calcium chelators, and uncaging of calcium all suggest that presynaptic calcium concentrations are as high as hundreds of micromolar, which is more compatible with a nanodomain type of calcium signal. Finally, neurotransmitter release is much less affected by the slow calcium chelator, ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA), in comparison to the rapid chelator 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA). Similarly, as the calyx of Held synapse matures, EGTA becomes less effective in attenuating transmitter release while the number of calcium channels required to trigger a single fusion event declines. This suggests a developmental transformation of microdomain to nanodomain coupling between calcium channels and transmitter release. Calcium imaging and uncaging experiments, in combination with simulations of calcium diffusion, indicate the peak calcium concentration seen by presynaptic calcium sensors reaches at least tens of micromolar at the calyx of Held. Taken together, data from these provide a compelling argument that nanodomain calcium signaling gates very rapid transmitter release.

  3. Presynaptic nanodomains: a tale of two synapses

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lu-Yang; Augustine, George J.

    2014-01-01

    Here we summarize the evidence from two “giant” presynaptic terminals—the squid giant synapse and the mammalian calyx of Held—supporting the involvement of nanodomain calcium signals in triggering of neurotransmitter release. At the squid synapse, there are three main lines of experimental evidence for nanodomain signaling. First, changing the size of the unitary calcium channel current by altering external calcium concentration causes a non-linear change in transmitter release, while changing the number of open channels by broadening the presynaptic action potential causes a linear change in release. Second, low-affinity calcium indicators, calcium chelators, and uncaging of calcium all suggest that presynaptic calcium concentrations are as high as hundreds of micromolar, which is more compatible with a nanodomain type of calcium signal. Finally, neurotransmitter release is much less affected by the slow calcium chelator, ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA), in comparison to the rapid chelator 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N’,N’-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA). Similarly, as the calyx of Held synapse matures, EGTA becomes less effective in attenuating transmitter release while the number of calcium channels required to trigger a single fusion event declines. This suggests a developmental transformation of microdomain to nanodomain coupling between calcium channels and transmitter release. Calcium imaging and uncaging experiments, in combination with simulations of calcium diffusion, indicate the peak calcium concentration seen by presynaptic calcium sensors reaches at least tens of micromolar at the calyx of Held. Taken together, data from these provide a compelling argument that nanodomain calcium signaling gates very rapid transmitter release. PMID:25674049

  4. Synapse Assembly and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Washbourne, Philip

    2015-01-01

    In this review we examine the current understanding of how genetic deficits associated with neurodevelopmental disorders may impact synapse assembly. We then go on to discuss how the critical periods for these genetic deficits will shape the nature of future clinical interventions. PMID:24990427

  5. Organometal Halide Perovskite Artificial Synapses.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Organometal halide perovskite synaptic devices are fabricated; they emulate important working principles of a biological synapse, including excitatory postsynaptic current, paired-pulse facilitation, short-term plasticity, long-term plasticity, and spike-timing dependent plasticity. These properties originate from possible ion migration in the ion-rich perovskite matrix. This work has extensive applicability and practical significance in neuromorphic electronics.

  6. VGLUT1 synapses and P-boutons on regenerating motoneurons after nerve crush.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Adam J; Rotterman, Travis M; Dwarakanath, Anirudh; Alvarez, Francisco J

    2017-09-01

    Stretch-sensitive Ia afferent monosynaptic connections with motoneurons form the stretch reflex circuit. After nerve transection, Ia afferent synapses and stretch reflexes are permanently lost, even after regeneration and reinnervation of muscle by motor and sensory afferents is completed in the periphery. This loss greatly affects full recovery of motor function. However, after nerve crush, reflex muscle forces during stretch do recover after muscle reinnervation and reportedly exceed 140% baseline values. This difference might be explained by structural preservation after crush of Ia afferent synapses on regenerating motoneurons and decreased presynaptic inhibitory control. We tested these possibilities in rats after crushing the tibial nerve (TN), and using Vesicular GLUtamate Transporter 1 (VGLUT1) and the 65 kDa isoform of glutamic acid-decarboxylase (GAD65) as markers of, respectively, Ia afferent synapses and presynaptic inhibition (P-boutons) on retrogradely labeled motoneurons. We analyzed motoneurons during regeneration (21 days post crush) and after they reinnervate muscle (3 months). The results demonstrate a significant loss of VGLUT1 terminals on dendrites and cell bodies at both 21 days and 3 months post-crush. However, in both cellular compartments, the reductions were small compared to those observed after TN full transection. In addition, we found a significant decrease in the number of GAD65 P-boutons per VGLUT1 terminal and their coverage of VGLUT1 boutons. The results support the hypothesis that better preservation of Ia afferent synapses and a change in presynaptic inhibition could contribute to maintain or even increase the stretch reflex after nerve crush and by difference to nerve transection. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Functional significance of preserved affect recognition in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Fiszdon, Joanna M.; Johannesen, Jason K.

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Affective temperament and executive functions in emergency medicine professionals.

    PubMed

    Jaracz, Marcin; Paciorek, Przemysław; Buciński, Adam; Borkowska, Alina

    2014-10-01

    Recent studies indicate that choice of profession is related to differences in affective temperament, which is probably due to various predispositions needed to efficiently perform particular professions. The aim of the present study was to assess affective temperament and executive functions in a sample of emergency medicine professionals. 75 emergency medicine professionals were enrolled in the study. Affective temperament was assessed by means of TEMPS-A. Executive functions were assessed by means of Trail Making Test and Stroop Color Word Interference Test. Subjects showed significantly higher rates of hyperthymic, compared to depressive, cyclothymic, irritable and anxious temperaments. The principal component analysis revealed that hyperthymic temperament contributes to a different factor, than the remaining ones. Higher rates of depressive, cyclothymic, irritable and anxious temperaments were related to poorer performance in Trail Making Test, whereas hyperthymic temperament had the opposite effect. Due to the size of the sample, results of the present study may have lacked power to show all the relationships between tested variables. Hyperthymic temperament promotes efficient performance of complex tasks under time pressure. Depressive, cyclothymic, irritable and anxious temperaments have the opposite effect. This makes hyperthymic temperament a desirable trait in emergency medicine professionals, performing complex medical tasks under extreme conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Silent synapses persist into adulthood in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of visual cortex in dark-reared mice.

    PubMed

    Funahashi, Rie; Maruyama, Takuro; Yoshimura, Yumiko; Komatsu, Yukio

    2013-04-01

    Immature excitatory synapses often have NMDA receptors but not AMPA receptors in central neurons, including visual cortical pyramidal neurons. These synapses, called silent synapses, are converted to functional synapses with AMPA receptors by NMDA receptor activation during early development. It is likely that this process underlies the activity-dependent refinement of neuronal circuits and brain functions. In the present study, we investigated postnatal development of excitatory synapses, focusing on the role of visual inputs in the conversion of silent to functional synapses in mouse visual cortex. We analyzed presumably unitary excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) between a pair of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons, using minimal stimulation with a patch pipette attached to the soma of one of the pair. The proportion of silent synapses was estimated by the difference in the failure rate between AMPA- and NMDA-EPSCs. In normal development, silent synapses were present abundantly before eye opening, decreased considerably by the critical period of ocular dominance plasticity, and almost absent in adulthood. This decline in silent synapses was prevented by dark rearing. The amplitude of presumably unitary AMPA-EPSCs increased with age, but this increase was suppressed by dark rearing. The quantal amplitude of AMPA-EPSCs and paired-pulse ratio of NMDA-EPSCs both remained unchanged during development, independent of visual experience. These results indicate that visual inputs are required for the conversion of silent to functional synapses and this conversion largely contributes to developmental increases in the amplitude of presumably unitary AMPA-EPSCs.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Yan; Parker, David

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Climbing fiber synapse elimination in cerebellar Purkinje cells.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Masahiko; Kano, Masanobu

    2011-11-01

    Innervation of Purkinje cells (PCs) by multiple climbing fibers (CFs) is refined into mono-innervation during the first three postnatal weeks of rodents' lives. In this review article, we will integrate the current knowledge on developmental process and mechanisms of CF synapse elimination. In the 'creeper' stage of CF innervation (postnatal day 0 (P0)∼), CFs creep among PC somata to form transient synapses on immature dendrites. In the 'pericellular nest' stage (P5∼), CFs densely surround and innervate PC somata. CF innervation is then displaced to the apical portion of PC somata in the 'capuchon' stage (P9∼), and translocate to dendrites in the 'dendritic' (P12∼) stage. Along with the developmental changes in CF wiring, functional and morphological distinctions become larger among CF inputs. PCs are initially innervated by more than five CFs with similar strengths (∼P3). During P3-7 only a single CF is selectively strengthened (functional differentiation), and it undergoes dendritic translocation from P9 on (dendritic translocation). Following the functional differentiation, perisomatic CF synapses are eliminated nonselectively; this proceeds in two distinct phases. The early phase (P7-11) is conducted independently of parallel fiber (PF)-PC synapse formation, while the late phase (P12-17) critically depends on it. The P/Q-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel in PCs triggers selective strengthening of single CF inputs, promotes dendritic translocation of the strengthened CFs, and drives the early phase of CF synapse elimination. In contrast, the late phase is mediated by the mGluR1-Gαq-PLCβ4-PKCγ signaling cascade in PCs driven at PF-PC synapses, whose structural connectivity is stabilized and maintained by the GluRδ2-Cbln1-neurexin system.

  14. Abnormal GABAergic function and negative affect in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Stephan F; Demeter, Elise; Phan, K Luan; Tso, Ivy F; Welsh, Robert C

    2014-03-01

    Deficits in the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system have been reported in postmortem studies of schizophrenia, and therapeutic interventions in schizophrenia often involve potentiation of GABA receptors (GABAR) to augment antipsychotic therapy and treat negative affect such as anxiety. To map GABAergic mechanisms associated with processing affect, we used a benzodiazepine challenge while subjects viewed salient visual stimuli. Fourteen stable, medicated schizophrenia/schizoaffective patients and 13 healthy comparison subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging using the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) technique while they viewed salient emotional images. Subjects received intravenous lorazepam (LRZ; 0.01 mg/kg) or saline in a single-blinded, cross-over design (two sessions separated by 1-3 weeks). A predicted group by drug interaction was noted in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) as well as right superior frontal gyrus and left and right occipital regions, such that psychosis patients showed an increased BOLD signal to LRZ challenge, rather than the decreased signal exhibited by the comparison group. A main effect of reduced BOLD signal in bilateral occipital areas was noted across groups. Consistent with the role of the dmPFC in processing emotion, state negative affect positively correlated with the response to the LRZ challenge in the dmPFC for the patients and comparison subjects. The altered response to LRZ challenge is consistent with altered inhibition predicted by postmortem findings of altered GABAR in schizophrenia. These results also suggest that negative affect in schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder is associated-directly or indirectly-with GABAergic function on a continuum with normal behavior.

  15. 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

    2010-11-04

    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.

  16. Nitric oxide affects plant mitochondrial functionality in vivo.

    PubMed

    Zottini, Michela; Formentin, Elide; Scattolin, Michela; Carimi, Francesco; Lo Schiavo, Fiorella; Terzi, Mario

    2002-03-27

    In this report, we show that nitric oxide affects mitochondrial functionality in plant cells and reduces total cell respiration due to strong inhibition of the cytochrome pathway. The residual respiration depends on the alternative pathway and novel synthesis of alternative oxidase occurs. These modifications are associated with depolarisation of the mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, suggesting a conserved signalling pathway in plants and animals. This signal cascade is triggered at the mitochondrial level and induces about 20% of cell death. In order to achieve a higher level of cell death, the addition of H(2)O(2) is necessary.

  17. Triheteromeric NMDA Receptors at Hippocampal Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Tovar, Kenneth R.; McGinley, Matthew J.; Westbrook, Gary L.

    2013-01-01

    NMDA receptors are composed of two GluN1 (N1) and two GluN2 (N2) subunits. Constituent N2 subunits control the pharmacological and kinetic characteristics of the receptor. NMDA receptors in hippocampal or cortical neurons are often thought of as diheteromeric, i.e., containing only one type of N2 subunit. However, triheteromeric receptors with more than one type of N2 subunit also have been reported and the relative contribution of di- and triheteromeric NMDA receptors at synapses has been difficult to assess. Because wild-type hippocampal principal neurons express N1, N2A and N2B, we used cultured hippocampal principal neurons from N2A and N2B-knockout mice as templates for diheteromeric synaptic receptors. Summation of N1/N2B and N1/N2A excitatory postsynaptic currents could not account for the deactivation kinetics of wild-type excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) however. To make a quantitative estimate of NMDA receptor subtypes at wild-type synapses, we used the deactivation kinetics, as well as the effects of the competitive antagonist NVP-AAM077. Our results indicate that three types of NMDA receptors contribute to the wild-type EPSC, with at least two-thirds being triheteromeric receptors. Functional isolation of synaptic triheteromeric receptors revealed deactivation kinetics and pharmacology distinct from either diheteromeric receptor subtype. Because of differences in open probability, synaptic triheteromeric receptors outnumbered N1/N2A receptors by 5.8 to 1 and N1/N2B receptors by 3.2 to 1. Our results suggest that triheteromeric NMDA receptors must be either preferentially assembled or preferentially localized at synapses. PMID:23699525

  18. Long-term depression at olfactory nerve synapses.

    PubMed

    Mutoh, Hiroki; Yuan, Qi; Knöpfel, Thomas

    2005-04-27

    The synapses formed by the olfactory nerve (ON) convey sensory information to olfactory glomeruli, the first stage of central odor processing. Morphological and behavioral studies suggest that glomerular odor processing is plastic in neonate rodents. However, long-term synaptic plasticity, a cellular correlate of functional and structural plasticity, has not yet been demonstrated in this system. Here, we report that ON-->mitral cell (MC) synapses of 5- to 8-d-old mice express long-term depression (LTD) after brief low-frequency ON stimulation. Pharmacological techniques and imaging of presynaptic calcium signals demonstrate that ON-MC LTD is expressed presynaptically and requires the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors but does not require fast synaptic transmission. LTD at the ON--> MC synapse is potentially relevant for the establishment, maintenance, and experience-dependent refinement of odor maps in the olfactory bulb.

  19. Dendritic Synapse Location and Neocortical Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Froemke, Robert C.; Letzkus, Johannes J.; Kampa, Björn M.; Hang, Giao B.; Stuart, Greg J.

