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Sample records for affects synaptic plasticity

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catches, Justin Samuel

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

  3. Translational control of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Richter, Joel D

    2010-12-01

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

  4. Optogenetics and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  5. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Marcos G.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klann, Eric; Antion, Marcia D.; Banko, Jessica L.; Hou, Lingfei

    2004-01-01

    It is widely accepted that protein synthesis, including local protein synthesis at synapses, is required for several forms of synaptic plasticity. Local protein synthesis enables synapses to control synaptic strength independent of the cell body via rapid protein production from pre-existing mRNA. Therefore, regulation of translation initiation is…

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Unraveling mechanisms of homeostatic synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Pozo, Karine; Goda, Yukiko

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a negative feedback mechanism neurons use to offset excessive excitation or inhibition by adjusting their synaptic strengths. Recent findings reveal a complex web of signaling processes involved in this compensatory form of synaptic strength regulation, and in contrast to the popular view of homeostatic plasticity as a slow, global phenomenon, neurons may also rapidly tune the efficacy of individual synapses on demand. Here we review our current understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms of homeostatic synaptic plasticity. PMID:20471348

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-10

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

  11. Synaptic AMPA Receptor Plasticity and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Kessels, Helmut W.; Malinow, Roberto

    2014-01-01

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

  12. [Motor Proteins of Microtubules and Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity].

    PubMed

    Vasilyeva, N A; Pivovarov, A S

    2016-01-01

    Motor proteins of microtubules, kinesin and dynein superfamily proteins play an important role in the intracellular transport. Inside a neuron they are involved in the transport of organelles, proteins and mRNAs along the axons and dendrites to the nerve terminals and back to the cell bodies. Disturbance of axonal transport may affect neurotransmitter release and short-term presynaptic plasticity. Disturbance of dendritic transport, in particular the recycling of synaptic receptors, affects postsynaptic plasticity. The review attempts to trace the connections between the motor proteins of microtubules and mechanisms of synaptic plasticity from the perspective of their involvement in the intracellular transport of proteins and organelles, which play role in the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. PMID:27538280

  13. Balance and stability of synaptic structures during synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Daniel; Bonhoeffer, Tobias; Scheuss, Volker

    2014-04-16

    Subsynaptic structures such as bouton, active zone, postsynaptic density (PSD) and dendritic spine, are highly correlated in their dimensions and also correlate with synapse strength. Why this is so and how such correlations are maintained during synaptic plasticity remains poorly understood. We induced spine enlargement by two-photon glutamate uncaging and examined the relationship between spine, PSD, and bouton size by two-photon time-lapse imaging and electron microscopy. In enlarged spines the PSD-associated protein Homer1c increased rapidly, whereas the PSD protein PSD-95 increased with a delay and only in cases of persistent spine enlargement. In the case of nonpersistent spine enlargement, the PSD proteins remained unchanged or returned to their original level. The ultrastructure at persistently enlarged spines displayed matching dimensions of spine, PSD, and bouton, indicating their correlated enlargement. This supports a model in which balancing of synaptic structures is a hallmark for the stabilization of structural modifications during synaptic plasticity. PMID:24742464

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

    PubMed Central

    De Pittà, Maurizio; Brunel, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Reactivation of stalled polyribosomes in synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  16. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kittel, Robert J; Heckmann, Manfred

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kittel, Robert J.; Heckmann, Manfred

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A

    2015-11-02

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

  19. Heterosynaptic Plasticity Prevents Runaway Synaptic Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jen-Yung; Lonjers, Peter; Lee, Christopher; Chistiakova, Marina; Volgushev, Maxim

    2013-01-01

    Spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) and other conventional Hebbian-type plasticity rules are prone to produce runaway dynamics of synaptic weights. Once potentiated, a synapse would have higher probability to lead to spikes and thus to be further potentiated, but once depressed, a synapse would tend to be further depressed. The runaway synaptic dynamics can be prevented by precisely balancing STDP rules for potentiation and depression; however, experimental evidence shows a great variety of potentiation and depression windows and magnitudes. Here we show that modifications of synapses to layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons from rat visual and auditory cortices in slices can be induced by intracellular tetanization: bursts of postsynaptic spikes without presynaptic stimulation. Induction of these heterosynaptic changes depended on the rise of intracellular calcium, and their direction and magnitude correlated with initial state of release mechanisms. We suggest that this type of plasticity serves as a mechanism that stabilizes the distribution of synaptic weights and prevents their runaway dynamics. To test this hypothesis, we develop a cortical neuron model implementing both homosynaptic (STDP) and heterosynaptic plasticity with properties matching the experimental data. We find that heterosynaptic plasticity effectively prevented runaway dynamics for the tested range of STDP and input parameters. Synaptic weights, although shifted from the original, remained normally distributed and nonsaturated. Our study presents a biophysically constrained model of how the interaction of different forms of plasticity—Hebbian and heterosynaptic—may prevent runaway synaptic dynamics and keep synaptic weights unsaturated and thus capable of further plastic changes and formation of new memories. PMID:24089497

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

    PubMed

    Bukalo, O; Schachner, M; Dityatev, A

    2001-01-01

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

  1. Fast Learning with Weak Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Yger, Pierre; Stimberg, Marcel; Brette, Romain

    2015-09-30

    New sensory stimuli can be learned with a single or a few presentations. Similarly, the responses of cortical neurons to a stimulus have been shown to increase reliably after just a few repetitions. Long-term memory is thought to be mediated by synaptic plasticity, but in vitro experiments in cortical cells typically show very small changes in synaptic strength after a pair of presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes. Thus, it is traditionally thought that fast learning requires stronger synaptic changes, possibly because of neuromodulation. Here we show theoretically that weak synaptic plasticity can, in fact, support fast learning, because of the large number of synapses N onto a cortical neuron. In the fluctuation-driven regime characteristic of cortical neurons in vivo, the size of membrane potential fluctuations grows only as √N, whereas a single output spike leads to potentiation of a number of synapses proportional to N. Therefore, the relative effect of a single spike on synaptic potentiation grows as √N. This leverage effect requires precise spike timing. Thus, the large number of synapses onto cortical neurons allows fast learning with very small synaptic changes. Significance statement: Long-term memory is thought to rely on the strengthening of coactive synapses. This physiological mechanism is generally considered to be very gradual, and yet new sensory stimuli can be learned with just a few presentations. Here we show theoretically that this apparent paradox can be solved when there is a tight balance between excitatory and inhibitory input. In this case, small synaptic modifications applied to the many synapses onto a given neuron disrupt that balance and produce a large effect even for modifications induced by a single stimulus. This effect makes fast learning possible with small synaptic changes and reconciles physiological and behavioral observations.

  2. Diacylglycerol Kinases in the Coordination of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Dongwon; Kim, Eunjoon; Tanaka-Yamamoto, Keiko

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is activity-dependent modification of the efficacy of synaptic transmission. Although, detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are diverse and vary at different types of synapses, diacylglycerol (DAG)-associated signaling has been considered as an important regulator of many forms of synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Recent evidences indicate that DAG kinases (DGKs), which phosphorylate DAG to phosphatidic acid to terminate DAG signaling, are important regulators of LTP and LTD, as supported by the results from mice lacking specific DGK isoforms. This review will summarize these studies and discuss how specific DGK isoforms distinctly regulate different forms of synaptic plasticity at pre- and postsynaptic sites. In addition, we propose a general role of DGKs as coordinators of synaptic plasticity that make local synaptic environments more permissive for synaptic plasticity by regulating DAG concentration and interacting with other synaptic proteins. PMID:27630986

  3. Diacylglycerol Kinases in the Coordination of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Dongwon; Kim, Eunjoon; Tanaka-Yamamoto, Keiko

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is activity-dependent modification of the efficacy of synaptic transmission. Although, detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are diverse and vary at different types of synapses, diacylglycerol (DAG)-associated signaling has been considered as an important regulator of many forms of synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Recent evidences indicate that DAG kinases (DGKs), which phosphorylate DAG to phosphatidic acid to terminate DAG signaling, are important regulators of LTP and LTD, as supported by the results from mice lacking specific DGK isoforms. This review will summarize these studies and discuss how specific DGK isoforms distinctly regulate different forms of synaptic plasticity at pre- and postsynaptic sites. In addition, we propose a general role of DGKs as coordinators of synaptic plasticity that make local synaptic environments more permissive for synaptic plasticity by regulating DAG concentration and interacting with other synaptic proteins.

  4. Diacylglycerol Kinases in the Coordination of Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dongwon; Kim, Eunjoon; Tanaka-Yamamoto, Keiko

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is activity-dependent modification of the efficacy of synaptic transmission. Although, detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are diverse and vary at different types of synapses, diacylglycerol (DAG)-associated signaling has been considered as an important regulator of many forms of synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Recent evidences indicate that DAG kinases (DGKs), which phosphorylate DAG to phosphatidic acid to terminate DAG signaling, are important regulators of LTP and LTD, as supported by the results from mice lacking specific DGK isoforms. This review will summarize these studies and discuss how specific DGK isoforms distinctly regulate different forms of synaptic plasticity at pre- and postsynaptic sites. In addition, we propose a general role of DGKs as coordinators of synaptic plasticity that make local synaptic environments more permissive for synaptic plasticity by regulating DAG concentration and interacting with other synaptic proteins. PMID:27630986

  5. The amygdala, synaptic plasticity, and fear memory.

    PubMed

    Maren, Stephen

    2003-04-01

    The nature and mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the amygdala and the relation of amygdaloid plasticity to behavior are exciting new areas of study in neuroscience. These issues were at the heart of presentations by Paul Chapman, Michael Fanselow, Patricia Shinnick-Gallagher, and Michael Rogawski in a session entitled "Long-Term Plasticity in Amygdala Synaptic Transmission" that was held at the conference featured in this volume. In this chapter, I briefly summarize these talks and give my perspective on the presentations as the session chair. I argue that we must first understand the role of the amygdala in learning and memory in order to understand the contribution of amygdaloid synaptic plasticity to behavior. Although it is generally agreed that the amygdala is involved in several forms of emotional learning and memory such as pavlovian fear conditioning, a recent debate has emerged concerning the precise role of the amygdala in learning versus performing fear responses. I discuss data from my laboratory that unravel this issue. I argue that the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) normally plays an essential role in associative processes in fear conditioning. Nonetheless, rats with BLA lesions acquire and express conditional fear under some conditions. A neuroanatomical model that accounts for these data is presented.

  6. Energy Efficient Sparse Connectivity from Imbalanced Synaptic Plasticity Rules

    PubMed Central

    Sacramento, João; Wichert, Andreas; van Rossum, Mark C. W.

    2015-01-01

    It is believed that energy efficiency is an important constraint in brain evolution. As synaptic transmission dominates energy consumption, energy can be saved by ensuring that only a few synapses are active. It is therefore likely that the formation of sparse codes and sparse connectivity are fundamental objectives of synaptic plasticity. In this work we study how sparse connectivity can result from a synaptic learning rule of excitatory synapses. Information is maximised when potentiation and depression are balanced according to the mean presynaptic activity level and the resulting fraction of zero-weight synapses is around 50%. However, an imbalance towards depression increases the fraction of zero-weight synapses without significantly affecting performance. We show that imbalanced plasticity corresponds to imposing a regularising constraint on the L 1-norm of the synaptic weight vector, a procedure that is well-known to induce sparseness. Imbalanced plasticity is biophysically plausible and leads to more efficient synaptic configurations than a previously suggested approach that prunes synapses after learning. Our framework gives a novel interpretation to the high fraction of silent synapses found in brain regions like the cerebellum. PMID:26046817

  7. Regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity by BDNF.

    PubMed

    Leal, Graciano; Afonso, Pedro M; Salazar, Ivan L; Duarte, Carlos B

    2015-09-24

    The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has emerged as a major regulator of activity-dependent plasticity at excitatory synapses in the mammalian central nervous system. In particular, much attention has been given to the role of the neurotrophin in the regulation of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a sustained enhancement of excitatory synaptic strength believed to underlie learning and memory processes. In this review we summarize the evidence pointing to a role for BDNF in generating functional and structural changes at synapses required for both early- and late phases of LTP in the hippocampus. The available information regarding the pre- and/or postsynaptic release of BDNF and action of the neurotrophin during LTP will be also reviewed. Finally, we discuss the effects of BDNF on the synaptic proteome, either by acting on the protein synthesis machinery and/or by regulating protein degradation by calpains and possibly by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). This fine-tuned control of the synaptic proteome rather than a simple upregulation of the protein synthesis may play a key role in BDNF-mediated synaptic potentiation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory. PMID:25451089

  8. Morphological plasticity of astroglia: Understanding synaptic microenvironment

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Memory formation in the brain is thought to rely on the remodeling of synaptic connections which eventually results in neural network rewiring. This remodeling is likely to involve ultrathin astroglial protrusions which often occur in the immediate vicinity of excitatory synapses. The phenomenology, cellular mechanisms, and causal relationships of such astroglial restructuring remain, however, poorly understood. This is in large part because monitoring and probing of the underpinning molecular machinery on the scale of nanoscopic astroglial compartments remains a challenge. Here we briefly summarize the current knowledge regarding the cellular organisation of astroglia in the synaptic microenvironment and discuss molecular mechanisms potentially involved in use‐dependent astroglial morphogenesis. We also discuss recent observations concerning morphological astroglial plasticity, the respective monitoring methods, and some of the newly emerging techniques that might help with conceptual advances in the area. GLIA 2015;63:2133–2151 PMID:25782611

  9. Endocannabinoids in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jian-Yi; Chen, Chu

    2014-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are endogenous lipid mediators involved in a variety of physiological, pharmacological, and pathological processes. While activation of the eCB system primarily induces inhibitory effects on both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity through acting on presynaptically-expressed CB1 receptors in the brain, accumulated information suggests that eCB signaling is also capable of facilitating or potentiating excitatory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. Recent studies show that a long-lasting potentiation of excitatory synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral (SC)-CA1 synapses is induced by spatiotemporally primed inputs, accompanying with a long-term depression of inhibitory synaptic transmission (I-LTD) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. This input-timing-dependent long-lasting synaptic potentiation at SC-CA1 synapses is mediated by 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) signaling triggered by activation of postsynaptic NMDA receptors, group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), and a concurrent rise in intracellular Ca2+. Emerging evidence now also indicates that 2-AG is an important signaling mediator keeping brain homeostasis by exerting its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in response to harmful insults through CB1/2 receptor-dependent and/or independent mechanisms. Activation of the nuclear receptor protein peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) apparently is one of the important mechanisms in resolving neuroinflammation and protecting neurons produced by 2-AG signaling. Thus, the information summarized in this review suggests that the role of eCB signaling in maintaining integrity of brain function is greater than what we thought previously. PMID:24571856

  10. Computational Neuroscience: Modeling the Systems Biology of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kotaleski, Jeanette Hellgren; Blackwell, Kim T.

    2016-01-01

    Preface Synaptic plasticity is a mechanism proposed to underlie learning and memory. The complexity of the interactions between ion channels, enzymes, and genes involved in synaptic plasticity impedes a deep understanding of this phenomenon. Computer modeling is an approach to investigate the information processing that is performed by signaling pathways underlying synaptic plasticity. In the past few years, new software developments that blend computational neuroscience techniques with systems biology techniques have allowed large-scale, quantitative modeling of synaptic plasticity in neurons. We highlight significant advancements produced by these modeling efforts and introduce promising approaches that utilize advancements in live cell imaging. PMID:20300102

  11. Synaptic Plasticity, a Symphony in GEF

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Dendritic spines are the postsynaptic sites for the majority of excitatory synapses in the mammalian forebrain. While many spines display great stability, others change shape in a matter of seconds to minutes. These rapid alterations in dendritic spine number and size require tight control of the actin cytoskeleton, the main structural component of dendritic spines. The ability of neurons to alter spine number and size is essential for the expression of neuronal plasticity. Within spines, guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) act as critical regulators of the actin cytoskeleton by controlling the activity of Rho-GTPases. In this review, we focus on the Rho-GEFs expressed in the nucleus accumbens and localized to the postsynaptic density and, thus, positioned to effect rapid alterations in the structure of dendritic spines. We review literature that ties these GEFs to different receptor systems and intracellular signaling cascades and discuss the effects these interactions are likely to have on synaptic plasticity. PMID:20543890

  12. In Vitro Investigation of Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Abrahamsson, Therese; Lalanne, Txomin; Watt, Alanna J; Sjöström, P Jesper

    2016-01-01

    A classical in vitro model for investigation of information storage in the brain is based on the acute hippocampal slice. Here, repeated high-frequency stimulation of excitatory Schaeffer collaterals making synapses onto pyramidal cells in the hippocampal CA1 region leads to strengthening of evoked field-recording responses-long-term potentiation (LTP)-in keeping with Hebb's postulate. This model remains tremendously influential for its reliability, specificity, and relative ease of use. More recent plasticity studies have explored various other brain regions including the neocortex, which often requires more laborious whole-cell recordings of synaptically connected pairs of neurons, to ensure that the identities of recorded cells are known. In addition, with this experimental approach, the spiking activity can be controlled with millisecond precision, which is necessary for the study of spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). Here, we provide protocols for in vitro study of hippocampal CA1 LTP using field recordings, and of STDP in synaptically connected pairs of layer-5 pyramidal cells in acute slices of rodent neocortex. PMID:27250951

  13. Membrane-derived phospholipids control synaptic neurotransmission and plasticity.

    PubMed

    García-Morales, Victoria; Montero, Fernando; González-Forero, David; Rodríguez-Bey, Guillermo; Gómez-Pérez, Laura; Medialdea-Wandossell, María Jesús; Domínguez-Vías, Germán; García-Verdugo, José Manuel; Moreno-López, Bernardo

    2015-05-01

    Synaptic communication is a dynamic process that is key to the regulation of neuronal excitability and information processing in the brain. To date, however, the molecular signals controlling synaptic dynamics have been poorly understood. Membrane-derived bioactive phospholipids are potential candidates to control short-term tuning of synaptic signaling, a plastic event essential for information processing at both the cellular and neuronal network levels in the brain. Here, we showed that phospholipids affect excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission by different degrees, loci, and mechanisms of action. Signaling triggered by lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) evoked rapid and reversible depression of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents. At excitatory synapses, LPA-induced depression depended on LPA1/Gαi/o-protein/phospholipase C/myosin light chain kinase cascade at the presynaptic site. LPA increased myosin light chain phosphorylation, which is known to trigger actomyosin contraction, and reduced the number of synaptic vesicles docked to active zones in excitatory boutons. At inhibitory synapses, postsynaptic LPA signaling led to dephosphorylation, and internalization of the GABAAγ2 subunit through the LPA1/Gα12/13-protein/RhoA/Rho kinase/calcineurin pathway. However, LPA-induced depression of GABAergic transmission was correlated with an endocytosis-independent reduction of GABAA receptors, possibly by GABAAγ2 dephosphorylation and subsequent increased lateral diffusion. Furthermore, endogenous LPA signaling, mainly via LPA1, mediated activity-dependent inhibitory depression in a model of experimental synaptic plasticity. Finally, LPA signaling, most likely restraining the excitatory drive incoming to motoneurons, regulated performance of motor output commands, a basic brain processing task. We propose that lysophospholipids serve as potential local messengers that tune synaptic strength to precedent activity of the neuron.

  14. Membrane-Derived Phospholipids Control Synaptic Neurotransmission and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    García-Morales, Victoria; Montero, Fernando; González-Forero, David; Rodríguez-Bey, Guillermo; Gómez-Pérez, Laura; Medialdea-Wandossell, María Jesús; Domínguez-Vías, Germán; García-Verdugo, José Manuel; Moreno-López, Bernardo

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic communication is a dynamic process that is key to the regulation of neuronal excitability and information processing in the brain. To date, however, the molecular signals controlling synaptic dynamics have been poorly understood. Membrane-derived bioactive phospholipids are potential candidates to control short-term tuning of synaptic signaling, a plastic event essential for information processing at both the cellular and neuronal network levels in the brain. Here, we showed that phospholipids affect excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission by different degrees, loci, and mechanisms of action. Signaling triggered by lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) evoked rapid and reversible depression of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents. At excitatory synapses, LPA-induced depression depended on LPA1/Gαi/o-protein/phospholipase C/myosin light chain kinase cascade at the presynaptic site. LPA increased myosin light chain phosphorylation, which is known to trigger actomyosin contraction, and reduced the number of synaptic vesicles docked to active zones in excitatory boutons. At inhibitory synapses, postsynaptic LPA signaling led to dephosphorylation, and internalization of the GABAAγ2 subunit through the LPA1/Gα12/13-protein/RhoA/Rho kinase/calcineurin pathway. However, LPA-induced depression of GABAergic transmission was correlated with an endocytosis-independent reduction of GABAA receptors, possibly by GABAAγ2 dephosphorylation and subsequent increased lateral diffusion. Furthermore, endogenous LPA signaling, mainly via LPA1, mediated activity-dependent inhibitory depression in a model of experimental synaptic plasticity. Finally, LPA signaling, most likely restraining the excitatory drive incoming to motoneurons, regulated performance of motor output commands, a basic brain processing task. We propose that lysophospholipids serve as potential local messengers that tune synaptic strength to precedent activity of the neuron. PMID:25996636

  15. Calcineurin mediates homeostatic synaptic plasticity by regulating retinoic acid synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Arendt, Kristin L.; Zhang, Zhenjie; Ganesan, Subhashree; Hintze, Maik; Shin, Maggie M.; Tang, Yitai; Cho, Ahryon; Graef, Isabella A.; Chen, Lu

    2015-01-01

    Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a form of non-Hebbian plasticity that maintains stability of the network and fidelity for information processing in response to prolonged perturbation of network and synaptic activity. Prolonged blockade of synaptic activity decreases resting Ca2+ levels in neurons, thereby inducing retinoic acid (RA) synthesis and RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity; however, the signal transduction pathway that links reduced Ca2+-levels to RA synthesis remains unknown. Here we identify the Ca2+-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin (CaN) as a key regulator for RA synthesis and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Prolonged inhibition of CaN activity promotes RA synthesis in neurons, and leads to increased excitatory and decreased inhibitory synaptic transmission. These effects of CaN inhibitors on synaptic transmission are blocked by pharmacological inhibitors of RA synthesis or acute genetic deletion of the RA receptor RARα. Thus, CaN, acting upstream of RA, plays a critical role in gating RA signaling pathway in response to synaptic activity. Moreover, activity blockade-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity is absent in CaN knockout neurons, demonstrating the essential role of CaN in RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Interestingly, in GluA1 S831A and S845A knockin mice, CaN inhibitor- and RA-induced regulation of synaptic transmission is intact, suggesting that phosphorylation of GluA1 C-terminal serine residues S831 and S845 is not required for CaN inhibitor- or RA-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Thus, our study uncovers an unforeseen role of CaN in postsynaptic signaling, and defines CaN as the Ca2+-sensing signaling molecule that mediates RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity. PMID:26443861

  16. Role of MicroRNA in Governing Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Memory capacities for synaptic and structural plasticity.

    PubMed

    Knoblauch, Andreas; Palm, Günther; Sommer, Friedrich T

    2010-02-01

    Neural associative networks with plastic synapses have been proposed as computational models of brain functions and also for applications such as pattern recognition and information retrieval. To guide biological models and optimize technical applications, several definitions of memory capacity have been used to measure the efficiency of associative memory. Here we explain why the currently used performance measures bias the comparison between models and cannot serve as a theoretical benchmark. We introduce fair measures for information-theoretic capacity in associative memory that also provide a theoretical benchmark. In neural networks, two types of manipulating synapses can be discerned: synaptic plasticity, the change in strength of existing synapses, and structural plasticity, the creation and pruning of synapses. One of the new types of memory capacity we introduce permits quantifying how structural plasticity can increase the network efficiency by compressing the network structure, for example, by pruning unused synapses. Specifically, we analyze operating regimes in the Willshaw model in which structural plasticity can compress the network structure and push performance to the theoretical benchmark. The amount C of information stored in each synapse can scale with the logarithm of the network size rather than being constant, as in classical Willshaw and Hopfield nets (< or = ln 2 approximately 0.7). Further, the review contains novel technical material: a capacity analysis of the Willshaw model that rigorously controls for the level of retrieval quality, an analysis for memories with a nonconstant number of active units (where C < or = 1/e ln 2 approximately 0.53), and the analysis of the computational complexity of associative memories with and without network compression.

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

    PubMed

    Hawasli, Ammar H; Bibb, James A

    2007-08-01

    Protein kinases mediate the intracellular signal transduction pathways controlling synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system. While the majority of protein kinases achieve this function via the phosphorylation of synaptic substrates, some kinases may contribute through alternative mechanisms in addition to enzymatic activity. There is growing evidence that protein kinases may often play structural roles in plasticity as well. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) has been implicated in learning and synaptic plasticity. Initial scrutiny focused on its enzymatic activity using pharmacological inhibitors and genetic modifications of Cdk5 cofactors. Quite recently Cdk5 has been shown to govern learning and plasticity via regulation of glutamate receptor degradation, a function that may not dependent on phosphorylation of downstream effectors. From these new studies, two roles emerge for Cdk5 in plasticity: one in which it controls structural plasticity via phosphorylation of synaptic substrates, and a second where it regulates functional plasticity via protein-protein interactions.

  19. Transient ECM protease activity promotes synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Magnowska, Marta; Gorkiewicz, Tomasz; Suska, Anna; Wawrzyniak, Marcin; Rutkowska-Wlodarczyk, Izabela; Kaczmarek, Leszek; Wlodarczyk, Jakub

    2016-01-01

    Activity-dependent proteolysis at a synapse has been recognized as a pivotal factor in controlling dynamic changes in dendritic spine shape and function; however, excessive proteolytic activity is detrimental to the cells. The exact mechanism of control of these seemingly contradictory outcomes of protease activity remains unknown. Here, we reveal that dendritic spine maturation is strictly controlled by the proteolytic activity, and its inhibition by the endogenous inhibitor (Tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1 – TIMP-1). Excessive proteolytic activity impairs long-term potentiation of the synaptic efficacy (LTP), and this impairment could be rescued by inhibition of protease activity. Moreover LTP is altered persistently when the ability of TIMP-1 to inhibit protease activity is abrogated, further demonstrating the role of such inhibition in the promotion of synaptic plasticity under well-defined conditions. We also show that dendritic spine maturation involves an intermediate formation of elongated spines, followed by their conversion into mushroom shape. The formation of mushroom-shaped spines is accompanied by increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio of glutamate receptors. Altogether, our results identify inhibition of protease activity as a critical regulatory mechanism for dendritic spines maturation. PMID:27282248

  20. Endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity and addiction-related behavior

    PubMed Central

    Sidhpura, Nimish; Parsons, Loren H.

    2011-01-01

    Endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) are retrograde messengers that provide feedback inhibition of both excitatory and inhibitory transmission in brain through the activation of presynaptic CB1 receptors. Substantial evidence indicates that eCBs mediate various forms of short- and long-term plasticity in brain regions involved in the etiology of addiction. The present review provides an overview of the mechanisms through which eCBs mediate various forms of synaptic plasticity and discusses evidence that eCB-mediated plasticity is disrupted following exposure to a variety of abused substances that differ substantially in pharmacodynamic mechanism including alcohol, psychostimulants and cannabinoids. The possible involvement of dysregulated eCB signaling in maladaptive behaviors that evolve over long-term drug exposure is also discussed, with a particular focus on altered behavioral responses to drug exposure, deficient extinction of drug-related memories, increased drug craving and relapse, heightened stress sensitivity and persistent affective disruption (anxiety and depression). PMID:21669214

  1. Pannexin 1 regulates bidirectional hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Ardiles, Alvaro O.; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Toro-Ayala, Gabriela; Cárdenas, Ana M.; Palacios, Adrian G.; Muñoz, Pablo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Sáez, Juan C.; Martínez, Agustín D.

    2014-01-01

    The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca2+ concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR) composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1), a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP), it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD) or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory. PMID:25360084

  2. Long-term Synaptic Plasticity: Circuit Perturbation and Stabilization

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Sung-Cherl; Eun, Su-Yong

    2014-01-01

    At central synapses, activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has a crucial role in information processing, storage, learning, and memory under both physiological and pathological conditions. One widely accepted model of learning mechanism and information processing in the brain is Hebbian Plasticity: long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). LTP and LTD are respectively activity-dependent enhancement and reduction in the efficacy of the synapses, which are rapid and synapse-specific processes. A number of recent studies have a strong focal point on the critical importance of another distinct form of synaptic plasticity, non-Hebbian plasticity. Non-Hebbian plasticity dynamically adjusts synaptic strength to maintain stability. This process may be very slow and occur cell-widely. By putting them all together, this mini review defines an important conceptual difference between Hebbian and non-Hebbian plasticity. PMID:25598658

  3. The Ubiquitin-Proteasome Pathway and Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hegde, Ashok N.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-19

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

  5. Aging and Synaptic Plasticity: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Bergado, Jorge A.; Almaguer, William

    2002-01-01

    Aging affects all systems, but the brain seems to be particularly vulnerable to the action of negative, age-dependent factors. A gradual loss of memory functions is one of the earliest and most widespread consequences of brain aging. The causes for such impairment are still unclear. Long-term potentiation (LTP) is one form of neural plasticity, which has been proposed as the cellular correlate for memory. LTP is affected by aging, and such alteration might be causally related to memory dysfunction. In the present paper, we review the evidence sustaining the existence of a causal link between cognitive and LTP impairments, as well as the possible mechanisms involved. New results indicate a possible involvement of a deficient reinforcement of LTP by affective influences. PMID:12959152

  6. Spike-driven synaptic plasticity: theory, simulation, VLSI implementation.

    PubMed

    Fusi, S; Annunziato, M; Badoni, D; Salamon, A; Amit, D J

    2000-10-01

    We present a model for spike-driven dynamics of a plastic synapse, suited for aVLSI implementation. The synaptic device behaves as a capacitor on short timescales and preserves the memory of two stable states (efficacies) on long timescales. The transitions (LTP/LTD) are stochastic because both the number and the distribution of neural spikes in any finite (stimulation) interval fluctuate, even at fixed pre- and postsynaptic spike rates. The dynamics of the single synapse is studied analytically by extending the solution to a classic problem in queuing theory (Takacs process). The model of the synapse is implemented in aVLSI and consists of only 18 transistors. It is also directly simulated. The simulations indicate that LTP/LTD probabilities versus rates are robust to fluctuations of the electronic parameters in a wide range of rates. The solutions for these probabilities are in very good agreement with both the simulations and measurements. Moreover, the probabilities are readily manipulable by variations of the chip's parameters, even in ranges where they are very small. The tests of the electronic device cover the range from spontaneous activity (3-4 Hz) to stimulus-driven rates (50 Hz). Low transition probabilities can be maintained in all ranges, even though the intrinsic time constants of the device are short (approximately 100 ms). Synaptic transitions are triggered by elevated presynaptic rates: for low presynaptic rates, there are essentially no transitions. The synaptic device can preserve its memory for years in the absence of stimulation. Stochasticity of learning is a result of the variability of interspike intervals; noise is a feature of the distributed dynamics of the network. The fact that the synapse is binary on long timescales solves the stability problem of synaptic efficacies in the absence of stimulation. Yet stochastic learning theory ensures that it does not affect the collective behavior of the network, if the transition probabilities are

  7. In vivo long-term synaptic plasticity of glial cells.

    PubMed

    Bélair, Eve-Lyne; Vallée, Joanne; Robitaille, Richard

    2010-04-01

    Evidence showing the ability of glial cells to detect, respond to and modulate synaptic transmission and plasticity has contributed to the notion of glial cells as active synaptic partners. However, synaptically induced plasticity of glia themselves remains ill defined. Here we used the amphibian neuromuscular junction (NMJ) to study plasticity of perisynaptic Schwann cells (PSCs), glial cells at this synapse, following long-term in vivo modifications of synaptic activity. We used two models that altered synaptic activity in different manners. First, chronic blockade of postsynaptic nicotinic receptors using alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BTx) decreased facilitation, increased synaptic depression and decreased post-tetanic potentiation (PTP). Second, chronic nerve stimulation increased facilitation and resistance to synaptic depression, while leaving PTP unaltered. Our results indicate that there is no direct relationship between transmitter release and PSC calcium responses. Indeed, despite changes in transmitter release and plasticity in stimulated NMJs, nerve-evoked PSC calcium responses were similar to control. Similarly, PSC calcium responses in alpha-BTx treated NMJs were delayed and smaller in amplitude, even though basal level of transmitter release was increased. Also, when isolating purinergic and muscarinic components of PSC calcium responses, we found an increased sensitivity to ATP and a decreased sensitivity to muscarine in chronically stimulated NMJs. Conversely, in alpha-BTx treated NMJs, PSC sensitivity remained unaffected, but ATP- and muscarine-induced calcium responses were prolonged. Thus, our results reveal complex modifications of PSC properties, with differential modulation of signalling pathways that might underlie receptor regulation or changes in Ca(2+) handling. Importantly, similar to neurons, perisynaptic glial cells undergo plastic changes induced by altered synaptic activity.

  8. Synaptopodin regulates denervation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Vlachos, Andreas; Ikenberg, Benno; Lenz, Maximilian; Becker, Denise; Reifenberg, Kurt; Bas-Orth, Carlos; Deller, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Synaptopodin (SP) is a marker and essential component of the spine apparatus (SA), an enigmatic cellular organelle composed of stacked smooth endoplasmic reticulum that has been linked to synaptic plasticity. However, SP/SA-mediated synaptic plasticity remains incompletely understood. To study the role of SP/SA in homeostatic synaptic plasticity we here used denervation-induced synaptic scaling of mouse dentate granule cells as a model system. This form of plasticity is of considerable interest in the context of neurological diseases that are associated with the loss of neurons and subsequent denervation of connected brain regions. In entorhino-hippocampal slice cultures prepared from SP-deficient mice, which lack the SA, a compensatory increase in excitatory synaptic strength was not observed following partial deafferentation. In line with this finding, prolonged blockade of sodium channels with tetrodotoxin induced homeostatic synaptic scaling in wild-type, but not SP-deficient, slice cultures. By crossing SP-deficient mice with a newly generated transgenic mouse strain that expresses GFP-tagged SP under the control of the Thy1.2 promoter, the ability of dentate granule cells to form the SA and to homeostatically strengthen excitatory synapses was rescued. Interestingly, homeostatic synaptic strengthening was accompanied by a compensatory increase in SP cluster size/stability and SA stack number, suggesting that activity-dependent SP/SA remodeling could be part of a negative feedback mechanism that aims at adjusting the strength of excitatory synapses to persisting changes in network activity. Thus, our results disclose an important role for SP/SA in homeostatic synaptic plasticity. PMID:23630268

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  11. Synaptic adhesion molecule IgSF11 regulates synaptic transmission and plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Hebbian Wiring Plasticity Generates Efficient Network Structures for Robust Inference with Synaptic Weight Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hiratani, Naoki; Fukai, Tomoki

    2016-01-01

    In the adult mammalian cortex, a small fraction of spines are created and eliminated every day, and the resultant synaptic connection structure is highly nonrandom, even in local circuits. However, it remains unknown whether a particular synaptic connection structure is functionally advantageous in local circuits, and why creation and elimination of synaptic connections is necessary in addition to rich synaptic weight plasticity. To answer these questions, we studied an inference task model through theoretical and numerical analyses. We demonstrate that a robustly beneficial network structure naturally emerges by combining Hebbian-type synaptic weight plasticity and wiring plasticity. Especially in a sparsely connected network, wiring plasticity achieves reliable computation by enabling efficient information transmission. Furthermore, the proposed rule reproduces experimental observed correlation between spine dynamics and task performance. PMID:27303271

  14. Endocannabinoid system and synaptic plasticity: implications for emotional responses.

    PubMed

    Viveros, María-Paz; Marco, Eva-María; Llorente, Ricardo; López-Gallardo, Meritxell

    2007-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been involved in the regulation of anxiety, and proposed as an inhibitory modulator of neuronal, behavioral and adrenocortical responses to stressful stimuli. Brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus and cortex, which are directly involved in the regulation of emotional behavior, contain high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors show anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors as well as an altered hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis activity, whereas enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling produces anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Genetic and pharmacological approaches also support an involvement of endocannabinoids in extinction of aversive memories. Thus, the endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states. Endocannabinoids have emerged as mediators of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in diverse brain structures. Despite the fact that most of the studies on this field have been performed using in vitro models, endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity might be considered as a plausible candidate underlying some of the diverse physiological functions of the endogenous cannabinoid system, including developmental, affective and cognitive processes. In this paper, we will focus on the functional relevance of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity within the framework of emotional responses. Alterations of the endocannabinoid system may constitute an important factor in the aetiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders, and, in turn, enhancers of endocannabinoid signaling could represent a potential therapeutical tool in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive symptoms.

  15. Endocannabinoid System and Synaptic Plasticity: Implications for Emotional Responses

    PubMed Central

    Viveros, María-Paz; Marco, Eva-María; Llorente, Ricardo; López-Gallardo, Meritxell

    2007-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been involved in the regulation of anxiety, and proposed as an inhibitory modulator of neuronal, behavioral and adrenocortical responses to stressful stimuli. Brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus and cortex, which are directly involved in the regulation of emotional behavior, contain high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors show anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors as well as an altered hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis activity, whereas enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling produces anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Genetic and pharmacological approaches also support an involvement of endocannabinoids in extinction of aversive memories. Thus, the endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states. Endocannabinoids have emerged as mediators of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in diverse brain structures. Despite the fact that most of the studies on this field have been performed using in vitro models, endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity might be considered as a plausible candidate underlying some of the diverse physiological functions of the endogenous cannabinoid system, including developmental, affective and cognitive processes. In this paper, we will focus on the functional relevance of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity within the framework of emotional responses. Alterations of the endocannabinoid system may constitute an important factor in the aetiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders, and, in turn, enhancers of endocannabinoid signaling could represent a potential therapeutical tool in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive symptoms. PMID:17641734

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Synaptic plasticity functions in an organic electrochemical transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. Circuit reactivation dynamically regulates synaptic plasticity in neocortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruskal, Peter B.; Li, Lucy; Maclean, Jason N.

    2013-10-01

    Circuit reactivations involve a stereotyped sequence of neuronal firing and have been behaviourally linked to memory consolidation. Here we use multiphoton imaging and patch-clamp recording, and observe sparse and stereotyped circuit reactivations that correspond to UP states within active neurons. To evaluate the effect of the circuit on synaptic plasticity, we trigger a single spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) pairing once per circuit reactivation. The pairings reliably fall within a particular epoch of the circuit sequence and result in long-term potentiation. During reactivation, the amplitude of plasticity significantly correlates with the preceding 20-25 ms of membrane depolarization rather than the depolarization at the time of pairing. This circuit-dependent plasticity provides a natural constraint on synaptic potentiation, regulating the inherent instability of STDP in an assembly phase-sequence model. Subthreshold voltage during endogenous circuit reactivations provides a critical informative context for plasticity and facilitates the stable consolidation of a spatiotemporal sequence.

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

    PubMed

    Woolfrey, Kevin M; Dell'Acqua, Mark L

    2015-11-27

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

  1. Spike train auto-structure impacts post-synaptic firing and timing-based plasticity.

    PubMed

    Scheller, Bertram; Castellano, Marta; Vicente, Raul; Pipa, Gordon

    2011-01-01

    Cortical neurons are typically driven by several thousand synapses. The precise spatiotemporal pattern formed by these inputs can modulate the response of a post-synaptic cell. In this work, we explore how the temporal structure of pre-synaptic inhibitory and excitatory inputs impact the post-synaptic firing of a conductance-based integrate and fire neuron. Both the excitatory and inhibitory input was modeled by renewal gamma processes with varying shape factors for modeling regular and temporally random Poisson activity. We demonstrate that the temporal structure of mutually independent inputs affects the post-synaptic firing, while the strength of the effect depends on the firing rates of both the excitatory and inhibitory inputs. In a second step, we explore the effect of temporal structure of mutually independent inputs on a simple version of Hebbian learning, i.e., hard bound spike-timing-dependent plasticity. We explore both the equilibrium weight distribution and the speed of the transient weight dynamics for different mutually independent gamma processes. We find that both the equilibrium distribution of the synaptic weights and the speed of synaptic changes are modulated by the temporal structure of the input. Finally, we highlight that the sensitivity of both the post-synaptic firing as well as the spike-timing-dependent plasticity on the auto-structure of the input of a neuron could be used to modulate the learning rate of synaptic modification. PMID:22203800

  2. A Calcium-Dependent Plasticity Rule for HCN Channels Maintains Activity Homeostasis and Stable Synaptic Learning

    PubMed Central

    Honnuraiah, Suraj; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical and computational frameworks for synaptic plasticity and learning have a long and cherished history, with few parallels within the well-established literature for plasticity of voltage-gated ion channels. In this study, we derive rules for plasticity in the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, and assess the synergy between synaptic and HCN channel plasticity in establishing stability during synaptic learning. To do this, we employ a conductance-based model for the hippocampal pyramidal neuron, and incorporate synaptic plasticity through the well-established Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM)-like rule for synaptic plasticity, wherein the direction and strength of the plasticity is dependent on the concentration of calcium influx. Under this framework, we derive a rule for HCN channel plasticity to establish homeostasis in synaptically-driven firing rate, and incorporate such plasticity into our model. In demonstrating that this rule for HCN channel plasticity helps maintain firing rate homeostasis after bidirectional synaptic plasticity, we observe a linear relationship between synaptic plasticity and HCN channel plasticity for maintaining firing rate homeostasis. Motivated by this linear relationship, we derive a calcium-dependent rule for HCN-channel plasticity, and demonstrate that firing rate homeostasis is maintained in the face of synaptic plasticity when moderate and high levels of cytosolic calcium influx induced depression and potentiation of the HCN-channel conductance, respectively. Additionally, we show that such synergy between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity enhances the stability of synaptic learning through metaplasticity in the BCM-like synaptic plasticity profile. Finally, we demonstrate that the synergistic interaction between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity preserves robustness of information transfer across the neuron under a rate-coding schema. Our results establish specific physiological roles

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Inhibitory Control of Synaptic and Behavioral Plasticity by Octopaminergic Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Koon, Alex C.; Budnik, Vivian

    2012-01-01

    Adrenergic receptors and their ligands are important regulators of synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity, but the exact mechanisms underlying their action are still poorly understood. Octopamine, the invertebrate homolog of mammalian adrenaline or noradrenaline, plays important roles in modulating behavior and synaptic functions. We previously uncovered an octopaminergic positive feedback mechanism to regulate structural synaptic plasticity during development and in response to starvation. Under this mechanism, activation of Octß2R autoreceptors by octopamine at octopaminergic neurons initiated a cAMP-dependent cascade that stimulated the development of new synaptic boutons at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). However, the regulatory mechanisms that served to brake such positive feedback were not known. Here, we report the presence of an alternative octopamine autoreceptor, Octß1R, with antagonistic functions on synaptic growth. Mutations in octß1r result in the overgrowth of both glutamatergic and octopaminergic NMJs suggesting that Octß1R is a negative regulator of synaptic expansion. As Octß2R, Octß1R functioned in a cell autonomous manner at presynaptic motorneurons. However, unlike Octß2R, which activated a cAMP pathway, Octß1R likely inhibited cAMP production through inhibitory Goα. Despite its inhibitory role, Octß1R was required for acute changes in synaptic structure in response to octopamine and for starvation-induced increase in locomotor speed. These results demonstrate the dual action of octopamine on synaptic growth and behavioral plasticity, and highlight the important role of inhibitory influences for normal responses to physiological stimuli. PMID:22553037

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Nanoconnectomic upper bound on the variability of synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Bartol, Thomas M; Bromer, Cailey; Kinney, Justin; Chirillo, Michael A; Bourne, Jennifer N; Harris, Kristen M; Sejnowski, Terrence J

    2015-01-01

    Information in a computer is quantified by the number of bits that can be stored and recovered. An important question about the brain is how much information can be stored at a synapse through synaptic plasticity, which depends on the history of probabilistic synaptic activity. The strong correlation between size and efficacy of a synapse allowed us to estimate the variability of synaptic plasticity. In an EM reconstruction of hippocampal neuropil we found single axons making two or more synaptic contacts onto the same dendrites, having shared histories of presynaptic and postsynaptic activity. The spine heads and neck diameters, but not neck lengths, of these pairs were nearly identical in size. We found that there is a minimum of 26 distinguishable synaptic strengths, corresponding to storing 4.7 bits of information at each synapse. Because of stochastic variability of synaptic activation the observed precision requires averaging activity over several minutes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10778.001 PMID:26618907

  7. Cell-specific synaptic plasticity induced by network oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Zarnadze, Shota; Bäuerle, Peter; Santos-Torres, Julio; Böhm, Claudia; Schmitz, Dietmar; Geiger, Jörg RP

    2016-01-01

    Gamma rhythms are known to contribute to the process of memory encoding. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and network levels. Using local field potential recording in awake behaving mice and concomitant field potential and whole-cell recordings in slice preparations we found that gamma rhythms lead to activity-dependent modification of hippocampal networks, including alterations in sharp wave-ripple complexes. Network plasticity, expressed as long-lasting increases in sharp wave-associated synaptic currents, exhibits enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in pyramidal cells that is induced postsynaptically and depends on metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 activation. In sharp contrast, alteration of inhibitory synaptic strength is independent of postsynaptic activation and less pronounced. Further, we found a cell type-specific, directionally biased synaptic plasticity of two major types of GABAergic cells, parvalbumin- and cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons. Thus, we propose that gamma frequency oscillations represent a network state that introduces long-lasting synaptic plasticity in a cell-specific manner. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14912.001 PMID:27218453

  8. Reactive Oxygen Species: Physiological and Physiopathological Effects on Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Beckhauser, Thiago Fernando; Francis-Oliveira, José; De Pasquale, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    In the mammalian central nervous system, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is counterbalanced by antioxidant defenses. When large amounts of ROS accumulate, antioxidant mechanisms become overwhelmed and oxidative cellular stress may occur. Therefore, ROS are typically characterized as toxic molecules, oxidizing membrane lipids, changing the conformation of proteins, damaging nucleic acids, and causing deficits in synaptic plasticity. High ROS concentrations are associated with a decline in cognitive functions, as observed in some neurodegenerative disorders and age-dependent decay of neuroplasticity. Nevertheless, controlled ROS production provides the optimal redox state for the activation of transductional pathways involved in synaptic changes. Since ROS may regulate neuronal activity and elicit negative effects at the same time, the distinction between beneficial and deleterious consequences is unclear. In this regard, this review assesses current research and describes the main sources of ROS in neurons, specifying their involvement in synaptic plasticity and distinguishing between physiological and pathological processes implicated. PMID:27625575

  9. Reactive Oxygen Species: Physiological and Physiopathological Effects on Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Beckhauser, Thiago Fernando; Francis-Oliveira, José; De Pasquale, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    In the mammalian central nervous system, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is counterbalanced by antioxidant defenses. When large amounts of ROS accumulate, antioxidant mechanisms become overwhelmed and oxidative cellular stress may occur. Therefore, ROS are typically characterized as toxic molecules, oxidizing membrane lipids, changing the conformation of proteins, damaging nucleic acids, and causing deficits in synaptic plasticity. High ROS concentrations are associated with a decline in cognitive functions, as observed in some neurodegenerative disorders and age-dependent decay of neuroplasticity. Nevertheless, controlled ROS production provides the optimal redox state for the activation of transductional pathways involved in synaptic changes. Since ROS may regulate neuronal activity and elicit negative effects at the same time, the distinction between beneficial and deleterious consequences is unclear. In this regard, this review assesses current research and describes the main sources of ROS in neurons, specifying their involvement in synaptic plasticity and distinguishing between physiological and pathological processes implicated. PMID:27625575

  10. Reactive Oxygen Species: Physiological and Physiopathological Effects on Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Beckhauser, Thiago Fernando; Francis-Oliveira, José; De Pasquale, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    In the mammalian central nervous system, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is counterbalanced by antioxidant defenses. When large amounts of ROS accumulate, antioxidant mechanisms become overwhelmed and oxidative cellular stress may occur. Therefore, ROS are typically characterized as toxic molecules, oxidizing membrane lipids, changing the conformation of proteins, damaging nucleic acids, and causing deficits in synaptic plasticity. High ROS concentrations are associated with a decline in cognitive functions, as observed in some neurodegenerative disorders and age-dependent decay of neuroplasticity. Nevertheless, controlled ROS production provides the optimal redox state for the activation of transductional pathways involved in synaptic changes. Since ROS may regulate neuronal activity and elicit negative effects at the same time, the distinction between beneficial and deleterious consequences is unclear. In this regard, this review assesses current research and describes the main sources of ROS in neurons, specifying their involvement in synaptic plasticity and distinguishing between physiological and pathological processes implicated.

  11. Transferrin Receptor Controls AMPA Receptor Trafficking Efficiency and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ke; Lei, Run; Li, Qiong; Wang, Xin-Xin; Wu, Qian; An, Peng; Zhang, Jianchao; Zhu, Minyan; Xu, Zhiheng; Hong, Yang; Wang, Fudi; Shen, Ying; Li, Hongchang; Li, Huashun

    2016-01-01

    Transferrin receptor (TFR) is an important iron transporter regulating iron homeostasis and has long been used as a marker for clathrin mediated endocytosis. However, little is known about its additional function other than iron transport in the development of central nervous system (CNS). Here we demonstrate that TFR functions as a regulator to control AMPA receptor trafficking efficiency and synaptic plasticity. The conditional knockout (KO) of TFR in neural progenitor cells causes mice to develop progressive epileptic seizure, and dramatically reduces basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP). We further demonstrate that TFR KO remarkably reduces the binding efficiency of GluR2 to AP2 and subsequently decreases AMPA receptor endocytosis and recycling. Thus, our study reveals that TFR functions as a novel regulator to control AMPA trafficking efficiency and synaptic plasticity. PMID:26880306

  12. Progesterone Regulation of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity in Rodent Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foy, Michael R.; Akopian, Garnik; Thompson, Richard F.

    2008-01-01

    Ovarian hormones influence memory formation by eliciting changes in neural activity. The effects of various concentrations of progesterone (P4) on synaptic transmission and plasticity associated with long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) were studied using in vitro hippocampal slices. Extracellular studies show that the…

  13. Isoform Specificity of Protein Kinase Cs in Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sossin, Wayne S.

    2007-01-01

    Protein kinase Cs (PKCs) are implicated in many forms of synaptic plasticity. However, the specific isoform(s) of PKC that underlie(s) these events are often not known. We have used "Aplysia" as a model system in order to investigate the isoform specificity of PKC actions due to the presence of fewer isoforms and a large number of documented…

  14. ProBDNF negatively regulates neuronal remodeling, synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity in hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jianmin; Harte-Hargrove, Lauren C.; Siao, Chia-Jen; Marinic, Tina; Clarke, Roshelle; Ma, Qian; Jing, Deqiang; LaFrancois, John J.; Bath, Kevin G.; Mark, Willie; Ballon, Douglas; Lee, Francis S.; Scharfman, Helen E.; Hempstead, Barbara L.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Experience-dependent plasticity shapes postnatal development of neural circuits, but the mechanisms that refine dendritic arbors, remodel spines, and impair synaptic activity are poorly understood. Mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) via TrkB activation. BDNF is initially translated as proBDNF which binds p75NTR. In vitro, recombinant proBDNF modulates neuronal structure and alters hippocampal long-term plasticity, but the actions of endogenously expressed proBDNF are unclear. Therefore, we generated a cleavage-resistant probdnf knock-in mouse. Our results demonstrate that proBDNF negatively regulates hippocampal dendritic complexity and spine density through p75NTR. Hippocampal slices from probdnf mice exhibit depressed synaptic transmission, impaired LTP and enhanced long-term depression (LTD) in area CA1. These results suggest that proBDNF acts in vivo as a biologically active factor that regulates hippocampal structure, synaptic transmission and plasticity, effects that are distinct from mature BDNF. PMID:24746813

  15. The synaptic plasticity and memory hypothesis: encoding, storage and persistence

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Tomonori; Duszkiewicz, Adrian J.; Morris, Richard G. M.

    2014-01-01

    The synaptic plasticity and memory hypothesis asserts that activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is induced at appropriate synapses during memory formation and is both necessary and sufficient for the encoding and trace storage of the type of memory mediated by the brain area in which it is observed. Criteria for establishing the necessity and sufficiency of such plasticity in mediating trace storage have been identified and are here reviewed in relation to new work using some of the diverse techniques of contemporary neuroscience. Evidence derived using optical imaging, molecular-genetic and optogenetic techniques in conjunction with appropriate behavioural analyses continues to offer support for the idea that changing the strength of connections between neurons is one of the major mechanisms by which engrams are stored in the brain. PMID:24298167

  16. The synaptic plasticity and memory hypothesis: encoding, storage and persistence.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Tomonori; Duszkiewicz, Adrian J; Morris, Richard G M

    2014-01-01

    The synaptic plasticity and memory hypothesis asserts that activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is induced at appropriate synapses during memory formation and is both necessary and sufficient for the encoding and trace storage of the type of memory mediated by the brain area in which it is observed. Criteria for establishing the necessity and sufficiency of such plasticity in mediating trace storage have been identified and are here reviewed in relation to new work using some of the diverse techniques of contemporary neuroscience. Evidence derived using optical imaging, molecular-genetic and optogenetic techniques in conjunction with appropriate behavioural analyses continues to offer support for the idea that changing the strength of connections between neurons is one of the major mechanisms by which engrams are stored in the brain.

  17. Synaptic plasticity in cephalopods; more than just learning and memory?

    PubMed

    Brown, Euan R; Piscopo, Stefania

    2013-06-01

    The outstanding behavioural capacity of cephalopods is underpinned by a highly sophisticated nervous system anatomy and neural mechanisms that often differ significantly from similarly complex systems in vertebrates and insects. Cephalopods exhibit considerable behavioural flexibility and adaptability, and it might be expected that this should be supported by evident cellular and synaptic plasticity. Here, we review what little is known of the cellular mechanisms that underlie plasticity in cephalopods, particularly from the point of view of synaptic function. We conclude that cephalopods utilise short-, medium-, and long-term plasticity mechanisms that are superficially similar to those so far described in vertebrate and insect synapses. These mechanisms, however, often differ significantly from those in other animals at the biophysical level and are deployed not just in the central nervous system, but also to a limited extent in the peripheral nervous system and neuromuscular junctions.

  18. Spontaneous Activity Drives Local Synaptic Plasticity In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Winnubst, Johan; Cheyne, Juliette E; Niculescu, Dragos; Lohmann, Christian

    2015-07-15

    Spontaneous activity fine-tunes neuronal connections in the developing brain. To explore the underlying synaptic plasticity mechanisms, we monitored naturally occurring changes in spontaneous activity at individual synapses with whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and simultaneous calcium imaging in the mouse visual cortex in vivo. Analyzing activity changes across large populations of synapses revealed a simple and efficient local plasticity rule: synapses that exhibit low synchronicity with nearby neighbors (<12 μm) become depressed in their transmission frequency. Asynchronous electrical stimulation of individual synapses in hippocampal slices showed that this is due to a decrease in synaptic transmission efficiency. Accordingly, experimentally increasing local synchronicity, by stimulating synapses in response to spontaneous activity at neighboring synapses, stabilized synaptic transmission. Finally, blockade of the high-affinity proBDNF receptor p75(NTR) prevented the depression of asynchronously stimulated synapses. Thus, spontaneous activity drives local synaptic plasticity at individual synapses in an "out-of-sync, lose-your-link" fashion through proBDNF/p75(NTR) signaling to refine neuronal connectivity. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Translational regulatory mechanisms in persistent forms of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kelleher, Raymond J; Govindarajan, Arvind; Tonegawa, Susumu

    2004-09-30

    Memory and synaptic plasticity exhibit distinct temporal phases, with long-lasting forms distinguished by their dependence on macromolecular synthesis. Prevailing models for the molecular mechanisms underlying long-lasting synaptic plasticity have largely focused on transcriptional regulation. However, a growing body of evidence now supports a crucial role for neuronal activity-dependent mRNA translation, which may occur in dendrites for a subset of neuronal mRNAs. Recent work has begun to define the signaling mechanisms coupling synaptic activation to the protein synthesis machinery. The ERK and mTOR signaling pathways have been shown to regulate the activity of the general translational machinery, while the translation of particular classes of mRNAs is additionally controlled by gene-specific mechanisms. Rapid enhancement of the synthesis of a diverse array of neuronal proteins through such mechanisms provides the components necessary for persistent forms of LTP and LTD. These findings have important implications for the synapse specificity and associativity of protein synthesis-dependent changes in synaptic strength. PMID:15450160

  2. Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disorders in Neurotropic Viral Infections

    PubMed Central

    Atluri, Venkata Subba Rao; Hidalgo, Melissa; Samikkannu, Thangavel; Kurapati, Kesava Rao Venkata; Nair, Madhavan

    2015-01-01

    Based on the type of cells or tissues they tend to harbor or attack, many of the viruses are characterized. But, in case of neurotropic viruses, it is not possible to classify them based on their tropism because many of them are not primarily neurotropic. While rabies and poliovirus are considered as strictly neurotropic, other neurotropic viruses involve nervous tissue only secondarily. Since the AIDS pandemic, the interest in neurotropic viral infections has become essential for all clinical neurologists. Although these neurotropic viruses are able to be harbored in or infect the nervous system, not all the neurotropic viruses have been reported to cause disrupted synaptic plasticity and impaired cognitive functions. In this review, we have discussed the neurotropic viruses, which play a major role in altered synaptic plasticity and neurological disorders. PMID:26649202

  3. Short-term synaptic plasticity and heterogeneity in neural systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mejias, J. F.; Kappen, H. J.; Longtin, A.; Torres, J. J.

    2013-01-01

    We review some recent results on neural dynamics and information processing which arise when considering several biophysical factors of interest, in particular, short-term synaptic plasticity and neural heterogeneity. The inclusion of short-term synaptic plasticity leads to enhanced long-term memory capacities, a higher robustness of memory to noise, and irregularity in the duration of the so-called up cortical states. On the other hand, considering some level of neural heterogeneity in neuron models allows neural systems to optimize information transmission in rate coding and temporal coding, two strategies commonly used by neurons to codify information in many brain areas. In all these studies, analytical approximations can be made to explain the underlying dynamics of these neural systems.

  4. Synaptic plasticity in sleep: learning, homeostasis, and disease

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Gordon; Grone, Brian; Colas, Damien; Appelbaum, Lior; Mourrain, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Sleep is a fundamental and evolutionarily conserved aspect of animal life. Recent studies have shed light on the role of sleep in synaptic plasticity. Demonstrations of memory replay and synapse homeostasis suggest that one essential role of sleep is in the consolidation and optimization of synaptic circuits to retain salient memory traces despite the noise of daily experience. Here, we review this recent evidence, and suggest that sleep creates a heightened state of plasticity, which may be essential for this optimization. Furthermore, we discuss how sleep deficits seen in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorders might not just reflect underlying circuit malfunction, but could also play a direct role in the progression of those disorders. PMID:21840068

  5. Dopamine and norepinephrine receptors participate in methylphenidate enhancement of in vivo hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Jenson, Daniel; Yang, Kechun; Acevedo-Rodriguez, Alexandra; Levine, Amber; Broussard, John I; Tang, Jianrong; Dani, John A

    2015-03-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children. Methylphenidate (MPH, e.g., Ritalin) has been used to treat ADHD for over 50 years. It is the most commonly prescribed treatment for ADHD, and in the past decade it was the drug most commonly prescribed to teenagers. In addition, MPH has become one of the most widely abused drugs on college campuses. In this study, we examined the effects of MPH on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which serves as a measurable quantification of memory mechanisms. Field potentials were recorded with permanently implanted electrodes in freely-moving mice to quantify MPH modulation of perforant path synaptic transmission onto granule cells of the dentate gyrus. Our hypothesis was that MPH affects hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying learning because MPH boosts catecholamine signaling by blocking the dopamine and norepinephrine transporters (DAT and NET respectively). In vitro hippocampal slice experiments indicated MPH enhances perforant path plasticity, and this MPH enhancement arose from action via D1-type dopamine receptors and β-type adrenergic receptors. Similarly, MPH boosted in vivo initiation of long-term potentiation (LTP). While there was an effect via both dopamine and adrenergic receptors in vivo, LTP induction was more dependent on the MPH-induced action via D1-type dopamine receptors. Under biologically reasonable experimental conditions, MPH enhances hippocampal synaptic plasticity via catecholamine receptors. PMID:25445492

  6. Dopamine and norepinephrine receptors participate in methylphenidate enhancement of in vivo hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Jenson, Daniel; Yang, Kechun; Acevedo-Rodriguez, Alexandra; Levine, Amber; Broussard, John I; Tang, Jianrong; Dani, John A

    2015-03-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children. Methylphenidate (MPH, e.g., Ritalin) has been used to treat ADHD for over 50 years. It is the most commonly prescribed treatment for ADHD, and in the past decade it was the drug most commonly prescribed to teenagers. In addition, MPH has become one of the most widely abused drugs on college campuses. In this study, we examined the effects of MPH on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which serves as a measurable quantification of memory mechanisms. Field potentials were recorded with permanently implanted electrodes in freely-moving mice to quantify MPH modulation of perforant path synaptic transmission onto granule cells of the dentate gyrus. Our hypothesis was that MPH affects hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying learning because MPH boosts catecholamine signaling by blocking the dopamine and norepinephrine transporters (DAT and NET respectively). In vitro hippocampal slice experiments indicated MPH enhances perforant path plasticity, and this MPH enhancement arose from action via D1-type dopamine receptors and β-type adrenergic receptors. Similarly, MPH boosted in vivo initiation of long-term potentiation (LTP). While there was an effect via both dopamine and adrenergic receptors in vivo, LTP induction was more dependent on the MPH-induced action via D1-type dopamine receptors. Under biologically reasonable experimental conditions, MPH enhances hippocampal synaptic plasticity via catecholamine receptors.

  7. A Model of Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity: From Signaling Network to Channel Conductance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castellani, Gastone C.; Quinlan, Elizabeth M.; Bersani, Ferdinando; Cooper, Leon N.; Shouval, Harel Z.

    2005-01-01

    In many regions of the brain, including the mammalian cortex, the strength of synaptic transmission can be bidirectionally regulated by cortical activity (synaptic plasticity). One line of evidence indicates that long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP) and long-term synaptic depression (LTD), correlate with the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of…

  8. Convergent evidence for abnormal striatal synaptic plasticity in dystonia

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, David A.; Sejnowski, Terrence J.; Poizner, Howard

    2010-01-01

    Dystonia is a functionally disabling movement disorder characterized by abnormal movements and postures. Although substantial recent progress has been made in identifying genetic factors, the pathophysiology of the disease remains a mystery. A provocative suggestion gaining broader acceptance is that some aspect of neural plasticity may be abnormal. There is also evidence that, at least in some forms of dystonia, sensorimotor “use” may be a contributing factor. Most empirical evidence of abnormal plasticity in dystonia comes from measures of sensorimotor cortical organization and physiology. However, the basal ganglia also play a critical role in sensorimotor function. Furthermore, the basal ganglia are prominently implicated in traditional models of dystonia, are the primary targets of stereotactic neurosurgical interventions, and provide a neural substrate for sensorimotor learning influenced by neuromodulators. Our working hypothesis is that abnormal plasticity in the basal ganglia is a critical link between the etiology and pathophysiology of dystonia. In this review we set up the background for this hypothesis by integrating a large body of disparate indirect evidence that dystonia may involve abnormalities in synaptic plasticity in the striatum. After reviewing evidence implicating the striatum in dystonia, we focus on the influence of two neuromodulatory systems: dopamine and acetylcholine. For both of these neuromodulators, we first describe the evidence for abnormalities in dystonia and then the means by which it may influence striatal synaptic plasticity. Collectively, the evidence suggests that many different forms of dystonia may involve abnormal plasticity in the striatum. An improved understanding of these altered plastic processes would help inform our understanding of the pathophysiology of dystonia, and, given the role of the striatum in sensorimotor learning, provide a principled basis for designing therapies aimed at the dynamic processes

  9. Fragile X Syndrome: Keys to the Molecular Genetics of Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lombroso, Paul J.; Ogren, Marilee P.

    2008-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation is discussed. The relationship between specific impairments in synaptic plasticity and Fragile X syndrome is investigated as it strengthens synaptic contacts between neurons.

  10. A Nonlinear Cable Framework for Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Iannella, Nicolangelo; Launey, Thomas; Abbott, Derek; Tanaka, Shigeru

    2014-01-01

    Finding the rules underlying how axons of cortical neurons form neural circuits and modify their corresponding synaptic strength is the still subject of intense research. Experiments have shown that internal calcium concentration, and both the precise timing and temporal order of pre and postsynaptic action potentials, are important constituents governing whether the strength of a synapse located on the dendrite is increased or decreased. In particular, previous investigations focusing on spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) have typically observed an asymmetric temporal window governing changes in synaptic efficacy. Such a temporal window emphasizes that if a presynaptic spike, arriving at the synaptic terminal, precedes the generation of a postsynaptic action potential, then the synapse is potentiated; however if the temporal order is reversed, then depression occurs. Furthermore, recent experimental studies have now demonstrated that the temporal window also depends on the dendritic location of the synapse. Specifically, it was shown that in distal regions of the apical dendrite, the magnitude of potentiation was smaller and the window for depression was broader, when compared to observations from the proximal region of the dendrite. To date, the underlying mechanism(s) for such a distance-dependent effect is (are) currently unknown. Here, using the ionic cable theory framework in conjunction with the standard calcium based plasticity model, we show for the first time that such distance-dependent inhomogeneities in the temporal learning window for STDP can be largely explained by both the spatial and active properties of the dendrite. PMID:25148478

  11. Inhibition of DNA Methylation Impairs Synaptic Plasticity during an Early Time Window in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Paula; Ardiles, Álvaro O.