    2010-01-01

    While it has been appreciated for decades that synapse location in the dendritic tree has a powerful influence on signal processing in neurons, the role of dendritic synapse location on the induction of long-term synaptic plasticity has only recently been explored. Here, we review recent work revealing how learning rules for spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) in cortical neurons vary with the spatial location of synaptic input. A common principle appears to be that proximal synapses show conventional STDP, whereas distal inputs undergo plasticity according to novel learning rules. One crucial factor determining location-dependent STDP is the backpropagating action potential, which tends to decrease in amplitude and increase in width as it propagates into the dendritic tree of cortical neurons. We discuss additional location-dependent mechanisms as well as the functional implications of heterogeneous learning rules at different dendritic locations for the organization of synaptic inputs. PMID:21423515

  20. Synapse-specific homeostatic mechanisms in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Deeg, Katherine E

    2009-02-01

    Homeostatic synaptic plasticity allows neural circuits to function stably despite fluctuations to their inputs. Previous work has shown that excitatory synaptic strength increases globally when neuronal inputs are chronically silenced. A recent paper by Kim and Tsien describes a new type of synapse-specific homeostatic plasticity in which input silencing causes simultaneous strengthening and weakening of different populations of excitatory synapses within a hippocampal network. These seemingly antagonistic homeostatic adaptations maintain synaptic gain and preserve overall network stability by limiting harmful reverberatory bursting, which may underlie epileptic seizures.

  1. Intraflagellar transport: a new player at the immune synapse.

    PubMed

    Finetti, Francesca; Paccani, Silvia Rossi; Rosenbaum, Joel; Baldari, Cosima T

    2011-04-01

    The assembly and maintenance of primary cilia, which orchestrate signaling pathways centrally implicated in cell proliferation, differentiation and migration, are ensured by multimeric protein particles in a process known as intraflagellar transport (IFT). It has recently been demonstrated that a number of IFT components are expressed in hematopoietic cells, which have no cilia. Here, we summarize data for an unexpected role of IFT proteins in immune synapse assembly and intracellular membrane trafficking in T lymphocytes, and discuss the hypothesis that the immune synapse could represent the functional homolog of the primary cilium in these cells.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-08

    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.

  3. Probabilistic fluorescence-based synapse detection.

    PubMed

    Simhal, Anish K; Aguerrebere, Cecilia; Collman, Forrest; Vogelstein, Joshua T; Micheva, Kristina D; Weinberg, Richard J; Smith, Stephen J; Sapiro, Guillermo

    2017-04-01

    Deeper exploration of the brain's vast synaptic networks will require new tools for high-throughput structural and molecular profiling of the diverse populations of synapses that compose those networks. Fluorescence microscopy (FM) and electron microscopy (EM) offer complementary advantages and disadvantages for single-synapse analysis. FM combines exquisite molecular discrimination capacities with high speed and low cost, but rigorous discrimination between synaptic and non-synaptic fluorescence signals is challenging. In contrast, EM remains the gold standard for reliable identification of a synapse, but offers only limited molecular discrimination and is slow and costly. To develop and test single-synapse image analysis methods, we have used datasets from conjugate array tomography (cAT), which provides voxel-conjugate FM and EM (annotated) images of the same individual synapses. We report a novel unsupervised probabilistic method for detection of synapses from multiplex FM (muxFM) image data, and evaluate this method both by comparison to EM gold standard annotated data and by examining its capacity to reproduce known important features of cortical synapse distributions. The proposed probabilistic model-based synapse detector accepts molecular-morphological synapse models as user queries, and delivers a volumetric map of the probability that each voxel represents part of a synapse. Taking human annotation of cAT EM data as ground truth, we show that our algorithm detects synapses from muxFM data alone as successfully as human annotators seeing only the muxFM data, and accurately reproduces known architectural features of cortical synapse distributions. This approach opens the door to data-driven discovery of new synapse types and their density. We suggest that our probabilistic synapse detector will also be useful for analysis of standard confocal and super-resolution FM images, where EM cross-validation is not practical.

  4. Probabilistic fluorescence-based synapse detection

    PubMed Central

    Aguerrebere, Cecilia; Collman, Forrest; Vogelstein, Joshua T.; Micheva, Kristina D.; Weinberg, Richard J.; Smith, Stephen J.; Sapiro, Guillermo

    2017-01-01

    Deeper exploration of the brain’s vast synaptic networks will require new tools for high-throughput structural and molecular profiling of the diverse populations of synapses that compose those networks. Fluorescence microscopy (FM) and electron microscopy (EM) offer complementary advantages and disadvantages for single-synapse analysis. FM combines exquisite molecular discrimination capacities with high speed and low cost, but rigorous discrimination between synaptic and non-synaptic fluorescence signals is challenging. In contrast, EM remains the gold standard for reliable identification of a synapse, but offers only limited molecular discrimination and is slow and costly. To develop and test single-synapse image analysis methods, we have used datasets from conjugate array tomography (cAT), which provides voxel-conjugate FM and EM (annotated) images of the same individual synapses. We report a novel unsupervised probabilistic method for detection of synapses from multiplex FM (muxFM) image data, and evaluate this method both by comparison to EM gold standard annotated data and by examining its capacity to reproduce known important features of cortical synapse distributions. The proposed probabilistic model-based synapse detector accepts molecular-morphological synapse models as user queries, and delivers a volumetric map of the probability that each voxel represents part of a synapse. Taking human annotation of cAT EM data as ground truth, we show that our algorithm detects synapses from muxFM data alone as successfully as human annotators seeing only the muxFM data, and accurately reproduces known architectural features of cortical synapse distributions. This approach opens the door to data-driven discovery of new synapse types and their density. We suggest that our probabilistic synapse detector will also be useful for analysis of standard confocal and super-resolution FM images, where EM cross-validation is not practical. PMID:28414801

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chen-Ting; Repasky, Elizabeth A.

    2011-03-01

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

  7. Neuroligins Sculpt Cerebellar Purkinje-Cell Circuits by Differential Control of Distinct Classes of Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Bo; Chen, Lulu Y.; Liu, Xinran; Maxeiner, Stephan; Lee, Sung-Jin; Gokce, Ozgun; Südhof, Thomas C.

    2015-01-01

    Neuroligins are postsynaptic cell-adhesion molecules that bind presynaptic neurexins and are genetically linked to autism. Neuroligins are proposed to organize synaptogenesis and/or synaptic transmission, but no systematic analysis of neuroligins in a defined circuit is available. Here, we show that conditional deletion of all neuroligins in cerebellar Purkinje cells caused loss of distal climbing-fiber synapses and weakened climbing-fiber but not parallel-fiber synapses, consistent with alternative use of neuroligins and cerebellins as neurexin ligands for the excitatory climbing-fiber vs. parallel-fiber synapses. Moreover, deletion of neuroligins increased the size of inhibitory basket/stellate-cell synapses but simultaneously severely impaired their function. Multiple neuroligin isoforms differentially contributed to climbing-fiber and basket/stellate-cell synapse functions, such that inhibitory synapse-specific neuroligin-2 was unexpectedly essential for maintaining normal climbing-fiber synapse numbers. Using systematic analyses of all neuroligins in a defined neural circuit, our data thus show that neuroligins differentially contribute to various Purkinje-cell synapses in the cerebellum in vivo. PMID:26291161

  8. Neuroligins Sculpt Cerebellar Purkinje-Cell Circuits by Differential Control of Distinct Classes of Synapses.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bo; Chen, Lulu Y; Liu, Xinran; Maxeiner, Stephan; Lee, Sung-Jin; Gokce, Ozgun; Südhof, Thomas C

    2015-08-19

    Neuroligins are postsynaptic cell-adhesion molecules that bind presynaptic neurexins and are genetically linked to autism. Neuroligins are proposed to organize synaptogenesis and/or synaptic transmission, but no systematic analysis of neuroligins in a defined circuit is available. Here, we show that conditional deletion of all neuroligins in cerebellar Purkinje cells caused loss of distal climbing-fiber synapses and weakened climbing-fiber but not parallel-fiber synapses, consistent with alternative use of neuroligins and cerebellins as neurexin ligands for the excitatory climbing-fiber versus parallel-fiber synapses. Moreover, deletion of neuroligins increased the size of inhibitory basket/stellate-cell synapses but simultaneously severely impaired their function. Multiple neuroligin isoforms differentially contributed to climbing-fiber and basket/stellate-cell synapse functions, such that inhibitory synapse-specific neuroligin-2 was unexpectedly essential for maintaining normal climbing-fiber synapse numbers. Using systematic analyses of all neuroligins in a defined neural circuit, our data thus show that neuroligins differentially contribute to various Purkinje-cell synapses in the cerebellum in vivo. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Atypical embryonic synapses fail to regenerate in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Kloos, Anne D; Muller, Kenneth J; Modney, Barbara K

    2007-12-01

    Functional recovery following central nervous system (CNS) injury in adult animals may depend on the reestablishment of the precise pattern of connections made during development. When the nervous system is injured during embryonic development, functional recovery may involve the formation of atypical connections. Can such atypical synapses regenerate in adults, particularly in a nervous system known for its capacity for repair? When the S interneuron in one segmental ganglion of the leech Hirudo is killed during development, two neighboring S cells extend their axons into the ganglion and restore function by making electrical synapses with the usual synaptic targets of the killed S cell. Although adult S-cell axons reliably regenerated their usual synaptic connections, the novel synapses induced following embryonic injury failed to regenerate in adults. In these preparations severed S-cell axons did not reach the denervated ganglion but grew close to it, independent of the distance required to grow. Thus, the developmental changes that permit aberrant but functional connections in embryos do not lead to a similar change in the capacity for axon growth and subsequent synapse regeneration in adults. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. NMDA receptor GluN2B (GluR epsilon 2/NR2B) subunit is crucial for channel function, postsynaptic macromolecular organization, and actin cytoskeleton at hippocampal CA3 synapses.

    PubMed

    Akashi, Kaori; Kakizaki, Toshikazu; Kamiya, Haruyuki; Fukaya, Masahiro; Yamasaki, Miwako; Abe, Manabu; Natsume, Rie; Watanabe, Masahiko; Sakimura, Kenji

    2009-09-02

    GluN2B (GluRepsilon2/NR2B) subunit is involved in synapse development, synaptic plasticity, and cognitive function. However, its roles in synaptic expression and function of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) in the brain remain mostly unknown because of the neonatal lethality of global knock-out mice. To address this, we generated conditional knock-out mice, in which GluN2B was ablated exclusively in hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells. By immunohistochemistry, GluN2B disappeared and GluN1 (GluRzeta1/NR1) was moderately reduced, whereas GluN2A (GluRepsilon1/NR2A) and postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95) were unaltered in the mutant CA3. This was consistent with protein contents in the CA3 crude fraction: 9.6% of control level for GluN2B, 47.7% for GluN1, 90.6% for GluN2A, and 98.0% for PSD-95. Despite the remaining NMDARs, NMDAR-mediated currents and long-term potentiation were virtually lost at various CA3 synapses. Then, we compared synaptic NMDARs by postembedding immunogold electron microscopy and immunoblot using the PSD fraction. In the mutant CA3, GluN1 was severely reduced in both immunogold (20.6-23.6%) and immunoblot (24.6%), whereas GluN2A and PSD-95 were unchanged in immunogold but markedly reduced in the PSD fraction (51.4 and 36.5%, respectively), indicating increased detergent solubility of PSD molecules. No such increased solubility was observed for GluN2B in the CA3 of GluN2A-knock-out mice. Furthermore, significant decreases were found in the ratio of filamentous to globular actin (49.5%) and in the density of dendritic spines (76.2%). These findings suggest that GluN2B is critically involved in NMDAR channel function, organization of postsynaptic macromolecular complexes, formation or maintenance of dendritic spines, and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Synaptic optical imaging platforms: Examining pharmacological modulation of neurotransmitter release at discrete synapses.

    PubMed

    Merchant, Paolomi; Sulzer, David; Sames, Dalibor

    2015-11-01

    Chemical synapses are not only fundamental functional units of the brain but also anatomical and functional biomarkers of numerous brain disorders. Therefore, new experimental readouts of synaptic function are needed--with the spatial resolution of single synapses and the scale to image large ensembles of synapses in specific circuits--for the study of both acute and chronic effects of pharmacological agents on synaptic plasticity in living mammals. In this article we discuss the design and use of fluorescent false neurotransmitters (FFNs) as an important step in the development of versatile synaptic imaging platforms. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Fluorescent Tools in Neuropharmacology'.

  14. Quercetin Affects Erythropoiesis and Heart Mitochondrial Function in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz, Paula A.; Barreto, Marlen; Elorza, Alvaro A.

    2015-01-01

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

  15. MicroRNAs affect dendritic cell function and phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Smyth, Lesley A; Boardman, Dominic A; Tung, Sim L; Lechler, Robert; Lombardi, Giovanna

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNA (miRNA) are small, non-coding RNA molecules that have been linked with immunity through regulating/modulating gene expression. A role for these molecules in T-cell and B-cell development and function has been well established. An increasing body of literature now highlights the importance of specific miRNA in dendritic cell (DC) development as well as their maturation process, antigen presentation capacity and cytokine release. Given the unique role of DC within the immune system, linking the innate and adaptive immune responses, understanding how specific miRNA affect DC function is of importance for understanding disease. In this review we summarize recent developments in miRNA and DC research, highlighting the requirement of miRNA in DC lineage commitment from bone marrow progenitors and for the development of subsets such as plasmacytoid DC and conventional DC. In addition, we discuss how infections and tumours modulate miRNA expression and consequently DC function. PMID:25244106

  16. 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.

  17. Random dispersion in excitatory synapse response.

    PubMed

    Ventriglia, Francesco

    2014-08-01

    The excitatory synaptic function is subject to a huge amount of researches and fairly all the structural elements of the synapse are investigated to determine their specific contribution to the response. A model of an excitatory (hippocampal) synapse, based on time discretized Langevin equations (time-step = 40 fs), was introduced to describe the Brownian motion of Glutamate molecules (GLUTs) within the synaptic cleft and their binding to postsynaptic receptors. The binding has been computed by the introduction of a binding probability related to the hits of GLUTs on receptor binding sites. This model has been utilized in computer simulations aimed to describe the random dispersion of the synaptic response, evaluated from the dispersion of the peak amplitude of the excitatory post-synaptic current. The results of the simulation, presented here, have been used to find a reliable numerical quantity for the unknown value of the binding probability. Moreover, the same results have shown that the coefficient of variation decreases when the number of postsynaptic receptors increases, all the other parameters of the process being unchanged. Due to its possible relationships with the learning and memory, this last finding seems to furnish an important clue for understanding the basic mechanisms of the brain activity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-13

    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.

  20. Laminins containing the beta2 chain modulate the precise organization of CNS synapses.

    PubMed

    Egles, Christophe; Claudepierre, Thomas; Manglapus, Mary K; Champliaud, Marie-France; Brunken, William J; Hunter, Dale D

    2007-03-01

    Synapses are formed and stabilized by concerted interactions of pre-, intra-, and post-synaptic components; however, the precise nature of the intrasynaptic components in the CNS remains obscure. Potential intrasynaptic components include extracellular matrix molecules such as laminins; here, we isolate beta2-containing laminins, including perhaps laminins 13 (alpha3beta2gamma3) and 14 (alpha4beta2gamma3), from CNS synaptosomes suggesting a role for these molecules in synaptic organization. Indeed, hippocampal synapses that form in vivo in the absence of these laminins are malformed at the ultrastructural level and this malformation is replicated in synapses formed in vitro, where laminins are provided largely by the post-synaptic neuron. This recapitulation of the in vivo function of laminins in vitro suggests that the malformations are a direct consequence of the removal of laminins from the synapse. Together, these results support a role for neuronal laminins in the structural integrity of central synapses.

  1. 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

  2. F-actin-binding protein drebrin regulates CXCR4 recruitment to the immune synapse.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Martínez, Manuel; Gordón-Alonso, Mónica; Cabrero, José Román; Barrero-Villar, Marta; Rey, Mercedes; Mittelbrunn, María; Lamana, Amalia; Morlino, Giulia; Calabia, Carmen; Yamazaki, Hiroyuki; Shirao, Tomoaki; Vázquez, Jesús; González-Amaro, Roberto; Veiga, Esteban; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco

    2010-04-01

    The adaptive immune response depends on the interaction of T cells and antigen-presenting cells at the immune synapse. Formation of the immune synapse and the subsequent T-cell activation are highly dependent on the actin cytoskeleton. In this work, we describe that T cells express drebrin, a neuronal actin-binding protein. Drebrin colocalizes with the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and F-actin at the peripheral supramolecular activation cluster in the immune synapse. Drebrin interacts with the cytoplasmic tail of CXCR4 and both proteins redistribute to the immune synapse with similar kinetics. Drebrin knockdown in T cells impairs the redistribution of CXCR4 and inhibits actin polymerization at the immune synapse as well as IL-2 production. Our data indicate that drebrin exerts an unexpected and relevant functional role in T cells during the generation of the immune response.

  3. 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

  4. TwoB or not twoB: differential transmission at glutamatergic mossy fiber-interneuron synapses in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Bischofberger, Josef; Jonas, Peter

    2002-12-01

    Mossy fiber (MF) synapses are key stations for flow of information through the hippocampal formation. A major component of the output of the MF system is directed towards inhibitory interneurons. Recent studies have revealed that the functional properties of MF-interneuron synapses differ substantially from those of MF-CA3 pyramidal neuron synapses. Mossy-fiber-interneuron synapses in the stratum lucidum represent a continuum of functional subtypes, in which the subunit composition of postsynaptic AMPA receptors and NMDA receptors appears to be regulated in a coordinated manner.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Scorpion venom components that affect ion-channels function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Developmental localization of adhesion and scaffolding proteins at the cone synapse.

    PubMed

    Nuhn, John S; Fuerst, Peter G

    2014-09-01

    The cone synapse is a complex signaling hub composed of the cone photoreceptor terminal and the dendrites of bipolar and horizontal cells converging around multiple ribbon synapses. Factors that promote organization of this structure are largely unexplored. In this study we characterize the localization of adhesion and scaffolding proteins that are localized to the cone synapse, including alpha-n-catenin, beta-catenin, gamma-protocadherin, cadherin-8, MAGI2 and CASK. We describe the localization of these proteins during development of the mouse retina and in the adult macaque retina and find that these proteins are concentrated at the cone synapse. The localization of these proteins was then characterized at the cellular and subcellular levels. Alpha-n-catenin, gamma-protocadherin and cadherin-8 were concentrated in the dendrites of bipolar cells that project to the cone synapse but were not detected or stained very dimly in the dendrites of cells projecting to rod synapses. This study adds to our knowledge of cone synapse development by characterizing the developmental localization of these factors and identifies these factors as candidates for functional analysis of cone synapse formation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. α6-Containing GABAA Receptors Are the Principal Mediators of Inhibitory Synapse Strengthening by Insulin in Cerebellar Granule Cells.

    PubMed

    Accardi, Michael V; Brown, Patricia M G E; Miraucourt, Loïs S; Orser, Beverley A; Bowie, Derek

    2015-07-01

    Activity-dependent strengthening of central synapses is a key factor driving neuronal circuit behavior in the vertebrate CNS. At fast inhibitory synapses, strengthening is thought to occur by increasing the number of GABAA receptors (GABARs) of the same subunit composition to preexisting synapses. Here, we show that strengthening of mouse cerebellar granule cell GABAergic synapses occurs by a different mechanism. Specifically, we show that the neuropeptide hormone, insulin, strengthens inhibitory synapses by recruiting α6-containing GABARs rather than accumulating more α1-containing receptors that are resident to the synapse. Because α6-receptors are targeted to functionally distinct postsynaptic sites from α1-receptors, we conclude that only a subset of all inhibitory synapses are strengthened. Together with our recent findings on stellate cells, we propose a general mechanism by which mature inhibitory synapses are strengthened. In this scenario, α1-GABARs resident to inhibitory synapses form the hardwiring of neuronal circuits with receptors of a different composition fulfilling a fundamental, but unappreciated, role in synapse strengthening. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/359676-13$15.00/0.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Collagen XIII secures pre- and postsynaptic integrity of the neuromuscular synapse.

    PubMed

    Härönen, Heli; Zainul, Zarin; Tu, Hongmin; Naumenko, Nikolay; Sormunen, Raija; Miinalainen, Ilkka; Shakirzyanova, Anastasia; Oikarainen, Tuomo; Abdullin, Azat; Martin, Paula; Santoleri, Sabrina; Koistinaho, Jari; Silmanl, Israel; Giniatullin, Rashid; Fox, Michael A; Heikkinen, Anne; Pihlajaniemi, Taina

    2017-03-24

    Both transmembrane and extracellular cues, one of which is collagen XIII, regulate formation and function of the neuromuscular synapse, and their absence results in myasthenia. We show that the phenotypical changes in collagen XIII knock-out mice are milder than symptoms in human patients, but the Col13a1-/- mice recapitulate major muscle findings of congenital myasthenic syndrome type 19 and serve as a disease model. In the lack of collagen XIII neuromuscular synapses do not reach full size, alignment, complexity and function resulting in reduced muscle strength. Collagen XIII is particularly important for the preterminal integrity, and when absent, destabilization of the motor nerves results in muscle regeneration and in atrophy especially in the case of slow muscle fibers. Collagen XIII was found to affect synaptic integrity through binding the ColQ tail of acetylcholine esterase. Although collagen XIII is a muscle-bound transmembrane molecule it also undergoes ectodomain shedding to become, a synaptic basal lamina component. We investigated the two forms' roles by novel Col13a1tm/tm mice in which ectodomain shedding is impaired. While postsynaptic maturation, terminal branching and neurotransmission was exaggerated in the Col13a1tm/tm mice, the transmembrane form's presence sufficed to prevent defects in transsynaptic adhesion, Schwann cell invagination/retraction, vesicle accumulation and acetylcholine receptor clustering and acetylcholinesterase dispersion seen in the Col13a1-/- mice, pointing to the transmembrane form as the major conductor of collagen XIII effects. Altogether, collagen XIII secures postsynaptic, synaptic and presynaptic integrity, and it is required for gaining and maintaining normal size, complexity and functional capacity of the neuromuscular synapse.

  15. 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

  16. Deep Molecular Diversity of Mammalian Synapses: Why It Matters and How to Measure It

    PubMed Central

    O’Rourke, Nancy A.; Weiler, Nick C.; Micheva, Kristina D.; Smith, Stephen J

    2013-01-01

    Summary Pioneering studies during the middle of the twentieth century revealed substantial diversity amongst mammalian chemical synapses and led to a widely accepted synapse type classification based on neurotransmitter molecule identity. Subsequently, powerful new physiological, genetic and structural methods have enabled the discovery of much deeper functional and molecular diversity within each traditional neurotransmitter type. Today, this deep diversity continues to pose both daunting challenges and exciting new opportunities for neuroscience. Our growing understanding of deep synapse diversity may transform how we think about and study neural circuit development, structure and function. PMID:22573027

  17. Does Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy Affect Cognitive Function?

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Activity-dependent regulation of release probability at excitatory hippocampal synapses: a crucial role of FMRP in neurotransmission

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiao-Sheng; Peng, Chun-Zi; Cai, Wei-Jun; Xia, Jian; Jin, Daozhong; Dai, Yuqiao; Luo, Xue-Gang; Klyachko, Vitaly A.; Deng, Pan-Yue

    2014-01-01

    Transcriptional silencing of the Fmr1 gene encoding fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) causes Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), the most common form of inherited intellectual disability and the leading genetic cause of autism. FMRP has been suggested to play important roles in regulating neurotransmission and short-term synaptic plasticity at excitatory hippocampal and cortical synapses. However, the origins and the mechanisms of these FMRP actions remain incompletely understood, and the role of FMRP in regulating synaptic release probability and presynaptic function remains debated. Here we used variance-mean analysis and peak scaled nonstationary variance analysis to examine changes in both pre- and postsynaptic parameters during repetitive activity at excitatory CA3-CA1 hippocampal synapses in a mouse model of FXS. Our analyses revealed that loss of FMRP did not affect the basal release probability or basal synaptic transmission, but caused an abnormally elevated release probability specifically during repetitive activity. These abnormalities were not accompanied by changes in EPSC kinetics, quantal size or postsynaptic AMPA receptor conductance. Our results thus indicate that FMRP regulates neurotransmission at excitatory hippocampal synapses specifically during repetitive activity via modulation of release probability in a presynaptic manner. Our study suggests that FMRP function in regulating neurotransmitter release is an activity-dependent phenomenon that may contribute to the pathophysiology of FXS. PMID:24646437

  19. Cysteine string protein-alpha is essential for the high calcium sensitivity of exocytosis in a vertebrate synapse.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, R; Casañas, J J; Südhof, T C; Tabares, L

    2008-06-01

    Cysteine string protein (CSPalpha) is a synaptic vesicle protein present in most central and peripheral nervous system synapses. Previous studies demonstrated that the deletion of CSPalpha results in postnatal sensorial and motor impairment and premature lethality. To understand the participation of CSPalpha in neural function in vertebrates, we have studied the properties of synaptic transmission of motor terminals in wild-type and CSPalpha knockout mice. Our results demonstrate that, in the absence of CSPalpha, fast Ca2+-triggered release was not affected at postnatal day (P)14 but was dramatically reduced at P18 and P30 without a change in release kinetics. Although mutant terminals also exhibited a reduction in functional vesicle pool size by P30, further analysis showed that neurotransmission could be 'rescued' by high extracellular [Ca2+] or by the presence of a phorbol ester, suggesting that an impairment in the fusion machinery, or in vesicle recycling, was not the primary cause of the dysfunction of this synapse. The specific shift to the right of the Ca2+ dependence of synchronous release, and the lineal dependence of secretion on extracellular [Ca2+] in mutant terminals after P18, suggests that CSPalpha is indispensable for a normal Ca2+ sensitivity of exocytosis in vertebrate mature synapses.

  20. Neurolastin, a dynamin family GTPase, regulates excitatory synapses and spine density

    PubMed Central

    Madan Lomash, Richa; Gu, Xinglong; Youle, Richard J.; Lu, Wei; Roche, Katherine W.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Membrane trafficking and spinogenesis contribute significantly to changes in synaptic strength during development and in various paradigms of synaptic plasticity. GTPases of the dynamin family are key players regulating membrane trafficking. Here, we identify a brain-specific dynamin family GTPase, neurolastin (RNF112/Znf179), with closest homology to atlastin. We demonstrate that neurolastin has functional GTPase and RING domains, making it a unique protein identified with this multi-enzymatic domain organization. We also show that neurolastin is a peripheral membrane protein, which localizes to endosomes and affects endosomal membrane dynamics via its RING domain. In addition, neurolastin knockout mice have fewer dendritic spines, and rescue of the wildtype phenotype requires both the GTPase and RING domains. Furthermore, we find fewer functional synapses and reduced paired pulse facilitation in neurolastin knockout mice. Thus, we identify neurolastin as a dynamin family GTPase that affects endosome size and spine density. PMID:26212327

  1. Synaptic transmission at retinal ribbon synapses

    PubMed Central

    Heidelberger, Ruth; Thoreson, Wallace B.; Witkovsky, Paul

    2006-01-01

    The molecular organization of ribbon synapses in photoreceptors and ON bipolar cells is reviewed in relation to the process of neurotransmitter release. The interactions between ribbon synapse-associated proteins, synaptic vesicle fusion machinery and the voltage-gated calcium channels that gate transmitter release at ribbon synapses are discussed in relation to the process of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. We describe structural and mechanistic specializations that permit the ON bipolar cell to release transmitter at a much higher rate than the photoreceptor does, under in vivo conditions. We also consider the modulation of exocytosis at photoreceptor synapses, with an emphasis on the regulation of calcium channels. PMID:16027025

  2. Transsynaptic channelosomes: non-conducting roles of ion channels in synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2011-01-01

    Recent findings demonstrate that synaptic channels are directly involved in the formation and maintenance of synapses by interacting with synapse organizers. The synaptic channels on the pre- and postsynaptic membranes possess non-conducting roles in addition to their functional roles as ion-conducting channels required for synaptic transmission. For example, presynaptic voltage-dependent calcium channels link the target-derived synapse organizer laminin β2 to cytomatrix of the active zone and function as scaffolding proteins to organize the presynaptic active zones. Furthermore, postsynaptic δ2-type glutamate receptors organize the synapses by forming transsynaptic protein complexes with presynaptic neurexins through synapse organizer cerebellin 1 precursor proteins. Interestingly, the synaptic clustering of AMPA receptors is regulated by neuronal activity-regulated pentraxins, while postsynaptic differentiation is induced by the interaction of postsynaptic calcium channels and thrombospondins. This review will focus on the non-conducting functions of ion-channels that contribute to the synapse formation in concert with synapse organizers and active-zone-specific proteins.

  3. Proteomics, Ultrastructure, and Physiology of Hippocampal Synapses in a Fragile X Syndrome Mouse Model Reveal Presynaptic Phenotype*

    PubMed Central

    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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21596744

  4. Electron microscopic tomography reveals discrete transcleft elements at excitatory and inhibitory synapses

    PubMed Central

    High, Brigit; Cole, Andy A.; Chen, Xiaobing; Reese, Thomas S.