    2016-01-01

    Although the importance of DNA methylation-dependent gene expression to neuronal plasticity is well established, the dynamics of methylation and demethylation during the induction and expression of synaptic plasticity have not been explored. Here, we combined electrophysiological, pharmacological, molecular, and immunohistochemical approaches to examine the contribution of DNA methylation and the phosphorylation of Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) to synaptic plasticity. We found that, at twenty minutes after theta burst stimulation (TBS), the DNA methylation inhibitor 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5AZA) impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). Surprisingly, after two hours of TBS, when LTP had become a transcription-dependent process, 5AZA treatment had no effect. By comparing these results to those in naive slices, we found that, at two hours after TBS, an intergenic region of the RLN gene was hypomethylated and that the phosphorylation of residue S80 of MeCP2 was decreased, while the phosphorylation of residue S421 was increased. As expected, 5AZA affected only the methylation of the RLN gene and exerted no effect on MeCP2 phosphorylation patterns. In summary, our data suggest that tetanic stimulation induces critical changes in synaptic plasticity that affects both DNA methylation and the phosphorylation of MeCP2. These data also suggest that early alterations in DNA methylation are sufficient to impair the full expression of LTP. PMID:27493805

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Lavandula angustifolia extract improves deteriorated synaptic plasticity in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Soheili, Masoud; Tavirani, Mostafa Rezaei; Salami, Mahmoud

    2015-01-01

    Objective(s): Neurodegenerative Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is associated with profound deficits in synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Long-term potentiation (LTP), an experimental form of synaptic plasticity, is intensively examined in hippocampus. In this study we evaluated the effect of aqueous extract of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) on induction of LTP in the CA1 area of hippocampus. In response to stimulation of the Schaffer collaterals the baseline or tetanized field extracellular postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) were recorded in the CA1 area. Materials and Methods: The electrophysiological recordings were carried out in four groups of rats; two control groups including the vehicle (CON) and lavender (CE) treated rats and two Alzheimeric groups including the vehicle (ALZ) and lavender (AE) treated animals. Results: The extract inefficiently affected the baseline responses in the four testing groups. While the fEPSPs displayed a considerable LTP in the CON animals, no potentiation was evident in the tetanized responses in the ALZ rats. The herbal medicine effectively restored LTP in the AE group and further potentiated fEPSPs in the CE group. Conclusion: The positive effect of the lavender extract on the plasticity of synaptic transmission supports its previously reported behavioral effects on improvement of impaired spatial memory in the Alzheimeric animals. PMID:26949505

  15. Information processing and synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber terminals

    PubMed Central

    Evstratova, Alesya; Tóth, Katalin

    2014-01-01

    Granule cells of the dentate gyrus receive cortical information and they transform and transmit this code to the CA3 area via their axons, the mossy fibers (MFs). Structural and functional complexity of this network has been extensively studied at various organizational levels. This review is focused on the anatomical and physiological properties of the MF system. We will discuss the mechanism by which dentate granule cells process signals from single action potentials (APs), short bursts and longer stimuli. Various parameters of synaptic interactions at different target cells such as quantal transmission, short- and long-term plasticity (LTP) will be summarized. Different types of synaptic contacts formed by MFs have unique sets of rules for information processing during different rates of granule cell activity. We will investigate the complex interactions between key determinants of information transfer between the dentate gyrus and the CA3 area of the hippocampus. PMID:24550783

  16. Temporal profiles of synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult mouse hippocampus with methotrexate treatment.

    PubMed

    Yang, Miyoung; Kim, Juhwan; Kim, Sung-Ho; Kim, Joong-Sun; Shin, Taekyun; Moon, Changjong

    2012-07-25

    Methotrexate, which is used to treat many malignancies and autoimmune diseases, affects brain functions including hippocampal-dependent memory function. However, the precise mechanisms underlying methotrexate-induced hippocampal dysfunction are poorly understood. To evaluate temporal changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals, the expression and activity of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, cAMP responsive element-binding protein, glutamate receptor 1, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor were examined in the hippocampi of adult C57BL/6 mice after methotrexate (40 mg/kg) intraperitoneal injection. Western blot analysis showed biphasic changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult hippocampi following methotrexate treatment. N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and glutamate receptor 1 were acutely activated during the early phase (1 day post-injection), while extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and cAMP responsive element-binding protein activation showed biphasic increases during the early (1 day post-injection) and late phases (7-14 days post-injection). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor expression increased significantly during the late phase (7-14 days post-injection). Therefore, methotrexate treatment affects synaptic plasticity-related signals in the adult mouse hippocampus, suggesting that changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals may be associated with neuronal survival and plasticity-related cellular remodeling.

  17. MPTP-meditated hippocampal dopamine deprivation modulates synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu Guoqi; Chen Ying; Huang Yuying; Li Qinglin; Behnisch, Thomas

    2011-08-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD)-like symptoms including learning deficits are inducible by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Therefore, it is possible that MPTP may disturb hippocampal memory processing by modulation of dopamine (DA)- and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. We demonstrate here that intraperitoneal (i.p.) MPTP injection reduces the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) within 7 days. Subsequently, the TH expression level in SN and hippocampus and the amount of DA and its metabolite DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus decrease. DA depletion does not alter basal synaptic transmission and changes pair-pulse facilitation (PPF) of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) only at the 30 ms inter-pulse interval. In addition, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) is impaired whereas the duration of long-term depression (LTD) becomes prolonged. Since both LTP and LTD depend critically on activation of NMDA and DA receptors, we also tested the effect of DA depletion on NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. Seven days after MPTP injection, the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSPs are decreased by about 23%. Blocking the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSP does not mimic the MPTP-LTP. Only co-application of D1/D5 and NMDA receptor antagonists during tetanization resembled the time course of fEPSP potentiation as observed 7 days after i.p. MPTP injection. Together, our data demonstrate that MPTP-induced degeneration of DA neurons and the subsequent hippocampal DA depletion alter NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. - Highlights: > I.p. MPTP-injection mediates death of dopaminergic neurons. > I.p. MPTP-injection depletes DA and DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus. > I.p. MPTP-injection does not alter basal synaptic transmission. > Reduction of LTP and enhancement of LTD after i.p. MPTP-injection. > Attenuation of NMDA-receptors mediated f

  18. Synaptic competition in structural plasticity and cognitive function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Interneuron- and GABAA receptor-specific inhibitory synaptic plasticity in cerebellar Purkinje cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Qionger; Duguid, Ian; Clark, Beverley; Panzanelli, Patrizia; Patel, Bijal; Thomas, Philip; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Smart, Trevor G.

    2015-07-01

    Inhibitory synaptic plasticity is important for shaping both neuronal excitability and network activity. Here we investigate the input and GABAA receptor subunit specificity of inhibitory synaptic plasticity by studying cerebellar interneuron-Purkinje cell (PC) synapses. Depolarizing PCs initiated a long-lasting increase in GABA-mediated synaptic currents. By stimulating individual interneurons, this plasticity was observed at somatodendritic basket cell synapses, but not at distal dendritic stellate cell synapses. Basket cell synapses predominantly express β2-subunit-containing GABAA receptors; deletion of the β2-subunit ablates this plasticity, demonstrating its reliance on GABAA receptor subunit composition. The increase in synaptic currents is dependent upon an increase in newly synthesized cell surface synaptic GABAA receptors and is abolished by preventing CaMKII phosphorylation of GABAA receptors. Our results reveal a novel GABAA receptor subunit- and input-specific form of inhibitory synaptic plasticity that regulates the temporal firing pattern of the principal output cells of the cerebellum.

  20. Presynaptic Active Zone Density during Development and Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Gwenaëlle L; Chen, Jie; Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2012-01-01

    Neural circuits transmit information through synapses, and the efficiency of synaptic transmission is closely related to the density of presynaptic active zones, where synaptic vesicles are released. The goal of this review is to highlight recent insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the number of active zones per presynaptic terminal (active zone density) during developmental and stimulus-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy. At the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), the active zone density is preserved across species, remains constant during development, and is the same between synapses with different activities. However, the NMJ active zones are not always stable, as exemplified by the change in active zone density during acute experimental manipulation or as a result of aging. Therefore, a mechanism must exist to maintain its density. In the central nervous system (CNS), active zones have restricted maximal size, exist in multiple numbers in larger presynaptic terminals, and maintain a constant density during development. These findings suggest that active zone density in the CNS is also controlled. However, in contrast to the NMJ, active zone density in the CNS can also be increased, as observed in hippocampal synapses in response to synaptic plasticity. Although the numbers of known active zone proteins and protein interactions have increased, less is known about the mechanism that controls the number or spacing of active zones. The following molecules are known to control active zone density and will be discussed herein: extracellular matrix laminins and voltage-dependent calcium channels, amyloid precursor proteins, the small GTPase Rab3, an endocytosis mechanism including synaptojanin, cytoskeleton protein spectrins and β-adducin, and a presynaptic web including spectrins. The molecular mechanisms that organize the active zone density are just beginning to be elucidated.

  1. Synaptic plasticity enables adaptive self-tuning critical networks.

    PubMed

    Stepp, Nigel; Plenz, Dietmar; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2015-01-01

    During rest, the mammalian cortex displays spontaneous neural activity. Spiking of single neurons during rest has been described as irregular and asynchronous. In contrast, recent in vivo and in vitro population measures of spontaneous activity, using the LFP, EEG, MEG or fMRI suggest that the default state of the cortex is critical, manifested by spontaneous, scale-invariant, cascades of activity known as neuronal avalanches. Criticality keeps a network poised for optimal information processing, but this view seems to be difficult to reconcile with apparently irregular single neuron spiking. Here, we simulate a 10,000 neuron, deterministic, plastic network of spiking neurons. We show that a combination of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity enables these networks to exhibit criticality in the face of intrinsic, i.e. self-sustained, asynchronous spiking. Brief external perturbations lead to adaptive, long-term modification of intrinsic network connectivity through long-term excitatory plasticity, whereas long-term inhibitory plasticity enables rapid self-tuning of the network back to a critical state. The critical state is characterized by a branching parameter oscillating around unity, a critical exponent close to -3/2 and a long tail distribution of a self-similarity parameter between 0.5 and 1. PMID:25590427

  2. Synaptic Plasticity Enables Adaptive Self-Tuning Critical Networks

    PubMed Central

    Stepp, Nigel; Plenz, Dietmar; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2015-01-01

    During rest, the mammalian cortex displays spontaneous neural activity. Spiking of single neurons during rest has been described as irregular and asynchronous. In contrast, recent in vivo and in vitro population measures of spontaneous activity, using the LFP, EEG, MEG or fMRI suggest that the default state of the cortex is critical, manifested by spontaneous, scale-invariant, cascades of activity known as neuronal avalanches. Criticality keeps a network poised for optimal information processing, but this view seems to be difficult to reconcile with apparently irregular single neuron spiking. Here, we simulate a 10,000 neuron, deterministic, plastic network of spiking neurons. We show that a combination of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity enables these networks to exhibit criticality in the face of intrinsic, i.e. self-sustained, asynchronous spiking. Brief external perturbations lead to adaptive, long-term modification of intrinsic network connectivity through long-term excitatory plasticity, whereas long-term inhibitory plasticity enables rapid self-tuning of the network back to a critical state. The critical state is characterized by a branching parameter oscillating around unity, a critical exponent close to -3/2 and a long tail distribution of a self-similarity parameter between 0.5 and 1. PMID:25590427

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chandrasekaran, Lakshmi

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Glutamic acid decarboxylase 65: a link between GABAergic synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala and conditioned fear generalization.

    PubMed

    Lange, Maren D; Jüngling, Kay; Paulukat, Linda; Vieler, Marc; Gaburro, Stefano; Sosulina, Ludmila; Blaesse, Peter; Sreepathi, Hari K; Ferraguti, Francesco; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2014-08-01

    An imbalance of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system is considered a major neurobiological pathomechanism of anxiety, and the amygdala is a key brain region involved. Reduced GABA levels have been found in anxiety patients, and genetic variations of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the rate-limiting enzyme of GABA synthesis, have been associated with anxiety phenotypes in both humans and mice. These findings prompted us to hypothesize that a deficiency of GAD65, the GAD isoform controlling the availability of GABA as a transmitter, affects synaptic transmission and plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA), and thereby interferes with fear responsiveness. Results indicate that genetically determined GAD65 deficiency in mice is associated with (1) increased synaptic length and release at GABAergic connections, (2) impaired efficacy of GABAergic synaptic transmission and plasticity, and (3) reduced spillover of GABA to presynaptic GABAB receptors, resulting in a loss of the associative nature of long-term synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to LA principal neurons. (4) In addition, training with high shock intensities in wild-type mice mimicked the phenotype of GAD65 deficiency at both the behavioral and synaptic level, indicated by generalization of conditioned fear and a loss of the associative nature of synaptic plasticity in the LA. In conclusion, GAD65 is required for efficient GABAergic synaptic transmission and plasticity, and for maintaining extracellular GABA at a level needed for associative plasticity at cortical inputs in the LA, which, if disturbed, results in an impairment of the cue specificity of conditioned fear responses typifying anxiety disorders.

  5. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Facilitates Massed Pattern-Induced Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pandey, Kiran; Sharma, Kaushik P.; Sharma, Shiv K.

    2015-01-01

    Massed training is less effective for long-term memory formation than the spaced training. The role of acetylation in synaptic plasticity and memory is now well established. However, the role of this important protein modification in synaptic plasticity induced by massed pattern of stimulation or memory induced by massed training is not well…

  6. Reelin Supplementation Enhances Cognitive Ability, Synaptic Plasticity, and Dendritic Spine Density

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Justin T.; Rusiana, Ian; Trotter, Justin; Zhao, Lisa; Donaldson, Erika; Pak, Daniel T.S.; Babus, Lenard W.; Peters, Melinda; Banko, Jessica L.; Chavis, Pascale; Rebeck, G. William; Hoe, Hyang-Sook; Weeber, Edwin J.

    2011-01-01

    Apolipoprotein receptors belong to an evolutionarily conserved surface receptor family that has intimate roles in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and is necessary for proper hippocampal-dependent memory formation. The known lipoprotein receptor ligand Reelin is important for normal synaptic plasticity, dendritic morphology, and cognitive…

  7. Role of phosphodiesterase 5 in synaptic plasticity and memory

    PubMed Central

    Puzzo, Daniela; Sapienza, Salvatore; Arancio, Ottavio; Palmeri, Agostino

    2008-01-01

    Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are enzymes that break down the phosphodiesteric bond of the cyclic nucleotides, cAMP and cGMP, second messengers that regulate many biological processes. PDEs participate in the regulation of signal transduction by means of a fine regulation of cyclic nucleotides so that the response to cell stimuli is both specific and activates the correct third messengers. Several PDE inhibitors have been developed and used as therapeutic agents because they increase cyclic nucleotide levels by blocking the PDE function. In particular, sildenafil, an inhibitor of PDE5, has been mainly used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction but is now also utilized against pulmonary hypertension. This review examines the physiological role of PDE5 in synaptic plasticity and memory and the use of PDE5 inhibitors as possible therapeutic agents against disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). PMID:18728748

  8. Circadian Mechanisms Underlying Reward-Related Neurophysiology and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Parekh, Puja K.; McClung, Colleen A.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence from clinical and preclinical research provides an undeniable link between disruptions in the circadian clock and the development of psychiatric diseases, including mood and substance abuse disorders. The molecular clock, which controls daily patterns of physiological and behavioral activity in living organisms, when desynchronized, may exacerbate or precipitate symptoms of psychiatric illness. One of the outstanding questions remaining in this field is that of cause and effect in the relationship between circadian rhythm disruption and psychiatric disease. Focus has recently turned to uncovering the role of circadian proteins beyond the maintenance of homeostatic systems and outside of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master pacemaker region of the brain. In this regard, several groups, including our own, have sought to understand how circadian proteins regulate mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter signaling in mesocorticolimbic brain regions, which are known to be critically involved in reward processing and mood. This regulation can come in the form of direct transcriptional control of genes central to mood and reward, including those associated with dopaminergic activity in the midbrain. It can also be seen at the circuit level through indirect connections of mesocorticolimbic regions with the SCN. Circadian misalignment paradigms as well as genetic models of circadian disruption have helped to elucidate some of the complex interactions between these systems and neural activity influencing behavior. In this review, we explore findings that link circadian protein function with synaptic adaptations underlying plasticity as it may contribute to the development of mood disorders and addiction. In light of recent advances in technology and sophisticated methods for molecular and circuit-level interrogation, we propose future directions aimed at teasing apart mechanisms through which the circadian system modulates mood and reward

  9. Circadian Mechanisms Underlying Reward-Related Neurophysiology and Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Parekh, Puja K; McClung, Colleen A

    2015-01-01

    Evidence from clinical and preclinical research provides an undeniable link between disruptions in the circadian clock and the development of psychiatric diseases, including mood and substance abuse disorders. The molecular clock, which controls daily patterns of physiological and behavioral activity in living organisms, when desynchronized, may exacerbate or precipitate symptoms of psychiatric illness. One of the outstanding questions remaining in this field is that of cause and effect in the relationship between circadian rhythm disruption and psychiatric disease. Focus has recently turned to uncovering the role of circadian proteins beyond the maintenance of homeostatic systems and outside of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master pacemaker region of the brain. In this regard, several groups, including our own, have sought to understand how circadian proteins regulate mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter signaling in mesocorticolimbic brain regions, which are known to be critically involved in reward processing and mood. This regulation can come in the form of direct transcriptional control of genes central to mood and reward, including those associated with dopaminergic activity in the midbrain. It can also be seen at the circuit level through indirect connections of mesocorticolimbic regions with the SCN. Circadian misalignment paradigms as well as genetic models of circadian disruption have helped to elucidate some of the complex interactions between these systems and neural activity influencing behavior. In this review, we explore findings that link circadian protein function with synaptic adaptations underlying plasticity as it may contribute to the development of mood disorders and addiction. In light of recent advances in technology and sophisticated methods for molecular and circuit-level interrogation, we propose future directions aimed at teasing apart mechanisms through which the circadian system modulates mood and reward

  10. Spike-Timing–Dependent Synaptic Plasticity and Synaptic Democracy in Dendrites

    PubMed Central

    Gidon, Albert; Segev, Idan

    2009-01-01

    We explored in a computational study the effect of dendrites on excitatory synapses undergoing spike-timing–dependent plasticity (STDP), using both cylindrical dendritic models and reconstructed dendritic trees. We show that even if the initial strength, gpeak, of distal synapses is augmented in a location independent manner, the efficacy of distal synapses diminishes following STDP and proximal synapses would eventually dominate. Indeed, proximal synapses always win over distal synapses following linear STDP rule, independent of the initial synaptic strength distribution in the dendritic tree. This effect is more pronounced as the dendritic cable length increases but it does not depend on the dendritic branching structure. Adding a small multiplicative component to the linear STDP rule, whereby already strong synapses tend to be less potentiated than depressed (and vice versa for weak synapses) did partially “save” distal synapses from “dying out.” Another successful strategy for balancing the efficacy of distal and proximal synapses following STDP is to increase the upper bound for the synaptic conductance (gmax) with distance from the soma. We conclude by discussing an experiment for assessing which of these possible strategies might actually operate in dendrites. PMID:19357339

  11. Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity and synaptic democracy in dendrites.

    PubMed

    Gidon, Albert; Segev, Idan

    2009-06-01

    We explored in a computational study the effect of dendrites on excitatory synapses undergoing spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), using both cylindrical dendritic models and reconstructed dendritic trees. We show that even if the initial strength, g(peak), of distal synapses is augmented in a location independent manner, the efficacy of distal synapses diminishes following STDP and proximal synapses would eventually dominate. Indeed, proximal synapses always win over distal synapses following linear STDP rule, independent of the initial synaptic strength distribution in the dendritic tree. This effect is more pronounced as the dendritic cable length increases but it does not depend on the dendritic branching structure. Adding a small multiplicative component to the linear STDP rule, whereby already strong synapses tend to be less potentiated than depressed (and vice versa for weak synapses) did partially "save" distal synapses from "dying out." Another successful strategy for balancing the efficacy of distal and proximal synapses following STDP is to increase the upper bound for the synaptic conductance (g(max)) with distance from the soma. We conclude by discussing an experiment for assessing which of these possible strategies might actually operate in dendrites.

  12. Phase Transition in Postsynaptic Densities Underlies Formation of Synaptic Complexes and Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Menglong; Shang, Yuan; Araki, Yoichi; Guo, Tingfeng; Huganir, Richard L; Zhang, Mingjie

    2016-08-25

    Postsynaptic densities (PSDs) are membrane semi-enclosed, submicron protein-enriched cellular compartments beneath postsynaptic membranes, which constantly exchange their components with bulk aqueous cytoplasm in synaptic spines. Formation and activity-dependent modulation of PSDs is considered as one of the most basic molecular events governing synaptic plasticity in the nervous system. In this study, we discover that SynGAP, one of the most abundant PSD proteins and a Ras/Rap GTPase activator, forms a homo-trimer and binds to multiple copies of PSD-95. Binding of SynGAP to PSD-95 induces phase separation of the complex, forming highly concentrated liquid-like droplets reminiscent of the PSD. The multivalent nature of the SynGAP/PSD-95 complex is critical for the phase separation to occur and for proper activity-dependent SynGAP dispersions from the PSD. In addition to revealing a dynamic anchoring mechanism of SynGAP at the PSD, our results also suggest a model for phase-transition-mediated formation of PSD. PMID:27565345

  13. Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity and synaptic democracy in dendrites.

    PubMed

    Gidon, Albert; Segev, Idan

    2009-06-01

    We explored in a computational study the effect of dendrites on excitatory synapses undergoing spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), using both cylindrical dendritic models and reconstructed dendritic trees. We show that even if the initial strength, g(peak), of distal synapses is augmented in a location independent manner, the efficacy of distal synapses diminishes following STDP and proximal synapses would eventually dominate. Indeed, proximal synapses always win over distal synapses following linear STDP rule, independent of the initial synaptic strength distribution in the dendritic tree. This effect is more pronounced as the dendritic cable length increases but it does not depend on the dendritic branching structure. Adding a small multiplicative component to the linear STDP rule, whereby already strong synapses tend to be less potentiated than depressed (and vice versa for weak synapses) did partially "save" distal synapses from "dying out." Another successful strategy for balancing the efficacy of distal and proximal synapses following STDP is to increase the upper bound for the synaptic conductance (g(max)) with distance from the soma. We conclude by discussing an experiment for assessing which of these possible strategies might actually operate in dendrites. PMID:19357339

  14. Sleep recalibrates homeostatic and associative synaptic plasticity in the human cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Marion; Wolf, Elias; Maier, Jonathan G.; Mainberger, Florian; Feige, Bernd; Schmid, Hanna; Bürklin, Jan; Maywald, Sarah; Mall, Volker; Jung, Nikolai H.; Reis, Janine; Spiegelhalder, Kai; Klöppel, Stefan; Sterr, Annette; Eckert, Anne; Riemann, Dieter; Normann, Claus; Nissen, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is ubiquitous in animals and humans, but its function remains to be further determined. The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis of sleep–wake regulation proposes a homeostatic increase in net synaptic strength and cortical excitability along with decreased inducibility of associative synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) due to saturation after sleep deprivation. Here we use electrophysiological, behavioural and molecular indices to non-invasively study net synaptic strength and LTP-like plasticity in humans after sleep and sleep deprivation. We demonstrate indices of increased net synaptic strength (TMS intensity to elicit a predefined amplitude of motor-evoked potential and EEG theta activity) and decreased LTP-like plasticity (paired associative stimulation induced change in motor-evoked potential and memory formation) after sleep deprivation. Changes in plasma BDNF are identified as a potential mechanism. Our study indicates that sleep recalibrates homeostatic and associative synaptic plasticity, believed to be the neural basis for adaptive behaviour, in humans. PMID:27551934

  15. Sleep recalibrates homeostatic and associative synaptic plasticity in the human cortex.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Marion; Wolf, Elias; Maier, Jonathan G; Mainberger, Florian; Feige, Bernd; Schmid, Hanna; Bürklin, Jan; Maywald, Sarah; Mall, Volker; Jung, Nikolai H; Reis, Janine; Spiegelhalder, Kai; Klöppel, Stefan; Sterr, Annette; Eckert, Anne; Riemann, Dieter; Normann, Claus; Nissen, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is ubiquitous in animals and humans, but its function remains to be further determined. The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis of sleep-wake regulation proposes a homeostatic increase in net synaptic strength and cortical excitability along with decreased inducibility of associative synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) due to saturation after sleep deprivation. Here we use electrophysiological, behavioural and molecular indices to non-invasively study net synaptic strength and LTP-like plasticity in humans after sleep and sleep deprivation. We demonstrate indices of increased net synaptic strength (TMS intensity to elicit a predefined amplitude of motor-evoked potential and EEG theta activity) and decreased LTP-like plasticity (paired associative stimulation induced change in motor-evoked potential and memory formation) after sleep deprivation. Changes in plasma BDNF are identified as a potential mechanism. Our study indicates that sleep recalibrates homeostatic and associative synaptic plasticity, believed to be the neural basis for adaptive behaviour, in humans. PMID:27551934

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  17. Abnormal cortical synaptic plasticity in minimal hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Golaszewski, Stefan; Langthaler, Patrick B; Schwenker, Kerstin; Florea, Cristina; Christova, Monica; Brigo, Francesco; Trinka, Eugen; Nardone, Raffaele

    2016-07-01

    Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) represents the earliest stage of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). MHE is characterized by cognitive function impairment in the domains of attention, vigilance and integrative function, while obvious clinical manifestations are lacking. In the present study, we aimed at assessing whether subjects with MHE showed alterations in synaptic plasticity within the motor cortex. Previous findings suggest that learning in human motor cortex occurs through long-term potentiation (LTP)-like mechanisms. We employed therefore the paired associative stimulation (PAS) protocol by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is able to induce LTP-like effects in the motor cortex of normal subjects. Fifteen patients with MHE and 15 age- and sex-matched cirrhotic patients without MHE were recruited. PAS consisted of 180 electrical stimuli of the right median nerve paired with a single TMS over the hotspot of right abductor pollicis brevis (APB) at an ISI of 25ms (PAS25). We measured motor evoked potentials (MEPs) before and after each intervention for up to 30min. In healthy subjects the PAS25 protocol was followed by a significant increase of the MEP amplitude. On the contrary, in patients with MHE the MEP amplitude was slightly reduced after PAS. These findings demonstrated that associative sensorimotor plasticity, an indirect probe for motor learning, is impaired in MHE patients. PMID:27475415

  18. Fructose consumption reduces hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Cisternas, Pedro; Salazar, Paulina; Serrano, Felipe G; Montecinos-Oliva, Carla; Arredondo, Sebastián B; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Barja, Salesa; Vio, Carlos P; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2015-11-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a global epidemic, which involves a spectrum of metabolic disorders comprising diabetes and obesity. The impact of MetS on the brain is becoming to be a concern, however, the poor understanding of mechanisms involved has limited the development of therapeutic strategies. We induced a MetS-like condition by exposing mice to fructose feeding for 7weeks. There was a dramatic deterioration in the capacity of the hippocampus to sustain synaptic plasticity in the forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Mice exposed to fructose showed a reduction in the number of contact zones and the size of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in the hippocampus, as well as a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis. There was an increase in lipid peroxidation likely associated with a deficiency in plasma membrane excitability. Consistent with an overall hippocampal dysfunction, there was a subsequent decrease in hippocampal dependent learning and memory performance, i.e., spatial learning and episodic memory. Most of the pathological sequel of MetS in the brain was reversed three month after discontinue fructose feeding. These results are novel to show that MetS triggers a cascade of molecular events, which disrupt hippocampal functional plasticity, and specific aspects of learning and memory function. The overall information raises concerns about the risk imposed by excessive fructose consumption on the pathology of neurological disorders. PMID:26300486

  19. Fructose consumption reduces hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Cisternas, Pedro; Salazar, Paulina; Serrano, Felipe G; Montecinos-Oliva, Carla; Arredondo, Sebastián B; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Barja, Salesa; Vio, Carlos P; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2015-11-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a global epidemic, which involves a spectrum of metabolic disorders comprising diabetes and obesity. The impact of MetS on the brain is becoming to be a concern, however, the poor understanding of mechanisms involved has limited the development of therapeutic strategies. We induced a MetS-like condition by exposing mice to fructose feeding for 7weeks. There was a dramatic deterioration in the capacity of the hippocampus to sustain synaptic plasticity in the forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Mice exposed to fructose showed a reduction in the number of contact zones and the size of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in the hippocampus, as well as a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis. There was an increase in lipid peroxidation likely associated with a deficiency in plasma membrane excitability. Consistent with an overall hippocampal dysfunction, there was a subsequent decrease in hippocampal dependent learning and memory performance, i.e., spatial learning and episodic memory. Most of the pathological sequel of MetS in the brain was reversed three month after discontinue fructose feeding. These results are novel to show that MetS triggers a cascade of molecular events, which disrupt hippocampal functional plasticity, and specific aspects of learning and memory function. The overall information raises concerns about the risk imposed by excessive fructose consumption on the pathology of neurological disorders.

  20. PRG-1 Regulates Synaptic Plasticity via Intracellular PP2A/β1-Integrin Signaling.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xingfeng; Huai, Jisen; Endle, Heiko; Schlüter, Leslie; Fan, Wei; Li, Yunbo; Richers, Sebastian; Yurugi, Hajime; Rajalingam, Krishnaraj; Ji, Haichao; Cheng, Hong; Rister, Benjamin; Horta, Guilherme; Baumgart, Jan; Berger, Hendrik; Laube, Gregor; Schmitt, Ulrich; Schmeisser, Michael J; Boeckers, Tobias M; Tenzer, Stefan; Vlachos, Andreas; Deller, Thomas; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes

    2016-08-01

    Alterations in dendritic spine numbers are linked to deficits in learning and memory. While we previously revealed that postsynaptic plasticity-related gene 1 (PRG-1) controls lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) signaling at glutamatergic synapses via presynaptic LPA receptors, we now show that PRG-1 also affects spine density and synaptic plasticity in a cell-autonomous fashion via protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A)/β1-integrin activation. PRG-1 deficiency reduces spine numbers and β1-integrin activation, alters long-term potentiation (LTP), and impairs spatial memory. The intracellular PRG-1 C terminus interacts in an LPA-dependent fashion with PP2A, thus modulating its phosphatase activity at the postsynaptic density. This results in recruitment of adhesome components src, paxillin, and talin to lipid rafts and ultimately in activation of β1-integrins. Consistent with these findings, activation of PP2A with FTY720 rescues defects in spine density and LTP of PRG-1-deficient animals. These results disclose a mechanism by which bioactive lipid signaling via PRG-1 could affect synaptic plasticity and memory formation. PMID:27453502

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. ADAR-mediated RNA editing suppresses sleep by acting as a brake on glutamatergic synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, J. E.; Paluch, J.; Dickman, D. K.; Joiner, W. J.

    2016-01-01

    It has been postulated that synaptic potentiation during waking is offset by a homoeostatic reduction in net synaptic strength during sleep. However, molecular mechanisms to support such a process are lacking. Here we demonstrate that deficiencies in the RNA-editing gene Adar increase sleep due to synaptic dysfunction in glutamatergic neurons in Drosophila. Specifically, the vesicular glutamate transporter is upregulated, leading to over-activation of NMDA receptors, and the reserve pool of glutamatergic synaptic vesicles is selectively expanded in Adar mutants. Collectively these changes lead to sustained neurotransmitter release under conditions that would otherwise result in synaptic depression. We propose that a shift in the balance from synaptic depression towards synaptic potentiation in sleep-promoting neurons underlies the increased sleep pressure of Adar-deficient animals. Our findings provide a plausible molecular mechanism linking sleep and synaptic plasticity. PMID:26813350

  4. ADAR-mediated RNA editing suppresses sleep by acting as a brake on glutamatergic synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Robinson, J E; Paluch, J; Dickman, D K; Joiner, W J

    2016-01-01

    It has been postulated that synaptic potentiation during waking is offset by a homoeostatic reduction in net synaptic strength during sleep. However, molecular mechanisms to support such a process are lacking. Here we demonstrate that deficiencies in the RNA-editing gene Adar increase sleep due to synaptic dysfunction in glutamatergic neurons in Drosophila. Specifically, the vesicular glutamate transporter is upregulated, leading to over-activation of NMDA receptors, and the reserve pool of glutamatergic synaptic vesicles is selectively expanded in Adar mutants. Collectively these changes lead to sustained neurotransmitter release under conditions that would otherwise result in synaptic depression. We propose that a shift in the balance from synaptic depression towards synaptic potentiation in sleep-promoting neurons underlies the increased sleep pressure of Adar-deficient animals. Our findings provide a plausible molecular mechanism linking sleep and synaptic plasticity.

  5. Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 as a Novel Player in Synaptic Plasticity and Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Lepeta, Katarzyna; Kaczmarek, Leszek

    2015-01-01

    Recent findings implicate alterations in glutamate signaling, leading to aberrant synaptic plasticity, in schizophrenia. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) has been shown to regulate glutamate receptors, be regulated by glutamate at excitatory synapses, and modulate physiological and morphological synaptic plasticity. By means of functional gene polymorphism, gene responsiveness to antipsychotics and blood plasma levels MMP-9 has recently been implicated in schizophrenia. This commentary critically reviews these findings based on the hypothesis that MMP-9 contributes to pathological synaptic plasticity in schizophrenia. PMID:25837304

  6. Myosin II regulates actin rearrangement-related structural synaptic plasticity during conditioned taste aversion memory extinction.

    PubMed

    Bi, Ai-Ling; Wang, Yue; Zhang, Shuang; Li, Bo-Qin; Sun, Zong-Peng; Bi, Hong-Sheng; Chen, Zhe-Yu

    2015-03-01

    Similar to memory formation, memory extinction is also a new learning process that requires synaptic plasticity. Actin rearrangement is fundamental for synaptic plasticity, however, whether actin rearrangement in the infralimbic cortex (IL) plays a role in memory extinction, as well as the mechanisms underlying it, remains unclear. Here, using a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) paradigm, we demonstrated increased synaptic density and actin rearrangement in the IL during the extinction of CTA. Targeted infusion of an actin rearrangement inhibitor, cytochalasin D, into the IL impaired memory extinction and de novo synapse formation. Notably, we also found increased myosin II phosphorylation in the IL during the extinction of CTA. Microinfusion of a specific inhibitor of the myosin II ATPase, blebbistatin (Blebb), into the IL impaired memory extinction as well as the related actin rearrangement and changes in synaptic density. Moreover, the extinction deficit and the reduction of synaptic density induced by Blebb could be rescued by the actin polymerization stabilizer jasplakinolide (Jasp), suggesting that myosin II acts via actin filament polymerization to stabilize synaptic plasticity during the extinction of CTA. Taken together, we conclude that myosin II may regulate the plasticity of actin-related synaptic structure during memory extinction. Our studies provide a molecular mechanism for understanding the plasticity of actin rearrangement-associated synaptic structure during memory extinction.

  7. Phasic Dopamine Modifies Sensory-Driven Output of Striatal Neurons through Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wieland, Sebastian; Schindler, Sebastian; Huber, Cathrin; Köhr, Georg; Oswald, Manfred J; Kelsch, Wolfgang

    2015-07-01

    Animals are facing a complex sensory world in which only few stimuli are relevant to guide behavior. Value has to be assigned to relevant stimuli such as odors to select them over concurring information. Phasic dopamine is involved in the value assignment to stimuli in the ventral striatum. The underlying cellular mechanisms are incompletely understood. In striatal projection neurons of the ventral striatum in adult mice, we therefore examined the features and dynamics of phasic dopamine-induced synaptic plasticity and how this plasticity may modify the striatal output. Phasic dopamine is predicted to tag inputs that occur in temporal proximity. Indeed, we observed D1 receptor-dependent synaptic potentiation only when odor-like bursts and optogenetically evoked phasic dopamine release were paired within a time window of <1 s. Compatible with predictions of dynamic value assignment, the synaptic potentiation persisted after the phasic dopamine signal had ceased, but gradually reversed when odor-like bursts continued to be presented. The synaptic plasticity depended on the sensory input rate and was input specific. Importantly, synaptic plasticity amplified the firing response to a given olfactory input as the dendritic integration and the firing threshold remained unchanged during synaptic potentiation. Thus, phasic dopamine-induced synaptic plasticity can change information transfer through dynamic increases of the output of striatal projection neurons to specific sensory inputs. This plasticity may provide a neural substrate for dynamic value assignment in the striatum.

  8. Magnetic nanotherapeutics for dysregulated synaptic plasticity during neuroAIDS and drug abuse.

    PubMed

    Sagar, Vidya; Atluri, Venkata Subba Rao; Pilakka-Kanthikeel, Sudheesh; Nair, Madhavan

    2016-01-01

    The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a neurotropic virus. It induces neurotoxicity and subsequent brain pathologies in different brain cells. Addiction to recreational drugs remarkably affects the initiation of HIV infections and expedites the progression of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) associated neuropathogenesis. Symptoms of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are noticed in many AIDS patients. At least 50 % of HIV diagnosed cases show one or other kind of neuropathological signs or symptoms during different stages of disease progression. In the same line, mild to severe neurological alterations are seen in at least 80 % autopsies of AIDS patients. Neurological illnesses weaken the connections between neurons causing significant altercations in synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity alterations during HIV infection and recreational drug abuse are mediated by complex cellular phenomena involving changes in gene expression and subsequent loss of dendritic and spine morphology and physiology. New treatment strategies with ability to deliver drugs across blood-brain barrier (BBB) are being intensively investigated. In this context, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) based nanoformulations have shown significant potential for target specificity, drug delivery, drug release, and bioavailability of desired amount of drugs in non-invasive brain targeting. MNPs-based potential therapies to promote neuronal plasticity during HIV infection and recreational drug abuse are being developed. PMID:27216740

  9. Cross-talk induces bifurcations in nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Terry

    2012-02-01

    Linear models of synaptic plasticity provide a useful starting-point for examining the dynamics of neuronal development and learning, but their inherent problems are well known. Models of synaptic plasticity that embrace the demands of biological realism are therefore typically nonlinear. Viewed from a more abstract perspective, nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity are a subset of nonlinear dynamical systems. As such, they may therefore exhibit bifurcations under the variation of control parameters, including noise and errors in synaptic updates. One source of noise or error is the cross-talk that occurs during otherwise Hebbian plasticity. Under cross-talk, stimulation of a set of synapses can induce or modify plasticity in adjacent, unstimulated synapses. Here, we analyze two nonlinear models of developmental synaptic plasticity and a model of independent component analysis in the presence of a simple model of cross-talk. We show that cross-talk does indeed induce bifurcations in these models, entirely destroying their ability to acquire either developmentally or learning-related patterns of fixed points. Importantly, the critical level of cross-talk required to induce bifurcations in these models is very sensitive to the statistics of the afferents' activities and the number of afferents synapsing on a postsynaptic cell. In particular, the critical level can be made arbitrarily small. Because bifurcations are inevitable in nonlinear models, our results likely apply to many nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity, although the precise details vary by model. Hence, many nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity are potentially fatally compromised by the toxic influence of cross-talk and other sources of noise and errors more generally. We conclude by arguing that biologically realistic models of synaptic plasticity must be robust against noise-induced bifurcations and that biological systems may have evolved strategies to circumvent their possible dangers.

  10. Studying synaptic plasticity in the human brain and opportunities for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Pradeep J; Cobb, Stuart R; Lu, Bai; Bullmore, Edward T; Davies, Ceri H

    2011-10-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the ability of synaptic connections between neurons to be strengthened or weakened; a process that is central to the information processing within the brain and which plays a particularly important role in enabling higher cognitive processes [1,2]. Its role in disease is becoming increasingly clear across a wide spectrum of CNS disorders. Thus, for example, dysfunctional synaptic plasticity has been reported in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease (AD) as well as in schizophrenia and in a range of disorders associated with learning disabilities [3]. Moreover, maladaptive plasticity processes in response to specific external challenges are believed to underlie disorders such as addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The molecular basis of normal and disease plasticity is rapidly being unravelled such that synaptic plasticity now provides a unique platform from which to launch the hunt for highly innovative drugs to treat CNS disease by either, firstly, rectifying identifiable abnormalities in these processes, or secondly, utilizing these processes as a vehicle to rectify, or bypass, other mechanisms underlying disease. In this respect, recent advances have been made in studying synaptic plasticity in humans at the molecular through to clinical level and these approaches now provide a real opportunity to test synaptic plasticity as a treatment paradigm for a wide variety of CNS disorders.

  11. Synchrony arising from a balanced synaptic plasticity in a network of heterogeneous neural oscillators.

    PubMed

    Karbowski, Jan; Ermentrout, G Bard

    2002-03-01

    We investigate the dynamics of a recurrent network of coupled heterogeneous neural oscillators with experimentally observed spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity. We show both theoretically and by computer simulations that, in a regime of a balance between synaptic potentiation and depression, the network of such oscillators converges to a stable synchronous state. The stability of this state is fostered by flexible synaptic weights which adjust themselves based on the relative timing of firing of pre- and postsynaptic oscillators.

  12. Phosphorylation of Complexin by PKA Regulates Activity-Dependent Spontaneous Neurotransmitter Release and Structural Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Cho, Richard W; Buhl, Lauren K; Volfson, Dina; Tran, Adrienne; Li, Feng; Akbergenova, Yulia; Littleton, J Troy

    2015-11-18

    Synaptic plasticity is a fundamental feature of the nervous system that allows adaptation to changing behavioral environments. Most studies of synaptic plasticity have examined the regulated trafficking of postsynaptic glutamate receptors that generates alterations in synaptic transmission. Whether and how changes in the presynaptic release machinery contribute to neuronal plasticity is less clear. The SNARE complex mediates neurotransmitter release in response to presynaptic Ca(2+) entry. Here we show that the SNARE fusion clamp Complexin undergoes activity-dependent phosphorylation that alters the basic properties of neurotransmission in Drosophila. Retrograde signaling following stimulation activates PKA-dependent phosphorylation of the Complexin C terminus that selectively and transiently enhances spontaneous release. Enhanced spontaneous release is required for activity-dependent synaptic growth. These data indicate that SNARE-dependent fusion mechanisms can be regulated in an activity-dependent manner and highlight the key role of spontaneous neurotransmitter release as a mediator of functional and structural plasticity.

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

    PubMed Central

    Fauth, Michael; Wörgötter, Florentin; Tetzlaff, Christian

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Synaptic plasticity in the medial superior olive of hearing, deaf, and cochlear-implanted cats.

    PubMed

    Tirko, Natasha N; Ryugo, David K

    2012-07-01

    The medial superior olive (MSO) is a key auditory brainstem structure that receives binaural inputs and is implicated in processing interaural time disparities used for sound localization. The deaf white cat, a proven model of congenital deafness, was used to examine how deafness and cochlear implantation affected the synaptic organization at this binaural center in the ascending auditory pathway. The patterns of axosomatic and axodendritic organization were determined for principal neurons from the MSO of hearing, deaf, and deaf cats with cochlear implants. The nature of the synapses was evaluated through electron microscopy, ultrastructure analysis of the synaptic vesicles, and immunohistochemistry. The results show that the proportion of inhibitory axosomatic terminals was significantly smaller in deaf animals when compared with hearing animals. However, after a period of electrical stimulation via cochlear implants the proportion of inhibitory inputs resembled that of hearing animals. Additionally, the excitatory axodendritic boutons of hearing cats were found to be significantly larger than those of deaf cats. Boutons of stimulated cats were significantly larger than the boutons in deaf cats, although not as large as in the hearing cats, indicating a partial recovery of excitatory inputs to MSO dendrites after stimulation. These results exemplify dynamic plasticity in the auditory brainstem and reveal that electrical stimulation through cochlear implants has a restorative effect on synaptic organization in the MSO. PMID:22237661

  15. Pregnenolone sulfate as a modulator of synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Conor C.; Gibbs, Terrell T.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale The neurosteroid pregnenolone sulfate (PregS) acts as a cognitive enhancer and modulator of neurotransmission, yet aligning its pharmacological and physiological effects with reliable measurements of endogenous local concentrations and pharmacological and therapeutic targets has remained elusive for over 20 years. Objectives New basic and clinical research concerning neurosteroid modulation of the central nervous system (CNS) function has emerged over the past 5 years, including important data involving pregnenolone and various neurosteroid precursors of PregS that point to a need for a critical status update. Results Highly specific actions of PregS affecting excitatory N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic transmission and the pharmacological effects of PregS on various receptors and ion channels are discussed. The discovery of a high potency (nanomolar) signal transduction pathway for PregS-induced NMDAR trafficking to the cell surface via a Ca2+- and G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-dependent mechanism and a potent (EC50 ~2 pM) direct enhancement of intracellular Ca2+ levels is discussed in terms of its agonist effects on long-term potentiation (LTP) and memory. Lastly, preclinical and clinical studies assessing the promnestic effects of PregS and pregnenolone toward cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, and altered serum levels in epilepsy and alcohol dependence, are reviewed. Conclusions PregS is present in human and rodent brain at physiologically relevant concentrations and meets most of the criteria for an endogenous neurotransmitter/neuromodulator. PregS likely plays a significant role in modulation of glutamatergic excitatory synaptic transmission underlying learning and memory, yet the molecular target(s) for its action awaits identification. PMID:24997854

  16. Reelin supplementation recovers synaptic plasticity and cognitive deficits in a mouse model for Angelman syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hethorn, Whitney R; Ciarlone, Stephanie L; Filonova, Irina; Rogers, Justin T; Aguirre, Daniela; Ramirez, Raquel A; Grieco, Joseph C; Peters, Melinda M; Gulick, Danielle; Anderson, Anne E; L Banko, Jessica; Lussier, April L; Weeber, Edwin J

    2015-05-01

    The Reelin signaling pathway is implicated in processes controlling synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. A single direct in vivo application of Reelin enhances long-term potentiation, increases dendritic spine density and improves associative and spatial learning and memory. Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurological disorder that presents with an overall defect in synaptic function, including decreased long-term potentiation, reduced dendritic spine density, and deficits in learning and memory, making it an attractive model in which to examine the ability of Reelin to recover synaptic function and cognitive deficits. In this study, we investigated the effects of Reelin administration on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in a mouse model of AS and demonstrated that bilateral, intraventricular injections of Reelin recover synaptic function and corresponding hippocampus-dependent associative and spatial learning and memory. Additionally, we describe alteration of the Reelin profile in tissue from both the AS mouse and post-mortem human brain. PMID:25864922

  17. Reelin supplementation recovers synaptic plasticity and cognitive deficits in a mouse model for Angelman syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Hethorn, Whitney R; Ciarlone, Stephanie L; Filonova, Irina; Rogers, Justin T; Aguirre, Daniela; Ramirez, Raquel A; Grieco, Joseph C; Peters, Melinda M; Gulick, Danielle; Anderson, Anne E; L Banko, Jessica; Lussier, April L; Weeber, Edwin J

    2015-01-01

    The Reelin signaling pathway is implicated in processes controlling synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. A single direct in vivo application of Reelin enhances long-term potentiation, increases dendritic spine density and improves associative and spatial learning and memory. Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurological disorder that presents with an overall defect in synaptic function, including decreased long-term potentiation, reduced dendritic spine density, and deficits in learning and memory, making it an attractive model in which to examine the ability of Reelin to recover synaptic function and cognitive deficits. In this study, we investigated the effects of Reelin administration on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in a mouse model of AS and demonstrated that bilateral, intraventricular injections of Reelin recover synaptic function and corresponding hippocampus-dependent associative and spatial learning and memory. Additionally, we describe alteration of the Reelin profile in tissue from both the AS mouse and post-mortem human brain. PMID:25864922

  18. Dynamic expression of long noncoding RNAs and repeat elements in synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Maag, Jesper L. V.; Panja, Debabrata; Sporild, Ida; Patil, Sudarshan; Kaczorowski, Dominik C.; Bramham, Clive R.; Dinger, Marcel E.; Wibrand, Karin

    2015-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is recognized as a cellular mechanism for learning and memory storage. Although de novo gene transcription is known to be required in the formation of stable LTP, the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity remain elusive. Noncoding RNAs have emerged as major regulatory molecules that are abundantly and specifically expressed in the mammalian brain. By combining RNA-seq analysis with LTP induction in the dentate gyrus of live rats, we provide the first global transcriptomic analysis of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. Expression profiles of mRNAs and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were obtained at 30 min, 2 and 5 h after high-frequency stimulation of the perforant pathway. The temporal analysis revealed dynamic expression profiles of lncRNAs with many positively, and highly, correlated to protein-coding genes with known roles in synaptic plasticity, suggesting their possible involvement in LTP. In light of observations suggesting a role for retrotransposons in brain function, we examined the expression of various classes of repeat elements. Our analysis identifies dynamic regulation of LINE1 and SINE retrotransposons, and extensive regulation of tRNA. These experiments reveal a hitherto unknown complexity of gene expression in long-term synaptic plasticity involving the dynamic regulation of lncRNAs and repeat elements. These findings provide a broader foundation for elucidating the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of synaptic plasticity in both the healthy brain and in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26483626

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity and NR2A/2B expression ratio in remifentanil withdrawal rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Yi; Liu, Shichang; Zhang, Nan; Yang, Jing; Zhang, Yinguo

    2016-03-01

    Remifentanil is a kind of synthetic opioid which has gained wide clinical acceptance by anesthesiologists. In this study, we attempted to test whether withdrawal effects on learning mechanisms can be triggered by repeated low-dose remifentanil treatment. Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were subjected to remifentanil (50μg/kgs.c.) twice per day at 12h intervals for 15 days. When the animals of remifentanil group were withdrawn from remifentanil at 10h after the last injection, changes in open field test, Morris water maze test (MWM) and synaptic efficacy were examined in each group. We demonstrated that repeated exposure to 50μg/kg remifentanil produced enhanced locomotor activity indicating that a remifentanil addiction animal model in rats was established. MWM results showed that exposure to remifentanil had no influence on the spatial cognition. After withdrawal of remifentanil rats showed impaired spatial cognition. In electrophysiology test, remifentanil group rats showed a trend for a rightward shift of input/output relationship and significant deficits in maintenance of STP and LTP. Immunohistochemistry results demonstrated increased NR2A/NR2B ratio that should be included depression of LTP. In the whole-cell patch-clamp recording, after elimination from remifentanil incubation, mEPSC frequency was down regulated in hippocampal CA1 neurons, indicating that basal synaptic transmission were affected by remifentanil withdrawal. Taken together, the current findings demonstrate that the remifentanil withdrawn rats exhibit obvious impairment of hippocampus-dependent memory and synaptic plasticity. Increased hippocampal NR2A/NR2B expression ratio and the changes of basal synaptic transmission may participate in the impairment of LTP. PMID:26777139

  1. Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain

    PubMed Central

    Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks. PMID:27006834

  2. Diverse synaptic plasticity mechanisms orchestrated to form and retrieve memories in spiking neural networks

    PubMed Central

    Zenke, Friedemann; Agnes, Everton J.; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity, the putative basis of learning and memory formation, manifests in various forms and across different timescales. Here we show that the interaction of Hebbian homosynaptic plasticity with rapid non-Hebbian heterosynaptic plasticity is, when complemented with slower homeostatic changes and consolidation, sufficient for assembly formation and memory recall in a spiking recurrent network model of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. In the model, assemblies were formed during repeated sensory stimulation and characterized by strong recurrent excitatory connections. Even days after formation, and despite ongoing network activity and synaptic plasticity, memories could be recalled through selective delay activity following the brief stimulation of a subset of assembly neurons. Blocking any component of plasticity prevented stable functioning as a memory network. Our modelling results suggest that the diversity of plasticity phenomena in the brain is orchestrated towards achieving common functional goals. PMID:25897632

  3. Learning and Memory, Part II: Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lombroso, Paul; Ogren, Marilee

    2009-01-01

    The molecular events that are responsible for strengthening synaptic connections and how these are linked to memory and learning are discussed. The laboratory preparations that allow the investigation of these events are also described.

  4. Ubiquitin ligase TRIM3 controls hippocampal plasticity and learning by regulating synaptic γ-actin levels.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Joerg; Végh, Marlene J; Dawitz, Julia; Kroon, Tim; Loos, Maarten; Labonté, Dorthe; Li, Ka Wan; Van Nierop, Pim; Van Diepen, Michiel T; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Kneussel, Matthias; Meredith, Rhiannon M; Smit, August B; Van Kesteren, Ronald E

    2015-11-01

    Synaptic plasticity requires remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Although two actin isoforms, β- and γ-actin, are expressed in dendritic spines, the specific contribution of γ-actin in the expression of synaptic plasticity is unknown. We show that synaptic γ-actin levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM3. TRIM3 protein and Actg1 transcript are colocalized in messenger ribonucleoprotein granules responsible for the dendritic targeting of messenger RNAs. TRIM3 polyubiquitylates γ-actin, most likely cotranslationally at synaptic sites. Trim3(-/-) mice consequently have increased levels of γ-actin at hippocampal synapses, resulting in higher spine densities, increased long-term potentiation, and enhanced short-term contextual fear memory consolidation. Interestingly, hippocampal deletion of Actg1 caused an increase in long-term fear memory. Collectively, our findings suggest that temporal control of γ-actin levels by TRIM3 is required to regulate the timing of hippocampal plasticity. We propose a model in which TRIM3 regulates synaptic γ-actin turnover and actin filament stability and thus forms a transient inhibitory constraint on the expression of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. PMID:26527743

  5. Ubiquitin ligase TRIM3 controls hippocampal plasticity and learning by regulating synaptic γ-actin levels

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Joerg; Végh, Marlene J.; Dawitz, Julia; Kroon, Tim; Loos, Maarten; Labonté, Dorthe; Li, Ka Wan; Van Nierop, Pim; Van Diepen, Michiel T.; De Zeeuw, Chris I.; Kneussel, Matthias; Meredith, Rhiannon M.; Smit, August B.

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity requires remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Although two actin isoforms, β- and γ-actin, are expressed in dendritic spines, the specific contribution of γ-actin in the expression of synaptic plasticity is unknown. We show that synaptic γ-actin levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM3. TRIM3 protein and Actg1 transcript are colocalized in messenger ribonucleoprotein granules responsible for the dendritic targeting of messenger RNAs. TRIM3 polyubiquitylates γ-actin, most likely cotranslationally at synaptic sites. Trim3−/− mice consequently have increased levels of γ-actin at hippocampal synapses, resulting in higher spine densities, increased long-term potentiation, and enhanced short-term contextual fear memory consolidation. Interestingly, hippocampal deletion of Actg1 caused an increase in long-term fear memory. Collectively, our findings suggest that temporal control of γ-actin levels by TRIM3 is required to regulate the timing of hippocampal plasticity. We propose a model in which TRIM3 regulates synaptic γ-actin turnover and actin filament stability and thus forms a transient inhibitory constraint on the expression of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. PMID:26527743

  6. Effects of lipopolysaccharide on 56Fe-particle radiation-induced impairment of synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Vlkolinský, Roman; Krucker, Thomas; Smith, Anna L; Lamp, Tyra C; Nelson, Gregory A; Obenaus, Andre

    2007-10-01

    Space radiation, including high-mass, high-Z, high-energy particles (HZE; e.g. (56)Fe), represents a significant health risk for astronauts, and the central nervous system (CNS) may be a vulnerable target. HZE-particle radiation may directly affect neuronal function, or during immunological challenge, it may alter immune system-to-CNS communication. To test these hypotheses, we exposed mice to accelerated iron particles ((56)Fe; 600 MeV/nucleon; 1, 2, 4 Gy; brain only) and 1 month later prepared hippocampal slices to measure the effects of radiation on neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in CA1 neurons. In a model of immune system-to-CNS communication, these electrophysiological parameters were measured in irradiated mice additionally challenged with the peripheral immunological stressor lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injected intraperitoneally 4 h before the slice preparation. Exposure to (56)Fe particles alone increased dendritic excitability and inhibited plasticity. In control mice (0 Gy), LPS treatment also inhibited synaptic plasticity. Paradoxically, in mice exposed to 2 Gy, the LPS treatment restored synaptic plasticity to levels similar to those found in controls (0 Gy, no LPS). Our results indicate that HZE-particle radiation alters normal electrophysiological properties of the CNS and the hippocampal response to LPS. PMID:17903042

  7. BDNF contributes to the facilitation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning enabled by environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Novkovic, Tanja; Mittmann, Thomas; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2015-01-01

    Sensory, motor, and cognitive stimuli, resulting from interactions with the environment, play a key role in optimizing and modifying the neuronal circuitry required for normal brain function. An experimental animal model for this phenomenon comprises environmental enrichment (EE) in rodents. EE causes profound changes in neuronal and signaling levels of excitation and plasticity throughout the entire central nervous system and the hippocampus is particularly affected. The mechanisms underlying these changes are not yet fully understood. As brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) supports hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), we explored whether it participates in the facilitation of synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning that occurs following EE. In the absence of EE, LTP elicited by high-frequency stimulation was equivalent in wildtype mice and heterozygous BDNF(+/-) siblings. LTP elicited by theta-burst stimulation in BDNF(+/-) mice was less than in wildtypes. Long-term depression (LTD) was also impaired. EE for three weeks, beginning after weaning, improved hippocampal LTP in both wildtype and transgenic animals, with LTP in transgenics achieving levels seen in wildtypes in the absence of EE. Object recognition memory was evident in wildtypes 24 h and 7 days after initial object exposure. EE improved memory performance in wildtypes 24 h but not 7 days after initial exposure. BDNF(+/-) mice in the absence of EE showed impaired memory 7 days after initial object exposure that was restored by EE. Western blotting revealed increased levels of BDNF, but not proBDNF, among both EE cohorts. These data support that BDNF plays an intrinsic role in improvements of synaptic plasticity and cognition that occur in EE.

  8. Plasticity of inhibitory synaptic network interactions in the lateral amygdala upon fear conditioning in mice.

    PubMed

    Szinyei, Csaba; Narayanan, Rajeevan T; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2007-02-01

    After fear conditioning, plastic changes of excitatory synaptic transmission occur in the amygdala. Fear-related memory also involves the GABAergic system, although no influence on inhibitory synaptic transmission is known. In the present study we assessed the influence of Pavlovian fear conditioning on the plasticity of GABAergic synaptic interactions in the lateral amygdala (LA) in brain slices prepared from fear-conditioned, pseudo-trained and naïve adult mice. Theta-burst tetanization of thalamic afferent inputs to the LA evoked an input-specific potentiation of inhibitory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons; the cortical input was unaffected. Philanthotoxin (10 microM), an antagonist of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors, disabled this plastic phenomenon. Surgical isolation of the LA, extracellular application of a GABA(B) receptor antagonist (CGP 55845A, 10 microM) or an NMDA receptor antagonist (APV, 50 microM), or intracellular application of BAPTA (10 mM), did not influence the plasticity. The plasticity also showed as a potentiation of monosynaptic excitatory responses in putative GABAergic interneurons. Pavlovian fear conditioning, but not pseudo-conditioning, resulted in a significant reduction in this potentiation that was evident 24 h after training. Two weeks after training, the potentiation returned to control levels. In conclusion, a reduction in potentiation of inhibitory synaptic interactions occurs in the LA and may contribute to a shift in synaptic balance towards excitatory signal flow during the processes of fear-memory acquisition or consolidation.

  9. Compartmentalized PDE4A5 Signaling Impairs Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Long-Term Memory

    PubMed Central

    Park, Alan J.; Tolentino, Rosa E.; Bruinenberg, Vibeke M.; Tudor, Jennifer C.; Lee, Yool; Hansen, Rolf T.; Guercio, Leonardo A.; Linton, Edward; Neves-Zaph, Susana R.; Meerlo, Peter; Baillie, George S.; Houslay, Miles D.

    2016-01-01

    Alterations in cAMP signaling are thought to contribute to neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. Members of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) family, which contains >25 different isoforms, play a key role in determining spatial cAMP degradation so as to orchestrate compartmentalized cAMP signaling in cells. Each isoform binds to a different set of protein complexes through its unique N-terminal domain, thereby leading to targeted degradation of cAMP in specific intracellular compartments. However, the functional role of specific compartmentalized PDE4 isoforms has not been examined in vivo. Here, we show that increasing protein levels of the PDE4A5 isoform in mouse hippocampal excitatory neurons impairs a long-lasting form of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and attenuates hippocampus-dependent long-term memories without affecting anxiety. In contrast, viral expression of a truncated version of PDE4A5, which lacks the unique N-terminal targeting domain, does not affect long-term memory. Further, overexpression of the PDE4A1 isoform, which targets a different subset of signalosomes, leaves memory undisturbed. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer sensor-based cAMP measurements reveal that the full-length PDE4A5, in contrast to the truncated form, hampers forskolin-mediated increases in neuronal cAMP levels. Our study indicates that the unique N-terminal localization domain of PDE4A5 is essential for the targeting of specific cAMP-dependent signaling underlying synaptic plasticity and memory. The development of compounds to disrupt the compartmentalization of individual PDE4 isoforms by targeting their unique N-terminal domains may provide a fruitful approach to prevent cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive disorders that are associated with alterations in cAMP signaling. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neurons exhibit localized signaling processes that enable biochemical cascades to be activated selectively in specific subcellular

  10. Linking cell-cycle dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease to a failure of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Arendt, Thomas; Brückner, Martina K

    2007-04-01

    Higher cerebral functions are based upon a dynamic organization of neuronal networks. To form synaptic connections and to continuously re-shape them in a process of ongoing structural adaptation, neurons must permanently withdraw from the cell cycle. In other words, synaptic plasticity can only occur on the expense of the ability to proliferate. Previously, we have put forward a hypothesis, coined "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde concept" that differentiated neurons after having withdrawn from the cell cycle are able to use those molecular mechanisms primarily developed to control proliferation alternatively to control synaptic plasticity [T. Arendt, Synaptic plasticity and cell cycle activation in neurons are alternative effector pathways The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Theory of Alzheimer's disease or The yin and yang of Neuroplasticity. Progr. Neurobiol. 71 (2003) 83-248]. The existence of these alternative effector pathways within a neuron might put it on the risk to erroneously convert signals derived from plastic synaptic changes into cell cycle activation which subsequently leads to cell death. Here we add further evidence to this hypothesis demonstrating a tight association of the origin recognition complex (ORC) with neurofibrillar pathology in AD. The ORC is a critical "guard" of DNA replication and point of convergence of numerous functionally redundant signaling pathways involved in cell cycle progression and transcriptional silencing of apoptotic programmes. ORC subunits in the mammalian brain and their homologes in Drosophila, however, have further been implicated in the regulation of structural neuronal plasticity and cognitive function. We propose that the abnormal subcellular distribution and segregation of ORC proteins in AD might compromise their physiological function in gene silencing and plasticity. This might result in cell cycle activation, DNA-replication and de-repression of apoptotic programmes. ORC subunits might, thus, provide a direct molecular

  11. A novel synaptic plasticity rule explains homeostasis of neuromuscular transmission

    PubMed Central

    Ouanounou, Gilles; Baux, Gérard; Bal, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Excitability differs among muscle fibers and undergoes continuous changes during development and growth, yet the neuromuscular synapse maintains a remarkable fidelity of execution. Here we show in two evolutionarily distant vertebrates (Xenopus laevis cell culture and mouse nerve-muscle ex-vivo) that the skeletal muscle cell constantly senses, through two identified calcium signals, synaptic events and their efficacy in eliciting spikes. These sensors trigger retrograde signal(s) that control presynaptic neurotransmitter release, resulting in synaptic potentiation or depression. In the absence of spikes, synaptic events trigger potentiation. Once the synapse is sufficiently strong to initiate spiking, the occurrence of these spikes activates a negative retrograde feedback. These opposing signals dynamically balance the synapse in order to continuously adjust neurotransmitter release to a level matching current muscle cell excitability. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12190.001 PMID:27138195

  12. Synaptic plasticity, neural circuits, and the emerging role of altered short-term information processing in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Crabtree, Gregg W.; Gogos, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity alters the strength of information flow between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons and thus modifies the likelihood that action potentials in a presynaptic neuron will lead to an action potential in a postsynaptic neuron. As such, synaptic plasticity and pathological changes in synaptic plasticity impact the synaptic computation which controls the information flow through the neural microcircuits responsible for the complex information processing necessary to drive adaptive behaviors. As current theories of neuropsychiatric disease suggest that distinct dysfunctions in neural circuit performance may critically underlie the unique symptoms of these diseases, pathological alterations in synaptic plasticity mechanisms may be fundamental to the disease process. Here we consider mechanisms of both short-term and long-term plasticity of synaptic transmission and their possible roles in information processing by neural microcircuits in both health and disease. As paradigms of neuropsychiatric diseases with strongly implicated risk genes, we discuss the findings in schizophrenia and autism and consider the alterations in synaptic plasticity and network function observed in both human studies and genetic mouse models of these diseases. Together these studies have begun to point toward a likely dominant role of short-term synaptic plasticity alterations in schizophrenia while dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) may be due to a combination of both short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity alterations. PMID:25505409

  13. Conformational signaling required for synaptic plasticity by the NMDA receptor complex.

    PubMed

    Aow, Jonathan; Dore, Kim; Malinow, Roberto

    2015-11-24

    The NMDA receptor (NMDAR) is known to transmit important information by conducting calcium ions. However, some recent studies suggest that activation of NMDARs can trigger synaptic plasticity in the absence of ion flow. Does ligand binding transmit information to signaling molecules that mediate synaptic plasticity? Using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) imaging of fluorescently tagged proteins expressed in neurons, conformational signaling is identified within the NMDAR complex that is essential for downstream actions. Ligand binding transiently reduces FRET between the NMDAR cytoplasmic domain (cd) and the associated protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), requiring NMDARcd movement, and persistently reduces FRET between the NMDARcd and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), a process requiring PP1 activity. These studies directly monitor agonist-driven conformational signaling at the NMDAR complex required for synaptic plasticity.