    2015-01-01

    Electron microscopy has revealed an abundance of material in the clefts of synapses in the mammalian brain, and the biochemical and functional characteristics of proteins occupying synaptic clefts are well documented. However, the detailed spatial organization of the proteins in the synaptic clefts remains unclear. Electron microscope tomography provides a way to delineate and map the proteins spanning the synaptic cleft because freeze substitution preserves molecular details with sufficient contrast to visualize individual cleft proteins. Segmentation and rendering of electron dense material connected across the cleft reveals discrete structural elements that are readily classified into five types at excitatory synapses and four types at inhibitory synapses. Some transcleft elements resemble shapes and sizes of known proteins and could represent single dimers traversing the cleft. Some of the types of cleft elements at inhibitory synapses roughly matched the structure and proportional frequency of cleft elements at excitatory synapses, but the patterns of deployments in the cleft are quite different. Transcleft elements at excitatory synapses were often evenly dispersed in clefts of uniform (18 nm) width but some types show preference for the center or edges of the cleft. Transcleft elements at inhibitory synapses typically were confined to a peripheral region of the cleft where it narrowed to only 6 nm wide. Transcleft elements in both excitatory and inhibitory synapses typically avoid places where synaptic vesicles attach to the presynaptic membrane. These results illustrate that elements spanning synaptic clefts at excitatory and inhibitory synapses consist of distinct structures arranged by type in a specific but different manner at excitatory and inhibitory synapses. PMID:26113817

  5. A developmental change in NMDA receptor-associated proteins at hippocampal synapses.

    PubMed

    Sans, N; Petralia, R S; Wang, Y X; Blahos, J; Hell, J W; Wenthold, R J

    2000-02-01

    The membrane-associated guanylate kinases [Chapsyn-110/postsynaptic density-93 (PSD-93), synapse-associated protein-90 (SAP-90)/PSD-95, and SAP-102] are believed to cluster and anchor NMDA receptors at the synapse and to play a role in signal transduction. We have investigated the developmental changes in expression of these proteins in rat hippocampus using biochemical analyses and quantitative immunogold electron microscopy. At postnatal day 2 (P2), SAP-102 was highly expressed, whereas PSD-93 and PSD-95 were low. SAP-102 expression increased during the first week, stayed stable through P35, and showed a reduced expression at 6 months. From P2 through 6 months, PSD-93 and PSD-95 increased. For PSD-95, the percent of labeled synapses increased almost threefold with age, whereas the number of gold particles per labeled synapse did not change significantly, suggesting that the increase in PSD-95 is attributable primarily to an increase in the number of synapses containing PSD-95. In contrast, for SAP-102, both percent labeled synapses and the number of gold particles per labeled synapse decreased during this time. From Western blots of hippocampus and immunogold analysis of CA1 synapses, the high expression of NR2B at P2 coincides with the high level of SAP-102 at synapses, whereas the later expression of NR2A coincides with that of PSD-93 and PSD-95. To determine whether the changes in PSD-93/95 and SAP-102 reflect preferred associations with NR2A and NR2B, respectively, we measured co-immunoprecipitation in the adult hippocampus. These studies suggest that there is a preference for complexes of NR2A/PSD-93/95 and NR2B/SAP-102. These results indicate that individual receptor-associated proteins may have specific functions that are critical to synapse development.

  6. Desmoglein Isoform Distribution Affects Stratum Corneum Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Elias, Peter M.; Matsuyoshi, Norihisa; Wu, Hong; Lin, Chenyan; Wang, Zhi Hong; Brown, Barbara E.; Stanley, John R.

    2001-01-01

    Desmogleins are desmosomal cadherins that mediate cell–cell adhesion. In stratified squamous epithelia there are two major isoforms of desmoglein, 1 and 3, with different distributions in epidermis and mucous membrane. Since either desmoglein isoform alone can mediate adhesion, the reason for their differential distribution is not known. To address this issue, we engineered transgenic mice with desmoglein 3 under the control of the involucrin promoter. These mice expressed desmoglein 3 with the same distribution in epidermis as found in normal oral mucous membranes, while expression of other major differentiation molecules was unchanged. Although the nucleated epidermis appeared normal, the epidermal stratum corneum was abnormal with gross scaling, and a lamellar histology resembling that of normal mucous membrane. The mice died shortly after birth with severe dehydration, suggesting excessive transepidermal water loss, which was confirmed by in vitro and in vivo measurement. Ultrastructure of the stratum corneum showed premature loss of cohesion of corneocytes. This dysadhesion of corneocytes and its contribution to increased transepidermal water loss was confirmed by tape stripping. These data demonstrate that differential expression of desmoglein isoforms affects the major function of epidermis, the permeability barrier, by altering the structure of the stratum corneum. PMID:11309406

  7. Maternal metabolic stress may affect oviduct gatekeeper function.

    PubMed

    Jordaens, Lies; Van Hoeck, Veerle; Maillo, Veronica; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso; Marei, Waleed Fawzy A; Vlaeminck, Bruno; Thys, Sofie; Sturmey, Roger G S; Bols, Peter; Leroy, Jo

    2017-03-03

    We hypothesized that elevated non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) modify in vitro bovine oviduct epithelial cell (BOEC) metabolism and barrier function. Hereto, BOECs were studied in a polarized system with 24h-treatments at day 9: 1) CONTROL (0µM NEFA + 0%EtOH), 2) SOLVENT CONTROL (0µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH), 3) BASAL NEFA (720µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH in the basal compartment), 4) APICAL NEFA (720µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH in the apical compartment). FITC-albumin was used for monolayer permeability assessment, and related to Transepithelial Electric Resistance (TER). Fatty acid (FA), glucose, lactate and pyruvate concentrations were measured in spent medium. Intracellular lipid droplets (LD) and FA-uptake were studied using Bodipy 493/503 and immunolabelling of FA-transporters (FAT/CD36, FABP3 and caveolin1). BOEC-mRNA was retrieved for qRT-PCR. Results revealed that APICAL NEFA reduced relative TER-increase (46.85%) during treatment, and increased FITC-albumin flux (27.59%) compared to other treatments. In BASAL NEFA, FAs were transferred to the apical compartment as free FAs: mostly palmitic and oleic acid increased, respectively 56.0 % and 33.5% of initial FA-concentrations. APICAL NEFA allowed no FA-transfer, but induced LD-accumulation and upregulated FA-transporter expression (↑CD36, ↑FABP3, ↑CAV1-protein-expression). Gene expression in APICAL NEFA indicated increased anti-apoptotic (↑BCL2) and anti-oxidative (↑SOD1) capacity, upregulated lipid metabolism (↑CPT1, ↑ACSL1 and ↓ACACA), and FA-uptake (↑CAV1). All treatments had similar carbohydrate metabolism and oviduct function specific gene expression (=OVGP1, ESR1, FOXJ1). Overall, elevated NEFAs affected BOEC-metabolism and barrier function differently depending on NEFA-exposure side. Data substantiate the concept of the oviduct as a gatekeeper that may actively alter early embryonic developmental conditions.

  8. SPARC triggers a cell-autonomous program of synapse elimination.

    PubMed

    López-Murcia, Francisco J; Terni, Beatrice; Llobet, Artur

    2015-10-27

    Elimination of the excess synaptic contacts established in the early stages of neuronal development is required to refine the function of neuronal circuits. Here we investigate whether secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), a molecule produced by glial cells, is involved in synapse removal. SPARC production peaks when innervation of the rat superior cervical ganglion and the tail of Xenopus tropicalis tadpoles are remodeled. The formation of new cholinergic synapses in autaptic single-cell microcultures is inhibited by SPARC. The effect resides in the C-terminal domain, which is also responsible for triggering a concentration- and time-dependent disassembly of stable cholinergic synapses. The loss of synaptic contacts is associated with the formation of retracted axon terminals containing multivesicular bodies and secondary lysosomes. The biological relevance of in vitro results was supported by injecting the tail of Xenopus tropicalis tadpoles with peptide 4.2, a 20-aa sequence derived from SPARC that mimics full-length protein effects. Swimming was severely impaired at ∼5 h after peptide application, caused by the massive elimination of neuromuscular junctions and pruning of axonal branches. Effects revert by 6 d after injection, as motor innervation reforms. In conclusion, SPARC triggers a cell-autonomous program of synapse elimination in cholinergic neurons that likely occurs when protein production peaks during normal development.

  9. 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

  10. Target-cell specificity of kainate autoreceptor and Ca2+-store-dependent short-term plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses.

    PubMed

    Scott, Ricardo; Lalic, Tatjana; Kullmann, Dimitri M; Capogna, Marco; Rusakov, Dmitri A

    2008-12-03

    Presynaptic kainate receptors (KARs) modulate transmission between dentate granule cells and CA3 pyramidal neurons. Whether presynaptic KARs affect other synapses made by granule cell axons [mossy fibers (MFs)], on hilar mossy cells or interneurons, is not known. Nor is it known whether glutamate release from a single MF is sufficient to activate these receptors. Here, we monitor Ca(2+) in identified MF boutons traced from granule cell bodies. We show that a single action potential in a single MF activates both presynaptic KARs and Ca(2+) stores, contributing to use-dependent facilitation at MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses. Rapid local application of kainate to the giant MF bouton has no detectable effect on the resting Ca(2+) but facilitates action-potential-evoked Ca(2+) entry through a Ca(2+) store-dependent mechanism. Localized two-photon uncaging of the Ca(2+) store receptor ligand IP(3) directly confirms the presence of functional Ca(2+) stores at these boutons. In contrast, presynaptic Ca(2+) kinetics at MF synapses on interneurons or mossy cells are insensitive to KAR blockade, to local kainate application or to photolytic release of IP(3). Consistent with this, postsynaptic responses evoked by activation of a single MF show KAR-dependent paired-pulse facilitation in CA3 pyramidal cells, but not in interneurons or mossy cells. Thus, KAR-Ca(2+) store coupling acts as a synapse-specific, short-range autoreceptor mechanism.

  11. Analog Memristive Synapse in Spiking Networks Implementing Unsupervised Learning

    PubMed Central

    Covi, Erika; Brivio, Stefano; Serb, Alexander; Prodromakis, Themis; Fanciulli, Marco; Spiga, Sabina

    2016-01-01

    Emerging brain-inspired architectures call for devices that can emulate the functionality of biological synapses in order to implement new efficient computational schemes able to solve ill-posed problems. Various devices and solutions are still under investigation and, in this respect, a challenge is opened to the researchers in the field. Indeed, the optimal candidate is a device able to reproduce the complete functionality of a synapse, i.e., the typical synaptic process underlying learning in biological systems (activity-dependent synaptic plasticity). This implies a device able to change its resistance (synaptic strength, or weight) upon proper electrical stimuli (synaptic activity) and showing several stable resistive states throughout its dynamic range (analog behavior). Moreover, it should be able to perform spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP), an associative homosynaptic plasticity learning rule based on the delay time between the two firing neurons the synapse is connected to. This rule is a fundamental learning protocol in state-of-art networks, because it allows unsupervised learning. Notwithstanding this fact, STDP-based unsupervised learning has been proposed several times mainly for binary synapses rather than multilevel synapses composed of many binary memristors. This paper proposes an HfO2-based analog memristor as a synaptic element which performs STDP within a small spiking neuromorphic network operating unsupervised learning for character recognition. The trained network is able to recognize five characters even in case incomplete or noisy images are displayed and it is robust to a device-to-device variability of up to ±30%. PMID:27826226

  12. Cardiac Fibroblasts Regulate Sympathetic Nerve Sprouting and Neurocardiac Synapse Stability

    PubMed Central

    Mias, Céline; Coatrieux, Christelle; Denis, Colette; Genet, Gaël; Seguelas, Marie-Hélène; Laplace, Nathalie; Rouzaud-Laborde, Charlotte; Calise, Denis; Parini, Angelo; Cussac, Daniel; Pathak, Atul; Sénard, Jean-Michel; Galés, Céline

    2013-01-01

    Sympathetic nervous system (SNS) plays a key role in cardiac homeostasis and its deregulations always associate with bad clinical outcomes. To date, little is known about molecular mechanisms regulating cardiac sympathetic innervation. The aim of the study was to determine the role of fibroblasts in heart sympathetic innervation. RT-qPCR and western-blots analysis performed in cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts isolated from healthy adult rat hearts revealed that Pro-Nerve growth factor (NGF) and pro-differentiating mature NGF were the most abundant neurotrophins expressed in cardiac fibroblasts while barely detectable in cardiomyocytes. When cultured with cardiac fibroblasts or fibroblast-conditioned medium, PC12 cells differentiated into/sympathetic-like neurons expressing axonal marker Tau-1 at neurites in contact with cardiomyocytes. This was prevented by anti-NGF blocking antibodies suggesting a paracrine action of NGF secreted by fibroblasts. When co-cultured with cardiomyocytes to mimic neurocardiac synapse, differentiated PC12 cells exhibited enhanced norepinephrine secretion as quantified by HPLC compared to PC12 cultured alone while co-culture with fibroblasts had no effect. However, when supplemented to PC12-cardiomyocytes co-culture, fibroblasts allowed long-term survival of the neurocardiac synapse. Activated fibroblasts (myofibroblasts) isolated from myocardial infarction rat hearts exhibited significantly higher mature NGF expression than normal fibroblasts and also promoted PC12 cells differentiation. Within the ischemic area lacking cardiomyocytes and neurocardiac synapses, tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity was increased and associated with local anarchical and immature sympathetic hyperinnervation but tissue norepinephrine content was similar to that of normal cardiac tissue, suggesting depressed sympathetic function. Collectively, these findings demonstrate for the first time that fibroblasts are essential for the setting of cardiac sympathetic

  13. Cbln1 regulates rapid formation and maintenance of excitatory synapses in mature cerebellar Purkinje cells in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Ito-Ishida, Aya; Miura, Eriko; Emi, Kyoichi; Matsuda, Keiko; Iijima, Takatoshi; Kondo, Tetsuro; Kohda, Kazuhisa; Watanabe, Masahiko; Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2008-06-04

    Although many synapse-organizing molecules have been identified in vitro, their functions in mature neurons in vivo have been mostly unexplored. Cbln1, which belongs to the C1q/tumor necrosis factor superfamily, is the most recently identified protein involved in synapse formation in the mammalian CNS. In the cerebellum, Cbln1 is predominantly produced and secreted from granule cells; cbln1-null mice show ataxia and a severe reduction in the number of synapses between Purkinje cells and parallel fibers (PFs), the axon bundle of granule cells. Here, we show that application of recombinant Cbln1 specifically and reversibly induced PF synapse formation in dissociated cbln1-null Purkinje cells in culture. Cbln1 also rapidly induced electrophysiologically functional and ultrastructurally normal PF synapses in acutely prepared cbln1-null cerebellar slices. Furthermore, a single injection of recombinant Cbln1 rescued severe ataxia in adult cbln1-null mice in vivo by completely, but transiently, restoring PF synapses. Therefore, Cbln1 is a unique synapse organizer that is required not only for the normal development of PF-Purkinje cell synapses but also for their maintenance in the mature cerebellum both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, our results indicate that Cbln1 can also rapidly organize new synapses in adult cerebellum, implying its therapeutic potential for cerebellar ataxic disorders.

  14. IL-6 promotes regeneration and functional recovery after cortical spinal tract injury by reactivating intrinsic growth program of neurons and enhancing synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ping; Wen, Huizhong; Ou, Shan; Cui, Jian; Fan, Dehua

    2012-07-01

    Most neurons in adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) fail to regenerate their axons after injury. Peripherally conditioned primary sensory neurons have an increased capacity to regenerate their central processes. Recent studies demonstrate that a conditioning lesion increased intrinsic growth capability is associated with the up-regulation of a group of growth-associated genes, one of the most established is interleukin-6 (IL-6). However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which IL-6 exerts its beneficial effect on axonal regeneration and functional recovery remain to be elucidated. The purpose of this study is to further investigate the molecular mechanisms of IL-6 in promoting regeneration and functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI). Here, we demonstrate that in vitro administration of IL-6 enhances neurite outgrowth of neurons on an inhibitory substrate myelin proteins, accompanied by increased expression of growth-associated genes GAP-43, SPRR1A and Arginase I. In vivo, intrathecal delivery of IL-6 for 7 days after cortical spinal tract injury induces synaptic rearrangements of sprouting axons and increases the expression of mTOR in neurons surrounding the lesion site, accompanied by improved functional recovery. In conclusion, our results show that IL-6 increases the expression of growth-associated genes and induces the expression of mTOR in lesion adjacent neurons, resulting in reactivating the intrinsic growth program of neurons to promote axonal regrowth and functional recovery after SCI. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Dietary supplementation of yucca (Yucca schidigera) affects ovine ovarian functions.

    PubMed

    Vlčková, Radoslava; Sopková, Drahomíra; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Valocký, Igor; Kádasi, Attila; Harrath, Abdel Halim; Petrilla, Vladimír; Sirotkin, Alexander V

    2017-01-15

    Yucca (Yucca schidigera) is a popular medicinal plant due to its many positive effects on animal and human physiology, including their reproductive systems. To examine the effect of supplemental yucca feeding on sheep reproduction, including ovarian functions and their hormonal regulators, ewes were fed (or not fed, control) yucca powder (1.5 g/head/day, 30 days). Macromorphometric indexes of the oviduct, ovary, and ovarian folliculogenesis were measured. Reproductive hormone levels in the blood were measured using a radioimmunoassay. Granulosa cells were aspirated from the ovary, and their proliferation and apoptosis were detected using immunocytochemistry. To assess secretory activity and its response to gonadotropin, ovarian fragments of treated and control ewes were cultured with and without follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 0, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 IU/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones into the culture medium was evaluated. Finally, to examine the direct action of yucca on the ovary, ovarian fragments from control ewes were cultured with and without yucca extract (1, 10, or 100 μg/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones was measured. Yucca supplementation significantly decreased the size of small antral follicles (2 to <5 mm in diameter), increased accumulation of the apoptosis marker bax, and decreased serum progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) levels. It inhibited the release of P4 (but not other hormones), to prevent the stimulatory action of FSH on P4 output and promoted insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) release by fragments cultured with FSH. However, yucca supplementation did not affect the size of larger follicles and number of follicles, volume and weight of ovaries, length and weight of oviducts, caspase 3 accumulation, cell proliferation, testosterone (T) or IGF-I serum levels, or T or E2 release by cultured ovarian fragments and their response to FSH. Yucca addition to culture medium inhibited P4 and IGF-I, but not T or E2

  16. An LRRTM4-HSPG complex mediates excitatory synapse development on dentate gyrus granule cells.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Tabrez J; Tari, Parisa Karimi; Connor, Steven A; Zhang, Peng; Dobie, Frederick A; She, Kevin; Kawabe, Hiroshi; Wang, Yu Tian; Brose, Nils; Craig, Ann Marie

    2013-08-21

    Selective synapse development determines how complex neuronal networks in the brain are formed. Complexes of postsynaptic neuroligins and LRRTMs with presynaptic neurexins contribute widely to excitatory synapse development, and mutations in these gene families increase the risk of developing psychiatric disorders. We find that LRRTM4 has distinct presynaptic binding partners, heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). HSPGs are required to mediate the synaptogenic activity of LRRTM4. LRRTM4 shows highly selective expression in the brain. Within the hippocampus, we detected LRRTM4 specifically at excitatory postsynaptic sites on dentate gyrus granule cells. LRRTM4(-/-) dentate gyrus granule cells, but not CA1 pyramidal cells, exhibit reductions in excitatory synapse density and function. Furthermore, LRRTM4(-/-) dentate gyrus granule cells show impaired activity-regulated AMPA receptor trafficking. These results identifying cell-type-specific functions and multiple presynaptic binding partners for different LRRTM family members reveal an unexpected complexity in the design and function of synapse-organizing proteins.

  17. Face classification using electronic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Peng; Wu, Huaqiang; Gao, Bin; Eryilmaz, Sukru Burc; Huang, Xueyao; Zhang, Wenqiang; Zhang, Qingtian; Deng, Ning; Shi, Luping; Wong, H.-S. Philip; Qian, He

    2017-01-01

    Conventional hardware platforms consume huge amount of energy for cognitive learning due to the data movement between the processor and the off-chip memory. Brain-inspired device technologies using analogue weight storage allow to complete cognitive tasks more efficiently. Here we present an analogue non-volatile resistive memory (an electronic synapse) with foundry friendly materials. The device shows bidirectional continuous weight modulation behaviour. Grey-scale face classification is experimentally demonstrated using an integrated 1024-cell array with parallel online training. The energy consumption within the analogue synapses for each iteration is 1,000 × (20 ×) lower compared to an implementation using Intel Xeon Phi processor with off-chip memory (with hypothetical on-chip digital resistive random access memory). The accuracy on test sets is close to the result using a central processing unit. These experimental results consolidate the feasibility of analogue synaptic array and pave the way toward building an energy efficient and large-scale neuromorphic system. PMID:28497781

  18. Face classification using electronic synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Peng; Wu, Huaqiang; Gao, Bin; Eryilmaz, Sukru Burc; Huang, Xueyao; Zhang, Wenqiang; Zhang, Qingtian; Deng, Ning; Shi, Luping; Wong, H.-S. Philip; Qian, He

    2017-05-01

    Conventional hardware platforms consume huge amount of energy for cognitive learning due to the data movement between the processor and the off-chip memory. Brain-inspired device technologies using analogue weight storage allow to complete cognitive tasks more efficiently. Here we present an analogue non-volatile resistive memory (an electronic synapse) with foundry friendly materials. The device shows bidirectional continuous weight modulation behaviour. Grey-scale face classification is experimentally demonstrated using an integrated 1024-cell array with parallel online training. The energy consumption within the analogue synapses for each iteration is 1,000 × (20 ×) lower compared to an implementation using Intel Xeon Phi processor with off-chip memory (with hypothetical on-chip digital resistive random access memory). The accuracy on test sets is close to the result using a central processing unit. These experimental results consolidate the feasibility of analogue synaptic array and pave the way toward building an energy efficient and large-scale neuromorphic system.

  19. Face classification using electronic synapses.

    PubMed

    Yao, Peng; Wu, Huaqiang; Gao, Bin; Eryilmaz, Sukru Burc; Huang, Xueyao; Zhang, Wenqiang; Zhang, Qingtian; Deng, Ning; Shi, Luping; Wong, H-S Philip; Qian, He

    2017-05-12

    Conventional hardware platforms consume huge amount of energy for cognitive learning due to the data movement between the processor and the off-chip memory. Brain-inspired device technologies using analogue weight storage allow to complete cognitive tasks more efficiently. Here we present an analogue non-volatile resistive memory (an electronic synapse) with foundry friendly materials. The device shows bidirectional continuous weight modulation behaviour. Grey-scale face classification is experimentally demonstrated using an integrated 1024-cell array with parallel online training. The energy consumption within the analogue synapses for each iteration is 1,000 × (20 ×) lower compared to an implementation using Intel Xeon Phi processor with off-chip memory (with hypothetical on-chip digital resistive random access memory). The accuracy on test sets is close to the result using a central processing unit. These experimental results consolidate the feasibility of analogue synaptic array and pave the way toward building an energy efficient and large-scale neuromorphic system.

  20. Increased asynchronous release and aberrant calcium channel activation in amyloid precursor protein deficient neuromuscular synapses.

    PubMed

    Yang, L; Wang, B; Long, C; Wu, G; Zheng, H

    2007-11-23

    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 Ca(2+) channels. We propose that APP modulates synaptic transmission at the NMJ by ensuring proper Ca(2+) channel function.

  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. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  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. Sleep breathing disorders and cognitive function in the elderly: an 8-year follow-up study. the proof-synapse cohort.

    PubMed

    Martin, Magali Saint; Sforza, Emilia; Roche, Frédéric; Barthélémy, Jean Claude; Thomas-Anterion, Catherine

    2015-02-01

    Sleep breathing disorder (SBD) may be an important factor in age-related cognitive decline. In a cohort of healthy elderly subjects, we performed an 8-y longitudinal study to assess whether changes in cognitive function occur in untreated elderly patients with SBD and without dementia and the factors implicated in these changes. A population-based longitudinal study. Clinical research settings. A total of 559 participants of the PROOF study aged 67 y at the study entry and free from neurological disorders were examined. N/A. Abnormal breathing events were defined by an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) > 15. The raw cognitive data and averaged Z-scores for the attentional, executive, and memory functions were collected at the baseline and follow-up. At baseline, AHI > 15 was found in 54% of subjects with 18% having an AHI > 30. At follow-up, the presence of abnormal breathing events was associated with a slight but significant decline in the attentional domain (P = 0.01), which was more evident in the subjects with an AHI > 30 (P = 0.004). No significant changes over time were observed in the executive and memory functions. Several indices of chronic hypoxemia, defined either as a cumulative peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) < 90% or a minimal SpO2, accounted for portions of the variance in the decline in attention. All observed effects were small, accounting for 4-7% of variance in multivariate models. In healthy elderly subjects, various components of sleep breathing disorder at baseline were associated with small changes in selected cognitive functions specific to the attention domain after controlling for multiple comorbidities, such as sleepiness, hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, and depression. ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers NCT 00759304 and NCT 00766584. © 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Emerging Themes in GABAergic Synapse Development

    PubMed Central

    Kuzirian, Marissa S.

    2011-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapse formation has been rigorously investigated for the past two decadesat both the molecular and cell biological level yet a comparable intensity of investigation into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of GABAergic synapses has been lacking until relatively recently. This review will provide a detailed overview of the current understanding of GABAergic synapse formation with a particular emphasis on assembly of synaptic components, molecular mechanisms of synaptic development, and a subset of human disorders which manifest when GABAergic synapse development is disrupted. An unexpected and emerging theme from these studies is that glutamatergicand GABAergic synapse formation share a number of overlapping molecular and cell biologicalmechanisms that will be emphasized in this review. PMID:21798307

  7. Annular PIP3 accumulation controls actin architecture and modulates cytotoxicity at the immunological synapse

    PubMed Central

    Le Floc’h, Audrey; Tanaka, Yoshihiko; Bantilan, Niels S.; Voisinne, Guillaume; Altan-Bonnet, Grégoire; Fukui, Yoshinori

    2013-01-01

    The immunological synapse formed by a T lymphocyte on the surface of a target cell contains a peripheral ring of filamentous actin (F-actin) that promotes adhesion and facilitates the directional secretion of cytokines and cytolytic factors. We show that growth and maintenance of this F-actin ring is dictated by the annular accumulation of phosphatidylinositol trisphosphate (PIP3) in the synaptic membrane. PIP3 functions in this context by recruiting the exchange factor Dock2 to the periphery of the synapse, where it drives actin polymerization through the Rho-family GTPase Rac. We also show that synaptic PIP3 is generated by class IA phosphoinositide 3-kinases that associate with T cell receptor microclusters and are activated by the GTPase Ras. Perturbations that inhibit or promote PIP3-dependent F-actin remodeling dramatically affect T cell cytotoxicity, demonstrating the functional importance of this pathway. These results reveal how T cells use lipid-based signaling to control synaptic architecture and modulate effector responses. PMID:24190432

  8. Functional neuroimaging of human vocalizations and affective speech.

    PubMed

    Frühholz, Sascha; Sander, David; Grandjean, Didier

    2014-12-01

    Neuroimaging studies have verified the important integrative role of the basal ganglia during affective vocalizations. They, however, also point to additional regions supporting vocal monitoring, auditory-motor feedback processing, and online adjustments of vocal motor responses. For the case of affective vocalizations, we suggest partly extending the model to fully consider the link between primate-general and human-specific neural components.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Sequential generation of two distinct synapse-driven network patterns in developing neocortex.

    PubMed

    Allène, Camille; Cattani, Adriano; Ackman, James B; Bonifazi, Paolo; Aniksztejn, Laurent; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Cossart, Rosa

    2008-11-26

    Developing cortical networks generate a variety of coherent activity patterns that participate in circuit refinement. Early network oscillations (ENOs) are the dominant network pattern in the rodent neocortex for a short period after birth. These large-scale calcium waves were shown to be largely driven by glutamatergic synapses albeit GABA is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the cortex at such early stages, mediating synapse-driven giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs) in the hippocampus. Using functional multineuron calcium imaging together with single-cell and field potential recordings to clarify distinct network dynamics in rat cortical slices, we now report that the developing somatosensory cortex generates first ENOs then GDPs, both patterns coexisting for a restricted time period. These patterns markedly differ by their developmental profile, dynamics, and mechanisms: ENOs are generated before cortical GDPs (cGDPs) by the activation of glutamatergic synapses mostly through NMDARs; cENOs are low-frequency oscillations (approximately 0.01 Hz) displaying slow kinetics and gradually involving the entire network. At the end of the first postnatal week, GABA-driven cortical GDPs can be reliably monitored; cGDPs are recurrent oscillations (approximately 0.1 Hz) that repetitively synchronize localized neuronal assemblies. Contrary to cGDPs, cENOs were unexpectedly facilitated by short anoxic conditions suggesting a contribution of glutamate accumulation to their generation. In keeping with this, alterations of extracellular glutamate levels significantly affected cENOs, which are blocked by an enzymatic glutamate scavenger. Moreover, we show that a tonic glutamate current contributes to the neuronal membrane excitability when cENOs dominate network patterns. Therefore, cENOs and cGDPs are two separate aspects of neocortical network maturation that may be differentially engaged in physiological and pathological processes.