  14. Factors Influencing Short-term Synaptic Plasticity in the Avian Cochlear Nucleus Magnocellularis

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Jason Tait; Quinones, Karla; Otto-Meyer, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    Defined as reduced neural responses during high rates of activity, synaptic depression is a form of short-term plasticity important for the temporal filtering of sound. In the avian cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM), an auditory brainstem structure, mechanisms regulating short-term synaptic depression include pre-, post-, and extrasynaptic factors. Using varied paired-pulse stimulus intervals, we found that the time course of synaptic depression lasts up to four seconds at late-developing NM synapses. Synaptic depression was largely reliant on exogenous Ca2+-dependent probability of presynaptic neurotransmitter release, and to a lesser extent, on the desensitization of postsynaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type glutamate receptor (AMPA-R). Interestingly, although extrasynaptic glutamate clearance did not play a significant role in regulating synaptic depression, blocking glutamate clearance at early-developing synapses altered synaptic dynamics, changing responses from depression to facilitation. These results suggest a developmental shift in the relative reliance on pre-, post-, and extrasynaptic factors in regulating short-term synaptic plasticity in NM. PMID:26527054

  15. Learning structure of sensory inputs with synaptic plasticity leads to interference

    PubMed Central

    Chrol-Cannon, Joseph; Jin, Yaochu

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is often explored as a form of unsupervised adaptation in cortical microcircuits to learn the structure of complex sensory inputs and thereby improve performance of classification and prediction. The question of whether the specific structure of the input patterns is encoded in the structure of neural networks has been largely neglected. Existing studies that have analyzed input-specific structural adaptation have used simplified, synthetic inputs in contrast to complex and noisy patterns found in real-world sensory data. In this work, input-specific structural changes are analyzed for three empirically derived models of plasticity applied to three temporal sensory classification tasks that include complex, real-world visual and auditory data. Two forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and the Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM) plasticity rule are used to adapt the recurrent network structure during the training process before performance is tested on the pattern recognition tasks. It is shown that synaptic adaptation is highly sensitive to specific classes of input pattern. However, plasticity does not improve the performance on sensory pattern recognition tasks, partly due to synaptic interference between consecutively presented input samples. The changes in synaptic strength produced by one stimulus are reversed by the presentation of another, thus largely preventing input-specific synaptic changes from being retained in the structure of the network. To solve the problem of interference, we suggest that models of plasticity be extended to restrict neural activity and synaptic modification to a subset of the neural circuit, which is increasingly found to be the case in experimental neuroscience. PMID:26300769

  16. Synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal area CA1-subiculum projection: implications for theories of memory.

    PubMed

    O'Mara, S M; Commins, S; Anderson, M

    2000-01-01

    This paper reviews investigations of synaptic plasticity in the major, and underexplored, pathway from hippocampal area CA1 to the subiculum. This brain area is the major synaptic relay for the majority of hippocampal area CA1 neurons, making the subiculum the last relay of the hippocampal formation prior to the cortex. The subiculum thus has a very major role in mediating hippocampal-cortical interactions. We demonstrate that the projection from hippocampal area CA1 to the subiculum sustains plasticity on a number of levels. We show that this pathway is capable of undergoing both long-term potentiation (LTP) and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF, a short-term plastic effect). Although we failed to induce long-term depression (LTD) of this pathway with low-frequency stimulation (LFS) and two-pulse stimulation (TPS), both protocols can induce a "late-developing" potentiation of synaptic transmission. We further demonstrate that baseline synaptic transmission can be dissociated from paired-pulse stimulation of the same pathway; we also show that it is possible, using appropriate protocols, to change PPF to paired-pulse depression, thus revealing subtle and previously undescribed mechanisms which regulate short-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we successfully recorded from individual subicular units in the freely-moving animal, and provide a description of the characteristics of such neurons in a pellet-chasing task. We discuss the implications of these findings in relation to theories of the biological consolidation of memory.

  17. High-fat diet induces hepatic insulin resistance and impairment of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhigang; Patil, Ishan Y; Jiang, Tianyi; Sancheti, Harsh; Walsh, John P; Stiles, Bangyan L; Yin, Fei; Cadenas, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity is associated with insulin resistance, which may affect brain synaptic plasticity through impairment of insulin-sensitive processes underlying neuronal survival, learning, and memory. The experimental model consisted of 3 month-old C57BL/6J mice fed either a normal chow diet (control group) or a HFD (60% of calorie from fat; HFD group) for 12 weeks. This model was characterized as a function of time in terms of body weight, fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, HOMA-IR values, and plasma triglycerides. IRS-1/Akt pathway was assessed in primary hepatocytes and brain homogenates. The effect of HFD in brain was assessed by electrophysiology, input/output responses and long-term potentiation. HFD-fed mice exhibited a significant increase in body weight, higher fasting glucose- and insulin levels in plasma, lower glucose tolerance, and higher HOMA-IR values. In liver, HFD elicited (a) a significant decrease of insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1) phosphorylation on Tyr608 and increase of Ser307 phosphorylation, indicative of IRS-1 inactivation; (b) these changes were accompanied by inflammatory responses in terms of increases in the expression of NFκB and iNOS and activation of the MAP kinases p38 and JNK; (c) primary hepatocytes from mice fed a HFD showed decreased cellular oxygen consumption rates (indicative of mitochondrial functional impairment); this can be ascribed partly to a decreased expression of PGC1α and mitochondrial biogenesis. In brain, HFD feeding elicited (a) an inactivation of the IRS-1 and, consequentially, (b) a decreased expression and plasma membrane localization of the insulin-sensitive neuronal glucose transporters GLUT3/GLUT4; (c) a suppression of the ERK/CREB pathway, and (d) a substantial decrease in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of hippocampus (indicative of impaired synaptic plasticity). It may be surmised that 12 weeks fed with HFD induce a systemic insulin resistance that impacts

  18. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition improves amyloid-β-mediated suppression of memory and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kotilinek, Linda A.; Westerman, Marcus A.; Wang, Qinwen; Panizzon, Kimberly; Lim, Giselle P.; Simonyi, Agnes; Lesne, Sylvain; Falinska, Agnieszka; Younkin, Linda H.; Younkin, Steven G.; Rowan, Michael; Cleary, James; Wallis, Roi Ann; Sun, GraceY.; Cole, Greg; Frautschy, Sally; Anwyl, Roger; Ashe, Karen H.

    2008-01-01

    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) are associated with a marked reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia characterized by the accumulation of amyloid plaques containing the amyloid-β protein (Aβ). Studies of the effects of NSAIDs upon the inflammatory response surrounding amyloid plaques and upon the generation of Aβ from the amyloid precursor protein (APP) have led to two proposed mechanisms by which NSAIDs may protect against Alzheimer’s disease: one, the selective lowering of Aβ42 by a subset of NSAIDs; and two, the reduction of inflammation. Although Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder of brain and synaptic function, the effects of NSAIDs on Aβ-mediated suppression of synaptic plasticity and memory function have never been reported. We therefore investigated how three different NSAIDs, chosen for their distinct effects on Aβ42 production and the inhibition of the cyclooxygenase (COX) isoenzymes, COX-1 and COX-2, affect memory function and synaptic plasticity. By focusing upon brain and synapse function, we made novel observations about the effects of NSAIDs on Aβ-mediated neural processes. Here we report that the selective inhibition of COX-2, but not COX-1, acutely prevented the suppression of hippocampal long-term plasticity (LTP) by Aβ. The non-selective NSAIDs, ibuprofen and naproxen, and a selective COX-2 inhibitor, MF-tricyclic, each restored memory function in Tg2576 mice over-expressing APP, and also blocked Aβ-mediated inhibition of LTP. There was no advantage of ibuprofen, a selective Aβ42-lowering agent (SALA), over the non-SALAs, naproxen and MF-tricyclic. The beneficial effects on memory did not depend upon lowered levels of Aβ42 or the inflammatory cytokines, tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and interleukin 1β (IL-1β). Intriguingly, improved memory function was inversely related to prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels. Conversely, exogenous PGE2 prevented the restorative effects of COX-2

  19. All about running: synaptic plasticity, growth factors and adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Vivar, Carmen; Potter, Michelle C; van Praag, Henriette

    2013-01-01

    Accumulating evidence from animal and human research shows exercise benefits learning and memory, which may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, and could delay age-related cognitive decline. Exercise-induced improvements in learning and memory are correlated with enhanced adult hippocampal neurogenesis and increased activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. In this present chapter we will highlight the effects of physical activity on cognition in rodents, as well as on dentate gyrus (DG) neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, spine density, neurotransmission and growth factors, in particular brain-derived nerve growth factor (BDNF).

  20. All About Running: Synaptic Plasticity, Growth Factors and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Vivar, Carmen; Potter, Michelle C.; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-01-01

    Accumulating evidence from animal and human research shows exercise benefits learning and memory, which may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, and could delay age-related cognitive decline. Exercise-induced improvements in learning and memory are correlated with enhanced adult hippocampal neurogenesis and increased activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. In this present chapter we will highlight the effects of physical activity on cognition in rodents, as well as on dentate gyrus (DG) neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, spine density, neurotransmission and growth factors, in particular brain-derived nerve growth factor (BDNF). PMID:22847651

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Impairment of bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the striatum of a mouse model of DYT1 dystonia: role of endogenous acetylcholine

    PubMed Central

    Martella, Giuseppina; Tassone, Annalisa; Sciamanna, Giuseppe; Platania, Paola; Cuomo, Dario; Viscomi, Maria Teresa; Bonsi, Paola; Cacci, Emanuele; Biagioni, Stefano; Usiello, Alessandro; Bernardi, Giorgio; Sharma, Nutan

    2009-01-01

    DYT1 dystonia is a severe form of inherited dystonia, characterized by involuntary twisting movements and abnormal postures. It is linked to a deletion in the dyt1 gene, resulting in a mutated form of the protein torsinA. The penetrance for dystonia is incomplete, but both clinically affected and non-manifesting carriers of the DYT1 mutation exhibit impaired motor learning and evidence of altered motor plasticity. Here, we characterized striatal glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in transgenic mice expressing either the normal human torsinA or its mutant form, in comparison to non-transgenic (NT) control mice. Medium spiny neurons recorded from both NT and normal human torsinA mice exhibited normal long-term depression (LTD), whereas in mutant human torsinA littermates LTD could not be elicited. In addition, although long-term potentiation (LTP) could be induced in all the mice, it was greater in magnitude in mutant human torsinA mice. Low-frequency stimulation (LFS) can revert potentiated synapses to resting levels, a phenomenon termed synaptic depotentiation. LFS induced synaptic depotentiation (SD) both in NT and normal human torsinA mice, but not in mutant human torsinA mice. Since anti-cholinergic drugs are an effective medical therapeutic option for the treatment of human dystonia, we reasoned that an excess in endogenous acetylcholine could underlie the synaptic plasticity impairment. Indeed, both LTD and SD were rescued in mutant human torsinA mice either by lowering endogenous acetylcholine levels or by antagonizing muscarinic M1 receptors. The presence of an enhanced acetylcholine tone was confirmed by the observation that acetylcholinesterase activity was significantly increased in the striatum of mutant human torsinA mice, as compared with both normal human torsinA and NT littermates. Moreover, we found similar alterations of synaptic plasticity in muscarinic M2/M4 receptor knockout mice, in which an increased striatal acetylcholine level has been

  3. Impairment of bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the striatum of a mouse model of DYT1 dystonia: role of endogenous acetylcholine.

    PubMed

    Martella, Giuseppina; Tassone, Annalisa; Sciamanna, Giuseppe; Platania, Paola; Cuomo, Dario; Viscomi, Maria Teresa; Bonsi, Paola; Cacci, Emanuele; Biagioni, Stefano; Usiello, Alessandro; Bernardi, Giorgio; Sharma, Nutan; Standaert, David G; Pisani, Antonio

    2009-09-01

    DYT1 dystonia is a severe form of inherited dystonia, characterized by involuntary twisting movements and abnormal postures. It is linked to a deletion in the dyt1 gene, resulting in a mutated form of the protein torsinA. The penetrance for dystonia is incomplete, but both clinically affected and non-manifesting carriers of the DYT1 mutation exhibit impaired motor learning and evidence of altered motor plasticity. Here, we characterized striatal glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in transgenic mice expressing either the normal human torsinA or its mutant form, in comparison to non-transgenic (NT) control mice. Medium spiny neurons recorded from both NT and normal human torsinA mice exhibited normal long-term depression (LTD), whereas in mutant human torsinA littermates LTD could not be elicited. In addition, although long-term potentiation (LTP) could be induced in all the mice, it was greater in magnitude in mutant human torsinA mice. Low-frequency stimulation (LFS) can revert potentiated synapses to resting levels, a phenomenon termed synaptic depotentiation. LFS induced synaptic depotentiation (SD) both in NT and normal human torsinA mice, but not in mutant human torsinA mice. Since anti-cholinergic drugs are an effective medical therapeutic option for the treatment of human dystonia, we reasoned that an excess in endogenous acetylcholine could underlie the synaptic plasticity impairment. Indeed, both LTD and SD were rescued in mutant human torsinA mice either by lowering endogenous acetylcholine levels or by antagonizing muscarinic M1 receptors. The presence of an enhanced acetylcholine tone was confirmed by the observation that acetylcholinesterase activity was significantly increased in the striatum of mutant human torsinA mice, as compared with both normal human torsinA and NT littermates. Moreover, we found similar alterations of synaptic plasticity in muscarinic M2/M4 receptor knockout mice, in which an increased striatal acetylcholine level has been

  4. Fear Extinction as a Model for Synaptic Plasticity in Major Depressive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Feige, Bernd; Blechert, Jens; Normann, Claus; Nissen, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    Background The neuroplasticity hypothesis of major depressive disorder proposes that a dysfunction of synaptic plasticity represents a basic pathomechanism of the disorder. Animal models of depression indicate enhanced plasticity in a ventral emotional network, comprising the amygdala. Here, we investigated fear extinction learning as a non-invasive probe for amygdala-dependent synaptic plasticity in patients with major depressive disorder and healthy controls. Methods Differential fear conditioning was measured in 37 inpatients with severe unipolar depression (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, criteria) and 40 healthy controls. The eye-blink startle response, a subcortical output signal that is modulated by local synaptic plasticity in the amygdala in fear acquisition and extinction learning, was recorded as the primary outcome parameter. Results After robust and similar fear acquisition in both groups, patients with major depressive disorder showed significantly enhanced fear extinction learning in comparison to healthy controls, as indicated by startle responses to conditioned stimuli. The strength of extinction learning was positively correlated with the total illness duration. Conclusions The finding of enhanced fear extinction learning in major depressive disorder is consistent with the concept that the disorder is characterized by enhanced synaptic plasticity in the amygdala and the ventral emotional network. Clinically, the observation emphasizes the potential of successful extinction learning, the basis of exposure therapy, in anxiety-related disorders despite the frequent comorbidity of major depressive disorder. PMID:25545818

  5. Impaired contextual fear extinction and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult rats induced by prenatal morphine exposure.

    PubMed

    Tan, Ji-Wei; Duan, Ting-Ting; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Ding, Ze-Yang; Jing, Liang; Cao, Jun; Wang, Li-Ping; Mao, Rong-Rong; Xu, Lin

    2015-07-01

    Prenatal opiate exposure causes a series of neurobehavioral disturbances by affecting brain development. However, the question of whether prenatal opiate exposure increases vulnerability to memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adult offspring remains largely unknown. Here, we found that rats prenatally exposed to morphine (PM) showed impaired acquisition but enhanced maintenance of contextual fear memory compared with control animals that were prenatally exposed to saline (PS). The impairment of acquisition was rescued by increasing the intensity of footshocks (1.2 mA rather than 0.8 mA). Meanwhile, we also found that PM rats exhibited impaired extinction of contextual fear, which is associated with enhanced maintenance of fear memory. The impaired extinction lasted for 1 week following extinction training. Furthermore, PM rats exhibited reduced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus-maze and light/dark box test without differences in locomotor activity. These alterations in PM rats were mirrored by abnormalities in synaptic plasticity in the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus in vivo. PS rats showed blocked long-term potentiation and enabled long-term depression in CA1 synapses following contextual fear conditioning, while prenatal morphine exposure restricted synaptic plasticity in CA1 synapses. The smaller long-term potentiation in PM rats was not further blocked by contextual fear conditioning, and the long-term depression enabled by contextual fear conditioning was abolished. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence suggesting that prenatal morphine exposure may increase vulnerability to fear memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adulthood.

  6. A spaceflight study of synaptic plasticity in adult rat vestibular maculas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.

    1994-01-01

    Behavioral signs of vestibular perturbation in altered gravity have not been well correlated with structural modifications in neurovestibular centers. This ultrastructural research investigated synaptic plasticity in hair cells of adult rat utricular maculas exposed to microgravity for nine days on a space shuttle. The hypothesis was that synaptic plasticity would be more evident in type II hair cells because they are part of a distributed modifying macular circuitry. All rats were shared with other investigators and were subjected to treatments unrelated to this experiment. Maculas were obtained from flight and control rats after shuttle return (R + 0) and nine days post-flight (R + 9). R + 9 rats had chromodacryorrhea, a sign of acute stress. Tissues were prepared for ultrastructural study by conventional methods. Ribbon synapses were counted in fifty serial sections from medial utricular macular regions of three rats of each flight and control group. Counts in fifty additional consecutive sections from one sample in each group established method reliability. All synapses were photographed and located to specific cells on mosaics of entire sections. Pooled data were analyzed statistically. Flown rats showed abnormal posture and movement at R + 0. They had statistically significant increases in total ribbon synapses and in sphere-like ribbons in both kinds of hair cells; in type II cells, pairs of synapses nearly doubled and clusters of 3 to 6 synapses increased twelve-fold. At R + 9, behavioral signs were normal. However, synapse counts remained high in both kinds of hair cells of flight maculas and were elevated in control type II cells. Only counts in type I cells showed statistically significant differences at R + 9. High synaptic counts at R + 9 may have resulted from stress due to experimental treatments. The results nevertheless demonstrate that adult maculas retain the potential for synaptic plasticity. Type II cells exhibited more synaptic plasticity, but

  7. ERK, synaptic plasticity and acid-induced muscle pain

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hsiu-Wen; Yen, Chen-Tung; Chen, Chien-Chang; Chen, Chih-Cheng; Cheng, Sin-Jhong

    2011-01-01

    Chronic pain is characterized by post-injury pain hypersensitivity. Current evidence suggests that it might result from altered neuronal excitability and/or synaptic functions in pain-related pathways and brain areas, an effect known as central sensitization. Increased activity of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) has been well-demonstrated in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord in chronic pain animal models. Recently, increased ERK activity has also been identified in two supraspinal areas, the central amygdala and the paraventricular thalamic nucleus anterior. Our recent work on the capsular central amygdala has shown that this increased ERK activity can enhance synaptic transmission, which might account for central sensitization and behavior hypersensitivity in animals receiving noxious stimuli. PMID:21966555

  8. Wnts in adult brain: from synaptic plasticity to cognitive deficiencies

    PubMed Central

    Oliva, Carolina A.; Vargas, Jessica Y.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2013-01-01

    During development of the central nervous system the Wnt signaling pathway has been implicated in a wide spectrum of physiological processes, including neuronal connectivity and synapse formation. Wnt proteins and components of the Wnt pathway are expressed in the brain since early development to the adult life, however, little is known about its role in mature synapses. Here, we review evidences indicating that Wnt proteins participate in the remodeling of pre- and post-synaptic regions, thus modulating synaptic function. We include the most recent data in the literature showing that Wnts are constantly released in the brain to maintain the basal neural activity. Also, we review the evidences that involve components of the Wnt pathway in the development of neurological and mental disorders, including a special emphasis on in vivo studies that relate behavioral abnormalities to deficiencies in Wnt signaling. Finally, we include the evidences that support a neuroprotective role of Wnt proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. We postulate that deregulation in Wnt signaling might have a fundamental role in the origin of neurological diseases, by altering the synaptic function at stages where the phenotype is not yet established but when the cognitive decline starts. PMID:24348327

  9. Learning of Precise Spike Times with Homeostatic Membrane Potential Dependent Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Albers, Christian; Westkott, Maren; Pawelzik, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Precise spatio-temporal patterns of neuronal action potentials underly e.g. sensory representations and control of muscle activities. However, it is not known how the synaptic efficacies in the neuronal networks of the brain adapt such that they can reliably generate spikes at specific points in time. Existing activity-dependent plasticity rules like Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity are agnostic to the goal of learning spike times. On the other hand, the existing formal and supervised learning algorithms perform a temporally precise comparison of projected activity with the target, but there is no known biologically plausible implementation of this comparison. Here, we propose a simple and local unsupervised synaptic plasticity mechanism that is derived from the requirement of a balanced membrane potential. Since the relevant signal for synaptic change is the postsynaptic voltage rather than spike times, we call the plasticity rule Membrane Potential Dependent Plasticity (MPDP). Combining our plasticity mechanism with spike after-hyperpolarization causes a sensitivity of synaptic change to pre- and postsynaptic spike times which can reproduce Hebbian spike timing dependent plasticity for inhibitory synapses as was found in experiments. In addition, the sensitivity of MPDP to the time course of the voltage when generating a spike allows MPDP to distinguish between weak (spurious) and strong (teacher) spikes, which therefore provides a neuronal basis for the comparison of actual and target activity. For spatio-temporal input spike patterns our conceptually simple plasticity rule achieves a surprisingly high storage capacity for spike associations. The sensitivity of the MPDP to the subthreshold membrane potential during training allows robust memory retrieval after learning even in the presence of activity corrupted by noise. We propose that MPDP represents a biophysically plausible mechanism to learn temporal target activity patterns. PMID:26900845

  10. Effects of Early Life Stress on Synaptic Plasticity in the Developing Hippocampus of Male and Female Rats

    PubMed Central

    Krugers, Harm J.; Hoogenraad, Casper C.; Joëls, Marian; Sarabdjitsingh, R. Angela

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Early life stress (ELS) increases the risk for developing psychopathology in adulthood. When these effects occur is largely unknown. We here studied at which time during development ELS affects hippocampal synaptic plasticity, from early life to adulthood, in a rodent ELS model. Moreover, we investigated whether the sensitivity of synaptic plasticity to the stress-hormone corticosterone is altered by exposure to ELS. Materials & Methods Male and female Wistar rats were exposed to maternal deprivation (MD) for 24h on postnatal day (P)3 or left undisturbed with their mother (control). On P8-9, 22–24 and P85-95, plasma corticosterone (CORT) levels, body weight, and thymus and adrenal weights were determined to validate the neuroendocrine effects of MD. Field potentials in the CA1 hippocampus were recorded in vitro before and after high frequency stimulation. Brain slices were incubated for 20 min with 100nM CORT or vehicle 1-4h prior to high frequency stimulation, to mimic high-stress conditions in vitro. Results & Discussion Body weight was decreased by MD only at P4 (p = 0.02). There were minimal effects on P8-9, 22–24 or 85–95 thymus and adrenal weight and basal CORT levels. Glutamate transmission underwent strong developmental changes: half-maximal signal size strongly increased (p<0.0001) while the required half-maximal stimulation intensity concomitantly decreased with age (p = 0.04). Synaptic plasticity developed from long-term depression at P8-9 to increasing levels of long-term potentiation at later ages (p = 0.0001). MD caused a significant increase in long-term potentiation of P22-24 males (p = 0.03) and P85-95 females (p = 0.04). Bayesian modeling strongly supported the age-dependent development, with some evidence for accelerated maturation after MD in males (Bayes factor 1.23). CORT suppressed LTP in adult males; synaptic plasticity at other ages and in females remained unaffected. Thus, MD affects the development of synaptic

  11. (28)Silicon radiation-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of naïve and cognitively tested mice.

    PubMed

    Raber, Jacob; Rudobeck, Emil; Campbell-Beachler, Mary; Allen, Antiño R; Allen, Barrett; Rosi, Susanna; Nelson, Gregory A; Ramachandran, Shaila; Turner, Jennifer; Fike, John R; Vlkolinsky, Roman

    2014-04-01

    The space radiation environment consists of multiple species of high-energy charge particles (HZE), including (56)Fe and (28)Si nuclei, that may impact neuronal cells, but their damaging effects on the central nervous system (CNS) have been poorly defined. Hippocampus-dependent memory functions have been shown to be highly sensitive to (56)Fe HZE particles, which poses a significant risk to the cognitive performance of astronauts during space missions. While low doses of (56)Fe radiation do not induce cell death of mature neurons, they affect synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region, the principal neuronal output of the hippocampal formation involved in memory formation. The effects of (28)Si on the CNS have not been defined. Compared to behaviorally naïve mice, cognitive testing might affect synaptic plasticity and the effects of (28)Si radiation on synaptic plasticity might be modulated by prior cognitive testing. Therefore, in the current study, we quantified the effects of whole-body (28)Si radiation (600 MeV/n, 0.25 and 1 Gy) on hippocampus-dependent contextual freezing and synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of animals not exposed (behaviorally naïve mice) and animals exposed to the contextual freezing test (cognitively tested mice). In behaviorally naïve mice exposed to 0.25 and 1 Gy of (28)Si radiation, the magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP) was enhanced. However, in mice irradiated with 0.25 Gy contextual fear conditioning was enhanced and was associated with a further enhancement of the LTP magnitude. Such increase in synaptic plasticity was not seen in cognitively tested mice irradiated with 1 Gy. Thus, low dose (28)Si radiation has effects on synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of the hippocampus and these effects are modulated by cognitive testing in a contextual fear-conditioning test. PMID:24673255

  12. (28)Silicon radiation-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of naïve and cognitively tested mice.

    PubMed

    Raber, Jacob; Rudobeck, Emil; Campbell-Beachler, Mary; Allen, Antiño R; Allen, Barrett; Rosi, Susanna; Nelson, Gregory A; Ramachandran, Shaila; Turner, Jennifer; Fike, John R; Vlkolinsky, Roman

    2014-04-01

    The space radiation environment consists of multiple species of high-energy charge particles (HZE), including (56)Fe and (28)Si nuclei, that may impact neuronal cells, but their damaging effects on the central nervous system (CNS) have been poorly defined. Hippocampus-dependent memory functions have been shown to be highly sensitive to (56)Fe HZE particles, which poses a significant risk to the cognitive performance of astronauts during space missions. While low doses of (56)Fe radiation do not induce cell death of mature neurons, they affect synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region, the principal neuronal output of the hippocampal formation involved in memory formation. The effects of (28)Si on the CNS have not been defined. Compared to behaviorally naïve mice, cognitive testing might affect synaptic plasticity and the effects of (28)Si radiation on synaptic plasticity might be modulated by prior cognitive testing. Therefore, in the current study, we quantified the effects of whole-body (28)Si radiation (600 MeV/n, 0.25 and 1 Gy) on hippocampus-dependent contextual freezing and synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of animals not exposed (behaviorally naïve mice) and animals exposed to the contextual freezing test (cognitively tested mice). In behaviorally naïve mice exposed to 0.25 and 1 Gy of (28)Si radiation, the magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP) was enhanced. However, in mice irradiated with 0.25 Gy contextual fear conditioning was enhanced and was associated with a further enhancement of the LTP magnitude. Such increase in synaptic plasticity was not seen in cognitively tested mice irradiated with 1 Gy. Thus, low dose (28)Si radiation has effects on synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of the hippocampus and these effects are modulated by cognitive testing in a contextual fear-conditioning test.

  13. Exosomes neutralize synaptic-plasticity-disrupting activity of Aβ assemblies in vivo

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Exosomes, small extracellular vesicles of endosomal origin, have been suggested to be involved in both the metabolism and aggregation of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-associated amyloid β-protein (Aβ). Despite their ubiquitous presence and the inclusion of components which can potentially interact with Aβ, the role of exosomes in regulating synaptic dysfunction induced by Aβ has not been explored. Results We here provide in vivo evidence that exosomes derived from N2a cells or human cerebrospinal fluid can abrogate the synaptic-plasticity-disrupting activity of both synthetic and AD brain-derived Aβ. Mechanistically, this effect involves sequestration of synaptotoxic Aβ assemblies by exosomal surface proteins such as PrPC rather than Aβ proteolysis. Conclusions These data suggest that exosomes can counteract the inhibitory action of Aβ, which contributes to perpetual capability for synaptic plasticity. PMID:24284042

  14. Applicability of the coefficient of variation method for analyzing synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Faber, D S; Korn, H

    1991-11-01

    The classical coefficient of variation method for "quantal" analysis of synaptic responses allows unambiguous identification of pre- and postsynaptic loci underlying synaptic plasticity only when extensive simplifying restrictions are made. They include invariance of quantal parameters and the assumption that a single afferent produces the evoked potentials or currents. More general theoretical formulations and simulations demonstrate that the standard criteria do not always provide useful guidelines because when the other sources of physiological variance are included, putative pre- and postsynaptic domains may overlap. For example, data typically interpreted as indicating modifications at both sites can be due to a mechanism localized to only one of the two, if parameter variances are taken into consideration in the case of a single input cell, or if there are multiple inputs and the stimulus does not activate all of them reliably. With this perspective, other physiologically realistic hypotheses relevant to the expression of synaptic plasticity, such as that during long-term potentiation, can be envisioned.

  15. The biochemical basis of synaptic plasticity and neurocomputation: a new theory.

    PubMed

    Smythies, J

    1997-04-22

    The recent finding that dendritic spines (on which 90% of all excitatory synapses on pyramidal cells are formed) are not permanent structures but are continually being formed and adsorbed has implications for the present theoretical basis of neurocomputation, which is largely based on the concept of fixed nerve nets. This evidence would tend to support the recent theories of Edelman, Freeman, Globus, Pribram and others that neuronal networks in the brain operate mainly as nonlinear dynamic, chaotic systems. This paper presents a hypothesis of a possible neurochemical mechanism underlying this synaptic plasticity based on reactive oxygen species and toxic 0-semiquinones derived from catecholamines (i) by the enzyme prostaglandin H synthetase induced by glutamatergic NMDA receptor activation and (ii) by reactive nitrogen species derived from nitric oxide in a low ascorbate environment. A key factor in this neuromodulation may be the fact that catecholamines are potent antioxidants and free radical scavengers and are thus able to affect the redox mediated balance at the glutamate receptors between synapse formation and synapse removal that may be a key factor in neurocomputational plasticity. But catecholamines are also easily oxidized to neurotoxic 0-semiquinones and this may be relevant to the pathology of several diseases including schizophrenia. The relationship between dopamine release and positive reinforcement is relevant to this hypothesis.

  16. Somato-dendritic Synaptic Plasticity and Error-backpropagation in Active Dendrites

    PubMed Central

    Schiess, Mathieu; Urbanczik, Robert; Senn, Walter

    2016-01-01

    In the last decade dendrites of cortical neurons have been shown to nonlinearly combine synaptic inputs by evoking local dendritic spikes. It has been suggested that these nonlinearities raise the computational power of a single neuron, making it comparable to a 2-layer network of point neurons. But how these nonlinearities can be incorporated into the synaptic plasticity to optimally support learning remains unclear. We present a theoretically derived synaptic plasticity rule for supervised and reinforcement learning that depends on the timing of the presynaptic, the dendritic and the postsynaptic spikes. For supervised learning, the rule can be seen as a biological version of the classical error-backpropagation algorithm applied to the dendritic case. When modulated by a delayed reward signal, the same plasticity is shown to maximize the expected reward in reinforcement learning for various coding scenarios. Our framework makes specific experimental predictions and highlights the unique advantage of active dendrites for implementing powerful synaptic plasticity rules that have access to downstream information via backpropagation of action potentials. PMID:26841235

  17. Enriched environment ameliorates depression-induced cognitive deficits and restores abnormal hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Mahati, K; Bhagya, V; Christofer, T; Sneha, A; Shankaranarayana Rao, B S

    2016-10-01

    Severe depression compromises structural and functional integrity of the brain and results in impaired learning and memory, maladaptive synaptic plasticity as well as degenerative changes in the hippocampus and amygdala. The precise mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunctions in depression remain largely unknown. On the other hand, enriched environment (EE) offers beneficial effects on cognitive functions, synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. However, the effect of EE on endogenous depression associated cognitive dysfunction has not been explored. Accordingly, we have attempted to address this issue by investigating behavioural, structural and synaptic plasticity mechanisms in an animal model of endogenous depression after exposure to enriched environment. Our results demonstrate that depression is associated with impaired spatial learning and enhanced anxiety-like behaviour which is correlated with hypotrophy of the dentate gyrus and amygdalar hypertrophy. We also observed a gross reduction in the hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). We report a complete behavioural recovery with reduced indices of anhedonia and behavioural despair, reduced anxiety-like behaviour and improved spatial learning along with a complete restoration of dentate gyrus and amygdalar volumes in depressive rats subjected to EE. Enrichment also facilitated CA3-Schaffer collateral LTP. Our study convincingly proves that depression-induces learning deficits and impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity. It also highlights the role of environmental stimuli in restoring depression-induced cognitive deficits which might prove vital in outlining more effective strategies to treat major depressive disorders. PMID:27555234

  18. Environmental Enrichment Ameliorates Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposure-Induced Cognitive and Synaptic Plasticity Impairments.

    PubMed

    Ji, Mu-huo; Wang, Xing-ming; Sun, Xiao-ru; Zhang, Hui; Ju, Ling-sha; Qiu, Li-li; Yang, Jiao-jiao; Jia, Min; Wu, Jing; Yang, Jianjun

    2015-11-01

    Early exposure to sevoflurane, an inhalation anesthetic, induces neurodegeneration in the developing brain and subsequent long-term neurobehavioral abnormalities. Here, we investigated whether an enriched environment could mitigate neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced long-term cognitive and synaptic plasticity impairments. Male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 3 % sevoflurane 2 h daily for 3 days from postnatal day 6 (P6) to P8. The exposed mice were randomly allocated to an enriched environment for 2 h daily between P8 and P42 or to a standard environment. Their behavior and cognition were assessed using open field (P35) and fear conditioning tests (P41-P42). Hematoxylin-eosin staining was used to study morphological changes in pyramidal neurons of hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions. Synaptic plasticity alternations were assessed using western blotting, Golgi staining, and electrophysiological recording. We found that sevoflurane-exposed mice housed in a standard environment exhibited a reduced freezing response in the contextual test, decreased number of dendritic spines on pyramidal neurons and synaptic plasticity-related proteins in the hippocampus, and impaired long-term potentiation. However, in an enriched environment, some of these abnormities induced by repeated sevoflurane exposure. In conclusion, neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive and synaptic plasticity impairments are ameliorated by an enriched environment.

  19. Long-Term Exercise Is Needed to Enhance Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patten, Anna R.; Sickmann, Helle; Hryciw, Brett N.; Kucharsky, Tessa; Parton, Roberta; Kernick, Aimee; Christie, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    Exercise can have many benefits for the body, but it also benefits the brain by increasing neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and performance on learning and memory tasks. The period of exercise needed to realize the structural and functional benefits for the brain have not been well delineated, and previous studies have used periods of exercise…

  20. Environmental Enrichment Ameliorates Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposure-Induced Cognitive and Synaptic Plasticity Impairments.

    PubMed

    Ji, Mu-huo; Wang, Xing-ming; Sun, Xiao-ru; Zhang, Hui; Ju, Ling-sha; Qiu, Li-li; Yang, Jiao-jiao; Jia, Min; Wu, Jing; Yang, Jianjun

    2015-11-01

    Early exposure to sevoflurane, an inhalation anesthetic, induces neurodegeneration in the developing brain and subsequent long-term neurobehavioral abnormalities. Here, we investigated whether an enriched environment could mitigate neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced long-term cognitive and synaptic plasticity impairments. Male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 3 % sevoflurane 2 h daily for 3 days from postnatal day 6 (P6) to P8. The exposed mice were randomly allocated to an enriched environment for 2 h daily between P8 and P42 or to a standard environment. Their behavior and cognition were assessed using open field (P35) and fear conditioning tests (P41-P42). Hematoxylin-eosin staining was used to study morphological changes in pyramidal neurons of hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions. Synaptic plasticity alternations were assessed using western blotting, Golgi staining, and electrophysiological recording. We found that sevoflurane-exposed mice housed in a standard environment exhibited a reduced freezing response in the contextual test, decreased number of dendritic spines on pyramidal neurons and synaptic plasticity-related proteins in the hippocampus, and impaired long-term potentiation. However, in an enriched environment, some of these abnormities induced by repeated sevoflurane exposure. In conclusion, neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive and synaptic plasticity impairments are ameliorated by an enriched environment. PMID:26227794

  1. Suppression of synaptic plasticity by fullerenol in rat hippocampus in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xin-Xing; Zha, Ying-Ying; Yang, Bo; Chen, Lin; Wang, Ming

    2016-01-01

    Fullerenol, a water-soluble fullerene derivative, has attracted much attention due to its bioactive properties, including the antioxidative properties and free radical scavenging ability. Due to its superior nature, fullerenol represents a promising diagnostic, therapeutic, and protective agent. Therefore, elucidation of the possible side effects of fullerenol is important in determining its potential role. In the present study, we investigated the acute effects of 5 μM fullerenol on synaptic plasticity in hippocampal brain slices of rats. Incubation with fullerenol for 20 minutes significantly decreased the peak of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, indicating that fullerenol suppresses the short- and long-term synaptic plasticity of region I of hippocampus. We found that fullerenol depressed the activity and the expression of nitric oxide (NO) synthase in hippocampus. In view of the important role of NO in synaptic plasticity, the inhibition of fullerenol on NO synthase may contribute to the suppression of synaptic plasticity. These findings may facilitate the evaluation of the side effects of fullerenol. PMID:27729790

  2. SRC Inhibition Reduces NR2B Surface Expression and Synaptic Plasticity in the Amygdala

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinai, Laleh; Duffy, Steven; Roder, John C.

    2010-01-01

    The Src protein tyrosine kinase plays a central role in the regulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activity by regulating NMDAR subunit 2B (NR2B) surface expression. In the amygdala, NMDA-dependent synaptic plasticity resulting from convergent somatosensory and auditory inputs contributes to emotional memory; however, the role of Src…

  3. A role for reactive oxygen/nitrogen species and iron on neuronal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, Cecilia; Carrasco, M Angélica; Muñoz, Pablo; Núñez, Marco T

    2007-02-01

    A great body of experimental evidence collected over many years indicates that calcium has a central role in a variety of neuronal functions. In particular, calcium participates in synaptic plasticity, a neuronal process presumably correlated with cognitive brain functions such as learning and memory. In contrast, only recently, evidence has begun to emerge supporting a physiological role of reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species in synaptic plasticity. This subject will be the central topic of this review. The authors also present recent results showing that, in hippocampal neurons, ROS/RNS, including ROS generated by iron through the Fenton reaction, stimulate ryanodine receptor-mediated calcium release, and how the resulting calcium signals activate the signaling cascades that lead to the transcription of genes known to participate in synaptic plasticity. They discuss the possible participation of ryanodine receptors jointly stimulated by calcium and ROS/RNS in the normal signaling cascades needed for synaptic plasticity, and how too much ROS production may contribute to neurodegeneration via excessive calcium release. In addition, the dual role of iron as a necessary, but potentially toxic, element for normal neuronal function is discussed. PMID:17115937

  4. ATP from synaptic terminals and astrocytes regulates NMDA receptors and synaptic plasticity through PSD-95 multi-protein complex

    PubMed Central

    Lalo, U.; Palygin, O.; Verkhratsky, A.; Grant, S. G. N.; Pankratov, Y.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies highlighted the importance of astrocyte-secreted molecules, such as ATP, for the slow modulation of synaptic transmission in central neurones. Biophysical mechanisms underlying the impact of gliotransmitters on the strength of individual synapse remain, however, unclear. Here we show that purinergic P2X receptors can bring significant contribution to the signalling in the individual synaptic boutons. ATP released from astrocytes facilitates a recruitment of P2X receptors into excitatory synapses by Ca2+-dependent mechanism. P2X receptors, co-localized with NMDA receptors in the excitatory synapses, can be activated by ATP co-released with glutamate from pre-synaptic terminals and by glia-derived ATP. An activation of P2X receptors in turn leads to down-regulation of postsynaptic NMDA receptors via Ca2+-dependent de-phosphorylation and interaction with PSD-95 multi-protein complex. Genetic deletion of the PSD-95 or P2X4 receptors obliterated ATP-mediated down-regulation of NMDA receptors. Impairment of purinergic modulation of NMDA receptors in the PSD-95 mutants dramatically decreased the threshold of LTP induction and increased the net magnitude of LTP. Our findings show that synergistic action of glia- and neurone-derived ATP can pre-modulate efficacy of excitatory synapses and thereby can have an important role in the glia-neuron communications and brain meta-plasticity. PMID:27640997

  5. ATP from synaptic terminals and astrocytes regulates NMDA receptors and synaptic plasticity through PSD-95 multi-protein complex.

    PubMed

    Lalo, U; Palygin, O; Verkhratsky, A; Grant, S G N; Pankratov, Y

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies highlighted the importance of astrocyte-secreted molecules, such as ATP, for the slow modulation of synaptic transmission in central neurones. Biophysical mechanisms underlying the impact of gliotransmitters on the strength of individual synapse remain, however, unclear. Here we show that purinergic P2X receptors can bring significant contribution to the signalling in the individual synaptic boutons. ATP released from astrocytes facilitates a recruitment of P2X receptors into excitatory synapses by Ca(2+)-dependent mechanism. P2X receptors, co-localized with NMDA receptors in the excitatory synapses, can be activated by ATP co-released with glutamate from pre-synaptic terminals and by glia-derived ATP. An activation of P2X receptors in turn leads to down-regulation of postsynaptic NMDA receptors via Ca(2+)-dependent de-phosphorylation and interaction with PSD-95 multi-protein complex. Genetic deletion of the PSD-95 or P2X4 receptors obliterated ATP-mediated down-regulation of NMDA receptors. Impairment of purinergic modulation of NMDA receptors in the PSD-95 mutants dramatically decreased the threshold of LTP induction and increased the net magnitude of LTP. Our findings show that synergistic action of glia- and neurone-derived ATP can pre-modulate efficacy of excitatory synapses and thereby can have an important role in the glia-neuron communications and brain meta-plasticity. PMID:27640997

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Restless AMPA receptors: implications for synaptic transmission and plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lüscher, Christian; Frerking, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    A central assumption in neurobiology holds that changes in the strength of individual synapses underlie changes in behavior. This concept is widely accepted in the case of learning and memory where LTP and LTD are the most compelling cellular models. It is therefore of great interest to understand, on a molecular level, how the brain regulates the strength of neuronal connections. We review a large body of evidence in support of the very straightforward regulation of synaptic strength by changing the number of postsynaptic receptors, and discuss the molecular machinery required for insertion and removal of AMPA receptors. PMID:11672812

  8. The transformation of synaptic to system plasticity in motor output from the sacral cord of the adult mouse.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Mingchen C; Elbasiouny, Sherif M; Collins, William F; Heckman, C J

    2015-09-01

    Synaptic plasticity is fundamental in shaping the output of neural networks. The transformation of synaptic plasticity at the cellular level into plasticity at the system level involves multiple factors, including behavior of local networks of interneurons. Here we investigate the synaptic to system transformation for plasticity in motor output in an in vitro preparation of the adult mouse spinal cord. System plasticity was assessed from compound action potentials (APs) in spinal ventral roots, which were generated simultaneously by the axons of many motoneurons (MNs). Synaptic plasticity was assessed from intracellular recordings of MNs. A computer model of the MN pool was used to identify the middle steps in the transformation from synaptic to system behavior. Two input systems that converge on the same MN pool were studied: one sensory and one descending. The two synaptic input systems generated very different motor outputs, with sensory stimulation consistently evoking short-term depression (STD) whereas descending stimulation had bimodal plasticity: STD at low frequencies but short-term facilitation (STF) at high frequencies. Intracellular and pharmacological studies revealed contributions from monosynaptic excitation and stimulus time-locked inhibition but also considerable asynchronous excitation sustained from local network activity. The computer simulations showed that STD in the monosynaptic excitatory input was the primary driver of the system STD in the sensory input whereas network excitation underlies the bimodal plasticity in the descending system. These results provide insight on the roles of plasticity in the monosynaptic and polysynaptic inputs converging on the same MN pool to overall motor plasticity.

  9. CB1 receptor affects cortical plasticity and response to physiotherapy in multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Mori, Francesco; Ljoka, Concetta; Nicoletti, Carolina G.; Kusayanagi, Hajime; Buttari, Fabio; Giordani, Laura; Rossi, Silvia; Foti, Calogero

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Therapeutic effects of physical therapy in neurologic disorders mostly rely on the promotion of use-dependent synaptic plasticity in damaged neuronal circuits. Genetic differences affecting the efficiency of synaptic plasticity mechanisms could explain why some patients do not respond adequately to the treatment. It is known that physical exercise activates the endocannabinoid system and that stimulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) promotes synaptic plasticity in both rodents and humans. We thus tested whether CB1R genetic variants affect responsiveness to exercise therapy. Methods: We evaluated the effect of a genetic variant of the CB1R associated with reduced receptor expression (patients with long AAT trinucleotide short tandem repeats in the CNR1 gene) on long-term potentiation (LTP)–like cortical plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic theta burst stimulation (TBS) of the motor cortex and, in parallel, on clinical response to exercise therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis. Results: We found that patients with long AAT CNR1 repeats do not express TBS-induced LTP-like cortical plasticity and show poor clinical benefit after exercise therapy. Conclusions: Our results provide the first evidence that genetic differences within the CB1R may influence clinical responses to exercise therapy, and they strengthen the hypothesis that CB1Rs are involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and in the control of spasticity in humans. This information might be of great relevance for patient stratification and personalized rehabilitation treatment programs. PMID:25520956

  10. Enriched environment improves synaptic plasticity and cognitive deficiency in chronic cerebral hypoperfused rats.

    PubMed

    Bayat, Mahnaz; Sharifi, Mohammad Davood; Haghani, Masoud; Shabani, Mohammad

    2015-10-01

    Recent studies have indicated that environmental enrichment (EE) increases the sensorial and social stimulations and leads to strengthened plastic changes in the brain. In models of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion, the ability of an EE to restore the cognition depends on hippocampal synaptic plasticity. The mechanisms for this effect have not, however, been adequately studied. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the neuroprotective effects and underlying mechanism of environmental enrichment by assessment of spatial memory tasks as well as parameters of synaptic plasticity in rats subjected to occlusion of the bilateral common carotid arteries (2-VO) model. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this study. The model group was established by occlusion of the bilateral common carotid arteries. The animals were tested for learning, memory performance and synaptic plasticity using Morris water maze (MWM), 8-arm Radial Maze (RM), and field potential recording, respectively. The rats subjected to 2-VO in EE exhibited a significantly lower number of working errors and reference errors in RM. Moreover, the enriched environment recovered the memory performance of hypoperfused rats and decreased the swimming time to reach the platform in MWM. In addition, conditions of the environment did not have any effect on baseline synaptic transmission and presynaptic plasticity, but housing the animals in EE rescued the impairment of LTP induction induced by 2-VO. These results suggest that EE ameliorates the LTP and spatial memory impairment induced by 2-VO. Our data indicated that the LTP recovery by EE in the rat models of 2-VO is probably mediated by post-synaptic mechanisms.

  11. Associative Hebbian Synaptic Plasticity in Primate Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shiyong; Rozas, Carlos; Treviño, Mario; Contreras, Jessica; Yang, Sunggu; Song, Lihua; Yoshioka, Takashi; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2014-01-01

    In primates, the functional connectivity of adult primary visual cortex is susceptible to be modified by sensory training during perceptual learning. It is widely held that this type of neural plasticity might involve mechanisms like long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). NMDAR-dependent forms of LTP and LTD are particularly attractive because in rodents they can be induced in a Hebbian manner by near coincidental presynaptic and postsynaptic firing, in a paradigm termed spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). These fundamental properties of LTP and LTD, Hebbian induction and NMDAR dependence, have not been examined in primate cortex. Here we demonstrate these properties in the primary visual cortex of the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), and also show that, like in rodents, STDP is gated by neuromodulators. These findings indicate that the cellular principles governing cortical plasticity are conserved across mammalian species, further validating the use of rodents as a model system. PMID:24872561

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

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Jiang, Qin

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Linking Cholinergic Interneurons, Synaptic Plasticity, and Behavior during the Extinction of a Cocaine-Context Association.

    PubMed

    Lee, Junuk; Finkelstein, Joel; Choi, Jung Yoon; Witten, Ilana B

    2016-06-01

    Despite the fact that cholinergic interneurons are a key cell type within the nucleus accumbens, a relationship between synaptic plasticity and the in vivo activity of cholinergic interneurons remains to be established. Here, we identify a three-way link between the activity of cholinergic interneurons, synaptic plasticity, and learning in mice undergoing the extinction of a cocaine-context association. We found that activity of cholinergic interneurons regulates extinction learning for a cocaine-context association and generates a sustained reduction in glutamatergic presynaptic strength onto medium spiny neurons. Interestingly, activation of cholinergic interneurons does not support reinforcement learning or plasticity by itself, suggesting that these neurons have a modulatory rather than a reinforcing function. PMID:27210555

  16. Self-organization of a recurrent network under ongoing synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Takaaki

    2015-02-01

    We investigated the organization of a recurrent network under ongoing synaptic plasticity using a model of neural oscillators coupled by dynamic synapses. In this model, the coupling weights changed dynamically, depending on the timing between the oscillators. We determined the phase coupling function of the oscillator model, Γ(ϕ), using conductance-based neuron models. Furthermore, we examined the effects of the Fourier zero mode of Γ(ϕ), which has a critical role in the case of spike-time-dependent plasticity-organized recurrent networks. Heterogeneous layered clusters with different frequencies emerged from homogeneous populations as the Fourier zero mode increased. Our findings may provide new insights into the self-assembly mechanisms of neural networks related to synaptic plasticity.

  17. Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity Regulation in Solution-Gated Indium-Gallium-Zinc-Oxide Electric-Double-Layer Transistors.

    PubMed

    Wan, Chang Jin; Liu, Yang Hui; Zhu, Li Qiang; Feng, Ping; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-04-20

    In the biological nervous system, synaptic plasticity regulation is based on the modulation of ionic fluxes, and such regulation was regarded as the fundamental mechanism underlying memory and learning. Inspired by such biological strategies, indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (IGZO) electric-double-layer (EDL) transistors gated by aqueous solutions were proposed for synaptic behavior emulations. Short-term synaptic plasticity, such as paired-pulse facilitation, high-pass filtering, and orientation tuning, was experimentally emulated in these EDL transistors. Most importantly, we found that such short-term synaptic plasticity can be effectively regulated by alcohol (ethyl alcohol) and salt (potassium chloride) additives. Our results suggest that solution gated oxide-based EDL transistors could act as the platforms for short-term synaptic plasticity emulation. PMID:27007748

  18. Bidirectional Synaptic Structural Plasticity after Chronic Cocaine Administration Occurs through Rap1 Small GTPase Signaling.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Michael E; Bagot, Rosemary C; Gancarz, Amy M; Walker, Deena M; Sun, HaoSheng; Wang, Zi-Jun; Heller, Elizabeth A; Feng, Jian; Kennedy, Pamela J; Koo, Ja Wook; Cates, Hannah M; Neve, Rachael L; Shen, Li; Dietz, David M; Nestler, Eric J

    2016-02-01

    Dendritic spines are the sites of most excitatory synapses in the CNS, and opposing alterations in the synaptic structure of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a primary brain reward region, are seen at early versus late time points after cocaine administration. Here we investigate the time-dependent molecular and biochemical processes that regulate this bidirectional synaptic structural plasticity of NAc MSNs and associated changes in cocaine reward in response to chronic cocaine exposure. Our findings reveal key roles for the bidirectional synaptic expression of the Rap1b small GTPase and an associated local synaptic protein translation network in this process. The transcriptional mechanisms and pathway-specific inputs to NAc that regulate Rap1b expression are also characterized. Collectively, these findings provide a precise mechanism by which nuclear to synaptic interactions induce "metaplasticity" in NAc MSNs, and we reveal the specific effects of this plasticity on reward behavior in a brain circuit-specific manner. PMID:26844834

  19. Neurexin-1 regulates sleep and synaptic plasticity in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Larkin, Aoife; Chen, Ming-Yu; Kirszenblat, Leonie; Reinhard, Judith; van Swinderen, Bruno; Claudianos, Charles

    2015-10-01

    Neurexins are cell adhesion molecules that are important for synaptic plasticity and homeostasis, although links to sleep have not yet been investigated. We examined the effects of neurexin-1 perturbation on sleep in Drosophila, showing that neurexin-1 nulls displayed fragmented sleep and altered circadian rhythm. Conversely, the over-expression of neurexin-1 could increase and consolidate night-time sleep. This was not solely due to developmental effects as it could be induced acutely in adulthood, and was coupled with evidence of synaptic growth. The timing of over-expression could differentially impact sleep patterns, with specific night-time effects. These results show that neurexin-1 was dynamically involved in synaptic plasticity and sleep in Drosophila. Neurexin-1 and a number of its binding partners have been repeatedly associated with mental health disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome, all of which are also linked to altered sleep patterns. How and when plasticity-related proteins such as neurexin-1 function during sleep can provide vital information on the interaction between synaptic homeostasis and sleep, paving the way for more informed treatments of human disorders.

  20. Short-term environmental enrichment enhances synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices from aged rats.

    PubMed

    Stein, Liana R; O'Dell, Kazuko A; Funatsu, Michiyo; Zorumski, Charles F; Izumi, Yukitoshi

    2016-08-01

    Age-associated changes in cognition are mirrored by impairments in cellular models of memory and learning, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). In young rodents, environmental enrichment (EE) can enhance memory, alter LTP and LTD, as well as reverse cognitive deficits induced by aging. Whether short-term EE can benefit cognition and synaptic plasticity in aged rodents is unclear. Here, we tested if short-term EE could overcome age-associated impairments in induction of LTP and LTD. LTP and LTD could not be induced in the CA1 region of hippocampal slices in control, aged rats using standard stimuli that are highly effective in young rats. However, exposure of aged littermates to EE for three weeks enabled successful induction of LTP and LTD. EE-facilitated LTP was dependent upon N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). These alterations in synaptic plasticity occurred with elevated levels of phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein and vascular endothelial growth factor, but in the absence of changes in several other synaptic and cellular markers. Importantly, our study suggests that even a relatively short period of EE is sufficient to alter synaptic plasticity and molecular markers linked to cognitive function in aged animals.

  1. Roles for Regulator of G Protein Signaling Proteins in Synaptic Signaling and Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Gerber, Kyle J; Squires, Katherine E; Hepler, John R

    2016-02-01

    The regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) family of proteins serves critical roles in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and heterotrimeric G protein signal transduction. RGS proteins are best understood as negative regulators of GPCR/G protein signaling. They achieve this by acting as GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) for Gα subunits and accelerating the turnoff of G protein signaling. Many RGS proteins also bind additional signaling partners that either regulate their functions or enable them to regulate other important signaling events. At neuronal synapses, GPCRs, G proteins, and RGS proteins work in coordination to regulate key aspects of neurotransmitter release, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity, which are necessary for central nervous system physiology and behavior. Accumulating evidence has revealed key roles for specific RGS proteins in multiple signaling pathways at neuronal synapses, regulating both pre- and postsynaptic signaling events and synaptic plasticity. Here, we review and highlight the current knowledge of specific RGS proteins (RGS2, RGS4, RGS7, RGS9-2, and RGS14) that have been clearly demonstrated to serve critical roles in modulating synaptic signaling and plasticity throughout the brain, and we consider their potential as future therapeutic targets.

  2. Orexin Signaling in the VTA Gates Morphine-Induced Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Baimel, Corey; Borgland, Stephanie L

    2015-05-01

    Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are a key target of addictive drugs, and neuroplasticity in this region may underlie some of the core features of addiction. From the very first exposure, all drugs of abuse induce synaptic plasticity in the VTA. However, it is not well understood how this diverse group of drugs brings about common synaptic change. Orexin (also known as hypocretin) is a lateral hypothalamic neuropeptide released into the VTA that promotes drug-seeking behaviors and potentiates excitatory synaptic transmission onto VTA dopamine neurons. Here we show that signaling at orexin receptor type 1 (OxR1) in the VTA is required for morphine-induced plasticity of dopamine neurons. Systemic or intra-VTA administration of the OxR1 antagonist SB 334867 in rats blocked a morphine-induced increase in the AMPAR/NMDAR ratio, an increase in presynaptic glutamate release, and a postsynaptic change in AMPAR number or function, including a switch in subunit composition. Furthermore, SB 334867 blocked a morphine-induced decrease in presynaptic GABA release, and a morphine-induced shift in the balance of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to dopamine neurons. These findings identify a novel role for orexin in morphine-induced plasticity in the VTA and provide a mechanism by which orexin can gate the output of dopamine neurons.

  3. AMPA receptor trafficking and the mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and cognitive aging.

    PubMed

    Henley, Jeremy M; Wilkinson, Kevin A

    2013-03-01

    Even in healthy individuals there is an inexorable agerelated decline in cognitive function. This is due, in large part, to reduced synaptic plasticity caused by changes in the molecular composition of the postsynaptic membrane. AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are glutamate-gated cation channels that mediate the overwhelming majority of fast excitatory transmission in the brain. Changes in AMPAR number and/or function are a core feature of synaptic plasticity and age-related cognitive decline, AMPARs are highly dynamic proteins that are subject to highly controlled trafficking, recycling, and/or degradation and replacement. This active regulation of AMPAR synthesis, targeting, synaptic dwell time, and degradation is fundamentally important for memory formation and storage. Further, aberrant AMPAR trafficking and consequent detrimental changes in synapses are strongly implicated in many brain diseases, which represent a vast social and economic burden. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the molecular and cellular AMPA receptor trafficking events that control synaptic responsiveness and plasticity, and highlight what is known currently known about how these processes change with age and disease.

  4. AMPA receptor trafficking and the mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and cognitive aging

    PubMed Central

    Henley, Jeremy M.; Wilkinson, Kevin A.

    2013-01-01

    Even in healthy individuals there is an inexorable agerelated decline in cognitive function. This is due, in large part, to reduced synaptic plasticity caused by changes in the molecular composition of the postsynaptic membrane. AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are glutamate-gated cation channels that mediate the overwhelming majority of fast excitatory transmission in the brain. Changes in AMPAR number and/or function are a core feature of synaptic plasticity and age-related cognitive decline, AMPARs are highly dynamic proteins that are subject to highly controlled trafficking, recycling, and/or degradation and replacement. This active regulation of AMPAR synthesis, targeting, synaptic dwell time, and degradation is fundamentally important for memory formation and storage. Further, aberrant AMPAR trafficking and consequent detrimental changes in synapses are strongly implicated in many brain diseases, which represent a vast social and economic burden. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the molecular and cellular AMPA receptor trafficking events that control synaptic responsiveness and plasticity, and highlight what is known currently known about how these processes change with age and disease. PMID:23576886

  5. Prior regular exercise prevents synaptic plasticity impairment in sleep deprived female rats.

    PubMed

    Saadati, Hakimeh; Sheibani, Vahid; Esmaeili-Mahani, Saeed; Hajali, Vahid; Mazhari, Shahrzad

    2014-09-01

    Previous studies have indicated that physical exercise plays a preventive role in synaptic plasticity deficits in the hippocampus of sleep-deprived male rats. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of treadmill running on early long term potentiation (E-LTP) at the Cornu Ammonis (CA1) area of the hippocampus in sleep-deprived female rats. Intact and ovariectomiezed (OVX) female Wistar rats were used in the present study. The exercise protocol was four weeks treadmill running and the multiple platform method was applied to induce 72 h sleep deprivation (SD). We examine the effect of exercise and/or SD on synaptic plasticity using in vivo extracellular recording in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. The field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP) slope was measured before and 2h after high frequency stimulation (HFS) in the experimental groups. Field potential recording indicated that the induction and maintenance phase of E-LTP impaired in the sleep deprived animals compared to the other groups. After 72 h SD, E-LTP impairments were prevented by 4 weeks of regular treadmill exercise. In conclusion, the synaptic plasticity deficit in sleep-deprived female rats was improved by regular physical exercise. Further studies are suggested to evaluate the possible underlying mechanisms.

  6. Effects of pre-natal alcohol exposure on hippocampal synaptic plasticity: Sex, age and methodological considerations.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Christine J; Patten, Anna R; Sickmann, Helle M; Helfer, Jennifer L; Christie, Brian R

    2016-05-01

    The consumption of alcohol during gestation is detrimental to the developing central nervous system (CNS). The severity of structural and functional brain alterations associated with alcohol intake depends on many factors including the timing and duration of alcohol consumption. The hippocampal formation, a brain region implicated in learning and memory, is highly susceptible to the effects of developmental alcohol exposure. Some of the observed effects of alcohol on learning and memory may be due to changes at the synaptic level, as this teratogen has been repeatedly shown to interfere with hippocampal synaptic plasticity. At the molecular level alcohol interferes with receptor proteins and can disrupt hormones that are important for neuronal signaling and synaptic plasticity. In this review we examine the consequences of prenatal and early postnatal alcohol exposure on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and highlight the numerous factors that can modulate the effects of alcohol. We also discuss some potential mechanisms responsible for these changes as well as emerging therapeutic avenues that are beginning to be explored. PMID:26906760

  7. Developmental effect of light deprivation on synaptic plasticity of rats’ hippocampus: implications for melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Talaei, Sayyed Alireza; Azami, Abolfazl; Salami, Mahmoud

    2016-01-01

    Objective(s): There are few reports have demonstrated the effect of a change-in-light experience on the structure and function of hippocampus. A change-in-light experience also affects the circadian pattern of melatonin secretion. This study aimed to investigate developmental effect of exogenous melatonin on synaptic plasticity of hippocampus of light deprived rats. Materials and Methods: The effects of intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of 2μg/5μl melatonin was evaluated on the basic and tetanized field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs) recorded in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 pathway of normal light-reared (LR) and dark-reared (DR) rats at 2, 4, and 6 weeks of age. Using RT-PCR and western blotting, developmental changes in the expression of melatonin receptors, MT1 and MT2, in the hippocampus were also evaluated. Results: The amplitude of basic responses decreased across age in the LR rats. While light deprivation increased the amplitude of baseline fEPSPs, it decreased the degree of potentiation in post-tetanus responses. Melatonin injection also increased the amplitude of fEPSPs and suppressed the induction of long-term potentiation in both LR and DR rats. The expression of melatonin receptors increased in the hippocampus during brain development, and dark rearing reversed the expression patterns of both receptors. Conclusion: Although melatonin changed basic and tetanized responses of CA1 neurons across age during critical period of brain development, the pattern of its effects did not match the expression pattern of melatonin receptors in the hippocampus. Thus, the effects of melatonin on hippocampal neuronal responses may be exerted through other ways, like intercellular molecules and nuclear hormone receptors. PMID:27746873

  8. Synaptic Plasticity Can Produce and Enhance Direction Selectivity

    PubMed Central

    Carver, Sean; Roth, Eatai; Cowan, Noah J; Fortune, Eric S

    2008-01-01

    The discrimination of the direction of movement of sensory images is critical to the control of many animal behaviors. We propose a parsimonious model of motion processing that generates direction selective responses using short-term synaptic depression and can reproduce salient features of direction selectivity found in a population of neurons in the midbrain of the weakly electric fish Eigenmannia virescens. The model achieves direction selectivity with an elementary Reichardt motion detector: information from spatially separated receptive fields converges onto a neuron via dynamically different pathways. In the model, these differences arise from convergence of information through distinct synapses that either exhibit or do not exhibit short-term synaptic depression—short-term depression produces phase-advances relative to nondepressing synapses. Short-term depression is modeled using two state-variables, a fast process with a time constant on the order of tens to hundreds of milliseconds, and a slow process with a time constant on the order of seconds to tens of seconds. These processes correspond to naturally occurring time constants observed at synapses that exhibit short-term depression. Inclusion of the fast process is sufficient for the generation of temporal disparities that are necessary for direction selectivity in the elementary Reichardt circuit. The addition of the slow process can enhance direction selectivity over time for stimuli that are sustained for periods of seconds or more. Transient (i.e., short-duration) stimuli do not evoke the slow process and therefore do not elicit enhanced direction selectivity. The addition of a sustained global, synchronous oscillation in the gamma frequency range can, however, drive the slow process and enhance direction selectivity to transient stimuli. This enhancement effect does not, however, occur for all combinations of model parameters. The ratio of depressing and nondepressing synapses determines the

  9. Rapid neural circuit switching mediated by synaptic plasticity during neural morphallactic regeneration.

    PubMed

    Lybrand, Zane R; Zoran, Mark J

    2012-09-01

    The aquatic oligochaete, Lumbriculus variegatus (Lumbriculidae), undergoes a rapid regenerative transformation of its neural circuits following body fragmentation. This type of nervous system plasticity, called neural morphallaxis, involves the remodeling of the giant fiber pathways that mediate rapid head and tail withdrawal behaviors. Extra- and intracellular electrophysiological recordings demonstrated that changes in cellular properties and synaptic connections underlie neurobehavioral plasticity during morphallaxis. Sensory-to-giant interneuron connections, undetectable prior to body injury, emerged within hours of segment amputation. The appearance of functional synaptic transmission was followed by interneuron activation, coupling of giant fiber spiking to motor outputs and overt segmental shortening. The onset of morphallactic plasticity varied along the body axis and emerged more rapidly in segments closer to regions of sensory field overlap between the two giant fiber pathways. The medial and lateral giant fibers were simultaneously activated during a transient phase of network remodeling. Thus, synaptic plasticity at sensory-to-giant interneuron connections mediates escape circuit morphallaxis in this regenerating annelid worm. PMID:22021133

  10. MicroRNA miR124 is required for the expression of homeostatic synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Qingming; Ruan, Hongyu; Gilbert, James; Wang, Guan; Ma, Qi; Yao, Wei-Dong; Man, Heng-Ye

    2015-01-01

    Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a compensatory response to alterations in neuronal activity. Chronic deprivation of neuronal activity results in an increase in synaptic AMPA receptors (AMPARs) and postsynaptic currents. The biogenesis of GluA2-lacking, calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs) plays a crucial role in the homeostatic response; however, the mechanisms leading to CP-AMPAR formation remain unclear. Here we show that the microRNA, miR124, is required for the generation of CP-AMPARs and homeostatic plasticity. miR124 suppresses GluA2 expression via targeting its 3′-UTR, leading to the formation of CP-AMPARs. Blockade of miR124 function abolishes the homeostatic response, whereas miR124 overexpression leads to earlier induction of homeostatic plasticity. miR124 transcription is controlled by an inhibitory transcription factor EVI1, acting by association with the deacetylase HDAC1. Our data support a cellular cascade in which inactivity relieves EVI1/HDAC-mediated inhibition of miR124 gene transcription, resulting in enhanced miR124 expression, formation of CP-AMPARs and subsequent induction of homeostatic synaptic plasticity. PMID:26620774

  11. The requirement of BDNF for hippocampal synaptic plasticity is experience‐dependent

    PubMed Central

    Aarse, Janna; Herlitze, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Brain‐derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) supports neuronal survival, growth, and differentiation and has been implicated in forms of hippocampus‐dependent learning. In vitro, a specific role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity has been described, although not all experience‐dependent forms of synaptic plasticity critically depend on BDNF. Synaptic plasticity is likely to enable long‐term synaptic information storage and memory, and the induction of persistent (>24 h) forms, such as long‐term potentiation (LTP) and long‐term depression (LTD) is tightly associated with learning specific aspects of a spatial representation. Whether BDNF is required for persistent (>24 h) forms of LTP and LTD, and how it contributes to synaptic plasticity in the freely behaving rodent has never been explored. We examined LTP, LTD, and related forms of learning in the CA1 region of freely dependent mice that have a partial knockdown of BDNF (BDNF+/−). We show that whereas early‐LTD (<90min) requires BDNF, short‐term depression (<45 min) does not. Furthermore, BDNF is required for LTP that is induced by mild, but not strong short afferent stimulation protocols. Object‐place learning triggers LTD in the CA1 region of mice. We observed that object‐place memory was impaired and the object‐place exploration failed to induce LTD in BDNF+/− mice. Furthermore, spatial reference memory, that is believed to be enabled by LTP, was also impaired. Taken together, these data indicate that BDNF is required for specific, but not all, forms of hippocampal‐dependent information storage and memory. Thus, very robust forms of synaptic plasticity may circumvent the need for BDNF, rather it may play a specific role in the optimization of weaker forms of plasticity. The finding that both learning‐facilitated LTD and spatial reference memory are both impaired in BDNF+/− mice, suggests moreover, that it is critically required for the physiological encoding of hippocampus

  12. Possible Contributions of a Novel Form of Synaptic Plasticity in "Aplysia" to Reward, Memory, and Their Dysfunctions in Mammalian Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, Robert D.

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies in "Aplysia" have identified a new variation of synaptic plasticity in which modulatory transmitters enhance spontaneous release of glutamate, which then acts on postsynaptic receptors to recruit mechanisms of intermediate- and long-term plasticity. In this review I suggest the hypothesis that similar plasticity occurs in…

  13. Estradiol acts via estrogen receptors alpha and beta on pathways important for synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampal formation

    PubMed Central

    Spencer-Segal, Joanna L.; Tsuda, Mumeko C.; Mattei, Larissa; Waters, Elizabeth M.; Romeo, Russell D.; Milner, Teresa A.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Ogawa, Sonoko

    2012-01-01

    Estradiol affects hippocampal-dependent spatial memory and underlying structural and electrical synaptic plasticity in female mice and rats. Using estrogen receptor (ER) alpha and beta knockout mice and wild-type littermates, we investigated the role of ERs in estradiol effects on multiple pathways important for hippocampal plasticity and learning. Six hours of estradiol administration increased immunoreactivity for phosphorylated Akt throughout the hippocampal formation, while 48 hours of estradiol increased immunoreactivity for phosphorylated TrkB receptor. Estradiol effects on phosphorylated Akt and TrkB immunoreactivities were abolished in ER alpha and ER beta knockout mice. Estradiol also had distinct effects on immunoreactivity for PSD-95 and BDNF mRNA in ER alpha and beta knockout mice. Thus, estradiol acts through both ERs alpha and beta in several subregions of the hippocampal formation. The different effects of estradiol at 6 and 48 hours indicate that several mechanisms of estrogen receptor signaling contribute to this female hormone’s influence on hippocampal synaptic plasticity. By further delineating these mechanisms, we will better understand and predict the effects of endogenous and exogenous ovarian steroids on mood, cognition, and other hippocampal-dependent behaviors. PMID:22133892

  14. Effects of treadmill running on short-term pre-synaptic plasticity at dentate gyrus of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Reisi, Parham; Babri, Shirin; Alaei, Hojjatallah; Sharifi, Mohammad Reza; Mohaddes, Gisue; Lashgari, Reza

    2008-05-23

    Previous studies indicated that diabetes mellitus leads to impairments in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and defects in learning and memory. Although diabetes affects synaptic transmission in the hippocampus through both pre- and post-synaptic influences, it is not clear if the defects are pre- or post-synaptic or both; and whether these are prevented by running. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of treadmill running on short-term plasticity in inhibitory interneurons in the dentate gyrus of STZ-induced diabetic rats. Experimental groups were the control-rest group, the control-exercise group, the diabetes-rest group and the diabetes-exercise group (n=6 for each experimental group). The exercise program was moderate exercise consisting of treadmill running at 17 m/min and 0-degree inclination for 40 min/day, 7 days/week, for 12 weeks. The paired pulse paradigm was used to stimulate the perforant pathway and field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSP) were recorded in dentate gyrus (DG). In the diabetic-rest group paired pulse facilitation was significantly increased comparing to the control-rest group. However, there were no differences between responses of the control-exercise and diabetes-exercise groups compared to the control-rest group. The present results suggest that the pre-synaptic component of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus is affected under diabetic conditions and that treadmill running prevents this effect. The data support the possibility that alterations in transmission may account, in part, for learning and memory deficits induced in diabetes, and that treadmill running is helpful in alleviating the neural complications of diabetes mellitus.

  15. CX3CL1 is up-regulated in the rat hippocampus during memory-associated synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Sheridan, Graham K; Wdowicz, Anita; Pickering, Mark; Watters, Orla; Halley, Paul; O'Sullivan, Niamh C; Mooney, Claire; O'Connell, David J; O'Connor, John J; Murphy, Keith J

    2014-01-01

    Several cytokines and chemokines are now known to play normal physiological roles in the brain where they act as key regulators of communication between neurons, glia, and microglia. In particular, cytokines and chemokines can affect cardinal cellular and molecular processes of hippocampal-dependent long-term memory consolidation including synaptic plasticity, synaptic scaling and neurogenesis. The chemokine, CX3CL1 (fractalkine), has been shown to modulate synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 pyramidal cell layer of the hippocampus. Here, we confirm widespread expression of CX3CL1 on mature neurons in the adult rat hippocampus. We report an up-regulation in CX3CL1 protein expression in the CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus (DG) of the rat hippocampus 2 h after spatial learning in the water maze task. Moreover, the same temporal increase in CX3CL1 was evident following LTP-inducing theta-burst stimulation in the DG. At physiologically relevant concentrations, CX3CL1 inhibited LTP maintenance in the DG. This attenuation in dentate LTP was lost in the presence of GABAA receptor/chloride channel antagonism. CX3CL1 also had opposing actions on glutamate-mediated rise in intracellular calcium in hippocampal organotypic slice cultures in the presence and absence of GABAA receptor/chloride channel blockade. Using primary dissociated hippocampal cultures, we established that CX3CL1 reduces glutamate-mediated intracellular calcium rises in both neurons and glia in a dose dependent manner. In conclusion, CX3CL1 is up-regulated in the hippocampus during a brief temporal window following spatial learning the purpose of which may be to regulate glutamate-mediated neurotransmission tone. Our data supports a possible role for this chemokine in the protective plasticity process of synaptic scaling. PMID:25161610

  16. The flavonoid baicalein rescues synaptic plasticity and memory deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Gu, Xun-Hu; Xu, Li-Jun; Liu, Zhi-Qiang; Wei, Bo; Yang, Yuan-Jian; Xu, Guo-Gang; Yin, Xiao-Ping; Wang, Wei

    2016-09-15

    Increasing evidence suggests that disruptions of synaptic functions correlate with the severity of cognitive deficit in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our previous study demonstrated that baicalein enhances long-term potentiation (LTP) in acute rat hippocampal slices and improves hippocampus-dependent contextual fear conditioning in rats. Given that baicalein possess various biological activities, especially its effects on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function, we examined the effect of baicalein on synaptic function both in vitro and in vivo in AD model. The effect of baicalein on Aβ42 oligomer impaired LTP was investigated by electrophysiological methods. Baicalein was administered orally via drinking water to the APP/PS1 mice and sex- and age-matched wild-type mice. Treatment started at 5 months of age and mice were assessed for cognition and AD-like pathology at 7-month-old. Cognition was analyzed by Morris water maze test, fear conditioning test, and novel object recognition test. Changes in hippocampal 12/15 Lipoxygenase (12/15LO) and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) activity, Aβ production, tau phosphorylation, synaptic plasticity, and dendritic spine density were evaluated. Baicalein prevented Aβ-induced impairments in hippocampal LTP through activation of serine threonine Kinase (Akt) phosphorylation. Long-term oral administration of baicalein inhibited 12/15LO and GSK3β activity, reduced β-secretase enzyme (BACE1), decreased the concentration of total Aβ, and prevented phosphorylation of tau in APP/PS1 mice. Meanwhile, baicalein restored spine number, synaptic plasticity, and memory deficits. Our results strengthen the potential of the flavonoid baicalein as a novel and promising oral bioactive therapeutic agent that prevents memory deficits in AD.

  17. Effect of acute fentanyl treatment on synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal CA1 region in rats

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Hai; Xu, Yueming; Liu, Fucun; Wang, Guowei; Hu, Sanjue

    2015-01-01

    Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), mainly characterized by short-term decline of learning and memory, occurs after operations under anesthesia. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. The μ-opioid receptors (MOR) are highly expressed in interneurons of hippocampus, and is believed to be critical for the dysfunction of synaptic plasticity between hippocampal neurons. Therefore, we investigated the effect of fentanyl, a strong agonist of MOR and often used for anesthesia and analgesia in clinical settings, on hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the Schaffer-collateral CA1 pathway during acute exposure and washout in vitro. Our results revealed that acute fentanyl exposure (0.01, 0.1, 1 μM) dose-dependently increased the field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs), which was prevented by pre-administration of picrotoxin (50 μM) or MOR antagonist D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Orn-Thr-Phe-Thr-NH2 (CTOP, 10 μM). While fentanyl exposure-increased fEPSPs amplitude was prevented by picrotoxin [an inhibitor of γ-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAR)] treatment or fentanyl washout, pretreatment of picrotoxin failed to prevent the fentanyl-impaired long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic strength as well as the fentanyl-enhanced long-term depression (LTD). These results demonstrated that fentanyl acute exposure and washout increases hippocampal excitability in the Schaffer-collateral CA1 pathway, depending on disinhibiting interneurons after MOR activation. In addition, fentanyl acute exposure and washout modulated synaptic plasticity, but the inhibitory activation was not critical. Elucidating the detailed mechanisms for synaptic dysfunction after fentanyl exposure and washout may provide insights into POCD generation after fentanyl anesthesia. PMID:26578961

  18. Telencephalic neurocircuitry and synaptic plasticity in rodent spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Pooters, Tine; Van der Jeugd, Ann; Callaerts-Vegh, Zsuzsanna; D'Hooge, Rudi

    2015-09-24

    Spatial learning and memory in rodents represent close equivalents of human episodic declarative memory, which is especially sensitive to cerebral aging, neurodegeneration, and various neuropsychiatric disorders. Many tests and protocols are available for use in laboratory rodents, but Morris water maze and radial-arm maze remain the most widely used as well as the most valid and reliable spatial tests. Telencephalic neurocircuitry that plays functional roles in spatial learning and memory includes hippocampus, dorsal striatum and medial prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal-hippocampal circuitry comprises the major associative system in the rodent brain, and is critical for navigation in physical space, whereas interconnections between prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatum are probably more important for motivational or goal-directed aspects of spatial learning. Two major forms of synaptic plasticity, namely long-term potentiation, a lasting increase in synaptic strength between simultaneously activated neurons, and long-term depression, a decrease in synaptic strength, have been found to occur in hippocampus, dorsal striatum and medial prefrontal cortex. These and other phenomena of synaptic plasticity are probably crucial for the involvement of telencephalic neurocircuitry in spatial learning and memory. They also seem to play a role in the pathophysiology of two brain pathologies with episodic declarative memory impairments as core symptoms, namely Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Further research emphasis on rodent telencephalic neurocircuitry could be relevant to more valid and reliable preclinical research on these most devastating brain disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory.

  19. Gene expression parallels synaptic excitability and plasticity changes in Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Saura, Carlos A.; Parra-Damas, Arnaldo; Enriquez-Barreto, Lilian

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by abnormal accumulation of β-amyloid and tau and synapse dysfunction in memory-related neural circuits. Pathological and functional changes in the medial temporal lobe, a region essential for explicit memory encoding, contribute to cognitive decline in AD. Surprisingly, functional imaging studies show increased activity of the hippocampus and associated cortical regions during memory tasks in presymptomatic and early AD stages, whereas brain activity declines as the disease progresses. These findings suggest an emerging scenario where early pathogenic events might increase neuronal excitability leading to enhanced brain activity before clinical manifestations of the disease, a stage that is followed by decreased brain activity as neurodegeneration progresses. The mechanisms linking pathology with synaptic excitability and plasticity changes leading to memory loss in AD remain largely unclear. Recent studies suggest that increased brain activity parallels enhanced expression of genes involved in synaptic transmission and plasticity in preclinical stages, whereas expression of synaptic and activity-dependent genes are reduced by the onset of pathological and cognitive symptoms. Here, we review recent evidences indicating a relationship between transcriptional deregulation of synaptic genes and neuronal activity and memory loss in AD and mouse models. These findings provide the basis for potential clinical applications of memory-related transcriptional programs and their regulatory mechanisms as novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets to restore brain function in AD and other cognitive disorders. PMID:26379494

  20. Regulation of cpg15 by signaling pathways that mediate synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Fujino, Tadahiro; Lee, Wei-Chung Allen; Nedivi, Elly

    2003-11-01

    Transcriptional activation is a key link between neuronal activity and long-term synaptic plasticity. Little is known about genes responding to this activation whose products directly effect functional and structural changes at the synapse. cpg15 is an activity-regulated gene encoding a membrane-bound ligand that regulates dendritic and axonal arbor growth and synaptic maturation. We report that cpg15 is an immediate-early gene induced by Ca(2+) influx through NMDA receptors and L-type voltage-sensitive calcium channels. Activity-dependent cpg15 expression requires convergent activation of the CaM kinase and MAP kinase pathways. Although activation of PKA is not required for activity-dependent expression, cpg15 is induced by cAMP in active neurons. CREB binds the cpg15 promoter in vivo and partially regulates its activity-dependent expression. cpg15 is an effector gene that is a target for signal transduction pathways that mediate synaptic plasticity and thus may take part in an activity-regulated transcriptional program that directs long-term changes in synaptic connections. PMID:14664806

  1. Acute and chronic effects of ethanol on learning-related synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Zorumski, Charles F; Mennerick, Steven; Izumi, Yukitoshi

    2014-02-01

    Alcoholism is associated with acute and long-term cognitive dysfunction including memory impairment, resulting in substantial disability and cost to society. Thus, understanding how ethanol impairs cognition is essential for developing treatment strategies to dampen its adverse impact. Memory processing is thought to involve persistent, use-dependent changes in synaptic transmission, and ethanol alters the activity of multiple signaling molecules involved in synaptic processing, including modulation of the glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transmitter systems that mediate most fast excitatory and inhibitory transmission in the brain. Effects on glutamate and GABA receptors contribute to ethanol-induced changes in long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), forms of synaptic plasticity thought to underlie memory acquisition. In this paper, we review the effects of ethanol on learning-related forms of synaptic plasticity with emphasis on changes observed in the hippocampus, a brain region that is critical for encoding contextual and episodic memories. We also include studies in other brain regions as they pertain to altered cognitive and mental function. Comparison of effects in the hippocampus to other brain regions is instructive for understanding the complexities of ethanol's acute and long-term pharmacological consequences.

  2. Effects of testosterone on synaptic plasticity mediated by androgen receptors in male SAMP8 mice.

    PubMed

    Jia, Jian-Xin; Cui, Cheng-Li; Yan, Xu-Sheng; Zhang, Bai-Feng; Song, Wei; Huo, Dong-Sheng; Wang, He; Yang, Zhan-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic changes are closely associated with cognitive deficits. In addition, testosterone (T) is known to exert regulative effects on synaptic plasticity. T may improve cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, but the underlying mechanisms of androgenic action on cognitive performance remain unclear. The aim of this study was thus to examine the protective mechanism attributed to T on cognitive performance in an AD senescence, accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) animal model. Using Golgi staining to quantify the dendritic spine density in hippocampal CA1 region, molecular biomarkers of synapse function were analyzed using immunohistochemistry and western blot. T significantly increased the dendritic spine density in hippocampal CA1 region, while flutamide (F) inhibited these T-mediated effects. Immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis showed that the expression levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), postsynaptic density 95 (PSD-95), and p-cyclic-AMP response element binding protein (CREB)/CREB levels were significantly elevated in the T group, but F reduced the T-induced effects in these biomarkers to control levels. There were no significant differences in the expression levels of PSD-95, BDNF, and p-CREB/CREB between C and F. These findings indicate that the effects of T on improvement in synaptic plasticity were mediated via androgen receptor (AR). It is conceivable that new treatments targeted toward preventing synaptic pathology in AD may involve the use of androgen-acting drugs. PMID:27599230

  3. Coordinated activation of distinct Ca2+ sources and metabotropic glutamate receptors encodes Hebbian synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Tigaret, Cezar M.; Olivo, Valeria; Sadowski, Josef H.L.P.; Ashby, Michael C.; Mellor, Jack R.

    2016-01-01

    At glutamatergic synapses, induction of associative synaptic plasticity requires time-correlated presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes to activate postsynaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs). The magnitudes of the ensuing Ca2+ transients within dendritic spines are thought to determine the amplitude and direction of synaptic change. In contrast, we show that at mature hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapses the magnitudes of Ca2+ transients during plasticity induction do not match this rule. Indeed, LTP induced by time-correlated pre- and postsynaptic spikes instead requires the sequential activation of NMDARs followed by voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels within dendritic spines. Furthermore, LTP requires inhibition of SK channels by mGluR1, which removes a negative feedback loop that constitutively regulates NMDARs. Therefore, rather than being controlled simply by the magnitude of the postsynaptic calcium rise, LTP induction requires the coordinated activation of distinct sources of Ca2+ and mGluR1-dependent facilitation of NMDAR function. PMID:26758963

  4. Domestication of the dog from the wolf was promoted by enhanced excitatory synaptic plasticity: a hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Wang, Guo-Dong; Wang, Ming-Shan; Irwin, David M; Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-11-05

    Dogs shared a much closer relationship with humans than any other domesticated animals, probably due to their unique social cognitive capabilities, which were hypothesized to be a by-product of selection for tameness toward humans. Here, we demonstrate that genes involved in glutamate metabolism, which account partially for fear response, indeed show the greatest population differentiation by whole-genome comparison of dogs and wolves. However, the changing direction of their expression supports a role in increasing excitatory synaptic plasticity in dogs rather than reducing fear response. Because synaptic plasticity are widely believed to be cellular correlates of learning and memory, this change may alter the learning and memory abilities of ancient scavenging wolves, weaken the fear reaction toward humans, and prompt the initial interspecific contact.

  5. Curcumin improves synaptic plasticity impairment induced by HIV-1gp120 V3 loop

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Ling-ling; Jiang, Ming-liang; Liu, Si-si; Cai, Min-chun; Hong, Zhong-qiu; Lin, Li-qing; Xing, Yan-yan; Chen, Gui-lin; Pan, Rui; Yang, Li-juan; Xu, Ying; Dong, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Curcumin has been shown to significantly improve spatial memory impairment induced by HIV-1 gp120 V3 in rats, but the electrophysiological mechanism remains unknown. Using extracellular microelectrode recording techniques, this study confirmed that the gp120 V3 loop could suppress long-term potentiation in the rat hippocampal CA1 region and synaptic plasticity, and that curcumin could antagonize these inhibitory effects. Using a Fura-2/AM calcium ion probe, we found that curcumin resisted the effects of the gp120 V3 loop on hippocampal synaptosomes and decreased Ca2+ concentration in synaptosomes. This effect of curcumin was identical to nimodipine, suggesting that curcumin improved the inhibitory effects of gp120 on synaptic plasticity, ameliorated damage caused to the central nervous system, and might be a potential neuroprotective drug. PMID:26199609

  6. Domestication of the dog from the wolf was promoted by enhanced excitatory synaptic plasticity: a hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Wang, Guo-Dong; Wang, Ming-Shan; Irwin, David M; Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Dogs shared a much closer relationship with humans than any other domesticated animals, probably due to their unique social cognitive capabilities, which were hypothesized to be a by-product of selection for tameness toward humans. Here, we demonstrate that genes involved in glutamate metabolism, which account partially for fear response, indeed show the greatest population differentiation by whole-genome comparison of dogs and wolves. However, the changing direction of their expression supports a role in increasing excitatory synaptic plasticity in dogs rather than reducing fear response. Because synaptic plasticity are widely believed to be cellular correlates of learning and memory, this change may alter the learning and memory abilities of ancient scavenging wolves, weaken the fear reaction toward humans, and prompt the initial interspecific contact. PMID:25377939

  7. Sleep and the Price of Plasticity: From Synaptic and Cellular Homeostasis to Memory Consolidation and Integration

    PubMed Central

    Tononi, Giulio; Cirelli, Chiara

    2014-01-01

    Summary Sleep is universal, tightly regulated, and its loss impairs cognition. But why does the brain need to disconnect from the environment for hours every day? The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis (SHY) proposes that sleep is the price the brain pays for plasticity. During a waking episode, learning statistical regularities about the current environment requires strengthening connections throughout the brain. This increases cellular needs for energy and supplies, decreases signal-to-noise ratios, and saturates learning. During sleep, spontaneous activity renormalizes net synaptic strength and restores cellular homeostasis. Activity-dependent down-selection of synapses can also explain the benefits of sleep on memory acquisition, consolidation, and integration. This happens through the off-line, comprehensive sampling of statistical regularities incorporated in neuronal circuits over a lifetime. This review considers the rationale and evidence for SHY and points to open issues related to sleep and plasticity. PMID:24411729

  8. P2Y Receptors in Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity: Therapeutic Potential in Cognitive Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Guzman, Segundo J.; Gerevich, Zoltan

    2016-01-01

    ATP released from neurons and astrocytes during neuronal activity or under pathophysiological circumstances is able to influence information flow in neuronal circuits by activation of ionotropic P2X and metabotropic P2Y receptors and subsequent modulation of cellular excitability, synaptic strength, and plasticity. In the present paper we review cellular and network effects of P2Y receptors in the brain. We show that P2Y receptors inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, modulate voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, and differentially influence the induction of synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. The findings discussed here may explain how P2Y1 receptor activation during brain injury, hypoxia, inflammation, schizophrenia, or Alzheimer's disease leads to an impairment of cognitive processes. Hence, it is suggested that the blockade of P2Y1 receptors may have therapeutic potential against cognitive disturbances in these states. PMID:27069691

  9. G-Protein-Coupled Estrogen Receptor 1 Is Anatomically Positioned to Modulate Synaptic Plasticity in the Mouse Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Louisa I.; Patel, Parth; Gonzales, Andreina D.; Ye, Hector (Zhiyu); Filardo, Edward J.; Clegg, Deborah J.; Gorecka, Jolanta; Akama, Keith T.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Milner, Teresa A.

    2015-01-01

    Both estrous cycle and sex affect the numbers and types of neuronal and glial profiles containing the classical estrogen receptors α and β, and synaptic levels in the rodent dorsal hippocampus. Here, we examined whether the membrane estrogen receptor, G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER1), is anatomically positioned in the dorsal hippocampus of mice to regulate synaptic plasticity. By light microscopy, GPER1-immunoreactivity (IR) was most noticeable in the pyramidal cell layer and interspersed interneurons, especially those in the hilus of the dentate gyrus. Diffuse GPER1-IR was found in all lamina but was most dense in stratum lucidum of CA3. Ultrastructural analysis revealed discrete extranuclear GPER1-IR affiliated with the plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum of neuronal perikarya and dendritic shafts, synaptic specializations in dendritic spines, and clusters of vesicles in axon terminals. Moreover, GPER1-IR was found in unmyelinated axons and glial profiles. Overall, the types and amounts of GPER1-labeled profiles were similar between males and females; however, in females elevated estrogen levels generally increased axonal labeling. Some estradiol-induced changes observed in previous studies were replicated by the GPER agonist G1: G1 increased PSD95-IR in strata oriens, lucidum, and radiatum of CA3 in ovariectomized mice 6 h after administration. In contrast, estradiol but not G1 increased Akt phosphorylation levels. Instead, GPER1 actions in the synapse may be due to interactions with synaptic scaffolding proteins, such as SAP97. These results suggest that although estrogen's actions via GPER1 may converge on the same synaptic elements, different pathways are used to achieve these actions. PMID:25673833

  10. Molecular determinants of magnesium-dependent synaptic plasticity at electrical synapses formed by connexin36

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palacios-Prado, Nicolás; Chapuis, Sandrine; Panjkovich, Alejandro; Fregeac, Julien; Nagy, James I.; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2014-08-01

    Neuronal gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin36 (Cx36) play an important role in neuronal synchronization and network dynamics. Here we show that Cx36-containing electrical synapses between inhibitory neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus are bidirectionally modulated by changes in intracellular free magnesium concentration ([Mg2+]i). Chimeragenesis demonstrates that the first extracellular loop of Cx36 contains a Mg2+-sensitive domain, and site-directed mutagenesis shows that the pore-lining residue D47 is critical in determining high Mg2+-sensitivity. Single-channel analysis of Mg2+-sensitive chimeras and mutants reveals that [Mg2+]i controls the strength of electrical coupling mostly via gating mechanisms. In addition, asymmetric transjunctional [Mg2+]i induces strong instantaneous rectification, providing a novel mechanism for electrical rectification in homotypic Cx36 GJs. We suggest that Mg2+-dependent synaptic plasticity of Cx36-containing electrical synapses could underlie neuronal circuit reconfiguration via changes in brain energy metabolism that affects neuronal levels of intracellular ATP and [Mg2+]i.

  11. Modulation of network activity and induction of homeostatic synaptic plasticity by enzymatic removal of heparan sulfates

    PubMed Central

    Korotchenko, Svetlana; Cingolani, Lorenzo A.; Kuznetsova, Tatiana; Bologna, Luca Leonardo; Chiappalone, Michela; Dityatev, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Heparan sulfates (HSs) are complex and highly active molecules that are required for synaptogenesis and long-term potentiation. A deficit in HSs leads to autistic phenotype in mice. Here, we investigated the long-term effect of heparinase I, which digests highly sulfated HSs, on the spontaneous bioelectrical activity of neuronal networks in developing primary hippocampal cultures. We found that chronic heparinase treatment led to a significant reduction of the mean firing rate of neurons, particularly during the period of maximal neuronal activity. Furthermore, firing pattern in heparinase-treated cultures often appeared as epileptiform bursts, with long periods of inactivity between them. These changes in network activity were accompanied by an increase in the frequency and amplitude of miniature postsynaptic excitatory currents, which could be described by a linear up-scaling of current amplitudes. Biochemically, we observed an upregulation in the expression of the glutamate receptor subunit GluA1, but not GluA2, and a strong increase in autophosphorylation of α and β Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), without changes in the levels of kinase expression. These data suggest that a deficit in HSs triggers homeostatic synaptic plasticity and drastically affects functional maturation of neural network. PMID:25225107

  12. Low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation is beneficial for enhancing synaptic plasticity in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhan-chi; Luan, Feng; Xie, Chun-yan; Geng, Dan-dan; Wang, Yan-yong; Ma, Jun

    2015-01-01

    In the aging brain, cognitive function gradually declines and causes a progressive reduction in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an emerging and novel neurological and psychiatric tool used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (≤1 Hz) ameliorates synaptic plasticity and spatial cognitive deficits in learning-impaired mice. However, the mechanisms by which this treatment improves these deficits during normal aging are still unknown. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor signal pathway, synaptic protein markers, and spatial memory behavior in the hippocampus of normal aged mice. The study also investigated the downstream regulator, Fyn kinase, and the downstream effectors, synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 (both synaptic markers), to determine the possible mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation regulates cognitive capacity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1 Hz) increased mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, and Fyn in the hippocampus of aged mice. The treatment also upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in the hippocampus of these mice. In conclusion, brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling may play an important role in sustaining and regulating structural synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the hippocampus of aging mice, and Fyn may be critical during this regulation. These responses may change the structural plasticity of the aging hippocampus, thereby improving cognitive function. PMID:26199608

  13. Does Spike-Timing-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity Couple or Decouple Neurons Firing in Synchrony?

    PubMed Central

    Knoblauch, Andreas; Hauser, Florian; Gewaltig, Marc-Oliver; Körner, Edgar; Palm, Günther

    2012-01-01

    Spike synchronization is thought to have a constructive role for feature integration, attention, associative learning, and the formation of bidirectionally connected Hebbian cell assemblies. By contrast, theoretical studies on spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) report an inherently decoupling influence of spike synchronization on synaptic connections of coactivated neurons. For example, bidirectional synaptic connections as found in cortical areas could be reproduced only by assuming realistic models of STDP and rate coding. We resolve this conflict by theoretical analysis and simulation of various simple and realistic STDP models that provide a more complete characterization of conditions when STDP leads to either coupling or decoupling of neurons firing in synchrony. In particular, we show that STDP consistently couples synchronized neurons if key model parameters are matched to physiological data: First, synaptic potentiation must be significantly stronger than synaptic depression for small (positive or negative) time lags between presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes. Second, spike synchronization must be sufficiently imprecise, for example, within a time window of 5–10 ms instead of 1 ms. Third, axonal propagation delays should not be much larger than dendritic delays. Under these assumptions synchronized neurons will be strongly coupled leading to a dominance of bidirectional synaptic connections even for simple STDP models and low mean firing rates at the level of spontaneous activity. PMID:22936909

  14. Cdk5 Modulates Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity and Motor Learning in Dorsolateral Striatum.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Adan; Tan, Chunfeng; Mettlach, Gabriel; Pozo, Karine; Plattner, Florian; Bibb, James A

    2016-01-01

    The striatum controls multiple cognitive aspects including motivation, reward perception, decision-making and motor planning. In particular, the dorsolateral striatum contributes to motor learning. Here we define an approach for investigating synaptic plasticity in mouse dorsolateral cortico-striatal circuitry and interrogate the relative contributions of neurotransmitter receptors and intracellular signaling components. Consistent with previous studies, we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) in cortico-striatal circuitry is facilitated by dopamine, and requires activation of D1-dopamine receptors, as well as NMDA receptors (NMDAR) and their calcium-dependent downstream effectors, including CaMKII. Moreover, we assessed the contribution of the protein kinase Cdk5, a key neuronal signaling molecule, in cortico-striatal LTP. Pharmacological Cdk5 inhibition, brain-wide Cdk5 conditional knockout, or viral-mediated dorsolateral striatal-specific loss of Cdk5 all impaired dopamine-facilitated LTP or D1-dopamine receptor-facilitated LTP. Selective loss of Cdk5 in dorsolateral striatum increased locomotor activity and attenuated motor learning. Taken together, we report an approach for studying synaptic plasticity in mouse dorsolateral striatum and critically implicate D1-dopamine receptor, NMDAR, Cdk5, and CaMKII in cortico-striatal plasticity. Furthermore, we associate striatal plasticity deficits with effects upon behaviors mediated by this circuitry. This approach should prove useful for the study of the molecular basis of plasticity in the dorsolateral striatum. PMID:27443506

  15. Cdk5 Modulates Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity and Motor Learning in Dorsolateral Striatum.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Adan; Tan, Chunfeng; Mettlach, Gabriel; Pozo, Karine; Plattner, Florian; Bibb, James A

    2016-07-22

    The striatum controls multiple cognitive aspects including motivation, reward perception, decision-making and motor planning. In particular, the dorsolateral striatum contributes to motor learning. Here we define an approach for investigating synaptic plasticity in mouse dorsolateral cortico-striatal circuitry and interrogate the relative contributions of neurotransmitter receptors and intracellular signaling components. Consistent with previous studies, we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) in cortico-striatal circuitry is facilitated by dopamine, and requires activation of D1-dopamine receptors, as well as NMDA receptors (NMDAR) and their calcium-dependent downstream effectors, including CaMKII. Moreover, we assessed the contribution of the protein kinase Cdk5, a key neuronal signaling molecule, in cortico-striatal LTP. Pharmacological Cdk5 inhibition, brain-wide Cdk5 conditional knockout, or viral-mediated dorsolateral striatal-specific loss of Cdk5 all impaired dopamine-facilitated LTP or D1-dopamine receptor-facilitated LTP. Selective loss of Cdk5 in dorsolateral striatum increased locomotor activity and attenuated motor learning. Taken together, we report an approach for studying synaptic plasticity in mouse dorsolateral striatum and critically implicate D1-dopamine receptor, NMDAR, Cdk5, and CaMKII in cortico-striatal plasticity. Furthermore, we associate striatal plasticity deficits with effects upon behaviors mediated by this circuitry. This approach should prove useful for the study of the molecular basis of plasticity in the dorsolateral striatum.

  16. Cdk5 Modulates Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity and Motor Learning in Dorsolateral Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Adan; Tan, Chunfeng; Mettlach, Gabriel; Pozo, Karine; Plattner, Florian; Bibb, James A.

    2016-01-01

    The striatum controls multiple cognitive aspects including motivation, reward perception, decision-making and motor planning. In particular, the dorsolateral striatum contributes to motor learning. Here we define an approach for investigating synaptic plasticity in mouse dorsolateral cortico-striatal circuitry and interrogate the relative contributions of neurotransmitter receptors and intracellular signaling components. Consistent with previous studies, we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) in cortico-striatal circuitry is facilitated by dopamine, and requires activation of D1-dopamine receptors, as well as NMDA receptors (NMDAR) and their calcium-dependent downstream effectors, including CaMKII. Moreover, we assessed the contribution of the protein kinase Cdk5, a key neuronal signaling molecule, in cortico-striatal LTP. Pharmacological Cdk5 inhibition, brain-wide Cdk5 conditional knockout, or viral-mediated dorsolateral striatal-specific loss of Cdk5 all impaired dopamine-facilitated LTP or D1-dopamine receptor-facilitated LTP. Selective loss of Cdk5 in dorsolateral striatum increased locomotor activity and attenuated motor learning. Taken together, we report an approach for studying synaptic plasticity in mouse dorsolateral striatum and critically implicate D1-dopamine receptor, NMDAR, Cdk5, and CaMKII in cortico-striatal plasticity. Furthermore, we associate striatal plasticity deficits with effects upon behaviors mediated by this circuitry. This approach should prove useful for the study of the molecular basis of plasticity in the dorsolateral striatum. PMID:27443506

  17. Reactive Oxygen Species in the Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Klann, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The brain is a metabolically active organ exhibiting high oxygen consumption and robust production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The large amounts of ROS are kept in check by an elaborate network of antioxidants, which sometimes fail and lead to neuronal oxidative stress. Thus, ROS are typically categorized as neurotoxic molecules and typically exert their detrimental effects via oxidation of essential macromolecules such as enzymes and cytoskeletal proteins. Most importantly, excessive ROS are associated with decreased performance in cognitive function. However, at physiological concentrations, ROS are involved in functional changes necessary for synaptic plasticity and hence, for normal cognitive function. The fine line of role reversal of ROS from good molecules to bad molecules is far from being fully understood. This review focuses on identifying the multiple sources of ROS in the mammalian nervous system and on presenting evidence for the critical and essential role of ROS in synaptic plasticity and memory. The review also shows that the inability to restrain either age- or pathology-related increases in ROS levels leads to opposite, detrimental effects that are involved in impairments in synaptic plasticity and memory function. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 2013–2054. PMID:20649473

  18. Dysbindin-1 loss compromises NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity and contextual fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Glen, W Bailey; Horowitz, Bryant; Carlson, Gregory C; Cannon, Tyrone D; Talbot, Konrad; Jentsch, J David; Lavin, Antonieta

    2014-02-01

    Genetic variants in DTNBP1 encoding the protein dysbindin-1 have often been associated with schizophrenia and with the cognitive deficits prominent in that disorder. Because impaired function of the hippocampus is thought to play a role in these memory deficits and because NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity in this region is a proposed biological substrate for some hippocampal-dependent memory functions in schizophrenia, we hypothesized that reduced dysbindin-1 expression would lead to impairments in NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity and in contextual fear conditioning. Acute slices from male mice carrying 0, 1, or 2 null mutant alleles of the Dtnbp1 gene were prepared, and field recordings from the CA1 striatum radiatum were obtained before and after tetanization of Schaffer collaterals of CA3 pyramidal cells. Mice homozygous for the null mutation in Dtnbp1 exhibited significantly reduced NMDAR-dependent synaptic potentiation compared to wild type mice, an effect that could be rescued by bath application of the NMDA receptor coagonist glycine (10 μM). Behavioral testing in adult mice revealed deficits in hippocampal memory processes. Homozygous null mice exhibited lower conditional freezing, without a change in the response to shock itself, indicative of a learning and memory deficit. Taken together, these results indicate that a loss of dysbindin-1 impairs hippocampal plasticity which may, in part, explain the role dysbindin-1 plays in the cognitive impairments of schizophrenia. PMID:24446171

  19. Short-term synaptic plasticity in the deterministic Tsodyks–Markram model leads to unpredictable network dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Cortes, Jesus M.; Desroches, Mathieu; Rodrigues, Serafim; Veltz, Romain; Muñoz, Miguel A.; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    2013-01-01

    Short-term synaptic plasticity strongly affects the neural dynamics of cortical networks. The Tsodyks and Markram (TM) model for short-term synaptic plasticity accurately accounts for a wide range of physiological responses at different types of cortical synapses. Here, we report a route to chaotic behavior via a Shilnikov homoclinic bifurcation that dynamically organizes some of the responses in the TM model. In particular, the presence of such a homoclinic bifurcation strongly affects the shape of the trajectories in the phase space and induces highly irregular transient dynamics; indeed, in the vicinity of the Shilnikov homoclinic bifurcation, the number of population spikes and their precise timing are unpredictable and highly sensitive to the initial conditions. Such an irregular deterministic dynamics has its counterpart in stochastic/network versions of the TM model: The existence of the Shilnikov homoclinic bifurcation generates complex and irregular spiking patterns and—acting as a sort of springboard—facilitates transitions between the down-state and unstable periodic orbits. The interplay between the (deterministic) homoclinic bifurcation and stochastic effects may give rise to some of the complex dynamics observed in neural systems. PMID:24062464

  20. MicroRNA Regulation of the Synaptic Plasticity-Related Gene Arc

    PubMed Central

    Siripornmongcolchai, Taweeporn; Bittins, Margarethe; Berentsen, Birgitte; Ofte, May Lillian; Weigel, Arwed; Skaftnesmo, Kai Ove; Bramham, Clive R.

    2012-01-01

    Expression of activity-regulated cytoskeleton associated protein (Arc) is crucial for diverse types of experience-dependent synaptic plasticity and long-term memory in mammals. However, the mechanisms governing Arc-specific translation are little understood. Here, we asked whether Arc translation is regulated by microRNAs. Bioinformatic analysis predicted numerous candidate miRNA binding sites within the Arc 3′-untranslated region (UTR). Transfection of the corresponding microRNAs in human embryonic kidney cells inhibited expression of an Arc 3′UTR luciferase reporter from between 10 to 70% across 16 microRNAs tested. Point mutation and deletion of the microRNA-binding seed-region for miR-34a, miR-326, and miR-19a partially or fully rescued reporter expression. In addition, expression of specific microRNA pairs synergistically modulated Arc reporter expression. In primary rat hippocampal neuronal cultures, ectopic expression of miR-34a, miR-193a, or miR-326, downregulated endogenous Arc protein expression in response to BDNF treatment. Conversely, treatment of neurons with cell-penetrating, peptide nucleic acid (PNA) inhibitors of miR-326 enhanced Arc mRNA expression. BDNF dramatically upregulated neuronal expression of Arc mRNA and miR-132, a known BDNF-induced miRNA, without affecting expression of Arc-targeting miRNAs. Developmentally, miR-132 was upregulated at day 10 in vitro whereas Arc-targeting miRNAs were downregulated. In the adult brain, LTP induction in the dentate gyrus triggered massive upregulation of Arc and upregulation of miR-132 without affecting levels of mature Arc-targeting miRNAs. Turning to examine miRNA localization, qPCR analysis of dentate gyrus synaptoneurosome and total lysates fractions demonstrated synaptic enrichment relative to small nucleolar RNA. In conclusion, we find that Arc is regulated by multiple miRNAs and modulated by specific miRNA pairs in vitro. Furthermore, we show that, in contrast to miR-132, steady state levels

  1. Mild hypoxia affects synaptic connectivity in cultured neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Hofmeijer, Jeannette; Mulder, Alex T B; Farinha, Ana C; van Putten, Michel J A M; le Feber, Joost

    2014-04-01

    Eighty percent of patients with chronic mild cerebral ischemia/hypoxia resulting from chronic heart failure or pulmonary disease have cognitive impairment. Overt structural neuronal damage is lacking and the precise cause of neuronal damage is unclear. As almost half of the cerebral energy consumption is used for synaptic transmission, and synaptic failure is the first abrupt consequence of acute complete anoxia, synaptic dysfunction is a candidate mechanism for the cognitive deterioration in chronic mild ischemia/hypoxia. Because measurement of synaptic functioning in patients is problematic, we use cultured networks of cortical neurons from new born rats, grown over a multi-electrode array, as a model system. These were exposed to partial hypoxia (partial oxygen pressure of 150Torr lowered to 40-50Torr) during 3 (n=14) or 6 (n=8) hours. Synaptic functioning was assessed before, during, and after hypoxia by assessment of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses to electrical stimulation. Action potential heights and shapes and non-synaptic stimulus responses were used as measures of individual neuronal integrity. During hypoxia of 3 and 6h, there was a statistically significant decrease of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses, whereas direct responses and action potentials remained unchanged. These changes were largely reversible. Our results indicate that in cultured neuronal networks, partial hypoxia during 3 or 6h causes isolated disturbances of synaptic connectivity.

  2. Memantine alters striatal plasticity inducing a shift of synaptic responses toward long-term depression.

    PubMed

    Mancini, Maria; Ghiglieri, Veronica; Bagetta, Vincenza; Pendolino, Valentina; Vannelli, Anna; Cacace, Fabrizio; Mineo, Desireé; Calabresi, Paolo; Picconi, Barbara

    2016-02-01

    Memantine is an open channel blocker that antagonizes NMDA receptors reducing the inappropriate calcium (Ca(2+)) influx occurring in presence of moderately increased glutamate levels. At the same time, memantine has the ability to preserve the transient physiological activation of NMDA receptor, essential for learning and memory formation at synaptic level. In the present study we investigated the effects exerted by memantine on striatal synaptic plasticity in rat striatal spiny projection neurons (SPNs). In vitro application of memantine in striatal slices elicited a disruption of long-term potentiation (LTP) induction and maintenance, and revealed, in the majority of the recorded neurons, a long-term depression (LTD), whose amplitude was concentration-dependent (0.3-10 μM). Interestingly, preincubation with the dopamine (DA) D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride (10 μM) prevented memantine-induced LTD and restored LTP. Moreover, the DA D2 agonist quinpirole (10 μM), similarly to memantine, induced LTD in a subgroup of SPNs. In addition, memantine-induced LTD was also prevented by the CB1 endocannabinoid receptor antagonist AM 251 (1 μM). These results suggest that the actions exerted by memantine on striatal synaptic plasticity, and in particular the induction of LTD observed in SPNs, could be attributed to its ability to activate DA D2 receptors. By contrast, blockade of NMDA receptor is not involved in memantine-induced LTD since APV (30 μM) and MK801 (10 μM), two NMDA receptor antagonists, failed to induce this form of synaptic plasticity. Our data indicate that memantine could be used as treatment of neurological disorders in which DA D2 receptor represents a possible therapeutic target.

  3. Signaling Pathways Involved in Striatal Synaptic Plasticity are Sensitive to Temporal Pattern and Exhibit Spatial Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Kim, BoHung; Hawes, Sarah L.; Gillani, Fawad; Wallace, Lane J.; Blackwell, Kim T.

    2013-01-01

    The basal ganglia is a brain region critically involved in reinforcement learning and motor control. Synaptic plasticity in the striatum of the basal ganglia is a cellular mechanism implicated in learning and neuronal information processing. Therefore, understanding how different spatio-temporal patterns of synaptic input select for different types of plasticity is key to understanding learning mechanisms. In striatal medium spiny projection neurons (MSPN), both long term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD) require an elevation in intracellular calcium concentration; however, it is unknown how the post-synaptic neuron discriminates between different patterns of calcium influx. Using computer modeling, we investigate the hypothesis that temporal pattern of stimulation can select for either endocannabinoid production (for LTD) or protein kinase C (PKC) activation (for LTP) in striatal MSPNs. We implement a stochastic model of the post-synaptic signaling pathways in a dendrite with one or more diffusionally coupled spines. The model is validated by comparison to experiments measuring endocannabinoid-dependent depolarization induced suppression of inhibition. Using the validated model, simulations demonstrate that theta burst stimulation, which produces LTP, increases the activation of PKC as compared to 20 Hz stimulation, which produces LTD. The model prediction that PKC activation is required for theta burst LTP is confirmed experimentally. Using the ratio of PKC to endocannabinoid production as an index of plasticity direction, model simulations demonstrate that LTP exhibits spine level spatial specificity, whereas LTD is more diffuse. These results suggest that spatio-temporal control of striatal information processing employs these Gq coupled pathways. PMID:23516346

  4. Interactions between behaviorally relevant rhythms and synaptic plasticity alter coding in the piriform cortex.

    PubMed

    Oswald, Anne-Marie M; Urban, Nathaniel N

    2012-05-01

    Understanding how neural and behavioral timescales interact to influence cortical activity and stimulus coding is an important issue in sensory neuroscience. In air-breathing animals, voluntary changes in respiratory frequency alter the temporal patterning olfactory input. In the olfactory bulb, these behavioral timescales are reflected in the temporal properties of mitral/tufted (M/T) cell spike trains. As the odor information contained in these spike trains is relayed from the bulb to the cortex, interactions between presynaptic spike timing and short-term synaptic plasticity dictate how stimulus features are represented in cortical spike trains. Here, we demonstrate how the timescales associated with respiratory frequency, spike timing, and short-term synaptic plasticity interact to shape cortical responses. Specifically, we quantified the timescales of short-term synaptic facilitation and depression at excitatory synapses between bulbar M/T cells and cortical neurons in slices of mouse olfactory cortex. We then used these results to generate simulated M/T population synaptic currents that were injected into real cortical neurons. M/T population inputs were modulated at frequencies consistent with passive respiration or active sniffing. We show how the differential recruitment of short-term plasticity at breathing versus sniffing frequencies alters cortical spike responses. For inputs at sniffing frequencies, cortical neurons linearly encoded increases in presynaptic firing rates with increased phase-locked, firing rates. In contrast, at passive breathing frequencies, cortical responses saturated with changes in presynaptic rate. Our results suggest that changes in respiratory behavior can gate the transfer of stimulus information between the olfactory bulb and cortex.

  5. Multiple forms of long-term synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses onto interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Emilio J.; Cosgrove, Kathleen E.; Barrionuevo, Germán

    2010-01-01

    The hippocampal mossy fiber (MF) pathway originates from the dentate gyrus granule cells and provides a powerful excitatory synaptic drive to neurons in the dentate gyrus hilus and area CA3. Much of the early work on the MF pathway focused on its electrophysiological properties, and ability to drive CA3 pyramidal cell activity. Over the last ten years, however, a new focus on the synaptic interaction between granule cells with inhibitory interneurons has emerged. These data have revealed an immense heterogeneity of long-term plasticity at MF synapses on various interneuron targets. Interestingly, these studies also indicate that the mechanisms of MF long-term plasticity in some interneuron subtypes may be more similar to pyramidal cells than previously appreciated. In this review, we first define the synapse types at each of the interneuron targets based on the receptors present. We then describe the different forms of long-term plasticity observed, and the mechanisms underlying each form as they are currently understood. Finally we highlight various open questions surrounding MF long-term plasticity in interneurons, focusing specifically on the induction and maintenance of LTP, and what the functional impact of persistent changes in efficacy at MF – interneuron synapses might be on the emergent properties of the inhibitory network dynamics in area CA3. PMID:21093459

  6. Nogo Receptor Signaling Restricts Adult Neural Plasticity by Limiting Synaptic AMPA Receptor Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Jitsuki, Susumu; Nakajima, Waki; Takemoto, Kiwamu; Sano, Akane; Tada, Hirobumi; Takahashi-Jitsuki, Aoi; Takahashi, Takuya

    2016-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity is limited in the adult brain, and its molecular and cellular mechanisms are poorly understood. Removal of the myelin-inhibiting signaling protein, Nogo receptor (NgR1), restores adult neural plasticity. Here we found that, in NgR1-deficient mice, whisker experience-driven synaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) insertion in the barrel cortex, which is normally complete by 2 weeks after birth, lasts into adulthood. In vivo live imaging by two-photon microscopy revealed more AMPAR on the surface of spines in the adult barrel cortex of NgR1-deficient than on those of wild-type (WT) mice. Furthermore, we observed that whisker stimulation produced new spines in the adult barrel cortex of mutant but not WT mice, and that the newly synthesized spines contained surface AMPAR. These results suggest that Nogo signaling limits plasticity by restricting synaptic AMPAR delivery in coordination with anatomical plasticity. PMID:26472557

  7. PLPP/CIN regulates bidirectional synaptic plasticity via GluN2A interaction with postsynaptic proteins

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Ji-Eun; Kim, Yeon-Joo; Lee, Duk-Shin; Kim, Ji Yang; Ko, Ah-Reum; Hyun, Hye-Won; Kim, Min Ju; Kang, Tae-Cheon

    2016-01-01

    Dendritic spines are dynamic structures whose efficacies and morphologies are modulated by activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. The actin cytoskeleton plays an important role in stabilization and structural modification of spines. However, the regulatory mechanism by which it alters the plasticity threshold remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate the role of pyridoxal-5′-phosphate phosphatase/chronophin (PLPP/CIN), one of the cofilin-mediated F-actin regulators, in modulating synaptic plasticity in vivo. PLPP/CIN transgenic (Tg) mice had immature spines with small heads, while PLPP/CIN knockout (KO) mice had gigantic spines. Furthermore, PLPP/CIN Tg mice exhibited enhanced synaptic plasticity, but KO mice showed abnormal synaptic plasticity. The PLPP/CIN-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity were consistent with the acquisition and the recall capacity of spatial learning. PLPP/CIN also enhanced N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (GluN) functionality by regulating the coupling of GluN2A with interacting proteins, particularly postsynaptic density-95 (PSD95). Therefore, these results suggest that PLPP/CIN may be an important factor for regulating the plasticity threshold. PMID:27212638

  8. Chronic Social Stress Affects Synaptic Maturation of Newly Generated Neurons in the Adult Mouse Dentate Gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chien-Chung; Huang, Chiung-Chun

    2016-01-01

    Background: Chronic stress has been found to suppress adult neurogenesis, but it remains unclear whether it may affect the maturation process of adult-born neurons. Here, we examined the influence of chronic social defeat stress on the morphological and electrophysiological properties of adult-born dentate granule cells at different developmental stages. Methods: Adult C57BL/6 mice were subjected to 10 days of chronic social defeat stress followed by a social interaction test 24 hours after the last defeat. Defeated mice were segregated into susceptible and unsusceptible subpopulations based on a measure of social interaction test. Combining electrophysiology with retrovirus-mediated birth-dating and labeling, we examined the impact of chronic social defeat stress on temporal regulation of synaptic plasticity of adult-born dentate granule cells along their maturation. Results: Chronic social defeat stress decreases the survival and dendritic complexity of adult-born dentate granule cells. While chronic social defeat stress doesn’t alter the intrinsic electrophysiological properties and synaptic transmission of surviving adult-born dentate granule cells, it promotes the developmental switch in synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors from predominant GluN2B- to GluN2A-containing receptors, which transform the immature synapse of adult-born dentate granule cells from one that exhibits enhanced long-term potentiation to one that has normal levels of long-term potentiation. Furthermore, chronic social defeat stress increases the level of endogenous repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor mRNA in adult-born dentate granule cells, and knockdown of the repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor in adult-born dentate granule cells rescues chronic social defeat stress-induced morphological deficits and accelerated developmental switch in synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit composition. Conclusions: These results uncover a previously

  9. The transformation of synaptic to system plasticity in motor output from the sacral cord of the adult mouse.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Mingchen C; Elbasiouny, Sherif M; Collins, William F; Heckman, C J

    2015-09-01

    Synaptic plasticity is fundamental in shaping the output of neural networks. The transformation of synaptic plasticity at the cellular level into plasticity at the system level involves multiple factors, including behavior of local networks of interneurons. Here we investigate the synaptic to system transformation for plasticity in motor output in an in vitro preparation of the adult mouse spinal cord. System plasticity was assessed from compound action potentials (APs) in spinal ventral roots, which were generated simultaneously by the axons of many motoneurons (MNs). Synaptic plasticity was assessed from intracellular recordings of MNs. A computer model of the MN pool was used to identify the middle steps in the transformation from synaptic to system behavior. Two input systems that converge on the same MN pool were studied: one sensory and one descending. The two synaptic input systems generated very different motor outputs, with sensory stimulation consistently evoking short-term depression (STD) whereas descending stimulation had bimodal plasticity: STD at low frequencies but short-term facilitation (STF) at high frequencies. Intracellular and pharmacological studies revealed contributions from monosynaptic excitation and stimulus time-locked inhibition but also considerable asynchronous excitation sustained from local network activity. The computer simulations showed that STD in the monosynaptic excitatory input was the primary driver of the system STD in the sensory input whereas network excitation underlies the bimodal plasticity in the descending system. These results provide insight on the roles of plasticity in the monosynaptic and polysynaptic inputs converging on the same MN pool to overall motor plasticity. PMID:26203107

  10. Blockade of 2-arachidonoylglycerol hydrolysis produces antidepressant-like effects and enhances adult hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhen; Wang, Wei; Zhong, Peng; Liu, Sarah J; Long, Jonathan Z; Zhao, Li; Gao, Hai-qing; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Liu, Qing-song

    2015-01-01

    The endocannabinoid ligand 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is inactivated primarily by monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). We have shown recently that chronic treatments with MAGL inhibitor JZL184 produce antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects in a chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) model of depression in mice. However, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis has been implicated in animal models of anxiety and depression and behavioral effects of antidepressants. We tested whether CUS and chronic JZL184 treatments affected adult neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus (DG) of mouse hippocampus. We report that CUS induced depressive-like behaviors and decreased the number of bromodeoxyuridine-labeled neural progenitor cells and doublecortin-positive immature neurons in the DG, while chronic JZL184 treatments prevented these behavioral and cellular deficits. We also investigated the effects of CUS and chronic JZL184 on a form long-term potentiation (LTP) in the DG known to be neurogenesis-dependent. CUS impaired LTP induction, whereas chronic JZL184 treatments restored LTP in CUS-exposed mice. These results suggest that enhanced adult neurogenesis and long-term synaptic plasticity in the DG of the hippocampus might contribute to antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like behavioral effects of JZL184.

  11. Inactivation of BRD7 results in impaired cognitive behavior and reduced synaptic plasticity of the medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yang; Cao, Wenyu; Zhou, Ming; Li, Changqi; Luo, Yanwei; Wang, Heran; Zhao, Ran; Jiang, Shihe; Yang, Jing; Liu, Yukun; Wang, Xinye; Li, Xiayu; Xiong, Wei; Ma, Jian; Peng, Shuping; Zeng, Zhaoyang; Li, Xiaoling; Tan, Ming; Li, Guiyuan

    2015-06-01

    BRD7 is a bromodomain-containing protein (BCP), and recent evidence implicates the role of BCPs in the initiation and development of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, few studies have investigated the biological functions of BRD7 in the central nervous system. In our study, BRD7 was found to be widely expressed in various regions of the mouse brain, including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), caudate putamen (CPu), hippocampus (Hip), midbrain (Mb), cerebellum (Cb), and mainly co-localized with neuron but not with glia. Using a BRD7 knockout mouse model and a battery of behavioral tests, we report that disruption of BRD7 results in impaired cognitive behavior leaving the emotional behavior unaffected. Moreover, a series of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity were decreased in the medial prefrontal cortex and there was a concomitant decrease in neuronal spine density and dendritic branching in the medial prefrontal cortex. However, no significant difference was found in the hippocampus compared to the wild-type mice. Thus, BRD7 might play a critical role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and affect cognitive behavior. PMID:25721744

  12. Miglustat Reverts the Impairment of Synaptic Plasticity in a Mouse Model of NPC Disease

    PubMed Central

    D'Arcangelo, G.; Grossi, D.; Racaniello, M.; Cardinale, A.; Zaratti, A.; Rufini, S.; Cutarelli, A.; Tancredi, V.; Merlo, D.; Frank, C.

    2016-01-01

    Niemann-Pick type C disease is an autosomal recessive storage disorder, characterized by abnormal sequestration of unesterified cholesterol within the late endolysosomal compartment of cells and accumulation of gangliosides and other sphingolipids. Progressive neurological deterioration and insurgence of symptoms like ataxia, seizure, and cognitive decline until severe dementia are pathognomonic features of the disease. Here, we studied synaptic plasticity phenomena and evaluated ERKs activation in the hippocampus of BALB/c NPC1−/− mice, a well described animal model of the disease. Our results demonstrated an impairment of both induction and maintenance of long term synaptic potentiation in NPC1−/− mouse slices, associated with the lack of ERKs phosphorylation. We then investigated the effects of Miglustat, a recent approved drug for the treatment of NPCD. We found that in vivo Miglustat administration in NPC1−/− mice was able to rescue synaptic plasticity deficits, to restore ERKs activation and to counteract hyperexcitability. Overall, these data indicate that Miglustat may be effective for treating the neurological deficits associated with NPCD, such as seizures and dementia. PMID:26885401

  13. Altered synaptic plasticity in the mossy fibre pathway of transgenic mice expressing mutant amyloid precursor protein

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Aβ peptides derived from the cleavage of amyloid precursor protein are widely believed to play an important role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease. A common way to study the impact of these molecules on CNS function is to compare the physiology of transgenic mice that overproduce Aβ with non-transgenic animals. In the hippocampus, this approach has been frequently applied to the investigation of synaptic transmission and plasticity in the perforant and Schaffer collateral commissural pathways, the first and third components of the classical hippocampal trisynaptic circuit, respectively. Similar studies however have not been carried out on the remaining component of the trisynaptic circuit, the mossy fibre pathway. Using transverse hippocampal slices prepared from ~2 year old animals we have compared mossy fibre synaptic function in wild-type mice and their Tg2576 littermates which age-dependently overproduce Aβ. Input-output curves were not altered in slices from Tg2576 mice, but these animals exhibited a significant loss of the prominent frequency-facilitation expressed by the mossy fibre pathway. In addition to this change in short term synaptic plasticity, high frequency stimulation-induced, NMDA-receptor-independent LTP was absent in slices from the transgenic mice. These data represent the first description of functional deficits in the mossy fibre pathway of Aβ-overproducing transgenic mice. PMID:21040543

  14. Applicability of the coefficient of variation method for analyzing synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed Central

    Faber, D S; Korn, H

    1991-01-01

    The classical coefficient of variation method for "quantal" analysis of synaptic responses allows unambiguous identification of pre- and postsynaptic loci underlying synaptic plasticity only when extensive simplifying restrictions are made. They include invariance of quantal parameters and the assumption that a single afferent produces the evoked potentials or currents. More general theoretical formulations and simulations demonstrate that the standard criteria do not always provide useful guidelines because when the other sources of physiological variance are included, putative pre- and postsynaptic domains may overlap. For example, data typically interpreted as indicating modifications at both sites can be due to a mechanism localized to only one of the two, if parameter variances are taken into consideration in the case of a single input cell, or if there are multiple inputs and the stimulus does not activate all of them reliably. With this perspective, other physiologically realistic hypotheses relevant to the expression of synaptic plasticity, such as that during long-term potentiation, can be envisioned. PMID:1684726

  15. Mind Bomb-2 Regulates Hippocampus-dependent Memory Formation and Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Somi; Kim, TaeHyun; Lee, Hye-Ryeon; Kong, Young-Yun; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2015-11-01

    Notch signaling is a key regulator of neuronal fate during embryonic development, but its function in the adult brain is still largely unknown. Mind bomb-2 (Mib2) is an essential positive regulator of the Notch pathway, which acts in the Notch signal-sending cells. Therefore, genetic deletion of Mib2 in the mouse brain might help understand Notch signaling-mediated cell-cell interactions between neurons and their physiological function. Here we show that deletion of Mib2 in the mouse brain results in impaired hippocampal spatial memory and contextual fear memory. Accordingly, we found impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity in Mib2 knock-out (KO) mice; however, basal synaptic transmission did not change at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses. Using western blot analysis, we found that the level of cleaved Notch1 was lower in Mib2 KO mice than in wild type (WT) littermates after mild foot shock. Taken together, these data suggest that Mib2 plays a critical role in synaptic plasticity and spatial memory through the Notch signaling pathway.

  16. Facilitated CA1 hippocampal synaptic plasticity in dystrophin-deficient mice: role for GABAA receptors?

    PubMed

    Vaillend, Cyrille; Billard, Jean-Marie

    2002-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is associated with cognitive deficits that may result from a deficiency in the brain isoform of the cytoskeletal membrane-associated protein, dystrophin. CA1 hippocampal short-term potentiation (STP) of synaptic transmission is increased in dystrophin-deficient mdx mice, which has been attributed to a facilitated activation of NMDA receptors. In this study, extracellular recordings in the hippocampal slice preparation were used first to determine the consequences of this alteration on short-term depression (STD). STD induction was facilitated in mdx as compared with wild-type mice in a control medium. Because brain dystrophin deficiency results in a decreased number of gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA)-receptor clusters, we tested the hypothesis that neuronal disinhibition contributes to the enhanced synaptic plasticity in mdx mice. We found that the GABAA receptor antagonist, bicuculline, increased basal neurotransmission in wild-type, but not in mdx mice and prevented the enhanced STP and STD in the CA1 area of slices from mdx mice. The possibility that altered GABA mechanisms underlie the facilitation of NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in mdx mice is discussed.