  15. Pathogenic SYNGAP1 mutations impair cognitive development by disrupting maturation of dendritic spine synapses.

    PubMed

    Clement, James P; Aceti, Massimiliano; Creson, Thomas K; Ozkan, Emin D; Shi, Yulin; Reish, Nicholas J; Almonte, Antoine G; Miller, Brooke H; Wiltgen, Brian J; Miller, Courtney A; Xu, Xiangmin; Rumbaugh, Gavin

    2012-11-09

    Mutations that cause intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are commonly found in genes that encode for synaptic proteins. However, it remains unclear how mutations that disrupt synapse function impact intellectual ability. In the SYNGAP1 mouse model of ID/ASD, we found that dendritic spine synapses develop prematurely during the early postnatal period. Premature spine maturation dramatically enhanced excitability in the developing hippocampus, which corresponded with the emergence of behavioral abnormalities. Inducing SYNGAP1 mutations after critical developmental windows closed had minimal impact on spine synapse function, whereas repairing these pathogenic mutations in adulthood did not improve behavior and cognition. These data demonstrate that SynGAP protein acts as a critical developmental repressor of neural excitability that promotes the development of life-long cognitive abilities. We propose that the pace of dendritic spine synapse maturation in early life is a critical determinant of normal intellectual development.

  16. Erbb2 regulates neuromuscular synapse formation and is essential for muscle spindle development.

    PubMed

    Leu, Marco; Bellmunt, Elena; Schwander, Martin; Fariñas, Isabel; Brenner, Hans Rudolf; Müller, Ulrich

    2003-06-01

    Neuregulins and their Erbb receptors have been implicated in neuromuscular synapse formation by regulating gene expression in subsynaptic nuclei. To analyze the function of Erbb2 in this process, we have inactivated the Erbb2 gene in developing muscle fibers by Cre/Lox-mediated gene ablation. Neuromuscular synapses form in the mutant mice, but the synapses are less efficient and contain reduced levels of acetylcholine receptors. Surprisingly, the mutant mice also show proprioceptive defects caused by abnormal muscle spindle development. Sensory Ia afferent neurons establish initial contact with Erbb2-deficient myotubes. However, functional spindles never develop. Taken together, our data suggest that Erbb2 signaling regulates the formation of both neuromuscular synapses and muscle spindles.

  17. 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

  18. Pathogenic SYNGAP1 mutations impair cognitive development by disrupting the maturation of dendritic spine synapses

    PubMed Central

    Clement, James P.; Aceti, Massimiliano; Creson, Thomas K.; Ozkan, Emin D.; Shi, Yulin; Reish, Nicholas J.; Almonte, Antoine G.; Miller, Brooke H.; Wiltgen, Brian J.; Miller, Courtney A.; Xu, Xiangmin; Rumbaugh, Gavin

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Mutations that cause Intellectual Disability (ID) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are commonly found in genes that encode for synaptic proteins. However, it remains unclear how mutations that disrupt synapse function impact intellectual ability. In the SYNGAP1 mouse model of ID/ASD, we found that dendritic spine synapses develop prematurely during the early postnatal period. Premature spine maturation dramatically enhanced excitability in the developing hippocampus, which corresponded with the emergence of behavioral abnormalities. Inducing SYNGAP1 mutations after critical developmental windows closed had minimal impact on spine synapse function, while repairing these pathogenic mutations in adulthood did not improve behavior and cognition. These data demonstrate that SynGAP protein acts as a critical developmental repressor of neural excitability that promotes the development of life-long cognitive abilities. We propose that the pace of dendritic spine synapse maturation in early life is a critical determinant of normal intellectual development. PMID:23141534

  19. Frozen Soil Characteristics That Affect Land Mine Functioning.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-04-01

    ii Introduction .............................................. 1 Backgroun ...Table 3 also presents the results of the mine functioning perform- ance . The M12 mine requires between 1739 and 3287 N to function, as indicated by the

  20. A positive feedback synapse from retinal horizontal cells to cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

    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 Ca(2+) 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 Ca(2+), 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.

  1. 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

  2. The state of synapses in fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, Brad E; Huber, Kimberly M

    2009-10-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited form of mental retardation and a leading genetic cause of autism. There is increasing evidence in both FXS and other forms of autism that alterations in synapse number, structure, and function are associated and contribute to these prevalent diseases. FXS is caused by loss of function of the Fmr1 gene, which encodes the RNA binding protein, fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Therefore, FXS is a tractable model to understand synaptic dysfunction in cognitive disorders. FMRP is present at synapses where it associates with mRNA and polyribosomes. Accumulating evidence finds roles for FMRP in synapse development, elimination, and plasticity. Here, the authors review the synaptic changes observed in FXS and try to relate these changes to what is known about the molecular function of FMRP. Recent advances in the understanding of the molecular and synaptic function of FMRP, as well as the consequences of its loss, have led to the development of novel therapeutic strategies for FXS.

  3. The State of Synapses in Fragile X Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Pfeiffer, Brad E.; Huber, Kimberly M.

    2009-01-01

    Fragile X Syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation and a leading genetic cause of autism. There is increasing evidence in both FXS and other forms of autism that alterations in synapse number, structure and function are associated and contribute to these prevalent diseases. FXS is caused by loss of function of the Fmr1 gene which encodes the RNA binding protein, FMRP. Therefore, FXS is a tractable model to understand synaptic dysfunction in cognitive disorders. FMRP is present at synapses where it associates with mRNA and polyribosomes. Accumulating evidence finds roles for FMRP in synapse development, elimination and plasticity. Here, we review the synaptic changes observed in FXS and try to relate these changes to what is known about the molecular function of FMRP. Recent advances in the understanding of the molecular and synaptic function of FMRP, as well as the consequences of its loss, have led to the development of novel therapeutic strategies for FXS and related diseases such as autism. PMID:19325170

  4. Developmental changes in short-term facilitation are opposite at temporoammonic synapses compared to Schaffer collateral synapses onto CA1 pyramidal cells.

    PubMed

    Speed, Haley E; Dobrunz, Lynn E

    2009-02-01

    CA1 pyramidal neurons receive two distinct excitatory inputs that are each capable of influencing hippocampal output and learning and memory. The Schaffer collateral (SC) input from CA3 axons onto the more proximal dendrites of CA1 is part of the trisynaptic circuit, which originates in Layer II of the entorhinal cortex (EC). The temporoammonic (TA) pathway to CA1 provides input directly from Layer III of the EC onto the most distal dendrites of CA1 pyramidal cells, and is involved in spatial memory and memory consolidation. We have previously described a developmental decrease in short-term facilitation from juvenile (P13-18) to young adult (P28-42) rats at SC synapses that is due to feedback inhibition via synaptically activated mGluR1 on CA1 interneurons. It is not known how short-term changes in synaptic strength are regulated at TA synapses, nor is it known how short-term plasticity is balanced at SC and TA inputs during development. Here we describe a novel developmental increase in short-term facilitation at TA synapses, which is the opposite of the decrease in facilitation occurring at SC synapses. Although short-term facilitation is much lower at TA synapses when compared with SC synapses in juveniles, short-term plasticity at SC and TA synapses converges at similar levels of paired-pulse facilitation in the young adult rat. However, in young adults CA3-CA1 synapses still exhibit more facilitation than TA-CA1 synapses during physiologically-relevant activity, suggesting that the two pathways are each poised to uniquely modulate CA1 output in an activity-dependent manner. Finally, we show that there is a developmental decrease in the initial release probability at TA synapses that underlies their developmental decrease in facilitation, but no developmental change in release probability at SC synapses. This represents a fundamental difference in the presynaptic function of the two major inputs to CA1, which could alter the flow of information in hippocampus

  5. Can dynamical synapses produce true self-organized criticality?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Ariadne de Andrade; Copelli, Mauro; Kinouchi, Osame

    2015-06-01

    Neuronal networks can present activity described by power-law distributed avalanches presumed to be a signature of a critical state. Here we study a random-neighbor network of excitable cellular automata coupled by dynamical synapses. The model exhibits a very similar to conservative self-organized criticality (SOC) models behavior even with dissipative bulk dynamics. This occurs because in the stationary regime the model is conservative on average, and, in the thermodynamic limit, the probability distribution for the global branching ratio converges to a delta-function centered at its critical value. So, this non-conservative model pertain to the same universality class of conservative SOC models and contrasts with other dynamical synapses models that present only self-organized quasi-criticality (SOqC). Analytical results show very good agreement with simulations of the model and enable us to study the emergence of SOC as a function of the parametric derivatives of the stationary branching ratio.

  6. The role of the cytoskeleton at the immunological synapse.

    PubMed

    Ritter, Alex T; Angus, Karen L; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2013-11-01

    It has been over 30 years since the reorganization of both the microtubule network and a 'peculiar actin polarization' was reported at the contact area of cytotoxic T lymphocytes interacting with target cells. Since that time, hundreds of studies have been published in an effort to elucidate the structure and function of the microtubule network and the actin cytoskeleton in T-cell activation, migration, and effector function at the interface between a T cell and its cognate antigen-presenting cell or target cell. This interface has become known as the immunological synapse, and this review examines some of the roles played by the cytoskeleton at the synapse. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Electron Microscopic Analysis of Hippocampal Axo‐Somatic Synapses in a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    PubMed Central

    Csabai, Dávid; Seress, László; Varga, Zsófia; Ábrahám, Hajnalka; Miseta, Attila; Wiborg, Ove

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Stress can alter the number and morphology of excitatory synapses in the hippocampus, but nothing is known about the effect of stress on inhibitory synapses. Here, we used an animal model for depression, the chronic mild stress model, and quantified the number of perisomatic inhibitory neurons and their synapses. We found reduced density of parvalbumin‐positive (PV+) neurons in response to stress, while the density of cholecystokinin‐immunoreactive (CCK+) neurons was unaffected. We did a detailed electron microscopic analysis to quantify the frequency and morphology of perisomatic inhibitory synapses in the hippocampal CA1 area. We analyzed 1100 CA1 pyramidal neurons and 4800 perisomatic terminals in five control and four chronically stressed rats. In the control animals we observed the following parameters: Number of terminals/soma = 57; Number of terminals/100 µm cell perimeter = 10; Synapse/terminal ratio = 32%; Synapse number/100 terminal = 120; Average terminal length = 920nm. None of these parameters were affected by the stress exposure. Overall, these data indicate that despite the depressive‐like behavior and the decrease in the number of perisomatic PV+ neurons in the light microscopic preparations, the number of perisomatic inhibitory synapses on CA1 pyramidal cells was not affected by stress. In the electron microscope, PV+ neurons and the axon terminals appeared to be normal and we did not find any apoptotic or necrotic cells. This data is in sharp contrast to the remarkable remodeling of the excitatory synapses on spines that has been reported in response to stress and depressive‐like behavior. © 2016 The Authors Hippocampus Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27571571

  8. 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

  9. Synapse Formation in Monosynaptic Sensory–Motor Connections Is Regulated by Presynaptic Rho GTPase Cdc42

    PubMed Central

    Imai, Fumiyasu; Ladle, David R.; Leslie, Jennifer R.; Duan, Xin; Rizvi, Tilat A.; Ciraolo, Georgianne M.; Zheng, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Spinal reflex circuit development requires the precise regulation of axon trajectories, synaptic specificity, and synapse formation. Of these three crucial steps, the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation between group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons and motor neurons is the least understood. Here, we show that the Rho GTPase Cdc42 controls synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor connections in presynaptic, but not postsynaptic, neurons. In mice lacking Cdc42 in presynaptic sensory neurons, proprioceptive sensory axons appropriately reach the ventral spinal cord, but significantly fewer synapses are formed with motor neurons compared with wild-type mice. Concordantly, electrophysiological analyses show diminished EPSP amplitudes in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits in these mutants. Temporally targeted deletion of Cdc42 in sensory neurons after sensory–motor circuit establishment reveals that Cdc42 does not affect synaptic transmission. Furthermore, addition of the synaptic organizers, neuroligins, induces presynaptic differentiation of wild-type, but not Cdc42-deficient, proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro. Together, our findings demonstrate that Cdc42 in presynaptic neurons is required for synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons form direct synapses with motor neurons, but the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation in these monosynaptic sensory–motor connections are unknown. We show that deleting Cdc42 in sensory neurons does not affect proprioceptive sensory axon targeting because axons reach the ventral spinal cord appropriately, but these neurons form significantly fewer presynaptic terminals on motor neurons. Electrophysiological analysis further shows that EPSPs are decreased in these mice. Finally, we demonstrate that Cdc42 is involved in neuroligin-dependent presynaptic differentiation of proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro

  10. Genetic evidence for the adhesion protein IgSF9/Dasm1 to regulate inhibitory synapse development independent of its intracellular domain.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Archana; Traut, Matthias H; Becker, Lore; Klopstock, Thomas; Stein, Valentin; Klein, Rüdiger

    2014-03-19

    Normal brain function requires balanced development of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. An imbalance in synaptic transmission underlies many brain disorders such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism. Compared with excitatory synapses, relatively little is known about the molecular control of inhibitory synapse development. We used a genetic approach in mice to identify the Ig superfamily member IgSF9/Dasm1 as a candidate homophilic synaptic adhesion protein that regulates inhibitory synapse development. IgSF9 is expressed in pyramidal cells and subsets of interneurons in the CA1 region of hippocampus. Electrophysiological recordings of acute hippocampal slices revealed that genetic inactivation of the IgSF9 gene resulted in fewer functional inhibitory synapses; however, the strength of the remaining synapses was unaltered. These physiological abnormalities were correlated with decreased expression of inhibitory synapse markers in IgSF9(-/-) mice, providing anatomical evidence for a reduction in inhibitory synapse numbers, whereas excitatory synapse development was normal. Surprisingly, knock-in mice expressing a mutant isoform of IgSF9 lacking the entire cytoplasmic domain (IgSF9(ΔC/ΔC) mice) had no defects in inhibitory synapse development, providing genetic evidence that IgSF9 regulates synapse development via ectodomain interactions rather than acting itself as a signaling receptor. Further, we found that IgSF9 mediated homotypic binding and cell aggregation, but failed to induce synapse formation, suggesting that IgSF9 acts as a cell adhesion molecule (CAM) to maintain synapses. Juvenile IgSF9(-/-) mice exhibited increased seizure susceptibility indicative of an imbalance in synaptic excitation and inhibition. These results provide genetic evidence for a specific role of IgSF9 in inhibitory synapse development/maintenance, presumably by its CAM-like activity.