  17. UBE3A Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning and Memory by Controlling SK2 Channel Endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jiandong; Zhu, Guoqi; Liu, Yan; Standley, Steve; Ji, Angela; Tunuguntla, Rashmi; Wang, Yubin; Claus, Chad; Luo, Yun; Baudry, Michel; Bi, Xiaoning

    2015-07-21

    Gated solely by activity-induced changes in intracellular calcium, small-conductance potassium channels (SKs) are critical for a variety of functions in the CNS, from learning and memory to rhythmic activity and sleep. While there is a wealth of information on SK2 gating, kinetics, and Ca(2+) sensitivity, little is known regarding the regulation of SK2 subcellular localization. We report here that synaptic SK2 levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase UBE3A, whose deficiency results in Angelman syndrome and overexpression in increased risk of autistic spectrum disorder. UBE3A directly ubiquitinates SK2 in the C-terminal domain, which facilitates endocytosis. In UBE3A-deficient mice, increased postsynaptic SK2 levels result in decreased NMDA receptor activation, thereby impairing hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity. Impairments in both synaptic plasticity and fear conditioning memory in UBE3A-deficient mice are significantly ameliorated by blocking SK2. These results elucidate a mechanism by which UBE3A directly influences cognitive function. PMID:26166566

  18. Mind Bomb-2 Regulates Hippocampus-dependent Memory Formation and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Somi; Kim, TaeHyun; Lee, Hye-Ryeon; Kong, Young-Yun

    2015-01-01

    Notch signaling is a key regulator of neuronal fate during embryonic development, but its function in the adult brain is still largely unknown. Mind bomb-2 (Mib2) is an essential positive regulator of the Notch pathway, which acts in the Notch signal-sending cells. Therefore, genetic deletion of Mib2 in the mouse brain might help understand Notch signaling-mediated cell-cell interactions between neurons and their physiological function. Here we show that deletion of Mib2 in the mouse brain results in impaired hippocampal spatial memory and contextual fear memory. Accordingly, we found impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity in Mib2 knock-out (KO) mice; however, basal synaptic transmission did not change at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses. Using western blot analysis, we found that the level of cleaved Notch1 was lower in Mib2 KO mice than in wild type (WT) littermates after mild foot shock. Taken together, these data suggest that Mib2 plays a critical role in synaptic plasticity and spatial memory through the Notch signaling pathway. PMID:26557018

  19. Calcineurin inhibition rescues early synaptic plasticity deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Cavallucci, Virve; Berretta, Nicola; Nobili, Annalisa; Nisticò, Robert; Mercuri, Nicola B; D'Amelio, Marcello

    2013-09-01

    Functional and ultrastructural investigations support the concept that altered brain connectivity, exhausted neural plasticity, and synaptic loss are the strongest correlates of cognitive decline in age-related neurodegenerative dementia of Alzheimer's type. We have previously demonstrated that in transgenic mice, expressing amyloid-β precursor protein-Swedish mutation active caspase-3 accumulates in hippocampal postsynaptic compartments leading to altered postsynaptic density (PSD) composition, increased long-term depression (LTD), and dendritic spine loss. Furthermore, we found strong evidence that dendritic spine alteration is mediated by calcineurin activation, a calcium-dependent phosphatase involved in synapse signaling. In the present work, we analyzed the molecular mechanism linking alteration of synaptic plasticity to the increase of calcineurin activity. We found that acute treatment of young and plaque-free transgenic mice with the calcineurin inhibitor FK506 leads to a complete rescue of LTD and PSD composition. Our findings are in agreement with other results reporting that calcineurin inhibition improves memory function and restores dendritic spine density, confirming that calcineurin inhibition may be explored as a neuroprotective treatment to stop or slowdown synaptic alterations in Alzheimer's disease.

  20. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 governs learning and synaptic plasticity via control of NMDAR degradation.

    PubMed

    Hawasli, Ammar H; Benavides, David R; Nguyen, Chan; Kansy, Janice W; Hayashi, Kanehiro; Chambon, Pierre; Greengard, Paul; Powell, Craig M; Cooper, Donald C; Bibb, James A

    2007-07-01

    Learning is accompanied by modulation of postsynaptic signal transduction pathways in neurons. Although the neuronal protein kinase cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) has been implicated in cognitive disorders, its role in learning has been obscured by the perinatal lethality of constitutive knockout mice. Here we report that conditional knockout of Cdk5 in the adult mouse brain improved performance in spatial learning tasks and enhanced hippocampal long-term potentiation and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents. Enhanced synaptic plasticity in Cdk5 knockout mice was attributed to reduced NR2B degradation, which caused elevations in total, surface and synaptic NR2B subunit levels and current through NR2B-containing NMDARs. Cdk5 facilitated the degradation of NR2B by directly interacting with both it and its protease, calpain. These findings reveal a previously unknown mechanism by which Cdk5 facilitates calpain-mediated proteolysis of NR2B and may control synaptic plasticity and learning.

  1. Proteostasis and RNA Binding Proteins in Synaptic Plasticity and in the Pathogenesis of Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Matthew E.; Monday, Hannah; Jordan, Bryen A.

    2016-01-01

    Decades of research have demonstrated that rapid alterations in protein abundance are required for synaptic plasticity, a cellular correlate for learning and memory. Control of protein abundance, known as proteostasis, is achieved across a complex neuronal morphology that includes a tortuous axon as well as an extensive dendritic arbor supporting thousands of individual synaptic compartments. To regulate the spatiotemporal synthesis of proteins, neurons must efficiently coordinate the transport and metabolism of mRNAs. Among multiple levels of regulation, transacting RNA binding proteins (RBPs) control proteostasis by binding to mRNAs and mediating their transport and translation in response to synaptic activity. In addition to synthesis, protein degradation must be carefully balanced for optimal proteostasis, as deviations resulting in excess or insufficient abundance of key synaptic factors produce pathologies. As such, mutations in components of the proteasomal or translational machinery, including RBPs, have been linked to the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS), and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In this review, we summarize recent scientific findings, highlight ongoing questions, and link basic molecular mechanisms to the pathogenesis of common neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26904297

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. More than synaptic plasticity: Role of nonsynaptic plasticity in learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    Mozzachiodi, Riccardo; Byrne, John H.

    2009-01-01

    Decades of research on the cellular mechanisms of memory have led to the widely-held view that memories are stored as modifications of synaptic strength. These changes involve presynaptic processes, such as direct modulation of the release machinery, or postsynaptic processes, such as modulation of receptor properties. Parallel studies have revealed that memories may also be stored by nonsynaptic processes, such as modulation of voltage-dependent membrane conductances, which are expressed as changes in neuronal excitability. Although in some cases nonsynaptic changes may function as part of the engram itself, they may also serve as mechanisms through which a neural circuit is set to a permissive state to facilitate synaptic modifications that are necessary for memory storage. PMID:19889466

  4. A role for the protein phosphatase 2B in altered hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the aged rat.

    PubMed

    Jouvenceau, Anne; Dutar, Patrick

    2006-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity following NMDA application on hippocampal slices from young (3-5 months) and aged (24-27 months) rats was compared. In young rats, NMDA (20 microM) induced opposite effects depending on the duration of the application. A short (1 min) or long (5 min) application induced a long-term depression of synaptic activity while a 3 min application induced a potentiation. In aged rats, however, NMDA application always induced depression, regardless of the duration. To identify mechanisms which could explain the difference observed between young and aged rats, we explored changes in NMDA receptor activation and changes in kinase/phosphatase balance. We first demonstrate that the potentiation present in slices from young rats was not restored in aged rats by exogenous application of the co-agonist of NMDA receptor d-serine (which compensates for the changes in NMDAR activation seen in aged rats). This suggested that alterations in synaptic plasticity activation mainly involve intracellular mechanisms. We next showed that the participation of the kinases PKA and CaMKII in the NMDA-induced potentiation in young rats is negligible. Finally, we determined the consequences of phosphatase inhibition in aged rats. Incubation of slices in okadaic acid (a PP1/PP2B antagonist) did not affect the depression induced by a 3min NMDA application in aged rats. The PP2B antagonist FK506 restored potentiation in aged rats (3 min NMDA application). In hippocampal neurons from aged rats, a depression is always observed, suggesting a preferential activation of PP2B by NMDA in these neurons.

  5. Neuroligin 1 regulates spines and synaptic plasticity via LIMK1/cofilin-mediated actin reorganization

    PubMed Central

    Liu, An; Zhou, Zikai; Dang, Rui; Zhu, Yuehua; Qi, Junxia; He, Guiqin; Leung, Celeste; Pak, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Neuroligin (NLG) 1 is important for synapse development and function, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. It is known that at least some aspects of NLG1 function are independent of the presynaptic neurexin, suggesting that the C-terminal domain (CTD) of NLG1 may be sufficient for synaptic regulation. In addition, NLG1 is subjected to activity-dependent proteolytic cleavage, generating a cytosolic CTD fragment, but the significance of this process remains unknown. In this study, we show that the CTD of NLG1 is sufficient to (a) enhance spine and synapse number, (b) modulate synaptic plasticity, and (c) exert these effects via its interaction with spine-associated Rap guanosine triphosphatase–activating protein and subsequent activation of LIM-domain protein kinase 1/cofilin–mediated actin reorganization. Our results provide a novel postsynaptic mechanism by which NLG1 regulates synapse development and function. PMID:26880202

  6. Neuroligin 1 regulates spines and synaptic plasticity via LIMK1/cofilin-mediated actin reorganization.

    PubMed

    Liu, An; Zhou, Zikai; Dang, Rui; Zhu, Yuehua; Qi, Junxia; He, Guiqin; Leung, Celeste; Pak, Daniel; Jia, Zhengping; Xie, Wei

    2016-02-15

    Neuroligin (NLG) 1 is important for synapse development and function, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. It is known that at least some aspects of NLG1 function are independent of the presynaptic neurexin, suggesting that the C-terminal domain (CTD) of NLG1 may be sufficient for synaptic regulation. In addition, NLG1 is subjected to activity-dependent proteolytic cleavage, generating a cytosolic CTD fragment, but the significance of this process remains unknown. In this study, we show that the CTD of NLG1 is sufficient to (a) enhance spine and synapse number, (b) modulate synaptic plasticity, and (c) exert these effects via its interaction with spine-associated Rap guanosine triphosphatase-activating protein and subsequent activation of LIM-domain protein kinase 1/cofilin-mediated actin reorganization. Our results provide a novel postsynaptic mechanism by which NLG1 regulates synapse development and function. PMID:26880202

  7. Exocytosis of gliotransmitters from cortical astrocytes: implications for synaptic plasticity and aging.

    PubMed

    Lalo, Ulyana; Rasooli-Nejad, Seyed; Pankratov, Yuriy

    2014-10-01

    Maintaining brain function during aging is very important for mental and physical health. Recent studies showed a crucial importance of communication between two major types of brain cells: neurons transmitting electrical signals, and glial cells, which maintain the well-being and function of neurons. Still, the study of age-related changes in neuron-glia signalling is far from complete. We have shown previously that cortical astrocytes are capable of releasing ATP by a quantal soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex-dependent mechanism. Release of ATP from cortical astrocytes can be activated via various pathways, including direct UV-uncaging of intracellular Ca²⁺ or G-protein-coupled receptors. Importantly, release of both ATP and glutamate from neocortical astrocytes was not observed in brain slices of dominant-negative SNARE (dnSNARE) mice, expressing dnSNARE domain selectively in astrocytes. We also discovered that astrocyte-driven ATP can cause significant attenuation of synaptic inhibition in the pyramidal neurons via Ca²⁺-interaction between the neuronal ATP and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Furthermore, we showed that astrocyte-derived ATP can facilitate the induction of long-term potentiation of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex. Our recent data have shown that an age-related decrease in the astroglial Ca²⁺ signalling can cause a substantial decrease in the exocytosis of gliotransmitters, in particular ATP. Age-related impairment of ATP release from cortical astrocytes can cause a decrease in the extent of astroglial modulation of synaptic transmission in the neocortex and can therefore contribute to the age-related impairment of synaptic plasticity and cognitive decline. Combined, our results strongly support the physiological relevance of glial exocytosis for glia-neuron communications and brain function. PMID:25233403

  8. Role for astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors in gliotransmission and control of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Pankratov, Yuriy; Lalo, Ulyana

    2015-01-01

    Communication between neuronal and glial cells is thought to be very important for many brain functions. Acting via release of gliotransmitters, astrocytes can modulate synaptic strength. The mechanisms underlying gliotransmission remain uncertain with exocytosis being the most intriguing and debated pathway. We demonstrate that astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors are very sensitive to noradrenaline (NA) and make a significant contribution to intracellular Ca2+-signaling in layer 2/3 neocortical astrocytes. We also show that astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors are prone to desensitization upon prolonged exposure to NA. We show that within neocortical slices, α-1adrenoreceptors can activate vesicular release of ATP and D-serine from cortical astrocytes which initiate a burst of ATP receptor-mediated currents in adjacent pyramidal neurons. These purinergic currents can be inhibited by intracellular perfusion of astrocytes with Tetanus Toxin light chain, verifying their origin via astroglial exocytosis. We show that α1 adrenoreceptor-activated release of gliotransmitters is important for the induction of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex:long-term potentiation (LTP) of neocortical excitatory synaptic potentials can be abolished by the selective α1-adrenoreceptor antagonist terazosin. We show that weak sub-threshold theta-burst stimulation (TBS) can induce LTP when astrocytes are additionally activated by 1 μM NA. This facilitation is dependent on the activation of neuronal ATP receptors and is abolished in neocortical slices from dn-SNARE mice which have impaired glial exocytosis. Importantly, facilitation of LTP by NA can be significantly reduced by perfusion of individual astrocytes with Tetanus Toxin. Our results strongly support the physiological importance of astroglial adrenergic signaling and exocytosis of gliotransmitters for modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity. PMID:26136663

  9. Self-assembly and plasticity of synaptic domains through a reaction-diffusion mechanism.

    PubMed

    Haselwandter, Christoph A; Kardar, Mehran; Triller, Antoine; da Silveira, Rava Azeredo

    2015-09-01

    Signal transmission across chemical synapses relies crucially on neurotransmitter receptor molecules, concentrated in postsynaptic membrane domains along with scaffold and other postsynaptic molecules. The strength of the transmitted signal depends on the number of receptor molecules in postsynaptic domains, and activity-induced variation in the receptor number is one of the mechanisms of postsynaptic plasticity. Recent experiments have demonstrated that the reaction and diffusion properties of receptors and scaffolds at the membrane, alone, yield spontaneous formation of receptor-scaffold domains of the stable characteristic size observed in neurons. On the basis of these experiments we develop a model describing synaptic receptor domains in terms of the underlying reaction-diffusion processes. Our model predicts that the spontaneous formation of receptor-scaffold domains of the stable characteristic size observed in experiments depends on a few key reactions between receptors and scaffolds. Furthermore, our model suggests novel mechanisms for the alignment of pre- and postsynaptic domains and for short-term postsynaptic plasticity in receptor number. We predict that synaptic receptor domains localize in membrane regions with an increased receptor diffusion coefficient or a decreased scaffold diffusion coefficient. Similarly, we find that activity-dependent increases or decreases in receptor or scaffold diffusion yield a transient increase in the number of receptor molecules concentrated in postsynaptic domains. Thus, the proposed reaction-diffusion model puts forth a coherent set of biophysical mechanisms for the formation, stability, and plasticity of molecular domains on the postsynaptic membrane.

  10. Role of Immediate-Early Genes in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Ensembles Underlying the Memory Trace

    PubMed Central

    Minatohara, Keiichiro; Akiyoshi, Mika; Okuno, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    In the brain, neuronal gene expression is dynamically changed in response to neuronal activity. In particular, the expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs) such as egr-1, c-fos, and Arc is rapidly and selectively upregulated in subsets of neurons in specific brain regions associated with learning and memory formation. IEG expression has therefore been widely used as a molecular marker for neuronal populations that undergo plastic changes underlying formation of long-term memory. In recent years, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic studies of neurons expressing c-fos or Arc have revealed that, during learning, IEG-positive neurons encode and store information that is required for memory recall, suggesting that they may be involved in formation of the memory trace. However, despite accumulating evidence for the role of IEGs in synaptic plasticity, the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with this process remain unclear. In this review, we first summarize recent literature concerning the role of IEG-expressing neuronal ensembles in organizing the memory trace. We then focus on the physiological significance of IEGs, especially Arc, in synaptic plasticity, and describe our hypotheses about the importance of Arc expression in various types of input-specific circuit reorganization. Finally, we offer perspectives on Arc function that would unveil the role of IEG-expressing neurons in the formation of memory traces in the hippocampus and other brain areas. PMID:26778955

  11. The role of agrin in synaptic development, plasticity and signaling in the central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Daniels, Mathew P

    2012-11-01

    Development of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) requires secretion of specific isoforms of the proteoglycan agrin by motor neurons. Secreted agrin is widely expressed in the basal lamina of various tissues, whereas a transmembrane form is highly expressed in the brain. Expression in the brain is greatest during the period of synaptogenesis, but remains high in regions of the adult brain that show extensive synaptic plasticity. The well-established role of agrin in NMJ development and its presence in the brain elicited investigations of its possible role in synaptogenesis in the brain. Initial studies on the embryonic brain and neuronal cultures of agrin-null mice did not reveal any defects in synaptogenesis. However, subsequent studies in culture demonstrated inhibition of synaptogenesis by agrin antisense oligonucleotides or agrin siRNA. More recently, a substantial loss of excitatory synapses was found in the brains of transgenic adult mice that lacked agrin expression everywhere but in motor neurons. The mechanisms by which agrin influences synapse formation, maintenance and plasticity may include enhancement of excitatory synaptic signaling, activation of the "muscle-specific" receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK) and positive regulation of dendritic filopodia. In this article I will review the evidence that agrin regulates synapse development, plasticity and signaling in the brain and discuss the evidence for the proposed mechanisms.

  12. Role of F3/contactin expression profile in synaptic plasticity and memory in aged mice.

    PubMed

    Puzzo, Daniela; Bizzoca, Antonella; Loreto, Carla; Guida, Chiara A; Gulisano, Walter; Frasca, Giuseppina; Bellomo, Maria; Castorina, Sergio; Gennarini, Gianfranco; Palmeri, Agostino

    2015-04-01

    We have recently shown that overexpression of the F3/contactin adhesive glycoprotein (also known as Contactin-1) promotes neurogenesis in adult hippocampus, which correlates with improved synaptic plasticity and memory. Because F3/contactin levels physiologically decrease with age, here, we aim at investigating whether its overexpression might counteract the cognitive decline in aged animals. For this we use 20- to 24-month-old TAG/F3 transgenic mice in which F3/contactin overexpression is driven by regulatory sequences from the gene encoding the transient axonal glycoprotein TAG-1 throughout development. We show that aged TAG/F3 mice display improved hippocampal long-term potentiation and memory compared with wild-type littermates. The same mice undergo a decrease of neuronal apoptosis at the hippocampal level, which correlated to a decrease of active caspase-3; by contrast, procaspase-3 and Bax as well as the anti-apoptotic and plasticity-related pathway BDNF/CREB/Bcl-2 were rather increased. Interestingly, amyloid-precursor protein processing was shifted toward sAPPα generation, with a decrease of sAPPβ and amyloid-beta levels. Our data confirm that F3/contactin plays a role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory also in aged mice, suggesting that it acts on molecular pathways related to apoptosis and amyloid-beta production.

  13. Regulation of AMPA receptor surface trafficking and synaptic plasticity by a cognitive enhancer and antidepressant molecule.

    PubMed

    Zhang, H; Etherington, L-A; Hafner, A-S; Belelli, D; Coussen, F; Delagrange, P; Chaouloff, F; Spedding, M; Lambert, J J; Choquet, D; Groc, L

    2013-04-01

    The plasticity of excitatory synapses is an essential brain process involved in cognitive functions, and dysfunctions of such adaptations have been linked to psychiatric disorders such as depression. Although the intracellular cascades that are altered in models of depression and stress-related disorders have been under considerable scrutiny, the molecular interplay between antidepressants and glutamatergic signaling remains elusive. Using a combination of electrophysiological and single nanoparticle tracking approaches, we here report that the cognitive enhancer and antidepressant tianeptine (S 1574, [3-chloro-6-methyl-5,5-dioxo-6,11-dihydro-(c,f)-dibenzo-(1,2-thiazepine)-11-yl) amino]-7 heptanoic acid, sodium salt) favors synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons both under basal conditions and after acute stress. Strikingly, tianeptine rapidly reduces the surface diffusion of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) through a Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII)-dependent mechanism that enhances the binding of AMPAR auxiliary subunit stargazin with PSD-95. This prevents corticosterone-induced AMPAR surface dispersal and restores long-term potentiation of acutely stressed mice. Collectively, these data provide the first evidence that a therapeutically used drug targets the surface diffusion of AMPAR through a CaMKII-stargazin-PSD-95 pathway, to promote long-term synaptic plasticity. PMID:22733125

  14. The Role of Agrin in Synaptic Development, Plasticity and Signaling in the Central Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Daniels, Mathew P.

    2012-01-01

    Development of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) requires secretion of specific isoforms of the proteoglycan agrin by motor neurons. Secreted agrin is widely expressed in the basal lamina of various tissues, whereas a transmembrane form is highly expressed in the brain. Expression in the brain is greatest during the period of synaptogenesis, but remains high in regions of the adult brain that show extensive synaptic plasticity. The well-established role of agrin in NMJ development and its presence in the brain elicited investigations of its possible role in synaptogenesis in the brain. Initial studies on the embryonic brain and neuronal cultures of agrin-null mice did not reveal any defects in synaptogenesis. However, subsequent studies in culture demonstrated inhibition of synaptogenesis by agrin antisense oligonucleotides or agrin siRNA. More recently, a substantial loss of excitatory synapses was found in the brains of transgenic adult mice that lacked agrin expression everywhere but in motor neurons. The mechanisms by which agrin influences synapse formation, maintenance and plasticity may include enhancement of excitatory synaptic signaling, activation of the “muscle-specific” receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK) and positive regulation of dendritic filopodia. In this article I will review the evidence that agrin regulates synapse development, plasticity and signaling in the brain and discuss the evidence for the proposed mechanisms. PMID:22414531

  15. Role of Immediate-Early Genes in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Ensembles Underlying the Memory Trace.

    PubMed

    Minatohara, Keiichiro; Akiyoshi, Mika; Okuno, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    In the brain, neuronal gene expression is dynamically changed in response to neuronal activity. In particular, the expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs) such as egr-1, c-fos, and Arc is rapidly and selectively upregulated in subsets of neurons in specific brain regions associated with learning and memory formation. IEG expression has therefore been widely used as a molecular marker for neuronal populations that undergo plastic changes underlying formation of long-term memory. In recent years, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic studies of neurons expressing c-fos or Arc have revealed that, during learning, IEG-positive neurons encode and store information that is required for memory recall, suggesting that they may be involved in formation of the memory trace. However, despite accumulating evidence for the role of IEGs in synaptic plasticity, the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with this process remain unclear. In this review, we first summarize recent literature concerning the role of IEG-expressing neuronal ensembles in organizing the memory trace. We then focus on the physiological significance of IEGs, especially Arc, in synaptic plasticity, and describe our hypotheses about the importance of Arc expression in various types of input-specific circuit reorganization. Finally, we offer perspectives on Arc function that would unveil the role of IEG-expressing neurons in the formation of memory traces in the hippocampus and other brain areas. PMID:26778955

  16. Discrete states of synaptic strength in a stochastic model of spike-timing-dependent plasticity.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Terry

    2010-01-01

    A stochastic model of spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) postulates that single synapses presented with a single spike pair exhibit all-or-none quantal jumps in synaptic strength. The amplitudes of the jumps are independent of spiking timing, but their probabilities do depend on spiking timing. By making the amplitudes of both upward and downward transitions equal, synapses then occupy only a discrete set of states of synaptic strength. We explore the impact of a finite, discrete set of strength states on our model, finding three principal results. First, a finite set of strength states limits the capacity of a single synapse to express the standard, exponential STDP curve. We derive the expression for the expected change in synaptic strength in response to a standard, experimental spike pair protocol, finding a deviation from exponential behavior. We fit our prediction to recent data from single dendritic spine heads, finding results that are somewhat better than exponential fits. Second, we show that the fixed-point dynamics of our model regulate the upward and downward transition probabilities so that these are on average equal, leading to a uniform distribution of synaptic strength states. However, third, under long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) protocols, these probabilities are unequal, skewing the distribution away from uniformity. If the number of states of strength is at least of order 10, then we find that three effective states of synaptic strength appear, consistent with some experimental data on ternary-strength synapses. On this view, LTP and LTD protocols may therefore be saturating protocols.

  17. Altered hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity in mice deficient in the PGE2 EP2 receptor

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hongwei; Zhang, Jian; Breyer, Richard M.; Chen, Chu

    2008-01-01

    Our laboratory demonstrated previously that PGE2-induced modulation of hippocampal synaptic transmission is via a presynaptic PGE2 EP2 receptor. However, little is known about whether the EP2 receptor is involved in hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Here we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) at the hippocampal perforant path synapses was impaired in mice deficient in the EP2 (KO), while membrane excitability and passive properties in granule neurons were normal. Importantly, escape latency in the water maze in EP2 KO was longer than that in age-matched EP2 wild-type littermates (WT). We also observed that LTP was potentiated in EP2 WT animals that received lipopolysaccharide (LPS, i.p.), but not in EP2 KO. Bath application of PGE2 or butaprost, an EP2 receptor agonist, increased synaptic transmission and decreased paired-pulses ratio (PPR) in EP2 WT mice, but failed to induce the changes in EP2 KO mice. Meanwhile, synaptic transmission was elevated by application of forskolin, an adenylyl cyclase activator, both in EP2 KO and WT animals. In addition, the PGE2-enhanced synaptic transmission was significantly attenuated by application of PKA, IP3 or MAPK inhibitors in EP2 WT animals. Our results show that hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity is impaired in mice deficient in the EP2, suggesting that PGE2-EP2 signaling is important for hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. PMID:19012750

  18. Unsupervised discrimination of patterns in spiking neural networks with excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Cho, Youngkwan

    2014-01-01

    A spiking neural network model is described for learning to discriminate among spatial patterns in an unsupervised manner. The network anatomy consists of source neurons that are activated by external inputs, a reservoir that resembles a generic cortical layer with an excitatory-inhibitory (EI) network and a sink layer of neurons for readout. Synaptic plasticity in the form of STDP is imposed on all the excitatory and inhibitory synapses at all times. While long-term excitatory STDP enables sparse and efficient learning of the salient features in inputs, inhibitory STDP enables this learning to be stable by establishing a balance between excitatory and inhibitory currents at each neuron in the network. The synaptic weights between source and reservoir neurons form a basis set for the input patterns. The neural trajectories generated in the reservoir due to input stimulation and lateral connections between reservoir neurons can be readout by the sink layer neurons. This activity is used for adaptation of synapses between reservoir and sink layer neurons. A new measure called the discriminability index (DI) is introduced to compute if the network can discriminate between old patterns already presented in an initial training session. The DI is also used to compute if the network adapts to new patterns without losing its ability to discriminate among old patterns. The final outcome is that the network is able to correctly discriminate between all patterns—both old and new. This result holds as long as inhibitory synapses employ STDP to continuously enable current balance in the network. The results suggest a possible direction for future investigation into how spiking neural networks could address the stability-plasticity question despite having continuous synaptic plasticity. PMID:25566045

  19. Unsupervised discrimination of patterns in spiking neural networks with excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Cho, Youngkwan

    2014-01-01

    A spiking neural network model is described for learning to discriminate among spatial patterns in an unsupervised manner. The network anatomy consists of source neurons that are activated by external inputs, a reservoir that resembles a generic cortical layer with an excitatory-inhibitory (EI) network and a sink layer of neurons for readout. Synaptic plasticity in the form of STDP is imposed on all the excitatory and inhibitory synapses at all times. While long-term excitatory STDP enables sparse and efficient learning of the salient features in inputs, inhibitory STDP enables this learning to be stable by establishing a balance between excitatory and inhibitory currents at each neuron in the network. The synaptic weights between source and reservoir neurons form a basis set for the input patterns. The neural trajectories generated in the reservoir due to input stimulation and lateral connections between reservoir neurons can be readout by the sink layer neurons. This activity is used for adaptation of synapses between reservoir and sink layer neurons. A new measure called the discriminability index (DI) is introduced to compute if the network can discriminate between old patterns already presented in an initial training session. The DI is also used to compute if the network adapts to new patterns without losing its ability to discriminate among old patterns. The final outcome is that the network is able to correctly discriminate between all patterns-both old and new. This result holds as long as inhibitory synapses employ STDP to continuously enable current balance in the network. The results suggest a possible direction for future investigation into how spiking neural networks could address the stability-plasticity question despite having continuous synaptic plasticity.

  20. Proteasome Modulates Positive and Negative Translational Regulators in Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Chenghai; Bach, Svitlana V.; Haynes, Kathryn A.

    2014-01-01

    Proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway appears to have a complex role in synaptic plasticity, but its various functions remain to be elucidated. Using late phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP) in the hippocampus of the mouse as a model for long-term synaptic plasticity, we previously showed that inhibition of the proteasome enhances induction but blocks maintenance of L-LTP. In this study, we investigated the possible mechanisms by which proteasome inhibition has opposite effects on L-LTP induction and maintenance. Our results show that inhibiting phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase or blocking the interaction between eukaryotic initiation factors 4E (eIF4E) and 4G (eIF4G) reduces the enhancement of L-LTP induction brought about by proteasome inhibition suggesting interplay between proteolysis and the signaling pathway mediated by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Also, proteasome inhibition leads to accumulation of translational activators in the mTOR pathway such as eIF4E and eukaryotic elongation factor 1A (eEF1A) early during L-LTP causing increased induction. Furthermore, inhibition of the proteasome causes a buildup of translational repressors, such as polyadenylate-binding protein interacting protein 2 (Paip2) and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 2 (4E-BP2), during late stages of L-LTP contributing to the blockade of L-LTP maintenance. Thus, the proteasome plays a critical role in regulating protein synthesis during L-LTP by tightly controlling translation. Our results provide novel mechanistic insights into the interplay between protein degradation and protein synthesis in long-term synaptic plasticity. PMID:24573276

  1. Involvement of ryanodine receptors in neurotrophin-induced hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory formation

    PubMed Central

    Adasme, Tatiana; Haeger, Paola; Paula-Lima, Andrea C.; Espinoza, Italo; Casas-Alarcón, M. Mercedes; Carrasco, M. Angélica; Hidalgo, Cecilia

    2011-01-01

    Ryanodine receptors (RyR) amplify activity-dependent calcium influx via calcium-induced calcium release. Calcium signals trigger postsynaptic pathways in hippocampal neurons that underlie synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. Recent evidence supports a role of the RyR2 and RyR3 isoforms in these processes. Along with calcium signals, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a key signaling molecule for hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory. Upon binding to specific TrkB receptors, BDNF initiates complex signaling pathways that modify synaptic structure and function. Here, we show that BDNF-induced remodeling of hippocampal dendritic spines required functional RyR. Additionally, incubation with BDNF enhanced the expression of RyR2, RyR3, and PKMζ, an atypical protein kinase C isoform with key roles in hippocampal memory consolidation. Consistent with their increased RyR protein content, BDNF-treated neurons generated larger RyR-mediated calcium signals than controls. Selective inhibition of RyR-mediated calcium release with inhibitory ryanodine concentrations prevented the PKMζ, RyR2, and RyR3 protein content enhancement induced by BDNF. Intrahippocampal injection of BDNF or training rats in a spatial memory task enhanced PKMζ, RyR2, RyR3, and BDNF hippocampal protein content, while injection of ryanodine at concentrations that stimulate RyR-mediated calcium release improved spatial memory learning and enhanced memory consolidation. We propose that RyR-generated calcium signals are key features of the complex neuronal plasticity processes induced by BDNF, which include increased expression of RyR2, RyR3, and PKMζ and the spine remodeling required for spatial memory formation. PMID:21282625

  2. Involvement of ryanodine receptors in neurotrophin-induced hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory formation.

    PubMed

    Adasme, Tatiana; Haeger, Paola; Paula-Lima, Andrea C; Espinoza, Italo; Casas-Alarcón, M Mercedes; Carrasco, M Angélica; Hidalgo, Cecilia

    2011-02-15

    Ryanodine receptors (RyR) amplify activity-dependent calcium influx via calcium-induced calcium release. Calcium signals trigger postsynaptic pathways in hippocampal neurons that underlie synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. Recent evidence supports a role of the RyR2 and RyR3 isoforms in these processes. Along with calcium signals, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a key signaling molecule for hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory. Upon binding to specific TrkB receptors, BDNF initiates complex signaling pathways that modify synaptic structure and function. Here, we show that BDNF-induced remodeling of hippocampal dendritic spines required functional RyR. Additionally, incubation with BDNF enhanced the expression of RyR2, RyR3, and PKMζ, an atypical protein kinase C isoform with key roles in hippocampal memory consolidation. Consistent with their increased RyR protein content, BDNF-treated neurons generated larger RyR-mediated calcium signals than controls. Selective inhibition of RyR-mediated calcium release with inhibitory ryanodine concentrations prevented the PKMζ, RyR2, and RyR3 protein content enhancement induced by BDNF. Intrahippocampal injection of BDNF or training rats in a spatial memory task enhanced PKMζ, RyR2, RyR3, and BDNF hippocampal protein content, while injection of ryanodine at concentrations that stimulate RyR-mediated calcium release improved spatial memory learning and enhanced memory consolidation. We propose that RyR-generated calcium signals are key features of the complex neuronal plasticity processes induced by BDNF, which include increased expression of RyR2, RyR3, and PKMζ and the spine remodeling required for spatial memory formation. PMID:21282625

  3. Parasagittal zones in the cerebellar cortex differ in excitability, information processing, and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Ebner, Timothy J; Wang, Xinming; Gao, Wangcai; Cramer, Samuel W; Chen, Gang

    2012-06-01

    At the molecular and circuitry levels, the cerebellum exhibits a striking parasagittal zonation as exemplified by the spatial distribution of molecules expressed on Purkinje cells and the topography of the afferent and efferent projections. The physiology and function of the zonation is less clear. Activity-dependent optical imaging has proven a useful tool to examine the physiological properties of the parasagittal zonation in the intact animal. Recent findings show that zebrin II-positive and zebrin II-negative zones differ markedly in their responses to parallel fiber inputs. These findings suggest that cerebellar cortical excitability, information processing, and synaptic plasticity depend on the intrinsic properties of different parasagittal zones. PMID:22249913

  4. Synaptic plasticity and sensory-motor improvement following fibrin sealant dorsal root reimplantation and mononuclear cell therapy

    PubMed Central

    Benitez, Suzana U.; Barbizan, Roberta; Spejo, Aline B.; Ferreira, Rui S.; Barraviera, Benedito; Góes, Alfredo M.; de Oliveira, Alexandre L. R.

    2014-01-01

    Root lesions may affect both dorsal and ventral roots. However, due to the possibility of generating further inflammation and neuropathic pain, surgical procedures do not prioritize the repair of the afferent component. The loss of such sensorial input directly disturbs the spinal circuits thus affecting the functionality of the injuried limb. The present study evaluated the motor and sensory improvement following dorsal root reimplantation with fibrin sealant (FS) plus bone marrow mononuclear cells (MC) after dorsal rhizotomy. MC were used to enhance the repair process. We also analyzed changes in the glial response and synaptic circuits within the spinal cord. Female Lewis rats (6–8 weeks old) were divided in three groups: rhizotomy (RZ group), rhizotomy repaired with FS (RZ+FS group) and rhizotomy repaired with FS and MC (RZ+FS+MC group). The behavioral tests electronic von-Frey and Walking track test were carried out. For immunohistochemistry we used markers to detect different synapse profiles as well as glial reaction. The behavioral results showed a significant decrease in sensory and motor function after lesion. The reimplantation decreased glial reaction and improved synaptic plasticity of afferent inputs. Cell therapy further enhanced the rewiring process. In addition, both reimplanted groups presented twice as much motor control compared to the non-treated group. In conclusion, the reimplantation with FS and MC is efficient and may be considered an approach to improve sensory-motor recovery following dorsal rhizotomy. PMID:25249946

  5. Extracellular matrix molecules, their receptors, and secreted proteases in synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wlodarczyk, Jakub; Mukhina, Irina; Kaczmarek, Leszek; Dityatev, Alexander

    2011-11-01

    Neural cells secrete diverse molecules, which accumulate in the extracellular space and form the extracellular matrix (ECM). Interactions between cells and the ECM are well recognized to play the crucial role in cell migration and guidance of growing axons, whereas formation of mature neural ECM in the form of perineuronal nets is believed to restrict certain forms of developmental plasticity. On the other hand, major components of perineuronal nets and other ECM molecules support induction of functional plasticity, the most studied form of which is long-term potentiation. Here, we review the underlying mechanisms by which ECM molecules, their receptors and remodeling proteases regulate the induction and maintenance of synaptic modifications. In particular, we highlight that activity-dependent secretion and activation of proteases leads to a local cleavage of the ECM and release of signaling proteolytic fragments. These molecules regulate transmitter receptor trafficking, actin cytoskeleton, growth of dendritic spines, and formation of dendritic filopodia.

  6. In Sickness and in Health: Perineuronal Nets and Synaptic Plasticity in Psychiatric Disorders.

    PubMed

    Pantazopoulos, Harry; Berretta, Sabina

    2016-01-01

    Rapidly emerging evidence implicates perineuronal nets (PNNs) and extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules that compose or interact with PNNs, in the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders. Studies on schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, mood disorders, Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy point to the involvement of ECM molecules such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, Reelin, and matrix metalloproteases, as well as their cell surface receptors. In many of these disorders, PNN abnormalities have also been reported. In the context of the "quadripartite" synapse concept, that is, the functional unit composed of the pre- and postsynaptic terminals, glial processes, and ECM, and of the role that PNNs and ECM molecules play in regulating synaptic functions and plasticity, these findings resonate with one of the most well-replicated aspects of the pathology of psychiatric disorders, that is, synaptic abnormalities. Here we review the evidence for PNN/ECM-related pathology in these disorders, with particular emphasis on schizophrenia, and discuss the hypothesis that such pathology may significantly contribute to synaptic dysfunction.

  7. The effect of acute and chronic centrophenoxine treatment on the synaptic plasticity of old rats.

    PubMed

    Bertoni-Freddari, C; Giuli, C; Pieri, C

    1982-12-01

    The cerebellar glomerulus was studied by electron microscopic morphometry in female Wistar rats. Age-dependent alterations have been revealed from 3 to 28 mth of age, and the effect of centrophenoxine (CPH) was analyzed in two different patterns of administration. First, 27-mth-old rats were treated daily for 6 wk (acute treatment), and second, 18-mth-old rats were treated 3 times per week for 5 months (chronic treatment). The dose was 100 mg CPH/kg body weight, injected intraperitoneally. The surface density (SV), the numerical density (NV) and the average length (L) of the synaptic junctions were calculated from data obtained on ethanol-phosphotungstic acid stained ultrathin sections. An age-dependent reduction of SV and NV of the synaptic contact zones was found, and the L increased in the oldest animals. CPH-treatment resulted in a marked increase of SV in both types of application, whereas the other two parameters behaved differently in the two groups. The chronic treatment resulted in a significant slowing down of the decrease of NV, whereas L remained invariate. On the contrary, the acute treatment increased L but did not alter significantly NV. The results and the differences between the treatment types are discussed in terms of synaptic plasticity and are interpreted as different manifestations of the same reactive synaptogenetic process.

  8. The RNA-centred view of the synapse: non-coding RNAs and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Smalheiser, Neil R.

    2014-01-01

    If mRNAs were the only RNAs made by a neuron, there would be a simple mapping of mRNAs to proteins. However, microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs; endo-siRNAs, piRNAs, BC1, BC200, antisense and long ncRNAs, repeat-related transcripts, etc.) regulate mRNAs via effects on protein translation as well as transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms. Not only are genes ON or OFF, but their ability to be translated can be turned ON or OFF at the level of synapses, supporting an enormous increase in information capacity. Here, I review evidence that ncRNAs are expressed pervasively within dendrites in mammalian brain; that some are activity-dependent and highly enriched near synapses; and that synaptic ncRNAs participate in plasticity responses including learning and memory. Ultimately, ncRNAs can be viewed as the post-it notes of the neuron. They have no literal meaning of their own, but derive their functions from where (and to what) they are stuck. This may explain, in part, why ncRNAs differ so dramatically from protein-coding genes, both in terms of the usual indicators of functionality and in terms of evolutionary constraints. ncRNAs do not appear to be direct mediators of synaptic transmission in the manner of neurotransmitters or receptors, yet they orchestrate synaptic plasticity—and may drive species-specific changes in cognition. PMID:25135965

  9. In Sickness and in Health: Perineuronal Nets and Synaptic Plasticity in Psychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Pantazopoulos, Harry; Berretta, Sabina

    2016-01-01

    Rapidly emerging evidence implicates perineuronal nets (PNNs) and extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules that compose or interact with PNNs, in the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders. Studies on schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, mood disorders, Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy point to the involvement of ECM molecules such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, Reelin, and matrix metalloproteases, as well as their cell surface receptors. In many of these disorders, PNN abnormalities have also been reported. In the context of the “quadripartite” synapse concept, that is, the functional unit composed of the pre- and postsynaptic terminals, glial processes, and ECM, and of the role that PNNs and ECM molecules play in regulating synaptic functions and plasticity, these findings resonate with one of the most well-replicated aspects of the pathology of psychiatric disorders, that is, synaptic abnormalities. Here we review the evidence for PNN/ECM-related pathology in these disorders, with particular emphasis on schizophrenia, and discuss the hypothesis that such pathology may significantly contribute to synaptic dysfunction. PMID:26839720

  10. Ribbon Synaptic Plasticity in Gravity Sensors of Rats Flown on Neurolab

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Muriel D.; Varelas, Joseph

    2003-01-01

    Previous spaceflight experiments (Space Life Sciences-1 and -2 (SLS-1 and SLS-2)) first demonstrated the extraordinary ability of gravity sensor hair cells to change the number, kind, and distribution of connections (synapses) they make to other cells while in weightlessness. The number of synapses in hair cells in one part of the inner ear (the utricle) was markedly elevated on flight day 13 (FD13) of SLS-2. Unanswered questions, however, were whether these increases in synapses occur rapidly and whether they remain stable in weightlessness. The answers have implications for long-duration human space travel. If gravity sensors can adapt quickly, crews may be able to move easily between different gravity levels, since the sensors will adapt rapidly to weightlessness on the spacecraft and then back to Earth's gravity when the mission ends. This ability to adapt is also important for recovery from balance disorders. To further our understanding of this adaptive potential (a property called neuronal synaptic plasticity), the present Neurolab research was undertaken. Our experiment examined whether: (a) increases in synapses would remain stable throughout the flight, (b) changes in the number of synapses were uniform across different portions of the gravity sensors (the utricle and saccule), and (c) synaptic changes were similar for the different types of hair cells (Type I and Type II). Utricular and saccular maculae (the gravity-sensing portions of the inner ear) were collected in flight from rats on FD2 and FD14. Samples were also collected from control rats on the ground. Tissues were prepared for ultrastructural study. Hair cells and their ribbon synapses were examined in a transmission electron microscope. Synapses were counted in all hair cells in 50 consecutive sections that crossed the striolar zone. Results indicate that utricular hair cell synapses initially increased significantly in number in both types of hair cells by FD2. Counts declined by FD14, but

  11. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation effectively facilitates spatial cognition and synaptic plasticity associated with increasing the levels of BDNF and synaptic proteins in Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yingchun; Wang, Xin; Shang, Xueliang; Zhang, Hui; Liu, Zhipeng; Yin, Tao; Zhang, Tao

    2016-10-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive technique, by which cognitive deficits can be alleviated. Furthermore, rTMS may facilitate learning and memory. However, its underlying mechanism is still little known. The aim of this study was to investigate if the facilitation of spatial cognition and synaptic plasticity, induced by rTMS, is regulated by enhancing pre- and postsynaptic proteins in normal rats. Morris water maze (MWM) test was performed to examine the spatial cognition. The synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation (DEP), presynaptic plasticity paired-pulse facilitation (PPF), from the hippocampal Schaffer collaterals to CA1 region was subsequently measured using in vivo electrophysiological techniques. The expressions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), presynaptic protein synaptophysin (SYP) and postsynaptic protein NR2B were measured by Western blot. Our data show that the spatial learning/memory and reversal learning/memory in rTMS rats were remarkably enhanced compared to that in the Sham group. Furthermore, LTP and DEP as well as PPF were effectively facilitated by 5Hz-rTMS. Additionally, the expressions of BDNF, SYP and NR2B were significantly increased via magnetic stimulation. The results suggest that rTMS considerably increases the expressions of BDNF, postsynaptic protein NR2B and presynaptic protein SYP, and thereby significantly enhances the synaptic plasticity and spatial cognition in normal animals. PMID:27555233

  12. Dysconnection in schizophrenia: from abnormal synaptic plasticity to failures of self-monitoring.

    PubMed

    Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J; Frith, Chris D

    2009-05-01

    Over the last 2 decades, a large number of neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies of patients with schizophrenia have furnished in vivo evidence for dysconnectivity, ie, abnormal functional integration of brain processes. While the evidence for dysconnectivity in schizophrenia is strong, its etiology, pathophysiological mechanisms, and significance for clinical symptoms are unclear. First, dysconnectivity could result from aberrant wiring of connections during development, from aberrant synaptic plasticity, or from both. Second, it is not clear how schizophrenic symptoms can be understood mechanistically as a consequence of dysconnectivity. Third, if dysconnectivity is the primary pathophysiology, and not just an epiphenomenon, then it should provide a mechanistic explanation for known empirical facts about schizophrenia. This article addresses these 3 issues in the framework of the dysconnection hypothesis. This theory postulates that the core pathology in schizophrenia resides in aberrant N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic plasticity due to abnormal regulation of NMDARs by neuromodulatory transmitters like dopamine, serotonin, or acetylcholine. We argue that this neurobiological mechanism can explain failures of self-monitoring, leading to a mechanistic explanation for first-rank symptoms as pathognomonic features of schizophrenia, and may provide a basis for future diagnostic classifications with physiologically defined patient subgroups. Finally, we test the explanatory power of our theory against a list of empirical facts about schizophrenia. PMID:19155345

  13. Dysconnection in Schizophrenia: From Abnormal Synaptic Plasticity to Failures of Self-monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Stephan, Klaas E.; Friston, Karl J.; Frith, Chris D.

    2009-01-01

    Over the last 2 decades, a large number of neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies of patients with schizophrenia have furnished in vivo evidence for dysconnectivity, ie, abnormal functional integration of brain processes. While the evidence for dysconnectivity in schizophrenia is strong, its etiology, pathophysiological mechanisms, and significance for clinical symptoms are unclear. First, dysconnectivity could result from aberrant wiring of connections during development, from aberrant synaptic plasticity, or from both. Second, it is not clear how schizophrenic symptoms can be understood mechanistically as a consequence of dysconnectivity. Third, if dysconnectivity is the primary pathophysiology, and not just an epiphenomenon, then it should provide a mechanistic explanation for known empirical facts about schizophrenia. This article addresses these 3 issues in the framework of the dysconnection hypothesis. This theory postulates that the core pathology in schizophrenia resides in aberrant N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)–mediated synaptic plasticity due to abnormal regulation of NMDARs by neuromodulatory transmitters like dopamine, serotonin, or acetylcholine. We argue that this neurobiological mechanism can explain failures of self-monitoring, leading to a mechanistic explanation for first-rank symptoms as pathognomonic features of schizophrenia, and may provide a basis for future diagnostic classifications with physiologically defined patient subgroups. Finally, we test the explanatory power of our theory against a list of empirical facts about schizophrenia. PMID:19155345

  14. Effects of the Cognition-Enhancing Agent ABT-239 on Fetal Ethanol-Induced Deficits in Dentate Gyrus Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Varaschin, Rafael K.; Akers, Katherine G.; Rosenberg, Martina J.; Hamilton, Derek A.

    2010-01-01

    Prenatal ethanol exposure causes deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning. At present, there are no clinically effective pharmacotherapeutic interventions for these deficits. In this study, we examined whether the cognition-enhancing agent 4-(2-{2-[(2R)-2-methylpyrrolidinyl]ethyl}-benzofuran-5-yl) benzonitrile (ABT-239), a histamine H3 receptor antagonist, could ameliorate fetal ethanol-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) deficits. Long-Evans rat dams consumed a mean of 2.82 g/kg ethanol during a 4-h period each day. This voluntary drinking pattern produced a mean peak serum ethanol level of 84 mg/dl. Maternal weight gain, offspring litter size, and birth weights were not different between ethanol-consuming and control groups. A stimulating electrode was implanted in the entorhinal cortical perforant path, and a recording electrode was implanted in the dorsal dentate gyrus of urethane-anesthetized adult male offspring. Baseline input/output responses were not affected either by prenatal ethanol exposure or by 1 mg/kg ABT-239 administered 2 h before data collection. No differences were observed between prenatal treatment groups when a 10-tetanus train protocol was used to elicit LTP. However, LTP elicited by 3 tetanizing trains was markedly impaired by prenatal ethanol exposure compared with control. This fetal ethanol-induced LTP deficit was reversed by ABT-239. In contrast, ABT-239 did not enhance LTP in control offspring using the 3-tetanus train protocol. These results suggest that histamine H3 receptor antagonists may have utility for treating fetal ethanol-associated synaptic plasticity and learning deficits. Furthermore, the differential effect of ABT-239 in fetal alcohol offspring compared with controls raises questions about the impact of fetal ethanol exposure on histaminergic modulation of excitatory neurotransmission in affected offspring. PMID:20308329

  15. The nitric oxide-cyclic GMP pathway and synaptic plasticity in the rat superior cervical ganglion.

    PubMed Central

    Southam, E.; Charles, S. L.; Garthwaite, J.

    1996-01-01

    1. We have investigated the possibility that nitric oxide (NO) and soluble guanylyl cyclase, an enzyme that synthesizes guanosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate (cyclic GMP) in response to NO, contributes to plasticity of synaptic transmission in the rat isolated superior cervical ganglion (SCG). 2. Exposure of ganglia to the NO donor, nitroprusside, caused a concentration-dependent accumulation of cyclic GMP which was augmented in the presence of the phosphodiesterase inhibitor, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine. The compound, 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ), a selective inhibitor of soluble guanylyl cyclase, completely blocked this cyclic GMP response. 3. As assessed by extracellular recording, nitroprusside (100 microM) and another NO donor, S-nitrosoglutathione (30 microM) increased the efficacy of ganglionic synaptic transmission in response to electrical stimulation of the preganglionic nerve, an effect that was reversible and which could be replicated by the cyclic GMP analogue, 8-bromo-cyclic GMP. Ganglionic depolarizations resulting from stimulation of nicotinic receptors with carbachol were not increased by nitroprusside. The potentiating actions of the NO donors on synaptic transmission, but not that of 8-bromo-cyclic GMP, were inhibited by ODQ. 4. Brief tetanic stimulation of the preganglionic nerve resulted in a long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission that was unaffected by ODQ, either in the absence or presence of the NO synthase inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine (L-NOARG, 100 microM). A lack of influence of L-NOARG was confirmed in intracellular recordings of LTP of the excitatory postsynaptic potential. Furthermore, under conditions where tetanically-induced LTP was saturated, nitroprusside was still able to potentiate synaptic transmission, as judged from extracellular recording. 5. We conclude that NO is capable of potentiating ganglionic neurotransmission and this effect is mediated through the stimulation of soluble guanylyl

  16. Spike Timing Regulation on the Millisecond Scale by Distributed Synaptic Plasticity at the Cerebellum Input Stage: A Simulation Study

    PubMed Central

    Garrido, Jesús A.; Ros, Eduardo; D’Angelo, Egidio

    2013-01-01

    The way long-term synaptic plasticity regulates neuronal spike patterns is not completely understood. This issue is especially relevant for the cerebellum, which is endowed with several forms of long-term synaptic plasticity and has been predicted to operate as a timing and a learning machine. Here we have used a computational model to simulate the impact of multiple distributed synaptic weights in the cerebellar granular-layer network. In response to mossy fiber (MF) bursts, synaptic weights at multiple connections played a crucial role to regulate spike number and positioning in granule cells. The weight at MF to granule cell synapses regulated the delay of the first spike and the weight at MF and parallel fiber to Golgi cell synapses regulated the duration of the time-window during which the first-spike could be emitted. Moreover, the weights of synapses controlling Golgi cell activation regulated the intensity of granule cell inhibition and therefore the number of spikes that could be emitted. First-spike timing was regulated with millisecond precision and the number of spikes ranged from zero to three. Interestingly, different combinations of synaptic weights optimized either first-spike timing precision or spike number, efficiently controlling transmission and filtering properties. These results predict that distributed synaptic plasticity regulates the emission of quasi-digital spike patterns on the millisecond time-scale and allows the cerebellar granular layer to flexibly control burst transmission along the MF pathway. PMID:23720626

  17. Histone acetylation in the olfactory bulb of young rats facilitates aversive olfactory learning and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Y-J; Okutani, F; Murata, Y; Taniguchi, M; Namba, T; Kaba, H

    2013-03-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in memory formation and synaptic plasticity. Specifically, histone-associated heterochromatin undergoes changes in structure during the early stages of long-term memory formation. In keeping with the classical conditioning paradigm, young rats have been shown to exhibit aversion to an odor stimulus initially presented during foot shock. We previously showed that synaptic plasticity at the dendrodendritic synapses between mitral and granule cells in the olfactory bulb (OB) underlies this aversive olfactory learning. However, the epigenetic mechanisms involved are not well characterized. Therefore, we examined whether intrabulbar infusion of trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, facilitates olfactory learning in young rats. TSA infusion during odor-shock training enhanced a conditioned odor aversion in a dose-dependent manner and prolonged the learned aversion. Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses showed that the level of histone H4 acetylation significantly increased until 4 h after odor-shock training in both mitral and granule cells in the OB, whereas histone H3 acetylation returned to the control level at 2 h after the training. We also obtained evidence that TSA infusion elevated acetylation of histone H4 or H3. Furthermore, in vitro electrophysiological analysis using slices of the OB revealed that application of TSA significantly enhanced the long-term potentiation induced in synaptic transmission from mitral to granule cells at dendrodendritic synapses. Taken together, these results provide evidence that histone H4 and H3 acetylation in the OB is an epigenetic mechanism associated with aversive olfactory learning in young rats.

  18. BDNF Interacts with Endocannabinoids to Regulate Cocaine-Induced Synaptic Plasticity in Mouse Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Peng; Liu, Yong; Hu, Ying; Wang, Tong; Zhao, Yong-ping

    2015-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and endocannabinoids (eCBs) have been individually implicated in behavioral effects of cocaine. The present study examined how BDNF-eCB interaction regulates cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity in the ventral tegmental area and behavioral effects. We report that BDNF and selective tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (DHF) activated the TrkB receptor to facilitate two forms of eCB-mediated synaptic depression, depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI), and long-term depression (I-LTD) of IPSCs in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons in mouse midbrain slices. The facilitation appears to be mediated by an increase in eCB production via phospholipase Cγ pathway, but not by an increase in CB1 receptor responsiveness or a decrease in eCB hydrolysis. Using Cre-loxP technology to specifically delete BDNF in dopamine neurons, we showed that eCB-mediated I-LTD, cocaine-induced reduction of GABAergic inhibition, and potentiation of glutamatergic excitation remained intact in wild-type control mice, but were impaired in BDNF conditional knock-out mice. We also showed that cocaine-induced conditioned place preference was attenuated in BDNF conditional knock-out mice, in vivo pretreatments with DHF before place conditioning restored cocaine conditioned place preference in these mice, and the behavioral effect of DHF was blocked by a CB1 receptor antagonist. Together, these results suggest that BDNF in dopamine neurons regulates eCB responses, cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity, and associative learning. PMID:25762688

  19. BDNF interacts with endocannabinoids to regulate cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity in mouse midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Peng; Liu, Yong; Hu, Ying; Wang, Tong; Zhao, Yong-ping; Liu, Qing-song

    2015-03-11

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and endocannabinoids (eCBs) have been individually implicated in behavioral effects of cocaine. The present study examined how BDNF-eCB interaction regulates cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity in the ventral tegmental area and behavioral effects. We report that BDNF and selective tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (DHF) activated the TrkB receptor to facilitate two forms of eCB-mediated synaptic depression, depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI), and long-term depression (I-LTD) of IPSCs in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons in mouse midbrain slices. The facilitation appears to be mediated by an increase in eCB production via phospholipase Cγ pathway, but not by an increase in CB1 receptor responsiveness or a decrease in eCB hydrolysis. Using Cre-loxP technology to specifically delete BDNF in dopamine neurons, we showed that eCB-mediated I-LTD, cocaine-induced reduction of GABAergic inhibition, and potentiation of glutamatergic excitation remained intact in wild-type control mice, but were impaired in BDNF conditional knock-out mice. We also showed that cocaine-induced conditioned place preference was attenuated in BDNF conditional knock-out mice, in vivo pretreatments with DHF before place conditioning restored cocaine conditioned place preference in these mice, and the behavioral effect of DHF was blocked by a CB₁ receptor antagonist. Together, these results suggest that BDNF in dopamine neurons regulates eCB responses, cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity, and associative learning. PMID:25762688

  20. Efficient copackaging and cotransport yields postsynaptic colocalization of neuromodulators associated with synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Lochner, J E; Spangler, E; Chavarha, M; Jacobs, C; McAllister, K; Schuttner, L C; Scalettar, B A

    2008-09-01

    Recent data suggest that tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) influences long-term plasticity at hippocampal synapses by converting plasminogen into plasmin, which then generates mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (mBDNF) from its precursor, proBDNF. Motivated by this hypothesis, we used fluorescent chimeras, expressed in hippocampal neurons, to elucidate (1) mechanisms underlying plasminogen secretion from hippocampal neurons, (2) if tPA, plasminogen, and proBDNF are copackaged and cotransported in hippocampal neurons, especially within dendritic spines, and (3) mechanisms mediating the transport of these neuromodulators to sites of release. We find that plasminogen chimeras traffic through the regulated secretory pathway of hippocampal neurons in dense-core granules (DCGs) and that tPA, plasminogen, and proBDNF chimeras are extensively copackaged in DCGs throughout hippocampal neurons. We also find that 80% of spines that contain DCGs contain chimeras of these neuromodulators in the same DCG. Finally, we demonstrate, for the first time, that neuromodulators undergo cotransport along dendrites in rapidly mobile DCGs, indicating that neuromodulators can be efficiently recruited into active spines. These results support the hypothesis that tPA mediates synaptic activation of BDNF by demonstrating that tPA, plasminogen, and proBDNF colocalize in DCGs in spines, where these neuromodulators can undergo activity-dependent release and then interact and/or mediate changes that influence synaptic efficacy. The results also raise the possibility that frequency-dependent changes in extents of neuromodulator release from DCGs influence the direction of plasticity at hippocampal synapses by altering the relative proportions of two proteins, mBDNF and proBDNF, that exert opposing effects on synaptic efficacy.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Astroglial potassium clearance contributes to short-term plasticity of synaptically evoked currents at the tripartite synapse

    PubMed Central

    Sibille, Jérémie; Pannasch, Ulrike; Rouach, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Astroglial processes enclose ∼60% of CA1 hippocampal synapses to form the tripartite synapse. Although astrocytes express ionic channels, neurotransmitter receptors and transporters to detect neuronal activity, the nature, plasticity and impact of the currents induced by neuronal activity on short-term synaptic plasticity remain elusive in hippocampal astrocytes. Using simultaneous electrophysiological recordings of astrocytes and neurons, we found that single stimulation of Schaffer collaterals in hippocampal slices evokes in stratum radiatum astrocytes a complex prolonged inward current synchronized to synaptic and spiking activity in CA1 pyramidal cells. The astroglial current is composed of three components sensitive to neuronal activity, i.e. a long-lasting potassium current mediated by Kir4.1 channels, a transient glutamate transporter current and a slow residual current, partially mediated by GABA transporters and Kir4.1-independent potassium channels. We show that all astroglial membrane currents exhibit activity-dependent short-term plasticity. However, only the astroglial glutamate transporter current displays neuronal-like dynamics and plasticity. As Kir4.1 channel-mediated potassium uptake contributes to 80% of the synaptically evoked astroglial current, we investigated in turn its impact on short-term synaptic plasticity. Using glial conditional Kir4.1 knockout mice, we found that astroglial potassium uptake reduces synaptic responses to repetitive stimulation and post-tetanic potentiation. These results show that astrocytes integrate synaptic activity via multiple ionic channels and transporters and contribute to short-term plasticity in part via potassium clearance mediated by Kir4.1 channels. PMID:24081156

  3. Loss of Catecholaminergic Neuromodulation of Persistent Forms of Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity with Increasing Age

    PubMed Central

    Twarkowski, Hannah; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-01-01

    Neuromodulation by means of the catecholaminergic system is a key component of motivation-driven learning and behaviorally modulated hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In particular, dopamine acting on D1/D5 receptors and noradrenaline acting on beta-adrenergic receptors exert a very potent regulation of forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity that last for very long-periods of time (>24 h), and occur in conjunction with novel spatial learning. Antagonism of these receptors not only prevents long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), but prevents the memory of the spatial event that, under normal circumstances, leads to the perpetuation of these plasticity forms. Spatial learning behavior that normally comes easily to rats, such as object-place learning and spatial reference learning, becomes increasingly impaired with aging. Middle-aged animals display aging-related deficits of specific, but not all, components of spatial learning, and one possibility is that this initial manifestation of decrements in learning ability that become apparent in middle-age relate to changes in motivation, attention and/or the regulation by neuromodulatory systems of these behavioral states. Here, we compared the regulation by dopaminergic D1/D5 and beta-adrenergic receptors of persistent LTP in young (2–4 month old) and middle-aged (8–14 month old) rats. We observed in young rats, that weak potentiation that typically lasts for ca. 2 h could be strengthened into persistent (>24 h) LTP by pharmacological activation of either D1/D5 or beta-adrenergic receptors. By contrast, no such facilitation occurred in middle-aged rats. This difference was not related to an ostensible learning deficit: a facilitation of weak potentiation into LTP by spatial learning was possible both in young and middle-aged rats. It was also not directly linked to deficits in LTP: strong afferent stimulation resulted in equivalent LTP in both age groups. We postulate that this change in

  4. Translational control by eIF2α kinases in long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory.

    PubMed

    Trinh, Mimi A; Klann, Eric

    2013-10-01

    Although the requirement for new protein synthesis in synaptic plasticity and memory has been well established, recent genetic, molecular, electrophysiological, and pharmacological studies have broadened our understanding of the translational control mechanisms that are involved in these processes. One of the critical translational control points mediating general and gene-specific translation depends on the phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 alpha (eIF2α) by four regulatory kinases. Here, we review the literature highlighting the important role for proper translational control via regulation of eIF2α phosphorylation by its kinases in long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory.

  5. Synaptic plasticity and calcium signaling in Purkinje cells of the central cerebellar lobes of mormyrid fish.

    PubMed

    Han, Victor Z; Zhang, Yueping; Bell, Curtis C; Hansel, Christian

    2007-12-01

    Climbing fiber (CF)-evoked calcium transients play a key role in plasticity at parallel fiber (PF) to Purkinje cell synapses in the mammalian cerebellum. Whereas PF activation alone causes long-term potentiation (LTP), coactivation of the heterosynaptic CF input, which evokes large dendritic calcium transients, induces long-term depression (LTD). This unique type of heterosynaptic interaction is a hallmark feature of synaptic plasticity in mammalian Purkinje cells. Purkinje cells in the cerebellum of mormyrid electric fish are characterized by a different architecture of their dendritic trees and by a more pronounced separation of CF and PF synaptic contact sites. We therefore examined the conditions for bidirectional plasticity at PF synapses onto Purkinje cells in the mormyrid cerebellum in vitro. PF stimulation at elevated frequencies induces LTP, whereas LTD results from PF stimulation at enhanced intensities and depends on dendritic calcium influx and metabotropic glutamate receptor type 1 activation. LTD can also be observed after pairing of low intensity PF stimulation with CF stimulation. Using a combination of whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and fluorometric calcium imaging, we characterized calcium transients in Purkinje cell dendrites. CF activation elicits calcium transients not only within the CF input territory (smooth proximal dendrites) but also within the PF input territory (spiny palisade dendrites). Paired PF and CF activation elicits larger calcium transients than stimulation of either input alone. A major source for dendritic calcium signaling is provided by P/Q-type calcium channels. Our data show that despite the spatial separation between the two inputs CF activity facilitates LTD induction at PF synapses.

  6. Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecules in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Leshchyns'ka, Iryna

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Layer-specific cholinergic control of human and mouse cortical synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Verhoog, Matthijs B; Obermayer, Joshua; Kortleven, Christian A; Wilbers, René; Wester, Jordi; Baayen, Johannes C; De Kock, Christiaan P J; Meredith, Rhiannon M; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2016-01-01

    Individual cortical layers have distinct roles in information processing. All layers receive cholinergic inputs from the basal forebrain (BF), which is crucial for cognition. Acetylcholinergic receptors are differentially distributed across cortical layers, and recent evidence suggests that different populations of BF cholinergic neurons may target specific prefrontal cortical (PFC) layers, raising the question of whether cholinergic control of the PFC is layer dependent. Here we address this issue and reveal dendritic mechanisms by which endogenous cholinergic modulation of synaptic plasticity is opposite in superficial and deep layers of both mouse and human neocortex. Our results show that in different cortical layers, spike timing-dependent plasticity is oppositely regulated by the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) either located on dendrites of principal neurons or on GABAergic interneurons. Thus, layer-specific nAChR expression allows functional layer-specific control of cortical processing and plasticity by the BF cholinergic system, which is evolutionarily conserved from mice to humans. PMID:27604129

  8. Layer-specific cholinergic control of human and mouse cortical synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Verhoog, Matthijs B.; Obermayer, Joshua; Kortleven, Christian A.; Wilbers, René; Wester, Jordi; Baayen, Johannes C.; De Kock, Christiaan P. J.; Meredith, Rhiannon M.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2016-01-01

    Individual cortical layers have distinct roles in information processing. All layers receive cholinergic inputs from the basal forebrain (BF), which is crucial for cognition. Acetylcholinergic receptors are differentially distributed across cortical layers, and recent evidence suggests that different populations of BF cholinergic neurons may target specific prefrontal cortical (PFC) layers, raising the question of whether cholinergic control of the PFC is layer dependent. Here we address this issue and reveal dendritic mechanisms by which endogenous cholinergic modulation of synaptic plasticity is opposite in superficial and deep layers of both mouse and human neocortex. Our results show that in different cortical layers, spike timing-dependent plasticity is oppositely regulated by the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) either located on dendrites of principal neurons or on GABAergic interneurons. Thus, layer-specific nAChR expression allows functional layer-specific control of cortical processing and plasticity by the BF cholinergic system, which is evolutionarily conserved from mice to humans. PMID:27604129

  9. No effect of genetic deletion of contactin-associated protein (CASPR) on axonal orientation and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Pillai, Anilkumar M; Garcia-Fresco, German P; Sousa, Aurea D; Dupree, Jeffrey L; Philpot, Benjamin D; Bhat, Manzoor A

    2007-08-15

    Myelinated axons are endowed with a specialized domain structure that is essential for saltatory action potential conduction. The paranodal domain contains the axoglial junctions and displays a unique ultrastructure that resembles the invertebrate septate junctions (SJs). Biochemical characterizations of the paranodal axoglial SJs have identified several molecular components that include Caspr and contactin (Cont) on the axonal side and neurofascin 155 kDa (NF155) isoform on the glial side. All these proteins are essential for the formation of the axoglial SJs. Based on the interactions between Caspr and Cont and their colocalization in the CA1 synaptic areas, it was proposed that the synaptic function of Cont requires Caspr. Here we have extended the phenotypic analysis of CASPR mutants to address further the role of Caspr at the axoglial SJs and also in axonal orientation and synaptic plasticity. We report that, in CASPR mutants, the smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) forms elongated membranous complexes that accumulate at the nodal/paranodal region and stretch into the juxtaparanodal region, a defect that is consistent with the paranodal disorganization. We show that the cerebellar microorganization is unaffected in CASPR mutants. We also demonstrate that Caspr function is not essential for normal CA1 synaptic transmission and plasticity. Taken together with previous findings, our results highlight that the Caspr/Cont complex is essential for the formation of axoglial SJs, whereas Cont may regulate axonal orientation and synaptic plasticity independent of its association with Caspr. PMID:17549747

  10. AMPA Receptor Phosphorylation and Synaptic Colocalization on Motor Neurons Drive Maladaptive Plasticity below Complete Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Stuck, Ellen D.; Irvine, Karen-Amanda; Bresnahan, Jacqueline C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Clinical spinal cord injury (SCI) is accompanied by comorbid peripheral injury in 47% of patients. Human and animal modeling data have shown that painful peripheral injuries undermine long-term recovery of locomotion through unknown mechanisms. Peripheral nociceptive stimuli induce maladaptive synaptic plasticity in dorsal horn sensory systems through AMPA receptor (AMPAR) phosphorylation and trafficking to synapses. Here we test whether ventral horn motor neurons in rats demonstrate similar experience-dependent maladaptive plasticity below a complete SCI in vivo. Quantitative biochemistry demonstrated that intermittent nociceptive stimulation (INS) rapidly and selectively increases AMPAR subunit GluA1 serine 831 phosphorylation and localization to synapses in the injured spinal cord, while reducing synaptic GluA2. These changes predict motor dysfunction in the absence of cell death signaling, suggesting an opportunity for therapeutic reversal. Automated confocal time-course analysis of lumbar ventral horn motor neurons confirmed a time-dependent increase in synaptic GluA1 with concurrent decrease in synaptic GluA2. Optical fractionation of neuronal plasma membranes revealed GluA2 removal from extrasynaptic sites on motor neurons early after INS followed by removal from synapses 2 h later. As GluA2-lacking AMPARs are canonical calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs), their stimulus- and time-dependent insertion provides a therapeutic target for limiting calcium-dependent dynamic maladaptive plasticity after SCI. Confirming this, a selective CP-AMPAR antagonist protected against INS-induced maladaptive spinal plasticity, restoring adaptive motor responses on a sensorimotor spinal training task. These findings highlight the critical involvement of AMPARs in experience-dependent spinal cord plasticity after injury and provide a pharmacologically targetable synaptic mechanism by which early postinjury experience shapes motor plasticity. PMID:26668821

  11. AMPA Receptor Phosphorylation and Synaptic Colocalization on Motor Neurons Drive Maladaptive Plasticity below Complete Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Huie, J Russell; Stuck, Ellen D; Lee, Kuan H; Irvine, Karen-Amanda; Beattie, Michael S; Bresnahan, Jacqueline C; Grau, James W; Ferguson, Adam R

    2015-01-01

    Clinical spinal cord injury (SCI) is accompanied by comorbid peripheral injury in 47% of patients. Human and animal modeling data have shown that painful peripheral injuries undermine long-term recovery of locomotion through unknown mechanisms. Peripheral nociceptive stimuli induce maladaptive synaptic plasticity in dorsal horn sensory systems through AMPA receptor (AMPAR) phosphorylation and trafficking to synapses. Here we test whether ventral horn motor neurons in rats demonstrate similar experience-dependent maladaptive plasticity below a complete SCI in vivo. Quantitative biochemistry demonstrated that intermittent nociceptive stimulation (INS) rapidly and selectively increases AMPAR subunit GluA1 serine 831 phosphorylation and localization to synapses in the injured spinal cord, while reducing synaptic GluA2. These changes predict motor dysfunction in the absence of cell death signaling, suggesting an opportunity for therapeutic reversal. Automated confocal time-course analysis of lumbar ventral horn motor neurons confirmed a time-dependent increase in synaptic GluA1 with concurrent decrease in synaptic GluA2. Optical fractionation of neuronal plasma membranes revealed GluA2 removal from extrasynaptic sites on motor neurons early after INS followed by removal from synapses 2 h later. As GluA2-lacking AMPARs are canonical calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs), their stimulus- and time-dependent insertion provides a therapeutic target for limiting calcium-dependent dynamic maladaptive plasticity after SCI. Confirming this, a selective CP-AMPAR antagonist protected against INS-induced maladaptive spinal plasticity, restoring adaptive motor responses on a sensorimotor spinal training task. These findings highlight the critical involvement of AMPARs in experience-dependent spinal cord plasticity after injury and provide a pharmacologically targetable synaptic mechanism by which early postinjury experience shapes motor plasticity.

  12. Role of Rho Kinase and Fasudil on Synaptic Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chan; Yu, Jie-Zhong; Zhang, Qiong; Zhao, Yong-Fei; Liu, Chun-Yun; Li, Yan-Hua; Yang, Wan-Fang; Ma, Cun-Gen; Xiao, Bao-Guo

    2015-12-01

    In addition to myelin loss and oligodendrocyte injury, axonal damage is a major cause of irreversible neurological disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). A series of studies have demonstrated that Rho kinase (ROCK) is involved in synaptic plasticity of neurons. Here, we found that ROCK activity in MS serum was elevated compared with serum from healthy controls. In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), ROCK activity was also increased in serum, spleen, brain and spinal cord. Neuron injury with scratch and TNF-α stimulation induced the up-regulation of ROCK activity. When serum of MS patients was co-cultured with mouse cortical neurons in vitro, MS serum caused neurite shortening and reduction of cell viability, while the addition of Fasudil partially restored synaptic morphology of neurons, revealing that MS sera inhibited neurite outgrowth and synapse formation. The expression of synaptophysin was decreased in MS serum-neurons, and elevated in the presence of Fasudil. In contrast, the expression of phosphorylated collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP-2) was elevated in MS serum-neurons and decreased in the presence of Fasudil. However, the addition of anti-ROCK I/II mixed antibodies in MS serum partially declined ROCK activity, but did not improve neurite outgrowth of neurons, revealing that Fasudil should prevent synaptic damage possibly through inhibiting intracellular ROCK activation mediated with MS serum. Our results indicate that axonal loss in MS may be related to increased ROCK activity. Fasudil could promote synaptogenesis and thus may contribute to preventing irreversible neurological disability associated with MS. PMID:26481340

  13. A novel fibroblast growth factor receptor family member promotes neuronal outgrowth and synaptic plasticity in aplysia.

    PubMed

    Pollak, Daniela D; Minh, Bui Quang; Cicvaric, Ana; Monje, Francisco J

    2014-11-01

    Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) Receptors (FGFRs) regulate essential biological processes, including embryogenesis, angiogenesis, cellular growth and memory-related long-term synaptic plasticity. Whereas canonical FGFRs depend exclusively on extracellular Immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains for ligand binding, other receptor types, including members of the tropomyosin-receptor-kinase (Trk) family, use either Ig-like or Leucine-Rich Repeat (LRR) motifs, or both. Little is known, however, about the evolutionary events leading to the differential incorporation of LRR domains into Ig-containing tyrosine kinase receptors. Moreover, although FGFRs have been identified in many vertebrate species, few reports describe their existence in invertebrates. Information about the biological relevance of invertebrate FGFRs and evolutionary divergences between them and their vertebrate counterparts is therefore limited. Here, we characterized ApLRRTK, a neuronal cell-surface protein recently identified in Aplysia. We unveiled ApLRRTK as the first member of the FGFRs family deprived of Ig-like domains that instead contains extracellular LRR domains. We describe that ApLRRTK exhibits properties typical of canonical vertebrate FGFRs, including promotion of FGF activity, enhancement of neuritic outgrowth and signaling via MAPK and the transcription factor CREB. ApLRRTK also enhanced the synaptic efficiency of neurons known to mediate in vivo memory-related defensive behaviors. These data reveal a novel molecular regulator of neuronal function in invertebrates, provide the first evolutionary linkage between LRR proteins and FGFRs and unveil an unprecedented mechanism of FGFR gene diversification in primeval central nervous systems.

  14. Self healing of open circuit faults: With active re-configurability and mimicry of synaptic plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaswant, Vaddi; Kumar, Amit; Sambandan, Sanjiv

    2016-07-01

    We discuss the self-repair of open faults in circuits using electrically conductive particles dispersed in an insulating fluid. The repair is triggered by the electric field developed across the open circuit in a current carrying interconnect and results in the formation of a bridge of particles across the gap. We illustrate and model the dynamics of the resistance of the self-healed route, Rb, in low field conditions. Furthermore, active control of Rb and active re-wiring are also demonstrated. Considering Rb to be akin to weights between nodes, the formation and re-wiring of routes and the control of Rb mimic synaptic plasticity in biological systems and open interesting possibilities for computing.

  15. Protons are a neurotransmitter that regulates synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Du, Jianyang; Reznikov, Leah R; Price, Margaret P; Zha, Xiang-ming; Lu, Yuan; Moninger, Thomas O; Wemmie, John A; Welsh, Michael J

    2014-06-17

    Stimulating presynaptic terminals can increase the proton concentration in synapses. Potential receptors for protons are acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), Na(+)- and Ca(2+)-permeable channels that are activated by extracellular acidosis. Those observations suggest that protons might be a neurotransmitter. We found that presynaptic stimulation transiently reduced extracellular pH in the amygdala. The protons activated ASICs in lateral amygdala pyramidal neurons, generating excitatory postsynaptic currents. Moreover, both protons and ASICs were required for synaptic plasticity in lateral amygdala neurons. The results identify protons as a neurotransmitter, and they establish ASICs as the postsynaptic receptor. They also indicate that protons and ASICs are a neurotransmitter/receptor pair critical for amygdala-dependent learning and memory.

  16. Deficit in long-term synaptic plasticity is rescued by a computationally predicted stimulus protocol.

    PubMed

    Liu, Rong-Yu; Zhang, Yili; Baxter, Douglas A; Smolen, Paul; Cleary, Leonard J; Byrne, John H

    2013-04-17

    Mutations in the gene encoding CREB-binding protein (CBP) cause deficits in long-term plasticity, learning, and memory. Here, long-term synaptic facilitation (LTF) at Aplysia sensorimotor synapses in cell culture was used as a model system to investigate methods for overcoming deficits in LTF produced by a CBP knockdown. Injecting CBP-siRNA into individual sensory neurons reduced CBP levels and impaired LTF produced by a standard protocol of five 5-min pulses of serotonin (5-HT) delivered at 20 min interstimulus intervals. A computational model, which simulated molecular processes underlying LTF induction, predicted a rescue protocol of five pulses of 5-HT at non-uniform interstimulus intervals that overcame the consequences of reduced CBP and restored LTF. These results suggest that complementary empirical and computational studies can identify methods for ameliorating impairments of learning attributable to molecular lesions.

  17. Deficit in long-term synaptic plasticity is rescued by a computationally predicted stimulus protocol.

    PubMed

    Liu, Rong-Yu; Zhang, Yili; Baxter, Douglas A; Smolen, Paul; Cleary, Leonard J; Byrne, John H

    2013-04-17

    Mutations in the gene encoding CREB-binding protein (CBP) cause deficits in long-term plasticity, learning, and memory. Here, long-term synaptic facilitation (LTF) at Aplysia sensorimotor synapses in cell culture was used as a model system to investigate methods for overcoming deficits in LTF produced by a CBP knockdown. Injecting CBP-siRNA into individual sensory neurons reduced CBP levels and impaired LTF produced by a standard protocol of five 5-min pulses of serotonin (5-HT) delivered at 20 min interstimulus intervals. A computational model, which simulated molecular processes underlying LTF induction, predicted a rescue protocol of five pulses of 5-HT at non-uniform interstimulus intervals that overcame the consequences of reduced CBP and restored LTF. These results suggest that complementary empirical and computational studies can identify methods for ameliorating impairments of learning attributable to molecular lesions. PMID:23595752

  18. Calmodulin as a major calcium buffer shaping vesicular release and short-term synaptic plasticity: facilitation through buffer dislocation.

    PubMed

    Timofeeva, Yulia; Volynski, Kirill E

    2015-01-01

    Action potential-dependent release of synaptic vesicles and short-term synaptic plasticity are dynamically regulated by the endogenous Ca(2+) buffers that shape [Ca(2+)] profiles within a presynaptic bouton. Calmodulin is one of the most abundant presynaptic proteins and it binds Ca(2+) faster than any other characterized endogenous neuronal Ca(2+) buffer. Direct effects of calmodulin on fast presynaptic Ca(2+) dynamics and vesicular release however have not been studied in detail. Using experimentally constrained three-dimensional diffusion modeling of Ca(2+) influx-exocytosis coupling at small excitatory synapses we show that, at physiologically relevant concentrations, Ca(2+) buffering by calmodulin plays a dominant role in inhibiting vesicular release and in modulating short-term synaptic plasticity. We also propose a novel and potentially powerful mechanism for short-term facilitation based on Ca(2+)-dependent dynamic dislocation of calmodulin molecules from the plasma membrane within the active zone. PMID:26190970

  19. Two Mutations Preventing PDZ-Protein Interactions of GluR1 Have Opposite Effects on Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boehm, Jannic; Ehrlich, Ingrid; Hsieh, Helen; Malinow, Roberto

    2006-01-01

    The regulated trafficking of GluR1 contributes significantly to synaptic plasticity, but studies addressing the function of the GluR1 C-terminal PDZ-ligand domain in this process have produced conflicting results. Here, we resolve this conflict by showing that apparently similar C-terminal mutations of the GluR1 PDZ-ligand domain result in…

  20. Effects of developmental perfluorooctane sulfonate exposure on spatial learning and memory ability of rats and mechanism associated with synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu; Liu, Wei; Zhang, Qian; Zhao, Huimin; Quan, Xie

    2015-02-01

    The present study aims to explore the effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) on cognitive function in developing rats and the underlying mechanism associated with synaptic plasticity. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed with 0, 5, and 15 mg/L of PFOS via drinking water during gestation and lactation. Offspring were exposed to PFOS on prenatal and/or postnatal days by cross-fostering. Spatial learning and memory abilities were tested from postnatal day (PND) 35. We also analyzed the expression pattern of the synaptic plasticity-related genes and proteins in the hippocampus on PND7 and PND35. Results revealed that PFOS exposure reduced the spatial learning and memory abilities of the offspring, particularly of those with prenatal exposure. Meanwhile, protein levels of growth-associated protein-43, neural cell adhesion molecule 1, nerve growth factor, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor decreased on PND35, which are involved in the formation of synaptic plasticity. In contrast, significant increase in gap-43, ncam1, and bdnf genes on the mRNA level was observed on PND7, possibly due to the post-transcriptional mechanism. Results of both behavioral effects and molecular endpoints suggested the high risk of prenatal PFOS exposure. The decline of spatial learning and memory abilities induced by developmental PFOS exposure was closely related to synaptic plasticity.

  1. Different Compartments of Apical CA1 Dendrites Have Different Plasticity Thresholds for Expressing Synaptic Tagging and Capture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sajikumar, Sreedharan; Korte, Martin

    2011-01-01

    The consolidation process from short- to long-term memory depends on the type of stimulation received from a specific neuronal network and on the cooperativity and associativity between different synaptic inputs converging onto a specific neuron. We show here that the plasticity thresholds for inducing LTP are different in proximal and distal…

  2. The Roles of MAPK Cascades in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory in "Aplysia": Facilitatory Effects and Inhibitory Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharma, Shiv K.; Carew, Thomas J.

    2004-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to memory formation. Serotonin-induced facilitation of sensory-motor (SN-MN) synapses in "Aplysia" is an extensively studied cellular analog of memory for sensitization. Serotonin, a modulatory neurotransmitter, is released in the CNS during sensitization training, and induces three temporally and…

  3. Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Monsey, Melissa S; Ota, Kristie T; Akingbade, Irene F; Hong, Ellie S; Schafe, Glenn E

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM) is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM) is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP) at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.

  4. The Role of Astrocytic Aquaporin-4 in Synaptic Plasticity and Learning and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Szu, Jenny I.; Binder, Devin K.

    2016-01-01

    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is the predominant water channel expressed by astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). AQP4 is widely expressed throughout the brain, especially at the blood-brain barrier where AQP4 is highly polarized to astrocytic foot processes in contact with blood vessels. The bidirectional water transport function of AQP4 suggests its role in cerebral water balance in the CNS. The regulation of AQP4 has been extensively investigated in various neuropathological conditions such as cerebral edema, epilepsy, and ischemia, however, the functional role of AQP4 in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory is only beginning to be elucidated. In this review, we explore the current literature on AQP4 and its influence on long term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD) in the hippocampus as well as the potential relationship between AQP4 and in learning and memory. We begin by discussing recent in vitro and in vivo studies using AQP4-null and wild-type mice, in particular, the impairment of LTP and LTD observed in the hippocampus. Early evidence using AQP4-null mice have suggested that impaired LTP and LTD is brain-derived neurotrophic factor dependent. Others have indicated a possible link between defective LTP and the downregulation of glutamate transporter-1 which is rescued by chronic treatment of β-lactam antibiotic ceftriaxone. Furthermore, behavioral studies may shed some light into the functional role of AQP4 in learning and memory. AQP4-null mice performances utilizing Morris water maze, object placement tests, and contextual fear conditioning proposed a specific role of AQP4 in memory consolidation. All together, these studies highlight the potential influence AQP4 may have on long term synaptic plasticity and memory. PMID:26941623

  5. Enhancing synaptic plasticity and cellular resilience to develop novel, improved treatments for mood disorders

    PubMed Central

    Quiroz, Jorge A.; Manji, Husseini K.

    2002-01-01

    There is mounting evidence that recurrent mood disorders - once considered “good prognosis diseases”- are, in fact, often very severe and life-threatening illnesses. Furthermore, although mood disorders have traditionally been conceptualized as neurochemical disorders, there is now evidence from a variety of sources demonstrating regional reductions in central nervous system (CNS) volume, as well as reductions in the numbers and/or sizes ofglia and neurons in discrete brain areas. Although the precise cellular mechanisms underlying these morphometric changes remain to be fully elucidated, the data suggest that mood disorders are associated with impairments of synaptic plasticity and cellular resilience. In this context, it is noteworthy that there is increasing preclinical evidence that antidepressants regulate the function of the glutamatergic system. Moreover, although clearly preliminary, the available clinical data suggest that attenuation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) function has antidepressant effects. Recent preclinical and clinical studies have shown that signaling pathways involved in regulating cell survival and cell death are long-term targets for the actions of antidepressant agents. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers indirectly regulate a number of factors involved in cell survival pathways, including cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element binding protein (CREB), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the antiapoptotic protein bcl-2, and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, and may thus bring about some of their delayed long-term beneficial effects via underappreciated neurotrophic effects. There is much promise for the future development of treatments that more directly target molecules in critical CNS signaling pathways regulating synaptic plasticity and cellular resilience. These will represent improved long-term treatments for mood disorders. PMID:22034240

  6. Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity in the Dentate Gyrus of Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Tamura, Ryoi; Nishida, Hiroshi; Eifuku, Satoshi; Nagao, Kaoru; Fushiki, Hiroaki; Watanabe, Yukio; Ono, Taketoshi

    2011-01-01

    The hippocampus plays an important role in learning and memory. Synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, short-term and long-term, is postulated to be a neural substrate of memory trace. Paired-pulse stimulation is a standard technique for evaluating a form of short-term synaptic plasticity in rodents. However, evidence is lacking for paired-pulse responses in the primate hippocampus. In the present study, we recorded paired-pulse responses in the dentate gyrus of monkeys while stimulating to the medial part of the perforant path at several inter-pulse intervals (IPIs) using low and high stimulus intensities. When the stimulus intensity was low, the first pulse produced early strong depression (at IPIs of 10–30 ms) and late slight depression (at IPIs of 100–1000 ms) of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) generated by the second pulse, interposing no depression IPIs (50–70 ms). When the stimulus intensity was high, fEPSPs generated by the second pulse were depressed by the first pulse at all IPIs except for the longest one (2000 ms). Population spikes (PSs) generated by the second pulse were completely blocked or strongly depressed at shorter IPIs (10–100 or 200 ms, respectively), while no depression or slight facilitation occurred at longer IPIs (500–2000 ms). Administration of diazepam slightly increased fEPSPs, while it decreased PSs produced by the first pulse. It also enhanced the facilitation of PSs produced by the second stimulation at longer IPIs. The present results, in comparison with previous studies using rodents, indicate that paired-pulse responses of fEPSPs in the monkey are basically similar to those of rodents, although paired-pulse responses of PSs in the monkey are more delayed than those in rodents and have a different sensitivity to diazepam. PMID:21625444

  7. Hippocampal BDNF mediates the efficacy of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition.

    PubMed

    Vaynman, Shoshanna; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2004-11-01

    We found that a short exercise period enhanced cognitive function on the Morris water maze (MWM), such that exercised animals were significantly better than sedentary controls at learning and recalling the location of the platform. The finding that exercise increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a molecule important for synaptic plasticity and learning and memory, impelled us to examine whether a BDNF-mediated mechanism subserves the capacity of exercise to improve hippocampal-dependent learning. A specific immunoadhesin chimera (TrkB-IgG), that mimics the BDNF receptor, TrkB, to selectively bind BDNF molecules, was used to block BDNF in the hippocampus during a 1-week voluntary exercise period. After this, a 2-trial-per-day MWM was performed for 5 consecutive days, succeeded by a probe trial 2 days later. By inhibiting BDNF action we blocked the benefit of exercise on cognitive function, such that the learning and recall abilities of exercising animals receiving the BDNF blocker were reduced to sedentary control levels. Inhibiting BDNF action also blocked the effect of exercise on downstream systems regulated by BDNF and important for synaptic plasticity, cAMP response-element-binding protein (CREB) and synapsin I. Specific to exercise, we found an association between CREB and BDNF expression and cognitive function, such that animals who were the fastest learners and had the best recall showed the highest expression of BDNF and associated CREB mRNA levels. These findings suggest a functional role for CREB under the control of BDNF in mediating the exercise-induced enhancement in learning and memory. Our results indicate that synapsin I might also contribute to this BDNF-mediated mechanism.

  8. Action potential-induced dendritic calcium dynamics correlated with synaptic plasticity in developing hippocampal pyramidal cells.

    PubMed

    Isomura, Y; Kato, N

    1999-10-01

    In hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells, intracellular calcium increases are required for induction of long-term potentiation (LTP), an activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. LTP is known to develop in magnitude during the second and third postnatal weeks in the rats. Little is known, however, about development of intracellular calcium dynamics during the same postnatal weeks. We investigated postnatal development of intracellular calcium dynamics in the proximal apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal cells by whole cell patch-clamp recordings and calcium imaging with the Ca(2+) indicator fura-2. Dendritic calcium increases induced by intrasomatically evoked action potentials were slight during the first postnatal week but gradually became robust 3 to 6-fold during the second and third postnatal weeks. These calcium increases were blocked by application of 250 microM CdCl(2), a nonspecific blocker for high-threshold voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs). Under the voltage-clamp condition, both calcium currents and dendritic calcium accumulations induced by depolarization were larger at the late developmental stage (P15-18) than the early stage (P4-7), indicating developmental enhancement of calcium influx mediated by high-threshold VDCCs. Moreover, theta-burst stimulation (TBS), a protocol for LTP induction, induced large intracellular calcium increases at the late developmental stage, in synchrony with maturation of TBS-induced LTP. These results suggest that developmental enhancement of intracellular calcium increases induced by action potentials may underlie maturation of calcium-dependent functions such as synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons.

  9. Effects of dihydrotestosterone on synaptic plasticity of the hippocampus in mild cognitive impairment male SAMP8 mice

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Wensen; Han, Shuo; Kang, Lin; Li, Sha; Du, Juan; Cui, Huixian

    2016-01-01

    The current study focused on how dihydrotestosterone (DHT) regulates synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of mild cognitive impairment male senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mice. Five-month-old SAMP8 mice were divided into the control, castrated and castrated-DHT groups, in which the mice were castrated and treated with physiological doses of DHT for a period of 2 months. To determine the regulatory mechanisms of DHT in the cognitive capacity, the effects of DHT on the morphology of the synapse and the expression of synaptic marker proteins in the hippocampus were investigated using immunohistochemistry, qPCR and western blot analysis. The results showed that the expression of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB), postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), synaptophysin (SYN) and developmentally regulated brain protein (Drebrin) was reduced in the castrated group compared to the control group. However, DHT promoted the expression of CREB, PSD95, SYN and Drebrin in the hippocampus of the castrated-DHT group. Thus, androgen depletion impaired the synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of SAMP8 and accelerated the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like neuropathology, suggesting that a similar mechanism may underlie the increased risk for AD in men with low testosterone. In addition, DHT regulated synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) SAMP8 mice and delayed the progression of disease to Alzheimer's dementia. In conclusion, androgen-based hormone therapy is a potentially useful strategy for preventing the progression of MCI in aging men. Androgens enhance synaptic markers (SYN, PSD95, and Drebrin), activate CREB, modulate the fundamental biology of synaptic structure, and lead to the structural changes of plasticity in the hippocampus, all of which result in improved cognitive function. PMID:27588067

  10. Properties and plasticity of synaptic inputs to rat dorsal column neurones recorded in vitro.

    PubMed

    Nuñez, A; Buño, W

    2001-09-01

    dorsal column EPSPs. Depolarising current facilitated dorsal column EPSPs but not corticofugal EPSPs. 5. These results indicate that synaptic interactions include different forms of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, with the participation of NMDA receptors and probably Ca(2+) inflow through voltage-gated channels. These complex synaptic interactions may represent the cellular substrate of the integrative function of the dorsal column nuclei observed in vivo.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Testing synaptic plasticity in dynamic mate choice decisions: N-methyl D-aspartate receptor blockade disrupts female preference.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Mary E; Vu, Wendy; Cummings, Molly E

    2014-06-22

    Social behaviours such as mate choice require context-specific responses, often with evolutionary consequences. Increasing evidence indicates that the behavioural plasticity associated with mate choice involves learning. For example, poeciliids show age-dependent changes in female preference functions and express synaptic-plasticity-associated molecular markers during mate choice. Here, we test whether social cognition is necessary for female preference behaviour by blocking the central player in synaptic plasticity, NMDAR (N-methyl d-aspartate receptor), in a poeciliid fish, Xiphophorus nigrensis. After subchronic exposure to NMDAR antagonist MK-801, female preference behaviours towards males were dramatically reduced. Overall activity levels were unaffected, but there was a directional shift from 'social' behaviours towards neutral activity. Multivariate gene expression patterns significantly discriminated between females with normal versus disrupted plasticity processes and correlated with preference behaviours-not general activity. Furthermore, molecular patterns support a distinction between 'preference' (e.g. neuroserpin, neuroligin-3, NMDAR) and 'sociality' (isotocin and vasotocin) gene clusters, highlighting a possible conservation between NMDAR disruption and nonapeptides in modulating behaviour. Our results suggest that mate preference may involve greater social memory processing than overall sociality, and that poeciliid preference functions integrate synaptic-plasticity-oriented 'preference' pathways with overall sociality to invoke dynamic, context-specific responses towards favoured males and away from unfavoured males.

  13. Visual recognition memory, manifest as long-term habituation, requires synaptic plasticity in V1

    PubMed Central

    Cooke, Sam F.; Komorowski, Robert W.; Kaplan, Eitan S.; Gavornik, Jeffrey P.; Bear, Mark F.

    2015-01-01

    Familiarity with stimuli that bring neither reward nor punishment, manifested through behavioural habituation, enables organisms to detect novelty and devote cognition to important elements of the environment. Here we describe in mice a form of long-term behavioural habituation to visual grating stimuli that is selective for stimulus orientation. Orientation-selective habituation (OSH) can be observed both in exploratory behaviour in an open arena, and in a stereotyped motor response to visual stimuli in head-restrained mice. We show that the latter behavioural response, termed a vidget, requires V1. Parallel electrophysiological recordings in V1 reveal that plasticity, in the form of stimulus-selective response potentiation (SRP), occurs in layer 4 of V1 as OSH develops. Local manipulations of V1 that prevent and reverse electrophysiological modifications likewise prevent and reverse memory demonstrated behaviourally. These findings suggest that a form of long-term visual recognition memory is stored via synaptic plasticity in primary sensory cortex. PMID:25599221

  14. Ternary Synaptic Plasticity Arising from Memdiode Behavior of TiOx Single Nanowire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Deshun; Chen, Yuansha; Sun, Jirong; Shen, Baogen; Group 3 of Magnetism Laboratory, Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics Team

    Electric field-induced resistive switching (RS) effect has been widely explored as a novel nonvolatile memory over the past few years. Recently, the RS behavior with continuous transition has received considerable attention for its promising prospect in neuromorphic simulation. Here, the switching characteristics of a planar-structured TiOx single nanowire device were systematically investigated. It exhibited a strong electrical history-dependent rectifying behavior that was defined as a ''memdiode''. We further demonstrated that a ternary synaptic plasticity could be realized in such a TiOx nanowire device, characterized by the resistance and photocurrent responses. For a given state of the memdiode, a conjugated memristive characteristic and a distinct photocurrent can be simulaneously obtained, resulting in a synchronous implementation of various Hebbian plasticities with the same temporal order of spikes. These intriguing properties of TiOx memdiode provide a feasible way toward the designing of multifunctional electronic synapses as well as programmable artificial neural network This work has been partially supported by the National Basic Research of China (2013CB921700), the ``Strategic Priority Research Program (B)'' of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB07030200) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11374339).

  15. Plasticity-Driven Self-Organization under Topological Constraints Accounts for Non-random Features of Cortical Synaptic Wiring

    PubMed Central

    Miner, Daniel; Triesch, Jochen

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the structure and dynamics of cortical connectivity is vital to understanding cortical function. Experimental data strongly suggest that local recurrent connectivity in the cortex is significantly non-random, exhibiting, for example, above-chance bidirectionality and an overrepresentation of certain triangular motifs. Additional evidence suggests a significant distance dependency to connectivity over a local scale of a few hundred microns, and particular patterns of synaptic turnover dynamics, including a heavy-tailed distribution of synaptic efficacies, a power law distribution of synaptic lifetimes, and a tendency for stronger synapses to be more stable over time. Understanding how many of these non-random features simultaneously arise would provide valuable insights into the development and function of the cortex. While previous work has modeled some of the individual features of local cortical wiring, there is no model that begins to comprehensively account for all of them. We present a spiking network model of a rodent Layer 5 cortical slice which, via the interactions of a few simple biologically motivated intrinsic, synaptic, and structural plasticity mechanisms, qualitatively reproduces these non-random effects when combined with simple topological constraints. Our model suggests that mechanisms of self-organization arising from a small number of plasticity rules provide a parsimonious explanation for numerous experimentally observed non-random features of recurrent cortical wiring. Interestingly, similar mechanisms have been shown to endow recurrent networks with powerful learning abilities, suggesting that these mechanism are central to understanding both structure and function of cortical synaptic wiring. PMID:26866369

  16. Neutralization of Nogo-A Enhances Synaptic Plasticity in the Rodent Motor Cortex and Improves Motor Learning in Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Weinmann, Oliver; Kellner, Yves; Yu, Xinzhu; Vicente, Raul; Gullo, Miriam; Kasper, Hansjörg; Lussi, Karin; Ristic, Zorica; Luft, Andreas R.; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia; Zuo, Yi; Zagrebelsky, Marta; Schwab, Martin E.

    2014-01-01

    The membrane protein Nogo-A is known as an inhibitor of axonal outgrowth and regeneration in the CNS. However, its physiological functions in the normal adult CNS remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of Nogo-A in cortical synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the uninjured adult rodent motor cortex. Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 are present at cortical synapses. Acute treatment of slices with function-blocking antibodies (Abs) against Nogo-A or against NgR1 increased long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by stimulation of layer 2/3 horizontal fibers. Furthermore, anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment increased LTP saturation levels, whereas long-term depression remained unchanged, thus leading to an enlarged synaptic modification range. In vivo, intrathecal application of Nogo-A-blocking Abs resulted in a higher dendritic spine density at cortical pyramidal neurons due to an increase in spine formation as revealed by in vivo two-photon microscopy. To investigate whether these changes in synaptic plasticity correlate with motor learning, we trained rats to learn a skilled forelimb-reaching task while receiving anti-Nogo-A Abs. Learning of this cortically controlled precision movement was improved upon anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment. Our results identify Nogo-A as an influential molecular modulator of synaptic plasticity and as a regulator for learning of skilled movements in the motor cortex. PMID:24966370

  17. Calcium signaling, excitability, and synaptic plasticity defects in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hua; Liu, Jie; Sun, Suya; Pchitskaya, Ekaterina; Popugaeva, Elena; Bezprozvanny, Ilya

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) and aging result in impaired ability to store memories, but the cellular mechanisms responsible for these defects are poorly understood. Presenilin 1 (PS1) mutations are responsible for many early-onset familial AD (FAD) cases. The phenomenon of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) is widely used in studies of memory formation and storage. Recent data revealed long-term LTP maintenance (L-LTP) is impaired in PS1-M146V knock-in (KI) FAD mice. To understand the basis for this phenomenon, in the present study we analyzed structural synaptic plasticity in hippocampal cultures from wild type (WT) and KI mice. We discovered that exposure to picrotoxin induces formation of mushroom spines in both WT and KI cultures, but the maintenance of mushroom spines is impaired in KI neurons. This maintenance defect can be explained by an abnormal firing pattern during the consolidation phase of structural plasticity in KI neurons. Reduced frequency of neuronal firing in KI neurons is caused by enhanced calcium-induced calcium release (CICR), enhanced activity of calcium-activated potassium channels, and increased afterhyperpolarization. As a result, "consolidation" pattern of neuronal activity converted to "depotentiation" pattern of neuronal activity in KI neurons. Consistent with this model, we demonstrated that pharmacological inhibitors of CICR (dantrolene), of calcium-activated potassium channels (apamin), and of calcium-dependent phosphatase calcineurin (FK506) are able to rescue structural plasticity defects in KI neurons. Furthermore, we demonstrate that incubation with dantrolene or apamin also rescued L-LTP defects in KI hippocampal slices, suggesting a role for a similar mechanism. This proposed mechanism may be responsible for memory defects in AD but also for age-related memory decline.

  18. Cell biology of normal brain aging: synaptic plasticity-cell death.

    PubMed

    Dorszewska, Jolanta

    2013-04-01

    Senescence of the brain seems to be related to increased levels of free oxygen radical (FOR). FOR may damage macromolecular compounds such as: proteins, lipids, and DNA. In the aging brain, increased FOR levels damage DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and nuclear DNA (nDNA). In DNA they damage single and double strands, leading to mutations in mtDNA and nDNA. Damage to mtDNA seems to result in decay of mitochondria, decreased production of ATP, and in the activation of the apoptotic process. In the aging brain, apoptosis does not seem to be activated in wild-type p53-expressing cells because the elevated levels of the p53 protein are no longer accompanied by decreased levels of the Bcl-2 protein and increased levels of the Bax protein. It seems that, in the aging brain, changes in the metabolism of neurons may lead to their decreased numbers in the cerebral and cerebellar cortex, hippocampus, basal nucleus of Meynert, locus ceruleus, and substantia nigra, as well as to decreased numbers of synapses and disturbed stimulation of synaptic plasticity in the senescent brain. Simultaneously, a decrease in neurogenesis in the aging brain may lead to a decline in the maintenance of tissue integrity, function, and regenerative response. Environmental enrichment and physical activity may improve hippocampal neurogenesis and induce neuronal plasticity. The morphological lesions in the senescent brain are undoubtedly followed by a disturbed balance between various types of neurons in the CNS. Nevertheless, the high plasticity of the CNS in humans most probably does not allow for the development of abnormalities in higher functions. PMID:23740630

  19. Role of synaptic structural plasticity in impairments of spatial learning and memory induced by developmental lead exposure in Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Yongmei; Fu, Hongjun; Han, Xiaojie; Hu, Xiaoxia; Gu, Huaiyu; Chen, Yilin; Wei, Qing; Hu, Qiansheng

    2014-01-01

    Lead (Pb) is found to impair cognitive function. Synaptic structural plasticity is considered to be the physiological basis of synaptic functional plasticity and has been recently found to play important roles in learning and memory. To study the effect of Pb on spatial learning and memory at different developmental stages, and its relationship with alterations of synaptic structural plasticity, postnatal rats were randomly divided into three groups: Control; Pre-weaning Pb (Parents were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 3 weeks before mating until weaning of pups); Post-weaning Pb (Weaned pups were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 for 9 weeks). The spatial learning and memory of rats was measured by Morris water maze (MWM) on PND 85-90. Rat pups in Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups performed significantly worse than those in Control group (p<0.05). However, there was no significant difference in the performance of MWM between the two Pb-exposure groups. Before MWM (PND 84), the number of neurons and synapses significantly decreased in Pre-weaning Pb group, but not in Post-weaning Pb group. After MWM (PND 91), the number of synapses in Pre-weaning Pb group increased significantly, but it was still less than that of Control group (p<0.05); the number of synapses in Post-weaning Pb group was also less than that of Control group (p<0.05), although the number of synapses has no differences between Post-weaning Pb and Control groups before MWM. In both Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups, synaptic structural parameters such as thickness of postsynaptic density (PSD), length of synaptic active zone and synaptic curvature increased significantly while width of synaptic cleft decreased significantly compared to Control group (p<0.05). Our data demonstrated that both early and late developmental Pb exposure impaired spatial learning and memory as well as synaptic structural plasticity in Wistar rats.

  20. Promoter-Specific Effects of DREADD Modulation on Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation

    PubMed Central

    López, Alberto J.; Kramár, Enikö; Matheos, Dina P.; White, André O.; Kwapis, Janine; Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Sakata, Keith; Espinoza, Monica

    2016-01-01

    drug (DREADDs) as a means of bidirectionally modulating the hippocampus in not only a hippocampus-dependent task but also in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. This is the first study to evaluate the effects of DREADD-mediated inhibition and excitation in hippocampal long-term potentiation. More specifically, this study evaluates the effect of promoter-specific expression of DREADD viruses in a heterogenic cell population, which revealed surprising effects of different promoters. With chemogenetics becoming a more ubiquitous tool throughout studies investigating circuit-specific function, these data are of broad interest to the neuroscientific community because we have shown that promoter-specific effects can drastically alter synaptic function within a specific region, without parallel changes at the level of behavior. PMID:27013687

  1. Gravin orchestrates protein kinase A and β2-adrenergic receptor signaling critical for synaptic plasticity and memory.

    PubMed

    Havekes, Robbert; Canton, David A; Park, Alan J; Huang, Ted; Nie, Ting; Day, Jonathan P; Guercio, Leonardo A; Grimes, Quinn; Luczak, Vincent; Gelman, Irwin H; Baillie, George S; Scott, John D; Abel, Ted

    2012-12-12

    A kinase-anchoring proteins (AKAPs) organize compartmentalized pools of protein kinase A (PKA) to enable localized signaling events within neurons. However, it is unclear which of the many expressed AKAPs in neurons target PKA to signaling complexes important for long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and memory storage. In the forebrain, the anchoring protein gravin recruits a signaling complex containing PKA, PKC, calmodulin, and PDE4D (phosphodiesterase 4D) to the β2-adrenergic receptor. Here, we show that mice lacking the α-isoform of gravin have deficits in PKA-dependent long-lasting forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity including β2-adrenergic receptor-mediated plasticity, and selective impairments of long-term memory storage. Furthermore, both hippocampal β2-adrenergic receptor phosphorylation by PKA, and learning-induced activation of ERK in the CA1 region of the hippocampus are attenuated in mice lacking gravin-α. We conclude that gravin compartmentalizes a significant pool of PKA that regulates learning-induced β2-adrenergic receptor signaling and ERK activation in the hippocampus in vivo, thereby organizing molecular interactions between glutamatergic and noradrenergic signaling pathways for long-lasting synaptic plasticity, and memory storage.

  2. Acute stress and hippocampal output: exploring dorsal CA1 and subicular synaptic plasticity simultaneously in anesthetized rats

    PubMed Central

    MacDougall, Matthew J; Howland, John G

    2013-01-01

    The Cornu Ammonis-1 (CA1) subfield and subiculum (SUB) serve as major output structures of the hippocampal formation. Exploring forms of synaptic plasticity simultaneously within these two output regions may improve understanding of the dynamics of hippocampal circuitry and information transfer between hippocampal and cortical brain regions. Using a novel dual-channel electrophysiological preparation in urethane-anesthetized adult male Sprague-Dawley rats in vivo, we examined the effects of acute restraint stress (30 min) on short- and long-term forms of synaptic plasticity in both CA1 and SUB by stimulating the CA3 region. Paired-pulse facilitation was disrupted in SUB but not CA1 in the dual-channel experiments following exposure to acute stress. Disruptions in CA1 PPF were evident in subsequent single-channel experiments with a more anterior recording site. Acute stress disrupted long-term potentiation induced by high-frequency stimulation (10 bursts of 20 pulses at 200 Hz) in both CA1 and SUB. Low-frequency stimulation (900 pulses at 1 Hz) did not alter CA1 plasticity while a late-developing potentiation was evident in SUB that was disrupted following exposure to acute stress. These findings highlight differences in the sensitivity to acute stress for distinct forms of synaptic plasticity within synapses in hippocampal output regions. The findings are discussed in relation to normal and aberrant forms of hippocampal-cortical information processing. PMID:24303119

  3. Proteolytic regulation of synaptic plasticity in the mouse primary visual cortex: analysis of matrix metalloproteinase 9 deficient mice

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Emily A.; Russo, Amanda S.; Jackson, Cory D.; Lamantia, Cassandra E.; Majewska, Ania K.

    2015-01-01

    The extracellular matrix (ECM) is known to play important roles in regulating neuronal recovery from injury. The ECM can also impact physiological synaptic plasticity, although this process is less well understood. To understand the impact of the ECM on synaptic function and remodeling in vivo, we examined ECM composition and proteolysis in a well-established model of experience-dependent plasticity in the visual cortex. We describe a rapid change in ECM protein composition during Ocular Dominance Plasticity (ODP) in adolescent mice, and a loss of ECM remodeling in mice that lack the extracellular protease, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9). Loss of MMP9 also attenuated functional ODP following monocular deprivation (MD) and reduced excitatory synapse density and spine density in sensory cortex. While we observed no change in the morphology of existing dendritic spines, spine dynamics were altered, and MMP9 knock-out (KO) mice showed increased turnover of dendritic spines over a period of 2 days. We also analyzed the effects of MMP9 loss on microglia, as these cells are involved in extracellular remodeling and have been recently shown to be important for synaptic plasticity. MMP9 KO mice exhibited very limited changes in microglial morphology. Ultrastructural analysis, however, showed that the extracellular space surrounding microglia was increased, with concomitant increases in microglial inclusions, suggesting possible changes in microglial function in the absence of MMP9. Taken together, our results show that MMP9 contributes to ECM degradation, synaptic dynamics and sensory-evoked plasticity in the mouse visual cortex. PMID:26441540

  4. Apolipoprotein E4 impairs in vivo hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity by reducing the phosphorylation of CaMKIIα and CREB.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Feng; Gao, Xiu-Ping; Yuan, Li; Cai, Hong-Yan; Qi, Jin-Shun

    2014-01-01

    Inheritance of the apolipoprotein E genotype ε4 (APOE4) is a powerful risk factor for most cases of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the effects of ApoE4 on the long-term synaptic plasticity and its underlying mechanism have not clearly investigated. In the present study, we examined the effects of ApoE4 on the hippocampal late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP) and investigated its probable molecular mechanisms by using in vivo field potential recording, immunohistochemistry, and western blotting. The results showed that: (1) intra-hippocampal injection of 0.2 μg ApoE4, but not ApoE2, before high frequency stimulations (HFSs) attenuated the induction of hippocampal L-LTP in the CA1 region, while injection of the same concentration of ApoE4 after HFSs, even at a higher concentration (2 μg), did not affect the long term synaptic plasticity; (2) ApoE4 injection did not affect the paired pulse facilitation in the hippocampal CA1 region; (3) ApoE4 injection before, not after, HFSs significantly decreased the levels of phosphorylated Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (p-CaMKIIα) and phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (p-CREB) in the hippocampus. These results demonstrated for the first time that ApoE4 could impair hippocampal L-LTP by reducing p-CaMKIIα and p-CREB, suggesting that the ApoE4-induced suppression of hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity may contribute to the cognitive impairments in genetic AD; and both CaMKIIα and CREB are important intracellular targets of the neurotoxic ApoE4.

  5. Bidirectional synaptic plasticity in intercalated amygdala neurons and the extinction of conditioned fear responses.

    PubMed

    Royer, S; Paré, D

    2002-01-01

    Classical fear conditioning is believed to result from potentiation of conditioned synaptic inputs in the basolateral amygdala. That is, the conditioned stimulus would excite more neurons in the central nucleus and, via their projections to the brainstem and hypothalamus, evoke fear responses. However, much data suggests that extinction of fear responses does not depend on the reversal of these changes but on a parallel NMDA-dependent learning that competes with the first one. Because they control impulse traffic from the basolateral amygdala to the central nucleus, GABAergic neurons of the intercalated cell masses are ideally located to implement this second learning. Consistent with this hypothesis, the present study shows that low- and high-frequency stimulation of basolateral afferents respectively induce long-term depression (LTD) and potentiation (LTP) of responses in intercalated cells. Moreover, induction of LTP and LTD is prevented by application of an NMDA antagonist. To determine how these activity-dependent changes are expressed, we tested whether LTD and LTP induction are associated with modifications in paired-pulse facilitation, an index of transmitter release probability. Only LTP induction was associated with a change in paired-pulse facilitation. Depotentiation of previously potentiated synapses did not revert the modification in paired pulse facilitation, suggesting that LTP is associated with presynaptic alterations, but that LTD and depotentiation depend on postsynaptic changes. Taken together, our results suggest that basolateral synapses onto intercalated neurons can express NMDA-dependent LTP and LTD, consistent with the possibility that intercalated neurons are a critical locus of plasticity for the extinction of conditioned fear responses. Ultimately, these plastic events may prevent conditioned amygdala responses from exciting neurons of the central nucleus, and thus from evoking conditioned fear responses.

  6. The effects of L-arginine on spatial memory and synaptic plasticity impairments induced by lipopolysaccharide

    PubMed Central

    Anaeigoudari, Akbar; Shafei, Mohammad Naser; Soukhtanloo, Mohammad; Sadeghnia, Hamid Reza; Reisi, Parham; Nosratabadi, Reza; Behradnia, Sepehr; Hosseini, Mahmoud

    2015-01-01

    Background: An important role of nitric oxide (NO) in neuroinflammation has been suggested. It is also suggested that NO has a critical role in learning and memory. Neuro-inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been reported that deteriorates learning and memory. The effect of L-arginine (LA) as a precursor of NO on LPS-induced spatial learning and memory and neuronal plasticity impairment was evaluated. Materials and Methods: The animals were grouped into: (1) Control, (2) LPS, (3) LA-LPS, and (4) LA. The rats received intraperitoneally LPS (1 mg/kg) 2 h before experiments and LA (200 mg/kg) 30 min before LPS. The animals were examined in Morris water maze (MWM). Long-term potentiation (LTP) from CA1 area of the hippocampus was also assessed by 100 Hz stimulation in the ipsilateral Schaffer collateral pathway. Results: In MWM, time latency and traveled path were higher in LPS group than the control group (P < 0.001) whereas in LA-LPS group they were shorter than LPS group (P < 0.001). The amplitude and slope of field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) decreased in LPS group compared to control group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01) whereas, there was not any significant difference in these parameters between LPS and LA-LPS groups. Conclusion: Administration of LPS impaired spatial memory and synaptic plasticity. Although LA ameliorated deleterious effects of LPS on learning of spatial tasks, it could not restore LPS-induced LTP impairment. PMID:26601090

  7. Synapse-specific stabilization of plasticity processes: the synaptic tagging and capture hypothesis revisited 10 years later.

    PubMed

    Barco, Angel; Lopez de Armentia, Mikel; Alarcon, Juan M

    2008-01-01

    A decade ago, the synaptic tagging hypothesis was proposed to explain how newly synthesized plasticity products can be specifically targeted to active synapses. A growing number of studies have validated the seminal findings that gave rise to this model, as well as contributed to unveil and expand the range of mechanisms underlying late-associativity and neuronal computation. Here, we will review what it was learnt during this past decade regarding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic tagging and synaptic capture. The accumulated experimental evidence has widened the theoretical framework set by the synaptic tagging and capture (STC) model and introduced concepts that were originally considered part of alternative models for explaining synapse-specific long-term potentiation (LTP). As a result, we believe that the STC model, now improved and expanded with these new ideas and concepts, still represents the most compelling hypothesis to explain late-associativity in synapse-specific plasticity processes. We will also discuss the impact of this model in our view of the integrative capability of neurons and associative learning. PMID:18281094

  8. Basic roles of key molecules connected with NMDAR signaling pathway on regulating learning and memory and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Peng, Rui-Yun

    2016-01-01

    With key roles in essential brain functions ranging from the long-term potentiation (LTP) to synaptic plasticity, the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) can be considered as one of the fundamental glutamate receptors in the central nervous system. The role of NMDA R was first identified in synaptic plasticity and has been extensively studied. Some molecules, such as Ca(2+), postsynaptic density 95 (PSD-95), calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMK II), protein kinase A (PKA), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) responsive element binding protein (CREB), are of special importance in learning and memory. This review mainly focused on the new research of key molecules connected with learning and memory, which played important roles in the NMDAR signaling pathway. PMID:27583167

  9. Neuronal plasticity in hibernation and the proposed role of the microtubule-associated protein tau as a "master switch" regulating synaptic gain in neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Arendt, Thomas; Bullmann, Torsten

    2013-09-01

    The present paper provides an overview of adaptive changes in brain structure and learning abilities during hibernation as a behavioral strategy used by several mammalian species to minimize energy expenditure under current or anticipated inhospitable environmental conditions. One cellular mechanism that contributes to the regulated suppression of metabolism and thermogenesis during hibernation is reversible phosphorylation of enzymes and proteins, which limits rates of flux through metabolic pathways. Reversible phosphorylation during hibernation also affects synaptic membrane proteins, a process known to be involved in synaptic plasticity. This mechanism of reversible protein phosphorylation also affects the microtubule-associated protein tau, thereby generating a condition that in the adult human brain is associated with aggregation of tau protein to paired helical filaments (PHFs), as observed in Alzheimer's disease. Here, we put forward the concept that phosphorylation of tau is a neuroprotective mechanism to escape NMDA-mediated hyperexcitability of neurons that would otherwise occur during slow gradual cooling of the brain. Phosphorylation of tau and its subsequent targeting to subsynaptic sites might, thus, work as a kind of "master switch," regulating NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic gain in a wide array of neuronal networks, thereby enabling entry into torpor. If this condition lasts too long, however, it may eventually turn into a pathological trigger, driving a cascade of events leading to neurodegeneration, as in Alzheimer's disease or other "tauopathies".

  10. Role of the somatostatin system in contextual fear memory and hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kluge, Christian; Stoppel, Christian; Szinyei, Csaba; Stork, Oliver; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2008-04-01

    Somatostatin has been implicated in various cognitive and emotional functions, but its precise role is still poorly understood. Here, we have made use of mice with somatostatin deficiency, based upon genetic invalidation or pharmacologically induced depletion, and Pavlovian fear conditioning in order to address the contribution of the somatostatin system to associative fear memory. The results demonstrate an impairment of foreground and background contextual but not tone fear conditioning in mice with targeted ablation of the somatostatin gene. These deficits were associated with a decrease in long-term potentiation in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. Both the behavioral and the electrophysiological phenotypes were mimicked in wild-type mice through application of the somatostatin-depleting substance cysteamine prior to fear training, whereas no further deficits were observed upon application in the somatostatin null mutants. These results suggest that the somatostatin system plays a critical role in the acquisition of contextual fear memory, but not tone fear learning, and further highlights the role of hippocampal synaptic plasticity for information processing concerning contextual information.

  11. LIMK1 Regulates Long-Term Memory and Synaptic Plasticity via the Transcriptional Factor CREB

    PubMed Central

    Todorovski, Zarko; Asrar, Suhail; Liu, Jackie; Saw, Ner Mu Nar; Joshi, Krutika; Cortez, Miguel A.; Snead, O. Carter; Xie, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Deletion of the LIMK1 gene is associated with Williams syndrome, a unique neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe defects in visuospatial cognition and long-term memory (LTM). However, whether LIMK1 contributes to these deficits remains elusive. Here, we show that LIMK1-knockout (LIMK1−/−) mice are drastically impaired in LTM but not short-term memory (STM). In addition, LIMK1−/− mice are selectively defective in late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP), a form of long-lasting synaptic plasticity specifically required for the formation of LTM. Furthermore, we show that LIMK1 interacts and regulates the activity of cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB), an extensively studied transcriptional factor critical for LTM. Importantly, both L-LTP and LTM deficits in LIMK1−/− mice are rescued by increasing the activity of CREB. These results provide strong evidence that LIMK1 deletion is sufficient to lead to an LTM deficit and that this deficit is attributable to CREB hypofunction. Our study has identified a direct gene-phenotype link in mice and provides a potential strategy to restore LTM in patients with Williams syndrome through the enhancement of CREB activity in the adult brain. PMID:25645926

  12. Orofacial Neuropathic Pain Leads to a Hyporesponsive Barrel Cortex with Enhanced Structural Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Thibault, Karine; Rivière, Sébastien; Lenkei, Zsolt

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pain is a long-lasting debilitating condition that is particularly difficult to treat due to the lack of identified underlying mechanisms. Although several key contributing processes have been described at the level of the spinal cord, very few studies have investigated the supraspinal mechanisms underlying chronic pain. Using a combination of approaches (cortical intrinsic imaging, immunohistochemical and behavioural analysis), our study aimed to decipher the nature of functional and structural changes in a mouse model of orofacial neuropathic pain, focusing on cortical areas involved in various pain components. Our results show that chronic neuropathic orofacial pain is associated with decreased haemodynamic responsiveness to whisker stimulation in the barrel field cortex. This reduced functional activation is likely due to the increased basal neuronal activity (measured indirectly using cFos and phospho-ERK immunoreactivity) observed in several cortical areas, including the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. In the same animals, immunohistochemical analysis of markers for active pre- or postsynaptic elements (Piccolo and phospho-Cofilin, respectively) revealed an increased immunofluorescence in deep cortical layers of the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. These results suggest that long-lasting orofacial neuropathic pain is associated with exacerbated neuronal activity and synaptic plasticity at the cortical level. PMID:27548330

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. LIMK1 regulates long-term memory and synaptic plasticity via the transcriptional factor CREB.

    PubMed

    Todorovski, Zarko; Asrar, Suhail; Liu, Jackie; Saw, Ner Mu Nar; Joshi, Krutika; Cortez, Miguel A; Snead, O Carter; Xie, Wei; Jia, Zhengping

    2015-04-01

    Deletion of the LIMK1 gene is associated with Williams syndrome, a unique neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe defects in visuospatial cognition and long-term memory (LTM). However, whether LIMK1 contributes to these deficits remains elusive. Here, we show that LIMK1-knockout (LIMK1(-/-)) mice are drastically impaired in LTM but not short-term memory (STM). In addition, LIMK1(-/-) mice are selectively defective in late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP), a form of long-lasting synaptic plasticity specifically required for the formation of LTM. Furthermore, we show that LIMK1 interacts and regulates the activity of cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB), an extensively studied transcriptional factor critical for LTM. Importantly, both L-LTP and LTM deficits in LIMK1(-/-) mice are rescued by increasing the activity of CREB. These results provide strong evidence that LIMK1 deletion is sufficient to lead to an LTM deficit and that this deficit is attributable to CREB hypofunction. Our study has identified a direct gene-phenotype link in mice and provides a potential strategy to restore LTM in patients with Williams syndrome through the enhancement of CREB activity in the adult brain.

  15. p38 MAPK Inhibition Improves Synaptic Plasticity and Memory in Angiotensin II-dependent Hypertensive Mice

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Hai-long; Hu, Wei-yuan; Jiang, Li-hong; Li, Le; Gaung, Xue-feng; Xiao, Zhi-cheng

    2016-01-01

    The pathogenesis of hypertension-related cognitive impairment has not been sufficiently clarified, new molecular targets are needed. p38 MAPK pathway plays an important role in hypertensive target organ damage. Activated p38 MAPK was seen in AD brain tissue. In this study, we found that long-term potentiation (LTP) of hippocampal CA1 was decreased, the density of the dendritic spines on the CA1 pyramidal cells was reduced, the p-p38 protein expression in hippocampus was elevated, and cognitive function was impaired in angiotensin II-dependent hypertensive C57BL/6 mice. In vivo, using a p38 heterozygous knockdown mice (p38KI/+) model, we showed that knockdown of p38 MAPK in hippocampus leads to the improvement of cognitive function and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in angiotensin II-dependent p38KI/+ hypertensive mice. In vitro, LTP was improved in hippocampal slices from C57BL/6 hypertensive mice by treatment with p38MAPK inhibitor SKF86002. Our data demonstrated that p38 MAPK may be a potential therapeutic target for hypertension-related cognitive dysfunction. PMID:27283322

  16. Role of Nicotinic and Muscarinic Receptors on Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Diseases.

    PubMed

    Fuenzalida, Marco; Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Arias, Hugo R

    2016-01-01

    The cholinergic activity in the brain is fundamental for cognitive functions. The modulatory activity of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) is mediated by activating a variety of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR). Accumulating evidence indicates that both nAChR and mAChRs can modulate the release of several other neurotransmitters, modify the threshold of long-term plasticity, finally improving learning and memory processes. Importantly, the expression, distribution, and/or function of these systems are altered in several neurological diseases. The aim of this review is to discuss our current knowledge on cholinergic receptors and their regulating synaptic functions and neuronal network activities as well as their use as targets for the development of new and clinically useful cholinergic ligands. These new therapies involve the development of novel and more selective cholinergic agonists and allosteric modulators as well as selective cholinesterase inhibitors, which may improve cognitive and behavioral symptoms, and also provide neuroprotection in several brain diseases. The review will focus on two nAChR receptor subtypes found in the mammalian brain and the most commonly targeted in drug discovery programs for neuropsychiatric disorder, the ligands of α4β2 nAChR and α7 nAChRs. PMID:26818867

  17. Shp2 in forebrain neurons regulates synaptic plasticity, locomotion, and memory formation in mice.

    PubMed

    Kusakari, Shinya; Saitow, Fumihito; Ago, Yukio; Shibasaki, Koji; Sato-Hashimoto, Miho; Matsuzaki, Yasunori; Kotani, Takenori; Murata, Yoji; Hirai, Hirokazu; Matsuda, Toshio; Suzuki, Hidenori; Matozaki, Takashi; Ohnishi, Hiroshi

    2015-05-01

    Shp2 (Src homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2) regulates neural cell differentiation. It is also expressed in postmitotic neurons, however, and mutations of Shp2 are associated with clinical syndromes characterized by mental retardation. Here we show that conditional-knockout (cKO) mice lacking Shp2 specifically in postmitotic forebrain neurons manifest abnormal behavior, including hyperactivity. Novelty-induced expression of immediate-early genes and activation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (Erk) were attenuated in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of Shp2 cKO mice, suggestive of reduced neuronal activity. In contrast, ablation of Shp2 enhanced high-K(+)-induced Erk activation in both cultured cortical neurons and synaptosomes, whereas it inhibited that induced by brain-derived growth factor in cultured neurons. Posttetanic potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation were attenuated and enhanced, respectively, in hippocampal slices from Shp2 cKO mice. The mutant mice also manifested transient impairment of memory formation in the Morris water maze. Our data suggest that Shp2 contributes to regulation of Erk activation and synaptic plasticity in postmitotic forebrain neurons and thereby controls locomotor activity and memory formation.

  18. Short-term plasticity and modulation of synaptic transmission at mammalian inhibitory cholinergic olivocochlear synapses

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Eleonora; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén

    2014-01-01

    The organ of Corti, the mammalian sensory epithelium of the inner ear, has two types of mechanoreceptor cells, inner hair cells (IHCs) and outer hair cells (OHCs). In this sensory epithelium, vibrations produced by sound waves are transformed into electrical signals. When depolarized by incoming sounds, IHCs release glutamate and activate auditory nerve fibers innervating them and OHCs, by virtue of their electromotile property, increase the amplification and fine tuning of sound signals. The medial olivocochlear (MOC) system, an efferent feedback system, inhibits OHC activity and thereby reduces the sensitivity and sharp tuning of cochlear afferent fibers. During neonatal development, IHCs fire Ca2+ action potentials which evoke glutamate release promoting activity in the immature auditory system in the absence of sensory stimuli. During this period, MOC fibers also innervate IHCs and are thought to modulate their firing rate. Both the MOC-OHC and the MOC-IHC synapses are cholinergic, fast and inhibitory and mediated by the α9α10 nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR) coupled to the activation of calcium-activated potassium channels that hyperpolarize the hair cells. In this review we discuss the biophysical, functional and molecular data which demonstrate that at the synapses between MOC efferent fibers and cochlear hair cells, modulation of transmitter release as well as short term synaptic plasticity mechanisms, operating both at the presynaptic terminal and at the postsynaptic hair-cell, determine the efficacy of these synapses and shape the hair cell response pattern. PMID:25520631

  19. Short-term synaptic plasticity can enhance weak signal detectability in nonrenewal spike trains.

    PubMed

    Lüdtke, Niklas; Nelson, Mark E

    2006-12-01

    We study the encoding of weak signals in spike trains with interspike interval (ISI) correlations and the signals' subsequent detection in sensory neurons. Motivated by the observation of negative ISI correlations in auditory and electrosensory afferents, we assess the theoretical performance limits of an individual detector neuron receiving a weak signal distributed across multiple afferent inputs. We assess the functional role of ISI correlations in the detection process using statistical detection theory and derive two sequential likelihood ratio detector models: one for afferents with renewal statistics; the other for afferents with negatively correlated ISIs. We suggest a mechanism that might enable sensory neurons to implicitly compute conditional probabilities of presynaptic spikes by means of short-term synaptic plasticity. We demonstrate how this mechanism can enhance a postsynaptic neuron's sensitivity to weak signals by exploiting the correlation structure of the input spike trains. Our model not only captures fundamental aspects of early electrosensory signal processing in weakly electric fish, but may also bear relevance to the mammalian auditory system and other sensory modalities.