  11. 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

  12. Efficient Associative Computation with Discrete Synapses.

    PubMed

    Knoblauch, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Neural associative networks are a promising computational paradigm for both modeling neural circuits of the brain and implementing associative memory and Hebbian cell assemblies in parallel VLSI or nanoscale hardware. Previous work has extensively investigated synaptic learning in linear models of the Hopfield type and simple nonlinear models of the Steinbuch/Willshaw type. Optimized Hopfield networks of size n can store a large number of about n(2)/k memories of size k (or associations between them) but require real-valued synapses, which are expensive to implement and can store at most C = 0.72 bits per synapse. Willshaw networks can store a much smaller number of about n(2)/k(2) memories but get along with much cheaper binary synapses. Here I present a learning model employing synapses with discrete synaptic weights. For optimal discretization parameters, this model can store, up to a factor ζ close to one, the same number of memories as for optimized Hopfield-type learning--for example, ζ = 0.64 for binary synapses, ζ = 0.88 for 2 bit (four-state) synapses, ζ = 0.96 for 3 bit (8-state) synapses, and ζ > 0.99 for 4 bit (16-state) synapses. The model also provides the theoretical framework to determine optimal discretization parameters for computer implementations or brainlike parallel hardware including structural plasticity. In particular, as recently shown for the Willshaw network, it is possible to store C(I) = 1 bit per computer bit and up to C(S) = log n bits per nonsilent synapse, whereas the absolute number of stored memories can be much larger than for the Willshaw model.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Concomitant gastroparesis negatively affects children with functional gallbladder disease

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. Neuroligin 2 is expressed in synapses established by cholinergic cells in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Takács, Virág T; Freund, Tamás F; Nyiri, Gábor

    2013-01-01

    Neuroligin 2 is a postsynaptic protein that plays a critical role in the maturation and proper function of GABAergic synapses. Previous studies demonstrated that deletion of neuroligin 2 impaired GABAergic synaptic transmission, whereas its overexpression caused increased inhibition, which suggest that its presence strongly influences synaptic function. Interestingly, the overexpressing transgenic mouse line showed increased anxiety-like behavior and other behavioral phenotypes, not easily explained by an otherwise strengthened GABAergic transmission. This suggested that other, non-GABAergic synapses may also express neuroligin 2. Here, we tested the presence of neuroligin 2 at synapses established by cholinergic neurons in the mouse brain using serial electron microscopic sections double labeled for neuroligin 2 and choline acetyltransferase. We found that besides GABAergic synapses, neuroligin 2 is also present in the postsynaptic membrane of cholinergic synapses in all investigated brain areas (including dorsal hippocampus, somatosensory and medial prefrontal cortices, caudate putamen, basolateral amygdala, centrolateral thalamic nucleus, medial septum, vertical- and horizontal limbs of the diagonal band of Broca, substantia innominata and ventral pallidum). In the hippocampus, the density of neuroligin 2 labeling was similar in GABAergic and cholinergic synapses. Moreover, several cholinergic contact sites that were strongly labeled with neuroligin 2 did not resemble typical synapses, suggesting that cholinergic axons form more synaptic connections than it was recognized previously. We showed that cholinergic cells themselves also express neuroligin 2 in a subset of their input synapses. These data indicate that mutations in human neuroligin 2 gene and genetic manipulations of neuroligin 2 levels in rodents will potentially cause alterations in the cholinergic system as well, which may also have a profound effect on the functional properties of brain circuits

  16. TrkB receptor signaling is required for establishment of GABAergic synapses in the cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Rico, Beatriz; Xu, Baoji; Reichardt, Louis F

    2002-03-01

    Neurotrophins are essential to the normal development and maintenance of the nervous system. Neurotrophin signaling is mediated by Trk family tyrosine kinases such as TrkA, TrkB and TrkC, as well as by the pan-neurotrophin receptor p75NTR. Here we have deleted the trkB gene in cerebellar precursors by Wnt1-driven Cre--mediated recombination to study the function of the TrkB in the cerebellum. Despite the absence of TrkB, the mature cerebellum of mutant mice appears similar to that of wild type, with all types of cell present in normal numbers and positions. Granule and Purkinje cell dendrites appear normal and the former have typical numbers of excitatory synapses. By contrast, inhibitory interneurons are strongly affected: although present in normal numbers, they express reduced amounts of GABAergic markers and develop reduced numbers of GABAergic boutons and synaptic specializations. Thus, TrkB is essential to the development of GABAergic neurons and regulates synapse formation in addition to its role in the development of axon terminals.

  17. TrkB receptor signaling is required for establishment of GABAergic synapses in the cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Rico, Beatriz; Xu, Baoji; Reichardt, Louis F.

    2009-01-01

    Neurotrophins are essential to the normal development and maintenance of the nervous system. Neurotrophin signaling is mediated by Trk family tyrosine kinases such as TrkA, TrkB and TrkC, as well as by the pan-neurotrophin receptor p75NTR. Here we have deleted the trkB gene in cerebellar precursors by Wnt1-driven Cre–mediated recombination to study the function of the TrkB in the cerebellum. Despite the absence of TrkB, the mature cerebellum of mutant mice appears similar to that of wild type, with all types of cell present in normal numbers and positions. Granule and Purkinje cell dendrites appear normal and the former have typical numbers of excitatory synapses. By contrast, inhibitory interneurons are strongly affected: although present in normal numbers, they express reduced amounts of GABAergic markers and develop reduced numbers of GABAergic boutons and synaptic specializations. Thus, TrkB is essential to the development of GABAergic neurons and regulates synapse formation in addition to its role in the development of axon terminals. PMID:11836532

  18. Regulation of vesicular traffic at the T cell immune synapse: lessons from the primary cilium.

    PubMed

    Finetti, Francesca; Onnis, Anna; Baldari, Cosima T

    2015-03-01

    The signals that orchestrate the process of T cell activation are coordinated at the specialized interface that forms upon contact with an antigen presenting cell displaying a specific MHC-associated peptide ligand, known as the immune synapse. The central role of vesicular traffic in the assembly of the immune synapse has emerged only in recent years with the finding that sustained T-cell receptor (TCR) signaling involves delivery of TCR/CD3 complexes from an intracellular pool associated with recycling endosomes. A number of receptors as well as membrane-associated signaling mediators have since been demonstrated to exploit this process to localize to the immune synapse. Here, we will review our current understanding of the mechanisms responsible for TCR recycling, with a focus on the intraflagellar transport system, a multimolecular complex that is responsible for the assembly and function of the primary cilium which we have recently implicated in polarized endosome recycling to the immune synapse.

  19. 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

  20. The chemical component of the mixed GF-TTMn synapse in Drosophila melanogaster uses acetylcholine as its neurotransmitter

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Marcus J; Murphey, R K

    2007-01-01

    The largest central synapse in adult Drosophila is a mixed electro-chemical synapse whose gap junctions require the product of the shaking-B (shak-B) gene. Shak-B2 mutant flies lack gap junctions at this synapse, which is between the giant fibre (GF) and the tergotrochanteral motor neuron (TTMn), but it still exhibits a long latency response upon GF stimulation. We have targeted the expression of the light chain of tetanus toxin to the GF, to block chemical transmission, in shak-B2 flies. The long latency response in the tergotrochanteral muscle (TTM) was abolished indicating that the chemical component of the synapse mediates this response. Attenuation of GAL4-mediated labelling by a cha-GAL80 transgene, reveals the GF to be cholinergic. We have used a temperature-sensitive allele of the choline acetyltransferase gene (chats2) to block cholinergic synapses in adult flies and this also abolished the long latency response in shak-B2 flies. Taken together the data provide evidence that both components of this mixed synapse are functional and that the chemical neurotransmitter between the GF and the TTMn is acetylcholine. Our findings show that the two components of this synapse can be separated to allow further studies into the mechanisms by which mixed synapses are built and function. PMID:17650116

  1. The chemical component of the mixed GF-TTMn synapse in Drosophila melanogaster uses acetylcholine as its neurotransmitter.

    PubMed

    Allen, Marcus J; Murphey, R K

    2007-07-01

    The largest central synapse in adult Drosophila is a mixed electro-chemical synapse whose gap junctions require the product of the shaking-B (shak-B) gene. Shak-B(2) mutant flies lack gap junctions at this synapse, which is between the giant fibre (GF) and the tergotrochanteral motor neuron (TTMn), but it still exhibits a long latency response upon GF stimulation. We have targeted the expression of the light chain of tetanus toxin to the GF, to block chemical transmission, in shak-B(2) flies. The long latency response in the tergotrochanteral muscle (TTM) was abolished indicating that the chemical component of the synapse mediates this response. Attenuation of GAL4-mediated labelling by a cha-GAL80 transgene, reveals the GF to be cholinergic. We have used a temperature-sensitive allele of the choline acetyltransferase gene (cha(ts2)) to block cholinergic synapses in adult flies and this also abolished the long latency response in shak-B(2) flies. Taken together the data provide evidence that both components of this mixed synapse are functional and that the chemical neurotransmitter between the GF and the TTMn is acetylcholine. Our findings show that the two components of this synapse can be separated to allow further studies into the mechanisms by which mixed synapses are built and function.

  2. Counting Vesicular Release Events Reveals Binomial Release Statistics at Single Glutamatergic Synapses.

    PubMed

    Malagon, Gerardo; Miki, Takafumi; Llano, Isabel; Neher, Erwin; Marty, Alain

    2016-04-06

    Many central glutamatergic synapses contain a single presynaptic active zone and a single postsynaptic density. However, the basic functional properties of such "simple synapses" remain unclear. One important step toward understanding simple synapse function is to analyze the number of synaptic vesicles released in such structures per action potential, but this goal has remained elusive until now. Here, we describe procedures that allow reliable vesicular release counting at simple synapses between parallel fibers and molecular layer interneurons of rat cerebellar slices. Our analysis involves local extracellular stimulation of single parallel fibers and deconvolution of resulting EPSCs using quantal signals as template. We observed a reduction of quantal amplitudes (amplitude occlusion) in pairs of consecutive EPSCs due to receptor saturation. This effect is larger (62%) than previously reported and primarily reflects receptor activation rather than desensitization. In addition to activation-driven amplitude occlusion, each EPSC reduces amplitudes of subsequent events by an estimated 3% due to cumulative desensitization. Vesicular release counts at simple synapses follow binomial statistics with a maximum that varies from 2 to 10 among experiments. This maximum presumably reflects the number of docking sites at a given synapse. These results show striking similarities, as well as significant quantitative differences, with respect to previous results at simple GABAergic synapses. It is generally accepted that the output signal of individual central synapses saturates at high release probability, but it remains unclear whether the source of saturation is presynaptic, postsynaptic, or both presynaptic and postsynaptic. To clarify this and other issues concerning the function of synapses, we have developed new recording and analysis methods at single central glutamatergic synapses. We find that individual release events engage a high proportion of postsynaptic

  3. White matter synapses: form, function, and dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Alix, James J P; Domingues, António Miguel de Jesus

    2011-01-25

    Synaptic transmission in the CNS represents the classic mechanism through which neural cells communicate. While vesicular neurotransmitter release has been known to be the preserve of gray matter, it is now known that synaptic-style release of glutamate, the brain's major excitatory neurotransmitter, occurs deep in white matter. Here it permits communication between axons and glial cells, enabling axon activity to couple with high fidelity to glial physiology. As white matter is increasingly well-recognized as a substrate for disease, dysregulation of white matter synaptic transmission will play an important role in the development of pathologies as diverse as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease, and schizophrenia. This review highlights progress in this new and important field.

  4. Factors affecting functional outcome after lower extremity amputation.

    PubMed

    Saeed, Abdullah Bin; Saeed, Usama Bin; Zain-Ur-Rehman, Muhammad; Ahmad Khan, Rana Dawood; Yasin, Ajmal

    2015-11-01

    More than 100,000 major lower extremity amputations -- amputations at the metatarsal, below-knee or above-knee level -- are performed yearly in the United States. Despite improvements in long-term outcome, operative mortality following such amputations has remained stable at 9% to 10% over the last 20 years. Several predictors for functional outcome of amputee patients are mentioned in the literature. The current study was planned to assess the impact of comorbidities on functional status after lower extremity amputations. It was a prospective comparative study held at the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, and affiliated hospitals. The study included 104 patients regardless of age and gender. Patients were allocated into trans-metatarsal (TM) group, below-knee (BK) amputation group and above-knee (AK) amputation group. Comorbidities before amputation included diabetes mellitus (70.7%), coronary heart disease (57.1%), chronic kidney disease (53.6%), and/or congestive heart failure (52.1%). Mortality within 30 days of hospital discharge was 9%, and hospital readmission was 27.7%. Stroke, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and poor baseline cognitive function were associated with the poorest functional outcome after amputation. Patients undergoing BK or AK amputation failed to return to their functional baseline within 6 months. Higher amputation level, history of stroke, ESRD, poor baseline cognitive scores, and female gender are factors associated with inferior functional status after amputation.

  5. A new measure for the strength of electrical synapses

    PubMed Central

    Haas, Julie S.

    2015-01-01

    Electrical synapses, like chemical synapses, mediate intraneuronal communication. Electrical synapses are typically quantified by subthreshold measurements of coupling, which fall short in describing their impact on spiking activity in coupled neighbors. Here, we describe a novel measurement for electrical synapse strength that directly evaluates the effect of synaptically transmitted activity on spike timing. This method, also applicable to neurotransmitter-based synapses, communicates the considerable strength of electrical synapses. For electrical synapses measured in rodent slices of the thalamic reticular nucleus and in simple model neurons, spike timing is modulated by tens of ms by activity in a coupled neighbor. PMID:26441546

  6. The identification of protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type O (PTPRO) as a synaptic adhesion molecule that promotes synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Wei; Wei, Mengping; Liu, Mengna; Pan, Yunlong; Yang, Xiaofei; Zhang, Chen

    2017-09-04

    The proper formation of synapses-specialized unitary structures formed between two neurons-is critical to mediate the information flow in the brain. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are thought to participate in the initiation of the synapse formation process. However, in-vivo functional analysis demonstrates that most well-known synaptic CAMs regulate synaptic maturation and plasticity rather than synapse formation, suggesting that either CAMs work synergistically in the process of forming synapses or more CAMs remain to be found. By screening for unknown CAMs using a co-culture system, we revealed protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type O (PTPRO) is a potent CAM that induces the formation of artificial synapse clusters in co-cultures of human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells and hippocampal neurons cultured from newborn mice irrespective of gender. PTPRO was enriched in the mouse brain and localized to postsynaptic sites at excitatory synapses. The overexpression of PTPRO in cultured hippocampal neurons increased the number of synapses and the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). The knockdown of PTPRO expression in cultured neurons by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) reduced the number of synapses and the frequencies of the mEPSCs. The effects of shRNA knockdown were rescued by expressing either full-length PTPRO or a truncated PTPRO lacking the cytoplasmic domain. Consistent with these results, the N-terminal extracellular domain of PTPRO was required for its synaptogenic activity in the co-culture assay. Taken together, our data show that PTPRO is a synaptic CAM that serves as a potent initiator of the formation of excitatory synapses.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTThe formation of synapses is critical for the brain to execute its function, and synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) play essential roles in initiating the formation of synapses. By screening for unknown CAMs using a co-culture system, we revealed protein tyrosine

  7. 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.