  20. Dopamine-dependent synaptic plasticity in an amygdala inhibitory circuit controls fear memory expression.

    PubMed

    Lee, Joo Han; Kim, Joung-Hun

    2016-01-01

    Of the numerous events that occur in daily life, we readily remember salient information, but do not retain most less-salient events for a prolonged period. Although some of the episodes contain putatively emotional aspects, the information with lower saliency is rarely stored in neural circuits via an unknown mechanism. We provided substantial evidence indicating that synaptic plasticity in the dorsal ITC of amygdala allows for selective storage of salient emotional experiences, while it deters less-salient experience from entering long-term memory. After activation of D4R or weak fear conditioning, STDP stimulation induces LTD in the LA-ITC synapses. This form of LTD is dependent upon presynaptic D4R, and is likely to result from enhancement of GABA release. Both optogenetic abrogation of LTD and ablation of D4R at the dorsal ITC in vivo lead to heightened and over-generalized fear responses. Finally, we demonstrated that LTD was impaired at the dorsal ITC of PTSD model mice, which suggests that maladaptation of GABAergic signaling and the resultant LTD impairment contribute to the endophenotypes of PTSD. PMID:26674344

  1. Purkinje cell dysfunction and alteration of long-term synaptic plasticity in fetal alcohol syndrome.

    PubMed

    Servais, Laurent; Hourez, Raphaël; Bearzatto, Bertrand; Gall, David; Schiffmann, Serge N; Cheron, Guy

    2007-06-01

    In cerebellum and other brain regions, neuronal cell death because of ethanol consumption by the mother is thought to be the leading cause of neurological deficits in the offspring. However, little is known about how surviving cells function. We studied cerebellar Purkinje cells in vivo and in vitro to determine whether function of these cells was altered after prenatal ethanol exposure. We observed that Purkinje cells that were prenatally exposed to ethanol presented decreased voltage-gated calcium currents because of a decreased expression of the gamma-isoform of protein kinase C. Long-term depression at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse in the cerebellum was converted into long-term potentiation. This likely explains the dramatic increase in Purkinje cell firing and the rapid oscillations of local field potential observed in alert fetal alcohol syndrome mice. Our data strongly suggest that reversal of long-term synaptic plasticity and increased firing rates of Purkinje cells in vivo are major contributors to the ataxia and motor learning deficits observed in fetal alcohol syndrome. Our results show that calcium-related neuronal dysfunction is central to the pathogenesis of the neurological manifestations of fetal alcohol syndrome and suggest new methods for treatment of this disorder.

  2. Shp2 in Forebrain Neurons Regulates Synaptic Plasticity, Locomotion, and Memory Formation in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kusakari, Shinya; Saitow, Fumihito; Ago, Yukio; Shibasaki, Koji; Sato-Hashimoto, Miho; Matsuzaki, Yasunori; Kotani, Takenori; Murata, Yoji; Hirai, Hirokazu; Matsuda, Toshio; Suzuki, Hidenori

    2015-01-01

    Shp2 (Src homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2) regulates neural cell differentiation. It is also expressed in postmitotic neurons, however, and mutations of Shp2 are associated with clinical syndromes characterized by mental retardation. Here we show that conditional-knockout (cKO) mice lacking Shp2 specifically in postmitotic forebrain neurons manifest abnormal behavior, including hyperactivity. Novelty-induced expression of immediate-early genes and activation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (Erk) were attenuated in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of Shp2 cKO mice, suggestive of reduced neuronal activity. In contrast, ablation of Shp2 enhanced high-K+-induced Erk activation in both cultured cortical neurons and synaptosomes, whereas it inhibited that induced by brain-derived growth factor in cultured neurons. Posttetanic potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation were attenuated and enhanced, respectively, in hippocampal slices from Shp2 cKO mice. The mutant mice also manifested transient impairment of memory formation in the Morris water maze. Our data suggest that Shp2 contributes to regulation of Erk activation and synaptic plasticity in postmitotic forebrain neurons and thereby controls locomotor activity and memory formation. PMID:25713104

  3. Branch-specific dendritic Ca2+ spikes cause persistent synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Cichon, Joseph; Gan, Wen-Biao

    2015-01-01

    The brain has an extraordinary capacity for memory storage, but how it stores new information without disrupting previously acquired memories remains unknown. Here we show that different motor learning tasks induce dendritic Ca2+ spikes on different apical tuft branches of individual layer V pyramidal neurons in the mouse motor cortex. These task-related, branch-specific Ca2+ spikes cause long-lasting potentiation of postsynaptic dendritic spines active at the time of spike generation. When somatostatin-expressing interneurons are inactivated, different motor tasks frequently induce Ca2+ spikes on the same branches. On those branches, spines potentiated during one task are depotentiated when they are active seconds before Ca2+ spikes induced by another task. Concomitantly, increased neuronal activity and performance improvement after learning one task are disrupted when another task is learned. These findings indicate that dendritic-branch-specific generation of Ca2+ spikes is crucial for establishing long-lasting synaptic plasticity, thereby facilitating information storage associated with different learning experiences. PMID:25822789

  4. Orofacial Neuropathic Pain Leads to a Hyporesponsive Barrel Cortex with Enhanced Structural Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Thibault, Karine; Rivière, Sébastien; Lenkei, Zsolt; Férézou, Isabelle; Pezet, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pain is a long-lasting debilitating condition that is particularly difficult to treat due to the lack of identified underlying mechanisms. Although several key contributing processes have been described at the level of the spinal cord, very few studies have investigated the supraspinal mechanisms underlying chronic pain. Using a combination of approaches (cortical intrinsic imaging, immunohistochemical and behavioural analysis), our study aimed to decipher the nature of functional and structural changes in a mouse model of orofacial neuropathic pain, focusing on cortical areas involved in various pain components. Our results show that chronic neuropathic orofacial pain is associated with decreased haemodynamic responsiveness to whisker stimulation in the barrel field cortex. This reduced functional activation is likely due to the increased basal neuronal activity (measured indirectly using cFos and phospho-ERK immunoreactivity) observed in several cortical areas, including the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. In the same animals, immunohistochemical analysis of markers for active pre- or postsynaptic elements (Piccolo and phospho-Cofilin, respectively) revealed an increased immunofluorescence in deep cortical layers of the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. These results suggest that long-lasting orofacial neuropathic pain is associated with exacerbated neuronal activity and synaptic plasticity at the cortical level. PMID:27548330

  5. Effects of exercise intensity on spatial memory performance and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in transient brain ischemic rats.

    PubMed

    Shih, Pei-Cheng; Yang, Yea-Ru; Wang, Ray-Yau

    2013-01-01

    Memory impairment is commonly noted in stroke survivors, and can lead to delay of functional recovery. Exercise has been proved to improve memory in adult healthy subjects. Such beneficial effects are often suggested to relate to hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which is important for memory processing. Previous evidence showed that in normal rats, low intensity exercise can improve synaptic plasticity better than high intensity exercise. However, the effects of exercise intensities on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory after brain ischemia remain unclear. In this study, we investigated such effects in brain ischemic rats. The middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) procedure was used to induce brain ischemia. After the MCAO procedure, rats were randomly assigned to sedentary (Sed), low-intensity exercise (Low-Ex), or high-intensity exercise (High-Ex) group. Treadmill training began from the second day post MCAO procedure, 30 min/day for 14 consecutive days for the exercise groups. The Low-Ex group was trained at the speed of 8 m/min, while the High-Ex group at the speed of 20 m/min. The spatial memory, hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), synapsin-I, postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95), and dendritic structures were examined to document the effects. Serum corticosterone level was also quantified as stress marker. Our results showed the Low-Ex group, but not the High-Ex group, demonstrated better spatial memory performance than the Sed group. Dendritic complexity and the levels of BDNF and PSD-95 increased significantly only in the Low-Ex group as compared with the Sed group in bilateral hippocampus. Notably, increased level of corticosterone was found in the High-Ex group, implicating higher stress response. In conclusion, after brain ischemia, low intensity exercise may result in better synaptic plasticity and spatial memory performance than high intensity exercise; therefore, the intensity is suggested to be considered

  6. Coupling energy metabolism with a mechanism to support brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Vaynman, S; Ying, Z; Wu, A; Gomez-Pinilla, F

    2006-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity and behaviors are likely dependent on the capacity of neurons to meet the energy demands imposed by neuronal activity. We used physical activity, a paradigm intrinsically associated with energy consumption/expenditure and cognitive enhancement, to study how energy metabolism interacts with the substrates for neuroplasticity. We found that in an area critical for learning and memory, the hippocampus, exercise modified aspects of energy metabolism by decreasing oxidative stress and increasing the levels of cytochrome c oxidase-II, a specific component of mitochondrial machinery. We infused 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, a modulator of energy metabolism, directly into the hippocampus during 3 days of voluntary wheel running and measured its effects on brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated synaptic plasticity. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a central player for the effects of exercise on synaptic and cognitive plasticity. We found that 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 decreased exercise-induced brain-derived neurotrophic factor but had no significant effect on neurotrophin-3 levels, thereby suggesting a level of specificity for brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus. 25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 injection also abolished the effects of exercise on the consummate end-products of brain-derived neurotrophic factor action, i.e. cyclic AMP response element-binding protein and synapsin I, and modulated phosphorylated calmodulin protein kinase II, a signal transduction cascade downstream to brain-derived neurotrophic factor action that is important for learning and memory. We also found that exercise significantly increased the expression of the mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2, an energy-balancing factor concerned with ATP production and free radical management. Our results reveal a fundamental mechanism by which key elements of energy metabolism may modulate the substrates of hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  7. Colored plastic mulch microclimates affect strawberry fruit yield and quality.

    PubMed

    Shiukhy, Saeid; Raeini-Sarjaz, Mahmoud; Chalavi, Vida

    2015-08-01

    Significant reduction of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa, Duch.) fruit yield and quality, as a consequence of conventional cultivation method, is common in the Caspian Sea region, Iran. Recently, growers started using plastic mulches to overcome these shortcomings. Plastic mulches have different thermal and radiation properties and could affect strawberry fruit yield and quality. In the present study, the effect of different colored plastic mulches (black, red, and white) along with conventional practice was tested on yield and quality of strawberry Camarosa cultivar, in a completely randomized block design. Colored plastic mulches had highly significant effect on fruit weight, size, and phytochemical contents. In the most harvest times, mean fruit weight was significantly higher in red plastic relative to white and control treatments. Total fruit weight of plastic mulches was not significantly different, while all were statistically higher than that of control. Fruit size significantly increased over red plastic mulch. Total fruit numbers over plastic mulches were significantly higher than that of control treatment. The content of phenolic compounds was similar between treatments, while anthocyanin content, IC(50) value, and flavonoid content significantly were affected by colored plastics. In conclusion, colored plastic mulches could affect strawberry fruit weight and quality through altering strawberry thermal and radiation environment. PMID:25348886

  8. Colored plastic mulch microclimates affect strawberry fruit yield and quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiukhy, Saeid; Raeini-Sarjaz, Mahmoud; Chalavi, Vida

    2015-08-01

    Significant reduction of strawberry ( Fragaria × ananassa, Duch.) fruit yield and quality, as a consequence of conventional cultivation method, is common in the Caspian Sea region, Iran. Recently, growers started using plastic mulches to overcome these shortcomings. Plastic mulches have different thermal and radiation properties and could affect strawberry fruit yield and quality. In the present study, the effect of different colored plastic mulches (black, red, and white) along with conventional practice was tested on yield and quality of strawberry Camarosa cultivar, in a completely randomized block design. Colored plastic mulches had highly significant effect on fruit weight, size, and phytochemical contents. In the most harvest times, mean fruit weight was significantly higher in red plastic relative to white and control treatments. Total fruit weight of plastic mulches was not significantly different, while all were statistically higher than that of control. Fruit size significantly increased over red plastic mulch. Total fruit numbers over plastic mulches were significantly higher than that of control treatment. The content of phenolic compounds was similar between treatments, while anthocyanin content, IC50 value, and flavonoid content significantly were affected by colored plastics. In conclusion, colored plastic mulches could affect strawberry fruit weight and quality through altering strawberry thermal and radiation environment.

  9. Colored plastic mulch microclimates affect strawberry fruit yield and quality.

    PubMed

    Shiukhy, Saeid; Raeini-Sarjaz, Mahmoud; Chalavi, Vida

    2015-08-01

    Significant reduction of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa, Duch.) fruit yield and quality, as a consequence of conventional cultivation method, is common in the Caspian Sea region, Iran. Recently, growers started using plastic mulches to overcome these shortcomings. Plastic mulches have different thermal and radiation properties and could affect strawberry fruit yield and quality. In the present study, the effect of different colored plastic mulches (black, red, and white) along with conventional practice was tested on yield and quality of strawberry Camarosa cultivar, in a completely randomized block design. Colored plastic mulches had highly significant effect on fruit weight, size, and phytochemical contents. In the most harvest times, mean fruit weight was significantly higher in red plastic relative to white and control treatments. Total fruit weight of plastic mulches was not significantly different, while all were statistically higher than that of control. Fruit size significantly increased over red plastic mulch. Total fruit numbers over plastic mulches were significantly higher than that of control treatment. The content of phenolic compounds was similar between treatments, while anthocyanin content, IC(50) value, and flavonoid content significantly were affected by colored plastics. In conclusion, colored plastic mulches could affect strawberry fruit weight and quality through altering strawberry thermal and radiation environment.

  10. Effects of developmental exposure to TiO2 nanoparticles on synaptic plasticity in hippocampal dentate gyrus area: an in vivo study in anesthetized rats.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xiaoyan; Yin, Shuting; Tang, Mingliang; Chen, Jutao; Yang, Zhongfei; Zhang, Wencai; Chen, Liang; Yang, Bo; Li, Zhifeng; Zha, Yingying; Ruan, Diyun; Wang, Ming

    2011-12-01

    With the increasing applications of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO(2) NPs) in industry and daily life, an increasing number of studies showed that TiO(2) NPs may have negative effects on the respiratory or metabolic circle systems of organisms, while very few studies focused on the brain central nervous system (CNS). Synaptic plasticity in hippocampus is believed to be associated with certain high functions of CNS, such as learning and memory. Thus, in this study, we investigated the effects of developmental exposure to TiO(2) NPs on synaptic plasticity in rats' hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) area using in vivo electrophysiological recordings. The input/output (I/O) functions, paired-pulse reaction (PPR), field excitatory postsynaptic potential, and population spike amplitude were measured. The results showed that the I/O functions, PPR, and long-term potentiation were all attenuated in lactation TiO(2) NPs-exposed offspring rats compared with those in the control group. However, in the pregnancy TiO(2) NPs exposure group, only PPR was attenuated significantly. These findings suggest that developmental exposure to TiO(2) NPs could affect synaptic plasticity in offspring's hippocampal DG area in vivo, which indicates that developmental brains, especially in lactation, are susceptible to TiO(2) NPs exposure. This study reveals the potential toxicity of TiO(2) NPs in CNS. It may give some hints on the security of TiO(2) NPs production and application and shed light on its future toxicological studies. PMID:21331565

  11. The Sphingolipid Receptor S1PR2 Is a Receptor for Nogo-A Repressing Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Arzt, Michael E.; Weinmann, Oliver; Obermair, Franz J.; Pernet, Vincent; Zagrebelsky, Marta; Delekate, Andrea; Iobbi, Cristina; Zemmar, Ajmal; Ristic, Zorica; Gullo, Miriam; Spies, Peter; Dodd, Dana; Gygax, Daniel; Korte, Martin; Schwab, Martin E.

    2014-01-01

    Nogo-A is a membrane protein of the central nervous system (CNS) restricting neurite growth and synaptic plasticity via two extracellular domains: Nogo-66 and Nogo-A-Δ20. Receptors transducing Nogo-A-Δ20 signaling remained elusive so far. Here we identify the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 2 (S1PR2) as a Nogo-A-Δ20-specific receptor. Nogo-A-Δ20 binds S1PR2 on sites distinct from the pocket of the sphingolipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) and signals via the G protein G13, the Rho GEF LARG, and RhoA. Deleting or blocking S1PR2 counteracts Nogo-A-Δ20- and myelin-mediated inhibition of neurite outgrowth and cell spreading. Blockade of S1PR2 strongly enhances long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus of wild-type but not Nogo-A−/− mice, indicating a repressor function of the Nogo-A/S1PR2 axis in synaptic plasticity. A similar increase in LTP was also observed in the motor cortex after S1PR2 blockade. We propose a novel signaling model in which a GPCR functions as a receptor for two structurally unrelated ligands, a membrane protein and a sphingolipid. Elucidating Nogo-A/S1PR2 signaling platforms will provide new insights into regulation of synaptic plasticity. PMID:24453941

  12. A Postsynaptic AMPK→p21-Activated Kinase Pathway Drives Fasting-Induced Synaptic Plasticity in AgRP Neurons.

    PubMed

    Kong, Dong; Dagon, Yossi; Campbell, John N; Guo, Yikun; Yang, Zongfang; Yi, Xinchi; Aryal, Pratik; Wellenstein, Kerry; Kahn, Barbara B; Sabatini, Bernardo L; Lowell, Bradford B

    2016-07-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays an important role in regulating food intake. The downstream AMPK substrates and neurobiological mechanisms responsible for this, however, are ill defined. Agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons in the arcuate nucleus regulate hunger. Their firing increases with fasting, and once engaged they cause feeding. AgRP neuron activity is regulated by state-dependent synaptic plasticity: fasting increases dendritic spines and excitatory synaptic activity; feeding does the opposite. The signaling mechanisms underlying this, however, are also unknown. Using neuron-specific approaches to measure and manipulate kinase activity specifically within AgRP neurons, we establish that fasting increases AMPK activity in AgRP neurons, that increased AMPK activity in AgRP neurons is both necessary and sufficient for fasting-induced spinogenesis and excitatory synaptic activity, and that the AMPK phosphorylation target mediating this plasticity is p21-activated kinase. This provides a signaling and neurobiological basis for both AMPK regulation of energy balance and AgRP neuron state-dependent plasticity. PMID:27321921

  13. Quercetin relieves chronic lead exposure-induced impairment of synaptic plasticity in rat dentate gyrus in vivo.

    PubMed

    Hu, Pu; Wang, Ming; Chen, Wei-Heng; Liu, Ji; Chen, Liang; Yin, Shu-Ting; Yong, Wu; Chen, Ju-Tao; Wang, Hui-Li; Ruan, Di-Yun

    2008-07-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that lead (Pb) produces impairments partly through oxidative stress. Though many researchers have investigated protective effect of some antioxidant nutrients against Pb toxicity, little information is available about the effect of antioxidants on Pb-induced impairment of synaptic plasticity. Quercetin, a strong antioxidant and radical scavenger, is the representative natural flavonoid molecule abundant in fruits and vegetables. Previous studies have found that quercetin was neuroprotective in many cases. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of quercetin on chronic Pb exposure-induced impairment of synaptic plasticity in adult rat dentate gyrus (DG) area in vivo. The input/output (I/O) functions, paired-pulse reactions (PPR), excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP), and population spike (PS) amplitude were measured in the DG area of different groups of rats in response to stimulation applied to the lateral perforant path. The results showed that the depressed I/O, PPR, and long-term potentiation (LTP) of Pb-exposed group were significantly increased by quercetin treatment. In addition, hippocampal Pb concentration was partially reduced after quercetin treatment. These findings suggest that quercetin treatment could relieve chronic Pb exposure-induced impairment of synaptic plasticity and might be a potential therapeutic intervention to cure cognitive deficits induced by Pb.

  14. The First Alcohol Drink Triggers mTORC1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D1 Receptor Neurons.

    PubMed

    Beckley, Jacob T; Laguesse, Sophie; Phamluong, Khanhky; Morisot, Nadege; Wegner, Scott A; Ron, Dorit

    2016-01-20

    Early binge-like alcohol drinking may promote the development of hazardous intake. However, the enduring cellular alterations following the first experience with alcohol consumption are not fully understood. We found that the first binge-drinking alcohol session produced enduring enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission onto dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons (D1+ neurons) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell but not the core in mice, which required D1 receptors (D1Rs) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Furthermore, inhibition of mTORC1 activity during the first alcohol drinking session reduced alcohol consumption and preference of a subsequent drinking session. mTORC1 is critically involved in RNA-to-protein translation, and we found that the first alcohol session rapidly activated mTORC1 in NAc shell D1+ neurons and increased synaptic expression of the AMPAR subunit GluA1 and the scaffolding protein Homer. Finally, D1R stimulation alone was sufficient to activate mTORC1 in the NAc to promote mTORC1-dependent translation of the synaptic proteins GluA1 and Homer. Together, our results indicate that the first alcohol drinking session induces synaptic plasticity in NAc D1+ neurons via enhanced mTORC1-dependent translation of proteins involved in excitatory synaptic transmission that in turn drives the reinforcement learning associated with the first alcohol experience. Thus, the alcohol-dependent D1R/mTORC1-mediated increase in synaptic function in the NAc may reflect a neural imprint of alcohol's reinforcing properties, which could promote subsequent alcohol intake. Significance statement: Consuming alcohol for the first time is a learning event that drives further drinking. Here, we identified a mechanism that may underlie the reinforcing learning associated with the initial alcohol experience. We show that the first alcohol experience induces a persistent enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission on NAc shell D1+ neurons

  15. The First Alcohol Drink Triggers mTORC1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D1 Receptor Neurons.

    PubMed

    Beckley, Jacob T; Laguesse, Sophie; Phamluong, Khanhky; Morisot, Nadege; Wegner, Scott A; Ron, Dorit

    2016-01-20

    Early binge-like alcohol drinking may promote the development of hazardous intake. However, the enduring cellular alterations following the first experience with alcohol consumption are not fully understood. We found that the first binge-drinking alcohol session produced enduring enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission onto dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons (D1+ neurons) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell but not the core in mice, which required D1 receptors (D1Rs) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Furthermore, inhibition of mTORC1 activity during the first alcohol drinking session reduced alcohol consumption and preference of a subsequent drinking session. mTORC1 is critically involved in RNA-to-protein translation, and we found that the first alcohol session rapidly activated mTORC1 in NAc shell D1+ neurons and increased synaptic expression of the AMPAR subunit GluA1 and the scaffolding protein Homer. Finally, D1R stimulation alone was sufficient to activate mTORC1 in the NAc to promote mTORC1-dependent translation of the synaptic proteins GluA1 and Homer. Together, our results indicate that the first alcohol drinking session induces synaptic plasticity in NAc D1+ neurons via enhanced mTORC1-dependent translation of proteins involved in excitatory synaptic transmission that in turn drives the reinforcement learning associated with the first alcohol experience. Thus, the alcohol-dependent D1R/mTORC1-mediated increase in synaptic function in the NAc may reflect a neural imprint of alcohol's reinforcing properties, which could promote subsequent alcohol intake. Significance statement: Consuming alcohol for the first time is a learning event that drives further drinking. Here, we identified a mechanism that may underlie the reinforcing learning associated with the initial alcohol experience. We show that the first alcohol experience induces a persistent enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission on NAc shell D1+ neurons

  16. The First Alcohol Drink Triggers mTORC1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D1 Receptor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Beckley, Jacob T.; Laguesse, Sophie; Phamluong, Khanhky; Morisot, Nadege; Wegner, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    Early binge-like alcohol drinking may promote the development of hazardous intake. However, the enduring cellular alterations following the first experience with alcohol consumption are not fully understood. We found that the first binge-drinking alcohol session produced enduring enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission onto dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons (D1+ neurons) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell but not the core in mice, which required D1 receptors (D1Rs) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Furthermore, inhibition of mTORC1 activity during the first alcohol drinking session reduced alcohol consumption and preference of a subsequent drinking session. mTORC1 is critically involved in RNA-to-protein translation, and we found that the first alcohol session rapidly activated mTORC1 in NAc shell D1+ neurons and increased synaptic expression of the AMPAR subunit GluA1 and the scaffolding protein Homer. Finally, D1R stimulation alone was sufficient to activate mTORC1 in the NAc to promote mTORC1-dependent translation of the synaptic proteins GluA1 and Homer. Together, our results indicate that the first alcohol drinking session induces synaptic plasticity in NAc D1+ neurons via enhanced mTORC1-dependent translation of proteins involved in excitatory synaptic transmission that in turn drives the reinforcement learning associated with the first alcohol experience. Thus, the alcohol-dependent D1R/mTORC1-mediated increase in synaptic function in the NAc may reflect a neural imprint of alcohol's reinforcing properties, which could promote subsequent alcohol intake. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Consuming alcohol for the first time is a learning event that drives further drinking. Here, we identified a mechanism that may underlie the reinforcing learning associated with the initial alcohol experience. We show that the first alcohol experience induces a persistent enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission on NAc shell D1+ neurons

  17. The free radical scavenger Trolox dampens neuronal hyperexcitability, reinstates synaptic plasticity, and improves hypoxia tolerance in a mouse model of Rett syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Janc, Oliwia A.; Müller, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Rett syndrome (RS) causes severe cognitive impairment, loss of speech, epilepsy, and breathing disturbances with intermittent hypoxia. Also mitochondria are affected; a subunit of respiratory complex III is dysregulated, the inner mitochondrial membrane is leaking protons, and brain ATP levels seem reduced. Our recent assessment of mitochondrial function in MeCP2 (methyl-CpG-binding protein 2)-deficient mouse (Mecp2-/y) hippocampus confirmed early metabolic alterations, an increased oxidative burden, and a more vulnerable cellular redox balance. As these changes may contribute to the manifestation of symptoms and disease progression, we now evaluated whether free radical scavengers are capable of improving neuronal and mitochondrial function in RS. Acute hippocampal slices of adult mice were incubated with the vitamin E derivative Trolox for 3–5 h. In Mecp2-/y slices this treatment dampened neuronal hyperexcitability, improved synaptic short-term plasticity, and fully restored synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP). Furthermore, Trolox specifically attenuated the increased hypoxia susceptibility of Mecp2-/y slices. Also, the anticonvulsive effects of Trolox were assessed, but the severity of 4-aminopyridine provoked seizure-like discharges was not significantly affected. Adverse side effects of Trolox on mitochondria can be excluded, but clear indications for an improvement of mitochondrial function were not found. Since several ion-channels and neurotransmitter receptors are redox modulated, the mitochondrial alterations and the associated oxidative burden may contribute to the neuronal dysfunction in RS. We confirmed in Mecp2-/y hippocampus that Trolox dampens neuronal hyperexcitability, reinstates synaptic plasticity, and improves the hypoxia tolerance. Therefore, radical scavengers are promising compounds for the treatment of neuronal dysfunction in RS and deserve further detailed evaluation. PMID:24605086

  18. Hunger States Control the Directions of Synaptic Plasticity via Switching Cell Type-Specific Subunits of NMDA Receptors.

    PubMed

    Qi, Yong; Yang, Yunlei

    2015-09-23

    It remains largely unknown whether and how hunger states control activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). We here report that both LTP and LTD of excitatory synaptic strength within the appetite control circuits residing in hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) behave in a manner of hunger states dependence and cell type specificity. For instance, we find that tetanic stimulation induces LTP at orexigenic agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons in ad libitum fed mice, whereas it induces LTD in food-deprived mice. In an opposite direction, the same induction protocol induces LTD at anorexigenic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in fed mice but weak LTP in deprived mice. Mechanistically, we also find that food deprivation increases the expressions of NR2C/NR2D/NR3-containing NMDA receptors (NMDARs) at AgRP neurons that contribute to the inductions of LTD, whereas it decreases their expressions at POMC neurons. Collectively, our data reveal that hunger states control the directions of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity by switching NMDA receptor subpopulations in a cell type-specific manner, providing insights into NMDAR-mediated interactions between energy states and associative memory. Significance statement: Based on the experiments performed in this study, we demonstrate that activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is also under the control of energy states by regulating NMDAR subpopulations in a cell type-specific manner. We thus propose a reversible memory configuration constructed from energy states-dependent cell type-specific bidirectional conversions of LTP and LTD. Together with the distinct functional roles played by NMDAR signaling in the control of food intake and energy states, these findings reveal a new reciprocal interaction between energy states and associative memory, one that might serve as a target for therapeutic treatments of the energy-related memory disorders or vice versa.

  19. Sharp-Wave Ripples Orchestrate the Induction of Synaptic Plasticity during Reactivation of Place Cell Firing Patterns in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Sadowski, Josef H.L.P.; Jones, Matthew W.; Mellor, Jack R.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Place cell firing patterns reactivated during hippocampal sharp-wave ripples (SWRs) in rest or sleep are thought to induce synaptic plasticity and thereby promote the consolidation of recently encoded information. However, the capacity of reactivated spike trains to induce plasticity has not been directly tested. Here, we show that reactivated place cell firing patterns simultaneously recorded from CA3 and CA1 of rat dorsal hippocampus are able to induce long-term potentiation (LTP) at synapses between CA3 and CA1 cells but only if accompanied by SWR-associated synaptic activity and resulting dendritic depolarization. In addition, we show that the precise timing of coincident CA3 and CA1 place cell spikes in relation to SWR onset is critical for the induction of LTP and predictive of plasticity generated by reactivation. Our findings confirm an important role for SWRs in triggering and tuning plasticity processes that underlie memory consolidation in the hippocampus during rest or sleep. PMID:26904941

  20. Time-dependent reversal of synaptic plasticity induced by physiological concentrations of oligomeric Aβ42: an early index of Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Koppensteiner, Peter; Trinchese, Fabrizio; Fà, Mauro; Puzzo, Daniela; Gulisano, Walter; Yan, Shijun; Poussin, Arthur; Liu, Shumin; Orozco, Ian; Dale, Elena; Teich, Andrew F.; Palmeri, Agostino; Ninan, Ipe; Boehm, Stefan; Arancio, Ottavio

    2016-01-01

    The oligomeric amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide is thought to contribute to the subtle amnesic changes in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by causing synaptic dysfunction. Here, we examined the time course of synaptic changes in mouse hippocampal neurons following exposure to Aβ42 at picomolar concentrations, mimicking its physiological levels in the brain. We found opposite effects of the peptide with short exposures in the range of minutes enhancing synaptic plasticity, and longer exposures lasting several hours reducing it. The plasticity reduction was concomitant with an increase in the basal frequency of spontaneous neurotransmitter release, a higher basal number of functional presynaptic release sites, and a redistribution of synaptic proteins including the vesicle-associated proteins synapsin I, synaptophysin, and the post-synaptic glutamate receptor I. These synaptic alterations were mediated by cytoskeletal changes involving actin polymerization and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. These in vitro findings were confirmed in vivo with short hippocampal infusions of picomolar Aβ enhancing contextual memory and prolonged infusions impairing it. Our findings provide a model for initiation of synaptic dysfunction whereby exposure to physiologic levels of Aβ for a prolonged period of time causes microstructural changes at the synapse which result in increased transmitter release, failure of synaptic plasticity, and memory loss. PMID:27581852

  1. Time-dependent reversal of synaptic plasticity induced by physiological concentrations of oligomeric Aβ42: an early index of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Koppensteiner, Peter; Trinchese, Fabrizio; Fà, Mauro; Puzzo, Daniela; Gulisano, Walter; Yan, Shijun; Poussin, Arthur; Liu, Shumin; Orozco, Ian; Dale, Elena; Teich, Andrew F; Palmeri, Agostino; Ninan, Ipe; Boehm, Stefan; Arancio, Ottavio

    2016-01-01

    The oligomeric amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide is thought to contribute to the subtle amnesic changes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) by causing synaptic dysfunction. Here, we examined the time course of synaptic changes in mouse hippocampal neurons following exposure to Aβ42 at picomolar concentrations, mimicking its physiological levels in the brain. We found opposite effects of the peptide with short exposures in the range of minutes enhancing synaptic plasticity, and longer exposures lasting several hours reducing it. The plasticity reduction was concomitant with an increase in the basal frequency of spontaneous neurotransmitter release, a higher basal number of functional presynaptic release sites, and a redistribution of synaptic proteins including the vesicle-associated proteins synapsin I, synaptophysin, and the post-synaptic glutamate receptor I. These synaptic alterations were mediated by cytoskeletal changes involving actin polymerization and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. These in vitro findings were confirmed in vivo with short hippocampal infusions of picomolar Aβ enhancing contextual memory and prolonged infusions impairing it. Our findings provide a model for initiation of synaptic dysfunction whereby exposure to physiologic levels of Aβ for a prolonged period of time causes microstructural changes at the synapse which result in increased transmitter release, failure of synaptic plasticity, and memory loss. PMID:27581852

  2. Synaptic Plasticity after Chemical Deafening and Electrical Stimulation of the Auditory Nerve in Cats

    PubMed Central

    Ryugo, D.K.; Baker, C.A.; Montey, K.L.; Chang, L.Y.; Coco, A.; Fallon, J.B.; Shepherd, R.K.

    2010-01-01

    The effects of deafness on brain structure and function have been studied using animal models of congenital deafness that include surgical ablation of the organ of Corti, acoustic trauma, ototoxic drugs, and hereditary deafness. This report describes the morphologic plasticity of auditory nerve synapses in response to ototoxic deafening and chronic electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve. Normal kittens were deafened by neonatal administration of neomycin that eliminated auditory receptor cells. Some of these cats were raised deaf, whereas others were chronically implanted with cochlear electrodes at two months of age and electrically stimulated for up to 12 months. The large endings of the auditory nerve, endbulbs of Held, were studied because they hold a key position in the timing pathway for sound localization, are readily identifiable, and exhibit deafness-associated abnormalities. Compared to normal hearing cats, synapses of ototoxically deafened cats displayed expanded postsynaptic densities, a decrease in synaptic vesicle (SV) density, and a reduction in the somatic size of spherical bushy cells (SBCs). When compared to normal hearing cats, endbulbs of ototoxically deafened cats that received cochlear stimulation expressed postsynaptic densities (PSDs) that were statistically identical in size, showed a 32.8% reduction in SV density, and whose target SBCs had a 25.5% reduction in soma area. These results demonstrate that electrical stimulation via a cochlear implant in chemically-deafened cats preserves PSD size but not other aspects of synapse morphology. The results further suggest that the effects of ototoxic deafness are not identical to those of hereditary deafness. PMID:20127807

  3. Environmental enrichment rescues the effects of early life inflammation on markers of synaptic transmission and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kentner, Amanda C; Khoury, Antoine; Lima Queiroz, Erika; MacRae, Molly

    2016-10-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) has been successful at rescuing the brain from a variety of early-life psychogenic stressors. However, its ability to reverse the behavioral and neural alterations induced by a prenatal maternal infection model of schizophrenia is less clear. Moreover, the specific interactions between the components (i.e. social enhancement, novelty, physical activity) of EE that lead to its success as a supportive intervention have not been adequately identified. In the current study, standard housed female Sprague-Dawley rats were administered either the inflammatory endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 100μg/kg) or pyrogen-free saline (equivolume) on gestational day 15. On postnatal day 50, offspring were randomized into one of three conditions: EE (group housed in a large multi-level cage with novel toys, tubes and ramps), Colony Nesting (CN; socially-housed in a larger style cage), or Standard Care (SC; pair-housed in standard cages). Six weeks later we scored social engagement and performance in the object-in-place task. Afterwards hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (n=7-9) were collected and evaluated for excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT) 1-3, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophic tyrosine kinase, receptor type 2 (TrkB) gene expression (normalized to GAPDH) using qPCR methods. Overall, we show that gestational inflammation downregulates genes critical to synaptic transmission and plasticity, which may underlie the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Additionally, we observed disruptions in both social engagement and spatial discrimination. Importantly, behavioral and neurophysiological effects were rescued in an experience dependent manner. Given the evidence that schizophrenia and autism may be associated with infection during pregnancy, these data have compelling implications for the prevention and reversibility of the consequences that follow immune activation in early in

  4. Spatial cognition and sexually dimorphic synaptic plasticity balance impairment in rats with chronic prenatal ethanol exposure.

    PubMed

    An, Lei; Zhang, Tao

    2013-11-01

    Prenatal ethanol exposure can lead to long-lasting impairments in the ability of rats to process spatial information, as well as produce long-lasting deficits in long-term potentiation (LTP), a biological model of learning and memory processing. The present study aimed to examine the sexually dimorphic effects of chronic prenatal ethanol exposure (CPEE) on behavior cognition and synaptic plasticity balance (SPB), and tried to understand a possible mechanism by evaluating the alternation of SPB. The animal model was produced by ethanol exposure throughout gestational period with 4 g/kg bodyweight. Offspring of both male and female were selected and studied on postnatal days 36. Subsequently, the data showed that chronic ethanol exposure resulted in birth weight reduction, losing bodyweight gain, microcephaly and hippocampus weight retardation. In Morris water maze (MWM) test, escape latencies were significantly higher in CPEE-treated rats than that in control ones. They also spent much less time in the target quadrant compared to that of control animals in the probe phase. In addition, it was found that there was a more severe impairment in females than that in males after CPEE treatment. Electrophysiological studies showed that CPEE considerably inhibited hippocampal LTP and facilitated depotentiation in males, while significantly enhanced LTP and suppressed depotentiation in females. A novel index, developed by us, showed that the action of CPEE on SPB was more sensitive in females than that in males, suggesting that it might be an effective index to distinguish the difference of SPB impairment between males and females. PMID:24050890

  5. How voltage-gated calcium channels gate forms of homeostatic synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, C. Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Throughout life, animals face a variety of challenges such as developmental growth, the presence of toxins, or changes in temperature. Neuronal circuits and synapses respond to challenges by executing an array of neuroplasticity paradigms. Some paradigms allow neurons to up- or downregulate activity outputs, while countervailing ones ensure that outputs remain within appropriate physiological ranges. A growing body of evidence suggests that homeostatic synaptic plasticity (HSP) is critical in the latter case. Voltage-gated calcium channels gate forms of HSP. Presynaptically, the aggregate data show that when synapse activity is weakened, homeostatic signaling systems can act to correct impairments, in part by increasing calcium influx through presynaptic CaV2-type channels. Increased calcium influx is often accompanied by parallel increases in the size of active zones and the size of the readily releasable pool of presynaptic vesicles. These changes coincide with homeostatic enhancements of neurotransmitter release. Postsynaptically, there is a great deal of evidence that reduced network activity and loss of calcium influx through CaV1-type calcium channels also results in adaptive homeostatic signaling. Some adaptations drive presynaptic enhancements of vesicle pool size and turnover rate via retrograde signaling, as well as de novo insertion of postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Enhanced calcium influx through CaV1 after network activation or single cell stimulation can elicit the opposite response—homeostatic depression via removal of excitatory receptors. There exist intriguing links between HSP and calcium channelopathies—such as forms of epilepsy, migraine, ataxia, and myasthenia. The episodic nature of some of these disorders suggests alternating periods of stable and unstable function. Uncovering information about how calcium channels are regulated in the context of HSP could be relevant toward understanding these and other disorders. PMID

  6. Environmental enrichment rescues the effects of early life inflammation on markers of synaptic transmission and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kentner, Amanda C; Khoury, Antoine; Lima Queiroz, Erika; MacRae, Molly

    2016-10-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) has been successful at rescuing the brain from a variety of early-life psychogenic stressors. However, its ability to reverse the behavioral and neural alterations induced by a prenatal maternal infection model of schizophrenia is less clear. Moreover, the specific interactions between the components (i.e. social enhancement, novelty, physical activity) of EE that lead to its success as a supportive intervention have not been adequately identified. In the current study, standard housed female Sprague-Dawley rats were administered either the inflammatory endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 100μg/kg) or pyrogen-free saline (equivolume) on gestational day 15. On postnatal day 50, offspring were randomized into one of three conditions: EE (group housed in a large multi-level cage with novel toys, tubes and ramps), Colony Nesting (CN; socially-housed in a larger style cage), or Standard Care (SC; pair-housed in standard cages). Six weeks later we scored social engagement and performance in the object-in-place task. Afterwards hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (n=7-9) were collected and evaluated for excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT) 1-3, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophic tyrosine kinase, receptor type 2 (TrkB) gene expression (normalized to GAPDH) using qPCR methods. Overall, we show that gestational inflammation downregulates genes critical to synaptic transmission and plasticity, which may underlie the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Additionally, we observed disruptions in both social engagement and spatial discrimination. Importantly, behavioral and neurophysiological effects were rescued in an experience dependent manner. Given the evidence that schizophrenia and autism may be associated with infection during pregnancy, these data have compelling implications for the prevention and reversibility of the consequences that follow immune activation in early in

  7. Impairment of adenylyl cyclase-mediated glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the periaqueductal grey in a rat model of neuropathic pain

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Yu-Cheng; Cheng, Jen-Kun; Chiou, Lih-Chu

    2015-01-01

    Key points Long-lasting neuropathic pain has been attributed to elevated neuronal plasticity changes in spinal, peripheral and cortical levels. Here, we found that reduced neuronal plasticity in the ventrolateral periaqueductal grey (vlPAG), a midbrain region important for initiating descending pain inhibition, may also contribute to neuropathic pain. Forskolin- and isoproterenol (isoprenaline)-elicited EPSC potentiation was impaired in the vlPAG of a rat model of neuropathic pain induced by spinal nerve injury. Down-regulation of adenylyl cyclase–cAMP– PKA signalling, due to impaired adenylyl cyclase, but not phosphodiesterase, in glutamatergic terminals may contribute to the hypofunction of excitatory synaptic plasticity in the vlPAG of neuropathic rats and the subsequent descending pain inhibition, ultimately leading to long-lasting neuropathic pain. Our results suggest that drugs that activate adenylyl cyclase in the vlPAG have the potential for relieving neuropathic pain. Abstract Neuropathic pain has been attributed to nerve injury-induced elevation of peripheral neuronal discharges and spinal excitatory synaptic plasticity while little is known about the contribution of neuroplasticity changes in the brainstem. Here, we examined synaptic plasticity changes in the ventrolateral (vl) periaqueductal grey (PAG), a crucial midbrain region for initiating descending pain inhibition, in spinal nerve ligation (SNL)-induced neuropathic rats. In vlPAG slices of sham-operated rats, forskolin, an adenylyl cyclase (AC) activator, produced long-lasting enhancement of EPSCs. This is a presynaptic effect since forskolin decreased the paired-pulse ratio and failure rate of EPSCs, and increased the frequency, but not the amplitude, of miniature EPSCs. Forskolin-induced EPSC potentiation was mimicked by a β-adrenergic agonist (isoproterenol (isoprenaline)), and prevented by an AC inhibitor (SQ 22536) and a cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) inhibitor (H89), but not by a

  8. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot.

    PubMed

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2015-01-01

    Walking animals, like insects, with little neural computing can effectively perform complex behaviors. For example, they can walk around their environment, escape from corners/deadlocks, and avoid or climb over obstacles. While performing all these behaviors, they can also adapt their movements to deal with an unknown situation. As a consequence, they successfully navigate through their complex environment. The versatile and adaptive abilities are the result of an integration of several ingredients embedded in their sensorimotor loop. Biological studies reveal that the ingredients include neural dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking robot. The turning information is transmitted as descending steering signals to the neural locomotion control which translates the signals into motor actions. As a result, the robot can walk around and adapt its turning angle for avoiding obstacles in different situations. The adaptation also enables the robot to effectively escape from sharp corners or deadlocks. Using backbone joint control embedded in the the locomotion control allows the robot to climb over small obstacles

  9. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot.

    PubMed

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2015-01-01

    Walking animals, like insects, with little neural computing can effectively perform complex behaviors. For example, they can walk around their environment, escape from corners/deadlocks, and avoid or climb over obstacles. While performing all these behaviors, they can also adapt their movements to deal with an unknown situation. As a consequence, they successfully navigate through their complex environment. The versatile and adaptive abilities are the result of an integration of several ingredients embedded in their sensorimotor loop. Biological studies reveal that the ingredients include neural dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking robot. The turning information is transmitted as descending steering signals to the neural locomotion control which translates the signals into motor actions. As a result, the robot can walk around and adapt its turning angle for avoiding obstacles in different situations. The adaptation also enables the robot to effectively escape from sharp corners or deadlocks. Using backbone joint control embedded in the the locomotion control allows the robot to climb over small obstacles

  10. Evidence for high-fidelity timing-dependent synaptic plasticity of human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Cash, R F H; Mastaglia, F L; Thickbroom, G W

    2013-01-01

    A single transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulse typically evokes a short series of spikes in corticospinal neurons [known as indirect (I)-waves] which are thought to arise from transynaptic input. Delivering a second pulse at inter-pulse intervals (IPIs) corresponding to the timing of these I-waves leads to a facilitation of the response, and if stimulus pairs are delivered repeatedly, a persistent LTP-like increase in excitability can occur. This has been demonstrated at an IPI of 1.5 ms, which corresponds to the first I-wave interval, in an intervention referred to as ITMS (I-wave TMS), and it has been argued that this may have similarities with timing-dependent plasticity models. Consequently, we hypothesized that if the second stimulus is delivered so as not to coincide with I-wave timing, it should lead to LTD. We performed a crossover study in 10 subjects in which TMS doublets were timed to coincide (1.5-ms IPI, ITMS(1.5)) or not coincide (2-ms IPI, ITMS(2)) with I-wave firing. Single pulse motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitude, resting motor threshold (RMT), and short-interval cortical inhibition (SICI) were measured from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle. After ITMS(1.5) corticomotor excitability was increased by ~60% for 15 min (P < 0.05) and returned to baseline by 20 min. Increasing the IPI by just 500 μs to 2 ms reversed the aftereffect, and MEP amplitude was significantly reduced (~35%, P < 0.05) for 15 min before returning to baseline. This reduction was not associated with an increase in SICI, suggesting a reduction in excitatory transmission rather than an increase in inhibitory efficacy. RMT also remained unchanged, suggesting that these changes were not due to changes in membrane excitability. Amplitude-matching ITMS(2) did not modulate excitability. The results are consistent with timing-dependent synaptic LTP/D-like effects and suggest that there are plasticity mechanisms operating in the human motor cortex with a temporal

  11. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot

    PubMed Central

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2015-01-01

    Walking animals, like insects, with little neural computing can effectively perform complex behaviors. For example, they can walk around their environment, escape from corners/deadlocks, and avoid or climb over obstacles. While performing all these behaviors, they can also adapt their movements to deal with an unknown situation. As a consequence, they successfully navigate through their complex environment. The versatile and adaptive abilities are the result of an integration of several ingredients embedded in their sensorimotor loop. Biological studies reveal that the ingredients include neural dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking robot. The turning information is transmitted as descending steering signals to the neural locomotion control which translates the signals into motor actions. As a result, the robot can walk around and adapt its turning angle for avoiding obstacles in different situations. The adaptation also enables the robot to effectively escape from sharp corners or deadlocks. Using backbone joint control embedded in the the locomotion control allows the robot to climb over small obstacles

  12. The Plastic Glial-Synaptic Dynamics within the Neuropil: A Self-Organizing System Composed of Polyelectrolytes in Phase Transition

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes de Lima, Vera Maura; Pereira, Alfredo

    2016-01-01

    Several explanations have been proposed to account for the mechanisms of neuroglial interactions involved in neural plasticity. We review experimental results addressing plastic nonlinear interactions between glial membranes and synaptic terminals. These results indicate the necessity of elaborating on a model based on the dynamics of hydroionic waves within the neuropil. These waves have been detected in a small scale experimental model of the central nervous system, the in vitro retina. We suggest that the brain, as the heart and kidney, is a system for which the state of water is functional. The use of nonlinear thermodynamics supports experiments at convenient biological spatiotemporal scales, while an understanding of the properties of ions and their interactions with water requires explanations based on quantum theories. In our approach, neural plasticity is seen as part of a larger process that encompasses higher brain functions; in this regard, hydroionic waves within the neuropil are considered to carry both physiological and cognitive functions. PMID:26949548

  13. A combined optogenetic-knockdown strategy reveals a major role of tomosyn in mossy fiber synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Simon, Yoav; Rodenas-Ruano, Alma; Alviña, Karina; Lam, Alice D.; Stuenkel, Edward L.; Castillo, Pablo E.; Ashery, Uri

    2015-01-01

    Summary Neurotransmitter release probability (Pr) largely determines the dynamic properties of synapses. While much is known on the role of presynaptic proteins in transmitter release, their specific contribution to synaptic plasticity is unclear. One such protein, tomosyn, is believed to reduce Pr by interfering with the SNARE complex formation. Tomosyn is enriched at hippocampal mossy fiber-to-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses (MF-CA3), which characteristically exhibit low Pr, strong synaptic facilitation and pre-synaptic PKA-dependent LTP. To evaluate tomosyn's role in MF-CA3 function, we used a combined knockdown (KD)-optogenetic strategy whereby presynaptic neurons with reduced tomosyn levels were selectively activated by light. Using this approach in mouse hippocampal slices we found that facilitation, LTP, and PKA-induced potentiation were significantly impaired at tomosyn-deficient synapses. These findings not only indicate that tomosyn is a key regulator of MF-CA3 plasticity, but also highlight the power of a combined KD-optogenetic approach to determine the role of presynaptic proteins. PMID:26166572

  14. Seizure-Induced Regulations of Amyloid-β, STEP61, and STEP61 Substrates Involved in Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Sung-Soo; Royston, Sara E.; Lee, Gunhee; Wang, Shuwei; Chung, Hee Jung

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline. Pathologic accumulation of soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers impairs synaptic plasticity and causes epileptic seizures, both of which contribute to cognitive dysfunction in AD. However, whether seizures could regulate Aβ-induced synaptic weakening remains unclear. Here we show that a single episode of electroconvulsive seizures (ECS) increased protein expression of membrane-associated STriatal-Enriched protein tyrosine Phosphatase (STEP61) and decreased tyrosine-phosphorylation of its substrates N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunit GluN2B and extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in the rat hippocampus at 2 days following a single ECS. Interestingly, a significant decrease in ERK1/2 expression and an increase in APP and Aβ levels were observed at 3-4 days following a single ECS when STEP61 level returned to the baseline. Given that pathologic levels of Aβ increase STEP61 activity and STEP61-mediated dephosphorylation of GluN2B and ERK1/2 leads to NMDAR internalization and ERK1/2 inactivation, we propose that upregulation of STEP61 and downregulation of GluN2B and ERK1/2 phosphorylation mediate compensatory weakening of synaptic strength in response to acute enhancement of hippocampal network activity, whereas delayed decrease in ERK1/2 expression and increase in APP and Aβ expression may contribute to the maintenance of this synaptic weakening. PMID:27127657

  15. Alterations in synaptic plasticity coincide with deficits in spatial working memory in presymptomatic 3xTg-AD mice.

    PubMed

    Clark, Jason K; Furgerson, Matthew; Crystal, Jonathon D; Fechheimer, Marcus; Furukawa, Ruth; Wagner, John J

    2015-11-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative condition believed to be initiated by production of amyloid-beta peptide, which leads to synaptic dysfunction and progressive memory loss. Using a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (3xTg-AD), an 8-arm radial maze was employed to assess spatial working memory. Unexpectedly, the younger (3month old) 3xTg-AD mice were as impaired in the spatial working memory task as the older (8month old) 3xTg-AD mice when compared with age-matched NonTg control animals. Field potential recordings from the CA1 region of slices prepared from the ventral hippocampus were obtained to assess synaptic transmission and capability for synaptic plasticity. At 3months of age, the NMDA receptor-dependent component of LTP was reduced in 3xTg-AD mice. However, the magnitude of the non-NMDA receptor-dependent component of LTP was concomitantly increased, resulting in a similar amount of total LTP in 3xTg-AD and NonTg mice. At 8months of age, the NMDA receptor-dependent LTP was again reduced in 3xTg-AD mice, but now the non-NMDA receptor-dependent component was decreased as well, resulting in a significantly reduced total amount of LTP in 3xTg-AD compared with NonTg mice. Both 3 and 8month old 3xTg-AD mice exhibited reductions in paired-pulse facilitation and NMDA receptor-dependent LTP that coincided with the deficit in spatial working memory. The early presence of this cognitive impairment and the associated alterations in synaptic plasticity demonstrate that the onset of some behavioral and neurophysiological consequences can occur before the detectable presence of plaques and tangles in the 3xTg-AD mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

  16. Levetiracetam attenuates hippocampal expression of synaptic plasticity-related immediate early and late response genes in amygdala-kindled rats

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The amygdala-kindled rat is a model for human temporal lobe epilepsy and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Hippocampal RNA isolated from amygdala-kindled rats at different kindling stages was analyzed to identify kindling-induced genes. Furthermore, effects of the anti-epileptic drug levetiracetam on kindling-induced gene expression were examined. Results Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), Protocadherin-8 (Pcdh8) and TGF-beta-inducible early response gene-1 (TIEG1) were identified and verified as differentially expressed transcripts in the hippocampus of kindled rats by in situ hybridization and quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, we identified a panel of 16 additional transcripts which included Arc, Egr3/Pilot, Homer1a, Ania-3, MMP9, Narp, c-fos, NGF, BDNF, NT-3, Synaptopodin, Pim1 kinase, TNF-α, RGS2, Egr2/krox-20 and β-A activin that were differentially expressed in the hippocampus of amygdala-kindled rats. The list consists of many synaptic plasticity-related immediate early genes (IEGs) as well as some late response genes encoding transcription factors, neurotrophic factors and proteins that are known to regulate synaptic remodelling. In the hippocampus, induction of IEG expression was dependent on the afterdischarge (AD) duration. Levetiracetam, 40 mg/kg, suppressed the development of kindling measured as severity of seizures and AD duration. In addition, single animal profiling also showed that levetiracetam attenuated the observed kindling-induced IEG expression; an effect that paralleled the anti-epileptic effect of the drug on AD duration. Conclusions The present study provides mRNA expression data that suggest that levetiracetam attenuates expression of genes known to regulate synaptic remodelling. In the kindled rat, levetiracetam does so by shortening the AD duration thereby reducing the seizure-induced changes in mRNA expression in the hippocampus. PMID:20105316

  17. Effects of genistein on cognitive dysfunction and hippocampal synaptic plasticity impairment in an ovariectomized rat kainic acid model of seizure.

    PubMed

    Khodamoradi, Mehdi; Asadi-Shekaari, Majid; Esmaeili-Mahani, Saeed; Esmaeilpour, Khadije; Sheibani, Vahid

    2016-09-01

    The major objective of this study was to investigate the probable effects of genistein (one of the most important soy phytoestrogens-SPEs) on seizure-induced cognitive dysfunction, hippocampal early long-term potentiation (E-LTP) impairment and morphological damage to CA1 neurons in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Three weeks after ovariectomy, cannulae were implanted over the left lateral ventricle. After a 7-day recovery period, animals were injected by genistein (0.5 or 5mg/kg) or vehicle during four consecutive days, each 24h. One h after the last treatment, kainic acid (KA) or vehicle was perfused into the left lateral ventricle to induce generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Finally, 7 days later, spatial learning and memory of animals were examined using the Morris water maze (MWM) task, hippocampal E-LTP was assessed using in-vivo field potential recordings and the morphology of hippocampal CA1 area was examined using Fluoro-Jade C staining. KA-induced generalized seizures resulted in spatial learning and memory impairment, E-LTP deficit and CA1 cell injury. Seizure-induced abnormalities improved partially only by the lower dose of genistein (0.5mg/kg). However, genistein at the higher dose (5mg/kg) did not have any beneficial effects. Also, genistein did not affect seizure activity. It is concluded that genistein may have partially preventive effects against seizure-induced cognitive impairment in OVX rats. Also, it seems that such effects of genistein are correlated with its beneficial effects on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and morphology. PMID:27235295

  18. Plasticity of spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activity in morphologically defined vestibular nuclei neurons during early vestibular compensation

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Mei; Hirsch, June C.

    2012-01-01

    After unilateral peripheral vestibular lesions, the brain plasticity underlying early recovery from the static symptoms is not fully understood. Principal cells of the chick tangential nucleus offer a subset of morphologically defined vestibular nuclei neurons to study functional changes after vestibular lesions. Chickens show posture and balance deficits immediately after unilateral vestibular ganglionectomy (UVG), but by 3 days most subjects begin to recover, although some remain uncompensated. With the use of whole cell voltage-clamp, spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs and sIPSCs) and miniature excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs and mIPSCs) were recorded from principal cells in brain slices 1 and 3 days after UVG. One day after UVG, sEPSC frequency increased on the lesion side and remained elevated at 3 days in uncompensated chickens only. Also by 3 days, sIPSC frequency increased on the lesion side in all operated chickens due to major increases in GABAergic events. Significant change also occurred in decay time of the events. To determine whether fluctuations in frequency and kinetics influenced overall excitatory or inhibitory synaptic drive, synaptic charge transfer was calculated. Principal cells showed significant increase in excitatory synaptic charge transfer only on the lesion side of uncompensated chickens. Thus compensation continues when synaptic charge transfer is in balance bilaterally. Furthermore, excessive excitatory drive in principal cells on the lesion side may prevent vestibular compensation. Altogether, this work is important for it defines the time course and excitatory and inhibitory nature of changing spontaneous synaptic inputs to a morphologically defined subset of vestibular nuclei neurons during critical early stages of recovery after UVG. PMID:21957228

  19. C-terminal Src Kinase Gates Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Regulates Fasciclin II Expression at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Spring, Ashlyn M.; Brusich, Douglas J.; Frank, C. Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Forms of homeostatic plasticity stabilize neuronal outputs and promote physiologically favorable synapse function. A well-studied homeostatic system operates at the Drosophila melanogaster larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). At the NMJ, impairment of postsynaptic glutamate receptor activity is offset by a compensatory increase in presynaptic neurotransmitter release. We aim to elucidate how this process operates on a molecular level and is preserved throughout development. In this study, we identified a tyrosine kinase-driven signaling system that sustains homeostatic control of NMJ function. We identified C-terminal Src Kinase (Csk) as a potential regulator of synaptic homeostasis through an RNAi- and electrophysiology-based genetic screen. We found that Csk loss-of-function mutations impaired the sustained expression of homeostatic plasticity at the NMJ, without drastically altering synapse growth or baseline neurotransmission. Muscle-specific overexpression of Src Family Kinase (SFK) substrates that are negatively regulated by Csk also impaired NMJ homeostasis. Surprisingly, we found that transgenic Csk-YFP can support homeostatic plasticity at the NMJ when expressed either in the muscle or in the nerve. However, only muscle-expressed Csk-YFP was able to localize to NMJ structures. By immunostaining, we found that Csk mutant NMJs had dysregulated expression of the Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule homolog Fasciclin II (FasII). By immunoblotting, we found that levels of a specific isoform of FasII were decreased in homeostatically challenged GluRIIA mutant animals–but markedly increased in Csk mutant animals. Additionally, we found that postsynaptic overexpression of FasII from its endogenous locus was sufficient to impair synaptic homeostasis, and genetically reducing FasII levels in Csk mutants fully restored synaptic homeostasis. Based on these data, we propose that Csk and its SFK substrates impinge upon homeostatic control of NMJ function by regulating

  20. Late onset deficits in synaptic plasticity in the valproic acid rat model of autism.

    PubMed

    Martin, Henry G S; Manzoni, Olivier J

    2014-01-01

    Valproic acid (VPA) is a frequently used drug in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorders and migraines; however it is also a potent teratogen. Prenatal exposure increases the risk of childhood malformations and can result in cognitive deficits. In rodents in utero exposure to VPA also causes neurodevelopmental abnormalities and is an important model of autism. In early postnatal life VPA exposed rat pups show changes in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) physiology and synaptic connectivity. Specifically, principal neurons show decreased excitability but increased local connectivity, coupled with an increase in long-term potentiation (LTP) due to an up-regulation of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) expression. However recent evidence suggests compensatory homeostatic mechanisms lead to normalization of synaptic NMDARs during later postnatal development. Here we have extended study of mPFC synaptic physiology into adulthood to better understand the longitudinal consequences of early developmental abnormalities in VPA exposed rats. Surprisingly in contrast to early postnatal life and adolescence, we find that adult VPA exposed rats show reduced synaptic function. Both NMDAR mediated currents and LTP are lower in adult VPA rats, although spontaneous activity and endocannabinoid dependent long-term depression are normal. We conclude that rather than correcting, synaptic abnormalities persist into adulthood in VPA exposed rats, although a quite different synaptic phenotype is present. This switch from hyper to hypo function in mPFC may be linked to some of the neurodevelopmental defects found in prenatal VPA exposure and autism spectrum disorders in general.

  1. Late onset deficits in synaptic plasticity in the valproic acid rat model of autism

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Henry G. S.; Manzoni, Olivier J.

    2014-01-01

    Valproic acid (VPA) is a frequently used drug in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorders and migraines; however it is also a potent teratogen. Prenatal exposure increases the risk of childhood malformations and can result in cognitive deficits. In rodents in utero exposure to VPA also causes neurodevelopmental abnormalities and is an important model of autism. In early postnatal life VPA exposed rat pups show changes in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) physiology and synaptic connectivity. Specifically, principal neurons show decreased excitability but increased local connectivity, coupled with an increase in long-term potentiation (LTP) due to an up-regulation of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) expression. However recent evidence suggests compensatory homeostatic mechanisms lead to normalization of synaptic NMDARs during later postnatal development. Here we have extended study of mPFC synaptic physiology into adulthood to better understand the longitudinal consequences of early developmental abnormalities in VPA exposed rats. Surprisingly in contrast to early postnatal life and adolescence, we find that adult VPA exposed rats show reduced synaptic function. Both NMDAR mediated currents and LTP are lower in adult VPA rats, although spontaneous activity and endocannabinoid dependent long-term depression are normal. We conclude that rather than correcting, synaptic abnormalities persist into adulthood in VPA exposed rats, although a quite different synaptic phenotype is present. This switch from hyper to hypo function in mPFC may be linked to some of the neurodevelopmental defects found in prenatal VPA exposure and autism spectrum disorders in general. PMID:24550781

  2. How the mechanisms of long-term synaptic potentiation and depression serve experience-dependent plasticity in primary visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Sam F; Bear, Mark F

    2014-01-01

    Donald Hebb chose visual learning in primary visual cortex (V1) of the rodent to exemplify his theories of how the brain stores information through long-lasting homosynaptic plasticity. Here, we revisit V1 to consider roles for bidirectional 'Hebbian' plasticity in the modification of vision through experience. First, we discuss the consequences of monocular deprivation (MD) in the mouse, which have been studied by many laboratories over many years, and the evidence that synaptic depression of excitatory input from the thalamus is a primary contributor to the loss of visual cortical responsiveness to stimuli viewed through the deprived eye. Second, we describe a less studied, but no less interesting form of plasticity in the visual cortex known as stimulus-selective response potentiation (SRP). SRP results in increases in the response of V1 to a visual stimulus through repeated viewing and bears all the hallmarks of perceptual learning. We describe evidence implicating an important role for potentiation of thalamo-cortical synapses in SRP. In addition, we present new data indicating that there are some features of this form of plasticity that cannot be fully accounted for by such feed-forward Hebbian plasticity, suggesting contributions from intra-cortical circuit components. PMID:24298166

  3. NMDA-receptor inhibition restores Protease-Activated Receptor 1 (PAR1) mediated alterations in homeostatic synaptic plasticity of denervated mouse dentate granule cells.

    PubMed

    Becker, Denise; Ikenberg, Benno; Schiener, Sabine; Maggio, Nicola; Vlachos, Andreas

    2014-11-01

    A common feature of neurological diseases is the loss of central neurons, which leads to deafferentation of connected brain regions. In turn, the remodeling of denervated neuronal networks is considered to play an important role for the postlesional recovery, but has also been linked to maladaptive plasticity resulting in disease-related complications such as memory dysfunction or epilepsy. Recent work has indicated that Protease-Activated Receptor 1 (PAR1), which can be activated by thrombin that enters the brain under pathological conditions, alters synaptic plasticity and neuronal excitability. However, the role of PAR1 in lesion-induced synaptic plasticity remains incompletely understood. Here, we used entorhinal denervation of organotypic hippocampal slice cultures to study the effects of PAR1 on denervation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Our results disclose that PAR1 activation counters the ability of denervated dentate granule cells to increase their excitatory synaptic strength in a compensatory, i.e., homeostatic manner. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this PAR1 effect is rescued by pharmacological inhibition of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDA-R). Thus, NMDA-R inhibitors may restore the ability of denervated neurons to express homeostatic synaptic plasticity under conditions of increased PAR1-activity, which may contribute to their beneficial effects seen in the context of neurological diseases. PMID:25086265

  4. Lamotrigine attenuates deficits in synaptic plasticity and accumulation of amyloid plaques in APP/PS1 transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Mao-Ying; Zheng, Chuan-Yi; Zou, Ming-Ming; Zhu, Jian-Wei; Zhang, Yan; Wang, Jing; Liu, Chun-Feng; Li, Qi-Fa; Xiao, Zhi-Cheng; Li, Shao; Ma, Quan-Hong; Xu, Ru-Xiang

    2014-12-01

    Hyperactivity and its compensatory mechanisms may causally contribute to synaptic and cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Blocking the overexcitation of the neural network, with levetiracetam (LEV), a sodium channel blocker applied in the treatment of epilepsy, prevented synaptic and cognitive deficits in human amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice. This study has brought the potential use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in AD therapy. We showed that the chronic treatment with lamotrigine (LTG), a broad-spectrum AED, suppressed abnormal spike activity, prevented the loss of spines, synaptophysin immunoreactivity, and neurons, and thus attenuated the deficits in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory in APP and presenilin 1 (PS1) mice, which express human mutant APP and PS1. In contrast with LEV, which failed to reduce the generation of amyloid β, the chronic LTG treatment reduced the cleavage of APP by β-secretase and thus the numbers and the size of amyloid plaques in the brains of APP and PS1 mice. Moreover, the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) were enhanced in the brains of APP and PS1 mice by the chronic LTG treatment. Therefore, these observations demonstrate that LTG attenuates AD pathology through multiple mechanisms, including modulation of abnormal network activity, reduction of the generation of amyloid beta and upregulation of BDNF and NGF. PMID:25044076

  5. Is a 4-Bit Synaptic Weight Resolution Enough? – Constraints on Enabling Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity in Neuromorphic Hardware

    PubMed Central

    Pfeil, Thomas; Potjans, Tobias C.; Schrader, Sven; Potjans, Wiebke; Schemmel, Johannes; Diesmann, Markus; Meier, Karlheinz

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale neuromorphic hardware systems typically bear the trade-off between detail level and required chip resources. Especially when implementing spike-timing dependent plasticity, reduction in resources leads to limitations as compared to floating point precision. By design, a natural modification that saves resources would be reducing synaptic weight resolution. In this study, we give an estimate for the impact of synaptic weight discretization on different levels, ranging from random walks of individual weights to computer simulations of spiking neural networks. The FACETS wafer-scale hardware system offers a 4-bit resolution of synaptic weights, which is shown to be sufficient within the scope of our network benchmark. Our findings indicate that increasing the resolution may not even be useful in light of further restrictions of customized mixed-signal synapses. In addition, variations due to production imperfections are investigated and shown to be uncritical in the context of the presented study. Our results represent a general framework for setting up and configuring hardware-constrained synapses. We suggest how weight discretization could be considered for other backends dedicated to large-scale simulations. Thus, our proposition of a good hardware verification practice may rise synergy effects between hardware developers and neuroscientists. PMID:22822388

  6. Rhes influences striatal cAMP/PKA-dependent signaling and synaptic plasticity in a gender-sensitive fashion

    PubMed Central

    Ghiglieri, Veronica; Napolitano, Francesco; Pelosi, Barbara; Schepisi, Chiara; Migliarini, Sara; Di Maio, Anna; Pendolino, Valentina; Mancini, Maria; Sciamanna, Giuseppe; Vitucci, Daniela; Maddaloni, Giacomo; Giampà, Carmela; Errico, Francesco; Nisticò, Robert; Pasqualetti, Massimo; Picconi, Barbara; Usiello, Alessandro

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms of gender-specific synaptic plasticity in the striatum, a brain region that controls motor, cognitive and psychiatric functions, remain unclear. Here we report that Rhes, a GTPase enriched in medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of striatum, alters the striatal cAMP/PKA signaling cascade in a gender-specific manner. While Rhes knockout (KO) male mice, compared to wild-type (WT) mice, had a significant basal increase of cAMP/PKA signaling pathway, the Rhes KO females exhibited a much stronger response of this pathway, selectively under the conditions of dopamine/adenosine-related drug challenge. Corticostriatal LTP defects are exclusively found in A2AR/D2R-expressing MSNs of KO females, compared to KO males, an effect that is abolished by PKA inhibitors but not by the removal of circulating estrogens. This suggests that the synaptic alterations found in KO females could be triggered by an aberrant A2AR/cAMP/PKA activity, but not due to estrogen-mediated effect. Consistent with increased cAMP signaling, D1R-mediated motor stimulation, haloperidol-induced catalepsy and caffeine-evoked hyper-activity are robustly enhanced in Rhes KO females compared to mutant males. Thus Rhes, a thyroid hormone-target gene, plays a relevant role in gender-specific synaptic and behavioral responses. PMID:26190541

  7. Is a 4-bit synaptic weight resolution enough? - constraints on enabling spike-timing dependent plasticity in neuromorphic hardware.

    PubMed

    Pfeil, Thomas; Potjans, Tobias C; Schrader, Sven; Potjans, Wiebke; Schemmel, Johannes; Diesmann, Markus; Meier, Karlheinz

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale neuromorphic hardware systems typically bear the trade-off between detail level and required chip resources. Especially when implementing spike-timing dependent plasticity, reduction in resources leads to limitations as compared to floating point precision. By design, a natural modification that saves resources would be reducing synaptic weight resolution. In this study, we give an estimate for the impact of synaptic weight discretization on different levels, ranging from random walks of individual weights to computer simulations of spiking neural networks. The FACETS wafer-scale hardware system offers a 4-bit resolution of synaptic weights, which is shown to be sufficient within the scope of our network benchmark. Our findings indicate that increasing the resolution may not even be useful in light of further restrictions of customized mixed-signal synapses. In addition, variations due to production imperfections are investigated and shown to be uncritical in the context of the presented study. Our results represent a general framework for setting up and configuring hardware-constrained synapses. We suggest how weight discretization could be considered for other backends dedicated to large-scale simulations. Thus, our proposition of a good hardware verification practice may rise synergy effects between hardware developers and neuroscientists.

  8. Age-Dependent Glutamate Induction of Synaptic Plasticity in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivenshitz, Miriam; Segal, Menahem; Sapoznik, Stav

    2006-01-01

    A common denominator for the induction of morphological and functional plasticity in cultured hippocampal neurons involves the activation of excitatory synapses. We now demonstrate massive morphological plasticity in mature cultured hippocampal neurons caused by a brief exposure to glutamate. This plasticity involves a slow, 70%-80% increase in…

  9. Spatiotemporal discrimination in neural networks with short-term synaptic plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shlaer, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

    Cells in recurrently connected neural networks exhibit bistability, which allows for stimulus information to persist in a circuit even after stimulus offset, i.e. short-term memory. However, such a system does not have enough hysteresis to encode temporal information about the stimuli. The biophysically described phenomenon of synaptic depression decreases synaptic transmission strengths due to increased presynaptic activity. This short-term reduction in synaptic strengths can destabilize attractor states in excitatory recurrent neural networks, causing the network to move along stimulus dependent dynamical trajectories. Such a network can successfully separate amplitudes and durations of stimuli from the number of successive stimuli. Stimulus number, duration and intensity encoding in randomly connected attractor networks with synaptic depression. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 7:59., and so provides a strong candidate network for the encoding of spatiotemporal information. Here we explicitly demonstrate the capability of a recurrent neural network with short-term synaptic depression to discriminate between the temporal sequences in which spatial stimuli are presented.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-01

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

  13. Acute Stress, But not Corticosterone, Disrupts Short- and Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity in Rat Dorsal Subiculum Via Glucocorticoid Receptor Activation

    PubMed Central

    MacDougall, Matthew J.; Howland, John G.

    2015-01-01

    The subiculum (SUB) serves as the major output structure of the hippocampus; therefore, exploring synaptic plasticity within this region is of great importance for understanding the dynamics of hippocampal circuitry and hippocampal–cortical interactions. Previous research has shown exposure to acute stress dramatically alters synaptic plasticity within the hippocampus proper. Using in vivo electrophysiological recordings in urethane-anesthetized adult male Sprague–Dawley rats, we tested the effects of either acute restraint stress (30 min) or corticosterone (CORT) injections (3 mg/kg; s.c.) on short- and long-term forms of synaptic plasticity in the Cornu Ammonis 1–SUB pathway. Paired-pulse facilitation and two forms of long-term plasticity (long-term potentiation and late-developing potentiation) were significantly reduced after exposure to acute stress but not CORT treatment. Measurements of plasma CORT confirmed similar levels of circulating hormone in animals exposed to either acute stress or CORT treatment. The disruptive effects of acute stress on both short- and long-term forms of synaptic plasticity are mediated by glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activation as these disruptions were blocked by pre-treatment with the selective GR antagonist RU38486 (10 mg/kg; s.c.). The present results highlight the susceptibility of subicular plasticity to acute stress and provide evidence that GR activation is necessary but not sufficient for mediating these alterations. PMID:22918985

  14. The Neuron-specific Chromatin Regulatory Subunit BAF53b is Necessary for Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Matheos, Dina P.; Barrett, Ruth M.; Kramár, Enikö; Azzawi, Soraya; Chen, Yuncai; Magnan, Christophe N.; Zeller, Michael; Sylvain, Angelina; Haettig, Jakob; Jia, Yousheng; Tran, Anthony; Dang, Richard; Post, Rebecca J.; Chabrier, Meredith; Babayan, Alex; Wu, Jiang I.; Crabtree, Gerald R.; Baldi, Pierre; Baram, Tallie Z.; Lynch, Gary; Wood, Marcelo A.

    2013-01-01

    Recent exome sequencing studies have implicated polymorphic BAF complexes (mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes) in several human intellectual disabilities and cognitive disorders. However, it is currently unknown how mutations in BAF complexes result in impaired cognitive function. Post mitotic neurons express a neuron specific assembly, nBAF, characterized by the neuron-specific subunit BAF53b. Mice harboring selective genetic manipulations of BAF53b have severe defects in longterm memory and long-lasting forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We rescued memory impairments in BAF53b mutant mice by reintroducing BAF53b in the adult hippocampus, indicating a role for BAF53b beyond neuronal development. The defects in BAF53b mutant mice appear to derive from alterations in gene expression that produce abnormal postsynaptic components, such as spine structure and function, and ultimately lead to deficits in synaptic plasticity. Our studies provide new insight into the role of dominant mutations in subunits of BAF complexes in human intellectual and cognitive disorders. PMID:23525042

  15. TNFα-induced neutral sphingomyelinase-2 modulates synaptic plasticity by controlling the membrane insertion of NMDA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, David; Knapp, Edward; Bandaru, Veera V.R.; Wang, Yue; Knorr, David; Poirier, Christophe; Mattson, Mark P.; Geiger, Jonathan D.; Haughey, Norman J.

    2009-01-01

    The insertion and removal of N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors from the synapse are critical events that modulate synaptic plasticity. While a great deal of progress has been made on understanding the mechanisms that modulate trafficking of NMDA receptors, we do not currently understand the molecular events required for the fusion of receptor containing vesicles with the plasma membrane. Here we show that sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase3 (also known as neutral sphingomyelinase-2; nSMase2) is critical for TNFα-induced trafficking of NMDA receptors and synaptic plasticity. TNFα initiated a rapid increase in ceramide that was associated with increased surface localization of NMDA receptor NR1 subunits and a specific clustering of NR1 phosphorylated on serines 896 and 897 into lipid rafts. Brief applications of TNFα increased the rate and amplitude of NMDA-evoked calcium bursts and enhanced excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Pharmacological inhibition or genetic mutation of nSMase2 prevented TNFα-induced generation of ceramide, phosphorylation of NR1 subuints, clustering of NR1, enhancement of NMDA-evoked calcium flux and EPSCs. PMID:19476542

  16. RGS7/Gβ5/R7BP complex regulates synaptic plasticity and memory by modulating hippocampal GABABR-GIRK signaling

    PubMed Central

    Ostrovskaya, Olga; Xie, Keqiang; Masuho, Ikuo; Fajardo-Serrano, Ana; Lujan, Rafael; Wickman, Kevin; Martemyanov, Kirill A

    2014-01-01

    In the hippocampus, the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA shapes the activity of the output pyramidal neurons and plays important role in cognition. Most of its inhibitory effects are mediated by signaling from GABAB receptor to the G protein-gated Inwardly-rectifying K+ (GIRK) channels. Here, we show that RGS7, in cooperation with its binding partner R7BP, regulates GABABR-GIRK signaling in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Deletion of RGS7 in mice dramatically sensitizes GIRK responses to GABAB receptor stimulation and markedly slows channel deactivation kinetics. Enhanced activity of this signaling pathway leads to decreased neuronal excitability and selective disruption of inhibitory forms of synaptic plasticity. As a result, mice lacking RGS7 exhibit deficits in learning and memory. We further report that RGS7 is selectively modulated by its membrane anchoring subunit R7BP, which sets the dynamic range of GIRK responses. Together, these results demonstrate a novel role of RGS7 in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory formation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02053.001 PMID:24755289

  17. p140Cap regulates memory and synaptic plasticity through Src-mediated and citron-N-mediated actin reorganization.

    PubMed

    Repetto, Daniele; Camera, Paola; Melani, Riccardo; Morello, Noemi; Russo, Isabella; Calcagno, Eleonora; Tomasoni, Romana; Bianchi, Federico; Berto, Gaia; Giustetto, Maurizio; Berardi, Nicoletta; Pizzorusso, Tommaso; Matteoli, Michela; Di Stefano, Paola; Missler, Markus; Turco, Emilia; Di Cunto, Ferdinando; Defilippi, Paola

    2014-01-22

    A major challenge in the neuroscience field is the identification of molecules and pathways that control synaptic plasticity and memory. Dendritic spines play a pivotal role in these processes, as the major sites of excitatory synapses in neuronal communication. Previous studies have shown that the scaffold protein p140Cap localizes into dendritic spines and that its knockdown negatively modulates spine shape in culture. However, so far, there is no information on its in vivo relevance. By using a knock-out mouse model, we here demonstrate that p140Cap is a key element for both learning and synaptic plasticity. Indeed, p140Cap(-/-) mice are impaired in object recognition test, as well as in LTP and in LTD measurements. The in vivo effects of p140Cap loss are presumably attenuated by noncell-autonomous events, since primary neurons obtained from p140Cap(-/-) mice show a strong reduction in number of mushroom spines and abnormal organization of synapse-associated F-actin. These phenotypes are most likely caused by a local reduction of the inhibitory control of RhoA and of cortactin toward the actin-depolymerizing factor cofilin. These events can be controlled by p140Cap through its capability to directly inhibit the activation of Src kinase and by its binding to the scaffold protein Citron-N. Altogether, our results provide new insight into how protein associated with dynamic microtubules may regulate spine actin organization through interaction with postsynaptic density components. PMID:24453341

  18. A novel form of synaptic plasticity in field CA3 of hippocampus requires GPER1 activation and BDNF release

    PubMed Central

    Briz, Victor; Liu, Yan; Zhu, Guoqi; Bi, Xiaoning

    2015-01-01

    Estrogen is an important modulator of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory consolidation through its rapid action on membrane-associated receptors. Here, we found that both estradiol and the G-protein–coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER1) specific agonist G1 rapidly induce brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) release, leading to transient stimulation of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated (Arc) protein translation and GluA1-containing AMPA receptor internalization in field CA3 of hippocampus. We also show that type-I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) activation does not induce Arc translation nor long-term depression (LTD) at the mossy fiber pathway, as opposed to its effects in CA1, and it only triggers LTD after GPER1 stimulation. Furthermore, this form of mGluR-dependent LTD is associated with ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation of GluA1, and is prevented by proteasome inhibition. Overall, our study identifies a novel mechanism by which estrogen and BDNF regulate hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. PMID:26391661

  19. Disruption of Arp2/3 Results in Asymmetric Structural Plasticity of Dendritic Spines and Progressive Synaptic and Behavioral Abnormalities

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Il Hwan; Racz, Bence; Wang, Hong; Burianek, Lauren; Weinberg, Richard; Yasuda, Ryohei; Wetsel, William C.; Soderling, Scott H.

    2013-01-01

    Despite evidence for a strong genetic contribution to several major psychiatric disorders, individual candidate genes account for only a small fraction of these disorders, leading to the suggestion that multigenetic pathways may be involved. Several known genetic risk factors for psychiatric disease are related to the regulation of actin polymerization, which plays a key role in synaptic plasticity. To gain insight into and test the possible pathogenetic role of this pathway, we designed a conditional knockout of the Arp2/3 complex, a conserved final output for actin signaling pathways that orchestrates de novo actin polymerization. Here we report that postnatal loss of the Arp2/3 subunit ArpC3 in forebrain excitatory neurons leads to an asymmetric structural plasticity of dendritic spines, followed by a progressive loss of spine synapses. This progression of synaptic deficits corresponds with an evolution of distinct cognitive, psychomotor, and social disturbances as the mice age. Together these results point to the dysfunction of actin signaling, specifically that which converges to regulate Arp2/3, as an important cellular pathway that may contribute to the etiology of complex psychiatric disorders. PMID:23554489

  20. Neuron-specific chromatin remodeling: a missing link in epigenetic mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity, memory, and intellectual disability disorders.

    PubMed

    Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Wood, Marcelo A

    2014-05-01

    Long-term memory formation requires the coordinated regulation of gene expression. Until recently nucleosome remodeling, one of the major epigenetic mechanisms for controlling gene expression, had been largely unexplored in the field of neuroscience. Nucleosome remodeling is carried out by chromatin remodeling complexes (CRCs) that interact with DNA and histones to physically alter chromatin structure and ultimately regulate gene expression. Human exome sequencing and gene wide association studies have linked mutations in CRC subunits to intellectual disability disorders, autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. However, how mutations in CRC subunits were related to human cognitive disorders was unknown. There appears to be both developmental and adult specific roles for the neuron specific CRC nBAF (neuronal Brg1/hBrm Associated Factor). nBAF regulates gene expression required for dendritic arborization during development, and in the adult, contributes to long-term potentiation, a form of synaptic plasticity, and long-term memory. We propose that the nBAF complex is a novel epigenetic mechanism for regulating transcription required for long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and memory processes and that impaired nBAF function may result in human cognitive disorders. PMID:24140580

  1. Disruption of Arp2/3 results in asymmetric structural plasticity of dendritic spines and progressive synaptic and behavioral abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Kim, Il Hwan; Racz, Bence; Wang, Hong; Burianek, Lauren; Weinberg, Richard; Yasuda, Ryohei; Wetsel, William C; Soderling, Scott H

    2013-04-01

    Despite evidence for a strong genetic contribution to several major psychiatric disorders, individual candidate genes account for only a small fraction of these disorders, leading to the suggestion that multigenetic pathways may be involved. Several known genetic risk factors for psychiatric disease are related to the regulation of actin polymerization, which plays a key role in synaptic plasticity. To gain insight into and test the possible pathogenetic role of this pathway, we designed a conditional knock-out of the Arp2/3 complex, a conserved final output for actin signaling pathways that orchestrates de novo actin polymerization. Here we report that postnatal loss of the Arp2/3 subunit ArpC3 in forebrain excitatory neurons leads to an asymmetric structural plasticity of dendritic spines, followed by a progressive loss of spine synapses. This progression of synaptic deficits corresponds with an evolution of distinct cognitive, psychomotor, and social disturbances as the mice age. Together, these results point to the dysfunction of actin signaling, specifically that which converges to regulate Arp2/3, as an important cellular pathway that may contribute to the etiology of complex psychiatric disorders.

  2. Long-term plasticity determines the postsynaptic response to correlated afferents with multivesicular short-term synaptic depression

    PubMed Central

    Bird, Alex D.; Richardson, Magnus J. E.

    2014-01-01

    Synchrony in a presynaptic population leads to correlations in vesicle occupancy at the active sites for neurotransmitter release. The number of independent release sites per presynaptic neuron, a synaptic parameter recently shown to be modified during long-term plasticity, will modulate these correlations and therefore have a significant effect on the firing rate of the postsynaptic neuron. To understand how correlations from synaptic dynamics and from presynaptic synchrony shape the postsynaptic response, we study a model of multiple release site short-term plasticity and derive exact results for the crosscorrelation function of vesicle occupancy and neurotransmitter release, as well as the postsynaptic voltage variance. Using approximate forms for the postsynaptic firing rate in the limits of low and high correlations, we demonstrate that short-term depression leads to a maximum response for an intermediate number of presynaptic release sites, and that this leads to a tuning-curve response peaked at an optimal presynaptic synchrony set by the number of neurotransmitter release sites per presynaptic neuron. These effects arise because, above a certain level of correlation, activity in the presynaptic population is overly strong resulting in wastage of the pool of releasable neurotransmitter. As the nervous system operates under constraints of efficient metabolism it is likely that this phenomenon provides an activity-dependent constraint on network architecture. PMID:24523691

  3. GABAB receptor-mediated, layer-specific synaptic plasticity reorganizes gamma-frequency neocortical response to stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Ainsworth, Matthew; Lee, Shane; Kaiser, Marcus; Simonotto, Jennifer; Kopell, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Repeated presentations of sensory stimuli generate transient gamma-frequency (30–80 Hz) responses in neocortex that show plasticity in a task-dependent manner. Complex relationships between individual neuronal outputs and the mean, local field potential (population activity) accompany these changes, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms responsible. Here we show that transient stimulation of input layer 4 sufficient to generate gamma oscillations induced two different, lamina-specific plastic processes that correlated with lamina-specific changes in responses to further, repeated stimulation: Unit rates and recruitment showed overall enhancement in supragranular layers and suppression in infragranular layers associated with excitatory or inhibitory synaptic potentiation onto principal cells, respectively. Both synaptic processes were critically dependent on activation of GABAB receptors and, together, appeared to temporally segregate the cortical representation. These data suggest that adaptation to repetitive sensory input dramatically alters the spatiotemporal properties of the neocortical response in a manner that may both refine and minimize cortical output simultaneously. PMID:27118845

  4. Impairment of L-type Ca2+ channel-dependent forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity in mice deficient in the extracellular matrix glycoprotein tenascin-C.

    PubMed

    Evers, Matthias R; Salmen, Benedikt; Bukalo, Olena; Rollenhagen, Astrid; Bösl, Michael R; Morellini, Fabio; Bartsch, Udo; Dityatev, Alexander; Schachner, Melitta

    2002-08-15

    The extracellular matrix glycoprotein tenascin-C (TN-C) has been suggested to play important functional roles during neural development, axonal regeneration, and synaptic plasticity. We generated a constitutively TN-C-deficient mouse mutant from embryonic stem cells with a floxed tn-C allele, representing a standard for future analysis of conditionally targeted mice. The gross morphology of the CNS was not detectably affected, including no evidence for perturbed nerve cell migration, abnormal oligodendrocyte distribution, or defective myelination. Despite the apparent normal histology of the hippocampus and normal performance in the water maze, theta-burst stimulation (TBS) of Schaffer collaterals elicited reduced long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region of TN-C-deficient mutants, as compared with wild-type littermates. However, high-frequency stimulation evoked normal LTP not only in CA1, but also at mossy fiber-CA3 and medial and lateral perforant path-granule cell synapses in the dentate gyrus. Low-frequency stimulation failed to induce long-term depression in the CA1 region of TN-C-deficient animals. Recordings of TBS-induced LTP in the presence of nifedipine, an antagonist of L-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCCs), did not affect LTP in TN-C-deficient mice, but reduced LTP in wild-type mice to the levels seen in mutants. Furthermore, chemical induction of a L-type VDCC-dependent LTP in the CA1 region by application of the K+ channel blocker tetraethylammonium resulted in impaired LTP in TN-C mutants. Thus, reduction in L-type VDCC-mediated signaling appears to mediate the deficits in certain forms of synaptic plasticity in constitutively TN-C-deficient mice. PMID:12177213

  5. Chronic methamphetamine treatment reduces the expression of synaptic plasticity genes and changes their DNA methylation status in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Min-Chih; Hsu, Shih-Hsin; Chen, Chia-Hsiang

    2015-12-10

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive psychostimulant that may cause long-lasting synaptic dysfunction and abnormal gene expression. We aimed to explore the differential expression of synaptic plasticity genes in chronic METH-treated mouse brain. We used the RT(2) Profiler PCR Array and the real-time quantitative PCR to characterize differentially expressed synaptic plasticity genes in the frontal cortex and the hippocampus of chronic METH-treated mice compared with normal saline-treated mice. We further used pyrosequencing to assess DNA methylation changes in the CpG region of the five immediate early genes (IEGs) in chronic METH-treated mouse brain. We detected six downregulated genes in the frontal cortex and the hippocampus of chronic METH-treated mice, including five IEGs (Arc, Egr2, Fos, Klf10, and Nr4a1) and one neuronal receptor gene (Grm1), compared with normal saline-treated group, but only four genes (Arc, Egr2, Fos, and Nr4a1) were confirmed to be different. Furthermore, we found several CpG sites of the Arc and the Fos that had significant changes in DNA methylation status in the frontal cortex of chronic METH-treated mice, while the klf10 and the Nr4a1 that had significant changes in the hippocampus. Our results show that chronic administration of METH may lead to significant downregulation of the IEGs expression in both the frontal cortex and the hippocampus, which may partly account for the molecular mechanism of the action of METH. Furthermore, the changes in DNA methylation status of the IEGs in the brain indicate that an epigenetic mechanism-dependent transcriptional regulation may contribute to METH addiction, which warrants additional study.

  6. Decreased synaptic plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex underlies short-term memory deficits in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats.

    PubMed

    Matheus, Filipe C; Rial, Daniel; Real, Joana I; Lemos, Cristina; Ben, Juliana; Guaita, Gisele O; Pita, Inês R; Sequeira, Ana C; Pereira, Frederico C; Walz, Roger; Takahashi, Reinaldo N; Bertoglio, Leandro J; Da Cunha, Cláudio; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Prediger, Rui D

    2016-03-15

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by motor dysfunction associated with dopaminergic degeneration in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS). However, motor symptoms in PD are often preceded by short-term memory deficits, which have been argued to involve deregulation of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We now used a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat PD model to explore if alterations of synaptic plasticity in DLS and mPFC underlie short-term memory impairments in PD prodrome. The bilateral injection of 6-OHDA (20μg/hemisphere) in the DLS caused a marked loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (>80%) and decreased monoamine levels in the striatum and PFC, accompanied by motor deficits evaluated after 21 days in the open field and accelerated rotarod. A lower dose of 6-OHDA (10μg/hemisphere) only induced a partial degeneration (about 60%) of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra with no gross motor impairments, thus mimicking an early premotor stage of PD. Notably, 6-OHDA (10μg)-lesioned rats displayed decreased monoamine levels in the PFC as well as short-term memory deficits evaluated in the novel object discrimination and in the modified Y-maze tasks; this was accompanied by a selective decrease in the amplitude of long-term potentiation in the mPFC, but not in DLS, without changes of synaptic transmission in either brain regions. These results indicate that the short-term memory dysfunction predating the motor alterations in the 6-OHDA model of PD is associated with selective changes of information processing in PFC circuits, typified by persistent changes of synaptic plasticity.

  7. Cognition and Synaptic-Plasticity Related Changes in Aged Rats Supplemented with 8- and 10-Carbon Medium Chain Triglycerides

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Dongmei; Mitchell, Ellen S.

    2016-01-01

    Brain glucose hypometabolism is a common feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previous studies have shown that cognition is improved by providing AD patients with an alternate energy source: ketones derived from either ketogenic diet or supplementation with medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Recently, data on the neuroprotective capacity of MCT-derived medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) suggest 8-carbon and 10-carbon MCFA may have cognition-enhancing properties which are not related to ketone production. We investigated the effect of 8 week treatment with MCT8, MCT10 or sunflower oil supplementation (5% by weight of chow diet) in 21 month old Wistar rats. Both MCT diets increased ketones plasma similarly compared to control diet, but MCT diets did not increase ketones in the brain. Treatment with MCT10, but not MCT8, significantly improved novel object recognition memory compared to control diet, while social recognition increased in both MCT groups. MCT8 and MCT10 diets decreased weight compared to control diet, where MCFA plasma levels were higher in MCT10 groups than in MCT8 groups. Both MCT diets increased IRS-1 (612) phosphorylation and decreased S6K phosphorylation (240/244) but only MCT10 increased Akt phosphorylation (473). MCT8 supplementation increased synaptophysin, but not PSD-95, in contrast MCT10 had no effect on either synaptic marker. Expression of Ube3a, which controls synaptic stability, was increased by both MCT diets. Cortex transcription via qPCR showed that immediate early genes related to synaptic plasticity (arc, plk3, junb, egr2, nr4a1) were downregulated by both MCT diets while MCT8 additionally down-regulated fosb and egr1 but upregulated grin1 and gba2. These results demonstrate that treatment of 8- and 10-carbon length MCTs in aged rats have slight differential effects on synaptic stability, protein synthesis and behavior that may be independent of brain ketone levels. PMID:27517611

  8. Cognition and Synaptic-Plasticity Related Changes in Aged Rats Supplemented with 8- and 10-Carbon Medium Chain Triglycerides.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dongmei; Mitchell, Ellen S

    2016-01-01

    Brain glucose hypometabolism is a common feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previous studies have shown that cognition is improved by providing AD patients with an alternate energy source: ketones derived from either ketogenic diet or supplementation with medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Recently, data on the neuroprotective capacity of MCT-derived medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) suggest 8-carbon and 10-carbon MCFA may have cognition-enhancing properties which are not related to ketone production. We investigated the effect of 8 week treatment with MCT8, MCT10 or sunflower oil supplementation (5% by weight of chow diet) in 21 month old Wistar rats. Both MCT diets increased ketones plasma similarly compared to control diet, but MCT diets did not increase ketones in the brain. Treatment with MCT10, but not MCT8, significantly improved novel object recognition memory compared to control diet, while social recognition increased in both MCT groups. MCT8 and MCT10 diets decreased weight compared to control diet, where MCFA plasma levels were higher in MCT10 groups than in MCT8 groups. Both MCT diets increased IRS-1 (612) phosphorylation and decreased S6K phosphorylation (240/244) but only MCT10 increased Akt phosphorylation (473). MCT8 supplementation increased synaptophysin, but not PSD-95, in contrast MCT10 had no effect on either synaptic marker. Expression of Ube3a, which controls synaptic stability, was increased by both MCT diets. Cortex transcription via qPCR showed that immediate early genes related to synaptic plasticity (arc, plk3, junb, egr2, nr4a1) were downregulated by both MCT diets while MCT8 additionally down-regulated fosb and egr1 but upregulated grin1 and gba2. These results demonstrate that treatment of 8- and 10-carbon length MCTs in aged rats have slight differential effects on synaptic stability, protein synthesis and behavior that may be independent of brain ketone levels. PMID:27517611

  9. Experimental demonstration of a second-order memristor and its ability to biorealistically implement synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sungho; Du, Chao; Sheridan, Patrick; Ma, Wen; Choi, ShinHyun; Lu, Wei D

    2015-03-11

    Memristors have been extensively studied for data storage and low-power computation applications. In this study, we show that memristors offer more than simple resistance change. Specifically, the dynamic evolutions of internal state variables allow an oxide-based memristor to exhibit Ca(2+)-like dynamics that natively encode timing information and regulate synaptic weights. Such a device can be modeled as a second-order memristor and allow the implementation of critical synaptic functions realistically using simple spike forms based solely on spike activity. PMID:25710872

  10. Experimental demonstration of a second-order memristor and its ability to biorealistically implement synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sungho; Du, Chao; Sheridan, Patrick; Ma, Wen; Choi, ShinHyun; Lu, Wei D

    2015-03-11

    Memristors have been extensively studied for data storage and low-power computation applications. In this study, we show that memristors offer more than simple resistance change. Specifically, the dynamic evolutions of internal state variables allow an oxide-based memristor to exhibit Ca(2+)-like dynamics that natively encode timing information and regulate synaptic weights. Such a device can be modeled as a second-order memristor and allow the implementation of critical synaptic functions realistically using simple spike forms based solely on spike activity.

  11. Presynaptic NR2A-containing NMDA receptors implement a high-pass filter synaptic plasticity rule.

    PubMed

    Bidoret, Céline; Ayon, Annick; Barbour, Boris; Casado, Mariano

    2009-08-18

    The detailed characterization of synaptic plasticity has led to the replacement of simple Hebbian rules by more complex rules depending on the order of presynaptic and postsynaptic action potentials. Here, we describe a mechanism endowing a plasticity rule with additional computational complexity--a dependence on the pattern of presynaptic action potentials. The classical Hebbian rule is based on detection of conjunctive presynaptic and postsynaptic activity by postsynaptic NMDA receptors, but there is also accumulating evidence for the existence of presynaptic NMDA receptors in several brain structures. Here, we examine the role of presynaptic NMDA receptors in defining the temporal structure of the plasticity rule governing induction of long-term depression (LTD) at the cerebellar parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse. We show that multiple presynaptic action potentials at frequencies between 40 Hz and 1 kHz are necessary for LTD induction. We characterize the subtype, kinetics, and role of presynaptic NMDA receptors involved in the induction of LTD, showing how the kinetics of the NR2A subunits expressed by parallel fibers implement a high-pass filter plasticity rule that will selectively attenuate synapses undergoing high-frequency bursts of activity. Depending on the type of NMDA receptor subunit expressed, high-pass filters of different corner frequencies could be implemented at other synapses expressing NMDA autoreceptors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  13. Effect of short-term exposure to dichlorvos on synaptic plasticity of rat hippocampal slices: Involvement of acylpeptide hydrolase and {alpha}{sub 7} nicotinic receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Olmos, Cristina; Sandoval, Rodrigo; Rozas, Carlos; Navarro, Sebastian; Wyneken, Ursula; Zeise, Marc; Morales, Bernardo; Pancetti, Floria

    2009-07-01

    Dichlorvos is the active molecule of the pro-drug metrifonate used to revert the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease. A few years ago it was reported that dichlorvos inhibits the enzyme acylpeptide hydrolase at lower doses than those necessary to inhibit acetylcholinesterase to the same extent. Therefore, the aim of our investigation was to test the hypothesis that dichlorvos can enhance synaptic efficacy through a mechanism that involves acylpeptide hydrolase instead of acetylcholinesterase inhibition. We used long-term potentiation induced in rat hippocampal slices as a model of synaptic plasticity. Our results indicate that short-term exposures (20 min) to 50 {mu}M dichlorvos enhance long-term potentiation in about 200% compared to the control condition. This effect is correlated with approximately 60% inhibition of acylpeptide hydrolase activity, whereas acetylcholinesterase activity remains unaffected. Paired-pulse facilitation and inhibition experiments indicate that dichlorvos does not have any presynaptic effect in the CA3 {yields} CA1 pathway nor affect gabaergic interneurons. Interestingly, the application of 100 nM methyllicaconitine, an {alpha}{sub 7} nicotinic receptor antagonist, blocked the enhancing effect of dichlorvos on long-term potentiation. These results indicate that under the exposure conditions described above, dichlorvos enhances long-term potentiation through a postsynaptic mechanism that involves (a) the inhibition of the enzyme acylpeptide hydrolase and (b) the modulation of {alpha}{sub 7} nicotinic receptors.

  14. Role of motor cortex NMDA receptors in learning-dependent synaptic plasticity of behaving mice

    PubMed Central

    Hasan, Mazahir T.; Hernández-González, Samuel; Dogbevia, Godwin; Treviño, Mario; Bertocchi, Ilaria; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M.

    2013-01-01

    The primary motor cortex has an important role in the precise execution of learned motor responses. During motor learning, synaptic efficacy between sensory and primary motor cortical neurons is enhanced, possibly involving long-term potentiation and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-specific glutamate receptor function. To investigate whether NMDA receptor in the primary motor cortex can act as a coincidence detector for activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength and associative learning, here we generate mice with deletion of the Grin1 gene, encoding the essential NMDA receptor subunit 1 (GluN1), specifically in the primary motor cortex. The loss of NMDA receptor function impairs primary motor cortex long-term potentiation in vivo. Importantly, it impairs the synaptic efficacy between the primary somatosensory and primary motor cortices and significantly reduces classically conditioned eyeblink responses. Furthermore, compared with wild-type littermates, mice lacking primary motor cortex show slower learning in Skinner-box tasks. Thus, primary motor cortex NMDA receptors are necessary for activity-dependent synaptic strengthening and associative learning. PMID:23978820

  15. Experience with the "good" limb induces aberrant synaptic plasticity in the perilesion cortex after stroke.

    PubMed

    Kim, Soo Young; Allred, Rachel P; Adkins, DeAnna L; Tennant, Kelly A; Donlan, Nicole A; Kleim, Jeffrey A; Jones, Theresa A

    2015-06-01

    Following unilateral stroke, the contralateral (paretic) body side is often severely impaired, and individuals naturally learn to rely more on the nonparetic body side, which involves learning new skills with it. Such compensatory hyper-reliance on the "good" body side, however, can limit functional improvements of the paretic side. In rats, motor skill training with the nonparetic forelimb (NPT) following a unilateral infarct lessens the efficacy of rehabilitative training, and reduces neuronal activation in perilesion motor cortex. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated how forelimb movement representations and synaptic restructuring in perilesion motor cortex respond to NPT and their relationship with behavioral outcomes. Forelimb representations were diminished as a result of NPT, as revealed with intracortical microstimulation mapping. Using transmission electron microscopy and stereological analyses, we found that densities of axodendritic synapses, especially axo-spinous synapses, as well as multiple synaptic boutons were increased in the perilesion cortex by NPT. The synaptic density was negatively correlated with the functional outcome of the paretic limb, as revealed in reaching performance. Furthermore, in animals with NPT, there was dissociation between astrocytic morphological features and axo-spinous synaptic density in perilesion motor cortex, compared with controls. These findings demonstrate that skill learning with the nonparetic limb following unilateral brain damage results in aberrant synaptogenesis, potentially of transcallosal projections, and this seems to hamper the functionality of the perilesion motor cortex and the paretic forelimb. PMID:26041926

  16. Closed-loop Robots Driven by Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity: Emergent Explorative vs. Limit-Cycle Locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Laura; Sándor, Bulcsú; Gros, Claudius

    2016-01-01

    We examine the hypothesis, that short-term synaptic plasticity (STSP) may generate self-organized motor patterns. We simulated sphere-shaped autonomous robots, within the LPZRobots simulation package, containing three weights moving along orthogonal internal rods. The position of a weight is controlled by a single neuron receiving excitatory input from the sensor, measuring its actual position, and inhibitory inputs from the other two neurons. The inhibitory connections are transiently plastic, following physiologically inspired STSP-rules. We find that a wide palette of motion patterns are generated through the interaction of STSP, robot, and environment (closed-loop configuration), including various forward meandering and circular motions, together with chaotic trajectories. The observed locomotion is robust with respect to additional interactions with obstacles. In the chaotic phase the robot is seemingly engaged in actively exploring its environment. We believe that our results constitute a concept of proof that transient synaptic plasticity, as described by STSP, may potentially be important for the generation of motor commands and for the emergence of complex locomotion patterns, adapting seamlessly also to unexpected environmental feedback. We observe spontaneous and collision induced mode switchings, finding in addition, that locomotion may follow transiently limit cycles which are otherwise unstable. Regular locomotion corresponds to stable limit cycles in the sensorimotor loop, which may be characterized in turn by arbitrary angles of propagation. This degeneracy is, in our analysis, one of the drivings for the chaotic wandering observed for selected parameter settings, which is induced by the smooth diffusion of the angle of propagation. PMID:27803661

  17. Motor Training Promotes Both Synaptic and Intrinsic Plasticity of Layer II/III Pyramidal Neurons in the Primary Motor Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kida, Hiroyuki; Tsuda, Yasumasa; Ito, Nana; Yamamoto, Yui; Owada, Yuji; Kamiya, Yoshinori; Mitsushima, Dai

    2016-01-01

    Motor skill training induces structural plasticity at dendritic spines in the primary motor cortex (M1). To further analyze both synaptic and intrinsic plasticity in the layer II/III area of M1, we subjected rats to a rotor rod test and then prepared acute brain slices. Motor skill consistently improved within 2 days of training. Voltage clamp analysis showed significantly higher α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid/N-methyl-d-aspartate (AMPA/NMDA) ratios and miniature EPSC amplitudes in 1-day trained rats compared with untrained rats, suggesting increased postsynaptic AMPA receptors in the early phase of motor learning. Compared with untrained controls, 2-days trained rats showed significantly higher miniature EPSC amplitude and frequency. Paired-pulse analysis further demonstrated lower rates in 2-days trained rats, suggesting increased presynaptic glutamate release during the late phase of learning. One-day trained rats showed decreased miniature IPSC frequency and increased paired-pulse analysis of evoked IPSC, suggesting a transient decrease in presynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release. Moreover, current clamp analysis revealed lower resting membrane potential, higher spike threshold, and deeper afterhyperpolarization in 1-day trained rats—while 2-days trained rats showed higher membrane potential, suggesting dynamic changes in intrinsic properties. Our present results indicate dynamic changes in glutamatergic, GABAergic, and intrinsic plasticity in M1 layer II/III neurons after the motor training. PMID:27193420

  18. Free D-aspartate regulates neuronal dendritic morphology, synaptic plasticity, gray matter volume and brain activity in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Errico, F; Nisticò, R; Di Giorgio, A; Squillace, M; Vitucci, D; Galbusera, A; Piccinin, S; Mango, D; Fazio, L; Middei, S; Trizio, S; Mercuri, N B; Teule, M A; Centonze, D; Gozzi, A; Blasi, G; Bertolino, A; Usiello, A

    2014-01-01

    D-aspartate (D-Asp) is an atypical amino acid, which is especially abundant in the developing mammalian brain, and can bind to and activate N-methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs). In line with its pharmacological features, we find that mice chronically treated with D-Asp show enhanced NMDAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and basal cerebral blood volume in fronto-hippocampal areas. In addition, we show that both chronic administration of D-Asp and deletion of the gene coding for the catabolic enzyme D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) trigger plastic modifications of neuronal cytoarchitecture in the prefrontal cortex and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus and promote a cytochalasin D-sensitive form of synaptic plasticity in adult mouse brains. To translate these findings in humans and consistent with the experiments using Ddo gene targeting in animals, we performed a hierarchical stepwise translational genetic approach. Specifically, we investigated the association of variation in the gene coding for DDO with complex human prefrontal phenotypes. We demonstrate that genetic variation predicting reduced expression of DDO in postmortem human prefrontal cortex is mapped on greater prefrontal gray matter and activity during working memory as measured with MRI. In conclusion our results identify novel NMDAR-dependent effects of D-Asp on plasticity and physiology in rodents, which also map to prefrontal phenotypes in humans. PMID:25072322

  19. Free D-aspartate regulates neuronal dendritic morphology, synaptic plasticity, gray matter volume and brain activity in mammals.

    PubMed

    Errico, F; Nisticò, R; Di Giorgio, A; Squillace, M; Vitucci, D; Galbusera, A; Piccinin, S; Mango, D; Fazio, L; Middei, S; Trizio, S; Mercuri, N B; Teule, M A; Centonze, D; Gozzi, A; Blasi, G; Bertolino, A; Usiello, A

    2014-01-01

    D-aspartate (D-Asp) is an atypical amino acid, which is especially abundant in the developing mammalian brain, and can bind to and activate N-methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs). In line with its pharmacological features, we find that mice chronically treated with D-Asp show enhanced NMDAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and basal cerebral blood volume in fronto-hippocampal areas. In addition, we show that both chronic administration of D-Asp and deletion of the gene coding for the catabolic enzyme D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) trigger plastic modifications of neuronal cytoarchitecture in the prefrontal cortex and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus and promote a cytochalasin D-sensitive form of synaptic plasticity in adult mouse brains. To translate these findings in humans and consistent with the experiments using Ddo gene targeting in animals, we performed a hierarchical stepwise translational genetic approach. Specifically, we investigated the association of variation in the gene coding for DDO with complex human prefrontal phenotypes. We demonstrate that genetic variation predicting reduced expression of DDO in postmortem human prefrontal cortex is mapped on greater prefrontal gray matter and activity during working memory as measured with MRI. In conclusion our results identify novel NMDAR-dependent effects of D-Asp on plasticity and physiology in rodents, which also map to prefrontal phenotypes in humans.

  20. In Vitro Studies of Neuronal Networks and Synaptic Plasticity in Invertebrates and in Mammals Using Multielectrode Arrays

    PubMed Central

    Tessadori, Jacopo; Ghirardi, Mirella

    2015-01-01

    Brain functions are strictly dependent on neural connections formed during development and modified during life. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and plastic changes involved in learning and memory have been analyzed in detail in simple animals such as invertebrates and in circuits of mammalian brains mainly by intracellular recordings of neuronal activity. In the last decades, the evolution of techniques such as microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that allow simultaneous, long-lasting, noninvasive, extracellular recordings from a large number of neurons has proven very useful to study long-term processes in neuronal networks in vivo and in vitro. In this work, we start off by briefly reviewing the microelectrode array technology and the optimization of the coupling between neurons and microtransducers to detect subthreshold synaptic signals. Then, we report MEA studies of circuit formation and activity in invertebrate models such as Lymnaea, Aplysia, and Helix. In the following sections, we analyze plasticity and connectivity in cultures of mammalian dissociated neurons, focusing on spontaneous activity and electrical stimulation. We conclude by discussing plasticity in closed-loop experiments. PMID:25866681

  1. In vitro studies of neuronal networks and synaptic plasticity in invertebrates and in mammals using multielectrode arrays.

    PubMed

    Massobrio, Paolo; Tessadori, Jacopo; Chiappalone, Michela; Ghirardi, Mirella

    2015-01-01

    Brain functions are strictly dependent on neural connections formed during development and modified during life. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and plastic changes involved in learning and memory have been analyzed in detail in simple animals such as invertebrates and in circuits of mammalian brains mainly by intracellular recordings of neuronal activity. In the last decades, the evolution of techniques such as microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that allow simultaneous, long-lasting, noninvasive, extracellular recordings from a large number of neurons has proven very useful to study long-term processes in neuronal networks in vivo and in vitro. In this work, we start off by briefly reviewing the microelectrode array technology and the optimization of the coupling between neurons and microtransducers to detect subthreshold synaptic signals. Then, we report MEA studies of circuit formation and activity in invertebrate models such as Lymnaea, Aplysia, and Helix. In the following sections, we analyze plasticity and connectivity in cultures of mammalian dissociated neurons, focusing on spontaneous activity and electrical stimulation. We conclude by discussing plasticity in closed-loop experiments.

  2. Differential splicing and glycosylation of Apoer2 alters synaptic plasticity and fear learning

    PubMed Central

    Wasser, Catherine R.; Masiulis, Irene; Durakoglugil, Murat S.; Lane-Donovan, Courtney; Xian, Xunde; Beffert, Uwe; Agarwala, Anandita; Hammer, Robert E.; Herz, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Apoer2 is an essential receptor in the central nervous system that binds to the apolipoprotein ApoE. Various splice variants of Apoer2 are produced. We showed that Apoer2 lacking exon 16, which encodes the O-linked sugar (OLS) domain, altered the proteolytic processing and abundance of Apoer2 in cells and synapse number and function in mice. In cultured cells expressing this splice variant, extracellular cleavage of OLS-deficient Apoer2 was reduced, consequently preventing γ-secretase-dependent release of the intracellular domain of Apoer2. Mice expressing Apoer2 lacking the OLS domain had increased Apoer2 abundance in the brain, hippocampal spine density, and glutamate receptor abundance, but decreased synaptic efficacy. Mice expressing a form of Apoer2 lacking the OLS domain and containing an alternatively spliced cytoplasmic tail region that promotes glutamate receptor signaling showed enhanced hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a phenomenon associated with learning and memory. However, these mice did not display enhanced spatial learning in the Morris water maze, and cued fear conditioning was reduced. Reducing the expression of the mutant Apoer2 allele so that the abundance of the protein was similar to that of Apoer2 in wild-type mice normalized spine density, hippocampal LTP, and cued fear learning. These findings demonstrated a role for ApoE receptors as regulators of synaptic glutamate receptor activity and established differential receptor glycosylation as a potential regulator of synaptic function and memory. PMID:25429077

  3. Synaptic NF-kappa B pathway in neuronal plasticity and memory.

    PubMed

    Salles, Angeles; Romano, Arturo; Freudenthal, Ramiro

    2014-01-01

    Several transcription factors are present at the synapse, and among these are the Rel-NF-kappa B pathway components. NF-kappa B is a constitutive transcription factor, with a strong presence in the brain of which a considerable part is located in the neuropiles. This localization of the transcription factor, plus evidence pointing to different functions, is what gave place to two general hypotheses for synaptic NF-kappa B: (a) The transcription factor plays a role in the synapse to nucleus communication, and it is retrogradely transported from polarized localizations to regulate gene expression; (b) The transcription factor modulates the synaptic function locally. Evidence indicates that both mechanisms can operate simultaneously; here we will present different possibilities of these hypotheses that are supported by an increasing amount of data. We pay special attention to the local role of the transcription factor at the synapse, and based in the described evidence from different animal models, we propose several processes in which the transcription factor may change the synaptic strength.

  4. Synaptic plasticity modulates autonomous transitions between waking and sleep states: insights from a Morris-Lecar model.

    PubMed

    Ciszak, Marzena; Bellesi, Michele

    2011-12-01

    The transitions between waking and sleep states are characterized by considerable changes in neuronal firing. During waking, neurons fire tonically at irregular intervals and a desynchronized activity is observed at the electroencephalogram. This activity becomes synchronized with slow wave sleep onset when neurons start to oscillate between periods of firing (up-states) and periods of silence (down-states). Recently, it has been proposed that the connections between neurons undergo potentiation during waking, whereas they weaken during slow wave sleep. Here, we propose a dynamical model to describe basic features of the autonomous transitions between such states. We consider a network of coupled neurons in which the strength of the interactions is modulated by synaptic long term potentiation and depression, according to the spike time-dependent plasticity rule (STDP). The model shows that the enhancement of synaptic strength between neurons occurring in waking increases the propensity of the network to synchronize and, conversely, desynchronization appears when the strength of the connections become weaker. Both transitions appear spontaneously, but the transition from sleep to waking required a slight modification of the STDP rule with the introduction of a mechanism which becomes active during sleep and changes the proportion between potentiation and depression in accordance with biological data. At the neuron level, transitions from desynchronization to synchronization and vice versa can be described as a bifurcation between two different states, whose dynamical regime is modulated by synaptic strengths, thus suggesting that transition from a state to an another can be determined by quantitative differences between potentiation and depression.

  5. Synaptic plasticity modulates autonomous transitions between waking and sleep states: Insights from a Morris-Lecar model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciszak, Marzena; Bellesi, Michele

    2011-12-01

    The transitions between waking and sleep states are characterized by considerable changes in neuronal firing. During waking, neurons fire tonically at irregular intervals and a desynchronized activity is observed at the electroencephalogram. This activity becomes synchronized with slow wave sleep onset when neurons start to oscillate between periods of firing (up-states) and periods of silence (down-states). Recently, it has been proposed that the connections between neurons undergo potentiation during waking, whereas they weaken during slow wave sleep. Here, we propose a dynamical model to describe basic features of the autonomous transitions between such states. We consider a network of coupled neurons in which the strength of the interactions is modulated by synaptic long term potentiation and depression, according to the spike time-dependent plasticity rule (STDP). The model shows that the enhancement of synaptic strength between neurons occurring in waking increases the propensity of the network to synchronize and, conversely, desynchronization appears when the strength of the connections become weaker. Both transitions appear spontaneously, but the transition from sleep to waking required a slight modification of the STDP rule with the introduction of a mechanism which becomes active during sleep and changes the proportion between potentiation and depression in accordance with biological data. At the neuron level, transitions from desynchronization to synchronization and vice versa can be described as a bifurcation between two different states, whose dynamical regime is modulated by synaptic strengths, thus suggesting that transition from a state to an another can be determined by quantitative differences between potentiation and depression.

  6. Stability and bifurcation of the Tsodyks-Markram model about short-term synaptic plasticity with time delay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qiubao

    2014-06-01

    Short-term synaptic plasticity in the Tsodyks-Markram model can lead to unpredictable and complicated network dynamics. In this paper, we present a new Tsodyks-Markram model with time delay as a parameter. The time delay plays a very important role for the dynamics of our model. We report on the existence of Hopf bifurcation in the model for fixed and varied release probability of available neurotransmitters. It is found that there are stability switches, and a supercritical or subcritical Hopf bifurcation occur when the delay passes through a sequence of critical values. We provide numerical results to illustrate our conclusion about stability and obtain the properties of Hopf bifurcation. Moreover, we find the large sensitivity to initial conditions in our model.

  7. The NO-cGMP-PKG Signaling Pathway Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Fear Memory Consolidation in the Lateral Amygdala via Activation of ERK/MAP Kinase

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ota, Kristie T.; Pierre, Vicki J.; Ploski, Jonathan E.; Queen, Kaila; Schafe, Glenn E.

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that nitric oxide (NO) signaling plays a crucial role in memory consolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning and in synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA). In the present experiments, we examined the role of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG), a downstream effector of NO, in fear memory consolidation and…

  8. The selective noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor reboxetine restores spatial learning deficits, biochemical changes, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in an animal model of depression.

    PubMed

    Bhagya, V; Srikumar, B N; Raju, T R; Shankaranarayana Rao, B S

    2015-01-01

    Depression is a major psychiatric illness that is associated with cognitive dysfunctions. The underlying mechanism of depression-associated memory impairment is unclear. Previously, we showed altered hippocampal synaptic plasticity in an animal model of depression. Although several antidepressants are beneficial in the treatment of depression, very little is known about the effects of these drugs on depression-associated learning and memory deficits. Prolonged antidepressant treatment might contribute to neuroplastic changes required for clinical outcomes. Accordingly, we evaluated the effect of chronic reboxetine (a selective noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor) treatment on depression-induced reduced hippocampal synaptic plasticity, neurotransmitter levels, and spatial learning and memory impairments. Depression was induced in male Wistar rats by the administration of clomipramine from postnatal days 8 to 21, and these rats were treated with reboxetine in adulthood. The neonatal clomipramine administration resulted in impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), decreased hippocampal cholinergic activity and monoamine levels, and poor performance in a partially baited eight-arm radial maze task. Chronic reboxetine treatment restored the hippocampal LTP, acetylcholinesterase activity, and levels of biogenic amines and ameliorated spatial learning and memory deficits in the depressed state. Thus, restoration of hippocampal synaptic plasticity might be a cellular mechanism underlying the beneficial effect of reboxetine in depression-associated cognitive deficits. This study furthers the existing understanding of the effects of antidepressants on learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity and could ultimately assist in the development of better therapeutic strategies to treat depression and associated cognitive impairments.

  9. Removal of S6K1 and S6K2 Leads to Divergent Alterations in Learning, Memory, and Synaptic Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Antion, Marcia D.; Merhav, Maayan; Hoeffer, Charles A.; Reis, Gerald; Kozma, Sara C.; Thomas, George; Schuman Erin M.; Rosenblum, Kobi; Klann, Eric

    2008-01-01

    Protein synthesis is required for the expression of enduring memories and long-lasting synaptic plasticity. During cellular proliferation and growth, S6 kinases (S6Ks) are activated and coordinate the synthesis of de novo proteins. We hypothesized that protein synthesis mediated by S6Ks is critical for the manifestation of learning, memory, and…

  10. Hippocampal chromatin-modifying enzymes are pivotal for scopolamine-induced synaptic plasticity gene expression changes and memory impairment.

    PubMed

    Singh, Padmanabh; Konar, Arpita; Kumar, Ashish; Srivas, Sweta; Thakur, Mahendra K

    2015-08-01

    The amnesic potential of scopolamine is well manifested through synaptic plasticity gene expression changes and behavioral paradigms of memory impairment. However, the underlying mechanism remains obscure and consequently ideal therapeutic target is lacking. In this context, chromatin-modifying enzymes, which regulate memory gene expression changes, deserve major attention. Therefore, we analyzed the expression of chromatin-modifying enzymes and recovery potential of enzyme modulators in scopolamine-induced amnesia. Scopolamine administration drastically up-regulated DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1) and HDAC2 expression while CREB-binding protein (CBP), DNMT3a and DNMT3b remained unaffected. HDAC inhibitor sodium butyrate and DNMT inhibitor Aza-2'deoxycytidine recovered scopolamine-impaired hippocampal-dependent memory consolidation with concomitant increase in the expression of synaptic plasticity genes Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Arc and level of histone H3K9 and H3K14 acetylation and decrease in DNA methylation level. Sodium butyrate showed more pronounced effect than Aza-2'deoxycytidine and their co-administration did not exhibit synergistic effect on gene expression. Taken together, we showed for the first time that scopolamine-induced up-regulation of chromatin-modifying enzymes, HDAC2 and DNMT1, leads to gene expression changes and consequent decline in memory consolidation. Our findings on the action of scopolamine as an epigenetic modulator can pave a path for ideal therapeutic targets. We propose the following putative pathway for scopolamine-mediated memory impairment; scopolamine up-regulates hippocampal DNMT1 and HDAC2 expression, induces methylation and deacetylation of BDNF and Arc promoter, represses gene expression and eventually impairs memory consolidation. On the other hand, Aza-2 and NaB inhibit DNMT1 and HDAC2 respectively, up-regulate BDNF and Arc expression and recover memory consolidation. We elucidate the action of

  11. Hypermethylation of Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity-Related genes is Involved in Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposure-Induced Cognitive Impairments in Rats.

    PubMed

    Ju, Ling-sha; Jia, Min; Sun, Jie; Sun, Xiao-ru; Zhang, Hui; Ji, Mu-huo; Yang, Jian-jun; Wang, Zhong-yun

    2016-02-01

    General anesthetics given to immature rodents cause delayed neurobehavioral abnormalities via incompletely understood mechanisms. DNA methylation, one of the epigenetic modifications, is essential for the modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity through regulating the related genes. Therefore, we investigated whether abnormalities in the hippocampal DNA methylation of synaptic plasticity-related genes are involved in neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive impairments in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 3 % sevoflurane or 30 % oxygen/air for 2 h daily from postnatal day 7 (P7) to P9 and were treated with DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) inhibitor 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5-AZA) or vehicle 1 h before the first sevoflurane exposure on P7. The rats were euthanized 1, 6, 24 h, and 30 days after the last sevoflurane exposure, and the brain tissues were harvested for biochemical analysis. Cognitive functions were evaluated by the open field, fear conditioning, and Morris water maze (MWM) tests on P39, P41-43, and P50-57, respectively. In the present study, repeated neonatal sevoflurane exposure resulted in hippocampus-dependent cognitive impairments as assessed by fear conditioning and MWM tests. The cognitive impairments were associated with the increased DNMTs and hypermethylation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Reelin genes, and subsequent down-regulation of BDNF and Reelin genes, which finally led to the decrease of dendritic spines in the hippocampal pyramidal neurons in adolescent rats. Notably, pretreatment with 5-AZA reversed these sevoflurane-induced abnormalities. In conclusion, our results suggest that hypermethylation of hippocampal BDNF and Reelin is involved in neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive impairments.

  12. Neuronal Kmt2a/Mll1 Histone Methyltransferase Is Essential for Prefrontal Synaptic Plasticity and Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Ruan, Hongyu; Shen, Erica Y.; Dincer, Aslihan; Javidfar, Behnam; Ma, Qi; Peter, Cyril J.; Cheung, Iris; Mitchell, Amanda C.; Jiang, Yan; Lin, Cong L.; Pothula, Venu; Stewart, A. Francis; Ernst, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal histone H3-lysine 4 methylation landscapes are defined by sharp peaks at gene promoters and other cis-regulatory sequences, but molecular and cellular phenotypes after neuron-specific deletion of H3K4 methyl-regulators remain largely unexplored. We report that neuronal ablation of the H3K4-specific methyltransferase, Kmt2a/Mixed-lineage leukemia 1 (Mll1), in mouse postnatal forebrain and adult prefrontal cortex (PFC) is associated with increased anxiety and robust cognitive deficits without locomotor dysfunction. In contrast, only mild behavioral phenotypes were observed after ablation of the Mll1 ortholog Kmt2b/Mll2 in PFC. Impaired working memory after Kmt2a/Mll1 ablation in PFC neurons was associated with loss of training-induced transient waves of Arc immediate early gene expression critical for synaptic plasticity. Medial prefrontal layer V pyramidal neurons, a major output relay of the cortex, demonstrated severely impaired synaptic facilitation and temporal summation, two forms of short-term plasticity essential for working memory. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing in Mll1-deficient cortical neurons revealed downregulated expression and loss of the transcriptional mark, trimethyl-H3K4, at <50 loci, including the homeodomain transcription factor Meis2. Small RNA-mediated Meis2 knockdown in PFC was associated with working memory defects similar to those elicited by Mll1 deletion. Therefore, mature prefrontal neurons critically depend on maintenance of Mll1-regulated H3K4 methylation at a subset of genes with an essential role in cognition and emotion. PMID:25834037

  13. Neuronal Kmt2a/Mll1 histone methyltransferase is essential for prefrontal synaptic plasticity and working memory.

    PubMed

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Ruan, Hongyu; Shen, Erica Y; Dincer, Aslihan; Javidfar, Behnam; Ma, Qi; Peter, Cyril J; Cheung, Iris; Mitchell, Amanda C; Jiang, Yan; Lin, Cong L; Pothula, Venu; Stewart, A Francis; Ernst, Patricia; Yao, Wei-Dong; Akbarian, Schahram

    2015-04-01

    Neuronal histone H3-lysine 4 methylation landscapes are defined by sharp peaks at gene promoters and other cis-regulatory sequences, but molecular and cellular phenotypes after neuron-specific deletion of H3K4 methyl-regulators remain largely unexplored. We report that neuronal ablation of the H3K4-specific methyltransferase, Kmt2a/Mixed-lineage leukemia 1 (Mll1), in mouse postnatal forebrain and adult prefrontal cortex (PFC) is associated with increased anxiety and robust cognitive deficits without locomotor dysfunction. In contrast, only mild behavioral phenotypes were observed after ablation of the Mll1 ortholog Kmt2b/Mll2 in PFC. Impaired working memory after Kmt2a/Mll1 ablation in PFC neurons was associated with loss of training-induced transient waves of Arc immediate early gene expression critical for synaptic plasticity. Medial prefrontal layer V pyramidal neurons, a major output relay of the cortex, demonstrated severely impaired synaptic facilitation and temporal summation, two forms of short-term plasticity essential for working memory. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing in Mll1-deficient cortical neurons revealed downregulated expression and loss of the transcriptional mark, trimethyl-H3K4, at <50 loci, including the homeodomain transcription factor Meis2. Small RNA-mediated Meis2 knockdown in PFC was associated with working memory defects similar to those elicited by Mll1 deletion. Therefore, mature prefrontal neurons critically depend on maintenance of Mll1-regulated H3K4 methylation at a subset of genes with an essential role in cognition and emotion. PMID:25834037

  14. Calcium sensor regulation of the CaV2.1 Ca2+ channel contributes to short-term synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Nanou, Evanthia; Sullivan, Jane M; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A

    2016-01-26

    Short-term synaptic plasticity is induced by calcium (Ca(2+)) accumulating in presynaptic nerve terminals during repetitive action potentials. Regulation of voltage-gated CaV2.1 Ca(2+) channels by Ca(2+) sensor proteins induces facilitation of Ca(2+) currents and synaptic facilitation in cultured neurons expressing exogenous CaV2.1 channels. However, it is unknown whether this mechanism contributes to facilitation in native synapses. We introduced the IM-AA mutation into the IQ-like motif (IM) of the Ca(2+) sensor binding site. This mutation does not alter voltage dependence or kinetics of CaV2.1 currents, or frequency or amplitude of spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs); however, synaptic facilitation is completely blocked in excitatory glutamatergic synapses in hippocampal autaptic cultures. In acutely prepared hippocampal slices, frequency and amplitude of mEPSCs and amplitudes of evoked EPSCs are unaltered. In contrast, short-term synaptic facilitation in response to paired stimuli is reduced by ∼ 50%. In the presence of EGTA-AM to prevent global increases in free Ca(2+), the IM-AA mutation completely blocks short-term synaptic facilitation, indicating that synaptic facilitation by brief, local increases in Ca(2+) is dependent upon regulation of CaV2.1 channels by Ca(2+) sensor proteins. In response to trains of action potentials, synaptic facilitation is reduced in IM-AA synapses in initial stimuli, consistent with results of paired-pulse experiments; however, synaptic depression is also delayed, resulting in sustained increases in amplitudes of later EPSCs during trains of 10 stimuli at 10-20 Hz. Evidently, regulation of CaV2.1 channels by CaS proteins is required for normal short-term plasticity and normal encoding of information in native hippocampal synapses.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  16. Genetic deletion of melanin-concentrating hormone neurons impairs hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity and hippocampal-dependent forms of short-term memory.

    PubMed

    Le Barillier, Léa; Léger, Lucienne; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Fort, Patrice; Malleret, Gaël; Salin, Paul-Antoine

    2015-11-01

    The cognitive role of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons, a neuronal population located in the mammalian postero-lateral hypothalamus sending projections to all cortical areas, remains poorly understood. Mainly activated during paradoxical sleep (PS), MCH neurons have been implicated in sleep regulation. The genetic deletion of the only known MCH receptor in rodent leads to an impairment of hippocampal dependent forms of memory and to an alteration of hippocampal long-ter