  8. Synapse-type-specific plasticity in local circuits

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Rylan S; Sjöström, P Jesper

    2017-01-01

    Neuroscientists spent decades debating whether synaptic plasticity was presynaptically or postsynaptically expressed. It was eventually concluded that plasticity depends on many factors, including cell type. More recently, it has become increasingly clear that plasticity is regulated at an even finer grained level; it is specific to the synapse type, a concept we denote synapse-type-specific plasticity (STSP). Here, we review recent developments in the field of STSP, discussing both long-term and short-term variants and with particular emphasis on neocortical function. As there are dozens of neocortical cell types, there is a multiplicity of forms of STSP, the vast majority of which have never been explored. We argue that to understand the brain and synaptic diseases, we have to grapple with STSP. PMID:26310110

  9. Astrocytosis in parkinsonism: considering tripartite striatal synapses in physiopathology?

    PubMed

    Charron, Giselle; Doudnikoff, Evelyne; Canron, Marie-Helene; Li, Qin; Véga, Céline; Marais, Sebastien; Baufreton, Jérôme; Vital, Anne; Oliet, Stéphane H R; Bezard, Erwan

    2014-01-01

    The current concept of basal ganglia organization and function in physiological and pathophysiological conditions excludes the most numerous cells in the brain, i.e., the astrocytes, present with a ratio of 10:1 neuron. Their role in neurodegenerative condition such as Parkinson's disease (PD) remains to be elucidated. Before embarking into physiological investigations of the yet-to-be-identified "tripartite" synapses in the basal ganglia in general and the striatum in particular, we therefore characterized anatomically the PD-related modifications in astrocytic morphology, the changes in astrocytic network connections and the consequences on the spatial relationship between astrocytic processes and asymmetric synapses in normal and PD-like conditions in experimental and human PD. Our results unravel a dramatic regulation of striatal astrocytosis supporting the hypothesis of a key role in (dys) regulating corticostriatal transmission. Astrocytes and their various properties might thus represent a therapeutic target in PD.

  10. 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

  11. Enzymatic Activity of the Scaffold Protein Rapsyn for Synapse Formation.

    PubMed

    Li, Lei; Cao, Yu; Wu, Haitao; Ye, Xinchun; Zhu, Zhihui; Xing, Guanglin; Shen, Chengyong; Barik, Arnab; Zhang, Bin; Xie, Xiaoling; Zhi, Wenbo; Gan, Lin; Su, Huabo; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Mei, Lin

    2016-12-07

    Neurotransmission is ensured by a high concentration of neurotransmitter receptors at the postsynaptic membrane. This is mediated by scaffold proteins that bridge the receptors with cytoskeleton. One such protein is rapsyn (receptor-associated protein at synapse), which is essential for acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clustering and NMJ (neuromuscular junction) formation. We show that the RING domain of rapsyn contains E3 ligase activity. Mutation of the RING domain that abolishes the enzyme activity inhibits rapsyn- as well as agrin-induced AChR clustering in heterologous and muscle cells. Further biological and genetic studies support a working model where rapsyn, a classic scaffold protein, serves as an E3 ligase to induce AChR clustering and NMJ formation, possibly by regulation of AChR neddylation. This study identifies a previously unappreciated enzymatic function of rapsyn and a role of neddylation in synapse formation, and reveals a potential target of therapeutic intervention for relevant neurological disorders.

  12. Formation and organization of protein domains in the immunological synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, Andreas; Mahadevan, L.

    2014-11-01

    The cellular basis for the adaptive immune response during antigen recognition relies on a specialized protein interface known as the immunological synapse. Here, we propose a minimal mathematical model for the dynamics of the IS that encompass membrane mechanics, hydrodynamics and protein kinetics. Simple scaling laws describe the dynamics of protein clusters as a function of membrane stiffness, rigidity of the adhesive proteins, and fluid flow in the synaptic cleft. Numerical simulations complement the scaling laws by quantifying the nucleation, growth and stabilization of proteins domains on the size of the cell. Direct comparison with experiment suggests that passive dynamics suffices to describe the short-time formation and organization of protein clusters, while the stabilization and long time dynamics of the synapse is likely determined by active cytoskeleton processes triggered by receptor binding. Our study reveals that the fluid flow generated by the interplay between membrane deformation and protein binding kinetics can assist immune cells in regulating protein sorting.

  13. Differential regulation of neocortical synapses by neuromodulators and activity.

    PubMed

    Gil, Z; Connors, B W; Amitai, Y

    1997-09-01

    Synapses are continually regulated by chemical modulators and by their own activity. We tested the specificity of regulation in two excitatory pathways of the neocortex: thalamocortical (TC) synapses, which mediate specific inputs, and intracortical (IC) synapses, which mediate the recombination of cortical information. Frequency-sensitive depression was much stronger in TC synapses than in IC synapses. The two synapse types were differentially sensitive to presynaptic neuromodulators: only IC synapses were suppressed by activation of GABA(B) receptors, only TC synapses were enhanced by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors suppressed both synapse types. Modulators also differentially altered the frequency sensitivity of the synapses. Our results suggest a mechanism by which the relative strength and dynamics of input and associational pathways of neocortex are regulated during changes in behavioral state.

  14. Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation affects brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Dan Cao; Yingjie Li; Ling Wei; Yingying Tang

    2016-08-01

    Prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in the emotional processing as well as in the functional brain network. Hyperactivity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) would be found in anxious participants. However, it is still unclear what the role of PFC played in a resting functional network. Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) is an effective tool to create virtual lesions on brain regions. In this paper, we applied cTBS over right prefrontal area, and investigated the effects of cTBS on the brain activity for functional connectivity by the method of graph theory. We recorded 64-channels EEG on thirteen healthy participants in the resting condition and emotional tasks before and after 40 s of cTBS. This work focused on the effect of cTBS on cortical activities in the resting condition by calculating the coherence between EEG channels and building functional networks before and after cTBS in the delta, theta, alpha and beta bands. Results revealed that 1) The functional connectivity after cTBS was significantly increased compared with that before cTBS in delta, theta, alpha and beta bands in the resting condition; 2) The efficiency-cost reached the maximum before and after cTBS both with the cost about 0.3 in the bands above, which meant that the information transmission of functional brain network with this cost was highly efficient; 3) the clustering coefficient and path length after cTBS was significantly increased in delta, theta and beta bands. In conclusion, cTBS over PFC indeed enhanced the functional connectivity in the resting condition. In addition, the information transmission in the resting brain network was highly efficient with the cost about 0.3.

  15. CaMKII phosphorylation of neuroligin-1 regulates excitatory synapses

    PubMed Central

    Bemben, Michael A; Shipman, Seth L; Hirai, Takaaki; Herring, Bruce E; Li, Yan; Badger, John D; Nicoll, Roger A; Diamond, Jeffrey S; Roche, Katherine W

    2014-01-01

    Neuroligins are postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules that are important for synaptic function through their trans-synaptic interaction with neurexins (NRXNs). The localization and synaptic effects of neuroligin-1 (NL-1, also called NLGN1) are specific to excitatory synapses with the capacity to enhance excitatory synapses dependent on synaptic activity or Ca2+/calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII). Here we report that CaMKII robustly phosphorylates the intracellular domain of NL-1. We show that T739 is the dominant CaMKII site on NL-1 and is phosphorylated in response to synaptic activity in cultured rodent neurons and sensory experience in vivo. Furthermore, a phosphodeficient mutant (NL-1 T739A) reduces the basal and activity-driven surface expression of NL-1, leading to a reduction in neuroligin-mediated excitatory synaptic potentiation. To the best of our knowledge, our results are the first to demonstrate a direct functional interaction between CaMKII and NL-1, two primary components of excitatory synapses. PMID:24336150

  16. 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. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  17. Organic electronics: Battery-like artificial synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, J. Joshua; Xia, Qiangfei

    2017-04-01

    Borrowing the operating principles of a battery, a three-terminal organic switch has been developed on a flexible plastic substrate. The device consumes very little power and can be used as an artificial synapse for brain-inspired computing.

  18. Morphological and physiological development of auditory synapses

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wei-Ming; Goodrich, Lisa V.

    2014-01-01

    Acoustic communication requires gathering, transforming, and interpreting diverse sound cues. To achieve this, all the spatial and temporal features of complex sound stimuli must be captured in the firing patterns of the primary sensory neurons and then accurately transmitted along auditory pathways for additional processing. The mammalian auditory system relies on several synapses with unique properties in order to meet this task: the auditory ribbon synapses, the endbulb of Held, and the calyx of Held. Each of these synapses develops morphological and electrophysiological characteristics that enable the remarkably precise signal transmission necessary for conveying the miniscule differences in timing that underly sound localization. In this article, we review the current knowledge of how these synapses develop and mature to acquire the specialized features necessary for the sense of hearing. PMID:24508369

  19. Progressive maturation of silent synapses governs the duration of a critical period

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xiaojie; Stodieck, Sophia K.; Goetze, Bianka; Cui, Lei; Wong, Man Ho; Wenzel, Colin; Hosang, Leon; Dong, Yan; Löwel, Siegrid; Schlüter, Oliver M.

    2015-01-01

    During critical periods, all cortical neural circuits are refined to optimize their functional properties. The prevailing notion is that the balance between excitation and inhibition determines the onset and closure of critical periods. In contrast, we show that maturation of silent glutamatergic synapses onto principal neurons was sufficient to govern the duration of the critical period for ocular dominance plasticity in the visual cortex of mice. Specifically, postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95) was absolutely required for experience-dependent maturation of silent synapses, and its absence before the onset of critical periods resulted in lifelong juvenile ocular dominance plasticity. Loss of PSD-95 in the visual cortex after the closure of the critical period reinstated silent synapses, resulting in reopening of juvenile-like ocular dominance plasticity. Additionally, silent synapse-based ocular dominance plasticity was largely independent of the inhibitory tone, whose developmental maturation was independent of PSD-95. Moreover, glutamatergic synaptic transmission onto parvalbumin-positive interneurons was unaltered in PSD-95 KO mice. These findings reveal not only that PSD-95–dependent silent synapse maturation in visual cortical principal neurons terminates the critical period for ocular dominance plasticity but also indicate that, in general, once silent synapses are consolidated in any neural circuit, initial experience-dependent functional optimization and critical periods end. PMID:26015564

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

    PubMed

    Wiegert, J Simon; Oertner, Thomas G

    2013-11-19

    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.

  1. Noradrenaline is a stress-associated metaplastic signal at GABA synapses.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Wataru; Baimoukhametova, Dinara V; Füzesi, Tamás; Wamsteeker Cusulin, Jaclyn I; Koblinger, Kathrin; Whelan, Patrick J; Pittman, Quentin J; Bains, Jaideep S

    2013-05-01

    Exposure to a stressor sensitizes behavioral and hormonal responses to future stressors. Stress-associated release of noradrenaline enhances the capacity of central synapses to show plasticity (metaplasticity). We found noradrenaline-dependent metaplasticity at GABA synapses in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus in rat and mouse that controls the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. In vivo stress exposure was required for these synapses to undergo activity-dependent long-term potentiation (LTPGABA). The activation of β-adrenergic receptors during stress functionally upregulated metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1), allowing for mGluR1-dependent LTPGABA during afferent bursts. LTPGABA was expressed postsynaptically and manifested as the emergence of new functional synapses. Our findings provide, to the best of our knowledge, the first demonstration that noradrenaline release during an in vivo challenge alters information storage capacity at GABA synapses. Because these GABA synapses become excitatory following acute stress, this metaplasticity may contribute to neuroendocrine sensitization to stress.

  2. Differential signaling to subplate neurons by spatially specific silent synapses in developing auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Meng, Xiangying; Kao, Joseph P Y; Kanold, Patrick O

    2014-06-25

    Subplate neurons (SPNs) form one of the earliest maturing circuits in the cerebral cortex and are crucial to cortical development. In addition to thalamic inputs, subsets of SPNs receive excitatory AMPAR-mediated inputs from the developing cortical plate in the second postnatal week. Functionally silent (non-AMPAR-mediated) excitatory synapses exist in several systems during development, and the existence of such inputs can precede the appearance of AMPAR-mediated synapses. Because SPNs receive inputs from presynaptic cells in different cortical layers, we investigated whether AMPAR-mediated and silent synapses might originate in different layers. We used laser-scanning photostimulation in acute thalamocortical slices of mouse auditory cortex during the first 2 postnatal weeks to study the spatial origin of silent synapses onto SPNs. We find that silent synapses from the cortical plate are present on SPNs and that they originate from different cortical locations than functional (AMPAR-mediated) synapses. Moreover, we find that SPNs can be categorized based on the spatial pattern of silent and AMPAR-mediated connections. Because SPNs can be activated at young ages by thalamic inputs, distinct populations of cortical neurons at young ages have the ability to signal to SPNs depending on the activation state of SPNs. Because during development intracortical circuits are spontaneously active, our results suggest that SPNs might integrate ascending input from the thalamus with spontaneously generated cortical activity patterns. Together, our results suggest that SPNs are an integral part of the developing intracortical circuitry and thereby can sculpt thalamocortical connections.

  3. Factors affecting the development of lung function in Tunisian children.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, Y; Pariès, J; Harrabi, I; Zbidi, A; Tabka, Z; Richalet, J P; Buvry, A

    2008-01-01

    We undertook to evaluate the impacts of morphology at birth, physical activity, anthropometric, socioeconomic and environmental factors on lung function in healthy Tunisian children. Pulmonary function parameters were measured with a Minato portable spirometer in a randomized population of 756 healthy children (388 males and 368 females) aged between 6 and 16. The morphology at birth, the gestational age, the physical activity, the socioeconomic status, the type of habitation, and the environmental factors were all assessed by a standard questionnaire. Using univariate analysis, we found that: (1) morphometric parameters (height, weight, maximal inspiratory, and expiratory perimeter), as well as sex were highly associated with pulmonary function parameters; (2) Height at birth showed strong significant relations with FVC, FEV(1), and FEV(1)/FVC; (3) lung function parameters were influenced by physical training of our children, socioeconomic status, indoor pollution, and passive smoking; and (4) we did not observe any association between the gestational age and the weight at their birth and lung function parameters. Using a general linear model analysis, morphometric parameters, age, sex, type of heating, and maximal inspiratory and expiratory perimeters had significant relation with respiratory parameters. In our population of healthy Tunisian children, the main predictive factors of the pulmonary development were the morphological factors such as height, weight, maximal inspiratory, and expiratory thoracic perimeter, sex and age, and the environmental conditions such as type of heating but not morphology at birth, physical activity, or socioeconomic status.

  4. Neural cell adhesion molecule-mediated Fyn activation promotes GABAergic synapse maturation in postnatal mouse cortex.

    PubMed

    Chattopadhyaya,